Not if you lack knowledge of the way it will be used.
In order for secondary liability to be triggered you would have to assist someone doing something criminal either in deed or by giving him/her advice.
Btw. this seems to have some similarities with how Peter Sunde was convicted in the TPB case.
To the extent that the tragedy of the commons can be avoided I think they are in many ways comparable, although as you say not exactly the same thing. I just wished to make the point that just as we need to think about the objectives of copyright we sometimes also need to think about the objectives of property.
"but at its root it is fundamentally different than tangible property like fields and houses and cars and computers"
I'm not sure I completely agree with that. Some tangible property can also to a large degree be non-rivalrous in "consumption". Take for example open fields and forests in not very densily populated areas. Letting people roam freely on other people's property in such cases give very few problems and lots of advantages. In these cases one could say that too strict privaty property laws unnecessarily restrict people's freedom of movement.
Of course one could argue that wild-life lovers who wish to walk in forests and on fields owned by others could just negotiate with the land-owner, but the transaction costs would often be prohibitive.
The problem with copyright is often that people don't bother to think about the real transaction costs and all lost opportunities.
"Of course, just watch: I bet if copyright is trimmed back, the entertainment industry will bring a case under this very theory."
Probably. Btw. Australian tobacco companies argued that forbidding trademarked logos on the product packages amounted to something akin to such a taking, didn't they?
If you look at copyright as a way of reducing the transaction costs involved in the creator striking a deal with those who benefit from his/her work, then it seems very strange to come from an economical perspective and claim that "hey, we should for all practical purposes make copyright perpetual".
Yeah right - that would really reduce the transaction costs...
Ayn Rand, although generally supportive of IP, had some wise things to say about entitlement:
"If it were held in perpetuity, it would lead to the opposite of the very principle on which it is based: it would lead, not to the earned reward of achievement, but to the unearned support of parasitism. It would become a cumulative lien on the production of unborn generations, which would ultimately paralyze them. Consider what would happen if, in producing an automobile, we had to pay royalties to the descendants of all the inventors involved, starting with the inventor of the wheel and on up. Apart from the impossibility of keeping such records, consider the accidental status of such descendants and the unreality of their unearned claims.
I think you missed to highlight an interesting part of the blog post by James Love that you linked to last time: "I asked Hungary if they were concerned about the use of the exceptions by blind persons, or the precedent a treaty would set. The immediate reply was -- the precedent."
A few commenters seem to be of the opinion that it's somehow immoral to let others bear the cost of web traffic. Were we to apply that argument to stores, then the ones that do not provide a mail order service are immorally profiting at their customers' expense since they have externalized the transportation costs.
"Download illegal content"? I find that phrasing misleading. Since it's not the content but rather the way the downloading is performed that is illegal it would make more sense to talk about "illegal downloading of content".
Point me to one example where such punishments have been implemented and effectively stopped bogus takedowns (including of material that is or ought to be considered as fair-use) and it would be easier to buy your argument...
"the provider does not have actual knowledge of illegal activity or information and, as regards claims for damages, is not aware of facts or circumstances from which the illegal activity or information is apparent"
What the commission seems to want to do is to equate such knowledge with knowledge of *allegations* of infringement (i.e. a notice-and-takedown system). However, that's intellectually dishonest. Of course it is possible to be aware of allegations without being able to tell whether they are reasonably true or not. To use the words of the directive itself it may not at all be "apparent" to the third-party.
As always there is this faulty assumption that allegations will always be true, presented in good faith and take into account fair-use-like legislation or case-law. There are ample historical examples that that just isn't the case.
"One of the most misunderstood aspects of economics is the allocation of benefits. It's all too common for certain players in a market to assume that they should accrue money for anyone and everyone who benefits from their work."
I think this flawed principle is central to a lot of misunderstandings and ought to be highlighted more often.
Btw. this idea that the producer of something should be able to reap the full benefits - isn't the logical conclusion of that also that we should give up any attempt at increasing competition since competition leads to lower consumer prices which means that producers receive a lower share of the benefits of their production.
Let me second the idea of interviews. A podcast should be value added, something more than a way of making content without typing or editing. I like Techdirt a lot, but it is quicker to read text than listen to a podcast, so I'd only listen to a podcast if it offered me something more than I'd get from the text, such as nuance, or repartee or entertainment value you get from two or more people talking."
Apparently there was a new law prepared in 2005 that would make the internet covered as well, but that bill hasn't been passed into law yet.
According to the norwegian blogger Olav Torvund (in norwegian) this ruling means that the same difference between print and online postings also applies to:
* incitement to overturn the government
* advertising prostitution
* bomb recipies
* misleading information about joint-stock companies
* rules protecting the right to privacy