The Congress shall have Power … 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;
U. S. Constitution, Article 1, Section 8, Clause 8
This is the foundation of of copyright law. Copyright is to STIMULATE creative ideas; if I invent a helicoptor, you’re not allowed to build my helicoptor. Originally, just for 14 years…then it was possible to apply for a 14 year extension in some cases. The intent was NEVER to build a helicopter, then retire for the rest of your life on your helicopter income, and never let anyone else own your intellectual property. The concept of intellectual property didn’t even EXIST until recently.
Now, the idea of copyright and intellectual property is driven primairly by Teh Beig Eveels. The RIAA, MPAA, Telecoms, etc etc…copyright is a form of ownership to drive profits through licensing. It stifles progress of science and art.
Guitar Hero used to be a creative idea. Then we got GH2. GH3. GH4. GH4. Rock Band. And so on. EA is publishing upwards of 50 rhythm-based games. All the music in these…licensed by Teh Eveels. Why? Because EA is big evil too, and can afford to. People want to hear/play familiar sound tracks, so only a beeg eveel can compete in these markets, because they’re the only one that can afford to. This stifles creativity to an extent; the small guy can’t compete in the big guys game, at all. Doesn’t matter how much better his product is; he can’t afford to license all that stuff.
The little guy isn’t down and out, by any means. There’s intensely creative, original work being created. Look at games like World of Goo. Fabulous. And there’s plenty of independent artists looking to make creative works…the problem is the methods of distribution are caught up in the copyright game.
Something extremely practical that you don’t even know about…the x86 architecture. It’s what’s (most likely) running your computer. Most people don’t know it was there. People didn’t know a few years ago their CPU was PPC if they were running an Apple machine, and now its x86. It’s transparent to the end user…but the copyright by Intel on that architecture stifles development. EVERYTHING runs on it; I’d call it a commodity. But Intel won’t let you design based on that architecture unless you pay them licensing fees. Through a series of cross-licensing maneuvers, AMD is allowed to compete in this domain and develop their own chips based on this architecture. The majority of user software is built for this architecture. Practically speaking, we’re locked in…but there is NO room for a third party to develop this architecture.
I get tired of the Justic System Industry pumping copyright law for money. Yes, pirating music is “wrong”. No, the RIAA shouldn’t get to charge people $1.92 million against Jammie Thomas-Rasset in the name of the Almighty Copyright, no matter how much music was stolen. No creativity was stifled. No SCIENCE or art was shortchanged. It’s not a copyright violation. It’s a theft. If you steal a few CDs, it’s not a felony, nor can you be hit with damage like that.
We need to examine the REASON and ROOT behind our laws, rather than building monstronsities on top of monstrosities. Just like they did with the x86 architecture…