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Author Topic: Copyright  (Read 1976 times)

Calach Pfeffer

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Copyright
« on: September 24, 2015, 03:10:49 AM »
Doesn't China disprove the case for copyright? Music in China is widely distrbuted and copied, yet Chnese pop stars continue to exist, even thrive. Likewise, movies are pirated as soon as they appear, but Chinese movies continue to appear. Bokos may be the special case, but I don't know what the Chinese writing/publishing industry looks like. Do there continue to be Chinese authors?

Does the business case for copyright even hold water? Amid all this pirating, the entertainment industry thrives, doesn't it? Like Hollywood crying foul over pirating and yet recording largest year end results ever. Isn't it perhaps that the business case for copyright amounts to protecting flawed business models?

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English Gent

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Re: Copyright
« Reply #1 on: September 25, 2015, 01:56:38 AM »
If you weren't going to buy it in the 1st place, the artist loses nothing in your copying it!
The model works because they make money on shows, merchandise etc.

I remember EA games (book Hiss's) gave up on fighting copyright in Asia but then found it was profitable because it piqued interest in their other games and things which did make money.

eggcluck

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Re: Copyright
« Reply #2 on: September 26, 2015, 02:21:04 AM »
I have looked into this and the consensus seems to be that they are indeed trying to protect a flawed business model. And it is nothing new either. The same thing happened with cassette tapes and the radio, and then VHS tapes and the TV. They had to adapt to new business conditions but were unwilling to do so, so they cried foul play and demand things went back to the old way. Nothing different here.

Exactly the same when the CD was replacing the LP, all these LP companies put out a bunch of propaganda on how inferior CDs were...until their factories caught up and they were selling CD's themselves. Never trust the corporate propaganda mill.

There have been many successful cases of artists skipping the middle man and having a " pay what you think its worth website" they tend to be quite successful. No surprise since the middle man usually screws over the artist, have you ever seen an entertainment industry contract? You basically have to sign over your soul. It is the middle man that cares about the copyright. A performer makes the bulk of their money from live performances the corporation tends to take all the rest. Many performers don't make as much as people think because of this.

I forgot what it is called but there are some companies ( without the artists permission) that assume the role of their copyright protector and happily slap claims all over the place under their name never sending a penny to the artist all without their knowledge. These companies exist via a quirk in the law that was set up by poliTITions to appease,.....you guessed it the corporate copyright lobby.
« Last Edit: September 26, 2015, 02:27:09 AM by eggcluck »
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Calach Pfeffer

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Re: Copyright
« Reply #3 on: September 26, 2015, 03:02:48 AM »
Digital transmission ruins everything.

Like, I can understand baking and selling a cookie. The connection between delicious materials, hardworking labour, and reasonable price is obvious. But how do you sell a self-replicating cookie? A cookie that replaces itself with an exact copy as or after it is consumed. Same with a song. How do you sell music in a format that allows replication as easily as point-and-click? The connection between labour and price disappears.

What doesn't disappear, seems to me, is the moral right of a creator to be acknowledged as the creator. That sticks to the creation through every replication, including partial replication in other people's creations. There's some relationship between this moral right and rights of exploitation, but I'm not sure they're any stronger than the negative right to not be exploited. If someone uses your creation without attribution or to gain money, you're cheated. If someone just uses your creation to entertain themselves, not sure you get cheated.

Then again, if creators don't eat, they don't create. So.....

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KeyserSoze

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Re: Copyright
« Reply #4 on: September 28, 2015, 05:54:25 PM »
Rights necessitate corresponding obligations, or duties. You cannot simultaneously have "rights of exploitation" and a right against exploitation. There is no 'right to kill' and the 'right to not be killed'. There is a right to not be killed and a duty to not kill. Yes there are exceptions, but they amount to straw men in this case. IE soldiers have a duty to (sometimes) kill, but even that does not obligate anyone else to die.

Music is made for enjoyment. If all may enjoy it without cost, there is no point in making music, no point in making a CD, no point in touring. Perhaps we could leave songwriting to children as an after school activity and pray they don't write thousands of Bieber-esque ballads.
« Last Edit: September 28, 2015, 11:25:09 PM by KeyserSoze »

Calach Pfeffer

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Re: Copyright
« Reply #5 on: September 29, 2015, 12:25:34 AM »
What about punk?

Arguably, even punk is created for enjoyment. But not enjoyment of the straightforwardly pleasant good time variety. The transaction between creator and audience is complicated by what the creator wishes to express. We might try uncomplicating the relationship between expressive creator and generic audience by talking in terms of specific audience, the group that wants to hear that kind of expression. And we could suggest that if that audience always had free access to the creations, the creator would give up, but that seems counterintuitive. Wouldn't the creator still have an interest in expression?

If the economy of creation is mediated only by money, then probably all the usual economic principles do apply. Even the most hell-bent of idiosyncratic expressors would eventually give up production. In a world that runs on money, this is kind of a dumb question, but for reals, is money the only payoff?

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KeyserSoze

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Re: Copyright
« Reply #6 on: September 29, 2015, 03:13:09 AM »
Quote: "What about punk?

Arguably, even punk is created for enjoyment. But not enjoyment of the straightforwardly pleasant good time variety."

End quote.

I couldn't disagree more. Punk is great fun. Try it. You need only learn four or five simple chords. Or just learn the E chord shape and move it around. Or you could sing badly. Just have fun.

So you recognize that a right and no-right cannot coexist?

Of course money is not the only motivator, but it does tend to beget effort and quality, or at least the type of music some people want to hear. Oh, and some artists might get rich. What a tragedy.

The creators would not stop creating, but their full time jobs would hinder their creativity. "Sorry, can't tour. If I take any time off, I'll get fired." (But if you can make a popular album - of punk or whatever genre you prefer - you'll have the money to tour, and maybe more! Or you can tour to promote your songs! Sell them on iTunes!) "Nope, copyright is gone. Everything I write is free. Why tour?" And many who might choose music as a career simply would not, because it's working for free.

Hell, if music is free, lessons should be free. No one owns chords or notes. And instruments. Especially Fender Deluxe Strats and various Ibanez guitars should be free. Hey, I like this. Things I want should be free. Perhaps any luxury should be free? Or just any ideas or things without a substantial physical substance? The ones you want? Don't answer. Don't care.

Like him or not, it is extraordinarily unlikely that we will have another Bon Jovi. Why?

I think ending music as a profession is an extraordinarily bad idea for multitudinous reasons. You may disagree. So be it.

Calach Pfeffer

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Re: Copyright
« Reply #7 on: September 29, 2015, 05:15:06 AM »
So you recognize that a right and no-right cannot coexist?

That one's complicated by several concepts being confounded.

The right to sole exploitation of a given item does make sense in terms of duties imposed on others and as you say doesn't make sense in terms of a right not to be exploited. What I was aiming for there was some way of saying that others should acknowledge your labour if you are the creator - they shouldn't exploit your labour for their gain - they have, that is to say, a duty to not do that.

I was however hoping to expand the terms of the exploitation, and that perhaps generated the vagueness of expression. I was hoping to suggest that there are other aspects of created products to exploit beyond the financial. Any created product (or service) exists in a context of other people's work and benefits or is even shaped by whatever legacy or tradition it fits into. Whatever innovation is included in a given object that makes it different from all previous creations is certainly a valuable part of the product, but it is, in general, just one part. Reason I raise this is I think it might well be true that whatever tradition or scene gives rise to your product, that tradition or scene also contains elements of payment.

The most obvious payment element of any "scene" is the money. Rock and roll pays for performance in pubs, clubs and stadiums. Audiences pay for recordings. The shape of this kind of work is to some degree dictated by what the pay off is. Rock and rollers live that rock and roll lifestyle because it gets paid. (And punkers react to that kind of scene and get all anti, so even if it's fun to play, they're probably not saying show us the money. Or at least, not publically saying show us the money.)

If financial reward were removed from, say, rock and roll, I guess the days of stadium rock would be over. But pub rock might survive. Producers might keep working in their basements with just their pc and a bunch of software. "Music" would go on. "Payment", aka reward, would change, and the scene would too. Same for other arts maybe too. Television might turn into something else, but do people watch tv anymore anyway?

In an age of digital copying, whatever can't be copied is what gets paid. Now obviously everything can be copied. Live performances can be captured on an iphone and uploaded. But that recording doesn't capture the next live performance.

Writing is what suffers on this scheme. What can't get copied about a novel these days? What can the author claim as uniquely hers and worthy of "payment"?

(Actually, my wild guess is her next book is what can be bought, and readers buy it before it is written - the author does a kickstarter and that's how she gets paid. But that seems like a crappy way to earn a living. Except that actual authors probably live just as crappy an existence already so, whatevss...)
« Last Edit: September 29, 2015, 05:24:32 AM by Calach Pfeffer »

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eggcluck

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Re: Copyright
« Reply #8 on: September 29, 2015, 07:31:17 AM »
Once upon a time bands only made money by touring, there were no albums. Claiming money from album sales is required to be able to tour makes no sense. Plenty of bands still tour today with no money from album sales.  People paid money to go to a live performance not for some album. Most bands today still make all their money from tours as the lions share of albums sales go to middle men.

"pay what you want sales" have already been mentioned, people usually have an option to pay nothing and many do. Yet these bands have still turned a tidy sum. This approach has been done in computer games too. Several indie developers have publicly stated it is ok for people to "download" their games and they ask if you like it enough fork over some cash. This approach was taken by REDDIT and it worked out fantastically for them.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2015, 12:56:43 PM by eggcluck »
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Nolefan

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Re: Copyright
« Reply #9 on: September 29, 2015, 09:01:44 AM »
It's  tricky issue worldwide, not just in China.

But as far as the big silly goes, copyright is alive and well. Authors make money from their books and from having deals to turn them into movies/tv series etc..
Music wise, the model is different from the west. Music sales still account for a lot especially digital but quite a bit of the revenue is generated from touring, ringtones, commercials etc. And trust me, it is respected.

A few years back, VW used a song by Carsick Cars without permission in a commercial. The band sued and got paid. There are plenty of similar stories.

Still, it's only high profile artists that benefit from it.
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Calach Pfeffer

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Re: Copyright
« Reply #10 on: September 29, 2015, 10:39:05 AM »
Music wise, the model is different from the west. Music sales still account for a lot especially digital but quite a bit of the revenue is generated from touring, ringtones, commercials etc. And trust me, it is respected.

Do you know why it's respected? Is it like the Netflix phenomenon, where when convenient paid and/or subscription services exist, ad hoc downloading declines?

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Nolefan

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Re: Copyright
« Reply #11 on: September 29, 2015, 01:25:08 PM »
Music wise, the model is different from the west. Music sales still account for a lot especially digital but quite a bit of the revenue is generated from touring, ringtones, commercials etc. And trust me, it is respected.

Do you know why it's respected? Is it like the Netflix phenomenon, where when convenient paid and/or subscription services exist, ad hoc downloading declines?

yup.. in China, they make it convenient enough. Running a sportsbar, i would happily pay for streaming services on most sports.. unfortunately, the way these things are setup, we're not even allowed to. So, here we go with alternative streams.

Case in point, CMT in the US just did a bit Johnny Cash special. I want to watch it.. I will pay to watch it... there is no legal way for me to do that so guess what's happening on my computer right now? it's coming from somewhere else.
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kitano

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Re: Copyright
« Reply #12 on: September 29, 2015, 02:29:45 PM »
A couple of anti pirating arguments that hold water with me

Films have changed a lot, not just how we watch them. The film industry is worth more money now, but there are certain types of fims that don't exist anymore. I don't know what they would cost now, but when the blockbuster effects films were around $100-200m, these would be $20-60m about. A lot of these films sucked, but this was also where people like Tarantino, Coen Brothers, PT Anderson etc were given a chance to get into the system. The indie films still exist, but there don't seem to be many mid budget films getting a chance. Compared to the amount of indie people who managed to turn into top tier directors from the 90s and early 00s before broadband, there doesn't seem to be anyone who get's that opportunity

It's the same with music. I think it's even more complicated with music because technology now lets people make music on a pretty normal computer that would have needed a load of equipment in the past, but there does seem to be something lost from how music is marketed now. You still have your huge bands and artists, and the indie scenes are still healthy, but there doesn't seem to be that middle ground.
I heard Shirley Manson from Garbage talking about it (making a much better argument than I could manage!) how the effect that downloads had had was much more serious than people in general realised. Garbage were a big band for about 10 years, but they just would not be possible nowadays because they represented a risk

Both of those points I am basing on hearing interviews with people in the industry setting them out in a much more convincing way than I managed, but I do think it's a tricky one.
The old system was also awful, the other argument that I have heard a lot is from people who make electronic music, I used to be into producing and DJing a bit and I knew a couple of people who managed to turn it into a living and they were really disgusted with the amount that their music was ripped off because it was just death for a lot of the indie labels in the scene.

Calach Pfeffer

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Re: Copyright
« Reply #13 on: September 30, 2015, 01:12:43 AM »
The results of a government survey on downloading in Australia were released somewhat recently, which I can't find anymore. The headline statistic at the time indicated about half of all internet users in Australia illegally downloaded movies and music at least once in the last three months. A statistic of note downplayed in the news was that inveterate downloaders were not the norm. The number of people who never made purchases and relied solely on illegal downloading were a fraction of the people downloading. In fact, moderate downloaders were found to also be spending more on legal downloads. UK surveys apparently support this statistic.

I don't know what legal downloads look like. My instinct is to say catalogues are limited, quality is suspect, and ads are frequent. What drives people to take part in that? The learning curve on downloading is too high? The services are good enough anyway despite faults?

Also, who gets the money? I suppose by legal downloads people mean Amazon, Spotify, and Netflix. (And I think I must be becoming old - "Spotify" was a word I'd seen a lot over the last few years and literally didn't know what it was....)

Why do people turn to "legitimate" sources? Downloading gives them moral pause or it's just too hard?

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Calach Pfeffer

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Re: Copyright
« Reply #14 on: September 30, 2015, 01:50:21 AM »
Also, and I forget why, but "illegally downloaded" is the wrong expression. There was some discussion at the time, the upshot seeming to be that downloading pirated content is not in fact illegal. You don't break the law when you download. But you do breach someone's rights and they can seek redress.

May be misremembering and/or misrepresenting

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