Some thoughts on questions journalists might ask when confronted by IP spin.

Expansion of Copyright

Given that authors are paid so badly [1], isn’t it sort of cruel for the government to be encouraging people into the area with copyright expansion?

If the end result of three hundred years of copyright is that authors are among the most poorly paid in our community [1], doesn’t that suggest that copyright is the problem rather than the solution?

You use the word ‘balance’ in the context of copyright discussions.  Are you sure the word means what you think it means?

Given that the record shows no impact of legislative change on reported rates of infringement, isn’t further expansion of copyright simply  a waste of time, effort and money?

Copyright Losses and Piracy/Terrorism/BSA

You say that copyright infringement causes so much loss to the economy, why aren’t you promoting solutions, such as creative commons and open source software, for which infringement is low or non-existent?

If copyright funds organised crime and terrorism, shouldn’t we be looking at abolishing copyright?

If copyright funds organised crime and terrorism, isn’t expanding it just going to make more money for the criminals and terrorists?

You say that authors are poorly paid, doesn’t that mean that the economy would be better off if these people just got a job rather than being further enticed into the copyright industry?

You say that reducing infringement will lead to more jobs, but that doesn’t follow?  For example, to abstain from copying something is different in kind from them actually paying for a copy.

Is the piracy rate calculated simply by taking some stats from groups with a vested interest and producing a figure which suits them politically?  The piracy rate numbers are not objectively supportable are they?

Copyright Societies

You that say you represent x-thousand copyright holders, but aren’t most of the y-million people in the country also copyright holders?  Isn’t it fair to say therefore that, given the high rates of infringement, the overwhelming majority of copyright holders disagree with the position you’re taking?

Can you tell me how much the average member receives from your organisation per year?  … That’s hardly going to make a difference is it?

Can you tell me why such a large proportion of your revenue is devoted to administration costs?  Is it true that the lion’s share of your distributions goes to publishers rather than creators?  Is it true that it costs more to administer your organisation than the amount of money you return to creators?

[1] AU: Don’t give up your day job report from Australia Council for the Arts

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