The Beatles were able to imagine a world with no religion, no countries and no possessions but not one with no copyright laws.
@Aslanmane I support copyright too generally. I think it just goes to show how dumb the song is (and, on a more philosophical level, about how utopian ideologies always fail due to the human nature, often as directly manifested by the proponents of the ideologies themselves). (See also John Kerry flying on his private jet to environmental meetings).
I think the length of protection is too long though. I think something like later of 50 years or life of the artist is long enough. Beyond that and its mostly about legally enforced cash cows for giant media companies.
> I find any system where heirs don't receive royalties hard to swallow
This can occur whenever copyrights are sold to another. It doesn't become a matter of who created it, but rather who currently "owns" it.
> It'd be nice if every artist could live on donations - but Napster, Limewire and Bittorrent...
I've heard from some artists that record companies, labels, etc. take large portions of profit, leaving little (even nothing, sometimes) to the artists. One said he even distributed it on Bittorrent with a PayPal link and got more income that way.
We have a grand new way of distributing information freely. It's impractical to prevent the flow of it because someone "owns" it.
I believe it'd be better to compensate the creator as a society, and let everyone have access to it. Trying to restrict who can read/view/watch publications causes problems for everyone.
@RazorsKiss @Aslanmane @Columbkille I agree completely that artists must be paid for their work. I resent those who avoid supporting artists. But I also resent and despise those who implement systems that subjugate consumers for their own gain, with DRM being the prime example of this in this sphere.
What the consumers "want" isn't really fair when their options are restricted, knowledge is restricted, and motivation is minimal.
@RazorsKiss @Aslanmane @josias On the "too short" issue, patent terms are only 20 years. In fields like biotechnology, the time from patent application through product delivery can take an enormous amount of time (like, upwards of a decade), meaning the window for monetization before big pharma swoops in with the knockoff is very small. The theory behind this is that it "encourages innovation" because people need to keep up coming with new patents in order to generate income.
I think it's odd to give patents 20 years while copyrights are passed down to heirs. I think it's all about lobbying, and which way the big corporation wins is how the law is structured. So, I'd shorten copyright terms and lengthen patent terms. But that's just my view as someone that does contracts.
The Beatles, though, should have given their music away for free if they were so enamored with no possessions. :)
@Columbkille @RazorsKiss @Aslanmane Patents and copyrights are also very different and can't be compared directly as the same kind of property. Patents are descriptions of an idea that prevent others from using that idea. Copyright is the implementation of such an idea. Patents are broader and give you a monopoly on a concept. Copyright protects your actual works.
@josias @RazorsKiss @Aslanmane That's a good point. I suppose I was thinking of it as "patents are for sciency people" and "copyrights are for artsy people" and "why are we being so generous to artsy people and so tough of sciency people" since that's often how it shakes out, but you are right that there is way more going on there legally.
Random aside: I have a lot of reservations about "process patents" where people try to patent some ridiculously overbroad manufacturing process that their competitors are doing anyways without bothering to patent it. I think that courts are pretty good at striking that stuff down at the end of the day, but there is a whole industry of "patent trolls" that try to file for or buy basically abusive patents and then sue to hold companies hostage. There's a specific jurisdiction in Texas that they try to file in that's known for big jury awards.
(All of this is through the grapevine from folks various industries not personal experience.)
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