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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MollyC
Member since:
2006-07-04

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

Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

MollyC,

I appreciate and respect your opinion.

"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."

I believe this part of your argument is flawed though because earlier times didn't get to benefit from mass reproduction technology. In addition, the cost and effort of producing original works has gone way down (anyone write a book on typeset press lately?) - I think that has much more to do with the increased production than copyright law.

Reply Parent Score: 3

TechGeek Member since:
2006-01-14

MollyC:

I think you are wrong. I think Avatar would have been made even with changes to copyright. Here's why: Avatar made more money at the box office than any other movie ever, pulling in $760 million. Most copying happens after media release. (except for crappy theater cam versions) Even if you don't release to video, the movie was still hugely profitable. Now, the dynamic would be different. But at the end of the day, even without copyright, hollywood for the most part would be ok. They make money off of live performances and rebroadcasts. Since they control those outlets totally, there is no problem. Even if they did release dvds, enough people would pay to still make it profitable. Most people who pay do so because they want to own a copy, otherwise they would just rent.

Reply Parent Score: 3

cfgr Member since:
2009-07-18

Even if they did release dvds, enough people would pay to still make it profitable. Most people who pay do so because they want to own a copy, otherwise they would just rent.


I think you're a bit naive there.

You often hear people saying "the entertainment industry is a dinosaur, they should change their business model or go extinct."

Well, that's true. The industry is changing their model, toward a streaming/cloud/online account/DRM based model where you no longer own anything, pay monthly and are entirely at mercy of the company holding your account. Violate the TOS and lose your games/songs/movies. This is what happens when neither side respects the spirit of copyrights any more.

Copyrights basically said that one copy = one item. If you buy it, you own it. Now you pay for a service and own nothing. Both greedy pirates and greedy companies have pushed everyone in that direction.

The victims here are those who actually pay for their copies and want to keep them as their own. The same people you described.

(The original) copyright is a good thing, abusing it in one way or the other is not.

Reply Parent Score: 1

quarkvanlepton Member since:
2008-03-08

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).


I also honestly wish the world would turn around my likes and dislikes.

Reply Parent Score: 2

zima Member since:
2005-07-06

The entities behind big budget films control the distribution channels through which they get most profits, they assure initial scarcity of high quality experience; it wouldn't make that much of a difference to them. Similar with TV shows.

Plus, the costs are often very superfluous ( http://eugenia.queru.com/2011/06/02/oh-come-on-george/ & http://eugenia.queru.com/2011/04/15/celebral-hard-sci-fi-and-realis... & http://eugenia.queru.com/2011/04/08/filmmaking-outsource-it/ ).
When watching "Monsters" ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monsters_(2010_film) ), already a cult classic, you probably wouldn't guess it cost less than 500k ...and it certainly isn't "akin to amatuer YouTube videos or whatever"[sic]. Yes, it does require talent - but isn't that what we want to promote?

Most of "well-known artists" music is crap, too; you remember the good examples best.
Heck, most of everything is crap, that's just the way it is.

We did get games of types other than Angry Birds or Tetris (hm, yes, the most popular game of all time...) from ~"non-copyright" environments (and we would certainly get something different, probably "more", if the whole world would be in that direction)

Roguelikes for example - when run with some of the graphical interfaces available, they essentially are Diablo ( http://www.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/issues/issue_48/289-S... "[The idea for Diablo] was modified over and over until it solidified when [Dave Brevik] was in college and got hooked on … Moria/Angband."; http://www.pcworld.com/article/158850/the_ten_greatest_pc_games_eve... Rogue #6 in "Ten Greatest PC Game Ever" by PC World, 2009; http://archive.salon.com/tech/feature/2000/01/27/nethack/ (open via Internet Archive; archive.org link gets fubared by OSNews comment system) Salon about NetHack: "The best game ever", "one of the finest gaming experiences the computing world has to offer.")

Or MUDs - slap a GUI on top, get a MMORPG (with Crossfire multiplayer online RPG being an obvious intermediate stage). Generally, the whole phenomena of free to play MMOGs, which are offered as a service. Or "indy" / "academic" games of their era becoming the later mainstream, what pushes us forward (say, Netrek, with an impressive mileage already and "pioneered many technologies used in later games, and has been cited as prior art in patent disputes"); most of the big budget ones seemingly just among passing fads...


Most artists struggle as is anyway, so copyright world isn't very helpful to them in any event.
(and don't rewrite history; an explosion of artistic activity seems to have happened when the world became "smaller" and more urban over few short centuries; one is happening now, when the world becomes even smaller via the web; connection with gradual copyrights introduction in various countries - or, especially, rates of enforcement in a given place vs. its artistic output - doesn't seem so clear)

Edited 2011-09-11 23:18 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1