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back to article Punters hate copyright, says Steelie Neelie

Since current attitudes to copyright enforcement are failing artists and alienating the public, “we need to stop obsessing” about it, according to European Commission VP for the Digital Agenda Neelie Kroes. In a speech given to the Forum D’Avignon on Saturday November 19, Kroes looked underneath the high-profile rich artists …

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Finally!

This is the only viable solution as I see it:

"a global repertoire database"

...that's managed and owned by the public, not Facebook, Apple, Microsoft, Spotify or any other corporate entity.

Simply put; public service in the Internet age.

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Devil

There is nothing wrong with the database being managed by a private entity ... if they weren't able to disappear it behind some tasty copyright moat.

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Thank you, Richard

I've noticed that Orlowski has been on yet another one of his ranting self-righteous comment-disabled copyright crusades lately so it's nice to read a more balanced viewpoint and a have a chance to contribute to the discussion.

The major problems I see with copyright is 1) the obscene length of copyright terms (thanks to Disney's efforts to preserve their control of the Rat) and 2) the greedy excesses of DRM and now cloud services to try to milk even more money out of the punters.

Copyright, at best, doesn't need to exceed the original 14 years provided by the Statute of Anne. If your work hasn't made anything within 14 years of publication it's never going to - give it up already. At the present rate, the extreme and ever-increasing length of copyright simply means a shrinking public domain. Not to mention the exponentially increasing chance that some poor artist will get financially raped because his song inadvertently contains the same sequence of 4 notes as something published 80 years ago, that's still in copyright, even though nobody alive today has heard of it.

Disney particularly need to be called to account for this. Their endless lobbying for ever-increasing copyright terms needs to be silenced, hard, and now. An education campaign needs to be mounted showing the public that the corporation behind all those cutesy-poo kids' cartoons is a rapacious and greedy monster hell-bent on curtailing freedom of expression in the name of copyright. Not to mention their virtual monopoly on children's entertainment - you try raising kids these days without them seeing anything owned by Disney. It's impossible. And governments seriously need to address this, because it gives this unelected and unaccountable corporation inordinate control over how the next generation thinks.

With DRM, while iTunes has dropped DRM from its repertoire, there is still much work to be done. The entire concept of DRM needs to be done away with, since all it does is destroy the quality of the legitimate product. You'd think that after 30 years of failed copy-protection attempts that they'd learned their lesson, but it seems not. The reality is, as long as DRM exists then pirated copies will always be better quality and more convenient for the paying customer. The following image perhaps illustrates this principle more clearly:

http://img4.imageshack.us/img4/9451/piratevspay.png

Not only DRM, but this whole business of making parts of DVD/BRs "unskippable" stinks of the whole "corporate remote-control" mentality that has been pervading IT generally of late. It's reaching into our homes and basically acting as a remote control of our appliances.

In the end, copyright has ceased to be about protecting artists and instead has become just another tool in the arsenal of those who seek to restrict our freedom and monitor and control every aspect of our lives. And it is this, what copyright has morphed into, not the idea of protecting artists' incomes, that has people hating copyright. It's no longer a tool of expression, it has become a tool of oppression.

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Couldn't agree more!

Unfortunately, the "governments that seriously need to address this" are exactly the governments that deliver or incessantly push copyright legislation of the worst sort because they do what the lobbyists tell them to. You need to get into serious headbashing for believable change first.

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20111006/12220616236/lawrence-golan-speaks-about-golan-v-holder-his-fight-to-protect-public-domain.shtml :

"And then in the case of the three famous ones -- Shostakovich, Prokofiev and Stravinsky -- you know they have many heirs probably for each one. If the New York Philharmonic plays a Shostakovich symphony, let’s just estimate that all the heirs will get a 10 percent cut, and then that’s split among them. We’re talking about royalty checks of pennies, depending on how many times it’s split. Even if it’s only one person, oh it’s $20.00 – ah great! I got a royalty check. We’re talking about classical music here. We’re not talking about the Beatles or Michael Jackson. Nobody is going to make a living off royalties from a couple pieces they’re going to play."

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Pint

Hey Reg, give this man a cigar!

I think Mr. Roper has hit the nail on the head with his comments. Forcing people to sit through an anti-piracy propaganda piece at the start of a DVD they have paid for is just one of the ways they control our lives. Then the ten minutes of previews. It really pisses me off! Mostly, I just torrent the DVD rip, then buy the DVD if it's any good, and I can find it at a reasonable price. Not that there's much worth watching these days.

Extended copyright is just plain wrong. 10 years is plenty.

Beer for Mr. Roper, ^_^

A nice glass of Chablis for the lady, Ms. Kroes.

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Well said

Shame that the media corps have already bought and paid for all the politicians (clearly Ms Kroes managed to stay off their shopping list somehow). I believe the dark lord Mandelson is the reference case of evil and in the pocket of evil here. We can no more expect any more reform on copyright than we can expect the Conservative Party to regulate the financial sector properly (turkeys don't vote for Christmas even once they are stuffed).

Just to be clear though, that doesn't mean I think shouldn't work to educate enough of the voters that the politicians get frightened enough to do something.

As for the unskippable parts of media I have implemented a simple solution, I stopped buying new DVDs years ago and have never wanted a PooRay disk. Anything that won't play in VLC doesn't get played and to be honest, if I want to see something like Breaking Bad then I just find a bittorrent leecher who has grabbed the files, no way I am going to wait 6 months for the release date in our "region" so the studios can stuff their pockets.

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Very much so

People don't hate copy-rights, they hate /copyright/.

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Fascinating read

Neatly hits the nail on the head.

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Disney

Was I the only kid who felt a great big "meh" to Disney throughout his childhood ?

Disney cartoons were simply boring compared to Tom & Jerry or Daffy Duck etc... Even when I didn't have an appropriate vocabulary to express it I still had the feeling that Disney was saccarine-pap. I would probably have expressed it as being for sissies. he equivalent for modern kids would probably be the new meaning of "gay".

As for Disney time at Easter and Christmas; what were the BBC thinking ??? Half an hour of free trailers and teasers for a large US corporation ?

South Park always sends things up best and there take on Disney was here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Ring_%28South_Park%29

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Don't agree

@Steven Roper

Re the length of copyright, I don't agree:

"The major problems I see with copyright is 1) the obscene length of copyright terms (thanks to Disney's efforts to preserve their control of the Rat) and 2) the greedy excesses of DRM and now cloud services to try to milk even more money out of the punters. Copyright, at best, doesn't need to exceed the original 14 years provided by the Statute of Anne."

Tell that to Paul Mcartney, or Paul Simon. I'm pretty sure PS would be pretty pissed if he no longer had copyright to Bridge Over Troubled Water.

" If your work hasn't made anything within 14 years of publication it's never going to - give it up already."

So what? By your argument, I could write a song which failed to gain any traction, and another artist could re-record a version of my song some years later, have a number one hit with it, and not owe me, the original creator of the work a single thing. How is that fair?

Would it be fair if I recorded a Gangsta Rap version of Bridge Over Mother Fucking Water Biatch (club remix edition) and gave the Paul Simon the finger? I think not!

Copyright is there to protect the owner of the work.

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@Steven Roper:

Like every anti-copyright freeloader—seriously, where the hell is it written that you have a *right* do you demand that the work of others be given to you for free?—you're very big on what's wrong with the present system, but not so good at offering *viable* alternatives that don't boil down to "screw the artists!"

Yes, DRM sucks, but it only exists *at all* because there are so many people out there who appear to believe they have an inalienable right to the craftsmanship of others.

' this whole business of making parts of DVD/BRs "unstoppable"' — oh boo fucking hoo. Poor widdle you with your middle-class Western "problems" of having a minuscule amount of minor inconvenience while CHILDREN ARE FUCKING DYING OF HUNGER.

I mean, seriously, sense of perspective, much?

I DO agree that the endless extensions of copyright are a poor solution, but as the concept of copyright was invented in the days when the only medium was the printed word, it's hardly surprising that movies, radio and television haven't been handled well.

Prior to the invention of moving pictures—and the industry that followed—there was no demand for *corporations* to be able to have copyrights assigned to them as copyrightable works tended to be the work of just one person (or a very small group) .

The idea of publishers also owning copyright in a novel is also a relatively recent invention; Charles Dickens did his own advertising and PR: the publishers really were just publishers back then.

I'd be more than happy for corporations to be allowed to own a copyright, thus the "life + X years" thing could be restored to something like this:

1. For individuals: "life of owner + X years", where X is something like 10-20 years at most.

2a. For corporations who bring copyrightable works into being, they have two options: "life of copyright-owning corporation only, with no transfer of rights possible, or 100 years, whichever is the sooner". This would be the default method.

2b. If the corporation in question wants to have the right to transfer their IP rights, they should be allowed to do so ONLY on payment of a renewable annual license by the assigned IP owner. (Also: this should only be allowed to happen once.) Thus, Disney could transfer their older movies to, say, a "Disney Archive" company, but only if they continue to pay for this right for as long as they wish it. The moment they stop those payments, the default system returns and, if the rights have been transferred already, those rights lapse instantly. Do not pass Go. Do not collect $200.

Both 2a and 2b would have "availability" clauses requiring the copyright owners to ensure all their copyrighted works remain available to the public at a fair and reasonable price throughout the lifetime of that copyright.

My reasoning behind (2b) above is that some media—e.g. many early silent movies—simply wouldn't survive if left solely to the Public Domain. Restoring the complete footage of, say, Lang's "Metropolis", is a massive—and massively expensive—undertaking. That annual license fee would effectively fund such restoration and archival projects, and would be mostly distributed to relevant institutes and other entities.

My reasoning behind point (2a) above is simple: Animation, computer games, and many other media can be seriously expensive and labour-intensive to make. The idea that any single *individual* can own a copyright in a movie like Disney's "Snow White" is utterly insane, so assigning that copyright to the company that *enabled the creation of the work* by paying for it up-front (and taking all the risk!) seems perfectly fair to me.

Note, too, that many other countries rely on collectives and cross-border collaborations to produce some of their copyrightable content. (E.g. many French animations for children were co-produced with Canadian producers. Even series like "UFO" and "Space:1999" were co-produced with German and Italian money. Even the return of the BBC's "Doctor Who" in 2005 gives a Canadian Broadcasting Company co-producer credit in seasons 2 and 3.)

This sort of thing means allowing copyright assignation to a corporate entity is an important requirement of any rebooted IP system.

Under (2a) If Disney goes completely bust, everything they did enters the public domain. (Chapter 11 in the US would be a way around that, so it's not as bad as it appears.) But as long as the company exists, they don't have to worry about their earlier works entering the public realm. This removes the pressure to extend copyright terms as Disney aren't planning to go bust any time soon.

Without option (2b) above, if Disney decided to dump some of their older cartoons into the Public Domain—e.g. those old black and white musical ones that primarily of historic rather than entertainment interest today—who would be responsible for ensuring those animations are made available in suitable formats, and that the archived original material is maintained? By requiring an annual fee, the costs of both operations are covered.

Copyright *can* be a tool for expression. The trick is realising that laws are complex systems too, and need regular maintenance and upgrades as and when circumstances require it.

Finally: Don't blame the *concept* of Copyright for the failings of the US Government and its love of lobbyists' money. That's a problem with YOU, The People, not an inherent problem with Copyright itself.

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Sorry Stephen

" If your work hasn't made anything within 14 years of publication it's never going to - give it up already."

How about "Love is all around" Stephen, Troggs - October 1967, then a 27 year gap until Wet Wet Wet [1] covered it in May 1994. Reg Presley famously spent some of the proceeds, which he received for composing the song, on crop circle research and a new home!

Apart from that, excellent comment and have an upvote for your effort.

[1] must resist temptation to make 3 degrees/Paris joke

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@Sean Baggaley 1

You failed one of the basic tests of arguing on the internet: whataboutery. You had the gall to complain about someone talking about copyright while "CHILDREN ARE FUCKING DYING OF HUNGER" ... then you went on to write a 900 word rant about copyright.

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Too Right

And it's even worse for computer games.

Want to release your game but can't be bothered to finish it? Fine just put out the finished version as DLC, which can't be resold and the punters have to pay again for. In fact while we are at it, lets lock the game itself down to Steam so that can't be resold either.

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Re: How is that fair?

It is fair precisely because, given the exact scenario you have advanced, there obviously *is* some difference between the original version and the remix that the law can't see.

One flopped. The other was wildly successful. The law considers them the same.

Most people would reckon that *demonstrates* a problem in the relevant law.

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Re: @Sean Baggaley 1

"You had the gall to complain about someone talking about copyright while "CHILDREN ARE FUCKING DYING OF HUNGER" ... then you went on to write a 900 word rant about copyright."

Nail on the head time, right there.

Whining about not being compensated for lifetime plus Cliff Richard's PIN code for "my wonderful gift to creativity (it's available for all the consoles, you know)" is so Spoilt Westerner, it hardly merits a response at all.

Labelling everyone who doesn't want draconian copyright regimes and criminal enforcement as "anti-copyright freeloaders" (not "freetards" for a change?) is also puerile and counterproductive when a lot of people can see the need for copyright, but don't think it should be enforced in a way that has people potentially subject to substantial penalties for doing things that don't seem like unreasonable acts. That a member of the EU Commission of all organisations can see this problem and not the supposedly astute Baggaleys and Orlowskis of this world restores my faith in humanity for a brief moment (but obviously does little to bolster my opinion of the judgement of the latter).

Arguing for yet more government-sanctioned bureaucracy to administer payments to, more often than not, the already rich, especially when the money propping up these bureaucracies (the patent bureaucracy being the big one in terms of economic damage) could be spent on FUCKING MAKING SURE THAT THE CHILDREN ARE NOT FUCKING DYING OF HUNGER (and also abolishing or curtailing the economic injustice that leads to such bigger issues) is also so Spoilt Westerner.

But hey, Nathan Barley needs to be rewarded for his creativity - that's priority #1, right? Feeding the children - perhaps priority #2. Oh, and it's the "freetards" blocking item #2, of course.

Sheesh!

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That pic is great! But it missed out the advert that tells us that piracy is wrong, immoral and no different than stealing a car. Even though we paid for the damn movie already.

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I would steal a car

Well, I'd happily download it by torrent. It is the same, isn't it?

Remember folks, stealing music hurts music execs' boni [1] and that is bad for all.

[1] I don't like bonuses.

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Agreed.

You see all the time that artists are not initially recognized until later in life.

Books are a good example. The initial book being seen as "meh", but the second book then bringing a world of support, popularity, etc, and everyone buying book one.

Elvis songs for me? Meh. However, Elvis vs Jxl - cool!

Copyright should and needs to exist, with a work being protected for perhaps forever. I can't see how that can be reasonably denied.

The issue highlighted by this article and Neelie is copyright *ENFORCEMENT*. I want to pay for a book/game/music - I don't want to be hassle regarding how I view/store/move it.

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Megaphone

I Hate Copyright

Because it is constantly being extended.

The original Statute of Anne was a compromise that was struck between creators and consumers that gave creators a 14 year (with an option for another 14 years) monopoly on their creations in exchange for those creations becoming public domain at the end of that period.

Since then, artistic works have become the properties of corporations who have successfully pushed extensions to copyright far in excess of the original agreement with nothing given back to consumers in return.

They continue to put pressure on creating further extensions to this very day.

I'm damned if I'm going to contribute to some greedy corporations bottom line just so that I can listen to music made 40 years ago, often by a dude that has died long ago.

Recently, one of the newspapers where I live ran an article on the highest earning "dead" people, with Whacko Jacko, Jimi Hendrix, Einstein and John Lennon all at the top of the list.

Why? Why should the children and grand children of these people continue to live the easy life based on works by their parents?

Their parents made a bundle while alive and if they failed to invest wisely instead of snorting their wealth up their nose then that is Not My Problem.

Why should I hand over my hard earned to these corporate rent collectors?

No, feck that, the copyright cartels have taken too much and no longer deserve my support.

Put in a fair system that allows a reasonable monopoly period with a transfer of rights to the public at the end and I will get on board.

Until that happens, they can all get stuffed.

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Joke

snorting their wealth up their nose...

OTOH

If they hadnt done that then the doors would have souinded like pat fecking boone and you would have been fucked either way.

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What if...

...you made your living from copyrighted material?

What if you were a singer songwriter? Would you be happy that after 14 years, people could re-package your songs, or even the very same recording, sell it, and make money from it, and not give you a thing?

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@forthisNotDead

"What if you were a singer songwriter? Would you be happy that after 14 years, people could re-package your songs, or even the very same recording, sell it, and make money from it, and not give you a thing?"

I have a problem with this. 15 years ago I was paid for my work. 14 years ago I was paid for the work I did 14 years ago, ditto 13, 12 etc, and this year I am being paid for the work I do now. It seems odd as a concept that I should expect to be paid this year for the work I did this year, and also this year for the work I did last year, and this year for the work I did the year before etc etc.

In theory, I could work for a year and expect to be paid for life.

However, against that, I understand the concept of not creating a "thing", but allowing someone to pay to see or hear my work on a per view basis over a long period of time. If someone were to copy my work and then give it away they are depriving me of income, and thus I should be protected.

I find it very hard to reconcile the two points of view. Quite clearly protection should be provided, but an income for life is perhaps unreasonable. Don't know what the answer is but DRM is not it - that just allows marketing types to screw more out of the end user - the artist gets no more.

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What if...

You have to specify what you mean by “copyrighted material”, regular readers of elReg should be familiar with the case of Morrissey and Sony releasing a “best of” compilation without giving him a cent.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/08/14/morrissey_objects_online/

As this article comments “The record labels are copyright defenders only when they profit unfairly from it. When they can screw over others via ignoring copyright, they have no problem doing so”

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20091207/1201017234.shtml

As usual, copyright is not about protecting artists, its about protecting the income of the copyright mafiaa, only the *BIG* stars can make a living from royalties, speaking from personal experience, most musicians are more dependant on live performances.

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Anonymous Coward

"15 years ago I was paid for my work."

Remember that Sir Cliff and pals didn't pay their musicians and technicians enough, and so being paid over and over for something that was already blasted into popular culture when such dinosaurs still roamed the Earth is their way of saying thank you. Of course, Sir Cliff and pals will gladly take the lion's share of each dip into the till, but don't pay any attention to that: it's for the people we exploited, got that?

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Freetards win (sort of)

Ayn Rand had it right. There's no private property that a desperate poliitician won't sieze "for the public good". Couldn't happen to a nicer industry though.

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The view of copyright data as "Property" is modern and misguided. It's also an artificial, governmental imposition - something I believe that Saint Ayn disapproved of IIRC.

By the way, you may want to read about her life (particularly the way she treated those close to her) before putting too much faith in her simplistic and fallacious parables.

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@Rob 21

Copyright exists due to law enacted and enforced by the state and for no other reason. Apart from a few Pirate Party representatives in Sweden, no-one ever got elected by arguing against those who buy ink by the barrel, and who happen to be amongst the main beneficiaries.

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Anonymous Coward

Er?

“Too often, we can’t try them because of some old set of rules made for a different age”, which means that in the EU, proposals such as the extended collective licensing practiced in Scandinavia are “killed before they can show their merit”.

So, are you aware what is "extended collective licensing"? Here, let me look that up for you on Wikipedia:

"Extended collective licensing (ECL) are collective copyright and related rights laws and licensing agreements. ECL agreements by law extend to rights owners who are not members of the collecting society agreeing the licence with a user. " from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extended_collective_licensing

Now, have look at this: http://preview.tinyurl.com/c5flqvz .

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Stop

URLs shorteners... stop it...

Please do not use them... they give no clue as to where they go to...

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Ummm....

I would have thought that "preview" in the URL for a *very* well known shortener would have been a bit of a clue. It goes to TechDirt.

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20111114/02034116758/gema-once-again-demands-royalties-creative-commons-music-it-has-no-rights-over.shtml

Happy now?

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Re: URL shorteners

That's why I used one of the most well known ones, offering to show you the URL and let you choose whether you want to be redirected there.

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Anonymous Coward

Maybe it's a well known shortner with a preview, but it's not like posting here has a character limit like Twitter or SMS.

We have the space, so use the full url. It's a quick cut and paste and everyone can see where it goes and decide whether to click or not. If it was somewhere dodgy, I may not even want to have the preview stored in my browser history.

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Anonymous Coward

""Extended collective licensing (ECL) "

Otherwise known as compulsory acquisition of property.

Are you sure you wouldn't be happier in North Korea? Try asserting your copying rights there, mate.

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Anonymous Coward

intermediaries

The issue regarding intermediaries is key. There is an underlying lie that a good artist or film would be successful because they are good. This simply isn't true. They are successful because they had the right management who could line up (and pay for upfront) the billboard adverts, coordinate the Graham Norton show appearance and the tv ads.

We all want to be the ones who liked the band before they were famous. No-one wants to think that they like the band because that's what we've been fed by the media. The industrial greed machine is highly tuned. The x-factor contestant has no chance of actually making money of their nationwide fame and massive christmas #1. It will all go to the intermediaries. Better yet, the constant stream of talent shows with the accompanying media blitz pretty much ensures that old contestants (or anyone else) have very little chance of being able to match the media coverage and compete for punters' disposable income.

Of course, music doesn't just consist of x-factor but it does show why the industry pushes for longer copywrite. It runs off a constant stream of one-hit-wonders, not because the artists aren't any good, but because that is a more profitable business model for them to pursue. The intermediary industry (and it is an industry on its own) doesn't want "artists" to be successful, they just what their particular (and most profitable) artist to be successful.

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persnly i'd rather stick pins in my eyes that listen to even one wave from a x-fuctup battery hen, but isnt their output pretty much exclusively covers?

Cant see cowell et al ever wanting to spend time in a room with a 'creative' - research shows that occasionally those types show signs of thinking for themselves - fuck that for a game of soldiers!

as with politics and fast food - the people get pretty much what they deserve.

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Anonymous Coward

fao: AC 02:37 GMT

"music doesn't just consist of x-factor but it does show why the industry pushes for longer copywrite"

Are we supposed to take your views on copyright seriously when you can't even spell it?

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@Steven Roper.

There is no inherent problem with Disney (or anyone else for that matter) lobbying for changes to whichever law(s) they're interested in. The problem lies on the other side of the equation with politicians making laws which benefit corporations (just to pick a random example: Disney) instead of their constituents.

The larger problem is not even with the politicians. It's with the voters who see the politicians making laws which benefit corporations (to pick another example at random: Disney) instead of themselves... and still continue to vote for said politicians.

Nobody likes to hear it, but the problem is us.

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Anonymous Coward

Fully agree with you ... with one slight problem.

Last time I went to vote I had a choice of:

Party A who makes laws that benefit corp X

Party B who makes laws that benefit corp Y (technically that may be Union Y, but meh)

No matter how many times I turned the ballot paper over I could not find any other candidates.

Any yes, technically there was an actual person's name next to the Party, but as none of them ever vote outside "party lines" I don't see how I'm not voting for the Party. I don't recall ever seeing election advertising about "Candidate J", always about "Party J".

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The problem is Silent_count .. there are no politicians/partys left to vote for worth a damn.

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Anonymous Coward

I hate to tell you this, but we--the votors--don't get a whole lot of choice in the matter. We're usually given a choice between a corporate funded bastard who claims he won't screw us on a handful of minor issues and a corporate funded bastard who claims he won't screw us on a slightly different handful of minor issues. If Jesus, Mohammad or Moses were on the ballot, I'm sure they'd get lots of votes, but all we get is Satan, Beelzebub and Shaitan to choose from.

Though you could ask, why don't decent people run for office? Alternatively, a more democratic form of government might actually give the people who haven't bought a representative some say in their governance.

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@silent_count

"Nobody likes to hear it, but the problem is us"

So true with most aspects of govenment, we all moan, an yet like sheep we all do nothing

The govenments are there to represent the people but most things that happen are actually more to do with political or financial gain. an example being, slashing VAT to 5%, great for us, crap for the country, which is why its not done thankfully, but equally they would be quite happy to spend bilions on vote winning projects which do little for us but gives them political ammo

"There is no inherent problem with Disney (or anyone else for that matter) lobbying for changes to whichever law(s) they're interested in. The problem lies on the other side of the equation with politicians making laws which benefit corporations (just to pick a random example: Disney) instead of their constituents."

The problem with equations is that they have to balance, and as you pointed out, whats done is for the corps, not the people, to balance the equation you need to make Govenment = People

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Pirate

@silent_count "Nobody likes to hear it, but the problem is us."

Those who own the media have a vested interest in having as one sided a debate as possible on the copyright feeding frenzy. Politicians have a vested interest in obtaining media support - it wasn't Murdoch who had to fly half way around the world to get Tony Blair's support for the 2007 election.

The copyright problem isn't so much us as to do with politicians believing they need big media to get their message across to us. For those of us unwilling to vote single issue for a Pirate candidate even if we agree with the Pirate platform, because more important issues than copyright are being decided in an election your criticism is fair enough. But that's as much a fault with our system as it is with us.

Better for the Pirate Party to rate and endorse candidates for other parties in marginals based on responses to questionnaires on the copyright issue in places where Pirates can't afford to stand. This would start to modify views by mainstream parties on copyright once having more sane policies on copyright started improving chances of election.

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As I've been saying for years ...

The problem with modern copyright law is that once something can be digitized, there is absolutely nothing to stop it being copied & shared globally. The politicians & recording companies can blather on as much as they like, but thems the facts. The cat has left the unbolted stable door, and can't be swept back into the worm can.

Note that I'm not discussing the moral/legal aspect here, just the reality.

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Stop

I'm a punter, and I have no problems with copyRIGHT.

What I have a problem is when the laws try to recreate the pre-1710 era of not HAVING copyRIGHT.

Through ever-increasing terms and criminalizing of DRM removal, we are almost to the point where we no longer actually have copyRIGHT anymore, but instead have a situation much like the London Company of Stationers in pre-1710 - where Big Media of the day owns everything, can take something and "own" it even if they didn't create it (such as republishing Plato - boom, they "own" it today just by putting it behind any kind of DRM).

copyRIGHT included an ever-increasing public domain. That was the deal - government protects the work for a set time, then it goes into the public domain. THAT IS NO LONGER TRUE. Every few years, the copyright terms get increased. We're at 100 years now, up from the original 25. There's already noises of making it longer. Nothing has entered the public domain since 1923 unless it was deliberately put there by the author/artist. The Statute of Anne did away with perpetual ownership of works - and now we're back to where we were.

I have no problems with copyRIGHT. I strongly object to the re-birth of the London Company of Stationers with perpetual ownership of works, authors not owning their works because everything is a work for hire, no public domain, no fair use (can't use it if it's behind some form of DRM), and so on.

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FAIL

The problem isn't copyright....

I'm not very impressed with this speech. Yes, it is refreshing to see that the issue itself finally gets some attention, but what bothers me is that the very cause of the problem is totally ignored and only hinted at.

The main problem are the copyright enforcement agencies. These claim to protect the interest and rights of their clients while in fact all they're good for is grossing in money. Worst part is that in many cases these agencies are on the payroll by your friendly unknowing government.

And because of their binds into the government they can basically do whatever they want. My (local) example is Buma/Stemra. An organization which claims to protect copyrights for musicians. Of course the reality is totally different; the public gets to pay dearly to "compensate for the loss of income" (for example when purchasing CDR's or other storage media), people who make music get to pay dearly to "compensate for the costs to protect your loss of income" and in the mean time they get their hands tied behind their back.

It wouldn't be the first time where a Dutch musician decided to put his work online for free, only to be met with a heavy fine from Buma/Stemra for violating god knows what for stupid policy. All in the interest of copyright protection of course.

The /real/ problem here is that Buma/Stemra is an organization, a company of some sorts. Also on the payroll of our government. But in the end a company will be interested in one thing: making a profit. All those people working at Buma/Stemra need to get paid too you know...

Is it that hard to realize that "making a profit" and "protecting ones rights" is often cause for a conflict of interests ?

Now, the reason I'm totally unimpressed here is because Neelie Kroes has been one of the founders of this very specific problem. She was one of the first ministers in our government who was very into dropping government assets and turning them into some private business. Our national post agency (which worked great at the time)? No, it had to become a private firm and making money on its own.

Well, the end results were obvious: steadily rising prices, steadily dropping service and the populace could pay double (the new "company" still got a heavy financial boost from government money (taxes which we all pay for)) as well as income from "selling" their products. And the foundation to privatize even more government assets!

And because of that legacy do I really get the idea that she has spotted a potential problem (people hating copyright "vendors") while having absolutely no clue what so ever where its all coming from.

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Anonymous Coward

meh

People like Goat Jam bug the hell out of me. When you distill his whining, it comes down to the fact that he does not want to pay for music. Well, tough. The laws of the land say you do have to pay for music. If you do not like the law, either get it changed or go and live somewhere different. The whole freetard ethos that everything that can be digitally delivered should be free is ridiculous.

I, along with many other civilized humans, am more than happy to pay for music.

If you do not like DRM then just buy the CD/DVD and THEN download from a torrent. That way the artist gets paid and you get your DRM/trailer free media. But I bet you will not – I bet you just carry on stealing stuff and using you pathetic moral arguments to justify your theft.

As for Neelie, she is probably just trying to engineer some scam that will benefit the EU economically as opposed to actually giving a damn about recording artists and/or consumers.

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The "freetard" idea has been around since the internet was young, a great example of this is shareware. You got the software, complete with DRM, but a lot of the time people went out of their way to bypass it.

Take Winzip/Winrar as an example, both pieces of software are widely used, both commercially and privately, but only a fraction of those users have paid for the software, why? Because they didn't have to.

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I, along with many other civilized humans, am more than happy to pay for music.

I, along with many other milked and bilked J. Randoms, am more than happy to pay for music.

There fixed it for you.

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@AC 21st November 2011 06:10 GMT

Just because Goat Jam is annoying, dosen't mean he/she is wrong or the point he/she is making

Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.

As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant, they too have their story. Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit.

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