Ok this topic is about the legality of copyright laws, licensing of music, movies, videos, games; books, information in general.
This topic is not specifically designed for the discussion of the legality of file sharing or such, but more about what should be copyrighted, how it should be enforced and what should the limitations of copyright laws be. Feel free to discuss piracy (legalities only please no specifics on how to do so) like; how it effects the economy, good/bad, legal/illegal etc...
Personally I have believed up until recently that copyright law protected too much and it didn't allow for innovation as it did back during late 1800's. Patents were being submitted left and right by ordinary inventors (average people like you and me), now-a-days patents are coming in left and right from multi-billion dollar companies for general and often vague patents* (to prevent there competitor from building it before they have the money to do it). I hated copyright law, but then I started thinking, well if I were a music artists I would want to be paid for some of my work, but I would still want people to share it freely and manipulated as they choose (as long as they asked me, they wouldn't have
to compensate me). Then I discovered Linux and loved the idea about FREE distribution and manipulation without permission and how the Open-Source community flourished. But it wasn't exactly the type of business to get into to make money. It was the business to get into if you enjoyed programming and you did it for the better of the community than just to make money. (Like being a musician just to make money instead of loving the music).
Then I discovered Lawrence Lessig
, This Film Is Not Yet Rated
(warning in America this is a very mature--sexual--film), Steal This Film, Steal This Film 2
, and Good Copy Bad Copy
I have also bought almost every single book Lessig has written and I'm currently in the process of reading them. (Heck I should change my major to Copyright Law). Anyways, though, I would highly recommend everyone to watch all those documentaries and read at least one of Lessig's books.
THE COPYRIGHT SYSTEM DOES NEED REVISED
I do believe everyone in the world has the right to modify EVERYTHING with permission from the creator (not author nor composer, if and only if the creator wants to be asked for permission first). If permission is granted to makes changes without money, then so be it. However, if the creator wants money there should be an easy and affordable way to pay, so the creator gets compensated. Like this, if you want a picture of Goofy and Mickey Mouse on a DQ cake now-a-days you're not allowed to do so. But DQ should legally be able to charge a $1.00 or $3.00 more for a copyright image and then send the money to Disney. That way you can use the image and Disney gets compensated for the use of it. Now do you think $3.00 is worth the price for the image, maybe not. Disney though (including Sony, EMI, Universal Media, Warner Brothers, etc..) probably would want you to give up your annual income plus your first born for the use of the image, but that's not fair if only two dozen people may see the image (or eat it, lol). Now if 1,000+ were going to see the image I could see Disney (or any company) wanting to charge a lot more money. But there should be an affordable and easy way to compensate a creator (not author nor composer) for the work.
Another thing about music, if I were to upload a video to YouTube of my cats playing around with "Ice Ice Baby" (Vanilla Ice) in the background, there should be a website I can go to (SBK Records--owner of the copyright, unfortunately) owned by the studio where I can submit the URL, money, and my information so I can legally pay them for it and still use it.
Another things that really ticks me off about music is this: Most of your artists (especially singers) do NOT really own the LEGAL copyright to there own music. When most (not all) bands or singers sign with a studio you hand over your rights to YOUR property. Studios should NOT be the ones getting the compensation for my use of Vanilla Ice's--Ice, Ice, Baby. Vanilla Ice should be at least 95% of the money I pay toward him, the studio should get the small 5%. You could argue all day about "well Vanilla Ice wouldn't be popular if it weren't for SBK records" and such, but the studio is just providing the equipment to digitally store the music of the group. It would be like having a baby in a hospital and the hospital would own the rights to the baby because it provided the services for you to safely have the baby. It's not right. Look at the break down of prices for CDs
One thing I think would be a slow way for the media giants to gain respect in the piracy community would be to stop suing random "John Does" and start letting people pay money for what they have already downloaded. Basically if I downloaded "This Film Is Not Yet Rated," from the Internet, I should be able to go to the copyright owners' website and pay them anywhere from $0.01 up to (whatever amount they would like--as long as it is reasonable) $9.99 (for movies). This way they get money for what I am watching and I don't have to be worried about them sueing me or having done something illegal.
I would highly recommend watching Good Copy Bad Copy
But back to the reason I opened this topic...
What are your opinions on copyright law? Piracy?