handdator

Visa fullständig version : COPYRIGHT LAW: Private yes - Commercial NO


2006-08-03, 13:47
Dear Pirates!



I support you totally with your issues on patent and privacy, but wanted to point out a big problem in the copyright changes you are proposing.

You say:

""The monopoly for the copyright holder to exploit an aesthetic work commercially should be limited to five years after publication."" and ""If you haven't made your money back in the first one or two years, you never will.""



It is true that 90% of money earned with applied arts like photography or illustration is made within the first half year even.

But you are forgetting a big point. Companies around Europe are cutting down on their budgets for advertising when it comes to pay artists. They are actually spending more money on marketing and advertising but much less than in the 80s nowadays goes to the artist. The only reason why they still give work to photographers and illustrators is because the royalty free stuff that can be bought on ghetty or corbis isn´t of the high quality, that one can expect from an assigned artist.

The moment you lower the time that an artist has the right to restrict his art to be used commercially down to five years, there will be no reason for them to hire an artist anymore. Loads of high quality stuff will be avaliable - and they willl use it. Like the upcoming of royalty free art killed off about 1/2 of the photographers and illustrators in Europe, this will kill the rest.

We all agree that 70 years after the death of the artist is way too much, but five years after publication is much too little.

I am talking only for the commercial use. Private use - I agree - should be free from the first day.

So PLEASE reconsider this part of your reform. It might be the only point that conservative parties would join you in, so they can provide their industrial friends with loads of free high quality marketing art.



Give the artists a chance to survive!



Greetings

Martin

Nicklas W Bjurman
2006-08-03, 15:42
I also always considered the proposal of 5 years a bargain opening move. Because the current time period is such a lunacris we need another lunacris to counter it. At the moment we are formulating a negotiation plan under another section of the forum and it is nowhere near getting the time down to 5 years just like that instantly.



But yes, you seem to know what you are talking about as I assume you are one of the proffesional photographers. It would be really interesting to hear your proposal of how you would like to see what terms the new reformed and balanced copyright law to be formulated.

SM5POR
2006-08-03, 17:14
Anonymous (2006-Aug-03)The moment you lower the time that an artist has the right to restrict his art to be used commercially down to five years, there will be no reason for them to hire an artist anymore. Loads of high quality stuff will be avaliable - and they willl use it. Like the upcoming of royalty free art killed off about 1/2 of the photographers and illustrators in Europe, this will kill the rest.

I"m not a member of the Pirate Party, one reason being that I don"t agree with everything on their agenda, the radical shortening of the term of protection standing out in particular. I believe I share your concerns on this matter.



However, one thing I consider a lot more important than the length of the term, is the way in which you change it. There is a basic rule in the copyright legislative process, that you must try to avoid eliminating rights already established. I think this is essentially a good rule, as it reduces uncertainty with respect to future rights, but it also has to be interpreted with some caution, so that you don"t create new rights with near-infinite duration that may later be found difficult to revoke.



When you say that loads of high-quality stuff will instantly become available for free as the law is amended, you are assuming that the changed term of protection will be applied also to works already created. I know that this is precisely how some members of the Pirate Party expect the change to be implemented, but I don"t think this is the only possible solution, nor that it is a good one.



If I write and publish a book under the assumption that I will enjoy an exclusive right to sell copies of it for the duration of my life and more, I don"t want to wake up one morning and find out that my copyright lapsed yesterday, due to a decision in parliament, just as I don"t want parliament to declare that the cash I have in my wallet is suddenly worthless. I do recognize the right of parliament to write or amend any laws they like; I just don"t think it"s a good idea to arbitrarily revoke financial rights once given, since the parliament can hardly know what deals I have already made with my publisher regarding future publication of my book. If my publisher just paid me $1,000 for those rights, can he then turn to the parliament for a refund when those rights are nullified?



Another solution would be to gradually phase out the old term of protection by allowing the rights to works already published to lapse according to the old rules, while works published after that date will be protected under the new rules only. In this way, the holders of pre-existing rights will not lose the ability to compete with each other for the attention of publishers, and there will be an incentive to create new works replacing the old ones on the market, as there won"t suddenly be a 50-100 year stock of good stuff that publishers can reuse without the need to pay for the creation of new works.



Problem is, few people may want to wait 100 years for a political decision made today to take effect, but then I"d like to question how important this particular part of the reform is. Does the duration of the term really matter to the general public?



We all agree that 70 years after the death of the artist is way too much, but five years after publication is much too little.

I"m unhappy with the current 70-year term not because it"s too long, but because it"s longer than the 50-year term that was in force when I first learned about copyright law, and because of the way it was implemented in Sweden (and presumably in the rest of Europe) around 1995.



Among other things, the term extension was applied also to works already in existance, even by authors who were already dead, meaning that someone (usually the publishers) got a 20-year extension on the rights to various classical works they had done nothing to create in the first place. This may well have been the true driving force behind the extension, even as it was disguised as a "harmonization" effort (before the change, only Germany had a 70-year term of protection). In any case, no author who is already dead will be inclined to write another masterpiece for the benefit of his heirs once the news of the extended term trickle down into his coffin.



As a first step, and to explicitely demonstrate my disgust for this perverse "necrophilic" business policy, I"d like to reverse this latest extension by retroactively reducing the term of protection for works published before January 1, 1996, to the author"s life plus 50 years, just as it was before. We may simultaneously decide to apply the same reduced term for works created henceforth, if for no other reason than 50 years being the minimum term required by the Berne Convention. Works first published during the period 1996-2006 may warrant further consideration before a similar change is made.



So PLEASE reconsider this part of your reform. It might be the only point that conservative parties would join you in, so they can provide their industrial friends with loads of free high quality marketing art.

While I agree with your concerns, as I have explained above, I feel confident that little will happen overnight on this matter, and that there will be a number of hurdles to pass before the Pirate Party may eventually have any such drastic change implemented in law. It will literally take years, giving us all plenty of time to consider various options, and perhaps find a reasonable compromise.



In 1911, the Swedish Social Democratic Worker"s Party (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swedish_Social_Democratic_Party) added the abolition of monarchy and the formation of a republic to their party programme. Almost a century later, for the most part under a Social Democratic government with the same demand for a republic formally on their programme, Sweden is still a constitutional monarchy, and there are few signs of any change of this in the near future. It shows that not even a long-term near-majority rule allows you to implement everything on your agenda, and I think this applies even more so to a party merely intending to hold the balance of power, not themselves form a government.



Even as I"m opposed to this particular proposal of theirs, I"m no longer hesitant to voice my support for the Pirate Party in this year"s general election, since they also have important issues that I do agree with on their agenda, and no other party has demonstrated sufficient competence in the field of intellectual property law that I would trust them not to reduce the term of protection to 24 hours after the birth of the author, should they be told by Big Business that this would be a good thing to do.



The current public debate before this year"s election is not concerned with such fine details as the precise length of the term of protection, but with sorting out whether the general public should worry about copyright law at all, and what the difference is between a "consumer" and a "thief". We have a gigantic educational effort ahead of us, and if the Pirate Party gets voted into parliament, we may be able to discuss the term of protection later.



I"d like to keep my copyright, but not for the price of a senseless police and surveillance state.

2006-08-08, 11:07
In the Spanish Pirate Party we also had the same discussion. We also had an author (a book writer) participating. Although many of us argued for a abolition of copyright, we had seen this as impossible to attain at the moment.



So we had reached a consensus which may give a point of compromise between society and author's interests, as a first step towards our goals. Short version:



- Free non-comercial use

- Commercial use rights belong to author up to 30 years after publication.

- Non-comercial derivative works are allowed. Commercial ones have to get approval from author during first 20 years. Between 20 and 30 years, you can create commercial derivatives, but a percentage must be paid.



This might be of interest to the concerned photographer. We also like to hear his opinion.

pululante
2006-08-08, 11:08
Last post was mine ;)

2006-08-10, 00:34
Pululante(2006-Aug-08)In the Spanish Pirate Party we also had the same discussion. We also had an author (a book writer) participating. Although many of us argued for a abolition of copyright, we had seen this as impossible to attain at the moment.



So we had reached a consensus which may give a point of compromise between society and author"s interests, as a first step towards our goals. Short version:



- Free non-comercial use



- Commercial use rights belong to author up to 30 years after publication.



- Non-comercial derivative works are allowed. Commercial ones have to get approval from author during first 20 years. Between 20 and 30 years, you can create commercial derivatives, but a percentage must be paid.



This might be of interest to the concerned photographer. We"d also like to hear his opinion.



Hi there. I only disagree with Pululante in him calling me "writer", where he should have called me "writer in training" or "writer wannabe". Anyway, as an authoress-who-wants-to-be, I also thought that a copyright of five years only would allow abuse from big companies towards the authors, so I said the same thing in the forums. After seventeen pages of discussion, we arrived to a compromise. The resulting proposition in full would be this one:



The spirit in the law: The Pirate Party defends in every way or manner the free circulation of culture, in all its aspects and forms. It is the wish of the members of the Pîrate Party that copyright disappears fully, and that culture becomes, in its whole, of public domain. However, it is acknowledged that it is impossible to put into practice a fully open system. That is why an agreement has been reached, in order to combine the right of all citizens to free difussion of culture and their participation in it; with the protection of authors" rights".



The rights over audiovisual works, for author, authors and owners (in the only case of film production companies) are described ahead. In lieu of brevity, where it says "author", it will mean both "author" and "authors", if there were more than one; and also "owners", in the case pf film production companies.



1. The author has the inalienable right, forever in time, to the acknowledgment of being author of the original work, and to the integrity of said work.



2. Every intellectual audiovisual work will be of free access, distribution and use, as long as it is without economical gain, since the moment of registration or publication. In all the present document, where it says "without economical gain", it will mean "without getting any economical benefit whatsoever" (some editors in Spain dared call the gain you have from listening to a song "economical gain", hence this seemingly stupid aclaration).



3. Every intellectual audiovisual work will be permitted to be used freely for charitable ends, as long as there is no economical gain or want to harm someone"s interests.



4. The author will have the control over the commercial use of his work from the moment of register/publication and up to 30 natural years.



5. Derivative works.



5.1. During the first 20 years after register/publication, the creation of derivative works will be permitted as long as it is without economical gain. These derivative works will be permitted to be published and transmitted through any means, as long as the name of the author and of the original work are stated, and due credit given. To commercialize a derivative work with economical gain in this period of time, author"s consent will be needed.



5.2. To receive the consideration of "derivative work", such work must have more differences than similitudes with the original. Where the derivative work contained more similitudes than differences with the original, it will be considered "correction" or "adaptation" of the original work, and all the author"s rights will belong to the author of the original work.



5.3. The possibility of the creation of derivative works does not eliminate the existence of the crime of plagiarism, whose appreciation, detection and punishment will belong to the Justice Courts.



5.4. From the 21st to the 30th years after publication/register, both included, commercial derivative works will be allowed to be produced without the author"s consent, as long as he is given due credit. But if these commercial derivative works produced benefits, 5% of the brute benefits will belong to the original author by law.

If the derivative work was based in various other works, to each author it would correspond a proportional part of said 5% of the benefits.

If economical losses were produced, no responsibility would be liable to the author/authors of the original/originals.

The consideration of what is a derivative work will be, in all cases and under all circumstances, as stated in point 4.2 of this document.



5.5 The author is free to negotiate the production of commercial derivative works in this lapse of time, and in the frame of this negotiation, he is free to modify, or even to renounce, to the aforementioned percentage of 5% over brute benefits, as long as he does it in writing and prior to the commercialization of the derivative work.



5.6. From the 31st year after register of publication, derivative works will be permitted without express consent of the author, and without the latter having a right to economic remuneration for any of them. The consideration of what is a derivative work will be, in all cases and under all circumstances, as stated in point 4.2 of this document.



6. Only the rights corresponding to the author during the first 30 years after registration/publication will be permitted to be inherited. These rights will last the same 30 years after the moment of registration/publication, and will be absolutely undeferrable and unexpandable in time.



7. From the 31st year from register/publication, all commercial reeditions and publications of the original work will be allowed without the author"s consent. However, he will be entitled, by law, to a 2% of the benefits that the work generates. If economical losses were produced, no responsibility would be liable to the author. The length of this commercial right will be exclusive applied during the author"s lifetime, being unexpandable and not subjected to inheritance rights.

2006-08-10, 00:36
We also have a FAQ in our wiki, justifying this proposals. They aren't very good yet, and aren't written in proper "Legalese". But that's the gist. We still have to vote this proposal in the Party, but in all threads, there has been an almost anonymous consensus.



I can't translate the FAQ just now, but if any of you want to have a look and know Spanish, here it is, just after the proposal in Spanish.



http://www.partidopirata.es/wiki/index.php?title=Propuesta_copyright_1.0

2006-08-11, 08:20
Nicklas W Bjurman (2006-Aug-03)I also always considered the proposal of 5 years a bargain opening move. Because the current time period is such a lunacris we need another lunacris to counter it. At the moment we are formulating a negotiation plan under another section of the forum and it is nowhere near getting the time down to 5 years just like that instantly.



Sounds very reasonable to me. However, the page http://www2.piratpartiet.se/politik/5_ars_kommersiell_ensamratt gives a different, much more radical impression and might actually scare voters away. Piratpartiet relies heavily on its website, and it's extremely important that the website reflects the actual goal of the party, not its bargain opening moves. The initial post in this thread provides a bit of valuable insight into what could(would?) happen should the 5-year period become reality, and we're not really out to kill the market, right?

2006-08-14, 23:05
Some criticisms. I am not the author of audiovisual material, but I am an author of computer programs, both commercial and non-commercial, which are commonly reduced to visual material by virtue of their source code.



1. The author has the inalienable right, forever in time, to the acknowledgment of being author of the original work, and to the integrity of said work.



GREAT. I love this.



2. Every intellectual audiovisual work will be of free access, distribution and use, as long as it is without economical gain, since the moment of registration or publication. In all the present document, where it says "without economical gain", it will mean "without getting any economical benefit whatsoever" (some editors in Spain dared call the gain you have from listening to a song "economical gain", hence this seemingly stupid aclaration).



Also very good. Once again, the right track 100%. But more clarification of what economic gain is should be beneficial, it could be a sticking point for many.



If I post a smart, funny video deriving from Stanley Kubrick's 'A Clockwork Orange' to a website that I control, and that site receives ad revenue as a side result, is that economic gain?



Is it gain if I paid my ISP more money than I received in revenue?



What about when I don't control the site or company that gains revenue, for example the video was posted to YouTube, or Google Video?



3. Every intellectual audiovisual work will be permitted to be used freely for charitable ends, as long as there is no economical gain or want to harm someones interests.



Perhaps offer a tax incentive instead. The artist can choose to allow their material to be used by any group they wish, free of charge, and the money they would be paid under a comparable commercial scheme would be available as a tax write-off. Charitable organizations would be exempt (and unable, as a statutory requirement) from paying the author directly for their work in the same capacity a commercial entity would. The author would gain from it, and control over use of the material would never be in any doubt.



Free use by any charity would mean questionable charities would be free to use the material, undermining the artists wishes and forcing them out-of-pocket to cease the infringement through civil proceedings.



Why?



If I were the author of a popular song, I would shudder at appropriation of it to advance political or social causes I disagreed with after the material was made available. Pearl Jam's "Daughter" in the background of an anti-abortion spot would be over the top, and exactly how questionable charities advancing a political cause would use it.

Nicklas W Bjurman
2006-08-14, 23:37
Right, we have no intention of killing the market for culture and the potential to be payed for creating culture and the same goes for applications of knowledge and information.



However the party stands for as it says in your link to decrease the Intellectual rights down to such a small time as five years so it is not just a bargaining proposal. In the utopia which we are working to achieve. Five years is a speculated reasonable goal but that can come to change as the party's ideas progress and evolve thru out dicussions that is taken place.



Around the beginning of 1800, fourteen years of intellectual rights was the standard in USA. Today with even better ways of distribution five years is a reasonable time period in my opinion. Studies and experiences from creators has also shown they earn 90% of all they will earn on the produced material within the first half year to a year after it is released.



In categories where copyright laws is enforced such as photography this has also been shown to be true. However one possibility that new photos will not be taken if an old photo is publicly available after five years for anyone to use in the interest to capitalize. Is a problem that surely needs to be dicussed further and the consequences studied.



The idea of a tax-off system is quite appealing. I know this is being done frequently as an incentetive in USA for various benefits to the society as a whole. I am not all familiar if Sweden has this possibility but I for one think it is a good step to take in the right direction.



The problem would still persist for those who don't choose to do this though. Because the law as strict as it is today can not possibly be enforced without a totalitarian control of what is used privately over the internet. But this would not be less of a problem if the punishement for copyright infrigement became a static fine instead of as today in Sweden where we have the dynamic fine depending on the damage done up to imprisonement for this crime. This because a static fine can only be given if the offense if caught without further proof needed. In lack of words to describe the situation catching a shoplifter is how this procedure is done rather then the investigation needed for the other kind of crimes with a punishement of dynamic fines.



Indeed the abuse of the material that has been forcefully been released to the public by the state is one thing to be worried about. If you can think of it so can others and it will probably be done at some point in time or other. As much as I would like everything to be free for anyones use I see your point. The question is should these incidents be allowed to block the good that the same regulation can be allow? I truly do not know yet, further dicussions needs to be taken place of this particular topic regarding the abuse of free material.



The particular scenario you describe would however be a violation of the rights to privacy and the integrity of the persson being abused in such derivate work. Hence another part of the law would be violated.

SM5POR
2006-08-15, 03:19
Anonymous (2006-Aug-15)Free use by any charity would mean questionable charities would be free to use the material, undermining the artists wishes and forcing them out-of-pocket to cease the infringement through civil proceedings.

I haven't studied the proposal by our Spanish friends in detail, primarily because I'm unfamiliar with current Spanish law, and I believe that any proposal must take the current legal context where it is to be implemented into consideration.



However, in general I think that the law shouldn't be too specific about what groups may or may not benefit from a particular right or freedom, and I believe your comments indicate such a problem with this proposal as written.



In my opinion, the law should specify what rights and freedoms you enjoy, what their scope is and any limitations, but not go into detail discussing charity organizations, political organizations, or business entities. All these are artificial constructs, and if they enjoy different ríghts under the proposed law, you must give them very precise definitions to prevent people from tweaking reality to take unfair advantage of your law.



Current Swedish copyright law isn't free from these problems either; for instance religious sermons are mentioned specifically as one activity deserving to be exempted from the author's exclusive right to perform musical works. I believe this is a rather old exception in law, and while I have no proposal for amending it, it's not an exception I would like to introduce today if it didn't exist in the law already.



Instead, I think the law should be written to allow individual copyright holders to decide who should benefit more than others from their works or their exclusive rights to it. If we can foresee situations where that freedom may be abused by the copyright holder, such abuse should be prevented by limiting the exclusive rights themselves, not limiting what the copyright holder may use them for.



This is a bit theoretical, but I don't see any reason to provide examples of abuse myself, as I believe in giving people the greatest number of options possible in how they may use their rights and freedoms. If you can describe a particular kind of abuse of the law, I can perhaps explain how I would go about addressing that problem instead, if I agree that that it is a problem in the first place.

Canadian Visitor
2006-08-15, 13:55
I agree with they Patent ideas, however I dont' think a 5 year limit on copyrights is fair.. I think it should be a monitary limit instead. For example movies that cost 10 million to make and have already made back 100 - 150 million should now be free.. same with music if a song has made the artist more than a million dollars it should be free. Books and software.. well again it would have to be a fair profit..



I see this as a more fair solution because, I've seen it where someone's labour of love and hard work didn't pay off for decades. And by your 5 year plan.. they'd be out of luck. Where's the fairness you say you want?



I write, as well as create software, music and digital video. Most of my creations are free/freeware. I do have the odd item that I charge for but I don't charge a lot. I don't think that being forced to give when you already give is also fair. Because I have a small (1 person) company I still would be considered a business so I'd have to fall under the 5 year plan (sounds familiar...)



I'm all for fairness and profit, as long as people are allowed to have both.

SM5POR
2006-08-15, 22:46
Canadian Visitor (2006-Aug-15)I agree with they Patent ideas, however I dont" think a 5 year limit on copyrights is fair.. I think it should be a monitary limit instead. For example movies that cost 10 million to make and have already made back 100 - 150 million should now be free.. same with music if a song has made the artist more than a million dollars it should be free. Books and software.. well again it would have to be a fair profit..

This is a novel idea (at least I"m not aware of it being tried anywhere yet), and as such it deserves attention, with respect to its merits as well as its potential drawbacks. I"m afraid that I see mostly drawbacks, though. A fixed number of years is a simple rule, and for the monetary limit to work, it would have to be a fixed amount of money for any work, regardless of type (literature, art, movies) or copyright holder (a single individual, a small team, or a multinational corporation). And with those constraints, I don"t see how a monetary limit could ever fly.



If the idea is that the copyright holder is allowed to make a million dollar on a book, but not more, very few authors would reach this limit in their lifetime, and we would be left with a stockpile of unsuccessful books that nobody but the author"s heirs could distribute legally. That"s the problem we have today with orphaned works, books and magazines sitting unread on library shelves or in locked vaults, because nobody is allowed to distribute them to a wider audience (tracking down the copyright holder to obtain a license may itself cost a fortune, if it"s even possible). If there is no time limit, but instead a monetary one, those works will effectively be locked up indefinitely, not merely for 70 years (as they are today).



So what if we set a more realistic limit, such as a thousand dollars? This may be too little for some works, but we can disregard that for the moment, as it may still be too much for other works. At least works at both ends of the business scale will now be disadvantaged, albeit in different ways, so perhaps there are some works for which this reward is just right.



The result will now be that regardless of how much effort you have spent on your book, and regardless of how popular it becomes with your readers, you will always earn 1,000 dollars on it, period. Not less, not more, but exactly 1,000 dollars. You may earn it in ten hours or in ten years, but the sum stays the same. If you need the money fast, you may have an incentive to write a popular book rather than a boring one, but I don"t think it"s a strong incentive, as you may just as well earn a living by publishing a ton of scrap each week to help build up a future source of income for yourself and your heirs.



Here is the catch: The limit is not set per author or copyright holder, but per work. You will therefore earn a lot more from publishing ten different titles containing ten pages each, than from publishing a single volume containing a hundred (or a thousand) pages. With no consideration of the amount of labour invested in each work, authors are effectively encouraged by such a limit to split their creations in as many individual titles as possible.



Maybe you didn"t have such a simple formula in mind, but an entirely different one; I can"t tell without seeing a practical example. I don"t think it matters a lot, though. If the author is paid per word rather than per title, he can simply write very long books with a lot of surplus words that don"t add content to the work, but rather add time to the term of protection (the longer the book, the more the author is allowed to earn money on it). And so on for any other scheme I can imagine.



I see this as a more fair solution because, I"ve seen it where someone"s labour of love and hard work didn"t pay off for decades.

And it may well never pay off at all. Life isn"t fair. Should we try to correct that by implementing an infinite term of protection for works that nobody is ever interested in reading? If the book sells one copy every 50 years, does fairness dictate that it should be protected for 50,000 years just to earn 1,000 dollars?



A market economy works by letting sellers and buyers freely negotiate the price, and it"s entirely up to the negotiating partners to decide for themselves what factors are important in determining the true value of the goods or services offered. This mechanism applies also when the goods are copies of works protected by copyright, or the service is the performance of an artist. If you end up paying more than you really wanted to, you may have to accept this loss, but it doesn"t affect the quality or other characteristics of what you bought.



Establishing a rule that changes the inherent characteristics of the sold item (such as the duration of its term of legal protection) depending on how much the seller has earned on it interferes with these familiar market mechanisms, and you can no longer count on the rule of supply and demand to hold up. This is why I believe the monetary limit (as I have interpreted the idea above) won"t work, at least not in the sense of giving each author a "fair" reward for his labour.



If I have a thousand copies of a book to sell, I can improve my earnings by writing a better book, thereby making the buyers willing to pay more for each copy. However, if instead I can only sell books for a thousand dollars, it doesn"t really matter to me if I sell a thousand copies for one dollar each, or a single copy for a thousand dollars, because as soon as I reach that limit, the book will be free for the taking and my source of income is gone.



And by your 5 year plan.. they"d be out of luck. Where"s the fairness you say you want?

Five years is an arbitrarily chosen limit, just like the author"s life plus 70 years is arbitrarily chosen. If five years is too little, how long is long enough? Ten years? 20? 50? 75? Neither limit is more "fair" than any other; the important factor is how the limit affects the rate of cultural production.



Copyright is sometimes misunderstood as a means for authors to earn a living. It"s not. Instead, the purpose of copyright is to promote the creation of art and literature, and the ability of authors and artists to earn a living is the means by which this goal is achieved, not the end goal in itself. Copyright law does not promote a "fair" distribution of wealth between different authors any more than the market forces will do all by themselves; a system with no intellectual property at all recognized and protected by law is no more and no less fair than a system where authors enjoy an absolute monopoly on distributing anything they write. Don"t try to amend copyright law to do something it was never intended to do.



I write, as well as create software, music and digital video. Most of my creations are free/freeware. I do have the odd item that I charge for but I don"t charge a lot. I don"t think that being forced to give when you already give is also fair. Because I have a small (1 person) company I still would be considered a business so I"d have to fall under the 5 year plan (sounds familiar...)

I don"t think anyone wants to force you to give anything away. If I write a book and publish it today, it will fall into the public domain 70 years after my death. If I don"t want that to happen, if I don"t want my heirs to be "forced" to give up the rights they have inherited from me, I shouldn"t be writing that book in the first place, because I will enjoy it being protected by copyright on the very condition that my rights to it will eventually lapse. Same thing if the term of protection is five years past publication instead; if I"m not satisfied with those conditions, I will not publish my book.



I think you have a different concern here, one that I think I share with you, but I will not bring it up unless you point it out yourself. :cool:

dutchmoney
2006-08-16, 17:11
hello,



i strongly agree with all of your points, and understand your position of a five year commercial copyright period as a bargaining point rather than a rigid proposal. with that said, i do feel that one major point about the five year period has been omitted so far. that is: how would the five year period affect young or 'undiscovered' talent? while it is true that an artist will make the bulk of his or her profits in a short period of time, that period begins when the public consumption of a work begins--not from the time of creation.



think, as an example, of a young musician releasing a record five years before a formative period. it can often take time to establish one's self in the public eye. so if, in our example, this artist gains a following after the expiration of a short copyright then he or she would lose potential revenue. and worse, an unsrupulous record label could then issue a re-release of that first rare album...making money with no royaltees going to the artist. this same model illustrates problems for writers, artists, photographers, and other copyright holders.



current copyright laws are ridiculous, to that there can be no argument. but the idea of copyright itself does have some protectory value to the artist--especially the smaller artists. larger corporations have resources that smaller artists do not, and another concern about the short copyright term would be potential market tampering. in a worst case scenario, a big corporation could try to engineer the above example in order to generate what would amount to theft of the original work.



while these examples are a little argumentative, i do think they hold merit. if we assume that non-commercial works have open usage from the beginning, then we are left with a bit of a balancing act. the goal is to get intillectual properties into the public domain, but still protect the rights of the artist. a slightly longer term, say 15 years, would seem to combat the young/undiscovered artist problem, but that doesn't fully alleviate the potential exploitation by large, primarily corporations. perhaps some limitations to commercial use during the artist's lifetime? these could come in the form of open commercial usage granted only to derivitave/additive works, mandatory profit sharing to at least some minimal degree, some form of arbitration for artists to reclaim rights to their own works (though it would be a buerocratic nightmare), or allowing the artist to choose only one type of limited protection after the 15 year period a la the creative commons license.



the bottom line is that i fully embrace your intent, and i want to encourage your work and say that you are certainly on the right track. my comments above are only first thoughts, and are not intended as final solutions. but i do believe that (at least here in america) we need to be aware of corporate greed and the struggle of developing artists. (while this may apply less to some copyright holders, the term artist is here intended to include everyone.) those two issues need to be balanced with the good of the public, and i would venture that this is absolutely possible. the five year period is absolutely resonable in regards to a major artist in the public eye, but fails to adequately protect the smaller artist.



have you had any additional thoughts about copyright terms since the initial essay where you mention the five year limit? is there any way that people like myself, outside your organization, can help?



thank you for taking the time to this. and please keep up the good work.



sincerely,

jesse von doom



providence, rhode island

usa

pululante
2006-08-17, 09:11
In Pirate Party Spain we had the same concerns as dutchmoney while discussing the copyright time issue. We saw that it was difficult for a novel artist to fight against the greed of big companies, so we proposed a longer period (20-30 years) of commercial exclusive rights. Again, as our colleagues in the Swedish Party, it's a bargaining period although it seems to me that a period longer than 30 years would lead to another abuse situation as we have today.



The point that really makes a difference is the fact that we ask that the non-commercial distribution and use is allowed from day one. So it doesn't matter if commercial rights are exclusive for 5 or 30 years, because the flow of culture is uninterrupted and not monopolized.



PS. We have an English translation of our proposal:

http://www.partidopirata.es/wiki/index.php?title=Proposal_on_copyright_%28English_version%29

2006-08-17, 16:54
I'm intrigued by all this but a little confused. Under the manifesto of the party with regards to copyright law you talk about the freedom of non-commercial distribution. Do you mean that is would be ok for me to share any content I have, as long as I am not making money from the said distribution?



Why would there be any kind of commercial distribution of content if individuals can get anything they want for free?



Have I missed somthing?

SM5POR
2006-08-17, 20:46
Anonymous (2006-Aug-17)Under the manifesto of the party with regards to copyright law you talk about the freedom of non-commercial distribution. Do you mean that is would be ok for me to share any content I have, as long as I am not making money from the said distribution?

I cannot answer for the party, but this distinction between commercial and non-commercial distribution hasn't been pulled out of thin air. Instead, a limited amount of non-commercial copying and distribution has been part of the picture ever since copyright was first introduced in law, under labels such as fair use, private use or whatever it has been called by lawyers.



In recent years, the freedom of non-commercial use has been severely diminished, and certain interests appear to advocate its complete abolition. The Pirate Party intends to reverse this trend, and restore freedoms that once existed, while also recognizing that the cultural landscape today looks very different from the one that existed maybe 50 years ago. Therefore, simply reverting the law to what it said 50 years ago probably isn't a good solution either, and we don't know yet what an ideal law should look like.



I suppose "free non-commercial distribution" can be regarded as an opening proposal for discussions with the government, and that various restrictions will be suggested by the other side for consideration. If it goes through as currently written, obviously the Pirate Party will not object to that!



Why would there be any kind of commercial distribution of content if individuals can get anything they want for free?

There ain't no such thing as a free lunch. There is a small cost associated also with the distribution of information not restricted by copyright, due to storage and transmission demands, though it's of course a lot cheaper than it was 50 years ago. Copyright law has prevented advances in information technology from resulting in cheaper information products.



If there had been no copyright, do you think distribution at one point in time would have become entirely "free" and commercial production therefore dried up? Would technology have killed culture if it hadn't been for copyright? I don't think so, although I do think the cultural landscape would have looked a lot different from what it looks like today. I imagine that cheap distribution would have promoted smaller audiences and several times more authors and artists, rather than mega-productions being sold in billions of copies to a homogenous, worldwide audience. However, I'm not an economist.



To make an analogy, consider news reporting. There are no copyright or other legal restrictions on news items themselves, only on their expression in words, sounds or pictures. I can tell all my friends what I read in the newspaper this morning without fear of the newspaper owner calling the police to silence me. As a result, some of my friends may not bother to buy a copy of the newspaper today. Does this mean nobody can make a living on selling newspapers? Of course not; while I have my freedom to redistribute the news I read, this freedom hasn't rendered newspapers useless, though it may have prevented them from becoming extremely profitable selling "secret" news items for a dollar per word to one individual after another.



I could try to explain in economical terms why newspapers exist in spite of this lack of absolute legal protection for their information content, but since I'm not an economist, I'd rather leave it to you to figure it out yourself. Maybe I'm wrong; maybe newspapers don't exist, and we are all living in an illusion... :cool:

2006-08-17, 21:43
SM5POR (2006-Aug-17)There ain't no such thing as a free lunch. There is a small cost associated also with the distribution of information not restricted by copyright, due to storage and transmission demands, though it's of course a lot cheaper than it was 50 years ago. Copyright law has prevented advances in information technology from resulting in cheaper information products.















We could assume that we have "free non commercial distribution" when the financial balance is equal to zero. For example, when an internet based distribution structure costs are payed from advertising (i.e. Google Ads), without exceding profit. Isn't it?

SM5POR
2006-08-17, 22:42
Anonymous (2006-Aug-17)We could assume that we have "free non commercial distribution" when the financial balance is equal to zero. For example, when an internet based distribution structure costs are payed from advertising (i.e. Google Ads), without exceding profit. Isn't it?

That's free of monetary charge to the audience, but it's not "free" in the sense that there are no costs whatsoever associated with the distribution. Someone is paying for those ads, part of the audience find the ads useful, others find them annoying (or they manage to filter them away). Spending time reading an ad is a kind of payment, too.



While this method of covering the cost of distribution certainly works today and will continue to work, I doubt advertising can pay for the distribution of every single piece of information there is. If advertisers aren't selective with respect to what information they pay to distribute, anybody could let their message have a free ride with some advertising, recipients would learn how to find the messages without reading the ads, and we would eventually run out of ads.



A couple of years ago, a small telecom upstart in Sweden presented the idea of phone calls paid by advertising. When using this service, the call would be interrupted once every minute for a six-second, prerecorded ad, while the call would be free of charge to the caller. I don't remember if they ever implemented this service, nor which party to the phone call would have to listen to the ad, but I thought it was a completely insane idea. Appearantly, it wasn't a business success.



So, some messages will fail to find a sponsor, and in many cases the advertising might distract from the message it brings. Banner advertising on the Web has shown us many examples of ads running counter to the pages they appear on, content-wise.



In the end, I think users will gladly pay to merely have otherwise "free" information located and delivered to them, if they can't get that information in some other way. A live concert before a paying audience is just an example of this. Paying for a xerox copy at the library is another. Without copyright, "piracy" will be unable to put commercial distribution out of business, because there will be no pirates, only distributors competing on equal terms among each other to provide the best services.

2006-08-21, 12:14
I would suggest:



- If there is content hosted in the website: Any kind of economical benefit is not allowed "for free" (even adds) They should be subjected to the possibility of being sued/demanded for a part of the benefits (which value could be decided by Justice Courts, or established by law).



If people could share contents without fear to a demand, I think much more people than now would do it for free (even bearing the associated costs)



For example I could put my favourite songs in my website, that hasn't adds. I'd do it, even without profit making.

And this also would result in a "natural filter". People could not upload entire movies or DVD's to their sites, since

they could not afford bandwith usage. And I think it isn't the appropriate place for it.



- If there are links to content hosted in other sites: Adds permitted



Google is an example of this scheme.



They provide links to content hosted in other sites. They do not host (or shoudn't, as they could be sued) the content.

2006-08-21, 12:19
In the first scheme, the one supported by adds, better than not allowed I was intending to say that they could be sued for a part of the benefits (if there are any). Whether to include or to subtract distribution costs (server, employees...) from the benefits, I'm not sure about it.







But in principle I would say no, "if you want it for free, do it for free"





I could try to explain in economical terms why newspapers exist in spite of this lack of absolute legal protection for their information content, but since I'm not an economist, I'd rather leave it to you to figure it out yourself. Maybe I'm wrong; maybe newspapers don't exist, and we are all living in an illusion...



In Spain spanish newspapers are currently getting hard with that issue. They do not allow "internet newspapers" to copy their contents, as some of the even were doing it literally.



I think that what should be free is to let copying their contents to private users in theirs blogs without economical benefits.

SM5POR
2006-08-21, 15:20
Anonymous (2006-Aug-21)In Spain spanish newspapers are currently getting hard with that issue. They do not allow "internet newspapers" to copy their contents, as some of the even were doing it literally.

While verbatim copying of the original news articles constitutes copyright infringement, restating the news using your own words does not. News outlets frequently refer to each other, like "The BBC is reporting that..." or "According to Reuters, a man has been accused of..." and so on. If every news organization held a monopoly on its news items, such re-reporting would be illegal without a valid license, and you would essentially have different news on each news channel.



Now, there is no such information monopoly implemented in law, not even in Spanish law I believe, and therefore news outlets may continue quoting or rephrasing each others' news, on or off the Internet. Private individuals may do it just the same. News outlets compete in delivering the news fast, not in the volume of their news.



I think that what should be free is to let copying their contents to private users in theirs blogs without economical benefits.

I think you are referring to verbatim copying here, not re-reporting (or whatever it's called). Whereas I was talking about the profitability of distributing information without a legally mandated monopoly, you are back at the issue of non-commercial copying.



If the rules are simple and easy to understand, chances are that the general public will accept and obey them. Thus, if free copying is limited to a non-commercial context, regardless if the user is a private individual with a blog or non-profit organization, then this is a fairly simple rule. If you include additional criteria, such that the non-commercial copying must be limited to family and friends, then things get a lot trickier, there will be plenty of borderline issues, and public observance of the law eventually breaks down.

2006-08-22, 13:51
SM5POR (2006-Aug-17)Anonymous (2006-Aug-17)Under the manifesto of the party with regards to copyright law you talk about the freedom of non-commercial distribution. Do you mean that is would be ok for me to share any content I have, as long as I am not making money from the said distribution?



I suppose "free non-commercial distribution" can be regarded as an opening proposal for discussions with the government, and that various restrictions will be suggested by the other side for consideration. If it goes through as currently written, obviously the Pirate Party will not object to that!





I really don't understand how a policy where DRM is banned and P2P is encouraged is going to lead to a richer culture. I agree that some of our rights have been compromised over time but I seen it more as a kind of legal/technological arms race between those that create/distribute content professionally and those that attempt to access this content without paying for the right to do so.



"Home taping is killing music" was used in the 80's and music is very much alive, but I feel there does need to be a balance between the protection of the rights of artists to receive payment for this usage of their creations and the freedom for those that have purchased those rights to use them.



At the moment the published polices of the Pirate Party seem naive and not properly thought out, a little "crackpot" comes to mind. There seems to be a lot of complaints but not much in the way of practical solutions. I am not saying everything is perfect but a more pragmatic approach is required.

SM5POR
2006-08-22, 16:42
Anonymous (2006-Aug-22)I really don"t understand how a policy where DRM is banned and P2P is encouraged is going to lead to a richer culture. I agree that some of our rights have been compromised over time but I seen it more as a kind of legal/technological arms race between those that create/distribute content professionally and those that attempt to access this content without paying for the right to do so.

It sure is an arms race; that"s just another way to describe the situation. While this arms race certainly inspires some creative minds in the IT sector, it"s destructive to culture as a whole, just as the nuclear arms race did very little to contribute to world peace. Are you saying that you want an arms race to promote culture? How could that happen?



I"m not a professional author or artist, but whenever I create something for others to enjoy, I want recognition and perhaps a monetary reward - I"m not asking for much. If others won"t give me the reward I think I"m entitled to, then I"m simply out of luck; I cannot force everybody to obey laws they have no respect for. DRM won"t solve my problem, as it suggests to people that it"s ok to copy if you can, regardless of the law. DRM is the opposite of the law; it represents physical violence where the law has failed to do its job. And I don"t want to earn money by subjecting my business partners to violence.



"Home taping is killing music" was used in the 80"s and music is very much alive, but I feel there does need to be a balance between the protection of the rights of artists to receive payment for this usage of their creations and the freedom for those that have purchased those rights to use them.

I don"t know how careful you want to be with your words, but those who buy CDs at the music store have most definitely not purchased any rights to said music. All they have purchased is access to it, and they don"t need any special rights merely to listen to the music, as we already have that freedom. You can invite your friends to your house to listen the CDs you have bought all day long; they don"t need to purchase a right from the artist before you can do so.



Also, artists have no given right to receive payment for anything beyond what the law says they have, and the law may be amended by the appropriate legislative body. Saying that the law must provide artists with the rights that are already provided to them by said law is circular reasoning; in that way you could never amend any law whatsoever. The artists are given rights because we believe everybody will benefit from it, not because the artists should benefit from it.



And the Pirate Party does call for a more balanced copyright regime than the one we have today. When a music publisher can sue a customer for making even a single copy of a CD to use at home, but said customer cannot sue the publisher for reading his e-mail or selling his mailing address to an advertising agency, then we don"t have a balanced copyright regime.



At the moment the published polices of the Pirate Party seem naive and not properly thought out, a little "crackpot" comes to mind. There seems to be a lot of complaints but not much in the way of practical solutions. I am not saying everything is perfect but a more pragmatic approach is required.

I don"t accept or defend every single statement found in the party policy programme myself, but you have to read it in the context of national Swedish politics, where these issues have hardly ever been discussed before. The established parties and their politicians don"t exactly have a reputation for clever thinking, and deciding which party to vote for is to me primarily a matter of finding a party with not too many whimsical proposals or crackpots on their ballots. Even if I were to disagree with the Pirate Party on all three of their issues, that"s probably fewer issues than I will have with any other Swedish party...



To me, they don"t look like crackpots at all, as I have been concerned about these issues for some 20 years and I can well understand their frustration - in many cases, I share it with them. Maybe they are a little weak on interpreting the law, maybe some proposals aren"t too well thought out, but those are trivial complaints at this stage in an election campaign. Getting politicians to discuss copyright and the right to privacy at all (which they still won"t do unless they are dragged to the debate) is no small achievement. Maybe after September 17 they will be happy to discuss those things.