!@!Re: [PGCanada] Introducing... Vasa

Michael Hart hart at pglaf.org
Sun Dec 5 12:58:17 PST 2004

On Sat, 4 Dec 2004, Michael Lockey wrote:

> Thanks for all the early feedback.  I've responded (more or less) to Mr. 
> Hart's comments since this whole gig really is his.

Well. . . .

> Michael Hart wrote:
>> I'm not sure you want to know the history of the current copyright 
>> extensions,
>> but I think it goes back to the mid-60's, even before the United States 
>> was
>> working up it's extension from 28 + 28 years to 95 years without any 
>> renewal.
> My limited understanding is that it's every time 'Steamboat Willy' is about 
> to enter PD that we realize the 'need' to protect Copyright.

As per your comments about slogans below:

How about:


and then a picture of Mickey Rat
or just a generic mouse trap. . . .

BTW. . .why no more Mighty Mouse?

>>>  (Quite frankly, I don't think we should be jingoistic in any of our 
>>> endeavours.)
>> [Sorry, that parenthetical remark about jingoism when right over my head.]
> -I don't like DP-Canada, or PG-US, or anything that smacks of nationalism. 
> What we do is for the world, no ifs, ands, or buts.  If folk approve of my 
> aims, I MUST fight here in Canada, and on the grounds that this is Canadian, 
> since that's the battleground, and hence the company name: but even so, the 
> site will be DP50, because that's what the fight's ABOUT.

That's why I'm going on both directions at full Steamboat Bill speed.

National and regional PGs for the preservation of certain cultures,
PG Consortia Centers for each of the various copyright terms.

> I love DP-EU, and am trying to do my bit towards making it a success.  But 
> it's going to be a lot harder to fight the EU, which is already

Yes, and the EU seems to be going more conservative, right out of the gate.

The EMP who invited me to speak at the EU Parliament was already defeated.

> supra-national.  Here in Canada, we can fight these constraints at the 
> NATIONAL level, not only for us, but for the rest of the Life+50 world.  The 
> other sides have established 'precidents' to justify their behaviour: we MUST 
> do the same, and this locale is our best shot at it.

Let's face it, the copyright cartels are pretty much global in concern,
not just multi-national. . . .

In fact, _I_ don't see ANY way to fight them other than to take the Gandhi
approach that wiped out the British Empire. . .it's that big a thing,
and at least as important. . . .

I don't think the courts will EVER make more than the SLIGHTEST token
decisions on behalf of the public domain, nor will the lawmakers,
nor will the executive branch. . .after all, the last two US extensions
were signed by Democrat Presidents. . . .

>>> I don't think that Disney Corporation- or even Margaret Atwood, God help 
>>> us!- are ameniable to the rights of humanity, or such: I think we must 
>>> fight them on their grounds: money, control, and power.
>> I have always thought that the public domain was the GREATEST CIVIL RIGHT.

Hmmm. . .no comment there?!?

>> Yet we see that "the pen is mightier than then pen" when the leaders of
>> country after country after country sign laws that rape and pillage the
>> public domain rights to a million books here and a million books there.
> Bingo. So let's fight.  Another issue that seems important to me is that PD 
> has no RESPECT.  Again, using the evil rat's empire as an example: they feel 
> at liberty to not only USE but ABUSE PD.  Aside from their not repecting 
> Copyright themselves (reluctant to pay for The Lion Sleeps Tonight), I'm

Totally agree, not to mention Mark Twain, Jules Verne, Alexandre Dumas
[and the trademarking of "Hunchback of Notre Dame. . .plastic model
that was already in existence for decades before the Disney movie.]

> upset by their immoral use of PD material.  Hercules, with Hera as his 
> mother, when she was his worst enemy? (Remember- it may be dead now, but we 
> are talking of a religion, even if it is now extinct.)  Pocahantas?  Turning

History is written by the victors. . .as in the history of copyright,
which no one knows. . .or pays attention to.

> a particularly vicious piece of history on it's head: rather like some 
> fascist writing a movie about Saint Hitler and his missionary work among the 
> Jews.  Winnie-the-Pooh, a Canadian symbol, that can't be used without the 
> rodent's permission?  I could go on, but why bother?  The simple fact is that 
> those who would deny us our heritage, are those who feel the greatest 'right' 
> to steal and pervert the little we have saved.

Mickey Rodent?

Protected by satire laws?

> This in turn raises an issue I've been trying to get my head around- we need 
> to identify the stakeholders in all this.  Owners of Copyright and Defenders 
> of the Public Domain are obvious: but what about the works themselves?  Who 
> speaks for them?  Copyright NEVER 'protects' the work.  In a Darwinian sense, 
> the works are best preserved through dissemination, which Copyright actively 
> seeks to inhibit.  Though the ostensible fight is over GWTW, the true victims 
> are the millions of booksw doomed to extinction because the Copyright owner 
> has no monetary interest in republication.

For each book these new laws "protects". . .there are a thousand it dooms
to not being read.

A million books have been taken out of public domain circulation by the
new copyright extension. . .more than ANY book burning effort. . .ever!


> This, again, may provide fertile ground for a counterattack.  Laws on 
> Copyright were established to protect Copyright holders, true.  But these are 
> not Criminal, but Civil Laws, and based on a Quid Pro Quo.  In exchange for 
> legal protection, which imposed a hard cost to society (administration and 
> enforcement), the public received a benefit- PD.  This is a Contract, to 
> which both sides must adhere.  They want to chage the rules? -Fine; though I 
> don't agree.  But to change them retroactively is to break the contract: had 
> I money enough, I'd fight on the grounds that Copyright no longer exists, and

You can still do it on a philosophical basis. . .a la Gandhi, Martin Luther,
or Martin Luther King. . .etc.

> that all works are now PD.  Can't do that, of course: but again, and fighting 
> on THEIR grounds, I would argue that, since there is no intent to fulfil 
> their side of the bargain, Copyright should be paid for, in recompense for 
> the costs associated with enforcing it.  I hold patents, and have to pay 
> through the nose for them.  I own my house; and must pay my title fees to 
> protect my interests.  I see no difference with Copyright.  (And NOT after 
> the work has established a market value: that's 'post hoc, ergo propter hoc' 
> reasoning.)

This is the difference when laws are written by the people they
are supposed to control. . . .

"He who has the gold, rules!"

"Greed Is Good!"

"Ignorance is Strength!"

"Freedom Is Slavery!"

"War Is Peace"

"War Is Profitable!"

"War makes people forget how bad things are at home."

"Victory Gin!"

>> And with no mention by the major press or major media whatsoever. . . .
> Well, try reading Chomsky's 'Manufacturing Consent' to figure out that little 
> conundrum...

I'd LOVE to hear something about that. . .I could never read Chomsky, sorry.

>> I wonder if it is because they think their own existence is dependent
>> on copyrights to things that were copyrighted a century ago???
>> I think the more likely explanation is that they simply don't want ANY
>> competition to their wares, they want it ALL TO BE "PAY-PER."
>> We have moved from the "PAPERLESS revolution" to the PAY-PER revolution.
> Greed, plain and simple.  I note someone else using the term I've stuck by 
> for years: it's the closing of the electronic commons.

Every time a "media commons" has developed, it's been voided by copyright!!!

Think about that for a moment. . .the ONLY reason copyright ever becomes
an issue is when the rich are NOT the only ones who can copy everything!

>>> Which is why DP-CAN is a for-profit operation.  (Remember that a 
>>> corporation may give away any amount of its profit.)  To download a work 
>>> from DP-CAN (www.dp50.net) will cost $1/download, payable, by the 
>>> downloader, to any registered or non-registered operation or individual, 
>>> as a charitable donation.  In this way, DP-CAN will never directly 
>>> receive any money, though both a gross and net income may be 
>>> established.  If, then, the government tries to reprivatize materials 
>>> currently in PD, we will suffer a loss and be able to sue for damages. 
>>> My lawyer and I are prepared to go to the Supreme Court, if necessary.
>> It is my own opinion that Larry Lessig, et. al., have done the most harm
>> to copyright law of anyone. . .more details on request.
>> These cases, which were once cases with my own name on them, are being
>> lost in a manner that sets the public domain back much further than if
>> the cases had not been brought at all.
> Yes please; more details.  If we must fight, lets not make mistakes.


Not a subject near and dear to my heart, but I will continue to give details.

>> By the way, US lawyers get the same "credit," as it were, for appearing
>> before the Supreme Court whether then win or lose. . . .
> Not, mercifully, true in Canada where, I also think, the courts are more 
> likely to be sympathetic anyway, what with the various 'fair use' decisions.

That's what .au said three years ago. . .hee hee!

No offense meant. . .just meaning it's going to be TOUGH
when an armada of lobbyists disembarks in Canada wearing
suits, etc., that cost more than the average monthly pay
check. . .perhaps more than two months.

More than three months, if you count computers, etc.

>>> Anyway- that's what I've been working on.  My sites are not yet viable: 
>>> I'm working alone, so far.  Given the activities going on here, maybe 
>>> I'll need to change some directions.  But I've structured this to FIGHT: 
>>> and fight I will.  Hence the Company's Motto:
>> Love it!!!


>> Of course, their might be something said in addition:
>> Your support needed, or THE PUBLIC DOMAIN BOOK STOPS HERE.
>> My apologies, I sorted through several ways to say that,
>> and have not yet come up with the right one. . .any help?
> A slogan should be terse, which is why I like my version- but I'm most 
> assuredly open to change.  I was fighting alone simply because I WAS fighting 
> alone.  If there's others in this, great.  I am most willing to turn over all 
> my assets in this to anyone else, and will totally withdraw from any 
> executive position if there is any suggestion that my ego or personal 
> interests are involved.
> But I really do think we must fight; fight hard, fight without mercy, and 
> fight to win.



> Perhaps we could have a face-to-face here in TO (other places, too!) to try 
> and refine our goals and strategies.  And, once more, the Canadian disclaimer 
> (maybe we should boilerplate it?)

Hee hee. . .we haven't even had that conference call yet. . . .!

> Michael Lockey (Vasa)
> PS: Ultimate Canadian Joke: 'I'm sorry I don't have anything to apologize for 
> Today.'
Sounds like what Bush said about never making mistakes. . . .

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