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  Reply # 587179 27-Feb-2012 07:50 Send private message

So, what needs to happen is to eliminate copyright and patent law? This would need to be across all productas and services, not just online

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  Reply # 587245 27-Feb-2012 10:47 Send private message

Brendan: 

I agree; of course it works.

I was going to offer some examples but I see others have already done that. Instead I will offer an alternative viewpoint...

Not only does it work, but human history is THE history of information being shared freely.

Look at it this way:

1. For 10,000 years human beings shared the results of their minds work freely, resulting in the most important knowledge we yet possess - language (written), agriculture, food storage, maps, science, literature, you name it. 

2. For 100 - 300 years or so, a couple of times in our history we have had the large scale suppression of this free sharing of information - The Dark Ages, and NOW (under current IP laws).

"copyright" is a short lived abnormality in the history of our civilization. It is destructive and resource wasting. The sooner it dies, the better. 

I challenge any supporter of current IP law attitudes and practices to put together a credible alternative history of our civilization where these laws were strictly obeyed and result in the level of progress we currently have - or better.
A few good examples is all I need - for example, explain how Writing or Argiculture would have evolved if current IP law was enforced from the outset.

I do not think it can be done; and if it indeed cannot be done - why, oh why, this FUD and scaremongering about it's impending failure? It's long overdue.



The problem is that people on your side of the debate insist that the two options are either no copyright, or the abomination we have now.  When you set up an argument to fail like that, of course it'll come down on your side.

The reality is, some works do cost a fortune to make, so we do still need the temporary protection.  Does it need to be seventy years?  Absolutely not.  Most things manage to make back what they costed to make in a year or two.  Protection lasting 10 years would in my opinion be a decent middle ground - although I would insist that protection not be extended to any product for which the author or publisher no longer makes it available.

Come to think of it, you could even safely extend protection for as long as a publisher makes a reasonable effort to make a work available - 90% of Disney's stuff would be public domain under such a system because of their efforts to bleed franchises dry with the artificial scarcity created by their "Disney Vault" concept.

And remember, nothing at all stops a creative individual from offering their work under free and open terms.  That's definitely something which is often lost from the pro-piracy arguments. You talk about the 10,000 years of history where knowledge was freely shared, but then describe the years with copyright as some sort of knowledge black hole where information was suppressed as soon as it was thought of - the truth is, there's nothing at all to stop someone freely sharing knowledge even now, but pro-piracy proponents refuse to acknowledge this point, because it's evidence that the reality is that knowledge creators don't want to freely share information.

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  Reply # 587249 27-Feb-2012 10:57 Send private message

Kyanar:
Brendan: 

I agree; of course it works.

I was going to offer some examples but I see others have already done that. Instead I will offer an alternative viewpoint...

Not only does it work, but human history is THE history of information being shared freely.

Look at it this way:

1. For 10,000 years human beings shared the results of their minds work freely, resulting in the most important knowledge we yet possess - language (written), agriculture, food storage, maps, science, literature, you name it. 

2. For 100 - 300 years or so, a couple of times in our history we have had the large scale suppression of this free sharing of information - The Dark Ages, and NOW (under current IP laws).

"copyright" is a short lived abnormality in the history of our civilization. It is destructive and resource wasting. The sooner it dies, the better. 

I challenge any supporter of current IP law attitudes and practices to put together a credible alternative history of our civilization where these laws were strictly obeyed and result in the level of progress we currently have - or better.
A few good examples is all I need - for example, explain how Writing or Argiculture would have evolved if current IP law was enforced from the outset.

I do not think it can be done; and if it indeed cannot be done - why, oh why, this FUD and scaremongering about it's impending failure? It's long overdue.



The problem is that people on your side of the debate insist that the two options are either no copyright, or the abomination we have now.  When you set up an argument to fail like that, of course it'll come down on your side.

The reality is, some works do cost a fortune to make, so we do still need the temporary protection.  Does it need to be seventy years?  Absolutely not.  Most things manage to make back what they costed to make in a year or two.  Protection lasting 10 years would in my opinion be a decent middle ground - although I would insist that protection not be extended to any product for which the author or publisher no longer makes it available.

Come to think of it, you could even safely extend protection for as long as a publisher makes a reasonable effort to make a work available - 90% of Disney's stuff would be public domain under such a system because of their efforts to bleed franchises dry with the artificial scarcity created by their "Disney Vault" concept.

And remember, nothing at all stops a creative individual from offering their work under free and open terms.  That's definitely something which is often lost from the pro-piracy arguments. You talk about the 10,000 years of history where knowledge was freely shared, but then describe the years with copyright as some sort of knowledge black hole where information was suppressed as soon as it was thought of - the truth is, there's nothing at all to stop someone freely sharing knowledge even now, but pro-piracy proponents refuse to acknowledge this point, because it's evidence that the reality is that knowledge creators don't want to freely share information.



Well written.

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  Reply # 587250 27-Feb-2012 11:00 Send private message

In fact I will say it again, well written, particularly

"And remember, nothing at all stops a creative individual from offering their work under free and open terms."


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  Reply # 587297 27-Feb-2012 12:20 Send private message

Kyanar: 
The problem is that people on your side of the debate insist that the two options are either no copyright, or the abomination we have now.  When you set up an argument to fail like that, of course it'll come down on your side.

The reality is, some works do cost a fortune to make, so we do still need the temporary protection.  Does it need to be seventy years?  Absolutely not.  Most things manage to make back what they costed to make in a year or two.  Protection lasting 10 years would in my opinion be a decent middle ground - although I would insist that protection not be extended to any product for which the author or publisher no longer makes it available.

Come to think of it, you could even safely extend protection for as long as a publisher makes a reasonable effort to make a work available - 90% of Disney's stuff would be public domain under such a system because of their efforts to bleed franchises dry with the artificial scarcity created by their "Disney Vault" concept.

And remember, nothing at all stops a creative individual from offering their work under free and open terms.  That's definitely something which is often lost from the pro-piracy arguments. You talk about the 10,000 years of history where knowledge was freely shared, but then describe the years with copyright as some sort of knowledge black hole where information was suppressed as soon as it was thought of - the truth is, there's nothing at all to stop someone freely sharing knowledge even now, but pro-piracy proponents refuse to acknowledge this point, because it's evidence that the reality is that knowledge creators don't want to freely share information.


Some good points. Brendan has some as well, especially about copyright being the abberation, not the norm. Copyright law recognises this implicitly - it's not about what you as the copyright holder can do, it's about what other people can't do. To specifically prohibit an activity recognises that the activity would otherwise be normal practice. (No doubt someone will now say that murder is prohibited, therefore my argument falls down. Not so - no-one gets a monopoly exemption on murder). The public domain is the superset, and copyright-protected works are a subset.

Can we agree, at least, that copyright is a time-limited monopoly right, not a property right? The content industries have spent much time and money promoting the term "intellectual property", conflating copyright, trademarks and patents as if they're all the same thing, and encouraging people to see these as a form of property. This is called "framing the debate".  You do this yourself above in talking of the "pro-piracy" arguments and it's just as wrong.

Let's remember where copyright came from. It wasn't the authors, keen to protect their works - it was the publishers keen to stop other publishers from "stealing" sales by also publishing the same works. The Stationers' Guild Copyright Register and the Statute of Anne were about industry regulation, not private usage or creator protection (despite the opening para of the Statute), because it wasn't feasible to make personal copies of books until the advent of the photocopier.  You say that " knowledge creators don't want to freely share information" but I think it's more accurate to say that knowledge publishers don't want to forego their revenue, and that's the problem. It's a business model problem, not a creators' rights problem.

You note above that the copyright regime as it stands is an abomination - you're right and, if we had not moved past physical media, the suggestions you make to remedy that abomination might have merit. But we have moved past the physical to the digital, which is even more significant than moving from scribes to Gutenberg. And copyright just does not work in a digital world. Copying is not a bug in the digital environment - it's not even a feature. It's a necessity, for transmission, viewing, editing, any activity at all. Copies are made and destroyed all the time, e.g. defragging a hard drive.

Copyright legislation is about control of the copies to maintain an artificial scarcity so that an existing business model can be maintained and extended. J.K. Rowling has done very well out of Harry Potter but I'll guarantee Bloomsbury and Warners have done better. In the digital world, you cannot control the copies. DRM doesn't work - at it's least intrusive it might as well not be there as it's so easy to get around; at it's worst, it interferes with legitimate use of the item by the purchaser. And it's still breakable. It's become a point of honour in certain circles to do the breaking.

Gutenberg enabled a commercial environment for producing copies of documents easily and (relatively) cheaply. Digital enables a post-commercial environment and the old business models will not work. That's not "pro-piracy", or "anti-copyright". It's not about "stealing" or "freetards". It's a simple analysis of the environment as it stands.

You note that "nothing at all stops a creative individual from offering their work under free and open terms". This is correct, and smearing it with "pro-piracy" is unworthy. It has nothing to do with "piracy" arguments and "[w]hen you set up an argument to fail like that, of course it'll come down on your side". ;-)  What you are talking about is Creative Commons and the public domain, and everything I write/produce is Creative Commons-licensed - when you're a writer, obscurity is indeed worse than poverty. Cory Doctorow is another (and far more successful!) writer whose books and articles are also CC and has much to say on this very issue (check out http://craphound.com), as does Charlie Stross, Mike Masnick, Larry Lessig and many more.

We're in the death-throes of copyright as we know it. We need to ensure that the next stage isn't something worse.

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  Reply # 587307 27-Feb-2012 12:33 Send private message

tdgeek: So, what needs to happen is to eliminate copyright and patent law? This would need to be across all productas and services, not just online


Ultimately. But that would be difficult to achieve in one go. 

I think we can look at the excesses of the currently system and roll them back as a first step. Put some hefty penalties in place for sort of stand-over tactics we have seen lately.

Then perhaps require actual proof of damages - not the speculative, projected income versus actual income mental masturbation that seems in fashion now.

Eventually, patents would be abolished totally, and copyright would only apply to other companies who clone items entirely.

Concurrent with that, I think the government should progressively invest more in research and development in Universities and other institutions. Fund research, fund researchers, fund students.
Make new knowledge and technology in order to supplant and replace the existing infrastructure over time.

So, you progressively weaken one while strengthening the other. Done properly, the result should be a more open-source style system.

 

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  Reply # 587316 27-Feb-2012 12:45 Send private message

Kyanar: ... the truth is, there's nothing at all to stop someone freely sharing knowledge even now, but pro-piracy proponents refuse to acknowledge this point, because it's evidence that the reality is that knowledge creators don't want to freely share information.


Millions of scientists and researchers all over the world say you are wrong, and are sharing their knowledge freely and have done since Plato.

Oh, I think we can add Doctors into that too - they want to share their knowledge too.

Teachers...

Fashion designers....

Open Source programmers....

Chef's, restaurants, etc.



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  Reply # 587317 27-Feb-2012 12:47 Send private message

tdgeek: 
Well written.


Only if you ignore 2000 years of science, which directly refutes what he said.


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  Reply # 587324 27-Feb-2012 12:59 Send private message

Brendan:Eventually, patents would be abolished totally, and copyright would only apply to other companies who clone items entirely. 


 


Why would copyright be allowed in order to protect against other companies cloning a product?  In a free an open source world, that is using the sharing of information, and most efficiently.

Patents can be abolished today, you would need to allow the current ones to run through, so I agree it would be eventually. That way the new devices that are made today, can be copied tomorrow, which again, is efficient.  

This may have worked in the past 10,000 years, but I cannot see it operating in todays economic world. But, it is only a law, laws can be changed.  

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  Reply # 587336 27-Feb-2012 13:13 Send private message

What I think should not really matter too much as I am just one individual

I'm a fan of kiwi inginuity, we see a fair bit of it but we need to look at protection of an idea before its possible to gain funding for it.
Angel investors seldom provide money for an idea that can just be copied without violating any patent laws, but there are issues with patenting a design or a piece of software.

1/ world wide patents are so expensive, achieving one becomes a prohibitively expensive exercise.

2/ Chasing someone who has infringed your patent is a significant cost.

3/ Patenting something in a handful of countries is pointless, as anyone from another country, or who has a post box in another country, can copy the code/design and publish for profit.

Patents are prone to duplicity. about 5 years ago I tried to get an idea going, I figured it was original to me because a brief search on the net ( with the terminology I used to describe the idea) resulted in nothing.

Today 5 years later it's all over the show, do a google search on "dynamic carpooling/ridesharing", there are many many patents protecting this, yet they are all useless now as the concept is so wide spread.



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  Reply # 587353 27-Feb-2012 13:35 Send private message

tdgeek:
Brendan:Eventually, patents would be abolished totally, and copyright would only apply to other companies who clone items entirely. 


 


Why would copyright be allowed in order to protect against other companies cloning a product?  In a free an open source world, that is using the sharing of information, and most efficiently.


It'd be an interim measure until business models caught up. For example, it'd stop cheap clone makers just duplicating the iphone, but wouldn't stop competitors like Android. Foster variation.

Ultimately, even this protection would become moot.

Explanation:
Currently, there is a lot of arguing about digital files being copied. The problem the "industry" has is that the artificial scarcity they profited off for so long is evaporating. Their time has passed.

But what is not so clearly understood is this is just the beginning. What happens in a world where you can copy any physical object - be it a car or a loaf of bread?
Already we have 3D printers which are quickly taking over the proto-typing industry and turning a $20,000 prototype into a $50 item. And the cost keeps going down and the resolution goes up.
In a few more years, the resolution will be molecular.

We are quickly moving to a world where the means of production will be in each home, and the knowledge of it's use will be at your fingertips on the Net. Increasingly powerful simulation programs will allow collaborative design via the net, where thousands of individuals will tweak existing designs over time in an efforts that will resemble an accelerated version of evolution. 

A few copied films and games is the least of it - but getting that right will prepare us for what comes next.

Patents can be abolished today, you would need to allow the current ones to run through, so I agree it would be eventually. That way the new devices that are made today, can be copied tomorrow, which again, is efficient.  

This may have worked in the past 10,000 years, but I cannot see it operating in todays economic world. But, it is only a law, laws can be changed.  


Todays economic system doesn't work. It was never going to "work". If it was working, we would not have the economic problems in the world today, the environment (where we live and breathe....) would be protected, etc, etc.

It does not work.

But luckily, it's just a set of assumptions about how the world works. A faulty model of an artificial reality we have created over the last few hundred years. As such, it is a religion - not an objective scientific fact.

So we will change it too. We will have to. It's obviously broken - badly.


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  Reply # 587380 27-Feb-2012 14:03 Send private message

If its that badly broken, then certainly the consumers, manufacturers, designers, inventors will be happy to remove every form of patent and copyright from every product and service, digital and otherwise

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  Reply # 587384 27-Feb-2012 14:07 Send private message

Brendan: Millions of scientists and researchers all over the world say you are wrong, and are sharing their knowledge freely and have done since Plato.

Oh, I think we can add Doctors into that too - they want to share their knowledge too.

Teachers...

Fashion designers....

Open Source programmers....

Chef's, restaurants, etc.




Brendan, you're being facetious.  I don't see why I should have to expressly spell out to the most minute detail my point just to avoid you reading what I said and interpreting it incorrectly so you can attack an argument I didn't make.

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  Reply # 587387 27-Feb-2012 14:14 Send private message

Brendan: Ultimately. But that would be difficult to achieve in one go. 

I think we can look at the excesses of the currently system and roll them back as a first step. Put some hefty penalties in place for sort of stand-over tactics we have seen lately.

Then perhaps require actual proof of damages - not the speculative, projected income versus actual income mental masturbation that seems in fashion now.

Eventually, patents would be abolished totally, and copyright would only apply to other companies who clone items entirely.

Concurrent with that, I think the government should progressively invest more in research and development in Universities and other institutions. Fund research, fund researchers, fund students.
Make new knowledge and technology in order to supplant and replace the existing infrastructure over time.

So, you progressively weaken one while strengthening the other. Done properly, the result should be a more open-source style system.

 
 I'll also do something completely unusual and agree with some of your points.  We're both in agreement that the current system is frankly abominable, we simply differ on how to fix it.  Your first point is absolutely unarguable - and while we're at it, we should also be actively protesting against foreign interference trying to lengthen the already excessive terms (see TPPA),

Actual proof of damages yes, but unless some form of punitive damage is also imposed, there is no deterrent against breaking the law.  Some interesting things we could do there might include collecting the punitive damages into a grant pool, and using them to fund public university research.  Win/win.

And I absolutely can't disagree with better R&D funding.  This is something the government has long talked the talk on but never once has it really delivered, apart from maybe some tax breaks for Fisher and Paykel. 

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  Reply # 587997 28-Feb-2012 20:04 Send private message

Changing the subject a little, and perhaps to show how much intrusion in other countrie's is happening: US authorities seized money used in legal transaction between buyer and seller in two European countries, just because the money was routed through a bank clearing house in the US.


Authorities in the US have refused to return 137,000 kroner that was confiscated from a Danish policeman who attempted to legally purchase Cuban cigars from Germany.

Torben Nødskouv intended to resell the cigars through his small business Cigarhuset and made the transaction in dollars with a Hamburg-based distributor. But the transaction, which was automatically routed through the US, was picked up by American authorities who froze the money, arguing that the transaction violated the American trade embargo with Cuba.

Nødskouv appealed after the $20,000 transaction was frozen last autumn, but the money may be permanently lost after he was recently informed that it would not be returned to him.

The intervention of the American authorities in a legal transaction between two European countries has provoked criticism from a range of politicians and experts who argue that the US has overstepped its place in their policing of financial transactions under the guise of fighting terrorism.






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