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Pirate Party Leader: Copyright Laws Ridiculous

Unknown Lamer posted more than 2 years ago | from the we're-not-listening dept.

Piracy 543

smitty777 writes "Rick Falkvinge, better known as the leader for Sweden's Pirate Party, recommends doing away with copyright laws since no one is following them anyway. FTA: '...he uses examples from the buttonmakers guild in 1600s France to justify eliminating the five major parts of copyright law today. The first two are cover duplication and public performance, and piracy today has ruined those. The next two cover rights of the creator to get credit and prevent other performances, satires, remixes, etc they don't like. Falkvinge says giving credit is important, but not worthy of a law. Finally, "neighboring rights" are used by the music industry to block duplication, which Falkvinge rejects.'"

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He seems to confuse the purpose of copyright (0, Troll)

icebike (68054) | more than 2 years ago | (#38645642)

Copyright laws are to preserve the right of copying the work for the copyright holder. Period.
Giving credit doesn't even enter into it. Satire and remixes don't matter and are already protected anyway.

That the laws have failed miserably to preserve the author/rightsholder's Right to copy and profit from their work is
sad but true in this digital age.

Still, it seems a tad self serving for those that smashed into storefronts to suggest repealing laws against looting on
the grounds that everyone is doing it. Is a TV set or Microwave oven that much different than a song or a book?
The basic premise that a work in digital form can be replicated without depleting the inventory of the author is simply mistaking the
the form for the function. The form may be bits and bytes. The function is someone's work product. Unless he proposes putting
all authors and on the public teat, I am at a loss to see how anyone can keep writing books any more than I can see why anyone
would stock more microwave's in a store from which anyone take anything they wanted.

Re:He seems to confuse the purpose of copyright (5, Informative)

CrystalFalcon (233559) | more than 2 years ago | (#38645678)

The purposes of the copyright monpoly vary between legislations, so there is not "one" purpose.

In the United States, it is "to promote the progress and the useful arts", nothing more, nothing less. That is a direct quote from the constitution.

Re:He seems to confuse the purpose of copyright (5, Informative)

Relic of the Future (118669) | more than 2 years ago | (#38645968)

(Nitpicky edit)

"To promote the Progress of Science and the useful Arts..."

(/Nitpicky edit)

Re:He seems to confuse the purpose of copyright (3, Funny)

Relic of the Future (118669) | more than 2 years ago | (#38645990)

Damnit, my strike tags on your "the" got edited out! Now I'M going to get nit-picked.

Re:He seems to confuse the purpose of copyright (1)

CrystalFalcon (233559) | more than 2 years ago | (#38646040)

Right you are, sir.

Re:He seems to confuse the purpose of copyright (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38646144)

This is one thing that confuses me: at what point did casual entertainment become a useful art?

Re:He seems to confuse the purpose of copyright (4, Interesting)

CrystalFalcon (233559) | more than 2 years ago | (#38646244)

"Useful Arts" actually refers to patentable handicraft; the consitution's motivation for the patent monopolies. This is the same word as you see in "artisan".

"Progress of Science" refers to knowledge subject to the copyright monopolies.

Re:He seems to confuse the purpose of copyright (1)

Stormthirst (66538) | more than 2 years ago | (#38646490)

Depends on your definition of useful art I guess. If you find it useful for the art to drag you to a place of fantasy for 45 minutes (assuming you can block out the adverts every 5 minutes), then it's useful. If you lack the imagination that allows you to immerse yourself in someone else's story, then I guess it isn't useful - and you'd be a very boring person.

Re:He seems to confuse the purpose of copyright (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38646216)

Yet in many ways it does not. It has been used to line the pockets of corporation.

Re:He seems to confuse the purpose of copyright (3, Informative)

hitmark (640295) | more than 2 years ago | (#38646234)

Copyright law has been largely unified via the Bern convention (USA signed on in the 1980s) and later WIPO.

Re:He seems to confuse the purpose of copyright (5, Informative)

DCTech (2545590) | more than 2 years ago | (#38645684)

Well, record labels do provide many services to artists, starting from financing them when they're starting up, their professional help, their experience and their marketing channels. This isn't exactly free either. Here is a list of costs for advertising related stuff:

 

Optional mailing labor for CD $1.00 each
  Optional mailing labor for CD+vinyl $1.50 each
  Optional BDS tracking $1000
  Optional Mediabase tracking $1000
  Optional R&R Indicator tracking $1000
  Optional Quarterbacking $100 00

  College Radio (8 weeks)
  Jazz, Blues, Folk, Americana, Piano (up to 100 stations) .$ 2500
  CMJ charting for URBAN, metal, electronic, jazz, world, AAA, (250 stations), or non-
  charting for alternative .$ 2500
  CMJ Top200 Charting (up to 500 stns; incl extra phones) $ 4000
  CMJ Top200 Charting (up to 700 stns; incl extra phones
  and CMJ core stations) .$ 6000
  Regional (non charting, any genre) (50 stations) .$ 2000

  Commercial Specialty Mixshow (8 weeks)
  National Mixshow (BDS Level - 100 stations) $15,000
  Mixshow (up to 70 stations, college & commercial) $ 6000
  Dance Mixshow Charting (100 stations) $ 4000
  Regional (non-charting) (10 stations) $ 6000

  Commercial Regular Rotation for AC, Pop, R&B (8 weeks)
  75 stations (small markets) $ 4000
  150 stations (small markets) .$ 7000
  R&R indicator stage 1 (small markets - 10 stations) $15000
  R&R indicator stage 2 (medium & small markets - 25 stations).$30000
  BDS Promotion (7-10 stations) $15000
  FMQB charting (100+ stations, medium and small) $20000
  R&R CHR/Pop Indicator (medium and small markets - 50 stations) $40000
  Regional (non-charting) (10-15 stations) $8000
  FMQB AC tracking (optional) $ 400/mo
  High-Level AC Promotion (includes field staff) .$20000
  (additional)
  High-Level Pop/Urban Promotion (includes field staff) $40000
  (additional)
  High-Level station giveaways or commercials (unrated mkt) $ 200/station
  High-Level station giveaways or commercials (small mkt) $ 500/station
  High-Level station giveaways or commercials (medium mkt) .$ 1500/station

  Commercial Regular Rotation for Rock, Alt, Urban (8 weeks)
  R&R indicator stage 1 (small markets - 10 stations) .$ 15000
  R&R indicator stage 2 (medium & small markets - 25 stations) $ 30000
  Regional (non-charting) (10-15 stations) $8000
  BDS Promotion (7-10 stations) $15000
  High-Level Promotion Urban (includes field staff) $40000
  (additional)
  High-Level station giveaways or commercials (unrated mkt) $ 200/station
  High-Level station giveaways or commercials (small mkt) $ 500/station
  High-Level station giveaways or commercials (medium mkt) .$ 1500/station

  Commercial Regular Rotation for AAA or Smooth Jazz (8 weeks)
  50 station special (medium and small) $ 8,000
  FMQB / R&R charting (75 stations, all sizes) .$20,000
  Regional (non-charting) (20 stations) $ 2500
  FMQB AAA tracking (optional) .$ 200/mo
  High-Level Promotion (includes field staff) $10000
  (additional)

  Commercial Regular Rotation for Country (8 weeks)
  Small market non-charting (50 small stations) $ 2500
  Music Row charting (80 small stations) .$ 4000
  R&R indicator charting (75 medium stations) $ 7500
  High-Level Promotion (includes field staff) $10000
  (additional)

  Gospel or Christian Regular Rotation (8 weeks)
  100 stations (all sizes, charting) .$ 4000
  200 stations (all sizes, charting $ 6000
  Regional (non-charting) (20 stations) $ 2500
  R&R tracking for Christian (optional) $ 200/mo
  High-Level Christian Promotion (includes field staff) $ 5000
  (additional)

  (end)

  Television Promo, you need to contact comcast for your area this was the area for Richmond VA when i lived there

  Comcast Richmond is set up in 3 areas:

  Richmond: South (Covering Chesterfield )
  Richmond: North (Covering the West-end/Fan/Hanover)
  Richmond: Tri-Cities (Covering Petersburg/Colonial Heights/ Hopewell )
  We also have an interconnect which covers all 3 zones on one contract:

  Rates for :30 second spots for each are listed below for M-Su 5a-12m
  NETWORK SOUTH NORTH TRI -CITIES INTERCONNECT
  BET $23 $41 $11 $75
  VH1 $6 $8 $3 $17
  MTV $14 $23 $7 $44

  Rates for :30 second spots for each are listed below for M-Su 3p-12m
  NETWORK SOUTH NORTH TRI -CITIES INTERCONNECT
  BET $44 $76 $21 $141
  VH1 $10 $14 $5 $29
  MTV $28 $46 $14 $88

  Now add this up for 30 days a month and how many x u want your commercial to run on TV to advertise the artist for the album release date.

You can imagine how much the costs add up. Artists aren't going to be able to do that alone, nor do they want to. They can already if they desire, but they really don't want or can't do that. And no, internet isn't some magical answer to that. Some stuff might go viral, but that happens randomly and only seldomly.

Re:He seems to confuse the purpose of copyright (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38645904)

Well, record labels do provide many services to artists

That's a hell of a way to spin it. Who do you think ultimately pays for the advertising, the studio time, the costs of live shows, etc.?

Re:He seems to confuse the purpose of copyright (3, Informative)

DCTech (2545590) | more than 2 years ago | (#38645994)

Well, record labels do provide many services to artists

That's a hell of a way to spin it. Who do you think ultimately pays for the advertising, the studio time, the costs of live shows, etc.?

The customer, like in every business? Of course, record labels also take risk of the band not succeeding and them making a loss.

Re:He seems to confuse the purpose of copyright (1)

Professr3 (670356) | more than 2 years ago | (#38646036)

Not much of a risk, if you ask me. They don't really accept anyone unless they're absolutely sure they have a >50% chance they'll make money off 'em.

Re:He seems to confuse the purpose of copyright (4, Informative)

viperidaenz (2515578) | more than 2 years ago | (#38646492)

And they only loan the artists a bunch of money and won't give them a cent until it is paid back. link [techdirt.com]

Re:He seems to confuse the purpose of copyright (5, Insightful)

Pepebuho (167300) | more than 2 years ago | (#38646128)

Actually, this comes off the royalties paid to Artists. No wonder many of them do not see a cent of royalties because they are still "in the red".
For the record company it is easy to get a better price than what you see here, but the artist will not see it, the record company lives off the arbitrage.

In the end, many successful modern artist go direct to the Internet and bypass this sinkhole.

Re:He seems to confuse the purpose of copyright (3, Insightful)

sjames (1099) | more than 2 years ago | (#38646324)

That's the one thing remaining that the labels actually do, they front the band money much like an angel investor would for a company, but unlike the angel, they demand 100% ownership.

The rest of it isn't actually things the label contributes since 100% of it is charged against the band's paltry royalties. That's how a band can have an album go double platinum and never get a check from the label.

Re:He seems to confuse the purpose of copyright (1)

Stormthirst (66538) | more than 2 years ago | (#38646522)

This is why all the 'bands' these days sound the same. The labels are so risk averse, they are there to only make money - and that means using tried and tested methods/sounds

Re:He seems to confuse the purpose of copyright (4, Insightful)

cheater512 (783349) | more than 2 years ago | (#38646132)

So....our civil rights are being forfeited so the music and movie industries to subsidise musicians/movies?

What was the ratio between cost and profit on Avatar again? Somehow I don't think cost comes in to it - they are rolling in it.

Re:He seems to confuse the purpose of copyright (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38646158)

All completely unnecessary. Look at the punk scene for a practical demonstration of a modern distribution network. Dozens of small labels each supporting a handful of bands feed into a few larger distros focused on a few similar subgenres (Robotic Empire, Plan-It-X, etc.). More popular albums hit shops like Interpunk or All That's Heavy, and the biggest sellers are available on mainstream shops like Amazon or CDUniverse.

If advertising money is all the big labels bring to the table, then they can be readily eliminated. Music will continue to be made and distributed to fans without them. Add in the fact that they demand ownership of the music in return for that money and they are doing more harm than good.

Ahem, FCC? Yeah, could you read this.... (5, Interesting)

TiggertheMad (556308) | more than 2 years ago | (#38646346)

Commercial Regular Rotation for Rock, Alt, Urban (8 weeks) R&R indicator stage 1 (small markets - 10 stations) .$ 15000 R&R indicator stage 2 (medium & small markets - 25 stations) $ 30000 Regional (non-charting) (10-15 stations) $8000 BDS Promotion (7-10 stations) $15000

This looks like it was cut and paste from some sort of official spreadsheet or list. Wasn't there a massive antitrust lawsuit back in the 1970s where the government came down down hard on Pay for Play radio stations? The snippet I pasted above looks to my untrained eye like prices for playing singles. Could you expand on where you got this info, DCTech?

Re:He seems to confuse the purpose of copyright (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38646560)

This isn't even counting Cox for the Middle Peninsula and New Kent

Wrong (5, Informative)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 2 years ago | (#38645690)

Copyright laws are to preserve the right of copying the work for the copyright holder.

The point of copyrights (and patents) is to promote the progress of science and the useful arts by securing for a limited time the exclusive right to use the work(s) to the person(s) who created them as they see fit.

Re:Wrong (5, Insightful)

The End Of Days (1243248) | more than 2 years ago | (#38646124)

It is a limited time. Pirate people just seem to want that limit to be about zero seconds, producers want as much as possible. Obviously both sides are foaming retards who shouldn't get what they want.

Re:Wrong (4, Insightful)

Dahamma (304068) | more than 2 years ago | (#38646302)

It might be a "limited time" if they didn't keep extending it whenever the material of large companies starts to get close said limit. I'm pretty sure the Founding Fathers didn't put this provision in the Constitution so that Mickey Mouse was still "a protected work of art" 200 years from now...

Re:Wrong (1)

drsmithy (35869) | more than 2 years ago | (#38646418)

It is a limited time. Pirate people just seem to want that limit to be about zero seconds, producers want as much as possible. Obviously both sides are foaming retards who shouldn't get what they want.

Timeframes measured in single-digit years would be a good start. Ideally it would be inversely related to the popularity of the work (so more popular works went out of copyright sooner). It also shouldn't persist past the death of the copyright holder.

Re:Wrong (1, Flamebait)

FlyingGuy (989135) | more than 2 years ago | (#38646300)

Good grief who mod'd this insightful and Informative.

it is in point of fact redundant to the post they are commenting on.

If I am the copyright holder of a work, then it is my right to distribute, not distribute, charge outrageous prices for, give away for free or use the manuscript to wipe my if I so choose and no one else's for the term of the copyright.

In the case of a patent then it is my right to manufacture, not manufacture, charge outrageous license fee's, charge no license fee, give away as I so choose and no one else's for the term of the patent.

The tradeoff is that after such term of patent or copyright has expired, then and only then can someone else, in point of fact anyone else, do what they like with it.

Do I like what copyright has been perverted into? emphatically NO Do I like that your can be granted a patent for a business process, once again emphatically NO! Do I like the the fact that you can patent software, yet again emphatically NO!

Is it the law of the land? Emphatically YES! Do I write and e-mail my senators and my congressman making sound and reasoned arguments to get this changed, once again emphatically YES!

Does this do anything towards correcting this abomination? Not so far. Will I keep trying, yes.

Re:He seems to confuse the purpose of copyright (0)

noh8rz2 (2538714) | more than 2 years ago | (#38645734)

In socialist Sweden, copyright just wrote a book saying YOU are irrelevant!

Re:He seems to confuse the purpose of copyright (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38645754)

People don't make art just because they need a quick buck.

Any artist of any form worth their salt is doing it because they geinuinely like the artform, and would do so pay or no pay.

This coming from a musician who uploads his music for free download on the internet.

Re:He seems to confuse the purpose of copyright (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38645856)

If i wasn't AC id mod you up, CRUX OF THE MATTER

Re:He seems to confuse the purpose of copyright (2)

Xanny (2500844) | more than 2 years ago | (#38645936)

But having art also function as a profession that feeds you gets a lot more young artists into it. Alternatively, they would either go into STEM, one of the service fields, the military, or find no purpose in life. Most of the artistic people I know have no scientific inclination, and now this is my opinion, but I feel (personally) that if you are not making something useful (and art is useful, from a cultural perspective) you have diminished purpose.

So when the artist could have made a minimum wage living off selling paintings, if you can duplicate without reciprocation the works of art and he cant survive off just art anymore, he has to take on a menial job that detracts from an otherwise gifted individual.

I don't like copyright, but until you don't need to work to eat and sleep in a bed in your own home, you can't expect artists to work, and more importantly attract budding artists to pursue their talents, to take up the profession. We need to maintain a way for artists who make duplicate digital media to survive off what they make while acknowledging the cost of reproduction is less than a cent on most of this media and not distributing it for free is doing the opposite of what the constitution defines progress as.

Re:He seems to confuse the purpose of copyright (2)

hitmark (640295) | more than 2 years ago | (#38646254)

"dude, you're a barista" comes to mind...

there are more part time artists than there ever will be full time ones.

Re:He seems to confuse the purpose of copyright (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38646452)

It's called culture. Not everyone is a Picasso. Wait till they die tragically then their part-time art will suddenly be worth something to people like you.

Re:He seems to confuse the purpose of copyright (1)

chrismcb (983081) | more than 2 years ago | (#38646204)

People don't make art just because they need a quick buck.

No, but a lot of people do. And those that can get paid to make art, generally create better art than those who do it as a hobby.

Re:He seems to confuse the purpose of copyright (4, Insightful)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 2 years ago | (#38646392)

I doubt it. Consider the last few Metallica and Red Hot Chili Pepper albums. They get paid bigger bucks than ever and they aren't even trying.

The best, most unique art I've seen was painted by community college students with good grades and recognition in the gallery being their only motivation.

Being paid for the work only encourages pandering to the preferred styles of those who have enough money to pay $100 or more for a small painting. Most digital graphic designers are almost always slaves to their customers' requirements.

Re:He seems to confuse the purpose of copyright (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38646422)

Agreed, also a musician who releases his works for free. If people want to hear what I've made, I am happy.

Re:He seems to confuse the purpose of copyright (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38646566)

More importantly: it's a well know fact today that their exists certain 'recipes' to make a successful work of art if what you are aiming for is money.
Certain music rhythms, certain themes for the lyrics, or certain movie plots are guaranteed to be popular and make plenty of sales. This is very different from 50+ years ago when most music, movies, literature and other arts were trying to be artistic, entertaining, intellectual and educational. Art improved society by getting people to think and was also a testimony of the culture of the time.

So do we want tomorrow's culture to be made of 'art' that is based on a formula that brings in monetary profit, or do we want art that reflects our culture and intellectually elevates us?

Personally, I think if revoking copyright laws would remove the incentive to produce art from some artists, as the MPAA and others say, then it's a good riddance. I for one do not want your art if it was made with the sole aim of bringing you money. On the other hand, if you write a song, novel or money because you're trying to actually be artistic and express yourself, then I'm interested*.

*And note that I understand artists need to be able to live off their art. But let's face it, copyright law is not really about helping artists make a living, it's all about helping them be millionaires. I do not believe that if piracy were legal, good artists would make so much less money than they do now that they'd go broke. Instead, I think real artists would still have a public who supports them, and the "I just want money" media-makers would find another job because making media wouldn't make you richer than the average person.

Re:He seems to confuse the purpose of copyright (5, Insightful)

drsmithy (35869) | more than 2 years ago | (#38645864)

Giving credit doesn't even enter into it.

Proper attribution is a part of the moral rights [wikipedia.org] due to an author (and is the only unquestionably valid and supportable aspect of Copyright, IMHO).

Is a TV set or Microwave oven that much different than a song or a book?

Yes.

Unless he proposes putting all authors and on the public teat, I am at a loss to see how anyone can keep writing books any more than I can see why anyone would stock more microwave's in a store from which anyone take anything they wanted.

Your implication is that without public funding or Copyright, creative works would no longer be produced. History demonstrates how ridiculous this is.

Re:He seems to confuse the purpose of copyright (4, Insightful)

icebike (68054) | more than 2 years ago | (#38645954)

Your implication is that without public funding or Copyright, creative works would no longer be produced. History demonstrates how ridiculous this is.

You need a history lesson.

Most of our great works were produced under a system of patronage or direct performance before there existed means of coping.
Even Shakespeare worked for money.

Re:He seems to confuse the purpose of copyright (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38646060)

Even Shakespeare worked for money.

And his works ONLY survived because they were "pirated".

Re:He seems to confuse the purpose of copyright (1)

blueg3 (192743) | more than 2 years ago | (#38646062)

Means of coping? Do you mean means of copying?

There have always been means of copying. Long before Shakespeare's time, the primary enterprise of monks was the duplication of written works. It's just that back in the day, copying was less efficient and less accurate. (You could watch Hamlet and copy it, but you would only get an exact copy of the text if you happened to secure a written copy of it.)

Re:He seems to confuse the purpose of copyright (3, Insightful)

drsmithy (35869) | more than 2 years ago | (#38646152)

Most of our great works were produced under a system of patronage or direct performance before there existed means of coping.

These sorts of "great works" or "direct performances" remain uncopyable today. You can bring up a picture of the Sistine Chapel on a great big TV if you want, but it pales to insignificance when compared with standing inside it.

Even Shakespeare worked for money.

Non-sequitur. I never suggested anyone should work for free.

The simple fact is vast quantities of creative works were produced before Copyright existed, and increasing quantities have been (and continue to be) created since without any thought given to Copyright. The implication that Copyright is an essential part of creative works doesn't stand up to even a cursory examination.

Re:He seems to confuse the purpose of copyright (4, Insightful)

Dahamma (304068) | more than 2 years ago | (#38646474)

The simple fact is vast quantities of creative works were produced before Copyright existed, and increasing quantities have been (and continue to be) created since without any thought given to Copyright. The implication that Copyright is an essential part of creative works doesn't stand up to even a cursory examination.

The big difference is that historically the larger the effort and cost of the work, the larger the effort and cost to copy it. No one is going to pay to copy the Sistine Chapel. And to copy a painting required a skilled artist and almost as much effort as making the original. Even a book would have to be copied by hand with a fountain pen or typeset by hand with a primitive printing press.

Today, whether it's a book or song written by one person or a $200M movie, they are trivially easy and cheap to copy, and if the creators are not given at least some window of time before copying it were freely allowed, there is no way many of these works (especially movies) would make back the initial expense. Then again, that limitation could probably be more like 2-3 years (at which point most movies have made 95%+ of what they will ever make) instead of 120!

The original purpose of Copyright law was very fair - to allow someone to cover their production expenses and make a living before becoming part of the public domain. Now it's been perverted to allow giant media corporations a near permanent dynastic protection to anything they do...

Re:He seems to confuse the purpose of copyright (1)

irtza (893217) | more than 2 years ago | (#38646202)

before there existed means of coping.

Xanax is a relatively new invention. Good thing its available as a generic

Re:He seems to confuse the purpose of copyright (2)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 2 years ago | (#38646252)

And yet Shakespeare did not do it via public funding or copyright. So, it would seem the if drsmithy needs a history lesson, it isn't because he is confused about copyright.

Re:He seems to confuse the purpose of copyright (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 2 years ago | (#38646348)

And patronage and admissions for a performance are not copyright and are not public funding. So what was wrong with GP's comment?

Re:He seems to confuse the purpose of copyright (2)

Pepebuho (167300) | more than 2 years ago | (#38646086)

You are right, at least as the US is involved, Copyright laws have nothing to do with giving credit. (That is the realm of trademark). Nevertheless, the introduction by Europe, specially the french, of so called "moral rights", have introduced "giving credit" into the equation.
Therefore Falkvinge is right when you look at the modern laws of copyright as written in Europe.

Re:He seems to confuse the purpose of copyright (1)

stanlyb (1839382) | more than 2 years ago | (#38646156)

NO, no and, let me say it again: NO.
Copyright is COMPROMISE between the interest of the society, and the individual. It was recognized that one needs to take credit for his innovation, but as every "innovator" is part of the society, and his/her invention is not PURE invention as he/she used the fruits of the same society (did even Steve Jobs made his iPhone out of thin air? From scratch? From the required math/physics/chemistry/etc. laws and rules? DID HE?), so it is STUPID to say the the before mentioned "inventor" is true "inventor" and should take all the credit for his work. Clear enough?

Re:He seems to confuse the purpose of copyright (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38646582)

Sorry, that's not what the law says in any country.

Copyright is s matter of LAW, not your philosophical plaything.

Take your soap box with you and just go away.

Re:He seems to confuse the purpose of copyright (1)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 2 years ago | (#38646182)

It seems a tad self severing for the storefront owner who smashed in the manufacturers and window and slapped on their own label before putting it in their windows, to complain about looting on the grounds that when they do it it doesn't count.

Using your analogy, the people the current media barons are breaking into our homes and stealing our great grandmother's wedding rings. They are then swapping the diamonds between the bands, and declaring it their own.

Re:He seems to confuse the purpose of copyright (1)

icongorilla (2452494) | more than 2 years ago | (#38646206)

Still, it seems a tad self serving for those that smashed into storefronts to suggest repealing laws against looting on the grounds that everyone is doing it. Is a TV set or Microwave oven that much different than a song or a book? The basic premise that a work in digital form can be replicated without depleting the inventory of the author is simply mistaking the the form for the function. The form may be bits and bytes. The function is someone's work product. Unless he proposes putting all authors and on the public teat, I am at a loss to see how anyone can keep writing books any more than I can see why anyone would stock more microwave's in a store from which anyone take anything they wanted.

If you are going to make it illegal to deprive someone of a sale, but not necessarily of physical item, you are entering muddy waters, buddy. You as might as well hold Walmart legally responsible for all the small businesses they put out of business by "depriving them of sales." Please, do not make physical comparisons if it isn't appropriate. But Walmart didn't steal any physical items from them, now did they?

Re:He seems to confuse the purpose of copyright (5, Insightful)

sjames (1099) | more than 2 years ago | (#38646208)

Actually, copyright laws GRANT, not preserve, the exclusive right of copying the work to the copyright holder. More correctly, the copyright laws curtail the rights of everyone but the copyright holder to make copies for a limited time.

This is a considerably different from laws against theft which simply prescribe legal penalties for violating the rights of property that exist independently of those laws.

That is, copyright legislates against a right for a limited time as part of a bargain to cause more works to exist. Property laws support rights that exist independently of the laws.

Given that, the looters are doing a very different thing than the copiers.

GPL (3, Informative)

bonch (38532) | more than 2 years ago | (#38645646)

I have to make the same point I always make in these articles (by the way, isn't this like the third Pirate Party submission in the last month?)--if you do away with copyright laws, you do away with the GPL. The GPL is a copyright license that requires copyright law to have any legal power over what people do with GPL code. Go ahead and take a look at how many times the term copyright appears in the GPL:

- "'The Program' refers to any copyrightable work licensed under this License. Each licensee is addressed as 'you'. 'Licensees' and 'recipients' may be individuals or organizations."
- "All rights granted under this License are granted for the term of copyright on the Program, and are irrevocable provided the stated conditions are met."
- "However, nothing other than this License grants you permission to propagate or modify any covered work. These actions infringe copyright if you do not accept this License. Therefore, by modifying or propagating a covered work, you indicate your acceptance of this License to do so."

And so on. Without copyright laws, the GPL is powerless.

GPL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38645668)

As if it's not already powerless.

Re:GPL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38645752)

[citation needed]

Re:GPL (3, Informative)

SteveFoerster (136027) | more than 2 years ago | (#38645880)

So? If you get rid of copyright, the GPL would have no purpose anyway. Like, in a good way.

Re:GPL (3, Informative)

dido (9125) | more than 2 years ago | (#38646084)

Some years ago, Richard Stallman would have supported that idea. But now, with the changes in the world lately, he sings a rather different tune [gnu.org] . There's that pesky distinction between source and object code to think about and the fact that the copyright licenses for Free Software are also used as a defense against software patents.

Re:GPL (1)

hitmark (640295) | more than 2 years ago | (#38646304)

I think there is a statement by RMS somewhere, claiming that the GPL could be done without copyright. But that copyright makes it easier, as it provided as foundation. I suspect that something equivalent of GPL could be done via contract law.

Re:GPL (1)

jank1887 (815982) | more than 2 years ago | (#38646024)

well, without the copyright, you also wouldn't need the GPL, right? you would be free to decompile, copy, distribute whatever source you want. right? anything you release, anyone else could use.

Re:GPL (1)

martin-boundary (547041) | more than 2 years ago | (#38646054)

And so on. Without copyright laws, the GPL is powerless.

Powerless to do what exactly? Powerless to force people to give back their changes to the community? In a world without copyright, that's already trivial: any member of the community can just copy anything they like and make changes, then publish the new version, etc. All legally. It's a better world, but until then, we use the GPL *today* to undo some of the damage that copyright does *today*.

Re:GPL (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38646064)

and why do you feel to make this point over and over? GPL has nothing to do with copyright reform. GPL is a "solution" to a problem created by american (since stallman is american, you're welcome everyone) copyright law. If american copyright law had been written by Richard Falkvinge the GPL had been worded differently in order to address any problems with that particular subset of laws (or lack of) required to attain the goal of free software.

I don't think anyone has ever (ok, that's a blatant lie - Microsoft at least prefers people using their stuff for free) argued that "free" software as in propriatary software "liberated" through force or trechery, aka "warez", is something anyone given sufficently advanced alternatives would or should want. "Free software", as in FOSS, is something everyone (except rent seekers and monopol seeker ofc) ought to want as it at the very least sets a bar which other "freeware", "adware", "trialware", "badge-ware" etc. should surpass. Pirates know this, pirates just don't care. Pirates do it for lulz and bits of eight.

There is little overlap between outright pirate supporters and FOSS users/developers and your "point" is a red herring trying to get FOSS "people" onto the "we need stricter copyright laws" bandwagon (pirates don't care, the "entertainment industry" are already trying to extend copyrights until forever, so who else are you trying to convince?). In fact, GPL would not suffer from copyrighted materials entering the public domain sooner, which is a common suggesion since "certain intrests" moved the goalpost on that particular subject.

so to counter your "Without copyright laws, the GPL is powerless." I'd argue that "even with copyright reform, GPL is still useful".

Re:GPL (1)

CrystalFalcon (233559) | more than 2 years ago | (#38646072)

The GPL is intentionally written to match the strength of the copyright monopoly. If the copyright monopoly strengthens, so does the GPL. If it weakens, so does the GPL, too.

In the case of an abolished copyright monopoly, the GPL is also effectively abolished, but this is by its original design.

Re:GPL (1)

AK Marc (707885) | more than 2 years ago | (#38646308)

And many supporters of the GPL would rather have no copyright than what we have now. The GPL would never have existed if copyright didn't. Yes, it'll lose its teeth if copyright is abolished, but it won't matter. Abolish copyright. Make DRM illegal, and there would be no need for the GPL. Reverse engineer anything you need from their released binaries. And many programs are source code (Perl scripts and such), in which case the GPL would be strictly enforced by the abolition of copyright.

No longer leader (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38645720)

Rick Falkvinge founded the party in jan 1 2006 and was it's leader for exactly 5 years. Current leader is Anna Troberg

Original article is on Techdirt (5, Informative)

CrystalFalcon (233559) | more than 2 years ago | (#38645730)

Use the second link.

The original source of this message is the column on Techdirt [techdirt.com] named It is time to stop pretending to endorse the copyright monopoly. The ITWorld reporter (the first link in the story) muddles the message to some degree, and also introduces heavy bias into the story (see the headers over the comments section, for instance).

The original message is that yes, the copyright monopoly (or four/five monopolies) are ridiculous, but we should stop pretending to support them all while criticizing the draconian laws that are de facto needed to sustain them. IT World muddles this to that we should stop "following" the copyright monopoly laws. That is a different message (which I might have said too, but not in this particular article).

Re:Original article is on Techdirt (5, Informative)

CrystalFalcon (233559) | more than 2 years ago | (#38645746)

Also, I have not been the leader of the Swedish Pirate Party for a bit over a year. I am its founder and I led it for its first five years. Anna Troberg is the current leader of the Swedish Pirate Party.

Cheers,
Rick

Re:Original article is on Techdirt (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38646478)

DOH!!

Re:Original article is on Techdirt (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38646394)

Civilization needs people like you. Finally a leader I can stand behind.

Re:Original article is on Techdirt (2)

CrystalFalcon (233559) | more than 2 years ago | (#38646470)

Thank you, good sir. Those are very kind words.

Although, I prefer the swarm as an organization rather than a hierarchical structure, so "stand behind a leader" isn't really what happens when I work. When I "lead", in quotes, I say out loud that I'm going to do something to accomplish a goal, and that others are welcome to follow me in that action if they like. Usually, a couple of hundred or thousand do.

Othertimes, other people in the swarm -- or the group as a whole -- decides on a course of action that I take part in.

I don't command military style. (Despite holding officer's rank in the Swedish Army, for trivia.)

Cheers,
Rick

Keep the concept of copyright (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 2 years ago | (#38645738)

Just make it more reasonable and not oppressive. The idea of getting credit isn't bad, its just morphed over the decades into something evil.

Typical Politician (3, Interesting)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 2 years ago | (#38645820)

He sounds like a typical politician, making big bold lies that are more descriptive of how he sees the world than how it is.

People do, generally, follow copyright. Millions of people buy books or DVDs or music or software. Those that don't often give reasons like "I wanted to try it before buying it" or "It's not available for sale [where I live]/[in a format I want]" or "I can't afford it anyway", suggesting that they would follow the laws given the right circumstances.

It's good that people generally follow these laws, because the core idea of copyright (that creators have a right to be reimbursed for their hard work) is a good one.

Now, the statement that "Copyright laws are ridiculous" is unambiguously true. Any law that suggests the unauthorized download of MP3s causes trillions of dollars worth of damage to the economy is clearly insane. But suggesting that we should have no protection for creators at all is equally insane. It's just a nice fiery soundbite intended to get his supporters all worked up, so that they'll donate more or participate in get out the vote efforts, etc.

We need copyright reform, and hopefully the pirate parties draw attention to that fact. But copyright abolition is a cure worse than the disease.

Re:Typical Politician (1)

SteveFoerster (136027) | more than 2 years ago | (#38645908)

But copyright abolition is a cure worse than the disease.

Only for those on the corporate side of the copyright-based industries. Everyone else would be better off, even most creators.

Re:Typical Politician (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38645976)

No, the core idea (in the US) is that a particular expressions of an idea is yours, and cannot be appropriated by someone else. Whether you actually get recompensed for your expression is irrelevant in theory. We all in an informal manner accept the basics of copyrights (and patents and...) when someone says something that we know someone else said before, and we get on the person for claiming it is their idea when it really isn't.

Copyright abolition, at least for the current systems of laws and enforcement measures, are way, WAY overreaching.

Re:Typical Politician (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38646458)

Huh? Copyright is quite separate from attribution. Claiming someone else's work/ideas as your own is plagiarism [wikipedia.org] . It's fraudulant but not necessary copyright infringement.

Re:Typical Politician (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38646094)

Millions of people buy books or DVDs or music or software.

proof? copyright moguls own "stats" suggest the total "theft" by piracy is greater than their industry revenue

It's good that people generally follow these laws, because the core idea of copyright (that creators have a right to be reimbursed for their hard work) is a good one.

An opinion that many rational people might find disagreeable. e.g. in my view, periods of rapid innovation and strong cultural impacts have not been mired by onerous copyright law or these laws were ignored

But suggesting that we should have no protection for creators at all is equally insane. It's just a nice fiery soundbite intended to get his supporters all worked up, so that they'll donate more or participate in get out the vote efforts, etc.

Another opinion that people such as myself find disagreeable. The is no convincing empirical evidence that supports your notion that copyright is inherently good or that the absence of copyright protection is insane. You can find specific examples to your hearts content, but you by no means can present your arbitrary indoctrinated belief as a fact.

Re:Typical Politician (5, Interesting)

AK Marc (707885) | more than 2 years ago | (#38646504)

I violate copyright because I treat my property as mine. I lend it, perform it in "public" and do whatever I want with it, regardless of the law. The problem with copyright is that the law doesn't follow the goal anymore. It doesn't protect creators when few creators retain rights to their creations. Creators don't have a right to be reimbursed for their hard work. They are reimbursed for freely giving that hard work to the Public Domain. However, they are not living up to their end of the bargain. Effectively nothing has entered Public Domain since Mickey was created, and possibly never will. I don't disagree that copyright is a noble idea. Bribe creators to release creations (or publish specs of inventions). But the current system is worse than abolition.

But copyright abolition is a cure worse than the disease.

The movie industry would bitch and moan for 5-10 years, then get back to business as usual, with movies being played in theaters and on TV, even if DVDs never get released (and likely, DVDs would be released at a $5-$10 price point, rather than the $30 price point most new DVDs list at). Books would stay as is. The result of complete abolition of copyright would be an explosion in music and software the likes of which the planet has never seen. Copyright is holding innovation back more than helping at this point, and doing so by punishing the general public. With it gone, more music would be out there, with no decrease in quality, and app store sized games would be released by the millions. Consoles would probably move back to cartridges and flash-based propriatary storage to maintain a digitial lock on games, and PC games would crash, but the fallout of the abolition would be a huge jump forward in Public knowledge, which was the original point of copyright. The US would be much much better off without copyright. I've visited some places with no software protections, and they are vibrant economies of software creation. You can code whatever you want without worrying that someone else has locked up some feature you thought up. Most software patents are obvious and not novel, and elimination of that hurdle increases programming output.

I can't see any likely future in which we'd be better off with the course we've set vs complete abolition of all IP laws. It would take some getting used to, and some would purposefully sabotage themselves to prove a point, but overall, the world would be a much better place if all I laws (patents as well) were abolished, than to continue the system as done today.

Of course, there is a middle ground, closer to what existed when the Constitution was first ratified where the terms were much shorter and patents could only be of "things" rather than "thoughts" that is better than either extreme. But that was perverted to what we have now, so I'd opt for complete abolition than a middle ground which the content exploiters immediately strive to overthrow, as they have already done once.

Shorter copyright (4, Interesting)

rgbrenner (317308) | more than 2 years ago | (#38645874)

Let's not pretend that copyright doesn't have a good purpose. If I create a new product (w/o a patent), it can take time for other people to copy it. They have to reverse engineer it, and figure out how everything works. And their copy might not be as good as my version.

But with books, music, software... It can be copied the day it's released. And every copy is an exact perfect duplicate. My copy is just as good as another persons copy.

And that difference, means it would be nearly impossible to monetize anything except physical products. So copyrights are needed and are important.

BUT that doesn't mean it should be protected for a 100+ years. Is the phone from 1876 as important today as it was then? Is last decades music listened to as much as music that was released last week? Are books from 100 years ago as popular as today's bestsellers? Copyrighted material becomes worth less as time passes.

After 10 years or so, very few copyrighted works are worth more than a fraction of what they were originally.

So set a 10 year copyright. I would even go for 15 years.. but that's starting to become excessive.

Re:Shorter copyright (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38646110)

Is last decades music listened to as much as music that was released last week?

You don't live in a radio market where Classic Rock stations rule, do you?

Re:Shorter copyright (3, Interesting)

White Flame (1074973) | more than 2 years ago | (#38646596)

"Classic" things have had their time, and that time has passed. If those specific works are still around, they should have entered culture and be in the public domain as is the *default* without the government-granted copyright protection.

Re:Shorter copyright (1)

misexistentialist (1537887) | more than 2 years ago | (#38646536)

And that difference, means it would be nearly impossible to monetize anything except physical products.

Even at the height of the internet (now passed), book, film, and music "properties" were still making 100s of millions and billions of dollars.

Re:Shorter copyright (1)

AK Marc (707885) | more than 2 years ago | (#38646590)

But with books, music, software... It can be copied the day it's released. And every copy is an exact perfect duplicate. My copy is just as good as another persons copy.

So only release it on vinyl. Only sell it at concerts. There are plenty of options to "force" people to get it from you or get an inferior copy. That you can't think of any doesn't make a good argument. "I'm too stupid to solve this problem I made up, so it proves nobody else could ever solve a similar problem." I read that logic daily on places like Slashdot, and I've never once seen the argument by ignorance work. And for books, you can get a jump to market. You go, order 1,000,000 copies from Random House at $1.50 each. Print them all. Send them to Amazon and B&N/Borders. Then put them on sale for $5 each. If it's any good, people will buy it. and nobody will pirate it. It'd cost more than the $5 to make a good quality copy, and anyone printing another through a publisher will have to scan to electronic, OCR, reformat, and then print it, unless they just make an exact duplicate, in which case, you'll have a flood of inferior product (not perfect, but an analog copy of a book) and they'll still spend more per copy to make it than you did, so you'll have price pressure.

Though, this would break the model of releasing the $50 hardcover 6 months before the $20 paperback (and then the $10 paperback 6 months after that). But the goal isn't to prove there'd be no changes to anyone's business model, but instead show that a copyright-less world will still leave room for first to market and momentum to squeeze out competitors without an artificial monopoly based solely on government force.

In other news: (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38645884)

Water has been declared wet.

Exponential Growth (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38645910)

Allow any work to be copyrighted for 1 year without paying any fees. Let that be the "copyright from the moment your pen touches the paper".

Beyond Year 1, the cost of extending a copyright should be $0.01 * 2 ^ (Year #).

So, renewing the copyright for Year 2 costs $0.04.
Year 10 is $10.24

Copyright protection for a decade is affordable for anyone, and sometimes cheaper than coffee.

Year 20 is $10,485.76

Year 30 is $10,737,418.24

Year 40 is $10,995,116,277.76

So it provides everybody with a reasonable measure of copyright protection.
It provides corporate entities a way to keep copyrights on things that are very profitable.
It ensures that all works will eventually fall to the public domain.

Why not?

Re:Exponential Growth (5, Insightful)

CODiNE (27417) | more than 2 years ago | (#38646518)

Why not?

Because you don't want Disney causing runaway inflation just to keep Mickey out of the public domain.

Of course! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38645926)

Eliminate laws against stealing, and you can do anything you want! Genius!

Reality: do that and NO ONE will create much of anything. Only fucking douchebag communists think people are that generous with their lives. Usually by force.

Re:Of course! (2)

CrystalFalcon (233559) | more than 2 years ago | (#38646004)

In the reality where I live, GNU/Linux and Wikipedia have been proven to exist despite explicitly renouncing the copyright monopoly and encouraging copying.

Re:Of course! (-1, Flamebait)

FlyingGuy (989135) | more than 2 years ago | (#38646364)

Either your an idiot who does not get the point, or this is just pure flame bate.

So i ask you, which is it?

Re:Of course! (1)

AK Marc (707885) | more than 2 years ago | (#38646600)

If the laws against stealing were repealed tomorrow, would you start robbing stores daily? I don't need a law against murder to not murder. The fact you do indicates you are mentally ill, not that laws are the only things keeping the population civilized.

Does this mean crappier story-telling? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38645972)

I like movies, sorry but what you're suggesting kills off a product that I can really appreciate.

copyright laws are worthless (1)

arbiter1 (1204146) | more than 2 years ago | (#38645982)

They can only be enforced in country they are passed in and internet in itself is its own country with no laws what so ever cause not 1 countries laws can apply to it.

Imagine there's no copyright (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38646020)

If you can't do it yourself, there's a book for that. Read Imagine There Is No Copyright and No Cultural Conglomorates Too... [networkcultures.org] . PDF, 82 pages, free download -- obviously.

So yes, Falkvinge has a point.

Ya don't have the right (0)

Stan92057 (737634) | more than 2 years ago | (#38646034)

Ya don't have the right to take, use, anything you don't own. Ya cant give away things you didn't make or own. And that includes other peoples ideas as well. SOPA is going to pass because our government will not allow theft digital or other wise. Now everyones going to pay. Good jobs ya bums.

Re:Ya don't have the right (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 2 years ago | (#38646460)

I own a copy of some music. You like it? Let me MAKE you a copy! :-)

BTW, ideas are explicitly NOT granted any sort of legal protection.

Re:Ya don't have the right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38646516)

What do you mean by take? What do you mean by own? How do you make or own an idea?

Using copyright for the Right things... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38646172)

The problem with copyrighting isn't in the fact that people aren't obeying the laws in regards to it, it's the fact that companies like the RIAA are seeking to make disporportionate profits from what they're selling. Consider some nameless but popular artist who's talented and popular. So they make a hit song, record it, have it mixed, post-production blah, cd cover design and all that. Now, does that take the artist 20 million dollars worth of effort to do? Yes, their talent is special and unique, we wouldn't want them to stop making music but is their pay proportionate to what they put into it? Even with my favorite artists, I'd have to give that a "no." I know professional musicians and I know how much effort they put in but at the same time, there are people I know in every field who put in that much and don't make millions -- and yes, with an end-result that yields something talent-filled, personal, and heartfelt as well (I'm not comparing distinctly different things here).

This is inherent in the film and recording industries. They're like a bunch of used car salesman selling a bunch of used 1980 Hondas for 30k each. And now that they've done such a great job of stealing money out of our pockets, they have a problem when we do the same to them...

So it doesn't feel so good, does it? F***ing deal with it...WE did!

Re:Using copyright for the Right things... (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38646240)

Unless you reach a level of popularity that borders on lottery-winning luck, you will not see millions from your label contract. The labels may steal from the consumer's pockets, but they are also throttling the money out of the artists naive enough to sign to them.

not totally ridiculous, just too much (3, Insightful)

tverbeek (457094) | more than 2 years ago | (#38646220)

The assumption that no one respects copyright laws is wishful thinking, extrapolating from "none of my friends" or "no one I know" to assume that everyone thinks that way. It's incorrect.

I respect copyright, for one. So do many people I know, including - not coincidentally - a lot of musicians, writers, artists, and actors. Not just as it applies to their own work, but as it applies to others' work. It isn't just faceless corporations on one side of the debate, and people on the other.

I used to ignore copyright... until I started producing works of my own, and realized that the effort that goes into creating a really great song, an entertaining movie, a well-crafted story, or a well-rendered illustration deserves compensation. I also happen to think that copyright terms are ridiculously long, and often too restrictive. But those problems don't negate the worthwhile goal outlined in the US Constitution: to promote the arts by giving creators temporary control over their work.

Re:not totally ridiculous, just too much (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38646338)

I wish everyone else could have this epiphany.

There's Not Enough Lawyers! (4, Interesting)

tunapez (1161697) | more than 2 years ago | (#38646322)

I was just reading about this in Lessig's book, "Free Culture" [amazon.com] today. I can't recommend the book enough!
I never knew Walt Disney's Steamboat Mickey [wikipedia.org] infringed on Steamboat Bill, Jr [wikipedia.org] which infringed on the song Steamboat Bill [wikipedia.org] . Ironic, isn't it? Too bad the madness isn't stopping anytime soon...

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