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Old April 9th, 2009, 10:18 PM   #31
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Interesting thread. Just one minor quibble.

What on earth do ethics and laws have to do with each other? I think nothing.

Law is law and ethics is ethics and never the twain shall meet.

(Til earth and sky stand presently at God's great judgement seat - with due apologies to the good Mr Kipling)

Seriously.
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Old April 10th, 2009, 05:18 AM   #32
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Ethics, law, and justice are three separate worlds and any time they come into congruence in our society it's purely by accident. IMHO, that's our society's greatest failure. Law is supposed to be about equity and justice, instead it is about adherence to process and precedure, as if a system could EVER be devised that could replace carefully considered decisions made be wise and fair-minded individuals.
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Old April 10th, 2009, 06:38 AM   #33
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It seems to me that "ethics" is the expression of the innate goodness underlying all. In order to be ethical we have to come from love (which I define as "the experience of unconditional acceptance of what is"). I don't like the plural as it implies more than one; I think it should be "ethic." Love is all you need...

"Law" and "justice" are human attempts to codify and enforce the inherent good and thus are subject to wide interpretation and wild distortion. Author James Gilligan says that all violence is an attempt to seek justice (from his book "Violence: a National Epidemic).
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Old April 10th, 2009, 09:48 AM   #34
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Avoiding the inquiry...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Andrada View Post
Interesting thread. Just one minor quibble.

What on earth do ethics and laws have to do with each other? I think nothing.

Law is law and ethics is ethics and never the twain shall meet.

(Til earth and sky stand presently at God's great judgement seat - with due apologies to the good Mr Kipling)

Seriously.
Hah, the whole point of this thread was to avoid that exact topic. Law and ethics have been bed mates for eternity, though I think it's a meta-reality that you observe through philosophers and not directly within. Unless you're talking Kantian philosophy, in which case it'd be a hard line not to connect the two in some deeply intertwined sense. Check our Ronald Dworkin's "Law's Empire" and "Philosophy of Law" by Feinberg and Coleman (specifically, Dworkin's piece 'Integrity in Law'). Long, sluggish reads. But I think you'd see the real issue about whether the two are related.

Much like "Chicken and the Egg; which came first?" Or, in this case, which gives the other precedence? Do laws emerge in response to ethical trends (emotional reactions, even), or do systems of ethics emerge from structures of law? Naturally, traffic and civil laws seem largely outside systems of ethics... or do they? Is it a non-issue that in Missouri we drive on the right side of the road (as well as other places where people do similar things)? I'd say no; it emerges from a mutual understanding that a system of order on the road constitutes a degree of safety and assurance that we've come to expect in traveling within our borders.

It goes on and on... I'll grant you your place, but you'll need to clarify what you mean by "law is law and ethics is ethics" by telling me how you define the two.
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Old April 10th, 2009, 09:54 AM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arthur Hancock View Post
It seems to me that "ethics" is the expression of the innate goodness underlying all. In order to be ethical we have to come from love (which I define as "the experience of unconditional acceptance of what is"). I don't like the plural as it implies more than one; I think it should be "ethic." Love is all you need...

"Law" and "justice" are human attempts to codify and enforce the inherent good and thus are subject to wide interpretation and wild distortion. Author James Gilligan says that all violence is an attempt to seek justice (from his book "Violence: a National Epidemic).
I'll have to check that text out. It troubles me, initially. Mainly on whether the justice is innately Good, or some immediate good. I dig what you wrote, but I'm also skeptic to jump on any "love is all you need" statement. I think that comes from my hesitance to commit to a singular idea about love. I'm definitely a fan of Lewis' "the Four loves;" I imagine you've read it. If you haven't, it would be right up your alley.

As far as "ethic" vs "ethics," I think it's an issue of semantics. I don't know if the point is to imply a plural as much as it is to a subset of philosophy devoted to what's right and wrong for a being to do.
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Old April 10th, 2009, 10:08 AM   #36
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My experience in this field: some years ago I saw a documentary made in Israel about the families of the victims and suicide bombers, getting together to find a way out of the violence spiral. Very nice story I thought, until while watching I realized: They used a published CD from me( CD Baby: MOHANNOS: Nay by Day) and without my permission pasted my music under their film and sold it. The film was broadcast on BBC when I accidently saw it. I jotted down time and date and patiently waited for my GEMA to arrive in the next 2 years. NOTHING. So I inquire and find out that upon inquiry of GEMA to PRS the response was: BBC is not going to pay because it was broadcast via satellite.
I insisted over many years with absolutely no result!

This just to show, that as a legal owner of music and rights, I am not even "protected" by the copyright society I am member of !!!!!

So now what? Sue the producers ? At first I was flattered, that my music was chosen, because it is a mixture of arabian and western music, so I found it fitting to the film.
Now I feel ethically restricted to sue the producers.....
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Old April 10th, 2009, 10:29 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by Hanno di Rosa View Post
At first I was flattered, that my music was chosen, because it is a mixture of arabian and western music, so I found it fitting to the film.
Now I feel ethically restricted to sue the producers.....
I would tend to agree with you. Now, had the subject matter been something you were vehemently opposed to, what recourse would you have had? We as the unsuspecting viewer ASSUME that when an artist's music is used around a certain topic, that the artist SUPPORTS the position of the filmmaker. All a filmmaker needs to do is approach the artist seeking permission OR a licensing body to license the body of work, assuming that the licensing body is protecting the interests (either financial or ethical) of the artist.

In your case the producers made money off the film, ostensibly somewhat enriched by the inclusion of your music therefore it is only right that you receive appropriate compensation IMHO.

Keep in mind I wear two hats: one as a producer/videographer, the other as a songwriter/musician. The difference of course is that my musical material is unlikely to inspire anyone to want to include it in a film...
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Old April 10th, 2009, 12:27 PM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hanno di Rosa View Post
Now I feel ethically restricted to sue the producers.....
I sure would sue 'em... whether I agreed with the film or not. You have a right to be compensated for your creation.

We're all talking here about "doing the right thing"... or at least trying to, and then we hear (allegedly) that THE BBC is not. Wow!
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Old April 11th, 2009, 04:03 PM   #39
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Wow, the BBC... if they are not responsible for copyright violations, than no-one is... perhaps you should sue them in small claims court, if 7k is enough compensation... which it is NOT, but it would be an easy win for you!

As for the whole copyrighted music issue... i have seen more violations for big budget stuff than small film festival stuff, for instance i wrote an article recently on a local film festival, and all the producers/directors i interviewed were very particular about getting music rights, and not using big name tunes etc... however the gigs for hire seem to use whatever they want... for instance the city i live in in northern Arizona recently commisioned a promotional video to promote local business, the budget for this was 25k, i know because i put in a bid, anyway after the video came out i was shocked to hear dozens of highly recognizable songs sprinkled throughout... and for the budget i know there was not enough money to actually license these songs! It just makes me mad, since my bid included 2k to have local musicians do the score!
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Old April 12th, 2009, 10:12 AM   #40
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So would alerting a few of the recording companies about this likely infringement of copyright be the right (ethical) thing to do? Or would failing to speak up make you an accessory?
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Old April 13th, 2009, 12:22 AM   #41
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I plead the 5th!

But seriously, its amazing that no one at the city would think to check these things out!
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Old April 13th, 2009, 01:07 AM   #42
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Hi Jon - sorry to be late responding re law and ethics.

I'm pretty much with Arthur on this - except that I don't even think that law is necessarily even attempting to codify anything based on ethical principals - rather it is codifying whatever set of rules the particular society thinks appropriate.

For example, is there any ethical issue with taping a nice looking building without paying the city of Los Angeles a fee for the privilege? Or is it a purely business decision on the part of the city to require such a payment?

How about parking - is it unethical to park without putting money in the meter until 8PM and ethical after 8PM - or is the whole parking meter thing just a way for society to get some $$$

Is it unethical for a person to be elected President of the US three times, or is it just a matter of the US having decided that we're better served by limiting terms to a total of 10 years or two elections?

Was it ethical to copy someones music after X years before Sonny Bono came along and unethical now? Or was it all about the $$$

etc etc etc.
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Old April 13th, 2009, 10:16 PM   #43
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"Law" and "justice" are human attempts to codify and enforce the inherent good and thus are subject to wide interpretation and wild distortion. Author James Gilligan says that all violence is an attempt to seek justice (from his book "Violence: a National Epidemic).[/QUOTE]

I think that objective reality (trees are trees, rocks are hard, water's wet) is perfect in every way; the universe is unfolding exactly as it should. It is our subjective ideas about objective reality that gets everything balled up. A law that conforms to objective reality, such as "it's illegal to steal because a stable society could not exist," is objectively sound and defensible. Subjective greed enters the mix and results in crazily extended copyright grants of exclusivity, which is not objectively just or fair.

I think the objective perception of objective reality (the physical universe) and the inevitable acceptance of it (because to see it objectively is to see it as perfect) is what "love" is. The reason we humans make such a big deal out of the love experience is because ordinarily we find objective reality far from acceptable. Love is rare.

I did an LSD trip when I was twenty-eight (I'm 63 now) and had my subjective mind shut down for a few hours. It was a life-changing experience. For a long time I thought I'd had a "religious experience." Now I know that for a few hours I was comparatively sane--operating largely from my objective mind--for the first time in my adult life. The objective mind is what I mean by the underlying good in every one. The subjective ego is the source of our troubles.

I think the survival of humankind depends on our ability to shed our subjective mind (Captain Kirk) and enter the epoch of objective mind (Mr. Spock). Failure to do so will, I believe, result in self-extinction.
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Old May 4th, 2009, 03:14 AM   #44
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I'm presently absorbed in a lengthy transcription of some footage, but wanted to thank you both for your responses. I've enjoyed this conversation, and will respond in a short while to both responses.
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Old May 4th, 2009, 08:15 AM   #45
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I'll play devil's advocate here (not really) and argue that copyright laws are too stringent and restrictive for non-commercial applications. Joe Sixpack isn't going to market and sell his wedding video, or Junior's birthday party DVD.

I am stating this as an artist whose work is protected by copyright (screenwriter and filmmaker). I actually make a living from receiving royalties, but I don't think anyone should be penalized for, let's say, using an excerpt of my film or using a character I created (within reason).

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