How Much Of Today's Copyright Mess Is Due To Bad Definitions Of The Word Copy?

from the messy-messy dept

The Guardian has up a short excerpt from William Patry's recent book, How to Fix Copyright, which is a really enjoyable read. I don't necessarily agree with everything in there, but almost all of it is thought provoking and relevant to the discussions we have around here. The excerpt is actually from the beginning of the book, it highlights how much of the confusion over today's copyright law might be because people have been confused over what definition of "copy" we're using. As he notes, "copy" can be both a verb and a noun -- and at first copyright appeared to be about the noun version, but relatively early on, people redefined it to cover both the verb and the noun, but people aren't always clear which one they really mean:
The word "copy" has two meanings. As a verb, "to copy" means reproducing content from one work into either another work (we say one song was "copied" from another song). It also means that copying into another form (you "copy" your CD onto your iPod). The verb of "copy" is what we mean by the exclusive right to reproduce a work. "Reproduce" is a synonym version of the verb to copy. The noun version of "copy" refers to a physical object, a CD or the mp3 file on your iPod that contains the intangible work (the song or the performance). When I say I own a CD "copy" of a work, I am referring to the noun.

The original use of "copy" was in the noun sense. In England, book publishers spoke of owning rights in their "copies," meaning the printed production. The 1710 Statute of Anne, in its title, also spoke of "vesting the copies of printed books in authors or purchasers of such copies...." The right granted - the verb - was the right to "print" those copies. The right to print later became the right to reproduce, with reproduce being regarded as a synonym for the verb to copy. The term "copyright," though ambiguous, referred to either the noun or the verb. Most copyright acts, including the US Copyright Act, combine both the verb and noun versions: the right granted in 17 USC 106(1) is the right to "reproduce the work in copies."
But these days, thanks to these misinterpretations, we get bizarre thinking from copyright maximalists:
Unfortunately, through mistaken interpretations of the noun "copy," the reproduction right has been wildly expanded in many countries, particularly the United States, to include transitory acts such as buffering, caching, or non-consumable versions that are necessitated by the automatic operation of computers or other digital technologies. None of these transitory acts has an independent economic value; that is, they do not harm copyright owners' markets. For example, in order to ensure that the streaming of a video is not interrupted by breaks in the transmissions, websites copy ("buffer") small parts of the video so that missing pieces can be filled during the interruption. Browsers make caches of websites that you just visited in case you hit the "back" button and want to revisit a site you just left. Other caches help with latency (response) time, and managing network traffic. Other times, a cache is made in case websites are inadvertently deleted. To consider buffering or caching to be infringing "copies" is using an eighteenth-century concept to defeat necessary twenty-first-century technologies, the only purpose of which is to increase performance. Where "copies" are made as a necessary adjunct for other legitimate purposes, no liability should exist. Amending the definition of "copy" in either the noun or verb version is an easy fix that would go far in assisting musical licensing and in removing the specter of mass, unintentional copying.
The piece goes on to note that this version of "copying" under copyright law makes all sorts of new services -- those based around access rather than ownership -- a huge minefield of potential copyright violations. And it's all made that much worse when you add in the ridiculous anti-circumvention clauses, because that effectively gives the entertainment industry a veto on technology, despite having nothing to do with violating copyright law.
The DMCA and other digital lock laws are prime examples of our march backwards, of how our laws are used to thwart innovation and creativity. The DMCA is the reason you can't load lawfully purchased copies of your DVDs into your iPod, why you can't transfer copies of many lawfully purchased works from one electronic device to another, why DVDs bought in one country may not work in another, something that greatly embarrassed (or should have) President Obama when he gave then–United Kingdom prime minister Gordon Brown a set of DVDs of American movies, which couldn't be lawfully played on Brown's DVD player.

The DMCA will permit copyright owners to control how many times you can read or watch a copyrighted work. In the DMCA world, both consumers and technology are treated as the enemy.
And, as he notes, this is unfortunate not just for technology companies -- but for consumers and the artists and content creators they want to support:
This unfortunate approach ignores that consumer expectations are greatly influenced by technologies. It is new technologies, not new works, that lead to new consumer expectations and therefore new sources of profits for authors. The Sony Walkman led to an explosion of new sales of audio cassettes. The same was true of the introduction of the CD, where for most of its product life, more money was made from consumers re-buying existing albums than from buying new ones.

But for new technologies, the copyright industries and authors would have starved long ago, since they have played no role, creatively or financially, in the development and introduction of the technologies that enable them to make money. Not a single penny was contributed by the music industry to the creation, manufacture or marketing of iTunes, the iPod, or the iPad. Not a single penny was contributed by the copyright industries to the development of the internet or to any search engine even though the copyright industries could not exist without either. New technologies provide new ways to satisfy new consumer demand and to thereby make healthy profi ts. You would never know that from the medieval mentality of moat building represented by the DMCA and copyright industries' approach to most new technologies, an approach that has failed to grasp the simple point, proved over and over again, that new technologies create new opportunities.
There's a lot more in the article that's worth reading, and even more in the full book, which I recommend highly.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    John Doe, Mar 22nd, 2012 @ 12:25pm

    This hits the nail on the head

    I am no pirate, by most peoples definition anyway. I don't pirate music, movies, software, ebooks, etc. But what I have started doing recently is taking back my rights as a consumer to consume my legally purchased or rented content when and where I want to. For example, I have rented a few movies from RedBox and ripped them to my laptop to have when I travel. Once viewed, I will delete them. So I am in effect, time and place shifting the rental. With ebooks, I am breaking the DRM on them so I can loan them to my wife for more than 14 days and so that Amazon cannot take them back once I have purchased them.

    So the industry would brand me a pirate for "copying" their works, but I feel that I am well within what should be my rights. If the industry keeps pushing me, I may eventually take back more of my rights. ;)

     

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    weneedhelp (profile), Mar 22nd, 2012 @ 12:30pm

    But these days, thanks to these misinterpretations, we get bizarre thinking from copyright maximalists:

    And the paragraph that follows is exactly why I could care less.
    Whatever, I do what I want.

    "The DMCA is the reason you can't load lawfully purchased copies of your DVDs into your iPod, why you can't transfer copies of many lawfully purchased works from one electronic device to another, why DVDs bought in one country may not work in another, "

    You cant do these things?
    A lawless freetard like myself can and does do these things Without batting an eye. Its mine, I bought it, ill do damn well what I please with it.

    "But for new technologies, the copyright industries and authors would have starved long ago, since they have played no role, creatively or financially, in the development and introduction of the technologies that enable them to make money. Not a single penny was contributed by the music industry to the creation, manufacture or marketing of iTunes, the iPod, or the iPad. Not a single penny was contributed by the copyright industries to the development of the internet or to any search engine even though the copyright industries could not exist without either."

    And yet now you make boatloads of cash from these FREE TO YOU services. Who's the REAL freetards?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 22nd, 2012 @ 12:35pm

    I have say that blaming the words is pretty much right up there with Lessig's very lame 1st amendment argument. You know, the one the court shot down so hard it actually bounced?

    In the end, it gets back to a common problem, one that is hard to avoid. Within a group of people acting in a legal and reasonable fashion, there will always be those who choose to use that as a structure for illegal activities. Over time, if not properly checked, it becomes the defacto standards of how things operate. Legal file sharing is such a small amount of what is really going on out there that it is laughable to try to hinge a defense on it.

    copy, replica, rip off, pirated copy, obtained without payment or permission... do whatever you want with the words. The reality remains the same, and you can't excuse your bad behavior by playing weasel word games.

     

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    :Lobo Santo (profile), Mar 22nd, 2012 @ 12:39pm

    Re: Exactly

    Yep, laws & reality rarely ever agree.

    I, for one, am still waiting for the "the tide won't come in" law to take effect.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 22nd, 2012 @ 12:42pm

    Re:

    We're not trying to excuse our bad behavior. We accept the moniker of pirate, thief, freetard, etc... with pride. Look at the pirate party, or the pirate bay, or any other site for god's sake (well...I can think of a few exceptions who refer to themselves as thieves, but yeah, same difference).

    We co-opted your words of disparagement, and wear them with pride. So now you go legal. Legal measures will never outrace the technological measures. It just won't happen. The legal process is too slow to react to such a beast.

     

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    jupiterkansas (profile), Mar 22nd, 2012 @ 12:44pm

    Re:

    Copying a DVD of a movie I own to my laptop is fair use. It is not illegal to make the copy. Copying a CD I checked out from the library to my iPod is fair use. It is not illegal.

    There is tons of copying that is NOT ILLEGAL and is not "bad behavior."

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 22nd, 2012 @ 12:50pm

    Re: Re:

    "Copying a CD I checked out from the library to my iPod is fair use. It is not illegal."

    It is if you don't delete it when you return the CD.

    "Copying a DVD of a movie I own to my laptop is fair use"

    It is only until you sell the DVD to someone else, or lend it to someone else, or someone else in your household watches it while you have it on your laptop. At that point, you have two functional copies, one of which isn't under your control - and that would be, well, pirated.

     

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    bubby, Mar 22nd, 2012 @ 1:02pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    AC 7: "Oh no! We MUST monetize EVERY SINGLE view of EVERY SINGLE copy of EVERY SINGLE piece of content! We can't imagine that there could be a legitimate use for copies! We can't allow it! Profits MUST be maximized at all costs! Kill the consumers! Sue them into the ground! Nevermind that doing so will make them hate us even more and leave them with no money to buy our crap anyway! We cannot let go of the past! It must be 1990 forever! FOREVER!!!"

     

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    Ed C., Mar 22nd, 2012 @ 1:04pm

    Re:

    No, broadening copyright to make previously legal acts illegal has done more to increase piracy than anything.

     

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    Lord Binky, Mar 22nd, 2012 @ 1:06pm

    The whole point of English is so that we have syntactic and semantic ambiguity. To change that would be.. well.. uh..erum.. ah! deadly to puns, and that is just not something Im willing to give up *fist slam*

     

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    Chuck Norris' Enemy (deceased) (profile), Mar 22nd, 2012 @ 1:18pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    What if he were watching the dvd copy on his laptop, which also held the ripped copy, then there is the memory cache, then his laptop is connected to the internet where on many sites there is a copy of the same movie? It is like he practically has another copy, amirite? That's a paddlin'.

     

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    Xan, Mar 22nd, 2012 @ 1:25pm

    Re: This hits the nail on the head

    I agree with you 100%. Especially with the books. Nothing worse than having the book on my device and wanting to let my wife or daughter read it and not being able to. And that got me thinking of different scenarios:

    1) What if I buy the paperback and I want to format shift it to my Kindle? I don't believe most people would think anything is wrong with me downloading the book and reading it.

    2) What if my brother owned the paperback and I wanted to borrow it? Since he lives out of state he would have to mail it to me. I get the book and decide I want it on my Kindle so I download a copy. Again, not a big deal.

    3) But what if I figured why have my brother go through the problem of mailing it and me waiting for it. Why not just download it? I could get a free copy from my brother anyway, and it would just be sitting on his shelf - we wouldn't be reading it at the same time.

    4) I could go down to the library and rent thousands of books for "free" (other than my tax dollars paying for it obviously). Why not just download whatever book I was going to check out from the library? When I am done reading it I could just delete it - just like I borrowed it.

    Just out of curiosity, who believes any of these scenarios are fine or not? And really whats the difference with any of them?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 22nd, 2012 @ 1:31pm

    You say tomato, I say tomato.
    You say potato, and I say you're a dirty pirate! =P

    They (MPAA/RIAA) are constantly bending and twisting meanings of words. Like the article talks about how the copy in copyright has been twisted. Infringement morphing into stealing is another. Lawful person trying to stand up for there rights, has morphed into Pirate.

    I say, if they are going to call us pirates, we should live up to it and swing by one of their offices on a mock pirate ship and fire canon balls into their building then raid them. Maybe do it as a parody (satire?) to the Monty Python's "The Crimson Permanent Assurance."

     

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    surfer (profile), Mar 22nd, 2012 @ 1:41pm

    Re:

    In my own little corner of the file sharing world, I see over 2 petabytes of infringing content transferred daily. does the MAFIAA really think they can put a dent in that?

    Keep the laws coming, until you shut down the Internet, this number is only going to increase.

     

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    E. Zachary Knight (profile), Mar 22nd, 2012 @ 1:44pm

    Re:

    Actually definitions are a huge part of this debate. Many offenses are merely miscommunications. Someone says or does something that another person misinterprets and takes offense. Once clear information and context is applied, those offenses are clearly laid to rest.

    When you ask most people if they see the difference between copying a legally owned cd to their computer and doing the same with a DVD, the best answer you will get is that with the CD it is a right click -> copy affair and a DVD requires additional software. They are clueless when it comes to things like the DMCA and its anti-circumvention clause. Not because they are nefarious, but because the DMCA attempts to outlaw basic human nature.

    But sense you are not human, you have no idea how the average person thinks or feels. That is not a failing on their part, but on your own inhumanity.

     

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    DannyB (profile), Mar 22nd, 2012 @ 1:51pm

    Re:

    > Legal file sharing is such a small amount of what is really
    > going on out there that it is laughable to try to hinge a
    > defense on it.


    First, I disagree that it is such a small amount. In fact, legal file sharing may dwarf copyright infringing file sharing.

    When I send an email with a file attachment, that is file sharing.

    In my case, the files attached to an email are legal. Often my own work.

    Now, suppose pirates started shifting to email attachments to distribute pirated music and movies. Would you then be trying to stop email attachments? Even though you probably use them yourself? (Oh, wait, dinosaurs are still stuck in the pre-email era.)

    You should not and simply cannot be allowed to outlaw the legal use of a file sharing tool, including BitTorrent which is extremely useful.

    You always want to go after everything but the actual pirates. Why is that?

    You want to kill the tool. Or the search engine. Or hyperlinks. Or shift the burden to ISP's (who cannot know what is and is not infringing since the entertainment industry cannot seem to even determine that). Or shoot first, ask questions later. Massive collateral damage doesn't seem to bother you one bit.

    I think that needs to work both ways. One bogus DMCA takedown should result in your being put out of business. That's what you do to others.

     

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    Rikuo (profile), Mar 22nd, 2012 @ 1:59pm

    "Not a single penny was contributed by the copyright industries to the development of the internet or to any search engine even though the copyright industries could not exist without either."

    Umm, I have to wonder what the author was thinking when he wrote that line. If we take the copyright industry to mean books, movies, and music...they predate the internet and search engines. They existed for centuries before the internet. While I am firmly in the camp that they need to adapt to the internet age, to say they can't exist at all without the inernet is to be ignorant of their history.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 22nd, 2012 @ 2:07pm

    Can someone please criminalize Sarkozy?!

     

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    Yartrebo (profile), Mar 22nd, 2012 @ 2:12pm

    Perhaps Copy is the Wrong Word

    I have to disagree. Copying is a pretty broad word and it applies to the arrangement of matter or fields (ie., data or information). Even the copyright maximalists are missing out on some forms of copying. For example, the photons emitted from a TV screen are a copy, and if they're reflected off a half-silvered mirror (eg., a window or the surface of an eyeball), they become multiple copies, and if some of them make it into space, they're essentially permanent copies. To be even more pedantic, the gravitons emitted during a live performance constitute an essentially permanent copy, as nothing short of a neutron star or black hole can absorb or interfere with them to any significant degree. Likewise, the neutrinos emitted during beta decay in the naturally (or not so naturally in the nuclear age) occurring isotopes in any person's body would carry information, and thus be a copy of that data.

    The problem is that a restriction on copying makes about as much sense as a restriction on moving (eg., walking, breathing, turning your eyes, digesting, having your heart beat, being at a temperature greater than absolute zero). Both are basic actions that happen all the time in both the natural and human worlds.

    What is needed is a more appropriate word, not to redefine an already existing and very useful word.

     

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    TtfnJohn (profile), Mar 22nd, 2012 @ 2:14pm

    Re:

    Even if you're correct that legal file sharing "is such a small amount of what is really going on out there", and I'd argue that it isn't. you're prepared to stop even that to prevent "illegal" infringing copying? Or the transitory copying that allows things like computers, LANS and the Internet function correctly?

    Neither copy or replica mean that I have obtained a song, for example, without paying for it. And your repeated attempts to recast those words into something "evil" wear thin after a while, speaking of weasel words.

    What aren't weasel words are that the MPAA and RIAA or their equivalents around the world, have serviced an existing demand in the marketplace. So, like it or not, the marketplace has gotten what it wanted by other means. Most industries would respond simply by filling the demand that's there and making a buck or million but not the people you defend.

    The problem isn't with the marketplace it's with a group of companies that can't see beyond the end of their noses, rather like you can't. For better or worse the clock can't be turned back, the Internet and the Web are realities that aren't going anywhere and it doesn't matter how many attempts you make to try to force the Internet and the Web into a form of what existed before they did they won't.

    You refuse to accept that no matter how much evidence is there that you can't turn the clock back you keep trying.

    "One of the definitions of insanity is repeating the same behaviour over and over again expecting different results." But that is exactly what you, the *AAs and others don't seem to get.

    Of course artists should be rewarded (paid) for their efforts if those efforts find a market. Many don't. That's one of the risks of being an artist. But they should be paid at a price the marketplace will accept even if it isn't the price the artist wants. And no, the price isn't necessarily free, though it could be.

    The specialist at weasel words isn't anyone here it's you, my friend, and I suggest you find a new tune and lyrics to sing. You're beyond tiresome.

     

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    MrWilson, Mar 22nd, 2012 @ 2:26pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    "It is only until you sell the DVD to someone else, or lend it to someone else, or someone else in your household watches it while you have it on your laptop. At that point, you have two functional copies, one of which isn't under your control - and that would be, well, pirated."

    That get's too complicated. What about digital backups of stolen property? I ripped all my cds to my ipod, someone stole my cds out of my car. I still have the music that I purchased, but someone else has the physical copies. Would you argue that I have to delete my digital copies because someone stole my physical copies? That would be absurd.

     

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    TtfnJohn (profile), Mar 22nd, 2012 @ 2:43pm

    Re:

    I have to disagree with you.

    Recorded music is about 120 years old, movies about the same so "centuries" isn't correct.

    Books printed by movable type in the western world came after Gutenberg developed his printing press and you can bet your bottom dollar that people who made their living copying by hand weren't the least bit pleased to see that come along.

    Similar resistance met photography in its early days from painters and sketchers who had previously done the kind of work early photography began to do.

    Recorded music was considered inferior to live music well into the 1930s and 40s that most music heard on radio was live rather than recorded and "music" only radio formats didn't appear until the 1950s only after radio had to compete with television for the kind of programming they'd run until TV came along.

    I do agree that to say they can't exist at all (past tense) without the Internet is incorrect. To say they won't exist (present and future tense) at all if they don't adapt is likely accurate, at least not in the way they do now and certainly not as large and powerful as they are now.

    It's evolution, in a way. Adapt and survive, don't adapt and become extinct. Story telling, making movies or video will continue to happen, music will continue to be played live and reproduced but the reproduction will be digital and likely done in smaller more widely spread locations than the analog studio model we have now.

    The danger for the RIAA, the MPAA and the publishing industry isn't that the products they make will vanish but that they will, at least as a major force, if they don't adapt and soon.

    I'll close by saying that I object to the term "copyright industries" in that what's being referred to doesn't encompass all the things, creations and businesses who use copyright in a different fashion for their own products. It muddies the waters rather than clarify things. Yes, I know that's not necessarily your term but the person you quote but I thought I'd state my objection to that term anyway.

     

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    Ed C., Mar 22nd, 2012 @ 2:49pm

    Re:

    Perhaps the author should have said "the modern copyright industries", as the old school ones, such as printing sheet music, still exist to some extent, even in spite of the digital era.

     

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    Togashi (profile), Mar 22nd, 2012 @ 2:53pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Wait wait wait, hold the phone. Someone else in my household is watching my movie? This is intolerable, they didn't pay for it! I know that personally, whenever I have friends over to watch a movie, I make sure to buy plenty of extra copies. Each person brings his own TV so we can be sure he's watching his copy, and only his copy.

    Seriously, it's shit like this that makes people not take people like you seriously. Don't copy your DVD and send it to hundreds of anonymous people on the Internet? Yeah, I get that. Don't share your DVD with other people in the same house? That's just psychotic.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 22nd, 2012 @ 2:53pm

    how much MESS is due to Masnicks inability to understand the meaning of words !!!!!

    also note that simply because the word "copy" is a part of the word 'copyright' does not mean they are the same things.

    most of this "mess" (that is really only in your head) is YOUR DOINGS masnickie.. you were not to know,, the word inflammable is the same as flammable !!! Dr Nick (Mick).

     

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    Rikuo (profile), Mar 22nd, 2012 @ 2:59pm

    Re: Re:

    When I used centuries, it was poor wording on my part. Books and music, yes, but not movies, I simply lumped all three together. Sorry.

    And yes, I agree with what you're writing. I was just commenting on a line from the article. Books, music and movies existed before the Internet and search engines. They will continue to exist if the Internet and search engines for whatever reason cease to be. That's pretty much all I wanted to say there. Whether or not they can be monetized is outside the scope of that sentence.

     

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    DOlz (profile), Mar 22nd, 2012 @ 3:00pm

    Re:

    "... you can't excuse your bad behavior by playing weasel word games."

    BAD BEHAVIOR, BAD BEHAVIOR! You're accusing the majority of bad behavior in defense of industries that lie, cheat, and steal as if it was their god given right? They do not OWN our common culture and it's well past time they realized it. I shutter to think of where (or even if we would have one) our cultural heritage would be today if these thieves (yes, I'm calling the media industries thieves) had been around when cave painting were invented.

     

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    surfer (profile), Mar 22nd, 2012 @ 3:09pm

    Re:

    Obvious troll is obviously retarded

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 22nd, 2012 @ 3:14pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    When I say "Someone else in my household is watching my movie", it should include the words "at the same time, on different equipmnent. That would be two copies. While nobody is going after you for it, in purely technical terms you have made a copy, and with both in use... ;)

     

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    MrWilson, Mar 22nd, 2012 @ 4:27pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    The difference here is trivial. If you rip your dvd and store it on a media server on your home network, any member of your household can watch it from a networked device in any room of the house whether it be simultaneously or not. This isn't piracy. It's convenience and a logical use of modern technology.

    Calling that piracy is why nobody will respect your nth foray into extending copyright durations and bribing legislators into passing harsher IP laws.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 22nd, 2012 @ 4:57pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    You miss the point: In purely technical terms, it would be piracy to have multiple copies. However, the point is that nobody is getting prosecuted for it, it's not important.

    But it's a bit of a slippery slope. Now 2 of you are watching it, and you are letting your buddy borrow the original to watch at home. Now, when you are watching it, techically you don't have an original copy anymore. So now, is your copy really legal anymore? What happens if you rented it from redbox for 1 day, and ripped it to your media player?

    There is a lot here, in the end what Mike is pushing for is that all of that copying be considered "fine", and that any copying that any person can do (even if it leads to a near endless number of copies) be considered legal - even if those copies end up in other people's hands.

    Effectively, he wants to make piracy legal.

     

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    John Fenderson (profile), Mar 22nd, 2012 @ 4:58pm

    Re:

    Legal file sharing is such a small amount of what is really going on out there that it is laughable to try to hinge a defense on it.


    Even if that's true (and I don't see any reason to believe that it is), there's still the little problem that it is at least as immoral to harm innocent people in the course of trying to get at the scofflaws.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 22nd, 2012 @ 5:02pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Because piracy in the home being illegal has been a resounding success so far. Good luck in the future, when computers, aka copying devices, are even smaller and more powerful.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 22nd, 2012 @ 8:02pm

    Re: Re:

    Obvious anonymous coward is darryl.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  35.  
    identicon
    joe, Mar 22nd, 2012 @ 8:23pm

    Re: Re:

    It's called the "copyright revolt". People are tired of forever-minus-a-day terms and restrictions even on HOW they enjoy content.

    You pay into the system thinking you're getting a good deal and then someone comes along and changes the rules of the game every time they start to lose. Guess what - people will stop playing the game if they feel cheated. This applies to both producers and consumers. Note that those 2 parties have nothing to do with publishers (middlemen) who provide a convenient service... Until they don't (by choice or not).

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  36.  
    identicon
    The Moondoggie(Pirate Mode), Mar 23rd, 2012 @ 1:17am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    In purely technical terms, it would be piracy to have multiple copies.

    So if I bought a copy of a game (say Pokemon Black), and I lent it, but copied the game as a rom into a microSD and used a 3rd party cartridge to play the game from the microSD on my DSi, so I can trade Pokemons, I'm committing piracy?

    Hell then, I'd just commit to piracy all the way rather than pay for the real thing and still not able to do anything I want with it legally.

    Fuck you, Copyright.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  37.  
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    PaulT (profile), Mar 23rd, 2012 @ 2:15am

    IMHO, the main problem is that the most common forms of copying today were actually inconceivable when copyright law was introduced. There's was no particularly easy way to copy works, and certainly none that were free. Therefore, the only conceivable reason for copying, especially on a large scale, was to profit from that. Hence the prohibition - of ourse, why should people profit from another's work? If it's easy to assume that people copying on a large scale are trying to do exactly that, it's fine that there are punishments for doing so. This was true for everything from printing to CD-Rs, although people did copy on small scales for personal use and weren't prosecuted since they only made 1 or 2 copies for friends.

    Nowadays, of course, it's trivial to copy thing literally free of charge. This is to the point where profit is no longer even a consideration for many people, and it's even possible to copy accidentally (e.g. leaving a game installed on your PC after selling the discs, or the aforementioned buffering). People want to share information and entertainment, as they always have, they just suddenly have the ability to do it with a billion people instead of just their classmates.

    The law, as well as business models, need to recognise this. Otherwise, they're just going to continue on their self-destructive path where they not only try to remove our freedoms to protect an unworkable business, but ensure that those people who would be willing to pay no longer wish to out of protest.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  38.  
    icon
    Niall (profile), Mar 23rd, 2012 @ 6:06am

    Re: Re:

    So you could stream Mega in 12-13 days? :)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  39.  
    icon
    Niall (profile), Mar 23rd, 2012 @ 6:43am

    Re:

    But notice they are not the same as "unflammable". Just because one pair of English words are weird doesn't mean that others don't mean the same thing as each other.

    Unfortunately, it's apparent that your inability to read (which definitely is not the same as 'ability') renders you clueless (which does mean 'less a(ny) clue') about where Mike actually explains the different meanings (not 'mean' as in nasty, which is what you're being) of the word 'copy' for copy and copyright in the original post.

    So has Mike reached back in time to before he was even born to generate confusion in people's minds about how words were used back in the 17th Century compared to the 21st Century? Wow, if he has that power, we should get him to use this new Super Power for Good!

    Ah well, guess I can call you a Scunthorpe all I like then?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  40.  
    icon
    Niall (profile), Mar 23rd, 2012 @ 6:45am

    Re:

    Wait! You left a registry entry naming our game when you uninstalled it! You Pirate!!!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  41.  
    icon
    Niall (profile), Mar 23rd, 2012 @ 6:45am

    Re:

    Wait! You left a registry entry naming our game when you uninstalled it! You Pirate!!!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  42.  
    icon
    jupiterkansas (profile), Mar 23rd, 2012 @ 7:28am

    Re: Re: Re:

    No, both of these are examples of fair use, which are permissible under copyright law.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  43.  
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    jupiterkansas (profile), Mar 23rd, 2012 @ 7:50am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    And this is fair use. It is not illegal.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  44.  
    icon
    jupiterkansas (profile), Mar 23rd, 2012 @ 7:53am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    No, it's piracy when you buy a game, copy it, and then sell the copies. You can copy it for yourself and sell the original and that is fair use, but trying to sell copies is infringement.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  45.  
    icon
    Cynyr (profile), Mar 23rd, 2012 @ 7:21pm

    Re: Re: This hits the nail on the head

    The typical argument for all of them is, that a new copy is being made and that is the issue. If you could figure out a way to send a copy of a digital file where any bits sent to the other person were deleted from your drive as the transfer happened and were not cached anywhere along the way, that might be thought to be ok. All of your examples could in some cases cause two copies to be in use at once.

    I'd like to propose some points

    5) What if I bought a paper back book, and me and my wife read it together. not out loud, just at the same time. would that be an issue?

    6)what if the book had on the inside of the front cover "this book is for reading by one person, not out loud, and it may not be transferred to any other person.". Would anyone actually follow that or would we all keep lending books like we have always done? Why is this different for digital files?


    P.S. I agree with all of your points, just trying to get in before the trolls hit you.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  46.  
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    surfer (profile), Mar 24th, 2012 @ 4:59am

    Re: Re: Re:

    not me personally, but the super gates (,SG) could..

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  47.  
    icon
    surfer (profile), Mar 24th, 2012 @ 5:13am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I guess I should elaborate..., see, darknets (private file sharing networks) have been around since 1997. starting with hotline ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hotline_Communications ), #irc, #usenet, KDX, FTP, and something called First Class ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FirstClass ). FC allows for 'gates' to connect each end point to each other, automatically syncronizing anything new posted to forums that are shared via these gates. in the instance i mention, i have access to ,SG (super gate) that connects over 200 endpoints, probably more than that, but that is a conservative number at best. many of the end points are on blistering fast pipes ( 100mb/100mb in France is ~ $50EU ), so if only 100Gb/day has been transferred since 1997, that's 5 yottabytes already..

    the genie isn't just out of the bottle, it's more like Parallax is in a different galaxy..

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  48.  
    identicon
    MrWilson, Mar 26th, 2012 @ 10:27pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    In purely technical terms, piracy is rape, murder, assault, and theft on the high seas.

    Piracy in 80's was a commercial activity involving copying VHS and cassette tapes and selling them on the street in Chinatown.

    Suddenly IP maximalists want to vilify hometaping, so they call that piracy too. Suddenly everything is piracy, even copying your own property.

    If you're going to argue over semantics, at least recognize that it's the IP maximalists who keep expanding the use of the term to cover anything and everything that doesn't make them money.

    Careful! Deaf people who don't listen to music are the next pirates!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  49.  
    identicon
    Andrei Mincov, Apr 27th, 2012 @ 1:50am

    How NOT to fix Copyright

    William Patry's book has several great points.
    I have a great deal of respect for him since he is one of the marginal who are fearless enough to answer the most basic question: why do we have copyright laws at all.
    He sets straight numerous myths following today's mainstream justification about copyright that it is meant to balance the interests of authors with the interests of the people.

    The big problem with Patry's book is that it is based on the wrong assumptions and therefore it concludes with very dangerous proposals.
    Patry thinks that copyright laws are not about giving creators the right to have power over how their works are utilized.
    In his view, the purpose of copyright laws is to ensure the most benefits to the public but only give authors the bare minimum to would encourage creativity.

    In my critique, How Not To Fix Copyright - My Response to William Patry (http://mincovlaw.com/blog-post/how_not_to_fix_copyright) , I talk about the errors in Patry's approach and give a lot of detailed commentaries to extracts from his book.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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