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Author Topic: Making the case for eternal copyright  (Read 8031 times)
feppe
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« on: February 21, 2012, 03:44:15 PM »
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Here's a well-argued piece for eternal copyright:

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[what we hold dear in this country:] the right of a creator to benefit from their intellectual property, whether it be a song, book, film, or game. Without this assurance of compensation, we might not see any new creative works being produced at all, and so it's for this reason that we've continually lengthened copyright terms from 14-28 years as set out by the Statue of Anne in 1710 to "lifetime plus 70 years" today.

Yet now, as we've instituted decade-long jail terms and unlimited fines for copyright infringers, it's time to take the next step in extending copyright terms even further.

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...it's clear that our current copyright law is inadequate and unfair. We must move to Eternal Copyright – a system where copyright never expires, and a world in which we no longer snatch food out of the mouths of our creators' descendants. With eternal copyright, the knowledge that our great-great-great-grandchildren and beyond will benefit financially from our efforts will no doubt spur us on to achieve greater creative heights than ever seen before.

Full article here.
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tom b
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« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2012, 04:16:26 PM »
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You've got to be joking.

I worked in creating distance education products for school children. We had 4 full time copyright officers getting permission to use images and other materials. It would take months to clear the materials and quite often images had to be removed as it was impossible to find the creator. Eternal copyright would be an eternal plague on publishing. Please don't wish that on us. The benefits to your heirs would far be outweighed by the additional costs they would have to pay for published materials.

Cheers,
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allenmacaulay
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« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2012, 07:03:37 PM »
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I dunno...sounds like a modest proposal to me...
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2012, 07:23:55 PM »
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That position presupposes financial benefit as the only motivator for creativity. Not sure if that is the case in real life and in all cultures.
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PierreVandevenne
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« Reply #4 on: February 22, 2012, 12:42:15 AM »
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Good idea. I think I can make a strong case, based on mitochondrial DNA, that one of my ancestors invented the wheel.

Hmmm, the only problem is that you could claim the same... Bad idea after all.

Any human notion that includes the 'perpetual' qualifier should be dismissed on sight.
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Christoph C. Feldhaim
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« Reply #5 on: February 22, 2012, 12:56:54 AM »
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This article is hilarious - stating thoughts I often had when following copyright discussions.

Read (from the article):
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However, to make it entirely fair, Eternal Copyright should be retroactively applied so that current generations may benefit from their ancestors' works rather than allowing strangers to rip your inheritance off. Indeed, by what right do Disney and the BBC get to adapt Alice in Wonderland, Sleeping Beauty, and Sherlock without paying the descendants of Lewis Carroll, the Brothers Grimm, and Arthur Conan Doyle?

Thanks for posting this awesome piece of satire - made my day.
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NikoJorj
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« Reply #6 on: February 22, 2012, 02:01:26 AM »
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Good case made, indeed!
And about the Brothers Grimm, that would be the end of a two-centurie robbery : copyrights could be, at last, returned back to the original inventors of the stories they heard and transcripted.


But wait! Wouldn't it guarantee a better creation system if we could extend copyright beyond eternity?
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Nicolas from Grenoble
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BJL
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« Reply #7 on: February 22, 2012, 07:20:25 AM »
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Thanks for the nice satire of the follies of excessive terms of copyright restrictions, and the more extreme folly of retro-actively increasing terms of copyright protection.

It is sad though what a large proportion of commenters fail to recognize it as satire. Maybe some people need to spend less time reading hacks in blogs and forums, and more time reading time-tested out-of-copyright works, of Swift for example.
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Rob C
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« Reply #8 on: February 22, 2012, 07:58:53 AM »
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Nope, I think that eternal copyright would be a great idea!

I see nothing ontoward about it; because it makes it difficult to trace things for present-day use doesn't matter in the least - why should it be easy? Nothing's easier than just doing it... which is, after all, simply another form of theft.

Were permanent copyright the recognized way, everybody would have been geared up to deal with that, so it's no big thing if some users had to scratch their heads for a while until the system was set up.

Better still, it would remove the issue of 'may I, may I not use this?' at one stroke: the answer would always be no, not without written permission. The end of rip-off culture and the horrid 'orphan works' notion that is nothing but grease to the elbow of the thief.

Great idea! +1 etc.

Rob C
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PierreVandevenne
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« Reply #9 on: February 22, 2012, 09:10:24 AM »
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It is sad though what a large proportion of commenters fail to recognize it as satire.

I don't think so - maybe you didn't notice allenmacaulay's reference to "a modest proposal..." which undoubtly was an allusion to

A Modest Proposal for Preventing the Children of Poor People in Ireland From Being a Burden on Their Parents or Country, and for Making Them Beneficial to the Publick

by Jonathan Swift.


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Eric Myrvaagnes
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« Reply #10 on: February 22, 2012, 09:21:30 AM »
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Stop right there all of you!
One of my ancestors invented the alphabet, so you all owe me royalties!   Cool

Eric
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Chris_Brown
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« Reply #11 on: February 22, 2012, 09:26:20 AM »
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I'm on the other side of the fence. I think all copyrights should last 10 years, and patents only 5. With these durations, the improvements in technologies, chemistries, life sciences and the arts would occur on a much quicker pace. As it is now, the only people making large financial gains are the lawyers for the artists and patent holders.

Hear an argument more from my side of the fence here.
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« Reply #12 on: February 22, 2012, 10:34:48 AM »
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I'm on the other side of the fence. I think all copyrights should last 10 years, and patents only 5. With these durations, the improvements in technologies, chemistries, life sciences and the arts would occur on a much quicker pace. As it is now, the only people making large financial gains are the lawyers for the artists and patent holders.
What about people working on projects that take a long time?
I happen to be working on something at the moment where the first image was taken in 2005 and still intend to do more photography on subject before project is completed. So it may be 2013/2014 before it's complete. So if I were to then publish say a book on this subject, then some of the images would be out of copyright almost immediately.
Or what about a Howard Hodgkins painting? When would the copyright start as his painting can take ten years to finish? And if you say from the moment they are completed, what's to stop artists continually tinkering with their work to maintain copyright? With photos, the versions I'm outputting from RAW files shots 10 years ago are very different from the original files. SO where's the copyright there?
This is just a few of the reasons as to why copyright of just 10 years is not really workable. Besides the people who tend to benefit most from short or no copyright protection are the big corporations. Copyright protects the little man and in the creative industries way too much of the time, it is copyright that means one can eek out a living.
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« Reply #13 on: February 22, 2012, 10:49:29 AM »
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Copyright protects the little man and in the creative industries way too much of the time, it is copyright that means one can eek out a living.

You must work for Mickey Mouse, eh?
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jjj
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« Reply #14 on: February 22, 2012, 11:30:35 AM »
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Hear an argument more from my side of the fence here.
Unfortunately that argument starts with a quote from someone who got it completely wrong as Sousa didn't realise that the new technology would benefit creators, not silence them.
As for the new remix culture that the speaker claims is now democratising creativity - utter nonsense. There's nothing new about that, that's how culture and creativity has always worked. Rather than my try and explain that at length, go and watch these entertaining films about this. The last one also touches on copyright in the modern world and if I recall correctly also mentions how people view copying of others work [perfectly OK] and how they view their own work being copied [completely not OK].

I find Larry Lessig's argument overall to be quite poor as he uses analogies by twisting and then misrepresenting them. I was surprised to see that he was a 'respected' lawyer as his arguments were so weak. He doesn't appear to have noticed hip-hop and notice how sampling was overtly used used in that musical form. Not to mention that he is also naive in the assumption that the 'youth' making remixes for YouTube are not involved in a commercial enterprise, which is exactly what YouTube is. And there is money to be made by those supplying content and by YouTube who provides a platform. This is why YouTube gets a cease and desist not the uploader. If the person whose content was being reused got a cut of the profits being made, then that would be very different, but they do not.
As for the kids being corrupted by being criminalised, grief, if shoplifting was as popular, would he also advocate decriminalising that too?
That's the worst TED presentation I've ever seen. Larry Lessig seems quite ignorant about remix culture and somewhat naive in general.

BTW I had a look at your website Chris, some very nice work there indeed, but I was then struck by the fact that you are a commercial photographer.
Now that type of photography would be little affected by a decrease in copyright as that type of work tend to have good rewards up front and not only you may also hand over copyright, but commercial work rarely has a use outside of the commission itself. Many other types of photographic business models tend to pay smaller amounts over longer periods of time, so are utterly dependent on the concept of photographic copyright. So do you think your views on freeing up copyright are influenced by the fact it wouldn't really affect you?
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jjj
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« Reply #15 on: February 22, 2012, 11:36:29 AM »
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You must work for Mickey Mouse, eh?
Actually Disney's stance and (ab)use of copyright is somewhat disingenuous and not reflective of my views.
Using a crazy stance to justify another polarised oppositional and equally extreme viewpoint is not the solution either.
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« Reply #16 on: February 22, 2012, 11:48:16 AM »
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I wonder what Lessig would say about Richard Prince, as he isn't exactly a youth, but does exactly what the youths he champions do. And is very rich from doing just that.
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BJL
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« Reply #17 on: February 22, 2012, 12:12:56 PM »
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I don't think so - maybe you didn't notice allenmacaulay's reference to "a modest proposal..." which undoubtly was an allusion to
I said "a large proportion", not all ... and I was mostly referring to comments at the original blog at The Telegraph, Eternal Copyright: a modest proposal. LuLa has of course a far more literate readership than The Telegraph.


By the way, I am opposed to excessive periods of copyright (and patent) protection, and in particular extensors of those terms after the create of a work, which totally lacks the justification of encouraging the creative effort, but I have no problem with more modest periods of coverage. At most, maybe copyright for "life, or thirty years, which ever comes later." Far less for technology patents; maybe about one or two typical product generations. because realistically, within that time frame, someone else would probably have thought of it too.
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fike
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« Reply #18 on: February 22, 2012, 01:34:08 PM »
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Another vote for Everything is a Remix.

http://www.everythingisaremix.info/watch-the-series/

I take the exact opposite tack, completely abolish all copyright and patents.  This would make all artists and creators performers.  That is where their money is made.  Musicians make most of their money from concert tours, not CDs.  Many Photographers today make their living teaching, not selling images.  The teaching is their performance.  Other photographers make their living on fine art prints.  This too is an individual performance that is much harder than most laymen would imagine.  Every company would be valued for it's ability to retain it ideas by retaining their talent and their success would be predicated on their ability to compensate their creative people to keep their ideas in house.  Further, their success would come from the "performance" of manufacturing a great product. Authors are the tough one, but if you recall that Dickens first published his work in a weekly magazine.  This too is a one-off performance. 

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"I invented nothing new. I simply assembled the discoveries of other men behind whom were centuries of work. Had I worked fifty or ten or even five years before, I would have failed. So it is with every new thing. Progress happens when all the factors that make for it are ready and then it is inevitable. To teach that a comparatively few men are responsible for the greatest forward steps of mankind is the worst sort of nonsense." -- Henry Ford
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feppe
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« Reply #19 on: February 22, 2012, 02:34:27 PM »
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There's a hint to the nature of the article in its title...

It raises good points, giving perspective to the claims of those who think 50+ years of copyright is reasonable.
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