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Russian President: Time To Reform Copyright 293

Posted by timothy
from the kalashnikov-mashup dept.
An anonymous reader writes "While most of the rest of the world keeps ratcheting up copyright laws by increasing enforcement and terms, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev appears to be going in the other direction. He's now proposing that Russia build Creative Commons-style open and free licenses directly into Russian copyright law. This comes just a few days after he also chided other G8 leaders for their antiquated views on copyright."
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Russian President: Time To Reform Copyright

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  • by cgeys (2240696) on Tuesday June 07, 2011 @06:50AM (#36360620)
    I'm starting to like Russia. It's also understandable why US tried to fight for copyrights so much - that's basically the only thing they produce now. Rest of the world produces actual products. US can try to attack rest of the world all it can, it only makes other countries see it faster - when rest of world start supporting free licenses and free copyright, US collapses really, really bad.
    • Citation. (Score:5, Informative)

      by headkase (533448) on Tuesday June 07, 2011 @07:11AM (#36360696)
      Just to support your comment a bit, see this story which just happens to be on CNN's front page: here [cnn.com].

      From that:

      "The increased difficulty in protecting data comes as the value of intellectual property is skyrocketing for companies. In 2009, 81% of the value of S&P 500 companies was "intangible assets" such as patented technology, proprietary data and market plans, according to an estimate by Ocean Tomo Intellectual Capital Equity. In 1985, only 68% of the S&P 500 market value was from intangibles, according to Ocean Tomo."

      So, you're not far off the mark: The USA says it's wealthy because it is counting "intangibles" as wealth, or more accurately: things that do not suffer from scarcity. If your main assets do not suffer from scarcity, you have a problem because supply, once known, is infinite: and if supply is infinite then the real cost of it is zero.
      • Re:Citation. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by MoonBuggy (611105) on Tuesday June 07, 2011 @07:24AM (#36360756) Journal

        The real scarcity isn't in the intangible 'products' themselves, it's in the people who create them. For now, the West has a great advantage in skills and education - China and India might be able to pump out generic copies for a pittance once the designs are leaked, but so far the latest and greatest designs are still coming largely from the US and Europe.

        Of course, this will change, and is changing, in the same way that most companies wouldn't have been able to outsource their manufacturing to China fifty years ago. For now, though, it isn't so much an economy based on closely guarded ideas, it's an economy based on creating those ideas.

        • by Hojima (1228978)

          Not that I'm unhappy with the decision, but now when people in the US propose it, they can say "*gasp*! That's communism! Just look, Russia is doing it!" And of course, any attempt to point out that it's been a capitalist country will be in vain.

        • Re:Citation. (Score:4, Interesting)

          by mcgrew (92797) * on Tuesday June 07, 2011 @09:07AM (#36361372) Homepage Journal

          Hogwash. There's no scarcity of creativity or artistry whatever. Hell, there are dozens of local bands here in my city of 100,000 who have CDs of original content, most of which is far superior to the dreck that comes from the RIAA. Have a listen to some of my friends' music [archive.org]. Those are live shows, they have studio CDs as well.

          There's no shortage whatever. The "shortage" has always been because of the fact that recording and filming were incredibly expensive. Today recording is dirt cheap, and the price of making a movie is coming down fast -- Star Wreck only cost a few thousand bucks and is better than 90% of the multimillion dollar dreck that comes from Hollywood (it's also hilarious, every Star Trek and Babylon Five fan should see that movie).

        • by JAlexoi (1085785)
          You underestimate how much of that "latest and greatest" is developed in China and India.
      • Most proprietary data and market plans do not benefit from copyrights that last 95 years. In fact, most of that material will never be published. Actual published works such as movies, music, books, and news are a tiny fraction of the US economy. Of that tiny fraction, a very small portion is for works more than 14 years old.
      • by pmontra (738736)

        You're suggesting the possibility of an IP bubble? if you do you might be right. Furthermore there is another side to this issue. It's easy to trade atoms (i.e.: meat) for other atoms (i.e. water) but if you trade ideas for food well... you must be either very talented or very convincing. The second alternative scales better and many industries are indoctrinating us since we are born about video clip music, movies, smart phone apps, etc being so much important for our happiness and well being. However even

      • Golgafrinchans (Score:4, Informative)

        by mcgrew (92797) * on Tuesday June 07, 2011 @08:58AM (#36361292) Homepage Journal

        Your comment made me think of HHGTG.

        TFA says the writer doesn't understand why CC should be baked into copyright, well, I'm no lawyer and I don't speak Russian, but perhaps he's doing what I've suggested all along -- that no noncommercial copying be deemed "infringing". You're no more going to stop P2P file sharers than you're going to stop potheads from smoking, or stop people from drinking back in the 1920s.

        Noncommercial "infringement" doesn't harm anyone, and studies show that "piracy" actually increases sales. Music pirates spend more money of music than non-pirates. A book publisher commissioned a study a couple of years ago to find out how much piracy hurt sales, and was flabbergasted to find that there was a second sales "spike" when the pirate version hit the web.

        The RIAA is at war with their competetion, the indies. The indies rely on P2P and the web, while the RIAA has radio. If there were no such thing as radio, the RIAA would embrace file sharing. Hell, back in the 1950s there was a "payola" scandal where RIAA labels would PAY to have their songs on the radio.

        As Cory Doctorow (who gives his ebooks away for free on boingboing) says, nobody ever went broke from piracy, but many artists have starved from obscurity.

    • by MoonBuggy (611105) on Tuesday June 07, 2011 @07:15AM (#36360714) Journal

      I think we'd be far better off if that were the entirety of the reasoning behind US copyright policy; an economy based on cerebral creative work is not inherently worse than one based on welding and riveting. That's not the whole of the issue, though: an awful lot of recent copyright legislation - from domain seizures to DMCA to term extensions - does little to help the creative industry as a whole, but an awful lot to help the few companies (many of whom are just middlemen anyway) with deep pockets and a vested interest in preventing their business models from changing, often even to the detriment of both the consumers and the actual creators.

      It's not an attempt to protect an IP-based economy, it's straightforward crony capitalism stemming from the lobbyists who don't want change. Their business model isn't threatened by infringement: 'piracy' is barely even slowed down by any of the countermeasures attempted, yet the industry continues to post record profits, implying that people do recognise that they need to pay, even for a crippled product. What they're actually threatened by is the emerging landscape in which they aren't the gatekeepers of all creative content.

      Fifteen to twenty year terms would be a more than adequate incentive for the creation of new works, as well as providing a huge catalogue of new public domain works every year which would, in turn, stimulate further creative re-use. Essentially infinite terms coupled with DRM that is illegal to remove have very little impact on infringement, but they practically obliterate the possibility of legitimate resale or re-use that would actually help the industry as a whole.

      • by sirlark (1676276) on Tuesday June 07, 2011 @08:03AM (#36360944)

        Fifteen to twenty year terms would be a more than adequate incentive for the creation of new works, as well as providing a huge catalogue of new public domain works every year which would, in turn, stimulate further creative re-use. Essentially infinite terms coupled with DRM that is illegal to remove have very little impact on infringement, but they practically obliterate the possibility of legitimate resale or re-use that would actually help the industry as a whole.

        I think even 15 to 20 years is too long. To me it makes more sense to have a very short initial term, say 5 years (which can change depending on industry circumstances, e.g. motion pictures might get longer terms than music because of heavier initial investments). Then rights holders may extend the term by another year at a small cost (say $100). To extend a second year, the cost doubles. Then again, and again. As long as the ownership of the rights remains profitable, it's worth extending, but the exponential increase in price means that the ownership of those rights will become untenable pretty quickly ($102400 within 15 years of original date). You can even put a cap on the maximum term duration, again, possibly different for different industries.

        The idea being, that if your idea hasn't paid off by the end of the initial term, it was probably crap anyway. At least everyone else thought it was! Your work can be considered the equivalent a defective material product; something for which nobody should be forced to pay, but can freely use the parts of to repair something that does, i.e. remixing. If your idea has paid off, you can hang on to it for as long as it stays profitable, but there's a check/balance that ensures others will eventually get access to your work. Also, as the costs of keeping the rights increases, the government, and indirectly the taxpayer, benefit from the profits of the work too

        • by JBMcB (73720)

          I think 15-20 years is entirely reasonable. Think of all the movies that tank at the box office, but become "cult classics" years later. I think the people who put the work and sweat into making them should be able to profit off of that success. Ditto all the songwriters whose songs become popular after some other band has reworked it, such as the endless covers of Not Fade Away in the 60's.

        • by syousef (465911)

          What you need to do is divorce the right to control a work from the right to profit from it.

          It should be permitted for anyone to copy or make any derivative work from day one. It should not be possible for the rights holder to disallow further creative work or making physical copies. HOWEVER the creators of the copies or derivative work must in turn compensate the creator at a similar price to the one that the creator set. (There need to be rules and standards).

          For example Disney creates a new Mickey movie

        • Or you could tax copyrights based on a small percentage of a self-assessed value, where anyone could pay the self-assessed amount to put the work into the public domain. I suggested that almost a decade ago, based on someone's slashdot sig that said something like "if it is intellectual property, why isn't it taxed?"

          More on that suggestion:
          http://journalism.berkeley.edu/projects/biplog/archive/000431.html [berkeley.edu]

          But in general, if about 20 years was long enough for copyright in the age of the Pony Ex

        • by c0d3g33k (102699)

          I like your idea of rights ownership being something you have to pay for to maintain. That would actually provide more of an incentive, it seems, to *actively* work at keeping your IP valuable, rather than just sitting back doing nothing while the terms get extended for work produced a life-time ago.

          I would also add some form of property tax. I have to pay taxes on things I own that are considered valuable (my land, house, automobiles, boats etc.). If rights owners (and their apologists) want to insist t

        • by hotseat (102621)

          There's actually quite an extensive economic literature on what the optimal economic term of copyright might be. See for example Pollock, R., 2009. Forever Minus a Day? Calculating Optimal Copyright Term. Review of Economic Research on Copyright Issues, 6(1), pp.35-60.

          The short answer is that the rational term is much lower than the present one - of the order of twenty years or less. The majority of works make no money that long after release, so the average economic value of the longer term is tiny, especi

        • by coofercat (719737)

          ...or how about you get 5 years by default. When you can show the Patent office an actual, working, implementation you get an extra 15 years. Of course, that doesn't mandate you actually go ahead and sell/use your invention, but it does mean you at least had to spend the time trying to make it. For everyone who's genuinely trying to invent something and make it, well, they've got 5 years to perfect it, and then another 15 to make money off it - all stuff they were going to do anyway. For all the leeches, we

      • by JasterBobaMereel (1102861) on Tuesday June 07, 2011 @08:16AM (#36361006)

        Parts of the Creative industry do not have copyright or Patents at all ... The fashion industry , they are almost totally US/Europe based outsource most of their production the the far east, and seem to be doing very well ...

        It is a myth that the creative industries would not survive without Copyright and Patents, they do already, the only downside for the fashion industry it they have to keep innovating, constantly, "That's so last year.." was invented by the fashion industry for a reason ..

        Note fashion houses/designers copy each other, the public, students etc.. and the high street stores copy the fashion designs with cheaper materials, and pay the fashion house little or nothing, but the designers still make plenty of money ...

        • by Fnkmaster (89084)

          but the designers still make plenty of money ...

          This is generally nonsense. Most high end fashion companies make very little money. Their labor costs are very, very high, and their sales volumes are very, very small because their price points are so high. In fact, these businesses would generally not even be viable if there weren't lots of well-to-do young women in New York and Paris willingly to work for free or nearly-free to "break in" to this industry. Same thing with the magazine world. Subsidized

        • by Yaa 101 (664725)

          This is starting to change, the designer Marlies Dekkers has sued Sapph for patent infringement on a design for bra's in my country and won. This is setting a precedent for others to patent and sue.

        • by poity (465672)

          That's not a very fair comparison. Fashion has a luxury component in it that demands authenticity, so while it may be that LV bags are copied all the time, one cannot expect the impact of counterfeit in that area to be as high as that of digital content, which is the crux of the issue when we talk of IP in the USA.

      • by phoomp (1098855)
        Agree completely. In fact, I'll take it a step further. The current copyright system creates a disincentive in the creative industries; by artificially inflating the value of old ideas it discourages the creation of new ideas (yes, there are still some new and innovative ideas).
      • by ThosLives (686517)

        an economy based on cerebral creative work is not inherently worse than one based on welding and riveting

        I'd argue the opposite actually: an economy based on actually producing wealth will always have an advantage over an economy that is purely based on services.

        Now, I would argue that an economy that uses "cerebral creative work" to augment its wealth creation activities will be better than both. But if all you do is cerebral activity, you are enslaved to people who actually provide the food, machines, etc

      • by mcgrew (92797) *

        It doesn't do "little to help the creative industry as a whole" but in fact harms creativity (unless you have shiploads of money, which artists seldom do). Like science and technology, art is built on what has come before. So you have outrages like ZZ Top being sued for "Ahow how how" which was in a Howlin' Wolf song decades before La Grange was recorded, Eddie Money was sued for the phrase "Whatever will be will be, the future is ours, you see" by the guy who wrote "Que Sara Sara", George Harrison being su

        • by Politburo (640618)
          You forgot the most egregious example, John Fogerty. As some might know, he was the lead singer of a little band called Creedence Clearwater Revival. The band broke up and John went solo. The music label for CCR (which owned the rights) ended up suing him as a solo artist, claiming that he copied his own song.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 07, 2011 @07:29AM (#36360764)

      I am Russian, and let me assure you that these talks are just that - talks to BS electorate for president elections this fall.
      D.A. Medvedev is like Russian's Obama - he talks a lot but nothing is ever gets done -)

      • I am Russian, and let me assure you that these talks are just that - talks to BS electorate for president elections this fall. D.A. Medvedev is like Russian's Obama - he talks a lot but nothing is ever gets done -)

        At least he's talking in a better direction than his Western counterparts, thus bringing an alternative viewpoint into the public eye. Then again, as you mentioned, the talk doesn't always translate into action after the election (example: Obama).

        • then again, as you mentioned, the talk doesn't always translate into action after the election (example: politicans).

          FTFY.

        • by Blymie (231220) on Tuesday June 07, 2011 @10:42AM (#36362316)

          I'm Canadian, but I pay attention to US politics from time to time.

          I don't think it's quite fair to state that Obama didn't take action. He did. However, the first *big* change he advocated during the election, Health Care Reform, was quite effectively blocked. He's spent years on that, and years fighting to prevent a reversal for the meager changes he could push through.

          It isn't like Obama can wave a magic wand, and make change. It isn't like any president can. He did what he could, he brought forward the idea of change. He spearheaded change. Many attempted to block that change, including many Democrats.

          I'm all for pointing out flaws, but at least point at the right flaws.

          An alternative example, was during first few weeks of a Conservative government up here. They canceled the national day care program. Many people were upset by this, which is fine, but people claimed Harper was a 'bad leader' for doing so.

          Ur, bad leader? He *campaigned" on abolishment of that program, and was democratically elected. If he *hadn't* canceled that program, he'd have been a bad leader! He'd have *lied*.

          So, I guess what I'm saying is -- is sounds to me like health care reform was an attempt at massive change -- that failed through no fault of Obama's. So, what are you blaming him for, exactly?

    • by kerohazel (913211) on Tuesday June 07, 2011 @07:35AM (#36360796) Homepage

      It's also understandable why US tried to fight for copyrights so much - that's basically the only thing they produce now.

      Although I share your worry that the US will become an IP-based economy, there's still a long way to go before that happens.

      Manufacturing and trade still dwarf other the information and entertainment sectors:
      http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/IBQTable?_bm=y&-filter=&-sortkey2=&-defOrder=N&-sortkey1=&-ds_name=EC0700A1&-sortkey0=-RCPTOT&-NAICS2007=00 [census.gov]|21|22|23|31-33|42|44-45|48-49|51|52|53|54|55|56|61|62|71|72|81&-ib_type=NAICS2007&NAICS2007sector=*2&-geo_id=01000US&-dataitem=RCPTOT|GEO_ID$|NAICS2007|NAICS2007$|OPTAX$|FOOTID|ESTAB|PAYANN|EMP|NESTAB|NRCPTOT&-_lang=en
      (Sorry link got FUBAR, paste it manually if you want to see it.)

      The US also remains the world's largest manufacturer:
      http://mjperry.blogspot.com/2009/10/us-still-worlds-largest-manufacturer.html [blogspot.com]
      (Sorry to have to link to a blog, but the reference in the post is a dead link.)

    • by Xelios (822510) on Tuesday June 07, 2011 @07:56AM (#36360900)
      What it boils down to is the simple idea that copyright as it stands is too big to fail. Much like certain banks were deemed too big to fail when their shoddy business practices landed them in a world of financial trouble. If you ask me "to big to fail" is just another way of saying "it's broken". We let it run out of control for too long and now we're in a real bind. I don't see any way out but to let it fail and suck up the consequences, otherwise it's just going to get more and more ridiculous until it eventually collapses anyway, possibly dragging other good things down with it (like the internet as we know it today).
      • What it boils down to is the simple idea that copyright as it stands is too big to fail.

        No it's not. The entertainment industry is tiny compared to manufacturing, banking, etc.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by LWATCDR (28044)

        Copyright and Patients are all about the differences in the cost of production and duplication. Many products are very expensive to produce. Software, electronics, music, books, movies, and TV Shows are all examples but are easy to duplicate. Copyrights and patent law allow the cost of production to be spread all the users of the item produced. It may cost millions of dollars to make a wireless networking chip. The company then makes the money back by charging everyone that buys it just a few dollars.
        The s

    • by arisvega (1414195)

      I'm starting to like Russia.

      What do you mean "you 're starting to like". Perhaps "you 're starting to actually take time to think for yourself whether you like Russia or not"?

    • by mblase (200735)

      I'm starting to like Russia. It's also understandable why US tried to fight for copyrights so much - that's basically the only thing they produce now. Rest of the world produces actual products.

      Copyright law goes hand-in-hand with patent law. Patents govern who can make those actual products. China's flagrant disrespect for patent rights is almost as bad as their disrespect for copyright, and it means that if other countries manufacture in China, they have to assume their designs will be stolen and pirated sooner or later.

      Like it or not, there should be SOME incentive for innovators and creators to continue to innovate and create, without having to rush to be first to market in order to make any m

    • The US still has a large manufacturing base. Is it as strong as it used to be? No. But it's very very close to China in size (depending on whose numbers you use, the US base is either a tiny bit smaller or bigger.) China and the US each account for almost 20% of global manufacturing output. Of course, China will pass the US in manufacturing (if they haven't already), but it's not like we produce nothing.

    • by bws111 (1216812)

      Why are you just starting to like Russia? They have hundreds of years of history of ensuring that individuals can never advance themselves, earn money, or own anything substantial.

    • by utahjazz (177190)

      It's also understandable why US tried to fight for copyrights so much - that's basically the only thing they produce now. Rest of the world produces actual products.

      That's fiction. US manufacturing output is still far ahead of every other country. [1] [msn.com] [2] [american.com]

    • I love Russia, and I think this gesture is more important than the language suggests.
      Russia is the first country to give the finger to US acta shakedown, which makes it easier for others to follow.
      Its not "most of the rest of the world" that wants harsher ip crap, its the US and some spineless countries that do as they're told.

    • by Thuktun (221615)

      It's also understandable why US tried to fight for copyrights so much - that's basically the only thing they produce now.

      The scenario Charles Stross posits for the USA and copyright in Accelerando is becoming more and more believable. (government-sanctioned and supported copyright mafia)

    • by LWATCDR (28044)

      I find peoples comments on copyrights and IP really annoying. Yes we live in the world where a lot of things are very expensive to produce but cheap to duplicate. That is why we have copyright law. To protect the investment in production of this material. I am not going even pretend that there isn't problems with copyright law. We without a doubt need to reform it and make rules about things like fair use, reduce the terms back down to be for the Disney law took place and so on. copyright laws also need to

  • (See subject)

  • Finally! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ThunderBird89 (1293256) <zalanmeggyesi&yahoo,com> on Tuesday June 07, 2011 @06:56AM (#36360640)

    A 'Soviet Russia' joke that's not disparaging of Russia: "In Russia, you reform copyright law. In America, copyright law reforms you..."

  • Well, he's right (Score:5, Insightful)

    by LordNacho (1909280) on Tuesday June 07, 2011 @06:57AM (#36360648)

    IP rights seem to have gone to point where only lawyers benefit. As anyone who's ever been billed by one knows, it's friggin expensive. Probably a lot of the world's productive capacity is used on this kind of paperwork, and with questionable results (will Metallica really stop making music if they didn't have copyright? Are drug patents approved for the drugs people actually need? Etc, big can of worms...). Time for a cleanup. Not sure how, as any transition phase would be internationally fragmented and highly contentious, but we'd all benefit from a less complex system.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      will Metallica really stop making music if they didn't have copyright?

      I can dream, can't I?

    • The cleanup is the Internet combined with the plethora of free licenses to choose from, and an large number of people willing to do work and give it away for free. Nobody is putting a gun to anyone's head, but the people paying the patent and copyright lawyers...their products have to compete with the free stuff, which is getting increasingly more sophisticated.

      In the past, someone could make free chairs and stick them by the side of the road, but it didn't cut into Wal-Mart's chair sales that much. With th

      • Actually, looking at some of the fine software that's available for free, I tend to agree. The minimum standard for copyrighted software is raised by having free stuff that works pretty well.

        Now, that works for software but what about other technologies? Eg. I don't really have a problem with extremely poor people getting copycat AIDS drugs. It's not obvious they would have paid for it, and it doesn't reduce the supply of the critical piece of information (the recipe). And what are pharmas developing, anywa

  • Well, here's a story where things are actually reversed in Russia. So reversed that Russia isn't even Soviet anymore

  • by Cyberax (705495) on Tuesday June 07, 2011 @07:11AM (#36360698)

    Pres. Medvedev is a great troll! Unfortunately, he doesn't decide anything in Russia - Putin does.

    For example, quite recently "Deep Purple" was forced to pay $15000 for performance of music by "Deep Purple" (http://russian-law.livejournal.com/44954.html)!

    You see, there's a mandatory 'performance fee' in Russia which goes toward central agency which then distributes gathered money to artists (minus 15% commission). Also they receive 1% of sale price for all computing equipment. And about 0.1 cent from each square meter of hotel space. And also there's no practical way to opt-out out of this system for artists.

    So Medvedev can talk all he wants, it won't change a thing.

  • Medvedev's days may be numbered.
    Putin doesn't like the reformist bent that Medvedev has taken and will probably run for President in 2012.

  • Pink glasses off! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 07, 2011 @07:20AM (#36360738)

    Reaction here is straight opposite to opinions on russian tech-related sites.
    CC-like licence is just to not use the original CC. Original CC will become outlaw. If you want to use CC or GPL licensed product - make sure it is registered in a new "CC-like" government registry. What do you mean "I don't know if Linus and all his thousand of developers signed all the documents to apply to this brand new CC-like license?" Not licensed - not legit. Go back home poor opensource boy.

  • The copyright laws [url=http://www.law.northwestern.edu/colloquium/ip/documents/gordon.pdf]are morally inconsistent[/url]. We should all strive to not support them.

    • by jd (1658)

      Sorry, BBS codes aren't valid here. Slashdot uses Real HTML. :)

  • In a statement released on the Kremlin's website on Thursday, Medvedev instructed the country's communications ministry to draw up amendments "aimed at allowing authors to let an unlimited number of people use their content on the basis of free licensing."

    So before they didn't allow authors to use free licenses?

    And as much as I'd hope that Russia is relaxing copyright for the greater benefit, I'm pretty sure this is the same as it's always been for nations that are below the top. Mainly, those on top try

    • So before they didn't allow authors to use free licenses?

      Ironically, you're hit at exactly the right question.

      Yes, under the Russian law as it stands, there is some doubt among lawyers whether CC licenses have legal standing. It's not about whether the authors are allowed to say that such-and-such is licensed under CC, it's about whether the license is valid; in particular, whether the author can actually sign away his rights like that. The problem is with interpretation of licenses, or rather contracts, in Russian law. For considerable time, you couldn't have a

  • That's the first positive news I've heard from Putin Medvedev---ever.

  • by trout007 (975317) on Tuesday June 07, 2011 @07:42AM (#36360838)

    Here is a great book http://mises.org/books/against.pdf [mises.org] against intellectual property laws.

    I am a believer in natural law theory. This basically means there are laws that govern how humans interact with each other just like those that we describe with physics. The goal of human law should be to work with those laws.

    There is a natural intellectual monopoly that goes with any discovery. When a new product is first created it isn't obvious if it will be successful. It is only after it is successful do others want to copy it. This gives the creator a natural monopoly in which they can be the only seller. Also what is interesting is that unlike our legal monopoly the natural one adjusts based on how advanced the discovery is. Something that is obvious like the one click buy button can be instantly copied. But a new piece of hardware that is a generation more advanced might take competitors years to reverse engineer and gear up for fabrication

    • by sifi (170630)
      “Against Intellectual Property” first appeared as part of the symposium Applications of Libertarian Legal Theory, published in the Journal of Libertarian Studies 15, no. 2 (Spring 2001). Copyright © 2008 Ludwig von Mises Institute
      • by trout007 (975317)

        I assume you are trying to say they are hypocritical because they Copyrighted a book against IP. Just because you argue for a different set of laws doesn't mean you can ignore the ones that exist. Copyright exists the moment you create it. See http://www.copyright.gov/help/faq/faq-general.html [copyright.gov]

        If you go to mises.org all of their books are free to download. They registered the copyright for the sole purpose of preventing someone else from copyrighting the works and trying to prevent the free dissemination. Th

    • There is a natural intellectual monopoly that goes with any discovery...a new piece of hardware that is a generation more advanced might take competitors years to reverse engineer and gear up for fabrication

      Or a competitor can offer a higher salary to key employees of the company that makes the initial discovery, thereby reducing or eliminating the "natural intellectual monopoly". At this point, there are two choices:

      1) Allow it to happen, which would invalidate the "natural law" monopoly you spoke of.

      2) Forbid it from happening, which would lead to the copyright/patent/trade secret mess we have now.

      There is nothing wrong with protecting the intellectual product of a person/company. There are many, many thin

      • by trout007 (975317)

        If you have the time please read the book. These are some of the things discussed. One of the major roles for governments in libertarian thought is to enforce contracts. There are some solutions that don't lead back to an IP rights situation. An employer and employee can have a legal contract that can help prevent this. But if the employee leaves it is the employee that is breech of contract not the company that paid for the information. If the first company finds out about the offer in time it could get a

    • But a new piece of hardware that is a generation more advanced might take competitors years to reverse engineer and gear up for fabrication

      Imagine I spend the better part of 10 years and $50M to create a viable material to act as a lensing system for X-Rays, thus making it possible to create highly portable X-Ray machines and increasing x-ray resolution, by attempting thousands of different combinations of substrate elements, doping elements, etc.

      You're saying that because a competitor can just buy such a m

      • by trout007 (975317)

        If you just found a use for existing material you are right.

        Lets say I somehow designed an iPad with all of the hardware associated with in the 1980's. I built all of the infrastructure to create all of the chips and displays ect. I could release that on the market and it would take 5 or 10 years for copies to be available. But today those chips and displays are readily available. Apple just designed a nicer interface and package than anyone else. Once they did it is was easily copied. And yet they still ha

        • Well it's funny that you should mention the iPad - given that Apple will come down incredibly hard on anybody who were to manufacture an competing product that...

          A. included Apple's connector design, so that the competing product can be used with one of hundreds (and growing) peripherals.
          B. included an operating system compatible with iOS, so that the competing product can make use of iOS application.
          C. looks too much like an iPad (see recent story re: Samsung).

          In other words, the copy is not actually a cop

      • Why should people in any country have to subsidize a broken business model based on "artificial scarcity" in the 21st century? There are plenty of other ways research can be funded -- foundation, governments, private individuals, a basic income.

    • by glodime (1015179) <eric@glodime.com> on Tuesday June 07, 2011 @08:49AM (#36361226) Homepage

      There's no need to subscribe to natural law theory to support the liberalization or eliminating of intellectual property laws. Against Intellectual Monopoly [ucla.edu] by Michele Boldrin and David K. Levine takes a pragmatic approach to evaluating intellectual property. They argue through empirical study that eliminating intellectual property laws would actually improve innovation and creation.

  • that he didn't get his payoff. This will blow over.

  • by Aceticon (140883) on Tuesday June 07, 2011 @08:09AM (#36360968)

    Copyright rules designed to create/protect monopolies and cartels in intellectual property business areas and more in general give them a huge first mover advantage only make sense for countries which already have large and well-established "creative" (not just media but also product design) multinational corporations.

    If a country's companies have already been out staking claims in the "ideas territory" and charging for access to it for a long time, it makes all sense for that country to try and protect those claims and revenue sources.

    (It's not by chance that countries such as the UK and the US that have the biggest and oldest media industries are the ones pushing hardest for international rules that create artificial scarcity and establish/protect monopolies in the ideas space).

    If however you are a country without big creative companies and/or whose companies are late entrants, the kind of copyright protections pushed by first-mover nations serves only to hinder your own company's progression and increase their costs in that space, something that the companies that went there first did not have to face.

    Pretty much all BRICs are in the position of being tol-payers rather than tol-owners in the ideas space, thus it makes all sense for them to be against copyright as pushed by the likes of the US and the UK.

Mathemeticians stand on each other's shoulders while computer scientists stand on each other's toes. -- Richard Hamming

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