Resetting The Balance To Save Copyright (Part III)

from the alternate-side-of-the-street dept

Summary of Parts One and Two: The essential balance of copyright between incentives for creators and the feeding of a rich and unlicensed public domain has been undone by a long series of misguided efforts to save copyright by making its rules both stronger and less enforceable at the same time. The industry’s tactics have backfired, eroding what was left of any moral authority for obeying the law. And that was the chief (and most efficient) mechanism for enforcement all along.

The repeated and retroactive extension of copyright terms, largely at the behest of the Disney Corporation, has had the unintended consequence of creating a nation of felons, both technically and in spirit. According to one provocative study by John Tehranian, we all violate copyright unintentionally many times a day. And to the extent we realize it, we don't care.

To return to the parking analogy, the result of these legal changes has been to paint every curb a red zone—it's now illegal to park anywhere. The result is not perfect enforcement of copyright but its opposite. No one obeys the law or thinks they ought to. Getting caught is more or less a random event, and rational consumers won't change their behavior to avoid it.

The center will not hold. Large media holding companies are becoming desperate, expending their resources not to find new ways of making money but to secure passage of increasingly draconian laws (SOPA) and treaties (ACTA) that give them more, largely unusable new powers. Even if passed, these legal tools will do little to improve legal enforcement. But they are certain to cause dangerous and unintended new harms.

At the same time, the marketing machines of these same companies have convinced us that our right to enjoy content is inherent—the American Way. Once offered, we imagine free content should always be free, even if the rightsholder changes its mind or intended all along to attach conditions to consumption based on time or place or the ability to associate mechanisms, such as advertising, that allowed for indirect revenue generation.

Americans don't understand that subtlety, and rightsholders have given them no reason to try. Public education efforts have been pathetic. Instead of teaching consumers the costs and dangers to the delicately-balanced system from copyright infringement, they emphasize moral and legal prohibitions that are rightly perceived by consumers as petulant, cynical, and amusingly out-of-touch.

These campaigns, for starters, say nothing about the economics of content production and distribution. They are morality tales, narrated by fabulists who pride themselves, in their day jobs, on their mastery of manipulation and misdirection. It's as if Darth Vader sat down with preschoolers to talk about why they shouldn't throw stones at the Death Star because of the potential for property damage.

Consider just a few examples below: YouTube's mandatory copyright "school" for violators and the classic 1992 "Don't Copy that Floppy:"



Clearly, not much has changed over the last twenty years in efforts to change public perceptions and behaviors. The Hollywood that can produce blockbuster movies somehow can't make a PSA that isn't a self-parody.

I think the public can be educated, and should be. Here's where I part company with those who reject copyright altogether. The theory of copyright—limited monopoly in exchange for a rich public domain—is still a good one, and the system created by the English, adapted by early Congresses, had the virtue of being largely self-enforcing and therefore efficient.

It is the 20th and 21st century imbalance in copyright, and not copyright itself, that must be fixed. And it can be fixed. There is a way out of this dangerous and increasingly tense cold war between content industries and their customers. Here's a simple three-step solution:
  1. If rightsholders want consumers to obey the law and support their preferred business model, they first need to stop making it impossible for consumers to follow the rules. Copyright needs to be weakened, not strengthened.
  2. Content industries need to end the stalling and excuses—perhaps understandable in 1998, when I first wrote about digital distribution in "Unleashing the Killer App," but not now, nearly fifteen years later. They need to embrace digital media and new channels fully, even if doing so means tolerating a considerable amount of unauthorized distribution and reuse as working models for profit-generation rapidly evolve.
  3. Public education needs to focus not on self-righteous indignation but on collaborating with consumers on finding ways to compensate creators for the value of their work. If consumers understood the economics of content creation and distribution, and given an easy way to cooperate, they'd do it.
Ironically, there's every reason to believe that embracing a relaxed copyright regime and encouraging creative reuse would actually generate more revenue for creators. That, in any case, has been the lesson of every form of new media to be invented in the last hundred years or more.

Each of them was initially resisted and branded as illegal and immoral. Each of them—from the player piano to the photocopier to the VCR to the Internet—has instead offered salvation and riches to those who figure out the new rules for working with them and not against them. (Hint: network effects rule.) Rightsholders consistently confuse each fading media technology with the true value of the content they control. The medium is not the message.

For now, industry apologists—the MPAA, the RIAA, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and others—are caught in a dangerous cycle of denial and anger. A growing number of consumers refuse to follow the current rules. So they lobby to make the rules stronger and the penalties more severe, amping up the moral rhetoric along the way.

But this only serves to starve the public domain more, undermining the basic principles of copyright. With the system increasingly out of balance, self-enforcement becomes even less likely. The law is impossible to obey, and rarely enforced. So consumers make up their own rules, for better or worse, with expensive and unnecessary casualties piling up on both sides.

Eventually, consumers and creators find the right balance and the most effective forms of compensation, regardless of the industry's efforts to cut off their nose to spite their face.

Then along comes another disruptive technology and a new round of customer innovation, and the cycle starts all over.

Rights holders remain stubbornly parked in the same old spots, afraid that if they move their vehicles at all they'll be doomed to circling the block forever, unable to stop until they permanently run out of gas.

The rest of us, meanwhile, are happily enjoying our flying cars.


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    Anonymous Coward, May 25th, 2012 @ 6:54pm

    please just give up already!

    this is just more "trying to convince people of lies" kinda stuff we've come to expect from TD... what else ya got in that crystal ball?... the amount of desperation in the recent posts is pretty comical... give up! give up already! ... uh, no...

    you guys spend a lot of time trying to convince people of something that you say can't be stopped. if it really can't be stopped, and there's nothing anyone can do to stop it, shouldn't you be doing better things with your life than writing blog posts about something that's gonna happen whether you fight for it or not?

     

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      Anonymous Coward, May 25th, 2012 @ 7:03pm

      Re: please just give up already!

      "shouldn't you be doing better things with your life"

      and what are you doing beyond writing worthless comments that waste everyone's time and accomplish nothing.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, May 25th, 2012 @ 7:04pm

      Re: please just give up already!

      and who are you, an AC, to criticize what TD is doing. No one here knows what you are doing that's so important to compare who's doing something better because no one knows who you are, yet we do know who the author of this thread is.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, May 25th, 2012 @ 7:06pm

      Re: please just give up already!

      Yeah guys, just give up. GIVE UP ALREADY. PLEASE, JUST GIVE UP! I CAN'T STAND LOSING ANYMORE! PLEASE!

      LoL, I see you've been reduced to begging people now. What a pathetic, nobody loser you are.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, May 25th, 2012 @ 7:56pm

      Re: please just give up already!

      I don't need a crystal ball. Unlike some people, I actually lived (and look back at) history. Mr. Downes is merely examining a trend and offering an opinion on it. If you would like to examine the same trend, you're more than welcome to.

      By the way, just because something can't be stopped doesn't mean that the attempt to stop it won't cause a lot of collateral damage. Like, say, undermining the rule of law by over-enforcing laws that violate societal norms....

       

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        Pro Se (profile), May 25th, 2012 @ 8:37pm

        Re: Re: please just give up already!

        Comments here and on similar sites do not establish societal norms. I actually know a bunch of people within the named demographic who purchase what they consume and are none the worse for having done so. Yes, the have fewer dollars in their pocket, but then again so does everyone else who pays for things.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, May 25th, 2012 @ 9:21pm

          Re: Re: Re: please just give up already!

          Information is a powerfull tool and weapon, by spreading information one can be of help, like was demonstrated in the sopa/pipa fight, no we are not trying to stablish societal norms with the comments on this site, but to rise awareness in those who read them, some of them won't care, some others may think it's ridiculous, but some others will continue to spread the word and this last option is why we comment, post, etc.

           

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          Mike Masnick (profile), May 29th, 2012 @ 12:26am

          Re: Re: Re: please just give up already!

          Comments here and on similar sites do not establish societal norms. I actually know a bunch of people within the named demographic who purchase what they consume and are none the worse for having done so. Yes, the have fewer dollars in their pocket, but then again so does everyone else who pays for things.

          Why do you falsely assume that those of us here who do not believe copyright laws are reasonable or useful in their current formation do NOT pay for things? I pay for tons of content that I consume and do not download or stream unauthorized works.

          Yet you falsely assume that anyone who challenges such things could not possibly do so.

          In fact, multiple studies have shown that people who pay and people who infringe are not mutually exclusive, and those who infringe quite frequently spend much more than those who do not.

          So not really sure your point, other than (as per usual) you make stupid assumption that make you look foolish.

           

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            Pro Se (profile), May 29th, 2012 @ 7:59am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: please just give up already!

            I assumed no such thing. You are the one saying I made such an assumption.

            Since I made no such assumption, it seems to me that the one who looks foolish is you for the assumption you made (as per your usual).

            This is not to say that some comments I may make do contain underlying assumptions. Perhaps the best example is that by your use of the word "tons" I assume its use is for effect, and not an literal statement of fact. Of course, it is possible that this particular assumption is erroneous.

             

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              Mike Masnick (profile), May 30th, 2012 @ 12:37am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: please just give up already!

              I assumed no such thing. You are the one saying I made such an assumption.


              Not this again. You keep saying totally ridiculous shit, and the second I call you on it, you insist you said no such thing.

              Hilarious. Though you're not fooling anyone.

              By the way, when are you going to apologize for your bogus claim that Bret Easton Ellis had no fans and that he hadn't hired a producer? I'm still waiting for that one...

               

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                Pro Se (profile), May 30th, 2012 @ 8:29am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: please just give up already!

                The only one acting foolish here is you. Since you had no insight into my state of mind it is simply incredible you have assumed the power of onmipotence to tell me with certainty you knew for a fact what I was thinking.

                Given your inherent power, perhaps you can tell me what it is that I am thinking at this very moment.

                 

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                  Mike Masnick (profile), May 30th, 2012 @ 2:04pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: please just give up already!

                  The only one acting foolish here is you. Since you had no insight into my state of mind it is simply incredible you have assumed the power of onmipotence to tell me with certainty you knew for a fact what I was thinking.

                  It doesn't take insight into your "state of mind" to read *the words you wrote* and what they clearly state.

                  Not only that, but knowing your history on the site, and the fact that your MO is to state the most ridiculously stupid ignorant shit around... and then act like a hurt kitten anytime anyone calls you on it, means you've lost any benefit of the doubt.

                  And nice job totally ignoring the question about Bret Easton Ellis.

                  I guess that means you admit that you were totally full of shit on that one too. Thanks for admitting it. Took you long enough.

                   

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                    Anonymous Coward, May 30th, 2012 @ 2:50pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: please just give up already!

                    Critical thinking and reading do not appear to be your forte given your penchant for reading only what you want to read in comments that may push back against your views. Apparently other interpretations of, and/or nuances in, comments must be too tedious to consider.

                    I do have to give you credit for some measure of consistency. Even a non-comment is fleshed out as proof that supports your opinions.

                     

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                      Mike Masnick (profile), May 30th, 2012 @ 3:03pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: please just give up already!

                      Critical thinking and reading do not appear to be your forte given your penchant for reading only what you want to read in comments that may push back against your views. Apparently other interpretations of, and/or nuances in, comments must be too tedious to consider.

                      You're so full of shit it's not even funny. Anyone with a modicum of "critical thinking and reading" skills knows your MO on comments. You're just so clueless you think that your ridiculous attempts to talk your way out of people calling you on being full of shit work.

                      Let me break it down for you: Your attempts to attack those who know these things better than you are transparent and obvious. That you get defensive and stupid when people call you on it only makes you look worse.

                      If you had an *ounce* of intellectual honesty in your body (impossible, I know) you'd at least admit it when people call you on it.

                      Once again: will you admit that you were full of shit in claiming that Bret Easton Ellis didn't have fans?

                       

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        Anonymous Coward, May 26th, 2012 @ 6:33am

        Re: Re: please just give up already!

        "By the way, just because something can't be stopped doesn't mean that the attempt to stop it won't cause a lot of collateral damage. Like, say, undermining the rule of law by over-enforcing laws that violate societal norms...."

        Like Prohibition (1920-1933).
        Didn't work, but it took 13 years to realize it.

         

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      Hephaestus (profile), May 25th, 2012 @ 9:09pm

      Re: please just give up already!

      I like your subject line "PLEASE JUST GIVE UP ALREADY!"

      The comical part of this is maximalists in the copyright industry do not see what is happening. A rule of thumb is for every 1 year you oppress, lie, scam, or put down people it take 2 years to undo the damage. So basically anything the labels say will not be believed until after 30 years of good behavior.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, May 28th, 2012 @ 9:31am

        Re: Re: please just give up already!

        I have reevaluated my distrust of the entertainment lobbying groups and will not believe anything they say for the life of their organization plus 70 years.

         

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      Anonymous Coward, May 25th, 2012 @ 9:20pm

      Re: please just give up already!

      If it can't be stopped and there's nothing anyone can do to stop it, yet people are still persistent in trying without any regard or concern of legal repercussions, collateral damage, criminalising innocent or uninvolved consumers - then yes, the very least we should be doing is informing other people what a waste of time your efforts are.

      After all, if by your own admission there's nothing anyone can do to stop it, shouldn't you be doing better things with your life than complaining about blogposts about something that's gonna happen whether you fight AGAINST it or not?

       

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      Anonymous Coward, May 26th, 2012 @ 6:28am

      Re: please just give up already!

      Isn't it better to warn companies so they can adapt to the marketplace instead of letting them stick their heads in the sand and going out of business?

       

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      DC, May 29th, 2012 @ 8:12pm

      Re: please just give up already!

      Sinking to copy and paste shilling is really a new low.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, May 25th, 2012 @ 7:01pm

    "Rights holders"

    It's not a right, it's a privilege.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, May 25th, 2012 @ 7:57pm

      Re:

      "Privilege holders"?

      I think I like that better. It reframes the debate nicely.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, May 25th, 2012 @ 9:11pm

        Re: Re:

        Rights are what I can do without government. Rights don't come from government, rights exist outside of government.

        Freely copying as I please is a right, it's something I can do perfectly fine without government. For someone to prevent me from copying is something that requires government, it's something that the government provides, and so it's a privilege.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, May 25th, 2012 @ 9:11pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          (or for someone to restrict how I copy ...)

           

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          Pro Se (profile), May 26th, 2012 @ 8:31am

          Re: Re: Re:

          If you resided in a society in which you were the only member, the word "right" has no meaning. You can do whatever you please without third party interference because there is no third party to interfere with your activities. Tom Hanks in the movie Cast Away is a good example. He alone was the arbiter of what he could and could not do. Only when a second person enters the picture (I submit that a soccer ball does not count) does a right begin to have any meaning. Once this happens, however, a decision must be made. Will doing whatever you please whenever you please still be the rule? If it is to be, then of course there is a downside since the same would apply with equal force to your new "friend". Thus, I hew to the line that a right arises only in the context of a society of two or more persons, and as a general rule this is because of a societal compact to which both of you have agreed in order to keep each of you from beating each other to a pulp just because each of you have the ability to do so.

          You use the term "government". Let me suggest that "society" is perhaps a better word, and that "government" in its most elemental sense is little more than a mutual understanding of the rules upon which you and your "friend", i.e., your society, have mutually agreed, as well as how they will be enforced as between the two of you.

          Rights being a social construct, it seems to me that what they are and what they are not results from the societal compact into which each of you have entered.

          Privilege to me suggests your ability to operate within your society, you and your "friend", without your "friend" throwing a justifiable tantrum because you have not paid heed to the terms of your compact. In other words, I view rights and privileges as generally being synonyms. Whether you choose to use the word "right" or "privilege", they merely reflect the terms of your compact.

          With the above in mind, you may want to reconsider your use of the word "privilege", for in truth it derives from your compact. Under your use of the word, "due process", "right to a jury", "freedom of speech", "freedom of religion", "speedy trial", " the right to hold property", etc. would all be privileges conferred by the compact. Just as easily the two of you could agree otherwise, including agreement that neither of you can copy what the other has done. In fact, in your two person society this might make sense in order to avoid the duplication of effort. You decide you want to make a chair in contravention of your compact, in which case your "friend", who you previously agreed would be the "chair maker" could properly complain "You are the sole fisherman per our agreement. Why are you making chairs when you are supposed to be out fishing?"

          The above are just my musings as I wait for my morning breakfast of caffein to kick in. However, you might want to give them a bit of consideration.

           

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            Simple Mind (profile), May 26th, 2012 @ 9:37am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            You cannot just equate Society and Government that way. That is only an ideal. The fact is that Govt right now does not reflect what me and my friend and their friends and everyone else (Society) have mutually agreed upon.

            You can imagine "right" and "privilege" are synonyms all you want, but that doesn't make it so.

            defn. priv-i-lege [noun] A special right, advantage, or immunity granted or available only to one person or group of people.

            You might want to consider that your imagined definitions of words goes against the mutually agreed upon understanding of them. :)

             

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            Anonymous Coward, May 26th, 2012 @ 1:33pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            "Privilege to me suggests your ability to operate within your society, you and your "friend", without your "friend" throwing a justifiable tantrum because you have not paid heed to the terms of your compact."

            What the word suggests to you is irrelevant. Society didn't agree on this definition, you made it up out of nowhere. You can't just redefine words to your convenience and expect others to take you seriously when they use the words differently. If that's how you want to use it in, say, a book, then you need to express your intended definition for others to understand what you mean because others don't hold your definition.

            "In other words, I view rights and privileges as generally being synonyms. Whether you choose to use the word "right" or "privilege", they merely reflect the terms of your compact."

            I can view murder and charity as synonyms too, doesn't make it so. You can't just arbitrarily 'view' words however you want.

             

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            Anonymous Coward, May 26th, 2012 @ 1:45pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            "Rights being a social construct"

            Rights are not a social construct, rights are inalienable. Rights exist outside of social constructs. Government is a social construct. When "Society" or government restricts rights and grants privileges it should do so only to the extent that it benefits society. For instance, some governments may grant the privilege of universal healthcare because they believe society is better off with them (while others may disagree and so may not grant such privileges). Governments often restrict people's right to drive for public safety concerns. Driving is a right but it's a right I don't mind the government restricting for public safety reasons.

            "You use the term "government". Let me suggest that "society" is perhaps a better word, and that "government" in its most elemental sense is little more than a mutual understanding of the rules upon which you and your "friend", i.e., your society, have mutually agreed, as well as how they will be enforced as between the two of you."

            Government may be a mutual 'understanding' but that doesn't make it a mutual agreement. I have not agreed to IP laws. I highly doubt that the majority of society has agreed to 95+ year copy protection lengths. No, what we have now is not a social agreement, it's a one sided decision by government established monopolist interests.

            But you still miss the point. The point is that government should represent its constituents and in order for society to come to a mutual agreement we need to negotiate what we want. How else is government supposed to represent me, as a member of society, and how else are they supposed to represent society if we don't express our opinions. By expressing my opinion and encouraging others to do the same and to hold my viewpoints and by discussing the matter with others we can better negotiate what constitutes mutually acceptable laws. I want IP abolition. I do not want our current laws. I want all anti-competitive laws abolished. I am merely expressing my opinion as a member of society. If others find my viewpoints and arguments compelling perhaps they will subscribe to it. If enough people agree we can protest and vote and get the government to change its mind. That's part of the purpose of these discussions.

             

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    Anonymous Coward, May 25th, 2012 @ 7:19pm

    This post has win every kind of respect I have, and it's completly ok, and to answer the cuastion about why we fight to protect something that can't possibly be defeated(infringement), is simply because we want our rights to be equal to that of the copyright holders.
    while doing so we'll be able to live without the fear to be acused of something we don't even knew it was rong when we did it, and in the process we save those who try to destroy new technologies that could potentially make them way richer than they allready are (just like it happened with the previous technologies that were going to kill them)

     

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      Pro Se (profile), May 25th, 2012 @ 8:24pm

      Re:

      "...we want our rights to be equal to that of the copyright holders..."

      Ok, you got me. What rights of yours are you talking about?

       

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        Anonymous Coward, May 25th, 2012 @ 8:34pm

        Re: Re:

        I don't want to put words into the other AC's mouth, but at a guess, I'd say the right to participate in the remixing and transformation of our own culture, instead of letting it all be dictated by businessmen with deep pockets and no other stake in the matter.

         

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          Pro Se (profile), May 25th, 2012 @ 8:42pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Again, the use of a word without context, i.e., "culture". Any informed and meaningful debate at the very least need a common baseline, and it is concise definitions of terms being used that serves the purpose lest people talk past, and not to, each other.

           

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            Greevar (profile), May 25th, 2012 @ 11:55pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Culture is a fair word to use here. All authored works are derived from our culture. Culture is the beliefs, behaviors, objects, norms, mores, and values of a group of people. Artistic works can be accurately described as cultural symbols, as they are objects that represent our culture. Therefore, culture is the foundation on which all works are built on. Copyright places restrictions on the use of works that are made of pieces of our culture. So, by extension, copyright takes away our right to access the culture that makes us who we are. To lock up culture is to lock up our identity and take it away from us.

             

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              Anonymous Coward, May 26th, 2012 @ 8:48am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Better to ask forgiveness than permission. And it's strange not being able to access cultural artifacts from my childhood and use them in ways to comment on the present because, hey, that's copyright infringement.

               

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            Sock, May 26th, 2012 @ 4:30pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            @Pro Se: It seems to me that you are one of the more outspoken voices that have come out in support of strong copyright laws and so I'm addressing this post to you. Honestly, obvious troll is obvious so I don't even know what you're even doing here trying to fight the horde like you have been but I wish you the best of luck with that. I'm not going to argue the pro's and con's of copyright with you. What I will do is try and provide you with a different perspective on the problem.

            You see, I'm not very old. I peg you to be in your mid 40s to 50s and so I'm probably somewhere around half you're age. This is the internet after all so it's hard to say for sure. If I'm right, then you grew up in an enviroment that, for all it's simalarities, might as well have been another universe. I wasn't around in those days but listening to the stories from my parents when they were growing up, it sure did sound like a completely different place - they hardly had tv! A different world, a different set of rules. In those days you're society was built up of big, well respected institutions. You had your government and Uncle Sam and the American Dream (I'm assuming you're American as it suits me) and media comglomerates; all of them lovely, large, institutions that were trust worthy and that were doing amazing things. You had technology that; while it brought you information and culture; it was uni-directional, limited, slow and combersome. That was ok though because things did not move or change quickly. Essentially you lived in a culture that was write-only. You were given messages and that was that; you read it on a sign board or heard it from a comercial or watched it in a cinema. You did not interact with it, contribute to it, mold it and pass it on. It was seperate from you and the channels that delivered it to you were controlled by someone else. That was ok though because you trusted them, after all you were proud be be a [insert nationality here] and one has to stand up and be patriotic of one's own.

            I've not known what that is like - I have never lived in that enviroment. When I was born the internet was already here. I grew up with a cell phone in my hand, an internet connection in my room, social media bookmarks on my browser and free, open source software installed on my devices. I can't even imagine what it would be like to want to know about something and not be able to fire off a google search and have that information at my disposal with in minutes if not seconds. This technology has become so central to everything that I do that it has become my life. I do not watch TV or read news pappers or hang out at cinema's and arcades - instead I am permenantly connected to people from around the world of every creed and gender and persuation, who at any time and almost instantaneously, can share text, sound, images or video with me; regardless of where I am at the time. Some of them I know personally but most are complete strangers. This is normal for me and I have always known it.

            I do not only comsume the culture and data that I receive either; I produce it - like this post and the youtube video I remixed last week or the new meme I forwarded to my girlfriend; which was altered slightly so that she would find it endearing. I live in a space that you do not know - that you cannot know. I do not see myself as American or European or Australian or African or South American or East Asian or any other nationality. I am a netizen. This has literally become such an ingrained part of my life that it is now a part of my identity.

            Now to my point: I am not alone. There is literally a whole generation of people who are like me. Not only in your country but in every country around the world. As time passes our ranks will swell, your generation will die off and we be in the positions of power that you now sit in. We do not recognise or want copyright. It does not conform to the rules of the universe we operate in; not practically or even morally. We create, copy, modify, remix and forward information and data on a permanent basis. As the meme goes: this is how I roll.

            The rules have changed. How then will you stop me?

             

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              Shoe, May 26th, 2012 @ 5:20pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              And many netizens may still believe Al Gore invented the internet.

              Do you know what contributions Radia Perlman and Hedy Lamarr made to networking - without using any search tools, regexps, algorithms - likely before you were born? Where was the first cell phone developed and tested, and why was that entity not able to proceed past a certain point?

              Many of us here know. Wisdom and hacking come before youth and assumptions.

               

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                Anonymous Coward, May 26th, 2012 @ 5:45pm

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

                THAT'S "HEDLEY"!

                 

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                Sock, May 26th, 2012 @ 6:04pm

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

                Do you know how many valuable contributions pop tarts and Pamela Anderson have made to the development of the combustion engine? Me neither.

                I'm honestly confused about your point - it's like you just wanted to say the words "wisdom", "hacking" and "assumptions" in the same post so you put a whole bunch of words in front of them and clicked submit.

                 

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                  Pro Se (profile), May 26th, 2012 @ 8:35pm

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

                  Actually, he is making a very simple point. This enabling technology that so many here proclaim is beyond the understanding of others, especially those of, dare I say it, more mature years is in fact well understood by them.

                  Every generation has some who seem to believe that those preceeding it are simply out of touch with the real world. They live in the past. Funny how when the next one comes along the process is repeated ad infinitum.

                  Apart from, and more important than, the technology itself is how people conduct themselves when around others.

                  "I'll take it because I can in my new world order. It's not like it is my fault that you are not meeting my 'needs' for what I want, when I want it, and in what form I want it. That's your problem, not mine, and what you desire be damned."

                  There is so much more to "progress" than is repeatedly trumpeted here. Yes, economics are important. Yes, technological achievements are important. Yes, the creation of new works is important. Unfortunately, this site fails to note that this is only a partial list, with one glaring omission being respect for what someone may ask of you.

                   

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                    Dreddsnik, May 27th, 2012 @ 6:24am

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

                    " Unfortunately, this site fails to note that this is only a partial list, with one glaring omission being respect for what someone may ask of you. "

                    You fail to note that respect must be earned. It cannot be enforced, it can't be beaten into people. Taking someones life savings away for an 'infringement' of 1 or 2 songs, or destroying a new business because someone using it might be using it improperly ( Megaupload, DaJaz ) will not earn respect, and I will put forward that 'respect' was never the goal. Fear and control are your goals. You will never get respect with a whip and a club. You will get revolt.

                    It may take a while, but it will happen. ( already happening ).

                    "I'll take it because I can in my new world order. It's not like it is my fault that you are not meeting my 'needs' for what I want, when I want it, and in what form I want it. That's your problem, not mine, and what you desire be damned."

                    I looked through his post pretty carefully, I saw no such paragraph. This statement therefore must be considered as 'putting words into his mouth' or in simpler vernacular, 'you're just making shit up now'. That won't earn any respect either.

                     

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                      Pro Se (profile), May 27th, 2012 @ 7:47am

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

                      The first comment was directed to interpersonal relationships, and not to the relationship between individuals and the government with its inherent police power.

                      The second comment is directed to a general summation of comments here wherein persons proclaim that technology has changed the rules, and that they will do what they darn well please using it without the slightest concern or remorse that they are ignoring wholesale the wishes of so many persons who have long labored to provide products for the use and enjoyment of consumers.

                      This general summation underlies the point being promoted by the commenter.

                      Quite frankly, I am a bit surprised that one of your self-dentified age would resort to insulting words.

                       

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                Anonymous Coward, May 27th, 2012 @ 6:27am

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

                I know of no 'Netizens' that believe Al Gore invented the internet.

                Stop making things up.

                 

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                  Anonymous Coward, May 28th, 2012 @ 12:42pm

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

                  I know of no one who's went to the moon. Therefore its never happened.

                  Stop making stuff up, Nasa.

                   

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                  Anonymous Coward, May 28th, 2012 @ 1:25pm

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

                  I know of no one who's went to the moon. Therefore its never happened.

                  Stop making stuff up, Nasa.

                   

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              Pro Se (profile), May 26th, 2012 @ 9:22pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Actually, virtually all of your statements and assumptions about me are wrong. I do not promote IP. Nor for that matter do I denigrate it. I simply try as best I can to state what I believe the law actually comprises in a very limited attempt to rebut misinformation that abounds.

              My age? What age do you want me to be? Would you feel better if I said mine was the same as yours? Would that make my opinion more or less relevant?

              In a way I feel sad for you. Technology enables you to do things, but certainly it should not define you. It is merely a tool, but in the case of the internet one that works much faster than a visit to a library for research, a telephone call where people talk to each other by sound instead of text, a simple, handwritten letter that conveys more personal involvement with the recipient than a dashed-off text message or email, etc.

              Like it or not, at some point in the future we will all pass. When you do I hope that your epitaph does not identify you by what you used and did, but with who you were. "He was a netizen" does not cut it, though in all candor I do have to say that my favorite was by a man in Key West whose epitaph reads "I told you I was sick".

               

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                DC, May 29th, 2012 @ 8:05pm

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

                "Comments here and on similar sites do not establish societal norms. I actually know a bunch of people within the named demographic who purchase what they consume and are none the worse for having done so. Yes, the have fewer dollars in their pocket, but then again so does everyone else who pays for things."

                That is just one example of you arguing for what the law should be, rather than what it is: that what it is now is just fine.

                You appear to be a sophist who is here to distract and deflect, so I shouldn't be replying, but I didn't see anyone else point out how bad your very articulate argumentation is.
                Many of us here think that:

                1) the courts are interpreting existing laws incorrectly (yes, it happens).

                2) The existing laws are bad, as well as bought and paid for.

                3) Most of the people who implement 1 and 2 do not understand the technology they are making decisions about on both a fundamental basis, and a cultural basis.

                 

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                  Pro Se (profile), May 29th, 2012 @ 9:37pm

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

                  No, my comments are generally directed to what the law "is", and not what it should be. I save what I believe it should be for debate within professional organizations such as the ABA committees on which I sit.

                   

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              Dreddsnik, May 27th, 2012 @ 6:14am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              I am not the idiot AC you were responding to, but I'd like to address one of the thing you mentioned in you're well thought out post.

              "You had your government and Uncle Sam and the American Dream (I'm assuming you're American as it suits me) and media comglomerates; all of them lovely, large, institutions that were trust worthy and that were doing amazing things."

              That's an excellent point. I am in my 50's. I grew up in that time, and that's very true. It was almost treason to even suggest that the government might be a little .. less than honest. ( See McCarthyism ). If you are as young as I THINK you are, you have never seen a time in your life where government and large corporations ever appeared trustworthy, or even bothered to try to appear deserving of trust.

              Those in power have already forgotten many of the lessons of history, probably willfully, but the most important lesson isn't an historical one.

              My parents and others there age trusted Government because Government EARNED that trust. Once the Government had that trust, they abused it, surreptitiously at first, but now it's blatant, obvious. That trust has been lost, and it must be earned back. So far, Government has done nothing, and gives no indication of being willing to do anything to earn back that trust. I don't blame you one little bit for having not trust in TPTB, not just because you've never known what a trustworthy government can do, but because I have watched government do everything it can to destroy the trust given to it by those it CLAIMS to represent. I doubt that trust will ever be earned back in my lifetime.

               

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              Niall (profile), May 28th, 2012 @ 3:45am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              As a (recent) 40-something, who has lived from 3 tv channels on a black-and-white TV until now with two 'computers' in my pocket and several at home, I applaud your vision.

              I too remember from my parents a world that seemed like another one, a world of rationing, of recovering from a 'total' war, of trying to overcome boundless hatred. And the haters, the limiters of freedom and 'decency', the hidden cabals, should never be allowed to win.

               

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    Anonymous Coward, May 25th, 2012 @ 7:29pm

    "To return to the parking analogy, the result of these legal changes has been to paint every curb a red zone—it's now illegal to park anywhere. "

    You are trying way to hard to make an analogy, and you miss all the way down the line. First, there is no increase in the number of red zones, only that there is finally a move to put some enforcement officers to hand out tickets in red zone areas where everyone has been parking illegally, knowing there was no enforcement.

    Further, you are always free to create your own new parking. Nobody is stopping you. In simple terms, if you don't like the current parking situation, open your own parking lot if you like - that's free and completely your choice.

    Hitting your head against the wall and complaining about the pain doesn't make it the wall's fault. Start working on your own part of the problem, and things will work out better.

     

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      Paul Brinker, May 25th, 2012 @ 7:34pm

      Re:

      Zoning laws would like to have a talk with you about making free parking. Espically if they painted red zones everyware.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, May 25th, 2012 @ 7:44pm

      Re:

      Once again you fail at the basic driving force of reality, namely physics. Learn physics 101, then we'll talk.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, May 25th, 2012 @ 8:34pm

      Re:

      I hope you're being sarcastic.

      He meant that, if there'es too much parking slotos and too much people tryng to use them, you cannot prosecute every single one of them, if we take into account other (more important) matters, then only a minority of the people illegally parking would be prosecuted. And the others will continue to park illegally because is a better option than to build your own parking lot.

      In copyright law 70% (I'd say there's even more than that) of the people have, one way or another infringed, even if they want to search for every last one of them we would need.

      a) more officers.
      b) more jails.
      c) a lot of free time.
      d) more money (if a really large amount of them choose to go to court).

      of course there's also the posibility to take everyone out of the internet, but that would be equivalent to make everyone out of the city.

       

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      Greevar (profile), May 25th, 2012 @ 11:45pm

      Re:

      The point he was trying to make is, that if you put too many restrictions on where people can park, the more likely one is to just ignore the law. Such as with copyright. It's become so overly restrictive, that people are just ignoring it. The quantity of parking spaces is immaterial to the issue.

      Making new parking sites isn't going to alleviate an over-reaching law on parking. If it's illegal to park anywhere, it would also be illegal to park in your lot as well. Not only that, but "make your own parking lot" is not a solution if you need to park somewhere that's not within walking distance of your lot. A fat lot of good it does to have my own private parking lot if my destination is several miles away from my lot, assuming I'm allowed to park in my own lot.

       

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      Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), May 26th, 2012 @ 4:37am

      Re:

      Hitting your head against the wall and complaining about the pain doesn't make it the wall's fault. Start working on your own part of the problem, and things will work out better.

      I'm pretty sure this is a succinct description of what we've been telling the copyright maximalists for over a decade about digital distribution.

       

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      Rekrul, May 26th, 2012 @ 12:25pm

      Re:

      First, there is no increase in the number of red zones, only that there is finally a move to put some enforcement officers to hand out tickets in red zone areas where everyone has been parking illegally, knowing there was no enforcement.

      Would you support making the cost of each parking violation $150,000?

      If not, please explain why you think such fines are appropriate for sharing a single song, but not for parking illegally.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, May 26th, 2012 @ 9:02pm

        Re: Re:

        I'll answer you because your question is so misguided, so out of touch, that it deserves attention.

        First off, you are confusing a fine (criminal penalty) with a civil lawsuit judgement. Right away, you are in a bit of a corner because you don't appear to know the difference between the two.

        Second, let's deal with the fine. The amount of a parking ticket is set based on a number things, such as deterrent factor (making people not want to do it again), and perhaps in some way to offset the costs of both enforcing the law, and what harm may have been caused to others. It is incredibly important here to remember that as soon as the offending car moves away from that parking spot, the harm stops.

        Third, look at file sharing. A single seed could lead to (cue Masnick voice) INFINITE copies being made illegally. Even if the seeder stops seeding the file (or deletes it from the file locker), the harm keeps going as a result of their act.

        It's as if the illegally parked car stays there forever.

        Remember also that the civil liability for infringing is UP to $150,000 - it's not a hard number, it's a maximum.

        How much do you think the maximum fine would be for a car illegally parked for 20 years? Use yoru example $50 x 365 x 20 = $365,000! Oh boy, do you think that is a fair fine for parking illegally?

         

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          Anonymous Coward, May 26th, 2012 @ 9:25pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Actually, in all likelihood it would be towed, and the towing and storage fees make $50/day look positively inexpensive.

           

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          Rekrul, May 28th, 2012 @ 4:12pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          First off, you are confusing a fine (criminal penalty) with a civil lawsuit judgement. Right away, you are in a bit of a corner because you don't appear to know the difference between the two.

          I went with the analogy given.

          Second, let's deal with the fine. The amount of a parking ticket is set based on a number things, such as deterrent factor (making people not want to do it again), and perhaps in some way to offset the costs of both enforcing the law, and what harm may have been caused to others.

          Supposedly, the same is true of statutory damages for copyright infringement.

          It is incredibly important here to remember that as soon as the offending car moves away from that parking spot, the harm stops.

          It's also important to remember that illegal parking can cause real world problems, such as traffic jams, the elderly and disabled not being able to find a parking space, etc. Copyright infringement only harms a corporation's bottom line. Which I should point out, is doing just fine, despite all the predictions of doom & gloom from the entertainment industry.

          Remember also that the civil liability for infringing is UP to $150,000 - it's not a hard number, it's a maximum.

          So far, the judgments against people accused of file sharing have been ridiculously high, such that most people could never hope to pay them.

          What are these people expected to do? Sell their homes, sell all their possessions and become homeless? Yeah, then the state can take care of them, all so that a multi-billion dollar corporation can make an extra million (on top of the $20 billion they already make).

           

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      DC, May 29th, 2012 @ 8:11pm

      Re:

      "First, there is no increase in the number of red zones"

      You are kidding, right?

      Just 2 are easy:

      DMCA Notice and take down (with no penalty for a false affidavit)

      Sony Bono Act.

      15 times in that last 30 years?

      No increase in red zones?

      You are either, poo flinging, not paying attention, or stupid. Please let us know which.

       

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    Paul Brinker, May 25th, 2012 @ 7:31pm

    Copyright has just been taken to far, The longer the right, the less likly someone is going to care about reusing the material.

    Can anyone tell me who holds the rights to a lesser known black and white western that was released about the same time as Mickey Mouse?

    The funny thing is that the answer is no, not even the owner may in fact know he owns the master in some vault. BUT, If I were to make a mashup of westerns from 1920 with authentic music of the era I would get copyright notices out of the wood work if I some how got even a small amount of fame.

    The only way to not infringe is to steal stuff from the late 1890s or earlier, So brothers Grimm, old books, and original wax sound recordings are about the only things I can use today. Even then Ill still get yelled at because someone also used the same material already and will take me to court over copying there copy of the original snow white.

    Almost NOTHING is original, that's the big problem with our system.

     

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      Pro Se (profile), May 25th, 2012 @ 8:32pm

      Re:

      "The longer the right, the less likly (sic) someone is going to care about reusing the material."

      If people are inclined to violate an author's copyright on the very first day a work is introduced to the public (and in some case even before introduction occurs), why would you even care whether it lasts a day, a week, a year, or longer?

      "So brothers (sic) Grimm, old books, and original wax sound recordings are about the only things I can use today."

      Seems to me you define the term "use" much too narrowly. Just today I "used" a movie by watching in on HBO, "used" my newspaper to read articles, etc. How do you define the term?

       

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        Anonymous Coward, May 25th, 2012 @ 9:23pm

        Re: Re:

        You're right, there are bad people in the world that won't care about rules, some others however just want rules to be less ridiculous.

         

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        Anonymous Coward, May 25th, 2012 @ 10:13pm

        Re: Re:

        "If people are inclined to violate an author's copyright on the very first day a work is introduced to the public (and in some case even before introduction occurs), why would you even care whether it lasts a day, a week, a year, or longer?"

        and how do you know that Paul Brinker is one of those people? What world do you live in where you think people should be guilty until proven innocent. Maybe the poster cares because he's not one of those people and he is a law abiding citizen but he doesn't like our current laws.

         

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        Anonymous Coward, May 25th, 2012 @ 10:30pm

        Re: Re:

        "If people are inclined to violate an author's copyright on the very first day a work is introduced to the public (and in some case even before introduction occurs), why would you even care whether it lasts a day, a week, a year, or longer?"

        Your post is like saying, if some people are inclined to violate the law anyways, what do you care how ridiculous the laws are? Some people will commit murder and bank robbery anyways, so why would you even care whether drinking water, eating food, free speech, driving your car during the night, parking in an empty parking lot for past two hours, is against the law. Who cares if bad laws exist, people will break the law anyways, so we should all stop worrying about bad laws.

        Your argument is ridiculous. There will always be people who violate good and bad laws, it's impossible to stop people from violating all laws. Just because some people may violate good (or, in the case of IP, bad) laws is no reason for us to permit the existence of bad laws. and when the government passes bad laws of course I care, I absolutely should care, and I want our currently existing bad laws abolished.

         

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        quawonk, May 26th, 2012 @ 5:53am

        Re: Re:

        Way to completely dodge Paul Brinker's point, which was that copyright terms are becoming insanely long. How do you justify these insane extensions that go far beyond the lifetime of the original creator? Who benefits from that? The public (the originally intended beneficiaries of copyright), the creator (they're dead), or rich guys in suits?

        Or maybe the offspring of the creator? Why should people get paid for work done a long time ago by their ancestors? Why is the entertainment industry the only area where that happens? What if my ancestor was in construction, should I still be making money from his work? People might still use his building today. No, I should have to continue to work if I want to make money. Working full time for a living. What a concept! Entertainers want to be exempt from that basic principle, it seems.

        Yet we're the entitled ones...

         

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        Anonymous Coward, May 26th, 2012 @ 7:33am

        Re: Re:

        Personally, I define the term "use" as "reuse, transform, incorporate, comment on." Using the plot and characters of a movie to right a short story that pokes fun at the genre the movie sprang from; using promo pictures from the movie to illustrate a blog post discussing how we force modern perceptions onto our historical narratives; using clips from the movie to create a music video that addresses gender roles (or flips them); using still frames from the movie merged with stills from another movie to create a complex graphic that implies they exist in the same universe: these are some of the acts I consider to be "using" a movie.

        What you did was just watch one.

         

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    Ikarushka (profile), May 25th, 2012 @ 8:52pm

    Here's where I part company with those who reject copyright altogether. The theory of copyright—limited monopoly in exchange for a rich public domain—is still a good one, and the system created by the English, adapted by early Congresses, had the virtue of being largely self-enforcing and therefore efficient.

    Well, when I was young, we hailed Mr. Gorbachev and his reforms. We genuinely believed that Communism is the only way forward, it was merely perverted by the previous rulers. How naive we were. Naive and happy.

    I see a lot of similarities between copyright with communism. The main one: both are artificial experiments imposed against human nature. The other one: both fail with breaking information barriers. Copyright has no future.

     

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      Jesse (profile), May 25th, 2012 @ 11:03pm

      Re:

      I think the public can be educated, and should be. Here's where I part company with those who reject copyright altogether.

      The problem I have is that this is such a paternalistic attitude. Why does the public need to be educated? As though the public, i.e. the general population, does not already know best.

      If copyright didn't exist (and for all intents and purposes, in the internet age it doesn't) then what would we say if someone proposed copyright now for the first time? Well I would say, "What's wrong with what we have now, and what evidence do you have that this 'copyright' system would make things better?" Nobody can answer those questions effectively, and therefore copyright should be abolished.

       

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        Greevar (profile), May 25th, 2012 @ 11:31pm

        Re: Re:

        It's not a impetus to educate people, it's merely to provide all the materials possible to enable people to educate themselves. They make sure we have the best intellectual resources that exist and we make use of the best we can. Anybody who desires to be a better human being would jump at the chance to have access to a large free library of content. Education informs us and provides better tools to solve problems. Entertainment gives us the opportunity to find new perspectives, not to mention it provides amusement to make life a bit more bearable. Through freely accessible knowledge and art, we become more than we are. We grow. We expand what we can do, imagine, and understand. We see new possibilities and seek new frontiers. Someone once said that "The broader the shore of my knowledge, the greater my sea of mysteries."

         

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    Pro Se (profile), May 25th, 2012 @ 9:08pm

    Your comments are for all intents and purposes a recitation of generalities and anecdotes. Even the "provocative study" you cite is merely more of the same.

    Your understanding of the history associated with US copyright law mimics the same flaws. Seriously, Disney was the driving force behind many years of congressional debate that led to the US acceding to the Berne Convention after 90 years, which convention was a creature of European law that is far more restrictive than even current day US law, both in terms of the absence of formalities, moral rights, duration, etc.? Where were you in 1976 when the Copyright Act of 1976 was enacted after 12 years of congressional debate and the presentation of numerous drafts?

     

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      The eejit (profile), May 26th, 2012 @ 3:14am

      Re:

      Not in Congreess, liek the MPAA and the RIAA were.

       

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      DC, May 29th, 2012 @ 8:21pm

      Re:

      Are you suggesting that the content industries (as opposed to artists, who don't generally lobby) were not the driving force behind pretty much every copyright extension ever, including the Statute of Anne?

       

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    Ed C., May 25th, 2012 @ 9:45pm

    Large media holding companies are becoming desperate, expending their resources not to find new ways of making money but to secure passage of increasingly draconian laws (SOPA) and treaties (ACTA) that give them more, largely unusable new powers.

    That's probably the most concise summary of the legacy publishers stance on copyright.

     

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    Byte, May 25th, 2012 @ 10:41pm

    What "rich public domain" are you talking about? I don't know of any vinyl LP (those large black records you grampy used to have) that is now public domain. NONE!

     

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    Greevar (profile), May 25th, 2012 @ 11:14pm

    There's no such thing as a "balanced" copyright.

    The only reason copyright worked at all in the beginning was because the means to copy and distribute works was difficult and expensive. It was something only publishers with their large amounts of capital could achieve. Now we have computers attached to the internet and copying is accessible to everyone. It doesn't matter how much copyright is relaxed, it will never be enforceable and it will never truly serve the good of the public. The only realistic solution is to remove all restriction on distribution. This means authors can no longer make a profit by the power exclusion. They will have to profit through other means, such as leveraging the popularity of works to sell related goods and services. There's no balance that can be struck with copyright because it only takes away and gives nothing back.

    Since the internet has become commonplace, there has been an explosion of content and the tools to create better content keep getting cheaper and more accessible. There won't be a deficit of content if copyright were to disappear, that's a myth perpetuated by those that want to maintain control. Since YouTube came along, there has been a huge increase of content. If people really want to continue making a profit through content, they will find a way and there are far more revenue streams out there than there was as little as ten years ago.

    Industry incumbents only want to make copyright persist in order to bring the market back to what they had in the late 20th century, where they were the only providers to go to for content and there were only a handful of competitors to out perform. This, of course, meant they didn't have to produce "great" content, just "good enough" content so that it was better than the other content in that particular time slot.

    Copyright has always been and always will be a contradiction of itself. The goal is to provide a greater supply of content for the betterment of society, but it tries to achieve this goal by restricting access to the content that would otherwise serve to better society. You can't educate the masses by holding information back from those that can't afford it. That's backwards. You have to make it free to access.

    Germany is known for their superb engineers. They got to be so good because there was access to such knowledge for only the cost of printing due to a total lack of copyright in stark contrast to England, who were the creators of what became modern copyright. Interestingly, Germany was producing far more works than England despite the lack of copyright. People were copying and distributing engineering text books to learn the skills they are so famous for. Had copyright been in place at the time, they would not have had as much access to the text books that increased their knowledge in the field of engineering. A lack of copyright on engineering knowledge created a nation of great engineers.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 26th, 2012 @ 12:27am

    Moose and squirrel? That reminds me of another cartoon.

     

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    Digitari, May 26th, 2012 @ 2:48am

    Re: copygrant

    why should ANYONE get paid today for work they did yesterday??

    that is what "copyright" is, getting paid for yesterdays work

     

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    Anonymous Cowherd, May 26th, 2012 @ 3:10am

    Any economic system that depends not only on a "delicate balance," but on educating consumers about it, is doomed to fail. It is absurd to suggest that the general public would routinely go against self-interest simply to prop up the "balance" of an arbitrarily imposed monopoly.

     

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    hfbs (profile), May 26th, 2012 @ 4:22am

    2 things:

    1 - Anyone who know Happy Tree Friends will know that piranha attack will not end well at all.

    2 - It seems to suggest that mashups/remixes/derivatives are not legitimate forms of creativity. As as mashup producer myself, I find that a little insulting.

     

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    shawnhcorey (profile), May 26th, 2012 @ 5:14am

    Just Say No

    There is no balance; there never was a balance. Have you ever read any of the copyright "agreements" offered to artists and writers? There are for _all_ rights. That means, if you're a musician, and you sell a song to a record label, you _must_ pay for playing your song every time you do so. Yes, even though you created it, you can't play it without paying. If you are a writer and sell a story, you can't write a sequel, prequel, or or work using the any of the characters or settings without giving (that's correct, giving) it to the publisher. And in the US, you can be sued if you don't.

    Copyright was never about balance. It's about creating a monopoly for the copyright holders, the big money companies. And by monopoly, it means that big money can force the creators to accept whatever pittance they're willing to give to the creators. Creators do _NOT_ benefit from copyright, only big money.

    Copyright: just say no.

     

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      PenAndBoard, May 26th, 2012 @ 5:57am

      Re: Just Say No

      As a self-published author I mostly agree, though digital distribution does have it's own risks as far as resale pirates are concerned. But, truth be told, that's an extremely minor risk. It's far more respectful to my readers to completely do away with DRM and instead ensure that my books are available in every legitimate eBook market I can find.

      What ebooks have done, as far as the author/reader relationship is concerned, is provide a direct channel. If your story is good most readers will be more than happy to pay you a reasonable price. If it's not they won't even bother pirating.

      When society develops the means for direct artist to consumer exchange that only benefits two groups of people: the artists and consumers. What we're seeingr from copyright maximalists and "rights" organizations has nothing to do with protecting the content creators and everything with protecting entrenched middlemen. They're the ones fighting tooth and nail to ensure they don't lose their place at the table. Author's though? We'll be just fine.

      If you read any authors that say otherwise just ask them to show you a copy of the terms to their last publishing contract; there's a good chance they just don't want to lose their paymaster because it's all they've ever known.

       

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        shawnhcorey (profile), May 26th, 2012 @ 7:00am

        Re: Just Say No

        I find that many writers and artists completely ignore two markets: eBay and craigslist. They still want a middleman even with ebooks. In the new world of epublishing, you have to do your own sales or you're just as likely to get screwed as with traditional outlets. :(

         

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    Anonymous Coward, May 26th, 2012 @ 5:57am

    Those videos are so lame I feel almost compelled to go pirate something right this minute.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, May 26th, 2012 @ 6:35am

      Re:

      I always imagined anyone who saw "don't copy that floppy" went and copied floppies just so they wouldn't be like the loser in the video.

       

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    Michael, May 26th, 2012 @ 6:46am

    Did anyone else notice how that 'YouTube Copyright School' video has comments disabled? Guess YouTube doesn't want to hear what the vast majority of people think.

    I feel that sites like YouTube/Google, Facebook and other large sites are fast becoming tools for the mega-conglomerates: quick to do their bidding, acting as promotional vehicles to hawk their products and spew their messages, copyfraud, and silence/censor dissent. Perhaps we've let them grow too big for their own good.

     

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    Michael, May 26th, 2012 @ 6:48am

    Did anyone else notice how that 'YouTube Copyright School' video has comments disabled? Guess YouTube doesn't want to hear what the vast majority of people think.

    I feel that sites like YouTube/Google, Facebook and other large entities are fast becoming tools for the mega-conglomerates: quick to do their bidding, acting as promotional vehicles to hawk their products and spew their messages, copyfraud, and silence/censor dissent. Perhaps we've let them grow too big for their own good.

     

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    Loki, May 26th, 2012 @ 8:25am

    Here's where I part company with those who reject copyright altogether. The theory of copyright—limited monopoly in exchange for a rich public domain—is still a good one, and the system created by the English, adapted by early Congresses, had the virtue of being largely self-enforcing and therefore efficient.

    Agreed. However, as someone who was a very strong copyright maximalist a decade ago I simply was unable to accept the intolerance, hubris, and above all the massive dishonesty of the entertainment industry.

    For them it is an all or nothing world, and as I am unwilling to give them everything, the only option left is to offer them nothing. The more they fight for more draconian adoption (and without even a clue as to the irony that such measures would have prevent the formations of their respective industries in the first place) the more I will fight for the complete absolution of copyright.

    When/if the industry finally buckles and the likes of Cary Shermans or Chris Dodds are replaced by more honest, tolerant and forward thinking individuals then maybe some room can be found for real discussion.

     

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    TDR, May 26th, 2012 @ 12:31pm

    Copyright is like the Ring. Both corrupt and destroy those who hold them, and both are twisted things used to ruin and enslave others. Who, I wonder, would have the resolve to walk into the very fires of Mord—I mean, DC—and see copyright destroyed as the Ring was? Hollywood and the government certainly won't. They just hold it close and murmur "My preciousss..." over and over again.

     

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    Rekrul, May 26th, 2012 @ 12:43pm

    These campaigns, for starters, say nothing about the economics of content production and distribution.

    Yes, they don't mention that content production has gotten cheaper. CGI now replaces traditional models and stop-motion animation. It's even used to avoid location shoots or the building of sets in some cases.

    But this only serves to starve the public domain more, undermining the basic principles of copyright.

    You have to understand that the content producers regard the public domain as an aberration that never should have existed. As far as they're concerned, copyright was created to benefit them and they honestly can't understand why the government would allow something so horrible as their content passing out of copyright. To them, it's the equivalent of having their children kidnapped and sold into slavery.

    And it can be fixed. There is a way out of this dangerous and increasingly tense cold war between content industries and their customers.

    No, it can't. At least not with things the way they are. You'll NEVER convince the entertainment company that less copyright is the right way and as long as they're allowed to buy laws through "campaign contributions", the politicians will never go against them.

    The governments of the world are bought and paid for by the corporations.

     

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    lrobbo (profile), May 26th, 2012 @ 4:58pm

    Wicked vids . . . think that was Carrier Command from back in the day, ah the memories . . .

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 27th, 2012 @ 1:44pm

    " The second comment is directed to a general summation of comments here wherein persons proclaim that technology has changed the rules, and that they will do what they darn well please using it without the slightest concern or remorse that they are ignoring wholesale the wishes of so many persons who have long labored to provide products for the use and enjoyment of consumers.

    This general summation underlies the point being promoted by the commenter. "

    I didn't see anything resembling that so called 'summation' in that posters' comment. Please cite the passage which led you to that conclusion, I'll be here, I'm a 'regular'. I read that post of his very carefully, and I did not get that 'summation' from it. In the future, when you 'summarize' or paraphrase you may want to avoid framing it as a quote.. It makes you look like you're making shit up.

    " Quite frankly, I am a bit surprised that one of your self-dentified age would resort to insulting words. "

    At least my insulting words are open, on the table, not hidden in a passive aggressive misrepresentation. Cognitive dissonance is ugly, deliberate cognitive dissonance makes one look like an idiot, or like they're making shit up.

    Stop .. making .. shit .. up. please.

     

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      Pro Se (profile), May 27th, 2012 @ 4:08pm

      Re:

      Two people can review the same thing and reasonably come away with opposing conclusions. You see it your way and I see it mine. I will admit, however, that mine does also rely in part on many comments I have read elsewhere on this site where so many in the "new generation" express disdain for those who do not share their penchant for copying and distributing the works of others without any remorse or concern whatsoever.

      BTW, my comment about "progress" in which I used the word "respect" was obviously misunderstood by you. Apparently, I was not as clear with my words as I thought. The comment had nothing whatsoever to do with government and the veiled threat of force. It had to do with the wishes expressed by individual authors.

       

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      DC, May 29th, 2012 @ 8:27pm

      Re:

      Pro Se is not passive aggressive, per se, he is merely a sophist primarily trying to distract and deflect.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, May 28th, 2012 @ 7:25am

    " Two people can review the same thing and reasonably come away with opposing conclusions. You see it your way and I see it mine. "

    I see the opinions of the individual. I do not attribute opinions of other to the individuals opinion.

    " I will admit, however, that mine does also rely in part on many comments I have read elsewhere on this site where so many in the "new generation" express disdain for those who do not share their penchant for copying and distributing the works of others without any remorse or concern whatsoever. "

    Which is what I thought. You lumped the thoughts and opinions of the few onto a poster that did not have that attitude. Actually, the overwhelming majority of the 'new generation' support the ARTIST getting paid. This is consistently ignored or dismissed. Those that control the old system refuse to acknowledge that FACT. It is inconvenient for them to do so.

    "It had to do with the wishes expressed by individual authors."

    My missive on respect was not limited to government, but included content owners and creators .. actually, anyone who wants cash for goods or services. I didn't misunderstand at all.

     

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      Pro Se (profile), May 28th, 2012 @ 9:17am

      Re:

      Actually, the overwhelming majority of the 'new generation' support the ARTIST getting paid.

      Probably a fair statement, but a bit short of the mark. The creation of music and movies involves a team that is far larger than just the "artists", as well as necessary facilities, equipment, supplies, etc.

      My missive on respect was not limited to government, but included content owners and creators .. actually, anyone who wants cash for goods or services. I didn't misunderstand at all.

      Surely you do not mean to imply that everyone who is an author and relies upon the rights accorded by copyright law must earn the respect of those who consume his/her/their works before they dare ask for things as simple as payment, non-distribution, etc. What about respect being extended at the outset to those who have collectively labored so diligently to create a work in the first place?

      Taking someones life savings away for an 'infringement' of 1 or 2 songs, or destroying a new business because someone using it might be using it improperly ( Megaupload, DaJaz ) will not earn respect, and I will put forward that 'respect' was never the goal. Fear and control are your goals.

      This statement makes me wonder if this is a subject with which you have intimate familiarity. How many situations are you aware of where someone's life savings have been taken away because of downloading 1, 2,...50 songs? As for sites like Megaupload, Rapidshare, ect., whenever liability has sought to be imposed upon the sites it is predominantly based upon longstanding, common law priciples of secondary liability. Don't like secondary liability? Well, all you have to do is convince the courts these tort doctrines that reach back to the common law of England are simply inapt. Infringement being a tort, then it would be incumbent upon you to at least convincingly demonstrate why this tort should get a "free pass". In fact, were it not for the DMCA and its safe harbors, these doctrines would greatly expand the potential liability of websites.

       

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        DC, May 29th, 2012 @ 8:38pm

        Re: Re:

        "Well, all you have to do is convince the courts these tort doctrines that reach back to the common law of England are simply inapt."

        Seems like sites subject to takes downs generally don't get their day in court.

        DMCA Safe Harbors? The DMCA massively increased liability, and the safe harbors are the only mitigating measure. You are pretending that every new legislation is improving things for everyone, or even limiting the content industries in some way, which is a ridiculous argument on its face.

        As an aside, I'm pretty sure this is AJ. I'm not sure why he would pick a handle that indicates he is arguing on his own behalf, when the arguments are entirely on the behalf of the content industries.

        It's a puzzle.

         

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          Pro Se (profile), May 29th, 2012 @ 9:55pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Again, no, the DMCA did not massively increase liability. What it did was provide sites a means to avoid liability they might otherwise face if they did the same thing in the physical world.

           

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    Anonymous Coward, May 29th, 2012 @ 6:27am

    "Surely you do not mean to imply that everyone who is an author and relies upon the rights accorded by copyright law must earn the respect of those who consume his/her/their works before they dare ask for things as simple as payment, non-distribution, etc."

    I don't imply that. I said it, straight to the point.

    If a store owner is a douche, I won't shop there.
    If an author is an ass, I won't buy their books.
    If an artist is a - insert adj here - I won't buy their art.
    If a musician supports the assumption of guilt and mass lawsuits, I won't buy their music .. etc.

    I vote with my wallet based on the ACTIONS of people or entities who want my money. The 'Awesome and Human' who want me to buy get my money. Why this is such a difficult concept for some to wrap their head around is beyond me.

    Those who treat the customer without respect deserve neither respect nor money. Now I'll sit back and wait for the assumption that I mean that infringement is 100% ok.

    It's not so black and white. To assert otherwise is intellectually dishonest, or just plain stupid.

    " This statement makes me wonder if this is a subject with which you have intimate familiarity. How many situations are you aware of where someone's life savings have been taken away because of downloading 1, 2,...50 songs? "

    You don't read much, do you ? Students, mom's, etc.. sued regularly without evidence and the presumption of guilt on their heads have been all over the internet ( here, reddit, Ray Beckerman's Blog, P2Pnet ) for at least 10 years. How do you MISS that ? Ordinary people, when they refuse to 'settle' are run to financial ruin through punitive litigation. It's ridiculous. This is supposed to make people 'respect' copyright owners ? No. It's designed to make people FEAR being sued. The backlash will continue, and it is well deserved. The 'protections' you mention can not be used by anyone without a lot of money. And while you mention 'Free Passes', why should entities that CONSISTENTLY file false, incorrect, or misleading take down notices ( perjury) get a free pass? Why should the entities that falsely sued Dajaz, only to be forced to return the domain once the accusations were proved baseless get a free pass ?

    Sounds like you have a personal stake in this either as a lawyer or a paid label 'property'.

     

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      Pro Se (profile), May 29th, 2012 @ 8:11am

      Re:

      Apparently my use of the word "downloading" was overlooked by you. It does help to read the question before dashing off a rant.

      You stated "Taking someones (sic) life savings away for an 'infringement' of 1 or 2 songs,...". Perhaps you would be so kind as to identify some of those who meet the criteria in your statement.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, May 29th, 2012 @ 8:35am

    http://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/31030100/detail.html

    http://www.pcworld.com/article/230515/s o_youre_being_sued_for_piracy.html

    http://www.torontosun.com/tech/news/2010/11/04/15967161.html

    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,96797,00.html

    http://digitaljournal.com/article/274415

    Yes, two are about the same case, but it outlines the fact that they are punishing here for not settling inthe first place.

    There are many, many more.

    Ignoring reality won't make it go away.

    No matter how much they may sue, humiliate, or threaten, file sharing isn't going away either .. ever.

     

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      Pro Se (profile), May 29th, 2012 @ 9:51am

      Re:

      The operative words in your statement were "1 or 2 songs".

      None of the citations address this.

      I am the first one to admit being disgusted at those very few lawyers (many, if not most, of whom are fresh out of law school) who have decided to become "copyright ambulance chasers" as a quick way to turn a buck. Of course, I feel this way about all lawyers who fit this general description with regard to other laws as well. A couple quick examples off the top of my head are those in California who abused Section 17200 of the California Business and Professions Code (they were eventually sanctioned by the California Bar), as well as those who tried to shake down persons and companies regarding patent markings.

      In the matter of songs, the labels directed their efforts towards those who were distributing songs, and even then limited their efforts to those deemed the most egregious violators. JT held out for distribution a library of several thousand songs. JRT did the same. Of course, when confronted with their misdeeds these two did everything within their power to shift the blame elsewhere, one even going so far as attempting to throw others under the bus.

       

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        DC, May 29th, 2012 @ 8:47pm

        Re: Re:

        Distract and deflect.

        AC says 1 or 2.

        You actually expand that to 1,2 ... 50.

        Then you reject citations because they don't strictly fit 1 or 2.

        I really hope most people who read your comments can see how transparent your bafflegab is.

         

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          Pro Se (profile), May 29th, 2012 @ 9:49pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          No, the individual stated "1 or 2". I merely expanded the number (50 in this case, though it could have been stated even higher) in an attempt to demonstrate that even with more numerous downloads the labels were not focused on dowloaders (copyists). Theirs was a frontal assault on uploaders (distributors) of music.

          And, no, I did not reject his citations for the reason you believe. I did so because they had noting to do with the downloading of songs. JT and JRT were obviously persons with a lot of time on their hands in order to download the large numbers of music files that they placed in their resspective "share folders". It was the sheer number of files in these folders that caused them to show up on the radar screens of the labels, as was the case with the many others who found themselves on the receiving end of letters from the labels.

           

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    dreddsnik, May 29th, 2012 @ 8:46am

    I added another short-list, it's being held for moderation, probably because I added no text along with the links.

    But the list is nearly endless, I could post them all day, and you would still ignore the reality. I am taking Mikes suggestion as a request and walking away. Be sure to get the last word, you seem to need it.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 30th, 2012 @ 1:30pm

    " No, my comments are generally directed to what the law "is", and not what it should be. I save what I believe it should be for debate within professional organizations such as the ABA committees on which I sit. "

    I'm still batman.

     

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


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