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jdobbin

Opposition to Copyright Law

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+1 and thank you for plainly stating what I was trying to say!

I forgot to mention that if we buy a glass of milk and we share it with our friend, does our friend have to pay for it too? heh

I think copyright is very important. But it has to take into account fair usage. It has to preserved for an acceptable time and not to protect Disney from having Steamboat Willie from falling into the public domain.

It has to be convenient for the end user. If we buy a CD, we should not be breaking the law by storing a back-up copy on our computer. We should not have to pay to transfer our CD to an MP3 for our own use.

Downloading can be a problem for people who create content. The content producers will always face piracy. The way to deal with that is through pricing, licensing, fair usage and lastly enforcement.

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If you hum the latest Justin Timberlake song on your way to work, are you also stealing?
That's a very good question and ultimately depends on the contract of sale.
There is a difference. One deprives the original owner of the use of the item, the other does not.
Irrelevant.
The sole purpose of copyright legislation is to give inventors sufficient incentive to continue to invent. The purpose is not to protect property in the same way as other physical property is protected. Afterall, why do we expire copyrights and eventually move ideas into the public domain, something we don't do for physical property?

The essential question to determine if we need better protection of copyright, is "Is the incentive enough to continue to produce invention?". Personally I don't see much evidence that more incentive is needed, but given sufficient evidence I could be convinced otherwise.

A wonderful post, Renegade (except for the irrelevant distinction between intellectual and real property). I am sometimes disheartened by this forum but your post gives me hope for mankind. When I read your post, I realized: Someone gets it.

It doesn't really matter who owns what except in the sense of the incentives to create what we can own. (I wish the Palestinians could learn this basic lesson of life.)

Edited by August1991

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That's a very good question and ultimately depends on the contract of sale.

That's true, however what is the contract of sale if I happen to hear the song played and sing it to myself. In this case I have not make a specific contractual arrangement with the creator of the song.

Irrelevant.

Sorry August but I disagree. If you look at how society percieves and punishes trangresssions, you will see that at least part of the severity of the punishment is based upon the impact on the victim. If the victim is not deprived of use of the property in question, there is far less impact than a physical property theft.

Personally I feel the word "property" has been misappropriated to apply to ideas and invention. No doubt those should be protected but they should be considered different than property.

BTW, ideas and inventions (at least in the context we are discussing) are not sold as property. They are licensed for use. Use without compensation is not so much "theft" as it is a license violation.

A wonderful post, Renegade (except for the irrelevant distinction between intellectual and real property). I am sometimes disheartened by this forum but your post gives me hope for mankind. When I read your post, I realized: Someone gets it.

Thanks August. I was concerned that I was one of very few who shared my viewpoint.

It doesn't really matter who owns what except in the sense of the incentives to create what we can own. (I wish the Palestinians could learn this basic lesson of life.)

Certainly it benefits everyone, both idea creator and idea consumer, that copyright protection exist. It would be a much more productive discussion if the discussion focused on how to ensure adequate compensation of idea creators in the face of technology advancements which remove barriers to use of ideas.

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All of our posts seem to boil down to this universal constant:

We do indeed have copyright problems and as always the government intends to enact a wildly unfair and inappropriate solution!

Why? Because like always the people making the decisions are unfamiliar with the realities of the problem. Or possibly worse yet, beholden to special interests.

Should someone be able to get a copyrighted product like a music album or movie for free? No.

Should that same someone who has legally purchased such a product be allowed to make a copy for his own use or convert the product to another media for his convenience? Of course!

Does the government's proposed solution understand this distinction? As always, no.

Will the vast majority of people do what they want with the commonly available tools of a technology? Of course they will.

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The Albertan government does exactly that. Indeed, it recently raised the royalties for the benefit (presumably) of all Albertans. Americans (and Quebecers) will pay these royalties - honestly and without complaint - to the Albertan government.

For some reason, in political discusssions, royalties on intellectual property are viewed as less important than royalties on "real" property. I've never understood why. Oil in the ground is a gift of geography. No one in Alberta did anything to get it. The "doing" occurred 60 million years ago or so. Intellectual property is different. The "doing" is done now.

IMV, it is very different to argue about royalties for something that happened 60 millions years ago and royalties for something that happened last year. Between the two, I'd be far more concerned about recent events.

Oil royalties matter but copyright law matters more. We in Canada are foolish to believe otherwise. Of all people, Canadians should want to protect royalties.

That oil in the ground is no good unless it is exploited, which is done now. Should the service rig charge royalties along every transaction along the line? Should I as a farmer charge royalties everytime my grain changes hands? The entertainment industry gets to do this. You for one adamantly complained about the Quebec Dairy industry getting huge government protection and if somebody could get us cheaper milk, by all means go for it. You had also complained about government protection leading to bad marketing. Which is ultimately what copyright law is.

If the entertainment industry is so worried about their stuff getting "stolen" then they shouldn't release their media where it can't be recorded. They can gouge radio stations, MTV, etc. They can only do live concerts, they can hire private security guards at move theatres to catch people with cameras. We should not have to pay because of poor marketing.

The scary part about copyright law is for instance a drug company makes a cure for cancer, and due to copyright law they get a monopoly and ultimately gouge the consumer due to lack of competition. There are going to be a few people that die from cancer because they cannot afford the drug when if copyright law didn't exist, other, better run companies could make piles of the drug, compete with each other and drive down the cost making the drug way more affordable to the consumer.

If all the industries in Canada got the same protection as the entertainment industry, we would be in hot water.

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If the entertainment industry is so worried about their stuff getting "stolen" then they shouldn't release their media where it can't be recorded. They can gouge radio stations, MTV, etc. They can only do live concerts, they can hire private security guards at move theatres to catch people with cameras. We should not have to pay because of poor marketing.

If all the industries in Canada got the same protection as the entertainment industry, we would be in hot water.

+1! The entertainment industry could have stopped digital piracy in it's tracks by reverting to vinyl! Bring back album art you don't need a magnifying glass to see and stop filling up albums with one or two good singles and a bunch of crap filler.

Production costs shouldn't be a factor. CD's cost more than vinyl when first introduced, by a lot! Still, I just can't see the "suits" bringing themselves to make such a change. They see the huge profit over the production cost of a CD and would not be able to stomach taking any hit at all, even in the short term.

This trend is already strong in Britain, despite being almost underheard of here in North America. Yet even so we have a small niche of artists releasing vinyl. It's a tiny niche but it has no piracy problems and a loyal market base. A quick google will show that you can buy modern turntables of excellent quality, easily!

Any true audiophile cringes at the quality of digital music anyway. We're witnessing an entire generation that has never heard true high fidelity. The MP3 was developed as a stripped down, compressed file to reduce download times with dialup modems. This means less fidelity. It's just the physics of Mother Nature and you can't get around it. The CD never had the fidelity of unscratched vinyl or tape but again, the suits saw they could sell the convenience factors and took for granted the market was too unsophisticated to notice the loss of fidelity. It's ironic that although they seemed to have been right they set themselves up for the new technology of massive piracy!

Marketing suits also educated the new generation into tiny speaker cabinets that are easy to fit into a decor. Physics dictates that cabinets require internal volume to be efficient and properly reproduce all the frequencies. Small cabs will seem to work but that's why the average apartment sized receiver boasts several hundred watts of power. It needs it for the inefficient speaker cabinets!

I run a stereo 30 watt a side tube receiver into some big 70's style Fisher speaker cabs and I can shake the walls! We now need all that power to drive inefficient little cabinets, because some marketing suit fooled us into thinking they would give us great "CD" quality sound!

When marketing is allowed to constantly trump engineering then the record industry deserves what it has gotten! It never had to happen, except for their own greed.

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Any true audiophile cringes at the quality of digital music anyway. We're witnessing an entire generation that has never heard true high fidelity. The MP3 was developed as a stripped down, compressed file to reduce download times with dialup modems. This means less fidelity.....

Agreed.....the struggle is over profits for a distribution medium that is very portable crap. I just laugh and buy the resulting analog bargains on eBay. With an iPod or Zune, we are back to the future with a pocket transistor radio form factor and similar (or worse) audio fidelity.

I run a stereo 30 watt a side tube receiver into some big 70's style Fisher speaker cabs and I can shake the walls! We now need all that power to drive inefficient little cabinets, because some marketing suit fooled us into thinking they would give us great "CD" quality sound!

Yep...I'm on my third woofer surround repair kit for a pair of JBL L96's and Marantz 2275.

When marketing is allowed to constantly trump engineering then the record industry deserves what it has gotten! It never had to happen, except for their own greed.

This has always been the case...most people can't tell the listening difference.

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The only problem with vinyl is it would be tough to change records while listening to music when i go mountain biking.

True! That's where a different technology can be more useful. I'm not arguing to totally abandon one for the other. Your Ipod player is a lot more convenient for biking.

That being said, if you took the trouble to load from clean vinyl onto cassette tape, you might miss the availability and convenience of an extensive playlist but you would have FAR better sound quality in your ears!

To run an Ipod in a docking station for your car or house is like making a symphony play from a small transistor radio and amplify it for a concert hall! The sound quality difference is so extensive as to make the Ipod source appear ridiculous!

But not, of course, to a marketing suit.

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Agreed.....the struggle is over profits for a distribution medium that is very portable crap. I just laugh and buy the resulting analog bargains on eBay. With an iPod or Zune, we are back to the future with a pocket transistor radio form factor and similar (or worse) audio fidelity.

Yep...I'm on my third woofer surround repair kit for a pair of JBL L96's and Marantz 2275.

This has always been the case...most people can't tell the listening difference.

Yeah, wasn't that idea of foam surrounds convenient? For decades cones had solid surrounds to anchor them to the rim of the basket. Suddenly we see thin foam surrounds that supposedly add a sound improvement. It's only some 5 or 6 years later when the warranty is over that we find that the foam rots away and we need to pay for the new surrounds.

Since most of the market isn't even aware of what a surround is let alone that they can be replaced they end up becoming used to the idea that speaker cabinets are a perishable product not expected to last more than 5-10 years and they junk them! It's off to the store to buy new ones!

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....Since most of the market isn't even aware of what a surround is let alone that they can be replaced they end up becoming used to the idea that speaker cabinets are a perishable product not expected to last more than 5-10 years and they junk them! It's off to the store to buy new ones!

Yep....somewhere in North American landfills rest perfectly good Advents just in need of a $10 piece of foam and some glue. I like to dub those harsh CDs over to a like new Otari MX-5050 MKIII that I got from from eBay...$200 for a $3000 analog deck. The phat sound is restored! (Wonder if that violates US copyright law?....may have to move to Canada!)

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Wild Bill, I buy milk every week or so. Did you expect one litre of milk to last all your life?

-----

In this discussion, one can expect any number of angles/arguments (usually self-serving) that in effect justify theft. People have a remarkable ability to justify why they should get something for nothing. "I don't know why it's there. I didn't steal it. I hate that cheap stuff. It must have fallen into my purse... "

English Canadians say the same about American culture and America's military - while freely benefitting from them.

If your property was stolen on a regular basis, what would you do?

If it were easy to steal cars, no one would buy one. If no one buys cars, no one would produce them.

This is the bottom line here.

Show me how to make a copy of a jug of milk or a car while leaving the original alone, then you might have a point.

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At least the Court had the good sense to overide the Copyright Board:

The Federal Court of Appeal has rejected a controversial levy that would have raised the price of MP3 players, cellphones and computers.

The FCA, which released its decision Thursday, said the Copyright Board — a regulatory body that determines royalties for copyrighted works — did not have the authority to impose the levy on digital recorders.

The levy, which was slated to be introduced in 2008, would have amounted to an additional $5 to $75 depending on the storage capacity of the recorder.

"The Copyright Board erred in law when it concluded that it has the legal authority to certify the tariff that CPCC has proposed for 2008-2009 on digital audio recorders," the FCA said in its decision.

Appeal Court rejects iPod levy

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Funny thing is, Quebec is one of the biggest pirating areas in the world.

Having knowledge of the music buisness, I can say that intellectual property rights are gone for ever. If you as writer recordist and performer can manage to pay the rent and continue in as a creative person - you are lucky and should be thankful. Gone are the days of the rock star getting the big advance and becoming rich though the mechanical sales of recordings..there is not longer a physical object to be sold and those sales can not be controled. We are now in the buisness of selling air - and if with technology the average consumer can get his air for nothing, he will.

Record companies are beside them selves and lost for ideas on how to harness this "air" and maintain its lucrativity. There is a good side to this phenomena. Good artists can now be heard and will not fade into oblivion with their gifts unheard. Most real artists don't have a problem with not becoming millionares - the corporation do have a problem though. This change in the creative world is wonderful..now the creators can get a tiny bit of money to sustain and the parasitic monster publishers will get nothing...had to happen eventually - the artist just wants to eat and have a clean bed to sleep in. This change in the intellectual property buisness will bring about more good and healthy culture - just less money - so what. Let the big companies do something else - maybe take writing lessons or learn an instrument and get jobs as subway musicians..I will toss them a coin no problem.

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That oil in the ground is no good unless it is exploited, which is done now. Should the service rig charge royalties along every transaction along the line? Should I as a farmer charge royalties everytime my grain changes hands? The entertainment industry gets to do this.
Oil is different from music. I can only fill up my gas tank once. I can hear Celine Dion asking "wherever you are" many, many times in my ear. Does this change anything? Not really.

I would like a world in which people find oil often, and they also find music often. In this world, I think they find oil too often and they find music not often enough. Why? The discoverers of oil own the oil. The finders of music too often don't own their discovery - and so they get nothing.

The incentives to discover oil, gold, invest on financial markets, build houses or design new cars seem to work well. To get rich, that's what many people do. The incentives to discover new ideas or to design new worlds, to think outside the box, seem weaker.

Having knowledge of the music buisness, I can say that intellectual property rights are gone for ever.
No, they're not. Oleg, judging by your posts, you probably remember the times of plastic 45 rpm discs. You probably never knew about paper songsheets. MP3 files are new to you, and the vagaries of islands in the Mississippi or the banks of the Nile are likely unknown.

Property rights vary with time, technology and their ease of definition. Property rights are like Easter, the dates change - they're a moveable feast, une fête mobile.

Edited by August1991

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I can hear Celine Dion asking "wherever you are" many, many times in my ear.

Scary! Scary! Scary!

Please be careful. Children might read your posts!

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Copyright and it's sister intellectual property are a bad idea and should be repealed. They amount to nothing more than tiny state mandated monopolies and are the antithesis of free market competition.

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Copyright and it's sister intellectual property are a bad idea and should be repealed. They amount to nothing more than tiny state mandated monopolies and are the antithesis of free market competition.

Why would anyone create or invent anything if it was just going to be copied?

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"Why would anyone create or invent anything if it was just going to be copied?"

The same reason that is the explanation of all human action, to achieve their various ends - most likely to profit off of it, but some people also get joy from the act of creation itself.

Why do you support government created monopolies? Do you feel that a monopoly will result in a superior product or a lower price to the consumer? What do you have against free market competition?

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"Why would anyone create or invent anything if it was just going to be copied?"

The same reason that is the explanation of all human action, to achieve their various ends - most likely to profit off of it, but some people also get joy from the act of creation itself.

Why do you support government created monopolies? Do you feel that a monopoly will result in a superior product or a lower price to the consumer? What do you have against free market competition?

Why do you support stealing?

Do you support the end of trademark as well? Can I copy McDonald's and use their symbol and names and market myself as McDonald's? Would that be free market competition or stealing? Isn't that simply another form of intellectual property?

You are saying that if someone invests millions in a new drug that someone can use the same name and copy the formula the very same day? Obviously the profit incentive would not be there. I guess someone could spend millions and create a new drug for the sheer joy of creating it but who has that type of money?

Even Adam Smith knew there was limits in the free market. If there wasn't, we'd still have slavery.

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"Why do you support stealing?"

If I download a movie off the interwebz, who has less of something when I do so? Who's property is no longer there? What act of aggression have I committed?

"Do you support the end of trademark as well?"

Yes.

"Can I copy McDonald's and use their symbol and names and market myself as McDonald's?"

Yes.

"Would that be free market competition or stealing?"

The former.

"Isn't that simply another form of intellectual property?"

Yes.

"You are saying that if someone invests millions in a new drug that someone can use the same name and copy the formula the very same day?"

Yes.

"Obviously the profit incentive would not be there."

False. Indeed the patent process in many ways inhibits development, as the process itself is very expensive and can only be utilized by powerful special interests.

"I guess someone could spend millions and create a new drug for the sheer joy of creating it but who has that type of money?"

Non profit organizations, for one. You suffer from a common fallacy regarding science. Science is not like building boats, where you can hire more people and train them to be boat builders and you will get more boats. You cannot just throw money at science, training 'scientists', giving them government grants and expecting to get a bunch more science. It doesn't work that way. The truth is, for every 100 "scientists" there are 99 frauds and 1 real scientist - because it's a very easy living to get a degree, call yourself a "scientist" and live off the taxpayer for 50 years pushing paper. The real scientists can as much NOT do science as the faux scientists CAN - that is to say it's impossible, as they are absorbed by their work, as unable to put it down as a true writer is able to stop writing. See 'The Nature of Scientific Revolutions' for a more detailed explanation of this.

Indeed if we eliminated all government subsidies for research and left it all to the free market we would see these frauds exposed for what they are, and the actual scientists would probably receive much greater funding as the market is great for determining what works and what doesn't - unlike the government (case in point, ethanol).

Furthermore there are still large profits to be reaped simply from keeping your techniques a secret, the initial sales you get from a new product and support services from having all the extra knowledge that comes from creating a new product.

Furthermore patents decrease innovation as well! A patent allows a company to 'rest on their laurels' where open competition could force them to develop newer and better products. By forbidding competition in a given product for ten or twenty years, other companies are ten or twenty years of experience less able to develop newer and better versions of it or other products that are developed building upon the new technology. And there is all the money wasted on the patent process and the lawsuits as well...

Companies can profit off of things without patents - just as companies can profit off of things which are not patented. If you needed a patent to profit, the market in public domain books would not exist.

"Even Adam Smith knew there was limits in the free market. If there wasn't, we'd still have slavery."

Adam Smith also was a proponent of the ridiculous 'labour theory of value', which is so absurd even a small child should be able to disprove it. He is no God...

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