The costs to artists of strong copyright

The argument that "strong copyright is to protect the artists" only considers the established artists, not the new ones.

I wanted to flag up some examples of cases where stronger copyright protection has hurt artists.
Here are the first two :

The movie "Uncovered" had a budget of $200,000. Half of that was spent securing the rights to clips of President Bush. Some parts of the movie had to be cut because permission was not granted.

The Beastie Boys paid $1000 to ECM Records to use a three-second clip from Newton's "Choir" album in their album "Pass the Mic". (This is documented in the 9th Circuit case Newton v. Diamond).

Chris Turner had to pay $350 to use 87 words from the band Radiohead in his book Planet Simpson. (see

With these kind of unnecessary costs, the creation of new artistic works will soon be too expensive for poor starving artists, who'll be forced to wait tables instead.

Please post more examples as comments.

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Standing on the shoulders of giants.

Moving from the specific back to the general, most creators recognize that they build upon existing creativity. I don't believe there is really anything that can be claimed to be entirely from the individual creator, given the entire language we use to communicate is based on the stories of the past.

In order to create, current creators need access to this past creativity to build upon, largely works in the public domain or fair dealings access to works. This means that as the scope (what copyright restricts) and term (how long it last) expands, this directly harms the creative process.

I see expansion of copyright as helping past creators and non-creator copyright holders, while reducing copyright as helping current and future creators. The separation of creator vs. audience never made sense to me, but the need to protect the present and future from the past (IE: to protect current creators from the excessive expansion of protections of past creativity) is something of great concern to me.

I'm tired of hearing claims that maximizing copyright helps creators, when in fact it only helps past-creator or non-creator copyright holders who see creativity as competition for their existing works.