Copyright Laws: Stupid, Unfair, Unjust, Anti Human, and Counter Productive
Grant J. Kidney— Copyright laws are among the most complex of legal issues, not only the United States, but around the world. In modern times, intense battles rage between copyright holders and those who are said to be in violation of international copyright law.
Almost every person with a computer has engaged in some form of copyright infringement, be it a conscious or an unconscious act. Have you ever uploaded a YouTube video which contains the copyrighted music of some artist or band playing in the background? Are you a blogger who sometimes re-posts the copyrighted written material found on another person’s website? If the answer to these or other similar questions is ‘yes’, then its quite possible that you are in violation of copyright law and that legal action could be taken against you- as ridiculous as it may sound.
When a creator produces content of any sort, be it audio, visual, or print, said work is automatically copyrighted- meaning, the creator possesses exclusive control over his or her’s final product. While in concept the notion of copyright sounds fair, the truth is that it is wholly unfair, unjust, and completely out of step with the communal values which ought to govern the world.
The history of copyright laws
Copyright laws sprung forth out of Europe back in the early parts of the 1700′s. In England and elsewhere, the state granted certain publishers the exclusive right to produce books and other printed material. Originally, copyright laws pertained only to written works but were fast extended to other arenas of creative endeavor.
The first copyright laws were by no means drafted up in order to protect the rights of creators. Rather, the exclusive permissions granted to publishers to produce content was an attempt to raise government revenue as well as to give the government total control over all material published.
Copyright laws in the United States
Article 1, section 8 of the U.S. Constitution permits Congress the authority to create a national copyright system in order to, “promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors…the exclusive right to their…writings”. In other words, copyright laws in the U.S. were originally drafted up so as to drive human progress.
Note: It is highly doubtful that America’s founders, if alive today, would consider Kim Kardashian’s appearance ‘useful’, ‘artistic’, or ‘scientific’ enough to warrant exclusivity in terms of copyright; yet here is Kardashian, suing Old Navy for their use of a model which bears a visual likeness unto herself. If such isn’t a blatant example of how silly copyright laws truly are, then I’m not sure what is.
Case study: People who hate the state but who threaten to use the state against those who violate their copyrights
The website threatens intense legal action against any one who may re-post material found on their website, even if a link back to the source is provided (Sieg heil, mein Führer!).
From the website which shall go unnamed,
Without prejudice to (website name) other rights under these terms and conditions, if you breach these terms and conditions in any way, (website name) may take such action as (website name) deems appropriate to deal with the breach, including suspending your access to the website, prohibiting you from accessing the website, blocking computers using your IP address from accessing the website, contacting your internet service provider to request that they block your access to the website and/or bringing court proceedings against you.
So much for this website being up in arms against the ‘man’, right? The truth is that I’ve come across many other supposedly ‘anti-state’ websites which threaten to use the state against folks who are only helping to spread awareness to the issues of our time by re-posting vital information found elsewhere on the web.
For the record, this website, GRANTJKIDNEY.com, embraces an ‘open-source’ philosophy in terms of how our own original content is ultimately used.
The following appears in our website’s ‘copyright compliance notice’,
Original creative content found on GRANTJKIDNEY.com may be reproduced in full without prior permission granted. Furthermore, links back to GRANTJKIDNEY.com are not requested but certainly appreciated. GRANTJKIDNEY.com champions a new, open-source kind of world wherein such silly legal notices won’t ever need to be posted again.
Money, power, and copyright laws
Despite the original intent behind the creation of copyright laws, it is clear how intricately connected the notion of copyright is to greed, profit, and to private property.
A person raised with a proper understanding of his or her role in the human social landscape will automatically accept that anything he or she creates should be for the benefit of the entire species. To selfishly put out for mere profit’s sake constitutes an aberrant act which only highlights the sickening levels of both greed and egotism inherent in the utterly flawed social systems of man.
Copyright laws serve as a divisive mechanism in human society which hinders the growth and the coming together of the human family. Imagine if everything could be freely shared and all could have access to abundance. If such were the case, other than for the sake of primitive self-aggrandizement, why else would copyright laws even need to exist?
Note: In so drawing the connection between copyright laws and private property, it would certainly be worth one’s time to check out my diatribe on the outright barbarism that private ownership ultimately represents.
Argumentative Points Against Copyright Laws
- If a creative content producer publishes material via the power of his slave-labor built Mac computer, should the poor children who worked long, tireless hours to create that computer be entitled to a particular share of the copyright? If not, why not?
- How is it justified for a photographer to claim exclusive ownership of an image wherein the subject matter did not consent to having their pictures taken in the first place? What if a photographer were to snap a picture of the night sky- would a copyright be warranted in this particular case? If so, how come? Did the photographer also magically create the night sky as though he were some kind of god?
- It is illegal to reproduce the music of many recording artists. But what if somebody had such a great memory so as to mentally reproduce a song in their head, lyric for lyric? Should this person be arrested for copyright infringement?
- Suppose someone possessed a photographic memory and took mental snapshots of images he or she had seen in an art museum where it was otherwise stated that photography of any kind were strictly prohibited. Should this person be locked away in a cold jail-cell right next to ‘big bubba’ the gang rapist?
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