< 1 2 3 4 > 
 
   
 

You Can’t Own An Idea

 
TheAnal_lyticPhilosopher
 
Avatar
 
 
TheAnal_lyticPhilosopher
Total Posts:  961
Joined  13-02-2017
 
 
 
07 September 2018 15:44
 

For the record I have no position whether recent or upcoming changes to copyright standards encourage or discourage artistic creativity, though I find it rather counter-intuitive—if not downright counter-sensical—that giving artists more rights to their own work would discourage it.  For they can always waive those rights if they want the fruits of their efforts in the public domain right away, whereas those who don’t can’t assert ownership rights absent a basis in copyright law.  So having the laws in place should appeal to both selfless public-minded artists and greedy profit-minded artists in whatever varieties they come.  The availability of the Internet as a medium of self-publishing and self-promotion only enhances this effect.

As for the “hangers on,” if you mean by them someone like Terry Brooks, who wrote his fantasy novels deeply inspired by Tolkien, as somehow ‘derivative’ and a ‘hindrance to creativity’, or more generally to the creative artists who follow in the footsteps of pioneers as a hindrance to creativity in general, then I don’t hold that view.  Not all creative artists can be paradigm-setting generators; many who follow will draw inspiration and imitate these greats (or at least these “firsts”) in some way, ideally adding to the genre in their own way.  I see them in no way as a hindrance to creativity; rather as a population of worthwhile flowers.  And in any case, there is so much borrowing and cross-fertilization in art that even this distinction between “great” firsters and their followers breaks down at the margins.  Didn’t Picasso himself say something like “good artists borrow, great artists steal.”  A quip we don’t need enshrined in law, but it makes a point.

[ Edited: 07 September 2018 15:53 by TheAnal_lyticPhilosopher]
 
LadyJane
 
Avatar
 
 
LadyJane
Total Posts:  3350
Joined  26-03-2013
 
 
 
07 September 2018 16:23
 

Let’s say I created the technology that converted carbon dioxide into glucose.  The same technology NASA is working on presently.  Say I beat them to it.  Wouldn’t it be selfish to control that information and keep it to myself until I acquired a patent?  Maybe something along the lines of raising the funds online and then doling it out only to those who donated to the cause?  Wouldn’t it be more compelling to share that information with my fellow humans for the betterment of mankind?  It was compelling enough for Banting and Best and consider the goldmine the future would hold what with the demand for insulin for all the diabetic fatties.

There were four gentlemen actually but Banting and Macleod won the Nobel Prize for Medicine and split the prize money four ways with Best and Collip.  Then sold the patent to the University of Toronto for three dollars.  You heard me…three bucks.  The University proceeded to produce insulin and used the income to fund other research.  Fifty years later the university sold the laboratories for twenty nine million dollars, got out of the insulin making business, and started a eponymous fund for more research.  Human derived insulin arrived in the seventies and Analogues insulin arrived in the nineties.  The quality was on par but the price has since increased more than three fold.

The purpose of this thread was to prevent a couple of potential hijackings elsewhere.  It’s nothing personal or specific.

 
 
hannahtoo
 
Avatar
 
 
hannahtoo
Total Posts:  7176
Joined  15-05-2009
 
 
 
07 September 2018 16:47
 

I’d say that even researchers need to eat.  So if they have tenure and a good salary, they may be able to give away their ideas for a pittance.  If they’re starving inventors, they may need to make a profit.  I think the problems only come in if someone is trying to gouge people for something that is needed (like the recent epipen scandal).  Or otherwise hording info for nefarious reasons.

 
Jb8989
 
Avatar
 
 
Jb8989
Total Posts:  6389
Joined  31-01-2012
 
 
 
07 September 2018 16:49
 
LadyJane - 07 September 2018 06:03 AM

Recognition for the work and reaping the benefits of the work is not the bone of contention.  The bone of contention is reaping the benefits of our work for lifetime…plus seventy years.  In Canada, it’s a lifetime…plus fifty years.  This seems gratuitous.  What little gems have been produced in the last thirty years that deserve such extraordinary financial compensation?

True that. Some I think, but still does seem a little arbitrary when you think about culture.

 
 
hannahtoo
 
Avatar
 
 
hannahtoo
Total Posts:  7176
Joined  15-05-2009
 
 
 
07 September 2018 17:06
 
LadyJane - 07 September 2018 06:03 AM

Recognition for the work and reaping the benefits of the work is not the bone of contention.  The bone of contention is reaping the benefits of our work for lifetime…plus seventy years.  In Canada, it’s a lifetime…plus fifty years.  This seems gratuitous.  What little gems have been produced in the last thirty years that deserve such extraordinary financial compensation?

OK, last 50 years:

Birth control pill
Jet airplanes
Computers
Cell phones
GPS
Genetic sequencing

Not sure which aspects of any of these have been patented.  They all have dramatically changed society.

 
LadyJane
 
Avatar
 
 
LadyJane
Total Posts:  3350
Joined  26-03-2013
 
 
 
07 September 2018 17:52
 

Inventions are almost always patented and artistic works are automatically copyrighted the moment they are created.  Including this post.

You don’t have to care if fictional cartoon characters are not in the public domain but make no mistake they are owned by someone.  And most things are owned by corporations.  Which means when little Sally So and So wants to dress up as ‘Snow White’ for Halloween she has to settle for ‘Winter Princess’ at the knock off store or pay ten times the price for an original Disney costume.  Like the artists and illustrators commissioned as ‘work for hire’ Disney employees that have no rights to the characters they create.  That is all Disney property and not free to all.

Picasso’s ‘Guernica’ was part of the public domain until the United States Supreme Court was forced to reinstate its copyright.  Along with Hitchcock, Fellini, Woolf, Lewis, Prokofiev, Stravinsky and others.  Reportedly in the millions.  A decision that hinges on freedom of speech, apparently.  Once a copyright is established it limits the freedom of speech for anyone wanting to use that piece of work. 

In other words, a copyright must have a limit.  The Supreme Court has ruled that Congress has the power to extend the duration of copyrights but it must be limited.  If Congress continues extending these durations these durations, in effect, become limitless.  And infringe on the freedom of speech for others.  Thereby, violating the Constitution.

 
 
hannahtoo
 
Avatar
 
 
hannahtoo
Total Posts:  7176
Joined  15-05-2009
 
 
 
07 September 2018 18:46
 
LadyJane - 07 September 2018 05:52 PM

Inventions are almost always patented and artistic works are automatically copyrighted the moment they are created.  Including this post.

You don’t have to care if fictional cartoon characters are not in the public domain but make no mistake they are owned by someone.  And most things are owned by corporations.  Which means when little Sally So and So wants to dress up as ‘Snow White’ for Halloween she has to settle for ‘Winter Princess’ at the knock off store or pay ten times the price for an original Disney costume.  Like the artists and illustrators commissioned as ‘work for hire’ Disney employees that have no rights to the characters they create.  That is all Disney property and not free to all.

Picasso’s ‘Guernica’ was part of the public domain until the United States Supreme Court was forced to reinstate its copyright.  Along with Hitchcock, Fellini, Woolf, Lewis, Prokofiev, Stravinsky and others.  Reportedly in the millions.  A decision that hinges on freedom of speech, apparently.  Once a copyright is established it limits the freedom of speech for anyone wanting to use that piece of work. 

In other words, a copyright must have a limit.  The Supreme Court has ruled that Congress has the power to extend the duration of copyrights but it must be limited.  If Congress continues extending these durations these durations, in effect, become limitless.  And infringe on the freedom of speech for others.  Thereby, violating the Constitution.

A creative parent could sew a homemade Snow White costume for a kid, and the kid could wear it all night with no legal challenge.  But yes, if they want a professionally made Disney costume, they’d have to pay a $25-45 (I searched) at a place like Party City.  This is the same price as a ladybug costume or a rainbow unicorn costume or a Cleopatra costume.  Just for the record.

I think Congress should handle different categories of patents differently.  So I don’t care if Disney has the eternal patent on their own version of Snow White, with the blue bodice and yellow skirt.  But pharmaceuticals should become generic after a reasonably short period.

 
LadyJane
 
Avatar
 
 
LadyJane
Total Posts:  3350
Joined  26-03-2013
 
 
 
07 September 2018 19:06
 

You can’t actually make costumes as cheap anymore compared with what you can get from the sweatshops of Bangladesh.  And, unfortunately, that’s what most people do.  Coz time is money.

Artists, however, won’t stop creating.  Humans create art.  From early cave paintings to graffiti on concrete.  Money was never the driving force and only entered the picture over the past few hundred years.  The point of copyright was to incentivize creators using limited time periods to protect their works before entering the public domain.  And never intended to be a perpetual stream of cash money. 

Article 1, Section 8, Clause 8, of The Constitution states:

“To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries.”

Whether or not people care about eternal patents…they would still be illegal and unconstitutional.

 
 
Poldano
 
Avatar
 
 
Poldano
Total Posts:  3333
Joined  26-01-2010
 
 
 
07 September 2018 22:18
 

According to the law, you can own the expression of an idea. That’s what both copyrights and patents are about.

Interestingly enough, an algorithm is not patentable, but the expression of an algorithm in terms of a logic diagram or working computer program in a higher-order language evidently are patentable. A logic diagram is an abstraction of a circuit diagram in which the actual electronic components are not specified, but the logical functions of those components are. There are some mighty hazy boundaries there.

 
 
bbearren
 
Avatar
 
 
bbearren
Total Posts:  3830
Joined  20-11-2013
 
 
 
07 September 2018 23:25
 

Opposite ends of the spectrum in more ways than one:

Dave really wants to hear Eagles music

Salk campaigned for mandatory vaccination, claiming that public health should be considered a “moral commitment.”  His sole focus had been to develop a safe and effective vaccine as rapidly as possible, with no interest in personal profit.  When asked who owned the patent to it, Salk said, “Well, the people I would say. There is no patent. Could you patent the sun?”

I got the Salk vaccine when it was first made publicly available.  There were long lines at county health departments all across the country, and the vaccination was free.

 
 
TheAnal_lyticPhilosopher
 
Avatar
 
 
TheAnal_lyticPhilosopher
Total Posts:  961
Joined  13-02-2017
 
 
 
08 September 2018 03:32
 

The point of copyright was to incentivize creators using limited time periods to protect their works before entering the public domain.  And never intended to be a perpetual stream of cash money.

Perhaps this original intent should be rethought to bring it up to date with current economic and societal realities.  For a privileged class that recreationally indulged in scientific and literary pursuits (Jefferson is the most famous example that comes to mind, so is the later Henry James), the question of earning revenue, much less a living, from intellectual property was hardly an issue.  As intellectual work democratized, however, and as it became more commonly the basis for making a living, copyright law evolved to keep pace.  Now we have companies (not to mention individuals like Sam Harris) based on or largely driven by non-patent intellectual property, phenomena all but unheard of—if not unheard of—during the era the Constitution was framed.  Why not change copyright law to reflect these realities?  Why not give Disney prolonged exclusive rights to its own creative work, as opposed to letting freeloaders and followers who don’t create their own content capitalize on its work, especially as through its own innovations Disney becomes even more successful?  In essence that’s what copyright law prevents, even as it also seeks to insure the arts and sciences prosper.  Why not err on the side of granting exclusive rights for longer periods of time as an incentive to protect creative work even as it creates an incentive to create one’s own work to protect, other’s being protected against infringement by copyright law, therefore one’s recourse is to create one’s own? 

You apparently argue free speech would be infringed, but in what way?  How is not letting someone make money off of what I create an infringement of their speech when they have every right—a right fully supported by my copyright—to “speak” their own creativity and copyright that, or waive the copyright, if they so choose?  How is saying someone can’t “own” my “speech” as I own it an infringement on theirs?  It would seem to me that the ‘idea-expression’ dichotomy at the heart of copyright law protects both free speech and creative innovation at the same time, making your objections to extending copyright law rather moot.

 

[ Edited: 08 September 2018 03:56 by TheAnal_lyticPhilosopher]
 
Jb8989
 
Avatar
 
 
Jb8989
Total Posts:  6389
Joined  31-01-2012
 
 
 
08 September 2018 05:30
 
LadyJane - 07 September 2018 05:52 PM

Inventions are almost always patented and artistic works are automatically copyrighted the moment they are created.  Including this post.

That’s actually not true either. One of the things that often gets glossed over with intellectual property is that the legal protection process is a federal process. State and local protection is generally insufficient. I’d school you guys on how that’s flipped the script on big business contracts and the constant struggle over scope of rights between private companies who the feds are also party to their contracts, but I’m at the beach.
.

 

 
 
LadyJane
 
Avatar
 
 
LadyJane
Total Posts:  3350
Joined  26-03-2013
 
 
 
08 September 2018 05:30
 

When you can’t sing ‘Happy Birthday’ it is an infringement on freedom of speech. 

The free speech argument has made its way through the American Legislative and Judiciary branches.  Time after time.  I am merely summarizing what the history has been as it approaches yet another point where a decision looms about extending copyright duration.

 
 
TheAnal_lyticPhilosopher
 
Avatar
 
 
TheAnal_lyticPhilosopher
Total Posts:  961
Joined  13-02-2017
 
 
 
08 September 2018 05:56
 

Hannatoo:

A creative parent could sew a homemade Snow White costume for a kid, and the kid could wear it all night with no legal challenge

Oh the free use of IP goes so much further than that! 

As members of both the 501st and Rebel Legions, my wife and I “use” Disney’s IP all the time, without either prior permission or financial compensation.  So do our friends.  So do about 19,000 others with about 32,000 collective IP “infringements” (i.e. Star Wars costumes).  In fact, membership in either group is predicated on near-perfect IP “infringement,” as screen-accurate movie or comic or video game costumes are required for membership.  The more accurate, the better, and yes, members charge each other for these costumes, both once made and to custom make them.  Not to mention the endless supply of Legion shirts, badges, patches, decals and coins we produce and sell or trade among ourselves—all with Star War’s IP and all this with Disney’s blessing.  We’re talking thousands of dollars for these costumes.  All said and done a Darth Vader, for instance, will run you about $5000, about what Disney charges for its (inferior) official version.  So these costume builds as IP “uses” plus hundreds of thousands of dollars in other merchandise transactions annually.  So long as we don’t profit by selling these costumes and paraphernalia to the public, or among ourselves, Disney allows us to use their IP. 

And not only allows us.  For instance, when a for-profit entity licenses the rights to promote their goods or services using the Star Wars brand, under certain conditions Disney sees to it that we are paid should we appear in our costumes on this entities’ behalf.  And we appear regularly, at movie theaters during Star Wars premiers, at concerts with Star Wars music, at Star Wars night for baseball games, at Lucasfilm sponsored events, including, if I recall, a casting call for the Star Wars Day White House visit with Obama (that was an R2 Builders R2D2, not a Disney prop). 

And perhaps even more significantly than this permission and official sanction through payment for services, both groups’ IP use has gone the other way.  That is, elements of both groups have been incorporated into the official Star Wars cannon.  The 501st legion (we call ourselves “Vader’s Fist”) was featured as the Clone detachment that marched in with Anakin to take over the Jedi Temple in Revenge of the Sith, and R2KT (an pink R2D2 built to comfort a member’s cancer stricken daughter) got screen time in The Force Awakens (there is also an action figure).  In any case, no one ever got permission from LucasFilm (and later Disney) to form these clubs, make these costumes, and trade and sell this “merchandise”.  Nor is there any kind of written legal agreement between Disney, the 501st, or the Rebel Legion.  With Lucasfilm’s and now Disney’s blessing these clubs have promoted Star Wars for members’ own delight and the delight of others for decades, for fun of course but also, significantly, for charities.  Lucasfilm has always tolerated this, and now Disney does to.  And not just tolerates but by all indications appreciates it as well.

So, as far as Disney is concerned, permitted use of IP can go much further than a parent making a costume for a child.  It can number into the tens of thousands of people in organizations where hundreds of thousands of dollars change hands.  I’m sure Disney thinks its getting something out of this as well (free publicity being one thing), but it’s behavior toward the 501st and the Rebel Legion suggests a rather flexible interpretation of “building” on intellectual property, so long as the user isn’t profiting by it.  For instance, some of the Fan Films are just awesome…

 
TheAnal_lyticPhilosopher
 
Avatar
 
 
TheAnal_lyticPhilosopher
Total Posts:  961
Joined  13-02-2017
 
 
 
08 September 2018 06:00
 
LadyJane - 08 September 2018 05:30 AM

When you can’t sing ‘Happy Birthday’ it is an infringement on freedom of speech. 

The free speech argument has made its way through the American Legislative and Judiciary branches.  Time after time.  I am merely summarizing what the history has been as it approaches yet another point where a decision looms about extending copyright duration.

Seems to me you’re not summarizing anything.  More like hand waiving with vague arguments while complaining about copyright extensions for even vaguer reasons.

By the way, we can sing Happy Birthday to each other to our hearts content.  At parties, clubs, bars, in ours own homes or in a public place.  But a commercial entity or its representatives cannot use it without paying royalties in a for-profit venture, and presumably even non-profits need permission too when singing it in some official capacity.  Boo frakin hoo.

[ Edited: 08 September 2018 06:43 by TheAnal_lyticPhilosopher]
 
 < 1 2 3 4 >