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Musician Lobby Terms Balanced Copyright "Disgusting"

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the less-than-impressed dept.

Government 319

An anonymous reader writes "While most of the attention at Thursday's Canadian copyright town hall was on the recording industry's strategy to pack the room and exclude alternate voices, the most controversial activity took place outside the hall. It has now been revealed that security guards threatened students and a Member of Parliament for distributing leaflets, and the American Federation of Musicians termed the MP's leaflet, which called for balanced copyright, 'disgusting' and demanded a retraction and apology. At this point, such an admission seems unlikely."

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First post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29251447)

First post

Frankly (5, Insightful)

zoomshorts (137587) | more than 4 years ago | (#29251463)

The artists, the songwriters need to be the ONLY people represented there.
They are, after all, the people who create the music. RIAA and their ilk
need not be present at all. They are merely thugs who take the lion's share
of the money that should go to the artists directly.

Re:Frankly (4, Insightful)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 4 years ago | (#29251543)

The other night I was a witness to flagrant copyright infringement. Nay, I even supported it.

I was at a small restaurant, and there was this guy strumming an electric guitar, playing all these "Golden Oldies" (I am 40+) from the 60's to the 80's. The guy was a terrible singer, but he could play the guitar reasonably well. My girlfriend and I started singing along (we are pretty damned good singers) to some of the classics (like Beatles songs we knew) - it was that kind of relaxed tiny restaurant. We got applause.

We ended up having a great time. I tipped the guy the equivalent of about $20.

However according to RIAA world view, this person should probably be in jail for not only singing songs that weren't "his" but actually trying to earn a living from it. And I should be in jail for supporting his illegal activities and singing along. In fact, this probably constituted a "public performance". You know, the world according to the RIAA would kind of suck.

Name me ONE FUCKING ARTIST who started out with 100% original music. Everyone plays the songs they like, or the songs they heard, while they're learning to play. EVERYONE. Without explicit written permission from the copyright holder. The RIAA hypocrites represent the worst in human greed and, to quote Pink Floyd: "And if I had my own way, I'd have all of you SHOT!".

Actually (3, Insightful)

zoomshorts (137587) | more than 4 years ago | (#29251589)

When I was learning to play the saxophone and later , guitar,
I would purchase sheet music for the songs I wanted to learn.

I assumed that my purchase of the music, essentially allowed
me to play that music. Not for profit, but to learn.

School bands, the orchestral and marching bands, all did the
same thing until Xerography became commonplace. Now I suspect
they buy ONE copy and burn as many copies as they need.

That would be a copyright violation, easily.

Re:Actually (5, Informative)

wstrucke (876891) | more than 4 years ago | (#29251671)

School bands, the orchestral and marching bands, all did the same thing until Xerography became commonplace. Now I suspect they buy ONE copy and burn as many copies as they need.

That would be a copyright violation, easily.

Some do that. Most of them actually purchase the music because the RIAA and similar groups have enormous fines for not having the originals. There are 800 numbers you can call to report suspected piracy and they will come out unannounced and search the school's music library to make sure they have purchased originals for all of their music.

Since kids tend to damage or lose the originals many directors keep them in their library and only hand out the photocopies -- which is entirely legal.

A side effect of this is why school music programs are always broke. They have to spend a lot of money on the music alone, and whatever is left over goes to instruments, uniforms, and eventually the students. IMO this is good example of everything that is wrong with the industry. Schools should get this stuff for free so they can spend the money on education and not have to worry about copyright.

Re:Actually (5, Interesting)

LinkX39 (1100879) | more than 4 years ago | (#29252009)

I agree whole-heartedly. I was in band from the 4th grade all the way through til high school graduation and I saw what copyright "protection" did to our music program. I remember having to share one sheet of music for 4 people because our director didn't want to take a chance at violating copyright by making an extra copy or two; whether a violation would have occurred or not didn't matter (and I'm not sure it would have), the fear of it happening was enough. Except in areas where the band actually makes a profit (all of our concerts were free at the time and open to the public, no profit was made except during marching band season) how is this not all covered under fair use? It's ridiculous. The only reason we didn't have financial problems was because we had such a good group of lobbying parents in the past that pushed the district for money, allowing us to build a substantial back catalog of music we could play from. I can see why smaller schools don't even start up band/orchestra programs though, it's too damn expensive. IMO, the RIAA will be a major culprit in the death of music education in America.

Re:Actually (1)

Brian Gordon (987471) | more than 4 years ago | (#29252245)

I'm not sure about actual performances but using it for direct educational purposes is one of the strongest fair use protections

Re:Actually (2, Informative)

parodyca (890419) | more than 4 years ago | (#29252315)

I'm not sure about actual performances but using it for direct educational purposes is one of the strongest fair use protections

You are absolutely correct.Unfortunately in Canada we don't have fair use, only the much more limited fair dealings. which does not cover education uses.

Re:Actually (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29252539)

Weird, I went to a mid-range private school in Montreal (and while Quebec runs on the Code Civil for civil law, it tends to be much more favorable to content producers because about every politician out there would probably hand over the province lock, stock and key to conglomerates like Quebecor Group if they could make them swallow it's good for french canadian culture... oops too late) with a reasonable music program (most of them do to be fair) and we copied the sheet music a lot, I don't remember any piece we did having such restrictions or them being observed.

Re:Actually (1)

mweather (1089505) | more than 4 years ago | (#29252557)

So I take it there is a specific exemption for libraries?

Re:Actually (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 4 years ago | (#29252227)

I thought "educational use" was allowed as fair use?

Re:Actually (3, Insightful)

ae1294 (1547521) | more than 4 years ago | (#29252415)

I thought "educational use" was allowed as fair use?

Fair Use has been dead for awhile now...

Re:Actually (2, Informative)

Mashiki (184564) | more than 4 years ago | (#29252519)

Actually. Most of the schools around here have killed their music programs because it's so expensive to buy sheet music now. There's the odd middle school(and a few highschools and I'm in a city with 5 highschools) with a small program that has a freaking waiting list for kids. But yeah, it's too expensive just for the music. 15 years ago when I was in highschool the most expensive thing was instrument maintenance and we bought all the sheet music back than too.

Nah these bastards are fuckin' us over because they know they can and want a large piece of the pie. And as someone who thinks that kids should have access to music programs, it really does piss me off.

Re:Frankly (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29251739)

Name me ONE FUCKING ARTIST who started out with 100% original music

W. A. Mozart?

Re:Frankly (5, Interesting)

seizurebattlerobot (265408) | more than 4 years ago | (#29252307)

Nope. There's a famous historical anecdote about this very issue.

Twice a year a celebrated Misereri by Allegri, an early seventeenth-century composer, was performed by the choir, but the work, which existed only in MS., was so highly esteemed that to copy it was a crime visited with excommunication. Young Mozart nevertheless determined that he would secure a copy, and after two hearings he had the whole thing so perfectly on paper that next year Dr. Burney, the musical historian, was able to publish it in London.

Mozart had to worry about excommunication as punishment for his piracy at the time. If the RIAA were functioning in Mozart's time as it is today (100+ year copyrights), he would have been prosecuted.

Source: http://www.music-with-ease.com/mozart.html

Re:Frankly (4, Interesting)

canadian_right (410687) | more than 4 years ago | (#29252323)

Sorry no. While he did start writing his own music at a very early age, he did indeed get his first music lesson playing others music. And Mozart lived before all copyright laws so he often found that after one of his new pieces was played in concert, the town down the road was performing his music the next week and he didn't see a cent.

A want copyright laws that allow artists to earn a fair living. I want fair use spelled out. I want a limited copyright term, say 20 years. I want NO DMR.

Re:Frankly (1)

agnosticnixie (1481609) | more than 4 years ago | (#29252547)

No.

Re:Frankly (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29251903)

However according to RIAA world view, this person should probably be in jail for not only singing songs that weren't "his" but actually trying to earn a living from it. And I should be in jail for supporting his illegal activities and singing along.

The restaurant is supposed to pay royalties to ASCAP or BMI or whoever. I wouldn't assume that they aren't being paid.

Name me ONE FUCKING ARTIST who started out with 100% original music. Everyone plays the songs they like, or the songs they heard, while they're learning to play. EVERYONE

It's certainly not illegal to buy sheet music of one's favorite rock artists, and sing and practice said music in the privacy of one's home, perhaps accompanied by others, maybe with the goal of performing the same or original music in public one day. Obviously, that is the whole purpose of buying the sheet music in the first place. With an undisciplined rant such as this, it's hard to guess what alleged industry practice you are railing against.

Re:Frankly (5, Funny)

RIAA Associate (1627985) | more than 4 years ago | (#29251959)

Hello Sir,

Would you please be so kind to supply us with the address of the quoted establishment, as well as any detail you can remember about that particular performer? We ostensibly thank you for your help and to show it we decided to make you an exclusive offer: seeing as you seem to enjoy Pink Floyd, we will send you the limited edition box set "Oh, By the Way" entirely for free. Just send us your name and address and we will dispatch it as soon as possible.

Thank you very much for you collaboration, once more.

Kind Regards,
RIAA Associate representative

Re:Frankly (4, Funny)

lavacano201014 (999580) | more than 4 years ago | (#29252087)

to quote Pink Floyd: "And if I had my own way, I'd have all of you SHOT!".

There's some copyright infringement right there.

Re:Frankly (2, Funny)

parodyca (890419) | more than 4 years ago | (#29252107)

to quote Pink Floyd: "And if I had my own way, I'd have all of you SHOT!".

There's some copyright infringement right there.

fair use/dealings

Re:Frankly (3, Insightful)

canadian_right (410687) | more than 4 years ago | (#29252335)

It might be fair use, but as fair use is not clearly codified we don't really know.

Re:Frankly (1)

Idiomatick (976696) | more than 4 years ago | (#29252387)

TBPH I don't think the RIAA have heard of fair use. I guess it never came up since their line of work is unrelated.

Don't Worry (2, Funny)

No Lucifer (1620685) | more than 4 years ago | (#29252145)

The RIAA hypocrites represent the worst in human greed and, to quote Pink Floyd: "And if I had my own way, I'd have all of you SHOT!".

The RIAA is just a bunch of mindless jerks who will be the first against the wall when the revolution comes...

Re:Frankly (1)

masmullin (1479239) | more than 4 years ago | (#29252199)

The character portrayed during by Waters in "In the Flesh II" is a fascist psychopath and would probably completely agree with RIAA.

**AA makes me want to Run Like Hell.

Re:Frankly (2, Insightful)

smoker2 (750216) | more than 4 years ago | (#29252577)

Most commercial establishments pay an annual licence to perform copyrighted music on the premises, so your sad little act of rebellion was probably legally sanctioned. Otherwise there would be no juke boxes.

Re:Frankly (1)

Znork (31774) | more than 4 years ago | (#29251901)

The artists, the songwriters and the (tax)payers. Both those to whom the money is given, and those from who the money is taken through the state action should be represented. The former to explain why economic resources should be diverted to them instead of all the other possible expenditures, and those paying for it to decide whether it's a reasonable expenditure.

Unfortunately it appears that few politicians can serve the paying parties interest in this case as most appear to believe the money diverted through copyright comes into existence out of nowhere, instead of being taken from other economic activities, just because it's not accounted for in the state budget.

haha (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29251459)

By describing "balanced copyright" as "disgusting, the musician's lobby has admitted publicly that current copyright law is unbalanced in their favor.

Re:haha (5, Insightful)

unlametheweak (1102159) | more than 4 years ago | (#29251567)

By describing "balanced copyright" as "disgusting, the musician's lobby has admitted publicly that current copyright law is unbalanced in their favor.

It just means that they shouldn't be taken seriously. Nothing they say is meaningful, helpful or relevant to anything but their own copyright fetish.

Re:haha (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29252237)

As a professional musician (the performing kind), I'd like to know who this "musician's lobby" represents. Most of the people I work with (working musician) are pretty adamantly against the current incarnation of copyright (ASCAP is a bitch).

Re:haha (2, Informative)

MrMista_B (891430) | more than 4 years ago | (#29252351)

It's sure meaningful when it becomes law enough to have police permanantly confiscating your computer for 'testing'.

Re:haha (1)

unlametheweak (1102159) | more than 4 years ago | (#29252485)

It's sure meaningful when it becomes law enough to have police permanantly confiscating your computer for 'testing'.

Which is why people (i.e. law makers, law enforcers, etc should not be taking these people seriously). They should take them as they are; fanatics and shit disturbers to be ignored and denigrated.

Re:haha (5, Insightful)

Rallion (711805) | more than 4 years ago | (#29251805)

"Balanced" does not mean "fair" or "right".

For example, one might term a new tax structure in which the government takes half of your income "balanced".

Re:haha (1)

tolan-b (230077) | more than 4 years ago | (#29251865)

I think in this case it's clearly meant to mean fair. Balancing the needs of each party.

Now whether you agree this particular proposal *is* balanced is another matter.

Re:haha (-1, Troll)

cdrguru (88047) | more than 4 years ago | (#29251877)

Half would be a big cut in Csnsda.

Re:haha (1)

parodyca (890419) | more than 4 years ago | (#29251911)

Cute reply but inaccurate. It would actually be an increase http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tax_Freedom_Day#Tax_Freedom_Day_around_the_world [wikipedia.org] I'm still happier living in Canada and having a better social safety net then the US. Even if it does cost more. It is the price for living in a civilized society.

Re:haha (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29252321)

Yeah, when I masturbate, I think about Canada too. Funny how we think alike.

Douche.

Re:haha (3, Insightful)

dryeo (100693) | more than 4 years ago | (#29252357)

Another difference between Canada and the States is the deficit. What would the Americans taxes be like if they had not been running a deficit for the last decade or so?

Re:haha (1)

Ardaen (1099611) | more than 4 years ago | (#29252115)

Half would be an increase. Also, it tends to be less expensive in the long run to have better social programs. Beyond a certain point, cutting taxes and social programs only benefits short term greed, in a few years you end up paying for it.

Re:haha (-1, Troll)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#29251905)

>>>"Balanced" does not mean "fair" or "right". For example, one might term a new tax structure in which the government takes half of your income "balanced".

Canada and Europe already does that. They call it "society"

Re:haha (1)

parodyca (890419) | more than 4 years ago | (#29251949)

Do you have a reference for this 3% figure?

I'd rather have a government monopoly that is at least accountable to me as a tax payer rather than a corporate one that is only accountable to its shareholders.

Re:haha (-1, Troll)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#29252095)

The "3 percent" statistic comes from the Washington Examiner, which got its numbers from the CBO. To put it briefly - most people who believe they are "uninsured" are actually eligible for government programs like Medicare, COBRA, and SCHIP. A lot more people (about 20 million) are wealthy enough to get insurance but don't want it (like me).

That leaves just 3% of Americans who *want* health insurance but are not covered either privately or by government.

And while I am posting this message, here are some more stats to consider:
UK HEALTHCARE WAITING TIMES
8 months - cataract surgery
11 months- hip replacement
12 months- knee replacement
5 months - slipped disc
5 months - hernia repair
SOURCE - The BBC, May 2009

PROSTATE 5-YEAR CANCER SURVIVOR RATE
100%- United States
90% - Canada
77% - United Kingdom

MEP Daniel Hannan said in early August, "The worst thing to be is elderly under the UK Health System..... you will be denied care and left starving in wards."

Re:haha (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29252139)

Too bad that the only alternative to the US system seems to be the UK system. if only there was some country that had implemented a free health-care system, with a regulated health insurance system. But I have learned from watching the US that such a thing can not exists.

Re:haha (1)

Ardaen (1099611) | more than 4 years ago | (#29252197)

Those are fine numbers, but you don't bother to list your sources, methods, etc.

I can make up numbers as well. I can do better even, I can usually find studies to back my made up numbers, just so long as I ignore a few details like methods.

Re:haha (1, Offtopic)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#29252381)

>>>you don't bother to list your sources

And the Democrats do? Folks like Obama and Pelosi keep saying "we have 50 million uninsured Americans" but never once name a source for that "50" figure, do they? They are practicing that old rule-of-thumb: If you repeat a lie often enough, the people will believe it.

AND YES I listed the Washington Examiner and the "CBO", aka the Congressional Budget Office, for the first 3% figure. Plus I listed the BBC-TV for the other waiting time/mortality figures. Learn some reading comprehension.

Re:haha (5, Interesting)

parodyca (890419) | more than 4 years ago | (#29252221)

Oh well, if we are playing the stats game. Here are a few more stats for you

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_infant_mortality_rate [wikipedia.org]
Infant mortality (per 100000)
          Canada 4.8 5.9
          United States 6.3 7.8

Life expectancy
  Canada 81.23
  United States 78.11

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_Canadian_and_American_health_care_systems [wikipedia.org]
over all cancer mortality rate
Canada 148.2
US 160.5

And you can talk waiting lists as long as you want. Canada, the U.K. and many European countries may have waiting lists that force those with money to wait a bit longer, but they also ensure that those without get the same respect. In the US those without the means don't even get on the waiting list.

Re:haha (1, Informative)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#29252481)

My brother's wife need a hysterectomy, and a week after she said, "Let's do it and get it done," she was in the hospital surgery room. She had no money (it was covered by her employer), but still it got done very quickly. How long would the same thing take in Canada or the UK? Months?

In the UK they have an organization called N.I.C.E. but the citizenship calls it "Nasty". Why? Because that agency's job is to say "no" when somebody wants a procedure (i.e. rationed care). For example there was a 21-year-old young woman who appeared on CNN that wanted a PAP smear due to her family history of cervical cancer. She was trying to be preventative. The UK "nasty" organization told her no. Three years in a row she was told no. Well at age 24 she developed cancer.

The belief that having government care is "better" is a false one. At least in the U.S. this woman could have just gone to a doctor, handed-over $500, and the PAP would have been performed immediately. Yes it's true we have about 3% of the population without private or government coverage, but that still leave 97% who ARE covered and CAN get healthcare when they need it.

The U.S. also has one other thing in its favor:

-It's not a monopoly like Comcast or Cox cable. People have *choice* and choice means freedom to run your own life as you see fit.

Re:haha (1)

parodyca (890419) | more than 4 years ago | (#29252279)

You also don't quote your source for the prostate cancer stat. I'd be willing to bet that those numbers are only for cases of prostate cancer which are treated. I'd also be willing to bet the the number of untreated/diagnosed cases is higher in the US than just about any other western country.

Re:haha (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29252517)

Post to undo accidental mod. Meant to do offtopic not flaimbait. I know both are -1, but still, I don't think this is flaimbait just offtopic.

Re:haha (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29252023)

oh, if only there were a mod deduction that read "-1 signature is blatant insurance lobby fud"

Re:haha (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29252147)

Your signature is blatantly dishonest. People like you, who cannot stick to the TRUTH of matters, are what are harming America. you should be ashamed of yourself.

Re:haha (2, Informative)

dryeo (100693) | more than 4 years ago | (#29252503)

What would the American taxes be like if they were high enough that they weren't running a deficit for the last decade?
Up until this year Canada has been operating in the black.
Here is a chart for 2004, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deficit#National_budget_deficits_.282004.29 [wikipedia.org] note that the States deficit is about 25% where as Canada's is about -4%

Re:haha (2, Insightful)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | more than 4 years ago | (#29252061)

"Balanced copyright" are just words. What some might consider fair or balanced, others will inevitably not.

It's not like the artists walked in and demanded that copyright be unfair.

Re:haha (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29252575)

Right. Just because a proponent of a specific piece of legislation has given it a label does not mean that the label fits the legislation in everyone's mind. If you're not "pro-life," does that make you pro-murder? If you're not "pro-choice," does that make you anti-choice, whatever that means? Are you automatically unpatriotic if you're against the PATRIOT Act? No, no, and no. Don't get suckered in by political marketing.

That being said, I do believe that copyright law is strongly un-balanced these days, at least in the US and nations with similar bodies of law. I'd be all for re-balancing copyright and patent law to make sure society at large benefits more from the deals. I'm not familiar with the proposal in question in Canada, though I have a feeling I'd support it - at least as a step in the right direction, but just disagreeing with something that has been labeled "balanced" by an involved party does not mean that the person admits to wanting imbalance.

Re:haha (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29252497)

meanwhile The Times gives space in their newspaper for Peter Mandelson to air his extreme pro-copyright views, with nary a mention of the legitimate debate that's going on, nor anyone from ORG or PPUK to remind readers what a shambles his argument is.

it doesn't matter what they think (5, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#29251483)

it doesn't matter what laws they pay to get passed

copyright has been treated as damage to the network and has been appropriately routed around

thousands of

industry lawyer goons

versus

millions of

1. technically superior,
2. media hungry and
3. POOR teenagers

the game is already over

it doesn't matter in the least what the law says, in any country

copyright has been rendered functionally defunct and unenforceable

Re:it doesn't matter what they think (1)

Dekker3D (989692) | more than 4 years ago | (#29251833)

functionally defunct and unenforceable, but still occasionally harmful to some individuals. this law would make it a little less dangerous to innocents.

Forces of Reality (5, Insightful)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 4 years ago | (#29251947)

1. technically superior,
2. media hungry and
3. POOR teenagers

It's not the wants and needs of teenagers that is bringing the end of copyright. It's the simple forces of reality.

You know the song "Happy Birthday". It's copyrighted. The song itself is a mere 95 bytes in size. The data overheads involved in transmitting the file probably outweigh the file itself. Yet copyright law essentially tells us that Time Warner "owns" this song. That the act of copying it is a sacred right, reserved only for those whom the privilage is conferred upon by the rightful owner. The rightful owner of 95 bytes of data. An amount so small that no currency exists that can measure its worth.

But Happy Birthday represents only the purest and most absurd form of copyrighted work. As Moore's law has progressed, and continues progressing, and as our networks get faster and faster and disc space cheaper and cheaper, even music files 5MB in size have become trivial amounts of data. Soon even 50GB Blu Ray movies will be considered too paltry to be worth protecting. For some, they already are. This isn't a simply a consequence of people being too cheap. It's a consequence of the data being too cheap to buy.

People realise this. They're not stupid. They see how easy, accessible and trivial data is in our digital age. The internet is a deluge and trying to tell them that certain datas cannot be copied because they are under some sacred divination is like telling people in a thunderstorm that they cannot collect rain water(This is in fact done in certain places). You can pass such laws, but ultimately resonable people will not obey them. They will not obey the law, not because it is unjust, but because it is entirely irrational. In ten years time, claiming the latest 5MB pop song should be protected will be as ludicrous as claiming the same for "Happy Birthday".

As the realities of the digital of make the concept of copyright more and more irrational, I find it increasingly difficult to even find arguments justifying its continued existence. With the de facto perpetual copyright that has evolved, its irrational claims and the draconian measures used to enforce it, more and more I find myself viewing copyright as a system that will be inherently gamed by its proponents and which will, inevitably evolved to the absurd position we now find ourselves in. Frankly, I think copyright is akin to the system of direct democracy and propositions run in California. A noble goal, and even a worthwhile one in the beginning, but which in the end became a destructive farce and totally unworkable.

I'd like to hear some justifications for copyright that aren't 300 years old. While I see some benefit to the system, ultimately, I am like someone seeing the benefits of Prohibition while also seeing the great harm it has done to society, politics and the legal system. My current position is that copyright needs drastic reform and moreover, if that reform is impossible or unworkable then we need to scrap the system entirely.

Re:Forces of Reality (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29252159)

Time Warner does not own "Happy Birthday."

Re:Forces of Reality (5, Informative)

Svartalf (2997) | more than 4 years ago | (#29252597)

It remains to be seen. One professor seems to think that the chain of proof that the Copyright was properly registered, etc. for Happy Birthday- and has a lot of proof to back up his claims. However, unless you press for disproving the claims, you'll have to accept that the Copyright Office DOES hold that Time Warner does, in fact, own the rights to that song until 2030 unless there's changes in the Copyright laws subsequent to this time. They got the rights through a complex series of transactions.

Saying that they don't own it doesn't get you off the hook. You'll need to go through over 200 documents worth of research, pay lawyers thousands of dollars, and prove to a Court that this is the case if you're guilty of performing it commercially and get caught at doing it.

That's the reality and absurdity of the current situation with that song and of Copyright in general. I agree we need Copyright. What I don't agree with is the current incarnation thereof.

Re:Forces of Reality (2, Insightful)

Kjella (173770) | more than 4 years ago | (#29252303)

By that bytes == seriousness logic, violating the license of the entire Linux kernel is about as bad as violating the license of a CDs worth of mp3s.

However, I do agree you have a problem when the collected hits in history can fit on a USB stick.

Re:it doesn't matter what they think (1)

bzipitidoo (647217) | more than 4 years ago | (#29252169)

I'd like to think they don't matter, but their deceit has poisoned a lot of minds. They may yet manage to convince everyone that their ways are unworkable. A few of their supporters hope for a piece of their rent seeking action. Most are deluded into supporting what they think is the status quo even as the current system is steadily warped into a monstrosity, and because alternatives are equated to socialism or communism and they eat that up. 20 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Red scare should have lost some of its force. It seems Socialism is the new Red. Yet another way we can see that dinosaurs run the music industry.

Re:it doesn't matter what they think (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29252373)

There is, of course, the Taleban solution: since the poor do not have the means to acquire music legally and everybody likes music, lets make all music illegal since otherwise only the rich could afford it.
    This proposal was brought to you by The Sharia Solutions (tm) Corporation, rightfully yours since 600 AD.

"Shamelessly buy votes?" (5, Insightful)

DingerX (847589) | more than 4 years ago | (#29251493)

From the "apology-demanding" letter by "Alan Willaert, the Canadian representative of the American Federation of Musicians":

I am shocked that both Chow and Charlie Angus are allowed to openly depart from party policy and directive, obviously just to shamelessly buy votes among young people and academics.

So if you support a policy in line with a large segment of the people you represent, that's "shamelessly buy"ing votes?

Well, if so, than I wholeheartedly condemn the American Federation of Musician's shameless perversion of Democracy.

Re:"Shamelessly buy votes?" (5, Insightful)

shma (863063) | more than 4 years ago | (#29251595)

In their world, politicians acting on voters wishes is 'buying votes', while lobbyists using the promise of campaign contributions to get favourable legislation passed is 'Democracy in Action'.

It's the same kind of logic that makes 30 copies of crappy pop songs worth over a million dollars.

Re:"Shamelessly buy votes?" (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#29252005)

It could have been worse. He could have pulled a Nancy Pelosi and called the protesters - "unCanadian"

Re:"Shamelessly buy votes?" (4, Informative)

catman (1412) | more than 4 years ago | (#29251733)

A commenter on Boing Boing notes:
Just thought it was worth pointing out for the non Canadians here that Olivia Chow is married to Jack Layton, the leader of the federal NDP. The MP Mr. Willaert claims is openly departing from party policy is, in fact, married to the party's leader.

In the spirit of disclosure, I am a member of the Ontario NDP.

Re:"Shamelessly buy votes?" (4, Funny)

Sique (173459) | more than 4 years ago | (#29251821)

So you think this might backfire? ;)

Get rid of the lobbyists (and the politicians) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29251803)

In case you are curious, there is a growing global movement to mature beyond this ancient form of feudalism with a veneer of democracy. See: http://metagovernment.org/ [metagovernment.org]

Re:Get rid of the lobbyists (and the politicians) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29251933)

Feudalism? Just because the politicians have all the power, do whatever they want, and treat us like rabble, why would you mistake that for feudalism?

Re:Get rid of the lobbyists (and the politicians) (1)

parodyca (890419) | more than 4 years ago | (#29251979)

Because it's not the politicians with the power but the corporations.

Re:Get rid of the lobbyists (and the politicians) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29252143)

Isn't the corporations' power that of controlling the politicians?

Re:"Shamelessly buy votes?" (1)

ae1294 (1547521) | more than 4 years ago | (#29252329)

So if you support a policy in line with a large segment of the people you represent, that's "shamelessly buy"ing votes?

Come on, everyone knows the only proper moral way to buy votes is with; hookers, blow, and bags of cash with a big $ on them...

I'll tell you what's disgusting (4, Insightful)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 4 years ago | (#29251613)

What's really disgusting is that the RIAA/CRIA, in this case through their lapdogs in the AFM, are still firmly convinced that they speak for all musicians everywhere.

It ain't true. [exclaim.ca] Really. [canada.com]

What was in the Leaflet? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29251625)

I skimmed through the linked stories, and none of them seem to have copies of the leaflet that they were distributing. I'm curious what they contained that the AFM thought was so 'disgusting'. Perhaps they were using the goatse guy to illustrate the position the *AA's new laws would put us in. Does anyone know where to find a copy? (Of the leaflet, not the goatse picture.)

Re:What was in the Leaflet? (5, Informative)

parodyca (890419) | more than 4 years ago | (#29251685)

Re:What was in the Leaflet? (1)

oldspewey (1303305) | more than 4 years ago | (#29251811)

The beauty of that leaflet is that you could run it on a printing press that is way out of registration and nobody would know the difference.

Re:What was in the Leaflet? (1)

dwhitaker (1500855) | more than 4 years ago | (#29252171)

Jesus Christ... that IS disgusting!

Just look at those colors.

Re:What was in the Leaflet? (1)

wstrucke (876891) | more than 4 years ago | (#29251693)

FTA:

The attack was caused by Olivia Chow handing out an interview I did with EXCLAIM Magazine [exclaim.ca] on how copyright changes could benefit independent Canadian bands.

Oblig (0, Troll)

hobo sapiens (893427) | more than 4 years ago | (#29251715)

I found a copy of the flyer. It's on boingboing here http://boingboing.net.f190ac09353be9:viodnjwer@goatse.cx.

Re:What was in the Leaflet? (1)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 4 years ago | (#29251789)

Leaflet here [cfs-fcee.ca]

re: pirate away (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29251633)

until copyright is down to 7 years or less we should "pirate" away. peer-to-peer if that's your method but i really prefer USB keys. there is no chance of getting caught and you can transfer a lot of data to people you know and trust.

Re: pirate away (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 4 years ago | (#29252117)

Copyright terms might best be limited based on the type, use and/or purpose of the materials. For example, I wouldn't have a problem with books and printed material having longer terms than recorded music and video while recorded materials are longer than software copyright.

I find it interesting that binary compiled software is eligible for copyright protection at all. It is closer to being a "device" than recorded or printed material. (no, I am not arguing in favor of software patents either) If we were talking about source code and copyright, I would be more inclined to agree with the notion of copyright and software just as design and construction documents can be copyrighted while a building shouldn't be copyrighted.

If copyright is truly about encouraging creative works and not about harming the public domain, then each type of work needs to be limited based on a determination at which point the public's interests are being harmed by the continued protection of said work. For example, if I wanted to use Word Perfect for DOS, I couldn't because it is still protected by copyright and also no longer available for sale. The public's interest has been harmed by excessive copyright terms. The same is true of books and recorded media no longer "in print." Software is especially sensitive, however, as the time in which it becomes obsolete is a LOT sooner. So a copyright term of between 2 and 5 years would seem to be appropriate to me.

What I am saying is that copyright should expire prior to a work vanishing and prior to it being completely useless to the public domain. Otherwise, the purpose of copyright is notion short of a lie since the promise of entry into the public domain will forever remain unfulfilled.

The Slashdot Effect (1)

Lore17 (1318959) | more than 4 years ago | (#29251705)

Another one bites the dust...

Re:The Slashdot Effect (1)

rtyhurst (460717) | more than 4 years ago | (#29252421)

Not only have you slashdotted this poor man's website, you've also made him paranoid!

His website now says: "Direct Access to this location is not allowed."

Insensitive clods!

He ought to respond and keep responding! (1)

sribe (304414) | more than 4 years ago | (#29251749)

Apology? The MP should use his post to fight back and shame his accusers, or failing that at least turn the public against them. He has so much more power to influence than an ordinary citizen; it's really stupid to attack him like this.

Re:He ought to respond and keep responding! (2, Insightful)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 4 years ago | (#29251871)

Apology? The MP should use his post to fight back and shame his accusers

Shame them? These people have no shame. Otherwise, they wouldn't be doing what they are doing.

Then again, the dinosaurs probably had no shame either.

There's still a big market for copyrighted material that people are willing to pay for - but the writing is on the wall - games already exceed movies in terms of total sales. People only have a certain budget for entertainment, and they're allocating it - and that means less for "old-skool" media such as movies and music.

What copyright laws and every other law does.. (0, Troll)

sourICE (1480471) | more than 4 years ago | (#29251753)

Both copyright and law systems in all countries are completely flawed. As we continue to add more laws the system becomes increasingly complex and convoluted.

The only real solution would be to break everything down into a much simpler set of laws that do not require changing and do not require any other laws to be added onto them.

For example, in the US there are laws in effect that if completely enforced would turn well over 50% of our population into official criminals. Unofficially I'm sure 99.9% of Americans have done something 'unlawful'. As with every other country I'm sure.

Here is the only law I see us needing:

1. Do not physically harm or come in contact with any individual or their property without consent.

Punishment? It should match whatever the crime was, an eye of an eye.

Sorry all you greedy companies out there, property is physical. Due to the internet distribution of information is now free. You can't stop us from expanding our minds or from experiencing a video game or music that we can't otherwise afford.

How can the orginal article be slashdotted? (3, Funny)

west (39918) | more than 4 years ago | (#29251819)

The article's about *Canada*. Who the heck is reading it?

Re:How can the orginal article be slashdotted? (2, Informative)

west (39918) | more than 4 years ago | (#29251937)

Flame-bait? Flame-bait? Maybe a failed attempt at self-deprecating humour, but flame-bait?

*sigh*.

Re:How can the orginal article be slashdotted? (2, Informative)

canadian_right (410687) | more than 4 years ago | (#29252371)

That was funny, not flame bait. I'm Canadian and found it very funny.

And they wonder why we have no respect for them... (5, Insightful)

Derekloffin (741455) | more than 4 years ago | (#29251897)

I mean seriously, when you pull stunts like this, barring even the other view from being fielded, how in the hell do you expect us to take you seriously? This kind of thing disgusts me. I'm actually for copyright and protections and the like, but every time they do this kind of thing I lose that much more of my support for their position as they are obviously not even trying to be reasonable.

As to the MP and students distributing the flier, good job. The other side has to be heard. Don't let these guys get away with this BS. And don't even think about apologizing. They are the ones that should be apologizing to you. They obviously aren't interested in real discussion.

Terms? (1)

sydb (176695) | more than 4 years ago | (#29251981)

I had to read the title five times before I understood it. The use of "term" as a verb here is unusual, probably cruel and definitely punishment - for what, I do not know.

Re:Terms? (2, Informative)

smoker2 (750216) | more than 4 years ago | (#29252521)

It's not unusual in English speaking countries. Google "termed" for insight. (Don't google terms as you'll get millions of "terms and conditions" references, which are useful but not explanatory for the term itself.)

Michael Geist's site under attack? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29252179)

It seems Canadian fair copyright crusader (an University of Ottawa Law professor) Michael Geist's site is currently down, or more likely, under attack.

http://www.michaelgeist.ca/

Slashdotted (1)

Kohenkatz (1166461) | more than 4 years ago | (#29252223)

It appears that http://www.michaelgeist.ca/ [michaelgeist.ca] (the first three links in the article) has been slashdotted.

Re:Slashdotted (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29252289)

But it also appears his site isn't working.
I get a "Direct Access to this location is not allowed." message. : (

"Direct Access to this location is not allowed." (0, Redundant)

macraig (621737) | more than 4 years ago | (#29252463)

What's up with Michael Geist's site? The message in the title appears whenever I try to visit either the direct link or even his root domain. Has Geist been silenced? Is there a conspiracy afoot here? *Doffs tinfoil hat*

Learning from the folks down south (2, Insightful)

HangingChad (677530) | more than 4 years ago | (#29252571)

Thursday's Canadian copyright town hall was on the recording industry's strategy to pack the room and exclude alternate voices

Hey, they're taking a page from the Republican play book. Packing town hall meetings with partisans to shout down opposing points of view. Then justify it by accusing the other side of doing the same thing, while steadfastly maintaining those are just "real" citizens voicing their opposition. Real citizens being bused in with box lunches from other districts, many of whom happen to work for companies with an interest in the debate, but who's really going to check?

Next they'll have talking heads on sympathetic cable news networks suggesting that Canada is being taken over by Socialists and "real patriots" should start showing up at meetings with guns.

And don't forget to mock the messenger if you're losing the debate. Anyone who doesn't see things your way is a traitor and a Nazi, call them ignorant, "moonbats" and "liberals". I'm not sure why that last one is a bad thing but it seems to play pretty well down here, so give it a shot. Maybe suggest anyone not adopting strict copyright interpretation is killing old people. If that doesn't work, accuse them of not supporting the military. Suggest that lax copyright will lead to "death panels" for musicians.

Got all that? You're off to good start up there, just have to get with the rest of the program.

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