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DMCA: The Cultural Sniper Rifle · Friday November 21, 2008 by Crosbie Fitch

There was a very good article on the Million Music blog yesterday:

This asked why music bloggers had changed from sympathy and tolerance toward major record labels to outright condemnation, and wondered if this had been due to the labels’ recent ‘assertion of their rights’ by exercising their powers under the DMCA that had resulted in people’s entire blogs being taken down rather than just an offending post.

So I commented thus:

Individuals (human beings) have natural rights. Corporations don’t, they have privileges.

Copyright is a privilege that suspends the natural right to cultural liberty (specifically the right to share and build upon published works) in order to grant a lucrative monopoly to publishing corporations.

The DMCA is simply an enhancement of powers granted to copyright holders.

So, the majors are not asserting their rights, but exploiting their privileges.

If anyone was going to assert their rights it would be individuals asserting their right to share copies of published music recordings.

Unfortunately, most file-sharers and people who publish blogs containing mp3 files don’t realise they have a right to do what they’re doing.

Users of Google’s ‘Blogger’ service are reliant upon Google, so really they should host their blogs themselves on their own PCs if they don’t want them taken down by those privileged by the DMCA.

The blogger agreed in a subsequent comment with my moral viewpoint, but invited my further explanation.

So I then suggested in a second comment that if the labels kept on using the DMCA (or EUCD) as if it were a cultural sniper rifle, that eventually they’d have so many victims that they’d prompt a rebellion, that the worms would turn – if they haven’t started already. Cultural participants will either develop bullet proof vests (defenses against the DMCA) or will shoot back (use the DMCA against the labels).

Shortly afterwards it seems (from my referral logs) that someone from Universal Music found the post and its comments so disagreeable that they’ve ‘persuaded’ the blogger to discontinue publication.

Time: 21 Nov 2008 11:06am
Host: ip-167-167-136-2.ukrom.umusic.com
Page: index.php
Referrer: http://millionmedia.wordpress.com/2008/11/20/bloggers-vs-majors/
Method: GET
Status: 200

Interesting times…

Anonymous said 5492 days ago :

From the Google cache of http://millionmedia.wordpress.com/2008/11/20/bloggers-vs-majors

Bloggers vs Majors
Posted on November 20, 2008 by millionmedia

So, question: How do you turn this…

“Most bloggers share views, opinions and songs that they adore in the hope of bringing that music to the attention of a wider public. Most bloggers are first and foremost music fans who spend a great deal of cash keeping things going.”

into this…

“First and foremost, none of you should ever pay for a Columbia product ever again. Fuck them. If you feel you can’t live without their music then just download the bastard stuff illegally, better yet just live without it, but under no circumstances give these chiselling vipers a cent of your money ever again”

Well, how about deleting blog posts because they feature music from Major labels – so far Universal & Sony BMG appear to be the instigators.

In another round of ‘Copyright vs Common Sense’ the Majors appear to be asserting their rights to issue take-down notices to Blogger.com and demand the removal not just of the offending track, but the entire blog. Not surprisingly, this is getting bloggers rattled and it’s going to get VERY interesting to see who comes out of this worst – anyone want to bet who it will be?

Crosbie Fitch said 5492 days ago :

Thanks Anonymous.

I thought I’d take the opportunity to see which articles Million Music quoted in their post that they were subsequently ‘persuaded’ to unpublish.

The first quoted article appears to be Dial 999, 911 or whatever the number… posted on the 26th of October by The Vinyl Villain.

The second article (cited by the first) is a very perceptive, if understandably emotional Don’t Be Evil post made on the 23rd of October by SongByToad.com.

Both articles are well worth a read, especially if you question my allusion of the DMCA as a ‘cultural sniper rifle’. There are good pointers and comments too.

It seems that if Google starts being relied upon to both host blogs and maintain archives thereof, that they obtain the power to control the global conversation, at least in terms of discovery and the power of historical revisionism as coveted by such wealthy customers as the record labels and other publishing corporations.

Tel said 5480 days ago :

No one has any “natural” rights. They have the rights that they are prepared to fight for.

We offer humans certain rights (such as liberty) because in the past someone fought for our liberty, and a mutual decision was made that it was better for all concerned if those rights were granted, and we would be able to live in peace.

I’d kind of like to redesign a WWW that worked a bit like the way “git” does (and p2p), with hash based content addressing. The design would be to make it impossible to retrospectively edit pages without leaving an obvious trace that something had changed, and also make it very difficult to remove the old version.

Art Outlaws Without Lawful Reward · Thursday March 05, 2009 by Crosbie Fitch

Mike Masnick introduces us to a great new work, the like of which I have not seen since the Grey Album.

Let us wonder why this musician ‘Kutiman’ may not have either prepared his derivative art or even obtained our reward without seeking the permission of all those whose work he sampled.

Even if each of his sampled videos was CC-NC licensed, this mixing artist may not receive a single one of our pennies without theoretically becoming liable to copyright litigation – unless they painstakingly obtain permission from each and every copyright holder.

Why should such permission be required?

Why must this artist’s liberty be so suspended? Why may we not even reward them for their excellent intellectual work? Kultiman has provided attribution and links to each of the constituent works, so it is not as if we’re discouraged in also discovering and rewarding the underlying artists.

Elexis Trinity

Juice Lee

If such art can only be created and rewarded outside the law, then we must look to outlaws for such art, and reward them as outlaws.

Copyright is an unethical constraint on society’s cultural liberty and those societies who choose to remain bound by it choose cultural stagnation and obscurity.

Scott Carpenter said 5389 days ago :

This is pretty cool — thanks, Crosbie. I missed it on techdirt.

Scott Carpenter said 5389 days ago :

Have to amend my comment. This is incredible. I’m blown away by “Mother of All Funk Chords.” What a great art form, and another example of why copyright as we know it is harmful.

Crosbie Fitch said 5389 days ago :

It does blow your socks off doesn’t it!? :-)

My immediate thought was “Heck, I want to give this artist my patronage!” rather than “Heck, this artist deserves an advance from a record label given their exploitation of our suspended liberty”

enondengod said 5388 days ago :

Things like this hit me in the stomach and nestles in my heart like pure happiness. How can this do anything other than create something greater than than the sum of parts?

Girl Talk does the same for me.


Invasion of the Copy Snatchers · Friday August 21, 2009 by Crosbie Fitch

If you want to understand the nightmare facing the newspaper industry you need look no further for their perspective than that of Donald Sutherland’s character in the movie ‘Invasion of the Body Snatchers’.

Newspapers had evolved to a harmonious form where each copy was in effect a small, portable version of the world wide web. A little bit of news on any subject you could think of, updated daily, distributed overnight to millions, and the access fee was just a few pennies.

Unfortunately, the world is much larger and more diverse than a newspaper or even several (including more specialist journals and monthly magazines), so in continually striving to maximise revenue each newspaper must maximise its attractiveness to the lowest common denominator of its potential market. As Paul Gillin observes in Blaming the Editors, this makes it a poor competitor to the web with its wealth of well written websites on every subject a news thirsty individual could wish for – no matter how peculiar their interest.

So pity the poor newspaper, feeling that it has a far greater claim to inherit the earth than the invading hordes of individual upstarts, bloggers and tweeters – those aliens who have manifested themselves in their world as recently as ‘last night’ in their time frame. And sympathise at its dismay that each blogger of all those overrunning its territory is a dumb weakling in comparison, with a fraction of the newspaper’s aggregate resources and audience reach. And what’s worse, these blasted bloggers are imposters, pretending to be newspaper journalists.

Everywhere the newspaper goes it finds it and its fellows persistently seduced to “Join us”, “Become part of our web”. So it shouldn’t be too surprising that each time this happens either it runs away screaming in terror, or, if it is canny, it pretends that it has joined the web. It behaves as if it is now fully integrated online, but actually it isn’t, it stubbornly and stalwartly retains its true and original nature. Even now some of us have raised the alarm, “This online newspaper isn’t linking except to itself! It’s not one of us!”.

The newspaper is doomed. It may survive in vestigial form in some underground habitat, but despite its heartfelt belief that it deserves to survive, we will soon see it as an assimilated form, its quaint iconography re-created online as a historical curio of how news was once communicated in the form of ink on paper. Let’s not forget though, even newspapers adopted fonts designed not for mechanised metal type, but for the manual graving by those they displaced.

At the end of it all, if you are a remaining traditionalist looking on at the fall of a newspaper you have grown up with since childhood, the web is an insidious monster to be thwarted in order to preserve that which you love. On the other hand, if you are already an assimilated denizen of the digital domain, you will remain mystified that Luddites persist in their intransigence, looking at everything you say in horror.

Join us. There is no copy.

FACing the Music · Monday October 05, 2009 by Crosbie Fitch

From comments on a P2PNet article entitled We are the walrus. Or, thank you Lily Allen.

Here’s the choice that Billy Bragg and others in the FAC (Featured Artists Coalition) face.

There are two perspectives that one can take with regard to the business of music recordings. Either the artist and production engineers are paid to make a studio recording and that’s the end of their interest in the matter – they have their money, the customer has their recording, OR the artist is a budding monopolist (their own record label) and will begrudge anyone who makes a further copy of their published recording who didn’t pay for it.

It comes down to whether you believe in copyright or not. Are you in the business of performing and recording music, or are you in the business of selling copies and broadcast privileges?

Do you believe that recording artists should be content that they have been amply paid for their studio recording, or would you go further and say that you will not rest until everyone who makes and sells or gives away an unauthorised copy (or performance thereof) is properly punished, and a severe deterrent is thus in place for anyone who even thinks of joining them?

It’s the difference between the equitable exchange of work for money, and the jealous guarding of a lucrative state granted monopoly.

The record labels are the ones in the business of selling copies and broadcast privileges. It is they who pay session musicians and studio engineers for their work, and they who say that should be the end of the matter. It is the labels who are in the business of selling copies and enforcing their monopolies, now to a draconian degree.

I suggest FAC should represent the artists who no longer wish the labels to pretend to represent them. FAC should comprise those artists who are indeed satisfied if they are amply paid for their studio recordings, AND that copyright is neutralised on those recordings such that the audience is then free to share and build upon them, without fear of prosecution or demands for royalty. FAC should comprise those artists in the business of performing and recording music. It should not comprise artists interested in getting into the business of selling copies and broadcast privileges (that business is ending).

FAC’s customer is their audience, their fans. FAC’s customer is not one or more record labels.

Sell your live and studio performances, and the recordings thereof.

That’s as far as you can go.

You can’t sell copies of those performances or recordings without a monopoly that suspends the liberty of your audience to make such copies themselves. It is that 18th century suspension of liberty that is so unethical. The audience and artists among them have a fundamental, natural right to copy and build upon mankind’s culture. It is that right to copy that was suspended three centuries ago and granted as the exclusive privilege of the ‘copyright’ holder. So you should recognise that this right to copy does not belong to the musician, but to the individual, to the members of the audience, to the public, to everyone. Be careful before you start talking quite so possessively in terms of your copyrights.

Sell your recordings. Do not sell uncopyable copies.

You’ve sold your recordings to labels for years, so it’s not like you’re unfamiliar with the concept. Start selling them to your audience instead.

Treat your audience like your new record label. They will take care of A&R, promotion, reproduction, and distribution. That’s why the labels are squealing blue murder – because their customers for copies are now able to disintermediate them and make their own for nothing. However, that shouldn’t upset you because you’re not in the business of making and selling copies. You’re in the business of making and selling music, performances, recordings. Your paradigm shift is that you’re now selling to your audience directly instead of via a record label. But, critically, your audience can’t make your music instead of you. That’s why, unlike the labels, you’re not confronting the inevitable end of your business. So you don’t need a law to prohibit your audience making their own music instead of paying you for it. You certainly don’t need a law prohibiting your audience making and distributing copies. Heck, unlike record labels, your audience aren’t even charging you for that service.

So, what’s it going to be?

Is FAC going to stick to the business of making and selling music?

Or is FAC going to continue this nonsense of ‘educating’ their audience against making unauthorised copies?

What business is FAC in? Music or copies?

Billy Bragg replies:


Thanks for offering your opinion of the state of play. I have to tell you that I don’t agree.

For instance, you can’t tell me “That’s as far as you can go”, no more than I can tell you you can share these files but no more.It simply doesn’t work like that. Who knows what means I might have of finding a niche where I can sell my work directly to people willing to pay for it? I doubt the new models for doing business will be either/or.

Your stated position is that of a diehard P2P user. In some ways it echoes the comments that FAC get from diehard record industry executives. Both of you expect us to be on one side or the other and are quick to condemn if we don’t show the same dedication as you do. Well, Crosbie, I have to tell you that FAC aren’t one your side to that extent – neither are we on the side of the labels. We seek to represent the third component of this relationship, the voice of the artists. What we want to do, as you’ll see from our website, is to ensure that artists can continue to make a living doing what they love most – making music. I’m talking especially here of new artists. We see it as being in all our interests to open a dialogue between the various parts of the new digital industry. As a result we talk to labels – Big 4 mostly – and we talk to ISPs. We talk to the Musicians Union in the UK and to the songwriters and producers unions too. We have so far never been able to have an ongoing dialogue with the P2P community, which is why Jon’s initiative is so interesting. If we can start to build confidence in this process, I believe that we all will benefit from your input.

Billy, I’m not telling you “That’s as far as you can go” as an edict, but as friendly advice to inform you and others in FAC as to your natural limitations.

I’m trying to help you realise that you can only hope to sell that which people are interested in buying from you.

Of course, you can try and sell copies if you want to. You can even attempt to enforce your monopolies against those who would promote your music to their friends by making and distributing unauthorised copies. You can try to do that, but I don’t recommend it as a business to get into because it doesn’t have a future.

To say you cannot sell snow to Sami, or sand to Saharans, is not a forbidding, but business advice.

I’m trying to tell you in the nicest way possible that you can’t sell copies to your audience.

I vaguely recall there was some ludicrous legislation in a South American country a few years ago that made it illegal to collect rainwater in order to protect the revenues of the local water supply companies, but really, to think that legislation against copying is going to create you a market to sell copies, is something either a pre-schooler or a mafioso would come up with as a viable business model. When the heavies are the state, and only a very few printing press owners can make copies, then perhaps such a protection racket has a hope of working, but those days are over.

If you read my previous comment again, more carefully, you will realise that I’m in complete agreement with you that you can sell your work directly to your enthusiastic audience willing and able to pay for it. But you don’t seem to be able to read that in what I write. All you can see is that I’m telling you that you can’t sell copies of your work.

I neither represent artists nor audiences. I champion individuals and their natural rights, against the anachronistic privileges granted for the benefit of publishing corporations. We are all artists, and all members of audiences of the artists we appreciate. Artists are individuals, as is everyone in an artist’s audience, so I champion all, indistinguishably. All have the same rights. None have rights that others do not. We are all equals on this planet. It is the anachronistic privilege of copyright that interferes with that natural equality. It is that privilege that sets publisher against public, artist against audience, and that privilege that should be abolished.

However, that’s just my position. What is of concern here is the position of FAC and its members.

The choice I’ve suggested that faces you is not whose side you are on, but what business you are in.

Are you in the business of making music, selling compositions, songs, performances, and recordings, OR are you in the business of making and distributing monopoly protected copies and broadcasts thereof?

When you’ve decided what business you’re in, perhaps then it will be clearer to you whether you need to sue your customers for disrespecting your monopoly, or whether you should explore ways of selling your music to your audience instead of to record labels.

It’s one of those red pill/blue pill dichotomies. Bear in mind that the software industry is already well divided by such a schism, and those on each side regard the others as having an alien mindset. That’s how deep the paradigm shift goes.

Don’t write it off as ‘freeloaders wanting stuff for nothing’ – that’s pure propaganda. We’re talking free as in speech, not as in beer. This is the cultural liberty of an emancipated people, not an impoverished and culturally stagnant cultist commune.

So, have you made up your mind yet?

Music or copies?

Billy Bragg replies:


This two pill thing…. its not such a black and white issue. Many musicians do both and manage to make a living. I know it would make things much more easy for you if you could force me to chose between music or copies, but we’re going to have to be a little more open to debate if we want to create an environment in which P2P is recognised as a powerful promotional tool. That’s what I want from our discussions here. You interested?

Billy, I’m always interested in discussion of the issues and progress toward solutions, especially where solutions restore people’s liberty to share and build upon published works, and enable people to exchange their labour in a free market.

I daresay there are many who would like to portray this clash of perspectives as an encounter between artists trying to make a decent living and a den of thieves. It’s a little more fundamental than that. It’s a conflict between unnatural law that says that information can’t be copied and natural law that says it can. The outcome of that conflict is obvious to anyone familiar with the schism concerning geo vs heliocentricity.

What we’re left with is the problem of a lack of facilities that enable artists to exchange their work for the money of their audience. It’s a problem caused through the neglect of three centuries, a period in which no-one needed such facilities because of the reproduction monopoly known as copyright. Artists sold their work to printers, and printers sold copies that no-one else could legally produce. Copyright didn’t have to be legislated, but it was, and as a consequence the evolution of facilities for exchanges between artists and their audiences ground to a halt.

That’s why I’m trying to be upfront with you that this is the situation. We are all interested in how to buy and sell intellectual work in a world in which one can no longer sell copies at monopoly protected prices. If kids can make copies for nothing, you’re not going to be able to change that through holy fiat, education, or bandwidth squeezing, and so you’re not going to be able to sell them copies. Fortunately, kids can’t make your music (at least not without years of effort), so you can at least sell them that.

If this rapprochement is to discover how to stop kids file-sharing you’re barking up the wrong tree. If it’s to discover how to sell your music to your audience, well, come on up.

Odin Xenobuilder said 5177 days ago :

Their charter and other info is kinda vague, but they sure do seem to come across as pro-copyright. There is vague references about changing with the digital age but most of it seems to say “We want all the money because we don’t need the recording industry anymore”.

Seems like they are pushing for a step in the right direction though, usually small steps are how we get where we need to be. By reading their material, you would think they don’t get it though. I love the perspective you’ve put on it here.

Crosbie Fitch said 5177 days ago :

Thanks Odin. It’s those small steps that we should indeed look forward to, where artists move away from the mindset they’ve been programmed with by the labels (file-sharers are scum) and toward the realisation that it’s the label’s monopoly that’s the thief, not the members of their audience.

Billy Bragg is quite aware of the long tradition of folk music and how it became radically upended by copyright, with people scouring the countryside for folk music and songs precisely to claim the monopoly of copyright upon them. That is a theft of culture from the people.

What we have now is the people asserting their ownership of their own culture – in considerable conflict with the 18th century monopoly.

It is a pity it is so difficult for musicians to see that it is not their audience who are stealing their livelihoods, but the labels who are paying the musicians to steal their audience’s cultural liberty.

It’s going to be a long and fraught journey for artists and audiences to extricate themselves from the mess they’re in, but they’ll get there.

The audience pays the artist for their art, and the audience gets to keep their cultural liberty. That’s the way it’s been for millennia, and that’s the way it’s reverting to. We just have to put up with the embarrassment of a three century historical aberration in which someone thought it was a good idea to give printers a monopoly.

Maniquí said 5176 days ago :

Really interesting discussion, that touches both the theory and the practice on how the game is changing.

A few quick questions:

1. Couldn’t labels be seen as patronage? I would say “no”, as after funding the artist (and sound recorders, and etc) they pursue some economic benefit. But, hey, it’s about live and let live.

In other words, it’s seems (as for my current mindset) that it would be easier for artists to do their work if they are paid an amount of money in advance so they know they will be able to buy/get some food at the end of the day. Of course, that’s the kind of security that we all have been programmed to pursue (both by our genes and by corporations that play with our natural fears).

Even in this ages, when digital copy is so cheap (if not free), it looks more convenient/easier/realistic to have someone to patronage (and maybe, go a step beyond, profit from) an artist, so he is able to create his art, and then sell copies (yes, ideally without a copyright) of that work to the audience, than expecting the audience to donate/pay/fund/collect the amount of money an artist may want to get by his work to make a decent living.

I think I’ve grasped all the natural right vs artificial/forced suspension of copyright, but then, I ask again: isn’t it a matter of convenience?

Wouldn’t like to take this idea of natural vs un-natural too far, but then, it’s natural to be naked, it’s natural to, well, have sex on the outside, in front of other human beings, if you like it. But it looks there is a “convenience” on not being naked, or not doing nasty things in front of others. Well, at least, we are enforced on not to do so.

I’m using the word “convenience” too much. The question then is: “whose convenience”.

Again, we’ve been programmed to believe/accept a few things, that now, on a digital world which changed all drastically, seem to not make sense at all.
It seems we will have to break the spell.

2. Then, the question also is: is music (or art) something worth of money? is it something even worth of food?
Money is another convenience and another spell we should somewhat break.

Crosbie, thanks for the space and sorry for my english and the somehow loose points I tried to make :)

PD: while we are here talking about music, let me recommend Starstika (I’ve gladly pay them for their music). There is something on their lyrics that may be related to all this mindset changes we are pursuing.

Crosbie Fitch said 5176 days ago :

1. Couldn’t labels be seen as patronage?

Labels are 100% mercenary and sell their services to artists. They seduce them with an advance and then nothing further is provided until all costs (including the advance) are recouped. Predictably all the services the label charges the artist for are at very high mark-ups. Only the most wealthy independent artists would ever consider approaching a label for their services at the same price as they charge their contracted artists.

The only risk a label takes on an artist is failing to recover the advance and any other external costs of production and promotion (a risk they are careful to keep very low, and isn’t the same as the advance remaining unrecouped from the artist’s account – a highly probable eventuality).

Imagine a casino offering Tom Jones a $10,000 advance and a 1% royalty for singing each night on condition he pays the going rate to eat, drink and sleep in the casino hotel and the costs of booking the stage and paying the stage crew, until that advance is recouped. The casino could well recover that advance after the first night, but it may take Tom Jones a year before his advance is recouped and he starts receiving any of that 1% royalty on top. Of course, he could walk away at any time, but then his singing career would be over.

Here’s some reading for those who doubt things are quite as terrible as I imply:

The future for artists who recognise it’s about selling music, not copies, is in selling their work to their audience instead of the producers of copies (labels). So, yes, the audience becomes the artist’s patron, their true customer.

I think I’ve grasped all the natural right vs artificial/forced suspension of copyright, but then, I ask again: isn’t it a matter of convenience?

Natural rights are so called because they are the rights that people have naturally, through their natural ability and power. People have a natural ability to protect their lives, their private spaces and possessions, the truth of their actions, and their freedom of movement and speech unconstrained by the will of their fellows.

As individuals we only need that power that nature has given us. We do not need power over others, just as we do not need others to have power over us. An egalitarian government is supposed to only protect this natural power, and not to privilege anyone (or any legal entity) with any unnatural power over anyone else. Monopolies are quite inegalitarian, and have been recognised as such for centuries. Copyright and patent were enacted in an age when egalitarianism wasn’t particularly highly regarded.

The question then is: “whose convenience”.

Copyright was enacted for the crown’s convenience in controlling the press, and the press’s convenience in suppressing uncontrolled competition. It was never intended a means for individuals to control the press (as we see only too well here Edwyn Collins Can’t Give Away His Music ).

Then, the question also is: is music (or art) something worth of money?

Anything you don’t have is worth what you would pay for it. Anything you have or can produce is either worth what you’d sell it for, or what you could obtain for it in a free market. People tend to wait until the market value reaches or exceeds their sale value.

Things don’t otherwise have intrinsic monetary value. It is the moment of exchange when they do. It not the moment of delivery of work, but the moment when someone has agreed a price to pay for it in exchange, and the exchange occurs. We can estimate the market value of something, but that isn’t intrinsic monetary value.

Hard work does not represent intrinsic monetary value. Thus, no-one has a right to be paid for their work. What people have a right to is free exchange and the truth of those exchanges. Thus you agree what is to be exchanged, make the exchange, and given no deceit that is the end of the matter.

It is an attractive idea to be able to publish something and put a price upon it of your own choosing, and be able to prosecute anyone found in possession who did not pay for it, but that’s not a free market. Similarly, it’s attractive to some for a central committee to appraise published works, value them, and then reimburse the publisher from a fund collected through taxation – according to how widely distributed and performed their work is – but this also is not a free market.

In a free market the artist and their audience come to an agreement concerning the exchange of the audience’s money for the artist’s work, and then make the exchange. At the point of that exchange we find out how much the artist’s work is worth in monetary terms. But, remember, neither party is forced to make the exchange if they don’t consider it equitable – the exchange only occurs if both parties find it agreeable.

Barmy Luddites at the British Library · Friday October 16, 2009 by Crosbie Fitch

Someone who perhaps needs to remain anonymous has commented further on Glyn Moody’s article British Library = National Disgrace concerning the British Library’s barmy and luddite attempts to ensure that the knowledge it guards from the great unwashed doesn’t spread beyond its walls any more than momentarily.

The British Library provides one in three electronic documents as Secure Electronic Delivery (encrypted) PDF’s. These documents require the Adobe Digital Editions software for which there is no Linux version currently available.

Why do these documents need to be encrypted?
Why do they need to be locked after 30 days by the adobe software?
Why provide something electronically if you can’t reference it later?

I am disappointed that what should be one of our great British Institutions is hoarding our information and succumbing to corporate influences.

It is my duty as a scientist to share my knowledge. It is the responsibility of the British Library to share the knowledge of others.

British Library SED

You can read, but you can’t copy.

I daresay the monks and other fanatical scribes would have broken any printing presses they could lay their hands on.

The church would also have ‘re-adjusted’ any heliocentric orreries to be properly geocentric.

It’s a matter of religion, not science that has decided that thou shalt not copy.

In other words it is a superstitious affectation that directs the Luddites of the information age, that all likenesses of an intellectual work collapse into a single object, which is the property of a single, ‘rightful’ owner, and theirs to control as they see fit. They believe that readers may learn by reading, but not by copying – as to learn through copying was a pre-renaissance delinquency that technology can now thwart, even against those who’d wheedle the excuse that such theft may be sanctioned for educational purposes.

So, blame human beings for their susceptibility to superstition.

Even those in charge of the British Library must be forgiven for being intellectually inferior to the authors of its contents, the knowledge and learning that might enlighten them out of their superstitious ignorance.

How can one deprogram people out of this modern mental illness that holds unauthorised copying as inherently wrong? Especially people who find themselves in positions where they may attempt to apply their deranged beliefs and implement all manner of measures to impede people’s ability to share and build upon mankind’s cultural commonwealth.

The librarians are lunatics in charge of an asylum and are locking up the books as if the rarity of their contents must be secured from thieves, and provided only on a strictly ‘need to know’ basis.

The individual loonies who make this policy should be named and shamed for posterity. No doubt they will think they’re doing the ‘right thing’ today and believe their anal policy is a thing to be proud of. They need to be given a fricking doubt!

The Wicked Neglect of Orphans · Wednesday October 21, 2009 by Crosbie Fitch

Glyn Moody beseeches Won’t Somebody Please Think of the Orphans?

Clearly, the fundamental issue of preserving our cultural heritage is being neglected in favour of either protecting the privilege of copyright against inexorable, pragmatic dilution, or squabbling over the imagined treasure Google must have scryed in the fruits of scanning vast libraries of printed works.

It’s a combination of Idiocracy and the deplorable destruction of the Ancient Library of Alexandria.

In other words, we’re looking at the moronic perpetuation of a culturally counter productive privilege by morons for morons (publishing corporations), simply because it helps their bottom line and damn the preservation of mankind’s cultural commonwealth.

In the case of orphan works, instead of being unwitting arson, it’s more like the slow fire of rust, i.e. the irresponsible neglectfulness typical of kids who leave their bike out in the rain when they’ve been distracted by something more worthwhile, but who will scream blue murder if they see any other kid lay a finger on it.

Far better to harness the vast information storage resources we have to store great numbers of redundant copies, than to leave the last remaining books or manuscripts at the mercy of ‘Soylent’ caretakers still deliberating as to which shelf should next be emptied to stoke the building’s central heating furnace.

This is why Google’s book scanning should be embraced irrespective of any handwringing angst over the potentially unauthorised copies so made.

What would people prefer in a few decade’s time?

  1. The preservation of unethical legislation that prohibits unauthorised copies, OR
  2. A digitally preserved cultural heritage that also includes printed works?

Sod the printers’ prerogative, what’s the point of them publishing mankind’s knowledge if their petulance prevents its preservation?

We need to have a Fahrenheit 451 day, where in an act of civil disobedience people bring out their book scanners and wilfully take pains to preserve that which a corrupt state has prohibited them from preserving.

Then we’ll see the police come out and burn these unauthorised copies, in just as corrupt a fashion as Amazon withdrew copies of unauthorised books from its Kindle.

Does it really take this sort of symbolism before people recognise that copyright is a corrupt constraint of their culture?

Ibutton77 said 5161 days ago :

Yay, I said something similar in the middle of a slashdot comment rant a couple weeks back :D


I’ve been noticing that people get hung up on the idea that “creating original work” is the only means by which value can be created. Google indexing the web is “making money on the backs of everyone else”, and so forth.

People don’t grok that pattern and organization are at least as valuable as raw data is. Of course they might change their minds if you ran a utility that rearranges every byte on their hard drive so as to be sorted in numeric value. All the raw information is still there, but is absolutely meaningless without it’s context of organization.

Crosbie Fitch said 5161 days ago :

It’s a good slashdot comment. :)

I think creating ‘original’ work is great, worthwhile and valuable, however, the value is best determined in a goodwill or monetary free market exchange with the interested audience. Such value should not be presumed and should certainly not constitute sanction to suspend the public’s liberty to share and build upon that work (to profit publishers and the interests of the state in controlling the press).

Spacial or temporal pattern/organisation is information. A rearrangement thus affects the information. If irreversible then information has been lost. If you write a poem in Scrabble tiles and someone then comes along and sorts them into alphabetical order, the information constituting the poem is lost and one must hope the poem is memorised elsewhere. That’s not the same as an information preserving rearrangement, e.g. where a code is used to encrypt the poem.

Ibutton77 said 5156 days ago :

Yep, my “rearrangement” comment is a jab at philosophical reductionism. A whole is greater than the sum of it’s parts simply because “sum” does not infer the original organisation nor relationship of those parts.

For example a reductionist might argue that a human being is nothing more than a collection of chemicals you can get for a few dollars at a chemistry store. The truth of course being that while there may by no other significant physical ingredients present, the immensely intricate organisation of those ingredients is not only noteworthy but almost exclusively important to the inestimable value of a human person.

By the same token, it is foolish to overestimate the value of “original work” so much as to prefer such work remain forever separated from anyone who may benefit from it than to allow it to be organized.

Be it trillions of web pages with no comprehensive index due to the perceived IP invasion of the indexing process (in a hypothetical past where search engines could legally never get started), or millions of out of print books languishing forgotten in bookstores and libraries scattered over the globe today for precisely the same reason.

Crosbie Fitch said 5156 days ago :

Unfortunately, in oberving the value of a selection or index, people believe that some of that value must be due to what is being selected or indexed. However, even if it was (which it isn’t), the thing indexed has already been paid for.

If someone arranges a box of matches into a work of art, the artist has no dues to the match maker, even if the matches remain valuable. Of course, if the match maker had been given the privilege of collecting a royalty should any of their matches be used commercially (as opposed to domestically), they may well still have a claim for a share should the work of art be sold.

It is only the privilege that has value to its holder, and its infringement that seems a loss to them. Those who have grown up with privilege see it as a right, and can’t see the natural right that it violates, and the real cost it represents to others who have lost that natural right.

Everyone should be free to index published works, not just Google.

Everyone should be free to broadcast published music from their radio station or make and distribute copies from their website. And that’s free of royalty or tax.

Similarly, all musicians should be free to exchange their labour of producing new music that builds upon the music of others, with the money of their enthusiastic audience. Those musicians will in turn be among the audiences of those artists whose work they build upon.

To instead suspend people’s liberty, to place constraints on society’s cultural productivity and progress in order to reward and control the press, is an 18th century corruption that should have been abolished along with slavery.

Yes, We Are All Individuals! · Wednesday October 21, 2009 by Crosbie Fitch

The worm is turning from a cultural sloth into a cultural insurrectionist. There is a rebellion afoot, where artists and their fans are now reasserting their natural rights and deciding to do business with each other directly. It is a movement to escape the shackles of the publishing corporations’ unethical privilege of copyright, to escape from the indentured penury of publishers’ deceptive contracts.

This is the end of copyright, and the disintermediation of those who would use it to extort and abuse the people.

This is the beginning of the digital renaissance, a new enlightenment that rediscovers the natural relationship that should exist between artists and those who appreciate them. One that existed until it was corrupted by the cultural constraint of copyright in the 18th century, and is now all but suffocated by the pervasive and insipid pulp produced by the multinational publishing cartels.

And to mark this beginning a new website has arisen, a2F2a.com, a site prompted by the historic rapprochement between Billy Bragg (FAC) and Jon Newton (P2PNet), to discuss, deliberate and document this more natural way in which artists can relate to their fans, and those fans can relate to their artists. A kind of relationship that is prosperous without being exploitative, and one that not only embraces the radically different economics of the digital age, but also necessarily restores the people’s cultural liberty.

However, just as people should no longer be dismissed as couch potato consumers to be fed the lowest common denominator, we must also recognise that we are all artists and all fans. We may well sometimes be fans of more artists than we have fans of our own, but fundamentally we are more than simply an either/or ‘artist or fan’, we are all individuals. The term ‘artist’ or ‘fan’ denotes a role or relationship, not a political status nor a social caste.

  • As creative individuals, we are all artists and many of us would welcome a financial incentive to produce our art.
  • As individuals appreciative of creativity, we are all fans and would be pleased to offer our favourite artists a financial incentive to produce their art.

We have to get back to such fundamentals before we can recognise that the traditional recording and publishing industry we see falling into decay and corruption before us had been built upon expedient foundations of 18th century permafrost – the treacherous foundations of unethical privileges that have now melted into a stagnant swamp that impedes all cultural progress.

The structures we build from this day forth to facilitate a more natural and ethically sound relationship must be built back on the same bedrock that mankind’s cultural heritage has been based on since the stone age and as relatively recently as the 14-16th century European renaissance.

We need to get back to an ethical incentive: money for art, liberty for people.

Ibutton77 said 5161 days ago :

Sounds nice. I cannot see anywhere their stance about copyright. Is copyright an issue this community holds a firm stance on, or a matter they discuss, or gloss over?

Crosbie Fitch said 5161 days ago :

As a2f2a.com has only just been launched I think all issues are currently ‘to be discussed’. After all, the ink on their mission statement still smudges.

However, given that this site is a meeting of those interested in exchanging art for money (artists, fans), and those interested in the restoration of their liberty to share and build upon published works (fans, artists), then a ‘stance about copyright’ is inescapable.

If you’re interested I’m sure they’d welcome your participation.

Scott Carpenter said 5160 days ago :

I like the welcome statements at a2f2a. The hostility they mention is always striking to me when I see it at techdirt and elsewhere. All the contempt and fear. (And I can understand the concern. Things are changing. People are afraid of what they imagine is being lost. And something is being lost, for some people…)

On another note — although related in that some of the hostility appears there — have you see this:


Good post and interesting to see how people react.

Crosbie Fitch said 5160 days ago :

I think one of the final hurdles people have to overcome in terms of grokking cultural liberty (that is a prominent issue in the article you link to as well as it will be on a2f2a), is the “Well, ok, you can make and share copies of my work, but only for free – if you start making any money I damn well want a cut!” mentality.

It is that mentality that not only causes paradigm shift pains to nouveau copylefters, but also lies at the root of movements to claim royalties on sale of second hand copies (droit de suite).

It surely can only be copyright indoctrination that persuades people that unlike material workers, intellectual workers deserve a share of any earnings the purchasers of their products obtain through their utilisation, adaptation, or value added resale.

Sell your work and move on. Let it go. You’ve made your money, let the purchaser make theirs.

A Natural Right to Sing Billy Bragg's Songs · Sunday October 25, 2009 by Crosbie Fitch

On the new a2f2a website Billy Bragg asks me “Why do you believe you have a natural right to share and build upon the published music you receive without having to seek permission, or pay any tax or royalty?”

To me this is akin to asking me why I believe the Earth is spherical.

It is not an unreasonable question, especially if we simply take what we’ve grown used to at face value as ‘the way things are’. Consequently, for the Earth to be flat doesn’t seem particularly unnatural. However, if you take any time to investigate things in depth, just as you realise that the Earth can’t possibly be flat, you realise that one can’t possibly have a natural right to prevent others making copies of anything that you give to them.

Just as a basket maker has never naturally been able to prevent those who purchase their baskets from making copies or using them to carry silver without a cut, so a songwriter or musician has never naturally been able to prevent those who hear their songs or tunes from singing or performing them, or doing so for money without royalty. It has always taken a potentate and their police force to do such things, e.g. prohibit the wearing of imperial colours or collect a levy on wine. Individuals naturally born as equals are not born with such a privilege of dictating what other people may or may not do with the things they have made, purchased, or discovered (irrespective of similarity to, or provenance from, any other). Even the power of collecting a tithe, levy, tax, or royalty takes the power of a church, baron, or king to achieve.

Natural rights are those powers or abilities to defend their interests that individuals are born with (as equals), i.e. the power to protect their lives (their bodies), their privacy (and the possessions within it), the truth (their apprehension of it against deceit or impairment), and their liberty (against the will of others). Rather than solely relying upon each individual’s physical strength these natural rights are supposed to be additionally and fairly protected by a government empowered by the people precisely for this purpose. Such a government is not empowered to grant privileges (though sadly, by dint of the power they can assume, they do anyway).

In 1710 Queen Anne suspended from individuals’ natural right to liberty their right to copy or perform the original works of others. This right to copy was reserved as a transferable privilege initially attached to each original work, hence ‘copyright’. In effect the individual’s inalienable liberty had been alienated from them by the state to serve both the state’s interest in seeing political expression controlled, and the interest of the stationers’ guild in continuing their members’ monopolies (especially as legally enforceable). Neither state nor guild was interested in their power or profits being undermined by the propaganda or piracy of an uncontrolled press.

Three centuries later, we are still born with the natural right to copy or perform the original works of1 others, but there now exists a privilege known as ‘copyright’ that enables the holder thereof to exclude us from doing so. Government via the police protect our natural rights, but they do not protect privileges. This is why the police aren’t supposed to arrest people for singing songs against the copyright holder’s wishes or making recordings at concerts and selling copies thereof. The responsibility and expense of policing and asserting their privilege is entirely that of the copyright holder. Well, it has been until relatively recently. The publishing corporations are lobbying for their privilege of copyright to become as protected by the state as any natural right of an individual. Such privileges are also known as legal rights, since whilst they appear to recognise a right, that right does not arise in nature (to be protected by law), but arises only from the law itself (protecting the state’s, crown’s, or lobbyists’ special interests).

So, all discussion of the legal rights artists may still need or those that might remain lucrative to them, even if copyright’s ability to exclude unauthorised copies is largely ineffective, are misguided. Ethically, people can only ask for the protection of the natural rights they have, not those privileges they may covet or believe they need to make a living. They should certainly not be tempted to adjust one privilege into another, e.g. if one’s privilege is no longer able to prevent copies made by another, one should be given the privilege of extracting a royalty from another, if their business involves the use of one’s work.

The distinction of natural right from state granted privilege is not new thinking, but was well known even as the US Constitution was being framed in 1787. See the WikiPedia entry concerning the work Rights of Man by Thomas 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 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.

The US Constitution correctly recognised that authors and inventors have a natural exclusive right to their writings and inventions (where exclusive – deriving from the individual’s natural right to privacy). However, while this right should certainly have been secured, it should never have been extended or substituted with the grant of monopolies. It just goes to show how appealing monopolies are to those interested in them that they were legislated anyway (in 1790), in spite of the Constitution.

What we see today is that copyright is not only a privilege that conflicts with individuals’ natural rights (their cultural liberty and freedom of speech), but a privilege that conflicts with the very nature of information and its communication. It is simply not possible (even for the state, let alone an individual), to remotely constrain the distribution of intellectual works, because it is not possible to remotely constrain the communication and diffusion of information (despite the snake oil that is DRM).

So, it is foolish to suggest either that copyright’s term is shortened (to 28 years, 28 weeks, or even 28 days later), or that those whose business may be seen to benefit from the use of another’s work should pay a share of their earnings. Such privilege is preposterous and an offense against both nature and man. It is a protection racket of those already corrupt and powerful, or of those who have become corrupted by unnatural power.

We earn a living from our work by exchanging it with the work of others, voluntarily. Money=work. There’s nothing wrong in exchanging our labour, in selling the music we make or the copies we make of others’. What’s wrong is in being unnaturally able to prevent anyone else doing so, or being able to demand a royalty. What we have a right to is the free exchange of our work or possessions (liberty). We do not have a right to give our work away and then demand payment for its possession, use, or reproduction. Such a ‘right’ would be appealing, but nature has not seen fit to imbue us with it.

Without unnatural monopoly, we’re still left with the natural ability to sell our music, and the ability to make and sell copies of it. However, there is no market for copies that people don’t need to buy (that a monopoly can no longer prevent being made). The market for musicians is in making music that people want to buy (in preference to, or in addition to, making their own).

The market for copies has ended. The market for music continues unabated. There is neither need nor sanction for monopoly or any other privilege.

I and umpteen thousand others may pay you a penny to write or sing a song, and you may consider that an equitable exchange. However, my audience can also pay me to sing that song and I don’t owe you a penny – naturally. That’s how it used to be, and that’s how it should be. We just have the embarrassment of three centuries in which we put up with a state granted privilege that had it otherwise.


1 That’s ‘of’ as in ‘authored by’, not as in ‘owned by’. It is an unfortunate ambiguity of the English language that possessive prepositions and pronouns are used for authorship/paternity as well as ownership or physical possession, especially when there’s considerable interest in some quarters for the meanings to become permanently conflated.

Ibutton77 said 5156 days ago :

(assuming it gets moderated in) I have commented on this thread:

Say, Billy mentioned making a new thread for discussing copyright. Do you know how one could find that Crosbie? Also, anywhere there did you link back to the answer you supplied here?

Crosbie Fitch said 5156 days ago :

Good comment. The penny rhyme is apposite.

There’s a copyright category and a thread The question of copyright.

I didn’t link back to the answer I supplied here, no.

Approaching Inversion · Thursday November 12, 2009 by Crosbie Fitch

Steve Outing’s article So what exactly is newspaper web ‘premium’ content? Please tell me has generated some interesting discussion relating to the two quests I see these days:

  1. Individual artists/journalists seeking a new source of commission
  2. Dinosaur publishers seeking the philosopher’s stone (the fabled business model that enables them to continue selling that which people can make themselves for nothing).

I describe it as a paradigm inversion: Your readers pay you to write. You don’t charge your readers to read.

Thus the nimble and mammalian journalists will inexorably realise that their future customers and commissioners are their readers, and the dinosaurs will create walled gardens in a futile attempt to charge readers to read – slowly suffocating through a lack of the oxygen of publicity.

In the following comments in the context of newspapers, it’s interesting to see our language (cf Bill Garber) converging, and yet I suspect it remains polarised on either side of the paradigm inversion. So it may well be that the inversion, when it happens is hardly noticed. The Earth’s magnetic field may flip, but we’ll simply change the labels on all the magnets and compasses, so that magnetic north remains where we’re comfortable for it to remain.

What were once thought of as members or subscribers1 charged for access to an exclusive club, will become sponsors or patrons willingly contributing to the funding of the public works that they’re interested in – a relationship that all are encouraged to form. From being ‘charged for access’ to ‘paying for publication’. Instead of the audience coming to the circus and paying to see the performance, the audience pays the circus to broadcast the performance.

  • What has enabled and caused this change? The Internet.

From having to visit a single location to buy tickets, or purchase a single copy as both product and ticket, the global audience can now purchase tickets at home, and see the performance at home.

The problem is that inversion, the reversal of power roles. The vendor is no longer the only one with the illusion of control. Tomorrow the customers are also blessed with that conceit. The customers unwittingly self-organise into a body that commissions the vendor’s production. The same product is made, the same money changes between the same hands. However, the public is no longer subject to the publishers’ will. It’s the scary situation where both have something the other wants, but a new more equitable deal has to be made where both sides recognise the other as their equal.

The customer is no longer a submissive cow to be milked, where art and news are continually substituted with lower grade filler or content until it ends up being fed with its own offal and faeces.

The artist and journalist is also no longer a captive attraction in a theme park where a robber baron charges saps for access and erases their cameras on exit. It would be wise to consider the inversion where the customer is in the castle that is their home and charges the artist and journalist their labour for access (this ties in with Bill Densmore’s ‘attention’). If you’re an artist or journalist then you’ll be nimble enough to leave the theme park and allow your services to visit the customers interested in purchasing them. If you’re a theme park owner you’re in trouble. You may well believe that salvation lies in making your attractions ever more irresistible, and ever more secret and secure behind ever higher walls, but then there’s not much I can suggest that fits that niche except virtual prostitution. Even massive multiplayer games can operate with free spectators.

It’s a hard enough task trying to persuade artists to leave the meagre security of their captors and deal directly with their audiences, but they’re going to have to do it sooner or later, as their fourth estate crumbles into ruin about them and ceases its ability to provide shelter or serve as an effective marketplace.

The paradigm inversion is underway. Relationships are changing. Solutions are being developed. Pioneers are exploring them. Thousands of flowers will bloom (even if as yet we see only a few pretty daisies in a flower pot). Doc Searls was among the first to recognise and understand this revolution, and he is not charging for access to an exclusive club. Everyone is free to join the cluetrain. For some earlier discussion re Emancipay (formerly PayChoice), see PayChoice for Newspapers. And everything else that’s free.


1 ‘Subscriber’ once meant ‘underwriter, pledgor, contributor or patron’, and that’s a definition it will soon revert to from the one its had for the last three centuries: ‘one regularly charged for use, access to, or a copy of, a publication or broadcast service’. Just as the magnetic pole can flip, so can the meanings of our words. ‘Subscriber’ last inverted in meaning when copyright was enacted in 1710 – from a dominant commissioner to one who submits to a charge. (qv Assurance contracts).

Making Both Ends Meet · Monday November 16, 2009 by Crosbie Fitch

In Transformative Vs Incremental Change Steve Lawson produces a good summation of the crisis facing the recording industry, and why this isn’t a crisis for the artist, but an opportunity (one that publishing corporations do not want artists to take).

When you take an industry that has 4 big costs – recording, manufacture, distribution, promotion – and remove 3 of them, that changes everything.

Costs have been removed from the picture, but this only represents a loss in revenue to the publishing corporations – not to artists. Artists can now take advantage of this all being done for free – instead of signing to a label in order pay them their rates that were inflated in the first place.

Both ends were overcharged. The fan was overcharged for a copy, and the artist was overcharged for the label to produce, promote, distribute, and retail their art.

Now that the extortionate costs have been removed, what will happen when both ends meet directly?

Advertising is completely broken. Recording tech is better and cheaper than it has ever been, fans are more and more willing to talk about and share your music, and far more happy to buy physical product from you than from a third party. Website merch is easy to do, either in short run, big order or even one-offs.

The record industry before the internet was built on the assumption that to have a chance of making it ‘big’, you needed to have deep pockets to risk the kind of gambling collateral needed to have a shot at being in the 0.1% who ended up rich. The labels funded their gambling by owning the services they were charging you for, by keeping you in debt so they didn’t have to pay you, by keeping product prices artificially high, and by perpetuating myths about what it was that we all wanted and needed, as both artists and consumers.

Everything has changed. If you look at the current possibilities as an incremental change to the industry – that is, if you see the infrastructure as still being the same, and see MP3s as ‘invisible CDs’, you are truly truly screwed. It’s awful. That’s why the industry says ‘the sky is falling’. They aren’t willing to let go of that old infrastructure.

If you see the real changes, throw all the cards in the air, and realise that instead of hundreds of artists making millions of pounds, we can how have millions of artists making hundreds of pounds (and a straight, shallow line on the curve up from there), we’re all in good shape.

Ibutton77 said 5135 days ago :

I think the mechanism behind popular support for copyright that makes the pill you mention here hard to swallow is the old adage that you cannot punish the rich without punishing the dream of the common man.

Even the poor will defend the rich in many capitalistic endeavors, even when the endeavors are outdated or immoral and even when the poor are the ones carrying the litter. They expect they’ll get to ride it next, and many feel as though they deserve to step on the next generation for payback when they got stepped on by the last generation. It’s like fraternity hazing, and it gels people together in a way that is difficult to extricate rationally.

Just imagine smokers, for a moment. US culture has done a strangely successful job at ousting tobacco from the spotlight of fashion. But it was a tough road getting here. Smokers would band together and despise nonsmokers. I’ve heard of places of work where those who did not take smoke breaks with the crew were overlooked for promotions. The lesson I learn here is, “Those who do not share in my follies highlight my own folly”.. like the small child calling out the Emperor on his (lack of) new clothes.

This will be a difficult nut to crack for anyone who has already “inhaled” regarding intellectual property. People who have already invested in potential content monopoly by paying now to record that which they expect to make back later have heavy interest tied into their “back catalog”, which has speculative marketing value so long as you rape culture using copyright, but without copyright it becomes already-published material potentially available for free from anyone who already has a copy. All of that “value” the individual used to “own” and bled so much to create is now no longer fungible. Sure, new works can turn coin at first sale, but old works cannot flow through that turbine.

We need to help artists in positions such as this understand the marketing value of older works. Anyone who seeks to take early advantage of post-copyright business models should “convert” their back catalog from having monetary value into having marketing value.

Follow the example of Monty Python folks, and distribute your works online! Significant monetary value no longer exists in the materials which you have already released to the public. So sacrifice your vain hopes in said monetary value for real dividends in marketing value! :3



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