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Saturday, November 28, 2009

Michael Jackson's Death and The Beatles

Did you notice that "The Beatles" are being heavily promoted recently? A bunch of new collections are being sold and heavily hyped. Do you know why?

Michael Jackson owned 50% of the rights to The Beatles' songs. Now that he's dead, the rights have passed on to someone else. The new owners are now aggressively exploiting their new intellectual "property".

This seems to indicate that Michael Jackson was exploited. He wasn't deriving full value from this "asset" while he was alive. After his death, other people are now cashing in.

Intellectual property is not property. It's silly that someone owns the rights to the "Happy Birthday to You" song. It's silly that someone owns the rights to "The Beatles".


Anonymous said...

I don't know if you would agree with my thoughts on this matter, but I have realized that it is not that the intellectual property should not exist, but that there is a twist in it's current practice.

There is a "bug", so to say, that had crawled in the definition, and until cleaned off, the whole thing is unbalanced and abusive.

Intellectual property rights should not apply to a copy. In other words, the act of copying is not a crime, but the act of proclaiming a copy to be the original is a crime.

With this in mind, review the intellectual property again. Everything falls in place.

No one could steal a concert from Paganini. Because you can not copy the original without creating a copy, not another original. It should not be illegal to sell a declared copy of Paganini, only a declared but fake "original".

This issue has everything to do with copying. I am almost done with my coffee, so I'll have to be short:

Authors enjoy the digital copying that costs them pennies, and then turn around and sell their copies as originals!

At the same time, we are banned from using the same technology.

The author intends to work once, and to draw the payment endlessly, by his use of the multiplication technology that he has somehow banned everyone else to use.

And, last point:

And, a property right takes it's root from the fact that if something is taken, then it is not available for the original owner, i.e. scarcity and uniqueness.

When you copy a cd, there is nothing that the author loses! He still has his original, he can perform it again and again, and besides, he did create the digital copy first, expressly for the purpose of duplicating and selling copies as if they were originals.

This is why, the only legal form of intellectual property is a trade secret. Once the author allowed it to be leaked out for profit or not, anyone should be able to copy it.

There is a hidden acknowledgment of this in the "fair use" rule.

Take care.

Anonymous said...

I think intellectual property is a valid form of property.

I write software. The software I write needs me to purchase expensive development software and hardware. Plus it takes months of my time and experimentation to write the software.

So I should get an income from my software. The software is produced as a result of my time and hard work and study.

However the complexity of intellectual property laws and bent lawyers is at fault.

Consider the university lecturer that wrote a book in his spare time. His book was on the same subject as his lectures. His greedy university sued him for the copyright of his book. A court ruled that the lecturer was paid to "perform" lectures but the contents of the lecture was his copyright. Additionally an employer only owns what it directly orders and it did not directly order the book to be written. The lecturer won and the copyright of the book was said to be his.

However in South Africa (from memory) one employee wrote a computer program from home entirely on his own. He taught himself programming and did everything himself on his own equipment at home. He bought the software into work and a court ruled his employer owned the copyright. Shock! This is so wrong! The company in question WAS NOT EVEN A SOFTWARE COMPANY!

Yet another court (in another country) ruled that a software project started independently by an employee before being brought into work, remains the copyright of the employee.

Lawyers excel at bullying people out of property and cash and quite frankly ignore statutory and case law. To lawyers the law is irrelevant. Can they threaten someone enough to get him/her to sign a contract giving away rights or frighten someone enough to give them money?

Lawyers have state-issued licenses to threaten and extort. They know this. Countries with weak regulation of lawyers suffer from this extortion. Governments do nothing about this.

Intellectual property is a valid form of property but laws that are at best random and differ from jurisdiction to jurisdiction and cost a vast, vast amount of money to defend make the system bent.

Look at facebook. The owner of it was attacked with _no_ evidence.

A lot of banks have contracts that say the employer owns all intellectual property created by the employee. So do they own holiday photographs? The camera you take the photograph with is in your possession. So that is a statutory copyright fine for you being in possession of your own holiday photos. Contract law (i.e. contract between you and bank) overs statutory copyright law.

There needs to be sensible law written on intellectual property. Confusing, vague case (judge made) law needs to be replaced by simple to understand statutory law.

Done some business with someone? They can come after you with implied confidentiality, which requires no written contracts. You can define anything to be a trade secret or something confidential. Hell I think drawing a circle or using a hashtable is a trade secret. Lawyers are non-technical and quite frankly are bent enough to sue someone for using a hashtable under trade secret case-law.

Hell I've interacted with the FSK blog by writing this comment. I'm going to pay a team of lawyers now to harass FSK under implied confidentiality. The case law in the UK is so vague it allows any sort of crap. THIS IS A JOKE BY THE WAY.

Anonymous said...

I think the guy that created The Thunderbirds, sold the rights to it and then couldn't make his own movie about The Thunderbirds.

It starts getting icky when the original creator doesn't have the rights to his own work. Still he did sell them. I hope he got good money at the time.

Suppose an artist paints a painting. It has a certain style that owes to the artist's education, upbringing, personality, hands etc.

He sells the copyright on that one painting.

He them paints another painting. It is clearly different but has the same style.

The guy he sold the painting to can then come after him under intellectual property law because his second painting has something in common with his first! Yes, the actual artist that produced it.

And there are lawyers slimy enough to do this. Effectively the artist is losing his right to work.

Anonymous said...

to a third commenter:

This would not happen if the intellectual property was limited only to an original work.

Besides, why don't you like the slime layers? These smart people merely pointed out that as the law stands today, the law considers a creation of a copy to be reducing the original.(in fact this is incorrect).

If this is so, then just because the author is the perpetrator doesn't change a thing. He is nevertheless stealing from the owner of his prior art!

To the second commenter:

You write software. Yeah, whatever. But what you really do is you want to sell something that you have for money, while at the same time not lose it! This is a fraud. It will not work other than through the enforcement by the state. Only state can help you to collect money from people, while losing nothing in echange.

Anonymous said...

>You write software. Yeah, whatever.
>But what you really do is you want
>to sell something that you have for
>money, while at the same time not
>lose it! This is a fraud. It will
>not work other than

The software I create has cost me in terms of time and equipment, tens of thousands of dollars to create. It took months of my time to create the original software and over the past few years I have spent months enhancing it.

I sell the software for tens of dollars. My operation is only made worthwhile if I can sell hundreds to thousands of copies.

The income I get is funneled into paying for me to enhance the software and to create new software.

Selling multiple copies is the only way to sell 1 copy cheaply, even though the original copy cost a vast amount more to produce.

If there isn't a stream of money coming in, there is no money to pay for my food and as such no time to enhance the software.

Without enhancement eventually the software would become incompatible and obsolete and would eventually die.

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