Interesting thread on Blue's...

edited November 2001 in General Discussion

Comments

  • edited December 1969
    http://www.bluesnews.com/cgi-bin/board.pl?action=viewthread&threadid=30674

    Related to copyright, piracy & Wolfenstein.

    Message #105 by "Zarathud" is a particularly good read.

    _/ C


    [url=http://developer.msntv.com/Tools/WebTVVwr.asp]WebTV Viewer[/url]
  • edited December 1969
    Wow. It just keeps getting better!

    The rabid anti-copyright poster is now getting gang banged by a couple of lawyers ... the linguistic sparring is a sight to behold!

    _/ C


    RtCW, CD keys, Piracy & Copyright
  • edited December 1969
    [b]Re: Wow. It just keeps getting better![/b]

    another interesting read on copyright currently at Wired:

    Why Copyright Laws Hurt Culture
    http://www.wired.com/news/culture/0,1284,48625,00.html

    [url=http://www.wired.com/news/culture/0,1284,48625,00.html]Why Copyright Laws Hurt Culture[/url]
  • edited December 1969
    [b]Wired article[/b]

    [quote]
    another interesting read on copyright currently at Wired:

    Why Copyright Laws Hurt Culture
    http://www.wired.com/news/culture/0,1284,48625,00.html

    [/quote]
    The article is interesting, and Lessig certainly has a point, but I object to the title of the article. It's misleading. It's not "copyright laws" in general that hurt culture, it's the newest incarnation of Disney/AOLTW/RIAA promoted copyright laws that seem to be the problem. The DMCA is a particularly egregious misstep in the course of US copyright legislation, but I believe that copyright laws are generally good for culture. With luck, this DMCA and RIAA bushwa will eventually be recognized for what it is -- a panicky reaction by moneyed interests to infant technologies -- and we can move on to address new technologies appropriately in this area of law.
  • edited December 1969
    Waitaminute...

    ::Opens new can of Bloodrain Bait(tm)::

    Aren't you an IP lawyer? Don't you have a vested interest in maintaining copyright law? The more obtuse and complicated, the greater the need for you learned legal eagles to translate the morass of jingoistic horse hockey into small words and allegory for us less fortunate peons...
    :
    ::Puts away half-used can of Bloodrain Bait(tm)::
    :
    ::Double checks installation of M:TFL and m.net::

    Bring it, you bottom-feeding scum sucker! ;^)
    :
    ::Runs and hides behind his mommy::

    The article is interesting, and Lessig certainly has a point,
    but I object to the title of the article. It's misleading. It's
    not "copyright laws" in general that hurt culture,
    it's the newest incarnation of Disney/AOLTW/RIAA promoted
    copyright laws that seem to be the problem. The DMCA is a
    particularly egregious misstep in the course of US copyright
    legislation, but I believe that copyright laws are generally
    good for culture. With luck, this DMCA and RIAA bushwa will
    eventually be recognized for what it is -- a panicky reaction by
    moneyed interests to infant technologies -- and we can move on
    to address new technologies appropriately in this area of law.

  • edited December 1969
    Re: Waitaminute...

    ::Sniffs bait, looks around, detects Rat's trail::

    ::Double checks installation of M:TFL and m.net::

    Bring it, you bottom-feeding scum sucker! ;^)

    ::Runs and hides behind his mommy::
    :
    ::Spots Rat behind mommy... Brings it::
  • edited December 1969
    Re: Waitaminute...

    ::Opens new can of Bloodrain Bait(tm)::

    IP lawyers may be a scum-sucking lot, but they're not the only ones who see copyright as a good thing. I happen to be writing a book right now. It's going pretty well I think, and when I'm done I'll shop it around to agents and publishers. Let's say a publisher also thinks it's pretty good and decided to publish it -- and also decides to give me no money whatsoever in return. What would stop them from doing that other than the threat of litigation under copyright laws? I own the copyright to work that I create, and that's the one, small thing that protects me against the predatory interests of unscrupulous corporations and individuals. If I didn't hold the copyright I probably wouldn't bother to write the book in the first place.

    Thanks to Wired and other equally half-assed publications, a significant portion of the Internet public now sees the DMCA as representative of copyright legislation in general, and the baby is subsequently thrown out with the bath water. Without copyrights "culture" would be screwed, simple as that.

    Zag/Mark
  • edited December 1969
    ::Mourns the death of subtle humor::

    Listen you fascist demagogue of intellectual elitism (OMG! ZAG IZ LEET BRAIN NAZI!), just because you want to strangle the free exchange of ideas and information doesn't mean you get to defend bottom-feeding scum-suckers... ;^) [must have forgotten the smileys last time]

    Actually, I agree wholeheartedly with the basics of copyright law (or at least the spirit in which they were written [or maybe it's just my own mangled interpretation of them]). And this comes from someone who worked (and may yet work again) for Disney, one of the main backers of the infinite copyright. The *only* sympathy I have for Disney's stance (and I doubt that it's enough for me to really back them) is that their ongoing business depends (to a limited extent) on some of those copyrights. An example would be the Disney characters. I believe that the Disney theme parks would be adversely impacted if other theme parks began using Mickey and Minnie as park characters.

    Again that's *sympathy*, not support. In fact, I remember someone saying that Disney has been copyrighting (or trademarking) various poses of Mickey. They even have names like "Taa-Daa Mickey" (arms out a little above shoulder height, palms up, open smile). This is because Mickey himself is losing (lost?) copyrighted status on his own.

    OK, I've gone a bit afield. Let's get back on topic a bit. What I see as a problem with the entire *concept* of copyright law is that it's good to protect the artist/creator, but bad to support big business maintaining a stranglehold on works (including derivative works*). Where is the line? Should CR law protect artists from big business (it appears to work the other way at the moment)? It's a touchy subject, with a *lot* of different interpretations, depending on which side of the fence butters your bread...

    Ratbert #CP#Z

    * - I remember hearing an interesting article on All Things Considered one day about someone who saterized "Gone With the Wind", by telling the story (slightly skewed) from the slaves' perspective (or was it a retelling of the same story, with everything flipped around?) Anyway, the author was being sued by the estate of the author (whose name I forget) because it was "derivative work".
  • edited December 1969
    [b]Re: ::Mourns the death of subtle humor::[/b]

    Smileys won't save you , Momma's Ratboy....

    [quote]
    The
    *only* sympathy I have for Disney's stance (and I doubt that
    it's enough for me to really back them) is that their ongoing
    business depends (to a limited extent) on some of those
    copyrights. An example would be the Disney characters. I believe
    that the Disney theme parks would be adversely impacted if other
    theme parks began using Mickey and Minnie as park characters.

    [/quote]
    Characters are actually subject to an interesting hybrid of legal protection. Even if Disney had no copyright in Mickey Mouse, it would still have a considerable wealth of trademark rights developed over the years that would almost certainly preclude other theme parks from using those characters.

    [quote]
    Again that's *sympathy*, not support. In fact, I remember
    someone saying that Disney has been copyrighting (or
    trademarking) various poses of Mickey. They even have names like
    "Taa-Daa Mickey" (arms out a little above shoulder
    height, palms up, open smile). This is because Mickey himself is
    losing (lost?) copyrighted status on his own.

    [/quote]
    This is why characters are the red-headed stepchild in IP law. Nobody knows quite how to deal with them. Copyright protects specific embodiments of an idea -- so for a character, it would protect a specific image or description (or set of multiple images or descriptions). Protection is somewhat more problematic if some other party comes up with an image or description that is not one that the original copyright owner created. For instance, Punk Mickey with a mohawk, safety-pin pierced cheek and Doc Martens might or might not infringe a Disney copyright. It might be a derivative work of "real" Mickey, but it might not be. Even more problematic might be a written description of Mickey and Minnie doin' the nasty. The characters are easily recognized as Disney's staple characters... but would the description of his tumescent mousy member and her heaving mousette bosom actually violate a Disney copyright? Tough call.

    But trademark law would probably protect against these depictions being used commercially. This explains why the makers of comic book and movie action figures slap "TM" and (ultimately) the R-in-a-circle on the names of the characters in all their marketing and packaging materials. The Mouse and The Frog are claiming as much territory as they can in as many arenas as they can, to an often-ridiculous extent. But when there is money to be made or shielded, the ridiculous often becomes the norm.

    Anyway, characters are an interesting sidebar in IP law.

    [quote]
    OK, I've gone a bit afield. Let's get back on topic a bit. What
    I see as a problem with the entire *concept* of copyright law is
    that it's good to protect the artist/creator, but bad to support
    big business maintaining a stranglehold on works (including
    derivative works*). Where is the line? Should CR law protect
    artists from big business (it appears to work the other way at
    the moment)? It's a touchy subject, with a *lot* of different
    interpretations, depending on which side of the fence butters
    your bread...

    [/quote]
    One argument you see industry reps making is that the business side takes a lot of risk to promote artists, and it should be able to protect its investment. Are some companies exploitive of their artists? Unquestionably. But do the big [music/movie/whatever] industries expose some artists who would never otherwise rise out of obscurity? Also unquestionably.

    Artists are never required to jump in bed with big business, but if they want to reap the rewards of "selling out," they have to expect to give up something for it.

    The real conflict in copyright law these days, however, is not between artists and business, but between consumers and business. The DMCA and industry attitudes are definitely skewed toward giving the industry more and more control over what consumers can do with the product -- to the point of monopoly. In some cases, that control can be helpful to the artists -- witness Metallica's support of the RIAA, which presumably would not be forthcoming if Metallica did not see some benefit in record company control over its music. In other cases, because the industry is driven by (and also shapes) public demand, consumers may be deprived of access to a variety of artists and works that are owned but not promoted by the industry (and those artists are deprived of an audience).

    And of course, people are always looking to get something for nothing, and piracy is a pretty easy way to do that. I just wish the anti-copyright crowd would come out and admit that this is a prime motivating force behind their campaigns. It is disingenuous to chant "Information wants to be free" or "Stop exploiting artists" when what you really mean is "I want information to be free" and "I want to be able to exploit the artist for my own benefit at no cost."

    [quote]
    * - I remember hearing an interesting article on All Things
    Considered one day about someone who saterized "Gone With
    the Wind", by telling the story (slightly skewed) from the
    slaves' perspective (or was it a retelling of the same story,
    with everything flipped around?) Anyway, the author was being
    sued by the estate of the author (whose name I forget) because
    it was "derivative work".

    [/quote]
    The Wind Done Gone... can't remember the author's name off the top of my head. Margaret Mitchell's estate initially got an injunction against the publication of the book, but that was lifted on First Amendment (parody/satire) grounds, and the book is on the shelves.
  • edited December 1969
    Re: ::Mourns the death of subtle humor::

    Listen you fascist demagogue of intellectual elitism (OMG! ZAG
    IZ LEET BRAIN NAZI!), just because you want to strangle the free
    exchange of ideas and information doesn't mean you get to defend
    bottom-feeding scum-suckers... ;^) [must have forgotten the
    smileys last time]

    Well it was obvious enough that you were exaggerating the case for humorous effect, but I saw a chance to pontificate, and how could I resist?

    * - I remember hearing an interesting article on All Things
    Considered one day about someone who saterized "Gone With
    the Wind", by telling the story (slightly skewed) from the
    slaves' perspective (or was it a retelling of the same story,
    with everything flipped around?) Anyway, the author was being
    sued by the estate of the author (whose name I forget) because
    it was "derivative work".

    You're referring to "The Wind Done Gone," which was briefly blocked from publication (for alleged copyright violation) by the estate of Margaret Mitchell, but is currently listed among the Amazon.com top-sellers. So apparently things worked out quite well for the author, perhaps because of the tons of free publicity she got through the lawsuit and the lower court's ridiculous judgment against her.

    Zag/Mark

  • edited December 1969
    Re: Waitaminute...

    Thanks to Wired and other equally half-assed publications,

    I have no idea why you would say this. In my 5 years of reading Wired magazine it has never been half-assed, or even close - imo.

    significant portion of the Internet public now sees the DMCA as
    representative of copyright legislation in general

    Not sure how this conclusion is drawn as to what a significant portion is, but the fact that the DMCA is getting a lot of attention because it was only passed a few years ago and some challenges against it's constitutionaality are in the headlines, may be the reason for the Internet public being focused on it.

    Without
    copyrights "culture" would be screwed, simple as that.

    I completely disagree.
    The only thing that would be screwed would be corporate profits w/o copyright law, not culture. Culture and the arts have existed and thrived for thousands of years before copyright laws were put on the books.
    VJ

  • edited December 1969
    Re: Waitaminute...

    The only thing that would be screwed would be corporate profits
    w/o copyright law, not culture. Culture and the arts have
    existed and thrived for thousands of years before copyright laws
    were put on the books.

    There is considerable disagreement over whether artists and creators need the incentive of copyrights as an impetus to create. I believe that most artists would create regardless of copyright protection, but that in the absence of protection, it wouldn't be long before the exploitation of their work by others would lead to a decision not to publish or release their work.

    You refer to culture and the arts existing for thousands of years. True enough. But Western Civilization's post-Renaissance devotion to commercialism and capitalism has not. The ancient Greeks didn't consider economic rights of creators in their works. They were more concerned about recognition. (The Roman Empire had some concept of copyright, but it was tied closely to the ownership of the actual embodiment of the work -- the piece of paper on which something was written.)

    In fact, it wasn't until the printing press made widespread reproduction of written works possible that anybody in Western culture really bothered to think about copyright. Before that, copying was such an arduous process that it wasn't a big concern. In the mid-17th century in England, printing exploded to the point where the King agreed to give printers some protections from piracy in order to encourage commerce. In 1709, the first true copyright law (The Statute of Anne) was enacted, which actually helped consumers by limiting the duration of the printers' monopoly. (Interesting parallel with the DMCA there -- will there be an equivalent of the Statute of Anne designed to protect consumers from the excesses of the previous business-protective law?)

    Modern copyright law, therefore, grew up in a world in which copying was significantly easier than it had been previously, so it isn't saying much to say that culture and the arts existed before copyright laws. Without those 18th-century English laws, and their offspring as embodied in the U.S. Constitution and related statutes, who knows what sort of cultural world we would be living in?
  • edited December 1969
    Re: Waitaminute...

    I have no idea why you would say this. In my 5 years of reading
    Wired magazine it has never been half-assed, or even close -
    imo.

    All right. Your mileage apparently varies. But when you have some time to kill, go through Wired's old cover stories and count the number of times they trumpet the next big, can't-miss thing that then turns out to be nothing but hype. Their hero-worship of Jeff Bezos comes immediately to mind but is just one example among many.

    Wired doesn't report on the Net, it advocates it. That's a big reason why its feature articles often seem so silly in retrospect.

    I completely disagree.
    The only thing that would be screwed would be corporate profits
    w/o copyright law, not culture. Culture and the arts have
    existed and thrived for thousands of years before copyright laws
    were put on the books.

    I have a suggestion Ven: write a book, or record a song, or author a website. Put a portion of your life into something that's entirely your own. And then see how sanguine you feel when someone comes along and steals it.

    Zag/Mark

  • edited December 1969
    Re: Waitaminute...

    I have a suggestion Ven: write a book, or record a song, or
    author a website. Put a portion of your life into something
    that's entirely your own. And then see how sanguine you feel
    when someone comes along and steals it.

    Thanks, actually I have quite a few times.
    I am an artist with a Congressional Medal of Merit for a painting I did that was publicly displayed.
    I attended art school in New York, Philadelphia, and San Francisco.
    I have managed an artist and dealt with publishing, lawyers, etc.
    As well as doing art and designing several CD packages.
    Not to mention the countless logos, letterheads, etc I have done in my own design business quite a few years back.
    I have even written a few poems, songs, and stories in my earlier years(no, no publishing deals, heh)

    In no way am I putting down copyrights and their use.
    I am just suspect of what the current laws are and what they have been twisted into very recently - both by whom and what their intention is in changing these laws.
    VJ

    Why Copyright Laws Hurt Culture
  • edited December 1969
    Re: Waitaminute...

    In no way am I putting down copyrights and their use.
    I am just suspect of what the current laws are and what they
    have been twisted into very recently - both by whom and what
    their intention is in changing these laws.
    VJ

    Then you need to make that clear. Your rants tend to sound extremist. Had you said something that sounded more like "The recent laws suck and are nothing more than an attempt by Big Business to exploit both artists and consumers." rather than saying something that sounded a lot like "Copyrights suck. Let's get rid of 'em." than this misunderstanding wouldn't have happened.

    If there's a middle ground, my guess is that everyone can find a comfort zone. If there are only extremes, nobody will ever be happy.

    So let's see if I can paraphrase your position, after this huge thread...

    "Copyrights are a valuable tool for artists to protect their work, but some of the recent legislation (both complete and proposed) are a travesty of that ideal and will serve to stifle artistic expression as profit-mongering corporations become the ultimate executor and interpreter of that artistic expression."

    I can handle that, and not think you some whacked-out, granola munching, tree-hugging left-wing extremist. :^)

    Ratbert #CP#Z
  • edited December 1969
    Re: Waitaminute...

    Then you need to make that clear. Your rants tend to sound
    extremist. Had you said something that sounded more like
    "The recent laws suck and are nothing more than an attempt
    by Big Business to exploit both artists and consumers."
    rather than saying something that sounded a lot like
    "Copyrights suck. Let's get rid of 'em." than this
    misunderstanding wouldn't have happened.

    So let's see if I can paraphrase your position, after this huge
    thread...

    "Copyrights are a valuable tool for artists to protect
    their work, but some of the recent legislation (both complete
    and proposed) are a travesty of that ideal and will serve to
    stifle artistic expression as profit-mongering corporations
    become the ultimate executor and interpreter of that artistic
    expression."

    I can handle that, and not think you some whacked-out, granola
    munching, tree-hugging left-wing extremist. :^)

    thanks that summarizes it I guess :)...but really my foray into this rant was simply a link to an article which discusses how current copyright laws may hurt culture.
    I never said anything against the idea of copyright or copyright laws.

    Although I do not like granola, tree hugging is good for anyone's soul, and I don't belong to any wing in particular and most certainly have never been any type of "ist", nor do I subscribe to any "isms".

    Sometimes I feel like Howard the Duck
    VJ

    Why Copyright Laws Hurt Culture
  • edited December 1969
    Re: Waitaminute...

    thanks that summarizes it I guess :)...but really my foray into
    this rant was simply a link to an article which discusses how
    current copyright laws may hurt culture.
    I never said anything against the idea of copyright or copyright
    laws.

    True... I went back and re-read the thread, only to find you defending articles by potential advocates of the brain-spasming ideals I attributed to you. Mea Cupla. :^)

    Although I do not like granola, tree hugging is good for
    anyone's soul, and I don't belong to any wing in particular and
    most certainly have never been any type of "ist", nor
    do I subscribe to any "isms".

    OK, granola ain't *that* bad (if nothing else, it'll clean you right out), and the wings are *way* overrated (plus, I tend to see them as simply the seedy underside of the moderate center), and for the most part all "isms" and "ists" are stuck in dogma-doo, and have difficulty rearranging themselves to handle new situations.

    Sometimes I feel like Howard the Duck
    VJ

    Having never felt Howard the Duck, and the closest I've come to feeling you was a hot tub near Tahoe (don't get the wrong idea, guys... Tartan was there, too), I really couldn't tell if you actually feel like him. Although I would guess not, what with your lack of feathers and all (and if you have a pink boa, I'd rather not know about it). ;^)

    Ratbert #CP#Z
  • edited December 1969
    Re: Waitaminute...

    I never said anything against the idea of copyright or copyright
    laws.

    Nothing, that is, except this:

    "The only thing that would be screwed would be corporate profits w/o copyright law, not culture."

    I'll take you at your word--I have no interest in stirring this debate up again--but I have to say, if you truly have nothing against copyright law, you sure have a knack for giving the wrong impression on the issue.

    That's it for me, I'm outta this thread for good.

    Mark

  • edited December 1969
    Re: Waitaminute...

    That's it for me, I'm outta this thread for good.

    Mark

    Pansy! Oh, Pansy!

    Your father was a hamster and your mother smelled of elderberries!

    I fart in your general direction! PHHTTTTTPPPPPPBBT!

    Come back! It's no fun if you take the moral high ground and leave... ;^)
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