Why Do Copyright Industry Profits Get to be the Yardstick for Civil Liberties?

Why Do Copyright Industry Profits Get To Be The Yardstick For Civil Liberties? http://t.co/dBadshbe That’s a damned good question!

Cutting to the core (after an excellent intro and postal analogy):

If the copyright industry can’t sell their products in the face of sustained civil liberties, they get to go out of business or sell something else instead. Mustard, perhaps.

The important trap to observe here is that it’s not our problem if the copyright industry’s sales are slumping – whether they are or not. It is irrelevant to the debate on civil liberties online. By starting to discuss the profits issue, the copyright industry wins the framing of the debate – that they should somehow have a right to such profit; that society must be shaped so they can continue to make a profit. No entrepreneur gets that luxury.

The copyright industry is not a stakeholder in copyright monopoly legislation. They are a beneficiary. There’s a difference.

In fact the only point to copyright is to benefit the public – not the owners of the copyright. Read the US Constitutiion and it’s not even clear if entertainment can even be protected by Copyright. After all in this context:

“To promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries.”

…Useful Arts is the work or artisans making things. There’s actually nothing in there about protecting the revenues of copyright holders for many, many time longer than intended simply to protect profits.

Now, we often see people falsely claim that this clause of the constitution guarantees authors copyrights (or inventors patents). But that is not the case. It merely gives Congress the power to do sofor the expressed purpose of “promoting the progress of science and the useful arts.” And, in case you’re wondering, when originally written, the “science” part was directed at copyright, and it really meant “learning.” Going back to the original intent, it most certainly was not created to cover all kinds of creativity — but certainly the law has changed over time.

from Mike Masnick’s Yes, Copyright’s Sole Purpose Is To Benefit The Public article from earlier this week.

Adapt or die are the choices the studios, labels and other members of the old media have. Destroying the Internet for their own purposes and business, is NOT a choice. And we, the people, will make sure of it.

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