(Sorry for the long reply, this is a topic I've got a bit of passion for)
Chicken and egg problem. They can't become well known enough until they hit mass media. They can't hit mass media until they become well known enough.
No different to the problem that exists today. They get a demo tape on a radio station. They win a talent-search competition like those that run on JJJ (Australian taxpayer-funded "alternative" station where lots of bands get their first airtime). They get their songs featured on a popular website.
"But peer-to-peer.." you cry, at which point I interrupt you and say "Bullshit. [...]
I agree. While P2P is great for redistribution, it's a very poor medium for distributing advertising. Fortunately we already have solutions that work great for that and new ones that will potentially be even better (the web).
The music most traded on peer-to-peer is the stuff the mass media puts out, and you know that. Everything else is small potatoes and.. more importantly, remains small potatoes."
Most likely because of the RIAA "pigopoly".
However, I'm still lost as to why you think all this music is suddenly going to disappear in a puff of electrons.
This is the entire crux of the problem.
No, it isn't. It's a false dilemma. There's no reason to think popular music will suddenly become nonexistant if it becomes legal to copy it. Indeed, anecdotal evidence would suggest the exact opposite (P2P makes popular music more accessible and, hence, more popular).
I don't envy the radio-men their jobs, if times change and they lose them, they lose them. But the thing is, the mass media does perform a vital function right now in disseminating information over an extremely broad audience. Removing copyright removes the incentive for investors to get music played on mass-media.. because they can't make money at it.
Investors ? Why not ? They care about ad revenue that is largely tied to audience size (ie: station popularity) and has little to do with copyright.
The only people who would be negatively affected is the RIAA. "Media investors" would probably be jumping for joy because they wouldn't get taken over a barrel by the RIAA whenever they wanted to play a song.
Right now, copyright forces radio stations to pay for the music they play. This encourages people to get music to the radio stations. However, the benefit of simply selling the music has become so great that things are starting to turn back around to the days of payola, where the copyright holders are paying the stations to play it.
Radio stations would pay well known artists to play their music and to get "exlusives" on their next songs. Fledgling artists would be able to pay popular stations to get their songs played and get noticed.
You think they'd do that if the only revenue they could get were concert tickets?
Why would they only revenue they could get be from concert tickets ? People still buy CDs today despite the fact they can download music online quite easily. That's not going to change. Not to mention things like T shirts and other paraphernalia.
As a more direct example, [...]
Another great example of the lie that current copyright laws foster and encourage artists.
So here's the thing you don't seem to get.. to get into the mass media, it takes money. Either money in promotions (such as making a video), or money in direct payment to the mass media.
I "get" it perfectly. What *you* don't seem to "get" is that the actual costs to get into the mass media are far, far less than those in the existing completely broken system.
Not to mention it doesn't necessarily take lots of money at all. It certainly *used* to, back before the days of the 'net and wide-scale, practically free distribution and creation methods, but this isn't 1980 anymore.
Without some way to profit beyond that money spent, investors won't be interested.
CD sales. Concerts. Branded clothes, toys, etc. There's a myriad ways to make money. In fact, pretty much every way that's *currently* used to make money would work fine.
If investors aren't interested it's not going to get into the mass media. If it doesn't get into the mass media, it doesn't get widespread promotion. If it doesn't get widespread promotion, you and I simply don't hear about the cool stuff that's out there. It becomes hit or miss.
Why wouldn't it attract investors ? Because the profitability wouldn't be quite as high ? That's the beauty of the free market - just because company A turns up their nose or goes bust because they can't sustain their business model, doesn't mean company B can't (or won't) step in and run with lower costs (by embracing the new technology) and lower profit margins.
Put another way, how much music from bands you've never heard of do you actually download from P2P networks? I'm willing to bet it's an incredibly small percentage of the total music you download, and even if it's not, then you're simply a far point on the statistical curve -- because most people only get the stuff they know.
I very rarely download anything from P2P networks. Most of the music I listen to is on the radio (traditional or internet).
Because of this, new bands generally don't spread unless somebody is actively promoting them.
And what's to stop anyone doing that ?
Even then, unless you're talking major resources doing the promoting, it's still unlikely the expansion would be enough to warrant the band doing a major tour.
It might mean a band has to spend a year or two building up a fan base before they could go gallavanting around the world, instead of doing it after their first paid-for-#2-debut-single, yes.
If they don't do a major tour, and they don't get mass media, then nobody's going to hear of them. "But it's like that now.." you whine, and I agree, it is like that for most bands. Such is the nature of it. But right now there's still a few groups that get big and, because of their example, it inspires other people to make bands and try it out. After all, living like a rat for a while might be worth it if there's a shot at millions of people hearing your music. (And you'll note this has nothing to do with money, since you seem to think I'm positing that as the only motivation)
So, basically, the doomsday scenario you're predicting is identical to what already happens ?
Yeah, bands make money off the tours and not the albums, so why do you want to take away the most successful means of promoting their tours -- the mass dissemination of their music through privately held mass-media.
I don't - and I'm completely mystified how you've managed to draw that conclusion.
Perhaps that reasoning is a tad more clear.
No, not really. Your entire line of reasoning - and accompanying doomsday prediction - seems to be based on the assumption that without copyright, no-one will be in the business of promoting music, because ... well, I still haven't figured out quite why you think that. It appears you believe that since sustaining current levels of profitability using obseleted business methods would be basically impossible, no-one would step in with newer, better methods and be prepared to consider the possibility of lower levels of profitability. Is that a reasonable interpretation ?
Where do you get this bit about the motivation of a person? I said nothing about "why" a person does a job. What I'm talking about is whether they have the ability and skill to do a good job.
You appear to be making the underlying assumption that the only way to determine if someone has ability and skill is from their bill.
Which part of basic supply and demand don't you understand? The part where if demand for a service goes up the providers can charge more? Or the part where if the total supply of a service goes down, the remaining providers can charge more?
In this particular example, the part where there's a shortage of lecturers. Evidently the US is different, because in my experience there's no shortage of people who'd be interested in taking those sort of jobs if the vacancies were available.
The faculty is getting smaller and costing more to run because those who are left teaching can charge more. Enrollment going up does absolutely nothing to lower the over-all price of individual faculty, it only increases the demand, thus allowing those faculty left to charge even more.
Increasing enrolments mean increasing revenue. The faculty doesn't get any cheaper to run, but they do have more money.
Anyway, this is fairly OT. You're working on the assumption there's going to be a shortage of lecturers and I personally can't see that happening. It's certainly not something that was ever raised as an issue here - the line fed to the public was literally along the lines of "because our Universities can charge higher fees, they will be able to offer better courses", with no apparent causal link offered (the aforementioned "if it costs more it must be worth it" fallacy).
And it is.. if you have permission. Otherwise, it's not. And that's the case even today. Or do you mean even without permission?
Without "permission". This is simply to reflect reality - rather than to try and warp reality with some kludged-up legal fiction. If I hear a song on the radio, and can remember it, then I have effectively (illegally) made a copy of it in my brain. Allowing legal non-profit reproduction simply allows that to be (logically) extended to having the exact same "copy" of the song in my brain on a CD or a computer. However, it also allows the creator to make money by being the only person allowed to *sell* their creation - say to a radio station, or to fans with some value adding like a CD insert with lyrics.
In other words, it allows music fans to swap music legally, but also stops others from profiting from the artists work. No-one but the artist can (legally) profit from their work.
Well, assuming that by the above you mean even without permission, let's look at the cost of the work. Now, since I trust you believe similarly about software and books and the like, (copyright is copyright, no?) the cost for an average novel would come out to what.. about $8,000? After all, the cost of production is about a year's worth of (very low) wages.
That depends. If a writer spends five years of their life creating a book, the I would consider a sum around the value of five times a fairly high-end salary to be reasonable. OTOH, if it's a written-in-6-months airport novel, it's only worth about a tenth of that.
With these sort of personal works, I'd be quite confident the honor system would be more than workable. The creator gives a rough estimate of the time taken to complete the work, which is then multiplied by a suitable number to arrive at a final figure. Once the work has generated that much profit, it enters the public domain. The end result being the creator has been reasonably rewarded for his effort and society has benefitted by having more content publically available.
The cost of, say, Half-Life, should be somewhere in the high five-figure range?
Corporate copyrights would be subject to a much stricter regime, primarily because corporations have already demonstrated they will only abuse the copyright system and secondly because the legal requirement for financial accounting should/would make determining the actual cost of creation - accurately - fairly trivial.
A corporation would file the cost of development of a work when it is finalised. Once that cost had been recovered in profits, the copyright would expire at the end of that calendar year. Punishments for trying to rort the system - for example by reporting a bogus cost of development - would be severe. All profits earned from the work would be forfeit (and returned to any customers whereever possible), a fine equal to the reported cost of development would be levied and the work would immediately be retroactively entered into the public domain.
Because by your scheme, they can only count on the sale of a single copy and after that it's perfectly legit to spread around.
The answer here is copy protection/DRM-like systems. Certainly, any and all forms would eventually be broken, but the vast majority of consumers will purchase the work simply for the convenience of not having to deal with it (as they do now). There would also be the opportunity for value-add products like online multiplayer systems to be designed to only work with purchased copies as well. I wouldn't expect there to be many more "legally-copied-for-free" copies than there would currently be "pirated copies" today.
Redhat manage to make money selling a product that - for all intents and purposes - can be legally acquired for free. There's no reason to think other companies can't do the same.
I should also clarify that my "reproduction for non-profit" purposes only really applies to non-business users. For example, a business copying something like Microsoft Office to use in its line of work is implicitly using the product "for profit" the second they generate any revenue (non-profit organisations would, obviously, not be using it "for profit").
I'm actually somewhat in agreement with this. The sticky part is, what counts as derivitive, and what counts as copying. If I change a single note, is it a derivitive work? ("See.. his song ends with a minor C chord held for 3/4 of a beat. Mine ends with an A minor held for 2 beats.. it's not a copy.")
IMHO this would be best dealt with on a case by case basis by a legal challenge, with - again - severe penalties for "wasting the court's time" to discourage frivolous claims. For example, while your example is clearly not different enough to be considered a "derivative work".
You could use similar reasoning to argue that any money earned by anything should all be forfeit when the earner dies. After all, why should a widow receive the benefits of a husband's 401K program?
(I'm assuming a 401k is an equivalent to what we call superannuation - a lump sum accrued by people as they work and paid out when they retire (or die, as the case may be).)
The situation here is, IMHO, different. Superannuation is an actual, existing asset - effectively physical property - that was already earned and owned by a person to do with as they wish. A husband leaving his widow a super fund is really no different from him leaving her a car or a house.
The other reason is because -as I said elsewhere - I think the point of "copyright" should be to acknowledge and reimburse the creators of a work. Someone who wasn't involved in creating the idea - did none of the hard work, so to speak - should not directly benefit from its protection.
If I build a company that makes widgets, should my family not have the opportunity to profit from my still earning company once I've died? It's not like people immediately stopped paying for their widgets on my death.
This is a patents issue, not a copyright issue (although I'm similarly disdainful of patents, I must admit).
Your family would still be quite capable of earning from your profitable company as well - they just wouldn't be able to stop someone else using the design and selling duplicates (even then, they'd have the advantage of 6 - 12 months minimum while any competitors reproduced the design and geared up manufacturing, not to mention an already established customer base).
Just like it's not like people will immediately stop paying for a book on someone's death. As long as the public is willing to pay, why should my family be barred from enjoying the fruits of my labor?
But they wouldn't be. Your labour, by definition, ended at your death, hence so must its "fruits".
Again, I'll agree this is a special case that deserves extra consideration.
And for the exact same reasons, why not? If I build a company, am I not allowed to sell it (and thus the right to profit from it) to another person? Why should it be any different if my company happens to be based on selling the writings of my mind?
Well, clearly if you aren't at the company any more it can no longer be based around selling the contents of *your* mind :).
You raise some good points with respect to corporate copyrights and I must admit I haven't yet completely thought through practical and fair ways businesses that center around "intellectual property" could leverage it as an asset. My main interest has been in ways to curb corporate abuse, maximise the motivation to continually innovate and maximise the benefit to the individual.
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