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Speaker: Copyright Must Change

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  • Mark Harris,

    Further, copyright is a legal concept. It only exists because a law enables and defines it. It has no other standing. Also, the world lasted quite well without it for several thousand years - books got written, music got composed, pictures were painted.

    Waikanae • Since Jul 2008 • 1343 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Also, the world lasted quite well without it for several thousand years - books got written, music got composed, pictures were painted.

    I'm not sure if the 15th century painting and publishing is particularly useful for either side in this argument. I'm not opposed to 'copyright should be different/less/etc in the 21st century'. But 'the world got by before copyright'? The amount of publishing that occurred in the whole 15th century probably matches the amount of publishing that occurs in... a day in 2008. There's different worlds and then there's that galaxy that they took a photo of a million light years away.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6217 posts Report Reply

  • Mark Harris,

    AH, but does quantity equal quality?

    Waikanae • Since Jul 2008 • 1343 posts Report Reply

  • Mark Harris,

    And when people talk about copyright as a "natural right", I think we can look across the grand sweep of time, in which copyright can be seen as an anomaly ;-)

    Waikanae • Since Jul 2008 • 1343 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    And when people talk about copyright as a "natural right", I think we can look across the grand sweep of time, in which copyright can be seen as an anomaly ;-)

    And you can look at the reasons things like copyright and patents were brought in, which included trying to encourage publishing and invention.

    AH, but does quantity equal quality?

    There was a lot of truly awful art done in the middle ages. Worth millions now.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6217 posts Report Reply

  • robbery,

    Your position does not accord with the law as it stands.

    the law as it stands isn't the law of 1709 thankfully, and is ever evolving to acknowledge better understanding of what is property and the rights a fair civilisation should attribute to it. Lessig's argument is a step backward and reactivates dated concepts toward creators.

    books got written, music got composed, pictures were painted.

    land got taken, slaves got captured and sold, rape and pillage, drivers drove drunk, women didn't vote, yeah lots of things used to happen in different days, but we make laws to move us forward.
    Its interesting that people who take the position of supposed forward movement (free culture) are doing so invoking dated visions and concepts that include a standpoint of disrespect and servitude.

    And when people talk about copyright as a "natural right", I think we can look across the grand sweep of time, in which copyright can be seen as an anomaly ;-)

    I think that natural right argument came from people saying physical property right was a natural right and not extending the same vision to works that can be represented electronically.
    The response to natural right is what makes it a natural right, and all we got re that was a link to a wiki page of new age quotes.

    is a natural right a version of "if you take my shit I'll come at you with a caveman equivalent of a baseball" based on society saying, yeah that stuff belongs to him so he has a right to defend it, cos if that's the case I can still do that if you pirate my caveman movie.
    The issue at the moment is the time limitation on it and under current thinking that hasn't really been explained, and extensions to copyright imply that that is being acknowledged and adjusted for.

    new zealand • Since May 2007 • 1882 posts Report Reply

  • robbery,

    And you can look at the reasons things like copyright and patents were brought in, which included trying to encourage publishing and invention.

    I get that as one of the reasons (and a thoroughly insulting motivation to grant someone control of their works) but doesn't ownership and the protection of that rate as a more important motivation?

    new zealand • Since May 2007 • 1882 posts Report Reply

  • robbery,

    incentivize creators to produce more work.

    that's like agreeing to give your slaves a ration of meat in their diet to get them to work longer hours in the field. it doesn't address the whole pesky "slave" part of the equation. or in creatives case the right to own and control the works they produce.

    new zealand • Since May 2007 • 1882 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Grigg,

    And when people talk about copyright as a "natural right", I think we can look across the grand sweep of time, in which copyright can be seen as an anomaly ;-)

    And I'm trusting you didn't rush out and vote a week or two back because if we look across the grand sweep of time that right is an anomaly.

    I know you had a wink at the end of that post, but seriously Mark, as much as I sympathise and agree with some of your arguments that copyright must change, the idea that history can be used as an argument to adjust copyright does you no favours.

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

  • robbery,

    The response to natural right is what makes it a natural right, and all we got re that was a link to a wiki page of new age quotes.

    sorry that sentence was badly phrased, might read better like this.


    The response to the "natural right" argument was "what makes it a natural right?", and all we got in response to that question was a link to a wiki page of new age quotes.

    new zealand • Since May 2007 • 1882 posts Report Reply

  • jon_knox,

    The issue at the moment is the time limitation on it and under current thinking that hasn't really been explained, and extensions to copyright imply that that is being acknowledged and adjusted for.

    I thought we'd discussed this qute a bit back here. Speaking only for myself, rather than making assumptions regarding anyone else's "current thinking", I thought it had been explained satisfactorily, thus there seemed to be no further comments/questions at that time.

    Rob, are you seeking to consider where the line should be drawn regarding the duration of protection?

    I'm beginning to think that if someone want's protection forever, or for a period, that we should implement a "user-pays" scenario, with no price breaks that distort behaviour (eg "protection forever" for the price of 20 years).

    If a creative wants to share and protect their rights, then pay for it up-front, or pay year-to-year if you want an approach that allows creatives to understand which works have value (commerical or otherwise) that they want to protect.

    If a creative doesn't want to pay to protect their rights, then don't share the work, keep the work protected under the natural protection of the lock & a key.

    Seems to me, a bit simplier than attempting to have any other party than the rights holder determine the duration of those rights.

    Osterreich • Since Nov 2006 • 461 posts Report Reply

  • jon_knox,

    his big hobby horse is re mixing

    Personally I don't quite see the same amount of value in remixing music as actually creating music, but perhaps I'm being a music snob. Perhaps I've got tunnel vision regarding remixing music, as that was the example used in the lecture and Kim Hill interview. Where is the "learning" that it is suggested is the justification for the quotation of words? Yeah I get that it can be fun to remix, but that remix can be used to indirectly generate income. Is the remixing an entirely modern phenomenon that is a bit of a flash-in-the-pan, or has it been occurring in varying forms for centuries?

    As Lessig rightly points out elsewhere "the vast majority is crap", but one person's junk is another person's treasure. Raising the question for me regarding should there be a minimum standard which must be attained before protection should be invoked/provided?....Now that is a can of worms that I don't want to go near, but why not turn the responsibility for determining which works to protect and which to allow the right to protection to be avoided, or for the right to protection to lapse (and perhaps this needs to also allow for the situation where a work created for non-commercial reasons acquires (sudden) commercial value)...again the "user-pays" idea begins to loom large in my mind.

    The point that Rob raises, regarding the mis-appropriation of a work (eg McGlashan, McCain), is this really any different from the mis-use of a quote elsewhere?

    For me Lessig's idea regarding "quotation for the modern age" is where the wheels fall off a bit. Quoting 20 words is about as hard as um...borrowing...um- er I mean copying...er-um I mean stealing...er-um I mean "quoting" an entire film, album or track. And where is the referencing or citing occurring in a remix/copy/quotation for the modern age? I'd think it would be fairly unacceptable to "quote" an entire article or book, but this seems to be increasingly viewed as acceptable for music & films.

    Most of this brings me back to Simon's comments regarding the demarcation of fair use.

    Osterreich • Since Nov 2006 • 461 posts Report Reply

  • jon_knox,

    Now that is a can of worms that I don't want to go near, but why not turn the responsibility for determining which works to protect and which to allow the right to protection to be avoided, or for the right to protection to lapse (and perhaps this needs to also allow for the situation where a work created for non-commercial reasons acquires (sudden) commercial value)...again the "user-pays" idea begins to loom large in my mind.

    Sorry I meant indicate above that if anyone should be determining which works should be protected, then it should be the artist making that determination, not anyone else....Then back-up that desire for protection with some con$ideration. (gee I am quite beginning to enjoy this new brush/philosophy).

    Osterreich • Since Nov 2006 • 461 posts Report Reply

  • robbery,

    I thought it had been explained satisfactorily,

    my comprehension of gist of the 'explanation' was they are what they are 'because', be thankful you get anything, now get back to work.

    If a creative wants to share and protect their rights, then pay for it up-front, or pay year-to-year

    sure, if you want to pay for your right to not be mugged or burgled,

    who gets the money?
    why are you paying for something that should be inherently yours to do what you want with?
    keep it, leave it to your family, sell it.

    new zealand • Since May 2007 • 1882 posts Report Reply

  • robbery,

    I don't quite see the same amount of value in remixing music

    he uses the term remixing to refer to recombining various media like doing a silly dance to a song and putting it on you tube. your understanding of remix is the correct use of the word as applies to music. I haven't heard anyone use the term remix in the way lessig has before, but no biggie.

    I'm not a big fan of remixes either, sometimes they're a new song built out of familiar snippets of a known work, occasionally they're an improvement sonically on a budget mix.

    new zealand • Since May 2007 • 1882 posts Report Reply

  • jon_knox,

    the term remixing to refer to recombining various media like doing a silly dance to a song and putting it on you tube

    gee, lets hope this is not the high water mark for the peak of civilisation in our time. Slick & cool presentation though it was, but should we be really signing up for Lessig's "quotation for the modern age" based on a few amusing examples?

    why are you paying for something that should be inherently yours to do what you want with?
    keep it, leave it to your family, sell it.

    You have all those rights, so long as you chose not to share it/break the monopoly of the physical....under what I'd call the lock & key approach.

    Just because a creative chooses to share their work, does that mean that they should reasonably expect enforcement of rights without direct cost?

    Break the monopoly of the physical at your own risk. If you do want additional rights, pay for them and ensure that the little symbol indicating you've paid the priviledge of enforcing your rights is used on all occassions.....(that's something I don't really understand about the existing copyright symbol usage, if all works inherently have copyright, why do we need the little symbol?)

    who gets the money?

    Serivces to assist creatives with enforcement get the money, but mainly the admin, invoicing & accounts receivable functions of the service provider. The more you pay, the more enforcement you get. When you stop paying for a particular work, so does your ability to use the services for that work (or those works).

    sure, if you want to pay for your right to not be mugged or burgled

    We do pay for these already. If you're not happy with the level of service provided by the state scheme, you can pay for additional services.

    Under a user-pays system we move away from everything having rights, to only those works that the creators themselves deem sufficently important to protect, or to continue protecting.

    Consider those rights to be like a fence, like the one that a farmer maintains around his stock. There is little doubt that the stock belongs to the farmer, but yet the farmer still has to pay to build & maintain the fence.

    Osterreich • Since Nov 2006 • 461 posts Report Reply

  • jon_knox,

    his stock.

    er..sorry I did mean "his/her stock".

    Osterreich • Since Nov 2006 • 461 posts Report Reply

  • jon_knox,

    I'm not entirely sure that an alternative to the existing copyright needs a user-pays option, but it kinda seems like a handy option/detail if the quotation for the modern age type scenario is to be considered.

    So having now identified that an opt-in scenario is an alternative to the current opt-out (well opt-out by choosing not to enforce infringement) scenario, are there other altenratives such as...ah-um hybrids, or should we attempt to consider Fair Use?

    Osterreich • Since Nov 2006 • 461 posts Report Reply

  • robbery,

    remixing

    would be more accurately termed "reworking".
    the term remixing is incorrectly used by the industry too with some 'remixes' which use very little of the original work and add lots that was never there. I guess he's mis appropriated and inaccurate term.
    and I agree, picking a big fight over a few novelty amusements seems a bit less noble than he might have u think his cause is.

    Just because a creative chooses to share their work, does that mean that they should reasonably expect enforcement of rights without direct cost?

    well they pay taxes like anyone else. do you get hit for a direct cost for the laws backing up your property rights? if your house is burgled laws and police back up of said laws is all part of the society deal isn't it. And that back up doesn't evaporate 70 years after the original creators death, it continues in perpetuity for following owners, and that back up is part of establishing a stable and fair society for us to live in.
    I'm still not getting the reasoning for rights to evaporate after 70 years.

    saying people can keep their creations under lock and key if they want to protect them doesn't address their right to derive income safely from the results of their efforts.
    That's like saying you can build a house but if you let the location of that house out then you are responsible for people who rob it.
    or if you have a garden in your home you should put up a big fence to keep people out. If people can bypass your fence they can help themselves to your fruit and vege and you have no legal fall back unless you pay for it. Its your fault for letting people figure out you have stuff they want.

    new zealand • Since May 2007 • 1882 posts Report Reply

  • jon_knox,

    That's like saying you can build a house but if you let the location of that house out then you are responsible for people who rob it.

    Locks on doors, or perhaps just doors is perhaps a better analogy. Or how about the farmer's fence around the stock, or should society pay also pay for that?

    Property rights & the rule of law are a citizen thing, we all benefit from them and that's why I'd suggest our taxes pay to uphold them. Perhaps sadly, we don't all derive benefit as creators of IP, which is why I'd suggest society justifies not using taxes to fund the activities of a smaller (albeit important) subset of society. Actually everybody needs doors and all stock need fences...people who've paid for doors and farmers who've paid for fences, reckon society owes you a refund for any unnecessary expenditure.

    doesn't address their right to derive income

    If you want to derive income from it, there is an option to allow you to protect your rights. If you don't want to protect your rights, including the right to derive income from a work, you don't have to pay. Seems quite simple.

    Continue protection for as long as protection has been paid for.
    I don't see why "forever" should be used, as there has been no consideration provided by the creative for the term being forever. Lock & key will last for a good long time, forever if you want to keep upgrading the lock & key.

    Part of me is loathe to admit, that there is an elegance of an opt-in model that the ISP responsibilities type solution just fails to have....though I think this is more regarding being an advocate for a user pays model, well that's what I've labelled in several comments above.

    Osterreich • Since Nov 2006 • 461 posts Report Reply

  • robbery,

    farmer's fence around the stock, or should society pay also pay for that?

    that's a particularly bad analogy. farmers fences are to keep stock in not thieves out.

    new zealand • Since May 2007 • 1882 posts Report Reply

  • robbery,

    Perhaps sadly, we don't all derive benefit as creators of IP

    this is wrong.
    we all benefit from ip law because we all can create ip and then benefit from it.
    we don't all own houses or expensive property but should we own it we benefit from the laws that protect it. its exactly the same with ip law or should be.

    new zealand • Since May 2007 • 1882 posts Report Reply

  • robbery,

    everybody needs doors

    yes everyone needs doors for privacy but should they need a great big iron fence and armed guards for security?
    sadly in our society more so as time passes. I don't know what that says about us, or more I do know but I don't want to think about it.
    the whole "people used to leave their cars unlocked and their back doors open 50 years ago" is true. In new york or london you'd be stupid to trust anyone not to rip off anything left un attended for a few seconds.
    here there is still the ability to leave a bag or mobile phone on a bar un attended for a little,... sort of.

    the honesty system obviously didn't work for media, no more than its wise to leave a road side stall un attended any more.
    law has to step in to keep things in line where we know they should be in line, and making excuses for our own crapness and that the law is wrong seems to be becoming a valid form of argument.

    new zealand • Since May 2007 • 1882 posts Report Reply

  • jon_knox,

    this is wrong.
    we all benefit from ip law because we all can create ip and then benefit from it.

    hmmm...perhaps what you read, is different from what I wrote, perhaps I need to add emphasis. Perhaps sadly, we don't all derive benefit as creators of IP as creators of IP.

    Just because we have the option of creating IP, doesn't mean that people are doing it and if they are creating IP, many are not seeking protection. Recall that most output is of little realised commercial value, despite or perhaps regardless of other value.

    If you think your shiz is worth protecting, protect it, don't pass the burden of responsiblity on to me, coz that seems more than a tad lazy...And if the protection you choose to pay for results in increasingly alienating you from your fan base, that value is called a lesson.

    Osterreich • Since Nov 2006 • 461 posts Report Reply

  • robbery,

    hmmm...perhaps what you read, is different from what I wrote

    No, I read what you wrote correctly and countered with the argument not everyone owns a house but land ownership rights stand for everyone at societies cost. Are you suggesting land owners should have to pay costs of upholding their ownership rights, or that wide screen 42 inch lcd screen owners should have to pay for ownership rights and protection from the police in case of theft?
    why is this any different from protecting the rights of IP owners.
    society benefits from a stable landscape across all boundaries, equally.
    It's in society as a whole's interest that property rights exist and are enforced. We're seeing this back lash against it because some people are thinking what's in it for them individually, ie "if I take property rights away from media creators I can have free movies".

    new zealand • Since May 2007 • 1882 posts Report Reply

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