The Instigator
mongeese
Pro (for)
Losing
10 Points
The Contender
feverish
Con (against)
Winning
21 Points

Copyright laws are necessary in order for a society to have an effective creative industry.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 5 votes the winner is...
feverish
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/3/2009 Category: Entertainment
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,787 times Debate No: 8088
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (11)
Votes (5)

 

mongeese

Pro

I stand in affirmation of the resolution.

Copyright - the exclusive legal right to reproduce, publish, sell, or distribute the matter and form of something (as a literary, musical, or artistic work) (http://www.merriam-webster.com...)
Necessary - absolutely needed (http://www.merriam-webster.com...)
Effective - producing a decided, decisive, or desired effect (http://www.merriam-webster.com...)
Creative industry - Literature, arts, video games, motion pictures, etc.

My argument is that if the author/artist/designer's work is not protected, and once they complete their work, anyone may copy them with less effort and reap an equal benefit, then nobody would want to be involved in the creative industry.

I look forward to a good debate.
feverish

Con

Greetings to my opponent and thanks for instigating this debate which is on an interesting topic.

At first glance I thought it would be quite difficult to argue against the resolution, however after reading my opponent's superbly sourced definitions, I believe it should be fairly straightforward.

I point out that my opponent is not saying that a creative industry needs to be financially successful or even viable to be effective, merely that it must produce a decided, decisive or desired effect (love the alliteration of this definition.)

A desired effect is not necessarily beneficial to the industry as a whole or to any individual, it is merely an effect that is desired by someone.

I will therefore provide several desired effects that creative industry could have, separate effects desired by each of three groups: the public, the artists and the exploiters. By exploiters I mean the company or organisation (record company, publishers etc.) that is attempting to market and sell the creative product for financial gain. Each of these effects negates the resolution by itself but I shall present all three anyway, because it's fun.

Public: The public clearly wants entertainment and art without having to pay too much for it, this is obvious because of the huge industries of bootlegging and pirating that supply this demand and is the main reason for having copyright laws in the first place. Therefore these laws are clearly not necessary for creative industries to produce a desired affect for the public.

Artists: While it is true that most artists wish and are morally entitled to benefit financially from their creative product and copyright laws protect them in this respect, this is not the only desired effect. Most (all?) artists want there work to be seen/heard etc. by as many people as possible and a lack of copyright laws would actually lead to their product being available to, and therefore experienced by many more people. Therefore these laws are not absolutely necessary for the creative industries to produce A desired effect for some (if not all) artists and some would still want to be involved.

Exploiters: This is simple, these company's main desired effect is profit and they could achieve more if they didn't have to pay artists for the exclusive rights to their product but could exploit any artists work without permission.

Please note that I do not and am not attempting in this debate to oppose copyright laws, I am merely proving that they are not "absolutely needed" for creative industries to produce "a decided, decisive, or desired effect."

Thankyou.
Debate Round No. 1
mongeese

Pro

Alright, thank you for responding with such a well-thought-out counter.

Now, in order to have an effective creative industry, the industry must naturally be able to sustain itself. This is not possible without copyright laws.

Let's look at the actual definition for industry:
Industry - a distinct group of productive or profit-making enterprises (http://www.merriam-webster.com...)
This means that profit is necessary.

Let's say that a man spends five years writing up research on world politics. He spends thousands on plane tickets to interview various government officials, and he has put plenty of time into his works. When he publishes it, he decides to put a price of $10 on it, so that he may make a profit when a large number of his book is sold.
A man comes to the store and buys one book. Then, he goes home and scans each page, prints out multiple copies, and staples them into books. However, he edits the book so that he is the author, rather than the original man. He then goes to the store and sets them next to the original books, for only ten cents. To add even more insult, he returns the original book that he bought. The first man now has two options: lower the prices of his books, or fail to sell anything. If the lowers the prices, he ends up in a price war with a man who has nothing to lose, as he only has to sell one copy to make a profit, while the first man has a deficit of $2000 to make up. To make matters worse, when the people buy the second man's book, he is stealing all of the credit. Upset with this, the man decides to stop writing and start working at McDonald's. When all of the authors experience this and quit, their creative industry collapses, and thus no longer exists, and is thus no longer effective.

It gets even worse with video games and motion pictures. It takes millions of dollars to cast and record a big movie or program a video game, but only a few bucks to put it into each video cassette, DVD, cartridge, or disc. They charge extra money beyond the manufacturing price to make up for the huge deficit they get themselves into upon filming or programming. If another company burns their movie/video game onto their own product and starts to mass produce it, and then change all of the logos and credits to match themselves, then the previous company would collapse into major debt, and ultimately not exist, and the industry would no longer exist, and be no longer effective.

I am going to say that for an industry to be effective, it must be effective for the creators of the industry, or else the industry would collapse, allowing me to ignore your points for the Public and Exploiters, and focus on the Artists.

"Artists: While it is true that most artists wish and are morally entitled to benefit financially from their creative product and copyright laws protect them in this respect, this is not the only desired effect. Most (all?) artists want there work to be seen/heard etc. by as many people as possible and a lack of copyright laws would actually lead to their product being available to, and therefore experienced by many more people. Therefore these laws are not absolutely necessary for the creative industries to produce A desired effect for some (if not all) artists and some would still want to be involved."
For one thing, the artists would no longer make profit, and would thus no longer be able to afford to write/paint/film/program/etc., and the creative industry would collapse and lack effectiveness.
Secondly, when the artists want their work to be seen/heard, they want their names attached. The exploiters are easily able to replace the artist's name with their own names. An artist needs to be recognized to feel that their work was effective, in addition to the ability to continue to be an artist, which is necessary for effectiveness. When a man comes out of the blue and steals all of the artist's credit in addition to their profit, they hurt their pride, and they no longer have the will to paint. Or write. Or film. Or program. Or whatever.

The point is, the creative industry must be effective for the base in order to be effective for everybody else, and without their credit, the artists no longer make art, and the creative industry collapses and loses effectiveness.

From Wikipedia:
"The concept of copyright originates with the Statute of Anne (1710) in Britain. It established the author of a work as the owner of the right to copy that work and the concept of a fixed term for that copyright. It was created as an act 'for the encouragement of learning', as it had been noted at the time that publishers were reprinting the works of authors without their consent 'to their very great detriment, and too often to the Ruin of them and their Families'. As such, copyright was first created with the intention that authors might have some control over the printing of their work and to receive some financial recompense, so that this would encourage them to write more books and thus to aid the flow of ideas and learning. As the act itself says: 'for the encouragement of learned men to compose and write useful books'."
http://en.wikipedia.org...
Without copyrights, the creative industry collapses, and lacks effectiveness.

Thank you.
feverish

Con

Thanks to my opponent for his prompt response.

My opponent has added a new definition which, like all of his others I am happy to accept:

Industry - a distinct group of productive or profit-making enterprises (http://www.merriam-webster.com......)

However he then goes on to say that this definition means that profit is a necessary attribute of an industry while it in fact says no such thing. According to this definition industry must be productive OR profit-making, not necessarily both.
Therefore as an industry does not have to be sustainable or profitable to produce a desired effect, the content of my first post still fully applies.

Later in his post he suggests that we should limit his resolution to apply to "the creators of the industry" which he suggests are the artists.

I don't think this is entirely fair as his initial post and resolution did not make such a stipulation, merely requiring a desired effect, not defining who would desire such an effect.

All the examples I gave in my first post are of desired effects produced by creative industry and my opponent is not justified in dismissing any of them.

As a side note, while the artists are clearly the creative people within the industry, in almost all cases it is the money-men who have created the industry (the productive or profit-making enterprise.) As I explained in my first post these parties would certainly not need copyright laws to achieve their desired effects, in fact quite the opposite.

The story of the artist turned McDonald's worker is funny (especially the idea of people buying a home-printed stapled together book or of a shop not removing it from their shelves) and touching but quite irrelevant to the resolution as defined by my opponent.
This scenario is certainly not producing a desired effect for the artist who has been ripped off, but as it is providing one for the plagiarising artist it actually disproves the resolution. The same applies to the examples of video games and movies.The idea that all authors would experience the bizarre sequence of events described by my opponent is of course ludicrous.

Some kinds of artist's materials are very cheap (some artists create valuable pieces from recycled junk materials) so therefore the argument for artists not profiting does not mean that all creative industries cannot remain productive.

Yes many artists crave personal recognition but there are many others who just want their work to be experienced by as many people as possible, for these individuals copyright laws are not "absolutely needed" for the industry to achieve one of the effects they desire.

Please provide some evidence that all artists who have been ripped off will lose the will to create. I think I can probably find some evidence that will disprove this.

The Wikepedia source is fascinating but I don't see it's relevance to this debate. I fully support the idea of copyright laws, I just think that a creative industry does not absolutely need them to be "effective" as defined by my opponent.

My opponent needs to satisfy the very stringent resolution he set up and prove that the creative industries would not be able to produce effects desirable to anyone if copyright laws were not in place.

I have given ample examples of such desirous effects that could still be achieved and my opponent needs to tackle all of them and prove them wrong, rather than inadequately arguing against just one of them.

Thankyou.
Debate Round No. 2
mongeese

Pro

However he then goes on to say that this definition means that profit is a necessary attribute of an industry while it in fact says no such thing. According to this definition industry must be productive OR profit-making, not necessarily both.
Therefore as an industry does not have to be sustainable or profitable to produce a desired effect, the content of my first post still fully applies."
Okay, so in order for you to defend the productiveness, the industry must remain productive, which cannot happen without copyright laws.

"I don't think this is entirely fair as his initial post and resolution did not make such a stipulation, merely requiring a desired effect, not defining who would desire such an effect."
Ah, but if the creative industry is not effective for those who create, the creative industry will cease to exist, which means that the creative industry must be effective for the artists to be effective at all. I am justified in dismissing some of your "effectivenesses".

"As a side note, while the artists are clearly the creative people within the industry, in almost all cases it is the money-men who have created the industry (the productive or profit-making enterprise.) As I explained in my first post these parties would certainly not need copyright laws to achieve their desired effects, in fact quite the opposite."
Without artists to exploit, however, there can be no exploiters.

"This scenario is certainly not producing a desired effect for the artist who has been ripped off, but as it is providing one for the plagiarising artist it actually disproves the resolution. The same applies to the examples of video games and movies. The idea that all authors would experience the bizarre sequence of events described by my opponent is of course ludicrous."
Without copyright laws, it happens to EVERY ARTIST ALIVE. If bootlegging were to be made legal, it would be seen much more than it is today. MUCH MORE. There are many potential exploiters out there. All it takes is one exploiter at every store, and there is a shopkeeper at every store, who could easily be an exploiter. Nobody would pass up the opportunity to legally steal the credit of another man.

"Some kinds of artist's materials are very cheap (some artists create valuable pieces from recycled junk materials) so therefore the argument for artists not profiting does not mean that all creative industries cannot remain productive."
Those many hours that the artist put into creating their work? Another man could easily gather identical or near-identical materials and shape them together in that way (much quicker with a model to work with) and steal the credit.

"Yes many artists crave personal recognition but there are many others who just want their work to be experienced by as many people as possible, for these individuals copyright laws are not 'absolutely needed' for the industry to achieve one of the effects they desire."
I don't think so. Show me an artist who would actually continue to "artify" if received no credit and no profit.

"Please provide some evidence that all artists who have been ripped off will lose the will to create. I think I can probably find some evidence that will disprove this."
I have the quote from Wikipedia, but beyond that, that task would be difficult, as today, we have copyright laws, so there aren't any authors out there who are ripped off as I have spoken of here.

"The Wikipedia source is fascinating but I don't see it's relevance to this debate. I fully support the idea of copyright laws, I just think that a creative industry does not absolutely need them to be 'effective' as defined by my opponent."
It is relevant because it talks about how before copyright laws, authors would go into poverty and cease to write, and there was a huge decline in writing until copyright laws were introduced.

"I have given ample examples of such desirous effects that could still be achieved and my opponent needs to tackle all of them and prove them wrong, rather than inadequately arguing against just one of them."
Not if one effect is necessary for all of the other effects to be accomplished.

Thank you for this challenging debate.
feverish

Con

Thanks also to my opponent for an enjoyable debate.

My opponent instigated this debate with a clear resolution which he then defined in broad detail. His definitions, sourced from the highly reputable http://www.merriam-webster.com...... made it clear that effectiveness in this case meant "producing a decided, decisive, or desired effect" and it was under these conditions that I accepted the debate.

My obligation was therefore clear: to provide logical evidence of circumstances where a creative industry could still produce some kind of desired effect to someone without the absolute need for copyright laws.

As I have clearly provided many such examples, it seems to me that a Con vote should be inevitable, although this of course will be up to the voters (of which I am not one!)

In subsequent rounds my opponent has attempted to 'shift the goalposts' of what 'effective' means. As he provided the original definition, which I then accepted, I think it would have been decent of him to stick by it, but again it will be up to voters to decide who's position represents better conduct and stronger arguments.

As I have presented several examples of desired effects being produced, I think I have proved my argument, yet out of courtesy, I will respond to the specific points my opponent raised in his last post.

"in order for you to defend the productiveness, the industry must remain productive, which cannot happen without copyright laws."

My opponent does not explain why industries can not remain productive without copyright laws, but in any case, in order to be effective under the definitions provided, they do not need to 'remain' productive (very few creative industries are likely to last for all time) merely to 'be' productive at some point.

"Ah, but if the creative industry is not effective for those who create, the creative industry will cease to exist."

This sounds like a resolution for a separate debate to me. I have also shown examples of how artists can still achieve desired effects through creative industry without copyright laws.

"Without artists to exploit, however, there can be no exploiters."

We are getting into minor technicalities here but actually, the object being exploited is not the artists themselves but rather their artistic products, so even supposing the unlikely event that every single artist stopped creating art, there would still exist a vast number of already created works of art that could continue to be exploited (developed or used to greatest advantage - http://www.google.co.uk...= )

I said: "the bizarre sequence of events described by my opponent is of course ludicrous."
My opponent said: "Without copyright laws, it happens to EVERY ARTIST ALIVE."

Hmmm. A difficult statement to prove.

I said: "Some kinds of artist's materials are very cheap (some artists create valuable pieces from recycled junk materials) so therefore the argument for artists not profiting does not mean that all creative industries cannot remain productive."
My opponent said: "Those many hours that the artist put into creating their work? Another man could easily gather identical or near-identical materials and shape them together in that way (much quicker with a model to work with) and steal the credit."

The point here was about artist's not being able to afford materials, not about being credited for their work, which I have discussed elsewhere.

"Show me an artist who would actually continue to "artify" if received no credit and no profit."

Thankfully, not all art in this world is created with profit in mind, many school-children, amateur hobbyists and mentally ill patients produce artistic works all the time without seeking profit and only receiving credit from their teachers and immediate peers.

I said: ""Please provide some evidence that all artists who have been ripped off will lose the will to create. I think I can probably find some evidence that will disprove this."
My opponent said: "I have the quote from Wikipedia, but beyond that, that task would be difficult, as today, we have copyright laws, so there aren't any authors out there who are ripped off as I have spoken of here."

The quote from Wikipedia says nothing of the sort as I shall discuss below, no but there are many other ways apart from the bizarre home-made book example in which artists can be ripped off either within the copyright laws or by stretching them. Here are a few articles showing examples of this:

http://www.theinquirer.net...
http://www.guardian.co.uk...
http://www.news.com.au...

In none of these, do the artists concerned express losing the will to create, in fact they make statements such as:
"I chose to do this on my own, at great financial expense to myself, because I knew they wouldn't understand what it is, for one. And secondly, I didn't want it coming from a place of marketing, I wanted it coming from a place that was pure to the project." (Trent Reznor in the heraldsun article above.) This shows that profit is not the main desired effect for some artists.

"It [Wikipedia quote] is relevant because it talks about how before copyright laws, authors would go into poverty and cease to write, and there was a huge decline in writing until copyright laws were introduced."

I assume my opponent is reading between the lines of the quote he posted. While it talks of "encouragement for learning" and does discuss poverty ("Ruin") it does not talk of authors ceasing to write or of any "huge decline in writing until copyright laws were introduced."

I said:"I have given ample examples of such desirous effects that could still be achieved and my opponent needs to tackle all of them and prove them wrong, rather than inadequately arguing against just one of them."
My opponent said: "Not if one effect is necessary for all of the other effects to be accomplished."

I take it from this that my opponent concedes that if artists continued to produce art then desired effects could indeed be accomplished and achieved.

I have shown many examples of cases where artistic works would still be produced without copyright laws as well as showing that existing artistic works could still be marketed and sold (in fact, more easily) without them.

Therefore, I negate the resolution as defined by my opponent.

Thanks again to my opponent and to readers and voters.
Debate Round No. 3
11 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by RoyLatham 8 years ago
RoyLatham
Con conceded the substance and begged a technicality. Goes to Pro.
Posted by feverish 8 years ago
feverish
Haha yes Mongeese, I would have thought we should be tied on spelling and grammar too, but as the first two voters gave you all seven points I'm gonna give animea a pass on that. ;)

Spot on comment as well Animea, I was indeed arguing an awkward 'loopholish' position, great to see someone voting who has actually read the debate properly, there is far too little of that on this site!
Posted by mongeese 8 years ago
mongeese
But did you really have to give him all seven votes?
Posted by animea 8 years ago
animea
Con provides a very loopholish interpretation of the resolution, but due to the ridiculous skew the resolution provides to the pro and the pros complete drop of definitional interpretation I will allow it.

Con proves that an effective creative industry is possible under definitions. Vote goes to con.
Posted by mongoose 8 years ago
mongoose
... there were two vote bombers...
Posted by mongeese 8 years ago
mongeese
Yes, it will be interesting to see how the vote goes.
Posted by feverish 8 years ago
feverish
That's very decent of you Mongeese and nice debate by the way.
Posted by mongeese 8 years ago
mongeese
"As I have clearly provided many such examples, it seems to me that a Con vote should be inevitable, although this of course will be up to the voters (of which I am not one!)"
Thus, I will not vote, either.
Posted by feverish 8 years ago
feverish
Hi MrMark, I think you've misunderstood my position in this debate, I think copyright laws are a good thing and as an artist myself (as well as a father), I of course agree that we need to make money.

In arguing Con I was merely attempting to prove that art does not always come down to money and would still be produced without these laws.

I was debating only the definition of 'effective' that my opponent supplied, rather than a practical or appropriate real world level of effectiveness.

As in your comment you say that your main goal is to entertain, this actually supports the specific arguments I made in this debate. Thanks for taking an interest anyway.
Posted by MrMarkP37 8 years ago
MrMarkP37
I respect Con for taking up this argument as it is one of those that is very hard to argue against. The main flaw in Con's argument is that he doesn't take into account that artists are humans. I am a struggling writer and I need to eat, have a roof over my head, put gas in my car, etc... This is the reason why I (and all other artists) need to make money from their work. Now, if you become as successful as Stephen King you can sell the movie rights to your books for a dollar, which he has done on many occasions, because the money no longer matters, you have all you'll ever need.

My main goal in writing is to entertain as many people as possible and to connect with other humans through the written word, there is no better feeling. However, I still need to eat, my daughter needs to eat, and needs to have everything she sees on television, she's at that age. So, I need to make money from my work. I don't need to be rich and famous, I'd actually perfer to not be rich and famous, but I need to make money on my work or else it will be almost impossible for me to find the time in my day to produce anything of value.
5 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Vote Placed by Justinisthecrazy 8 years ago
Justinisthecrazy
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Vote Placed by snelld7 8 years ago
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Vote Placed by RoyLatham 8 years ago
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Vote Placed by animea 8 years ago
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Vote Placed by MrMarkP37 8 years ago
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