Discussion: On Copyright

738 Responses

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  • Simon Grigg,

    Sacha, a house has money earning potential beyond it's mere value as a shelter. A million other items that have the same potential offer no shelter but remain private, potentially exploitable items forever.

    Like a master tape, they are merely objects derived from ideas. the cultural value of a master tape is really neither here nor there surely..that is only relevant to the potential return from the tape. It is still the fruit of an idea like those other items..the realisation of labour when applied to an idea.. The idea reverts to society as it does in any item at the end of term...all well and good. The physical result of that idea in the case of a house or a diamond ring or a car or a computer does not but continues to offer the owner a value forever. Why is that different for a recording.

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3209 posts Report Reply

  • Don Christie,

    The physical result of that idea in the case of a house or a diamond ring or a car or a computer does not but continues to offer the owner a value forever. Why is that different for a recording.

    It isn't.

    Or did I miss something?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1616 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Grigg,

    Don..see above..as I far as I can see the line where personal ownership starts and ends is fairly clear.

    The fault here is to try to blur what is a fairy easily made distinction but then to apply that blur selectively.

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3209 posts Report Reply

  • robbery,

    There's a reason why the Governor General opens parliament, and why the PM has to indicate to them that they can form a government. If you want a different example, America is a republic, and you can use that word in much the same over there.

    can you use the phrase the crown to refer to american government?
    I think the point I was trying to make is we have moved away from the thought process that had rulers and the masses. our rulers represent us, or are supposed to. we're not there for them any more. that's my point I guess

    new zealand • Since May 2007 • 1882 posts Report Reply

  • Mark Harris,

    Simon
    I don't want your master tape. Keep it.

    I want the content that's on it to be released into the public domain as lyrics, as sheet music and as the expression of the one who recorded it first, in the form that they used.

    Yes, there are different forms involved - an argument about differing lengths of protection for each can be had, but that's not what I'm discussing.

    I want the song, or the novel, or the photograph released into the public domain when the period of copyright protection ends.

    Yes, you physically own the master tape. No, you don't own the song.

    You are granted a period of exclusive use as a benefit deriving from its creation, and as an incentive to create more works. That period is limited, after which the work becomes available for everyone to use as they wish.

    Waikanae • Since Jul 2008 • 1343 posts Report Reply

  • Mark Harris,

    PS as Rob Stowell notes upstream, copyright does not apply to ideas, only the expressions of ideas.

    Waikanae • Since Jul 2008 • 1343 posts Report Reply

  • jon_knox,

    really don't think, Don, that anyone here has been able to argue persuasively why one physical object with income earning rights differs from another. Why does the master tape differ from the house?

    Either you don't share the rights by putting them in a vaut (or whatever) and never letting them see the light of day, or you implicitly form a contract with the Crown (call it what you will, under whatever type of state you live in. but as it's NZ...let's just call it "the Crown" for now) to protect your rights via copyright. A feature of that implied contract is that the term is limited and it's not something that get's renegotiated every time the (implied) contract of copyright contract is struck. This is differing in term because they are not tangible like property and because for a contract some consideration must be given by each party. (If you don't like the deal that copright offers, the artist has every right to the vault type route, though even that doesn't have a guarantee that some other bright spark won't come up with the same, or a substantially similar idea).

    I get that essentially Rob is saying, but why can't the term be forever, instead of life plus whatever it is? If the term was forever, what has the artist (creator...whatever) given up by sharing? In that case nothing, so the implied contract of copyright therefore is not valid.

    Fundamentally either you share the work (master tape), or you don't.

    If you choose to share the work, what else could you give up in all cases as consideration that is not going to have some nasty/tricky administrative overhead? Fortunately there is not some "option b" that allows an artist to decide which form of consideration is to be provided in order to strike the contract to protect his/her right to be identified as the author....

    Anyway in order for this thread to progress, perhaps we should just agree to put this point aside, so we can see what is a little bit further up the path? I think if this were a business meeting, we would be "derailing" (though perhaps for good reason) and need to get back on-track to consider the original objective....which I think is interesting & worthwhile.

    Sorry it's a bit of a cop-out. It would have been nice to have everyone on the same page, if only momentarily.

    So where to from here?

    Osterreich • Since Nov 2006 • 461 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Grigg,

    Simon
    I don't want your master tape. Keep it.

    I want the content that's on it to be released into the public domain as lyrics, as sheet music and as the expression of the one who recorded it first, in the form that they used.

    Glad to see you are coming around there Mark, because you seem to be. Although the content on the tape is not the song, it's something constructed from the song and for over a century it's been recognized as a separate entity with an separate ownership that has nothing to do with the song, lyric or sheet music. You still seem to be confusing the two.

    Since I own that master (not the song), the benefit of it should only accrue to me. However I wish to exploit it. Just like the owner of a Frank Lloyd Wright house being able to charge for tours.

    Yes, you physically own the master tape. No, you don't own the song.

    Which is what I've said over and over again in this thread. That's been my point exactly. So, since you now agree I own the tape, I'm asking why it's any different from a piece of jewelery which is made from a copyrightable design. That copyright expires but the ownership and the benefits of the ownership of that piece of jewellry last for ever. And even if one copies that exact jewel once the copyright expires, the ownership and the right to exploit and benefit from that ownership of the original never expires.

    You are granted a period of exclusive use as a benefit deriving from its creation, and as an incentive to create more works

    No, the song is, as I've pointed out earlier, available for anyone to construct another independent property out of, from day one. I guess in that way IP in the music industry is perhaps more evolved than other fields of the arts.

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3209 posts Report Reply

  • robbery,

    However, the core issue right now is not really whether life, five, ten 100 years is the correct term, the core issue is that as a society we are trading away so key civil rights to help with the short term enforcement of Copyright. this is at the same time as Copyright holders are demanding huge increases in term.

    That's the core of the issue you've been pushing, which may well be different and not in conflict with the one I'm talking about.
    I don't think extended terms is in conflict with your issue of civil rights. its not your civil right to strip someone of their property rights yet that is what happens at the moment in copyright material.

    it is your civil right to be innocent until proven guilty, looking for people breaking a law doesn't infringe that right if applied properly and with respect to the innocent. I think fine tuning of section 92a to make it required that there be proof of breech is a good starting point.
    what other ideas can you throw in to make 92a workable?

    I'm not so much demanding as asking the question, why is it like it is?

    It will be hard to get those rights back once they have been handed over to the people robbery doesn't represent and this is bad.

    ah, I see what you did there don, that was a bit of an in joke :)
    I'm not following you on that comment though (apart from the joke bit).
    the only point I'm pursuing (pursuing, not demanding) is the concept of infinite copyright and why it follows that if its property enough to make it yours for life plus 70 years why is it not property forever in the same way as land or a company. actually there's an interesting comparison.
    a company is an identity which you can sell. it isn't necessarily a building or plant or anything, although it can be. the company identity doesn't expire after a certain time and you can on ell it to whoever or keep it in the family. it is property.

    I don't know what rights you think I'm pushing for but its not the erosion of personal privacy or prosecution without proof.

    if its the right to strip someone of the ownership of their creation after a certain time period then you're fighting a similar battle to the right to keep slaves because they always have been property. it doesn't fit in with the logic of how our society treats the rest of us.

    just so we're clear what rights that you have now do you think I'm pushing for you to be stripped of.

    new zealand • Since May 2007 • 1882 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Grigg,

    PS as Rob Stowell notes upstream, copyright does not apply to ideas, only the expressions of ideas.

    I think we've moved beyond that to the physical thing that comes from the expression of ideas...that's what a few of us were asking about, and, and I'm with Rob(bery) here, have not to date had an argument, that, I at least, can buy. Lots of skirting around the edges but no response to the core contradiction, at least none that convince me. Sacha came closet with the shelter argument but there are, as I tried to point out, fairly massive holes in that too.

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3209 posts Report Reply

  • robbery,

    However, the realisable value of a master tape depends entirely on cultural context as it is only useful for making cultural products. Despite what Rob thinks that is not an "add-on".

    well to take your house example sasha. a building is very much a cultural thing. look at our old houses and buildings, they tell us who we were, we preserve and protect them, but we do not take ownership of them after 70 years, that ownership can be past on and transfer by the original owner, it is never stripped from anyone.

    it is very much a cultural item as any walking tour of wellingtons back streets will tell you, but is treated differently. assigned greater rights of ownership and control, something that is happening slowly to recorded music as we become more able to deal with abstract concepts no doubt.

    You can keep saying "if I create something I should own it" but that just shows you really don't understand the broader nature of cultural creation or the negotiation of cultural value over time

    you're saying this to a guy who spent the last 25 years specifically working to preserve our music culture? (not that it matters who I am or what I do but you already know).
    I have a different understand of culture and its importance and because it is different to yours or some book you read doesn't make it any less valid or worthy of discussion.
    I disagree that just cos society deems some form of personal expression (music art film etc or culture if you wish) to be of value to it that society should have the right to strip the creator of ownership after any period of time. Creatives are not societies slaves. they may make art for any number of reasons, (personal expression, income, impress the opposite sex etc). There is no contract in that. They're not bargaining with society for anything. And as a fair society we grant the right to possession of the results. it just doesn't follow logically to strip that no matter how much society likes what a creative does.

    oil fields are important to society and we don't strip ownership of them from anyone. why is what we deem to be culture any different. society seems well able to enjoy and share culture for the life plus 70 years we have control now. I don't see what the problem is with life plus 71 years, or 75 or 200, what hassle does society really encounter that it can't over come. how is society really served by making recorded works a free for all after life plus 70? what changes?

    I may be grumpy at times but I'm only offended when people waste oxygen and demean shared forums, not when they disagree with me.

    dude, you really do have a chip on your shoulder. I've tried to be quite light and pleasant with you, but you don't seem to do likewise.
    the one time you were demeaned is when I misread a name on a post, and you got your full apology for that,
    please, don't take life so seriously, and certainly not internet discussion with people you don't know.
    notice how i'm not offended by your 'waste oxygen' comment. what good would it do, its meaningless.

    new zealand • Since May 2007 • 1882 posts Report Reply

  • robbery,

    I want the content that's on it to be released into the public domain
    as lyrics,
    as sheet music
    and as the expression of the one who recorded it first, in the form that they used.

    you get the first 2 anyway. you always have, although you have to buy copies of it or write it out yourself. photocopying sheet music isn't allowed but apparently you can transcribe it.
    can't for the life of me thing why you would think you have the right to something I paid for though ie the recorded work.
    can I come and have access to that wall you painted in your house. it could be argued it is art, its paint on a surface after all, and possibly has more depth than some stuff currently passing for modern .... but I digress.

    "benefits derive", "incentive to create", you are talking about servitude or puppy dogs here aren't you? cos it doesn't sound like you're talking about your equal in society.

    scobbie snacks all round, get back to creating you lazy bastards.

    new zealand • Since May 2007 • 1882 posts Report Reply

  • jon_knox,

    I'm liking that on occasion people are beginning to get past the insults. Lets try keep the insults & flame wars to that other site….(cough) where possible.

    "benefits derive", "incentive to create", you are talking about servitude or puppy dogs here aren't you? cos it doesn't sound like you're talking about your equal in society.

    The jargon of economics and the legalese are hardly inspiring, but intention to try to discuss and progress the topic is.

    I think I can recall Russell mentioning something in the past along the lines of "a future in which value is based on abundance rather than scarcity". (or maybe it was a telecom ad?...man this is kinda disturbing…I equate RB with the voice on the Telecom ads...and don’t have a TV or live in NZ and don't for the life of me recall any TCNZ ad's beginning with anyone saying "Good-day mediaphiles")

    Getting distracted from the objective by semantics & other disagreement prevents the discussion get anywhere new. (mental note to self re-rambling stream of consciousness, or as is perhaps the case....steaming pile of consciousness)

    Do we have anyone lurking that can enlighten anyone still reading about the process that brought about the Creative Commons idea/movement/license? I'm sure there was plenty of distraction that occurred in that process and it would be interesting to learn not only the origins of Creative Commons beyond what Wikipedia has to say and also how the managed to drive themselves to deliver something beyond mutual frustration.

    Osterreich • Since Nov 2006 • 461 posts Report Reply

  • Mark Harris,

    Simon
    Maybe it's terminology we're having a problem with. What is it that you mean when you say "the master"? Is it a physical spool of tape? Or something similar?

    Waikanae • Since Jul 2008 • 1343 posts Report Reply

  • robbery,

    Either you don't share the rights by putting them in a vaut (or whatever) and never letting them see the light of day, or you implicitly form a contract with the Crown (call it what you will, under whatever type of state you live in. but as it's NZ...let's just call it "the Crown" for now) to protect your rights via copyright.

    what's the difference between the two works, ie the one in the vault and the one in the public domain. are you saying you have a right to indefinite control over he one in the vault?
    Why should sharing make that right to control any less? you're getting penalised for contributing to society?

    if you do have a contract with the state (and I dispute that there is a need for one or that it is logical or fair, but lets just pretend there is one), wouldn't you have a right to seek compensation for the state mishandling said protection and essentially voiding your supposed right of restriction of copy by witnessing wholesale breech of said right and not doing all in the states power to stem it, or practically anything at all except providing lip service. by the contract with the state argument section 92a is the least they could do . (not that I'm for a second arguing that 92a as it stands is a valid response don, just to stop you in mid leap, I'm on your side on that)

    new zealand • Since May 2007 • 1882 posts Report Reply

  • Mark Harris,

    jon_knox
    Wikipedia actually discusses it quite well. But for a "guy who was there" view, check out Larry Lessig's perspective at http://www.dig-mar.com/Commentaries/lessicCC.htm

    Perhaps because CC started from a legal perspective, looking at how the Internet affected a point of law that was established and not being questioned, there was less of the backwards and forwards that has characterized this thread. It was started by people who felt that the law didn't adequately account for a medium where copying is how it works. And decided that more and stricter legislation wasn't going to help. Instead, they tried to build something that reflected the Internet way of doing things, which has generally been characterized by sharing information, software and communication.

    This, I submit, is foreign to the legal mindset that underlies traditional commerce. From my perspective, commerce is about managing supply and demand to create value. An essential part of the equation is managed scarcity, as a glut on the market drives price down and, therefore, reduces value. And the Internet, by its nature reduces scarcity.

    Lessig puts it like this:

    If copyright regulates "copies," then while a tiny portion of the uses of culture off the net involves making "copies," every use of culture on the net begins by making a copy. In the physical world, if you read a book, that's an act unregulated by the law of copyright, because in the physical world, reading a book doesn't make a copy. On the Internet, the same act triggers the law of copyright, because to read a book in a digital world is always to make a "copy." Thus, as the world moves online, many of the freedoms (in the sense of life left unregulated by the law of copyright) disappear. Every use of copyrighted content at least presumptively triggers a requirement of permission. The failure to secure permission places a cloud of uncertainty over the legality of the use.

    Creative Commons thus relies on copyright law for its function of establishing right of control over a work, and then allows specific use and re-use permissions as the default, without the audience having to seek them in each and every instance.

    Does that help?

    Waikanae • Since Jul 2008 • 1343 posts Report Reply

  • robbery,

    The jargon of economics and the legalese are hardly inspiring, but intention to try to discuss and progress the topic is.

    I wasn't commenting on the jargon but the implied attitude, which I'm sure you can also read. comments like that create different classes of citizens all contributing to the society they live in but some seeing the results of their labours treated differently than others. the underlying message of entitlement to the works of others is as disturbing as it would be in thinking you could take anything that is not rightfully yours. obviously mark thinks the work of others is rightfully his, but he hasn't forwarded a logical, fair or valid argument to explain why.
    I'm not the only one who thinks so apparently.

    and mark the master is the physical object and the work it contains.
    I'm saying I see no reason why that 'master' can not be owned sold and administered like any physical thing. just cos you can make a copy of it doesn't reduce its right to protection.

    new zealand • Since May 2007 • 1882 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Grigg,

    Simon
    Maybe it's terminology we're having a problem with. What is it that you mean when you say "the master"? Is it a physical spool of tape? Or something similar?

    Indeed Mark. That tape contains the performance. It's a physical thing and my argument is that that physical thing is subject to the same rules as other physical things. The song, used to create it, I agree, should pass at some stage, as defined by society, into public domain. In the same way that a design for a house will..but the house does not. Or a design for a super yacht..the yacht and anything it earns remains private but eventually someone can use the design and the concept to make their interpretation of the yacht. Like a song, except, happily, with a song, you can do it from day two (day one being the writer's chance to record it first either by his/her self or someone of their choice.

    It works well in the recording industry and has for a century.

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3209 posts Report Reply

  • jon_knox,

    are you saying you have a right to indefinite control over he one in the vault?
    Why should sharing make that right to control any less? you're getting penalised for contributing to society?

    Yeah...I think what I'm saying is you already have control over the one in the vault, or that's in progress in your shed, stuido.

    For the works that are already out there, with some intangible expression of idea (whatever the legalese is), the Crown will if you ask them, (tick all the right forms, employ a lawyer to do so...actually I don't know what the process is for pursing a claim of copyright infringment) will seek to enforce your copyright, but it's on a per request basis.

    Pondering the alternative for a bit, the Crown would be responsible for taking an interest in what the "expression of the idea" (or whatever it is that's valid) for each thing that has copyright and effectively checking to see that no other entity infringes the copyright. I don't think that anyone expects to negotiate an agreement for copyright with the crown, where the responsibility for "state mishandling" exists (ie the burden of responsibility for identification), as essentially they grant you the protection and it's upto you to identify and bring forward the claim of infringement via due process, which then is processed by the courts(?). (I think it would work the same way for Patents and Trademarks at a guess).

    I've got to say that in the current process (and I'm a process guy), there is consistency (ie one rule for everyone, big or small), reasonableness (no need to create a ministry for the identification of copyright or for the identification of copyright infringement), but I can understand why people (artists) may feel that they are getting the short end of the stick.

    I also think in the vast majority of cases it's kinda challenging for copyright infringement to be identified long after the person who created has passed on. Thus the current request model is one that is a winner...this is not to say the terms, or other details couldn't be altered a bit to make it more relevant/satisfactory for the modern age, reflecting interests of the artists and modern society. Accordingly my interest in Creative Commons and this discussion.

    Will have a read of Mark's comments about Creative Common's soon. Ta!

    Osterreich • Since Nov 2006 • 461 posts Report Reply

  • jon_knox,

    and when I indicated

    this is not to say the terms, or other details couldn't be altered a bit to make it more relevant/satisfactory for the modern age, reflecting interests of the artists and modern society

    I also meant tweaking the infringement/rectification process.

    Osterreich • Since Nov 2006 • 461 posts Report Reply

  • Mark Harris,

    I can understand why people (artists) may feel that they are getting the short end of the stick.

    I'm seeing figures posted by the 'industry' but I'm not seeing artists putting their hands up and saying "we're losing money to piracy' with evidence to back it up.

    Anyone got any?

    Waikanae • Since Jul 2008 • 1343 posts Report Reply

  • robbery,

    but I'm not seeing artists putting their hands up and saying "we're losing money to piracy' with evidence to back it up.

    Anyone got any?

    I know of a few.
    The terminals new album was put up in its entirety on a nz music fan site. the site specialised in bringing left field and hard to find kiwi bands to the attention of its readers. The disturbing thing was that this album had only just been released and was easily available through normal channels. oviously with this stuff it was not available through the neighbourhood store in america or germany but this stuff never was and didn't excuse the blatant disrespect to the band. it was available as usual by standard mail order from a number of channels.

    the band had to track down the owner of the site and ask him to remove the file and to point people in the right direction to legitimately support the band and buy their disc.

    The same site also had one of my labels albums up, which annoyed me cos I have kept all my releases in play and accessible. I approached the site and asked them to remove the file and point people to either the label site or one of the other sites that stock the material but they neglected to do the last part, but did remove the file.

    The files would till be up an active if I hadn't stumbled across them. and its interesting to note that these files were put up on a fan blog, ie by people who are supposed to be into the music and should know that the material is legitimately available.

    I recently found one of my own albums (ie music I wrote) available for download on somone's personal site. they were telling people the liked the music and here it is. I emailed them and they took the file down and also pointed the article to the label site and myspace.
    once again, only found by google accident. I don't know if there are more examples or not cos its a lot of work to track them.

    I don't think there's any of mine on bit torrent but liam finn is on there as are pheonix foundation etc and there are lots sharing it.

    that good enough for you?

    new zealand • Since May 2007 • 1882 posts Report Reply

  • robbery,

    the people at amplifier.co.nz will be able to tell you about a lot more sites dealing in pirated kiwi stuff. they're the ones who let me know.

    new zealand • Since May 2007 • 1882 posts Report Reply

  • jon_knox,

    Microsoft in Oz is making some noise about software piracy at the moment.

    Then off-topic there is another article which I think is about supply side volatility for another great kiwi....er output.

    Osterreich • Since Nov 2006 • 461 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    can you use the phrase the crown to refer to american government?

    I said "America is a republic, and you can use that word in much the same over there", as in, you can use the word 'Republic' in place of 'the state' in America.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6217 posts Report Reply

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