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Russian President: Time To Reform Copyright

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the kalashnikov-mashup dept.

Government 293

An anonymous reader writes "While most of the rest of the world keeps ratcheting up copyright laws by increasing enforcement and terms, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev appears to be going in the other direction. He's now proposing that Russia build Creative Commons-style open and free licenses directly into Russian copyright law. This comes just a few days after he also chided other G8 leaders for their antiquated views on copyright."

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Copyright is main US industry, while not others (5, Insightful)

cgeys (2240696) | more than 3 years ago | (#36360620)

I'm starting to like Russia. It's also understandable why US tried to fight for copyrights so much - that's basically the only thing they produce now. Rest of the world produces actual products. US can try to attack rest of the world all it can, it only makes other countries see it faster - when rest of world start supporting free licenses and free copyright, US collapses really, really bad.

Re:Copyright is main US industry, while not others (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36360630)

You collapse! You collapse long time.

Citation. (5, Informative)

headkase (533448) | more than 3 years ago | (#36360696)

Just to support your comment a bit, see this story which just happens to be on CNN's front page: here [cnn.com] .

From that:

"The increased difficulty in protecting data comes as the value of intellectual property is skyrocketing for companies. In 2009, 81% of the value of S&P 500 companies was "intangible assets" such as patented technology, proprietary data and market plans, according to an estimate by Ocean Tomo Intellectual Capital Equity. In 1985, only 68% of the S&P 500 market value was from intangibles, according to Ocean Tomo."

So, you're not far off the mark: The USA says it's wealthy because it is counting "intangibles" as wealth, or more accurately: things that do not suffer from scarcity. If your main assets do not suffer from scarcity, you have a problem because supply, once known, is infinite: and if supply is infinite then the real cost of it is zero.

Re:Citation. (5, Insightful)

MoonBuggy (611105) | more than 3 years ago | (#36360756)

The real scarcity isn't in the intangible 'products' themselves, it's in the people who create them. For now, the West has a great advantage in skills and education - China and India might be able to pump out generic copies for a pittance once the designs are leaked, but so far the latest and greatest designs are still coming largely from the US and Europe.

Of course, this will change, and is changing, in the same way that most companies wouldn't have been able to outsource their manufacturing to China fifty years ago. For now, though, it isn't so much an economy based on closely guarded ideas, it's an economy based on creating those ideas.

Re:Citation. (0)

Kagetsuki (1620613) | more than 3 years ago | (#36360916)

I'd bet many of the things you are assuming were designed in the US and Europe were designed in places like Japan and Taiwan. It's obvious you know nothing about Asia. Just go to about any Asian country and you'll be quick to find store shelves packed with products NOT designed or invented in the US or Europe, and the products from the US and Europe will be things that aren't really all that great - like garlic peelers, microfiber towels, and plastic containers you can use to cook pasta in the microwave...

Re:Citation. (1)

JasterBobaMereel (1102861) | more than 3 years ago | (#36360970)

The first iPhone when launched in Japan was largely ignored as an underspecified poor copy of phones they already had ....

Re:Citation. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36361136)

I live in Japan. The iPhone is the king over here.

Japanese phones are laughably bad. It's like a weird zone over here. All they sell are flip-top phones that are locked down so hard they squeal if you try to phone a number.

Perhaps you meant Korea and Taiwan? The phone market in Japan is still stuck in the stone age.

So sayeth the anonymous coward... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36361338)

I myself am from Mars. iPhone is king here too.

Re:Citation. (1)

MoonBuggy (611105) | more than 3 years ago | (#36361022)

Perhaps it was an oversight to ignore Japan and Taiwan. I probably would've been better to refer to 'manufacturing economies' and 'IP economies' rather than talking about 'the West' - I had no intention of slighting Asia as a whole. Maybe it's media bias, I don't know, but I haven't really heard of any new designs coming from the manufacturing bases I mentioned, China an India, though.

Re:Citation. (1)

zach_the_lizard (1317619) | more than 3 years ago | (#36361176)

You also forget Singapore and South Korea.

Re:Citation. (2)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 3 years ago | (#36361210)

If you say "manufacturing economies" and "IP economies," then your argument becomes a tautology anyway.

Re:Citation. (1)

MoonBuggy (611105) | more than 3 years ago | (#36361300)

Not really - the point was that manufacturing economies can't take over IP economies even if they get hold of the IP, because the true strength is the people who create the IP. It was an argument against the post way back up there that said "If your main assets do not suffer from scarcity, you have a problem because supply, once known, is infinite: and if supply is infinite then the real cost of it is zero.".

Re:Citation. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36360922)

All our high quality products come from them too. Read the label on the back of your monitor. Asia does not imply junk. However, General Motors does. (American Citizen, proud of what we were, dismayed with what we have become.)

Re:Citation. (0)

trum4n (982031) | more than 3 years ago | (#36360928)

speaking of junk. i was logged in....what the hell Taco?

Re:Citation. (1)

MoonBuggy (611105) | more than 3 years ago | (#36361038)

I had no intention of implying that all products from India or China are cheap generics, I was simply saying that once the designs are out there, that's where the cheap generics will come from.

Great (1)

Hojima (1228978) | more than 3 years ago | (#36361182)

Not that I'm unhappy with the decision, but now when people in the US propose it, they can say "*gasp*! That's communism! Just look, Russia is doing it!" And of course, any attempt to point out that it's been a capitalist country will be in vain.

Re:Citation. (3, Interesting)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 3 years ago | (#36361372)

Hogwash. There's no scarcity of creativity or artistry whatever. Hell, there are dozens of local bands here in my city of 100,000 who have CDs of original content, most of which is far superior to the dreck that comes from the RIAA. Have a listen to some of my friends' music [archive.org] . Those are live shows, they have studio CDs as well.

There's no shortage whatever. The "shortage" has always been because of the fact that recording and filming were incredibly expensive. Today recording is dirt cheap, and the price of making a movie is coming down fast -- Star Wreck only cost a few thousand bucks and is better than 90% of the multimillion dollar dreck that comes from Hollywood (it's also hilarious, every Star Trek and Babylon Five fan should see that movie).

Re:Citation. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36361080)

Yep. Piracy is merely corrective market forces overcoming regulation.

Re:Citation. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36361142)

unless, of course, your product becomes obsolete in 5-10 years, which is often the case of software. Anyone still running a *legit* copy of Win98 anymore?

Re:Citation. (2)

slashqwerty (1099091) | more than 3 years ago | (#36361178)

Most proprietary data and market plans do not benefit from copyrights that last 95 years. In fact, most of that material will never be published. Actual published works such as movies, music, books, and news are a tiny fraction of the US economy. Of that tiny fraction, a very small portion is for works more than 14 years old.

Re:Citation. (2)

pmontra (738736) | more than 3 years ago | (#36361242)

You're suggesting the possibility of an IP bubble? if you do you might be right. Furthermore there is another side to this issue. It's easy to trade atoms (i.e.: meat) for other atoms (i.e. water) but if you trade ideas for food well... you must be either very talented or very convincing. The second alternative scales better and many industries are indoctrinating us since we are born about video clip music, movies, smart phone apps, etc being so much important for our happiness and well being. However even if you manage to make the whole world believe that, there is a real risk that the time will come when your customers stop believing you or spend their money for more fundamental stuff and leave you with nothing in your hands.

Re:Citation. (0)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#36361350)

And if that time arrived, people would have very little new music, movies, smart phone apps, etc. It's not that we "believe" anything, it's that we enjoy things, and wish to reward the people who created those things, so that they make more cool things. I am going to keep on paying for my eBooks, at least until my local library has some nice eBook lending policy. I've already switched to subscription services for a lot of my music and movies.

Golgafrinchans (3, Informative)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 3 years ago | (#36361292)

Your comment made me think of HHGTG.

TFA says the writer doesn't understand why CC should be baked into copyright, well, I'm no lawyer and I don't speak Russian, but perhaps he's doing what I've suggested all along -- that no noncommercial copying be deemed "infringing". You're no more going to stop P2P file sharers than you're going to stop potheads from smoking, or stop people from drinking back in the 1920s.

Noncommercial "infringement" doesn't harm anyone, and studies show that "piracy" actually increases sales. Music pirates spend more money of music than non-pirates. A book publisher commissioned a study a couple of years ago to find out how much piracy hurt sales, and was flabbergasted to find that there was a second sales "spike" when the pirate version hit the web.

The RIAA is at war with their competetion, the indies. The indies rely on P2P and the web, while the RIAA has radio. If there were no such thing as radio, the RIAA would embrace file sharing. Hell, back in the 1950s there was a "payola" scandal where RIAA labels would PAY to have their songs on the radio.

As Cory Doctorow (who gives his ebooks away for free on boingboing) says, nobody ever went broke from piracy, but many artists have starved from obscurity.

Re:Copyright is main US industry, while not others (5, Insightful)

MoonBuggy (611105) | more than 3 years ago | (#36360714)

I think we'd be far better off if that were the entirety of the reasoning behind US copyright policy; an economy based on cerebral creative work is not inherently worse than one based on welding and riveting. That's not the whole of the issue, though: an awful lot of recent copyright legislation - from domain seizures to DMCA to term extensions - does little to help the creative industry as a whole, but an awful lot to help the few companies (many of whom are just middlemen anyway) with deep pockets and a vested interest in preventing their business models from changing, often even to the detriment of both the consumers and the actual creators.

It's not an attempt to protect an IP-based economy, it's straightforward crony capitalism stemming from the lobbyists who don't want change. Their business model isn't threatened by infringement: 'piracy' is barely even slowed down by any of the countermeasures attempted, yet the industry continues to post record profits, implying that people do recognise that they need to pay, even for a crippled product. What they're actually threatened by is the emerging landscape in which they aren't the gatekeepers of all creative content.

Fifteen to twenty year terms would be a more than adequate incentive for the creation of new works, as well as providing a huge catalogue of new public domain works every year which would, in turn, stimulate further creative re-use. Essentially infinite terms coupled with DRM that is illegal to remove have very little impact on infringement, but they practically obliterate the possibility of legitimate resale or re-use that would actually help the industry as a whole.

Re:Copyright is main US industry, while not others (5, Interesting)

sirlark (1676276) | more than 3 years ago | (#36360944)

Fifteen to twenty year terms would be a more than adequate incentive for the creation of new works, as well as providing a huge catalogue of new public domain works every year which would, in turn, stimulate further creative re-use. Essentially infinite terms coupled with DRM that is illegal to remove have very little impact on infringement, but they practically obliterate the possibility of legitimate resale or re-use that would actually help the industry as a whole.

I think even 15 to 20 years is too long. To me it makes more sense to have a very short initial term, say 5 years (which can change depending on industry circumstances, e.g. motion pictures might get longer terms than music because of heavier initial investments). Then rights holders may extend the term by another year at a small cost (say $100). To extend a second year, the cost doubles. Then again, and again. As long as the ownership of the rights remains profitable, it's worth extending, but the exponential increase in price means that the ownership of those rights will become untenable pretty quickly ($102400 within 15 years of original date). You can even put a cap on the maximum term duration, again, possibly different for different industries.

The idea being, that if your idea hasn't paid off by the end of the initial term, it was probably crap anyway. At least everyone else thought it was! Your work can be considered the equivalent a defective material product; something for which nobody should be forced to pay, but can freely use the parts of to repair something that does, i.e. remixing. If your idea has paid off, you can hang on to it for as long as it stays profitable, but there's a check/balance that ensures others will eventually get access to your work. Also, as the costs of keeping the rights increases, the government, and indirectly the taxpayer, benefit from the profits of the work too

Re:Copyright is main US industry, while not others (0)

blahplusplus (757119) | more than 3 years ago | (#36361330)

Extension is just a bad idea because the RULES always get over-turned by lobbyists, I can't believe how mind numbingly stupid some people are. If you think those 'rules' will hold you're clueless, any rule that goes against corporate power will just mean corporations poor money into transforming it or eliminating it.

Re:Copyright is main US industry, while not others (2)

JBMcB (73720) | more than 3 years ago | (#36361332)

I think 15-20 years is entirely reasonable. Think of all the movies that tank at the box office, but become "cult classics" years later. I think the people who put the work and sweat into making them should be able to profit off of that success. Ditto all the songwriters whose songs become popular after some other band has reworked it, such as the endless covers of Not Fade Away in the 60's.

Re:Copyright is main US industry, while not others (5, Insightful)

JasterBobaMereel (1102861) | more than 3 years ago | (#36361006)

Parts of the Creative industry do not have copyright or Patents at all ... The fashion industry , they are almost totally US/Europe based outsource most of their production the the far east, and seem to be doing very well ...

It is a myth that the creative industries would not survive without Copyright and Patents, they do already, the only downside for the fashion industry it they have to keep innovating, constantly, "That's so last year.." was invented by the fashion industry for a reason ..

Note fashion houses/designers copy each other, the public, students etc.. and the high street stores copy the fashion designs with cheaper materials, and pay the fashion house little or nothing, but the designers still make plenty of money ...

Re:Copyright is main US industry, while not others (1)

Fnkmaster (89084) | more than 3 years ago | (#36361108)

but the designers still make plenty of money ...

This is generally nonsense. Most high end fashion companies make very little money. Their labor costs are very, very high, and their sales volumes are very, very small because their price points are so high. In fact, these businesses would generally not even be viable if there weren't lots of well-to-do young women in New York and Paris willingly to work for free or nearly-free to "break in" to this industry. Same thing with the magazine world. Subsidized by nearly free labor, not much money to really go around, headquartered in very high rent, high cost-of-living areas, high production costs, etc.

The head designers at more mainstream fashion houses (the ones that guys posting on Slashdot would have heard of) may make many millions of dollars a year, but that's selling stuff that's carried in Bloomingdale's and Neiman Marcus, not the haute couture runway innovators.

And still I wouldn't really want to be a shareholder in any of these companies, compared to the many other investment opportunities out there.

Re:Copyright is main US industry, while not others (2)

phoomp (1098855) | more than 3 years ago | (#36361046)

Agree completely. In fact, I'll take it a step further. The current copyright system creates a disincentive in the creative industries; by artificially inflating the value of old ideas it discourages the creation of new ideas (yes, there are still some new and innovative ideas).

Re:Copyright is main US industry, while not others (0)

kestasjk (933987) | more than 3 years ago | (#36360752)

Yeah; as soon as the rest of the world eases up with its stringent copyright laws the US is done for!!

Seriously though; in the real world software is an "actual product", one which is valued by consumers and expensive to make.

Copyright law isn't enforced all over the developed world because the US is attacking anyone; it is enforced because that's the only way to build an environment where you get so much great software (proprietary and open source, US and EU).

As you move from cheap labor/cheap minerals to a knowledge-based economy developing IP in exchange for physical goods works out great for everyone. No amount of feel-good anti-US sentiment is going to stand up to economic reality.

Re:Copyright is main US industry, while not others (1)

zach_the_lizard (1317619) | more than 3 years ago | (#36361278)

IP can be copied very easily. If, say, China ignores IP, you lose a good chunk of revenue. Compare Windows revenue in China vs. the US: The two PC markets are roughly the same size, but MS makes far more money in one market. If your entire country is based on IP, all a rival has to do is get rid of IP protection and they can use any innovation you've come up with while we're busy fighting patent lawsuits over one-click.

Re:Copyright is main US industry, while not others (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36360764)

I am Russian, and let me assure you that these talks are just that - talks to BS electorate for president elections this fall.
D.A. Medvedev is like Russian's Obama - he talks a lot but nothing is ever gets done -)

Re:Copyright is main US industry, while not others (0)

delinear (991444) | more than 3 years ago | (#36361052)

At least he's still making the effort to pretend to care. Our politicians have pretty much given up even making promises. Now the approach is "Face it, it's going to be crap if you elect us but it will be more crap if you elect the other party".

Re:Copyright is main US industry, while not others (0)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#36361396)

Face it, it's going to be crap if you elect us but it will be more crap if you elect the other party".

You mean politicians actually tell the truth over there? I suddenly have a bit more respect for the US..

Copyright is major US export (1)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | more than 3 years ago | (#36361110)

I am Russian, and let me assure you that these talks are just that - talks to BS electorate for president elections this fall. D.A. Medvedev is like Russian's Obama - he talks a lot but nothing is ever gets done -)

At least he's talking in a better direction than his Western counterparts, thus bringing an alternative viewpoint into the public eye. Then again, as you mentioned, the talk doesn't always translate into action after the election (example: Obama).

Re:Copyright is main US industry, while not others (5, Informative)

kerohazel (913211) | more than 3 years ago | (#36360796)

It's also understandable why US tried to fight for copyrights so much - that's basically the only thing they produce now.

Although I share your worry that the US will become an IP-based economy, there's still a long way to go before that happens.

Manufacturing and trade still dwarf other the information and entertainment sectors:
http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/IBQTable?_bm=y&-filter=&-sortkey2=&-defOrder=N&-sortkey1=&-ds_name=EC0700A1&-sortkey0=-RCPTOT&-NAICS2007=00 [census.gov] |21|22|23|31-33|42|44-45|48-49|51|52|53|54|55|56|61|62|71|72|81&-ib_type=NAICS2007&NAICS2007sector=*2&-geo_id=01000US&-dataitem=RCPTOT|GEO_ID$|NAICS2007|NAICS2007$|OPTAX$|FOOTID|ESTAB|PAYANN|EMP|NESTAB|NRCPTOT&-_lang=en
(Sorry link got FUBAR, paste it manually if you want to see it.)

The US also remains the world's largest manufacturer:
http://mjperry.blogspot.com/2009/10/us-still-worlds-largest-manufacturer.html [blogspot.com]
(Sorry to have to link to a blog, but the reference in the post is a dead link.)

Re:Copyright is main US industry, while not others (1)

Jedi Alec (258881) | more than 3 years ago | (#36361100)

Didn't the US numbers get skewed massively by counting eg burger flippers at McD as manufacturing workers as well?

Step 1. Measure
Step 2. Redefine parameters for measurement
Step 3. Measure again
Step 4. Shout off the rooftops how much better things are now.

Re:Copyright is main US industry, while not others (1)

kerohazel (913211) | more than 3 years ago | (#36361184)

Could be. But even so, burger flippers are still producing something.
I guess the question is if IP-based "business" like, say, patent trolling, is somehow counted under tech manufacturing - then we have a problem.

Re:Copyright is main US industry, while not others (1)

bbbaldie (935205) | more than 3 years ago | (#36360822)

BTW, with Russia's Creative Commons system, mp3 websites are holding on to mucho moolah that's for the artists, but the RIAA is not allowing them to collect.

Re:Copyright is main US industry, while not others (1)

williambbertram (958094) | more than 3 years ago | (#36360832)

My sentiments exactly. Good job Russia!

Re:Copyright is main US industry, while not others (1)

mijelh (1111411) | more than 3 years ago | (#36360850)

Sure copyright have a weight on US economy, but its not at all the "only thing they produce". If anything, that would be patents, because the technology sector on the US is much bigger than Cinema/TV/Books etc. But TFA doesn't cite patents. The new laws would be aimed at allowing authors to let an unlimited number of people use their content on the basis of free licensing. Sure, a few studios would suffer, but not Apple, GM, Boeing and the like.
(IANAL and all that stuff applies to this post)

Re:Copyright is main US industry, while not others (5, Insightful)

Xelios (822510) | more than 3 years ago | (#36360900)

What it boils down to is the simple idea that copyright as it stands is too big to fail. Much like certain banks were deemed too big to fail when their shoddy business practices landed them in a world of financial trouble. If you ask me "to big to fail" is just another way of saying "it's broken". We let it run out of control for too long and now we're in a real bind. I don't see any way out but to let it fail and suck up the consequences, otherwise it's just going to get more and more ridiculous until it eventually collapses anyway, possibly dragging other good things down with it (like the internet as we know it today).

Re:Copyright is main US industry, while not others (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 3 years ago | (#36361252)

What it boils down to is the simple idea that copyright as it stands is too big to fail.

No it's not. The entertainment industry is tiny compared to manufacturing, banking, etc.

Re:Copyright is main US industry, while not others (1)

arisvega (1414195) | more than 3 years ago | (#36360906)

I'm starting to like Russia.

What do you mean "you 're starting to like". Perhaps "you 're starting to actually take time to think for yourself whether you like Russia or not"?

Re:Copyright is main US industry, while not others (1)

optevo (941585) | more than 3 years ago | (#36360994)

Staring to like Russia? You do realise that it's one of the most undemocratic and corrupt countries on earth and that most promises of significant reform that Medvedev/Putin have made over the years are meaningless. If you don't believe me go and live there for a while..

Re:Copyright is main US industry, while not others (1)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 3 years ago | (#36361086)

And now we know, without a doubt, that the US won the cold war. They've even adopted our politics!

Re:Copyright is main US industry, while not others (1)

Luckyo (1726890) | more than 3 years ago | (#36361148)

Worth noting that "democratic" means that it's lead by leaders supported by majority - the more democratic the country, the larger genuine popular support for its leaders the country has. Russia in several aspects including support for president is more democratic then USA - it has more parties and choices, yet their current president is supported by a significantly larger amount of population then any of the US presidents elected in this millenium.

At the same time however it's far more corrupt, which is the problem you, and several others in the thread are referencing. Stop imagining that democracy is some sort of pure goodness that fixes everything. It's not, it's just a political system in which (often a small) majority tramples minorities. What makes USA even less democratic is two party system (less to choose from).

If you want to see a pure form of representative democracy and what it does, I invite you to look at Nigeria. Christian slight majority, and muslim slight minority, vote is essentially a headcount, and when head count shows that former is bigger then latter, the latter starts to even the score by butchering the former.

Re:Copyright is main US industry, while not others (1)

mblase (200735) | more than 3 years ago | (#36361158)

I'm starting to like Russia. It's also understandable why US tried to fight for copyrights so much - that's basically the only thing they produce now. Rest of the world produces actual products.

Copyright law goes hand-in-hand with patent law. Patents govern who can make those actual products. China's flagrant disrespect for patent rights is almost as bad as their disrespect for copyright, and it means that if other countries manufacture in China, they have to assume their designs will be stolen and pirated sooner or later.

Like it or not, there should be SOME incentive for innovators and creators to continue to innovate and create, without having to rush to be first to market in order to make any money on it.

Re:Copyright is main US industry, while not others (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36361174)

I'm starting to like Russia

In Soviet Amerika, Russia likes you

Re:Copyright is main US industry, while not others (1)

zach_the_lizard (1317619) | more than 3 years ago | (#36361218)

The US still has a large manufacturing base. Is it as strong as it used to be? No. But it's very very close to China in size (depending on whose numbers you use, the US base is either a tiny bit smaller or bigger.) China and the US each account for almost 20% of global manufacturing output. Of course, China will pass the US in manufacturing (if they haven't already), but it's not like we produce nothing.

Re:Copyright is main US industry, while not others (1)

bws111 (1216812) | more than 3 years ago | (#36361390)

Why are you just starting to like Russia? They have hundreds of years of history of ensuring that individuals can never advance themselves, earn money, or own anything substantial.

Leader (1)

digitaltraveller (167469) | more than 3 years ago | (#36360634)

(See subject)

Finally! (5, Insightful)

ThunderBird89 (1293256) | more than 3 years ago | (#36360640)

A 'Soviet Russia' joke that's not disparaging of Russia: "In Russia, you reform copyright law. In America, copyright law reforms you..."

Re:Finally! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36360688)

Mod parent even further up!
+4 Insightful isn't nearly enough!

Re:Finally! (5, Funny)

Deus.1.01 (946808) | more than 3 years ago | (#36360830)

I can't speak for ThunderBird but i feel slightly insulted when i get modded insightful/informative every time i try to be funny.

well...I guess its better then being modded funny when vice versa.

Re:Finally! (0)

pmontra (738736) | more than 3 years ago | (#36361264)

Agreed, but the flaw in in /.'s mod system: it should allow for 5, Funny, Insightful scores.

Re:Finally! (4, Informative)

Forty Two Tenfold (1134125) | more than 3 years ago | (#36360740)

"In Russia, you reform copyright law. In the United States of America, copyright law reforms you..."

FTFY

Re:Finally! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36360770)

In Soviet Russia, you reform copyright law. In Capitalist US, copyright law reforms you!

FTFY

Re:Finally! (0)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 3 years ago | (#36360990)

Read your own sig, Winston doesn't see anything that needs fixing.

Re:Finally! (1, Insightful)

Forty Two Tenfold (1134125) | more than 3 years ago | (#36361048)

Read your own sig, Winston doesn't see anything that needs fixing.

He doesn't because he's dead. That doesn't make his mistake acceptable though.

Re:Finally! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36361102)

You didn't fix anything.

North America is a continent. South America is a continent. America refers to a country. It cannot be confused with a continent unless you wanted to just be vague about which continent you were referring to, in which case you're even more of an ass that no one should bother listening to. If you want to refer to both of the continents, then it is the Americas. The only territory that could be confused with "America" would be American Samoa.. which is.. a territory of America.

You don't have to like it, but it is hardly confusing or incorrect. Want to change it? Go start a rebellion somewhere, succeed, and name the country something with America in it. Good luck with that.

Re:Finally! (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 3 years ago | (#36361078)

Communist alert! Communist alert! Smith, wiretap ThunderBird89's phone and internet connection immediately! Jones, make sure that he gets fired! Johnson, send out his name to the newspapers! Williams, make sure that the rest of his industry knows that he shouldn't be hired! Michaels, start investigating all his friends! And you, put the kettle on!

Well, he's right (4, Insightful)

LordNacho (1909280) | more than 3 years ago | (#36360648)

IP rights seem to have gone to point where only lawyers benefit. As anyone who's ever been billed by one knows, it's friggin expensive. Probably a lot of the world's productive capacity is used on this kind of paperwork, and with questionable results (will Metallica really stop making music if they didn't have copyright? Are drug patents approved for the drugs people actually need? Etc, big can of worms...). Time for a cleanup. Not sure how, as any transition phase would be internationally fragmented and highly contentious, but we'd all benefit from a less complex system.

Re:Well, he's right (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36360842)

will Metallica really stop making music if they didn't have copyright?

I can dream, can't I?

Look a little further (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36360872)

The business of government has seen immense gains from IP absurdity, in terms of both revenue and power over the people. The pyramid of government is a more lucrative business today than ever before, thanks in no small part to IP law and the billions in spending justified by it, along with expanded powers that can be leveraged for yet even more revenue. The elite at the top are, after all, the original architects and proponents of IP law -- there's a reason they are vehemently in favor of it, and it's not because they honestly see it as "justice".

The cleanup is the Internet (1)

transporter_ii (986545) | more than 3 years ago | (#36361116)

The cleanup is the Internet combined with the plethora of free licenses to choose from, and an large number of people willing to do work and give it away for free. Nobody is putting a gun to anyone's head, but the people paying the patent and copyright lawyers...their products have to compete with the free stuff, which is getting increasingly more sophisticated.

In the past, someone could make free chairs and stick them by the side of the road, but it didn't cut into Wal-Mart's chair sales that much. With the Internet, free has global reach and the products produced are getting very similar in quality. Back in the day, MP3.com had a lot of crap on it, but it also had some really great music sitting there for free, and it wasn't even a copyright violation.

The big guys can waste a lot of money on patent lawyers to fight free, but that just raises the price of their products.

Re:The cleanup is the Internet (1)

LordNacho (1909280) | more than 3 years ago | (#36361200)

Actually, looking at some of the fine software that's available for free, I tend to agree. The minimum standard for copyrighted software is raised by having free stuff that works pretty well.

Now, that works for software but what about other technologies? Eg. I don't really have a problem with extremely poor people getting copycat AIDS drugs. It's not obvious they would have paid for it, and it doesn't reduce the supply of the critical piece of information (the recipe). And what are pharmas developing, anyway? Drugs for dudes who don't exercise and can't get a hardon.

IP Cold War (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36360658)

It's coming.

But! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36360660)

Won't someone think of the cronies!!!

No joke. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36360670)

Please save us russia.
Our corporations and goverment are screwing us harder every day to support obsolete industrys

In Soviet Russia... (1)

mangu (126918) | more than 3 years ago | (#36360694)

Well, here's a story where things are actually reversed in Russia. So reversed that Russia isn't even Soviet anymore

Pres. Medvedev is a great troll! (5, Informative)

Cyberax (705495) | more than 3 years ago | (#36360698)

Pres. Medvedev is a great troll! Unfortunately, he doesn't decide anything in Russia - Putin does.

For example, quite recently "Deep Purple" was forced to pay $15000 for performance of music by "Deep Purple" (http://russian-law.livejournal.com/44954.html)!

You see, there's a mandatory 'performance fee' in Russia which goes toward central agency which then distributes gathered money to artists (minus 15% commission). Also they receive 1% of sale price for all computing equipment. And about 0.1 cent from each square meter of hotel space. And also there's no practical way to opt-out out of this system for artists.

So Medvedev can talk all he wants, it won't change a thing.

idiot (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36360728)

medvedev cant talk anything that the ruling group behind him and putin does not support. in retrospect, he cant talk anything that putin does not support. in short, if he is saying something, then it means putin supports it. he is putin's right arm.

Re:idiot (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36360802)

medvedev cant talk anything that the ruling group behind him and putin does not support. in retrospect, he cant talk anything that putin does not support. in short, if he is saying something, then it means putin supports it. he is putin's right arm.

puppet, really, not a right arm.

Re:idiot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36361036)

The moment they can kill the current copyright laws, a lot of money will stop pouring out of the country and stay there. Which should be the goal of every leader worth his salt. Of course what happens to the money afterwards, is completely irrelevant, if you know what I mean.

Re:Pres. Medvedev is a great troll! (3, Informative)

jovius (974690) | more than 3 years ago | (#36360768)

Where's the topic?

Besides the concert organizer skipped the payment (and paid). Deep Purple didn't pay anything.

Right societies around the world demand compensation from concert promoters for the music performed. The artist is paid first for the performance (promoter pays) and for the music they play (promoter pays, 10% taken by rights society). The payment for the rights society (of which artists are members) is for their services of tracking the usage of artists' music worldwide - the societies' mission is to protect the artist, so in this case they demanded the promoter to pay so that Deep Purple is rightfully compensated.

That's what the article you linked says too.

The situation in Russia may be a bit underdeveloped (and one should follow if the society forwards the money to Deep Purple) but it's not that different from the rest of the world.

Re:Pres. Medvedev is a great troll! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36361004)

You see, there's a mandatory 'performance fee' in Russia which goes toward central agency which then distributes gathered money to artists (minus 15% commission).

Sounds like the GEMA in Germany; same scam.

We'll see (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 3 years ago | (#36360734)

Medvedev's days may be numbered.
Putin doesn't like the reformist bent that Medvedev has taken and will probably run for President in 2012.

Pink glasses off! (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36360738)

Reaction here is straight opposite to opinions on russian tech-related sites.
CC-like licence is just to not use the original CC. Original CC will become outlaw. If you want to use CC or GPL licensed product - make sure it is registered in a new "CC-like" government registry. What do you mean "I don't know if Linus and all his thousand of developers signed all the documents to apply to this brand new CC-like license?" Not licensed - not legit. Go back home poor opensource boy.

Russian prez doesn't believe in private property? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36360760)

Now there's a huge fucking surprise.

Re:Russian prez doesn't believe in private propert (1)

Deus.1.01 (946808) | more than 3 years ago | (#36360846)

"Russian prez doesn't believe in intangible private property?"

FTFY

Ethical Morals (2)

TemperedAlchemist (2045966) | more than 3 years ago | (#36360766)

The copyright laws [url=http://www.law.northwestern.edu/colloquium/ip/documents/gordon.pdf]are morally inconsistent[/url]. We should all strive to not support them.

Taking it with a grain of salt (1)

bhmit1 (2270) | more than 3 years ago | (#36360808)

In a statement released on the Kremlin's website on Thursday, Medvedev instructed the country's communications ministry to draw up amendments "aimed at allowing authors to let an unlimited number of people use their content on the basis of free licensing."

So before they didn't allow authors to use free licenses?

And as much as I'd hope that Russia is relaxing copyright for the greater benefit, I'm pretty sure this is the same as it's always been for nations that are below the top. Mainly, those on top try to stay there with strict IP laws, and all the other nations have lax enforcement and laws to make it cheaper to compete and catch up. The US did it while we were a developing nation, China and India do it today, so it's no surprise if Russia goes this direction if they see themselves falling behind.

I am not supporting piracy but (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36360818)

I think Russia is moving to the right direction. Current copyright legislations simply cannot keep pace with what's actually happening around the world.
There are so many companies of which the main business is to patent as many generic things as possible and hope other companies will fall into the trap in the future.
The giants are busy window shopping for different patents around the globe and use them as roadblocks to prevent anyone from getting into the business.
Say a small company has a great idea to make a special mobile phone. You will think once they get the investment somewhere, it's good to go. What it doesn't realize is that it's heading to a landmine field of patents. Those holding patents for mobile phones, technology, design or whatever remotely related (or not) may fire lawsuits at it whenever they want, before the phone is made, or after it's launched into the market.

Rejoice for Mother Russia! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36360824)

Finally something positive from Mother Russia, our "dear" neighbour.

From TFA " I mean the USTR's annual Special 301 report as evidence as to why Russia doesn't "respect" copyright law enough."
Now this gives me the following train of thought:

I believe Russia has been along with China one of the areas where IP has been very poorly appreciated even at the governmental level. You can't really sell software in Russia since everyone just pirates it anyway. So they'll change the laws to make what everyone in the country does, legal. That is how laws should work. What is the common de facto standard should be made into law, and not try to change the standard to fit the law.

- AC from Finland

Progress? (1)

aaaaaaargh! (1150173) | more than 3 years ago | (#36360826)

That's the first positive news I've heard from Putin Medvedev---ever.

Against Intellectual Property (4, Insightful)

trout007 (975317) | more than 3 years ago | (#36360838)

Here is a great book http://mises.org/books/against.pdf [mises.org] against intellectual property laws.

I am a believer in natural law theory. This basically means there are laws that govern how humans interact with each other just like those that we describe with physics. The goal of human law should be to work with those laws.

There is a natural intellectual monopoly that goes with any discovery. When a new product is first created it isn't obvious if it will be successful. It is only after it is successful do others want to copy it. This gives the creator a natural monopoly in which they can be the only seller. Also what is interesting is that unlike our legal monopoly the natural one adjusts based on how advanced the discovery is. Something that is obvious like the one click buy button can be instantly copied. But a new piece of hardware that is a generation more advanced might take competitors years to reverse engineer and gear up for fabrication

Re:Against Intellectual Property (1)

sifi (170630) | more than 3 years ago | (#36360888)

“Against Intellectual Property” first appeared as part of the symposium Applications of Libertarian Legal Theory, published in the Journal of Libertarian Studies 15, no. 2 (Spring 2001). Copyright © 2008 Ludwig von Mises Institute

Re:Against Intellectual Property (1)

StormReaver (59959) | more than 3 years ago | (#36361026)

There is a natural intellectual monopoly that goes with any discovery...a new piece of hardware that is a generation more advanced might take competitors years to reverse engineer and gear up for fabrication

Or a competitor can offer a higher salary to key employees of the company that makes the initial discovery, thereby reducing or eliminating the "natural intellectual monopoly". At this point, there are two choices:

1) Allow it to happen, which would invalidate the "natural law" monopoly you spoke of.

2) Forbid it from happening, which would lead to the copyright/patent/trade secret mess we have now.

There is nothing wrong with protecting the intellectual product of a person/company. There are many, many things horribly wrong with the way our governments are going about doing it.

Re:Against Intellectual Property (2)

trout007 (975317) | more than 3 years ago | (#36361394)

If you have the time please read the book. These are some of the things discussed. One of the major roles for governments in libertarian thought is to enforce contracts. There are some solutions that don't lead back to an IP rights situation. An employer and employee can have a legal contract that can help prevent this. But if the employee leaves it is the employee that is breech of contract not the company that paid for the information. If the first company finds out about the offer in time it could get a restraining order against the employee to enforce the contract.But if the information gets out then it is public and cannot be protected.

Re:Against Intellectual Property (1)

QuasiSteve (2042606) | more than 3 years ago | (#36361134)

But a new piece of hardware that is a generation more advanced might take competitors years to reverse engineer and gear up for fabrication

Imagine I spend the better part of 10 years and $50M to create a viable material to act as a lensing system for X-Rays, thus making it possible to create highly portable X-Ray machines and increasing x-ray resolution, by attempting thousands of different combinations of substrate elements, doping elements, etc.

You're saying that because a competitor can just buy such a machine, take a chunk of the material, toss that into their spectrometer/etc. to figure out what the material is, and replicate it within a week for $100K, my 'monopoly' - my chance to ever make back that $50M - should also be limited to that one week?

And knowing that this is the case, why would my potential customers buy a machine from me at a price that would allow me to recoup that $50M, when they can wait a week and get it from the competitor who only has to recoup $100K and can thus underprice me by a significant amount?

The whole "natural intellectual monopoly" idea is based on the assumption that something which is takes little resources (time/money/whatever) to reverse engineer must have taken little resources to engineer. An assumption that is increasingly incorrect.

There is a balance to be found between public interests and IP holders' interests, but this 'natural intellectual monopoly' does not provide said balance.

Re:Against Intellectual Monopoly (4, Informative)

glodime (1015179) | more than 3 years ago | (#36361226)

There's no need to subscribe to natural law theory to support the liberalization or eliminating of intellectual property laws. Against Intellectual Monopoly [ucla.edu] by Michele Boldrin and David K. Levine takes a pragmatic approach to evaluating intellectual property. They argue through empirical study that eliminating intellectual property laws would actually improve innovation and creation.

Re:Against Intellectual Property (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36361306)

It sure doesn't take years if they come over to your offices and steal the product plans.

he's just signaling Disney (1)

obarthelemy (160321) | more than 3 years ago | (#36360868)

that he didn't get his payoff. This will blow over.

You like this (0)

fastformation (2240872) | more than 3 years ago | (#36360878)

Re:You like this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36360980)

Spam Spam Spam !!!

It makes sense (2)

Aceticon (140883) | more than 3 years ago | (#36360968)

Copyright rules designed to create/protect monopolies and cartels in intellectual property business areas and more in general give them a huge first mover advantage only make sense for countries which already have large and well-established "creative" (not just media but also product design) multinational corporations.

If a country's companies have already been out staking claims in the "ideas territory" and charging for access to it for a long time, it makes all sense for that country to try and protect those claims and revenue sources.

(It's not by chance that countries such as the UK and the US that have the biggest and oldest media industries are the ones pushing hardest for international rules that create artificial scarcity and establish/protect monopolies in the ideas space).

If however you are a country without big creative companies and/or whose companies are late entrants, the kind of copyright protections pushed by first-mover nations serves only to hinder your own company's progression and increase their costs in that space, something that the companies that went there first did not have to face.

Pretty much all BRICs are in the position of being tol-payers rather than tol-owners in the ideas space, thus it makes all sense for them to be against copyright as pushed by the likes of the US and the UK.

Meet the New Boss (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36360984)

It's a welcome call for needed legal reform by a nation notorious for making law up as it goes along.

As much as I applaud Medved's points, copyright is a means by those with property to protect, keep, and expand their property lines. Russia speaks of reforming how to get a copyright - which might work over decades. But if the Russian mob ever starts to earn copyright money, instead of selling / pirating, I wouldn't give his reforms many minutes to live. As quickly as the USA extends copyright, Russia can extend it horizontally.

for spite? (1)

Gravis Zero (934156) | more than 3 years ago | (#36361068)

i like the new policy but i think there is more to this than just reform. i fear that Vladimir Putin may have had a hand in this simply as a way to strike at the US. he has significant influence on policy and to an extent, is a puppeteer. i know it sounds paranoid but Putin acts like the Cold War is still on.

i would love to be wrong and really hope i am.

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