Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 20th Sep 2010 20:18 UTC
In the News "What would Benjamin Franklin have thought about P2P file sharing? We'll never know, but a new book portrays him as a skeptic of intellectual property and an advocate for the common ownership of inventions and ideas." What a surprise. A person with brains favouring loose IP laws. Anyone with two braincells to rub together understands that a free flow of information and knowledge is beneficial to human development.
Order by: Score:
Where is the case that he was a pirate?
by nt_jerkface on Mon 20th Sep 2010 20:48 UTC
nt_jerkface
Member since:
2009-08-26

From the article:

Like many of the founders of this country, Franklin didn't really see copy or patent rights as "rights," Hyde contends. He saw them as temporary monopoly privileges, designed to encourage writers and inventors to produce things that would ultimately accrue to the common good. To the extent that he supported these sort of monopolies, it was to coax the best out of people.

We already have that, copyrights do not last forever and the works eventually become public domain.

What a poorly written article.

Reply Score: 1

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

We already have that, copyrights do not last forever and the works eventually become public domain.


Lifetime + 70 years. That's temporary in the same way 6 billion is a few.

What a poorly written article.


Sure, you disagree with it. As such, it MUST be poorly written. Could also be that one of the brightest men in our history is more likely to be right than some random guy on the internet such as yourself (or myself).

Edited 2010-09-20 20:54 UTC

Reply Score: 6

nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26


Lifetime + 70 years. That's temporary in the same way 6 billion is a few.

That isn't eternal which is what Franklin was against. Patents only last 20 years which the author didn't bother to mention.
http://law.freeadvice.com/intellectual_property/patent_law/patent_d...


Sure, you disagree with it. As such, it MUST be poorly written.

No it is a poorly written article because he does not support the thesis. He never showed how Franklin was in any way a pirate. Franklin wanted a temporary monopoly to support intellectual property development and we have that. Pirates do not follow IP laws by definition.

Reply Score: 2

UltraZelda64 Member since:
2006-12-05

That isn't eternal which is what Franklin was against. Patents only last 20 years which the author didn't bother to mention.
http://law.freeadvice.com/intellectual_property/patent_law/patent_d...

It might as damn well be eternal. Lifetime+ 70 years is enough time not only for the creator to be dead several times over, but also everyone else who was alive during his (or her) life, as well as several generations before and after. And if everyone's dead, then what is the point in having it public domain? It'll be so damn old, no one in the future will care or even remember it anymore. It'll be news that's so unheard of at the time, no one will even know. Everyone who would have known... will be dead.

Kind of goes against the whole idea of knowledge going back to the public.

Edited 2010-09-20 23:54 UTC

Reply Score: 7

vodoomoth Member since:
2010-03-30

And if everyone's dead, then what is the point in having it public domain? It'll be so damn old, no one in the future will care or even remember it anymore.

That would have been true if humanity used to relearn, recreate everything from scratch each 20 or 25 years. Things are not so. We all hear Bach or Mozart each year. Anyone can play that music wherever they like and in front of as many people as they like without infringing on a copyright.

The point in having it in public domain is that a few people get the legal right to use it as they wish. You can't do the same with Albeniz's music. And yes, I do think that 70 years is ridiculously long.

I also think that the "copyright" concept has been abused. Here's an anecdote: there's been an example here in France, a few months/years ago, when kids sang a song at a fair ("kermesse" as we say here) organized by their school. A few days later, the national pseudo-equivalent of the RIAA asked the school to pay fees for the song the kids sung... a song that everybody knows here. The school refused, the others insisted. In the end, the artist whose song it was offered to pay the fees. End of story. I'm not sure copyright was meant for asking fees from primary schools or people who gather around a fire and strum guitars. Otherwise, we wouldn't be able to just quote authors.

It'll be news that's so unheard of at the time, no one will even know. Everyone who would have known... will be dead.

This is not about news, it's about intellectual creation... books, music, and what else. News get stale quickly by nature. I don't think copyrighted material have the same defect.

Reply Score: 3

UltraZelda64 Member since:
2006-12-05

We all hear Bach or Mozart each year. Anyone can play that music wherever they like and in front of as many people as they like without infringing on a copyright.

We do? I don't know, the "popular" crap gets rammed in my ears so hard and often I can't recall the last time I heard Bach or Mozart. When I was in school, in music class, maybe? Okay, I admit, I don't like classical music either.

This is not about news, it's about intellectual creation... books, music, and what else. News get stale quickly by nature. I don't think copyrighted material have the same defect.

Maybe "news" was the wrong word. But my point still stands: people will not even know WTF a lot of stuff even is by the time it reaches the public domain, if they even hear about it at all. And they might not, being deafened by the latest pop, or the "Britney Spears" of ~140 years from now [using that number as an example, assuming the creator lives to see around 70 and then dies]. Same goes for movies and video games--by the time any of those hit the public domain, they'll have been long forgotten and the advertisement companies will further help (hurt?) the cause by overloading people with ads of the "latest and greatest".

Corporations want people to forget, and with their advertising $$$ coupled with the obscene length of copyright, people WILL forget.

The original versions of 'The House on Haunted Hill' and 'Night of the Living Dead' are two movies which are (surprisingly) apparently in the public domain (full movies for free on archive.org btw, in case anyone is interested...), but most people probably don't know that. And even then, both are still being sold on modern video formats, further hiding the fact. If that's the case for some oddball 42-51 year old movies, then just imagine what it will be like in just two or three more decades... and that's still not near the hypothetical 140 years, using the above 70-year-life-of-creator example.

Reply Score: 2

Luminair Member since:
2007-03-30

I smell a blowhard

Reply Score: 2

earksiinni Member since:
2009-03-27

There's a little more context that the article didn't give that's worth mentioning. Regarding Franklin's Irish example, Ireland was infamous for pirating books and undercutting English and Continental publishers. Ireland was also well known for printing banned books or highly controversial pamphlets, which goes along with the whole pirate ethos. So for Franklin to specifically praise Irish publishing comes pretty close to being a pirate. Without a photo of him actually buying a pirated copy, however, I guess the RIAA can't legally exhume his body to serve him a court order.

Reply Score: 3

Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

A patent lifetime of 20 years is HUGE. It was okay when programmable devices did not exist, but now it's just ridiculously high.

Consider that if something was copyrighted in Windows 1, the copyright was valid until 2007. As an example, if tiled windows were copyrighted, some hobby OS using it in 2004 would have to pay patent fees because of a long-forgotten OS which had an extremely poor reception and was ditched a few years after anyway. That's just ridiculous.

Things go in the same way about the 70 years copyright lifetime. See the kid example of vodoomoth. Consider also that it means that some kid whose sole merit was to be the son of a long-dead artist can claim ownership on his father's songs and endlessly sue people about it.

Edited 2010-09-21 16:43 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Valhalla Member since:
2006-01-24

We already have that, copyrights do not last forever and the works eventually become public domain.


Oh please, ever heard about the Copyright Extension Act (also known as 'Mickey Mouse Protection Act'? Politicians will continue to be bribe...lobbied, and copyright will continue to be extended.

Reply Score: 4

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

"copyrights do not last forever"

Well, that may not have been the original intention but we're seeing businesses renew copyright and in some cases reverse public domain; item outlives it's copyright and becomes public property and then magically, it's copyrighted again. Disney is one of the media companies that's pulled that trick off I believe.

Under the current litigious mess we live with, copyright can be made to last forever.

Reply Score: 4

We were sold out!
by jefro on Mon 20th Sep 2010 20:50 UTC
jefro
Member since:
2007-04-13

It used to be that the Government protected works for only a short amount of time. That time was to allow the inventor or creator time to at least make some money. Then the work was to be turned over to the public to enrich the nation. Sadly crooks have stolen from the people. The crooks are in Congress and in Big Companies.

Reply Score: 4

RE: We were sold out!
by Almafeta on Tue 21st Sep 2010 01:09 UTC in reply to "We were sold out!"
Almafeta Member since:
2007-02-22

It used to be that the Government protected works for only a short amount of time.


It used to be that governments didn't protect works at all, except perhaps from other governments. Granted, this was around the same time where if you sold a piece of land, all the people that lived on the land went with the sale. It used to be that all rights (including copyright) were possessed by the head of state and franchised out individually; if the ruler didn't approve of your work, of course you weren't allowed to print it, much less make a profit off of it.

Of course, this changed once nations began creating constitutions (or equivalent legal precedents) that granted the franchise to create and own property (whether intellectual or physical) back to the people. The idea of your ownership of your own creation expiring, rather than being passed according to one's wishes, is a throwback to the days where the people were owned by the Government.

Reply Score: 3

bannor99
Member since:
2005-09-15

These should give a bit more insight into the character of one of America's Great Men:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fart_Proudly

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advice_to_a_Friend_on_Choosing_a_Mistr...

Reply Score: 1

Ciremun Member since:
2010-09-20

And what exactly are you trying to bring forth with these wikipedia articles? That Franklin could also write witty satire? That he was also capable of producing text of sexual nature? In what way are these works of his not intellectual?

Even if he did produce something unintellectual - and who would believe otherwise - what would it prove? That he's a man? Why would he lose any credibility even if it was discovered that he wrote a poem consisting of only profane words and illustrated it with a crude sketch of a penis?

Reply Score: 1

bannor99 Member since:
2005-09-15

Clearly, you're no Ben Franklin. Please duck when you hear the whooshing sound passing overhead.

Sheesh!

Reply Score: 0

Ciremun Member since:
2010-09-20

Nice retort, clearly shows what your mind's capable of.

I'm guessing I should take cover while I'm at it as it seems that's all I'm getting from you.

Reply Score: 0

bannor99 Member since:
2005-09-15

Considering that it looks like you signed up to OSnews ( or created a duplicate account) specifically to respond to my post, it looks like you've already taken cover.

And, you're the one who came out swinging. As any good boxer will tell you, if you do that, and forget to duck, expect to get clocked.

For the record, I've been an admirer of Mr Franklin since I first read about the man decades ago. And discovering his wit only made me like him more.

Reply Score: 2

Tuishimi Member since:
2005-07-06

He had quite the sense of humor. He was also quite the "ladies man."

Reply Score: 2

Nice for Pixicornland, but...
by mrhasbean on Wed 22nd Sep 2010 00:03 UTC
mrhasbean
Member since:
2006-04-03

Anyone with two braincells to rub together understands that a free flow of information and knowledge is beneficial to human development.


Certainly in a Utopian society where everyone has everything they need to exist and can dedicate their lives to the betterment of humanity the "free flow of information and knowledge" could exist. Unfortunately we don't live in that world. We do live in the one where you have to pay to eat and live. When you have a family to feed and bills to pay you simply cannot afford to do it gratis.

That said, the current system is also broken, the timeframes are too long and trolling is too easy. There has to be a middle ground - finding it will be the challenge.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Nice for Pixicornland, but...
by earksiinni on Fri 24th Sep 2010 21:28 UTC in reply to "Nice for Pixicornland, but..."
earksiinni Member since:
2009-03-27

"Anyone with two braincells to rub together understands that a free flow of information and knowledge is beneficial to human development."

What a weird assumption...

Reply Score: 1