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Fred56

The right to copy

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Article I, section 8 of the US Constitution

 

"The Congress shall have power ... To promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries;"

 

The wording does suggest that Congress may only grant exclusive rights in order to promote the progress of science and the useful arts. But if granting these exclusive rights actually reduces progress, it would be unconstitutional, right? As it is, patents have little use (they are often not detailed enough to be much use), and instead are a hindrance. In many cases, employees are forbidden to read patents, as that way when they get sued for patent infringement on something similar they developed, they can argue that they invented it independently. In this age of information, there must be a better way to promote progress than with patents.

 

Also, it says that Congress may grant exclusive rights to the inventors and authors, not to megacorporations that buy them from the inventors/authors.

 

Copyright violation isn't theft, it's copyright violation.

 

Just to nitpick a little more with D H,

Copyright violation is refusing to accept the restrictions on our rights that Congress has placed on us by exclusively granting those rights to inventors and authors to promote the progress science and the useful arts. In particular, it is neither theft nor a violation of anyone's rights (it is a refusal to accept a restriction on your rights).

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Who gives a shit what they thought? They didn't even regard the right to live wihtout slavery as a "right".

 

I do.

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When it decreases the market value of the copyrighted work it is effectively theft...

 

Why haven't Intel been arrested then? The market value of AMD's recent processors has definitely been decreased by the existance of the Core2Duo.

 

"Taking" potential sales is not theft, especially when there's evidence that people who download music tend to spend much more on music.

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Perhaps eventually there will be only original-only 'copies' eventually perhaps, with no way to reproduce them. and we won't discard so much stuff as we do now, because it will all be worth a lot more, like binning a Van Gogh, or a Picasso, say, no-one would do that.

And all published info will be essentially 'free', at least money-wise. Maybe money will become redundant (like the concept of owning words).

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Just to nitpick a little more with D H,

Copyright violation is refusing to accept the restrictions on our rights that Congress has placed on us by exclusively granting those rights to inventors and authors to promote the progress science and the useful arts. In particular, it is neither theft nor a violation of anyone's rights (it is a refusal to accept a restriction on your rights).

 

If the author has the exclusive right to the material, it would seem that you do not have the right to copy that material. Copying without permission is a violation of the right of the author.

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Why haven't Intel been arrested then? The market value of AMD's recent processors has definitely been decreased by the existance of the Core2Duo.

 

Are you saying Intel "copied" AMD's original works?

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Are you saying Intel "copied" AMD's original works?

 

You said that copyright violation was theft because it decreased the market value of the thing being stolen.

 

I pointed out that this was bollocks beacuse:

 

a. decreasing market value isn't theft.

 

and

 

b. copyright infringement doesn't necessarily decrease market value, and there is evidence that it increases it.

 

I notice you only quoted half of my post, by the way.

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You said that copyright violation was theft because it decreased the market value of the thing being stolen.

 

I pointed out that this was bollocks beacuse:

 

a. decreasing market value isn't theft.

 

and

 

b. copyright infringement doesn't necessarily decrease market value, and there is evidence that it increases it.

 

I notice you only quoted half of my post, by the way.

 

So you're saying if you write a paper that's worth $5 a copy on the open market and someone copies it in violation of your copyright and gives away millions of copies for free that it hasn't decreased the value of your work? That they haven't robbed you of the market value of your work? Do you really want us to believe that this is your understanding of what copyright is all about?

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So you're saying if you write a paper that's worth $5 a copy on the open market and someone copies it in violation of your copyright and gives away millions of copies for free that it hasn't decreased the value of your work?

 

I'm saying it isn't theft.

 

The reason I'm saying it isn't theft is simple: because it isn't theft. Just as "decreasing market value" isn't theft, or even a crime. It's how you decrease market value that is important legally, and if your argument held any water this would not be the case.

 

And, as I have pointed out many times (and you have ignored the same number of times) there is evidence for filesharing increasing the market value rather than decreasing it. Many bands "encourage" filesharing in order to get their music heard, although of course they aren't allowed to say on record because of their contract, so I admit that it's difficult to verify in most cases.

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I'm saying it isn't theft.

 

All I said was that it is "effectively" theft. It deprives the copyright owner of revenue they are rightfully entitled to...

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All I said was that it is "effectively" theft. It deprives the copyright owner of revenue they are rightfully entitled to...

 

But the revenue doesn't necessarily exist?

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If the author has the exclusive right to the material, it would seem that you do not have the right to copy that material. Copying without permission is a violation of the right of the author.

 

But why would an author have exclusive rights to a material? Because the government reduced your rights and increased theirs. Their exclusive rights were given to them, and removed from you. If this transfer of rights had not occurred, then you would have a right to copy the material.

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But the revenue doesn't necessarily exist?

 

That's irrelevant. The copyright owner is legally and rightfully entitled to any potential market revenue his/her works might bring without having to compete with illegal copies of their own works.

 

But why would an author have exclusive rights to a material?

 

Why would an author not have exclusive rights to their own creation? If you sat down and spent your time writing a book why would anyone else have any rights at all to "your" creation?

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That's irrelevant. The copyright owner is legally and rightfully entitled to any potential market revenue his/her works might bring without having to compete with illegal copies of their own works.

 

Which is why copyright law exists. "Taking away potential revenue by breaching copyright law" is a breach in copyright law, not theft - otherwise the law wouldn't need to exist.

 

Of course, the reality is more complicated than that - I must point out again that a neutral study (assuming the canadian government is neutral) found that people who downloaded music illegally tended to spend much more on music, and the musicians who explicitly or implictly support filesharing.

 

Why would an author not have exclusive rights to their own creation? If you sat down and spent your time writing a book why would anyone else have any rights at all to "your" creation?

 

The first aim of the writer, the musician, the comedian, should be to entertain. File sharing is an excellent way to get your stuff seen, heard or read by as many people as possible!

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Which is why copyright law exists. "Taking away potential revenue by breaching copyright law" is a breach in copyright law, not theft - otherwise the law wouldn't need to exist.

 

If the idea of labeling the loss of potential revenue as "effective" theft is something you can't understand there's not much point in trying to explain it. The end result of taking away someone's potential revenue is the same as simply taking their revenue, hence "effectively" theft.

 

The first aim of the writer, the musician, the comedian, should be to entertain. File sharing is an excellent way to get your stuff seen, heard or read by as many people as possible!

 

Who do you think you are declaring that someone else's goal should be entertainment over income? Do you think the author of a math book should write to entertain people instead of educating them? They should write simply for the fun of it? That any expectation of revenue for their time and effort should come in second to your expectation? That a musician's goal should be the entertainment of others over any other personal goals they may harbor?

 

File sharing maybe a way to get your stuff seen but it's still the copyright owner's RIGHT to make that decision. Anyone else that makes that decision for them is violating that right.

 

I wonder how many artists fell a 100,000 sales short of earning a Platinum Record while 100s of 1000s of illegal copies of their work was being circulated. How did file sharing help them to earn that achievement?

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Why would an author not have exclusive rights to their own creation? If you sat down and spent your time writing a book why would anyone else have any rights at all to "your" creation?

 

Because to have exclusive rights, they would have to tell 6,000,000,000 other people what not to do? What gives them the right to tell everyone else what not to do (well, other than the government)? Another reason is that people can independently think of nearly the same thing, then how can they both have exclusive rights to the same idea? Perhaps we should still be paying patent rights to the heirs of the inventor of the wheel?

 

Anyhow, these are some reasons why an author/inventor perhaps shouldn't have exclusive rights to their works. But you didn't answer my question, which is why should they have exclusive exclusive rights?

 

If the idea of labeling the loss of potential revenue as "effective" theft is something you can't understand there's not much point in trying to explain it. The end result of taking away someone's potential revenue is the same as simply taking their revenue, hence "effectively" theft.

 

He seems to understand it just fine, eg from his example of competitors "stealing" profits is also "effectively theft" from an economic, but not legal, perspective.

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why should they have exclusive exclusive rights?

 

It's their work, their creation. If I paint a picture it should be mine, all mine. No one else has any right to expect any "entitlement" to the fruits of my creativity or my labor in producing it.

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*wonders if fred56 thinks i have a right to copy his credit card details*

Absolutely. No worries, you'd end up with the empty list {}, finance credit is something I don't personally subscribe to (any more). I got a bit sick of being ripped off, basically, so if there's nothing to rip, I'm ok with it.

Perhaps eventually there will be only original-only 'copies' eventually perhaps

And you didn't spot my palindromic semantics... oh, well.

 

If I paint a picture it should be mine, all mine. No one else has any right to expect any "entitlement" to the fruits of my creativity or my labor in producing it.

Except to achieve or ensure this, you'd need to ensure that any opportunity for it to be copied is avoided rigorously, like shutting it away in a vault forever, or burying it miles underground, or something. Alternatively remove all means of copying it from any other person who sees it, including removing any image of it from their brain...

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But why would an author have exclusive rights to a material? Because the government reduced your rights and increased theirs. Their exclusive rights were given to them, and removed from you. If this transfer of rights had not occurred, then you would have a right to copy the material.

 

Because the author created it?

 

The government didn't take away the right to copy; the right never existed in the first place.

 

Of course, the reality is more complicated than that - I must point out again that a neutral study (assuming the canadian government is neutral) found that people who downloaded music illegally tended to spend much more on music, and the musicians who explicitly or implictly support filesharing.

 

And the artists (or other copyright owners) are free to make the work available for free download. It's their call.

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Except to achieve or ensure this, you'd need to ensure that any opportunity for it to be copied is avoided rigorously, like shutting it away in a vault forever, or burying it miles underground, or something. Alternatively remove all means of copying it from any other person who sees it, including removing any image of it from their brain...

 

Why? Copyright gives me exclusive rights to my work, not anyone else. It does not grant anyone else the right to copy my work without my authorization.

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Because the author created it?

 

But a copy is something that someone else created.

 

The government didn't take away the right to copy; the right never existed in the first place.

 

I think that you will find that copying is an intrinsic part of learning and human behavior. Look up mirror neurons. We copy, mimick, and model people's actions, behaviors, emotions, thinking processes, all as part of learning and life in general. It should be no surprise that we want to copy people's discoveries and creations.

 

There is no intrinsic right not to be copied. However, our government has decided to temporarily grant exclusive rights to authors and inventors as a way to encourage them to write and invent, and share their work with us. Copyright is more like a contract than a right.

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And the artists (or other copyright owners) are free to make the work available for free download. It's their call.

 

It's not though; if they want to have the ability to put records into stores, then they need to sign a deal with a publisher, who forbids this kind of behaviour. We've only seen the smallest and the largest (Radiohead being the obvious example) persuing this method of distribution for a reason.

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It does not grant anyone else the right to copy my work without my authorization.

Absolutely, so what do you do if I look at your original work, then reproduce an almost exact copy (from my photographic recall), except 'it'? What will 'it' (the law) do about this? Or about the 'photographic' copy in my head?

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I think the defenders of some perceived "right" to copy need to do two things:

  1. Try your arguments in a court of law and see what a judge thinks about copyright law. Do you think your arguments will hold up there?
  2. Put yourself in an artist's shoes and imagine that you have created some song, picture, sculpture, etc. that turns out to be desired by millions, has tremendous value, and yet you get jack-diddly-squat because someone, someone that thinks like you, copies it and gives it to the world for free. Is that what "your" rights under copyright law mean to you?

Copyright law is plain and clear so I'll not try to help you understand it any further! If you really don't understand it then I'm simply a failure at trying to explain it. If you really do understand it, and you're just pretending not to, then you're just trolling and there's no point in discussing it with you.

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