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EFF Co-founder Faces Copyright Heavyweights At EG8

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 25, 2011 @08:53AM (#36237908)

    The one who think children who download movies should have their internet rights revoked, but doesn't see anything wrong with a cineast raping a 13 year old girl ? Glad he has his priorities straight.

    • by Richard_at_work (517087) <<richardprice> <at> <gmail.com>> on Wednesday May 25, 2011 @09:24AM (#36238108)

      It doesn't matter what Mitterrand thinks of Polanski's case, Polanski is a French citizen and thus is protected from extradition from his country - Mitterrand couldn't do anything short of changing the law...

      And we all know the shit storm that changing laws to suit the US causes here on Slashdot...

      • by Pieroxy (222434)

        Mitterrand couldn't do anything short of changing the law...

        Still, he didn't have to sympathize with Polanski. What a dumbass. The guy is a the head of the ministry of culture... And he doesn't know squat about the net or information as a whole. And what does culture produces exactly?

        Just like the rest of them. We need new politicians.

        • We need new politicians.

          Then quit reelecting the old ones! DUH! And stop the damn whining about how you have 'no choice'.

          • by Pieroxy (222434)

            The problem is that political stability is a given for most people these days. They're not hungry anymore, so why bother?

            We'll keep electing the same cretins until something really bad happens. Then, we'll wake up, but it'll be too late.

            In the meantime, we're whining. What else can we do? Build a protest website?

        • by NoSig (1919688)
          Since he can't do anything else, the only way he can hide the fact that he isn't calling the shots on the situation is to pretend that the only thing he can do is actually what he wants to do. People really do that kind of thing, especially people who crave power so extremely that they do what it takes to become the political head of a country.
      • by Pieroxy (222434)

        He did something illegal in the country he was in. Period. This has nothing to do with rape, or with anything else really.

        He did something illegal, and he bloody well knew it was illegal. I mean, it's illegal in most countries around the world to rape a woman. Even more to rape a child.

        He then escaped the country to escape the charges, because facing his own crime was too much for him. Two counts so far: A criminal and a coward.

        Tourism is fine. Sex tourism is generally considered borderline.

        • by erroneus (253617)

          That's the thing about jurisdictions and the justice game. There are limits on borders and time and on and on. He "escaped." This means he won. It's really that simple.

          This is an essential part of justice, believe it or not. We have statues of limitations for a lot of reasons and they are of general benefit to everyone. He was successful in "getting away" and we should applaud him for it. And if you can't find it within yourself to applaud it, then place blame where it belongs -- the people or system

          • by Pieroxy (222434)

            That's the thing about jurisdictions and the justice game. There are limits on borders and time and on and on. He "escaped." This means he won. It's really that simple.

            This is an essential part of justice, believe it or not. We have statues of limitations for a lot of reasons and they are of general benefit to everyone. He was successful in "getting away" and we should applaud him for it. And if you can't find it within yourself to applaud it, then place blame where it belongs -- the people or system who failed to apprehend him properly and quickly when they had the chance... or whatever the cause. But if you dare think about taking away the limitations on justice, then you will find that an "unlimited justice system" will bring down hell on all.

            Then he travelled to switzerland, leaving his "safe heaven" and he got arrested. Again, that's life. No complaining needed. No "unlimited justice system". Nothing of the sort. What are you talking about? Who wants to abolish the limitations of justice?

          • by Darinbob (1142669)

            I think an important issue here is not what Polanski did, but that so many people went out of their way to defend him merely because he's a famous auteur. Normal people go to jail, creative geniuses can do what they want, it's a double standard. People were treating him like some sort of persecuted political refugee.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by umghhh (965931)
      Note that while you bashing Polanski you miss out on the fact that alleged rape victim does not mind Mr Polanski and the whole issue was probably cause by hysterical and publicity hungry public attorneys in a country where an orals sex between two consenting individuals may lead to a political tremors. This said Mitterand is an asshole there is no question about it.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        You're completely uninformed. The victim either forgiving him or deciding to leave the event behind is not the same thing as her rescinding her previous testimony. http://www.radaronline.com/sites/default/files/RomanPolanskiTranscripts.pdf See p.95, p96 to see that in her testimony, she denies having given consent.

      • according to testimony, on arriving home the girl said nothing to her parents about Polanski but told her boyfriend over the phone. her mother was listening in on the second line, and called the police.

    • by mikael_j (106439)

      I won't try to defend Polanski having a sex with/raping/whatever a 13 year old girl. I will however ask you and those modding you up to actually read about the specifics about the case.

      In the words of the girl years later: "he had sex with me. He wasn’t hurting me and he wasn’t forceful or mean or anything like that, and really I just tried to let him get it over with."

      Oh, and of course about the legal quagmire that resulted in him fleeing the US (once again, the girl): "My views as a victim, my

    • by gpuk (712102)

      Apparently Frederic Mitterrand is in to having extra-marital sex with asian boys according to this Bloomberg piece: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-05-23/strauss-kahn-new-york-case-may-curb-libertine-ways-of-powerful-french-men.html [bloomberg.com]

      I'm not surprised he doesn't have a problem with Roman Polanski.

    • by JAlexoi (1085785)
      Well... It's obvious! He hates children... I'm thinking too many flights with infants with stupid parents.
  • I think that calm of Mitterand's was the lull before the storm. Good!

  • FIGHT!

    French President Nicolas Sarkozy called repeatedly for Internet regulation and more copyright protection.....

    I really, really hate these guys. They are censoring our right to free expression of ideas, and hiding it behind copyright and child "protection".

    Of course it's really all about control of the masses, in order to silent dissent. Last "great idea" I heard coming out of the US District of Chaos is that citizens will be required to get licenses to log on and speak their minds. Hopefully this idea dies immediately.

    • by Hazel Bergeron (2015538) on Wednesday May 25, 2011 @09:10AM (#36238008) Journal

      Don't hate the representative - hate the voter.

      Modern representative democracy is the biggest exercise in responsibility denial.

      Did your colleague vote Sarkozy? Explain to him what he's responsible for. Let him learn what he has done, and he may change.

      • Blame FPTP (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Nicolas MONNET (4727) <nicoaltiva@gmail . c om> on Wednesday May 25, 2011 @09:17AM (#36238068) Journal

        First-past-the-post voting systems are a parody of democracy, and that's how conservative, or more accurately fascists like Sarkozy get their "majority."

        • FPTP is awful, yes.

          It doesn't help that the UK government is now going to pretend that we want FPTP, following a recent FPTP vs AV referendum. (AV is also a joke, nonsensically giving more weight to the secondary choices of the voters of the less popular parties - but AV would never have won out as no-one wanted it anyway.)

          • by mjwalshe (1680392)
            no people voted against AV to kick the LibDems for joining the condem coalition
            • Indeed, some did. But a proper voting system is more important than punishing that cunt Clegg. If the option for PR had been there then everyone should have taken it regardless - and make use of it to vote for a new breed of minor Parties instead of the now destroyed LD (precisely what Clegg would not have wanted).

        • Calling people fascist because of their copyright stance ? Come on.

          And copyright legislation is about the free expression of other's ideas. It has nothing to do with freedom of speech.

          Besides, France's left is as pro-copyright as Sarkozy or Mitterand, easily. You see when it comes to destroying actual freedom of speech, not the "right" to download free porn, it's the left that's championing arresting people for promoting political ideas on blogs.

      • by e70838 (976799) on Wednesday May 25, 2011 @09:30AM (#36238150)
        I am a french voter. There was almost no alternative to Sarkozy and it was not so predictable that Sarkozy would be so terrible.
        By putting DSK in jail, you have removed the most promising candidate for next election.
        I promise I will not vote for Sarkozy even if that means voting for the worst asshole.
        • I assumed Sarkozy asked the Americans nicely to pull an Assange on DSK.

          "Suicide" has gone out of fashion since David Kelly, and, well, we know Mitterrand's feelings on relations with kids, so straight adult sexual assault is the choice for getting rid of your opposition these days.

        • I promise I will not vote for Sarkozy even if that means voting for the worst asshole.

          Yeah, that makes a lot of sense.[/sarcasm]

          Yet again a demonstration of how it's dumb voting on people rather than being allowed to vote more directly on issues/policies. This Sarkozy guy may be great apart from the copyright issue. I don't know, nor do I really care.. I don't see the point getting involved in a system where some things are going to be shit even if I was the only voter.

        • by NeutronCowboy (896098) on Wednesday May 25, 2011 @10:15AM (#36238490)

          Including Marine Le Pen? That's how we got her dad into the second round, you know....

        • by Eil (82413)

          By putting DSK in jail, you have removed the most promising candidate for next election.

          If an (attempted) rapist was the "most promising" candidate, France is in even worse shape than I thought.

      • by LilGuy (150110) on Wednesday May 25, 2011 @09:46AM (#36238254)

        This is the laziest response to the age-old problem of representation in government. "Well the people voted for X."

        Who exactly votes for the people who get to run for office? Nobody? I wouldn't say that. Money votes for the initial candidates. That money comes from industry. The people who run are those who can best afford to run, and what that means is they are connected enough throughout industry and politics to be a viable option. This SEVERELY limits who the people will ultimately be ABLE to vote for, with the caveat that every single candidate has an agenda of their own that does not reflect the will of the people. Of course once the choices are sufficiently narrowed down for the people, and a single candidate is "elected", that candidate then owes much to their initial benefactors.

        The word "democracy" as the world is wont to use it is a farce and nefarious doublespeak at best.

        • Rather than whining about the representative, I'm suggesting that it is every citizen's responsibility to tackle everyone who voted for him (or to justify to their fellow citizens their vote for him).

          How this is "lazy" I cannot imagine.

        • by peragrin (659227)

          In the USA a party chooses by voting on who gets into the major ballots(minor ballots are more open).

          The problem is in running a national level ad campaign is very expensive. So you not only have to ideology backers but money backers. Ross Perot showed us that only the stupid rich can afford it on their own, and the stupid rich are generally stupid about the wide variety of ideas needed to govern a mob.

          Remember it isn't the best ideas that make it out but the best negotiators who can comprise their ideas

      • by Pieroxy (222434)

        The thing is, you don't vote for an individual idea, you vote for a whole bunch of ideas. Obviously you don't agree with 100% of the program of the guy you vote for.

        So what do you propose? Who would be "less stupid" than Sarkozy on this subject? Marine Le Pen?

        • If you believe that no candidates are worth voting for, less stupid would be to spoil your ballot paper, writing on it what you actually want.

          Ten million people writing the same thing will be noticed - not least by fellow citizens as they realise they are not alone - even if it doesn't affect the immediate outcome in law. Sometimes you have to act directly. See also a lot of the Arab world and now Spain.

          • by Pieroxy (222434)

            The thing is, everyone will find something objectionable to every presidential candidate. So what you are proposing (if followed by the population) would amouunt to have everyone vote blank. So what you are proposing is that the government should step down permanently. Basically, you are saying that what we know as "democracy" is worthless.

            Fine. We are on some agreement there.

            What you don't say is what you would propose to replace the current system... Care to elaborate?

    • Of course it's really all about control of the masses, in order to silent dissent.

      Of course! Sarkozy and Conroy are plotting to destroy free speech, complete their diabolical mind-controlling machine, and take over the world with the help of all the rest of the politicians, who have only been pretended for multiple generations to be ineffectual, petty political backstabbers in order to fool the masses into believing their freedoms are safe! Why even spend the slightest bit of thought on it when it is so obv

    • by jonwil (467024)

      Yep, its all about control.
      Before Napster, YouTube, BitTorrent etc came along, the only way to get entertainment content distributed to the masses was to go through a big media company with the capability to distribute that content.
      Same with news, if you wanted news you had to switch on CNN or Fox or NBC or whatever. Or go to one of the big news sites (also owned by CNN or Fox or NBC or whatever). Or you could read a newspaper (or visit a newspaper website). But now thanks to social media and other sources,

  • Excellent (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DrgnDancer (137700) on Wednesday May 25, 2011 @09:08AM (#36237988) Homepage

    I rather doubt I agree with everything Mr. Barlow said, even from the brief summary of his comments in the article I saw several statements that I might have argued with. I tend to be a moderate on this issue, neither favoring the total or near total evisceration of IP laws that some favor, nor the equally ridiculous calls from industry to expand them to the point that all content becomes immutable and unusable. Never the less, seeing this guy shake up the cozy little panel of "experts" makes me very happy. Nothing is going to change as long as the attitude that "the ground rules are all agreed on" is there. Until people realize that that there even is a another side in this debate, that there are radical content freedom people sitting opposite the radical content protection people, the middle ground can't be found.

    • Re:Excellent (Score:5, Informative)

      by MoonBuggy (611105) on Wednesday May 25, 2011 @09:17AM (#36238066) Journal

      Never the less, seeing this guy shake up the cozy little panel of "experts" makes me very happy.

      I quite agree. I think that as a famous musician, and thus as one of the very people that his opponents on the panel claim to protect, he was superbly placed to make his points. When all the rhetoric centres around promoting the arts, it's perfect to have a set of businessmen talking about it in the abstract, and then to have an actual artist come in with this:

      I may be one of very few people in this room who actually makes his living personally by creating what these gentlemen are pleased to call "intellectual property."

      He added that he was more interested in talking about "incentivizing creativity by people who create things, and not large institutions who prey on them and have for years."

      If the big media guys want the public on their side, they'll have to do so by convincing us that syphoning money into the middle-men is a good idea, because I don't think the "protecting the artists" façade can hold for that much longer.

    • Re:Excellent (Score:4, Insightful)

      by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Wednesday May 25, 2011 @09:57AM (#36238350)

      another side in this debate

      On the other hand, to even begin to satisfy the demands of the other side, the USA and Europe would need to seriously reform their economic policies. Copyrights, patents, and trademarks are a major export for these countries, and strengthening the laws around them helps to improve the value of those exports. If you want to stop strengthening the laws, then you need to start working on ways to increase exports from other areas of the economy. That means you need to compete with countries where labor is cheap -- and short of cheapening your own labor, I am not really sure how you do that.

      • by w_dragon (1802458)
        To compete with cheap labor you can either automate your processes to make your product cheaper still, which a lot of US manufacturers do, or you can work in industries where high quality is important and price is not so important. That second one is why Boeing is the largest exporter in the USA. Neither of those help people who don't want to learn a skill for a job, and keep learning for their entire careers, however.
        • I would count automation as a form of "cheapening labor" -- you do not need to pay a salary or benefits for a robot. As for quality work, unfortunately most people tend to buy low quality/low cost imports rather than high quality domestic products, which is the cause of our trade deficit in the first place. The issue here is not really domestic jobs as much as it is resolving the deficit in trade, and copyrights/patents/trademarks/trade secrets are a large part of the US strategy for closing that gap.
      • by MoonBuggy (611105)

        I don't see that 15 to 20 year copyright terms would significantly impact the export market. Is there really that much work from the early 90s still generating significant revenue? Is that income stream significant enough that it wouldn't be offset by the new derivative works created from the vast influx of public domain source material that could be created by a significant reduction in term length?

        • Is that income stream significant enough that it wouldn't be offset by the new derivative works created from the vast influx of public domain source material that could be created by a significant reduction in term length?

          Not when you are competing with derivative works from foreign markets, which may be legally imported. The goal here is to force other countries to trade: trade their labor for our entertainment and software.

      • It's fake value. It's the old idea of monopoly. Yes, monopolies are very valuable-- to the owners. To the rest of us, not so much. In this case, they are of negative value. It costs us a great deal to maintain these wholly artificial monopolies. We spend much money on enforcement, court cases, DRM, and other completely ineffective wastes of effort to hold back the tide. And it is used to screw over the artists, the very people these laws are supposed to enable! We pass up even more money in the form

      • You cheapen the labor by allowing an artificial recession in the form of a Sub-Prime pyramid scheme. The remaining middle class is slowly eroded, the children will be worse off than their parents, and with the demonization of unions, the labor rates can be forced down. We're about ten years away from the resurrection of robber barons and the company store.
    • The problem is that when you take a bunch of guys like the pro IP side, and then shove a guy that argues against any IP in the middle of it, all it does is justify their opinions and make them want to come down harder on the public.

      When two extremists argue, it doesn't move them towards the center. It tends to move them farther apart. You need centrists to move people toward each other.

    • by Darinbob (1142669)

      You can avoid the dangers of group think by having someone who disagrees. Even if no one changes their minds at least it has forced them to have an actual discussion.

  • by xclr8r (658786) on Wednesday May 25, 2011 @09:11AM (#36238018)
    But his refusal of invitation was shortsighted; he can put together some decent arguments occasionally. When you get an audience to air your viewpoints you take it. If it was due to scheduling conflicts then my apologies but I do not believe that to be the case.
    • by Pieroxy (222434)

      Refusing discussion if giving away your right to have one. It is stupid in every occasion.

    • by erroneus (253617)

      Perhaps there are other reasons he refused..? I feel strongly on the subject, but I would refuse mostly because I would probably look and sound like an idiot and would do more damage to the cause than anything the other side could say.

      (Not saying that Doctorow refused for the same reason I would, just that I would for that reason.)

      Still, now that this first thing has been done, it is time to build on it.

      There were people in the audience CHEERING. And these media industrialists heard it. They know now, fo

  • by chemicaldave (1776600) on Wednesday May 25, 2011 @09:11AM (#36238024)

    But [Barlow] accepted the invitation even as colleagues begged him not to go and activists like Cory Doctorow turned down invitations to the event, which was seen as an industry/government cabal bent on regulating the 'Net for its own ends. ... Barlow's biggest contribution to the e-G8 may have been the reminder that this illusion of calm is only possible in a setting where one screens out the dissenting voices—and that those voices are still raging outside.

    Well no wonder they don't think anything is wrong. When activists turn down invitations, they'll assume they're in the right.

    • Also, how is specifically inviting those "activists" to take part anything like "screening out dissenting voices"? Can't have it both ways.

      • Also, how is specifically inviting those "activists" to take part anything like "screening out dissenting voices"? Can't have it both ways.

        Go back and read the last two paragraphs of the linked article. The French Culture Minister expected this debate to be calm. But, it did not turn out to be calm because they did not screen out dissenting voices.

  • Mitterand had commented that copyright debates had grown so calm now that everyone agreed upon the ground rules

    It is surprisingly calm at home even when I have come back an hour later from the pub that I told my wife I would on a day when she was supposed to meet someone, as long as I stick my fingers in my ears and say "La La LA I'm not listening".

    I think M Mitterand is doing the same thing.

  • amusingly (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 25, 2011 @09:16AM (#36238058)

    the official eg8 site has taken down this exact section of the talk

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U0Nl2Xnmd5g

    • Hopefully that will generate a Streissand Effect.
    • Re:amusingly (Score:4, Interesting)

      by HaeMaker (221642) on Wednesday May 25, 2011 @12:04PM (#36239826) Homepage

      Perhaps this is why Cory Doctorow refused to speak. The contract he had to sign was too draconian to make a difference, and he assumed (correctly?) that they would just censor him from the record.

    • by Cederic (9623)

      The 90 seconds from 4m10 in that clip is a beautifully eloquent explanation of why the fight against draconian copyright legislation on the 'net is nothing to do with freeloading, piracy, "illegal" sharing.. it's to do with the future of the human race.

      Fuck illegal file sharing. Give me a free internet.

  • I'm glad John Perry Barlow had the balls to be a dissenting voice in that echo chamber, but equally disappointed that Cory Doctorow thought that his inattendance was some kind of principled stand. We need more dissenting voices in the middle of regulatory circle jerks like these.
    • by Rogerborg (306625)

      My impression of Doctorow is that he's got so used to preaching to the choir from within the cloisters of BoingBoing that he has lost the stomach for listening to dissenting voices.

      Rather what the eG8 is being accused of, now that I think about it.

      • ...within the cloisters of BoingBoing...

        I agree with your overall point, but this particular turn of phrase got stuck in my head as some allusion to an odd religious porn flick.

        Cheers,

  • Ground rules (Score:4, Insightful)

    by elrous0 (869638) * on Wednesday May 25, 2011 @09:28AM (#36238144)

    1. We're all here to represent our corporate campaign donors, not our citizens.
    2. There are no other rules.

  • by memnock (466995)

    " 'Speech has to be free but movies cost money,' he [Jim Gianopulos of 20th Century Fox] said, adding that he hears plenty about the need for new business models but doesn't see any actual alternative business models that generate the cash to fund big-budget films."

    I can't think of a big budget movie, at least recently, that was worth the budget. If this guy wants to be able to recoup his expenses and make a little profit, maybe he should start finding writers who don't need ridiculous budgets for crazy spe

    • If this guy wants to be able to recoup his expenses and make a little profit, maybe he should start finding audiences who don't need ridiculous budgets for crazy special effects with shitty stories.

      FTFY.

    • I can't think of a big budget movie, at least recently, that was worth the budget.

      Ahh yes, it's all crap. Why would anyone watch that schlock? Blah blah blah... Of course the fact that millions of people actually enjoyed some of those big budget movies and spent actual money to see them must mean they are all idiots who have no idea what interests them personally. Good thing we have you to tell us what is worth watching.

      [/sarcasm]

      If this guy wants to be able to recoup his expenses and make a little profit, maybe he should start finding writers who don't need ridiculous budgets for crazy special effects with shitty stories.

      Since they are recouping their expenses and making more than a little profit already, maybe they understand their business better than you do. Speaking for

      • by Hatta (162192)

        millions of people actually enjoyed some of those big budget movies and spent actual money to see them

        If millions of people actually wish to spend money on a film, the lack of copyright won't stop them.

        • If there was no copyright, then what's to stop a cinema from purchasing a single print, copying it to all 2000 of their locations, and then never paying another dime to the movie studio?

          Copyright is the only thing that gets them paid for anything more than the first copy. Its ridiculous to think that no copyright would result in the same revenues as today's copyright strict world provides.

          • by Hatta (162192)

            If there was no copyright, then what's to stop a cinema from purchasing a single print, copying it to all 2000 of their locations, and then never paying another dime to the movie studio?

            Contracts.

            Its ridiculous to think that no copyright would result in the same revenues as today's copyright strict world provides

            I don't think anyone claimed that. What IP hawks seem to be claiming, and IS ridiculous is that they are entitled to the same revenues in a post-scarcity world as they are in a scarce world.

            • Contracts? That's your answer? Contracts would be ridiculously simple to work around. "Oh gee, someone must have copied my print without my knowledge. Honestly, I did everything in my power to prevent this from happening". Copyright works because it puts the liability on the person that does the copying, not the person that signed the contract. And, without copyright law, there could be no enforcement if someone does copy the work. Then, once copied, that person never signed the contract and could no

    • by Hatta (162192)

      Avatar. Enormous budget and they made it back 10 fold. They didn't even need copyright protection to be profitable either, you can't copy a 3d imax projector.

      • No, but you can copy the digital movie itself, and if there's no copyright to enforce it then all movie theaters would do that, and never pay the studio.

    • by mjwalshe (1680392)
      IRON Man the LOTR Trilogy - personaly I don't find the Mike Leigh everythings grim on a council estate films not much fun even if they are cheap to make.
  • by anegg (1390659) on Wednesday May 25, 2011 @10:06AM (#36238418)

    An illuminating comment from one of the speakers quoted in the linked article was "We do not believe that you can remove 'content' from the Internet, and if you do this, what is there left? Basically, the Internet then is a set of empty pieces and boxes.” (Bertelsmann [Worldwide Media, I presume])

    The Internet is much more than just a content delivery network for the recording industry and the news media. As with many constructs, however, I fear that it is viewed by all with a subjective POV and for those media corporations, their subjective POV is focused on only their understanding of the value of the Internet. The danger inherent in this subjectivity is that very powerful interests can bring about controls and restrictions that are, from their subjective POV, very reasonable. However, these same controls and restrictions may be extremely harmful to other interests and considered unreasonable by those with a different subjective POV. Perhaps the best manner in which to argue against controls and restrictions being sought by the tunnel-visioned but powerful is to illuminate the full range of communications made possible by the Internet and to show how the proposed controls and restrictions would unreasonably have harmful effects on important aspects of that full range of communications.

    A separate, but related argument, is that the business opportunities that technology brings may also be taken away by newer technology. I'm thinking specifically here of the recording industries. Prior to the invention of audio and video recording technologies, there was no business in recording and selling the playback of audio and video "works of art" - all such works had to be performed by real-life artists every time the work was "sold" to an audience. Once a means to permanently store and playback recordings of these works existed, an industry formed to take advantage of it. I suspect that this industry directly destroyed the ability of many performance artists to make a living. Now new technology makes it possibly infeasible to spend a fortune making a recording of a work of art, because that recording can "escape" the confines within which it can be sold over and over again to recoup the initial investment. If true, live performances may make a comeback as big-budget productions dwindle. Why should the recording industry receive preferential treatment in order to maintain a business model that was created by technology and has perhaps now been destroyed by technology? Why shouldn't live performers regain their importance as the sun sets on the recording industry?

    It seems to me that since copyright and patent protections are created by society in order to benefit society (and don't exist as any "natural right"), there has to be an argument about the bettering of society more so under one scheme than another. Is there an argument to be made that society will be worse off without big budget motion pictures and albums from major recording studios, and hence we need to protect their business model even though these protections may wreak havoc on the free expression of ideas within society (another benefit to society, which is enhanced by rather than threatened by the Internet)?

    • I've been a big fan of live concerts since the 70's when I saw AC/DC play for free at the local footy oval. I'm not alone in my appreciation of live music, I recently went with my lady friend and 80,000 other people to a U2 concert. There were 3 such sold out concerts in my city with the cheapest tickets selling for ~$100 each. I have no idea what the profit margin is, but $70M+ in ticket sales over 3 nights is anything but a dead business model (for the artists).
      • by mjwalshe (1680392)
        so on in a million acts makes it big there are members of the funk brothers who died in poverty you know
        • so on in a million acts makes it big there are members of the funk brothers who died in poverty you know

          If someone has a unique talent and they sell it for a pitance when their fans would buy tickets to see them play, then who's fault is that? If they don't have any fans willing to buy tickets then what is their "unique talent"?

          • by mjwalshe (1680392)
            sorry are you deaf! have you not heard of James Jameson? from wikipedia "He was the uncredited bassist on most of Motown Records' hits in the 1960s and early 1970s (Motown did not list session musician credits on their releases until 1971), and he is now regarded as one of the most influential bass players in modern music history."

            Talk about unconscious incompetence.
    • by Hatta (162192) on Wednesday May 25, 2011 @12:15PM (#36239972) Journal

      An illuminating comment from one of the speakers quoted in the linked article was "We do not believe that you can remove 'content' from the Internet, and if you do this, what is there left? Basically, the Internet then is a set of empty pieces and boxes.â (Bertelsmann [Worldwide Media, I presume])

      This is a particularly devious phrase, relying on ambiguity of what 'content' is. By the most general definition, sure the internet is nothing without content. But in this sense we are all content creators, and this right here is content.

      What dude means is without big media content, the internet is nothing. So he makes a statement that everyone can agree to, then he changes the meaning of one of the words for the rest of his argument. Terribly, terribly disingenuous.

      • What dude means is without big media content, the internet is nothing. So he makes a statement that everyone can agree to, then he changes the meaning of one of the words for the rest of his argument. Terribly, terribly disingenuous.

        Or, to put it in plainer terms, he's lying through his teeth. The most gifted liars are good at this -- at telling their lies bald-facedly in plain sight, and constructing their lies to rely on twisted words, getting people to agree to things that are diametrically opposed to their own best interests.

        Cheers,

    • "It seems to me that since copyright and patent protections are created by society in order to benefit society (and don't exist as any "natural right")"

      A lot of people, especially conservatives, talk about the US giving up our sovereignty, violating our constitution, in order to conform to the likes of the UN. They worry that treaties will undermine rights such as the right to keep and bear arms (especially under UN gun restrictions goals). What they completely ignore is that we have already completely done

  • This is probably the first time I have ever seen John Perry Barlow mentioned, certainly on Slashdot if not on the entire web, without 'lyricist for the Grateful Dead' appended on as his title.

    Is the influence of The Dead diminishing? Or was it simply an oversight on the part of the Slashdot editor.

    We're grateful that he's.... well, nevermind.

  • Nice that the self-proclaimed leader of the intellectual copyright reform movement refused to attend this. I'm sure Doctorow is wasting no time figuring out how to spin Barlow's courage and integrity into something that's his own. Cory Doctorow loves to get out in front of other people's hard work, like Lawrence Lessig's, to push his own image as a intellectual leader, when, in reality, his failure to attend is just more evidence that the man is nothing but a lightweight with a popular blog.
  • This is their proper name: Content Lords. Pass it on.

We can predict everything, except the future.

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