Stefan's headers [was:Names and identifiers]
On Sat, 09 Jun 2018 03:54:25 +1000, Chris Angelico wrote:
> Right. Imagine if I write a poem, just like you say, and then I have the
> words posted on a gigantic billboard. In small print in the bottom
> corner of the billboard, I say "Copyright 2018 Chris Angelico. Taking
> photographs of this billboard is forbidden.". Do I still own copyright
> in the poem? Definitely. Can I stop people from (or sue people for)
> taking photos of the billboard? Probably not, although that's one for
> the lawyers to argue.
If it were you? Probably not.
If it were a building owned by a major company with deep pockets and
powerful friends, or one with a "special relationship" to the government,
especially if they can make a buck from it? Then yes, taking photos of
publicly visible buildings and even natural features can be copyright
> (Whether linking to a third-party Youtube video is itself a violation of
> the original author's copyright is even more complicated. IANAL and I am
> not going to even think about how messy that situation could get.)
Describing a link to a Youtube video as copyright infringement is an
incredibly egregious example of copyright creep. Such a link in no way
copies the copyrighted work, nor does it distribute the work.
(The video itself may or may not infringe, but that's another question.)
It might be argued that it *facilitates copyright infringement*, in the
same way telling people that they can buy a crowbar from Bunnings
facilitates breaking and entering. But it does not and should not be
considered copyright infringement under any circumstances.
The fact that people even fear that it might is a good example of how the
necessary and useful monopoly of copyright has grown to be a monster.
> Why should I have to pay money for the right to own my own creations?
Because such a right is no right at all, but a privilege granted to you
by the government for specific purposes. Copyright is not a natural right.
Because such a privilege infringes on other people's natural rights to
copy what they see and hear. If somebody tells you a story, it is the
most natural thing in the world to repeat it if you liked it.
> And who would you pay that to anyway? The one world government?
No, your national government of course, which would then have treaties
with other trading blocks or countries that effectively say "you respect
and enforce our copyrights and we'll respect and enforce yours".
But how quickly we forget the past. In my lifetime, copyright was not
automatic. You had to officially register a work, or else it was in the
public domain. If it wasn't worth it to you to fill out a registration
form and post it, why should you be given a monopoly on the work?
For decades the US government charged a fee to register copyright, and
the vast bulk of copyrighted works were not renewed after the first 13
year term expired. Which is perfectly normal: the vast bulk of copyright
works have no real value to the creator and no reasonable prospect of
earning them income after a decade or two. And yet we impoverish our
cultural commons by keeping works locked up under monopolistic laws for a
lifetime past the death the author.
I think that the monopolization of so-called "intellectual property"
rights has grown to a harmful extent. Economists who study this have
found that copyright hurts the economy more than it helps (it discourages
creators more than encourages) but if we could roll it back somewhat, I
think it would be a good and useful tool:
- automatic, free copyright for an initial term of, let's say, 20 years;
- followed by one more free term of ten years requiring registration;
- followed by additional ten-year copyright terms, paid for at (say)
$100 a term;
- up to a maximum length of sixty years, or the author's life plus
30 years, whichever comes first;
- and a real commitment to recognising the public domain and free
culture it as an asset to be protected and encouraged, not just
a commons to be looted, monetized and locked up.
"Ever since I learned about confirmation bias, I've been seeing
it everywhere." -- Jon Ronson