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(The American Conservative)   Arguments for sanity in copyright... from the GOP? It's apparently more likely than you thought   (theamericanconservative.com) divider line 79
    More: Cool, GOP, statutory damages, Republican Study Committee, eminent domain, energy subsidies  
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1400 clicks; posted to Politics » on 17 Nov 2012 at 11:45 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-11-17 06:52:30 AM
If this were ever to make it to the bill stage, it would almost certainly be filled with clauses that allowed the big companies to keep an almost perpetual copyright while individuals who own a property would lose it after 14 years.

No politician is going to quit suckling on the RIAA/MPAA teat voluntarily.
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2012-11-17 08:53:10 AM
A Republican Study Committee policy brief released today to members of the House Conservative Caucus and various think tanks lays out "three myths about copyright law" and some ways to go about correcting what many see as a broken system.

A Republican Study Committee policy brief warns the entertainment and publishing industries that they had better up their campaign contributions because there's a backlash against them.

Reform is not coming.
 
2012-11-17 11:42:49 AM
Random question: why hasn't Girl Talk ever been sued for copyright infringement? He seems like an easy target.
 
2012-11-17 11:48:06 AM
That's a really good campaign platform to lie about!

#1: Promise something you have no way of delivering.
#2: Fail to deliver your promise.
#3: Blame your failure on your opponent stonewalling.
#4: Get re-elected.
 
2012-11-17 11:50:12 AM
Not necessarily surprising, Democrats have more connections to the entertainment industry than Republicans do. And current copyright/patent laws stifle competition.
 
2012-11-17 11:53:32 AM

fluffy2097: That's a really good campaign platform to lie about!

#1: Promise something you have no way of delivering.
#2: Fail to deliver your promise.
#3: Blame your failure on your opponent stonewalling.
#4: Get re-elected.


It's been two weeks, c'mon.
 
2012-11-17 11:58:12 AM
From the date of copyright approval, the creator has 1 year of exclusive use for absolutely zero dollars. Renewal for the second year costs one penny and doubles every subsequent year. When the cost of renewal exceeds the expected revenue, the fee is simply not paid and the copyright becomes public domain. No matter who owns it (an author selling an idea in year 5 still means that the clock is running), the same rules apply.

Ideally, it'd be retroactive so when certain mouse-based characters owned by certain media companies come up, the cost would be 2^96th power dollars for one more year. (But, that last part is just a pipe dream from a liberal)

The result is simplified copyright law, easier (and predictable) cost structure to add certainty to the marketplace, and ends up being extremely pro-business on the front end since the first few years, renewal is literally pennies. Then, around year 30, things start getting REALLY expensive REALLY fast.
 
2012-11-17 11:59:34 AM

Bashar and Asma's Infinite Playlist: Random question: why hasn't Girl Talk ever been sued for copyright infringement? He seems like an easy target.


Indeed
 
2012-11-17 12:01:02 PM
Here's the problem: Mickey Mouse. You want to make a series of Mickey Mouse cartoons, and sell them, right? Well, there's obviously value in the intellectual property. You want to use some one else's property to make money. Why don't you just break into their house, and sell their TV at a pawn shop?

The anti-IP trolls are the most bizarre internet group I've seen, aside from the Aviator Goggle wearing Modern Monetary Theorists.
 
2012-11-17 12:05:03 PM

Bashar and Asma's Infinite Playlist: Random question: why hasn't Girl Talk ever been sued for copyright infringement? He seems like an easy target.


IANAL...

My best guess is that IP companies aren't sure they'll win, and don't want to open that can of worms when they can sue more blatant (to them) examples of infringement. If Girl Talk was sued and went for a fair use defense, there are four factors:

1. the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes (I think he uses a 'pay what you want' model, but it's still for profit so probably a strike against him)
2. the nature of the copyrighted work (Very broadly this means fiction gets more protection than facts, so you can't copyright 2+2=4, but you can copyright a painting. Another strike against GT since most songs are art/fictional.)
3. the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole (he uses snippets, this one would likely be on his side)
4. The effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work (Probably a point for GT. Someone buying his album as a substitute for the entire song is unlikely).

So yeah, my best guess is that if he went with a fair use defense, it might come down to a coin toss, and the IP companies don't want to lose the case and set a precedent. But that's just a guess.

If you want a better explanation and demonstration of copyright and fair use through Disney movie snippets, check the Link
 
2012-11-17 12:05:31 PM
Do it. Please, for the love of the Public Domain, do it. I will farking vote for Republicans if you do.
 
2012-11-17 12:19:42 PM
fluffy2097:

1) live in a fantasy world
2) real world rejects you, elects the other party's guy
3) butthurt
4) continued fantasy
 
2012-11-17 12:21:01 PM

Hunter_Worthington: You want to use some one else's property to make money. Why don't you just break into their house, and sell their TV at a pawn shop?


The ignorance and confusion in that is darling. IP is not physical property.
 
2012-11-17 12:22:52 PM

Tyrone Slothrop: Not necessarily surprising, Democrats have more connections to the entertainment industry than Republicans do. And current copyright/patent laws stifle competition.


How does Mickey Mouse stifle my ability to draw Mickey Rat?
 
2012-11-17 12:28:54 PM

AcneVulgaris: Tyrone Slothrop: Not necessarily surprising, Democrats have more connections to the entertainment industry than Republicans do. And current copyright/patent laws stifle competition.

How does Mickey Mouse stifle my ability to draw Mickey Rat?


It's more along the lines of the patent that requires you to pay Sega for wanting to use floating arrows to point out a quest end in a video game. If you have to spend time worrying about whether your character's ears are too similar to another's or is someone has patented certain uses of the type of screws you intend to use, innovation is being stifled.
 
2012-11-17 12:29:13 PM
FTFA: It's often said that the Republican Party as an institution is generally more pro-business than pro-market,

img1.fark.net

/Cue the Derp Brigade, who DNRTFA, telling us how pro-business and pro-market are the same thing.
 
2012-11-17 12:31:48 PM
strictly a wingnut plot to drive a wedge between two liberal heavyweights, hollywood and silicon valley, don't fall for it
 
2012-11-17 12:32:49 PM
Copyright law regarding sound recordings no doubt stifles creativity and needs to be modified to catch up with society and culture, but copyright protection for songwriters and recording artists should not be completely abolished.

I mean, if incentives are taken away from the content creators, what the fark will the samplers / leeches / piggybackers have to work with?
 
2012-11-17 12:34:09 PM

Snarcoleptic_Hoosier: From the date of copyright approval, the creator has 1 year of exclusive use for absolutely zero dollars. Renewal for the second year costs one penny and doubles every subsequent year. When the cost of renewal exceeds the expected revenue, the fee is simply not paid and the copyright becomes public domain. No matter who owns it (an author selling an idea in year 5 still means that the clock is running), the same rules apply.

Ideally, it'd be retroactive so when certain mouse-based characters owned by certain media companies come up, the cost would be 2^96th power dollars for one more year. (But, that last part is just a pipe dream from a liberal)

The result is simplified copyright law, easier (and predictable) cost structure to add certainty to the marketplace, and ends up being extremely pro-business on the front end since the first few years, renewal is literally pennies. Then, around year 30, things start getting REALLY expensive REALLY fast.


Excellent idea. Therefore, it will never happen.
 
2012-11-17 12:34:53 PM

Hunter_Worthington: Here's the problem: Mickey Mouse. You want to make a series of Mickey Mouse cartoons, and sell them, right? Well, there's obviously value in the intellectual property. You want to use some one else's property to make money. Why don't you just break into their house, and sell their TV at a pawn shop?

The anti-IP trolls are the most bizarre internet group I've seen, aside from the Aviator Goggle wearing Modern Monetary Theorists.


Here's the real problem:
The artists and creative talent are so horribly bad at creating new IP that they're relying on something 85 years old.

fark 'em. Make 'em work for a change.
 
2012-11-17 12:40:45 PM

AcneVulgaris: Tyrone Slothrop: Not necessarily surprising, Democrats have more connections to the entertainment industry than Republicans do. And current copyright/patent laws stifle competition.

How does Mickey Mouse stifle my ability to draw Mickey Rat?


Because Disney will sue you due to Mickey Rat being too similar to Mickey Mouse.
 
2012-11-17 12:44:25 PM

Tyrone Slothrop: Not necessarily surprising, Democrats have more connections to the entertainment industry than Republicans do. And current copyright/patent laws stifle competition.


Which is, of course, precisely the point. Copyright and patent are supposed to stifle competition - for a limited time. The Framers were strongly opposed to monopolies of any kind (it was one of the very few things they generally agreed upon), but they considered a limited monopoly in inventions and in works of authorship to be a necessary evil. The problems with copyright, as I see it, are outlandishly long terms, a lack of incentive to keep protected works in print, and a lack of clarity in the law of fair use.
 
2012-11-17 12:56:28 PM

HeartBurnKid: AcneVulgaris: Tyrone Slothrop: Not necessarily surprising, Democrats have more connections to the entertainment industry than Republicans do. And current copyright/patent laws stifle competition.

How does Mickey Mouse stifle my ability to draw Mickey Rat?

Because Disney will sue you due to Mickey Rat being too similar to Mickey Mouse.


They must have sued this guy into oblivion:

https://www.google.com/search?q=mickey+rat&hl=en&tbo=u&tbm=isch&sourc e =univ&sa=X&ei=oM-nUPy5FYzriwKUnIHoAg&ved=0CDEQsAQ&biw=1097&bih=616
 
2012-11-17 12:58:24 PM

Kumana Wanalaia: fluffy2097:

1) live in a fantasy world
2) real world rejects you, elects the other party's guy
3) butthurt
4) continued fantasy


CygnusDarius: It's been two weeks, c'mon.


Are you guys high? lol

How can you possibly construe my statement as being pro GOP, since it's clearly making fun of the GOP members proposing this.

/whatever you're smoking, I want some
//By the way, this tactic is used by all the political parties.
 
2012-11-17 01:05:02 PM

BMulligan: Which is, of course, precisely the point. Copyright and patent are supposed to stifle competition - for a limited time.


Couldn't be more wrong, first sentence of the Copyright Law:

"The 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."
 
2012-11-17 01:17:45 PM

fluffy2097: Kumana Wanalaia: fluffy2097:

1) live in a fantasy world
2) real world rejects you, elects the other party's guy
3) butthurt
4) continued fantasy

CygnusDarius: It's been two weeks, c'mon.

Are you guys high? lol

How can you possibly construe my statement as being pro GOP, since it's clearly making fun of the GOP members proposing this.

/whatever you're smoking, I want some
//By the way, this tactic is used by all the political parties.


yeah, i kinda failed to see any derp in your argument, so.... i guess i am going to give you an 11/10... two people feel they were trolled by your post without you posting anything remotely on one side or the other
 
2012-11-17 01:25:58 PM

neenerist: BMulligan: Which is, of course, precisely the point. Copyright and patent are supposed to stifle competition - for a limited time.

Couldn't be more wrong, first sentence of the Copyright Law:

"The 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."


*facepalm* That says that we, the people, by means of our government are agreeing to stifle competition in narrowly proscribed areas in order to promote the progress of the arts and sciences. English, Mother-farker, do you speak it?
 
2012-11-17 01:27:24 PM

deaccessioned: Bashar and Asma's Infinite Playlist: Random question: why hasn't Girl Talk ever been sued for copyright infringement? He seems like an easy target.

IANAL...

My best guess is that IP companies aren't sure they'll win, and don't want to open that can of worms when they can sue more blatant (to them) examples of infringement. If Girl Talk was sued and went for a fair use defense, there are four factors:

1. the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes (I think he uses a 'pay what you want' model, but it's still for profit so probably a strike against him)
2. the nature of the copyrighted work (Very broadly this means fiction gets more protection than facts, so you can't copyright 2+2=4, but you can copyright a painting. Another strike against GT since most songs are art/fictional.)
3. the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole (he uses snippets, this one would likely be on his side)
4. The effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work (Probably a point for GT. Someone buying his album as a substitute for the entire song is unlikely).

So yeah, my best guess is that if he went with a fair use defense, it might come down to a coin toss, and the IP companies don't want to lose the case and set a precedent. But that's just a guess.

If you want a better explanation and demonstration of copyright and fair use through Disney movie snippets, check the Link


IAAL, and that's a nice analysis. It really is a toss-up, and as you point out, they wouldn't want to take the gamble. That said, there's some precedent regarding number 3 that would actually tilt away from being in his favor, since while he's using snippets, that factor is generally used in connection with number 1 - using short snippets for the purpose of review, criticism, or commentary... There have been a few cases over sampling in derivative works that find liability, even though they're just using a drum loop or a short bit (although it was Australia, see the recent Men at Work case over the flute bit in Land Down Under... their copyright laws are similar to ours).
 
2012-11-17 01:28:49 PM
This is beyond stupid. The writers pretend not to understand that the fundamental purpose of copyright is to protect the expression of ideas, not the ideas themselves.

Their real beef is that rather than spend the time and money to create new content (books, movies, etc), they want to be able to profit from the work of other people. So in other words, they cannot be bothered to put in the effort to come up with a movie as popular as Star Wars -- they just want to be allowed to take the characters from Star Wars and profit from them in their own commercial vehicles. Case and point is this quote:

Critics of current law point out that the terms of copyright continue to be extended perpetually, ensuring that works never actually enter the public domain - particularly Walt Disney's production of Steamboat Willey, the first Mickey Mouse film.

Let's keep going.

Copyright violates nearly every tenet of laissez faire capitalism. Under the current system of copyright, producers of content are entitled to a guaranteed, government instituted, government subsidized content-monopoly.

So creators have no right to profit from their works? What incentive would anyone have to write a book if a third party could copy the text and sell it? Without copyright protection, this would give huge corporations enormous power -- they could come in, reproduce works and sell them at a price undercutting the small guy.

DJ's in the United States are mainly live performers, as there are heavy restrictions on what they are allowed to release and sell as mix-tapes. There are convoluted rules are on what parts of songs that they can sample, often requiring input from lawyers to avoid massive fines or lawsuits. As a result, in the United States there are great live performer DJ's, but selling most "real" mix-tapes by small level DJ's is illegal and disincentivized. This stifles most forms of mash-ups or selling of remixed songs by
independent artists.


One of the central tenants of copyright is that the copyright holder has control over derivative uses of the work. By allowing anyone to make a mash-up of your copyrighted music, you're depriving the copyright holder the ability to profit from doing this themselves.

Scientific papers from the early portion of the 20th century are still under copyright. . . This is illogical, as the purpose of most scientific papers is to further intellectual inquiry, and the goal of most authors of scientific papers is to advance their field and to be cited in other publications. Many professors are assessed upon the number of citations for their major works. For these reasons, keeping their work in what are effectively locked vaults defeats the purpose of much of their work.

ZOMG. For like a century the fair use laws have been very clear that you can cite whatever you want from a copyrighted source. This is a disingenuous argument to say that if something is out of print it is therefor fair game to reproduce by anyone.

While the current paradigm may work great for content producers, it doesn't work great for the creation of other industries. There is enormous potential for other addedvalue industries on top of existing media. For example, in a world where movies, television shows and books that were 30+ years old were available in the public domain, you would likely see new industries crop up to offer a new experience on top of this media.

Double ZOMG. Again, copyright law purposely reserves derivative rights for the copyright holder so that they can be the ones who profit from doing things like this. This is basically big businesses complaining that it's unfair that they cannot make a dime from Star Wars without having to pay a royalty to Disney.

Imagine if there were a memo published by a well-known DC think-tank during World War 2 and this memo was on the topic of endorsing Nazism and Adolph Hitler. Likely if it were published in the 1940's, few memos would still be around, and it would likely fade into history never to be remembered. But if an enterprising reporter or political organization were to find a copy of these memos they would still likely be protected by copyright. If that reporter or political organization put the
memo on their website as proof of the think-tank endorsing Nazism and Hitler, then they are liable for significant damages for copyright violation. The think-tank is likely to sue them or threaten to do so to avoid the memo going public in the first place.


This is a flat out lie. The Courts has dealt with this issue many times. You can report what the memo says, you just cannot reproduce it or too heavily quote from it.

Again, copyright protects the expression of ideas, not the ideas. In this case, the expression of ideas is the text of the memo. But that doesn't stop you from writing about what the content of the memo is and a limited amount of quoting from it.

Right now, it's somewhat arbitrary as to what is legally fair use based upon judicially created categories. One example: parodies are considered protected by fair use but satire is not. There's an excellent book (and a shorter paper) called Infringement Nation that details how things you do every single day are infringing and leave every single person liable for billions in damages each year.

This is another flat out lie and distortion of the complexity of fair use.

Fair use is really complicated -- Courts have no choice but to handle it on a case by case basis. But the 1976 act lays out very clear guidelines, such as that it's fair use when you're doing something transformative with the original work (e.g. a parody), that you're not supplanting the original, and not doing something that is clearly a derivative use (e.g. writing a sequel to someone else's novel).

Further, the Courts have consistently been pretty liberal on the latitude granted for fair use (maybe most famously Sony Corp. of America v. Universal City Studios or Suntrust v. Houghton Mifflin).

And while it is correct that the 1976 Act does not mention satire, the courts have set clear standards for what is satire. 

By and large the Courts have really done a good job with Copyright. In particular, some of Sandra Day O'Connor's opinions on this matter are really brilliant, such as Feist v. Rural where she eloquently laid out why it was legal to copy the content of a phone book (you cannot copy right facts, just the expression of facts).
 
2012-11-17 01:30:05 PM

neenerist: BMulligan: Which is, of course, precisely the point. Copyright and patent are supposed to stifle competition - for a limited time.

Couldn't be more wrong, first sentence of the Copyright Law:

"The 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."


"Exclusive right" = "right to exclude others" = "stifle competition"
 
2012-11-17 01:36:34 PM

BMulligan: Which is, of course, precisely the point. Copyright and patent are supposed to stifle competition - for a limited time.


Copyright and patents are completely different.

Copyright deals with the expression of ideas, not the ideas themselves. Specifically, copyright protects creativity. The law does not allow for the monopoly of ideas.

A classic example is the telephone book. If you wanted, you could copy all of the phone numbers out of the white pages, create your own white pages, and sell it. The white pages cannot monopolize those phone numbers even if they spent a ton of money researching them. All they could copyright is how they express those phone numbers, such as if they had a unique way of listing them, like ordering the numbers in ascending order of the number letters in someone's name. If the white pages did that, you couldn't reprint the numbers ordered in the same fashion (but you could reprint the numbers any other way you wanted).
 
2012-11-17 01:50:28 PM

thornhill: BMulligan: Which is, of course, precisely the point. Copyright and patent are supposed to stifle competition - for a limited time.

Copyright and patents are completely different.

Copyright deals with the expression of ideas, not the ideas themselves. Specifically, copyright protects creativity. The law does not allow for the monopoly of ideas.

A classic example is the telephone book. If you wanted, you could copy all of the phone numbers out of the white pages, create your own white pages, and sell it. The white pages cannot monopolize those phone numbers even if they spent a ton of money researching them. All they could copyright is how they express those phone numbers, such as if they had a unique way of listing them, like ordering the numbers in ascending order of the number letters in someone's name. If the white pages did that, you couldn't reprint the numbers ordered in the same fashion (but you could reprint the numbers any other way you wanted).


Having litigated a number of copyright cases over the past couple of decades, I'm well aware of the idea-expression dichotomy and the impact of Feist (the Yellow Pages decision) and its progeny. I'm not sure how they relate to your contention that copyright and patent are so very different, however. Patent doesn't protect ideas, either - it only protects ideas reduced to practice.
 
2012-11-17 02:15:00 PM

Theaetetus: IAAL, and that's a nice analysis. It really is a toss-up, and as you point out, they wouldn't want to take the gamble. That said, there's some precedent regarding number 3 that would actually tilt away from being in his favor, since while he's using snippets, that factor is generally used in connection with number 1 - using short snippets for the purpose of review, criticism, or commentary... There have been a few cases over sampling in derivative works that find liability, even though they're just using a drum loop or a short bit (although it was Australia, see the recent Men at Work case over the flute bit in Land Down Under... their copyright laws are similar to ours).


Thanks, always nice to hear from an actual law talking person on these things.

And I can see their point, I guess. Short snippets for purely commercial work probably shouldn't have the same level of protection as say a quote in a scholarly article (for education, little or no profit motive). Although I think that's still the worst aspect of fair use, in order to be absolutely certain you need to do something and get hauled in to court.

/Just like to add that I googled Men at Work flute bit in Land Down Under and there was not a single porn result on the first page
//So I got that going for me.
///NTTAWWT
 
2012-11-17 02:21:27 PM

BMulligan: thornhill: BMulligan: Which is, of course, precisely the point. Copyright and patent are supposed to stifle competition - for a limited time.

Copyright and patents are completely different.

Copyright deals with the expression of ideas, not the ideas themselves. Specifically, copyright protects creativity. The law does not allow for the monopoly of ideas.

A classic example is the telephone book. If you wanted, you could copy all of the phone numbers out of the white pages, create your own white pages, and sell it. The white pages cannot monopolize those phone numbers even if they spent a ton of money researching them. All they could copyright is how they express those phone numbers, such as if they had a unique way of listing them, like ordering the numbers in ascending order of the number letters in someone's name. If the white pages did that, you couldn't reprint the numbers ordered in the same fashion (but you could reprint the numbers any other way you wanted).

Having litigated a number of copyright cases over the past couple of decades, I'm well aware of the idea-expression dichotomy and the impact of Feist (the Yellow Pages decision) and its progeny. I'm not sure how they relate to your contention that copyright and patent are so very different, however. Patent doesn't protect ideas, either - it only protects ideas reduced to practice.


Patents specifically provide a monopoly. Copyright protection is much more nuanced, limited to expression. The law and the Courts have been extremely careful about minimizing the extent to which the law provides any kind of monopolies, such as allowing parodies and satires.

As I said in my long post, what much of this "policy" paper comes down to is complaining that business cannot use the Mickey Mouse character without having to pay Disney money. I don't see how granting Disney a monopoly on the use of the Mickey Mouse character harms anyone or anything -- or rather, causes more harm than depriving Disney of the right to profit from its original creation.
 
2012-11-17 02:31:51 PM

thornhill: As I said in my long post, what much of this "policy" paper comes down to is complaining that business cannot use the Mickey Mouse character without having to pay Disney money. I don't see how granting Disney a monopoly on the use of the Mickey Mouse character harms anyone or anything -- or rather, causes more harm than depriving Disney of the right to profit from its original creation.


It is harmful because this is our cultural heritage being handcuffed to a single narrator forever. Walt Disney has made some great stories with the mouse, but look at all the cool things Lucas allowed to happen with fans making films, tributes, parodies, etc. of his Star Wars universe by not being a jerk over his copyrights. By only allowing Disney to tell these stories with these characters we are deprived of the other stories told from different points of view and in different styles.

Should they have the right to profit from their creation and have copyright protection for awhile, sure. Should it be forever? Hells nah. After awhile those stories become part of the cultural heritage, and don't belong to any one person (or giant immortal corporation) any more.
 
2012-11-17 02:35:50 PM

deaccessioned: And I can see their point, I guess. Short snippets for purely commercial work probably shouldn't have the same level of protection as say a quote in a scholarly article (for education, little or no profit motive). Although I think that's still the worst aspect of fair use, in order to be absolutely certain you need to do something and get hauled in to court.


The bottom line is that fair use is really complicated. The law is constantly being updated and rethought by the courts because new situations arise due to technological innovation and simply new ideas. But the basic standards are pretty clear: you're not doing something that would deprive the copyright holder of obvious economic opportunity on their copyright.
 
2012-11-17 02:46:31 PM

actualhuman: English, Mother-farker, do you speak it?


Copyright restricts distribution to PROMOTE competition. Competitors are forced to create, to become more competitive, by being barred from stealing and distributing another's work. That's why you can be prosecuted for using torrents, uploading is distributing.
The trick you miss is understanding what words mean.
 
2012-11-17 02:51:31 PM

deaccessioned: thornhill: As I said in my long post, what much of this "policy" paper comes down to is complaining that business cannot use the Mickey Mouse character without having to pay Disney money. I don't see how granting Disney a monopoly on the use of the Mickey Mouse character harms anyone or anything -- or rather, causes more harm than depriving Disney of the right to profit from its original creation.

It is harmful because this is our cultural heritage being handcuffed to a single narrator forever. Walt Disney has made some great stories with the mouse, but look at all the cool things Lucas allowed to happen with fans making films, tributes, parodies, etc. of his Star Wars universe by not being a jerk over his copyrights. By only allowing Disney to tell these stories with these characters we are deprived of the other stories told from different points of view and in different styles.

Should they have the right to profit from their creation and have copyright protection for awhile, sure. Should it be forever? Hells nah. After awhile those stories become part of the cultural heritage, and don't belong to any one person (or giant immortal corporation) any more.


1) The length is not forever. It's so that the creator can economically benefit from their creation for their whole life, and so that their immediate heirs can benefit from it too.

2) Just as easily as cool things could be done with Star Wars, so could bad things that could harm the value of the copyright. What if someone makes a really infamous Star Wars porno, and then when people think of Star Wars, they think of a three-way with Chewie and an Ewok (there have been lots of copyright lawsuits over pornos that try to do things like this). George Lucas should have the right during his lifetime to decide if he wants Star Wars themed pornos being made.

3) But your underlying argument of wanting to use someone else's characters is just laziness. If you want to write fantasy/science fiction stories but cannot be bothered to develop your own characters, you're a charlatan looking to cash in on someone else's creativity. And that's what this is all about. Business don't want to spend the time and money to develop original ideas -- they want to make a quick buck off someone else's hard work.
 
2012-11-17 03:10:52 PM

thornhill: 1) The length is not forever. It's so that the creator can economically benefit from their creation for their whole life, and so that their immediate heirs can benefit from it too.

2) Just as easily as cool things could be done with Star Wars, so could bad things that could harm the value of the copyright. What if someone makes a really infamous Star Wars porno, and then when people think of Star Wars, they think of a three-way with Chewie and an Ewok (there have been lots of copyright lawsuits over pornos that try to do things like this). George Lucas should have the right during his lifetime to decide if he wants Star Wars themed pornos being made.

3) But your underlying argument of wanting to use someone else's characters is just laziness. If you want to write fantasy/science fiction stories but cannot be bothered to develop your own characters, you're a charlatan looking to cash in on someone else's creativity. And that's what this is all about. Business don't want to spend the time and money to develop original ideas -- they want to make a quick buck off someone else's hard work.


1. The length is forever on the installment plan, if Disney and other IP owners get their way.
2. Been done several times, and poor George could only sell it for 4 billion. Poor guy... Further, Walt Disney is dead (frozen technically, but legally dead), so does that mean the material he created should be public domain?
3. Yet holding on to characters for 85 years, long after the original creator is dead is just the height of innovation? Nonsense. By the way, the song Happy Birthday is still in copyright, so if you have ever sang it instead of making up your own lyrics you are a lazy charlatan looking to cash in on someone else's creativity. Wanting to tell stories with characters that are part of the public consciousness isn't laziness, it's an acknowledgement that we as a culture share certain stories and those stories can and should be built on by the public.

Do you think copyright should ever expire, or should the descendants of King James be slapping a lawsuit on anyone who makes a movie based on the Bible?
 
2012-11-17 03:15:49 PM

Snarcoleptic_Hoosier: From the date of copyright approval, the creator has 1 year of exclusive use for absolutely zero dollars. Renewal for the second year costs one penny and doubles every subsequent year. When the cost of renewal exceeds the expected revenue, the fee is simply not paid and the copyright becomes public domain. No matter who owns it (an author selling an idea in year 5 still means that the clock is running), the same rules apply.


This is a great idea. Most people would stop paying it after about 20 years or so, as that's when the copyright exceeds a few thousand dollars per year and the exponential multiplier gets excessive....assuming they haven't made billions of dollars from it at that point. And even if they have made billions of dollars, no one would reasonably extend the copyright past 30 years as that's when it gets passed a million dollars. Or 40 years, as that's when it passes a billion dollars.

It's simple, effective, and penalizes generational copyrights.
 
2012-11-17 03:18:18 PM

neenerist: actualhuman: English, Mother-farker, do you speak it?

Copyright restricts distribution to PROMOTE competition. Competitors are forced to create, to become more competitive, by being barred from stealing and distributing another's work. That's why you can be prosecuted for using torrents, uploading is distributing.
The trick you miss is understanding what words mean.


Competition results from having multiple sellers of the same good. If you have a copyright you have a legal monopoly on that good. That is the polar opposite of competition, our local law talkin guy already pointed this out before I did. This can not possibly be made any simpler for you.
 
2012-11-17 03:25:29 PM

thornhill: One of the central tenants of copyright is that the copyright holder has control over derivative uses of the work. By allowing anyone to make a mash-up of your copyrighted music, you're depriving the copyright holder the ability to profit from doing this themselves.


Someone better shut down fanfiction.net then.

Not just for legal reasons, but also moral.
 
2012-11-17 03:31:12 PM

Ishkur: Someone better shut down fanfiction.net then.

Not just for legal reasons, but also moral.


They better not do it before I write my Twilight fanfic based on 50 Shades of Grey!
 
2012-11-17 03:46:29 PM

deaccessioned: thornhill: 1) The length is not forever. It's so that the creator can economically benefit from their creation for their whole life, and so that their immediate heirs can benefit from it too.

2) Just as easily as cool things could be done with Star Wars, so could bad things that could harm the value of the copyright. What if someone makes a really infamous Star Wars porno, and then when people think of Star Wars, they think of a three-way with Chewie and an Ewok (there have been lots of copyright lawsuits over pornos that try to do things like this). George Lucas should have the right during his lifetime to decide if he wants Star Wars themed pornos being made.

3) But your underlying argument of wanting to use someone else's characters is just laziness. If you want to write fantasy/science fiction stories but cannot be bothered to develop your own characters, you're a charlatan looking to cash in on someone else's creativity. And that's what this is all about. Business don't want to spend the time and money to develop original ideas -- they want to make a quick buck off someone else's hard work.

1. The length is forever on the installment plan, if Disney and other IP owners get their way.
2. Been done several times, and poor George could only sell it for 4 billion. Poor guy... Further, Walt Disney is dead (frozen technically, but legally dead), so does that mean the material he created should be public domain?
3. Yet holding on to characters for 85 years, long after the original creator is dead is just the height of innovation? Nonsense. By the way, the song Happy Birthday is still in copyright, so if you have ever sang it instead of making up your own lyrics you are a lazy charlatan looking to cash in on someone else's creativity. Wanting to tell stories with characters that are part of the public consciousness isn't laziness, it's an acknowledgement that we as a culture share certain stories and those stories can and should be built on by the public.

D ...


1) You're talking about what people want. FACT: Currently copyright is not forever. Stop saying it is forever. It's not. That's just a lie.

2) Why shouldn't Disney's heirs get to profit from the copyright? We allow other forms of property to pass from generation to generation.

3) Your Happy Birthday analogy makes no sense. Singing it for private use falls into fair use. The copyright law prevents you from trying to make money from the song, such as recording your own rendition and selling it.

Wanting to tell stories with characters that are part of the public consciousness isn't laziness, it's an acknowledgement that we as a culture share certain stories and those stories can and should be built on by the public.

But what if the story isn't part of the public consciousness? You're arguing that for works of popularity, specifically because of its popularity, the public has a right to use its content anyway they want. By your logic, we shouldn't allow paintings by famous artists to be in private collection because that's depriving the public from seeing them.

And this is about laziness. A real world example: Several years ago Frederik Colting published a sequel to Catcher in the Rye, which by all accounts, was a huge pile of crap that was nothing more than a cynical attempt to cash in on the public demand for new material from J.D. Salinger. The whole thing is nothing more than a remake of the original, except Caulfield is 76 years old in it.

But I'm sure you believe that because J.D. Salinger sat on his rights for Catcher here therefore forfeits them.
 
2012-11-17 03:48:52 PM

Ishkur: thornhill: One of the central tenants of copyright is that the copyright holder has control over derivative uses of the work. By allowing anyone to make a mash-up of your copyrighted music, you're depriving the copyright holder the ability to profit from doing this themselves.

Someone better shut down fanfiction.net then.

Not just for legal reasons, but also moral.


Actually, in other countries the artist's moral rights to their work is a component of the law (American copyright is all about economic rights).
 
2012-11-17 03:49:39 PM

Ishkur: Snarcoleptic_Hoosier: From the date of copyright approval, the creator has 1 year of exclusive use for absolutely zero dollars. Renewal for the second year costs one penny and doubles every subsequent year. When the cost of renewal exceeds the expected revenue, the fee is simply not paid and the copyright becomes public domain. No matter who owns it (an author selling an idea in year 5 still means that the clock is running), the same rules apply.

This is a great idea. Most people would stop paying it after about 20 years or so, as that's when the copyright exceeds a few thousand dollars per year and the exponential multiplier gets excessive....assuming they haven't made billions of dollars from it at that point. And even if they have made billions of dollars, no one would reasonably extend the copyright past 30 years as that's when it gets passed a million dollars. Or 40 years, as that's when it passes a billion dollars.

It's simple, effective, and penalizes generational copyrights.


Thank you. Based on that math, a good chunk of "oldies" would be public domain, except for a few highly profitable exceptions (Like "Satisfaction" by the Rolling Stones), and that benefit to the next generation of songwriters is paid forward over time. And, in the case of one-hit wonders, the idea would increase turnover in the music field as the acts that bombed don't hang around trying to recapture a single good song.

Warner Brothers would lose Bugs Bunny, Disney would lose Mickey Mouse, and Viacom would be within a generation of losing the Simpsons. All of those works have made money and it's time to pay it back to the society that made things happen.
 
2012-11-17 03:51:13 PM

thornhill: 2) Why shouldn't Disney's heirs get to profit from the copyright? We allow other forms of property to pass from generation to generation.... You're arguing that for works of popularity, specifically because of its popularity, the public has a right to use its content anyway they want.


Yeah! The descendents of Shakespeare should be sitting on a mountain of Hollywood dough by now, right beside their personal slave Kenneth Branagh in a muzzled leash.
 
2012-11-17 03:59:41 PM

actualhuman: Competition results from having multiple sellers of the same good.


The company selling the best Ford Probe wins?
 
2012-11-17 04:01:28 PM

Ishkur: thornhill: 2) Why shouldn't Disney's heirs get to profit from the copyright? We allow other forms of property to pass from generation to generation.... You're arguing that for works of popularity, specifically because of its popularity, the public has a right to use its content anyway they want.

Yeah! The descendents of Shakespeare should be sitting on a mountain of Hollywood dough by now, right beside their personal slave Kenneth Branagh in a muzzled leash.


As much as you say it, it doesn't change the fact that copyright terms are not unlimited.
 
2012-11-17 04:12:11 PM
This whole discussion thread reminds me of something Harry Shearer said once in an interview about doing voices on the Simpsons. The interviewer asked him if he worries about other people being able to do those voices and potentially undercutting him (I'm not sure why, or what the context was anymore), but Shearer's answer was great; something along the lines of 'I like to think that there's something about me that I bring to the table that other people can't match. Sure other people can do the voice, but they aren't me, they don't have what I have.'

In other words, he's good enough at what he does to not worry about someone coming in and stealing his work, and he's right. Sure without copyright protection there could be a hundred other studios that start making the Simpsons and do a damn good job of emulating it, but like cheap knock off Northface clothes, they'll never be as good as the original, and if they are, good for them then there's a whole bunch of awesome Simpsons stuff and the brand as a whole is enhanced.

The point is, people don't necessarily need to worry as much as they do about protecting their intellectual property. There's a legitimate argument that creators need protection when they're starting out, but once they've had the time to establish themselves, I say kill or be killed and let the best stuff rise to the top. All extended copyright terms do is protect mediocrity.
 
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