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Copyright’s Three Lines Of Defense

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Copyright Monopoly – Johnny Olsson

Copyright Monopoly – Johnny Olsson

I’ve followed and participated in the copyright debate for years, and I’ve come to realize there are certain patterns that repeat themselves. You can roughly say there are three lines of defense: One that appeals to emotions, one that appeals to pragmatism, and one that appeals to a sense of responsibility. I’m going to take this opportunity and try to break them down.

The first line of defense is the artists, sent out like cannon fodder to appeal to our emotions. The stories of the talented artists who pour their souls into their work and can’t make a decent living out of it are always heartbreaking. But guess what? It was never easy being an artist. You want a secure income? Go for a nine-to-five job. I think Henry Rollins said it best, when in an interview about his days with Black Flag, he said “And maybe you missed some meals, or the cops came and shut your show down, but man, you weren’t flipping burgers and you weren’t filling slurpies, and there’s something to be said for that.” The point here being, that everything is a matter of compromise. Either you get a boring job to secure an income and do your writing or painting or whatever your art of choice is in your spare time, or you go for it full time and expect to miss some meals. Actually making a living out of something you love to do is a luxury. The factory where I earn my pay doesn’t pay me because working there is fun. They pay me because it’s not! If it was fun I would work for free. And that’s why artists have a hard time getting paid; because they have about zero leverage. Everyone they ever negotiate with: club owners, record companies, publishers, et cetera, have leverage over you as an artist because in the end, you will perform regardless of the pay. You’ll perform for free beer in the bar and you’ll even pay to be published just for the sole satisfaction of being published. This is the truth for the majority of artists, and this is why so little of the money in the copyright industry lands in their pockets. But copyright does very little, if anything, to improve the artists’ situation.

The second line of defense is the industry itself. The argument here is that it’s an industry that involves a lot of people and if they go out of business, you may have a serious situation on your hands, with thousands and thousands of jobs lost. This argument has its points, and for someone reasonable who doesn’t just act upon emotions and therefore passes the first line of defense, this is a bit trickier. Even if you dislike the copyright industry, pure pragmatism may lead you to think that economic depression is even worse. But don’t worry. The copyright industry is fine and they’re not going out of business in a foreseeable future. And even if they were, well, it happens. Things become obsolete all the time. It would be tragic on some personal levels, and it may have effect on communities heavily reliant on copyrighted material. It could turn Hollywood into a ghost town, which would be kinda fun. In this case I believe copyright works – I just don’t think it’s good. It ensures companies long term income for a short term success, it keeps competition at bay since owning the license to a work means you can remake it again and again, while others need to put their effort into coming up with something new. And there’s always the possibility to sue someone. The scariest part of the copyright industry going out of business is actually all the unemployed corporate lawyers. Chasing you down the street offering their services, throwing themselves in front of your car at traffic lights in desperation. If you offer a homeless lawyer something to eat he’ll choke on it and sue you. It will be a zombie apocalypse suited up!

The third line of defense is the claim “without copyright, there will be no culture”. This argument appeals to a sense of responsibility, like an environmental issue would. And while it could, or should, be hard for a politician to hide behind the second line because policies should not be about keeping an industry alive, and even harder to hide behind the first line for the same reason, this is the argument that politicians really get behind. Because it seems morally right. We have to respect copyright, for our children. We want the future generations to enjoy culture too, right? A world without culture, without the fine arts and the entertainment, what a horrible future that would be.

Of course, this is complete and utter bullshit. Culture was created long before copyright was ever invented. And it will continue to be created even if all the copyright laws are flushed down the drain tomorrow. Even if there wasn’t a chance in hell to earn a dime off of your creation, it wouldn’t even make a dent in the flow of culture. People will continue producing culture. How do I know this? Because the Internet is full of them. Blogs, YouTube, et cetera. From simple puns and lolcats to amazingly well-produced films – it’s all culture and it’s all created without money changing hands. This may seem shocking to the Lars Ulrichs of the world, but to the rest of us it’s no mystery.

The simple explanation is that expressing oneself is a far more important drive than money. This is also why people continue to remix culture to create new culture, even knowing that they might get sued. Or in even worse cases, why people continue to express themselves and create culture in places where the regime will crack down on them for doing so. There are a few loud voices in the debate leading people to believe that money is the superior drive in creating culture. And while that may be true for them, it’s not for the rest of us. For us it’s about expressing ourselves, receiving a pat on the back for the effort. It’s about the satisfaction of having created something. When I see an article I’ve written being shared I don’t grind my teeth over all the money I’m not making off of it (or the money I’m losing, as they say). I have a warm feeling of pride and accomplishment over the fact that my words, my thoughts are in circulation, and that people obviously like it. And every time I grow an inch. If people were required to pay for my writing, chances are they wouldn’t, and I would lose out on those fifteen minutes of fame and that, to be honest, complacency. And I would still have to go to work on Monday, just without that extra inch that gets me through the day.

Copyright was never about guaranteeing the artists pay. If it were, it would have to be considered an epic failure, as shown by Rick’s article the other day. Nor was it put in place to ensure that a proper amount of culture would be created. If it were, that would mean no-one created anything culturally noteworthy before copyright was invented. There are caves in France that say otherwise. Copyright originates from a form of censorship. It stems from monopolies given from the state to approved companies to make copies. Hence the word copyright. To be fair, the copyright laws have changed since then and, while wildly ineffective, can be said to protect right-holders’ interests. But it is still a monopoly given by the state, and it is still effective as a tool of censorship. So here’s the million dollar question: If you know that copyright at its origin was a form of censorship, and you accept the statement that culture wouldn’t be created without copyright, why would copyright ever have been invented? Why would there have been a need for copyright if what copyright was to shut up – but ended up protecting – was never there to begin with? You follow?

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About The Author: Johnny Olsson

Johnny Olsson is an amateur writer and musician with a passion for freedom of expression and cursed with a brain that loves to provide ideas but lacks the discipline to see them through. He lives in Södertälje, Sweden, with one woman, two kids, three cats and four monkeys on his back.

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99

  1. 1

    Right on. You’ve got it summarized perfectly.

  2. 2
    RB

    In that case, im sure you would come give a lecture/presentation about your point of view for free, at your expenses ?! Or wouldnt you ?!

  3. 3
    Thomas

    There is another angle towards this topic. The fundamental human right to own the result of your labour. We can “sell” our labour as hours or we can sell the actual result of our labour. But the right to choose how we sell the fruits of our labour must be ours and ours alone.
    Sure, we can discuss the wordings in the laws and all the minor details. But at the end of the day, it is all about to own the right to our labour, to own the result of our skills.
    A fundamental human right!

    • 3.1
      Per "wertigon" Ekström

      So, what you’re essentially saying is that either, you take a risk and make a recording yourself, OR, you lend out your services as a Musician to record a song?

      In the first case, you have indeed a recording. You have full rights to do whatever you wish to do with it. The work is yours to do whatever you please with. Should you, however, choose to release it to the public, either for free or for a fee, you do not control anything outside of your own office/home.

      In the second case, you are creating a work-for-hire; you get hired to create a product. In this case you have about as much right to the work as a carpenter has a right to a house he just built for someone else.

      It is important that you get credited for such work, sure; but you do not have any right to the song because you made it for someone else with your employers money.

      Therefore, you already have the right to your own labour, just like everybody else does. You do not however have the right to get paid for it if the market do not want what you produce.

    • 3.2
      TG

      We’ve argued this point before, so I won’t repeat myself. But I’ll just leave you with this article to read

      http://archive.mises.org/007614/

    • 3.3

      Yes, if you create something using your own property, that something typically also becomes your property, and you would have normal property rights – including the right to transfer under conditions you choose, such as selling it, providing there is a consensual buyer.

      However, once sold, that object is no longer yours to command. This is fundamental economics and, as you point out, fundamental human rights.

      Therefore, the copyright monopoly today is a limitation on property rights and also a limitation of those fundamental human rights you cherish.

      Cheers,
      Rick

    • 3.4
      Thomas

      Gentlemen
      Your logic seems to fail for you. It seems that you all understand and respect the fundamental right to own the result of your labour. That ownership gives you the same rights as any other ownership. This means that we can sell at any price and with any terms and conditions. If the customers accepts the price and terms&conditions they will buy, otherwise not.
      And it is up to the owner and seller to sell as in “transfer of ownership” or sell as in “right to use” or “transfer the ownership with limitations”.
      This is just normal business proceedures, all covered in the laws since the romans.

      So your claim, mr Falkvinge, that once it is sold an object is not under your command is simply not correct. It is still covered by the agreement you entered when you bought it, regardless if you transferred the ownership, partly or fully, or if you only acquired the right to use.
      And once again back to the old roman laws, the concept of “pacta sund servanda” is a key to the market economy. Agreements must be kept. If you pay for the right to use, then keep your part of the agreement.

      • 3.4.1
        next_ghost

        > So your claim, mr Falkvinge, that once it is sold an object is not under your command is simply not correct.

        If an object remains under your command even after you sold it, you did *NOT* sell it in the first place.

        > And once again back to the old roman laws, the concept of “pacta sund servanda” is a key to the market economy. Agreements must be kept. If you pay for the right to use, then keep your part of the agreement.

        Sure. *IF* you enter an agreement, you have to keep it. But you keep forgetting all the time that on any other market (not covered by copyright or patent monopolies) when you *DON’T* enter any agreement, nobody can stop you from making an selling the exact same product yourself without paying a dime to the guy you didn’t enter an agreement with.

        • Thomas

          Next_ghost, in the respect of your time and others, please read the comments before replying to them.
          As I wrote, we can sell an object with different terms & conditions. It can be sold with the transfer of ownership, with limitations in the ownership or with a right to use. We can also buy and sell stuff with a rental agreement, a right to use with a limitation in time.
          This is, as I wrote, very common and has been done since the romans. So your first comment is simply not correct.

          For your next point, yes you are obviusly right. This is the point with copyright and patents. To protect the rights to own the result of ones labour. Which to me is a reasonable right.

        • scandinavianpirate

          Yes, “the point” with copyright and patents… But that point is severely missed.

          It is not only the “goal” or “point” of a certain politics which should be evaluated, but also if it hits or misses – or maybe even damages other parts of society. Which is very obviously the case.

        • Thomas

          So you agree that the author, Johnny Olsson, missed the fundamental discussion about the right to ones labour?
          And that you want to put limitations the that right for the “best of the community”.
          Fair enough, we all have our priorities. For me, copyright, patents and similar legal areas are important to support human rights and a foundation to the market economy. But as said, we all have different priorities.

        • next_ghost

          @Thomas:

          > So you agree that the author, Johnny Olsson, missed the fundamental discussion about the right to ones labour?

          I thought we settled in another discussion that there was no such right when you refused to answer my question: “What would I get according to the law if I rebuilt your car into something else without your permission?”

          > For me, copyright, patents and similar legal areas are important to support human rights and a foundation to the market economy.

          While in reality they’re dismantling the single most important component of market economy (open competition) and threatening the future of our civilisation.

        • Thomas

          Yes, I recall. It was a stupid and hyphotethical question then. And it still is stupid and hypothetical.
          Feel free to elaborate, but dont hold your breath while waiting for a reply.

          I also recall a stupid claim in the same discussion. Somebody claimed that the smartphone market was not competitive. Which of course is equally stupid and simply not correct.
          I think your view on “open competition” is probably skewed and far away from reality.

        • next_ghost

          > It was a stupid and hyphotethical question then. And it still is stupid and hypothetical.

          Shall we make it a stupid and practical question then?

        • Googla

          Ghost where you somewhat confused when you wrote the following text?

          “While in reality they’re dismantling the single most important component of market economy (open competition) and threatening the future of our civilisation.”

          What exactly do you mean by open competition and do you believe that it has ever existed?

        • next_ghost

          > What exactly do you mean by open competition and do you believe that it has ever existed?

          Open competition means that anyone can compete on the market with other suppliers by offering a perfect or near-perfect substitute (read: “anything that would constitute copyright/patent infringement in a copyright/patent analogy”). Safety regulations do not weaken open competition as long as they’re reasonable and apply equally to all players.

          How long you can actually stay in business is not important. Only whether or not you can meet the legal requirements to start your own independent business offering a perfect or near-perfect substitute to a product of another existing player.

        • Googla

          Ghost sounds like you are really confused about both the market and about how competition works.

        • next_ghost

          @Googla: Could you be more specific?

    • 3.5
      scandinavianpirate

      “But the right to choose how we sell the fruits of our labour must be ours and ours alone.”

      You have the right bargain the rules for selling your services to anyone, and to refuse to work for them if you can’t come to terms with each other.

      But to do whatever you feel like, without asking anyone first, and then afterwards expect payment indefinitely many times into the future and 70 years after your own death. That is just… fantasies.

      You seem to be living in some kind of a fairytale where you dream you have some kind of special privileges to get paid by your own favourite set of rules.

      ___________

      I work at a hospital. There many people get paid by the hour for the work they do – getting lots of physical and mental stress and strain while Saving Lives. To get more money they must do new work. Very simple rules. New efforts – new money.

      You expect to do what you love and to get paid indefinitely many times afterwards for a one time effort, doing something you love, when people saving lives don’t even have those privileges. SHAME on you.

      • 3.5.1
        Thomas

        scandinavianpirate wrote:
        “But to do whatever you feel like, without asking anyone first, and then afterwards expect payment indefinitely many times into the future and 70 years after your own death. That is just… fantasies. ”
        This is just not correct. The buyer is well aware of what agreement he/she is entering. So, yes, as a seller you can ask for any price or any terms&conditions you want. That is the point of ownership!
        And this is just not fantasies, the market for intellectual property is booming. Perhaps you have heard about apps? Actually, IP builds the value for more or less every thing you buy.
        Please do your reality check next time.

        If you don’t like your job, then change! Why should you or your collegues accept such a lousy employer?! Why do you accept to only sell your time, rather than the actual value of what you deliver?
        Perhaps it would be a good idea for you to introduce something similar to copyright in your business, to strenghten your position towards the employer? To actually be able to better benefit from the fruits of your labour.

        • next_ghost

          > This is just not correct. The buyer is well aware of what agreement he/she is entering. So, yes, as a seller you can ask for any price or any terms&conditions you want. That is the point of ownership!

          The buyer also has the right to decline the agreement at which point the wannabe seller has no right to interfere with the now non-buyer’s efforts to get the exact same thing through other means. This is necessary for the market to work. And monopolies like copyright and patents destroy this important feature of free market.

        • Thomas

          You are pointing out the obvious! If the buyer don’t accept the price or the t&c’s he/she can decline and go to someone who wants to sell at that price and t&c’s. If there are any such sellers?
          It is like any other market, if you don’t like the price of a Ferrari car you just have to accept a cheaper car. If you don’t like the t&c’s at H&M you have to chose another shop.
          Simple market economy.

        • next_ghost

          > You are pointing out the obvious! If the buyer don’t accept the price or the t&c’s he/she can decline and go to someone who wants to sell at that price and t&c’s. If there are any such sellers?

          Copyright is a law which says that if there are two independent sellers selling the same thing regulated by the law, one of them is always a criminal regardless of the circumstances. Especially the “regardless of the circumstances” part is a huge violation of your exalted “rights to fruits of ones’ labour.”

        • Googla

          “Copyright is a law which says that if there are two independent sellers selling the same thing regulated by the law, one of them is always a criminal regardless of the circumstances. Especially the “regardless of the circumstances” part is a huge violation of your exalted “rights to fruits of ones’ labour.””
          Once again you are seriously confused as two people making the exact same painting (unlikely though that this would happen) can both sell it without being a criminal. The worst thing that could happen would be that one of them would get sued but that doesn’t make the one sued a criminal!

          Musicians copy parts of other musicians daily without being sued or called criminals.

          Companies use other peoples inventions is a little trickier but still the copiers are in most cases not criminals.

  4. 4
    Sten

    Being an amateur musician one would have expected the writer to know something about copyright. Such as that it is the composer and lyricist that holds the copyright to the works.
    But I guess emphasis lay on “amateur” hence experience and knowledge as such would be limited.

    • 4.1

      Sigh. You keep repeating this point like a demented parrot (that the writer of something originally holds the copyright monopoly), despite the fact that it usually has absolutely nothing to do with the article, and move on to talk in generally derogatory terms.

      This time, unsurprisingly, is no exception. You’re like the archetype of old whiny bastards who prefer to stand on the sidelines and complain as the world changes around them.

      Well, if that makes you happy, feel free to keep whining.

      Cheers,
      Rick

    • 4.2

      I know perfectly well that the composer or lyricist holds the copyright to their respective works. Where did I state otherwise? You question my knowledge of copyright. I question your reading skills since nothing in this comment addresses the subject matter.
      Further more, being an amateur as opposed to a professional means not receiving economic compensation for doing something. I could have put “hobby musician and writer” but I like the word “amateur” better since it originates from old French, meaning “lover of”. That is not at all the same as not knowing what you’re doing.

      • 4.2.1
        Sten

        @Johnny Ohlsson

        You set out to write about copyright and you state:
        “You’ll perform for free beer in the bar and you’ll even pay to be published just for the sole satisfaction of being published. This is the truth for the majority of artists, and this is why so little of the money in the copyright industry lands in their pockets. ”

        Since record companies don´t have copyright, bars don´t have copyright and the only copyright industry there is is that of publishers and the collection societies, hence your text has no real meaning and no purpose since it at first sets sets out to address copyright and then don´t.

        But I guess the most telling sentence in your piece is.
        “The factory where I earn my pay doesn’t pay me because working there is fun. They pay me because it’s not!”
        and
        “Either you get a boring job to secure an income and do your writing or painting or whatever your art of choice is in your spare time, or you go for it full time and expect to miss some meals.”
        That is more than sad, that is utterly tragic, but it is also the worst reason I have ever heard as a reason to argue against copyright.
        It is actually the best reason I have ever heard as an argument for copyright since copyright gives the rights to the works to the composers and not the “factory” that only allows you to preform “boring” jobs that you rather not do.
        You should attack the factory owners where you are working, you should demand rights to the the results of the work you perform there, you should demand rights to profit sharing.

        The composers have contracts with the publishers giving the composers all of this.

        As for:
        “I question your reading skills since nothing in this comment addresses the subject matter.”
        You are the one claiming to write about copyright, but instead write about performance in bars (paying to be published, indicating you are talking about record companies and recordings) and performances, all that actually have very little to do with copyright.

        And as for Rick, you still seem to be unaware of what the works is and who it belongs to.

        • Anonymous

          Since record companies don´t have copyright

          Then why is RIAA, which consists of most major labels in the U.S., suing the pants off every average joe they think they can get away with?

        • Austin Williamson

          Work-for-hire doctrine, son!

          When you record, you’re doing it as an employee of an record company, unless you happen to be already rich and famous. You don’t *own* the recording, they do. They own the copyright on the recording, and you can’t do a thing about it.

          You retain ownership of the lyrics and composition, but that’s small consolation. You get paid peanuts royalties (5 cents!) for radio play, and for sales of recordings, almost the same.

          Sucks, huh?

      • 4.2.2
        sten

        Performances are protected under performance right and use the symbol of a P in a circle.

  5. 5
    Sten

    Well Rasmus Fleischer one of the founders of TPB and Piratbyrån is demanding that individuals appearing on national TV spilling their guts and opinions out should have a right to be paid for spilling their guts out.

    “Åtminstone så länge det saknas regler som säger att alla medverkande – även så kallade debattörer – har rätt att få betalt.”

    Seem a bit funny talking about “right to be paid”.

    • 5.1

      There is no such right until a sale has been made. When somebody manufactures a new copy using their own time, resources, and property, a sale obviously isn’t made.

      Cheers,
      Rick

      • 5.1.1
        Sten

        @Rick and Johnny

        And since there are no sales at all in debates on national TV Rasmus will never have the right to paid.
        Hence it is funny that he indicates he should have that right.

        http://www.expressen.se/kultur/obs-vagra-debatten/

        • Anyone

          I can’t read the link, since I don’t know any swedish, but just to your point that you wrote out: you can of course get paid for stuff besides selling goods, such as selling services or being employed

          but if you don’t sell goods or services, and are not employed, why do you feel entitled to getting paid?

        • Googla

          Anyone writing producing and making music are services why ahouldnt the succesful people behind these services deserve to be paid when people obviously like and share their music?

          Rasmus getting a couole of thousand crowns or more everytime he is on for being on TV,mostly speaking against copyright/IP is quite amusing.

        • next_ghost

          @Googla: Nobody needs a world-wide monopoly lasting between 70 and 150 years to get paid for providing a service.

        • Googla

          Ahh but Ghost why shouldn’t the writer and his family reap the rewards for a successful song or book, when a person starting a succesful company built on one idea can provide for him and his family and heirs for centuries and a long time thereafter.?

          You also have to remember that most songs and books never get to be popular and some doesn’t get to be popular until years after they have been published.

        • next_ghost

          > when a person starting a succesful company built on one idea can provide for him and his family and heirs for centuries and a long time thereafter.?

          Seriously? Yesterday you told me that I “sound confused about market and competition” and now you say this ridiculous nonsense? If there’s any idea at all behind the product, the company will have to keep innovating, otherwise the competition will roll over it like a steamroller in a few years. Probably before the company actually breaks even on the initial investment.

          > You also have to remember that most songs and books never get to be popular and some doesn’t get to be popular until years after they have been published.

          All the more reason to get rid of copyright. There are three times as many books from 1850s available for sale on Amazon than from 1950s.

    • 5.2

      It’s all a matter of negotiation. If you want to get paid for being interviewed you demand it and shut the fuck up until you do. Chances are whoever wanted to do the interview to begin with walks away, maybe find someone else, but hey – at least you didn’t do it for free. You want a better deal? Be a better negotiator. This is pretty much universal.

  6. 6
    SoundnuoS

    Just a few points on your three lines:

    Line 1:
    ” Everyone they ever negotiate with: club owners, record companies, publishers, et cetera, have leverage over you as an artist because in the end, you will perform regardless of the pay.”

    That’s a pretty big assumption which implies a desperate need for the ego trip. In the long run you can’t expect every artist will want to go through the bother to drive to gigs and haul gear around just for the fun of it.
    Disregarding that, copyright is exactly the thing that provides artists leverage against the record companies and publishers. It’s very useful for those artists who make it beyond the vanity stage of performing.

    Line 2 is what it is. Loss of jobs is never a good thing.

    Line 3:

    You’re in it for the ego trip. Fair enough, that’s probably always an element in producing culture, expressing yourself, having fun creating. That will always ensure a certain level of culture being produced.
    But I note that writing this text didn’t cost you anything but some time. I’ll presume you wouldn’t have written it for free, despite the ego gratification, if it had cost you, say, 50000 SEK to produce it.

    • 6.1

      I don’t expect anyone to do anything for free, but the fact is that a lot of people do. Because they enjoy it. It’s no mystery. People generally demand more money to do things they don’t like doing.

      You presume that I wouldn’t have produced this text if it had costed me 50000 SEK. You are absolutely right. What does that prove, other than that I’m not incredible rich nor incredible stupid? You are not the first to imply that I urge people to work for free, and you will most certainly not be the last, but you’re all wrong. It’s funny and wierd that anytime you question copyright some people just assume you want them to work for free.

      • 6.1.1
        SoundnuoS

        Well, that was about your line 3. We’ll still have culture without copyright, that has never even been the point, but not necessarily as much of the kind of culture that demands a bit of investment.

        • next_ghost

          People will have what they pay for. So I wouldn’t worry about that.

        • Actually, I’ve seen quite a few arguing that without copyright there will be no culture, which is why I brought it up. But what you’re saying is that without copyright there will be no more Roland Emmerich-movies (Independence Day, Day After Tomorrow, etc)? Where do I sign? ;)

        • Austin Williamson

          We had music long before copyright.

          I suspect that the big productions would continue even if copyright were drastically reduced (10 years, eh?). Writers would still write, musicians would still record, and blockbusters would still get made.

    • 6.2
      next_ghost

      > In the long run you can’t expect every artist will want to go through the bother to drive to gigs and haul gear around just for the fun of it.

      Every artist who wants to succeed (not necessarilly for an ego trip) needs to get fans. Those “club owners, record companies, publishers, et cetera” are the traditional gatekeepers between artists and fans. The Internet gives artists new ways of reaching fans but the traditional way is still much faster. So if you don’t want to bend over for the gatekeepers early on, you can pretty much go back to your 9 to 5 job.

      > Disregarding that, copyright is exactly the thing that provides artists leverage against the record companies and publishers.

      What kind of leverage? As hard as I try to find it, I don’t see any. The reality is that they don’t need your art. If you ask for a fair deal before you become famous, they’ll just point to the mile long line of other amateurs willing to bend over for them and send you home.

      > Line 2 is what it is. Loss of jobs is never a good thing.

      Except for all the new opportunities it has always created in the past. This time is no different but unlike before, the new opportunities this time won’t take the form of new jobs.

      > But I note that writing this text didn’t cost you anything but some time. I’ll presume you wouldn’t have written it for free, despite the ego gratification, if it had cost you, say, 50000 SEK to produce it.

      Do I really need to point to all those artists living in totalitarian countries who spent years in jail just for creating anti-establishment art?

      • 6.2.1
        SoundnuoS

        “The reality is that they don’t need your art.”

        The reality is that without the art they have nothing. Without copyright the art can be taken without negotiation.

        “Do I really need to point to all those artists living in totalitarian countries who spent years in jail just for creating anti-establishment art?”

        Do I need to point out that in totalitarian countries where artists can be put in jail for expressing their thoughts the number of artists creating the kind of art you can be put in jail for is far fewer than the number of artists creating art that is deemed acceptable?

        • next_ghost

          > The reality is that without the art they have nothing.

          Which is not really a problem for them because they still have a mile long line of amateurs willing to bend over for them just to get published. And we all know that the entertainment industry can turn pretty much any talentless hack into a superstar in a week.

          > Without copyright the art can be taken without negotiation.

          Imagine that instead of all that monopoly crap, artists would be directly entitled to a share of revenue from any commercial use of their work. Then this taking would actually work in artists’ benefit.

    • 6.3

      Line 2 is what it is. Loss of jobs is never a good thing.

      Fine. I assume you prefer plowing the fields by hand like the Amish, then? For most of society, it’s a tremendously positive thing when jobs are eliminated.

      When that happens, it means we learned to produce the same output with less effort spent, which in turn means that effort can be spent somewhere else.

      Not plowing the fields by hand, for example.

      Cheers,
      Rick

      • 6.3.1
        asdf

        @copy”right”idiots
        There is a fundamental right to do what you want with what you own. Restricting the fundamental right to property is essentially copyright. Preventing you from creating copies of your property is unacceptable. How long will it take for MAFIAA to realize it?

        • Thomas

          asdf – it is not your property! To simplify the legal language, you buy the right to use. The ownership of the content is still with the copyright holder.
          So keep your part of the agreement “pacta sund servanda”!
          Or if you don’t like the price, terms and condition, don’t buy. It is as simpe as that.
          But please do your homework, it is not “your property”

        • next_ghost

          > asdf – it is not your property!

          The pen and paper I’ve bought today absolutely *IS* my property. Yet the copyright industry feels entitled to tell me what I’m not allowed to do with it. What else is it if not violation of my property?

        • @Thomas – when you buy the object ,you buy the whole object. You don’t buy a “right to use”, you buy the object in full.

          However, the copyright monopoly explicitly list limits to your property rights with your bought objects. More specifically, in the US, it lists six actions that are reserved for the copyright monopoly holder.

          So there’s no “license” when you buy a DVD or a CD. You buy the disc, the whole disc.

          Cheers,
          Rick

        • Thomas

          Mr Falkvinge, I got some news for you. The rest of the world don’t really buy that many CD’s or DVD’s nowadays. Try Spotify, Netflix, iTunes , Amazon Cloud or the similiar services.
          By the way, I know it sounds crazy, but the rest of the world don’t use cassette tapes either!!
          Thank god there is still a good market fpr vinyl records :-)

        • next_ghost

          @ Rick Falkvinge

          > However, the copyright monopoly explicitly list limits to your property rights with your bought objects.

          Czech law calls these restrictions “legal defects.” Quite fitting description, don’t you think?

        • Scary Devil Monastery

          @Thomas

          “Mr Falkvinge, I got some news for you. The rest of the world don’t really buy that many CD’s or DVD’s nowadays. Try Spotify, Netflix, iTunes , Amazon Cloud or the similiar services.”

          Ah, so your argument is instead that a third party should have any frigging say in what I am allowed to do with my own hardware or not?

          Thank you very much for that input. News flash, son. My computer and what is on it is no one’s business but mine.

          And if person A and person B choose to exchange information, no one else has any moral say in what is being transmitted.

        • Thomas

          Scary Devil Monestary
          NEWSFLASH
          The rest of the modern world has left the old fashion concept of desktop centric computing. The rest of us use different kind of streaming services and clouds so we don’t really care about the good old local harddrive.
          The rest of the world buy music and movies to enjoy and we use the most convenient delivery, media and storage. We are not stuck in the old school of “buying a video” and storing it.
          You pirates are really stuck 10 years back in time, it is like a time capsule or a museum. Kind of cool!

        • next_ghost

          @Thomas: Enjoy it while it lasts. But don’t come crying to us when the cloud service provider decides to lock your data away from you. Or when they sell you to the highest bidder, which might not be a mostly harmless advertising company the next time. We take the future seriously and we’re doing our best to be prepared. Are you?

      • 6.3.2
        Googla

        ” For most of society, it’s a tremendously positive thing when jobs are eliminated.
        When that happens, it means we learned to produce the same output with less effort spent, which in turn means that effort can be spent somewhere else.”

        What you call tremedously positive for the society others cprobably call by its rightful name:
        Worse quality , inferior material or services, less nutrition, slavelabour, harmful additivies, overconsumption, social problems, etc. etc.

    • 6.4
      scandinavianpirate

      “Disregarding that, copyright is exactly the thing that provides artists leverage against the record companies and publishers.”

      In reality… Performers are being ripped off signing those contracts.

      “Line 2 is what it is. Loss of jobs is never a good thing.”

      Then we should have sticked with pre-industrialized society. 80% farmers living in the countryside working 16+ hours a day trying not to starve or freeze to death.

      “You’re in it for the ego trip.”

      What? Have you seriously no grasp of the basic drivers of cultural creativity? Creating is fun and games. You don’t have to pay people for doing stuff they like doing in their spare time.

  7. 7
    Googla

    These scribblings of people trying to justify stealing is just getting dumb and dumber for every new guy trying to be dumber than the last dumb guy. I’m sorry (not really) but someone has to tell you that the only way to justify your cherised culturestealing is by doing culture yourself so away you go now and do something worth sharing and thereby prove something other than your dumbness.

    • 7.1

      I tried this “googla” (thanks for the tip!) and I found an online synonym dictionary called Thesaurus.com. You should check it out. It turns out there’s like forty thousand billion synonyms to the word “dumb”, including “dim-witted”, “dull”, “moronic”, “thick”, “foolish”, “corny”, “stupid”, “humdum”, “ignorant”, “sluggish”, “weak-minded”, “brainless” and “blockheaded”. Check it out, and maybe next time you set out to insult someone you can do it with a bit of finesse.

    • 7.2
      asdf

      It’s not stealing. Fck you.
      Stealing is when you take something and someone else loses the exact same thing.
      Shaaring is when you have something and you give copies to another person.
      See the difference, five-year-old? No company should be able to restrict the fundamental human right to free speech and property. And don’t try to justify.

      • 7.2.1
        Googla

        Sorry asdf but it is generally called stealing when someone takes sometihing without permission. For example “steal an idea” “Snowden stole classified information” “someone stole an artists right to his material” “asdf stole music and films by downloding it for free without permission” etc.

        • next_ghost

          Just because some people call dolphins “fish” doesn’t make them fish.

        • Scary Devil Monastery

          Not according to the dictionary, not according to any court of law, not according to any book of law, and not according to copyright law itself.

          In short, calling it “stealing” is as relevant as stating that the words “sex” and “rape” are synonymous.

          Meaning, after all is said and done, that you’ve now spent several posts regurgitating piece of propaganda which was falsified ten years ago for the Xth time in the hope that eventually if you repeat the word enough times people will start believing that two people voluntarily copying information from one another equates to “theft”.

          You people from the copyright cult really need to brush up on your dogma. No one believes it anymore.

        • Googla

          Scary Monkfish, it’s kinda ironic or maybe not that a lot of pirates themselves call what they are doing “stealing copyrighted material”.

        • Yeah, but pirates are dumb, remember?

  8. 8
    Anonymous

    all you have to do now is convince politicians and ultimately, governments, to stop taking bribes in any form whatsoever, from those who keep insisting that copyright is the most important thing in the world, just to keep copyright monopolies in being, whilst curbing any and all advances in technology that benefit everyone, including the thick f*****s in the entertainment industries!! get over that hurdle by convincingly showing those politicians and governments that by helping the industries concerned maintain their restrictive practices, they are far more detrimental to everyone, everywhere, than they are beneficial.

    the next task is to then show those same politicians that the economy is actually losing a fortune because those that are supposedly ‘earning’ the money are, in actual fact, not being paid, in the true sense of the word. those at the heads of the various parts of the entertainment industries, through the constant toing and froing of money using ‘shell companies’, in effect pay almost nothing to the various governments in tax. that benefits the different economies exactly how?

    the last task is to then convince the same politicians again that because of all the help they give to these industries, by way of grants, tax cuts, new laws and increased effectiveness of old laws, they are really losing money. money lost through the holding back of ‘the future’ by a few people who refuse to admit that their day is over and that the way forward is via new inventions and innovations cant be replaced. there is far more lost due to this backwards thinking and stupidity than could ever be lost through so-called ‘file sharing’. the main reason being that those who share then buy more, not less, of the items offered by the industries. it never means a sale is lost each time a file is shared. it leads to more advertising (word of mouth, forums etc) and if the item is any good, more purchases. those are purchases that wouldn’t have otherwise happened.

    • 8.1
      asdf

      I’m not sure if that’s the right argument to make.
      I think it’s more relevant to discuss the harmful effects on copyright on human rights and technology.

  9. 9
    Thomas

    Perhaps a bit off topic. But I am surprised by the lack of knowledge you pirates show in this discussion. You don’t know even the basics off what you are discussing. There has been so many claims that are just not correct.
    It seems to me that you base your rhetoric on a lack of knowledge and understanding.
    Please do your homework!

    • 9.1
      Per "wertigon" Ekström

      We have. And we still do not agree with the necessity of outlawing non-commercial filesharing.

      Take it or leave it.

      • 9.1.1
        Thomas

        Apperantly you have not done the homework.
        Your little pirate friends here has not even understood the different legal concepts of a simple word “buy”. So please don’t claim something that is obviosly not correct.

        • next_ghost

          Congratulations, you’ve just thrown the last remaining bits of your credibility out the window. Here’s the relevant part of Czech Commercial Code (law no. 513/1991Coll., official translation from WIPO):

          Section 409 – Fundamental Provisions

          (1) By “a contract of sale” (also referred to as “a contract of purchase”; in Czech “kupni smlouva”) the seller undertakes to deliver to the buyer a movable thing (or goods), specified individually or at least in kind and quantity, and to transfer to the buyer the ownership title to such thing; the buyer undertakes to pay the selling price.
          (2) The contract must contain the selling price, or at least specify the method of its subsequent determination, unless the negotiations of the parties on conclusion of a certain contract imply their intent to conclude the contract without fixing such price. In this case, the buyer is obliged to pay the selling price fixed in accordance with the provisions of section 448.

          Duties of the Seller

          Section 411

          The seller is bound to deliver the goods to the buyer, hand over to him any documents relating to the goods, and enable him to acquire ownership title to the goods in accordance with the contract and this Code.

          (The above text regulates contracts where at least one party is a juridicial person. There is a second definition in Civil Code which says the exact same thing as the above text for contracts between two natural persons. There is no third definition.)

        • Thomas

          You are once again stating the obvious! As we say in Sweden “kickin in an open door”
          Yes, this is the basic concept of buying. But these laws are all dispositive, so given that both parties accept we can change the rights of both the buyer and seller. For example when buying objects with a copyright or patent protection. Like when you are buying a pair of jeans at H&M or a Ferrari at the local car dealer.
          Or when you accept the T&C’s when you buy software.
          If you want to learn law, it is not enough to read a piece of the individual laws, you must understand the context. There are no shortcuts!

        • next_ghost

          > But these laws are all dispositive, so given that both parties accept we can change the rights of both the buyer and seller.

          If you change that part where the seller must “transfer to the buyer the ownership title to such thing”, the law will no longer recognize the contract as a contract of purchase. The contract would instead become one of the other types of non-purchase contracts. Thus neither party would sell anything nor buy anything. The law allows no exceptions to provisions of section 409 if you want to call something a “sale” or “purchase”.

        • Thomas

          I am sorry! I did not realise that you and Mr Falkvinge are still stuck in the old school concept of buying CD’s… The rest of the world is changing and using other services, like Spotify, iTunes, Amazon, Netflix and all the other streming and downloading services.
          But you pirates are really stuck in the old fashioned concepts and old school economy. Just plain old fashioned and out dated.
          That is probably why we have a hard time understanding each other, it is like talking with my grand mother.

        • next_ghost

          Trying to change the topic – check. Lame attempts to insult me – check. I take that as an admission you’ve lost the argument.

          > But you pirates are really stuck in the old fashioned concepts and old school economy. Just plain old fashioned and out dated.

          You just don’t get why the distinction between property and monopoly is now more important than ever before, do you?

        • Thomas

          I have no intention to discuss the Czech law, neither you nor me have the right knowledge.
          To me it is very simple. Either you accept the price and t&c’s when you buy music, movies or anything else, if you do so, keep your part of the agreement.
          If you don’t accept the price or t&c’s – don’t buy.
          This goes as with any other transaction, any other market and any other products or services.
          If you think that the seller in any way breaks the law, then please go to the Czech police.
          Either way – stop whining!

        • next_ghost

          > I have no intention to discuss the Czech law, neither you nor me have the right knowledge.

          You started accusing us that we don’t understand the law. I’ve shown you that my own arguments are perfectly in line with the law that applies to me as a Czech national. So speak for yourself about lacking knowledge of law.

          > If you don’t accept the price or t&c’s – don’t buy.

          I won’t buy. I’m outraged about the private monopoly which interferes with my property rights even when I *DON’T* buy. Is that simple enough for you or do I need to dumb it down even further?

        • Thomas

          You are really funny! Keeping the legacy from all great Czech humorists.
          Sure – you can have a semantic discussion if you buy stuff or if you make a transaction or enter an agreement. We can use legal wordings or natural language. But as Shakespeare once wrote “By whatever name, a rose still smells as sweet”
          At the end of the day, you accept to buy stuff with limitations in you ownership. Which is very common, with all different kinds of products and services.
          So stop your whining and start to enjoy life, art, music and culture. It will make you a more happy and less aggresive.

        • next_ghost

          > Sure – you can have a semantic discussion if you buy stuff or if you make a transaction or enter an agreement.

          It’s a discussion about the distinction between owning and being owned and it’s not semantic by a long shot.

          > At the end of the day, you accept to buy stuff with limitations in you ownership. Which is very common, with all different kinds of products and services.

          Really? Could you name a few examples of those limitations other than copyright, patents and easements? And make sure you leave out all the self-imposed ones like warranty conditions which the seller cannot enforce in any way and following them only gives you additional benefits.

        • Thomas

          Now you are going from a stupid semantic discussion on whether to use “to buy”, “to acquire” or “to enter an agreement” when you get you cassette tapes, to an sentence that is no more than empty rhetoric without content.
          “It’s a discussion about the distinction between owning and being owned…” Who do you claim is owning you? In what way?
          That is as stupid as calling the mobile device market a monopoly, or claiming that the market for music and movies is a monopoly. Stupid, ignorant and simply not correct.

          You want some examples, sure. I think the warranty example that you provided is relevent. If you buy a car, the warranty represents a substantial value and it does prevent you to exercise your full rights of the ownership.
          Some examples at the top of my head: land& housing, insurances, financial instuments like stocks, in Sweden alcoholic beverages, weapons, pens….
          But you miss the major point, any stuff that you buy (or acquire, enter an transactional agreement) is covered by some fundamental rights, like patents, copyrights or similar. These rights are a fundamental part of the free market economy. If you buy (acquire or enter an agreement) a simple chair at IKEA that does not give you the right to copy and sell. Once again, that is one of the fundaments of the free market economy.

        • next_ghost

          > “It’s a discussion about the distinction between owning and being owned…” Who do you claim is owning you? In what way?

          Does the word “feudalism” ring a bell? It’s coming back soon in a modernized corporate version. We’re not there yet but we’re heading there fast.

          > If you buy (acquire or enter an agreement) a simple chair at IKEA that does not give you the right to copy and sell. Once again, that is one of the fundaments of the free market economy.

          You’re so wrong about this it’s not even funny. Because if you really believe that, it means you’ve voluntarily given up essential economic rights that nobody was even trying to take away from you. Well, not yet anyway.

        • Thomas

          Feudalism?? Come on, I have learned to know that you guys are not up to date, but to refer to a medieval systems is a bit to much.
          I am not even asking you about any data points in this conspiracy theory.

          And yes, I am happily giving up some of what you call “my economic rights ” when I buy a chair at IKEA or a music for 1€ at iTunes. I buy them with a purpose to use and enjoy according to what I pay for. No more and no less.
          And to be honest, I really don’t care that much about it.
          Please, stop whining and get yourself a life!

        • next_ghost

          > Feudalism?? Come on, I have learned to know that you guys are not up to date, but to refer to a medieval systems is a bit to much.

          You’ve never heard the old saying that “those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it,” did you? Let’s see if you at least have the necessary knowledge to get my point if you actually tried: Do you know what sets feudalism apart from other government systems? What’s its unique trait?

          > And yes, I am happily giving up some of what you call “my economic rights”…

          And you didn’t even get what I was trying to say there. I’ll try again. When somebody likes you comes across a wide open imaginary door that leads to starting a successful business, they don’t stop for a moment to think about if they have what it takes and if they could make the world a better place by stepping through. Instead, their first thought is to close the door and put a lock on it so that mere mortals like themselves can’t step through and disturb the corporate overlords inside.

        • Thomas

          Why use riddles and metaphors? If you want to be understood it is by far easier to simply write what you want to say.
          Just a friendly advice.

  10. 10
    Not Impressed

    Your first argument: “Actually making a living out of something you love to do is a luxury.”
    this is absolutely ridiculous! Fred’s passion is programming .. he goes to work as a programmer, Cindy loves cars and works at Ford …. You are wrong! Copyright and patents do not ONLY affect the “curb side artist”, what about the scientist that invested hundreds of thousands in an education so he can invent … so you can steal his future from him? Maybe he shouldn’t have invented a cure for cancer!

    #2: You obviously have little or no knowledge of the breadth of what copyright, patent and licenses protect. It fundamentally boils down to ownership and its inherent rights. So remove copyright et al and i’ll come and take your home … car, computer … these are fundamental ownership rights that could easily be challenged with the removal of copyright laws. Copyright is founded on the grounds that you “own” something, this should entitle you to some kind of protection … sure lets take that away.

    #3 No culture .. copyright is about far more than culture.

    Those who oppose copyright and similar laws most likely have never had an imaginative/creative moment in their lives. I have over 100 patentable concepts that I would rather take to the grave than give them to you!

    I agree with and support public projects but I also think there is a place for protectionism.

  11. 11
    Denis

    Without copyright there would be more socially advancing art then “art” created for pure entertainment and degradation of humanity.

  12. 12

    It’s nearly impossible to find experienced people about
    this subject, but you sound like you know what
    you’re talking about! Thanks

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