Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Pope troubled by "excessive zeal" over copyright protection
Cathnews ^ | October 29, 2010

Posted on 10/30/2010 4:05:00 AM PDT by GonzoII

While authors have the right to be recognised and rewarded for their work, the purpose of intellectual property protection is the "promotion of literary, scientific or artistic production and ... inventive activity for the sake of the common good", Vatican officials said.

A delegation of the Holy See told a gathering of the World Intellectual Property Organisation that Pope Benedict is troubled by the "excessive zeal" with which rich countries have been protecting their intellectual property rights, especially when it comes to health care in developing countries, reports the ZeroPaid website.

"On the part of rich countries there is excessive zeal for protecting knowledge through an unduly rigid assertion of the right to intellectual property, especially in the field of health care," Pope Benedict says in an Encyclical Letter quoted by the delegation at the 48th World Intellectual Property Organization General Assembly last month.

The report said copyright holdings have become the bedrock of profits for an array of business interests, multinational corporations like those in the movie and music industry in particular and there has been an increasing push to protect them at all costs, even to the detriment of society and culture.

"The raison d'être of the protection system of intellectual property is the promotion of literary, scientific or artistic production and, generally, of inventive activity for the sake of the 'common good,' said the delegation.

"Thus protection officially attests the right of the author or inventor to recognition of the ownership of his work and to a degree of economic reward. At the same time it serves the cultural and material progress of society as a whole."

FULL STORY

Vatican Criticizes Rich Countries' "Excessive Zeal" for Copyright Enforcement (ZeroPaid.com)

PHOTO CREDIT


TOPICS: Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: catholic; copyright; copyrightlaw; fairuse; healthcare; pope; wipo

1 posted on 10/30/2010 4:05:04 AM PDT by GonzoII
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: GonzoII

Copyright does not cover facts but only a particular expression of those facts. This sounds like something further is afoot, such as nondisclosure agreements.


2 posted on 10/30/2010 4:08:42 AM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (I am in America but not of America (per bible: am in the world but not of it))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: GonzoII
The Pope is right. Copyright laws have been twisted WAY out of their original purpose to protect the IP of a few big companies. As just one example, the main Disney cartoon characters (Mouse, Duck, Goofy) should LONG ago have entered the public domain.

The author of any copyrighted piece deserves protection, but the length of copyright today is WAY, WAY too long (length of the author's life plus seventy years). Sorry, but copyright was NOT originally set up to provide income to the author's great-grandchildren.

3 posted on 10/30/2010 4:34:43 AM PDT by Wonder Warthog
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Wonder Warthog

The original US Copyright Act of 1790 allowed for a 14 year period of ownership followed by an additional 14 year renewal if the holder chose to renew it. The original copyright period was, like the Constitution requires, was for a limited time.


4 posted on 10/30/2010 4:42:32 AM PDT by ConservativeTeen (Proud Right Wing Extremist)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: GonzoII

I think I essentially agree with him.


5 posted on 10/30/2010 4:50:16 AM PDT by Quix (Times are a changin' INSURE you have believed in your heart & confessed Jesus as Lord Come NtheFlesh)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: GonzoII

“for the sake of the common good””

“Common good” is a catchword term dear tothe agendas of fascists and Communists.


6 posted on 10/30/2010 5:27:39 AM PDT by RoadTest (Religion is a substitute for the relationship God wants with you.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: GonzoII

I’m not going to spend a lot of time listening to a pope who doesn’t know the distinction between a copyright (which protects Disney and other producers of written works or performance art) and a patent (which has been wildly successful in encouraging drug companies and medical device manufacturers to constantly innovate and improve their products knowing they can (temporarily) reap the rewards of doing so).

Due to the lengthy regulatory process required to bring drugs to market, the average length of patent protection in the U.S. is only 11-12 years http://www.innovation.org/documents/File/Pharmaceutical_Patents.pdf

In reality, most pharma companies already do provide deep discounts for life-saving drugs sold in poor countries. If we want the supply of new life-saving drugs to continue, the solution to lack of affordability is not to short-sightedly abandon protection of intellectual property, but instead strengthen it.

Think of it this way: poor African countries survived thousands of years without new lifesaving Drug X. The patent system requires them to wait 10-11 years, after which such countries have free access to all the intellectual property underlying Drug X and are free to produce it at no cost to their citizens if so desired.
In contrast, by removing patent protection entirely, such countries may NEVER receive the benefits of this life-saving product, since no one will have the incentive to invest the $1 billion average cost that it takes to bring just 1 new drug to market. Does the Pope really think the world would be better off under the latter arrangement?


7 posted on 10/30/2010 5:28:17 AM PDT by DrC
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Wonder Warthog

” the main Disney cartoon characters (Mouse, Duck, Goofy) should LONG ago have entered the public domain.”

I don’t agree with that. Those characters were designed and launched by the Disney organization. They belong to them. Who is to say that at some arbitrary point in time they should be handed over to “the people”, which more and more is becoming “The Government”.

As in “Peoples’ Republic of China”. “Peoples’ Republic of North Korea”


8 posted on 10/30/2010 5:30:47 AM PDT by RoadTest (Religion is a substitute for the relationship God wants with you.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: RoadTest
“Common good” is a catchword term dear tothe agendas of fascists and Communists.<"

The pope is a Communist!?

9 posted on 10/30/2010 5:31:31 AM PDT by GonzoII ("That they may be one...Father")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: DrC

Yeah. The patent protects the huge investment the original drug company had to make to develop the product, non of which the copycat drug makers have to spend.


10 posted on 10/30/2010 5:32:46 AM PDT by RoadTest (Religion is a substitute for the relationship God wants with you.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Wonder Warthog
You have spoken as someone who obviously is not a creator of copyrighted works.

I have been writing songs and screenplays for years.

It can take years for a an original song to be recorded for commercial distribution. It takes a fair amount of money to produce studio-quality demos to "pitch" songs. I am aware of songs that got no commercial play or distribution for more than ten years after they were first created and copyrighted by creation.

It certainly takes a fortune to produce a feature motion picture from a copyrighted screenplay.

Those who invest a fortune in developing a screenplay deserve an opportunity to recover that investment and make a profit.

The majority of Hollywood motion pictures do not make much money if they even break even. We only hear about the profits of "tent-pole" blockbusters like Toy Story and Spiderman.

Independent, low-budget movies rarely recover their production costs.

Sundance Film Festival receives 5,000 indie films per year and may exhibit 100 of those. The rest of those indie films may or may not ever even be seen ANYWHERE by the public.

Why should the creators be robbed of any chance to earn much from their work which may take years to develop and market?

If you put your heart and soul into a creative work and spend money to bring it to market, why should others be given a green light to steal it?

That is the argument of a communist (Your work, comrade, belongs to the collective).

11 posted on 10/30/2010 5:51:06 AM PDT by NoControllingLegalAuthority (What this country needs is an enema.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: RoadTest
"I don’t agree with that. Those characters were designed and launched by the Disney organization. They belong to them. Who is to say that at some arbitrary point in time they should be handed over to “the people”, which more and more is becoming “The Government”."

Then you disagree with the Founding Fathers, who set up patents and copyrights in the first place. NOBODY has eternal ownership of anything, though many think they could and should.

12 posted on 10/30/2010 6:28:29 AM PDT by Wonder Warthog
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: NoControllingLegalAuthority
"You have spoken as someone who obviously is not a creator of copyrighted works."

Actually not true. I've published quite a number of scientific papers over the years, all copyrighted. And I hold an extensive number of patents, so I am VERY familiar with the concepts of "intellectual property".

"I have been writing songs and screenplays for years."

And I've been inventing things for "years and years".

"It can take years for a an original song to be recorded for commercial distribution. It takes a fair amount of money to produce studio-quality demos to "pitch" songs. I am aware of songs that got no commercial play or distribution for more than ten years after they were first created and copyrighted by creation."

And the exact same thing applies to patents. It takes a LONG time to commercialization, if ever, and is FAR more costly than copyright, yet a patent, on a real good, lasts only twenty years.

"Why should the creators be robbed of any chance to earn much from their work which may take years to develop and market?"

Nobody is talking about "robbing the creators". I personally think that the author's lifetime is quite sufficient to let the CREATOR earn from their work. What I object to is that the system is set up to grant monopoly rights to people who did NOT create the work.

"That is the argument of a communist (Your work, comrade, belongs to the collective)."

If you make this argument, you are truly ignorant of what the Founding Fathers did with respect to granting a government-enforced MONOPOLY (which is what patents and copyright actually are) on certain rights.

13 posted on 10/30/2010 6:38:49 AM PDT by Wonder Warthog
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: NoControllingLegalAuthority
That is the argument of a communist (Your work, comrade, belongs to the collective)

No doubt you were able to create those works using technology for which patents have expired. You were not forced to pay a royalty for the electric light, the keyboard, and the telephone. Your work will be displayed using motion picture or printing press technology that although created by an individual are now available for your free use. You were able to create your work only by mining the "collective" knowledge.
[Payments you make are for the physical manifestation – e.g., a particular keyboard, the specific celluloid to strike your print, the paper and printing costs for your particular text. You are not paying to use the design/ideas.]

It is that "collective" knowledge that allows us create new advances. Technological advancement would grind to a halt if every discovery were owned by an individual or cooperation. Inventors would need to run every single experiment or trial through a legal check to insure they were not infringing on another's "intellectual property." It is most likely that every trial would use the work of another for which they would need permission. It is not just a case of cost, such permission could be denied thus stopping future inventive work.

The same problems would apply to creative work. Many modern works have their roots is the classic myths. Should Disney continue to pay royalties to the original writer of the story? Should Shakespeare's descendents continue to receive royalties for (or indeed be able to prohibit the performing of) the Bards's plays?

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.

The important words are "limited time" and "exclusive Right." Copyright is a temporary monopoly privilege. All our growth depends on shared knowledge. It requires that we be able to mine a common resource without fear of punishment or need for permission.

Intellectual "property" cannot be degraded by over use. There is no tragedy of the commons. Physical property needs tending by the owner to flourish and remain productive. Physical property will be degraded by over use, and does best with a single caretaker.

I think the "limited time" (and I do mean limited as compared to the "infinity minus 1" proposed by some) strikes a good balance between the rights of creators and the need to share knowledge. Communism fails because it under protects physical property leading to the tragedy of the commons. Current capitalism may fail because it walls off to much knowledge, creating a tragedy of the uncommons (I can't use your knowledge and you can't use mine, so we both lose).

14 posted on 10/30/2010 6:47:02 AM PDT by evilC
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: Wonder Warthog

“Then you disagree with the Founding Fathers”

Horrors!!! That’s as bad as being called “racist”.

I just can’t see Warner brothers doing Mickey Mouse.


15 posted on 10/30/2010 6:55:31 AM PDT by RoadTest (Religion is a substitute for the relationship God wants with you.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: GonzoII

“The pope is a Communist!?”

I don’t recall saying that. Here’s what I said: “Common good” is a catchword term dear to the agendas of fascists and communists.”

I’m glad you gave me an opportunity to type it again, without typographical errors.


16 posted on 10/30/2010 6:58:40 AM PDT by RoadTest (Religion is a substitute for the relationship God wants with you.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: RoadTest

You wrote:

““Common good” is a catchword term dear tothe agendas of fascists and Communists.”

Sure. That’s why we have four “commonwealths” in the USA - we’re a longstanding country of “fascists and Communists”, right?

You know, like the commie Thomas Jefferson said in his first inaugural address: “ but this being now decided by the voice of the nation, announced according to the rules of the Constitution, all will, of course, arrange themselves under the will of the law, and unite in common efforts for the common good.”

And that other commie, John Adams, wrote in 1776: “Government is instituted for the common good; for the protection, safety, prosperity, and happiness of the people; and not for profit, honor, or private interest of any one man, family, or class of men; therefore, the people alone have an incontestable, unalienable, and indefeasible right to institute government; and to reform, alter, or totally change the same, when their protection, safety, prosperity, and happiness require it.”

And don’t even get me started on that arch communist, St. Thomas Aquinas: “Thus, since law is called “most of all” in relation to the common good, no precept concerning action has the nature of law unless it is ordered to the common good.”

Yeah, all commies and fascists!


17 posted on 10/30/2010 6:59:33 AM PDT by vladimir998 (Part of the Vast Catholic Conspiracy (hat tip to Kells))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: GonzoII

The incentive to create something that results in financial gain while benefiting society is what built this country to become the leader in the world. If that reward is reduced or eliminated the incentive is taken away. Take away the reward and you destroy the future of creativity. The world has benefited from reward based creativity. To threaten that is to threaten continued benefits.


18 posted on 10/30/2010 7:37:48 AM PDT by CynicalBear
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: evilC; NoControllingLegalAuthority
"I think the "limited time" (and I do mean limited as compared to the "infinity minus 1" proposed by some) strikes a good balance between the rights of creators and the need to share knowledge."

I personally think that "the author's lifetime OR seventy-five years, whichever is longer" is eminently fair. The actual creator gets the fruit of his labor for as long as he lives, or, if he dies prematurely (Buddy Holly, "The Big Bopper", and many others), he leaves a reasonable legacy to a young wife and children.

19 posted on 10/30/2010 7:49:54 AM PDT by Wonder Warthog
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: RoadTest

Even though people routinely complain about the high price of pharmaceuticals, they actually are a great bargain compared to most other medical care, saving lives at an average cost of only $1,000 per added year of life. This may not seem a great deal to countries whose citizens have to get by on less than $1 a day, but their plight is not the fault or responsibility of pharma manufacturers.

What if we adopted the position that NO technological improvements could be permitted in the industrialized world until/unless such technology were immediately available and affordable to all 6 billion people around the world? We’d all still be subsistence farmers.

The solution to world poverty is free markets and free trade, not heavy-handed prohibitions on innovation (and the companion freedom to buy goods and services that improve our lives) due to misplaced concerns about “fairness.” As John Kennedy once said “Life is unfair.” It’s about time the Barack Obamas of the world learned to deal with it. The Pope would be better served finding a speech-writer who knew a little about basic economics.


20 posted on 10/30/2010 8:09:55 AM PDT by DrC
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: RoadTest
“Common good” is a catchword term dear to the agendas of fascists and Communists

Well said.
21 posted on 10/30/2010 9:09:25 AM PDT by indthkr
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: Wonder Warthog
"The Pope is right."

The Pope attempts to make a fair point, but is hardly "right".

Of course, the Vatican is also welcome to lead the way by donating-for-auction it's numerous artifacts and other treasures for the "public good". It can also donate it's numerous property holdings for homeless shelters and free clinics.
22 posted on 10/30/2010 9:18:32 AM PDT by indthkr
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: indthkr

Richest corporation in the world, by far.


23 posted on 10/30/2010 9:50:52 AM PDT by RoadTest (Religion is a substitute for the relationship God wants with you.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: GonzoII

His Holiness should continue to act and speak where he has expertise and authority; economics and commerce are not such disciplines.


24 posted on 10/30/2010 10:39:44 AM PDT by jimfree (In 2012 Sarah Palin will continue to have more relevant quality executive experience than B. Obama.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Wonder Warthog

Strongly disagree. Just as a house and land that my great grandfather bought can be passed through the generations to me and my children, if my great grandparent wrote a book that legacy should be passed on to future generations in perpetuity.


25 posted on 10/30/2010 10:54:30 AM PDT by kabumpo (Kabumpo)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: RoadTest

Agree with you. An artist creates art for art’s sake, not for the common good -whatever that is.


26 posted on 10/30/2010 10:57:14 AM PDT by kabumpo (Kabumpo)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: RoadTest

Thank you for appreciating that even cartoon characters don’t fall out of the sky. Creation can take years of work and struggle.


27 posted on 10/30/2010 11:01:26 AM PDT by kabumpo (Kabumpo)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: kabumpo
"Strongly disagree. Just as a house and land that my great grandfather bought can be passed through the generations to me and my children, if my great grandparent wrote a book that legacy should be passed on to future generations in perpetuity."

A house and land are "real goods". "Intellectual property" is not. And NO ONE is entitled to an eternal government monopoly, which is what this is all about. The Constitution and writings of the Founding Fathers are quite clear on the difference, and why a TEMPORARY monopoly, enforced by government, is useful to society. Take your argument up with them.

28 posted on 10/30/2010 11:03:35 AM PDT by Wonder Warthog
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

To: a fool in paradise

Copyright abuse ping


29 posted on 10/30/2010 11:05:07 AM PDT by Ronaldus Magnus
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: indthkr
"Vatican is also welcome to lead the way by donating-for-auction it's numerous artifacts and other treasures for the "public good".

But the public might not get to view them if they get in private hands.

30 posted on 10/30/2010 11:12:30 AM PDT by GonzoII ("That they may be one...Father")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: NoControllingLegalAuthority

Thank you. I get fed up sometimes with the philistinism of some FRers. As a writer and artist married to a musician/composer it frustrating to see how little some people understand what goes into this type of work. It can take five years to write a novel. It costs thousands of dollars to make a quality recording. Artists often go through decades of grinding poverty in order to finish a work. They should be able to pass the fruits of this labor onto their descendents.


31 posted on 10/30/2010 11:13:51 AM PDT by kabumpo (Kabumpo)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: evilC

Well I do pay for electricity and film and a computer etc.
So yes, I do think that Shakespeare’s heirs (if there were any) should still be getting royalties every time his plays are used.


32 posted on 10/30/2010 11:19:53 AM PDT by kabumpo (Kabumpo)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: Wonder Warthog

The concept of authors’ and composers’ copyrights was not a well understood idea at that time. And even a century later the great American composer and lyricist Stephen Foster died penniless because of not being able to collect royalties on his sheet music sales.
It is a form of philistinism to place a permanent value on a building.and deny that same value to a book or composition.


33 posted on 10/30/2010 11:32:15 AM PDT by kabumpo (Kabumpo)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: evilC
Well said, thank you.

The important words are "limited time" and "exclusive Right." Copyright is a temporary monopoly privilege. All our growth depends on shared knowledge. It requires that we be able to mine a common resource without fear of punishment or need for permission.

This Right is the only one actually mentioned in the Constitution. Unfortunately, it has been undermined and negated by the USSC and Congress by allowing the illegal and unconstitutional Opinion that was never adjudicated or determined from the actual trial.

The Founders and Writers of our Constitution were well aware of the close entanglements of the British Military and Corporations (East India Company), where they would both invoke the privileges of the other to effect the taxing policies demanded by the Crown. Corporations (and all other governmentally created entities) are assigned limited Privileges and Powers that can be changed at will; by force if necessary by the government, and by bribery and corruption by corporations.

By allowing this to stand, our FedGov has allowed Corporations to usurp the copyright and patent laws to their own ends, when in fact they have no real right to hold those copyrights or patents - they are individual rights that belong to an individual, not an unaccountable group of privilege.

34 posted on 10/30/2010 1:10:05 PM PDT by brityank (The more I learn about the Constitution, the more I realise this Government is UNconstitutional !! )
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: GonzoII

This article is about what someone said about what someone said about what the Pope supposedly said.

Frankly, I’d like to see the original quote, in context.


35 posted on 10/30/2010 1:20:57 PM PDT by choirboy
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: GonzoII

The Founding Fathers set copyright terms at 14 years, renewable for another 14 years.

That should be sufficient.


36 posted on 10/30/2010 1:29:01 PM PDT by B Knotts (Just another Tenther)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: GonzoII

And the Holy Father seems here to actually be talking about patents. I don’t have a strong view on patents, as I think they’re still limited to 17 years. Although, I oppose software patents, as they are like patenting math, and are often granted for vague and obvious things.


37 posted on 10/30/2010 1:34:22 PM PDT by B Knotts (Just another Tenther)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: RoadTest

Yup. “For the sake of the common good” is a phrase that should always raise a red flag. It’s disappointing, but not surprising, to hear it from the Vatican.


38 posted on 10/30/2010 1:40:59 PM PDT by FourPeas (Pester not the geek, for the electrons are his friends.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: GonzoII
“According to article 27 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, ‘Everyone has the right to the protection of the moral and material interests resulting from any scientific, literary or artistic production of which he is the author,” added the delegation. “In the end, intellectual property protection recognizes the dignity of man and his work that becomes an expression of, and a contribution to, the growth of the individual personality and to the common good.”

More about "the common good." Ownership trumped by "the common good." Not good.

39 posted on 10/30/2010 1:48:11 PM PDT by FourPeas (Pester not the geek, for the electrons are his friends.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: kabumpo
"The concept of authors’ and composers’ copyrights was not a well understood idea at that time. And even a century later the great American composer and lyricist Stephen Foster died penniless because of not being able to collect royalties on his sheet music sales."

The fact that Foster handled his IP and finances badly is not my (or governments) problem. Some folks still do that today, when patents and copyright are "well understood" (but, given the discussion here, that seems not to be the case).

"It is a form of philistinism to place a permanent value on a building.and deny that same value to a book or composition."

LOL. You have a VERY active imagination. There is no such thing as a "permanent value" for a building. See today's real estate prices as to why. There is no monopoly on real estate, which is what you are proposing. After copyright expires, nobody is stopping the author from continuing to sell his book/article/song/play.....it just means that he is not the ONLY person who can legally do so.

Which, BTW, was why the monopoly was instituted in the first place....because for literally millenia, technological advances have been discovered and then lost because the inventors kept the processes secret to avoid competition or theft of their ideas, and failing to transmit the information to successors before they died. The deal was that the government would grant a TEMPORARY monopoly on right to sell in exchange for completely revealing the idea so protected.

40 posted on 10/30/2010 2:01:40 PM PDT by Wonder Warthog
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 33 | View Replies]

To: Wonder Warthog

I never said or implied that there was permanent value of land or a building. I said that there could be perpetual ownership of property passed down through generations, and that a book, song etc should be treated the same way.


41 posted on 10/30/2010 2:51:55 PM PDT by kabumpo (Kabumpo)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 40 | View Replies]

To: Wonder Warthog

Also, people like you are what make it so difficult to join the conservative movement, with statements like, “It’s not my problem if Stephen Foster didn’t handle his finances...” What a cold vicious statement. He was the embodiment of America’s very heart, and he died in anguish and poverty because there weren’t laws to protect his authorship.


42 posted on 10/30/2010 3:00:51 PM PDT by kabumpo (Kabumpo)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 40 | View Replies]

To: kabumpo
"I never said or implied that there was permanent value of land or a building. I said that there could be perpetual ownership of property passed down through generations, and that a book, song etc should be treated the same way."

Direct quote:

"It is a form of philistinism to place a permanent value on a building.and deny that same value to a book or composition."

43 posted on 10/30/2010 3:29:45 PM PDT by Wonder Warthog
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 41 | View Replies]

To: kabumpo
"Also, people like you are what make it so difficult to join the conservative movement, with statements like, “It’s not my problem if Stephen Foster didn’t handle his finances...” What a cold vicious statement. He was the embodiment of America’s very heart, and he died in anguish and poverty because there weren’t laws to protect his authorship."

As I said, you have a VERY active imagination. Stephen Foster died LONG after the establishment of the Constitution, and the passage by the Congress of copyright laws (The First U.S. Copyright Law Signed in Script Type by George Washington Appearing in The Columbian Centinel of July 17, 1790). Foster was BORN in 1826.

http://www.earlyamerica.com/earlyamerica/firsts/copyright/

To state that "he died in anguish and poverty because there weren't laws to protect his authorship" is simply a ridiculous assertion. The laws were in place. Why he failed to take advantage of them, I couldn't guess. But those are the facts. I suggest more clear thinking and looking up facts, and less emotionalism.

44 posted on 10/30/2010 3:41:08 PM PDT by Wonder Warthog
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 42 | View Replies]

To: Wonder Warthog

OK. I meant ownership that could be inherited the same as land and houses.


45 posted on 10/30/2010 5:48:02 PM PDT by kabumpo (Kabumpo)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 43 | View Replies]

To: Wonder Warthog

You don’t seem to have any feeling function or connection with real life.or even the ability to understand that your plodding literal interpretation of a statute has no application to reality. The modern day concept of copyright didn’t exist then. There were no performance rights organizations to protect writers. Everyone should care about the life and work of one of country’s seminal writers.


46 posted on 10/30/2010 5:57:29 PM PDT by kabumpo (Kabumpo)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 44 | View Replies]

To: kabumpo
"You don’t seem to have any feeling function or connection with real life.or even the ability to understand that your plodding literal interpretation of a statute has no application to reality. The modern day concept of copyright didn’t exist then. There were no performance rights organizations to protect writers. Everyone should care about the life and work of one of country’s seminal writers."

LOL, more imagination. Look, I base my actions on FACTS, not emotions. The "concept of copyright" hasn't changed AT ALL in the time since the Congress passed, and Washington signed, the first copyright act. The only major changes have been very modern ones to reward non-creators like the motion picture and music industry....NOT the individual artists. LOOK IT UP.

"Performance rights organizations" aren't a function of government, nor the copyright laws, nor anything other than the free association of artists. They are irrelevant to this discussion, which is about copyright LAW.

As to "caring" about the life and work of one of the country's seminal "writers" (I thought he was a musician, not a writer)....under the existing copyright laws of his time, many other authors and composers managed to succeed. Foster failed. Why were others successful in their endeavors and he not??

I don't know what your emotional attachment is to Foster, but don't expect me to follow suit. But if you can't summon up the rationality to examine the situation on any other basis than emotion, perhaps "the conservative movement" would be better off without you.

47 posted on 10/31/2010 4:07:33 AM PDT by Wonder Warthog
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 46 | View Replies]

To: Wonder Warthog

Actually, I think the conservative movement urgently needs more people from the arts and culture and has way too many heartless phiistines - how many angels can dance on the head of a pin — types.
You miscast the conversation when you keep harping on what you call facts — really just a bullying way of not allowing new information into the dialogue. You seem not to even know who Stephen Foster was when you say you thought he was a musician not a writer. (He was both — how is that for a fact.) To me that disqualifies you to even have a dialogue about him. He was and remains, one of the most important Americans, ever. Cities should be named after him. Your attitude about him in this exchange — cold, unfeeling, uninformed and disparaging — exemplifies all that is wrong with the conservative movement and why more people from arts and culture who don’t want to be on the left don’t come over to the right.

The conversation was not only about law — it started with the posting of a statement by the pope and went on to the reason for and ethics of the idea of ownership and use of material and the protection of artists. Performance rights, which are linked to copyright, were not protected in the 19th century the way they are now. Music is different from other types of arts because it is a pie with 200% — the author’s rights and the publishing rights. There was a huge change in the law when the author’s rights became non-transferable — the publishing can be sold over and over again. Prior to this change, thousands of authors /musicians were cheated out of their rights.


48 posted on 10/31/2010 10:08:56 AM PDT by kabumpo (Kabumpo)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 47 | View Replies]

To: kabumpo
"You miscast the conversation when you keep harping on what you call facts — really just a bullying way of not allowing new information into the dialogue. You seem not to even know who Stephen Foster was when you say you thought he was a musician not a writer. (He was both — how is that for a fact.) To me that disqualifies you to even have a dialogue about him."

Actually, YOU seem to be the one not well qualified to talk about Foster. I've bothered to take the time to check into biographical information, and here is a quote:

"While he had substantial royalties from his publishers in New York, his debt increased along with his dependency on alcohol."

So, it appears that Foster was "substantially successful" in spite of the so-called "limitations" on copyright law.

I'm afraid that, despite your fantasies, the story of Stephen Foster is a VERY old one, and continues in the "musics and the arts" culture that you are so fond of. Alcoholic son of an alcoholic father, initially achieves great success. Triggered by either that success, or some downturn in success, the addiction to alcohol (add "recreational drugs" today) increases, leading to an inability to succeed and making bad judgments, and ultimate destruction of the artistic career, and sometimes death. This goes on even today, in spite of the improvement in copyright law.

One doesn't know how much alcohol contributed to the incident that actually caused his death. Supposedly he "suffered from the ague" fell down in his hotel room. Hit his head on a ceramic washbasin, which broke and caused a substantial cut. Unconscious, he had almost bled out, before being found by the chambermaid who was bringing him towels. Despite being taken to a hospital (or perhaps because of it), he succumbed to his injuries.

"Your attitude about him in this exchange — cold, unfeeling, uninformed and disparaging — exemplifies all that is wrong with the conservative movement and why more people from arts and culture who don’t want to be on the left don’t come over to the right."

LOL, more fantasies. I appreciate Foster's music as much as anybody. No, I wasn't "up" on his whole life history. I'm a scientist, so "artsy" bios are of not much interest. But Foster's story pretty much parallels that of Nicola Tesla, which I am familiar with.

But the difference is that "I" took the trouble to actually check the facts, something the "arts and culture" types fail to do, cruising along on their "feelings", and what they hear at their "artsy" group parties.

"There was a huge change in the law when the author’s rights became non-transferable — the publishing can be sold over and over again. Prior to this change, thousands of authors /musicians were cheated out of their rights."

Now, I'll ask this question....was this "change in law" due to the passage of actual legislation, or due to some artist successfully suing a publisher and getting a legal precedent set. Those two situations ARE just slightly different. I'm talking about written law as passed by legislatures....not legal precedent.

And finally, the term of copyright I favor WOULD HAVE PROTECTED Foster's situation..that being "the author's lifetime or seventy-five years, whichever is longer", if his problem was actually legislated law and not legal precedent.

As I said, I base my opinions on facts, not fantasies, and not emotions. You see that as "cold and unfeeling". Too bad...you're wrong.

And I'll offer this observation about the "science culture" vs the "arts culture". If you check into the careers of top scientists, you will pretty much inevitably find that they are also artists of some significance, and so understand the arts. The opposite is NOT true.

49 posted on 11/01/2010 4:53:55 AM PDT by Wonder Warthog
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 48 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson