The Copyright That Should Not Be

“The Thing That Should Not Be” from Metallica is inspired by H.P Lovecraft and the story of Cthulu the Apocalyptic Elder God lying in a dream state within his sunken kingdom of R’lyeh.

Today, “The Thing That Should Not Be” is the story of Copyright, the Monopoly Elder God, awakened from its dream state to lobby hard again so that politicians get laws extended once again.

In 1998, the US Congress agreed to grant another 20 years of copyright protection to every film, book and song in the land. Now those same laws are under review once again.

“Messenger of Fear in sight
Dark deception kills the light”

That is what the Copyright monopolies are. Messengers that spread a fear that doesn’t exist. Deceiving people by selectively quoting from studies that they have paid for. Telling people that Copyright needs to be locked away

“Cyber children sharing free
Pray for Freedom, liberty”

The media portray it as piracy. The children see it as culture. With all the supposed rampant piracy doing the rounds, box office returns for 2013 has eclipsed the previous years returns. So what do the esteemed leaders and lobby groups do, conduct a review of copyright laws. It’s happening in America and in Australia. Politicians are debating, along with interested lobby groups, new laws to stop piracy by extending copyright terms, so that works don’t fall into the public domain.

“Fearless kids
Are downloading
Watches, lurking to see
Courts blockade
Forbidden sites
Google search
Hunter of the wealthy is rising”

Hollywood and the music industry are the ones that hold the monopoly on copyright. However, Tech companies like Google who are in favour of an expanded public domain, now have increased lobbying efforts. Other Public Domain not for profit organisations have also risen.

In payments leaders dwell

Crawling Chaos, underground
Corporate summons, evil goes round

Monopolies fight tooth and nail
Copyright falls, time to fail”

The world needs a sensible copyright policy. Current terms need to be shortened and any punishment for infringement needs to be sensible. The whole process of songwriter royalties vs performance royalties vs publishing royalties vs licensing fees, needs to be sensibly re-written. The whole process of copyright take downs sent by machines to machines needs to be looked at and sensibly re-written. Look at the recent issue between Lawrence Lessig and Liberation Music.

Liberation is not the only music label to enforce their copyrights robotically. Go to the Google transparency report and have a look.

Musical rights organisations, BPI and the RIAA are leading the way.

“Enforcing rights by machines
Copyright as censorship
The Copyright That Should Not Be”

Copyright in it’s current form allowed John Fogerty to be sued. Seriously, the court case was about John Fogerty plagiarising John Fogerty. Copyright in it’s current form neglects to compensate Andy Summers, while Sting rakes it in because he is listed as the main songwriter for “Every Breath You Take” however it was the main guitar line that Puff Daddy sampled.