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The fair restriction of consumer rights

124

Posts

  • AzioAzio Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    You could make the same argument to justify piracy.
    Daedalus wrote: »
    Look, I think the games industry benefits from piracy more than you think.

    Case in point: I pirated Metroid Prime for free. It was no longer in print, so my alternative to pirating it would be to not buy the game. I liked Metroid Prime and later bought Prime 3 for $50, new. Had there been no piracy, I wouldn't have bought that sequel, now would I?

    Whether you pirate the game or buy it used, Nintendo receives no compensation for all the effort that went into creating Metroid Prime, despite your being able to enjoy it. Two people are now enjoying the game when only one of them paid. I guess in your case, EB Games got $8 on top of the $30 they already got from selling it new in the first place. As far as Nintendo is concerned you may as well have stolen Metroid Prime because they didn't see a dime of that $8.

    Hopefully with digital distribution we won't see games go "out of print" anymore because it costs virtually nothing to store data on a server, especially if it isn't moving. They will probably still do it because publishers are assholes, but as long as someone on the Internet has a copy and is willing to share it illegally (or burn it, delete it off their hard drive, and sell you the "used" copy illegally), you can still get your fix at the expense of the developer, with the added bonus of not encouraging EB Games. Problem solved. Consumer rights have been fairly restricted to better reflect copyright law, and those restrictions can be easily bypassed if you really care that much. Can we move on?

  • DaedalusDaedalus Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Azio wrote: »
    You could make the same argument to justify piracy.
    Daedalus wrote: »
    Look, I think the games industry benefits from piracy more than you think.

    Case in point: I pirated Metroid Prime for free. It was no longer in print, so my alternative to pirating it would be to not buy the game. I liked Metroid Prime and later bought Prime 3 for $50, new. Had there been no piracy, I wouldn't have bought that sequel, now would I?

    Whether you pirate the game or buy it used, Nintendo receives no compensation for all the effort that went into creating Metroid Prime, despite your being able to enjoy it. Two people are now enjoying the game when only one of them paid. I guess in your case, EB Games got $8 on top of the $30 they already got from selling it new in the first place. As far as Nintendo is concerned you may as well have stolen Metroid Prime because they didn't see a dime of that $8.

    Hopefully with digital distribution we won't see games go "out of print" anymore because it costs virtually nothing to store data on a server, especially if it isn't moving. They will probably still do it because publishers are assholes, but as long as someone on the Internet has a copy and is willing to share it illegally (or burn it, delete it off their hard drive, and sell you the "used" copy illegally), you can still get your fix at the expense of the developer, with the added bonus of not encouraging EB Games. Problem solved. Consumer rights have been fairly restricted to better reflect copyright law, and those restrictions can be easily bypassed if you really care that much. Can we move on?

    Yeah, and if I'd chipped my 'cube I'd really be the kind of person who paid money for games new, right?

    And digital distribution doesn't solve anything. You are, essentially, saying that rampant piracy is better than a used games market. Do you stop to consider the effects of rampant piracy on the desire of a consumer to buy a new game?

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  • IncenjucarIncenjucar QA Tester -> Game Producer Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited November 2007
    I think he was pointing out that the only difference between piracy and used games are only really different in quantity.

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  • DaedalusDaedalus Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Incenjucar wrote: »
    I think he was pointing out that the only difference between piracy and used games are only really different in quantity.

    Except that shelf space devoted to used games is itself a marketing tool towards those developers. Ever read the interview with Tim Schaefer where he jokes about moving all the used copies of Psychonauts to the front every time he goes to the local EB? Just because the original devs don't make money off of resale doesn't mean that the market isn't beneficial to the video games industry as a whole.

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  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Incenjucar wrote: »
    I think he was pointing out that the only difference between piracy and used games are only really different in quantity.

    Except that that quantity can be pretty significant. One purchased copy of a given game can lead to 1,000 "lost" sales (or more) from piracy...one purchased copy will probably only lead to more like 10 "lost" sales from the used market. With used games, only one person can own it at a time whereas with piracy you're limited by bandwidth and/or how many blank discs you have in the spindle.

    Tiny difference.

  • IncenjucarIncenjucar QA Tester -> Game Producer Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited November 2007
    The closest thing to a valid statement you have there is that the lack of Brick-and-Mortar visual ad space may be problematic.

    --

    Piracy can just be a single copy. Obviously large quantity piracy is a large concern, and a big financial hit. But a lost sale is a lost sale.

    Similarly, if I poke you once, it is annoying, if I poke you a thousand times, you hit me with a shovel.

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  • AzioAzio Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Incenjucar wrote: »
    I think he was pointing out that the only difference between piracy and used games are only really different in quantity.
    Yes.

    The truth of the matter is, selling used video games is illegal in the spirit of copyright law. It is essentially piracy. Two or more people are enjoying a creative work, but the originator of that work has been compensated for only one person's enjoyment.

    However, because video games have traditionally been sold in the form of floppy diskettes or ROM cartridges or optical discs, it would be illegal in the spirit of the free market to ban their resale. You can't tell people they're not allowed to re-sell a floppy disk, because that would be unconstitutional and would probably lead to all kinds of nasty arguments about whether other products, like perhaps a cleverly designed futon or a shovel with a fancy design on the handle, count as "creative works".

    Now that we have the technology to electronically deliver a video game directly to your game hardware, that product is no longer a plastic disc. It is now purely a creative work, and therefore its sale and distribution is governed entirely by Copyright Law. Not the copyright laws that were written by corporate lobbyists and passed by corrupt politicians a few years back, but Copyright Law that we agreed upon over a century ago.

  • redxredx East Bumblefuck, PARegistered User regular
    edited November 2007
    err... over a century ago, copyrights used to expire. I don't know if you can really call that the same spirit.

    you know, that whole thing about preventing publishers from stealing the work of authors and printing copies of them and selling them, without the author profiting. Selling an account doesn't actually create a new working copy of the game.

    All I've got is a snuggle hammer.
  • IncenjucarIncenjucar QA Tester -> Game Producer Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited November 2007
    This has an interesting relation with the Writer's Strike, frankly.

    There's an amazing lack of respect for the rights of the actual producers of art on the part of those who use or sell their works.

    --

    The idea is that if people derive X benefit from something the creator should derive restitution of $X.

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  • DaedalusDaedalus Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Azio wrote: »
    Incenjucar wrote: »
    I think he was pointing out that the only difference between piracy and used games are only really different in quantity.
    Yes.

    The truth of the matter is, selling used video games is illegal in the spirit of copyright law. It is essentially piracy. Two or more people are enjoying a creative work, but the originator of that work has been compensated for only one person's enjoyment.

    Really? Because I could swear that stuff like the First Sale Doctrine was specifically written into copyright law.

    Seriously, we've been dealing with the issue of used copies of somebody's intellectual property since Gutenburg invented the printing press.

    But whatever. Public libraries are dens of vile socialism, too, right?

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  • IncenjucarIncenjucar QA Tester -> Game Producer Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Libraries benefit the standing of a country as a whole by increasing the ability of an individual to educate themselves.

    Mario Bros. not so much.

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  • DaedalusDaedalus Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Incenjucar wrote: »
    Libraries benefit the standing of a country as a whole by increasing the ability of an individual to educate themselves.

    Mario Bros. not so much.

    Please. Mario Bros is at least as good for education as the loads of pop fiction crap that makes up the most frequently checked out books at your local library.

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  • IncenjucarIncenjucar QA Tester -> Game Producer Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Not really.

    Even reading shitty books increases your reading skill.

    Hence Children's Books.

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  • redxredx East Bumblefuck, PARegistered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Incenjucar wrote: »
    The idea is that if people derive X benefit from something the creator should derive restitution of $X.

    with the new bullshit implied license bullshit, yes. Originally that was not the case, and you can pretty much tell that from the legislation and common laws up until rather recently.

    All I've got is a snuggle hammer.
  • IncenjucarIncenjucar QA Tester -> Game Producer Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Times change.

    This might be less great for the typical low-budget consumer, but it's of benefit to the actual people doing the work.

    And there's still tons of free stuff all over the place.

    Now, if all free alternatives dried up your and choices became pay up or play with sticks and mud...

    --

    Personally, as a would-be artist, I like the models where you throw out a lot of little freebies here and there while otherwise protecting your ability to get paid for the benefit you give to others.

    Steam is good for this (<3 Freebie Sam & Max Episode 4), WotC is good for this with its RPGs, and artists do a lot of this.

    I'd love to do something like that with a site one day, throwing up little freebies like short stories and cruddy comic strips to get people interested in my novels-which-may-come.

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  • DaedalusDaedalus Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Incenjucar wrote: »
    The idea is that if people derive X benefit from something the creator should derive restitution of $X.

    That has never been the stated purpose of copyright law, ever. The purpose of copyright law, at least here in America, has always (nominally) been to balance the need of society to have a broad public domain to draw from against the need of society to have artists with some incentive to produce new works. Hence, you know, the U. S. Constitution saying "To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries."

    That "limited times" bit seems to have been forgotten as of late, sadly.

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  • IncenjucarIncenjucar QA Tester -> Game Producer Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Yes.

    That is the intent.

    One which I agree with.

    Now show me where Bubble Bobble falls under that.

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  • DaedalusDaedalus Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Incenjucar wrote: »
    Yes.

    That is the intent.

    One which I agree with.

    Now show me where Bubble Bobble falls under that.

    This is going to reopen the "are games art" debate and that's something for a different thread.

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  • AzioAzio Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Daedalus wrote: »
    Azio wrote: »
    Incenjucar wrote: »
    I think he was pointing out that the only difference between piracy and used games are only really different in quantity.
    Yes.

    The truth of the matter is, selling used video games is illegal in the spirit of copyright law. It is essentially piracy. Two or more people are enjoying a creative work, but the originator of that work has been compensated for only one person's enjoyment.

    Really? Because I could swear that stuff like the First Sale Doctrine was specifically written into copyright law.

    Seriously, we've been dealing with the issue of used copies of somebody's intellectual property since Gutenburg invented the printing press.

    But whatever. Public libraries are dens of vile socialism, too, right?
    I, personally, am 100% in agreement with you on the debate of whether I should be allowed to sell my used copy of New Super Mario Bros to my cousin. I am merely exploring the dichotomy that exists between Copyright and the Free Market, which is a source of considerable fascination to me, and pointing out that "used" is meaningless in the context of electronically distributed works.

    If, of course, you are not satisfied with the interpretation of copyright law that commercial software creators have adopted, you are more than welcome to peruse the vast, vast array of freeware games that are available to you.

  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Daedalus wrote: »
    Incenjucar wrote: »
    Yes.

    That is the intent.

    One which I agree with.

    Now show me where Bubble Bobble falls under that.

    This is going to reopen the "are games art" debate and that's something for a different thread.

    Actually, could be fun here...because if games really don't qualify as art, then why are they worthy of copyright protection at all. Considering the point of copyright in the first place.

  • IncenjucarIncenjucar QA Tester -> Game Producer Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Thing is, since none of those are remotely scarce anymore, there's no real deficit on the part of the community.

    You can also rip off games like crazy already, so even SPECIFIC games are pretty well available.

    These aren't the riverboat days.

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  • DaedalusDaedalus Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Azio wrote: »
    Daedalus wrote: »
    Azio wrote: »
    Incenjucar wrote: »
    I think he was pointing out that the only difference between piracy and used games are only really different in quantity.
    Yes.

    The truth of the matter is, selling used video games is illegal in the spirit of copyright law. It is essentially piracy. Two or more people are enjoying a creative work, but the originator of that work has been compensated for only one person's enjoyment.

    Really? Because I could swear that stuff like the First Sale Doctrine was specifically written into copyright law.

    Seriously, we've been dealing with the issue of used copies of somebody's intellectual property since Gutenburg invented the printing press.

    But whatever. Public libraries are dens of vile socialism, too, right?
    I, personally, am 100% in agreement with you on the debate of whether I should be allowed to sell my used copy of New Super Mario Bros to my cousin. I am merely exploring the dichotomy that exists between Copyright and the Free Market, which is a source of considerable fascination to me, and pointing out that "used" is meaningless in the context of electronically distributed works.

    Well, shit, I've been arguing that too, but then you went off on your tangent about how reselling any media at all is immoral because the artist doesn't get paid twice despite that (presumably) only one person is using it at a time, and we got sidetracked.

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  • IncenjucarIncenjucar QA Tester -> Game Producer Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited November 2007
    I don't think he said it was immoral.

    It's just the same effect, but in a much less severe volume.

    Anyways, if we were talking about games that were out of print or otherwise no longer a way for the source to make money, then I have no problem with them becoming accessible to people for free.

    It's only an issue when money is actually being lost because of it.

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  • electricitylikesmeelectricitylikesme Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    You know I'm going to go ahead and say that media law needs to deal with the issue of content licensing and distribution sooner rather then later i.e. we need to get off the god damn "fuck 'da consumer" bandwagon.

    It should be illegal to require a central service to play digitally distributed games once the central service ends. There should be some sort of statute of limits on copyright if a distributor has ceased providing any avenue to acquire a product etc. etc.

  • GihgehlsGihgehls Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Incenjucar wrote: »
    Yes.

    That is the intent.

    One which I agree with.

    Now show me where Bubble Bobble falls under that.


    I don't know about you, but I'm pretty sure that Bubble Bobble came with a manual, with text in it. If you read it, do you increase your reading comprehension?

    That's a stretch I guess. Well, what about Magic the Gathering? You pretty much have to read to enjoy that creative work. This is no different from your children's books.

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  • Nova_CNova_C Sniff Sniff Snorf Beyond The WallRegistered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Whoa, what the fuck? Are you actually saying authors should get the shaft because people can improve themselves with a book? Incen, the idea that it's okay for books and movies to be traded, loaned, resold, etc but not games because, well, they are different somehow is pretty dumb. A creative work is a creative work. Games are creative works as are books. If books and movies become largely available through digital means, do you agree it should be illegal to let anyone other than the purchaser read the book or watch the movie?

    My blog: www.jonathanirons.net
    My Twitter: @IronsJonathan
    Be advised, I'm not the best at keeping either updated. >.>
  • Fuzzy Cumulonimbus CloudFuzzy Cumulonimbus Cloud Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Nova_C wrote: »
    Whoa, what the fuck? Are you actually saying authors should get the shaft because people can improve themselves with a book? Incen, the idea that it's okay for books and movies to be traded, loaned, resold, etc but not games because, well, they are different somehow is pretty dumb. A creative work is a creative work. Games are creative works as are books. If books and movies become largely available through digital means, do you agree it should be illegal to let anyone other than the purchaser read the book or watch the movie?
    Disney tried.

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  • EchoEcho staring is caring Super Moderator, Moderator mod
    edited November 2007
    Libraries aren't about education. They're about culture. Though they certainly have a large section that helps education too.

    Are video games not culture?

  • Nova_CNova_C Sniff Sniff Snorf Beyond The WallRegistered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Nova_C wrote: »
    Whoa, what the fuck? Are you actually saying authors should get the shaft because people can improve themselves with a book? Incen, the idea that it's okay for books and movies to be traded, loaned, resold, etc but not games because, well, they are different somehow is pretty dumb. A creative work is a creative work. Games are creative works as are books. If books and movies become largely available through digital means, do you agree it should be illegal to let anyone other than the purchaser read the book or watch the movie?
    Disney tried.

    Did fans bend over with lube in hand and then call critics retarded and thieves (Like the G&T guys did to me)?

    My blog: www.jonathanirons.net
    My Twitter: @IronsJonathan
    Be advised, I'm not the best at keeping either updated. >.>
  • DaedalusDaedalus Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Nova_C wrote: »
    Nova_C wrote: »
    Whoa, what the fuck? Are you actually saying authors should get the shaft because people can improve themselves with a book? Incen, the idea that it's okay for books and movies to be traded, loaned, resold, etc but not games because, well, they are different somehow is pretty dumb. A creative work is a creative work. Games are creative works as are books. If books and movies become largely available through digital means, do you agree it should be illegal to let anyone other than the purchaser read the book or watch the movie?
    Disney tried.

    Did fans bend over with lube in hand and then call critics retarded and thieves (Like the G&T guys did to me)?

    No, I believe they decided, instead, not to buy DIVX.

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  • nexuscrawlernexuscrawler Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    What the hell do libraries have to do with anything here

  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Yeah, and libraries have video games for loan too. Some of them anyway.

  • DaedalusDaedalus Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    What the hell do libraries have to do with anything here

    Multiple people are enjoying a work without each paying the creator! Society crumbles! (Nevermind that that's never ever been what copyright law has been about.)

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  • nexuscrawlernexuscrawler Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Copyrights are about preventing people from stealing your ideas and selling them as their own.

    Honestly it's got zero to do with this discussion

  • GihgehlsGihgehls Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Enjoying the work and being a licensee of a work are two totally different things. Copyright is literally "the right to copy."

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  • RandomEngyRandomEngy Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Azio is completely right here. Intellectual property laws give the creator a limited monopoly on how their product is distributed, to allow them to make money off of a large initial investment. They are well within their legal (and moral) rights to offer a product that you can't resell. Of course it's up to you to decide if it's worth it, and a game you can't resell isn't worth as much, but for me the convenience of digital distribution outweighs this negative. Besides, I have seen some great deals on Steam, which suggests that a form of revised pricing is catching on for at least some publishers.

    Now I agree that the copyright term in the US (and many other countries) is way too long, but that's a separate issue. It doesn't change the fact that the game creators should have complete authority to sell however they like during that period.

    As for the libraries comparison, it doesn't really hold. Games have far higher production costs than books so books are far more likely to be profitable even if a large number of people re-use the same book. And I've never seen a library with strength of the Steam/Direct2Drive/GameTap offerings. It's all about providing the right incentives to allow a work to be created. Making a quality video game requires a lot more financial incentive than writing a novel.

    But I do agree that consumer rights shouldn't go out the window. Companies should be obligated to have (and act on) a plan to transfer your purchases to another service or free any locked down works if their authentication servers go down.
    Copyrights are about preventing people from stealing your ideas and selling them as their own.

    Honestly it's got zero to do with this discussion

    No. Copyright is providing a limited monopoly on a work in order to provide an incentive for people to create. If one person buys your game/book/whatever and copies it for free many times so no one else has to pay, you're going to go "well crap, I can't make a living doing this, I'm going to stop making stuff."

    Profile -> Signature Settings -> Hide signatures always. Then you don't have to read this worthless text anymore.
  • SithDrummerSithDrummer Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Gihgehls wrote: »
    Daedalus wrote: »
    Gihgehls wrote: »
    They're not completely different products at all. Different markets, and perhaps different business models, but no, not different products.
    Really? Then how come Photoshop isn't on the shelf at my local EBStop?
    Because EBstop is a pawn shop that sells games, a subset of the group that includes computer software. You can get Adobe products AND games at any large software store. I think you're just being thick for the hell of it. Why isn't WindowsXP on the shelf at my local Apple store? Don't answer that.
    The only thing the products have in common is that they run on a computer.
    The only relevent comparison was that they are both licensed software. Anything beyond that was not part of my arguement. I made a comparison not directly related to the fair restriction of consumer rights, wherein I suggested that perhaps it is in Valve's interest to have lots of legitmate copies of HL2 floating around. Piracy and how Adobe sells its software is not part of anything I'm talking about.
    This comparison is myopic and stupid. Adobe wants people familiar with using their products because when these people work professionally in a graphic design field, they'll want to use Photoshop and they/their business will need legitimate, legal copies to publish with. Valve gains no similar benefits from people knowing how to play HL2 successfully. And you think it's going to increase mod sales? That's asinine. TF2, Day of Defeat: Source, and Counter-Strike: Source are their three in-house HL2 mods and I doubt anyone purchased one just because HL2 was such a great game. They're entirely different games - the only valid similarity you might point to is the HUD/engine, and I can't think of the last game I bought on the basis of its Heads-Up Display alone. "Man, that damage indicator really has the Valve sheen to it!"

    It's an easy game to hate
  • IncenjucarIncenjucar QA Tester -> Game Producer Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Nova_C wrote: »
    Whoa, what the fuck? Are you actually saying authors should get the shaft because people can improve themselves with a book? Incen, the idea that it's okay for books and movies to be traded, loaned, resold, etc but not games because, well, they are different somehow is pretty dumb. A creative work is a creative work. Games are creative works as are books. If books and movies become largely available through digital means, do you agree it should be illegal to let anyone other than the purchaser read the book or watch the movie?

    General rule: Before making assumptions, get the whole story.

    I am not against the notion of copyright expiration in and of itself.

    I am against the people who actually produced a work getting shafted. Especially when others are making a profit.

    I do not believe copyrights should expire during the lifetime of the author. I do not believe that any entity should be allowed to profit on that expiration: there should always be some measure of control by a party's heirs unless they're written off in the will. However, I am not dead set against published works that have fallen out of circulation being archived in free access databases, to ensure that said work cannot actually dissapear.

    The ability of something to become non-available is my biggest concern, and if copyright is extended to the end of time until all heirs, corporate or individual, are dead, I'm not against it.

    Though, generally, I feel there is a great deal to worry about regarding actually LOSING libraries. Books being markedly more expensive for them, perhaps, is an option, like with a business OS versus a home OS.

    Games? I'm not entirely against them EVENTUALLY becoming freely available, with similar "no vultures" clauses. But as young as games are, few alive today would have access to said, under how I would have it.

    --

    Bottom line of my opinion is that nobody has a right to free stuff when the person who made the stuff is still breathing.

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  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Incenjucar wrote: »
    Bottom line of my opinion is that nobody has a right to free stuff when the person who made the stuff is still breathing.

    See, and I disagree. I think if you didn't make enough money (or didn't manage that money well) during the first 14 or 28 (or 30 or 40) years of copyright protection, then oh fucking well. Doubly so for heirs, who didn't even create the work in question. Works should enter the public domain within a reasonable span of the audience's life, at least in my opinion. There's no reason that at 40 I should be paying for a song or book that was created before I was born. The author/artist, their publisher, and anybody else involved has had more than enough time to recoup their costs and make their profit...if they want the residual gravy train to keep rolling, they should create more pieces. Copyright in this sense (the arts) should be a vehicle to encourage the creation of more works, not for somebody to try and create one really popular work and milk it until the end of time.

    EDIT: I really like The Beatles as an example. I don't care that half the band is still alive, and they all have heirs. They've had upwards of forty years of revenue from some of those works, which were written generations ago. They really should start entering the public domain, where society at large can enjoy them freely. That's supposed to be the deal; that's what they're supposed to give us for granting them (through the law) copyright protection for all these years. Copyright terms should be a function of time, not economic viability.

  • Nova_CNova_C Sniff Sniff Snorf Beyond The WallRegistered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Incenjucar wrote: »
    Bottom line of my opinion is that nobody has a right to free stuff when the person who made the stuff is still breathing.

    This is the only part of your post that has anything to do with what I asked, so I'll take it that, yes, you believe that only the purchaser of a book should ever read that copy and only the purchaser of a movie should ever see that copy play. Up until the copyright expires, of course.

    My blog: www.jonathanirons.net
    My Twitter: @IronsJonathan
    Be advised, I'm not the best at keeping either updated. >.>
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