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Another RIAA question? - Mac Applications & Software

Has any worthwhile music gone into the Public Domain Lately? According to the US Constitution, Congress can grant temporary monopoly to inventors and authors for the use of their works(patents and copyrights). All I see is this temporary period, for copyrights at least, getting extended further into tyhe future. What has the RIAA done to help that end of the Constitutional bargain? Bill...

  1. #1

    Default Another RIAA question?

    Has any worthwhile music gone into the Public Domain Lately?

    According to the US Constitution, Congress can grant temporary monopoly to
    inventors and authors for the use of their works(patents and copyrights).
    All I see is this temporary period, for copyrights at least, getting
    extended further into tyhe future.

    What has the RIAA done to help that end of the Constitutional bargain?

    Bill

    Repeating Guest

  2. #2

    Default Re: Another RIAA question?

    in article newsguy.com, Diane Wilson at
    com wrote on 9/11/03 5:03 PM:
     
    >
    > All of this predates the recent antics of the RIAA. Copyright law
    > got changed decades ago to extend 75 years past the artist's
    > death. If the work was *ever* copyrighted (not everything was,
    > and not everything was covered "automatically" on creation as
    > is true now), and if the artist died after 1928, then it's
    > probably not public domain. The exceptions would be limited
    > to older works which were covered by the old 28-year copyright,
    > and which were not extended (you used to have to request
    > an extension), and whose copyrights expired before the
    > laws started changing.[/ref]

    I greatly appreciate this post.

    What bothers me about this setup is that the 75 year rule will be modified
    to 100 years, albeit after I am gons, so that music created in 1932 will
    also never get into the public domain. That is, lobbying and money can get
    you around Constituional provisions.

    Bill

    Repeating Guest

  3. #3

    Default Re: Another RIAA question?

    In article <BB868A2D.9E88%net>, net
    says... 
    > >
    > > All of this predates the recent antics of the RIAA. Copyright law
    > > got changed decades ago to extend 75 years past the artist's
    > > death. If the work was *ever* copyrighted (not everything was,
    > > and not everything was covered "automatically" on creation as
    > > is true now), and if the artist died after 1928, then it's
    > > probably not public domain. The exceptions would be limited
    > > to older works which were covered by the old 28-year copyright,
    > > and which were not extended (you used to have to request
    > > an extension), and whose copyrights expired before the
    > > laws started changing.[/ref]
    >
    > I greatly appreciate this post.
    >
    > What bothers me about this setup is that the 75 year rule will be modified
    > to 100 years, albeit after I am gons, so that music created in 1932 will
    > also never get into the public domain. That is, lobbying and money can get
    > you around Constituional provisions.[/ref]

    None of this is "getting around the Constitution's provisions." The
    Constitution gives Congress the right to create these laws. Congress
    has done that.

    The checks and balances are elsewhere. Intellectual property law is
    one of the few places where international law has had much success.
    Copyright law tends to be pretty standard around the world, at least
    in those countries which recognize intellectual property at all.
    But like all things, it can and does evolve over time. To the extent
    that any country varies from the agreed-upon policies, it creates
    a significant tension when it comes to enforcement and reciprocal
    agreements to enforce and respect other countries' laws and protected
    work. This is going to be interesting and unsettled for a long,
    long time.

    The second area of checks and balances is case law. Intellectual
    property law is both complex and contentious. When disputes arise,
    they end up in court, and court decisions, over time, determine how
    the law will actually be enforced. Note that for this process to
    happen, the legal process actually has to run to conclusion; cases
    get decided by judges and juries, decisions get appealed, opinions
    get written and then cited by other judges. Cases that do *not*
    run to conclusion do not set legal precedent; i.e., the case where
    a parent settles with the RIAA for $2000 after the RIAA sues a
    12-year-old child does not set *legal* precedent, no matter how
    intimidating it may be in practice, and no matter how much publicity
    it gets. The interesting cases will be the ones that don't get
    settled out-of-court. This process takes time, obviously.

    The third area of checks and balances lies with consumers. Although
    "fair use doctrine" has a long history in copyright law, people's
    understanding of it tends to be hazy. Even so, it's going to be
    very, very hard for the media industries to change the basic concept
    that if you buy it, you own it, and you can do what you want with it
    as long as you do not republish or redistribute. With or without
    changes in law, attempts by media industry to put severe constraints
    on this may run into stiff consumer resistance. If consumers don't
    buy materials becuase of constraints, limits on number of plays,
    or limited lifetime of physical media, the media will have to back
    off. This is going to take a while to settle out, too.

    Part of the reason that copyrights tend to run for so long is that
    there are very real constraints on what can be copyrighted. Unlike
    patents, which cover ideas and have a very strong time limitation,
    copyrights cover specific works, loosely fitting in the category of
    "creative" works. Specific creations are the property of the
    creative artists or workers or organizations, for as long the
    persons or organizations exist (plus extensions), with rights
    to transfer or license those rights by sale or other agreement.
    Conceptually, it's not much different from owning your car; it's
    yours and you can do what you want with it, but when you sell it,
    it belongs to someone else. Copyright law deals with the huge
    complications of distribution, becuase there needs to be
    clarification on what it means to buy or license a copy of the
    original work.

    Probably the best way to think of public domain is that is is
    a huge body of essentially dead work. Either it is so old that
    there was no copyright law at the time of its creation, or
    it was created more recently in a country which did not
    recognize intellectual property (such as the Soviet Union),
    or the creator has died long enough ago that the protections
    have expired. Very little current work will be in public
    domain any time soon. Note that simply because a work has
    been "abandoned" or "orphaned" by the death of an individual,
    or the end of an organization's existence, a work does not
    automatically go to public domain. It stays protected until
    the copyright runs out.

    Also, it helps to understand where derivative work falls into
    this whole complex area. If you create something that is
    similar to a copyrighted work, but you don't use the copyrighted
    original in your creative process, then the derivative work
    is yours; you own it and can copyright it. If you perform
    someone else's work, you may need to get rights to perform it,
    but the performance itself is yours and can be copyrighted.
    If you create a collection of other people's copyrighted work
    (such as a magazine, or an anthology), you need to obtain rights
    to publish the individual items, but the collection is considered
    a separate work and can be copyrighted. If you translate a
    work into another language, the translation is separate and
    can be copyrighted.

    Once these derivative works are created, they have their own timeline
    for copyright expiration. A work might be in public domain,
    but a performance of the work is very likely still protected.

    So that's the basics, more or less. I am not a lawyer, I don't
    play a lawyer on TV, and none of the above constitutes legal
    advice. The best guidance for general practice is to assume
    that anything is protected until you can verify otherwise.

    Diane
    Diane Guest

  4. #4

    Default Re: Another RIAA question?

    In article <newsguy.com>,
    Diane Wilson <com> wrote: 

    The Constitution specifies "limited times". Unlimited times "on the
    installment plan" is a way of getting around that. 

    If by elsewhere you mean "not on this Earth". Copyright law has been
    getting more and more restrictive and also longer with no balance at all.
     

    The RIAA and MPAA have bought enough judges to remove this; the
    Verizon v. RIAA case and the MPAA v. 2600 cases demonstrate this quite
    adequately.
     

    Database copyright, allowing copyright of works which have no creative
    element, is in the works now (and already a matter of international
    law). Pretty much everything else is already copyrightable.
     

    Which no copyright has in quite a while, and no copyright will.
     

    Wrong. Derivative works have been extended to cover ideas such as
    characters and settings, despite an explicit statute making ideas
    themselves uncopyrightable.
     

    A performance is not copyrightable, as it is not fixed in tangible
    form; only a recording of the performance is copyrightable. However,
    copyright law also forbids "unauthorized fixation" of a performance.
    --
    Matthew T. Russotto net
    "Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice, and moderation in pursuit
    of justice is no virtue." But extreme restriction of liberty in pursuit of
    a modi of security is a very expensive vice.
    Matthew Guest

  5. #5

    Default Re: Another RIAA question?

    Excellent reply!

    Matthew Russotto <speakeasy.net> wrote:
     
    >
    > The Constitution specifies "limited times". Unlimited times "on the
    > installment plan" is a way of getting around that. 
    >
    > If by elsewhere you mean "not on this Earth". Copyright law has been
    > getting more and more restrictive and also longer with no balance at all.

    >
    > The RIAA and MPAA have bought enough judges to remove this; the
    > Verizon v. RIAA case and the MPAA v. 2600 cases demonstrate this quite
    > adequately.

    >
    > Database copyright, allowing copyright of works which have no creative
    > element, is in the works now (and already a matter of international
    > law). Pretty much everything else is already copyrightable.

    >
    > Which no copyright has in quite a while, and no copyright will.

    >
    > Wrong. Derivative works have been extended to cover ideas such as
    > characters and settings, despite an explicit statute making ideas
    > themselves uncopyrightable.

    >
    > A performance is not copyrightable, as it is not fixed in tangible
    > form; only a recording of the performance is copyrightable. However,
    > copyright law also forbids "unauthorized fixation" of a performance.[/ref]


    --
    Andrew J. Brehm
    Fan of Woody Allen
    PowerPC User
    Supporter of Pepperoni Pizza
    Andrew Guest

  6. #6

    Default Re: Another RIAA question?

    In article <1g16u8t.uahdr44xxe68N%de>,
    de (Andrew J. Brehm) wrote:
     


    Yes. Matthew Russotto's response is far superior to the original post
    to which he responds.

    (But, unfortunately, the situation itself will never improve.)
    AES/newspost Guest

  7. #7

    Default Re: Another RIAA question?

    in article newsguy.com, Diane Wilson at
    com wrote on 9/12/03 8:01 AM:
     

    But is it the intent of the framers of our Constitution that Congress get
    around it forever as long as they are lobbied properly by monied interests?

    I repeat my question: When in the last 25 years did copyrighted music enter
    the public domain?


    Repeating Guest

  8. #8

    Default Re: Another RIAA question?

    in article newsguy.com, Diane Wilson at
    com wrote on 9/12/03 8:01 AM:
     

    Consumers ordinarily do not know these constraints. They come in packages
    where you cannot read them until you break the seal. They are written in
    tiny type in obtuse language. Copyright owner should have to go to court
    with clean hands I always hear mentioned.

    Bill

    Repeating Guest

  9. #9

    Default Re: Another RIAA question?

    in article newsguy.com, Diane Wilson at
    com wrote on 9/12/03 8:01 AM:
     

    Ideas cannot be patented. Inventions can. The inventor has to describe how
    to construct the invention. Sometimes the material or part has not yet been
    invented but the inventor has to describe how to use such a future part.

    Another gripe I have is that inventors working for someone have their patent
    rigths grabbed by their empoyer even on inventions not having any
    association with the employment.

    Why should the buyer have to suffer with the tensions between artist,
    producer, distributer, etc?


    Repeating Guest

  10. #10

    Default Re: Another RIAA question?

    In article <BB8775EF.9F9B%net>, Repeating Decimal
    <net> wrote:
     

    That is why only individuals, not companies, can obtain patents.
    Employers must explicitly require their employees' patents to be
    assigned to them.

    --
    Jerry Kindall, Seattle, WA <http://www.jerrykindall.com/>

    When replying by e-mail, use plain text ONLY to make sure I read it.
    Due to spam and viruses, I filter all mail with HTML or attachments.
    Jerry Guest

  11. #11

    Default Re: Another RIAA question?

    In article <BB87739E.9F99%net>, net
    says... 
    >
    > But is it the intent of the framers of our Constitution that Congress get
    > around it forever as long as they are lobbied properly by monied interests?[/ref]

    The time limits are still there. That meets the expressed content of the
    Constitution.
     

    Not much. And only old stuff.

    Diane
    Diane Guest

  12. #12

    Default Re: Another RIAA question?

    In article <BB877487.9F9A%net>, net
    says... 
    >
    > Consumers ordinarily do not know these constraints. They come in packages
    > where you cannot read them until you break the seal. They are written in
    > tiny type in obtuse language. Copyright owner should have to go to court
    > with clean hands I always hear mentioned.[/ref]

    Consumers will know the constraints when they run into them. A DVD that
    self-destructs in 48 hours after first play isn't exactly subtle. And
    consumers will balk after they've been burned. Probably not before,
    though.

    Diane
    Diane Guest

  13. #13

    Default Re: Another RIAA question?

    In article <BB8775EF.9F9B%net>, net
    says... 
    >
    > Ideas cannot be patented. Inventions can. The inventor has to describe how
    > to construct the invention. Sometimes the material or part has not yet been
    > invented but the inventor has to describe how to use such a future part.[/ref]

    Yes, there are constraints on patenting ideas, but the requirement
    for originality also constrains patents to make sure that there *is*
    an original idea behind each patent. (Or at least, that's the way
    it is supposed to work.)
     

    Yeah, it s, but it's a common practice, and trying to avoid it
    can limit your opportunities for employment.

    Some employers are worse than others. Some try to take rights to
    anything; others only want rights to things that are related to your
    job.

    By the way, it is entirely fair for employers to have a share
    if any of their time, money, or facilities have gone into
    creation. This is one of the best reason I know not to use
    your employer's computers for any personal business.
     

    Are you asking about ideal worlds or real worlds?

    Diane
    Diane Guest

  14. #14

    Default Re: Another RIAA question?

    Jerry Kindall <com> wrote:
     
    >
    > That is why only individuals, not companies, can obtain patents.
    > Employers must explicitly require their employees' patents to be
    > assigned to them.[/ref]

    And they usually do, at least with employees who create stuff. My contract
    with my employer is at least limited to stuff pertaining to our primary line
    of business, with anything else I create exempt, as well as specific prior
    inventions (it specifically lists and exempts software I created before I
    was employed there, even if I continue to work on it while employed there).

    Of course, the end result is that I simply don't follow up on the ideas I
    have that would fall under the contract but aren't part of what I'm working
    on there, instead filing them away for later. Thus stifling creativity...

    --
    Jeremy | com
    Jeremy Guest

  15. #15

    Default Re: Another RIAA question?

    In article <BB8775EF.9F9B%net>,
    Repeating Decimal <net> wrote:
     

    Very common statement, by both patent experts and patent nonexperts.

    But patent-land is an Alice-in-Wonderland-land where seemingly simple
    English words and statements -- this one included -- very often have
    legal meanings that bear little or even no resemblence to their
    ordinasry English meanings.
    AES/newspost Guest

  16. #16

    Default Re: Another RIAA question?

    In article <net>,
    speakeasy.net says... 
    >
    > The Constitution specifies "limited times". Unlimited times "on the
    > installment plan" is a way of getting around that.[/ref]

    "Death plus 75 years" is still a limited time. Nothing in the
    Constitution suggests that *any* law passed by Congress can
    never be changed.
     
    >
    > If by elsewhere you mean "not on this Earth". Copyright law has been
    > getting more and more restrictive and also longer with no balance at all.[/ref]

    I described several types of scenarios where the checks and balances
    exist on *this* Earth. Which Earth do you live on?

    As for the restrictiveness, I agree that it's getting worse, and I
    don't like it. I also don't think we've seen the last word on
    whether these restrictions will actually survive.
     
    >
    > The RIAA and MPAA have bought enough judges to remove this; the
    > Verizon v. RIAA case and the MPAA v. 2600 cases demonstrate this quite
    > adequately.[/ref]

    This is why federal judges are appointed for life. Somewhere along
    the appeals process, you will eventually get to a judge that hasn't
    been bought.

    Without reading up on the details of some of those specific cases,
    I can't comment on specifics.

    However, I do agree with judges who have decided that redistribution
    of other people's copyrighted work is not an expression of free
    speech. I also have the opinion that unless your service agreement
    with an ISP expressly forbids them to reveal your identity, *and*
    such agreements have been validated at the level of, say, confidentiality
    agreements between patients and doctors, or lawyers and their clients,
    then it is not a violation of your privacy if the RIAA obtains a
    court order based on specific evidence that a crime is likely to
    have been committed, and with the constraints that such evidence
    must be presented to show sufficient cause to justify a search.
    And if presented with a legally approved search warrant, I'm not
    aware that Verizon or any other carrier would have reason not
    to comply.

    Read up on search and seizure case law, and don't forget to
    read the appropriate sections of the Constitution and the Bill
    of Rights. Nobody has unlimited rights about anything; one
    of the basic function of law is to find the balance when
    different people's rights come into conflict.
     
    >
    > Database copyright, allowing copyright of works which have no creative
    > element, is in the works now (and already a matter of international
    > law). Pretty much everything else is already copyrightable.[/ref]

    Yup. That's why I said "loosely fitting the category of creative
    work." It doesn't have to meet any standards of great literature
    or music.

    A database has both structure and selective content, which implies
    both intelligence and work to create. Where do you want to draw
    the line on intellectual property?
     
    >
    > Which no copyright has in quite a while, and no copyright will.[/ref]

    Just to be argumentative, tell me why that's a problem.
     
    >
    > Wrong. Derivative works have been extended to cover ideas such as
    > characters and settings, despite an explicit statute making ideas
    > themselves uncopyrightable.[/ref]

    It depends. A "franchise universe" such as Star Trek probably
    would make some interesting case law. That doesn't imply that
    *any* character from *any* novel is copyrightable.


    Diane
    Diane Guest

  17. #17

    Default Re: Another RIAA question?

    Diane Wilson <com> wrote: 
    >>
    >> The Constitution specifies "limited times". Unlimited times "on the
    >> installment plan" is a way of getting around that.[/ref][/ref]
     
     
    >>
    >> If by elsewhere you mean "not on this Earth". Copyright law has been
    >> getting more and more restrictive and also longer with no balance at all.[/ref][/ref]
     
     
     
    >>
    >> The RIAA and MPAA have bought enough judges to remove this; the
    >> Verizon v. RIAA case and the MPAA v. 2600 cases demonstrate this quite
    >> adequately.[/ref][/ref]
     
     
     

    Part of the problem is that the law that RIAA and MPAA were instrumental
    in getting passed allows for them to subpoena this type of information
    without taking it before a judge. This is one area where how the various
    appeals end up being handled will be determining a lot of precedence. It
    may still end up where the right to the information will be upheld, but
    the law allowing RIAA and the like to get the information without getting
    a judge to sign a warrant may be invalidated.

    Joe Heimann

    (rest snipped)

    Joe Guest

  18. #18

    Default Re: Another RIAA question?

    in article 120920031331371631%invalid, Jerry Kindall at
    invalid wrote on 9/12/03 1:31 PM:
     

    True, that is my point. Such assignment is seldom negotiable.

    Bill

    Repeating Guest

  19. #19

    Default Re: Another RIAA question?

    in article newsguy.com, Diane Wilson at
    com wrote on 9/12/03 1:43 PM:
     

    Right now, I have found that DVDs can take over the player in such a way
    that you cannot skip credits or unwanted trailers. You don't even get the
    right to watch only what you want to watch.

    Bill

    Repeating Guest

  20. #20

    Default Re: Another RIAA question?

    in article newsguy.com, Diane Wilson at
    com wrote on 9/12/03 1:48 PM:
     
    >
    > Yes, there are constraints on patenting ideas, but the requirement
    > for originality also constrains patents to make sure that there *is*
    > an original idea behind each patent. (Or at least, that's the way
    > it is supposed to work.)[/ref]

    I will reiterate. Only inventions, not ideas, can be patented. Nevertheless,
    that is now being fuzzed over.

    It seems that the US Patent Office has given up looking for originality. It
    is leaving that to the courts. For example, The person who got for the
    second patent on a toy called "Levitron" is the one making money.

    Bill

    Repeating Guest

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