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That copyright law should not extend to the internet

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adminadmin (PRO)
Hey everyone! I'm looking forward to debating some new people on this site :)

Copyright law
So, let's start with some basics - if I create some new creative work, that automatically (usually) gives me copyright. That means I'm the only one allowed to publish it. This dates back to the days when music publishers would print sheet music, and ensures only the composer had the right to sell the sheet music of their own music, because that's how they made money. These days, however, things are very different. Artists generally don't make money from selling physical copies of their products, not least because piracy is even easier nowadays, but mostly because performances, commissions and sponsorships are much more profitable. These are all ideas that were, in most artistic fields, uncommon at best when copyright was created (notwithstanding individual arts patrons who usually fund larger works through huge grants). Copyright is no longer serving its purpose on the internet, and certainly isn't ensuring artists are getting wealthy.


I propose creative works first published on the internet should, by default, be considered creative-commons licensable (with attribution required), unless they are already clearly covered by an existing copyright claim (essentially, it would need to be very clearly labelled as being copyrighted). This will shift the burden of proof onto copyright holders to show their work was originally covered by copyright, rather than sites (like this one) being forced to remove anything that might be covered by copyright as soon as we get a notice (and the burden being on the poster to show it was creative commons). This is a common pattern on sites like Youtube, where videos are often taken down or demonitised for containing copyrighted content, even if there is no actual proof showing the copyright belonged to the person making the claim.  In turn, this has led to a huge "copyright troll" industry of lawyers threatening to demonitise content unless large payments are made - an industry that would disappear overnight if this model were adopted. Should there be any doubt about user-generated content, most websites already have terms and conditions of use that cover this (for example, on edeb8, it is assumed you have copyright over what you post, and you give edeb8 the right to display it).

There would be three main benefits of this model:
  1. For regular internet users, it would be clearer which images, audio, video etc. they can copy. Despite 30ish years of internet, many still assume you can reuse stuff that doesn't have a copyright symbol on it. Since this is pretty much what everyone is doing de facto anyway, there is no point in enforcing a law stopping them.
  2. For artists, this means they can't be copyright trolled, and can spend more of their time just focusing on making art and securing funding for their projects the same way they usually do. It also means their work can get shared more widely, and since attribution is required, they can get the recognition they deserve.
  3. For larger institutions and publishers, this means they won't need to worry so much about the legal side of protecting artists' works, since most sharing of content takes place on the internet, and copyright is a super-abused law. Rather than worrying about things like clearances for samples their artists use, they can worry about what's important, such as promotion and organising tours.

The resolution is affirmed.

Return To Top | Posted:
2021-02-20 10:36:41
| Speak Round
Shadow RevolutionaryShadow Revolutionary (CON)
Copyright Law
     Copyright law should extend to the internet. Think about it for a minute. You're a songwriter. You write a song and post it on soundcloud, right? This person comes along and downloads the .wav file. With that file, they burn it into some cd's. Let's name this cd burner Bob. Let's name you Joe. Bob takes Joe's music, puts it on a cd, then labels it "Song number 1 -Bob" Meanwhile you're soundcloud is labeled "Song Number 1- Joe". See how this could be mixed up? Who really rights Eminem's songs if copyright isn't a thing on the internet? There are facts, but I will focus on the emotion part of this.

Imagine you're the best rapper... you just broke the world record for fastest speed, right? Then someone comes along (before you've become famous) and steals you lyrics, and you instrumental, then they post it and become famous making millions. Tell me you don't think that's wrong.
Return To Top | Posted:
2021-02-22 02:40:02
| Speak Round
adminadmin (PRO)
Something weird is going on with the time on this site - I should fix that asap. Sorry for any trouble.

I thank my opponent for his opening statement anyway. I would observe, first, that there is as-yet no response to my substantive argument. I outlined a model and three major substantive benefits thereof. All these points are extended.

My opponent has instead advanced his own argument based on emotion. First, note that he hasn't clearly defined the problem. Joe and Bob aren't quarreling about authorship, and even if they are, ultimately they both get fantastic music to listen to. The only issues come about where payment is concerned, and as I've noted, that's not really a thing for these kinds of scenarios in this day and age. Second, he also hasn't shown how copyright law would fix this problem (which doesn't exist). Third, he also fails to show why solving this problem (which doesn't exist) would be a good thing. That is the burden he will need to prove. Fourth, he also fails to acknowledge that my model already deals with this problem by requiring attribution by default.

His second argument is that I should tell him I don't think it's wrong for somebody to steal another person's creative work. Okay.

"I don't think it's wrong for somebody to steal another person's creative work"

I hope that's all I need to do to win that particular point. But in case you disagree anyway, I'd like to point out that music is already stolen all the time - even in the days long before the internet. There's a big difference between copyright - the right to copy a song - and the right to claim authorship of a song (aka theft). I'd also suggest that even though I primarily focused on music in my first round, copyright is also about any creative work, including the writing you're reading right now.

The resolution is affirmed.

Return To Top | Posted:
2021-02-25 17:09:26
| Speak Round

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