@ 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
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.