Friday, October 28, 2011

Copyright Issues

From the movie "Good Copy/Bad Copy" I found the statement by one of the Swedish pirates to be most disconcerting. He stated that he did not have to follow the copyright laws of America. So I suppose in his mind that stealing and profiting from the work of others is OK. I was also surprised that his bogus company was able to be back up and running in three days. This seems to demonstrate that the Swedish government has little power to regulate copyright in their country.
Stealing from others is wrong no matter what country you live in.


  1. That's interesting, as I took something completely different from that statement. (Of course, to be clear, I do agree that stealing is wrong.)

    What I took from his statement, and empathized with, was that he didn't appreciate one set of people (America) projecting their ideals/laws onto another set of people (Sweden), especially not when backed by corporate interests. The resonated with me, as I continue to run into coworkers and acquaintances who attempt to overlay their (irrational and unconsidered) value system onto me. Maybe that just comes from living in the South while at the same time being fairly open-minded, but it drives me up the wall.

    Having said that, I do think he could find a more productive way of expressing his beliefs. I find it interesting that, fundamentally, there wasn't much ideological difference between what he was saying and what Lessig was saying, and yet to approaches couldn't be less similar.

  2. I am of the opinion, similar to what Rick also commented on, that people have their own beliefs and standards...but they should not force others to comply by the same. Too many bad things in history have happened when people tried to force their beliefs on others. However, is stealing one of those beliefs? Is there really ever going to be a group of people that believe that stealing is OK? As a child that might have worked...remember "Finders keepers losers weepers". As adults, I think that changes for every human culture. Maybe I am wrong, but I think the other countries need to get on board and agree that what is copyrighted in one country should be protected also from others in other countries as well.

  3. Totally agree that the legal stance of being in a foreign country shouldn't matter, but US companies have historically practiced the same "can't me" attitude about products made over-seas. For example, the venerable icon of American ingenuity, Thomas Edison, according to Wikipedia:

    "In 1902, agents of Thomas Edison bribed a theater owner in London for a copy of 'A Trip to the Moon' by Georges Méliès. Edison then made hundreds of copies and showed them in New York City. Méliès received no compensation. He was counting on taking the film to the US and recapture its huge cost by showing it throughout the country when he realized it had already been shown there by Edison. This effectively bankrupted Méliès.[56] Other exhibitors similarly routinely copied and exhibited each others films.[57] To better protect the copyrights on his films, Edison deposited prints of them on long strips of photographic paper with the U.S. copyright office."

    So Edison cared about protecting his "work" with copyright, but was okay with taking someone else's work and distributing it as his own. And this isn't even "remix" but flat out piracy. So, let's be careful how we judge other's attitude toward American law.