The Current State of Ownership

Friday, March 08, 2013


Brooke examines the current arguments over ownership and intellectual property with the help of a chair that collapses after just eight uses.


Camper Van Beethoven - Good Guys and Bad Guys


James Boyle

Hosted by:

Brooke Gladstone

Comments [7]

Noach from Brooklyn

My earlier comment concerning the EFF was intended for the "Meet the New Boss..." segment at

I mistakenly posted it here.

Mar. 19 2013 05:59 AM
Keith Otis Edwards from Detroit

One facet of the draconian copyright laws that OTM neglected to examine is Copyright Trolls.

I have 33 videos posted at YouTube. Most feature my own original music, some are my "Switched-On" versions of the classics, and one was done with the permission of and at the behest of the composer. Yet, I am continually beset by copyright claims against my videos from entities that have no connection with the music or video other than they wish to claim copyright and thus collect ad revenue from GoogleTube.

GoDigital Media Group filed a claim that they owned the rights to the Impromptu No.2 in E-flat, Opus 90, by Franz Schubert (written in 1827), and I am now contesting a complaint by a French company (Believe) against my use of "Cakewalk in Hell," a 1903 silent movie by Georges Méliès (1861-1938) for one of my rags.

Worse than copyright infringement is the present state in which there is no such thing as public domain or fair use. With bad laws, we have a current feeding frenzy in which everyone is claiming ownership over everything.

Mar. 11 2013 12:31 AM
Walter Dufresne from Brooklyn, NY

@ Robert Riversong,
As per Title 17 USC, ideas cannot be copyrighted. Despite this, confusing and conflating ideas and tangible expressions is very common in the early 21st Century.

Mar. 10 2013 06:02 PM
Noach (Independent, Anti-Corporate Traditionalist) from Brooklyn

I tuned in just as host Brooke Gladstone asked her guest a blatantly tendentious question about the Electronic Frontier Foundation, characterizing it in a decidedly negative light. This was only confounded-upon by the guest's answer, in which he roundly castigated the EFF.

I would like to know whether the EFF will be offered an opportunity to respond to the charges that were leveled against them on the show.

Mar. 10 2013 05:01 PM
Robert Riversong from VT

"If nature has made any one thing less susceptible than all others of exclusive property, it is the action of the thinking power called an idea, which an individual may exclusively possess as long as he keeps it to himself; but the moment it is divulged, it forces itself into the possession of everyone, and the receiver cannot dispossess himself of it. Its peculiar character, too, is that no one possesses the less, because every other possesses the whole of it. He who receives an idea from me, receives instruction himself without lessening mine; as he who lights his taper at mine, receives light without darkening me. That ideas should freely spread from one to another over the globe, for the moral and mutual instruction of man, and improvement of his condition, seems to have been peculiarly and benevolently designed by nature, when she made them, like fire, expansible over all space, without lessening their density at any point, and like the air in which we breathe, move, and have our physical being, incapable of confinement or exclusive appropriation. Inventions then cannot, in nature, be a subject of property."

- Thomas Jefferson, letter to Isaac McPherson, Monticello, August 13, 1813

Mar. 10 2013 04:11 PM

The current DMCA/Bono environment seems to have led to Corporate subsidiary rights owners effectively owning creators' rights even on material - Gone With the Wind, e.g., that prevent separate creative works - the old case of the novel about Tara seen from the maid's POV from seeing the light of the marketplace.

Now very few items go out of copyright & reach public domain thus preventing creative types from working new ways of dealing with the subject characters & societal aspects from those who are still close enough to the base material to punch out good satire, ripostes & debunking of our society.

That's not good for a society. We need lots of mirrors to see the hidden good & bad in our societies. The present copyright arena prevents those examinations.

Mar. 10 2013 03:26 PM
Jim Surkamp from shepherdstown, wv

mr. van beethoven's catchy comments reminded how blogging encourages colorful over-glib somewhat unfounded commentary. the record system was destroyed by its own greed not online music. the market has decided profoundly.the musicians are paid less mainly because of the incalculably increased number of musicians who have a delivery system and access to a vastly bigger audience- something the record industry kept tiny.

Mar. 09 2013 06:34 AM

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