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Denmark Now Supports EU Copyright Term Extension 145

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the public-domain-considered-harmful dept.
airfoobar submitted an editorial by Bernt Hugenholtz. From the article "Bad news from Denmark. According to an official press release, the Danish government has changed its position and now endorses the European Commission's proposal to extend the term of protection for sound recordings. Since Denmark was part of a fragile blocking minority in the European Council, there is a danger now that the EU Presidency will try to push through the proposal within a matter of weeks."
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Denmark Now Supports EU Copyright Term Extension

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  • Posted by Unknown Lamer? I sense a conspiracy against my country!

  • Obligatory.... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nebaz (453974) on Thursday April 07, 2011 @04:23PM (#35749986)

    Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.

    • Re:Obligatory.... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Zumbs (1241138) on Thursday April 07, 2011 @04:49PM (#35750212) Homepage
      Did you look at the date of the press release? February 24th 2011. It is more than a month ago, and so far very little has been in the Danish media on the subject. Something is indeed rotten ...
      • So lets just all copywrite and trademark everything until we end up using Orewellian "Double plus good" because "awesome" has been copywrited until the end of time.

      • by jopsen (885607)

        Did you look at the date of the press release? February 24th 2011. It is more than a month ago, and so far very little has been in the Danish media on the subject. Something is indeed rotten ...

        Well, did you take the time to write a letter in a newspaper ?
        - It's not fair to cry about the lack of public debate if you're not willing to start it..
        And unfortunately we can't expect politicians to hang out on slashdot...

        Anyway, are we doing anything about this? do politicians even know that we care? Perhaps we (Danish slashdot users) should do something... ideas?

        • Did you look at the date of the press release? February 24th 2011. It is more than a month ago, and so far very little has been in the Danish media on the subject. Something is indeed rotten ...

          Well, did you take the time to write a letter in a newspaper ? - It's not fair to cry about the lack of public debate if you're not willing to start it.. And unfortunately we can't expect politicians to hang out on slashdot... Anyway, are we doing anything about this? do politicians even know that we care? Perhaps we (Danish slashdot users) should do something... ideas?

          I'd start by finding out which specific politicians are responsible for this and, more importantly, what means were used to convince them to change their minds. Follow the money back to whatever organization bribed them and then shout it from the rooftops. Embarrass the hell out of them.

          No slur intended upon your government, by the way. I'm American, and our political leaders sold themselves (and us) down the river some time ago. So whenever I hear that the content industry has won another round, I have

        • > Well, did you take the time to write a letter in a newspaper ?

          Oh so people are supposed to write to newspapers proposing news items that ought to be covered?
          What is this, soviet russia?
          Journalists ought to be able to judge the impact of what the agencies report and find a place for significant items.

          Since copyright infringement lands you in jail, altering the terms of what can be under copyright is important news.

    • by MrHanky (141717)

      And has been, ever since they turned to Fascism back in 2001.

      • by MarkvW (1037596)

        Sorry . . . Fascism has been copyrighted, trademarked, and patented. Nobody can use it anymore.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        This change was made because the right people were bribed and/or threatened.

        Humanity's single greatest embarrassment is their complete incompetence at self-governance.

        • Humanity's single greatest embarrassment is their complete incompetence at self-governance.

          And here I thought it was religion, given the fact that the majority of mankind believes in an imaginary all-powerful entity that cares what they do and then bothers to punish or reward them based on whether they follow different sets of rules based on which particular flavour of superstition a given individual subscribes to.

          • by Baseclass (785652)
            At the very least religion seems to make for effective conditioning in that healthy skepticism and logical reasoning don't appear to be valued by society at large (at least in the US). Alas, questioning authority is frowned upon by a sizable portion of the population.
    • by PopeRatzo (965947) *

      Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.

      I think the takeaway is that there are greedy assholes and lickspittles who will do their bidding at the expense of their fellow citizens, everywhere.

  • Well, that certainly sounds necessary to encourage artists to create. Not redundant or counter-productive at all.
    • by Haedrian (1676506)

      Of course it does. What's to stop people waiting 50 years then getting my cds for free eh?

      Protect the artists' rights!

      Protect Sarcasm!

    • Well what motivation would they have to create if they couldn't be assured that their ancestors will be able to make money off of it until the heat-death of the universe? It takes a long time for artists to make their money back you know. Do you expect them to turn a profit within just a decade or two? Don't forget the poor starving record companies need to get their 80-97% cut first, and what would artists do without them in this age of dirt-cheap digital distribution and viral marketing?

      • Well what motivation would they have to create if they couldn't be assured that their ancestors will be able to make money off of it until the heat-death of the universe?

        I presume you're implying that they'll invent time-travel, and that will in turn require the use of very strange verb conjugations.

  • Anything older than a decade is ancient!
    • by Locke2005 (849178) on Thursday April 07, 2011 @04:46PM (#35750180)
      What are you, some kind of pedophile? My daughter is a decade old, thank you very much!
      • Yes, in fact, I prefer things young. Like, meat. I like my ham to be well under a decade old; it has a funny taste to it after 70 years. Even 4 years old is a huge stretch for me. Or dogs, I'm not sure I'd go for a 12 year old dog, or a 25 year old one; maybe 1-2 years, 3 or 4 if I find a used one at a shelter somewhere. I am definitely not into the resale of children; I dislike children actually, but if I were to have one of my own it would have to be rather fresh, in fact brand new, probably make my
        • by Locke2005 (849178)

          I dislike children actually.

          Have you tried them slathered in barbecue sauce and slow-roasted over an open spit?

          • I don['t recall having tried that particular method, but Johnathon Swift had some rather good recipes that at the very least work wonderfully for Irish children. I would recommend trying all of them out before one makin a blanket statement about not liking children.
            • by Locke2005 (849178)
              There you go... Anybody that doesn't like children has obviously never had them prepared properly!
          • I dislike children actually.

            Have you tried them slathered in barbecue sauce and slow-roasted over an open spit?

            "Children? Of course I like children. I prefer mine boiled." -- W.C. Fields

      • I'm sorry to hear that. You should probably start looking into life insurance.

    • A decade is approximately a cultural generation, and is the range where generational cultural artifacts like music should be protected in order to meet the intent of copyrights.

      A "generation" in computing is shorter, with respect to software copyrights & patents.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    We're clinging to the status quo, occasionally slipping. The long-term trend is clear. We **never** push things back the other way. We never even try, and we certainly don't succeed.

    • Despite being offered by an AC, his point actually merits serious consideration. He's right -- we're slipping further and further back, and no right-thinking people actually do anything to counteract these terrible laws. Does nobody care?

      • by raptor_87 (881471)
        People do care, but most of the response has been to release things with highly permissive licenses (GPL, CC, etc).
  • Question is...who bribed and who got bribed?
  • by Platinum Dragon (34829) on Thursday April 07, 2011 @04:31PM (#35750050) Journal

    At some point, a person should stand before a legislative committee dealing with copyright term extensions - pick a country where these discussions are happening, any one - and ask just how many more term extensions will be granted, or whether copyright terms will be made permanent de jure, not just de facto.

    • by elrous0 (869638) *

      and ask

      Silly rabbit, only big donors get to actually talk to the legislators (and have them actually listen, anyway).

    • by Locke2005 (849178)
      Copyright must last at least as long as the lifetime of the corporations whose "rights" they are protecting!
    • by kvezach (1199717)
      That was sort of what they tried in the US with Eldred v. Ashcroft, but it failed. The "nice" thing about doing copyright extensions with a finite creep each time is that it stays de jure finite while it is de facto infinite, so the people doing it never have to show their true intent as they stay within the letter of the law.
      • by AmiMoJo (196126)

        Disney really takes the Micky (pun intended) with copyright terms. Most of their animated films are based on public domain stories - Snow White, Alladin, The Little Mermaid, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Alice in Wonderland etc. Those bastards love using public domain material without ever wanting to contribute back to it.

        I say fuck 'em. I'll respect their copyrights when they respect the public domain.

  • Danskjävlar!
    • by Locke2005 (849178)
      Google translate says "Dansk jävlar!" is "Danish bastards!"... in Swedish. (Two words, not one.)

      Du er fucking velkommen!
      • I realize it's in Swedish. The phrase is repeated many times by a Swedish character from a Danish show called Riget (or, The Kingdom in Danish). But I've always heard it translated as "Danish scum!"

      • by mangu (126918)

        Google translate says "Dansk jävlar!" is "Danish bastards!"

        Literally, it would be "Danish devils", but the meaning is bastards.

        Du er fucking velkommen!

        "You are Welcome" in Swedish is "var så god"

      • It's better when you hear him [youtube.com] say it though...
      • by Zironic (1112127)

        It's one word actually, it's because Swedish has a tendency to merge words to achieve slightly different meanings.

        En Dansk JÃvel = A danish devil
        En DanskjÃvel = A danish bastard

  • Simply extend copyright to 700 years and be done for it for a while.

  • Oblig. Heinlein (Score:5, Informative)

    by mangu (126918) on Thursday April 07, 2011 @04:43PM (#35750154)

    "But I will accept any rules that you feel necessary to your freedom. I am free, no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; If I find them too obnoxious, I break them. I am free because I know that I alone am responsible for everything I do."
      ("The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress", 1966)

    No copyright extensions will affect me as long as P2P exists.

    • thank you for this quote,
                this is my life motto, but I never formulated it that precisely, I think I will use it as sig.

    • Incorrect. You are now a criminal. This affects you.

      It's not your fault, but it is your problem. The fault is crappy laws, your problem is you are now a criminal. Sucks to be human these days.

    • by TubeSteak (669689)

      No copyright extensions will affect me as long as P2P exists.

      P2P can't reach into studio vaults or libraries' rare book collections and liberate material, copyrighted or not.
      A lot of our collective heritage is going to dissappear because someone doesn't want to spend the money to save deteriorating cellulose reels.

    • by Nursie (632944)

      That book sucks.

      He spends almost every second sentence trying to cram his politics down your throat. It's like a story and a lecture spoken over each other.

      Not to mention that the full-on libertarian-paradise chubby he has going is as much a loner fantasy as any other libertarian philosophy.

  • Copyright terms (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Archangel Michael (180766) on Thursday April 07, 2011 @05:01PM (#35750326) Journal

    At the current pace of extending copyright terms, copyrights themselves will have no meaning.

    • As in, the infinite team of monkeys will soon have had enough time to allow the RIAA high command to copyright every possible work? This does not seem to be out of the question, at this rate.

      • As in, the infinite team of monkeys will soon have had enough time to allow the RIAA high command to copyright every possible work? This does not seem to be out of the question, at this rate.

        Why not? Just don't allow the creative element of a society to hold copyright, or directly earn anything from their works. Require them to give up their rights to the nearest large copyright holder.

    • At the current pace of extending copyright terms, copyrights themselves will have no meaning.

      No meaning relevant to their original (and in the U.S., Constitutionally-mandated) purpose, but they will still have value. Not to us, of course.

  • Here's my deal (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mmcuh (1088773) on Thursday April 07, 2011 @05:01PM (#35750330)
    As long as they keep extending it, I'll keep ignoring it. I think that's fair.
    • Yeah. There are two reasons to respect copyright law:

      1) Laws and the penalties associated with breaking them.
      2) Morality, either respecting the right or content owners or the principle of rule of law.

      These ever extending periods, and obstruction of legal rights through DRM and laws that prevent the removal of DRM for backup or shifting to a new media format, makes increasingly difficult to justify abstaining from piracy out of respect for content owners. As it stands I have to hit torrents if I want to back

  • So, who was bribed to make this change ?

  • by unity100 (970058) on Thursday April 07, 2011 @05:18PM (#35750562) Homepage Journal
    Remember how spain was to push a draconian penalty system for filesharers, until through wikileaks it came out that u.s. government was heavily bullying and threatening spanish government to pass the bill. And when this hit the news, spanish assembly unanimously turned down the filth that originated from u.s.

    I dont even suspect - im sure that there is same kind of play at work here. A government which was against what private interests in the dirtiest, rotten country of the world, switches stance out of the blue.
    • A government which was against what private interests in the dirtiest, rotten country of the world, switches stance out of the blue.

      Dirtiest? Rottenest? Really?

      And even if that were one hundred percent true ... what does it make the politicians in Denmark and Spain that went along with it? Saints?

      There are selfish, corrupt people in every single country on this planet. Deal with it, and stop slandering entire societies with one overbroad brush. Makes you seem ignorant and petty.

  • by t2t10 (1909766) on Thursday April 07, 2011 @05:20PM (#35750592)

    Probably the most powerful counterargument is that exclusive rights in sound recordings are granted for a reason. The prospect of a temporary legal monopoly acts as an incentive for the industry to invest in recording and distributing sound recordings. Logically, the term of protection should therefore be just long enough for record companies to recoup these investments.

    That's the US reasoning. In Europe, control of their creations is viewed as an intrinsic right of artists and creators. Furthermore, any argument you make from the American point of view is going to be met by the deep-seated European conviction that there is no art or culture in the US that's worth protecting anyway so Americans should just keep out of these discussions. If you want to convince Europeans, you need to come up with a different argument. But, frankly, between European attitudes, corporate lobbying, and policy laundering, you might as well talk to a wall.

    (Remember that the current copyright insanity originated in Europe with the Berne convention; the US refused to comply for a long time, but finally gave in in the 1970's.)

    • deep-seated European conviction that there is no art or culture in the US that's worth protecting anyway so Americans should just keep out of these discussions.

      Funny, they keep *buying* it.

    • Don't forget that we dont really have "copyright" in the sense the USA defines it in europe.

      In Europe we have moral rights, or author rights, and al the laws around it are completely different than the US versions.

      E.g. a contract like this:
      a) All rights to this work, including translation, adaption and derivation and any future distribution on new media (yet to discover) are transfered with here in to Company X.
      b) Company X pays Mr. Y a one time fee of $10.000 ... would be completely legal in the USA.

      In eur

      • Supposedly, copyright is meant to encourage "innovation." I don't see how extending the length of the copyright beyond the author's death (the one who is supposed to innovate and create new works) just so the family members can leech off of his/her work is helping with that. With a house, there's no need to hand it over to other people. That won't really accomplish anything. But with copyright, it gives others a chance to innovate (supposedly) after you're gone.

    • That's the US reasoning. That's the US reasoning. In Europe, control of their creations is viewed as an intrinsic right of artists and creators.

      Sure, and that actually is the way it is here. You are granted copyright at the moment of creation, and it is yours unless you explicitly transfer that right. Furthermore, the idea that a temporary monopoly encourages the production of creative works was something that our Founders debated at some length. Jefferson, in particular, was no fan of copyright, but commercial interests won out even then.

      What has happened, so far as the music industry is concerned, is that a bunch of (largely foreign owned) cor

      • by mpe (36238)
        It is disingenuous to characterize this as solely an American problem, that we're somehow the cause of all of this. The reality is, the Digital Millenium Copyright Act, the Sonny Bono Copyright Extension Act, the Audio Home Recording Act, and a number of other rotten laws, were put in place by the likes of the RIAA at the behest of both domestic (Disney, et al) and foreign entities (Sony and Bertelsmann to name a few.) Essentially, Europe's corporate powers corrupted our copyright system, effectively conscr
      • by t2t10 (1909766)

        Sure, and that actually is the way it is here.

        No, it isn't. In the US, copyright is something utilitarian.

        It is disingenuous to characterize this as solely an American problem, that we're somehow the cause of all of this. ... You bear some responsibility for this

        You're barking up the wrong tree, buddy. If you're going to do something is stupid as dividing the world into "us" vs "them", at least get your sides straight, OK?

  • by cartman (18204) on Thursday April 07, 2011 @06:02PM (#35750964)

    30 years is sufficient, for two reasons. First, 30 years is sufficient time for an artist to receive payment, for most of his working career, as a result of some artistic production he created. Second, 30 years is long enough that the "net present discounted value" (at a 5% discount rate) of anything after 30 years is negligible. As a result, record companies will not make investments or produce anything or change their investment behavior now because of payments to be received after 30 years in the future.

    Remember that intellectual property is not "property" in the normal sense. It cannot be stolen, for example, but only copied. Intellectual property is a construct, whereby the producers of intellectual content can be compensated for their labor. 30 years is enough time for people to be compensated for their labor, and is longer than the investment horizon of companies.

    • You know that perhaps 90% of all creators never get payed for anything they do because they are not "discovered" by a publisher who has an idea how to make money from it?

      If you say 30 years is enough then I only archive everything that I can find and after 30 years I decide on my own terms how to mak money form it. The creator never sees a dime.

      Also your complete argument, intellectual property can not be stolen is complete mood.

      My hieres don't care if their father worked 45 years on a ship, house, lumpi

      • by cartman (18204)

        You know that perhaps 90% of all creators never get payed for anything they do because they are not "discovered" by a publisher who has an idea how to make money from it?

        This is true, but it wouldn't be any different if the term of copyright were longer than 30 years.

        If you say 30 years is enough then I only archive everything that I can find and after 30 years I decide on my own terms how to mak money form it.

        You wouldn't be able to make much money from it, because it would be in the public domain at that

        • I am not paid for my father's labor in the 1970s.

          That only depends.

          If your father cultivated a wine berg, and you happen to own it, and you are still making wine: ofc you are payed based on his work.

          If your father happend to become a multi billonair, ofc you are "payed" from the interest his fortune generates.

          While your post has a lot of sense: a hugh amount of /. posters who are opposing copyright (or any similar thing) are only apposing it to be able to freely copy/download shit.

          They don't understand any

          • by cartman (18204)

            If your father happend to become a multi billonair, ofc you are "payed" from the interest his fortune generates.

            You can still do this if your father was a multimillionaire based upon artistic recordings (ie The Beatles) and passed the money on to you. If we extend copyright too far then the heirs get their monetary inheritance and interest plus current income based upon the sale of work. It is the latter which I'm arguing against here.

            While your post has a lot of sense: a hugh amount of /. posters who are o

    • by David Off (101038)

      I would go with 30 years except for the case where someone is profiting from your work (e.g. selling it in either digital or hardcopy form). In this case I think the author should receive a cut but this expires on the original author's death.

  • OK, I know I'm preaching to the choir here, but can anyone tell me how this could be justified? Using U.S. copyright as an example, the first law to grant copyright was enacted in 1790 and secured an artist with 14 years of protection and one 14-year extension if the artist was still alive. It is important to note that during this time, reproduction of the copyrighted work was extremely difficult. The phonograph would not be invented for another 100 years which means that copyright essentially boiled dow
    • With such better means of distribution, how can we justify periods of copyright law that extend far beyond the average lifetime of the musician who created the works?

      Easy: In the government of man, he who has the gold makes the rules. The movie studios, through their ownership of television news media [pineight.com], control who gets chosen in the primary elections. They play up Hollywood's favorite candidate (e.g. Barack Obama and John McCain) and don't let anyone proposing real change (e.g. Ron Paul) get a word in edgewise at the debates.

  • I wish that I too could keep getting paid for the work I did decades ago but because I don't make records if I don't do more work I don't get paid.

    Maybe if I bribe enough high ranking public officials they'll take stuff that rightfully belongs to the public and give it to me too.
  • When you annex a house to make a road you must pay the owner. Those songs would have been mine (public property, therefore part mine) and now they won't be. I want compensation for your annexation.
  • 1) Lean on Europe to extend copyright.
    2) "Harmonize" copyright terms in America.
    3) Profit!

    Not even a fucking ???.

    Seriously, retroactive copyright extension is the biggest bullshit imaginable. I could sorta understand and deal with laws making the copyright on new works longer, but the way it is now, we'll forever leave locked up all culture since basically Steamboat Willie was published. Even today, works created the day I was born will not enter public domain till after I die. I'll never see any mu

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