Yle's Pekka Gronow wrote about little bit same thing at january, but the point was different and that with long tail it is more effecient (for society) to keep public domain because then there are other companies to commerialice stuff what owners aren't using. Text is mainly finnish, but there are long quatations in engish also. Very intresting entry.


--Zache, 20-Oct-2006

Actually, if you understand the argument about near-zero marginal costs and the whole paradigm shift in the economy which this means, you precisely want to eliminate copyrights. The whole point in Chris's long tail and other research (like this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Long_tail#_note-6) is that physical and external reasons for limited selections in shops are disappearing with the digital economy, and this means that happiness and satisfaction for consumers comes more and more not from the amount of things they get, but from the diversity of things they get. Hence, even if the amount of songs and movies we get without copyright would be lesser, the increased selection and ease of availability more than compensates for that.

--Toni Heinonen, 20-Oct-2006

I'm not quite sure if the rights holders see it like that. Copyright equals monopoly to exploit a resource, and as long as there is even potential money in it, they don't want to give it away.

You see, big companies don't calculate how much they can gain in a new business; they primarily think how much they will loose their existing business.

--JanneJalkanen, 21-Oct-2006

I can't say I share your analysis of the effects of the Long Tail on copyright. Already, we live in a world subject to perpetual copyright and the long tail has nothing to do with it. Everytime Mickey Mouse nears the end of its commercial life, copyright term gets prolonged. It's already much too long, as you point out. It's my hope that many creators will keep their independance, keep their rights, and not sell out to the big conglomerats. Only then will we have a true Long Tail.

--Robin, 22-Oct-2006

The assumption here seems to be that the works are already under copyright and held in ownership by a business, and that they should be so. Of course a library of shelved works the size of Universal's (and all the others) has enormous value. But this benefits in no way new artists, new expressions, especially if these works are available only for purchase. And the argument that only music sanctioned by a record label is of value reversed in the early seventies. When was the last time you listened to commerical radio? Is Justin Timberlake on heavy rotation on your mobile device? The fight against this insanity is to free corporate ownership of culture, and not on any ideological tip; in an analogous way, imagine what happens to communication when every phrase in your language is TradeMarked.

--Boris, 22-Oct-2006

Well, the thing stopping perpetual copyright is the US Constitution, which says "copyright exists for a limited period of time". In order to get true perpetual copyright US would need to change their constitution, which is probably impossible.

You're right about Mickey Mouse - but it's not only that. There was already considerable opposition for the 50 years - 70 years change; a single company might not get lucky the next time. But the fact that Long Tail exists and has now demonstratable commercial value means that many companies will be more determined the next time the question comes up.

I think the Long Tail does not care who owns the stuff. The Long Tail is "ideologically pure" in the sense that it just demonstrates one of the hitherto undervalued effects of zero-cost distribution. Just pure maths ;-)

(BTW, if you are not a long-time reader of this blog, note that I absolutely hate the idea of copyright extension, think that it should last only a very limited time (like 50 years after publication), but I don't in general have foam-mouthed rants. I'm just trying to write my observations. Working for a large company means that I get to see their point, too.)

--JanneJalkanen, 22-Oct-2006

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