Copyright vs Copywrong

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FrankChurch
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Re: Copyright vs Copywrong

Postby FrankChurch » Mon Jan 23, 2012 4:40 pm

Chomsky did an interview in 2009, where he was asked about this:

"Question: Moving on to another kind of piracy, one that is much more domestic: How do you believe the United States and other industrialized nations should handle intellectual property, with specific regards to online piracy and what is called illegal online downloading? If I go to my computer and download the latest U2 album "illegally", is that justified?

Chomsky: Well, again, depending on how broadly we cast the net, in a very narrow sense I think a case can be made saying it's illegal - here's a creative artist who created a song and wants to survive, and he can't survive if people just steal. So in a very narrow sense, yes [copyright laws are] justified. As a broader question, however, why do we have copyright laws? Is that the moral way or even the economically efficient way to support the creative arts? I don't think so; there are better ways. For example, it should be, in a free democratic society, a sort of responsibility arrived at by democratic decision to maintain adequate support for creative arts as we do for science. If that were done, the artists wouldn't need copyrights to survive. That's economically more efficient, I believe, and morally more justified.

Download piracy on the internet is a very small part of the whole intellectual properties issue. The main aspect of it is the highly protectionist rules which are written into the World Trade Organization vastly beyond anything that preceded them, guaranteeing patent rights to major corporations like pharmaceutical corporations. Now, there's a lot to say about that. If that patent regime had existed in the 18th and 19th centuries and even through the early 20th century, the United States and England would not be rich, developed countries. They developed substantially by what we now call piracy. So take, say, England, which goes back farther. A large part of English wealth which helped initiate the early Industrial Revolution was derived from straight piracy. Sir Francis Drake, who provided huge sums to England, was a pirate. He was robbing Spanish ships on the high seas. He became a great hero. He contributed substantially to English economic development. Now beyond that, England did not pioneer modern industrial technology. It stole a lot of it from Ireland. They had an advanced weaving industry, and England conquered and destroyed it. It stole a lot from India. When India was conquered, it had, by the standards of the day, an advanced economy. England imposed free market principles on India, but it itself had an extremely high protection to protect early British textile industry. It also took highly skilled technicians from the Low Countries - Belgium and the Netherlands - to England to teach them technology, and the US did the same. The US, as soon as it became an independent country, imposed extremely high tariffs - this was under Alexander Hamilton's economic development program. It imposed very high tariffs to protect early American industry from superior British goods. It went through personal business textiles; then later it was steel, so Andrew Carnegie made the first billion dollar corporation. That went right up to the Second World War. Then, through the period of its major growth, the US was by far the most protectionist country. In fact, in many ways, it remains so, although it's not called protectionism. A great deal of the advanced American economy, like in other countries but strikingly here, comes straight out of the state sector: computers, internet, information technology, and so on. A lot of it is a radical violation of free trade rules which we enforce on the poor.

To get back to the intellectual property rights, as I said, if those had been placed during the period of the growth of the contemporary rich countries, they wouldn't have developed. Now we call it piracy, but then we called it development when it was for ourselves. There's a name for this in economic history. It's called "kicking away the ladder". First you use certain bits of development, and then you kick away the ladder so others can't follow you. That's what's called international economic policy in the World Trade Organization and so on. So, if there's any justification for thatÉ again, it's how broadly you cast the net. The pharmaceutical corporations, for example, insist that they need high protection in the World Trade Organization, because they need it for research and development. However, they are only responsible for a minority of their own research and development, and that part is largely more oriented toward the marketing end. A lot of risky work is done through public funds and foundations. In fact, it's in a few estimates that if the research and development budgets of the pharmaceuticals were 100 percent taken over by the public, and the corporations were compelled to function in a market society to sell for market prices, the saving to consumers would just be colossal. But, they have enough power so that they can sustain that system, and there are a lot of other examples like it. So, as always, it depends on how broadly you cast the net, and how broadly you look at the issue. From a very narrow point of view, going back to your original question, you can say yes, the creative artist is being harmed. From a broader point of view, there are a lot of other things to say. "

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Re: Copyright vs Copywrong

Postby Lori Koonce » Mon Jan 23, 2012 4:47 pm

FrankChurch wrote:Barber's views on this reminds me of people on the left and right who think the Illuminati is around every corner, but this shady group of teen info-crooks go from robbing liquor stores to stealing music. There is just little evidence that widespread downloading hurts sales.


Frank

Ever wonder why the URL is also called the domain name? Well, if my domain is the area that I'm responsible for, my home for instance, then you are totally wrong with the above assumption.

If it is a crime for you to enter my physical home and take my possessions, how much MORE should it be wrong for you to do so from my cyber-home.

I agree with Barber. Go ahead and defend theft, but do not expect me or him or any other artist to agree with you.

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Re: Copyright vs Copywrong

Postby FrankChurch » Mon Jan 23, 2012 4:47 pm

My beef with Barber and Harlan is they see this through a narrow prism, not seeing Chomsky's point about how the WTO uses patents to protect big bio-tech firms and big Pharma.

The narrow view can be dealt with by more arts funding, more education about how art is essential to a sane culture. The big picture is why our side tends to sour on these rigged laws.

----

If you look at Noam's books, you will notice most of them are copywritten to a trust. This is to ensure that his grandchildren will have some money when he dies. Point of fact: he has a daughter who lives in El Salvador and has two children. She is an activist there, so I'm sure her family has very little money.

Another point of fact is that he would never sue somebody for stealing a copyright. Remember, this is the same guy who advised curious people to steal business magazines, not buy them.

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Re: Copyright vs Copywrong

Postby Lori Koonce » Mon Jan 23, 2012 4:54 pm

"From a very narrow point of view, going back to your original question, you can say yes, the creative artist is being harmed"

Frank, even your beloved Chomsky agrees with Barber and I on this one, so maybe you should shut up!

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Re: Copyright vs Copywrong

Postby FrankChurch » Tue Jan 24, 2012 1:08 pm

No, I agree. He says they 'may' be harmed.

My beef is with big corporations which your side is avoiding.

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Re: Copyright vs Copywrong

Postby Lori Koonce » Tue Jan 24, 2012 2:32 pm

FrankChurch wrote:No, I agree. He says they 'may' be harmed.

My beef is with big corporations which your side is avoiding.



You idiot, if I cannot feed my family or otherwise be a productive member of society because people like you are STEALING my livelyhood, then I AM being harmed.

Think of it this way. Cris can only do what she does because Barber has a day job. One that gives them the ability to do other tings. If he ever lost it, even for a few weeks, I'm almost certian that it would be a great hardship on the two of them. Most the Artists I know have day jobs, and are lucky to have ones flexible enough to let them do what it is they do.

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Re: Copyright vs Copywrong

Postby Moderator » Tue Jan 24, 2012 2:44 pm

FrankChurch wrote:No, I agree. He says they 'may' be harmed.

My beef is with big corporations which your side is avoiding.


No, we're not. You seem to feel it's okay to victimize big corporations (and by bleed-through, their artists) and I'm saying copyright violations are wrong whether they victimize Disney or victimize PawsHere Productions (my production company with my wife). At what point is there a difference? Is JC Penney less of a victim of shoplifting than your local antiques dealer? Is it okay to shoplift at Penney's but not the local guy?

Where does victimhood officially begin for you?

Frank, you've been skating around the copyright issue with a constant barrage of irrelevant issues for the last several days. This is not about the size of the victims, or their business plan. This is not about how corporations may or may not screw artists. This is not about how artists sometimes are stupid enough to let corporations screw them. This is most emphatically not about the business practices of anyone or anything that holds a legally-obtained copyright.

The topic for me is, and has always been, that illegal downloads and/or copying and use of copyrighted material screws artists out of a fair living.

It's about how anyone who downloads one of Cris' songs has their hand in her pocket. It's how anyone who uses one of my photographs without my permission are taking food from my table. It's how writers like Harlan Ellison -- who has never been a corporate patsy -- have to sell their private comic book collections to make ends meet because they don't make money when their books are loaded wholesale onto download and torrent websites (like BitTorrent or MegaUpload or the ignorant fool Meisterburger who refused to take Harlan's work down a couple years ago then got angry because I has his ISP take HIM down instead-- but he simply moved to an offshore provider and to my knowledge continues his parasitic ways to this day). It's about how bloodsucking criminals like MegUpload flip the bird at thousands of artists while they themselves leech money from the actual creators of a work.

It's how people who say things like "Well, they ought to appreciate the readership, since I'd never read the book if I didn't get it for free" are essentially telling the rape victim to lay back and enjoy it.

It's about how the people doing the downloading are thugs who are having an impact upon artists -- independent and corporate alike -- and ruining the ability for the person or entity who owns the copyright to make decisions about their own property. It's that the ONLY person/entity who is entitled to the artwork and making the decisions about it is the copyright holder -- not the general public and certainly not some thug who envisions themselves as a latter day Robin Hood by stealing artwork from poor people and sending it out to the masses under some delusion that the masses are entitled to private works of art.

You're the person who keeps dragging the topic into other areas.
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Re: Copyright vs Copywrong

Postby robochrist » Tue Jan 24, 2012 6:24 pm

Frank, your own "prism" would be widened if you ever had to struggle as an artist or a writer. You would learn - quickly! - how many try to get around paying you, or paying you fairly. Likewise, ideas get lifted by cultural barricudas all the time. If you're starving on the streets and your art is all you're good at, you'll not want but NEED payment on everything you have out there. That's what copyrights are for, personal protection.

Without that empathy, your opinion is all gas from the ass.

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Re: Copyright vs Copywrong

Postby FrankChurch » Tue Jan 24, 2012 6:27 pm

Wow, Barber. I'm really sorry, but you are devastatingly deluded on this issue. I must have said that I am against people stealing from artists. I'm not going to say the same thing for a hundred times and my ideal still being catagorized as "yea, steal everybodies work." Jeez.

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Re: Copyright vs Copywrong

Postby FrankChurch » Tue Jan 24, 2012 6:29 pm

WHAT PART OF THE COPYRIGHT SYSTEM MOSTLY BENEFITS THE UPPER 1% DON'T YOU PEOPLE GET!!

Basic civics, guys, that's all I ask.

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Re: Copyright vs Copywrong

Postby Moderator » Tue Jan 24, 2012 7:21 pm

FrankChurch wrote:WHAT PART OF THE COPYRIGHT SYSTEM MOSTLY BENEFITS THE UPPER 1% DON'T YOU PEOPLE GET!!

Basic civics, guys, that's all I ask.


You mean the rough-estimate 3K that hasn't found its way into MY pocket in the last two years? And I guess I didn't have the fights with both Airlock Alpha and the Wall Street Journal this last year? (The WSJ being the very icon of the 1%)

Yeah, it's only $3K. I hope the folks who downloaded Cris' albums enjoyed the music, 'cause she certainly didn't enjoy the rape. Fortunately, as Lori notes, Cris has my corporate income to fall back upon. Unfortunately her label owner, her piano player, and her music arranger don't have that luxury. They HAVE to make a living based on bookings (way down in the recession) and their monies derived from copyrights. Cris just got back confirmation of four arrangement copyrights she requested a year ago.

Actually, Frank, you're jumping all over the place again. Almost as if more than one person was posting.

But Copyright does little to protect the 1% and does mountains to protect the little guys. Once again you're conflating copyright with business practices.

Without copyright the music writer woudl not own their own songs. Without copyright Harlan would not own his books. Without copyright every story, book, painting, picture, film, radio show, record, script, etc would be public domain for you to download. Nobody would see a dime.

Your posts suggest you don't understand the core issue, which makes it pointless for me to continue the topic.
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Re: Copyright vs Copywrong

Postby Moderator » Tue Jan 24, 2012 7:31 pm

FrankChurch wrote:Wow, Barber. I'm really sorry, but you are devastatingly deluded on this issue. I must have said that I am against people stealing from artists. I'm not going to say the same thing for a hundred times and my ideal still being catagorized as "yea, steal everybodies work." Jeez.



Let's look at this, shall we?

I'm married to a singer. I know a lot of people who own copyrights, myself included. I know writers. I know musicians. I know artists like Lance Green, James Coleman and Ruthann Greenblatt. I know photographers. I know poets, and screenwriters and dancers and actors and directors. Yes, directors, and people who want to direct when they grow up. I know what we experience on a regular basis. I know first-hand what the impact of illegal downloads has done to the artistic community. I not only know a lot of artists, I understand large industry. Work there all the time.

Again, which of us is deluded?
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Re: Copyright vs Copywrong

Postby FrankChurch » Tue Jan 24, 2012 7:44 pm

Barber, if you meant somebody actually stole her cd from the store than you would be right, but someone listening to her songs for free to preview is not the same thing. She is a great lady but she doesn't own the ether.

I could make the point that the previews could get people to check her out live, which would help her more. Since we don't know, you are only guessing. And, can you prove that the person who downloads her songs would have bought them if they could? Just as I may listen to a song on the radio or youtube, doesn't mean I would buy it, especially if it was an artist I didn't want to support, like Lil Wayne, who is clever, but I don't want to contribute to his next gun purchase.

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Re: Copyright vs Copywrong

Postby Moderator » Tue Jan 24, 2012 7:50 pm

Frank, you're either not reading or hideously forgetful.

A Chinese group pruchased and then copied all of her CDs, distributing them in China. A 2K-advance distribution deal in China and Hong Kong deal was flattened by their actions. Her full songs are not available for preview.

Her stolen songs do little to advance her career. People who do not pay $15 for a CD are certainly not going to pay $30 for a concert ticket. That's absurd.

You knew this at one point.

Oh, and this point? "And, can you prove that the person who downloads her songs would have bought them if they could?"

Translation?

"Yes, ma'am, you might as well just lay back and enjoy the rape, 'cause I'm in control and you're just gonna have to go along."
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Re: Copyright vs Copywrong

Postby Moderator » Tue Jan 24, 2012 7:58 pm

And, my final note 'cause this is just too stupid to pursue, but this last comment?

Frank Church wrote: Just as I may listen to a song on the radio or youtube, doesn't mean I would buy it, especially if it was an artist I didn't want to support, like Lil Wayne, who is clever, but I don't want to contribute to his next gun purchase.


This is precisely what I mean when I say you're not grasping the issue.

a) If you're watching on Youtube or listening on the radio that's fine. You didn't upload, so you're not breaching the copyright contract (the Youtube uploader might be, but not you and not the radio station)

b) Not buying is also acceptable as long as you don't illegally download or rip a copy. If you can't afford or simply don't want to pay, walk away. You don't need the track.

c) Ripping a copy or downloading it even though you feel you wouldn't buy it is hypocritical bunk. It's the logic of an irresponsible mind. Pay for what you use.

d) Your scenario is exactly what I mean when I say you miss the topic entirely. This isn't about legal uses of copyrighted material, it's about illegal copying and distribution.

The Youtube videos featuring Cris' music and my photographs are acceptable because WE decided what to do, not a stranger.

THAT is the issue.

Until you understand that, there's little sense in continuing.
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