Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 10th Nov 2010 23:31 UTC
In the News Wait, what - let me get this straight. A powerful politician, a politician who managed to bring even the largest companies to their knees, is on the side of reason in the copyright debate? Yes, Neelie Kroes, in her capacity as European Commissioner for Digital Agenda, has openly expressed her support for copyright reform. Her argumentation is incredibly lucid and clear, and pretty much echoes everything I've written about copyright here on OSNews.
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Love all the Obama / Biden talk
by re_re on Wed 10th Nov 2010 23:51 UTC
re_re
Member since:
2005-07-06

It's rather funny how you think Obama sided with the big content providers. In practice this is true, but in reality, somebody threw a bill in front of him and told him what he wanted to hear, and he signed it... Same as G.W., and Clinton before. These guys know nothing of the real issue. You would be shocked how many lawmakers have admitted to signing or not signing bills without even reading them (usually after they leave office).

Reply Score: 5

RE: Love all the Obama / Biden talk
by Lennie on Thu 11th Nov 2010 00:08 UTC in reply to "Love all the Obama / Biden talk"
Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

Probably the reason Thom 'came down on' Obama is because supposedly Obama was so in tune with this modern digital/internet stuff.

Personally I think the problem with policitics in the US is really simple, you just look at the campaign contributions and you mostly know which bills will get signed.

This means big business pretty much decides what happends in the US.

Reply Score: 15

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Probably the reason Thom 'came down on' Obama is because supposedly Obama was so in tune with this modern digital/internet stuff. Personally I think the problem with policitics in the US is really simple, you just look at the campaign contributions and you mostly know which bills will get signed. This means big business pretty much decides what happends in the US.


My thought is that the US is facing a pretty severe financial crisis (yes, a new one, as in a W shape). They are falling behind in terms of national debt and the value of their dollar, and according to some sources there are a number of indicators that don't bode at all well for the US.

http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/is-america-in-decline-2...

Anyway, I think perhaps that "IP" is one area that American adminstration thinks is a significant net positive for the US economy. After all, Americans are the only people who create anything "intellectual", they invented absolutely evreything, right?

So the concept is, I suppose, that America's economy will be just fine as long as America can force the rest of the world to pay for stuff. Look at ACTA.

It seems to me to be a similar concept to the recent trend by Microsoft of trying to get other parties to pay Microsoft for software that Microsoft did not write.

If it works, it possibly would be a big boon to America's financial situation. Everyone else owes America a living don't they? America does have the biggest stick, don't forget.

Reply Score: 11

earksiinni Member since:
2009-03-27

After all, Americans are the only people who create anything "intellectual", they invented absolutely evreything, right?


I believe that was the Chinese.

Reply Score: 4

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

Makes me think of this:

"The nerve of those Indians discovering our land before we got here."

Reply Score: 2

ndrw Member since:
2009-06-30

My thought exactly.

This is not a new crisis, though. Obama has just managed to dilute and delay the old one by a couple of years. That was possible because there were institutions willing to lend him sufficient amount of money (read: US still had credibility) but that's no longer the case (Obama now has to now "borrow" from his other pocket - the FED).

Most of American economy is services oriented, meaning that it can't be exported and is heavily dependent on consumption. That's a big problem if your consumption is driven not by profit and savings but by debt. Media, in its current model, is one of last production oriented sectors of economy that thrives. The gist is: expect the American government to fight for copyright and further regulations vigorously.

If not for copyright, media would only be a kind of service. One could charge for live performances, for more convenient/faster/safer/cheaper download methods than that of third-party copies, for status, for a trademark(*), for hand-written autographs, for timing, for advertising and so on. There are plenty of ways to differentiate yourself from "pirates". If you don't believe look at the fashion industry, where everyone copies from everyone else and still some guys can charge hundred times larger premiums than others. The problem with this model is that it is highly competitive and if you want to charge premium you have to earn your position first. In contrast, media "producers" and not US government just want to collect premiums for just pumping out CDs.

*) I've no problem with trademark, although it's also a regulation. Its impact is minimum and gives something in return (an identification method).

Reply Score: 4

mrhasbean Member since:
2006-04-03

Anyway, I think perhaps that "IP" is one area that American adminstration thinks is a significant net positive for the US economy. After all, Americans are the only people who create anything "intellectual", they invented absolutely evreything, right?

So the concept is, I suppose, that America's economy will be just fine as long as America can force the rest of the world to pay for stuff. Look at ACTA.

It seems to me to be a similar concept to the recent trend by Microsoft of trying to get other parties to pay Microsoft for software that Microsoft did not write.

If it works, it possibly would be a big boon to America's financial situation. Everyone else owes America a living don't they? America does have the biggest stick, don't forget.


Your tone suggests you'd take great delight in seeing the American economy implode. As much as I detest much of the crap that comes from the US legal and government systems, and is subsequently blindly adopted and followed by other western countries, the collapse of the American economy would be a disastrous thing for the whole world. The ramifications would be enormous.

Certainly there needs to be copyright reform - just as there needs to be patent reform - but we also need to be careful not to throw out the baby with the bath water. There are many flow in and flow on industries world-wide that would be negatively impacted by a massive decline in the (US) content industry - and why would they continue to produce stuff if they aren't going to be paid for it? Would you turn up for work if you weren't going to be paid? Sadly we don't live in the 24th century (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0117731/quotes?qt1309462)

Any changes that are made must to be done in a manner that doesn't turn a short term celebration by a few into a long term disaster for many...

Reply Score: 2

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Your tone suggests you'd take great delight in seeing the American economy implode.


I'm undecided.

There is certainly a kind of beautiful karma in the thought ... but realistically a lot of people would be seriously harmed through no fault of their own, and that sobering thought kills all notions of karma and brings us back down to earth with a resounding thud.

I wouldn't want to see anyone hurt.

However, I do have a question ... what was all that about exporting American jobs overseas anyway?

Just to make sure I have got the gist of it: First they move a large number of American jobs overseas (outsourcing labour), hurting the American citizens but making more profit for the megacorps. OK so far? Then because many Americans don't have jobs any longer, Americans overall have less disposable income and hence less purchasing power, so the economy starts to go into a tail spin. Right? In order to arrest the tailspin, the American currency starts to be devalued compared to foreign currencies. Right?

So now the foreign currencies cost more in American dollars, right? So now the foreign labour is more expensive than it was to begin with, right? So now the megacorps aren't making the extra profit from outsourcing labour any more. Right?

So the entire effect was --- to lose American jobs, devalue the American currency, lose American purchasing power, and all for absolutely no effect on the bottom line of the megacorps anyway. Right?

What gives with that? How can anyone have any sympathy for that kind of behaviour?

So now, through initiatives such as ACTA, the Americans seek to have everyone else to pay for their mess?

How can anyone have any sympathy for that kind of behaviour?

Well, at least it all helped a lot of other economies. So, on balance, a positive outcome overall. This is where my head is at, I suppose.

Edited 2010-11-11 12:48 UTC

Reply Score: 3

LighthouseJ Member since:
2009-06-18

However, I do have a question ... what was all that about exporting American jobs overseas anyway?

Just to make sure I have got the gist of it: First they move a large number of American jobs overseas (outsourcing labour), hurting the American citizens but making more profit for the megacorps. OK so far? Then because many Americans don't have jobs any longer, Americans overall have less disposable income and hence less purchasing power, so the economy starts to go into a tail spin. Right? In order to arrest the tailspin, the American currency starts to be devalued compared to foreign currencies. Right?

So now the foreign currencies cost more in American dollars, right? So now the foreign labour is more expensive than it was to begin with, right? So now the megacorps aren't making the extra profit from outsourcing labour any more. Right?

So the entire effect was --- to lose American jobs, devalue the American currency, lose American purchasing power, and all for absolutely no effect on the bottom line of the megacorps anyway. Right?

What gives with that? How can anyone have any sympathy for that kind of behaviour?


First, a number of loosely-connected things happened.

Initially, the US capitalistic system led to companies overseas due to cheaper labor in India, for example. Less labor costs = more profit.

The "Americans don't have jobs" is fallout from the subprime mortgage crisis, a different animal. This was a debt bubble waiting to pop, and it did.

The devaluation of US currency is because the US government printed more money to buy ourselves out of the bubble that burst.

Next, I don't think foreign currencies cost more matters, that's just a currency exchange. Given that there are so many people outside of the US to do labor, there's no limit to supply so labor costs AFAIK will remain low.

So, you can say it's a perfect storm of circumstances that led down this path, but it's not that interconnected.

Reply Score: 1

TemporalBeing Member since:
2007-08-22

Well, most Americans are pissed about the "jobs overseas" thing too - it's only the short-term CEOs that made out on that one; sadly, that's most CEOs.

"However, I do have a question ... what was all that about exporting American jobs overseas anyway?

Just to make sure I have got the gist of it: First they move a large number of American jobs overseas (outsourcing labour), hurting the American citizens but making more profit for the megacorps. OK so far? Then because many Americans don't have jobs any longer, Americans overall have less disposable income and hence less purchasing power, so the economy starts to go into a tail spin. Right? In order to arrest the tailspin, the American currency starts to be devalued compared to foreign currencies. Right?

So now the foreign currencies cost more in American dollars, right? So now the foreign labour is more expensive than it was to begin with, right? So now the megacorps aren't making the extra profit from outsourcing labour any more. Right?

So the entire effect was --- to lose American jobs, devalue the American currency, lose American purchasing power, and all for absolutely no effect on the bottom line of the megacorps anyway. Right?

What gives with that? How can anyone have any sympathy for that kind of behaviour?


First, a number of loosely-connected things happened.

Initially, the US capitalistic system led to companies overseas due to cheaper labor in India, for example. Less labor costs = more profit.

The "Americans don't have jobs" is fallout from the subprime mortgage crisis, a different animal. This was a debt bubble waiting to pop, and it did.
"

It (the debt bubble) still is and has a long way to go. Sadly, they think they can get out of it by spending more - making the debt bigger - which is not the case. The only way out of it is to reduce debt, not create more.

Second, the subprime mortgage crisis occurred because of a number of factors, one being that it was an unsustainable pyramid scheme to start with, led by parties buying the debt that had zero control over the assets related to the debt (aka collateral), and pushed further by a number of politicians, bankers, etc. giving people mortgages that should never have had one. So, no accountability for giving out debt to people that should not have had the debt since they could not repay the debt from day 1.

The kicker is that once the ball started rolling for the mortgage crisis, it started snowballing other things due to how everything was leveraged, and how it all fell out. At first, a few people lose their jobs as they can't sell more houses; but that impacts some stocks, which then puts more out of work, creating more people that can no longer pay their debts, rinse-repeat.

Add to it a number of institutions that were not willing to renegotiate the mortgages to something that was affordable and instead kicked people out, which then went further by cascading the real estate market as housing prices started dropping due to the increase in available foreclosures, again, rinse-repeat.

It's all a self-feeding frenzy until things normalize - which is beyond all political control, and won't happen until all the various bubbles, etc have been brought back in-line. It's part of the response of the market when it self corrects for inflation, bubbles, etc. When left unchecked or manipulated (e.g. inflation only), multiple bubbles spring up together, and then it results in Great Depression like events.

Yes, we're probably just at the beginning of the impact still; and it'll probably continue for another decade or two.

And no, the DoD War Budgets have little impact on it; while TARP has a great impact - by several magnitudes, only not in the direction the politicians want it to, but they're too foolish to realize, understand, and acknowledge it.

The devaluation of US currency is because the US government printed more money to buy ourselves out of the bubble that burst.


The devaluation is more with respect to foreign currencies, and is adjusting as they all balance out. The introduction of the Euro had a big impact on the value of the US Dollar. Now that the Euro is falling, the dollar is rising. However, most of Asia - and especially China - are tied to the US Dollar in one form or another, so it impacts them greatly as the cost of their businesses go up.

It's also due to inflation adjustment. The US has had massive inflation over the last 100 years, and it's going to correct itself with massive deflation at some point. We're likely seeing the start of that.

Next, I don't think foreign currencies cost more matters, that's just a currency exchange.


Current exchange matters a lot as it decides imports, exports, and what everyone can afford relative to each other. The more stable the rates are, the easier it is to predict what things cost - such as school when you attend internationally, or when you buy a product or component of a product from a foreign entity.

JIT manufacturing doesn't help either. While it reduces up-front costs, it also makes things more susceptible to the market price fluctuations and fluctuations of the currency exchanges.

Given that there are so many people outside of the US to do labor, there's no limit to supply so labor costs AFAIK will remain low.


That's a straw man.

Yes, there are a lot of people out there that do not work. But you still have to pay them in their local currency against the local demands; and there are large costs of moving work from one location to another in most cases - though the more white collar/intellectual jobs have lower movement costs than the blue collar/manufacturing jobs.

Now if this payday the currency exchange is 1:1, you're okay. If that is relatively stable you're okay as you can predict the next pay day too. However, if it becomes 1:5 (e.g. 1 USD to 5 Yen) then you might be okay since you have an increase on their side. But it is more costly to you when it becomes 5:1 (e.g. 5 USD to 1 Yen) since nothing else has really changed and your customers are not paying you anything more. So now you raise the price to accommodate or play a game of averages - but that hurts you when the markets fluctuate, especially wildly, since you can no longer predict your costs.

If your customers pick up on the fluctuations, then it may hurt you further when they only buy at low points in your cycle, leaving you with manufacturing at higher points.

So, you can say it's a perfect storm of circumstances that led down this path, but it's not that interconnected.


It's very well interconnected. So interconnected that politicians and the Fed can do very little about it.

Reply Score: 2

ndrw Member since:
2009-06-30

> It's very well interconnected. So interconnected that politicians and the Fed can do very little about it.

Yes, it is interconnected. But it is not true they can do nothing about it - after all, they managed to screw it up.

Basic principles are actually fairly simple - just follow the cash flow.

Chinese want to work and send cheap stuff to the US? Great!!! You've just got cheap/free workforce, without even asking for it. So far - so good. Not taping to it would be simply stupid and wasteful.

So Chinese companies are sending stuff to the US and hauling dollars back. What do they do with these dollars then? In a large part they use them to buy RMBs from the Chinese government. That would of course drive price of RMB up but remember that Chinese policy is to be cheap. So instead they print RMBs (that's their inflation, that will destroy their economy) and take dollars off the market to raise their value. They can do this by (a) putting dollars in a "vault" or (b) buying US bonds. Seems like there is little difference for them - in both cases their government ends up with a pile of "paper", which it has no intention to spend, except that (b) yields some interests.

But there is a big difference on the US side - (a) would mean less dollars on the market and lower prices of all (not just Chinese) goods - a good, healthy (because without debt) deflation. (b) dumps all these money back to the US market, creating phoney demand and driving prices up. It is phoney because these money still belong to Chinese and have to be returned to them at interest (in fact that happens continuously - the US government takes new loans and pays back old on regular basis).

The big question is why does the US government borrows money from Chinese (or anyone else for that matter)? After all it is the US that is supposed to be the rich guy in this scenario. It takes two to make a deal and loans are very specific financial instruments. Loans are good if spent on investment, bad if spent on consumption. The US government not only consumes these money (essentially buying votes) but also uses them to actively disturb the private sector and even throws them away on things like military actions. This borrowing is totally unnecessary and it is precisely the step that closes the loop and leads to current situation.

So, in summary:
- buying cheap goods, using cheap labor - GOOD.
- taking loans to fund government programs - BAD.

Interestingly enough, Chinese policy has changed already - they no longer buy US bonds (remember these panic visits to China two years ago?) and started spending their dollar savings on commodities (poor whoever gets these money). That creates a huge deflationary pressure on dollar (this time unhealthy, because of the accumulated debt). The US government resorted to printing money (buying their own bonds through FED) to compensate the deflation with an inflation. That trick never works, though - these two have different origins and if you add them together - well - you add them, not subtract. Great crisis or Japan in '90~'00s are good this method doesn't resolve any fundamental issues.

The ultimate barrier is always the debt. Governments can't have infinite debt as they would have to pay infinite interests. And they can't print money for long as it increases interests and destroys the economy. Hard to say how far will the things go but looks like the peak is pretty close.

Reply Score: 1

earksiinni Member since:
2009-03-27

Everyone else owes America a living don't they? America does have the biggest stick, don't forget.


Your tone suggests you'd take great delight in seeing the American economy implode.

I'm undecided.

There is certainly a kind of beautiful karma in the thought


I heartily agree! I hope the impending American implosion gives space for a resurgent Europe to rise again to the top of the race. They deserve it for going through all that trouble to give civilization to the world. Don't we owe that to them?

Or for the Chinese, for instilling soldierly discipline in an unruly nation of hungry peasants.

Or for the Pacific countries in the Commonwealth, who have been so valiant in developing the most delicate ways in delivering civilization to where there was none.

"Oh, but the rest of the world has paid its dues, certainly much more so than America." Are you suggesting that your crimes can ever be pardoned? (Not you personally, lemur2, nor your country in particular.)

Yes, I understand why the world is angry with this country, but there's no "karma" in any of this. Politics is politics; and also, suffering is suffering, whether caused by the US or in the US. If you want to mix karma and suffering, let's take it back to Versailles, and I'm not talking about 1919: let's take it all the way back to 1871.

But why stop there with the Franco-Prussian War, hmm? How much further can we take it back? Who will avenge the humiliation of Jena?

I know one thing for sure, I hope to be judged by the benevolent readership of OSNews. Only we are so enlightened, so in tune with the new heart of the world--which everyone in the world knows by now is digital technology--only we get it, that we are in a position to judge because only we know what ACTA really means. When the stupid bailiff puts that treaty or any other on the table before the sheeple jury, only we judges are educated, trained, and alert enough to evaluate the evidence, since we know everything about it. But that's not important--what's important is that only we would even know to use it as evidence!

Karma? Nay. May "beautiful" justice be served.

Reply Score: 2

Beta Member since:
2005-07-06

Your tone suggests you'd take great delight in seeing the American economy implode. As much as I detest much of the crap that comes from the US legal and government systems, and is subsequently blindly adopted and followed by other western countries, the collapse of the American economy would be a disastrous thing for the whole world. The ramifications would be enormous.

I shant argue whether you are correct or not, but merely point out, is it good enough that the world must feel that if the USA fails it will take us all along with it?

Should we continue to prop up their country so they can maintain their maddening stance on copyrights (ACTA), patents (mobile market LOL), economics (Bretton Woods et al), oil (Iraq ), torture (water-boarding), health-care (OMG, socialism), immigration (er, we’re all on the same planet) ad infinitum.

Reply Score: 2

LighthouseJ Member since:
2009-06-18

Reading your profile, and you being from the UK, is your country really "propping up" the US though?

I think it's more like the globalism we have today, that non-US labor markets enjoy, is the mechanism that will cause a painful vacuum if the US enters into a worse shape, and not whatever sort of artificial support you think the UK is giving the US.

Reply Score: 1

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

"turn a short term celebration by a few into a long term disaster for many"

That seems to sum up the decisions made so far. Who cares what the next person in office has to clean up provided the current person looks good in the short term. (if only it was just politics that suffered from this issue)

Reply Score: 2

andydread Member since:
2009-02-02

Its true. Obama was saying all the right things about tech in general UNTIL.... He put Joe Biden on his ticket. HUGE mistake. Biden is a RIAA/MPAA shill. He is the senator that introduced a bill to put software on all or computers to make sure that we are not pirates. He is a MAJOR SHILL for the content middlemen. Eerily repeating the talking points of the RIAA/MPAA with precision. Horrible horrible. And several of Biden's lawyer buddies from the RIAA/MPAA have been shuffled into the Justice Department. Biden is the problem. Biden has throttled Obama in that respect. Also the special interests tend to be the ones who advise the politicians. The Bill Gates and the Steve Jobs of the world.

Reply Score: 3

Stratoukos Member since:
2009-02-11

You say this as a good thing? I don't know about you, but I think that signing bills randomly is worse than siding with Big Content.

Let's all hope nobody throws him the "Kill all humans" bill.

Reply Score: 9

arpan Member since:
2006-07-30

Exactly.

And even if Obama didn't personally study the bill and its effects, one of the people working for him would have studied it thoroughly. Decisions that are made by people that Obama has selected, count as decisions made by him.

Reply Score: 4

Proud
by Lennie on Thu 11th Nov 2010 00:20 UTC
Lennie
Member since:
2007-09-22

That is how I felt when I read this. As a fellow Dutch citizen.

I wonder what Sarkozy felt ? ;-)

Reply Score: 3

RE: Proud
by de2ofuz on Thu 11th Nov 2010 01:25 UTC in reply to "Proud"
de2ofuz Member since:
2006-06-07

It actually just made me proud to be a European.

Though I guess that there is ample opportunity to screw it all up, especially from 'my' part of Europe, which considers itself different to the rest of the continent and is home to some of the biggest bits of the entertainment industry outside of the US.

Still, you go get 'em girl!

Reply Score: 7

RE: Proud
by Valhalla on Thu 11th Nov 2010 01:55 UTC in reply to "Proud"
Valhalla Member since:
2006-01-24

That is how I felt when I read this. As a fellow Dutch citizen.

I wonder what Sarkozy felt ? ;-)

Isn't too he busy throwing out poor gypsies nowadays to notice? ;)

Reply Score: 6

RE[2]: Proud
by dylansmrjones on Thu 11th Nov 2010 21:00 UTC in reply to "RE: Proud"
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

The term is roma but yes, I believe he's busy with those. And increasing the age rent age-criteria. And such. Goes to show it's time for self-management.

Reply Score: 3

shadoweva09
Member since:
2008-03-10

The current content creation in the US can pretty much only be done in one of two ways.

1. Have the big names like Universal, or Fox accept a script. However since ratings have fallen and people are ditching cable for streaming internet, these big names refuse to accept anything that won't appeal to extremely large groups of people so we end up having the 4000th episode of Law and Order or American Idol.

2. Put it on the internet for free. You have to come up with the cash to produce it, there likely won't be anything like professional sound track, and if it's not provided for free it won't become popular. Absolutely NO ONE want's to give out details on how much money you can make through streaming sites like Youtube so it's hard to say whether you'll even break even. The people that do well only seem to be 5 to 10 minute short makers that run their own site and sell related merchandise.

Sure, one or two producers can break the mold, but at this point the system makes it impossible to produce good content consistently. It would be great if we had a solution like how Steam works where the first section of a video could be encrypted (most video cannot play without the information in the first part of the file) and you have to log in to view it, but what's happened with music seems to prove that DRM won't work for video either.

Reply Score: 3

shotsman Member since:
2005-07-22

Didn't Law & Order get canned a few months ago?

Seriously, the quality of much of the NEW material that is broadcast is frigging awful. I'm watching a lot less TV than I used to and I'm streaming content apart from ocassionally a few radio stations.
I have been TIVOing quite a few old movies and watching them. You know sometimes they have a half beleivable plot line.
As for the wannabe clones on shows like X factor, all I can say to them is 'don't give up the day job (if you have one that is...)

Reply Score: 2

shadoweva09 Member since:
2008-03-10

I think they're cancelling the original Law and Order, not Law and Order SVU, and any other spin offs they started making. (Just like how you have CSI, CSI Miami, CSI blah...)

Reply Score: 1

Valhalla
Member since:
2006-01-24

Echoes my thoughts exactly, being an avid art consumer (and to much a lesser degree also an art creator) this really hits home with me. I realise that artists need to make a living, but with the internet the artist can reach directly to the consumer, the 'gatekeeper' is gradually becoming unessential, sadly 'he' will not go silently into the night, nor does 'he' seem willing to adapt.

Neelie Kroes:

Just as artists have always travelled, to join sponsors, avoid wars or learn from masters far from home, now digital technology helps them to cross borders and break down barriers. Their work can be available to all. In a sense, the internet is the realisation of the Renaissance dream of Giovanni Pico della Mirandola: all knowledge in one place.

Yet, it does not mean there are no more obstacles to sharing cultural and artistic works on the net. All revolutions reveal, in a new and less favourable light, the privileges of the gatekeepers of the "Ancien Régime". It is no different in the case of the internet revolution, which is unveiling the unsustainable position of certain content gatekeepers and intermediaries. No historically entrenched position guarantees the survival of any cultural intermediary. Like it or not, content gatekeepers risk being sidelined if they do not adapt to the needs of both creators and consumers of cultural goods.


Edited 2010-11-11 02:56 UTC

Reply Score: 3

Heh
by Thom_Holwerda on Thu 11th Nov 2010 09:55 UTC
Thom_Holwerda
Member since:
2005-06-29

Fascinating how - just like with the previous article* - the usual pro-RIAA folks are utterly absent in this thread.

The times are changing.

* http://www.osnews.com/story/23888/US_Library_of_Congress_Copyright_...

Reply Score: 3

RE: Heh
by malxau on Thu 11th Nov 2010 11:30 UTC in reply to "Heh"
malxau Member since:
2005-12-04

Fascinating how - just like with the previous article* - the usual pro-RIAA folks are utterly absent in this thread.


I'm not pro-RIAA, but I'm not anti-copyright either. This article isn't really confronting any issues - it's just nice words for everybody that are intended to offend nobody from another politician. When things get down to concrete legislative proposals, then the controversy will be back.

Reply Score: 1

v RE[2]: Heh
by _Nine_ on Fri 12th Nov 2010 05:51 UTC in reply to "RE: Heh"
RE[3]: Heh
by Thom_Holwerda on Fri 12th Nov 2010 06:33 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Heh"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Furthermore, you can sense the latent anti-corporation, socialist tendencies driving her view, which is not surprising for a French politician.


Fail. Double fail.

She's not French.

She's not socialist.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Heh
by _Nine_ on Sun 14th Nov 2010 07:15 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Heh"
_Nine_ Member since:
2010-10-13

Ah, got me on the French thing. Misread the part about the Forum taking place in France.

I didn't say she was socialist; I said you can sense socialist tendencies in her speech. So, one fail, but not a double-fail unless you can prove otherwise.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Heh
by vodoomoth on Fri 12th Nov 2010 13:10 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Heh"
vodoomoth Member since:
2010-03-30

however, her speech greatly oversimplified a complex industry, and her arguments were supported mostly by idealism instead of hard facts about the alleged negative economic impact caused by the current copyright system.

I don't know much about all of the copyright and/or patent systems to bring anything valuable to the discussion but I while reading the news item, I was hoping for a proposal that didn't come.

Furthermore, you can sense the latent anti-corporation, socialist tendencies driving her view, which is not surprising for a French politician.

What is wrong with being socialist? Are you one of those who were demonizing the American health-care reform? I asked myself why there were so many "mots français" (French words) in the speech, all the more since Thom mentioned her in one or two of the podcasts. She's Dutch, not French.
A big, bureaucratic EU agency of course, staffed with employees with 30-hour work weeks.

Are you a European citizen? I don't know what all politicians do but I can guarantee nobody works those hours in Europe. EXCEPT a limited number (36 exactly) of dockers and crane operators at the port of Marseille who literally hijacked the economy of the whole department before and during the long period of strikes related to the retirement age... Why? Because they want better "work conditions". Which begs the question "what are their current work conditions?" to which the answer makes any other worker in Europe want to reach for the torches and pitchforks against those "princes". Their conditions are beyond advantageous, they're insanely good to the point that I was shocked when I heard about them on the radio. These guys are so much better paid than the average worker: 18 hours a week, something beyond 3000€ a month not including premiums, retirement at an age that's years before the legal age, and 8 weeks off a year! And they were asking for 12h a week and a pay raise of 450€! These are the exact figures (google "liberation port marseille meilleur job du monde", btw "meilleur job du monde" means "best job in the world"...). I wondered why I even bothered to go through the hell that was my phd, spend six years teaching at a university, work a couple of years for a software publisher, cross the country over 1000 kms, all this to end up earning less than one third of their wages.

Reply Score: 3

v RE[4]: Heh
by ndrw on Fri 12th Nov 2010 14:11 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Heh"
RE[5]: Heh
by Thom_Holwerda on Fri 12th Nov 2010 14:38 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Heh"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Luckily, evidence suggests that what you call "socialism" (it isn't, really) is making people happier than whatever the hell America is doing. Check the lists - Scandinavian countries and The Netherlands consistently rank among the best countries to live, the most free, with the happiest people, the best education systems, and the best healthcare.

While the US is entirely flat-broke six times over not being "socialist", with people not being able to pay for basic things like healthcare and education, countries that are "socialist" have more stable economies, only half the unemployment rate, and practically no poverty - as opposed to the 20% of the US population living under the poverty line.

I have two suggestions for you:

1) learn what "socialism" means
2) look at the facts. The US is failing, and failing hard in just about every aspect, while "socialist" countries are doing incredibly well.

Remember: ask any Dutchmen about things like proper healthcare and education, and you'll see most ofus are perfectly fine with paying higher taxes to support our fellow men and women. We are simply not asocial and egocentric.

Edited 2010-11-12 14:39 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE[6]: Heh
by ndrw on Fri 12th Nov 2010 16:50 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Heh"
ndrw Member since:
2009-06-30

(You sound a lot like one old man from former East Germany that was telling me how wonderful and prosperous state it was. Well, it wasn't, really. And now most countries seem to follow that model more and more closely.)

USA has a problem with its debt. That has nothing to do with being a socialist or a capitalist state and a lot to do with living out of their credit cards. Of course extensive social welfare programs are not helping them them to keep their books clean, neither do military actions or blowing up bubble after bubble. And if you haven't noticed yet, USA is not the only country experiencing these problems. You'd actually have to search for a country that isn't currently loaded with debt.

As for prosperous Scandinavia, here is an interesting excerpt from Wikipedia page about Sweden:

"However, from the 1970s and onwards Sweden's GDP growth fell behind other industrialized countries and the country's per capita ranking fell from the 4th to 14th place in a few decades."

In short: socialism is good if you have pockets full of money and strong industry to start with (extensive natural resources will also prove useful). To be fair, Sweden is doing unusually well for a socialist state, especially if you compare their decline with that of Cuba.

To come back to the original topic: people tend to take copyright (or pension, or free medical care) for granted and treat them very seriously. I can't help the feeling that in case of even a minor military conflict or a somewhat larger economic crisis, all these matters would be last on our lists of priorities. It is that perceived safety and prosperity that makes us forget about more important matters and indulge in illusions. Copyright (leaked information is copyable, you don't need a "right", you need a "copier"), pension ("sorry, there is no money", or "your family is your insurance"), free medical care ("what care?") are all only illusions of our rights. We only really have what we have earned.

Reply Score: 0

RE[7]: Heh
by Thom_Holwerda on Fri 12th Nov 2010 17:03 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Heh"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

n short: socialism is good if you have pockets full of money and strong industry to start with (extensive natural resources will also prove useful). To be fair, Sweden is doing unusually well for a socialist state, especially if you compare their decline with that of Cuba.


Comparing Sweden to Cuba?

Like I said: please read up on what "socialism" is. I'm not going to have a serious discussion with someone who equates Cuba with Sweden. It just shows your total and utter lack of understanding of how modern European welfare states, like Sweden and The Netherlands, are organised.

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: Heh
by Veto on Sat 13th Nov 2010 11:33 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Heh"
Veto Member since:
2010-11-13

You sound a lot like one old man from former East Germany...

A comment like that only makes your ignorance more obvious.

USA has a problem with its debt. That has nothing to do with being a socialist or a capitalist state

It has everything to do with having politicians in the pockets of big corporations.

To be fair, Sweden is doing unusually well for a socialist state, especially if you compare their decline with that of Cuba.

Again. Comparing Cuba with Sweden only serves to expose your ignorance. They are two very different countries.

free medical care ("what care?") are all only illusions of our rights. We only really have what we have earned.

Yes. But earned individually or as a society?

What you call "socialism" in Europe is not about equal living, but about equal rights and equal opportunity. In USA all rights and opportunities seem most proportional with the size of your wallet.

In th USA who is most likely to go to jail: The rich murderer or the poor innocent black kid?

In the USA who is most likely to go to university: The rich dunce or the poor smart?

In the USA who is most likely to be elected: The guy with a vision or the guy serving the corporations?

In the USA who is most likely to get proper medical treatment: The guy working with dangerous chemicals his whole life or his boss with obesity induced heart problems?

Reply Score: 3

RE[6]: Heh
by _Nine_ on Sun 14th Nov 2010 07:55 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Heh"
_Nine_ Member since:
2010-10-13

The Netherlands has its own share of problems, including the lack of assimilation of immigrant populations, which are now influencing Dutch politics.

I have asked Dutchmen about such things. They, too, have claimed that the average standard of living is pretty good. It is reasonable to have a decent paying job, live in a nice flat, drive a nice car, and not have to worry about healthcare. However, your ability to make a lot of money is limited. Very few people are poor, but very few people are rich. So, you trade your shot at being a millionaire for the security that comes from having your basic needs provided for by the government.

Reply Score: 1

RE[7]: Heh
by Thom_Holwerda on Sun 14th Nov 2010 10:21 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Heh"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

However, your ability to make a lot of money is limited. Very few people are poor, but very few people are rich. So, you trade your shot at being a millionaire for the security that comes from having your basic needs provided for by the government.


ORLY?

0.7% of the Dutch population is a millionaire (ranked 13th worldwide), vs. 1% in the US (all converted to USD). ZOMG 0.3% fewer millionaires? Small price to pay for better healthcare, better education system, and practically no poverty.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Heh
by _Nine_ on Sun 14th Nov 2010 07:42 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Heh"
_Nine_ Member since:
2010-10-13


I don't know much about all of the copyright and/or patent systems to bring anything valuable to the discussion but I while reading the news item, I was hoping for a proposal that didn't come.

Well, at least you had the sense to read through the propaganda to see that there was no solution. Anyone can point out a problem and paint a pretty picture of the way things ought to be. However, without a solution, we're no closer to getting there.

What is wrong with being socialist? Are you one of those who were demonizing the American health-care reform? I asked myself why there were so many "mots français" (French words) in the speech, all the more since Thom mentioned her in one or two of the podcasts. She's Dutch, not French.

Yep, I should've figured she was Dutch given that Thom posted the story, but misread.

Demonizing the American health-care reform? No, but I did criticize it. Wrong solution, wrong time. What does "health-care reform" mean? There's nothing wrong with American health care. What was needed was insurance reform. And the government can start with Medicare reform as it is greatly abused.

Are you a European citizen?

No, American.

I don't know what all politicians do but I can guarantee nobody works those hours in Europe. EXCEPT a limited number (36 exactly) of dockers and crane operators at the port of Marseille who literally hijacked the economy of the whole department before and during the long period of strikes related to the retirement age... Why? Because they want better "work conditions". Which begs the question "what are their current work conditions?" to which the answer makes any other worker in Europe want to reach for the torches and pitchforks against those "princes". Their conditions are beyond advantageous, they're insanely good to the point that I was shocked when I heard about them on the radio. These guys are so much better paid than the average worker: 18 hours a week, something beyond 3000€ a month not including premiums, retirement at an age that's years before the legal age, and 8 weeks off a year! And they were asking for 12h a week and a pay raise of 450€! These are the exact figures (google "liberation port marseille meilleur job du monde", btw "meilleur job du monde" means "best job in the world"...). I wondered why I even bothered to go through the hell that was my phd, spend six years teaching at a university, work a couple of years for a software publisher, cross the country over 1000 kms, all this to end up earning less than one third of their wages.

Welcome to the problem of unionized labor. Labor unions were created to protect workers from bad working conditions. However, laws are in place now to protect workers. Unions are antiquated entities that are now about establishing wage and work guarantees and structuring benefits packages.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Heh
by Lennie on Thu 11th Nov 2010 12:45 UTC in reply to "Heh"
Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

"The times are changing"

Are you sure ? This is the latest leaked proposal for ACTA/EU:

http://tacd-ip.org/archives/270

Reply Score: 2

RE: Heh
by Adurbe on Fri 12th Nov 2010 00:48 UTC in reply to "Heh"
Adurbe Member since:
2005-07-06

I think you are right. I would guess part of the reason is the position is getting more and more difficult to properly debate.

For all the 'easy' arguments of for and against, its actually a very complicated topic...

I would be very interested in a followup article, in 6 months or so, if she accomplishes and more importantly How she accomplishes her aims

Reply Score: 2

What did anyone expect
by Vinegar Joe on Thu 11th Nov 2010 12:57 UTC
Vinegar Joe
Member since:
2006-08-16

From an unelected EC apparatchik?

Reply Score: 1

None of what Kroes say makes any sense.
by axilmar on Thu 11th Nov 2010 13:04 UTC
axilmar
Member since:
2006-03-20

It's just politician empty talk hoping to get votes from people that download and view "art" illegally.

Here are some parts of the article that really make no sense at all:

Despite the fact that thanks to the internet the world has gotten smaller than ever before, making it extremely easy for artists to get their creations to as many people as possible, copyright law and the content industry stand in their way.

No, the current copyright law does not prohibit an artist from sharing his/her art with the public. He/she can easily create a website and publish his/her art. Evidence to this is the numerous bands that have released their songs online.

Copyright is supposed to ensure the continued creation of new works, but instead, we see today that copyright is actually stifling art instead of promoting it.

How does art depend on Copyright? if you have inspiration, nothing stops you from making art. Copyright has nothing to do with it.

Instead, that system has ended up giving a more prominent role to intermediaries than to artists. It irritates the public who often cannot access what artists want to offer and leaves a vacuum which is served by illegal content, depriving the artists of their well deserved remuneration

Well, blame the artists then. The artists go to the big companies in order to promote their work. They bring demo tapes, for example, of songs, to the big companies, in order to sign a contract. Who's fault is that? it's the artists' fault. If they wanted to share their work with the public, they should have just publish it. Thousands, if not millions, are already doing it.

It may suit some vested interests to avoid a debate, or to frame the debate on copyright in moralistic terms that merely demonise millions of citizens.

Translation: millions of citizens are voters, and we don't want to piss them off, do we?

Instead of a dysfunctional system based on a series of cultural Berlin walls, I want a return to sense

What cultural Berlin walls? there are none. People are free to create whatever they want.

The whole thing is clearly bullshit political talk. I am sorry, but that's how it is.

It's absurd to think that people cannot profit from their works. Copyright has been invented so that people can profit for their efforts. Without Copyright, "art" can no longer be a sustainable business.

Reply Score: 0

Valhalla Member since:
2006-01-24

It's absurd to think that people cannot profit from their works. Copyright has been invented so that people can profit for their efforts. Without Copyright, "art" can no longer be a sustainable business.

It's bullshit that copyright was invented for the artists, it was invented for the middlemen (back then those were the printers).

But this is not about abolishing copyright, it's about having it make sense. Ever since copyright was invented to protect the middlemen, they have continued to work hard in extending the scope of copyright.

Back when copyright was introduced there were level-headed people realizing that it would not be beneficial to have copyright be perpetual, and as such copyright became time-based. Obviously the middlemen has since done everything in their power to ensure that copyright will last as long as possible. Not only does this prevent people from sharing works and ideas that should have fallen into the public domain, it's also detrimental to the economy since instead of having to hire people to create new works, the middlemen can continously milk existing art.

Look at Disney for example, they go out of their way to ensure their works never fall out of copyright, despite having built a huge part of their success by basing their work on that by others which has fallen into the public domain.

Films like Snowwhite, Pinocchio, Cinderella, Aladdin, Robin Hood etc, are all based off other people's work that is public domain, given this one would think that Disney wouldn't complain when their works fall into public domain, but not only do they complain, they succesfully lobby for copyright extensions.

I have nothing against copyright as in giving the artist a time-limited right concerning their works. But given that every artist today in every field borrows from those artists before them I see it only fair that their work will also be available to the next generation of artists/consumers to learn from/use/enjoy without being locked behind copyright barriers.

Edit: here is a chart showing the copyright term extensions in the U.S:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Copyright_term.svg

Edited 2010-11-11 14:23 UTC

Reply Score: 5

earksiinni Member since:
2009-03-27

It's bullshit that copyright was invented for the artists, it was invented for the middlemen (back then those were the printers).


That's simply not true. Printers historically have been the piraters because only they had the capital to invest in copying. It's a very recent innovation that consumers are the ones who pirate at the cost of the publishers. Nor have artists "always" sought "control" over their works. The need for control came with 1) a market that didn't exist before 2) a lot of historical conditions that are fiercely debated to this day but that we can roughly say emerged starting around the sixteenth century in Europe as well as 3) the creation of artistic genres that needed copyright.

But as you said, none of that is the point. It's about making copyright make sense. I'm not sure what to make of Kroes' speech; part of me wants to applaud, but another part is unsure. I feel like she is missing the wider point. How will Europe, or the rest of the world, be better with information "in one place", etc.? We already have information and cultural overload as is. A truly brave politician would make sense of it all and deliver her vision to the people while playing the delicate balance of not turning that vision into a totalitarian nightmare.

Ah, but that's called "politics", and as we all know, politicians aren't supposed to be politicians anymore but "real people". Wasn't it Jon Stewart who reminded us that all solutions are easy if only we could be "sane" and "rational" and sit down at the same table together? Because the prerequisite to right decisions is sanity and rationality.

The real problem is that none of the politicians "make sense" when they speak or write, isn't it? Or that the vested interests don't make sense, as Kroes pointed out. If only they had sense, they would see how wrong they were. This is demonstrated by the fact that all of history's injustices and mistakes basically come down to people just not making any darn sense. Gosh.

Now if we could just bring all the world's information to light--if we could complete the promise of the Enlightenment and expose all the world's nonsense to the pristine logic of rational behavior through a political and technological order that organized everything in a supremely rational way!--then we could make rational decisions, which everyone knows have always been the right decisions.

Maybe art, too; that feisty little thing would finally make sense, as well. It's only right that the people be allowed to manufacture culture out of culture commodities, that one cultural capital spurs on the generation of another, right? We need to ensure that the courts allow this order to flourish. With any luck, this opportunity (this permission) will start to make the art more rational, as well.

Isn't the end goal to make art "accessible", after all?

Reply Score: 2

axilmar Member since:
2006-03-20

Look at Disney for example, they go out of their way to ensure their works never fall out of copyright, despite having built a huge part of their success by basing their work on that by others which has fallen into the public domain.


And damn right they do. If there is demand for Disney content, they sure deserve to profit from it.

But given that every artist today in every field borrows from those artists before them I see it only fair that their work will also be available to the next generation of artists/consumers to learn from/use/enjoy without being locked behind copyright barriers.


Stop borrowing. Create your own art. If you can't, then don't. It's that simple.

Reply Score: 2

drahca Member since:
2006-02-23

And damn right they do. If there is demand for Disney content, they sure deserve to profit from it.


You claim they deserve to profit from it. Have you ever thought about who "they" really are 73 years after the release of Snowwhite or 82 years after the release of Steamboat Willie and why they would "deserve" anything? If you really think they deserve to get paid, do you think the relatives of the Brothers Grimm deserve anything too?

Reply Score: 3

Beta Member since:
2005-07-06

No, the current copyright law does not prohibit an artist from sharing his/her art with the public. He/she can easily create a website and publish his/her art. Evidence to this is the numerous bands that have released their songs online.

And yet it doesnt encourage blanket unfettered control of your work either.

An artist may happily sell or give away their works but if someone plays it in a public place, the PRS* can, and do, fine you for not having a licence to broadcast music.
*At least in Britain, see your native licensing bodies for their ridiculous behaviour.

Reply Score: 2

Karitku Member since:
2006-01-12

Indeed, typical politician way she offers no solution to problem instead of asking debate. Well offer us solution so we can debate about it! Also if new EU patent system showed us anything is that in every country there is "Stonewall" Jackson ready to rally troops against Union. And this Union can't handle it, people are already sick of money spend on EU bureaucrazy and new copyright management will cost lot more.

Reply Score: 1

UK is looking at changes
by Adurbe on Fri 12th Nov 2010 01:02 UTC
Adurbe
Member since:
2005-07-06

David Cameron (UK Prime Minister) announced earlier in the week that Britain's intellectual property laws are to be reviewed over 6 months to "make them fit for the internet age,"

The man leading the review is Prof. Ian Hargreaves. The same guy who was involved in setting up the Office of Communications (Ofcom)*

The UK is still a major player in the world of IP and the findings of this review could prove a real game changer.


*Ofcom is the independent regulator and competition authority for the UK communications industries

Reply Score: 2