Music Think Tank

Why Copyright Is Evil

Against_copyrightA copyright gives the creator of a work exclusive rights to it and an owner of a copyright has the right to make copies, license, and use the work. On Music Think Tank, Ben Sommer talks about copyrights, ideas as property, and the current state of the music industry. He thinks copyright is evil and has rotten origins. What do you think of copyrights?

“They [CDs] cost that much because of the copyrighted sounds – that is, ideas – imprinted on the discs. This is also why most CDs these days cost around $10 – because copyright is in the latter stages of decay, due to competition from other media.” (Read On)

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  1. If theres no copyright protection, who would spend is/her time creating those works just for making available for free and being monetized by those copyright thieves ? Would you ?

  2. Copyright may have problems, but protecting ideas is NOT one of them. The idea-expression dichotomy at the core of of copyright protection states succinctly that copyright never protects ideas (see 102(b) of the Copyright Act that says copyright doesn’t subsist in ideas) but that copyright goes to the manner in which the “author” expresses her ideas. Thus you can have Guernica and For Whom the Bell Tolls both expressing in their own manners “the Spanish Civil War is an abomination.” The scarcity argument is not necessarily tied to this i-e notion, but I think if instead you regard copyright as an incentive to disclose so that their ideas, which are NOT monopolized by copyright, are in fact brought into the light of the public domain. Since the author didn’t fear losing his control of his expression, that was thought of as incentive enough. I think current arguments throw in the towel about the ease of copying and look instead to monetizing other aspects of a musician’s career that “sound recordings” but over-protection of ideas is not one of copyright’s shortcomings–and it hasn’t been since the pre-digital days.

  3. Man I’m so sick of this. What in the hell are they missing? OH and where is my free house? Maybe I should just take his house cause, like my music, his house isn’t private property either.
    “If your not part of the solution…..Shutta youra facea”

  4. Music is an inherited tradition, we all steal all the time, we just repackage it with other influences (stolen ideas) and call it ours.
    Totally original product? Own it?
    Yeah, right.
    If you want your music to be a commodity or ‘worth your effort’ get jingle writing, you’ll fare better off there.
    I personally am happy being a music thief. I stole a Miles Davis (by way of Parker and those before) lick this morning and I will not return it nor will I pay for it. Instead, I’m going to rip it up and share it. Freely. I hope one day there are others who might steal from me.
    It is about time music gets seen for what it is: music. fun.
    Bravo article, the writing is on the wall, just watch kids’ habits.

  5. Sam,
    Music is about performance and sharing the love.
    It’s not about producing something once and then capitolising on an idea.
    Music is just as much the physical performance as the original idea.
    The great composers got paid because they kept tabs on the ‘live’ experience.
    So… would i the time creating good music that I can perform? Yes.
    Get Local. Collaborate. Get Live.

  6. If someone were to take your music, which you put out to the public to begin with, you still have your music. It’s your idea, and it always will be. You don’t lose your ability to distribute or generate it.
    But if you take someone’s house, which has a physical existence, then they don’t have that house anymore. Ideas are limitless.
    Not to say piracy is good, but copyright drastically limits creative freedom and media. It’s dangerous ground. Look at what youtube is doing now and you’ll see.

  7. Who would spend their time creating those works? People who want to create those works, instead of people who want the £$¥元. People should make works of art because they want to, because they believe in their work; not because they want cash.

  8. Property is a term that refers to something such that its possession by others is equivelent to its loss by its original owner. IF SOMEONE SOMETHING IN A MANNER IN WHICH THEY DON’T PAY THE ORIGINAL OWNER, AND THE ORIGINAL OWNER DOESNT LOSE SAID ‘THING’ (and as with musicians ends up über-rich either way), IT IS NOT THEFT.
    Intellectual Property is NOT a real thing, and real DIGITAL RIGHTS are not those of big corporations and rich musicians to ROB the public, but real DIGITAL RIGHTS are those of the DIGITAL CONSUMER, my friend.

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