back to article Copyright trolls, biz scum, freetards - it's NOT black and white

A new intellectual property rights organisation has popped up in the United States called New Media Rights. New Media Rights strikes a different balance than most intellectual property organisations; they champion the rights of independent creators as well as those of individual consumers. New Media Rights provide free legal …


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  1. Turtle

    Not terribly impressive.

    "We'd love to hear your take on New Media Rights' approach to the intellectual property debate in the comments below."

    They seem to have taken on so manly competing constituencies that anything they do can be construed as according with their (extremely broad) principles. What kind of enforcement do they support? What kind of legal enactments do they support?

    " I am also a creator who makes a living through writing. I see the value in copyright... and the overwhelming (sic) abuse of it. (Yeah, because as has been remarked before, for most creators, the *actual* term of copyright can be measured in minutes - that being the time it takes from someone releasing content to the time it appears on pirate sites to be downloaded for free. I see things like SOPA, ACTA ( has nothing to do with copyright. ), CETA and the TPP as being horrifically bad for individuals and for society. I live in a country where it is illegal to rip a DVD I purchased legitimately so that I can view it on my netbook that does not have an optical drive. ( And people are arrested all the time for that, right? Oh, they're not? Maybe *sometimes* arrested for it? No? Hmmm. That's certainly *horrific* alright. ) I fear the copyright Gestapo knocking on my door for some imagined slight... ( See a therapist about this - this probably says more about your personality than it does about the real world ) and yet I understand the need for both regulation and enforcement of copyright. ( Care to show us the kind of legislation you'd support?) "

    1. thecakeis(not)alie

      Re: Not terribly impressive.

      MAFIAA Über Alles.

      <Img src="">

    2. Captain Underpants
      Thumb Down

      Re: Not terribly impressive.


      Do you not see the fairly substantial problem inherent in trying to foment an economy increasingly predicated on IP and its exploitation within a legislative framework where commonplace and in-practice-harmless actions such as ripping media for personal use is technically illegal? Such as the devaluation of laws intended to protect said IP and those business which depend on it in the eye of the average citizen, and a greater-than-desired tolerance for clearly-antisocial large-scale copyright infringement?

      The fact that the police don't, right now, bust anyone who's ever downloaded DVD Shrink or Handbrake doesn't somehow invalidate the problem inherent in having laws under which actions are illegal despite the lack of desire of the government to spefically criminalise all instances of such actions nor the lack of interest of the CPS in pursuing the trial and conviction of individuals undertaking such actions.

    3. foxyshadis

      Re: Not terribly impressive.

      That quote you picked apart was Trevor Pott's, the article writer's, not Spalding's or the Foundation's. You might want to read a little harder.

  2. tkioz

    Good for them, too many people forget that copyright when it was originally envisioned was viewed as a necessary evil, a far from perfect system, but still the best solution to the problem of rewarding creators but still giving people access.

    It's like democracy or the western justice systems, flawed systems to be sure, but still better then everything else we've tried in those areas.

    Unfortunately if the extremists on either side aren't put in their place we'll either see a death of large scale content (stuff that costs tens of millions to produce) or the death of customer rights and small scale content. It really sucks, because the current system badly needs reform, the length of copyrights at the moment are stupidly long, leading to works being lost forever (and damnit, haven't we lost enough of our culture?). Hell some of the Sherlock Holmes books are still under copyright!

    I hope to see more moderates making their voices heard!

  3. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    1. Joseph Lord

      Re: IP is now used to extort

      Copyright and patents are very different beasts and should very rarely be lumped together in these debates. Their purpose strengths and weaknesses are almost orthogonal. The only time it makes sense to combine them is if you are attacking the entire concept of IP.

      1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

        Trademarks as well

        they can also be used to stop competition.

        Try opening a burger joint called McDonalds unless you can prove that you are a member of that esteemed Scottish Clan and have been since birth.

        McD's did try to close down a burger bar with that name in Scotland but they were given short shift by the local Courts. Don't try to use a Golden Arch though.

        Trademarks are at least restricted to declared business areas unlike Patents and Copyright.

      2. This post has been deleted by a moderator

        1. Joseph Lord

          Re: IP is now used to extort


          The arguments against the current protections are completely different though. Merging them in discussion weakens arguments and doesn't allow proper dissection of the issues. Both make very different balances between private incentives and public goods and both are off in different directions currently.

          Copyright protection is too long and interferes with reasonable private usage. These do not apply to patents.

          Patents are granted too easily so there are so many out there and accidental infringements are almost inevitable and legal actions are too expensive both to defend and prosecute. These do not apply to copyright except possibly the expense of legal action although I'm not sure it applies in clear cut cases.

          I don't own any patents although I am an inventor on one the BBC owns and I have copyright in software I have developed.

  4. masked_freetard

    Where to even begin...

    I barely made it past the first paragraph of this before I was ready to start throwing things at the screen. The whole thing went off the rails when the author started going on about "consuming". We do not, and can not, consume copyrighted works, because the verb "consume" means that the thing being consumed is used up, gone, no longer there. When you read a book, an article, a blog post, it's still there when you finish. When you listen to a song, it's still there after you stop listening to it. When you watch a movie, it's still there when you're done. None of those things can be consumed.

    And don't even get me started on the use of the pretentious quasi-legal term "intellectual property". Heaven forbid that writers should use a plain word like "copyright", for then anyone might know what they mean.

    As for the rest of the thing, this brave new organisation has done nothing but invent a simplistic narrative where the issue of copyright is presented as a debate between virulently anti-copyright freetards on the one side and heartless greedy megacorporates on the other, whereupon they plant themselves in the middle and name themselves a reasonable compromise.

    All of us here know the origins of copyright - a limited monopoly granted to authors and composers and artists so that they have an incentive to do their work, and the public gets more works thanks to the creators having more incentive to create. But here is the reality of the current copyright debate - on one hand you have a vast repository of work of literature and art that people want to see, read, hear, and use in creating their own works, some copyrighted, some whose copyright has expired, and on the other, you have the internet, a vast globe-spanning platform where anyone can copy any book, music, or art and make it available to millions in seconds. And in the middle, you have the copyright system, designed in the era of manual printing presses, which governments find themselves unable to enforce.

    The actual debate then is this - what role does copyright play in a world where copyright can't be enforced without massively intrusive spying on what people do on their computers and cellphones, yet where there is more demand for the works of writers, artists, and composers than there has ever been? Can we re-make copyright for the internet era, or can we come up with something different, a new way to reward artists and writers and composers that allows for unlimited private copying?

    1. Ole Juul
      Thumb Up

      Re: Where to even begin...

      We do not, and can not, consume copyrighted works, because the verb "consume" means that the thing being consumed is used up, gone, no longer there.

      That's a good start, but the rest of what you said deserves an up-vote too.

    2. C Yates

      Re: Where to even begin...

      I agree, great post!

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Where to even begin...

      Yet when the big corps introduce DRM and limited playability to protect their works everyone whinges.

      it's a no win situation made worse by these "we're the answer to your problem" organisations that the US of A is so famous for, think ITC for example

  5. Brian 39

    Not ideal ... but better than the rest?

    The existing situation is far from good, and this bunch while not an idea solution, appear to be better than most of the rest. As "The Register" implied, we all forget or ignore that when we "buy" an item of media, we are actually only buying the paper/blank CD/DVD/whatever and just renting a license to use the performance in some very particular and restricted ways.

    The existing situation is loaded against consumers and anyone who advocates for consumers and seeks to add to the very limited legal rights of consumers is to be applauded, even if they are less than perfect.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Reality 101

    Consumers have the right to purchase goods and services. They do not have the right to pirate or illegally use or distribute copyright protected materials. End of story.

    If you chose to violate law and pirate, you should expect harsh punishment as you know full well that you are violating law. They make prisons for those who can't live within the laws of society. Your denial and ignorance does not make you above the law.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Reality 101

      The main problem with that is that the laws are wrong. The current setup benefits neither the creatives who make the works nor the consumers who buy them. The major beneficiaries are the parasites (record labels, lawyers, copyright organisations and the rest).

      Copyright terms are extended well beyond any definition of sanity; purely to ensure that these parasites can keep income from other's work coming in as long as possible.

      The other problem is that copyright holders (who in many cases have nothing to do with the creation) have bribed lawmakers to treat purchasing of media into something more like leasing. If I -->BUY<-- a DVD and want to rip it in order to watch it more conveniently on a tablet then I will damn well do so; and fuck what the law says because the law is unjust.

    2. David Hicks

      Re: Reality 101

      That's right kids, it's illegal and therefore pointless to discuss it. You have been told. The law is never, ever wrong and you are a moral failure if you even consider breaking it.

      How does a person come to think like you? So fearful of authority and so keen for everyone else to submit or be punished? So afraid of people who don't toe the line and follow every little rule unthinkingly? Is it a shortcut that avoids you having to think critically or examine life?

      Rights and laws are what we decide they are. Discussion and debate is how democratic societies evolve and progress. You're not helping.

    3. Anonymous Dutch Coward

      Re: Reality 101

      Wonder if you had the same attitude if your name was Turing, you lived over half a century ago and was attracted to other men...

    4. heyrick Silver badge

      Re: Reality 101

      "If you chose to violate law and pirate, you should expect harsh punishment as you know full well that you are violating law."

      Technically, I am a pirate if I buy a DVD, rip it to XviD, and then watch it myself (alone) on my netbook or my phone. Because ripping DVDs is not permitted, says so in the tiny print. However, I cannot purchase a version to watch on my phone because thanks to "intellectual property" paranoia, if something I want to watch is available, it has many strings attached (you need to be online, you need a certain app, it only works on certain phones, etc etc).

      "Your denial and ignorance does not make you above the law."

      Your denial and ignorance doesn't make you seem anything more than a bleating shill.

      Consider: I can purchase a music CD from the UK, France, Japan, America... so long as I pay postage, I can get it. Conversely, purchasing an MP3 is an exercise in testing my nerves. Not only does the song (and the version I want, not some remixed one) have to be available, but it needs to be available in my territory. How is this logical? A song is a song. There are many many songs I would happily buy for €0,50-€1 a pop if they were openly available, but it seems to me that the easier it should be to obtain music, the harder it is to actually find it legally.

      Consider: There was a law in America that stated that the term of copyright was X years. Recently this was arbitarily extended to Y years - probably for that damned mouse. So all of the older material that would have fallen out of copyright suddenly is shut away for a bunch more years on the lobbied demands of megacorps. When and where did the public have a say in this? As little of memorable consequence comes to mind from the last fifty years, I can imagine the term of copyright will be pushed further and further into insanity.

      Consider: Most people, with normal jobs, do something - get paid - and then they carry on. Whether it is baking the perfect cupcake, cleaning a toilet, or saving somebody's life, all sorts of people perform all sorts of jobs which help enrich our lives. Even the burger-flipper at McDo - that's saved me the time it would have taken to cook something, and it has fed me when I was hungry as opposed to me feeding myself when I got around to it. Yet, "content creation" is the only set of careers where the work of specific people (the sound engineer probably won't see royalties for his work) exercise the right to benefit from their creations decades down the line. Now I don't disagree with the basic concept of copyright, however I believe that something that is no longer being commercially exploited should fall out of copyright; or otherwise after around fifteen years... except in specific cases of continual use - ie That-Damned-Mouse has an entire industry built around it, so we can assume continual use. However something that was made, then that's that, should fall out of copyright after a reasonable length of time. "Breakfast At Tiffany's" or "It's A Wonderful Life"...

      Is it right that one industry perverts the concept of copyright to guard its profits?

      Is it right that lobbyists would like copyright infringement (theft implies something taken) to be a criminal act?

      Is it right that it is considered acceptable to want to snoop on the communications of citizens on the event that they might be engaging in unlawful acts? Do we get to spy on media moguls and the politicians that support such crap?

      Is it right that a blanket levy is applied to blank media "because of copyright infringement" in a country [France] where such infringement is now unlawful and may be punished under a three strikes system and may additionally be punished in court? For ripping Emili Sandé's latest hit (god help you, the girl can't carry a tune IMHO...) you stand to be punished three times - blank media, possibility of disconnection, possibility of court verdict.

      In the UK, look to the laws on orphaned works kicking around. While the EU has plans in mind for the non-commercial use of supposedly orphaned works; in the UK (and a country where some sections of the press routinely take copyrighted material, publish it, and acknowledge it with rubbish like "(c) Internet"), this use of material with no clear owner is planned to extend to commercial use. Or, to put it another way, we're supposed to respect the request not to rip a DVD for our own personal use while equally we may be unlucky enough to have some image or whatever that we created used commecially and we'd see what from it? If anything, it looks like it might fall upon us to show that our supposedly-copyright work was not an orphaned work - what the hell? And then instead of having doors kicked in at the offices of big media outlet and the cops walking away with all their computers and potential fines of tens of thousands if not more... we might be lucky to get a token payment that probably wouldn't cover the hassle and certainly wouldn't reflect the value of the work as it was being used.

      [tl;dr - start here]

      Do you not see the very obvious flaws in the copyright system? Do you not understand why more than a couple of people do not wish to support it, or even want to pay much attention to it? It is, in its current incarnation, loaded too much in favour of big media and too much against the little guy. If we mess with stuff we legally purchased, we're screwed. If we download stuff, we're screwed. If we make our own content that big media decides it likes, we're screwed. Are you seeing a trend here?

  7. Charles Augustus Milverton

    Cover versions

    One area that really needs tidying up is old music. Consider this. Stadium sized band "borrows" some lyrics and riffs from a some 1950's era black musician (who was probably inspired by some earlier source), and makes a killing with it in the 1970's. Forty years later an amateur covers band plays it in a small pub, and gets someone to video it. The video is uploaded to YouTube, and some mega corporation immediately claims it as their own. Maybe that's the strict word of the law, but the law is an ass on this occasion.

  8. Gannon (J.) Dick


    The Copyright Symbol is not a key, but rather a keyboard macro, if you know (or care) what a "keyboard macro" is. Why are the Dollar and Euro keys instead of Currency Symbol (for latest data revision) which is not a key ? WTF does the "Windows" key do ?

    Reinvented Wheels roll too ? Came right out of nowhere.

    Tax Evasion, sorry, Avoidance and "factory slaves" ? Same ethic at work, I'm afraid.


    1. heyrick Silver badge

      Re: Keyboards

      "Why are the Dollar and Euro keys instead of Currency Symbol (for latest data revision) which is not a key ?"

      Simple. On this side of the Atlantic, we use € and £ which are keys on our keyboards. On the other side of the Atlantic, they use the $ which is also a key.

      I would imagine in the Middle East / Far East, etc, they'll have keys appropriate to their currencies, like ¥ or 円, etc.

      Does anybody actually use the fried egg splat "¤"? According to Wiki, it is used when the correct symbol isn't available - so this might explain why there's no key for it.

  9. Matthew 25

    One thought

    Copyrights and patents are supposed to protect creative people / organisations. So why not make them non-transferable? If the company / person that created the item protected by patent or copyright ceases to exist (stops trading / dies) before the time clause, then the patent or copyright protection should end, allowing the work / idea into the public domain. Buying patents / copyrights so you can stop competition with your product is bad.

    I do believe some form of protection is required but I also think some companied go too far. I think that where patents are included in a standard (hence licensed FRAND) the standard should explicitly layout what the FRAND terms are (maybe put an inflation proofing clause in there) so that all parties know what they are getting into right at the outset and no amount of legal wrangling will change.

    1. Anonymous Dutch Coward

      Re: One thought

      Shame that corporations can buy other corporations... and do.

      Agreed with the spirit of what you're saying though; limiting the expiration of copyright/patents to something sensible instead of having Mickey Mouse extensions all the time makes a lot of sense, I'd say.

  10. C. P. Cosgrove

    Yes - but . . .

    Matthew 25 makes a good point with his suggestion of non-transferable rights but this goes nowhere towards answering the problem of how does a creator of some original work get remunerated for it. This is the sticking point of this whole argument.

    I too have created original work, which I know has been published on the web, but by people to whom I have given permission to use it for their personal and / or charitable purposes. But what do I do if I find Tom, Dick, Harry or the BBC publishing my images ? Basically, lump it.

    One approach is that of organisations like the Performing Rights Society, except for the significant share of income absorbed by the administrative costs. Another is the many times proposed charge on media, from cassette tapes through to DVDs. This suffers from the drawback that it is possible to publish without using physical media and has similar administrative problems. I do know that I cannot afford to sue the BBC should they decide to publish one of my photos without asking first, and I am not up for the costs of tracking down Tom or Dick or Harry !

    I think we are all agreed that there is a problem - we may not all agree what the problem is - but an effective and not overly intrusive solution seems to be beyond us all at the moment.

    Chris Cosgrove

    1. Kevin Johnston

      Re: Yes - but . . .

      I had just started writing a reply to suggest the use of the Small Claims Court in the UK and couldn't remember the maximum you could claim. Went searching to see only to find that someone with some authority has already thought of this and we now have a Patents County Court which will hear claims for infringement of all forms of Intellectual Property with a value below £5,000.

      This was reported in Out-Law and TechDirt so may even have made in into El Reg.

      There is hope........not much, but some

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    We know what the problem is

    A small percentage of society believes they are above the law. The judicial systems around the world continue to educate these people almost weekly, theat their beliefs are untrue. Japan has the right idea with mandatory prison time.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    >A small percentage of society believes they are above the law. <

    Yea, the politicians, police & Hollywood (the entertainment industry).

    When The mouse enters public property then I'll talk about copyright.

  13. David Hallett

    The problem is reality, not morality

    95% of all debate about copyright is about morality and moral rights: the rights of artists to compensation, the evilness of Disney and the media lobbying groups, the rights of the consumer to copy their DVDs. It's all irrelevant, sadly.

    The actual problem, as one poster has at least mentioned, is that the business model of copyright is to restrict access to copies of something to people who are prepared to pay for it.

    In a world where nearly everyone can make a near-infinite number of copies completely anonymously at no cost, and distribute them to vast numbers of people at near-zero cost and almost instantly, this model is no longer workable. That's the simple truth. The rest is the knots the world is tying itself in trying to avoid this simple truth.

    I wish it were not so. I'm a writer, a photographer, and a musician, and it's ironic that the very technologies that have cut us free from the publishers and record labels are also making the "pay for a copy" model obsolete. But it's inescapably true, and the sooner the law changes to reflect it and starts making people think about how they will make a living in the new world, rather than how they will enforce "rights" that are unenforceable, the better for us all. In the long run, there is no alternative, which is why talk of "compromise" and "balance" is irrelevant.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The business model isn't the issue

    The problem is reality but it's not due to a broken business model. That's like saying home security is impossible because windows can be broken. It's pure nonsense.

    The problem is that a small minority of society has no fear of prosecution for their crimes. Real jail time and a serious fine will change that for most people. There will always be a small percentage of society in denial and they end up in prison, where they belong. There is nothing wrong with copyright laws or the business model of companies selling digital products.

    It doesn't matter if the merchandise is Microsucks O/S, software or music, if you chose to pirate then you should be duly punished. Changing copyright laws to allow people to steal other people's work without proper compensation is not going to happen so the clueless can pay for goods and services like everyone else in the world or they can go to jail. Pirates are the one's who need to get a large does of reality.

    1. heyrick Silver badge

      Re: The business model isn't the issue

      Post that as not A/C and I might bother to reply, after I bother to read it.

    2. Steven Roper

      Re: The business model isn't the issue

      A. Coward, may I point you to a particularly apposite line in Star Wars: "The more you tighten your grip, Tarkin, the more star systems will slip through your fingers!"

      It is clear and evident that harsh punishments, like those inflicted on Jammie Thomas et. al, have done nothing to deter piracy. Hadopi laws, such as have been enacted in France and New Zealand, have done nothing to deter piracy. History clearly shows us that oppression and tyranny of the sort you are advocating merely results in resistance, underground networks, and the inevitable undermining and collapse of the empire that has instituted it. Your belief that human nature can be cowed into submission by threat of force and punishment would be sad if it were not so fucking pathetic.

      So please piss off, grow yourself a few brain cells, learn a few things about human nature and elementary psychology, and if and when you are capable of understanding the concept of human beings existing as something more than programmable robots, you might find that some of us humans might actually give ear to your rantings.

      Until then, enjoy your downvotes.

  15. Camilla Smythe

    Why Not...

    Set a 'maximum profit' for copyrighted material?

  16. C. P. Cosgrove

    Re: Reality v Morality

    The two posts above, by David Hallett and AC sum up the argument quite nicely. As a former shop steward and life long trade unionist, I have a serious interest in getting paid for my work. But in an era where almost anything can be copied for the price of a few keystrokes and / or mouse clicks, this is becoming difficult. And, I will admit, like most people I am not completely innocent.

    The fact is the choice appears to be between 'Not publish and not get paid' and 'Publish and not get paid'. This is not much of a choice and points up the argument that if creators of original work in whatever sphere do not get paid for their creation, they will stop creating it.

    AC has a valid point - that copyright law is there to protect the creators of work. Certainly, you can argue about the reach and term of such legislation, but the hard aspect is how do you enforce it in an acceptably non-intrusive manner ? Judging from many other articles and comments in 'El Reg', nobody is willing to consider deep packet inspection, or to pay for it, to enforce copyright law, but a law which cannot be enforced might as well not have been written. Most people do not go speeding in built up areas not out of a sense of consideration for the inhabitants but because there is a realistic chance of getting caught, with the consequent fine and penalty points.

    As I said in my earlier post, a not overly intrusive form of enforcement is the hard part.

    Chris Cosgrove

  17. Jean-Luc
    Thumb Up

    good points

    >too little IP protection often hurts consumers and creators in the same way

    What I can see is that the avenues for legally enjoying content are being narrowed all the time.

    5 years ago I opted out of cable TV. I had a video rental store on my block. 3 more within 5 blocks. I believe there is only one left in the city now. Netflix Canada is cheap, but quite crappy, with limited movies compared to US Netflix. Amazon US won't stream movies to Canada, but Amazon Canada has all the attraction and choice of Soviet stores.

    Apple manages to price a HD movie download the same as a physical Blu Ray @ full price. WTF? That much for a DRMed file I can only use on their hardware? Don't need to be a freetard to see the problem there.

    I blame both the "boy I can all those movies for free, why should I pay?" download crowd. And stupid, stupid, government regulations about who can sell what to whom.

    Ditto music. Few record stores left. Thankfully Canadians can finally buy MP3s from Amazon US. After years of being shunned, probably so Celine Dion & other government approved artists gets a piece of the pie. The little guys sure don't get much of the music taxes on things like recordable media, it goes to whoever is able to hitch to the gravy train.

    Movies and music cost money to make. Pretending you are entitled to it free is daft. But so is a world where individuals get sued for tens of thousands of $ per MP3 posted online.

    Bring back some sanity to IP, consumer and artist rights. If it was worthwhile to rent us $3 physical DVDs with all the logistic hassles that go with it, how come we can't seem to find a way to rent them for $2 as downloads?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: good points

      Here's a clue - it's not "government regulations" that prevent Amazon and Netflix from delivering content to you - it's the content creators who don't want you to have that option!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: good points


        I wasn't going to get involved in this - you lot can all argue until you're blue in the face here - but I do want to address this one assertion. In most cases where content that I, personally have wanted to see be available on Netflix or Amazon (but they were not) it was not at the behest of the creators. Indeed, I take the time to do things like "pick up the phone and ask them."

        Only two cases (of over 100) have I ever heard that the creators is not want their content distributed via these (or other) means. In ever other case the issue was that the content owners - who are not the creators by any means – made the call do deny us access to the content. This occurs – in all but those two cases – against the express wishes of the creators.

        So, to put it politely, fuck your bullshit propaganda.


  18. A J Stiles

    What About .....

    ..... just knocking copyright on the head altogether?

    Pay those who create original works a one-off bounty at the time of creation, instead of granting them monopoly control over distribution.

    1. Vic

      Re: What About .....

      > Pay those who create original works a one-off bounty at the time of creation

      Nope. The system then gets inundated with bullshit "works" whose sole purpose is to grab that bounty.

      > instead of granting them monopoly control over distribution.

      The trick is to grant creators a *limited* monopoly over their work. That's how copyright legislation started, and that's what it should return to. Somewhere around 20 years from first publish to public domain, and everyone will be happy[1]. The creators will get paid, society will be enriched, and substantially all of the "won't ever pay for that" brigade will have no leg left to stand on. It's all good.

      And now I'm off to my Porcithology class...


      [1] Yes, even the "big meeja"-style copyright owners. They'll bitch at first, but they will actually see an *increase* in revenue after a short while. All those long tails actually produce very little cash, but serve to convince people that copyright legislation is unjust. Cut the tails off, and people are more likely to support enforcement[2] of more realistic copyrights.

      [2] Except in the case of such utterly ridiculous awards against infringers as we sometimes see from our Left-pondian friends :-(

  19. Ben Liddicott

    Small claims court with statutory damages

    Small copyright owners should be able to have a standard schedule of statutory damages for unauthorised publication to fewer than 10000 recipients, at a minimum list price, plus three times the commercial value gained, Basically like a "copyright penalty charge notice".


    Photograph: Minimum £150 for the first 10 of less of up to 1 megapixel as published (higher resolutions count as more than one)

    Literary work, poem, or lyric < 400 words: Minimum £150 for the first 10 works of 400 words or less. Works of more than 400 words count as one for each 400 words or part thereof.

    Musical score: £150 Per minute, for the first works of less than one minute, or the first 10 minutes. (e.g. someone nicks your tune for a youtube advert or video)

    If you find someone infringing, just send them a bill for that amount. If they won't pay, send them a pre-action notice that you want that amount, plus three times the commercial benefit they got from the work, or you'll see them in court. If they still won't pay -- see them in court.

  20. Catfitz

    Believable Right Up Until Creative Commons, Then Not

    I'm very skeptical. I don't know the people, and I don't think Mitch Kapor or one of his front groups are lurking behind this, but they might be -- it's in California.

    I was thinking that at last, a solid alternative to the copyleftist Electronic Frontier Foundation had finally appeared, and I was with you almost half-way through the article, but as soon as they started praising Creative Commons, I knew that they had to have the Google business model agenda underneath somewhere.

    You asked who funds their project, and they say individual donations, but you should get a list, and also find out who funds the University itself. Even without the technocommunist funding, however, they could simply be ideologically likeminded.

    If they were truly serious about helping the little guy, they'd ditch Creative Commons in a heartbeat. It provides no option to "click and pay me if you want to use a copy," and that's its deepest flaw. They should not be in the business of abetting those who browbeat people to "share" instead of getting paid.

    I'll want to look very closely at the list of cases, and see if they help Second Life designers.

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