Jump to content

Why the draconian copyright restrictions?


Orions_Stardom

Recommended Posts

By that logic, it's a violation of someone's rights if he's not allowed to go around stealing, murdering, raping, etc :party:.

In a way, it actually is - in 'Misunderstanding Copyright', it's mentioned that the government makes deals by spending our freedoms aswell as our money. Every law can be seen this way - the law against murder is, essentially, 'We (as a community) waive our right to kill each other, in order to protect our right to live'. This is a good deal, because the right we are waiving is one we consider immoral to excercise. :)

 

Slight problem: unless it was done via the internet, they almost certainly wouldn't be able to afford to, especially if they were just starting out.  Even if they could afford to publish on their own, they'd quickly start losing profit once large numbers  other people started publishing their work without giving the author any royalties, etc.  ... Only if I knew it actually *did* go to the original author - something which is far from guaranteed, especially if the copyright laws are so strongly relaxed.  Even if it somehow were guaranteed, I'm afraid you'll find the number of people who would actually donate money would be something like 1/500.  Not exactly ideal if you want to earn a living from your creativity :band:.

I disagree - if music is allowed to be redistributed verbatim (again, I think software and music need to have different copyrights: as mentioned in . It could then be a feature in music players that you could opt to donate to the identified author of the work (via the ID3 tags or such). This method also makes file sharing a good thing, since it gets the work to more people - and more people with the work makes it more likely that some of them will pay.

 

Oh, and remember that now it wouldn't even be illegal, since we've given pirates the legal right to do what they do!

Which would make them truly 'pirates' - pirating the way RIAA uses it now is a very... warped definition. Pirating originally meant publishers finding ways to legally distribute without the author's permission (and thus, without paying the author for the priveledge).

 

Also, not everyone has a computer, and even those who do don't neccessarily have an internet connection.  Internet-only publishing would therefore give even more power to the hardware, software and internet service provider companies, since not only would prospective authors/musicians/etc be forced to have an internet-capable computer, but every single user would be forced to have an internet-capable computer as well.  In other words, we've just taken away the user's right not to have a computer, and his right not to have an internet connection :bday:!

Most people atleast know someone who has a computer. :party: And remember: I'm talking about specifically what the invention of the computer does to copyright: if a computer was something that prospective artists/authors/users in general didn't have immediate access to, my arguments wouldn't apply.

 

Perhaps a few decades in the future, but it certainly isn't now.  Illegal file-sharing is a fairly serious problem for those trying to earn a living from creative works already - just imagine what things would be like if books, games, music, films, etc were only available via the internet, and sharing them via file-sharing networks was 100% legal.

I'm imagining it, and I think it a much better world than one with DRM and Trusted Computing (which is where the Industry in Support of Intellectual Property Protections is trying to push us...).

Link to post
Some people don't find the idea of other people being allowed to take something they've spent countless hours of time and effort on, and distribute a modified version of it without even asking for permission or including the appropriate credits in the accompanying text file to be "fun".  They most likely don't find the idea of other people being allowed to take that work and claim that they made it to be "fun" either.  They certainly don't find the idea of users regularly coming along and demanding that they support a version of a mod which someone else has modified to be "fun".

As an aside, I would fully support a restriction that modifications be clearly marked as such (as in something to the effect of, 'this is based loosely on code by NiGHTMARE; with the following modifications: ... .' ), purely so that users do know where to go for support (ie, not necesarily you).

Link to post
Yes, but we're talking about what would happen if pirating music, movies, etc were made entirely legal.  Those profits would change to loses *extremely* quickly.  After all, why should a shop like Virgin Megastores or HMV buy multiple copies of a CD or DVD from the distributor, when they could just buy a single copy and make as many copies from it as they like?

If the music (or player) had some way of identifying the author, as a way of sending money directly to them, I would support this entirely.

 

Also, legalizing piracy would also mean legallizing poor quality (in terms of picture/sound/etc) reproductions.  As anyone who goes to the cinema should know, quality degrades due to regular use.  Thus we have yet an example of relaxed copyrights actually *removing* a right from the user, namely the right to buy a legal copy of a work and expect it to be of a certain quality.

CDs and DVDs don't degrade in quality with each use. This is one of the major benifits they have over videos.

Link to post
There's a major flaw in the argument of one of linked-to essays:

 

"We reject this because it is really a form of power, not a freedom."

 

"Power is being able to make decisions that affect others more than you."

 

Giving users the right to distribute, modify and basically do whatever the heck they want with other peoples' work affects more than them - it also affects the authors, especially those authors who feel so protective of the work that removing their rights would mean they'd stop publically releasing their work.  By Kuhn and Stallman's own definition, users being able to do whatever they want would not be giving them rights, it would be giving them power - which Kuhn and Stallman clearly vehemently oppose.

Look again at that definition - "Power is being able to make decisions that affect others more than you". Restrictive copyright, as I've already (attempted to ) proven affects the user more than the artist. That is the point of that whole essay - that if a decision affects person a directly, and person b indirectly (if at all), person a should have the more right to make that decision.

Link to post
Orion_Stardom did.  He's saying that certain aspects of copyright, such as the part which gives the copyright holder the exclusive right to publish, sell and distribute his material (unless he relinquishes the right) was entirely unintentioned by the people who created copyright law, and that it's morally questionable because it gives the author/publisher them too much power over the user.

That bit isn't 'entirely unintended', but it isn't the point of the law - it was the mechanism through the intended effects were enforced. It wasn't power over the user back then, it was power over the publisher.

 

Yes, modding is indeed about making a game better and enhancing your experience whilst playing it.  However, if that was *all* it was about, all mods would exist exclusively on the hard drives of the people who made them.  If modders couldn't care less what anyone thought about ourselves or our mods, what reason would we have for actually releasing our mods to the public?

I do agree with that, but what I'm pushing for is to enforce the reason to give something to the public is 'in the hope that the public might find use of it, and money from it might be a good thing to have', rather than 'to get as much money from it as possible, and the public liking it might be a useful side effect'.

 

In such an instance, many people would decide to make their mods simply for themselves and close, trusted friends.  In other words, bruising someone's ego also bruises their creativity :).

And the chances that among those trusted friends is someone who says 'you should publish, people will realy like this'? Approaching 1. :party:

Link to post
I respectfully submit that you've been letting the dogma you're tossing at us blind you as to what is and is not actually a problem. It's not even all especially compatible in the same discussion--as far as I can tell, those "Scratchware" people (an uglier technology term I have not seen until "blog" caught on) are very much interested in "conventional" copyright, they just want to develop and distribute commercial software outside of the typical model and traditional market but still get filthy rich doing so.

Oh dear, you read too far down. :) The point I was making by linking Scratchware (you think 'blog' is uglier than 'scratchware'? Wow.) was in response to your bringing up Interplay. Scratchware are arguing, from the perspective of insiders (see Death to the Game Industry - Long Live the Games) is that companies like Interplay are detriment to the creative process - and so that their whims and wishes aren't reason for laws to exist. Also, Scratchware want to 'fully own what they fully create' - I agree with this to the extent that if any ownership exists, it should be the artists rather than the corporations who have it.

 

As for the creative/content side of the equation, it has yet to be made clear to me that, let's say, a novel written in totally open wiki-style is of greater benefit to authors and society than one written by a closed, copyright-protected individual or team. Maybe Stallman would get off on it, but I remain unconvinced.

And indeed, novels are a different issue entirely: for someone to be able to modify one word of a novel and redistribute it brings no benifit to anyone - the public least of all. To write a novel in a wiki style might be an interesting thing to do, but not something I'd want done with every novel (and neither, I think, would RMS), since the quality and entertainment value of the novel wouldn't necesarily be any better for it. A text book on the other hand, would definately benifit from having a range of people contribute to it - and I believe that Wikibooks has contributions from high school students as well as Professors (that is, 'professor' in the Australian (and perhaps British) sense, being the highest ranking academic - a few slots above a Doctor).

Link to post
It would not do me any good if people get my mod for free and then resell it for profit.

And nor would it do you any direct harm. Think about that for a while. :)

 

 

Except that it would make me unhappy. And the benefit to the person who does the selling is that they will be made happy. They gain, I lose.

 

 

That aside, the argument here seems mostly to be a moral/ethical one. As such, it's largely unwinnable, because the arguments on both sides boil down to "I believe". I suspect that those of us who wish to assert some ownership over our ideas will continue to do so, while those of us who prefer to allow others unfettered access to our work will also continue to do so. Arguments about the effect of big-business on the creative process are another matter entirely. :party:

Link to post
Except that it would make me unhappy. And the benefit to the person who does the selling is that they will be made happy. They gain, I lose.

But you won't *directly* be made unhappy by them doing it, since that relies on your knowing of it.

 

 

That aside, the argument here seems mostly to be a moral/ethical one. As such, it's largely unwinnable, because the arguments on both sides boil down to "I believe". I suspect that those of us who wish to assert some ownership over our ideas will continue to do so, while those of us who prefer to allow others unfettered access to our work will also continue to do so.

That doesn't make the debate any less interesting, and it is winnable in that it can move those people who haven't thought of it before. That, and it's also got to do with practicality: if one side wins (which, with Trusted Computing and DRM one side *will* win: either the market will accept control or it won't), which side is more likely to throw us back into the dark ages?

Link to post
But you won't *directly* be made unhappy by them doing it, since that relies on your knowing of it.

True. But me asserting my authorship in a readme doesn't actually restrict anyone from doing that either. It doesn't *directly* remove their freedom in any way, it just lets them know that I don't want it to happen and that I might try and do something about it if they do.

 

 

That doesn't make the debate any less interesting, and it is winnable in that it can move those people who haven't thought of it before. That, and it's also got to do with practicality: if one side wins (which, with Trusted Computing and DRM one side *will* win: either the market will accept control or it won't), which side is more likely to throw us back into the dark ages?

There's always the happy medium. A more wide ranging debate on what should be copyrightable and what shouldn't be is interesting to be sure. Opinions will differ on the subject of course, but most businesspeople will tell you that they should be able to patent anything they damn well please so they can have exclusive rights to sale. Creatives are generally interested in preserving what they made, because they love it the way they made it (of course, the money doesn't hurt either).

Link to post
True. But me asserting my authorship in a readme doesn't actually restrict anyone from doing that either. It doesn't *directly* remove their freedom in any way, it just lets them know that I don't want it to happen and that I might try and do something about it if they do.

It does in that it is legally supported, and it does when it is done more outrightly than what we see in mods - Microsoft's license agreements, for example.

 

Opinions will differ on the subject of course, but most businesspeople will tell you that they should be able to patent anything they damn well please so they can have exclusive rights to sale.

And when they do, they ignore the purpose of a patent. There is another way to protect an invention from competitors: don't tell them how it works. That is good business sense, but also harms society: which is why it was decided to give inventors more incentive to tell us how it works - by rewarding them with limited legally-enforced monopoly on it. If the idea was purely to protect their inventions, there wouldn't be any restrictions on what could be patented, and nor would there be any process to go through to apply for one. And this is why it shouldn't be that businessman's choice - because what they want and what is good for the public are often at odds with one another.

 

This also brings up another justification that copyright is not for the authors, that the rights to your work are not natural rights like my right to free speech: copyright is temporary. If it was a natural right, and possesion of copyright or ownership of a work is equivalent to ownership of a house, why would it be temporary? This is why the author's rights are not an important consideration in this: because they don't actually exist.

Link to post
And when they do, they ignore the purpose of a patent. There is another way to protect an invention from competitors: don't tell them how it works. That is good business sense, but also harms society: which is why it was decided to give inventors more incentive to tell us how it works - by rewarding them with limited legally-enforced monopoly on it. If the idea was purely to protect their inventions, there wouldn't be any restrictions on what could be patented, and nor would there be any process to go through to apply for one. And this is why it shouldn't be that businessman's choice - because what they want and what is good for the public are often at odds with one another.

 

I certainly agree that there are things which should not be patentable. Say, the human genome. That's like me finding a chunk of iron and deciding to patent it. One of the more extreme cases, I'll admit, but it's a level on which I agree with you wholeheartedly. I still believe, however, that if someone is going to take something I have made and use if for their own gain or change it to their whim, they should have the common courtesy to ask me first. If they want to use similar mechanisms or concepts to achieve a similar end, but do the work on their own, I have no problem with that (try coming up with a truly unique idea, it's not so easy). :)

 

 

This also brings up another justification that copyright is not for the authors, that the rights to your work are not natural rights like my right to free speech: copyright is temporary. If it was a natural right, and possesion of copyright or ownership of a work is equivalent to ownership of a house, why would it be temporary? This is why the author's rights are not an important consideration in this: because they don't actually exist.

If we're going to be realistsic, there are no such things as rights at all. They only exist because other people are willing to enforce their existence. Your "natural" right to free speech, property or even life can be taken away with shocking ease and many cultures lack even the concept of right to personal ownership of an object at all. Copyright is temporary because society decides it will be.

 

I should point out that we Australians do not have a constitutional right to free speech. It may be suspended at the government's whim.

Link to post
I still believe, however, that if someone is going to take something I have made and use if for their own gain or change it to their whim, they should have the common courtesy to ask me first. If they want to use similar mechanisms or concepts to achieve a similar end, but do the work on their own, I have no problem with that (try coming up with a truly unique idea, it's not so easy). :)

What if they would be directly competing with you? Obviously *you* wouldn't want that - but the public most certainly would (as would the ACCC). In this case, who's decision should it be? I say it should be the people's - since the people having power over inventors and coporations and governments (as opposed to the other way around) is a necesary aspect of a democracy.

 

If we're going to be realistsic, there are no such things as rights at all. They only exist because other people are willing to enforce their existence. Your "natural" right to free speech, property or even life can be taken away with shocking ease and many cultures lack even the concept of right to personal ownership of an object at all.

They are 'natural rights' in that a government would have a hard time waiving them on our behalf. Think about it in Australia - to get a bill through limiting our free speech, a government would need to pass the bill through Reps, pass it through the Senate, get the Governor-General's approval (a case like this would present excellent reason to break convention), and even then it wouldn't last long: they would fall out of favour quickly, and loose the next election (the right to elect a government I believe *is* in the constitution, and so it would take a referundum for said government to stay in power). Although, I must admit I have been more distopian since 1 July...

 

Copyright is temporary because society decides it will be.

But why do we decide it will be? How do we justify that decision? The only way is if it isn't actually a right of the author in spirit - otherwise, it would be equivalent to a car or a house becoming publicly owned because the original builder/manufacturer has been dead 50 years (despite anyone still using it).

Link to post
As an aside, I would fully support a restriction that modifications be clearly marked as such (as in something to the effect of, 'this is based loosely on code by NiGHTMARE; with the following modifications: ... .' ), purely so that users do know where to go for support (ie, not necesarily you).

While crediting is esential, maybe not for this reason. While I believe everyone should have the right to modify and use Nightmare's :) code bothering him with support simply because somebody found his creation useful is illogical. And bothersome. :party:

Link to post
Most people atleast know someone who has a computer. And remember: I'm talking about specifically what the invention of the computer does to copyright: if a computer was something that prospective artists/authors/users in general didn't have immediate access to, my arguments wouldn't apply.

What about old people? Poor people? Those living in areas without high speed internet access? Your arguments would only apply if *all* prospective artists/authors/users had access to a computer, not just most, and quite clearly that isn't the case. As I said, you're proposing that the right to not have access to a computer with an internet connection be taken away from not just anyone who wants to share his new music, distribute his new film, publish his new novel, etc, but any user who wants to listen to/watch/read those things as well. And for that matter, you're saying the user's right to read a new novel in book form, rather than on a computer screen or a print out, should be taken away; many people (including myself) prefer the former, and they won't be happy if someone takes that right away from them.

 

It's pretty clear to me that your proposal would actually end up leaving users with even less rights than they have at the moment. Oh, and sure they can copy other people's work and make a profit from it as much they want... just a shame there will eventually be hardly anything new for them to copy!.

 

I'm imagining it, and I think it a much better world than one with DRM and Trusted Computing (which is where the Industry in Support of Intellectual Property Protections is trying to push us...).

The world would be a better place if no-one had a right to make a living from their own creativity? I *strongly* disagree with that. Too many people are forced to get boring, tedious, repetitive 9-5 jobs already, we don't need to force this on even more people. Everyone has the right to dream of a better job, one where they can actually use their imagination, their creativity, etc. If such jobs no longer existed, that right would be seriously tampered with.

 

If the music (or player) had some way of identifying the author, as a way of sending money directly to them, I would support this entirely.

Unfortunately, there's this pesky little thing called human nature, and it means relying on the good naturedness of the species simply won't work. The general public are just as selfish, greedy and money hoarding as publishers, record companies and the like, probably even more so - and you're proposing that some of the most selfish and greedy of us (i.e. pirates) be given even more freedom to express that selfishness and greed. As I said earlier, at best you could expect 1/500 people to actually donate any money... and that's probably a rather optimistic figure.

 

CDs and DVDs don't degrade in quality with each use. This is one of the major benifits they have over videos.

I'm afraid that myth got debunked three decades ago :). The more you use a CD, the greater the chance it'll get scratched or dirty. Sure it's possible to repair/clean the CD, but there is a limit to how many times it can be done, and a CD being regularly copied in a shop is going to see far more use than it does in the hands of the average user. Oh, and let's not forget that a large number of CD and DVD players can't play copied CDs/DVDs, so huge numbers of people would go out and buy a legitimate product, only to find they can't even use it.

 

Look again at that definition - "Power is being able to make decisions that affect others more than you". Restrictive copyright, as I've already (attempted to ) proven affects the user more than the artist. That is the point of that whole essay - that if a decision affects person a directly, and person b indirectly (if at all),  person a should have the more right to make that decision.

 

Sorry, but changing copyright so that authors can no longer make a living from their own work and are forced to get different jobs, and so they may well decide to stop making or publically releasing their work... that's affecting authors far more than it's affecting users. It's giving users the power to force other people to change their job, their lifestyle, etc. No-one should have that kind of power over other people.

 

I do agree with that, but what I'm pushing for is to enforce the reason to give something to the public is 'in the hope that the public might find use of it, and money from it might be a good thing to have', rather than 'to get as much money from it as possible, and the public liking it might be a useful side effect'.

And what about those people who aren't interested in "getting as much money from it as possible, but simply enough to earn a living"? What you just said effectively translates to "no-one in the entertainment industry - other than those involved in non-published things, such as plays and concerts - should be allowed to do what they do as their job, but rather they should be *forced* to do it as a hobby". It also says "it's perfectly okay for individual members of the general public to be exceptionally greedy and selfish by profitting off someone else's work, but it's unacceptable for artists to want to profit from their own work".

 

That the formerly professional artist who the new law has forced into being an amateur would still want to and/or could continue providing the public with new material is dependent on many factors. It's supposing the new job the artist has been forced to get isn't so time-consuming, mind-numbing, or generally awful that he actually still has the time and/or inspiration to work on entertainment-related things in his spare time. It's supposing he's even managed to find a new job, and thus has the funds to go out and buy all the equipment he needs for what is now his hobby. It's also supposing he's actually interested in releasing the efforts of his time and labour to the public, considering said public has just proven itself to be even more ungrateful than the artist previous supposed, since not only has it caused him to get fired from his old job, but a significant portion of it are greedy, selfish gits who are currently busy trying to make money from his old work.

Link to post

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...