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An interesting idea about copyright

  1. Uninvited Writer profile image81
    Uninvited Writerposted 7 years ago

    There is a great discussion going on here about copyright:
    http://zenhabits.net/2008/01/open-sourc … y-content/

    The owner of this blog has made all of his work available for anyone to use anyway they wish.

    What do you think? I probably would go as far as this author but it really is something to think about.

    1. darkside profile image83
      darksideposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      Interesting concept.

      I've had a similar idea for a while, but it doesn't involve words,  but images.

      Two characters I came up with a while ago. In 2000 I actually modelled them as 3D characters.

      I was considering making the characters open source. People could use them as they saw fit. In return, I could appropriate their artwork and use it too.

      Of course I'm not advocating that everything by everyone should be open source. But sometimes something interesting can come out of a collaborative work.

      Bands have been known to do it on occasion, make their music available for others to remix or reinterpret without fear of a Cease & Desist.

      1. Sufidreamer profile image80
        Sufidreamerposted 7 years ago in reply to this

        Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails does that - he gives free downloads of most of his music and actively encourages others to remix and rework it.

    2. GeneriqueMedia profile image62
      GeneriqueMediaposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      Not to look like I'm trying to gain sympathy, but I've already been doing this throughout my Hubs. Its not copyrighting, its "copylefting."

      Here's my work, I hope you like it, please share it and I never mind being asked if someone wants to build upon it, modify it, etc.,etc.

      Although, some stuff I have protecting under a clause that there be no derivatives and all, I'm able to write you a get out of copyright hell free card on that. wink


  2. Mimbi profile image61
    Mimbiposted 7 years ago

    If everyone makes everything open source, then no one will profit off there own content and the same content would be copied way to many times to ever be useful, it will just all be spam. Not only that, it allows the original user to be attacked upon by changing there blog in a way they wouldn't normally post it.


  3. Uninvited Writer profile image81
    Uninvited Writerposted 7 years ago

    The author is arguing that most money earned by bloggers is through advertising, not the content.

    Like I said, I am still on the fence about this.

  4. thranax profile image58
    thranaxposted 7 years ago

    Wow...interesting blog. Doesn't everyone know that most money made is through advertising unless you can supply a product of some sort? I still don't like the idea of open copyrights, to get people to your advertisements or not!


  5. Uninvited Writer profile image81
    Uninvited Writerposted 7 years ago

    Here is another article he wrote about it:

    http://writetodone.com/2009/04/29/the-c … ng-you-do/

  6. thranax profile image58
    thranaxposted 7 years ago

    The way he is phrasing it, it seems he is doing this as a "Publicity stunt" to grow from 30k subs to 113k. Basically, he is doing something to get people to him-then allow no one else to do it because everyone that is doing that is on him. He's treating it as a 1 time punch kind of thing that will leave him set for a long time and make anyone else trying it fail.


    1. Uninvited Writer profile image81
      Uninvited Writerposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      You really have to trust people once in a while that they are doing the right thing smile

  7. ledefensetech profile image81
    ledefensetechposted 7 years ago

    Check out Baen free library at http://www.baen.com/library/.  Be sure to read the Prime Palaver by Eric Flint.  Also check out the early editions of Jim Baen's Universe, specifically the Salvos Against Big Brother column: http://bit.ly/c9kqU.

    Although Flint advocates copyright, he is an author after all, I, personally, don't believe in it.  My reasoning comes down to one simple question.  How can you own something as ethereal as an idea?  Even if you can, how can you expect to allow someone who isn't the creator of said content to profit for almost a century after the death of the creator, i.e. Disney?

    The music industry has to be the worst about all of this, musicians get a pittance comparatively speaking, while the music labels make all the money.  In a copyright free world, bands would rely much more on live shows and tours to make money.  Come to think of it, that's where many bands make their money now.  That and merchandising.  So much for the poor starving artist argument.

    On a more practical note, how do you award intellectual property rights to something like the wheel?  Is it ethical to give one person a monopoly over such a useful tool?  Should we drive out any other miscreants who would usurp the creator's right to profit from his idea?  Does that argument even make sense? 

    The fact is that without copyright, writers and artists would be subject to the same laws of supply and demand that permeate every market.  In a way they are now, but copyright gives people a monopoly over thoughts and ideas, with all the evils associated with a monopoly.

    1. Sufidreamer profile image80
      Sufidreamerposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      Hi LDT

      I agree with some of what you say, even as a writer, but I am not quite sure how supply and demand works in this.

      Fair enough - I work online and sell my services as a writer. I get paid according to the quality of the work that I produce and market conditions. No problem with that - the free market in action.

      From what you seem to be saying here, somebody could copy my work word-for-word, put their own name on it and sell it as their own. That is a more problematic area - I am not sure how protecting my own product is a monopoly in the sense that you describe.

      You describe what happens at the top, with bands and artists, but there are many starving artists at the bottom.

  8. 0
    Leta Sposted 7 years ago

    I probably agree most with Sufi here--there has got to be some middle ground regarding copyright, which I find to be a very murky area of law.  As an artist and writer I absolutely believe that my intellectual property should be protected against thievery.  That being said, the well-known phrase there is "nothing new under the sun," in the creative fields also applies.  Some of the best works were inspired by previous works.

    In the business world, too, regarding writing marketing materials, it gets plain ridiculous when copyright extends down to WORDS because of big business interests such as those of the NCAA. Which likes to prosecute anyone they see as profiting by promoting an event that may use phrases they own, such as "March Madness."  It gets downright insane.  Yeah, we are having a d*mned basketball playoff bar party, but I can't say that on my promotional stuff for fear of being prosecuted.

  9. ledefensetech profile image81
    ledefensetechposted 7 years ago

    Hey Sufi, what's up?  Lita, how are you?

    What I'm proposing is a bit more radical than either of you are comfortable with.  What I'm suggesting is that there is no such thing as intellectual property.  All language, especially writing, is just a method to communicate ideas.  Ideas themselves are not property.  Neither is the method used to communicate those ideas.

    Lita you mentioned someone putting their name on your work and claiming it as your own.  What's the problem with that?  That's a moral issue.  If someone wants to lie and claim something as their own, no law will stop them.  Sooner or later, phonies like that are found out when someone calls them on something they did and they can't reproduce it or give something more than a cursory overview of something they stole.  At that point their reputation is tarnished forever.  Do you really think that someone at HP who plagiarized would not be found out in short order?  HP wouldn't have to enforce anything, the community here would pass judgment on the plagiarizer and any credibility they had would be shot.

    As a practical matter, how do you enforce your copyright?  Do you troll boards and all manner of media or would your time be better spent creating new content and monetizing that?  I've heard many authors lament the time and effort it takes to enforce copyright.  That time could be better used.  If you read the Prime Palaver in my previous post, Eric Flint basically says rip off his works because once he hooks you, you'll buy his new novels.  The hardest thing to do as any type of entrepreneur is to get the word out about your product, "internet piracy" is a free way to get that done.

    Lita, you just nailed the main problem I have with copyright on the head.  Where does it end?  If it's a matter of law, then those who have power and money will always have the laws written to benefit them at the expense of everyone else.  That's why I'm such a big proponent of community sanction and common law.  Basically you're only as good as your word.  If you steal, cheat and lie, then you're word is worth nothing and you don't deserve to be successful.

    Sufi, as for the starving artists, well that must be something they're doing wrong.  Art as a business takes in billions of dollars a year.  All human societies seem to need music, art, sculpture, books, etc.  If you're not making money, you must not be giving people something of value.  That's the key word.  People must value what you do, otherwise you're wasting your time. 

    Personally I'd be ecstatic if people spread my work as long and far as they were able.  I couldn't pay for such advertising.  Copyright has the effect of restricting the flow of ideas and that diminishes us all.

    1. Sufidreamer profile image80
      Sufidreamerposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      Hey LDT - Hope that you had a great weekend.

      Not really with you on that one - if I write a book or an article, it is a product of my mind. I am not sure how you equate that with 'not being my property.' Unfortunately, the idea is radical because it is unworkable.

      The problem is that you seem to be looking at the top-end. If somebody took a Stephen King book, changed the cover and put their name on it, that would be valid. Sadly, it is not the same for the vast majority of writers.

      As an example, I have been writing a science resource site, for which the owner has paid me money over the past year. According to your idea, there is nothing to stop somebody copy-pasting the site and using it as their own, taking half of the revenue. There is little chance that they will be 'found out.' Therefore, there is no incentive for me to write or for him to pay good money for a site.

      Again, you are assuming a) That we all write novels and b) That we all work through monetizing and advertising. For most of us, we work privately for clients, creating bespoke work. If they pay money, why should somebody be able to copy their content for free.

      You talk about removing the publishing houses and record labels from the mix. All that will happen is that the companies that can afford thousands of data-entry operatives to copy-paste, with big advertising budgets, prevail. The same old - replace one thing with the same thing. You are talking about killing creativity, as the quality of available information will decline - it is already difficult to find anything useful online amongst the spun articles. Nothing against affiliates, but there has to be room for both.

      Talking from a writer's perspective, the only thing that we are doing wrong is not living in a country with a low cost of living. We are forced to operate in a free market, but the playing field is not level, therefore we struggle. You are also concentrating upon art, when most writers are not creative writers.   

      Again, you are talking about giving over the entire shebang to the affiliates. Put it this way, if the copyright laws were removed tomorrow, I would not bother writing. This is the problem that I have with libertarian free market views - you always bang on about 'the fruits of my labour,' and individual rights, but you would quite happily take away my rights to my own labour.

      1. Misha profile image75
        Mishaposted 7 years ago in reply to this

        I won't take part in your discussion cause I did not put a coherent opinion on the topic yet, but for this isolated issue this is exactly how things are on the Internet. You can go and copy any site you want, and there is nothing owner can do about it if you do this smart enough. smile

        1. girly_girl09 profile image79
          girly_girl09posted 7 years ago in reply to this

          Now I have to jump in and say I disagree with that! smile If someone was to steal some of my work that lived in America, I'd have them mailed a nice little letter from an attorney immediately. It's pretty easy to get people to take stuff down. I used to date a copyright lawyer and some of his associates specialized in internet copyright laws. Realy interesting stuff.

          Other countries are more difficult to deal with. However, as long as you can prove that they've violated their hosting companies TOS (and that their hosting company will work with your lawyers, as most will after the appropriate action is taken) you'll be ok.

          The only time that it is difficult to get people to stop stealing your stuff is if they are from foreign countries as well are their hosting companies and neither give a flip about a scary cease & desist letter.

  10. Trekkiemelissa profile image79
    Trekkiemelissaposted 7 years ago

    Yeah I came across that yesturday.  Its something to think about though.  I even commented on there.

  11. Lissie profile image86
    Lissieposted 7 years ago

    I think the whole debate around copyright is at a very interesting moment in history. The classic example of course is Microsoft copyrighting all its software and the Open Source movement which gives software away for free, allows anyone to modify it so long as the subsequent mods are given away for free...

    The extreme example is also from Zen habits :privatising words where the author of the book told the blogger to stop using the phrase "feel the fear and do it anyway" because it was a title of her book - BTW she is wrong: http://www.goodevalue.com/2009/04/27/fe … it-anyway/ and yes I am thinking about a post on a similar subject ...

    1. JamaGenee profile image87
      JamaGeneeposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      McDonald's took it one step further and sued an eatery called McCurry's (in NZ?) to make them remove the "Mc".  McD lost, of course.  I thought they'd given up on that stuff after one of the MacDonald clan in Scotland whooped their butts big time for suing him to change the name of the cafe of the same name that he and his family started long before Ray Kroc was born! Imagine the arrogance in wanting hereditary MacDonalds to pick another name for their one and only cafe!

      1. JamaGenee profile image87
        JamaGeneeposted 7 years ago in reply to this
  12. Lissie profile image86
    Lissieposted 7 years ago

    Sorry couldn't resist: Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway

  13. Shalini Kagal profile image80
    Shalini Kagalposted 7 years ago

    The onus should really be on the creator, shouldn't it? To free...or not to free his content!

  14. Lissie profile image86
    Lissieposted 7 years ago

    No the point Shalini is that the author in my example didn't create the phrase "feel the fear and do it anyway"  they are all words used in everyday English- you can't trademark something that is in common usage and trademarks are only by country too.

    There is a famous case in NZ with a local 100 year old chocolate block called Whitakers - there is also a well-estabilshed Australian firm called something very similar I think Whittakers which produces boxed chocolates. The Australians tried to stop the NZers using what was their established company name  - they lost!

  15. Shalini Kagal profile image80
    Shalini Kagalposted 7 years ago

    Lissie - I agree with you. Sorry - I was making a point about the Open Source blog and content. Privatising words or phrases is, I feel, carrying it too far. We've had examples of 'basmati rice' and turmeric' which should ideally be generic terms being submitted for trademarking!

  16. ledefensetech profile image81
    ledefensetechposted 7 years ago

    It was a little cold and rainy, but otherwise it was great.  Things should be blooming here satisfactorily here soon.  I understand your reservations as this subject hits close to home.  I still stand by my assertion that you cannot really make money just from writing.  If that were the case people could write about anything and make money at it.  The numbers of failed writers out there proves that you just can’t write anything.  People only reward writers who inform or entertain them.  The reason I say that what you write is not your property is due to the nature of property.

    Property, first, is something material.  Land, timber, gold, factories, cars, homes, all of these things are property.  Ideas are not property due to their ethereal nature.  Ideas are not something you can quantify or assign a value; you can’t even say for sure where your ideas come from.  Ideas are, in a way, a collective endeavor.  You get an idea from somewhere, maybe you read it, overheard something in a conversation, or maybe your idea is the product of several seemingly unrelated pieces of data you’ve gotten from somewhere else.   Can you really claim an original idea?

    Now when you write that idea down and discuss its ramifications you are creating something, but it’s still not property.  It’s still an idea.  This forum is a great example of people refining what they write.  The continually refine or clarify points to help people understand the idea behind their words.  You can’t own an idea.  Neither can you own the communication method behind that idea.  At least you can’t own them without violating the liberty of other people.

    You say it’s unworkable because you can’t conceive another way of monetizing your writing, but if you were faced with a true free market in ideas, you’d find a new way to monetize your money pretty quick, due to the crucible effect of free markets.  I don’t know for sure how that would fall out, but I do know that once someone monetized it, others would follow.  This would stoke competition, which would lower prices, which would benefit us all. 

    Not really.  The reason cheaters never prosper is because, in the case of writing, the act of writing makes you a better writer.  There is no other way to become a better writer.  Stephen King his own self, says it and so do many other top tier writers.  Now a cheater may get away with it for a while, but sooner or later he or she gets found out.  At that point in time not only is their reputation ruined, but they may be liable in court if it can be proven that they cause material loss to another person.  The distinction from copyright is subtle but it is still there.

    As per your example, that’s a bit different.  You have a tacit agreement, a contract, with the resource site to provide content for them.  In return for the content you’re going to get paid.  Now for someone to take what you’ve written and claim it as their own for the purposes of taking money that rightfully belongs to you, they’ve now committed fraud and should be persecuted in court for it.  At that point you can show that you suffered a material harm from someone else and at that point your arguments make sense.

    For a counterexample, look at the flap over the encyclopedia that someone wanted to write about Harry Potter.  This guy was doing something to increase the circulation and appeal of the wildly successful series, which has been made into movies, merchandise, etc.  J.K. Rowling had the unbelievable gall to claim that this guy stole money from her.  Last time I checked the Harry Potter story is a coming of age story mashed with sword and sorcery mashed with young adult fare mashed with epic storytelling.  None of this is new and nobody has a right to claim sole rights over such a story or mashup of stories.  Me, if I had been that successful and done so well as she, I’d be ecstatic that people wanted to de encyclopedias of my work thus expanding the body of work and ensuring its immortality in English literature.  Very few authors get the opportunity to do that and fewer get the chance to add to a body of work. 

    Great, so you do work for private clients.  You get paid and someone else claims your work as their own to try to land clients of their own.  Since they probably don’t write themselves, after all if they did why would they steal someone else’s work, they won’t write nearly as well as your purloined article.  Not only will the product be inferior to what you’ve done, the client won’t hire that person ever again and may even spur the client to look for legitimate examples of your work.  So even if someone steals your work, it’s very hard to masquerade it  as their own.

    That might work for a time, but over time those companies would go out of business.  Why?  Things are always changing and you have to keep producing in a free market to keep up.  If you fall behind you’re lost.  Google is a great example of this.  Once upon a time, all a SEO person had to do was load up on metatags and use keywords in font color that matched the background of the webpage in order to get high Google rankings.  Basically they were cheating.

    So what does Google do?  It changed the rules in such a way that those people are penalized.  What’s the result of that?  Google rankings are much more relevant to what people are searching for.  Remember AltaVista?  Hotbox?  Excite?  How many of them are still in business?  They didn’t change their algorithms and didn’t give people relevant content, so they fell by the wayside and failed.  Google is a perfect example of a company that continues to innovate.  Rather than rest on their laurels as an “Internet Portal” they put out Google Docs, the Android system for cell phones, and they’re about to debut Google Drive.  All of these solutions target something specific that long term companies in the Information System business have ignored or are under their radar. 

    People will always look for something new and something creative.  The people and organizations that can do that will be amply rewarded by their customers.

    I disagree.  All writing by its very nature is creative.  You take an idea and put it into words in such a way that you convey the essence of that idea to another person.  It’s not easy to do that, don’t get me wrong.  In fact, it’s so hard that people often overestimate their ability to do that.  That’s why free markets are so essential to determining good writing over bad writing.  People must be free to make decisions based on their own value systems.  In doing so, you ensure that the best rise to the top and the drek settles to the bottom.  It’s hard and it’s work, but if you don’t want to play don’t write. 

    Again, writing for the sake of writing is not property.  Let’s be honest, on Hubpages you make money through marketing.  If people like what you’re saying, they’ll usually click on the ads in the page, thus making you money.  That gives you an incentive to write in such a way that you inform people.   Writing is about ideas, which nobody can own.  I don’t advocate taking what’s yours from you.  But if the game in which we play is crooked, how can you be sure that you truly deserve what you’ve earned?

    In a way you and I are in competition.   You seek to sway people to your side and I seek to do the same.  The only way we can do that is to test our ideas.  The forum we test our ideas in is our writing.  The better writer will sway the most people.  That’s as it should be.  If you or I are not good enough to compete in this type of arena, we shouldn’t be in the game.

    1. Sufidreamer profile image80
      Sufidreamerposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      Hi LDT - We have rain here, too - so much for the Greek sun!

      Anyway, to business smile

      I make money from writing everyday - I am not sure what you are trying to say with that.

      It sounds like you are talking about patents here, a different area. A patent prevents anybody else from using the same idea, on a first come first served basis. Nobody else can use that idea, even if they arrive at it independently. I can see where you are coming from with that one.

      Copyright, on the other hand, does not prevent independent creation, and serves only to protect the rights of the creator. Put it this way - if I write a book about 'The Philosophy of Science,' there is nothing stopping anybody else from writing about the same subject. Copyright merely prevents them from using my words. I cannot see how that infringes upon anybody else's liberty any more than laws preventing people from stealing my olives. Unless, of course, all property is communal wink

      This is the part where we really diverge. You have this theory that the magical free-market will fix everything, but it seems that you have no concrete plans. You are not sure how it will fall out - that is not going to convince anybody that you are right. I cannot accept your argument based upon such vague ideas and a trust that 'something will turn up.'

      I think that you have little knowledge of how the writing marketplace works. Cheats do prosper, sadly, and copyright is the only protection that I have from people stealing my hard work. That is the reality that I live every day. Even on the rare occasions that a 'cheater' gets found out, they just create a new online identity and continue.

      For them to take it as their own, it must be property. You spent the first part of your argument stating that writing is transient and non-existent. Now you are arguing that it can, in fact, belong to someone. That is selecting definitions to suit your own argument - taking any of my writing is causing a material loss to me. I fail to see that fine distinction - they are exactly the same.

      Noble, but not relevant - I have little interest in what J.K Rowling does - she operates in a completely different market. The court case was about infringement of the 'Harry Potter' trademark, not copyright. They are two completely different things, although often confused.

      Nope - according to your own argument, competition drives down prices for us all. People seek the lowest price - therefore, they will use the guy who is copy and pasting my work. They will hire the person again and the incentive to create new material disappears. The fact is that the product will not be inferior to anything that I have done - it will be exactly the same. It does not matter whether they can write as well as me, only that they can scour the net for the work of others. Where is the incentive to create anything new?

      Google is the biggest protector of copyright on the net, so that is a fine example to back up my argument. One complaint to Adsense, and the offending article soon disappears.

      Again, the free market idea is fatally flawed when applied to an open, international market. There cannot be a free market if there is inequality in the cost of living. I am at an unfair disadvantage because I live in a relatively expensive country.

      I am sure that I deserve everything that I have earned. You are advocating taking what is mine from me, and I cannot see how you can justify that, or state otherwise. Not everybody makes a living on Hubpages from Adsense - for me, it is a portfolio and advertising medium.

      Bring it on big_smile

  17. GeneriqueMedia profile image62
    GeneriqueMediaposted 7 years ago

    Just to get my feet wet...

    Throughout much of my works, be they poetic, audio, or words and various other media, I take what I've learned and show people a new context, put my own spin on it.

    YouTube and various other IT patheways give us the ability to truly devote love to those artist we admire.

    If I punk off a company because of "copyright infringement," they've got another blast of hot air coming.


  18. Sufidreamer profile image80
    Sufidreamerposted 7 years ago

    Taking the two points together.

    Misha - agree fully - Copyrighting an article on 'How to Wash a Car' is futile. A book about 'Sufidreamer's Life in Greece,' is different. I can live with spinning for most web content!

    Hi G|M - That is fair use, and I have no problem with that. If you take one of my Greek Hubs, rewrite it and add something, that is fine with me. Copyright law specifies 'unique effort and labour must be added.' smile

    1. GeneriqueMedia profile image62
      GeneriqueMediaposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      Good observation! Unfortunately, lawyers like to riddle holes in ideas and theories such as "fair use." But then again, there's a lot of people out there trying to make a buck off of someone's back, so I don't blame them. I mean, they are getting paid to pour over loopholes...


  19. Misha profile image75
    Mishaposted 7 years ago

    Sufi, I can still copy your book or essay word for word. big_smile

    Girly, I said smart enough smile You get Indian citizen to register a Thai domain and host your site in China - and laugh at copyright lawyer all the way to the bank smile

    1. GeneriqueMedia profile image62
      GeneriqueMediaposted 7 years ago in reply to this


      Didn't realize every country has their own copyright law? Like, if you live in London--feel free to p2p away Elvis!

      But not in America, where he's still King of Copyright.


    2. 0
      pgrundyposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      Don't I know it. sad

    3. Sufidreamer profile image80
      Sufidreamerposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      Certainly, Misha - although I would come and run a key down the side of your car big_smile

      There are certainly many loopholes, as with anything, but that is not a case for doing away with copyright. Just because some cars get stolen every year does not mean that we should do away with car ownership smile

      That would be communism wink

      1. 0
        pgrundyposted 7 years ago in reply to this


        Imagine how great it will be to read stuff online when it isn't worth it anymore to write for the net.

        I mean, Imagun wen it iznt werth it...

        Wrider, who needz em anyhoo!

    4. girly_girl09 profile image79
      girly_girl09posted 7 years ago in reply to this

      That is very true. Chances are, if the person or entity holding a copyright on something can't even read the language that their work has been illegally copied in, they will never be caught.

  20. 0
    pgrundyposted 7 years ago

    I think a bigger picture is being missed here, and that's the fact that no matter how the people at the bottom fight over Adsense crumbs and $5 web copy, the people making the real money are corporations who can hire huge competent tech staffs, lawyers, invest in software, and yadda, yadda, yadda. All this nonsense about "Can a piece of writing be called intellectual property?" is ridiculous. Of course it can. There's a long legal precedent establishing it as such, and in a court of law all the Libertarian tea bags in Alabama wouldn't counter that.

    The problem is, as Misha points out, enforcement. With the advent of the internet, there is no way for writers to back up their intellectual property rights. You put something out there, it's out there, anyone who wants to steal it will, and you try to get as much as you can up front if you sell it because after awhile (like a day, an hour, a month?) Adsense will vanish unless you police the whole web--a failing proposition if there ever was one.

    What bothers me is, the pulp writers of the 50s and 60s who wrote for paper trash rags to get started made more money than we do now, and they did it with a magazine behind them protecting the copyright. You could sell first rights, then reprint your stuff and still get some help if someone ripped you off, and in fact that didn't happen much because there was a stigma to being a plagiarist. Now it's more like, "Thanks for the paragraphs, sucker!" and no guilt, no shame.

    It's not the kind of world I want to see, but it's what's happening. It was the main cause of the last writer's strike in Hollywood--the internet. smile

  21. GeneriqueMedia profile image62
    GeneriqueMediaposted 7 years ago

    Damn commies.

    When will they learn Ellian just wants wub?

  22. Bob Cedar profile image65
    Bob Cedarposted 7 years ago

    By the way everyone, please catch the world premiere of my movie "The Dark Knight" opening in theaters everywhere *whispers: in Beijing* on June 1.

  23. Misha profile image75
    Mishaposted 7 years ago

    LOL Sufi, you have to track me down somewhere in Siberia first smile

    Pam, since I can't imagine ALL interwebz going in the direction you pointed, I think there is a solution, and it will be found eventually smile

    1. 0
      pgrundyposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      I hope so Misha, because I couldn't get a job cleaning fish at this point. So writing is all I've got going on for now. smile

      I do know how to clean fish though.

    2. Sufidreamer profile image80
      Sufidreamerposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      Misha - Good luck to you. I will laugh when I watch the weather forecast and see lots of minus numbers. Make sure that you ask Waynet for a willy warmer before you go wink

      Agree that something will be sorted - the copyright laws are very grey, at the moment. There probably is no perfect solution, but hopefully a compromise can be reached.

  24. ledefensetech profile image81
    ledefensetechposted 7 years ago

    Girly had a good point about TOS.  Even absent copyright law most sites still have TOS that will dictate what you put on their site.  Since evidence of plagiarism is, in most cases, frowned upon by society at large, those sites have a vested interest in keeping their sites free of such material.  If word got out that they allowed plagiarizers onto their platform, then people would no longer treat it as a reliable source and the utility of that site would decrease. 

    The problem with doing things the way we do them now is that it sets up an atmosphere where "if it's not illegal, it's permissible".  That's why you get this stupid lawsuits that try to copyright that which should not be given copyright.  In the case of law, those that have money and power will always be able to get the laws written to benefit them.  The type of government doesn't matter, over time they'll get what they want.

    Sufi, I think you missed my point about the deal you have between you and the site you write for.  Your website owner has contracted you for a service.  Namely, writing content for his website.  If someone tries to get your website owner to break his contract with you and accept content form the plagiarizer, then your website owner has broken his contract with you and you should seek redress.  Scum will always act like scum and try to sponge off people who work for a living.  The onus here falls on your website owner because they are 1. breaking their word to you and 2 accepting your work from somebody and rewarding them for it.  At that point, you can sue for redress.

    Another main complaint I have about copyright is how long is it good for?  Here in the States, for now, copyright remains in effect for 90 years after the death of the originator.  Give me a break.  The only people that benefits is the corporate crony's who have taken over companies like Disney.  The funny thing is that they don't even make that much money from the Mouse anymore, they've expanded so much that what they make from Disney's original works pales to what they've done since.  All it does it keep the public, to whom these things rightfully belong, from making use of it even under the fair use doctrine.  That is the end result of allowing copyright laws.  The slow creeping destruction of our liberties.

    1. Sufidreamer profile image80
      Sufidreamerposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      Hi LDT - nearly bedtime, so I might not be able to get back until the morning. I am sure that Pam will continue the discussion smile

      I won't bother with this one - Pam answered that. There are many unscrupulous sites on the net. Try working in our field for a few months, and you will see the brick wall that we bang our heads against.

      You are cherry picking a few isolated and high-profile cases, most of which are trademark related, not copyright. In this case, it is not about protecting big business, but about giving entrepreneurs, like Pam and myself, a level playing field and the right to protect and preserve the fruits of our labour. Again, it is the old libertarian thing of you want the right to use my work without paying, but will happily take away my rights to protect my endeavour. Exactly what you accuse others of doing.

      I don't buy the permissible argument, either. There are no laws stating: It is illegal to steal Sufi's olives, ouzo, laptop, CD's etc. Only a law stating that it is illegal to steal property. Stealing my writing is also stealing my property. There will always be grey areas, but there will always be lawyers, even in a 'libertarian' society.

      I see....you are missing my point - I probably did not explain it too well! He pays me to write the content for a site - what I am talking about is somebody copying the content and using it for their own identical site. If that is allowed, where is the incentive for my client to go to the effort of developing a high quality site, if somebody can just steal the content. No incentive: My client is an absolute dream, all too rare sad

      Rothbard, an uber-free market proponent, does not agree. He argues that copyright should remain in perpetuity, much like a family heirloom.

      "Obviously, to be fully the property of an individual, a good has to be permanently and perpetually the property of the man and his heirs and assigns. If the state decrees that a man's property ceases at a certain date, this means that the State is the real owner and that it simply grants the man use of
      the property for a certain period of time."

      He shares your sentiments on patents, but is an ardent defender of creative copyright. On this I agree - copyright protects the creator from theft, but does not deprive anybody else of the right to independently generate the same idea. Basically, you are trying to kill a mosquito with a blunderbuss. The free market relies upon entrepreneurs, but through trying to attack Disney, you are destroying enterprise.

  25. 0
    pgrundyposted 7 years ago

    "Since evidence of plagiarism is, in most cases, frowned upon by society at large, those sites have a vested interest in keeping their sites free of such material.  If word got out that they allowed plagiarizers onto their platform, then people would no longer treat it as a reliable source and the utility of that site would decrease."

    The problem is that isn't true. Talk to anyone here who has had run-ins with Flixya. It's pretty clear they wink at and encourage theft. It's hell getting them to remove plagiarized content. And there are lots of other sites like this.

  26. Rochelle Frank profile image87
    Rochelle Frankposted 7 years ago

    I didn't see this post before.
    I have read the zen habits blog many times and i think he has some really good ideas. As far as I remember, he was not advocating the non-copyright process for everyone. . . it was just his personal choice for himself. I'll have to go back and re-read.

  27. ledefensetech profile image81
    ledefensetechposted 7 years ago

    The incentive for your website owner is the relationship he's developed between himself and his customers.  It's his customers that are demanding quality from him so he has to satisfy that somehow.  That's where you come in.  Now somebody could rip you off, but if they're going to do that, they won't be as successful as your website owner.  People trust those who sound authoritative, sooner or later your scammer will prove to their customers that they are not for real and will suffer.

    Look at Tom Brokaw.  He wanted to get President Bush so badly that he compromised his morals and went with a story that he didn't research fully.  Turns out his source lied and since Brokaw ran with the story, he was forced to retire.  He threw away decades invested in a career because he tried to cheat.  Granted that's a high profile case, but that sort of thing happens in low profile cases too.

    OK, so tell me some stories.  Perhaps together we can figure out a way to keep people from either profiting from your work or using them to promote your work somehow.  If I am vague at times over how a free market would work, it's because I don't have the in depth knowledge of a field to be able to make an accurate prediction of how things will fall out.  In reality nobody does.  If people could tell the future unerringly we'd have flying cars by now.

    I don't agree with everything Rothbard has to say.  Good find by the way, most people don't know of any libertarian philosophers, since you do our discussions should be all that more interesting.

    I do think that Rothbard ignored the concept of ideas and if they can be owned.  I hold that they don't, he says that they do in the form of creative writing.  The problem with making copyright perpetual is that you're really opening the door to restricting the printed word and ultimately the ideas behind those words.  His nemesis was the State and not allowing the state to determine how long a copyright should be allowed.  He and I agree on not allowing the State to determine that, but we differ on the ownership of ideas.

    Perhaps you are correct about people stealing your work, but what about derivative works.  Like the J.K. Rowling encyclopedia flap, that I think is going too far.  After all I've read many books that talk about authors and their works.  One that comes tom mind is a reader on Stephen King.  As a part of that book, an analysis of his works to that date are included.  An encyclopedia of sorts.  I still say that liberty takes precedence over restriction, but there must be a middle ground somewhere.

    Not really.  Walt Disney was the creator of certain cartoon characters, he also adapted many myths and legends to the screen.  All of that is great, but what right does Disney have to petition the extension of copyright law to benefit themselves to the detriment of society at large?  The Founders here allowed things to go into the public domain after a time.  Some of them believed, as I do, that each generation has to make their own way, to make their own mark on the world.  Allowing things like perpetual copyright diminishes that drive among generations and allows people to coast on the efforts of their ancestors.  Every society in which that sort of coasting has been allowed to occur has failed.

  28. Sufidreamer profile image80
    Sufidreamerposted 7 years ago

    Hi LDT - Hope that life is treating you well smile

    I have a lot of respect for the fact that you are prepared to promote your idea of 'no copyright' on a writers site. The problem is that you do not seem to understand what copyright actually is.

    For example, you keep mentioning Harry Potter and derivative works. That has absolutely nothing to do with copyright - it is a trademark. J.K Rowling sells the right to use the name 'Harry Potter' to the highest bidder. Thus, you see Harry Potter on McDonalds Happy Meals and card games. The encyclopedia example was not about copyright, but about trademark - he used the 'Harry Potter' brand without permission and was sued.

    For another example, look at King Arthur (I love historical fiction!). There is nothing to stop anybody writing a book based around him, because the name cannot be trademarked. It is only if I copy another author's work, word for word, or without some unique effort, that I infringe upon copyright.

    You also seem to think that copyright is the protection of ideas. It is not - it is the protection of a specific piece of work. If somebody else copies it word for word, they have committed a theft of my property. If they put a unique spin upon it,and invest 'unique creativity and effort,' fair enough.

    For example, I have lost count of the number of books that I have read that are clones of Tolkien, but are sufficiently different to be unique. Ideas are generally protected by patents, not copyright, another misconception in your assessment.

    Yes they will - I have seen it happen time and time again. Theft is extremely common on the internet, and copyright is the only protection that we have. Again, a few high profile cases make no difference. You seem to think that reputation is all on the internet, as if it were my local village. The internet does not work like that - there are simply too many people on there for the free market to make decisions based upon reputation. It does not happen that way - I live this every day.

    There already is a way. It is called Copyright and works perfectly well. Saying that you do not have an in depth knowledge of the field is not acceptable. If you are trying to convince professional writers that copyright should be removed, you need to bring a lot more to the table than that. This is my living, not an exercise in economic theory!

    Again, you are trying to impose your rights by taking away mine. The Libertarian Dilemma - society must be free, but some people are more free than others wink

    Basically, you are trying to say that because you do not think that writing is property, I should hand over the rights to the fruits of my labour. So much for freedom - that sounds more like totalitarianism.

    Again, you seem to be concentrating upon the top, without realising that the art world is not merely Disney. Even there, Disney cannot stop somebody else from writing a film about Sleeping Beauty or Mulan. On the other hand, the fictional characters are trademarked - if I wrote a book about a fictional mouse getting into scrapes, there is not a lot that Disney can do unless I call him Mickey. Nothing to do with copyright.

    The problem is that you are trying to apply vague economic theory to a field that you know little about. Writing is a complex enough market, without mentioning painting, sculpture and any other form of artistic expression.

    I know the copyright laws because I have to - it is my job to understand them. As it is, I will put your idea alongside Marx's, as an unrealistic ideal smile