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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/11574/authors-dont-make-the-buddy-holly-mistake/

Authors: Don’t Make the Buddy Holly Mistake

January 30, 2010 by

In Authors: Beware of Copyright, Jeff Tucker warns authors to be careful with their publication agreements not to alienate their books and other works. A good illustration of this peril is found in the case of Buddy Holly and his recording contract with Decca. As reported in Buddy Holly’s secretly recorded contract negotiation with Decca,

In 1956, Buddy Holly traveled to Nashville to record several songs. One of the songs he recorded was “That’ll Be The Day”, but the producer assigned to his sessions (Owen Bradley) hated rock n’ roll, and did a terrible job on the song. After that, Buddy traveled to New Mexico and re-recorded “That’ll Be The Day” (the version that became the monster hit) at a different studio with his own (superior) arrangement, but according to his contract with Decca, he couldn’t release it, because Decca owned all rights to his music. He decided to call Decca, to try reason with them, and he secretly taped his conversation. They refused to give him the rights to his own song, but he went ahead and violated his contract. Here is the conversation he secretly taped.

Listening to Holly pleading with the masters he has alienated his rights to is heartbreaking. Decca had dropped him, apparently, but had the rights to sit on his recordings for 5 years. Although they had no intention of releasing the songs, they also would not give Holly permission to do so–the cigar-chomping executive kept saying “well, we got a lot of money tied up in them, Buddy!” But Holly offered to reimburse those costs; no dice.

Authors: do not let this happen to you. When you publish a book, consider publishing it yourself on Amazon/Kindle (or, soon, iBooks/iPad) or LuLu. Or persuade the publisher to let you post an online version for free. At least make sure the publisher will offer a kindle and ebook version. Negotiate, at the very least, the right to post the work online for free after, say, 3 or 4 years, when sales have petered out.

{ 130 comments }

Stephan Kinsella February 1, 2010 at 8:36 pm

Hubbard: if you still find yourself incredulous that Mises Institute allows its material to be copied–if you still view it as being “ripped off”; you just don’t get it. You are mired in the mistaken view that the infinite reproducibility of knowledge and information is a bad thing; that it would be better if it were a scarce resource.

See Tucker in Mises.org in the Context of Publishing History:

Let us return now to the three principles that drive progress in publishing: low costs, wide distribution, permanent results. The web has achieved all three in the most spectacular way. The marginal cost of downloads is approaching zero. The access is approaching universal. The capacity for copying is infinite. And the results are everlasting.

As you know, the Mises Institute is furiously posting as many works in the Austroliberal tradition as we can scan, and we are working at a pace and with a discipline that is on the order of the older scribes. Our entire literature archive is completely open source, meaning that anyone in the world is free to simultaneously host our results. These editions are like fire. A spark can create a roaring blaze stretching hundreds of miles. This is the power of digital media. It has achieved the dream of every publishing innovation in all of human history.

When a new edition goes up on Mises.org, even before it is publicly linked, it is sent out via torrent to servers worldwide and immediately achieves immortality. It is archived on the site, and thus available to researchers and students all over the world. We have thousands of works available and the number grows daily. We are limited right now by copyright restrictions, but these are being chipped away steadily, and we push the envelope as far as we can.

After we became conscious of the power of the web, Human Action was our first giant project. Now we have it out in epub format, in which it can be downloaded an infinite number of times and fly around the planet at the speed of light. Seventy years ago, this work had a very unpromising start. It is now immortal. May we someday say the same of human liberty itself. With Mises.org and its supporters around the world, I do think that day will eventually come.

Read this, Hubbard! Can you not see why we are grateful when others spread the word? We WANT THE WORD OUT! Ripping us off? Hardly. You sound like the nutty Galambosians parodied by Tuccille in It Usually Begins with Ayn Rand (Amazon):

Around this time I met the Galambosian.
“I am a Galambosian,” he said. [...]
“What the hell is a Galambosian?”
There was this individual, it seems, named Joseph Andrew Galambos who evolved a theory of “primary property rights”. Apparently, as soon as someone came up with a new idea – whether an invention or an original philosophical concept – the prototype belonged irrevocably to him and was to be regarded forevermore as his primary property. Somewhere along the line Galambos picked up the notion that Thomas Paine had invented the word “liberty,” whereupon he established the Thomas Paine Royalty Fund, and every time he gave a lecture and used the word “liberty” he dropped a nickel into his fund box as a royalty payment to Tom. How he determined that a nickel was the proper measure of homage to Mr. Paine, I have no idea. Legend even had it that Galambos was still diligently searching for Thomas Paine’s descendants so he could turn over moneys due their famous ancestor.

Sometime in the early or middle 1960′s, Galambos decided that his name, Joseph Andrew, was actually the primary property of his father. In order to avoid giving his father a royalty payment every time he spoke the name, Galambos reversed the order and sent out notices to all his friends that henceforth his name was Andrew Joseph, and that he was to be addressed as Andy, instead of Joe.

“There are five legitimate functions of government,” said the Galambosian.
“No kidding. What are they?”
“I am not at liberty to say. The theory was originated by Andy Galambos and it is his primary property.”
The Galambosian also informed me that Andy had been introduced to Ayn Rand several years before, and that after five minutes of conversation they had pronounced each other insane.
“Of course, it is Miss Rand who is really insane,” said the Galambosian.
“Why is that?”
“I’m afraid I cannot tell you. The reasoning behind that theory belongs to Andy.”
The most peculiar thing about the whole Galambosian concept was the impossibility of finding out anything about it. Galambos’ disciples were not at liberty to disseminate his philosophy without paying a royalty to their leader–who could not even waive payment, since primary property was an absolute good and could not be given away. You were stuck with it whether you wanted it or not, throughout eternity. Consequently, all the converts were those proselytized by Galambos himself–a time-consuming and self-restricting process, it being physically impossible to convert more than a handful of people at a time.
If the rest of us were free to discuss his ideas,” said the Galambosian, “there is no question in my mind that Galambosianism would spread throughout the world like wildfire.”

Well, unlike IP types, we want our ideas to spread like wildfire. Don’t you? Why in the world would you think we would resent you from setting up a Mises site showing the works of liberty? We want people to have this stuff!!

Stephan Kinsella February 1, 2010 at 10:47 pm

Stranger:

Yes, the Mises Institute does not pay writers to write books, only to sell them. It is not a capitalist enterprise.

But capitalists are newbs anyway. Who needs their money?

Your reasoning is extremely odd. Are you against eleemosynary pursuits and activities? Why are you writing your posts here–you are not being paid!

(Side note: a CC license is still a copyright – the Mises Institute will use force on those who copy their books without making a reference to the Mises Institute.)

Of course they will not. As I explain in Copyright is very sticky!, because of the state’s laws that you support, people can’t even get rid of them. If we wish to let people use our works unencumbered by copyright law, free of fear of suit, you can’t just say “this is not protected by copyright”–it is. You can’t just say “this is hereby public domain”–it’s not; your state’s IP laws don’t give effect to this. There is no reliable, easy way to release copyright. The broadest permission that it appears legally reliable to grant is creative commons–attribution only. All someone need do is attribute it; this is not even a burden since people want to do this. If you sell or post my article, you want to say whose article it is so people know what they are getting. But anyway–your point is ad hominem and beside the point; and confused and hypocritical to boot, not to mention victim-blaming. The Mises Institute is offering tons of great, free material to the world, for the purpose of spreading liberty and economic literacy. It unshackles it from copyright as much as is possible give the statist regime you favor. You have some nerve blaming us for doing the best we can to escape the IP shackles you are in favor of.

Silas Barta February 1, 2010 at 10:55 pm

Your reasoning is extremely odd. Are you against eleemosynary pursuits and activities? Why are you writing your posts here–you are not being paid!

Ah, this tired cliche again: you gave away something for free, obviously the property rights in what you gave away shouldn’t exist and have no impact on production.

Stranger February 1, 2010 at 11:25 pm

“All someone need do is attribute it; this is not even a burden since people want to do this. ”

And what will happen if they don’t? Information should be free of any restriction after all.

Stephan Kinsella February 2, 2010 at 12:37 am

Stranger:

“”All someone need do is attribute it; this is not even a burden since people want to do this. ”

And what will happen if they don’t? Information should be free of any restriction after all.”

Well the US copyright law grants a right to sue to copyright holders, for acts of infringement. So I suppose Mises Institute could sue. Just as a minority can sue for racial discrimination in employment, because the law gives him this right. It is not the fault of the Mises Institute that the state gives them copyright automatically, nor is it their fault that the state make it virtually impossible to disclaim this “right” ahead of time. What exactly is your criticism? The only criticism I see is that of the copyright law itself–and those who support it.

David Bratton February 2, 2010 at 12:56 am

@Brian Macker

I asked:
So the question remains. How do you project co-ownership onto the property of a third part with which you have no agreement?

You replied:
Because he’s using my property as a factor of production in the copy.

And before we forget let’s recall you also said: “It just boils down to physical property rights.”

Someone who makes a copy of your book is not using your physical property as a factor of production. He reads the book, gives it back to you, and then makes and sells copies using his own paper and ink. He is using your words as a factor of production, but not your property (again, you said physical property only). Unless your alleged co-ownership rights are being transmitted by or with the words somehow then you still haven’t explained how you establish these rights over the copier’s paper and ink. It’s not as if he’s mixing your paper with his paper.

Kerem Tibuk February 2, 2010 at 3:38 am

Kinsella said,

“Hubbard: if you still find yourself incredulous that Mises Institute allows its material to be copied–if you still view it as being “ripped off”; you just don’t get it”

Allowed?

Well that kind of implies a right over the content doesn’t it? Like a property right.

Was that a Freudian slip?

Kerem Tibuk February 2, 2010 at 3:42 am

Bala said,

“I guess this is too much for you to comprehend considering how badly you have yourself entangled in your “extension” theory.”

I would have loved this to be MY “extension” theory. If it wasn’t the oldest and the most consistent and contradiction-free property theory since it was formulated centuries ago by John Locke.

Then it would have shown my genius.

But as you pointed out I am just an idiot.

Brian Macker February 2, 2010 at 7:49 am

“He reads the book, gives it back to you, and then makes and sells copies using his own paper and ink.”

Good luck with that. He’s still used the book as a factor of production if he manages to create an accurate copy. What really happens is that he holds the book open as he copies the contents out.
This scenario becomes even more absurd if the product is a piece of software.

He also didn’t have the right to use the book in that fashion, to make a copy. It could not have been lent for that purpose because the person who had the book didn’t have those rights. Sure it could be lent for reading, but not copying. It doesn’t matter what process you use to copy.

David Bratton February 2, 2010 at 10:05 am

@Brian Macker

“He’s still used the book as a factor of production if he manages to create an accurate copy.”

If that’s your standard for declaring something a “factor of production” then my eighth grade math book is a factor of production every time I have to figure out the tip at a restaurant. That doesn’t mean the publisher can come and claim some of my property.

If your book is being used without your consent then your legitimate recourse is to take your book back. You do not have a claim to co-ownership of the other guy’s property. It doesn’t matter how it was used or what it was used for. If I borrow your garden hose to put out a fire do you own my house? If I borrow your pencil do you own my copyrights?

Stranger February 2, 2010 at 10:29 am

@Kinsella

“Well the US copyright law grants a right to sue to copyright holders, for acts of infringement. So I suppose Mises Institute could sue. Just as a minority can sue for racial discrimination in employment, because the law gives him this right. It is not the fault of the Mises Institute that the state gives them copyright automatically, nor is it their fault that the state make it virtually impossible to disclaim this “right” ahead of time. What exactly is your criticism? The only criticism I see is that of the copyright law itself–and those who support it.”

Please don’t pay the victim here, no one is buying. The Mises Institute did not have to include an attribution clause in its copyright notice. It could have granted all rights to transform the information. It didn’t because it claims a property right on the information.

If the Mises Institute recognizes the legitimacy of some restrictions of copying, there is no argument against any other form of restriction, including the full reserved rights that are necessary for capitalist production of information.

Stephan Kinsella February 2, 2010 at 10:43 am

Kerem:

Kinsella said,

“Hubbard: if you still find yourself incredulous that Mises Institute allows its material to be copied–if you still view it as being “ripped off”; you just don’t get it”

Allowed?

Well that kind of implies a right over the content doesn’t it? Like a property right.

Was that a Freudian slip?

No, and this argument of yours is extremely evil and slimy. You IP fascists impose these terrible laws on us. Becaues of you, Mises Institute HAS COPYRIGHT in some things, whether they want it or not. The only way to minimize the harm done is to NOT exercise copyright, or better yet, make some kind of legally enforceable promise not to–a license. If we just say “we promise not to enforce copyrgiht” or “I hereby make this public domain,” your terrible copyright system WILL NOT RECOGNIZE THIS and IT’S STILL IN COPYRIGHT. Therefore, we grant the most minimally intrusive legally enforceable license available, which is CC-attribution only. And you have the gall to criticize us for this? How dare you.

David Bratton:

@Brian Macker

“He’s still used the book as a factor of production if he manages to create an accurate copy.”

If that’s your standard for declaring something a “factor of production” then my eighth grade math book is a factor of production every time I have to figure out the tip at a restaurant. That doesn’t mean the publisher can come and claim some of my property.

Exactly. Perfect point.
Stranger:

@Kinsella

“Well the US copyright law grants a right to sue to copyright holders, for acts of infringement. So I suppose Mises Institute could sue. Just as a minority can sue for racial discrimination in employment, because the law gives him this right. It is not the fault of the Mises Institute that the state gives them copyright automatically, nor is it their fault that the state make it virtually impossible to disclaim this “right” ahead of time. What exactly is your criticism? The only criticism I see is that of the copyright law itself–and those who support it.”

Please don’t pay the victim here, no one is buying. The Mises Institute did not have to include an attribution clause in its copyright notice.

It could have granted all rights to transform the information. It didn’t because it claims a property right on the information.

How the hell do you know? I linked you to my “copyright is sticky” post which explains and links to pieces showing that WITHOUT this limitation the “license” is NOT a license. Don’t you get it? Your IP fascist system makes it impossible for Mises Inst. to make their works public domain. If you do not include the attribution line, there IS NO LICENSE–probalby because there is then no consideration by the reader/copier. It is FOR THE COPIER’S BENEFIT THAT WE INCLUDE THE ATTRIBUTION REQUIREMENT–without it, Mises Inst. could simlpy change its mind and sue the copier for copyright infringement. This way, as long as the copier complies with a small requirement, they have a better legal argument–a defense–against any copyright suit.

I suggest you read the links and research this before mouthing off like a legal expert.

Scott D February 2, 2010 at 11:51 am

It then becomes an issue of how to rectify the situation and who has the greater claim to the copy, who’s productive input was the cause of the greater share of the value of the copy.

This just gets stranger and stranger. Okay, let’s say I have a recipe to make the perfect brew of coffee provided by a famous chef. This chef worked for weeks to find the best beans, filter, water, and fineness of grind to use. I put in five minutes of my time to follow his recipe. Now, because his productive input was much larger than mine, he owns the coffee I brewed, am I right? Or do I at least get to take a sip?

Or lets say I read “Harry Potter and the Stolen Pattern” and when I am finished, I write a short story about a young female wizard in a gothic fantasy setting. I happily proclaim that Rowling inspired me and I would not have written my story if not for reading hers. Does J. K. Rowling own my story?

Or let’s say I teach myself html by looking through the source code of hundreds of web pages. Do the programmers for those pages all own stake in anything I subsequently produce if my own effort in writing a webpage was less than what they used to produce the pages they wrote?

If I take five minutes to write a book review for a book that took two years for the author to write, do I owe the author a royalty on the sale of my review?

If I hum a Taylor Swift song, does she own the sounds I make? How about if my co-worker pays me a dollar to stop my impromptu performance? Royalty money?

Really, it seems to be a much better strategy to just yell, “You’re all thieves! No rational argument against IP could ever soothe the pain in my heart!” Then you don’t have to try to defend something that is completely subjective and arbitrary with logic, since logic is horribly unsuitable for such a task.

Yep, argument from emotion, that’s where it’s at, baby. Those poor, starving artists and authors. Shame on you for being exposed to photons that are causally connected to the author’s past activity and choosing not to pay him money. All your brain are belong to me.

Stranger February 2, 2010 at 3:51 pm

@Kinsella

“Mises Inst. could simlpy change its mind and sue the copier for copyright infringement”

You just assured us they didn’t want to do this.

What bizarre arguments they teach in law school these days.

Stephan Kinsella February 2, 2010 at 4:12 pm

Stranger:

“”Mises Inst. could simlpy change its mind and sue the copier for copyright infringement”

You just assured us they didn’t want to do this.

What bizarre arguments they teach in law school these days.”

I can’t speak for Mises Institute, but I don’t believe they DO want to. The point is that they have the legal RIGHT to. So if a consumer wants to republish an article on Mises.org, he leaves himself open to exposure–liability, if he has no legally binding license he can rely upon. Do you get it now? It is to his advantage that he have a contractually binding license he can rely on.

Deefburger February 2, 2010 at 5:34 pm

@Stephan

Logic and reason are inadequate to the task of arguing against stoic belief. Only direct experience of the false nature of the belief will loosen the grip the belief has on the mind. And even then, the belief will remain as blame is passed on to those who do not share the belief.

Only a mind dedicated to true knowledge is capable of shedding a belief, let alone be willing to do so. Belief has the appearance of knowledge, and only loses this appearance when rigorously examined and tested, and that requires intelligence and the bravery of curiosity.

There are some who don’t have what it takes to do this, and continuous engagement is a merry-go-round of frustration. Leave them alone, they are helpless and doomed to repeat the same mistakes over and over and over again, ad nauseum.

Brian Macker February 2, 2010 at 6:18 pm

“If that’s your standard for declaring something a “factor of production” then my eighth grade math book is a factor of production every time I have to figure out the tip at a restaurant.”

Really, so you think that you could add without that particular math book (and even though some animals can add), yet you somehow think you can make a copy of MS Word without having used it to make the copy.

I think one of the main problems you IP opponents have is that you get confused by things that do not have fixed boundaries. You would deny that bald people exist because of the fact one can go bald incrementally. Not being able to precisely define how many hairs separate a bald man from one with a full head of hair you deduce that everyone is bald.

The fact of the matter is that you cannot create a copy of MS Word without access to MS Word, nor Harry Potter without a copy of Harry Potter.

You can figure out how to add two numbers without access to whatever math book you happened to use in grade school.

Brian Macker February 2, 2010 at 6:21 pm

I also have over and over pointed out that ratio of coownership in the produced good is determined by the value of the input factors of production. Not only isn’t your math book an important factor in your being able to add two numbers together there would be no way to prove it was used, and furthermore adding two numbers together is not even the same as producing a copy of the book. Your counterexample, contrary to Kinsella’s comment of “Perfect Point” isn’t even on point.

Brian Macker February 2, 2010 at 6:25 pm

Nate Y,

Wrong, the sale was not free and clear. The seller retained copyright ownership and even stated so in the book/CD.

Peter Surda February 2, 2010 at 6:48 pm

Dear Brian,

> Really, so you think that you could add without
> that particular math book (and even though
> some animals can add), yet you somehow think
> you can make a copy of MS Word without having
> used it to make the copy.
The issue is purely quantitative rather than qualitative. You are confused because in some cases, the “physical act of copying” is practically unavoidable. But not theoretically. There are people who can remember large sequences of numbers. Per reductio ad absurdum, even the copy of MS word is theoretically possible without a “physical act of copying”. How is it qualitatively different when I repeat a sequence of 10 digits and 10 billion digits? The latter is more difficult to pull off. Should that be the criterion for property? How hard would it be to do something?

> Not being able to precisely define how many hairs
> separate a bald man from one with a full head of
> hair you deduce that everyone is bald.
It’s not the issue per se that we cannot decide who is bald or not. It’s the issue when you attempt to derive objective truths from the “level of baldness”. “Baldness” is a concept that is only meaningful for humans. It does not have an objective existence.

Yet, as for IP proponents, without the fixed boundaries, they have no theory of property.

> You can figure out how to add two numbers
> without access to whatever math book you
> happened to use in grade school.
This is, I am afraid, only confusing the situation. Some IP proponents claim that causality is an unnecessary criterion (e.g. those that reject independent discovery patent defence theory). But the core issue is not whether the outcome is hypothetically possible without, rather whether there is an actual causal relationship. It would be even more absurd to demarcate property boundaries based on what could have happened, as opposed to what actually happened.

Peter Surda February 2, 2010 at 6:56 pm

Dear Brian,

> I also have over and over pointed out that ratio of
> coownership in the produced good is determined
> by the value of the input factors of production.
Value to whom? You really want to define property boundaries based on how people value the inputs? That’s the value theory of property, refuted several times over by economists smarter than me. Furthermore, if you extend the “inputs” into the immaterial, there is an infinite number of them, fluctuating as time progresses. Who will keep a track of everything? To do so would require complexity that exceeds that of our own universe.

Brian Macker February 2, 2010 at 7:00 pm

Stephan,

Responding to this.

“Claiming you don’t own money is not fraud. Maybe you believe it.”

How can someone who is lying believe what they are saying?

The hypothetical you set up already had the person owing the money. There was no question of that. We weren’t even talking about a case where no money was actually owed.

Then I added to the hypothetical stating that there could be fraud in the non-performance if the person was trying to get out of the repayment by lying.

He can lie in all sorts of ways to get out of payment. For example he could claim destitution when in fact he had all sorts of secret bank accounts.
They even have a subclass of fraud called bankruptcy fraudd to cover such tactics.

I had already agreed that mere non-performance on a contract isn’t fraud. That doesn’t however mean you don’t owe something.

I would tend to agree that non-performance on a contract doesn’t count as stealing in any case (no more than it counts as robbery).

I don’t however see copyright violation as a contract violation in the first place. It’s a property rights violation because the copyright holder is in fact retaining partial property rights in the copies he sells.

Stranger February 2, 2010 at 10:01 pm

@Kinsella

“I can’t speak for Mises Institute, but I don’t believe they DO want to. The point is that they have the legal RIGHT to. So if a consumer wants to republish an article on Mises.org, he leaves himself open to exposure–liability, if he has no legally binding license he can rely upon. Do you get it now? It is to his advantage that he have a contractually binding license he can rely on.”

I get it now. The Mises Institute reserves copyrights in order to protect other people from the Mises Institute. It makes perfect sense. It is not a praxeologically irrational action at all.

Stranger February 2, 2010 at 10:07 pm

I will note also your admission that a copyright is a contractually binding license. Now what is wrong with any other contractual forms of copyrights?

Once again, you must concede the validity of copyright.

Peter February 2, 2010 at 10:09 pm

Good luck with that. He’s still used the book as a factor of production if he manages to create an accurate copy. What really happens is that he holds the book open as he copies the contents out.

What if you read the book, outdoors on a nice day. The other guy has access to spy satellites with really high resolution optics, and takes photographs of your book as you turn the pages (note: the book doesn’t need to be held open as he copies the contents out — it only takes a small fraction of a second to capture each page). He then writes out (or OCRs?!) the same content on his own paper, using his own ink. At no time has he ever come within hundreds of miles of either your book or anyone who owns a copy (and thus has agreed to the copying restrictions); he certainly hasn’t ever touched it! What say you to this scenario? How is he bound by your “copyright” agreement?

Peter February 2, 2010 at 10:16 pm

You just assured us they didn’t want to do this.

Obviously, they don’t want to do this today. But who’s to say a bunch of Randroids don’t end up running the LvMI 50 years from now, or something? What a silly argument.

Peter February 2, 2010 at 10:19 pm

You would deny that bald people exist because of the fact one can go bald incrementally. Not being able to precisely define how many hairs separate a bald man from one with a full head of hair you deduce that everyone is bald.

Yes, that’s it — I deny that bald people exist while simultaneously claiming that everyone is bald!

Stephan Kinsella February 2, 2010 at 10:25 pm

Stranger:

“I can’t speak for Mises Institute, but I don’t believe they DO want to. The point is that they have the legal RIGHT to. So if a consumer wants to republish an article on Mises.org, he leaves himself open to exposure–liability, if he has no legally binding license he can rely upon. Do you get it now? It is to his advantage that he have a contractually binding license he can rely on.”

I get it now. The Mises Institute reserves copyrights in order to protect other people from the Mises Institute.

Stranger, you are either stupid, or dishonest. This is not that hard to understand. They don’t reserve copyright, dolt: there is no way to get rid of it. Don’t you get it? The state attaches property right to us, and does not give us a way to get rid of it. It’s like your “right” to sue an employer for racial or sexual discrimination, or your right to seek welfare someday. Suppose you just post somewhere, “I, Stranger, hereby ‘renounce’ my right to sue employers for racial, religious, or sexual discrimination, and i hereby ‘renounce’ my right to seek welfare if I ever need it.” Does this statement prevent you from doing these things later? No. It is not binding.

It is the same with copyright. The state imposes copyrights on authors. If you post copyrighted work on a website, you give them implicit permission (license) only to read it on your site. But not to use it in other ways. If they use it in other ways without your permission you CAN sue them; you have the legal right to. They need some kind of defense or permission if they want to be sure they can use the work without possible liability. That is what CC is used for. We put it there to provide the user with legal assurances that he can use it with impunity. Now, if we had some half-assed statement like, “this work is public domain” or “we hereby renounce all copyright,” this would give the would-be copier no assurance–it’s not a binding agreement! It’s not an agreement binding on the author.
“I will note also your admission that a copyright is a contractually binding license. Now what is wrong with any other contractual forms of copyrights?”

Copyright is not a license. Copyrihgt is a right imposed by the state. The license is a permission given by the rights holder to allow others to use it. The license or permission would not be necessary if the state did not grant these fake rights.

Vahram Diehl August 29, 2011 at 10:58 am

Weird. After reading Human Action, I would have bet anything that the people composing the institute named after its author would understand the importance of honoring contracts. Live and learn, I guess.

Peter Surda August 29, 2011 at 11:47 am

Vahram,

you cannot apply contractual conditions to people who are not a party to that contract.

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