And in the end, this lobbying isn’t for creators like your Mum. It’s for a few large companies to continue extracting value from portfolios they own
And this is the biggest problem - copyright tends to be owned by intermediaries these days, not the actual creators. Though the interweb may turn that around again.
Wills can be challenged.
True. Can bequests be? I've just twigged that might be an example of the other instruments Scott was referring to.
But the effort that went into making that thing doesn’t go away.
and nor do the surrounding social investments that enabled that creation - like education, social capital, communication networks, employment, income support, commercial protection, law, government.
Copyright law was initially a balance of those which recognised creativity does not happen in a vacuum - hence the 7 year term. Perhaps we could add renewal rights if still actively used and otherwise open for society to recoup its investment as well.
Disney ripping off old European fairytales and then relentlessly lobbying to protect their particular reworking of them is morally bankrupt and no example to inspire sound policy.
Disney ripping off old European fairytales
Although that's kind of the point. It wasn't ripping off, to retell them. That's legit reuse from my POV. The rip-off is creating a private good out of them that NEVER reverts to the public.
I didn't put that well. Thanks.
But aren't all rights* artificial goods we've created for public policy reasons? And while copyright as such is artificial, the right to be paid for your labour isn't!
* I mean, even if the underlying principle isn't artificial, the specific expression of any given right is highly artificial.
But aren't all rights* artificial goods we've created for public policy reasons?
No. Rights are things we, the people, kept cutting heads off the heads of state until the next ones took the hint and gave them to us. There's quite a long history of power shifting between the heads of state and the populace of that state, and every time the state is powerful all the rights all go away, and every time the populace is powerful they kill the heads of state and take them back.
The power of the state and it's control over the internet companies has just removed our rights to privacy in our communications, for instance. That whole Prisoner of War thing no longer happens. While the populace with cameras everywhere is effectively giving us more power against state repression.
Some modern states are quite clever about seeing problems coming and pre-empting them with policy changes, but it's the threat they face which makes them act.
And while copyright as such is artificial, the right to be paid for your labour isn't!
That's another thing you might recall the odd war being fought over not so long ago. The early days of labour unions in the US and UK involved facing down cannons and cavalry charges, but despite losing a lot of battles they did eventually win their peace and get slavery banned along with a few other gains, even though it took a very great deal of killing for some heads of state to take the hint.
Which doesn't say much about copyright in sleepy old Nzld. I just pretend it doesn't exist, which works quite well other than having to avoid products with stuck locks on them. Or from what I read, perhaps extra well by avoiding those things.
The way the modern world should function is traffic-based micro-payments like radio and other public musak uses, because everything is very much like radio now and costs next to nothing to make copies of. But we don't because the people who used to print vinyl music and hardbound paper texts have been gifted all of our history. "For the artists."
But if I wrote and published that, and made money from it, and all that money went to me and none to her, that would feel wrong too.
To me it’s about to what extent information and speech can be considered property and be ‘owned’. It’s also about the main goal of copyright being to provide an incentive for creation to benefit society…. but not specifically to benefit creators (as far as I'm concerned).
Speech isn’t like physical property. There’s no natural scarcity. Esepcially now, it can now be reproduced for virtually zero cost. Unlike physical property, if someone takes it, you still have it. And this type of thing happens naturally with information all the time.
The only reason speech has any resemblance to physical property at all is because relatively recent laws (in the scheme of things) have made the artificial concept of intellectual property, which temporarily trades away the rights of other’s in society to repeat what you say in exchange for making a better incentive to create. Without the special legal constructs, there would be no concept of information or speech being some kind of sacred thing that a person can own the rights to, or limit distribution of, simply because they said it first. I don’t mind creators getting benefits for their work, but to me the critical thing, and the only thing worth legislating away society’s natural rights for, is the benefits that society gets as a consequence from creators creating.
<aside> could this be ~shiver~ The Copyright Thread Redux~tremble~</aside>