Monday, March 1, 2010

Copyright Abuse by Copyright Holders goes unnoticed by Judges, Lawyers and Congress.

I have complete empathy for copyright holders. However, there is one area where copyright holders unfairly bully consumers and it involves the point of purchase.

If a copyright holder truly objects to a PAYING CUSTOMER using the copyright holder's music over a home video montage, a wedding day photo montage, a 75th birthday party video, and so on, the copyright holder's products should all be labeled with a "no further use allowed" sticker at the time of purchase.

It is completely deceptive to sell a copyrighted product without visibly letting the purchaser know they will not have the right to reuse the purchased product in what most people would consider "fair use". The significance of a "further use allowed", versus a "no further use allowed" advisement at the time of sale is profound. A newer, lesser known copyright holder may decide to allow their purchasers to reuse their music for certain not for profit applications. A consumer may choose to support the copyright holder that has decided to be reasonable about fair use.

The level of copyright flexibility is likely to create competition between copyright holders and how they interpret fair use. Perhaps I would prefer to purchase a song knowing I can use it for a not for profit family album video.

What we have now is millions upon millions of copies of recordings being sold with a furtive ill will awaiting the unsuspecting purchaser. An unjust system of copyright presently exists in which customers are being shortchanged by copyright owners who don't reveal their lack of fair use but will then wield an unfair advantage over the unsuspecting customer for the life of the copyrighted product.
A perfect example of copyright hypocrisy is Foo Fighters. Foo Fighters happily accepted money from hundreds of thousands of conservative fans who have bought their music, but when John McCain attempted to use a Foo Fighter song for his 2008 campaign, Foo Fighters heavily objected. It would not surprise me that even if McCain had offered to pay for the music Foo Fighters would have objected. I would also surmise that if Barack Obama had wanted to use the same music, Foo Fighters probably would not have objected, and there in lies the problem.
It is the height of copyright hypocrisy to accept money from conservative customers without fair warning when the band despises their conservative customers' political beliefs.

However, if the band foo fighters wants to put an advisement on their copyrighted product at the point of sale that states the music cannot be used for political purposes, or cannot be used for conservative political purposes, then they are being truthful at the time of the purchase. The consumer can then CHOOSE whether or not to purchase the music based on FAIR ADVISEMENT.

This consumer point of purchase copyright issue MUST be dealth with sooner rather than later. Unfortunately, nobody is standing up for the consumer in this matter, so all we ever read about is how the big studios sue anybody who violates their copyright.

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