Copyright Policy Proposals

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Re: Copyright Policy Proposals

Postby martinbudden » Mon Dec 21, 2009 8:05 pm

Peter,

wav files are the exception in that they don't have metadata. Most audio formats allow you to put the copyright in the metadata.

You say:

Automatic copyright makes everything a lot easier.


No it doesn't: it makes some things easier. In particular it makes things easier for the person who wishes to retain copyright at the cost of making things more difficult for the person who wants to put their work in the public domain. Is that really the trade-off you want to make?

In any case I think you are overstating the practical difficulties, the creative commons has been quite successful and people seem to manage asserting their creative commons copyrights without too much difficulty.

By the way, although practical issues are important, you haven't answered the underlying monopoly argument.
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Re: Copyright Policy Proposals

Postby PeterBrett » Mon Dec 21, 2009 8:50 pm

martinbudden wrote:
Automatic copyright makes everything a lot easier.


No it doesn't: it makes some things easier. In particular it makes things easier for the person who wishes to retain copyright at the cost of making things more difficult for the person who wants to put their work in the public domain. Is that really the trade-off you want to make?

In any case I think you are overstating the practical difficulties, the creative commons has been quite successful and people seem to manage asserting their creative commons copyrights without too much difficulty.


The reason that Creative Commons has been successful is because when you license something CC, you are adding permissions, rather than restrictions.

Consider seeing a photo on a blog post. Although the author of the image wishes to assert copyright, the blog post author has not stated this fact anywhere on the page. You wish to include this photo in a newspaper report.

Under an automatic copyright system
Because I cannot use the image without a license, I contact the blog post author and ask him about it. He directs me to the image's copyright holder, who says, "Fine, go ahead."

Under an asserted-copyright system
There's nothing on the image or the blog post to say that the image's owner wishes to assert copyright, so I just use it. The image's copyright holder sees the newspaper and sues me. ... What happens? Who's liable for the infringement?

From the point of view of someone who wishes to use creative material commercially, whether as producer or consumer, the nice thing about either an automatic copyright or a copyright registry is that it makes everything nice and clear. Either it's public domain because the copyright has expired, or I have an explicit license and I can use it, or I don't and I can't.

This topic is important to me because I write GPL'd software, which requires a reasonably strong copyright to remain Free. I'm totally happy with the idea of a drastically reduced copyright period. And relaxing the restrictions on non-commercial distribution is fine by me, too. But I can't support the idea of a vague "copyright assertion" requirement.
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Re: Copyright Policy Proposals

Postby martinbudden » Mon Dec 21, 2009 10:59 pm

peterbrett wrote:From the point of view of someone who wishes to use creative material commercially, whether as producer or consumer, the nice thing about either an automatic copyright or a copyright registry is that it makes everything nice and clear. Either it's public domain because the copyright has expired, or I have an explicit license and I can use it, or I don't and I can't.


A question: under an automatic copyright system how can you tell if "it's public domain because the copyright has expired"?
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Re: Copyright Policy Proposals

Postby PeterBrett » Mon Dec 21, 2009 11:39 pm

martinbudden wrote:
peterbrett wrote:From the point of view of someone who wishes to use creative material commercially, whether as producer or consumer, the nice thing about either an automatic copyright or a copyright registry is that it makes everything nice and clear. Either it's public domain because the copyright has expired, or I have an explicit license and I can use it, or I don't and I can't.


A question: under an automatic copyright system how can you tell if "it's public domain because the copyright has expired"?


Not sure. Of course, under the current system, copyright doesn't expire :x :x :x so we don't really have any experience of how to deal with the issue. :( I imagine it would involve following the "supply chain" through which you acquired the media until you find someone or something that tells you the date it was produced.

The point I'm trying to make is that, in the absence of the text "Copyright (c) Joe Bloggs 1993," (possibly because it has been removed), you have no incentive to research whether the author actually intends to assert copyright under the system you have proposed. Starting from the assumption that something is copyrighted -- no matter for how brief a time -- provides the incentive to actually find out the artist's intentions. And I don't see how that's a bad thing.
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Re: Copyright Policy Proposals

Postby rancidpunk » Tue Dec 22, 2009 1:33 pm

As Peter says, it's safest to assume that something is copyrighted until you can confirm otherwise. One thing I am unsure of is where the law stands if you specifically state that you don't wish to copyright something you have created and don't want to use creative commons licencing, can you then change your mind under the "automatic copyright" we have at the moment, or is there a register somewhere that shows you have given up your copyright?
- No copyright, Piratpartiet, 1983 -
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Re: Copyright Policy Proposals

Postby PeterBrett » Tue Dec 22, 2009 3:31 pm

rancidpunk wrote:As Peter says, it's safest to assume that something is copyrighted until you can confirm otherwise. One thing I am unsure of is where the law stands if you specifically state that you don't wish to copyright something you have created and don't want to use creative commons licencing, can you then change your mind under the "automatic copyright" we have at the moment, or is there a register somewhere that shows you have given up your copyright?


Is there any difference between disclaiming copyright and issuing a perpetual, sub licensable, non-exclusive, unrestricted license to your work? I.e. is there any practical difference from a legal point of view between public domain (i.e. copyright expired) and the most permissive CC license (i.e. CC0)? This page about CC0 might be informative.

Also, rancidpunk, my interlocutor is suggesting that we adopt a policy of aiming to abolish automatic copyright. I think we're both aware that at the moment automatic copyright is the law.
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Re: Copyright Policy Proposals

Postby rancidpunk » Tue Dec 22, 2009 9:56 pm

That CC0 link is good. The automatic copyright was explained to me when I was complaining ;) about us having copyright on party stuff during an NEC meeting and once I got my head round the idea that a creator of something didn't have to apply for copyright, which I confess I feel pretty daft for not knowing it worked that way, it does seem a good thing in general.
The cynic in me can't help feeling that it could be open to abuse.
- No copyright, Piratpartiet, 1983 -
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Re: Copyright Policy Proposals

Postby martinbudden » Mon Dec 28, 2009 4:59 pm

peterbrett wrote:
martinbudden wrote:
peterbrett wrote:The point I'm trying to make is that, in the absence of the text "Copyright (c) Joe Bloggs 1993," (possibly because it has been removed), you have no incentive to research whether the author actually intends to assert copyright under the system you have proposed. Starting from the assumption that something is copyrighted -- no matter for how brief a time -- provides the incentive to actually find out the artist's intentions. And I don't see how that's a bad thing.


Well, I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree on the issue of automatic copyright. I presume you agree with by 4 other proposals:

1) Fair use should be legally enshrined.
2) DRM should not be allowed to restrict fair use.
4) Orphan works should be available for use after a diligent but unsuccessful search for the copyright holder. The copyright holder retains a right to reasonable compensation if they resurface.
5) Database rights should be abolished.
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Re: Copyright Policy Proposals

Postby PeterBrett » Sat Jan 02, 2010 11:52 pm

martinbudden wrote:
peterbrett wrote:The point I'm trying to make is that, in the absence of the text "Copyright (c) Joe Bloggs 1993," (possibly because it has been removed), you have no incentive to research whether the author actually intends to assert copyright under the system you have proposed. Starting from the assumption that something is copyrighted -- no matter for how brief a time -- provides the incentive to actually find out the artist's intentions. And I don't see how that's a bad thing.


Well, I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree on the issue of automatic copyright.


Okay! :)

martinbudden wrote:I presume you agree with by 4 other proposals:

1) Fair use should be legally enshrined.
2) DRM should not be allowed to restrict fair use.
4) Orphan works should be available for use after a diligent but unsuccessful search for the copyright holder. The copyright holder retains a right to reasonable compensation if they resurface.
5) Database rights should be abolished.


Definitely. :) With the addition that DRM should not be allowed to prevent works entering the public domain (i.e. it should expire).
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Re: Copyright Policy Proposals

Postby samgower » Thu Jul 01, 2010 7:54 pm

Moved to Copyright and Patents policy forum. Locked due to being superseded by subsequent topics.
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