Tue 21 Mar 2017 7:12AM

The curious case of Ilayaraja suing his friend SP Balasubramaniam for copyright violation

PP Pirate Praveen Public Seen by 353

In a TV interview tonight, Gangai Amaran, filmmaker and music director himself, blamed it on arrogance and money lust, with the poser to Ilayaraja: “Are you so impoverished as to make petty and idiotic demands?”

Very strong words indeed to express his disgust against his own Brother!

He sounded very aggressive in the interview with News 7, even saying “we have copied from MSV and Thyagaraya keerthana. Have we paid any royalty for it.” (Malayalam)

We should add reducing copyright years to our manifesto. A work should enter public domain sooner and everyone should be able to enjoy it without asking for permissions. We should also fund public theatres for works in the commons. Artists should use the potential of technology to reach to audience directly rather than creating artificial scarcity in the form of copyright restrictions.


Pirate Praveen Tue 21 Mar 2017 8:45AM

I suggest we propose 10 years validity for copyright. I'd like to see what everyone thinks.

See for details of current copyright law in India.


Pirate Praveen Fri 24 Mar 2017 6:16AM

How do we handle copyleft works? If we say 10 years for any copyrighted work, then copylefted work will come in to the public domain and could be made proprietary. Also we'll need support from other pirate parties around the world to change international copyright treaties.


Pirate Praveen Fri 24 Mar 2017 6:28AM

Family of Malayalam poet and lyricist Vayalar Ramavarma refuse to put any restrictions to Vayalar songs. (Malayalam)

Highlights from the story:

A music director can legally stop someone from singing their song only if the lyricist also joins the case.

Songs are for everyone to sing and enjoy. Vayalar's songs should remain for generations and should not get restricted for money.


Pirate Praveen Fri 24 Mar 2017 6:58AM


In a 2016 copyright lawsuit, the Delhi High Court states that copyright is "not an inevitable, divine, or natural right that confers on authors the absolute ownership of their creations. It is designed rather to stimulate activity and progress in the arts for the intellectual enrichment of the public. Copyright is intended to increase and not to impede the harvest of knowledge. It is intended to motivate the creative activity of authors and inventors in order to benefit the public."

Eben Moglen's speech "Freeing the mind" talks about the background for copyright and how its redundant in the connected world of internet

Information distribution, from the adoption of movable type printing in the west at the end of the fifteenth century until the end of the twentieth, was an industrial process. Information was turned into physical artifacts that it cost money to make, move and sell. Accordingly, an economy of information distribution arose, which required payment streams to recoup the cost of making, moving and selling physical artifacts containing information. That process came to center around the creation of property rights--through a logic of the raising of streams of payment to recoup the costs of production familiar to everybody--in every branch of Western economic thought. The morality of that process, however, depended on the fact that there was no alternative. Because this form of distribution inevitably resulted in the exclusion of some people from information. Societies, as their wealth increased, tended to attempt to offset that exclusionary effect--the undesired, exclusionary effect--of property rights in information production by socialized measures to ensure access: the public library, the public university, and so on. Thus, by the middle of the twentieth century it had become the dogma of the West that information costs money to make move and sell, that information costs must be recouped by exclusionary property rights (``you may not have this information unless you pay for it'') and that the harshness of coercive distribution of information goods could be ameliorated in the familiar way--by semi-socialized institutions that offset the distributive unfairness of coercive models of information production and distribution. That, in a nutshell, is how to we got to the point at which things threatened to become terrible, because the advance of technology removed the barrier to universal access. But our minds did not change with respect to the paradigms of information production and distribution.

The conversion to digital technology means that every work of utility or beauty, every computer program, every piece of music, every piece of visual or literary art, every piece of video, every useful piece of information--train schedule, university curriculum, map, chart--every piece of useful or beautiful information can be distributed to everybody at the same cost that it can be distributed to anybody. For the first time in human history, we face an economy in which the most important goods have zero marginal cost. And the transformation to digital methods of production and distribution therefore poses to the twenty-first century a fundamental moral problem. If I can provide to everyone all goods of intellectual value or beauty, for the same price that I can provide the first copy of those works to anyone, why is it ever moral to exclude anyone from anything? If you could feed everyone on earth at the cost of baking one loaf and pressing a button, what would be the moral case for charging more for bread than some people could afford to pay? This represents the difficulty at which we find ourselves straining at the opening of the twenty-first century.

Vast institutions are committed to the social philosophy that only exclusionary practices inevitably involving the large-scale continuance of unnecessary ignorance are essential to the production of useful information. Vast economic rents are being extracted from the world, and enormous numbers of people are going unfulfilled in intellectual and aesthetic needs that we can provide for. One inevitable consequence of the continuance of that approach is that people are forbidden to share.


Pirate Praveen Fri 24 Mar 2017 7:40AM

"in the world of zero-marginal cost, anarchist distribution--that is, distribution without exclusion from the act of distributing--produces inherently superior distribution. This is even easier to perceive than the first proposition. When the right to distribute goods with zero marginal cost has to be bought and sold, there are inefficiencies introduced in the social network of distribution. When no such buying and selling, no such exclusion from the power of distribution exists, distribution occurs at the native speed of the social network itself. "


Pirate Praveen Fri 24 Mar 2017 3:10PM

@akhileshjamdar I'd like to hear your position.