Copyright In The Modern Era: Fortnite Lets Players Mute Emote To Avoid Auto-Copyright Claims Against YouTubers

from the no-mote dept

If you had told me a few years ago that we would have multiple stories at Techdirt over copyright issues surrounding video game emotes, I would have said you were a crazy person. Unfortunately, it seems that it’s the world that is crazy instead.  Fortnite in particular has been a focus of many of these stories, as a popular feature in the game is the ability to perform emotes, some of which are or are accused of being based on pop culture occurrences from other media. It is all, I can assure you, very stupid.

But people claiming likeness to Fortnite emotes isn’t the only copyright issue that surrounds their use in the game. Even when Epic has tried to do right by creators of copyrighted content, it still has managed to find itself in trouble. For example, it seems that Epic, which properly licensed Rick Astley’s meme-famous Never Gonna Give You Up audio for an emote inspired by his song, has been forced to patch the game so that players can mute the musical content of that emote. Apparently, YouTubers are finding themselves receiving copyright strikes over the song.

Fortnite introduced its Rick Astley-inspired emote just one week ago, and the company has already rolled out an update to let PC players mute the music in response to complaints: creators said they were getting copyright claims over the licensed track that plays when the emote is used.

While it’s clear that Epic licensed Astley’s song, which defined early memes for an entire generation of people, the company didn’t think of how this would affect its creator base. Giving players the ability to mute might take away from the fun of the emote, but it’s a good middle ground for now. It also allows Epic to pursue other popular tracks for its game while ensuring the creator community isn’t hurt.

This shows yet another flaw in copyright law in terms of it functioning well within the modern era of technology. Epic licensed the song properly, except that nobody planned for the obvious eventuality of that licensed emote being used by YouTubers, where the label then issued copyright strikes against those video uploads. What’s the argument by the label? Every YouTuber doing let’s plays has to license the song as well, even though they’re only playing the game? Is Epic supposed to work out a separate license for YouTube videos? Is it a public performance?

Or is this all terribly dumb and a barrier to the original purpose of copyright law? That, probably. After all, it’s not as though a snippet of a song that was otherwise licensed appearing on YouTube is somehow a replacement for that song. It’s also not as if rick-rolling weren’t an incredibly common trollish trope, for which Astley is principially famous among the present youth. Epic having to patch the audio of the emote out of its game for this reason is silly.

But that’s modern era copyright for you.

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Companies: epic, youtube

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Comments on “Copyright In The Modern Era: Fortnite Lets Players Mute Emote To Avoid Auto-Copyright Claims Against YouTubers”

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433 Comments
Anonymous Coward says:

Seems to me that instead of muting emotes, Epic should have a Creators mode, where it is expected that the content will be shared on public forums. Regular mode would include a small watermark reminding players that the game includes assets licensed for personal use only, and Creators mode would replace those with really bad parodies of the originals.

If any of the rightsholders complain, they can then get their content added to Creators mode with the understanding that THEY are responsible for any fallout.

Interestingly:

Despite the video garnering millions of hits on YouTube, Astley has earned almost no money from the meme, receiving only US$12 in royalties from YouTube for his performance share…

https://www.uselessdaily.com/news/how-much-money-did-rick-astley-make-from-rickrolling/

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Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

"Would you rather they be called artists?"

Basically if they chose to call themselves artists, that is what they are. You could argue – successfully – that farting could be considered art (wikipedia; Flatulist). Rocky brings the "banana taped to a wall" as a successful art example from real life, below. Etc.

…and this brings to mind yet another reason why copyright is such a toxic mess – because there is no form of human behavior or action which can not be successfully described as "art". That being the case there is also in reality very little you can’t copyright.

And that brings us to youtube whose users are increasingly discovering that the "burden of proof" required for a successful DMCA claim to be made against them appears to be that they’ve made anything to be streamed in the first place.

Yes, youtubers create. And when they show others what they’ve made it’s called "art".

bhull242 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

And that brings us to youtube whose users are increasingly discovering that the "burden of proof" required for a successful DMCA claim to be made against them appears to be that they’ve made anything to be streamed in the first place.

Actually, they don’t even need that. It could simply be the promise to make something to stream.

Uriel-238 (profile) says:

The problem isn't just copyright law

But also YouTube law. I wonder at what point does YouTube become a platform so ubiquitously used that users are entitled to public accommodations and protections from mistreatment (much like gays kissing on the Church-of-Jesus-Christ-of-Latter-Day-Saints-owned promenades in Salt Lake City).

Or does it never happen until someone creates a public option?

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Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re:

A court ruled yesterday (it’s past midnight where I am) that the use of YouTube by the general public doesn’t make it a “public forum” subject to First Amendment law. (Citation provided.) YouTube could ban videos of gay people kissing in Salt Lake City and said gay people could do nothing about it besides complain.

Uriel-238 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Banning videos of gay kissing

The question is, at one point does a common publicly accessible video-sharing forum become an accepted right like email (or if we want to go back further, a postal address)?

What must happen between now and then?

I mean granted, one generally needs a bank account, which is a rather archaic idea, and plenty of people don’t have one, and we have a whole check-cashing industry to exploit the underserved. In that regard, just because we as a society would be served by such a public forum existing I get that it may not for a while.

But so long as we depend on corporate providers who insert their own rules, it puts in sharp relief the failure of our society to enforce human rights.

The same question can be asked about other ubiquitous yet monopolized web services like Twitter and Facebook. The iTunes store provides a smaller example, where iPhone users are limited by the opinions of a hand full of executive committee members what kind of content they can access from their phone.

But we have in the past decided that our society is better when everyone has access to certain services. And I think YouTube and social media are going to fall into these categories eventually (provided the changing climate doesn’t kill us).

Uriel-238 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Muslims preaching in a Baptist chapel

Religions are given obscene numbers of special rules. As far as I know Baptist chapels won’t marry gays.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints only would marry blacks within the last fifty years.

And I think some chapels still will not marry couples of mixed race, whether or not it is legal for them to discriminate, it is not enforced.

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3

A church with no desire to marry interracial couples can refuse to host a wedding for an interracial couple. So long as this refusal is only for the religious ceremony, and so long as the refusal is for the use of a purely religious building instead of a secular public accomodation (i.e., for the use of a church instead of a “we serve everyone” wedding chapel), the United States government can’t do dick about it — which is the correct outcome for the principles of religious freedom.

Uriel-238 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Principles of religious freedom

Ah, so principles of religious freedom serve religious institutions, not the public nor the parishioners to that religion.

What’s the purpose of the religious institution then, and why are they given immunity to taxation by the state? Are they a state unto themselves like the Vatican?

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5

so

This is right up against the line of otherwording.

principles of religious freedom serve religious institutions, not the public nor the parishioners to that religion

The principles of religious freedom serve everybody, even if that makes some religious people/groups look like douchecanoes. Them’s the risks.

What’s the purpose of the religious institution

The ostensible purpose of a religious institution is to help people find spiritual inspiration for living better lives and bringing together believers as a community to enrich each other’s lives. Whether you agree with that, to any degree, is your business.

why are they given immunity to taxation by the state?

The ostensible reason for that immunity is “keeping up the wall of separation between church and state”. If a church can be taxed, it can be punished for tax code violations.

The Johnson Amendment presents an interesting wrinkle to this idea: Should a church be punished with a loss of its tax-exempt status because a preacher said something that the government didn’t like (e.g., endorsing a certain political candidate)? And if so, how do you square that away with the idea that the government shouldn’t interfere with the speech of religious people/groups?

Uriel-238 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:6 "The principles of religious freedom serve everybody"

Maybe I’m missing something. The principles of religious freedom seem to manifest only when a religious business doesn’t want to cover women’s reproductive healthcare, or when a religious institution doesn’t want to serve or employ gays. I’m pretty sure they bump up against laws when they don’t want non-white persons to appear in their congregations, or, as I mentioned before, marry them.

In all other parts of our culture we seem to be of the understanding we are a pluralist society and have to tolerate the weirdos, and that giving action to resentment of them is hateful and wrong. But religious institutions are exempt.

And religious institutions go untaxed, where every other institution is taxed. Granted, we have non-profit organizations, but they have to do a whole lot more filing, pay a bunch of fees and follow a bunch of rules that religions do not… specifically Abrahamic churches, actually. It’s up to an official on a case-by-case basis which churches are considered churches and which are considered NPOs, and they like to exclude anything that isn’t a church or synagogue. Some mosques get the benefit of doubt, but Hindu and Buddhist temples are right out. (The Church of Scientology sued its way into being recognized as a church. It had money.)

Maybe you can cite some examples of religious freedom that weren’t about discriminating against women, gays, blacks or some other minority group. Yes? I guess we have the controversies of whether it’s okay to hit kids or deny them medical care.

Uriel-238 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:7 I think "religious freedom" should cut both ways.

Separation of church and state is breached when churches are privileged over other churches or secular institutions, as well as when they are penalized over other churches or secular institutions. So when non-churches have to follow certain rules to not be taxed, churches should as well. When some churches are fast-tracked to tax exemption but others aren’t, that’s complicity between Church and state. When pastors don’t have to pay taxes on account they’re pastors, it raises the question why secular persons (or other pastors of unregistered churches) do have to pay taxes.

This is an example of stratification in our society, and a special relationship between (some) churches and the state. So either we have a wall of separation, or we don’t. Maybe we have a sieve?

And when some for-profit corporations don’t have to follow state regulations because they’re religious but others (which are not religious or other-religious) do, that’s definitely in the realm of but some animals are more equal than others. Again that sieve of separation.

This is before we get into things like prayer breakfasts, Red Mass and the pronounced influence of the Protestant Evangelical lobbyists on the Bush administration and Trump???? regime.

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:7

The principles of religious freedom seem to manifest only when a religious business doesn’t want to cover women’s reproductive healthcare, or when a religious institution doesn’t want to serve or employ gays.

Those are instances where religious people claim their right to discriminate should be part of their “religious freedom”. But in both cases, they’re not just right, they should be right — the government shouldn’t be interfering with the day-to-day activities of private religious organizations. Exceptions exist, of course (e.g., if the discrimination involves a public-facing business rather than a private institution), but much like free speech principles, the general rule still applies.

I don’t believe in discrimination based on immutable traits (or religious beliefs, for that matter). But my beliefs shouldn’t get to override those of a local church that believes otherwise. And I can’t think of any good reason why they should.

In all other parts of our culture we seem to be of the understanding we are a pluralist society and have to tolerate the weirdos, and that giving action to resentment of them is hateful and wrong. But religious institutions are exempt.

And we do that for a reason: Whenever a government involves itself with matters of religion, it never ends well for anybody. For proof, take a look at how China treats Muslims.

And religious institutions go untaxed, where every other institution is taxed. Granted, we have non-profit organizations, but they have to do a whole lot more filing, pay a bunch of fees and follow a bunch of rules that religions do not… specifically Abrahamic churches, actually.

And that is a point of contention with secular nonprofit groups. They have routinely argued that churches receive privileges (e.g., ministerial tax exemptions) that the secular groups don’t, and that clearly favors religion over non-religion. The argument goes that removing such exemptions, or providing similar ones to secular groups, would negate that favoritism and replace it with neutrality. For the record: I happen to agree, but I accept the law as it is because it won’t be changed for a long damn time.

The Church of Scientology sued its way into being recognized as a church. It had money.

To be fair, it also had operatives within the U.S. government who stymied investigations into the group (among other things). Money wasn’t the only factor involved.

Maybe you can cite some examples of religious freedom that weren’t about discriminating against women, gays, blacks or some other minority group. Yes?

“Religious freedom” means I can be an agnostic atheist (which I am) without worrying about the government tossing me into a religious reëducation camp or otherwise punishing me for my beliefs. Am I a good enough example?

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bhull242 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:7 "The principles of religious freedom serve everybody"

Maybe you can cite some examples of religious freedom that weren’t about discriminating against women, gays, blacks or some other minority group. Yes? I guess we have the controversies of whether it’s okay to hit kids or deny them medical care.

Well, there’s discrimination against or in favor of some religions (as well as agnosticism or atheism). For example, you can’t be fired for being Muslim. There’s also the fact that public schools cannot force you to pray or keep you from praying, and you can’t be forced to swear on the Bible (or any religious text) when making an oath or affirmation. There’s the exemption from alcohol age limits for wine in communion. You can’t be prosecuted for having or expressing discriminatory beliefs (as opposed to exercising them) or for praying in a certain way. I also recall some cases where Seventh-Day Adventists couldn’t be forced to work on Sundays (or fired for refusing to do so), Sikhs can wear turbans (even for ID photos), Muslim women can wear their hijabs, Jehovah’s Witnesses can’t be forced to recite a pledge or anything like that (though this also gets into free speech), Hindus can’t be forced to eat beef, Jews can’t be forced to eat pork, etc.

There are a lot of examples of religious freedom that don’t involve allowing someone to discriminate against someone else, nor do they involve domestic or child abuse or medical care.

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Principles of religious freedom

"What’s the purpose of the religious institution then, and why are they given immunity to taxation by the state? Are they a state unto themselves like the Vatican?"

Sort of.

Most tax exemption on religion is based on the concept that the state should not be able to discourage religious observation through fiscal leverage. And that was probably fine in a time when being an atheist was a decided rarity.

Today that exemption is regularly tested and the politicians stuck with the precedent that a group of people can come together in the Fraternity Of The Sacred Pink Dildo and have the same argument for tax exemption as the local methodist church has.

Uriel-238 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 right to a roof over their heads

Considering the housing and homelessness crises in the States, I expect that’s going to be addressed in the near future, either by finding a way to provide homes, or by purging all the poor.

Our numbers living in continual precarity is not a circumstance that can be sustained for long before they start packing the cattle cars with Trade Unionists.

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

"What in the blue hell makes you think using YouTube would ever become a guaranteed human right before that?"

The one example requires fundamentally complex juggling of logistics and finance against a background of political controversy.

The other example requires the effort of some congressman writing the suggestion down on an A4 page and tossing it into the ring in an open session.

You might as well ask what in the blue hell makes anyone think banning webpages would be preferred legislation over actually going out and fighting sex trafficking. Oh, hey, FOSTA.

Politicians LIKE rubberstamped legislation which requires no budget and little more effort than holding a few speeches and getting an "Aye".

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tp (profile) says:

Anyone publishing should check _all_ the content

If you’re publishing anything, like what people do in youtube, the authors should check all content beforehand against copyright infringements. This includes process like the following:
1) divide the content to individual parts
2) decide owner of every part
3) get licenses for every part
4) combine the cost of licensing every part and calculate the total cost so that you can consider if it’s possible to publish the material
5) then reject or accept the publish -operation

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PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Anyone publishing should check _all_ the content

"the authors should check all content beforehand against copyright infringements"

Sigh, our local idiot returns with his dystopian fantasy..

The fact is, everyone involved did their prior checking, from Epic confirming they licensed the song, to YouTubers having permission to stream it. But, it got flagged anyway, and it would NOT be possible to prevent this, as the content that was flagged was live.

"then reject or accept the publish -operation

Explain how you do this with a live stream, numbnuts.

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That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re: Consistent delusion

Sigh, our local idiot returns with his dystopian fantasy..

I find it both funny and fitting that in their constant attacks against basically all form of creation and creativity they themselves never seem to come up with anything new, and are instead so predictable that even without unflagging the comment I knew who was commenting the second I saw people calling out the mystery poster for attacking culture and creativity with insane ideas.

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tp (profile) says:

Re: Re: Anyone publishing should check _all_ the content

> "then reject or accept the publish -operation

Explain how you do this with a live stream, numbnuts.

well, before using your streaming service, you need to check if the service itself is legal to use. And one important criteria for service legality is how they handle/remove/filter obviously copyrighted and pirated content. Ability to remove such content when dcma notices are received is essential in this evaluation. flagging systems are obviously helping.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Anyone publishing should check _all_ the content

"well, before using your streaming service, you need to check if the service itself is legal to use."

It is. Are you trying to say Twitch is illegal now?

"Ability to remove such content when dcma notices are received"

By which time the stream is over the blithering fool! How do you deal with the above in a live stream, where all parties already have implicit permission to use the content? What is your solution that addresses the facts in front of you, not the random distortion you wish they were?

bhull242 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Anyone publishing should check _all_ the content

well, before using your streaming service, you need to check if the service itself is legal to use.

I am unaware of any known streaming service that is illegal to use.

And one important criteria for service legality is how they handle/remove/filter obviously copyrighted and pirated content.

Filtering isn’t a legal requirement (and is also entirely impossible for a live stream), but this gets handled through DMCA notices and takedowns, and, again, I am not familiar with any streaming services that don’t comply with that, so I don’t see why this is an issue.

Ability to remove such content when dcma notices are received is essential in this evaluation. flagging systems are obviously helping.

Again, this is already done by all the ones I’m aware of.

Now, with all that said, there is one slight issue to keep in mind: there is no way for anyone to know about infringement in a live stream before it airs and the infringing content is “broadcast”. That said, I don’t really consider that a problem, and at any rate, there’s at least one known case of a live stream being taken down by a DMCA notice before it aired (even though it did not infringe).

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Anyone publishing should check _all_ the content

"1) divide the content to individual parts
2) decide owner of every part
3) get licenses for every part
4) combine the cost of licensing every part and calculate the total cost so that you can consider if it’s possible to publish the material
5) then reject or accept the publish -operation"

I had a look at meshpage and can confirm you didn’t do any of the above. Provide the proof that you did or surrender yourself to the police.

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tp (profile) says:

Re: Re: Anyone publishing should check _all_ the content

I had a look at meshpage and can confirm you didn’t do any of the above.

I’m the author of the content so owner is clearly determined. The publish, perform and distribute bits are author’s exclusive operations, so a license is not needed for anything where you’re author yourself. Then cost is obviously my work amounts spent to create the work. Publish operation can be accepted until some errors in this process can be identified.

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Anyone publishing should check _all_ the content

"I’m the author of the content so owner is clearly determined."

Prove it.

Your own argument requires you to include, in any mention of meshpage, the required paperwork demonstrating that you are, in fact, the owner.

Failure to do so means, again according to your argument, that you really shouldn’t be bringing it online.

The fastest way to have copyright and patent law abolished would be, I believe, to let you people have everything you’re asking for.
It would rob every legitimate stakeholder of the ability to publish and distribute, while not actually affecting the pirates.

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Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re:

Allow me to break this down for you so you can see how bad of an idea this truly is. To do that, I’mma use a recent YouTube video: “How to Do a Fight Scene” from a channel called The Closer Look.

1) divide the content to individual parts

The video runs 22 minutes and 32 seconds with no clear delineations in subject matter, so for the sake of discussion, we’ll cut it into ten even pieces that run about 2 minutes and 23 seconds each.

2) decide owner of every part

Now we’ll look at the first piece (the first 2 minutes and 23 seconds of the video). The video shows footage from Kingsman: The Secret Service, Mad Max: Fury Road, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, John Wick, and Avengers: Infinity War. The audio belongs to the videomaker themselves, as it is their original commentary.

If we assume the distributor of each film holds the ultimate copyright (and we will for the sake of discussion), that means 20th Century Studios, Warner Bros. Pictures, Lionsgate Films, and Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures hold the copyrights for the film footage and the videomaker holds the copyright for their commentary. Got it? Good, because I’m lumping the next three “steps” together.

3) get licenses for every part
4) combine the cost of licensing every part and calculate the total cost so that you can consider if it’s possible to publish the material
5) then reject or accept the publish -operation

Herein lies the problem with your proposal: The video that we’re discussing literally could not exist without a lack of proper licensing.

The purpose of the video is educational (critique of popular media). It uses a small proportion of each featured film. And nobody will ever watch the video as a replacement for the films themselves. If ever a video qualified for Fair Use protection, this is it. But under your proposal, this video would never see the light of day because it would literally be too expensive to properly publish.

I can’t imagine how much a single movie studio would charge for the use of even a fraction of a film’s footage in a video like this. Multiply that amount by the total number of studios represented in the video and the cost becomes even more unimaginable. No lay person could ever afford to license out that much footage for usage such as that video. (Before you go saying “well he could just release the audio”: The commentary would be far less effective without the video footage to accompany it.)

Fair Use exists precisely to protect videos such as these from being censored by copyright. And I can’t think of any reason why this video should be censored other than unadulterated capitalist “fuck you got mine” greed.

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PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

You have to remember who you’re talking to – this guy hates fair use, FOSS and the public domain because they give people a choice other than his own shoddily created work. The idea that freely created content should be made impossible is par for the course in his mind. The idea that someone would watch the freely created video, and then go on to spend more money on the referenced properties is completely alien.

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bhull242 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

Herein lies the problem with your proposal: The video that we’re discussing literally could not exist without a lack of proper licensing.

I would have put quotes around the word “proper” as I would argue that licensing the footage for a critique of those film would actually be improper.

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tp (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

The video that we’re discussing literally could not exist without a lack of proper licensing.

The steps that I’m proposing are easy to include to your video development process. I.e. every time you include any section of the work to your end result, you should check licensing. It’s just one necessary step in the process of choosing which clips can be used. Given that you anyway need to choose the clip from millions of different videos, which is known to take plenty of time, one small additional license check step to the process isn’t too burdensome or annoying. And it avoids costly legal wranglings when copyright owners find out about your video.

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PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

"I.e. every time you include any section of the work to your end result, you should check licensing"

Again, can our resident dunce please explain how this is done with a live stream?

"Given that you anyway need to choose the clip from millions of different videos"

Or live stream a videogame. Are you incapable of addressing the actual issue under discussion?

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tp (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Or live stream a videogame.

livestreaming a videogame -issue was already decided when nintendo decided to oppose the gamer’s youtube videos about nintendo games being played in youtube gaming channels. Basically the conclusion is that publishing game videos on youtube would be illegal and needs a permission from the authors of the games.

Obviously we need to use the strictest interpretation that we can find from the blogosphere. RIAA/MPAA or Nintendo’s position is as good as anyone elses.

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PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

"issue was already decided when nintendo decided to oppose"

So, it’s "decided" because Nintendo demanded something you agree with, and this somehow overrides Epic’s demands that you don’t agree with?

"needs a permission from the authors of the games"

They had that you blithering idiot, the thing in question was not even the game but rather music (for which that had permissions as well, btw).

Address the reality of the facts, not the cherry picked misdirections you wish weren’t challenged.

"RIAA/MPAA or Nintendo’s position is as good as anyone elses."

Not as good as their competitors who think differently to your ridiculous position, apparently.

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tp (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

They had that you blithering idiot, the thing in question was not even the game but rather music (for which that had permissions as well, btw).

So,

1) song writers authored the music
2) Epic has a permission to include the music to fortnight
3) players obtained license to the games in question
4) BUT players had no license to publish any of the game’s content
5) youtube and epic recommended/encouraged creation of the videos, this only gives implicit license
6) BUT without doing copyright checks against all authors of the material
7) songwriters sent dcma notices to videos containing their music, claiming that epic’s implicit license doesnt cover the music in question
8) techdirt tries to spin this pattern as somehow these people should be freely publish all the material available in the games, i.e. reversing copyright law’s explicit purpose and rules.
9) copyright laws explicitly state that all those publish operations are illegal until proper license negotiations have taken place
10) courts have not endorsed implicit licenses, but instead their status remains unclear

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tp (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Re:

> "4) BUT players had no license to publish any of the game’s content"

This is where your argument turns to complete bullshit. See if you can work out why.

Your fair use argument fails for the following reason:
1) it’s not transformative to do format shifting of the content
2) there is negative impact to the potential market of the game
-> users just watch the videos and fail to buy the games
3) its not parody or critisism to replicate game’s whole gameplay logic
4) attaching some idiot’s face to the screen only decreases the quality of the material

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:7 Re:

Yes, this is what I mean…

Everything you said is true IF you ignore the fact that the gamers had permission from Epic (well, except point 2 which is demonstrable bullshit). Since they did, and Epic had to disable a game feature in order for them to not be caught up with problems from people outside of Epic – the entire point of the article you’re commenting on – then you are ignoring objective reality to suit your own fantasies.

You are lying and/or in a fantasy world to suggest that a sane person’s version of permission had not been granted.

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tp (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:8 Re:

Epic had to disable a game feature in order for them to not be caught up with problems from people outside of Epic

it’s a common business trick to tie users to some technology and then demand payment for the usage of the tech. Basically when your company is going to have large user base, there will be companies which will offer their technology in exchange of a permission to gouge the large user base for additional license revenue. This can happen for example by commercial tool that is absolutely necessary to do some operation that the users want to do.

I’m pretty sure Epic and the "people outside of epic" had a contract ongoing which allowed them to ask compensation for the copyrighted works from epic’s customer base.

bhull242 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:9 Re:

While that may be a common business trick, there’s no evidence at all that that’s the case here. Epic isn’t charging for any technology here; the aforementioned update was completely free to all users (as is Fortnite itself), and Epic had nothing to do with the copyright claims. They haven’t asked for any revenue from YouTubers or streamers that use footage of Fortnite, either.

Finally, there has never been a license where the licensor agrees to provide revenue obtained from the licensed material to the licensee. That doesn’t happen, and you have no evidence to even suggest that your scenario is even plausible. And even if that was the case, that would not explain why Epic quickly patched the game to prevent footage of Fortnite from getting these copyright claims put on them and gave it to all player for free. Seriously, your argument is both invalid and has no basis in reality whatsoever.

bhull242 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:7 Re:

1) is debatable, and 2) is unproven and unlikely (also irrelevant where, as here, the makers of the game have encouraged and given permission for the use).

3) is not a requirement if the use is authorized (like here), is transformative for other reasons (like with Google Search or Google Books), doesn’t make substantial use of a substantial portion of the copyrighted material and the use makes up an insignificant portion of the allegedly infringing material (which is the case here for the music, the only part where infringement has even been alleged), the portion of the underlying material being used isn’t copyrightable, or the market for the underlying material is not being replaced (which is clearly the case for the song and arguably for the game as well). Also, I’m not seeing where the game’s entire gameplay logic is being copied here (or much of it at all, really), anyway, nor would that preclude a determination that the use is for parody, criticism, or commentary.

A lot of people would argue that 4) is completely false as well, and it has absolutely nothing to do with determining whether or not the use is infringing or whether or not the use is authorized whatsoever. It’s not only highly debatable and incredibly subjective, but it’s also completely immaterial to any argument as to whether or not the use is copying, licensed, commercial, fair, de minimus, or infringing, and so it’s completely and utterly irrelevant.

Finally, as I recall, the arguments have fallen under the first of the following and at least one of the remaining two:

  1. Epic encouraged and granted an implied license for this use of their game, and they aren’t claiming the use is infringing anyways.
  2. The aforementioned license would also mean that, since Epic also licensed Rick Astley’s song, the use of Rick Astley’s song is also permitted.
  3. Alternatively, even if the use of Rick Astley’s song is not authorized, the use is either Fair Use or “de minimus” use, so it’s not infringing.

No one seems to be arguing that, in this case, the use of the game footage as a whole is not infringing because it’s fair use. At most, they’ve argued that the use of the song is Fair Use.

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tp (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:8 Re:

the use of the game footage as a whole is not infringing because it’s fair use.

This comes from nintendo’s statements.

Also I think you’re missing much of how the game footage gets into youtube:
1) player buys the game and normally plays it
2) there’s screen grabbing software that creates video file
3) youtube supports the same video file format than the screen grabbing software

So basically you forgot to include the authors of screen grabbing software to your lawsuit. The whole path from the original authors to the pirated video file needs to be considere.

bhull242 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:9 Re:

Huh? I’m only talking about this particular case. Whether or not game footage being used in YouTube videos or live-streams in general is fair use is immaterial in this case because—like I said—the makers of this particular game (Epic) have authorized the use. We don’t need to consider fair use at all if the use is already authorized. Since Epic isn’t disputing that the use of their copyrighted works for this case has been authorized, it doesn’t matter whether or not some other case where the use is not authorized would be fair use.

And what does Nintendo have to do with this? They did not submit any DMCA claims over any of the footage we’re discussing, they were not involved in any way with authoring, developing, or publishing Fortnite, and none of their copyrighted material is used in Fortnite at all. They have no relevance to this story whatsoever.

And as for the screen-grabbing software, the authors of screengrabbing software have no more copyright interests in anything created using that software than Apple does in any video recordings I make using an iPhone, or the makers of a camera do in any photos taken using that camera, or Adobe does in any photos manipulated using Photoshop. They also have no responsibility whatsoever for how the software ends up being used. The authors of whatever software or other tools used to capture the footage used have no reason to be included at all in analyzing the copyright issues regarding the discussed footage. I didn’t “forget” to include them; they are completely irrelevant to this discussion.

I’m also not “missing” how much game footage gets onto YouTube. That, too, has no relevance to this discussion. First of all, it doesn’t matter how much game footage gets onto YouTube; recorded or streamed footage of gameplay doesn’t involve much (if any) copying of gameplay logic, which was what I was disputing when discussing point 3 of your earlier comment. More importantly, if the use of the gameplay footage has been authorized by the owners of the copyright of the game (as it has been here), the amount of footage uploaded doesn’t matter. It’s also irrelevant to discuss the uploading of footage of other games in other videos/streams, since that has no bearing on the lawfulness of these particular videos/streams.

And as for YouTube using the same file format as the screen-grabbing software, that’s just because the file format has been standardized; it gets lawfully used by a lot of recording software and video players. It’s not really material to this discussion at all.

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tp (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:10 Re:

the authors of screengrabbing software have no more copyright interests in anything created using that software

you’re thinking this wrong way. The authors of screengrabbing software are a party in the lawsuit, but you’ need to move them from plaintiff to the defense side. They should be sued, because they created software that was used by pirates. They are directy enabling the path that pirates used, and the end result of their software is now subject to a dcma notice. If that dcma notice ever gets decided in court, authors of screengrabbing software needs to be blamed jointly from the pirates actions.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:11 Re:

They should be sued, because they created software that was used by pirates.

And if someone used Meshmixer to create an animation to trigger an epileptic fit you should be sued because you wrote the software that allowed that. You had better take you site down because the software has potential illegal uses.

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tp (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:12 Re:

trigger an epileptic fit you should be sued because you wrote the software that allowed that.

yes, but thats why the software has important features implemented like proper frame rates, flicker prevention, and detection of colour switching.

some of those features that prevent accidental epileptic problems took years to develop, but they’re still essential for the safety of the product

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tp (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:16 Re:

Trust me, many games lack proper frame rates, flicker protection
but they don’t lose lawsuits over it.

We’re surprised that google’s banner adverticement operation havent got sued for flickering and blinking banner adverticements.These are important features that must be implemented if you distribute your product to large enough user population that there is chance of being affected humans in the group.

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:17

[I’m] surprised that google’s banner adverticement operation havent got sued for flickering and blinking banner adverticements.

I’m not. Lots of people have adblockers, so it’s not like everyone is going to see them, and the flickering/blinking affects a small part of the remaining population that does, such that it isn’t a gigantic issue. (It is an issue, to be clear, but it’s not like Google intends to cause epileptic seizures.)

bhull242 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:11 Re:

I don’t think you understand what I said: in the specifics of this case, the authors of the video-capturing software do not have any relevance to the question of whether or not copyright infringement has occurred at all. I wasn’t discussing who would be liable for copyright infringement if it occurred; I was only talking about the analysis of whether the footage in question is infringing on anyone’s copyright at all and, if so, whose. Whether or not the makers of the tools used to produce the footage would be liable for any copyright infringement that occurred in the footage is completely immaterial to the argument I was making. That’s why I was saying I didn’t “forget” to include them: including them would have no effect whatsoever on my analysis, my claims, or my arguments.

But since you’ve mentioned it, I suppose I might as well address that argument for the record. As I have told you countless times before, the makers of some software or interactive service are not liable for infringement that occurs using their software/service as long as 1) the software has substantial noninfringing uses, 2) the makers do not actively and explicitly encourage infringement using their software/service, 3) the makers have no direct involvement in any infringement (that is, they are not actually doing the directly infringing activity themselves), and either 4a) they lack specific knowledge of the specific instance(s) of infringement (general knowledge is insufficient) or 4b) they fundamentally lack the capability of stopping infringement after the fact and the infringing content is not located on devices under their control (which would be the case for most video-capture software). DMCA notices also only apply to interactive service providers online; they don’t really apply in this sort of situation. It’s also not the case that the makers of video-capture software must have a license for anything that gets used in footage obtained through that software by an end user. Makers of video-capture software have no more liability for infringing activity performed using their software by others than makers of a video camera are responsible for infringing activity performed using their device. If I used my iPhone to record a film in a theater and post that footage (unedited) on YouTube, I would be infringing and YouTube would have to comply with a DMCA notice and take down the video, but Apple would not be liable for copyright infringement.

With all that said, that doesn’t even matter in this situation because the footage isn’t even infringing on anyone’s copyright in the first place. As such, there is no infringement in this case for the makers of the software to be liable for to begin with.

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tp (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:12 Re:

1) the software has substantial noninfringing uses,
2) the makers do not actively and explicitly encourage infringement using their software/service,
3) the makers have no direct involvement in any infringement

It’s more complicated than this. I will explain one direct application of the principle using my own software. My software is designed to do nice animations and demos/intros. But demos/intros has a dark side that their original use case has involved pirated games and a demo/intro attached to the pirated product before distributing the pirated files to the audience, so that users know where to get more of similar (illegal) stuff. This pattern was used by all the piracy groups in the 1980’s and 1990’s to allow file sharing of commercial games.

The authors of demos and intros tried to get their creative output separated from the piracy operations. Thus they focused on organizing (copy) parties and that activity evolved to demo parties (which tries to further distance themselves from the piracy origins), and further to e-sports party activity what is currently happening.

Given these facts, how could this kind of demo/intro products be legal at all? The authors simply need to build features necessary to prevent the original piracy use case. This means that it must be impossible to attach the end result to pirated products.

Note that this "attach" operation is still possible, using screen grabbing tool and video files. For this reason my software needs to find a way to prevent this use case where screen grabbing software and saving it as video files moves the animation to a pirated video files. Microsoft happily provides a way to disable usage of screen grabbing tools. For example, it’s impossible to take screenshots and record video from web browser window, because operating system prevents that use case. Software vendors can disable screen grabbing feature using win32 api. But we have not chosen to disable screen grabbing yet, simply because the original pattern about attaching demos/intros to pirated files seem to have disappeared over time. Still this is dangerous area for my software, given that the history of the work is too near illegal area.

This kind of patterns are everywhere. Video files in this case are enabling again the illegal pattern my software needs to avoid. I’ve spent years building alternative to video files using opengl/3d technology, which doesn’t have the same problems related to hollywood’s movies or attaching the animations to pirated products.

Why we do this is because we still believe that demo/intro technology is significant enough development that it needs to be further improved and explored how far the technology can reach. But obviously the dangerous areas need to be avoided.

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Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:15

What if the product I make — say, a video critique a cultural work — relies on my ability to use parts of that work (and any other works) under the auspices of Fair Use for the sake of contextualizing the critique? Should I really be sued into oblivion, left penniless and homeless and half-dead in a gutter by a film studio hellbent on eradicating all possible copyright infringement no matter what, because I made a fifteen minute video about how much the six Resident Evil films suck?

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tp (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:16 Re:

 relies on my ability to use parts of that work

There is significant problems with this mixing and matching pattern you refer.

Basically the problem is that you’ll always choose higher quality products as your target where you use parts. This means that "use parts" are not done because the material is necessary for your critique. But the critique is being done simply to bloat the quality of the video.

Authors who do this have noticed that they cannot reach the quality of the other players in the market, and they need to mix higher quality products to their videos to raise the quality level enough for users to accept the video. And critique was chosen because copyright laws have exception in that area.

So basically we see "improvement in quality level" that isn’t addressable to the quality of the of the development effort. This kind of artificial quality improvement shouldn’t be happening under copyright laws.

To fix the mix&match pattern, you should only mix&match the lower quality products. I.e. use the same quality level than what you can yourself reach when developing videos. Always stuff that you cannot create yourself from scratch is dangerous copyright-wise.

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tp (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:18 Re:

WTF are you talking about?

Why artificial quality improvement is dangerous because it raises the overall quality level of the market. Then all the people who actually create stuff from scratch, will need to reach higher and higher quality until they’re all burned out. Basically higher quality means more burnouts and that’s dangerous.

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:13

You’re really, really fucked up, you know that? You’re so concerned about the possibility that someone might use an application for a potentially infringing use, no matter how small, that you’re actively campaigning for applications to somehow prevent any possible instance of copyright infringing activity despite the inherent impossibility of any application being able to do that.

I could copy-paste the entirety of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone from a Kindle ebook to a plain text file right now. How can you possibly stop Microsoft from bundling a text editor with Windows, or program that text editor to prevent that (or any other) infringement? And if you say “get rid of the copy-paste function”, keep in mind that I can always type the book into a text file without copy-pasting. Also keep in mind that I may be copy-pasting part of the book from a legitimate (i.e., legally bought) copy for my own personal use rather than to share the copy with others, and format shifting for personal use isn’t illegal (yet).

Your entire worldview is informed by fear — specifically, the fear that you might one day end up on the wrong side of a lawsuit because someone you don’t know downloaded an application you developed with substantial noninfringing uses in mind and created an illicit work with it, which you didn’t intend for your application to do and you had no idea that person was going to create. How does it feel to be so afraid of such an impossibility — so paranoid that you’ll be sued into oblivion for something that isn’t even your fault, directly or indirectly — that you’re intentionally making your application inferior to basically every other application like it and justifying that inferiority by claiming that the existence of non-proprietary digital file formats is the same thing as copyright infringement?

Get some help, man. In terms of paranoid delusions and the wrongness of your claims about copyright and technology, you’re almost as bad as Shiva Ayyadurai.

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tp (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:14 Re:

get rid of the copy-paste function

I’m actually using copy-paste in my software in two places:
1) my software outputs some generated code and user is supposed to copy-paste
that script to my meshpage.org web site web form.
2) my software supports copy-paste of urls for any external content

The (1) one is easy to handle, because I’m the owner of the code that generates the script file being copied. So it’s easy for me to give everyone permission to copy-paste the content.
the (2) is more difficult case, but it’s basically solved by small amount of copied url contents. The url is a link to larger files, so that brings additional difficulty to it.

I can’t say how microsoft or any other companies should handle their legal liability. Some companies have additional option to just pay the damages for anyone who has stamina to sue the company.

bhull242 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:15 Re:

Uhhh, what? You can’t pirate a URL. A URL in itself cannot infringe on copyright, nor can it be protected by copyright. It may direct someone to a page that is infringing/copyrighted or that contains infringing/copyrighted material, but the URL itself is just an address. An address cannot be copyrighted, nor can an address infringe on copyright. The same goes for a URL.

If you’re trying to prevent linking to infringing content via URLs, making the URLs smaller or cut into chunks doesn’t do anything. Do you mean HTML or something? Because that may include copyrighted or pirated material. The URL, though, is unprotectable and cannot contain anything pirated because the URL only contains information on where on the internet to go to.

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tp (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:18 Re:

But really, my point was that you keep talking about infringing URLs, and that makes no sense, particularly in any of the cases that have been mentioned.

Urls are kinda difficult technology relative to copyrights. Basically you can assign a boolean flag for every url to identify if the content behind the url is legal or illegal. The browser vendors are warning that it is illegal to place copyright infringing material to the web server’s storage space, simply because that operation is breaking the URLs that point to that content, i.e. the boolean flag attached to urls gets decided to "illegal" status whenever that happens.

So when our software fetches data based on url content, we basically need to ensure that the urls coming to our software are legal. We have some tools related to that operation in our software, but the techniques are not perfect, and there will be improvements that need to be done, once we get our market research done.

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tp (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:20 Re:

Look, URLs are just addresses. That they may point to something illegal doesn’t make them illegal.

Many people will notice headquarters of CIA from it’s commonly known address. Same way pirates know address of piratebay as a location where they can find illegal material. Of course url can be illegal, nothing in the laws is saying that all urls are free from legal problems.

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bhull242 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:23 Re:

Right, and since a physical address cannot be illegal, unlawful, or infringing, neither can a URL until or unless a law specifically says otherwise. That’s what I meant when I said you have it backwards.

All that an address is is a shorthand for where something can be found. You can do illegal or unlawful things at the location indicated by the address, and it’s possible for a building there to be in violation of some code, but the address itself is perfectly legal and can be used in essentially any way, shape, or form lawfully. The same goes for a URL: it just points to where some content can be found. It cannot itself be illegal, unlawful, infringing, or infringed upon no matter what can be found at the location indicated by the URL or what the URL looks like. (Well, in some cases it might infringe on trademark, but that doesn’t happen terribly often. It cannot infringe on copyright, though.)

Uriel-238 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:21 Addresses of the CIA and Pirate Bay

The Pirate Bay has developed methods to routinely rotate addies and keep DNSes updated, and active efforts to close TPB have only caused them to entrench.

The CIA has its own networks of VPNs, so the only time you’re going to know its coming from the CIA is if they want you to know. (Or if someone is very stupid and soon to be reassigned.)

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:21 Re:

"Of course url can be illegal, nothing in the laws is saying that all urls are free from legal problems."

No, a URL can not be illegal. This has actually been tested in court multiple times, in multiple jurisdictions. End of story.

And the argument used by the courts has been unanimously the same – that attempting to render an address illegal or unlawful will, by default, render mathematics, programming and mapmaking illegal or unlawful in general.

TL;DR?

*Multiple judges have heard your arguments already and the reply has invariably been, summarized: "No, you’re nuts. Addresses can not be illegal or copyrighted"

We’ll just have to keep flagging your posts as irrelevant garbage since they keep relying on outright lies and proven fallacies.

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:17 Re:

"This might be incorrect in situations where the title of the page is encoded to the url / page title is visible in the url."

I’m not sure where your legal advice comes from – but I suspect "strong medication" might be the answer.

A Uniform Resource Locator (URL) is not copyrightable in any way, shape or form. Not any more than any other pure reference can be.
Bluntly put, your argument now has become that every mapmaker, mathematician, and historian in the world is guilty of thousands of cases of clear-cut copyright infringement by default. And you doubling down on those assertions consistently only makes it that much worse.

Get help, tp, because at this stage your arguments – and I use that term loosely – have gone beyond merely "wrong" and entered the realm of "deranged".

bhull242 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:13 Re:

Uhhh… what does that have to do with holding the makers of the tools used for infringement liable? Obviously, if someone uses software X to make some intro/demo Y that contains pirated material Z, the makers of Y are generally liable for infringement of the original authors of Z’s copyright barring some exceptions. However, if the makers of X satisfy the conditions I listed (which you cut off partway through, BTW), then the makers of X are not liable for infringement just because X was used to create the infringing work Y.

The factors for analysis I gave was for liability on the part of the makers of tools that may possibly be used to create infringing material (as well as hosting or streaming services that may possibly end up hosting some infringing material); it has nothing to do with the infringing nature of any particular content created using those tools. The makers of the software do not have any liability for copyright infringement by users as long as the conditions I gave are met. It really is that simple.

Additionally, it also doesn’t relate to whether some other user of the tools/services is liable for infringement; the sole factor there is whether or not that user directly infringed; even if the makers of the tools/services are found to be contributorily or vicariously liable, that does not necessarily mean that every user of those tools/services are also liable for infringement in any way.

Finally, I know for a fact that Microsoft does not offer that capability to disable screencaptures. Even if they did, there is no legal requirement for them to do so.

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tp (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:14 Re:

even if the makers of the tools/services are found to be contributorily or
vicariously liable, that does not necessarily mean that every user of those
tools/services are also liable for infringement in any way.

how it normally happens is that the service is full of pirated content and the end users need to filter out the pirated material to find legal content. Then when they fail to do that, they will be liable for the copyright infringement.

This is the reason why it’s dangerous to use piracy services — you simply cannot be careful enough in the copyright filtering when 50% or more of the available material is pirated.

When copyright owners are suing the pirates, they always start with some end users and make them examples of the infringements, then when that succeeds, they sue the authors of the services. Once that succeeds, they can sue all users of the service, because successful lawsuit of the service itself will indicate that users should have known the illegality of the service.

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tp (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:16 Re:

does that apply to applications like video editors and plain text editors and audio players?

text editors are relying on the keyboard events coming from a legal source, i.e. your keyboard. It is expected that your keyboard is connected to a real human (or your cat), but not to a book cloning service.

audio players are step more difficult, because the samples they are able to use are recorded by microfone. Ideally the data would come directly from microfone, but in practise, the data is first stored to files and then played from the storage space. But skype for example relies on direct connection to the microfone.

video editors are one step further. You need huge video files and some keyboard input. Basically only the keyboard input can be ensured to be legal content. But video editing relies on external video cameras and the video editing software would be optimized for supporting easy transfer path from video camera equipment, but difficult or non-existent path from hollywood’s movie content.

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:17

It is expected that your keyboard is connected to a real human (or your cat), but not to a book cloning service.

Doesn’t matter. According to you, if the application is capable of creating or displaying an infringing copy, it must be remade to ensure no infringement can take place. How can a text editor be made in a way that can ensure no infringement of anyone else’s work, anywhere in the world, from the past to the exact present moment?

audio players are step more difficult

Doesn’t matter. According to you, if the application is capable of playing an infringing copy, it must be remade to ensure no infringement can take place. How can an audio player be made that can ensure no infringement of anyone else’s work, anywhere in the world, from the past to the exact present moment?

video editors are one step further

Doesn’t matter. According to you, if the application is capable of creating or displaying an infringing copy, it must be remade to ensure no infringement can take place. How can a video editor be made in a way that can ensure no infringement of anyone else’s work, anywhere in the world, from the past to the exact present moment?

And in all three instances, how can you ensure that each application can both ensure no infringement and still allow for non-infringing uses? (ProTip: You can’t.)

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tp (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:18 Re:

And in all three instances, how can you ensure that each application can both ensure no infringement and still allow for non-infringing uses?

well, I haven’t created that kind of application yet, so I can’t know all the legal tricks they need to use to make their activity legal. Maybe ask some author who has text editors, audio players or video editors.

But in general, you just need to restrict the software enough that pirated use cases are not happening any longer. Every time you find people using your software for piracy, its time to redesign it until the usage becomes impossible. At some point you might need to stop releasing the software completely, when the market matures enough that legal usage is no longer possible.

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:19

you just need to restrict the software enough that pirated use cases are not happening any longer

And how can you do that when the amount of created works in the world continues to increase? How can you ensure that a text editor cannot be used to infringe upon copyrights when new articles, books, poems, etc. are published on the Internet every day? How can you do the same for video editors, audio players, image editors/viewers, ebook readers, and any other application that could conceivably display a infringing copy of a cultural work? And how can you do that for every application under those categories without also preventing any non-infringing use of those applications?

(Answer: You can’t. You literally cannot do that under any circumstances.)

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Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:21

Not an answer to my question. How can you write an application that guarantees it can’t be used for copyright infringement while also allowing for non-infringing uses? How can you personally guarantee that anything made in your application doesn’t infringe on any copyrighted work anywhere in the world, from the past to the present moment in which someone is creating a work?

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tp (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:22 Re:

How can you write an application that guarantees it can’t be used for copyright infringement while also allowing for non-infringing uses?

0) Well, you start from empty computer program. You declare that empty program doesn’t infringe.
1) Then you incrementally add some content to the program, and check that the added feature doesnt infringe content.
2) Then you combine (0) and (1) together and declare (again) that the whole program doesnt infringe.
3) you repeat the process until you cannot figure out new non-infringing features
4) then you stop improving the program.

This is known as "induction proof". Base case for induction is step (0), while the (1),(2) forms the "step" of the induction. And (3) is the result of the induction proof.

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:23

Still doesn’t answer my question. Your application must guarantee that it will never infringe upon ANY COPYRIGHTED WORK EVER. How can you possibly do that and still allow any non-infringing uses? How can a text editor possibly ensure no infringement ever takes place and still allow me to write whatever I want, when even a single sentence could infringe upon someone’s — anyone’s — copyright, no matter where in the world it might happen and no matter the length of the work? How, I ask you, can you ONE HUNDRED PERCENT NO FUCKING BULLSHIT guarantee that a text editor won’t stop me from writing “Disney was never a small company – not in our lifetimes, anyway” even if I never read or saw the source of that sentence?

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tp (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:24 Re:

Your application must guarantee that it will never infringe upon ANY COPYRIGHTED WORK EVER.

nope. when you publish your work, its responsibility o every copyright owner to check that you are not infringing and send you dcma notices if they think your proof has serious problems. Once its been available in the market or 20 years without significant lawsuits, companies can trust your work.

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:25

when you publish your work, its responsibility o every copyright owner to check that you are not infringing

Except you’ve said, throughout this entire discussion, that liability for infringement also falls on the developers of any application that doesn’t guaran-fucking-tee it can’t be used for infringement. How can you now say “it’s the copyright holder’s responsibility” when you’ve spent all this time today saying “it’s the application developers’ responsibility to prevent infringement from even happening to begin with and they’re liable for infringement if they don’t”? How has the cognitive dissonance of holding those two propositions simultaneously not given you a brain anuerysm?

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tp (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:26 Re:

1) liability for infringement also falls on the developers
2) it’s the copyright holder’s responsibility

Yes, both statements are true simultaniously. How copyright laws resolve this is that copyright holder can empty your wallet whenever they find copyright infringement of copyright holder’s work. This gives developers enough incentive to actually follow the copyright (or lose all their money).

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:27

This gives developers enough incentive to actually follow the copyright

Which wraps back around to my main question: How can you expect the developers of a text editor Notepad++ to guarantee that I can’t copy, say, any copyrighted work you have ever written or will ever write (in part or in whole) into a plain text file on my computer? And why should they be held legally liable for my infringement if I were to do that, considering they had no idea I was going to use their application in that way and didn’t encourage me (personally or otherwise) to use it that way?

And how, then, can you expect any application developer/development team to do the same thing for their application vis-á-vis copyrighted works in other formats — including new works that are published after, say, the publication of this very post?

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tp (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:28 Re:

considering they had no idea I was going to use their application in that way

application developers know about all possible ways how the app can be used.

Some of those ways are more risky than others, and for example copy-paste feature was explicitly marked as dangerous relative to copyrights. End users managed to use the feature in ways that were not the right usage pattern. They did warn about the feature in 1990’s already.

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:29

application developers know about all possible ways how the app can be used

How, then, can the developers of Notepad++ possibly prevent me (or anyone else, for that matter) from infringing upon anyone’s copyrights, now and in the future, like you say they absolutely without question should be doing right the hell now?

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tp (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:30 Re:

How, then, can the developers of Notepad++ possibly prevent me from infringing upon anyone’s copyrights,

they can always refuse to give you a copy of notepad++. then you need to go to some other app if you want to continue your infringing activities. Or they can disable your copy of notepad++, if illegal activity is detected.

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:31

Notepad++ is an open source project. How can the devs stop me from getting a copy when I can literally download and compile the code?

And even if they could, how could all the other developers of all the other available text editors stop me from getting one of theirs and using it for infringement?

And if even if all of those devs could do that (they can’t), how could they stop everyone else from using those text editors for infringing purposes without basically turning the applications into useless propriety applications that can’t export text files, can’t let you type anything that might infringe on someone else’s copyright (now and in the future), and otherwise can’t let you use them for any purpose other than staring at a blank screen and wondering how the hell you can even type anything without the application shutting you down for daring to type even one sentence someone else has already typed somewhere in the world?

Because if you want a world where copyright maximalism is the norm, that’s the kind of application you’re going to get. Hell, why even stop at applications? Let’s go with physical tools, too! Text editors are the evolution of typewriters, so what can you do to prevent someone from using a typewriter to infringe upon copyright? How about printing presses — how can you stop them from being used by private persons for infringing purposes? Paper, ink, pencils, crayons, colored pencils, markers — all able to facilitate infringement, so how can you stop those from being used to infringe?

Your copyright maximalism will kill culture by making it impossible for anyone to create anything new. Everything builds upon everything else that came before it. Under your ideas of copyright maximalism, no one would be able to ever do that again. No tool could ever even remotely infringe upon anyone else’s copyright without the maker of that tool and the person who used it both being sued into poverty and eventual death in a gutter. No new culture could ever be created out of fear that someone could call it infringing and destroy it with a copyright lawsuit. Welcome to a living nightmare of your own making, you piece of shit. I hope you enjoy it. No one else will.

bhull242 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:31 Re:

Here are some of the problems with that:

  1. The makers of Notepad++ have no way to refuse to give anyone in particular a copy of their software.
  2. They have no way of knowing beforehand who will or won’t use Notepad++ for infringing activities.
  3. They have no way of tracking the activity of end users at all, let alone detecting any illegal or unlawful activity.
  4. It’s generally impossible to know what software is used to modify pure-text files like those created with Notepad++ as opposed to essentially any other text editor.
  5. There is no way for them to disable anyone’s copy of Notepad++.

Some of the reasons for those problems include:

  1. Notepad++ is a free download and is open-source, so the makers have no way to control who downloads it.
  2. Many sites that offer downloads for Notepad++ (and there is more than one thanks to reason 1) don’t keep records for who visits.
  3. Notepad++ contains no tracking software at all.
  4. Notepad++ doesn’t connect to the internet at all outside of looking for global updates or submitting bug reports if the software crashes, if that.
  5. It’s fundamentally impossible to know beforehand who will or won’t infringe on copyright(s) by any means or use some software for other illegal or unlawful purpose(s)

It should also be noted that there is no legal requirement or legal incentive for makers of text editors to include such features for the purpose of stopping or preventing copyright infringement. If someone gets assaulted with a baseball bat, they can’t successfully sue the makers of the baseball bat over making the tool used in the assault, and the same would go for criminal liability.

And even assuming it’s possible to implement those features in Notepad++ that you suggested, that would not change the fact: they currently don’t implement any of them, there is no law saying they should, and no one has ever successfully sued the makers of Notepad++ (or any other text editor, really) for contributory infringement. This is all despite the fact that the software can and has been used for copyright infringement and yet neither the software nor the makers do anything to reduce or mitigate that, and even assuming that it is possible for them to do so.

Additionally, you actually say something that supports the idea that what you’re suggesting is completely ridiculous:

then you need to go to some other app if you want to continue your infringing activities.

Basically, no matter what the makers of Notepad++ do, there will always be some other app that infringers can turn to to continue their infringing activities. Trying to sue the makers of text editors (or pretty much any other software that can be used for infringement) for providing a software that can and probably has been used to commit some illegal or unlawful act (especially where the software is capable of lawful, legal acts, which is clearly the case with text editors) is like playing Whack-a-Mole: other options will pop up, and the amount of infringing content created will not go down. It’s a complete waste of time and money to even bother, and the people you’re suing didn’t actually do anything wrong.

Finally, you keep saying “illegal” activities/content as if infringing on copyright is a criminal act. However, outside of some rare circumstances, copyright infringement isn’t necessarily illegal; it’s unlawful, sure, but not illegal. (“Illegal” refers to criminal acts, whereas “unlawful” focuses more on civil liability. There is obviously a lot of overlap between the two, but copyright infringement is rarely a criminal act.) Also, both “illegal” and “unlawful” are extremely broad, whereas this discussion is narrowly focused on copyright, copyright infringement, liability for copyright infringement, and technology capable of being used for such purposes.

bhull242 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:29 Re:

Stephen wasn’t talking about the general knowledge that someone could use the software to infringe or the general knowledge that people have and continue to do so. He isn’t even talking about having specific knowledge of a particular instance of infringement that has already happened. He’s talking about having (or lacking) the specific knowledge that a particular (potential or current) user is or will at some point in the future commit an infringing act using the software before, during, or shortly after the act itself has already happened.

Whether the app can be used that way and whether the makers of the app are generally aware of that is immaterial. That doesn’t change the question of liability for copyright infringement, which requires having specific knowledge of the particular infringement/infringer and its infringing nature. And it’s worth noting that no court has ruled that simply having a copy/paste feature triggers liability if the makers don’t include any sort of countermeasures against infringers.

bhull242 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:27 Re:

liability for infringement also falls on the developers

Assuming you mean developers of software that is capable of being used for copyright infringement (as opposed to developers of software that itself directly infringes on someone’s copyright), then no, liability for infringement generally does not fall on the developers. There are exceptions to that, where the devs clearly solicit or encourage infringement of others’ copyright, the software lacks any substantial capability for noninfringing use, or the developers had actual, specific knowledge of particular instances of infringement, already had the capability of doing something reasonable about it, and then did nothing at all, but those rarely happen nowadays and don’t really apply to software like Notepad++. So, as a general rule, developers of software capable of being used to commit or facilitate infringing activity are not liable for any infringement done using their software.

How copyright laws resolve this is that copyright holder can empty your wallet whenever they find copyright infringement of copyright holder’s work.

That doesn’t exactly “resolve” anything. Setting aside the fact that points 1 and 2 don’t have any apparent contradictions between them, that doesn’t really address or explain how point 1 gets resolved.

bhull242 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:23 Re:

Problem: software/a feature that by itself does not infringe can still be used to infringe. Additionally, many very basic and fundamental features are impossible to implement without creating the possibility of infringing uses, and those features are frequently used for perfectly reasonable, noninfringing, legal, lawful, ethical, and moral activities, even without getting into fair use, and are in very high demand.

Additionally, as any developer can tell you, the fact that two parts do not infringe/are not capable of being used to infringe by themselves doesn’t necessarily mean that combining the two will not create the ability to infringe. Sometimes, it’s not infringing to do one or the other, but doing both is. Other times, having both features may combine in such a way that may create unintended capabilities. Bugs do exist, and there’s a reason people have to not only test individual parts of a program for bugs but also entire program as a whole.

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Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:27

We’re not “jumping from issue to issue”. We’re pointing out the obvious fact that you either can’t or willfully refuse to understand: A tool with multiple legal/lawful/non-infringing uses that could also be used for copyright infringement can’t be made in a way that prevents any and all copyright infringement, now and in the future, but also allows for all those legal/lawful/non-infringing uses. You can’t build a text editor that stops me from retyping literally any book in existence, in part or in whole, and still allows me to use that editor for lawful purposes. And you can’t do the same for pens(/pencils) and paper.

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Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:29

No, you really can’t. You can’t make a text editor that stops me from infringing on any copyright, now and in the future, and still allows me to use that application for non-infringing uses.

If I were to type out a sentence from a given book as part of a review of that book, that is infringement, regardless of whether I have a Fair Use defense for it. A text editor that prevents infringement has to stop me from typing out that sentence because it must stop all infringement, regardless of the size and context and timing of the infringement, or else — as you’ve claimed throughout this entire discussion — the developers of that text editor will be just as liable for copyright infringement as I am.

You can’t make an application that prevents all copyright infringement and still allows people to use the application for non-infringing purposes. It is literally impossible. If you can do it, you’re God — and you don’t strike me as the “omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent deity” type.

bhull242 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:29 Re:

I’d like to know where that 20% figure comes from, but it’s not even all that relevant. No matter what countermeasures you put in place, there will always be a way to circumvent it. Studies have shown that stronger anti-piracy measures don’t cause much—if any—significant reduction in the prevalence of piracy in all but the very short term. Often, anti-piracy measures will actually lead to an increase in piracy if the measures inconvenience legitimate users too much.

You have also not provided any reason based on US copyright laws that would necessitate these countermeasures.

I also wouldn’t consider 20% to be that useful a figure without more context. If the vast majority of the infringing files are only accessed and accessible to a very small portion of internet users, then not much damage is actually being done since only a few are even using the pirated version to begin with. I also have no idea if we are talking about distinct files or files period.

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tp (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:30 Re:

I’d like to know where that 20% figure comes from,

the 20% figure comes from the situation what will happen if you have no protection against copyright infringement in your software. When people just
refuse to fix the issues in the software and let pirates freely use the system for illegal purposes.

The software gets popular when the pirate’s reason to spread the software is that they detect copyright infringement and want to screw your ass. Basically the situation in the marketplace isn’t too nice, but that’s what market research is for.

bhull242 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:31 Re:

I was asking what calculations and sources were used to arrive at the 20% figure, not what hypothetical situation would lead to it. I’m asking you to show your work and prove that claim.

Additionally, you seem to thing that 20% is a lot. It’s not. That’s still 80% that is not infringing, and that means the authors have no legal requirement to enforce copyright beyond DMCA notices for content that they host or link.

Furthermore, as I’ve said, there are some cases where it’s impossible to make a dent in the number of pirates without making software completely unusable, like text editors. Pirates aren’t that easily discouraged, and once one is successful, it becomes fairly trivial for everyone else.

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bhull242 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:33 Re:

Actually, since I know nothing about building houses, any house I built probably would have a leaky roof. Additionally, I’m pretty sure that people who build houses do owe a duty of care to not leave leaky roofs, and there are an awful lot of building codes that probably have something to say on the matter, so actually, the laws probably do require that level of quality.

By contrast, authors of text editor software don’t have a duty of care to disallow as many possible methods of piracy as possible, and the laws governing software and copyright are nowhere near as complicated, jurisdiction-specific, or difficult to find and understand as building codes. They aren’t necessarily simple, but there’s no contest here.

At any rate, you asked why shouldn’t we try to lower the amount of piracy, and so I pointed out why some hypothetical developers wouldn’t: it’s not really feasible for them to do so, anything they try is likely to reduce piracy by much or for long, anything they try is likely to negatively impact legitimate, noninfringing users more than pirates, and there is no legal requirement to do so. Basically, it would be a lot of effort for little to no gain.

You’re making an argument from emotion; that developers should work harder on this simply because it’s the right thing to do, regardless of how effective or reasonable it may be. I’m just saying that there’s no logical reason for them to do so and plenty of reasons not to.

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tp (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:34 Re:

anything they try is likely to reduce piracy by much or for long, anything they try is likely to negatively impact legitimate, noninfringing users more than pirates

You just need to ensure that your own house is in order. There is no requirement to check other people’s houses. But when you build software, your house is all the software’s users, which means you need to control piracy of everyone using your software.

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:35

when you build software, your house is all the software’s users, which means you need to control piracy of everyone using your software

“The man in black fled across the desert and the gunslinger followed.”

That is the opening sentence of Dark Tower: The Gunslinger by Stephen King. Neither you nor anyone else can design a plain text editor that can stop me from typing out that sentence — an act of copyright infringement, even though I have a Fair Use defense for that infringement — without also stopping me from typing out any other sentence in that or any other book, poem, short story, magazine article, blog entry, etc. You can’t design an application that prevents even the slightest infringement upon any copyright anywhere in the world without also making the application effectively useless for legal/lawful/non-infringing content creation purposes. That goes for rich text editors, image editors/viewers, media editors/players, web browsers, and even entire operating systems.

No one who develops Notepad++ can — or even should — be held liable if I use that application to format an illicit .TXT version of The Gunslinger that I plan to somehow distribute. No one who develops Firefox can — or should — be held liable if I use that application to upload that illicit .TXT file to MEGA or some other filesharing site. And no one who develops Microsoft Windows can — or should — be held liable if I do all that while using Windows 10. You cannot, have not, will not, and should not ever have tried to provide any argument whatsoever to the contrary.

Your imaginings of how the law works are wrong. Your theories about the liability of developers of everything from Notepad++ to Audacity to Firefox are so ridiculously incorrect from a factual standpoint that laughing at your wholly complete wrongness on the matter would be a morally reprehensible act. You’re an ignorant fool — possibly wilfully so, since you’re also an admitted troll — and no one alive should take you seriously on any matter of actual fact ever again.

I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

Now fuck off.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:36 Re:

"“The man in black fled across the desert and the gunslinger followed.”

That is the opening sentence of Dark Tower: The Gunslinger by Stephen King."

A perfect example, btw. King has acknowledged that the line’s meaning is taken directly from Robert Browning’s poem "“Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came.”". So, not only is tp insisting that nobody copy King, he’s existing his Dark Tower epic never exists.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:29 Re:

"the current situation is that 20% of the files are copyright infringing"

Wait, so you’re not only saying that you wish to destroy the usefulness of any utility and place huge amounts of overhead on to any creator because you’re so scared of piracy, but you’re willing to do this over something you only believe represents 20% of content? I’m sure the the, by your standards, 80% of people using the tools for their own legally provided content will be happy with that. FFS…

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bhull242 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:27 Re:

The arguments in that area didn’t fail. You just don’t seem to grasp that audio players, video editors, and text editors do not fit within the scheme you envision, so this AC decided to go with something more tangible and easier to understand. Also, if I can do it with pencil and paper, then I can also do it with a text editor or basic drawing software, so if you can’t refute the pencil-and-paper argument, then it can also apply to the text editors discussed previously.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:22 Re:

How can you write an application that guarantees it can’t be used for copyright infringement while also allowing for non-infringing uses?

Make the application so useless that nobody wants to use it, and then nobody will use it to infringe, which is what TP seems to have achieved.

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Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:24

You misunderstand both the question and the answer. If you want to make an application that guarantees prevention of copyright infringement, you have to make it so useless to anyone who uses the application to infringe copyright that it also becomes useless to literally everyone else. I’m not going to use a text editor for non-infringing purposes if the application is so intentionally hobbled to the point of functional worthlessness because of its developers’ unfounded fears of copyright infringement liability. I’m going to find a text editor that isn’t.

A similiar situation, I imagine, happens a lot with people who use your applications.

bhull242 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:24 Re:

Actually, those “killer features” were things like listening to a prerecorded or user-recorded sound file, recording and/or editing a home video, copy/pasting your own work, printing and/or uploading text or photos you created, and the very basic function of typing on a keyboard to record words, numbers, sentences, code, etc. into a text-based file. Y’know, pretty basic features that are in common use and are generally used for noninfringing purposes but that can be used for infringing purposes no matter what countermeasures are implemented. It’s unavoidable.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:24 Re:

Design a text editor that stops people from typing the contents of any book they have in front of them. The only way to do that is to not allow them to type words into the editor. On the other hand if you allow them to enter text, you have potentially enabled copyright infringement, and by your reasoning you are also guilty of copyright infringement.

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bhull242 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:21 Re:

Uhhh, no. The default is that all content available on the internet is both usable and legal. The plaintiff has to first identify and prove copying or possibly infringing use as well as the material allegedly infringed upon, then the defendant can respond by asserting (and proving as necessary) that no copying occurred, that the copying/use was authorized/licensed by someone authorized to grant such a thing, the plaintiff doesn’t have a valid copyright in the copied/used material, or the copying/use is not infringing, whether it’s because it is de minimus, a case of scénes a faire, “fair use”, or a case involving the First-Sale Doctrine. Alternatively, the defendant may be able to prove copyright misuse and thus invalidate the copyright. Then the plaintiff has to refute the defendant’s claims. Regardless of the end result, the fact is that until a copyright holder identifies something has potentially infringing, it is presumed that everything is not infringing until proven otherwise.

Copyright law doesn’t say that using any of those things is illegal or unlawful. No court has ever ruled that any of them are and not been overturned on appeal.

And if you were right, that would only show how unworkable copyright law actually is. Under your claims and reason, the entire internet is completely unusable until every copyright holder in the world has examined everything on it and agreed it’s not infringing. That’s not at all how it works, there is no reason to believe that’s how it should work, and trying to make it work that way would be completely unreasonable and unrealistic.

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bhull242 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:19 Re:

well, I haven’t created that kind of application yet, so I can’t know all the legal tricks they need to use to make their activity legal.

Oo! Oo! I know! [inhales] None. They don’t use any legal tricks. Or, at least, most don’t. The vast majority of audio players, video editors/players, and text editors contain no restrictions to prevent, stop, or punish infringing uses, especially text editors. And even for the measures that do exist, they are really easy to circumvent, and it’s fundamentally impossible to prevent that.

The law doesn’t require them to do so, anyways, and failing to do so doesn’t open them up to liability. What measures do exist aren’t strictly necessary for the software itself to remain legal.

But in general, you just need to restrict the software enough that pirated use cases are not happening any longer. Every time you find people using your software for piracy, its time to redesign it until the usage becomes impossible.

Copyright law does not require, encourage, suggest, or incentivize developers to do so. It’s also futile, unnecessary, and harmful to creativity in general, and it punishes lawful uses and users more than it does infringers (since infringers will often find a way around such obstacles very quickly). (See, for example, DRM.)

At some point you might need to stop releasing the software completely, when the market matures enough that legal usage is no longer possible.

Well, then it’s a good thing that market maturity doesn’t change whether or not a particular piece of software is capable of being used legally and lawfully for legal, lawful purposes. No matter how many particular instances of infringing uses exist or are possible, that doesn’t change whether or not legal usage is possible. For example, every text editor can be used to create a new text file from scratch without copying anything you yourself did not create, every audio player can be used to listen to legally obtained sound/music files, every video player can be used to watch legally obtained video files, and every video editor can be used to legally edit video files you created yourself from scratch. There is no question that each and every one of those uses is legal, lawful, and noninfringing, and these are fundamental uses for those programs. Again, neither the number of pirated files available that can be accessed with the software nor the number of pirated files created using the software are relevant to whether or not legal usage is possible.

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tp (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:20 Re:

they are really easy to circumvent, and it’s fundamentally impossible to prevent that.

This is only because you categorically refuse to do anything to the misuses that you see in the marketplace. Your refusal is the main cause for this problem. It is not any fundamental issue that cannot be solved when you just do your market research properly and stop pirates from using your work.

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tp (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:22 Re:

How can you prevent that “misuse” and still offer me a functional text editor?

There’s always alternative to ask for license information, mark all your source material, use quote marks for borrowed content, use a list of contributors at the end of your paper. For example LaTeX explicitly supports these features. If lack of this information becomes significant problem, the tool can be modiified to require this information before it accepts it as valid text document. Compiler’s like LaTeX has significant feature which allows them to reject misformatted text files, and that feature can be used to filter out infringing material.

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:23

There’s always alternative to ask for license information, mark all your source material, use quote marks for borrowed content, use a list of contributors at the end of your paper.

Not an excuse. The application must prevent all infringement, now and in the future, even if I have a Fair Use defense for that infringement. How can a text editor do that, and how can it do so while also allowing me to use it for non-infringing purposes?

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tp (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:24 Re:

How can a text editor do that, and how can it do so while also allowing me to use it for non-infringing purposes?

Next step in copyright enforcement after quote marks and compilers was obviously these "document templates". Html and ms word uses this approach. There some fixed elements have been inserted to the document to enforce that everyone uses "list of contributors" section in their document. The document just looks funny if you skip this important copyright enforcing section. And valid documents which actually follows copyrights can be easily detected from the otherwise pirated source material.

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:25

I’m not talking about templates. I’m not talking about HTML and rich text formatting. I’m talking about editors for plain text (i.e., .TXT files). How can the developers of a plain-text editor like Notepad++ make their application prevent all possible copyright infringement, now and in the future, while still making the application usable for non-infringing purposes? How can they prevent me from re-typing the contents of any given copyrighted document — even if I’m looking at my own printed copy to do it — without hobbling the software into uselessness?

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bhull242 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:25 Re:

Um, no. HTML and MS Word don’t require such things (I’ve never used either document templates or a “list of contributors” section in any documents I’ve created and never encountered problems because of it), it is not easy to distinguish noninfringing content from infringing content, and none of that applies to plain text editors, which don’t use any formatting or templates at all. MS Word is a word processor, not a text editor; it allows for formatting, templates, fonts, additional information, etc. HTML is a markup language used for formatting web pages; it is not a text editor or a word processor. You can certainly type using HTML in a text editor, but the text editor wouldn’t actually do any formatting or anything else with it; it gets treated like any other text and doesn’t get handled. (The same goes for LaTeX; all it does is tell some program how to format something; it isn’t a program itself at all, let alone a text editor, and text editors don’t treat it any differently from regular, unformatted text.) So in addition to the fact that those enforcement measures don’t actually exist, none of what you’re talking about actually involves text editors.

Also, compilers don’t check copyright info (I’ve checked) aside from licensing the compiler itself, so they have nothing to do with copyright enforcement. Quote marks predate copyright law by at least a few centuries, and even nowadays I’ve never encountered any program that checks them outside of making sure that I close every quote I open and formatting the quotation marks based on whether they open or close the quote, both of which can be ignored or even turned off entirely, so they clearly have nothing to do with enforcing copyright, either. In fact, quote marks have nothing to do with whether something is infringing or not, nor do citations or crediting authors/contributors (except for Creative Commons or similar copyleft licenses); that’s all regarding plagiarism, which is a completely separate topic.

And then there’s the fact that you once again ignore the possibilities of using original content and the ability to lie.

So you’ve discussed how non-text editors supposedly enforce against what you call copyright infringement but would actually be plagiarism, despite the fact that they don’t actually do what you claim, and also cited other measures (including one that also actually involves stopping plagiarism) that are actually not used to enforce or check copyright at all. Since we were talking about text editors and copyright enforcement or infringement in the real world, you’re getting pretty off-topic. As a reminder, a text editor would be a program like MS NotePad or Notepad++.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:25 Re:

"Next step in copyright enforcement after quote marks and compilers was obviously these "document templates". Html and ms word uses this approach."

So you wish to outlaw plain text, ASCII and other formats that don’t allow those things? A strange attitude for a coder to have, but nothing you say makes logical sense.

bhull242 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:26 Re:

I’m not sure what’s most confusing about that comment: what you pointed out; what any of those things have to do with dealing with copyright infringement (as opposed to plagiarism); why he brought up HTML, MS Word, compilers, or (in a similar comment) LaTeX when asked for measures that would be used in a plain-text editor; or why he thinks quote marks actually do anything with regards to copyright at all.

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bhull242 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:23 Re:

There is no way for a text editor to know whether or not a given piece of text needs a citation, licensing information, etc., as opposed to being created from scratch. Plus, a lot of text editors don’t support any sort of formatting or markup; this is plain text we’re dealing with, after all. And what LaTeX does cannot be extended to filtering out infringing material for the basic reason that it cannot know what material is infringing, created completely new, or in the public domain. There is also no way for any text editor or LaTeX compiler to know that any citations or licensing info or such are accurate or honest.

Also, LaTeX isn’t a plain-text editor like we’ve been discussing. It is a method of formatting text.

But seriously, you don’t seem to understand that not everything that can be used in a text editor needs to be cited or licensed, that people can lie, that text editors (and any other software or program) cannot tell content that needs to be cited or licensed from content that doesn’t, nor can it tell truth from lies, that copyright law has way more nuance than you seem to realize, or that no text editor has such features like you proscribe and yet none have been sued.

bhull242 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:21 Re:

No, it’s because you cannot stop every instance of infringement using any computer service. You are expecting things that are fundamentally impossible on the basis that not doing so creates liability in some alternate reality where copyright laws exceed the wildest dreams of copyright maximalists and are divorced from any semblance of reality, reasonableness, fairness, equity, justice, or common sense, and where computers are magical devices capable of, among other things, reading minds, predicting the future, and making complex decisions that involve a tremendous amount of nuance and subjectivity that our real-world computers simply cannot do with anything approaching accuracy or consistency. I also don’t think that copyright law is infallible and free of abuse, nor is it strictly necessary for people to innovate or create new works (even if it can encourage it).

Basically, I’m just being realistic.

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tp (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:22 Re:

our real-world computers simply cannot do with anything approaching accuracy or consistency.

Proofs using computers work using two principles: type checking and manual testing.

Type checking provides automated way to check some properties from large text documents. What type checking cannot verify, needs to be done via manual testing.

Copyright checking can be done using the same principles. Anything that your "type checking" cannot verify, can then be done by manual testing. Type checking does 90% of the task, and then 10% needs to be done using more burdensome test cases.

This process results in 100% accuracy.

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:23

Copyright checking can be done using the same principles.

How can you design a text editor application that can check whatever you type in your text editor against every copyrighted written work ever, understand the context of whatever you typed (i.e., whether it’s intentionally or accidentally infringing, because it will be infringing), and still allow you to type anything you want in the text editor?

I’ll save you the trouble and give you the only correct answer: You can’t.

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tp (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:24 Re:

text editor against every copyrighted written work ever,

You don’t even need to look at the text that was written to do the copyright check. You can detect it from the speed that they spend typing it. If your village idiot writes code 1200 pages a minute, it’s pretty clear it wasn’t their own work.
It just takes some market research on different programmers to find out exactly how fast programmers can output code, but too quick output is always indication of something bad happening.

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Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:25

Your entire, ridiculous, possibly drug-fueled fantasy about programming and copyright hinges upon a computer application being able to do what even the most intelligent and knowledgable people alive cannot: detect and prevent copyright infringement of any kind without hobbling the legitimate uses of any tool used by the infringer. Programming genuises can’t stop an app like Photoshop from being used to create fake nudes of female celebrities. What makes you think any programmer in the world could ever be able to make a text editor app that stops people (including legitimately fast typists) from typing part of any copyrighted work in the world, even by accident, and still lets them type anything else they want?

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tp (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:26 Re:

None of that addresses any of the cases we’ve pointed out

Well, individual copyright check doesn’t need to catch all pirates. The check that works in 100% cases might not exist, but if you can find 50% of pirates with one check and then you have 34 different checks available, you get good approximation of the 100% coverage.

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:27

individual copyright check doesn’t need to catch all pirates

Your entire argument in this discussion is that if an application can’t prevent all copyright infringement in all contexts, now and in the future, the application’s developer(s) must be held liable for that infringement no matter what. You don’t get to move the goalposts now, son.

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Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:29

that’s good incentive to do the copyright checks properly

Explain, then, how the developer of a plain text editor application can design their application to both prevent all present and future copyright infringement in all contexts (which you have said is the 100% no-compromise condition upon which the developer is free from liability for infringement) and allow a user to type anything they want into the application. The speed of typing is irrelevant. A Fair Use defense is irrelevant. The application absolutely must stop all infringement no matter what and still allow for all non-infringing uses, even if those uses accidentally infringe (which is still a context in which someone can infringe).

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tp (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:30 Re:

still allow for all non-infringing uses

No, the copyright check does not need to allow all non-infringing uses.

This requirement is coming from copyright minimalist view, which is clearly wrong.

We do not need to allow "your parrot to decide the material", even though
that usage might be non-infringing, given that animals cannot own copyrights.

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Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:31

the copyright check does not need to allow all non-infringing uses

Then the application becomes functionally useless, because you cannot have an application that both prevents all copyright infringment in any context and allows for any non-infringing uses, even ones that may infringe by accident. Feel free to show me the lie in what I said there, if you can. But if you can’t? Congratulations, you’ve discovered the utter ignorance of your repeatedly-stated position on app developers and copyright liability.

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Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:33

There is no requiement in laws that require companies to provide their services for all purposes.

There is no requirement in laws that require application developers to prevent all possible copyright infringement in all possible contexts, either.

If the product is suitable for just one purpose, that is already enough.

The sole purpose of a text editor is to type out text. If I cannot type out text into that text editor because it will prevent me from doing so because (as you have asserted) it must prevent me from doing so or else the developer will be held liable for even the smallest, most accidental act of copyright infringement, that text edtior is incapable of carrying out its sole purpose. How can a text editor prevent all possible copyright infringement in all possible contexts, no matter what and still allow someone to type out something that might be even remotely infringing on any copyright anywhere in the world even by accident?

bhull242 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:33 Re:

There is no requiement in laws that require companies to provide their services for all purposes.

Since what you’re asking for also isn’t required by law, that makes no difference to this argument.

If the product is suitable for just one purpose, that is already enough. All purposes are not required.

Stephen wasn’t talking about every purpose. “Functionally useless” means “unsuitable for any purpose.”

bhull242 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:31 Re:

You haven’t even shown a way to substantially reduce piracy using text editors that wouldn’t eliminate essentially all non-infringing uses. Basically, you haven’t proven that it’s possible to create a text editor program that would even eliminate a significant amount of piracy that would use the software without rendering the software effectively useless even for noninfringing uses and would be reasonably difficult to circumvent. And that isn’t even the bar you have to reach. In order to prevail, you’d have to prove that there is a way to prevent all piracy using the software without greatly impeding or preventing entirely most noninfringing uses. After all, if you can’t do that, the law mandating such things would run afoul of the First Amendment protection of free speech, as well as prevent essentially any content from being created at all, except by a select few, maybe, and it would also unreasonably subject people to liability for things they had no way of reasonably preventing.

Also, what makes the copyright minimalist view any more wrong than the copyright maximalist view?

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tp (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:32 Re:

Also, what makes the copyright minimalist view any more wrong than the copyright maximalist view?

Copyright minimalists are doing copyright infringement when they fail to understand all details of copyright laws.

Copyright maximalist on the other hand are following stricter set of rules than copyright laws and thus minor misunderstandings about the rules do not bring them into illegal area.

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:33

Copyright minimalists are doing copyright infringement when they fail to understand all details of copyright laws.

…fucking what

Copyright maximalist on the other hand are following stricter set of rules than copyright laws and thus minor misunderstandings about the rules do not bring them into illegal area.

Viacom sued YouTube for copyright infringement over content Viacom employees uploaded to YouTube. Your argument is bullshit.

bhull242 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:33 Re:

Copyright maximalists engage in free speech suppression when they use the law without fully understanding copyright law, which is also a violation of the law. And as I’ve said before, generally, copyright infringement isn’t illegal; it’s unlawful. There’s a difference. Additionally, none of what you described as copyright minimalism involves the person in question engaging in copyright infringement themselves. Even if someone is liable for someone else’s copyright infringement, that does not necessarily mean that they themselves are “doing copyright infringement.”

Furthermore, your understanding of copyright law has no resemblance to reality at all, and it presumes technical and human capabilities that simply do not exist. You also express views that care nothing at all for reducing or minimizing collateral damage, encouraging innovation rather than locking in the current big players, or allowing free speech and also assert the use of certain measures in software that don’t exist or aren’t used by that particular software and claim that certain measures are used in software or hardware as copyright enforcement measures that actually have nothing to do with copyright and often don’t actually do anything to stop, prevent, or reduce infringement, anyway. Basically, if our point of view is too minimal to be useful, yours is so over-the-top that it is also useless as it is completely unrealistic and unreasonable.

And again, and I cannot stress this enough, it is far, far more difficult to be found contributorily or vicariously liable for copyright infringement than you think, and lawsuits for it are relatively infrequent (nonexistent for a number of cases that you insist should be sued).

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tp (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:34 Re:

none of what you described as copyright minimalism involves the person in question engaging in copyright infringement themselves.

The usual copyright minimalist pattern which leads to copyright infringement goes like this:
1) "We need to kill copyright completely"
2) ""To do so, we will refuse to follow copyright’s rules"
3) "Scope of the allowed area needs to be expanded"
4) "We need to use all the content and mix&match them"
5) "We simply refuse to obtain permission because it would cost too much"
6) "People on the other side of the pond are saying we violate copyright’s rules"
7) "oh, are you kidding, this stuff is copyright infringement? — we do not care?"
8) "ha ha ha, copyright infringement gives us better product and they call us criminals"

Something like that happens every time with copyright minimalists.

bhull242 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:35 Re:

In that case, your definition of “copyright minimalism” does not describe any of what Stephen or I have been saying. We’ve been pointing out that cases where what you claim is copyright infringement is not infringement and that expanding copyright law to where you want it to be would be unreasonable.

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tp (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:36 Re:

We’ve been pointing out that cases where what you claim is copyright infringement is not infringement

Yes, but this is slippery-slope. If you’re wrong, you’ll do copyright infringement accidentally. Going to that direction where you allow more is always dangerous operation and shouldn’t be done too sloppily. Your practise of trying to find all allowed slots in the space is not acceptable.

bhull242 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:37 Re:

You have not demonstrated any danger. Also, you are aware that the slippery-slope argument is a fallacy, right? What danger is there in following the law as it is right now of going too far? Besides, by that logic, copyright maximalism would lead to nothing being allowed. How is that any better?

At any rate, noting that some cases are not infringing under the law as it is right now doesn’t lead to a slippery slope because it is still confined to the four corners of what the law currently is. I’m not talking about what the law should be, and the only things I’m saying about what the law shouldn’t be have been to reject what you want it to be, and those have not reflected what the law is, anyway.

Your practice of trying to hold anyone and everyone that could possibly have any connection to anything that could possibly infringe on someone’s copyright liable for copyright infringement—even if that connection is extremely tenuous and regardless of whether or not the law actually supports a finding of liability and even if finding liability is completely unreasonable—is far more unacceptable than my pointing out what uses are allowed under copyright law.

While I have been wrong about things in the past, with regards to copyright infringement, I’ve been right every time I was confident in the answer. Each time I’ve claimed that something is not infringing (as opposed to “should not be”, “probably isn’t”, “is not necessarily”, “might not be” or “arguably isn’t”), I was right. This is particularly the case when arguing with you, as these generally involve cases that are clearly not infringement. If something is in a legally grey area regarding copyright, I say so, and I’ve generally been accurate in noting that the law does not clearly indicate that the use is infringing. However, in most—if not all—of the specific cases I’ve argued with you about have been clear cases of noninfringement, and I have yet to be disproven on those.

Plus, pretty much every law has some grey areas. The only way to resolve those grey areas is to test them in court, and I fully support doing that. Some are able and willing to test the boundaries of the law.

It’s important for any developer to understand the full contours of what the law does and doesn’t allow and make their own personal judgements about what risks should be taken. It’s even more important to correct incorrect claims about copyright law. What you’ve been claiming about copyright is demonstrably false, and you offer no evidence that it’s true. There is no danger in pointing that out.

Also, “all allowed slots”? I believe that our current discussions have been either about allowing at least a substantial portion of clearly noninfringing uses or regarding allowing any noninfringing use at all. Well, also without substantially impeding most—if not all—allowed noninfringing uses. I’ve also noted that measures that ostensibly protect or enforce copyright but that have no significant effect of reducing piracy aren’t actually worth it—especially if it is not your own copyright being protected and isn’t legally required under the current law. Any law that places liability on makers of software for failing to take measures that wouldn’t be feasible (or even possible) to actually implement, significantly impede or ban essentially any noninfringing uses, don’t actually cause any substantial reduction in piracy, and/or do more harm to clearly noninfringing users than actual infringers would be unreasonable. Thankfully, for the most part, the current copyright law in the US—while heavily flawed and prone to abuse—doesn’t break those rules I mentioned. (Well, section 1201 of the DMCA is quite problematic, but that’s a completely different story and not relevant here.)

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:37

If you’re wrong, you’ll do copyright infringement accidentally.

And that, which I doubt has gone beneath your notice, is one of the things you’ve been arguing that applications with copyright protections should be stopping. That is what would make a text editor application functionally useless: You can’t stop all infringement without dinging people for accidental infringement. Notepad++ can’t stop copyright infringement, even accidental infringement, without preventing people from inputting text into the application. A text editor that doesn’t allow people to input/edit text (or read/display text, since you’ve asserted that displaying copyrighted text is also infringement) isn’t a text editor — it’s a piece of code with no legitimate function. No one can use it for any purpose; it is functionally useless.

This is the nightmare you want to inflict upon all application developers. This is the endgame you want to play out for all users of a given application. And all because you live in irrational, unfounded, overly paranoid fear of a copyright infringement lawsuit over your applications that will never come to pass. How does it feel to be so frightened of developing an app that might be used for infringement that you’re willing to make sure it can’t be used for anything?

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tp (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:38 Re:

that you’re willing to make sure it can’t be used for anything?

Well, because I’m so great programmer (and I spent my whole life designing the system), I can solve the problem without making the software completely useless. It’s only those who think software development can be done in a week that have problems implementing these trivial features.

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:39

I can solve the problem without making the software completely useless.

How, then, can you make an application that can (and absolutely must) detect all possible copyright infringement — intentional or accidental, in all possible contexts, and checked all copyrighted works in creation up to the exact moment of the infringement itself — while still retaining any sort of basic functionality that allows for non-infringing uses despite no prior application in the history of computer programming that allows for user input of any kind ever being able to detect the context of whether that input infringes upon someone else’s copyright?

Or, to put it simpler: How can a theoretically infringement-preventing version of Notepad++ allow me to type “the two men appeared out of nowhere, a few yards apart in the narrow, moonlit lane” (the first line of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows) in any context other than outright copyright infringement and still not ding me for copyright infringement?

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:39 Re:

"Well, because I’m so great programmer (and I spent my whole life designing the system), I can solve the problem without making the software completely useless"

Yet, you’re making this claim on a site whose visitors largely know you as being someone regularly mocked for having messed up a simple website and decided to waste huge amounts of money advertising to people who would never use the thing in the first place.

Occam’s Razor suggests your software will be even more useless than it already is, which is why you spend so much time here whining about successful competitors.

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bhull242 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:41 Re:

The question is whether or not such features improve or complement the core functionality and the software’s usability. It’s more or less about whether the complexity is necessary or helpful to the end user and/or the devs. Adding complexity that is unrelated to the purpose of the software is generally worse, and the protection and/or enforcement of the copyrights of unrelated parties is unrelated to the purpose of this software.

bhull242 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:39 Re:

Google has spent many years on ContentID, and it still isn’t perfect. In fact, absolutely no one has found a solution to that problem, including devs whose sole purpose is to prevent or detect copyright infringement and regardless of how much time, money, or resources spent on the proposed solution.

Even if a solution existed for this problem, it certainly wouldn’t be “trivial”. The problem has too many layers, subtleties, and has too much subjectivity for there to be a simple solution. No one would expect such a solution to be able to be implemented in a week.

You also have presented no evidence that a solution exists. You haven’t proven that there is any way to stop 100% of all actual and/or all potential copyright infringement—accidental or otherwise—while still allowing for even a substantial portion of noninfringing uses. Nor have you proven any actual benefit to protecting the copyright of third parties for the developers or the end users or any legal requirement for devs to do so. As such, you haven’t proven the existence or benefit of a solution, let alone how trivial such a solution would hypothetically be.

tp (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:40 Re:

You also have presented no evidence that a solution exists.

this isn’t true. I have listed over 20 possible ways how this feature can be implemented, but you keep rejecting them. So right solution is or you to read the discussion again and collect the solutions together and then you’ll have the proof you require.

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:41

I have listed over 20 possible ways how this feature can be implemented, but you keep rejecting them.

And there’s a reason for that: You can’t design an application with non-infringing uses that also prevents all copyright infringement, in all possible contexts (including accidental), now and in the future. Any such application would try so hard to prevent infringement that said efforts would make the main functionality of the application useless for any non-infringing uses — because there can’t be any non-infringing uses if those uses could somehow violate someone’s copyright somewhere in the world. You can’t make a text editor that can stop infringement and still allow people to input any text of their own; the application can’t know whether that text will be infringing, so it must stop all attempts to infringe, even by accident, which means the application is functionally useless.

I hesitate to use this word, but you’ve been acting so incredibly stupid in this entire discussion by believing in a fantasy right out of a Philip K. Dick story. No one can turn computer applications into Precogs for copyright, and that includes you.

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tp (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:32 Re:

No web browser developer has ever been sued out of existence because their browser had a download function.

The copyright check wasn’t "remove download operation completely", but instead
"restrict usage of download just enough that it only DISPLAY’s the content" and "restrict usage of download just enough that you cannot download terabytes and thousands of files of data"…

Note that zip files are breaking the browser copyright check, so web browser download feature together with large zip files might be "circumvention of technical protection measures".

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:33

How would the browser know, with the certainty of God, that I am allowed to download a file in any digital file format? For example: I download a public domain JPEG image from its original source and store it on my website’s server in a place only I can access. When I want to download the image again, I’ve forgotten the source, but I know I have it on my server. How, then, can my browser know beyond any shadow of any doubt that I have the legal right to download another copy of that image (which I do) when I’m not downloading it from the original source and the JPEG has no metadata identifying it as a public domain work?

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Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:35

And as I’ve pointed out before, multiple times: You can’t design an application that prevents all possible copyright infringement in all possible contexts (which you have repeatedly asserted must be done to keep app developers free from liability for infringement) and still retains even the tiniest functionality that could be useful for legal purposes were it not for the fact that said functionality could accidentally infringe upon someone else’s copyright in even the most insignificant way.

You have not yet offered any cogent rebuttal to my argument that is also based in this reality. If you can do so, feel free. If not? Fuck off.

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Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:37

Except they don’t stop all infringement, therefore — according to your logic — everyone who develops Firefox, Chrome, Edge, Safari, etc. are all liable for infringement unless they intentionally hobble any (read: all) functionality that could even accidentally infringe upon someone’s copyright. How can they hobble all that functionality and still offer people a functional web browser?

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tp (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:38 Re:

everyone who develops Firefox, Chrome, Edge, Safari, etc. are all liable for infringement

This could be true. That’s why those companies who create browser software have millions or billions of money in their bank account, so that they can pay damages for any copyright claims. The only reason why they don’t get thousands of copyright claims is that people do not know about mistakes or errors in their technology. They have developed their technology well enough that finding those real problems is difficult. And you simply cannot sue them unless you know about the problems. But happily I’m here to explain how browsers are broken.

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:39

This could be true

According to your arguments, it is true. But seeing as how your arguments aren’t based in reality…

That’s why those companies who create browser software have millions or billions of money in their bank account, so that they can pay damages for any copyright claims.

Can you cite a single legal case concerning copyright infringement ever successfully brought against Mozilla, Google, Microsoft, Apple, etc. over their web browsers?

The only reason why they don’t get thousands of copyright claims is that people do not know about mistakes or errors in their technology.

Doesn’t matter, according to your logic. The software must block all possible copyright infringement, no matter what. Any refusal to do so means the software is illegal and its developers are liable for copyright infringement. That’s what you’ve been saying. And, ironically enough, it would make the web browser you’re using to post comments here on Techdirt an unlawful application. Congratulations, champ: You’re a criminal.

They have developed their technology well enough that finding those real problems is difficult.

No, it’s not difficult. According to your logic, a browser’s devs have to hobble any functionality, no matter how innocuous, if it could infringe upon someone’s copyright in any way and in any context. That means the devs have to make an application that can’t let you view or interact with any content that might be copyrighted. To put it bluntly, the devs have to make an application that can only access public domain material — which, according to your logic, means the near-entirety of the Internet would be inaccessible through the browser you’re using right now.

you simply cannot sue them unless you know about the problems.

Except, according to your logic, they can be sued simply because the basic functionality of a web browser could be used to infringe, even accidentally, upon anyone else’s copyrights. Without hobbling that functionality to a point of practical uselesness, the devs are legally on the hook in your fantasy idea of how reality works.

I’m here to explain how browsers are broken.

…said the asshole using a “broken” browser for which they believe the devs should already be sued into their graves for making.

God, just fuck off already. Your arguments are shit, your application is shit, and you’re an even shittier person than I am for being an admitted troll who is intentionally refusing to get the point because you want to drag out an argument that you lost before you even made it. Kindly fall into a bonfire and stay there.

bhull242 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:39 Re:

Here’s the thing:

  1. You haven’t explained anything like that.
  2. None of them have been found liable or even been sued for anything like that, really.
  3. The idea that the copyright maximalists are unaware of these browsers being capable of being used for infringement is absolutely ridiculous. You may be the only person who thinks that’s even plausible.
  4. An error in technology is insufficient to create liability for copyright infringement. Again, specific knowledge of particular instances of infringement is required or the technology must be designed specifically (and intentionally) to aid in piracy or have no substantial noninfringing uses.
  5. People sue without understanding the technology all the time.
  6. Mozilla doesn’t actually have that much money.
  7. That you fail to see how much your idea of copyright would stifle innovation and creativity (the things copyright is supposed to be encouraging) is simply incredible.
  8. Again, browsers don’t actually implement any measures that are designed to enforce copyright or reduce piracy.
  9. You’re still suggesting that the only way for a software developer to completely avoid any liability for infringement using their product (at least if the product is capable of transmitting or being used to create anything that could possibly be used to infringe) is to cripple the software to the point of being completely useless at providing any services. You apparently don’t see that as a problem, unreasonable, unrealistic, or not based in reality. Despite this, you still haven’t even argued why that should be the case, offered any legal evidence that would suggest that is the case, why such a thing would be more desirable than the current state of affairs, or why the whims of a few copyright holders and copyright trolls should outweigh every other consideration, such as free speech, encouraging creativity and innovation, the desires of any other copyright holders, equity, due process, etc.
bhull242 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:37 Re:

No. No, they don’t do copyright checks. The only examples you offered have nothing to do with copyright at all, and some aren’t even actual features used in web browsers. To the extent they may possibly offer some copyright protection, they are clearly completely ineffective. Exhibit A: people still use them a lot to pirate stuff easily without having to resort to any trickery at all. Exhibit B: online piracy still exists.

At any rate, you were asked to either provide an example of a text editor that performs copyright checks and is still useful or provide an example of a piece of software that successfully stops 100% of all copyright infringement that in any way involves or is facilitated by the use of said software while still being useful for at least some legal purpose(s). The former was because you seem to think text editors perform copyright checks (but they don’t), while the second is because, without such an example, your idea of liability for infringement is shown to be completely and utterly unreasonable, unrealistic, and unfair, as well as having no basis whatsoever in reality.

bhull242 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:33 Re:

Counterpoint: web browsers allow you to download as much as you want without checking anything. Restrictions on downloads exist, sure, but not through the web browser. Also, restrictions on quantity have absolutely nothing to do with copyright at all (nor does the way browsers handle displaying web pages), and zip files are absolutely not a violation of section 1201 as you imply. Again, we went over this months ago, and you failed then, too. These examples, to the extent they exist, are in place purely for efficiency and practicality; they don’t exist as copyright protection, and many aren’t actually a function of the web browser itself in most cases.

You don’t have anything resembling a point here, and you don’t seem to exist in this reality based on your claims.

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tp (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:34 Re:

web browsers allow you to download as much as you want without checking anything.

Without zip files, try to download 2 thousand files using your browser. While it is eventually possible, you just need to use so much time clicking the browser download bar that the operation isn’t feasible. Definitely not easy enough operation than what your average pirate expects.

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:35

According to your logic, how long the downloading takes is irrelevant. That any downloading is possible at all is a violation of your imaginary principle that a software developer must stop all possible infringement in all contexts and at all costs or else they’re liable for the infringement. Hell, according to you, no browser should even let you see any work outside of the public domain because the copyrights on those works could be infringed in some way, even accidentally. Your entire argument is that you shouldn’t even be able to post your comments, let alone view this website, because it makes the developers liable for infringement.

Congratulations, you’re a party to copyright infringement by using an unlawful application in a way that could even potentially infringe upon someone’s copyright in some small, possibly even accidental way.

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tp (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:36 Re:

how long the downloading takes is irrelevant.

This isn’t true. RSA cryptosystem relies on that feature that opening the ciphertext without the necessary keys takes billions of years to execute on normal computer.

Similar manner, it’s clearly enough if browser vendors can make the operation take so much time that no ordinary pirate will ever contemplate doing the operation using a browser.

Obviously cryptosystems have some issues too, like quantum computers, but the time used for the operation is clearly relevant aspect of the question.

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:37

it’s clearly enough if browser vendors can make the operation take so much time that no ordinary pirate will ever contemplate doing the operation using a browser

They can’t do that without hobbling the download operation in a similar manner for all users in all contexts, even when someone is downloading something they’re legally allowed to download. You can’t magically detect when someone is infringing upon a copyright; neither can an application. The only way to ensure nobody can infringe upon copyright using your application is to truly make sure nobody can infringe in any way, even accidentally — which makes your application functionally useless to everybody, even people who don’t and wouldn’t ever use it for infringement purposes.

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tp (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:38 Re:

You can’t magically detect when someone is infringing upon a copyright;

They magically detected this long before computers were invented, so you can’t now claim that it’s impossible. The automation -part of the operation just seems slightly challenging (it requires 34 if statements in your code as explained before), but given that these software developers are completely idiotic, even such small checks seem to be impossible for these people.

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tp (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:40 Re:

it is impossible to do well with decent accuracy.

That’s why we have competition so that products can compete in the marketplace and provide features that have been optimized for important use cases. Copyright checking is one such area where product competition can produce significant improvements in people’s lives.

bhull242 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:41 Re:

As I’ve pointed out, other than people selling DRM to copyright holders directly to protect their copyrights, YouTube is the only one that has actually done anything beyond the minimum legal requirements to try to reduce infringement of others’ copyrighted materials. (Well, there are also a few video game clients, but they don’t really do much in that area, and a number of video game clients/storefronts offer no copyright enforcement beyond the minimum legally required.) To the extent anyone else enforces others’ copyrights, it’s more or less the same (taking down content claimed by a DMCA notice) with the only difference being the amount of deference given to the claimants. So really, there isn’t any actual competition in copyright checking by or for intermediaries.

Additionally, I don’t see how copyright checking provides any actual benefits for either the ones implementing it, advertisers (if applicable), or users; only for third-parties. As such, I don’t see any reason competition in this area would produce significant improvement to people’s lives.

In fact, as I’ve said multiple times, what you’re asking for is fundamentally impossible to achieve. I’ve already explained that by simply allowing someone to type, you’re enabling piracy, and it is absolutely impossible to stop that without completely removing the ability to type. And trying to automatically determine whether something does or doesn’t infringe on copyright is fundamentally impossible to do with any decent accuracy. Even the best would leave tons of false negatives and capture tons of false positives.

And then there’s the question of whether and to what extent piracy actually causes problems, but I won’t get into that.

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tp (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:42 Re:

I don’t see any reason competition in this area would produce significant improvement to people’s lives.

well, it’s significant improvement for end users, if they don’t need to always be afraid that they accidentally do copyright infringement. For example the user experience in web browsers is significantly better compared to the user experience in kazaa. The safety net that these copyright checks are providing shouldn’t be underestimated. It’s similar to what browsers are doing with security with browser sandbox, i.e. you can trust that browser-based web pages do not install viruses or malware to your computer. Copyright checks are doing similar job in the copyright-area.

bhull242 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:43 Re:

When people use web browsers or text editors, they don’t care about accidental infringement or being legally protected from copyright infringement. Also, you have also stated that web browsers hide this functionality to avoid angering users. Why would they do this if users got any value from such a thing?

We expect browsers and operating systems to protect us from viruses and malware (though we rely more on antivirus software); we don’t expect or want them to filter the web for us in any other way unless we explicitly tell them to.

bhull242 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:37 Re:

The biggest difference is that the amount of time to break cryptography rarely impedes the intended, legitimate purpose/user of the software; nor does the cryptography itself. By contrast, the time it takes to download something which may or may not be infringing impacts every user drastically, regardless of the intended purpose.

Additionally, there is no legal mandate for the cryptography (outside of a few cases mostly involving a duty of care, but that wouldn’t be a factor for copyright), while you have asserted that copyright enforcement by intermediaries/makers of tools is legally mandated to avoid liability. Copyright law doesn’t care how long it takes to complete piracy; only whether and when it occurred and who is responsible.

Finally, the time scales are completely different. With strong cryptography, it’s meant to take many, many years to break it through brute force, often longer than the projected life of the Earth. Downloads—even large and/or infringing downloads—are much, much quicker. I can download like 12 gigabytes of data on my computer within a few hours at most, so terabytes of data could be downloaded in significantly less than two years, possibly not much more than a year or maybe even less. And my internet and/or my computer are pretty slow at downloading things (it’s probably my computer, since my phone downloads things a lot faster). With a decent computer and decent internet, you could probably download a few terabytes in less than 6 months or something. But even on the slower end, these massive downloads are many, many magnitudes faster than bruteforcing decent cryptography. A few years at most vs. millions or billions of years… there’s just no comparison. Really, if a human can do it within their lifespan, time is not really a significant factor.

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tp (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:38 Re:

while you have asserted that copyright enforcement by intermediaries/makers of tools is legally mandated to avoid liability.

this requirement gets stricter if your product is distributed to larger area in the world. Very successful and popular products have huge problems fulfilling the legal requirements related to copyright enforcement. Browsers are one of the most difficult areas. There’s also the fact that general public doesn’t like any built-in restrictions or limitations, so vendors need to "hide" those built-in limitations to their software, without telling end users that the software has those implemented.

On the other side of the scale, there are products with small number of users, products created by children or non-professionals, and products that are safe to use by end users.Copyright restrictions on those products don’t need to be too accurate or innovative.

bhull242 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:39 Re:

First, whether or not one is liable for copyright infringement is not dependent on the prevalence of the infringement or the tool/intermediary.

Second, the “requirements” you’re referring to simply do not exist under US law, at least not in the form you’ve been discussing.

Third, for the umpteenth time, browsers don’t implement any copy protection at all. If they did, someone would have found out and publicized it no matter how well hidden those features would have been. You still have not provided any actual evidence or examples of any actual features actually implemented in actual web browsers that are actually intended to stop, track, prevent, or limit copyright infringement by users.

You have also never provided any evidence that the makers of web browsers even could face liability for copyright infringement by users if they fail to stop it or they don’t implement any copyright-protection measures into the browsers, or really under any circumstances at all. All you’ve done is claim they exist (without any evidence to support that), that web browsers include certain features meant to reduce piracy (despite the fact that each of those features either isn’t actually implemented in any existing browser or was included for reasons that have nothing whatsoever to do with copyright protection or enforcement and don’t actually do anything to reduce copyright infringement, anyway), and that makers of web browsers would be liable for infringement if they didn’t (they don’t, and they aren’t).

bhull242 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:35 Re:

Without zip files, try to download 2 thousand files using your browser.

You don’t really specify size, which is kind of a huge deal. I mean, eBooks, music, and images—without using zip files—are generally a few megabytes at most, frequently less. Let’s say that each one takes up 4 MB. Two thousand of those would be less than 8 GB, but let’s give you the best chance of success and round that up to 10 GB. My computer (which is slow, BTW) generally takes a few hours at most to download that much data, so I guess that’s how long it would take to download two thousand files. I suppose you could add some additional time for having to browse for it, but that should still only add like an hour or two overall, especially if I already know what I’m looking for.

Now, obviously, I’m not going to do that just to prove a point, but for the average pirate who wants to download two thousand different songs, books, or images, regardless of technical skill and even with below average download speed, based on my calculations, I can’t imagine that they’d have to wait more than six hours at the absolute most, and probably far less, especially if they go for smaller files and/or have faster computer or internet speeds.

If we’re talking files that take up gigabytes, that would take several thousand hours, which would be like a year or two.

While it is eventually possible, you just need to use so much time clicking the browser download bar that the operation isn’t feasible.

…You have a pretty loose definition of “feasible”. For a couple thousand megabyte-files, it’d be done in a few hours. That’s not exactly a ridiculously long amount of time. People wait that long for downloads pretty frequently.

Heck, even with thousands of gigabyte-files, it’d only be a year or two. That may seem like a long time, but it’s really not in the grand scheme of things, especially since you can put all two thousand files on the queue in a few hours at most, then do other things as each one downloads. You can even start viewing the files as they finish downloading without interrupting later downloads. While it may be beyond what an average person would do, it’s not exactly unfeasible for someone to do that. I’ve seen much crazier things than that.

Definitely not easy enough operation than what your average pirate expects.

I’m not sure that the average pirate is likely to download thousands of files in one go, especially thousands of gigabyte-sized files. If the files are small enough, then it’d be a matter of hours, which isn’t really very long at all. If they want to download larger files, they’d probably just break the task up into smaller chunks. I doubt that they’d feel the need for thousands of the larger files in a short amount of time, anyway, unless it’s legal and for work or something.

Frankly, I don’t see your point. At these timescales, I wouldn’t say the task is that absurd. Plus, as I believe I’ve made clear, the size of the files makes a much larger difference than their quantity. To put this into perspective, when it comes to cybersecurity, if it takes less than like a century to crack by brute force, it’s not really considered secure.

In fact, I believe that you missed the point I was making entirely: no matter how many files downloaded or the size of each file to be downloaded, at no point does the browser do any copyright checks or do anything differently from asking it to download fewer and/or smaller files. Yes, it takes longer to download larger amounts (though no significant difference regarding the number of files), but that’s just because more data has to be downloaded, anyways, so of course it takes longer. It has nothing to do with the browser trying to throttle the download speed (like IAPs often do to squeeze more money out of customers), nor does it have anything to do with enforcing copyright or discouraging pirates at all. It’s purely about the limitations of the internet and the computers (and possibly the IAP deciding you need to pay up if you want to download so much using their lines).

It also has nothing to do with the file format. Whether it’s a .zip, .7z, .rar, .txt, .gz, .png, .jpg, .gif, .exe, .rtf, .doc, .docx, .xcl, .ppt, .pdf, .html, .css, .mp3, .mp4, .cs, .cpp, .java, .js, .php, .swift, .py, .bin, .bmp, or whatever, it doesn’t matter. Same goes with what, exactly, the contents are. The only aspect of the file(s) themselves that actually factors into the time it takes to download is the file size. And file compression itself (like used for zip files) predates internet piracy; it was designed to allow relatively large amounts of data to be stored on relatively small storage media, whether it was for backup, to physically transfer to another machine, or to be used later. It has a number of other useful features beyond speeding up downloads, such as allowing multiple files organized in a specific way to be downloaded as one file without making the downloader have to jump through hoops to get all the necessary files in the right places, though this is somewhat incidental. Again, nothing to do with copyright or piracy.

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tp (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:36 Re:

(though no significant difference regarding the number of files)

This is incorrect. Browser by default allows only downloading one file at the time.
This means the 10 second download bar clicking needs to be done 2000 times. This means 5.5 hours of doing nothing but clicking the mouse and accepting downloads. This operation is just too much for more pirates (who just want to wait like you mentioned, they don’t actually want to do the actual work)

bhull242 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:37 Re:

The downloads may only occur one at a time, but I can put as many as I want in a queue (which is built in to the browser, BTW). Each time an item finishes downloading, it gets removed from the queue (or marked as finished), and the browser checks the current queue to see if there are any other unfinished or unstarted downloads left. If there are, it starts/continues to download the next one in the queue. This continues until there are no more unfinished/unstarted downloads left in the queue.

As for the time spent clicking to add something to the queue, that’s an inherent aspect of downloading thousands of files in a single session, and it’s a pretty unusual thing to download thousands of files like this, anyways. (You really underestimate pirates’ abilities and tenacity while overestimating the number of files they expect to download in a single session.) If you’re saying, “But that’s fixed with zip files,” while I acknowledge that zip files definitely simplify things, if it’s all in one zip file, then it’s all on one page and it’s all meant to go together anyways, so it wouldn’t take hours to add into the queue to download. It also completely ignores the noninfringing uses of zip and similar files. Games and many other pieces of software use them all the time. Regardless, none of that has to do with any way in which browsers would try to reduce piracy, anyways. That’s an inherent aspect of the task you want to perform and not an intention design choice. With regards to the browser itself, there isn’t really any way to significantly reduce that process at all.

So the number of items is irrelevant with regards to both how the browser itself handles downloads and the length of time it takes to finish downloading, which is what I was talking about. It is also not in any way related to any features of or design choices in any web browser that would have been intended to in any way reduce or discourage piracy at all, which is the only other relevant question here. In fact, it is not due to any intentional design choices at all, really. It’s just the nature of the task.

Look, just because something may discourage some pirates from engaging in absurd levels of piracy in a single session doesn’t make it copyright protection or copyright enforcement at all.

bhull242 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:37 Re:

The downloads may only occur one at a time, but I can put as many as I want in a queue (which is built in to the browser, BTW). Each time an item finishes downloading, it gets removed from the queue (or marked as finished), and the browser checks the current queue to see if there are any other unfinished or unstarted downloads left. If there are, it starts/continues to download the next one in the queue. This continues until there are no more unfinished/unstarted downloads left in the queue.

As for the time spent clicking to add something to the queue, that’s an inherent aspect of downloading thousands of files in a single session, and it’s a pretty unusual thing to download thousands of files like this, anyways. (You really underestimate pirates’ abilities and tenacity while overestimating the number of files they expect to download in a single session.) If you’re saying, “But that’s fixed with zip files,” while I acknowledge that zip files definitely simplify things, if it’s all in one zip file, then it’s all on one page and it’s all meant to go together anyways, so it wouldn’t take hours to add into the queue to download. It also completely ignores the noninfringing uses of zip and similar files. Games and many other pieces of software use them all the time. Regardless, none of that has to do with any way in which browsers would try to reduce piracy, anyways. That’s an inherent aspect of the task you want to perform and not an intention design choice. With regards to the browser itself, there isn’t really any way to significantly reduce that process at all.

So the number of items is irrelevant with regards to both how the browser itself handles downloads and the length of time it takes to finish downloading, which is what I was talking about. It is also not in any way related to any features of or design choices in any web browser that would have been intended to in any way reduce or discourage piracy at all, which is the only other relevant question here. In fact, it is not due to any intentional design choices at all, really. It’s just the nature of the task.

Look, just because something may discourage some pirates from engaging in absurd levels of piracy in a single session doesn’t make it copyright protection or copyright enforcement at all.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:31 Re:

I haven’ noticed any restriction in the latest Firefox, which I use on a daily basis to download various file types, and all quite legally. What is happening, on a few sites, it that they are using J.S. to download assets and so hide the files from the web browsers. That is not the web browser trying to prevent infringement, but rather a site using standard facilities to try and prevent downloads.

bhull242 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:32 Re:

Yeah, I don’t get it either. He said something about how long downloading a lot of data takes discouraging some pirates, but it doesn’t take that long and it was not a design choice or even an actual decision by the makers of the browser, isn’t even really something that is part of the web browser’s design or features (the limiting factors on download speed are generally the computer doing the download, its OS, the server being downloaded from, and the internet connection between the two; the only other real factors in how long it takes would be what other tasks are being run and the size of the file(s) to be downloaded), was not done with the purpose of enforcing or protecting copyright or in order to reduce, discourage, stop, or prevent piracy/copyright infringement, doesn’t actually have any effect on piracy or copyright infringement, and doesn’t affect pirates/infringing users/uses any more than it does legitimate, noninfringing users or uses. It also doesn’t involve detecting piracy, and neither the amount of data nor the number of files to be downloaded does much—if anything—to change the rate at which they get downloaded (in terms of bits per time unit or something similar) or flag the operation as suspicious or anything like that.

He also talked about downloading thousands of non-zip files in a single session, but 1) I don’t believe pirates who don’t use some sort of bot to automate the process anyway (and thus drastically reduce any time it takes to add thousands of distinct files to the download queue)are likely to do so in the first place; 2) the browser itself doesn’t treat downloading thousands of files any differently from downloading, say, twenty files in a single session (outside of the obvious); 3) depending on the sizes of the files, it could take as little as a few hours, possibly less, to download thousands of them even with a slow computer/internet speed; 4) browsers implement a download queue that allows you to tell the computer to download pretty much any number of files one after another without addition input from the user once all the desired files have been added to the queue; 5) no aspect of the downloading process depends on the type of file or the file format, just the size; 6) despite his claims that it takes like 10 seconds to tell the web browser to download something/add something new to the download queue, in my experience, it can take just a single click on a hyperlink or button on a web page to do so, which takes a lot less than 10 seconds; 7) this still isn’t a feature or design choice but just how things work, as there really isn’t any alternative that would eliminate or reduce any of the time spent searching and clicking in order to download each file (that is, it’s an inherent part of downloading thousands of files without using bots); 8) it doesn’t actually treat or affect piracy/infringement any differently from noninfringing uses; and 9) it doesn’t really have anything to do with copyright infringement, copyright protection, copyright enforcement, or legal liabilities.

Basically, he asserted some aspects of the download feature were examples of copyright protection, copyright enforcement, anti-piracy measures, or something like that, but each of those aspects had nothing to do with intentional design choices/features or deterring, stopping, preventing, or reducing piracy or copyright infringement; they were actually just inherent, unavoidable (at least from the web browsers’ perspective) limitations of the systems, software, hardware, and/or technology themselves, and they don’t actually do anything at all about copyright or single out pirates or likely-copyright-infringing acts at all.

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tp (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:33 Re:

nothing to do with intentional design choices/features or deterring, stopping, preventing, or reducing piracy or copyright infringement;

This is what you don’t understand. The features designed to avoid liability does not need to deal with the piracy phenomenon as a whole. Instead it needs to prevent pirates from using your work for piracy. The misuses of the technology needs to be prevented. While you cannot change the overall murder rate in the country, at least you can try to make your product safe enough that it doesn’t happen accidentally during normal use of your sharpener. Copyright area is no different from other ways of making products safe to use.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:34 Re:

The misuses of the technology needs to be prevented.

How do you achieve that when legal use and misuse are impossible to distinguish. The same content, with the same object, with the same description from a marketing platform can be licensed or infringing dependent on who placed it on the platform for dale.

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tp (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:35 Re:

How do you achieve that when legal use and misuse are impossible to distinguish.

I think you use the word "impossible" too sloppily. If youtube’s contentID can detect MPAA’s content just fine from millions of videos, the operation simply
cannot be "impossible". And I’m not even talking about that advanced tech solutions. It’s simple issues like asking for license.txt file from the user. Similar manner as how google search uses robots.txt, license.txt is one good alternative to ask. But these kind of "solutions" are just proving that the operation isn’t impossible. Other solutions could be what "thingiverse" is using for licenses, i.e. their web page has fixed set of accepted licenses, and uploading content requires choosing one of the alternatives. When your web page asks such questions, it’s legally required to provide correct answer. If you get tons of broken answers, you can ask two questions and check consistency of the answers. Ludumdare web page handles the situation so that it requires you to click few checkmarks and doesnt let you go forward until you have checked the right checkmarks required for the publishing platform’s requirements.

The same content, with the same object, with the same description from a marketing platform can be licensed or infringing

there is always ways to do the operations.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:36 Re:

Content ID only recognizes content, and is infamous for taking down licensed content alongside the infringing content. For instance, it cannot distinguish between two separate recording of the same classical music piece, played on the same instruments at the same tempo, an an unlicensed copy of either or both recordings.

That is identifying content is not the same as identifying infringement.

Also, how does a license.txt file solve anything, as someone intent on infringing on content can fake such a file. A more secure version of the same runs into both cost and time issues, which would stifle self publishing.

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tp (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:39 Re:

but force people to do more work in order for other people to get protections they already enjoy?

The whole idea behind copyright laws is that the various players need to do more work. For example end user need to do more work to obtain the product from legal source instead of easier illegal source. Then authors need to do more work to create the copyrighted product. And publishers need to do more work to distribute the copyrighted work to customers.

This forcing of people doing more work is built-in feature of copyright laws.

bhull242 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:40 Re:

Um, no. No it is not. The idea behind copyright law is to encourage the promotion of the arts and sciences. Also, the point is to make the legal method more appealing than unlawful means. Copyright law is absolutely not intended to make lawful actions harder than unlawful actions or make anyone do more work, even if that may be the effect.

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tp (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:41 Re:

Also, the point is to make the legal method more appealing than unlawful means.

This is impossible. (note that I used the word impossible for the first time).
The reason why it’s impossible is because original authors need to actually
produce the item in question from scratch. Illegal players skip the work and thus they can focus on making it appealing to customers instead of focusing on essential features of the product that make it useful. Thus illegal version is always more appealing than the legal version.

But using illegal versions is not "promoting the progress and useful arts", because authors need to get compensation or they cannot continue doing the useful activity. When illegal version fails to distribute the compensation from the customer to the people who did the actual work, the activity will stop as soon as authors cannot absorb the creation costs from their own savings.

bhull242 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:42 Re:

First, by placing negative consequences for unlawful behavior, that inherently gives plenty of people reason to find lawful behavior more appealing. The problem comes from placing too many negative consequences on lawful actions so that the negative consequences for unlawful actions no longer outweigh the difficulties of following the law.

At any rate, you have provided no evidence for your claims. For one thing, I don’t think most pirates spend much time or resources on marketing at all, and most don’t receive compensation anyways. Furthermore, most pirates lack the amount of money that most companies spend on marketing, anyway.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:42 Re:

because original authors need to actually produce the item in question from scratch.

That a person who claims to be a programmer can say that is incredibly hypocritical, as programs of any size build on the works of others if formal, use of libraries and operating systems, and informal, programming practices and patterns. Some fields of programming, like 3d graphics, also have a heavy debt to mathematicians who devised the representation and algorithms needed for the field.

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tp (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:43 Re:

as programs of any size build on the works of others

That sounds like the mix&match pattern which was declared broken and leads to the copyright inringements.