Make copies of art, give them to friends, even sell them. Find art via @tpb, pay artists you like, make art yourself, but ignore #copyright.
- Crosbie Fitch
Make copies of art, give them to friends, even sell them. Find art via @tpb, pay artists you like, make art yourself, but ignore #copyright.
“Nothing encourages an author to put pen to paper more than the prospect of being prosecuted upon publication for #copyright infringement.”
“#Copyright encourages us to be imaginative. It prohibits books from containing pictures, so we have to imagine them: http://dlvr.it/29Zz5S”
“If you’re not infringing #copyright, you’re doing it wrong.”
“@Crosbie or indeed not doing it at all.”
To do something against another’s will is LIBERTY. To force another to do something against their will is VIOLENCE. @rijohnstone #copyright
“A free culture is one in which everyone is free to share and build upon any work they see, hear or receive – all mankind’s published art and knowledge – that which by natural right already belongs to the public, the people.”
–Digital Productions: The Flower of Free Culture
The Law isn’t meant to BENEFIT anyone. Law recognises our natural rights. It is not for publishers’ enrichment, nor even artists’.
“Readers don’t expect you to work for free, they expect to be free to share and build upon the work you have given or sold to them, just as people expect to be free to share and build upon Shakespeare’s work.
I expect to be free to share and build upon Stephan Kinsella’s blog posts. I’d also expect to be free to share and build upon any articles I might pay him to write for me. I certainly don’t expect him to write for me for free. No doubt if enough of us club together, we could share in commissioning Stephan to write something erudite for us, e.g. “Intellectual Work in a Free Market”? Naturally, we’d expect to be free to print and share or sell copies of this ad infinitum, whether hardback or e-book – without having to pay Stephan a penny.
This is the difference between paying someone to write and enjoying one’s natural right to copy a book one has purchased – a natural right annulled by Queen Anne in 1709. In 1708 people were free to make copies of an author’s published works. In 1710 they weren’t.
Abolishing copyright means restoring our cultural liberty and a free market in intellectual work. It doesn’t mean writers cannot be paid to write.”
A moral code for those engaged in the PIRACY of intellectual works, in accord with the philosophy of natural rights as expounded by such 18th century luminaries as Thomas Paine (Father of the American Revolution):
Thanks AeliusBlythe, for an experienced authors’s perspective – as to what copyright is really worth to a writer (99.9% of which are not ‘best-selling’), as opposed to a publishing corporation.
Too many of those indoctrinated by copyright seem to think that it guarantees authors a minimum wage for each hour they spend writing (and a good chance of Rowling-esque success on top).
All copyright’s ever guaranteed is that printers/publishers can crush competitors/pirates if they want to. (and if they can afford the lawyers).
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.
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 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.”
For Full Explanation, See Here: http://culturalliberty.org/blog/index.php?id=289
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).
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.”
Full Explanation found here: http://culturalliberty.org/blog/index.php?id=289
Yes, IP Maximalists will laugh – they are incorrigible. However, we shouldn’t waste our breath fighting Maximalists. We should be educating each other, and letting the people see that copyright is an instrument of injustice.
Just as with slavery, people need to understand that such injustice is not necessary to produce cotton for their clothes, nor food for their tables, nor must people sacrifice their liberty that musicians may make music or that storytellers may write stories. The confiscation of our liberty is necessary only for the cartel’s monopolies. To persuade a man to collect cotton, or a musician to make music, it is sufficient to pay them an equitable amount of money. See Kickstarter for a glimpse of how a musician’s fans can exchange their money for the musician’s music (without having to exploit or enforce an anachronistic and unethical 18th century monopoly).
People need to see the injustice of copyright (Richard O’Dwyer et al) and that it is necessary only to publishing corporations – not artists.
Copyright is not a means of enabling authors to be paid for their work, but a means of enabling the press to become extremely wealthy (and a means of enabling the state to control the press) – at the cost of suspending the people’s cultural liberty (to share and build upon published works).
Authors may be paid for the state granted monopoly that arises in their work, or they may be paid for their work (their labour in writing it), but be careful not to confuse the two.
An author is born with the exclusive right to their writing (as the US Constitution recognises), but they are not born with a right to prevent others copying their published works (a state granted monopoly). By nature, human beings have the power to prevent burglars copying their work, but no power to prevent their customers making copies of what they buy from them (for that they need a grant of such power from the state).
Without copyright, an author must sell their work instead of the state granted monopoly that arises in it. If an author has a thousand enthusiastic readers (their customers – formerly customers of the press) then it is those thousand enthusiastic readers the author will sell their work to, e.g. by inviting them to commission further work (a commission of $10 each from 1,000 provides $10,000). Obviously, with the author having sold their writing, there is a free market for any printer to print and sell as many copies as they like (or for any reader to fileshare), but at free market prices, not monopoly inflated prices.
Printers do not want a free market in printing copies because it dramatically reduces their profits (they therefore don’t want authors being paid directly by their readers).
But yes, novelists will have to get day jobs until commission from their readers is sufficient to pay the bills. That means writing short stories first, before spending ten years on ‘War & Peace’.
In 1709 Queen Anne annulled this natural right of individuals to make & sell copies of their possessions (relating to literary/graphic/printed works). The privilege of ‘copyright’ was thus created (annulling the people’s right to copy, for some arbitrary period, e.g. 14 years from publication).
To disobey this privilege of copyright is an infringement. It violates no right of the individual. On the contrary, it is a liberty and right that the individual is born with, but prohibited by law.
So, applying ‘steal’ or ‘theft’ to copyright infringement is to attempt to elevate the assertion of a natural liberty contrary to privilege into a crime. Similarly, when people claim copyright is a right (as if a natural or human right, as opposed to a legislatively granted quasi-right) this is to pretend a right is being violated, rather than a privilege being infringed.
By derogating from a person’s liberty to utilise their own property in certain ways (in private or in public), it is actually copyright that constitutes theft, not its infringement.
>>Will we ever learn to respect copyright?>>
Mankind’s cultural liberty is primordial.
Our liberty, our natural right, our power and need to copy has never left us.
Our right to copy may have been annulled by Queen Anne, but youngsters are finding out every day that they innately possess the ability and instinctive need to share and build upon their own culture.
We will never learn not to copy, because to learn is to copy, and we will never stop learning.
Copyright is a historical accident, a legislative error made in a less principled era.
It is time to rectify that error, not the people.
“Our rights imbued in us by nature” means that a right isn’t something we individually or collectively say we have, or decide we should have.
To discover our rights we must examine our own nature, we must determine what power nature has given us individually, and how it is balanced among all individuals in equilibrium (harmony).
A natural right is an individual’s natural power in equilibrium. A right is not the power of a strong man to crush a weak girl, but the equal power of all individuals to protect their lives, their bodies from harm, their dwellings from intruders, etc. Thus, a strong man may have more physical power in his body than a weak girl, but the strong man has the same right to protect his body as a weak girl has.
Powers given to people by the state, or by the crown as with Queen Anne in 1709, do not occur in mankind by nature. Whilst we have the natural power and right to prevent burglars stealing or making copies of our possessions, we are naturally unable to prevent our audience of a thousand singing the songs we sing to them, re-telling the stories we tell them, or making further copies of the pictures we sell to them. Indeed, people have a natural power and right to share and build upon the cultural and technological works they have. It is this right to copy, that we all have by nature, that was annulled by Queen Anne in 1709 to leave it, by exclusion, in the hands of a few – holders of our right to copy – copyright holders.
Around 1700, political changes caused the government to loosen its control over the press. No longer desiring strong censorship, the government decided to allow the Stationers’ monopoly to expire. This was a direct economic threat to the Stationers’ monopoly-based livelihood, and they responded by proposing a compromise: they argued that authors have a “natural right” of ownership in their works, and that furthermore this right could be transferred to others by contract. The placement of original ownership with the author was a smart political ploy, by which the Stationers avoided charges that they were attempting to resurrect the old (and unpopular) monopoly mechanisms. But the stipulation that these new copyrights were a form of property, and therefore transferrable, showed the real motive behind their proposal. The Stationers correctly foresaw that authors would need to transfer copyright to a publisher as an inducement to print, and that therefore the publishers’ position would about the same as it had been before. Indeed, their hand would be strengthened, because now the exclusive “ownership” of a work would now be based on well-established property law, instead of the temporary whim of the government.
The Stationers managed to persuade Parliament, and the result was the Statute of Anne: a copyright law created by the publishing industry, for the benefit of the publishing industry, and modeled on a defunct censorship system. The closest the Stationers ever came to talking about copyright’s benefit to society was in arguing that they could not afford to print books (and thus encourage authors to write books) without protection against competition. Why books were to be considered different from other kinds of goods was never satisfactorily explained — one is left with the distinct impression of a monopoly-softened trade group in a panic at suddenly being asked to survive without special protections.
All this is a far cry from what the copyright lobby wants you to believe. There was no uprising of writers, clamoring counterintuitively for the right to prevent people from copying their works. The writers themselves never really participated in the debate around the creation of copyright. The argument was crafted and presented by publishers.
Copyright is not about subsidizing creators, it is about subsidizing distributors.