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Reinventing Copyright
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Reinventing Copyright:

 26 Culminus, Thu, 12th Dec '13 7:07:26 AM Relationship Status: Faithful to 2D
I don't culminate!
Basically, one of the things this thread is aiming to criticize (beg pardon if I'm mistaken) is the fact that current gen agencies or formations are attempting to make up laws that entitle them to monetize from works that were created by either people who had passed away more than decades ago, and even longer. Said entitlement would also allow them to pass off distribution as illegal, which can be stretched to all kinds of context.

Beethoven and stuff, they count. The musics can be stored in discs and sold, but thus far, we are positing that they are to be public domain with no price tags attached. We will still know the creative ownership behind the music. We don't need words like Infringement to remind us.
Same as usual.... Wing it.
 27 Madrugada, Thu, 12th Dec '13 8:02:20 AM Relationship Status: In season
Zzzzzzzzzz
Here's the thing about that, though: Things like music have two components to the creation: the notes on the paper that Beethoven wrote down (those are in the public domain) and the interpretation of those notes by a particular artist or group of artists when they are played. That's why the Academy Of St Martin In The Fields can copyright the recording of their performance of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony, and so can The New York Philharmonic, and so can The Denver Symphony, and so can The Community Orchestra of Alton, Illinois, and none of those copyrights infringe on any of the others.

There are other things that run into that same duality: recipes, for example, can only be copyrighted in presentation. You can't copyright the ingredient list or the instructions; you can only copyright your specific presentation of that ingredient list and set of instructions.

'He strutted across the bedroom, his hard manhood pointing the way' sounds like he owns a badly named seeing-eye dog. 'Sit, Hard Manhood!
 28 Oh So Into Cats, Thu, 12th Dec '13 8:07:10 AM from The Sand Wastes Relationship Status: Showing feelings of an almost human nature
Maybe... infringement of ideas/characters/concepts is unenforceable against individuals?
"Beware of the wolves. They were raised by wolves."

Eidolonomics: ~60.4k/100,000 words
 29 Cronosonic, Thu, 12th Dec '13 8:22:51 AM from Sydney Relationship Status: Is that a kind of food?
Face-Puncher
Well, an idea by itself, without being attached to a published work, can't be copyrighted, but that's beside the point.

As I previously noted, the idea of limiting copyright to a specific "expression" (that being a "product") rather than characters, setting and other things can be problematic, as it can be exploited if not done correctly. Perhaps it would be a good idea to provide additional limits to the use of copyrighted concepts depending on how wealthy the individual/company is. Of course, this would also require laws eliminating the tricky shit that Hollywood pulls with its accounting.

 30 Blue Ninja 0, Thu, 12th Dec '13 9:25:51 AM from The Middle of Nowhere Relationship Status: She's holding a very large knife
Slowly dying on the inside
Abandonware is a real issue. - shima
Are there companies that sue people over their abandonware? I was under the impression that most companies stopped caring about piracy/mods when they stopped patching and maintaining servers.

As for "cultural works, " Mickey Mouse has been around for a century now, or close to it. Nearly half the time our country has been in existence. Love it or hate it, I think that makes it a "cultural work" that should have entered into public domain already.
Once the avalanche has started, it is too late for the pebbles to cast their vote. - Ambassador Kosh
 31 Culminus, Sat, 14th Dec '13 8:55:12 PM Relationship Status: Faithful to 2D
I don't culminate!
At this topic's most relevant point yet, (also in line with Digital Piracy thread) Hotfile was recently took down by MPAA. I for one am not happy about this. (I store my personal files on there!)
Same as usual.... Wing it.
 32 Culminus, Tue, 7th Jan '14 5:43:56 AM Relationship Status: Faithful to 2D
I don't culminate!
Now we can help reinvent copyright! (Sort of)

http://yro.slashdot.org/story/14/01/06/2327224/eu-copyright-reform-your-input-is-needed

It is interesting enough of an article
Same as usual.... Wing it.
 33 Cronosonic, Tue, 4th Feb '14 5:39:51 AM from Sydney Relationship Status: Is that a kind of food?
Face-Puncher
There is something that came up over the last week or so. John Walker from Rock-Paper-Shotgun, in one article about the recent GoG sale lamented that games over 20 years old aren't going into the public domain, causing a TON of discussion in the comments, but also causing game developers on twitter to flip out, and one even called for Walker to be fired.

So, Walker wrote a full editorial on the subject to speak his mind - "Why Should Games Enter The Public Domain". It's a rather well-written piece, and it pretty much highlights why current copyright terms are absurd. To lock up a piece of work for any longer than quarter-century (half a century if you're pushing it) at most is intellectually dishonest and a disservice to the public. Ideas are not created in a vacuum, they're always, in some form or another, cobbled together from existing ideas that everyone can use, and to have completely exclusive rights to such ideas is a travesty.

edited 4th Feb '14 5:40:51 AM by Cronosonic

 34 lewattoo, Tue, 4th Feb '14 11:17:28 AM from Planet Auguste Relationship Status: Having tea with Cthulhu
faaaastest slooooth ooon mmmoooobiiius
I get very tired of people debating about reasonable, sensible terms for Copyright when we're not really doing much about it. We should have initiatives to get as many 20th century works as possible into the Public Domain, and we should be encouraging as many content creators as possible to use Copyleft licenses for new works, etc.

I just wish there was more action and less talking.
It would be a good idea to have laws that punish abusive copyright enforcement, especially when it infringes on consumer rights. Also, I am baffled by the lack of consumer rights education with regards of entertainment products where this is not the case with everything else. Apparently, under current copyright concept, copyright trumps consumer rights. That must be stopped as well.

[up]Why? What do you mean, exactly? Why shouldn't workers'/producers' rights trump consumer rights?

It's ridiculous that such an old character is still under copyright, but does it actually cause any harm that you can't make Mickey Mouse cartoons? Make up your own character! Use your imagination!

The things I would be interested in addressing would be 'work for hire' and related junk. Things that impact on artists' rights and favour corporations.
Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent.
 37 Wolf 1066, Tue, 11th Mar '14 11:32:15 AM from New Zealand Relationship Status: In my bunk
Wolf1066
There are many aspects to modern Copyright law that are just plain broken.

Using Disney as one example, they purchased the "rights" to various works (Peter Pan and Winnie the Pooh for example) and arguably made a right pig's ear out of them and continue to churn out spin-off crap that's probably got JM Barrie, AA Milne etc spinning in their graves.

Dreamworks is guilty of this as well (How to Train Your Dragon springs to mind).

The previously mooted idea of continuing the copyright so long as someone who holds the right continues producing works related to it would only serve to make this worse as the companies would merely continue to churn out crappy sequels and spin-offs to keep their copyright alive.

Years ago, I wanted to make an amateur movie of The Saint - something that has never been done properly - and wrote to Leslie Charteris to ask if I could do that.

I received a letter saying "Sorry, but the film rights have been purchased by others" and I wouldn't be able to do so - the actual creator of the work didn't have the right to let a person make a movie of his work as it would impact on the ability of a company to make money off it.

It's not like I would be claiming that I invented the character - it would be suitably credited as Leslie Charteris' creation - and it certainly wouldn't be a "rip off" of any film made as the films have been consistently fucking awful (toning down the Saint's lawlessness, changing his origins, making him an American...), and in the unlikely event that I made any money out of it, a chunk of the profits would've been sent to Mr Charteris.

Copyright is not about ensuring the creator gets paid or preventing people from stealing an idea and claiming it's their own, it's about ensuring big companies can protect their profits and own things they didn't even create.

All it does is promote people churning out works that are more or less rip-offs with barely disguised expies because they cannot say "I'd like to do Winnie the Pooh/Simon Templar/Peter Pan/How to Train Your Dragon properly."

edited 11th Mar '14 11:35:59 AM by Wolf1066

Dangerously Genre Savvy since ages ago...
Copyright is not about ensuring the creator gets paid or preventing people from stealing an idea and claiming it's their own, it's about ensuring big companies can protect their profits and own things they didn't even create.

These things are not mutually exclusive. Copyright does both. The ability to buy exclusivity is what makes it worthwhile for corporations to pay creators for things like film rights in the first place.

I didn't create any of the furniture in my house, either.
Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent.
 39 Wolf 1066, Tue, 11th Mar '14 12:03:38 PM from New Zealand Relationship Status: In my bunk
Wolf1066
A friend of mine created and performed an original song. A music company bought the rights to put it onto an album along with a lot of other songs performed by small-time independent artists.

They paid him a lump some to ensure that they have exclusive rights to it, which meant that he is not allowed to give away or sell copies of his own songs.

[up]You can build your own furniture all you like without someone saying you've breached the "Table Copyright".

There's a difference between owning an item - car, table, music album, book - and owning the ability to say "you can't make a copy of this".

If you did build a table, no one is going to think you invented the damned thing.

Writing a movie script for, say, How to Train Your Dragon or a Saint story that's faithful to the source material instead of a clusterfuck filled with standard cliches is not the same as trying to claim you invented the characters/storyline.

If I decided to make a movie of War Of The Worlds, no one is going to think that I invented the story or the plot - and I'd probably make a better job than the previous two movies. I'd set the damned thing in late 19th Century England, for a start.
Dangerously Genre Savvy since ages ago...
 40 Madrugada, Tue, 11th Mar '14 12:38:52 PM Relationship Status: In season
Zzzzzzzzzz
Copyri9ight can be sold piecemeal. Your friend could have chosen to limit the rights he sold. So could Leslie Charteris. It's a hassle, and in many cases, the choice is "sell the rights the way the would-be purchaser wants them or don't sell them at all", but it's still a choice. If you don't want your work tied up in perpetuity by one company, don't sell them the rights in perpetuity.
'He strutted across the bedroom, his hard manhood pointing the way' sounds like he owns a badly named seeing-eye dog. 'Sit, Hard Manhood!
You can build your own furniture all you like without someone saying you've breached the "Table Copyright".

There's a difference between owning an item - car, table, music album, book - and owning the ability to say "you can't make a copy of this".

If you did build a table, no one is going to think you invented the damned thing.

You're missing the point. I wasn't talking about the vagaries of 'intellectual property'. I didn't create my table, but I did pay some money to the person who did make it (well, actually I was given it by a relative, who paid a shop, who paid a company, who exploited the workers by denying them ownership of the means of production paid some carpenter to make the thing. Since I have merely purchased it, rather than making it myself, do I have less of a right to own it than someone who did make their own table?

If a corporation buys the copyright/certain rights off an artist, why is there a problem with that corporation exercising those rights? I mean, yes, corporations, boo, up the workers and all that; but while we're working within a capitalist system, how is this different from them buying anything else?


If your friend is not satisfied with the terms of his contract, then he should have read it more carefully, tried to negotiate, and possibly turned down the deal.
Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent.
 42 Meklar, Tue, 11th Mar '14 3:09:31 PM from Milky Way Relationship Status: RelationshipOutOfBoundsException: 1
does it actually cause any harm that you can't make Mickey Mouse cartoons? Make up your own character! Use your imagination!
It's not that simple. Art is not made in a vacuum. There are such things as influences and cultural references. When content creators find themselves having to tread carefully in order to not violate somebody's copyright (and this is increasingly the case), that's real harm.

The ability to buy exclusivity is what makes it worthwhile for corporations to pay creators for things like film rights in the first place.
Part of the idea of copyright reform/abolishment is that the distributors are in many cases no longer necessary at all. Consumers can now pay creators directly, largely thanks to the same technologies that make distribution so ridiculously easy.

 43 Greenmantle, Tue, 11th Mar '14 3:11:25 PM from Failing Britannia Relationship Status: [TOP SECRET]
Carry On
Example: Macross.
"To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield" — Alfred, Lord Tennyson
 44 Cronosonic, Tue, 11th Mar '14 3:27:38 PM from Sydney Relationship Status: Is that a kind of food?
Face-Puncher
See also: Why Spider-Man, the X-Men and the Fantastic Four are not part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

And then you have cases where nobody knows who even has the intellectual privilege rights to something, such as, say, No One Lives Forever.

Copyright is outdated and mostly obsolete in the modern age. It needs to be reformed and/or stripped down severely.

edited 11th Mar '14 3:28:55 PM by Cronosonic

 45 Aw Sam Weston, Tue, 11th Mar '14 3:50:01 PM from Minnesota Nice Relationship Status: Above such petty unnecessities
My rebuttal to the "table" metaphor: The thing you have to remember is that a copyrighted work isn't a physical object. It's an idea, kind of like a .txt document on your computer. Creative works can be copied, edited, expanded upon, etc.

Please keep in mind why copyright started in the first place: After Gutenberg made the printing press, people were able to copy others' published works really fast, and thus were able to modify the contents of the work claiming it was the original — or their own. Copyright was a period that said, "Okay, for the next 14 years, you and only you have the right to publish this work you created. After that, other people can publish it, too."

Here in America, there's a cultural reason to weaken copyright and strengthen the pubic domain: We don't have as much of a common folklore like Britain has with King Arthur or Greece has with their pantheon. In America, we're limited to a few historical figures and the works of a small handful of authors like Mark Twain and Edgar Allan Poe. If we'd strengthen the public domain, we'd open the floodgates to (potentially) everything written before and during WWII, or even up to Vietnam. And there's a lot of great work there that could be expanded on or retold.

A note about Disney (and Dreamworks) buying up stories: They don't just do this with copyrighted stories — they do it with public domain works, too. Classic fairy tales have been re-copyrighted by Disney to the point where any remakes that even vaguely resemble the Disney versions are squashed.

And a quick note about Disney wanting to protect the Mickey Mouse image: That's what trademarks are for.

I wonder if it is possible to somehow ensure that the creator receives money while leaving the work out for others to do as they see fit immediately. Maybe some sort of flat annual stipend?
If we disagree, that much, at least, we have in common
[up]There's already a system in place (in a limited way) to do that with musicians — in the UK (and presumably in the rest of the West too) at least, there's an organisation that imposes fees on radio stations and so on for every song played, and passes that on the the musicians. IIRC libraries have a similar system (every time someone takes out a book, the author (and the publishing house etc.) gets a small amount of money).

Of course, that's just for people playing the music, but I think it could be expanded to allow for adaptations and so on, if that was desired.

Meklar, you raise some interesting points, I'll have a think about that and compose a response today or tomorrow.

[up][up]
My rebuttal to the "table" metaphor: The thing you have to remember is that a copyrighted work isn't a physical object. It's an idea, kind of like a .txt document on your computer. Creative works can be copied, edited, expanded upon, etc.

I don't necessarily disagree with this, but that's got very little to do with the point I was making with the metaphor. I was responding to this:

Copyright is not about ensuring the creator gets paid or preventing people from stealing an idea and claiming it's their own, it's about ensuring big companies can protect their profits and own things they didn't even create.

...the implication of which is that copyright is OK for the original author of a work, but that it's not OK for corporations (boo hiss) to have any rights sold to them. But the ability to delegate your copyright (or parts of it, like film rights) is one of the things that make having it worthwhile in the first place. In a capitalist society, why shouldn't artists be free to enter into contracts like everyone else is?
Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent.
 48 Greenmantle, Wed, 12th Mar '14 7:31:00 AM from Failing Britannia Relationship Status: [TOP SECRET]
Carry On
[up]

There's already a system in place (in a limited way) to do that with musicians in the UK (and presumably in the rest of the West too) at least, there's an organisation that imposes fees on radio stations and so on for every song played, and passes that on the the musicians. IIRC libraries have a similar system (every time someone takes out a book, the author (and the publishing house etc.) gets a small amount of money).

Of course, that's just for people playing the music, but I think it could be expanded to allow for adaptations and so on, if that was desired.

Royalties?note 

edited 12th Mar '14 7:36:56 AM by Greenmantle

"To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield" — Alfred, Lord Tennyson
 49 Meklar, Wed, 12th Mar '14 1:01:33 PM from Milky Way Relationship Status: RelationshipOutOfBoundsException: 1
But the ability to delegate your copyright (or parts of it, like film rights) is one of the things that make having it worthwhile in the first place. In a capitalist society, why shouldn't artists be free to enter into contracts like everyone else is?
The contracts are not always as free as they sound. There's plenty of collusion and legal bullying that goes on.

Post #36: The problem with that is we do not fully own what we buy and some goods are too restrictive compared to others, which does not makes sense to me.

Most entertainment products cannot be resold, especially video games as the publishers worried that it would reduce their sales, yet this logic does not extend to things like furniture and vehicles. Some of them are even worse (Vocaloid software can be used by one person on one pc per copy and it is explicitly mentioned in its end user TOS that it cannot be borrowed or used by someone else).

Then there's abusive DRM in video games which damages devices when they are installed. It's akin to having anti-theft features in vehicles which can cause injuries or even death to the driver. The latter would get the manufacturer in massive trouble, but the former would get bad press at worst.

These things are what already happen when corporate rights trumps consumer rights to a controlled extent. Imagine if it was uncontrolled.

edited 20th Mar '14 8:38:57 AM by murazrai

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