Copyright vs Copywrong

For the discussion of Movies, Television, Comics, and other existential distractions.

Moderator: Moderator

User avatar
Steve Barber
Posts: 294
Joined: Mon Feb 22, 2010 8:02 am
Contact:

Re: Copyright vs Copywrong

Postby Steve Barber » Fri Oct 24, 2014 5:48 pm

Lori Koonce wrote:Steve

Not to muddy the waters any but a question. I am the proud owner of not a few CDs made for me by people who know my finincir situation. Where do you stand on that? Part of me says that someone paid for the original, so why should I feel torn up over it. But, a small part of me feels as if I shouldn't have accepted them because of the issue under discussion.


Valid question. I look at it like this: the person who bought the CD (or movie or whatever) is entitled to make copies for themselves to use in a car, or at an office, or something like that. I can't criticize you or your friend because I understand the financial situation, but it did infringe upon the artists' rights and income for that friend -- however well-meaning -- to make you a free copy. Someone DID buy the original, and they are able to use it and enjoy it. They didn't buy two copies, so yours isn't covered by the monies they spent.

A have a very good friend here in LA who systematically checked out hundreds of CDs from the local library to make his own collection. He holds to the same perspective you do. The library paid for it, right? Except, let's assume he ripped copies of only a hundred albums. Assuming $10 each, which is low, he stole more than a thousand dollars worth of material. He pointed out that much of the classical music is in the public domain. True. But the versions he recorded are not. Organizations such as the Boston Pops forked out tens of thousands of dollars to record some of those CDs. The Pops is hardly big business, and they are hardly swimming in cash.

I can't and won't say you should not have accepted them. Your friend was trying to do you a favor by breaking the law and ripping you copies of music, no matter how small an infraction they might consider it. What I *can* say is that the artists who recorded those CDs are the losers in the transaction. They, or their backers, spent hard money to create the music on the CDs. Let's assume a thousand other well-meaning friends across the country rip one copy each for someone who cannot afford it. That's ten thousand dollars per CD.

If they copied 20 CDs on average, that's $200,000 that did not help pay for the production of the CDs in question.

That's the equation. Each one feels like they didn't do a whole lot of damage, but cumulatively it's devastating.

I'm not saying you need to feel the way I do about it, but I do insist that -- as Harlan says -- you have an informed opinion as to the damage even a little infraction can do if multiplied by thousands of well-meaning friends. And perhaps, as with my friend who ripped off the library, it helps if I were to say "how would you feel if one of those CDs was one of Cris' ?" Or "one of Harlan's books", or....

That's the perspective from which I derive annoyance that anyone feels it's not an issue, or simply overblown.

(And that doesn't include the deliberate asshats who deliberately post files so that thousands of people can deliberately take product for free.)
All I need is a change of clothes, my Nikon, an open mind and a strong cup of coffee.

Mark Tiedemann
Posts: 2575
Joined: Sat Jan 22, 2011 1:51 pm

Re: Copyright vs Copywrong

Postby Mark Tiedemann » Sat Oct 25, 2014 7:21 am

I agree with Steve on this, though I will add that this is a gray area connected with "borrowing." Technically, by this metric, you're committing a minor theft when you borrow a book or CD. The fact that you only keep it till you finish reading it or listening to would seem to be a quibble. What's the difference if you borrow it, appreciate it, give it back, then borrow it again? In effect, it's more a question of where you store the copy, isn't it? Where it lives?

We can become tyrannical over this and do damage to another aspect of the culture, which is the personal quality of sharing. If said friend makes a copy of the book or CD, it's a little less about sharing and more about distributing, but we're still in that gray area where it's more about sharing than "getting away with something."

Where's the line?

Clearly, some anonymous dweeb uploading for mass distribution is not doing this for altruistic reasons. This is where a difference in degree has become a difference in kind. But somewhere between those two poles in the line and it's not that easy to codify.

But I think we all recognize it when we see it.

User avatar
Ezra Lb.
Posts: 4547
Joined: Wed Sep 01, 2004 8:02 am
Location: Washington, DC

Re: Copyright vs Copywrong

Postby Ezra Lb. » Sat Oct 25, 2014 8:33 am

Where's the line?

Well the line is being drawn, legally at any rate.

How many e-books readers know they don't actually own their "books"? They're licensing them. A printed book is a thing, like a lawnmower. When I buy it, it's mine. To read, to dip in honey, to shoot with BBs, to loan or sell. People often comment as what the difference is between text on the page and text on the video display. Legally there is a big damn difference.

https://freedom-to-tinker.com/blog/abri ... -doctrine/

By Vernor’s logic, software should be able to be purchased and resold in the same way that a book can be purchased and resold. Why should the two be treated any differently under copyright law, after all? The buyer of a book owns her copy of the book as personal property, and her ownership of that individual copy does not at all interfere with the author’s ownership of the copyright in the work. Once the author places a particular copy of the work into the stream of commerce, the author loses the right to control the fate of that copy; the author retains, however, all of the rights the statute gives her in the copyrighted work itself, including the exclusive right to make and sell new copies of it.
“We must not always talk in the marketplace,” Hester Prynne said, “of what happens to us in the forest.”
-Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter

User avatar
Steve Barber
Posts: 294
Joined: Mon Feb 22, 2010 8:02 am
Contact:

Re: Copyright vs Copywrong

Postby Steve Barber » Mon Oct 27, 2014 5:23 pm

There's some legitimacy to the argument that since someone ought to be able to hand off a book or other physical piece of art, so the same ought to apply to electronic ones. I get that.

But as Harlan's often noted: "You can't eat your cake and have it, too". In other words, you can't give away your book and have it in your library. That would require two copies, and you only paid for one.

Putting files up on the internet for distribution, or making a copy of your CD on your computer, delivers multiple copies of something that was purchased only once. You paid for a single copy, and that's all you're entitled to.

It's not that difficult a concept.

I was recently hipped to a concept I hadn't run across before, however, that may cross the line in the other direction. The artist's resale right.

Artist Resale Right (or Droit de Suite)
According to the European Union’s Artist’s Resale Right Directive, which has been adopted by the United Kingdom, living artists and artists who died within 70 years prior to the date of the sale are entitled to receive a resale royalty each time their art work is sold by an art market professional in the European Union or United Kingdom, subject to certain conditions. Sotheby’s will collect the resale royalty due to the artists or their estates from buyers of lots with a hammer price (excluding buyer’s premium and excluding VAT) in excess of €1000. Any purchaser of a lot to which Artist’s Resale Right applies will be charged the amount of the resale royalty, which will be added to the invoice.



http://www.sothebys.com/en/Glossary.html


This is a strange area, and even as a visual artist I have to consider that when I sell a piece, I no longer have a claim on it. I may retain the rights to the image, in the case of photography for example, but if I'm buying an original painting it then becomes my property. In my case, if I have an image in which I sell only one copy, once the copy is gone I'm no longer entitled to renumeration for that one copy. The artist who painted a work does not derive income from the original painting, but given that they presumably retained rights to the image they can still sell giclees or proofs or other forms of the work. The buyer can only own or sell the original, not the commercial use of the image.

But once the original -- one of a kind -- is sold, it becomes the property of the buyer.
All I need is a change of clothes, my Nikon, an open mind and a strong cup of coffee.

Mark Tiedemann
Posts: 2575
Joined: Sat Jan 22, 2011 1:51 pm

Re: Copyright vs Copywrong

Postby Mark Tiedemann » Tue Oct 28, 2014 6:21 am

This is where it really does get murky, to be sure. I suppose it depends entirely on end use. If you loan or sell your copy of something (or your original painting, photograph, etc) you aren't doing it commercially. It's a transaction for compensation between you and the new owner. Where we've all gotten exercised here is in the area of distribution as an aspect of commercial intent. In other words, you aren't giving a copy to your buddy to read, you're setting up a distribution network to ship as many copies as traffic will bear. That no longer has anything to do with your ownership rights of one object.

The artist's rights to royalties, it seems to me, are bound up in the original contract, and there is a vested interest in preventing unauthorized distribution which will damage that relationship.

Tim Raven
Posts: 255
Joined: Wed Dec 22, 2010 10:30 pm

Re: Copyright vs Copywrong

Postby Tim Raven » Tue Oct 28, 2014 4:27 pm

I think this is the way it should be.

If I create something unique that can be held in a hand, seen by an eye or heard by an ear then I own it, it is my property and also therefore my inheritors property in perpetuity. I’m allowed to profit from this asset just as if it were a business, because really it is a creative business rather than an object. A book is the writer’s business, the album is the musicians business.

If I decide to sell it, then the new owner owns it until they sell it.

If someone makes copies of my work and distributes it for free or profit then that person is committing a crime. It is no different than selling stolen stereo equipment from the back of a truck. The guy selling or giving away the stolen copies should be punished. I don’t think the person buying or downloading for free the stolen property should be prosecuted for the simple reason that almost everyone will take something for free if they can get away with it. Everyone. And we can’t have everyone in prison simultaneously as much as Republican’s would prefer that.

If the person selling the stolen property is found guilty, then his assets should be sold, divided up and split between the affected artists. If there is any prison time, it should be on the level of theft, just the same as selling stolen property. It should be a scary, draconian and life-ruining event in the thief’s personal life. I think severe economic punishment will help reduce copyright theft. Additionally, I think that web hosting services should be held to a high standard as well. They are also a critical piece of the puzzle, and they should take responsibility if they are abetting thieves. Sure, it sucks for them, but they are a business and should respect the rules of copyright.

If foreign countries like China are violating copyright, then I think that the affected artists should ban together and hire mercenaries from that foreign country and have the owners of the violating companies murdered and then burn their factories to the ground. It’s only fair, right? These foreign governments are loathe to address their own citizen’s complicity in international theft. No need to go to war, as Al Qaeda has taught us; you can touch individuals from afar in the twenty-first century. Violence in complicated situations like this has a tendency to simply things. It sends a simple, uncomplicated message. Thieves are all useless cowards in my experience and in this scenario they are also heartless money grubbers which is far worse in my eyes.

User avatar
AndrewR
Posts: 269
Joined: Thu May 22, 2003 6:33 pm
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Contact:

Re: Copyright vs Copywrong

Postby AndrewR » Tue Oct 28, 2014 4:55 pm

With regard to the resale issue in the EU and the UK; I suspect that it has a lot to do with the work of artists that made a meager living being sold at auction and in galleries for immense sums later. Picasso and Dali did alright while they were alive but many others did not. I'm sure that the actual number of works that are effected by this rule would be relatively small.

As a slightly off topic aside - Giclée prints:

Giclée prints are really just large scale inkjet prints. The term was taken from a french word; gicleur (meaning "nozzle") and is often used to describe ink spatter. Most folks confuse giclée with lithographs (totally unrelated) and large sums of money are asked for them, which is slightly silly considering how easily they can be reproduced. Lithographic plates have a relatively finite number of prints that can be struck from them and they should command a higher price due to their naturally limited editions. The more you know...
Andrew Rogers

"Anything more than 500 yds from the car just isn't photogenic." - Brett Weston

User avatar
Steve Barber
Posts: 294
Joined: Mon Feb 22, 2010 8:02 am
Contact:

Re: Copyright vs Copywrong

Postby Steve Barber » Wed Oct 29, 2014 8:43 am

8)
I do know the difference between giclee and lithographs...I simply picked one or the other to make my point regarding a copyrighted image. Many studios do throw the word around as if it's something better or more special than a litho. Caveat emptor.
All I need is a change of clothes, my Nikon, an open mind and a strong cup of coffee.

User avatar
AndrewR
Posts: 269
Joined: Thu May 22, 2003 6:33 pm
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Contact:

Re: Copyright vs Copywrong

Postby AndrewR » Wed Oct 29, 2014 11:44 am

Steve Barber wrote:8)
I do know the difference between giclee and lithographs...I simply picked one or the other to make my point regarding a copyrighted image. Many studios do throw the word around as if it's something better or more special than a litho. Caveat emptor.


Yeah, I figured you knew. :wink:

Many folks don't know the difference so I thought I'd add a little tid-bit. I'm afraid I got a little carried away though. :oops:
Andrew Rogers

"Anything more than 500 yds from the car just isn't photogenic." - Brett Weston

User avatar
FrankChurch
Posts: 16283
Joined: Wed May 28, 2003 2:19 pm

Re: Copyright vs Copywrong

Postby FrankChurch » Mon Nov 03, 2014 11:21 am

Finally, some legal sanity on this issue: http://www.theguardian.com/books/2014/n ... CMP=twt_gu

See, the courts understand the concept of public use.

---------

Shameful, one sided debate on this while I was out of the cosmos. Artists should be protected, but public good as well. Protection should go both ways, benefit us all.

User avatar
Rick Keeney
Posts: 1099
Joined: Mon Jan 05, 2004 4:40 pm
Location: Minneapolis, MN

Re: Copyright vs Copywrong

Postby Rick Keeney » Mon Nov 03, 2014 12:55 pm

FrankChurch wrote:
Shameful, one sided debate on this while I was out of the cosmos. Artists should be protected, but public good as well. Protection should go both ways, benefit us all.



I don't want to go back through your hundreds of posts here, Franklin. Can I just ask if this is the same point that you've already made?

And why exactly should we be ashamed to hold an informed opinion on this matter? Shame, after all is a strongly charged choice of words for a professed Christian. For the non-Christians here, Jesus Christ rarely sought such passive aggressive tactics to make his message known. And while that all might sound off-topic, it isn't.

User avatar
FrankChurch
Posts: 16283
Joined: Wed May 28, 2003 2:19 pm

Re: Copyright vs Copywrong

Postby FrankChurch » Thu Nov 13, 2014 1:12 pm

Why are people buying Taylor Swift's music, not downloading it free?

User avatar
Rick Keeney
Posts: 1099
Joined: Mon Jan 05, 2004 4:40 pm
Location: Minneapolis, MN

Re: Copyright vs Copywrong

Postby Rick Keeney » Thu Nov 13, 2014 1:46 pm

You didn't answer my question, Frank.

User avatar
Steve Barber
Posts: 294
Joined: Mon Feb 22, 2010 8:02 am
Contact:

Re: Copyright vs Copywrong

Postby Steve Barber » Thu Nov 13, 2014 3:00 pm

FrankChurch wrote: Shameful, one sided debate on this while I was out of the cosmos. Artists should be protected, but public good as well. Protection should go both ways, benefit us all.



But the production of art ALREADY benefits us all. You simply want it taken by the state at some point as some sort of communal property.

I agree, provided the artists and heirs are compensated for the contribution to society-at-large.

Using my oft-noted analogy: the community is welcome to use your rake as long as they pay you for the use. At no time, unless they buy it from you, can they simply walk in the door and say "yeah, that's been enough time. It's community property now."

Simply can't happen.
All I need is a change of clothes, my Nikon, an open mind and a strong cup of coffee.

User avatar
FinderDoug
Posts: 1530
Joined: Wed May 21, 2003 1:58 pm
Location: Houston, TX
Contact:

Re: Copyright vs Copywrong

Postby FinderDoug » Thu Nov 13, 2014 9:23 pm

Shameful, one sided debate on this while I was out of the cosmos.
What's shameful is that you think debate should cease just because you're not around.
Why are people buying Taylor Swift's music, not downloading it free?
Part of it probably has to do with her decision to leave Spotify. No legitimate free stream to be had. But your question is rooted in the erroneous assumption that because the album sold 2 million copies in its first two weeks that other people aren't stealing it at the same time. The fact is, there are plenty of illegal downloads going on.

As I write this, 8,600 people seeding it on Pirate Bay, with another 700 or so thieves leeching it from the seeders.
6,100 people are seeding it on Kickasstorrents, with another 720 or so thieves leeching there.
2,000 more seeding on Torrentz, with a couple hundred more leeches.

That Just three (of dozens of) torrent sites, accounting for 16,700 illegal copies, with another 1,600 being made real-time.

(Also, I can already Google and find two sites with the full album as MP3 files in an open directory. That's not even really trackable outside of the site owner stats. No telling how many copies flow from sites like those.)

All of which illustrates that while a couple million people grasp the clear-as-day concept of buying your music and directly supporting the artist - which has worked for a century now - there are another 18,000+ who are thieving dirtbags.

Frank may say, "Who cares? 18,000 copies is less than 1% of the total units sold in the first two weeks." Those 18,000 units also represent $234,000 value in stolen goods.

And that's the silliest thing in all of this: that 18,000 people would risk having to pay a minimum fine of $750 for a $13 album. It's hard to have sympathy for that level of stupidity.


Return to “Pop Culture”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot] and 2 guests