# 1stMay2007 The Day on which Moderation Died

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Singularity, May 3, 2007.

1. ### madanthonywayneMorning in AmericaRegistered Senior Member

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Here's a nice piece on the subject by John Ringo (a scifi author)

A friend asked me for my take on intellectual property rights and the internet. This was a quick mail I posted and thought people might want to see.

There are two types of copyright, individual and corporate. Many of the founding fathers of America were in the intellectual properties field. Thomas Jefferson was a writer as well as, most notably, Ben Franklin. They felt that a sixteen year copyright was appropriate, but that was based on that day human lifespans. At the time, European guilds held the sort of "eternal copyright" that is now becoming the norm with corporate copyright. The founding fathers were thoroughly against "eternal copyright" and so am I.

Arguably, there should be no such thing as "corporate copyright." An individual, Walt Disney in the case of Mickey Mouse, creates intellectual property. A corporation has no intellect. It has individuals with intellect. The creator is the individual and to them should the associated value be assigned. They may trade their thoughts to a corporation for a limited time period, but the corporation cannot create and should not be permitted to "own" such intellectual property.

Arguably, based on changes in life-span, copyright should be assigned to approximately the life of the artist and perhaps twenty to thirty years beyond. Copyright should be assigned to an individual who may or may not turn over "lifetime rights" to that property. But corporations should not be permitted, as they currently appear to be, to eternally extend copyright by getting "twenty year extensions" for the life of the corporation. This locks up intellectual value eternally, preventing growth in those respective areas. The same, by the way, could be said for, is more important in, patents.

As to intellectual property and the internet, the internet and IT in general, creates a situation where new creation is the only fixed value. There has been proven, however, to be a "real market value" to intellectual property. I get almost all my songs from places like iTunes and MSN Music. (Especially the latter, more on that.) Most people find a real value in an easily sought piece of music that costs a buck. Many people continue to "pirate" but the majority of those people do not appear to be a "real market." They'll go on share sites and download everything available, just for the thrill of getting so much "property" for nothing. Most "real market" persons, persons with disposable income, are willing to pay for their property. If you don't have the sense to buy the shit, you probably don't have a real job, anyway.

Baen has found "real market values" for its internet releases by the simple process of asking, online, what people are willing to pay. And when someone goes on the share sites, such as alt.ebook, and say "Hey, does anyone have the next John Ringo novel?" the response is "It costs five bucks. Pay the artist."

Part of that is also that Baen has adjusted much higher royalties to the online books and makes an issue about it. If people knew that the artist, Britney Spears for instance, got a fair royalty off of the songs they'd be much happier about paying. NObody wants to pay a company like Columbia or Sony 99% of the money. Nobody has a personal attachment to Sony except Sony share-holders. When the CEOs and share-holders finally realize that, things will loosen up quite a bit. And the companies will start making more money, not less.
About iTunes vs MSN music. Currently iTunes dominates the market but I give them another five years. Apple has made the same mistake they always make. In iTunes you can only download in a very restrictive format. iPods want that format and are balky about others. Restrictive format is a form of cost. Make it easy to use and they will come. Hugely restrictive formats, combined with stupid price pointing, of ebooks is one of the reasons that ebooks have never taken off in the general market. As more and more songs become available in less restrictive formats, such as Windows Media, I would expect iTunes share to begin falling. As usual, Apple has taken the restrictive line, Windows the less restrictive line and eventually I see Windows burying them.

So the secret to intellectual property management on the internet is "go with the flow." Feed the market and don't be stupidly greedy. Price point where people are willing to pay for the property rather than steal it. If bread was a hundred dollars a loaf, people would steal more bread. (One of the reasons that bread used to be stolen, by the way. The cost was equivalent during famines.) Make the format easily accessible. Forget about trying to overcontrol; it's too easy to steal to bother. For God's sake, you could download Half-Blood Prince off alt-ebooks before it was available in paper in the US! There is no way to control intellectual property on the internet.

Corporations, though, want utter control. As one person puts it, "they'd like to control what you're permitted to write in an email, much less what you can read that they've printed." As more and more secondary markets open on the internet, the corporations will be forced to either go with the flow or fail utterly. The third choice is something like 1984, where there's a program on your computer that automatically informs the FBI when you "steal" something. Such as quoting Steve Jobs' last speech. That is what corporations (and, alas, many authors) want.

People like that are idiots. They think that by putting more and more restrictions on stuff they can somehow make more money when every single similar market experiment (going back to Sony's Beta system) shows that they're wrong. I especially hate SF authors that think they can fight the wave.

It's a big wave and you can ride it, you can let it leave you behind or you fight it. In which case it will bury your ass.

I prefer to ride.

John Ringo

Feel free to distribute this as you wish. I'd say I want credit, and this is copyright John Ringo, 2006 and all that. But having seen stuff miscredited 90% of the time on the internet, I'm sure I'll get an email giving Ben Stein credit within a week. And two weeks after that I'll be informed that it was said by the former Delta Force operative Mister Rogers. ​

3. ### SingularityBannedBanned

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That was really excellent thanks.

US corporation are taking more actions on torrent sites compared to others.
In 10 years most of the money making torrent sites will become Google and Yahoo of the future. So do u think that US will loose its revenue with this attitude ?

5. ### Billy TUse Sugar Cane Alcohol car FuelValued Senior Member

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23,198
John Ringo's position on Intellectual Proper, IP, is not too surprising as he is an author. (See post 141 for it in full, but the essence is that it is the authors who create IP and they disserve to have reward for life, but not corporations.)

That does not function in many cases. For example, the development of new drugs. Typically, that takes five or more years effort by dozens of people, who are paid monthly and requires the investment of hundreds of millions of dollars. This cost is growing more expensive every year. Without the IP reward for doing so, no new drugs would be developed.

Just as he argues that the increased life expectance has made the 16 years of copyright obsolete (was most of the intellectual life span of Ben Franklin et. al. when adopted) and should be increased, one can equally well argue that the great cost increase in bringing a new drug to market (and the fact that more than nine out of ten in development fail after millions have been spent) the corporations developing them need longer periods of IP protection. If that were done, then they could sell the drug more cheaply and still recover their cost of development.

SUMMARY - His biases show too much and his suggestion is very destructive of the public welfare.

Last edited by a moderator: May 12, 2007

7. ### SingularityBannedBanned

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The bastards who make insulin from bugs never brought down insulin cost.

Death to the patents !

8. ### madanthonywayneMorning in AmericaRegistered Senior Member

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I don't think he was speaking of drugs. The system for drugs seems to work pretty well. They get a certain amount of time (ten years?) where they have patent protection, then they invent something better. As a doctor, I see this all the time. Just as soon as that patent runs out, a new and improved drug comes along. Making patents last too long would also decrease innovation.

I think he was refering more to things like old movies that keep getting their copyrights renewed even though no one is producing copies making the material unavailable.

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10. ### nietzschefanThread KillerValued Senior Member

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ya M\$ is in shit, I'm thinking of shortselling them

11. ### countezeroRegistered Senior Member

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Thanks to Madanthony for posting something of use, and in the process, getting the thread back on track. However, I have a few problems with the material he shared:

"Apple has made the same mistake they always make. In iTunes you can only download in a very restrictive format. iPods want that format and are balky about others."

An amazing statement, given the fact that it's the record companies who are restricting the format, and Steve Jobs (the Apple CEO) is the person who is calling for the format of the MP3s to be open so all the players can share them...

"Arguably, there should be no such thing as "corporate copyright." An individual, Walt Disney in the case of Mickey Mouse, creates intellectual property. A corporation has no intellect. It has individuals with intellect. The creator is the individual and to them should the associated value be assigned. They may trade their thoughts to a corporation for a limited time period, but the corporation cannot create and should not be permitted to "own" such intellectual property."

It seems to me that the "individuals with intellect" who go to work for a company such as Disney do so with the understanding that if they create a character they know they aren't going to own it, and during their time there, they are paid for their work. So what's the problem?

The issue, essentially, is one of capital and modes of production. An artist, for example, might come up with something like The Lion King. But lacking a studio of artists and millions of dollars of equipment, he has practically no chance to take his idea and move it into every cinema in the land. So he contracts with Disney, which provides him the capital and mode of production necessary to do so. It's not as though guns are being held to the head of people. They all understand these arrangements...

"So the secret to intellectual property management on the internet is "go with the flow." Feed the market and don't be stupidly greedy. Price point where people are willing to pay for the property rather than steal it. If bread was a hundred dollars a loaf, people would steal more bread. (One of the reasons that bread used to be stolen, by the way."

I fail to see how going "with the flow" will establish a "price point" where people will pay for intellectual property on the internet, when the price point of said property on the internet amounts to exactly nothing. People at web sites are paying for products they don't want to go to a store an buy. But with books and music, the nature of the product is different, in that it can literally be digitally beamed to your home with its use and purpose fully intact, unlike say a car or a bag of lettuce, which must physically be delivered or purchased in person to be of any use. Therein lies the danger of the internet and it's blatant disregard of copyrights and the sanctity of intellectual property. Apple and itunes may be making money, but I don't think it's a stretch to say that illegal downloads still far surpass the number of sanctioned ones. Apple charges 99 cents a tune. How much more will the price need to fall before people give up their illegality? And will that price be profitable for anyone on the supply side? Here, the bread analogy is telling. People in ancient Rome DIDN'T pay for bread precisely because it was free...

Last edited: May 16, 2007
12. ### superstring01Moderator

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Where the heck have you beeeeeen?

~String

13. ### SingularityBannedBanned

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1,287
:roflmao:

I have a friend who works in a Disney like company, he says he never gives out his best pieces of work, he wants to start his own company and use them there.

14. ### countezeroRegistered Senior Member

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So tell him to start his own company and see if he can make movies and distribute them. Without millions in capital, he won't be able to.

And I fail to see how your anecdotal remark deals at all with the quote of mine you posted. I wasn't talking about quality at all. I was talking about the business arrangement between a corporation and an artist who produces intellectual property for it. Not that you posting something that has nothing to do with my remark surprises me...

15. ### SingularityBannedBanned

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U r gone man, u r finished. If u dont give a damn to creativity and innovations then everything u say will be thrown out of any legal hearings.

16. ### countezeroRegistered Senior Member

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OK, I'm reinstating my policy of ignoring Singular's drivel as of this moment...

17. ### Lord HillyerBannedBanned

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this thread is too long to read, so i didn't read it. this should be a lesson to you all

18. ### superstring01Moderator

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What? Stop debating? Because, in case you haven't noticed... that's what it's all about.

~String

19. ### SingularityBannedBanned

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Ya sure since the most important measle has ignored us

20. ### SingularityBannedBanned

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Cant take the defeat Mr. Lost Generations

21. ### superstring01Moderator

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Or it could be that you are just a babbling idiot who cannot observe even the basic principles of a debate: respont in an intelligible manner to simple questions and retorts. But, it doesn't matter what anybody says, there's no point in trying to undo the lifetime of self-delusion that you've apparently engaged in.

~String

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23. ### SingularityBannedBanned

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Code:
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