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  • aaeru1 9:02 am on July 8, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Copyright History   

    The Stationers came up with the Idea of copyright, but with a sleight of hand. 


    “In the long history of literature, copying was a significant cost to the person or organisation requiring a copy as they usually had to provide the parchment and either the time or a scribe to carry out the copying. As a result of this, most copying of books was carried out by the church, and the noble who could afford this activity.”

    “When the printing press arrived in Europe, it not only reduced the price of books, but also made them available to many more people. This was a threat to the established order of the nobles and the church, and this resulted in a battle to control knowledge leading to control of printing. This control in England was administered by The Stationers Company and over most of the content by the church via Imprimatur.
    Both these were a means of censoring the information that was printed by the State and the Church, and were a means of controlling what authors were allowed to publish.”

    “In England, after the Censoring function of the Stationers company had been abolished, the Stationers came up with the Idea of copyright, so that the could maintain their control over the allocation of titles to printers. Note the sleight of hand in copyright, grant it automatically to an author, who has to transfer the right to the stationers to get the book published. This maintained their control over printing.”

    “The natural right of an Author is that of deciding whether or not to publish a work. By long tradition, they also have a right of attribution, that is being named as the author of a work. Modern copyright is a recent invention which was created for the convenience and regulation of the publishing industry, rather than the right of an Author to control the actual copying of their work.”

    “It is worth noting, that as far as I am able to tell, performance rights in music are an invention of the recording industry, and that under the original copyright rules, only sheet music was protectable. Again copyright is associated with the publishers, in this case record labels, rather than the creators of works.
    Given the damage it is doing to society as the publishers try to maintain their control over copying, intrusive monitoring and arbitrary take down powers, it should be abolished, or drastically weakened.”

    • printersMate

    December 31, 2012 – 11:20

    http://falkvinge.net/2012/12/30/the-copyright-monopoly-is-a-legal-featherweight-compared-to-property-rights/#comment-106567

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  • R 9:17 am on March 10, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Copyright History   

    In 1974 the overwhelming majority of commercially published works in the US was public domain. 

    ^ books.google.com

    Before 1972 in the US, the public’s understanding of copyright was that it is a temporary advantage given to authors.

    Congress: “US Congress’s protection of copyrights is not a “special private benefit,” but is meant to achieve an important public interest: “to motivate the creative activity of authors and inventors by the provision of a special reward, and to allow the public access to the products of their genius after the limited period of exclusive control has expired.”

    US Congress: “The granting of such exclusive rights [copyrights] under the proper terms and conditions, cofers a benefit upon the public that outweighs the evils of the temporary monopoly.“

    By the provision of a temporary monopoly, parliament (UK) or congress (US) hoped to encourage the progress of learning and bribe authors into generating materials for the public domain as to benefit all people. It is not designed to benefit authors.

    Human beings have incredibly short memories. In 1974 the overwhelming majority of commercially published works in the US was public domain. In order to receive the privilege of copyright, you must show that you will be distributing copies, you must pay a fee, your copies must be marked with a copyright notice. Notice of copyright – the familiar C-in-a-circle, along with the name of the copyright holder, the date first published, when the copyright will expire, to whom you must address to request permission and contact details. Failing to provide an accurate notice will cause you to LOSE YOUR COPYRIGHT. It turns out the vast majority of publishers in the 70s didn’t care to register copyright. It was never really that useful. [Source:Jessica Litman – Sharing & Stealing] .

     
  • R 11:14 pm on October 4, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Copyright History,   

    Jeffrey Tucker: Why British literature so widely circulated the US in 19th century 

    The authors effortlessly segue from software to books, and here is the part that especially interests me. They provide an alternative explanation for why British literature was so widely circulated in the United States in the 19th century. American publishers could publish without copyright — there were no international copyright agreements — and there was massive competition. It was so intense that American firms would pay authors directly for sending chapters even before they appeared in Britain. The amounts they would receive even exceed their British royalties over a period of years.

    As a result, there was huge dissemination of knowledge. And the prices were low: Dickens’s A Christmas Carol sold for six cents in the United States and $2.50 in England. Printing technology improved. Literacy improved. Ideas spread. Children and schools could have books, which in turn increased the demand for books, and spurred on new investment and technological improvements. It was a dynamic and wild world of publishing, comparable to what we see with the web today.

     
  • R 9:08 am on July 19, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Copyright History,   

    Jeffrey Tucker: IP laws are a remnant of a precapitalist age 

    If you look at the origins of these two institutions, we can see the essence of what is going on. Copyright originated as a government restriction on printing during England’s religious wars. As it developed, it had nothing to do with individual rights and everything to do with protecting dominant publishing firms against competition. It is the same with patent, which grew out of the mercantilist experience of Europe in which the prince would grant one producer rights against all competitors. Both are designed to slow down innovation and drag out the process of economic development with government restrictions. For this reason, the idea that IP somehow creates an incentive to innovate is completely wrong; in fact, the reality is precisely the opposite.

    The advent of the liberalism of the 18th century gradually wiped out most of these antique institutions and replaced them with competitive capitalism. But in the world of ideas, these protections remained and became worse, especially in the latter part of the 20th century. They are remnants of a precapitalist age.

     
  • R 8:47 am on July 14, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Copyright History   

    William Patry: I cannot think of a single significant innovation in the creation of works of authorship that owes its origins to the copyright industries 

    Copyright expert William Patry put it strongly at the conclusion of his new book, Moral Panics and the Copyright Wars, writing, “I cannot think of a single significant innovation in either the creation or distribution of works of authorship that owes its origins to the copyright industries.”

    http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2009/10/100-years-of-big-content-fearing-technologyin-its-own-words/2/

     
  • R 7:22 am on July 14, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Copyright History, ,   

    John Gilmore: This is the worst sort of economic protectionism — beggaring your own society for the benefit of an inefficient local industry 

    “What is wrong is that we have invented the technology to eliminate scarcity, but we are deliberately throwing it away to benefit those who profit from scarcity. We now have the means to duplicate any kind of information that can be compactly represented in digital media. We can replicate it worldwide, to billions of people, for very low costs, affordable by individuals. We are working hard on technologies that will permit other sorts of resources to be duplicated this easily, including arbitrary physical objects (“nanotechnology”; see http://www.foresight.org). The progress of science, technology, and free markets have produced an end to many kinds of scarcity. A hundred years ago, more than 99% of Americans were still using outhouses, and one out of every ten children died in infancy. Now even the poorest Americans have cars, television, telephones, heat, clean water, sanitary sewers — things that the richest millionaires of 1900 could not buy. These technologies promise an end to physical want in the near future. “We should be rejoicing in mutually creating a heaven on earth!” Instead, those crabbed souls who make their living from perpetuating scarcity are sneaking around, convincing co-conspirators to chain our cheap duplication technology so that it won’t make copies — at least not of the kind of goods they want to sell us. This is the worst sort of economic protectionism — beggaring your own society for the benefit of an inefficient local industry. The record and movie distribution companies are careful not to point this out to us, but that is what is happening.”

    • Electronic Frontier Foundation co-founder John Gilmore
     
  • R 1:04 am on July 10, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Copyright History   

    Frank Thadeusz: The Real Reason for Germany’s Industrial Expansion? 

    In the past, many many valuable literary, scientific and artistic works have been created and traded without effective copyright protection (e.g. Scherer, 2008). Open source software, which is produced without taking recourse to most aspect of copyright or other types of IP is flourishing on the internet. (Bessen, 2005; Krogh and Hippel, 2006). It seems improbable that advances in copying technology would completely do away with incentives to create further works.


    Until now, copyright was seen as a great achievement and a guarantee for a flourishing book market. Authors are only motivated to write, runs the conventional belief, if they know their rights will be protected.

    Yet a historical comparison, at least, reaches a different conclusion. Publishers in England exploited their monopoly shamelessly. New discoveries were generally published in limited editions of at most 750 copies and sold at a price that often exceeded the weekly salary of an educated worker. In Germany during the same period, publishers had plagiarizers — who could reprint each new publication and sell it cheaply without fear of punishment. Bestsellers and academic works were introduced to the German public in large numbers and at extremely low prices. The prospect of a wide readership motivated scientists in particular to publish the results of their research. In Höffner’s analysis, “a completely new form of imparting knowledge established itself.”

    Höffner believes, it was none other than copyright law, which was established early in Great Britain, in 1710, that crippled the world of knowledge in the United Kingdom.
    Germany, on the other hand, didn’t bother with the concept of copyright for a long time and instead experienced an unparalleled explosion of knowledge in the 19th century.

    German publishers did, however, react to the new situation in a restrictive way reminiscent of their British colleagues, tightening copyright enforcements, cranking up prices and doing away with the low-price market. Authors, now guaranteed the rights to their own works, were often annoyed by this development. Heinrich Heine, for example, wrote to his publisher Julius Campe on October 24, 1854, in a rather acerbic mood: “Due to the tremendously high prices you have established, I will hardly see a second edition of the book anytime soon. But you must set lower prices, dear Campe, for otherwise I really don’t see why I was so lenient with my material interests.”

    • Frank Thadeusz

    http://www.spiegel.de/international/zeitgeist/0,1518,710976,00.html

     
  • R 12:57 am on July 10, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Copyright History   

    Power vs. People in the Digital Age 

    The battle between power and freedom dates to the beginning of recorded history, and we are seeing it play out right before our eyes in the digital age. It’s as if at the beginning of the Bronze Age, the leading tribal chieftain made smelting ore illegal, or if at the transition from iron to steel, the ruling elite put a cap on the temperature of refining ovens, or if at the beginning of flight, some despot declared the whole enterprise to be too risky and economically damaging to the industry that depended on land travel.
    In the current version, the issue of “intellectual property” is at the forefront of this battle. The first most people heard of this was on Blackout Wednesday when Wikipedia went black. This is a foretaste of the future in a world in which power achieves victory after victory while the rest of the world cowers with fear in darkening times.

    Read more: Power vs. People in the Digital Age
    http://dailyreckoning.com/power-vs-people-in-the-digital-age/#ixzz1tUrpM3un

     
  • R 12:34 am on July 10, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Copyright History   

    Authors in the US do not have some fundamental right to profit from their writings! 

    “The US constitution does NOT have any sense of authors and inventors being owed anything by society. Read the powers clause, and observe that it is written solely from the point of view of what benefits the people as a whole. Authors and inventors in the US do not have some fundamental right to profit from their writings and inventions!”

    http://movingtofreedom.org/2006/10/06/thomas-jefferson-on-patents-and-freedom-of-ideas/

     
  • R 12:14 am on July 10, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Copyright History,   

    Crosbie Fitch: Copyright does not exist to promote the progress of learning as per US Constitution 2 

    @Mike Masnick
    You could make a good start by ceasing to rubber stamp the belief that The Constitution empowered Congress to grant monopolies such as copyright and patent. As much as Madison may have wanted it to, it didn’t. It only empowered Congress to secure the individual’s exclusive right to their writings and inventions.

    See http://www.law.indiana.edu/uslawdocs/declaration.html

    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. –That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

    The Statute of Anne (copied as the US Copyright Act, 1790 – see http://btlj.org/data/articles/25_3/1427-1474%20Bracha%20050911.pdf ) granted a privilege. It did not secure the unalienable right of an individual. See Paine:Human rights originate in Nature, thus, rights cannot be granted via political charter, because that implies that rights are legally revocable, hence, would be privileges:
    It is a perversion of terms to say that a charter gives rights. It operates by a contrary effect — that of taking rights away. Rights are inherently in all the inhabitants; but charters, by annulling those rights, in the majority, leave the right, by exclusion, in the hands of a few… They… consequently are instruments of injustice.

    The debate should be whether you abolish government, or just the anachronistic and unethical privileges granted in a less humane era (© 1709 by Queen Anne, and © 1790 by Congress).

    • Crosbie Fitch

    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20120416/12020318506/copyright-maximalists-try-to-regroup-figure-out-how-to-fight-back-against-public.shtml#c445

     
  • R 12:08 am on July 10, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Copyright History,   

    Crosbie Fitch: Copyright does not exist to promote the progress of learning as per US Constitution 

    Crosbie Fitch on April 17, 2012 1:30 PM writes…
    “Mike Masnick is a copyright agnostic at the best of times, but he does seem to take as his core precept copyright’s petty pretext of being enacted for the benefit of the people – the encouragement of their learning (in both Statute of Anne 1709 and US Copyright Act 1790). That legislators would be obliged to insert a philanthropic pretext when granting a privilege entirely in state & corporate interests seems to elude him.
    What also eludes many people is that the so called Progress Clause of the Constitution neither grants nor empowers Congress to grant Copyright. Madison inserted the clause with copyright in mind – and also felt obliged to prefix it with a glib pretext “to promote the progress…” – but he was unable to explicitly empower Congress to grant that monopoly (though could be explicit when it came to granting “Letters of Marque” further on). He was unable to because the grant of a monopoly was anathema (see http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20120416/12020318506/copyright-maximalists-try-to-regroup-figure-out-how-to-fight-back-against-public.shtml#c445) – the most he could do was to empower Congress to secure an author’s exclusive right to their writings. And this was in the hope people wouldn’t notice his/Congress’s later assumption of power to grant the monopoly of copyright – derogating from the citizens’ liberty instead of securing their privacy (their natural and unalienable right to exclude others from their private writings).

    So, no, despite pretext, copyright was enacted in the interests of the state and the press. To insist that it’s pretext must be both its motive and outcome is denial of the obvious. You cannot encourage learning by prohibiting the people from copying each other. To learn is to copy – from OE Leornian – to follow in another’s footsteps – to copy another’s path. Our bodies copy from our DNA upwards and our minds from Homo Sapiens 500,000 years ago onwards. The banning of copying in 1709 was not intended to produce more Shakespeares, but to quell sedition and restore to the Stationers’ Company the monopolies they had enjoyed until the expiration of the licensing of the press act in 1695.”

    • Crosbie Fitch

    http://copyfight.corante.com/archives/2012/04/17/mike_masnick_no_wrong_stop_that.php#909092

    For Full Explanation, See Here: http://culturalliberty.org/blog/index.php?id=289

     
  • R 11:55 pm on July 9, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Copyright History,   

    Crosbie Fitch: The US constitution does not grant Congress the power to create copyright 

    Undoubtedly, copyright was attractive to printers in many states prior to 1787. Madison himself was a fan.

    However, that so many were aware of this monopoly should make you wonder why the Constitution didn’t explicitly empower Congress to grant it, especially when Jefferson suggested later to Madison to write that “Monopolies may be allowed to persons for their own productions in literature, and their own inventions in the arts, for a term not exceeding — years, but for no longer term and for no other purpose.” http://www.monticello.org/site/research-and-collections/patents

    All knew full well the difference between rights and monopolies. (See the Declaration of Independence http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Declaration_of_Independence). And, therefore, all knew full well the difference between securing an individual’s rights, and granting monopolies such as were ‘enjoyed’ in England. This is why Congress was empowered to GRANT Letters of Marque, but to SECURE the author’s exclusive right.

    Madison was ethically obliged to recognise only the rights people were born with, and to only empower Congress to secure them – not to abridge them. This is why the clause is worded as it is. It would not have been ratified had it explicitly empowered Congress to GRANT monopolies.

    To understand just how antithetical monopolies were you should read http://truth-out.org/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=377:unequal-protection-jefferson-v ersus-the-corporate-aristocracy in order to see why Madison couldn’t empower Congress to grant them (however much he wanted to) and the most he could do was put a clause in that he might later insinuate empowered the granting of copyright – that he could pretend secured the author’s exclusive right to their writings (against copying by burglars) rather than as it actually did, annulled the people’s right to copy (the writings they had purchased).

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rights_of_Man#Arguments
    Human rights originate in Nature, thus, rights cannot be granted via political charter, because that implies that rights are legally revocable, hence, would be privileges:

    “It is a perversion of terms to say that a charter gives rights. It operates by a contrary effect — that of taking rights away. Rights are inherently in all the inhabitants; but charters, by annulling those rights, in the majority, leave the right, by exclusion, in the hands of a few… They… consequently are instruments of injustice.

    The fact, therefore, must be that the individuals, themselves, each, in his own personal and sovereign right, entered into a compact with each other to produce a government: and this is the only mode in which governments have a right to arise, and the only principle on which they have a right to exist.”

    • Crosbie Fitch

    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20120427/18013118692/sad-state-copyright-guy-using-3-to-10-second-clips-music-viral-videos-accused-infringement.shtml#c1452

    Full Explanation found here: http://culturalliberty.org/blog/index.php?id=289

     
  • R 10:27 pm on July 9, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Copyright History   

    Do you value copyright more then living in a free society? Because you will not get both, I promise you. 

    [Quote]“… The only reason we have intellectual property laws is because it helps people make money.”[/quote]

    Well, people may “make money” under the current copyright regime, but that hardly means that money is being created; it is merely changing hands. No, what you are talking about is not the government helping people to make money, it is the government deciding that one group of people should have the right to prevent others from making money.

    The pattern here is that the people who have made it to the top push for monopolies that will lock in their positions as kings of the hill and prevent people who do something better from replacing them. It’s a power grab.

    If you know the birth of the original concept of copyright (as an outgrowth of mercantilism for the purpose of censorship). If you know the history of copyright, how when the first copyright law was created, it was certainly not to disable derivative works and certainly not to restrict them to every other country in the world.
    It was certainly not so you can own any ideas. All copyright ever was were a set of State-granted privileges to forcefully remove competition.

    Everyone has a right to be compensated for their work if they so choose to receive compensation. When you work for an employer, you may demand payment for your labour. You could also work for free as a volunteer. It is up to you. But Intellectual property rights is merely an exploitation of the results of the labour. The real question is not whether intellectual property rights are rights worthy of legal importance, but how to determine the limitations of this exploitation. How to limit the extent of this injustice.

    “What you are talking about is not the government helping people to make money, it is the government deciding that one group of people should have the right to prevent others from making money.”

    So you must ask yourself, do you value copyright more then living in a free society? Because you will not get both, I promise you.

     
  • R 9:24 pm on July 9, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Copyright History   

    What Copyright Is For 

    Copyright was created as “An Act for the encouragement of learning.”[1] It did so by guaranteeing the public ACCESS to the work of “learned men.” You can see the clearly by the requirement to donate FREE copies to the nations archive for public use.

    “no person shall be entitled to the benefit of this act…unless he shall first deposit” Only AFTER you have given the public access to your work, can you subsequently claim the limited exclusive right to TRY to profit from your work. Original US law requires at least two copies be deposited, original British law requires copies be sent to every major library (nine) which was later increased to twelve.

    The US copyright act itself, is clearly derived from the British “Statute of Anne”. (Almost as if by a plagiarist.) Direct statements can be found there as to the intention of the concept.

    “Whereas Printers, Booksellers, and other Persons, have of late frequently taken the Liberty of Printing, Reprinting, and Publishing, or causing to be Printed, Reprinted, and Published Books, and other Writings, without the Consent of the Authors or Proprietors of such Books and Writings, to their very great Detriment, and too often to the Ruin of them and their Families: For Preventing therefore such Practices for the future, and for the Encouragement of Learned Men to Compose and Write useful Books;”[2]

    Clearly, copyright was NEVER intended to protect the authors and/or publishers from the public. It directly addressed the problem of PUBLISHERS cheating authors, and thereby discouraging them from writing any of their learnings down. Since most people did not have direct contact with these “learned men” there was no way to pass on this knowledge to the next generation.

    By vesting the work in the author, the act gave the learned men incentive to write their work down. By requiring deposit in libraries and archives, the act encouraged learning by enabling ACCESS to that knowledge.

    (Everything else is a corruption of these basic principles.)

     

    • Capi, Jan 15th, 2008 @ 7:50am

    [1] http://www.copyright.gov/history/1790act.pdf
    [2] http://www.copyrighthistory.com/anne.html

     
  • R 9:24 pm on July 9, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Copyright History   

    The purpose of copyright was never to subsidize creativity. It was to subsidize the printing press. 

    Copyright was not designed by the writers and artists, asking for a means to earn a living, an economic basis for creativity. It was designed by the Publishing industry to support a certain kind of distribution mechanism, one that is completely obsolete in the face of the internet. Copyright was invented by distributors to subsidize and stabilize a certain kind of distribution technology.

    • Karl Fogel

    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-6283435552434112856
    http://questioncopyright.org/promise/

     
  • R 8:28 pm on July 9, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Copyright History, ,   

    Violating our natural rights in the name of intellectual “property” 

    “If you look at the origins of these two institutions, we can see the essence of what is going on. Copyright originated as a government restriction on printing during England’s religious wars. As it developed, it had nothing to do with individual rights and everything to do with protecting dominant publishing firms against competition. It is the same with patent, which grew out of the mercantilist experience of Europe in which the prince would grant one producer rights against all competitors. Both are designed to slow down innovation and drag out the process of economic development with government restrictions. For this reason, the idea that IP somehow creates an incentive to innovate is completely wrong; in fact, the reality is precisely the opposite.
    The advent of the liberalism of the 18th century gradually wiped out most of these antique institutions and replaced them with competitive capitalism. But in the world of ideas, these protections remained and became worse, especially in the latter part of the 20th century. They are remnants of a precapitalist age.
    In the digital age, when ideas can be multiplied by billions of times in a matter of seconds, the notion of IP protection becomes ridiculously outmoded. And it is for that very reason that enforcement is being stepped up and now threatens free speech and the freedom to innovate. Ultimately, a consistent enforcement of IP would shut down free enterprise as we know it.”

    • Jeffrey Tucker

    http://lfb.org/today/violating-rights-in-the-name-of-property/

     
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