Dear dudes and dudettes. I understand the idea behind copyright. It like totally sucks (if you pardon the expression) to have someone else make money on something that you (think you have) thought up. On the other hand: copyrights are so 19th century. It’s old, it’s lame, it should be gone. If you don’t believe me, believe Jagdish Bhagwati.
Old Walt built his empire on infringing copyrights; by stealing the fairytale of Snowwhite for example and after he became rich; he’d sue the pants of everybody that was called ‘Mickey’, undoubtedly including mr. Mantle and mr. Rourke. The Oxford dictionary was the first Wiki in the 1800’s with over 800 volunteers participating in putting the thing together (imagine what would have happened if one of those writers had been smart enough to copyright his additions…). The music and film industry play the role of innocent victims perfectly, while they hire extremely expensive lawyers to get the last pocket money from a 10 year old kid who was criminal enough to upload a ‘Over the hedge’ clipping on her Youtube page. Let’s drag the bastards that torrent the latest Rufus Wainwright to have his fine melodies accompany a slide show of his latest concert they went to as paying fans. If you are stupid enough to be a fan, you are stupid enough to bleed for it.
Global intellectual property
A global market and open economy is, apparently, good for all economies in the world. If you think along that line, wouldn’t opening up intellectual property legislation be good for all sorts of research and development? Who ever said that if you’re the first one to ever register an idea, that the idea is yours to exploit for eternity in the first place? There are other ways of making a living of your intelectual effort than by just putting a price on it, our Mozilla friends seem to be doing very well, mr. Gates. And thank you very much for coming up with a medicine that delays HIV from becoming AIDS, but why do you want to stop everyone else from producing that medicine, if that means that millions of people will die (if you’re making billions of dollars in profits anyway… I’m afraid the ‘we’ve invested so much money, blah-blah argument doesn’t really fly.).
So, who’s this Jagdish Bhagwati I’ve mentioned earlier on this post, and why should you care? Mr. Bhagwati is an economics professor at the Columbia University, which makes him a much more credible source than I will ever be. Professor Bhagwati is also an appreciated adviser to the World Trade Organisation and he feels globalisation is not just about the free flow of labor and capital, but of ideas too. In his view, copyright laws are just another form of protectionism.
Not my story, theirs
Recently I read a blog posting that ’s sort of illustrative of how copyrights lawyers are ruining this planet for us. I’ve copied and pasted (and then edited) the basic idea of the article and then provided a link to the source. This, to avoid being sued for trying to get readers over their back… can’t be too careful these days… (Please click links provided to avoid prosecution)
The Performing Rights Society will stop at nothing as it demands money from small businesses, charities, playschools, and now, kids’ community centers, all so that they can listen to music without fear of prosecution.
The UK’s Performing Rights Society (PRS) is a non-profit organization, setup to ensure that the music industry continues to make plenty more profits on an on-going regular basis. For years now, they have collected license fees from companies that use music as part of their businesses, such as pubs, clubs and restaurants. Some might argue that these type of companies benefit commercially from playing music to the public, so a license fee, although not particular popular, can be absorbed as a legitimate business expense.
However, recently the PRS has been getting more and more aggressive in its quest to funnel cash to its paymasters. It now sees every UK organization – commercial or otherwise – as a legitimate target to intimidate with threats of legal action, should they dare to play a radio, TV or DVD within earshot of the public without a license. Small businesses playing the radio for personal entertainment to pass the working day, charities, tea rooms, corner shops and even community centers are being targeted by this outfit. Bizarrely, they are currently going after the British police, who have been refusing to pay. It’s clear, they care about just one thing – money.
But it is possible to further outrage people. And this is what these type of collection outfits are doing, by widening their campaigns to start going after the softest most impressionable target in the country – kids. Last week we reported how the MPLC, a Hollywood royalty collection outfit, (illegally) demanded money from kindergartens in Ireland, so that the kids could watch DVDs there.
Elizabeth Busby, the after-school supervisor at the center told ClydeBank Post: “We can’t afford to pay this money. Although we have a TV license for the center, under these rules we cannot let all the kids watch it.”
Read the rest of this article here.