never leave and the next thing you're sitting on marine one with the president. >> thanks, everybody. bye-bye. >> thanks for watching.about 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 rip me off.
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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 punihed? >> 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.
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 the state and this was
defeated while ago, trying to stop this by imposing all kinds of surveillance. and this is a private out of the court system. >> is a danger. john: you are a patent lawyer, you're basically trying to argue yourself out of a job. >> yes, just like an oncologist is trying to cure cancer, put himself out of a job, just like someone who works for the aclu, despite someone is hoping to end the drug war and maybe he has to find honest work done. john: good for you. thank you. for those of you that would like to legally watch shows of mind
and maybe you missed, fox business does put them on the web two weeks after we air. you can get them by going to johnstossel.com. coming up, why it would cost me big if i sing happy birthday on this show. and next we go undercover to try to buy some counterfeit ♪ is it the insightful strategies and analytical capabilities that make edward jones one of the biggest financial services firms in the country? or is it 13,000 financial advisors who take the time to say thank you? 'night jim. gonna be a while? i am liz got a little writing to do. ♪ it's why edward jones is the big company that doesn't act that way.
. john: of all the industries i've covered as a consumer reporter, i think one of the biggest ripoffs is fashion. this dress sells for $1200. these shoes, $1400. this purse is priced at $2500. are you kidding me? who pays that amount of money for a purse? i could walk outside my apartment and buy a bag that looks like that for 20 bucks. and actually, this one is a
high-end knockoff, it costs us $200. we got it when we went shopping with hidden cameras. >> louis vuitton boots. >> reporter: producer ricky ratliffe bought that bag in chinatown where people sell all kinds of counterfeit merchandise. >> is it real? >> yes. >> reporter: he claimed he was selling authentic stuff. >> give you all the bags. which one you want. >> reporter: some people admitted products weren't the real thing. one hustler said if we want the real quality brand-name stuff, we need to follow him and meet with this woman in mcdonald's. >> what are you looking for? >> louis vuitton. >> reporter: on my phone she showed my producer supposed $1,000 louis vuitton bag. >> reporter: she said she would sell for $200. >> how do i pay? >> cash. >> reporter: and 15 minutes
later, back on the street, the bag appeared. >> thank you. john: and that's how i got this. the counterfeit fashion industry is big business. chris sprigman knows about that. he wrote the knockoff economy, how imitation sparks innovation. that makes it sound like this illegal activity is a good thing. >> well, there's some good that comes out of it. the presence of knockoffs democratizes fashion, it allows people in the u.s. to look good, to look stylish. people who can't afford to pay a thousand dollars for the real louis vuitton bag. that's a thousand dollars, so knockoffs do democratize the availability of the items. now it would be bad if it hurt the brand of companies, if it deprived them of customers they otherwise have. i can tell you that virtually
nobody who buys a fake bag on canal street. that's a pretty well-done fake. nobody is going buy the $25,000 fake louis vuitton bag. john: they know this is going to happen, they're not getting money from the knockoff bag. >> they're not getting money from the knockoff bag and not getting harmed either. the people in the market who have all that cash to burnings they're going to go out, because they want the stat thoughts real louis vuitton confers. and they want the shopping experience of the wonderful louis vuitton flagship store and how it pampers them. this is what they want and get. the knockoff has no discernible effect on the knockoff of those folks, those are the knockoffs that louis vuitton cares about. john: forever 21, urban outfitters do not allow for the creativity of the original creator to be acknowledgeed?
>> if you look into the world and see how the fashion industry works, since the end of world war ii, the fashion industry has uninterruptedly boomed. all of the time knockoffs have been legal. copying in the united states helps the fashion industry. it helps for example to signal to people that a trend has occurred when a fashion is widely copied, there's a trend, we buy into the trend. john: more information. >> more information for people. they buy into the trend when. there is too much copying, it signals the trend is starting to be over. the fashion forward jump onto the new trend that copying is starting to set. the fashion cycle helps fuels it. it's good for consumers and good for us all. john: even the fashion backyard like me? >> the fashion backyard benefit as well. price of clothing hasn't gone up in a quarter century except for the price of clothing at
the top. the louis vuitton, the prada, they are getting more for less. john: u.s. customs service, always eager to make themselves more important. they say the black offer for hand bag shoes, and crime rings, it's a big threat to people. more than a billion dollars in counterfeits are seized by customs and border protection annually as federal agents crack down on the crime of the century. >> you can buy anything that is legitimate. you think you have a small savings, getting the real product at a discounted price only to find it's a counterfeit. john: the crime. century, they call it. >> i'm not sure it's the crime of the century. i think it's true in the world that organized crime has finger in every pie which they can make money, it be legal or illegal. if we want to get after organized crime, get after organized crime, the counterfeiting issue is more or less a red herring.
john: the international chamber of commerce claims 2 1/2 million jobs are lost because of fake products. >> the international chamber of commerce figures counterfeiting products are worth zero. that they keep repeating them as if they're a fact. the government and fbi and other agencies of the government have picked them up as if they're fact. that doesn't make them true. there's a lot of small business people making money, and they wouldn't be otherwise. so i think in terms of its total economic effect, it's a wash. john: you do agree if it comes to things like pharmaceutical drugs or airplane parts, this is a real threat? >> god yes, i don't want airplanes crashing because of fake parts, don't want people dying because of fake drugs. nobody died because of a fake hand bag, a lot of the government's efforts are directed not at airplane parts and pharmaceuticals but hand bags. john: finally, chris says another surprising way to
expand your brain and think about the knockoff economy is to think about charles dickens. did you read the christmas carol, or great expectations or tale of two cities? these books have sold millions of copies and yet at the time book sellers in america were not required to pay dickens a dime. >> when the united states itself was a developing economy, it refused to sign treaties and had no protection for foreign creators. charles dickens complained about america's bustling piracy book market. john: and yet you say he still made out. >> dickens made out when. dickens visited the united states on a lecture tour, he played to the standing room only crowds. people paid a lot of money to see him. the equivalent of millions in today's currency. john: they wanted to buy cheap books, read cheap books. >> they fell in love with him. at his desk, a significant
portion of his estate came for that trip. it became literate in part because books were cheap. books being cheap helped us develop to be the world power that we are today. that came from the absence of copyright. john: thank you, chris sprigman. coming up, who owns a joke? how do comedians deal with joke stealers? and how do i deal with people who steal my brand? welcome to 20/20, i'm john stossel. >> i'm john stossel. i asked my dentist
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. john: have you heard this joke? why is six afraid of seven? because seven eight nine. get it? seven ate nine. does that make me a joke stealer? i think so, what does that mean for professional comedians, what do they do if someone steals their jokes. comedian doug stanhope says comedians work this out. i asked him about this because he's a libertarian. here's a sample of his work. >> they say if you give a man a
fish, he'll eat for a day. if you teach a man to fish, then he's got to get a fishing license, and you couldn't even cook the fish because you needed a permit for an open flame, and then the health department is going to start asking you a lot of questions about where are you going to dump the scales and the guts. john: as i said, a libertarian comedian. doug joins us now. you don't need government to protect your jokes? >> so, yeah, no, no, comedy's a really good self-policing artform. if you go to an open mic and want to get into the business, if you're stealing someone's jokes you are going to be outed and publicly shamed and run out of town. john: and yet robin williams was known as a joke stealer. >> huge, yeah, milton berle and robin williams probably the two legendary. john: they weren't run out of town. >> there's the anomaly that
slipped doubt cracks, legendary stories from the comedy store in l.a. about robin williams coming into the show room and someone would put him up against the wall by the throat and manager would write a check for stealing jokes. but yeah, there's very few that get through, and they're labeled. people wouldn't go on stage when robin williams was in the room, after he got branded with that start will letter of joke thief. john: in 2006, comedian dane cooke was accused of stealing jokes from comedian louis c.k. and he invited him on the show to joke about it. >> 2006 was the greatest year of my entire life. i had a double platinum comedy album. first one it exist. i enjoyed it maybe, louie for two months, two months before it started to suck. everything i read about me is how i stole jokes from you,
which i didn't. >> i kind of think you did. john: so louis c.k. has him on his own show? >> yeah, now louis c.k. is a gentleman, and always been above the fray in these things. a lot of people did gang up on dane cooke on that one, and louis handled it like a sportsman. he didn't antagonize it. didn't fan the flames. when he had dane cooke on the show, that was brilliant on both sides. >> comedians lose work because they're accused of stealing jokes. joe rogan interrupted a routine by mensia and accused mensia of stealing jokes from many other comedians. >> someone steals that from his arm [ bleep ]. >> i didn't say you steal it,
but i don't! >> he found it tougher to get work after that? >> that pretty much destroyed him. he was on the top of his game, at a comedy central show, he was selling out theaters all over the country, and almost immediately after that went viral, it destroyed his career. it brought him down to my level. that's how bad, if i'm doing the wednesday, he's doing the thursday at the same rotten club. john: thank you, doug stanhope. we'll raise you up to higher levels! coming up, have you brushed your teeth with crust toothpaste? do you use arm and hatchet bake soda? do you buy coffee at sunbucks coffee shop? i'll explain when we come back. you, my friend, recognize when a trend has reached critical mass. that's what a type e* does. with e*trade's investing insights center,
you can spot trends before they become trendy. get set! ♪you're rolled out at the dawning of the day♪ (sfx:starter pistol shot) ♪heart racin' as you made your little get away ♪but there's always scars, when you fall back far♪ ♪we lose our way, we get back up again♪ ♪it's never too late to get back up again♪ ♪one day, you're gonna shine again,♪ ♪you may be knocked down but not out forever♪ ♪we lose our way, we get back up again♪ ♪it's never too late to get back up again♪
. kennedy: happy birthday to you, happy -- i can't sing the rest of the song, if i did, it would cost fox, the rights are owned by warner music. they bought the rights in 1998, and now people pay them about $2 million a year to use the song in movies and tv shows. intellectual property laws have teeth. one guy thinks he can get around the law by changing small things. he made a youtube clip watched
half a million times. ♪ happy birthday to you. john: cute, but lawyers tell me that probably does not make this video legal. one thing that does make copying legal is parody. if you take someone's work and change it to make a joke about it, that's not a copyright violation, and that's good for intellectual freedom. not such a good thing for people like me, because people make videos like these. >> welcome to "20/20," i'm john stossel. >> i'm john stossel. >> gimme a break. >> you want a break? you're going to get a break, i'm going to give you a break right now. [ bleep ]. john: stupid and there's nothing i can do about that. and there's practically nothing any of us can do about property violations, in china, people steal and rangel recognizable american brands, they think it will give their products
credibility. various stores sell you sunbucks coffee. kids laundry soap, unbelievable, this is not butter. arm and hatchet baking soda. and if you're hungry for fast food, you can get king burger, or this take off kentucky fried chicken. instead of the colonel, president obama fries the bird. and after you've done all that eating, brush your teeth with crust toothpaste. that's what happens in china. in america, thomas jefferson once opposed copyright laws, ideas are like candlelight, he wrote. he who receives an idea from me, receives instruction himself without lessening mine. he receives light without darkening me. it's a good point. jefferson later backed off that a bit, he said he just opposed
the english standard which is ownership forever and did support limited ownership, maybe 14 years. i don't know where the line should be, but when ideas are free, creativity blossoms. i like how journalist matt ridley put it, ideas have sex with each other and give birth to new often better ideas. that helps us all. some libertarians on my show tonight said it would be better if america had no copyright or trademark protection and made some good points, but i have to wonder, would i have written these books if publishers hadn't offered me money? i doubt it. they gave me money because they knew that no one was allowed to just copy the book. i also assume i get paid by fox only because you cable subscribers and advertisers pay for this program. maybe i do this for nothing. i like doing it. maybe. but i wouldn't work as hard and balk for paying for the cameras
and expensive things that go into making tv. i'm glad we have some intellectual property laws. that's our. . john: it's goliath, he's so big and scary. what chance does david have? today, davids all over the world are crushed by goliath government. >> hundreds of riot police knock activists to the ground. john: beer makers, farmers, entrepreneurs, goliath says -- >> they're not properly regulated. john: goliath takes some of their home. >> not fair, it's not right, but there's no telling when this nightmare will end. john: can david defeat goliath? that's our show tonight. .