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Old 12-08-2009, 07:23 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by zacheryjensen View Post
When is it ever a criticism of copyright? Isn't it usually a criticism of government handing out new rights to IP holders freely while stripping them from consumers all in the name of big business? That and the continued idiocy of said big business in not improving their business but instead suing people in demand of continued survival of aging business models? etc. etc...

I think most copyright related commentary comes from people who actually support copyright, just, with more of an eye towards how it supports the smaller individual or cultures.
Actually, I've noticed several people who take the position that copyright is a bad thing during the discussion threads dealing with the subject in this forum.
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Old 12-08-2009, 07:25 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by Jaime_Astorga View Post
Actually, I've noticed several people who take the position that copyright is a bad thing during the discussion threads dealing with the subject in this forum.
Oh, I support copyright, if you do something worth sharing with others, you should get paid for it if that is your wish. I don't support copyright never expiring though

Now... DRM on the other hand
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Old 12-08-2009, 07:53 AM   #33
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Oh, I support copyright, if you do something worth sharing with others, you should get paid for it if that is your wish. I don't support copyright never expiring though

Now... DRM on the other hand
Yeah I was going to suggest maybe they were people against perpetual copyright.

I support a copyright system more like the patent system. Actually, I support a totally crazy unified IP system but that's a heated discussion for another day.
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Old 12-08-2009, 08:46 AM   #34
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Very true, but irrelevant.



This point is rather debatable, but also a separate topic that is completely irrelevant to the issue at hand.

I fully support criticizing any organization when it does something wrong. In this case, the flaw is that the labels exploited an aspect of the structure to deny an artist the royalties they were contractually obligated to pay. However, again: this has nothing to do with copyrights -- other than that the artists are using copyright laws to protect their own rights.



If you catch a thief red-handed and the thief says "stealing is wrong," does that somehow prove that stealing is in fact right?

I concur that record labels aren't exactly holding the moral high ground here. But again, record companies -- large and small -- would abuse or abide by whatever system was present, regardless of the actual specific structures of copyright, based upon their own moral character rather than legal constructs. (E.g. I don't see a lot of people screaming that Blue Note Records is a vile corporation because they've made enough of a profit to survive a few decades of operation....)



Y'know, the hatred of "Corporations" for the desire to make a profit is getting rather tiresome.

The idea that the artists are only possible individuals who should financially benefit from the sale of a creative work is -- how should I put this politely -- an analysis bereft of nuance. For example, a musician often requires resources, financial and structural, to make and distribute a professional recording. Really, how many musicians will be great songwriters and performers and recording engineers and at making a great master and making good cover art and doing their own press photos and booking gigs and getting radio play and hauling gear, doing their own accounting and marketing and promotions, ad infinitum?

It is easier to do it yourself nowadays than it was 20 years ago -- but it's still exceedingly rare for an artist who hasn't already achieved major success with a major label to go it on their own, and get national attention.

Again, I do not see any justification for violating a contract and preventing an artist from their royalties. However, record labels and publishers put significant resources on the line to get content into your "greedy" hands, eyes and ears. The labels take a risk on the artists they work with; even a platinum-selling artist can spend huge sums on a new recording and it can bomb. In exchange for the risks they take, they have the right to earn a fair profit. Not a profit that violates their agreements, but a profit nonetheless.

Hmmm. what is relevant? Copyright is dying. It was born from technology. it is dying from technology. My first post here (which I've forgotten how to find to link to) was a long description about this.

This may be a bad thing or a good thing, but regardless, it is an is thing.

As far as "hatred for Corporations". Let's be precise. It's hatred for unethical corporations. What do I find unethical in corporations? Unwillingness to follow contracts, as written and agreed to. Suborning the political process through bribery (and I draw no distinction between quid pro quo legally defined bribery, and quid pro defacto which is providing goods, services, and money to help a politician get elected or re-elected - they're both bribery to my worldview).

When a piece of I.P. was created for a corporation, it was done under legal "rules of engagement", i.e. what copyright was at the time. When corporations lobby for extension for sunk expenses, in order to continue to profit from I.P. that should go into the public domain, that's being unethical. It is stealing from the public, if you will. In the US, if the rule of contract was enforced, everything before 1954 would be public domain. Instead, only one years worth of I.P. has gone into the public domain in the last 40 years, with the major I.P. players working the world (bribing all the way) over to get longer terms, over and over again. Totally unethical.

To the lawsuit at hand. If the corporations wanted to "make examples of people", destroying economic lives in order to protect their monopolies, well, they should be subject to the same Draconian law they espouse. If this bankrupts them, that is justice, as they themselves espoused. That isn't "bashing corporations" that is seeing justice prevail.

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Old 12-08-2009, 09:20 AM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaime_Astorga View Post
Actually, I've noticed several people who take the position that copyright is a bad thing during the discussion threads dealing with the subject in this forum.
I think copyright was for the last 200-300 years a neccessary lesser evil - in this I agree with Eric Flint's "Salvos Against Big Brother" series of columns. They describe the idea much better than I ever could - you can read them here: http://www.ericflint.net/index.php/2...and-copyright/

However, I'm not sure that in the age of Internet copyright is neccessary anymore, and whether it still encourages creativity more than it stifles it.
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Old 12-08-2009, 09:47 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by Jaime_Astorga View Post
Actually, I've noticed several people who take the position that copyright is a bad thing during the discussion threads dealing with the subject in this forum.
Actually, I do believe at this point and moment in time that copyright is absolutely useless for the individual creator of culture. If anybody violates my copyright, there's nothing I can realistically do about it(or would want to in most cases). Can't sue, it costs too much and takes too long and by then the original infraction would more than likely become meaningless. It doesn't protect the ideas we have, as ideas cannot be protected even with copyright, so a major corp can come along and take whatever we do and use it without batting an eyelid. So it's only purpose is as a tool for those whose business is the owning of IP. They can afford all the privilidges that copyright was supposed to give to the artist, but that they now own because of their money.

The sooner we see it die, the better.
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Old 12-08-2009, 10:09 AM   #37
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Copyright is necessary *to keep corporations from ripping off creators.* Not to keep the public/consumers from sharing works.

Copyright prevents Disney from grabbing the newest independent film and releasing it in theatres of their choice, for their profit. Copyright prevents Random House from grabbing MoeJoe's stories from feedbooks and publishing them. (And from collecting MobileRead discussion threads into a book and selling it.) Copyright prevents EMI from grabbing some garage band's new, trendy sound, pressing some CDs, & selling 10,000 copies without telling the band. (Or, well, it's supposed to, "pending list" notwithstanding.)

The reason copyright infringement's penalties are so ridiculously huge is that they're aimed at companies, not individuals.

Copyright was never intended to prevent a person from writing down the lyrics to a song she likes, and sending them in a letter to a friend. Changing the tech for that from "ink and paper" to "my blog post" doesn't change the utter lunacy of attempting to prosecute individuals for non-commercial use of IP.

The reason we're so gleeful about these record companies being targeted by copyright law, is that this is what the law is supposed to do. There isn't any defense, here, of "I'm not costing the artist anything" or "I'm not doing this for personal gain" or "I was just sharing what I love with my friends." What these record companies are doing--sell stuff now, pay artists "when we get around to it," or never--is *exactly* what copyright law was created to prevent.
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Old 12-08-2009, 10:21 AM   #38
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I've said it a few times in other threads, but I'll say it here too: James Boyle wrote a book in 2008, which he published under a CC licence, called Public Domain: Enclosing the Commons of the Mind, description here (excerpt):
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Our music, our culture, our science and our economic welfare all depend on a delicate balance between those ideas that are controlled and those that are free, between intellectual property and the public domain. In his award-winning new book, The Public Domain: Enclosing the Commons of the Mind (Yale University Press) James Boyle introduces readers to the idea of the public domain and describes how it is being tragically eroded by our current copyright, patent, and trademark laws. In a series of fascinating case studies, Boyle explains why gene sequences, basic business ideas and pairs of musical notes are now owned, why jazz might be illegal if it were invented today, why most of 20th century culture is legally unavailable to us, and why today’s policies would probably have smothered the World Wide Web at its inception. Appropriately given its theme, the book will be sold commercially but also made available online for free under a Creative Commons license.
He is one of the few authors so far who manages to indeed lucidly discuss the developments in the field, while giving both sides their due (though his own position is that the current legislation is horribly overbroad and unfairly slanted towards Big Media). the HTML version is available from here, maybe someone can make a mobi/epub out of it?
Anyway, it's definitely worth reading.
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Old 12-08-2009, 10:26 AM   #39
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Originally Posted by Ralph Sir Edward View Post
Hmmm. what is relevant? Copyright is dying. It was born from technology. it is dying from technology. My first post here (which I've forgotten how to find to link to) was a long description about this.
Here you go:
http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...881#post133881
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Old 12-08-2009, 11:46 AM   #40
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Actually, I do believe at this point and moment in time that copyright is absolutely useless for the individual creator of culture....
I disagree. (Surprise! )

Part of the problem is that you are assuming that every content creator is in the same situation as you, and shares your mindset. I don't know your specific situation, but let's assume based on your comments that we are talking about a lone individual who is either self-published, or working with a small publisher that does not have extensive financial resources.

On one hand, it's unlikely that you could stop people distributing your works via P2P, at least not without enraging a few techno-libertarians. It's also unlikely that if another artist plagiarizes your work, and that artist does not have much success, you would bother to do much more than send them a nasty letter.

However, let's say you copyright and self-publish a book, and 18 months later there's a big-budget Hollywood movie that used your book's plot ideas, character names, even specific dialog. I'm going to guess that somehow or another, you will come up with the resources to demand your due.

Similarly, I used to work with a lot of photographers. Every once in awhile, a client would use an image without permission, or put the image into wider or more extensive use than they paid for. Photographers don't have huge bankrolls -- it's a pretty lean business for everyone except an elite top tier -- but they can still rely on copyright laws to protect their IP, and receive the payment that is their due for their work and its usage. (Many pro photographers are very protective of their IP, by the way.)

Copyright doesn't just protect the Big Bad Corporations. As Elfwreck points out, it also protects the (small) content creators as well. Even if DRM falls by the wayside (which I view as possible but not terribly likely), copyright will be around for a long time.
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Old 12-08-2009, 12:01 PM   #41
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I disagree. (Surprise! )
Copyright doesn't just protect the Big Bad Corporations. As Elfwreck points out, it also protects the (small) content creators as well.
Sure it does. Talking about the book market, however, those small creators make up what, .5-1% of the market, if that? I'm very sorry for them, but I'm not going to accept as necessary laws that are said to "protect the little man" when 99% of the benefits go to maybe 100 publishers, if not fewer (considering recent consolidation of the market).
Like Doctorow said, those small indie writers are only going to benefit from increased notoriety (they can hardly earn less, in any case), and if they don't.. well. They should perhaps more care about the fact that they're being allowed to leave a legacy for future generations to remember them by? Yes, this is hardly a satisfactory answer, but imo copyright does far more bad than good, while it's not even proven that it works for 5% of the [known? good?] authors (mind you, I don't want to talk about revenues here, I'm talking about literary success).
Anyway, read the book by Boyle.
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Old 12-08-2009, 12:03 PM   #42
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Hmmm. what is relevant? Copyright is dying. It was born from technology. it is dying from technology. My first post here (which I've forgotten how to find to link to) was a long description about this.
I may resurrect that thread later, if I have a chance.

However I don't think copyright is going anywhere, nor should it (see above). DRM may or may not, but that's also a separate issue.

I concur that one should chastise and/or punish unethical corporations. It gets a bit problematic though when your ethical standards make it all but impossible for any company to behave in a moral fashion. (There are also many people who do not even try to make any distinctions, and just loathe the mere idea of corporations and/or copyright.) Lobbying is far from a perfect system, but it is legal, and the desire to restrict it runs smack into our (yes, citizens' as well as organizations') legal right to participate in the electoral process.


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Originally Posted by RSE
When a piece of I.P. was created for a corporation, it was done under legal "rules of engagement", i.e. what copyright was at the time....
True, but copyright laws have been revised several times, and put under legal review, so it looks like the extension process is legal / constitutional (in the US at least). If the contract specified that the rights are owned by the publisher for 50 years and then revert to the author, then you have a "time limit" which is contractually binding. I.e. I don't think the idea that "copyright extensions are violating the contract" hold up.


Quote:
Originally Posted by RSE
When corporations lobby for extension for sunk expenses, in order to continue to profit from I.P. that should go into the public domain, that's being unethical. It is stealing from the public, if you will.
As a member of The Public I'm not terribly put out by some of the extensions. Many of them actually make sense, since life expectancy and the ability to distribute content has grown significantly since the first copyright laws were established. If extension on extension keeps getting piled on, that will be problematic -- but at some point that process will violate the "limited time" principle and won't fly.

I also don't think that everything needs to go into public domain; it really doesn't bother me that you can't legally make a t-shirt that depicts Mickey Mouse smoking a spliff (unless you're doing so as a satire or parody, which iirc is a form of protected speech). Offhand I don't know how you could draw the line, especially without creating a huge loophole. Either way, I don't view this as anywhere near as egregious an offense as failing to (or choosing not to) pay royalties to an artist.
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Old 12-08-2009, 12:58 PM   #43
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However, let's say you copyright and self-publish a book, and 18 months later there's a big-budget Hollywood movie that used your book's plot ideas, character names, even specific dialog. I'm going to guess that somehow or another, you will come up with the resources to demand your due.
Not only no, but hell no. For one thing, 18 months is too soon for a film based off it but even ignoring that, you're going to spend your life savings and lose.

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Old 12-08-2009, 01:45 PM   #44
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Originally Posted by Kali Yuga View Post
I may resurrect that thread later, if I have a chance.

However I don't think copyright is going anywhere, nor should it (see above). DRM may or may not, but that's also a separate issue.

I concur that one should chastise and/or punish unethical corporations. It gets a bit problematic though when your ethical standards make it all but impossible for any company to behave in a moral fashion. (There are also many people who do not even try to make any distinctions, and just loathe the mere idea of corporations and/or copyright.) Lobbying is far from a perfect system, but it is legal, and the desire to restrict it runs smack into our (yes, citizens' as well as organizations') legal right to participate in the electoral process.

Should corporations have the right to lobby? They don't have the right to vote. Perhaps we should restrict the right to lobby to individuals with the right to vote.




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Originally Posted by Kali Yuga View Post
True, but copyright laws have been revised several times, and put under legal review, so it looks like the extension process is legal / constitutional (in the US at least). If the contract specified that the rights are owned by the publisher for 50 years and then revert to the author, then you have a "time limit" which is contractually binding. I.e. I don't think the idea that "copyright extensions are violating the contract" hold up.
What about me? I, as part of the public, have been robbed of my patrimony of public domain items. I, as part of the public granted the right in the first place. The public wrote the contract. And it was abrogated through bribery (by my definition of bribery.)



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As a member of The Public I'm not terribly put out by some of the extensions. Many of them actually make sense, since life expectancy and the ability to distribute content has grown significantly since the first copyright laws were established. If extension on extension keeps getting piled on, that will be problematic -- but at some point that process will violate the "limited time" principle and won't fly.
As a member of the public I am put out. The 2003 Supreme Court decision didn't put any limit on "limited" time. An extension for 1 million year would pass their muster, because a million years is still "limited". Of course, these are the same people who brought you the Kelo decision.


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Originally Posted by Kali Yuga View Post
I also don't think that everything needs to go into public domain; it really doesn't bother me that you can't legally make a t-shirt that depicts Mickey Mouse smoking a spliff (unless you're doing so as a satire or parody, which iirc is a form of protected speech). Offhand I don't know how you could draw the line, especially without creating a huge loophole. Either way, I don't view this as anywhere near as egregious an offense as failing to (or choosing not to) pay royalties to an artist.
That's not what's is in the US Constitution....

We founded this country on limited government because our founding fathers knew there was nothing more dangerous than an uncontrolled government. In I.P. we seem to have created one....And it's not even competitively priced.
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Old 12-08-2009, 03:09 PM   #45
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Originally Posted by Ralph Sir Edward View Post
Should corporations have the right to lobby? They don't have the right to vote. Perhaps we should restrict the right to lobby to individuals with the right to vote.
Yeah, right...next you'll try to tell us ours is a government of the people, by the people, and for the people...

Even if lobbying rules were given some real teeth, there would be a fully-exploitable loophole somewhere, because those who craft the laws will benefit from it.

What does this have to do with copyright abuse? Because in both cases it becomes a matter of "Who's policing the police?"
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