Sunday, January 30, 2022

Say Again?

 "Say again" and "Come again" can be synonymous, depending on the context. Only the first is a potential synonym for "restatement", but when it comes to a restatement of copyright law --or any law-- one should not assume that the so-called restatement is true to the letter of the law.

As I remember it, Voltaire wrote in French, "If you would converse with me, you must first define your terms." Modern online dictionaries restate "would" as "wish to". 

By the way, Voltaire also wrote, "Toutes les histories anciennes, comme le disait un de nos beaux esprits, ne sont que des fables convenues."

Precis: History is no more than conventionally accepted fables (as one of our fine wits says).

And so, to a definition of the terms of copyright. Legal blogger Ava K. Doppelt, representing the law firm Allen Dyer Doppelt and Gilchrist PA has written a particularly clear an easy-to-understand explanation of copyright that begins with a quiz.

Everyone who thinks they know something about copyright should take that quick quiz.

Original link:

The trouble with the concept of copyright is that it has a dual purpose. Not only ia copyright intended to promote the advancement of art and science, but also  it is to incentivize scientists and artists to devote their time and talents to the arts and sciences, and to ensure that those who excel can earn enough by their creativity and skill to do their thing full time.

"Who in their right mind would write a book knowing that some tech company could nearly immediately publish an online version – without paying the author for the rights – because they think everyone in the world should be able to read that book?"

She opines that anyone who produces creative, copyrightable works ought to pay attention to the problems with the American Law Institute's Restatement of copyright project.  

Chris Castle of Music Tech Policy and also of Artists Rights Watch shares a telling transcript of an interview with a Spotify worker which goes to the heart of why--if one extrapolates-- there is a a desire in some quarters to restate copyright, for instance to make the case that streaming music, for example, is not copyright infringment.

"The Problem Is Not To Pay People Money"

The man says, "I think Taylor Swift doesn't need .00001 more a stream. The problem is this: Spotify was created to solve a problem. The problem was this: piracy and music distribution. The problem was to get artists' music out there. The problem was not to pay people money."

People who write books or make music, probably also like to buy food and pay the rent or mortgage. Copyright law is supposed to ensure that they earn enough from the works by being paid money! Streaming is proving disastrous for musicians, especially because of all the black boxes and frozen mechanicals.

All the best,

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