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Old 06-07-2008, 03:54 AM   #16
HarryT
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This would require registering and paying for every copyright that you want to lay claim to. A large percentage of copyrights are not registered I am sure. The cost to maintain this would be tremendous. While it sounds good in theory I just don't think it is practical.

BOb
Sorry, why would anyone want to "register" a copyright? You AUTOMATICALLY have a copyright on anything that you write, unless you specifically state it to be in the public domain. You don't even need to put a copyright message on it.
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Old 06-07-2008, 09:57 AM   #17
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Sorry, why would anyone want to "register" a copyright? You AUTOMATICALLY have a copyright on anything that you write, unless you specifically state it to be in the public domain. You don't even need to put a copyright message on it.

Harry, do you automatically get a patent just by deciding you invented something, a trademark just my saying "it's mine", or a piece of land just by squatting on it and saying "it's mine!" (some of the worst range wars in the old west were over people who squatted on land that another had legally filed and paid for.) Why should copyright be different? (It currently is different, and look at the systemic abuse that has occurred because of it.)

I file for format copyrights (in the US) on items I wish to preserve formal ownership on. I can then state (if necessary), you have violated copyright -------, formally filed at the copyright office (which has date and ownership information.) This would make a lawsuit over I.P. much easier. Things I don't copyright, I consider not worth the bother, and won't defend. Doing this costs money (TANSTAFFL).

SHRUG. In the history of Homo Economicus, anything free gets wasted and abused (it's called "the problem of the commons" by economists). It doesn't matter whether we're talking copyright or CO2 emmissions. I.P. used to not have this problem very much due to the short-term and wasting aspect of I.P. (40 or 50 years and it was gone.) Since the Berne Convention, a great lobbying effort has been put into copyright to make it approach perpetual property in nature, creating the same "commons" problems of other properties. The traditional answer is to provide ownership (and ownership costs) to the "free" item. That's what I was trying to point out in this thread.

Last edited by Ralph Sir Edward; 06-07-2008 at 10:01 AM.
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Old 06-07-2008, 04:26 PM   #18
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I think you've got some good ideas here. I'd suggest making the first registration free, however (even for the span of 20 years that you suggest). I'm not so worried about the Copyright Office or whomever having to maintain a database of who published what when, because Google and the Internet Archive pretty much have that covered already. After 20 years, the original author has gotten fame, glory, and whatever small amount of money they can out of the work, and then a fee to maintain the copyright seems reasonable to me.
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Old 06-07-2008, 05:56 PM   #19
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If you want to make the first registration free, that's OK by me. But you must make the registration for the copyright to be effective and for the rest of the system to work. If you don't want to register, you don't have a copyright. (The registration starts the 20 year timer.)
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Old 06-09-2008, 04:28 PM   #20
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The difference between a patent and a copyright?

a) if you have a patent on some special system I am not allowed to copy (even modified) it in my own design - if you have copyrights e.g. on a story, I can easily publish another very likely story.
b) what can be protected. You dont have an automatic patent - because a patent is reaching quite a long way farer then any copyright.

Okay, let's please leave all comparisons to patents out of the game - patents are something destructive (at least in the way they are used nowadays) and patents on something "non well-defined in a technical sense" (e.g. software, a book, etc) would be the end of the world.


What you propose, if I understood correctly, is, that you have to register your work to gain copyright for it, correct? And then pay money for keeping the copyright?
This would - ultimately - help only one group: The rich and big publishers. I dont know many free journalists or authors who could pay their copyright-licenses (or even had the time to register, etc) - but all those big corporations have the time. So they would just buy the complete copyright from the creatives, making them an even more abused group then they are nowadays.

I am all for shortening the copyright-length (death+75 years in Germany) to something sensibel. And I can see the problem with "orphaned" work ... and society has to work on it. It should e.g. be easy for an author to place his work under a creative license, or publish his work with an automatic "copyright ending time", etc. Oh well, I have no solution for this...
A registration - easy and cheap could be a start - but it really would need to be easy. Then you could shorten the copyright to 5 years and let the creative re-register copyright 5 times (or so) for free, and afterwards let the copyright become expensive (or so). I dont know ...
But - lets say you shorten copyright to 15 years. What do you think will happen? Exactly, e.g. films will get published 15 years after the books - making Hollywood more profit, and denying it to the authors.
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Old 06-09-2008, 04:56 PM   #21
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I say 30 years is well enough .
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Old 06-09-2008, 05:25 PM   #22
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(See ma, I told you I'd tick everybody off!)

Patent vs. Copyright. I must leave this in the discussion. Sorry.

Both are I.P. based upon individual creativity. Different sort of creativity in each case, but creativity nonetheless. One last only 20 years, is expensive to get, and you must make extra payments just to keep in force. The other lasts life + 70 (life + 95 for existing works in the US), costs you nothing to get, and those big, bad corporations keep lobbying governments to make it longer and longer.

Patents aren't evil, (although they've been made too easy to get), and most of the squawking you've read about has been due to companies being actually forced to pay for the I.P. they've been cheerfully stealing....


The underlying problem I was trying to address the idea of forcing copyright back to a rational length. It won't be successful by just demanding a shorter length, because too many corporations have gotten too fat off the current system. I was trying to set up a way to let somebody keep a copyright going, but only at the expense of a higher and higher renewal rate. If Disney wants to keep Fantasia under copyright for another 100 years, well, it would cost them say, 10 million, 20 million, ect. At some point it would revert to the public domain because it's not worth the renewal rate. I think this would be easier to sell politically, because I'm using the politician's greed for more money to buy votes with. I figure this would increase the chance from 0 to .000001 percent....
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Old 06-09-2008, 05:41 PM   #23
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Patent vs. Copyright. I must leave this in the discussion. Sorry.
I beg you: Dont do this to my nerves. I am just recovering from that whole "software patent"-issue and my nerves break down every time I hear that evil word. Do you know how expensive my psychiater is?
Last session he greeted me with "Well, I owned my house for quite a while - but with todays session you bought me an accompanying yacht"

Quote:
Patents aren't evil, (although they've been made too easy to get), and most of the squawking you've read about has been due to companies being actually forced to pay for the I.P. they've been cheerfully stealing....
Yes, Patents in itself are not evil - just as copyright as the principal idea is not evil. But: How patents are used nowadays IS evil. Patents are used to bully everybody (especially small companies and single creatives) around. They are granted for non-issues (anybody remember e.g. patents on basketcorbs or XOR-operations?). Big companys use patents as a device to control the industrie.
THIS is evil. Patents - as they are used nowadays - are not protecting ideas and creatives, but are evil. End of story.
Especially the idea to get Patents on something non-technical ... What would happen?
E.g. Tolkien had a patent on LOTR. The result? No fantasy stories anymore, they would be violating the patent (assuming Tolkien or his publisher was some kind of evil man, and I dont believe that).
Though - take whatever idea you like, but leave patents (as a whole) out of the equation.

Quote:
The underlying problem I was trying to address the idea of forcing copyright back to a rational length. It won't be successful by just demanding a shorter length, because too many corporations have gotten too fat off the current system.
This is too true.

Quote:
I was trying to set up a way to let somebody keep a copyright going, but only at the expense of a higher and higher renewal rate. If Disney wants to keep Fantasia under copyright for another 100 years, well, it would cost them say, 10 million, 20 million, ect. At some point it would revert to the public domain because it's not worth the renewal rate. I think this would be easier to sell politically, because I'm using the politician's greed for more money to buy votes with. I figure this would increase the chance from 0 to .000001 percent....
Yes, I understood what you meant. And the principal idea is not bad - but, and that is a big but, you would need a way to allow small companys and single artists to share in the copyright. And that is something a patent system is NOT doing. Take this into account and perhaps I will agree
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Old 06-09-2008, 05:53 PM   #24
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Under the current system, copyright is granted to the creator at the moment of creation. HOWEVER, if you wish to bring suit for damages because someone has infringed upon your copyright, the copyright must be registered with the Library of Congress. I believe the cost is $30. Also I think you can register several items at a time under a single fee--nice if you have poems, articles, or other short pieces.

This is a pretty good starting point, Ralph. Pay up as long as you (or your heirs) want to keep it. I dare say there are some issues but most likely they can be worked out.
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Old 06-09-2008, 09:38 PM   #25
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This is a pretty good starting point, Ralph. Pay up as long as you (or your heirs) want to keep it. I dare say there are some issues but most likely they can be worked out.

Thanks for your comment. Actually, I'm somewhat suprised at how little comment this thread has attracted. I guess I did my job too well....
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Old 06-10-2008, 10:11 AM   #26
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I beg you: Dont do this to my nerves. I am just recovering from that whole "software patent"-issue and my nerves break down every time I hear that evil word. Do you know how expensive my psychiater is?
Last session he greeted me with "Well, I owned my house for quite a while - but with todays session you bought me an accompanying yacht"
Hey! I had to raise the rates to pay for the wedding that never ended!
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