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Author Topic: Intellectual Property  (Read 17080 times)

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Re:Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness & Copyright
« Reply #15 on: October 23, 2002, 10:08:16 pm »


When an author dies but his works are still copyrighted, it can often be very difficult to get them reprinted.  Sometimes copyright is transferred to large corporations (especially with music) and they intentionally restrict supply to garner monopoly profits.


Doesn't the artist or his agent always get monopoly price on artistic works?  How else could it possibly be, except free?
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Re:Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness & Copyright
« Reply #16 on: October 23, 2002, 10:12:16 pm »


I have been discussing this based on the premises described in the constitution.
On the more general question of the cost and benefits of copyright, there's an amazing pair of speeches that explain it far better than I ever could.

http://www.baen.com/library/palaver4.htm


I was going to say, the constitution is one thing, but I thought around here we were debating how things should be.  I have not read these speeches yet, but it strikes me funny that a libertarian would speak of rights in terms of "costs and benefits", costs to whom?  benefits to whom?

Charles
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maestro

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Re:Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness & Copyright
« Reply #17 on: October 23, 2002, 11:39:12 pm »


Doesn't the artist or his agent always get monopoly price on artistic works?  How else could it possibly be, except free?


Exactly.  According to nature, there would be no monopoly on art.  In fact there wasn't until 1710.  Property law is based on natural principles of ownership, but ideas cannot be owned in the normal sense of the word.  

While art and technology existed without copyright, there has been a significant boost in the advance of culture and technology since the creation of copyright.  As such, we agree as a society to exchange our natural right of copying for the benefit of having more ideas available in the long run.

You really should read the essays.  They're amazing works.
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Sk1llz

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Re:Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness & Copyright
« Reply #18 on: October 24, 2002, 11:57:52 am »

From the monologue posted above:
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The principle of copyright is this. It is a tax on readers for the purpose of giving a bounty to writers. The tax is an exceedingly bad one; it is a tax on one of the most innocent and most salutary of human pleasures; and never let us forget, that a tax on innocent pleasures is a premium on vicious pleasures. I admit, however, the necessity of giving a bounty to genius and learning. In order to give such a bounty, I willingly submit even to this severe and burdensome tax. Nay, I am ready to increase the tax, if it can be shown that by so doing I should proportionally increase the bounty. My complaint is, that my honourable and learned friend doubles, triples, quadruples, the tax, and makes scarcely any perceptible addition to the bounty. Why, Sir, what is the additional amount of taxation which would have been levied on the public for Dr Johnson's works alone, if my honourable and learned friend's bill had been the law of the land? I have not data sufficient to form an opinion. But I am confident that the taxation on his Dictionary alone would have amounted to many thousands of pounds. In reckoning the whole additional sum which the holders of his copyrights would have taken out of the pockets of the public during the last half century at twenty thousand pounds, I feel satisfied that I very greatly underrate it. Now, I again say that I think it but fair that we should pay twenty thousand pounds in consideration of twenty thousand pounds' worth of pleasure and encouragement received by Dr Johnson. But I think it very hard that we should pay twenty thousand pounds for what he would not have valued at five shillings.


Basically, one should value your 'right to liberty' over your 'right to pursue happiness'. However, as the esteemed Thomas Macauley pointed out, in order to allow encourage progress we must 'put up with' a lessening in our right to use information as we see fit.

I for one agree. So long as it is kept in line. Which I feel it hasn't. It all comes down to this. What benefit, what encouragement to create do I, the creator, gain from the current copyright laws. The constitution had already given provisions for me to monopolize on my creation for a period of time, preventing people from rightfully using my creative works in thier own. I gain absolutely nothing when the length of copyright is extended beyond my life.
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Re:Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness & Copyright
« Reply #19 on: October 26, 2002, 10:27:35 am »


The constitution had already given provisions for me to monopolize on my creation for a period of time, preventing people from rightfully using my creative works in thier own.


This is where you guys are losing me.  What do you mean "rightfully"?  Give me a specific example of how copyright law is preventing you from doing anything other than being a lowlife parasite.  

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I gain absolutely nothing when the length of copyright is extended beyond my life.


If you say this, then you must also agree that inheritance should be taxed 100%, because you gain nothing by maintaining any of your earthly posessions beyond your life either.  That is, except your right pass them to your heirs.

Charles
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catsRus

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Re:Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness & Copyright
« Reply #20 on: October 26, 2002, 11:02:05 am »

Charles

Look at the Napster case the judge said no napster unless they could guarentee 100% no copyright violation. Would Xerox have been allowed to make copiers if held to the same standards? The advent of 100% accurate copying technology has led to the infringement of my fair use rights. If i paid for a copy of your work i should be able do do with it as i choose as long as it doesnt profit me.

Another point would be the profits Disney has made from public domain works, why is it ok for them to do it but to keep
'bribing" elected officials to keep their monopoly on works that others could use to do the same as Disney did?

The original term for copyright was 14 years i believe,  Is there any persuasive arguement that it needs to be longer?
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Re:Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness & Copyright
« Reply #21 on: October 26, 2002, 01:29:29 pm »


Look at the Napster case the judge said no napster unless they could guarentee 100% no copyright violation. Would Xerox have been allowed to make copiers if held to the same standards?


What do you mean?  I make hundreds of copies a month at work, and none of it is ever of copyrighted material.  I don't think copiers are generally used to copy books in their entirety.

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The advent of 100% accurate copying technology has led to the infringement of my fair use rights. If i paid for a copy of your work i should be able do do with it as i choose as long as it doesnt profit me.


And you can without violating copyright law.  This doesn't include giving it away to your friends, or electronically on the internet though.  

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Another point would be the profits Disney has made from public domain works, why is it ok for them to do it but to keep 'bribing" elected officials to keep their monopoly on works that others could use to do the same as Disney did?


I'm not sure what you mean.  Do you mean that they spoof pop culture stuff?  Can you be more specific?

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The original term for copyright was 14 years i believe,  Is there any persuasive arguement that it needs to be longer?


Well, either your artistic works belong to you, or they don't.  To be consistent, doesn't it seem like it should either be 0 years, or forever (or maybe lifetime)?

Charles
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catsRus

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Re:Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness & Copyright
« Reply #22 on: October 26, 2002, 03:51:50 pm »

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What do you mean?  I make hundreds of copies a month at work, and none of it is ever of copyrighted material.  I don't think copiers are generally used to copy books in their entirety.


Charles look into the judges decision on the napster case, he  said it can beused to violate copyright, so it must be 100% not allowed to-- alas guilty until proven innocent shall we ban pens? i can copy with it, copiers? cameras? VCR's--on VCR's the court said there was a large enough legitimate use to allow them, copyright holders are always fighting technology. IF we applied the same logic to inventions 20 years ago we wouldnt be where we are today.

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And you can without violating copyright law.  This doesn't include giving it away to your friends, or electronically on the internet though.  

Are you farmilliar with the DMCA, SSSCA, or the new DRM hardware initiative? They infringe on fair use, if i have to side on this issue it is for fair use.

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I'm not sure what you mean.  Do you mean that they spoof pop culture stuff?  Can you be more specific

A huge majority of Disneys stuff is derived from public domain works. ie. the brothers grimm, why is it ok for them to use public works to make a profit but to hold their works in copyright for ever?

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Well, either your artistic works belong to you, or they don't.  To be consistent, doesn't it seem like it should either be 0 years, or forever (or maybe lifetime)?

Lets just pick something and stick with it, i am not anti copyright I am against monopolies created by abusing goverment power at the detriment of fair use! Just because it can be done should not make it a crime to invent new technology that might violate ones copyright. The real issue is the ever expanding copyright term and the way copyright is being used to quell innovation-- it was supposed to expand creativity and innovation.

Hope that is clearer  ;)
« Last Edit: October 26, 2002, 04:30:12 pm by catsRus »
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Re:Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness & Copyright
« Reply #23 on: October 26, 2002, 05:13:34 pm »


Charles look into the judges decision on the napster case, he  said it can beused to violate copyright, so it must be 100% not allowed to-- alas guilty until proven innocent shall we ban pens? i can copy with it, copiers? cameras? VCR's--on VCR's the court said there was a large enough legitimate use to allow them, copyright holders are always fighting technology. IF we applied the same logic to inventions 20 years ago we wouldnt be where we are today.


I agree with you here.  Just because a technology can be used to violate copyright does not mean that the technology should be banned.  That's not what I thought we were talking about.  I was only talking about copyright itself.

As far as napster goes though, I don't feel so bad about that.  My impression is that 99.99% of the traffic on that site was people basically ripping off copyrighted music.  Claiming that it's just a technology that could possibly also be used for legit purposes seems like a strained defense by the lawyers.  An analogy might be a bookstore with an attached copy shop that allowed customers to walk in and copy books from the bookstore.  It's hard for them to claim neutrality if virtually all of their customers only use the copiers to copy books that they don't buy.

Charles
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maestro

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Re:Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness & Copyright
« Reply #24 on: October 26, 2002, 09:43:37 pm »


I'm not sure what you mean.  Do you mean that they spoof pop culture stuff?  Can you be more specific?


Almost all of Disney's summer animated movies have been copies of public domain works.  And funny how you should mention pop culture.  Pop culture won't exist if the copyright is extended in duration and effect as is being currently attempted.

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Well, either your artistic works belong to you, or they don't.  To be consistent, doesn't it seem like it should either be 0 years, or forever (or maybe lifetime)?


The ideas behind your artistic works does not belong to you.  The physical form of the work belongs to you and that's all.  The constitution provided an incentive to increase art and technology by providing a temporary form of ownership where none previously existed.  It is a specific exception to the natural rule.  That exception is being heavily abused now, by extending the temporary ownership and even attempting to make it a permanent one.  It should be obvious that permanent ownership of ideas is dangerous.  If you don't see this, examine the essays posted above for a particularly good example about Milton's work, "Paradise Lost."
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Re:Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness & Copyright
« Reply #25 on: October 26, 2002, 10:30:14 pm »


It should be obvious that permanent ownership of ideas is dangerous.  If you don't see this, examine the essays posted above for a particularly good example about Milton's work, "Paradise Lost."


Can you really copyright ideas?  As far as I know, I can read Rothbard's books and then write my own libertarian manifestos that are complete ripoffs of all his ideas and never violate a copyright.  It's only a violation if I copy his words verbatim.  No?

Charles
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maestro

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Re:Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness & Copyright
« Reply #26 on: October 26, 2002, 10:41:31 pm »



It should be obvious that permanent ownership of ideas is dangerous.  If you don't see this, examine the essays posted above for a particularly good example about Milton's work, "Paradise Lost."


Can you really copyright ideas?  As far as I know, I can read Rothbard's books and then write my own libertarian manifestos that are complete ripoffs of all his ideas and never violate a copyright.  It's only a violation if I copy his words verbatim.  No?

Charles


Here's the critical problem.  If you hold the copyright of Rothbard's books, and you are a socialist activist, you have the right to make sure that no one ever reads them.  Even if it was once printed, you can refuse to reprint, and thus restrict the exposure of the public to those ideas.  We see this much more often with movies from before 1950 and video games from before 1995.  These disappear not due to malevolence, but due to a lack of (apparent) continued profit motive.  Eventually the material disappears due to one thing or another and the ideas and content within is removed from existence permanently.  This is bad and cannot occur if the public domain is properly maintained with short copyrights and patents.
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Re:Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness & Copyright
« Reply #27 on: October 27, 2002, 09:59:27 am »


Here's the critical problem.  If you hold the copyright of Rothbard's books, and you are a socialist activist, you have the right to make sure that no one ever reads them.  Even if it was once printed, you can refuse to reprint, and thus restrict the exposure of the public to those ideas.  We see this much more often with movies from before 1950 and video games from before 1995.  These disappear not due to malevolence, but due to a lack of (apparent) continued profit motive.  Eventually the material disappears due to one thing or another and the ideas and content within is removed from existence permanently.  This is bad and cannot occur if the public domain is properly maintained with short copyrights and patents.


I understand this argument.  But again, how do you maintain a principled argument?  If you think the creation of an artist or writer is not his own, then you should oppose any copyright at all.  If you think it is, then it should be forever.  Picking 10 years is purely arbitrary.  You seem to be making a utilitarian argument - that we want to entice Rothbard to put his ideas on paper so we, as society, can have them for ourselves later.  If we didn't give him copyright, we risk him just keeping them in his head.

Besides all that, how is the loss of these ideas, by society, a legitimate problem.  Someone could own a museum, for example, full of artistic/historical/archaeological (sp?) items.  At will, can't the owner just close the door and remove from the public the ability to see these very important bits of history?  Should these items be forced into the public domain by the government?

Charles
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maestro

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Re:Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness & Copyright
« Reply #28 on: October 27, 2002, 04:23:29 pm »


I understand this argument.  But again, how do you maintain a principled argument?  If you think the creation of an artist or writer is not his own, then you should oppose any copyright at all.  If you think it is, then it should be forever.  Picking 10 years is purely arbitrary.  You seem to be making a utilitarian argument - that we want to entice Rothbard to put his ideas on paper so we, as society, can have them for ourselves later.  If we didn't give him copyright, we risk him just keeping them in his head.


It _is_ a utilitarial argument.  The principle is that one cannot own an idea.  However, as incentive to have those ideas put to paper (or canvas, or whatever) we will put aside these rights for a brief period, and allow the creator to have monopoly over the ideas in question.  If we do _not_ permit copyright and patents, we will not be a prosperous nation.  As such we must choose an arbitrary brief period.  My problem is not necessarily with the length of the period (which is a separate and very difficult argument) but the repeated retroactive extension of copyright with such timing as to maintain some works in perpetual copyright.

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Besides all that, how is the loss of these ideas, by society, a legitimate problem.  Someone could own a museum, for example, full of artistic/historical/archaeological (sp?) items.  At will, can't the owner just close the door and remove from the public the ability to see these very important bits of history?  Should these items be forced into the public domain by the government?


As I said before, the creator owns the physical manifestation of his idea, but if that idea is copyable, he has no inherent rights to that copy.  Property is governed by natural property rights.  These rights exist because the taking of property leaves the original owner with nothing.  The copying of ideas deprives the original thinker of nothing.  

Having said that, if a museum owner locked down his collection, it would probably be decried but tolerated.  If he attempted to destroy that collection, it would not surprise me if the owner was stopped legally or not, and I would not convict in court.  The destruction of even physical items of culture is a despicable act, even if legal.
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catsRus

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Re:Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness & Copyright
« Reply #29 on: October 28, 2002, 12:47:35 am »

On the subject of lifetime, what is a company or corporations lifetime?

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