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WIPO Talks May Portend Sweeping Broacast-Based Copyright

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the by-humming-this-tune-you-accept-our-license dept.

The Media 113

An anonymous reader writes "It seems the nasty 'Broadcast Treaty' is rearing its head again in the WIPO talks. This would give a new copyright to what is uncopyrighted or out of copyright material to anyone who broadcasts the material. It essentially re-ups the copyright — not to the original copyright holder, but to the broadcaster, without any contract to the original holder."

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What it's always been about (4, Insightful)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 3 years ago | (#36566784)

Copyright is to protect the privileges of the distributor, never the creator...

Re:What it's always been about (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36566866)

yes but... what are your feelings about african jigaboos?

Re:What it's always been about (4, Informative)

mfnickster (182520) | more than 3 years ago | (#36566998)

Not originally, at least in the US. The justification for copyrights and patents in the Constitution was "To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries."

The authors and inventors may also be the distributors, but that's certainly not a requirement. Notice it doesn't say "publishers and marketers."

Re:What it's always been about (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36567036)

Don't be fooled by the stated intention. Copyright is the the exclusive right to copy, an act necessary for distribution, not for the creation of new works. Copyright law therefore inherently serves those who distribute, not those who create.

Re:What it's always been about (3, Insightful)

mfnickster (182520) | more than 3 years ago | (#36567528)

Copyright is the the exclusive right to copy, an act necessary for distribution, not for the creation of new works

Yes, but the point of having that exclusive right is supposed to be to encourage the creation of new works.

Re:What it's always been about (0)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 3 years ago | (#36567922)

You're overlooking the more important statement in the parent's post which illustrates the difference between theory and reality;

Don't be fooled by the stated intention.

Re:What it's always been about (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36573234)

countertrolling are you cheating on mod points? http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=2245866&cid=36491652 [slashdot.org] It looks like you cheat the moderation system here!

Re:What it's always been about (1)

sortius_nod (1080919) | more than 3 years ago | (#36568090)

GL selling new works when no corporation will sell your stuff similar to what they've bougjht (sell).

Re:What it's always been about (2)

Znork (31774) | more than 3 years ago | (#36568106)

No, the excuse for having that exclusive right is supposed to be to encourage the creation of new works.

The point of it is, and always has been, control over distribution.

You can easily analyse the nature and implementation to determine the actual reason. Throughout history the author and creator has been the weak party to a transaction; they want and need their material published, they hold a product that is, for the distributors, largely replaceable, they need to get into a limited numbers of venues and channels, they often have limited economic, legal and business capacity. In a system constructed like copyright they are going to get reamed; everything is stacked against them.. And reamed they have been.

If it had actually been about encouraging creation of new works and for the creators sake, the law would have been constructed with automatic licensing and minimum percentages going to the creator of any material of the sales of any instantiation of such material. That would have put the creators in a position to get paid for merely registering and making available their work, and it would have put the extraction of revenue in the hands of more capable agents such as normal tax collecting agencies.

Or some other variation that doesn't give all the power to the capitalized business interest in the equation. But the current system certainly has never been about encouraging creators, except insofar as using it as an excuse for distribution control.

Re:What it's always been about (1)

frank_adrian314159 (469671) | more than 3 years ago | (#36568754)

People who harp on "the point" of copyright while ignoring the reality of its use are the useful idiots for those who exploit it.

Re:What it's always been about (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36569358)

Yet it's used more to hinder the creation of new works.

Originally it was enacted to stop the practice of book publishers ripping off authors by printing any book they damned well pleased without compensating the original author. There's very little difference at this point, as to get a book published in any significant way (besides digital) you must hand over total distribution rights (ie: complete copyright control) to the publisher.

Re:What it's always been about (1)

swalve (1980968) | more than 3 years ago | (#36570158)

How does copyright hinder the creation of new works? If you create something new, you aren't violating any copyrights.

Re:What it's always been about (1)

Travelsonic (870859) | more than 3 years ago | (#36571844)

Look at disney's lashing out at parodies of their works - like with, for one example, family guy.

Re:What it's always been about (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#36571054)

Then the protection of the works could not last longer than the producer. Right now you are only incentivized to produce one or maybe two works then live off the income for the rest of your life.

Re:What it's always been about (2)

lpp (115405) | more than 3 years ago | (#36567534)

Quick definition check for copyright turns up:

The exclusive legal right, given to an originator or an assignee to print, publish, perform, film, or record literary, artistic, or musical material, and to authorize others to do the same.

My emphasis there on the latter part. Yes, distributors are the ones who mechanically produce copies but it's the original creator who is granted copyright and therefore the right to grant others the right to copy. It's not the right to copy it's the right to control who copies.

Re:What it's always been about (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36567648)

It's not the right to copy it's the right to control who copies.

Do a quick definition check for "exclusive."

Re:What it's always been about (1)

kermidge (2221646) | more than 3 years ago | (#36569374)

What the hell are these people smoking? You want to profit from re-packaging public domain? Feel free. You want rights with that? In your dreams.

Laws and proposed laws such as this strike me as beyond absurd, preposterous, and, essentially, crimes against humanity.

Years ago, with the first extension, I could maybe go along with it solely for the "widows and children" aspect - but for no other.

Copyright and patent were never intended to advantage anyone but the creator; that another party might also profit was understood as a consequence, never as the right itself. These rights were never meant to be a welfare program for anyone, and certainly not for the purveyors, middlemen, and those of the legal persuasion.

[I've been paid to write and have had several items or portions thereof quoted and used in other publications, with permission. I'm fine with that - it was my copy_right_, and any thought of remuneration never entered my mind. I was simply amazed and flattered that I'd managed to say something found worthwhile by another.]

There's not enough Guinness in the world to get the stench of this out of my mind. Finding humor in the absurdity is going to take a while.

Re:What it's always been about (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 3 years ago | (#36569246)

How could it possibly be better for the distribution industry to need permission than to not need it?

Re:What it's always been about (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36569420)

Scarcity keeps the prices up. Imagine a music industry without copyright.

Re:What it's always been about (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36569448)

The first distributor is the creator.

Re:What it's always been about (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36567650)

Patents Protect The Assignee, NOT The Inventor.
Every Engineer who is 'employed' signs an agreement in which everything invented in the 'scope of engagement' is automatically assigned to their employer.
Inventors typically get no rights whatsoever. It all goes to the rich folks.
We pretend that patents protect the little guy. It's mostly a mirage. The little guy can't afford a patent and certainly can't afford to defend it.
The only way an inventor can afford a patent is to get a venture capitalist involved and then you are back to giving it all to the rich folks.

Re:What it's always been about (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36567814)

"To promote the profitability of science and useful arts, by securing for unlimited times to publishers and distributors the exclusive right to milk their extorted catalog of writings, recordings, and half-assed gadgets for all they are worth."

There, FTFY.

Re:What it's always been about (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36569062)

Not originally, at least in the US. The justification for copyrights and patents in the Constitution was "To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries."

The authors and inventors may also be the distributors, but that's certainly not a requirement. Notice it doesn't say "publishers and marketers."

That may be what it says but it was certainly not what it was about. Copyright was introduced to make it more advantageous to print books that were not already popular. Printing a book used to be expensive, so printing an unknown book could lose you a lot of money if it didn't sell. If it DID sell, nothing prevented your competitors from then printing it too. So only already-popular books were profitable to print. That wasn't a good situation so copyright was introduced so the distributor who took a risk on a book would also have an exclusive right to profit if the risk payed off. Copyright is based off of the properties of ancient printing presses that no longer exist.

Temporary Monopoly (5, Insightful)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 3 years ago | (#36567152)

The profitable privileges of the distributor have always conflicted with the free speech/press rights of the people. The US Constitution's original power to Congress to create something like copyright (a temporary monopoly "to promote progress in science and the useful arts") was a 1700s compromise with our rights that never really worked, like any compromise with rights. But it was the best our predecessors came up with in the generations when the publishing business was mostly defined by manufacturing and producing heavy physical products dressed up with the copyrighted content.

Since the 1900s, broadcasting has decreased the dependency on processing and moving matter for sale with content copied on it to make profits. We're far past the point where copyright is necessary for even the original 17 years. In 17 years a generation's new pop culture book becomes folk culture from the previous generation. But that takes only maybe 10 years for a TV show, 5 years for a movie, 3 years for a song, a couple years for a digital game. The profit curves match those pop->folk expirations, so the profits that promote science and the "useful" arts as incentive to create by those who'd do something else if profits didn't incent them also expire pretty quickly. The profits from the folk phase, the "long tail", are a bonus too small to justify to any realistic capitalist financier the initial creation, and are the product of as much work by the audience perpetuating the content as work by the creator or distributor. And of course most artists and inventors create their work not for the profits, but by the compulsion to create, which is typically what drives the creators of the best content - the content created solely for profits, especially large expected profits with no competition - is typically the least valuable creation, and most dependent on an artificial government monopoly to protect income.

In the 2000s, copyright for even the extended periods bought by the copyright industry from successive 1900s Congresses overall interferes with progress in science and the useful arts. It always conflicted with our speech/press rights. There is no justification for extending it beyond the original 17 years except simple corruption: the regulators are captured by the copyright industry, and violate the people's rights to press/speech as well as the progress in science and the useful arts that we need. The copyright changes that can trade progress for compromise of our rights would cut sharply the length of the monopoly, and release the content from control after the time the content has its shot at repaying the investment in creating it.

Re:Temporary Monopoly (1)

ThunderBird89 (1293256) | more than 3 years ago | (#36567192)

Consider yourself modded +1 Informative and +1 Insightful. If I had any mod points left, that is...

Re:Temporary Monopoly (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 3 years ago | (#36567232)

Thanks. Though on rereading it I give it a -1 wordo and -1 punctuation, because
"manufacturing and producing heavy physical products"
should be
"manufacturing and distributing heavy physical products"

and

"the creators of the best content - the content created solely for profits, especially large expected profits with no competition - is typically the least valuable creation, and most dependent on an artificial government monopoly to protect income."
should be
"the creators of the best conten. Tthe content created solely for profits, especially large expected profits with no competition, is typically the least valuable creation, and most dependent on an artificial government monopoly to protect income."

I can't mod, either, nor can I edit after posting. Why can't "News for Nerds" have versioned comments? That's been a much more common request/complaint than anything Slashdot implemented in its recent SW upgrade, which has only made the GUI a little worse.

Re:Temporary Monopoly (0, Offtopic)

ThunderBird89 (1293256) | more than 3 years ago | (#36567302)

Little? In comment view, each click opens the one higher up in the hierarchy. You can't even position the cursor with the mouse, as it steals focus from the editing field; nor click a link, because it opens up the preceding comment first, and only after the entire thread is open can you follow links, since middlemouse doesn't work either.

Yes, editing would be nice. Even Wikia can give you versioned comments, with the edits displayed and reviewable by anyone, even if you're not allowed to delete your comments (you can blank them, but the underlying text can still be viewed in the earlier versions).

As for grammar stuff, I never notice that, my brain autocorrects most errors as I read, so I really need to look for those misplaced commas and stuff. :)

Re:Temporary Monopoly (-1, Offtopic)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 3 years ago | (#36567486)

If you right-click on 'Reply to This' and open it in a new tab, it will open to the old D1 format and is much easier to control..

I still prefer that comments can't be edited and hope it stays that way You can always just reply again

The incessant 503s on the other hand are a much bigger issue and is getting worse... The 'deciders' here have their priorities a bit mixed up

Re:Temporary Monopoly (0)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 3 years ago | (#36567830)

"Offtopic" - Ouch! nicked again by the troll stalker mods - bring it, baby!

Re:Temporary Monopoly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36573304)

countertrolling are you cheating on mod points? http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=2245866&cid=36491652 [slashdot.org] It looks like you cheat the moderation system here to downmod others.

WTO (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#36567214)

There is no justification for extending it beyond the original 17 years except simple corruption

Rolling back the copyright term substantially would require pulling out of the WTO, as the WTO treaties include TRIPS, which includes the Berne Convention, which requires life plus 50 years as the minimum term for copyright. If the United States were to pull out of WTO, other countries would likely increase tariffs on products imported from the United States, which would hurt even those industries that don't rely on copyright.

Re:WTO (2)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 3 years ago | (#36567496)

The US dominates the global copyright industry. The WTO TRIPS and Berne convention do little or nothing to protect our free speech/press. The US forcing the global copyright regimes to adopt our protection of people's rights would be a win for both our freedom and for legitimate, sustainable commerce. But if the business as usual of copyright commerce were impaired by new tariffs, that would force content creation back to its basic motives and the higher quality, if lower quantity, that they produce.

In other words, no great loss. Let babylon fall.

Re:WTO (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#36570350)

The US dominates the global copyright industry.

As I understand it, said copyright industry has threatened to pack up and leave, producing more films outside the United States, should Congress not pass major pieces of legislation.

Re:WTO (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36567618)

The berne convention also include moral inalienable rights for the author which the USA doesn't enforce. The US pushes the WPO for more distributor favorable copyright not the other way around.

Re:WTO (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36570174)

No we wouldn't. We largely don't give a fuck about copyrights, that's almost all the US, and to some extent Britain and France.

Re:Temporary Monopoly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36570068)

The reason it's longer than 17 years to prevent publishers from "waiting out" the copyright period.

Re:What it's always been about (1)

rdbiker (2278618) | more than 3 years ago | (#36567738)

I wonder how would history be different had the inventor of the wheel copyrighted the invention? Hmm, no need to go that far, what about copyrighting the invetion of the fountain pen?

Re:What it's always been about (1)

moortak (1273582) | more than 3 years ago | (#36568230)

You can't copyright a physical invention, you patent them. Early fountain pens were in fact patented.

Re:What it's always been about (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 3 years ago | (#36568018)

No, its about protecting the entity with the most money.

Yes... and? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36569892)

And the distributor has to have permission from the creator... How can they extend or re-grant themselves the copyright under the new terms without proper licensing from the creator?

Re:What it's always been about (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36573166)

countertrolling what the heck is this about? http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=2245866&cid=36491652 [slashdot.org] [slashdot.org] is it what I think it is? It looks like you cheat the moderation system here!

I am confused (4, Interesting)

tqft (619476) | more than 3 years ago | (#36566800)

I was trying to think of a situation in which this makes sense but couldn't.
Scenario:
Download "With The Marines At Tarawa" from the Internet Archive.
Broadcast or stream over the internet. Gain broadcast rights so no-one else can do it.
How does this promote any art or science?
What am I missing?

Re:I am confused (4, Informative)

denzacar (181829) | more than 3 years ago | (#36566820)

What am I missing?

Billions of dollars and thousands of lobbyists?

Re:I am confused (1)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 3 years ago | (#36566824)

...
...
3) Profit!

Re:I am confused (4, Informative)

Nursie (632944) | more than 3 years ago | (#36566838)

Sorry, your broadcast wasn't on a major network so it doesn't count. Silly citizen thinking this law would apply to you!

No, you are the target, your actions make you a target for a lawsuit when one of the real people picks up the copyright.

Yeah, I can't think of a way this law makes any sense either, but then that's been true of a lot of laws in the last decade or so.

Re:I am confused (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36567146)

Sorry, your broadcast wasn't on a major network so it doesn't count.

How do you get a network bigger than the Internet itself?

OTA is more widespread than broadband (2)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#36567234)

How do you get a network bigger than the Internet itself?

FCC licensing, that's how. I'm under the impression that more people in the United States can receive over-the-air broadcasts than Internet streaming video.

Re:I am confused (3, Interesting)

PhilHibbs (4537) | more than 3 years ago | (#36566914)

I think that you gain copyight over the broadcast that you made, so no-one can take your broadcast and redistribute it. If they have an original source that they did not get from you, this does not prevent them from distributing that. In other words, you own the copyright on the re-encoding that you did, but not the underlying content. There isn't enough detail in the articles that I can find to clarify this, though.

Re:I am confused (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 3 years ago | (#36567244)

You are probably right. Or at least your version is the most sensible version, which is far from a guarantee that it's what the WIPO is implementing.

However, even your version would require the accused infringing copier to prove that their copy was obtained legally, not from the newly copyrighted broadcast whose owner would accuse the new broadcast of infringement. Sure, in principle the burden would be on the accuser to prove the other copy was copied from their newly copyrighted broadcast. But in practice, especially in a global regime rather than in a US legal system, the rich broadcaster will intimidate the rest of the smaller players into fearing the rich broadcaster will make it punishingly expensive to insist the rich broadcaster prove their accusation.

If the US Copyright Office registered copying transactions, where a copier pointed to the original that they were lawfully copying, and received a crypto token with which they watermarked their copy, they might be much safer. But then all the "free speech/press" copying would require registration with the government (and its extra costs and risks), which is far from freedom. It would be closer to the British monarch's copyright license required by anyone publishing, which we destroyed at great cost and risk in a revolution by which we previously established the government to protect our rights, not burden us with bureaucracy that protects private profits.

Re:I am confused (1)

dryeo (100693) | more than 3 years ago | (#36570122)

It would be closer to the British monarch's copyright license required by anyone publishing, which we destroyed at great cost and risk in a revolution by which we previously established the government to protect our rights, not burden us with bureaucracy that protects private profits.

Huh? The US copyright was just a copy of the English copyright law, namely the Statute of Anne, with a few minor changes like replacing the advancement of learning with advancement of arts and sciences and expanding it to include charts and maps. Registration was required by both along with depositing a copy in a library. Actually the American version was potentially worse as registration was with a government agency whereas the British version was registering with a private group, the Stationers. Same with the library, British was Oxford or/and Cambridge which were relatively independent while America used a government run library. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Statute_of_Anne [wikipedia.org]
We also have to thank the unelected House of Lords for what was a reasonably sane copyright law as even back then the elected house was in thrall to business, in that case the Stationers.

Re:I am confused (2)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 3 years ago | (#36567344)

I believe that this is actually done with some long-past-copyright works of art. They have been in private gallaries so long that they havn't been in public view since before the invention of the camera, or at least the color camera, and the people who hold them do not permit photographs as this would remove the exclusivity of their copy and thus devalue it. It's also a common practice in artistic photography for the photographer to sell a copy exclusively to one person, and then destroy all other copies including negatives - as there is no prestige in having a photo that just anyone can own.

Re:I am confused (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36570214)

I can see where the powers that be are going with this... once they have established copyrights for broadcasters they can move on to give an equivalent right to people who make direct copies of the original source material. After that, it doesn't matter if the material is in public domain, since any new copies will effectively be under the exclusive control of whoever owns the original.

Re:I am confused (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36567390)

I was trying to think of a situation in which this makes sense but couldn't.
Scenario:
Download "With The Marines At Tarawa" from the Internet Archive.
Broadcast or stream over the internet. Gain broadcast rights so no-one else can do it.
How does this promote any art or science?
What am I missing?

You don't own "With The Marines At Tarawa" after broadcasting it. You own rights to your broadcast. In other words, somebody else can't just copy and redistribute your broadcast, but they can still go download it from the Internet Archive and do exactly what you did. You can compare it to performance rights to a song. Cream doesn't own "Crossroads" because that was written by Willie Dixon, but you can't redistribute their performance of it.

What's a "Broacast"? (3, Insightful)

Just Brew It! (636086) | more than 3 years ago | (#36566804)

Can we at least proofread the headlines? I've gotten used to seeing silly typos like this on mainstream news sites like CNN and the Chicago Tribune, but c'mon Slashdot, you can do better than that! ;-)

Re:What's a "Broacast"? (3, Funny)

alostpacket (1972110) | more than 3 years ago | (#36566926)

Endless re-runs of the "Don't taze me Bro" video :(

Re:What's a "Broacast"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36567218)

Everything in the Pirate Bay.

Is that really what it says ? (4, Interesting)

belthize (990217) | more than 3 years ago | (#36566808)

I drifted through the various referenced links and don't really see where they came to that conclusion. The links appear to be mostly self referential to other TechDirt articles. I did scan through what I took to be the relevant WIPO section but I didn't get what they got out of it, admittedly I didn't get much out of it at all.

I certainly agree with the point that this would be a Bad Thing(TM).

Re:Is that really what it says ? (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 3 years ago | (#36567252)

Maybe you're right. If so, I'm glad TechDirt is rebalancing the Overton Window [wikipedia.org] that corporate lobbyists are dragging to protect only profits and propaganda, at the expense of people's speech and press rights. Without countertrolls in other directions, the rightwing trolls always win.

Re:Is that really what it says ? (2)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 3 years ago | (#36567352)

Copyright isn't an issue of left vs right. It's an issue of money vs non-money. Old fashioned class-warfare. The only difference in left and right on the issue is that the right are willing to openly admit to serving a corporate agenda (Or as they put it, protecting the free market system), while the left will pretend to be concerned first before doing exactly the same thing.

Re:Is that really what it says ? (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 3 years ago | (#36567604)

Please give me some examples of those "on the left" who do exactly the same thing. Note: not all Democrats are "left" - indeed, few are.

And also note: I said "other directions", not just "the other direction". The "left vs right" framing is a strawman, since there's little "left" in the US, but many (actual, if not properly identified) alternatives to the right.

Re:Is that really what it says ? (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 3 years ago | (#36567656)

As there are no hard definitions of what left or right actually mean, it's impossible to give an indisputable example of either.

Re:Is that really what it says ? (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 3 years ago | (#36567744)

No, the right is defined by authoritarian ideology, centralized control of people but minimal control of business groups (corporations, trade associations), valuing property higher than labor, enforcement of principles by coercion. The left is defined by voluntary ideology, decentralized control of people but centralized control of business groups, valuing labor higher than property, encouragement of principles by incentive.

There is little to no left in the US. There is a lot of right, to a mostly greater or somewhat lesser degree, especially among government officials.

But you're the one claiming equivalence between left and right. Yet when asked you claim that the terms mean nothing. I say your equivalence is simply false.

Re:Is that really what it says ? (1)

fridaynightsmoke (1589903) | more than 3 years ago | (#36569828)

No, the right is defined by authoritarian ideology, centralized control of people but minimal control of business groups (corporations, trade associations), valuing property higher than labor, enforcement of principles by coercion. The left is defined by voluntary ideology, decentralized control of people but centralized control of business groups, valuing labor higher than property, encouragement of principles by incentive.

There is little to no left in the US. There is a lot of right, to a mostly greater or somewhat lesser degree, especially among government officials.

But you're the one claiming equivalence between left and right. Yet when asked you claim that the terms mean nothing. I say your equivalence is simply false.

So, where does minimum coersion, minimum control of business groups and decentralised control of people come on that scale? That's the failure of it, it implies bundling of ideals that isn't really necessary.

Re:Is that really what it says ? (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 3 years ago | (#36571864)

So basically "the left" is an abstract grouping of things which hasn't existed in at least the last 2000 years.

So what's the point of contrasting that with something that does in fact exist ("Communist" China as it exists today seems to be your doing your "the right" thing, for example).

murderous glowbull warmongerers still in charge (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36566854)

targets, long time, 'choice', jobs, all in the unspecified long term (decades) 'future'. all we want is a voice & a job, they say? (we want safe thriving babys & older folks all over the world) if everybody gets killed (by mistake, bad weather...), we'll still be ok? the chosen ones' lifeocidal weapons peddlers jobs are safe, as well as our last rights to remain silent. oppositions will be destroyed if they respond violently to being violently colonized & wind up like the genuine 'american' natives, who were subjected to inhuman treatment by the royals' discovering colonizer ops, way back then, & even way before that.

disarm. please read the teepeeleaks etchings, please. no more even wetter wednesdays for us? thanks again. this is not a practice run.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rGb7Bs1OdtI
'Three wars, millions suffering not 9/11 justice'

It's about time (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36566880)

I think we all agree that access to free material is the root cause of the current financial crisis.

Our sonies!

Grab 'em while you can! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36566882)

Now I can own hundreds of formerly public domain properties, like Disney.

And in conjunction with perpetual copyright extension this should get rid of that nasty public domain once and for all!

deal between British Library and Google (3, Informative)

Hazel Bergeron (2015538) | more than 3 years ago | (#36566888)

Out-of-copyright work was given to Google to scan and in return the BL accepted that Google would have exclusive commercial rights to the scans for a while. It's not quite the same as giving over the copyright on the original works - in theory another organisation arrange a deal with the BL to have physical possession of the works for a while at no cost to make their own copies. Good luck with that, non-profits.

Incidentally, the BL estimated the cost of the work for them would have been £6 million, which is not very much by the standards of this sort of work and certainly not a figure on the publications' cultural value. This is just another government gift to a large corporation - indeed, previous meetings and announcements suggest Cameron has a bit of a hard-on for Google.

Re:deal between British Library and Google (2)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 3 years ago | (#36566988)

Google would have exclusive commercial rights to the scans

Not to the work, to the scans.

Isn't that something different? I could publish an edition of the Bach 2 and 3-part Inventions and I would have exclusive commercial rights.

I see, but Google is making a digital samizdat, often including the original copyright marks. I guess I answered my own question.

Carry on...

Europe's own fault (3, Interesting)

t2t10 (1909766) | more than 3 years ago | (#36567100)

First of all, Google acquired a copyright to the scans, not the work itself. Second, the fact that Google even acquired that is the fault of European copyright law. Europe could adopt laws under which 2D reproductions of 2D originals do not acquire a separate copyright.

As for the British library, it only has itself to blame for not letting other people scan its content. Don't try to turn the arrogance and possessiveness of the British library into Google's fault.

Re:Europe's own fault (1)

Hazel Bergeron (2015538) | more than 3 years ago | (#36567304)

Don't try to turn the arrogance and possessiveness of the British library into Google's fault.

I must have written part of my post in invisible ink. There's no, "And it's Google's fault!" The people who should be most ashamed of their behaviour are the British people for tolerating the behaviour of their recent governments, including organisations under government control, funding and/or protection.

Of course, being given the opportunity to take advantage doesn't absolve you of the responsibility for taking it. Your moral obligation is to what is moral, not to what is legal. (Yes, corporations have no inherent morals. Yes, that's a problem.)

But you are welcome to blame me for not putting more effort into correcting the behaviour of the people who are supposed to represent me. I know it's all my fault, OK? :-)

Re:Europe's own fault (1)

t2t10 (1909766) | more than 3 years ago | (#36569118)

I must have written part of my post in invisible ink. There's no, "And it's Google's fault!"

That is the usual implication of these complaints against Google from Europeans. If that wasn't your intent, it's a good idea to be clearer.

The people who should be most ashamed of their behaviour are the British people for tolerating the behaviour of their recent governments,

This isn't "recent" British governments. European copyright law has been messed up for at least a century, and Europeans imposed much of it on the rest of the world, including the US.

Of course, being given the opportunity to take advantage doesn't absolve you of the responsibility for taking it. Your moral obligation is to what is moral, not to what is legal. (Yes, corporations have no inherent morals. Yes, that's a problem.)

Google has already been pushing the envelope on making information free in Europe and European publishers and media companies are up in arms about it. Why do you think Google is getting all that bad press in Europe?

I think asking them to give up the little legal leverage they have over the content they digitize is really asking too much. If they did, what would happen is that European publishers would jump on the content, sell it at inflated prices, and then complain about Google destroying their business. Kind of like they're doing already.

Globalization at work... (3)

Super Dave Osbourne (688888) | more than 3 years ago | (#36567074)

No law or treaty is being designed to help someone, all of them are being designed by special interest groups and bought by lobbyists to help some massive money mongering corporate machine.

Quick! Who's going to broadcast Shakespeare first? (2)

dpbsmith (263124) | more than 3 years ago | (#36567102)

Followed quickly by the Constitution of the United States, Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, the Bible, the table of logarithms, and "Fanny Hill."

Re:Quick! Who's going to broadcast Shakespeare fir (3, Funny)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 3 years ago | (#36567380)

Amusingly, as copyright terms under Berne are set on author's life plus a period that varies by jurisdiction (95 years in the US), and as the bible claims to have been either directly dictated by or derived from inspiration of God... if the bible's account of itsself is true, then it's still copyrighted. Conveniently for the believers though, it includes in the new testament an effective licence to copy and distribute. There's even a little bit right at the end of Revelation that prohibits unauthorised modification.

Re:Quick! Who's going to broadcast Shakespeare fir (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36567578)

The bible is a collection of individual books collected together by early church conventions. Where in the bible does it say that any particular book was dictated or even inspired by God?

Re:Quick! Who's going to broadcast Shakespeare fir (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36570302)

It's traditionally a given in Judaism that the Torah was written by Moses and revealed by God (if not dictated), but AFAIK it doesn't actually say anywhere in the text that this is so.

One branch of Judaism believes the Torah actually existed before the creation, so they would necessarily conclude that it was written by God!

Re:Quick! Who's going to broadcast Shakespeare fir (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 3 years ago | (#36569468)

Uh, no. The Bible comes from the Apostles and various other sources, none directly written by God. Just because I describe something you did in my book, it's still my copyright not yours. To the degree that there's direct quotes of Jesus that he could claim copyright on, well he died around 35 AD so 95 years after his death would be long ago. And finally if God claims he spoke through Jesus to the disciples from Heaven, well then Heaven hasn't signed the WIPO treaty so we don't recognize his copyright. Besides he'd have to recruit from downstairs to find a copyright lawyer for his case.

Re:Quick! Who's going to broadcast Shakespeare fir (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36570182)

uh, no not the "new bible" by the apostles, the old one, by G-d.

Re:Quick! Who's going to broadcast Shakespeare fir (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36570340)

if you write in your book "this book was written with direction from the EFF and is owned by them" that's pretty solid.
So if you write "this book was written with the direction of God and is owned by him", isnt it the same thing?

Re:Quick! Who's going to broadcast Shakespeare fir (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36570410)

Mostly, except EFF probably won't ask you to collect the royalties for them.

Re:Quick! Who's going to broadcast Shakespeare fir (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36570012)

Unfortunately for your argument, the bible was written long before 1920 and as such is firmly in the place of the public domain - in theory.

cheap nike adidas shoes (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36567136)

Hi, today I found a online branded sports shoes shop: Closhoes [slashdot.org] . They supply kinds of branded sports shoes, like nike shoes, adidas shoes, supra shoes, Jordan shoes and so on. They are all very cheap.

Shades of Rick Astley Batman ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36567410)

Shades of Rick Astley Batman ! Ho

It won't pass constitutional muster (1)

davidwr (791652) | more than 3 years ago | (#36567626)

Well, maybe it will if it is "sufficiently transformed," but exerts removing or undoing the "transformation" will still be declared outside the scope of the "new" copyright.

A faithful re-broadcast of a film or soundtrack is no more tansformative than a photograph of a two-dimensional work, which does not generate a new copyright.

Enhancing an existing work, such as overlaying ads or commentary, colorizing a film that was originally shot in black and white using a human editor to make difficult color choices (as opposed to a purely-mechanical 100%-computer-generated colorization), and the like is more akin to performing a musical work from a written score or taking a photograph of a 3-dimensional work.

Expect US courts to rule that a new copyright can only exist if there is a new creative work: A work that is not purely the result of a "mechanical" (step-by-step, no creativity required) process or a process in which the "creative elements" are trivial in nature.

Bottom line:

Replaying a 1922 movie verbatim on TV should not generate a new copyright. Replaying it with MST3K-style commentary overlaid on top of it would, because it is a new creative work. Someone recording the MST3K-esque new work and stripping out the added-on material would be free to republish what he had because it consisted only of work that was in the public domain already.

Re:It won't pass constitutional muster (1)

iiiears (987462) | more than 3 years ago | (#36567696)

Theory is a yellow brick road away from practice. See youtube

Re:It won't pass constitutional muster (1)

Ken_g6 (775014) | more than 3 years ago | (#36568226)

The other reason it won't pass constitutional muster is the "limited Times" clause. Suppose I form a broadcaster to broadcast all out-of-copyright work, all the time. The company then gets broadcast license for 50 years, assuming the clearly illegal "in perpetuity" isn't enacted. Then, as that 50-year window ends, I (or my children) can create a new company that gets a new broadcast license as the old company's broadcast license falls away, ad nauseum.

Recall that the only reason the Supreme Court allowed copyright extensions in the past was because they were time-limited.

Re:It won't pass constitutional muster (1)

davidwr (791652) | more than 3 years ago | (#36568582)

Unfortunately, at least one recent or sitting Supreme Court justice thinks "limited time" means "forever less a day."

Personally, I hope the Supreme Court eventually settles on something around or less than the human lifespan, then discarding that standard for a stricter one once the human lifespan becomes indefinitely expendable (I'd prefer a much shorter time - 50 years or so max - but the reality is Big Copyright will win copyright extensions in Congress into perpetuity unless stopped by the courts or the people).

If I were a judge and were asked to rule on copyright longevity, I'd point to the "limited times" clause and say that since there are only a few dozen people of people older than 114 years old (and none over 115) and that it is unlikely we will have a time soon with nobody under 114 years old, that the maximum copyright time is 114 years, starting at the time of publication or at the time the copyright began, whichever came first. I would allow Congress to increase this time in step with human lifespans provided that the lifespans did not become indefinite. If I were being conservative I might set the maximum time to 113 or 112 years but 114 years would be easier to support with evidence.

Under this interpretation of "limited time," once everyone who was alive at the time a work is created is dead or expected to die of old age shortly, the work is in the public domain, if it wasn't put there earlier.

Re:It won't pass constitutional muster (1)

Miamicanes (730264) | more than 3 years ago | (#36568996)

As much as I think current copyright law is fucked (particularly with regard to orphaned works), there's a grain of sensibility to the idea of allowing copyright on aspects of a published/broadcast form. If I spend substantial amounts of time/money/resources scanning public-domain books into pdf, it's entirely reasonable that I should retain copyright over the literal pdf file, and even to images rendered directly from it. HOWEVER, if somebody else were to OCR and proofread those PDFs, or even type them from scratch (reading from the PDF), that should effectively neutralize the PDF-related aspect of the new copyright, because OCR'ing or re-typing from PDF isn't substantially different from doing the same from the source. Well, except for two little problems -- the creator of the pdf might have gone to substantial time and expense to acquire access to the source material to begin with. Likewise, if someone were to convert it to raw markup-free text (by reading and typing, or OCR and editing), it would be nearly impossible for anyone to later claim they did the same instead of simply copying the raw text (at least, for works shorter in length than a few hundred thousand words, where things like minor errors creeping in (or intentionally salted into place) could arguably be treated like a form of watermarking).

By the same token, suppose it's 200 years from now, and I somehow come into ownership of a third-generation copy of a Charlie Chaplin movie that has unambiguously fallen out of copyright (and largely ceased to exist for whatever reason). If I spend time restoring it, I've definitely added value. Arguably, in current terms, if I spend 3 weeks encoding it into variable-bitrate h.264 with aggressive forward- and reverse- prediction, the h.264 encoding itself adds substantial value (anybody who's ever encoded Huffy into h.264 knows that h.264 encoding is almost as much of an art as a science, and copies with nominally-similar bitrates and/or encoding times can vary WILDLY with regard to encoding time and/or final output quality). At the very, VERY least, if society decides that my restoration and recovery actions were without value, someone who wants to distribute it themselves should be required to prove that they rendered MY h.264 file into a few terrabytes of raw RGB frames, then re-encoded them frame by painful frame into h.264 (or some other codec) themselves (roughly akin to opening a pdf document in one window, and hand-typing it word by word into an editor in another window).

I think most people can agree that there's value in recovery, restoration, and re-encoding. The devil's in the details. Granting Berne-like terms for it is utterly absurd, but granting something like 5 years, or maybe 10-25 with compulsory licensing and rules that make it increasingly difficult to sue for infringement after the first 5-10 years (say, mandatory arbitration at your own cost before you can even bring about an infringement case after year 5, damages limited to demonstrated directly-lost revenue after year 10, etc). For works where the line between the original public domain work and any new content (interpretation, footnotes, commentary, etc) is blurred, your right to sue for infringement would largely depend upon how easy you made it for an honest person to avoid infringement (ie, if all of YOUR content was clearly tagged and separated logically from the public domain work, someone reproducing it would have little defense; if you made it damn near impossible for someone without access to the original PD work to determine where YOUR new content began and ended, they'd have a substantial defense against accusations of infringement).

Huck Finn (1)

iiiears (987462) | more than 3 years ago | (#36567680)

Paint the fence once paid for a lifetime.

Theft writ large ... (2)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 3 years ago | (#36567832)

So, the first guy to broadcast something which has either had its copyright expire (or was never copyrighted) now owns it? That's fucking obscene.

Wow, I can see this being a wonderful mechanism by which broadcasters can pretty much steal works just by broadcasting them. Just find something someone else did that is scheduled to become unprotected, sneak in and broadcast, and suddenly you own it for the next 75 years or whatever copyright is at now.

I'm afraid that copyright has gotten completely out of control, and no longer serves the purpose it was created for. This is basically squatting, but made legal through copyright law.

I feel very sad for future generations living in a climate where the corporations control every last thing, and have all of the laws on their side. I think lawmakers voting for this need to be boiled in oil -- more maybe something more evil.

Corporate assholes! (2)

alfredo (18243) | more than 3 years ago | (#36568096)

When are we going to stand up to those corporate thieves. Not only do they want to possess all our money, now they want sole ownership of our culture. Fuck em!

Re:Corporate assholes! (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 3 years ago | (#36570288)

If your idea of culture is "that which is broadcast by major media companies", then I pity your tiny world-view.

Re:Corporate assholes! (1)

alfredo (18243) | more than 3 years ago | (#36570658)

I don't watch TV other than PBS, and my radio is NPR. Our folk music could become the property of the corporate world. That's what I am concerned about. I can imagine what will happen to the pro labor songs and poetry.

Re:Corporate assholes! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36574212)

If your idea of culture is "that which is broadcast by major media companies", then I pity your tiny world-view.

You seem to be forgetting that the point of this addition is to allow broadcasters to gain new rights on works they don't hold copyright on. What the major broadcasters broadcast is part of culture, if only a small part.

Copyright Must End (1)

Digital Vomit (891734) | more than 3 years ago | (#36568598)

We, as a people, really have to stand up and fight against copyright [ucla.edu] if we want any kind of future for society.

Re:Copyright Must End (1)

HiThere (15173) | more than 3 years ago | (#36570316)

Propose something practical. Public domain is, apparently, not being protected.

What it looks like to me is that GPL and Creative Commons are the correct approaches. That way the stuff is being continually "broadcast" with a (reasonably) permissive license. BSD, another approach, doesn't seem to have fared as well. Neither has the GFDL.

But do note that it's unwise to put all your eggs in one basket. Any license can be overturned by legislative corruption. So another approach is also advisable. Defense in depth, etc.

copyrights support art not business (1)

kawabago (551139) | more than 3 years ago | (#36569100)

Copyrights were created to give artists incentives to create art, specifically writing books. Now it has been warped and twisted into this giant cow that corporate pigs suckle at getting fatter every day. The artists are still starving. Artists are starting to complain about copyright getting in the way of art. They need shorter duration and greater fair use. Our culture is slowly being strangled by excessive copyright and DRM will ensure our art is forgotten.

distributors/broadcasters/publishers==same pile of (1)

sgt scrub (869860) | more than 3 years ago | (#36569932)

How did the stink get so powerful?

I smell a Jew... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36570028)

... what a surprise.
We can't have Jews doing manual labour, can we! Let's just keep working our asses off to keep these parasites living in luxury...

Cue the magic words: "Anti-semite", cry the brainwashed sheep, while their children's country is being destroyed by millions of third worlders, thanks to your Jewish masters...

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