Blue, you are once again operating under a false assumption. Let me make this perfectly clear. It is virtually impossible, by definition, to steal an idea. The only way you could arguably steal an idea is by hearing someone else's idea and promptly murdering them, therefore depriving them of the idea. Otherwise you are simply copying an idea. And "copying" has never, ever meant "stealing". Reality doesn't work that way.
I don't know any other way to put it. If someone says "Hey, the sky is blue" that's an idea. If I later say the same thing, I haven't stolen anything. They still have their idea, and the sky is still blue.
This is an uncomfortable truth, because it leads to another uncomfortable truth, which is that the only "rights" people have are those that they are given by others. "Basic human rights" sounds good but don't exist within reality. If, for example, "life" were a basic human right nobody could murder because they have a right to life. Reality disagrees.
The funny part is you come uncomfortably close to arguing the exact point of most of the articles here on Techdirt while railing at exactly the wrong problem. The reason "The Rich" have the markets locked up is because they can use IP laws to leverage their dominance and compete at the market level using legislation and the judicial system. Since their competition can't afford the costs of lobbying and lawyers they get crushed and "The Rich" stay rich.
If you want a fair market we need to remove IP, not make it stronger. Keep reading the stuff here...you're so close to the truth, and still so far away.
The "tradeoffs" are between a smaller pie and a bigger one, and Picker seems to be upset if the law favors a bigger pie. I can't see how that makes any sense from an economic standpoint.
This is simple. A bigger pie means that each piece is less valuable. A small pie means that each piece is more valuable. The big pie probably also has a lot more people benefiting from it than the small pie.
When you're one of the people already benefiting from the small, valuable pie, why would you want to let other people in?
From a greater economic standpoint, what you're saying makes perfect sense. More accessibility means more people benefiting which improves the overall economy. But from a individual standpoint, the individual making a lot of money now may go down to making less money, and for them that's all that matters.
I'm not saying it's right. But you can always make sense of human greed and self-serving behavior.
That's not what I said. The anticircumvention provisions strengthen copyright holders' rights by making it more difficult to circumvent access controls. Those access controls make it more difficult to infringe. By making it legal to traffic in these circumvention technologies, that in turn makes it easier to infringe.
Ah, I think I get the fundamental difference in viewpoint that's causing the issue. Let me see if I understand this correctly.
In your view, copyright is a natural right that creators of works possess. They created it, therefore they own it, and anyone else who accesses must follow their rules. "Fair use" is an exception that temporarily diminshes the creator's rights in order to allow the public access to certain allowed uses of the work, such as parody or news reporting. Is that close?
Because that's the opposite of my view, and arguably of the Constitutional view. In my view copyright is a temporary right granted to creators to supress my natural right to do with it whatever the heck I want.
To take it to a real world example, if one of my friends tells a story at a party, what "right" does he have to that story? I can tell the story, change the story, or do whatever I want with it, as people have always done. People copy each other reflexively and naturally; look up the concept of "mirroring" in psychology. They have no natural right to their stories, ideas, and behaviors that prevent other people from mimicking or using in their own way. How do you think dialects start?
In other words, "copyright" is a commercial protection of culture to encourage the creation of more culture. Put another way, "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." The key part in both concepts is the purpose or intent...in my version the "encourage the creation of more culture" and in the Constitutional language "To promote the Progress of Science and the useful Arts."
You seem focused on the rights of creators as if the purpose of those rights is to make the creators money and to prevent other people from infringing on their copyright. This is not, and has never been, the purpose behind copyright law, although it is being widely used for it now.
So from your point of view, this change would weaken copyright law by removing the "right" of preventing infringement and loss of control. From my point of view this change strengthens copyright law by promoting the exchange of ideas, reducing economic waste by those who are not creators (the distribution companies), and by increasing the value of copyrighted works.
To illustrate my point, I will utilize a bit of fair use:
"So what I told you was true, from a certain point of view."
AJ is just excited that he found something that appears to prove his point. If only he weren't begging the question fallaciously every time he'd almost have made a valid point. By the way, using a fallacy while accusing someone else of a fallacy is called irony.
Let me explain. The basic premise of your argument is wrong. You are saying that removing the anti-circumvention clause of the DMCA weakens the rights of copyright holders because removing the anti-circumvention clause weakens the rights of copyright holders. This is a logical fallacy known as "begging the question" (as opposed to the common use where it means creating a question). Repetition of your fallacy does not improve it's validity.
The second part of your statement must be argued for the initial postulate to be valid. In other words, you must first explain how making circumvention of protections for non-illegal uses of copyrighted material in any way affects the rights of copyright holders.
For example, let's take another set of laws. It is illegal for you to break into my house. It is not illegal for you to enter if I give you permission, and it is always legal for me to enter my own house barring something like a restraining order. Let's imagine it is also illegal to climb into a house through a window since that is circumventing the security of the house.
Now, as a homeowner, I have the right to prevent unauthorized entry to my home. If I accidentally lock myself out of the house, and climb in through a window, should I be prosecuted for breaking and entering under the clause of the law that states going through the window is illegal? And if that law were removed, so it is now legal for *me* to enter my house, but still illegal for an intruder, does that diminish my homeowners rights in any way? Either way the right to enter my house is unaffected...someone entering illegally is illegal, regardless of the method, and someone entering legally should not be a criminal for entering through an "illegal" method.
So what Mike stated is correct...the actual copyrights of copyright holders are unaffected by this change. The ability to take legal activity and treat it as illegal simply due to the method would be removed. This may help reduce the abuse of copyright law for non-copyright purposes but does nothing to diminish the copyrights themselves.
Your home air oscillation device using rapidly spinning polyethylene blades in order to rapidly displace the local breathable gasses. This displacement can lower the local oxygen level as well as cause rapid evaporation of body moisture and lowered body temperature. A similar effect in nature is the primary cause of deadly cyclonic activity. In fact, the Korea Consumer Protection Board released a consumer safety alert is 2006 warning of such devices causing asphyxiation or hypothermia.
Unless I'm mistaken, isn't this device primarily voice activated? As in, to take a picture, you have to either say "Glass, take a picture" or reach up and press a button. If there's a mind control feature included I certainly haven't read about it. I would think that talking out loud for recording would be kind of a big give away.
For filming, you have a similar issue, plus you have to disable the recording LED. The device itself is not inconspicious; if you're concerned about privacy, why not just ask someone to take it off? I wouldn't think there would be any more issues in bathrooms than there are now and I seriously doubt they'll become a permanent feature of corrective eye lenses.
Either way the fact that our government is concerned over our privacy is laughable. This is purely an attempt to get a legislative foothold on a new technology so they can ban it rather than compete. They're still trying to figure out this "internet" thing, can't have us getting some fancy...um...thing that's the same as a smart phone, but always being held in front of your face. Oooh, scary.
Privacy is a real concern. Google Glass just isn't the big threat to it. Cute attempt to divert attention, though.
While I agree that other government systems operate on belief that is illogical or based on incorrect assumptions the fact that the law is created by majority, and thus popular, belief is unique to democratic systems pretty much by definition.
Of course, given the staggering amount of people in the world who base the majority of their beliefs on the premise of "this is what I was told to believe" or "this is what everyone else believes", I suppose this is technically true of virtually any human governance system.
Democracy is simply the only one that does it explicity, although technically "democracy" is a misnomer considering the U.S. is not a democracy, but now we're just examining semantics =).
It's not OK for you to use your CD player, but it's OK for everyone in first class to plug in their headphones to the plane's seat music player.
It's not OK for you to read your Kindle, but it's OK for your digital watch to be on.
It's not OK for you to watch a movie on your DVD player, but it's OK for all the TV screens in the cabin to be on.
It's OK for the plane to be hit by lightning and environmental static electricity, but your laptop is going to magically interfere.
As someone pointed out already, the GPS system in the phone itself is unaffected by the phone's signals...how could the plane's GPS possibly be affected? There's zero scientific basis behind these restrictions.
It comes down to the same logic as the "Turn off all cell phones" signs at gas stations. It's impossible for your cell phone to cause a fire at a gas station. Yet you'll see this stupid sign all over the country.
Another example is x-rays at the dentist...you'll still get a giant lead bib which does absolutely nothing. The x-ray radiation created by modern imaging tech is significantly less radiation than an afternoon at the beach. So why do we still use the bibs? Because if it wasn't there, people would be nervous, because it was a problem back when they were blasting extreme x-rays to get a blurry picture.
The disadvantage to democracy is that we create law based on popular belief...belief which may or may not reflect reality or be based on logical thought. The problem is that the only people with an interest in politics are either those with a stake in the law for their own gain or those being abused by it. Everyone else just shrugs and lets it go because it doesn't affect them, or at least they don't think it does.
Very few things can be considered "truely innovative." Most innovation is a result of collaborative idea exchange. Typically, it goes like this:
1) Someone, or a group of someones, encounter a problem that they want to fix.
2) They come up with an idea to fix it. It doesn't work or works poorly.
3) Someone else sees them trying to fix the problem, and comes up with a better idea.
I can't think of a single thing that wasn't created accidentally that was a result of one person spontaneously coming up with a great idea that everyone wanted to use. Everything comes from people building on the works of others, whether it's inventions, art, politics...all these things are inherently part of society and not part of individuals.
I personally believe the U.S.'s insane copyright laws (and they are insane, as in not based on logic or reason) is at least partially due to our extreme idealism of individualism. The U.S. believes that the individual surpasses everything else, and that individuals are responsible for these creations. It's a romantic idea, but it's completely false. No piece of art, science, or technology exists without the influence of the society that created it, period.
That's reality. What we have is the ideal (copyright, you have the right to *your* idea/art/invention) conflicting with reality (your idea/art/invention isn't really yours, it's created from the culture you live in). And it's creating extremely wonky results.
Unfortunately, copyright is as strongly ingrained into U.S. ideology as other myths, such as eating fats will make you fat and that the world is facing overpopulation.
Oh no, if that doesn't get people riled up I don't know what will. If even one person gets angry, goes online to look it up and prove me wrong then I've suceeded in opening a mind.
How is it "particularly disingenuous" if I'm uniformed? That makes no sense. I don't follow these "Hollywood accounting" stories, so it's accurate to say I'm uniformed. But it's completely inaccurate and disingenuous on your part to say that someone who is uninformed and asks for information must himself be disingenuous. It's incredibly ingenuous for someone who has a lack of information to seek information out. So I don't really appreciate or understand your attack of me here.
First of all, "uniformed" != "uninformed". They're close, but I don't think Mike was criticizing your work attire. Your attempt to sound smart in this paragraph fails pretty epically when you use the wrong word twice in a row.
Second, you called him out to prove something so well-known it has it's own Wikipedia article. You don't get to call someone else out for being wrong when you haven't done one iota of research yourself.
Here's the thing; if you want people to take your opinions seriously, the first step is to have a factual basis for your opinion. You don't get to demand people prove stuff then get indignant when they call you out, and we're not stupid enough to believe it was just an "innocent question." You asked because you wanted to prove Mike wrong, then played the victim once you got called out for it.
So go get uniformed...er, informed, about the topics at hand before you start spewing baseless opinions. Thanks.
Ninja, creators would get reimbursed the way they've always been reimbursed...patronage. Things like Kickstarter keep being called "revolutionary" and "new" but really aren't. They're just a new form of patronage which we've had for thousands of years. The Italians paid Michelangelo to paint and sculpt based on something that did not yet exist, but which they believed he could create. The Sistine Chapel's artwork was Kickstarted by Pope Julius II. Crowdfunding is simply the "democratic" version of it.
If the creator gets paid by the people to make something, then releases it to the internet for free, they still get paid. If it's popular then their next product will get more funding. If Kickstarter is any indication, it will be way overfunded.
Computer games are a great example...how many people are willing to preorder games? They don't know if it's going to be good. They can pirate it probably less than a week after it's released. Yet preorder sales for popular publishers and games are always high.
By the entertainment industry logic, it's only the threat of copyright that causes people to pay...but this couldn't be further from the truth. People are scared of copyright litigation like they're scared of car crashes. Sure, it could happen. But fear of car crashes doesn't stop a whole lot of people from driving. The reason people pay for content is because they want more content. You pay for stuff you want. The main reason for "piracy" is that the law prevents people from paying for what they want, mainly, content they can use as they please. So they get it anyway. This is not rocket science or advanced economics.
People don't need copyright to create. People don't need threat of copyright to pay others to create. We've never needed it. The only people who need it are those who have centered their business around abusing it.
Copyright could help here by setting clear guidelines of how cinemas and other activities with commercial intent that absolutely need existing IP as it is to survive and how much will be owed to the original artists.
The inherent flaw with this is that business that requires legislation to exist probably shouldn't exist. If there is a demand for a business it will exist. If there isn't a demand, then what do we actually lose by letting it die? We've already established the consumers don't want it!
Cinemas would be fine without IP. In fact I'd say they'd be better off. Why? Because they could charge less than $5 a movie since all they'd have to do is buy the movie once and not have to pay the original creator for each viewing. Now you're giving people a real *choice*...do I pay a couple of bucks to watch the movie on a huge screen with the latest sound, or watch a movie out of my house with my girlfriend so my parents aren't around to interrupt, or do I watch it at home? This is a harder decision when it's $10+ a movie. Or better yet; make a "subscription" theater where you pay $30 a month for a pass to the theater. Why not? If someone watches the film 50 times it doesn't cost you any more, and people are more likely to go if they are paying whether they go or not!
I could go on but the point is that the limitations of what will and won't exist if IP laws died are entirely based on the way they currently work. We've built our own limitations into reality and then have been spending millions of dollars trying to force everyone to conform to that reality.
And then we scratch our heads and wonder why the economy is bad. Doh.
My real issue is that the entire crux of the matter...economic incentives for creators to create is based on a fallacy. The fallacy is that creating media is expensive. We see movies all the time that cost millions to make.
What's so expensive in those movies? Is it the sets? The costumes? The actors? The cameras?
With computer technology many of these costs can be drastically reduced. Here's the thing; why are sets expensive? Partially because you need to buy rights to the stuff you use on the set. The costumes? Same thing; the material and manufacturing are very cheap. Actors? A large portion of their cost comes from contractual obligations. And camera technology is cheap. Even computer graphics, widely considered to be a huge cost on "big budget" films, are primarily expensive because you need to buy software that's slightly better than freeware for literally thousands of dollars per artist, then pay more for each prefab object you use in that software, then licensing costs for everything you used.
If you cut out the copyright costs of making a movie you'd find that they take a fraction of the current budget to make. Distribution costs are practically nothing with digital distribution if you remove the licensing costs.
It's a self-perpetuating cycle that's mostly smoke and mirrors. Intellectual property must be expensive to sell since it's expensive to make and it's expensive to make because of intellectual property costs. And round and round it goes. The scam is in all the people getting paid without actually adding any value to the final product. What function do the lawyers have in a film other than to protect the creator from copyright? What function do the movie studios have other than to distribute the movies based on restrictions created from copyright?
How can you be surprised they are making up imaginary reasons for their purpose when their purpose itself is imaginary?
And just because some frivolous dmca notices are filed does not make all dmca notices frivolous.
So if you occasionally get speeding tickets when you weren't speeding but you were driving a car that was the same color as a speeding car, that would be OK because some speeding tickets are given to the actual speeding car?
Also, instead of the police, you were pulled over by a private company that had no legal requirement to make sure you had actually broken any laws.
Thanks for pointing out the absurdity of your comment.
I don't see any need for a warrant either. Email is hosted by a third party. Therefore, it is not protected under the fourth amendment. Like it or not. Welcome to the cloud.
Huh, so it's perfectly fine for the postal system to go through your mail, because it's being hosted by a third party?
Either way, you're wrong. The 6th circuit ruled that emails contained a "reasonable expectation of privacy" and this ruling has yet to be overturned (a bill codifying this into law, however, was shot down by the Senate last year).
Your reasoning is wrong too...the SEC is the reason emails were considered accessable, not the 4th amendment. The SEC states that electronic communication held for over 180 days is considered "abandoned" and can be freely accessed by government officials. This law was passed 30 years ago when actually storing such data was considered too expensive to consider. Now all email is stored essentially forever. The key point is that email under 180 days is considered private under the law...the 3rd party storage is irrelevant.
USPS is a PRIVATE corporation, does NOT serve "public interest"!
...A private corporation specifically created by the Constitution, partially funded with government subsidies, and possesing several federally appointed powers, who's leadership is appointed by the President of the United States?
Yeah, totally private. Obviously not designed for the public interest at all.
Now read the part where Lori Drew was convicted of a misdemoner offense of the CFAA for violating Myspace's ToS.
Sure, the conviction was overturned in appeals, but that was a case of the DoJ using a ToS violation to charge a citizen with a criminal breach of the CFAA.
He never said they'd be convicted. He said they could be tried, under the DoJ's (NOT the court's!) interpretation of the law. It has been done, and tried successfully enough to get a jury conviction, in the past.
So often, folks get impeachment confused with conviction. They are not the same thing.
While true, this is irrelevant to the discussion. Simply being charged with a crime that is taken to court can devastate the average citizen financially regardless if they win or lose. The government prosecutors get paid whether they win or lose. For all practical purposes if someone gets charged with a crime they may as well have been convicted of it.
It is important to note that so far none of these individuals have been convicted of criminal charges under the CFAA, well, except Brekka, who was found guilty by jury but later overturned. These cases are likely to end up at SCOTUS level since two districts have found different interpretations of the CFAA.
The key point is that they were successfully charged under the CFAA. The result is irrelevant; the cases were still heard. District judges don't hear cases without merit; if it is obvious that a charge will be dismissed it's never brought to court, let alone given a guilty verdict.
When it's not clear whether or not a particular action is a violation of a law that is, by definition, vague. I seem to remember an issue or two with vague laws.
The ubiquitous "on a computer system"-style laws may have worked back in the 90s before computers were in virtually every household in the U.S. It's time to take a close look at those laws with a bit more technical knowledge and understanding, something that was clearly lacking when these laws were written.