Chris Castle is a Lawyer who specializes in the Music Industry. Of the many lawyers who weigh in on copyright issues, Chris is the one I have the most respect for. Chris admits up front that he has a strong economic interest in the issue, unlike Barry Sookman, James Gannon, or Richard Owens, who pretend that they do all of their writing out of the goodness of their hearts.
While I respect Chris’ honesty, I often disagree with him on cultural and policy issues. One of Chris’s most recent blog posts bothered me. He misrepresents several things, and he shows a misunderstanding of what is really going on. I did leave a comment on the blog, but Chris has this habit of not approving of comments that he disagrees with, and since most of my comments point out the defects of his arguments, they invariably aren’t approved.
Ah, but Chris, I have my own blog. And after I post this, I’ll drop back by Chris’ blog, and let him know I’ve published this. He can then approve my comment or not. It will be interesting seeing what he does. Note that I’ve changed some things. I’ve learned a bit about Chris in the meantime (I wasn’t aware that he was a musician), and I’ve also thought through some of my arguments further.
Chris’ article is titled Ducks come to the Congress: Google finally shows up to answer for “aiding and abetting theft”
OK Chris – in your opinion. But first – you need to stop lying. Copyright infringement isn’t theft under the statutes of the United States or Canada, and it never will be. The RIAA, the MPAA, the CRIA, and all their member companies would fight any attempt to make copyright infringement theft to the death, because they are the biggest infringers. They aren’t going to take any chance with having their management wearing orange jumpsuits in San Quentin.
Second, – you’ve already admitted that your opinion doesn’t count. You are not a creator. You are a lawyer. You might be a musician of sorts. The claim is on your website. I don’t know. You have a bunch of claims there which cannot be verified. And let’s face it. If you aren’t an artist your opinion is useless.
Until Google decides to drop Music-Tech-Policy in their search results, at which time you’ll scream your fool head off when your visits disappear.
As a creator I’m perfectly happy to have Google help people find me. This is helped by the simple fact that there appears to be only one Wayne Borean in the entire world, or at least only one that Google knows about. Try it. Search on my name. You’ll end up at my site almost all of the time, and at a site one step away the rest of the time.
Search Engines are the best thing that the rise of the internet brought. They are gradually freeing artists from the entertainment conglomerates. Of course this will also free artists from entertainment lawyers to a large extent, which probably explains why you, Barry Sookman, Richard Owens, et al are fighting such an intense retrograde action against artist freedom.
The futurist in me is still working on putting this all together. Right now I have:
- No book stores in five years (except for antiquarians)
- Death of most of the publishing houses around the same time, maybe a bit later.
- Death of most of the large record labels in 5-10 years
- Growth of small specialty publishers (high quality, author signed books, collectors items)
- Growth of small recording labels to fill the same niche
- Growth of low budget video production companies with high quality capabilities will damage the MPAA in the next 5 years. See Star Wreck, Sita Sings the Blues, and Nasty Old People for examples. MPAA to fragment, member companies mostly dead in 25 years.
- Growth of digital delivery systems for all types of content, and other things. CD, DVD, Blu-Ray, Software, Books, Photos, Videos, Music, Art, Cartoons, Design Data, Telemedecine (long distance surgery using Waldos), 3D Printer Designs, literally the sky is the limit.
- The Death of the United States as a major financial cultural force in 15 years.
Now there are a series of implications tied into those projections. The other English speaking countries will see a flowering of culture. The United States will also see a flowering of culture, but it won’t be controlled by the corporations, instead it will be controlled by the artists. While the overall spending on culture will drop, the amount earned by the artists will climb substantially even though there will be an increased number of working artists, because the parasitic losses caused by the large profit driven corporations, the legal profession, and other hangers on who provide no additional value will no longer exist.
Artists will lobby Congress for laws protecting them against corporate control, like we are already doing in Canada, with our request that Copyright be made non-transferable except by inheritance. If a corporation wishes to use a copyrighted work, they can lease it for a limited period of time, with no automatic renewals allowed, putting artists in the drivers seat.
After all, this is all about the artists, isn’t it Chris. I distinctly remember you saying that the artists need to be protected. Here’s a way to do it. Why don’t you lobby your congressman or woman to enact it?
Of course I know that you won’t. I can guarantee that you won’t. You aren’t really interested in the welfare of the artists. You are interested in your own financial welfare first, and putting control in the hands of the artists, would lessen their need for your expertise.
Curiously though you are the one lawyer who could do well out of this. Because you do represent artists. Think about it.
Saturday April 9, 2011