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Interview With Lawrence Lessig On Future Rights

Zonk posted more than 9 years ago | from the weighty-issues dept.

The Courts 148

tres3 writes "In an interview with the O'Reilly Network Mr. Lessig discusses many current issues that may have future legal implications. He starts with MGM's request for Certiorari in the Grokster case. His conclusion is that ReplayTV was forced out of business by a legal challenge, not a legal victory. Lessig continues on to discuss, among other things, The Creative Commons and their new Sampling License and how it may affect the way that some movies and music, that contain samples from other sources, are made in the future. From the article: 'So the same act of creativity in some sense, you know, taking, creating, mixing out of what other people do, is legal in the text world and illegal in the digital media world.'"

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First Post... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11792611)

while smoking out with several species of small furry animals gathered together in a cave and grooving with a pict. Dig?

All I have to say is... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11792707)

WHAT.....THE.....FUCK?!?!?!

Re:All I have to say is... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11792827)

It's Pink Floyd. Maybe some people can resample Pink Floyd, add a back-beat, and claim that they wrote it. I mean that is cool, right? But fuck Roland because he copies 95% of people's work and adds 5% content. But its OK if it's music, because if I change some stuff around it's like I wrote it myself, right?

HELP (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11792616)

WiFi signals jammed. Niggers using advanced Nig Ray technology.

LOL (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11792713)

Just hope they don't inject you with their Gay Nigger Seed virus.

I find it funny that the parent is modded Offtopic rather than Flamebait or Troll. This will probably change, though.

Article too long. Brain hurt. Sorry. (-1, Offtopic)

ABeowulfCluster (854634) | more than 9 years ago | (#11792654)

Can't type anything legible.

Re:Article too long. Brain hurt. Sorry. (1)

ggvaidya (747058) | more than 9 years ago | (#11792944)

Maybe if we had a Beowulf cluster to try and understand ...

Oops, never mind.

What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11792682)

So is it ok to make a collage of short "borrowed" video clips or not? If so, fortunes could be made from making compilations of other works into one freakish body. Maybe this issue really doesn't need to be delved into any deeper...

Re:What? (0, Troll)

ABeowulfCluster (854634) | more than 9 years ago | (#11792691)

It's ok to make collages as long as you remain an 'anonymous coward', otherwise you'll get sued.

Re:What? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11792696)

tru dat

Re:What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11792798)

They will just subpoena your ip from slashdot and sue you anyway

Re:What? (0, Offtopic)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 9 years ago | (#11792826)

What good is an ip for people with temporary IPs (one of the few advantages of dial-up is not having a static ip)?

Re:What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11792855)

Think your ISP doesn't keep track of who is using what IP?

Hope that illegal collection is well encrypted.

Re:What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11793358)

You must know almost nothing about computers: Slashdot doesn't have your IP, they just have a hash of it (read the Slashcode!)

Lawrence Lessig != Gotthold Lessing (5, Insightful)

Tripax (162140) | more than 9 years ago | (#11792772)

Whenever I see Lessig in the headlines, I always think of having to read "The Three Ring Parable" [pitt.edu] in German class. Luckily, Lessig talks a lot about making a collage of different ideas in terms of technology, While Lessing talked about making a collage of different ideas in terms of philosophy (or more precisely, religion).

In any case, I would like to draw out the comparison a bit further. Nathan the Wise [gutenberg.org] was Lessing's play in favor of religious toleration, expanding what was allowable thought at the time. Lessing may have been wrong about a lot, but pushing that envelope was a great thing. Lessig too risks his reputation by pushing the envelope. In the future, we will probably see intellectual property law very differently, thanks to the discussions going on now.

(from the interview)
. . . imagine a group of butchers who've spent their lives dealing with cut-up meat. That's the way they understand how to make money, to cut up meat and sell it in the most efficient way. And then they come across a racehorse and, of course, their first intuition is, here's a valuable resource--we'll cut it up and sell it in bits. But all of us recognize that the racehorse is more valuable without being ground into this system of butchery if it gets to be used in this different way.

And that's the way I think we should think about our culture. Their conception of how to make money off the culture is to cut it up and sell it like pieces of dead meat. And that's of course valuable for butchers, but it's not clear it's valuable for society. If all content is locked in these little separate containers and you have to seek permission to do anything with it, then a huge potential, both economic and social, will have been lost.

Lessig vs. Lessig (or, CC vs. remix compulsory) (4, Interesting)

turnstyle (588788) | more than 9 years ago | (#11793293)

Back during the hype over Danger Mouse's Grey Album, I noted this from the Creative Commons:

"We work to offer creators a best-of-both-worlds way to protect their works while encouraging certain uses of them -- to declare 'some rights reserved.'"

Among the rights an artist may choose to reserve when configuring their Creative Commons license is "No Derivative Works," explained in cartoon here [creativecommons.org] .

Indeed, the Creative Commons' leading example musician is Roger McGuinn who: "chose the Creative Commons license that maximizes a combination of free distribution with artistic control and integrity." -- note that Roger McGuinn chose "No Derivative Works."

However, Larry Lessig would take that right away, from a post to his blog [lessig.org] :

"Should the law give DJ Danger Mouse the right to remix without permission? I think so, though I understand how others find the matter a bit more grey."

"Should the law give DJ Danger Mouse a compulsory right to remix? That is, the right, conditioned upon his paying a small fee per sale? Again, I think so, and again, you might find this a bit less grey."

So, what exactly does Creative Commons mean by "some rights reserved" -- would it perhaps be more accurate if they said: "some rights reserved until we can change the laws to take those rights away"?

Re:Lessig vs. Lessig (or, CC vs. remix compulsory) (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11794127)

Well that's the way the law works. It was legal to smoke opium in America once upon a time too.

But there are some inate laws of the jungle that people are compelled to follow. An inbred concept of where fairness ends and unfairness begins. Even The Constitution recognizes that all ideas inherently, and ultimately belong to a society as a whole. For the sole purpose of fostering their accelerated creation, the government is empowered to step in, and fight the inexorable tide of the marketplace and grant limited monopolies for all the new ideas. Good or bad. But we've slid a little more towards oligarchy/plutocracy than republic of late. So those once limited monopolies aren't. Fundementally, any disclosed intellectual property is an artificial entitlement. And where that prevents other people from innovating, is an aberrant and unintended pitfall of a system turned against itself.

future of the /. effet (1, Offtopic)

bathmann (797470) | more than 9 years ago | (#11792701)

As it gets shared, relying on an infrastructure that keeps the cost of delivery low becomes essential. So if you're a filmmaker and you have a great new documentary film you want to make available on the internet, if you post it on your web site and it becomes successful, then you go bankrupt.

Man, Mirrors and torrents are so counterrevolutionary! I'll /. your site!

On a side note, he also express some interesting thoughts on the upcoming Grokster's decision.

More struggle but ... (2, Insightful)

page275 (862917) | more than 9 years ago | (#11792711)

Now we all concern about digital world rights ... but we also have to admit the very old fact that "Every lock has a fake key"..

Re:More struggle but ... (1)

mboverload (657893) | more than 9 years ago | (#11793205)

Rights in the Future:

Search results corrupted. Please wait while the authorities arrive at your location.

p2p company liability (5, Insightful)

FidelCatsro (861135) | more than 9 years ago | (#11792745)

"Lessig: This is not a constitutional question in the Grokster case at all. The Grokster case is just a question of whether the court should apply a secondary liability on the manufacturer because the product was used illegally by a customer."

Out of intrest , are the makers of guns liable.
if not then why not and then why should p2p companys, With a gun you can break far greater laws than with emule .

Re:p2p company liability (5, Insightful)

mankey wanker (673345) | more than 9 years ago | (#11792789)

Oh, you're not paying attention...

The violation of commercial property rights is the worst possible crime imaginable. Taking a human life merely decreases the surplus population.

Corporations are eternal. People come and go.

Re:p2p company liability (4, Funny)

rthille (8526) | more than 9 years ago | (#11792874)

No, you don't understand. Killing people^H^H^H^H^H^H consumers reduces corporate sales and profits. That's the reason murder is illegal.

Re:p2p company liability (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11792956)

In that case , im off to um reduce some profit margins and narrow a market

Re:p2p company liability (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11793052)

That explain why it is legal to kill people who are not consumers (like by humanitarian bombing)

Good God that's depressing (1)

CrystalFalcon (233559) | more than 9 years ago | (#11793539)

That hit just too close to home to be funny. I forced myself to chuckle, then found myself just shaking my head.

Re:p2p company liability (0)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 9 years ago | (#11792887)

Actually the human population in America has a negative growth rate. So you don't have as much of a surplus as you think. One day your laws may reflect that. Maybe.

Re:p2p company liability (1)

Aeiri (713218) | more than 9 years ago | (#11793115)

Actually the human population in America has a negative growth rate. So you don't have as much of a surplus as you think. One day your laws may reflect that. Maybe.

So... rape is going to be less of a crime?

Re:p2p company liability (-1, Flamebait)

mboverload (657893) | more than 9 years ago | (#11793210)

In most animals that sexually reproduce rape is the method of choice, you know.

Re:p2p company liability (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11792794)

Didn't you know? A human life ended by means of a gun isn't worth as much as a piece of music, or a movie.

Re:p2p company liability (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11793074)

Didn't you know? A human life ended by means of a gun isn't worth as much as a piece of music, or a movie.

I beg to differ, sir! Taking a few of those "worthless" human lives helped me win a free trip to a state-sponsored resort. Don't knock it till you've tried it!

What? Guns worse than P2P? (1, Insightful)

Alwin Henseler (640539) | more than 9 years ago | (#11792933)

With a gun you can break far greater laws than with emule.

Yes, one would expect a view like that from reasonable people. But you know, in the US, if you walk around pointing guns at people: business as usual. But if somebody drops his pants in the middle of the street, or worse, shares a movie over P2P, then everybody goes crazy.

Weird folks, those Americans.

Re:What? Guns worse than P2P? (1)

heinousjay (683506) | more than 9 years ago | (#11793708)

Are you sure you didn't mean to say USian? After all, in the America-bashing karma whore post, it is customary.

As a European, I understand that. Probably you're a USian yourself.

Re:p2p company liability (1)

northcat (827059) | more than 9 years ago | (#11793704)

I agree that P2P makers shouldn't be liable for illegal things happening on P2P networks. But your analogy is wrong. Simply giving out guns to everybody without cheking whether the person has a gun license is illegal. And a person should have proper reasons for a gun license (at least here. Don't know about USA). Also, guns are more important as they are necessary for (some) people to protect their or someone else' life (among other important reasons). P2P isn't *so* important.

Uh oh (4, Funny)

fenodyree (802102) | more than 9 years ago | (#11792752)

This is resampling the digital text of the alphabet, am I infringing? I often ponder, Opps, there is someone at the door, hold on.....

Re:Uh oh (1)

FidelCatsro (861135) | more than 9 years ago | (#11792821)

Mod parent something other than flamebait.
He is making a point in perhaps in a slightly silly way , but still a good point.
Where does it end , if i quote people`s works in a work of my own ,am I liable.

Taned, rested, ready (4, Funny)

rs79 (71822) | more than 9 years ago | (#11792863)

This is resampling the digital text of the alphabet, am I infringing? I often ponder, Opps, there is someone at the door, hold on

Mod parent something other than flamebait.
He is making a point in perhaps in a slightly silly way , but still a good point.
Where does it end , if i quote people`s works in a work of my own, am I liable.


It's Oscar (tm) night eve and the MPAA wonks are coked up and have mod points.

Re:Uh oh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11792856)

The parent is funny, not flamebait. Oh well, Slashmod do their thing as usual.

Ominous (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11792756)

The upcoming Supreme Court decision re: Grokster looks ominous. The general consensus among experts is that the Supreme Court would not have accepted the case, had they been happy to let the Appeals decision ride. Expect Betamax to be overturned.

Ironic (5, Funny)

AntiPasto (168263) | more than 9 years ago | (#11792758)

... how this article for me loaded with an audio-enabled ad for Vonage that created a derivative work in my headphones over top of Radiohead.... hrmm... Did they have a license to do that in my ears?

Customers kill producers (4, Funny)

page275 (862917) | more than 9 years ago | (#11792768)

It sounds just like: Every kitchen tools producers need to be sued because some of their customers use those tools in 55% of murder cases.

Re:Customers kill producers (3, Funny)

Frodo Crockett (861942) | more than 9 years ago | (#11793084)

Sounds like we need to outlaw everything that can be used to commit a crime. I'll miss my opposeable thumbs (and other parts of my body), but I'm sure society will be better off.

Who cars about murder? (1)

mwa (26272) | more than 9 years ago | (#11793512)

All kitchen tools are used to violate the copyright of recipe authors! We must outlaw cooking utensils immediately! Kids are being taught to create infringing works every day with these things. Someone, please, think of the children!

Unconstiutional... (5, Insightful)

tidewaterblues (784797) | more than 9 years ago | (#11792769)

For quite some time now I have been of the opinion that the prohibition of the creation if derivative works that copyright imposes is outside of the understanding of the original concept, and in addition to being insainly dangerious to society, is also unconstituional. ... Actually, I should qualify what I just said, I am not just of the opinion that the prohibition is unconstitutional, I believe it is, in fact, a direct violation of the Natural Law. It is, in fact, morally evil on some level to prevent other's from re-interpreting pre-existing creative-thoughts into their own, substantially new ideas. I may be completely alone in my views, and I appreciate that they do not mess with the common-sense morality of our culture (cf. authors and Movie rights, for example). But I do think it is a place where discussion can begin.

I think this is appropiate here .... (5, Insightful)

argoff (142580) | more than 9 years ago | (#11792854)

A Bitter Protest Against Copyrights

If they said there was no incentive to do good things unless the government could choose your religion ... or they said there is no incentive to grow food, unless farmers could rip up your garden ... most people would see these as the awful values that they are. But if they say that there is no incentive to make beneficial or creative works without the power to restrict what people copy (copyrights), then all too many people just take it on faith. They don't even question it, as if incentive makes rights, as if society would fall apart without them. But just as much of the Renaissance happened without copyrights so should the information age.

Calling copyrights "intellectual property" is intellectually dishonest. The moral and historical foundation of property derives from mutual respect and the fact that not everybody can posses something at the same time. The foundation of copyrights derives from kings who granted publishers monopolies in return for not publishing bad things about the monarchy. Copyrights are about control, censorship, and not a free market property. In fact, they cheapen property rights by treating things that have natural limits in supply such as food, shelter, and medicine like information that does not.

Worse, is how people who copy are slandered with names such as "thief" and "pirate", as if copying was akin to boarding a ship and murdering people. They are even accused of stealing food out of the mouths of starving artists. Yet these verbal assaults hide a cold and calculated lie, the one that says "copyrights benefit creative people". The truth is that for every artist or writer that has made it "big", there are unmentioned thousands who copyrights haven't helped a bit, hindered, or even destroyed. Some are even bared or sued from sharing their own creations in public, others die with the world never truly knowing their artistic genius as the mass media drowns them out. Most creators are far better off sharing and distributing their creations freely to make a reputation for themselves. Copyrights not only cause them to be drowned out in a sea of hype, but do so deceptively.

However, these aren't the only problems related to copyrights. They are just a sample of many that are constantly blown off, glossed over, or ignored. Like the failures of Hollywood culture, the failures of big media to offer quality material, the failures of the market to offer competitively priced books for college students while tabloids are dirt cheap, and massive anti-trust behavior in the software industry to name a few. Their hypocritical pleas like, "how will we make money without copyrights?" is like a mobster asking "how will I make money with out victims extort?"

The burdens of imposing copyrights might have been bearable a quarter century ago when the biggest issue was copy machines. But today in the information age there is no technical distinction between copyright content and free speech content. Information is so easy to copy and manipulate, there can be no "middle ground".Our society must make a choice: Our communications will either half to be monitored or free, our privacy will either half to intruded or protected. Our speech, writing, and free expression will either half to be abridged or unabridged. Any institution that has the power to control one, must have the power to control all. Copyrights are like a vine that will never stop growing to choke off our freedoms until we cut it of at the root!

Consider parallels to other periods of transition like the industrial revolution:

History teaches that during the 1800's there were many people who believed that the entire meaning and purpose of the industrial revolution was to leverage inventions like the cotton gin to expand their plantations for unlimited growth and profit. Ironically just the opposite was true,the industrial revolution demanded a mobile and skilled workforce.

First, they responded by making slavery last forever, and making laws so harsh you couldn't even teach a colored person how to read. Then they responded by trying to micro-regulate the northern states, then they responded by trying to break off from the Union and fence themselves off from the rest of the world causing all hell to break loose.

Today many in media circles believe that the entire meaning and purpose of the information age is to use inventions like the Internet to leverage their copyright holdings to the far reaches of the earth for unlimited growth and profit. Ironically, just the opposite is true, the information age demands the unrestricted flow of information.

First, they responded my making copyrights last effectively forever, then they responded by making it so that illegal copying could be punished worse than rape, then they tried to micro-regulate the technology industries with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) and now they are trying to fence the information they control off from the rest of the world with Digital Rights Management (DRM). We are now at the point where society must tell them to go to hell.

Just because an intuition calls something a property right doesn't mean that it is. Just because an institution calls something an incentive, doesn't mean that it is. Just because an institution looks successful on the surface, doesn't mean that is is. Just because an institution has been around awhile, doesn't mean it can't or shouldn't fail. An institution backed up by law and the full force of government is worthless if it is unjust. It is time for time for the institution of copyrights to die in the history of the information age!

Unethical laws like the DMCA, endless copyright extensions, billion dollar lawsuits, are not just about problems that haven't been worked out yet, but symptoms of a poor belief system being brought to its logical conclusion. All efforts to find a "middle ground" have failed.All those who've tried have been exploited to pacify the masses as the next generation of restrictive laws is rammed down our throat. But they have failed not in that they have lost the "middle ground" but that they have not seen that contrary to copyright monopolies, the right to copy, share, and distribute information is a right!

Like freedom of religion, and freedom of the press, the right to copy things is a moral right, a right that exists above government. It is an inherent right that describes a nature of human existence that lives in us from the time we are born. If the rules of politics were created because it is better to fight wars with information and discussion than with bloodshed, the rules of copyrights must die because it is better to fight unjust control of these with defiance than with systems.

Defiance by believing that people have rights even when they appear contrary to the system or the popular mob. Defiance, by shedding the guilt and shame that those who impose copyrights try to impose on us and understanding that they are the ones who should feel guilty and shameful. Defiance by believing that free markets are about just property rights and economic freedom, and not fraudulent "property" definitions. Defiance by using and making free software, media, and open formats whenever possible. Defiance by copying and sharing creative works whenever able, and embracing new technologies like peer-to-peer networks. And finally, defiance by rejecting and challenging such lies as - copyrights "benefit artists", people who copy are "pirates", copyrights are "intellectual property", copyrights are "protection" ... and so on.

In my humple opinion, only then can society reap the benefits the information age has to offer. Sincerely,

David Christy

Re:I think this is appropiate here .... (3, Informative)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 9 years ago | (#11793079)

Wow, what a great essay! Do you mind if I print it out and distribute it?

By the way, it could use a little editing -- in the 5th paragraph, it should be "Our communications will either have to be monitored or free, our privacy will either have to intruded or protected," not "half." And in paragraph 11, I think you meant "Just because an institution calls something a property right doesn't mean that it is," not "intuition."

Re:I think this is appropiate here .... (1)

argoff (142580) | more than 9 years ago | (#11794850)

Do you mind if I print it out and distribute it?

You're jokeing right? :) Yes, please distribute it all you want, and thanks for the proof-read - I changed my home copy.

Re:I think this is appropiate here .... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11793343)

or they said there is no incentive to grow food, unless farmers could rip up your garden ... most people would see these as the awful values that they are.

Now you're being silly. Of course farmers can't rip up your garden; that's a right reserved for Monsanto.

Re:I think this is appropiate here .... (5, Interesting)

ramblin billy (856838) | more than 9 years ago | (#11793450)

Wow, I envy your certainty. I've come to find this whole question much more baffling. I used to take software and find ways to use it anyway I wanted. It's incredibly easy to find lots of resources on the net that will provide everything from serials to professional quality reverse engineering tutorials. One day I made myself take a hard look at what I was doing. The truth is that if you are aware of the author's wishes, if you understand that in return for the value you receive from using the program he is asking you to abide by those wishes, and that downloading and using the software is your agreement to the exchange, then violating those wishes is dishonorable. I got rid of my jacked, hacked, and cracked programs. Now I pay if I can't live without the code or it's just so elegant I can't help myself. Mostly I use freeware. You know what? In most cases it's really not as good as the commercial solution. How often have you seen the first few versions of an app as freeware and the perfected product gone commercial. Look I know I have just committed /. heresy, but romantic notions of 'freedom of information' and 'the right to copy, share, and distribute information is a right!" are not tautologies. You make many broad sweeping statements, but most of them are lacking in proof or pertinence.

You overstate your opponent's position by suggesting that they claim that there is "no incentive" to produce creative content without copyright rewards. How about less incentive? Can you deny that some very creative works were undertaken explictly to reap those rewards? Many creative processes now require a vast amount of resources - too many resources for individuals to provide. Groups that provide those resources usually do so with the expectation of a return on their investment. It might be nice if they did it with the intention of giving the knowledge away to benefit society, but that's just not the case. Shouting from the rooftops that it should be this way does not make it so. You make your arguments seem devious and weak by not acknowledging the reality that profits from copyrights DO create incentives. Moreover, often the people who possess the necessary personalities to amass the resources are motivated primarily by profit - that's why they have all the resources. Certainly a great deal of creative work is done for other reasons, maybe even the best creative work, but to ignore the motivating power of good old greed is ridiculous.

You also seem to believe that creative content springs spontaneously into being without underlying costs. You say that information does not have natural limits of supply. I say we've got all the creative content we're going to get from Albert Einstein, he reached the natural limit on his supply of time. The fact that the cost of creating must be borne up front, during the process, does not lessen the amount required. It's hard for a man to be creative when he has to spend half his time feeding his family and has to decide between materials for The Project and health care for his kids. On a more selfish note, if I can do something you can't by applying my time and effort, why should you receive the same benefits without sharing the costs? The copyright only gives me the right to set the value on the material, it's up to you to decide if it's worth the price of admission.

Posts gettin' a little long so.....How can someone who possesses 'artistic genius' require the use of someone else's material to express that genius? Isn't it more likely that those that " copyrights haven't helped a bit, hindered, or even destroyed". have more to blame on the quality of their work than their access to someone else's? What in the hell does saying bad things about the king have to do with modern copyright issues? Is it valid to compare the Renaissance, when copies were made at great expense by hand exclusively for the ruling class, and the case of Dave from Topeka, who has 2000 ripped songs on his hard drive and takes great pleasure in giving them to anyone in the world who asks? How does calling someone who takes something that does not belong to them without permission a thief relate to "a cold and calculated lie, the one that says "copyrights benefit creative people"?" The copyright exists no matter what the reason - besides - surely copyrights benefit at least some creative people - wishing or screaming that it is a lie does not make it so. And please tell me that the reason that "the right to copy, share, and distribute information is a right!" isn't simply that today "Information is so easy to copy and manipulate, there can be no "middle ground". I don't have the right to punch you in the face just because I can. And just because you use a lot of words designed to push buttons, state conclusions without the accompanying arguments, and shout long and hard that "Like freedom of religion, and freedom of the press, the right to copy things is a moral right, a right that exists above government. It is an inherent right that describes a nature of human existence that lives in us from the time we are born", doesn't mean that it is. Look, I know that this is important to you, but it's just not that simple. Without some damn persuasive arguments it's way too easy to look like you just like free stuff.

I copy, therefore I am?

Re:I think this is appropiate here .... (3, Interesting)

Martin Taylor (861858) | more than 9 years ago | (#11794022)

You make the assumption that in a world without copyright content-creators will not be able to gain any monetary benefit from their works.

I say this is flat out wrong. Creative people of all walks of life, in all societies have always been able to make a living. Artists who create things that people like will be elevated in status and supported by those who want to see them continue to create art.

Money spend previously on the sham that is the record industry will be freed up, the same in many other areas. It no longer makes economic sense to continue to pay for records and things that are inefficient, and anti-free market. Imagine the amounts of money and resources spent on content. These resources will be allowed to be spent in new and better ways.

Copyright restrictions on a song or a book are just ridiculous from a free-market perspective. If all of a sudden one day we found a method to create "free" energy, we should move to the new method. Keeping an inefficient production system around simply because it is the way we have always done things and you want to protect the jobs of people in the energy industry makes no sense at all.

When textile mills and outsource-able jobs are no longer efficient or make sense, we simply move to a new system of doing things. Why must we continue to prop up a woefully inefficient system of IP rights that merely serves to restrict a more sensible method?

If by punching you in the face I could cause no injury and also create grains of rice, then punching you in the face would be a grand thing to do.

Re:I think this is appropiate here .... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11794779)

Just wanted to say that this was a personal, thoughtful rebuttal to the issues raised and made me think.

Guaranteed income another part of the puzzle (2, Interesting)

Paul Fernhout (109597) | more than 9 years ago | (#11793881)

And Lessig misses this point, as he is trying for compromise.

Some related issues:

If copyrights impose a burden on society (like real estate), why not tax them annually at some self-assessed buyout value (the cost the copyright holder would be content with to have the work in the public domain)?

Oh, but copyright holders might protest they can not fairly evaluate the copyright as some copyrights make a lot of money, and most do not. But there we have it -- the notion of copyright as a lottery ticket which the essay touches on. Do we want creative works funded as lotteries?

Also, with the increasing use of automation and robotics, people are less and less needed to produce things, so ultimately most people will become out of work in our society -- unless they get a guaranteed income in terms of a part of the production of the automated systems. If people had such a guaranteed income, then they would not need an incentive to create digital works, and they would not need to receive royalties from copyrights just to get the basics of food, water, shelter, education, manufactured goods, and medical care for themselves and their children.

So the future you are talking about is bound up into issues like a guaranteed income or fair share of rapidly increasing industrial productivity. So essentially a "Star Trek" like society, with matter replicators -- which are at most ten or twenty years away, as people are using limited prototypes of them now. Remember, thirty years ago, for most people there was no such thing as desktop publishing or local printing. Now you typically get a printer bundled for "free" with a computer. Thirty years from now, it may seem as ludicrous to get something other than raw materials delivered or to go out to shop for an object as it would seem now to have one-off printing done at some remote computer center (as was typical thirty years ago).

Related links:

The Abolition of Work
http://www.deoxy.org/endwork.htm [deoxy.org]

Robot Nation
http://marshallbrain.com/robotic-nation.htm [marshallbrain.com]

The Dream Factory: Any product, any shape, any size - manufactured on your desktop!
http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/12.12/view.html ?pg=4 [wired.com]

Getting Paid in Our Jobless Future: Only a guaranteed basic income can ensure economic growth, technological innovation and social welfare
http://betterhumans.com/Features/Columns/Change_Su rfing/column.aspx?articleID=2003-09-22-1 [betterhumans.com]

US BIG: The basic income guarantee (BIG) is a government insured guarantee that no citizen's income will fall below some minimal level for any reason. All citizens would receive a BIG without means test or work requirement. BIG is an efficient and effective solution to poverty that preserves individual autonomy and work incentives while simplifying government social policy. Some researchers estimate that a small BIG, sufficient to cut the poverty rate in half could be financed without an increase in taxes by redirecting funds from spending programs and tax deductions aimed at maintaining incomes.
http://www.usbig.net/ [usbig.net]

More discussion of "BIG" - Basic Income Guarantee (source of some links)
http://novogate.com/exco/thread.php?forumid=5374&t hreadid=79208 [novogate.com]

Re:Unconstiutional... (1)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 9 years ago | (#11792893)

Want to extend on what you mean by "unconstitutional"? Which part of the (I'm assuming American) constitution does it break?

Re:Unconstiutional... (2, Informative)

BrynM (217883) | more than 9 years ago | (#11792987)

Want to extend on what you mean by "unconstitutional"? Which part of the (I'm assuming American) constitution does it break?
That would be Atricle 1, Section 8 [findlaw.com] most likely. I'm not supporting his view, just pointing out what I think he's talking about.

Re:Unconstiutional... (1)

cbr2702 (750255) | more than 9 years ago | (#11793663)

Probably not I.8.8. That section, with its "exclusive right to their creations" should pretty easily restrict derived works in at least some sense of "derived". An argument about conflict of rights from First Amendment or Due Process grounds might be more likely.

Re:Unconstiutional... (3, Interesting)

whitespacedout (696269) | more than 9 years ago | (#11793172)

Well, you and I seem to be of the same conviction. I am sure there are many more people around like that on Slashdot

What you seem to be suggesting is that evolutionary pressure works against this kind of prohibition, and hence it is dangerous. You did not elaborate on why it is dangerous, and I would be interested in hearing your take on it.

I would argue that the reason restrictions are dangerous is because they fight against things that would otherwise naturally evolve. If you fight against evolution, you fall behind. If creative thought is restricted, then it will flourish elsewhere and your own culture will fall behind. If you restrict an economy, your economy falls behind. It is no coincidence that the countries with the best quality of life [economist.com] are also mostly the freest. (Actually, that link is a bit of a can of worms. it is a lagging index, where past achievements and good governance count. And Singapore is a remarkable and illustrative special case - free-market under a benevolent dictatorship. Let's not get into that tangent.)

Anyway, so the danger of restrictions is that they cripple progress in the long run. So, because of this danger, I believe restrictions as government policy should only come about in the rarest of rare cases, AND then only with a safeguard of constantly monitored good governance, AND only in cases where progress may otherwise be impeded. Patents and copyright of derivative works are bad restrictions because progress in the long term is impeded by having them.

Re:Unconstiutional... (2, Insightful)

cbr2702 (750255) | more than 9 years ago | (#11793685)

It is, in fact, morally evil on some level to prevent other's from re-interpreting pre-existing creative-thoughts into their own, substantially new ideas.

But re-interpreting pre-existing creative-thoughts into one's own is allowed, as long as the result is substantially different from each component. And as long as it is just the thoughts one re-interprets. Once I start taking sound or video samples, the situation is pretty different.

The CCL is a great idea, but... (5, Insightful)

earthbound kid (859282) | more than 9 years ago | (#11792780)

...it's a shame it's necessary. Why is it that if I'm writing my blog, I can take any paragraph of text in the world, quote it, then tear it a part, but if I'm making a song and I sample 1 second's worth of The Beatles, my ass will be in court before the third chord progression?

It's definitely a step in the right direction that Lessig has codified the Creative Commons license, allowing us to make things like Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] and one or two music sites, but really the CCL doesn't give us any rights that we shouldn't already have under Fair Use anyway. I mean, Walt Disney has been dead for 30 years. Why the hell can't I draw Mickey Mouse smoking a joint if I want to? Why is Magnavox [wikipedia.org] still able to get license fees from people making video game consoles? Why does Nintendo still own the D-pad and A+B buttons? And what's up with Apple paying Amazon for one click shopping in iTunes? It's all just so ridiculous.

I recognize the need for some limited monopoly to spur innovation, but it's clear that at this point IP has spun out of control. Thank goodness for people like Lessig, Groklaw, and the EFF!

Re:The CCL is a great idea, but... (3, Informative)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 9 years ago | (#11792900)

Why the hell can't I draw Mickey Mouse smoking a joint if I want to?

I believe you can. You just can't disseminate it. I on the other hand can draw Mickey Mouse smoking a joint AND disseminate it. God Bless Australia.

Re:The CCL is a great idea, but... (1)

Speed Racer (9074) | more than 9 years ago | (#11793837)

I on the other hand can draw Mickey Mouse smoking a joint AND disseminate it. God Bless Australia.

Is this the same Australia where copying music from a CD for personal use is against the law, a right codified in the United States as "Fair Use"?

I can see the propaganda now:
Use an iPod, go to jail.


Yes, I know it isn't currently being enforced but thw way the law is written, it could just be a matter of time.

Re:The CCL is a great idea, but... (4, Insightful)

danila (69889) | more than 9 years ago | (#11793290)

All this is an inevitable outcome of capitalism. If it is already ridiculous to you, a citizen of the United States, imagine how insane and asinine it looks to people outside your country.

In my country all works created before 1973 are in public domain. In my country filmmakers do not get permission to use a trademark in the movie. In my country people sharing files are not sued and only large scale commercial pirates need to worry (somewhat) about law enforcement. In my country there exists for 11 years a ligitimate online library with 5Gb of free books in unencumbered formats, including works of most modern authors.

I am not saying that my country is perfect, I am just saying that for the majority of the people US-like copyright is abhorent and they have no respect to it.

As for your sad complaint about the necessity of CCL, I fully agree. I curse the day I decided to become a Wikipedia (which, BTW, uses GNU FDL, not CCL) editor, because now I became conscious of what I copy and what is the legal status of it. Not that it prevents me from pirating music/movies/books/software, but I'd rather not think about it at all.

Re:The CCL is a great idea, but... (1)

whitespacedout (696269) | more than 9 years ago | (#11793523)

Danila said:
All this is an inevitable outcome of capitalism.

Hmm. Capitalism is perfectly viable without patents and licence restrictions. It did just fine like that for most of history. Why do you think these sort of restrictions are an inevitable outcome of the capitalist system?

"capitalsm" verses "free market" (2, Insightful)

Morosoph (693565) | more than 9 years ago | (#11793606)

You're using different meanings of the word "captialism".

We've had approximations of "free markets" for millenia, but "capitalism" properly refers to capital, ie. property. Simply put, IP is ambiguous, even slightly antithetical to the concept of a free market (emphasis: freedom), whilst it is entirely in the spirit of capitalism (the prevalence of property and property rights).

Re:The CCL is a great idea, but... (2, Informative)

asuffield (111848) | more than 9 years ago | (#11793533)

It's definitely a step in the right direction that Lessig has codified the Creative Commons license...

Creative Commons is a giant step backwards, because it's taken all the people who might have been interested in creating free non-software works, and persuaded them to release their stuff under a non-free, GPL-incompatible license, such that all of us working on free software can't really make any use of it. All of the Creative Commons version 2 licenses are broken and should be avoided, just like the GNU FDL, the OSL, etcetera. You can see a fairly complete summary of all the problems found so far at http://people.debian.org/~evan/ccsummary [debian.org]

This should not come as a great surprise. Have a look at the people responsible for creative commons [creativecommons.org] . Note how they're mostly lawyers and corporate types. This is not a grassroots effort, despite the way they allude to being related.

Creative Commons has shown no interest in fixing their licenses. Consider why that might be.

He who has the gold, makes the rules. (4, Interesting)

Mr Ambersand (862402) | more than 9 years ago | (#11792781)

At this point it is the "copyright holders" who have the gold, and it is they who are making the rules.

This is a state of affairs which has no hope of changing (look at what is going on with the supreme court and with the EU and the patent fiasco); learn to live with it.

There's no alternative.

Re:He who has the gold, makes the rules. (2, Insightful)

Alsee (515537) | more than 9 years ago | (#11792833)

He who has the gold, makes the rules.
learn to live with it. There's no alternative.


Once someone gets to start making the rules for their own benefit they tend to turn into a crack addict making more and more rules for their own benefit. And eventually the peasants raise up their pitchforks and torches, take all that gold away, and then take away their heads too.

-

Re:He who has the gold, makes the rules. (1)

mankey wanker (673345) | more than 9 years ago | (#11792905)

I *SO* said the exact same thing about three weeks ago: http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=138394&cid=115 84450 [slashdot.org]

Re:He who has the gold, makes the rules. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11792961)

Thomas Jefferson said something pretty much the same a couple hundred years ago...

Re:He who has the gold, makes the rules. (1)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 9 years ago | (#11792997)

So does the Jefferson Estate still hold the copyright to that? Or has it just made it to the public domain?

Re:He who has the gold, makes the rules. (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 9 years ago | (#11793091)

I did too. And you know what? I've been seeing more and more people saying that recently... It makes me worry that the peasants rising up with torches and pitchforks is coming sooner rather than later.

Re:He who has the gold, makes the rules. (1)

Aeiri (713218) | more than 9 years ago | (#11793286)

Along with the highly exploded useless IP laws out there, there is also a plague on this country called "laziness".

People typing that they care isn't enough, I care, but I'm too lazy to do anything about it.

Re:He who has the gold, makes the rules. (1)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 9 years ago | (#11793112)

And then the whole thing happens again.

And again.

And again.

Will we ever get our asses out of this rut and start progressing?

Those who have the gold, DON'T make the rules. (2, Interesting)

Alwin Henseler (640539) | more than 9 years ago | (#11793037)

At this point it is the "copyright holders" who have the gold, and it is they who are making the rules.

Fortunately not. When a license says you can't copy stuff, or a storage medium is copy-protected, more people may pay up for an original. But at the same time, other people may get annoyed, and copy stuff precisely because it's forbidden. So you put something out, and it will be copied. Period.

Funny: the reverse is also true. You grant some rights that people otherwise wouldn't have (I'm talking GPL or Creative Commons here), on the condition that they obey some rules, and guess what: those rules get ignored too. For software, the BusyBox Hall of Shame [busybox.net] is just one example.

The only thing licenses, copy-protections etc. do, is keep lawyers busy, and (somewhat) influence the economics involved. But no matter what rules copyright holders come up with, most people don't care, and these rules are ignored. Just check how few people actually read licenses.

Only in America (4, Insightful)

Kip Winger (547075) | more than 9 years ago | (#11792787)

The reason the American software industry is going to lose within the next 20 years has to do with the fact that lawyers, due to the American "justice" system, are bringing whole new levels of bureaucracy and stifling to the information and software industry as a whole by trying to apply outdated theories of legality to a dynamic industry. Companies shouldn't be forced out of business simply because of fears of legal action -- it's outright murder of creativity.

Eventually, things will become so draconian that companies and independant (often open source) developers are afraid to develop software in America, from fears of breaking things like the DMCA or being charged with "Software Patent Infringency" that they'll have to create new silicon valleys elsewhere in places that don't care.

Europe would be a nice setting, depending on how that turns out, but who knows? Bright young programmers could be fleeing persecution for their works in the USA to set up shop in Bangalore, where they'd probably be able to live like kings. Either way, the way things are going, only monolithic corporations will still be putting out software.

If the US government decides to ban the sale of what everyone else in the world is using, then they'll only fall behind in technology overall...

Re:Only in America (1)

page275 (862917) | more than 9 years ago | (#11792991)

Very true .. Let's look at the comparison: ONE SIDE: 1. China is the fastest growth country (in term of econ) in the world. And it also was the country that has the MOST SOFTWARE, MUSIC COPYRIGHT VIOLATION (95%) in the world. AND THE OTHER: 2. Look at how our (US) econ grew last year and how much work we put on the "Copyright Protection"?

Here on the front lines is what it's like. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11793027)


"Eventually, things will become so draconian that companies and independant (often open source) developers are afraid to develop software in America, from fears of breaking things like the DMCA or being charged with "Software Patent Infringency" that they'll have to create new silicon valleys elsewhere in places that don't care."


Excuse me? ... will become?
My dear fellow, with all due respect, you are simply wrong on this matter. The future is here. I am an Open Source developer. And I have a great idea that I'd like to take to market.

I already AM afraid of bringing this to market, due to bogus patent lawsuits, and the financial losses which will result to me personally.


So what can I do? The ONLY way this can happen now in the U.S. is by Open Source. And I need to make certain that I transfer the copyright over to the FSF, as is recommended with the GPL.


Furthermore, I also need to start up a company, incorporate it, and follow all the onerous rules about State filings, stock issuance, Tax ID number, payroll, and whatnot, just to insulate my personal finances. Yes, I could avoid this step, but I have enough personal assets that I really need to do this.


All for a relatively simple and useful solution in a particular niche, which has received a lot of positive interest and some press.


If you want a first-hand look at the negative effect of Software Patents and bogus lawsuits are inpacting creativity on the cutting edge, look no further.


The other sadly amusing side effect is that there is absolutely no way that I could take this via a proprietary route. Back in the 80's and 90's, I could build up a company myself without being forced to go to a VC. Now I can't. I'm positive some two-bit thief of a lawyer would come along with a bogus patent and want some money. I can't afford this personally. And so, the closed-source route is no longer viable for innovation, except on the large-scale level.


What further proof does anyone want at how innovation is being stifled?


And yes, if the EU actually does reject Software Patents, I'm going over there as soon as I can. Not to go the closed source route; but just for the piece of mind.


Yes, I'm worried. And if you aren't (and are in the U.S.), you're either not doing innovative work, or are sticking your head in the sand.

I have a new site (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11793398)

I have a new website, we host in outside of the USA. Even the DNS we host outside the USA. We went to great lengths to ensure we didn't use a company with a USA parent, Rackspace was ruled out immediately.

The reason is simple, it would take one bogus copyright claim from one hotmail account to bring the site down, or one spurious patent suit to bring the company down.

It's pure defensiveness, I see things I did in the 80's being awarded as USA patents in the 2000's and I see those bogus patents being used to extract ridiculous sums from anyone who can pay.

Those patents are junk, but I don't believe companies would reveal their prior art to protect my little company the way everyone did to protect Microsoft from Eolas.
Without being able to show prior art how could I put up a defence?

So to me the best defence is not to keep the substance of my company outside the USA and not to contract USA companies if possible.

Re:Here on the front lines is what it's like. (1, Insightful)

3seas (184403) | more than 9 years ago | (#11793575)

Anonymous Coward,

you have a choice, but you may not like it, because it requires full out honesty about software, and that is something you may not be willing to do.

To prove that software is not patentable means that it must be made easy enough to create that its common for anyone to do so, just as it is common for people to use a calculator, probably instead of doing the math manually.

Can software be automated to such a point?

Absolutely, in fact that the is the ultimate goal of the act of programming:

Programming is the act of automating complexity, typically made up of a collection of previously automated complexities (machine language is perhaps the baseline of this process) but programming is done so to make the complexity easy for the user to use and reuse, thru a simple to use interface. This is a recursive act such that complexities you create simplified interfaces to could be used in teh creation of even more automation...

Ultimately reaching the goal of programming is a working yourself out of a job, in a way. But you have to ask yourself, do you really want to have been using the roman numeral system instead of teh simpler and more powerful hindu-arabic decimal system?

Point being, your vested interest in your career of being a programmer is perhaps keeping you from the honesty of the purpose and goal of programming enough to lie to the general public as you and many others in your situation, proprietary and open source have both lied so to protect your trade, as the roman numeral accountants argued "how can nothing have value -- regarding the zero place holder" so to protect their social standing and industry.

Its easy to beat the software patent arguement, if you are honest about it.

It is no supprise that you post as Anonymous Coward.

Note: without the decimal system and its zero place holder, you wouldn't have computers to program.... maybe you should think about what industry(s) you are preventing from evolving, not to mention the benefits you might receive of such industries.

Dude Amazon patented one click ordering! (1)

NigelJohnstone (242811) | more than 9 years ago | (#11793734)

"To prove that software is not patentable means that it must be made easy enough to create that its common for anyone to do so"

What like 1 click ordering? So easy to create that its common for anyone to do so, and that will make it not patentable?

Re:Here on the front lines is what it's like. (1)

owlstead (636356) | more than 9 years ago | (#11794133)

Since when are crackpots moderated informative? I've never seen such a bunch of BS in my life. Normally I would write a comprehensive critic about the article, but in this case I do not even known where to start. Ok, some points: writing software is not easy, and it is not written to solve problems created by the same, nor does it have anything to do with interfaces per se. Then there is the flawed anagram about the numeral system, what does that have to do anything with it?

It is a surprise you have the fucking guts to not post as anonymous coward. Since when are persons attacked on posting anonymously anyway? It's hard enough to start off with 0 points in the first place.

Creative Commons == Unprofessional. (1)

1_interest_1 (805383) | more than 9 years ago | (#11792873)

It would help if they would at least answer emails.

Pretty tacky if you ask me.

Re:Creative Commons == Unprofessional. (1)

bbc (126005) | more than 9 years ago | (#11794330)

They have set up mailing lists for your questions. Perhaps not very professional, but I doubt they have the resources to help out every passing fool. Or did you actually pay them for their services?

What a terrible name. (0, Troll)

OmgTEHMATRICKS (836103) | more than 9 years ago | (#11792881)

I can't believe he is promoting every to have less sig. What do you what ME to do, Lawrence? Have a negative sig? What, does my sig give stuff away or something?

I can never decide... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11792969)

I can't decide where we need Lawrence Lessig more... in the White House or on the Supreme Court bench...

Re:I can never decide... (1)

phobos13013 (813040) | more than 9 years ago | (#11793443)

Considering the fact that being a lawyer in today's political climate gets you only 48% of the popular vote in the US, i think we need him on the SC where as Mr J. Stewart pointed out, "the only oversight is the icy finger of death".

ps-I hope America the book doesnt sue me for quoting them, i didnt wait for the response to my email about whether or not i could. Also, if you enjoyed this post, please send $19.99 to 1 happy St; Pueblo, CO 55515. Thank You.

Re:I can never decide... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11793724)

How bout supreme ruler of the universe. All hail to the great Lawrence!

Biggest problem with Creative Commons (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11793019)

The biggest problem with CC is that it's a political statement rather than a true private system of copyright. If it were the latter, and Lessig could just promote it as such and be happy with it as that, and not use it to spearhead his crusade against IP in general, it might really catch on mainstream.

In a way, it's a lot like the GPL. The GPL only has wings right now because Linus chose it. Yet he doesn't like the political crap in it. Just seems there is no better, well received option. Strip the GPL of the politcial nonsense and it might be palatable to the mainstream and might even become the dominant way of doing business. But then it would massage Stallman's ego. Just as if CC were just a private, more flexible copyright system, Lessig wouldn't be such a star.

The REAL problem is... (0, Troll)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 9 years ago | (#11793113)

If you stripped the "political crap" from the GPL (or the CC), it wouldn't work. That "crap" is the stuff that protects it from being co-opted like BSD software can be!

The the problem would go away (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11793471)

If Copyrightw were turned back to their original intent and made reasonable, the need for the GPL would largely disappear.

If we turned back time to 1985, software patents didn't exist, unreasonable copyright restrictions didn't exist and neither did the GPL.

I think the two are related.

Re:The the problem would go away (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11793474)

Wait...are you saying it's the GPL's [b]fault[/b]?

If you are, you're even more stupid than I thought.

nothings black & white (4, Interesting)

blackest_k (761565) | more than 9 years ago | (#11793144)

Artistic works and I think you can include software in that definition have a value which is determined by the user.

As a content producer or copyright holder or patent holder your attitude to this ranges from I couldnt careless to sue the dead granny.

The big problem in reality is corperate greed, any exchange of files that they originally produced they see as a lost sale that they should have made. This only makes sense if people have the morals of a corperation.

What it means as a corperation is that your suppliers have no value to you. In physical trade thats seen as footwear manufacturers pay children 50p to produce footwear sold for £50 in supermarkets fixing a milk price below the cost of production, farmers being forced into contracts to supply one supermarket chain then being told the product isn't wanted and it gets left to rot in the fields, At least with our morning coffee we have an idea of how badly the producers are exploited. These are the morals of a corperate world- none what so ever and these are the standards by which we are being judged.

We will never pay for anything which we can get for free only if punitive damages are made against individuals is there any hope for the copyright holders to scare individuals into paying for copyrighted products.

Is this true are we just prepared to take and never pay for anything if we can get it for free or near free if we were corperations not people the answer is yes but we are not.

lets take a look at a legal method of obtaining books software and music and films for free or near free the public libarary should the public libary be sued for damages for the millions of books it regularly distributes to millions if not billions, look at all the lost sales there, or TV perhaps millions of viewers watching films instead of buying them. Lets shut the TV Stations down lets shut the libarys down. These blatent leachers of corperate property.

The reality is that TV Radio and libarys do in fact generate sales for the copyright holders and so does peer to peer file sharing.

Artistic works have no value in themselves, what value has a sound or an image
perhaps the sound of me breaking wind is mine copyrightable for all eternity it is mine I produced it you heard its exquisite tones its delicate textures. so pay me for it then! no perhaps it has no value for you.

People pay for things they value and can afford simple as that the reality is that human beings have an appreciation of an artists labour and will pay for it without being sued if it has enough value for them.

If your making a living using someone elses work and you do not pay them for it then punitive actions are reasonable, What is crazy is that the people who make money from selling fake products, selling 'pirated' copies of movies and cd's are operating freely the mpaa will not come after me for buying a copy of a movie from a guy in a market but will if i download it myself.

Lets just look to the future where copyright is enforced vigourously everything i look at listen too I pay for. well whats going to happen then is i listen to and view a lot less.

See p2p as a marketing tool that actually increases sales not a method of reducing sales.

Does an author see a libary as a threat to sales or a method to gain a following a buying readership if the later what is p2p file sharing other than i big libary.

Music Copyright... (4, Insightful)

TruckerTom (862655) | more than 9 years ago | (#11793245)

My feeling is if you don't like the way things are copyrited and/or the way a particular industry works, stop using their products. The entertainment industry acts like a drug pusher protecting his turf, or a Mafia guy making businesses in a corrupted neghborhood pay "protection" fees. Take their power away by stopping drug use and/or moving to an uncorrupted neighborhood. The sad fact is that the entertainment industry is making billions of dollars off of mediocre product because they have millions of addicts. It's like fast food -- the fast food keeps getting worse as more and more people eat it.

However (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11793304)

the only marker the RIAA have for how much piracy is hurting them is the fall in sales or profit. A boycott will merely make you a probable pirate.

I keep getting hassled by the TV licensing authority for not having a license for my TV. However, their only proof of my having a TV is that other people do.

regardless of the right or wrong of .... (2, Insightful)

3seas (184403) | more than 9 years ago | (#11793439)

...intellectual property granting, licensings is a legal oriented document of agreement. Though there are things in any legal document that might be non-binding due to priority of other legal issues, the point is, is that it is a document of agreement by those who use it.

No document should be able to allow the signing away of natural human rights or such rights that fit needed freedoms in any given economic environment, such as a fair competition economic environment (i.e. probably quite a few of MS's created agreements with OEMs, etc.. contridicting fair competition as was presented in the DOJ vs. MS case..)

But here is the key point:

"..if we didn't build upon what those before us have done, we then would not advance at all, but rather be like any other mammal incapable of anything more than, at best, first level abstraction. But we are more, and as such have the natural human right and duty to advance in such a manner."

from abstraction physics" [ffii.org]

Overextended Intellectual Property is Theft (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11793614)

No really, IP was always supposed to be a limited concession to encourage publishing of art and inventions.
Things that would be in the public domain have had the length of their copyright extended, rewriting the 'contract' after the agreed exclusivity benefits have been enjoyed.
Patents are in a similar position not because of extension but the fact that with more rapid progress after that after the 20 years of exclusiviry they can be irrelevant.
There are a whole raft of inventions that cannot be made because it uneconomic to liscense all the technologies involved and art that cannot be made because either rights will not be granted or are too expensive. Documentaries and Modern music most obviously suffer a lot from this because they directly sample things. Clasical composers though have run afoul of such things as they sample melodies to compose their works and Bebop and Jazz with its standards probably would be unable to evolve in todays aggressive climate.
Even worse than cripling the evolution of human culture Intellectual Property inhibits research into medicines that could save millions due to having to liscense many different patented genes - to do basic research into breast and other cancers. These Genes were not 'invented' just sequenced - imagine Newton patenting Gravity and you see how wrong this is. It is not a cost of recouping research costs, it is more akin to 'cyber-squatting' the human genome.
Intellectual Property impedes progress, it inhibits the economy, it is not the free market it is the creation of monopolies with incredible penalties associated with those guilty of copyright infringement.
Monopolies are a bad thing for consumers, Government enforced Monopolies are worse.
P.S. I stole all these ideas from others, even the ones I believed were original are heavily derived from preexisting thought.
But especial theft thanks goes to Freedom of Expression be Kembrew McCloud http://kembrew.com/books/ [kembrew.com] which is very readable has well documented examples of all the above and is available for money or for free.

Lessig's latest book for free (3, Informative)

Octagon Most (522688) | more than 9 years ago | (#11793631)

Prof. Lessig has put his money where his mouth is, so to speak. He is offering his latest book, Free culture, as a free download [free-culture.cc] . You can get it as a 2.4MB PDF, a bittorrent, or a in a bunch of other formats. Enjoy.

Re:Lessig's latest book for free (1)

Antonymous Flower (848759) | more than 9 years ago | (#11793702)

Beyond an idea, this is the Creative Commons in action: http://www.ccmixter.org

They recently held a contest where remixers could sample works from popular artists such as Beastie Boys, Chuck D, David Byrne and others. The winners are to be published on CD.

A great idea is never worth as much until it is proven by empirical evidence. If you think the Creative Commons is a great idea then support it by making use of, and contributing to, the 'pool' of CC licensed content; just the way Lessig and these remixers have.

Re:Lessig's latest book for free (1)

whitespacedout (696269) | more than 9 years ago | (#11794025)

Anyone who wants to put some of their music out under a CCL is also welcome to do it at muzik.agnula.org [agnula.org] . Yeah, an awful lot of it up there is crap. I like to think our stuff [agnula.org] is good, but hey, you can do what you like with it to improve it if you want to. That's freedom of the kind that used to be around before the RIAA and the Happy Birthday silliness [kuro5hin.org] was enshrined.

Bill Gates said this in 1991 (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11793714)

"
If people had understood how patents would be granted when most of today's ideas were invented and had taken out patents, the industry would be at a complete standstill today. ... The solution is patenting as much as we can. A future startup with no patents of its own will be forced to pay whatever price the giants choose to impose. That price might be high. Established companies have an interest in excluding future competitors.
"
This was quoted by Fred Warshofsky in "The Patent Wars" of 1994. The text is from an internal memo written by Bill Gates to his staff. Part of has appeared in another Gates memos.
http://swpat.ffii.org/archive/quotes/index.en.html #bgates91 [ffii.org]

Remember Sklyarov - soon it will be Linus (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11793767)

http://www.freesklyarov.org/ [freesklyarov.org] Dmitry helped create the Advanced eBook Processor (AEBPR) software for his Russian employer Elcomsoft. According to the company's website, the software permits eBook owners to translate from Adobe's secure eBook format into the more common Portable Document Format (PDF). The software only works on legitimately purchased eBooks. It has been used by blind people to read otherwise-inaccessible PDF user's manuals, and by people who want to move an eBook from one computer to another (just like anyone can move a music CD from the home player to a portable or car).

Dmitry was arrested July 17, 2001 in Las Vegas, NV, at the behest of Adobe Systems, according to the DOJ complaint, and charged with distributing a product designed to circumvent copyright protection measures (the AEBPR). He was eventually released on $50,000 bail and restricted to California. In December 2001, was permitted to return home to Russia with his family. Charges have not been dropped, and he remains subject to prosecution in the US.

Although Dmitry is home now, the case against Elcomsoft is continuing (to the detriment of the company), Dmitry's actions in Russia are controlled by a US court, and DMCA is still the law (to the detriment of everyone).
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