Piracy is Progressive Taxation, and Other Thoughts on the Evolution of Online Distribution
Subject:   Online distribution
Date:   2003-06-11 01:44:46
From:   anonymous2
Response to: Online distribution

As you say "the cult of entitlement excuses get old really fast", I agree. I am sick content producers thinking they are entitled to make money on their works forever.

As you are sick of "Piracy Apologists", I am sick of "Copyright Entitlists"--that is, people who think the right to a perpetual monopoly is something that's been around since the beginning of time and is somehow an unalienable right like free speech.

Copyright (in the US) is set out in the Constitution with the following paragraph:

The Congress shall have Power ... 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

First, the key words here are "To Promote the progress of science and useful arts". It doesn't say "To promote the profit of authors".

Second, it reads "By securing for LIMITED times". With copyright terms now at 99 years and set to only climb, when are we going to decide we've exceeded the framers intent? As it is now, someone alive today is not likely to have the chance to create a derivative work based on today's modern works before they die.

If that doesn't seem important to you, consider that Disney got their big break by creating a derivative work of the Brothers Grimm in the form of the feature animated film: "Snow White". Wouldn't you agree that the world is a better place with Disney's Snow White in it?

Society has been very good to Disney. We've made them into the media powerhouse that they are today--it's a true story of the American Dream. Disney ought to be required to pay it's debt to society back by putting these stories into the public domain before today's young authors grow old and die.

This discussion is continually framed in the form of the author's rights as the seller versus the consumer's rights as the potential buyer. This is valid but it's not the whole story. There is a greater issue of control over modern culture.