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Lessig's "In Defense of Piracy"

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the landlubbers-just-don't-understand dept.

Censorship 218

chromakey writes "The Wall Street Journal is running an essay from Lawrence Lessig about the fair use of copyrighted material on the Internet. He makes the case that companies who go to extreme lengths to squash minor videos, such as Universal, are stifling creativity in the modern era. Lessig makes specific reference to a YouTube video that was hit by a DMCA takedown notice, in which a 13-month-old child is dancing to a nearly inaudible soundtrack of Prince's 'Let's Go Crazy.' Lawrence Lessig is a board member for the Electronic Frontier Foundation."

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Should be happy. (4, Funny)

Gerafix (1028986) | more than 5 years ago | (#25340243)

They should be happy they weren't charged for child pornography because of the dancing child. Somebody didn't think of the children?

My piracy experiment on Slashdot (-1, Troll)

bonch (38532) | more than 5 years ago | (#25341091)

According to Slashdot and its readership, my experimental submission of another person's Spider-man 2 review to Slashdot [slashdot.org] a few years ago shouldn't have been removed, because I was merely distributing creativity and sharing a cultural expression that had been released into the fuzzy wild. I didn't even take credit for it. I just reposted what was there to see what Slashdot would do in light of their constant pro-piracy articles. The text was removed.

Also, there's clearly no such thing as "stolen GPL code." Attempts to enforce a GPL license are extreme attempts to squash free information that deserves to spread to the rest of the culture. There's no such thing as a GPL because there shouldn't be copyright in the first place. Right?

Here's hoping for an interesting conversation here and not some reactive modbombing...

Re:My piracy experiment on Slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25341177)

It doesn't matter whether /.ers think you should be able to post a review written by someone else if you don't take credit for it, it matters what the laws are. /. probably got a DMCA notice, and its pretty obvious that if they were taken to court they'd lose. As for the GPL, the GPL wouldn't be necessary if we didn't have copyright, but right now it is necessary to ensure that people give other people the same rights to the code that they had. The only thing the GPL prevents is people taking some code that is free, and giving it away as non-free.

Re:Should be happy. (5, Funny)

Ortega-Starfire (930563) | more than 5 years ago | (#25341133)

Stop thinking about the children, you pedophile!

What's particularly interesting... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25340259)

Is that this was written by Thomas Jefferson, and Lessig just republished it under his name. Yes, Thomas Jefferson knew about YouTube 200 years before it was invented.

Re:What's particularly interesting... (1)

game kid (805301) | more than 5 years ago | (#25340367)

He must have limited his viewing to sexy stripteases and Colbert. Tay Zonday would've scarr'd him so much we would've stayed colonies.

Re:What's particularly interesting... (0, Offtopic)

91degrees (207121) | more than 5 years ago | (#25340595)

It's true. He even made a video recording of a speech on the matter (and other topics, most prominantly fidelity) and left instructions that it should be posted to youtube when it comes into existence. You can watch it here. [youtube.com]

Re:What's particularly interesting... (1)

Ron_Fitzgerald (1101005) | more than 5 years ago | (#25340681)

In my heart of hearts, I knew it was a Rickroll....yet I clicked anyway.

Well played, well played.

Re:What's particularly interesting... (1)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 5 years ago | (#25340749)

I only clicked it because I thought it was a Rick Roll.

Wrong Thomas (4, Insightful)

symbolset (646467) | more than 5 years ago | (#25341357)

It was actually Thomas McCauley [baens-universe.com] in 1841.

And yes, he considered these issues and came to the same conclusions as Mr. Lessig over 150 years ago.

Maybe we should just do away with copyright [abolishcopyright.com] . That would solve this problem permanently without consuming the precious resources of the courts.

Legally Black (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25340267)

The scum who pursue copyright claims like this are lawyers and they are acting like niggers. Therefore they are legal niggers, or legally black.

Lessig still defends copyright (4, Interesting)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 5 years ago | (#25340269)

Even though Lessig wants to change the length of copyright and ensure fair use, he still believes that the concept should be enshrined in law. That makes his status as a hero here on Slashdot odd, because many posters here have claimed that copyright is simply no longer a valid concept at all in the digital era.

Re:Lessig still defends copyright (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25340311)

The obvious point is that he is still championing change, while most of us just sit on our butts and complain. Regardless of our views on just how much more change should be ushered in, you have to respect his efforts.

As a sidenote, my captcha is 'copying'.

Re:Lessig still defends copyright (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25340331)

Why, it's almost as if there's a spectrum of opinions on /. from disparate individuals that are merely communicating in a shared forum!

Re:Lessig still defends copyright (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25340393)

Sir, I salute you. I modded you up, too.

Re:Lessig still defends copyright (1)

uglyduckling (103926) | more than 5 years ago | (#25341211)

I just saluted, but the thought was there.

Re:Lessig still defends copyright (1)

Zironic (1112127) | more than 5 years ago | (#25340339)

I think pretty much noone thinks that making money of other peoples work is ok(main purpose of copyright is after all making sure the money(if any) goes to the right person). However many people argue that getting data for free is a right.

Re:Lessig still defends copyright (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25340411)

Making money off other people's work is fine. It happens all the time. If someone in a factory helps build a car, the salesman at your local car dealership is making money off that factory-worker's work. That's fine, as long as everyone along the line who makes money on that work is adding some value in some way (and likewise, everyone who is adding value to the product is making money). If Prince writes a song, sells it and makes money, that's great. If someone else takes part of that song, incorporates that into a new work and makes money off that new work, that's great too. The only question is how much, if any, of the profit from the second work should go back to Prince.

Re:Lessig still defends copyright (4, Insightful)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 5 years ago | (#25340503)

In fact, I think you have something. If only the sound track in the example were posted to Youtube, would it have been infringement? Would anyone have listened to it? I posit that it would have been useless without the little dancing kid, and therefore is a 'new' work based loosely on impressions from Prince's work, and thus required some semblance of his work to create the second and 'new' work.

How much profit should go to prince? None. He got free advertising and possibly should pay a royalty to the second artist. After all, if it weren't for the video there would only be 4 people thinking of Prince's music... 3 if you don't count him, or something like that.

The "time limit of popularity" has passed. His music is not on the charts anymore so using it is not unfairly drawing off his work to garner profit or popularity. In fact, it can be argued that he garnered popularity because of this second work. Once that "time limit" passes, copyright is arguably invalid.

Re:Lessig still defends copyright (5, Insightful)

Jafafa Hots (580169) | more than 5 years ago | (#25341429)

The way I think about it is like this - copyright was essentially invented to stop someone from killing your market for your stuff. (temporarily)

If you record a song and someone else manufactures copies of your song and sells them, they are killing your market.

If someone samples your song and uses a 3-second blip of sound to create their own work and sells it, there's no way in hell they are killing your market.

NOBODY has ever decided not to buy a pop CD because they already have a recording of their aunt singing the song in a karaoke bar.

Copyright is a means, not an end (5, Insightful)

mangu (126918) | more than 5 years ago | (#25340443)

The US Constitution says:

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

Copyright is constitutional only if it promotes the progress of science and useful arts.

Now the question is *ARE* science and useful arts being promoted by copyrights? Would you say that this work [imdb.com] is a progress over this one [imdb.com] ? If a remake was made, is the copyright in the older film still valid? Why?

The only thing that's being promoted by copyrights is the profit of some corporations.

Re:Copyright is a means, not an end (3, Interesting)

Mateo_LeFou (859634) | more than 5 years ago | (#25340599)

"Copyright is constitutional only if it promotes the progress of science and useful arts."

Though I agree with you on this matter, SCOTUS does not -- and (*sigh) SCOTUS is the final arbiter of what is constitutional.

In the holdings of Eldred versus Ashcroft, it was made clear that copyright is presumed consitutional if it is for a non-infinite amount of time and preserves the distinction between idea and expression.

The idiotic copyright laws that now exist and will soon exist are subject to challenges, just not *constitutional ones.

Re:Copyright is a means, not an end (1)

nomadic (141991) | more than 5 years ago | (#25340655)

Though I agree with you on this matter, SCOTUS does not -- and (*sigh) SCOTUS is the final arbiter of what is constitutional.

No offense, but you're both wrong and SCOTUS is right. The Constitution clearly gives Congress the right to create copyright laws, and the preliminary statement as to the purpose of copyright law does not create a Constitutional mandate that only "useful arts and sciences" be protected.

The Second Amendment has a similar preface; does that mean restricting gun ownership is fine as long as it doesn't interfere with a well-regulated militia?

As a Constitutional matter I would be a lot more worried about the government deciding what constitutes "useful" when it comes to science and art.

Re:Copyright is a means, not an end (1)

mangu (126918) | more than 5 years ago | (#25340985)

The Second Amendment has a similar preface; does that mean restricting gun ownership is fine as long as it doesn't interfere with a well-regulated militia?

Considering the many laws restricting gun ownership, one would think so. Gun ownership is allowed, or perhaps one should say "tolerated" for other purposes, but subject to a long list of regulations. Having a gun is prohibited under any sort of circumstances where it could possibly cause danger. There are laws stating that guns must be securely stored, may not be carried hidden, may not be carried into many public buildings, etc.

OTOH, there are no similar laws about copy restrictions. What if a company publishes a work under copyright, but encodes it with a secret key? When the copyright term expires, how can you guarantee that it will be available in the public domain?

I think you chose a particularly bad example, there are far more legal restrictions on gun ownership than on copyright ownership.

Re:Copyright is a means, not an end (3, Insightful)

Artifakt (700173) | more than 5 years ago | (#25340987)

I agree with you that the preface clause doesn't limit Congress to only establishing copyright if the material counts as a useful art or science, nor does it limit terms to only those durations that result in a net gain to the art or science involved.
I disagree that SCOTUS is right (not that they will listen to me). I think that the founders, when they wrote about a limited time, were treating copyright as derived from a natural right to copy, which everyone posessed by Nature, for the agnostic founders (or grant of Nature's God, for the deistic founders). That natural right was of course naturally limited, by death. No one could exercise their right to copy even a fraction of a second after they died. If that's true, then 'for a limited time' would have to mean less than a natural lifespan. Life+50, 70 and so on type limits violate this, AND they make copyright a created right, not a transferred one. By its very definition, a Life+70 type right has to be created at least in part by the government, by fiat, and not exist as a transfer.
      The real downside of this is, if Congress ever shortens copyright, the remaining time now doesn't have to revert to the public. If Congress were to decide tomorrow that authors could only enjoy, say, a 14 year copyright, they could give the remainder to anybody, the public, the federal government, the organized publishing industry as a whole, or whatever, and it wouldn't be a taking without just compensation, anymore than the original extension was a taking from the public (again, as SCOTUS sees it). A lot of authors who think the government is on their side may get a rude shock.
      One last point - while, as far as I can see, it doesn't hurt your argument or mine, there's a real shift in what English meant then and means now. That is, useful arts mostly meant technologies and practical applications, not arts like painting or playwriting, and a lot of things we'd call arts, i.e. literature, rhetoric and philosophy, were more firmly regarded as part of the Sciences in Madison's and Jefferson's days.

Re:Copyright is a means, not an end (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 5 years ago | (#25341457)

As a Constitutional matter I would be a lot more worried about the government deciding what constitutes "useful" when it comes to science and art.

As a practical matter, the United States' various governments have been deciding that for a long, long time.

Re:Copyright is a means, not an end (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25341115)

Your examples fail. Just use Uwe Boll. Does his drivel warranty the label of science or art? Clearly not, therefore such dross should not be protected by the artificial state of copyright. That goes for most of the US movie industry. Farm rubbish that isn't art or science, lose copyright protection. Simple really.

Re:Copyright is a means, not an end (1)

kandresen (712861) | more than 5 years ago | (#25341201)

Copyrights does indeed help promote science and arts, however only to a certain degree.
Why should a company develop something new if everyone else can simply copy it and sell it as their own without the cost of the development process?
The same is true for writing books - everyone could simply copy your work and sell it again without the writer getting anything.

The question to what extent it is a promoting development of science and arts. I will argue it should be obvious that too long copyright is worse than none of all.
If you have an near infinite copyright you never need to actually place what you have the right for into an actual offering - it is better to simply make another work and wait for someone to use your idea and sue them for violation. With a 75 years copyright you don't even need to make any of your ideas ever get to market. Wait and sue - invent something more in the meantime.

So there are two questions.
1) What is a reasonable time frame for copyright to actually promote science and arts?
2) Should everything copyright-able, arts and science, have equal many years of copy right protection?

Justification for the power vs. the power (1)

istartedi (132515) | more than 5 years ago | (#25341253)

The Constitution and the Bill of Rights have at least two clauses that are in the form of "$purpose therefore $power".

The other famous case of this involves a well regulated militia. IANAConstitutional scholar, but it seems that it isn't necessary for $purpose to be served in order for $power to be upheld as Constitutional. This cuts both ways, you see. If we accept that $purpose must be served, then you must interpret the 2nd ammendment as providing no right to bear arms except in support of a well regulated militia. In exchange for that, you get to eliminate copyrights and patents that can't be proven to have incentivized the creator.

Note, I'm not advocating that SCOTUS should be so rigid in its thinking. I'd like our judges to actually use judgement. If they don't use judgement, they're just referees not judges.

Re:Copyright is a means, not an end (2, Interesting)

serutan (259622) | more than 5 years ago | (#25341505)

One problem is that the copyright industry has been very successful at equating copyright and property in the public mind. Many people now believe that the right to control the use of everything we create is an inherent human right that has existed since the dawn of time, and that copyright laws merely codified this right. In their view copyright infringement is the moral equivalent of snatching a little old lady's purse. It's hard to have a reasonable discussion of Fair Use when the copyright industry gets to cast itself as the little old lady.

Re:Lessig still defends copyright (2, Insightful)

MrMista_B (891430) | more than 5 years ago | (#25340509)

Well, it's only odd until you realise that 'Slashdot' isn't a single person or entity with a single will and single set of values, but is in fact comprosed of many individuals, with many individual and different value and points of view. Thus, the idea that 'Slashdot' could thing that copyright should both be enshrined in law, and also utterly erradicated, isn't contradictory at all, because those views, and many more alike and different to those views, are held by different people.

Re:Lessig still defends copyright (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25340701)

Even though Lessig wants to change the length of copyright and ensure fair use, he still believes that the concept should be enshrined in law. That makes his status as a hero here on Slashdot odd, because many posters here have claimed that copyright is simply no longer a valid concept at all in the digital era.

Nope. I hear people saying "But Sladhdotters dislike copyright" but few slashdotters who say that they actually do.

Quite the opposite.

I would think that I am with the majority when saying "There should be no software patents, just copyright to your code and programs."

However, I do dislike the misuse of copyright. Atleast by the finnish laws, the original creator has a copyright to his work but anyone adding or modifying it enough to make it a different creation all together gains rights to that.

But it just gets so difficult to define with soundtracks. I would personally say that if the music and everything else are creatively made together (particularly fitting scenes cut, etc.) it becomes a new creation of itself but if someone just adds a complete song to a random video that doesn't really fit it isn't.

So in my view, Universal should have had the right to say "Hey, you can't just take our song to a boring video of a dancing baby and call it a whole new creation. But they also shouldn't have been assholes and use that right. Laws in your country may differ from my utopia.

He is not defending file sharing piracy (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25340287)

He is defending fair use creation of new works. Not the typical thieving of a slashdot file sharer.

Stupid TITLE (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25340313)

Dumfux

Why should everything bring a profit? (5, Insightful)

mangu (126918) | more than 5 years ago | (#25340357)

Why do media companies think that any use of media should be paid for?

Suppose farmers acted like that. They grow grain to sell, but their plants create oxygen from carbon dioxide gas as a side effect. Oxygen is a valuable commodity, it's sold in bottles for many uses: hospitals, aviators, steel-cutting, etc. But farmers are sensible enough to know that it would be totally impractical to try to charge for the oxygen their plants release into the atmosphere.

Media companies should grow up and accept the same fact for their productions. Copyrights should be enforced in movie theatres, someone sneaking into a theatre to watch a movie without paying is somewhat like someone stealing grain from a farmer. But trying to charge for every little use of their media is like a farmer trying to charge for the oxygen their plants release into the atmosphere the same price industrial gas distributors charge for bottled oxygen.

Re:Why should everything bring a profit? (2, Insightful)

mi (197448) | more than 5 years ago | (#25340395)

But farmers are sensible enough to know that it would be totally impractical to try to charge for the oxygen their plants release into the atmosphere.

Only until it becomes practical to do that. When it does, expect the market of all sorts of airs ("Wisconsin Pasture", "Vermont Forest") — and expect people trying to sneak into the crops-covering air-collecting canopy for a sniff to get busted (deservingly).

Re:Why should everything bring a profit? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25340477)

So uh... This. [burrowowl.net]

Re:Why should everything bring a profit? (4, Insightful)

ultranova (717540) | more than 5 years ago | (#25341101)

Only until it becomes practical to do that. When it does, expect the market of all sorts of airs ("Wisconsin Pasture", "Vermont Forest") -- and expect people trying to sneak into the crops-covering air-collecting canopy for a sniff to get busted (deservingly).

Well, when that day comes, those farmers better make damn sure that none of the carbon dioxide those plants consume comes from my lungs.

Re:Why should everything bring a profit? (1)

schnikies79 (788746) | more than 5 years ago | (#25340419)

O2 is a secondary by-product from farming. With media companies, the media is their primary product. Apples and oranges.

Do media companies go overboard? Yes. Should they be able to charge for their product? Yes.

Re:Why should everything bring a profit? (3, Insightful)

mangu (126918) | more than 5 years ago | (#25340467)

With media companies, the media is their primary product. Apples and oranges

Hmmm, I see. So, you're saying that when a company creates a film for theatre exhibition, they cannot charge for the by-products? Such as foreign translations? TV versions? DVDs? Sound tracks? Mpeg files?

Re:Why should everything bring a profit? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25340559)

Because in creating the original language version of a film, all of those other products happen to get created at the same time as part of the base process?

I think you are using a different definition of "by-product" than most. A better analogy would be charging for digital copies of cels or layers from an animated series or movie as those originals were created in the original process for the product. Or to pick from your own, mpeg files would be a good metric as if the movie is digitally mastered, those copies HAVE to exist for the original product to exist.

Apart from the sound track and mpeg copies, every item you mentioned is something that requires extra input after the original product is created, so a secondary or supplementary product.

Re:Why should everything bring a profit? (2, Interesting)

ardle (523599) | more than 5 years ago | (#25340797)

Actually, I think you've hit the nail on the head here: they shouldn't charge for any of these things! If a customer wants one of these things, they should be provided by a third party (publisher), with the publisher paying the producer their "cut" of the sale. If the producer is the publisher (as is often the case for "big" media), then let them bill themselves (it's SOX-friendly ;-)
By separating production and publishing, we can get out of the situation whereby "back catalogues" can be made arbitrarily unavailable (producers would need to have their entire catalogue available in order to maximise profit in this model). Also, we would avoid the whole "media-shifting" mystery: company x supplies content y on media z - so if customer wants a copy on media w, company v (on inspection of media w for integrity or maybe on checking customer's license on company x's database) should be able to supply a copy on media w at cost (or close).

Re:Why should everything bring a profit? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25341335)

Seems to be a misapplication of the analogy. Your examples are all repackaging of the same product. Corn sold in fifty different packages is still dealing with corn. Not actually a by-product as per definition (dictionary.com):
1. a secondary or incidental product, as in a process of manufacture.
2. the result of another action, often unforeseen or unintended.

Applied to film for theaters, maybe what would fall under this is parody, referencing, and I would argue sampling (via value added) to an extent. I think the original analogy, especially in light of what the article is actually talking about, works and is obviously limited in scope.

Why should we lean on the side of public utility? So we don't get another White v. Samsung case. Sorry Vanna White, you're a bad person.

Of course you're free to reaffirm an invalid extension of the analogy, as this is the internet, which then prejudices what's actually being discussed, but would the courts buy it?

Re:Why should everything bring a profit? (1, Troll)

blahplusplus (757119) | more than 5 years ago | (#25340427)

"...their plants release into the atmosphere."

Note on "their plants", farmers did not create plants, in fact nobody is creating value, all they are doing is reshaping pre-existing value. This myth of "added value" is a bit of idealogical misunderstanding, you can't get value if you don't have any value to begin with - all value was already their in nature.

Re:Why should everything bring a profit? (1, Troll)

cliffski (65094) | more than 5 years ago | (#25340497)

so who planted them, and created the best conditions for them to grow? and fed them in some cases with the right mixtures of fertilizer etc?
you?
This all takes effort. And that effort needs to be rewarded, else there is no incentive to plant anything, and hence, you get an empty plate.

Re:Why should everything bring a profit? (1)

Mateo_LeFou (859634) | more than 5 years ago | (#25340729)

Wrong as usual cliffski.

Effort does not, by virtue of being effort, "need to be rewarded".

It's *very *difficult for me to make life-size statues of John Grisham out of sour cream.

In free societies, we don't decide what I *deserve based on the quantity of labor and pass laws to make sure I get that.

Re:Why should everything bring a profit? (1, Troll)

cliffski (65094) | more than 5 years ago | (#25341587)

wrong again as usual. I never said all effort should be rewarded, but you enjoy your strawman kid.
If you want farmers to plant those crops, you need to pay them. else they have no incentive to do so, and you go hungry.
do you grasp the concept yet?
Or do you still delude yourself that other people will run around providing goods and services top you for free because you have an automatic entitlement to everything?

Re:Why should everything bring a profit? (1)

spazdor (902907) | more than 5 years ago | (#25340537)

Yeah. If the farm (or some other) wasn't there producing O2, then wild plants would instead.

Re:Why should everything bring a profit? (5, Insightful)

qw0ntum (831414) | more than 5 years ago | (#25340605)

I don't believe "added value" is a myth.

When I buy food in a restaurant, the chef adds value to the ingredients by preparing them in a knowledgable way. I find more value in, and am willing to pay more for, a fine dinner than I am for a fish and some vegetables. The end product has more value than its constituent parts because of the valuable skills the chef used to create it.

Value is not inherent in anything. Human creativity and ingenuity versus our needs creates value. Iron is not valuable to a stone age society. It becomes highly valuable once they possess the skill to use it in a way that helps meet their needs.

Another example. The hard drive in your computer is more valuable to you than other hard drives or the $30 (approx) it cost to manufacture because it holds data that is presumably important to you on it. So, it is more valuable than its constituent components. And it's not any more valuable to me than another hard drive, because I don't have any interest in the data on it.

So, I humbly disagree that value can't be added to something already existing. I think that nothing has inherent value, and whatever value it does have (financially or otherwise) is placed upon it us. But that's just my philosophical point of view.

Re:Why should everything bring a profit? (0, Redundant)

blahplusplus (757119) | more than 5 years ago | (#25340781)

"I don't believe "added value" is a myth.

When I buy food in a restaurant, the chef adds value to the ingredients by preparing them in a knowledgable way."

You're confusing what I've said, everything he needs already exists -- all that value already is, all value is derived from previously existing stuff that already existed. Again he's not adding value, he's just reshaping what already existed. You're not understanding the argument - I can't make things out of silicon or glass if I don't have any to begin with, therefore all that is being done is reshaping what already is -- actualizing the pre-existing value that was already their in stored potential form.

Re:Why should everything bring a profit? (4, Insightful)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 5 years ago | (#25340859)

I don't think he misunderstood you at all - he's just saying your wrong.

A pile of fish, vegetable, and spices in a grocery store have a general value. In their unprocessed form, they are worth little. If I go home and prepare them myself their value will increase a little because of the preparation. If a good chef does it, the value will increase much more. The finished product is worth more than the unprocessed form. To believe otherwise is to essentially reduce the value of human labor to zero - afterall if the materials had all the value at the start then after the labor has been expended in your view the value has not changed.

Try to get by in a world where you aren't willing to pay anything for human labor. Unless you're one hell of a subsistence farmer, it's just not going to work.

Re:Why should everything bring a profit? (1)

blahplusplus (757119) | more than 5 years ago | (#25341013)

"A pile of fish, vegetable, and spices in a grocery store have a general value. In their unprocessed form, they are worth little."

This is the illusion though, you're confusing desire with value. Economics has bastardized the concept of 'value' just because the word value redefined and used in a particular way doesn't mean it mean it has any bearing on reality. It is merely an artifact of language. Another problem is that you're pulling a red herring, I'm saying ALL VALUE already existed to begin with, you can't "add" value, to something that ALWAYS has value, i.e. the stuff everything is made of. The illusion is that things don't 'have value', human beings are terribly confused unfortunately. All value already existed, what they mean is - the value that exists I do not currently want, not that it does not have value. There is a difference, the illusion is that something 'loses' value, rather then merely going back to potential value to be reshaped again - the value is always there all the way through.

Re:Why should everything bring a profit? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25341591)

Your theories don't say anything interesting or useful. You might as well say that every number is actually infinity! For example 10 has the potential to be infinity, but it is 10 because some of its value that exists I do not currently want.

Re:Why should everything bring a profit? (2, Insightful)

qw0ntum (831414) | more than 5 years ago | (#25340891)

I think my point was that I see value as something not being inherent in the materials to begin with. To me the reshaping IS where value comes from. The ingredients are valuable in as much as they have the ability to meet needs or to be reshaped to meet needs.

There's nothing wrong with the point you're making; I was just pointing out an interesting difference, and I think I understand your argument perfectly well. Whereas you see value as being pre-existing (what I'm referring to as "inherent") I see value as something that is only created. I think it's possible to build an internally consistent belief structure around both of those starting positions. I just thought the differences in our beliefs was interesting enough to warrant some discussion.

Value and Existing are not the same thing (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25340911)

And you are confusing (conflating) existing with value.

Existing is a property of the physical world.

Value is a human construct.

They are not the same thing, at least in the way these words are used by most educated people, which is about the best measure for meaning we have.

It is the deriving, the shaping, that adds the value. Your use of the word 'just' is misleading here - that activity is the whole point.

So - you are simply wrong.

Or, if you prefer, I, and from my experience most intelligent people, disagree with you.

Re:Why should everything bring a profit? (1)

tendrousbeastie (961038) | more than 5 years ago | (#25340995)

Hi, He's not confusing anything. You're just being unnecessary materialist about the definition of value.

As qw0ntum says, value is essentially a function human creativity and human need. It is an artificial measure we chose to apply to goods and services - to objects real or abstract.

A set of atoms have little intrinsic value to a given person, but when configured (by whatever means) in a particular way might make a car or a computer or anything else. To certain people a car or a computer have more value than an unformed bunch of atoms.

That doesn't imply that there is anything materially different or extra in the atoms in car configuration than in the random mess configuration (lets ignore the different enegry states and such, and just pretend that atoms work like lego) - none the less one is deemed to have more value than the other.

In this instance value is not a property of the matter itself, but rather a property of its configuration.

A person who can change one configuration into the other has the capability to add value to the matter (for a given subject).

P.S. Your arguement of instrinsic material value is even harder to justify when dealing with the provision of services rather than goods - if a dancer contained all the instrinsic value within their constituent parts, then we would value bad dnaces as much as good?

Re:Why should everything bring a profit? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25341027)

The value of something is how much people are willing to pay for it, period. Saying that a blank piece of paper is worth hundreds of millions of dollars because it has the potential to become the next Mona Lisa is ridiculous. It's better to accept that work can add value.

Re:Why should everything bring a profit? (1)

nodwick (716348) | more than 5 years ago | (#25341247)

And it's not any more valuable to me than another hard drive, because I don't have any interest in the data on it.

That's only because you haven't seen the size of his porn collection.

Re:Why should everything bring a profit? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25340661)

I think you're confusing value with mass-energy, for which there is a conservation law.

Re:Why should everything bring a profit? (1)

The MAZZTer (911996) | more than 5 years ago | (#25340523)

Not to mention that if farmers tried that, the /. community would switch to breathing air from wild forests etc.

Re:Why should everything bring a profit? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25340531)

That's because the farmers actually have a business plan that still works.

Re:Why should everything bring a profit? (1)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 5 years ago | (#25340659)

Ah yes, the missing step 2 ????? is "collect government subsidies." Anonymous Coward deserves a noble prize in economics!

Re:Why should everything bring a profit? (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 5 years ago | (#25340567)

But farmers are sensible enough to know that it would be totally impractical to try to charge for the oxygen their plants release into the atmosphere.

That, actually, is not the question. It wasn't practical (until very recently, historically speaking) for copyright holders to exert remote control over the distribution and use of their products either. Now it is, and they're trying to do just that (by both technological and legal measures.) The real question is whether farms would do it if they could. And the answer is, yes, they probably would.

Re:Why should everything bring a profit? (1)

Alwin Henseler (640539) | more than 5 years ago | (#25340583)

Suppose farmers acted like that. They grow grain to sell, but their plants create oxygen from carbon dioxide gas as a side effect. Oxygen is a valuable commodity, it's sold in bottles for many uses: hospitals, aviators, steel-cutting, etc. But farmers are sensible enough to know that it would be totally impractical to try to charge for the oxygen their plants release into the atmosphere.

Hmm... a farmer analogy. Do we witness the birth of a new /. meme here? Farmers vs. cars? I like it, with the ongoing 'green' trend and all (and fuel prices, and greenhouse effect). Support the farmer! Make oxygen, not ehm... cars!

-- Yeah yeah, go mod me offtopic.

Re:Why should everything bring a profit? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25340603)

the farmer's plants create oxygen, but there have been other plants before. the farmer had to destroy the previous plants and seed his own. which may be better for human nutrition, but nobody checked if they create more or less oxygen.

the farmer starting to charge for 'his' oxygen, even if there was perfectly usable oxygen before, which was accidentally destroyed by the farmer, and there being oxygen again as a bybroduct by pure chance, sounds like evil PR. and 'having to charge the same price as for industrial oxygen' is a spurious argument, too.

Re:Why should everything bring a profit? (5, Insightful)

Mateo_LeFou (859634) | more than 5 years ago | (#25340615)

"Why do media companies think that any use of media should be paid for?"

Because the metaphor of property was allowed to run rampant, unquestioned.

Not to flamebait or OT, but as in many things, rms was prophetic about this. He begged anyone who would listen not to use the term "intellectual property" as was widely ridiculed, as in many things.

Re:Why should everything bring a profit? (1)

rhyder128k (1051042) | more than 5 years ago | (#25341259)

But surely the barriers that stop any person from getting into the cinema without paying are artificial? Why not just allow anyone to come in? If they like the film, they will want to pay as much as they think it's worth. That seems to be compatible with the standard Slashdot user view on copyright.

A good bit of reasoning by analogy is like a car, I always say.

Re:Why should everything bring a profit? (2, Insightful)

noidentity (188756) | more than 5 years ago | (#25341427)

Bad example, since you cited a physical resource. If I use it, someone else can't. Not so with information.

Re:Why should everything bring a profit? (1)

serutan (259622) | more than 5 years ago | (#25341479)

But farmers are sensible enough to know that it would be totally impractical to try to charge for the oxygen their plants release into the atmosphere.

Or maybe agribusiness lawyers just haven't come up with a way to pull that off yet.

Farmers know it would be totally impractical to try to stop each other from selling plants that grow spontaneously from seeds that blow from field to field. But Canada's supreme court has upheld the rights of Canola grain patent holders to do exactly that.

People in Rebellion (3, Interesting)

b4upoo (166390) | more than 5 years ago | (#25340363)

It has come to the point in America that many people are in some form of rebellion. Copyright issues are but a small edge of the issues that surround us. But as things now stand in the social justice arena piracy of intellectual property is not something I'm willing to get all excited about.Perhaps when our lazy government gets off of its backside and does something about the exploitation of our citizens by outrageous fuel and power prices and mortgages designed by Satan then i'll worry about whether somebody hummed a tune he heard on the radio without permission of a record company.

Greetings, fellow European! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25341045)

"Perhaps when our lazy government gets off of its backside and does something about the exploitation of our citizens by outrageous fuel and power prices and mortgages designed by Satan"

You're absolutely right - European governments (not sure which you're in.. Turkey or The Netherlands?), really should do something about those fuel prices!
http://www.portfolio.com/interactive-features/2008/08/Gas-Prices-Around-the-World [portfolio.com]

meh.

on-topic: copyright terms are too long, copyright claims are largely abusive (but then bittorrent usage is largely 'abusive'), but copyright still has a right to exist. If nothing else, because otherwise everybody will take the GPL and run with it (breach of the license makes it default back to copyright law, no?) - and if that's what 'we' wanted, we'd use the BSD-style licenses, eh. Or, perhaps, because otherwise vendors can just take artists' imagery, use them for no compensation, and claim that they should be glad for the extra exposure or something.

Lessgi's right.... (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25340409)

... the takedown should've been on the grounds of "No one really wants to see your damn baby pictures"

Wonder what the big deal was about that video (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25340413)

Because I can find hundreds if not thousands of full music videos posted by random joes. I have not spent a dime on music for the past 12 years. And this is coming from someone who had 350 CDs in high school. Thanks YouTube!!

End all copyright - it's based on flawed logic (5, Insightful)

kaltkalt (620110) | more than 5 years ago | (#25340511)

Copyright was never intended to prevent private copying for noncommercial uses. Please don't try to argue that "copying = not buying = commercial loss = commercial use" because it's a horribly disingenuous and intellectually dishonest argument. Stealing is depriving someone else of their property. Even if copying is depriving someone of a potential sale, there is no vested property right in potential sales. If so capitalism would not work, as competition would be equivalent to stealing. The makers of cars would be stealing from the makers of horsedrawn carriages. The makers of refrigerators would be stealing from ice manufacturers. The makers of calculators would be stealing from the makers of abacuses (abaci?). You get the point. I should be able to copy and read/watch/listen to/play in my own home, for my own use, any media in existence. The notion that without monopolies, creative people would not create has long been disproved. No monopolies are necessary to foster creativity. The best, most creative people will create regardless. The hacks are the ones who need monopoly protection. For example, without copyright, Neil Young would still be making music, but Brittney Spears would not. Because copyright has been so greatly abused, because it's been proven to be based on flawed logic, and because it only serves to hinder creativity and make money for those who do not deserve it, copright should be abolished completely. There should still be protection for attribution to prevent plaigariasm, in some form.

Re:End all copyright - it's based on flawed logic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25340865)

Because copyright has been so greatly abused, because it's been proven to be based on flawed logic, and because it only serves to hinder creativity and make money for those who do not deserve it, copright should be abolished completely.

Of course, you shouldn't be able to reform it. You should just abolish it completely. This will not cause unwanted consequences (For example, it's not like that the GNU General Public License uses copyright law to enforce its terms or something like that, so it'll be fine).

Please. You "copyright should be abolished" people are idiots.

Re:End all copyright - it's based on flawed logic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25340927)

"Stealing is depriving someone else of their property."
They did start it [wikipedia.org] .

Re:End all copyright - it's based on flawed logic (2, Insightful)

bonch (38532) | more than 5 years ago | (#25341051)

If you end all copyright, you won't have the GPL anymore, since it relies on it. There is such a thing as intellectual property, and this is value assigned to mind creations, like music, artwork, and more.

You're essentially saying that, say, if I spent three years writing an epic novel, I have no right to be compensated for it because you can easily copy a text file of it. Sorry, but that's silly. Your rant really stems from a desire to pirate everything for free without having to pay for it.

The notion that without monopolies, creative people would not create has long been disproved. No monopolies are necessary to foster creativity. The best, most creative people will create regardless. [snip] Because copyright has been so greatly abused, because it's been proven to be based on flawed logic...

You cite no proof, and you throw out an assumptions about artists. There are essentially no facts whatsoever in your entire post--just fuzzy dorm room ideals and unproven claims.

For some reason, people like you purposely ignore the reality of making a living off your work. A painter sells his paintings so he can make money and continue painting, supplying himself with more canvas and oils, traveling to locations to paint as well as to display his artwortk in galleries, and so forth. It's basic common sense. You want to deprive him of that money so that it's harder for him to paint. He might even have to work a regular day job that interferes with his painting time. In fact, if he seeks money for his paintings, you might criticize him for not being a "true artist." It's all bullshit, frankly. How would John Carmack have made a living in your fantasy world?

There's just this odd double-standard where people like you imply that artists who try to make a living are greedy or selfish, when you're the one arguing for a lack of copyright so you can pirate their work without paying them for it. We'll see how my post gets moderated--anti-piracy views tend to get knocked down on this site, for whatever reasons...

Re:End all copyright - it's based on flawed logic (2, Insightful)

Kjella (173770) | more than 5 years ago | (#25341141)

The notion that without monopolies, creative people would not create has long been disproved. No monopolies are necessary to foster creativity. The best, most creative people will create regardless. The hacks are the ones who need monopoly protection. For example, without copyright, Neil Young would still be making music, but Brittney Spears would not.

That some guy will come up with some song and play a few lines on his guitar yes, but that's like proving an all out nuclear war isn't the end because the cockroaches would survive. Take a modern day TV production, and look at the credits. There's maybe five main actors, but a ton of people doing location, camera, sound, makeup, wardrobe, props, sound effects, music, editing, special effects and all the other bits of putting it all together. Neil Young's songs make him famous, so is Jerry Seinfeld but most of the staff are never seen, heard or have any creative input at all. They do it as a job to earn money and it all works because the show makes a lot of money which pays the production costs (and a nice profit to the man himself, but that's beside the point).

The point is that only those that get a direct and personal benefit would do still be creating without profit, everyone else in a support job to realize someone else's creation would not. Of course there'd still be those making money indirectly, for example the ballet could still hire a choreographer since they get money of live performances which would be passed down to him. But those that have relied on those monopolies to pay people would be gone, and if you try to claim that's not many people and that their products (mostly TV and movies) don't play an important part of modern culture then you're seriously deluding yourself.

Of course slashdot has already declared that all the good music, TV and movies have already been made and if we shut down everything and listened to 20th century hits forever that'd be just groovy. Hint: Thinking everything new sucks probably means you're becoming an old fart and liking alternative music probably means you have an alternative taste, not some wild conspiracy to keep people from realizing alternative music exists. Don't get me wrong - I know YouTube is rather popular but so is Prison Break and Lost, and without copyright I'm pretty sure the latter would die. Not because the stars wouldn't want to keep going, but because the guys you've never heard of wouldn't want to.

messed up industry (1)

eniacfoa (1203466) | more than 5 years ago | (#25340529)

demanding a take down notice for a video like this is futile and silly. Demanding take down notices for you tube in general is futile. Not that this is new news, but the industry has not kept up with technology and the backwards train of thought that may have been ok in 1982 does not apply now. I read that top gear is the worlds most pirated TV show, yet you cant even buy boxed sets of the show. On top of that one, the TV networks don't make it easy to watch your favorite shows...they chop and change the times, chop and change the order and cancel your show whenever they feel like it. In terms of music (I am a professional musician) CD sales are down not just on the back of piracy, but also quality. There have been many studies with supporting data that show this. If an artist is especially popular, their CD sales should suffer when their music is heavily pirated, but this is not always the case. Its a complex problem, with other factors, but you can safely say its not just piracy causing poor CD sales. Many people are just getting sick of the same bling bling sex sex tripe that is the majority of commercial music now and are buying less CD's because so. In the older days, the big labels would spend time investing in and developing quality artists. Often a bands/groups 1st album was not so good and they would progressively get better each album. If your 1st album doesn't move large numbers in todays climate - bye bye, you wont be making another one. Record executives have been heard saying that james brown, parliament and curtis mayfield would never have been signed today...thats really sad...These days you can get over $100 million dollars NOT to make another album (mariah carey) because your previous album didnt make as much money as the bean counters thought it would (even though there were several top ten hits). One lone plus out of this is artists are forced to generate a lot more of their income from live shows, which can only be good for you, the punter, as you get to see your fave artists way more often. if industry in general wants to 'reduce' piracy, their business models have to completely change. tonnes more material has to be way more accessible without being a rip off. DRM just makes everyone want to puke too.

Re:messed up industry (1)

blackest_k (761565) | more than 5 years ago | (#25341127)

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Top-Gear-Box-Jeremy-Clarkson/dp/B000GYHZ1W [amazon.co.uk]

Top Gear is available if you look for it.

Still doesnt make take down notices for harmless video's any less anal. If anything old music tends to see an increase in sales due to getting some exposure, it has happened repeatedly.

In this case the music belongs to universal, prince isn't losing anything, he lost it before to universal isn't that why he changed his name.

where should things go next, nike ordering a take down because a nike logo is visible, or perhaps mcdonalds doesn't like being compared to burger king and they issue a takedown notice.

Or the olympic committee ... hmm been there already.

There is very little anyone can do to fight back, however the kind of person who makes these kind of decisions is barely human and loathed by everyone who knows them anyway.

Re:messed up industry (2, Insightful)

eniacfoa (1203466) | more than 5 years ago | (#25341443)

sorry, but a 3 dvd set isnt making top gear available to the crazy demand...3 dvd's of a few shows isnt making the entire series available to people. this is my point, there is the demand, but no supply because the cretins in charge of content are too slow to move, so slow that people just dont care that they are pirating anymore because either they are left with no choice in a lot of cases...

Re:messed up industry (2)

eniacfoa (1203466) | more than 5 years ago | (#25341465)

what is available on dvd of top gear isnt 5% of the series.

Prince is one busy nerd (1)

rea1l1 (903073) | more than 5 years ago | (#25340569)

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/11/14/prince_b3ta_dmca/

This FP fo8 GNAA (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25340611)

If you do 8ot [goat.cx]

FYI, Lessig left the EFF board (4, Informative)

harlows_monkeys (106428) | more than 5 years ago | (#25340629)

According to the submitter's blurb:

Lawrence Lessig is a board member for the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

According to TFA:

She pressed that question through a number of channels until it found its way to the Electronic Frontier Foundation (on whose board I sat until the beginning of 2008)

Well it's still going to take awhile (4, Insightful)

baggins2001 (697667) | more than 5 years ago | (#25340651)

This concept of creative common good is going to take awhile to be accepted.
1) It has to be accepted by society.
Many still do not understand the Open Source model. If you look at financial markets and talk to business people they don't understand how RedHat and Novell plan to make money selling free software.
2) Those who appreciate open source, need to reward those who produce for the open market.
Not many have gotten filthy rich from open source.
3) Lessig is correct.
Copyright and IP rights are probably going to be here for awhile and probably should stay. Those who publish and produced copyright and license information software are going to be here for awhile. They choose to participate in a different market. Until there is a detriment or significant benefit to participation in one type of market or another, there is always going to be a choice.
4) Get over it
As long as MS, Universal, .... whoever sees a benefit they are going to do what they have been doing.
Personally, I believe this is going to bite them in the ass big time. They want an open global market and yet they want IP rights at the same time. Well guess what, you manufacture your product in Asia and you've pretty much open sourced your product. They don't like to talk about it very much, but it is a fact of what is happening.
[ubiquitous car analogy] If you make a car and you want it made cheaply, you had better have figured out a way to make a steady income from that car. What is happening is companies are requesting certain manufacturing be done, and then all of a sudden somebody else is manufacturing the same product. They start screaming "They stole our product". Guess what get over it, by the time you finish the legal international law wrangling, there is nothing left.
So as soon as a company accepts open source the quicker they will be able to adjust to the global market.

in 'defense' of robbIE? censorship on /. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25340725)

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Re:in 'defense' of robbIE? censorship on /. (0, Redundant)

Narnie (1349029) | more than 5 years ago | (#25340903)

If i had mod points, i'd throw a few flamebaits here, but I'd feel pity because there's a lot of work put into this post.

Not too much pity though, I'd still mod it down.

Re:in 'defense' of robbIE? censorship on /. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25341071)

(-1, Incoherent)

Barratry is broken (1)

wiredlogic (135348) | more than 5 years ago | (#25340929)

The real problem is that is is next to impossible to get a successful barratry conviction against the corporate lawyers that embark on their scorched earth lawsuit campaigns. If the courts would lower the bar for establishing abusive behavior the sharks would think twice about using lawsuits as a weapon against harmless people.

A Fair(y) Use Tale (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25340953)

I can't possibly be the only one who remembers A Fair(y) Use Tale [wired.com] can I?

Re:A Fair(y) Use Tale (1)

symbolset (646467) | more than 5 years ago | (#25341453)

That was a fun clip. Here [youtube.com] is the YouTube version, for people who can't play MP4s.

Sell unlimited use by context to individuals (2, Insightful)

Bones3D_mac (324952) | more than 5 years ago | (#25341003)

You know, if these companies thought on a smaller scale, they could just work out a deal with individuals where if a copyrighted work is unintentionally embedded into that individual's content, that individual could pay a reasonably small fee to continue using it without harassment, so long as it remains used only that particular context.

People like to be able to share their home movies, but with crap like this going on, anyone is potentially vulnerable to similar issues with recording industry, simply because some jackass drove by their house with the radio cranked to 11 as the video was being shot.

Oh, and forget anything like weddings or birthdays being safe from such abuses, birthdays are guaranteed to be grab bags for whoever owns the rights to "the birthday song" (which really should be in the public domain by now, IMHO). I'll bet there may even be a crack team doing nothing but searching youtube for birthday clips for any infringing content including "the birthday song" to harass those who posted it unaware they did anything wrong...

Re:Sell unlimited use by context to individuals (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25341409)

"the birthday song" (which really should be in the public domain by now, IMHO).

Happy Birthday is in the public domain. There is no doubt about this. When the original copyright was granted, the date in which it passed into the public domain was determined. Once something is in the public domain it cannot be taken back. I already have ownership rights in that song and I never agreed to give them up. SO THERE!

Re:Sell unlimited use by context to individuals (2, Interesting)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 5 years ago | (#25341559)

Once something is in the public domain it cannot be taken back.

That isn't entirely true ... Congress, in effect, retroactively removed many works from the public domain when it extended copyright. We had a deal with those bastards: all copyrighted works are a loan from the public domain (T. Jefferson), and in exchange for a limited monopoly that domain, our domain, was to be enriched. The entertainment companies (who, themselves, have often acquired their copyrights through dubious means) love to complain about how we're "stealing" their oh-so-precious material, but the reality is that much, much more was outright stolen from us by Congress at the behest of those self-same corporate leeches.

Re:Sell unlimited use by context to individuals (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 5 years ago | (#25341521)

You know, if these companies thought on a smaller scale, they could just work out a deal with individuals where if a copyrighted work is unintentionally embedded into that individual's content, that individual could pay a reasonably small fee to continue using it without harassment, so long as it remains used only that particular context.

Sure, if we had some kind of micropayment system that could service such things (we don't), and if people should be harassed in such a manner (they shouldn't) and if the big rightsholders making all these threats would do anything but keep that money for themselves and continue ripping off the artists (and they will) ... why, then that's a great idea. Keep in mind, that when it comes to music and entertainment in general, the people who own the copyrights are generally not the people who did the creating. Those are generally transferred to the publishers in exchange for access to their production facilities and distribution channels. That is the fundamental flaw in the media companies arguments: they aren't protecting anyone's rights, anyone's profits, but their own. Creative minds are cattle to these people, no more than that.

In the meantime, I think we're better off sticking with fair use, and making sure the big boys respect our rights as much as they want us to respect theirs.

Not a sudden outbreak (0)

Exanon (1277926) | more than 5 years ago | (#25341029)

Since Lawrence Lessig tend to write sensible arguments whenever he writes something, I would hardly call this and outbreak of common sense.

Then again, the Wall Street Journal publishing a story like this could point to a sudden outbreak of common sense in the editor. Or maybe they just want to sell more copies, who knows.

Re:Not a sudden outbreak (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 5 years ago | (#25341569)

Since Lawrence Lessig tend to write sensible arguments whenever he writes something, I would hardly call this and outbreak of common sense. Then again, the Wall Street Journal publishing a story like this could point to a sudden outbreak of common sense in the editor. Or maybe they just want to sell more copies, who knows.

Well, if they feel that giving the likes of Lawrence Lessig more press will sell more copies, that would indicate that the public is becoming more and more aware of these issues. That's a good thing, any way you slice it.

There is no way to set the price of Art "fairly" (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25341191)

. . . because the benefit of having it has not been measured.

Who is to say if a song or film is really worth £8 to view? Does that bring more than £8 worth of benefit to the listener - if not then that's a rip off.

Now you can decide to just not go but since all cinemas charge the same, there is an all or nothing choice: either see film X or see nothing.

Piracy adds another option and puts pressure on media companies to provide more value.

Since there is no other way to pressure Media companies, I think it's probably having an excellent effect.

If someone (e.g. Apple with iTunes) can find a way to provide better value it will make piracy less attractive.

Copyright is a commodity (2, Interesting)

naily (672109) | more than 5 years ago | (#25341331)

The trouble is that these media companies have paid lots of money for the 'rights' to these media, for which they expect a return. The other trouble is that for every 'true' artist, like Neil Young, there will always be 100 artists who want all the riches for their 20 mins of inspiration. To my mind, the simplest approach is that all rights should be legally bound (non-transferable) to the creator. So artists *cannot* sell their souls, even if they wanted to. In this modern age, where media is cheap and distribution is easy (and traceable), there is no reason why merit & reward cannot remain with the originator. This way the big studios are reduced to their real role: marketing and PR. Which artists may choose to hire, if they have the resources. Exposure, in its fullest, most transparent sense.
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