Originally posted by Nordstrodamus
I knew I'd touch a nerve here, but really I was just trying to be brief by lumping the artists in with the labels. I'm all for cutting out the labels and giving the lionshare to the artist.
Ultimately, I think the copyright thing is out of control for all artists.
You're conflating artists and publishers again. Stop that.
Copyright protects publishers. That's what its original intention was, and that's what the current implementation increasingly does. It's only been enlightened enough to serve the publicl interest briefly, and we're entering the other side of that era.
You can rest assured that if copyright is being used to screw consumers, it's also being used to screw artists. At the dawn of copyright, publishers pushed hard for a lifelong, inherent copyright, and they trotted out the image of a creator earning a living from his work. But here's the trick: If a creator has a lifelong copyright, and she wants to be published, she has to sign a contract with a publisher. Guess what the terms are: Transfer of copyright. So the artist had the choice of a lifelong copyright that earned nothing, or giving the publisher a lifelong copyright that earned the artist whatever the publisher deigned, and the publisher a lifetime of income. That was the real ruse, and it's the ruse behind every subsequent move to extend the reach and duration of copyright. It's never about the artists, although publishers will never fail to trot out an image of a poor, starving artist when their motives are questioned.
I'm 100% in agreement that a shorter copyright would spure creativity (and I'd abolish the idea of derivative works while I was at it). But the reason it would so is by shutting off guaranteed revenue streams after a period of time, and that's anti-business, so we can't have that! And if the Constitution is trampled and the culture impoverished, so what? What matters, of course, is that vested interests have steady and guaranteed revenue streams.
Regarding keeping honest people honest. I don't think the guy wanting to play his music in his mp3 car deck is being dishonest. Also, an argument can be made that music trading is in some respects a very righteous technical antidote to a corrupt political system's disregard for the public's will in pandering to big money special interests.
Absolutely. But since copyright law is going the other way, Apple is having to make more pragmatic arrangements. They had to make some compromises with the RIAA to get even this far. We can hope, and push, for legislation that restores some sanity to IP law, but in the meantime this service has the real potential to show corporate America that the old, trusting way really is better. It's not ideal, but it's a step in the right direction, and a big step away from the worst-case appeasement strategies of Microsoft and Real Networks.