Yanking derivatives shouldn't be integral to your business

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thoreau
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Yanking derivatives shouldn't be integral to your business

Post by thoreau » 03 Jul 2015, 12:11

Adult Wednesday Addams has been yanked for copyright infringement.

http://www.dailydot.com/entertainment/a ... ght-claim/

I want to be sympathetic to IP. I do. But every time some clever derivative work gets shat upon I get less sympathetic.
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Re: Yanking derivatives shouldn't be integral to your busine

Post by Highway » 03 Jul 2015, 12:21

I'm not very sympathetic to IP at all. If more of the stories about it were "We're trying hard to go with this thing we have, and people keep stealing it" that might be one thing. But all the stories are "Long dormant work with no development in decades shuts down something new because something something brand dilution something something loss of future possibility whatever". You know, exactly the things that reinvigorate interest in your brand. It's like they actually DON'T want properties they hold to become more valuable because then they might feel compelled to actually do something with them, rather than just sell 4 DVD's of a 25 year old movie each year.
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Re: Yanking derivatives shouldn't be integral to your busine

Post by the innominate one » 03 Jul 2015, 12:25

That's a shame. It's too bad that their calculus of the costs and benefits didn't account for the negative publicity and negative reaction from fans. It's a function of letting short sighted bean counters make all the decisions.
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Re: Yanking derivatives shouldn't be integral to your busine

Post by Jennifer » 03 Jul 2015, 12:30

I'm in the middle -- I do see the need for some IP/copyright protections to ensure that the creators of profitable artworks get something for it, but the system we have now is clearly farked, as this example shows.

Idea: maybe change literary/TV IP laws to make them more akin to songwriter-laws (at least, pre-Internet era): according to a Straight Dope column I read years ago, the way songwriting law works is: You-The-Songwriter can NOT stop any other musician from recording or performing their own cover version of your song; however, YTS are entitled to a royalty for any airing/paid performance of that cover song, and you also maintain the exclusive right to be the first one to record it -- meaning, other musicians may not record their versions of your song until AFTER your original comes out.

I'd prefer to see something similar for non-public domain art and literature: this Adult Wednesday Addams can still do her thing, but maybe the original Addams copyright holder gets a cut. (Although IMO, given how old the original Addams Family is, I personally think it ridiculous that it's still under copyright anyway.)
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Re: Yanking derivatives shouldn't be integral to your busine

Post by thoreau » 03 Jul 2015, 12:34

So as to avoid "What, you want to change a system? Do you have detailed legislation prepared for critique?" I don't want to endorse any particulars of Jennifer's suggestion, but I do endorse her general point that music is decidedly more friendly to derivative works than other types of IP, and it would be nice if there were a way to move IP law in that general direction for other art forms as well.

I do find it fascinating that you cannot be stopped from outright copying someone else's lyrics word-for-word, but you can be stopped from having a character with the same name and general description as someone else's, but in a completely different context that you made up, performing lines that you wrote.
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Re: Yanking derivatives shouldn't be integral to your busine

Post by Aresen » 03 Jul 2015, 13:25

Jennifer wrote:I'm in the middle -- I do see the need for some IP/copyright protections to ensure that the creators of profitable artworks get something for it, but the system we have now is clearly farked, as this example shows.

Idea: maybe change literary/TV IP laws to make them more akin to songwriter-laws (at least, pre-Internet era): according to a Straight Dope column I read years ago, the way songwriting law works is: You-The-Songwriter can NOT stop any other musician from recording or performing their own cover version of your song; however, YTS are entitled to a royalty for any airing/paid performance of that cover song, and you also maintain the exclusive right to be the first one to record it -- meaning, other musicians may not record their versions of your song until AFTER your original comes out.
I could go with something like this, though I am not sure how it would work with patent trolls.
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Re: Yanking derivatives shouldn't be integral to your busine

Post by D.A. Ridgely » 03 Jul 2015, 14:29

First, software should never have been covered by copyright. It was obvious in the 80s that a new sort of intellectual property law needed to be developed for what was obviously not "the expression of an idea" but an invention, device or other useful creation. I'm not saying it should have been subject to patent law either. In either case, it was a process of pounding a triangular peg into either a square or round hole.

Second, intellectual property is sufficiently complicated that the average district judge shouldn't be expected to understand it. And because they don't, in fact, understand it, they don't issue summary dismissals of frivolous actions nearly as often as they should. That would handle the bulk of patent trolls.

Third, patenting biological structures is wrong on so many levels I'm not going to even start.

Fourth, it isn't that copyright and trademark are, per se, bad ideas or bad laws, it's that they've become captive to the major intellectual property holders, especially Big Entertainment and Big Pharma, respectively. There are various ways of ameliorating if not eliminating the captive regulator problem without throwing out the baby with the bathwater, but there isn't sufficient sustained advocacy of those sorts of reforms to gain any traction.

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Re: Yanking derivatives shouldn't be integral to your busine

Post by thoreau » 03 Jul 2015, 14:52

It is deeply ironic that the most hyper-caffeinated IP lawyers and lobbyists on earth work for a company that got wealthy by making animated children's movies based on classic fairy tales.
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Re: Yanking derivatives shouldn't be integral to your busine

Post by Hugh Akston » 03 Jul 2015, 16:50

Proposed thread title change: IP Freely
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Re: Yanking derivatives shouldn't be integral to your busine

Post by Painboy » 03 Jul 2015, 16:59

I'll gladly pick up the firebrand for this topic. I despise IP and I believe it is one of the more innovation crushing set of laws, both artistically and scientifically, that we have on the books.

First is the idea that IP should be considered property at all. For something to be property you have to be able to own it and if you own something that means you can be deprived of it. If you break into my car and drive off with it then you are depriving me of use of my property. If I think of an idea and you hear it and make something from it I still have the idea. Nothing has been taken from me. If I draw a picture and you copy the picture line for line I still have my picture.

IP is a legal fiction that, like many laws starting out with good intentions, has over the years morphed into a Cronenberg-like mess. Those who advocate for it talk as if it's all about protecting the creator. When in fact it's almost never the creator who is losing out. It's the distributors and publishers who demand the protections and are the ones who wail every time they face competition claiming that the other guy, with the more efficient operation, isn't playing fair. As everyone here knows what regulatory capture is you can all figure out the rest as it's a well trod subject.

Along with that, almost the distributors' entire case for IP is predicated on the idea it is too easy to copy their works. This is one of the things that got copyright and IP going. Printers didn't like that other printers could just copy them whenever they felt like it. If they paid money to publish a writer's work another printer could buy one copy and then make their own with no compensation. If I worked for 20 years to build a copy of a Ford Mustang completely from scratch parts I made by looking at another Mustang, would Ford come after me if I sold it to a somebody (with the understanding that this wasn't an actual Ford made car)? Not only would they not care, I imagine they might go so far as to even use it as an advertisement proclaiming people's devotion to their cars or the like. But say I was able to build a couple hundred a year, or even a couple thousand. Suddenly now it's a problem for them. This is because I now represent a threat to their business model. So instead of fairly competing with me they can claim IP and shut me down.

Unfortunately IP law is unlikely to be going anywhere as there is too many interests with their hand in the pot. The power players in the music industry got blind sided by the new distribution models before they could counter them but every industry that relies on IP has been taking notes and is not going to go quietly. They are going exploit every law they can to resist changing their current models.

Because of that practical reality I would be willing to compromise with a 20 year window (non-extendable) or the like. Make your stuff, make your money, and then get the fuck out so that other people can explore these ideas as well. That way it's more like a patent and not some perpetual social security check.

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Re: Yanking derivatives shouldn't be integral to your busine

Post by the innominate one » 03 Jul 2015, 17:36

D.A. Ridgely wrote: Third, patenting biological structures is wrong on so many levels I'm not going to even start.
I give this one kiloyes. Allowing genes to be patented was an obviously bad idea.
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Re: Yanking derivatives shouldn't be integral to your busine

Post by Warren » 04 Jul 2015, 00:23

Painboy wrote:I'll gladly pick up the firebrand for this topic. I despise IP and I believe it is one of the more innovation crushing set of laws, both artistically and scientifically, that we have on the books.

First is the idea that IP should be considered property at all. For something to be property you have to be able to own it and if you own something that means you can be deprived of it. If you break into my car and drive off with it then you are depriving me of use of my property. If I think of an idea and you hear it and make something from it I still have the idea. Nothing has been taken from me. If I draw a picture and you copy the picture line for line I still have my picture.

IP is a legal fiction that, like many laws starting out with good intentions, has over the years morphed into a Cronenberg-like mess. Those who advocate for it talk as if it's all about protecting the creator. When in fact it's almost never the creator who is losing out. It's the distributors and publishers who demand the protections and are the ones who wail every time they face competition claiming that the other guy, with the more efficient operation, isn't playing fair. As everyone here knows what regulatory capture is you can all figure out the rest as it's a well trod subject.

Along with that, almost the distributors' entire case for IP is predicated on the idea it is too easy to copy their works. This is one of the things that got copyright and IP going. Printers didn't like that other printers could just copy them whenever they felt like it. If they paid money to publish a writer's work another printer could buy one copy and then make their own with no compensation. If I worked for 20 years to build a copy of a Ford Mustang completely from scratch parts I made by looking at another Mustang, would Ford come after me if I sold it to a somebody (with the understanding that this wasn't an actual Ford made car)? Not only would they not care, I imagine they might go so far as to even use it as an advertisement proclaiming people's devotion to their cars or the like. But say I was able to build a couple hundred a year, or even a couple thousand. Suddenly now it's a problem for them. This is because I now represent a threat to their business model. So instead of fairly competing with me they can claim IP and shut me down.

Unfortunately IP law is unlikely to be going anywhere as there is too many interests with their hand in the pot. The power players in the music industry got blind sided by the new distribution models before they could counter them but every industry that relies on IP has been taking notes and is not going to go quietly. They are going exploit every law they can to resist changing their current models.

Because of that practical reality I would be willing to compromise with a 20 year window (non-extendable) or the like. Make your stuff, make your money, and then get the fuck out so that other people can explore these ideas as well. That way it's more like a patent and not some perpetual social security check.
I agree.
BTW Car design does not enjoy IP protection. It is completely legal to mass produce exact copies of Ford Mustangs so long as you don't put the IP protected logos on them and Ford can't do spit about it.
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Re: Yanking derivatives shouldn't be integral to your busine

Post by Sandy » 04 Jul 2015, 00:48

D.A. Ridgely wrote:First, software should never have been covered by copyright. It was obvious in the 80s that a new sort of intellectual property law needed to be developed for what was obviously not "the expression of an idea" but an invention, device or other useful creation. I'm not saying it should have been subject to patent law either. In either case, it was a process of pounding a triangular peg into either a square or round hole.
Copyright has, by and large, been less of a cancer on the industry than software patents. Copyright did generate DRM and the BSA, but ironically Microsoft's researchers proved that DRM schemes will all fail. There has been a minor version of what has gone on in the music industry with regard to copyrights, but not nearly to the same extent (probably largely to the advent of free software, itself partly due to the creative use of licensing).

Patents, on the other hand, have generally hindered the propagation of new ideas and allowed patent trolls to become a deadweight loss on the industry. If forced to choose, I would much rather have copyright without patents than patents without copyright.
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Re: Yanking derivatives shouldn't be integral to your busine

Post by thoreau » 04 Jul 2015, 02:45

Yeah, given the pace of change in software, not being able to pirate a copyrighted program from 1986 seems less consequential than patenting a concept for 20 years. If somebody can sell a program that works on the same principles as the copyrighted software and has similar user-friendliness, then copyright is not hindering competition in that industry. If somebody cannot sell a program that uses a patented concept, then patents are affecting competition.

Note that this analysis is separate from the question of whether the effects are good or bad by whatever metric. One effect is definitely larger than the other, regardless of whether it's desirable.
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Re: Yanking derivatives shouldn't be integral to your busine

Post by nicole » 04 Jul 2015, 07:35

Hugh Akston wrote:Proposed thread title change: IP Freely
Seconded. I thought this was going to be about derivatives.

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Re: Yanking derivatives shouldn't be integral to your busine

Post by the innominate one » 04 Jul 2015, 10:08

The calculus puns in the thread title are less obvious and more creative than IP Freely.
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Re: Yanking derivatives shouldn't be integral to your busine

Post by D.A. Ridgely » 04 Jul 2015, 10:52

the innominate one wrote:The calculus puns in the thread title are less obvious and more creative than IP Freely.
They don't function as well, especially because the title exceeded its limit.

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Re: Yanking derivatives shouldn't be integral to your busine

Post by Fin Fang Foom » 04 Jul 2015, 12:14

the innominate one wrote:The calculus puns in the thread title are less obvious and more creative than IP Freely.
Yes, but most here know enough math to think that that was what this thread was about, not IP.
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Re: Yanking derivatives shouldn't be integral to your busine

Post by thoreau » 04 Jul 2015, 12:22

IP Freely does sound like a great thread title, and part of me would like to encourage competition among threads and would suggest starting that thread. However, I have patented the concept of a thread about IP and derivative works, so nobody else gets to start that thread. We are stuck with this one.
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Re: Yanking derivatives shouldn't be integral to your busine

Post by the innominate one » 04 Jul 2015, 13:23

Well played.
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Re: Yanking derivatives shouldn't be integral to your busine

Post by Mo » 28 Jul 2015, 22:47

Looks like our long national bad birthday song nightmare may be over.

http://arstechnica.com/apple/2015/07/fi ... oking-gun/
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Re: Yanking derivatives shouldn't be integral to your busine

Post by the innominate one » 28 Jul 2015, 22:55

Muy interesante.
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Re: Yanking derivatives shouldn't be integral to your busine

Post by Mo » 28 Jul 2015, 23:04

I thought this part was interesting
The 1927 songbook referenced above was found in a batch of 500 documents provided by Warner/Chappell earlier this month. That cache included "approximately 200 pages of documents [Warner/Chappell] claim were 'mistakenly' not produced during discovery, which ended on July 11, 2014, more than one year earlier,"

...

That important line of text published underneath the song's lyrics was "blurred almost beyond legibility" in the copy that Warner/Chappell handed over in discovery. Plaintiffs' lawyers note that it's "the only line of the entire PDF that is blurred in that manner."
Seems like there could be a legitimate spoilage case made.
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Re: Yanking derivatives shouldn't be integral to your busine

Post by Warren » 29 Jul 2015, 00:31

I won't be happy if they break the copyright on Happy Birthday. It was one of the better examples of IP excess that could resonate with people that aren't inclined to give a shit. Essential reforms to IP law (most especially the complete annihilation of the very notion of copyright) will be that much harder to bring about.
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Re: Yanking derivatives shouldn't be integral to your busine

Post by Randroid 2.0 » 29 Jul 2015, 01:05

That seems akin to saying the NSA should keep spying on the cell phone records of the public just to keep the public outraged.


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