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It seems to me that Mike's point is well taken, although in some ways
Disney's use (abuse ?) of the laws bothers me somewhat less because they
at least keep releasing the material, usually in a well done manner.
That said, just throwing up our hands at the impossibility of getting
saner laws isn't doing our jobs either. Not saying that there are those
that aren't trying, to be sure. I'm just wondering if we aren't going
about it wrong. With that many Ipods out there, there is a large group
of people (with money to spend, that is apparent) that might be
stimulated to action by the right kind of internet campaign. It is done
in nearly every other area, and this is just another form of politics
and advertising. If we can't compete with the Disneys in terms of money
(that is certain), then another approach is needed. Sure, unless we have
a model of a fair law that also looks to the rights holders as well,
there isn't a chance of anything working. But what group of people are
going to understand the situation / desperation better than the kind of
folks here ?

Perhaps I'm being simplistic or just not well enough informed... But as
was mentioned in another thread on this list, "...somethings got to
give..". Steven and others have done some fine work to put in real
statistics what everybody here seemed to understand intuitively. This is
good ammo to use, if we can just find the right leverage. If we can't
compete with the special interests money with our money, then we need to
get others to make the noise with us. Just one man's opinion... But
somehow there has to be a way found.

-----Original Message-----
From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Mike Richter
Sent: Monday, October 10, 2005 10:03 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] legal action, and libraries & archives

Karl Miller wrote:

> How can this be changed? I would suggest that, like any unenforceable 
> law, like prohibition, change comes from the populace pushing the
envelope.

Permit me to suggest that "the populace" does not give a tinker's dam
about this issue; that even the Elvis addicts are too few to support the
industry; above all that the irresistible force of money will contiue to
move the legislature against the broader interests of society.

Disney is a unique American institution with a particular view of value.

They reissue their most lucrative titles one at a time for a brief
period each during each phase of technological or packaging development.

I am told that their legal office for infringement is a profit center
for the corporation, earing its way by awards resulting from suits. 
Among the names applied to the Sonny Bono law are Mickey Mouse and
unprintable variations on the names of other characters. While Disney is
far from the only force behind the legislation in the U.S. and now in
Europe, it appears to be the most open-handed one when measured by
campaign contributions.

But the broader point is that the population is far too busy following
the exploits of the current superstar - yesterday's nonentity and
tomorrow's has-been - to care about expiration of copyright. Fifteen
minutes of fame suggests and indeed seems to deliver that at sixteen
minutes the famous become the forgotten. That there is a minute cadre of
aficianados who bemoan the injustice of it all has little relevance;
there is no Disney behind a move to equity.

Mike
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