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Competing Contests To Create Pro- and Anti-Piracy PSAs

timothy posted about 3 years ago | from the say-piracy-without-irony-and-you-lose dept.

Education 220

An anonymous reader writes "New York City recently announced a PSA contest, in which it asked schoolkids to create a video about how evil piracy is. Techdirt found the whole marketing campaign questionable, and via some Freedom of Information Act requests, discovered the whole thing was really a propaganda front for NBC Universal. They also looked at the fine print on this 'pro-copyright' contest, and discovered that in entering, you agreed to give up your copyright. And, you were only allowed to repeat NBC Universal's talking points. Don't try suggesting that perhaps the industry should have adapted. In response, Techdirt has launched a competing video contest, where they ask people to create videos on the impact of technology on creativity. The Techdirt contest doesn't give you specific talking points, lets you present your own opinion, lets you retain the copyright on your work ... and is paying twice as much as the NYC/NBC contest."

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Occupy this (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37632026)

This is exactly the kind of stuff the Occupy $city people should be addressing. Unfortunately, it looks like it's become the loony Left + unions.

The financial issues addressed by Occupy are just a special case of corporate influence. If corporations were properly regulated, we wouldn't be asking for Glass Stiegal (sp.?) back. It never would have gone away.

Re:Occupy this (0)

Chelloveck (14643) | about 3 years ago | (#37632108)

the loony Left + unions.

-1, Redundant

Re:Occupy this (2)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about 3 years ago | (#37633030)

-1, Redundant

-1, Troll

Re:Occupy this (1)

Flyerman (1728812) | about 3 years ago | (#37632144)

Glass Steagal is gone? If there's no FDIC I gotta go pull my money.

Re:Occupy this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37632446)

The financial issues addressed by Occupy are just a special case of corporate influence. If corporations were properly regulated, we wouldn't be asking for Glass Stiegal (sp.?) back. It never would have gone away.

Regulation alone isn't enough, and can often backfire. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regulatory_capture [wikipedia.org]

Re:Occupy this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37632596)

I didn't say regulation was sufficient, only that it was necessary. The price of freedom is, as they say, eternal vigilance. The solution to "regulatory capture" isn't to destroy the regulators--it's to reclaim them, and then remain vigilant. In some way, this is what the protests on both sides (both TEA and Occupy) are doing. It's an ugly process; but there doesn't seem to be any other way.

Re:Occupy this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37632796)

Yes, let's instead have more Tea Party rallies threatening to murder all the liberals, that is not at all loony and very worthwhile.

This isn't anything new. (1)

EMG at MU (1194965) | about 3 years ago | (#37632086)

Big pharma is behind get flu shot PSAs Big Dairy is behind the Got Milk PSAs The government is an arm of the corporations... oblig. news at 11 or whatever I don't even care anymore.

Re:This isn't anything new. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37632174)

Big pharma is behind get flu shot PSAs

Big Dairy is behind the Got Milk PSAs

The government is an arm of the corporations... oblig. news at 11 or whatever I don't even care anymore.

Except you were the first to post, and that you don't care, which clearly states that you very much do.

Re:This isn't anything new. (0)

EMG at MU (1194965) | about 3 years ago | (#37632292)

Maybe...

Or maybe it was right about 4:00 and I needed to waste some time.

Do you drink more milk because of it? (1)

khasim (1285) | about 3 years ago | (#37632194)

Big pharma is behind get flu shot PSAs Big Dairy is behind the Got Milk PSAs The government is an arm of the corporations... oblig. news at 11 or whatever I don't even care anymore.

So the cynical teens will look at the anti-piracy PSA's created and understand that they're just a corporation trying to manipulate them via other teens.

I don't think this will be as successful as they want.

If anything, it will "justify" the cynical teens "pirating" content as "ironic" or "sarcastic". Instead of just for selfish reasons (which they may have done already).

Re:Do you drink more milk because of it? (1)

blair1q (305137) | about 3 years ago | (#37632944)

No, but I think about tits more because of it.

Re:This isn't anything new. (4, Insightful)

Surt (22457) | about 3 years ago | (#37632328)

Got Milk is advertisement, not PSA.

Re:This isn't anything new. (1)

loxosceles (580563) | about 3 years ago | (#37632476)

I think the point is that the pharma/food industries generally aren't recruiting kids to produce propaganda like flu shot or Got Milk PSAs. The media giants, in contrast, generally don't have as many scruples.

The media industry is more desperate than those other industries. It doesn't matter whether you're for copyright or against it, virtually everyone without a large vested interest is against current absurd copyright terms, anti-circumvention, ACTA, etc. So the people trying to create propaganda supporting current copyright laws are desperate to expand their "piracy is theft" meme, and one of the things desperate people do is use non-rational means to persuade people.

This is not so much about creating an anti-piracy PSA (they could hire a media firm to do it for 5 figures, which is peanuts), but rather to indoctrinate the children into the belief that piracy is bad by enticing a bunch of young impressionable kids to regurgitate the industry's talking points.

(Unrelated, but worth noting since you brought it up: Trying to counter the Got Milk stuff could run into food libel laws.)

Re:This isn't anything new. (1, Troll)

Baloroth (2370816) | about 3 years ago | (#37632490)

Slashdot commentators would complain if safety-rail makers funded a PSA about not leaning over safety rails. Milk is good for you (well, unless you're lactose intolerant) and so are flu shots (although the latter are far less important for individuals, herd immunity against the flu is very valuable). Corporations sponsoring PSAs about things that are good for you does not show that government is an arm of the corporations... nor in fact is that even true. If it really was, you would know it.

What is true, and has been for about 200 years now, is that many politicians are in the pockets of corporations / the mafia / private interests. Actually, you can make that 2000 years. Ancient Rome (the Republic) was run largely by the rich (partially by design, I should point out). In point of fact, so was the early US, to some degree (again, partly by design: the rich tend to be better educated and are far more likely to know what the hell is actually going on. For proof of this: just browse Internet comments for a few seconds. The average person is politically uneducated, and I actually include myself in that.)

So many decisions of governments are based on what corporation want, and this is not entirely a bad thing. Corporations are, after all, what employs just about everyone, and produces just about every single thing you own (even very large parts of Linux were designed by corporations). Obviously, it goes over the line quite a lot, and corruption is pretty rampant, but again, nothing new there, it has been that way in every government in history and will be for the rest of time. Calling government an arm of the corporations? Also goes over the line.

Re:This isn't anything new. (1)

Capt.DrumkenBum (1173011) | about 3 years ago | (#37632942)

Milk is good for you (well, unless you're lactose intolerant) and so are flu shots

Raw natural milk might be good for you, but the sterile pasturized milk most of us grew up drinking is NOT good for you.
I for one will not be getting a flu shot. I consider getting over the flu naturally to be exercising my immune system. I firmly believe that people who do not get the flu will be at a disadvantage when something deadly and contagious hits us. (airborne ebola?)
I also try not to use anti-bacterial soap.

Re:This isn't anything new. (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | about 3 years ago | (#37633010)

Raw natural milk might be good for you, but the sterile pasturized milk most of us grew up drinking is NOT good for you.

Any evidence for your claim?

I for one will not be getting a flu shot. I consider getting over the flu naturally to be exercising my immune system.

A flu shot is exercising the immune system. That's how it works. Your strategy is like not training soldiers because it's better training for them if another army actually invades the country and they then beat it than if you can beat that army directly at the border because of your well-trained soldiers.

FYI: PSA TLA DEF (4, Informative)

camperdave (969942) | about 3 years ago | (#37632570)

Just in case anyone was wondering (as I was, initially). PSA = Public Service Announcement.

Re:This isn't anything new. (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about 3 years ago | (#37633044)

The government is an arm of the corporations

"The government is a hostage of the corporations."

There, I fixed that for ya.

Re:This isn't anything new. (1)

Stormwatch (703920) | about 3 years ago | (#37633078)

"The government is a whore of the corporations."

There, I fixed that for ya.

Well done Techdirt (3, Interesting)

Fluffeh (1273756) | about 3 years ago | (#37632100)

When I see things like this, I immediately think "Well done!" to the owners/managers of the website. The normal website would have gone and written up an article on it and left it at that. There are very few sites that would have made the leap from "Waaaaa, look at those cronies!" to "Heh, I know how to fix this, give me some prize money - we're having a contest!".

I might even have to start having a read of the site every now and again.

Re:Well done Techdirt (1)

bws111 (1216812) | about 3 years ago | (#37632644)

Except that all this contest is likely to produce is snark and whining. If they really want to 'fix the problem', why don't they have a contest on HOW the 'industry can adapt'. Some real and workable, that does not involved stuff like 'beg' and 'work for free'. They don't have that contest because it is a hard problem, whereas making snark is simple.

Re:Well done Techdirt (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37632832)

If by adapt you mean continue to make the same money per project as they used to make, you're SOL. Not going to happen because those were for novelty and much more limited supply than now. This is the way of technology, and is a benefit to society, though not to the individual creators of the old system.

Re:Well done Techdirt (1)

mandelbr0t (1015855) | about 3 years ago | (#37632856)

Except that it is not a hard problem to fix. Netflix has been around for a while, and putting money into it would undoubtedly increase revenue. Unfortunately, the dinosaurs^W studio execs. charge an arm and a leg to Netflix, so they add a measly 100 or so titles (and almost no worthwhile TV) a year. I'd gladly pay triple or quadruple what I'm paying to Netflix if I could get some of the big network shows. Perhaps the industry should have a look at Icefilms [icefilms.info] to see what Netflix should be.

Re:Well done Techdirt (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37633052)

After the rise in prices? That drove millions of people away? That's a solid plan you've got there.

Re:Well done Techdirt (1)

mandelbr0t (1015855) | about 3 years ago | (#37633172)

Well, compare that to a cable or satellite package. You don't seriously expect to get top-rated shows for $8/mo., do you?

Re:Well done Techdirt (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37632862)

You should try reading the site. While they haven't had a contest on it per se, they extensively cover the various business model approaches being used to make money not only in spite of, but also from piracy. The site itself is an example of one successful business model. The site's product is writing, which is available for free and is easily "pirated". The site makes money through advertising, merchandise, and a limited subscription model.

Hyprocrites (-1)

jdastrup (1075795) | about 3 years ago | (#37632124)

Very Interesting TechDirt/Floor64. Because if I read your Terms & Conditions correctly on your websites, it appears that you will be very willing to prosecute if I

8.2 rent, lease, loan, sell, resell, sublicense, distribute or otherwise transfer the licenses granted herein or any Materials (as defined in Section 12, below)

12. Ownership; Proprietary Rights. The Insight Community is owned and operated by Floor64. The visual interfaces, graphics, design, compilation, information, computer code (including source code or object code), products, software, services, and all other elements of the Insight Community provided by Floor64 (the "Materials") are protected by applicable laws. Except for any information provided in connection with Cases that are provided and owned by Sponsoring Companies, all Materials contained on the Insight Community are the property of Floor64 or its subsidiaries or affiliated companies and/or third-party licensors. All trademarks, service marks, and trade names are proprietary to Floor64 or its affiliates and/or third-party licensors. Except as expressly authorized by Floor64, you agree not to sell, license, distribute, copy, modify, publicly perform or display, transmit, publish, edit, adapt, create derivative works from, or otherwise make unauthorized use of the Materials. Floor64 reserves all rights not expressly granted in this Terms of Service.

Re:Hyprocrites (1)

xyourfacekillerx (939258) | about 3 years ago | (#37632256)

Wow. That's hilarious. Of course the "Copyrights are teh evil!!" crowd want to own and control things, it's human tendency. but this is just pathetic.

Re:Hyprocrites (2)

Dunbal (464142) | about 3 years ago | (#37632274)

Except as expressly authorized by Floor64

And if you read their contest announcement, they expressly state that you retain all rights to your work but allow them to use it on their sites. Next.

Re:Hyprocrites (1)

jdastrup (1075795) | about 3 years ago | (#37632364)

And all NBC is saying is they who created the content (TV shows, movies, etc) should retain all the rights.

Yes, the contest is stupid for claiming rights on the submissions, but TechDirt isn't completely anti-copyright as they pretend to be by this contest.

Re:Hyprocrites (1)

Dunbal (464142) | about 3 years ago | (#37632584)

Again you are confusing anti-copyright and piracy. This is why you keep banging your head into the wall. They are not the same thing. Yesterday in my country, "The Matrix" was available on one of the cable channels. I watched part of it, and fell asleep. Say today I went to a torrent site and downloaded "The Matrix" and watched the part that I missed. How, exactly, has this prevented:

1) Warner Brothers, Village Roadshow, the Wachowski brothers, Keanu Reeves and everyone else from making their royalties?

2)The cable company from selling me its subscription, the distributor from selling rights to air the movie to the cable company, and any advertisers from selling commercials in the movie?

See? I don't disagree with copyright. Everyone here has made money for work done, and rightfully so. But I don't disagree with piracy either. Why the hell should I pay $20 to watch a movie I have already seen countless times, has already been on TV countless times, and will be on TV again countless times? If you are dumb enough to do it, go ahead. But this whole argument about me putting thousands of people out of work and costing the economy and the studios trillions of dollars just because I wanted to watch the last 20 minutes of the Matrix is utter bullshit.

Re:Hyprocrites (1)

bws111 (1216812) | about 3 years ago | (#37632450)

So what? The PSAs are not about things YOU create, they are about things OTHER people create (and own). Of course you own your own work, that is the law. They are not giving you a damn thing you don't already have. On the other hand, their T&C's are about their stuff, not yours. You know, the exact thing they are complaining about.

My Script (4, Insightful)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | about 3 years ago | (#37632204)

"You wouldn't want to play a movie on any unauthorized devices."

"You wouldn't want to skip the movie previews we've carefully chosen for you.."

"You wouldn't want to have a backup handy if your media was damaged."

Be a good citizen, report piracy today!.

Re:My Script (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37632270)

Maybe we need to replace "Stop Snitchin'" with a "Snitch Up" campaign.

1. Never snitch on someone at or below your socioeconomic or authority level.
2. Always snitch on someone above your socioeconomic or authority level.

When the rich and powerful become the preferred targets of law enforcement, the laws will change.

Re:My Script (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 3 years ago | (#37632356)

When the rich and powerful become the preferred targets of law enforcement, the laws will change.

...and when the rich and powerful stop paying them off, that might actually happen.

Re:My Script (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37632842)

Yeah to exempt them from these lawsuits.

Re:My Script (1)

Imagix (695350) | about 3 years ago | (#37632294)

Um, fix the first one to "You wouldn't want to play a move on any device.". And add "You wouldn't want to skip the ads that you must watch every time you stick in the DVD."

Re:My Script (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37632332)

Sounds like somebody's conflating the notion of "DRM" with the notion of "copyright" - one need not be restricted by DRM to honor a creator's copyrights and avoid pirating content.

I generally appreciate your contributions around here, but you really should stop confusing these two issues... it makes you seem a little slow. :(

Re:My Script (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | about 3 years ago | (#37632456)

No, I'm not. It's a pro-piracy ad.

Re:My Script (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37632568)

well, you did a piss-poor job at it. Maybe you should consider a career in hollow entertainment?

Unauthorized devices? Movie previews? Just call a spade a spade; use gadget or device for the former, ad for the latter.

Re:My Script (0)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | about 3 years ago | (#37632806)

Why would neutering my script make it less piss-poor?

Re:My Script (2)

mandelbr0t (1015855) | about 3 years ago | (#37632522)

but you really should stop confusing these two issues...

Unfortunately, laws in most of the Western world already confuse the two issues. On the one hand, we have a law that fairly balances creators' rights with consumers'... and then the DRM portion is added in to completely undermine any sense of balance.

Re:My Script (1)

MachDelta (704883) | about 3 years ago | (#37632344)

Oblig:

You wouldn't download a car...

Fuck you! I would if I could!

Re:My Script (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37632410)

You wouldn't build a business around laws that were originally designed to benefit the public, and then lobby to deprive the public domain of all that property and keep it for yourself in perpetuity so you could sue anyone that tried to obtain content without your permission...

I'd like to report some piracy.

Re:My Script (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37632482)

http://grabcad.com/library/bugatti-veyron [grabcad.com]

Your script is too wordy. (0)

Lead Butthead (321013) | about 3 years ago | (#37632540)

Short version - "Bend over."

Re:My Script (2)

SleazyRidr (1563649) | about 3 years ago | (#37632710)

You wouldn't steal a handbag.
You wouldn't steal a car.
You wouldn't steal a baby.
You wouldn't shoot a policeman. And then steal his helmet.
You wouldn't go to the toilet in his helmet. And then send it to the policeman's grieving widow. And then steal it again!
Downloading films is stealing. If you do it, you will face the consequences.

Turntable mats (1)

jms (11418) | about 3 years ago | (#37632326)

Heh. A DJ friend has a set of turntable mats with the slogan on them:

"Copyright infringement is your best entertainment value"

Says it all right there,

script (5, Funny)

roc97007 (608802) | about 3 years ago | (#37632354)

"I'm eight years old, and I used to watch The Little Mermaid every day. One day my disc wouldn't play. My dad says it's got a scratch on it so it won't play anymore. I cried and cried, so my dad downloaded the movie from some website and burned me another copy. I turned my dad in to the nice people at the MPAA and he's serving hard time now. My mom and I aren't very happy at the shelter, but we feel better now that the movie studios are getting their fair share."

Don't pirate movies. Because the movie studios aren't rich enough."

Re:script (0)

ackthpt (218170) | about 3 years ago | (#37632392)

"I'm eight years old, and I used to watch The Little Mermaid every day. One day my disc wouldn't play. My dad says it's got a scratch on it so it won't play anymore. I cried and cried, so my dad downloaded the movie from some website and burned me another copy. I turned my dad in to the nice people at the MPAA and he's serving hard time now. My mom and I aren't very happy at the shelter, but we feel better now that the movie studios are getting their fair share."

Don't pirate movies. Because the movie studios aren't rich enough."

A better reason would be "Don't pirate movies because most of them stink anyway and you don't want your mind warped by what constitutes scripts, dialogue or acting these days.

As always, your best bet is to make your own movies and drive teh evil capitalists from their high and mighty throne

Re:script (3, Informative)

roc97007 (608802) | about 3 years ago | (#37632408)

> A better reason would be "Don't pirate movies because most of them stink anyway and you don't want your mind warped by what constitutes scripts, dialogue or acting these days.

Well yeah, but I'm eight years old fer chrissake. We have much lower standards for entertainment.

Re:script (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37632680)

> A better reason would be "Don't pirate movies because most of them stink anyway and you don't want your mind warped by what constitutes scripts, dialogue or acting these days.

Well yeah, but I'm eight years old fer chrissake. We have much lower standards for entertainment.

Not to mention your sense of quality craftsmanship. You eight-year-olds sew some crooked and brittle seams into the clothes I buy. You have no place in manufacturing! Go home and play with your barbies and stop taking our jobs!

Re:script (1)

roc97007 (608802) | about 3 years ago | (#37632818)

> You eight-year-olds sew some crooked and brittle seams into the clothes I buy.

I work my fingers to the bone making your GAP hoodies and this is the thanks I get??

Re:script (1)

BronsCon (927697) | about 3 years ago | (#37632730)

Show belly button and go to bed.

The only way to do this (4, Funny)

tenzig_112 (213387) | about 3 years ago | (#37632374)

The Pro-Piracy PSA should be an exact copy of the Anti-Piracy PSA but the voice over should be read with a barely perceptible hint of sarcasm.

Re:The only way to do this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37632538)

Sarcasm only works on the people who already agree with the viewpoint the speaker is trying to make.

Re:The only way to do this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37632656)

mod parent up

Mathematically... (2, Interesting)

migla (1099771) | about 3 years ago | (#37632416)

Mathematically, we should pirate the shit out of things.

See, a good movie or song has value - it enriches a persons life. The cost of copying these things is negligible. So, essentially for free, we can create enormous value in form of good feeling, learning, culture and stuff for billions of humans.

Now, of course the poor starving movie execs will loose, but they're free to get a job at McD.

All the artists and craftspersons that are actually required should of course get by. If copying was legal, art would probably increasingly be crowd-funded before creation, but a meager living wage for everyone would really let artist just about not starve and enable passionate people to keep doing their art.

The value from copying will be far greater than the loss of value from it. I'm not gonna worry my pretty little head trying to calculate numbers, but I'm sure the math is solid.

If we can give something good to everyone for free, it would be the right thing to do.

Re:Mathematically... (4, Insightful)

Bob9113 (14996) | about 3 years ago | (#37632718)

Now, of course the poor starving movie execs will loose, but they're free to get a job at McD.

All the artists and craftspersons that are actually required should of course get by.

Hmmm, so the current bloodthirsty interpretation of copyright doesn't work, but there is a flaw in eliminating copyright altogether. If only there were some way to secure a limited right for a shorter period of time. Like, suppose copyright lasted for 7 years automatically, then could be re-upped for another 7, and suppose it did not cover copying for educational purposes or satire. That would give enough financial incentive to keep those people who are genuinely passionate about the craft in the game, without creating such an enormous cashflow as to attract all the lawyers and sociopaths (who ultimately wind up drowning out the people who are doing it because they have a genuine gift, or something important to say).

It almost seems like some really sharp people could have figured that out right at the beginning.

Oh yeah, they did.

Re:Mathematically... (2)

Americano (920576) | about 3 years ago | (#37632738)

Right - we should kill the goose and take all the golden eggs out at once! Enough with this waiting for a single egg every few days!

Any system which requires a creator to produce in order to have his creation shoveled into the outstretched hands of other people to "enrich their lives" with no consideration or value given in return for the effort and skill required to perform the act of creation is monstrously unjust.

You make a lot of hand-waving assertions, and then tell us that you're "not gonna worry your pretty little head trying to calculate numbers, but I'm sure the math is solid." Which tells us you have devoted exactly zero time to actually thinking about what you've proposed.

If we can give something good to everyone for free, it would be the right thing to do.

Yes, if we could give something to everyone for free, it would totally be right. Except the time and effort required to produce a song, movie, book, picture, or any other creative work is not zero. Therefore it is not free to create, and in fact might require many hundreds, thousands, or even millions of dollars to produce, as well as many weeks, months, or even years to create it. So what mechanism do you propose that will compensate creators for their time, talent, effort and materials?

Re:Mathematically... (1)

Xugumad (39311) | about 3 years ago | (#37632898)

> Except the time and effort required to produce a song, movie, book, picture, or any other creative work is not zero.

For bonus points, much of the "freely" produced content is paid for indirectly by copyright material. A lot of creative people paid by a day job in copyright-based industries then create this material in their free time.

This also ignores the huge time investment to become good at many of these areas (I've been coding for nearly two decades now, and still learn new skills on a regular basis).

Re:Mathematically... (2)

Endo13 (1000782) | about 3 years ago | (#37632990)

Right - we should kill the goose and take all the golden eggs out at once! Enough with this waiting for a single egg every few days!

That's exactly what the mega corps are doing, so I'm not sure what point you're trying to make with that.

Any system which requires a creator to produce in order to have his creation shoveled into the outstretched hands of other people to "enrich their lives" with no consideration or value given in return for the effort and skill required to perform the act of creation is monstrously unjust.

No one's requiring those creators to produce anything.

You make a lot of hand-waving assertions, and then tell us that you're "not gonna worry your pretty little head trying to calculate numbers, but I'm sure the math is solid." Which tells us you have devoted exactly zero time to actually thinking about what you've proposed.

Who cares? You're doing exactly the same in this next quote:

Yes, if we could give something to everyone for free, it would totally be right. Except the time and effort required to produce a song, movie, book, picture, or any other creative work is not zero. Therefore it is not free to create, and in fact might require many hundreds, thousands, or even millions of dollars to produce, as well as many weeks, months, or even years to create it. So what mechanism do you propose that will compensate creators for their time, talent, effort and materials?

GP's point is that we would be better off with no copyright than the copyright we currently have. And he is absolutely correct. Now, if you take copyright and adjust it for today's world, it would be better than no copyright, but that's not what we have. The biggest change that needs to happen for copyright to be good and not evil is the duration. Copyright in the US originally lasted 14 years, with a possible 14 year extension if the creator was still alive. This was at a time when the only stuff to be copyrighted was printed material, which took potentially months or years to print, and even more years to distribute to your target market. This is without even considering the time to actually write the book in the first place. In today's world, a book, a movie, an audio track, a picture, and anything else that can be pirated can be produced in a matter of months and distributed in a matter of minutes or hours - and that's global distribution. You can make your product available to your entire global target market that quickly. Given how much more quickly you can now make your production available to anyone who actually wants to buy it, copyright should be that much shorter, not longer. Taking these things into account, a much more fair copyright duration today would be something like 5 years with a possible 2 year extension, if the creator is still alive. Instead, copyright currently lasts 75 years after the creator's death... and long before we reach that point for anything, law will be rewritten to allow for still more copyright extensions.

Disney was the original driving force behind insane copyright extensions, but they're certainly not alone any more.

Re:Mathematically... (1)

Americano (920576) | about 3 years ago | (#37633164)

That's exactly what the mega corps are doing, so I'm not sure what point you're trying to make with that.

... really? Because I'm pretty certain that the mega corps are all about protecting that goose with walls, fences, razorwire, and armed guards so nobody can get to it but them.

No one's requiring those creators to produce anything.

If your system of compensation says "do away with copyright so anybody can have anything they want for free," then the system you have constructed requires creators to create by sacrificing their own time and money to the "enrichment" of their fellow man, and we are told by GGP that this is a good thing. If you build a system that constrains the creators' ability to set their own terms and conditions for acquiring a copy of the thing they've created, you are "requiring" them to work under a specific set of conditions. Are you suggesting that a system in which creators simply... don't create anything - or in which creators are expected to create to their own detriment - is better than the current system?

Who cares? You're doing exactly the same in this next quote:

In fact, I did the exact opposite - I specifically called out the fact that there IS a cost - in time, money, materials, and expertise - required to produce any creative work. And then I asked the GGP how he proposed that a content creator be compensated for that time, money, material, and expertise. It would be really great if I could eat without having to work for anything, and have a place to live without any effort, but that's not reality. Things have costs to produce, even if they have "very low duplication costs." Hell, a printed book has very low production costs compared to the cost of the book already - do you really think it costs $12.99, or even a majority of that list price, to print & bind a copy of a typical paperback? Of course not - editors, writers, typesetters, graphic designers, advertisers all need to be paid for their time spent bringing the book to market, too.

Any system that disregards the cost of production - not just the cost of duplicating an original - does so to the detriment of the creator, and in essence turns them into a beast of burden, sentenced to create things for the "benefit" of other people, to the detriment of themselves. I specifically ended my statements about cost with a question: What mechanism is proposed to compensate creators for their time and effort, if we want to make all content freely available to anybody who wants a copy? It was a genuine question, which I'd like to hear genuine answers to, not handwaving assertions about "somehow the math will work out because I *feel* it will."

Re:Mathematically... (1)

Xugumad (39311) | about 3 years ago | (#37632852)

> If copying was legal, art would probably increasingly be crowd-funded before creation, but a meager living wage for everyone would really let artist just about not starve and enable passionate people to keep doing their art.

So... you're happy with the trickle of creative output that people insanely dedicated enough to create content under your "meagre living wage" would be able to produce?

Who do you fund? How do you decide what's worth funding and what isn't? What guarantees do you have of a quality result? How do you get the best stuff out to people (if this seems like a silly question, go wandering through the free apps in the Android market store - there's some great stuff off in the depths, but can you be bothered finding it)?

> I'm not gonna worry my pretty little head trying to calculate numbers, but I'm sure the math is solid.

You want to reduce everyone working on copyright-based industries to a "meagre wage" and hope crowd-sourcing pays even that, but have no idea of what's involved, beyond a feeling of intuition?

What you're suggesting massacres future creative production in return for short term gain. There are substantially better suggestions (someone else's point about 7 year copyrights, for example - long enough to sell a copy to most people who really want a product, without being long enough to let them sit back and live off something they did once).

Re:Mathematically... (-1, Troll)

blair1q (305137) | about 3 years ago | (#37632976)

When you have a system where art is worthless, you'll get art only from people who don't value their own effort.*

This, frankly, is why most FOSS is shit.

* - or from people who have a means of leveraging their effort into other means of income. But it won't be as many people, and it won't be nearly as much income.

Re:Mathematically... (4, Insightful)

Endo13 (1000782) | about 3 years ago | (#37633154)

Your statement itself is trite and meaningless and pretty much worthless, but it does serve to (as a byproduct) point out something interesting:

Art's value is inherantly very subjective. In a civilization merely fighting for survival every day, it's pretty much worthless. When people have time to actually enjoy and pay for art, it's still only ever worth what people are willing to pay. The creator can set the price, but he can never set the value. If the price is too high, some (or all) people won't buy it, and he only has himself to blame.

Piracy, in reality, is simply the free market at work, balancing out prices that are higher than the actual value of the art being sold.

Not too useful (1)

bws111 (1216812) | about 3 years ago | (#37632494)

Maybe instead of TechDirt running some snarky contest which will achieve nothing they could actually ask people for real, workable, ideas on how the 'industry can adapt'. You know, something that doesn't involve stupid ideas like 'work for free' or 'rely on donations'.

Re:Not too useful (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37632606)

You obviously don't read the site. They do that kind of thing all the time.

Re:Not too useful (1)

TrekkieGod (627867) | about 3 years ago | (#37632618)

You know, I don't really have a solution myself, but I don't think that's relevant. What you're saying is, "I can't figure out how the scribe industry can survive now that we have the printing press, so we should outlaw the use of a printing press to create copies of books and require that every copy of a book be made by hand in order to artificially inflate the value of books and keep those scribes employed. We'll keep the printing press only for things that MUST be made quickly, like newspapers."

If the industry can't survive in a world with the technology where copies are made essentially for free, then that industry should die.

Re:Not too useful (2)

bws111 (1216812) | about 3 years ago | (#37632886)

You are talking about two entirely different things. We don't need scribes because we have the printing press. However, we still need (want) authors, editors, etc. The analog in music would be we don't need CD pressing factories. I don't see anyone arguing against that. However, we still need (want) musicians, engineers, etc.

Now, if your argument is that we DON'T need the music, film, whatever industries, that is fine. If you are satisfied with content that is produced outside of the industry you can enjoy that today. No-one needs to do anything. If everyone decides that that content is sufficient the industries will go away, and nothing can be done about that. However, what pirates are saying is that in fact they DO want the product created by the industry, they just don't want to pay for it or otherwise think they are entitled to it on their terms alone.

Re:Not too useful (1)

Obfuscant (592200) | about 3 years ago | (#37632896)

If the industry can't survive in a world with the technology where copies are made essentially for free, then that industry should die.

Then what would you have to make copies of?

There is a significant difference between the music industry and the scribe/printing press analogy you use. The scribes were not responsible for creating content, only copying it. The printing press did nothing to replace the content creators.

The "music industry" includes those that create the content that you want to copy for free. You can't replace the entire industry with a CD burner and a net connection, since the CD burner and net connection cannot create the content, only copy it.

Re:Not too useful (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37632694)

I guess you didn't look to see if as well as this snarky contest they spend a lot of time offering real working ideas about how to adapt. http://www.techdirt.com/blog/casestudies/ [techdirt.com]

Re:Not too useful (1)

desdinova 216 (2000908) | about 3 years ago | (#37632970)

there have been many ideas on how the industry can adapt. such as shortening the copyright restrictions to a more reasonable time frame than "forever" but The media companies don't want that. or should I say a certain media company doesn't want that.

Re:Not too useful (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37633022)

Maybe instead of TechDirt running some snarky contest which will achieve nothing they could actually ask people for real, workable, ideas on how the 'industry can adapt'. You know, something that doesn't involve stupid ideas like 'work for free' or 'rely on donations'.

Maybe instead of NBC Universal running some snarky contest which will achieve nothing they could actually ask people for real, workable, ideas on how the industry must adapt. You know, something that doesn't involve stupid ideas like 'sue fans' or 'rely on obsolete tech'

Re:Not too useful (1)

virtualXTC (609488) | about 3 years ago | (#37633062)

Maybe instead of TechDirt running some snarky contest which will achieve nothing they could actually ask people for real, workable, ideas on how the 'industry can adapt'. You know, something that doesn't involve stupid ideas like 'work for free' or 'rely on donations'.

Maybe instead of insisting that somebody is doing something the wrong way, you should fix it your self. Or, maybe you could just lean to see the value in an anti-propaganda campaign.

Dear NBC/Universal (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37632578)

Stop asking high prices for your content and more people will be willing to pay for it.

$2 to buy a single episode of a TV show and $20 to buy a movie?

Piracy or not, you don't get a single fucking cent directly from me because without piracy I'll still wait for the DVD rental at $1.

Gather round... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37632582)

I used to buy games all the time... but let me tell you a story. One time, I saw someone playing a "pirated" game on their modded XBOX at a party. I found the game intriguing so I purchased a copy of the game for the PC. What did I get for my troubles? I got a product that installed hidden device drivers on my system as part of copy prevention, exposing me to unnecessary risk. I got a game that came with a CD-key that was almost impossible to read. The 8s looked like 0s, the 5s looked like "s"es, the 1s like "I"s, you name it.

Now let me tell you another story. I have fond memories of classic games: games that came out back in the 1990s. I purchased one of my favorite racing games which was originally released back in 1999, hoping I could play it on my netbook on the go. Surely the netbook is powerful enough. Guess what? I got shafted again. The game requires a CD be in the drive to play, so it is pretty useless for that.

Now I've come to a realization. I live in a society where the majority of software devs only care about taking my money and leaving me with a broken (sometimes even malware laden) product. That's fine. If these companies want to treat their honest fans like the enemy, they're welcome to do that.

But... I actually go out of my way these days to avoid supporting the entertainment industry as a whole. I buy used whenever possible just to deprive the developers. I've even paid more for used copies than new ones would cost to avoid supporting them.

PSA? (1)

SleazyRidr (1563649) | about 3 years ago | (#37632642)

What exactly is a PSA? My google search has suggested prostate-specific antigen, professional sports authenticator, professional skaters association and the Phillipine Sports Association of Texas. None of which seem to make much sense in the context...

Re:PSA? (1)

Kneo24 (688412) | about 3 years ago | (#37632698)

Public Service Announcement

Re:PSA? (1)

SleazyRidr (1563649) | about 3 years ago | (#37632876)

Thank you. I feel a little less stupid.

Re:PSA? (1)

Beorytis (1014777) | about 3 years ago | (#37632726)

It's Pressure Swing Adsorption, a gas separation process.

Re:PSA? (1)

Fallen Kell (165468) | about 3 years ago | (#37632782)

Since you didn't put up the sarcasm tags, it stands for (P)ublic (S)ervice (A)nnouncement....

"All entries become the property of our sponsors." (1)

westlake (615356) | about 3 years ago | (#37632672)

They also looked at the fine print on this 'pro-copyright' contest, and discovered that in entering, you agreed to give up your copyright.

My god, what a surprise.

This has been the rule in print and broadcast media for generations --- ask your great-grandad about the bike he won in a cub scout photo contest sponsored by "Boy's Life."

The sponsors demand this because they don't want to negotiate rights with amateurs. The kid gets his prize. The promotion stays on track and on budget. The End.

Re:"All entries become the property of our sponsor (1)

mandelbr0t (1015855) | about 3 years ago | (#37632780)

IANAL, but doesn't a minor require parental consent to enter into a contract with an adult?

It really disturbs me to see the exploitation of naive children being used to propagate misinformation. This contest is a form of brainwashing, and the Fox News types are just going to say, "Awww. That's so cute. Let's do what the kids say."

Re:"All entries become the property of our sponsor (1)

bws111 (1216812) | about 3 years ago | (#37632950)

Yes, and the rules plainly state that if a minor wins their parent or legal guardian must send a notarized letter.

Re:"All entries become the property of our sponsor (1)

mandelbr0t (1015855) | about 3 years ago | (#37632966)

In that case, one can only hope that the parents are less naive than the children... However, that is certainly not the case currently.

Re:"All entries become the property of our sponsor (1)

bws111 (1216812) | about 3 years ago | (#37632934)

They have poor reading ability, because the rules do not say that. You do not give up your copyright by entering. You agree that if you win, and they pay you, you will either consider your entry a work for hire or you will agree to transfer the copyright to them.

Piracy Is Not Theft (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37632688)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IeTybKL1pM4

My PSA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37632884)

A montage of several separate groups of people singing Happy Birthday with the amount in dollars they owe for giving an impromptu performance of a copyrighted song owned by Time Warner written in the 1800s. Too bad I would have to pay Time Warner for the right to use the song in the PSA.

Re:My PSA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37632968)

Just use subtitles along with the dollars counter on the screen.

These people are singing Happy Birthday.
It is a copyrighted song, which is why we had to do a silent ad.
They are using it without the consent of the multi-national Time Warner corporation.

Never mind that copyright was created to allow works to go into the public domain a few decades after their creation.
Never mind that this song was written in the 1800's.

Forget the kids - won't somebody think of the multi-national corporations?

Money is more important than people.
Signed, multi-national corporations.

exclusive, and draconain (c) places works at risk. (4, Interesting)

wierd_w (1375923) | about 3 years ago | (#37632924)

For a stellat example, look at the systematic destruction of works by the BBC from the 60s and 70s.

There were over 200 episodes of Dr Who alone (there were many other series besides that one in the burn bin) that were destroyed without backup copies, because the bbc did not have room to store them, and because the copyright licensing of those episodes required outside stations and studios to return *all* copies sent to them.

Currently, only 20 or so episodes remain totally MIA from the first doctor series, due almost exclusively to painstaking reconstruction from poor quality pirate recordings collected by the viewing public when the series ran.

The only reason approx 180 of the 200 were recovered, was BECAUSE of "piracy".

Something to consider, given the cultural impact of that series in the UK, as well as in other countries.

If nothing else, rampant piracy protects popular and influential works from willful destruction, by massively replicating the number of copies. This alone is reason to support personal use piracy.

Re:exclusive, and draconain (c) places works at ri (0)

blair1q (305137) | about 3 years ago | (#37633024)

So you're saying we should have a system that puts the value of everyone's creative output at the lowest possible level because one company were a vast warren of clueless fucktards about one TV show that at the time was generally considered laughable shite for inactive children?

Nobody throws anything away, any more. Your scenario is vanishingly unlikely.

Re:exclusive, and draconain (c) places works at ri (1)

wierd_w (1375923) | about 3 years ago | (#37633056)

I suggest you look at the issue more closely. Doctow who was only one of many that was destroyed in this fashion.

If you want another historical instance of how keeping all the eggs in one basket is bad, look at the ancient library of alexandria. The only books to survive the fire were either in the sub basement, or "pirated" by arabian scholars.

We owe much of our knowledge of antiquity to ancient "software pirates."

Re:exclusive, and draconain (c) places works at ri (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37633130)

So you're saying we should have a system that puts the value of everyone's creative output at the lowest possible level because one company were a vast warren of clueless fucktards about one TV show that at the time was generally considered laughable shite for inactive children?

Oh, no, no, no. He's not at all suggesting that. That would be silly and trite, of course. He's suggesting you do that because of his favorite TV show. Key difference, very important.

Re:exclusive, and draconain (c) places works at ri (2)

wierd_w (1375923) | about 3 years ago | (#37633188)

Actually I am more a ST nerd, but DW is nice variety.

I was more approaching it from the "70 years from now, how will cultural historians view the "dalek mania" phenomenon of the 70s in the UK, given the destruction of the original material" angle.

Much like current classical period historians lament the loss of "trite, usless shite" like the vulgar satyr comedies alluded to by ancient historians.

Re:exclusive, and draconain (c) places works at ri (1)

mandelbr0t (1015855) | about 3 years ago | (#37633060)

This is an excellent point that is rarely considered. Archival of creative works is a public good. We'd know nothing about our ancestors if they'd encrypted everything they wrote down.
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