Harry

Especially For Young Women

 
   

 

Ridiculous Copyright Laws

Information flowing through the internet costs very little. And yet, having access to information is probably one of the most empowering, enriching, ennobling, enlightening and calming influences that societies, and the world, can have.

Information should be virtually given away for free, like basic food.

Further, unlike food, with information there are no real warehousing problems. No real climate problems. No real transport problems. No real deterioration problems. And, therefore, no real reason not to give it out virtually for free!

And the copyright laws that currently prevail in the western world should be blown apart.

In most cases, there is no justifiable reason any more to protect authors and artists with copyrights for enormous periods of time. Further, if their work is of real value, why should the rest of the world for some 80 years or so be subjected to restrictions on making use of it?

The whole world clearly benefits when more and more people are educated and enriched because they have unfettered access to information. So, why should copyright holders be empowered to prevent this from happening?

What utter selfishness!

What is wrong with, say, copyrights lasting for only three years?

The big boys would still make a fortune if they were producing work that was much in demand.

There is no God-given right for authors and artists to be made wealthy through copyrights.

And, OK, maybe they would not make as much as they would like to over the years, but, TOUGH! There is no God-given right for authors and artists to be made wealthy through copyrights.

Teachers cannot charge copyright fees for the continuing use of the information that they have hammered into the heads of their pupils.

Policemen cannot charge copyright fees for all the benefits that society continues to reap from their dealings with criminals.

Surgeons cannot continue to demand copyright fees for the arteries that they have constructed around their patients' hearts.

And, surely, if someone's written or artistic creation is much in demand, then, should it become copyright-free after three years, it would spread like wildfire.

The reputations of the creator would truly soar - worldwide. And so the creator could then make an even bigger killing with the next piece of work than he would have done had the copyright continued to be enforced on the first piece of work for 80 years.

(This might not be true for the tiny few at the very very top of the pile - who often continue for many years to make fortunes from their copyrights of very old material - but it would certainly be true for 99.9% of creators.)

And the little people would also benefit by restricting the copyright laws because those who had faith in and admiration for their work would feel free to disseminate it after the three years was up.

This could set the professional ball rolling for unknown creators and artists without the need for them to have the resources of well-heeled producers or publishers behind them.

Indeed, here on the internet, the material published in newspapers and magazines are often posted on to websites and remain in view for months, if not for years, promoting the publications, their authors and their ideas when the printed versions of their work have completely disappeared from view.

And what about the vast majority of authors and artists who are struggling? Do not they count for anything?

the bulk of the talented are relegated immediately into the realms of obscurit

While the wealthy corporations and the famous spend huge sums promoting their sure-fired selves and grid-locking the whole industry in their favour, the bulk of the talented are relegated immediately into the realms of obscurity - outweighed and outgunned by the powerful and the famous who call all the shots.

Notice also how the big corporations and the publishers quite happily use works that are now out of copyright in order to make themselves even greater fortunes - e.g. by FREELY using the works of Shakespeare, Mozart etc.

And, of course, famous artists themselves regularly take un-copyrighted material, re-arrange it in some way, and then copyright the arrangement!

Why shouldn't smaller enterprises be released from the control of those who currently pull all the strings?

Further, of course, with the new technology, authors and artists can now access a vast worldwide market, thanks to the work of scientists, computer experts, technicians, software engineers and a whole swathe of people most of whom do not have laws of copyright to feed them monies whenever somebody uses whatever it is they created.

And copyrights limited to three years gives famous authors and artists more than enough time to make a fortune.

And the same is true with regard to software.

Why, for example, should Windows 3.1 - and its code - not be available for anyone to distribute for free?

How can it possibly be right to prevent the less well-heeled from enjoying the use of this old but empowering product?

Why should more impoverished people (MOST of the planet) be denied access to music, art, literature, software - and information in general - simply because large corporations and famous artists wish to hog it all and control it!?

This is nothing but greed.

And, of course, this is why, for example, Hollywood and people like Bill Gates are so rich.

By restricting copyrights to three years, markets would open up

By restricting copyrights to three years, markets would open up, the associated industries would expand as more people became involved with them and more consumers consumed their products, the workers in these industries would have more power and more choice with regard to whom they worked for, the worthier products would be far more easily promoted and so they would float to the top of the pile without much effort and without hindrance from the power groups that currently control the whole business, and the whole planet would be the richer in very many ways.

Here is an example.

Stephen King writes another whopper. He's got three years to make his money, which he will.

After his three years is up, that's it.

Along comes an entrepreneur who sets up a successful business of shipping newly-freed-from-copyright works of famous authors down the internet for a mere 10 cents. So the WHOLE WORLD can now access Stephen King's work for virtually nothing.

The entrepreneur is delighted.

OK.

Stephen King is now more famous and more widely read than ever before. And he writes another book.

But he can now make a deal with the very same entrepreneur (who wouldn't have existed under the old copyright system) to allow his new book (with three years of copyright protection) to be downloaded for 50 cents to a much bigger market than he would have had before.

And Stephen King can make 40 cents each time!

The same kind of thing goes for drugs patents. They last for 20 some years.

Why not five years?

The argument is, of course, that drugs companies need to recover the costs of their huge investments in research and testing.

Well, that's fair enough. But they can simply charge a lot more in the first five years for use of their products.

And then, as soon as the five years were up, other drugs companies, now completely unfettered by the patent, could start producing the stuff by the bucketload.

And so more people all over the world would get involved in the business of producing the very drugs that are wanted.

Quite simply, more manufacturing plants and distribution systems, the world over, would be tempted into being.

And then, the next time that the drug company came up with something new, there would already be in place for them many more outlets to many more millions of people than there would have been under the 20-year drug patent law.

Restricting drug patents to 5 years instead of 20 would therefore not only benefit millions more people with regard to accessing the drugs, but it would also empower the workers in the drug industry by opening up for them many more avenues for their work. Their skills would be in greater demand.

(And the same kind of reasoning could be applied to the music and the software industries.)

Surely the wealthy and the powerful have no moral right to continue to tend solely to their own aspirations via clever lawyers and clever laws to the relative detriment of everyone else.

I do not begrudge them their wealth. Most of them will have worked hard for it. But, for many years now, a few people have been doing far too well out of the copyright and patent rackets, and they have been depriving too many people of important resources.

Microsoft, the entertainment industry, Hollywood, the overpaid 'stars', the hugely profitable drug companies, and all the associated lawyers and human accessories that go with them have grown very rich and fat by denying resources to others through legal maneuverings.

But the whole world would benefit hugely by giving as many people as possible unrestricted access to the results of the creators' intellects, their wisdom and their creativity.

And politicians should be made to understand this.

Besides which, I do not actually think that they are going to have much choice in the near future.

Yes, there would certainly be a few creative people who would be worse off (but most of them only slightly so) if copyright and patent laws were to give protection for only 3 or 5 years.

But virtually everyone else in the world would benefit in numerous significant ways.

03/10/03

File Sharing

Lee Robinson

ThePriceOfLiberty

There was a time when our government protected the citizens from corporate predations. Trust busting was the order of the day and the president himself, in the person of Teddy Roosevelt, even took on the big oil conglomerates.

 the fat cats got smart

But the fat cats got smart, instead of using their resources to fight the government; they used them to buy it. There is no Teddy Roosevelt to deliver us from the medical and pharmaceutical cartels and the oil industry again drives much of our nation’s executive and foreign policy. And now, unfolding before our eyes is another classic example of a big business interest whose financial support of politics can get legislation custom tailored for their profit.

The great jihad that the music industry is undertaking against people who share music over the internet, clearly shows the unwholesome results of mixing big money and politics.

The music cartels have bragged that they are going to make examples of a few hundred of the ten million or so people who are in file sharing networks. Now when someone threatens to make an example of someone else, they are implying that they will be treated with unfair severity in order to frighten others away from "sinning" in the first place.

Making an example is unjust by definition, but the power to perpetrate that injustice is what the industry has been buying.

Making an example is unjust by definition, but the power to perpetrate that injustice is what the industry has been buying. They have even prosecuted the actions of a 12 year old girl, fining her parents thousands of dollars. And all this is being perpetrated under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998. This act extended copyright protection to computer users sharing music files among themselves.

The motivation behind such legislation is easy to find. For example, take Saban Entertainment, a company which gave $439,376 to the Democrats during the 1998 election cycle, according to opensecrets.org. As legislation favorable to Saban’s interests is generated, there seems to be a reciprocal generation of political donations.

In the 2000 election cycle they contributed $1,603,650 and for 2002 it was $9,333,000 making what is now Saban Capital Group (which not coincidentally “is looking to strengthen its holdings through the acquisition of artist catalogues”) the top contributor of soft money to the Democrats.

On Saban’s website it says that Ron Kenan, president of Saban Music Group “…is considered to be among the top authorities in the field of music publishing and royalty collections, and has devised some of the most sophisticated tools used in controlling music rights”

Evolving technology has been good to the music distribution cartels.

Evolving technology has been good to the music distribution cartels. They have sold me the same albums on vinyl, 8 track, cassette and most recently, CDs. With each new generation of technology the product became easier to manufacture and distribute while the prices held steady or increased. But that same technology has also worked for the consumer and now the average person has vast access to recorded material and can easily make their own high quality copies.

the issue is less about copyright infringement than about controlling the means of production

This is what the record companies are really afraid of; the issue is less about copyright infringement than about controlling the means of production. For many years the recording industry owned the means of recording and distributing music.

Very few private citizens had their own pressing equipment for vinyl records and aspiring musical acts were at the mercy of the corporations, which as often as not proved to be no mercy at all. But the amazing progress of digital electronics and computers has put personal digital recording studios and duplication methods within the reach of virtually anyone. It was not a criminal conspiracy, it was progress.

Things like downloading are what we expect from technology, computers have changed a lot about the world and a lot of businesses have been shaken up and even overwhelmed by the worldwide scale of internet interaction.

It’s not fair or politically wise to protect certain industries.

It’s not fair or politically wise to protect certain industries. The telegraph had to give way to the telephone, radio to television. The Central Pacific railroad was opposed by special interests as diverse as Welles Fargo, to protect their stagecoach interests, and ice merchants in Alaska who had to send their product to California by boat.

The government is wrong when it tries to protect, with our tax money, businesses that are falling prey to economic evolution.

The fact that there are millions of people all around the world who can share music among themselves is a good thing, certainly not a criminal conspiracy. Calling it “piracy” is deceptive. If one downloaded copyrighted material, made copies and sold them, that would be piracy and clearly a case of copyright infringement, but that is not what is happening.

I have found columns I’ve written posted all over the internet, at sites I’d never heard of. Great, I’m delighted that people seem to like what I say and that more folks will read it and even print copies. But if someone took my columns and sold them for their own profit, I’d be beaucoup cheesed off.

A copyright gives the owner exclusive right to sell the intellectual product. It should not restrict the use of that product in any other way by the purchasers.

The people who share and compile their own music collections are mostly the ones least able to pay the inflated prices of commercial CDs. The affluent will still buy the more attractively packaged and easily obtained commercial product because it isn’t worth their time to spend the several hours necessary to put it together themselves. Record Co. executives will have to thin their own herd and work for more reasonable salaries. No more multi-million golden parachutes or eight figure salaries. Big time performers will still get rich doing what they love but they too will lose their monopoly as downloading allows unknown groups to independently perform for millions of people without a major label promotion.

In the words of Adam Eisgrau, Executive Director of P2P United a group formed by the six leading file sharing networks (and the people who paid the $2,000 fine of the aforementioned 12 year old), "We don't condone copyright infringement, but it's time for the RIAA's winged monkeys to fly back to the castle and leave the Munchkins alone"

the privileges of big donors are treated as a protected species

As our civil rights as guaranteed by the constitution are eroded and compromised by the federal government on a daily basis, the privileges of big donors are treated as a protected species. The extension of copyright protection to file sharing by computer was a wrong move. You and I can’t afford to buy the legislators that the corporations can so once again the laws are not written for us, they are written against us.

Copyrights and the Constitution Phyllis Schlafly

Peter Veeck felt the brunt of the corporate police. When he posted on his Web site the municipal building safety codes that everyone is required to obey, he was sued by a company that claimed to own the building codes. Phyllis Schlafly

Patents on DNA sequences "inhibit innovation and development" and should be the exception rather than the norm, says a panel of leading UK bioethicists.

The first radio station to broadcast via the internet has shut down its online service blaming a new web radio royalty scheme for its demise.

Also see,

Just 5% Will Do

... to get some idea of how those 'in the know' can make fortunes by even small changes on the price of a company's stock.

Also see, ...

Tony Blair Seeks To Become Pope

 

 

 



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