I had to close the channel because my account was locked for one full day and I couldn't do a thing. I had too many emails inside of Gmail and didn't want to lose them so I gave up. I'm still pissed about it and how Youtube and Google run things.
I always found it interesting that under YT rules content creators have the "3 strikes and you're banned" rule hanging over their heads but those who falsely claim copyright can do so with impunity. I still remember one company that ended up falsely claiming copyright over 10+ of my videos and they did so against one or two videos per week. Nothing was ever done about them.
A TV company came to our office doing a report. They gave us the video, and I uploaded it to YouTube as a private video to share it internally. After a week the private video has maybe 20 views. Months later I receive a copyright claim from the TV network. Their contact email obviously didn't work, and since I'm not a content creator I don't really care about my YouTube channel. So my account ended up being locked/limited during 6 months for a private video that had 0 views since several months...
What a mess.
Most people didn't notice this until G+ hit the net, and some kids used their gmail account (set up with parental knowledge and support) got closed because G+ found out they were under 13.
Others have discovered that if their app on Google Play gets into trouble, bye bye gmail etc.
It is a downright hamfisted system, and likely an outcome of Google's drive to automate all the tings...
You know a company is mismanaging things when they're doing things that are against their own interests.
Can't you just make another account for videos?
It’s an extreme example, but if that account is true, google definitely have automated tooling to link distinct accounts.
I can’t actually imagine any reason why they wouldn’t. It feels like something they’d need at their scale.
Sure, in some ways, the fusion is very convenient.
But I've read a few too many credible stories about how a loyal Google customer does some innocuous action that happens to set off one of Google's triggers, and is instantly banned from the entire ecosystem.
Google's complete lack of customer support, and indeed hostility to the concept of ever being reachable by or accountable to a user just makes it worse.
Bottome line; Google is ok for casual use, but as a biz, I'll never touch them, and advise others to avoid like the plague.
Google's drive... Had to read that twice, for a moment I got really confused about my cloud storage subscription!
Knowingly making a false DMCA claim is perjury, and IMO it should be treated as such. Instead companies send out automated claims in the thousands and then come back with "but we didn't know it was wrong, it was the bot!" and get away with it.
That's exactly what it is used for. It's a multibillion dollar industry that will always ask for more and more power to police their imaginary property. They even coerce other countries into adopting similar laws as part of trade agreements. I'm convinced that copyright infringement is moral and akin to civil disobedience.
If a group of us formed and we did this to all of them and gunged up the system, google would be forced to improve it.
This might work between rival game streamers or something but the law offices of Dewey, Cheatem & Howe likely do not have a YouTube channel for you to retaliate against.
Even better if you created a "burner" corporation. Ie P.O. box in Delaware and act on their behalf. They have to take you seriously because corporation, amirite?
IMO the way to go is to get their contact details out of the copyright claim and sue them in small claims court.
Apart from classical music, bird noises and ambient noises are common cases of inaccurate YouTube takedowns.
It's notorious for false positives and how impossible those false positives are to resolve.
There's lots of them. The most notorious one I had to deal with was Adrev. There are reports of people getting notices from AdRev for videos that don't even have any music in them. 
Seems like this is a great way to do copyright trolling - it's highly scalable and exists within a walled garden which means it's a legal grey area for things like this, much like how free speech on YouTube/Reddit isn't really a thing.
It's all automated. They don't verify if the claimant actually has the rights, this is left to the "dispute" process.
Sometimes multiple companies upload the same files. Sometimes the algorithm has false positives because the section of audio used is too short.
I have to wonder why anybody still uses YouTube. It can't be the community.
Now, they probably care more about other types of censorship (for example, taking down offensive videos to avoid their brand being associated with them).
This issue needs special attention, and classical videos ought to be treated as a special case, IMHO.
Worth noting that the reverse is also possible, i.e. recordings being altered only slightly, being able to fool human listeners into hearing them as being different, see for instance the fraudulent recordings attributed to Joyce Hatto.
Does this include any linked Gmail accounts? Because that's heinous if so.
I have used commercial tracks on videos I've posted and YouTube has authorised saying the copyright owner allows me too in exchange for me accepting adverts on my video.
I know they don't check copyright much, as I once got locked out of an old YouTube account I had, forgot the password and didn't have access to the email I signed up with. But I wanted the only video on the channel taken down, so I did a copyright complaint against myself, YouTube accepted it!
IMO YouTube ought to be regulated the same way as broadcast media used to, with things like the equal-time rule, but that's not the rule as it currently stands.
There's got to be a good way to get Google to stop censoring one side of the political spectrum, but if we have to resort to legislation or regulation, we're doing it wrong.
If we can't, then I guess Google really is too powerful.
Edit: Google is evil. But Google is also free. If we can't counter the first without eliminating the second, then we have failed as a society.
You could satisfy it, by discussing, say, gun control, and presenting two contrasting viewpoints: One that all guns should be banned, and one that all guns, except for ones used by police and security guards should be banned. A distinction without much of a difference (That is well within the scope of very limited political orthodoxy) is a contrasting viewpoint.
Really, what we need is the web back. That is, the web as I remember it in the 90s, before Google came along, when groups of people who shared similar interests would link to each other and form webrings. 
To every political question, there are more answers then "A" or "B".
Are you going to give equal time to someone who wants to ban all guns, someone who wants to ban all guns in cities, someone who wants to ban all guns for people with criminal records, but not mental illnesses, someone who wants to ban all guns for people with mental illnesses, but not criminal records, someone who wants to ban guns for non-citizens, and someone who wants everyone to have a state-provided machine-gun? What about the other permutation of these viewpoints? Or are you just going to dump these questions into a 'left' and 'right' bucket, and say you're done, when the buckets weigh the same?
Relatedly: it's also much easier to come up with factually incorrect bullshit then it is to refute it. Any insights on how you want to deal with that problem?
If you were a developer at YouTube, what do you think could be done to fix this? Personally, I think a starter is only suspending a user from the specific service they "violated" the TOS on instead of their who freaking account. I don't know how content-id works, but preventing double jeopardy for a flag sounds like a good starting point. Obviously getting human support is a train-wreck and it goes without saying that needs to be fixed.
False accusations should be given the same punishment as the accused would have faced. The "flag" and "report" buttons are abused on every single platform, as any mod can tell us.
I'm not saying this is easier than yt, but there are some trade offs worth making if you want to really have that level of control.
If you or someone else has some suggestions for cheap media hosting, I'm all ears :)
The one thing I miss from Youtube was all the commenters and people who enjoyed me playing. I got a lot of satisfaction from that and it kept me going and posting more videos (it definitely wasn't the money since ad revenue was abysmal).
It's a different enforcement mechanism. DMCA requires by law that YouTube affords people a way to report things. If it gets abused that's on the government to correct, YouTube hands are tied.
Things would work better with human interaction on the requests by Google. But bluntly, if you want your video host to do due diligence, hire one that does. Google do a bad job of this because they're a free hosting provider, and as a video uploader you subsequently get what you pay for.
If someone wants to complain about infringement, they should be required to send a certified letter to YouTube detailing the exact infringement along with providing proof they are in control of the offending work.
Legally this make perfect sense to Google, as there are two options:
1. Take down everything requested. Creators get mad but they are a dime a dozen.
2. Don't take down everything because some of it isn't technically a violation. Get sued constantly by the media cartels. Get brought before Congress for "stealing from artists". etc...
One party in the dispute is rich and politically powerful, the other is not. There's really only one choice a large company like Google is going to make.
...and ironically, a lot of us are quite worried about the other party also becoming "rich and politically powerful" too (although they do seem to be getting there...)
IANAL, but as I understand it, Content ID is part of how they justify being a safe harbor under DMCA.
Maybe the problem is that Google can't ban them from the service legally ?
Regardless, we need to start seeing punishment for false claims. Under DMCA, wrongful claims could result in the claimants being charged with perjury, but obviously nobody is enforcing this part of it.
Either that or allow the perjury clause of the DMCA enforceable against bots?
Ten years of free protection, then costing $10 × 1.5 ⁿ ⁻ ¹ for each subsequent year. Year 10 costs $0, year 20 about $380, year 30 about $22,000, year 40 about $1,300,000, year 50 almost $75,000,000—and few fifty-year-old things will be worth $75,000,000 per year and growing to retain copyright to.
Hey, this could even be a method of artists reacquiring rights to their works from labels: if an artist performs songs from their works 20 years ago and the label isn't interested in paying for this protection scheme, it can revert back to the artist until they decide to stop actively protecting the work. It gets dicey with two parties having rights to it, but structurally it would probably be akin to how if you pay tax on a dollar and give me the remainder, I should then still pay taxes on what I received from you, regardless of the fact you had paid taxes on it already.
You did it! You found the solution to the national debt! Lets implement his right away!
What would go into the public domain is Steamboat Willie, the original Mickey Mouse short.
Steamboat Willie is likely to enter the public domain shortly, in fact.
No, it really does appear that this time they've given up. There are articles that have written about this - If Disney were preparing for a big push, we'd have started to see it by now already.
You say that but the Beatles, Elvis, Beethoven, Pink Floyd, Michael Jackson are all artists that had their heyday 30-60 years ago and are still the top selling artists. A lot of them are dead now because of varying reasons, but some are still alive and kicking and giving new performances of their 40 year old music.
Are you going to tell them they have no right to their own work anymore 20 years after they had one of their most successful releases?
Are you claiming they wouldn't have made the music otherwise? It's hard to imagine such megastars deciding that the marginal effort of another hit album just wasn't worth making unless they could collect hypothetical revenue for more than 2 decades.
Copyright law is to incentivize creating these works so that more stuff can get into the public domain. We've shot well past that point with excessive durations, and the public domain is suffering.
You've drank too much kool-aid. Copyright law is to incentivize investments in creative works, not the creation itself. Most people that profit off of creative works have not created anything of value themselves.
To quote the Constitution, the purpose of copyright is "To promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries." ie To increase how much creation there is.
If you charged people $5 for a lifetime pass to hang out in
and inspect your house, should they not be able to try to build their own version of your house 20 years later?
When you enter something into the culture, part of it leaves your control, and thats a good thing.
I work in software, as I assume many of us do. I don't assume an inherent right to gain perpetual income from my work. The vast majority of all employment operates this way.
I'm not sure how that reality doesn't undermine the idea that there exists some inherent right to prevent other people from, say, singing a song they heard (by getting a local authority to recognize you as the author of that song, and then stop others from singing that song and making money from their performances, by putting them in jail or fining them if they do, for example).
It's important to make a clear distinction between the kind of "right" copyright represents and, for example, the right to free expression.
The underpinnings of the rights are different. We assume that everyone legitimately starts off with the right to free expression.
It's not so clear that everyone starts off with some inherent legitimate right to prevent some dude two doors down from re-singing a song you came up with and sung to him.
It seems much more reasonable to view copyright as an artificial right: something we create to promote certain ends. The state is in no way obligated to provide the establishment of copyright (it's not a real "right"), so the justification for its bounds is entirely pragmatic: what benefit it has to society in general.
Screwing us all because they are still able to milk the cow is unfair. Money-making cannot be the only factor taken into account. Public domain is something we, as a society, deserve.
What happens right now is unacceptable.
The same could happen for video recordings and their screenplays.
I think maybe the "works for hire" regime needs to be changed such that employees own the copyright to their own contribution to a work, and the employer just gets an automatic perpetual license only to works created while on the job, exclusive only as long as the employee remains employed, and the final aggregated commercial product is a derivative work from many sources. So if you can reassemble the same team of actual humans as the original, you can re-do the work of putting their contributions together, and acquire a new copyright on a new aggregate that could be nearly identical to the older aggregate.
So you only hold a monopoly on a movie as long as the majority of key contributors in that long credits scroll at the end continues to work for you. If you fire too many people after production wraps up, particularly the script writers and scene planners and digital modelers, they could get together, compare notes, and do a shot-for-shot remake at a fraction of the budget, because their part of the work has already been done, and you lost exclusivity when you fired them.
That would surely invoke a new form of Hollywood Accounting, but at least it would encourage creators to create works with some durance in preference to consume-once ephemera. And you wouldn't end up with great artists in poverty even as their works make their current owners heaps of money.
It is still important work to turn an artwork into a viable commercial product, and to assemble and manage teams of artists to great something together greater than what could be produced individually, but that added value should not make the middleman the sole gatekeeper for the source works, forever.
True, because every ass and his dog pirates music, thus the income from selling music is severely diminished. The amount of time it takes to produce/compose/record etc. music is not exactly trivial, and if you have to tour constantly in order to be able to pay the bills, then finding time and energy to create some new music to perform whilst on tour becomes quite problematic. Your "most artists don't care" statement is a crock of shit! Perhaps large established artists may not care so much, but if you're talking about "most artists" then they do care that income from their craft is being denied to them.
In any case, "album sales" is a very one dimensional view of the world. Even if fans were to pirate music, there is no way to pirate live performances - and exposure is one such way to boost sales of live performances so lost sales in albums is a very narrow slice of the entire ecosystem.
All I can proffer is anecdote that as bandwidth and the ubiquity of Internet increased over the years, the sales of music via the label I'm involved with diminished. All the while our artists and the label itself became more and more popular, so it seems entirely counter inuitive that sales should have been dropping.
The thing is there's just so much music now. The artists you represent may be more popular but there's so much more competition for people's money. There's music i've bough I enjoy from artists whose shows i'll probably never get to see. I spend a lot of time listening to concerts and such these artists freely post online, i'm enjoying their music, legally, but I haven't paid for it.
There are a lot of things contributing.to lower album sales. Piracy, while i'm sure contributes doesn't seem to be the biggest problem. Plus i've been hearing this since I was a kid and cassette tapes were being blamed for killing the music industry because people could just record anything they want off the radio or a friend's cassette so album sales were dropping.
Conversely, Napster was released in 1999.
I recall a report that showed that p2p networks acted primarily like a broadcast medium, which tuned to the most popular works.
The entire free content model has arisen because of tacit acknowledgement of that fact.
Youtube, hell everyone, applies those lessons today.
It's just more convenient. "Hey Siri, play the latest album by X" still works. Thank God.
Albums are only dead for artists who have to use filler to make the one hit song they managed to come up with fill a CD.
In actuality, the examples you listed are especially painful because we could be enjoying incredible derivative works based on their music, if not for the stupid way copyright works.
To get an idea what would be possible, listen to the Beastie Boys album "Paul's Boutique", which has been called "The Sgt. Pepper of Hip Hop". It liberally samples all kinds of sources (including Beatles), and the results are amazing, even with that limited 1989 technology. Unfortunately, shortly after that album was released, legal precedents around music copyright doomed any similar works until copyright law changes.
In a word, yes. The entire purpose of copyright is to enrich the commons by granting a limited term monopoly. Without that purpose in mind, copyright loses legitimacy.
It's a government granted right, and, in the US, there is specific authorization in the constitution to make such a grant. The term could be set to any term, and there would be no underlying constitutional of inherent human rights case against such a change. Unlike actual rights, copyright is whatever governments say it is.
These laws could also set the counter for let's say 5 years after the death of all of the original authors or something like that. There is no reason for these rights to transfer indefinitely.
That's not how patents and copyright work. These are government granted monopolies. The wording goes the other way around: The government is authorized to grant these monopolies. That's very unlike rights to life, property, etc. Patents and copyright don't come from the same tradition as proper human rights. They're different, and there is no human rights argument against limiting them sharply, at least not in the US constitution.
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."
The signers knew what they were doing was against the Kings laws - but they said, for the first time, there are higher laws that everyone is entitled to. Copyright and patents, while maybe good law, are not among these.
After all they are still alive and kicking and people are still walking on those streets many years later.
We 'knowledge workers' have it pretty easy compared to the people doing physical work. 30 years should be plenty for all media.
Plenty of content creators are salaried employees as well.
Hell, everyone you mentioned became a millionaire during their career. If all of them stopped receiving royalties for any of their releases after one measly year, they'd have made more money than I'm ever likely to make. Superstars have most to lose in absolute terms if copyright got nerfed, but in relative terms they'd still do fine. Many of the most successful performers of the last century became multimillionaires before they even turned 20.
Monetary value and cultural value shouldn't be conflated. Folk music and Shakespeare plays are very popular and highly regarded despite being public domain. Not to mention that people actually make money with them.
Pink Floyd would make a mint by touring even if all their albums were in PD. You can start a Floyd cover band all you like but for some reason most fans would still prefer to see the genuine article.
I remember reading about (very liberal) Randy Bachmann supporting a very conservative copyright plan, and being confused... but it was explained that his earlier recordings were going to be public domain while he still lived. That was his worry - that he would cease to own his first albums. Not the songs, which are covered constantly, but the actual albums.
To me, it's exactly backwards that recordings have a short shelf-life (X0 years), while writings compositions have a long one (X0 years after death of author). It seems far more important to me to allow new artists to iterate on old art, than it does to set the actual original recorded performance of that art free.
That only applies to crappy pop music. Good music endures for decades and centuries.
After the artist dies, there's no reason to "support the artist" anymore and while there is the effect of post-mortem sales spike, a celebration of now freely available music for all to enjoy would be a much better hommage.
As for the family, there really isn't any reason they should obtain that copyright. If they wanna earn money with art, they have to create art on their own. What the current laws create in most cases are lazy rich children who spend the rest of their lives managing the copyright legacy of their parent. That doesn't benefit society in any way. Either they work like normal people or they make their own art but they're not entitled to the copyright of their parents. If the parents don't want to leave them in poverty, they can still leave the money they earned with this copyright over the years for their children.
Also, with the minimum 50 years duration, they could still inherit the copyright if their parent dies at an early age. However, a term of life PLUS a ludicrous amount of years is a really bad idea for the cultural development of our society.
He takes a very strict stance on copyright law, and does not give a shit about parody, art or even hommages. Moulinsart will take every opportunity to strike down your Tintin webpage, even DMCA takedowns even though you're French and Moulinsart is Belgian (see what happened to , an explanation is available in French in ). Rodwell also wanted to publish a new Tintin episode, just to prevent the license to fall into public domain.
The guy has all powers on Tintin, because he married the author's widow. And that's it.
In Germany, this organization is called Gema and they send takedown notices and demand to be payed for work to which they do not own the copyright which they then distribute among their members. This happens even when this goes against the will of the legal copyright holder and you get absolutely nothing unless you are member. Becoming a member is very long process and is not free. So you have to pay to eventually get the right to get payed. It is effectively the bigger Gema members that grab most of the cash that it collects.
Effectively organizations like Gema are legalized extortion schemes. They get to play judge, prosecutor, and police. Real judges routinely and blindly rule in their favor. Lawmakers are lobbied into submission, etc. Wikipedia has a nice overview of how artists are getting ripped off, misc fraudulent schemes involving Gema, and how money rolls to their exclusive members rather than the artists: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GEMA_(German_organization).
What happened in this case is that the recordings are in the Gema database which parties like Youtube are required to use to check for potential violations. Of course Gema has no interest whatsoever to prune this database of stuff that shouldn't be there (like public domain stuff) and good luck convincing them to remove stuff from that db. More entries basically means more money for them and the burden is on the payer to prove otherwise. Their strategy is to make this as hard and tedious as possible so they can maximize their profits.
Copyright is supposed to be a balance between the author and society. In exchange for releasing the full body of the work, the author gets paid in the form of a limited monopoly. Somehow, this became an argument about moral rights rather than repayment, and that the author has the right to prevent anybody from using certain characters, in perpetuity.
20 years is a perfectly reasonable time for copyright to last. On the side of the author, most profit comes within the first 5 years. On the side of society, 20 years means that the stories a child grew up with can then be built upon when they are adults.
Although I disagree that this should be considered a human right, isn't this generally covered by fair use in the US anyways?
Of course, there are plenty of companies that take down stuff that is not being done for profit. Good examples include Nintendo taking down the tools used to create Pokemon games, or Paramount killing the Star Trek fan shows (because they were better and more popular than anything Paramount could do).
The problem is that there's the letter of the law, the spirit of the law, and how rich and powerful entities can get the courts to interpret the law, and its possible, even common, for all three of those to be different things.
Nope, creating derivative works is something that is explicitly part of copyright, whether or not it is for commercial gain. Fanfiction or fan recreations are only legal with the consent of the author. Typically, authors will turn a blind eye to it, since it increases the longevity of the original works. It is only a civil matter, and so only the copyright holder could bring a suit against fanfiction authors.
I know the tech world changes fast but there are some niches where something written or recorded in 1998 is still valid today.
Copyright is meant to be an incentive for the creation of works that otherwise would not be made. The public benefits by the fact that they’re created. They eventually get to use them too, but it’s less crucial than it is for patents.
Copyright was there as an incentive for the release of works that would otherwise be kept hidden. As an example, playwrights were very secretive about the plays that they had written. Actors would only be given copies of their own lines, not the lines spoken by anyone else. Full copies of the script were never distributed. As a result, there are a great many works that are simply lost (for example, Cardenio and Love's Labour's Won by Shakespeare). It is this loss of works that copyright is intended to prevent.
With current copyright law, books are being lost by virtue of copyright being too long and covering too much. Books from before copyright became perpetual and recent books are easily available, but very little from in between . If the holders of the copyright do not continue to release a work, it becomes entirely unavailable.
As for America, the reasoning on the continental congress on copyright was:
“that nothing is more properly a man's own than the fruit of his study, and that the protection and security of literary property would greatly tend to encourage genius and to promote useful discoveries.”
Again, nothing about releasing works to the public, and everything about promoting more publishing.
“Whereas Printers, Booksellers, and other Persons, have of late frequently taken the Liberty of Printing, Reprinting, and Publishing, or causing to be Printed, Reprinted, and Published Books, and other Writings, without the Consent of the Authors or Proprietors of such Books and Writings, to their very great Detriment, and too often to the Ruin of them and their Families: For Preventing therefore such Practices for the future, and for the Encouragement of Learned Men to Compose and Write useful Books; May it please Your Majesty, that it may be Enacted ...”
I got the continental congress quote from the history of copyright article on wikipedia: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_copyright_law
If someone wrote a math book 100 years ago, that math book will still be correct today, even if it's in the public domain.
Pulled that ladder right up behind them.
In point of fact, some kinds of work depend on the longer payback period. Children's books, for example, don't usually earn so much initially, but successful ones can be dependable earners for a long time.
The fact that they have legal ownership of a work is a societal construct, enforced by government, to incentivise the creations of said works for the sake of the public good.
The notion of intellectual property, of ideas "belonging" to the first person who had them publicly, are a fairly recent invention in human history; and the notion of practically eternal copyrights held by immortal entities spanning multiple human lifetimes is an extremely recent invention.
As much as the capital-L Librarians like to jump up and down yelling "Property rights! Property rights!", those rights are only exist because there are folks with guns willing to use them to enforce those rights;
So with that in mind, the only thing I think worth arguing is what the terms of that deal should be. I am of the opinion that that the term of a copyright should be as short as possible, while still being long enough to incentivise creation. I think this was the original idea of the 20ish year copyright term. Personally, I think that the sooner a society can claim a work, and continue building off of it, the better.
I didn't know they had a stake in this.
So long as an author does not share their work with anyone, they can have complete control over it for as long as they want. As soon as they they share it with somebody, enforcing copyright means that somebody is being restricted from the natural human instinct of retelling a story. Copyright is not property to be had by the author. Copyright is a restriction on everybody else, granted in exchange for releasing the work in the first place.
Copyright is a balance between rewarding the author, minimal restrictions on society, and progress of the arts. Unlimited copyright fails the latter two goals entirely.
Boy you are generous, if it was up to me copyrights would have a life of 10 years, no extensions/renewals. Ten years ought to be enough to squeeze a healthy chuck of profits out of your material. If after 10 years you can't/haven't come up with anything new, then you better find a new job.
a) Almost all artists sign deals with publishers to "get their foot in the door" which end up giving all of the rights to the publisher, and so the artist ends up being a "wage slave" because they don't profit off the rights of the work they made.
b) Locking away works for entire generations means that cultural artistic development is stifled. Shakespeare's works were based on previous works and stories, and under the copyright system of today he would have been sued for his plays (and we probably wouldn't have them today). It is insanely short-sighted for corporations to lobby for longer copyright terms to have monopolies, at the expense of eradicating future generations' Shakespeares.
c) The original purpose of copyright (under the Statute of Anne in 1710) was to provide a very limited monopoly by the authors (not publishers) so that they are incentivised to create new works. By your own admission, having lifetime copyright protections does not incentivise the creation of new works (you could argue that it actually is a counter-incentive if you wrote one work that became very popular early in your career). A return to that system would be a significant improvement.
b) I specifically said my lifetime. An average work might be covered for two generations. Not a big deal. If Shakespeare's work is so derivative, then I don't have a problem. 50 Shades of Gray started as Twilight fan-fiction. You can be derivative without being a mashup.
c) you're talking about publishers again, as if that's relevant.
As for this:
By your own admission, having lifetime copyright protections does not incentivise the creation of new works
I don't appreciate you putting words in my mouth to form a low-quality argument. At no point did I ever say or imply anything of the sort!
> I specifically said my lifetime. An average work might be covered for two generations. Not a big deal.
The average lifetime is more like 5-6 generations (each generation being maybe 15 years). I disagree it isn't a big deal, and I also very much disagree that it's fine if Shakespeare didn't exist because his works were derivative.
> 50 Shades of Gray started as Twilight fan-fiction.
The work '50 Shades of Gray' has absolutely nothing in common with 'Twilight', despite it's history. Not to mention that the author probably got permission of some sort. Shakespeare's plays were far more significant mash-ups of previous stories and works (with changes obviously, but nowhere near as many changes as the two works you mentioned).
> At no point did I ever say or imply anything of the sort!
Yes you did. From your original comment:
> If I create original work, I want to profit off it for my life.
If you have a guaranteed profit source for the rest of your life, what reasonable person would ever find a need to make more works (there's no point in getting more money if you already have whatever you need)? The point of copyright is to incentivise the creation of new works -- which is the precise reason why it is limited in every country on Earth (and was even more limited in the Statute of Anne). Having a limit to any reasonable person is equivalent to unlimited (since once your dead, there's no profit motive any more) has the same effect of removing the incentive for more works.
If you don't believe that the purpose of copyright is to incentise new works, read the US constitution (I imagine you're in the US) or whatever copyright law is applicable in your country.
> [Congress has the Right] To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries.
Of course you do. Everyone wants free money.
But look at the flip side - you want everyone else to accept an obligation to not do a a number of things with that work, and other people to enforce your rights, which is a claim on other people's time and money.
So even if you believe there's some moral right to prevent others from doing things with some "intellectual property", you're still stuck compromising with all the people you're demanding do or not do certain things.
> Anything else is just punishing people who are creators rather than property owners.
Actually, you're calling a failure to coerce others into to building legal regimes to your preferred specifications a 'punishment'. You might instead ask, why should the fact that I scribbled something down create legal obligations on someone I have never met?
It's not free money. It's passive income from intellectual property.
So even if you believe there's some moral right to prevent others from doing things with some "intellectual property"
It's a legal right. Morality has nothing to do with it, aside from your own attempt to baselessly undermine opposing arguments.
Actually, you're calling a failure to coerce others into to building legal regimes to your preferred specifications a 'punishment'.
Now you're just getting into "property is theft" and "taxation is violence" level nonsense. By your logic, why shouldn't I be able to just park an RV on your lawn and live there? Property rights are just some legal construct.
We agree that the current laws are like this, but laws change all the time and laws are supposed to reflect society's ethics (in the US this is a joke nowadays -- they reflect the (lack of) ethics of large corporations).
If the current laws are unfair, then having a discussion of how the laws should be (to inform a decision on whether such a reform should be lobbied for and put to into an actual law) is entirely fair. Dismissing such discussions with "that's the way it is" is just silly -- would you have made similar comments to the civil rights movements or other such movements?
In exactly the same way that property rights are enforced. We're barreling into a knowledge-based economy, yet HN wants to devalue knowledge and IP.
Copyright protects against the copying of works -- there is simply no analog of "copying a work" for physical property. You cannot "copy" a chair, or "copy" a table. You can make a new one from scratch based on the design of the old one, and assuming it has no patents, this would be completely legal.
Copyright also can place restrictions on redistribution of works, as well as modification (or even use) of works. This is something that is has no physical property laws associated with it -- the previous owner of a house cannot place restrictions on who you can sell your house to (or whether you can drill holes in the wall or where you can place your furniture). A publisher cannot restrict your ability to sell a book you bought to someone else second-hand.
The same argument can be drawn out for all of the other completely separate legal concepts.
Not to mention that "intellectual property" doesn't mirror the core concept of property -- it is based on scarcity. The reason why ownership of a house is important is because there is only one such house, and there must be a way to figure out who has the right to make executive decisions about that house. This is not how "intellectual property" operates. There simply is no scarcity, as ideas can be spread and copied without cost.
There was an article on HN about an open source developer who is the sole maintainer of some complex, common tool (I can't recall what) who barely scrapes along. He's created many millions of dollars in value for others yet he can barely keep food on the table.
IMO, open source is great for consumers and middle-men, but takes advantage of and devalues software creators.
Lazy rich child B's dad wrote some music, which he and his children can benefit from for marginal costs (publishing, taxes).
I know - in one case it is a physical object, and in the other - immaterial. But both houses and music can offer enjoyment and can be benefited from financially, and thus have inherent value.
I am not sure if the notion of private property should depend on the continued existence of the original creator. When do we start requisitioning houses for the hommage of the original owner?
In one case or you live in the house or I live in the house. In the other, you can listen to music and other million people or 1 billion at the same time.
Physical ownership is required because it is a limit resource. Copyright is not limited by any physic constraint.
So, I agree that ownership has nothing to do with the original creator. But copyright has nothing to do with a house ownership but a legal monopoly created by the state with some goals in mind that may require or probably not to extend it beyond a few years.
If keeping things copyrighted had a continuous cost then copyright holders would be incentivized to release things to public sooner.
2. Private property is a false analogy
3. Copyright was established for two reasons: a) to let the author (and only the author) to profit from their immaterial work. b) to facilitate the free exchange of ideas
Are his children entitled to every piece of furniture this "dad who wielded a hammer" ever built? As it was already mentioned "The dad who wields a pencil" can just as easily buy a house and leave it to his children.
The problem with immaterial things is that they can be trivially copied. In this sense copyright law is more akin to patents: you get protection and possiblity to profit off of your immaterial work.
Copyright inheritance is not taxed in any way.
Michael Jackson's estate begs to differ: IRS argues that the pop star’s name and likeness should have been valued at $161 million; that would be down from 2013, when it valued those rights at $434 million. https://www.wsj.com/articles/michaels-jacksons-estate-faces-...
Lazy child C's dad worked at a factory making drills as a salaried employee. After he retired/died, the lazy child had to get over their laziness to make a living.
Why doesn't the factory have to keep paying the dad's wage to his family for decades after he died?
One difference between a house and a recording is marginal cost of replication/reproduction: not zero in case of a house, effectively zero in case of a recording.
Without a government granted monopoly on copies, the marginal financial value of a copy is close to zero in all but the most exotic cases.
With a government granted monopoly comes a real cost: enforcement, and loss of social value. How does one justify that?
Authors' descendants do not have a $DEITY granted eternal right to exploit the author's work, and rightly so. This is why "intellectual property" can be more accurately described as "intellectual rights".
The fact that in one case the creation is easily reproducible with almost zero marginal costs, speaks not of the inherent value of the original creation (that was presumably undisputed at the author's lifetime), but is mere opportunistic thinking from the perspective of the society.
How would you vote against that if you were on your deathbed? You can burn your house, but you cannot undo music or literature.
I come from a former Russian occupied country that has maybe left me a bit overprotective of private property. The notion of requisitioning property "for the good of The People" is deeply repulsive - a lot of families here, including mine, actually were liberated from their house, farm, land and personal freedoms by the "liberators". So maybe after some decades, I should leave more room for "The People".
This doesnt create many opportunities for abuse like a monopoly of the state on the creations. Public domain is, by virtue of being freely reproducible, free.
There is nothing stopping the children of the musician from continuing to listen to that music.
But nothing also stops other people from listening to it either if they lose exclusive rights to it.
Nobody is liberated from anything, as they still can listen to that music as much as they want.
Copying something is not theft. The original remains intact.
P.S. I do feel for the difficult bit of history in your native country's past. Lots of friends and family from a small republic "liberated" 3 times the last 80 years, consecutively by the USSR, Nazi Germany, and again the USSR...
There are, to me, two broad classes of copyright. One is for the "works of art", that is for things that people can enjoy (e.g., music). I suspect whatever choice we make the society would not be affected too much. I think your lifetime / 50 years is a bit too generous, but whatever.
IMO way more important is finding the right balance for the technology / know how. That is something that people want to replicate to learn, produce or improve things. The original idea of copyright makes sense, but with modern communication and prototyping speed, 5 years of exclusive use is the max we should give.
I think the society should focus on the technology part first; sadly, most of the discussion is about the royalties to noise generators :).
I'll give you three:
1) Even if it's unlikely for anyone to act on it (which I don't think can be taken for granted), it's perverse to have a law making it possible to terminate a copyright by murdering the author.
2) The term is too long. At 50 years since first publication, the vast majority of works have been out of print for 40+ years. Roughly half of people who experienced the contemporary zeitgeist are dead, and by this time surviving copies of the work might be difficult to find or in long-obsolete formats that are difficult to work with.
3) For works older than 50 years, it requires would-be public domain users to find out whether the author is still alive. This wouldn't be difficult for a famous author, but many authors don't enjoy such fame later in life, particularly if their creative careers are short.
I'd support making it a 20-year fixed term with no renewals, although I think it can still be argued that that's too long.
OK, should you benefit from your father's or grandfather's talent in, say, business? Let's treat them equally.
I go to the bank. I ask for a loan. I tell them that I will small marginal profits after 75 years. I do not get the loan.
Even if in some cases this was actually possible. Still, we need to evaluate if it is worth it. All the stories, movies, characters that are part of your formation and your culture will be privately owned and restricted until way after you are dead.
Characters, music, and other cultural assets only become free when nobody cares anymore about them.
We are evaluating the possibility of the creation of some cultural assets against the reality of other cultural assets that are not created because the government sets monopolistic restrictions on them.
There is a sweet spot where creators can live out of their creations. And were citizens can make their own vision of characters that personally meant a lot to them.
However, even though most of the money remains concentrated at the top, we no longer have this problem. It is fairly easy to support your favorite artist with a few dollars every month and indeed there was a big discussion here when Patreon said they could no longer support adult entertainers. None of them makes a big payout but historically not many do anyways.
I'd argue nobody deserves the huge payout that artists get. What we need is a sustainable way to fund a universal basic income so those who want to pursue the arts can do so without a fear of starving.
I'd even argue that we can afford to take copyright down to five or ten years and eventually eliminate it. Imagine the innovation at Spotify if there were no copyright! Copyright holds business down.
None, because Spotify would go out of business overnight as people stole their source code.
Spotify's value is not running many Icecast servers.
is the purpose of copyright law to enable billion dollar stars, or million dollar albums?
I wish people would stop posting these "could be" arguments when real data is already available and either supports an "is" or doesn't.