In Brito: What’s Wrong With a Copyright Alert System? Stephan Kinsella wonders why so many critics of copyright can’t make the paradigm shift and realise that it is copyright that is the problem, not a mere few aspects of its legal implementation.
Even Stephan seems happy to accept a ‘scaled back’ implementation rather than insist on abolition, by which I suspect he’s still fixated on term reduction – “And this means copyright, which is the engine behind all these things, is wrong, and must fall, or at least be radically scaled back, not strengthened.”
Copyright annuls the people’s right to copy, to leave it, by exclusion, in the hands of a few. See T.Paine
The only way one could ‘fix’ copyright and still keep it (until such time as its brainwashed supporters die out) is to exempt individuals, i.e. copyright is reformed into a monopoly that constrains only unnatural persons – corporations.
A corporation is an artificial entity in the first place, having no natural rights, so subjecting such a legal artifice to the legal artifice of a monopoly offends only economists, not ethicists.
I think Stephan would find this a far better ‘solution’ than the half-baked “Let them share Elvis” idea of a shorter copyright term, which would simply result in far more draconian enforcement, more kids in prison, more families bankrupted, and everyone who suggested a shorter term being ‘the answer’ being treated like a pariah.
Remember, there are no corporations languishing in prison for copyright infringement. That’s not because they are upstanding citizens (able to resist the instinct to enjoy their natural liberty to share and build upon their own culture), but because they have no bodies.
As a practical matter if this gets any traction at all:
Bob makes lots of copies of Fred’s recorded song which has this new non-human only copyright protection.
Bob, being a human is exempt or cannot be sued for violating Fred’s copyright (word it better if you can) so all well and good.
Bob sells these copies at arms length to ABZ Music which puts them on the shelves of their stores nationwide.
In you proposed plan, can Fred sue ABZ Music?
all the best,
Rick Falkvinge introduced it in A Better Definition of “Non-Commercial”
In figuring out how it works, it’s pretty straightforward. Copyright would work just like it does today, except that once all the infringing/culpable parties have been identified, the individuals (natural persons) are exempt from litigation (under copyright or related law).
Thus, in your example if ABZ Music is a corporation (neither a natural person, nor a group thereof) and Fred could sue ABZ Music today, then Fred can sue ABZ Music after this reform.
Simply by dint of being exempt doesn’t mean that illicit copies made by individuals cease to be illicit copies, nor does it mean that if it is today an infringement for corporations to commission or authorise individuals to produce illicit copies, it wouldn’t be after the reform.
Bear in mind that this reform is not intended to “make copyright work”. It would remain a legislative travesty, but at least it would be made ethical, ‘declawed’ against natural persons. Obviously, people who create companies or corporations (unnatural persons) to do business (or simply engage culturally) must still put up with their corporations being at risk of copyright litigation (with potential directorial liabilities).
This reform may get traction because while most people support copyright (making abolition unappealing), many may assume, or may be persuaded, that it should only apply to corporations – because they believe copyright is a mechanism for ensuring corporations pay long suffering artists for the commercial exploitation of their art.
Grandmothers collecting Karaoke CDs are not to be sent to prison (or even given suspended sentences). That inhumanity still happens if you shorten copyright’s term to 14+14 years.