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Seems many people still ignore the fundamental historical reason for Patents and Copyright, so let me spell it out once again:

It is a deal between the author/inventor and society, backed by the state/authorities. In exchange for full disclosure of the invention (patents) or publishing the work to eventually become public domain (copyright) the authorities grant a limited monopoly. The original term was 14 years for both patents and copyright (Queen Anne).

The reason for this deal was to give an incentive to publish and thus make knowledge available to everyone - to ensure progress by sharing.

Always keep this in mind when thinking about or discussing the so-called "Intellectual Property" minefield. It's current form has perverted the original goal and thus needs to be readjusted back to its roots IMHO. That's what I am fighting for. #kthxbai
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The statute of Anne was designed to protect the authors from abusive freeloading book printers. Now it's being used by the same parties to screw artists.

That to me is the big problem at least with UK government ... the "music" industry is irrelevant. The question is not "is the industry doing well", it is "are the artists doing well" - and the next question is "why not".

Given the answer to that appears to be "because the industry takes all the money instead" the conclusions then follow logically...
 
+Alan Cox hm. I thought The Statute of Anne was made to protect British publishers from their Scottish competitors that were reprinting their books without any compensation or agreement. It was never about authorship rights but really about the right to copy, hence copyright. But I could be wrong. Will check my history books again. BRB ;-)
 
+Alan Cox The industry takes a lot of money because they are basically like VCs. Most of their investments will never turn a profit, so they have to extract what look like unfair payments from the artists. Bands have a choice about whether to try to go with a big label with all the promotion, networking and easy access to technical talent that will bring, or try to get the interest of a smaller label or remain unsigned (or form their own label).

At least, that's what I learned from reading a blog post by a banker on the subject.
 
+Robin Green The industry takes the money because it can. It's a commercial organisation for the purposes of making its shareholders rich.

Where they go over the line is when they then do their best to lock people into long contracts with them and to block off rival distribution systems, ensure that all the money from royalty arrangements for bands they are not promoting tend to end up in their pockets, and actively seek to stop real competition.

Most of the industry is obsolete, it needs to go away. Then the artists will actually make the money.
 
The only real lines that exist in such societies for sociopathic corporations are those that governments and/or the people are willing and able to mobilize to actively maintain.
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