back to article The Pirate Party is the shape of things to come

A clear winner is emerging from the Digital Economy Bill - and it's the UK Pirate Party. The penny only really dropped for me yesterday, after the Open Rights Group's big demonstration at Westminster. "What was all that about, Andrew?" someone asked me in the pub afterwards. He'd been at the Commons for a meeting, and walked …

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  1. MonkeyBot

    Overly optimistic?

    "In other words, to get to the "sharing culture" they advocate, no group has to lose out, nobody need get poorer, and certainly, nobody has to have their rights taken away. To argue otherwise is pure, childish spite."

    But surely, the "sharing culture" they advocate won't have room for record companies - who are content owners, not creators - to stand between the producer and consumer taking the lions share of the transaction.

    Without them being the gatekeepers to the promotion/distribution networks or being the only people who can produce a professional quality recordings, there's no justification for them taking as much money.

    1. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: Overly optimistic?

      It may surprise you to learn that many, if not most, new acts want to be signed to a major record label. They see the deal as a favourable trade-off for the exposure they give them. They know very well that most don't make it, and how long it takes to recoup. But if you want a shot at the big time, you go with someone who can get you there.

      Others are happy with the 50/50 revenue share offered by an indie label.

      Your argument fails to make any such distinctions, and is taking choices and opportunities away from people.

      1. copsewood
        Pirate

        Wrong marketplace and wrong motivation

        There isn't exactly a shortage of places for people to have a 'shot at the big time' elsewhere from the content biz, including casinos, stock investment scams or lotteries with null return for the majority of punters and the odd stinking rich exception to motivate the losers. Even with defensible copyright terms and scope (much shorter terms, enforcement limited to commercial use only) there will be no shortage of wannabees trying their hand in the content biz. The Freakonomics book equates this kind of motivation to street corner drug dealers willing to risk a high chance of getting jailed or shot for the outside chance of becoming Mr Big. So Mr Orlowski wants us to negotiate away fundamental human rights (expression and privacy) so a few more losers can be tempted to waste away the best years of their lives for such motivations ?

        1. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

          Re: Wrong marketplace and wrong motivation

          This is what happens when you back the wrong argument, and find yourself in an intellectual cul de sac. You begin to depend on mishearing, misquoting, or misunderstanding other people.

          Eg #1:

          "a 'shot at the big time' elsewhere from the content biz, including casinos, stock investment scams or lotteries with null return for the majority of punters and the odd stinking rich exception to motivate the losers."

          But not a shot at the Big Time in the marketplace of artistic creation - rewarding the talent they have nurtured.

          Eg #2:

          "So Mr Orlowski wants us to negotiate away fundamental human rights (expression and privacy)"

          See above (ad nauseum). Nobody loses.

          You may differ from the Men Who Don't Yet Shave by age, and by perhaps by nuance, too - but your argument is also founded upon a deep and unpleasant set of intellectual prejudices. You're anti-talent, and resent talented people being rewarded for their talents.

          Those are really repellent prejudices, in anyone's book.

          1. copsewood
            Pirate

            Wrong marketplace and wrong motivation

            Andrew, you're totally wrong, I've got nothing against musicians. My son is one and he's just released his latest album on Creative Commons terms. But this doesn't stop him working at something else for his living which others are prepared to pay for. I'm an amateur musician myself on occasion. After I left college some of my best friends were a group of musicians who tried but failed to become famous. I've still got their music and enjoy it, and enjoyed the times I went to see them play.

            But after about 10 years or so they gave up and got proper jobs. So you think copyright motivation should have made them waste 5 years more or 5 years fewer at this game, before they stopped living off dole money at the public expense and starting working as teachers and engineers paying taxes and supporting their families which is what they did once reality dawned on them ?

            I'm also unconvinced it's better for musicians who make themselves rich enough not to have to work again. Having to work again tends to have the effect of making people into more responsible citizens like the guy from a one hit sixties band who manages a pub and serves customers a few miles from me, which has to be better than aging rock stars burning themselves out on booze and drugs.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Flame

              @ Copsewood

              Mr Corpse -

              You are woking on a piece of equipment (computer) that my intellectual effort (years of it!) went into creating. [I know because I invented some of the basic technology that allows sub 0.25 µm silicon devices.] Your argument is that I, and my then employer, should get nothing for that effort?

              The operative thing here is that you stated "I'm an amateur musician myself". Some of us work for a living. We live high pressured lives to create new things that you might enjoy. Your argument is that we should not benefit form this work.

              As for your argument that: "I'm also unconvinced it's better for musicians who make themselves rich enough not to have to work again." If you apply this to musicians - what about highly trained engineers - or computer scientists - or whatever? It is a lot of work just complete school. Remember the Soviets tried this - it turned into a "They pretend to pay us and we pretend to work" That society collapsed. I have a better solution. Try paying for other's work. Stop being a lazy get.

              (Yeah I am pissed at your stupid argument.)

              1. Griffith Engen
                Thumb Down

                @ I am pissed at your stupid argument

                The initial post was CLEARLY addressing the issue of copyrights, yet here you are posting angry responses about the issue of patents.

                Granted, many people confuse the two because they are misleadingly grouped under the label "intellectual property," however that doesn't mean the same rules should apply for both, nor should the same business models be used for both.

                My problem with patents is that patent law has gone far beyond what is reasonable and what it was designed to do (protect inventors). We may be at the point where patent arms races, patent trolls, and overly broad patents are starting to be more of a burden to the consumer than the advantages you say they give us. It may be overkill to abolish patents, but no reasonable person would argue they don't need to be reformed.

              2. copsewood
                FAIL

                @George

                George, your posting is so full of wrong assumptions and errors its difficult to know where to start. I also worked for many years on the technology that made the Net possible and stopped earning money from my engineering work when I went into teaching, which was right and proper. Copyrights and patents are different things, and I have no problem with copyright applying to commercial use, and enabling further commercial areas of use (sale of bandwidth supported by content) by legitimising non-commercial use. So I suggest you reread my arguments and try to think carefully about what I am saying rather than what you seem to be imagining I'm saying.

            2. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

              Re: Wrong marketplace and wrong motivation

              "But after about 10 years or so they gave up and got proper jobs."

              Your prejudices are poking through again.

              But of course, you know what best for creators...

              (By the way, since you're someone who lives off the "public expense", you might want to remember the line about glasshouses and stones!)

            3. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

              Re: Wrong marketplace and wrong motivation

              " My son is one and he's just released his latest album on Creative Commons terms. But this doesn't stop him working at something else for his living..."

              I've heard of parents selling their children into slavery. I've heard of parents maiming their children to make them more effective beggars.

              Conceptually, this isn't too different ;-)

              1. copsewood
                Stop

                Wrong again

                Andrew, my son, based upon a few other objective metrics, is clearly a great deal smarter than either of us, very much his own man and he makes his own choices about how he licenses his music. You can hear his latest album on http://warfreak2.org.uk/ if you want.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Joke

                  Warfreak?

                  I can't believe a major record label hasn't signed him already.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Thumb Up

        @ Andrew

        I happen to agree with you. Unfortunately there are a lot of pigs in El Regs comment pages. It is the "I get free medical services and free road and free food and I don't have to pay for any of it".

        Developing new things (patents and copyright stuff) is hard. It looks simple when you are finished but it is not. I know - this is my livelihood. A really good patent may take 5 to 10 years to fully develop. Not all of them pay off. It is the aggregate that matters. I - or my employer - makes lots of money off of one patent out of 10 or 20. Each cost several million to develop the technology. So yeah - we charge a lot for things that work out but what happens to the stuff that does not? No, I can not pay for by myself. You have to - in the end - pay for ALL of the development - if you want the really cool stuff. This is the nature of research and development.

      3. MonkeyBot
        FAIL

        Read again

        "Your argument fails to make any such distinctions, and is taking choices and opportunities away from people."

        I'm not talking about the current situation, I'm talking about this "sharing culture" you say the Pirate Party (which sounds far more fun than it is) want. If everyone just shares everything and somehow money magically falls out for the creators, then there would be no point in record companies as they exist now so they would be bound to lose out to some extent.

        I'm not taking anything from anybody other than the words that you're putting in my mouth.

        "You begin to depend on mishearing, misquoting, or misunderstanding other people."

        The ironing is delicious.

  2. Eddie Edwards

    Are "people" that stupid?

    "But a vote (especially an electronic vote) for the Pirates is a snub to a system that people think has failed them."

    It might be entertaining if a single-issue party did govern the country for a while. People might start to realize what "failing them" really means. We might see actual lynchings in London, which would make great TV.

    I suspect most people are not this stupid, and the Pirate Party will get the sort of voter turnout last seen by the Monster Raving Loony Party.

    1. The Other Steve

      Well ...

      ... it has been my experience that whenever you have to stop and ask yourself "Are people that stupid ?", the answer is invariably 'yes, yes they are, shit'.

      "I suspect most people are not this stupid, and the Pirate Party will get the sort of voter turnout last seen by the Monster Raving Loony Party."

      I suspect that their very stupidity will place their votes elsewhere, albeit with the same result.

      1. zasta
        Alert

        @ The Other Steve

        I have to point out that ANYONE who upvotes their own comments is THAT stupid, if not more.

        1. The Other Steve

          Eh ?

          See title

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Presenting the argument

    I'm not saying the Pirate Bay Party are right, but you don't seem to have presented their arguments and counter-arguments very well. For example, giving copyright a limited life time doesn't mean I'll be able to present "Thriller" as my own work! Nor does it mean the end to income for artists. You need to think these things through a bit more.

    I think the bottom line is that people know they're being ripped off and manipulated by the large companies and are just sick of it. In these circumstances it's hard not to over-react.

    1. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: Presenting the argument

      Oh dear.

      "it doesn't mean I'll be able to present "Thriller" as my own work!"

      Read it again slowly, because it doesn't say what you think it means. You'll be able to issue Michael Jackson's Thriller under your own "Anonytard" record label (or whatever you want to call it), and you will not need to pay the composer or creator of the sound recording.

      You really do need a crash course in copyright, so you don't confuse authorship and ownership.

      1. zasta

        Ok..

        But would people buy from you when they can get it for free? Doesn't sound like you've given this that much thought.

      2. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
        Paris Hilton

        ...and this is bad how?

        Really, I wanna know. People would be better off. Lower price on "thriller", better distribution, and less Michael Jackson who retires earlier before getting on the freakout path. Probably a few additional jobs created, too. Other artists can get their shot at the top spot instead of having to contend with the renosed ubermusician sucking all the air out of the marketplace.

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

  4. David Webb

    5 years?

    I can sort of see what would happen with a 5 year copyright (or 10 year). Music companies would pull out of the UK and prohibit imports. Tech companies would also pull out, no more Windows nor Windows software (including games), so the UK would be the first country in the world to be forced to switch to Linux, except that our internet would be stuck as it is now, or even suspended totally, tech companies not willing to lose copyright protection over their hardware/software would suspend their licence agreements with the phone companies. ISP's would lose their licences with Cisco etc. for the backhaul.

    It would totally cripple the UK, never mind being disconnected after downloading 100,000 songs, there would be no internet available in the UK to download even 1 song.

    Think about how much of our tech requires proprietary software/hardware, patents, licences, copyright laws, without them we would be screwed, even I can see that!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      FAIL

      lol

      I'm SURE that's what would happen! :P

    2. Mephistro Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      10 is better

      "Music companies would pull out of the UK and prohibit imports"

      Since when have music companies dictated UK laws??? Oh, wait...

      "Tech companies would also pull out, no more Windows nor Windows software "

      As long as they haven't got Windows source code, Windows is as safe as ever. (not much ^_^ )

      "except that our internet would be stuck as it is now, or even suspended totally, tech companies not willing to lose copyright protection over their hardware/software"

      Ditto, without the source code and the hardware designs themselves, the only thing they can do is reverse engineering everything, which is costly and/or perhaps impossible. All to recreate a five or ten years old technology. If any, a ten years period would probably accelerate innovation.

      Fearmongering much?

    3. Orclev
      FAIL

      Uhm, no?

      First of all, a foreign country can't prohibit imports, only the country in question can do that. The only thing a foreign country can do is put limitations on exports, but once something has left the country there's not very much control the country can exert on its final destination. As for Windows, you could use Windows 95/98/XP for free (although not SP1, SP2 or SP3, and not plain XP till next year as it was released in 2001), but you couldn't use Vista (who would want to?), or Windows 7 without actually buying them. Now pause to consider that Microsoft doesn't even want to sell copies of XP anymore, nevermind the previous releases and I think you'll see that a 10 year copyright wouldn't change much of anything really in the software industry. Well, it would allow programs to interoperate a bit easier, at least if software patent was eliminated or similarly limited.

      Now, the music and movie/tv industry on the other hand would be a different situation. Well... not so much actually. How many 10+ year old movies are making major money? Oh sure, there's a number of classics out there that get milked fairly regularly *cough*disney*cough*, but on the whole most of the movie industry profit comes from new releases. The music industry makes a fair bit of profit off older music, but really shouldn't that be incentive for them to invest more in finding new good music rather than simply milking the old good music? How much of the music put out in the last 10 years actually sells? How much of the music in the last 20? I don't know, I'm a programmer not a musician. What I do know is there have been about 4 cds I've purchased in the last 10 years, and no I don't download music illegally (I do download some music from time to time, but it's being distributed legally as its primarily independent work freely given by the author).

  5. davefb

    cut and pasted to my blog

    and i've stuck my name on the banner.. None of that orlanski rubbish.

    Nobody is saying stop file sharing. But share things you've created, not things you've copied. Why is that so difficult to accept?

    Yes, its stupid that music companies didn't jump to things like napster, but remember, napster was another corporation, is it so difficult to imagine that perhaps the music companies either felt the deal offered wasn't acceptable OR were in the difficult position ( like some companies still are) that a lot of artists might actually not want to be on digital without changes in legal terms?

    Still that 75yr copyright thing is a bit wierd and I think they should find better examples that sir cliff losing a few bob.

  6. The Other Steve
    Big Brother

    Excellently put

    Having said that : "But in reality, it's surprisingly authoritarian: the Pirates' solution to every grievance is a new law or regulation"

    Maybe not so surprising, single issue parties tend towards authoritarianism (look at the greens for example) because they also tend towards zealotry and fundamentalism (greens again!).

    This seems to be because they have received the One True Vision of How Things Must Be, naturally there will be a lot of stupid or evil people who disagree with the OTVoHTMB, and these must be dealt with summarily.

    The OTVoHTMB does not embrace nor even encourage democracy, for why should it ? It is a priori correct and no competing view point is required.

    The freetard fundies are unpleasantly like the Taliban in that respect.

    1. hplasm Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Indeed-

      All Fundamentalists are Fundamentally Flawed. 'Tis the nature of the beast.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      FAIL

      omg

      Is this guy seriously comparing the Greens and the Pirate Party to the Taliban?? :)))

      I've seen some seriously screwed up people on the internet, but this one takes the cake!

      1. The Other Steve
        FAIL

        Yes I am

        And there is nothing screwed up about it all. One belief, one vision, one truth, all imposed on others, against their will if necessary.

        Where's the difference ? Of course, you're going to say "well the Taliban kill people", and I will say "that is why I said 'like' the Taliban (and showed my workings out) and not 'identical to' the Taliban'"

        Carry on.

        1. M2Ys4U
          FAIL

          Manifesto

          There's a key sentence in the Pirate Party manifesto:

          "[We are a] party that admits it doesn't always have all the answers, and is willing to listen."

          1. Sean Timarco Baggaley
            Thumb Down

            @M2Ys4U:

            "[We are a] party that admits it doesn't always have all the answers, and is willing to listen."

            If that's supposed to make me feel more well-disposed towards them, it's not working:

            The clear implication from that statement is that they sincerely believe they *sometimes* do have "all the answers".

            I suppose it's possible the Pirate Party are incompetent at using English. But that just makes me wonder what else they're incompetent at.

            1. PirateSlayer
              Joke

              Give them a break...

              ...most of them have only just taken their English GCSE mocks.

            2. M2Ys4U

              My point was...

              that we do not think that our policy is The One True Way Forward™. It is the way forward that we want, certainly, but not an absolute stance. More than anything, a real debate about these issues and healthy rules that benefit society as a whole are what we want.

          2. The Other Steve
            FAIL

            and is willing to listen.

            And yet I see absolutely no evidence of that. Strange.

            1. M2Ys4U

              Here's a hint...

              ... stop comparing us to the Taliban and calling us freetards and we might take your comments more seriously.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                FAIL

                @M2Ys4U

                I have created a "thing" it cost millions, nay, BILLIONS to R&D, test, ensure was safe, ramp up the fab plants, ramp up distribution etc. And you want to limit copyright to 5 years? Let's say it was a drug. Just HOW MUCH do you think I will have to charge for it to recoup all those costs (plus interest) in 5 years before every Tom Dick and Harry copies it?

                I agree 100% that some companies (e.g. MS) and organisations (RIAA,BPI etc) have put barriers on free trade and seek to keep out-moded business models running, but your proposals have massive unintended consequences. In fact, despite honourable aims, they are infantile and utterly without merit.

                File share all you want, no one is stopping you. But how about only file sharing what is LEGAL to file share. What's that, no good movies to file share? How about you make your own blockbuster and release it for free? Once you see all the effort, sweat and money that goes into making and releasing something you will understand WHY content creators are right to be worried about a reduction in their rights.

                You seek to protect your right by crushing other people's. That is totally hypocritical of you.

                By all means seek to limit the machinations and trade blocking exerted by the likes of the BPI etc, but leave the content creators alone.

                1. Griffith Engen
                  Alien

                  @ anon

                  Since when is anybody's initial bargaining position what they actually get? They ask for 10-year copyrights, but given they now last >100 years, they'll probably settle for something between 25-60 years. If anything, this tells me the Pirates mean business.

                2. Anonymous Coward
                  FAIL

                  Engage brain

                  Your confusing patents with copyright and making the same mistake Andrew is. I have no issue with 20-25 year patents (the current term). Inventing new technology and preforming R&D on drugs is an expensive process.

                  Reducing copyright to five years would affect software, music and films. The effect on software would be non existent. As a commenter above mentioned if copyright were reduced to 5 years only the original Windows XP would be free, XP SP1, XP SP2 and XP SP3, Vista and 7 would all be covered. I work for a software company if we produced a bit of software and make no newer releases for 5 years our competitors would steal our customers.

                  Reduction in copyright would only really affect the music and film industry and considering it's hard to find many films that are older than 10 years I don't think it would hurt them to much either.

                  People like Andrew like to associate the Pirate Party with file sharing so people like yourself switch off and don't ask why a drug company gets 25 years of protected for inventing a new drug after spending billions of pounds and yet Micky Mouse is at 75 years and counting.

                  1. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

                    Re: Engage brain

                    I don't have to associate the PP with file sharing, they've done that themselves. Copyright was their only policy until they discovered privacy had legs.

                    (Hint: the clue's in the name)

              2. The Other Steve
                FAIL

                Take your ball home

                "... stop comparing us to the Taliban and calling us freetards and we might take your comments more seriously."

                Stop acting like retards who want free stuff and I'll stop stop calling you freetards. Stop spouting your ideological bullshit propaganda and replace it with solid facts and figures that make your case and I'll stop comparing you to the Taliban.

                Fair enough ?

                Shit, if you manage to make a single coherent argument in support of your arguments that doesn't include something is either verifiably incorrect or in no way supported by any actual evidence and doesn't rely upon hysterical ideological wailing about fairness I might even stop using the Fail icon. On this occasion though ...

        2. bennett_1357
          Flame

          how ironic.......

          "One belief, one vision, one truth, all imposed on others, against their will if necessary."

          Sounds like a mantra for new labour. Anybody who compares the pirate party to the taliban clearly needs to lay off the crack pipe........

      2. Ian Stephenson
        Big Brother

        agreed

        The Taliban are far less of a threat to my way of life than those lunatic greens.

      3. Sean Timarco Baggaley
        FAIL

        And yet...

        ... he makes a valid point.

        The Taliban are fundamentalists. Fanatics. Obsessives. They genuinely believe they have discovered the One True Way. "Religion" is just a particular application of belief and faith.

        Humans are *very* good at this—wars, riots and pub fights are invariably sparked-off by someone fundamentally disagreeing with someone else and not wishing to agree to disagree.

        People don't really believe in gods, however. They believe in *words*. This, after all, is the only "evidence" most religions have for their god(s). Most importantly, it's these sacred words which dictate and define how subjects of the religion are supposed to *behave*. These sacred words define their *culture*—their One True Way. Conflicts are therefore inevitable when two incompatible cultures built along these lines clash.

        Those sacred words are invariably certified and defined as "trustworthy" by self-selected priests / technicians / a pope / programmers / mediatards, all of whom are utterly obsessed with ensuring others believe in their preferred way of life, and have a vested interest in doing so. And deity help you if you disagree with them!

        The Internet is a breeding ground for this shit. It's like a petri dish filled with a "religion growth medium" consisting mainly of fanatics, fundamentalists and many, many ignorant sheep.

        1. Goat Jam
          Grenade

          Yes indeed and it works both ways

          Capital 'C' Capitalists are fundamentalists. Fanatics. Obsessives. They genuinely believe they have discovered the One True Way.

          Most, if not all, of the American Wars of the last 50 years have been started on this exact basis.

    3. Martin Owens

      Authoritarian?

      According to evidence the UK Green Party is one of the most Libertarian parties available. Even beating out the LibDems.

      If you want to see Authoritarianism look no further than the BNP, UKIP, Labour and the Conservative Party who are seemingly in a race to the top.

      1. The Other Steve
        FAIL

        RE : Authoritarian?

        Big Fail Buzzer

        "According to evidence the UK Green Party is one of the most Libertarian parties available. Even beating out the LibDems."

        I am a libertarian, you will now show me the evidence while I laugh at you. Might I suggest that the best measure of whether the greens are libertarian might be what the libertarians themselves think of the greens, which is that they are a bunch of puritan totalitarian fucktards.

        Please do your homework. You can start by going and having a look at the LPUK website and looking at the definition of "libertarian", oh hell, I'll save you the typing, here :

        "Libertarians believe in individual liberty, personal responsibility, and freedom from government—on all issues at all times"

        The greens, in common with most other political parties, are the very anathema of this philosophy.

        So, y'know, fail, really badly.

  7. Jimmy Floyd
    Big Brother

    Swedes vs Brits

    How much do the UK Pirate Party's aims differ from those of the original Swedish version?

    The latter seemed to be as much about a battle against the creeping censorship, 'net monitoring and general population-control that started (rightly) with the control of kiddy porn before moving into the realms of digital media (the implicit question being "then what?").

    All quite noble. Of course, a few free choons is the flip-side, but at least they made a reasonable attempt at some form of righteous indignation. If the UK PP concentrate too much on the actual sharing side they won't really be able to claim much of the moral high ground.

    1. zasta

      IIRC

      Our pirates want 10 year copyrights, while the Swedes want 5 year copyrights. They both want fewer patents, and especially fewer patents on medicines. They both ask for more freedom of speech and improved privacy (reformed libel laws, court orders to spy on communications and stuff like that).

      1. PirateSlayer
        Heart

        F

        Amen to that other Steve...why are all PP supported A/C?

  8. The Original Ash
    Troll

    Oh wow...

    On Slashdot, there is a popular phrase which is applicable here.

    *WHOOSH!*

    The Pirate Party *WILL NEVER* be a major political party. They *WILL NEVER* run the country. Not one of them thinks that they will, and in that sence they're very much like UKIP, Green, and the BNP; They each have a group of voters who they represent, who want to *INFLUENCE* legislation in which they, and their electorate, are interested.

    The party needed a manifesto because without it they would just be aimless. With a set of published ideals nobody can say they're just a bunch of "freetards" who want music for bugger all money or effort.

    In short, well done on completely missing the point of The Pirate Party. But hey, don't let logic stand in the way of a good rant! After all, that's what the Daily Mail^W^WThe Register is good for.

    By the way, the icon isn't for my post.

    1. The Other Steve
      FAIL

      "WHOOSH" is right

      That was the sound of you rushing full speed toward those conclusions without actually reading the article. The buzzer you are about to hear is the Fail siren.

    2. PirateSlayer
      Megaphone

      :D

      "With a set of published ideals nobody can say they're just a bunch of "freetards" who want music for bugger all money or effort."

      The Pirate Party are a bunch of freetards who want music for bugger all money or effort.

  9. Juillen 1

    Copyright duration..

    I seem to remember there was a large investigation done into copyright terms, and approximately 10-15 years duration was calculated to be the optimum time of protection required to enable a content owner to make the money from their work, and allowing the greatest benefit to society by introducint relevant 'culture' into the the public domain (which in turn allows more ideas bsaed on this to prosper).

    Lapse of copyright means that you can publish anything in the public domain that you wish to. So, that'd be cheaper paperbacks from your favourite author 15 years after publication as competition widens the market, or cheaper access to music 15 years after (or maybe free for electronic items, though I think the ISPs would charge a little more for the bandwidth, being a 'publisher'). Hell, you could make money from seeding the 'free' stuff..

    1. The Other Steve
      FAIL

      Oh goody ...

      "I seem to remember there was a large investigation done into copyright terms, and approximately 10-15 years duration was calculated to be the optimum time of protection required to enable a content owner to make the money from their work,"

      Then you can post a link to it so that we can all see it.

      "Lapse of copyright means that you can publish anything in the public domain that you wish to. So, that'd be cheaper paperbacks from your favourite author"

      Without my 'favourite' author getting a penny. Why would I want to do that to my favourite author ?

      "or cheaper access to music 15 years after"

      Let me give you a concrete example here, Slade's "Merry Christmas" is still feeding Noddy Holder's children*, do you want Noddy's children to starve ? Well ? DO YOU ? Should Noddy go out and get a shelf stacking job to put food in his children's mouths just so you can get 'cheaper' music ? Because this is precisely what you are proposing should happen.

      *yes, I know, ta.

      1. criscros

        hm

        http://arstechnica.com/old/content/2007/07/research-optimal-copyright-term-is-14-years.ars

        "Without my 'favourite' author getting a penny. Why would I want to do that to my favourite author ?"

        Even if the copyright expires, there's nothing stopping you from giving the author money. Also, it would be difficult for someone to publish a book whose copyrights have expired but many aspects of it are still trademarked, because that probably class as counterfeiting.

        "do you want Noddy's children to starve ?"

        Don't care about his children. If I die, I could leave my kids money and a house. Why should his children get money, a house and something that magically keeps making more money even though he's dead?

        1. The Other Steve
          FAIL

          Yes ...

          "Don't care about his children"

          .. that's what I thought.

          "If I die, I could leave my kids money and a house. Why should his children get money, a house and something that magically keeps making more money even though he's dead?"

          When you die, your assets will continue to appreciate in value. And Slade's back catalogue doesn't make money by 'magic', so I think I can see where you're getting confused.

          What happens is radio stations want to play it, because it's popular, so they pay for it, and he gets some money. See ? No wonder the freetards are angry if they think all that happened by magic.

          Anyway, I think the take away message here is that you want Noddy Holder's children to starve so that you can get free stuff.

          You aren't nice.

          1. M2Ys4U
            FAIL

            lol.

            If I build a chair, should I get paid every time somebody new sits in it?

          2. type54
            FAIL

            Other Steve is the face of FAIL

            You are wrong. The appreciation rate of tangible assets (and most types of tangible assets depreciate in reality) is tiny compared to the royalties produced by his back catalogue. It's the difference between leaving your kids a tree and a money tree!

            You can't accuse anyone of not being nice in this sort of exchange. You don't give a toss about his children either, but you are USING them to make your point? That's dishonest and hypocritical. His children don't deserve to be treated any different than any other children.

            1. The Other Steve
              FAIL

              Now we get to the heart ofthe matter

              "It's the difference between leaving your kids a tree and a money tree!"

              Ahh I see, so it IS pure jealousy then ? I thought so. If you had a money tree, you;d destroy it rather than give it to your hypothetical progeny ? Out of principle ? Thought not.

              "You don't give a toss about his children either, but you are USING them to make your point? That's dishonest and hypocritical"

              Actually, I was at school with his daughter (quite a while ago, hence the asterisk), which is why I used the term 'concrete example', so you'll have to think of a better straw man argument than that.

              1. zasta
                FAIL

                Stevie Wonder of FAIL is back

                "Ahh I see, so it IS pure jealousy then ?"

                How shallow ye be. Money trees should NOT exist, because they are a drain on society -- the REAL freetards are people who make money for nothing (i.e. money which is finite and has real value), not people who copy files with zero real value on the internet.

                "Actually, I was at school with his daughter (quite a while ago, hence the asterisk), which is why I used the term 'concrete example', so you'll have to think of a better straw man argument than that."

                I'm sure her daddy left her a small fortune besides the money tree.

                1. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

                  Spite Inc.

                  You're really proving that "motivated by spite" point for me.

                  I hadn't thought of "jealousy", though. I'll put it in the next article - with a credit, of course.

                2. cyborg
                  Boffin

                  The economics of culture

                  Having a society with copyright requires some economic activity be diverted to ensuring that copyright is effective. Therefore the more copies of copyrighted work the more effort it will be to be effective. Therefore the efficiency of that process would likely be increased by reducing the amount of work under copyright and reduce the cost of copyright on society.

                  It is only proper for there to be a balance because at some point the cost of society of enforcing copyright for a particular work will be greater than the value it has provided to society.

                  In other words copyright is not free for society so it shouldn't be for the copyright holder either - they pay the cost by having their copyright expire.

                  It's that simple. The complex bit is in trying to calculate a fair value.

        2. The Other Steve
          FAIL

          Oh yeah, and I checked the 'research'

          The chap who did it "Pollock has been an advocate for restricted copyright terms and stronger public domain for years"

          E.g. for years before he wrote the paper you're referring to (which is neither extensive, or even a study, or even research, but speculation couched in equations), which gives him a credibility rating of approximately zero, at least it does if we apply, say, the same level of rigour to his analysis as you would to that of a record company releasing a study saying P2P and related piracy is costing them money. Viz : he is very firmly in camp X and therefore everything he says is polluted by that fact.

          The whole thing is an exercise in sophistry designed to prove to himself and other believers that he is right. Epic fail.

      2. John G Imrie Silver badge

        Do you want Noddy's children to starve?

        No I want them to go out and earn their own fucking money.!

      3. Mephistro Silver badge
        FAIL

        Free data inside

        "Without my 'favourite' author getting a penny. Why would I want to do that to my favourite author ?"

        Here is some news for you: Actually most profit for the sale of a book is made in the first ten years after publication, and when I say 'most' I mean something close to 99%. And the same happens with music. The only exceptions to this rule are artists like The Beatles, Madonna or Bruce Springsteen. On the other hand, those artists could gain a boost in sales for their new works after appearing in some cheap compilation made, say, 12 years after the original publication.

        1. The Other Steve

          Free clue inside

          "Here is some news for you"

          No, here's some for you, I live with a writer and I personally contributed some large chunks of work to a book a couple of years back.

          So at this point, I think you need to stop imagining that you know anything at all about publishing royalties.

      4. LaeMing Silver badge
        Thumb Down

        Or maybe this Noddy chap...

        ...could release some new content that people want to pay for.

        I'm not able to keep living off the proceeds of last year's computer deployments. I have to go out and deploy more if I want to keep getting paid.

    2. Mike Richards

      And copyright isn't the only IP law

      Short copyrights would not necessarily harm companies (the original Statute of Anne which kicked this off was a 14 year period with the option to renew once only for a further 14 years if the original author was still alive)

      But copyright is not the only protection creators have on their products. Trademarks don't expire so long as you continue to use them. The oft-repeated case of Mickey Mouse and copyright law is a complete red herring (one spun successfully by Disney I might add).

      Even if MM's copyright expired tomorrow, Disney would still have all the rights to the character because MM is trademarked. Disney would lose the exclusive right to redistribute archival MM as copyright expired on the movies (they make negligible amounts anyway), but the company would still be the only ones able to make new MM materials or licence the wretched rat's image.

      Let's go back to 14 year copyright terms, one renewal, none of this nonsense about 'x years after death' - there's no justifiable reason why the law should guarantee the great, great grandchildren of an author an unearned source of income.

      1. The Other Steve
        FAIL

        Oh I see

        "there's no justifiable reason why the law should guarantee the great, great grandchildren of an author an unearned source of income."

        OK then, when you die you agree to forfeit all your assets. Property, bank accounts, car, all that, all of them will be given away. You will not be able to leave any of it to your children* Because there's no justifiable reason why your children, children's (etc) should get any benefit from them.

        Yes ? That's OK with you ? Good.

        *was that a troy or labour policy, I can't tell them apart any more.

    3. Steve Roper
      Flame

      OK, here's a comparison

      I am a Web developer, which makes me a content creator - I create websites. Now, by the reasoning of the copyright pigs here: I create you a website. I expect you to pay me a royalty every time someone visits that website. For the rest of my life. If it's a big website and you get millions of visitors a day, I don't ever have to work again. Not only that, but you have to continue paying my nieces and nephew (since I have no children of my own they inherit my assets), their children, and THEIR children, for 70 years after I'm dead. So not only do I never have to work again, but my nieces/nephew and their children and grandchildren never need to do an honest day's work in their lives, because their uncle designed a website 100 years earlier.

      Can you, honestly, not see the greed and parasitism inherent in this? Are you so blinded by your own gluttony that you actually consider it reasonable that your descendants for at least the next three generations don't need to work at all? Would you really be willing to pay the architect who designed your house every time you invited someone else inside? Or the engineer who designed your car every time you start it? No, I don't think so, and so by NOT lobbying for Web developers, architects and vehicle engineers to be paid over and over again for a century you show us your true hypocrisy.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Badgers

        @ Steve Roper

        You sound very angry.

        It's not such a big deal.

      2. The Other Steve
        FAIL

        Web Designer != Roxy Music. Shock!

        "Can you, honestly, not see the greed and parasitism inherent in this? "

        No. Perhaps I could, and I make this point one more time if you forced people to pay you for your website in that way.

        As a lowly web designer, the market places a low value on the content that you create. Your licensing deals with your clients will reflect that, and indeed your business acumen.

        The market places a higher value on other types of content, and I make this point one more time, get over it. No one is extorting people, no one is forced to consume.

        1. Griffith Engen
          Thumb Down

          o rly

          "The market places a higher value on other types of content, and I make this point one more time, get over it. No one is extorting people, no one is forced to consume."

          IT DOESN'T. The market obviously wants the price of ALL easily copyable content to be Very Low If Not Zero. Consumers are extorted, by making unchecked copying illegal and giving a small number of "rights holders" a monopoly.

          1. The Other Steve
            FAIL

            y rly

            "IT DOESN'T. The market obviously wants the price of ALL easily copyable content to be Very Low If Not Zero."

            If the market felt that way, that's the way it would be. It isn't.

            "Consumers are extorted"

            Or perhaps they just want stuff and are prepared to pay for it. If that were not so, the market price would fall and the "extortionists" would be shit out of luck wouldn't they ?

            "by making unchecked copying illegal and giving a small number of "rights holders" a monopoly."

            A monopoly on what ? The right to charge what the market will bear for things that they own the rights to. And I'm still not clear, who are this "small number of rights holders" we keep hearing so much about ? Name them.

            Let's take the example of a web designer above shall we ? If he creates some original content he automatically has the same rights as any other creator. He owns the copyright to his work under exactly the same terms as this shadowy conspiracy of rights holding extortionists you seem to be so frit of. And yet it seems that a web designer is not able to derive the same value from his output, even should he desire to do so, which in fairness our example above does not.

            So what is the essential difference ? Between a web designer's work other sorts of content that allows those who create other sorts of content to 'extort' money from people while our poor downtrodden web designer must slave another day in the dark satanic PHP mills of oppressionville ?

            None. None at all. Zip. Zilch. It's almost as though there were some kind of magic afoot, some kind of invisible hand at work.

            1. Griffith Engen
              FAIL

              simple:

              "If the market felt that way, that's the way it would be. It isn't."

              If internet pirates are not part of the market, then you would be right.

              "Or perhaps they just want stuff and are prepared to pay for it. If that were not so, the market price would fall and the "extortionists" would be shit out of luck wouldn't they ?"

              Or perhaps they don't have a choice? Perhaps the prices are artificially inflated as intangible goods don't abide by the laws of scarcity or supply and demand?

              "A monopoly on what ?"

              On distribution of infinitely copyable material.

              "And I'm still not clear, who are this "small number of rights holders" we keep hearing so much about ? Name them."

              You, for one.

              "So what is the essential difference ?"

              The website is already on the internet and most probably uses an ad-funded business model -- anyone can access it by just typing a url in. Sure, someone can steal the website's design, but that's plagiarism, not just copyright infringement. Capeche?

              1. The Other Steve
                FAIL

                Seek help

                "If internet pirates are not part of the market, then you would be right."

                They're not, because they are not participating in it at all. Which is why I am right.

                "Or perhaps they don't have a choice?"

                Except that they do have a choice. The men with guns forcing people to shop in HMV are a figment of your delusion. And once again, please make some attempt to understand economic theory before cutting pasting bits of it from slashdot ...

                "On distribution of infinitely copyable material."

                ... without even bothering to read any of it.

                "You, for one."

                Hook line and sinker there, I'm afraid. You hold exactly the same rights as I do over anything you create. You still fail to get this point, and until you do all your arguments will be pure fail.

                "The website is already on the internet and most probably uses an ad-funded business model -- anyone can access it by just typing a url in. Sure, someone can steal the website's design, but that's plagiarism, not just copyright infringement. Capeche?"

                None of that is at all relevant to the question that I asked you, so no, I don't 'Capeche' (sic), and why would our putative web designer not care about 'just' copyright infringement, it still impacts his opportunity to charge for his work. Or are you saying that it's OK to take it as long as you don't pretend that it's all your own work ? Did your English teacher tell you that ?

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    P2P still isn't legal...

    Dear oh dear, you wouldn't be confusing the distribution method with the distribution contents would you?

    P2P is perfectly legal. It all depends on what sort of files are being shared though.

    1. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: P2P still isn't legal...

      I think we're talking about P2P music services. Labels would license their exclusive right to make copies of sound recordings.

    2. The Original Ash

      Hmmm

      As long as we keep concentrating on the semantics of which *word* they use to describe copyright infringement over P2P networks, we won't actually progress anywhere in getting the real issue (fair use) discussed properly.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    single issue all bad?

    Every 4 or 5 years we get a new lot who have new ideas on EVERYTHING and want to change EVERYTHING in 4 / 5 years.

    Why do i need the conservatives to have a policy on family?

    Why do i need constant meddling in the way the country is run, wouldn't it be better to try and plan and run things for the longer term instead of this childish sniping between left and right in the house of yawns.

  12. blackcat
    Thumb Up

    Someone has seen the light

    Always nice to see something that goes agaist the will of the unwashed non-masses.

    Freetards love to quote that its their human right to share files due to 'freedom of expression'. Its also in the UN's universal human righs that everyone is entitled to earn a fair wage and that they can protect their own artistic, literary and scientific works.

    And if anyone says 'We'll just use Linux', lets not forget the big companies who fund a significant amount of Linux development.

    1. Andrew Norton

      yes indeed

      "Its also in the UN's universal human righs that everyone is entitled to earn a fair wage and that they can protect their own artistic, literary and scientific works."

      And no-one is taking that away from them. It's just a proposal to take it from the current length of time, down to JUST 10 years. It's also interesting, the 'fair wage' bit. By some interpretations the current copyright laws could be argued that the encourage a non-fair wage. That is a wage far in excess of the work performed.

      My gods, ONLY having 10 years to recoup, before having to work again to earn, how WILL they survive?

      1. The Other Steve
        FAIL

        Massive Green Eyes

        "By some interpretations the current copyright laws could be argued that the encourage a non-fair wage."

        By _your_ interpretation. And you've just given yourself away completely, you have literally just said "that's not fair!" I can even imagine you stamping your little feet to go with it.

        "That is a wage far in excess of the work performed."

        Some things that people create have more value than other things. Get over it.

        If people are willing to continue to pay for a piece of IP - and look around you, they are - long after it was created, why complain ? Let the market take care of it. You seem to be suggesting that there should be some arbitrary cut off point, decided by you, where the value of something to the creator becomes zero simply because - in your opinion - they've made enough money by then and you don't think it is right for them to make any more.

        If the value were truly zero, people would not part with their hard earned in exchange for it. No one forces them to. So there is already a solution for the problem you seem to think exists, except that it doesn't kick in, which rather suggests that the problem isn't there at all.

        "My gods, ONLY having 10 years to recoup, before having to work again to earn, how WILL they survive?"

        Sorry, I know you're all heartfelt and committed and everything, but what you've just posted reveals to me that your whole creed is, in fact, based on jealousy and (as Andrew noted) spite. It is the politics of envy, pure and simple. You yourself are unlikely to ever create anything that is of such value (and it is truly sad that you think this), so you don't see why anyone else should be able to either. Toys, pram, etc.

        I'm glad you came and bothered to comment though, because prior to this, when I saw news about the Pirate Party I thought "Heh, cool, jokey, just a crazy bunch of porn downloaders having a laugh"

        Now I know different. You are not in any way amusing. Not in the least. You are petty jealousy made flesh. There is not the icon to express how abhorrent I find you, so I'll stick with old faithful.

        Epic Fail

        1. zasta
          WTF?

          ..vs. society's Massive Black Balls

          I don't see your point. It's clearly not jealousy, it's just that people are dissatisfied with the system and want it to change -- fairness is a reasonable thing to ask for. You obviously don't want that to happen because you make your money off copyrights and the system is massively skewed to favour you. You are basically afraid you might have to do an honest day's work in your life!

          As perpetual copyrights fall apart (and you wouldn't be bitching all day long if they weren't), you can no longer pull an arbitrary price tag out of your ass and cram it down people's throats. The market price on content is getting much lower than you want it to be, so get used to it. That's the beauty of capitalism: you don't get to set the price, the market does.

          It's only gluttonous individuals like you who have any motivation to argue that copyright law as it is can be an overall positive to society.

          The Pirate Party is just your worst fear come true. They are actually asking to repair the loophole you've discovered to make money by doing the least amount of work at the expense of everyone else. What's more, there are millions of people who also agree that people like you are leeching off society... and they could vote against you.

          1. The Other Steve
            FAIL

            Oh, really, seriously epic

            "You obviously don't want that to happen because you make your money off copyrights"

            I make my money off software, consultancy and R&D. As it happens, I do own some valuable IP, and I'm not going to give it away to some grasping freetard like you just because you think it's not fair that I can earn more in an afternoon than you can in a week.

            "You are basically afraid you might have to do an honest day's work in your life!"

            Far from it my vociferous and multi failing freetard friend, I'm afraid (well, I'm not afraid, because your about as likely to get anyone with more than a couple of living brain cells to bang together to listen to your fallacious drivel as monkeys are to fly out of my butt) that some twat like you will come and take away the the value that I spend my time creating.

            "As perpetual copyrights fall apart (and you wouldn't be bitching all day long if they weren't)"

            Except that I don't think perpetual copyright is necessarily a good thing, but then you would know that if you'd actually bothered to engage with the arguments that have been put to you instead of just throwing your toys out of your pram and ranting about corporate greed mongering conspiracies and various other straw men as soon as you encounter anyone who disagrees with you.

            "The market price on content is getting much lower than you want it to be, so get used to it. That's the beauty of capitalism: you don't get to set the price, the market does."

            I don't know quite where you are copying and pasting your 'economics' from, but I'd suggest that you might tale the time to actually go and learn something about how it works, because the argument you make about markets setting the price is exactly right, and exactly why there is no need for you to go around reapportioning property rights, which is YOU setting the price to an arbitrary value of zero.

            That's not the market, it's you.

            "The Pirate Party is just your worst fear come true."

            That actually made me laugh out loud. Truly.

            "They are actually asking to repair the loophole you've discovered to make money by doing the least amount of work at the expense of everyone else."

            Again, I have to point out that you seem to be mistaking me for some kind of serial blackmailer rather than a software developer.

            "What's more, there are millions of people who also agree that people like you are leeching off society... and they could vote against you."

            Dah Dah Daaaaah!!!! FFS, a) they can't vote 'against' me because I'm not standing in an election, b) they aren't going to be voting for some tiny minority single issue party that can't even explain itself without throwing a massive tantrum when someone disagrees with them.

            PP may think itself to be very important, but in electoral terms you are effectively invisible.

  13. PirateSlayer
    Heart

    Excellent

    Thanks for this article...you restored my faith in humanity (along with the other commentards here).

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Missing the point

    I think that El Reg may be missing the point on the appeal of this party to some groups, perhaps because this point is not made so well. I'm all for the Pirate party, but not because of music sharing, I never download music I always buy it. But from a small software developers point of view. Similar issues relate to copyright as to patents, they screw the viability of the small guy in favour of big companies that use legal process to destroy competition. As someone who doesn't pirate music I take great exception to the collection of a tax on the sale of all CD's (not in Britain but in several European companeis) and the distribution of this money to the music industry. Does any of this money go to the software industry who experienced pirating first? No.

    For me this is personal, I owned a software company that some time after the digital millenium copyright was taken to court after a conflict and all my software was seized and hardware was seized. The courts was under the impression the software was owned by someone else. After more than a year in the courts and a vast sum of money on legal fees, all whilst earning no income as my assetts were frozen, the courts conceded that my company owned the software after all. However, my company was unable to operate for a year. This was in a European court btw. However, the courts often like compromise and made a ruling "Without prejudice" which mean that I either had to go on for some years more, or accept that I cannot sue for damages. So my company had been bankrupted, quite unjustly, with absolutely no recourse on the basis of untruths utilisating harsh copyright laws.

    This is the future for small companies with the current trend that the music industry is pushing for. This may be all in the name of music, but the laws equally apply to software and the dangers through elimination via legal process still exists. If you are a software developer for whom the thought of a future on your own and not within some large corporation is appealing, then the law changes that are coming via music company lobbying are very threatening to your future existence.

    I'll be voting the pirate party.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      FAIL

      Clue

      "small guy in favour of big companies that use legal process to destroy competition."

      Not really - let the small guy do the research and development - and then THEY can have the patents/copyrights whatever. They just need to get there first. The big companies put a lot of money into these things. They don't always work out - in fact more often than not they fail. There has to be a big payoff to shovel all of this money into R&D. You are benefiting from this expenditure. That nice fancy phone you have - or that computer you are typing on came from this culture.

      Atlas.

      1. Griffith Engen
        Thumb Down

        Clueless

        He's talking about copyrights, you seem to be talking about patents! Are you seriously just replying to random comments, always with the same inane argument?

        Also, since your business was never bankrupted like his was, you have NO RIGHT to criticise him.

  15. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge
    Pirate

    Virtual Governance with CyberIntelAIgent Security Systems Software

    If the likes of a Private and Pirate Party were to be an HyperRadioProActive Virtual Political Entity, with IT and InterNetworking Savvy could New and Better and Beta Ideas Shared reach Billions Easily for a Radical and Fundamental Change.

    Which might lead to Panic and Horror and Change being Status Quo Resisted .......so that the Old Guard and Terror Gravy Train Rolls on? ........ over the Cliff?

    Oh dear .... what a Shame. Did they not Heed and Think to Follow the New Posted AIdDirections ...... SMARTer Instructions?

  16. DaveHenderson
    Unhappy

    I'm amazed at the bile...

    ...against a party with three core policies:

    - Reform copyright and patent law.

    - End excessive surveillance.

    - Ensure real freedom of speech.

    Sounds just like the taliban or any other bogeyman you want to conjure up.

    It would be quite nice if we lived in a functioning democracy where such issues could be discussed in an open and reasonable manner.

    1. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: I'm amazed at the bile...

      As I wrote in the article, you can get to your goals in a way that means nobody gets poorer - or spied upon, or has their rights stripped.

      On the other hand, if you create a belief system based on a bunch of prejudices, then advocate policy based on spite, then of course people will react.

      Yet you seem surprised by this reaction. Failure of empathy?

      1. M2Ys4U

        Spite?

        My involvement with the Pirate Party is certainly not out of spite.

        Drug patents kill people. Libel law protects those with money, rather than those who are wronged. Censorship is bad. Privacy is important. Creativity is good, cultural gatekeepers are not.

        This is not spite, it's about forcing a discussion on important issues so we can come to a sensible conclusion about what's fair for everyone - creatives and consumers.

        1. The Other Steve
          FAIL

          Drug patents don't kill people. Mustaches kill people.

          Not having drug patents would kill more people. But then, you already know that, because it's not possible that you could regularly express this retarded opinion without having had someone beat you with a cluebat.

          Nonetheless : Drug development costs money, big, big, big money. Without the ability to recover that investment and make profit, there would be no drug development. Therefore no drugs. Whoops - everybody's dead Dave.

          Diseases kill people, poverty kills people. Drug patents save people. People who would otherwise have died because there was no cure for the disease they contracted.

          Poor people die because they aren't rich enough to buy drugs.

          Please don't have the temerity to suggest that drug development is getting cheaper and therefore drug patents are bad, because even assuming that to be true, the economics will be tilting toward providing drugs for poorer people, because they'd be cheaper.

          Now if you were to say to me "Some people will die who needn't have done because some pharmaceutical companies are greedier than they could be" we could have a sensible conversation about it. If you were to say "people in third world countries have no access to expensive drugs because the kleptocrat dictators that we prop up use the entire GDP to buy their fat ugly wives shoes and that is really unjust", ditto.

          Drug patents do not kill people. Diseases kill people. Fail ahoy, me hearty.

        2. Jimmy Floyd
          Thumb Up

          Yes!

          Exactly right. It's about having the debate, the discussion, going through the thought process and actually coming up with an idea of what is truly right and wrong. At the moment we've got to this stage without that debate, and if the Pirate Party encourages it then all credit to them.

          Of course they won't get everything they want, and probably most them wouldn't want to anyway, but the entire point of aligning oneself with a political party is that it seems to be pulling in a rough direction that seems right.

          Abolition of copyright? Will never happen. Nor should it. Preventing big business from restricting how you use the 'net? Much better.

          1. PirateSlayer

            Given...

            ...the rhetoric of the average PP member (which appears to revolve around telling people they are wrong and stupid if they have even the smallest of grievances with PP policy), I doubt that they can engage in a sensible debate without falling back on fallacious arguments based on people dying because of X and big business is nasty because of Y and why shouldn't they Z because it isn't illegal and it's their human right to do so.

            Their recent rally involved them...er...saying nothing and holding up placards with nothing on them. An idea cooked up in a fair trade coffee shop no doubt (there's a product which harms nobody!), while contemplating a cigarette made from natural leaves harvested by smiling and happy farmers in third world countries (another fantastic industry which benefits the poorest!).

            1. M2Ys4U

              The protest wasn't organised by the Pirate Party...

              and the theme/placards weren't either. They were the work of the Open Rights Group.

              I've seen more absolutist rhetoric coming from the anti-Pirate camp than I have the pirate camp if I'm perfectly honest.

          2. zasta

            @ mustaches-for-brains

            Pharma patents are used to exert total control over the market, escalating prices and killing people in the process. You cannot honestly claim that pharma companies don't make MASSIVE profits.

            The pirates aren't just asking for drug patents to be abolished, they are suggesting alternative ways of funding drugs research.

          3. M2Ys4U
            Alert

            R&D is mostly state-sponsored

            Replacing drug patents with state subsidisation of R&D would solve the issue of drug researches not getting paid. In fact, the majority of funding for *novel* pharmaceutical drug R&D (as opposed to creating derivatives to work around competitors patents) comes from EU governments in the first place.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              FAIL

              typically

              "The pirates aren't just asking for drug patents to be abolished, they are suggesting alternative ways of funding drugs research."

              Yeah, maybe they could arrange a Bake Sale?

              EPIC fail, dude.

            2. The Other Steve

              R&D is mostly state-sponsored

              Link to figures please.

            3. M2Ys4U

              Actually

              We *are* asking for pharmaceutical patents to be abolished.

            4. The Other Steve
              FAIL

              MASSIVE mustaches

              "Pharma patents are used to exert total control over the market"

              For the reasons that I just stated, yes.

              "escalating prices"

              No. No patent, no drug. You say 'escalating prices' I say 'not allowing cheap knock offs'. In addition to which, there is no QA for products made out of licence. Counterfeit pharmaceuticals, unlike drug patents, quite often do kill people.

              "and killing people in the process."

              No, diseases kill people. Keep saying it over and over in your head until it starts to make sense. Try holding your breath until it does. Again, come to me and say "some people who died of disease X could have been saved by drug Y, but they couldn't afford it, how we can fix this ?" I'll listen, we'll talk.

              Claiming that drug patents kill people is not even simply confusing cause and effect, it is just confused, period.

              "You cannot honestly claim that pharma companies don't make MASSIVE profits."

              And nor did I.

              "The pirates aren't just asking for drug patents to be abolished, they are suggesting alternative ways of funding drugs research."

              I care only for what the OP chose to say, which did not include that, he simply stated, incorrectly, and you have repeated, incorrectly, that drug patents kill people. And I will repeat one last time, like it will make any difference (rather neatly illustrating my previous point about fundies) : Diseases kill people.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Flame

                No patent, no drug.

                I'm sure you're right. Strange though that the greatest medical discoveries of the last century happened in the absence of patents: penicillin, xrays, anesthetics, several vaccines (most notably polio) to name a few. Invention and innovation happen on their own, whether there are patents or not. Patents regulate how fast they happen, and it's quite obvious that more restrictions slow down progress.

                Drug patents don't kill people. They just deny them a cure when one exists... which is exactly the same. Take all the people in Africa who have AIDS, for example, and how many lives could be saved if western patents were not upheld.

                1. The BigYin

                  Guns don't kill people

                  Bullets do, aided by the person who pulled the trigger.

                  Drug patents do not allow people to die. They're just a piece of paper.

                  Abuse of the patents and profiteering allow people to die.

                2. The Other Steve
                  FAIL

                  Bum Gravy

                  "Strange though that the greatest medical discoveries of the last century happened in the absence of patents: penicillin, xrays, anesthetics, several vaccines (most notably polio) to name a few"

                  Which is really just a way of saying that we already solved all the easy problems.

                  "Drug patents don't kill people. They just deny them a cure when one exists... which is exactly the same."

                  No, no it isn't.

                  "Take all the people in Africa who have AIDS, for example, and how many lives could be saved if western patents were not upheld."

                  How many of them could be saved if the west were simply to pony up for the cost of the drugs ? You see, you don't actually need to invalidate the patents to solve the problem.

            5. Anonymous Coward
              FAIL

              Bull sh1tte

              This is simply not true. A couple of big Pharma spend more on R&D than all of the US government.

              NIH ~ $30 Bilion TOTAL budget. And a good chunk of that goes to things besides R&D. (The only other medical R&D comes from the Defense Department - and that is for war wounds.)

              (http://www.nih.gov/about/budget.htm )

              From Pfizer drug Companies put in $39 billion in 2004 for JUST R&D

              (http://www.pfizer.com/about/public_policy/research_and_development.jsp)

              I know Europe is not putting in anything like the US.

              So - BULL SH!TTE.

          4. Anonymous Coward
            FAIL

            Two people think drug patents are worse than diseases!

            I think that says it all about these people - their logic really is genuinely retarded.

            Satire is dead. It is no longer possible...

          5. Mr Mrr
            Coat

            The Sorriest Ever @ Reg

            Among Six honest, what's the place if ever intended by any1 abuv/blow to impress someone with, for the impression is an important assistant to those Six, so powerful/delightful that one Sunny-lifty day it becomes Seventh by a mutual agreement?

            Not leaving, just for any case, 2get a mild newspaper...

        3. Anonymous Coward
          FAIL

          Drug patents kill people???

          Complete and total failure!

          Pfizer spends about $10 Billion each year to develop the next set of drugs. Let get rid of drug patents. Now how much will they spend?

          http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601103&sid=a8U9oCkKn5dU

          If you read this - you will see that the loss of a major patent will knock 30% (yes 30%!) out of their R&D budget. So go ahead - get rid of patents and anything else that might pay for the next improvement in the human condition.

          I get the mud hut.

          1. Graham Wilson
            FAIL

            @Atlas Shrugged -- Let's get back to basics eh?

            @Atlas Shrugged

            Let's get back to basics eh? Why is drug research so expensive anyway?

            1. Drug R&D would be much less expensive if the pharmaceutical companies had the Hippocratic oath first in mind. Axiomatically, commercial drug companies have a conflict of interest--we suffer, they have windfall profits.

            2. DO NOT forget why drug research is so expensive--because the drug companies have a long history of abusing trust! Remember Distillers Ltd and Thalidomide? Or is this almighty and tragic fuck-up before your time?

            3. Ok, how about a more modern case? Vioxx (Rofecoxib)--surely you know about the issues here? I can recall reading an article in AAAS's 'Science' about side effects of Vioxx, I recall thinking to myself at the time that if the published figures were correct then the drug ought to be banned immediately. From the article's publication date in 'Science' to the actual banning of Vioxx was about three years. Suffice to say, had ethics been the predominant issue here, then either Vioxx would never have made it to market in the first place or the drug would have been immediately withdrawn.

            4. I'm tempted to mention Swiss Inc., Basel and the Vitamin C scandal but I won't for obvious reasons. If you're interested then read the whistle-blower's book and see how his life was ruined

            5. So far that's three large multinational pharmaceutical companies who've a problem with the 'E' word.

            6. Now let's look at the case of the very old generic non-patented drug, ergotamine. Although still a very effective drug, recently, it was withdrawn from the market (at least in some countries)--not because of problems with the drug per se but because a newer patented drug, sumatriptan succinate, is considered 'better'. Sumatriptan is a more specific drug so it's 'theoretically' better but let's do the maths:

            Ergotamine --> $1.00 per tablet, duration of action ~24 hours. [$1.00 / day]

            Sumatriptan --> $15.00 per tablet, duration of action ~4 hours [$60.00 / day--being generous at only 16hrs/day].

            The net effect of this con job is that those who cannot afford the sumatriptan succinate now actually go without medicine at all! Moreover, governments actually allow this type of fucked-up drugs marketing policy to exist! Even if permitted, it's essentially little better than 'criminal'.

            7. Finally, let us take the case of the extremely effective drug, omeprazole. Depending on country, its patent expired about 1999-2000. Just before the patent ran out it was replaced with a 'better' drug called esomeprazole which is just a S-enantiomer (mirror image) of omeprazole. Even a high school chemistry student would be able to tell you that this 'Isomer trick' was just a way of ever-greening a worn out patent (as essentially the two drugs are the same and that researchers would have tried both initially)--yet again governments allowed this patent scam to continue--how many $10s of billions this has cost the consuming public is anyone guess.

            Moreover, this is only the tip of the iceberg. As these carpetbaggers can't be trusted without considerable ongoing government monitoring, the testing is costing a fortune. We need to blow open the whole process and start again, it's costing consumers literally billions. Drug research ought to go back into the universities and government research organizations where vested interests are at least minimal and ethics better controlled.

            Atlas Shrugged, if you derived your ethical understanding about how big pharma works from Ayn Rand's tome, then perhaps the book ought to be shredded.

            1. The Other Steve

              Except

              "Drug R&D would be much less expensive if the pharmaceutical companies had the Hippocratic oath first in mind"

              No. The R&D would cost exactly the same. In fact if the pharmas hewed to better ethical standards, (and I thoroughly agree that this would be a very good thing indeed) it might even be more expensive, and time to market would be longer.

              I tend to agree with some of your points RE patent 'abuse' to a certain extent, with a caveat. When a company 'replaces' an out of patent drug with a new one, so that they can make more money - which is indeed common, why isn't someone stepping forward to manufacture the old, still effective, out of patent drug as a cheap generic ?

              Hint : Sometimes they do. Why not always ?

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Single issue parties

    As much as the pirate party are a bit (a lot) bonkers havnig fringe lunatics in the house of commons could be a good thing (and I think would be a good thing if there were more single issue parties/individuals in the house) people that can't be whipped into line and act as focal points for greater debate.

    At the moment the commons is a bit like a primary school playground with two big kids who call each other names then run off to the teacher to say the other kid has been mean to them. At least with a dozen or so SIFs things might be a bit more interesting - I don't think it'll ever happen of course, the two big kids are just two darn big and neither one wants to give up its place on the playground.

    But really how can we be a grown up democracy unless the fanatical fringes have a voice that can be argued down in public. The nations full of bonkers people with bonkers yet occasionally supported opinions on things and I'd rather them have a proper seat then whispering in the ear of the Big kid in town.

  18. PirateSlayer
    Thumb Down

    Butter wouldn't melt?

    Having been at the sharp end of this party's advocates' bile, I can react in no other way but in kind. Raising the point that artists, software developers, drug scientists can't live off fart gas always ensures a tirade of abuse from people who seem to be very confused about the ethics of robbing stuff (and with about a million specious reasons as to why it isn't [technically] robbing). You seem to be suggesting that in a democracy, parties can't be questioned or scrutinised robustly...

    1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    2. M2Ys4U
      Stop

      Scrutiy welcome, complete misrepresentation not so much

      The Pirate Party manifesto even states PPUK is "[a] party that admits it doesn't always have all the answers, and is willing to listen." Scrutiny is definitely welcome, complete misrepresentation of our policies is not.

  19. Andrew Norton
    FAIL

    Amazing, comments allowed!

    Amazing, Comments actually allowed on an Orlowski piece, whoda thunk it. I love your claim that "It may surprise you to learn that many, if not most, new acts want to be signed to a major record label." That is true up to a point - that point is usually where they read the TERMS of that contract. Then most aren't so sure.

    But hey, am I expecting too much from the person that read the manifesto, and presented a portion of it as the whole, and has a continued mis-characterisation ongoing in his pieces. Actually reporting, rather than editorialising like a bad Fox News talking head, would mean that whatever form of invective and spite these articles are filled with, would have to remain bottled up.

    An actual look at the facts would find that all your scaremongering and accusations are baseless, and things like record labels and so on would not go out of business. Perhaps, as you suggested, Mr Orlowski, you'd better look up what copyright is. It's not a way to ensure profit/income, it's a way to control artistic works, for a limited time, and then they fall into the public domain, to be used as the basis for new works.

    You have any thoughts about what would be the current 'art' (meaning the full spectrum of copyright works) if the current copyright laws, had been in place for the last 100 years? The majority of what we have now - as music, books, films, etc. - would NOT exist, as they are based on works, which would be under copyright.

    But first, it would help to get the basic facts right - such the easy to have checked fact that the flag didn't belong to the Pirate Party as you have claimed in TWO pieces. Or the copper cone, that would be because the police wouldn't let them use a megaphone. These are basic facts that any journalism student could have, and would have checked. It's just a basic insight though in to the 'extent' you go to to check facts before spouting invective based on it. I suggest you take a close look at Article 1 of the PCC code, and recheck your articles carefully, for any more inaccuracies.

    1. blackworx
      FAIL

      Down Boy

      Did you miss the bold "Comment" marker on the subhead?

    2. PirateSlayer

      Fox employs a lot of people!

      I never understand why when somebody disagrees with the Pirate Party, the rantee always suggests they should work for Fox, The Daily Mail (often hilariously and originally reduced to 'The Daily Fail') or are in some way Stalinist/Hitlerian...it seems no deviation from message is acceptable for them, from anyone!

      "I suggest you take a close look at Article 1 of the PCC code, and recheck your articles carefully, for any more inaccuracies."

      :D I love it when Pirates invoke laws/guidelines built to protect people who actually obey and respect them!

    3. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: Amazing, comments allowed!

      Welcome to the spotlight, Andrew. But you need to raise your game. Insults are not an adequate substitute for rational argument. I note you've avoided most of the points I raised, and in particular, the main one: why anyone needs to be poorer.

      No PP has offered a coherent justification for stripping rights from people. Or why creators and businesses should be poorer. Or why we should handicap an important part of our economy.

      In my piece, I've explained how we can get P2P file sharing without anyone being screwed. Now it's your turn.

      I would advise tightening up your prose (you're rambling about Fox here, megaphones there), stop playing to the gallery, and really honing your arguments.

      I'd really caution against making stuff up in areas where it's clear you know very little, such as artist contracts: eg, "Then most aren't so sure." That's a conjecture. There are people here who know this area much better than you do.

      1. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

        Re: Down Boy

        It's a comment article. That's what 'comment' means in this context. It doesn't mean 'comments are attached for your convenience' or 'without your commenty opinion this is meaningless'. Nor is it an imperative. 'Comment! This is an order!'

        So er, fail on you and your face, sir.

        1. blackworx
          Heart

          Er

          Thank you Moderatrix. That is exactly what I meant - i.e. that this is a comment piece and therefore calling into question Andrew's journalistic integrity on the back of it wasn't really very clever. Obviously I wasn't clear enough.

          Can I wipe the fail off my face now?

          1. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

            Re: Er

            Oh, I don't even know any more. Yeah. Biscuits all round.

            1. blackworx
              Badgers

              Re: Er

              Just make Orlowski buy you a drink or six for launching this comments thread at you on a Friday afternoon.

              Right, pub.

        2. The BigYin
          Happy

          @Sarah Bee

          Will you be doing stand-up any time soon? Some of your come-backs are total class!

      2. zasta

        hm

        "Insults are not an adequate substitute for rational argument."

        Isn't it you who keeps calling the pirates "freetards" at every chance? Did anyone miss the sarcastic tone of your comment? Maybe you can't take criticism?

        "why anyone needs to be poorer."

        It's a choice between rights holders and the general public. The record industry is squeezing money out of consumers and avoids any change that could mean fewer profits. The general public is starting to resist them through mass disobedience.

        1. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

          Re: hm

          "It's a choice between rights holders and the general public."

          Only in your imagination. Once you step out of the Garden Shed, things are more complicated, contradictory, and interesting. Some people will always prefer a simplified view of the world, because they feel more comfortable in it.

          "The record industry is squeezing money out of consumers"

          The record industry is "squeezing" less money out of consumers than at any point in the past ten years. About half as much. You've even explained why.

          1. M2Ys4U
            FAIL

            Don't ignore the facts...

            "The [Entertainment Retailers Association’s] Annual Yearbook, published today, reveals that music sales were worth £1.314bn in 2009, down from £1.324bn in 2008." (http://www.musicweek.com/story.asp?sectioncode=1&storycode=1040527&c=1)

            It'll be 83 years at the current rate until the industry is squeezing half as much.

            Is copyright infringement killing the music industry? no.

            Is the music industry killing off free speech and writing draconian censorship laws in the vain attempt to be seen doing something about "piracy"? Absolutely.

            1. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

              Re: Don't ignore the facts...

              You've extrapolated an 83 year trend from two sequential data points.

              Dearie me.

              Are you by any chance the Pirate's Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer?

              1. M2Ys4U
                Coffee/keyboard

                Controller of the treasure chest

                "You've extrapolated an 83 year trend from two sequential data points.

                Dearie me.

                Are you by any chance the Pirate's Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer?"

                lol :D

                The extrapolation was not entirely serious, granted, but it's just as substantiated as your claim of a 50% reduction over the last 10 years (i.e. it's not substantiated at all).

                1. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

                  Re: Controller of the treasure chest

                  Heh. I'm not doing your work for you M2Ys4U.

                  The figures you need to support your assertion can be found on pretty easily Google. Try comparing 1999 with 2007 or 2008.

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Flame

                    @AO : "Heh. I'm not doing your work for you M2Ys4U."

                    It isn't our work - it's yours.

                    After all, you're supposed to be the fucking journalist, not us. If your best response to a request to substantiate your story is "substantiate it yourself", then I think it's safe to say I'll stop reading articles written by you in the future.

                    Note to site developers : any chance of getting an "ignore" button?

                    1. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

                      Re: @AO : "Heh. I'm not doing your work for you M2Ys4U."

                      Paging Anger Management for the Anonymous

                      The assertion in question was made by a Commenter, not me. It's therefore up to him to prove it.

                      Do you now see how the F-tard word caught on?

                    2. The Other Steve
                      FAIL

                      Au contraire

                      "It isn't our work - it's yours."

                      Nope, it is yours. If you wish to make a compelling argument for stripping people of their rights and redistributing wealth, then you sure as fuck need to do your research for yourselves and come to the table armed with a fuck off great pile of facts and figures that firmly prove your case.

                      Not just some steaming pile of empty (and empty headed) rhetoric.

            2. The Other Steve
              FAIL

              Spurious tosh

              "reveals that music sales were worth £1.314bn in 2009, down from £1.324bn in 2008"

              Sales do not the whole story make, though. What was the cost of those sales ? What was the profit on them ? How was it distributed ?

              Etc, etc. And as for your 'analysis' of the figures, who is it that is constantly whining about the music industry pulling fake loss figures out of its arse ?

          2. Steen Hive
            Big Brother

            Re hm

            Only in your imagination is it anything else. Copyright is being used as a coercive weapon against the general public at the expense of their privacy, due process, and other like, you know, grown-up rights.

            If some "rights" holders are going to be poorer by a balanced copyright arrangement, tough shit. Their "rights" are only extant through our consent anyway. Actual creators, on the other hand are unlikely to be made poorer overall by losing the millstone of "rights" holders around their necks.

            "The record industry is "squeezing" less money out of consumers than at any point in the past ten years. About half as much. You've even explained why."

            No hesitation taking a trip to the garden shed yourself though, eh? You might as well blame copyright infringement for the sub-prime mortgage crisis, in fact given your form I'm surprised you haven't. As far as music is concerned there is research done by Raghuram Iyengar that attributes at least some of the blame for the depressed profits in the industry to unreasonable price expectations at the wholesale end of the distribution channel. Coupled with a stinking recession, a well-documented business inertia in the face of rapidly changing market, and the fact that much of the product catalogue is unadulterated shit, what would you expect, growth?

            1. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

              Re: Re hm

              You're acting out one of things that's most fascinating attitudes about Freetardery, which is the persecution complex. You need to feel victimised. It's like watching someone who's been knocked down by a car rush back into the road and look for a truck.

              At least your arguments are taking you closer to a resolution.

              You now agree that you're handicapping creators access to a paying market, and reducing their economic choices. For you, this is progress, and an acceptance of basic economics that eludes quite a few Jolly Pirates. But you fantasise that by doing so, are freeing them of a millstone. That by being poorer, they are actually richer. That with fewer options, they are more free.

              I suppose we could always ask them.

              1. zasta
                Thumb Down

                Sorry to burst your bubble..

                "You're acting out one of things that's most fascinating attitudes about Freetardery, which is the persecution complex. You need to feel victimised."

                Correct me if I'm wrong, but pirates ARE being persecuted. You should know, you're guilty of it yourself.

                "You now agree that you're handicapping creators access to a paying market, and reducing their economic choices."

                Or, you can think of it the other way round: stopping creators from unfairly exploiting the market.

                The pirates only want to reform copyrights, not abolish them. Creators should make a living, but infinite copyright is harmful to society at large, as we end up not having any free-as-in-freedom culture.

                "I suppose we could always ask them."

                The opinion of creators doesn't matter, because they'll just take as much as they can (isn't that really why you are arguing against the pirates?). Ideally, this should be a moral and philosophical issue, not an economic one: what is the optimal copyright length? 10 years sounds reasonable to me -- at least, more reasonable than 150 years!

              2. Steen Hive
                Heart

                Re hm

                You could certainly ask them. Why don't you start with me?

                I don't feel the musical content I create is supercilious, and rather monotonous hot air, as I do most of your writing, but I'm also not under the illusion that non-rival resources have any true value as property. I am given the opportunity to get value from it by copyright law which has been illustrated before as a "socialist" interference in the market which creates artificial scarcity. Even you must have heard about artificial scarcity and the associated deadweight loss inefficiency when you were cleaning the windows of the Chicago School .

                As a content creator, I don't feel persecuted by copyright infringement, but by having my (real) rights to property, privacy, freedom of speech eroded to in support of any business model.

                You haven't made any such case for "handicapping creators access" to anything, much less have me agree to it, but attempting to argue from a position that overall choices in a market are increased by the creation of a monopoly on supply ought to raise a giggle in a few places - it certainly gave me one.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Pint

                  @Steen Hive

                  Dude! I want some of whatever you are taking! You are so buzzed, your writing makes no sense. I can't tell if you are for or against either of the arguments.

                  Here is another brewski - don't pound it back too fast. (Translation for non-Chicago natives: "Here is another cheap beer - don't drink it too fast.")

                  1. Steen Hive
                    Flame

                    @AC

                    "I can't tell if you are for or against either of the arguments."

                    Maybe because you are drinking too much beer yourself? :-)

                    Dude, I am against *both* arguments! "You're either with us or agin' us" a quaint concept seemingly prevalent in American culture, and I just don't get it.

                    I am like most people I would expect, not against copyright *per se* because I am not against social-engineering per se, and social-engineering is exactly what copyright law is.

                    However, appreciating the mechanics of a market economy for generating wealth is not the sole province of extremist libertarian loons either.

                    What is happening in this copyright farce, though is that powerful actors - "rights holders" in the market are attempting to use the state to socially-engineer their market to the detriment of consumers, and ultimately to the detriment of actual creators themselves. They want to give imaginary property the same legal status as real property - criminalise what they describe as "stealing" it, and in the process, do away with all that nasty, bothersome "due process" stuff that is enshrined in law for stealing real property, and all the while extending the copyright time-limits for all intents and purposes indefinitely.

                    So. Creator creates something. "Rights holder" pays creator for "rights" - rights holder now has a product that he can sell to people and still possess it *forever*. A perpetual-motion generator of wealth! The ultimate "have-your-cake-and-eat-it" scenario.

                    Now what the fuck do these people think is going to happen if everytime someone creates some imaginary property, property of essentially infinite monetary value is created? What is going to happen to creativity, the elasticity of supply and demand essential to the market? What is going to happen to people's *other* rights?

                    Answers on the back of a postcard to Orlowski's office in Lubjanka.

                    1. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

                      Re: @AC

                      The "deteriment of the creators" :-)

                      Poorer is richer; fewer choices more free. We've been round this house, you don't seem to have a response to it, do you?

                      You dare not ask them, as I suggested, because most creators hearing your argument would rip your head off, then flush the gristly bits down the pan.

                      Repeating your same point endlessly - intermediaries are immoral, we must grab their rights - isn't getting you anywhere. Don't you feel penned-in by the intellectual cul-de-sac you've chosen, yet?

                      1. Steen Hive
                        FAIL

                        @@AC

                        "You dare not ask them, as I suggested, because most creators hearing your argument would rip your head off, then flush the gristly bits down the pan."

                        Not only are you repeatedly exposing yourself as an economics numbskull by apparently suggesting a monopoly on supply improves choices in market ( or being disingenuous and saying fuck the market to support your particular prejudice ), but you have the unmitigated, narcissistic gall to presume to speak for content creators too? Puhlease!

                2. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

                  Re: Sorry to burst your bubble..

                  "The opinion of creators doesn't matter, because they'll just take as much as they can"

                  Your real prejudices finally come out.

                3. The Other Steve
                  FAIL

                  EOF

                  "The opinion of creators doesn't matter"

                  And with that one fell swoop, you have lost the argument entirely. Well done.

                4. The Other Steve
                  FAIL

                  All aboard the ROFLcopter

                  "Correct me if I'm wrong, but pirates ARE being persecuted. You should know, you're guilty of it yourself."

                  If you think being called out for your bullshit and appalling attitude is 'persecution' you'd better hope you remain an invisible and irrelevant movement, because the first time you get interviewed in front of a TV camera you're going to want to prosecute someone for war crimes.

                  1. Griffith Engen
                    Thumb Down

                    fell of the FAIL tree

                    "If you think being called out for your bullshit and appalling attitude is 'persecution' you'd better hope you remain an invisible and irrelevant movement"

                    Bullshit? Only according to you. Appalling? Only according to you. Invisible and irrelevant? If that's true, why are you bothering to say it?

                    1. The Other Steve
                      FAIL

                      Chuckles

                      "Bullshit? Only according to you."

                      No, it really is bullshit. There have been a vast number of assertions that are either entirely unsupported by any figures or verifiably incorrect. Hence bullshit.

                      "Appalling? Only according to you"

                      I've been told that as person who creates their own work my opinion doesn't count. That I am not a member of the general public but someone who should be pilloried. That because I made the choice to be someone who charges what the market will bear will for my work, rather than what the market will bear for my time I am an extortionist.

                      So yeah, appalling. See also bullshit.

                      "Invisible and irrelevant? If that's true, why are you bothering to say it?"

                      Because watching you signally fail to defend even a single one of your arguments is so very entertaining.

                      1. Griffith Engen
                        Thumb Down

                        Re: Chuckles

                        "No, it really is bullshit."

                        Hey, it's still you saying it. If anything, you are the one making the assertions and overgeneralising: the pirates have invoked very clear arguments, and even provided links to research to support their claims. You just said their research was "bullshit" and proceeded to tell us how awesome you are, and how much you deserve copyright protections.

                        "I've been told that as person who creates their own work my opinion doesn't count."

                        Well, if we were to ask Louis XVI if he should give up his throne, I'm sure he'd say no. If we ask you whether copyright protections are ridiculous and should be relaxed, you'll say no (and call us names, apparently).

                        "That I am not a member of the general public but someone who should be pilloried."

                        Was Louis XVI the king or a member of the public? If the king is an asshole, why shouldn't he be called an asshole?

                        "That because I made the choice to be someone who charges what the market will bear will for my work, rather than what the market will bear for my time I am an extortionist."

                        Forcing the market to accept your price, or else get sued/disconnected is not extortion??

                        1. The Other Steve
                          WTF?

                          Wow, really, just fucking wow

                          "The pirates have invoked very clear arguments"

                          No, they have spilled out a load of spiteful bile and fact free rhetoric.

                          "even provided links to research to support their claims"

                          So far they have provided two links that I've noticed, one which was to an entirely speculative of work produced by a completely biased party. I discount this immediately, as should anyone else.

                          The other was a link to some sales figures which were entirely spurious.

                          So yes, bullshit, by any objective definition. Your supporting facts need to actually be facts, or they are just bullshit.

                          Now to deal with the more hysterica (in all senses of the word) l part of your post

                          " "I've been told that as person who creates their own work my opinion doesn't count."

                          Well, if we were to ask Louis XVI if he should give up his throne, I'm sure he'd say no. "

                          Really ? All rights holders are directly comparable with Louis XVI ? Really ? You honestly think that the life of a 'rights holder' is comparable to the existence of Louis XVI ? That is genuinely, frighteningly delusional. Seek help.

                          " If we ask you whether copyright protections are ridiculous and should be relaxed, you'll say no "

                          But you didn't ask. And you still don't know my actual opinion on copyrights, because I haven't stated what it is. I have called you all out for bullshit and making ridiculous and provably wrong statements, like "Drug Patents Kill People" and "most R&D is state funded" and for making assertions like "Most copyright holders will not be affected by X" without providing any supporting evidence whatsoever. I have called you out for attempting to use the kind of made up figures that you would rightly spit on if they were supplied by the RIAA, and you have all ended up looking stupid and clueless. I understand that you're upset, I would be if I were made to look so foolish, but the remedy for that is to come back with facts, not more bullshit.

                          I love that this bit : "(and call us names, apparently)." was followed by this bit "If the king is an asshole, why shouldn't he be called an asshole?"

                          With which of course I totally agree, you ignorant, deluded asshole.

                          "Forcing the market to accept your price, or else get sued/disconnected is not extortion??"

                          You still don't understand markets, and no one is going to disconnect you. Get a clue.

                          Sent from my golden throne. And typed by one of my many concubines. obviously. Vive Le Roi, I tell you.

                        2. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

                          Not much to go on

                          The arguments to support the Pirate policy haven't really materialised here. The initial points have been repeated over and over again, which in the long run, tends to lose arguments. So people are advocating a discriminatory policy, where the justification for the discrimination is not being offered.

                          There is plenty of moral indignation at the existence of copyright intermediaries in general, and record companies in particular. Plenty of others have disputed that any economic harm will be caused - which isn't a credible claim.

                          I get the impression that because Pirates are usually in agreement with each other - it's the shared interest through which they've met - they haven't thought out how to engage in counter arguments.

                          I am aware of one sole paper which written by an anti-copyright activist, which puts the optimal copyright term as 14 years. It's an interesting approach, but contradicted by the others. And while somebody referred to something like it, but if it provided an author, title or link, then I missed it. Again, poor technique.

            2. The Other Steve
              FAIL

              Is it now ?

              "a well-documented business inertia in the face of rapidly changing market"

              Then I should like to see the documents, please provide links to source.

              "and the fact that much of the product catalogue is unadulterated shit, "

              According to who ? You or the millions of people that pay money for it ? It doesn't stop having value just because you don't like it.

        2. David Evans

          re: hm

          "It's a choice between rights holders and the general public. The record industry is squeezing money out of consumers and avoids any change that could mean fewer profits. The general public is starting to resist them through mass disobedience."

          Oh yeah, that's what it is, a civil disobedience campaign. Not just downloading stuff because they don't want to pay for it, oh no, of course not, its a moral calling.

          Give me a break. If people really want to protest at the music industry's methods, stop CONSUMING music. If everyone did that for a week, no consumption of music, legal or pirated, didn't even listen to the radio, the music industry would forced to change its ways with no ambiguity and no arguing about whether piracy, cost or general shittiness of product is what's killing music. Of course this will never happen because file sharing has NOTHING to do with protest and everything to do with just wanting free shit. So yes, Freetard is as Freetard does. Proceed with downvotes ACs.

          1. David Barrett Silver badge

            Exactly!

            I have said it before and I'll say it again.

            We do Not NEED these things, if you disagree with the price don't pay it, don't take it either...

            I think fuel is a bit pricy this week, and I know a lot of that is profit & tax so I'll just fill up and run without paying... It's not going to fly is it?

        3. The Other Steve
          FAIL

          How may I compare thee to a ton of Fail, let me count the ways.

          "It's a choice between rights holders and the general public."

          Fail 1 : Says who ?

          Fail 2 : I, personally, am both a rights holder AND a member of the general public. I fail to see quite how you are able to make the distinction.

          "The record industry is squeezing money out of consumers and avoids any change that could mean fewer profits. "

          Fail 3 : Ah I see, you only mean record companies do you ? It's not even about IP rights as a whole ? Just those ones ?

          Fail 4: Translation "I want cheaper stuff". Just say so, and stop dressing it up in bullshit.

          "The general public is starting to resist them through mass disobedience"

          Fail 5 : No, no they aren't. A couple of dozen surly teenagers with black tape over the faces is not "mass disobedience" it isn't even "disobedience".

          There we go, this fail was sponsored by the number 5.

          1. zasta
            Thumb Down

            Stevie Wonder of FAIL

            "I, personally, am both a rights holder AND a member of the general public. I fail to see quite how you are able to make the distinction."

            You fail indeed. If you are a rights holder, then you are NOT a member of the general public as far as this debate is concerned.

            "Ah I see, you only mean record companies do you ? It's not even about IP rights as a whole ? Just those ones ?"

            Is that the best you can do? Loser.

            "Translation "I want cheaper stuff". Just say so, and stop dressing it up in bullshit."

            That's only a small part of it. I also don't like companies running the country, making laws, suing everyone in their path and enabling idiots like you.

            "No, no they aren't. A couple of dozen surly teenagers with black tape over the faces is not "mass disobedience" it isn't even "disobedience"."

            Aren't you forgetting about the millions of pirates? You know, those you think are out to steal your amazing creations and put them all over the internet for free?

        4. Eddy Ito Silver badge
          Badgers

          re: hm

          "It's a choice between rights holders and the general public."

          You seem to imply a difference where none exists. It isn't as if the so called "rights holders" have special rights that aren't available to "the general public". You seem to make a distinction between rights based on ease of upkeep and multiplication inasmuch as it is easier to maintain and duplicate a recording than it is to maintain and duplicate a boat. Then again, that partially gets reflected in the purchase price. What seems to be the problem is the recording industry doesn't understand that the value of a CD full of music or a DVD or BD movie is lower than it was even a year ago. If the industries kept pace in pricing and technology, they would probably have better profits from higher sales and happier customers. This all carries through and perhaps paying 40 Megadollars for a leading actor isn't going to remain an option for long but so what, the ego of some of these people could use a working over by badgers' paws.

        5. Anonymous Coward
          FAIL

          No...

          "Isn't it you who keeps calling the pirates "freetards" at every chance?"

          I have not - but for you, I'll willing let go of a good "Freetard"

          "It's a choice between rights holders and the general public. The record industry is squeezing money out of consumers and avoids any change that could mean fewer profits. The general public is starting to resist them through mass disobedience."

          No - you have every right to not buy what I sell. BUT you do not have the right to steal what I have created. If my product is not worthy of your money - I screwed up. But the fact that you are typing on a computer would indicate that you find my product worthy of purchase. I suspect my friends who write code and create medicine also like eating daily. If you want to go cheap and develop the stuff on your own, an engineering PhD takes about 10 years after high school. Then there are the 5 to 10 years of sitting in a piss on position till you finally rise enough to be able to run things on your own. Then each major technology takes 5 to 10 years to fully develop. (Yes 5 to 10 years.) So get cracking - in 30 years you MIGHT just come up with a useable drug to cure one of your diseases. BTW the Record companies are not making very much money.

          FVCKING FREETARD (There - doesn't that feel better.)

          Atlas

          1. Goat Jam
            FAIL

            Atlas Shrugged

            Isn't that name owned by Ayn Rand?

      3. M2Ys4U
        Alert

        "Insults are not an adequate substitute for rational argument."

        If you believe this why do you continue to use the word "freetard" then?

        Hypocrisy aside, this article (admittedly from the '90s, but probably still relevant if artist anecdotes are to be believed) goes into quite a lot of detail as to how and why artists get screwed over by record labels: http://www.negativland.com/albini.html

        Even though it sounds counter-intuitive, it is possible to make money in a market where free is an option. Nobody denies that artists should be compensated for their works, but why should middlemen, and especially middlemen who screw both consumers AND artists, continue to rake it in when their business model is so horrendously flawed?

      4. Andrew Norton
        Coffee/keyboard

        Re: Amazing, comments allowed!

        "No PP has offered a coherent justification for stripping rights from people. Or why creators and businesses should be poorer. Or why we should handicap an important part of our economy."

        I think you've made a rather large assumption. The assumption being that relaxing some restrictions, strips rights from people, and makes businesses poorer, and would handicap the economy.

        Copyrights are a government-granted right that restricts people & businesses from offering products, and thus prevents products from reaching the market, which is a pretty clear 'handicap' to the economy.

        If anything, they're RESTORING the rights to people (and businesses), the rights to copy (if you strip a monopolistic right from one person and give the right to the populace as a whole , such as the right to copy by reducing the term length, you're not stripping the right to copy, you're just stripping the monopoly). They're reducing (not taking) a monopolistic right, that has no worth to the incredible majority of the works and rights holders. How often have you asserted your monopolistic right of copying for the contents of Within these Walls? I know the only work I've participated in, from more than 10 years ago where the copyright has some value to someone, is in the TV work I've done.

        I'd also point out that no organisation has made a coherent justification for increasing enforcement, and the length of those rights. Claims have been made, yes, but coherent arguments, backed by evidence, no. Look at the horrors of UK Music. 133Million albums sold in 2008, against 121Million in 1998. For singles it's 115Million in 08 against 73million a decade earlier (09's figures look even better, but I've not got the raw data yet). This P2P thing needs enforcing, because you know, growth, despite a recession, and despite this 'industry wrecking technology' means we need more, harsher enforcement as it's killing us etc. etc. There's a very good reason hard data is never presented during claims of loss, and the need for more enforcement, - because the data doesn't support it. You know it, and I know it, and the industries know it.

        "In my piece, I've explained how we can get P2P file sharing without anyone being screwed. Now it's your turn."

        You again fixate on an assumption that if a few large companies profit from copyright, and 60Million of us are adversely affected, it's ok, because those few companies are more important. Oh, and could you please detail just exactly WHO all these 'anyone' are that are being 'screwed'.

        To take your arguments, and put them in a historical context, this sort of thing was done before. It was called the locomotive act, and was enacted in 1865. The idea was to restrict a new technology (traction engines) and "to prevent anyone from being screwed over", the anyone in this case being the pre-existing transportation networks. The motivations for the 'red flag' act, were similar to those behind current anti-p2p technology. Protect the incumbent, exaggerate claims of the harm the new technology does, discourage it's adoption; exactly where we are now.

        It's impossible for there to be any change where "without anyone getting screwed", to believe otherwise is... cute. It's always a trade-off. Your solution attempts to keep the status quo but ultimately negatively harms the majority of the population - they get screwed, as proven by the likes of ACS:law, a practice that can and will only increase under your 'solution'. The real solution is to reduce copyright terms. only a minuscule percentage of works that are created each year, are worth anything 10 years later (or even 5). It will however give an economic boost by allowing works to be built on, to be distributed etc. However, at the same time, the revenue span for those 'long-time-earners' will be gone, and something will have to fill it in those companies. That would be *drumroll* NEW works. Incredible, we're talking about injecting new products into the economy. Why, wouldn't that HELP the economy? indeed it would. It would also help development, and progress (via associated technologies like Bullet Time, and the 3D used for Avatar, as an example). As any economist will tell you, stagnation is bad, yet we're moving ever closer to an enforced creative stagnation.

        "'d really caution against making stuff up in areas where it's clear you know very little, such as artist contracts: eg, "Then most aren't so sure."

        Signed such contracts myself, handled many (I used to work at a record label). How about you? (and 'bloke at the pub' doesn't really count)

        "That's a conjecture"

        As far as conjecture goes, isn't that what YOUR 2 page 'article' was?

        (PS, as for 'comments allowed', I was referring to these, usually they're disabled on your posts)

        1. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

          Another Fail.

          "(PS, as for 'comments allowed', I was referring to these, usually they're disabled on your posts)"

          Er, not since last year. A few are closed for reasons I've explained many times. About 25 of my stories are "open" for comments at the moment.

          Can't you get anything right?

        2. The Other Steve
          FAIL

          Failure to communicate

          I still haven't seen you explain anywhere just what all this screwing is that's taking place, or why I should care.

          All I'm getting is basically "I think that some things cost to much, it's just not fair".

          This is your fault, you need to communicate better.

          And as for this tosh :

          ""It's impossible for there to be any change where "without anyone getting screwed", to believe otherwise is... cute. It's always a trade-off."

          This rather indicates that you are immune to the possibility of a win win situation. You will destroy the enemy, there will be no compromise. There must be a loser, and you've chosen who it is. Or rather, you've chosen to fantasise who it is, since none of this will ever come pass.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          FAIL

          Take an Econ class...

          "Copyrights are a government-granted right that restricts people & businesses from offering products, and thus prevents products from reaching the market, which is a pretty clear 'handicap' to the economy."

          No Copyrights and patents are there to get products to the market FASTER.

          From http://www.uwlax.edu/faculty/knowles/eco303/Gallini.pdf

          "The last two decades have also seen important reforms in the U.S. patent system. These changes are widely perceived to have strengthened patent protec- tion, in that patents have become easier to enforce and may be granted for a longer time. The reforms have also extended patent rights to new subject matter, such as genetically engineered life forms and business methods. The purpose of the patent reform was to stimulate innovation in the United States, which was thought to have lagged behind other industrial countries in the 1970s (Meador, 1992). Policies that strengthen and extend patent rights for the purpose of encouraging innovation find support under the conventional view of patents with its well-known public policy tradeoff: Patents provide incentives to research and to disclose information, but at the social costs of reducing the invention’s use during the patent life (Nordhaus, 1969)."

          I will note that the above author is arguing against this proposition - but that is a minority opinion in the journals.

          Atlas

          1. Mephistro Silver badge
            Pirate

            The title is required...:)

            " ...for the purpose of encouraging innovation..."

            That's the core of the problem. You won't encourage innovation with longer patent or copyright periods. If IP holders can milk their 'products' for, say, thirty years, that also means that other 'creators' won't be able to build upon those new concepts for thirty years. Add to that a crippled patent system where you can patent mostly everything, just by using vague terms in the patent application. Add also the fact that only big companies will have the resources to defend their IP, i.e. a legal department, with several employees reviewing products to see if one of them is included in their patents, and the money needed to challenge a patent with the actual system. Imho the current system is exceedingly good at stifling innovation, and needs to be changed.

            "I will note that the above author is arguing against this proposition - but that is a minority opinion in the journals"

            No wonder. Most journals 'are' IP themselves, and most economists and executives are still struggling to understand the implications of trading with information, with little success it' would seem.

            Now, the West can take three different avenues. They can fix they system to really encourage innovation, they can wait till other countries leave them behind by creating a better system and, finally, they can put pressure on the rest of the world to adopt the same crippled system -ACTA-.

            A short summary of the last paragraph is 'We are screwed!' :(

      5. copsewood
        Pirate

        coherent justification

        The 2 sets of rights being asserted here are not compatible.

        a. The conflict between the free expression right to be able to make fair comment using extracts of work made many years earlier where the rights holders have lost interest and are not contactable (ECHR section 10) but we don't know that for sure, and they could still sue concerns incompatible rights.

        b. The conflict between the right to be able to communicate freely with friends and others without having communications spied upon (ECHR section 8) unless overriding reasons (e.g. national security) are at stake and justify surveillance, versus copyright holders claimed rights to be able to control all distribution of work concerns incompatible rights.

        Legislators have to compromise between incompatible rights asserted by different political interests. This, Mr Orlowski, is what politics is about: who gets what, when and how often. The UK Pirate Party may well be less mature in the presentation of their politics than their Swedish counterparts, but this fact doesn't make the core values behind their arguments any less legitimate. It can take a single issue party to force major parties to stop being one sided on such issues, e.g. because conventional publishers can swing many votes and have failed to present the side of this debate which doesn't suit their interests.

        As to how content creators should get paid, that seems obvious. If a clothes shop plays music they are making money from it and have to pay a license to copyright holders for public performance. When non-profit making distribution is made legal, the ISP industry and vendors of blank media will be making money from customers' distribution of content and should, like the clothes shop playing music, have to pay for licenses which can be justified on grounds of sales commissions. Without the content, it seems clear that less bandwidth and blank media would be sold.

        1. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

          Re: coherent justification

          "When non-profit making distribution is made legal"

          Licensing that exclusive right is best done voluntarily, by the rightsholders themselves, I think you would agree.

          1. copsewood
            Stop

            copyrights don't trump the ECHR

            "Licensing that exclusive right is best done voluntarily, by the rightsholders themselves, I think you would agree."

            I don't. You, Andrew, are arguing as if rights never change, never come into conflict with other rights, and exist independently of politically-motivated lawmaking. You need to learn some history. A claimed right which conflicts with more fundamental rights has to be negotiated through the political process or will be challenged through use of political process, as the activities of the UK and other Pirate Parties demonstrate.

            1. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

              Re: copyrights don't trump the ECHR

              "Licensing that exclusive right is best done voluntarily, by the rightsholders themselves, I think you would agree." I don't.

              Ah, so you advocate stripping rights from people with creative talent.

              What a bitter man you are!

              The longer the thread goes on, the more apparent it is that spite and jealousy are the main motivations here.

              1. copsewood
                Pirate

                Welcome back to the UK ?

                "Ah, so you advocate stripping rights from people with creative talent.What a bitter man you are!"

                The history of your nation's constitution started, I seem to recall, with the stripping of property rights from the British crown in 1776 ? So to apply your arguments to your own history, this history of political right stripping makes any sense of US national pride a matter of spite, bitterness and jealousy ? Andrew, the more I manage to wind you up, the funnier you sound. Besides, I'm not sure we would want all those Americans taking up seats in our Parliament, so good riddance !

                1. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

                  Re: Welcome back to the UK ?

                  Oh dear.

                  I'll leave you to figure out the quite major error in your latest emission from the Shed.

                  What a good job you don't work in (say) higher education. ;-)

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    Too much power

    Like all systems where a company, cartel, political party, government in general or even individual gain too much power, abuses take place. As the old saying goes. Power corrupts etc.

    We are in the situation where we have a two party system, voted on by seats rather than majority vote.

    This has led to the system stagnating. It is no longer a true democracy. It it a two (Not even three) vote system where you get to choose between two bad apples. They are both as corrupt as the other. They both push through similar agendas but pretend to differentiate themselves from one another and argue moot points across the bar.

    They are both in the pockets of other interested parties with big coffers and only when they are outed via media spotlight do we get to witness their transgressions (Expenses anyone?).

    This has to stop. Big brother is steadfastly moving forward in our lifetimes. Like any period where a large, abusive political force is in power it is time to strike the drum and revolt!

    The pirate party may not be the force required to push these bears outta their chairs but it's a good start. We need someone else other than the fundies like the BNP and UKIP (or woe betide the greenies) to kick this system up it's collective backside.

    Extreme views they may have. If they gain any footing in parliament then I doubt their ideals will stay as they are. But at least we will have some movement instead of the stagnant residing bodies of the current parties.

    It's not about anarchy or freetards or copyrights et al.

    It's about making real change to our countries future and pulling it back from the brink of a disaster.

    1. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: Too much power

      Rants like this must be theraputic for the keyboard-basher making them, but they don't seem to be designed to convince anyone outside the Garden Shed. Quite a few objections to the program have been raised by me and here in the Comments, but I can't see anyone setting out the case.

      Just a lot of repetition of entitlements. Maybe Pirate Party politics is about pressing the doorbell and then running away, really fast?

      1. Steven Knox
        Thumb Up

        "Insults are not an adequate substitute for rational argument."

        "Rants like this must be theraputic for the keyboard-basher making them, but they don't seem to be designed to convince anyone outside the Garden Shed."

    2. The Other Steve
      Thumb Up

      That is feed line number 465 ...

      "This has to stop. Big brother is steadfastly moving forward in our lifetimes. Like any period where a large, abusive political force is in power it is time to strike the drum and revolt!"

      The Pirate Party are pretty revolting, all right.

      Walked straight into that one.

  21. poikes
    Pint

    Perhaps you should read this Andrew...

    ...it is more eloquent than I can put it, but makes the point perfectly. It's not a 'rant' and contains no 'spite', just a sensible argument for why rushing this bill through is not good for the consumer from Consumer Focus... you might find it harder to spout bile and stereotypes about them and call it journalism.

    http://www.consumerfocus.org.uk/assets/1/files/2010/02/Consumer-Focus-Digital-Economy-Bill-briefing.pdf

    Beer because the pub is where I'm off to next, with my girlfriend, and I was at the protest.

    1. The Other Steve
      Pint

      ORLY

      "Beer because the pub is where I'm off to next, with my girlfriend, and I was at the protest."

      Don't forget your fake ID.

  22. poikes

    Perhaps you should read this Andrew...

    I'd be interested to hear you take it apart. Bit harder to spit bile at a consumer organisation. Especially when you can resort to picking on their hairstyles or clothes to score points.

    http://www.consumerfocus.org.uk/assets/1/files/2010/02/Consumer-Focus-Digital-Economy-Bill-briefing.pdf

  23. Oninoshiko
    Stop

    Extremes on both sides

    Andrew, you said: "No PP has offered a coherent justification for stripping rights from people. Or why creators and businesses should be poorer. Or why we should handicap an important part of our economy." While I am not a PPUKer, I'll bite. The following is baised on something I wrote targeting USAians, asking them to use their process to deal with this issue:

    'I assert that the public domain is what is at the greatest risk, it's already been eroding faster then Niagara Falls, and it's important. It's vitally important. It's what allows us to do new animated versions of "Macbeth." Imagine trying to track down the successors-in-intrest to Shakespeare (or did Francis Bacon write them?), Homer, or Aesop. let's look at how our art would be different if our modern "in perpetuity" copyright law applied to the works we take for granted as being public domain. Disney would not exist: "Pinocchio" (1940) (based on "The Adventures of Pinocchio" (1883) by Carlo Collod), "Cinderella" (1950) (was based on a folk tale published in "The Pentamerone" (1664) (also in "Mother Goose Tales" (1697) and "Grimm's Fairy Tales" (1812))), "Alice in Wonderland" (1951) (from "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" (1865) by Rev. Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (aka Lewis Carrol)), "The Jungle Book" (1967) (based VARY loosely on "The Jungle Book" (1894) by Rudyard Kipling). That is a lot of things from my childhood that would be gone.'

    PPUK is silly, no doubt about that, but I think the group is more about getting people to think about it then actually getting elected. Also they probibly need to learn that copyrights, trademarks and patents are completely different.

    Yes, 10 yrs on a copyright is just rediculous, but so is the modern "in perpetuity" copyright concept. pesonally I think around 50-60 years is a good length for copyrights, possibly involving a renewal in that period.

    For me, this isn't about P2P. P2P isn't ilegal AFAIK, some uses of it may be, but that is another matter entirely. It's kind of like claiming cars are ilegal because you aren't allowed to run red lights. I have put things on P2P networks, as well as downloaded them, but these where either orignal works, or ones that I had the permission of the creator of the work, so no laws were broken.

    1. Duke

      10 year copyright duration

      "Yes, 10 yrs on a copyright is just ridiculous"

      Why?

      When copyright was first created it was decided that 14 years was a sensible length. This was back when merely copying a work could take days and distributing it across a country and around the world could take weeks or months. Now content can be transmitted around the world (or even into space) near-instantly.

      1. Oninoshiko
        Boffin

        Why I think 10 years is silly

        "When copyright was first created it was decided that 14 years was a sensible length."

        Actually, you are incorrect, in the "Copyright Act of 1709." 28 years was a sensible number, requireing one renewal after 14. (I did mention having atleast one renewal)

        "This was back when merely copying a work could take days and distributing it across a country and around the world could take weeks or months."

        Worldwide distribution would be months, just at sea, but it is a non-sequitor anyway because the orignal copyright laws only delt with domestic copying. Once your work left your own country, the copyright disappeared. It wasn't until 1887 that the Berne Convention took affect for anyone (let alone most-everyone, as is the case now).

        "Now content can be transmitted around the world (or even into space) near-instantly."

        Transmission time over the interwebs is completely irrelevant. If I am an author I still have to send the final manuscript to a publisher at (which point it is fixed to media, so if we are not going to require registration, we sould start counting) who then has to do a production run, now these stacks of books get put in ISO containers and loaded up on big ships which meander to the ports. Just the time at sea will likely exceed a week. Then the product has to move via land baised transit to reginal distributors before finally going from there to booksellers.

        Because we are able to move many goods, not just books, or even just MY book through this system at any one time it is highly effecent over-all, but not partiularly fast. We have economics of scale kicking in at almost every level: the printing press/bindry, the port, the container ship, freight trains. Now it is in the stores, the publisher and I get to start recuping our costs, paying for the editor, the people running the presses, those operating the binding equipment, the transportation costs. That's an awful lot of £9.99 paperbacks I have sell now (and remember, the bookseller is going to take their cut from that too).

        I, for one, am not willing to give up real books. when I read for enjoyment, I want to enjoy it. I want to be able to turn the pages. I am also not willing to pay the costs for lower-scale more local production.

        Most authors are not going to author if they are not making a reasonable income. Many authors take years to write a manuscript. Joanne Murray's fist manuscript took 5 years. Ray Bradbury took 6 years from the short story he based it on to the first publication of "Fahrenheit 451, " it took 8 years to bring Orson Scott Card's "Ender's Game" from a short-story to novel, and Nancy Kress 2 to take "Beggers in Spain" from a novella to a full novel.This is not an insignificant chunk of these people's lives, and I think 50 years, is a reasonable period for them to try and earn their living from it, with a check at 25 to see if they really still care.

        (I will admit to only haveing read 1/2 of these, but I leave as an exersise to the reader which 1/2 that is)

        1. zasta

          Yup

          Wikipedia on Statute of Anne: "The 14 year copyright term could be renewed for another 14 if the author was still alive after the first term expired."

          Fair and reasonable. Shame we let the content companies screw with our laws.

    2. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: Extremes on both sides

      Yep. But it's the bit that's new that's worth protecting.

      (The "Disney wouldn't exist" argument fails hard. Without those works, Disney would have chosen some other stories to work with - Greek, probably. And if they were any good, your childhood would have been just as populated with nice musical animations. You need to be sharper than simply recycling passages from your copy of Lessig for Dummies here. )

      1. zasta

        No...

        Try to picture a world where the public domain has been completely decimated..

        For example, imagine that our 150-year copyrights have somehow been extended to 2000 years.

        Now, that's just silly, isn't it? Or, is it?

      2. Oninoshiko
        Headmaster

        Please sir, avoid argumentum ad hominem like in your last sentance.

        I agree with you that new works are worth protecting. I am one of the people who thinks it's important that authors actually have the chance to make some money on their work, but it's a balencing act, eventually works do need to be able to be aknowladged as part of our culture.

        I do wonder if you actually read my post. I beleave Aesop and Homer where both greek. Because you obviously failed to comprhend the point, I will try to simplify it for you even more: "If all works created had fallen under the modern concept of perpetual copyright vast swaths of art would not have been possible." To clarify for you "perpetual" means "never ending." I assure you there are more examples of this then our modatrix will let me post, including productions of and based on the works of greek playwrites and artists.

        Now the opinion that was excerpted from was (as I noted in the post) originally directed as USAians, who have an establised track record of perptual copyright, but do you really think Blighty is any better? Before you answer, may I remind you that Copyright, Desgns and Patents Act of 1988 extended the copyright to 50 years past the death of the author, then in 1995 it was extended to 70 years past the death of the author, worded such that it actually pulled works out of the public domain that where already there (not even the USAians have pulled THAT one)

        1. John I'm only dancing
          Flame

          A simple solution

          Copyright should only belong to the author and should last only until the time of their demise. When they pop off the mortal coil, that is when the work, in whatever field, wether that is music, film apps, whatever, should then become royalty free and in the public domain.

          That way, only the creator benefits. Companies worldwide should be prohibited from holding copyright, unless they are the actual authors of said work.

          1. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

            Re: A simple solution

            That's very authoritarian.

            A creator can assign his or her rights if they find it worthwhile. They can assign them all to the Public Domain. Or they can assign some to an intermediary, who can go off and realise the rightful value of the work, and so they can concentrate on their art.

            Why not chop their arms and legs off, while you're at it? That would stop 'em walking about too. We sure as hell don't need walking artists, musicians, etc...

            1. John I'm only dancing
              WTF?

              @ Andrew

              Authoritarian, yes, fair yes.

              As a working journalist, and a one time freelance, I'm sick and tired of copyright grabs by all and sundry. I was also in a band, which put out an album with all our own tracks, bar one. We did the right thing and got permission to cover the song from the right's holder, which happened to be the creators (ie the band).

              If the author wishes to create a work and make it rights free, then that is their prerogative, if they wish to assign their rights to a third party, that too is their prerogative, but a starting point, my suggestion still stands up. Until the creator assigns the rights, the copyright exists with them until death, whether that is the day after or 60 years in the future.

              I never suggested the hard line you appear to have assumed, but the creator of any work, should be the one to benefit from it, not some faceless company.

              And yes, I do support openness.

              1. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

                Re: @ Andrew

                "I never suggested the hard line you appear to have assumed, but the creator of any work, should be the one to benefit from it, not some faceless company."

                Did you really mean that literally?

                The inability to assign copyright to an intermediary is a very hard line indeed - it rips whole chunks out of the economy. In music, it would mean (literally) no managers, no performing rights societies to negotiate on their behalf with broadcasters, no publishers, no labels.

                If you simply meant the "creator should get a better deal" then we're in agreement.

                1. Griffith Engen

                  FAIL

                  "The inability to assign copyright to an intermediary is a very hard line indeed"

                  How about licensing the copyright, but not signing it away? Isn't that what the Featured Artists Coalition is campaigning for -- giving power to the artists, not the publishers?

          2. Oninoshiko

            Re: a simple solution

            While on some levels I do like this, there is a small problems with it, namely works that are of multiple authorship. While establishing an author for a book or sheet-music is easy, who would own the latest album by the current hot band (who I know nothing about)? songs on it are written by various members of the band (in some cases multiple), the recording is done by a tech (tweaking balance, under direction of a producer). cover-art is someone else. what spacific individual owns it?

            How about a video game? You have 5 charictor modelers, 7 texture artists, 3 level modelers, 8 programmers, 20 Q/A staff, 5 group managers, 2 writers, 2 producers. Which one is the owns the copyright?

            Corperate ownership of copyrights, in the case of large-scale projects, is the only thing that really makes any sense.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Alien

      @Oninoshiko

      Wow - an attempt at a reasonable argument.

      OK I'll bite. Copyright into perpetuity is stupid (in my mind) - as is a very short limit. The question(s) that should be asked is at what length does society benefit most. By this, I mean, what length creates the condition under which society gets the maximum creation of new knowledge. Too short and people will not create new things - it not worth the time. Too long and you cut off all new derivative works.

      Patents seem to work at about the 20 year mark. Here one wants to get derivative works to market at a reasonably fast pace. Noting that R&D for a major change takes about 5 to 10 years - this would give the original inventor about 10 to 15 years of true sales. The next change will take another 5 to 10 years anyway - so you are giving the inventor clear market for about as long as it takes to create a large scale change. Technology, e.g. patents, usually only have a limited number of viable methods - so a long patent block blocks all development by others.

      Copyright is a bit different game. Here, the next step in prose/music/etc is not specifically reliant on previous prose/music/etc. As such, IP protection of this type does not appreciably slow future works. Additionally, we do have ways to make use of protected works to create derivative works. An example is sampling of music to create new musical works. Additionally, story authors are able to make use plot devices in new books with no issues. This would imply that copyrights can be longer - at no harm to society. This would imply that there is significant latitude in setting the length of copyright. I would suggest that we, as a society, are doing an experiment to find the longest reasonable time.... We will know the answer in 50 or so years.

      Atlas

      1. The Other Steve

        Only, not

        Hate to pull you up for what was an otherwise pretty coherent post, but fairness compels me to point out :

        "so a long patent block blocks all development by others."

        It is quite possible to licence patents, tech companies do it all the time, often they will cross licence. Money changes hands, or rights to tech are exchanged.

        So it isn't quite that black and white.

  24. Giles Jones Gold badge

    Pirate party represents the people?

    Given how most politicians seem to be in the pockets of big business, it's refreshing to see a party that represents the people and may finally restore some balance.

    If things carry on the way they are then people won't be able to look at someone else's newspaper, "they should buy their own copy" will be the cries from the publishing firms.

    I'm amazed that renting DVDs and Blu-ray isn't illegal yet.

  25. Orclev
    Dead Vulture

    Apparently adult discourse is too much for el reg

    [snip - off-topic]

    Copyright, is a monopoly (in theory a temporary one, increasingly less so) given to an individual (and thanks to the magic of corporations, companies) on the duplication and distribution of a work. In a free market, monopolies are bad because they distort the market, and hence they are generally regulated against. Things that are trivial to duplicate tend to have no value in a true free market because anyone that wants them can obtain them easily. Certain kinds of easily duplicated items, such as music, art, books, and now programs, however greatly benefit society, and thus need to have some non-zero value in order to encourage their production. On the other hand, it does not benefit society to have these resources locked up in perpetuity as the advancement of the mediums depends on being able to build on prior work (classic case of don't re-invent the wheel). Due to this inherit conflict between creating a monopoly in order to provide an otherwise non-valuable work with value, and the damage to society that a monopoly causes, a compromise was reached in the creation of temporary copyrights, and the establishment of a set of exemptions to said copyrights (fair use doctrine).

    Over the years the length of copyright terms have been steadily increased, the scope of what can be copyrighted has increased, and the exemptions to copyright have slowly been eroded. Now we find ourselves so far removed from the original purpose of copyright that people don't even realize copyright was originally envisioned as a temporary right, and instead seem to believe it was created as a permanent monopoly. We have in fact come so far, that those who would attempt to push us back towards (and in some cases past) the original intent of copyright are treated as if they are hurting society rather than helping it. Yes, the monopolies will suffer somewhat at the reductions in copyright, but they were never intended to have profited so greatly from it in the first place, and more to the point the rest of society will benefit.

    To be clear, I'm not advocating abolishment of copyright, and from what I've seen neither is the Pirate Party. Rather I'm advocating for a return to the original intent of copyright for the betterment of society at large, even if it means a reduction in profits for copyright holders. Even a reduction of copyright to 30 years would go a long way towards re-establishing a balance between copyright holders and society, although quite a bit of reform will also be necessary to restore the fair use and privacy rights that have also been eroded as well.

    Lets see if you can respond to this without resorting to straw-man arguments, or ad hominem attacks, as you have to most of the other commenter's.

    1. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

      That sounds familiar

      This Sixth Form cut-and-paste stuff really isn't helping you. You've arrived late, and missed the discussion. I'll recap for your benefit:

      My way means nobody needs to lose out, lose rights or choices or access to markets. Your means a lot of people do lose out. You need to justify both morally and economically.

      The Ladybird Book of Lessig will not be of much use to you here. Nor will nostalgia for pre-industrial Feudalism. Off you go.

      1. Griffith Engen
        FAIL

        Typical response

        "I have no real arguments, therefore your opinion is irrelevant"

      2. Orclev
        FAIL

        Not sure why I bother at this point

        Well, lets just go through these point by point shall we?

        "This Sixth Form cut-and-paste stuff really isn't helping you. You've arrived late, and missed the discussion. I'll recap for your benefit:"

        This is irrelevant and is pretty typical of the sort of sniping you tend to do. But regardless, no, I didn't arrive late, I in fact have a post on page one (possibly page two now with all the replies) of this discussion, and in fact the post you're responding to would have been much earlier in the conversation but got rejected by the mods the first time around.

        "My way means nobody needs to lose out, lose rights or choices or access to markets."

        No in fact it doesn't, and you just saying so doesn't make it so. You propose that they create some legal file sharing services, which, they in fact have. They do OK, but not terribly well for a variety of reasons, most notably that people don't want to have to pay to share, rather they would rather pay to own, such as in the wildly popular iTunes market. Essentially your argument is that if they make legal P2P services (they have), then piracy will go away (it hasn't), and everyone will be happy (no one is). There are a variety of ways that have been proposed to deal with this, none of them particularly good. There's the route the music and movie industries are currently pursuing which is to in essence make non-authorized file sharing services illegal, never mind the fact that there's lots of things such services are used for on a regular basis that have nothing at all to do with violating copyright. Another tactic such organizations are pursuing is attempting to pawn off enforcement on ISPs, but that doesn't really deal with the problem, it just shifts who has to pay the fees off on an innocent third party. There's also the option being toyed with by a variety of nations including I believe Canada, which is to levy some sort of music tax on everyone and then divide the proceeds among the artists, never mind how exactly an equitable arrangement on how to divide those assets is supposed to be arrived at, or the fact that such a tax by its vary nature is unfair to consumers who may or may not be interested in listening to said artists.

        "Your [way] means a lot of people do lose out."

        The copyright holders on the whole will not be affected by a reduction of copyright length. Very little profit is ever seen by works older than 10 years, let alone 30. Some companies would be suffer more than others, such as Disney who derives a not inconsiderable portion of their income from artificially restricting the availability of their older movies thereby creating artificially low supply (which of course drives up demand, and in turn leads to higher perceived value). The music industry might also suffer somewhat although probably not in the way you imagine. Assuming for now a 10 year copyright, what it would do is demonstrate the true value of a CD. That is, because anyone could distribute a CD containing works older than 10 years, it would be a race to the bottom, and therefor the company that could produce a good quality CD (and associated packaging) for the cheapest price would be the most successful. I'd guesstimate that you could probably accomplish such for a few dollars including distribution costs to get it to the stores. Such a situation would lead to shelves on which the latest CDs would be sitting around at the current $10 to $15 a piece, along side much older CDs at $2 to $5. Such a situation would probably lead many to wonder why exactly it is that they should pay $10 for a CD, when clearly it's only costing the CD producer something less than ~$3 to produce the CD. Even in such a situation however I think most people would still be willing to pay the $10 assuming it was a band they actually care about, particularly if they knew a significant portion of that ~$7 markup was going to the band and not the distributor.

        "You need to justify both morally and economically."

        I don't really, but I think I have anyway.

        "The Ladybird Book of Lessig will not be of much use to you here. Nor will nostalgia for pre-industrial Feudalism. Off you go."

        More irrelevant sniping. I find it particularly hilarious that you invoke feudalism in this case, as you're position is closer to feudalism. Feudalism was all about maintaining a monopoly on land ownership, and you're in favor of maintaining a monopoly on content distribution.

        1. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

          Re: Not sure why I bother at this point

          Some posters here take the view that the consequences are a price worth paying. Your approach is slightly different - you say no (real) harm is done, and it's all for the best. You've become intellectually decoupled from the consequences of the policies you advocate.

          The Pirate Party quite specifically restricts creators access to markets. It does so by removing the choices are creator has to sell their creations in the marketplace. It also removes the protections they currently enjoy.

          * You propose that they create some legal file sharing services...

          I do indeed.

          * ... which, they in fact have.

          Care to name some? Korea doesn't count ;-)

          (Which means the next stage of your argument collapses. )

          Even on the Island of Makestuffup, this is a very strange assertion. More than 80 per cent of people here said they'd consider paying for a P2P music service, but there wasn't one on offer. There still isn't one offer, let alone the market we should have. Pretending we have had lots of licensed P2P music services lets the producers off the hook.

          * "Very little profit is ever seen by works older than 10 years, let alone 30"

          Which shows how little you understand about the spectrum of copyright, and who benefits. Oldies stations, which didn't exist until the 1980s, by definition play old records. A five or ten year copyright would rob performers and composers of their performance rights. And (in almost every country in the world) the label of its performance right, too. It's a subject you you could usefully read up on.

          (Obviously, if a record is still selling 30 years on, it's very profitable for the producer.)

          * Assuming for now a 10 year copyright, what it would do is demonstrate the true value of a CD.

          I think you mean "sound recording" - the CD is merely the container for the bag of rights that a recording encapsulates. That's a bit like saying Van Gogh's pictures realised their true value in his lifetime.

          * I find it particularly hilarious that you invoke feudalism in this case, as you're position is closer to feudalism.

          For sure, under a Pirate regime creators would be able to perform tricks for corporate sponsors, and perhaps even the State. Some will become adept at kissing the hand that feeds them. There's always a "behaviour change" campaign that needs a pliant minstrel. (Obesity is all the rage this month). But you've taken a lot of choice away from the creator and taken them several steps back from the economic opportunities they previously enjoyed.

          You still need to justify these changes economically and morally. I don't see an upside to it, just costs and appropriation.

          You don't sound daft at all, but your knowledge is incomplete, and you're letting your prejudices do your thinking for you.

          1. Griffith Engen
            Thumb Down

            boo

            "Care to name some?"

            "Spotify ... peer-to-peer music streaming service and application software..." (Wikipedia)

            :horror:

            "The Pirate Party quite specifically restricts creators access to markets. It does so by removing the choices are creator has to sell their creations in the marketplace. It also removes the protections they currently enjoy."

            ..and in so doing gives more liberties (back) to the public, which is dissatisfied with the level of exploitation copyrights currently permit.

            "A five or ten year copyright would rob performers and composers of their performance rights."

            A 100 or 150 year copyright robs all of us of libre culture. Now, let me see: is it more important to compensate an artist (possibly dead) for music he wrote 50 years ago, or to have culture? (and the works of Shakespeare don't exactly count as modern culture)

            1. The Other Steve
              FAIL

              Late to the party AND you didn't bring any clue, how rude

              "..and in so doing gives more liberties (back) to the public,

              You still don't understand it, do you ? You can not draw that dividing line and put 'the public' on one side of it, and 'the rights holders' on the other.

              If you go away now and write and write an Epic poem called "The Day The Other Steve Hit Me With A Cluebat Until The Fail Came Out", you would have the exact same rights over that poem as any other rights holder. Every essay you wrote at school ? You hold those rights. Every doodle you ever made in a margin ? You hold those rights.

              Any argument that is based on their being any such distinction is logically fallacious, or more succinctly, bullshit.

          2. Orclev
            Boffin

            Finally, some good points

            [I had more to say in this post, but I'm already at the limit for post size]

            "The Pirate Party quite specifically restricts creators access to markets. It does so by removing the choices are creator has to sell their creations in the marketplace. It also removes the protections they currently enjoy."

            No, not really. They aren't calling for abolishment of copyright, although a 5 year copyright period is a bit on the short side with a minimum of 10 years being far more reasonable. So, during that 10 year period the creator still has full control over when and how his work is sold. As for the "protections", there is some change there, although not anything your average person is going to notice, as most of the new "protections" are just attempts to prop up the inherently flawed (and massively abused) concept of DRM. Strip away all the stupid DRM laws and restore fair use exemptions and we'll be back to the reasonable copyright protections we've had in the past without losing anything that actually makes any difference to the creators.

            "Care to name some? Korea doesn't count ;-)"

            Napster, BearShare, iMesh, MP3.com, Pandora, etc. For some more you can check out the list the RIAA publishes [1], or just google for legal mp3 download. Some of those mentioned use a P2P model, some don't. The exact fashion in which the music is distributed is less important than the fact that it can be. Several times now the record companies have also attempted to establish their own subscription based P2P music services, although I can't say off the top of my head if any of them ever got beyond the planning stage. As for legal P2P services for other kinds of content, that's much rarer. For instance, I'm not aware of any P2P ebook service, although there are of course quite a few legal sources you can purchase ebooks from, and particularly with the launch of Kindle, Nook, and now the iPad those services should be seeing pretty good profits.

            "More than 80 per cent of people here said they'd consider paying for a P2P music service, but there wasn't one on offer."

            Mostly there isn't a good one on offer. The record companies are really shooting themselves in the foot over this one because they're so scared of piracy that they handicap everyone's efforts to offer a good service, and end up killing the services. Then they use the failure of the services they killed as an excuse to say "see, legal services don't work", when in fact they only failed because of the choices the record companies forced them to make. Apple has been a boon to the industry because they had enough weight to force the record companies to accept some decisions they didn't want to make, but even then there's a lot that even Apple can't force them to do. There's also the danger that the record companies are starting to realize which is that Apple will essentially replace them as the maintainers of the distribution monopoly.

            "Oldies stations, which didn't exist until the 1980s, by definition play old records."

            True enough, and yes, the musicians that created the music they play would not receive proceeds under a 10 year copyright. Once again though, I'd really question how much proceeds those musicians are seeing as it is. What might also be enlightening is how much the record companies receive as opposed to the musicians. My original point still stands though, as even an oldies station only plays a small fraction of the music that was produced more than 10 years ago, and therefor represents a relatively small portion of profits from music sales.

            "A five or ten year copyright would rob performers and composers of their performance rights."

            Actually no, the performers would still have their performance rights after 10 years, it's just that everyone else would as well. Just because they lose the monopoly on being able to perform a piece doesn't mean that they couldn't anymore, just that it gives others the opportunity to perform it as well, although realistically I don't think that's as much of an issue. Bands often play other peoples music (so called cover songs), and may or may not pay for the right to do so. Officially not paying (or otherwise obtaining permission) to perform the piece is illegal, but it's not particularly well enforced, particularly in small clubs with local bands.

            "I think you mean "sound recording" - the CD is merely the container for the bag of rights that a recording encapsulates."

            No, a CD is a container for the recording, the physical medium. The rights are held by the creator, or in most cases the producer the creator sold the rights to. This is one of the points where things start to get a little tricky, particularly with the fair use rights. The reason for this, is that you have two different sets of rights in one physical item. That is, you have the physical rights of the CD, which means for instance you're allowed to re-sell it (right of first sale), but you also have the fair use rights that cover the copyrighted work, which covers things like format shifting. Now, this wouldn't be an issue if there was only ever one true copy of the work in question, but that's not how things work. For instance, you can take a CD you've purchased, and rip an MP3 from it. So far, everything's fine, no rules violated yet. Furthermore, you could take a CD you purchased and sell it to your friend (without paying anything to the record label, or the artist), and once again, everything's still kosher. The point you begin to run into problems however is when you exercise both sets of rights at the same time, that is for instance you rip a MP3 off the CD, and then sell the CD to your friend. Furthermore fair use means that you could duplicate the CD for backup purposes, as well as other purposes such as having a copy you keep in your car, as well as one at the house, and maybe a third at your office. All those copies are perfectly legal as their exempted from copyright because you paid for the right to have that CD already, and you're merely making it more convenient for you to do so. Once again however you run into problems when you start distributing any of those copies. In short, it's never the act of making a copy that's illegal, rather it's the act of distributing copies.

            "That's a bit like saying Van Gogh's pictures realised their true value in his lifetime."

            They certainly realized their physical value in his lifetime. Collectible value is a bit harder to define of course. If I make a duplicate of Van Gogh's painting, and manage to sell it as an original (ignoring for now fraud statutes), does that make the true value of my duplicate equal to the original? Value is subjective and will naturally vary over time. Perhaps what I should have said originally was the production cost of the CD as opposed to its true value, as really there's no such thing as "true value".

            "For sure, under a Pirate regime creators would be able to perform tricks for corporate sponsors, and perhaps even the State."

            So, nothing new there? What do you call signing your rights away to a record label? The only difference would be how long those rights you signed away would last.

            "But you've taken a lot of choice away from the creator and taken them several steps back from the economic opportunities they previously enjoyed."

            No choices have been taken from the creators, except perhaps limiting their ability to sue for bypassing DRM (sort of a separate but related issue, I actually care somewhat less about getting all the stupid DRM supporting legislation off the books than I do about reducing copyright length). As for economic opportunities, a shorter copyright period would reduce the length they could enjoy those opportunities, but once again for the vast majority of content producers there would be little noticeable change there. On the flip side, a reduced copyright period would allow more works to fall into public domain, thereby allowing society as a whole to benefit from and expand on those works. For music, this is less beneficial as music tends not to really build on older works all that much, at least not in any way that's protected by copyright, but for television, books, and programs (in particular) this would be a major boon to creativity.

            Anyway, I'm glad to see you arguing your points now without resorting for the most part to Ad Hominem attacks and other poor tactics, and you actually made one or two good points. I'd say the biggest problem with this discussion now is that there's so many different arguments going on it's getting hard to cover all of them. For instance, there's the discussion about what the Pirate Party hopes to accomplish, and how their policy choices would affect things. There's the discussion about whether copyright even needs to be reformed. There's the discussion that most people have been ignoring about privacy rights. There's the discussion about other alternatives than the Pirate Party's on how to reform copyright. Then to further muddy the waters there's the confusion within copyright itself that doesn't distinguish between music, books, paintings, television, movies, or programs, even though each of these is vastly different from the others.

            I'm definitely interested in seeing your responses, but I'm not sure if I'm going to continue to comment anymore, as we could probably keep at this for weeks without getting too much farther.

            [1] http://www.riaa.com/toolsforparents.php?content_selector=legal_music_sites

        2. The Other Steve
          FAIL

          PPOSTFU

          "The copyright holders on the whole will not be affected by a reduction of copyright length. Very little profit is ever seen by works older than 10 years, let alone 30. "

          I've seen this come up a couple of times, and it is now time for someone to prove it. Show me the numbers or shut the fuck up.

  26. Duke

    The word "Freetard"

    [This post fell afoul of moderators the first time, so I'm editing it a bit and trying again - apologies if it is now posted twice.]

    "Freetard" is an interesting and slightly misleading term to use. I recently attended a (mainly academic) conference on counterfeiting and piracy (http://www.counter2010.org/ - a 30-month EU-funded project looking into every aspect of counterfeiting and piracy across the EU and beyond) and one of the more interesting and, to some, surprising results that came out in many of the studies was that price *wasn't* the main motivation (or justification) behind online copyright infringement. It wasn't usually even in the top three. It didn't even have that significant an effect. The main motivation was convenience. There is much more content available through unlicensed services, in a greater variety of formats, and it is much more accessible (one study noted that of the works in the US Library of Congress published before 1972, only 14% were commercially/legally available on a domestic level).

    Now, you can criticise these results as much as you like (and I regret that I don't have references for them as the results haven't been published yet - although they should be appearing over the next 6 months) but at least it suggests that there is more to this issue than simply "pirates aren't willing to pay" (even the recent OiNK case demonstrated that to be fallacious) and dismissing several million people as "freetards" is similarly unproductive as labelling them "thieves" and not conducive to a healthy and rational debate.

    1. SleepyJohn

      Yes indeed

      When I first investigated music downloads a few years ago, realising what a hugely convenient way it was to obtain and play digital music, I literally could not find the music I wanted, at any cost! Except on P2P. I would have been perfectly happy to pay a reasonable sum to a legal supplier, and I am sure countless millions of others would too.

      If Tesco told me I could only buy a bag of Tesco sugar from their store in the next town, to which there is no bus service, and a man outside on the pavement offers me one off his barrow at reasonable cost, what do Tesco expect me to do? Walk a hundred miles in the pissing rain?

      This whole sorry mess was caused by the greed and stupidity of the media corporations, and now it is being screwed completely out of hand by their ability to purchase politicians on expensive yachts in the Med. I have no sympathy for them whatsoever. If they had provided the public right at the start of the digital revolution with an efficient download service at reasonable cost, every single person involved in this whole ludicrous fiasco would be a winner. If they are now allowed to dictate our basic freedoms to corrupt government ministers, we will all, public and artists alike, and our children, be losers.

      You simply cannot create legalised, corrupt monopolies and expect ordinary folk to roll on their backs like puppydogs. Neither can you un-invent digital copying, however much DRM you throw at it. You must provide a service that tempts people to buy. It is inconceivable that supposed businessmen seem incapable of doing such an elementary thing. Their brains must be addled from spending too many years on a monopolistic gravy train. They are just bullies, and everyone knows it. It may buy politicians, but it does not buy friends, nor loyal customers.

      I'm damn sure Tesco would not be stupid enough to force me to walk a hundred miles in the pissing rain to get what is on offer right next door on the pavement, nor set a gang of thugs onto me if I purchased from the pavement. They would woo me with what the pavement cannot - a warm place out of the rain, a free cup of tea, and a place to change the baby's nappy. And while I am in there, calm and at peace with Tesco, I will doubtless buy lots of other things. There are many other analogies which help to cut through the crud and the lies and show up the basic stupidities of this situation.

      And the 'freetards' on P2P wrecking the economy? I do not recall publishers going out of business because people lend books to their friends, nor newspapers trying to make it illegal to leave a paper on the seat of a train. What an incompetent mess the media moguls have made of this wonderful digital opportunity.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Stop

        Are you nuts?

        pissing rain, gang of thugs...

        Is it so hard to click on a "Buy" button?

        You compare it to walking in the rain in the cold, then being beaten up. You are a very strange bloke, if you think that.

        (The rest of your post is the same old freetard bleating as all the others, so far as I can tell.)

        1. SleepyJohn

          Did you read what I wrote?

          I said I tried very hard to buy music on the internet but there was NO BUY NOW button. The music industry was too lazy, incompetent, slow, disinterested, inefficient or simply blindly mired in its greed to bother supplying me with one. It expected me to walk a hunded miles in the pissing rain to an over-priced record store. If I had bought cheap music from the metaphorical man with the barrow they would have sent a gang of thugs after me in the form of vicious RIAA lawyers hellbent on sueing me for hundreds of millions of dollars.

          Or do they only do that to penniless old ladies who don't have computers? Or would I have to leave the CDs on the bus for them to sue me? What if I don't live in America? What if my cat jumps on the keyboard and downloads a free song while I am reading the local council's 5 year plan? Do I get the law changed to suit me if I give Mandy a free holiday on a yacht in the Med? How will I pay my taxes or book into hospital in whizz-bang Digital Britain if I am cut off from the internet (sorry, 'temporarily suspended')? If I lend someone a CD will I be banned from leaving my home for fear I might find someone else to lend one to? How can an unelected, universally hated, proven corrupt politician be given power to change the law without bothering to consult Parliament? It is all very confusing.

          All I know for sure is that any business displaying such incompetence and arrogant disdain for its customers deserves to go bust. As do the grasping politicians that prop them up. Artists supplying them would be well advised to find a new retailer (and there are plenty of them now). Treating customers like shit stuck on the sole of your shoe is not the way to create brand loyalty; and you don't need five years at Harvard Business School to know that.

          I'll vote for anyone who rails against lying, cheating politicians colluding with greedy big business to stamp on ordinary folk trying to live their ordinary lives as best they can. And I am sure I won't be alone.

      2. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  27. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Mind Games Rule and Provide Freely your Very Existence*

    In the Really Big Picture Show presented to you by those/that which Presents to you the Really Big Picture Show, is Politics just as important and entertaining as Synchronised Swimming is in Olympic Competition and really nothing greater than just as a Stocking Filler at Xmas or as a sprinkling of icing sugar on a colossal wedding cake.

    "Yep. But it's the bit that's new that's worth protecting." .... Andrew Orlowski Posted Friday 26th March 2010 23:48 GMT

    The true artist will not worry about protecting the new bit, for their next work will flow easily to ensure that all rights which madness dictates are due, are paid for, and making money, even should it be obscene loadsamoney, is only a convenience to give away/spend while working and allows/provides the Banking Sector with their cut/pound of flesh. Copyrights and Patents are for those second and third parties who would seek to make capital as parasites off an original work and profit from the work/business model "created" in piggy backing on the artist.

    And if the Truth be Told, without the Imaginative Artist to Present to you the Future with ITs Derivatives and Options, would you be as Nothing and still Cowering in Caves.

    * And a Ruling Mind Game can just as Easily Freely Provide for your SWIFT and Swift Demises .

  28. Dom 1
    Pirate

    Interesting debate....

    Well, isn't this fun? A debate? Exactly what the PP offer in their manifesto. Yet some people (obvious by their comments) feel that the PP is "bonkers"? Huh? Isn't that what "Democracy" is all about? Debate? Exactly what the PP want.

    All this was started by the "Mandybill". It's obvious that the history of this bill is conveniently forgotton by some commentators here.

    Mandy has no interest in P2P. Mandy goes on a holiday with (and paid for by) David Geffen (of Geffen Records). Mandy comes home and within 2 weeks has the "Mandybill" written and ready to be pushed through Parliment. Suspicious? Industry dictating law? Possibly.

    The bill includes such gems as giving Mandy the power to change the law without recourse to Parlimentary scrutiny, and a LibDem amendment (Clause 43 - previously Clause 42) which effectively strips all copyright from a photographers photographs. Ooops, all those arguing the Music Industry's corner, accusing all opponents (including the PP) as being a bunch of "Freetards", are effectively supporting a bill that destroys the rights of people who make their living from taking pictures. This would mean that a number of industries (Newspapers, Magazines, and, indeed the Music industry) would be making money by NOT paying photographers for their work. Who's the Freetard now?

    To cap it all, the wording of the bill (Clause 120a), is almost word for word a copy of a draft written by the BPI. Industry dictating law? Looking more likely now.

    Yes, we need to look at reducing/tackling illegal P2P, but not at the cost of democratic freedoms - it's not worth it.

    Yes, the music industry needs to compromise, and adopt new technologies - iTunes are a good example, proving the internet can provide a place to make money. In fact, iTunes now makes up 25% of ALL music sold in the US, yet the Music Industry (and it's supporters) seem to conveniently forget this fact.

    Some may want a country without scrutiny of the law, where industry dictates law to the [elected] lawmakers for forced approval, but I don't.

    As for the PP, a good point to note is it's not just about P2P. Excessive surveillance (the UK has 1% of the world's population, yet 20% of it's CCTV cameras), and freedom of speech are also in their manifesto. If [at the very least] they can be the cause of debate and scrutiny, then we can only be the better for it.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Childish isn't just for pirate parties.

    Copyright, when working properly, is a fairly useful idea. But seeing how bigcorp lobbies have managed to extend it a couple times to well over a hundred years now, I can quite understand that the backlash aims to put the terms ridiculously short.

    And from there it's easy to gloss over the ``small'' rights holder; copyright is on its way to become synonymous with ``bigcorp abuse of law and common man''.

    Had ``we'' (bigcorps, rather) settled on, say, life plus a score years for natural persons and a score years period for the rest then they'd have reasonable time to gain from ``their work'' and ensured that anything like a pirate party had no moral soapbox to stand on whatsoever.

    I really don't know who's more childish. But either way our cultural heritage stands to suffer. And of course it'll be yet another bigcorp who'll gain.

  30. tajasel
    WTF?

    Where to start?

    "The confusion was understandable: the ORG's clever wheeze of blank placards and a silent protest meant anyone walking past had no idea what it was about."

    I think you'll find that everyone at the protest was handing out flyers, reading "I've been censored. Help!" on one said, and explaining the protest on the other. Many people were confused, it's true, but only if they refused to accept a flyer or were too far away to be offered one.

    "The glorious exceptions were a beautiful banner and a large flag from the Pirate Party."

    Were they? What about the large ORG banner reading "Disconnection Denies Our Rights"?

    "As an exercise in communicating, the Pirates were the only success of the event. At least the logo will have got on TV, and made an impression with passers-by."

    Again, were they? I remind you: we had flyers, we had an ORG banner, and we had a banner explaining the protest which also had the ORG logo on.

    "P2P still isn't legal"

    Tosh. Sharing copyrighted content is copyright infringement and so illegal; that does not make P2P in and of itself illegal.

    "The Pirate Party also offers clear benefits over donating to the Open Rights Group"

    What are they? As you keep pointing out, PPUK are single-issue, whereas ORG fight for several of our digital rights. I would rather donate to someone fighting for many of my digital rights over my "right" to infringe copyright any day (and indeed, I do).

    "The ORG has run a lacklustre and at times spectacularly incompetent "campaign" against the Digital Economy Bill. Timing the protest to coincide with Budget Day is just one example; being blindsided by the BPI's alternative Section 17 - which we first revealed back here - is another.Whereas one merely "donates" to the ORG and receives a thank you, the Party offers real "membership", and with voting rights the opportunity to influence party policy."

    * ORG attracted hundreds of people to campaign in a protest organised in the space of a month. It created postcards for people to send to their MPs and trained them to write and speak to their MPs about the DEB. Lacklustre? No, not really.

    * The Budget was not announced when the date for the Bill was decided; ORG do not have a time machine or the ability to see into the future.

    * ORG members (and even non-members) can join meetings, influence what we do, and members *do* get a vote.

    Whilst I know all of these things as an ORG supporter, I also know them because I paid attention to the videos and photos following the protest, and I learnt of benefits to ORG members by reading the website.

    Fact checking: it's good, you should try it.

    1. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: Where to start?

      Happy to examine the facts Tajasel... I think you will find it illuminating.

      The ORG actually helped draft Section 17... then after it was withdrawn, pretended it was still in the legislation.

      (The literature issued at the protest falsely states website blocking is in the Bill. It isn't.)

      "Disconnection Denies Our Rights"

      You've been wallied again:

      http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/02/23/three_strikes_myth/

      Have you asked yourself why the cause needs to generate so many falsehoods? Maybe reality is more subtle than it is portrayed.

      "Tosh. Sharing copyrighted content is copyright infringement..."

      Yes, my dear. You really didn't read the article or the Comments, did you?

      1. tajasel
        FAIL

        Er?

        First of all: don't "yes dear" me. I find it patronising and offensive.

        In response to your other points:

        * Provide me with proof that Section 17 was drafted by ORG.

        * I'm not sure what your point is with the three strikes article; you mention nothing of our fundamental human rights to a free trial with potential for legal aid in which our accusers have to prove us guilty, as opposed to the appeals process that the accused would be offered if the DEB came into law.

        * I skim read your article and most of the comments, looking at detail in those that grabbed my interest. Not that I had to read the comments in order to address the falsehoods in your article.

        1. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

          RTFA(s)

          [tajasel] * Provide me with proof that Section 17 was drafted by ORG.

          The replacement for Section 17 was created by the BPI and drafted with ORG. It's in Hansard, http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/03/16/mandybill_net_blocking_dropped/

          I can't do your reading for you - you have to do a little work yourself.

          [tajasel] * I'm not sure what your point is with the three strikes article

          Did you click on all the links - starting...

          http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/07/25/three_strikes_dead_hurrah/

          - here?

          [tajasel] * I skim read your article

          Yes. I can see that.

      2. Simon Bradshaw

        Accusation of falsity itself turns out to be false

        "(The literature issued at the protest falsely states website blocking is in the Bill. It isn't.)"

        How very odd, because the Parliamentary Business website, in its list of documents relating to the DEB, includes the version of the Bill passed to the House of Commons:

        http://services.parliament.uk/bills/2009-10/digitaleconomy/documents.html

        And within that current version of the Bill we find the web-blocking measure, formerly Clause 17 but now, following some renumbering, Clause 18:

        http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200910/cmbills/089/10089.21-27.html#j4111

        Yes, the Clause inserting the new s.97A CDPA 1988, still there.

        As for the assertion that ORG helped draft Clause 17/18 (a clue, Orlowski - Bills before Parliament have Clauses, they only become Sections when the Bill is passed and becomes an Act), it is simply risible. (Yes, I can just imagine Richard Mollet and Jim Killock sitting down together to hammer out some legislation!) The BPI drafted that Clause. ORG then put forward some further amendments seeking to blunt some of its worst provisions, as noted in Hansard:

        http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld200910/ldhansrd/text/100315-0005.htm#1003156000144

        but these were not accepted. They were not accepted and the Clause, albeit renumbered, is still there in its original form, no matter what Orlowski would try to have us believe.

    2. Griffith Engen

      Yes!

      "PPUK are single-issue, whereas ORG fight for several of our digital rights."

      Actually, they both campaign for similar issues. The pirates are called "pirates" but their manifesto is also quite detailed about freedom of speech and privacy.

      I support both, and seeing the two cooperate at this protest was pretty awesome! :D

      1. tajasel

        My mistake

        You slightly misquoted me; I did say "as [you] say they are single issue" (where you = Orlowski) - I was not stating that they were single-issue myself.

        That said, I've never read PPUK's manifesto, so I wasn't aware of the issues they campaign on. I'm a member of a political party already and haven't read it thus far on the basis that a) I don't have any desire to change party or be a member of >1; b) I don't actually want to support piracy - and having had no other reason to read the manifesto, I haven't bothered to.

        (A great pity the OP can't own up when he makes mistakes...)

  31. john 212
    Welcome

    With stupid all the way, thanks for that association.

    The affliction of abiding in ignorance.

    As for this particular Political platform all I can as is that hopefully the reactionary nature encourages at least some to see past its limitations and seek a better understanding of the subject at hand instead of re enforcing their detachment from it. It would seem the tools of today’s Political trade encourages apathy towards issues which effectively leads you to ask “what has it got to do with me?” instead of actively seeking out that information.

    Whether the news media are the fuel or the catalyst I’m undecided, though one is for sure. They are not the voice of reason, if they even were at any stage.

    I’m with stupid I guess. T-shirts all round.

  32. Colin Barfoot
    Happy

    Flakey Foundations (TM)

    First out: I don't believe in Intellectual Property. I find the concept bizarre. Did someone place a flag in intellectual space telling me I can't go there? Cos I sure as shit can. However, I appreciate the effort it may have taken to get there: for instance, I wouldn't equate two days of synthesizer knob twiddling with three years and £800m worth (1990) of systematic trials to get a drug to market. Every human activity is derivative, but some things, like film and music, are a lot more derivative than others. Anybody who has farted around with Fruity Loops for a few hours will know how much skill it takes to produce techno/ambient music: none.

    Secondly, if there's one thing most IP "owners" do not believe in it's a free market. Since the means of production are negligible, supply is near infinite and the price is near zero. So the powers that be create laws to restrict supply in the manner of OPEC, and I guess most complaints revolve around the fairness of these restrictions.

    So, for me, the first step to a resolution would be to move away from concepts of ownership to concepts of discovery and exploitation rights. The emphasis then is that anybody could have got there by any of many routes, and that any "ownership" is universal. One implication is that copying is not criminal.

    A fairer pricing scheme can be achieved by varying the length of exploitation licences on a bureaucratically friendly individual basis. Perhaps a good measure of difference is how often these licences are granted: at a guess, every two minutes for a trance tune; every three years for an anti-ulcer drug - this would also reflect the ease with which some things are achieved with new technology; most barriers to discovery decrease with time.

    I guess that none of this has resolved issues to do with distribution, but I believe that restricting it is not the answer.

    Copyright 2010 Colin Barfoot.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Alert

      @Colin Barefoot

      " any "ownership" is universal"

      Would this also apply to your car, your house... or your wife?

      Steady on, lad.

    2. The Other Steve

      CPGB

      "So, for me, the first step to a resolution would be to move away from concepts of ownership to concepts of discovery and exploitation rights. The emphasis then is that anybody could have got there by any of many routes, and that any "ownership" is universal. One implication is that copying is not criminal."

      It's called communism. You should get in touch with the CPGB, they'll be happy to agree with you. Sell you a newspaper as well, most likely, gawd bless 'em.

  33. Duke

    The Statute of Anne

    The original text of the Statute of Anne is quite an interesting read (if you can work around the language used - and I thought modern laws were in confusing language...). The section about renewing for 14 years (which I am afraid I must have missed the first time through) is right at the end and reads "after the expiration of the said term of fourteen years, the sole right of printing or disposing of copies shall return to the authors thereof, if they are then living, for another term of fourteen years."

    Anyway, the Statute itself is a lot more consumer-friendly than modern copyright laws. It makes it clear that it is targeted at unscrupulous publishers and booksellers (the former who seem to benefit most from the current and proposed laws), requires that a copy of all copyrighted books be sent to the various 'Copyright Libraries' - so, no matter what, the public would still have some access to the material - and even includes provisions for members of the public to complain to various senior figures if books were being priced too high, with those figures being able to make a judgment forcing a lower price.

    Until about 20 years ago copyright had an implicit "commercial only" aspect to it - when created as a concept copyright was never designed for a world where information could be disconnected from its physical form.

    Oh, as for the Bill not including disconnection, technically that is true as the word was replaced with "temporary account suspension", but as we've seen in France (with Hadopi), 'temporary' has no limits on it (in France it became a year) and even last week Stephen Timms MP was still talking about disconnection. Arguably, account suspension = disconnection anyway, you are still being disconnected from the Internet, even if only for a short time. Even then, there is nothing in the Bill that prevents it being used to permanently disconnect someone from the Internet (under Clause 10, 124G, (3)(d)).

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Happy

      "If you don't want the time..."

      ... then don't do the crime."

      Simples.

    2. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: The Statute of Anne

      I think we need a new Pirate Party, Will. The 1710 argument always blows up the person making it: it's like watching cows wander over a minefield.

      In 1710 performance rights didn't exist - they were only invented about 150 years later. At that point, copyright was no longer attached to a physical product. To argue, as you do, that the decoupling is a brand new Innerwebs invention shows a serious lack of education - on a subject where you seek to define unique identity for yourself.

      Now let that idea sink in for a moment.

      So you see that copyright is a social agreement developed in response to technology (specifically copying machines). Which makes it quite a remarkable thing - and why it will endure

      people who want to abolish the technology, or break the agreement.

      If you want to un-invent performance rights, you'll need to uninvent electricity (conceptually and metaphorically).

      1. Griffith Engen
        Thumb Down

        lol

        "I think we need a new Pirate Party"

        Brilliant argument, fitting to a grown-up discussion.

        "So you see that copyright is a social agreement developed in response to technology"

        Plagiarism classes as a social agreement, however copyright is a LAW. It was originally created for censorship, later adapted to give some parties monopoly rights, and now it's slowly reverting back to its original purpose.

  34. (AMPC) Anonymous and mostly paranoid coward
    Flame

    Jaw Jaw is better than War War @Winnie

    When the entertainment and media industry finally realize that digital distribuion is something to be embraced rather than feared, we might finally get somewhere, unfortunately, they and their political lackeys continue to forget some simple facts:

    NO ONE (or soon no one, in less than 14 years is my guess and I am being VERY generous) will want to buy, store and then retrieve music, film or TV programs from eco-unfriendly devices like CDs, VHS or vinyl (he he) anymore. Even books and newspapers could disappear one day. This physical distribution model just makes no sense. We want to ênter our homes, our cars, our public transport systems, our friends homes, etc. and quickly fetch that old Bogie film or that obscure or not so obscure new wave or acid-house tune (or the latest block buster) and quickly download it to the nearest wall/PC/Phone screen and watch or listen to it on our I-pod/media streamer, etc. I suspect most of us would pay a fair price for this ULTIMATE convenience, without a second thought. Look how much people will pay for an IPHONE already.

    Unfortunately, media companies either do not understand or refuse to understand this new business model. If they weren't all paralyzed by greed and short-sighedness , they might even start calculating how much they could save in production and legal costs by letting go of the old model. But that would be too easy, so maybe a Pirate Party can help reduce the madness or at least start a debate.

    There is probably only one practical way to sort out this mess, and here it is,

    1) Charge every internet user a set fee for unlimited (or nearly unlimited) digiral media content. Lets say 10 USD a month. Lets multiply that by the number of internet users and see how big that number is,

    2) Pool this money into an artists and creative producers fund.

    3) Convince artists and CPs to upload their content to a centralized, regulated distribution network which will help manage Internet download and consumption (for a small cut of the profits, not 90 % of it, Hollywood style). Of course, they should be free to distribute their content by traditional channels if they wish.

    4) Everytime a user watches or downloads a work of art from this distribution network, give the legal copyright owner a fairly-established royalty payment from this pool, it might only be 0.00001 cent each time, but if your product is good you will prosper. Likewise, if your product is not that good, you might have to keep your day job. This is a much better solution that cutting off people's internet access when they want to listen to your music.

    5) Whether we like it or not, this is the model people are already embracing in their millions. They just aren't paying for it.

    6) If I were a media mogul, I would be figuring out how to make the above model work for me, or be out looking for a new day job. I would not be lobbying politicians to help stave off the inevitable.

    The problem isn't whether or not copyright should be extended or abolished, it is about creating a fair system that benefits producers and consumers. The current system isn't fair which is why people are voting with their keyboards and fast broadband connections. That isn't going to change, no matter how many idiotic laws are passed,

    Where the f*K is my remote control?

    1. SleepyJohn

      Yes indeed

      Hard to disagree with something along these lines. Also hard to believe that the idiots instigating all the current despicable, despotic shambles are businessmen; I wouldn't hire them to run a piss-up in a brewery. See my reply to an earlier comment about research showing that convenience is what motivates most of the so-called 'freetards', not money. The world is changing, the tide of digital technology on the flood; have these media moguls never heard of King Canute? Can they really not see these simple things that the ordinary folk can, so clearly?

      All I know about the Pirate Party is that it seems to be mobilising ordinary folk to question the arrogance of the ruling elite and their media boss pals, and I salute them for that.

    2. Steve Crook

      Nice idea, but what if...

      By the time you've done the math, covered costs etc, the monthly fee is $50?

      Also, how do you divvy up the pool for creators? If my film costs $500m to make, won't I want more of that pie to cover my costs? If my book took me 10 years to write and several thousand dollars in research fees, do I get a bigger slice of the pie? Even if my (academically important) book gets only a few downloads?

      It's a nice idea, but I'm not sure that you've got all the bases covered...

      1. SleepyJohn

        How do they charge for rock concerts?

        Clearly there will be a lot of complex details to iron out, but I think the basic idea is sound as it creates a simple gate through which anyone must pass if they want to partake. Do they send teams of bouncers round inside a rock concert checking on tickets? No, they check them at the gate or you don't get in. If the price of admission is reasonable people will pay. If it is not, they will rent a flat across the road and look through the windows.

        Some people will watch every moment of the concert in return for their money, some will daydream, some might be too pissed to remember, but they all pay. Gross over-simplification I know, but I think simplification is desperately needed here. The UK TV licence may not be perfect, but it is simple and easy to administer, and everyone knows where they stand. You buy a TV, you pay for a licence, you watch whatever, whenever you want. The bureaucrats can work out how the money is distributed; administrative details are what they are paid to handle.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Thumb Up

        @Steve Crook

        That is a fair question, Mr. Crook and here is a fair answer:

        The pool would only pay the creator per inidividual access/download. Hence. we are assuming that the pool managers can successfully count how many times individual viewers have downloaded a film , listened to a track online etc. (not that difficult) and honestly tally the results..

        Whatever that number is will be multiplied by the royalty fee per view/download ...and then kerching!!!. This sum is what the copyright owner would recieve. Sort of like a percentage of ticket sales at the cinema as it were, without the paperwork. And the more you sell, the more you earn (aka good old-fashioned market economics). So simple, so pure....

        Please note that no author or filmmaker can ever guarantee they will get a return on their 500 M USD investment, regardless of the business model. Hollywood makes a lot of dud films and a few blockbusters (which help pay for the duds) . I don't actually see any problem here with the pooling system. Nor do I see why the pool should give anyone special privileges ON THE CONTRARY. this is one of the many things wrong with the current system (where artists and consumers both get screwed in a fair and equitable manner)

        The pool system does not prevent producers from making DVDs etc, and selling them later (just as they do now, whining all the while that they are losing millions to piracy). It does not prevent them from distributing films via cinemas, TV, Blockbuster, etc,

        But the pool system does offer a low priced buy-in for consumers (lets still say 10 USD a month, but we need someone to crunch numbers first, I agree). It offers all producers and content owners a way to be paid for their work. And if it were a universal (or at least very wide-spread) business distribution model, who would bother to download dodgy diigital copies for free anymore? I reckon this idea is a winner and it won't be long before this type of distribution model becomes the best way to stop piracy, because it would make piracy irrelevant.

        People download for two reasons:

        1) It is ridiculously easy to find whatever you want for free, and if it isn't a friend will find it for you

        2) It doesn't cost you 49 quid/euro/bucks to "own" the film (sometime after it is released of course). It costs you nothing, which is why people do it.

        Of course the idea has to be tested and invested but doesn't anyone see a glimmer of light here?

        1. SleepyJohn
          Go

          The KISS principle is conspicuously absent

          "doesn't anyone see a glimmer of light here?"

          Yes, I do. Even a skimming read of this post and all the comments makes it quite plain that the whole sorry mess is mired in completely unresolvable complexity. 'More laws, less justice' my old mother used to say, and it certainly applies here. Lawyers and politicians are the only ones who benefit from the obfuscation created by complexity. Most normal human beings simply want to turn on their computer and get what they want. If it costs a reasonable sum then fine, that's the price you pay. All content creators have to do is cater to this very simple desire, and some sort of pooling/licence system would seem to do that very straightforwardly.

          If I want to drive my car down the road I buy a licence and I can then drive anywhere in the country at any time. I do not have to negotiate terms with every local authority, landowner, bridge builder, engineer, road sweeper and grass verge cutter, whose efforts have made this possible. Which is exactly the sort of nonsense that is going on here. The government collects the licence fee and distributes it to all who have enabled my travelling.

          I am sure all except the politicians and media moguls' lawyers would prefer a simple, imperfect system that works to a complex, iniquitous one that doesn't.

    3. The Other Steve
      FAIL

      Clue Clue is better than blah blah

      You see the problem with what you've done there is that you've taken away a market that has the ability to distinguish value based on demand and replaced with something entirely else which treats all content as flat valued and entirely fungible, which it clearly isn't.

      You're also assuming that ALL content can (or will) be delivered by the internet in the form of bits, which is also clearly bunk.

  35. Graham Wilson
    Flame

    Eventually, changes in copyright law seem inevitable--but Berne will have to change first!

    The copyright issue was aired in El Reg a few weeks ago when Joel Tenenbaum was screwed into the ground by the RIAA for copying songs. I had my sixpence worth here: http://forums.theregister.co.uk/forum/1/2010/01/05/tenenbaum_files_for_retrial/#c_659154 - 'Soon, murder and terrorism will be lesser crimes than sharing music'. I'll repeat a shortened version.

    I believe in copyright as authors and artists deserve dues for effort, but current copyright laws worldwide are a 'fraudulent' monopolistic scam ENFORCED* through an international treaty--the 'Berne Copyright Convention' of 1886.

    In the late 19th Century, a few cleaver and articulate elites led by Frenchman and author Victor Hugo conned governments into establishing an international treaty to enforce this pernicious legalised swindle. There are many different types of copyright but in its Berne Convention form, it is by far the most exploitative of the general population.

    Essentially, Berne says that when an artist or author creates a work that the state MUST issue him/her with an absolute and totally exclusive right to that work for the rest of his life plus at least another 50 years after he's dead--even if he does not want the rights.

    An artist is inspired by the culture of his society; he absorbs an education, concepts and ideas from it and its long cultural lineage, thus new works he produces are not totally new but only derivative of that culture. No matter how great the artist, he cannot produce works of greatness or popular interest in a cultural vacuum yet the Berne Convention gives him TOTAL and exclusive rights to his derivative work.

    The Berne Convention forces signatory governments to exclude all rights to works except those of the artist himself. Moreover, we've been conned to believe that existing copyright is actually fair law. As with Goebbels' axiom--tell a small lie and you'll be caught lying, tell a big one and you'll be believed---Berne has created an air of respectability about present-day copyright law. So entrenched the belief, that even those who own rights believe the entrenched propaganda that copyright law is fair when it is anything but so.

    1. It is the absoluteness of this exclusion together with the outrageously long life of the copyright that is at the heart of the problem--copyright needs to be greatly reduced in duration.

    2. Much fairer systems should be introduced, for example, during a period of strong copyright--say the first ten years or so--consumers of copyrighted material would be able to make multiple non-commercial copies for their own use. Thereafter, general non-commercial copying would be allowed except for the author who would still retain commercial rights for an additional period up until the work fully entered the public domain.

    3. The Berne Convention should be altered to allow full access to orphaned works, say after 10 years. Orphaned works are ones that no longer have owners or where the owing corporations have gone bust, but nevertheless where copyright still exists for 50 or 70 plus years--depending on jurisdiction.

    It is estimated that of all the works published in the 20th Century, about 80% are now orphaned works--that is they no longer have an author or publisher who can publish them, NOR can they be published by anyone else! Obviously, authors and publishing houses do not want orphaned works to be the public domain as they compete with newly published works. Nevertheless, from the perspective of the population who would have a much more widespread access to knowledge, then the concept of keeping orphaned works out of the public domain is just sheer madness.

    I hope the pirate parties will act both cleverly and responsibly. If they do then the completely detestable edifice of the Berne Convention may crumble in only a few short years.

    Let us hope so.

    _______

    * Moreover, the Treaty severely restricts governments to legislate; in its current form a government would be in violation of the treaty if it reduced copyright to say only 10 years.

    1. The Other Steve
      FAIL

      Saying it twice doesn't prevent it failing

      "No matter how great the artist, he cannot produce works of greatness or popular interest in a cultural vacuum yet the Berne Convention gives him TOTAL and exclusive rights to his derivative work."

      Which he is of course entitled to give away. Which is really where your argument falls down altogether, even if we buy into your entirely subjective opinion that all works must be entirely derivative, or we blinker ourselves and try to pretend that (C) only applies to works of art.

      1. The Straight Steve
        Thumb Down

        Everything is derivative

        It is, whether you care to accept it or not.

  36. someblokeontheinternettoldme

    Something a bit off topic maybe..

    One question i have regarding the ever increasing extension of copyrights is what about all us wage slaves who have (or in my case had) contracts that assign all copyrights, patents and our first born children to the company paying our salaries. At the time i last signed this kind of contract the copy right term was life + 50 years, now its life +70 so the company i worked for gets an extra 20 years to profit from my creative works (or would if anyone wants to buy some really badly written and out of date CRM software).

    For most of us this will be irrelevant but should a change in copyright term mean the copyright reverts to the original creators estate at the end of the life + 50 year term?

  37. Tom Wood

    I don't want to get swept up in the debate, but...

    Two unrelated points:

    - people who download music illegally spend a significant amount more on legally-acquired music than those who do not. [http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/illegal-downloaders-spend-the-most-on-music-says-poll-1812776.html]. So those who use the term "freetard" in the free-as-in-beer sense are probably applying the label incorrectly here.

    - I'm mighty disappointed by the way Mr Orlowski seems to be conducting himself in this debate. I'd expect more from a journalist/author for any publication.

    That is all.

    1. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: I don't want to get swept up in the debate, but...

      Thanks for sharing.

      "So those who use the term "freetard" in the free-as-in-beer sense are probably applying the label incorrectly here."

      The survey doesn't support your conclusion. It tells us that people who are interested in music will acquire more than people who don't - in either licensed or unlicensed form. This is not surprising.

      "The survey found that those who admit illegally downloading music spent an average of £77 a year on music – £33 more than those who claim that they never download music dishonestly."

      They may otherwise be spending £770 or £7700 a year - I know some who people do. The challenge for the music business is to capture some of that, and it's failing to so - even with services it blesses.

      We've covered the decline in "wallet share" many times.

      1. Tom Wood

        Separate issues

        So you're assuming that every person who is "interested in music" is downloading illegally?

        A difference in current spend between those who download illegally and those who do not is still relevant, and is not to be confused with the separate issue of any overall reduction in spend on music vs this time last year, or 10 years ago, or whenever.

        The former indicates that some people are more willing to pay for music than others. The latter indicates that taken as a whole the population considers recorded music to be less valuable now than it did in times gone by.

        Two separate issues.

        But given that those who illegally download are more willing to pay for music than those who don't, it would seem that the music industry really ought to try not to annoy/incarcerate them all.

        1. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

          Re: Separate issues

          "But given that those who illegally download are more willing to pay for music than those who don't, it would seem that the music industry really ought to try not to annoy/incarcerate them all."

          The primary duty of a copyright intermediary is to exploit the work, and by shunning sharing as a commercial opportunity, it has failed to do this as well as it could.

          If we had a choice of licensed P2P services in 2004 or 2005, there would have been no Pirate Party. The failure to license rests solely with the record companies.

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Pay to whom

    Artists and authors only get about 1% of what is taxed by the oligarchic corporation mafias to buyers, hence pirating is good. When artists get 100% or even 50% of what they make, then we may discuss.

    While almost all the money goes to corporations and managers, pirating is not just a moral right but a moral duty for anyone with a sense of justice.

    Also the anti-piracy bills roaming over Europe are a clear violation of human rights: no trial, no right to internet access, right for the government to spy on your internet activities.

    Why does El Reg publish this junk?

  39. DreadFox

    Pirate Party != Piracy

    " b) I don't actually want to support piracy - and having had no other reason to read the manifesto, I haven't bothered to."

    if you had read the manifesto, you would see that the Pirate Party UK isn't about supporting piracy, it's about copyright and patent reform, freedom of speech, and privacy.

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