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[P]
Digital blood feud

By jdlasica in Culture
Mon May 03, 2004 at 01:30:26 AM EST
Tags: Internet (all tags)
Internet

Lessig surveys the battlefield in 'Free Culture'

When future generations of search bots look back at this unsettled era in which we're transitioning from an analog to a digital society, they may be impressed most by the works of Lawrence Lessig.

In his first book, Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace, dark forces were gathering, conspiring to use code as a form of privatized law to hem in the Internet and the potential of the digital revolution. Readers learned that the Net, far from impervious, could be tamed by rewiring its architecture. The premise seems obvious now, but only because Lessig's 1999 ground-breaker connected the dots for us and set the scene for the struggles to follow.


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His 2001 follow-up, The Future of Ideas, examined the kinds of innovation that could flourish online but for the intrusion of copyright law. Lessig's second outing deepened our understanding of the forces in conflict: entertainment companies, rigid business models, and obsequious policy-makers set against tech innovators, risk-taking businessmen, and Netizens who still took their online freedoms for granted. In a style that was uncommonly accessible for this academic-turned-storyteller, Lessig tackled the public commons, the end-to-end principle, spectrum regulation, and other classic and modern precepts in an effort to get us to look at intellectual property in a new light.

Now comes Free Culture: How Big Media Uses Technology and the Law to Lock Down Culture and Control Creativity. The book could be considered the finale in Lessig's trilogy, a sort of Lord of the Rings for the intellectual property crowd.

The good professor lives up to the arguments he espouses by making the book available for free download on the Internet. Since its release in late March, Free Culture has become something of a remix phenomenon, with fans uploading audio versions of each chapter and others recirculating the work in new formats, including wikis, iSilo and Mobipocket. (No worries: It was released under a Creative Commons license.) Lessig's latest has even inspired a group of Swarthmore College students to launch a new organization, Freeculture.org.

In Free Culture, once again Lessig calls to our attention the increasing disconnect between law and digital culture. We see studio moguls, recording executives and Beltway insiders all seeking to impose what Lessig calls an "extremist" agenda by divorcing copyright law from its moorings in the Constitution as a balanced copyright bargain struck between creators and the public. Instead, we're now seeing a new brand of intellectual property, where digital "property" rights are valued above all else and "piracy" is portrayed as society's mortal enemy.

It is this framing of the issue, as one of property and law vs. piracy and theft, that itself is dishonest, Lessig shows. The true battle, he argues, is about control. He writes: "The opposite of a free culture is a 'permission culture' -- a culture in which creators get to create only with the permission of the powerful, or of creators from the past." This has become the blood feud that is today tearing at the fabric of digital culture: Should the public's right to participate in culture be sacrificed on the altar of protecting big media's business models?

Lessig, a law professor at Stanford, serves as our historical tour guide, adroitly demonstrating that each of the major entertainment industries -- Hollywood, cable television, radio, the music recording industry -- was itself guilty of piracy in its early years. Culture, it seems, has always wanted to borrow from what came before.

He also summons up moral outrage in pointing out the baseness of a legal system in which a teen faces a maximum fine of $1,000 if he shoplifts a CD from a record store -- but faces statutory damages of $150,000 for downloading a single song without permission. He shows us the added financial burden the government placed upon Internet radio, which must pay recording artists for every Webcast of a song, even though terrestrial radio is exempt from such payments. The double standard has gone a long way toward smothering Internet radio in the cradle.

At times, Lessig steps out of the legal cocoon to wonder about larger social policies. He writes:

Why is it that the part of our culture that is recorded in newspapers remains perpetually accessible, while the part that is recorded on videotape is not? How is it that we've created a world where researchers trying to understand the effect of media on nineteenth-century America will have an easier time than researchers trying to understand the effect of media on twentieth-century America?
Near the end, Lessig takes us on an extended tour of Eldred v. Ashcroft, the landmark case involving the public commons that he argued before the Supreme Court and lost, 7-2, 15 months ago. He spends a bit too much time refining his arguments in an imaginary rehearing of the case rather than recounting personal details of what was taking place behind the scenes. In the end, the High Court caved to special interests, granting Congress the right to extend already lengthy copyright terms by another 20 years, without bothering to explain how such an act will offer incentives to Robert Frost, Ernest Hemingway, George Gershwin, Irving Berlin or other long-dead creators. In so doing, the court helped ignite a digital prairie fire that will doubtless grow hotter in intensity as digital technology becomes a pervasive part of our lives.

The giant of cyberlaw has a few prescriptions for this sad state of affairs. One is Creative Commons, the organization housed at Stanford that gives creators greater freedom over how to manage and share their digital handiworks. But a more fundamental solution lies in Lessig's call for Congress to revisit the very basis of copyright. He recommends shortening copyright terms and, importantly, rewiring its fundamentals so that everything on the Internet does not automatically fall into the regulatory black hole governed by copyright law. Lessig suggests (as others have done) remixing the law so that copyright comes into play not when someone makes a copy of something for personal use but only when someone is engaged in profiting off others' works -- that is, true piracy.

His final suggestion is one of his best: Fire lots of lawyers.

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Poll
Are our digital rights in jeopardy?
o Yes. Big media has no use for fair use in the digital age 73%
o No. We'll always be able to route around any restrictions 5%
o Maybe. You win some, you lose some 21%

Votes: 76
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o Lawrence Lessig
o free download
o remix phenomenon
o audio versions
o Creative Commons
o Freecultur e.org
o Also by jdlasica


Display: Sort:
Digital blood feud | 126 comments (123 topical, 3 editorial, 7 hidden)
excellent (1.74 / 27) (#1)
by circletimessquare on Fri Apr 30, 2004 at 06:18:33 PM EST

the issue is whether or not new technology (the internet) will empower surveillance, or culture

will our culture- our music, our thoughts, our books, our movies, which are essentially the human spirit and human creativity, be empowered by new technology?

or will new technology allow the corporatization, monetization, and ownership of our shared human culture?

some smirk that the whole "information wants to be free" crowd are a bunch of communists

well, they are correct

the folly of communism is that it essentially ignores human nature, while capitalism harnesses it

however, this is in the realm of human culture, not human industry

human culture is not human industry, and the lessons against communism and for capitalism do not apply

human culture feeds off of itself creatively and is maximized when the free flow of ideas is allowed

road blocks- where companies get in the way of human expression and creativity, drains human thought, monetizes our human culture, so that a few may benefit monetarily while the vast majority of us lose because of the culture that was never allowed to live due to the road blocks- witness the grey album

in other words, the most successful approach, the best balance between commerce and creativity in the realm of intellectual property is, in short, communism

creativity is maximized, and money is made on the epherma, the outskirts, of the giant orgy of thought which, unhindered by bureauctratic rules of when and where creative thought is exposed and controlled and disclosed and divulged, is allowed to grow to its maximum

tying human creativity down, bloodletting it by corporatizing and monetizing human culture, drains it, and in the end, less money is actually made than if companies and industry just let human culture alone, simply because there is less human culture

the incentive for human beings to create music is not to make money, it never was... ever since we banged on a drum in a cave or tried to impress a teenage girl with our teenage selves and our guitar/ 808/ scratch skills

people will make music whether or not ther eis big industry around

so big industry needs to get out of the way, there will always be venues- live concerts, and internet portals with advertising, to make money off of human culture

human capitalism need not tap human creativity like a vampire sucking on the sap of a tree, killing the tree

human capitalism needs only harvest the leaves every fall, and human creativity will be free and stronger and richer and more bountiful- culturally and monetarily, in the end

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

Sir, (2.56 / 23) (#3)
by Danzig on Fri Apr 30, 2004 at 09:23:01 PM EST

Your line breaks are raping my eyes.

You are not a fucking Fight Club quotation.
rmg for editor!
If you disagree, moderate, don't post.
Kill whitey.
[ Parent ]
Amen. (2.16 / 6) (#8)
by kmcrober on Sat May 01, 2004 at 04:54:47 PM EST

Seriously.  Punctuation is your friend.  

More people will read and understand you if you write more sedately.

[ Parent ]

We need a way to just auto-ignore.. (1.60 / 5) (#12)
by sudog on Sat May 01, 2004 at 11:57:07 PM EST

.. so whatever posts are from people on the auto-ignore are automatically removed and replaced with a little saying.. something like: "Due to stupid people (circletimessquare) who have annoyed you in the past, this comment has been mercifully removed to assuage the overall level of insipience you are forced to endure."


[ Parent ]
Trolls like circletimessquare ruin k5 for me. (nt) (1.83 / 6) (#13)
by Danzig on Sun May 02, 2004 at 01:08:52 AM EST



You are not a fucking Fight Club quotation.
rmg for editor!
If you disagree, moderate, don't post.
Kill whitey.
[ Parent ]
i don't understand grammar nazis (1.20 / 15) (#15)
by circletimessquare on Sun May 02, 2004 at 01:24:42 AM EST

or punctuation nazis or whatever

i'm just lazy, plenty of people can talk to me in my shorthand

are you people autistic or dyslexic or something?

asperger's syndrome?

if things don't conform to your narrow-minded little aperture of a mind input you go apeshit?

whatever kind of troll i am, grammar nazis are most certainly a lower life form

socially brittle surface-obsessed nitwits

the kind of people who go to a lecture from albert eistein, and remark in the end that einstein's hair was disheveled and his clothes were rumpled, so you couldn't focus on what he was saying

i'm no einstein, but you grammar nazis are exactly those kind of narrowminded shallow fools

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

I am not a grammar nazi. (2.90 / 11) (#17)
by Danzig on Sun May 02, 2004 at 01:36:13 AM EST

It is not your punctuation. Nor is it your capitalization. Those I can deal with. However, your excessive line breaks are jarring to me, for whatever reason. My brain is trained to expect paragraphs. If Einstein just had weird hair, I could listen to him. If he was naked and raping a duck, I would have trouble paying attention.

You are not a fucking Fight Club quotation.
rmg for editor!
If you disagree, moderate, don't post.
Kill whitey.
[ Parent ]
so (1.00 / 17) (#18)
by circletimessquare on Sun May 02, 2004 at 02:07:25 AM EST

you are saying

unexpected line breaks

are like raping

a

duck?

are your eyes bleeding yet?

because this weird power

you have

gvien me notice of

over your wierd little brittle mind

ONLY

MAKES

ME

WANT

TO

DO

IT

MORE

for the sheer sadistic joy of rattling the cages of wierd little shallow minds

life is all format and no content to you, eh shallow stupid fuck?

i have no respect for the likes of you, and even less the more i hear from you


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Dude if you respected me because of my k5 posts... (3.00 / 5) (#20)
by Danzig on Sun May 02, 2004 at 03:08:37 AM EST

I would seriously worry about you.

You are not a fucking Fight Club quotation.
rmg for editor!
If you disagree, moderate, don't post.
Kill whitey.
[ Parent ]
erm... um... (none / 3) (#21)
by circletimessquare on Sun May 02, 2004 at 03:10:57 AM EST

(whisper) same here

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
Einstein (2.50 / 6) (#22)
by gdanjo on Sun May 02, 2004 at 06:43:38 AM EST

the kind of people who go to a lecture from albert eistein, and remark in the end that einstein's hair was disheveled and his clothes were rumpled, so you couldn't focus on what he was saying
But Einstein made an effort to have his audience understand him. He opened other scientists eyes with his solution to Brownian motion, after which he delivered his relativity papers. If Einstein was an arrogant arse that refused to speak english to an english audience, or wrote using hieroglyphics, and told people that didn't understand him to "fuck off", then yes, people would complain, and someone else would be attributed with discovering relativety, and loads of later tesla-ites would bemoan the fact that Einsteing didn't get the recognition he deserved.

The medium is part of the message, and Einstein knew this.

i'm no einstein [...]
Truer words have never been said.

Dan ...
"Death - oh! fair and `guiling copesmate Death!
Be not a malais'd beggar; claim this bloody jester!"
-ToT
[ Parent ]

heehee (1.60 / 10) (#28)
by circletimessquare on Sun May 02, 2004 at 11:11:00 AM EST

You know Mr. gdanjo, you often do have interesting things to say, but I fear that you have succumbed to troll baiting here on kuro5hin. Frankly, I don't give two fucks about what you think of me - so why do you say "Truer words have never been said."? I made a comment about a comment, and you attack my intelligence. Why? Do you consider me a troll like the other trolls I've seen (successfully) bait you? Do you not see a difference between me and a standard troll? What is it about my statements that makes you so defensive?

Honestly I want to know - it would seem that anyone that has a contrary opinion to you is a troll. Do you see no problem with this?

Or are you just baiting me?

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

+3, legible. (2.50 / 6) (#34)
by kmcrober on Sun May 02, 2004 at 05:53:10 PM EST

See how much more readable that comment is?  Courtesy pays off.  +3 from me.

[ Parent ]
no retard (1.00 / 6) (#39)
by circletimessquare on Mon May 03, 2004 at 01:53:04 AM EST

i was baiting him

http://www.kuro5hin.org/comments/2004/4/30/85930/4002/286#286

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Bush's tie (2.00 / 5) (#23)
by farlukar on Sun May 02, 2004 at 07:55:34 AM EST

i'm just lazy
I don't believe you. Those empty lines require at least an extra "enter" hit,

and

apparently

you're using <p>'s

so you must be doing it on purpose
______________________
$ make install not war

[ Parent ]
i hit enter twice (nt) (1.00 / 7) (#27)
by circletimessquare on Sun May 02, 2004 at 11:08:32 AM EST



The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
You're right (1.40 / 15) (#25)
by pyramid termite on Sun May 02, 2004 at 10:35:06 AM EST

W
h
y

s
h
o
u
l
d

y
o
u
r

t
e
x
t

f
o
r
m
a
t
t
i
n
g

s
k
i
l
l
s

h
a
v
e

a
n
y
t
h
i
n
g

t
o

d
o

w
i
t
h

w
h
a
t

y
o
u

s
a
y

a
n
d

h
o
w

g
o
o
d

i
t

i
s
?
On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]

i like that! ;-) (1.12 / 8) (#26)
by circletimessquare on Sun May 02, 2004 at 11:07:56 AM EST

it shows some creativity! keep it up, spice up the usual dull exchanges around here ;-)

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
hey (2.33 / 9) (#29)
by farlukar on Sun May 02, 2004 at 12:08:47 PM EST

stopthatwillyouthatscompletelyunreadableitgivesmeaheadachetryningtogothroughthat youwouldntwanttoruinmydaybydoingthatwouldyouhuhhuhnowstarttypinglikeanynormalguy andputatleastsinglewordsonasinglelinePLZFXTHXKBYE
______________________
$ make install not war

[ Parent ]
ok. (2.25 / 4) (#56)
by Burning Straw Man on Mon May 03, 2004 at 10:55:03 AM EST

there is a difference between cts and the evil which is his line break and formatting style, and the absolute horror of an eye test you just posted.
--
your straw man is on fire...
[ Parent ]
Nope. (none / 3) (#71)
by Ward57 on Tue May 04, 2004 at 01:12:58 AM EST

Though if you'd said "Einstein spoke with a thick germanic accent, and I had to keep going over and over it in my mind to understand what he said", you'd be closer. Of course, I don't know whether Einstein had a thick german accent.

[ Parent ]
actually (none / 1) (#73)
by circletimessquare on Tue May 04, 2004 at 02:05:10 AM EST

einstein's dying words were in german, and the nurse by his side when he died didn't speak german, so einstein's dying words are forever lost to us ;-(


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
Something I learned.. (none / 1) (#44)
by sudog on Mon May 03, 2004 at 03:01:26 AM EST

As it turns out, actually confronting him with his own ignorance, while time-consuming, can do wonders to expose his rampant hypocrisy. It would appear that he has difficulty keeping a thread more than ten or twelve levels deep in mind at once. So, what happens is he often ends up contradicting himself *inside the same threads he started.*

I find his silliness amusing, as I always have, simply for the entertainment of reciprocally pointing out his mistakes. I certainly hold him no personal malice by any means, and in fact would probably buy him a beer at a bar and shake his hand if I ever met him face to face.

I just think it's important to enlighten people about his viewpoint to save them the effort of finding out the truth for themselves.

I was once perplexed to hear him talk about himself as a troll who does violence to an otherwise peaceful community in the mistaken belief that it somehow makes such a community "healthier." The absurdity of such a statement appears to have been honestly, completely lost on him when he made it.


[ Parent ]

your hypocrisy is timeless (nt) (none / 2) (#49)
by circletimessquare on Mon May 03, 2004 at 03:38:55 AM EST



The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
Hey you spelled it right this time! wow, impressed (none / 1) (#58)
by sudog on Mon May 03, 2004 at 01:27:34 PM EST



[ Parent ]
all due to your help and love! ;-) (nt) (none / 0) (#117)
by circletimessquare on Thu May 06, 2004 at 11:02:13 PM EST



The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
Maybe... (none / 3) (#55)
by SPYvSPY on Mon May 03, 2004 at 10:38:17 AM EST

...you could form a center for research on this problem and affiliate it with Harvard, and enlist a glossy-magazine-culture celebrity scholar like Larry Lessig to pontificate on the implications of line break trends on the Internet. Doubtless, your work would full many sectors of disk space, and would be lauded by future generations, and might even sell a few books on the NYT best seller list due to good word of mouth in the NPR/NYT/BBC cult of soft-spoken personalities with graduate degrees.
------------------------------------------------

By replying to this or any other comment in this thread, you assign an equal share of all worldwide copyright in such reply to each of the other readers of this site.
[ Parent ]

wtf? LOL ;-) (none / 1) (#72)
by circletimessquare on Tue May 04, 2004 at 02:03:51 AM EST

funny man

humor, we need WAY more of that here ;-)


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

i agree with you 100% (1.00 / 14) (#14)
by circletimessquare on Sun May 02, 2004 at 01:21:24 AM EST

i despise narrowmind fools

i wish there were a kill file, and you would put me in yours

i don't want you reading my comments and talking about my punctuation instead of my thoughts, and you don't want to read my comments because your so narrowminded it's all your brain can focus on

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Uh.. "buddy".. (none / 1) (#43)
by sudog on Mon May 03, 2004 at 02:49:26 AM EST

This time I didn't even mention your atrocious grammar; just your overall insipidity.


[ Parent ]
and yet you keep following me around ;-) nt (none / 2) (#48)
by circletimessquare on Mon May 03, 2004 at 03:37:26 AM EST



The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
Or is it the other way around? (none / 1) (#59)
by sudog on Mon May 03, 2004 at 01:29:35 PM EST

Typical of a sycophant like you.

[ Parent ]
lol you use my words ;-) (nt) (none / 1) (#75)
by circletimessquare on Tue May 04, 2004 at 02:28:33 AM EST



The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
lol You have the IQ of a small puppy. ;-) (nt) (none / 0) (#118)
by sudog on Thu May 06, 2004 at 11:03:12 PM EST



[ Parent ]
rusty could actually gain respect and improve k5 (1.22 / 9) (#36)
by Wah on Sun May 02, 2004 at 07:12:22 PM EST

...simply

 by

 banning

 your

 worthless

 ass.
--
'The Matrix' is a better interpretation of quantum mechanics than Copenhagen.
[ Parent ]

Worthless my ass.... (3.00 / 4) (#52)
by trezor on Mon May 03, 2004 at 07:15:51 AM EST

You may disagree with the guy, but at least he made an argument for his case. Wheather you find his argument valid, is ofcourse yet another case, but nevermind that.

I am curious, since when did the "He who does not agree with me, is totally and utterly worthless"-stance become a respectable one?

In a free sosciety, people should be allowed to express opinions freely, thus its name, while you totally and utterly discourages it. Actually you want it banned. You say so yourself, more or less.

In my book, your the worthless POS, but you won't be bothered by that, I know. After all I disagree with you, and then me and my opinions are worthless to you (except for worth banning, that is).

If you happen to reply to this, don't expect an answer if your comment is as trollish as the parent.


--
Richard Dean Anderson porn? - Now spread the news

[ Parent ]
No, like the stuff that comes out of your ass. (1.25 / 4) (#57)
by Wah on Mon May 03, 2004 at 12:23:05 PM EST

You may disagree with the guy, but at least he made an argument for his case.

Pray tell, what was that argument?  Hmm, any ideas?

I am curious, since when did the "He who does not agree with me, is totally and utterly worthless"-stance become a respectable one?

There's nothing to disagree with, his 'argument' is self-negating drivel.  Really, read his comment and paraphrase the 'argument' for me.  I'll be waiting as you actually try to parse what his trolling script generates.

In a free sosciety, people should be allowed to express opinions freely, thus its name, while you totally and utterly discourages it. Actually you want it banned. You say so yourself, more or less.

Hey, he can spout all the drivel he wants on a street corner.  This isn't a free society, it's a website.  It's a psuedo-anonymous democracy.  Which is an oxymoron, and trying to treat it like an actual democracy is what led to the decline.  Defending someone's right to spout absolute drivel, day in and day out, drivel specifically designed by that person to disrupt discussion is part of that decline, IMHO.

Here, we don't really need it, as it is needless noise added to a 'discussion'.  cts's game, BTW, is to entertain himself while he's bored at work, to the detriment of everyone that sees his crap.

In my book, your the worthless POS, but you won't be bothered by that, I know.

"You're" not quite on target here, but I'll wait for you to paraphrse the drivel before really driving that point home.
--
'The Matrix' is a better interpretation of quantum mechanics than Copenhagen.
[ Parent ]

Put in clear text: (none / 2) (#79)
by trezor on Tue May 04, 2004 at 08:50:35 AM EST

  1. He is asking if technology should be used to promote freedom or restrict it.
  2. He is saying that "communism" (or a communistic inspired system, anyways) is better for culture than the current capitalistic is.
    Which is a fair point. In capitalism people own stuff (even ideas these days... *sigh*), while under communism nobody really owns anything. This allows ideas to be spread freely without any MegaCorp(TM) halting the process with "this is our IP".
  3. He is in advance countering people saying "artists need to make money, or else no art will be made". There has allways been art, since long before money or reward.
  4. He says his opinion is that capitalism is bad for culture. This is opinion is based on previous arguments.
  5. He says big business controls too much, and that he fears that they may make technology control us, not the other way around, thus limiting our freedom and rights.

He may write it like he's a stoned hippie having a hard time getting down to earth, and his sig downright smells "loser", but this is what he says, and I don't find it "trollish".

Feel free to disgaree though.


--
Richard Dean Anderson porn? - Now spread the news

[ Parent ]
so in other words.. (none / 3) (#81)
by Wah on Tue May 04, 2004 at 01:07:02 PM EST

...he rephrased Lessig's argument in 'stoned hippie having a hard time getting down to earth' speech, threw in some inflammatory words (without qualification), ignored shift keys, and used line breaks instead of periods.

a.k.a., a textbook troll, adding nothing to the conversation except confusion and overreaction.
--
'The Matrix' is a better interpretation of quantum mechanics than Copenhagen.
[ Parent ]

thanks man ;-) (none / 0) (#82)
by circletimessquare on Tue May 04, 2004 at 02:12:44 PM EST

you said it better than me ;-)


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
so did lessig (none / 0) (#114)
by Wah on Thu May 06, 2004 at 06:54:52 PM EST

lots.
--
'The Matrix' is a better interpretation of quantum mechanics than Copenhagen.
[ Parent ]
Put in "clear" text (none / 0) (#87)
by Mithras on Tue May 04, 2004 at 06:18:28 PM EST

This might be a little pedantic but: 1) In communism the government owns everything 2) People make art for the reward, even if the reward is not monetary in nature

[ Parent ]
try to think (none / 0) (#90)
by circletimessquare on Tue May 04, 2004 at 07:41:13 PM EST

communism is an idea, not a brittle definition

you can have communist industrial practices and communist cultural practices, and they are valuable ideas to discuss without being disregarded simply because you have problems with semantics


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Communism? (none / 0) (#105)
by Mithras on Wed May 05, 2004 at 06:07:36 PM EST

Communism is not a valuable idea to discuss. It is wrongheaded, and based on the belief that humans are exclusively altruistic in nature. Capitalism also has much the same issue, except it has humans exclusively motivated by greed.

As greed is a much larger part of the human psyche, capitalism works better.

My personal belief is that socialism, such as in Europe or Canada, is much better than either capitalism or communism.

Finally, there are no communist industrial practices that are not used elsewhere in the world, and communist culture is an oxymoron.

[ Parent ]

good lord (none / 0) (#106)
by circletimessquare on Wed May 05, 2004 at 06:41:00 PM EST

you seem to have a problem accepting new ideas

try to open your mind, since communism applied to cultural practices IS EXACTLY WHAT THE WHOLE FUCKING FREE SOFTWARE MOVEMENT IS FOUNDED ON

duh


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Ideas (none / 0) (#107)
by Mithras on Wed May 05, 2004 at 06:56:05 PM EST

There is nothing wrong with considering an idea and then deciding that it is in fact wrong and should not be used. This is what an open mind is all about. Everything you see should be filtered by you.

Your mind can be compared to an email account - do you read every single piece of spam you recieve?
I need a sig
[ Parent ]

good, now we're getting somewhere (none / 0) (#108)
by circletimessquare on Wed May 05, 2004 at 10:50:11 PM EST

show me where communism as applied to music distrubtion is worse than what we have today


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
Music Communism (none / 0) (#113)
by Mithras on Thu May 06, 2004 at 05:57:34 PM EST

Using communism, the music industry wouold become a government operated industry. It would then produce CDs and other media according to a set list of quotas, regardless of the actual content of the media. This is because each artist would get exactly the same number of CDs produced as every other artist. Also, the artists would be controlled by the state.

I think this would be worse than what we have today.

[ Parent ]

what is WRONG with you people (none / 0) (#116)
by circletimessquare on Thu May 06, 2004 at 10:25:05 PM EST

CULTURAL COMMUNISM

NOT INDUSTRIAL COMMUNISM

do you have the ability to think creatively or are you a fucking dolt with a 2 inch thick skull!

geez!


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

There is no differenc (none / 0) (#120)
by Mithras on Sat May 08, 2004 at 12:22:15 AM EST

And please, lets not make ad hominem attacks.
I need a sig
[ Parent ]
Artists make art for the love of art. Not reward. (none / 1) (#99)
by trezor on Wed May 05, 2004 at 06:00:31 AM EST

    People make art for the reward, even if the reward is not monetary in nature

No. Artists makes art because they feel compelled to express themselves creatively. Anyone with a slightly artistic gene in their body knows this.

The fact that we have a monetary system which makes money a neccesity to survive, does not alter the basic mindset of an artist. It just creates a basic need.

Beethoven for instance was a poor man, which hardly got any respect or money for his works. Did that stop him from writing some of the finest pieces of classical music in history?

Jazzmusicians this last century hardly made a dime. It didn't stop them from revolutionising the way music was to be played for the aftertime.

I think people who believes that artists make art for the reward, lacks serious insight in the ways art is made and how artists thinks and feels.

There is something seriously wrong when people make art for money. Basicly, the so called "art" get rather crappy. Art should be made for the love of art, and nothing else.


--
Richard Dean Anderson porn? - Now spread the news

[ Parent ]
I may not have been clear (none / 0) (#103)
by Mithras on Wed May 05, 2004 at 05:54:40 PM EST

A non-monetary rewards is anythying from satisfaction of a job well do to ars gratia artis.

[ Parent ]
oops (none / 0) (#104)
by Mithras on Wed May 05, 2004 at 05:59:07 PM EST

It should read "job well done"

[ Parent ]
hmm (none / 2) (#66)
by reklaw on Mon May 03, 2004 at 05:35:51 PM EST

If "information wants to be free" is communism, then the GPL is Stalinism. Just sayin'.

I sort of like the idea of creative/cultural "communism", but that would involve putting things in the public domain. These GPL/Creative Commons idiots annoy me, because they just don't have the balls to go the whole way on what they think is right.
-
[ Parent ]

well (none / 2) (#74)
by circletimessquare on Tue May 04, 2004 at 02:08:24 AM EST

i wasn't even thinking about the whole gnu crowd when i wrote that

it seems to me that software is sort of evolutionary- always changing, and to use it, you need human help, training, interpretation, error debugging, etc...

but music? you  just hit play and listen to it... so it is not freighted with the same considerations and context of "just let it be free" that the gnu crowd is grappling with


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Folly... (none / 1) (#86)
by marcmengel on Tue May 04, 2004 at 05:30:11 PM EST

You say:
the folly of communism is that it essentially ignores human nature, while capitalism harnesses it
Acutally, Communism relies on Altruism, while Capitalism relies on Greed. Both are part of human nature, and both are fundamentally flawed for relying on only part of human nature.

In the extreme, Communism leads to people who are altruistic and can't farm failing to grow food for the world.

In the extreme, Capitalism leads to a huge monopoly producing the cheapest, lousiest possible food and charging too much money for it.

Either system, left alone, starves most of the world.

[ Parent ]

wrong (none / 0) (#91)
by circletimessquare on Tue May 04, 2004 at 09:41:33 PM EST

greed trumps altruism in the marketplace of human labor

part of accepting true human nature is accepting the bad parts without whitewashing them

so this observation of mine is not being cynical of me, but your imperfect observation IS being naive of you

altruism is still a valuable and important aspect of human nature... it is just that, in the marketplace of human labor, altruism loses badly

recognize that, and move on


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

"Information is not knowledge. (2.18 / 11) (#5)
by stpna5 on Sat May 01, 2004 at 02:37:24 AM EST

Knowledge is not wisdom. Wisdom is not truth. Truth is not beauty. Beauty is not love. Love is not music. MUSIC IS BEST.--Frank Zappa

Related MLP (2.87 / 8) (#7)
by kmcrober on Sat May 01, 2004 at 04:47:25 PM EST

If you're interested in law and technology, you might want to check out The Berkman Center for Internet & Society, with which Lessig is affiliated.  The Berkman Center is a research program affiliated with Harvard Law School, doing some greally great work.  I've been lucky enough to work with the B Center for the last few years, but the real leading lights are legal scholars and researchers like Lessig, Charles Nesson, Terry Fisher and Jonathan Zittrain.  

The B Center's advocacy projects include ChillingEffects.org, which helps laypeople understand and respond to threatening intellectual property cease & desist letters, and Open Law, which is a sort of open-source legal argumentation project for big IP cases.  They also run GrepLaw, a slashcode news filter for "geeks, laws, and everything in between."

If you're interested in Lessig's field, do stop by the B Center and poke around.

Berkman's good work (none / 0) (#40)
by jdlasica on Mon May 03, 2004 at 01:53:22 AM EST

Thanks for keeping the discussion on a high plane, kmcrober. Berkman's doing valuable work on behalf of digital culture that you'd think K5ers would appreciate.

As to Lessig's critics: Fair enough, but some intelligent counterarguments would be nice, rather than name calling or ad hominem character attacks.
"Authenticity. If you can fake that, you've got it made." -- George Burns
[ Parent ]

Lessig is a socialist troublemaker! (1.00 / 26) (#19)
by sellison on Sun May 02, 2004 at 02:15:47 AM EST

Dump this story NOW!, he doesn't deserve anyone's admiration.

Now, Antonin Scalia, there is a modern legal mind worthy of adulation and emulation!

"No, I don't know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered as patriots. This is one nation under God."- George H.W. Bush

He probably is (none / 0) (#31)
by squigly on Sun May 02, 2004 at 04:00:01 PM EST

Dump this story NOW!, he doesn't deserve anyone's admiration.

So, why would you want this story dumped?  It looks like the perfect opportunity to discredit his arguments, and expose him for the charlatan he is.

[ Parent ]

I have many times (2.50 / 4) (#35)
by sellison on Sun May 02, 2004 at 06:57:56 PM EST

check my diary and comments.

BUt to reiterate:

Open source is a eurotrash socialist invention, it makes sense for govt. supported students in the european's endless degree programs to blather about giving their work away for free, since they don't have to make a living (at least until their womb-like society finally gets tired and unable to give them free rent, board, and healthcare in exchange for all their 'free' code).

In the US, this free code trash merely undermines the intellectual property laws and philosophies that are the pillars of our Christian Capitalist economic system. Without copyright and patents, Capitalism will sputter to a halt.

Which is of course the goal of the leftist socialist hippies promoting free code. That and making cheetos pot-bellies, vga tans, and carpel tunnel bracelets kewl to the laydies (good luck with that).

And Lessig sits there in his ivory tower making noises that sound like good ideas and well thought out arguments, when that is all they are, erudite, learned sounding, sophisticated, noise without signal, all a droning smoke screen for the leftist 5th columnist who want to bring the US down.

"No, I don't know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered as patriots. This is one nation under God."- George H.W. Bush
[ Parent ]

Please stop the blasphemy. (none / 0) (#42)
by gizzlon on Mon May 03, 2004 at 02:31:59 AM EST

Thank you
g
[ Parent ]
Hah, 'blasphemy' to socialista atheists (none / 2) (#47)
by sellison on Mon May 03, 2004 at 03:35:16 AM EST

is holy music to True Believer in the infinite Wisdom of the Ond True God, our Lord Jesus Christ!

Get yourself right with Jesus and you will understand that you have been seeing the world backwards, through lying prisms that only make sense if one makes the foolish assumption that God doesn't care for the smallest sparrow, for the tree that falls unheard.

That is why you live in a sad Orwellian world where the Freedom invented and enjoyed by those who follow Jesus seems to be slavery to you, and Truth sounds like 'blasphemy'.

Come up from out of the rabbit hole, Alice, Faith is much better than drugs.

"No, I don't know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered as patriots. This is one nation under God."- George H.W. Bush
[ Parent ]

Just because I dotn agree with you .. (none / 0) (#64)
by gizzlon on Mon May 03, 2004 at 05:12:40 PM EST

..that only make sense if one makes the foolish assumption that God doesn't care for the smallest sparrow
Hu? Didn't quite get that. What does that have to do with this topic?

Guess I'm lost because I dont agree with you in everything, but you seem to refuse to discuss your statments .. Did you eve read this:
http://www.kuro5hin.org/comments/2004/4/26/222354/580/66?mode=alone;showrate=1#6 6
?
g
[ Parent ]

You have no idea about the software industry (none / 0) (#46)
by squigly on Mon May 03, 2004 at 03:31:59 AM EST

Open source is a eurotrash socialist invention, it makes sense for govt. supported students in the european's endless degree programs to blather about giving their work away for free, since they don't have to make a living

Strange.  I know a lot of people who have been paid for open source software development.  They found it quite a money spineer.  They can produce a custom solution for a considerably lower cost.  Very few developers are in the business of developing applications for mass release.  Most of them develop custom applications, or software tied directly to hardware.  

In the US, this free code trash merely undermines the intellectual property laws and philosophies that are the pillars of our Christian Capitalist economic system. Without copyright and patents, Capitalism will sputter to a halt.

Puleeze!  I kow it's a troll without all the "Christian capitalist" stuff.  Capitalism will do perfectly well without government granted monopolies.  

[ Parent ]

But Capitalism cannot work without Christianity (none / 2) (#50)
by sellison on Mon May 03, 2004 at 03:39:51 AM EST

we invented it, after all.

And here in America, one sees how all kinds of Govt. regulations that strangle industry have come in as we have tolerated more non-Christians among us.

See, people without Christian faith do not treat each other with the honesty and compassion that Christians do, and so engage in corruption, and so there are more and more rules and enforcers of the rules around every corner.

Only by getting ourselves back to a rule of Law based on the Law of God can we rid ourselves of the crippling bonds of regulation and allow the invisible hand the freedom to make this the best of all possible worlds.

"No, I don't know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered as patriots. This is one nation under God."- George H.W. Bush
[ Parent ]

Jesus was anti-capitalist (none / 1) (#83)
by squigly on Tue May 04, 2004 at 02:50:05 PM EST

In Mark 11:17, Jesus explicitely accuses sellers of being "a den of thieves".  Plus, this shows that there was already a system of capitalism in place before christianity was even born.  

[ Parent ]
Arrrrh, me hearties! (1.08 / 12) (#33)
by Russell Dovey on Sun May 02, 2004 at 05:23:25 PM EST

Hey, I just got the greatest idea for a cereal. It's  like Wheaties, but with heart!

Every pirate hearts a hearty bowl of hearties in the morning! Arrh!

"Blessed are the cracked, for they let in the light." - Spike Milligan

Really simple solution (2.25 / 4) (#53)
by Fen on Mon May 03, 2004 at 09:27:35 AM EST

Abolish copyrights and patents.
--Self.
ummm. (none / 1) (#54)
by modmans2ndcoming on Mon May 03, 2004 at 10:16:40 AM EST

no, that is a really complicated solution because it involved more than just talk.

[ Parent ]
Thus eliminating.. (none / 1) (#76)
by Kwil on Tue May 04, 2004 at 04:00:36 AM EST

..most of the incentive in specializing in writing code for a living, thus lowering the output of all code, be it good, bad, or indifferent, thus slowing progress and devastating entire sectors of an already weakened economy.

Hey, good plan.

That Jesus Christ guy is getting some terrible lag... it took him 3 days to respawn! -NJ CoolBreeze


[ Parent ]
Progress (none / 0) (#78)
by cpt kangarooski on Tue May 04, 2004 at 07:57:27 AM EST

thus slowing progress

Well... progress doesn't increase as copyright does. It's also important for works to be unencumbered by copyright so that they can be used by others as the basis for derivatives, and become more widespread than they would if copyrighted.

So while I agree that abolishing copyright isn't the way to go -- at least not right now, where that wouldn't maximize progress -- I think that a reduction in copyright, even though it might shrink the number of programmers, would likely be better for progress overall.

--
All my posts including this one are in the public domain. I am a lawyer. I am not your lawyer, and this is not legal advice.
[ Parent ]

Postmodern serfdom (2.57 / 7) (#60)
by rmg on Mon May 03, 2004 at 01:53:48 PM EST

The ruling class has taken the battle to a new front, and on that front Lessig is the workers' vanguard. It is only through creative labor like his that the proletariat can prevail in this clash of might versus right.

The forces of history have weakened the class of gentlemen. It is a sign of their desperation that they now attempt to colonize new territory in their fight to dominate the economic landscape. By inventing intellectual property, they have defiled the sacred ground of our minds. It is our holy mission to oust these undesirable influences and drown out their voices with the sights and sounds of our own labor product.

In this context, it must be recognized that Napster was an historic fragging. The only heroes in this war will be those who oppose the imperialists and bring the oppressors to their knees. Such heroism is what we saw in KaZaa and the fasttrack network -- they ripped and dragged the content of the media elite through the byways of the internet for public show and the people cheered them on and the RIAA looked on in horror.

Personally, I hope to see a million KaZaas.

----

dave dean

Lawmakers are always a generation behind culture. (none / 1) (#62)
by lonelyhobo on Mon May 03, 2004 at 03:01:51 PM EST

The problem with cyberlaw and cyberculture is that in general, politicians are a generation behind the current cultural phenomena. This seems somewhat intentional by the framers, so that change is slower. We're just going to have to deal with shitty cyberlaws until we're too old to care.

[ Parent ]
odd. (none / 2) (#63)
by /dev/trash on Mon May 03, 2004 at 03:39:53 PM EST

Lessig suggests (as others have done) remixing the law so that copyright comes into play not when someone makes a copy of something for personal use but only when someone is engaged in profiting off others' works -- that is, true piracy.

So as long as I show a loss every year, it's okay to make copies.

---
Updated 02/20/2004
New Site

wow! (1.14 / 7) (#65)
by reklaw on Mon May 03, 2004 at 05:27:02 PM EST

Thanks for this great review of a book everyone already knows about!
-
Better late than never (none / 2) (#70)
by jdlasica on Mon May 03, 2004 at 09:44:19 PM EST

No problem. Hadn't seen this discussed in K5's Culture section, though.

While many of my friends have heard about "Free Culture," few of them have read it yet.
"Authenticity. If you can fake that, you've got it made." -- George Burns
[ Parent ]

Bad assumption. (none / 1) (#97)
by Scott Robinson on Wed May 05, 2004 at 04:16:39 AM EST

I had never heard of the book.

[ Parent ]
Hm, I thought it was more simple. (2.25 / 4) (#67)
by megid on Mon May 03, 2004 at 05:37:20 PM EST

How about:

(1) Controlholders want control not only over property and attention, ideally also over ideas.
(2) Controlholders often happen to be moneyholders, so they can reach their goals.
(3) Even without patents, true scientists would make science and true musicians music and true artists would make art.
(4) Even without patents, the need to be technologically superior (to competitors) would remain.
(5) Patenting ideas is ridiculous. Think about it, with a human mind, apart from all the elaborate theories about how societies work. Look at the idea with the eyes of a child, and see for yourself.

Then again, that might be too simple...

--
"think first, write second, speak third."

Pure Competition (none / 2) (#68)
by virtualjay222 on Mon May 03, 2004 at 06:45:36 PM EST

It seems as if the internet is trying to push the US economy closer towards a system of pure competition, but is barred by some socialist legislations and programs - ie. unions, copyrights, &c.br>
Is anyone familiar with any books/essays addressing this angle?

---

I'm not in denial, I'm just selective about the reality I choose to accept.

-Calvin and Hobbes


copyrights are socialist? (none / 3) (#69)
by aphrael on Mon May 03, 2004 at 07:47:36 PM EST



[ Parent ]
Yes, very (none / 0) (#85)
by DGolden on Tue May 04, 2004 at 05:18:12 PM EST

At least, they seem to be, in the bad american sense of socialism.  Huge central bureacracy (copyright office), control economy with bureaucrats deciding how royalty profits are shared out, artists and middlemen swarming around prating about "deserving recompense for work done"  - pure socialism, even if it is sometimes corporate welfare rather than individual.

And that's not even touching on the stalinist aspects of copyright. Copyright is, after all, a legal means to control the dissemination of information backed by government force.  Copyright and free speech are fundamentally opposed.  No really free society can have copyright.
Don't eat yellow snow
[ Parent ]

Not quite (none / 0) (#92)
by Flippant Chicken on Wed May 05, 2004 at 01:47:58 AM EST

At least, they seem to be, in the bad american sense of socialism. Huge central bureacracy (copyright office), control economy with bureaucrats deciding how royalty profits are shared out, artists and middlemen swarming around prating about "deserving recompense for work done" - pure socialism, even if it is sometimes corporate welfare rather than individual.

I don't think the Copyright Office is that large. Let alone a "huge central bureacracy". You can check out their org chart. If it is anything like the patent office, they are probably hugely understaffed.

Profits are mainly divided up based on private contracts. Copyright enforcement is mainly left up to the civil courts. I don't see much socialism at all.

And that's not even touching on the stalinist aspects of copyright. Copyright is, after all, a legal means to control the dissemination of information backed by government force. Copyright and free speech are fundamentally opposed. No really free society can have copyright.

Copyright is fundamentally about the private ownership of ideas and "creative" works. It is a very capitalist concept. A socialist model would be more along the lines of everything is in the public domain (because society owns it), and "creators" are compensated from some huge government fund.

I think the framers agree with you. Copyright and free speech are fundamentally opposed. The fact copyright was specified to be limited would seem to indicate that. If anything, extending copyright is an extension of capitalism, at the expense of freedom. The fact that slavery can thrive under capitalism should serve as a reminder that a free society must put some reasonable controls on capitalism.

Your stinkfoot has put a hurt on my nose.

[ Parent ]
Good grief (none / 1) (#77)
by GenerationY on Tue May 04, 2004 at 06:57:03 AM EST

Not another "socialist = whatever I don't like" poster. There is nothing inherently socialist about copyright. Indeed, nothing unsocialist about it either (he said, perhaps controversially). Unions are not, per se, incompatible with capitalism. They are afterall an organisation your pay a subscription to. Captains of industry typically belong to many such organisations that persue their particular needs and agenda.

In any case, is it a good thing that the social and economic course of an entire nation is dictated by the viascitudes of a networking protocol? I'm inclined to think not.

[ Parent ]

Well... (none / 0) (#95)
by drsmithy on Wed May 05, 2004 at 03:38:41 AM EST

There is nothing inherently socialist about copyright. Indeed, nothing unsocialist about it either (he said, perhaps controversially).

Copyright is an arbitrarily granted, unconditional, perpetual (for all intents and purposes), government-sponsored monopoly. Doesn't exactly sound very free-market capitalism, does it ? :)

[ Parent ]

Sophistry! (none / 0) (#96)
by GenerationY on Wed May 05, 2004 at 04:03:00 AM EST

but full marks on putting that one together ;)

As can be gleaned from the agonising dull section in Marx's Capital on the 'Act of Enclosure', nothing is more capitalist than the Government backing the assertion that something is private property, restricted in its use and taxable, when it was previously common to all.

[ Parent ]

Acts of enclosure? (none / 0) (#98)
by GenerationY on Wed May 05, 2004 at 04:22:33 AM EST

Er yeah. Heres how the BBC history site describes them (note how a government-backed monopoly is the backbone of modern capitalism):

The enclosure movement was the cause of one of the greatest changes in the landscape of rural England. It was the process whereby the system of communal exploitation and regulation of the arable land, open pastures, meadows and wastes (uncultivated land) was gradually replaced by a system of private land management. It involved both a legal change and a physical change.

The communal element was abolished and individual landowners and tenants took over separate private control of defined areas of land. The community no longer had rights over most of the land and the poorer members of village society were frequently disadvantaged in consequence. Physically, the great open fields, unfenced and unhedged meadows and pastures, and the expanses of fen, moor, common and heath were divided up into hedged, fenced or walled fields. The land was enclosed, instead of open.

In the end though the trick is not to confuse the legislative aspect of government with its (only very recent) welfare role. It seems an odd thing to confuse, but I've noticed many self-described libertarians cannot tell the difference (and wonder why no-one thinks their arguments are as brilliantly perceptive as they do). Anyway, if big business (as in the USA) or the aristocracy (as in 18C Britain) owns the government, then all bets are off anyway.

[ Parent ]

Actually (none / 0) (#111)
by virtualjay222 on Thu May 06, 2004 at 01:38:25 PM EST

Copyrights are a socialist program because they inhibit competition, which is the fundamental basis of capitalism. It's unforunate that such a negative stereotype surrounds the word, but I'm not familiar with any others.

Unions are also inherantly not-capitalist (better?) for the same reason, though in a resource market. Labor is now monopolized, and therefore less efficient.

Thanks though, I appreciate you calling me ignorant simply because I used a phrase that means something different for me than for you.

In case you were wondering

---

I'm not in denial, I'm just selective about the reality I choose to accept.

-Calvin and Hobbes


[ Parent ]

OK, well (none / 0) (#115)
by GenerationY on Thu May 06, 2004 at 08:46:21 PM EST

I am sorry if you felt got at. That wasn't my intention. As you've probably picked up, there is a trend toward the wildly inaccurate use of the term "socialism" that I find a little irritating having been forced to read Capital from cover to cover once upon a time. As my old philosophy tutor said "Marx may have been badly wrong in critical areas, but he wasn't stupid". But yes, you didn't really deserve to be included in this group. Sorry about that, these online discussions sometimes go a bit awry.

In the thread parallel to this I've explained how I think copyright is analagous to enclosure, which was the defining act that made capitalism (and the industrial revolution) possible. Thus I think it of it as very capitalist, although as I say, it was actually a government backed monopoly.

I feel the restricting competition thing is a matter of how you care to look at the problem. Without copyright, I'd argue, there would be no market to worry about competition in. Copyright is what turns the ephemeral (ideas, a tune, a design etc.) into a thing that can become property. If we take my enclosure analogy, anyone could raise an animal, forage for food etc on common land, rich or poor (just as anyone can exploit an uncopyrighted whatever). However, after enclosure only rich people could own farms (just as only those with the money to secure/license copyrights can exploit them. E.g., Microsoft can exploit whatever they want because they can pay for it. The bedroom coder can't.) And as soon as you deprive someone of something, it increases its value if they want it back. Value only increases if whatever it is is restricted in its production. So copyright is, in a sense, a way of making money out of the intangible (e.g., Michael Jackson could make money out of the Beatles song catalogue without actually having to perform their songs).

The competition thing depends on the granularity we are looking at. It might be nice if there were thousands of record labels all competing equally. But there aren't, and really to change the rules because some are out ahead doesn't sound very capitalist to me either. So the market is controlled by "the big boys" but at the same time they are in fairly fierce competition with each other, or else they wouldn't be spending nearly all their income on promotion? Now you may ask why CDs aren't getting ever cheaper, my answer to that would be because they operate a cartel (informally agreed pricing limits). Or at least until very recently they did, because they were found guilty in America and Europe of doing just that. The cartel thing has nothing to do with copyright though. The other block to competition is distribution, which is very evil indeed. You have to pay to get your product stocked basically. And again, distributors want their cut, so this places an additional floor on CD prices (this is true of software as well, at least games anyway).

I think there should be more open competition but I don't personally see that copyright is the impediment, its the manufacturer/distributor/vendor circle-jerk that is the problem. True, without copyright we wouldn't have those people in the way, but it would be because the industry wouldn't exist to support them in the first place IMHO.

[ Parent ]

pure? (none / 0) (#93)
by Flippant Chicken on Wed May 05, 2004 at 01:57:14 AM EST

What exactly is pure competition? Isn't civilization contrary to "pure" competition?

[ Parent ]
Pure competition (none / 0) (#110)
by virtualjay222 on Thu May 06, 2004 at 01:32:03 PM EST

is a theoretical economic system where an infinate number of small firms populate a market. They are 'price takers,' meaning they cannot raise their price without losing virtually all of their business. It is an ideal, since, long-term, it results in both productive and allocative efficiency.

Yes, it doesn't exist, but you can get close.

---

I'm not in denial, I'm just selective about the reality I choose to accept.

-Calvin and Hobbes


[ Parent ]

Reenactment for Prof. Lessig's benefit (2.81 / 11) (#80)
by K5 ASCII reenactment players on Tue May 04, 2004 at 08:52:56 AM EST

This is the Accused.
He is behind spikes            This is the jury.
because if the Accused         They decide right or 
bites you, you become          wrong based on whether
an Accused yourself.           they like your lawyer's   
 |                             suit and haircut.
 |      This man wears black    |
 |      and wields a weapon,    |
 |      but he is a judge,      |
 |      not a ninja. This is    |       This guy is playing      
 |      important!              |       with his Gameboy.
 |                              V       The judge will flip
 V                 O                    out and fight him!
                _T/_\_      _O O O      / 
^^^^           /______\    |\|O O O    /
 O ^      O    |      |    | \|O O O  V
 |^/|    <|V   |______|    \  \|O O,O 
^^/ |     |                 \  || |V|
  | /    /|                  \_|-----
__|/       
       This is an actual real 
       live lawyer! His job is 
       to wear a smart suit and
       to keep his hair very neat.
       You should write that down!


holy shit that is cool (none / 3) (#89)
by circletimessquare on Tue May 04, 2004 at 07:34:12 PM EST

but i would like to inform you that your use of ascii code in your creation renders your creation the property of ibm, inc.

since you did not consult with ibm on using their ascii code in your recreation, we regret to inform you that $50,000.00 will be deducted form your bank account.

if you choose to fight this arbitrary decision by a nongovernmental body, we have an army of lawyers ready to bankrupt you in the 5 year process that will ensue.

oh yeah, and we have the moral high ground too.

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Feh (2.80 / 5) (#84)
by trhurler on Tue May 04, 2004 at 03:42:15 PM EST

Lessig isn't stupid, but he's no visionary genius either. He is, at heart, a pragmatist, and that will be the downfall of those who put up their cots under his tent. "Enough control to benefit creators, not enough to unduly hinder the rest of us" is a fine motto in theory, but it is based purely on cost-benefit. That is to say, it is pragmatic. And that is to say, nobody has strong feelings about such a position except those who stand to gain or lose from it. Guess what? Those who stand to lose from it have more guns and more butter than those who stand to lose, and therefore, the position is doomed.

What is needed is a moral defense. Unfortunately, Lessig is not the sort of man who can provide that, and those who have attempted it so far are nutcases who honestly believe that with no protection at all, artists will still thrive. Unless someone finds a moral defense of the middle road approach Lessig is advocating, the "extreme" position he's fighting WILL win sooner or later.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

how's this for a moral defense (none / 0) (#88)
by circletimessquare on Tue May 04, 2004 at 07:31:16 PM EST

corporations don't own our culture, society does

a free exchange of ideas and content unfettered by corporate controls leads to more culture: in quantity and quality

the increase in cultural output allows corporations to profit on the outskirts of the cultural creation process, rather than tapping it in such a way that stifles it's creation

like this allegory: if culture is a tree, currently corporations ensure their profit by tapping it's sap, weakening the tree, when they could just harvest the leaves

in other words: control access to movie houses and concerts, advertise on portals that let people know what they might want to listen to... and allow people to do with the likenesss of seinfeld/ mickey mouse, gone with the wind/ happy birthday/ the wizard of oz, whatever they like to do with it... because locking these artistic works up in a vault does not lead to more $ for the company, and certainly not more culture for you and it 0 enjoy

the wizard of oz- who owns it? WE own it, our culture owns it, it is a part of it

no company has the moral right to control our culture


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Let's have a look here (none / 0) (#102)
by trhurler on Wed May 05, 2004 at 03:14:44 PM EST

corporations don't own our culture, society does
Are you against corporations, or against copyright? Copyright existed before corporations were anything but a peripheral concept, and most copyrights are owned by private individuals. Copyright is the reason artists get paid for their work. Also, be careful about using the term "society." In practice, it means whatever gang of thugs have presently assumed the right to speak for "society." They're never decent people.
a free exchange of ideas and content unfettered by corporate controls leads to more culture: in quantity and quality
Is there some evidence for this claim, or do you insist on ideological grounds that it MUST be true because you WANT it to be true? I tend to believe it, but making a moral argument does not excuse you from the need to demonstrate the truth of any basic claims that argument depends on.
the increase in cultural output allows corporations to profit on the outskirts of the cultural creation process, rather than tapping it in such a way that stifles it's creation
If your basic assumption that output would increase is true, and IF there is a way to harness it without "stifling" it as you say, then maybe.
in other words: control access to movie houses and concerts, advertise on portals that let people know what they might want to listen to...
Movie houses and concerts are not where the money is anymore. Mass distribution is where the money is. If you don't know this basic economic fact of the industry, why are you pretending to know how they can do a good business?
allow people to do with the likenesss of seinfeld/ mickey mouse, gone with the wind/ happy birthday/ the wizard of oz, whatever they like to do with it... because locking these artistic works up in a vault does not lead to more $ for the company,
Well, locking them up for perpetuity certainly isn't a good thing, but you're actually mistaken - locking these things up DOES lead to more money. Whenever you see one of them, someone is getting paid.
and certainly not more culture for you and it 0 enjoy
There is a dangerous simplicity here. Are you arguing that artists are slaves to "society"? If not, you need to be very clear on why that is not what you are saying and HOW that is not what you're saying, because it sounds an awful lot like you are saying "artists create works for us, and we take them and do whatever the hell we want." Corporations are a straw man here - you're not talking about just weakening corporate control for perpetuity. You're talking about eliminating all control including the control an artist himself has over his own work.
no company has the moral right to control our culture
We agree completely on this basic premise, BUT that does not mean that we agree on the argument you extend from it. A big part of the problem, IMO, is that corporations are allowed to exist indefinitely and can be chartered without any limits as to the scope of their business. This is not a copyright problem, per se. You work hard to avoid discussing the rights of actual creators. If a painter creates some new work, it seems reasonable that during his lifetime, he should be allowed to control its reproduction. After he dies, probably not. And the right probably should have limitations on transferability. In your scheme, none of this is possible.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
Easy (none / 0) (#94)
by drsmithy on Wed May 05, 2004 at 03:31:47 AM EST

What is needed is a moral defense. Unfortunately, Lessig is not the sort of man who can provide that, and those who have attempted it so far are nutcases who honestly believe that with no protection at all, artists will still thrive. Unless someone finds a moral defense of the middle road approach Lessig is advocating, the "extreme" position he's fighting WILL win sooner or later.

Tie copyrights terms to ROI. In other words, once the cost to create a work has been recovered, the level of protection it receives is lessened.

After the cost has been recovered, duplication of a work for personal, non-profit use is decriminalised.

Thus, once a work has made back as much money as it cost to create, personal copying (eg: sharing via P2P, etc) is ok, but any for-profit copying (eg: selling burnt CDs at a flea market, or large-scale privacy for profit) remains illegal.

[ Parent ]

Ah (none / 1) (#101)
by trhurler on Wed May 05, 2004 at 02:35:24 PM EST

So then if I hire you to build my house, you'll build it under the terms that I pay you back only for the materials and the cost of the land and so on, with no profit for yourself? What a great deal!

People expect and deserve to make PROFITS on their work. It may or may not be their greatest motivating factor, but if they can't live off of their work, they'll be FORCED to do something ELSE. What you are in effect saying is that while we want professionals in every other field, we want all of our creative people to be amateurs working in their spare time. That's insane.

Term limited copyright is probably the correct solution, but we need a way to enforce the term, and we need a defense of this idea that is rooted in both the good of creators of works and the good of everyone else. Pragmatism may work well in court briefs, but it has no place in winning public mindshare, and anyone who believes otherwise is either stupid, naive, or drug addled.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
Re: Ah (none / 0) (#109)
by drsmithy on Thu May 06, 2004 at 05:49:08 AM EST

So then if I hire you to build my house, you'll build it under the terms that I pay you back only for the materials and the cost of the land and so on, with no profit for yourself? What a great deal!

No, completely and utterly different situation.

People expect and deserve to make PROFITS on their work.

And nothing I've said stops them.

It may or may not be their greatest motivating factor, but if they can't live off of their work, they'll be FORCED to do something ELSE.

Like the majority of artists do today, you mean ?

What you are in effect saying is that while we want professionals in every other field, we want all of our creative people to be amateurs working in their spare time. That's insane.

That's not what I'm saying at all.

Term limited copyright is probably the correct solution, but we need a way to enforce the term, [...]

I've just given you one directly related to the main reason copyrights exist in the first place.

[...] and we need a defense of this idea that is rooted in both the good of creators of works and the good of everyone else.

And, again, I've just given you one. Creators get exclusive rights to distribute their work until it has broken even, after which they are the only party that can profit from it. They are also able to leverage their knowledge of the work to profit (eg: live music).

The only losers in this scenario are the lazy artists milking the copyright system by releasing an album once and then sitting back doing nothing, and the go-betweens making gross profits off artists' hard work (eg: most of the music industry).

Pragmatism may work well in court briefs, but it has no place in winning public mindshare, and anyone who believes otherwise is either stupid, naive, or drug addled.

This isn't a pragmatic solution. It's squarely aimed at providing benefit to the public domain, a n at-worst-unchanged situation for artists and dramatically curbing corporate abuse.

[ Parent ]

Hmm (none / 0) (#112)
by trhurler on Thu May 06, 2004 at 02:27:59 PM EST

If by "artists" you mean "musicians," then your position almost makes sense. There are other sorts of "artists" out there. You might want to think about them. Also, how do you define "break even"? When the costs are recouped? That's not really a way to make a profit.

Your crap about most artists doing something else for a living is worthless too. The present system may be fucked; that does not mean that it can't get worse(there wouldn't BE any bands playing venues larger than a couple thousand people anywhere in the world under your scheme, because there'd be no infrastructure to support such a thing,) and it doesn't mean that it shouldn't get better(which it wouldn't, under your scheme, as you practically admit by having to resort to "how is that different from now" arguments.)

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
Re: Hmm (none / 0) (#119)
by drsmithy on Fri May 07, 2004 at 10:22:03 PM EST

If by "artists" you mean "musicians," then your position almost makes sense.

Actually, I mean anyone deriving income from copyrightable works. However, the rest of your questions seem to assume that "artist" == musician, so that's how I'll respond.

There are other sorts of "artists" out there. You might want to think about them.

You might want to be a bit more specific.

Also, how do you define "break even"? When the costs are recouped?

Yes. I would have thought "break even" was fairly self defining.

That's not really a way to make a profit.

Firstly, the point of copyright is not, despite common belief and extensive corporate brainwashing, "to make a profit". It is to enrich the public domain.

Secondly, neither your, nor anyone else, has a "right" to "make a profit".

Thirdly, the fact that a work is no longer illegal to duplicate for personal, non-profit reasons does not, in any way, shape, or form, preclude further selling of said work. Neither does it preclude profiting from leveraging that work in other ways (eg, for musicians, live shows).

People still buy music and CDs today they can download or borrow from others for free. Indeed, you can see they do it in droves, if you read the actual figures and ignore music industry whining.

Heck, if marketers can sell bottled water by the litre for dollars at a time, selling music to impressionable teenagers should be *trivial*.

Your crap about most artists doing something else for a living is worthless too.

That is merely to counter the predictable and typical counter-argument that not allowing artists 150+ years of government protected income (heh, and people think the unions are bad) will somehow have them all begging in the streets. It won't, and even if it did the situation *for the artist* would be no worse than it is today, whereas the situation *for the rest of society8 (remember, the supposed primary benefactor of copyright) would be greatly improved.

The present system may be fucked; that does not mean that it can't get worse(there wouldn't BE any bands playing venues larger than a couple thousand people anywhere in the world under your scheme, because there'd be no infrastructure to support such a thing,) [...]

Rubbish. On what facts - or even reasonable argument - do you base this claim ?

Good and/or well-marketed artists are still going to be famous and unfeasibly wealthy. Teenagers are still going to be attending concerts in their (tens of) thousands. The fact they can, today, download the same songs that are going to be played for free, or even buy them off the net or on CD for up to $30, doesn't stop them shelling out $50 - $100 now, and there's no reason to think that would change.

You seem to forget that live shows are where the artists make the bulk of their money *today*, because they don't have the music industry dipping into their pocket for 80% - 90% of the money they make from them like they do with CDs.

[...] and it doesn't mean that it shouldn't get better(which it wouldn't, under your scheme, as you practically admit by having to resort to "how is that different from now" arguments.)

Yes, it would. You either have a deep misunderstanding of what copyright is *supposed* to do, or you're choosing to ignore it. The idea behind copyright is to enrich the public domain by encouraging people to (continually) create "works". The current system does not do this, because copyright terms are so long that one (popular) work can feasibly support the creator, his family, his children, his children's children, and so on for - at this point, it seems - eternity. Basically, it's doing the exact reverse of its intended purpose.

So, the public domain is stagnating. Even worse, since it is continually being plundered to simply "reimplement" existing works (which, in their "new" form, become copyrighted for another 150+ years) rather than creating new ones, the overall position is really moving backwards.

[ Parent ]

wow (none / 0) (#122)
by trhurler on Mon May 10, 2004 at 04:17:20 PM EST

Firstly, the point of copyright is not, despite common belief and extensive corporate brainwashing, "to make a profit". It is to enrich the public domain.
By allowing the original author to make a profit, thus encouraging the creation of the works which will enrich the public domain. Surely you aren't stupid enough not to have figured that out? Breaking even does not pay the rent. It doesn't feed you or your family. It certainly doesn't give you ANY chance of getting ahead in life. As with patents, the idea behind copyright is to give authors a special privilege to earn money on their works for some limited time so that they can earn a living AS ARTISTS. It was viewed when it was created as an alternative to patronage, which was seen as something of the old feudal ways and not something to be emulated by newer, "enlightened" societies.
Secondly, neither your, nor anyone else, has a "right" to "make a profit".
You put that wrong. Nobody has a right to a profit. On the other hand, a right to MAKE a profit(ie, to earn it if possible,) all of us certainly have. To abuse your phrase, despite common belief and statist-liberal brainwashing, profits are the right of anyone who earns them in an honest trade with others.
Thirdly, the fact that a work is no longer illegal to duplicate for personal, non-profit reasons does not, in any way, shape, or form, preclude further selling of said work.
Which is why, of course, commercial BSD companies always prosper, right? Oh wait... actually, they CAN'T prosper unless they attach things to the system they're selling that are NOT freely available. So for instance, I suppose I could write some new songs and put them on an album with old ones. But then, did I need the old ones? No, not really, because nobody with internet access would buy the CD for those songs. The most obvious example is prints of a painting. Once one freely duplicatable example exists somewhere, the market for copies that cost money quickly goes very close to zero, as does the price they'll fetch. Prints of something brand new? Expensive. Prints of some 17th century painting? With a nice frame, they can be had at the mall for a couple of dollars more than the frame is worth. Maybe enough to pay the cost of maintaining the storefront. Which is fine, given that the author is long dead, but your proposal would do the same thing to LIVING artists.
It won't, and even if it did the situation *for the artist* would be no worse than it is today,
You seem not to understand. The fact that the present system screws him over does not mean that someone proposing to FIX the system should be allowed to create a new system that screws him over just as much. Without him, there IS no culture, so I'd say he's entitled to as comfortable a living as he can earn at his craft. The very notion that you would think otherwise makes me wonder why you don't choose to live in a place where such 'ideals' are more firmly entrenched. North Korea comes to mind, or maybe Cuba.
You seem to forget that live shows are where the artists make the bulk of their money *today*, because they don't have the music industry dipping into their pocket for 80% - 90% of the money they make from them like they do with CDs.
You seem not to understand how the industry works. Most touring bands don't make much money. Why? Because the money to pay for the tour was fronted by the record company, which takes its money back out of ALL earnings on record sales AND the live shows. Yes, tiny little bands eke out a living playing small venues, but guess what? They can't get bigger venues. To get those, they need very expensive gear and so on to enable them to play in those venues. They can't afford it. Who can? A record company, of course. Only THE MOST successful of these guys make enough money to make it really worth their while. Most of them are broke a year after they quit touring, even as they're working on their next album. Maybe you think working hard for a hand to mouth existence is acceptable, but 99% of those who have experienced it and who know there is an alternative would disagree.
The idea behind copyright is to enrich the public domain by encouraging people to (continually) create "works".
The idea was that doing so should be PROFITABLE, that being the ENCOURAGEMENT. Yes, 150+ years is ridiculous. Shorten it. That said, deliberately preventing any profit from being made is a LOT more than just shortening a 150+ year term. It seems to me that 25 years would be a good number, but this might require some debate to work out. Also, copyrights should probably NOT be assignable or transferable. That would end a lot of the abuses of artists today by big corporations. BUT, it is stupidity beyond belief to claim that artists shouldn't be allowed protection to make some profit on their work.

Personally, since I'm more interested in people than in "the public," I find the public domain to be totally uninteresting anyway. People who create things are because of that creation important people. People who merely appropriate those things are worse than merely unimportant - they are parasites. If they take them to create something else, that's different. Of these three groups, who would benefit under your scheme? Certainly not creators of new or derived works. You seem to think they should work as some sort of indentured servants, to be freed upon their death, for the good of "the public."

Fuck the public.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
Re: wow (none / 0) (#125)
by drsmithy on Tue May 18, 2004 at 02:15:02 AM EST

By allowing the original author to make a profit, thus encouraging the creation of the works which will enrich the public domain.

The "making profit" part is a side effect, not an objective.

Breaking even does not pay the rent. It doesn't feed you or your family.

Actually, by definition, it does as those costs are part of those that have to be met to "break even". As with patents, the idea behind copyright is to give authors a special privilege to earn money on their works for some limited time so that they can earn a living AS ARTISTS.

Yes.

You put that wrong. Nobody has a right to a profit. On the other hand, a right to MAKE a profit(ie, to earn it if possible,) all of us certainly have.

Ignoring for a second that this is simply pointless semantics on your part, I'd disagree anyone has a right to make a profit. But, I simply think the word "right" gets thrown around far too liberally anyway, so I can understand if we don't see eye to eye on that one.

Incidentally, you don't need to make a *profit* to live happily or "survive".

Which is why, of course, commercial BSD companies always prosper, right?

There's no shortage of successful companies using BSD code. Apple is a name you might recognise.

Oh wait... actually, they CAN'T prosper unless they attach things to the system they're selling that are NOT freely available.

Or if they are selling services and the software is incidental.

Regardless, how they add value is not important, the simple fact is they *do* add value.

So for instance, I suppose I could write some new songs and put them on an album with old ones. But then, did I need the old ones? No, not really, because nobody with internet access would buy the CD for those songs.

Why not ? People buy CDs today for only a few tracks. Heck, people pay money for many things they can get for free every day.

The most obvious example is prints of a painting. Once one freely duplicatable example exists somewhere, the market for copies that cost money quickly goes very close to zero, as does the price they'll fetch. Prints of something brand new? Expensive. Prints of some 17th century painting? With a nice frame, they can be had at the mall for a couple of dollars more than the frame is worth. Maybe enough to pay the cost of maintaining the storefront. Which is fine, given that the author is long dead, but your proposal would do the same thing to LIVING artists.

What ? Make their new stuff expensive and their old stuff practically free ?

Sounds exactly how the system should work to me. Older, less popular works should be valued less than new, more popular works.

You seem not to understand. The fact that the present system screws him over does not mean that someone proposing to FIX the system should be allowed to create a new system that screws him over just as much.

You are labouring under the impression that my interest is in changing the situation only as it pertains to artists. It's not, because no matter *how* you change the system, the same results will occur - a lucky, chosen few will be rich and famous and the vast majority will not. I *am* quite interested in not making the situation any worse, however, but I've little interest in specifically trying to make it substantially better for just one part of the equation.

I am interested in changing copyright to improve the situation of the (supposed) primary benefactor of copyright, the public domain - ie: society as a whole. (Shutting down and disabling corporate abuse would be a nice side effect, as well.)

Without him, there IS no culture, so I'd say he's entitled to as comfortable a living as he can earn at his craft.

Ah, someone else who thinks that artists will suddenly stop creating if copyright disappears, everything of cultural value was created in the last few hundred years and no more will be created without the possibility of becoming filthy, stinking rich.

Tell me, on what foundation do you base these beliefs ?

The very notion that you would think otherwise makes me wonder why you don't choose to live in a place where such 'ideals' are more firmly entrenched. North Korea comes to mind, or maybe Cuba.

I believe in allowing artists the opportunity to earn decent returns on good, hard work, the same as everyone else.

You seem not to understand how the industry works. Most touring bands don't make much money. Why? Because the money to pay for the tour was fronted by the record company, which takes its money back out of ALL earnings on record sales AND the live shows.

My understanding is that live shows are one of the few places that bands actually get to keep a significant proportion of the money earned. Everything I've ever read has supported this and, quite frankly, you're one of the few people who have suggested otherwise. So, what evidence do you have to support your assertion ?

Yes, tiny little bands eke out a living playing small venues, but guess what? They can't get bigger venues. To get those, they need very expensive gear and so on to enable them to play in those venues. They can't afford it. Who can? A record company, of course. Only THE MOST successful of these guys make enough money to make it really worth their while.

I'm confused. What makes you think this situation would be any different ? It's not like 150-year copyrights - or even the complete lack of copyrights - would have a huge bearing on how much money is earned from *live shows*.

Most of them are broke a year after they quit touring, even as they're working on their next album.

Yeah, I'm sure this has nothing at all to do with lifestyle choices...

Who are you trying to kid ? A million - hell, even half a million - dollars will set up anyone remotely competent and fiscally responsible *for life*. You're going to try and tell me touring rock stars aren't making *at least* that sort of money from a tour ?

If you want to pull on heartstrings regarding poor, starving artists, don't try and use anyone whose been on any sort of large-scale music tour as a credible example. If they're living "hand to mouth", they've got no-one to blame but themselves.

Maybe you think working hard for a hand to mouth existence is acceptable, but 99% of those who have experienced it and who know there is an alternative would disagree.

"Hand to mouth" existance for a famous artist is a lifestyle most people out in the real world can barely dream of. If you're going to try and convince me even relatively unheard of "famous" artists are living anything within cooee of a "hand to mouth existance", you may as well stop replying right now.

The idea was that doing so should be PROFITABLE, that being the ENCOURAGEMENT. Yes, 150+ years is ridiculous. Shorten it. That said, deliberately preventing any profit from being made is a LOT more than just shortening a 150+ year term.

I agree, which is why I suggested nothing of the sort.

It seems to me that 25 years would be a good number, but this might require some debate to work out.

Still far too long. If you really can't think outside the fixed-term-regardless box, consider that initially, copyright terms in the US lasted 14 years. Since then, production, reproduction and distribution costs have plummeted while advertising effectiveness, consumer buying power, product availability and product range have skyrocketed.

In short, it's orders of magnitude cheaper and easier to "make a profit" because there's vastly more stuff and vastly more people who can/will buy it. Copyright terms should have been getting *shorter* over time to reflect this, not longer.

BUT, it is stupidity beyond belief to claim that artists shouldn't be allowed protection to make some profit on their work.

I agree, which is why I haven't suggested anything of the sort.

Personally, since I'm more interested in people than in "the public," I find the public domain to be totally uninteresting anyway. People who create things are because of that creation important people. People who merely appropriate those things are worse than merely unimportant - they are parasites. If they take them to create something else, that's different. Of these three groups, who would benefit under your scheme? Certainly not creators of new or derived works.

You forgot a fairly large and important category - consumers who pay to acquire works.

In any event, everyone would be better off. The "parasites" wouldn't have to worry about being bundled off to gaol for making an insignificant dent in corporate bottom lines and more opportunity to turn into derivative producers, the consumers would have a more diverse range of cheaper material to buy, good and/or popular new artists would still become rich and famous and people creating derivative works wouldn't have to worry about whether or not what they were doing was "different enough".

Popular works would enter the public domain quicker (as they would exit protection quicker). The people who created them - supposedly the best and brightest - would have "incentive" to continually create more and/or better works because that would be the only way to make a living from it. (much like everyone else has to keep working to make a living).

In short, everybody who matters is a winner.

You seem to think they should work as some sort of indentured servants, to be freed upon their death, for the good of "the public."

I think nothing of the sort. I just don't think giving "artists" the obscenely disproportionate advantage they enjoy today over other types of workers is fair, in the best interests of society or resembles anything like a free, competitive market.

[ Parent ]

Lessig is a bit too conservative (none / 0) (#100)
by Skyfaller on Wed May 05, 2004 at 10:59:56 AM EST

You're perfectly right... Lessig has too much faith in the rule of law, and he's a bit too conservative for us at FreeCulture.org. However, this is good and makes sense for him, because he's a law professor. We're students, so we get to be more radical :-) We're much more on the side of Richard Stallman and "free software" than the pragmatists with "open source". Sadly, RMS doesn't really seem to be thinking much about extending his philosophy beyond computers and software. Why isn't he publicly supporting Creative Commons licenses, for instance? However, nobody has as much public credibility and appeal as Lessig (RMS included of course), and that's why try to follow in his footsteps as much as possible without turning into old married professors.
Free speech, free software, free culture
[ Parent ]
you fucking idiot (none / 2) (#121)
by Hide The Hamster on Sun May 09, 2004 at 04:31:34 PM EST

we're transitioning from an analog to a digital society

Digital is a subset of analog. Your whole premise goes out like the baby with the bathwater.


Free spirits are a liability.

August 8, 2004: "it certainly is" and I had engaged in a homosexual tryst.

Umm... (none / 1) (#123)
by LJ on Mon May 10, 2004 at 08:34:57 PM EST

Analog is the illusion you experience created by an (extremely) large amount of quantum states, which we view as analog by way of complexity theory. Your premise is flawed. Although the concept of data degradation over time is a troublesome topic, it has little relevance here.

-LJ
"A feature is a bug the programmers don't want to fix"
[ Parent ]

So then digital is a concept you're proper to (none / 1) (#124)
by Hide The Hamster on Mon May 10, 2004 at 09:39:56 PM EST

dismiss. Please, shut the fuck up.


Free spirits are a liability.

August 8, 2004: "it certainly is" and I had engaged in a homosexual tryst.

[ Parent ]
Missing the point (none / 0) (#126)
by localman on Mon Mar 07, 2005 at 08:17:21 PM EST

You are a complete head-up-your-ass moron. What the fuck do the semantics of analog vs. digital have to do with anything being discussed in this article, i.e. the ability to centrally control a content distribution medium. Go eat your cock in the corner until your reading comprehension abilities improve.

[ Parent ]
Digital blood feud | 126 comments (123 topical, 3 editorial, 7 hidden)
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