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  Reply # 1524383 2-Apr-2016 00:36
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Lias:

 

 

 

Short term, like patents.. 5-10 years.

 

Incredibly strong fair use rights for non commercial purposes. Parody, analysis, translation, media shifting, library use, background music in the video of a kid dancing, remixing music tracks and uploading to youtube, etc etc.

 

 

 

 

This is an issue that has long bugged me -- most of the anti-copyright types on geek forums can be incredibly loud with their opinions but are often startlingly short of facts.

 

Lias,  please do people a favour and get yourself informed before you make these sorts of broad, sweeping comments about copyright/IP reform. They are frankly annoying to those who work to build informed understanding and contribute little to the debate. FYI, I am a lawyer and although I do not currently actively practice IP law, I have an LLM in information technology and IP law and have had research fellowships in the US also. I have also done IP valuation/risk assessment work for private equity/investment banks. Although my work in IP largely related to matters in the commercial arena, my personal views and research both reflect a fairly moderate stance towards copyright protection.

 

With all the disclaimers done, just from the sheer number of mistakes and flawed assumptions in your post, it can be safely concluded that little of your views on IP should be taken seriously.

 

     

  1. First of all, most developed countries have patent terms of 20 years. NZ and UK are two examples. Design patents in the US last 14 years; utility patents last for 20. There's a reason why patents have much shorter terms: generally speaking, these give the first inventor of an idea who is the first to come up with a novel idea or the first to file for the patent for a novel idea the exclusive right to exploit the idea. Even if I somehow independently come up with a great idea, if somebody else (depending on the jurisdiction) either thought if up first or filed for a patent ahead of me, tough luck. I can't exploit my idea AT ALL.
  2. The same doesn't apply for copyright. Ian Fleming might have come up with the idea of the ultra-romantic, swashbuckling "save the world on his own" super spy before I did but nothing stops me from writing my own series on a similar super spy. Why? That's because copyright doesn't protect an idea; copyright protects things upon which copyright subsists, according to the laws of the land. Therefore, nothing about the shorter terms of patents per se supports your stance of radically shortening copyright terms. There may be good grounds (and I frankly think there are in some cases) but make a proper argument.
  3. With (2) in mind, parody in the truest sense of the word, which doesn't involve substantial copying of the original work, is allowed. Whether each person's particular execution of a parody breaches copyright or not will depend on its own facts. But the point is that: don't pretend there isn't considerable protection for non-infringing usage. People will need to take advice to mitigate IP risks - again this isn't a per se ground in support of radically truncating copyright protection.

 

 

 

NZ law (and other jurisdictions' copyright law) also protect many of the things that you seem to be in favour of. Had you not made so many flawed arguments and assumptions, one might assume that you might have gone out of your way to understand these and concluded them to be inadequate after close analyses. But I have my doubts. For anyone interested in a readable and informed treatise in favour of copyright reform, I recommend William Patry's How to Fix Copyright. It's an engaging read and the ideas have universal relevance and application, even though the author (he's American and worked/works at Google) understandably focuses on US law.


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  Reply # 1524467 2-Apr-2016 10:25
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A very informative post, thanks dejadeanz. Except for the for whiff of patronising condescension, it would have been perfect, my learned friend.

 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 1524879 2-Apr-2016 21:45
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dejadeadnz:

 

This is an issue that has long bugged me -- most of the anti-copyright types on geek forums can be incredibly loud with their opinions but are often startlingly short of facts.

 

Lias,  please do people a favour and get yourself informed before you make these sorts of broad, sweeping comments about copyright/IP reform. They are frankly annoying to those who work to build informed understanding and contribute little to the debate. FYI, I am a lawyer and although I do not currently actively practice IP law, I have an LLM in information technology and IP law and have had research fellowships in the US also. I have also done IP valuation/risk assessment work for private equity/investment banks. Although my work in IP largely related to matters in the commercial arena, my personal views and research both reflect a fairly moderate stance towards copyright protection.

 

With all the disclaimers done, just from the sheer number of mistakes and flawed assumptions in your post, it can be safely concluded that little of your views on IP should be taken seriously.

 

     

  1. First of all, most developed countries have patent terms of 20 years. NZ and UK are two examples. Design patents in the US last 14 years; utility patents last for 20. There's a reason why patents have much shorter terms: generally speaking, these give the first inventor of an idea who is the first to come up with a novel idea or the first to file for the patent for a novel idea the exclusive right to exploit the idea. Even if I somehow independently come up with a great idea, if somebody else (depending on the jurisdiction) either thought if up first or filed for a patent ahead of me, tough luck. I can't exploit my idea AT ALL.
  2. The same doesn't apply for copyright. Ian Fleming might have come up with the idea of the ultra-romantic, swashbuckling "save the world on his own" super spy before I did but nothing stops me from writing my own series on a similar super spy. Why? That's because copyright doesn't protect an idea; copyright protects things upon which copyright subsists, according to the laws of the land. Therefore, nothing about the shorter terms of patents per se supports your stance of radically shortening copyright terms. There may be good grounds (and I frankly think there are in some cases) but make a proper argument.
  3. With (2) in mind, parody in the truest sense of the word, which doesn't involve substantial copying of the original work, is allowed. Whether each person's particular execution of a parody breaches copyright or not will depend on its own facts. But the point is that: don't pretend there isn't considerable protection for non-infringing usage. People will need to take advice to mitigate IP risks - again this isn't a per se ground in support of radically truncating copyright protection.

 

NZ law (and other jurisdictions' copyright law) also protect many of the things that you seem to be in favour of. Had you not made so many flawed arguments and assumptions, one might assume that you might have gone out of your way to understand these and concluded them to be inadequate after close analyses. But I have my doubts. For anyone interested in a readable and informed treatise in favour of copyright reform, I recommend William Patry's How to Fix Copyright. It's an engaging read and the ideas have universal relevance and application, even though the author (he's American and worked/works at Google) understandably focuses on US law.

 

 

Fair enough, I'm not a lawyer but I don't think I'm particularly uninformed about copyright or the law in general. FWIW I have a degree in ICT and an interest in law (seriously considered doing my LLB before I fell into IT, and still think about doing it as a mid life crisis :-P)

 

I can see where you could misinterpret what I was saying, but I wasn't trying to suggest that patents have a life of 5-10 years, merely that copyright should have a shorter term, closer to current patent terms, and in my view 5-10 years is the right ballpark. It was also a two line post, it wasn't intended to be a compelling debate speech on why it should happen, just a quick two liner very roughly outlining the sort of changes I'd like to see in response to the second part of networkn's post.

 

Sure some jurisdictions have good protections for non infringing use, but not all, and IMHO not strong enough. IMHO in any case other than a direct duplication of the original work, or a derivative intended for commercial use,  the copyright owner should have to provide the burden of proof that they were harmed by the derivative work. 

 

I'll try and track down a copy of that book to read, have just read a brief extract of it online and it's certainly interesting stuff. If anyone else is interested the extract is here.

 

PS: Subjective opinion of course, but it's my view that being a lawyer where at least part of your personal livelihood is based on work in the IP field, it precludes you from being totally unbiased about it :-P

 

 





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  Reply # 1525227 3-Apr-2016 16:05
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roobarb:

 

networkn: Heh, I don't see any compelling evidence in your argument. How would you replace the current system?

 

Let's play devil's advocate:

 

1. I dig a ditch for you and charge you for the time and effort it took to dig the ditch.

 

2. I have an idea and I can charge everyone for a hundred years.

 

 

 

 

These are two different and unrelated tasks, so they cant be compared.

 

Digging a ditch would imply either a contract of service or a contract of employment.  You perform labour and get paid for it.  There is no IP on your part.

 

Having an idea could have IP if it is a new idea - for example, you had a new idea for an oil  painting, or you wrote a piece of software and one of the algorithms in the code you invented.  In this case, there is IP and so long as the appropriate process is followed, the effort you put into having the idea and developing it should be protected.

 

As I understand things in NZ ideas alone are not copyrightable - only the expression of those ideas is copyrightable. If the idea is a product, process, method, then a patient might imply. For example, if you invented a better shovel so people could dig better ditches, then one could apply for a patient.

 

 

 

 





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  Reply # 1525455 4-Apr-2016 00:08
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I think he's (sarcastically) comparing these with the implied link being: physical labour has a one time payment, why should mental 'labour' have a virtually unending payment?

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  Reply # 1525456 4-Apr-2016 00:09
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I agree to an earlier post, the movie/song/book has a realistic interest/sale period of say 5-10 years... Why can't it be public ally accessible after that time? I'd say 'greed' and 'because I can' would answer that more often than not?

If physical books and movies could realistically be tied to one owner only, no right of resale, in sure they would also have been, just so the author/publisher could keep coining the full sale value forever.

In this digital age, I would expect digital books to be priced without the printing cost, but they rarely are much cheaper than printed copies... Why? "Because they can"

*Posted separately so no overlap with the prior post is implied..

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  Reply # 1525515 4-Apr-2016 08:08
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TwoSeven:

 

roobarb:

 

networkn: Heh, I don't see any compelling evidence in your argument. How would you replace the current system?

 

Let's play devil's advocate:

 

1. I dig a ditch for you and charge you for the time and effort it took to dig the ditch.

 

2. I have an idea and I can charge everyone for a hundred years.

 

 

 

 

These are two different and unrelated tasks, so they cant be compared.

 

Digging a ditch would imply either a contract of service or a contract of employment.  You perform labour and get paid for it.  There is no IP on your part.

 

Having an idea could have IP if it is a new idea - for example, you had a new idea for an oil  painting, or you wrote a piece of software and one of the algorithms in the code you invented.  In this case, there is IP and so long as the appropriate process is followed, the effort you put into having the idea and developing it should be protected.

 

As I understand things in NZ ideas alone are not copyrightable - only the expression of those ideas is copyrightable. If the idea is a product, process, method, then a patient might imply. For example, if you invented a better shovel so people could dig better ditches, then one could apply for a patient.

 

 

 

 

 

 

To my mind 'intellectual property' is an artificial construct designed primary to benefit corporate interests. I don't really see that much difference in principle between digging a ditch and writing a song. The difference is that it is easier to charge one on the basis of the time it takes and the energy expended (and the market for labour, of course) while the other is harder to quantify in terms of 'creative' input, so it is charged on the basis of a system of royalties. In itself that is not necessarily a bad thing, but it has been abused and stretched out of proportion by greed-driven vested interests. I think if you perform a song someone else has written, and charge people to enjoy your performance, whether live or via a recording, then the author of the song (not a so-called 'rights holder') should be compensated. If a business uses your song along with others as background music, but the music itself is not the focus of the business, this should be possible without incurring extra charges. If you write a book or make a film, you should receive a payment for every copy sold, be it physical or digital. If someone copies your work without paying, they should be subject to prosecution just as they are now. And so on.

 

  





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  Reply # 1525520 4-Apr-2016 08:22
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  Reply # 1525535 4-Apr-2016 09:02
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And more locally Bruce Simpson has a piece up over at Aardvark this morning calling for 10 year copyright.

 

http://aardvark.co.nz/daily/2016/0404.shtml

 

 





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  Reply # 1525603 4-Apr-2016 10:24
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Rikkitic:

 

I think if you perform a song someone else has written, and charge people to enjoy your performance, whether live or via a recording, then the author of the song (not a so-called 'rights holder') should be compensated. If a business uses your song along with others as background music, but the music itself is not the focus of the business, this should be possible without incurring extra charges. If you write a book or make a film, you should receive a payment for every copy sold, be it physical or digital. If someone copies your work without paying, they should be subject to prosecution just as they are now. And so on.

 

 

What you don't seem to realise -- and the sheer lack of realisation of this makes me question whether you possess sufficient understanding of the issues to make informed commentary on it -- is that the copyright holder almost certainly has compensated the original composer of the music in order to obtain those rights. I don't know what's scarrier: that you don't realise this or is intellectually sophistic enough to apparently not care. Often whether a piece on which copyright subsists will have significant commercial value or exploitability is not immediately obvious close to the time of its creation. Hence, this is why publishers/rights-holders may take a chance on relative unknowns and advance smaller sums to the creator and expect bigger cuts down the line should the thing sell. This kind of system allows many creators to actually work and make a living. Of course, it can also be incredibly exploitative, as many authors have, for example, highlighted.

 

But if only the original creator can be compensated, which by extension will make the types of commercial arrangement I described earlier unworkable, creators will actually have fewer options. And why should this happen? Frankly, I have seen you make zero arguments for it. Apparently that Rikkitic thinks so is good enough reason.

 

And why should people be able to just copy a large part of a song for their background music, just because the music apparently isn't the focus of the business? Again, because Rikkitic says so. Same thing for some people proposing that copyright should subsist for 10 years. Hey, since commercially most of the exploitable value subsists in the first 10 years, let's just give people free rein to copy after 10! Do people who propose this consider, for example, the likelihood of an increase in highly derivative works as opposed to original works? Does it bother you?

 

I'll say this for one last time: many aspects of our IP laws can be improved. But simply raving against corporate interests or generally making random assertions that curry favour with your typical geek isn't going to inform the debate. And frankly such efforts have zero hope in influencing law changes to any significant degree. Can I once again suggest that some of you go to the local library and borrow William Patry's book and get yourselves informed?

 

 

 

 


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  Reply # 1526027 4-Apr-2016 21:25
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That's a lot of animosity for a little bit of opinion. The whole copyright issue, or any other issue, for that matter, cannot be addressed in a few sentences. Nor am I interested in going through every bit of copyright legislation line by line to provide a detailed critique. I am expressing what I think of the current situation in broad terms. It is my opinion. I don't care if you find it informed or not, and I don't care if it meets your criteria for intellectual rigour. It is my opinion, I am expressing it, I have every right to. Just like you.

 

edited for typo

 

 

 

 

 

 





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  Reply # 1526304 5-Apr-2016 12:54
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Or ... in a world without copyright/patents

 

1) You dig a ditch for me.  I takes you two hours and I pay you $50.  Roughly $25/hour.

 

2a) You write a novel.  It takes you 10,000 hours. I pay Kindle store $15 for it.  Your royalty is $2.50.   Now I send the unprotected e-book to all my friends for free. They send it on to their friends etc etc . Soon anyone can get your novel for free.  Your total return on 10,000 hours work is $2.50 ... back to the ditch.

 

2b) You invent a widget.  You spend $100,000 on development, $100,000 on tooling and borrow $500,000 using your house as collateral for contract manufacturing, distribution and sales.  An overseas manufacturer sees your first shipment in store. 6 months later they are shipping at 1/2 your cost.  You lose all your customer your business, your home, family ... back to the ditch

 

Protection of intellectual property allows the market to reward people for undertaking (or investing in) quality work by selling it many times. 

 

Ironically most of the material that lot of amateur internet content leverages, exploits, pays tributes to, reviews, blogs about, plagiarises or butchers is protected work. 

 

The last you tube video I looked at was a demo of how to tie a fishing knot - the two products used in the video were both developed and brought to market using patent protection.  In the absence of that protection they wouldn't have been developed. 

 

The top trending video on you tube right now is carpool Karaoke to a copyrighted song ...

 

In the absence of that protection the work wouldn't take place.

 

So .... what would most internet content 'creators' then derive their content from? 

 

 

 

roobarb:

 

Let's play devil's advocate:

 

1. I dig a ditch for you and charge you for the time and effort it took to dig the ditch.

 

2. I have an idea and I can charge everyone for a hundred years.

 

 

 





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  Reply # 1526313 5-Apr-2016 13:06
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Total scaremongering!

We're not advocating losing ALL copywrite, simply limiting it in a more sensible way to
1) 10-15 years for media/software
2) lifetime of the author for books/art etc

Sensible limits where the life expectancy of the product reward cycle is the total cap on its protection. Not Disneys ad-infinity version currently extended AGAIN under the TPP...

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  Reply # 1526318 5-Apr-2016 13:13
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These discussions often seem to end up as all or nothing arguments. In fact, I am not opposed to intellectual property as such, or some form of copyright protection, or a system of royalty payments to compensate content creators. I just don't agree with the way the present system functions. I think it invites abuse by the enforcement industry and I think it has been redefined and massaged in such a way as to stifle creativity (mashups, for example). I think common sense and fair use have gone out the window and that is what I object to. 

 

 





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  Reply # 1526340 5-Apr-2016 13:50
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Actually some posts did say that there should be no copyright.

 

Length of copyright is a red herring.  Consumer price is not strongly affected by copyright in the longer term.

 

Value crashes before copyright expires. Copyright becomes a market share issue.

 

I don't have a problem with one owner having a perpetual monopoly on a work.  Competition still occurs because other people produce other work.

 

I recently bought my daughter a legitimate, copyrighted Disney DVD for $5.  The movie wasn't even that old.

 

Most people infringe copyright not because it's expensive but because they can ...

 

PhantomNVD: Total scaremongering!

We're not advocating losing ALL copywrite, simply limiting it in a more sensible way to
1) 10-15 years for media/software
2) lifetime of the author for books/art etc

Sensible limits where the life expectancy of the product reward cycle is the total cap on its protection. Not Disneys ad-infinity version currently extended AGAIN under the TPP...





Mike

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