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The Media Your Rights Online

German Publishers Want Monopoly On Sentences 158

Glyn Moody writes "You think copyright can't get any more draconian? Think again. In Germany, newspaper publishers are lobbying for 'a new exclusive right conferring the power to monopolize speech e.g. by assigning a right to re-use a particular wording in the headline of a news article anywhere else without the permission of the rights holder. According to the drafts circulating on the Internet, permission shall be obtainable exclusively by closing an agreement with a new collecting society which will be founded after the drafts have matured into law. Depending on the particulars, new levies might come up for each and every user of a PC, at least if the computer is used in a company for commercial purposes.' Think that will never work because someone will always break the news cartel? Don't worry, they've got that covered too. They want to 'amend cartel law in order to enable a global "pooling" of all exclusive rights of all newspaper publishers in Germany in order to block any attempt to defect from the paywall cartel by a single competitor.' And rest assured, if anything like this passes in Germany, publishers everywhere will be using the copyright ratchet to obtain 'parity.'"
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German Publishers Want Monopoly On Sentences

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  • So what (Score:4, Insightful)

    by binarylarry ( 1338699 ) on Saturday June 19, 2010 @09:03AM (#32624536)

    Dying creatures thrash about as they go to meet their doom.

    News at 11 (please don't sue me gemany)

  • Arbeit macht frei (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Vinegar Joe ( 998110 ) on Saturday June 19, 2010 @09:53AM (#32624784)

    The Germans can have the right to that particular "word order".....

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 19, 2010 @10:30AM (#32625014)

    The lawyers would love it. Hell, they already do. It's a license to print money.

    Unless we do something to encourage lawyers from doing so, that is. Would be shame if something happened to them; and all that. With today's corruption and blatant disregard for citizens in politics, this seems to turn into the only way left for the people.

  • by drinkypoo ( 153816 ) <> on Saturday June 19, 2010 @10:38AM (#32625070) Homepage Journal

    You do realize you're riffing on Ayn Rand, right? Not saying that's good or bad, but few people realize that was her principle point.

    Even fewer people realize the difference between principle and principal.

  • Re:So what (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 19, 2010 @10:40AM (#32625078)

    Dying creatures thrash about as they go to meet their doom.

    "There has grown up in the minds of certain groups in this country the notion that because a man or corporation has made a profit out of the public for a number of years, the government and the courts are charged with the duty of guaranteeing such profit in the future, even in the face of changing circumstances and contrary to the public interest. This strange doctrine is not supported by statute nor common law. Neither individuals nor corporations have any right to come into court and ask that the clock of history be stopped, or turned back."
    -Life-Line by Robert A. Heinlein (1939)

    /Anonymously because I don't need the karma.

  • Re:Flip side (Score:5, Insightful)

    by betterunixthanunix ( 980855 ) on Saturday June 19, 2010 @10:45AM (#32625098)
    "What will you do when more people are breaking your law than obeying it?"

    The same thing we do with drug prohibition: expand the police force and increase the power that the police have, and then go ahead and incarcerate millions of people.
  • Re:So what (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mikael_j ( 106439 ) on Saturday June 19, 2010 @10:58AM (#32625158)

    The problem is that in general laws don't get removed once they're in place. This means that if these guys get a whole bunch of insane laws on the books before they die off the laws will almost certainly hang around for decades to come.

  • by Bigjeff5 ( 1143585 ) on Saturday June 19, 2010 @12:21PM (#32625692)

    The article is right about about the "copyright ratchet", but it's extremely short-sighted and, frankly, wrong when it says that it is the US pushing its laws onto the rest of the world. It has recently been driven by the US - things like the DMCA and Sonny Bono act and such, but most of the draconian copyright laws did not exist in the US until the 60's, where we were the ones who were "ratcheted up" to the rest of the world's standards, which had already been ratcheted up by the French (who still have the most restrictive copyright laws in the world, in my opinion). The French still give far more rights to author's/artists than the US does, so to say it is US driven is a little disingenuous, or at the very least completely ignorant of history. It also goes squarely against the articles main point: that copyright harmonization is any different than any other harmonization. There are swings back and forth.

    The real difference between copyright harmonization and other types of harmonization is copyright law affects everyone every single day, where most laws only affect a few people at any given time. Yet only a very small number of people are involved in the decision making process. Our supposed representatives are too easily swayed by lobbyists, they aren't considering the people any more.

  • Re:So what (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 19, 2010 @05:54PM (#32628036)

    His word usage: presumtuous, arrogant. Your word usage: stupid, little. He wins.

  • Re:So what (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Hurricane78 ( 562437 ) <deleted AT slashdot DOT org> on Sunday June 20, 2010 @01:43AM (#32630160)

    So that is how you in not only a +5 Informative, but also a +5 Funny? By insulting people and then taking it back?

    Wait, I can do that too:


Adding features does not necessarily increase functionality -- it just makes the manuals thicker.