The business/markets case for limits to copyright


Good ideas can come from any party. It’s good copyright policy that matters and copyright policy, which in this country right now, is dictated by our publishing and recording industries via Congress through a combination of revolving door hiring, political contributions, prolonging the time limit of works that should have entered the public domain long ago.

If you have not taken an opportunity to pledge to the MayOne (The Super PAC To End All Super PACs …) please take a look into the #rootstriker!/ spirit and the MayOne strategy.


This might be one of those strange cases where business cuts off their nose to spite their face - and knowingly. The WalMart heirs lobby fiercely for cuts in food stamps, for example, despite the fact they’re a huge portion of their corporate revenues. Likewise, free copying of music has been shown to boost sales, yet the RIAA keeps suing fans.

Sometimes helping yourself isn’t as satisfying as hurting others.


This is the clearest, most succinct example which proves copyright law is fucked:

[quote] "When historical clips are in the public domain, learning flourishes. Martin Luther King did not need the promise of copyright protection for “life+70” to motivate him to write the “I Have a Dream” speech. (Among other reasons, because the term length was much shorter at the time.) He wrote the speech because of the March on Washington and because he hoped to inspire Congress to pass civil rights legislation. He gave the speech for political reasons and for historical value. He wanted it to be quoted and to inspire future generations – and he clearly succeeded.

Yet today, generations of schoolchildren are denied the ability to watch this speech, a clear abuse of the intent for copyright to promote “the progress of science and the useful arts.” Further, King’s speech itself built upon other works, referencing the Bible, the Gettysburg Address, “My Country, ‘Tis of Thee” and William Shakespeare. The speech would not exist, at least not in any form that would be recognizable to us, without the ability to build on the works of others. Generations of these historical artifacts now lay fallow behind locked vaults of copyright."[/quote]

MLK didn’t write it for profit, he wrote it to motivate Congress and the American public. He made fair use of other works and if there had been a CC license, he surely would have used it. But corporations rule the US now, and we’re all poorer for it.


Greed doesn’t allow anything less.

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Good god I agree with a Republican.


The mayone campaign is the only thing I have donated to in a year. I just can’t see any better use of my money than stopping the corruptive effects of money in politics.


It seems fair, it makes sense, and it’s even practical!

Are you sure this gentleman is a politician? A Republican Party politician?!

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Under current policy, there will never be another Disney Corp., because the availability of new materials to use from the public domain essentially stopped in the 1930s,

And that’s exactly how Disney Corp wants it.

But seriously, it’s not perfect, but this proposal is a hell of an improvement over the current system. The only additional major thing I’d like to see is some kind of scheme allowing derivative works without permission, even while the copyright period is going on (maybe after the first renewal), as long as a certain proportion of the revenue gets kicked back to the copyright owner (exactly what proportion depending on both how long after the original, and how much of the original content is used… if you, say made an unauthorized Back to the Future 2 where they went back to scenes in the original film you’d have to pony up much more than if you did a completely original story that happened to have Superman as a minor character in it). It’s not like that’s likely to happen, but, then, it’s not like this proposal is either, so I might as well shoot for the moon!


I’m a republican, inasmuch as I’m for the removal, and possible beheading, of royalty.


I’m sure you’d agree with some of my other work as well. Free markets + innovation = good.

Not a politician. I spearheaded the phone unlocking campaign as well, just made sense.

Good point. This report for R Street was only on term length. While in congress I wrote on many areas of reform, and I did a law journal piece with Cardozo as well expanding on that. For your point in particular, I filed comments with NTIA, Department of Commerce, to remove statutory damages for all transformative uses. Check it out here and let me know what you think:

Yes, I agree. The whole idea of Copyright was to protect the financial interest of creators and thus allowing them a viable business model.

Unfortunately, I see this proposal as something that will pass “when hell freezes over”. You don’t fuck with Disney. It’s a great idea though!

Good article, and clear even for an “educated layman”. I had one small question about the statement

" In 2012, the home media consumption market that the MPAA tried to stamp out blossomed into an $18 billion dollar market.3"

Didn’t that market in fact include many re-releases of the same content (special editions, boxed sets, etc.) that show the content industry’s vested interest in constantly re-selling their content? I feel this is important because it seems to be a major source of income for them.

In some cases, yes, but a truly Free market doesn’t care about “good” so much as it does “profitable”, and what’s profitable and what’s good can be directly opposite one another (see: tobacco industry, asbestos industry, radium-dial-painting industry, early match manufacturing industry etc.)

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