DMCA As Censorship: Chilling Effects On Research

from the make-it-stop dept

Professor Ed Felten, back from his brief foray as the FTC's chief technology officer, has written a fantastic piece for Slate detailing how the DMCA is creating massive chilling effects for researchers. This should come as little surprise, seeing as Felten himself was famously threatened by the recording industry for his research (at their request in the form of a "contest") to hack their DRM. In the article, Felten relates -- as he did a few weeks ago at a conference about the DMCA at Santa Clara University -- that students in his own lab had discovered the infamous Sony Rootkit before it was revealed to the public back in 2005. But, rather than do something about it, the chilling effects set in:
We were worried about the part of the DMCA called 17 U.S.C. § 1201(a)(1), which says that “No person shall circumvent a technological measure that effectively controls access to a work protected under [copyright law].” We had to disable the rootkit to detect what it was hiding, and we had to partially disable the software to figure out what it was doing. An angry record company might call either of those steps an act of circumvention, landing us in court. Instead of talking to the public, we talked to our lawyer.
And, because of that, the dangerous rootkit lived on for a bit longer, the public blissfully unaware of the massive security holes they were introducing onto their computers, courtesy of a paranoid RIAA. While it was eventually revealed by another researcher Felten and his students sat on the info for a while (including info on another vulnerability) before eventually releasing the details. That's a clear example of the very real and very dangerous chilling effects of the DMCA. Every time we bring up this concern, maximalists insist that there is no such thing. I'm curious how they explain these examples away.

Felten notes that a bunch of researchers had actually told Congress about this problem back when the bill was first being discussed... and they were mostly ignored:
The research community saw this problem coming and repeatedly asked Congress to amend the bill that would become the DMCA, to create an effective safe harbor for research. There was a letter to Congress from 50 security researchers (including me), another from the heads of major scientific societies, and a third from the leading professional society for computer scientists. But with so much at stake in the act for so many major interests, our voice wasn’t heard. As they say in Washington, we didn’t have a seat at the table.

Congress did give us a research exemption, but it was so narrowly defined as to be all but useless. (So perhaps we did have a seat—at the kids’ table.) I’ll spare you the details, but basically, there is a 116-word section of the Act titled “Permissible Acts of Encryption Research,” and it appears to have been written without consulting any researchers. There may be someone, somewhere, who has benefited from this exemption, but it fails to protect almost all of the relevant research. It didn’t protect Alex and me, because we were investigating spyware that didn’t rely on the mathematical operations involved in encryption.
Congress should fix this, but it seems like there's not much interest in doing so these days, which is unfortunate. While Felten has revealed his situation, we'll never know how many others were similarly stifled, or (worse) how much useful research was never even started because of this kind of risk.


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    Michael, Apr 15th, 2013 @ 10:13am

    I'm curious how they explain these examples away

    Clearly, these 'researchers' are just pirates in disguise. By pointing out flaws such as this one in the software intended to spy on customers, they are supporting terrorism and child pornography.

    Protect the children!

     

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    S. T. Stone, Apr 15th, 2013 @ 10:14am

    I’ve often referred to the DMCA as one of the worst laws ever passed in the United States.

    This just gives me more evidence to back up my claim.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 15th, 2013 @ 10:19am

    'Felten notes that a bunch of researchers had actually told Congress about this problem back when the bill was first being discussed... and they were mostly ignored:'

    the reasons they were ignored were, mainly, two fold
    a)Congress, in the main, do not understand modern technology, nor do they want to. it would mean doing something to earn the fantastic amounts they are paid in order to keep the public under the thumb!
    b)they weren't paid to take notice of the researchers but had been paid to take notice of the entertainment industries! there is no money for them from research but there are massive amounts paid from the entertainment industries. although it's a different scenario, i wonder how a song or a movie is going to save mankind from the next great epidemic when it occurs but wasn't able to be prepared for due to the fucking dicks that brought the DMCA into law, being more concerned with lining their own pockets, keeping friends in industry happy, rather than allowing real clever people to use their brains and try to be ready to save us all!! in fairness, mankind doesn't and never did deserve to be the dominant inhabitant of this planet. it is far too selfish!!

     

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      AB (profile), Apr 15th, 2013 @ 10:54am

      Re:

      I so desperately want to refute this, but I cannot. The world really has become that bad.

       

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      tracker1 (profile), Apr 15th, 2013 @ 4:05pm

      Common Technology Lobby

      As much as I really don't care for the actions of IBM and the BSA... short of starting a new tech lobby organization, or you know actually donating more to the EFF, I don't see this changing.

      My hope is that in the not too distant future the EFF, or a similar group acting as lobbyists for a bit more common sense in IP and technology laws. We have google and apple as two of the largest companies in the world... Apple has been very IP protectionist and litigious, so my hope is Google, and similar companies come to realize that funding change within the system is paramount to their own futures.

       

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    myk, Apr 15th, 2013 @ 10:22am

    What is the critera for effective access control

    At what point does a technological measusre become ineffective? When it only takes one click to circumvent, when a sufficient number of people know how to circumvent it, Proof that it can be circumvented.

     

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    out_of_the_blue, Apr 15th, 2013 @ 10:31am

    Well, let's "research" shutting down more file hosts...

    which is already proven to work.

    Study: Megaupload closure boosted Hollywood sales 10%

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/03/08/megaupload_piracy_study/

    ^ That because Mike just had to shoehorn in "courtesy of a paranoid RIAA", when it was Sony -- illegally hacking people's computers, by the way, for which executives should have been jailed.

    But this "ooh, scary chilling effect" assertion is characteristically Mike too: "we'll never know how many others" -- okay, it's ZERO; don't say you KNOW different, you've NO evidence.

    Besides that, this guy went ahead and did the research so IF were a crime, then he wasn't stopped! I guess he thinks the statute of limitations is up now, or he recognizes that his fears were baseless.

     

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      AC Unknown, Apr 15th, 2013 @ 10:37am

      Re: Well, let's "research" shutting down more file hosts...

      Stop spamming that study. We know you love the RIAA and MPAA and their plans to take over the internet. Go make your own blog.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Apr 15th, 2013 @ 11:28am

        Re: Re: Well, let's "research" shutting down more file hosts...

        No one, but industry interests, would care about his blog.

         

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      tanj, Apr 15th, 2013 @ 10:44am

      Re: Well, let's "research" shutting down more file hosts...

      You could at least use a better link.

      http://idea.heinz.cmu.edu/2013/03/07/megaupload/

      "Applying these results to digital media channels, we would expect that some consumers would be willing to buy through legitimate channels if content in those channels is more valuable than the “free” pirated alternative. In this view a key part of competing with free pirated content is using the same tools that Amazon uses — reliability, ease-of-use, and convenience — to make content on legal distribution channels more valuable than competing content piracy channels."

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Apr 15th, 2013 @ 11:11am

      Re: Well, let's "research" shutting down more file hosts...

      The Megaupload study was conducted by IDEA and IDEA just happened to be started up with funding by the MPAA. NO surprise at all that the MPAA would pay for a study by someone that they set up with their funding. Oh what a coincidence that IDEA found in favour of the MPAA guess if they didn't IDEA would not get any more funding from the MPAA.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Apr 15th, 2013 @ 11:21am

      Re: Well, let's "research" shutting down more file hosts...

      Megaupload study was conducted by IDEA

      IDEA was setup up with the financial help of the MPAA: http://www.bizjournals.com/pittsburgh/blog/innovation/2012/10/mpaa-teams-with-cmu-to-fund-new-center .html

      With the financial help of the Motion Picture Association of America, Carnegie Mellon University is launching the Initiative for Digital Entertainment Analytics (IDEA).

      The new center, led by professors Michael Smith and Rahul Telang from the Heinz College, will help groups like MPAA and policymakers navigate the changing digital media landscape.

      Megaupload study bought and paid for by the MPAA. No surprise that the Megaupload study would find in favour of the MPAA assertions. If the study didn't find in favour of the MPAA assertions then IDEA would no doubt get no more funding.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Apr 16th, 2013 @ 7:34am

        Re: Re: Well, let's "research" shutting down more file hosts...

        Obviously it's easier to fund research than it is to fund evidence production, or there might actually be some evidence against Mega, rather than just bogus research studies.

        4 out of 5 people surveyed support banning dihydrogen monoxide due to the excessive numbers of deaths related to it...

         

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      silverscarcat (profile), Apr 15th, 2013 @ 1:48pm

      Re: Well, let's "research" shutting down more file hosts...

      Again, that study is bogus.

      It doesn't take into consideration the global recession.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 15th, 2013 @ 10:32am

    Every time we bring up this concern, maximalists insist that there is no such thing. I'm curious how they explain these examples away.

    I’m a “maximalist,” and I’d be happy to address your question. But first address mine, if you would. Is there ANY part of copyright law that you do in fact support? If so, please explain which parts you support. If not, please just say so explicitly. Thanks.

     

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      tanj, Apr 15th, 2013 @ 10:35am

      Re:

      The part where it says "To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries."

       

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        PRMan, Apr 15th, 2013 @ 11:06am

        Re: Re:

        To break it down for you further, what he is saying is:

        * Not allowing anyone to use any copyrighted information, even in documentaries, mashups, education and parodies (without paying astronomical fees) doesn't promote the progress of science and the arts. Also, not allowing your copyrighted works in new technological endeavors doesn't promote the progress of art and science.
        * Times that exceed our lifetimes are not limited. They might as well be infinite. It's all the same to us. So the times need to be reduced to be in line with the Constitution.
        * Authors and inventors should have the EXCLUSIVE right. According to the Constitution, publishing companies should not be allowed to hold copyrights at all. They certainly should not be allowed to coerce authors and inventors out of their IP.

        There. Does that help?

         

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        Anonymous Coward, Apr 15th, 2013 @ 11:39am

        Re: Re:

        Same question to you: Do you think Mike thinks that authors/artists should have ANY exclusive rights? If so, what makes you think that? I've seen no evidence to suggest this. On the contrary, all evidence points to the fact that Mike doesn't think there should be any exclusive rights.

         

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          AC Unknown, Apr 15th, 2013 @ 12:18pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Go start your own, pro-copyright blog and leave those of us who want to reform (read, make it not the insanity it is today) copyright to talk.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Apr 15th, 2013 @ 12:27pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            What's wrong with asking Mike his beliefs about copyright? He's the one who has put himself into the middle of the debate, and he maintains a blog where he frequently discusses these issues. It's perfectly appropriate to ask this question. I understand that you may not wish to challenge him, but I do. It's a simple question. Surely he can answer it.

             

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              AC Unknown, Apr 15th, 2013 @ 12:44pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              You ever hear of something called "shifting the goalposts"? You're doing it every time you go "Why won't Mike debate me?" It's annoying, and in some places, would get you banhammered so fast your head would spin. Please stop before that happens to you.

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Apr 15th, 2013 @ 2:35pm

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

                How have I moved the goalposts? I just want to know what part of the exclusive rights of copyright, if any, Mike supports. Why's that question so taboo that Mike refuses to answer it? It's a fair question. It's cute how defensive you guys are, but at the end of the day Mike won't answer a simple question.

                 

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          tanj, Apr 15th, 2013 @ 1:04pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Are you saying that pointing out flaws in the current system is the same as saying that there should be no system?

           

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          Anonymous Coward, Apr 15th, 2013 @ 8:58pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          " On the contrary, all evidence points to the fact that Mike doesn't think there should be any exclusive rights."

          Wrong as usual, boy.
          Mike (and almost all of us) believe in the concept of copyright.
          It's just the current excecution of the concept we disagree with.

           

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      Anonymous Coward, Apr 15th, 2013 @ 10:45am

      Re:

      Oh, hi AJ.

      Yes, the part where it's about actual creators, not funders who steal, obfuscate and generally criminal their way to riches..

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Apr 15th, 2013 @ 11:38am

        Re: Re:

        Oh, so Mike thinks creators should have exclusive rights? What makes you think that? I've never seen any evidence to support that.

         

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      Ninja (profile), Apr 15th, 2013 @ 11:06am

      Re:

      I’m a “maximalist,”

      We didn't need any confirmation but it's nice to see you coming out clearly and honestly about it. That's some improvement. Now you should address your lack of maturity and reading comprehension.

      If you take your time and read techdirt (you've been doing it for a while) it is pretty clear that Mike supports the parts that introduce Fair Use and Safe Harbors even though they have their own set of limitations.

      But I'm being redundant. Mike replied EXPLICITLY to you a while back (other commenters may help me here and post a link) and he specifically admonishes you for precisely the attitude you insist in pursuing months afterwards. Till that specific reply he used to try to engage with you regularly and your response was always stick your fingers in your ears and scream "WHY U NO DISCUSS ME!!!" like a spoiled brat. If you noticed (and I noticed it pretty clearly) he started ignoring you afterwards because you DON'T want any discussion. You are just a pitiful troll.

      I know I'm feeding the troll but I felt that first admission from him worth noting =)

       

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        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Apr 15th, 2013 @ 11:37am

        Re: Re:

        Hi, Ninja. Yes, I'm sure he supports all the defenses, exceptions, and exemptions--anything that limits the rights held by copyright owners. My question is about the exclusive rights: Is there ANY part of the exclusive rights part of copyright that Mike supports? It's a simple, fair question. Surely Mike can answer it, being that he's written and thought about copyright for years and years. Don't you agree that he must be able to give an opinion on this?

         

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          Ninja (profile), Apr 15th, 2013 @ 11:59am

          Re: Re: Re:

          WHY U NO DISCUSS ME!!! ME SPOILED BRAT!!!

          As I said, pitiful.

           

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            identicon
            Anonymous Coward, Apr 15th, 2013 @ 12:12pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Wanting to discuss his beliefs about copyright is pitiful? I think his refusal to discuss it is pitiful.

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Apr 15th, 2013 @ 12:58pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              LOL.

              Why should he need to? There's a clear vein of "It's wrong as-is running through a lot of this blog on copyright. The fact that you only want to talk openly after this has been discussed ad nauseam speaks volumes to your willingness to actually have a discussion, rather than derail with childish behaviours that should have been smacked out of you long since.

               

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                AC Unknown, Apr 15th, 2013 @ 1:29pm

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

                He's a troll who loves nothing more than to try to discredit Mike through persistently annoying him.

                 

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                  identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, Apr 15th, 2013 @ 2:44pm

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

                  Nope. I want Mike's truthful answer to my on-topic, serious question. I'm an open book. I'll answer your questions truthfully. Why won't Mike answer questions truthfully?

                   

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                    Anonymous Coward, Apr 15th, 2013 @ 3:07pm

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

                    Have you stopped cheating in all of your exams?

                     

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                      Anonymous Coward, Apr 15th, 2013 @ 3:18pm

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

                      I've never cheated on an exam. Ever. I don't need to cheat. I work hard and prepare diligently.

                       

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                    Anonymous Coward, Apr 15th, 2013 @ 3:07pm

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

                    Have you stopped cheating in all of your exams?

                     

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                    Anonymous Coward, Apr 15th, 2013 @ 3:07pm

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

                    Have you stopped cheating in all of your exams?

                     

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                    Anonymous Coward, Apr 15th, 2013 @ 3:08pm

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

                    No what you want is an angry response that you can then point and show others how mean and bad Mr. Masnick is, unfortunately for you he didn't bite it and just ignore your childish attempts to illicit a negative emotional response you could use which makes angry and more childish LoL

                     

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                    Anonymous Coward, Apr 15th, 2013 @ 5:56pm

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

                    You're not an open book, average_joe. An average BAWK, on the other hand...

                     

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                    Anonymous Coward, Apr 15th, 2013 @ 9:51pm

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

                    Your question isn't on-topic, thus you are trolling.

                     

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          Richard (profile), Apr 15th, 2013 @ 1:19pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          My question is about the exclusive rights: Is there ANY part of the exclusive rights part of copyright that Mike supports

          Well I'll answer you.I don't support any of the exclusive rights - partly because one of the consequences of those rights is the existence of people with attitudes like yours.

           

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            Nettie (profile), Apr 15th, 2013 @ 1:49pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            I would say that I support some level of rights (not sure whether exclusive is definitely part of that) in terms of one of the older ideas of copyright--that you have a right to stop people directly making money off your work if they don't add something to it that makes it a new creative work if and ONLY IF it directly competes with how you are making money already.

            So it's targeted more at those who make money that should have gone to the artist rather than at those who 'steal' content for their own use. Basically the suggestion that taking content without paying is the same thing as taking money that the artist would have gotten otherwise is flawed thinking (since the pirate most likely would not have payed for it anyway), and is really not the point of copyright law

            Also if you are not actively offering the product, then it's not infringing. Ex. the way so many materials are only sold in certain geographical markets, even when their digital format can easily get everywhere. It's a travesty how much content is just not legally available to developing countries because the content owners don't choose to open a market there. If the owner does not actively sell to a specific market or in a specific form that is wanted, it should not be infringement for someone else to bring that content there!

            And I could see limiting copyright and patents to the original inventors or artists rather than allowing it to be sold, because in addition to all the crazy stuff with trolls that's been happening so much in the last few years, it's very inappropriate when the inventors and artists are constrained by their own work because they are forced to bargain away their IP ownership when working with the large industries. Such as that stupid stupid situation
            mentioned last week

            tl;dr
            I think some exclusive rights are good in that they protect the inventor/artist from being exploited by other businesses but only for a limited time and only applied to active competition (if the owner doesn't offer their content in that form or place then it's not competition)

             

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            tracker1 (profile), Apr 15th, 2013 @ 4:16pm

            Five years..

            With technology patents, I believe that 5 years is enough of an advantage for technology that is A) non-obvious in terms of the idea, or B) non-obvious in the terms of implementation to those skilled in that craft.

            I would say with regards to Copyright, I'd probably be in support of something very similar to what we have today for the first five years. And something much more relaxed (protection from reproduction of an entire work) for say 25 years after. I'd say that is pretty fair, and much more limited than what we have today.

            But that's just me... I don't have a problem with exclusivity so much as the term of said exclusivity. I'm also opposed to non-living entities (companies) owning IP.

             

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          Anonymous Coward, Apr 15th, 2013 @ 8:59pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          "My question is about the exclusive rights: Is there ANY part of the exclusive rights part of copyright that Mike supports?"

          Yes, boy, the "limited time" part.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Apr 15th, 2013 @ 9:04pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            And this is the part where average_jackass twists "limited time" into "forever minus a day".

             

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      Anonymous Coward, Apr 15th, 2013 @ 11:29am

      Re:

      I wonder how many pages of copyright law there are? Like, if you were to collect them and print it all out, how high of a stack off the ground would it be?

      Or how many bits and bytes worth to copyright law? It's all text based, so . . .

      What if you DRM'd the digital copy of copyright law? Is there any part of DRM you support? If not, please just say so explicitly. Thanks.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Apr 15th, 2013 @ 11:42am

        Re: Re:

        Title 17 isn't terribly long: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/17

        I do support DRM because I think copyright holders should be permitted to control the distribution of their works. Those who don't support it tend to have some strange sense of entitlement to the work product of others. If the techies want to create their own works and distribute them without DRM, they are free to do that.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Apr 15th, 2013 @ 11:50am

          Re: Re: Re:

          I do support DRM because I think copyright holders should be permitted to control the distribution of their works.

          DRM doesn't actually work. Exhibit A: Reality.

          Distribution up until a point. They aren't permitted to control all aspects of their work. Exhibit B: Exceptions to copyright.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Apr 15th, 2013 @ 5:52pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            DRM doesn't actually work. Exhibit A: Reality.

            Go tell Avid that. Then come back and tell us how it worked out for you.

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Apr 15th, 2013 @ 6:27pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              That explains why Avid is the premiere supplier of DRM to every content company in the entire world. They must be worth billions if that's the case.

               

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              Karl (profile), Apr 15th, 2013 @ 7:15pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Go tell Avid that.

              As it happens, my brother used to be a software project manager for Avid.

              The DRM caused them a lot of problems. It cost them tons of time and money, mainly fielding support calls from customers whose copy protection caused system failures.

              Did it stop piracy? No.

              In fact, my brother held a few meetings with the Board of Directors, encouraging them to drop the DRM. They didn't listen.

              He left a couple of years ago, but AFAIK, they're still hemorrhaging money. He predicted that the only way they'll survive is to sell the company outright to some movie studio.

              So, to answer your question: it worked out terribly.

               

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          John Fenderson (profile), Apr 15th, 2013 @ 12:21pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Those who don't support it tend to have some strange sense of entitlement to the work product of others.


          If you think this, then you have completely failed to understand the objection to DRM.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Apr 15th, 2013 @ 12:27pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Explain to me what your objecting is, if you will.

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Apr 15th, 2013 @ 12:28pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              *objection

               

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                John Fenderson (profile), Apr 15th, 2013 @ 1:32pm

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

                My specific objections depend on the specific DRM scheme. I don't object to them all -- Steam, for instance, is (barely) tolerable.

                But all of my objections boil down to one of two things: I object to it when it prevents me from using the software I paid good money for, and I object to it when it screws up my computer. This is more of an irritation than an objection, but I also have a problem when the DRM involves tracking me.

                Nearly all DRM I've ever seen does one of those two things.

                 

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                  John Fenderson (profile), Apr 15th, 2013 @ 1:34pm

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

                  I just realized that I wrote this in the context of software, but my objections apply equally as much to DRM associated with movies, music, etc.

                   

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                    Anonymous Coward, Apr 15th, 2013 @ 5:54pm

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

                    Then why don't you direct your anger at the freeloaders that made DRM necessary?

                     

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                      Anonymous Coward, Apr 15th, 2013 @ 5:59pm

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

                      Because unlike DRM, "freeloaders" did not actually harm legitimate customers directly to begin with, unlike the Sony rootkits for example.

                      Are you suggesting that you would support police operations for dealing with criminals that would involve gunning down streets of civilians, because "criminals" justifies any sort of act committed in the name of "enforcement"?

                       

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                        Anonymous Coward, Apr 15th, 2013 @ 6:29pm

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

                        You've got to murder people if you want to prevent murderers from murdering people. Logic 101.

                         

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                        Anonymous Coward, Apr 15th, 2013 @ 7:10pm

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

                        I'm pretty sure because of the Sony root kit, you're allowed to steal anything you want from now until the end of time. Yup uh huh. Herp derp.

                         

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                          silverscarcat (profile), Apr 15th, 2013 @ 7:21pm

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

                          Wow, someone missed the point completely.

                           

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                          Anonymous Coward, Apr 15th, 2013 @ 9:03pm

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

                          I'm pretty sure because of the Sony rootkit a lot of people are turned off from buying things legitimately. Whether they pirate or not is another story, but if they choose to go without, it's money that Big Music isn't seeing and blames on piracy instead of their severe oversight. There's simply no arguing or compromising with brick walls.

                           

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                      nasch (profile), Apr 15th, 2013 @ 9:09pm

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

                      Then why don't you direct your anger at the freeloaders that made DRM necessary?

                      DRM isn't necessary, so that's impossible.

                       

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                      techflaws (profile), Apr 15th, 2013 @ 10:46pm

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

                      Then why don't you direct your anger at the freeloaders that made DRM necessary?

                      How is it necessary when it does NOT stop the freeloaders AT ALL?

                       

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                      John Fenderson (profile), Apr 16th, 2013 @ 8:49am

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

                      Then why don't you direct your anger at the freeloaders that made DRM necessary?


                      Well, I'm not angry about DRM. DRM makes a product much less desirable, and makes me much less likely to purchase it. I think it's fair to let publishers know that.

                      In any case, I blame the manufacturers for DRM ror two reasons. First, DRM isn't necessary. Second, I am going to be upset with those who punish me -- that would be the publishers, not the pirates.

                       

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                Richard (profile), Apr 15th, 2013 @ 1:49pm

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

                Explain to me what your objecting is, if you will.

                DRM means that I can't have full access to the technological capabilities of hardware that I own.

                This happens because for DRM to work ALL hardware has to have locks on it just in case some DRM'ed file is loaded into it - even if the owner never uses it for that.

                 

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              Anonymous Coward, Apr 15th, 2013 @ 12:45pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              DRM is supposed to prevent the infringement of copyright, which explains why no one complains about copyright infringement, because DRM works!

               

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          Nettie (profile), Apr 15th, 2013 @ 12:39pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          I guess I would say there is a difference between controlling distribution and controlling what a person does with a work that they 'bought' after they purchased it. Most arguments around DRM are more focused on the fact that you are not allowed to do anything with the content that the copyright owner did not explicitly allow (such as switch file formats to read on a different device, or perform research to check for security vulnerabilities in the above case) even when those uses would absolutely be covered under fair use in terms of the original copyright laws. The problem with DRM is that it's ineffective in doing what it's supposed to do (stop piracy) but very effective at disrupting activities that are protected under other copyright laws.

          Also, I wanted to say thank you for pursuing this discussion in such a non-inflammatory manner. I'm sorry that some people are just responding with annoying quotes from completely different discussions, but I guess that is part of the culture of internet comment threads.

           

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          nasch (profile), Apr 15th, 2013 @ 3:44pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          I do support DRM because I think copyright holders should be permitted to control the distribution of their works.

          I don't have a problem with DRM, it just shouldn't have any special legal protection. Companies should be free to put DRM on their products, and we should be free to remove it.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Apr 15th, 2013 @ 5:19pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            If people could legally circumvent it, then it would be rather pointless. That's like saying we should have laws against murder, but if people murder others, then oh well, they win.

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Apr 15th, 2013 @ 5:40pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              I forget how many exceptions there are for murder as it pertains to research . . .

               

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              nasch (profile), Apr 15th, 2013 @ 7:02pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              If people could legally circumvent it, then it would be rather pointless.

              Yes it would. I don't see how that's an argument for criminalizing circumvention though.

              That's like saying we should have laws against murder, but if people murder others, then oh well, they win.

              It would be more like letting car companies make their cars hard to work on, but if a customer figures out how, he's allowed to repair his own car.

               

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      Anonymous Coward, Apr 15th, 2013 @ 11:29am

      Re:

      Hey, I know you just asked me a direct question and Imma let you finish, but I had one of the best direct questions of all time... of all time.

       

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      DannyB (profile), Apr 15th, 2013 @ 11:50am

      Re:

      Since nobody else said it, I will: the part where it expires in a reasonable period of time.

      We're waiting for your answer on how you would explain away these examples.

      Crickets.wav

       

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      • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
         
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Apr 15th, 2013 @ 11:59am

        Re: Re:

        I'm sure Mike supports the part where the exclusive rights end. No doubt. But does he support ANY of the exclusive rights whatsoever while they are in force?

        When he answers that, I'll gladly address his question about the chilling effects of the DMCA.

         

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          Nettie (profile), Apr 15th, 2013 @ 12:42pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          okay you do realize that continuing to answer the other commentors on this thread is pointless if you won't discuss anything without Mike directly talking? If he's the only one you'll listen to (which I understand, somewhat, as that was the point of your first comment) then why engage with anyone else?

           

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            Nettie (profile), Apr 15th, 2013 @ 12:46pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Also you might be more likely to get a good reply if you actually answered his question directed at copyright maximalists first.

             

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            Anonymous Coward, Apr 15th, 2013 @ 2:41pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Sure. I agree that there is a chilling effect on research because of the DMCA anti-circumvention provisions. There are also many positives that come from the provisions as well, and the negatives and the positives should be looked at together. Mike only focuses on the negatives, but he is correct that there are negatives. There are exceptions for research and reverse engineering and such, but perhaps the exceptions need to be expanded. I don't really know. I know that Prof. Felten is misrepresenting the past when in his article he says he sued and "won." He did sue, but the suit was thrown out on a motion to dismiss by the defendants, RIAA et al. He did publish the paper and there were no repercussions, so the "chilling effect" there seems not so chilling to me. If the research exceptions were more clear, perhaps that would solve the problem that he sees. Or perhaps the problem is not as bad as he lets on, given the exceptions that already exist. But it's important not to lose sight of the purpose of the provisions in the first place such that the exceptions swallow the rule.

            I'm happy to discuss my views on the merits any time. I don't mince words and play games and pretend like I don't have an opinion. Why can't Mike do the same? Seriously. Why won't he just explain whether there's any parts of the exclusive rights that he supports? Most opinionated person in the debate, yet completely unwilling to state his opinion. It's unreal.

             

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              Karl (profile), Apr 15th, 2013 @ 3:11pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              There are also many positives that come from the provisions as well

              Name them.

              Here's a helpful hint: since we're talking about copyright law, those "positives" "must ultimately serve the cause of promoting broad public availability of literature, music, and the other arts" (as the court put it in Twentieth Century Music v. Aiken).

              But, even if you don't want to acknowledge this - which you won't - then provide some actual evidence that the DMCA anti-circumvention provisions have, in the real world, provided any concrete benefit to anyone, rights holders included.

              All I've seen is stuff that does not hinder infringement, but only inconveniences paying customers; that does not result in more sales, but costs money to create, so only loses money for copyright holders.

              From what evidence I've seen, you know what copyright holders would lose if the anti-circumvention provisions were removed?

              Nothing.

              But the benefit to the public would be immediate, and significant.

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Apr 15th, 2013 @ 3:20pm

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

                Benefiting authors/artists/rightholders inures to the public. Certain rightholders use DRM because it benefits them. That doesn't mean that the public doesn't benefit in the end. It's not an either-or, zero sum game.

                 

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                  Anonymous Coward, Apr 15th, 2013 @ 4:24pm

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

                  That doesn't mean that the public doesn't benefit in the end.

                  This is absurd.

                  No one...no one...has ever bought anything because it had DRM included in it. Except for maybe you AJ. Or bob. But, I can assure you that sales are definitely lost because of DRM. DRM is not a selling point and it is never of benefit to consumers.

                  Case in point. When music was still mostly under DRM but beginning the transition to non-DRM, I specifically sought out places to purchase it that wasn't locked up in DRM. And I still refuse to purchase movies due to the insistence of including DRM. How do I, a member of the public, benefit from this? How do the rights holders benefit if the public is choosing not to purchase because of DRM? Isn't their goal to make money? Fine job they're doing if their goal is to do things to drive paying customers away! The music industries learned this lesson the hard way, why can't the other industries? Why do they continue to bury their collective heads in the sand?

                  Pirates aren't affected by DRM at all. Only legitimate consumers are affected and negatively so at that.

                   

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                    Anonymous Coward, Apr 15th, 2013 @ 5:30pm

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

                    It's not that absurd. If it benefits rightholders by creating more incentives to invest time, energy, money, and talent into the creation and dissemination of new and better works, then the public benefits from those new and better works.

                     

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                      Karl (profile), Apr 15th, 2013 @ 5:37pm

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

                      If it benefits rightholders by creating more incentives to invest time, energy, money, and talent into the creation and dissemination of new and better works

                      And it doesn't. That should be the end of the story.

                       

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                        Anonymous Coward, Apr 15th, 2013 @ 6:00pm

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

                        Uh no.

                        AJ. Is 100% correct. If copyright allows a creator to be paid and thus not have to spend time laboring over something uncreative, then it obviously benefits the progress.

                        You know this. Pick your battles.

                         

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                          Anonymous Coward, Apr 15th, 2013 @ 6:32pm

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

                          How does copyright allow a creator to be paid? Everything is automatically copyrighted the moment it is expressed in a fixed medium; how is this copyrighted comment supposed to allow me to get payed?

                           

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                          Karl (profile), Apr 15th, 2013 @ 7:06pm

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

                          If copyright allows a creator to be paid and thus not have to spend time laboring over something uncreative, then it obviously benefits the progress.

                          And how do anti-circumvention laws do this?

                          They don't. At least, nobody has presented any evidence that they do.

                          The evidence is that DRM makes copyrighted works less valuable to the public - thus the public is less willing to pay for them. That doesn't translate to rights holders making money; quite the opposite.

                          But even if those laws do benefit copyright holders, nobody has presented any evidence that the benefits that accrue to the public outweigh the public benefit from the absence of those laws. And that determines whether copyright laws are just.

                           

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                  Karl (profile), Apr 15th, 2013 @ 5:35pm

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

                  Benefiting authors/artists/rightholders inures to the public.

                  Benefiting authors/artists/rightsholders may inure to the public. Then again, it may not.

                  If "the granting of such exclusive rights" does not confer "a benefit upon the public that outweighs the evils of the temporary monopoly" (in the words of Congress), then benefiting rights holders does not inure to the public.

                  You can't just make a blanket assertion like this as if it's a fact. You need to present evidence that it's actually true... which you never have.

                  Certain rightholders use DRM because it benefits them.

                  Certain rights holders believe DRM benefits them. You've presented no evidence that it actually does. In fact, whenever you look at how technology progresses, it goes from more restrictive to less restrictive - as it did with iTunes and DRM. That's because rights holders eventually realize (usually too late) that DRM isn't good for them, either.

                  The real question, of course, is whether circumventing DRM ultimately harms the public - and harms it enough for anti-circumvention to be criminal. I've yet to see any evidence that this is true.

                  It's not an either-or, zero sum game.

                  Ideally, it shouldn't be. And, historically, it wasn't (at least for the most part). But in some cases - such as this case - it is.

                  ...Or at least it is if you believe that DRM actually benefits rights holders. I actually agree that this is not a zero-sum game: DRM is good for neither rights holders nor the general public. It is a positive-sum game that everyone is losing.

                   

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              Anonymous Coward, Apr 15th, 2013 @ 9:04pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "Sure. I agree that there is a chilling effect on research because of the DMCA anti-circumvention provisions. There are also many positives that come from the provisions as well, and the negatives and the positives should be looked at together."

              And you have yet to present the positives, boy.

               

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      Karl (profile), Apr 15th, 2013 @ 2:54pm

      Re:

      Is there ANY part of copyright law that you do in fact support?

      Asked and answered - REPEATEDLY. Sometimes to others, but in many MANY cases, to you directly.

      Here are links to Mike's answers:
      http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20121121/23215021120/copyright-maximalists-attempt-to-dow nplay-significance-rsc-report-chanting-their-mantra-copyright-is-property.shtml#c3761
      Does Mike support a reformed system of intellectual property in the U.S. that is designed to foster these goals ["innovation leading to economic growth, which increases opportunity for everyone"]?

      Yes. I'm sorry if that wasn't clear, though I believe it was.

      If so, what might that system look like? These seem like perfectly fair questions to me.

      Also questions I've answered ad nauseum, which is why I sometimes get frustrated when I feel that people who have clearly read those answers from me in the past feel the desire to repeat the questions as if I have not answered them.

      The answer, again, is that the evidence today points to the fact that the copyright and patent systems seem to hinder the pace of growth (not hold back growth entirely, but slow its pace). There is significant evidence that less IP would increase the rate of growth.

      However, I do not know what is the absolute *best* proposals are. Which is why I keep saying that the focus now should be on building up more evidence of what policies work and which do not.

      From another comment in the same thread:
      http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20121121/23215021120/copyright-maximalists-attempt-to-down play-significance-rsc-report-chanting-their-mantra-copyright-is-property.shtml#c3000
      I've said REPEATEDLY that what I am in favor of is *evidence-based* policies on these topics. I am fine with being convinced that such laws have a benefit, but I believe that it requires significantly more study. I am not in favor of getting rid of it all because I haven't seen enough evidence. I'm in favor of following what the evidence says. So far, it appears to suggest that significantly less protection would be beneficial.

      This "evidence-based approach" is evident in this discussion on term lengths - which he had with you - here:
      http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20130114/20344621680/new-research-extending-copyright-massiv ely-increases-prices-limits-dissemination-knowledge.shtml#c887
      There is no other side here. There is simple NO evidence that a single person ever would not produce something because they "only" got a monopoly for life plus 50 instead of life plus 70. None. Zero. Zilch. Suggesting that that is even a possibility is ridiculous.

      What there is PLENTY of data on is the fact that the vast, vast, vast majority of people -- when they had to file for a renewal of their copyright (prior to the 76 Act) did not do so (http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20120330/12402418305/why-missing-20th-century-books-is-even-worse- than-it-seems.shtml). In other words, for the vast majority of copyright holders, the value of copyright is less than the hassle of reregistering by 28 years. To argue that there is any evidence suggesting that life plus 70 as compared to life plus 50 has ANY incentive on initial creation is someone who cannot be taken seriously.

      I'm sure I could dig up more, if I tried longer.

      Of course, you will never accept any of those pesky things called "facts." You are motivated solely by your emotions - specifically, a vicious, irrational hatred of anything you consider "piracy."

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Apr 15th, 2013 @ 3:00pm

        Re: Re:

        Those quotes don't answer my question. Does Mike think that authors/artists should receive ANY exclusive rights, yes or no? Those are all cop-outs, not answers. Based on the evidence that Mike has seen, and understanding full well that his answer may change should the evidence change, what does he think? Yes or no? It's a simple question. What's the simple answer? I want his imperfect, best guess, opinion. That's it. I know that he doesn't KNOW FOR CERTAIN and cannot guarantee that his answer is perfect. Just state an opinion one way or the other. It's so simple. We all have opinions. What is Mike's?

         

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        Anonymous Coward, Apr 15th, 2013 @ 3:25pm

        Re: Re:

        And, Karl, I know it's a cop out because Mike states opinions about copyright ALL THE TIME, despite not having perfect information and often having little or no information. The fact is that economics is but one way to approach it, and even the economists have different schools of thought and think that the other schools are wrong. It's a social science, not a hard science. There is no "right" answer, only models made by one economist that other economists think are wrong, etc. Mike is perfectly capable of forming and stating opinions about copyright, as demonstrated by his thousands of posts on the subject. But when it comes to this question--THIS QUESTION--he pretends like he just can't form an opinion. "Golly gee, I just don't know." It's clearly bullshit. He has an opinion, and the thousands of articles that are negative about copyright (and the zero articles that are positive) make it clear what that opinion is. Why's he so scared of just giving his opinion directly? Why won't he just answer the question honestly?

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Apr 15th, 2013 @ 3:40pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          It's a social science, not a hard science.

          Law making isn't even any where near a science, or else how does one explain the War on Drugs? At least economists try to explain their thinking.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Apr 15th, 2013 @ 3:44pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Lawmakers explain their thinking too. They have opinions that they can't prove because they're human just like the rest of us. But we're all able to have opinions regardless, and Mike is no exception--except when it comes to THIS QUESTION, then he pretends that no opinions are possible. Clearly he is able of forming an opinion, and clearly he has a very strong opinion. Clearly he's deliberately not stating that opinion. That's why I keep asking. I know he's avoiding this question, so that makes me ask it more and more. I want him to admit it.

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Apr 15th, 2013 @ 5:35pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              They have opinions that they can't prove because they're human just like the rest of us.

              If they were actual human beings then the War on Drugs wouldn't even exist.

               

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          Anonymous Coward, Apr 15th, 2013 @ 3:54pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Hey AJ,

          Why did you chicken out and refuse to answer this question?

          http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20130410/07134322658/new-book-history-music-copyright- piracy-shows-how-copyright-tends-to-hold-back-music.shtml#c1193

          Why did you run away like a dishonest little whiny bitch?

          (and before anyone says anything, I don't actually think that, but it's exactly the kind of shit that AJ says about Mike).

          Until you answer that question, then you're just a dishonest troll, and it will be my sworn duty to make sure everyone remembers how dishonest and trollish you are.

          I will ignore the fact that you might have not seen that comment, or maybe have something better to do. Clearly, the only answer for why you didn't answer that question is because you're too chicken. Right? Isn't that how it works?

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Apr 15th, 2013 @ 5:28pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Why did you run away like a dishonest little whiny bitch?

            So angry. It's cute.

            I didn't answer because I didn't see the post. It was posted seven hours after I made my last post, and I never went back to that thread. I'm not logged in so I don't get email reminders.

            Until you answer that question, then you're just a dishonest troll, and it will be my sworn duty to make sure everyone remembers how dishonest and trollish you are.

            Go ahead and do whatever you want. My answer is that I'm pursuing Mike on this point and others because I think he is a fundamentally dishonest person who obviously despises copyright and everything about it, yet pretends like he's unsure whether we should have any copyright when asked. He lies and pretends like he is unable to form an opinion because some economic function that he won't identify or discuss has not given him a perfect answer, which is never going to happen because it's not possible. He just doesn't want to admit that he doesn't think authors/artists should have no exclusive rights, even though the thousands of posts he's written about copyright make that clear. I think he's a compulsive liar who is physically and mentally incapable of having an honest discussion. The fact that he's the most opinionated, loudest, biggest asshole in the debate led me straight to him. I want to debate him because he's the most extreme person on the other side of the debate from me. The fact that he's too chicken to discuss his beliefs on the merits and the fact that he gets so angry and defensive and evasive tells me I'm barking up the right tree. Only a complete fake and coward would dodge this question. He clearly has very strong opinions about copyright, and this question is no exception. He is lying. He is lying. He is lying. He can prove me wrong by giving one simple, straight, and honest answer. An opinion. Yet he won't, because he's a liar and he's too ashamed to just admit what he so obviously believes. What I'm doing is shaming a person who deserves great shame. I'm more than happy to discuss why I'm here and what I believe. I love discussing that. To pretend I run from that question is laughable. I want to fill up the comments on TD with talk of what a coward Mike is. He deserves it more than anyone. All he has to do is have open, honest, and human discussions about the issues. He is simply not capable of any of those three things. Want me to tell you more? My pleasure. Let's talk about this in every comment section on every post. Bring it on! I love it!

             

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            •  
              identicon
              Anonymous Coward, Apr 15th, 2013 @ 5:42pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              For someone who has a life you sure don't have a life.

               

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            •  
              identicon
              Anonymous Coward, Apr 15th, 2013 @ 5:43pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              ""My answer is that I'm pursuing Mike on this point and others because I think he is a fundamentally dishonest person who obviously despises copyright and everything about it, yet pretends like he's unsure whether we should have any copyright when asked. He lies and pretends like he is unable to form an opinion because some economic function that he won't identify or discuss has not given him a perfect answer, which is never going to happen because it's not possible. He just doesn't want to admit that he doesn't think authors/artists should have no exclusive rights, even though the thousands of posts he's written about copyright make that clear. I think he's a compulsive liar who is physically and mentally incapable of having an honest discussion. The fact that he's the most opinionated, loudest, biggest asshole in the debate led me straight to him. I want to debate him because he's the most extreme person on the other side of the debate from me. The fact that he's too chicken to discuss his beliefs on the merits and the fact that he gets so angry and defensive and evasive tells me I'm barking up the right tree. Only a complete fake and coward would dodge this question. He clearly has very strong opinions about copyright, and this question is no exception. He is lying. He is lying. He is lying. He can prove me wrong by giving one simple, straight, and honest answer. An opinion. Yet he won't, because he's a liar and he's too ashamed to just admit what he so obviously believes. What I'm doing is shaming a person who deserves great shame. I'm more than happy to discuss why I'm here and what I believe. I love discussing that. To pretend I run from that question is laughable. I want to fill up the comments on TD with talk of what a coward Mike is. He deserves it more than anyone. All he has to do is have open, honest, and human discussions about the issues. He is simply not capable of any of those three things. Want me to tell you more? My pleasure. Let's talk about this in every comment section on every post. Bring it on! I love it!""

              From The Message Bible, Matthew chapter 7 verses 1 to 5 reads as follows: “Don’t pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults— unless, of course, you want the same treatment. That critical spirit has a way of boomeranging. It’s easy to see a smudge on your neighbor’s face and be oblivious to the ugly sneer on your own. Do you have the nerve to say, ‘Let me wash your face for you,’ when your own face is distorted by contempt? It’s this whole traveling road-show mentality all over again, playing a holier-than-thou part instead of just living your part. Wipe that ugly sneer off your own face, and you might be fit to offer a washcloth to your neighbor.

               

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              identicon
              Anonymous Coward, Apr 15th, 2013 @ 6:11pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              What's truly fail-worthy is that you actually think this "tactic" of yours is working.

              On the other hand, that's all you copyright masturbators have. All bark and no bite. Your good pal hurricane head kept threatening the site with "sleeping giant" artist friends, and what do we have after several years? Nothing, just the occasional ineffective post from your copyright Bible everyone calls the Trichordist. Where's your answers when it came to the Sony rootkit? Where's your answers when it came to Prenda Law?

              Even the moron in a hurry on the street can see what's truly wrong with this picture, and it's not Masnick.

               

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              techflaws (profile), Apr 15th, 2013 @ 10:54pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              All he has to do is have open, honest, and human discussions about the issues.

              He has to do because YOU of all people say so?

              So angry. It's cute.

               

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              Anonymous Coward, Apr 16th, 2013 @ 12:19am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              So angry. It's cute.


              Somewhat amazing that you don't realize that I was just mimicking your style. So, yes, nice of you to admit that you have anger problems.

              I didn't answer because I didn't see the post.

              And why do you then automatically assume that Mike reads every single comment you make? Considering he posts, what, 15 stories a day, is running his business, etc. isn't it just possible that he actually doesn't pay attention to you?

              My answer is that I'm pursuing Mike on this point and others because I think he is a fundamentally dishonest person who obviously despises copyright and everything about it, yet pretends like he's unsure whether we should have any copyright when asked.

              None of your extended rant about Mike answered my question. Why won't you answer my question? I pointed out that you keep repeating these things and there's no evidence that it's convincing anyone. In fact, it seems to be doing exactly the opposite of your intended effect. No one reading this seems convinced by you. So, what is the real reason for doing this?

              I think he's a compulsive liar who is physically and mentally incapable of having an honest discussion.

              For what it's worth, you exhibit much more of said behavior.

              The fact that you refuse to behave honestly here is incredible. Above, Karl even pointed multiple examples of Mike directly answering your questions. And you immediately lie and claim he did not.

              It seems quite clear that you are not here for an honest debate.

              All he has to do is have open, honest, and human discussions about the issues.

              Once again, this is clearly a lie. I've seen Mike try to have open, honest and human conversations with you, and you are a total dick back to him.

              So, again, I need to ask, what do you think you're accomplishing?

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Apr 17th, 2013 @ 8:14am

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

                Above, Karl even pointed multiple examples of Mike directly answering your questions. And you immediately lie and claim he did not.

                Those aren't answers. If those are answers, then tell me, yes or no, does Mike think that authors/artists should have any exclusive rights? You can't, because Mike has never answered that question. Nor will he, because he is a fundamentally dishonest person who claims to be completely unable to form an opinion on the subject. If you insist that Mike has given an answer, then prove it. Or else admit that his answers are always nonresponsive. I want his opinion. Yes or no. He will not give it, and I will never stop asking.

                Once again, this is clearly a lie. I've seen Mike try to have open, honest and human conversations with you, and you are a total dick back to him.

                So, again, I need to ask, what do you think you're accomplishing?


                Mike has never answered the question of whether he thinks authors/artists should have any exclusive rights, i.e., whether there's any part of copyright that he supports. He intentionally lies and pretends like he can't answer until he has perfect information. Of course, he can never explain how one would acquire that information because it's a bullshit cop out and there is no such information possible. And it's also quite clear that he has many, many, many opinions about copyright that he is quite vocal about despite not having perfect information. What I hope to accomplish is (1) get the answer from him that he doesn't want to admit but that we can all see to be true (namely, that he doesn't think authors/artists should have any exclusive rights, and (2) keep reminding everyone that Mike is slimy and dishonest. Again, please follow me around and let's have this discussion in every thread. I welcome it.

                 

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            JMT (profile), Apr 15th, 2013 @ 5:35pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

             

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              nasch (profile), Apr 15th, 2013 @ 8:58pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              He never answered my question either:

              http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20130405/01191322589/youtube-wont-put-your-video-back-up -even-if-its-fair-use-if-it-contains-content-universal-music.shtml#c1597

              And it's not because he stopped reading - he made more posts to the story after that.

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Apr 17th, 2013 @ 8:26am

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

                I had already answered that question. The guy that emailed Mike said (1) he contacted Mike because he thought Mike had used "too much," and (2) he wanted to negotiate Mike's "fair use." I pointed out that those two statements were contradictory, since if, as Mike thought, this guy thought that all fair use required permission, he would not have said that he contacted Mike because he thought Mike used "too much." His statement about "too much" shows that he understands when it's not "too much" he doesn't contact anyone, ergo, he understands that fair use requires no permission. Mike insisted that statement (2) controlled and that we can dismiss statement (1). I think that's wrong and that you have to consider both statements. Given that the guy was a sophisticated rightholder and statement (1), I think his statement about negotiating fair use just shows he was trying to appease Mike, whom he said acted in a way that others had not when contacted about negotiating a license. Mike thought that you could just pretend like statement (1) was meaningless. In other words, Mike thought you could ignore the parts that you don't like. I, on the other hand, think that you can't. Mike could not admit that statement (1) contradicted his reading of the email. I admit that statements were contradictory. Mike could not. It was an incredibly silly thread, and it showed how desperate Mike is to (1) "get" me, and (2) not admit anything contradictory even though it was right there in the email he quoted. Answer your question?

                 

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                  nasch (profile), Apr 17th, 2013 @ 8:48am

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

                  Just so you know, I'm not responding to this because I've decided you're a troll and I don't argue with trolls.

                   

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                  Karl (profile), Apr 18th, 2013 @ 11:05pm

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

                  I had already answered that question.

                  No, you didn't. The question was: " What quote are you using as the basis for what you think the guy meant by 'too much'?"

                  In other words: why do you believe that the phrase "too much" had anything to do with fair use?

                  You didn't answer this question... because you can't. Because the fact is that "too much" is not a fair use argument.

                  You're lying. And, why are you lying? Thankfully, you've answered this yourself:
                  What I hope to accomplish is (1) get the answer from him that he doesn't want to admit but that we can all see to be true (namely, that he doesn't think authors/artists should have any exclusive rights, and (2) keep reminding everyone that Mike is slimy and dishonest.

                  So, your goal is:

                  (1) Try to get Mike to admit to something he probably doesn't believe, by tricking him into answering "gotcha" questions; and

                  (2) To smear Mike personally, regardless of his actual viewpoints, because you are a fixated psycho.

                  Thanks for clearing that up.

                   

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                    Anonymous Coward, Apr 19th, 2013 @ 12:08pm

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

                    No, you didn't. The question was: " What quote are you using as the basis for what you think the guy meant by 'too much'?"

                    In other words: why do you believe that the phrase "too much" had anything to do with fair use?


                    I've answered it several times. He said he contacted Mike because he thought Mike used "too much." This implies that if he thought Mike had not used "too much," then he would not have contacted him. Ergo, he doesn't contact people when he thinks they aren't using "too much" such that their use is fair.

                    This is so dumb because this guy is a sophisticated rightholder and it's stupid to think that he doesn't understand the basics of fair use. Even Mike's dumbest disciples understand fair use. Surely a sophisticated rightholder does too.

                     

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                      Karl (profile), Apr 19th, 2013 @ 3:19pm

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

                      I've answered it several times.

                      No, you've just restated your conclusion. I'll spell it out for you:

                      Ergo, he doesn't contact people when he thinks they aren't using "too much" such that their use is fair.

                      The second part does not follow from the first. In order to reach that conclusion, you have to already assume that "too much" means "fair use."

                      And it does not, for at least three reasons:

                      1. "Too much" does not mean "fair use" in plain English. Anyone - anyone! - who read his sentence would know that it means "too much for my liking."

                      2. "Too much" is not a "fair use" argument under the law. Instead, it is a "de minimis" argument.

                      3. It directly contradicts what that same speaker says, mere sentences later, when he unambiguously claimed that he considered any use to be copyright infringement, unless he agreed that a use is fair use.

                      But you know all of this. In fact, it is screamingly, blindingly obvious.

                      You are simply lying, in an attempt to present a "gotcha" moment for Mike.

                      Which, as you said, is your sole motivation here.

                       

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                      Karl (profile), Apr 19th, 2013 @ 3:22pm

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

                      Also:

                      This is so dumb because this guy is a sophisticated rightholder and it's stupid to think that he doesn't understand the basics of fair use.

                      Mike said he is a European rights holder, so that probably makes some difference.

                      Also, even "sophisticated" rights holders in the U.S. get things blindingly wrong, rather often. Either because they don't fully understand the law, or because they're deliberately misinterpreting it. Look at all the bunkum that the RIAA has said.

                       

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                        nasch (profile), Apr 19th, 2013 @ 4:17pm

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

                        Also, even "sophisticated" rights holders in the U.S. get things blindingly wrong, rather often.

                        Just add the "No True Scotsman" fallacy to the list of mistakes he made in that conversation.

                         

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  •  
    icon
    Jesse (profile), Apr 15th, 2013 @ 10:37am

    “No person shall circumvent a technological measure that effectively controls access to a work protected under [copyright law].”

    I never actually read the law, but based on that reading doesn't that exclude the circumvention of technological measures which aren't effective? (i.e. all DRM?)

     

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Apr 15th, 2013 @ 11:33am

      Re:

      I hate to say this, but they mean effect as in purpose or intention. So it could be a simple caeser cipher (word jumble), but if the intent is to control access, it's valid.
      Sadly, the DMCA is obviously only a United States law, so the tools to circumvent are still widely available for DRM removal. As far as I know you can also legally purchase these tools (*most are usually just given away), but they simply can not be sold or distributed in the US. The irony of it all, by simply using a different distribution method, you can rightfully distribute the code in a different format.
      See the DeCSS Gallery: http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~dst/DeCSS/Gallery/

      It just goes to show the law is pointless and was only created to harass and intimidate rightful licensed purchasers, and researchers that might harm a company's reputation.

       

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 15th, 2013 @ 10:46am

    If there is a potential for abuse, it will unequivocally be abused. Anyone who says otherwise is lying or ignorant.

     

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    Ninja (profile), Apr 15th, 2013 @ 11:09am

    Well, if it isn't the DMCA they can still be prosecuted for pointing security holes. See AT&T =D

    Out of the frying pan into the fire. Sad.

     

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    identicon
    Silver Fang, Apr 15th, 2013 @ 11:31am

    Copyright is censorship

    From the beginning, it was censorship to make it so only approved guilds could write approved texts back in the 1400s. The same mentality persists today and threatens to ruin the Internet. The Internet must be protected at all costs, even if one ofthe effects is rampant piracy. The only thing worth protecting is the freeflow of information.

     

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Apr 15th, 2013 @ 11:56am

      Re: Copyright is censorship

      More important is that the Internet is the first technology that gives everybody an opportunity to make their ideas opinions available to a wide audience. It does not guarantee that they gain an audience, nor does it get in the way of an attempt to find an audience. All prior technologies required the use of gatekeepers to allocate the resource, or were too expensive for most individuals to attempt a wide circulation of their ideas and opinions.

       

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    special-interesting (profile), Apr 15th, 2013 @ 11:40am

    Ah. we start to get down to the real problems with a non judicially reviewed, guilty by insinuation, DMCA take-down policy. A healthy culture of research governed by peer review is being threatened. There are very real privacy concerns and liability issues when anyone is prevented from examining thoroughly what, how and why a computer works.

    Its so normal to look under the hood/case/service-panel/cover/etc and kick the tires or probe the connections of any new piece of equipment. And when the warranty wears off you start to tinker with it because... why not? Break it, take it apart, decompile it, reprogram it, test the security. All this is normal operations just to learn how to maintenance/repair/update such equipment/programs.

    We test and retest security because all need to know such stability/reliability/vulnerableness in a verifiable way. Thats right there is NO other way to find these things out. There are unalienable basic rights to be able to examining what is running on your computer that cannot be waived by some stupid TOS or EULA. Argue with me.

    Do you or do you not own and operate the equipment and accept full responsibility for its actions? Certainly the manufacture has put clauses that stipulate you are liable, and that they are not liable, for anything.

    To be honest there should be no exemption required for the right to KNOW what level security is being offered or to KNOW exactly what programs are running on a machine. To stick a constitutional feather up a nose or two there are things that cannot be legislated and poking about for better security is one of them.

    If you purchase a lock from the hardware store you have an right to test its viability/reliability. No difference with research, computers, programs or whatever. Its always buyer beware. If congress tries to prevent users from looking in the horses mouth before and after purchase then its like putting into law that we could not doubt a used car salesperson or look under the hood just to see if the engine was there.

    The DCMA (and the CFAA btw) are absurd pieces of legislation with no (currently) hope of improving and current estimates on congressional wisdom points toward them getting worse.. The only piece know to be worth its ink is the section 230 content exemption and that is almost worthless without expanding its scope and upping the hold harmless statements.

    Havent even started to blast the chilling effects of such legislative nonsense. BURRRRRRrrr! Makes the cold war seem warm and fuzzy.

     

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    identicon
    Spynet V1.0, Apr 15th, 2013 @ 11:56am

    Protection

    Just remember when I come online, you're not allowed to stop me because it would be a violation of the DMCA.

     

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      Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), Apr 15th, 2013 @ 1:29pm

      Re: Protection

      Hmm.

      Lets say I create some content. I then create a digital protection measure that requires it to be connected to by system. If my system is taken offline or blocked, the protection stops working, and people can steal my content.

      What happens when I reach my sixth strike and my connection gets cut, thus allowing my content to be stolen? Can I sue my ISP, or the people sending copyright complaints over breach of breaking my awesome DRM system? Or is copyright law thoroughly insane enough that I could come up with a plausible scenario using it against itself?

       

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 15th, 2013 @ 1:41pm

    This sounds to me like the DMCA is actually creating security threats to computer networks and home PC users and creating a dangerous security threat just so the RIAA can continue to enjoy its stranglehold on copyright.

    The RIAA supports these security threats? It seems so, according to this article.

     

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    identicon
    Anonymous, Apr 15th, 2013 @ 6:38pm

    If it can be circumvented then it's not really effective, is it?

     

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    identicon
    anonymouse, Apr 16th, 2013 @ 4:29am

    Virus

    Ok so acording to their own laws anyone can install software to their computers and use it to spy on them, this is what they are allowing, and if they dismantle a virus to block it the virus creator could sue them all, including congress for allowing this to happen. I for one think the copyright laws do not exist at the moment, i and everyone with a little common sense will ignore them and disregard anyone trying to impose them.

    For one, they do not protect the citizens from illegal activities as proven here in this post and for another the laws are all bought and paid for , which in my eyes makes then irrelevant. I have a vpn and i will use it and multiple other methods to hide my identity. And when i download a program and feel there is a problem with it i will do everything in my power to hack it.

    Damn them and the laws and their stupidity when it comes to technology.

     

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      nasch (profile), Apr 16th, 2013 @ 6:28am

      Re: Virus

      if they dismantle a virus to block it the virus creator could sue them all

      Interesting thought. I was about to write that it doesn't apply, but then I realized that there's no reason a virus/malware program wouldn't be copyrighted. So if you just wrap it in some DRM, it would be illegal to bypass the DRM. Except I guess there's an exception for reverse engineering, so that might not fly.

       

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


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