Rute Correia’s take on John Degen

So, apparently I am not the only one who realizes that John Degen is full of crap.

Rute Correia has written a reaction to Degan’s 5 Seriously Dumb Myths About Copyright the Media Should Stop Repeating, in which he attacks copyright”myths” that are anything but.

Correia’s article is called 5 Seriously Important Facts about Copyright the Media Should Keep on Repeating. It is worth reading.

And, for comparison, you can also re-read my article, John Degen Loses Argument Against Straw Man.

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John Degen Loses Argument Against Straw Man

April 23rd was the anniversary of the deaths of Shakespeare, Cervantes, and Garcilaso de la Vega, and in celebration, UNESCO has declared that day World Book Day. It is also called “World Book and Copyright Day,” but I don’t think the term is appropriate, since none of those authors’ works were ever under any form of copyright.

Someone who does think the term is appropriate is John Degan. This should not be any surprise: Degen is an outspoken copyright maximalist. He is currently Executive Director of The Writers’ Union of Canada, and Chair of the International Authors Forum; he was formerly Executive Director of the Professional Writers Association of Canada, and Communications Manager for Magazines Canada.

So, Degen decided to write an article called 5 Seriously Dumb Myths About Copyright the Media Should Stop Repeating. Here’s the first problem with that article: nobody in the media is actually repeating the “myths” he’s supposedly debunking. Here’s the second problem: all of the “truths” that he uses to debunk these “myths” are misleading, one-sided, or flat-out wrong. Even when he’s arguing against his own straw man, he loses.

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Statutory royalties prevent monopolies, not “takings”

In a recent post on The Trichordist, user “thetrichordist” (it’s not clear who that actually is) posted an article called Pre-72 Red Herrings from Pandora’s Chris Harrison (and that’s not the IPO kind). There are several things that are ridiculous about that article, but I’d like to focus on one thing in particular.

In the article, the writer says:

a statutory royalty […] is actually fair compensation for rights the law takes away from artists and copyright owners in the compulsory license that is necessary to avoid a “taking” under the 5th Amendment[.]

To be blunt, this is utter and complete horseshit. Statutory royalties are not there to prevent “takings,” because the statutory royalties were a condition of granting the rights in the first place. There was literally nothing to “take.”

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