JaseHargreaves wrote: Why is someone who produces "concepts" more easily idetifiable as self-employed and therefore the owner of the creation and someone who produces a functional thing an employee and therefore not the owner.
In all cases it would depend on the circumstances and purpose of creation. For example I can sell my skill in creation, meaning I am being paid to produce something
, or I can sell the actual product having already produced it. Taking the bridge analogy, the Designer is paid for his skill/knowledge in design, not for the actual bridge as it it would improbable he has a bridge waiting on a shelf. Something like a song covers both, a song writer can write a song and sell it, or sing the song and sell that, or potentially do both. What does need to be recognised is that time spent in both developing a skill to create a product and time spent to create the product, is an investment, by copyrighting the result of that you are protecting your investment with the intention of monetising it - copyright has little to do with Art for the sake of Art, or created for the sake of enjoyment in creation.
The problem I see is that by reducing the time I have exclusivity to my own creation you are reducing the profitability of it, therefore decreasing the probability that I will invest in myself, in favour of selling myself (if you will excuse the phrasing perhaps "being employed" is a better way to put it
It is being proposed to increase the value of creation, by decreasing the value of the
creation, in the long term, this actually decreases the value of both. Unlike a bridge it is very easy to see that any popular setting, in terms of a book, or lyrics/music, in terms of a song could be duplicated almost infinitely the moment the copyright had expired, indeed we have seen examples of this. The more of things there are available to sell, the lower value of them. There will always be a market for the original artist singing the original song but with so many duplicates the long term profitability/value will be severely reduced. For the individual, this is really a problem, everyone needs to eat, everyone needs to make money and the vast majority of people will take the most profitable and secure path to do so. By increasing risk, and decreasing profitability you will reduce the number of individuals that are prepared to pursue "creativity" as a career. In terms of the creative industry this would only serve to increase the control of the big companies, as artists would be sheltered from the risks associated with self production (your investment of skill/time does not necessarily equal profit) by having a big corporation employ them and taking those risks.
To get to a point, I have two problems with current laws, copyright duration and copyright enforcement.
Copyright duration, ownership of ideas being retained potentially hundreds of years after the death of their creator pushes the idea to the point of absurdity, however, reducing copyright protection to less than a period where the concept/creation is still profitable does not protect the individual creator, or promote further creation. It would seem to about finding the middle ground, ownership of creation until the point of non profitability, death of the creator, or a period more reflective of working life. As i suggested in my previous post if longer terms of copyright are considered too restrictive, copyright could be extended with further development from an initially a shorter period, so with every addition to your IP the copyright is extended automatically, however, should you leave it for a set time without development (say 10 years) the work becomes public domain, it is this I see as being one of the better solutions. By protecting the creations through copyright you can incentivize their creation and protect the Creator.
Copyright Enforcement: Having already written too much I'll make this quick - Copyright Enforcement is how you win the game, make sure that the right to enforce copyrights does not supersede other basic rights such as privacy and that no new legislation is put through that stagnates development by supporting in law outdated methodology. If copyright is almost unenforceable in certain industries, such as music through file sharing, that industry will change organicly to a more profitable model, however, those that already function within the current system will be unaffected.