Copyright Made Mid-Century Books Vanish?

Posted by  $  KahnQuest 6 years, 2 months ago to Business
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It seems to me that the researcher is bent on ridding the world of copyright protection for authors, and has cherry-picked his findings to forward his cause. Thoughts?
SOURCE URL: http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2013/07/the-hole-in-our-collective-memory-how-copyright-made-mid-century-books-vanish/278209/


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  • Posted by  $  MikeMarotta 6 years, 2 months ago
    As an author who profits from copyrights, I assure you that it is not that important. See this video from Johanna Blakely on TED:
    http://www.ted.com/talks/johanna_blakley...

    Unprotected markets are THREE ORDERS OF MAGNITUDE more profitable than those with intellectual property protection.

    Again, as a writer, I am all for the CONCEPT. However, the law attempted 200 years ago to apply concepts about LAND to abstracts about machinery - and failed to do so without contradiction. Now, in the age of "intellectual property" the law is two generation cycles behind the power curve of thinking.
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    • Posted by khalling 6 years, 2 months ago
      one of the things this atlantic article does is confuse bad business decisions with bad law. The two are not the same. for instance, it was ok for apple to keep their operating system and hardware tied together and closed legally. That did not make it a great business decision at one time, they almost went bankrupt. Remember betamax? same situation. just because you have property rights does not mean you will use advantageously.
      Unprotected markets: copyrights in africa. booming for you?
      To suggest that getting rid of property rights will make it better markets for authors, painters, film makers, inventors is wrong. There is no macro-economic evidence for this.
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      • Posted by  $  MikeMarotta 6 years, 2 months ago
        I did not suggest that we get rid of property rights for artists and inventors. Artists and inventors are in different classes, a different kind of property. Perhaps the two have some essential distinguishing characteristic that can be protected by the same law.

        My point was that current law derived directly from medieval real estate law.

        Stock certificates may declare two or more co-owners to have “rights of survivorship and not tenants in common,” or to be “joint tenants.” That is not consistent across U.S. states, either. Shares in a company are not acres of land.

        Further removed from that are intellectual properties. As Ayn Rand pointed out, once you tell somebody something, you cannot prevent them from knowing it. Once you discover a new truth, you cannot expect people to stay stupid.

        Copyrights are on the FORM not the content, as you know. You can copyright a Bible and not share the royalties with God.

        Beyond that, I have not in 30 years come up with any solution. I am not surprised that no one else has, either. The DMCA is a mess.

        However, if the choice is between bad law and no law, I would take no law in this case. Again, watch the Blakely video. Fashions make TRILLIONS each year, while copyrights and patents earn mere billions. No one runs away from creating new fashions for the lack of protection.

        Africa was never a big market for me. My book on Unbreakable Codes sold two copies there, one to the Embassy of South Africa and another to the Embassy of Zimbambwe, but of course, both of them were in Washington DC, so those were American sales.

        I find my stuff plagiarized all the time. I am seeing my posted scanned images of my property being scraped by Google and put out there for everyone to take. Life goes on. I do not suffer.

        In two cases, I made a fuss. Back before the USSR collapsed and copyright laws were different here, _Defense Computing_ took an article I wrote on Soviet Computer Technology because it did not have the circle-C (c) copyright notice. They claimed that it had no copyright, so it was up for grabs. I called the editor and used moral suasion get a hundred bucks out of her.

        In another case, researching the origins of coinage - a subject for which I was granted literary awards, one of which came from a nomination by the Smithsonian - I found my own work posted at the Frances Lehman Loeb Museum of Vassar College. It seems that a student found an easy solution to an assignment. I offered to write something original for them, but they just took down the page and whacked the student.

        Long long ago, I read ELECTRONIC LIFE by Michael Crichton. He said to take your money up front the first time and do not count on royalties. Seems like good advice.

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