tv Forbes on Fox FOX Business February 21, 2016 9:00am-9:31am EST
whole lives an the sad reality is you get slapped in the face all the time. you got to get tough. >> not tooabout it. >> the walls of wall street down late loaded john: the wolf of wall street was downloaded illegally more than any other movie. and the idea is to encourage the proliferation of new ideas. even drug dealers have expanded the situation. and if it doesn't change the name, the lawyers may come. >> i am an intellectual property attorney and you have stolen my
company's knowledge. >> some of you who have watched my show on youtube, that is stealing and that is our show tonight. ♪ ♪ >> now it's time for john stossel. john: ideas can change the world. for most of human history people suffered in human history. mainly because no one had thought of better ways to do things. then in the last few hundred years, some new ideas made life better. things like running water and the printing press and the steam engine and electricity. as well as the internet who want people to be coming up with new ideas and there is a problem. maybe they make money and you do
not. >> this man needs to cover not just the manufacturing cost of inventing the thing in the first place. let's say that a competitor manufactures a competing copy. the competitor doesn't need to cover those costs. original creations cannot compete with the costs of reproductions. john: its original creations cannot compete with copies, and vent your things. what could be done to address that unfair imbalance? >> in the united states, the introduction of copyrights and patents was attended to address this in balance. both aim to encourage the creation and the proliferation of new ideas by providing a brief and limited time of exclusivity when no one else could copy your work. john: how long until you can copy a?
if i wrote this book? that time limit has changed over the years. >> from 20 years to 42 years, then in 1909 to 46. and then in 1998 to the lifetime of the author plus many years. john: of my lifetime plus 70 years? that seems long and it's wrong, says this man. he says no one should be able to own an idea as property and an intellectual property lawyer with a success that's crazy. so let's start with you. no copyright ordered trademark? why but i write this if you could just rip it off? >> why did shakespeare write all the plays he did for they were copyrighted? why did he profit to putting his name on plays that were actually retellings of old stories? >> shakespeare did it without
copyright. >> people who pirated other people's plays dealt with things in this way. he would go after these people and sometimes try to shut down the theater. it was copying and it was wrong. >> you have raised this in terms of utilitarianism. why would people do something if they don't get rewarded? is also a moral issue. someone who creates something has a moral right to protect what he has created us as a farmer has a right to land. this is a natural issue. >> the rights that are natural others founded in the nature of property being scarce. so when i hold something it is to the exclusion of something else. when we have laws that allow me to monopolize the expression
that can necessarily inhibit someone else's free expression. john: what about a new job? across these drug companies a billion dollars to get into government it through government and if someone could copy it they wouldn't do it. >> pharmaceuticals are a special problem because there's a great deal of regulations built up into the development of the drugs and you have to go through clinical trials. but we are seeing things like software where the costs are much lower and coming down all the time and people are actually opting out of the patent system. they make money by the strength of their name and product and they do it with other competitive products in the marketplace and competing with others is the free market is supposed to work. john: it's not always clear how it can work, but there is one
area where trademarks are not enforced, illegal drugs and yet this still exists. denzel washington is watering down the job of denzel magic in this called blue doped. >> they know that pepsi is a brand name, they know that even if they don't know the chairman of the general mills. when you chop my doped down and then you call it blue magic, that is trademarking. i would have to insist that you change the name. john: so is that how to work? change the name? >> if someone wants to come along and copy shakespeare's plays and talk about them being their own, you now have to deal with a couple of albums and one would be the audience is going to know that you are ripping off shakespeare and you've lost your
bad reputation and that these reputational issues work in the private market and you don't need a government come in and enforce them. john: what about music? sometimes we don't have the right. nick offerman talked about how the music copyright system works. >> stop the audio and shut it down and now. >> who are you? >> i'm an intellectual property attorney and used on the property. john: is that what you do, warrants? >> i do that in court and not someone's workshop. john: these laws are reasonable and clear enough for most people? >> they require this from time to time, reasonable people can disagree how long the term of a copyright should be.
>> in 1981, tortures and lost a $1.5 million case for copying the. john: consciously copying. are you kidding me? >> in that case he admitted a mistake and he tried to sell it before it went to trial. it was well known. he said it was subconscious, whether it was or was not, he did not have a right to use someone else's material. the fact that he is a great creative material person in his own line wright didn't give him the ability to infringe on others. john: how do they make money if they are copying songs? >> they are doing what they have been doing for ages, performances and hoping that people will buy their products than they do. but i live in mexico city and i can walk out my door and buy a
copy of anything i want, and yet box office receipts in mexico city go up every year. why is that? because the people that can afford to go to theaters and by the original products choose to do so. >> that's well and good if you have a famous entertainer, like lady gaga or tony bennett. but how does an entertainer become famous in the first place? the reason people will pay money to go and see a performance is because intellectual property law allowed them to become famous in the first place. >> i don't think that that is necessarily true. you see a lot of independent performers making money doing live gigs at smaller venues and then becoming famous there as well. it's not always copyright law that enables us, sometimes it's making good music. john: let's assume that copyright protection is a good thing and what is not a good thing is that special interests and lobbyists told a lot in their favor and my former employer disney did that. even after making big bucks from
stories like finocchio that they got for free. >> stories like snow white, alice in wonderland, they were taken from the public domain. when it came time for the copyright of disney films to expire, they lobbied to have it the term of copyright extended from 75 years to 95 years. john: so this is now free to copy if they hadn't gotten her special deal and now they control this until the year 2032. so i don't know, seven years after my death that i should own this thing. >> they don't have the right to distort this for 95 years. but what they have the right to is their expression of it. the story of snow white is an ancient german math. and you can do a story of any kind that you want that involves
a bitter queen, a meter and a poison apple. just as leonard bernstein -- but not for those basic elements. dislike shakespeare could not have sued leonard bernstein for coming up with west side story. which is the same basic story as romeo and juliet. john: you would argue that this is a cronyism scan to get it extended? >> yes, just because they will not win in court does not mean that they are not going to scare people. that's exactly what happens when that happens in the patent industry as well. john: please follow me at twitter. use the hash tag and like my facebook page so that you can post on my wall. coming up, how some magicians managed to protect their trade secret without suing people. and what i do about people who
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john: what if you are a magician and you come up with a new magic trick? you might have your trek, but then the secret would be out there. so how does a magician protect his creative work? in a moment i'll ask this magician. john: rick lax created this track. where the card seemingly float in the air. someone online was trying to sell the secret behind it. and rick lax joins us now. so this guy rip you off? >> yes, he sure did and he made some money doing it. he charged people for this video that he made explaining how to do my trick. john: to protect his trip, rick put on a disguise and made this big exposure video that claims the strip was done with tape.
>> right there. you see that? john: then he takes off his disguise and explains that he was conning you. >> it's a secret to vertigo and you're not going to find it here. >> no, you're not going to find it here or really anywhere. >> on youtube, it if you really want to learn how to do it, you do have to get the dvd. john: you try to make money selling dvds. can you explain? >> i made a video not because i wanted to but because i had to. over 50,000 people watched that video alone in my fake exposure video where it started off where if you're watching it you are in magician and you think you're going to get this secret for free. so you say okay, is a done with
tape? it's not. but then at the end it's me and you find out that this is not how it's done. but i can see that there is a demand for these exposure videos because 50,000 people watched mine. so if you were to google rick lax how did you do word ago, you would see tens of thousands of hits on videos and some of them will be real exposure videos. videos were the magicians really tell you how it's done and some of them will be fake ones like the ones you just saw. john: why not sue people? >> it's really hard for magicians to do that. in some cases we can if there is a special device that lets us do the trick. patents are publicly searchable so everyone will know how it is done. so we don't like that. john: here is a magician and a
mask who reveals secrets. >> one, two, three, presto starts now. how did he do it? what you don't see is that the scars are hooked to a short piece of fishing line. john: he had a tv show doing this. you say without getting the law involved, he was punished? >> yes, we exercise him from head the community. you will not see him performing anywhere. and no one wants to associate with them. once you share the secrets with the laymen, we are nervous to share our secrets with you because we are afraid you're going to turn around and share with everyone else. john: in some ways you guys are like coca-cola, you have a trade secret that you don't want to write down for people to steal, you just want to keep it secret. coca-cola has done that,
thomases english muffins, none of this is legally registered anywhere. >> that's right, the reason they don't register it is because patents and copyrights only work for a limited time. but when you keep something a trade secret, you can keep it a trade secret for 100 years and coca-cola has done that. some people allegedly did steal the secret. pepsi went to the fbi and told coca-cola? >> yes, these people got punished. i don't know if they realize that going into it, but stealing a trade secret is not just a faction but a federal crime and so they got in real trouble for doing that. john: penn and teller registered an act with the u.s. copyright
office 30 years ago, recently somebody in belgium posted a video of the trick that he called the rows of her shadow. i'm not sure if he grabbed it from the copyright office, but he offered to reveal the secret behind it for $3000. teller sued him and laster he won $15,000. so that is a reason to copyright. >> yes, except for right now teller might be the exception rather than the rule. even in the ruling the judge said that i'm going to give this one to you, but you cannot really copyright a matter trick. i'm only going to give it to you because the choreography surrounding the trick, that you can have a copyright on. the pantomime that accompanies the trick. so we were trying to figure out how broad is this ruling. will it only apply to teller because there was so much choreography in his trip world might apply to the rest of us as well? we don't know. john: it appears that you can pass in one but not the other.
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john: do you listen to music on the internet without paying for? this upsets users would like taylor swift. >> it freaks me out and i will have a meltdown on the show. john: college students download music all the time. >> downloading songs off the internet illegally. john: sometimes music makers take action. this boston university student copied 30 songs and share them on the web. the orting industry associations to him and a jury ordered him to pay $675,000. >> $22,500 for each song he downloaded. john: that is not right says
this author against intellectual property. >> from copying and learning and sharing. >> without it global say in produce less. >> that is actually not true, today we have piracy that is widespread and most people don't make a dime from their works. you know, the danger to the people that want to get their name out there is not piracy, piracy is a compliment. john: i should be allowed to pirate movies off the internet payment. >> i think that's the wrong term dislike stealing is wrong term. when you copy information you're not taking anything from anyone, you are copying ideas. policy is what people used to do when they would take things.
>> the wall for wall street was downloaded illegally more than any other movie in 2014. other films making the list include frozen and robocop, gravity and the hobbit. >> is not being stolen, it's been copied. >> i think this is why the copyrights are a bad idea. they expire after 17 years roughly. >> let's make this personal. frankly, it's a conflict.
because i also know that fox pays me to do the show if they can get it to make money from it and it's not just my salary, i have seven producers that do research, book the guests, have editors that cut the video, there's a hairstylist and a studio stage manager and a director, a car service that picks up the guests like you. >> we have a right to have people to be able to get attribution credit. and there's nothing wrong to say where it came from. copywriting is a different matter altogether.
when you put the information out there, you shouldn't have been complemented by the fact that people are complementing your show. the more copies that are made, the more popular you are. movie studios make money from selling tickets and now they can make money from selling dvds, rentals and other things area. >> if you could find that you are a repeat offender, you will get banned for life. john: it sounds like you get punished the people complaining your stealing stuff. >> yes, and it's even getting worse. one of the dangers is that it is used by