blinddrew wrote: CS70 wrote:
blinddrew wrote:This is kind of a reply to both of you as I think we're going round in circles here.
I get that culture is an emergent property of behaviour, but we've got about 20 years of the current behaviour built up now and I'm not sure that genie can be put back in the bottle.
Put another way, if the supply of music is now limited, will people pay more or will they just shift to either unlimited (illegal) supplies or just switch to different entertainment mediums altogether?
My firend, you may not realize that, but that is a truly conservative position :D
We’ve had thousands of years where the behavior was to rape women, enslave strangers and killing others because they had looked at you in a bad way. So what? Should we just have said “it’s ok”? You could take your sentence and apply it to something like racial discrimination in the US.. after all, they’ve been at it for quite a while, so we could just as well give up rectifying it? :)
It’s never easy or quick to change a culture, but that’s no excuse not to do it.
Umm. I made the same point, using some of the same examples, upthread! :)
Haha missed that. So, why do you want to be a conservative? :D
We, in the west, are governed and policed by consent. We have a few hundred people per police office because, by and large, we all agree to the laws.
Tell that to the BLM people in the US...
One-liners apart, that idea is a nice facade and most often we don't need to look beyond it.
But the reality is that the police is the only entity which can - and does - employ violence (or "force" if you like euphemisms better) towards citizens by relying, in the short term, on their own judgement and a set of guidelines.
A friend of mine and your compatriot was recently here. Based on some false tip he was accused of - all things - of being a terrorist. The local police (which can be counted among the most illuminated in the world) picked him up, sequestered him for over twelve hours, interrogated him (no physical violence of course, but nice and kind they weren't) until they - in their own time - realized that they had made a gross mistake (to say nothing about utterly ridicolous) and that my friend was as far from a terrorist as you can be. Thye released him in the middle of the night in the middle of nowhere with no money, clothes or phone. I had to book an hotel for him and only the day after he was able to go pick up his luggage.
They did not ask, they did not listen to protests and explanations, there was no consent (other than the one resulting from a dozen machine guns pointed at you with little red pricks suddenly showing up on your chest), there was no "please".
Enforcing is ..enforcing. Should a mob overwhelm the local police force, reinforcements would be called and the government generally has the right - owning the monopoly of violence - to deploy it at will. If it fails to win, it ceases to exist. Overwhelming force is one (not the only one, of course) pillars of any organization, including governments - no matter how we like to sanitize the idea.
While of course most people don't need to break the law, the implied possibility of enforcement is part of what keeps them doing so.
But when society shifts and the majority of us think that those laws are wrong or outdated, well then after a while the law generally shifts along with us. Hence the abolition of slavery, segregation, apartheid etc.
That's debatable. It can be, but I am not sure about "the majority of us". I may be cynical, but imho the majority of us tends to think of their asses and their families first, then perhaps their friends and people in similar situations and so forth.
The majority of us changes meaning (or do not, but our children do) because we are compelled to do so - by enforcement and peer pressure. The ideas that became law were - and are - the fruit of a relatively small group of people who had the interest, the will and not less importantly the means to spend time thinking big thoughts (or small, as it were).
Once these ideas become law, the machinery of a well functioning government will ensure enforcement, and habits will change and after a while they will become the norm.
It's not all good, mind me: people in North Korea or China or other authoritarian and illiberal places do, for the most, adapt to a norm that is not at all nice (the ones who don't, get usually shot - which is a compelling reason for the rest).
The society has shifted (on audio copyright) simply because there has been no law or enforcement. Culture follows behavior. Why shouldn't for copyright? There's nothing in the law that has become obsolete - no more than private property has become obsolete. What there has been is simply a lack of enforcement.. which is the same reason for which you get squatters in your house if you aren't there and there's nobody protecting it.
A simple additional observation that confirm this, is that other type of creative copyrights are alive and well and not much questioned. Amazon started as a book store - and if you write a book - while a physiological degree of piracy will always exist - you expect to sell copies, physical or digital, and get royalties for them. J.K. Rowlings is not exactly poor these days. And movies do still make a lot of money and creators and actors are paid well, even if they are subject to a little bit more pirating than books.
There's nothing special with copying audio - other that it's been allowed for a couple decades. Not all change is positive (look at Trump, it's a change alright!), and it's about time to go back to a better situation for people who want to try and live making music.
Then, a year later, the law lords in their wisdom decided that they would reverse this decision and in the UK it became illegal (again) to rip a CD for your personal use. And the people were not content. In fact, they largely said, "F*&% that for a game of soldiers, I've bought this, I'm ripping it."
I get that. What is the difference with saying "f*** that, I need to go somewhere so I'm gonna take your car "? Only one: if you try to steal a car, the police comes and picks you up.
People's been pirating tapes from vinyl or tapes for ages before the internet. Nothing new there. The problem is when they don't buy the cd. That is stealing, and staying with a somewhat famous countryman of yours, stealing is stealing even with another name.
And so it is that pretty much everyone who buys a CD nowadays in the UK starts committing copyright infringement as soon as it pops through the postbox.
Well I've never ripped cds systematically, and my understanding was that if I wanted to have two - one home and one in the car - I would buy two. Generally back in the time I just picked some and kept them in the car for a while.
Respect for that part of the law has disappeared so much that it is irrelevant.
It has because it's been allowed to
, and that's my point.
By a combination of lack of enforcement, unclear regulation (again, it's typical of periods of fast change, take COVID-19 and face masks..) and also a general message by well-intentioned people with no skin in the game that it was okay to steal in that case.
And that's a problem, because it provides ammunition for those who, whatever their motivations, want to abolish or ignore copyright entirely.
Which ammunition? Copyright - where it exists - is enshrined in law and laws are made or replaced in parliaments. It is simply a matter creating a culture - by stating things, behaving and enforcing accordingly (and probably having to make some example) and underscoring at all levels that it's not ok.
It's the same problem that afflicts black people in the US and elsewhere: there is a culture of acceptance for discrimination, and even worse, of justification
of discrimination. No anti-discrimination law or edict can change that, until the moment when someone does something discriminatory, that someone feels the consequences. It's that simple.
And every time they come back with something like, "But it's only 30 seconds? In the background? And it's just going to 50 people on an internal server?" Some partially educated souls even try and lob Fair Use in there somewhere.
Look, any policeman would recognize that attitude instantaneously."What, it was 40mph speed limit? I was only 5mph over it.."
Ignorance of the law is no excuse and it's never been - otherwise anyone could do the f**k they want and simply claim they didn't know it wasn't allowed.
And incidentally that job of yours exists and you are paid money for it because someone in your company knows that, if copyright was systematically violated in it, it would face serious financial and legal consequences. It's not out of the kindness of their heart (I am sure they like you tough, I do :D).
But I say "No. No licence, no play." And off they go grumbling. And the gods of copyright are happy, but do each of them go away thinking, 'copyright is fair and just and all is well in the world'? I dunno, maybe some of them do, if I've been particularly eloquent, but I reckon more of them think, 'copyright is ridiculous.'
And they are wrong. Exactly like anyone speeding can think it's ridiculous to be fined for just a few mph over the limit or people who pay in black think it's ridiculous that you have to pay VAT on a small job, or them who think it's ridiculous to wear a face mask when about.. most people think that stuff they arent used to and they don't know s***t of is ridiculous :)
Something you could do to change is to explain to them the reason for which copyright exists - which is to reward the people that produce the material they want to use.
Culture is made..
I would suggest that as a whole, in the west, we're in a bit of a tipping point at the moment as to whether copyright regains its respect or whether it loses it. How the content industries (and obviously it's much, much wider than just music) react will have a big influence on which way that swings.
It won't be a quick swing obviously, as you say, culture change isn't.
I wouldn't be so worried. It's only AUDIO material that is in trouble. Most other types, beyond the physiological, small time piracy are doing just fine. And now Trump is even taking on China about that - which is perhaps the only thing that he's done that has some sense (it's obviously random :D).
CS70 wrote:Copyright is (exactly as, say, the concept of ownership and private property) part of the scaffolding around which these businesses exists. You take it away, you aren’t removing barriers, you’re removing the business.
Does it? Music, art, literature, etc all existed before copyright.
Not as businesses.. or better, that market existed but could sustain a very small number of individuals. Exactly the direction it's taken in the last 20 years.
I'm not sure it's helped most musicians that much.
Well then you have not lived in the same planet as anybody else? :D
Copyright is not a panacea that allows everyone to make a living as a musician, but it is something that enables people to - in a much larger number than before it existence. Because it allows to enforce the concept that, if you use someone else's work, he will get some compensation.
That's almost so plain that it's hard to say much about it.. I cannot see how you can mean that it doesn't help. Without it, works would have no (economic) value.
Absolutely, I'm a small, soft, unfit, fat, old guy - the law of the jungle is the last thing I want to rely on. But I think this is a flawed argument, internet law has changed and evolved hugely over the last 20 years, and continues to do so. Generally with both good and bad, and intended and unintended, consequences.
It's been a period of rapid change. It was the same when automobiles came thru, when steam engines became mainstream, it is now again with public scooters, and so on. It seems very special to us because we live in it. The pattern is often similar: discovery, early adopters, general adoption, wild west/jungle law and no regulations or poor attempts because the legislators have little idea, problems, and progressive fixing over time. We're just in the middle...
However, if something doesn't get fixed (or is attributed to "culture"), such as racial discrimination, the problems fester and one day or the other they explode..