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100 Years of Copyright Hysteria

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the frothy-mouths dept.

Books 280

Nate Anderson pens a fine historical retrospective for Ars Technica: a look at 100 years of Big Content's fearmongering, in their own words. There was John Philip Sousa in 1906 warning that recording technology would destroy the US pastime of gathering around the piano to sing music ("What of the national throat? Will it not weaken? What of the national chest? Will it not shrink?"). There was the photocopier after World War II. There was the VCR in the 1970s, which a movie lobbyist predicted would result in tidal waves, avalanches, and bleeding and hemorrhaging by the music business. He compared the VCR to the Boston Strangler — in this scenario the US public was a woman home alone. Then home taping of music, digital audio tape, MP3 players, and Napster, each of which was predicted to lay waste to entire industries; and so on up to date with DVRs, HD radio, and HDTV. Anderson concludes with a quote from copyright expert William Patry in his book Moral Panics and the Copyright Wars: "I cannot think of a single significant innovation in either the creation or distribution of works of authorship that owes its origins to the copyright industries."

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Let me... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29730417)

Let me be the first to say, "no duh".

Re:Let me... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29730599)

Food is good, fud no gud.

The have fought and lost (5, Insightful)

crovira (10242) | more than 4 years ago | (#29730433)

The RIAA (and later the MPAA,) have fought EVERY single innovation that even looks like it might possibly impinge on their clients' business turf, right up until it becomes overwhelmingly clear that they're actually preventing their client's from making more money than if they kept their head in the sand.

If it was up to the **AAs, we would be copying sheet music for our spinets with sharpened quill pens.

They are a creation dating from before the invention of democracy and all they have ever done is behave like it.

Re:The have fought and lost (4, Insightful)

ledow (319597) | more than 4 years ago | (#29730463)

Sheet music is possibly the most *highly* guarded copyright work that I've ever had to deal with. It's unbelievable, the licensing behind it.

Re:The have fought and lost (4, Interesting)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#29730585)

Good thing we have sheetmusictorrent.

Actually it looks like John Philip Sousa's prediction was correct. We Don't sit-around home pianos in our parlors listening to somebody music, but I don't cry about it anymore than I cry that the horsewhip or candlestick makers no longer exist. Some forms of technology are obsolete and have been replaced by better forms, like direct recordings from far-off places.

Re:The have fought and lost (5, Insightful)

Enter the Shoggoth (1362079) | more than 4 years ago | (#29730747)

Good thing we have sheetmusictorrent.

Actually it looks like John Philip Sousa's prediction was correct. We Don't sit-around home pianos in our parlors listening to somebody music, but I don't cry about it anymore than I cry that the horsewhip or candlestick makers no longer exist. Some forms of technology are obsolete and have been replaced by better forms, like direct recordings from far-off places.

Actually I do lament that fact that our culture has become one of passive engagement with music, and for the matter sport. Obviously this doesn't apply to everyone but by-and-large most people listen to music rather that create music, most people watch sport rather that play sport. But I don't think that the various content industries share this sentiment, quite the opposite in fact as the entire content ownership and distribution system relies on the commoditisation of culture

Re:The have fought and lost (3, Insightful)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 4 years ago | (#29731055)

Performing is not "creating music". All of the "creation" is
being done by the guy that wrote the original bit of sheet
music. So we are not that much more passive than we already
were. We're just no longer in the practice of making our own
mediocre performances at home based off of works that are
sufficiently dumbed down.

Re:The have fought and lost (4, Insightful)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 4 years ago | (#29730761)

Good thing we have sheetmusictorrent.

Actually it looks like John Philip Sousa's prediction was correct. We Don't sit-around home pianos in our parlors listening to somebody music

No we do it in Karaoke bars.

Re:The have fought and lost (2, Insightful)

Acer500 (846698) | more than 4 years ago | (#29730825)

Good thing we have sheetmusictorrent.

Actually it looks like John Philip Sousa's prediction was correct. We Don't sit-around home pianos in our parlors listening to somebody music

No we do it in Karaoke bars.

And Guitar Hero and the like.

Not to mention that, in addition to those that these games inspired to pick up an instrument, it's always been popular (at least over here) to learn guitar or an instrument.. (which more often than not, lies forgotten shortly after said studies are finished or interrupted, until a new generation picks it up).

Re:The have fought and lost (3, Insightful)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 4 years ago | (#29730991)

A guitar are for picking up chicks in high school and college, it always have been, it always will be. The difference between a professional and an amateur is that the professional keeps picking up high school and college chicks until he gets to old to rock out.

Re:The have fought and lost (4, Funny)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 4 years ago | (#29731035)

the professional keeps picking up high school and college chicks until he gets to old to rock out.

Wooderson: That's what I love about these high school girls, man. I get older, they stay the same age.

Re:The have fought and lost (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29730847)

It is enjoyable to listen to the music I like the most, but it is totally passive and selfish. Singing in a group, or beside the woman I loved at the piano, is by far the more cherished experience. If I had to choose, I'd choose the latter. It makes memories, while the former does not.

Re:The have fought and lost (3, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 4 years ago | (#29730875)

But what shall become of my beloved ice man when this new "refrigeration" catches on? What of him!?!?!?

Re:The have fought and lost (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#29731115)

He'll go where most of the obsoleted employees go: Into the factories which specialize in unskilled labor.

Re:The have fought and lost (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29731197)

I love the cartoon showing the sad baby being 'soothed to sleep' by the 'mechanical device'.

My toddler loves listening to his CD player at night, and I love not having to sing them to him all night as well.

Re:The have fought and lost (3, Interesting)

Rob the Bold (788862) | more than 4 years ago | (#29730603)

Sheet music is possibly the most *highly* guarded copyright work that I've ever had to deal with. It's unbelievable, the licensing behind it.

Ya, but that may be due to the fact that it's so easily reproducible. You can actually copy it with pencil and paper. I remember that days of "unlicensed" fake books. Sure they were a violation of copyright, you couldn't be considered a "real" musician without a few.

Re:They have fought and lost (1)

conureman (748753) | more than 4 years ago | (#29730661)

The price reflects that. However, my most treasured music is on paper.

Do not forget the systematic abuse of the law. (2, Insightful)

Therefore I am (1284262) | more than 4 years ago | (#29730487)

The RIAA use of stand-over tactics, mostly sanctioned by courts that failed the little man, is an innovation. . . . . . . They will be swept away in time and few will mourn their passing.

Re:Do not forget the systematic abuse of the law. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29730647)

The RIAA use of stand-over tactics, mostly sanctioned by courts that failed the little man, is an innovation. . . . . . . They will be swept away in time and few will mourn their passing.

standover tactics

plural noun

Definition:

Australia use of threats to extort money: the use of threats of violence in order to extort money or force somebody to do something

Re:The have fought and lost (5, Informative)

im just cannonfodder (1089055) | more than 4 years ago | (#29730539)


lets not for get who is actually behind the MPAA - RIAA, these are the companies that need to be targeted and boycotted into changing their ways, purchase only 2nd hand media and do not purchase anything branded sony, why allow the fecktards to dictate Orwellian hardware DRM designed to take away rights not to stop piracy anymore.

Name and shame the companies as all the **AA trade group name is for is to protect the corporate globalists from bad press.


RIAA, CRIA, SOUNDEXCHANGE, BPI, IFPI, Ect:

# Sony BMG Music Entertainment
# Warner Music Group
# Universal Music Group
# EMI


MPAA, MPA, FACT, AFACT, Ect:

# Sony Pictures
# Warner Bros. (Time Warner)
# Universal Studios (NBC Universal)
# The Walt Disney Company
# 20th Century Fox (News Corporation)
# Paramount Pictures Viacom--(DreamWorks owners since February 2006)


============


If Sony payola (google it) wasn't bad enough to destroy indie competition you have this:

Is it justified to steal from thieves? READ ON.


RIAA Claims Ownership of All Artist Royalties For Internet Radio
http://slashdot.org/articles/07/04/29/0335224.shtml [slashdot.org]

"With the furor over the impending rate hike for Internet radio stations, wouldn't a good solution be for streaming internet stations to simply not play RIAA-affiliated labels' music and focus on independent artists? Sounds good, except that the RIAA's affiliate organization SoundExchange claims it has the right to collect royalties for any artist, no matter if they have signed with an RIAA label or not. 'SoundExchange (the RIAA) considers any digital performance of a song as falling under their compulsory license. If any artist records a song, SoundExchange has the right to collect royalties for its performance on Internet radio. Artists can offer to download their music for free, but they cannot offer their songs to Internet radio for free ... So how it works is that SoundExchange collects money through compulsory royalties from Webcasters and holds onto the money. If a label or artist wants their share of the money, they must become a member of SoundExchange and pay a fee to collect their royalties.'"

http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2007/4/24/14132 [dailykos.com]

Re:The have fought and lost (5, Insightful)

noundi (1044080) | more than 4 years ago | (#29730633)

The RIAA (and later the MPAA,) have fought EVERY single innovation that even looks like it might possibly impinge on their clients' business turf, right up until it becomes overwhelmingly clear that they're actually preventing their client's from making more money than if they kept their head in the sand.

If it was up to the **AAs, we would be copying sheet music for our spinets with sharpened quill pens.

They are a creation dating from before the invention of democracy and all they have ever done is behave like it.

It's easy to persuade people into harming themselves, just play on their ignorance and pride, tell them that it "harms the economy" [slashdot.org] and they'll run miles for you.
 
About harming the economy. Whose economy? Mine or yours? (not you crovira, I'm referring to RIAA, MPAA etc.) Because from my perspective it seems to be a good deal. And if you're telling me that music or movies or even culture will stop to exist, I have a feeling you're just full of fucking shit and I'm willing to bet you any sum you want on the opposite. Now nobody in the industry would ever dare to make that bet since they know that they are just -- that's right -- full of shit.

Re:The have fought and lost (1)

Perf (14203) | more than 4 years ago | (#29730953)

We've got trouble in River City with a capital 'T' that rhymes with 'B' and stands for 'Bittorrent!"

Re:The have fought and lost (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29731215)

That's a derivitive work from 'The Music Man'

Pay up or prepare to be raided.

Re:The have fought and lost (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29731101)

This hysteria is not confined to copyright issues. I've noticed that whenever people foresee (either accurately or not) the possibility of future reduced income they naturally argue vigorously for steps to preserve their income. Realizing that arguments about their own loss of income aren't likely to sway others they invariably spout what I call the "END OF CIVILIZATION AS WE KNOW IT" argument.
Right now health insurers are making similar claims about proposals to reform the US health care system.

Re:The have fought and lost (3, Insightful)

JediTrainer (314273) | more than 4 years ago | (#29731139)

The RIAA (and later the MPAA,) have fought EVERY single innovation that even looks like it might possibly impinge on their clients' business turf

Hate to break it to you, but I think this sort of thing is way more common than just being limited to these industries. Big business and/or unions have fought innovation that they see as being counter to their interests all the time. Case in point, the Postal Codes in Canada [wikipedia.org] - OMG all the mail sorters will be out of work!

That quote at the end (1)

TeslaBoy (1593823) | more than 4 years ago | (#29730471)

Got to love that quote at the end. No-one makes music (or not) because they expect financial compensation. This is not true with movies, and perhaps that's why most suck. I would not lend Michael Bay $1 to make a movie, let alone give him $20M

Copyrights are going to be forgotten (4, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 4 years ago | (#29730475)

As technology improves, we are eventually going to forget about copyrights; the laws might remain on the books, and big corporations will be busy suing each other over copyrights, but the average citizen will no longer be affected by them. We are almost there already; high school and college students download music and movies without a thought to copyrights, and share the files with their friends. Once they grow up, copyrights will have virtually no meaning for the average person in society.

Re:Copyrights are going to be forgotten (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29730503)

god what drivel. But then, anyone who agrees with kdawson about copyright has had their fucking brains removed anyway.

Answer me this you fucking retard. Without copyright how the fuck do you think movies, music, games and software are going to remain viable endeavours?

Fucking pathetic tight ass pirates trying to intellectualise their way out of opening their wallet as usual...

Re:Copyrights are going to be forgotten (4, Insightful)

Kokuyo (549451) | more than 4 years ago | (#29730605)

Heh. When you manage to write three consecutive sentences without the use of the word 'fuck' we'll talk about you being allowed to call other people's posts 'drivel' again, okay?

Of course he's a troll but let's get over the same old arguments again, shall we?

Isn't it true that today, you don't need to be tech-savvy to get media for free? Is it not true that even if you had to be tech-savvy, EVERYONE knows someone who is?

If it therefore were true that, with media illegally being available for free, everyone would stop paying for it, then there couldn't possibly be any music recording studio or movie company left. Today.

The fact remains that only socially inept assholes don't pay for entertainment they enjoy (or people who don't have the money anyway). Those people always have the drive to smooch off of someone else. The technology has never mattered and will never matter. Those people don't pay, no matter the DRM. They are not lost sales due to P2P, they are lost sales, PERIOD.

There will always be people creating entertainment without getting rich in mind. Those are, arguably, the good entertainers. So I say kill copyright. Perhaps then the only thing remaining will be stuff that isn't the same old shit over and over again. After all, without any direct monetary incentive, those media conglomerate bastards just might not see the point in producing shit anymore. One can always hope, eh?

Re:Copyrights are going to be forgotten (5, Funny)

moz25 (262020) | more than 4 years ago | (#29730625)

One of the underlying questions is: with the millions of hours of music we already made, what benefit does it bring us to have even more music?

If you're a 80's music fan, then you already have everything you need ;-)

Re:Copyrights are going to be forgotten (4, Interesting)

mrsquid0 (1335303) | more than 4 years ago | (#29730895)

There is still "80s" sounding music being created now. In fact, I am listening to my Modern 80s playlist on iTunes now. There are a lot of bands out there today that are doing a very good job of writing songs that would have been right at home in 1983. Music is constantly changing and reinventing itself (although you would never know it from listing to most of the RIAA pablum), so there is alway new and interesting music to discover, even if you are primarily interested in nostalgia, like the music of the 80s.

Re:Copyrights are going to be forgotten (3, Funny)

dunkelfalke (91624) | more than 4 years ago | (#29731161)

"What's with these new bands? Everyone knows rock attained perfection in 1974, it's a scientific fact!"

Re:Copyrights are going to be forgotten (5, Insightful)

ledow (319597) | more than 4 years ago | (#29730773)

"Without copyright how... do you think movies, music, games and software are going to remain viable endeavours?"

The answer is: the same way they did before and are doing now. "Piracy" is at its highest, if statistics are to be believed, but so are profits of all the above - in fact the proportions are greatly in favour of vastly *more* money being made now even with higher piracy. Movies, music, games, software = multi-billion dollar industries. One of the top-40 hits in the UK at the moment is by someone who sang along to YouTube vids. *With* copyright enforcement, she would be nothing now (and probably owe several thousand pounds of licensing fees), and we'd be at least one artist down. She's not the first and won't be the last. Most musicians give away or sell their music every day without a problem. It's only the "big" ones that do so for enormous profit and are *actually* represented by these organisations.

I have a friend who is in a relationship with a professional rapper. They don't make much money but they make enough. And all their music is just sitting on Myspace. It's got a Paypal button to let you buy a CD, but their stuff is original, good and given away on YouTube, MySpace and other sites. I don't think they've suffered under the current rates of piracy - I think they'd be nowhere without the exposure that giving their music away brings them.

It works both ways and it is, basically, an artform, not a business. It's like saying "without blue paint, how can artists thrive?!"... they did, for thousands of years, and still do and still would if all the blue paint disappeared. We didn't need blue-paint rationing, or companies telling us that blue paint is the express domain of artists, etc. Copyright is merely a tool to commercialise an artform. There are many ways of doing that, including just giving the damn things away to build a reputation to later release a real piece of art for huge profit.

And, unfortunately, copyright works both ways. If I want fair-use snippets, if I want to license them, if I want to do other things, there's no reason to stop me or make it prohibitively expensive - it's poor business. Ever tried to do this "officially"? Try and ask permission from a record company to use a song on a YouTube vid, or in a school play - see what assurances and what pricing structure they want to give you (I have, in the past, been quoted "per viewer" figures!). It's nothing to do with business, it's about controlling the media so that they can *tell* you what to buy next week (i.e. their next "up-and-coming" artist).

Copyright is already seriously lessened. Children are taught by otherwise-educated teachers to just "paste in something from Google images" which is a potential breach of so many copyrights in an hour's lesson that it's unbelievable. School plays are run off someone's iPod where they've downloaded relevant music and video. Kids share videos, music, ringtones, applications, etc. indiscriminately. It's already a lost cause unless you want to start criminalising everyone from toddlers to grannies. Give it a few decades and it will swing one way or another - you won't be able to make a piece of music without "enforcing" everything to do with it, or you won't be able to sell a piece of music at all. Both are absolutely terrible circumstances, but because of naive business practices, the artform is dying.

I should feel sorry for the smaller artists, for whom copyright is designed to help thrive, but in actual fact they are doing quite well enough on their own and will probably be the winners in the end. I think they've got the tech that replaces the need for the legislation now, so I wish them well. Music, especially, is part of life now. There were several decades of being able to commercialise that and almost every country in the world decided it was better to penalise that instead. Hence, the position now is that people really don't care any more. I don't know anyone who bought *every* song on their iPod.

I've bought two CD's in my life, both for other people. I'm not their target market. And standing outside it lets me see it from both sides. Basically, some organisations don't know how to run a business on a large scale and "wish" things better rather than looking at it seriously and saying: "OK, let's assume 10% piracy, we'll still make billions, okay, sod the DRM let's put the money into advertising instead". It's the same in the software market - and it's only "solved" by the smaller players who do those sums.

Never before in history has there been such a serious risk of legality killing several major artforms. Unless you count the blue paint shortage of 1755...

Re:Copyrights are going to be forgotten (2, Interesting)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 4 years ago | (#29730863)

Don't need movies - it's all mindless drivel. Totally mindless. Hollywood pumps out the sludge by the score, but they can't make more than one movie per year that's actually worth watching. I'm not sure that they can even make that one.

We could do with less music, but music will not die. There will always be little bands playing in bars, weddings, you name it. If people really want music, they'll pay for someone to perform. Meanwhile, millions of people play music just because they love music. We DO_NOT_NEED_THE_LATEST_OVERHYPED_WHINEY_BITCH that some label wants to sell to us. Music will actually improve without the whiney little bitch.

Games? Gimme a break. There are already so many thousands of hours of gaming available. Do we really need more games? If so - well, there is open source. People who really love games, and see a need to create new games can and will get together on the internet, and make what they want.

Ditto with software.

Open source, copyleft, and an OPEN MARKET will ensure that things move forward. Copyright and monopoly will ensure that we struggle to move forward through a maze of restrictive laws that benefit no one - except the people who control the monopolies.

If people like yourself are so worried about the future of the arts, and you are really convinced that the arts cannot survive without copyright, then you had BETTER get busy overhauling the copyright system. People might actually respect a copyright that is rooted in reality, justice, and sensibility. 5 year software, movies, and game copyright, no more than 15 years for books, and we can move forward from there.

The idea that a corporation should be ensured a steady income forever for buying up some copyrights is preposterous. The record labels should have been bankrupted 30 years ago, at least. The movie industry might make a better argument for slightly longer copyrights - but they are out of control.

When an industry no longer SERVES it's customers, they need to die. Period.

Re:Copyrights are going to be forgotten (1)

V!NCENT (1105021) | more than 4 years ago | (#29730907)

Without copyright how the fuck do you think movies, music, games and software are going to remain viable endeavours?

Open source for software. What do you think powers this website? What standards and protocols make up the internet? Might that not be open and maintained for zero profit? What rendering engines are there out there? Webkit and Gecko rule the intarwebs.

What about music? Well we will see some cool remixes, which is the only thing that happens today anyway!

What about games? WarSow made it as an e-sports game when it was only alpha.

What about movies? I totally do not care! I watch about one movie per month and go to the cinema once per year or so but I'd rather go to a disco/club with my friends anyway... I can think of better and more social past-times...

Any FUCK your stupid industry. It stiffles creativity and culture anyway. I won't shed a tear if you get fired because people can't maintain a failed business model. In fact I would be glad if 'the industry' goes bankrupt. Mafiaa fucktareds!

Re:Copyrights are going to be forgotten (5, Insightful)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#29730531)

Here's what Thomas Jefferson (found of the democratic party) and James Madison (author of the Constitution) said about it:

"Stable ownership is the gift of social law, and is given late in the progress of society. It would be curious then, if an idea, the fugitive fermentation of an individual brain, could, of natural right, be claimed in exclusive and stable property. If nature has made any one thing less susceptible than all others of exclusive property, it is the action of the thinking power called an idea, which an individual may exclusively possess as long as he keeps it to himself; but the moment it is divulged, it forces itself into the possession of every one, and the receiver cannot dispossess himself of it.

"Its peculiar character, too, is that no one possesses the less, because every other possesses the whole of it. He who receives an idea from me, receives instruction himself without lessening mine; as he who lights his taper at mine, receives light without darkening me. That ideas should freely spread from one to another over the globe, for the moral and mutual instruction of man, and improvement of his condition, seems to have been peculiarly and benevolently designed by nature, when she made them, like fire, expansible over all space, without lessening their density in any point, and like the air in which we breathe, move, and have our physical being, incapable of confinement or exclusive appropriation. Inventions then cannot, in nature, be a subject of property."

Madison -

"But grants of this sort can be justified in very peculiar cases only, if at all; the danger being very great that the good resulting from the operation of the monopoly, will be overbalanced by the evil effect of the precedent; and it being not impossible that the monopoly itself, in its original operation, may produce more evil than good." Sounds like Mr. Madison was talking about RIAA.

Re:Copyrights are going to be forgotten (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 4 years ago | (#29730843)

Your signature needs citations.

Re:Copyrights are going to be forgotten (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#29731145)

I already provided citations yesterday. As my profs were fond of saying, "It's not my fault you weren't here." Just google Harvard and "5000 downloads one lost sale" for study number one.

Re:Copyrights are going to be forgotten (4, Insightful)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#29730861)

And their Copyright Act of 1790 said the following:

- for the encouragement of learning
- limited term of 14 years with 14 year extension if the *original* author was still alive
- libraries, colleges, and private individuals were not subject to the copyright (i.e. fair use)
- was only for expensive works like books, not incidentals like maps or charts

This is the kind of copyright law we should have today, not the perpetual copyright that lasts ~100 years (five generations). When the original laborer who created the work dies, then the copyright should die as well. As Jefferson said "the Earth is for the living not the dead," and laws exist to serve the current generation not previous generations.

Re:Copyrights are going to be forgotten (1)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 4 years ago | (#29731117)

The copyright term should be fixed. Otherwise, considering the moral quality of most music and film producers, belligerent artists who fail to cooperate might find themselves knocked off and the big companies could then publish their works under the public domain.

Re:Copyrights are going to be forgotten (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#29731223)

- was only for expensive works like books, not incidentals like maps or charts

The production of a quality map or chart has a higher cost than the production of a work of fiction. Either copyright should apply equally to all works, or it should apply to none, for basing it on the cost of creation of the work is impossible to do fairly. Otherwise, I agree wholeheartedly with what you have said. Copyright as we know it today is a leech sucking creativity out of entertainment, and replacing it with profit.

wow what a great quote (3, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#29731065)

that's pretty much the conceptualization of cyberspace, versus "meatspace", the real world, where if you own a car, and someone takes it, you've been deprived of a car: genuine stealing, as opposed to "stealing" digital content, which isn't stealing at all

we talk about how you can effortlessly copy a file and move it anywhere in any quantity at no difference in cost, and you would think this instantaneous sharing of digital content is some newfangled philosophical challenge brought about by the latest technological innovation. a concept that wasn't dramatic enough in societal impact before the internet to have much bearing on anyone's thinking

and here's this guy from the 200 years ago, when morse code was decades off far off science fiction, pretty much nailing the issue on the head. man those founding fathers were smart

i guess al gore has to step aside: thomas jefferson conceptualized the internet! ;-P

Re:Copyrights are going to be forgotten (1)

dorque_wrench (1394209) | more than 4 years ago | (#29730561)

Once they grow up, copyrights will have virtually no meaning for the average person in society.

Until the RIAA demands compensation to the tune of $2,500 per song. And you forget, America has more lawyers than any other nation in the world. It's not like they are going to tell the **IAs to stop suing people named "Doe" who can't possibly afford to pay multi-thousand dollar judgments. That's taking away billable hours, you insensitive clod!

Re:Copyrights are going to be forgotten (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#29730961)

Since neither RIAA nor the lawyers seemed obliged to control themselves, then we need laws to do it for them.

- The law should exempt libraries, colleges, and individuals from copies made for personal use.

- The law should fine the RIAA $100,000 and the lawyers $1,000 each for cases brought before a judge, and then later dropped when the case is not going their way. Consider it a "court usage fee" to compensate the government for time/dollars wasted.

- And finally the law should forbid the use of extortionate letters that read "Pay us $5000 or be drug into court where we will sue you for one million dollars," or similar fear tactics. The letters may continue in the form of cease-and-desist actions, but the use of these letters to collect dollars is reminiscent of the Catholic Church's "indulgences" which collected dollars in exchange for forgiveness of sins. It's a perversion of the original intent of copyright (to promote progress and learning).

 

Re:Copyrights are going to be forgotten (5, Interesting)

langelgjm (860756) | more than 4 years ago | (#29730579)

As Elizabeth Cady Stanton said, "To make laws that man cannot, and will not obey, serves to bring all law into contempt."

I think copyright, and IP law in general has a legitimate and defensible purpose. That said, IP policy is essentially made without any regard to facts (you could argue that about a lot of policy, but in IP it's particularly bad). The fact that one can violate copyright law so easily, without intending it, and the fact that so much stuff of so little value is copyrighted, as well as really old stuff, breeds contempt of copyright law altogether.

The legitimacy of copyright law might be salvaged by cutting down the length of terms drastically, or otherwise changing the policy so that it is actually sensible. Barring that, though, as long as some written works from 1924 are still copyrighted, can you really blame people for thinking the whole thing is ridiculous?

Five or ten years copyright (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29730883)

And any work not in the form in which it is created must have the transformative version to work with.

A transformative work is one that allows the intellectual content to be transformed to a more modern version.

E.g. Encoded movies/music must have one version with an open encoding. DRM'd products must have one version without DRM. Software must have source code.

Without these you can't transcode the works to fit on a new medium or work on a new technology.

How many games are lost because source code is thrown away and you can no longer get the OS it was written for?

Re:Copyrights are going to be forgotten (1)

DavidMR (1655723) | more than 4 years ago | (#29730669)

It seems doubtful that people are going to forget about copyrights anytime soon. In fact, just the opposite--I see evidence of growing paranoia. Teachers are drilling into their students, that they must get permission to use copyrighted material in writing. I've had students write to me asking for permission for reuse of my music. They refuse to allow me to give permission to them via e-mail--they need the permission by snail mail. YIkes!

Re:Copyrights are going to be forgotten (1)

riT-k0MA (1653217) | more than 4 years ago | (#29730999)

Teachers are drilling into their students, that they must get permission to use copyrighted material in writing.

Brainwashing thanks to the **AA brainwashing the teachers

I've had students write to me asking for permission for reuse of my music. They refuse to allow me to give permission to them via e-mail--they need the permission by snail mail. YIkes!

Forced use of Snail Mail:
Job Creation and protectionism of a dying industry

Re:Copyrights are going to be forgotten (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#29731011)

>>>they need the permission by snail mail. YIkes!

Well that's really fair to the original artist. He gets about 1 penny per song sold, but must spend 40 cents mailing-out permission forms to let people use his songs in college or high school.

I suppose one solution is to tell the students, "If you insist upon a piece-of-paper then you're going to pay for it. 40 cents for postage plus 40 cents for paypal fees. Make it an even 1 dollar. -OR- Just take this email as your permission. Your choice."

Re:Copyrights are going to be forgotten (-1, Troll)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | more than 4 years ago | (#29730687)

As technology improves, we are eventually going to forget about copyrights;

The way things are going, it looks like you're right. They're going to be completely forgotten, right about the time people start completely forgetting their moral obligation to pay the artist. That's right about the time that culture will (almost) completely be wiped out.

Re:Copyrights are going to be forgotten (2, Insightful)

serveto (1028028) | more than 4 years ago | (#29730901)

As technology improves, we are eventually going to forget about copyrights;

The way things are going, it looks like you're right. They're going to be completely forgotten, right about the time people start completely forgetting their moral obligation to pay the artist. That's right about the time that culture will (almost) completely be wiped out.

So true, look at how there was no culture at all before copyright.

Re:Copyrights are going to be forgotten (1)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | more than 4 years ago | (#29731175)

Oh, you mean where there was no such thing as recordings, artists couldn't play beyond their very immediate area, and only the obscenely wealthy could actually influence art? Oh yeah, that was a cultural renaissance.

Of course, it was a cultural renaissance, just like a single flower poking out of a huge pile of dung is renaissance compared to what came before.

It completely escapes me why people assume that then and now are at all equivalent, or even why then was, in any respect, comparable to what we have now. Remember those innovations, the effects of which that the RIAA resisted? Well, they have effects (surprise)! Equivalence is far from guaranteed.

Re:Copyrights are going to be forgotten (1)

mrsquid0 (1335303) | more than 4 years ago | (#29730853)

You are probably right, but as long as the laws remain on the books some of these people are going to get the occasional very nasty surprise when they find out, the hard way, that copyright really does exist and really does affect them. Five years ago I naïvely thought that there would be a huge backlash against the RIAA lawsuits, and that would force a revision of the laws involved. It never happened, and now I am not convinced that it will ever happen.

Sousa was right. (4, Insightful)

LaminatorX (410794) | more than 4 years ago | (#29730477)

Recording technology and radio obliterated small-scale performances and local music. They still exist, obviously, but have nowhere near the cultural prominence or respect that they once did.

Mod Parent Up (0, Offtopic)

Umuri (897961) | more than 4 years ago | (#29730505)

and me without my mod points. darnit!

Re:Sousa was right. (4, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 4 years ago | (#29730609)

Recording technology and radio obliterated small-scale performances and local music. They still exist, obviously, but have nowhere near the cultural prominence or respect that they once did.

Yeah, after reading the Sousa piece it was shockingly levelheaded and highly rational. He even admits he's an alarmist and that he has a biased view because of his personal stake in this. The last paragraph included in the Ars image is downright prophetic:

It cannot be denied that the owners and inventors have shown wonderful aggressiveness and ingenuity in developing and exploiting these remarkable devices. Their mechanism has been steadily and marvelously improved, and they have come into very extensive use. And it must be admitted that where families lack time or inclination to acquire musical technic, and to hear public performances, the best of these machines supply a certain amount of satisfaction and pleasure.

He almost sounds like a cautious promoter or early adopter himself! Unsurprisingly the Ars article only gives us the first sheet of a lengthy opinion that can be found here [phonozoic.net] . Good reading to realize that these debated issues today are nothing new.

Re:Sousa was right. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29730695)

And note that has nothing to do with the media cartels controlling new technology - that's just the sad state of Americans that are willing to buy their culture instead of participate in it.

Re:Sousa was right. (2, Insightful)

Thaelon (250687) | more than 4 years ago | (#29730707)

Recording technology and radio obliterated small-scale performances and local music.

You don't get out much, do you?

Where I live there is live music available somewhere in the town every single day of the week. In fact, I went to a music festival Sunday that was going on all weekend long. I believe it was called Rocktoberfest [charlestoncitypaper.com] and had 98 local bands?

What you're seeing is natural competition for people's time that every source of entertainment from naval gazing to youtube, to video games, to movie theaters. It's not that recording technology and radio obliterated small scale stuff. It's that there's so much else to do.

Re:Sousa was right. (2, Insightful)

LaminatorX (410794) | more than 4 years ago | (#29730885)

I do get out (and play out) just fine, thank you. :) There's music being played and heard, certainly. Just the same, when was the last time you were walking down the street and saw a family sitting on their front porch playing and singing together?

Re:Sousa was right. (1)

Ikonoclasm (1139897) | more than 4 years ago | (#29730783)

Who can afford the licensing fees to sit around and play music for friends? And if you didn't pay the fees, well, you're stealing from the artist-that's-long-dead's-children-that-continue-to-profit-from-work-they-never-performed! Think of the children!

Re:Sousa was right. (4, Funny)

LaminatorX (410794) | more than 4 years ago | (#29730929)

We keep our ASCAP and BMI site-license agreements posted on the refrigerator. It's only annoying when the auditors show up to sample set lists and expect to stay for dinner. Awkward.

and he was right (3, Insightful)

gbjbaanb (229885) | more than 4 years ago | (#29730485)

There was John Philip Sousa in 1906 warning that recording technology would destroy the US pastime of gathering around the piano to sing music

you got to admit it, the guy predicted that correctly!

The others referenced in the summary, not so good. The music industry didn't implode after cassette tapes appeared, there's no reason to think the movie industry will implode now bittorrent's appeared either.

Re:and he was right (3, Funny)

T Murphy (1054674) | more than 4 years ago | (#29730555)

There was John Philip Sousa in 1906 warning that recording technology would destroy the US pastime of gathering around the piano to sing music
...and replace it with drunken karioke nights.

No he wasn't (1)

crovira (10242) | more than 4 years ago | (#29730563)

Consider the number of pianos then and now.

Then add in the number of guitars, bass buitars, synth's, horns, every kind of drum; we have more musicians alive now than have lived before, PERIOD.

Re:No he wasn't (1)

tverbeek (457094) | more than 4 years ago | (#29730683)

we have more musicians alive now than have lived before, PERIOD.

I call bullshit. OK, the world population has literally quadrupled since then, so that might make you right in spite of yourself. But 100 years ago, lots of people who didn't even own a piano still learned how to play one. Plus there were all the people who played fiddle or harmonica or acoustic guitar, or played in the kind of band that Sousa wrote music for (a large enough market that sheet music was big business). Also, someone who played piano (etc.) would continue to play it for most of their lives, contrasted with your typical modern "rock band" musician who gives it up by the time he hits 30 (or even 20). Just because most of your friends at school are "in a band" doesn't mean that's typical of the whole population.

Re:No he wasn't (1)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 4 years ago | (#29730947)

Okay - let's see your evidence that a greater number (either in numbers, or as a proportion of population) were musicians in the past, compared with now?

Just because most of your friends at school are "in a band" doesn't mean that's typical of the whole population.

And just because you have some anecdotes of your friends given up after school doesn't mean that's evidence. So let's see your evidence that people are more likely to give it up today as they grow up, compared with in the past?

Re:No he wasn't (1)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | more than 4 years ago | (#29730699)

Might or might not be true...

However, music is no less a part of our lives since the recording industry started up. It might be more so even if the recording industry made music a more specialized profession.

Re:No he wasn't (1)

Rob the Bold (788862) | more than 4 years ago | (#29730823)

Consider the number of pianos then and now.

Then add in the number of guitars, bass buitars, synth's, horns, every kind of drum; we have more musicians alive now than have lived before, PERIOD.

I think you are making a mistake in this analysis. There are probably more musicians alive now then ever before. There are also more men, women, Chinese men, English women, etc. But unlike commonality of men (still about 1 to 1 w.r.t. women), the commonality of musicians playing live in small venues has decreased. And you know that the practice of gathering around the piano (or its modern equivalent, the "buitar") to sing with family or friends has receded. Do you do it at your house? If you do, I bet you would be considered unusual (not necessarily in a bad way) in your neighborhood. We do have more access to more musicians through recordings, and even more through broadcast recordings. But they're not friends and family like Sousa meant.

As to the shrinking of the chest, we can only thank our lucky stars that Sousa was just blowing smoke, whistling in the wind (insert your Ecclesiastical metaphor here). Naturally he couldn't have predicted changes in nutrition and availability of breast augmentation.

Oops. Almost forgot. P-E-R-I-O-D !!!1!

Re:No he wasn't (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 4 years ago | (#29731173)

His comment was not about the number of musicians. It was about the culture surrounding music. When I was an undergrad, there were only a handful of parties with live entertainment; even when friends of mine who were musicians went to parties, they almost never played an instrument or sang anything. There was still music at the parties -- but it was recorded, and identical versions of the same songs could be heard over and over again at party after party.

In particular, small gatherings among friends tended to lack live music. A party with 20~ people typical involved some digital music player hooked up to a set of speakers, and not a single person actually singing or playing an instrument. Whether you think this is a good thing or not is not relevant to whether or not the comment in 1906 was accurate.

CopyRIGHT (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29730511)

Copyright means the RIGHT to make a COPY after a grace period of time to allow the author to profit from his work. It initially wasn't 80+ years either.

And these days they seem to think it means "you don't have any RIGHT to COPY" our work. Well, if they forfeit that aspect of the copyright, then we will deny them the right to profit from it.

I can think of one! (3, Insightful)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 4 years ago | (#29730523)

"I cannot think of a single significant innovation in either the creation or distribution of works of authorship that owes its origins to the copyright industries."

DRM!

Oh, wait...

Re:I can think of one! (1)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | more than 4 years ago | (#29730725)

I can't think of any significant innovations, but I can think of benefits. Copyright industries have helped thousands of artists support themselves exclusively on their art, and distributed their works worldwide. They've nurtured the concept of a "star", and helped millions of others aspire to become an artist themselves. Not that it was ever uncool before (as far as I know), but now, with the number of hopefuls and wannabes, we're simply spoiled for choice.

Re:I can think of one! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29730975)

and they completely f*cked over as least as many artists, and many many more consumers

Re:I can think of one! (1)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | more than 4 years ago | (#29731193)

By offering them voluntary contracts and trades respectively to help distribute between the two groups. How terribly evil of them.

Re:I can think of one! (1)

Rob the Bold (788862) | more than 4 years ago | (#29730891)

"I cannot think of a single significant innovation in either the creation or distribution of works of authorship that owes its origins to the copyright industries."

DRM!

Oh, wait...

I guess it did provide some jobs to develop, e.g., HDCP. I'd be hanging my head in shame if it were me, though. ("My children were starving, their clothes threadbare") And its various ancestors, like error tracks, serial port dongles, little slide-rule-like spinny code-wheel things. I guess the spinny-wheel was pretty cool compared to the rest of the examples.

Re:I can think of one! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29731149)

While trying to be funny it is an interesting idea. How to 'protect' an 'open' secret. Then insure that only people you want get that 'secret'. The main problem is once the secret is open and you have someone who is a double agent they could share the secret with others you do not want. It is actually a fairly standard crypto analysis being researched today.

DRM is an application of it. But it suffers from the same problem all cryptographically signed documents suffer from. That once someone can decode it and you give the keys to the decoding to a double agent (pirates in the case of DRM) else everyone can do it. Right now most DRM suffers from security thru obscurity. 'the keys are on a special place on the disk', 'the alg is burred in some firmware', 'you have to authenticate against some remote server to get a key'. Notice all of those ways 'hide the key'. It is just a matter of time before someone finds it. DVDs were once touted as uncrackable, we know how that went.

Everyone is excited about downloading everything from the web. I personally am not. As it allows companies to digitally sign things only to you using paired keys. Removing the second hand market from me. Buy a crap movie/game/music? Looking for that rare game from a company that went out of business 10 years ago? I can no longer sell that to someone else and recoup my cost, or find easily interesting content that is out of date. Mark my words right now downloadable content is cheap but once the 2nd hand market is gone the prices will rise back up to current and higher levels and locked behind digital walls. You also better hope that the company doesnt 'give up' or 'go out of business'.

Their problem now... (4, Insightful)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 4 years ago | (#29730549)

Is that they run their businesses like they're not subject to all the norms of business. They don't budget properly, do cost or quality control well, don't cater to niche markets well, don't treat their customers very well and often don't even know really what their customers will probably want.

If they would start doing some quality and cost control, treat their customers well and provide them the content whenever and wherever they want it (for a modest fee), the public's attitude toward piracy would be markedly different.

Re:Their problem now... (1)

SwimmerBoy (1612523) | more than 4 years ago | (#29731071)

Surely part of the problem is the 'bloat' from both the **AA's and the artists themselves not being up to scratch? I mean, it seems that I could quite happily set up a studio for betwen $8,000 and $32,000 (http://emusician.com/tutorials/emusic_build_personal_studio/) and if you're in a band of 5 that's not really all that much money - I've spent more on buying and maintaining a track car for weekend racing. From there, all you really need is time to write and record the music along with a modest cost for producing the CD's, or setting up your iTunes or equivalent distribution method. I think the problem is that the artists these days are in it for the money and not the music. They're picked up by producers for their looks, not their sounds which means that a lot more post-production work is needed. Then you've got to pay the Songwriter, producer, publisher, advertiser, etc. before the artist even sees any money. I'd gladly give the a good up-and-coming artist 90% of the total cost of their album that they've put their heart and soul into priced at £5 than spend £12 an album that we have now of which only a small percentage goes to the 'figurehead' who then complains about piracy stopping their cashflow.

Systematic copyright indoctrination (3, Interesting)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | more than 4 years ago | (#29730617)

I just placed an order for the "Moral Panics and the Copyright Wars" book. I am looking forward to reading it.

I think that we've discussed it before, but there has also been 100 years of systematic indoctrination about copyright in our schools. In grad school I listened to an outside speaker come in and say that the institution of copyright was created to make sure that companies make money. She believed that, too, as that is what "common knowledge" now says copyright is.

The hysteria is very, very deep. Now when you try to explain the Constitutional reasoning behind copyright you only get blank stares and laughs.

Re:Systematic copyright indoctrination (2, Insightful)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | more than 4 years ago | (#29730781)

Unfortunately, common knowledge is not always correct, particularly when there's some uncommon prerequisite knowledge involved (e.g. slightly more advanced economics). Sometimes, you simply have to swallow information you don't understand. For example, I don't let the fact that I don't really know how a internal combustion engine works stop me from driving to uni.

The money well. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29730623)

"I cannot think of a single significant innovation in either the creation or distribution of works of authorship that owes its origins to the copyright industries."

I can't think of anything that owes it's origin to the banks, advertising, or distribution.

Sousa had a point (2, Insightful)

dorque_wrench (1394209) | more than 4 years ago | (#29730631)

"Singing will no longer be a fine accomplishment; vocal exercises so important a factor in the curriculum of physical culture will be out of vogue. Then what of the national throat? Will it not weaken?"

Have you heard the "quality" of "singers" we've (over-)produced in the last 10 years??? Pick an episode, any episode, of Saturday Night Live from the last 10 years. NO ONE sounds live the way they sound on recording. I know what you're thinking: Beyonce. Fine. You're right. Pick another one. Can you?

Re:Sousa had a point (2, Insightful)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | more than 4 years ago | (#29730675)

Bob Dylan sounds just as crappy live as recorded!

What's being ignored (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29730665)

Most of those things did significantly change entertainment. Even things like VHS tapes had a major impact on revenues. The studios managed to adapt but the independents took a hit. Now that things started to get better cheap equipment flooded the market with cheap crappy films so they took their hardest hit yet. All of those innovations put together haven't impacted the industries like the internet. With near unlimited bandwidth and an army of people able to crack most any security measures the dam has quite literally broke. People complain about how expensive things are but if you factor in inflation album prices are flat whiles sales numbers drop. Music was overpriced for years but inflation did finally catch up. Movie ticket prices were around $3 in the 70s but you could also buy a nice car for $5,000. A Corvette may have set you back 7K or 8K. The point is some things have gone up far more than entertainment. A bounced check would have run you a $1 back in the 70s where as now it's $35 to $45. A hospital room was around $150, just for the room, now it's $1,500 or more. In many ways entertainment is a bargain. Greed isn't the factor everyone claims it's changing attitudes of consumers. They want more stuff and their incomes have been flat for a decade or more. If you take an iPod you want everyone accepts that as stealing but if you download a movie or song you want hey it's just 1s and 0s. No harm no foul. It's this perception that has changed. Unfortunately content takes money to produce just like iPods so it will affect what's out there. You can have government funding but that means higher taxes and the government decides what you see and listen to. There's the free market but that's what most are rebelling against. Take away the money and you are left with what fans make in their garages. I keep hearing fans can do it better but virtually everything I've seen is poorly written, silly acting and poor production values. Digital effects have improved some of them but a lot of those are pros doing it in their spare time and often with access to studio equipment. If it takes 50K or 100K in equipment how many films will get made when people are doing them in their spare time with a normal day job? As people want more and more expensive toys with their incomes stagnant they will keep cutting corners to buy the toys and the easiest corner they see to cut is downloading rather than buying content. Unfortunately that new iPod may not be as bright and shiny if there's no content to load on it.

Re:What's being ignored (2, Interesting)

ButtercupSaiyan (977624) | more than 4 years ago | (#29731083)

>>I keep hearing fans can do it better but virtually everything I've seen is poorly written, silly acting and poor production values. Portal, the game and the independent movie.

Re:What's being ignored (2, Informative)

dascandy (869781) | more than 4 years ago | (#29731111)

Theft: Removing something that wasn't in your posession, in order to have the advantages for yourself and accepting that you are depriving somebody else from their advantages.
Embezzlement: Removing something that was in your posession but not yours, in order to have the advantages for yourself and accepting that you are depriving somebody else from their advantages.
Copying (music, video, software etc.): Making a copy of something, in order to have the advantages yourself, without depriving anybody else from their advantages.

No, sorry, this isn't theft. It isn't even embezzlement. When you steal my car, I am without a car. When you embezzle the money I lent you, I'm left without that money. When you copy my software, I still have everything I had before.

Money for nothing and your chicks for free (3, Interesting)

erroneus (253617) | more than 4 years ago | (#29730727)

I know this comment (http://yro.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=1402013&cid=29730503) was an angry troll, but he voices the fear of the copyright industry perfectly just the same.

Copyright is a secondary aspect of art. It is the performance and the original art that people want to see. I can get a copy of a Van Gough at WalMart for $9.99, but the original is priceless. I can download Jethro Tull's entire music collection off the internet for free and I would still pay more than $100 a ticket to go to a concert lasting between 1 and 2 hours. Some movies I will want to see at the theater, others on DVD, others on TV and still others not at all.

The point I'm trying to get at is this -- people who will pay, will pay and it doesn't matter how much or how little protection there is. Should there be some? Yeah -- because there are people out there who will try to make a business out of copying things for sale and that's not fair either. (I speak of REAL pirates... the bootleggers who sell copies as though they were real) But these copyright industrialists have taken things too far. Their industry is based on the creative works of others and have indeed resulted in the suppression and ruination of creative works.

And people will ALWAYS want to create music and perform the arts whether there is much if any money in it at all. It is a natural drive in we humans. These practices weren't initially driven as a for-profit activity. They did it as a form of self expression and as a means of entertaining those around them. It is the greedy copyright industrialists who are trying to bottle up the hearts and souls of the creative and expressive to make money. What's worse is that the greed is a disease that people quite often catch for themselves turning creatives into greedy creatives.

I liken the difference to people who become doctors and nurses. Some do it because they feel they have a need to help people. Some do it because a lot of people in the medical industry live in really big houses and own a lot of things. Unfortunately, it's a lot more difficult to tell the difference between the real doctors and nurses and the ones who are just in it for the money, but I dare you to make an argument for going to a doctor who is in it for the money instead of the one who is in it for the good of humanity.

The only business that is ever threatened by improved technologies are those that need to be left behind. This article puts it out nicely and shows how long this game has been going on. DAT was an excellent technology and really would have been nice but the copyright industrialists pretty much ruined it. HDMI is a nice interface for media playback devices, but it too is a bit buggered in the name of the "money for nothing" industrialists. The average joe on the streets may never fully appreciate the damage and harm caused by the copyright industrialists, but stories like these are important when trying to show it to them and showing how incredibly bad the copyright industrialists are.

The copyright industrialists don't even KNOW they are bad. The greedy don't even know they are greedy. They simply want what they want and will do a great deal to get it. The difference is that they are willing to harm others to get what they want while the average joe is willing to work for his pay. I think when you boil it down to the question of whether or not someone is willing to harm others for profit, that is probably the best way to determine if someone is "bad" or not. (There are tow truck drivers who will respond in an emergency to assist. There are tow truck drivers who are set up to tow the vehicles and hold vehicles for usurious ransom. The difference is pretty clear.)

Re:Money for nothing and your chicks for free (1)

Shrike82 (1471633) | more than 4 years ago | (#29730937)

Thankyou. Someone who feels the same way I do but is able to express themselves without poor analogies or stretched metaphors. I really believe that if the music and film industries devoted as much time and money to innovating the digital distribution market as they do to lobbying various governments and devloping restrictive DRM formats that are easily cracked, they'd have come up with a workable business model by now that meant more profits for them and better content and delivery for us. Pipe dream.....I know.

Copyright is not about innovation (1, Interesting)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | more than 4 years ago | (#29730775)

"I cannot think of a single significant innovation in either the creation or distribution of works of authorship that owes its origins to the copyright industries.

By definition, a "copyright industry" would be an industry that produces copyrighted works. Such industries would not necessarily be creating "innovation in either the creation or distribution of works" and to suggest so is disingenuous.

It also leaves out conglomerates, such as Sony, parent of Sony Music, who happens to be responsible for BluRay technology. He also neglects the DVD, which was developed by a consortium of companies including Sony and TimeWarner. Maybe he has never heard of the Sony Music division, but how could he not have heard of TimeWarner?

Is the author of that quote lying or just ignorant? If the former, nothing he says can be considered reliable. If the latter, his opinion is worthless.

Re:Copyright is not about innovation (1)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 4 years ago | (#29730993)

It also leaves out conglomerates, such as Sony, parent of Sony Music, who happens to be responsible for BluRay technology. He also neglects the DVD, which was developed by a consortium of companies including Sony and TimeWarner. Maybe he has never heard of the Sony Music division, but how could he not have heard of TimeWarner?

Well that's cheating - just because Sony does something else, doesn't make this come from the "copyright industry". It just means that some companies are in several different markets.

Re:Copyright is not about innovation (4, Insightful)

JasterBobaMereel (1102861) | more than 4 years ago | (#29731049)

DVD invented as a data storage medium by a consortium of computer companies including Sony, and extended to store movies the consortium was founded by Computer companies and the movie companies joined it later ....

Blu-Ray were invented mostly by Sony, as a data storage medium - the Movie companies (including Sony's movie division) only got involved when the standards for movie formats for these discs were being decided ....

So Sony has divisions which deal in Movies and Music, and divisions which don't ... and they work together when they need to ... but it does not mean the Copyright industries innovate ...

Re:Copyright is not about innovation (1)

Shrike82 (1471633) | more than 4 years ago | (#29731129)

"I cannot think of a single significant innovation in either the creation or distribution of works of authorship that owes its origins to the copyright industries.

By definition, a "copyright industry" would be an industry that produces copyrighted works. Such industries would not necessarily be creating "innovation in either the creation or distribution of works" and to suggest so is disingenuous.

You base your whole argument on a deliberate misinterpretation of his words. We both know that he's talking about the various legal departments and bureaucratic machines that exist solely to manage the copyrights of artists and performers, not the wider music and film industry as a whole, or particular companies that it is comprised of. I'm not championing his point, though I do happen to agree with it. I'm merely pointing out that if your best response is to pedantically point out that companies spearheading copyright campaigns also do other stuff, you need to think a little harder about the case you're trying to make.

It just goes that way. (1)

Steauengeglase (512315) | more than 4 years ago | (#29730803)

This really isn't something that only exists in communications. If there were a huge market for hygienic corn cobs, you'd have heard that toilet paper caused rectal tumors or that improper squatting stunted the growth of children. This is just the way of business. When someone gets close to your bread and butter you squeal.

Summary is ignorant FUD - not copyright related. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29730915)

None of the examples mentioned are related to copyright in the Slashdot sense of the word. There is ZERO support in the examples for doing away with copyright.

"There was John Philip Sousa in 1906 warning that recording technology would destroy the US pastime of gathering around the piano to sing music ("What of the national throat? Will it not weaken? What of the national chest? Will it not shrink?"). There was the photocopier after World War II. There was the VCR in the 1970s, which a movie lobbyist predicted would result in tidal waves, avalanches, and bleeding and hemorrhaging by the music business. He compared the VCR to the Boston Strangler — in this scenario the US public was a woman home alone. Then home taping of music, digital audio tape, MP3 players, and Napster, each of which was predicted to lay waste to entire industries; and so on up to date with DVRs, HD radio, and HDTV."

With the exception of Napster, that was shut down, and recording media, which in many nations carry a levy paid to the music industry, these are examples of luddites and those who fear new technology - not in any way related to the advantages or disadvantages of copyrights. You cannot read these examples and say "AHA, those are some good examples of why copyright is a bad thing".

The only possible justification for the title "Copyright Hysteria" is that "Some of the companies that have warned against new inventions have also had business models which depends on copyright" - which is a deceitful herring, because by far MOST companies rely in some way on copyrights. This is similar to saying "Copyright Bribes", and pointing to companies that have bribed developing nations WHILE AT THE SAME TIME depended on copyrights for their business model. WTF is up with the editor?

digital copy EQUALS exact copy (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29730933)

Before, with recordings, one copy was all that was "original". ANY copy would degrade the quality. Copy a copy and the quality was already POOR. That goes for photocopy, LPs, tape, whatever. The problem today is that's not the case. A copy is no longer a copy, it is a perfect recreation of the source. No generational loss means the 1000th copy (copy of a copy of a copy of a copy...) is a perfect a reproduction as the first. And that is the problem.

Re:digital copy EQUALS exact copy (2, Insightful)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 4 years ago | (#29731153)

When the highest price you are willing to pay is ZERO, the "quality" doesn't matter.

So the "problem of perfect copies" is really a big fat red herring.

Do Away With Copyrights (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29730971)

Frankly, copyrights and patents need to be done away with. Why should it be justified that writers, singers, computer programers, etc., do some work once, and then magically reproduce it over and over and over, without really working, and they get paid as if they did that work all over again.

For example. I have a friend who just wrote a program. He gets paid $20 a copy, per year. He has sold $5,000 copies, so he makes $100,000 a year, without really doing anything. The initial time he spent on the program was a year. If he were anyone else, he would get $100,000 for his initial work, and then if he wanted to make another $100,000 dollars, he would have to keep working just as hard, for another year.

It only makes complete sense to require singers to actually perform, in concert, or in the studio, if they want to get paid. Writers should get paid for their time actually writing, and computer programmers should only get paid for their time actually programming. Inventors should get paid for a product produced, and not be allowed to own patents for ideas.

Copyrights and patents are unfair, and cater to a small portion of society. Copyrights and patents treat certain industries as if their time is somehow more valuable than the average person.

Please note, I am an inventor and a computer programmer. Also, most patents and copyrights belong to big companies, and not the individual that came up with the idea or material, so in that sense, the idea of patents and copyrights has failed anyways.

Quality keeps declining (1)

hessian (467078) | more than 4 years ago | (#29731095)

Do we have anything as good as Beethoven symphonies yet?

What about even approximating Wagner, or Bruckner?

As we become able to produce more and more quantity, it seems quality declines.

Something to ponder.

Art Industry (1)

Ivan Stepaniuk (1569563) | more than 4 years ago | (#29731169)

Since the invention of the printing press centuries ago, it was technology that made possible to make an industry from art. Now it is the same kind of technology that is taking away what it gave. We will have to live with the hysteria until someone comes up with something smarter.
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