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Re: [dvd-discuss] [OT] Model for copyright?

On 3 Sep 2002, D. C. Sessions wrote:
> I can't claim that this is original, but it's certainly
> interesting:
> Proposed that the objective of incenting artists while
> enriching the public domain with still-valuable works is
> reasonably accomplished by determining when the artist has
> received *most* [1] of the commercial value of the work.

The idea that copyright exists to provide financial incentive to artists
is fallacious at best.  This was a notion conceived by the capitalists
very late in the game.

The purpose of copyright as described in the Constitution (promotion of
the progress of science by securing exclusive rights of writings to their
respective authors) is to preserve the integrity of a work by ensuring the
author approves each revision over some limited time (presumably until the
work has been solidified for posterity before the plagiarists and
condensors get their hands on it).  It only applies to scientific writings
because no other kind of writing requires that kind of protection.  For
example, it is the nature of fine art to feed upon, reinterpret, and
mimick the culture in which it is produced and, hence, other works of art.

It is nonsense to believe that authors need monetary incentive to write
(or filmmakers need monetary incentive to make films or sculptors need
monetary incentive to sculpt).  Authors write because if they didn't,
they'd explode.  In fact, I think you'd probably find that work done for
monetary incentive is sub-par when measured against work done for passion
or love.

When you start to buy into this idea of monetary incentive (and, more
abstractly, the concept of "deserving"), you start down a path of greed,
selfishness, exploitation and other horribly destructive practices that
can be avoided altogether.

Buy their arguments and you give them power... both indirectly and
directly.  You give them power by showing how influential they are and you
give them power buy agreeing to the legislation that gives them control of
money and culture.

Personally, I think the entire copyright system can be replaced with a
cryptographic signature system that can verify whether or not a work came
from a particular author.  (This would also solve the problem of
historical revision in digital media by news websites and the like.)

     Jeme A Brelin
 [cc] counter-copyright