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View Diary: SOPA-ing Lame: Republicans Retract Report I Wrote About Yesterday (26 comments)

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  •  There has always been a distinction (0+ / 0-)

    between a commercial monopoly where one entity controls an entire market and those exclusive rights granted to writers and inventors,  The right of inventors and creators to enjoy exclusive rights to their creation has been part of the US law before even the constitution.

    You are wrong about Prince having control over his songs.  Anyone can record a Prince song under a compulsory license and there is nothing Prince or his publisher can do about it.  It has been like that for almost a century.

    No I am not the one conflating ideas. The so called myth busters in that GOP report are.  The implication is that somehow a copyright granted to a content creator is a bad coercive monopoly wherein the rightholder can manipulate the market and force the price up or prevent others from entering the market place. Which is baloney.

    The report claims that there is a myth that the constitutional purpose of copyright is to compensate the creator.  Bullocks there is no such myth.  The constitution is very clear and no one except anti copyright activists make such a silly claim.

    Right man, right job and right time

    by Ianb007 on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 04:03:53 PM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  There may be some distinction to be made... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ianb007

      but that distinction is not over whether the term "monopoly" applies. It does, and always has. See my posts on the founders and SCOTUS using the term for copyrights.

      "You are wrong about Prince having control over his songs.  Anyone can record a Prince song under a compulsory license and there is nothing Prince or his publisher can do about it.  It has been like that for almost a century."

      He can do nothing... except demand payment. The fact that there's a compulsory license for cover versions is irrelevant. The government just limited the monopoly in that particular area to being able to demand payment but not being able to refuse outright.

      "The implication is that somehow a copyright granted to a content creator is a bad coercive monopoly wherein the rightholder can manipulate the market and force the price up or prevent others from entering the market place."

      Again, you're moving the goal posts on what the market is. The market here is the class of goods involving copies of the work under copyright, not the "market of music". The copyright owner can manipulate this market and force the price up. That's kind of the point of copyright law. Without the law there would be other people selling copies and the competition would drive the price down.

      •  He can't even the demand payment (0+ / 0-)

        It is a set value that he has no control over. He gets payed if there are any copies sold. If there isn't he gets nada.

        Yes I have seen your posts regarding the SCOTUS and the use of the term monopoly,  and they have all upheld copyright law. Even the extra long extensions that exist.  I just believe there is a practical distinction that needs to be made.  Every producer of a unique item by that broad definition has a monopoly on what ever it it he sells be a song or a house.  That's just the nature of it.  It is entirely different from a commercial monopoly where a single entity uses coercion to control the price and or remove competition from the market place.

        There are no moving goalposts. The reason that monopolies have been deemed bad by most economies is that the monopolizer can manipulate entire markets.  Not just on unique item in a market.  No copyright holder can manipulate the entire market.  As a matter of fact seldom is the price of one song manipulated because of copyright.  That's just not how the music business works.  A Prince song costs the same as one of my songs on Itunes and all the other resellers out there, even though there is obviously a greater demand for a Prince song.

        The awarding of a copyright has no such negative impact to the market place.  As a matter of fact a market would not exist if there were no copyrights. That's why the laws are necessary and is in the best interest of the public.

        Patents are a little more complicated yet they are still necessary.

        Right man, right job and right time

        by Ianb007 on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 08:31:15 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  No, it's not the nature of it. (0+ / 0-)
          Yes I have seen your posts regarding the SCOTUS and the use of the term monopoly,  and they have all upheld copyright law. Even the extra long extensions that exist.  I just believe there is a practical distinction that needs to be made.  Every producer of a unique item by that broad definition has a monopoly on what ever it it he sells be a song or a house.  That's just the nature of it.
          Just not true. The definition of monopoly used by the framers, by economists and the courts does not apply to every producer or every unique item. Moreover, a "song" is not a unique item like a house or a shirt. It's a set of ideas. The unique items are the various fixed copies of the song. And the copyright holder's monopoly is over this class or phylum of goods. And this class of goods, of potentially infinite number, is defined on the basis of whether each unique item produced is similar enough to the song under copyright to qualify as a copy of it.
          •  According to you KFC has a monopoly on selling (0+ / 0-)

            Kentucky fried chicken.  This is according to your argument.  If not then why not.  Also according to the law songs and pieces of music are unique.

            Bottom line copyrights are legal and also beneficial.  So this whole argument is moot. The importance of protecting intellectual property rights is well established, with Obama establishing an Intellectual property enforcement advisory committee.

            Right man, right job and right time

            by Ianb007 on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 06:43:51 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  copyright monopoly (0+ / 0-)
              According to you KFC has a monopoly on selling Kentucky fried chicken.  This is according to your argument.
              Let's be clear, the fact that copyright is a monopoly is not "my argument" but the established "argument" of the framers of the Constitution, the courts, economists, etc. In other words, it's a fact, not "my argument".

              Now, on KFC you're talking about a trademark, and/or a trade secret. Trademark is another kind of government granted monopoly, but only over a word or logo, not a class or phylum of goods. What trademark forbids is someone other than KFC selling fried chicken using the name or logo of KFC. Anyone can sell chicken just like that of KFC, they can "copy" KFC chicken and sell it. They just can't use the name or logos. The only thing that might prevent someone from doing this is due to the recipe being a trade secret, which would simply mean others don't know how to make the same chicken. No law forbids it.

              If you'd like to keep pushing this futile line that copyright isn't a monopoly by claiming that "everything" produced or sold is a monopoly by "my argument", then try using an example of that doesn't involve "IP" laws. You're just trying to keep this argument afloat by jumping around from copyrights to trademarks to trade secrets and hoping the ensuing confusion will obscure the fact that you've already been proven wrong.

              Also according to the law songs and pieces of music are unique.
              Copyright law doesn't really deal in defining what "song" means, it deals in fixed expressions: a specific written or recorded version. Those are indeed unique (you said "unique item" before, now you've made your language less precise). A "song" under copyright however has indeterminate boundaries and characteristics, which are only determined post-hoc by the courts. So your original recording of the "song" is under copyright. I do a cover version, it's called the same "song", but the two versions are themselves different and unique. My version has certain features that yours didn't, and vice versa. They are each unique, but they are considered the same "song". And this can be true for an infinite number of possible versions or derivatives. The court simply determines post-hoc if these various unique items are substantially similar to the original fixed version to constitute copies, since the monopoly interest adheres over all of these potential unique items that are determined to constitute copies.
              Bottom line copyrights are legal and also beneficial.
              Whether they are beneficial or not is the big argument, and beneficial to whom? That's the relevant question. Current copyright law is not beneficial to the public in my opinion. It is extremely harmful to the public, though it is beneficial to some "rights holders". Copyright probably used to be beneficial to the public a long time ago, and could be made so again with substantial reform.
              •  Ok so we agree that KFC and Mercedes Benz (0+ / 0-)

                thru trademark an IP laws have a monopoly.  Actually a trademark is a law under the commerce clause not the "copyright" clause.  My point is that a distinction has to be made between these govt granted "monopolies" and the coercive monopolies that anti trust laws have been written to combat.  Anti copyright types use this term 'monopoly' especially on tech blogs and torrent blogs, not because they are legal terms and they are appealing to judges and economists, but pejoratively because they are appealing to the general public that they know have no idea that  many monopolies are legal and have no detrimental impact on the market. I am not going to play that game.

                When a song is copyrighted it has a definitive set of characteristics that define what that song is. I am not sure why you think I made my language less precise. Yes a court has the final say on what is going to be an infringing similar song.  Words and melody are not as you say indeterminate.  When you do a cover version of my song you are using the same melody and words.  Your version may take artistic license and embellish melodies etc but it is the same song.  It is customary practice for many writers and artists in the business to "copy" or be inspired by a song and come up with a similar compositions that is not an infringement of the original song.  Happens all the time.

                I don't think there is any doubt that copyrights, patents etc are beneficial to both the public and the rights holder.  Other than a few oddball lawyers like Lawrence Lessig, most people including President Obama understand the need for comprehensive IP laws and enforcement.  The benefits range from economic.  The Movie and Music industry provides employment directly or indirectly to millions of americans.  Neither of these industries would exist without copyright laws.  Add in other IP industries and that number increase dramatically.  Please explain to me how you arrive at the conclusion that current copyright law is extremely harmful to the public.

                Right man, right job and right time

                by Ianb007 on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 10:54:10 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

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