And also look at the graphic on this page: http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2012/03/the-mi...
Copyright serves a legitimate purpose. I doubt there would be many big budget games or movies produced without some degree of protection. The purpose of copyright is to provide an incentive to produce creative works. But it also needs to balance the benefits of that with the costs of restricting works from the public.
I believe that copyright should last 10 years. That sounds really short, but hear me out. The vast majority of works are not economically relevant after 10 years. And the ones that are, have usually earned 99% of their money within ten years. It's a power law, the first year gets vastly more money than the second year, than the third year, and so on. This is especially true for games and movies which are fast paced industries. It's also true for books and music, but the power law curve is a bit less steep.
There are exceptions to this, but they are just that - exceptions. The point is to provide an incentive for creators, not to give giant benefits to the outliers at the expense of the public.
Also originally copyright law had some additional measures to keep it from being restrictive. You had to actually register the copyright, not just grant it automatically, and you had to renew it halfway through. Which cost a few thousand dollars.
I also am very much in favor of derivative works. Fanfiction shouldn't be illegal, making a t shirt with your favorite character on it shouldn't be illegal, etc.
With this system you would be able to use old music, photos, software, books, movies, etc. As long as they were made before 2006.
Also trademark could handle some of the remaining issues. E.g. "Star Wars" could be a trademark of george lucas. You could make star wars derivatives, but you couldn't brand them with star wars. Consumers would be able to tell apart ripoffs from works by the original creator. Mickey mouse would still be a trademark of disney, but you could watch steamboat willy cartoons on youtube.
For example, $1K for the next 10 years, then $10K, then $100K... This means that only works that remain truly profitable in the long term will stay copyrighted. If Disney wants to pay $10B to keep Mickey Mouse copyrighted, they are welcome to do so. The extension fees could be put to good use improving the nation's public schools and libraries.
However, I would like to see moral rights retained for longer than 10 years - the right to prevent modification of the work, the right to be named as author, for example. Extending these to life+X years (but requiring free-gratis registration) seems fair to me as well.
Also, a flat tax favors the wealthy on a linear scale but is fairer on a logarithmic scale. So for example when income increases by 10 times, the corresponding tax rate could go up by 10% or something to that effect.
I get where you're coming from, but I worry there's a ton of status quo bias in that doubt. Of all the bajillion ways to incentivize creativity, either with or without laws, how sure can we be that this is the best one?
For software, the original creative work (source code) should need to be escrowed. And the same for any work obfuscated with DRM.
Copyright makes it more viable for the creator to actually make a moving from their work. So to answer your question, the public is encouraging creative work.
In the case of software, the work itself would no longer be protected from reproduction or duplication by others, but there is no obligation for the original creator to facilitate the reproduction by others.
Creative work which the public has no access to even after the limited monopoly period is up.
Society has never demanded people hand over their work without compensation. Copyright is not at all about handing over the source of your works. Copyright is about artificially preventing other people from duplicating your work for a period of time. When that time expires, others are allowed to reproduce your work, but you are not required to hand over your sources.
When a carpenter makes a chair he can claim copyright on the design of the chair. During the time that his design is under copyright nobody else is allowed to make chairs that are obviously copied or derived from his design. When the copyright expires the design is no longer protected, but nobody goes to the original carpenter to confiscate his inventory and release it to the public, nor to appropriate his designs. Those are his. He still owns the designs. They are just no longer protected by law from duplication.
You seem to be coming from the baseless framework of imaginary property wherein creation of property rights is a bona fide good thing, regardless of whether they're congruent with the underlying physics. However, the base law of this jungle is that copying is easy, creators have DRM, and the public has VHS and P2P.
Copyright is justified by the framework of a tradeoff whereby the naturally-existing public domain is retarded in order to encourage the creation of more works that will enter it at a later time. You still haven't directly addressed why the public should agree to restrict itself from copying media, only for the copyright owner to renege on their contribution when the monopoly period is up.
I will say that our current system is extremely broken with regard to the public domain, primarily because of things like DRM and intellectual property, both of which I believe are harmful to society as a whole. I also believe copyright had been extended for way too long. These are things we should push hard to change because I agree, they break the implicit agreement that justifies copyright.
But in the world you are imagining, every new work of any kind would have to be registered with someone to make sure the sources are made public when the copyright expires. Then of course, you would have the massive enforcement effort to ensure the sources actually get released. Little Jimmy starts working a little game on his parents' computer? Better register that with the copyright office so the sources don't get lost in ten years when the copyright expires. It's ridiculous. That's not the way it works and its not the way it should work.
Registering a work would be quite easy in this day and age - a hash for confidential priority, and then an easy upload to cement the registration. "Little Jimmy" wouldn't need to register anything until he decided to start distributing his game, and only then if he wished to take advantage of copyright.
Works being implicitly granted copyright is at the root of the problem with DRM.
A DRMed track is not a creative work, but a mechanically-created derivative of a creative work. Allowing the original creative work to remain secret while still allowing copyright on mechanical derivations of it creates the situation where the content creator can have their cake and eat it too, by releasing a crippled limited-purpose derivative with no intent to add the work to the public domain.
The crux of the matter is this - if creators use the law of the computational jungle to prevent full access to the work (to remix/port/etc) after copyright expiry, then why should members of the public not similarly revert to the law of the computational jungle wherein copying is Free?
In this I believe we agree. I completely agree that any technical protections applied to the distributed work should be removed, or at the very least allowed to be removed by others after the period of copyright expires.
Many songwriters rely on their back catalogue - a hit song serves as a pension, earning a steady trickle of royalties from radio play and sync usage. I don't see it as morally reasonable that, for example, a decade-old song could be used in a commercial without royalties being paid.
Requirements to register and renew would be trivial for large corporate rightsholders, but could be a substantial burden for independent artists, particularly at the beginning of their career.
The current situation of indefinite renewal serves nobody but the big publishers, but I think that a copyright term of approximately the life of the creator makes a great deal of sense. I'd be open to the idea of a shorter duration for works that have been assigned to a corporation. I'd also be open to the idea of a clearinghouse for orphan works, to ensure that orphan works can be used without unfairly disadvantaging artists.
I agree the registration/renewal process could be burdensome on small creators. However the process does not need to be difficult, it could be a simple online form. And the renewal fee could be really low, perhaps $100.
The point is just to keep every single photo ever taken from ending up copyrighted. Which usually means unusable, since no one can track down every copyright owner and negotiate licensing fees when they just want to use a photo in their power point demonstration. Instead of being automatic, only things people explicitly want to copyright are protected.
False, the purpose, and only reason for copy right is to promote the useful sciences, all other reasons are UnConstitutional (from a US Stand point anyway)
The Surprising History of Copyright: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mhBpI13dxkI
"Creative works" is as reasonable shorthand for "useful arts and sciences" as "privacy" is for "the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects"
It's also not the US that owns the copyright but the Anne Frank Fonds in Basel, which got the copyright from her father.
Why does the copyright of where the reader lives, not where the publishing person lives, matter?
If you don't plan to travel to the US or to a country with an extradition agreement with the US concerning this you won't even need to care about that.
States want to be autonomous and set the rules that are in force in their country on their own. When you download stuff while sitting in the US, it's happening in the US. When the servers you're downloading it from are also standing in the US, like in this case, then it's even more clear that this is happening in the US.
We reach this ridiculous situation by serious people taking a series of thoughtful actions a tiny bit at a time. But serious and thoughtful actions only add upon themselves with each step. Ridiculousness multiplies.
Even in the US, the people behind the Sonny Bono Act (aka Mickey Mouse Protection Act) proposed indefinite copyright - MPAA's Jack Valenti actually suggested "forever less one day" to avoid the Constitutional restriction! The life + 50 years was the compromise they could reach.
A perpetual copyright would not be a copyright, there's no reason for the people to support it. If you could pass such an act I think it would show your regime to be something other than a democracy.
Claims it is open source.
The torrent somebody asked for:
If it's in the "open source" collection, I think that's just because it hasn't been moved to a different one yet by administrators.
If you really feel so strongly then go and rail against the foundation who could transfer the book into the public domain with least a million times (literally) less difficulty than it would take to get US copyright law changed to have the same effect.
While there should be some limit on how long you can retain copyright I seriously would not want it to be less than the current and following generation, if not the third.
But I'm fair, and I think we should hate both.
Rootstriking is vastly more efficient.
It isn't our job as technologist to build tools to circumvent the law. It is our job as technologist to educate politicians and the greater population as a whole why these issues are important. Sure, civil disobedience can be a tool in that fight, but that alone isn't going to change anything.
It's a lot more gratifying to live in this conspiratorial world where a romanticized resistance against our corporate overlords is the only way, but it's not a useful mental model for actually succeeding at anything.
They get seats by spending money on campaigns. Public is easily manipulated by political marketing. The only thing that could put them out of there seats would be more money spent for a smear campaign against them.
> It's a lot more gratifying to live in this conspiratorial world where a romanticized resistance against our corporate overlords is the only way, but it's not a useful mental model for actually succeeding at anything.
As opposed to romanticized world where money (got from industry) put into political marketing has no effect on votes and you achieve political goals by educating voters (at no cost other than your sincere effort)?
We'll start with the easiest and work our way up (subjectively):
1) Who's the President?
2) Who's your Governor?
3) Who's your Mayor?
4) Who are your Senators?
5) Who's your Representative?
6) Who's your State Senator?
7) Who's your State Representative/Assembly member?*
I ask these questions every time someone brings up their "The system is rigged, maaaaan". I've only found a handful of people that could name their Representative. Most people can't even name their senators. I always find it fascinating how people are able to trash talk their representatives when they don't even know who they are.
* Excluding you communist unicameral Nebraskans
You can waste your time knowing about these people and trying to get them to do something which you think is good for everyone even though there are powerful people who pay him to not do it, or spend the time to be one day in a position to get them to do something good for you by paying them.
I think the latter will be much more effective and long term that you don't need to know anything or anyone. You just need to find the person who has that power. When that person is no longer in power, just find the next one who is. If you never need those people, even better that you didn't spend time on any of those shitheads.
But you have the power to vote and that is the power which puts them there eventually, directly or indirectly. Even if you did nothing, your power to vote DOES influence that entire chain of people. So, next time you decide to vote for your local politician, do a thorough research about him/her and make sure you are choosing the right candidate, for your decision affects others too. Imagine how many reviews, ratings, articles, research papers you read on the internet before buying a laptop or an iphone or android phone! Even if you spend a tenth of that effort in researching the politician, the whole country will benefit from that!
Take it a step further and publish that research.
I still vote, but I'm also pretty sure it's a waste of my time. It's one of those game theory things. If everyone got out to vote it would be good, but my individual contribution is unimportant.
Even the people who turn out for Presidential elections (when their votes arguably make the least difference) usually don't know enough and their legislative representatives to make an informed decision, and tend not to show up for the off-year elections when it's only those offices up.
In 2014, Senator Jeff Sessions R-Ala. was "elected" without an opponent. In that same year, 32 other Representatives were "elected" without any opposition, my own Representative included. 28 more didn't have a "major party" opponent. That means ~14% of all Representatives had little or no competition.
This is overly simplistic. If it were exclusively about cash resources, the most cash-rich candidates would win every time. We know that doesn't happen. Yes, money does play an important role (because it costs money to run ads, print signage, get people to hang said signage, staff phone banks, etc. -- not because there's some reptilian overlord that has to be paid before he lets you become POTUS), but it's not the only role.
More important than money is to control a media outlet that the general public trusts. Pundits have more power than politicians because it's so easy for them to generate outrage. ABC, CBS, NBC, and the cable channels really hold the bulk of political sway in this country. They can frame not only the political discourse, but all significant social discourse, in the terms that they prefer. The internet is dampening and decentralizing their power a bit, which is why non-establishment candidates like Ron Paul and Bernie Sanders were able to gain any traction at all, but their influence is still massive.
Correct me if I'm wrong but haven't the past 3 presidential elections been won by the candidate with the biggest cash flow?
And yes, of course it is not the only factor as you noted, media coverage is crucial and information via the internet is rapidly becoming a more important factor. But the problem is: the same people who own and operate these massive media corporations also own the internet infrastructure and are also the ones who are pouring massive amounts of bribes/funding into the elections.
First, correlation is not causation. Second, this chart  shows Romney and Obama were neck-and-neck as far as dollars raised, and that Romney actually had spent slightly more than Obama. This chart says it covers through September 2012, so maybe Obama did end up spending a bit more (or maybe he didn't), but the difference in spending is very small.
When you ask why Romney lost in 2012, there are a couple answers that get cited. First, Romney's leaked "47% comment" was disastrous for him. Second, Obama's team used technology much more effectively to get out the vote. Apparently there was a group working on software on Romney's side, but it wasn't managed correctly and the software was not usable by election day.
Only in the same way law of conservation of energy is overly simplistic.
All the people that say "It's not only about money!" then give examples which boil down to "Tt's also how you spend it!" to which I can only reply "Duh!"
However, those who do win, unless they are named Sanders, will be bound by said money.
On a local level, money does matter more, and it's effects are meaningful.
Money isn't everything. Giving a damn matters too.
For more directly from Orwell in one of his letters considered to foreshadow 1984's thesis, see here:
It's written as a warning of how futile it will be to resist totalitarianism in a future advanced technological state
> It's written as a warning of how futile it will be to resist totalitarianism in a future advanced technological state.
You fundamentally misunderstand 1984 and Orwell himself. The notion of the futility of resisting totalitarianism never would have been uttered or thought by Orwell. He absolutely and tirelessly championed resisting totalitarianism. He wrote a great many words on the subject. He never warned anyone of the futility of resistance in his prior works, and he certainly didn't push himself to death to deliver 1984 as such a warning. There is a vast difference between you, the reader, determining that Winston's resistance is futile—particularly in the hindsight of O'Brien's exposé at the end—and suggesting that Orwell was warning the reader that resistance is futile.
It's a warning that if you don't stop it by recognizing it's rise through dictatorship over language, over emotions, and finally over thought it will be impossible to resist. Well, that is what I (and apparently Hitchens) see in his writing. I also see plenty of parody, especially towards Emmanual Goldstein and his book (Trotsky), purges blaming foreign conspiracy, and the illogical party slogans.
Both in peace time and during the war.
1984 to Stalin is what burning is to explosion.
Money doesn't override voters, but it can make decisions that the voters don't care about. How many voters care enough to check up on their Congressional representatives' views on copyright? And how many lobbyists do?
And this cynicism about the system only makes the problem worse. Why check up on votes on banking regulations if you think the donors are going to decide it anyway?
The high road is the one where your conscience gets to weigh-in, and you do right in spite of your fear.
If one of the two assumptions above fails: assuming we can legally define what exactly constitutes a bribe (and I imagine this is not a solved problem), it probably would be possible to pass a law that says that if you can prove as a politican that you were offered or given a bribe (for a sum n), the bribe-offering party gets fined (say) 100n (aiming for their economic destruction), of which 5n is given to you (thus incentivising you to report bribes) and some token amount is given to everyone else serving in the same elected body as you (to incentivise everyone to vote for the law).
That would still reduce the influence by >95% because you have to pay 105x and the politician only gets 5x.
The actual problem is that if a politician is known for reporting bribes then they won't be offered any, so taking 1x every time is still more profitable than taking 5x once.
You're thinking about it the wrong way. You make it more expensive and fewer people can afford to do it.
How do we make it cheaper to buy politicians, so that we can do it too?
1) How can we build more resilient technologies so that copyright law becomes irrelevant? (And note that we already have some candidates - like IPFS)
2) What technologies do we need so that we do not need politicians? For example, is it possible to create nation-states that are small (think hundreds of thousands of people) and allow people to create their own easily?
1 - If you make them more expensive then only the truly wealthy will be able to buy them. Yes, they exist
2 - Corruption is a matter mainly of personal ethics and perception of things around you. Of course it's hard to turn down heavily compensated engagements or other types of 'incentives' given by big players. Especially when everybody does it. It's really an issue of Game Theory
But seriously. Starting idea: Build a website that does some well analytics and makes it clear when politicians chose profit and special interests over the good of the people. I know some sites do this, but I haven't seen any executed well enough to reach the right people.
Lenin was obstesibly starting a revolution for the 'good of the people.' Cuba did as well.. The good of the people there has resulted in an average monthly income of $20.
Don't knock the special interests.. EFF and Wiki are both examples of special interests just as much as the special interests of the publishing industry.
The book Economics in One Lesson is certainly worth reading..
Disney owns more television stations and has more money than the EFF.
Then you need to fix your political system before you can fix the law. As an outsider looking in it seems like sorting out how campaigns are financed would be a good first step and that seems like something Bernie Sanders wants to and probably can fix. So the opportunity is there for you to take if the issue is important enough to you.
There is no argument clever enough or convincing enough to overpower the flood of money and bullshit that keeps copyright law the way it is. You may as well argue against the law of gravity. The only solution is to deprive the bad actors of the funds they need to keep the system corrupt, and since most people (rightly, in my opinion) can't accept simply abandoning large parts of their culture to that fight, the only option left is to make piracy widespread, easy, and safe.
Which has done more to erode Microsoft's server profits, people pirating Windows or people creating GNU/Linux?
What we need is to build alternative platforms that compete with Hollywood and destroy them (and their margins) through legitimate competition.
Fuller claimed that the reason why we cannot take care of the greater population as a whole is not because we don't have the technical feasibility to do so but because we are trying to solve our problems with politics. Trying to solve the problems of the electric age by using the paper-based political framework is futile and self-defeating.
Nonsense. Politicians already settled their mind a long time ago, it was when they were in college or before that, now its way too late. You don't believe me? Try to convince creationist politicians about evolution, and it doesn't matter how many proofs you show them, the complete fossil record, they are not going to get educated, you can prove them evolution is not against their beliefs but it will not matter at all.
They hate getting educated as much as they hate reductions in their salaries.
I fight off being a manager, I can't imagine being in any kind of leadership position over an entire county/state or country.
Just like a proper manager of people isn't over those people. A manager should - IMO - be just another part of a team, a person/people who coordinates and facilitates the work of others.
Would you say the same thing to those building tools to circumvent the great firewall of China?
That job is done CC-BY-SA. Your work (and derivatives) under this licence is guaranteed by copyright laws to be free to use, remix and resell (provided those rights are passed on) for your life plus 70 years.
Ideally, our law would be updated to match new technical innovations, but instead the scope is only getting extended so that it's easier to prosecute people who are using digital capabilities to do natural things.
We need to seriously analyze the role of intellectual property in our culture. Why are so many of the world's most massive companies people who are exploiting IP/copyright? The margins are pretty high when all you have to do is order new prints of a DVD, for example. Is this really a fair trade, or might we be giving too much away?
But calling that barbaric is absurd hyperbole. It casts people wanting copyright reform as fringe extremists. When when I explain how much copyrights actually cover, for how long, and the extreme penalties for violations most people can't believe it (many don't, it's too absurd and conflicts with their property and profits world view. similar to how you can't convince a climate denier with facts). But, if they do, they realize that MPAA, RIAA, et al are the fringe extremists.
We're a bunch of angry people.
I have no problem with people expressing the outrage of the situation in strong language.
(That being said, I too am an artist and sympathize with their plight. I wouldn't like some of you do away with copyright outright. But these laws as written are shackles and chains on our artists and culture as well.)
So Plan B?
See the thing about life+70 is that it has made a few people very rich, so cultural creatives are going to oppose not only attempts to roll back life+70, but also any attempt to roll back anticircumvention laws. They're hoping that they'll be the next to win the superstar lottery, and on the off chance that they do, they don't want their jackpot cut down from what previous superstars have netted. Never mind that vanishingly few people ever win this lottery, or that life+70 benefits publishers far more than it does performers.
In order for civil disobedience to actually work, there has to be popular support for the disobedience, so the cops and prosecutors don't feel like asshats for enforcing what looks to be an unjust and detested law. There just won't be that level of support for opposing copyright laws, not for at least your life + 70 years. So yeah, being sued or imprisoned is about the best you can hope for.
Not every justice is won by playing by the rules.
Unfortunately the average voter around here would rather scream at each other about taxes, and simply commit copyright infringement...
It would be much more effective to help write software that assists in the violation of copyright law.
And in any case of all the reasons to vote for a party that is going to govern everything, intellectual property law is not at the top of the list. It's certainly not going to be the issue to bring voters out in enough numbers to make the major parties sweat.
FWIW: They were in the previous coalition government, so they got very good representation for their votes. Unfortunately their voters hated what they did, so their vote collapsed at the next election (and the party they were in government with grew in votes).
And no, they didn't get 'good representation' anyway. They got 9% of the seats on 23% of the vote when they went into coalition, and in the last election, got 1% of the seats on 8% of the vote. Even as a junior party holding the balance of power in a coalition, they didn't have the clout they should have, from a percentage-of-votes-cast perspective.
But regardless of how you slice it, it's still a clear example of how a FPTP voting system ends up in a two-party political system.
They formed the government. Your original comment said they had 'little to no representation' - for a party with cabinet seets and the deputy prime minister, that's a bizarre claim.
Feel free to nuance it and segue into a discussion of FPTP, sure. I'm a Green Party member, so I need no persuasion there. But if you're a LibDem, then telling yourself you imploded because of 'striking a bargain to try and fix the voting system' is pretty self-delusional. The LibDems imploded because of their government record. They voted against the policy interests of the people who voted for them. If that's because of a bargain and sense of duty, then more fool them for getting played like a tool. No proportional representation will help with that. If they can't be trusted to stand for what they offered the electorate.
Which is all a side show from your original comment that I was responding to.
> If they can't be trusted to stand for what they offered the electorate.
They were playing the long game. My guess is that they knew very well they'd be taking a body blow (since everyone was shocked by the coalition in the first place) but that in years to come, the system would be more representative.
I could laugh if this wasn't for real.
"This law, also known as the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act, Sonny Bono Act, or (derisively) the Mickey Mouse Protection Act"
Mickey mouse copyright vs works of Jewish girl killed by the Nazis.
Heirs and descendants are not synonymous.
EDIT: read the ownership dispute & history at wikipedia - it certainly reads like various inheritors (heirs?) have gone to some lengths to extend the copyright of the original material by making periodic changes. I am not a lawyer, consequently I don't understand how such changes can affect status of original work (as in - how they can apply retrospectively to the original work - and not just affect copyright of those changes).
That's a real concern, given that there are a lot of Neo-Nazis in the world.
I'm just saying that the motivation around holding copyright might not only be monetary.