[pp.int.general] Protest certain musicians?
Rick Falkvinge (Piratpartiet)
rick at piratpartiet.se
Sat Oct 31 19:37:25 CET 2009
> So I think, we have to find a balance between free access for everbody
> to everything and the author's right. Here we are always taking about
> consumers rights. What rights do we want to grant to authors?
Here is where you walk astray.
The balance of copyright is not, and was never, between an author's
right and something else. Never. Ever.
Copyright is a balance between the public's interest in having access to
culture, and the SAME PUBLIC's interest in having new works created. The
purpose of copyright is to culturally maximize society. (This is even
written explicitly in the US Constitution, which words the purpose of
copyright as "...to promote the progress of science and the useful
The MEANS of doing so has been to grant a limited monopoly to the author
or composer, a monopoly which has been sold to a publisher or other
Overall, the theory that copyright is needed as an incentive to create
has been thoroughly debunked in the last 10 years of debate, as
evidenced by, say, Wikipedia and GNU/Linux, not to mention the fact that
90% of music on P2P networks is unsigned. Or look at the millions of
photos on Flickr where people have denounced their ALREADY-AWARDED
monopoly. People create not because of copyright, but despite copyright.
The only valid defense left for the monopoly is to protect heavy
investments in culture that otherwise wouldn't have happened. Those
three last words are key: any monopoly granted to an effect in society
that would have occurred anyway becomes a hinder for creativity and/or
innovation down the road, so the important thing here is to see what
wouldn't be invested in if it were not for copyright.
Multimillion dollar movies out of Hollywood and computer games come to mind.
So the next question would be, when those investment decisions are made,
what are their ROI horizons? At what time from publication is further
copyright irrelevant to their decision?
It turns out that most investments are calculating for an ROI of less
than a year. Five years of commercial copyright is therefore actually
overly generous to rightsholders, but I believe it is a decent stake in
For more elaboration, see my recent open letter to the music industry, here:
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