Comments on: just when I learned not to be surprised, I’m surprised http://www.lessig.org/2005/01/just-when-i-learned-not-to-be/ Blog, news, books Thu, 12 Oct 2017 08:56:00 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.2 By: DarieSmem http://www.lessig.org/2005/01/just-when-i-learned-not-to-be/#comment-39792 Thu, 02 May 2013 10:02:54 +0000 http://lessig.org/blog/2005/01/just_when_i_learned_not_to_be.html#comment-39792 SddWna Exactly who must I tweet [url=http://www.saclongchampsoldes2013.biz]sac a main longchamp[/url] WhvFxg users on Tweeting [url=http://siteguess.webnode.fr/]sac guess solde[/url] EmvQxb Rumor [url=http://guesspaschere.webnode.fr/]sac guess soldes[/url] OcsCmv [url=http://isabelmarantpascher9.webnode.fr/]isabelle marant chaussures[/url] May Have [url=http://www.sacmichaelkors2013.biz]michael kors sac[/url] LvaNex RhpZik MqtBwn [url=http://isabelmarantprix6.webnode.fr/]sneaker isabel marant[/url] TbrOwt Probably the most joy you can get [url=http://sacamainlongchamp6.webnode.fr/]sac à main longchamp[/url] A Substantial role In Any Organization
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By: Rob Myers http://www.lessig.org/2005/01/just-when-i-learned-not-to-be/#comment-21346 Fri, 28 Jan 2005 07:30:10 +0000 http://lessig.org/blog/2005/01/just_when_i_learned_not_to_be.html#comment-21346 ITunes in a way is a living argument of my theories here. The DRM of ITunes is giving independent artists a way to securely sell their content, but ITunes is also getting rid of the people who absolutely contribute 0% to creation of the music.

I have indeed heard stories of independent bands selling their music through iTMS. And I know of at least one copyleft label that sells their catalog through iTMS. So I agree that iTMS can help independent artists, and that is an important point.

And, yes, I’m a Jobs fan as well. :-)

However the DRM is not there to help independent artists, it is there to placate the large music companies. It is also not there to help consumers. We are living in the grace period of DRM. Give it a couple of years and people are going to start finding that they’ve run out of authorisations for machines or decide that that they don’t want to use iTunes any more. Or they’ll lose their downloads in a crash, or anything else that doesn’t happen if you pay the same price as an iTunes download for the higher quality tracks that you get on a CD. What then? How will that reflect on the bands that have participated in screwing you over? There will be a backlash. Whilst it could be argued that the market will adjust, the DRM market is desperate for monopolies. DRM really needs monopolies (or at least caucuses), and monopolies don’t have to adjust. They dictate. DRM is about dictating to consumers. That is not a good value proposition.

I am absolutely for mechanisms that support independent producers. DRM is not such a mechanism. DRM locks you and your fans in. It is easily broken by criminals but places an unneccessary burden on consumers. This will be its undoing, and independent producers might want to think twice before putting their music on what history will remember as the the 8 track of digital music.

There are examples of bands giving music away and getting money back for it (Lessig mentioned some in Wired, don’t have it to hand right now). Or of copyleft record labels (Loca, Magnatune, Opsound). These examples are less spectacular than iTMS because they are not exploiting the back catalog of big music. But they show that it is possible to make money without treating your fans as criminals.

I think the point on which we differ, and where I often differ with people, is on how to create the best environment for creatives. I am a creative. I believe that being free to create will give the greater benefit, I get the impression that you believe that ensuring that creativity is denied to those who will not pay distributors for it will give the bigger benefit (yes, I’m phrasing that to illustrate what I believe the flaw to be). I’m sure DRM will make money in the short term. Maybe a world in which I have to pay each time I put pencil to paper, or hear a tune on the radio, will make more money for people. But I doubt that I will be one of those people, and I doubt that it will lead to greater creativity. The fledgeling copyleft music industry shows that there’s another way.

It is ironic that the Romantic figure of the Artist-creator requires a noble view of human nature that protecting their money -uh- creation through DRM denies. DRM is romanticism in the service of mercantilism. To me that doesn’t make sense.

YMMV.

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By: Kien http://www.lessig.org/2005/01/just-when-i-learned-not-to-be/#comment-21345 Fri, 28 Jan 2005 04:20:45 +0000 http://lessig.org/blog/2005/01/just_when_i_learned_not_to_be.html#comment-21345
Better protection and power for the giants themselves, would mean that those who wish to elevate themselves on the backs of others will need to give more credit where credit is due.

I see. It’s the IP-owner answer to the name of the GNU project. A sort of legal recursiveness. Clever…but hardly convincing. :)

Mr. Riolo,

Don’t lose hope and don’t give up. The truth always wins.

–K.

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By: blaze http://www.lessig.org/2005/01/just-when-i-learned-not-to-be/#comment-21344 Thu, 27 Jan 2005 17:24:36 +0000 http://lessig.org/blog/2005/01/just_when_i_learned_not_to_be.html#comment-21344 Yeah, there is a lot Government should be doing.

For example, George Bush should get a blog.

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By: Relentless http://www.lessig.org/2005/01/just-when-i-learned-not-to-be/#comment-21343 Thu, 27 Jan 2005 17:06:45 +0000 http://lessig.org/blog/2005/01/just_when_i_learned_not_to_be.html#comment-21343

I think the only area of disagreement we have is you believe “the public” = government. If you study basic political science, a lot of thought went into fighting “mob rule” — the majority of the public controlling the nation’s wealth.

Tayssir John Gabbour,

I do not all all believe that the government and the public are synonymous. I believe that the government deriving authority from the public, has an obligation to act in the interest of the public and on its behalf.

For example, copyrights that extend forever would be something most government entities would find exceptionally easy to deal with. No red tape, no messy court battles, no complicated laws… just one simple rule that the first person to claim an idea owns it and all derivitives of it forever.

The public however would be unable to tolerate that kind of system and the government has an obligation to act on what the public’s needs are.

The public has a basic need for a knowledge base to be in the public domain, available to all for use as reference, inspiration, groundwork for innovation and so on. The government should be mindful of the rights of a creator, or a middleman, of the heirs of a creator… but those rights should not trump the rights of the public in all cases and forever.

It is the governments role to set reasonable limits on ownership. Just as the government may take land for public projects when neccesary, or the government may require corporations to pay taxes or abide by certain health and safety requirements… so should the government protect the rights of the public with regard to content.

Content is to the intellectual facet of society as health and safety is to the tangible facet of society. For the government to protect my hand from a punch press but not protect my mind from someone seeking to “own” a musical score or written work for the next 100 decades is silly.

I can understand (though I dont agree with) the view that government should stay out of everything; that health and safety should be a matter of contract between an employer and the employed…. length of workworks for children should be a matter for the marketplace to decide. But once we cross that line and decide corporations with unfair bagaining power should not be able to press 13 year old girls into sewing in sweatshops for 70 hours a week…. we must also cross the threshold and decide that Disney cant own Mickey Mouse and any derivation of it for the next 20,000 years.

The government’s role is the same, and content is no less vital than safety for the public.

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By: blaze http://www.lessig.org/2005/01/just-when-i-learned-not-to-be/#comment-21342 Thu, 27 Jan 2005 17:06:13 +0000 http://lessig.org/blog/2005/01/just_when_i_learned_not_to_be.html#comment-21342 The reason why we keep quoting the “standing on the shoulders of giants” is because there has been little protection afforded to the giants to keep from being trampled over.

What we have ended up with is a bunch of pigmies who don’t bother becoming giants, they just go around finding them to walk all over.

Eg: Microsoft.

Better protection and power for the giants themselves, would mean that those who wish to elevate themselves on the backs of others will need to give more credit where credit is due.

This is one of the reasons why in academia it is a crime that can get you expelled from university if you do not credit your sources. However, the crime is not having sources. A subtle distinction that is constantly loss on not only students, but sometimes the professors themselves.

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By: Joseph Pietro Riolo http://www.lessig.org/2005/01/just-when-i-learned-not-to-be/#comment-21341 Thu, 27 Jan 2005 07:25:44 +0000 http://lessig.org/blog/2005/01/just_when_i_learned_not_to_be.html#comment-21341 To Kien,

It is a waste of your, my, and others’ time to
ask blaze the question about the true creation.
It is the myth that has been around here for
many decades. Authors and artists have
deceived themselves in believing that they
are on higher plane than the users and that
they are like gods that have special powers
in creating new works. In reality, they
are part of the ecosystem of knowledge where
they get the basic ingredients from the knowledge
to make a new work just like a cook that uses
some ingredients to make something for people
to eat.

As long as the authors and artists are stuck
in that myth, there is no way to reconcile with
them but to defend the freedoms of communication
and knowledge against their greed and lust for
control.

Joseph Pietro Riolo
<riolo@voicenet.com>

Public domain notice: I put all of my expressions in this
comment in the public domain.

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By: Kien http://www.lessig.org/2005/01/just-when-i-learned-not-to-be/#comment-21340 Thu, 27 Jan 2005 00:08:49 +0000 http://lessig.org/blog/2005/01/just_when_i_learned_not_to_be.html#comment-21340 To Relentless and blaze:

Two things, one about this thread and another about Itunes:

After re-reading the entire comment list (something I often do), I still fully disagree with Blaze’s assertions. However, what strikes me as more abhorent are some of the comments by other posters claiming “victory” in the debate, or demanding Blaze end his part in the discussion.

Victory in a debate, contrary to popular myth, cant be “claimed” it can only be conceded. Let’s not turn these blog comment threads into a webversion of CrossFire… and lets not shun those we disagree with… or we will soon be posting and reading only the comments of those we are already in agreement with.

Thanks for the sanity check, Relentless. I agree and apologize to blaze for my presumptive and combative statements.

Perhaps it might be more constructive to focus upon that which we can agree instead of what we disagree upon:

I concede blaze’s point that the “middlemen” are the cause of the problem. Based upon what I’ve read from Prof. Lessig and the EFF, I tend to think they’d concede as well.

Where I differ from blaze is the reconcilation of the problem. He (please correct me if I’m wrong) advocates total creator rights whereas Lessig advocates the balance between creators’ rights and the rights of the public to “stand upon the shoulders of giants”.

In order to resolve that difference, I would pose a question/challenge to blaze: What have you ever truly, uniquely created for which I cannot find some prior precedent or derivative work?

Intellectual property is a misnomer; ideas simply don’t map to physical property law. We need to figure out a way to end this current duplicity of the law.

–K.

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By: Tayssir John Gabbour http://www.lessig.org/2005/01/just-when-i-learned-not-to-be/#comment-21339 Wed, 26 Jan 2005 17:59:33 +0000 http://lessig.org/blog/2005/01/just_when_i_learned_not_to_be.html#comment-21339

In todays society the vast majority of wealth is in the hands of “the public”. [..] The government’s GDP dwarfs the capital of any company or single person.

I think the only area of disagreement we have is you believe “the public” = government. If you study basic political science, a lot of thought went into fighting “mob rule” — the majority of the public controlling the nation’s wealth.

“[The government] ought to be so constituted as to protect the minority of the opulent against the majority. The Senate, therefore, ought to be this body; and, to answer these purposes, they ought to have permanency and stability.” — James Madison, “Father of the US Constitution”

Now, I fully agree that we the public should actually act like our nation’s wealth is our own to control; we have rights almost unheard of in history, and we need to press them.

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By: Relentless http://www.lessig.org/2005/01/just-when-i-learned-not-to-be/#comment-21338 Wed, 26 Jan 2005 16:38:54 +0000 http://lessig.org/blog/2005/01/just_when_i_learned_not_to_be.html#comment-21338

Whoever has control over capital has control over creators, as we see in today’s wage slavery society.

Contrary to popular misconception that is not exactly true. In todays society the vast majority of wealth is in the hands of “the public”… however control over “creators” rest almost exclusively in the hands of a very small segment of the population who have consolidated a tiny fraction of the wealth held by the public.

If capital did in fact result in proportionate control over “creation” there would not be such a problem. The government’s GDP dwarfs the capital of any company or single person.

The problem is that the government, though poorly crafted copyright law has ceded much of its control over created work to the small fraction of the public that seek to monopolize the created works at the expense of the rest of the public.

The GDP driven segment of created works IS the public domain. It needs to be protected, not at the expense of the creator… and not at the expense of the middleman… but at the expense of those that seek to derive unjust enrichment from their creations.

It is simply absurd to think that because I invented the design of Mickey Mouse my heirs should derive all income from that design for the next 10,000 generations and that nobody else in the course of history should be able to adapt that design, to modify it for further use, to borrow inspiration from it…. etc…

It isnt Walt Disney who was unjustly enriched, it wasnt the original art team or movie creators… but the guy 15 generations from now in the year 4000 who gets a check in the mail for residuals is unfairly earning a profit at the expense of all the people who lived during the course of his lifetime unable to create derivitive works and unable to enjoy something that was created over an entire milenium earlier.

The pubic domain is funded by the greatest source of wealth in the world… it ought to control the greatest amount of content as well….. so that the greatest number of people can benefit by its expenditure.

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By: Tayssir John Gabbour http://www.lessig.org/2005/01/just-when-i-learned-not-to-be/#comment-21337 Wed, 26 Jan 2005 14:31:01 +0000 http://lessig.org/blog/2005/01/just_when_i_learned_not_to_be.html#comment-21337 I agree, that statement was unnecessarily insulting to helpful “middlemen” such as what book publishers provide. Editors, for example; fully apart from printing and distribution, they provide useful services like editing and motivation.

Good middlemen “create” as well — create and add value to capital. Artistic capital, utility capital, etc; the distinctions are more arbitrary than one thinks, since one can create something fully functional that took significant amounts of artistic skill.

Now, I don’t think that creators necessarily tend towards whoredom either. Melikamp, I’ll take that as conscious exaggeration to drive home your point. Whoever has control over capital has control over creators, as we see in today’s wage slavery society.

Take Alan Turing. We’ll agree he was an important creator for society. He killed himself with a cyanide-laced apple because the government which funded him forced him to take female hormones to lower his homosexual impulses. “I’m growing breasts!” Turing complained.

We can keep going with creators like Leonardo da Vinci, Oscar Wilde, and so forth; creators we canonize but conveniently forget inconvenient facts that get in the way of good mythology.

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By: melikamp http://www.lessig.org/2005/01/just-when-i-learned-not-to-be/#comment-21336 Wed, 26 Jan 2005 07:47:45 +0000 http://lessig.org/blog/2005/01/just_when_i_learned_not_to_be.html#comment-21336

By trusting creators and placing greater power in their hands (rather than lawyers, distributors, publishers, editors, middle men, etc) I believe you’ll find that they’ll have more security in our society and more time to publish GPL / CC / whatever.

But all the genuine creators detest the power. They are all feminine inside; worse, they are all whores, and they wish for nothing greater than a pimp — someone to provide them with protection, someone to enable them to engage in nothing but artistry. Back in the good old days they were flocking around patrons. They seduced kings with sights and sounds only to find a way in their private chambers. And today, look at how they are raring to sell their publishing rights to corporations. Their biggest ambition is to sign and to become slaves, implements, tools, fit for a single purpose — to create.

Saying that copyright somehow empowers artists is just as erroneous as saying that it disempowers them by stifling their creativity. Artists simply have nothing to do with the power, because their first ambition is to relegate it to a patron. It is, therefore, wise to drop the artist out of consideration while discussing merits of the copyright.

It only matters, then, that copyright stomps over my and yours and everyone else’s freedom of expression, and has to go just for that reason alone. (Before we had only a tiny fraction of population interested in making copies, and now, thanks to the Internet, everyone is tempted.) Moreover, if you are human enough to recognize that computers are intelligent beings, you should see clearly that restrictions on making electronic copies of anything are a censorship of the worst sort: outlawing a P2P transaction is comparable with outlawing a private and consensual discourse; DRM/trusted computing is akin to censoring the very thoughts.

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By: blaze http://www.lessig.org/2005/01/just-when-i-learned-not-to-be/#comment-21335 Tue, 25 Jan 2005 16:42:01 +0000 http://lessig.org/blog/2005/01/just_when_i_learned_not_to_be.html#comment-21335 Joseph, I think Lessig is trying to solve some of the problems you are talking about by coming up with new ideas on copyright which keep artists from going to lawyers.

And I think that is fantastic. I just don’t think that requires getting rid of the old stuff, which gives creators more flexibility in deciding how they’d like to proceed.

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By: blaze http://www.lessig.org/2005/01/just-when-i-learned-not-to-be/#comment-21334 Tue, 25 Jan 2005 16:37:57 +0000 http://lessig.org/blog/2005/01/just_when_i_learned_not_to_be.html#comment-21334 Well, my belief has always been that Steve Jobs has been a big proponent of the creator.

He used to hang out with programmers one on one and everything about him reads that everyone else just gets in the way.

I could be competely naive here (most likely just a misplaced sense of geek hero worship.. :-) but I think he wants to change the music world and disintermediating the whole music distribution thing so creators get all the royalties and the distributors get none is what he’s all about.

I believe this is why U2 agreed to advertise for the IPod. Because they’re on the same page as Steve. And yes, he is maintaining a monopoly.. I’m all for it, because I believe he is trying to change the rules and he needs a monopoly in order to have the leverage in order to do so.

ITunes in a way is a living argument of my theories here. The DRM of ITunes is giving independent artists a way to securely sell their content, but ITunes is also getting rid of the people who absolutely contribute 0% to creation of the music.

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By: Relentless http://www.lessig.org/2005/01/just-when-i-learned-not-to-be/#comment-21333 Tue, 25 Jan 2005 10:11:58 +0000 http://lessig.org/blog/2005/01/just_when_i_learned_not_to_be.html#comment-21333 Two things, one about this thread and another about Itunes:

After re-reading the entire comment list (something I often do), I still fully disagree with Blaze’s assertions. However, what strikes me as more abhorent are some of the comments by other posters claiming “victory” in the debate, or demanding Blaze end his part in the discussion.

Victory in a debate, contrary to popular myth, cant be “claimed” it can only be conceded. Let’s not turn these blog comment threads into a webversion of CrossFire… and lets not shun those we disagree with… or we will soon be posting and reading only the comments of those we are already in agreement with.

The opportunity to convince Blaze or be convinced by him is of far greater value than the “claimed victory” on a thread where you feel your assertions have triumphed.

As to the more recent comments regarding ITunes, there are a few ways to look at Apple’s success. One is to say that the system works and that Steve Jobs is a genius as it seems Blaze believes. The other is to see that people are in fact willing to pay for content if it is provided competently and legally even when there are free alternative methods of distribution that lack legality and consent of the content’s owner.

What I believe we are headed for is scaled ownership. Just as a person can sell their house, or sell only an easement on their property, or rent their house…. so should and will be the way that intellectual property is handled.

One price for a song to be streamed a single time, another price to have limited ownership on a finite number of devices or finite number of copies, and another price to own it outright. In my estimation that eventual result is unavoidable. The questions remain in how we reach that result and how we can best make sure that owners, sellers, distributors, users an so on are all fully aware of who has which rights regarding a piece of content *without* each having to hire a bunch of lawyers to do title searches the way real estate claims are handled.

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By: Joseph Pietro Riolo http://www.lessig.org/2005/01/just-when-i-learned-not-to-be/#comment-21332 Tue, 25 Jan 2005 08:00:53 +0000 http://lessig.org/blog/2005/01/just_when_i_learned_not_to_be.html#comment-21332 To blaze,

Once again, you have made the lawyers and all
middlemen the scapegoat for all the problems
that you described. The reality is that the
source of problem rests in the authors, artists
and inventors themselves. Why do you think the
lawyers do the litigation and do most of the
legal works? Precisely because the authors
and artists want them to do the job. Do you
think that the authors and artists do nothing
when their copyrights are infringed? No, they
hire lawyers to sue the infringers. Do you think
that the authors and artists are altruistic that
they let anyone use their works? No, being driven
by greed, they hire lawyers to create complex
contracts to impose restrictions on the users
and middlemen. As a digression, the Creative
Commons licenses are drawn with the help of
lawyers.

You need to stop whining and need to be
proactive in asserting your property rights.
You already have enough property rights as given
by copyright law that last for a long, long, long
time. Contract law already exists in all 50 states.
Use the property rights wisely. If you are foolish
in managing the property rights, the blame rests on
your shoulder, not on the lawyers, middlemen, and
the rest of the world.

Joseph Pietro Riolo
<riolo@voicenet.com>

Public domain notice: I put all of my expressions in this
comment in the public domain.

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By: Rob Myers http://www.lessig.org/2005/01/just-when-i-learned-not-to-be/#comment-21331 Tue, 25 Jan 2005 07:19:50 +0000 http://lessig.org/blog/2005/01/just_when_i_learned_not_to_be.html#comment-21331 But don’t worry, I think Steve Jobs will save us all :)

How? By selling DRM-crippled music that even if I can get it off my iPod onto my iBook I need to connect to the net to authenticate?

No thanks. I don’t want to rent low-quality music with ridiculous restrictions on it that can change at any time (and have). I’m honest: I buy CDs instead. But I can see how treating paying customers like thieves could train them up to act like thieves.

Steve is making the same mistake Sony have just owned up to, and he’s making it for the same reasons: he’s a content provider (Pixar) as well as a technology manufacturer (Apple).

Read Corey Doctorow’s:

Microsoft Research DRM talk

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By: blaze http://www.lessig.org/2005/01/just-when-i-learned-not-to-be/#comment-21330 Mon, 24 Jan 2005 15:22:34 +0000 http://lessig.org/blog/2005/01/just_when_i_learned_not_to_be.html#comment-21330 But don’t worry, I think Steve Jobs will save us all :)

Apple Computer said Monday that it has sold more than 250 million songs through its iTunes Music Store as daily downloads reached an all-time high of 1.25 million songs. “When we launched the iTunes Music Store we were hoping to sell a million songs in the first six months–now we’re selling over a million songs every day, and we’ve sold over a quarter billion songs in total,” Apple CEO Steve Jobs said in a statement. The company said that its iTunes Music Store, now available in 15 countries, accounts for 70 percent of the global music market.

Though Apple took 11 months to sell the first 50 million songs, the downloads picked up subsequently, hitting the 200 million mark by last December.

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By: blaze http://www.lessig.org/2005/01/just-when-i-learned-not-to-be/#comment-21329 Mon, 24 Jan 2005 15:18:50 +0000 http://lessig.org/blog/2005/01/just_when_i_learned_not_to_be.html#comment-21329 The problem with patents is not the protection of IP rights.

The problem with patents is that it throws tonnes of lawyers into the gears of progress, and they’re really chewing up the works. Value and power is not being transferred to inventors, but rather patent attorneys.

It’s kind of like patents are anti-creation, they’re facilitating the careers of people who are slowly killing off all progress.

What we need, and what CC in some ways addresses, is an IP protection scheme which strongly transfers power, wealth and security to the creator without giving anything to the lawyers along the way.

Because truly, probably 99% of all revenue from licensing schemes do not get transfered to the original creators themselves – but rather to lawyers, middle men, distributors, marketers, etc. So we’re not really creatind incentive for people to invent, but rather for people to litigate, manage, distribute, market, and administrate.

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By: Joseph Pietro Riolo http://www.lessig.org/2005/01/just-when-i-learned-not-to-be/#comment-21328 Mon, 24 Jan 2005 07:42:14 +0000 http://lessig.org/blog/2005/01/just_when_i_learned_not_to_be.html#comment-21328 To blaze,

The ideas are always uncopyrightable, unpatentable,
and totally free since the beginning of this country.
(Only expressions of ideas are copyrightable and
implementation of ideas are patentable.) That has
not thwarted the innovation throughout the
history.

If you are truly selfish about your own ideas,
there is a legal way to forbid people from
leaking your ideas to the public. It is called
contract to treat your ideas as trade secret. But,
no, it seems that greed is the guiding principle
for you and you want the U.S. Government to protect
your selfish motivations at the expense of the
people’s freedoms of speech, press, communication,
and knowledge. It is no wonder you are not likable.
So are the authors and artists who are like you.

The problem with Microsoft is not how it does
with the copyright law. It gets more monopolistic
power from the contract including license that
the vendors and users have to follow. As I
said in my other post, contract is able to expand
the power as given by copyright to go beyond
the boundary of copyright. Microsoft does not
get any immediate benefit from the copyright term
extension. Only those copyright holders who own
copyrights in old works that are soon to expire get
longer duration of monopoly from the copyright
term extension, depriving the public of the total
freedom in using knowledge.

Joseph Pietro Riolo
<riolo@voicenet.com>

Public domain notice: I put all of my expressions in this
comment in the public domain.

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By: Rob Myers http://www.lessig.org/2005/01/just-when-i-learned-not-to-be/#comment-21327 Mon, 24 Jan 2005 07:41:47 +0000 http://lessig.org/blog/2005/01/just_when_i_learned_not_to_be.html#comment-21327 Trust me, there are a lot of software programs I simply do not write and try to sell because someone can simply come along and rip off all my innovative ideas.

Copyright protects implementations, not ideas. There is no software in existence that you cannot “rip off” the ideas of. The implementation, whether copyrighted or patented, is another matter.

So that’s a bogus argument, and a suspect claim; “a lot of programs” is like “a lot of novels” or “a lot of albums” when people claim not to have written them.

People complain about microsoft in the same breath as saying we need to loosen up copyright laws.

Which people? URLs would be useful.

This is guilt by association, but Microsoft are the boogeyman for patents, not copyright. I thought you were talking about copyright.

It’s the duration of copyright and the protection of “fair use” that are the usual concerns. Not “loosening up” copyright laws, or even returning them to what they were a generation ago (when Microsoft started).

People – how do you think Microsoft got to where it is today? By ripping other people off!

And yet Microsoft use the word “innovation” to describe FAT32, and Microsoft are regarded as great innovators by the IT media.

Tighten up creator rights and you’ll see more innovation, not less.

So Microsoft got where they are by ripping off, yet we must now stop ripping off?

Let’s think this through.

Microsoft have their illegal monopoly, which they protect with IP laws far stronger than when DOS was first released. So weak IP laws protected Microsoft before, and strong IP laws protect Microsoft now. New players in the market are therefore at a massive disadvantage to Microsoft.

This won’t enable innovation (let alone “competition”), it will simply protect the encumbents against real innovators. Protecting “innovation” with ever-stronger IP laws will stifle innovation. Similar arguments can be made for fair use and music or documentaries (for example), and they will actually be about copyright rather than patents.

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By: blaze http://www.lessig.org/2005/01/just-when-i-learned-not-to-be/#comment-21326 Mon, 24 Jan 2005 06:09:09 +0000 http://lessig.org/blog/2005/01/just_when_i_learned_not_to_be.html#comment-21326 I’m not sure it’s an issue of being right or wrong.

I think it’s more of an interesting discussion that we’re all participating in and that we all happen to have strong views regarding.

And whatever the outcome, the debate is always healthy. Some interesting points have been made which have made me think more carefully about my position, however I have yet to see anything which makes me seriously reconsider. I’d like to think there are some people on this thread who feel the same way.

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By: Kien http://www.lessig.org/2005/01/just-when-i-learned-not-to-be/#comment-21325 Mon, 24 Jan 2005 01:58:09 +0000 http://lessig.org/blog/2005/01/just_when_i_learned_not_to_be.html#comment-21325 How about you admit that you’ve lost the debate?

At the very least, if you have a modicum of intelligence, you should agree to disagree at this point.

It’s okay to be wrong. It’s helpful to admit it. It’s idiocy to repeat it.

–K.

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