Apparently some silly USians want to extend copyright again:

Repeating my Twitter reaction:

When will musicians realize that their biggest competitor is ALL THE PAST RECORDINGS EVER and revolt against this madness?

The Internet is not what makes music hard work. Never was! It's competing with Elvis & Mozart.

Demand the right to build on the past, not compete with it.

@HerraBRE And when will people start listening to other artists than musicians and painters? Copyright is a severe obstacle for my dramatical activities and in effect leads to plays not being made.

@lilletale @HerraBRE AFAIK it's not the musicians and painters, it's the music/movie industry, the companies that record artists' performance, do all the editing work, and take care of distributing and selling the result.

@Wolf480pl @HerraBRE But those middle men started out somewhere. Many started out as musicians, somehow realised that they were too mediocre, never really gave up on the rock star dream and turned to management. Same in movies.

@lilletale @Wolf480pl Also, have you tried arguing copyright with musicians or film makers or painters? Many of them totally believe in the current system really hate the idea of "infringing" upon their rights.

It's their pension! It's their legacy! For their kids!

The big corps may be the ones with the lobbying $$$, but it's the creative people that influence culture and values.

If they stopped believing the hype and spoke up, the lobbies would be exposed for the corporate shills they are.

@HerraBRE @Wolf480pl Yes, I have. I've even been threatened because I've advocated for copyright reform. Really creepy.

@lilletale @HerraBRE @Wolf480pl I am reminded of the time I was called a nazi ("though the term is overused these days") by one certain david c. lowery, for advocating that more people should be able to read "the diary of anne frank" freely


You know, not all musicians are completely ignorant of that.

Some of us even studied economics.

Some of us even think the current so-called Intellectual Property (which is neither intellectual, nor property) regime is stupid.

This has more to do with politicians and rent-seeking behaviour.


I am, in my way. Not violent revolution; I've seen enough of that for one lifetime. But I apply what pressure I can, and speak out where I can.

Everyone needs a hobby.

@jankoekepan @HerraBRE great!

Then speak up! Let politicians and the public know about your view. It would make #copyreform activists jobs so much easier.

@rysiek @HerraBRE

I do. I don't have a big voice, but I do.

Here, for one example (not the only one).


All this is new to me... I thought copyright of creative work to safeguard something an artist created was a good thing... It stops plagiarism that not the case...

Please can you point me to some links where I can read more on this topic and be better informed while making up my own mind.

@HerraBRE @jankoekepan

@techbolt @HerraBRE @jankoekepan so... I would say read Cory Doctorow's stuff on BoingBoing and elsewhere. That's a good place to start.

Here's a few old texts of mine on the subject, too. Not even close to being in the same league as Cory's writing, obviously, but contain a lot of sources:


I just read the three blog entries. Thanks for that and as usual wonderfully written indeed.

I think I understand most of the concerns from what you have on the blog. However, I am struggling to get my head around one thing - What as per this school of thought is position on copyright with a limited term - Is it a complete no no or is it just that corporations are making it impossible for a work of art to come into public domain even long after the original creator has passed away and that must be tackled?

If latter, is it not common practice that copyrights are sold and ownerships transferred so as to ensure creator gets to keep the royalty which he/she rightfully deserved and is fully entitled to pass on to his coming generation or for the cause he/she truly believed in?

As a creator (and I am not one by a long long shot) what would be my motivation to continue giving entertainment to the society if anyone can steal my work and claim the fame and money that follows that fame?

@jankoekepan @HerraBRE

@techbolt @rysiek @jankoekepan I'll just turn that around. Why in the world should anyone get paid forever, for work they did once?

There are many problems in the arts world that make it hard for people to demand a decent wage. I am aware of this, which is why I concede that some form of limited copyright is even worth considering.

But once that wage has been earned, I don't see any ethical argument for continued payments, let alone restrictions on the thoughts and creativity of others.

I agree that getting work in public domain is good but for someone to create they need to be motivated and I can imagine perpetual monetary returns are as good as they get... I would be motivated by something like that -right or wrong comes later - motivation to create comes first and that to my simplistic mind appears to be prompted by this high return more often than I on wrong end of the stick here?

If I am not, then the right answer would be to keep up the motivation to create and keep the greed in check - somewhat like tax process. I have to give tax on what I earn so perhaps the time limit to copyright must have the hard stop as a way of community imposed rule rather than an expectation that a creator will willingly part from a benefit...

I mean tax is imposed because rarely anyone will be willingly paying tax unless it is imposed by the law so I can see a good reason to support a time limiting law but to expect creators or artists to support that law might be expecting too much from mere mortals.

@jankoekepan @rysiek

@techbolt @jankoekepan @rysiek Most of the artists I know are relatively poor, even broke. Money is definitely not what motivates them to create.

Acting as if society will suddenly become devoid of creative works if we abolish copyright flies in the face of reality. It's just not true, never has been and never will be.

The problem that needs solving, is to fairly compensate people for their work - and maximize the benefit to society.

Copyright does a crap job of both. Reform it! 😁

@techbolt @jankoekepan @rysiek If I were Emperor Of The Planet, there'd be Universal Basic Income, no copyright at all, but correct attribution would be required and creatives would be granted a limited (maybe 10 year or so) right-to-veto derivative works out of respect to their artistic vision.

Something like that.

I'm not Emperor. 👑


That's true...Even I know quite a few artists who have to pick a secondary career and they are no less talented than the superstars backed by effective PR.

If I look at it from this angle I do feel that if the record companies did not have the lure of a copyright they might have been more inclined to bring all sorts of talent to fore rather than invest in PR stunts and promote one artist over another.

I will admit though I am still conflicted - perhaps need to read more like @rysiek suggested.

Thanks for taking the time to help me get started with a topic that does interest me a lot. 👍 🙂


@techbolt @rysiek @jankoekepan It's a complicated subject! Thanks for listening with an open mind, that's rare these days.

I also want to say, that even though I have a vision for how I feel things should be, I don't expect we can get there in one step. That would be unfair to people who have built their lives around the current system.

But we can't even make minor improvements if people are unwilling to at least think about alternatives.

@HerraBRE @techbolt @rysiek

There are other positions to consider. The way that copyrights are written right now, they constitute a limitation on your own brain, to the point that they constrain artists, rather than liberate them (check out the lawsuits like the Marvin Gaye estate/family's case).

Once enough of the culture is locked down, every artist (and engineer, and designer) is straitjacketed forever.

@techbolt @HerraBRE @jankoekepan if I were receiving "perpetual monetary returns" on my old work, and if I were motivated by money, why would I ever create anything new?

If I were not motivated by money, why would "perpetual monetary returns" be a good idea?

However you cut it "perpetual monetary returns" do not make sense.

That's true...hence the retirement and beyond... retirement turns to early retirement if the earnings are sufficient to cover the lifestyle which is merely a word for not creating anything new because person who is into retirement isn't working...

Now most of the people I have met so far in my life do aspire for an early retirement...

Having said that I do get the negatives of the system of copyright ... I want to read more about what copyreforms propose to address the negatives while keeping the goods....😀
@jankoekepan @HerraBRE

@techbolt @jankoekepan @HerraBRE we're not talking about retirement -- retirement is when you have enough money already, or if the government provides you a pension.

We're talking still receiving payments on something you did 20, 30, 50 years ago. I do not see how this makes sense. Especially that for the most popular works it's not the authors who are receiving the payments! It's corporate owners.


Oh my did not know all this... that is really bad ...if the artists are not getting anything then yes it is a racket indeed... but it's a bit difficult to reconcile this with reality where successful artists do have big mansions and such... don't get me wrong I don't envy them...on the contrary I think they deserve a good life for the work they have done...bit if they have not got the most and instead labels have been siphoning off their really is an unfair system that needs the reform...

@HerraBRE @jankoekepan

@techbolt @rysiek @HerraBRE

Yup, there are a few that beat the odds and get fairly wealthy.

Most artists don't. And won't. And have to work other jobs even while labels hold their products hostage.

Every now and then you see them in those "Where are they now?" articles.


David Bolliers podcast/lecture series about the commons covers this stuff from an interesting alternative critical perspective.

IIRC The episodes about copyright and academia cover this. The others are also well worth a listen.

@jankoekepan @rysiek @HerraBRE

@HerraBRE copyright is a fiction anyway. Decrees of politicians can't create rights into existence.
You know, I've never thought about it that way before

@HerraBRE I don't think any actual musicians support this, unless they're major artists hopelessly in the thrall of music industry propaganda.

@woozle I wish I could believe that. My conversations, even with enlightened geeky artists, suggest it's a very mixed bag.

My sentiment isn't about just opposing this particular overreach, it's about whether the creative types support copyright reform in general.

Many, possibly even most, do not.

@HerraBRE Well, I'll just say that *I* don't know any artists who support copyright extension.

@woozle And how many do you know who would go for your throat if you suggested the opposite - aggressive copyright reduction?

I'll have to ask -- but I'd certainly be for it (speaking as a songwriter).

@HerraBRE At some point we need to point out that if the law keeps getting extended and Mickey Mouse never falls into the public domain, copyright as Congress defines it is no longer limited in extend and therefore falls outside the authority the Constitution gives it to grant copyright for a LIMITED period.

@seanl Probably true.

But that's a largely U.S. specific argument which is only a weak defense anyway.

I can't bring myself to get excited about fighting over crumbs.

@herrabre @seanl It's addressed in the article. The Supreme Court decision that allowed Sony Bono to stand was based on "[no seriously this is probably the last one]" and yet another increase would undermine that.

No need to get excited, but particular, specific points against specific increases in dominant parts of the world is part of what will hold perpetual copyright back.

US-specific arguments are super important, simply because they are the big intellectual monopoly and they are keeping everyone else on a leash.

@clacke @seanl Holding it back, playing defense forever, just isn't enough.

We need to roll it back to something sane. Probably not abolishing it entirely, but copyright should be measured in decades, not lifetimes.

My opinion, of course.

@herrabre @seanl Also, you know, "The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance." (© 1790 John Philpot Curran)

@djabadu @clacke @seanl I don't understand your question. Why so much? Why so little? Why not multiples of 12? Why copyright at all?

@HerraBRE @seanl @clacke
Well yeah, but you were the one who said decades of copyright.
@clacke @HerraBRE @seanl
Oh shit, I misread. I thought he wanted decades of copyright. Nevermind

@HerraBRE @clacke @seanl actually we should abolish private property entirely, in all its forms, but especially "intellectual" -- the particulars of which depend on the *discovery* of information and not the *creation* of it (as no information can be created or destroyed, it is infinitely transmissible and therefore not subject to any natural law of scarcity)

insofar as (c) continues to exist, anything more than 10 years is altogether too obscene.

I think there probably needs to be some kind of private property though we might be able to agree on something you might not consider to be private property. The only form of IP I think had any business existing is trademarks, but those are covered by prohibitions against fraud.
@HerraBRE @clacke

@trwnh @HerraBRE @clacke
I think the main reason to have some kind of private property is that there is always a trivial way to privatize any shared resource, and that's to kill everyone who contests your claim. Since we don't want that to happen, we provide a way to do it that doesn't involve killing.

@trwnh @HerraBRE @clacke
I can imagine that there might be some other way to coordinate the use of a resource besides privatizing it, but I don't understand any proposed solution well enough to decide that it's a viable replacement yet.

@seanl @HerraBRE @clacke common or communal property works fine. if you want to stop people from killing over private claims then you don't use your own guns to protect their private claims. you should instead protect against murder.

@seanl @HerraBRE @clacke anyway the core of the point is that property should be defined by usage (personal property) and not by abstract monopoly (private property)

@trwnh @HerraBRE @clacke I'm not opposed to this idea in the abstract, but I don't understand how to concretely apply it. Say, for example, I leave for work in the morning, then come home to find someone else has moved into my house. Since they are now using it, does that make it their house? If they do damage to it, who's responsible for fixing it? What constitutes damage versus normal wear and tear in that case?

@seanl occupying a house for less than 8 hours doesn't really qualify as usage, though

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