[LINK] copyright is not property
brendansweb at optusnet.com.au
Tue Jun 22 10:14:19 EST 2004
Deus Ex Machina wrote:
>>>everyone wants freedoms and rights. and part of that freedom is responsiblity
>>>to and the respect of others freedoms and rights. now unless I missed it,
>>>there is not a single shred in the above link other then as a justification
>>>for abusing another freedoms and rights. now if someone creates something and
>>>grants access to that to you on conditions of copyright, then enforced by law
>>>or not it is immoral to accept that access without agreeing to the conditions
>>>wether you like them or not, and subsequently violating that agreement is
>>>anyway which way you slice it: wrong.
The problem with this argument is that it implicitly extends to non-parties to the agreement. If you are trying to base a theory of copyright on contract it is bound to fail for this reason.
> of course you can own an idea. if you keep it in your head, its yours, no one
> can extract it from your head. if you create a movie its yours, its
> almost impossible that someone will come up with exactly the same movie.
> so your premise is flawed before your launch on the rest of your spiel.
This is actually the true meaning of the words "intellectual property". The first copy actually does have key characteristics of property (eg it is rivalrous and excludable). You can sell that first copy on any terms you like. After the sale of the first copy everything else is government regulation - permitting the copyright holder to reach beyond the sale to control post sale usages in a way not permitted by property law (if I sell you a hammer, you can do what you like with it after sale, not true of copyrighted material). Copyright interests have co-opted this term to apply it to legislative monopolies such as copyright.
> and why would anyone want to deal with you? you obviously are not
> prepared to enter into an agreement with intention to uphold your side.
> copyright is protection for contract rights of the work in questions.
This is not correct. Contract law is the protection of contract rights. Copyright is a legislative extension - (eg binding on people who are not parties to the contract).
> no such right exists. the immense prosperity of the modern western world
> is not a by-product of democracy, its a direct result of capitalism and
> the legal framework of democracy as a supporting structure. of these the
> cornerstones are that trade is free and fair. fair doesnt refer to price
> it refers to the conditions of each in adhering to contract law and
> trade practices law. that means if you agree to enter into a contract
Hear hear! This is precisely the reason why contract law and a free market should determine the production of works, not legislative subsidies such as the copyright and patent laws.
> if you spend $250m making a movie then clearly that isnt information free for the use of
> anyone that comes across it. creative works have a right to reap the
> rewards of the works they create. there is no such right as free
> information there is just freeloaders.
The law does not (and never has) recognise a general right to reap the rewards of the expenditure of effort.
> it is. socialism is the most misguided attempt in human history that
> actually produces in enormous quantity the very thing it aims to prevent.
> I was just reading about soviet food production Ill post some stats
> later, its mindblowing.
In my view the legislative monopoly that is copyright is socialism dressed up as capitalism. Movements such as the free software movement are a market reaction to it. Maintaining these regimes in the face of market opposition is extremely costly to society - just think of the anti-circumvention laws - a legislative sanction preventing consumers from repairing a product which was deliberately defective when sold. The compliance costs involved in wading through copyright regulations are enormous - and they recently have been changed retrospectively. In my view copyright/patent law is inconconsistent with a free market and Governments would do well to stop subsidising these industries. Unfortunately, the extent of these subsidies permits them to engage in rent seeking behaviour which has, in the last 30 years, seen an enormous expansion of the breadth and scope of those subsidies.
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