[free-sklyarov] Another ebook "processor"

Josiah Draper kreizykid at hotmail.com
Mon Aug 20 00:29:53 PDT 2001

Funny, I've learned more things about copyright from this list than any of
my high school teachers. Isn't a rich nation like the us supposed to be
teaching these basic concepts?

From: Bob Smart <bobds at blorch.org>
Reply-To: bobds at blorch.org
Organization: Blorch!
To: free-sklyarov at zork.net
Subject: Re: [free-sklyarov] Another ebook "processor"
Date: Sat, 18 Aug 2001 09:32:37 -0700

On Friday 17 August 2001 01:26, you wrote:
> on Thu, Aug 16, 2001 at 11:04:41AM -0700, Jeme A Brelin (jeme at brelin.net)
> > On Thu, 16 Aug 2001, Sonja V. Tideman wrote:
> > > Copyright is a delicate bargain.  The government creates a temporary
> > > artificial monopoly on a creative work to allow the creator to gain
> > > a profit.
> >
> > This is the propaganda of the copyright industry and an absolute lie.
> It *is* the original intent of copyright.

Ummm...actually, not it most definitely is NOT the original intent.
Copyright was established as a mechanism to enrich society, and any economic
incentives for authors that accompany it are merely the means to that end,
not the end itself.

But don't take my word for it.  Get it from Thomas Jefferson, who wrote
the reasons behind it at the time.

> > The public (through their agency, the government) restricts, for a
> > limited time, the natural rights of the majority to distribute copies
> > or derivatives of individual expressions of an idea and reserves those
> > rights exclusively, for that same limited time, for the creator of the
> Interesting thought, and it does raise some interesting avenues of
> thought, but I find it a highly dubious proposition.

Well, that's what the guys who ESTABLISHED our system of copyrights said
were trying to do.

> For the author of,
> say, a serial work, the power to impose a scarcity of competing versions
> of a work he's created himself can have a significant economic benefit.
> Consider, say, the prolific author of our times, Gates.  Continued
> availability via public publication of earlier versions of his "Windows"
> saga would likely significantly impact sales of newer releases in the
> series.  Copyright is the right to make, or not to make, copies.

Yes, let's DO consider Mr. Gates.  He's not an author, he derives his living
from the intellectual effort of other people--and despite creating NOTHING,
he winds up with the billions, and the people who actually write the
wind up with considerably less.  This is copyright as a mechanism for
enriching speculators and merchants--but clearly NOT a mechanism that
enriches the creators of the works.

Authors have historically been forced to sell their rights to publishers at
dirt-cheap prices, since that was the only market available, and then the
publishers have been free to gouge without mercy while the author gets
pennies on the dollar AT BEST.  As long as self-publishing and direct sales
remained impractical, there wasn't much the artists and authors could do
about it.  Now, however, the game has changed.

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What I wrote above is hereby dedicated to the public domain and may be
used, in whole or in part, with or without attribution.

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