Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt

from the step 2 dept

Robert Weller takes this week’s number one spot as the voter’s choice for the most insightful comment of the week, with his explanation for why newspaper paywalls don’t make sense:


Two other things. One. People now read sometimes half a dozen newspapers daily, not just one. Two. They aren’t going to pay six newspapers.

Sometimes it’s the short and sweet ones that make the clearest points. Coming in second was Ima Fish’s comment concerning the problem of people calling things like fair use a “limitation and exception,” when reality is it’s the opposite:


It’s actually worse than that. Copyright and patents are the exception and limitation. Not fair use.

Property rights are considered inalienable rights in the Constitution. They’re also considered natural rights. They can be thought of as inherent rights. They’re not given by government. They are given by nature itself. The purpose of government is not to give such rights, but to protect such rights. And the government can only intrude upon such rights through due process.

Unlike property rights, copyrights and patents needed to be explicitly included in the Constitution because they were not natural. The concept of giving out monopoly rights to ideas was contrary to nature. Thus, such monopolies were by their nature an exception and highly limited.

As pointed out here before. Copyrights originally lasted only 15 years. And even more interesting, copyrights did not cover music or literature.

But as money was made on these limited monopolies, those who collected the rents needed more gates from which to collected upon. So music was added. Literature was added. The length of time was increased. The monopoly on publishing was not enough. Soon performances were added. And now we’re stuck with a convoluted draconian system where we need to pay a license to combine music with video, separate from the publishing right, and separate from the performance right.

The reason we think of fair use as a limitation and an exception, is because for over two centuries, copyright law has turned on its head.

Over to editor’s choice insightful comments, we’ll start with Erik J. Heels interpretation of the RIAA chart that showed how much music was obtained in various ways, some by authorized means and others not so much. Heels suggests a re-labeling is in order:


The RIAA should re-label its chart.

Change “unpaid” to “marketing” and “paid” to “sales.”

And, finally, we have Duke’s excellent response to a bunch of legacy artists demanding that Google & ISPs solve the artists’ own inability to change with the times.


Ah, isn’t it nice when legacy artists (or the lobby groups behind them) manage to show just how out of touch they are. Why, only a couple of weeks ago the PRS (record label collecting society) published a fascinating report (jointly paid for by Google) into the status of “illegal websites” and found that search engines had a very minor role. So even their own lobby groups are saying they’re talking complete nonsense.

Of course, the whole “search engines are promoting illegal stuff” argument is great in itself because it tells us a couple of key things:

Firstly; people want to find mp3s of popular music that they can download. If they didn’t, they wouldn’t be searching Google for them.

Secondly; Google, as a search engine, is there to give *its users* what they want. They’re not there to serve the BPI (or whoever was behind this). It has all those complicated algorithms to work out what is popular and … surprise surprise, sites allegedly offering free or cheap mp3 downloads of popular music do well.

Thirdly; If the first n pages of a Google search for “Adele mp3” (to use the example given in the programme below) are all to supposedly unlawful sites, what has happened to the lawful ones? Why aren’t they right at the top of the list? Because the sites that do that don’t exist. And if they do exist, they’re hidden behind terrible websites, paywalls and the lot, so you can’t find them easily through a search.

So, what do we do about this? Well, if these legacy musicians want to fix their little problem, it seems the solution is quite easy:

1: Have sites that provide legal downloading of mp3s and similar stuff.

2: Recognise that the consumers (including ‘pirates’) actually want music, but they want it a certain way, and if you’re going to try to act as a consumer-facing business, you should try to match their demands.

3: Make sure that the sites in 1 are easily accessible, well-designed, and will actually turn up in search results.

Sadly, signing a letter that says “blame Google” is less effort.

For those interested, they even got the BBC to do a Newsnight segment for them on this rubbish. Interestingly, I did a search for “adele mp3” on Google; the top few results appear to be theoretically legal in the US (only hosting information, or previews, with DMCA-compliant stuffs, and linking to paysites in the Ukraine and Russia which may be legal over there due to collective licensing rules).

The other thing I found particularly illuminating was that the top page has 10 search results (including one for amazon.com) and 8 notices covering 18 entries removed following DMCA notices. Somehow I don’t think the takedown requests are doing that much good anyway.

Moving over to the funny side of things, the clear winner this week came from an Anonymous Coward on the story about someone selling waffles at an event complaining about the Swedish Young Pirate organization daring to give away their own waffles for free. This AC wondered how the RIAA equivalent of the waffle-sellers would react:


To stop this from happening, commercial waffle makers should start selling waffles with bits of broken glass in it, insult their customers as wafflethieves and follow them around to spy on them.

Coming in second was our own Dark Helmet explaining how video games drove him to violence:


To be fair, as a child of the 80’s, I once rushed into a pet store, removed all the turtles from their cages, and began stomping on them repeatedly while screaming “Where’s my damned Princess!?!?!?”.

Years of corrective therapy later and I still am not allowed into Chicago pet stores….

This reminds me of the famous Marcus Brigstocke joke: “If Pac-Man had affected us as kids, we’d all be running around in dark rooms, munching pills and listening to repetitive electronic music.”

Moving on to editor’s choice, we’ve got Josh in CharlotteNC responding to someone trying to play down the US government quietly admitting that it violated the 4th Amendment with its surveillance efforts, by saying that it wasn’t a big deal because they “admitted that at least ONCE, upon review, their actions where not in keeping with the 4th amendment.” Josh responded with how things would sound on the flip side:


No, officer, I wasn’t ignoring the speed limit. Upon review by your radar gun, my speed was not in keeping with the limit. By this logic, you cannot give me a ticket.

Finally, we’ve got an Anonymous Coward explaining the RIAA’s brilliant business strategy concerning its efforts to kick people off the internet:


Step 1. Kick people off of the internet
Step 2.
Step 3. Profit!

2/3rds of the way there, RIAA, keep up the good work!

Hey, perhaps we can help! Either way, we’ll be back tomorrow with something else to say about something.


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Comments on “Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt”

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105 Comments
Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re: Re: Re: Re:

It’s easy to improve:

Close it and admit failure.

The software is neither great nor horrible, it’s sort of a useless redo of chat software. That isn’t the problem.

The problem is simple: He didn’t connect with fans, because the people who read techdirt generally are NOT the target audience for this sort of thing. Mike doesn’t generally connect with artists, he has only really connected with a few (and even Nina Paley has taken the exit from Techdirt land… that should tell you a bunch).

CwF+RtB – he failed. Mike hates to admit it, he will come up with his usual “there is plenty going on in the background you don’t see” (he uses that to explain why the Insight Community area is stuck in 2011… and why all the corporate sponsors dried up. He even dismisses that he is failing in his own CwF thing, he doesn’t maintain the stuff store, has nothing really to sell now except access, which is a great way of suggesting just how “profitable” the whole thing was, he can’t seem to be assed to even try to maintain it.

Oh, Mike’s final response generally is to dodge the issues, and come back with the tired old “show me what good you have done”, like my successes and failures somehow validate his seemingly failing properties.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

Holy carp are you dense. I’ll try to explain, even though I know you won’t listen.

1. Mike never intended this site to be profitable–there are many, many posts on that. This is feature of a larger offering. If you have quantitative (not speculative) evidence that Floor64 et al is failing, please post it.

2. You really believe that because the stuff store is stale, that’s evidence of failure? Data points without context are useless, but I realize you don’t care–you’d rather ignore any relevant context if it doesn’t fit your worldview. But, to help you anyway…have you heard anyone here clamoring for stuff in the stuff store? Could it just possibly be that stuff isn’t being offered because it isn’t key to the offering?

chillienetsays:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

Yes actually. Mike (Jesus) took some comments (fish) written buy people (dude Jesus got the fish from) on the internet (sea) and then reposted them (multiplied the fish) for thousands of people to read (eat) while adding his own opinion (sermon) and he did it with out expecting any sort of payment from the recipient (ditto.)

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

“Mike never intended this site to be profitable–there are many, many posts on that.”

Nobody is questioning bottom line financial results. I am talking about the more relevant, more important social standing. That is to say, when you have a site like Techdirt that gets tens of thousands of views a day, and you open a new sub-section, you hope that you will see similar results there.

Step2 doesn’t get that, because it fails on a social level, because really, Mike isn’t social with the people he claims he built the site for.

Mike is a little too monotone for the music people to want to deal with.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

Nina leaving tells us nothing because I can’t find anything about the why. Nina, if you’re lurking could you shout please?

Hmmm, not work so well in text.

Plus, there are authors, artists and proggrammers(that would be me) in the techdirt readership so that’s not a good explaination for failure of step2.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

“Oh, and the fact that you completely ducked any attempt to provide constructive improvements? That just proves you are a troll, blinded the bitterness of your own failures. Sad, really.”

What? The site itself isn’t good or bad, It’s rarely a good idea to reinvent the wheel, which is what they did by making their own chat board, but whatever.

The real constructive criticism is that Mike has shown that he seems to be unable to actually reach to the people he claims to stand up for. The content creators, the next wave of business people, the new model musicians… they are absent with a completeness that is impressive. Even the tie ups with major music project sites couldn’t get anyone over to talk.

Why? I personally think it’s because Mike doesn’t work well except out of spite or anger. I don’t think he builds on good stuff going forward, but builds on anger going back. Techdirt is really a blog about Mike slogging “old” business models and to trot out his slightly warped view of the business world. It’s not really positive, it’s built of crapping on the previous generation.

Anyone trying to move forward can smell that, and they stay away.

In simpler terms, Mike’s fans aren’t the people he wishes to reach, and those people don’t seem to want to be here.

So there isn’t any real constructive stuff, because it requires Mike to stop being Mike, and that’s just not going to happen.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re:6 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

Are you kidding me? Why do you think most people come here? It’s to read Mike’s latest indignant post about how company X did you wrong, or how government agency Y is sneaking around on you again.

I know the others think differently, but I don’t build my business on nit picking others and posting “sky is falling” stuff.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re:8 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

No, you don’t get the point. It’s not about letting anyone push you around, whatever.

My observation is only that Mike’s site is about the negative, rarely about the positive. It’s built it’s audience on being anti-this and anti-that. Most of the big traffic gains have been around SOPA and the TSA stuff. It’s negative action stuff.

When Mike tries to do positive (Step 2) he seems to fail because he doesn’t have the right attitude. He’s not about reaching out to people to do positive, he’s about reaching out the people to tell them how bad they are, and how much he will bang them on his blog in front of a large audience.

It’s about slapping people down, not about building up.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re:9 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

Mike focusing on the negitive is a good thing. What would be the use of stories where the plane lands safely, the 113th story about how perfect the scholl system is, ect?

When there’s so much negitive you either face ithe problem or ignore it and let it overwelm you.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re:9 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

You’re joking, right? Every time there’s an issue with copyright the usual trolls come and proclaim how Life + 70 benefits everyone and whoever thinks that it might not be entirely appropriate gets called a pirate and an idiot, because life + 70 is written in stone (until it gets extended again) and indisputable. That is completely “letting anyone push you around”.

As the above poster put it, “fuck that shit”. I suppose if someone told you to reach for your dreams off the edge of a cliff you’d do that, too.

Rikuosays:

Re: Re:

Why is it wrong for Mike to try and advertise his own program, successful or not, popular or not? If you don’t like it, then don’t use it. If you don’t use it, tell us why. Don’t just say “it’s unpopular” and leave it at that.

Or it could be, that more likely, you don’t have anything to say.

Sneejesays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

It’s even more funny watching you desperately, DESPERATELY try to appear much smarter and superior to everyone else, especially Mike.

I can honestly say I haven’t encountered anyone like you since High School, possibly middle school. For your own sake, you might want to consider growing up.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re: Re: Re: Re:

“It’s even more funny watching you desperately, DESPERATELY try to appear much smarter and superior to everyone else, especially Mike.”

Oh god no. I am not superior in any way. Mike has years of experience, a great education, and so on. He also has blind spots the size of buildings, but that’s okay too.

I am not claiming superiority here at all, only pointing out that, considering the huge amounts of people that come to Techdirt, and the huge amount of effort Mike puts into pushing his “CwF” and other stuff, it seems really weird to see what has happened to Step2.

It doesn’t connect with the intended users, the software isn’t really special, and it’s pretty much dead in the water. With so many people coming to Techdirt each day, you would think he could get more action over there. But no, it’s not happening.

I just think Mike talks a good game, but has proven that it’s nowhere near as easy as he suggests, even with a huge running head start.

“I can honestly say I haven’t encountered anyone like you since High School, possibly middle school.”

I would say you need to get out more. If all you are getting is yes-men and people with the same opinion, you need to change your circle of friends. They aren’t helping you.

Sneejesays:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

No, believe me, I spend my days interacting with plenty of people that disagree with me, they just do it in a mature manner–by not denigrating me or others and by actively trying to find areas where we might come to agreement.

But you do none of that–it is plain from your tone, choice of words, and lack of specifics. Your arguments, sadly, boil down to, “I know you are but what am I.”

The fact that you believe the only way I can write what I did is that I am sheltered and surrounded by similar opinions proves this. You cannot conceive that there is any other way to argue or debate–and that is because you haven’t experienced anything else more enlightened.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

I believe you don’t fully understand what you just said.

The reason the music people, movie people have so much “piracy” is exactly because they are always absent.

You don’t talk to people at your own risk, people will continue to do whatever they are doing and they won’t ask for permission to do it, is just that simple, but they could be persuaded to help the music and movie people in some way that doesn’t impinge on their own rights.

Anonymoussays:

Also it’s worth noting that in the constitution copyright is an optional regulation that congress may implement but it’s illegal to grant a copyright without an expiration date.

The wording also suggests that promoting progress is the only justification for copyright/patents as what congress is actually given the power to do is “promote the progress of science and the useful arts” with the “securing for limited times the exclusive rights” part being the method by which they may do so.

Anonymoussays:

Also it’s worth noting that in the constitution copyright is an optional regulation that congress may implement but it’s illegal to grant a copyright without an expiration date.

The wording also suggests that promoting progress is the only justification for copyright/patents as what congress is actually given the power to do is “promote the progress of science and the useful arts” with the “securing for limited times the exclusive rights” part being the method by which they may do so.

Kensays:

Unauthorized Competition

RIAA and others like to call copyright infringement “theft” however the Supreme Court on more than one occasion has said it is not theft. It is no more theft than another company competing against another. You could say two companies selling the same product is stealing from the other but that is the nature of competition. The only difference is what the government considers authorized and unauthorized competition.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Unauthorized Competition

Supreme Court Justice Breyer in his MGM vs. Grokster concurrence:
“No one disputes that ?reward to the author or artist serves to induce release to the public of the products of his creative genius.? United States v. Paramount Pictures, Inc., 334 U. S. 131, 158 (1948). And deliberate unlawful copying is no less an unlawful taking of property than garden-variety theft.”

Kensays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Unauthorized Competition

DOWLING v. UNITED STATES, 473 U.S. 207 (1985)
473 U.S. 207
DOWLING v. UNITED STATES

It follows that interference with copyright does not easily equate with theft, conversion, or fraud. The Copyright Act even employs a separate term of art to define one who misappropriates a copyright: “Anyone who violates any of the exclusive rights of the copyright owner,' that is, anyone who trespasses into his exclusive domain by using or authorizing the use of the copyrighted work in one of the five ways set forth in the statute,is an infringer of the copyright.’ [17 U.S.C.] 501(a).” Sony Corp., supra, at 433. There is no dispute in this case that Dowling’s unauthorized inclusion on his bootleg albums of performances of copyrighted compositions constituted infringement of those copyrights. It is less clear, however, that the taking that occurs when an infringer arrogates the use of another’s protected work comfortably fits the terms associated with physical removal employed by 2314. The infringer invades a statutorily defined province guaranteed to the copyright holder alone. But he does not assume physical control over the copyright; nor does he wholly deprive its owner of its use. While one may colloquially link infringement with some general notion of wrongful [473 U.S. 207, 218] appropriation, infringement plainly implicates a more complex set of property interests than does run-of-the-mill theft, conversion, or fraud.

http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?court=us&vol=473&invol=207

MonkeyFracasJrsays:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:I'll take the supreme court version ...

Even so the Supreme Court Ruling statement does not equate “deliberate unlawful copying” to theft. The statement is not a metaphor. It is written with figurative language to make a comparison, the point of which is to say that “deliberate unlawful copying” is no more or less unlawful than “unlawful taking of property than garden-variety theft.” That is quite different that saying there are the same act.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Unauthorized Competition

Being a judge on the US supreme court does not make one an infallible arbiter of the English language.

If it was a sound legal opinion that copyright infringement was equivalent to theft then surely some infringer somewhere would have been prosecuted for theft.

It has never happened.

It follows that any statement made by any judge that appears to equate copyright infringement to theft is:

“Merely corroborative detail, intended to give artistic verisimilitude to an otherwise bald and unconvincing narrative.”
WS Gilbert

and should not be taken seriously.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Unauthorized Competition

This comment fundamentally misapprehends the holding by the Supreme Court in Downling v. US. In that case the appellant was convicted of violating a criminal statute, 18 U.S.C. 2314. The court’s comment was limited to its analysis of only that specific criminal statute in which “theft” was narrowly defined. This is a far cry from stating without equivocation that copyright infringement can never be “theft”.

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Unauthorized Competition

I’ve just been though about five on-line dictionaries (I don’t have a paper one to hand) and in none of them can I find a definition of theft that would equate to copyright infringement. All of them talk about depriving someone of something which, as we’ve established on a number of occasions, copying does not do.
Hmmm, wonder if that’s why there’s a separate offence called copyright infringement to cover that?

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re: Re: Re: Re: Unauthorized Competition

Supreme Court opinions are directed solely to the case before it, which in Dowling concerned a specific federal criminal statute. What the court held was that the specific statute did not include copyright infringment within its definition of theft…no more and no less. In this case the majority opinion declared that theft, as defined in the statute, was limited to tangible articles, and because rights under copyright do not meet the tangebility requirement of the statute, the taking of a right accorded by copyright was not viewed to fall within the reach of the statute.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Unauthorized Competition

Reading the decision at http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?navby=search&court=US&case=/us/473/207.html and I cannot find anything that supports your theory. Reading it, I see this:

Since the statutorily defined property rights of a copyright holder have a character distinct from the possessory interest of the owner of simple “goods, wares, [or] merchandise,” interference with copyright does not easily equate with theft, conversion, or fraud. The infringer of a copyright does not assume physical control over the copyright nor wholly deprive its owner of its use.

Which seems to me to refer to copyright, itself and not just 18 USC 2314 as you seem to indicate. After all, the ‘statutorily defined rights of a copyright holder’ aren’t defined in 18 USC 2314.

Richardsays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Unauthorized Competition

“No one disputes that ?reward to the author or artist serves to induce release to the public of the products of his creative genius.?

Why should we take this judge seriously when he is factually incorrect?

I dispute that ?reward to the author or artist serves to induce release to the public of the products of his creative genius.?

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Unauthorized Competition

Sorry, but on matters of legal interpretation, I still have to give more credence to a Supreme Court justice than you. Seriously? You really think you are right and the justice is “factually incorrect”? I get that you don’t like the opinion but it’s bizarre that you actually think you know better.

Richardsays:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Unauthorized Competition

I think he meant no one of judicially authority.

What is “judicailly authority?

Anyway he diodn’t SAY that – he said “no one”.

I’ll take what the judge actually said above your interpretation.

Beside which – the “appeal to authority” on which you rely is a well known logical fallacy.
Note that the statement that the judge makes is about economics not about law – and therefore his authority cannot be relied on.

Anonymoussays:

Just a quick observation regarding the comment that came in second in voting.

Property rights are not inalienable rights and never have been considered as such as a matter of constitutional law.

Intellectual works have been viewed by many reaching back to at least as early as English law as natural rights. Others besides Locke have so stated from legal and philosophical perspectives. To say they have never been considered natural rights is incorrect. One example of current scholars who have studied law and philosophy who elaborates on this is Adam Mossoff. Some scholars disagree. Others agree. In many regards it seems to be a matter of perspective.

Interestingly, the history and recognition of copyright and patent law predates the US Constitution. Until it was enacted all but one of the then states had enacted copyright laws, and some had enacted patent laws.

Subsequent to the enactment of the Copyright Law of 1790 states continued to be involved in the granting of copyright because federal law was premised on date of publication. Pre-published works were not within the federal regime, making them fair game for state legislation. It was not until the Copyright Act of 1976, when creation became the federal standard in order to conform US law to international norms reaching back to the Berne Convention, that the federal government began exercising preemption over the field of copyright law to the exclusion of prior state powers.

Thus, to call copyright an exception to the innate rights of the public is not entirely correct, and I can well understand the push-back from rights holders to acquiesce to such a starting point.

Richardsays:

Re: Re:

Intellectual works have been viewed by many reaching back to at least as early as English law as natural rights.

I would like to see evidence from before 1550 to support that statement.

The problem is that the opinions of subsequent scholars are tainted by 300 years of copyright propaganda.

It is worth noting that the decision in Donaldson v. Becket (1774) is commonly misinterpreted to support the view that copyright existed in common law before the statute of Anne – however a more careful reading of the evidence suggests otherwise.

“That is, Lord Chancellor Apsley, like Lord Camden, explicitly denied the existence of any common law right, ab initio, and it was this position that the majority of the peers embraced.”

The case is often misunderstood because people forget that at the time the opinions of the Law Lords were only advisory – and that one needs to look at the decisions of the House of Lords as a whole.

Richardsays:

Re: Re:

Subsequent to the enactment of the Copyright Law of 1790 states continued to be involved in the granting of copyright because federal law was premised on date of publication. Pre-published works were not within the federal regime, making them fair game for state legislation. It was not until the Copyright Act of 1976, when creation became the federal standard in order to conform US law to international norms reaching back to the Berne Convention, that the federal government began exercising preemption over the field of copyright law to the exclusion of prior state powers.

I find it really funny that, in recent years – especially in reference to sound copyright- the copyright lobby has leveraged these state laws to extend copyright provision , when at the time the constitution was framed they were all lobbying for congressional powers because the state laws were inconsistent and hence inadequate for their purposes.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

At the time of the Constitutional Convention, during which our present Constitution was crafted, there is virtually no historical record concerning the inclusion of Article 1, Section 8, Clause 8, other than the exchange of some correspondence between two or so participants, as well as some correspondence with Jefferson, who at the time was serving as the US envoy to France and, hence, not a participant in the formal discussions at the convention.

Perhaps the most that can be said on this issue is that the provision was unanimously passed for inclusion in the document without formal debate.

It is the absence of formal debate on the record that has led scholars to look elsewhere in an attempt to divine its history and purpose. Like anything else where one looks to extrinsic evidence limited to only a few individuals, much scholarly work is based upon an attempt to divine why it was included by all of the convention’s participants.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

I agree that the dichotomy between state copyright laws and the federal law is perplexing, but it may be helpful to bear in mind that there really was a time when principles of Federalism were a key consideration in the formulation of various federal laws. Certainly, Federalism came to the fore with the enactment of the Copyright Act of 1976, pointing out the need to address the issue of federal preemption over state law. It was done so explicitly, but even then it could not rendeer null and void the legitimate exercise of state power prior to the time that preemption was declared. Sound recordings preserved under state law is one notable example that was explicitly recognized and accommodated.

Richardsays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

Sound recordings preserved under state law is one notable example that was explicitly recognized and accommodated.

Your formal language cannot disguise the fact that the outcome of this process was quite bizarre – in that it extended sound copyright beyond the copyright term of the underlying compositions and has srved to undermine the public domain status of many works in other parts of the world where the rules are more consistent.

You should bear in mind that the shenanigans that occur between the states and the federal government in your country are quite incomprehensible to most of the rest of the world, and I may add very frustrating at times.

Asa for the lobbying in favour of federal copyright to overcome the limitations of state copyright – well it quite clearly did happen

During the 1780s the shortcomings of local protection for writings and technological innovations in the context of an emerging national market and culture were becoming apparent, at least to some. The efforts of Noah Webster (1758-1843) and others to secure state protection for their writings vividly demonstrated these shortcomings in the instance of copyright.[3] The contest before state legislatures between John Fitch (1743-1798) and James Rumsey (1743-1792) over protection for the steamboat invention and the troubles of other inventors did the same in the patent context.[4] In 1787, in preparation for the constitutional convention, James Madison (1751-1836) identified “the want of uniformity in the laws concerning naturalization & literary property,” as one of the weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation’s scheme of government.[5] Later, when he defended the Constitution in the Federalist, Madison observed that “[t]he states cannot separately make effectual provision for either” copyright or patent.[6] In 1787 F.W. Geyer observed that “a patent can be of no use unless it is from Congress, and not from them till they are vested with much more authority than they possess at this time.”[7] As it happened, when in 1787 a new scheme of government for the nation was created during the constitutional convention in Philadelphia, in the form of the U.S. Constitution, it included a new federal power to legislate in the field of copyright and patent.

(from http://copy.law.cam.ac.uk/cam/tools/request/showRecord?id=commentary_us_1789)

My point was that the advocates of stronger copyright have emphasised state laws when it suited them and lobbied for federal laws whenever that seemed in their interest. They have not displayed any phoilosophical or political consistency in their approach – they have simply lobbied for their own self interest at all times.

Anonymoussays:

Your formal language cannot disguise the fact that the outcome of this process was quite bizarre – in that it extended sound copyright beyond the copyright term of the underlying compositions and has srved to undermine the public domain status of many works in other parts of the world where the rules are more consistent.

Actually, it did not. While not all states afforded under common or statutory law copyright protection for sound recordings, those states that did provide protection under common law placed no term limits since the “limited times” provision of federal law did not apply to states. In contrast, California provided copyright protection via statute. Unfortunately, I have been unable to locate a copy of the statute as it existed prior to 1972, and, thus, I do not know what the statutory term of protection pertained. As of now, however, California has amended its law for pre-1972 sound recordings such that the terms now mirror the termination date set forth in federal law. This same expiration date also applies to state common law copyright.

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