General Forum

General Forum

  1. Joined
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    29 May '14 00:19
    I have just re-subscribed to a newspaper that is behind a paywall, and learnt that a public figure I much admire is now terminally ill. I have always admired his writing and broadcasting, and he has written a beautiful poem about his current situation, which appears behind the paywall. While ordinarily I would link to it, it's a waste of time to do so because of the paywall situation. I don't want to bother him with requests for reproduction of his poem on rhp but I want to share it respectfully. At the same time I would not want to hurt sales of any book it may be published in, even if posthumously.

    In this age of digital media, what do you feel about the issue of copyright? I think it's fairly clear that existing legislation is not able to cope, but as someone who hopes one day to produce art, writing, and computer programming I feel stronger than most of my generation against piracy and unauthorised reproduction. Yet I can see that rights holders can sometimes bully and intimidate "little people" and there are interesting issues regarding whether creativity and progress are hampered by laws and practices which place strong legal or social penalties on those who are seen to flaunt the laws.

    There are strong voices for reform (if you want a very intelligent discussion I suggest layout your hands on back issues of MacUser, the British Mac magazine), but I find it hard to reach a personal conclusion as the issue is highly complex and difficult.

    I'd appreciate anyone's and everyone's thoughts on this 🙂.
  2. Standard memberGrampy Bobby
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    29 May '14 00:27
    Originally posted by NoEarthlyReason
    I have just re-subscribed to a newspaper that is behind a paywall, and learnt that a public figure I much admire is now terminally ill. I have always admired his writing and broadcasting, and he has written a beautiful poem about his current situation, which appears behind the paywall. While ordinarily I would link to it, it's a waste of time to do s ...[text shortened]... is highly complex and difficult.

    I'd appreciate anyone's and everyone's thoughts on this 🙂.
    Disclosure of the individual's last name here violate any copyright or breach of contract embedded in your subscription?
  3. Joined
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    29 May '14 00:31
    Originally posted by NoEarthlyReason
    I have just re-subscribed to a newspaper that is behind a paywall, and learnt that a public figure I much admire is now terminally ill. I have always admired his writing and broadcasting, and he has written a beautiful poem about his current situation, which appears behind the paywall. While ordinarily I would link to it, it's a waste of time to do s ...[text shortened]... is highly complex and difficult.

    I'd appreciate anyone's and everyone's thoughts on this 🙂.
    I think your doubts are a signal to refrain (in your own ethical system) more than many would do. But you could legally (and ethically, IMO) write a tribute to him that excerpts a line or stanza and comments on it, and him, recommends that people look for the poem's availability, and mentions the site you got it from.
  4. Standard memberHandyAndy
    Non sum qualis eram
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    29 May '14 00:31
    Originally posted by NoEarthlyReason
    I have just re-subscribed to a newspaper that is behind a paywall, and learnt that a public figure I much admire is now terminally ill. I have always admired his writing and broadcasting, and he has written a beautiful poem about his current situation, which appears behind the paywall. While ordinarily I would link to it, it's a waste of time to do s ...[text shortened]... is highly complex and difficult.

    I'd appreciate anyone's and everyone's thoughts on this 🙂.
    When in doubt, respect the copyright.
  5. Joined
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    29 May '14 00:37
    Originally posted by Grampy Bobby
    Disclosure of the individual's last name here violate any copyright or breach of contract embedded in your subscription?
    No, it wouldn't. His name is Clive James. The poem is called "Sentenced to Life", the newspaper is The Times (of London), and I'm just not capable of writing a fitting tribute to so great a cultural icon, but he is a public figure whose humanity and consummate erudition I admire wholeheartedly.

    I didn't include his name and details because I didn't want to elicit specific answers based on his specific case, at least at first.
  6. Joined
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    29 May '14 00:42
    This is a stanza from the poem.


    Once, I would not have
    noticed; nor have known
    The name for Japanese
    anemones,
    So pale, so frail. But now
    I catch the tone
    Of leaves. No birds can
    touch down in the trees
    Without my seeing them.
    I count the bees.


    One of the things I like so much about it is that is not only beautiful poetry but it also captures his familiar speech rhythms and cadences so well.

    For those with a Times subscription, the link is http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/arts/books/article4101276.ece
  7. Standard memberwolfgang59
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    29 May '14 00:51
    Originally posted by NoEarthlyReason
    I have just re-subscribed to a newspaper that is behind a paywall, and learnt that a public figure I much admire is now terminally ill. I have always admired his writing and broadcasting, and he has written a beautiful poem about his current situation, which appears behind the paywall. While ordinarily I would link to it, it's a waste of time to do s ...[text shortened]... is highly complex and difficult.

    I'd appreciate anyone's and everyone's thoughts on this 🙂.
    Clive James : very intelligent, very funny - have not read
    any of his poetry but his journalism and tv chat shows
    showed the man to be witty, honest and forthright.

    I'm a little surprised he is still alive because I thought it
    over 2 years ago since he was "at the end". (?)

    Regarding copyright: always respect it - I have no time
    for idiots proclaiming "freedom" = sharing. It is THEFT.
  8. Standard memberHandyAndy
    Non sum qualis eram
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    29 May '14 00:54
    http://www.clivejames.com/poetry/sentenced
  9. Standard memberGrampy Bobby
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    29 May '14 01:08
    Originally posted by NoEarthlyReason
    No, it wouldn't. His name is Clive James. The poem is called "Sentenced to Life", the newspaper is The Times (of London), and I'm just not capable of writing a fitting tribute to so great a cultural icon, but he is a public figure whose humanity and consummate erudition I admire wholeheartedly.

    I didn't include his name and details because I didn't want to elicit specific answers based on his specific case, at least at first.
    Thank you.
  10. Joined
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    29 May '14 01:151 edit
    Originally posted by wolfgang59
    Regarding copyright: always respect it - I have no time
    for idiots proclaiming "freedom" = sharing. It is THEFT.
    I think maybe there can be issues when the content producers and publishers/distributors have too much power and leverage over people. Especially with young people, it can be a social death not to have access to whatever their generation is watching or reading, be it Harry Potter or the Hunger Games. This can affect their mental health and, (I believe) in some cases, their life chances. I agree that the producers of content should be recompensed justly, but if people are too poor to afford to keep up, that is detrimental to society as a whole as well as those individuals.

    From a personal perspective, I currently couldn't educate myself about many aspects of life without a little bit of copyright 'theft' as you put it. I'm not at all proud of this, but I do think this is not a black and white issue anymore.

    There is also some content which is so devoid of any value that I say more power to those who steal it if they want to watch or listen to it. I won't name the so-called artists. Modern celebrity culture is full of these people who frankly are a menace.
  11. Joined
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    29 May '14 01:16
    Originally posted by HandyAndy
    http://www.clivejames.com/poetry/sentenced
    Well, there you go, thank you! I did check his website but missed that link.
  12. Joined
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    29 May '14 01:16
    Originally posted by NoEarthlyReason
    This is a stanza from the poem.


    Once, I would not have
    noticed; nor have known
    The name for Japanese
    anemones,
    So pale, so frail. But now
    I catch the tone
    Of leaves. No birds can
    touch down in the trees
    Without my seeing them.
    I count the bees.


    One of the things I like so much about it is that is not only beautiful poetry ...[text shortened]... th a Times subscription, the link is http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/arts/books/article4101276.ece
    This seems to have at least part of the poem if not all. Quite touching.

    http://media.theage.com.au/featured/clive-james-reads-isentenced-to-lifei-5460308.html

    Found by search on the title in "" and his name.
  13. Joined
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    29 May '14 01:221 edit
    The full poem read by the author (I think people outside the UK can now listen to BBC radio clips, but I'm not totally sure).

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p01zk4r8
  14. Standard memberwolfgang59
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    29 May '14 01:53
    Originally posted by NoEarthlyReason
    I think maybe there can be issues when the content producers and publishers/distributors have too much power and leverage over people. Especially with young people, it can be a social death not to have access to whatever their generation is watching or reading, be it Harry Potter or the Hunger Games. This can affect their mental health and, (I believe) in some cases, their life chances.
    The same could be said of "must have" gadgets - so do we
    condone stealing i-phones so that they do not suffer the
    social death of having last year's phone?

    Copyright means intellectual ownership, you want it, you buy it,
    it's as simple as that!
  15. Joined
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    29 May '14 02:28
    Originally posted by wolfgang59
    The same could be said of "must have" gadgets - so do we
    condone stealing i-phones so that they do not suffer the
    social death of having last year's phone?

    Copyright means intellectual ownership, you want it, you buy it,
    it's as simple as that!
    I don't think you're comparing apples with apples. Mobile phones are very different to books, music and videos. The very nature of owning a piece of art or, beigely, 'content' involves sharing it with friends and family in a way that is simply not practical with gadgets and the like. The Internet age has changed what was once watching a VHS with your family and friends, or making a mix tape for your girlfriend or vice versa into the potential for sharing between people you don't actually know. It's problematic in many ways but it also has positive aspects. And lets face it, it will be done whether you or I think it shouldn't be.

    That's why many musicians, for example, are moving towards making money in different ways. And when musicians have to rely on live gigs or concerts as a source of revenue, that is a pretty good way of sorting the talentless and manufactured stars from the ones with real ability (unless the music industry also convinces people to adopt lifestyles which make them less reflective and thoughtful and more spendthrift...but I'm sure they have no interest in doing that). I'm talking about popular music here—classical music seems to work differently with followers tending to adhere more closely to established laws on copyright (I believe, anyway), as well as having a lot of much better-value CDs or downloads.

    Young people who are excluded from culture and society because they happen not to be able to experience what their peers are have a very hard time. It's not simply a matter of, "they haven't read this story or seen this film" so it can't do them any harm (though it can be sometimes), but with real movements or crazes it can become impossible for someone outside it to understand what is happening. Even this is not necessarily the end of the world, but if they have no support and a viable alternative life they are effectively sidelined and their talents and potential contributions are lost. To think that this doesn't happen as some might, because "the authorities would not allow it", is hopelessly naïve.

    It's incredibly depressing to feel that we have to have our natural and healthy urge to share monitored by some all-powerful copyright lobby. Furthermore, it feels like a kick in the teeth when we see the vast riches amassed by many stars (with many notable exceptions, obviously) supporting their ridiculously luxurious and often wasteful or harmful lifestyles, gained not by talent but by knowing the right people and being part of the in-crowd. Even then I am inclined to say 'live and let live' but unfortunately stars' lives can quite often be highly destructive and cause pain and suffering to people who basically have no power to stop it happening, and no recourse to bigger lawyers than these stars have, assuming they have the courage to go to court. Cultural figures also have a free pass to public influence regardless of their suitability—we even had Russell Brand appearing on Newsnight, for heaven's sake! This is not to say that "ordinary" people may not lead problematic lives, and celebrities will always be with us in one form or another, and many celebrities do great things too.
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