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How Copyright Makes Books and Music Disappear 128

Posted by Soulskill
from the copyright-is-the-world's-worst-magician dept.
An anonymous reader writes "A new study of books and music for sale on Amazon shows how copyright makes works disappear. The research is described in the abstract: 'A random sample of new books for sale on Amazon.com shows three times more books initially published in the 1850's are for sale than new books from the 1950's. Why? A sample of 2300 new books for sale on Amazon.com is analyzed along with a random sample of 2000 songs available on new DVDs. Copyright status correlates highly with absence from the Amazon shelf. Second, the availability on YouTube of songs that reached number one on the U.S., French, and Brazilian pop charts from 1930-60 is analyzed in terms of the identity of the uploader, type of upload, number of views, date of upload, and monetization status. An analysis of the data demonstrates that the DMCA safe harbor system as applied to YouTube helps maintain some level of access to old songs by allowing those possessing copies (primarily infringers) to communicate relatively costlessly with copyright owners to satisfy the market of potential listeners.'"
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How Copyright Makes Books and Music Disappear

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  • Infringer? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by angel'o'sphere (80593) on Friday July 05, 2013 @01:29PM (#44196777) Homepage Journal

    I hold lots of "copies" (I rather would call them originals) of old songs.
    Holding them makes me not an infringer.
    Uploading them to youtube does!

    Also I don't feel the need to add a screensaver to an old song and upload that to a MOVIE SITE.

    • So what major upload you own song streaming site do you use?
      • by X0563511 (793323)

        Soundcloud is pretty popular, though some of the processing they do murders a few styles violently.

      • I don't upload.
        Don't see a reason why I should.
        The only stuff that is uploaded is movies about myself doing Aikido ... uploaded by my students with my permission.
        That has nothing tomdo with copyright but might be a cultural thing. I'm rather old and don't see a point in sitting at my computer transforming a CD rip into a "video" and putting that on youtube.
        If you are interested in music try mixter (google, not sure how it is spelled) ... lots of actually new music, often under cc license or completely free.

    • Re:Infringer? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by eksith (2776419) on Friday July 05, 2013 @01:39PM (#44196879) Homepage

      But that's exactly how I've discovered so many artists (many of whom have been playing for years) that I enjoy to this day. Yes, it's just a stupid screensaver, for all intents and purposes, but it exposed me to something I can enjoy. I went out and searched for it. Bought the thing. Play it at home and at work. All thanks to a screensaver.

      This really boils down to what exactly "holding" means in the digital age of intangible property. Music (and text, by and large) is as intangible as the emotions they illicit. So what does "holding" mean? And how does this death-grip affect future triggers of emotion?

      • Elicit, not illicit. The meanings are very different.

    • Also I don't feel the need to add a screensaver to an old song and upload that to a MOVIE SITE.

      You say screensaver, I say transformative addition to the original art as a home-made music video (I wonder if that'll legally clear me to monitize the work of others on youtube)...

      • Well, I hate it to click on a youtube video to realize it is a slide show of photos or a still video of one picture.

        • by sdoca (1225022)
          I go to youtube when I've heard a snippet of song (usually in movie trailers, tv shows etc.) and want to hear the whole thing to see if I like it. I don't really care what's the visual is, I just want to hear the music. If I like it, I usually research other music by the same artist and that often involves listening to other youtube videos.
    • Re:Infringer? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by jellomizer (103300) on Friday July 05, 2013 @02:12PM (#44197281)

      Like many things their needs to be the correct balance.
      We need Patients and Copyrights however they need to be sure that they they are fare enough for the content creators to get their due for their work, but not so restrictive that it restricts innovation and free speech.

      • by sdoca (1225022)

        Like many things their needs to be the correct balance. We need Patents and Copyrights...

        FTFY

        • by xigxag (167441)

          Patience and Copyrights, more like, if you're expecting anything to ever enter the public domain again.

          • by sdoca (1225022)
            Although I think the poster really intended to write "patents", I see where "patience" is also necessary. :)
      • "Like many things their needs to be the correct balance."

        Well said.

        The headline here is incorrect. It isn't copyright that's making titles disappear. It's the extremes of copyright that the government has allowed.

        The fact that a system is subject to abuse (like forever copyrights) does not mean the system itself is a bad one. What's bad are the a**holes who have abused that system. (I'm looking at you, "content owners", and Congress.)

        • "Like many things their needs to be the correct balance."

          Well said.

          The headline here is incorrect. It isn't copyright that's making titles disappear. It's the extremes of copyright that the government has allowed.

          I was complaining to a friend of mine who is just starting his graduate studies at Uconn. I was complaining about the DHS warnings on movies. What does Home Land Security have to do with IP? I own over 4000 original DVDs and I paid for every one. I used to buy 33 and 45 RPM records when I was his age. My young friend informed me that his generation doesn't buy either movies or music. Generational difference. OK, so his generation pirates IP, what the hell has that got to do with Home Land Security?

          The fact that a system is subject to abuse (like forever copyrights) does not mean the system itself is a bad one. What's bad are the a**holes who have abused that system. (I'm looking at you, "content owners", and Congress.)

          • Your young friend is incorrect, and in fact is part of the problem.

            On average, today's young people spend more (in inflation-adjusted dollars) on music and movies than ever before.

            But there ARE some who don't.
      • by Kirth (183)

        I don't see where patents (what you probably meant) come into this debate. They don't have anything to do with "content creators".

        And besides, in contrast to copyright, there is an extremely strong case that patents are ONLY destructive and have no benefit to society at all. So throwing in patents there makes me (and actually just about anyone who ever did a scientific investigation on the patent system) need to disagree.

      • Do we really need patents and copyrights? Their purpose is to put more science and art in the public's hands. Secondary to that is seeing that creators get their due, which we try to do because we realize that they need to cover living expenses and a bit more in order to produce, and they need feedback on how good we think their work is, and monetary persuasion is especially effective at that. But patents and copyrights are only one means, and are very poor. Ironically, they work against their purpose,

    • by b4dc0d3r (1268512)

      You misread because of the terrible writing.

      YouTube helps maintain some level of access to old songs by allowing those possessing copies (primarily infringers) to communicate relatively costlessly with copyright owners to satisfy the market of potential listeners.'"

      The people uploading are infringing, and you can "communicate" with copyright owners by having YouTube identify your upload as protected, and give the copyright owner the option to profit or take it down DMCA style.

      The word "primarily" has no bus

  • Alternatively..... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    The ability to rapidly consume books and music using the internet contributes to shitty efforts being pushed out of the market at an proportionally
      rapid rate.

    • But the shitty copies only push to the top if better copies are not available. Look on IMDB at the people wanting a DVD of "Spenser for Hire." Some have paid over $100 for a crappy rip of an old VHS. No one would do that if there was a good copy available.
      • by TWiTfan (2887093)

        "Spenser for Hire" isn't available on DVD?!?!?

        • by jfengel (409917)

          Baffling, ain't it? It's free money. Somebody puts in an afternoon's worth of work, presses copies for next to nothing, and millions of dollars will come rolling in.

          Usually when they're not doing that it's because one of the contracts wasn't clear. They didn't anticipate release of it when they negotiated the contracts, and they don't want to get sued. Unlike banging out a copy, negotiating a contract is work. Lawyer work, at multiple hundreds of dollar per hour.

          A good case in point is WKRP in Cincinnati, w

        • WKRP isn't either - at least not in its original form. The producers of the show only licensed the music for television broadcast, not for VHS or DVD sales. So...
          • by Rockoon (1252108)
            Too bad, WKRP's Thanksgiving special was one of the most hilarious things ever witnessed on broadcast television.
      • I don't think he was talking about the quality of copies, but rather the inherent merits of the works themselves.

        But what do I know, I can actually read.

    • by icebike (68054) on Friday July 05, 2013 @05:24PM (#44199393)

      The ability to rapidly consume books and music using the internet contributes to shitty efforts being pushed out of the market at an proportionally

        rapid rate.

      There was always shitty music and shitty books. You find the latter in every honkytonk in north america, and every pub in europe. The books, well you never really saw any of that stuff.

      We had gate keepers you see. The publishers and recording industry were filtering what we were allowed to hear and read.
      Somewhere along the way their tastes were separated from ours. Their aim became simply to make money, and artistry and talent be damned.

      We don't need that any more. We have better tools.

      But if their filters still suit you, you can still use them. Just keep reading and listening to the best seller lists and you will have the same benefit of filtration working for you. But don't complain when all there is to read is yet another vapid Vampire story and the only instruments you ever hear are guitars and drums.

      • There was always shitty music and shitty books. You find the latter in every honkytonk in north america, and every pub in europe. The books, well you never really saw any of that stuff.

        Sure you did. It was called pulp magazines.

  • by SerenelyHotPest (2970223) on Friday July 05, 2013 @01:58PM (#44197105)
    It seems to me that one of the most compelling arguments against the status quo of our IP law is how it ephemerizes most works by preventing their circulation and their movement from one format to another. If the owner of the distribution rights of the works is uninterested in moving a work, say, from a vinyl record to a CD, then the only way to find the work on CD is to break the law--even if the person interested would be willing to spend money for the work. When you add in constraints like the fact that most records are no longer being pressed, you see that the effective "half-life" of the average work is vanishingly short. What this effectively means is that only the most popular (or most lucrative) works make the format transition for any new format. All the other works are left to more or less disappear. Even with my mediocre understanding of the history of art and culture, I am worried by what this means in the long-run. What percentage of the greatest books, albums, movies, games, etc. of the 20 and 21st centuries will be available to future generations? Unless you define these to be those works that enjoyed the most commercial support, I'd say a slim minority. Remember that many of the most celebrated works of earlier eras languished in non-recognition for the lifetimes of their owners--often longer. Shouldn't we be doing more to plan for the protection of our cultural treasures--the things that should someday belong to everyone? We don't know what will and won't be considered a cultural treasure in a hundred years, but the myopia of large media companies coupled with the scarcity created by IP law means that almost all contenders in that hypothetical contest would be disqualified.
    • by jc42 (318812)

      It seems to me that one of the most compelling arguments against the status quo of our IP law is how it ephemerizes most works by preventing their circulation and their movement from one format to another. If the owner of the distribution rights of the works is uninterested in moving a work, say, from a vinyl record to a CD, then the only way to find the work on CD is to break the law--even if the person interested would be willing to spend money for the work. ... What this effectively means is that only the most popular (or most lucrative) works make the format transition for any new format.

      Except that this isn't really true for the last such transition, to online MP3s. Those can be created very easily by the musicians themselves (or by a techie friend). I've been involved in a lot of those, which are typically handed out free, just hoping for listeners.

      What often happens then is that various listeners post comments on the recordings, saying what they liked and didn't like. After a while, a group has collected many such comments, and decides to get together and re-record some of them, in

  • but of course (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Laxori666 (748529) on Friday July 05, 2013 @02:04PM (#44197181) Homepage
    Hopefully this will help put to rest the notion that copyright & patents & other intellectual property help to *promote* works, and bring about the understanding that all they really accomplish is to *limit* works (as all they do is make it illegal to produce & use works under certain circumstances).
    • It's the duration that's problematic here. Things from the 1950s are, by and large, no longer valuable enough to exploit copyright for, but more recent things are, and continue to be published. We should target copyright dates so that things enter the public domain when approximately 75% of a given medium are no longer on the marketplace. For movies, that's probably about 30ish years.

      • On the other hand, keeping works that are an author's old shame [tvtropes.org] under wraps might help keep those works from tarnishing the reputation of the same author's newer works. Case in point: Disney's Song of the South.
        • by sjames (1099)

          Or The Nutcracker Suite.

          Or for that matter, the version of ET featuring goons with guns or the Star Wars where Han shot first.

          Copyright is supposed to increase the availability of a work. The "Disney Vault" should never be supported by copyright.

          • by Laxori666 (748529)
            "Copyright is supposed to increase the availability of a work." No, all copyright does is restrict a work from being presented, transmitted, reproduced, displayed, etc., in certain circumstances. How would that ever increase the availability of a work?
            • by sjames (1099)

              That *IS* the one and only legitimate purpose for copyright according to the Constitution.

              • by xigxag (167441)

                The reason given in the US Constitution is, "[t]o promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries."

                IOW, "to promote progress" is the reason given. Not to "increase the availability of a work." You can argue that the latter implies the former, if you wish, but in the US Supreme Court, you will lose that argument. It's been definitively established that the right to first publication trum

                • by sjames (1099)

                  It's not terribly hard to argue that a discovery or writing kept from the public will not contribute to any sort of progress.

                  • Is it easy to argue that a work that never gets created (because there's no incentive to do so) contributes to progress?

                    • by sjames (1099)

                      Not quite as easy because it's harder to show motive and there is a history of people creating things just because they enjoy creating. However, where did you get the idea I advocate no incentive?

                      I would favor a shorter copyright with a publish or perish clause, firm first sale, and mandatory escrow if an extension is granted.

                    • People have bills to pay. Throughout most of history, those who created were largely restricted to the independently wealthy or those that were in hock to them.

                      Wouldn't it be awesome if all our literature was produced by Paris Hilton and/or under the influence of Rupert Murdoch.

                    • by sjames (1099)

                      AGAIN, where did you get the idea (directly contrary to what I said) that I advocate no incentive?

                • by sjames (1099)

                  Sorry to double reply, but WRT the Supreme Court case, anything in 'The Disney Vault" has long ago exhausted first publication.

                  • by xigxag (167441)

                    Again, it's not that I don't agree with you in principle, it's that the Supreme Court has closed the door on the "Limited Times" argument, not only in the infamous Eldred v. Ashcroft decision, but also in denying certiorari to the follow-up Kahle v. Gonzales [findlaw.com] 9th circuit decision. That's not to say that Congress can't pass an orphan works bill, hopefully it can and will one day, but trying to achieve that outcome through a Constitutional challenge is a non-starter.

                    • by sjames (1099)

                      I am aware that Congress is bought by Disney and the Supreme court is stacked with pro corporatists. That doesn't make what's being done legal, moral, or ethical, it just makes it crooked.

                    • I am aware that Congress is bought by Disney and the Supreme court is stacked with pro corporatists. That doesn't make what's being done legal, moral, or ethical, it just makes it crooked.

                      The justices of the Supreme Court are required to swear oaths to uphold the Constitution. Historically speaking, had the Founding Fathers been prepared to trust the Supreme Court (or for that matter, any of the entities defined in the pre-"Bill of Rights" portion of the Constitution, taken individually or collectively), there would have been no need for a Bill of Rights. We not only have a Bill of Rights, we have an open-ended Bill of Rights (James Madison implemented this by means of the 9th and 10th Ame

                • It's been definitively established that the right to first publication trumps the right of the public to the availability of a work.

                  First publication, yes. But the work I'm talking about was first published over half a century ago.

        • On the other hand, keeping works that are an author's old shame [tvtropes.org] under wraps might help keep those works from tarnishing the reputation of the same author's newer works. Case in point: Disney's Song of the South.

          Having this would be extremely useful to teach courses on cultural history.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cultural_history [wikipedia.org]

          Similarly, it would be useful to have access to the Popeye cartoons referring to "Alice the Jeep", as well as the various Bugs Bunny cartoons of the WWII era, which have been censored in the name of political correctness.

          In fact I would say that having this information available is critical to future cultural historians undestanding of our current era, and the whole "Political Correctness

        • I've seen Song of the South. I didn't really see anything wrong with it. It's not like L'il Rascals, where, on a hot day, Stymie wipes his brow and then flicks the sweat off of his hand, and it leaves black marks on the wall.
        • by kermidge (2221646)

          Applying cultural/politically-correct/moral 20/20 hindsight to earlier works does not strike me as useful criterion for deciding whether to allow the preservation and dissemination of those works. On its merits alone, "Song of the South" is a good piece of work. Using your filter, much of Twain would be prohibited, for instance, as would many of the Doris Day style of romantic comedy films from the Fifties. Other examples abound.

          • by tepples (727027)

            Applying cultural/politically-correct/moral 20/20 hindsight to earlier works does not strike me as useful criterion for deciding whether to allow the preservation and dissemination of those works.

            Yet copyright gives Disney the power to use exactly this criterion.

            • by kermidge (2221646)

              Wonderful, ain't it? The only thing Disney has in common with the one I grew up with is the name.

              I'm more'n ready to have the whole system go back to a flat seven years for everything - and none for anything that got public monies.

    • The phenomenon described here has nothing to do with patents. Every single US patent issued since the beginning of the Republic is available, for free. It is only the last 20 years that have any restrictions on practicing the patent, and a lot of these are available because the owner has not paid the maintenance fees.

      Patents themselves are not covered by copyright, so they are free to be duplicated and passed around. There is also a research exemption that allows you to (usually) conduct R&D on the inve

  • What is this saying? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by BlueMonk (101716) <BlueMonkMN@gmail.com> on Friday July 05, 2013 @02:19PM (#44197367) Homepage
    Is my sleep deprivation impacting my ability to comprehend what is being said here, or are others having trouble understanding what is being said in this article/abstract too? I understand the headline, but I can't quite understand how the words in the article support that simple statement. People who own older copyrighted material can exchange it more freely and easily and can communicate with copyright owners and... what? I'm really missing some point here. It looks like gobbledygook generated by a random thesis generator to me.
    • Yeah, I thought the "article" made no sense at first. The thing is, it's actually just an abstract of a much longer academic paper, and while the abstract may seem poorly written, the full text makes much more sense. The full paper is freely downloadable at that same link, and explains things much more clearly.
    • by b4dc0d3r (1268512)

      It's saying that because out-of-copyright materials are not protected by copyright, they can be re-printed for a lot less. When Amazon adds mark-ups, they can add more to out-of-copyright products and still undercut copyright protected works, making them more valuable even if there is a limited market.

      So this is what the study shows: Amazon prefers to sell non-copyright works. Also, Amazon is a good indicator of availability of all works. Also, Paul J. Heald seems to have a lot more talent for weasel wor

      • by srmalloy (263556)

        I think that there should be a comparable study looking at e-books. There is a phenomenon in publishing referred to as "compression of the midlist". This is characterized by the advances and print runs for "midlist" authors -- authors whose books sell steadily, but not quickly -- getting smaller as publishers look to maximize the return on their investment. A large print run of a book by, say, Steven King will be quickly shipped to retailers in box lots, while a smaller print run of a book by Spider Robinso

        • by thejynxed (831517)

          The problem is, there are quite a few publishers who absolutely refuse to print some major titles to e-book format. This would skew the market study heavily.

    • by pbjones (315127)

      It's the new /. Effect, publish a 'story' that on vaguely relates to the title.

  • Use it or lose it (Score:5, Interesting)

    by neghvar1 (1705616) on Friday July 05, 2013 @02:43PM (#44197675)
    I really wish we had a "Use it or Lose it" clause in our copyright laws. After X number of years of the product not being marketed, it falls into public domain. Software for even shorter periods.
    • I really wish we had a "Use it or Lose it" clause in our copyright laws. After X number of years of the product not being marketed, it falls into public domain. Software for even shorter periods.

      Presumably by "being marketed" you mean "being sold" or something similar: just advertising something should not be enough to keep the copyright. Even with "being sold" we would need to put some thought into specifying what that means, or unscrupulous copyright holders would get their buddies to "buy" a copy with money the copyright holder lends to them or similar nonsense. But, given the need to work through some details, this is definitely a good idea.

      Another possibility would be to give the first optio

      • by neghvar1 (1705616)
        Ok, not marketed. unavailable for the public to legally purchase not accessible. cannot access or use with any modern technology (requires an obsolete and no longer available tech) not developed. Company puts little or no effort into improving or maintaining it. not supported. No customer support.
  • Once a market is semi-saturated with a specific copyrighted work, further copies for that work are discontinued so that new works can semi-saturate a market until a new generation (the copyright holders hoping that the media has changed or deteriorated since then).
    • by neghvar1 (1705616)
      That's why I'd like to see a use it or lose it clause. When people demand a product but the rights holder refuses to release the product, consumers will then find some other way to acquire the product they want. Usually download it illegally. Is the rights holder then indirectly promoting piracy of their own product? Same applies to old PC and console games, but many rights owners are re-releasing their old products via digital downloads or passing on the marketing responsibilities to another company
  • The data show two separate trends. For in-copyright books, the publisher's initial printing sells out and when sales drop off (for paper editions) the publisher stops printing more copies. Readers buy used copies, easily available from Amazon, Alibris, etc., which have taken over the market for older books, so eventually no new copies are available. If lots of copies were printed, the volume of used books is large and copies are cheap. If few were printed and more people want them, used copies are hard to
  • Missing from Amazon and unavailable are two very different things.

  • Sound recordings made before the 1970's are not protected by federal copyright law.
  • by dpbsmith (263124) on Friday July 05, 2013 @04:58PM (#44199189) Homepage

    Tell me about it. I have been trying fruitlessly for over ten years to find someone capable of giving me permission to post a chapter of a 1955 novel, The Gadget Maker, by one Maxwell Griffith. It has not been reprinted since a 1956 paperback. It very obviously has no commercial value left in it. But if you happen to be an MIT alumnus, you would be fascinated to read the chapter describing the protagonist's years at MIT during the 1940s. It's a wonderful picture of a milieu--and it's not as if there were all that many novels set on the MIT campus! (The protagonist applies for admission to the aeronautical engineering program, interviews with the department head, expecting to be asked why he loves aeronautics--and finds that the department head's only real concern is to make sure that he isn't Jewish).

    It's under copyright. The copyright was properly renewed in 1982. It has been a long, difficult journey--publishers basically do not take any responsibility for anything about old books, and the novel was published by Lippincott, which was taken over by medical-book publisher William & Wilkins, which acquired all Lippincott's medical books claims to have no records of Lippincott's fiction. No record at the Author's Guild, no leads through the MIT Alumni Association. Where the story stands at the moment is that I put up a sort of shout-out on my website, and Maxwell Griffith's son contacted me--and said he thought it was OK but that he needed to check with his two sisters. That was over a year ago and I've heard nothing... I've just emailed him again and perhaps there will finally be a resolution.

    It's a perfect example of a cultural loss. There are thousands of books out there that are of intense interest to a few hundred people, or more, that under the old copyright laws would have been long out of copyright, but now are locked up--and you cannot find the person with the key. Thousands of books of cultural but no commercial value are being sacrificed in order to protect a tiny handful that are still worth big money.

    • by s7uar7 (746699)
      If it's not there already then there needs to be a 'reasonable endeavour' clause. If you can show that you've gone out of your way to track down a copyright owner without success - and it certainly sounds as if you have - then you should be allowed to publish and have a defence against any action should the copyright holder suddenly appear. I suppose the only difficulty would be defining what constitutes reasonable endeavour.
    • by kermidge (2221646)

      That is one sad story. Multiply by.... It shouldn't be a matter of that, though. All those works should simply be public domain.

  • The book that has been in print for 150 years will likely remain in print for the next 150 years:

    Literary classics. Historical documents.
    Foundational texts in the law, sciences, engineering and so on. In medicine, for example, you have the first publication of Gray's Anatomy.

    The Compromise of 1850 begins this era in the US, the firing of Fort Sumter ends it.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    There are certainly big, big issues around copyright. But this study tells us nothing useful about them.

    Firstly the sample size is ridiculously small, and far too small to generalise from.

    Secondly anyone who works in publishing knows that books have a short shelf life. This is not a copyright issue, this is a side-effect of print and distribution. Basically it costs a ton of money to print a book and a not much smaller ton of money to warehouse it. So for paper print, the industry has evolved - or possibly

    • by kermidge (2221646)

      It's the publish and return policy I take issue with: the number of works for which there is no choice for one to decide whether to buy and read because those works no longer exist, unless one should chance to find it in a re-sale shop. Wider market choice is precluded.

  • A great example of this problem.
    Book was written by Sun Tzu in the second century BC and according to wikipedia translated to french in 1772.
    Take a quick look at Amazon and see how many copies are for sale. All are "translated by" but what is the copywrite on a translation of something clearly in the public domain?
    Is this a public domain -> copywrite thing at work?
  • by Anonymous Coward

    I've seen the same process used to shut down distribution of various programming outside its home market. Copyright is more or less used to region-lock content for whatever reason.

    I follow a few animes, and it seems that once shows which aren't officially distributed outdide of Japan start to become popular outside of the country - the companies will do their damnest to shut it down. Its disappointing because all the good quality video and subs tend to go away from streaming and aggregator sites where they'

  • by cardpuncher (713057) on Saturday July 06, 2013 @08:07AM (#44202551)

    I do a bit of small-time music arranging, for choirs and so forth. I can't legitimately make publicly available any of that work for others to use if the original subject is still under copyright, even if I don't get (or don't want) any personal compensation and even though any performance would still result in the original copyright holder getting any appropriate revenue via one of the collection bodies.

    If you look through the published music, other than classical music (and even there you really need to find old editions to be safe - there may be no copyright on Mozart but there sure is copyright on the "edited" notation), available to amateur music groups you'll find a lot of folk tunes and a relatively small selection of more modern standards that are sufficiently popular to justify the effort of licensing. There's a whole load of neglected older music that deserves a wider airing but isn't going to get it - it could become popular by being shared and consequently have value, but in the absence of sharing will be unheard and valueless.

  • Just a quick thought, Do you not suppose that the difference on the books it's that Amazon can charge money for the non copywritten books which they are getting for free most likely (and should be free to the consumer) but have to pay someone to sell copywritten books? Isn't that pre-business 101?
  • I despise BMI and ASCAP because of how they funnel money to themselves and to already rich artists.
    However, just yesterday while talking with a friend about the internet sales tax, I realized there is no other solution.

    There are 6,000 different taxing districts in the USA with different taxes on different varieties of goods. Some tax food, some don't, some tax processed food, but not raw food, some classify foods differently. You cannot track all those categories of goods against all those different tax
  • This is precisely why availability should be a qualifier to being protected.
    There is no logical reason why anything, in this digital age, should ever go out of print.
    Not proud of it (i.e. George Lucas and the Star Wars Holiday Special)? Tough shit. Wash your hands of it by releasing it into the public domain.
    Don't think it's worth the cost of pressing the discs? Fine. Sell me the fucking .iso and covers to print, but at a reasonable price, as you weren't going to sell it anyways.
    • by volmtech (769154)
      Heard it from the authors mouth. Jerry Purnelle speaking at a forum in Jacksonville, Fl at Dream Con. Some works are left out of print until a new audience develops. Then with a marking push the work is re-released. He said some well meaning person will come up to him and say ," I saw this great story was out of print so to give younger readers a taste I put it online for you." So there goes any chance of the release having any audience left. fla

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