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Here we'll explore the nexus of legal rulings, Capitol Hill policy-making, technical standards development, and technological innovation that creates -- and will recreate -- the networked world as we know it. Among the topics we'll touch on: intellectual property conflicts, technical architecture and innovation, the evolution of copyright, private vs. public interests in Net policy-making, lobbying and the law, and more.

Disclaimer: the opinions expressed in this weblog are those of the authors and not of their respective institutions.

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Copyfight

« Record Exec States Obvious Truth, Greeted with Shock | Main | Attributor, Fair Use, and The Opposite of DRM »

September 18, 2007

"Steal It, Steal Some More"

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Posted by Alan Wexelblat

Trent Reznor has some choice, and not-particularly-friendly-to-the-label words for his live concert fans. Now posted on YouTube for all to see, Trent notes that the price of CDs hasn't come down and that means they're "still ripping us off."

I dunno if this means he's not getting his cut of the CD shares or he feels his $1 out of the retail price isn't significant enough to care about. Or maybe he's just out to piss people off and get some publicity.

Comments (5) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Interesting People


COMMENTS

1. Crosbie Fitch on September 19, 2007 3:40 AM writes...

If only he could have suggested people SHARE his published work, rather than steal it.

There is a difference between IP theft (stealing an unreleased master from Reznor's studio) and copyright infringing sharing of published works (file sharing and burning Reznor's CDs for friends).

It's time musician's and their audiences reclaimed the language back from its abuse by record labels.

Permalink to Comment

2. Jonathan Bailey on September 19, 2007 8:53 AM writes...

But is "sharing" really the correct term either? If I share a book or a videotape with you, I no longer have it and, if you don't return it, I no longer have a copy at all. Sharing is an act of trust, file sharing is just copying, the only thing being surrendered is bandwidth.

I'm not saying that theft is right, though I do use the term content theft regularly in my work as I do file sharing, but both are truly misnomers.

However, I guess "infringement" and "copying" both lack any punch.

Permalink to Comment

3. P Richards on September 20, 2007 6:07 PM writes...

I buy a lawnmower, am i prevented from lending it to my neighbour?

Companies may void the warranty based on the usage of the customer, but it is now their possession and have the right to do what they like with their own property.

Remembering that trademark protection is about fraud not so called theft.

Permalink to Comment

4. Crosbie Fitch on September 26, 2007 3:01 PM writes...

Sharing is providing free use of something that one has, to one or more others (as well as dividing something into pieces).

People may share gossip as much as they share a cigarette. It matters not whether something is consumed by the sharing, diluted, or proliferated.

You can share a book by circulation, or via the photocopier. The fact that the latter infringes upon a commercial monopoly only makes the sharing illicit. It doesn't stop it being sharing. More importantly, being illicit doesn't make it theft.

Is Reznor suggesting people steal CDs from record stores? Or is he suggesting people share the CDs they legitimately purchased by making free copies for their friends?

Copyright is a monopoly.

Either:
A) It is ethical to arrest members of a cinema audience and send them to prison for taking snippets on cameraphones to share with their friends and relatives, and copyright infringement is self-evidently on a par with theft (termed 'sharing' by thieves).
OR
B) Copyright is unethical. Sharing published works is morally wholesome as it has always been, whether by word of mouth, circulation, or digital diffusion through copying (termed 'copyright theft' by publishers).

Monopolies always have been unethical, but then, for the last 300 years they only affected publishers, and they seemed to like the monopoly of copyright. The problem is that today, their monopoly is now suspending the liberty of the public, and 'having their liberty suspended' is something the public finds quite irritating - WHEN THEY START NOTICING IT. It's no good the lawyers saying that "Well, actually, copyright has suspended your liberty for the last three hundred years, but you didn't seem to mind, so we've kept it going - why do you suddenly mind now?"

Well, because for the last three hundred years there were no members of the public who could duplicate a million copies of an intellectual work and publish it to an audience of a billion.

There are today. And they're wondering who the heck thought a gentlemen's agreement not to reprint each other's books for 14 years by a few hundred publishers could be extended to an indefinite suspension of such liberty from every person on earth.

Permalink to Comment

5. bob on October 4, 2007 8:54 AM writes...

Any music I write or produce is 100% free. I am an artist, not a businessman. I have a real job. I would never join the RIAA.

Permalink to Comment

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