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Old 01-03-2018, 06:03 PM   #16
pwalker8
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I do agree that it's a tremendous missed opportunity. While I am violently opposed to long copyright terms, I also believe in rule of law, so the right way to do something like that is for Congress to change the law, not to have the law bypassed by a judge in some consent decree.

One of the great truths that I've found is that there is always someone who is going to push the envelop. It doesn't matter if it's capitalism, the law, politics or game playing, someone is always going to try to gain an advantage.
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Old 01-03-2018, 06:34 PM   #17
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[QUOTE=pwalker8;3635384]...I am violently opposed to long copyright terms...QUOTE]

I share your opposition to neverending copyright terms, but not your violence.
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Old 01-03-2018, 09:44 PM   #18
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I have a series of 1930's era technical and engineering books I would love to have on my reader.
I suspect those would be a _lot_ of trouble to convert using OCR. I ended up scanning my old technical books as images, combined them into PDF files, and gave each a proper table of contents (which was a huge effort for many of them, as well). You can't alter how each page looks, but at least you don't have to worry about OCR errors, figures, tables and equations. Creating a proper EPUB3 would be at least ten times the work for most of my technical books.
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Old 01-03-2018, 10:18 PM   #19
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It's a philosophical and political topic by it's very nature. If we don't discuss it in those terms there's not much else to say about it.

Churchill's said "Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others." I think that works just as well for capitalism.

Barry
Point 1 - I did not want to attract the wrath of the moderators for starting a political discussion. I am more than happy to discuss politics and philosophy, preferably face to face.

Point 2 - A typically pithy quote but as we have not tried all the other possible economic systems it is impossible to know.
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Old 01-03-2018, 10:49 PM   #20
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I don't know how the moderators feel about it but a political discussion of this type isn't really the same as a partisan political discussion. We're not talking about who should be in office. That's something I won't discuss in a friendly forum. Discussing copyright law is very much a political and legal and philosophical discussion and that's a different thing. It's likely that we can share our varied feelings about copyright and it's ramifications without hurting anyone's feelings.

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Old 01-04-2018, 12:23 AM   #21
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@Barry. Even Copyright law cannot be freely discussed. The moderators do not allow anything which even appears to condone piracy in any circumstances, including in the area of academic publishing. It is unfortunate but even some degree of paranoia can be justified here, as some copyright proponents show a propensity to threaten and even sue even in circumstances where their cases are of dubious merit. Yes, we can discuss copyright as I have done in my post, but we must also bear the limits imposed on such discussion in these forums clearly in mind.


However, I think Thasaidon was referring to a discussion of capitalism and economic systems in general which I think clearly do belong in the political forums if they are to be pursued.
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Old 01-04-2018, 01:13 AM   #22
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@

However, I think Thasaidon was referring to a discussion of capitalism and economic systems in general which I think clearly do belong in the political forums if they are to be pursued.
Spot on Darryl. You have picked up what I meant exactly.

Thank you for making what I said clearer.
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Old 01-04-2018, 02:15 AM   #23
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I do agree that it's a tremendous missed opportunity. While I am violently opposed to long copyright terms, I also believe in rule of law, so the right way to do something like that is for Congress to change the law, not to have the law bypassed by a judge in some consent decree.
That's basically how I feel about copyright matters. I abhor long copyright terms(28 + 28 with optional renewal was a good system; Life + 50 is a sensible thing given the international nature of intellectual property) but I also believe in the rule of law, so I despise piracy and hope for some sensible legislators in that area.

I'll leave discussion on the merits of various economic systems to where it belongs: the political forum.
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Old 01-04-2018, 05:28 PM   #24
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@Barry. Even Copyright law cannot be freely discussed. The moderators do not allow anything which even appears to condone piracy in any circumstances, including in the area of academic publishing. It is unfortunate but even some degree of paranoia can be justified here, as some copyright proponents show a propensity to threaten and even sue even in circumstances where their cases are of dubious merit. Yes, we can discuss copyright as I have done in my post, but we must also bear the limits imposed on such discussion in these forums clearly in mind.


However, I think Thasaidon was referring to a discussion of capitalism and economic systems in general which I think clearly do belong in the political forums if they are to be pursued.
I think there's a big difference in discussing copyright law and condoning piracy. They're not the same thing at all. I don't think anyone in this thread has condoned piracy, or at least I don't recall that anyone has.

I have to agree that a broad discussion of various economic systems doesn't belong in this forum but in this case I think it's at the heart of the topic at hand. I'm all for keeping forums non-political and legal but harsh, knee-jerking censorship is never a good thing.

This is an ebook forum and copyright and it's worldly context has to be openly discussed at times if discussion is going to be free and useful.

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Old 01-04-2018, 10:06 PM   #25
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@barryem. I came very close to the line in discussing the state of academic publishing. The name of a particular well known site was deleted from my post, and a sentence in my post edited to delete the view I expressed. That view did not expressly condone piracy but some of the moderators felt it would be construed that way. I accepted this, since erring on the side of extreme caution helps to keep Mobileread safe from threats and legal actions which no matter how lacking in merit can destroy sites without deep pockets and devastate the lives of individuals involved who often receive little or no rewards for their efforts. This is the reality and we must deal with it. Whilst necessary the sad fact is that a full and free discussion of some aspects of intellectual property cannot take place on this site.

A limited discussion of copyright and of its "wordly context" can of course take place on the political forums.
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Old 01-04-2018, 10:47 PM   #26
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I agree with Darryl and would like to add the following.

Many posts in these forums express the view that the current copyright laws have swung far too much in favour of so called "rights holders", who use their wealth and political pull to prevent change and extend "their rights"

Many consider such laws oppressive.

I could give you a shed load of quotes from well known philosophers that say oppressive laws are tyrannical and should be fought and broken. Some say it is a moral duty to do so.

The copyright situation is a little more complex than the picture I have described above but such arguments could justify/explain how certain people act.
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Old 01-05-2018, 12:21 AM   #27
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And, building on what Thesaidon said, there are few clearer examples of the operation of bad intellectual property laws than in the area of academic journals. Locking up scientific knowledge, usually gained through publicly funded research, does real and lasting harm, and I would argue not only fails to advance science, but in fact retards it. Another example is patents for lifesaving drugs. This is less clearcut because of the possibility that such drugs would never have been developed without the existing patent incentives. Yet the situation is clearly untenable where the price tag for these drugs is condemning people to death. Yet there seems to be little effort devoted to looking at changes to the existing system or other means of funding/incentivizing drug development whilst also ensuring no one is condemned to death through excessive prices.

Laws which operate so badly in practice can and should be dealt with by legislatures, but seldom are, usually because of lobbying by vested interests with very deep pockets. When legislatures abrogate their responsibility in this regard, it is certainly legitimate to discuss how the needed changes may be brought about. I am not by saying this advocating piracy or even civil disobedience. The question raised is more whether such measures can ever be justified before discussion of any particular cases. This is not appropriate for discussion on Mobileread, even in the political forums, as to argue that such measures can be justified, at least in the case of copyright, is to condone piracy in some limited circumstances, which is of course in breach of the relevant guidelines.
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Old 01-05-2018, 09:16 AM   #28
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And, building on what Thesaidon said, there are few clearer examples of the operation of bad intellectual property laws than in the area of academic journals. Locking up scientific knowledge, usually gained through publicly funded research, does real and lasting harm, and I would argue not only fails to advance science, but in fact retards it. Another example is patents for lifesaving drugs. This is less clearcut because of the possibility that such drugs would never have been developed without the existing patent incentives. Yet the situation is clearly untenable where the price tag for these drugs is condemning people to death. Yet there seems to be little effort devoted to looking at changes to the existing system or other means of funding/incentivizing drug development whilst also ensuring no one is condemned to death through excessive prices.

Laws which operate so badly in practice can and should be dealt with by legislatures, but seldom are, usually because of lobbying by vested interests with very deep pockets. When legislatures abrogate their responsibility in this regard, it is certainly legitimate to discuss how the needed changes may be brought about. I am not by saying this advocating piracy or even civil disobedience. The question raised is more whether such measures can ever be justified before discussion of any particular cases. This is not appropriate for discussion on Mobileread, even in the political forums, as to argue that such measures can be justified, at least in the case of copyright, is to condone piracy in some limited circumstances, which is of course in breach of the relevant guidelines.
Drugs, I think, is very different issue. Drugs actually have a short period of exclusivity. The real issue is the regulatory cost involved with approving new drugs in the US. That can run into the billions range and can last decades.

Not really a good subject for an ebook board, of course.

The major problem that we have with copyright is, as mentioned in the article, two very different and to a degree, mutually exclusive, view of copyright. I won't use the term intellectual property, since the term has the built in assumption that one view is the correct view.

The two views,

1) copyright is the personal property of the author and unlike any other property, belongs to the author and his or her heirs for eternity. That's the Victor Hugo view of copyright. I can see why Hugo, a wealthy French writer might feel that way.

2) copyright is a government granted limited term monopoly on copying a work that is designed to make more arts available for the public good. A work that is not available to the public, is not in the interest of the public good.

Of course, the real issue here is the small handful of what I would call franchise works. The Victor Hugo, Disney, Tolkien and the like. Works that continue to be popular well past the normal time frame for a work and more importantly, works that generate a lot of money. I don't really have an issue with Tolkien's great grandchildren continuing to get the proceeds of LOTR.

Perhaps one solution would be to have all works available either in a license situation much like the google library of Alexandria, except where the author opts out and then the author would have to re-opt out every 7 years. Or possibly have that library only include works older than 7 years. Perhaps set the library up as part of the library of Congress and pay Google for the expense of scanning the books.

There are a lot of potential solutions. The real issue is there is no one who benefits enough to push the solution through Congress.
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Old 01-05-2018, 05:25 PM   #29
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And, building on what Thesaidon said, there are few clearer examples of the operation of bad intellectual property laws than in the area of academic journals. Locking up scientific knowledge, usually gained through publicly funded research, does real and lasting harm, and I would argue not only fails to advance science, but in fact retards it. Another example is patents for lifesaving drugs. This is less clearcut because of the possibility that such drugs would never have been developed without the existing patent incentives. Yet the situation is clearly untenable where the price tag for these drugs is condemning people to death. Yet there seems to be little effort devoted to looking at changes to the existing system or other means of funding/incentivizing drug development whilst also ensuring no one is condemned to death through excessive prices.

Laws which operate so badly in practice can and should be dealt with by legislatures, but seldom are, usually because of lobbying by vested interests with very deep pockets. When legislatures abrogate their responsibility in this regard, it is certainly legitimate to discuss how the needed changes may be brought about. I am not by saying this advocating piracy or even civil disobedience. The question raised is more whether such measures can ever be justified before discussion of any particular cases. This is not appropriate for discussion on Mobileread, even in the political forums, as to argue that such measures can be justified, at least in the case of copyright, is to condone piracy in some limited circumstances, which is of course in breach of the relevant guidelines.
I think the problems you point out are very real ones and they're important and in a free society discussion of them should be encouraged.

However, I don't think piracy is an answer anymore than bank robbery is an answer to poverty. The answer, and the only possible answer, is to talk about it so we can influence others and eventually improve our system, which is supposed to be government by the will of the governed. Lobbyists lobby and have lots of money to do so. We have words and ideas and moral values and if we don't use them lobbyists keep winning.

So let's discuss them and share our ideas about them and do it with a bit of restraint like grownups. For a big old kid like me that's not easy but if I can do it you can too.

Barry
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Old 01-05-2018, 05:35 PM   #30
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Drugs, I think, is very different issue. Drugs actually have a short period of exclusivity. The real issue is the regulatory cost involved with approving new drugs in the US. That can run into the billions range and can last decades.

Not really a good subject for an ebook board, of course.
I would think anything that's in books is worth discussing in an ebook related forum. If it's in a book it should be open for discussion and everything is in some book.

Barry
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