Trade Group Representing Many Large Companies Claims That Exceptions For The Blind Would 'Cast Aside' Copyright

from the wtf? dept

As you may recall, we’ve recently written about the MPAA’s protests against a treaty for the blind, as well as a similar protest from the Intellectual Property Owners Association (on that front, we heard that many members of that group never saw that letter before it was sent out, and were not happy about it). Now there’s another group sending a letter, and it’s equally as ridiculous. Business Europe, which appears to have a lot of non-European companies as members (interesting, that), has written a ridiculous letter with little basis in fact, arguing that this treaty for the blind would be “casting aside” the “international copyright infrastructure.”

Of course, it does no such thing. All it does is provide extremely limited situations in which copyright restrictions would be limited for the sake of making it easier for vision-impaired people to access works. They also claim that it relies on “hasty conclusions” which is flat out laughable, since the treaty has been under discussion for almost three decades, but has been regularly blocked by organizations like those mentioned above. Business Europe’s real complaint seems to be that it just doesn’t like the people who like this treaty.


… it is strongly supported by the same group of NGOs and advanced emerging economy countries that pursue a general IPR-weakening agenda at WIPO and other international forums.

Got that? Those who argue that providing more rights to the public support this very minor place where more rights would be provided to the vision-impaired public, and we can’t have that. No, no. They also, rather bizarrely, claim that some countries who are likely to sign on to this treaty “do not provide any copyright protection whatsoever.” Jamie Love at KEI asks exactly which countries they’re talking about. The statement from Business Europe is nothing but fear mongering. If a country doesn’t provide any copyright protection at all, then why would it even care about a treaty whose focus is providing exceptions to copyright?

The level of freakout from these giant companies over helping the blind is really quite incredible.

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Companies: business europe

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Comments on “Trade Group Representing Many Large Companies Claims That Exceptions For The Blind Would 'Cast Aside' Copyright”

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111 Comments
Ninjasays:

The level of freakout from these giant companies over helping the blind is really quite incredible.

You wouldn’t believe the level of hatred this is generating when people get aware of those actions against the blind. A simple way to nullify these morons is to rise awareness. The backlash will do the rest.

out_of_the_bluesays:

Again, sheerly an anti-copyright WEDGE for Mike.

For someone who claims he’s yet to take a position on how to reform copyright, his articles ALWAYS argue for less of it!

Take a loopy tour of Techdirt.com! You always end up same place!
http://techdirt.com/
If Mike supports copyright, why are the pirates here? They take him same as I do: PRO-PIRACY!
04:02:02[f- 5-2]

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Again, sheerly an anti-copyright WEDGE for Mike.

OK Blue lets think this though with the aid of an example.

I’m not an accountant, I don’t know much about tax law. However I see reports of companies and the rich elite paying a lower % of tax than me or my small business. This annoys me and doesn’t seem fair. I want something done. However I don’t know enough about tax law to propose the correct changes.

Do you now see how it is possible to be opposed a state of affairs without having a clear solution for how to fix it?

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Again, sheerly an anti-copyright WEDGE for Mike.

Very true.

I hate to admit it, but at least Joe sticks around and tries to argue at an intellectual level.

OOTB probably started out the same way, and just got lazy because Mike never replied to him, so all he does is these weird “hit and run” postings.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re: Re: Re: Re: Again, sheerly an anti-copyright WEDGE for Mike.

If by ‘argue at an intellectual level’ you mean joe employs equal parts proof by verbosity and opacity. And he does a fair bit of ‘hit and run’ postings too of the ‘y u nvr dabate meeeee!ONe1one’ variety.

Still, all that considered I’d say I agree. Joe is also better at staying on topic. Little boy blue seems to make everything out to be some kind of classist conspiracy no matter how little that has to do with the subject at hand.

average_joesays:

Re: Re: Again, sheerly an anti-copyright WEDGE for Mike.

For someone who claims he’s yet to take a position on how to reform copyright, his articles ALWAYS argue for less of it!

Yeah, he doesn’t have 100% perfect information so he is completely incapable of forming opinions about copyright policy–unless someone proposes to limit it somehow, then he knows that’s the right move. Not very convincing on his part. He’s obviously working backwards at all times.

average_joesays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Again, sheerly an anti-copyright WEDGE for Mike.

I know you’re flaming and you have nothing to add to the conversation, but if there’s something you’d like to debate me on I’d be happy to oblige. I will directly answer your direct questions without weasel words and without running away. Bring it on.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re: Re: Re: Re: Again, sheerly an anti-copyright WEDGE for Mike.

I wouldn’t say “flaming” so much as reminding everyone that your noble attempts to debate Mike Masnick are overshadowed by your immense ego.

I don’t know how you go on with your life, Joe, if this is the most important thing.

average_joesays:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Again, sheerly an anti-copyright WEDGE for Mike.

I’m just pointing out that this is yet a mindless FUD piece that adds nothing to debate and exists only to fan the flames of hatred towards copyright holders. It’s not ego. I seriously wonder how Mike was second in his class at Cornell yet seems incapable of actually being a positive force in the debate.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Again, sheerly an anti-copyright WEDGE for Mike.

Who gives a shit? You? I doubt that you carry any kind of real concern for “FUD” articles on Techdirt, Joe.

…and “hatred towards copyright holders”? They don’t need Mike to do that for them.

And yes, it is “ego” and it’s easy to tell that’s all it is because you never even attempt to find a common ground. Even people who stand diametrically opposed on two sides of a spectrum can find things in common (if you actually have agreed on something, I’ve never seen it), but you’re only interest here is to point out the flaws in legal arguments that Mike makes.

On top of that, you seem more keen on debating his personal beliefs with your whiny mantras than debating copyright law.

average_joesays:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Again, sheerly an anti-copyright WEDGE for Mike.

Oh look, personal attacks that add nothing to the conversation. I’m happy to discuss common ground. I’d love to know what the proposal here actually says and why some people are actually against parts of it. But all we get is this faith-based FUD attack and the return of the “they hate the blind!” argument that gets us nowhere.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re:6 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Again, sheerly an anti-copyright WEDGE for Mike.

I thought you’d be desensitized to personal attacks by now, Joe.

If you’re happy to discuss things on common ground, then make the effort because you’re one of the few people with differing viewpoints. You also know how to make a dissenting opinion sound tactful and ripe for discussion, so what’s the problem?

There’s plenty of sites that make FUD out of whatever they get their hands on, and personally, I think Masnick is a bit emotional when it comes to news like this. But then…I can also click the links and read the source and establish my own opinion instead of relying on his take of it. I can then post that opinion in a non-asshole-esque manner and start a healthy debate.

Or I can attack the writer’s personal beliefs on the subject.

average_joesays:

Re: Re: Re:7 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Again, sheerly an anti-copyright WEDGE for Mike.

I am desensitized to it, having been attacked viciously over and over again by the folks on TD who can’t stand it when their leader is challenged.

Address the merits of my post if you would: Do you agree that Mike has not even begun to back up his assertion that this is a “ridiculous letter with little basis in fact”? Do you agree that Mike hasn’t shown us the text of the proposal and explained why this response is bullshit? Do you agree that Mike’s purpose in writing this article was not to actually advance the debate in a positive way but was instead solely for the purpose of discrediting these people with his usual “they hate the blind!” trope? I feel like I added to the discussion by pointing out how Mike added nothing. I’m not familiar enough with the proposals to add much of value on the merits, but apparently neither is Mike. That doesn’t stop him from writing this crap though. Why aren’t you grilling him if you agree with me in part?

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re:8 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Again, sheerly an anti-copyright WEDGE for Mike.

“I am desensitized to it, having been attacked viciously over and over again by the folks on TD who can’t stand it when their leader is challenged”

Well yeah, I mean if I went to the West Boro Baptist church blog and made constant remarks about their Pasture instead of debating their perceptions of reality, I would expect the same kind of treatment.

You’re a big boy Joe, you should know that debating on a website that stands on the other side of the spectrum compared to your viewpoint is going to be difficult. Otherwise, why go through the trouble?

“Address the merits of my post if you would: Do you agree that Mike has not even begun to back up his assertion that this is a “ridiculous letter with little basis in fact”? “

Yes, but then there’s little information to go on to say how this will affect international copyright in the long run. You can make the assumption it will damage the finances of all the companies Business Europe represents, or you can assume it will barely affect them.

” Do you agree that Mike hasn’t shown us the text of the proposal and explained why this response is bullshit?”

He hasn’t taken the time to dissect it yet, yes, but the focus of this article isn’t that specific document, it’s the letter that Business Europe sent out concerning the draft treaty.

“Do you agree that Mike’s purpose in writing this article was not to actually advance the debate in a positive way but was instead solely for the purpose of discrediting these people with his usual “they hate the blind!” trope?”

Mike may interpret that these companies hate blind people, but that’s absolutely an opinion, which makes this article an “opinion piece.” If you are unable to distinguish opinion from reality, then I don’t know what I can do for you.

“I feel like I added to the discussion by pointing out how Mike added nothing.”

You also made a bunch of accusations and insults…I don’t see how that is at all conducive to any kind of discussion. If you really wanted to add to things, you could read the draft treaty here – https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=6&ved=0CGEQFjAF&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wipo.int%2Fedocs%2Fmdocs%2Fcopyright%2Fen%2Fsccr_25%2Fsccr_25_2_rev.doc&ei=8FWaUeqlKKrJygGh9YDADg&usg=AFQjCNFH5LfVxJf7y4tRkDYCi89jt_EdnQ&sig2=oIkruGn4R5ZQQ1eUBHswuA&bvm=bv.46751780,d.aWc – and see if it actually woudl cause a disruption in the international copyright structure.

“I’m not familiar enough with the proposals to add much of value on the merits, but apparently neither is Mike. That doesn’t stop him from writing this crap though. Why aren’t you grilling him if you agree with me in part?”

I don’t grill Mike because his opinions don’t matter that much to me (I like his ideas though). I come to Techdirt for the information (I mentioned before I usually click the links to see for myself what they say).

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re:9 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Again, sheerly an anti-copyright WEDGE for Mike.

All I’ve got are accusations and insults because that’s all he deserves with this crap. He makes bold pronouncements of how their position is bullshit without ever explaining either the arguments or the counter arguments on the merits. This is just another mindless hit piece. The only purpose of this article is to discredit copyright, yet again. It’s total bullshit.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re:10 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Again, sheerly an anti-copyright WEDGE for Mike.

Then the real question is…what is your point in being here?

Your “voice of dissent” isn’t listened to because nobody respects your opinion on things, so what other reason besides stroking your ego would you be here?

average_joesays:

Re: Re: Re:11 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Again, sheerly an anti-copyright WEDGE for Mike.

Then the real question is…what is your point in being here?

I’m merely pointing out that Mike hasn’t said anything of substance.

He claims that the this group “has written a ridiculous letter with little basis in fact, arguing that this treaty for the blind would be ‘casting aside’ the ‘international copyright infrastructure.'” But then he never actually explains why that’s not true. No substance.

He claims that the proposal would “provide extremely limited situations in which copyright restrictions would be limited for the sake of making it easier for vision-impaired people to access works.” But he never bothers to back that up textually. No substance.

It’s just a bunch of faith-based, conclusory statements. I’m pointing out that he’s a total hypocrite when he castigates others for making faith-based assertions because he does the same with alarming frequency. I’m pointing out that the whole point of this article is merely to discredit a group that he disagrees with (despite him not appearing to actually understand the substance of the arguments or counterarguments). It’s total bullshit. I’m calling him out for it.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re:12 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Again, sheerly an anti-copyright WEDGE for Mike.

“I’m merely pointing out that Mike hasn’t said anything of substance.

He claims that the this group “has written a ridiculous letter with little basis in fact, arguing that this treaty for the blind would be ‘casting aside’ the ‘international copyright infrastructure.'” But then he never actually explains why that’s not true. No substance.”

I read it for myself. Business Europe never presents any factual evidence behind why they think this will affect things. I don’t know why that needs to be spelled out in detail since you can just click and read the letter.

As for substance, you’re right in that regard. He didn’t cycle in enough information to really make this into a debatable issue.

“He claims that the proposal would “provide extremely limited situations in which copyright restrictions would be limited for the sake of making it easier for vision-impaired people to access works.” But he never bothers to back that up textually. No substance.”

That’s a debate for the treaty, not the letter.

“It’s just a bunch of faith-based, conclusory statements. I’m pointing out that he’s a total hypocrite when he castigates others for making faith-based assertions because he does the same with alarming frequency. I’m pointing out that the whole point of this article is merely to discredit a group that he disagrees with (despite him not appearing to actually understand the substance of the arguments or counterarguments). It’s total bullshit. I’m calling him out for it.”

Your original post had some merit because you were right, there wasn’t much fiber to this post, but if you’re going to call him out for anything, I don’t understand why you think filling your response with insults is going to merit any attention.

PaulTsays:

Re: Re: Re:13 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Again, sheerly an anti-copyright WEDGE for Mike.

“I don’t understand why you think filling your response with insults is going to merit any attention.”

Probably because the falsehoods, lies and whining doesn’t work, so all he has are insults and pretending that he’s the real victim when people retaliate or report his comments. He occasionally stumbles across a nugget of fact or insight, but they’re usually undermined by his childish attitude and inability to impart any wisdom without turning it into a personal attack on Mike or a regular commenter. Given that he cannot therefore take part in adult debate, he turns to insults and an imaginary sense of superiority – something he’ll never realise is false since he’s incapable of reading the times Mike has tried to debate him only to be attacked or misrepresented.

Ophelia Millaissays:

Re: Re: Re:8 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Again, sheerly an anti-copyright WEDGE for Mike.

You want to have a conversation based on the merits of your post, yet your post is pure ad hominem.

the folks on TD who can’t stand it when their leader is challenged

Like any blog, this one attracts more than its share of readers whose opinions are aligned with those of its contributors. And like most popular blogs, the writers know their audience, and both consciously and subconsciously write for it.

Yet, for some reason, you envision Techdirt readers as an obedient, unthinking cult, hanging on Masnick’s every word and regarding him as their “leader”. You regard all the readers – except those agree with you, I bet – as unable to formulate positions and arguments on their own, unwilling to see that his posts are mainly griping and shit-stirring.

Like I said, he knows his audience – he can certainly whip us up into a pissed-off comment frenzy – but we know him, as well. You guys keep trying to point out to us what’s really going on, not realizing that we already know, and it doesn’t matter, because most of the time, he’s not saying anything we don’t already agree with.

Mike and his guest bloggers just relay reports of outrageous things that the IP industry is up to, and they often express their opinions about it, and we all chime in with ours. It’s as simple as that. He doesn’t have us under mind control. He’s not our “leader”. One misstep and we’ll turn on him…for that one post, which is how it should be.

This “leader” fixation is a generational thing. Mike’s generation, the Gen Xers, distrust power and leaders in general, starting with their parents. The younger Millennials laugh at would-be leaders and rarely conflate celebrity with authority. But the older generation, the Baby Boomers – good god, they revere and exalt as ideologues anyone who’s got anyone’s attention, and can’t comprehend the idea that everyone must be following someone. Of course there are exceptions to these trends, but I’m guessing you’re in this camp, born before the 1970s. Am I right?

average_joesays:

Re: Re: Re:9 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Again, sheerly an anti-copyright WEDGE for Mike.

Yet, for some reason, you envision Techdirt readers as an obedient, unthinking cult, hanging on Masnick’s every word and regarding him as their “leader”.

I think that because it’s true. It gets proven daily.

Mike and his guest bloggers just relay reports of outrageous things that the IP industry is up to, and they often express their opinions about it, and we all chime in with ours. It’s as simple as that. He doesn’t have us under mind control. He’s not our “leader”. One misstep and we’ll turn on him…for that one post, which is how it should be.

You’re one of the few regulars who is capable of independent thought. I appreciate that.

Along those lines, let me ask you this. Do you agree with me that Mike has said practically nothing of substance in this post and instead is just making another attempt to discredit copyright holders without actually even looking at their arguments?

Rikuosays:

Re: Re: Re:10 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Again, sheerly an anti-copyright WEDGE for Mike.

How the fuck did you know I’ve got a poster of Mike (naked, not that it’s your business) on my bedroom door, Mike Masnick figurines, a Mike Masnick mug, and every time my computer boots up it says “Hello. Rikuo. You. Really. Know. How. To. Turn. Me. On!” in Mike Masnick’s voice? You spying on me, huh!? How dare you criticize Der Fuhrer! Heil Masnick!

Is that what you really believe goes on? That we’re some sort of cult?

Ophelia Millaissays:

Re: Re: Re:10 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Again, sheerly an anti-copyright WEDGE for Mike.

What I see is basically what I said in my previous comment: the post is merely a relayed report about an IP-maximalist organization spreading baseless FUD and employing faulty reasoning for upholding the status quo, to the detriment of the disabled. And that’s not even Mike’s assessment; KEI blogger Jamie Love is who ascertained these things. Mike’s contribution, besides the secondary report, is really just the addition of his “see? yet more evidence of…” reaction.

I suppose his posting it here can be interpreted as an attempt to discredit someone, although “copyright holders” is a bit broad, since that’s basically everyone who has ever authored anything. Rather, it’s discrediting this particular business lobbying group, based on something they’re actually doing. What more do you want?

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re:8 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Again, sheerly an anti-copyright WEDGE for Mike.

it would be easier to address the merits of your posts if your posts had merits.

But they don’t. Your posts are always baselaess attacks on this site. Name 1 salient point that you have made in this whole thread.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re:9 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Again, sheerly an anti-copyright WEDGE for Mike.

Name 1 salient point that you have made in this whole thread.

I made the point that Mike made the conclusory statement that they were wrong to state that “this treaty for the blind would be ‘casting aside’ the ‘international copyright infrastructure.'” He didn’t back up that assertion, neither explaining what the proposal actually calls for nor explaining why it doesn’t cast aside the current copyright infrastructure. It’s just faith-based assumptions. He has access to the text of the proposal, but rather than actually cite in making his arguments he just demands that it says something. My very first post in these comments made this point. Not hard to find. There might be an argument there, but Mike didn’t ever really make it.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re:10 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Again, sheerly an anti-copyright WEDGE for Mike.

That is not a salient point, that is just you whinging that Mike has not given you what you want.

What have you added to the conversation? Where are your points on where Mile is wrong, other than to say that he has not held your hand and spoon fed you

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Again, sheerly an anti-copyright WEDGE for Mike.

Wouldn’t want to limit copyright wherein it would allow blind people to read. What a selfish position. Maybe disabled folk should just try harder to not be disabled, because we all know that copyright will probably cure them of their ailments.

Copyright rules!

average_joesays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Again, sheerly an anti-copyright WEDGE for Mike.

You’re claiming you do?

No. Nobody has such perfect information, yet they are able to have an opinion on what copyright should look like. That’s why it’s such a bullshit excuse from Mike. He clearly has all sorts of deeply-felt opinions about copyright despite not having perfect information. He just pulls out that excuse when anyone challenges him to state a concrete position on copyright policy.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re: Re: Re: Re: Again, sheerly an anti-copyright WEDGE for Mike.

For someone that actually uses ‘faith based’ as an attack in other posts you have an odd way of championing decision making without evidence here and for advocating that Mike should do more of it by making his position ‘more concrete.’

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re: Re: Re: Re: Again, sheerly an anti-copyright WEDGE for Mike.

He just pulls out that excuse when anyone challenges him to state a concrete position on copyright policy.

Actually, he pulls out that excuse when you’ve tried to badger him into answering an oversimplified, black-or-white, are-you-for-it-or-against-it question.

His response has never been that he has no opinion. It’s that he doesn’t have the sort of binary opinion you demand.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re: Re: Re: Re: Again, sheerly an anti-copyright WEDGE for Mike.

So what do you think Copyright should look like?

What exemptions should be enabled?

What should be covered under Copyright?

State why you beleive that Copyright should be automatically granted on fixing in a medium?

Why Copyright abuses should not be punished to the same extent as Copyright Infringement?

What is the perfect copyright length for compensating the creator, to incentivise future creations and provide a benefit to the public?

And I want your opinions backed up with reliable studies, links to the studies, who payed to have the study created and your interpretation of why the study is correct.

If you cannot answer my questions, then you are NOT here to discuss any merits of Copyright, but a weak attempt to discredit this site.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Again, sheerly an anti-copyright WEDGE for Mike.

I don’t have “reliable studies” to back up my beliefs. Nor do I think that anyone does. I am here to discredit this site–absolutely. And Mike in particular. I think he deserves to be discredited in a big way. I’m happy to discuss my beliefs about copyright with you, but you have to accept that I can’t prove my normative beliefs–nor can anyone else.

I think Mike’s claim that he needs more studies before he can form any opinion about the propriety of copyright is bullshit. He’s got more information than probably just about anyone else. And he’s got lots of opinions about copyright. It’s just an excuse he makes to get out of taking a definite position on something as simple as whether we should have any copyright at all.

I’m happy to discuss my views at length. For two posts where I affirmatively state my views, see http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20120915/13334520392/funniestmost-insightful-comments-week-techdirt.shtml#c3135 & http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20130130/23085521833/former-riaa-vp-named-2nd-command-copyright-office.shtml#c2183

So what do you think Copyright should look like?

I think the exclusive rights that exist now cover most ways that copyrights are valuable. I wouldn’t add or delete any particular rights. But as I mention in my second comment that I linked to, I think the public’s rights should be broader and clearer. There is plenty of room for improvement. But at the same time, I think that the rights that do exist should be meaningful, i.e., enforced.

What exemptions should be enabled?

The ones that exist do far more work than the TD narrative admits, namely, fair use and idea/expression. Exemptions for personal use, as distinguished from fair use, should be greater than they are now. The orphan works problem is another area where congressional exemptions are needed.

State why you beleive that Copyright should be automatically granted on fixing in a medium?

Your question presupposes that I think that. I don’t think that copyright-upon-fixation is necessarily the best way to do it. It has many advantages, such as for a photographer who takes hundreds of pictures, and it ensures that many works that would not otherwise enter the public domain eventually will (especially unpublished works), but I think that bringing back formalities might be a good idea. It’s not an area that I’ve studied much or given much thought to, honestly. But those are my thoughts.

Why Copyright abuses should not be punished to the same extent as Copyright Infringement?

I guess I would need to know what particular abuse you’re thinking of to answer that, but again I think you’re assuming something about me that isn’t necessarily true.

What is the perfect copyright length for compensating the creator, to incentivise future creations and provide a benefit to the public?

Nobody knows that. I think copyright is about more than just the incentive-to-create theory, and I think that life-plus-some-number is the proper term for copyright. I don’t think, as a normative matter, that authors should give up their exclusive rights while they’re alive. And the “plus-some-years” makes sense since I don’t think the rights should automatically disappear upon death. For example, if someone invests significant time, energy, and money into creating something only to die the day after it’s completed, I think that should pass to the author’s heirs just like any other asset in one’s estate (which is what happens now).

If you want more particular answers, ask more particular questions. I’m happy to oblige. I’m happy to discuss my beliefs directly and without weasel words. The fact is that I hold a plurality of views, and I think that differing views have merit. I don’t think there is one “correct” answer. I think there are several.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Again, sheerly an anti-copyright WEDGE for Mike.

I agree with you on this one and heaven knows that happens rarely.

However, politicians are working in a mining field where “hurting business” is a way to lose campaign funds and ultimately an election. When Business Europe, a pretty irrelevant forum is actively campaigning, not against the treaty itself, but more against its supporters, politicians start fearing loosing funds and start to rethink their position even when the opinion is a complete non-sequitor. The important thing is how massive the stakeholders are pro- or con-. Since this is a vote for no to the treaty, it will count for politicians even though the message is bullocks.

gorehoundsays:

Re: Re: Again, sheerly an anti-copyright WEDGE for Mike.

Screwing Over Blind People because these Corporate Groups are a bunch of greedy Assholes.How low can you stoop Assholes ! Going after the Blind who really need the help of others………………Your damn Copyright Maximalist BS is going to End one way or the other.

Anonymoussays:

Remember, kids. If you can’t see, you’re not entitled to do the things that normal people who can see are allowed to.

Don’t be a filthy sight pirate. That would be breaking the DRM on your body, and that’s far, far worse than raping someone, murdering them, and raping the corpse. out_of_the_blue agrees with this statement.

Anonymoussays:

it is such a shame that those making these ridiculous arguments aren’t in the same situation as those that the exceptions would help. if only those making these ridiculous rulings, in other words, were themselves blind, perhaps then they would SEE what a difference it could make to the quality of life for a lot of people. it’s exactly the same situation where the blind get no relief from what they have to pay for a license for a TV that they cannot watch. this is just another example of out and out greed!

Richardsays:

Re: Re:

it’s exactly the same situation where the blind get no relief from what they have to pay for a license for a TV that they cannot watch.

Actually the do get relief.

They get to pay half price (and since it covers the household there may be people who can watch covered by the license). Also if no one in the household can see then they may as well get a b/w tv and then the license is MUCH cheaper.

So actually these big companies are a lot worse than public organisations like the BBC.

average_joesays:

Of course, it does no such thing. All it does is provide extremely limited situations in which copyright restrictions would be limited for the sake of making it easier for vision-impaired people to access works.

I know this is just another brainless FUD piece so you can attempt to discredit these pro-copyright people by making it sound like they hate the blind, but your argument that “it does no such thing” would be much more effective if you actually quoted the text of the proposed limitations and exceptions. You could also add something productive to the conversation by telling us your proposed solution to this problem. Or are you only capable of hit pieces like this that add ABSOLUTELY NOTHING POSITIVE to the debate?

The level of freakout from these giant companies over helping the blind is really quite incredible.

Your portrayal of these people as hating the blind is what I find to be “really quite incredible,” as in, completely not believable and only reflective of your own deep-seated hatred of others who don’t think the same as you. Again, if you cited the text and/or told us your suggestions, that would be a lot more productive. As it is, you just come across as a whiny blogger who is only capable of publishing mindless crap in a desperate attempt to discredit others. Add something positive to the discussion for once. Take a concrete stand yourself rather than just shitting on everyone else’s beliefs. Seriously, you come across as writing for disgruntled eighth graders.

JEDIDIAHsays:

Re: Re: A particular sort of evil.

They don’t “hate” the blind, they just don’t care if they do the blind harm or prevent others from helping the blind. They are evil narcissists who don’t care they they are causing severe harm over a questionable or trivial “benefit”.

Their artistic megalomania is causing harm and they don’t care.

PaulTsays:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Exactly. I don’t think they hate the blind. They’re unwilling to give up any potential control over content in order to allow them to access it. They’re too dumb to realise that the DRM they’re fighting to protect is already broken. They’re too blind (ironically) to see that anything they do in opposition to making exceptions for the disabled will only negatively impact them in terms of publicity. They don’t understand that these actions will in themselves encourage piracy and make people less supportive of their cause, even among those people who don’t partcipate in piracy.

But, hate the blind? Probably not in those exact words, no. That doesn’t change a word of what Mike said though. Sadly, AJ is too moronic and too obsessed wto recognise that.

average_joesays:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Yeah, asking Mike to discuss the actual text of the proposal and their actual position on what they think is wrong with it is derailing the conversation. Not. This is just another “they hate the blind” article that adds nothing positive to the debate about copyright. Mike’s specialty, unfortunately. Mike’s incapable of anything else, I’m sad to say.

Anonymoussays:

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

It’s pretty obvious what you are trying to do.

– You post inflammatory remarks with no substance whatsoever, attacking Mike and this community.
– You only answer to comments devoid of substance or cling onto other comments that are also likely to cause a reaction (staying true to the first point, as always).
– Finally, for that extra zest, you even bothered to sign in.

There is only one possible conclusion here.

average_joesays:

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

I’m wondering what the proposal says exactly. I’m wondering why copyright holders are against parts of it. I’m not getting any actual information from this article. Just Mike’s conclusory statements as to what the proposal is and that their complaints about it are groundless. It’s just faith-based FUD. Let’s see the proposal. Let’s see the exact text they are taking issue with. Let’s discuss it on the merits.

Josh in CharlotteNCsays:

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

Let’s see the proposal. Let’s see the exact text they are taking issue with. Let’s discuss it on the merits.

Never thought I’d see you say that. It’s pretty much a staple complaint on Techdirt that the public never gets to see the text of the various treaties and international agreements.

So Joe, here’s a question. Are you agreeing with Techdirt and most of its readers and commenters that these agreements should be open and transparent to the public?

average_joesays:

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

These particular proposals are available publicly, so I don’t really get the question. Are you talking about other proposals? If so, then no, I don’t have the default position that all drafts should be made public. I don’t know much about diplomacy, but it seems self-evident to me that not every international agreement is or should be crowd-sourced in the way that some of you think it should be. I don’t think that’s practical. But as a general matter, I think transparency is good. I’d need a more specific situation to give you a more specific answer. These particular proposals are quite open to the public, so it’s strange that you guys aren’t acknowledging the positives of that.

average_joesays:

Re: Re: Re:7 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

And I’ll just add the irony that Mike whines about not having access to such proposals in other situations, but here where he actually has access he doesn’t even bother to make use of it. Instead we just get conclusory statements about what the proposals say rather than an actual textual analysis. Pretty funny.

Josh in CharlotteNCsays:

Re: Re: Re:7 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

So in general, transparency is a good thing, except when it’s too hard. That sure sounds like an ideal to strive to. /s

So if the text is public, I think it would have been a good thing for Mike to post it. But instead of adding something useful to the discussion, such as the text in question or a link to it, all you’re doing is complaining that Mike didn’t include it. Why don’t you put forth an opinion and support it with evidence instead of just whining?

Anonymoussays:

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

If I were writing an article wherein I make statements about the validity of some group’s statement about some proposal, I would have taken the time to read the proposal and understand the statements. But I didn’t write this article. I’m pointing out the mistakes of the person that did. This stuff seems pretty obvious to me, but you guys seem to get caught up in it. I can criticize Mike for not doing his homework without myself doing the homework that I think he should have done. The difference between us is that I didn’t publish a faith-based hit piece.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re:10 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

Mike claims that it’s not true that “this treaty for the blind would be ‘casting aside’ the international copyright infrastructure.'” He hasn’t backed that up. It’s a faith-based assertion. Mike claims that the proposal merely “provide extremely limited situations in which copyright restrictions would be limited for the sake of making it easier for vision-impaired people to access works.” He hasn’t backed that up. It’s a faith-based assertion.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re:11 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

I’m pretty sure he’s referring to Business Europe’s lack of evidence.

I mean logic dictates that if you can’t backup the claim that this proposal, which is in the draft stages and therefore can still be revised, would cause a shift in the balance of international copyright law then you’re full of it.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re:

“Of course, it does no such thing. All it does is provide extremely limited situations in which copyright restrictions would be limited for the sake of making it easier for vision-impaired people to access works.”

I know this is just another brainless FUD piece so you can attempt to discredit these pro-copyright people by making it sound like they hate the blind, but your argument that “it does no such thing” would be much more effective if you actually quoted the text of the proposed limitations and exceptions. You could also add something productive to the conversation by telling us your proposed solution to this problem. Or are you only capable of hit pieces like this that add ABSOLUTELY NOTHING POSITIVE to the debate?

“The level of freakout from these giant companies over helping the blind is really quite incredible.”

Your portrayal of these people as hating the blind is what I find to be “really quite incredible,” as in, completely not believable and only reflective of your own deep-seated hatred of others who don’t think the same as you. Again, if you cited the text and/or told us your suggestions, that would be a lot more productive. As it is, you just come across as a whiny blogger who is only capable of publishing mindless crap in a desperate attempt to discredit others. Add something positive to the discussion for once. Take a concrete stand yourself rather than just shitting on everyone else’s beliefs. Seriously, you come across as writing for disgruntled eighth graders.

Nailed it, AJ

average_joesays:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Nailed it, AJ

Thanks. These threads always turn into a referendum on me personally rather than “the faithful” acknowledging that I have a point about Mike, but I appreciate the support. I’m sure Mike would have something interesting to say about the proposal if he actually bothered to read it.

Josh in CharlotteNCsays:

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

These threads always turn into a referendum on me personally

There’s a few sayings about heat and kitchens and cooking implements and their colors that would fit as a reply.

Hilarious. You’re remarkably thin-skinned when the first thing you do in nearly every story is to attack the author with a slew of personal attacks.

Hypocrisy, can you spell it? Even in your complaint about being attacked personally, you find the time to throw some insults in Mike’s direction.

Anonymoussays:

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

If I were thin-skinned, why would I take three years of abuse with a smile on my face? I don’t let it get to me. I’m attacking Mike because this article is just a stupid attack on copyright holders under his oft-repeated “they hate the blind” mantra. I’m pointing out that I think he could have actually said something interesting and explained what the proposal says and why copyright holders are against and why he thinks that’s wrong. But he didn’t. It’s just a FUD piece with no substance. I’m pointing out that whenever I criticize him like this, the comments always turn into a referendum about me personally rather than any sort of acknowledgement from his fanboys that I actually have a point. You’re proving my point quite well. I have nothing but criticisms for Mike at this point because he has proved himself over and over again to be only worthy of criticism. He cares nothing about truth or honest conversation about important matters. Nothing.

Anonymoussays:

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

Where is your proof that they do not hate the Blind?

You are just making a faith based assertion that they do not hate the blind.

They say in the letter in question: “We support, in general, efforts by the EU and the international community to find effective solutions to the challenges faced by these groups in accessing copyrighted works. In particular, we support the conclusion of a balanced and workable international agreement in favour of the visually impaired . . . Better access to print works for the visually-impaired and persons with print disabilities is essential . . . .” http://keionline.org/sites/default/files/BusinessEurope_v_Blind_2013-00525-E.pdf

Doesn’t sound like they hate the blind to me.

Anonymoussays:

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

I’m just pointing out that if I say anything criticizing Mike, the comments inevitably turn into a bunch of people challenging me personally rather than discussing the merits of my point about Mike. I don’t mind being challenged–unlike Mike, I say what I think definitively and I don’t run from challenges.

btrussellsays:

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

You want to talk about Mike and they want to talk about you. Looks like you are in the wrong forum.

Try talking about the article and see what happens. But you will need to leave the author out of it.

Here is a free tip:
Always consider your audience and do not underestimate their intelligence.

Birds of a feather, fly together. I was drawn to the flock not for what was being told, but because of beliefs I had beforehand. Copyright is out of control and is too much of a burden on the public.

Re: Re:

You know what would eliminate the idea copyright holders and trade organizations like Business Europe hate the blind?

If they stop hating the blind.

Seriously, only 1% of all books are available for the blind to read. There is as yet no exception to copyright to make them available for the blind and they’re lobbying against it.

Let me repeat that for you, parasite: they are lobbying against the right of works to be modified so they are accessible to the disabled.

That’s the evilest thing I’ve ever heard of, and you’re in favor of it. This is why you’re called an extremist. This is why your copyright monopolism must end. You call copyright a right. Nobody has any rights; only responsibilities. Fail in your responsibilities, your rights are taken away…as they should be.

Ed the Engineersays:

Mike's Position (my opinion of it anyway).

It seems to me that Mike has presented some fairly clear positions on Copyright.
1)Copyright law needs reform, with an eye toward a balance between encouraging content creating, protecting the public good.
2) Businesses need to review what is in their own best interest.
A)Are they punishing their paying customers attempting to fight piracy?
B)Are there ways to increase profits while ignoring piracy.
C) Are they ignoring potential markets, by failing to give the customer what he wants, when and how he wants it?

I am sure I have missed a bunch of things, and perhaps I have gotten something wrong. But this is what I have taken away from Mikes posts, and why I comeback.

jupiterkansassays:

Re: Re: Mike's Position (my opinion of it anyway).

Unfortunately there’s nothing Mike could say to satisfy the “state your position” trolls, because they’re aren’t here seeking his position or truth or honest discussion.

Their goal is simply to discredit Mike and this website so it will not be as influential, and make it an unpleasant place to visit.

Oh, and they’re failing miserably.

PaulTsays:

Re: Re: Mike's Position (my opinion of it anyway).

I get the idea that one of three things are true about this particular thread derailer:

1. He’s actually too stupid to understand anything that’s not spelt out in small words in a few sentences easy enough for him to digest. He therefore doesn’t understand the pretty clear positions that everybody else understands very clearly, hence the childish whining and attacks when he doesn’t get what everyone else can see he already has. He literally won’t be able to understand unless Mike writes a post detailing exactly what he things, and since that won’t simply say “I hate copyright and want to destroy it” or “here’s a completely rewritten law ready to go”, he won’t understand or accept it.

2. He thinks he knows what Mike’s position is, but has wrongly assumed that it’s a position that wishes to remove copyright entirely, or give everything to pirates directly to those who didn’t create anything. Therefore, he thinks that if he can debate Mike he can trick him into admitting what he “truly believes”. That is failing because Mike’s confirmed his actual position in previous discussions as opposed to the fictional version he wants, so he keeps pretending that nothing has been said in the hope that he’ll be told what he wants.

3. He’s paid to sit on here attacking every word that’s said that might put his employers’ actions in a bad light. Unlike others who are in a similar position, he’s trying to make it about him and his “mistreatment” rather than what’s actually being said.

That Anonymous Cowardsays:

The issue is they can’t see the problem…
So this is a case of the blind screwing the blind.

And on a fun note, why hasn’t anyone called them on the carpet yet? They complain how people are ‘stealing’ money from them, and yet they have opted to ignore entire segments of the population and their dollars. If times are that rough, why aren’t scrambling to obtain another revenue stream.

What are maximalists worried about?

There is a country that approved a law to be implemented in October which has a provision like this. It says if a blind person wants an audio or braille version of a print book and one isn’t legally available, a sighted person is allowed to make one for them without having to approach the rights owners and ask, “Mother, may I?” The country? It’s the UK, which has protected copyrights since at least the 18th century. The implementation of this part of the Hargreaves Review doesn’t so much ‘ride roughshod over rights’ as encourage rights holders to make accessible copies available over fears of ‘losing revenue’ on what they currently refuse to produce.

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