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Old 07-10-2010, 12:08 PM   #1
Steven Lake
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Curse of the Greedy Copyright Holders

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000...906611796.html

Here's an interesting little tidbit on copyright that I stumbled across.
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Old 07-10-2010, 01:45 PM   #2
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That's the world you get when you replace "art" with "product"...

(That guy can quote Red to his heart's content...)
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Old 07-10-2010, 02:35 PM   #3
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On an indie writer list I'm on, periodically they have massive fits over DRM, or piracy or copyright issues like this was bpc (before personal computers). I went looking for some gradients for Photoshop this week and people are under the impression that you should give them credit for their squares of colorations. Where are you supposed to do that and what does it achieve? Once the thing, whatever it is, hits the internet, consider it gone. Sure there are ways to get paid, and there are ways for people not to pay. My answer is--accept it.

That goes for a couple lines quoted from a song, or a poem, or a play, or a photo. Consider it shared for all eternity. You get more publicity by being out there and introduced to the public creating possible sales than hiding behind a legal wall chomping your fingernails worrying that someone is gonna touch your stuff.

Robin
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Old 07-10-2010, 02:57 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Robin O'Neill View Post
On an indie writer list I'm on, periodically they have massive fits over DRM, or piracy or copyright issues like this was bpc (before personal computers). I went looking for some gradients for Photoshop this week and people are under the impression that you should give them credit for their squares of colorations. Where are you supposed to do that and what does it achieve? Once the thing, whatever it is, hits the internet, consider it gone. Sure there are ways to get paid, and there are ways for people not to pay. My answer is--accept it.

That goes for a couple lines quoted from a song, or a poem, or a play, or a photo. Consider it shared for all eternity. You get more publicity by being out there and introduced to the public creating possible sales than hiding behind a legal wall chomping your fingernails worrying that someone is gonna touch your stuff.

Robin
SXU is your friend. A lot of people on there share quite freely without any need for attributions, but it's still nice to give them some when appropriate.

Without SXU I wouldn't have been able to throw this cover together:

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Old 07-10-2010, 03:54 PM   #5
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Nice cover, Moejoe.

Over the last week or so I built the cover to the next book. Instead of finding a photo of a lipstick case, or going out and buying one and taking a photo of it, I created it with Photoshop. Of course, it took all day but it's all mine.

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Old 07-10-2010, 08:51 PM   #6
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I discovered the poet Christina Rossetti because a fanfic writer quoted from one of her poems. Not that it's much use to her, of course, since she died in the 1800s. I think this idea of trying to squeeze every penny one can get out of every scrap of ... well, everything ... is self-defeating in the end. I wonder how much the world should owe me for all my forum posts?

It seems to me that Mr. Woodlief's poet friends are the winners here, and the likes of Joe Henry are the losers. Then again, given their respective attitudes, that's a good thing.

We must not look at goblin men,
We must not buy their fruits:
Who knows upon what soil they fed
Their hungry thirsty roots?"


(from Goblin Market)
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Old 07-11-2010, 08:07 PM   #7
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The only problem I have with copyright laws is their artificial extension by a major studio. DRM is not the answer.
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Old 07-12-2010, 01:30 AM   #8
Steven Lake
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JoeBill, you bring up a good point about copyright extension. The corporate mentality on copyright is this. If it has even the slightest potential to make money, they want to keep it under copyright so they can cash cow it until it's bled drier than a desert. They also want to do that to ensure that when it goes into the public domain, if it ever does, nobody else will be able to make any money off it as it'll be spent beyond recovery.

It's the idea of the rental car and the tank of gas. People who rent cars tend to return them with an empty tank of gas because they want to ensure that they use up every drop of fuel they put into it, plus whatever was there when they got it, because they don't want the next poor schmuck to get any of their gas. I know of people who used to drive rental cars back to the rental place with gas tanks that were on fumes. The only reason that practice stopped was because the rental companies started charging people for cars that were returned without full tanks. If they had to fill the tank or top it off, you paid like $5 a gallon. Sometimes you paid $10. Trust me, when that happened, that practice came to an abrupt halt. lol.

So in order to get the copyright holders to stop constantly extending copyrights and milking brands until they're unrecoverably dead, I think congress needs to enact a tax on copyrights older than 10 years. And not just a little tax. I'm talking something that hurts. Like 20%-50% of gross revenues per year on each copyrighted item that has not been released into the public domain after 10 years. Trust me, if they could somehow get that kind of law passed (which, given how corrupt congress is, I feel would be highly unlikely to ever happen), you would see companies dumping older copyrights like the plague.

The only way they could get around that is to completely reinvent the brand every 10 years, which IMHO, is actually good, because it keeps them from cash cowing older brands and forces them to come up with either new things, or new ways of doing older things every 10 years. Take Disney's movie "Tangled". It's an updated version of Rapunzel. That's the kind of complete rethinking I'm looking at. It's fun, it's new, and it's edgy. I like it. And if they were forced to remake themselves every 10 years, it'd be not only beneficial to end users like myself, but they would have a fresh market to work with every 10 years as well, meaning even more potential sales than they have now.
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Old 07-12-2010, 09:06 AM   #9
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JoeBill, you bring up a good point about copyright extension. The corporate mentality on copyright is this. If it has even the slightest potential to make money, they want to keep it under copyright so they can cash cow it until it's bled drier than a desert. They also want to do that to ensure that when it goes into the public domain, if it ever does, nobody else will be able to make any money off it as it'll be spent beyond recovery.

It's the idea of the rental car and the tank of gas. People who rent cars tend to return them with an empty tank of gas because they want to ensure that they use up every drop of fuel they put into it, plus whatever was there when they got it, because they don't want the next poor schmuck to get any of their gas. I know of people who used to drive rental cars back to the rental place with gas tanks that were on fumes. The only reason that practice stopped was because the rental companies started charging people for cars that were returned without full tanks. If they had to fill the tank or top it off, you paid like $5 a gallon. Sometimes you paid $10. Trust me, when that happened, that practice came to an abrupt halt. lol.

So in order to get the copyright holders to stop constantly extending copyrights and milking brands until they're unrecoverably dead, I think congress needs to enact a tax on copyrights older than 10 years. And not just a little tax. I'm talking something that hurts. Like 20%-50% of gross revenues per year on each copyrighted item that has not been released into the public domain after 10 years. Trust me, if they could somehow get that kind of law passed (which, given how corrupt congress is, I feel would be highly unlikely to ever happen), you would see companies dumping older copyrights like the plague.

The only way they could get around that is to completely reinvent the brand every 10 years, which IMHO, is actually good, because it keeps them from cash cowing older brands and forces them to come up with either new things, or new ways of doing older things every 10 years. Take Disney's movie "Tangled". It's an updated version of Rapunzel. That's the kind of complete rethinking I'm looking at. It's fun, it's new, and it's edgy. I like it. And if they were forced to remake themselves every 10 years, it'd be not only beneficial to end users like myself, but they would have a fresh market to work with every 10 years as well, meaning even more potential sales than they have now.

AS usual the corporate copyright holders want something for nothing. They want copyright to be treated as perpetual property, but they don't want to pay taxes on it like they do for real property.

Steve, we could quibble over length before taxation, (I prefer 20 years, to match patent) but since everybody is screaming for Federal revenue to close the budget deficit, it's the classic "don't tax you, don't tax me, tax that fellow behind the tree" tax. Now is the time to write the head of the House Ways and Means committee...
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Old 07-12-2010, 09:55 AM   #10
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Like 20%-50% of gross revenues per year on each copyrighted item that has not been released into the public domain after 10 years.
Taxing that much revenue would indeed be painful for a house that was still making buckets o' cash off of a long time property but would do little to get small, slow and low-selling items released that they still hold but refuse to turn to PD due to "we paid for it, it's ours even if we don't use it".

As long as its' wishful thinking, I'll stick with the "doubling tax". 10 years after publishing (or immediately if the creator sells the rights) copyright licensing for said items is... $1. Next year, $2. Then 4, 8, 16, 32....you get the idea. The longer it's held the more more it costs. Something like this would at least get the majority of them released sooner than, um....never?
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Old 07-12-2010, 11:26 AM   #11
Steven Lake
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Well, ya know, I like your idea, because you can bet your bottom dollar, no matter how paid off the senators are, if you introduce that kind of potential income to them, they'll jump all over it like a twister in a trailer park.

And speaking of the patent system (just to jump off topic briefly), do you guys realize why nobody is fixing the currently busted patent system? Because the patent system as it stands, and the copyright system to some degree, is raking in so much money in its current form that it makes up about 3.2% of the federal budget? Uh, yeah. There's no way in hell they're going to fix the system so long as they're raking in cash like that.

The only way copyright, or any other government system of non-physical property management will ever be fixed, is to ensure that either A) your "fixed" system ensures the government at least the same insane cash flow as before (yes, even the gov is into cash cows), or B) you come up with a new revenue source or system to replace the current one. Of course if you do plan B, you'll need to ensure that they can't employ both at the same time (ie, create an either/or situation) or else they'll merely coopt the new plan into their already busted system and you'll be no better off in the end.

And no, I'm not a legal expert, but after fighting over copyright and patent law in the Linux/FOSS community for the past 15 years, I've gotten pretty good at understanding what's broke and how to fix it as far as legal stuff goes.
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Old 07-12-2010, 09:43 PM   #12
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Well, ya know, I like your idea, because you can bet your bottom dollar, no matter how paid off the senators are, if you introduce that kind of potential income to them, they'll jump all over it like a twister in a trailer park.

And speaking of the patent system (just to jump off topic briefly), do you guys realize why nobody is fixing the currently busted patent system? Because the patent system as it stands, and the copyright system to some degree, is raking in so much money in its current form that it makes up about 3.2% of the federal budget? Uh, yeah. There's no way in hell they're going to fix the system so long as they're raking in cash like that.
Times like this I wish we had a "Like" button
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Old 07-16-2010, 07:47 PM   #13
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Edit.

Last edited by dadioflex; 12-15-2010 at 06:07 PM.
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