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World Copyright Summit and the Lies of the Copyright Industry

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 5 years ago | from the of-course-they-aren't-biased dept.

Businesses 423

Mike Masnick over at Techdirt has an incredibly in-depth look at two presentations in particular from the recent CISAC world copyright summit. Rep. Robert Wexler and Senator Orrin Hatch both gave deeply troubling presentations calling opponents of stronger copyright "liars" and suggesting that copyright is the only way to make money on creative works, respectively. "Does anyone else find it ironic that it's the so-called 'creative class' which copyright supporters insist are enabled by copyright supposedly have not been able to tell this 'great story?' Perhaps the problem is that there is no great story to tell. Perhaps the problem is that more and more people are recognizing that the 'great story' is one that suppresses the rights of everyday users, stifles innovation, holds back progress and stamps on our rights of free speech and communication? Has it occurred to Wexler that for the past decade, the industry has been telling this story over and over and over again — and every time they do, more and more people realize that it doesn't add up? "

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423 comments

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There is no debate (3, Insightful)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#28315383)

Debating how Copyright should work is like debating who should be king. If you accept to be ruled does it really matter how?

Re:There is no debate (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28315437)

Drama queen much?

Seriously. We're talking about your "right" to download movies without paying for them.

To equate this with the end of democracy just makes you look ridiculous.

Re:There is no debate (4, Insightful)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#28315543)

Maybe you are.

We're talking about restrictions on free speech.

Re:There is no debate (5, Insightful)

mi (197448) | more than 5 years ago | (#28315687)

We're talking about restrictions on free speech.

No, we don't. We are talking about, whether creators — of movies, music, literature, software, fashion designs — have the inherent rights to control their creations, or whether whoever happens to be able to copy their work has the same rights to it as the creator.

Re:There is no debate (5, Insightful)

Chyeld (713439) | more than 5 years ago | (#28315761)

That boat sailed a long time ago grasshopper and the answer back when Shakespeare was doing his gig is the same as the answer today. You build on the shoulders of giants, and only reach the heights you do, by the efforts of those around you and before you.

In order to give you incentive to build, and in deference to the realization that it is work just the same, you are granted the ability to control the rights to copy something for a limited time. But all the same, your work stands on our backs, and thus, we share in the ultimate ownership.

That limited time is and should always be that, limited. If you can't (or won't) monetize your products in that time, then that is on you. Not us.

And we should not be expected to limit our own rights and abilities outside of that specific right of yours to control who can copy your work for a limited time, simply because you've failed to keep up with technology enough.

Re:There is no debate (5, Insightful)

mellon (7048) | more than 5 years ago | (#28315795)

They obviously don't have an "inherent" right, because if they did, we wouldn't be having this discussion. That's what an inherent right is - one that exists already. In order for it to be inherent, it would have to be the case, at a minimum, that it was broadly-enough recognized that you didn't have to fight against the average person's natural inclination. But peoples' natural inclinations are pretty clear - while people generally do seem to think that artists should be compensated, they do not agree that artists have a completely unrestricted copyright. You can see this simply by observing how people generally behave.

Copyright is a created right. It exists for a purpose: to encourage people to create new works of art. And it comes at a cost: peoples' right to copy these new works is restricted. Furthermore, peoples' right to speak about these works is restricted, and this does indeed get into the arena of freedom of speech, whether you want it to or not.

When you attempt to claim all rights to your work, in perpetuity, you are taking something away from the rest of the world. It may not be something that you consider important, but it is something that we consider important. So you have two choices: kill everyone who does not agree with you, or come to a compromise.

And that is precisely the purpose of this debate, which you seem to be arguing does not exist.

Re:There is no debate (2, Insightful)

Jurily (900488) | more than 5 years ago | (#28316237)

They obviously don't have an "inherent" right, because if they did, we wouldn't be having this discussion.

Exactly. Free speech is an inherent right. The First Amendment does not grant it, but forbids Congress to restrict it.

Now contrast that to Disney's right over Mickey Mouse.

Re:There is no debate (1)

nacturation (646836) | more than 5 years ago | (#28316327)

That's what an inherent right is - one that exists already. In order for it to be inherent, it would have to be the case, at a minimum, that it was broadly-enough recognized that you didn't have to fight against the average person's natural inclination.

So black people in the United States fifty years ago did not have an inherent right of equality since they had to fight for it?

Re:There is no debate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28316363)

Phrasing it a different way might be helpful: an inherent right is something we already have: life, speech, though, association, labor, etc. No one gives them to us, and if someone prevents us from excersizing them, they are violating our rights. This is true whether we fight for them or not.

The "right" to control what someone else does with something you gave them in a transaction is not inherent - in fact, it violates my natural right to property and association, which is an extension of my right to produce things through labor.

We might enforce such a rule because we think it has good practical effects, but we should never fool ourselves into thinking it's a "right." It's a violation of rights that we think is justified because of the end it produces.

Re:There is no debate (5, Informative)

cpt kangarooski (3773) | more than 5 years ago | (#28315927)

We're talking about restrictions on free speech.

No, we don't. We are talking about, whether creators -- of movies, music, literature, software, fashion designs -- have the inherent rights to control their creations, or whether whoever happens to be able to copy their work has the same rights to it as the creator.

No, the earlier poster is correct. Everyone has an inherent right to make, distribute, etc. copies of works, whether they created those works or not. This is a matter of freedom of speech. It's the reason why, for example, you have the right to recite Shakespeare in public, even though you are probably not Shakespeare. During the term of copyright, the public willingly surrenders a portion of their right to make use of the work of the author as part of a scheme to derive a greater public benefit than the public harm caused by suffering such restrictions. When the copyright expires, the author loses his right to prohibit other people from making use of the work, though he retains his natural right to use the work himself. This is why we talk about copyright as an exclusive right -- i.e. a right granted to the author to exclude others from doing certain things with the work -- and why when copyright expires, no rights in the work are, or need to be, granted to the public. The public has always been possessed of rights in the work, and upon the expiration of the copyright, the public is once again free to exercise those inherent rights.

What's not an inherent right is copyright. Authors have an inherent right as to whether or not to create a work to begin with, and they have an inherent right as to whether or not to reveal that work to anyone else, or to hide or destroy it. No one is suggesting that authors be compelled to create or compelled to publish. However, copyright is the right to prohibit the public from making, distributing copies, etc. with regard to works that members of the public have managed to obtain copies of, most often by publishing. The right to prohibit other people from, e.g. reciting Shakespeare, is certainly not anyone's inherent right! And as it is impossible to reconcile the idea with the much more reasonable idea that people do have an inherent (but not inalienable) right to recite Shakespeare, or whatever else, it's clear that this nonsense about inherent rights of authors to censor the rest of the public is absolute tripe.

I'm also rather surprised by the specific language you used. Movies, music, literature, software -- these are not unusual. But in the US at least, there is no copyright for fashion designs. Copyright in pictorial, graphic or sculptural works (such as clothing) can only subsist where the work is separable from any parts which have utility. (The idea, basically, is to avoid having people use copyright when they ought to be using patents) This just isn't the case for clothing, and it's long settled that this is so. Nor is there any need for copyright in the field of clothing design; copyright exists for utilitarian purposes, i.e. to encourage authors to create and publish new original and derivative works, while minimally protecting those works in both scope and duration of protection. That is, copyright exists to get the most stuff in the public domain fastest, with as little copyright as possible along the way. The field of clothing is terribly healthy without copyright. Many new works of fashion design are made all the time. There is no reason whatsoever to believe that there would be a substantial increase in the number of works if copyright were granted. In fact, there is an excellent reason to believe that there would be far fewer, as unauthorized derivatives would not be as common. Further, rent-seeking behavior amongst monopolists being what it is, the public would likely lose access to cheap copies of the designs. There is simply no public benefit _at all_ for copyrighted fashion design. So I'm wondering, why did you mention it?

Long story short, you seem to be quite backwards on this matter. You might want to read up on the utilitarian basis of copyright law, and the actual laws on the books.

Re:There is no debate (-1, Troll)

sbeckstead (555647) | more than 5 years ago | (#28316041)

parent's diatribe is the most repugnant smelly piece of tripe.
"Authors have an inherent right as to whether or not to create a work to begin with" yup and if I want to starve I won't create anything at all or we'll let you have it the minute I produce it and still I'll starve.
It's my work, You can buy it, you can use it for your own amusement. You CAN NOT make copies of it and give it away.

That's not free speech. You certainly have a right to say the same thing I said in your own words you can even quote me on specific points THAT IS FREE SPEECH. After my ability to make money from it runs out it can become public domain but not until it has run the course of being MY FUCKING WORK ASSHOLE!

You are supposed to be enriched by what I write for you and teach you or make you think about. It is for you to repeat what I say or disagree with it vocally if you wish. But taking my work and copying it and giving it away at your whim is not free speech.
I don't understand how anyone can support this obvious garbage. That this "public domain first" crap exists I just don't see how in any society you could think that!

Re:There is no debate (5, Insightful)

cpt kangarooski (3773) | more than 5 years ago | (#28316387)

parent's diatribe is the most repugnant smelly piece of tripe.

No, I think I've got it right, but I'm happy to discuss it.

"Authors have an inherent right as to whether or not to create a work to begin with" yup and if I want to starve I won't create anything at all or we'll let you have it the minute I produce it and still I'll starve.
It's my work, You can buy it, you can use it for your own amusement. You CAN NOT make copies of it and give it away.

No. There are plenty of ways for an author to make money without copyright. For example, Picasso could sell a painting for extravagant amounts; the sorts of people who were prepared to pay him such vast sums wanted an actual copy he made, and would not have just gone out and bought a cheap poster of the same work instead. Architects in the US have traditionally made a living without copyright. The aforementioned fashion designers still don't have copyrights, but do okay. The list goes on and on. In fact, I was a professional artist before I got into law, and I never made a penny that was attributable to copyright, but I nevertheless supported myself and had a comfortable life.

Of course, copyright is no guarantee of success either. Even if you do have a copyright, you can still starve because your work is unpopular. There are plenty of flop movies, plays, books, etc.

The work you create is indeed yours, in the sense that you created it. Other than that, you have no particularly special rights in it inherently. Certainly you cannot control whether or not other people make copies of it and give them away merely because you are the author. Whatever ability you have to control what other people do and do not do can only possibly be based on whether or not those other people consent to your control. Why would they ever do so, unless they felt that it would somehow benefit them more to submit to it than not to?

That's not free speech. You certainly have a right to say the same thing I said in your own words you can even quote me on specific points THAT IS FREE SPEECH.

Yes. And copying your work verbatim is free speech too. But I might be willing to temporarily not do that, at least in some circumstances, if you made it worth my while. But you don't just start out dictating to me what I may and may not say, merely because you said it first.

After my ability to make money from it runs out it can become public domain but not until it has run the course of being MY FUCKING WORK ASSHOLE!

That's simply never how the law has worked. Even in this awful era of copyright law we now find ourselves in, the copyright term runs out after a particular period of time, regardless of whether or not you've completely exhausted the copyright-related revenues to be had.

You are supposed to be enriched by what I write for you and teach you or make you think about. It is for you to repeat what I say or disagree with it vocally if you wish. But taking my work and copying it and giving it away at your whim is not free speech.
I don't understand how anyone can support this obvious garbage. That this "public domain first" crap exists I just don't see how in any society you could think that!

Society is enriched by: 1) Authors creating new original works; 2) Authors creating new derivative works; 3) The public being free to use works in any manner they see fit (copying, distributing, preparing derivative works based upon, etc.); 4) The public not having to pay for works, access to works, copies, etc.

An ideal world would be one in which every creative work that could be created, was, and where there was no copyright at all, so that everyone had cost-free access to the entire body of human creative output. For practical reasons, we can't manage that at this time, but we should at least strive to get as close to that as possible.

The algebra of copyright is essentially that without copyright, some number of works x will be created and published because there are non-copyright-related reasons for authors to do so. Society is enriched by having those works created, published, and in the public domain.

If a modicum of copyright is granted, the number of works created and published may be substantially greater (e.g. 2x) but society is harmed by not having those works in the public domain immediately (in terms of both the breadth of protection and the duration of copyright). If the societal benefit of the works being created and published outweighs the harm caused by them not being in the public domain for a modicum of time, then the overall exercise is worthwhile: It has yielded a net societal benefit.

But copyright's incentivizing effect does not scale linearly, or even necessarily positively, and copyright is always harmful to society. A good illustration is that when adding a year of copyright, more authors will be incentivized when going from 0 years to 1 year, than from 1,000,000 years to 1,000,001. So if we, say, doubled the amount of copyright, we double the harm, but might only add a few more new works. There is a problem of diminishing returns, and if we keep going, we wind up with copyright doing more harm than good and becoming a social evil.

Personally, I think that the best outcome for society is one with a reasonable amount and duration of copyright, but not too much. Right now, I think we have too much, and society is the worse for it. We could tolerate less than an ideal amount of copyright (we've done so before), but I'd prefer to have just the right amount. Should circumstances change, however, it might be that any amount of copyright turns out to be too much. So I'm willing to keep abolition on the table as an option.

So how could I think that there are defects with current copyright laws, and that there is an inherent right of free speech and not an inherent right of copyright? Because I am tremendously concerned with what is best for society. Not with what is best for authors or publishers, mind you, but for society as a whole. Do you still think it's tripe?

Re:There is no debate (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#28316247)

It's the reason why, for example, you have the right to recite Shakespeare in public, even though you are probably not Shakespeare.

Hence! I am Sir Shakespeare, thou clod insensitive!

Re:There is no debate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28316177)

It's considerably more complicated than that. It's not just whether creators have the inherent rights to control their creations, but also under what circumstances and for how long. I'd be the first one to argue creators should be compensated - but not for the excessively long periods of time they have today. I'd like to go back to 14 years as a reasonable length of time for copyright owners to exploit their creation and then it should revert to the public domain. Copyright owners should have NO say whatever in what kind of equipment I use their creations - it's like say a book writer has the right to tell me I can read the book in the bedroom but not while sitting on the john, for example.

Stephen King died today (1)

The_Wilschon (782534) | more than 5 years ago | (#28316263)

I just heard some sad news on talk radio - Horror/Sci Fi writer Stephen King was found dead in his Maine home this morning. The host went on to say that he died of a rare and malignant form of copyright, after it spread to his liver. I'm sure everyone in the Slashdot community will miss him - even if you didn't enjoy his work, there's no denying his contributions to culture. Truly an American icon.

Re:There is no debate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28315957)

How is speech restricted. You are free to say anything you want and claim it as your own as long as it isn't something someone else said first and copyrighted.

Drama queen much? indeed!

Re:There is no debate (5, Interesting)

k10quaint (1344115) | more than 5 years ago | (#28315741)

Drama queen much?

Seriously. We're talking about your "right" to download movies without paying for them.

To equate this with the end of democracy just makes you look ridiculous.

The comparison is quite apt actually, if a tad shrill. Say congress extends presidential term limits every 4 years and the House of Represenatives chose to re-elect him/her every 4 years regardless of the outcome of the "popular vote", you might cry foul. Technically, this would be legal but very unwise.

Copyrights are supposed to expire, mouse or no. Instead, they are extended ad infinitum to provide an economic moat to industries that would otherwise have none. Again, it is legal and quite common to rent congress-critters in order to bolster a failing (or failed) business model.

We were to be accorded limited/fair use of purchased copyrighted works. Instead we are only allowed to view, never transfer, transform, or reproduce these works in any way. Another bait and switch, I bought a product but now, somehow, I have no ownership rights to it.

There is a very good reason why unpopular but powerful governments shut down internet services (facebook, twitter, yahoo email, google, etc). The effortless transmission of information threatens them in exactly the same way it threatens the executives of Disney, Time Warner, Fox, and other large content creators. If you cannot control the flow of information, you cannot control the population or the consumer.

Don't you wonder why AOL could carpet the landscape with CDs/DVDs for pennies, yet when the same medium is produced by RIAA or MPAA members they cost $15.99 or $24.99? Independent filmmakers seem able to produce top quality films for only a few million, even using unionized labor throughout. When the MPAA members make movies, the budgets are in the hundreds of millions just to one up the last blockbuster with more fluff. Who pays for all this? You do. They just moved the decimal place once place to the right and rented congress to make sure that you have to pay it.

The state legislature of Indiana once passed a law that said "3 times the diameter of a circle is the circumference". So everyone who calculated the true circumference of a circle using Pi was in violation of the law. There was no Circumference Calculators Association of America at that time, so today we are able to determine for ourselves just how much runaround we get from congress on some issues.

Congress Can't Do That (1)

maz2331 (1104901) | more than 5 years ago | (#28315839)

The Constitution explicitly spells out when Presidential terms begin and end, and that can't be changed without an actual amendment.

Even the attempt would probably cause a civil war and/or military coup.

Re:Congress Can't Do That (1)

crazyjimmy (927974) | more than 5 years ago | (#28316105)

Yes. Because nothing in the Constitution could possibly be changed without an amendment...

The 10th Amendment says:

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

:-/

--Jimmy

Re:Congress Can't Do That (2, Insightful)

Trahloc (842734) | more than 5 years ago | (#28316127)

Your absolutely right. Which is why an amendment was passed [wikipedia.org] to limit it to 2 terms, so the persons example stands. After all you don't think its We The People who elect our President or amend our Constitution? It's Congress.

Re:Congress Can't Do That (1)

Repossessed (1117929) | more than 5 years ago | (#28316259)

Um, no, its the electoral delegates. The delegates are chosen via the election process.

Congress does have some voice in the primaries, how much depends on the party rules.

Re:There is no debate (1, Funny)

sbeckstead (555647) | more than 5 years ago | (#28316073)

Ahhh an example of circular logic
The state legislature of Indiana once passed a law that said "3 times the diameter of a circle is the circumference". So everyone who calculated the true circumference of a circle using Pi was in violation of the law.

Re:There is no debate (1)

bertoelcon (1557907) | more than 5 years ago | (#28316357)

Ahhh an example of circular logic The state legislature of Indiana once passed a law that said "3 times the diameter of a circle is the circumference". So everyone who calculated the true circumference of a circle using Pi was in violation of the law.

Is that true, how is that even enforceable, much less what kind of horrible mess it would bring about in business that is now massively crippled due to not being able to legally use proven math.

Re:There is no debate (4, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#28315845)

We're talking about how culture is held hostage by people and organisations who think they're entitled to it. Culture depends on the use and reuse of what came before it. You can't do this today, a lot of culture is lying around and nobody may pick it up and create something new out of it. Redoing a 70s or 60s classic to fit into modern tastes? Can't do it, unless you are willing to deal with a huge studio that will rip your pants off if you're not careful.

Copyright was created to give artists an incentive to create, to give culture a boost and to make people create. Today, it is used to keep people from doing just that.

Re:There is no debate (1)

sbeckstead (555647) | more than 5 years ago | (#28316095)

I still fail to see how it is keeping anyone from creating anything. This part of the logic just doesn't add up!

It does seem to be keeping a bunch of people without an original thought in their heads from mashing together a bunch of other peoples work and calling it original.

Re:There is no debate (1)

bertoelcon (1557907) | more than 5 years ago | (#28316425)

I still fail to see how it is keeping anyone from creating anything. This part of the logic just doesn't add up! It does seem to be keeping a bunch of people without an original thought in their heads from mashing together a bunch of other peoples work and calling it original.

It does add up, how many truly original works are there past maybe ~1970, if you can claim anything is a derivative of anything else you have this massive pit of cash you now control called Lawsuits of Copyright Infringement. Somewhere a line must be drawn and someone must not be fallible enough to fail at guarding that line and making sure anything beyond is free. Sadly we are human and greed is inherit in our existence, and we are screwed until we actually do a damn thing to stop it.

Re:There is no debate (1)

shark72 (702619) | more than 5 years ago | (#28316411)

"Redoing a 70s or 60s classic to fit into modern tastes? Can't do it, unless you are willing to deal with a huge studio that will rip your pants off if you're not careful."

You mean recording your own cover? That's Harry Fox; ASCAP and BMI; there are mechanical licensing fees set up so that you generally don't have to deal with record labels or negotiate on costs.

If you're referring to taking the recording and, say, doing a remix, then yes, you need to specifically get permission. However, the alternative is to create something new which you own 100%. Then (and this is the beautiful part) you can copyright it but still release it with absolutely no restrictions on copying or remixing.

If you're not particularly good at writing hit songs yourself, then your own recording may have less commercial value than a remix of a well-known recording from the 1980s. But I believe that most people reading this aren't focused on releasing stuff for commercial gain.

Re:There is no debate (1)

mightyQuin (1021045) | more than 5 years ago | (#28316389)

We're also talking about my "right" to install my own purchased copy of Mass Effect more than three times.

open source king (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28315551)

It looks like you are ready for open source governance [metagovernment.org]

Re:open source king (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28315721)

You mean open source instead of king, yes?

Re:There is no debate (1, Informative)

pugugly (152978) | more than 5 years ago | (#28315729)

"If you accept to be ruled does it really matter how?"

Umm - yes?!?!?!

I remember nine years ago, people blathering on about how George Bush and Al Gore were hardly distinguishable and it made no difference.

A terrorist attack, two and a half wars, with eight years of dark age science, torture, and pissing on the Constitution later, I've come to the conclusion the 'How' makes a difference.

Sure opinions are like assholes. Oddly enough it turns out informed opinions are as rare as informed assholes.

Pug

Re:There is no debate (1)

the simurgh (1327825) | more than 5 years ago | (#28315739)

the only person who should be king is the guy who would kill someone not to be king.

Re:There is no debate (2, Funny)

Chyeld (713439) | more than 5 years ago | (#28315785)

Or me, I'd make a great king. Honest.

Re:There is no debate (2, Interesting)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 5 years ago | (#28316373)

Debating how Copyright should work is like debating who should be king. If you accept to be ruled does it really matter how?

Yes. Yes, it does. There are good kings and bad kings. Now, generally in the modern world we've accepted that "no king" (or having a king who is no more than a figurehead) is the best option of all, but for most of human history that hasn't been a choice.

Will we ever get rid of copyright? Hell, I don't know. Should we? I don't know the answer to that one either. What I do know is that we could have much, much better copyright laws than the ones we have now. (Say, seventeen years upon registration plus an optional, one-time seventeen-year extension ... I think I've heard that one before ...) Condemning all copyright laws as equally bad is not going to make them go away; they'll be with us for a long, long time. There is a lot to be said for harm reduction, just as there is for, to use your analogy, supporting a good king over a bad one.

Re:There is no debate (1)

Quothz (683368) | more than 5 years ago | (#28316427)

Debating how Copyright should work is like debating who should be king. If you accept to be ruled does it really matter how?

So you won't mind if I download one of your programs, say TcpSafe, sell it, and keep all of the money. Right?

hrmm (4, Funny)

acehole (174372) | more than 5 years ago | (#28315407)

Great-copyright-story.torrent

Need more seeds!

Re:hrmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28315589)

These new hard drives I just ordered won't fill themselves...

Re:hrmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28316275)

These new hard drives I just ordered won't fill themselves...

Not running Vista, I take it?

dead simple (2, Interesting)

markringen (1501853) | more than 5 years ago | (#28315411)

allow people to choose if they pay, you will see that 50% of the people will pay something. eventually people feel guilty, but you can't force people to pay whatever you want for music/movies/games.

Re:dead simple (2, Insightful)

PylonHead (61401) | more than 5 years ago | (#28315505)

How about this. We let people choose if they pay. If they pay then they get to watch the movie. If they don't pay then they can do something else with their time.

Seems simple enough.

Re:dead simple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28315547)

What idiot modded this redundant?

Restatement of status quo ~ redundant (2, Insightful)

Mathinker (909784) | more than 5 years ago | (#28315691)

I agree that the moderator probably just disagreed, having been around here for quite a while; however, since the post really is just a restatement of what is supposed to be the status quo, there is a certain amount of justification for it being modded Redundant.

Re:dead simple (1)

Itninja (937614) | more than 5 years ago | (#28315639)

Sounds great. But with all that digital media out there, and all the copyright holders' rights to enforce, we would need some kind management system. Maybe some kind of software that will constantly monitor users' PCs and make sure that actually are allowed to use the media they have. We could call it something like "E-Rights Watcher". Great idea!

Sounds great, but (2, Insightful)

Mathinker (909784) | more than 5 years ago | (#28315669)

There is only one problem with your glib idea. The people who are supposed to choose not to watch the movie are being manipulated into wanting to watch it.

I would totally agree with you if there were laws which required the media cartels to spend even 10% of their advertising budget on educating the Average Joe how he could actually enjoy spending his time not watching their product.

Yes, it isn't going to happen. The same Average Joes are also manipulated into supporting (or at least not actively dissenting to ) governments which also aren't interested in them being less manipulatable.

Re:Sounds great, but (1)

sbeckstead (555647) | more than 5 years ago | (#28316123)

This is called commerce. I generate a desire in you to exchange money for entertainment. You give money I give entertainment.

Re:dead simple (1)

AnnoyaMooseCowherd (1352247) | more than 5 years ago | (#28315851)

...and if they pay and they watch, only to find that it doesn't live up to the hype that got them wanting to watch in the first place, we give them back their money?

Re:dead simple (1)

sbeckstead (555647) | more than 5 years ago | (#28316143)

If you take it back or walk out of the movie you can many times get your money back. But you pays your money and you takes yer chances. Just like it's been since entertainment began.

Re:dead simple (1)

AnnoyaMooseCowherd (1352247) | more than 5 years ago | (#28316205)

Just like it's been since entertainment began

When entertainment began, it is more likely that people would perform and then pass the hat round to get what people watching thought it was worth.

I'm not sure that copyright laws existed back then either, which begs the question; how did anyone ever make a living?

Re:dead simple (1)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 5 years ago | (#28316223)

Yes, because clearly whenever you suffer buyers' remorse, you get a full refund!

Re:dead simple (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#28315863)

Appearantly that's no option, because that's what's done and behold, studios claim everyone who refuses to watch their crap is copying it.

The idea that the junk that's currently clogging our cinemas isn't even worth the bandwidth to download it is beyond them, it seems.

Re:dead simple (0, Troll)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 5 years ago | (#28316239)

I am so tired of this bullshit reasoning. This idea that no one's watching movies or listening to music because it's all crap... if that's true, then why can I search for torrents of any current movie and find tens of thousands of people downloading it at that instant? Do you honestly believe that not a single one of those people would be willing to pay for it?

No, of course not. You know full well that many (though certainly not all) downloads do represent a lost sale. You're simply trying to justify your actions, 'cuz you want free stuff.

Re:dead simple (1)

sbeckstead (555647) | more than 5 years ago | (#28316119)

Here Here!

Re:dead simple (2, Interesting)

Overly Critical Guy (663429) | more than 5 years ago | (#28315891)

I love that 50% figure that you pulled out of thin air. What you're proposing is the classic "someone else will pay the artist" mentality. People like to trot that out when they say musicians will make their money from concert tours and t-shirts. It's just an excuse to not pay and avoid feeling guilty.

You're right that you can't force people to pay whatever you want for music, movies, and games. Nobody's forcing anybody to do anything. That's because music, movies, and games aren't necessities, so people can just NOT BUY THEM. You're not justified in pirating something just because you think it's expensive.

One thing I notice Slashdot loves to do is cite how copyrights used to last shorter periods of time way back when, ignoring the fact that we live in a more connected society where media like films, album master tapes, and so on last longer, and so content owners can make money on something for many more decades than in the past. Copyrights were extended to reflect the times. The ONLY reason Slashdotters want shorter copyright laws is because they want shit for free, so they latch onto copyright battles to make themselves feel like they're part of some kind of movement and not just pirating things. There's always a self-serving motive.

Not to mention the amusing fact that the GPL relies on copyright, since it's a copyright license. It's interesting that Slashdotters don't apply their anti-copyright attitudes toward GPL code reuse.

Re:dead simple (5, Insightful)

AnnoyaMooseCowherd (1352247) | more than 5 years ago | (#28315949)

ignoring the fact that we live in a more connected society where media like films, album master tapes, and so on last longer, and so content owners can make money on something for many more decades than in the past.

Copyright was originally introduced to cover written works such as books. Go to any decent library and you will find books that have lasted a lot longer than most films do.

Copyrights were extended to reflect the times.

In reality, copyright laws were introduced to encourage creative people to create more stuff for the enrichment of society as a whole. The terms of these copyrights were carefully chosen to give the creator enough time to make some money, but not so long that they could simply stop creating and sit back and live of an afternoon's work they put in fifty years before in a recording studio.

Re:dead simple (4, Insightful)

Chyeld (713439) | more than 5 years ago | (#28315959)

These "Artists" you speak of are the only people in the world that I've ever met who have honestly believed that they deserve to be paid by us in perpetutuality for 'an hours' worth of work using material they've borrows from us.

Engineers don't expect a monthly check from the people who drive over the bridges built to their design.

Architects aren't getting rich off the residuals on their building designs.

Your average office worker doesn't even get paid for all the reports and charts they create.

Why is it that being an "Artist" should equate to "being paid forever".

And PST... if we truely are living in such a connected world, then it sould be even easier for the "Artist" to make their buck in a shorter amount of time than before. The fact that the works 'last longer' is bullshit, given I still can go see the Mona Lisa, yet the majority of the TV shows broadcast just in the 30's and 40's are lost forever.

Re:dead simple (1)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 5 years ago | (#28316337)

Ok. In that case, let's go to a model where society pays salary to all artists, bad ones get fired, good ones promoted, etc... basically the same as other jobs. Of course, that money needs to come from somewhere. There are two options:

1) Corporations employ the artists and make money by selling their works. Looks like we still need copyright after all.
2) The government employs artists, gives their works away to the public for free, but has to pay for it with a substantial tax hike.

Right now, you only pay for the media you want (in most cases - cable TV packages suck). The alternative is for everyone to subsidize all art, whether they like it or not. Or, I suppose, a third option is for us to not have any TV or movies or big budget media of any sort. But if you want that third option, then you already have the choice of simply not paying for it.

Let's be honest. The status quo needs reform, but copyright is much better than the alternative.

Re:dead simple (2, Informative)

loufoque (1400831) | more than 5 years ago | (#28316415)

The way for musicians to make money is concerts.
This is actually how they are earning their money today. Musicians don't earn much from CD sales, really.

This can be generalized to all artists, and also craftsmen and the like, fairly easily: money comes from exhibitions and orders.

Re:dead simple (1)

sbeckstead (555647) | more than 5 years ago | (#28316151)

I love that 50% figure that you pulled out of thin air. First time I've heard of an ass being called thin air!

Re:dead simple (1)

sbeckstead (555647) | more than 5 years ago | (#28316111)

Yes I can.

Copyright: (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28315427)

Too big to fail.

Republicans ! - pay enough and (-1, Troll)

unity100 (970058) | more than 5 years ago | (#28315453)

they will work for satan. the only difference in between them and democrats is that, democrats, at least, feel a tiny bit of shame and fear some remorse from constituents. republicans are the hardened breed - no remorse, no fear, no shame, pay, and you get what you pay for.

Re:Republicans ! - pay enough and (2, Insightful)

MaXiMiUS (923393) | more than 5 years ago | (#28315533)

Seems to me it's more like you pay for what you get..

Re:Republicans ! - pay enough and (5, Insightful)

CorporateSuit (1319461) | more than 5 years ago | (#28315587)

Orin Hatch is renowned for being one of the most corrupt men in the United States (accepting larger bribes than any other senator from the shadiest industries in the country). He is the personification of both major parties' vitriol, not just republican. He, like Ted Stevens and the Kennedys, is proof that we need to limit the number of terms that anyone may stay in Washington. He's a royal family, all in and of himself.

WHY is he personification of both ? (-1, Flamebait)

unity100 (970058) | more than 5 years ago | (#28315641)

while being republican ? werent the ones who installed that mind fucking 'healthcare reform' republican in the 2000s ? werent the bastards who staged the sudden anti net neutrality attack of 2 years ago republicans ? arent the faggots talking now republicans ?

WHY the hell should i have to attribute it to both parties, whereas EVERY single gamebreaker shit i see belongs to republicans ?

Re:WHY is he personification of both ? (1)

CorporateSuit (1319461) | more than 5 years ago | (#28315743)

whereas EVERY single gamebreaker shit i see belongs to republicans ?

That certainly sounds like a personal issue. Maybe pay more attention to the democrats for a while?

personal ? (2, Insightful)

unity100 (970058) | more than 5 years ago | (#28316049)

the anti net neutrality attack was hatched by republicans. iraq flop was engineered by republicans. healthcare flop was engineered by republicans. unconstitutional wiretappings, torture, executive powers to the extent of dictatorship were engineered by republicans. the fucking global crisis was only possible thanks to republicans chanting 'hands off businesses' for 30 years and more. entire world is suffering. republicans. republicans, and again republicans.

excuse me but yeah, its personal. because it directly affects me in person.

a problem i see in american people is preferring to escape the easy, bringing-together route by saying 'both parties are equally corrupt', instead of laying the blame where it lies, and prosecuting the guilty.

Re:personal ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28316213)

Yea and Chicago is ruled by Repubicans too in your world I bet. Their is enough retardation and moronic thinking to go around in both US parties. Both are corrupt and self dealing at their core.

Fuck Orin Hatch BTW he is a peice of shit moron.

Re:personal ? (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 5 years ago | (#28316321)

i dont give a flying fuck whether they are 'both' corrupt or not.

the fact is, one of them fucked up the ENTIRE world economy, started a totally irrelevant war, attacked net neutrality, bankrupted not only u.s., but caused bankruptcy of a few other countries, undermined american people with that healthcare flop, aided radical right wing governments to power in numerous countries, and did that ALL at the same time in the past 8 years.

excuse me, but, if i do have any amount of proportionality and comparison skills, goes WAY beyond any political party on the face of the planet has done in the last century. and even before.

Wexler and Hatch are tools of Big Media (5, Insightful)

bughunter (10093) | more than 5 years ago | (#28315555)

Just another data point correlated with the general trend of Congresscritters whoring for the **AA. Even Wexler, who is a member of the progressive congress, needs wealthy donors. And he gets them by fellating the copyright cosa nostra, in this example...

Everyone in congress is owned by one or more corporate interests, and although it seems the recording and movie industries target those with a (D) after their names, Orrin Hatch proves that their corruption is bipartisan.

Wait a second... (3, Insightful)

DesScorp (410532) | more than 5 years ago | (#28315591)

I thought we were for copyright reform here... i.e. a return to reasonable copyright periods. When did we decide that we wanted to completely abolish copyright? What about the GNU copyrights? Do we start ignoring them too?

If you just want to completely trash the system and ignore all copyrights, then sorry, I didn't sign up for that revolution.

Re:Wait a second... (4, Interesting)

conteXXt (249905) | more than 5 years ago | (#28315633)

You have to realise that nobody shoots for the middle (workable) ground.

You have to aim for NO copyright to get "reasonable" copyright.

Tell me I am wrong please.

Re:Wait a second... (1)

DesScorp (410532) | more than 5 years ago | (#28315689)

Conte, what's the story on that sig?

Re:Wait a second... (4, Insightful)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#28315663)

I thought we were for copyright reform here

-1 Characterizes Slashdot as just a single opinion.

I'm a copyright abolitionist. Other folks on here are copyright reformists. Other folks on here like copyright just the way it is thank you. Other folks on here think copyright should be strengthened. Other folks on here think copyright should be more like regular property laws.

Re:Wait a second... (2, Insightful)

RobVB (1566105) | more than 5 years ago | (#28315859)

How do you make copyright laws more like regular property laws? The way I see it, regular property laws says something like "it's illegal if you take my car without either paying or getting my permission to take it", which is roughly the equivalent of "it's illegal if you take my master tape without either paying or getting my permission to take it". We're talking about the equivalent of "it's illegal if you make a copy of my car with me not noticing it" - which as far as I know has not put many people behind bars.

Re:Wait a second... (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#28315919)

Well, it's not my opinion, so I can't really give a fair explanation.. but what Sonny Bono said was that copyright should never expire, it should have no fair use exceptions, it should attract criminal charges for violations, and be investigated by the police. I find this absurd, of course, but I guess he would have been in favour of the scenario where ripping a CD to create an mp3 is detected by some DRM mechanism in the OS, sends a message to the police, who then come knock on your door and charge you with a crime. His justification for this would be that copying = theft and so why isn't it prosecuted as such. Whether or not everyone who makes the stupid implication that copyright infringement is the same thing as theft believes that the police should investigate and arrest copyright infringers is an open question.

Re:Wait a second... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28316081)

Which category would you say copyright only in copy-for-profit situations fits in?

If you're copying for profit (eg. things like people selling copied movies/software/etc), it seems fair for the the originator to have their fair share during the limited duration of the copyright. Basically, not having to worry that by publishing some work you're just letting some other person have all the money people spend on it.

Copying for freely sharing would be unrestricted since nothing is missed (except the idle speculation about who might be buying what if people couldn't share with each other).

Re:Wait a second... (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#28316347)

copyright reformist.

Re:Wait a second... (1)

init100 (915886) | more than 5 years ago | (#28316311)

I thought we were for copyright reform here... i.e. a return to reasonable copyright periods.

In politics, you'll always have to negotiate, and when you do, you'll usually not end up with the solution you find optimal, but some middle ground between your solution and your opponent's solution. If you argue for reasonable protection terms, you'll get the middle ground between reasonable and unreasonably long term lengths. Only by aiming to abolish copyright, you can pull the middle ground to where you want it, and thus get a reasonable term length after the negotiations are concluded.

Orrin Hatch... (2, Insightful)

Evil Shabazz (937088) | more than 5 years ago | (#28315625)

...is one of the better examples of why we need to impose term limits on Senators. Right up there with Mitch McConnell and John Boehner.

Re:Orrin Hatch... (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#28315755)

Term limits are dumb. We just need to get the Senate to get rid of the incredible power bonus that currently comes with seniority.

Slashdot is living in the stone age (1)

bonch (38532) | more than 5 years ago | (#28315781)

1.) Slashdotters only rant against copyright because they're pro-piracy and don't want to lose the free ride. The hypocrisy is ridiculous, especially because Slashdot itself has sued other websites over copyright infringement.

2.) Copyright protects content creators so that they get paid for their work. Slashdotters don't want people to be paid for their work, because they want to pirate it. All your motives are self-serving, and it's so obvious.

3.) The GPL is a copyright license. If you disagree with copyright law, then I'm free to do whatever I want with your GPL code.

I know I'll get modded down for voicing this opinion, because I've posted anti-piracy, pro-copyright opinions in the past and gotten trashed by roving gangs of moderators. Ah, well.

Re:Slashdot is living in the stone age (0, Troll)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 5 years ago | (#28316283)

You're right, of course, but Slashdot's moderation and meta-moderation systems are quite good at enforcing groupthink. As long as the majority of people on this site just want free stuff, rational opinions will be marginalized, and the same tired old lines will get modded up over and over.

"Hollywood only makes crap, no one would pay for it even if they couldn't download it."
"Piracy doesn't take a physical good from anyone, so it's OK."
"They've over-extended terms/sued for too much/employed illegal tactics to harass filesharers, therefore I'm justified in stealing their stuff."
"It's my right to free speech to copy that guy's free speech verbatim!"
"Artists are just leeches trying to coast on a few minutes of work"
blah blah blah...

Explain the reason for copyright expansion (4, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#28315789)

What's the reason behind copyright? To give authors and creative artists an incentive to produce, to give them the exclusive right to use their creation for a limited time (yeah, that's the idea, now the studios hold it in the stranglehold... bear with me, ok?), so they can regenerate their expense, so they can reap the rewards for their labour, so they can actually live off their creation.

Tell me one thing: If you're unable to regenerate your cost, if you don't earn enough within 50 years to have an incentive to produce, why do you think 70, 90 or however many more years would be an incentive?

My suggestion would be, let's limit it to, say, 20 years and see if people stop creating content. My money is on "they won't stop".

So care to explain to me why you need the lengths you do? To give people an incentive to create? Don't make me laugh!

Re:Explain the reason for copyright expansion (2, Insightful)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#28315999)

What's the reason behind copyright? To give authors and creative artists an incentive to produce

You still didn't answer the question.

let's limit it to, say, 20 years and see if people stop creating content. My money is on "they won't stop".

Now you're getting closer.

Assumption: There's creative works which we want people to create (books, songs, movies, whatever).
Assumption: Without some economic incentive, they won't create them.
The Problem: What is the minimum incentive that we can give them to encourage production?

Thing is, both of those assumptions are simply wrong. The first assumption is wrong because it doesn't actually specify in quantity, quality or kind exactly what it is that we want. This means that any solution we come up with is going to have to include a well functioning market, cause its an observed fact that, on occasion, markets can answer these questions for us. The second assumption is wrong because its an observed fact that people do make these things we're interested in without any financial incentive. "Starving artist" is a cliche because many artists make an economic choice to do their art rather than do something much more economically sensible. It was never observed that there was a shortage of art, books, songs, movies, whatever. For as long as these things have existed they have existed in abundance.

So trying to solve this problem with these false assumptions is folly, but ok, let's give it a go. For a start, we need a well functioning market to determine the quantity, quality or kind of goods we're trying to economically encourage. Great. Let's give artists a monopoly.... hey, how the hell do you get a well functioning market from giving people monopolies? That seems pretty stupid doesn't it?

Re:Explain the reason for copyright expansion (2, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#28316109)

You're right, maybe "incentive" was the wrong term. Let's say, how do we enable an artist to focus on creating art instead of forcing him to have a "mundane" job so he can fund his artistry? If people are really good artists, I'd call it a waste if they were forced to work a 9-5 job just to do what they're really good at. Think how much art he could produce if he wasn't distracted by mundane tasks!

If you are dealing with easily reproduced art where the reproduction itself does not represent any sensible amount of 'work' compared to the original creation (any kind of art that can be distributed digitally, from music to movies, computer programs and photographies), not giving an artist the ability to have the exclusive distribution right would result in people waiting for others to invest their time into creation and focus on distribution. The usual market forces of supply and demand will not work, due to a limitless supply. Prices, and thus sales since any other determining forces like quality and availability are equal for all possible supplyers, would not be determined by who is the best creator but who has the most efficient distribution system.

Essentially, abolishing copyright altogether would shift power to distributors even more than the current system does, since they will certainly have more efficient and cheaper distribution systems already in place.

The counter argument for this is of course that distribution has been proven to be easy and can be done (is actually done) by the ones wanting the content, through P2P. This is of course true, but leaves the question of compensation completely open. Content being created without the financial incentive has been mentioned a lot too, because people are creative without an immediate monetary incentive to create. The question that remains is, though, whether the amount of art will be the same without the incentive, whether the quality will be the same and whether the kind will be the same. Art, by its very definition, is something personal. People will first and foremost create the kind of art they like and enjoy, which is not necessarily the kind that will please the majority of the consumers.

Re:Explain the reason for copyright expansion (2, Insightful)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#28316167)

If people are really good artists, I'd call it a waste if they were forced to work a 9-5 job just to do what they're really good at.

Surely if the market isn't offering artists a 9-5 job to create their art then there really isn't that much demand for it.

Think how much art he could produce if he wasn't distracted by mundane tasks!

Think of how much of that art we don't want. I can apply this argument for anything. Think of how many waves I could surf if I wasn't distracted by a 9-5 job.. Think of how many nasty letters to KD Lang I could write if I wasn't distracted by a 9-5 job. Before you decide to offer an economic incentive for an activity you really have to ask what the value of that activity is.

Your other points demonstrate what I've been saying for about a decade now.. There's simply too many existing works for copyright to be used as anything more than a means to suppress their appreciation. There's a reason why the vast majority of books only remain in print for 12 to 18 months. It's not because everyone who would want to read that book has bought a copy in the limited period of time.

Anticopyrighters have no business case either. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28315831)

Copyright is a proven business case, by the fact that a large number of companies depend on it, and a large amount of consumer dollars go into it, and a large amount of money is spent on developing items covered by it.

100% of the business cases proposed by anticopyrighters suffers from the ""Oh, I Am So Sorry You Are Fucked, Have A Nice Day Fallacy". Specifically, that they are, like the claims of the copyright industry, based on very loose estimates (although even less believable as their model has never been proven as a business case), however, that if events do not pan out as planned, there is no going back.

Consider: James does something according to method X which causes James pleasure and Peter both pain and pleasure. Peter then demands that James instead do this according to method Y, which Peter claims will cause both himself and James a lot less pain and a lot more pleasure. The only caveat in this is that if James goes along with Peter's proposal to change to plan Y, and Y does not lead to the claimed practical effects, then James is f*cking dead while Peter has lots of pleasure and zero pain.

Peter in this case expects James to adopt method Y because Peter is an idiot.

The "comment" in the GP is meaningless idiot-babble, specifically as shown in that changing 3-4 words can make it an argument against any group on earth.

TFA seems crappy (2, Insightful)

dthx1138 (833363) | more than 5 years ago | (#28315887)

You could classify me as a Slashdot reader who does not have a firm opinion on overall copyright law and needs to be convinced one way or another. That being said, this article has progressed 0% of the way towards that goal. It's basically several quoted paragraphs following by the writer ranting as if he's yelling at a television screen- "Oh no you didn't say that! Corporate whore!" etc.

Aside from a few anecdotal cases of copyright-related stupidity such as the iTunes song activation limit, I could not tell you anything in particular that is wrong with our overall copyright law that needs to be changed. Saying that all copyrights should be abolished sound ridiculous, and ranting about greed does nothing to advance your position either. Somebody explain to me WHAT should be changed about copyright law and WHY I should support such a change, and you will have my attention.

Re:TFA seems crappy (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#28316145)

Length, for one. If you're not able to recover your production cost in 10 years, you won't recover them in 90. So why extension after extension?

Or how about erosion of fair use? Why is a copyright holder allowed to practically undermine fair use exceptions by DRM?

Re:TFA seems crappy (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#28316217)

Length, for one. If you're not able to recover your production cost in 10 years, you won't recover them in 90. So why extension after extension?

I see this sawed on quite a bit, and I disagree. Often, interest in a classic results in a resurgence of income for whoever is holding onto the rights, if they are clever and "agile" (/me ducks) enough to take advantage of it.

On the other hand, what do I get by allowing corporations to exert copyright? If I eventually get the right to do anything I want with it, and by eventually I mean "reasonably within my lifespan if I became familiar with it as a teenager", then maybe I am willing to pay what the market will bear to have limited rights to it now. That was the deal, right? Only copyright keeps getting extended, so that we are offered only tantalizing glimpses of what a world in which copyrights expired in a reasonable period would look like with, for example, the antiquated (though still often useful and/or entertaining texts) of Project Gutenberg. So I also don't agree that the exclusive right to copy should be granted for periods so long.

Kill all the greedy f'in bastards (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28315907)

Kill all the greedy f'in bastards. Firing squad style. Problem solved. Economy problems...line 'em up. BANG!!! S&L BANG!!! Housing market crashing...BANG!!! Orrin Hatch and Robert Wexler, BANG, BANG!!

On my iPod (4, Interesting)

MikeD83 (529104) | more than 5 years ago | (#28315955)

I wish someone in Congress actually served their constituents and asked the simple question:
When a consumer buys a CD/DVD is that customer allowed to put it on their mobile media player? If so, and how would they legally go about doing that?

It seems that the **AA wants a one way street when it comes to this issue. They put anti-ripping software on both CDs and DVDs,,, which doesn't actually reduce copyright infringement; it only causes their customers to break laws in order to actually use the content they purchased.

Hatch... a blight on my land. (0, Offtopic)

r1v3t3d (1266554) | more than 5 years ago | (#28315963)

Without getting into a fierce debate about IP reform and the absurdity of current copyright law, let me just say this: Hatch is a fucking idiot, always has been. He does not represent me in any way, shape or form. Nor does he represent the majority of people in the state of Utah. Those who do follow this raving moron are probably no more educated than he is. Seriously, Orrin. You're old. And ignorant. And closed-minded. And petty and small. Shut the fuck up already. Utah hates you-- You just haven't let the truth sink in yet.

Re:Hatch... a blight on my land. (1)

Mordok-DestroyerOfWo (1000167) | more than 5 years ago | (#28315993)

We have the same problem next door in Nevada with Harry Reid. He is a complete waste of humanity, but we keep voting him in because we like having the power.

Re:Hatch... a blight on my land. (1)

r1v3t3d (1266554) | more than 5 years ago | (#28316015)

I concur. He is a disgrace to the Democratic party, just as so many, many others are to the GOP. *cough Limbaugh Cheney Rumsfeld Bush Rove Rice Boehner cough* But I digress. Reid is good for almost nothing.

Laid out bare (4, Interesting)

RyoShin (610051) | more than 5 years ago | (#28316083)

that copyright is the only way to make money on creative works

While I don't think anyone's been delusional about it, this is proof that government officials are in the pocket of corporations, or at least have some ulterior motive for acting in their interests. (While that line was said by Hatch, Wexler's part doesn't fare much better.)

The US Constitution empowers Congress:

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.

No where in there does it say anything about profit.

I now view Wexler and Hatch as one of the many bought-and-paid-for politicians; it's unfortunate I have no opportunity to vote against either. On an interesting aside, Wexler is a Democrat (FL) and Hatch a Republican (UT). Why neither the summary nor the techdirt article states this is beyond me, as I consider it highly relevant.

Cocaine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28316141)

Wexler loves cocaine because it's fun. so are copyrights.

The Real Value Of IP (1)

jusmah2cents (1450315) | more than 5 years ago | (#28316149)

There is a very good book by two economists: Michele Boldrin and David K. Levine called "Against Intellectual Monopoly" in which they cite example after example of real empirical evidence that dispels the claims of the value of IP. The claim that IP is necessary to spur innovation, and protect profits to repay all of the research required is not supported by actual evidence. They put their money where their mouth is in that the book is in the creative commons and can be downloaded as a free pdf at http://mises.org/books/against.pdf [mises.org]

Exclusive copyright is THEFT! (1)

LadyDarkKitten (1532419) | more than 5 years ago | (#28316279)

I took a copyright law class not too long ago and after said class I came to the conclusion that exclusive copyright even for a short period is theft. If you put exclusive protection to a piece of work then your stealing that idea from the creative pool and preventing its usage by everyone else who may have had that idea. Now what if that one idea was what would have set an individual on the path to being an artist but the person didn't even bother because someone owned it already. What if that person were to become the next Picasso? The next Michel Angelo, Julie Bell, Luis Royo or Olivia De Berardinis? How could anyone let the world be deprived of that? Keep in mind that this comment is from an artist point of view. I write, draw, paint and honestly I want other artist to be able to take my work and put their own twist on it or make it something completely different. With the current copyright laws that's not possible unless you know about the Creative Commons License. http://creativecommons.org/ [creativecommons.org]

Memories...on the corners of my... (1)

zaivala (887815) | more than 5 years ago | (#28316315)

Somebody should get Wexler and Hatch to read (or, hopefully, re-read) Spider Robinson's Hugo-winning story, "Elephant's Memory". The longer and tighter you make copyright last, the more you HURT creativity.
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