logo

Against Monopoly

defending the right to innovate

Monopoly corrupts. Absolute monopoly corrupts absolutely.





Copyright Notice: We don't think much of copyright, so you can do what you want with the content on this blog. Of course we are hungry for publicity, so we would be pleased if you avoided plagiarism and gave us credit for what we have written. We encourage you not to impose copyright restrictions on your "derivative" works, but we won't try to stop you. For the legally or statist minded, you can consider yourself subject to a Creative Commons Attribution License.


back

Copyright strikes again.

Roy Blount Jr, the president of the Writers Guild, opines that authors ought to have a property right to the oral rendering of their written works, although he would not charge the blind link here. This apparently has been provoked by the ability of new technology to render computer text into intelligible, almost-human-voice quality. If I record a human reading my written work, the reader and I will be paid, but if a machine does it, I won't. So, " people who want to keep on doing creative things for a living must be duly vigilant about any new means of transmitting their work."

Apparently no one seems to be worried about the constant expansion of property rights, even seemingly absurd ones. I have no doubt that the government has the power to create the right, just as it has the power to define and enforce all property rights, but why is this extension justified?

Blount's clinching argument is, "For the record: no, the Authors Guild does not expect royalties from anybody doing non-commercial performances of "Goodnight Moon." If parents want to send their children off to bed with the voice of Kindle 2, however, it's another matter." How generous of him!

This issue is raised by the Kindle 2, which has oral as well as visual output. The next thing, the authors will want is a counter on the machine, to record each time a reading takes place so the author can be paid his due.

Like other IP creators, authors seem to want to get their piece of any new technology that comes along, even when it vastly decreases the cost of delivering their work and adds to their net income. It will only stop when consumers vote out the rascals who pass these extensions into law or the judges who redefine the right.

This issue is raised by the Kindle 2, which has oral as well as visual output. The next thing, the authors will want is a counter on the machine, to record each time a reading takes place so the author can be paid his due.

Like other IP creators, authors seem to want to get their piece of any new technology that comes along, even when it vastly decreases the cost of delivering their work. It will only stop when consumers vote out the rascals who pass these extensions into law or the judges who redefine the right.


Comments

Too too too true: "Apparently no one seems to be worried about the constant expansion of property rights, even seemingly absurd ones. I have no doubt that the government has the power to create the right, just as it has the power to define and enforce all property rights, but why is this extension justified?" (emphasis added).

As you point out, the implementation of new technologies seems to result in some people asserting that they have an implicit property right that allows them to extort money. The Writer's Guild claims implementing the new technology will deprive them of revenue. If this is true, then shouldn't the maker of the Kindle 2 give the Writers Guild a bill for the development costs!

My only real point, the government needs to develop a backbone to reject these absurd claims that continually expand the scope of patents and copyright. Unfortunately, our elected officials (who pass these absurd laws) do not seem to understand the meaning of working for the public good.

I wonder if the Author's guild has discovered that the Kindle allows readers to change the font size? Clearly authors are entitled to separate royalties to Large Print Editions and the Kindle is stealing revenue from authors.

What is exasperating is that the Author's Guild president doesn't see that the additional features of the Kindle will sell *more copies* of ebooks, whereas raising the price of ebooks by making Amazon pay extra for a non-existent text to speech right will reduce sales. The Author's Guild president is a short-sighted moron.


Submit Comment

Blog Post

Name:

Email (optional):

Your Humanity:

Prove you are human by retyping the anti-spam code.
For example if the code is unodosthreefour,
type 1234 in the textbox below.

Anti-spam Code
UnoSixNineThree:


Post



   

Most Recent Comments

WKRP In Cincinnati - Requiem For A Masterpiece P.S. The link to Amazon's WKRP product page:

WKRP In Cincinnati - Requiem For A Masterpiece Hopefully some very good news. Shout! Factory is releasing the entire series of WKRP in Cincinnati,

What's copywritable? Go fish in court. @ Anonymous: You misunderstood my intent. I was actually trying to point out a huge but basic

Rights Violations Aren't the Only Bads I hear that nonsense from pro-IP people all the

Intellectual Property Fosters Corporate Concentration Yeah, I see the discouragement of working on a patented device all the time. Great examples

Music without copyright Hundreds of businessmen are looking for premium quality article distribution services that can be

Les patent trolls ne sont pas toujours des officines

Les patent trolls ne sont pas toujours des officines

Patent Lawyers Who Don't Toe the Line Should Be Punished! Moreover "the single most destructive force to innovation is patents". We'd like to unite with you

Bonfire of the Missalettes!

Does the decline in total factor productivity explain the drop in innovation? So, if our patent system was "broken," TFP of durable goods should have dropped. Conversely, since

Does the decline in total factor productivity explain the drop in innovation? I wondered about TFP, because I had heard that TFP was increasing. Apparently, it depends on who

Music without copyright I do agree with all the ideas you have presented in your post. They are very convincing and will

Music without copyright It's strange, that sometimes the most simple suggestions are often the most useful! I will take the

Patents on 3D Printing Challenged by Prior Art To Loup Vaillant: "So, you think we wouldn't have had those 9 technologies without patents? I can

Patents on 3D Printing Challenged by Prior Art @anonymous: So, you think we wouldn't have had those 9 technologies without patents? I can accept

Patents on 3D Printing Challenged by Prior Art The fact is that in the last 20-25 years the technologies of rapid prototyping (today known as

Public Knowledge announces a Patent Reform Project No patents should be allowed on ANY software. And no patents on Business Methods. If the have to

Patents on 3D Printing Challenged by Prior Art The fact is that in the last 20-25 years the technologies of rapid prototyping (today known as

Music without copyright Overall an end user friendly site, several great points! It is a well crafted article, I'm going