Major website shutdown by US govt without trial

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Re: Major website shutdown by US govt without trial

Postby yoni45 » Sat Feb 04, 2012 4:28 am UTC

Malice wrote:That's rental, not ownership. I can rent a DVD, which comes with restrictions like "don't destroy this" and "return it in 7 days or a ghost will come out of your TV and murder you", or I can buy a DVD, which should not come with restrictions like "don't lend this to your friend" or "don't have a party and watch this with a bunch of people". The design of the 2012 Camry is IP; I'm buying one of the many copies of the expression of that IP, and when I buy that copy, I can do what I want with it. It should be the same for a DVD.


Oh? So you mean there can be restrictions?

Great, now, given that you're not really "buying" the content itself, why exactly shouldn't it come with restrictions?

Malice wrote:I'm attempting to make the argument that it would be better for society overall if people could affordably obtain legal, DRM-free entertainment--if there was at least a middle ground between "Here's 10 bucks, give me your shitty restricted copy" and "Here's 100 million dollars, now I can loan this movie to my friend".


There's a middle ground: "Here's 20 bucks -- you can give one to your friend".

Moreover, I'm pretty sure loaning isn't even illegal -- you're giving up your copy and giving it to your friend. In fact, the doctrine that allows for it was just mentioned.

yoni45 wrote:So it's acceptable to put any restrictions you want on a DVD you're selling, so long as those restrictions are acceptable? Circular argument's circumference is 2*pi*r.


Yes -- you'll find much jurisprudence of the Western world largely relies on tests of "reasonability".
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Re: Major website shutdown by US govt without trial

Postby yurell » Sat Feb 04, 2012 4:32 am UTC

yoni45 wrote:Oh? So you mean there can be restrictions?

Great, now, given that you're not really "buying" the content itself, why exactly shouldn't it come with restrictions?


Because it doesn't say that you're not buying the content itself. If I am buying a couch, I am buying the couch to do with as I please. If I buy a DVD, I'm not buying a DVD — I'm buying the right to use it in certain ways. Why, then, should they be able to sell the two using the same language, conflating the meanings? The only reason for that is to mislead the consumer and their expectation of what ownership entails. How many people know that when their kids have a sleep over and they put on a DVD, they're committing a crime?
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Re: Major website shutdown by US govt without trial

Postby yoni45 » Sat Feb 04, 2012 4:37 am UTC

yurell wrote:Because it doesn't say that you're not buying the content itself. If I am buying a couch, I am buying the couch to do with as I please. If I buy a DVD, I'm not buying a DVD — I'm buying the right to use it in certain ways. Why, then, should they be able to sell the two using the same language, conflating the meanings? The only reason for that is to mislead the consumer and their expectation of what ownership entails.


Are you really unaware of the general restrictions of buying a DVD?

yurell wrote:How many people know that when their kids have a sleep over and they put on a DVD, they're committing a crime?


Citation please?

(although either way -- the answer to that is probably the same number of people that would actually get persecuted for it).
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Re: Major website shutdown by US govt without trial

Postby yurell » Sat Feb 04, 2012 10:45 am UTC

yoni45 wrote:[Are you really unaware of the general restrictions of buying a DVD?


No I'm not, although most people are unaware of all the terms and conditions involved in the use of a DVD they supposedly 'bought', including myself.

yoni45 wrote:Citation please?


It turns out I was wrong. Public viewing was defined as more than ten people in the pre-movie scroll on a DVD I was just watching, but it would appear the law has changed since the DVD was made either changing the definition of public viewing or refusing to allow companies to arbitrarily dictate what counts. So long as they're in a private residence it's legal, mea culpa.

yoni45 wrote:(although either way -- the answer to that is probably the same number of people that would actually get persecuted for it).


If you have a law, and have no intention of enforcing it, what's the point of the law?
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Re: Major website shutdown by US govt without trial

Postby yoni45 » Sat Feb 04, 2012 4:00 pm UTC

yurell wrote:No I'm not, although most people are unaware of all the terms and conditions involved in the use of a DVD they supposedly 'bought', including myself.


All of the terms and conditions? Probably not. But that's not the issue here, is it?

People generally are aware of the relevant terms, such as the fact that they're not allowed to illicitly copy the material etc. If we were to be pedantic, then the copyright symbols along with the legal disclaimers on the packaging do advise of the relevant terms.

yurell wrote:If you have a law, and have no intention of enforcing it, what's the point of the law?


Well, for one, it might be to selectively enforce abuse of the system. For example, if someone creates a small theater in their house and charges people to come see it, then the "10 people restriction" could be used against them.

But to be fair, that'd just poor lawmaking -- I'd be with you there.
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Re: Major website shutdown by US govt without trial

Postby Panonadin » Sun Feb 05, 2012 8:00 pm UTC

Whats wrong with just buying the media you're interested in and not copying it?

You do have the option of not having it you know. No one is coming around saying that you have to have that movie/song/game in order to be a member of society. If you don't like the fact that you aren't allowed to copy something you bought then don't buy it.

Be sure to correct me if I'm wrong, but you don't have a "right" to entertainment.
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Re: Major website shutdown by US govt without trial

Postby Gellert1984 » Sun Feb 05, 2012 8:36 pm UTC

Panonadin wrote:Whats wrong with just buying the media you're interested in and not copying it?

You do have the option of not having it you know. No one is coming around saying that you have to have that movie/song/game in order to be a member of society. If you don't like the fact that you aren't allowed to copy something you bought then don't buy it.

Be sure to correct me if I'm wrong, but you don't have a "right" to entertainment.


But I want to listen to my old vinyl on this newfangled cd Walkman thing my grandson bought me for Christmas; they do this thing in the shop that lets me copy my albums to a cd which is much cheaper than buying all the same media again on a different medium.

Now they've bought out DVDs.

What's a blu-ray? Is that like those mp3 things my son has on his phone?
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Re: Major website shutdown by US govt without trial

Postby Ghostbear » Sun Feb 05, 2012 8:40 pm UTC

@ Yoni, didn't mean to be rude in not responding, but our personal discussion was going in circles pointlessly, so I set it aside and let Yurell take up the torch.

Panonadin wrote:Whats wrong with just buying the media you're interested in and not copying it?

You do have the option of not having it you know. No one is coming around saying that you have to have that movie/song/game in order to be a member of society. If you don't like the fact that you aren't allowed to copy something you bought then don't buy it.

Be sure to correct me if I'm wrong, but you don't have a "right" to entertainment.

That's not really true- you are right that you have the option of not having it, which is 100% legitimate. But through legal doctrines such as fair use, we have established a precedent of people being able to copy these products for personal use, use it for satire, and so on. So, were it not for shit laws like the DMCA, copying things that try to prevent you from doing so would be completely legal.

As for not having a right, if we stick with Yoni's use of the UDHR, we have Article 27 (1):
Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits.

Which would imply that everyone does have a right to participate and enjoy culture. Entertainment is too limiting a term to apply to this- while talks of copyright infringement will usually stick to works of entertainment (movies, books, songs, plays, games...) many other things fall under copyright, such as speeches, business software, operating systems, and so on. People do not have a right to all cultural works, but I would argue (UDHR or not) that people have some inherent right to it. People also have some right (I would probably not call it inherent, unlike the other, but here the UDHR will disagree with me, so make your own evaluation) to protection of their works. These are not mutually exclusive; you can have protection of your work for a time, and then others can freely enjoy those cultural works afterwards. Nobody here has been advocating for the removal of copyright. Instead, some (many?) of us are asking for the terms to be brought down to a shorter length of time, as the balance between those two rights has shifted almost entirely into the hands of the creator, and away from society.

So, no, you don't have to have a specific song or movie or game or book or anything of the sort, but it makes society (including the original creator!) richer for it if people can have it. Of course, you'll say that we need to offer protection to encourage those works, and you'd be 100% correct, but that's where the balancing act comes in again. We need to balance the right of the creator and the rights of society, while also balancing the benefit to society with the benefit to the creators. Our current copyright laws in the US give protection for 95 years for non-individual works (I can't remember the exact word used- stuff made for corporations, basically, though there is non-corporate stuff in there), and life plus 70 years for individuals. This is a huge swing towards the creators side (and even fails at the encouragement aspect of their own balance- as someone mentioned earlier, DC/Marvel have no incentive to create new superheroes, because they can milk Batman/X-Men unchallenged for decades more), and completely away from the side of society. Now, we could also make it completely fucked up in favor of society; make copyright only 1 or even 5 year long, for instance. I think there's a better balance in there, between 30 and 50 years long. I'm strongly in favor of 30 years, but I'm willing to admit my own selection might not be ideal, and maybe up to another 20 years would be actually ideal.
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Re: Major website shutdown by US govt without trial

Postby Panonadin » Sun Feb 05, 2012 8:52 pm UTC

Gellert1984 wrote:Whats wrong with just buying the media you're interested in and not copying it?

But I want to listen to my old vinyl on this newfangled cd Walkman thing my grandson bought me for Christmas; they do this thing in the shop that lets me copy my albums to a cd which is much cheaper than buying all the same media again on a different medium.

Now they've bought out DVDs.

What's a blu-ray? Is that like those mp3 things my son has on his phone?


So buy a CD to go in your newfangled cd Walkman or listen to it at home on your oldfangled vinyl player. Your grandson buying you a Christmas present doesn't give you new rights.

Ghostbear wrote:Stuff Ghostbear said.


I hate making 700 page posts so I'm not gonna quote your whole thing.

Forgive me for pointing out the obvious but "Article 27" says you can participate in the cultural life of the community. It doesn't grant you the right to to break laws in order to do so. Also, PARTICIPATE.
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Re: Major website shutdown by US govt without trial

Postby Ghostbear » Sun Feb 05, 2012 8:56 pm UTC

Panonadin wrote:Forgive me for pointing out the obvious but "Article 27" says you can participate in the cultural life of the community. It doesn't grant you the right to to break laws in order to do so.

Where did I encourage the breaking of the law? I asked for changed laws, not broken laws.

Panonadin wrote:Also, PARTICIPATE.

How do you participate in cultural works without interacting with them? Society can't participate in the culture of the Beatles' music if nobody has listened to them.
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Re: Major website shutdown by US govt without trial

Postby omgryebread » Sun Feb 05, 2012 8:56 pm UTC

Panonadin wrote:Whats wrong with just buying the media you're interested in and not copying it?

You do have the option of not having it you know. No one is coming around saying that you have to have that movie/song/game in order to be a member of society. If you don't like the fact that you aren't allowed to copy something you bought then don't buy it.

Be sure to correct me if I'm wrong, but you don't have a "right" to entertainment.
I'm generally more pro-copyright than the internet, but copying is important for a few reasons. For one, media is lost sometimes, and copying helps prevent that. We don't have a full copy of the first Super Bowl. If recording and copying were more prevalent then, we would. It might be non-profitable for the copyright owner to update the media, and illegal for everyone else to do it. If Disney decided to stop updating it's stuff, and they retained eternal copyright, it would be very hard to watch a lot of their stuff once DVDs are phased out.

Secondly, the use of works in derivative works is valuable. Some classics wouldn't exist at all without a public domain concept. West Side Story (Romeo and Juliet); O Brother, Where Art Thou? (The Odyssey); Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead (Hamlet), and Duchamp's L.H.O.O.Q (Mona Lisa) by are all works based on works in the public domain. What valuable work could have been produced if Mickey Mouse hasn't existed in perpetual copyright?

Music is another example of the value of derivative works. Sampling (whether you like it or not) is very valuable. The Grey Album is by this point an iconic work that EMI has tried to prevent the distribution of. Currently, most sampling is done by paying a fee up-front to the copyright owner. This puts independent artists at a large disadvantage. 6 Foot 7 Foot is a great song (on a pretty terrible album, Tha Carter IV), but it couldn't have been done if Cash Money didn't have the money to sample Belafonte.

For those last two as well, the standard argument for copyright is terrible. How many people aren't going to read classic Greek Literature because they watched a Coen Brother's movie? Does Disney really "deserve" to profit from a cartoon that is almost 100 years old? Does their right to profit override the benefit we could get by allowing other people to make Steamboat Willie cartoons?

I can't imagine my grandmother not wanting to listen to Harry Belafonte because she could listen a small sample of his song in a Lil Wayne track.

Panonadin wrote:So buy a CD to go in your newfangled cd Walkman or listen to it at home on your oldfangled vinyl player. Your grandson buying you a Christmas present doesn't give you new rights.
When I purchase a song I purchase the right to listen to that song, as well as the actual physical storage medium (or the non-physical data). What you're saying is that when I buy a song, I buy only the right to listen to that song on a specific format. The grandmother in the original example is not gaining new rights. She's merely exercising her right to listen to the song. It's stupid and absurd that media should be limited to one format. What if they never make a CD of that album?
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Re: Major website shutdown by US govt without trial

Postby Qaanol » Mon Feb 06, 2012 3:06 am UTC

The original US Copyright Act of 1790 put the term of exclusivity at 14 years. And if the author was still alive at the end, he or she could file for one 14-year extension.

I propose we go back to that timeline, but instead make creative works protected for 14 years, and protected from commercial use (but free for non-commercial use) for the next 14 years.

14 years is a long enough time that any given person is not going to want to wait 14 years to get a “new” song or watch a “new” movie, or install a “new” operating system, so people are still going to buy things. And 28 years is long enough that any given company is not going to want to wait 28 years to upgrade to “new” business software, and so forth.

The 14-year non-commercial, 28-year commercial protection system is just about as close to perfect as is possible within the “grant-exclusivity-for-some-timespan” model of copyright implementation.
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Re: Major website shutdown by US govt without trial

Postby yurell » Mon Feb 06, 2012 3:21 am UTC

The current copyright laws, had they been around then, would mean that there could conceivably be stuff published before the first electric streetlight still in copyright, and authors who were killed during WWII would only just be losing their copyright. It's truly obscene, especially when you have a look at the list of top earning dead celebrities. Einstein died sixty years ago and is still earning ten million dollars a year — why should his works not be part of popular culture and freely available now? It's not like he needs the money.
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Re: Major website shutdown by US govt without trial

Postby yoni45 » Mon Feb 06, 2012 4:52 am UTC

yurell wrote:The current copyright laws, had they been around then, would mean that there could conceivably be stuff published before the first electric streetlight still in copyright, and authors who were killed during WWII would only just be losing their copyright. It's truly obscene, especially when you have a look at the list of top earning dead celebrities. Einstein died sixty years ago and is still earning ten million dollars a year — why should his works not be part of popular culture and freely available now? It's not like he needs the money.


To play devil's advocate here, Einstein doesn't need the money, but his heirs probably don't mind it. The fact that he's not around to directly benefit from his own creation isn't a very good reason to strip his estate of his property. Nor is the fact that it would be nice for other people if we stripped his estate of his property.

There may be reasons to create limitations on intellectual property, but those two really aren't it.
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Re: Major website shutdown by US govt without trial

Postby Qaanol » Mon Feb 06, 2012 5:42 am UTC

Yoni, you keep talking as though authors have a “right” to prevent other people from using their own pens and paper to make their own copies of the author’s original work. The power to deny other people the free use of their own property is not a right at all, but is in fact a wrong. It is a wrong against the concepts of individual liberty, property ownership, and freedom of expression.

Terms of exclusivity for “intellectual property” are actually a wrong done to each and every person other than the author. That is a lot of people being wronged, and they are wronged continuously for a long time. Even with my suggestion of 14-and-28 year copyright terms, that is a long time to suffer a wrong.

To have one’s rights diminished for 14 years is a substantial injustice. To have 300 million people’s rights diminished for 14 years, again and again every single time a creative work is made, that adds up to a huge amount of wrong. All those people for all those years, are prevented from using their own property in certain peaceful ways, prevented from saying, doing, writing, viewing, and sharing certain peaceful things.

And yet the current terms of exclusivity are many times longer, making far worse infringements on individuals’ rights to their own property, their own speech, their own culture. We here are calling for a change to greatly reduce the amount of wrong caused by IP laws. The foremost way proposed to do so is by making the duration of protection for works much shorter and more reasonable.
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Re: Major website shutdown by US govt without trial

Postby yoni45 » Mon Feb 06, 2012 5:56 am UTC

Qaanol wrote:Yoni, you keep talking as though authors have a “right” to prevent other people from using their own pens and paper to make their own copies of the author’s original work...


Correct -- a right that I'm not alone in recognizing, and that has in fact been granted by things like the UDHR. I can't say that I see much inherently wrong with providing people that create things full control over their creations. The fact that this restricts certain uses of pen and paper is hardly an argument against this concept -- pen and paper can't be used for all kinds of other things too (such as stabbing people).
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Re: Major website shutdown by US govt without trial

Postby Gelsamel » Mon Feb 06, 2012 6:00 am UTC

If I'm writing out words on a piece of paper with a pencil then when does it start to infringe on another IP?
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Re: Major website shutdown by US govt without trial

Postby yoni45 » Mon Feb 06, 2012 6:08 am UTC

Gelsamel wrote:If I'm writing out words on a piece of paper with a pencil then when does it start to infringe on another IP?


Probably when it crosses the boundary of fair or personal use.
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Re: Major website shutdown by US govt without trial

Postby Griffin » Mon Feb 06, 2012 4:12 pm UTC

yoni45 wrote:
Griffin wrote:Except thats not what they do. "Fruits of their labour" means that when they put effort into making something they get that thing. "Fruits of their labour" means that if they spend a year writing a book, they get a book out of it (same as if I spent a year making a couch or building a statue)...


This would be true only if you subscribe to a rather primitive view of human labour and the products thereof.

Please then, rather than saying "this is the way this it is now" why don't you actually try to justify it. I'll admit, I don't know much about the UDHR - but if it says that people are entitled to get paid simply because they worked hard, rather than because they built something and convinced people to pay for it? That's fucking bullshit. As I said before, I don't get to paint a bunch of stick people on the wall of your house and then try to get you to pay for it - that's not how a market works. Not even if I like the stick figures and leave them up. You don't get to shovel my driveway, and then come back the next day and say I owe you 300 dollars for the service. If someone gives me their unused recliner, I don't owe the person who made it anything at all - despite the fact that they worked hard on it, and I'm benefiting while paying nothing. I don't owe them anything if I add a cupholder. And I don't think I should owe them anything if I use it as a base to make my own recliner. Quite frankly, anything that says otherwise is a perversion of what it means for something to be property. And it seems to be quite clear from what others have said that your appeal to some bullshit called the 'UDHR' is pretty baseless.

So tell me, how exactly does your "advanced" view of the fruits of labour work? Because to me, from what I can get from it, you look like an entitled twat who thinks people "deserve" things simply because they do, like a child who throws a fit at the store about how his mom should buy him that toy because he went to bed on time the night before, and want to legally enshrine their temper tantrums in law by forcing us to buy him a toy lest he get upset.
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Re: Major website shutdown by US govt without trial

Postby yoni45 » Mon Feb 06, 2012 5:36 pm UTC

Griffin wrote:
yoni45 wrote:This would be true only if you subscribe to a rather primitive view of human labour and the products thereof.

Please then, rather than saying "this is the way this it is now" why don't you actually try to justify it. I'll admit, I don't know much about the UDHR - but if it says that people are entitled to get paid...


What in the world? What does getting paid have to do with anything?

This isn't about getting paid for anything, it's about control over what you produce. The idea that people have a right over their the products of their labor is pretty simple, and has nothing to do with anyone shoving recliners in your driveway.
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Re: Major website shutdown by US govt without trial

Postby Griffin » Mon Feb 06, 2012 5:58 pm UTC

And my point was that I don't see how telling ME what I can do with MY STUFF is essential to YOU enjoying the things that YOU produce.

You continue to argue that telling me what I can do with my stuff is a requirement in order for you to enjoy the things you have produced. You have completely failed to justify this.
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Re: Major website shutdown by US govt without trial

Postby Роберт » Mon Feb 06, 2012 6:01 pm UTC

Basically, some people are saying they don't get the idea of intellectual property and similar concepts at all (or they don't agree with them).

Presumably that means I can take videos of them for use in anti-piracy adverts without their consent.
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Re: Major website shutdown by US govt without trial

Postby Ghostbear » Mon Feb 06, 2012 6:14 pm UTC

Роберт wrote:Basically, some people are saying they don't get the idea of intellectual property and similar concepts at all (or they don't agree with them).

I don't think that's a fair interpretation of our side of this debate in the least. Not even remotely. I'm getting a bit frustrated by this assumption, to be completely honest. No one here that I've seen has argued that people shouldn't have some protection over their works. What we're arguing is that the length of that protection is too long, that that protection shouldn't be absolute or ironclad, that the balance of societal and creator benefits should be fixed to not be almost exclusively towards the creators.

Роберт wrote:Presumably that means I can take videos of them for use in anti-piracy adverts without their consent.

Making videos of people without their consent would probably fall under privacy concerns, not intellectual property.
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Re: Major website shutdown by US govt without trial

Postby Griffin » Mon Feb 06, 2012 6:19 pm UTC

I'm not even against IP law so much as the near-constant mischaracterizing of it something far more meaningful and idealized than what it actually is.

It is a tool, nothing more.

Роберт wrote:Presumably that means I can take videos of them for use in anti-piracy adverts without their consent.

I assume this example means you yourself are one of the first, since it has nothing whatsoever to do with IP? (Actually, under current law, the person who takes a photo or video owns the image, so IP law would side with the person who recorded the video here.So if you make a video, even of me, yes, you can use it in anti-piracy ads, as far as IP law is concerned. There may be other laws that are relevant that might prevent it, obviously, depending on where you are.)
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Re: Major website shutdown by US govt without trial

Postby Qaanol » Mon Feb 06, 2012 6:21 pm UTC

Qaanol: It sounds like Yoni thinks X is a Y, but we can see logically that X is actually a Z.

Yoni: You’re right, I do think X is a Y. And so do lots of other people, including one particular document.

Griffin: No, really, look at it objectively. X is clearly a Z.

Yoni: This isn’t about benefiting from your work, it’s about stopping other people from benefiting from your work.

Everyone collectively: <facepalm>
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Re: Major website shutdown by US govt without trial

Postby yoni45 » Mon Feb 06, 2012 6:26 pm UTC

Griffin wrote:And my point was that I don't see how telling ME what I can do with MY STUFF is essential to YOU enjoying the things that YOU produce...


Really? Because I could have sworn your point was about some ridiculous strawman regarding getting paid.

You're free to use your "stuff" in ways that don't infringe on my "stuff". My "stuff" including my intellectual "stuff".


Qaanol wrote:Qaanol: It sounds like Yoni thinks X is a Y, but we can see logically that X is actually a Z.

Yoni: You’re right, I do think X is a Y. And so do lots of other people, including one particular document.

Griffin: No, really, look at it objectively. X is clearly a Z.

Yoni: This isn’t about benefiting from your work, it’s about stopping other people from benefiting from your work.

Everyone collectively: <facepalm>


This is even more useless than your "HEY GUYZ WHAT IF WE JUST COPYRIGHT EVERYTHING HAHAHA" argument.
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Re: Major website shutdown by US govt without trial

Postby Griffin » Mon Feb 06, 2012 6:40 pm UTC

Yoni, the only thing I took issue with was you assertion that IP law was about insuring people were able to enjoy the fruits of your labour. Now that you've backtracked to the far more defensible position of it being about preventing others from enjoying the fruits of your labour, I'm more than happy to consider the disagreement closed.
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Re: Major website shutdown by US govt without trial

Postby yoni45 » Mon Feb 06, 2012 6:44 pm UTC

Griffin wrote:Yoni, the only thing I took issue with was you assertion that IP law was about insuring people were able to enjoy the fruits of your labour. Now that you've backtracked to the far more defensible position of it being about preventing others from enjoying the fruits of your labour, I'm more than happy to consider the disagreement closed.


The high horse you're sitting on is particularly amusing considering I never once used the term 'enjoy' in reference to a creator's rights towards their work in the last 5 pages' worth of posts.
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Re: Major website shutdown by US govt without trial

Postby Роберт » Mon Feb 06, 2012 6:45 pm UTC

Griffin wrote:I assume this example means you yourself are one of the first, since it has nothing whatsoever to do with IP?

Reading comprehension is a valuable skill to have. I've included formatting to aid yours.
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Роберт wrote:Basically, some people are saying they don't get the idea of intellectual property and similar concepts at all (or they don't agree with them).


Note I also didn't say who it was exactly in this thread that clearly either didn't understand or agree with the idea of Intellectual Property and similar concepts. If the shoe fits...

I think copyright law in the U.S. and similar laws (patents come to mind) have tons of problems and need serious revamping. But I don't think copyrights and similar concepts are inherently bad.
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Re: Major website shutdown by US govt without trial

Postby Ghostbear » Mon Feb 06, 2012 6:48 pm UTC

Роберт wrote:But I don't think copyrights and similar concepts are inherently bad.

Again- no one has said that they are. It's a pointless criticism of one side of the discussion, because it's not something that has been said by that side.
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Re: Major website shutdown by US govt without trial

Postby Роберт » Mon Feb 06, 2012 7:19 pm UTC

Ghostbear wrote:
Роберт wrote:But I don't think copyrights and similar concepts are inherently bad.

Again- no one has said that they are. It's a pointless criticism of one side of the discussion, because it's not something that has been said by that side.

I must have misunderstood the "I've obtained copyrights to all collections of 0s and 1s to a certain size" argument.
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Re: Major website shutdown by US govt without trial

Postby Malice » Mon Feb 06, 2012 7:39 pm UTC

There are four sides to this debate, each arguing for one point on the copyright continuum.

There's the "intellectual property makes no sense and should not exist" side, which would abolish all copyright. Some people here are arguing for this and I'm not sure it's a terrible idea.

There's the "intellectual property isn't an inherent right, but a granted one for practical purposes to encourage the creation of culture; this should be balanced with public access to that culture", which would would lower copyright terms way down from 100 years to 20-40. (Me and most others in this thread, so far as I can tell.)

There's the side defending our current laws as is, which would make no change. This side is, as far as I can tell, unrepresented by anybody in this thread, and not widely represented out in the world (even copyright holders like Disney tend to want extensions and further SOPA-esque restrictions and powers).

Then there's the "intellectual property is an inherent right which should not be limited", which I believe in this thread is the sole province of Yoni, who is on record as saying there should be no free public domain whatsoever, and that copyright terms should be infinite.
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Re: Major website shutdown by US govt without trial

Postby Panonadin » Mon Feb 06, 2012 8:00 pm UTC

Malice wrote:Then there's the "intellectual property is an inherent right which should not be limited", which I believe in this thread is the sole province of Yoni, who is on record as saying there should be no free public domain whatsoever, and that copyright terms should be infinite.


I actually agree with everything Yoni has said in the thread but I don't feel like parroting.

Not to mention the above quote doesn't seem to me (or anyone else who can read) what he has been saying. Glad to see you contributing though.
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Re: Major website shutdown by US govt without trial

Postby Qaanol » Mon Feb 06, 2012 8:49 pm UTC

Ceteris paribus, the act of restricting other people’s freedoms (eg. of speech, of property ownership, of access to information) is a bad thing. The aspects of IP laws that restrict such rights, are inherently detrimental. However there are also some benefits from IP laws, namely providing a financial incentive for the creation of new works.

The amount of benefit those new works provide is proportional to how many people are able to put them to good use. Which, in turn, is inversely related to how restrictive the IP laws are. So we get, to a first approximate, a quadratic equation for the benefit provided by a given IP law. When graphed, we get a parabola opening downwards. The x-axis is how restrictive the IP laws are, and the y-axis is how much benefit they provide.

The parabola must go through the origin, since the absence of IP law is the baseline. If that happens to be the peak, then all IP laws of this form are detrimental. All of us in this thread, however, agree that the curve rises up from there, reaching some peak before falling back down and crossing below the x-axis.

The evidence demonstrates that most contemporary IP laws, particularly those of the USA, have gone way too far to the right on the x-axis, well beyond the maximum, and in some cases beyond the second root of the parabola entirely, so the net effect of these current IP laws is somewhere between actively detrimental, and substantially less beneficial than they could be.
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Re: Major website shutdown by US govt without trial

Postby yoni45 » Mon Feb 06, 2012 8:51 pm UTC

Malice wrote:Then there's the "intellectual property is an inherent right which should not be limited", which I believe in this thread is the sole province of Yoni, who is on record as saying there should be no free public domain whatsoever, and that copyright terms should be infinite.


YEAH! Province of Yoni is now officially a population of two.

Okay, just to clarify a number of things:

I never said there should be no free public domain. In fact, I referred to a public domain numerous times. My point was more so that a public domain doesn't have to exist off of legally extorting people's works from them. We don't forcibly take people's possessions without their consent because we feel like we have to enrich the public domain -- we either buy them with public funds or receive them at their owner's generosity.

And it's funny -- I came in here fully of the idea that while copyright is an inherent right, it's okay to have reasonable restrictions on it for society's benefit. Yet, the more I see arguments for such restrictions being made, the more they make me doubt whether such restrictions are all that reasonable. Unlike with patents, I don't really see any practical grounds for copyright restriction -- the only exception being if the work becomes so widespread as to become generic (similar to how trademarks can be lost), and the 'regular' things like fair and/or personal use.

I mean frankly, people here have been all up in arms claiming that things like free unrestricted distribution works to the advantage of artists. Great -- let those who want to freely distribute their music do so, and the market should take care of the rest.
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Re: Major website shutdown by US govt without trial

Postby Qaanol » Mon Feb 06, 2012 9:03 pm UTC

yoni45 wrote:Unlike with patents, I don't really see any practical grounds for copyright restriction

I assume by this you mean that patents are “useful”, and society has an interest in promoting useful things, and you think copyrightable works are “useless”, perhaps because they are often purely aesthetic or entertainment.

If that is the case, the only logically consistent position for you to take is, “The government has no interest in promoting the creation of ‘useless’ creative works, so there is absolutely no reason to restrict people’s free speech just for the sake of getting more of those ‘useless’ works made.”

The rest of us see far more value than that in copyrightable works, and recognize that they have inherent worth, and thus we all have a vested interesting in seeing more of them created and made available.
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Re: Major website shutdown by US govt without trial

Postby Ghostbear » Mon Feb 06, 2012 9:06 pm UTC

Роберт wrote:I must have misunderstood the "I've obtained copyrights to all collections of 0s and 1s to a certain size" argument.

If you thought it was argueing for the complete removal of copyright? Then yeah, not to put words in the person that originally wrote it, but I'm pretty confident you did misunderstand it.

Malice wrote:There are four sides to this debate, each arguing for one point on the copyright continuum.

I'm not actually sure I've seen anyone advocate for zero copyright or for current laws, actually. Who were you thinking for those?

yoni45 wrote:Unlike with patents, I don't really see any practical grounds for copyright restriction [...]

What exact difference do you see between patents and copyrighted works?

yoni45 wrote:[...] the only exception being if the work becomes so widespread as to become generic (similar to how trademarks can be lost), and the 'regular' things like fair and/or personal use.

So you'd be fine with Star Wars being in the public domain then?
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Re: Major website shutdown by US govt without trial

Postby yoni45 » Mon Feb 06, 2012 9:23 pm UTC

Qaanol wrote:I assume by this you mean that patents are “useful”, and society has an interest in promoting useful things, and you think copyrightable works are “useless”, perhaps because they are often purely aesthetic or entertainment.


No. See below for useful discussion.

Ghostbear wrote:
yoni45 wrote:Unlike with patents, I don't really see any practical grounds for copyright restriction [...]

What exact difference do you see between patents and copyrighted works?


Patents are vague enough that more than one party can reasonably come up with them independently. It's actually somewhat of a finite resource: the idea to use a certain material to generate light in a particular way is something that more than one person could arguably come up with at some point in time. I don't see any inherent right to something just because you came across it first -- someone else independently coming up with such an idea should have just as much of a right towards that idea.

Of course, on the other hand, 3rd party uses of a particularly innovative idea directly following that idea's publication are rather unlikely to be independent ideas but simply appropriations of the original inventor's, from which his or her idea does deserve protection. But at the same time, the more time that passes, the more likely someone else would have been to come up with that idea to the point that it's essentially inevitable.

In the case of patents, there is a very clear conflict of equally strong rights here, so some sort of line, even if arbitrary, needs to be drawn to balance the two.

In the case of copyright, this isn't really a practical issue as it stands -- if someone "creates" the exact same song as you did, it's pretty much more than guaranteed that they did it using your song.

Ghostbear wrote:
yoni45 wrote:[...] the only exception being if the work becomes so widespread as to become generic (similar to how trademarks can be lost), and the 'regular' things like fair and/or personal use.

So you'd be fine with Star Wars being in the public domain then?


That'd be for a court to decide based on the particulars I guess -- I definitely think that the "elements" of Star Wars should be in the public domain (so things like use of darth vader, etc.), but the movies themselves aren't really generic: they're still a distinct work.
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Re: Major website shutdown by US govt without trial

Postby Qaanol » Mon Feb 06, 2012 9:38 pm UTC

yoni45 wrote:appropriations of the original inventor's, from which his or her idea does deserve protection.

Fundamental point of disagreement. If you decide to plow your field a certain way, or make certain marks on a piece of paper, you do not inherently “deserve” to prevent me from plowing my field a similar way, or making similar marks on my own paper.

We only tolerate such government-sponsored intrusions and restrictions of my rights, because the sum total effect, on balance, over long periods of time, with large numbers of ideas being created, is purported to bring about even more benefit than the harm it causes me and people like me.

Those benefits comes from there being a greater number of ideas produced, on account of the ability to recoup financial costs accrued in creating them, and those extra ideas becoming available for widespread use in order to cause an even greater amount of benefit than the harm caused by infringing natural rights.
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Re: Major website shutdown by US govt without trial

Postby yoni45 » Mon Feb 06, 2012 9:50 pm UTC

Qaanol wrote:We only tolerate such government-sponsored intrusions and restrictions of my rights, because the sum total effect, on balance, over long periods of time, with large numbers of ideas being created, is purported to bring about even more benefit than the harm it causes me and people like me...


This has already been shown to be patently false numerous times, as documents like the UDHR clearly do not do so solely for the reasons you cite (and the UDHR has been voted on favorably and adopted by much of the Western world).
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