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Author Topic: US seizes domain names of websites broadcasting live television
TCB
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Ops said:
quote:
So, to recap the question that I don't think anyone has answered yet:
If it is legal for me to wander into my friendly town library, pick up a copy of a novel, and sit in the chair reading it - by what consistent legal framework can it possibly be illegal for Aris to download the same content?

There's no consistent legal framework - libraries are old institutions that predate modern copyright laws, and were grandfathered into the current system. If libraries were a new idea that someone came up with in 2001 the publishing industry would have certainly lobbied against them, and the usual suspects would have lined up for and against.

As JWatts points out, it's true that difference between illegally downloading a book and legally borrowing it from a library is of kind, not degree, but the difference is still vanishingly small. The creator's revenue per reader is 0 dollars from people downloading their work from the internet, and less than 0.01 dollars from people reading at a well-trafficked library.

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
. If libraries were a new idea that someone came up with in 2001 the publishing industry would have certainly lobbied against them, and the usual suspects would have lined up for and against.
Actually, you can see roughly how the modern debate plays out two ways using video rental stores and software rental stores (anyone remember those?). Both faced legal challenges, and between them they pretty much define the line on how far the library model can go.
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JWatts
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quote:
Originally posted by TCB:
The creator's revenue per reader is 0 dollars from people downloading their work from the internet, and less than 0.01 dollars from people reading at a well-trafficked library.

I think you well under-estimate the return for a library book. A library edition of a book is usually a better bound copy (for durability) and costs more than a normal hard back, but just for simplicity let's assume the cost is roughly $20 for a hardback.

A library book would have to be read 2,000 times for it to be down to 0.01 per reader. I suspect in reality that the publisher is going to get in the range of $0.10 to $.50 per reader averaged across the entire system. There are over 100,000 libraries in the US alone. This is a significant amount of revenue.

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starLisa
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quote:
Originally posted by TCB:
Ops said:
quote:
So, to recap the question that I don't think anyone has answered yet:
If it is legal for me to wander into my friendly town library, pick up a copy of a novel, and sit in the chair reading it - by what consistent legal framework can it possibly be illegal for Aris to download the same content?

There's no consistent legal framework - libraries are old institutions that predate modern copyright laws, and were grandfathered into the current system. If libraries were a new idea that someone came up with in 2001 the publishing industry would have certainly lobbied against them, and the usual suspects would have lined up for and against.
See #8
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starLisa
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quote:
Originally posted by JWatts:
Libraries often buy many copies of a popular book. This provides additional revenue for publishers of popular literature. Revenue they would be denied if everyone could just create copies at will.

Revenue that they aren't necessarily entitled to by natural law.
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G2
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quote:
Originally posted by OpsanusTau:
So, to recap the question that I don't think anyone has answered yet:
If it is legal for me to wander into my friendly town library, pick up a copy of a novel, and sit in the chair reading it - by what consistent legal framework can it possibly be illegal for Aris to download the same content?

I really, really don't get it.

Because you're mixing it up with a invalid comparison. If Aris wandered into your friendly town coffee shop, picked up a triple mocha latte, and sat in the chair drinking it while listening to music on the shop's sound system; then he'd be doing something similar to you.

Now. wander into your friendly town library, pick up a copy of a novel, head over to the copy machine and make copies of every page for you and 100,000 other people. You know you'll be violating fair use and can count on getting into some trouble on that - people have been prosecuted before for just that type of fair use violation.

That's what Aris is doing. Digital media makes it vastly easier to do the copy and distribution but he's doing the exact same thing.

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DonaldD
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quote:
A library book would have to be read 2,000 times for it to be down to 0.01 per reader. I suspect in reality that the publisher is going to get in the range of $0.10 to $.50 per reader averaged across the entire system.
I'm not sure that the 'creator' is the same as the publisher in the context of this debate, nor if that was what TCB meant by the word. Also, you shouldn't conflate 'compensation' with cost: even assuming that the publisher is the creator of the intellectual property, the cost of the physical book would go mainly to sourcing, manufacturing and logistics.

So basing the creator's compensation on the cost of the physical book seems incorrect: especially as libraries move into the realm of e-published material.

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JWatts
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quote:
Originally posted by starLisa:
quote:
Originally posted by JWatts:
Libraries often buy many copies of a popular book. This provides additional revenue for publishers of popular literature. Revenue they would be denied if everyone could just create copies at will.

Revenue that they aren't necessarily entitled to by natural law.
No doubt. We are definitely not talking about an unalienable right here. However in the US it is a Constitutionally protected right.

quote:
In Article I, section 8, the U.S. Constitution:

Congress shall have power . . . To promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries.

Copyright is most certainly a state granted monopoly. It's societal purpose is to encourage research and development.

If we remove the laws regarding copyright and patents (or just fail to enforce them), then the rate of technological and cultural progress will slow. It would seem a heavy long term price to pay to sate an immediate desire.

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OpsanusTau
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You guys, it just doesn't make sense.

quote:
It's a matter of degree. In the one case, there is a physical copy of the book the library bought, in the second case its a cloned copy of the work. Since you've worked in a library and own a printing press, you must be well aware that the library can't buy one physical book and then create a large amount of copies.
Okay, well let's say that I have a book, and I loan it to a friend. And then another friend. Or that I give it away, and so do many other people in a long chain of booksharing love. I've actually participated in that, so I know it happens.
Legal!
Also legal: for me to buy an ebook, put it on the ebook reader, and hand the ebook reader to a friend for her to read, while she hands me hers so I can read something she recommends.
Not legal: copying the ebook files and exchanging the data.

Same ladies reading the same content. Magical different legal status!

It just doesn't make sense.
I mean, if the argument were "You can make a reasonable number of copies for personal use and/or sharing, but don't be ridiculous", it would be a little more coherent.

Anyways.
I understand the principle that people want creators to have control over what is done with content they "produced", hypothesizing that this encourages "innovation".
I have not seen any actual data to support this hypothesis, however. And a good deal to refute it.
Most people who write books and stories don't make a functional living at it. And yet people continue to do it, out of love for the process and the product.
People are not going to stop making music just because recordings will be freely available. People make music. It's what we do. It's not such a huge tragedy if nobody becomes filthy rich doing it.
People have also always innovated. Someone thinks of a better way to do something, and shows his friend. She decides it really is awesome, and teaches her kids to do it that way.

And it's in no way clear to my why we should assume that someone who has an idea and shares that idea with someone else should be expected to retain control of the idea. You know, if you want to keep your creation to yourself and gloat over your precious, do so; if you want to share - if you want the recognition and the joy of knowing someone appreciated your work - you do actually have to share, which means giving up control.

Anyways. Show me the data that says that copyright protections - prosecution of people who didn't take anything from anyone, or make anyone's life worse - are necessary to society in some way, and I'll believe in it. Otherwise, it ends up sounding like a powerhungry babies whining about how somebody is going to take their power and money away.

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edgmatt
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If you loan one book, there is still only one book. If someone wanted that book for themselves, they would have to either buy it themselves or make a copy of it (illegally).

It's not like people are loaning out mp3's. They are making copies (at no cost to themselves) and sending through the internet.

With mp3's (for instance) ONE mp3 can make infinite copies. My free copy can make more free copies etc etc. You can't do that with books.

I think the use of books as an analogy is a poor choice for any kind of comparison.

[ February 09, 2011, 02:00 PM: Message edited by: edgmatt ]

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starLisa
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quote:
Originally posted by JWatts:
quote:
Originally posted by starLisa:
quote:
Originally posted by JWatts:
Libraries often buy many copies of a popular book. This provides additional revenue for publishers of popular literature. Revenue they would be denied if everyone could just create copies at will.

Revenue that they aren't necessarily entitled to by natural law.
No doubt. We are definitely not talking about an unalienable right here. However in the US it is a Constitutionally protected right.
No it isn't. The Constitution grants the government the right to issue patents, but actually having a copyright on something that prevents people from making copies of things they have bought is definitely not a Constitutionally protected right. It isn't a right at all. It's a legislatively protected perk.
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starLisa
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quote:
Originally posted by OpsanusTau:
Anyways. Show me the data that says that copyright protections - prosecution of people who didn't take anything from anyone, or make anyone's life worse - are necessary to society in some way, and I'll believe in it. Otherwise, it ends up sounding like a powerhungry babies whining about how somebody is going to take their power and money away.

Indeed. And check out Against Intellectual Monopoly for some actual information about how the granting of government monopolies on ideas is a Very Bad Thing.
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DonaldD
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Lisa, I think you missed this bit:
quote:
by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries.
unless you have a very limited definition of 'useful arts', I guess.
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DonaldD
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Ops, you observed the following
quote:
Most people who write books and stories don't make a functional living at it. And yet people continue to do it, out of love for the process and the product.
While technically true, it is also true that most of the 'best' (certainly, the most successful) authors in modernity have had writing as their primary 'employment' and did not do so as a secondary hobby.

Now, whether and how they were compensated for their work is a different question, and the business model of the last century is certainly not sacrosanct. But I do believe that the best writers write full time, and not being compensated for it would mean those writers would be forced to choose between writing and living life.

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TCB
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JWatts said:
quote:
I think you well under-estimate the return for a library book. A library edition of a book is usually a better bound copy (for durability) and costs more than a normal hard back, but just for simplicity let's assume the cost is roughly $20 for a hardback.

A library book would have to be read 2,000 times for it to be down to 0.01 per reader. I suspect in reality that the publisher is going to get in the range of $0.10 to $.50 per reader averaged across the entire system. There are over 100,000 libraries in the US alone. This is a significant amount of revenue.

Fair enough, I could well be underestimating author revenues from library sales. But authors would definitely earn more if everyone who borrowed books from the library instead bought new copies. Thus, using the same argument advanced in this thread, by reducing creator profits, libraries disincentivize creativity.

I usually dislike advancing this kind of argument ("By your logic you're against x, which everyone believes in!"), but I do think it illustrates that intellectual property laws and the national conversation about them are unbalanced in favor of creators and against the public.

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DonaldD
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BTW - authors' royalty rates tend to be between 5% and 15% of cover price, obviously with many exceptions.

So assuming even a healthy 20% royalty average, the author in the above example would make only $4 from a single library sale...

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
But I do believe that the best writers write full time, and not being compensated for it would mean those writers would be forced to choose between writing and living life.
Which is a barrier to entry that we can and really should remove. In any field, but especially the arts, there should be no question of "Will I be able to afford to live and produce?" Just "How much can I profit from my production, if that's what I want?"
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Dave at Work
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Just looking at my own behavior, I find that I often read my first work by a particular author at the library, and if I enjoyed it I will usually buy other books by that author at the bookstore. I see it as a way to prospect for new authors that I might enjoy. I do something similar for music with Pandora.
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hobsen
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DonaldD wrote,
quote:
You guys should probably take a breather and stop insulting each other gratuitously. Yes, I know that he started it.
It is nice to see some of you seem to have taken Donald's words to heart. Since I really do not want to read through this thread today, as February days in the 70s are rare even in California, I shall take it on faith the tone has improved.
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JWatts
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quote:
Originally posted by TCB:
Fair enough, I could well be underestimating author revenues from library sales. But authors would definitely earn more if everyone who borrowed books from the library instead bought new copies. Thus, using the same argument advanced in this thread, by reducing creator profits, libraries disincentivize creativity.

I usually dislike advancing this kind of argument ("By your logic you're against x, which everyone believes in!"), but I do think it illustrates that intellectual property laws and the national conversation about them are unbalanced in favor of creators and against the public.

I don't think anyone on this thread has said they think the current copyright laws strike a good balance between the needs of society and the rights of an individual. As I have stated, I haven't seen an argument I agree with as to why Copyright terms are currently so much more lavish than Patent terms.

Originally US copyrights were fairly limited:
quote:
The first federal copyright act, the Copyright Act of 1790 granted copyright for a term of "fourteen years from the time of recording the title thereof", with a right of renewal for another fourteen years if the author survived to the end of the first term. The act covered not only books, but also maps and charts.
Wiki

It has been lengthened to the absurd:
quote:
In the United States, the term for most existing works is for a term ending 70 years after the death of the author. If the work was a work for hire (e.g., those created by a corporation) then copyright persists for 120 years after creation or 95 years after publication, whichever is shorter.
Contrast that with the 20 year length of patents and clearly there is a dichotomy. However, that is no justification for completing ignoring the IP system and downloading as much as you can manage.

I have great respect for the creators of Linux and many other Open Source software makers because they took the moral high road and created non-copyrighted software that is freely available. The same goes for Wikipedia (and numerous other sights) which despite its obvious flaws has really significantly made more of the World's knowledge readily available.

But that doesn't mean everyone else who wants to charge for their labor should be cheated. If you don't want to pay, then avail yourself of the many free works on the net. But don't try to kid yourselves or anyone else that somehow the author isn't affected and thus you should be able to take whatever you want and no one is hurt.

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LetterRip
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jasonr,

quote:
Letterip what are you basing this on?
Per capita entertaainment consumption.

quote:
the ratio of consumer energy spending to entertainment spending in the U.S. since 1959. With the exception of 1977-1980, energy spending had been progressively displaced by entertainment spending over the half-century, until things turned in 2002.
http://seekingalpha.com/article/196502-ratio-of-u-s-energy-spending-to-entertainment-spending-1959-2010

The turn is from the massive spike in energy price, not piracy. Our paid for media consumption is at its near peak in the US.

quote:
If it's the self-report of the pirates as to what they would have or would not have bought but for the piracy, I'd suggest that's about as useful as polling the population of a prison to determine how many are guilty versus innocent.
Nope based on actual trends in media purchase. The percentage of disposable income spent on media/entertainment has grown to a much greater percentage than historically. It can't really be much higher. So the additional consumption via piracy can only substitute for free/already paid for/ad supported entertainment.

quote:
The other point is that even accepting your premise "most individuals do not tend to substitute a significant portion of their consumption with copyright infringement" those small portions can add up to billions of dollars over time.
Possibly, although it is entirely possible and likely that they would substitute borrowing of DVDs, songs, and games and activity which are non infringing instead of purchasing. Or as I pointed out above - just shift to more free entertainment.

quote:
But music is different. We almost reached a tipping point when Napster was prevalent a few years back. The guilt was starting to wear off as everyone was doing it and it was becoming just too damned easy. The end product being produced by the pirates was actually better than what the legit producers were giving us. That was an example where piracy was in danger of reaching a critical mass.
I never pirated any music. If you look at actual consumption trends, napster had some impact but most of the impact of the decline is

1) people had 'caught up' their collections in moving from LP/cassette to CD

2) other media - particularly video and toys had dropped significantly in price and resulted in a shift in consumption.

Excluding video games and internet entertainment that accounted for 80% of the observed fall in music sales.

http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.129.9026&rep=rep1&type=pdf

If you add in the increased consumption of games and internet it accounts for nearly 100% of the observed fall.

So while some harm from Napster probably occurred, it is unclear if it was at all significant.

Anywho, I do think the harm is drastically overstated from copyright infringement.

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Dave at Work
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quote:
I have great respect for the creators of Linux and many other Open Source software makers because they took the moral high road and created non-copyrighted software that is freely available. The same goes for Wikipedia (and numerous other sights) which despite its obvious flaws has really significantly made more of the World's knowledge readily available.
Actually if you look at how the Open Source movement does this you will find that they are not creating non-copyrighted software. What they are doing is distributing the software with a license which allows you to do quite a bit with it as long as you follow certain rules. What you can do with the software and what rules you have to follow vary by the specific license, but generally you can make use of it, modify it, use it in derivative works and redistribute it so long as you redistribute it with the same license and provide the source code. What they are doing is, rather than creating non-copyrighted software, they are using copyright to protect their ownership rights and coupling that with one of a number of very liberal licenses as they distribute it.
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JWatts
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quote:
Originally posted by Dave at Work:
Actually if you look at how the Open Source movement does this you will find that they are not creating non-copyrighted software. What they are doing is distributing the software with a license which allows you to do quite a bit with it as long as you follow certain rules. What you can do with the software and what rules you have to follow vary by the specific license, but generally you can make use of it, modify it, use it in derivative works and redistribute it so long as you redistribute it with the same license and provide the source code. What they are doing is, rather than creating non-copyrighted software, they are using copyright to protect their ownership rights and coupling that with one of a number of very liberal licenses as they distribute it.

I was aware of the distinction, I started to use the phrase CopyLeft, but didn't want to confuse the issue.

Of course, I think it's pretty obvious that most anyone who would violate Copyright law will probably also violate Copyleft if they perceive an advantage in doing so. However, it does protect the work from the Lawyers.

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Dave at Work
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True, the distinction wouldn't make a difference to those like Aris. However, there is a significant difference between non-copyright, which I interpret to mean something released directly into the public domain and completely ignoring copyright, and using existing copyright laws to do what the Open Source movement is doing. I felt that the distinction was important enough to point out so that certain others might take note of it.
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philnotfil
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quote:
Originally posted by jasonr:
People are greedy, but mostly they're lazy. If you make it just a little easier to buy the product legit and just a little harder to pirate the product, and couple that with a little guilt about stealing, you can get most people to buy things legit. For example, most people who loved Lord of the Rings are prepared to shell out some money to buy the movies on DVD or Blu-Ray, even though alot of them know they can download the whole thing, burn it onto DVD and get basically the same experience. Why not pirate? Because it's faster easier, and more gratifying to buy it out of a store now rather than wait a day (or more, depending on your connection) to download it, then burn it onto a DVD. A little shrink wrap and a pretty package also gives you the psychological illusion that you're getting value for your money.

An even better reason not to pirate is respect. Respect for the work put into it, respect for the people that did the work. I wouldn't pirate LotR, but I would totally pirate something like Snakes on a Plane, if I wanted to watch it for some reason. The same thing with music. There are some bands whose music I would never pirate, but if I don't know the band yet, I'm perfectly happy to download it and give it a try. There are some games that I have purchased multiple times, that I wouldn't ever pirate. There are other games that I don't mind using a pirated copy of when everyone else decides that is the game we are going to play.

quote:
But music is different.
How is music different?
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jasonr
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quote:
That's one way, or they upsell service based features. Heck, that's almost what they do now with definition updates. The product itself is a small blip on the revenue scale, it's the subscription to ongoing updates- you can't pirate that (unless you've managed to get hold of a corporate edition, and even then they can monitor overall usage and, effectively, change the keys if it gets out of control.
I suppose this is a fair point when you're talking about products that need to be updated constantly to be effective, like virus scanners or operating systems. But I don't think that applies to most software.

quote:
Look at Panda, AVG, Avast, and a number of other for examples where you can get the basic product free up front, but use different approaches to encourage people to take service up a step by paying a subscription fee.

You can also easily find examples of writers (Fiction, non comic, even) who publish the content free a few pages or chapters at a time, and make a decent revenue off of donations. Often they'll self publish, and I'm sure people could go through the effort of trying to make unauthorized copies, but there's very little room for secondary profit there, and you still have to go to the original source for new content (particularly when they say "I'll write this once I get $X in donations"), or, say, a signed edition, at which point you're stepping into the community. TV and movies are becoming increasingly accessible along the same lines, though there are some corners, particularly where impressive special effects are involved, where you do need to gather a significant stake. That's what forming a corporation is for and that's where copyright protection on distribution is handy.

Again, I realize I'm not debating with Aris anymore, so some of my points aren't really aimed at your moderate view on copyright law.

quote:
Anyways. Show me the data that says that copyright protections - prosecution of people who didn't take anything from anyone, or make anyone's life worse - are necessary to society in some way, and I'll believe in it. Otherwise, it ends up sounding like a powerhungry babies whining about how somebody is going to take their power and money away.
Profit is a motivation for almost everything. This claim needs no special proof or support. The assertion that taking away that motivation by diluting or eliminating the content-creator's ability to profit takes away some motivation to create is self-evident.

To use a personal example:

I love making cakes. I enjoy it so much that I can get up at 6:00 a.m. and bake until 6:00 p.m. and love it. I would do it every day if I could. I used to make the cakes on the weekend spending $30-$50 per cake and just leave it in the work cafeteria for people to eat. For me making the cake was the reward. What happened afterward or who ate it wasn't important.

A couple years ago I decided I wanted to start a cake making business. Why go commercial? Because I like money and why wouldn't I want to make money doing something I love? And there is a certain je ne sais qua to being able to say that something isn't just a hobby but a business. A certain self-respect you get from getting other people to pay you for your work.

Why didn't I do it? Because I calculated that if I spent every second of free time I had baking, I would have ended up making about $1,000 per year, if I was lucky.

So I don't do it. I bake as much as possible, but generally only on special occasions. If that number were $100,000 or even $10,000 maybe I'd be baking all those cakes.

The moral: Even a labour of love is sweeter when there's money to be made.

quote:
Most people who write books and stories don't make a functional living at it. And yet people continue to do it, out of love for the process and the product.
This is true but misleading in a key way. Yes, most people who write books don't profit from them. But most of them would if someone was willing to publish them. You don't need to ever see a dime of profit to be motivated by money. The people with the least money and the least likelihood of making money are the ones who obsess over it most. You think all those kids who run to Holywood to work in doughut shops and cafes to audition for parts in detergent commercials are doing it purely for the love of acting? I don't buy that.

People create without expecting wealth in return, yes. But to discount wealth as a major motivating force driving creation is just naive.

quote:
Nope based on actual trends in media purchase. The percentage of disposable income spent on media/entertainment has grown to a much greater percentage than historically. It can't really be much higher. So the additional consumption via piracy can only substitute for free/already paid for/ad supported entertainment.
I don't see how that follows. People spend more disposable income proportionately than ever before. On what do you base the conclusions: 1) "It can't really be much higher" and 2) That this means that all piracy only substituted for free entertainment?

Sounds like a correlation = causation fallacy.

quote:
How is music different?
You can offer live performances as a unique experience that can't be pirated. No such thing as a live movie or live videogame, as far as I know.

[ February 09, 2011, 08:44 PM: Message edited by: jasonr ]

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JWatts
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quote:
Originally posted by philnotfil:
An even better reason not to pirate is respect. Respect for the work put into it, respect for the people that did the work. I wouldn't pirate LotR, but I would totally pirate something like Snakes on a Plane, if I wanted to watch it for some reason.

Copying LotR is piracy, copying Snakes on a Plane is a crime against humanity. [Embarrassed]
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philnotfil
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quote:
Originally posted by jasonr:
quote:
How is music different?
You can offer live performances as a unique experience that can't be pirated. No such thing as a live movie or live videogame, as far as I know.
This seems to be the opposite of what you were saying after your original "music is different" statement. This seems to be reasons why music isn't as affected by piracy, while the first post on the subjected seemed to be why music was more affected by piracy. Am I misreading one of these posts?

[ February 09, 2011, 11:01 PM: Message edited by: philnotfil ]

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tonylovern
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quote:
I can't be bothered to learn how to do the whole horse-whispering kind of thing.
quote:
or to teach tony the differences between morality and legality
I'm pretty sure you were the one getting a lesson on why its moral to follow just laws. still,

quote:
I think it's time for me to quit Ornery too.
and good riddance you mysanthropic, self deluding, elitist snob. good luck spinning your half baked, unjustified arguments somewhere else. i'm sure you'll find many people who are just "too dumb to get you" like i havent heard that line a hundred times from some whiny emo kid. learn how to wear big boy pants and stop being a petulant crybaby.

ok, assuming he doesnt take anymore shots i'm done.

sorry hobsen,if this pulls you away from your beautiful day. i tend to match peoples tone and his was condescending and insulting. now, on to a more reasonable discussion, before i get banned at least.

quote:
I'm simply stating that there isn't always harm even if the means are objected to by the copyright holder.
if the means are objected to by the copyright holder, then the copyright holders rights are being violated. violating someones rights is harm. there might be no monetary loss whatsoever, but there is still harm.

quote:
I don't think loss of control contrary to a copyright holders wishes is immoral in and of itself, even if it is illegal.


What other rights does a person have that you dont think its harmful to violate? would you expect people to house soldiers in thier homes as long as the soldiers caused no harm? how many constitutional rights have ceased to matter because the internet was invented?

quote:
The question is, would those individuals have purchased showtime if pirating was impossible. Or, would they have borrowed the recorded version from a friend, or would they have forgone watching Dexter entirely.


idealy they would have forgone watching the show or come to my house to watch it. thumbing thier nose at the creators wishes is disrespectful.


quote:
I suspect you will find some decline as a percentage of total cable viewers but that is because basic cable is now everywhere as opposed to cable being a luxury in and of itself, but I suspect that the actual harm will be little or none
again you assume that violating someones rights isn't harmful. I'm personally very jealous of my rights and feel deeply hurtful feelings when thier violated.

quote:
There has never been much stigma associated with copyright violation even in the US, where it is most condemned and most strongly enforced. Every business, religious, and educational institution I've every encountered including those by the most morally upstanding individuals I've known have usually engaged in some copyright violation.


which is exactly why we need to educate people of the harm caused when they violate someone elses rights. anyone that claims they can violate someones rights and have it be a morally neutral or good act is lying to themselves. erosion of copyright is an erosion of liberty, I will always be against those.

quote:
This isn't to absolve individuals of their moral obligations - I'm just pointing out that what society views as reasonable and moral amount of infringement has often exceeded what is statutorily allowed.


this sounds like an argument for the patriot act. we can violate anyones rights we choose as long as 51% percent of the population turns a blind eye. if you ask 100 people if they would like to have something that they want for free, its a safe bet 100 people would say yes.

If you asked the same 100 people if they would like someone to take without permission a percent of thier labors or take a pay cut for doing the same job they've been doing, its a safe bet that all 100 people would say no.

how about you, would you be willing to let 20,000 people divide up 20% of your income without ever informing you or asking your permission?

quote:
Personally I don't like how current copyright works in an age where distribution and reproduction are costless the only cost is the first copy production - what I'd like to shift to is where unlimited copying is allowed and payment is recovered via a tax
and you dont see where such a system could become corrupt and bloated and well, maybe just a little cummunist? theres a reason america is known for innovation and china, cuba, and russia arent. we allow artists and inventors to own thier labors. when a mans labors are owned by governemnt, or society if you rather, innovation always suffers because people no longer have a personal stock in it.


quote:
What I was getting at is that the owner of the material being infringed on might not actually be the one being harmed, indeed they might benefit, but that harm can accrue to competitors
Piracy causes harm. in this case it was stifling innovation.

quote:
Napster was substituted by emule and 100 other imitators. Itunes and rhapsody were not created because of Napster getting a lawsuit, it was created because the widespread piracy implied there was a market for online distribution that was being untapped.
Napster was the start of the war. the fact that those other 100 websites function outside of u.s. jurisdiction is a clue to how much of an effect the napster fight had on the system. if the napster fight hadnt brought the issue to national attention marketers would never have seen the piracy issue as widespread and adjusted thier business model. the chain of causality leads directly back to there.

quote:
I should also note that I don't object to taking down sites whose primary purpose is to profit from individuals violating copyright law.


this i agree with. pretty much all pirating sites generate revenue through ads. if it were simply a matter of person a making a copy for a friend i wouldnt care so much but millions of people are crapping on the rights of the creators.

I see that i've fallen behind the conversation again from having stuff to do all day. if any of these points are addressed i'll stay in the fight, otherwise i'm content to read what wiser minds than mine have to say on the subject.

good night ornery

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LetterRip
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tony,

quote:
if the means are objected to by the copyright holder, then the copyright holders rights are being violated. violating someones rights is harm. there might be no monetary loss whatsoever, but there is still harm.
Again you are getting into the legal, not the moral territory, while there is legal harm, there isn't moral harm.

quote:
What other rights does a person have that you dont think its harmful to violate? would you expect people to house soldiers in thier homes as long as the soldiers caused no harm? how many constitutional rights have ceased to matter because the internet was invented?
Hmmm again legal versus moral. One might have a moral objection to housing soldiers (the person thinks killing is wrong, therefore providing shelter to those whose profession is killing is wrong) as well as a legal objection.

quote:
idealy they would have forgone watching the show or come to my house to watch it. thumbing thier nose at the creators wishes is disrespectful.
Creators in general don't want people to resell their works. My reselling my copy of a work is not immoral. Some musicians don't want their song used in certain political or social contexts, but playing them in those contexts is not immoral. Many song writers would prefer only artists of their choosing to record their song, other artists recording their song is not immoral.

I don't like peas, therefore think growers should not grow peas - their continuing to grow peas contrary to my wishes is neither immoral nor harmful.

Going against someones wishes is neither a harm nor immoral in most circumstances.

quote:
again you assume that violating someones rights isn't harmful. I'm personally very jealous of my rights and feel deeply hurtful feelings when thier violated.
Hurting your feelings is not an immoral act. Violations of ones rights can be a harm or immoral, but isn't necessarily.

quote:
quote: There has never been much stigma associated with copyright violation even in the US, where it is most condemned and most strongly enforced. Every business, religious, and educational institution I've every encountered including those by the most morally upstanding individuals I've known have usually engaged in some copyright violation.

which is exactly why we need to educate people of the harm caused when they violate someone elses rights. anyone that claims they can violate someones rights and have it be a morally neutral or good act is lying to themselves. erosion of copyright is an erosion of liberty, I will always be against those.

In my view the extension of copyright was a harm and was immoral. I also view denying someone education when it has no marginal cost and no lost benefit to the owner of the educational material to be immoral and harmful. I find a great deal of how our copyright system is currently functioning to be both immoral and harmful.

quote:
this sounds like an argument for the patriot act. we can violate anyones rights we choose as long as 51% percent of the population turns a blind eye. if you ask 100 people if they would like to have something that they want for free, its a safe bet 100 people would say yes.

If you asked the same 100 people if they would like someone to take without permission a percent of thier labors or take a pay cut for doing the same job they've been doing, its a safe bet that all 100 people would say no.

how about you, would you be willing to let 20,000 people divide up 20% of your income without ever informing you or asking your permission?

You are misconstruing my argument. I'm stating that the legal and moral are not per se in alignment, that a view that a copyright holder might object to and find immoral at one point in time that can be viewed as entirely moral by a similar person at some other point in time. Morality as respect to copyright is a very dynamic beast.

Also the laws regarding copyright have become increasingly immoral, greatly extending beyond their original embodiment, and being used in abusive and immoral ways.

quote:
anyone that claims they can violate someones rights and have it be a morally neutral or good act is lying to themselves.
A slave owner by the laws of his land has a legal right to rape his slave. You prevent him from raping his slave and free the slave and violate his legal rights. Was your freeing of the slave immoral. Legal rights and morality are not necessarily congruent.

quote:
and you dont see where such a system could become corrupt and bloated and well, maybe just a little cummunist? theres a reason america is known for innovation and china, cuba, and russia arent. we allow artists and inventors to own thier labors. when a mans labors are owned by governemnt, or society if you rather, innovation always suffers because people no longer have a personal stock in it.
I guess I'm not understanding your objection. Each person is taxed 5% of their income to be allocated to copyright holders. If I create the greatest book in the world, and every person in america reads it and rates it as bonus worthy than that might come to an average of 10$ per person or 2.5 billion dollars. I guess I don't see why that would not be adequate incentive for me to produce a really good book. It certainly isn't communism, it is just, in my mind, a much saner way to do copyright law - that essentially eliminates a motivation for artificial scarcity - instead motivating individuals to create the most desirable copyrights.

quote:
Piracy causes harm. in this case it was stifling innovation.
No it was stifling competition, not innovation. Those are not equivalent. Also when competition was a greater concern the corporation took greater action to stifle competition directly. (In fact they even threatened to withdraw from certain tradeshows if we were allowed to exhibit).

quote:
Napster was the start of the war. the fact that those other 100 websites function outside of u.s. jurisdiction is a clue to how much of an effect the napster fight had on the system. if the napster fight hadnt brought the issue to national attention marketers would never have seen the piracy issue as widespread and adjusted thier business model. the chain of causality leads directly back to there.
Marketers were well aware of 'file sharing' long before Napster, they were aware of it in the days of BBSes. So I disagree with you that Napster was a catalyst of any sort.
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tonylovern
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quote:
Again you are getting into the legal, not the moral territory, while there is legal harm, there isn't moral harm.

lets try a hypothetical real quick. I'm willing to concede that current copyright law needs to be modified. I'm not saying that current copyright law is immoral, just that it could stand to be updated.

the change i propose is a 10 year grace period from the earliest date of commercial release, where the creator has control over how his creation is disseminated, and is allowed to make as much money as he can before the decade expires and the works fall under fair use.

Would you agree that a more reasonable time constraint would make for a more moral law?

theres more to this point but its dependant on your answer to this question. I'm not going to try and assume your answer so on to other points for now.

quote:
Creators in general don't want people to resell their works. My reselling my copy of a work is not immoral. Some musicians don't want their song used in certain political or social contexts, but playing them in those contexts is not immoral. Many song writers would prefer only artists of their choosing to record their song, other artists recording their song is not immoral.

selling works in physical format is a tacit agreement to have thier works resold. as i said to ops i know of several authors who consider it a point of pride when one of thier first editions sells for a couple of hundred dollars on ebay.

for one band to record and make money off of another bands songs is absolutely immoral. it falls under the same category as websites that make money off selling other peoples works. i've never heard of one band complaining about another band performing live versions of thier work. thats mostly because live performances are considered a tribute and most popular bands dont market thier cover songs.

quote:
One might have a moral objection to housing soldiers
I'm pretty sure that artists have a moral objection to people stealing thier work.

quote:
I don't like peas, therefore think growers should not grow peas - their continuing to grow peas contrary to my wishes is neither immoral nor harmful.


peas growing doesnt violate any of your rights, so there is no harm. your wish to never see a pea again isn't a right. as a side note, peas are awesome, thier like natures ball bearings.

quote:
Going against someones wishes is neither a harm nor immoral in most circumstances.


In most circumstances no, but when you're talking about limiting someones income or violating thier rights for no better reason than you want free access to the fruits of thier labors the harm is quantifiable.

quote:
In my view the extension of copyright was a harm and was immoral.
cant really get into this without an answer to the above question.

quote:
You are misconstruing my argument. I'm stating that the legal and moral are not per se in alignment, that a view that a copyright holder might object to and find immoral at one point in time that can be viewed as entirely moral by a similar person at some other point in time.
assuming that both people are creators choosing how to disseminate thier own works yes, there are different methods to distribution, and different creators are bound to choose different methods. if person A is not a creator and is pirating Person B's work then Person A's opinion on the subject doesnt matter.

quote:
A slave owner by the laws of his land has a legal right to rape his slave.
This is a strawman, to the best of my knowledge, while slavery does still exist, its not government sactioned anywhere. so no slaveowner has a right to do anything regarding slavery.

quote:
I guess I'm not understanding your objection. Each person is taxed 5% of their income to be allocated to copyright holders. If I create the greatest book in the world, and every person in america reads it and rates it as bonus worthy than that might come to an average of 10$ per person or 2.5 billion dollars
I think your math is off, but thats not really my point. If governments are allowed to allocate the dispensation of funds, it will always allocate more for themselves than the artist. that system would be like forcing every artist to have the same greedy embezzeling manager.

the free market should decide who gets paid what.

quote:
No it was stifling competition, not innovation. Those are not equivalent. Also when competition was a greater concern the corporation took greater action to stifle competition directly. (In fact they even threatened to withdraw from certain tradeshows if we were allowed to exhibit).


the two might not be exactly equivalent but market dynamics have been showing for the last hundred years that competition leads to innovation as competitors fight to produce thier product cheaper and with more bells and whistles.

as to the trade show, i would think you would be happy if they pulled out. unless i'm mistaken trade shows can make or break a products release. either way without the competition you might not have made as good of a product as you did, since you wouldnt have had other programs to compare too. I doubt that your competition would even have been in the running without a profit incentive.

quote:
Marketers were well aware of 'file sharing' long before Napster, they were aware of it in the days of BBSes. So I disagree with you that Napster was a catalyst of any sort.
BBSes were back when it was just a few nerds and college students doing it. Napster moved file sharing into the mainstream and gave the media a single entity to focus on. that brought enough attention to the cause to give the lawyers of the record industry an easily targeted defendant for thier lawsuits.

ok, hopefully i can kick this insomnia now, today was hectic enough to where my brain just doesnt want to stop racing.

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DonaldD
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quote:
for one band to record and make money off of another bands songs is absolutely immoral
Why do you think so?  Is this still true after 100 years?  It is even quite legal to do so immediately, after all.
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LetterRip
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my insomnia too [Smile]

quote:
for one band to record and make money off of another bands songs is absolutely immoral.
You might find it immoral but it is completely legal. The labels got a law passed that after the first recording that any band can rerecord it as long as they pay a certain statutory amount. Artists have no control at all over the song once it has been recorded once.

quote:
selling works in physical format is a tacit agreement to have thier works resold. as i said to ops i know of several authors who consider it a point of pride when one of thier first editions sells for a couple of hundred dollars on ebay.
You seem to be missing the point. I was stating that an objection in and of itself is not particularly relevant to morality, and I've also made the point that legality is not in and of itself a determinant of morality.

People object to moral things, people object to legal things, and some moral things are illegal, and some immoral things are legal.

quote:
I'm pretty sure that artists have a moral objection to people stealing thier work.
Copyright violation and theft are not the same. Please don't use them interchangably. An artist may have a moral objection to copyright violation (ie someone copying and selling their work, or someone who can easily afford the work being cheap), that doesn't mean that violating copyright is immoral for all individuals in all circumstances.

quote:
peas growing doesnt violate any of your rights, so there is no harm. your wish to never see a pea again isn't a right. as a side note, peas are awesome, thier like natures ball bearings.
Ah but being good friends with the local monarch - he passes a law that says that anything I don't like I have the right to object. Therefore I object to peas, as is my right. The entire point was that an objection whether based on 'legal rights' or other basis is irrelevant to morality.

quote:
Assuming that both people are creators choosing how to disseminate thier own works yes, there are different methods to distribution, and different creators are bound to choose different methods. if person A is not a creator and is pirating Person B's work then Person A's opinion on the subject doesnt matter.
I think you need to work on reading comprehension a bit [Smile] Or read when you are less tired. To make this a bit more concrete for you - a quote of a paragraph is copyright infringement (piracy). Many copyright holders historically sued for such infringement. The courts decided against the copyright holder determining that 'fair use' was a defense in which copyright infringement was allowable. Fair use has been expanded against the wishes of many copyright holders - allowing 1) over the air recording of music 2) recording of over the air broadcasts 3) space shifting 4) format shifting 5) limited copying and distribution for educational and commentary purposes 6) copys for backup purposes 7) reselling of a purchased copyrighted item

and numerous other infringements on copyright. All of these are infringements of the copyright creators copyright - all of them strongly objected to by copyright holders at various points throughout history, all of them largely considered to be moral by the majority of society and viewed as immoral by the copyright holders at certain points in history.

quote:
This is a strawman, to the best of my knowledge, while slavery does still exist, its not government sactioned anywhere. so no slaveowner has a right to do anything regarding slavery.
It appears you are confused as to the meaning of strawman. It matters not at all whether slavery is currently illegal. It only matters that the law sometimes holds actions to be legal that are immoral, and actions that are moral to be illegal. Slavery happened to be a quite clear historical example of that.

quote:
I think your math is off, but thats not really my point. If governments are allowed to allocate the dispensation of funds, it will always allocate more for themselves than the artist. that system would be like forcing every artist to have the same greedy embezzeling manager.
The math wasn't actual math - it was to show that the copyright creator wasn't getting the short end of the stick. Apparently you are not particularly familiar with copyright law, since you seem to be unaware that only a slight variation of this already happens for music that is played at any public venue (bars, restraunts, etc.) What is played is recorded, and then based on play frequency each song gets a percentage of the flat annual fee paid by the venue.

quote:
BBSes were back when it was just a few nerds and college students doing it. Napster moved file sharing into the mainstream and gave the media a single entity to focus on. that brought enough attention to the cause to give the lawyers of the record industry an easily targeted defendant for thier lawsuits.
I feel like I'm arguing through water. I said they were aware of it since the existance of BBSes. Napster didn't make RIAA or music execs anymore aware of the issue. They were panicking about the issue before Napster arrived on the scene - IRC, Lycos (mp3.lycos.com) large ftp archives of music files, downloading form newsgroups were all a concern before Napster.

Napster caught the media attention but without Napster the situation was pretty much the same. Napster was the media and legal lightening rod (largely because they were making more blatant efforts to profit off of the copyright infringement).

[ February 10, 2011, 06:09 AM: Message edited by: LetterRip ]

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philnotfil
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quote:
Originally posted by tonylovern:
selling works in physical format is a tacit agreement to have their works resold.

How is selling works in a digital format different in this respect?

quote:
for one band to record and make money off of another bands songs is absolutely immoral. it falls under the same category as websites that make money off selling other peoples works. i've never heard of one band complaining about another band performing live versions of thier work. thats mostly because live performances are considered a tribute and most popular bands dont market thier cover songs.
Is it still immoral if the song being copied is not copyrighted?

quote:
I'm pretty sure that artists have a moral objection to people stealing thier work.
If the artist still has the original work, what was stolen?

quote:
I don't like peas, therefore think growers should not grow peas - their continuing to grow peas contrary to my wishes is neither immoral nor harmful.

quote:
In most circumstances no, but when you're talking about limiting someones income or violating thier rights for no better reason than you want free access to the fruits of thier labors the harm is quantifiable.
Were the rights of the people who hold the patents to rear projection HDTVs violated when LCD and plasma flat screens were invented? The incomes of the rear projection people were cut, their intellectual property was devalued.

quote:
[QUOTE] A slave owner by the laws of his land has a legal right to rape his slave.
This is a strawman, to the best of my knowledge, while slavery does still exist, its not government sactioned anywhere. so no slaveowner has a right to do anything regarding slavery.
How is this a strawman? Both sets of laws (slavery and copyright) coexisted in this country. This was reality.

quote:
the free market should decide who gets paid what.
It is interesting to see you say this, most of your posts seem to be saying that the content creator gets to decide how much they get paid.
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OpsanusTau
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Regarding whether copyright infringement is "theft":

Property rights are obviously not some sort of inherent part of the universe. My right to have possessions that other people don't take whenever they feel like it is an expression of societal agreement; we pretty much all agree that things work better for us when people don't take things away from each other at whim. The reason for that is that if I have a chair and you take my chair from me, I don't have the chair anymore; I have to sit on the floor.
And because property rights aren't inherent, there is a complex set of laws about who can take what from whom without the original owner's consent, and under what circumstances.

Okay, then somebody decided that all of this law about physical objects - which if someone takes away from me I do not have anymore - ought with modification to apply to ideas as well. I'm not really sure why, since if someone takes a picture of my painting or plays my song, I still painted it or wrote it. Nothing has been removed from me.

Maybe the craziness inherent in copyright law wasn't so obvious in the past. Before new technologies made reproduction and distribution so fast and easy, I bet it was easier to confuse "ownership of the means of production and monopoly over the means of distribution" with "ownership of content".
In reality, producers of content never really had that much control over what happened to their content; they had to sell that control to the corporations who controlled the production and distribution in order for anyone to see their work.
I wonder if it was a conscious choice on the part of the publishing and recording companies and Disney and whatnot to present the issue as one of "artists' rights to their own content". Regardless, it's totally disingenuous.

The same technology that has made it easy to reproduce and redistribute content in violation of copyright actually gives creators far more control over their own content, since they don't need the support of the production and distribution monopoly in order to reach a purchasing public.

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DonaldD
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quote:
Okay, then somebody decided that all of this law about physical objects - which if someone takes away from me I do not have anymore - ought with modification to apply to ideas as well.
I'm not sure that we can make this leap - that this was the logical path upon which the concept of copyright was based; and as long as you believe that the latter was based closely on the former, yes, it won't make any sense.

But I think you already accepted that other arguments supporting copyright have been made; that, as one of your country's founding documents states: the legislative branch has the authority "To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries".

You may not buy into it (that copyright promotes Science and the useful Arts) but the idea that it could has obviously existed for at least two and a quarter centuries in the USA.

Copyright is an expression of societal agreement in exactly the same way that property rights are, although for different reasons (rationalizations, if you prefer).

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philnotfil
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quote:
Originally posted by OpsanusTau:
Maybe the craziness inherent in copyright law wasn't so obvious in the past. Before new technologies made reproduction and distribution so fast and easy, I bet it was easier to confuse "ownership of the means of production and monopoly over the means of distribution" with "ownership of content".
In reality, producers of content never really had that much control over what happened to their content; they had to sell that control to the corporations who controlled the production and distribution in order for anyone to see their work.
I wonder if it was a conscious choice on the part of the publishing and recording companies and Disney and whatnot to present the issue as one of "artists' rights to their own content". Regardless, it's totally disingenuous.

The same technology that has made it easy to reproduce and redistribute content in violation of copyright actually gives creators far more control over their own content, since they don't need the support of the production and distribution monopoly in order to reach a purchasing public.

I think the earlier technological limitations were a big part of this. When it took months to copy a book by hand, or weeks to copy a book with a printing press, there was no need to worry about the distinction between the ideas and their physical form. Once the time got down to hours with copy machines it started to become apparent that the idea and the physical manifestation of it were two different things, and the modern digital formats, taking seconds to copy and distribute, have really made this a pressing issue.

The distributors of content have a vested interested in thwarting this conversation, but it needs to happen.

Also, excellent point about the technology allowing greater freedom for the artist. Under the old model a band could be fairly certain that people wouldn't pirate their music, but they would also only get $0.25 per album, and likely not even that much after the record company charged them for expenses (I think we often miss out on how immoral the media corporations really are). Now they have no real protection against piracy, whether or not they are on the major label, but they can make up to $0.65 per song on iTunes. The amount of product they have to move to break even, or even make money, is so much smaller than it used to be. And the amount of control they have over their work is so much greater.

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OpsanusTau
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quote:
To promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries;
Yes, it does say that.

I remain unconvinced that this clause actually supports anything like copyright law as it now stands.

A reading whereby this clause means that for a limited time, every writing and discovery must be properly attributed to its originator is at least as well supported by the text on the page as the system we now have.

I don't see anything saying that after a writer or inventor has voluntarily chosen to share his product with the world, nobody else can do anything with it.

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DonaldD
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Oh, I am no fan of copyright law as it currently stands, either. But I also don't agree that your reading of this clause is supported. The clause gives congress the authority to legislate in this particular area: it does not spell out how it will choose to do so. The legislature could choose to implement a law protecting attribution if it believes that such would secure exclusive rights to the author, having the effect of promoting the progress of science and ueful arts; but it could also legislate in other ways that it feels secures such exclusive rights and 'promotes the progress'.

The question is whether the legislature, acting in this area, is arguably legislating under the constraint of the clause. And even if we get into the original intent debate, it is pretty clear that the copyright laws today are similar in kind to those of hundreds of years ago.

But I do agree with you that the current state of copyright law is, not to put too fine a point on it, both an abomination and ineffective.

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philnotfil
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easydns.org

quote:
According to the six-page indictment filed by Rosenstein, Ayre worked with Philip, Ferguson and Maloney to supervise an illegal gambling business from June 2005 to January 2012 in violation of Maryland law. The indictment focuses on the movement of funds from accounts outside the U.S., in Switzerland, England, Malta, and Canada, and the hiring of media resellers and advertisers to promote Internet gambling.

“Sports betting is illegal in Maryland, and federal law prohibits bookmakers from flouting that law simply because they are located outside the country,” Rosenstein said in a statement. “Many of the harms that underlie gambling prohibitions are exacerbated when the enterprises operate over the Internet without regulation.”

quote:
That is a truly scary quote but we'll emphasize that: "The indictment focuses on the movement of funds outside the U.S." and that you can't just "flout US law" by not being in the US. What also needs to be understood is that the domain bodog.com was registered to via a non-US Registrar, namely Vancouver's domainclip.
quote:
But at the end of the day what has happened is that US law (in fact, Maryland state law) as been imposed on a .com domain operating outside the USA, which is the subtext we were very worried about when we commented on SOPA. Even though SOPA is currently in limbo, the reality that US law can now be asserted over all domains registered under .com, .net, org, .biz and maybe .info (Afilias is headquartered in Ireland by operates out of the US).

This is no longer a doom-and-gloom theory by some guy in a tin foil hat. It just happened.

The ramifications of this are no less than chilling and every single organization branded or operating under .com, .net, .org, .biz etc needs to ask themselves about their vulnerability to the whims of US federal and state lawmakers (not exactly known their cluefulness nor even-handedness, especially with regard to matters of the internet).


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