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GOP fires author of copyright reform paper
BoingBoing ^ | 12/7/2012 | Cory Doctorow

Posted on 12/10/2012 8:49:45 AM PST by ksen

Derek Khanna, the Republican House staffer who wrote an eminently sensible paper on copyright reform that was retracted less than a day later has been fired. So much for the GOP's drive to attract savvy, net-centric young voters. After all, this is the party that put SOPA's daddy in charge of the House Tech and Science Committee.

But it's pretty terrible for Khanna -- what a shabby way of dealing with dissent within your ranks.

Staffer axed by Republican group over retracted copyright-reform memo [Timothy B. Lee/Ars Technica] (via /.)


TOPICS: Books/Literature; Business/Economy; Computers/Internet
KEYWORDS: 112th; boehner; copyright; khanna
Copyright protections really have gotten ridiculously out of control
1 posted on 12/10/2012 8:49:49 AM PST by ksen
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To: ksen

Copyright should only mean “I got here first”.


2 posted on 12/10/2012 8:56:04 AM PST by Dead Corpse (I will not comply.)
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To: ksen

Copyright reform AND Patent reform are long overdue

You have people wasting hours and hours filing patent requests for the stupidest of things

I worked for one company who invited a guy to every technology meetingt and we wasted at least half of each meeting with him butting in with comments about filing for a patent for anything anyone said

If you invent something new, or somethign you THINK is new, you should just be able to submit a simple form, and then it is registered and stamped with the date

There should be no need to search every exiting patent to see if something resembles it, that costs a lot of time and money

just file it, and then it is up to you to defend it, if someone else makes a million bucks off the idea.


3 posted on 12/10/2012 9:07:08 AM PST by Mr. K (some days even my lucky rocketship underpants don't help...)
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To: holdonnow; suspects

Of interest PING!


4 posted on 12/10/2012 9:10:16 AM PST by Timber Rattler (Just say NO! to RINOS and the GOP-E)
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To: ksen

As a writer and the spouse of a composer, I disgree. The copyright laws are too lax and limited - they should be perpetual, just like property ownership.


5 posted on 12/10/2012 9:13:17 AM PST by kabumpo (Kabumpo)
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To: kabumpo

You write a poem about a tree. Should no one ever again be able to write a poem about a tree without giving you a royalty?


6 posted on 12/10/2012 9:16:46 AM PST by DManA
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To: kabumpo
As a writer and the spouse of a composer, I disgree. The copyright laws are too lax and limited - they should be perpetual, just like property ownership.

That would be unconstitutional:

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.

7 posted on 12/10/2012 9:27:45 AM PST by Conscience of a Conservative
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To: Mr. K
There should be no need to search every exiting patent to see if something resembles it, that costs a lot of time and money

The harsh reality is that the government exists to self-perpetuate and to grow in size and power. The very idea that it should be efficient and/or useful in its operation is a long-gone, quaint notion.

The fed gov is in desperate need of a major overhaul, and Copyright/Patent problems are only a symptom of the cancer.

8 posted on 12/10/2012 9:31:42 AM PST by TChris ("Hello", the politician lied.)
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To: Conscience of a Conservative; kabumpo
As a writer and the spouse of a composer, I disgree. The copyright laws are too lax and limited - they should be perpetual, just like property ownership.

That would be unconstitutional:

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.

kabumpo... the whole purpose of the constitutional protection for intellectual property is to encourage creators to continue to create by ensuring that, for a time, they can profit from their ideas. But the ultimate principle behind it is to promote the progress of science and useful arts.

Protecting IP perpetually stifles this goal, because those who stand to perpetually profit from one great idea are dissuaded from continuing to produce great ideas. Additionally, perpetual protections would limit innovation based on previous ideas - either by limiting the knowledge that others have, or making it financially unfeasible (through royalties, etc.) to improve a previous idea.

If anything, the current copyright laws are too restrictive. 28 years (and 14 more if you bother to pay attention to renew) -- the provisions of the Copyright Act of 1831 -- are plenty enough. The idea that one work should provide royalties for the entire lifetime of the author plus several generations (as is currently the case) is patently absurd.

9 posted on 12/10/2012 10:29:34 AM PST by GCC Catholic
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To: kabumpo

Perpetual copyrights would be a cultural disaster. Forget school fine arts programs, they couldn’t pay the licensing fees. It would be great for this generation of composers, but that’s about it, since there wouldn’t be much in the way of the next generation.


10 posted on 12/10/2012 10:37:56 AM PST by Boogieman
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To: ksen

Another interpretation of the article is that young people love stealing copyrighted work, don’t respect the concept of copyright to begin with, don’t understand why downloading music for free is illegal, think it’s find to film movies in theaters and upload them to torrent sites, and the GOP is going to have trouble reaching these young people if they keep respecting the idea of copyright.

You know which young people are NOT looking to amend copyright laws? Young people who have become artists, who keep getting their work stolen when they can barely make a living on it anyway.


11 posted on 12/10/2012 10:47:57 AM PST by CharlesWayneCT
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To: Conscience of a Conservative
And there's good reason for that limitation. Copyrights and patents are inherently unnatural and ungodly creations. To say that you own an idea flies in the face of our core social programming. We hear ideas, we repeat them. We see good ideas, we want to reproduce them. That's the way we work, the way God made us. It's how manking betters itself.

Britain in the 17th century recognized the value in allowing creators the ability to benefit exclusively from their creations. The cost of invention was rising, and it was only fair to allow those creators to benefit from their creations after they'd invested their own time and money into them. This encouraged people to create new things, which benefited society. Still, the inventors of copyright ALSO realized that they were fundamentally harming society by preventing these good and useful inventions from being more widely used. So, we limit patents and copyright. The creator is allowed a period of profit, and then the government gets out of the equation and allows the free market to do its thing. Copyrights and patents are inherently socialistic and anti-market concepts (it's government protection and regulation of business), and SHOULD be limited as much as possible.

The founders of our own country recognized the same thing, which is why our Constitution grants the ability to offer copyright and patent for a limited period.
12 posted on 12/10/2012 10:48:24 AM PST by Arthalion
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To: ksen
Copyright protections really have gotten ridiculously out of control

That's because the government is too big and too corrupt.

The GOP and the government became hostile to technology when W too office.

13 posted on 12/10/2012 10:51:21 AM PST by Moonman62 (The US has become a government with a country, rather than a country with a government.)
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To: GCC Catholic

No, it is not absurd. A writer can spend ten years writing a book, living in dire poverty the entire time. He can live in abject isolation and lose his health, he can sustain permanent physical and emotional damage from trying to bring one book or piece of music to life. If the work later becomes acknowledged as a masterpiece, of course he and his heirs should have the right to benefit from his unique gifts and his extraordinary sacrifices.


14 posted on 12/10/2012 10:53:05 AM PST by kabumpo (Kabumpo)
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To: DManA

You seem not to understand the basic concept of literature. The copyright isn’t based on subject matter - a tree, a rose, the sunrise, etc.
There are many poems, songs, etc. on many subjects. It is the unique work of the author that has the copyright. The topic of trees is not the point. The point is the individual work - Housman’s poem, “Loveliest of trees! The cherry now/is hung with bloom along the bough...”


15 posted on 12/10/2012 11:04:08 AM PST by kabumpo (Kabumpo)
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To: Boogieman

Well, you don’t know what the licensing fees would necessarily be, so your statement is invalid. And arts schools are actually stifling creation these days, so your point is moot.


16 posted on 12/10/2012 11:08:21 AM PST by kabumpo (Kabumpo)
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To: CharlesWayneCT

Thank you. You seem to be the only other person here who understands that art is not the same as a gadget, like a new kind of can opener.


17 posted on 12/10/2012 11:13:34 AM PST by kabumpo (Kabumpo)
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To: kabumpo
You can spend ten years mining coal as well, living in dire poverty the entire time. You can lose you health, and sustain permanent physical and emotional damage from breaking your back in a coal mine all day. None of which guarantees him a free paycheck for the rest of his life, and it CERTAINLY doesn't guarantee one for his heirs.

Copyright is a socialistic concept, and while it does have a place, it's place must be limited. An idea is not a thing, and when an idea is shared nobody is deprived of anything. Copyright ensures compensation for the original creator, but it is, at it's core, nothing more than charity from the government and society in general. As with all government charity, it must be limited or it will inevitably lead to corruption (as our current system so clearly has).
18 posted on 12/10/2012 11:13:37 AM PST by Arthalion
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To: Arthalion

Art and technology are not the same, and it is typical of the dunderhead philistinism one encounters on the Right to equate them. And then everyone complains that the Left has total control of arts and letters. Part of the reason for that is demonstrated in this thread.


19 posted on 12/10/2012 11:21:47 AM PST by kabumpo (Kabumpo)
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To: ksen

the GOP:

Winning the hearts and minds of lobbyist

Losing the hearts and minds of everyone else

Change your registration to independent. They need to see the more consequences besides the disastrous election of 2012.


20 posted on 12/10/2012 11:23:38 AM PST by CriticalJ (Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress.. But then I repeat myself. MT)
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To: Arthalion

To compare a salaried JOB with an act of CREATION demonstrates so little understanding of the topic at hand that it’s difficult to believe that you grew up in the same country and culture that I did. Jobs can be done by many, a worker at a job is replaceable in an instant. A created work is unique and a treasure for all time. There is no comparison.


21 posted on 12/10/2012 11:32:35 AM PST by kabumpo (Kabumpo)
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To: kabumpo

“Well, you don’t know what the licensing fees would necessarily be, so your statement is invalid.”

I don’t need to know, all I need to know is that they would be greater than zero. Schools don’t have any money in the budgets to pay more than that.

“And arts schools are actually stifling creation these days, so your point is moot.”

Arts schools and fine arts programs at schools in general are two separate things.


22 posted on 12/10/2012 11:37:56 AM PST by Boogieman
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To: kabumpo; Arthalion
No, it is not absurd. A writer can spend ten years writing a book, living in dire poverty the entire time. He can live in abject isolation and lose his health, he can sustain permanent physical and emotional damage from trying to bring one book or piece of music to life. If the work later becomes acknowledged as a masterpiece, of course he and his heirs should have the right to benefit from his unique gifts and his extraordinary sacrifices.

I hadn't even thought of copyright as a socialistic concept until Arthalion had mentioned it, but I'm inclined to think he's right, especially after your explanation.

The hypothetical writer you describe is a "taker", seeking government welfare in the form of a perpetual protection of his one idea. I don't feel sympathy for such an artist who has put all his effort in his art to the detriment of his basic needs, for the same reason I don't feel sympathy for young athletes who are banking on becoming the next great professional athlete in their chosen sport -- the odds of a "big break" for both are pretty small. You need to have a marketable skill as a fallback.

If an artist wants to use his art as his livelihood, he needs to continue to create. I would point to someone like James Michener as one example of someone who has done this properly. He wrote his Tales of the South Pacific, and when that was successful he poured his royalties back into his writing, so that he could continue producing successful works of writing. Even under the old copyright laws, he would have been able to make a fine livelihood because he kept creating.

The old copyright protections gave a reasonable amount of time for the artist to produce another work without the fear of starving in the meantime. 42 years (28+14) is plenty. The reason why heirs benefiting perpetually is absurd is because they undermine the basic principle: granting the heirs that privilege doesn't forward the promotion of arts and sciences (unless, of course, they create something THEMSELVES, and get a copyright or patent of their own).

Beyond this, masterpieces become such by virtue of being widely known -- they enter into the common good, a common societal patrimony that in turn promotes other ideas. As such, they should and must belong to everyone -- perpetual copyright prevents that from happening. Likewise, any degree of copyright stifles some creativity, thus there are "fair use" provisions that even supersede copyright under certain specific circumstances.

23 posted on 12/10/2012 12:25:06 PM PST by GCC Catholic
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To: AdmSmith; AnonymousConservative; Berosus; bigheadfred; Bockscar; ColdOne; Convert from ECUSA; ...

Thanks ksen.


24 posted on 12/11/2012 4:17:36 AM PST by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: ksen

The concept of copyright began as an effort by Royalty to control information distribution by “unauthorized” printers. Can’t have folks like Martin Luther running amok printing stuff to upset the subjects, doncha know.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_copyright_law


25 posted on 12/11/2012 4:27:53 AM PST by abb ("What ISN'T in the news is often more important than what IS." Ed Biersmith, 1942 -)
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To: GCC Catholic

The example you cite shows that you are not informed about art. James Michener is about as far from art as you can get, without owning a hardware store.
You say that you don’t sympathize with artists who sacrificed and didn’t provide for their livelihoods. Guess what, that’s what art is - a creation from the soul, combined with a unique gift from God that comes through the artist - who uses the years of rigorous training and discipline in his field to create. It can take a decade or even a lifetime to bring forth a masterpiece.
In this discussion, the socialist is....you! Because it is the socialists who argue against exceptionalism, it is the socialists who are against private ownership and the concept of property, the socialists who say that art belongs to everybody.
This has been an illuminating experience for me, because it has shown that when it comes to the arts, the pernicious philistinism of the left and the right is the same. The only difference is that they want to sack the Vatican of its art to sell it off for “the poor” and melt down all its gold of the Renaissance and Baroque masters to use as money, and the philistines on the left, ignorant of Van Gogh and others who dedicated their entire lives to expressing a new vision and dimension of art - those philistines want to allow minimal protection so that corporate asshats who can’t paint or write can make millions manufacturing cartoons


26 posted on 12/11/2012 11:11:06 AM PST by kabumpo (Kabumpo)
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To: GCC Catholic

writing from my phone, ran out of room - to continue:
those philistines want to allow minimal protection so that corporate asshats who can’t paint or write can make millions manufacturing cartoon versions, placemats, plastic dolls, towels, jingles, soundtracks for porn movies, etc. using the work that cost the soul’s blood of an artist who brought a new sound, new way of seeing color, new form of narrative at the cost of his sanity and his life.
But wait, there is one difference between the philistinism of the left and the right - even though they both devalue the unique and transcendent gift of the artist, even the most depraved, corrupt and murderous communist would not cite James Michener as an example of an artist.


27 posted on 12/11/2012 11:24:15 AM PST by kabumpo (Kabumpo)
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To: kabumpo
Fine, so I chose a poor example. I chose Michener because I was speaking with friends recently and he was fresh in my mind as a writer who had made his livelihood through his writing -- the quality or lack of quality of his "art" is moot. Others who made that livelihood through their art can be found.

You say that you don’t sympathize with artists who sacrificed and didn’t provide for their livelihoods. Guess what, that’s what art is - a creation from the soul, combined with a unique gift from God that comes through the artist - who uses the years of rigorous training and discipline in his field to create. It can take a decade or even a lifetime to bring forth a masterpiece.

Art as a creation from the soul is not mutually exclusive from being able to make enough money to feed yourself and your family. Maybe, just maybe that means you can't focus ALL your attention on it unless you're independently wealthy. Sorry... that's life. Yes, I suppose I am telling you that if you're a "starving artist" that you need to cut your hair and get a job. Because it is the socialists who argue against exceptionalism, it is the socialists who are against private ownership and the concept of property, the socialists who say that art belongs to everybody.

The founding fathers didn't give a hoot about your right to own intellectual property! Again, the protections on intellectual property stem from a desire to promote the arts and sciences and nothing more -- reasonable protections ensured this goal. The original provisions, and even the 1831 law do this in a sufficient manner.

Incidentally, this is the reason why foreign works weren't protected under US copyright law initially -- there was no concern to protect anything except where it ensured innovation in America. The only reason we care about it now is for the sake of reciprocity -- so Americans are encouraged to innovate even in a global economy.

You accuse me of being against "private ownership and the concept of property" -- that is quite false. I am all for the just remuneration of artists for the work that they have put forward for the world. However, I don't see perpetual ownership to be "just remuneration".

If I really believed in the socialist concept of property, I would deny any concept of remuneration or rights to IP - but I would also encourage that artists be government subsidized.

Yes, that might mean ultimately mean that "corporate asshats" make millions on something that they didn't create. But they really aren't removed from the "corporate asshats" that continue to make money into perpetuity because they are lobbying to "protect" and make money from art that THEY didn't create either.

P.S. More than once you have spoken about an artist working at "the cost of his sanity and his life". You should probably take it easy -- because you seem like you're losing your grip on at least the sanity part.

28 posted on 12/11/2012 12:44:00 PM PST by GCC Catholic
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