Copyright laws

It is my belief that currrent laws regarding Copyright don’t work very well in this Internet age. For a start, it is far too complicatied. Every film has roughly the same copyright notice but differnet companies take very differnet attitudes towards re-cuting their work. I would be interested to hear your views on how things could change. More importantly, I would like to see some ideas as to how we could work to see those changes actaully implemented.

I’m not against copyright or patents themselves, but I think the time period that they last has been extended to the point of absurdity. It has created a minefield that creators have to navigate and as you stated it has only gotten worse with the advent of the internet. I think it is starting to hold back culture in a lot of ways.

There is a great documentary series about it: Everything is a Remix

With Amazon patenting things like taking photos against a white background, apple patenting things such as a rectangle with rounded corners and Google trying to trademark the word “Glass” I think the whole idea of patent and copyright is absurd. It’s become a hinderance to advancement and creativity, moreover it doesn’t make any logical sense to say that George Lucas can patent the word “Light Saber” and then sue a company that was selling a product called “Light Saber” and win even though that product had been around long before Star Wars was ever an idea.

I agree with xrg that it’s become a minefield, moreover that minefield is so saturated you couldn’t throw a stone without either hitting one or getting close enought that it takes 26 court battles to determine if that stone was too close or not. Tell ya what why don’t we just make coming up with an idea illegal unless you can afford to dish out a few million to 148 different companies that don’t even know what patents they own and which ones they don’t and of the ones they do know no one is entirely sure if it’s partially infringing on someone elses.

I’m sorry, I guess I just find all of this stupid. For lack of a better word stupid and childish. Apple vs. Samsung is essentially the equivalent of two children playing with toy guns saying “I shot you!” “No you didn’t!”

The point there is that the toy guns aren’t real, the only way to be sure if one kid shot the other is if the guns were real and a bullet actually pierced the other kid, but the guns aren’t real and there are no bullets therefore no one shot anyone and to claim otherwise is just fantasy.

Why not? The law itself doesn’t stop people doing things, it just states a rule.

The person who owns something has the right to choose how others use it. The owner of the empty block down the street doesn’t stop people parking on his land, whereas I wouldn’t let strangers fill up my yard with cars - we both have the same property rights but different attitudes.

Do you think you should have an automatic right to be able to recut movies?

You know I fully understand that there are a lot of con-artists out there that would love nothing more than to get rich off of other people’s work. I understand that people feel the need to prevent that from happening, but at what point are we doing more harm than good? At what point do we not only prevent con-artists from stealing, but prevent good hearted less fortunate people from eating?

On the similar subject of the patent believe it or not a poor person can have an idea just as well as a rich person, but in the states it costs upwards of five grand to file a patent.

I had an idea a while ago, a lighter than air craft that worked in the sky much like a submarine worked in the ocean. I posted a video to YouTube detailing this craft and I received a private message from someone claiming to be an aeronautics expert. He advised me to take the video down because he had done something similar, came up with a new type of aircraft and detailed it on YouTube. Next thing he knew the US military had stolen his design. He advised me that I was at risk of having the same thing happen to me.

I didn’t care though, the US military is more than welcome to anything I have to offer, I’m not going to keep the world away from what I have to offer because I’m afraid of how they might use it. This is just my opinion, but whatever they choose to do with what I have is up to them, not me.

Anyway a good year or two after I posted that video I read an article about how the US military had contracted a company to develop a lighter than air craft that worked in the sky much like a submarine works in the water.

Not for nothin’, I’m not mad and I don’t like to complain, but I’ve just gotta wonder if it makes the world’s richest nation feel big to steal from a damn homeless man.

Patents are very different to copyright.

If we’re talking copyright, then copyright is what allows that less-fortunate person to eat. Say that person invents a character called Captain SuperDude and writes a series of stories. Without copyright, there would be nothing stopping BigHeartlessMovieCorp from making a series of trilogies using that character and those stories with no compensation to the original creator.

Companies wouldn’t need to employ creative people, they could simply take what they want.

Anyone can tell someone else to do things, but whether or not they have any authority to do so is another thing entirely.

Like old people telling young people to stop running in the park and making noise. What if you just parked in the last remaining car park, and some stranger came up and said, “Hey, I’m an automotive expert, you better not park there because I parked there last week.”

But that said, with copyright, the protection given to the small man is also given to the big company. That movie studio has the right to tell people not to make derivative works of their property.

Another video on the subject.

I’m sorry, I didn’t mean for that to sound as though he was telling me to take it down because it was similar to a craft he had designed, he wasn’t. He told me that he had also designed a completely different aircraft and posted his design to YouTube only to later find out that the US military had taken his design. He wasn’t telling me to take the video down, he was suggesting that if I didn’t want the US military to take the design then I should remove the video otherwise I could end up in the same position he was in.

And I shouldn’t have accused the US military of stealing the design in my other post, they didn’t because really I gave it to them, just thought a simple thank you would’ve been nice I guess.

They’re certainly welcome to my designs and, although I would prefer they didn’t, if they want to use my designs to kill each other that’s certainly their choice.

I suppose what I meant when I said stealing… Hmmm, I just feel that if they’re going to use my designs it would be nice if they didn’t treat me like a I’m a drain on society when I’ve actually given them something quite nice.

P.S. Personally I feel that the technology could be used for far more than war. I could imagine flying cars, flying emergency vehicles rescuing people from the tops of sky scrapers, and even flying hotels or supermarkets. Imagine opening up the sky as living space.

As for copyright, I have nothing against those who differ in opinion, but personally I don’t see a need for the copyright. I believe that reality takes care of this for us. I don’t mind if a company makes a million dollars off of my work, but if they like my work I’m probably capable of providing more to them, but that cannot happen if I die of starvation. So no they certainly don’t have to pay me for my work, but the laws of physics dictates that if they do not then they will not get anymore.

It’s not a question of right and wrong, it’s not a question of legal or illegal. It’s simply how reality works, if they want more I need electricity, I need a roof, I need food. These rules are not my doing, they are not anyone’s doing, just a fact of life.

Edit: I am happy to provide, I am happy to give to people, but there are certain things I am not at all willing to do. I am not willing to sell my life to someone so they can piddle it away for their own ends. I am not willing to be told when I can and cannot eat, when I can and cannot sleep, when I can and cannot defecate. I am not willing to be commanded, ask and ye shall receive, but I have no patience for demands.

I am and I have proven that I am, I am willing to die before I’ll be owned by someone, be it a company, a country or anyone. I’m not angry, I’m not bitter, although I probably was at one point in time. I am, however, willing to die for what I believe. Unlike the President in the movie Independence Day, I have no problem going silently into the night. If I am, and I’m not saying I am, but if I am worth something to someone and I die silently in the night then it is not my problem, but theirs.

Edit: I give to people because even though I feel that some of them could have treated me better, maybe I’m right and maybe I’m wrong about that, they are worth something to me. To me they are worth everything. Maybe I’m wrong and if I am I don’t want to be right.

Here’s a different thought …

Instead of griping once-again about what is wrong with these present systems … what should we be advocating as a way to fix them?

(I frankly feel that the diseased-elephant in this picture is patents, versus copyrights. The essential idea of copyrights has more or less survived, but in the present age patents have rather-obviously become ridiculous.)

So … what should be done, to actually fix these things? “We all know we’ve got a problem – what’s the solution?”

Well now we’re really delving into something more political. I’ve read the pinned forum ‘think before you post’ topic and understand why such subjects might be frowned upon. I’ll offer a brief look into my point of view, if I come off as offensive just say something and I’ll shut my pie hole. In all honesty I’ve had some qualms about discussing my point of view anyway because in my belief it’s not really my place to tell others how to live their lives.

I feel that the idea of owning an idea is just one of many problems facing society. In a civilization with as many problems as this one copyright, patent and trademark probably have a useful place. That doesn’t mean they’re necessary, only that they do a mediocre job of keeping a broken machine from completely collapsing upon itself.

One thing I’ve noticed about people is that they tend to get used to things and take them for granted. You get a new car and it’s shiny, it’s fast and it’s great, but a year or two down the road it’s yesterday’s news and time to trade up. I feel that we’ve done this to each other, taken one another for granted.

What I mean is people have been around people for so long they’ve forgotten just what it is that they have all around them which is, in my opinion, by far the most valuable resource in the universe. We look at our sky scrapers and our million dollar super computers in awe, good lord look at these marvels we can create! But wait, what about that thing right in front of your face? There is no car, there is no computer, there is no jet plane or building as versatile, resilient and capable as the human being.

For so many years we’ve dreamed of re-creating the awe and majesty that is the human being and yet such highly advanced technology continues to elude and confuse. We spend our lives working and toiling away trying to buy that new house or that new computer all the while throwing away the most useful, that most precious of all gifts, the human being.

Why not say you don’t need money, you don’t need to prove to me that you are worth giving to. You’re a human being and because of this I know full well that you are worth far more than anything I could ever dream up. I don’t need a copyright or a patent to keep you from using my works because I don’t want to keep you from using my works.

You’re a human being and because of this I know you will take my works and improve upon them and use them to create and invent. You’re a human being and you can have everything I have to give because what I give to you will be returned ten fold. You will take these works and you will use these works to improve the lives of others, however great or little. Those others will in turn use those new works to create their own works to give away. Those others will in turn use those works to create even new works and somewhere along the line there lies you and you will receive the works of others, works that were, however directly or indirectly, results of the works you gave to others.

Give to them and they will give to you. Give to the mechanic and he will return to you a car. Give to the farmer and he will return to you food. Give to the doctor and he will return to you health.

Give to the farmer and he will return to the mechanic food. The mechanic will return to the engineer a car and the engineer will return to the programmer a computer. The programmer will return to the astronaut a space ship and the astronaut will return to you a new found land in which we can all expand and prosper.

What is the solution? Why it’s still not obvious? Love

You don’t see a need for it because you aren’t looking to capitalize on it. Some people are looking to earn a living with their talent, apparently you’re not since you said you didn’t care if someone took your work, you were just miffed that they didn’t thank you for your contribution.

People who are looking to support themselves need the ability to copyright, trademark, and patent to protect their right to benefit from their work. Since you’re not looking to benefit, you have no need for it. If all you want is a pat on the back for your work, that’s absolutely fine, there’s nothing wrong with it. Perhaps if you copyrighted your work, they’d be forced to approach you for licensing. You could set your terms such that you’ll transfer full permissions to them in exchange for a thank you. That way, everyone’s happy.

Don’t get me wrong, I agree that copyrighting has got out of control, but I think this is a result of blatent infringement as well. Take smartphones. They were around for nearly 10 years before the iPhone came along, and no one had the form factor or level of complexity of an iPhone. Within a few years, virtually every phone manufactured copied Apple’s design. Years ago, industry wouldn’t have copied so blatently as is done today. I think patent applications should be closely scrutinized before a patent is issued, so silly stuff like a rectangle with chamfered corners or the word “Glass” being trademarked doesn’t happen, but, at the same time, I believe when a patent is issued, should the holder wish to have it upheld, it should be.

BTW George Lucas sold the rights of Stars War to Disney for $4 billion.

For the record I’m not looking for a thank you or anything, if I’m miffed about anything it’s the assumption that I don’t contribute when, in fact, I do. I feel that inventing rules to govern the distribution of wealth and or power leads to war because people differ so greatly on the subject. This is all well and good for some of the larger countries until the US and Russia reach an impasse in their governing styles leading to an economic war that destroys the world’s economy and ultimately leads to another world war.

The US wants Russia to be more like the US and Russia wants the US to be more like Russia. This is just an example of course, but the two differ greatly in their idea of law, ultimately the two are incompatible with one another and that incompatibility is likely to become a rather grave issue. Obviously I could be wrong on this, but if I’m not…

Please… since the thread is specific to copyright, let’s leave patents in trademarks out of it. You cannot copyright an idea. You can only copyright a specific expression of that idea in a fixed medium (writing, video, illustration, music, etc). It does us no good to confuse the various forms of intellectual property.

And really, copyright is not complicated. Unless you’re explicitly given permission to modify or redistribute someone’s work, then you’re not allowed to modify or redistribute it (with some exceptions covered under Fair Use). That means, generally speaking, you must ask for permission from the owner or creator of the work. It also means that they have the right to say either yes or no to whomever they want for whatever reason they want.

And, really, in an “Internet age”, is it all that difficult to send an email to the correct person and ask for permission?

No. I don’t think that I or anyone else should have the right to re-cut films. What I have a problem with is different companies taking different views on re-use but using the same copyright notice. Personally, I’d like to see companies spell out clearly what you and may not do.

It’s not up to them to tell you, it’s up to you to ask them.
Unless it specifically says you can do something then you can’t, it’s very simple.

The issue with patent laws isn’t exactly the laws or the contexts of the specific patents. Issues seem to arise with systems that maximize a certain aspect of their function. This creates behaviors that are incoherent with respect to the overarching systems in the hierarchy.

I would suggest that the issue is with the individual business models. I suspect that they are unsustainable anyway.

Copyright laws don’t govern the distribution of wealth. Copyright protects someone’s property.

P.S. If you don’t like distribution of wealth (I don’t), then I hope you didn’t vote for Obama, because he’s all about that.