(no subject)

From: Jim Strickland <jim_at_calico.litterbox.com>
Date: Fri Jan 17 16:09:00 2003

The bottom line here is that with intellectual property, the only moral
choice is that if the author wishes to be paid for the USE of their
creation, they should be. Whether you'd have bought it if you couldn't
have gotten it for free or not is irrelevant, it's like sneaking into a
movie theater and sitting in an empty seat. You acquired some benefit
from the material, and since the author didn't chose to make it public
domain, you are morally obligated to pay for it. As someone who is in
the process of writing his first novel (revising, really, the original
draft was a NaNoWriMo creation) I can assure you that I am not doing
this for free. Granted, if I choose to make the novel publicly
available online as well as publishing (I hope, I hope), it may
increase my sales, but it was still MY choice. It is immoral for
anyone else to make that choice for me by simply stealing the work,
even if it benefits me in the end.

Furthermore, I think that copyrights should be extended to permanence
so long as the work in question is available for purchase by the
public. eg: If Disney wants to keep SteamBoat Willie copyrighted for
eternity, they have to sell you a copy at will. I have far greater
problems with companies that take a copyright and sit on it and make it
unavailable to the public than I do with those who want to protect
their revenue stream.

The flip side of this is that IMHO there need to be a lot more
restrictive guidelines on how and who can be sued (in general, but
specifically for copyright infringement). IMHO it's perfectly fair for
Disney to sic lawyers on anyone using clips from SteamBoat Willie who
didn't pay for it. But if I make a movie called SteamBoat Bob,
starring Bob the Chicken, they shouldn't be able to sue and win, and
they shouldn't be able to sue just to force me out of business from the
expense of fighting them off.

Anyway, that's my two rubles worth. Megan said it more directly anyway.


On Friday, January 17, 2003, at 11:19 AM, Dan Wright wrote:

> Megan said:
>> Ah, but why are you taking a copy? Is it perhaps because it has
>> value to you? That it entertains? If so, then someone had to
>> go through the process of creation to produce it. Not unlike
>> building a house. They deserve something to compensate them.
> Yes, they do...but please see below...
>>> that makes a copy of something *may* be depriving an author of
>>> possibly
>>> income, but if someone is too cheap or really can't afford to buy it
>>> in
>>> the first place, "lost income" is just BS.
>> That seems to be the general argument of the recent and current
>> generations... that just because they can't pay for something
>> shouldn't preclude them having it... "they are entitled to it".
>> WRONG! If it has value to you, then pay for it.
> The problem is that the "theft" argument assumes that EVERY copy = 1
> lost
> sale. This argument is total bullshit. Most people who copy
> music/movies/whatever wouldn't have bought it if they couldn't copy
> it, so no
> (or at best, very few -- FAR fewer then the number of copies that are
> made)
> actual SALES are lost. (If you don't believe me, there has been a lot
> of
> statistical research done that shows this; about the only
> contradiction comes
> from the RIAA's highly dubious closed-books "research". Sorry I don't
> have
> any sources at hand, but it's easy to find them on the WWW.) No lost
> sales
> means there's no equivalent to real-world theft, because no property
> is gone
> (the author/copyright owner still has their copy) and no money has
> been lost
> (because the copy wouldn't have been a sale, anyway).
> - Dan Wright
> (dtwright_at_uiuc.edu)
> (http://www.uiuc.edu/~dtwright)
> -] ------------------------------ [-] --------------------------------
> [-
> ``Weave a circle round him thrice, / And close your eyes with holy
> dread,
> For he on honeydew hath fed, / and drunk the milk of Paradise.''
> Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Kubla Khan
Received on Fri Jan 17 2003 - 16:09:00 GMT

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