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back to article 'Oppressive' UK copyright law: More cobblers from IP quangos

A new report by intellectual property campaigners has again put the UK on the naughty step. This year, as last year, activists list the UK alongside Brazil and Thailand as having the most "oppressive" copyright laws in the world. The report was published by an international NGO called Consumer International, but this delegates …

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Anonymous Coward

Did I see that right?

How on earth did the USA make the top 5? They tend to be just as bad as us at Copyright, just look at the RIAA and MPAA.

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Unhappy

Britain's IP laws...... We are all Criminals

The problem with Britain's IP laws is that they make criminals of most of us for doing things that most of us take for granted. Britain has no "fair use" provision, so any copying of copyright material, even copying a CD for use on your own mp3 player or DVD for use on your own PMP is considered an offence.

The copying of the DVD is even considered a criminal offence because it involves circumventing copy protection.

British IP law makes no distinction between "home copiers" and serial downloaders. We are all tarred with the same brush. We are all offenders.

The point, here, is if you are considered a crook, you may as well behave like a crook. If you are considered a crook for copying your own DVDs, you may as well download them instead as you will be be considered a crook either way.

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Re: Britain's IP laws...... We are all Criminals

I don't think this counted the payoffs politicians and courts receive in America, only looking at the exact letter of the law, which may explain how it ranks so highly, yet in reality is easily down with us. With the RIAA and MPAA paying out hundreds of thousands to buy their own justice.

Notice how on the positive side [America removed] it is largely countries on the grow, both technologically and intellectually like India, yet the bottom list shows countries in decline, like us in the UK.

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(Written by Reg staff) Bronze badge

Re: Britain's IP laws...... We are all Criminals

Yes, good point: our jails are heaving full of parody writers and format shifters.

Is impersonating a Chelsea Pensioner still illegal? I think it is. Until recently it carried the death penalty.

So copyright needs a bit of perspective. But there's no room for it in the paranoid freetard mindset, where the punter is always being victimised by The Man.

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(Written by Reg staff) Bronze badge

Re: Re: Britain's IP laws...... We are all Criminals

One company, Google, outspent Hollywood and the RIAA on SOPA lobbying.

Tech industries had more lobbyists and more access. The "buying laws" line may have been true once but isn't anymore. Nothing gets through. Or hadn't you noticed?

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Re: Britain's IP laws...... We are all Criminals

It isn't YOUR DVD. No you CANT copy it.

"Fair Use" is a scam. The only use you should have is that which the owner of the property (not you) permits.

Can I copy a £10 note because it's MY £10 note? No I can't.

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Re: Britain's IP laws...... We are all Criminals

"But there's no room for it in the paranoid freetard mindset, where the punter is always being victimised by The Man."

Indeed, that's why copyright on books is 70 years after the author's death. That way it rewards creators, even after the creators have died. And copyright on music was extended to 70 years, so that one hour's, admittedly very good, work in a person's twenties should provide for them for the rest of their life.

A quotation, from Sonny Bono's widow, at the time a member of congress (taken from that ever-reliable Wikipedia):

"Actually, Sonny wanted the term of copyright protection to last forever. I am informed by staff that such a change would violate the Constitution. ... As you know, there is also [then-MPAA president] Jack Valenti's proposal for term to last forever less one day. Perhaps the Committee may look at that next Congress."

Yes, definitely consumer champions here.

The Man endlessly attempts to rip off the public -- that is basically The Man's job -- and the public have found a way to rip off The Man. Swings and roundabouts. But The Man's way is legal and the public's way illegal, because one side writes the laws.

(The Man screws people regardless of His shape, not just the music and movie industries: see Microsoft's double-digit shafting. The idea that multinational companies are not trying to screw every last bit of money they can out of the public is pretty ridiculous.)

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Re: Re: Britain's IP laws...... We are all Criminals

Politicians can pass laws making copyright last a million years and it wouldn't make any difference. If you can't enforce a law, it's meaningless. That's the point, and you've missed it.

(Because you have the need to feel that The Man is "screwing you")

Copyright term online is now about 45 seconds - and infringing online is pretty much guaranteed to be totally safe and free of a knock on the door.

So carry on Torrenting by all means, but don't pretend that you're being persecuted - it just makes you look nutty.

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Re: Britain's IP laws...... We are all Criminals

What problem do you have against men? Are you one of these self-hating men/feminist types?

All I see is you blaming the man and never women. You do know that women are in the music business too - not just men!

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Re: Britain's IP laws...... We are all Criminals

A near miss, try this. If you have a ruined £10 note you can get it replaced because it is an IOU and not the actual item of worth. Now try taking a ruined DVD of a film and try getting it replaced for the cost of incremental supply because you already have a licence for the content. (If you try this - please report back!)

Fair use is as much part of the creation of intellectual rights as any other in countries where it exists as any other, just like expiration of copyright. The real debate is whether it leads to more, better content creation and economic growth than otherwise.

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Trollface

Re: "Fair Use" is a scam.

Of course, you paid for your username or acknowledged the meme creator....?

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Fail.

No you cannot copy a bank note but if it breaks \ wears out you get another free. As soon as dollarwood dispenses free replacement disks I won't need a backup copy.

Crap like this is why I left the UK. Yes copyright laws could be rethought but a big reason the UK became so prominant in the inddustrialised world was its inventors and designers, who could only do so because they were allowed to benefit from their investment of time and money. The same could be said of our creative industry, our writers, our artists, photographers, musicians etc. Between freetards and publishers wanted free content (or the power to take what they want at a price they decide) there is very little incentive left to create.

How do you think it will go when an inventor / scientist / artist / musician etc approaches an investor with the line "I'd like X million to do this but due to dumbass freetards it will be instantly copied so we won't recoup any money". Where will the investment in films, music, art etc come from?

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Re: Britain's IP laws...... We are all Criminals

"It isn't YOUR DVD."

Yes, it is.

"The only use you should have is that which the owner of the property (not you) permits."

You're not very bright, are you? The DVD is of course property of the purchaser and not the content creator. And the purchaser can do whatever he wants with his property.

Only the copyright remains with the copyright holder, and this copyright means the purchaser of the DVD is limited in what he can do with the content.

And saying that 'Fair Use' is plain stupid when the country which probably produces most of the creative content that is sold has had legal 'Fair Use' provisions for years.

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Re: Britain's IP laws...... We are all Criminals

I do think the 70 years after death rule is madness -- gone are the times when a man's writing was expected to support his widow and children their their lives. But as an author myself, it would be nice if people did not decide my work was theirs for free because it was 'knowledge'. If knowledge is wanted so badly and gives so much benefit, why not pay for it? Sharing knowledge, unlike making bread every day, is a one-off thing: how do we rate the worth of one brilliant idea (process/song/poem) as an ongoing item of value? Should the writer of a classic song or an astounding insight get paid less becuase it has a single point of creation? Or get paid nothing at all, because it is liked so much?

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Re: Britain's IP laws...... We are all Criminals

No, you can't copy a £10 note, at least not closely enough to be mistaken for 'the real thing'.

This is because it's a legal document with a special value attached to it.

(You own the value that the note represents)

Here in Norway it's illegal to 'circumvent effective protection mechanisms'...

And fair use rules not only allows us to make our own copy(for backup purposes and so on), but also to lend the original(or copy) to close friends and family.

The way I consider an original CD or DVD is as a 'proof of entitlement' that gives you the right to use the contents for YOUR pleasure whenever and wherever YOU are. If that means you have to copy the contents onto another media(possibly in another format) then so be it.

(I have now ripped most of my DVD collection and converted it to .mp4 for easier access and stored all the hundreds of DVDs in the attic, next to my CD-collection... )

As soon as you dispose of the original media, though, you no longer have the right to use the contents.

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Re: Britain's IP laws...... We are all Criminals

Andrew.

Out of curiosity, if in an ideal situation a copyright law could be enforced and everyone abided by it. What do you think would be a reasonable length of time?

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Re: Britain's IP laws...... We are all Criminals

Of course it makes a difference, if it lasts a million years then people who copy after a reasonable amount of time are open to both private and public legal repercussions. Even if it only ever happens to a minority of people, the possibility is still there.

Laws that can't be enforced are passed all the time. They're used to screw people that come to the authorities' attention for other reasons.

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Re: Britain's IP laws...... We are all Criminals

"Politicians can pass laws making copyright last a million years and it wouldn't make any difference. If you can't enforce a law, it's meaningless. That's the point, and you've missed it."

Exactly.

And the current set of copyright laws is almost totally unenforceable and, therefore, not fit for purpose. The media industry are running around like headless chickens trying to clamp down on copyright "theft", but their efforts are like trying to tighten their grip on a lump of Play Doh. The harder they squeeze the more squidges through their fingers.

If they truly want to beat "piracy", they need to get the movie, music, software and e-book buying public "on-side". They can only do this by offering content at a rate and with terms that the majority see as fair and reasonable.

It's easy to make a freetard. Just rip off an honest content buyer once and he is likely to look for other sources. But once he has discovered that freetard motherlode its going to be the Devil's own job to get him to start paying again.

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Re: Britain's IP laws...... We are all Criminals

"One company, Google, outspent Hollywood and the RIAA on SOPA lobbying."

But they have to - if they don't pay the protection money regularly RIAA will just redouble their efforts to extort cash from YouTube etc.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Britain's IP laws...... We are all Criminals

I take for granted the fact i can do 75 on a uk motorway, i could drive past a police car, or speed camera, and get away with it. i still accept i'm doing something wrong, and i certainly wouldn't believe the speed limits should be changed, because i've got used to abusing them.

No legal body ever told me of "fair use", i used to copy Records onto Tape, or Tapes onto CD, i still accept by the letter of the law, i did something wrong.

Personally, rather than changing the copyright laws, i wish content makers were forced to adhere to the itunes music model, whereby i had tons of itunes DRM music. iTunes plus came along, and i got the option to upgrade for a small fee.

Give me an address where i can send all my records, tapes, cds, dvds, blurays, books, xbox/ps3 disks and get the latest digital version of my content for a small fee, and i'll start doing it tomorrow.

Once in the digital domain, people like Apple then have huge future revenue sources, so when MPEG8 or AAC+++++, or whatever come out, start converting all your back catalogue to a new format, and watch the money come rolling in.

Even better, thats then another step towards fighting piracy. Buying things yourself then becomes a better proposition, because then you've got a automatic upgrade route for all the content thats important to you.

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WTF?

Re: Britain's IP laws...... We are all Criminals

"If the fair use convention applied in the UK, then said company would have been able to shrug their shoulders at me and go 'that's too bad'."

How?

Fair use laws in the US are broadly there so that consumers can make backups of works they have bought, and format shift them, and so that small snippets and segments can be used for purposes of criticism/review. Oh, and so libraries can exist, and the occasional educational exemption on photocopying the odd page.

Please explain how fair-use laws would allow use of your music in a movie without payment. I genuinely don't see it and suspect you misunderstood your own standing. As far as I can tell you're spouting nonsense. Lawsuits go on in the US for this sort of thing ALL the time.

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Re: Britain's IP laws...... We are all Criminals

Good for you winning your case, I think commercial use should always be paid for!

I think we need a fair use for personal use, mainly format shifting.

I.E. CD -> MP3, DVD -> HDD

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Anonymous Coward

@AC 12:20

No they would not have been able to do that!

The "Fair Use" provisions are explicitly for individuals (and their immediate family), and explicitly does not allow use of copyrighted meterial for commecial gain or free distribution.

(I'm posting AC as I should be back working now :)

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Re: Britain's IP laws...... We are all Criminals

"As you know, there is also [then-MPAA president] Jack Valenti's proposal for term to last forever less one day".

And that, of course, is less than forever. The quoted words, by simply existing, offer us the possibility of perpetual free power by harnessing the motion of Hilbert and Cantor rotating in their graves.

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Re: Britain's IP laws...... We are all Criminals @Hollerith 1

how do we rate the worth of one brilliant idea (process/song/poem) as an ongoing item of value? Should the writer of a classic song or an astounding insight get paid less becuase it has a single point of creation? Or get paid nothing at all, because it is liked so much?

In academia, a researcher might pay to have their article published in an Open Access journal. The idea might come to be seen as pivotal, and end up one of the most cited papers in its field; that academic wouldn't earn an extra penny, directly.

Similarly, I'm paid a salary. The app I produce might go on to make millions for my employer (fat chance); but if it does, I won't see a penny. That's not quite as clear cut, but similar things have happened to artists.

Of course, having pop groups and movies funded by the Arts Council might not be the best solution.

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Copy £10 note

Yes I can. I can copy a £10 note. In fact I have just been to the photocopier and made a copy. i am now going to use that copy in any way that I choose for my own purposes. I am to use it as a substitue for a bog roll. However whether the treasury allows me to do it is another matter.

What i an not allowed to do is use that copy as legal tender. i.e. in exchange for goods and services, nor can I copy it onto a bog roll and sell it.....or even give it away.

That is what fair use should be all about. Once i have bought the CD, i shopuld be able to use it in any way i want for my own purposes - even copying it to transform it into a new format. Just as long i do it for myself and don't sell it or give it away.

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Windows

Can I copy a £10 note because it's MY £10 note? No I can't.

Because it belongs to the Queen, I think.

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Re: @David Hicks

@AC

"The lawyer for their side tried to claim that the film was a documentary, and as such the makers were allowed to use 'small segments for the purposes of criticism / review'"

And if that was genuinely found to be the case, that they had used small excerpts for the purposes of criticism, then I would support them over you. Some uses should be protected, commercial or otherwise, regardless of your objections.

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Re: Britain's IP laws...... We are all Criminals

@ DavCrav, you are using two incompatible definitions of "rip off".

In one case, The Man "rips off" customers by offering something they want at a price they are willing to pay (if they are not willing to pay, they do not pay, and are not ripped off). So the customer is given an offer, which he accepts, and because he thinks it is to his mind too expensive he then turns around and says he's "ripped off". This is "ripped off" as in "rip off Britain", and I don't see this being the exclusive preserve of the IP-related industries. It's not like food or petrol, either, where you have little choice but to pay up. You can always not have that CD. The whole thing is legal because this is how markets work.

In another case, a fraction of the public "rips off" The Man by getting something they want without having to pay for it. Technically it's not theft but morally it pretty much is. That's why it's illegal. It has nothing to do with "The Man" making the laws he wants. Things like stealing = illegal. Things like making offers and having them accepted or declined by agents capable of free will = legal. Pretty damned simple if you ask me.

Comparing these two "rip offs" using the same term is disingenuous in the extreme. I suppose it is equally valid to steal petrol or food if one decides they are "too expensive"? No, of course not. An exception is made that taking something without paying is OK so long as it doesn't *directly* cost the producer anything. It's a bullshit distinction. To my mind this moral high-ground crap is far more distasteful than the actual execution of the crime. It would be better if people had the intellectual honesty to admit they take stuff without paying simply because they can.

PS: great article, Mr Orlowski! For once I agreed with everything :)

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Re: Britain's IP laws...... We are all Criminals @Trygve Henriksen

Here in Norway it's illegal to 'circumvent effective protection mechanisms'...

Well then it not illegal because if you can circumvent the protection mechanism then it is not an effective protection mechanism, it is therefore an ineffective protection mechanism and, by implication, not covered by the law.

QED

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Re: Britain's IP laws...... We are all Criminals

"In another case, a fraction of the public "rips off" The Man by getting something they want without having to pay for it. Technically it's not theft but morally it pretty much is. That's why it's illegal. It has nothing to do with "The Man" making the laws he wants. Things like stealing = illegal. Things like making offers and having them accepted or declined by agents capable of free will = legal. Pretty damned simple if you ask me."

Indeed, that is simple, as you said it. Just because you can make it sound simple doesn't mean it is though. The company producing Led Zeppelin's albums have a monopoly on Led Zeppelin albums; there are quasi-acceptable substitutions, but nothing really substitutable. (Compare to, for example petrol, where any company producing petrol can be contracted.) In cases of monopolies, we (sometimes) use regulation to stop them *ripping off* their customers.

The fact that intellectual property is not actual property, and therefore cannot be stolen (taken with the intention of permanently depriving), and recognizing that intellectual property is of use, the government sets up a system of law to construct a notion of intellectual property, and what constitutes it. In exchange for being granted a somewhat artificial right (if you come up with a joke and tell me, and I tell someone else, should I be sued?), the creator agrees that after a limited time it becomes public domain.

Oh, wait, that last bit doesn't happen now.

And as for your last statement about "making offers and having them accepted or declined by agents capable of free will", what would you say if your water bill trebled? Do you consider that legal? Water is a necessity for living, but so is entertainment in today's society.

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@AC Re: @David Hicks

Their lawyer can spew all the bullshit he wants to. If it had been taken to court here the same facts would have prevailed and you would have won.

The shame here is that such shenanigans are not routinely referred to The Bar so that the shameless hucksters are removed from the pool of available lawyers.

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@David Hicks re: US Fair use

I concur. Unless AC's piece were used by the same outfit and the contract under which it was originally written specified that they had unlimited use of the work, under the facts as he presented them he would have won the case. And I expect that had my exception been operative, he would have lost in the UK as well.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Britain's IP laws...... We are all Criminals

Reasonable copyright period?

I would go with 50 years, or life plus a little bit, whichever is shorter.

Copyright should also only be personal, never corporate - you should be able to licence your work to a given company at whatever terms seem appropriate (including the possibility of exclusive perpetual licence with no public attribution, eg most work done for hire), but the copyright should remain yours and tied to your lifespan.

- This does get more complex for works with multiple creators. That needs more thought.

Finally, the copyright period for a given work can never be extended. If copyright law is changed after the fact, it cannot affect any content that existed before that date. This reduces lobbying to extend the period and matches other law - copyright is the only aspect of law that has been consistently changed retrospectively, and that's wrong.

I'm undecided on what the 'plus a bit' should be, as it needs t be short enough to encourage companies to help keep their contracted acts alive (so they care if they are killing themselves), while long enough to help the creators dependants in the event of untimely death - and in the case of musicians, cover the spasm of interest that always happens if they die young.

Of course, this will never, ever happen because in the real world copyright will get extended every time a certain mouse approaches the limit.

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bep

Re: Britain's IP laws...... We are all Criminals

Knowledge should be free, but creative works shouldn't. That's the difference.

The reasoning is that it's important for the advance of all disciplines that knowledge should be shared and freely available. This is especially so since most new knowledge is based on previous people's work - standing on the shoulders of giants etc. A lot of creative work is too, but making it available is not necessary for the advancement of science, so the creators deserve an incentive and to be remunerated. Not many people have a problem with this, the problem they have is with record companies, publishers etc who all want to use proprietry formats and make people jump through unnecessary hoops to actually get the content they'd happily buy for a fair price.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Britain's IP laws...... We are all Criminals

But if it's an effective protection mechanism the it can't be circumvented - and if you can circumvent it it can't be very effective, can it?

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Re: Britain's IP laws...... We are all Criminals

"So carry on Torrenting by all means, but don't pretend that you're being persecuted - it just makes you look nutty."

Several years back my ISP disconnected my service, without warning, completely cancelling my e-mail accounts in the process, so any e-mail sent to me simply bounced back to the sender with a does-not-exist error. The cause: friends of my son's were downloading movies on their own laptops while they were around visiting. Forgive me if I felt a bit prosecuted.

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Re: Britain's IP laws...... We are all Criminals

"Can I copy a £10 note because it's MY £10 note? No I can't."

But you can certainly format-shift it as often as you like.

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Re: Fail.

Kickstarter and the other 'venture creativity' outfits are one alternative.

The point about 'copyright' is that any creator who isn't a household name - and some of those who are - get screwed over by corporates anyway.

The royalty system isn't exactly generous to creators. So the idea that xxPA legislation exists to benefit artists is laughable.

And let's be intelligent and stop lumping patent law, creative industry practices and creators' IP rights together. In practice, they're barely related.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Is impersonating a Chelsea Pensioner still illegal?

Eh? What?

Is stealing a loaf bread illegal? Until recently, it carried the death penalty....

But anyway:

--- impersonating a Chelsea Pensioner. Are they members of the armed forces? Should impersonating a soldier be legal?

--- death penalty until recently? Define recently. IIRC, when it was abolished for murder, it was left in place for treason (and burning down naval shipyards?). And that was repealed, err... when?

Talk sense, Man!

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Re: Britain's IP laws...... We are all Criminals

@Eddie Edwards

You seem to have a very warped sense of the moral high-ground in your argument, you seem to have no problem with one part of society ripping off another but when it is the other way around you find it objectionable.

As most elReg fas may be aware; when EMI announced that they reissuing some of Morrissey’s/The Smiths back catalogue Morrissey issued the following statements:- "Morrissey would like it to be known that he has not been consulted by EMI/HMV/Parlophone [record labels, and not the retailer] with regards to two forthcoming boxed sets of Morrissey singles”, it continued: "Morrissey does not approve such releases and would ask people not to bother buying them. Morrissey receives no royalty payments from EMI for any back catalogue, and has not received a royalty from EMI since 1992.”

http://www.nme.com/news/morrissey/46616

Why is that the remastered 39 year old DSOM costs 40% more that the current chart offerings? Have Pink Floyd received a big advance for another mega-record deal? No, its because the target market is perceived to be older and hence have more disposable income.

Take the case of CD WOW, they were importing legally produced CDs from Hong Kong but the copyright mafiaa decided that the European copyright notice was more expensive that the Hong Kong one. The copyright mafiaa can benefit from globalisation to drive down their costs (and drive profits up) but the European consumer can’t.

Lots of other examples exist.

To my mind this moral high-ground crap is the copyright mafiaa claiming that illegal downloading is hurting artists, seems to me that the copyright mafia are quite capable of depriving artists of income with out the help of downloaders, I find this far more distasteful than downloading, it would be far better if the copyright mafiaa had the intellectual honesty to admit they also take stuff without paying and gouge consumers simply because they can.

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Re: Britain's IP laws...... We are all Criminals @Trygve Henriksen

Exactly.

I really like the wording of that law...

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Mushroom

Damn commies...

That's all A2K are. Wonder what that road leads to...

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Pirate

Re: Damn commies...

Funny you should mention roads.

So I guess we should all feel lucky that our road workers don't have lawyers like "content creators" have, or else we would be expected to pay by the mile to each worker that built it.

I like "content creators", but just how much value do they think they deserve? So you wrote a book, why do you think that you should never have to work again? Why do you think that you should be paid forever for "work" you did one time? How long did it take to write said book? A week? A month? A year? Road workers make $50,000 a year, and they work in the sun, and heat, and deal with dangerous machines and hot tar. So there are 7 billion people on this planet, if we all give you $0.000007 a year that would equal $50,000, would that make you happy. How much do you feel that week or month of work was really worth? That is the problem, a road workers week is worth about $1000 dollars, yet because you're a "content creator" you think that your time is not only worth a lot more, but that you should also not have to work for the rest of you life, not only your life, but your kids life too.

The bigger problem isn't that people aren't paying you, it's that you think that your work was created in a bubble, and that everyone owes you for your insight, or use of musical notes. What the A2K people believe is that you also owe something back to the society that created you, and that is for your work to become part of that society after you have been paid for your contribution.

I personally think you should be paid, just not forever, and not anymore than the average worker in your country makes. If someone uses your work to make themselves money, then yes, you deserve a cut, but personal use should be fair game.

Do you think that a hundred years ago people wrote one book, one song, painted one picture, filmed one silent movie, then sat at home and lived for the rest of their life off that one creation? Why do you think that you are entitled to it now. Hardly anyone's accomplishments are so important that we should all financially support them for the rest of their lives.

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"The copying of the DVD ... a criminal offence ...involves circumventing copy protection"

If you can copy it then ergo it is not copy protected. Case dismissed.

(title abbreviated to fit)

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Re: "The copying of the DVD ... a criminal offence ...involves circumventing copy protection"

I was thinking along the same lines. " ... circumventing /effective/ copy protection." It's only effective until someone circumvents it. Oh, no. I've gone cross-eyed.

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>In the OSI/A2K world view, the creative economy exists to deprive people of publicly owned goods. It is always conspiring against the public interest.<

Just as the content gate keepers (hereafter named as Hollywood), view their customers with avarice & laziness - attempts to coerce customers into buying the same product in many different formats, remaking the same products with minimal differences over and over again, tying up their most profitable lines in years of copyright protectionism, ie Mickey Mouse.

>In Malawi, harmful counterfeit drugs that injure citizens<

Proof please - or at least a link...

Copyright Act of 1790 - established U.S. copyright with term of 14 years with 14-year renewal

Copyright Act of 1831 - extended the term to 28 years with 14-year renewal

Copyright Act of 1909 - extended term to 28 years with 28-year renewal

Copyright Act of 1976 - extended term to either 75 years or life of author plus 50 years

Copyright Term Extension Act of 1998 - extended terms to 95/120 years or life plus 70 years

Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 - criminalized some cases of copyright infringement

It seems a shame that a more middle ground can't be found. I'm pretty sure most right-minded people agree creativity deserves reward, like, 30 years is more than enough time to reap the benefits of something you created, but then it should be allowed to become a part of cultural heritage - could you imagine some of the scrapes that M. Mouse could've gotten into if the public were allowed to Fan Fiction him?

DISCLAIMER: Only watched the first three minutes of the linked video (legally embedded I hope), but every word spoken up to that point was true.

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