Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 4th Sep 2011 15:48 UTC
Legal "Secret U.S. government cables show a stunning willingness by senior Canadian officials to appease American demands (more here) for a U.S.-style copyright law here. The documents describe Canadian officials as encouraging American lobbying efforts. They also cite cabinet minister Maxime Bernier raising the possibility of showing U.S. officials a draft bill before tabling it in Parliament. The cables, from the U.S. Embassy in Ottawa, even have a policy director for then industry minister Tony Clement suggesting it might help U.S. demands for a tough copyright law if Canada were placed among the worst offenders on an international piracy watch list. Days later, the U.S. placed Canada alongside China and Russia on the list." Unbelievable. Suddenly I understand why the SFPD had no qualms about acting as henchmen for Apple goons to violate someone's constitutional rights. If a government is messed up, it only makes sense this is reflected in the corporate policies of its prime corporations.
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RE: I am not a fan of the DMCA
by rr7.num7 on Sun 4th Sep 2011 17:40 UTC in reply to "I am not a fan of the DMCA"
Member since:

Sorry, but it's not stealing. I don't agree with copyright infringement, but saying that it is stealing is simply wrong. When people copy a cd, they are not taking away the original. And spare me the "but they're taking away the opportunity of a sale" nonsense, because by that reasoning we might as well call it murder. The arguement would be that "they are killing a potential sale" or "piracy is killing the music industry".

So, let's be rational and call things by their right names.

Reply Parent Score: 7

Alfman Member since:


"Sorry, but it's not stealing. I don't agree with copyright infringement"

I concur with your post.

However I have a tangential question for you and others:

While copying is wrong in our society, do you believe it needs to be wrong in all societies?

In theory, social norms and laws could simply entitle the public to copy works as a fundamental right. Would those who've grown up against this backdrop be at a real loss compared to us? (note I'm deliberately avoiding the topic of migrating from a copyright society to a non-copyright one).

Would there still be artists?
I think so, even if not the ones who do it for money only.

Would there still be performers?
I think it would probably encourage even more live performances than today, and people would be willing to spend more to see them.

Would there still be films?
Well, it'd certainly change hollywood business models to say the least, but I believe independent film makers would still be around because they enjoy it - there would still be movie stars.

There are a lot more questions...but I'm just soliciting input on the "information wants to be free" philosophy.

Reply Parent Score: 4

Morgan Member since:

I'll bite.

While copying is wrong in our society, do you believe it needs to be wrong in all societies?

It's only wrong in our society because our society (speaking of the world in general) is obsessed with the procurement of wealth and power. If something comes along to threaten that, it is quickly struck down by those with vested interests, including our own government here in the U.S.

You may be saying, "But the U.S. government doesn't make creative works so why does it care?" It cares because the vast majority of the flawed humans who make up our government are having their pockets lined by the entertainment and software industries' lobbyists. Follow the money and you'll find the path to the ever-dwindling rights of the people regarding copyright and patents.

Would there still be artists?

Definitely! There are varying opinions on what is considered art and who is considered an artist these days, but the ones who started doing it for the love of the craft will continue. They may have to work day jobs, but they will still create for self-fulfillment. Speaking strictly of music, the superstar acts that you see on the top 40 music charts are but a tiny fraction of the musical talent out there. The biggest chunk of musicians and bands out there are independent acts or were until recently, and most of those live a hard but fulfilling life of writing, recording and touring year round. They do it because it is who they are.

Would there still be performers?

Yes, see above. Live performance would be the primary means of income for performing artists, just as it was before the phonograph was invented.

Would there still be films?

Yes. Keep in mind the very first filmmakers were independent because there was no movie industry. Take away the industry we have now, and you will still have the creative visionaries, only constrained by budget. And some of the best films ever put to celluloid (or hard drive, as the case may be) did it on a shoestring budget.

At heart, I'm in the "information wants to be free" crowd, but I'm also realistic. The state of things today is what we as a society have allowed it to be. If we want change, change will happen regardless of governments and industry interests. But it's going to take another generation or two, I think.

Reply Parent Score: 8

WorknMan Member since:

There are a lot more questions...but I'm just soliciting input on the "information wants to be free" philosophy.

It's not really about 'information wants to be free', as much as it is you have this content out there that's infinitely reproducible and instantly transportable, and then you have people telling you not to copy it. Well, guess what? Whether right or wrong, if it can be copied, it WILL be copied. You can scream and whine about it all you want, try to sue people or get laws passed to try and curtail it, but it doesn't change the fundamental fact that there's absolutely NOTHING you can do to prevent copying.

In terms of digital content, the traditional economics of supply and demand really doesn't work here, because as long as a digital good exists, the supply is always infinite. And if we're going to figure out how to make this fit into traditional economics (or change traditional economics to fit this new reality), we'd better do it while the goods are still digital, before somebody invents a gadget that allows us to reproduce physical objects, and turns this economy on its ass. I mean, if we could reproduce a car instantly for $0, how many people do you think would still buy one? Answer: Not many.

Edited 2011-09-05 02:38 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3

MollyC Member since:

I don't think the big movie spectacles like LOTR or Avatar or things like that would be produced. I don't think the high quality TV shows like Breaking Bad or Mad Men would be produced in your world.

Now, if you're satisfied with small films produced in people's garages or TV shows that are akin to amatuer YouTube videos or whatever, then fine, allow rampant copying. But I LIKE the big movies the big spectacles that cost hundreds of millions of dollars to produce. I like the high quality TV shows that cost big money to make. And yes, I like the music produced by well-known artists over the decades (as much as such music is derided by the artsy-fartsy crowd, most of the "indy" music that hey push is forgettable garbage). And while I don't play video games like I did when I was younger, I like the big budget video games like Halo and the like; I wouldn't want the video game industry to be stuck with Angry Birds or Tetris (as fun as games like that may be, that is the only kind of game we would get in a non-copyright world).

Big budget movies, TV, software, video games would not be produced if there is no chance for decent "return on investment". We'd be stuck with small budget stuff. Ther's a place for those, but there's a place for the big budget stuff too.

I don't belive in the "starving artist" doctrine either. There's nothing wrong with artists/creators making money. They shouldn't have to starve or live by begging rich patrons to pay for private performances or whatever. We had a patronage system in the past - only the rich could afford to be patrons and only the rich enjoyed the arts produced, and there wasn't nearly as much art produced back then either. That time is of the past, and good riddance.

Reply Parent Score: 3

unclefester Member since:

The answer is already known from history.

There would be far more artists and musicians working (mostly part-time). However the majority wouldn't earn any more than a modest wage. A very small number would be multi-millionaires. None would be super wealthy.

Reply Parent Score: 3