What can Latvia and the USSR teach us about copyright?

As I was working on scouring a piracy site today I noticed the host was in Latvia.  It’s not all that common to find piracy sites hosted in Latvia.  Admittedly the only thing I knew that came outta Latvia was Golden State Warrior Andris Biedriņš.  So I decided to look up how Latvia views copyright.  While the Latvian view of copyright has changed over the years, I did find this official Latvian government website detailing the history of Latvian copyright.

http://www.km.gov.lv/en/eu/member/copyright_history.html

Here’s a key excerpt:

“During the Soviet Union time in Latvia the Universal or Geneva Copyright Convention was in force. Nevertheless, authors had a very rare chance to control the use of their works. Usually there was no permission requested from author for use of the work, there was no private enterprises or state authority to administer the rights of authors. Even though after the WW II in Latvia functioned department of USSR Copyright organization the main opinion was that “art belongs to nations” therefore everyone could free and without any restrictions use works without paying remuneration. As USSR had not joined the Berne Convention the rights of foreign authors were not observed as well.”

So it turns out the Soviets were big on the freeloading bandwagon too.  There’s a great role model for the copyright-abolitionists of the world.

Doing a little research on what kind of economy the USSR built upon stances like this turned up this website:

http://www.sjsu.edu/faculty/watkins/sovietcollapse.htm

Choice excerpts:

There were many economic problems for the Soviet Stalinist system. One very general problem was the the lack of incentives for productivity. As anonymous Soviet citizen said

They pretend to pay us and we pretend to work.

Lack of incentives for productivity.  Since the purpose of copyright is to create incentives for creators to create, I think the copyright abolitionists of the world might want to take heed.

The Russian economist, Grigory Yavlinsky, who ultimately became an important advisor to Mikhail Gorbachev, became convinced to the need for reform when he investigated the low productivity in the Soviet mines. He found the miners were not working because they had no incentives to work. Said Yavlinsky:

The Soviet system is not working because the workers are not working.

It’s a pretty simple concept.  Since the world works on a system where we have currencies, currencies that you can exchange for goods and currencies that you can acquire more of by doing more or creating more, any system that dis-incentivizes productivity is doomed to fail.

Or as Peter put it in Office Space:

It’s a problem of motivation, all right? Now if I work my ass off and Initech ships a few extra units, I don’t see another dime, so where’s the motivation?

The copyright abolitionists who feel that everyone else should provide for them are going down the same road that the Soviets went down.  It just doesn’t work.  It would be great if we could have everything provided for us, but we live in a world with a finite supply of natural resources.  If you want a world without money then you absolutely have to do one of these two things:

1.  Replace oil, and replace it entirely.  Remember that oil is used in the manufacturing of nearly everything.  It’s not just gas in your car.  It’s the plastic in your keyboard, the rubber in your tires and it’s probably a key ingredient in the McRib.  And you must replace it with an energy source that costs absolutely nothing to produce, harness, distribute and implement.  There can be absolutely no cost involved.  Or…

2.  Convince the oil-rich countries to just give it to us for free.  Which will never happen.  And even if it does, we’d be so gluttonous with it that we’d be out of oil by the middle of next week.  If it didn’t cost anything to gas up you might as well drive a Sandcrawler.  I hear Hummer is working on it.

So for the “culture should be free” crowd who, not surprisingly, seem to advocate for the nanny state, I ask thee:  If all of the services and entertainment should be provided to you by the state, who’s tax dollars are funding this?  If there is no incentive to work or produce, how do you fund your little Utopia?  Do you really want your economy hinging on a bunch of Peter Gibbons’?  Ask the USSR how that worked out while they were getting their ass kicked by the capitalist swine of America.

Copyright infringers think this defense will hold up in court

I would say this is only slightly better than the Chewbacca defense and not nearly as good as pleading insanity.

Also, while I have airbrushed out the name of the site you should know a few things:

1.  This site is purely FOR PROFIT.

2.  This site created different sections for the works of different copyright holders.  Something tells me you can’t claim you don’t know what’s going on on your site when you have different sections for specific companies.

3.  This site does not comply with DMCA notices.

4.  This site is not “user uploaded content”.  The only people able to post on this site are the site owners themselves.  You can’t claim ignorance or the “we just index content” when you decide what content is indexed because you’re the one that uploaded it.

5.  Despite being clear cut criminals, there will be a hoard of freeloaders commenting here to defend these actions.

Takedown Piracy Featured as Supporter of The Artists’ Bill of Rights Campaign

Takedown Piracy is featured as a supporter of the Artists’ Bill of Rights campaign.  The campaign was established to promote a set of ethical principles concerning the use of artists’ intellectual property rights in competitions and appeals seeking use of creative content.  An insightful interview with Takedown Piracy owner Nate Glass recently posted on Artists-Bill-of-Rights.org.  The interview spotlights the company’s crusade against digital content theft.

To view Takedown Piracy’s inclusion as a supporter of the Artists’ Bill of Rights, visit http://artists-bill-of-rights.org/about-us/supporters/takedown-piracy/.

For a list of all supporters of the Artists’ Bill of Rights, visit http://artists-bill-of-rights.org/about-us/supporters/.

To read the interview with Takedown Piracy owner Nate Glass, visit http://artists-bill-of-rights.org/news/campaign-news/an-interview-with-takedown-piracy%27s-ceo/.

Artists’ Bill of Rights Campaign Manager Gordon Harrison states, “Artists’ Bill of Rights is a campaigning organization promoting respect for the rights of artists; we are delighted to promote the Takedown Piracy service founded by Nate Glass.  The work it is doing to defend its clients from the scourge of piracy is vital.  We are particularly impressed in Takedown Piracy’s use of the power of technology to protect its clients, such as its Aikido program, which discovers pirated copies of clients’ works and issue takedown notices to the sites hosting them.  We wish them continued success in this important task.”

“Everything we do is about protecting people’s artistic property,” says Nate Glass.  “The Artists’ Bill of Rights campaign has the same goals.  They work to achieve a stop to piracy through education of the masses, while we try to stop piracy at the source.  By supporting each other, we are able to cover all our bases and greatly reduce digital content theft.”

Takedown Piracy and Nate Glass continue to be in the media spotlight for their renowned effectiveness combatting piracy.  Featured on CNBC.com, TechDirt.com, TheDaily.com, the 1709 Blog, and more, word is spreading about the small but mighty company, and its David versus Goliath story.

Each month, Nate Glass educates readers of AVN Magazine and AVN.com with insightful business news regarding digital content protection for the adult industry to absorb and learn from.  Through humor and accessible rhetoric, Glass explores issues every owner of digital content should know.  To read Glass’ most recent article, visit http://www.thedigitaleditiononline.com/publication/?i=93457&p=54.

With consumers becoming better educated on the harms of piracy, Glass created the Takedown Piracy Tips Page, so people can help make a difference.  Millions of additional eyes provide Takedown Piracy with an army seeking out illegal downloads on torrent, tube and cyberlocker sites.  Users are asked to report the copyright owner and a link to the infringement.  To report a copyright violation using Takedown Piracy’s tip page, visit http://takedownpiracy.com/tips/.

Takedown Piracy actively tracks at least nine different ways content may be pirated, providing widespread coverage.  Takedown Piracy’s army of servers offer protection in the following areas: Cyberlocker sites like Rapidshare, Torrent sites, Tube sites, Auctioned or unauthorized DVD resellers, Search Engines, Image Hosts, Blogs, Forums, Social Media.

To view a statistical breakdown of infringements removed by Takedown Piracy, visit http://takedownpiracy.com/stats/.

 About the Artists’ Bill of Rights:

The Artists’ Bill of Rights campaign was originally founded in 2008 by a photographers organization, Pro-Imaging.  The campaign was established to promote a set of ethical principles concerning the use of artists’ intellectual property rights in competitions and appeals seeking use of creative content.  The campaign seeks to persuade organizations from all sectors, private, charitable, public and non-profit to adopt these principles, and in return it promotes its supporters.  The Artists’ Bill of Rights is encouraged to have gained considerable support for this campaign from organizations across the globe. For further information, please visit the Artists’ Bill of Rights website at http://artists-bill-of-rights.org.

 About Takedown Piracy:

Takedown Piracy (TDP) is an anti-piracy service started in April of 2009.  The service was founded by 14-year entertainment industry veteran Nate Glass.  TDP offers copyright holders an affordable and highly effective means to fight back against content thieves.  For less than the cost of a part-time, minimum wage worker, copyright holders can benefit from Glass’ expertise and passion for protecting copyrighted content from thieves.  To date, TDP has removed over 6.3 million content infringements.  Leading piracy websites are closely monitored to always provide clients with immediate service and protection.  Every month detailed reports are provided to clients with each action taken on their behalf.  A price can’t be placed on trust, but with Takedown Piracy, clients can be sure the company has their best interest in mind 100% of the time.  For more information, visit www.TakedownPiracy.com or www.Twitter.com/TakedownPiracy.