Weblog:   The Right Term is Copyright Infringement
Subject:   I've invented a matter replicator
Date:   2002-12-16 18:06:26
From:   grepsedawk
Response to: I've invented a matter replicator

I used the matter replicator analogy for two reasons. 1) I am not overly familiar with past precedents. I'm not a student of such things. 2) The essential difference between copies of digital works (software, music, movies) and physical works (books, computers, and automobiles) is that exact duplicates can be made of the former and practically no cost, but the latter requires investment of raw material, engineering skills, machinery, etc. The matter replicator puts the two on an equal footing. Thus putting a publisher like O'Reilly in the same realm as BMG or Sony.

Since you bring it up, sheet music, tape recordings, and vcrs are not the same as what is currently happening in the music space. 1) Exact duplicates cannot be made of these items. 2) They aren't necessarily cheap, a tape and a VHS tape still cost more than a blank CD or digital transfer. 3) They require equipment that can be expensive if you want to make copies in mass. 4) The global connection that allowed for a worldwide market for these items was either slow (mail order catalog) or none existant.

The fact that exact copies can be made of a song, for pratically no money, then shared with a global community, again, for no money, puts copyright infringement of music works in a different place than your examples. It is similar, but it is an order of magnitude greater.

A better example would be software copying. However, we know that warez sites are illegal, and we know that the Business Software Alliance (BSA), can get Federal Marshalls to raid your computer if it is suspected of using illegal software. I'm talking about a company that doesn't even know that a user installed their personal copy of Adobe Photoshop on a work machine to view the occasional eps file; not about a company that is making it their business to copy Windows XP and sell it to people through eBay. If this use of Adobe Photoshop is copyright infringement, how much more so the entire ripped CD of Sting's latest album available via Kazaa?

You're right, there is no evidence that music copying by consumers has harmed recording industry profits. However, your claim that their profits rose during the Napster years implies a causal relation between copyright infringement and music sales that cannot be proven.

Your final paragraph gets to the heart of what I tried say, perhaps to obliquely. What is fair use? Tim asked a dozen questions about what is fair use of a music cd. Most of them are quibbling and ignore a person's inherent gut feeling of, "Would I like what I am doing unto this other if it were done unto me." Thus my matter replicator analogy, an attempt to give Tim a chance to answer fair use in a way that could affect his business. While Tim is willing to give fair use of music a chance to get legs and develop, mature and find a market, would he be so willing to do the same if fair use meant his books were being shared freely in the very market he wanted to sell to?

Ultimately, I feel that there is a change happening. That music distribution is going to adapt to a model preferred by customers, and this model is appearing to be online distribution, possibly P2P, not just B2P. But, I know that the current form of sharing, as done by most people, is not fair use. It is copyright infringement, it is illegal, and customers should not use illegal methods to force an industry to change. That's a kind of corporate terrorism.

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  • I've invented a matter replicator
    2005-01-24 11:40:49  GinEric [View]

    Please do a favor, the BSA is the Boy Scouts of America, not the business alliance [does that sound like the RIAA to you? It does to me]. Tell the business alliance to change their name, the Boy Scouts of America had it first.

    On the subject of software piracy: as a songwriter I long ago advised programmers of what was coming, and asked them to join us. We, as songwriters, have really set all of the precedences and made the laws for Copyright. Don't give credit to congressmen and senators, they were merely carrying out our will, often with much resistance, which ended up in the courts, where we had to fix the crooked clauses they put into the bills and legislation.

    We know who was paying them, the movie industry [R.I.A.A.] and its movie stars, producers, and directors; through bogus campaign contributions, in return for favors like "sleeping at the White House." Clinton had a lot of female singers, actresses, and movie producers "sleep over." Usually in the Lincoln room [I always wondered why that room in particular].

    From "Designing Women" to Ms. Ethridge, deals were made in the Lincoln bedroom for Music Industry R.I.A.A. legislation; it's on tape, the U.S. Secret Service knows this is the truth, don't bother trying to argue against it. They are there, just like Nixon's tapes.

    It costs you quite a bit to copy a song. If you have a decent computer [$1,000.00] with a CDR [$150.00] and/or a DVDR [$300.00], then you add the cost of each CD, about $1.00

    At a penny a page, I could print a book on my computer just as easily, for about a dollar. So the comparison of music and video vs. print doesn't hold up.

    I have, in fact, printed books, of my own of course, on my computer. I think Steven King does the same and then goes to a big printer to make mass copies at around the same cost, about $1.00 per copy.

    CD's and DVD's cost the music and moviemakers about the same thing, in the end, $1.00 each. It's the magic number in the entertainment industry.

    You make it for a buck, and sell it for $10.00

    That's also standard industry practice, of all industry, make ten times the profit. Even computer manufacturers. It's what they don't teach in business school, and it's as old as business itself.

    Now, where does the money go?

    First, half has to go to the distributor and retailer, or, if you charge $20.00 for a CD or DVD, you get half, $10.00, and the distributor usually takes 10% [the magic $1.00} while the retialer, like Walmart, makes the other $9.00

    This way, Walmart can do closeout sales, and empty their stock shelves by selling at near cost. Some older stuff the get for less, cutouts, maybe $2.00 or $3.00 each as the record company clears out its stock, and they can sell these at the retailer as low as $2.99 and still make a profit! Or $3.99 for the $3.00 cost one.

    This is about business; these people don't lose money, believe it, they are in business to make money, not lose it, and they know how from about 7,000 years of experience, not just a statistically zero value of four years at Harvard.

    At the top of the food chain, belive it or not, is the songwriter, the author. He controls all of it, if his lawyers are sharks, he is killer whale, if they are Predators, he is Arnold Schwartzenegger.

    Most new songwriters are also performers and they accept a measly two and one-half cents per song per copy sold. Established artists, like Michael Jackson, can command may that magic $1.00 per album. But until the Internet and downloading, none could ever get $1.00 per song.

    And if the author bypasses all of the record companies, labels, distributors, and retailers, he can either start his own site and collect the full amount, or he can use another site and pay them some fee. Steven Jobs' fee is too high already and he's beginning to resemble his movie industry buddies at 40 or 50 cents per song. I had advised Derek Sivers of CDBaby.com to be wary of Mr. Jobs and good ole acid head Steve proved me right; he's just another con on the con.

    Jobs reneged on his deal, as he always does; he's a good thief that always make money for his clients, like Heimy Rothstein of "The Godfater."
    If you doubt this, go see the movie "Pirates of Silicon Valley." Which a factual movie about how the big software guys made their billions, by stealing.

    So the circle has come full turn and now the software programmers, developers, and Website companies are beginning to realise that it is they who will soon be Copyright Infringed. Steal a little image here, a little paragraph of code their, some forms, etc., and the Website owner has paid to set up and finance some fly-by-night website that is is using his copyrighted site to develope their own without paying a website designer.

    As for the software, it gets hacked everyday.

    Like music downloading, bootleg software downloading and sharing is everywhere. They're in the same boat as the creators of music have been in for hundreds of years.

    So how do you get fairly compensated for your creations?

    Changes in the medium. Just as in music. Subcarrier and hidden ISRC type keys encoded into the work itself.

    This can not only be detected by humans, it can be detected at the speed of light by computers, especially the computer from which you are downloading.

    You can make this so intricate as to sideband encode it into a single text font, like those old spy movie dots on a stamp that turned out to be microfilm.

    And, any computer contacting your computer can discover that you have a copy of a copyrighted work, and whether or not it is a legal copy. It can also track how many times you broadcast this copy by offering it for download. The code gets stripped out by the routers on the Internet, and sent via a co-router to the reporting database network.

    It doesn't matter where it gets routed, because network, satellite, palm jobbies, wireless, they are all routed and the copyright tracking sidebands are routed to the creators source database and reported as a broadcast, because that is what it is, a broadcast. The nanosecond you put it on the Internet, you are broadcasting.

    Currently, many lyric sites and other sites are offering free lyric downloads. This will come to an end. This is nothing less than publishing of the music words, which are lyrics, and which constitute 50% of the song in general. No, lyrics, like programs and books, are not free. Nor is a module of Microsoft Windows Source code.

    Fair Use use to apply to a person "buying" the first copy in the form of a manuscript, sheet music, or a record. It still stands. Usage thereafter that is allowed is a reasonable copy for personal use, storage in case the original breaks, and maybe to listen to on a differnet medium, such as a cassette or CD while driving in your car. It never meant lending your buddy a copy [as if anyone ever actually lends a CDR, they trade or barter them for profit, even it that profit is only a social grace, you still get paid back with other favors and therefore you have profitted].

    And is sure as hell never meant putting it on a website where everyone could download a copy for free. That idea and tact is so full of holes it wreaks of rats and rotten cheese.

    Free music? Free "your butt!" Why don't you give that away?

    As for the other side of the coin, children and teenagers downloading, even college students and adults, is actually Fair Use if they have to download it to listen to it to see if they like it. It's like walking into Tower Records and listening in a private booth or something to see if you like a new CD by some artist. I, as an author and performing artist, see absolutely nothing wrong with "test listening" a song.

    But I am not the R.I.A.A., the Saoran of the Music Industry, which should be destroyed, along with it's "golden" rings to save Middle Earth and the Age of Men.

    The R.I.A.A. has no "author" members. It is a fact that you cannot join the R.I.A.A. if you are a songwriter. Did you know that?

    The R.I.A.A. is the same old street cons that existed in Rome and Jerusalem to sell you false weighted gold. They are street people wearing suits and carrying letters of introduction from the kings and nobles of the universities and other businesses. There are no songwriters nor any true authors in the R.I.A.A. They are not only the guy hanging on a cross besides Christ, the offensive one and not the one who admitted his guilt, they are also the ones that put Him there!

    A person cannot get any lower than a member of the R.I.A.A. In Someone's famous words, "they shall crawl on their bellies throughout the Earth." And crawl they do, into every creak and cranny of the author's pocketbook.

    And now, they've spread to other people's pocketbooks. If you had a matter replicator, or a software program, they would steal without hesitation.

    Know who you're dealing with here. These people are surrounded by major drug dealers, organized crime, crooked accountants, and more. They are the ones living high off the hog on the backs of others. They are the people at a social gathering that can't wait to get their digs into you and expose your every secret, strip you of your dignity, and steal what they can from the resulting corpse. They are ghouls in every sense of the word because, yes, they do, indeed, steal from the dead.

    So, now that you know who you're dealing with at the R.I.A.A., treat them according, as Caesar would, hold these enemies closer than your friends, and as the Duke of Milan would, demand from them the pound of flesh that each Shylock at the R.I.A.A. owes to their King.

    If you want to make money from your software or your music, stay away from them and try working with Authors only. And make sure that the author has bonafide credentials and is not a member of one of these crooked organizations.

    As I said, the Age of the Internet has deprecated the former things, and they are all past, the new millenium is the age of the end of the distributor/marketer/retailer chain and the Internet is the medium now.

    The author is now the creator, distributor, marketer, and retailer of his product and no longer needs any of the uncreatives. Let them die off, don't feed them any longer. A starved parasite is a dead parasite. And the Internet is the R.I.A.A. vermin's Insecticide and Exterminator.

    Tell those who work for the R.I.A.A. to start looking for a job because the one they have will soon be "outsourced" by the owners, the Authors who created their jobs in the first place.

  • Tim O'Reilly photo I've invented a matter replicator
    2002-12-17 11:42:17  Tim O'Reilly | O'Reilly AuthorO'Reilly Blogger [View]

    I still feel that you haven't read my article.

    1. I agree that what many people are doing on P2P networks is copyright infringement. There are many fair uses, but there are also infringing uses. However, the fact that the two shade into each other means that we must grapple strenuously with the issue, rather than simply trying to fit new wine into old bottles.

    2. Matter replicator or not, perfect copies or not, I argue that p2p file sharing will *never* replace publishing, because physical distribution is not what defines the role of the publisher. (Heck, if physical distribution was the critical factor, would virtually every major publisher have outsourced most of it?) Software is indeed a good analogy. Physical distribution of software is now a fairly small part of the market, yet software publishers haven't gone away. Infringing copies of software have been available for decades, and yet Microsoft has amassed a $40 billion hoard. Web content is freely copyable, yet Yahoo! and Google and AOL and MSN have emerged as major "distributors" of that content, and folks like yourself post on the O'Reilly Network as well as on your own site.

    3. While we don't have a matter replicator yet, many O'Reilly books ARE available in online form, and I do grapple daily with issues of copyright infringement. I am not at all happy to see people selling CDs containing copies of our books on eBay, or hosting them on websites in Romania or Russia--we have a couple of people who spend a fair amount of time dealing with infringing copies. But nonetheless, I argue that fear of file sharing is overblown--and in fact, that shoplifting of physical goods is a larger threat to IP holders than file sharing, because it has only downside, and due to the mechanics of attention distribution, sometimes a critical downside.

    My point is that the fear-mongering about the death of the music industry obscures the real issues, which are to understand what are the fair uses, how people can best get paid, and how to get on with the business of building the future.

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