Can we have common sense in copyright laws?

Jeremy Toeman asks for common sense in copyright laws and warns his congresscritter against the PRO IP act: “Common sense tells me that the maximum penalty for transmitting an MP3 file should not be over 1000-fold the maximum penalty of shoplifting a CD from a store.”

We aren’t going to have common sense in this, sorry. The political system is jiggered by those who have money and can pay for lobbyists, etc.

It’s sad that our industries and our politicians don’t listen to common sense like that espoused in Jeremy Toeman’s letter to Nancy Pelosi.

I totally support Jeremy’s position on this. PRO IP is a bad idea and is NOT pro user. We won’t get more innovations out of the industry with bills like this.

It’s too bad the music and movie industries aren’t looking for ways to help us enjoy their products better. It’s totally ridiculous that the industry hasn’t found a way for me to pay for content ONCE and enjoy that on every single device I want to.

I guess if the industry were willing to be pro-user far more often than it does then it might have my support when it asks for more copyright protections.

But, I’m a realist. I know that laws like these will continue to get enacted because of the sheer force of so much money being thrown around. Who stands up for the users? Thank you Jeremy Toeman for doing so.

Comments

  1. Hey Robert, it’s funny that you mention this, because our band, Phantom Scream, just made our CD available for everyone’s downloading pleasure. No cost, DRM-free. (We’re not signed, so we don’t have someone breathing down our neck about that.)

    Basically, we just want everyone to hear us. The best way I can see that happening is if we just let our music go. Hopefully, some people will become fans and will want to compensate us so we’ll continue.

    It’s difficult to think like this because we worked and paid out-of-pocket to create this music. But, we’re taking a lesson from Radiohead and Nine Inch Nails.

    I’m sorry if this isn’t close to what you’re talking about. Maybe it is…a little? :)

  2. Hey Robert, it’s funny that you mention this, because our band, Phantom Scream, just made our CD available for everyone’s downloading pleasure. No cost, DRM-free. (We’re not signed, so we don’t have someone breathing down our neck about that.)

    Basically, we just want everyone to hear us. The best way I can see that happening is if we just let our music go. Hopefully, some people will become fans and will want to compensate us so we’ll continue.

    It’s difficult to think like this because we worked and paid out-of-pocket to create this music. But, we’re taking a lesson from Radiohead and Nine Inch Nails.

    I’m sorry if this isn’t close to what you’re talking about. Maybe it is…a little? :)

  3. “The political system is jiggered by those who have money and can pay for lobbyists, etc.”

    You completely missed the point. Lobbies are anti-constitutional in many countries, and yet a number of multinationals are enforcing laws, mostly American-based laws. Their aliby is internet networks. Internet is freedom? May want to rethink that a bit.

    The real question you should be asking is : should the empire be allowed to destroy nation’s culture abroad (in addition to invading countries) ?

    Subsidiary : what and who will stop them?

  4. “The political system is jiggered by those who have money and can pay for lobbyists, etc.”

    You completely missed the point. Lobbies are anti-constitutional in many countries, and yet a number of multinationals are enforcing laws, mostly American-based laws. Their aliby is internet networks. Internet is freedom? May want to rethink that a bit.

    The real question you should be asking is : should the empire be allowed to destroy nation’s culture abroad (in addition to invading countries) ?

    Subsidiary : what and who will stop them?

  5. Let’s see. I steal a CD and the record company is out the a couple of bucks.

    I upload the contents of that same CD to LimeWire and the record company could be out hundreds of thousands of dollars.

    Treating these two crimes the same doesn’t make sense to me.

  6. Let’s see. I steal a CD and the record company is out the a couple of bucks.

    I upload the contents of that same CD to LimeWire and the record company could be out hundreds of thousands of dollars.

    Treating these two crimes the same doesn’t make sense to me.

  7. Barry: OK, I agree there should be some difference in the two penalties, but do we need more? We already have parents getting sued for hundreds of thousands of dollars.

    The real pirates are overseas anyway. Ever visit a street corner in China?

  8. Barry: OK, I agree there should be some difference in the two penalties, but do we need more? We already have parents getting sued for hundreds of thousands of dollars.

    The real pirates are overseas anyway. Ever visit a street corner in China?

  9. The bottom line is that media companies need to embrace the future, not fight it. it’s absurd that I can’t watch the latest episode of Heroes on the NBC website. Well obviously there are ways round these things but still.

    The BBC obviously want to protect their interests but with global availability these companies need to accept where this is all heading, there will be winners and losers but the self preservation society won’t win.

    Why are films going to Blockbuster before cable channels get hold of them? I shouldn’t need to pop to the Blockbuster shop anymore to rent a DVD. Indeed I can rent films on cable, but they aren’t the latest DVD releases that Blockbuster has. Why haven’t Blockbuster struck a deal with cable for me to rent these films from my own home. That way there’s no worry if all the copies are already rented out.

    The same goes for netflix, posting DVD’s out. Sure not everyone has a cable connection but for those who do it seems silly that we can’t use the technology.

    The media seem scared, some of course will be swept by the wayside but holding on for their piece of the pie now is going to mean they lose their grip when the sweeping changes do come.

    The vast numbers of people downloading illegally proves that the market is there. The corporations need to position themselves to offer a legal rival service and then go and kick the backsides of those offering illegal services.

  10. The bottom line is that media companies need to embrace the future, not fight it. it’s absurd that I can’t watch the latest episode of Heroes on the NBC website. Well obviously there are ways round these things but still.

    The BBC obviously want to protect their interests but with global availability these companies need to accept where this is all heading, there will be winners and losers but the self preservation society won’t win.

    Why are films going to Blockbuster before cable channels get hold of them? I shouldn’t need to pop to the Blockbuster shop anymore to rent a DVD. Indeed I can rent films on cable, but they aren’t the latest DVD releases that Blockbuster has. Why haven’t Blockbuster struck a deal with cable for me to rent these films from my own home. That way there’s no worry if all the copies are already rented out.

    The same goes for netflix, posting DVD’s out. Sure not everyone has a cable connection but for those who do it seems silly that we can’t use the technology.

    The media seem scared, some of course will be swept by the wayside but holding on for their piece of the pie now is going to mean they lose their grip when the sweeping changes do come.

    The vast numbers of people downloading illegally proves that the market is there. The corporations need to position themselves to offer a legal rival service and then go and kick the backsides of those offering illegal services.

  11. It was earlier this year that I finally added “corruption” to the list of tags I use on my blog: a bill was introduced to cut off Federal aid to colleges if they didn’t police file sharing on their networks. As if there are not more important things for colleges and universities to worry about?!?

  12. It was earlier this year that I finally added “corruption” to the list of tags I use on my blog: a bill was introduced to cut off Federal aid to colleges if they didn’t police file sharing on their networks. As if there are not more important things for colleges and universities to worry about?!?

  13. Barry: that’s a very logical perspective, one I used to share and claim myself. Until I started digging deeper into the issue. For the argument to hold water, one has to presume that the hundreds of thousands of downloaders *WOULD HAVE* purchased the CD. In all reality, this is extremely unlikely, especially as, while CD sales are down, they are not down in direct correlation as it relates to downloads.

    One truth that has emerged is the following: due to downloads, consumers are experiencing much more music (and other content) than they otherwise would have. There is much more exposure and experimentation occurring. The problem is, it is happening in a way that is not compensating those who should be compensated. THAT should be fixed. THAT is the music industry’s problem to solve.

    Congress should be forcing them to solve it, the way newspapers aren’t being protected from bloggers, or the train industry wasn’t protected from cars/planes, and how Apple isn’t protected from HP/Dell/etc. This is a democratic, capitalist society and Congress’ job is to put laws in place that help society as a whole.

    As I wrote in my original letter, take a glance at Lessig’s Free Culture, it’s utterly important to read. http://www.free-culture.cc/

  14. Barry: that’s a very logical perspective, one I used to share and claim myself. Until I started digging deeper into the issue. For the argument to hold water, one has to presume that the hundreds of thousands of downloaders *WOULD HAVE* purchased the CD. In all reality, this is extremely unlikely, especially as, while CD sales are down, they are not down in direct correlation as it relates to downloads.

    One truth that has emerged is the following: due to downloads, consumers are experiencing much more music (and other content) than they otherwise would have. There is much more exposure and experimentation occurring. The problem is, it is happening in a way that is not compensating those who should be compensated. THAT should be fixed. THAT is the music industry’s problem to solve.

    Congress should be forcing them to solve it, the way newspapers aren’t being protected from bloggers, or the train industry wasn’t protected from cars/planes, and how Apple isn’t protected from HP/Dell/etc. This is a democratic, capitalist society and Congress’ job is to put laws in place that help society as a whole.

    As I wrote in my original letter, take a glance at Lessig’s Free Culture, it’s utterly important to read. http://www.free-culture.cc/

  15. No. :-) Common sense is most uncommon.

    Politicians need to listen to their base. Perhaps we should have this as a debae question.

    Kudos for Jeremy Toeman’s letter. Now if many many more such letters are written…

  16. No. :-) Common sense is most uncommon.

    Politicians need to listen to their base. Perhaps we should have this as a debae question.

    Kudos for Jeremy Toeman’s letter. Now if many many more such letters are written…

  17. Scoble – Aside from the right or wrong of this, as I’m sure there are smarter folks out there who can handle that…

    I think the record companies made a huge mistake suing people for tens of thousands of dollars – right or wrong.

    It’s bad for business.

  18. Scoble – Aside from the right or wrong of this, as I’m sure there are smarter folks out there who can handle that…

    I think the record companies made a huge mistake suing people for tens of thousands of dollars – right or wrong.

    It’s bad for business.

  19. @5 “Barry: OK, I agree there should be some difference in the two penalties, but do we need more? We already have parents getting sued for hundreds of thousands of dollars.

    The real pirates are overseas anyway. Ever visit a street corner in China?”

    Isn’t that sort of like saying “let’s loosen our drug laws. Afterall the real drug problem is in Colombia”

    Not sure how piracy in China is related to this discussion.

    There is a difference between me sharing a CD with you and me uploading music to “share”. In the former I no longer have access to the music. Sort of like me loaning you a book. This music sharing is okay logic could be applied to books. What would be wrong with me buying a copy of the latest best selling, going to Kinko’s and making copies of it to hand out on the street corner?

    @6..Not sure what cable provider you have, but my cable provider allows me to rent movies through their system.

    @1 I’m guessing there is a reason, possibly related to talent?, that you can afford to give away your music and that no music publisher has signed you. NIN and Radiohead had already made enough money that allowing “free” access to their music was not a risk to them at all.

    Completely agree that the music industry needs to get with the times. But, the solution is not “free” music or condoning the sharing of music.

  20. @5 “Barry: OK, I agree there should be some difference in the two penalties, but do we need more? We already have parents getting sued for hundreds of thousands of dollars.

    The real pirates are overseas anyway. Ever visit a street corner in China?”

    Isn’t that sort of like saying “let’s loosen our drug laws. Afterall the real drug problem is in Colombia”

    Not sure how piracy in China is related to this discussion.

    There is a difference between me sharing a CD with you and me uploading music to “share”. In the former I no longer have access to the music. Sort of like me loaning you a book. This music sharing is okay logic could be applied to books. What would be wrong with me buying a copy of the latest best selling, going to Kinko’s and making copies of it to hand out on the street corner?

    @6..Not sure what cable provider you have, but my cable provider allows me to rent movies through their system.

    @1 I’m guessing there is a reason, possibly related to talent?, that you can afford to give away your music and that no music publisher has signed you. NIN and Radiohead had already made enough money that allowing “free” access to their music was not a risk to them at all.

    Completely agree that the music industry needs to get with the times. But, the solution is not “free” music or condoning the sharing of music.

  21. @Tony: The movie studios have long had the window release strategy. The first post-theatrical venue is packaged media. Then about 30-45 days later the movie is on satellite and cable PPV. Three months or so after that on HBO, Showtime, etc. Then much later on broadcast television.
    Blockbuster does not own the rights to studio films as if they could sign deals and start changing up the release windows. Cable companies consider Blockbuster the enemy, especially TimeWarner, which won’t even deal with Blockbuster/other video stores because of their current anti-rental dogma. (google ‘time warner ceo cold day in hell’ to see his statements.)
    TimeWarner now releases major films on DVD and PPV (on TimeWarner cable only, natch) simultaneously.
    It is speculated that to support this arrangement and to discourage rental, they scale back the number of DVDs they produce on certain titles. (300, Ocean’s Thirteen, License to Wed.)

  22. @Tony: The movie studios have long had the window release strategy. The first post-theatrical venue is packaged media. Then about 30-45 days later the movie is on satellite and cable PPV. Three months or so after that on HBO, Showtime, etc. Then much later on broadcast television.
    Blockbuster does not own the rights to studio films as if they could sign deals and start changing up the release windows. Cable companies consider Blockbuster the enemy, especially TimeWarner, which won’t even deal with Blockbuster/other video stores because of their current anti-rental dogma. (google ‘time warner ceo cold day in hell’ to see his statements.)
    TimeWarner now releases major films on DVD and PPV (on TimeWarner cable only, natch) simultaneously.
    It is speculated that to support this arrangement and to discourage rental, they scale back the number of DVDs they produce on certain titles. (300, Ocean’s Thirteen, License to Wed.)

  23. @dvdchris We don’t get Time-Warner cable in the UK but eventually, surely we will, it’s only a matter of time.

    My point is though, what’s the point of the Blockbuster part in the chain? Maybe it’s different in the US, but our cable companies have to wait for the window of blockbuster having films first and in this day and age, that’s silly.

    The same as NBC not letting me watch Heroes because my IP is from the UK and the BBC not letting Americans watch their stuff because their from the USA.

    Companies need to get real about this, the market is there, utilise it.

  24. @dvdchris We don’t get Time-Warner cable in the UK but eventually, surely we will, it’s only a matter of time.

    My point is though, what’s the point of the Blockbuster part in the chain? Maybe it’s different in the US, but our cable companies have to wait for the window of blockbuster having films first and in this day and age, that’s silly.

    The same as NBC not letting me watch Heroes because my IP is from the UK and the BBC not letting Americans watch their stuff because their from the USA.

    Companies need to get real about this, the market is there, utilise it.

  25. @16 How would NBC make money allowing you to watch Heroes from the UK? My cable company carries BBCAmerica, and while it’s not the complete BBC lineup, we get our fair number of contemporary shows.

  26. @16 How would NBC make money allowing you to watch Heroes from the UK? My cable company carries BBCAmerica, and while it’s not the complete BBC lineup, we get our fair number of contemporary shows.