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Wednesday, April 18, 2007

About copyrights

I agree that copyright owners deserve fair compensation.


First, I believe that most copyright does not create new wealth as do inventions. Generally copyright only shifts wealth from one pocket to another.

I have known many top inventors. Dr. Damadian (MRI), Wilson Greatbatch (Pacemaker), Gordon Gould (Laser), Gertrude Elion (Leukemia treatment and other inventions), and Jim Fergason (LCD) to name a few. The value of those inventions are incalculable. What is a movie or song worth to society? Is there any comparison?


Second, I think that the priorities are backwards. Copyrights have very robust protections, protections which have steadily increased while the ability to protect patents is much more limited.

Third, I think that the term of protection for copyright is far too long.
Most certainly copyrights deserve protection for a long enough period to give a reasonable return. How about twenty years or the life of the author, which ever is greater? The Mickey Mouse bill really was outrageous. DRM is outrageous.

Forth, I believe in fair use for both patents and copyright (i.e. research).
The problem is that the copyright interests are attempting to force people to pay again and again for the same work. They are trying to kill all fair use.

Fifth, copyright interests are impeding innovation, not based on the merits but with abusive litigation. And many of the bigger copyright interests are campaigning to weaken inventor's rights while at the same time overreaching with their own rights. Copyright owners should be chasing infringers not crippling new technology. As an inventor I had to punish those whole steal, not those who licensed. I expect copyright holders to live by the same standards. Just as we do not punish people for what they might do, we should not punish the public at large for what a few do.

I am deeply disturbed by the actions of companies like Apple and their iPod.
The truth of the matter is Apple is not a great innovator today. They did a good job of packaging others inventions and of marketing, but they really did nothing to advance the collective arts.

I also do not understand why anyone would by music which is locked in a propriety format. I sure will not. When I pay for a product I do not expect to be forced to watch commercials as is the case with DVD. I rarely go to theaters anymore because they force me to listen to deathening commercials.
I can and will do without products like these. Besides, most of movies are drivel.

I do not mind paying for rights, but I will only do so once for any given work. I will not purchase products which unreasonably restrict my ability to use those products. I will not purchase software with copy protection.
I have a right to make backups and if I cannot backup one product I look for an alternative. I will not pay for subscription software unless there is valuable and constantly updated data which merits ongoing payments.

Ronald J Riley, Exec. Dir. Ronald J Riley, President
InventorEd, Inc. Professional Inventors Alliance
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