Re: [LAU] Changed: Copyright laws and such

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To: <linux-audio-user@...>
Date: Friday, February 15, 2013 - 8:56 am

Louigi Verona writes:

> James, Michael,I understand what you are saying, however, by asking someone
about permission, you are basically giving him the power to say "No".It would be
a matter of decency or courtesy only if it would be notifying: "Dear sir, I've
used your tune in my play. Sincerely..."If we are in a position when such
"courtesy" means saying "Can I please use your tune in my play?", we are
philosophically saying that the author has the right to decide how you should
employ your body and your property in a certain way.

Incidentally, my comments to Louigi (quoted here) were off-list, because I don't
wish to clutter the list with my thoughts on copyright any further. So this will
be my last public post in this thread.

I can't escape the feeling that there is some wishful thinking here.
"Intellectual works are not property. You don't own them and you shouldn't be
able to object to anyone's use of them under any circumstances" -- to me this is
simply wishing away the problem. All the problems of unfair appropriation
remain, but... a-ha! If intellectual property isn't property, then *we don't
have to imagine solutions*. How convenient.

Actually, I could go along with the "not-property" approach in a perfect world,
where everyone shares their ideas freely. I would rather live in that world, but
I don't... and I don't want what happened to Jonathan Coulton to happen to me.
Well, it won't happen to me because the GLEE producers don't care about my
styles of music, but in theory, it could, and I object to that. Does that
curtail Louigi's freedom to make something out of my audio and copyright it (if
he wanted to)? Yes. Do I regret that? I guess I regret it only as much as Louigi
would regret using the work under terms I wouldn't agree to (and I guess that
wouldn't be much of a regret).

In an imperfect world, nobody is ever free to do every possible thing she wants
to do with her possessions. If people want to retain freedoms, they need to act
responsibly. When people act irresponsibly, society's response is law. We
wouldn't need speed limits if people drove at sane speeds of their own free
will... so we instate speed limits, and now you don't have the freedom to drive
as you like. Society felt it was unfair in the past that A could profit from B's
work without paying a debt to A, resulting in the ghastly mess that is copyright
law. *If people had not taken liberties with others' work in the first place,
there would have been no need for a law.* So now it's rather late in the day to
say simply that somehow creative workers will always be treated fairly, when the
very existence of copyright law is proof that fair treatment was never reliable
to begin with.

I look at libertarianism as a kind of radical manifesto. A manifesto usually
fails in practice, but it opens up room for communities to consider new ideas.
It's valuable in that respect, but in this case, too much pie-in-the-sky for my
taste.

hjh

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Messages in current thread:
Re: [LAU] Changed: Copyright laws and such, James Harkins, (Fri Feb 15, 8:56 am)
Re: [LAU] Changed: Copyright laws and such, drew Roberts, (Fri Feb 15, 2:31 pm)