(no subject)

From: Dan Wright <dtwright_at_uiuc.edu>
Date: Fri Jan 17 16:40:43 2003

I agree that the morally correct thing is to pay for works that require
payment, rather then copying them. However, I definitly have a problem with
characterizing such copying as "theft", because it is NOT theft, for the
reasons that I and several other people have stated. I'm not saying that
makes illegal copying OK, just that it is not the same thing as actual theft,
and therefore needs to be dealt with & characterized differently. For
example, the recent TV ads from the RIAA characterizing downloading mp3s as
identical to walking into a store and lifting a CD are total horseshit because
THAT'S NOT WHAT YOU'RE DOING! Recognizing the difference between the two
does not mean that I'm condoning illegal copying.

Jim Strickland said:
> 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.

Well, no, copyright shouldn't be extended for that purpose, IMO. The purpose
of both patents and copyrights, according to the constitution of the united
states, is to promote the public interest by allowing authors/inventors a
period of LIMITED monopoly in order to obtain monetary benefit/compensation
from the difficult process of creating something. After which, the created IP
is supposed to move into the public domain, allowing other people to build new
works based on the old ones, thereby promoting further creativity. Note that
the constitution says nothing about promoting the interest of corporate
revenue, but rather, the interest of the public.

The basic problem with your argument is that it means no one can ever make a
new work based on steamboat willie as long as disney keeps selling it, which
stifles potential creativity, thereby still defeating the constitutionally
stated purpose of copyright.

However, I will grant that I would certainly prefer the situation you propose
to the current one, where companies are free to let copyrighted works rot in
their vaults while not letting anyone else touch them or see them, either.

- Dan Wright

-] ------------------------------ [-] -------------------------------- [-
``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 - 16:40:43 GMT

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