Intellectual Property

Money for Nothing

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rolling stones

Surprise! Actual musicians have gotten diddly from the $370 million copyright infringement settlement between record companies and Napster et al.

Artist managers are girding for battle with their music overlords over when their clients are going to see some of the dough negotiated last year in copyright-infringement settlements with a host of Web sites….

"Artist managers and lawyers have been wondering for months when their artists will see money from the copyright settlements and how it will be accounted for," said lawyer John Branca, who has represented Korn, Don Henley, and The Rolling Stones, among others. "Some of them are even talking about filing lawsuits if they don't get paid soon."

Way to encourage and reward innovation, intellectual property law!

Read more here from The New York Post, with a classic Post-style headline: "Infringement!"

Or get a slightly more detailed analysis from CNET. ("Some on the talent side suspect the top four record companies of foot dragging or playing "hide and seek" with the cash…. If nothing else, the controversy illuminates the degree of distrust that exists between artists and the labels. As CD sales continue to shrink, look for more squabbling between them.")

More from reason here

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  1. Obsolete musicians whining to an obsolete industry.

  2. you better put out records DIY

  3. I told you so.

  4. Way to encourage and reward innovation, intellectual property law!

    Way to miss the boat, K M-W. You might as well add that the reason homeowners have property rights is to reward and encourage the housing industry.

  5. Even a conspiracy theorist, paranoid libertarian like me can get behind this type of reporting.

    Katherine Mangu-Ward, beware, you are merely being used. The more powerful perpetual-global-war-carbon-tax-cap-and-trade movement is using your freedom oriented bait to sell the idea that Reason is about libertarianism……Then they are hitting us on the head with stuff like “any free-market advocates opposed to WFB are just racist”

  6. Ed….I don’t get it? First off, that was the best line in her article and her article was the best one on Reason today…close to the China adoption story because that is heart tugging.

    She is refuting the single last resort of most respected intellectuals for supporting property rights. We always tell these peopel sure that soudns good in theory, but in practice that is never the way it works…government granted monopolies of ideas just go to those with better politcal conenctions or more expensive lawyers…not to the inventors….and the guys with expensive lawyers and good connections are really doing nothing more than using the state monopoly of force to gun down competition, steal money and then share it amongst themselves.

  7. You might as well add that the reason homeowners have property rights is to reward and encourage the housing industry.

    Ed, intellectual property is not real property.

    Real property has inherent scarcity: if I take your house, for instance, you are deprived of its use.

    IP, on the other hand, has only government-enforced artificial scarcity: if I copy your music recording, for instance, you can get your government thugs to come after me and throw me in jail or fine me; however, your copy of the recording is not magically destroyed by my making a copy of it.

  8. government granted monopolies of ideas

    Gabe, that’s where the mistake is. Rights are not the government’s to grant as a favor to the people. It is, however, the government’s obligation to protect our inherent property rights.

  9. Beer time for Ed. Have fun kids.

  10. IP, on the other hand, has only government-enforced artificial scarcity: if I copy your music recording, for instance, you can get your government thugs to come after me and throw me in jail or fine me; however, your copy of the recording is not magically destroyed by my making a copy of it.

    Umm, so severe devaluation by distribution isn’t destruction?

  11. Hey, they still get their chicks for free, so what the fuck are they complaining about?

  12. Umm, so severe devaluation by distribution isn’t destruction?

    Duh! Of course not. If someone builds a million houses just like yours does it destroy your home?

    You have no right to a guaranteed price for your stuff.

  13. and if we tell you the name of the game boys,
    we call it ridin the gravy train…

  14. Invisible airwaves crackle with life
    Bright antennae bristle with the energy
    Emotional feedback on timeless wavelength
    Bearing a gift beyond price, almost free

    All this machinery making modern music
    Can still be open hearted
    Not so coldly charted
    It’s really just a question of your honesty, yeah
    Your honesty
    One likes to believe in the freedom of music
    But glittering prizes and endless compromises
    Shatter the illusion of integrity

  15. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

  16. Okay, if we’re going to quote our fave lyrics …

    I’m smiling next to you, in silent lucidity

    or,

    Born into a scene, of angriness and greed
    Of dominance and persecution …

  17. As I was reading that blog entry, I wondered if copyright wouldn’t be so bad if it was nontransferrable. It seems to me that it is the transfer of the rights that causes much of the trouble, by concentrating huge numbers of rights in very few hands. What do people who know more about this think?

  18. Well, if they aren’t transferable at all, then each author would have to print, record, etc. as well as distribute his own works. Of course, one could be unable to transfer the ownership while retaining a right to license certain rights. There’s a touch of this in the European droit moral concept, which gives authors some residual rights in their works, even when they’ve sold their interests.

    I once toyed with the idea (for an article) of suggesting that we rework copyright law so that only individuals could own copyrights. Again, I wouldn’t limit their ability to license their rights or to make such licensing irrevocable by contract. Never really took this very far–maybe it’s a silly idea.

  19. “Some of them are even talking about filing lawsuits if they don’t get paid soon.”

    Record companies have been defrauding artists for scores of years. As much as I despise plaintiff attorneys (is it the “few bad apples” thing?), sic ’em boys. Go for punitive damages as well.

    IP rights thoughts
    Copyright – till the death of the creator, or 75 years, whichever is greater.
    Patent – 20 years from filing.
    Trademark – Eternal.

  20. Copyright – till the death of the creator, or 75 years, whichever is greater.
    Patent – 20 years from filing.
    Trademark – Eternal.

    My thoughts:
    Copyright – til the death of creator or 50 years, whichever is greater. The two 28-year-term era of copyright duration seemed to work well, so something around that length should be the goal.

    Patent – agreed, although some areas should probably be shorter, and business methods probably shouldn’t be patentable.

    Trademark – Eternal, so long as the product is still marketed.

  21. Trademark – Eternal, so long as the product is still marketed.

    I consider that an intelligent improvement over my proposal.

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