Wiley sues student for infringing copyright on resold book

Seen something interesting in the news or on the intertubes? Discuss it here.

Moderators: Zamfir, Hawknc, Moderators General, Prelates

User avatar
Bubbles McCoy
Posts: 1106
Joined: Wed Jul 09, 2008 12:49 am UTC
Location: California

Re: Wiley sues student for infringing copyright on resold bo

Postby Bubbles McCoy » Mon Oct 29, 2012 4:38 am UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:Mostly, I'm deeply troubled by the implications carried concerning the right of possession for something I've legally purchased--I instinctively dislike the idea that something I bought isn't necessarily mine, and the idea that you can tell me under what context I'm allowed to resell it is one I find intuitively repellent.

That being said, textbooks aren't a big deal for me. If this genuinely protects the interests of poor countries and keeps the cost of textbooks down for them, I feel similarly ambivalent. I'm mostly concerned about the implications elsewhere, and also curious if removing it really would drive foreign textbook costs up.

At the very least, we can all agree that the costs for textbooks in America are fucking ridiculous. I'd actually be for a solution that directly dismantled the monopoly textbook companies seem to have on college students' wallets, because that's just a load of bullshit.

Yeah, I think I'm starting to agree on the first bit - it doesn't really seem like this is a sufficiently unique or important situation to really merit specific restrictions on what I can buy and sell. As for a solution, I think we're getting one with the internet - there are quite a few consortiums devoted to promoting free textbooks. Outside of really specialized topics and your professor just being a dick, the problem's probably going to solve itself.

Arariel wrote:It is not a competitive market; therefore, it is non-competitive. What other word is there to use?

It is competitive. Just because there's not identical competition to a product doesn't mean there's no competition. In a market with heavy differentiation, you can only charge more for your product if a customer values it more than comparable products (and their are plenty of books being written on any given topic, with wide ranges in prices). This can still lead to heavy competition in quality and price, I'm not sure why you think this can't be the case.

Arariel wrote:
Green9090 wrote:
Arariel wrote:Copyright is a barrier to entry. It is a legal monopoly created and enforced by the government.

I can only assume your argument here is that copyright shouldn't exist because then we could just download a pdf of the book some guy made with his scanner and bypass the monopoly altogether? That's a demonstrably stupid argument, but I really can't tell what else you're going for here.

Pray tell how it is a demonstrably stupid argument?

A big cost in the production of a textbook is the formulation of the text, not in printing it. If there was a truly competitive market for books with no copyright (as you're advocating), price pressure would drop the operating profit on the sale of a textbook to zero, just enough to cover printing costs. This makes it impossible to profit from writing, which doesn't occur to me as altogether ideal. Whatever writing people are willing to do for free is probably already taking place, I don't see why removing the ability to directly make money from writing would be a good thing.

Arariel
Posts: 404
Joined: Fri Sep 17, 2010 2:32 am UTC

Re: Wiley sues student for infringing copyright on resold bo

Postby Arariel » Mon Oct 29, 2012 4:41 am UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:
Arariel wrote:
The Great Hippo wrote:EDIT: Or are you arguing that if copyright didn't exist at all, Joe Schmoe could just copy all the hundred and twenty dollar textbooks and distribute them for free online?


That is true.
Okay. This is what's confusing me, then:
Arariel wrote:Actually, this is in instance where government interference causes the problem in the first place. Government protects the monopoly; therefore, there is one.
Pretty much all forms of digitally reproducible media (visual, auditory, or both) are protected via a government-enforced monopoly. So when you say 'in this instance...', what you're saying is 'In pretty much any case where something can be easily copied and distributed'.

That's a very radical perspective, and it isn't one I was expecting (I also don't think it's one you made clear at the outset). I'm not sure how I'd feel about the complete destruction of copyright--I think copyright exists for a reason, and I don't think that just because something's easy means it should also be allowed.

Unless, of course, you're just advocating the destruction of copyright in the case of textbooks. That's a considerably less radical position (and one that could have some cool ramifications). The idea of an open-source digital textbook program strikes me as a pretty awesome one; get enough professors onboard, and you could probably--in the words of the immortal Jack Burton--shake the pillars of heaven.


I'm a proponent of freedom. Libertarian, believer in the free-market, whatever term you wish to use. It's not necessarily a radical position; copyright has only been around since around the 1700s. You could just as well say my position was extremely conservative.

User avatar
Diemo
Posts: 396
Joined: Mon Dec 03, 2007 8:43 pm UTC

Re: Wiley sues student for infringing copyright on resold bo

Postby Diemo » Mon Oct 29, 2012 4:43 am UTC

BattleMoose wrote:
Diemo wrote:Huh, my post disappeared. But what Hippo said.

BattleMoose, I disagree. I think that X will drop and Y will rise, to some new price Z


Thats a very well reasoned and coherent argument. Stellar work.



Ha! Im on my phone and its twenty to five a.m. Reasoned arguments can wait till tomorrow
In the beginning the Universe was created.
This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move.
--Douglas Adams

Arariel
Posts: 404
Joined: Fri Sep 17, 2010 2:32 am UTC

Re: Wiley sues student for infringing copyright on resold bo

Postby Arariel » Mon Oct 29, 2012 4:44 am UTC

Bubbles McCoy wrote:
Arariel wrote:It is not a competitive market; therefore, it is non-competitive. What other word is there to use?

It is competitive. Just because there's not identical competition to a product doesn't mean there's no competition. In a market with heavy differentiation, you can only charge more for your product if a customer values it more than comparable products (and their are plenty of books being written on any given topic, with wide ranges in prices). This can still lead to heavy competition in quality and price, I'm not sure why you think this can't be the case.


For a market to be competitive, individual agents must be price-takers, not price-makers. Therefore it is not competitive.

Arariel wrote:
Green9090 wrote:
Arariel wrote:Copyright is a barrier to entry. It is a legal monopoly created and enforced by the government.

I can only assume your argument here is that copyright shouldn't exist because then we could just download a pdf of the book some guy made with his scanner and bypass the monopoly altogether? That's a demonstrably stupid argument, but I really can't tell what else you're going for here.

Pray tell how it is a demonstrably stupid argument?

A big cost in the production of a textbook is the formulation of the text, not in printing it. If there was a truly competitive market for books with no copyright (as you're advocating), price pressure would drop the operating profit on the sale of a textbook to zero, just enough to cover printing costs. This makes it impossible to profit from writing, which doesn't occur to me as altogether ideal. Whatever writing people are willing to do for free is probably already taking place, I don't see why removing the ability to directly make money from writing would be a good thing.


There are songs and books sold under Creative Commons licenses, software is sold with GPL, etc.

User avatar
The Great Hippo
Swans ARE SHARP
Posts: 7368
Joined: Fri Dec 14, 2007 4:43 am UTC
Location: behind you

Re: Wiley sues student for infringing copyright on resold bo

Postby The Great Hippo » Mon Oct 29, 2012 4:45 am UTC

Arariel wrote:I'm a proponent of freedom. Libertarian, believer in the free-market, whatever term you wish to use. It's not necessarily a radical position; copyright has only been around since around the 1700s. You could just as well say my position was extremely conservative.
By 'radical', I mean extremely distant from the current norm. Deconstructing copyright could have some serious implications. Things tend to exist for a reason.

I like reform, and I like the idea of making things better; I don't like the idea of tearing something down just because we don't like some of the consequences. There are some compelling reasons to protect the right of someone to profit from their work over the right of someone else to copy and sell it.

Green9090
Posts: 516
Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 8:40 pm UTC
Location: California

Re: Wiley sues student for infringing copyright on resold bo

Postby Green9090 » Mon Oct 29, 2012 4:46 am UTC

Arariel wrote:
My favourite maths textbook written, by a professor at the California Institute of Technology.

Anti-Copyright @ 1995-2001 by Mauch Publishing Company, un-Incorporated.
No rights reserved. Any part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, transmitted or
desecrated without permission.


By similar logic, no one would write operating systems or software. Yet there is still GPL and BSD software.

The problem with your logic here is that, as you've demonstrated, people ALREADY have the ability to make products without copyright, and some people prefer to pay for alternatives. This implies that there is not a large or skilled enough pool of people willing to create content for free; probably because if you're doing it for free you can't do it full time, which necessarily reduces either the quality of the content you create or the speed at which you can create it. Destroying the ability for anyone to write or create professionally would drastically reduce the overall quality of anything subject to copyright.

Edit: Let me be clear here, I have nothing against people who product content and choose not to copyright it or profit from it. I'm just saying that if copyright really was unnecessary, all content would already be free because it would crowd out people who produce similar content professionally. Because this isn't the case, we KNOW that quality would drop without copyright, without a doubt.
Belial wrote:A man with more arms than the entire hindu pantheon and thirty goddamn dicks has no time for logic! He must consume ever more bacon to fuel his incalculable manhood!

User avatar
Bubbles McCoy
Posts: 1106
Joined: Wed Jul 09, 2008 12:49 am UTC
Location: California

Re: Wiley sues student for infringing copyright on resold bo

Postby Bubbles McCoy » Mon Oct 29, 2012 4:51 am UTC

Arariel wrote:For a market to be competitive, individual agents must be price-takers, not price-makers. Therefore it is not competitive.

Do you think the market for bread is noncompetitive?

User avatar
The Great Hippo
Swans ARE SHARP
Posts: 7368
Joined: Fri Dec 14, 2007 4:43 am UTC
Location: behind you

Re: Wiley sues student for infringing copyright on resold bo

Postby The Great Hippo » Mon Oct 29, 2012 4:55 am UTC

Green9090 wrote:The problem with your logic here is that, as you've demonstrated, people ALREADY have the ability to make products without copyright, and some people prefer to pay for alternatives. This implies that there is not a large or skilled enough pool of people willing to create content for free; probably because if you're doing it for free you can't do it full time, which necessarily reduces either the quality of the content you create or the speed at which you can create it. Destroying the ability for anyone to write or create professionally would drastically reduce the overall quality of anything subject to copyright.
Particularly, collaborative work can suffer.

A given product requires so much work to accomplish. Now, some very creative people find a great deal of joy in putting work into that product--but there's quite a bit of work and not really enough time. So even though these people would work for free, that doesn't matter--because they alone can't produce sufficient work to complete the product they want to complete.

So, these creative people find investors, who are the sort of people who specialize in finding sufficient work (see, money) to complete potentially profitable products. And, of course, investors don't invest for the love of products; they invest because they want profit. So these creative people can only attract those investors if their product is profitable.

Meanwhile, another group of creative people manage to produce a similar product without the investors. They managed to do it by just not doing all the extra work (so it's an inferior product). Since they're doing it out of love of for the product, they give it away for free.

The investors see this. They look at this other group, who wants to produce a better product (with money). And the investors do some quick math: Crappy-but-free product versus good-but-expensive product. And they shake their heads.

Arariel
Posts: 404
Joined: Fri Sep 17, 2010 2:32 am UTC

Re: Wiley sues student for infringing copyright on resold bo

Postby Arariel » Mon Oct 29, 2012 4:56 am UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:
Arariel wrote:I'm a proponent of freedom. Libertarian, believer in the free-market, whatever term you wish to use. It's not necessarily a radical position; copyright has only been around since around the 1700s. You could just as well say my position was extremely conservative.
By 'radical', I mean extremely distant from the current norm. Deconstructing copyright could have some serious implications. Things tend to exist for a reason.

I like reform, and I like the idea of making things better; I don't like the idea of tearing something down just because we don't like some of the disadvantages. There are some compelling reasons to protect the right of someone to profit from their work over the right of someone else to copy and sell it.

Again, 'for the greater good' does not seem a particularly compelling reason to do away with the rights of the people.

Green9090 wrote:
Arariel wrote:
My favourite maths textbook written, by a professor at the California Institute of Technology.

Anti-Copyright @ 1995-2001 by Mauch Publishing Company, un-Incorporated.
No rights reserved. Any part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, transmitted or
desecrated without permission.


By similar logic, no one would write operating systems or software. Yet there is still GPL and BSD software.

The problem with your logic here is that, as you've demonstrated, people ALREADY have the ability to make products without copyright, and some people prefer to pay for alternatives. This implies that there is not a large or skilled enough pool of people willing to create content for free; probably because if you're doing it for free you can't do it full time, which necessarily reduces either the quality of the content you create or the speed at which you can create it. Destroying the ability for anyone to write or create professionally would drastically reduce the overall quality of anything subject to copyright.


Some people prefer to pay for alternatives? Something tells me college students do not enjoy getting shafted by textbook companies. It is the colleges and professors that require expensive textbooks; otherwise, why update textbooks in topics that do not need regular updating such as every single undergraduate mathematics course? Blues musicians frequently 'borrowed' tunes from each other; yet you would claim this drastically reduced their quality?

Bubbles McCoy wrote:
Arariel wrote:For a market to be competitive, individual agents must be price-takers, not price-makers. Therefore it is not competitive.

Do you think the market for bread is noncompetitive?


Depends on the HHI. But I would say it is likely to be competitive. Sure, sellers can appear to set prices, but they set prices at equilibrium - where supply meets demand. They take the price and set theirs at it. If their price was noticeably higher, they would lose almost all their business since individual firms meet perfectly elastic demand curves. In the long run, producers of bread make no economic profit - unlike producers of textbooks.

User avatar
Bubbles McCoy
Posts: 1106
Joined: Wed Jul 09, 2008 12:49 am UTC
Location: California

Re: Wiley sues student for infringing copyright on resold bo

Postby Bubbles McCoy » Mon Oct 29, 2012 4:59 am UTC

Arariel wrote:Depends on the HHI. But I would say it is likely to be competitive. Sure, sellers can appear to set prices, but they set prices at equilibrium - where supply meets demand. They take the price and set theirs at it. If their price was noticeably higher, they would lose almost all their business since individual firms meet perfectly elastic demand curves. In the long run, producers of bread make no economic profit - unlike producers of textbooks.

Why do you limit your definition of competition to price? Why is competing on quality irrelevant to you? What economics literature even agrees with you on this?

User avatar
The Great Hippo
Swans ARE SHARP
Posts: 7368
Joined: Fri Dec 14, 2007 4:43 am UTC
Location: behind you

Re: Wiley sues student for infringing copyright on resold bo

Postby The Great Hippo » Mon Oct 29, 2012 5:03 am UTC

Arariel wrote:Again, 'for the greater good' does not seem a particularly compelling reason to do away with the rights of the people.
Why does your ability to copy and sell my work qualify as a right? Why does that right exceed my right to profit from my work?

Also, can you think of any good reasons to violate someone's rights? I can. And most of them fall under the heading of 'for the greater good'.

Green9090
Posts: 516
Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 8:40 pm UTC
Location: California

Re: Wiley sues student for infringing copyright on resold bo

Postby Green9090 » Mon Oct 29, 2012 5:04 am UTC

Arariel wrote:Some people prefer to pay for alternatives? Something tells me college students do not enjoy getting shafted by textbook companies. It is the colleges and professors that require expensive textbooks; otherwise, why update textbooks in topics that do not need regular updating such as every single undergraduate mathematics course? Blues musicians frequently 'borrowed' tunes from each other; yet you would claim this drastically reduced their quality?


Let's take this away from textbooks, which are a weird fringe case that have a lot going on that has nothing to do with copyright. Let's look at movies. Plenty of people make free productions on Youtube that you can go watch right now with no cost. However, the vast majority of it is done by amateurs who don't have access to professional anything, like cameras, writers, actors, special effects, etc. So, in general, the free stuff on Youtube can be fun to watch, but ultimately is inferior to a professionally made movie in the eyes of the vast majority of the population. People like movies so much more that, when given the choice between paying $12 to go watch a movie or sit at home on Youtube for 2 hours for free, they will choose to pay for the movie. If we suddenly said that you are not allowed to make money by making movies, suddenly we'd see movies start to resemble Youtube videos a lot more, because they wouldn't have access to the millions of dollars that buy the nice equipment they use, and the actors and writers would have much less time to spend practicing their crafts because they would need other jobs, and the production would suffer. You would be taking away the ability for people to pay $12 to see a professional movie, because those movies wouldn't exist anymore.

Again, Youtube already exists, and people put stuff up there all the time. By taking away copyright you wouldn't force people to make the same movies for free, you would just condense them into the same free productions that already exist and people can already choose to see. You are taking away people's ability to choose to spend money on things they like, which is fundamentally against your goal of freedom.
Belial wrote:A man with more arms than the entire hindu pantheon and thirty goddamn dicks has no time for logic! He must consume ever more bacon to fuel his incalculable manhood!

User avatar
TheGrammarBolshevik
Posts: 4878
Joined: Mon Jun 30, 2008 2:12 am UTC
Location: Going to and fro in the earth, and walking up and down in it.

Re: Wiley sues student for infringing copyright on resold bo

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Mon Oct 29, 2012 5:12 am UTC

Arariel wrote:Again, 'for the greater good' does not seem a particularly compelling reason to do away with the rights of the people.

Do I have the right to say "I will sell you this book if you agree not to resell it for a higher price"?
Nothing rhymes with orange,
Not even sporange.

yoni45
Posts: 2123
Joined: Sun Jul 08, 2007 9:16 am UTC
Contact:

Re: Wiley sues student for infringing copyright on resold bo

Postby yoni45 » Mon Oct 29, 2012 5:14 am UTC

Arariel wrote:I'm sorry, we are discussing textbooks here, right? In any event, for medicine, poorer countries can simply not recognise the patents of those companies, as India has done.


Seriously? Your solution is to simply abandon intellectual property rights, which, if followed across the world would just lead to nobody bothering to spend the R&D required to develop medicines in the first place?

And you think this is a better solution than to just allow selling at different price levels?
I sell LSAT courses and LSAT course accessories. Admittedly, we're still working on the accessories.

Arariel
Posts: 404
Joined: Fri Sep 17, 2010 2:32 am UTC

Re: Wiley sues student for infringing copyright on resold bo

Postby Arariel » Mon Oct 29, 2012 5:33 am UTC

Bubbles McCoy wrote:
Arariel wrote:Depends on the HHI. But I would say it is likely to be competitive. Sure, sellers can appear to set prices, but they set prices at equilibrium - where supply meets demand. They take the price and set theirs at it. If their price was noticeably higher, they would lose almost all their business since individual firms meet perfectly elastic demand curves. In the long run, producers of bread make no economic profit - unlike producers of textbooks.

Why do you limit your definition of competition to price? Why is competing on quality irrelevant to you? What economics literature even agrees with you on this?


Price is the most obvious way to compete; that's a flaw in economics, but not a particularly poor one. Competition in bread quality matters fairly little; a 'gourmet' bread (or something or another) will have a different market from a 'generic' bread. Or perhaps from a local family-owned bakery; there's a premium there you're willing to pay that makes it more expensive than a supermarket bakery, but it's likely about the same price as other local bakeries. Different markets, but competitive ones.

Boyes/Melvin, Seventh Edition, page 547 wrote:A firm in a perfectly competitive market structure is said to be a price taker because the price of the product is determined by market demand and supply, and the individual firm simply has to sell at that price or simply not sell.

[quote= "Ibid., page 557"]In the long run, perfectly competitive firms earn normal profits.[/quote]

The Great Hippo wrote:
Arariel wrote:Again, 'for the greater good' does not seem a particularly compelling reason to do away with the rights of the people.
Why does your ability to copy and sell my work qualify as a right? Why does that right exceed my right to profit from my work?

Also, can you think of any good reasons to violate someone's rights? I can. And most of them fall under the heading of 'for the greater good'.


Copying and selling (or redistributing for free) have not taken from what you have; nor does it cause physical harm upon you. It is a right in that actions that do not hurt others or take away from what they have are rights; they need not be explicitly mentioned in that my right to sleep in my own home is a right.

'For the greater good' is no reason at all. It is used upon a whim by others to advance their own aims.

Green9090 wrote:
Arariel wrote:Some people prefer to pay for alternatives? Something tells me college students do not enjoy getting shafted by textbook companies. It is the colleges and professors that require expensive textbooks; otherwise, why update textbooks in topics that do not need regular updating such as every single undergraduate mathematics course? Blues musicians frequently 'borrowed' tunes from each other; yet you would claim this drastically reduced their quality?


Let's take this away from textbooks, which are a weird fringe case that have a lot going on that has nothing to do with copyright. Let's look at movies. Plenty of people make free productions on Youtube that you can go watch right now with no cost. However, the vast majority of it is done by amateurs who don't have access to professional anything, like cameras, writers, actors, special effects, etc. So, in general, the free stuff on Youtube can be fun to watch, but ultimately is inferior to a professionally made movie in the eyes of the vast majority of the population. People like movies so much more that, when given the choice between paying $12 to go watch a movie or sit at home on Youtube for 2 hours for free, they will choose to pay for the movie. If we suddenly said that you are not allowed to make money by making movies, suddenly we'd see movies start to resemble Youtube videos a lot more, because they wouldn't have access to the millions of dollars that buy the nice equipment they use, and the actors and writers would have much less time to spend practicing their crafts because they would need other jobs, and the production would suffer. You would be taking away the ability for people to pay $12 to see a professional movie, because those movies wouldn't exist anymore.

Again, Youtube already exists, and people put stuff up there all the time. By taking away copyright you wouldn't force people to make the same movies for free, you would just condense them into the same free productions that already exist and people can already choose to see. You are taking away people's ability to choose to spend money on things they like, which is fundamentally against your goal of freedom.


http://wiki.creativecommons.org/Films
In any case, no, people can still choose to spend money on things they like; one of my favourite artists (Josh Woodward) distributes all his music CC-BY, but he evidently makes a good enough living from people choosing to spend money on things they like.

TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:
Arariel wrote:Again, 'for the greater good' does not seem a particularly compelling reason to do away with the rights of the people.

Do I have the right to say "I will sell you this book if you agree not to resell it for a higher price"?


You do. But does this mean (ethically/morally) I am obliged to do that?

yoni45 wrote:
Arariel wrote:I'm sorry, we are discussing textbooks here, right? In any event, for medicine, poorer countries can simply not recognise the patents of those companies, as India has done.


Seriously? Your solution is to simply abandon intellectual property rights, which, if followed across the world would just lead to nobody bothering to spend the R&D required to develop medicines in the first place?

And you think this is a better solution than to just allow selling at different price levels?


No. I specifically said poorer countries can ignore patents. When they develop the suitable infrastructure that allows medicinal patents (those and chemical patents are the only patents that cause an increase in production according to an economic study) to be profitable, they will recognise patents from other countries so the other countries will recognise theirs.

Green9090
Posts: 516
Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 8:40 pm UTC
Location: California

Re: Wiley sues student for infringing copyright on resold bo

Postby Green9090 » Mon Oct 29, 2012 5:39 am UTC

Arariel wrote:In any case, no, people can still choose to spend money on things they like; one of my favourite artists (Josh Woodward) distributes all his music CC-BY, but he evidently makes a good enough living from people choosing to spend money on things they like.

If he makes a living on music, he probably makes it playing concerts, just like basically every other successful musician in existence. Copyright is irrelevant.

You didn't address how people are going to manage to put on multi-million dollar productions when they have no means of charging for them. Also keep in mind that movies are only one market- this applies to the vast majority of markets that are affected by copyright.

You also didn't address how people manage to stay in business profiting from the ability to copyright and sell their work if there's a force out there willing to produce equal or better content for free.

You didn't really address anything, come to think of it.
Belial wrote:A man with more arms than the entire hindu pantheon and thirty goddamn dicks has no time for logic! He must consume ever more bacon to fuel his incalculable manhood!

Arariel
Posts: 404
Joined: Fri Sep 17, 2010 2:32 am UTC

Re: Wiley sues student for infringing copyright on resold bo

Postby Arariel » Mon Oct 29, 2012 5:43 am UTC

Green9090 wrote:
Arariel wrote:In any case, no, people can still choose to spend money on things they like; one of my favourite artists (Josh Woodward) distributes all his music CC-BY, but he evidently makes a good enough living from people choosing to spend money on things they like.

If he makes a living on music, he probably makes it playing concerts, just like basically every other successful musician in existence. Copyright is irrelevant.

You didn't address how people are going to manage to put on multi-million dollar productions when they have no means of charging for them. Also keep in mind that movies are only one market- this applies to the vast majority of markets that are affected by copyright.

You also didn't address how people manage to stay in business profiting from the ability to copyright and sell their work if there's a force out there willing to produce equal or better content for free.

You didn't really address anything, come to think of it.


He has not had any concerts for several years.

Red Hat, Inc. stays in business despite all their work being GPL. The rights to the software they've written is probably worth millions.

In any event, the primary matter is rights, not economics, here. Why should government prevent people from acting in ways that neither physically harm anyone nor take away from their property?


Also, @yoni, forgot to mention this in the previous post, but do refrain from using the term 'intellectual property'. Property is something physical; ideas are not property.

CarlLaMagouille
Posts: 40
Joined: Sat Sep 15, 2012 10:19 am UTC

Re: Wiley sues student for infringing copyright on resold bo

Postby CarlLaMagouille » Mon Oct 29, 2012 6:02 am UTC

Hi there.

Just wanted to express my feelings about the textbook subject.

I am a french student in a public engineering school, and I think the system we use in my school avoid the inflation of the textbooks prices. Basically, the school buy every book we need and give it to us. This mean that the teacher actually has to measure the price of the textbook he recommands, and the school can compare different editors or whatever.
This lead most of the teachers in my school to write their own textbooks and have them edited by an editing company that has a contract with the school. This benefits the students as they don't have to pay for anything, the school as it can get books for the best price, and the publisher as it gets (presumably) good quality content to sell, and a good client for a forseeable future.

Also, I arrived in Beijing two month ago to study at Beihang university, and they just don't care about copyright. The teacher usually give a digital version of the book, or a paper version, and then the students have to get it printed. You just have to pay for the ink and paper. This is done at a very large scale in dedicated printers factory on the campus. So yeah, copyright does not matter here, and the only control on books in China is done by the government to ensure that nothing is against the current politics (which is not applicable on engineering textbooks anyway).

So maybe the problem of overpriced textbook is not that its a non-competitive market or whatever, the true problem is that your teacher makes you buy something that is not provided by your university. But again, education systems in France and America are completely different, so maybe there is a deeper problem there.

User avatar
Zamfir
I built a novelty castle, the irony was lost on some.
Posts: 7604
Joined: Wed Aug 27, 2008 2:43 pm UTC
Location: Nederland

Re: Wiley sues student for infringing copyright on resold bo

Postby Zamfir » Mon Oct 29, 2012 6:49 am UTC

Textbooks are particularly expensive in the US. I don't know why, but it's misleading to think just in rich and poor countries here.

yoni45
Posts: 2123
Joined: Sun Jul 08, 2007 9:16 am UTC
Contact:

Re: Wiley sues student for infringing copyright on resold bo

Postby yoni45 » Mon Oct 29, 2012 7:02 am UTC

Arariel wrote:No. I specifically said poorer countries can ignore patents. When they develop the suitable infrastructure that allows medicinal patents (those and chemical patents are the only patents that cause an increase in production according to an economic study) to be profitable, they will recognise patents from other countries so the other countries will recognise theirs.


Ah, yes -- because allowing different players to play by completely different rules just screams "free market" economy. It's like backwards-protectionism of the most ridiculous kind. I'm genuinely surprised you were able to type that with a straight face. I'm particularly interested to know your thoughts on having people just import cheap Indian clones back to the US.

You might be surprised to learn that "intellectual property" doesn't actually refer to physical property; go ahead, look it up. Also, you might be interested to know that "online discussion boards" don't refer to actual boards, and "soft drinks" are liquid, and so are not actually 'soft'.
I sell LSAT courses and LSAT course accessories. Admittedly, we're still working on the accessories.

BattleMoose
Posts: 1993
Joined: Tue Nov 13, 2007 8:42 am UTC

Re: Wiley sues student for infringing copyright on resold bo

Postby BattleMoose » Mon Oct 29, 2012 7:07 am UTC

Hold up, so property rights are something that is of incredibly value, but intellectual property rights are something that can be ignored?

You are being very consistent, which rights, your feel liked adhering to.

(And the only actual rights pertaining to property in the UDHR relate to the right to own property and that you cannot be arbitrarily deprived of it)

User avatar
yurell
Posts: 2924
Joined: Sat Nov 13, 2010 2:19 am UTC
Location: Australia!

Re: Wiley sues student for infringing copyright on resold bo

Postby yurell » Mon Oct 29, 2012 7:31 am UTC

BattleMoose wrote:Hold up, so property rights are something that is of incredibly value, but intellectual property rights are something that can be ignored?

You are being very consistent, which rights, your feel liked adhering to.


You do realise that's consistent even if it's true, right?
cemper93 wrote:Dude, I just presented an elaborate multiple fraction in Comic Sans. Who are you to question me?


Pronouns: Feminine pronouns please!

BattleMoose
Posts: 1993
Joined: Tue Nov 13, 2007 8:42 am UTC

Re: Wiley sues student for infringing copyright on resold bo

Postby BattleMoose » Mon Oct 29, 2012 7:53 am UTC

yurell wrote:
BattleMoose wrote:Hold up, so property rights are something that is of incredibly value, but intellectual property rights are something that can be ignored?

You are being very consistent, which rights, your feel liked adhering to.


You do realise that's consistent even if it's true, right?


You are going to have to lead me through the rational for the rejection of some, but not all property rights.

Additionally this poster, has been making a fuss about the importance of individual rights and whimsically rejects the notion of intellectual property rights. How is this, consistent?

User avatar
yurell
Posts: 2924
Joined: Sat Nov 13, 2010 2:19 am UTC
Location: Australia!

Re: Wiley sues student for infringing copyright on resold bo

Postby yurell » Mon Oct 29, 2012 8:05 am UTC

So it's completely new to you that rights are arbitrarily defined, and one can be for some of them, but against others? They may not see intellectual property as actual property, and hence there's nothing odd about not extending property rights to cover an idea. Or one could argue that protection of property rights should only extend to the tangible items themselves, and not include further uses of those items or the ideas they contain. I support one's right to defend oneself, but not to attack others; am I inconsistent because I'm for some physical violence rights and against others?
cemper93 wrote:Dude, I just presented an elaborate multiple fraction in Comic Sans. Who are you to question me?


Pronouns: Feminine pronouns please!

User avatar
Ormurinn
Posts: 1033
Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2012 3:42 pm UTC
Location: Suth Eoferwicscire

Re: Wiley sues student for infringing copyright on resold bo

Postby Ormurinn » Mon Oct 29, 2012 8:14 am UTC

BattleMoose wrote:
yurell wrote:
BattleMoose wrote:Hold up, so property rights are something that is of incredibly value, but intellectual property rights are something that can be ignored?

You are being very consistent, which rights, your feel liked adhering to.


You do realise that's consistent even if it's true, right?


You are going to have to lead me through the rational for the rejection of some, but not all property rights.

Additionally this poster, has been making a fuss about the importance of individual rights and whimsically rejects the notion of intellectual property rights. How is this, consistent?


Well, for one theres that the right to reproduce digital works falls under free speech. I could take the long, laborious route of saying the required string of ones and zeroes required to code for the work in question to someone else, who entered them into a computer. Usually its just quicker to send the file digitally but the same principle applies.

IP also doesn't fit most libertarian/voluntarist systems of property ownership because it's not an excludable good. If I grow some apples, and you take them from me, you have denied me the use of those apples. If I write a play, perform it, and you memorise the script and share it with others, you haven't denied me the use of my play. There may be some people who refuse to see my play because they've already heard the script, but thats a lesser infringement on my rights than partially gagging the play-reproducer is on his.
"Progress" - Technological advances masking societal decay.

HungryHobo
Posts: 1708
Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 9:01 am UTC

Re: Wiley sues student for infringing copyright on resold bo

Postby HungryHobo » Mon Oct 29, 2012 10:40 am UTC

You know I sometimes wonder if the world would be a richer or poorer place without copyright, plenty of things would be different certainly and those who make their money from the current system will of course tell you the world would be a poorer, worse off world for it.

It's almost taken as a given that the world would have less creativity without copyright but I do wonder.

If the chef at your local restaurant had to pay royalties whenever he used a recipe published by a celebrity chef would you have a tastier and more enjoyable meal?
What if he risked being sued into the ground if he created a derivative work by altering the recipe slightly without a license?
or would you just have a more bland, unoriginal, uninspired and ultimately vastly more expensive meal?

If your hairdresser had to pay royalties whenever some kid comes in with a magazine picture and says they want their hair to "look like that".
Would everyone have far more interesting hairstyles or would it just cost far more and see people getting sued for doing their own hair at home in a copyrighted style?

Both these things are creative and also involve a skill much like storytelling or playing a musical instrument and in both cases I've heard of people trying to get copyright protections extended to cover them.

Imagine a world where in the 17th century someone had decided that recipes and cooking should fall under copyright along with books.
You can be sure that were someone to call for it's repeal 300 years later there would be no lack of "professional recipe composers" who would talk about how much work they put into working out new recipes and the time and effort it takes and how we're bad people for implying that they haven't worked hard and that they somehow don't deserve a cut whenever someone follows their recipes.

of course in a world where we're all free to take someone elses recipe, use it, copy it, publish it or even claim it as our own we know very well that fuck all harm has been done to the industry for the lack of legal protection on such creativity.
We live in a world where everyone has family recipes but hardly anyone has family music.

In a world where such legal protections existed and nobody ever knew such an open and unprotected situation as we have in this world it would be very easy to claim that there would be no creativity, no well paid chefs and that setting up a kitchen would be pointless since someone else would just copy the chefs recipes.

Similarly it's taken almost as a given that the world would have less good books, less good stories and less origionality without copyright but try questioning that even for a moment.

Of course someone is going to complain that composing and cooking a good meal can't be compared to composing and playing a good piece of music because..... well just because!

Who knows, the flip side of my argument is that perhaps if recipes had been made copyrightable 300 years ago and someone could charge you money every time you used their recipe there would have been more investment in automatic food preparation(for the sake of consistency, avoiding unintentionally creating unlicensed derivative works and accounting of who has used what recipe) and we'd all have autocooks like we all have MP3 players and every meal would be up to the standards of a master cheff.

Funny side note: some people have been so taken in by IP propaganda that they genuinely believe that cake recepies can be copyrighted. (the actual recepies themselves, the information rather than the particular paragraph of text descibing them)
Give a man a fish, he owes you one fish. Teach a man to fish, you give up your monopoly on fisheries.

BattleMoose
Posts: 1993
Joined: Tue Nov 13, 2007 8:42 am UTC

Re: Wiley sues student for infringing copyright on resold bo

Postby BattleMoose » Mon Oct 29, 2012 11:06 am UTC

yurell wrote:So it's completely new to you that rights are arbitrarily defined, and one can be for some of them, but against others? They may not see intellectual property as actual property, and hence there's nothing odd about not extending property rights to cover an idea. Or one could argue that protection of property rights should only extend to the tangible items themselves, and not include further uses of those items or the ideas they contain.


I was actually asking for the rational. I was not saying its impossible for an individual to adhere to some rights and not to others, many do. (And if people can reject some rights, then whats the value of rights? But that's an entirely different discussion)

Further, this specific poster, has specifically posted, "For the greater good' doesn't seem to me a particularly compelling reason to do away with individual rights."
So if not for the greater good, what could a good reason to be to deny individual rights?

I support one's right to defend oneself, but not to attack others; am I inconsistent because I'm for some physical violence rights and against others?


Its a very poor example, because no one or no state has the right to inflict violence on anyone.

Well, for one theres that the right to reproduce digital works falls under free speech. I could take the long, laborious route of saying the required string of ones and zeroes required to code for the work in question to someone else, who entered them into a computer. Usually its just quicker to send the file digitally but the same principle applies.


The right to freedom of speech or expression, as far as I know, is never absolute. And its a hell of a stretch to say that you think that you could do what you proposed under the guise of freedom of speech. Alternatively I could argue that you are using one right to violate another right, Article 23, UDHR. Article 30 explicitly states that one right cannot be used as a basis to violate another right.

And intellectual property is property. I really don't know how anyone could suggest otherwise.

User avatar
yurell
Posts: 2924
Joined: Sat Nov 13, 2010 2:19 am UTC
Location: Australia!

Re: Wiley sues student for infringing copyright on resold bo

Postby yurell » Mon Oct 29, 2012 11:18 am UTC

BattleMoose wrote:Its a very poor example, because no one or no state has the right to inflict violence on anyone.


Rights are a collective decision. Black people didn't have the right to eat in the same places that white people did. Aborigines didn't have the right to vote. Women didn't have the right to their reproduction in marriage. Right's are created or removed through consensus; they are not universal, unalterable truths. And, by popular consensus, the state does have the right to inflict violence to defend its citizen (see: police force or military).

At any rate, the 'rational' would be that ideas are not property. We do recognise the distinction between intellectual property and physical property in law, too: copyright expires (albeit after far too long), while ownership of a physical item doesn't; some people take this distinction a step further. Furthermore, one can argue that protecting ideas is ludicrous; can you dictate what I can do with a book once you sell it to me? Do you own any ideas I get from reading it? After all, such ideas are your intellectual property. Clearly, we hold this last to be ridiculous, but that is an arbitrary distinction, and we are free to make arbitrary distinctions where we see fit.
cemper93 wrote:Dude, I just presented an elaborate multiple fraction in Comic Sans. Who are you to question me?


Pronouns: Feminine pronouns please!

HungryHobo
Posts: 1708
Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 9:01 am UTC

Re: Wiley sues student for infringing copyright on resold bo

Postby HungryHobo » Mon Oct 29, 2012 11:33 am UTC

BattleMoose wrote:Alternatively I could argue that you are using one right to violate another right, Article 23, UDHR. Article 30 explicitly states that one right cannot be used as a basis to violate another right.

so the right to copyright can't be used used as a basis to violate another right, freedom of speach? yes you didn't mean it that way round but it's an equally valid reading of what you wrote.

BattleMoose wrote:And intellectual property is property. I really don't know how anyone could suggest otherwise.


it's a very usual, unintuative and unnatural subset of property which had no equivilent until 300 or so years ago.

If the law was changed to add "air rights" allowing me to charge you for every breath of air which contained molecules which I'd previously breathed out it would be equally valid as "property".
the mere fact that it's in the law doesn't in of iteself justify it.
the value of granting people the right to control when other people write down specific words has to be justified on it's own merits. the fact that it happens to already be in the law doesn't make it right that it should be.

now of course it might very well be totally justified if pretending that ideas and words are real property has some massive real benefits. Or you might be in the same shoes as the "professional recepie composer".
Give a man a fish, he owes you one fish. Teach a man to fish, you give up your monopoly on fisheries.

BattleMoose
Posts: 1993
Joined: Tue Nov 13, 2007 8:42 am UTC

Re: Wiley sues student for infringing copyright on resold bo

Postby BattleMoose » Mon Oct 29, 2012 11:54 am UTC

yurell wrote:
BattleMoose wrote:Its a very poor example, because no one or no state has the right to inflict violence on anyone.


Rights are a collective decision. Black people didn't have the right to eat in the same places that white people did. Aborigines didn't have the right to vote. Women didn't have the right to their reproduction in marriage. Right's are created or removed through consensus; they are not universal, unalterable truths. And, by popular consensus, the state does have the right to inflict violence to defend its citizen (see: police force or military).


Rights are a collective decision. And a group got together and agreed on the UDHR, and despite what you wrote, it was further agreed, that they are indeed inalienable. Its in the preamble.

Assuming you are referring to after the UDHR was adopted, Black People, did have the right to eat in the same places and similarly for all the examples you gave. Particularly because the USA adopted the UDHR. The laws in these instances are contradictory with the rights that these people have. It was illegal for Black people to eat in the same places, but they had the right to.

Police can lawfully inflict violence onto people, but by law, not be right. It is not a right. As in, they do not have the right to. But they do have the authority to.

Either which way, I have no idea what your point here is.

so the right to copyright can't be used used as a basis to violate another right, freedom of speach? yes you didn't mean it that way round but it's an equally valid reading of what you wrote.


Firstly you don't have the right to copyright.
But, as I said before, Article 30 explicitly states that one right cannot be used as a basis to violate another right.
This hasn't changed.
No one or no State can use one right to violate another.

Also, I am not at all interested in defending the idea that intellectual property is indeed property.

User avatar
yurell
Posts: 2924
Joined: Sat Nov 13, 2010 2:19 am UTC
Location: Australia!

Re: Wiley sues student for infringing copyright on resold bo

Postby yurell » Mon Oct 29, 2012 12:03 pm UTC

BattleMoose wrote:Also, I am not at all interested in defending the idea that intellectual property is indeed property.


Then don't use it as the basis of your argument?
cemper93 wrote:Dude, I just presented an elaborate multiple fraction in Comic Sans. Who are you to question me?


Pronouns: Feminine pronouns please!

HungryHobo
Posts: 1708
Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 9:01 am UTC

Re: Wiley sues student for infringing copyright on resold bo

Postby HungryHobo » Mon Oct 29, 2012 12:05 pm UTC

BattleMoose wrote:Also, I am not at all interested in defending the idea that intellectual property is indeed property.


You seem to be basing your assertions on this, that the right to the property overrides other rights like freedom of speach. (but at the same time that copyright isn't a right)

so it's pretty central to your argument and not everyone is as willing to take it as an utterly natural precept that a copyright is as natural and equal with actual physical property.

I'm curious why you haven't brought up the fact that copyright does have some basis in the constition and thus isn't automatically overridden by freedom of speach.

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.


but of course that only applies when the copyright in question actually promotes the Progress of Science and useful Arts.

and is extremely fuzzy on the time so a copyright lasting either a billion years or 20 minutes would be valid.
Give a man a fish, he owes you one fish. Teach a man to fish, you give up your monopoly on fisheries.

BattleMoose
Posts: 1993
Joined: Tue Nov 13, 2007 8:42 am UTC

Re: Wiley sues student for infringing copyright on resold bo

Postby BattleMoose » Mon Oct 29, 2012 12:13 pm UTC

My objection was with an individual rejecting the idea of rejecting rights based on the "Greater Good" who then rejected property rights relating to intellectual property.

If the argument is then that this is a consistent position, because, intellectual property is in fact not property, and that property rights do not extend to intellectual property (despite the plain fact that they do) then this discussion is entering some fantasy nonsensical magical place where I have no interest in going.

I've raised my objection.
I you think the OP is being consistent, then fine. I'm out.

I'm curious why you haven't brought up the fact that copyright does have some basis in the constition and thus isn't automatically overridden by freedom of speach.


Firstly, not being American I am not very familiar with the constitution of the USA.
Secondly, I explained why I don't think a conflict there exists.

There is enough room, to at least argue, that article 19 of the UDHR could be use to dismantle copyright law, but I don't think it would be a very sensible argument. I also think it would go against the spirit of the UDHR. Its certainly not an argument I would make or agree with.

User avatar
The Great Hippo
Swans ARE SHARP
Posts: 7368
Joined: Fri Dec 14, 2007 4:43 am UTC
Location: behind you

Re: Wiley sues student for infringing copyright on resold bo

Postby The Great Hippo » Mon Oct 29, 2012 12:33 pm UTC

Arariel wrote:'For the greater good' is no reason at all. It is used upon a whim by others to advance their own aims.
It's only used upon a whim when we don't clarify what the greater good is. Taxes are a measure designed to 'steal' property (well, income) for the greater good. And for certain values of greater good, I'm fine with that violation.
Arariel wrote:You do. But does this mean (ethically/morally) I am obliged to do that?
You mean are you obliged not to lie? I dunno. But I assume that I'd make you sign a contract to such effect. And if you don't believe people are obligated to follow contracts--to keep their word--civilization as we know it is impossible.
Arariel wrote:Also, @yoni, forgot to mention this in the previous post, but do refrain from using the term 'intellectual property'. Property is something physical; ideas are not property.
The presence of the word 'intellectual' in front of 'property' indicates that yoni disagrees with you on the point of what is and isn't property; telling them to not use that phrase amounts to telling them to stop disagreeing with you.

Do you want to talk about these issues--or just say 'stop disagreeing with me'? Because if all you want to do is the latter, I don't think you've come to the right place!
Last edited by The Great Hippo on Mon Oct 29, 2012 1:13 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

HungryHobo
Posts: 1708
Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 9:01 am UTC

Re: Wiley sues student for infringing copyright on resold bo

Postby HungryHobo » Mon Oct 29, 2012 1:12 pm UTC

BattleMoose wrote:If the argument is then that this is a consistent position, because, intellectual property is in fact not property, and that property rights do not extend to intellectual property (despite the plain fact that they do) then this discussion is entering some fantasy nonsensical magical place where I have no interest in going.


They're rights, granted for a limited period to achieve a purpose much like the rights granted by the british crown to monopolies on certain goods: you paid off the government and in return recieved the exclusive right to sell certain comodities within a certain area.
In that case the purpose was to raise money for the government.

in the case of copyright the purpose is to encourage the creation of new material. whether it succeeds in that goal is up for debate.

they're transferable rights and in that sense they're similar to property but otherwise patent rights and copyrights are very different to conventional property.
Last edited by HungryHobo on Mon Oct 29, 2012 1:51 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
Give a man a fish, he owes you one fish. Teach a man to fish, you give up your monopoly on fisheries.

User avatar
The Great Hippo
Swans ARE SHARP
Posts: 7368
Joined: Fri Dec 14, 2007 4:43 am UTC
Location: behind you

Re: Wiley sues student for infringing copyright on resold bo

Postby The Great Hippo » Mon Oct 29, 2012 1:19 pm UTC

HungryHobo wrote:in the case of copyright the purpose is to encourage the creation of new material. whether it succeeds in that goal is up for debate.
I always assumed it was not just to encourage the creation of new material, but to also encourage and empower those who want to challenge thoroughly entrenched markets. If I invent a new type of technology that lets me enter an established market, I need some protection to prevent that established market from using its considerable leverage to snag my idea for themselves. Ideally, then, copyright is a means that allows creativity to better upset the status quo.

I do find it pretty disgusting how things like the Lone Ranger end up entering the public sector and then suddenly, somehow get purchased out of the public sector, though. How the fuck does something like that even happen?

User avatar
Qaanol
The Cheshirest Catamount
Posts: 3069
Joined: Sat May 09, 2009 11:55 pm UTC

Re: Wiley sues student for infringing copyright on resold bo

Postby Qaanol » Mon Oct 29, 2012 1:41 pm UTC

BattleMoose wrote:And intellectual property is property. I really don't know how anyone could suggest otherwise.

Copyrights and patents are nothing more nor less than government-granted monopolies. A better term for them would be “intellectual monopolies”.

HungryHobo wrote:I'm curious why you haven't brought up the fact that copyright does have some basis in the constition and thus isn't automatically overridden by freedom of speach.

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.


but of course that only applies when the copyright in question actually promotes the Progress of Science and useful Arts.

and is extremely fuzzy on the time so a copyright lasting either a billion years or 20 minutes would be valid.

That passage merely grants congress the power to enact intellectual monopoly legislation, it in no way requires that congress do so.
wee free kings

User avatar
The Great Hippo
Swans ARE SHARP
Posts: 7368
Joined: Fri Dec 14, 2007 4:43 am UTC
Location: behind you

Re: Wiley sues student for infringing copyright on resold bo

Postby The Great Hippo » Mon Oct 29, 2012 2:16 pm UTC

Qaanol wrote:Copyrights and patents are nothing more nor less than government-granted monopolies. A better term for them would be “intellectual monopolies”.
That implies that the monopoly is arranged arbitrarily--rather than correlating with the person who 'created' the idea. I like 'intellectual property' because it better represents the intention of the process--to allow for ideas to be 'owned' by their 'creators'. Whether you disagree with the merits of that end, it's clearly the end those laws are attempting to serve.

(Albeit, sometimes quite poorly; as far as I can see, copyright law has a tendency to protect the rights of entities to own ideas they did not produce, so maybe 'intellectual monopoly' would be a more suitable term in some cases)

HungryHobo
Posts: 1708
Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 9:01 am UTC

Re: Wiley sues student for infringing copyright on resold bo

Postby HungryHobo » Mon Oct 29, 2012 2:34 pm UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:That implies that the monopoly is arranged arbitrarily--rather than correlating with the person who 'created' the idea.

Not really, you can have a monopoly on things you created. it doesn't really imply anything different about the origin than "property" does. if anything it's a more accurate term since patents and copyright are, pretty much by definition, a government granted monopoly on making something.

Even if 2 people work equally hard with equal skill on an invention and file at the same time only one of them gets the monopoly.

on the other hand if 2 people work equally hard with equal skill creating a piece of property, say chairs then they both get a piece of property, a chair.
Give a man a fish, he owes you one fish. Teach a man to fish, you give up your monopoly on fisheries.

Tyndmyr
Posts: 11443
Joined: Wed Jul 25, 2012 8:38 pm UTC

Re: Wiley sues student for infringing copyright on resold bo

Postby Tyndmyr » Mon Oct 29, 2012 2:45 pm UTC

Arariel wrote:
Qaanol wrote:If we made copyright durations equal to patent durations, namely 20 years, then the bulk of the problem would simply disappear. Authors would have 20 years of exclusive rights to monetize their works, just like inventors do. And after that, the books would enter the public domain and be available for the public benefit.

People could use 20-year-old textbooks, or rather, royalty-free reprints of 20-year-old textbooks, sold at competitive market price (which is likely to be “free in PDF form”). In almost all fields of study the information would easily be up-to-date enough for undergraduate class (and probably a lot of graduate classes too…)

Unlikely; how many basic calculus textbooks are older than twenty years?


This is unfortunately the case. However, it really shouldn't be. How much of basic calculus has changed in twenty years?

The Great Hippo wrote:
Arariel wrote:Actually, this is in instance where government interference causes the problem in the first place. Government protects the monopoly; therefore, there is one.
I'm confused: How is the government making the colleges do this?

If you mean the government is enforcing the country-by-country pricing scheme, okay--but that's not how this monopoly got into place. This monopoly got into place because of colleges and textbook companies; the government is only enforcing this monopoly in one very narrow circumstance. If you removed government enforcement, the monopoly would still be there, and the textbook company would respond by adjusting prices appropriately (to maintain its monopoly).


Strictly speaking, copyright in whole is a government-enforced monopoly...but it's not necessarily unreasonable. I don't particularly like aspects of our IP law, but I wouldn't necessarily mind a more moderate version of it. So, while he's technically correct, it's in a way that has substantial practical issues for solving the problem in that way.

I prefer the more reasonable interpretation of requiring an explicit contract for enforcement. So, the major resellers will want to not break the monopoly, but if random student happens to ebay his book to someone overseas, it's not a problem. This results in a bit of arbitrage at the low level, but frankly, that's mostly unavoidable, and suing random students isn't really the outcome we want.

The thing is, textbook makers hate used book sales, and seek to quash them at every turn. Many version updates provide little new info, but changed page numbers, assignment values, etc, so students have to buy new. The current system risks being an extension of that policy. So, I like the idea of individuals being able to buy and sell things they own simply at will. The idea that products are merely licensed to the end-user is a strange one, and one filled with dangers.

TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:
Arariel wrote:Again, 'for the greater good' does not seem a particularly compelling reason to do away with the rights of the people.

Do I have the right to say "I will sell you this book if you agree not to resell it for a higher price"?


I think that's a fair bargain to make...but one that has to actually be made and agreed to, not something hidden in the fine print, or inside the book itself, where you won't see it till after the purchase. I don't mind explicit contracts, but I feel like implicit contracts, as in the case of eulas, etc, often go too far.

IP rights should be a thing. I value those who choose not to exercise them(the open source community), in the same way I value charity for material goods. But assuming that charity can replace the market is...ludicrous. I feel the same about IP, at least in the current system. We may one day have a different situation, but that's a worry for another day. Copyright can be a useful tool...but it needs moderation.


Return to “News & Articles”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: iamspen and 18 guests