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Warner Music Forces Lessig Presentation Offline

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the streisand-times-one-million dept.

The Courts 196

An anonymous reader writes "Larry Lessig, known (hopefully) to everyone around here as a defender of all things having to do with consumer rights and fair use rights when it comes to copyright, is now on the receiving end of a DMCA takedown notice from Warner Music, who apparently claimed that one of Lessig's famous presentations violated on their copyright. Lessig has said that he's absolutely planning on fighting this, and has asked someone to send Warner Music a copy of US copyright law that deals with 'fair use.'" Reader daemonburrito notes that the (rehosted) "video remains available at the time of this submission."

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Whooooh! They picked the WRONG guy for this one! (5, Insightful)

gilgongo (57446) | more than 5 years ago | (#27765195)

Lessig is probably the most knowledgeable person on the planet when it comes to US law on fair use.

Ooooh they're gonna get creamed. And I will be laughing like a drain!!

Re:Whooooh! They picked the WRONG guy for this one (5, Informative)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#27765219)

Yeah, and he's already had his ass handed to him court at least once.

Difference between theory and practice and all.

Re:Whooooh! They picked the WRONG guy for this one (1)

gilgongo (57446) | more than 5 years ago | (#27765289)

Yeah, and he's already had his ass handed to him court at least once.

Difference between theory and practice and all.

Sigh.

References please.

How Lessig Lost the Big One (5, Informative)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 5 years ago | (#27765389)

Re:How Lessig Lost the Big One (2, Informative)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 5 years ago | (#27766009)

Isn't most of this article obsolete, since Gonzales v. Raich in 2005 pretty much overturned the 1995 United States v. Lopez ruling anyway?

Re:How Lessig Lost the Big One (5, Informative)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 5 years ago | (#27766233)

Isn't most of this article obsolete, since Gonzales v. Raich in 2005 pretty much overturned the 1995 United States v. Lopez ruling anyway?

The commerce clause and the copyright clause are two of the enumerated powers. The cases you cite deal with the commerce clause. So, I don't see how.

Re:Whooooh! They picked the WRONG guy for this one (5, Informative)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#27765405)

http://news.cnet.com/Supreme-Court-nixes-copyright-challenge/2100-1023_3-980792.html [cnet.com]

Lessig argued that repeated extensions were unconstitutional because they ran afoul of the Constitution's "limited times" requirement and also conflicted with the First Amendment's guarantees of freedom of speech.

But just moments into Lessig's opening remarks, Justice Sandra Day O'Connor interrupted and noted Congress had repeatedly extended the duration on copyrights, with no intervention before by the Supreme Court. What, O'Connor asked, is different about this case?

Lessig then continued to ramble on and the supremes continued to roll their eyes and wonder what the hell he was on about. He later said that, in retrospect, he should have shut up at that point and addressed the point made.

Re:Whooooh! They picked the WRONG guy for this one (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27765803)

I don't blame Lessig for ignoring her though, when reading the minutes of the case, I think its pretty cleat Sandra was attempting to derail his argument with a tangent.

Further more, if what you said was true, this just shows that judges had already made up their mind on the case and never cared about Lessig's argument to begin with.

Re:Whooooh! They picked the WRONG guy for this one (5, Informative)

Martin Blank (154261) | more than 5 years ago | (#27766909)

Justices have for decades attempted to derail arguments with tangents, and they do it to both sides. Liberal justices will demand justification from attorneys representing a liberal side just as conservative justices will do with those representing a conservative point, and all question^W grill the representatives on the points while bringing up seemingly unrelated points, interrupting them at their pleasure. It takes nerves of steel to stand up in front of the Supreme Court, because they do know what they're talking about and they absolutely will cut off the unprepared at the knees, and continue moving up until there's nothing left, and woe unto the attorney who gets combative with the justices.

Remember that the justices have already read a great deal of case information by the time that oral debates have started, so they are often already leaning in one direction or another. However, there's also a great deal of work that goes on afterward as the justices debate the case internally, one of the reasons that the opinions take so long to come out in most cases. This is mostly a secret process, but there have been indications from some justices that a few debates have escalated to serious arguments with logic sometimes being tossed out the window. Traditions have developed over time to deal with those circumstances and allow the justices to at least end each term with civility, if not going home each night or weekend with some friendliness.

Re:Whooooh! They picked the WRONG guy for this one (5, Funny)

layer3switch (783864) | more than 5 years ago | (#27766073)

Lessig then continued to ramble on and the supremes continued to roll their eyes and wonder what the hell he was on about.

then the supremes said; "Stop! In the name of love, before you break my heart. Think it over."

I believe that part was removed from the official dialogue on the record.

Re:Whooooh! They picked the WRONG guy for this one (1)

jonbryce (703250) | more than 5 years ago | (#27766943)

Eldred v Ashcroft?

Re:Whooooh! They picked the WRONG guy for this one (3, Funny)

rackserverdeals (1503561) | more than 5 years ago | (#27765305)

Lessig is probably the most knowledgeable person on the planet when it comes to US law on fair use.

But apparently not good at communication?

and has asked someone to send Warner Music a copy of US copyright law that deals with 'fair use.'

Did they take down his email, fax line and ban him from the post office too?

Re:Whooooh! They picked the WRONG guy for this one (1)

slyn (1111419) | more than 5 years ago | (#27765737)

how does a drain laugh?

Re:Whooooh! They picked the WRONG guy for this one (1)

davidsyes (765062) | more than 5 years ago | (#27765969)

Yep, they are gonig to learn the HARD way that Lessig is Moreig.... He'll be the enigma wrapped in a question packaged in a sledge hammer and he'll defignally CRUSH them. Game Over.

Per Mr. Lessig's request, copy and paste: (5, Informative)

UnCivil Liberty (786163) | more than 5 years ago | (#27765213)

WMG contact form: http://www.wmg.com/contact [wmg.com]
----

Sect. 107. Limitations on exclusive rights: fair use

Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 106 and 106A [17 USCS Sects. 106, 106A], the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright. In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include--

(1) the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;

(2) the nature of the copyrighted work;

(3) the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and

(4) the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

Re:Per Mr. Lessig's request, copy and paste: (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27765723)

Thank You
Thank you, Anonymous Coward. Your email has been sent.

*F5*
*F5*
*F5*
*F5*
*F5* ...

Thanks for the law text (3, Insightful)

Lonewolf666 (259450) | more than 5 years ago | (#27766189)

According to TFA, the presentation has been reposted here: http://blip.tv/file/1937322 [blip.tv]

After watching the first three minutes, my impression is that

(1) Should be clearly in favor of Mr. Lessig. Nonprofit, political speech, should have pretty strong First Amendment protection. One can argue if he really needs the photos (see point 2), but the character of the use doesn't get much more fair.

(2) He uses photographs that are probably copyrighted as backdrops for his lecture

(3) Depends on the source(s) - many small samples or all from one source?

(4) I don't see how the use of some photos in this lecture can substantially hurt the sale of the original collections. Especially since the "subtitles" get in the way of reusing the photos from the lecture elsewhere.

Re:Per Mr. Lessig's request, copy and paste: (1)

blackest_k (761565) | more than 5 years ago | (#27766971)

Mr. Lessig's a very clever man, watch the presentation and think about it ;) http://blip.tv/file/1937322 [blip.tv]

   

It's Like Steve Irwin Poking a Stingray! (3, Funny)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 5 years ago | (#27765235)

Too soon?

Re:It's Like Steve Irwin Poking a Stingray! (1)

Galactic Dominator (944134) | more than 5 years ago | (#27765319)

That would be under the NEVER category.

Re:It's Like Steve Irwin Poking a Stingray! (2, Funny)

NoobixCube (1133473) | more than 5 years ago | (#27765679)

Oh he poked plenty of stingrays before one got him. Purely coincidental that it was a stingray that got him - I'm sure everyone (even the people that liked him) would have preferred him to have been eaten by a crocodile if they had to choose what animal killed him.

Funny (-1, Offtopic)

arizwebfoot (1228544) | more than 5 years ago | (#27765239)

I laughed so hard at this post that I almost threw up.

Pick Your Battles Wisely (5, Informative)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 5 years ago | (#27765265)

He uses a 50 second clip of The Muppet Show's "Ma Na Ma Na" [youtube.com] which is a very short skit track of about 2:29 minutes. He shows it being set to an Anime Music video mash up of Vampire Hunter D Blood Lust. I can't seem to track down who would be the rights holder of this track but I'm guessing it's Warner. I have only seen 15 minutes of his presentation so it's possible there are other violations.

Larry: Non-free Audio Fair Use for music constitutes 10% or 30 seconds of a song (which ever is shorter) and it must be in a low enough quality (didn't investigate the audio on this video to find out if it satisfied Ogg quality of 0 rule). For the rest of the 15 minutes I saw you looked fine but this stuck out at me. Pick your battles wisely and adhere to this rule next time.

Re:Pick Your Battles Wisely (5, Insightful)

EvanED (569694) | more than 5 years ago | (#27765365)

Larry: Non-free Audio Fair Use for music constitutes 10% or 30 seconds of a song (which ever is shorter) and it must be in a low enough quality (didn't investigate the audio on this video to find out if it satisfied Ogg quality of 0 rule).

[Citation needed].

It's certainly case law if that's even true, and I'm skeptical that it's a universal rule even if true. The statues place no such requirements, and, in fact, there are many times when using an ENTIRE work would be considered fair use.

Re:Pick Your Battles Wisely (3, Informative)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 5 years ago | (#27765465)

Ugh, very well. They're referred to as "portion limits" and the safe range has always been 10%-ish. Check out what Stanford advises it's students [stanford.edu] (and this is in academia, mind you):

up to 10% or 1,000 words, whichever is less, of a copyrighted text work. For example, an entire poem of less than 250 words may be used, but no more than three poems by one poet, or five poems by different poets from any anthology.

up to 10%, but in no event more than 30 seconds, of the music and lyrics from an individual musical work.

up to 10% or three minutes, whichever is less, of a copyrighted motion media work (for example, an animation, video or film image).

a photograph or illustration may be used in its entirety but no more than five images by an artist or photographer may be reproduced. When using photographs and illustrations from a published collective work, no more than 10% or 15 images, whichever is less. Or,

up to 10% or 2,500 fields or cell entries, whichever is less, from a copyrighted database or data table may be reproduced. A field entry is defined as a specific item of information, such as a name or Social Security number in a record of a database file. A cell entry is defined as the intersection where a row and a column meet on a spreadsheet.

I'm sorry but what Mr. Lessig did from 11:00-11:49 was in my mind a ballsy use of a song ... about 35% of that song was used. That's a big warning bell to me.

Good luck to him, I hope there aren't other infractions later on. Wikipedia uses the 10% rule, that's how I know about it. I'm not a lawyer and I'll punch you if you call me one but I fear he's going to run into trouble on this one.

Best of luck to you Larry.

Re:Pick Your Battles Wisely (4, Informative)

random coward (527722) | more than 5 years ago | (#27765521)

In this section we discuss academic use guidelines that have been discussed and proposed, but have never been formally approved.

PROPOSED Academic guidelines from Stanford University are not the Law of this land. Good thing you're not a lawyer. If you were your clients would be suing you for malpractice.

I still have my soul, IANAL, etc...

Re:Pick Your Battles Wisely (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27765573)

The limit for video is 3 minutes, not 30 seconds..

Re:Pick Your Battles Wisely (5, Funny)

sqlrob (173498) | more than 5 years ago | (#27765649)

Very good catch. Maybe Lessig should Talk with this Stanford law professor [stanford.edu] about the rules and get some clarification.

Re:Pick Your Battles Wisely (0, Flamebait)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#27765695)

Ha-ha, you're a wannabe law-yer.

Re:Pick Your Battles Wisely (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27765747)

That's nothing more than a safe harbor. To really find out whether something is fair use, you have to evaluate all four factors.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fair_use [wikipedia.org]

Only one of the elements is how much was taken.

I'm not going to do a full analysis. Indeed, even if I did, a court's analysis would probably look much different.

The truth is that most people cannot afford to pay the lawyers to go to court and make the fair use argument to find out whether something is fair use or not.

So most people stick with the safe harbors.

In this case, Warner Brothers picked on the wrong guy. Lessig has both the resources and the inclination to go into court and make a fair use argument.

I would love to see that case. Unfortunately Warner Brothers is going to cave very quickly and there will never be a court case.

The RIAA / MPAA will make sure that when they go to court, they have a defendant who will not garner public sympathy.

Re:Pick Your Battles Wisely (1)

Hecatonchires (231908) | more than 5 years ago | (#27766159)

up to 10% or 1,000 words, whichever is less, of a copyrighted text work. For example, an entire poem of less than 250 words may be used, but no more than three poems by one poet, or five poems by different poets from any anthology.

up to 10%, but in no event more than 30 seconds, of the music and lyrics from an individual musical work.

What if that song is Freebird?

Re:Pick Your Battles Wisely (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27766939)

no-one needs more than 10 seconds of freebird. there are two sections to choose from:

1) the guitar intro; or

2) first lyrical line ("if i leave here tomorrow").

any more than that is overkill and likely to get you shot.

Re:Pick Your Battles Wisely (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27766617)

Except that A) these are just university guidelines, and B) sometimes it is acceptable to use an *entire* work and have it qualify under fair use, so in some instances these guidelines will clearly be wrong.

The "10% rule" is merely a guideline that is commonly employed as relatively safe, but you can get in trouble for using less than that, or not get in trouble for using much more, depending upon circumstances. I'm not a lawyer, but it doesn't take a lawyer to know that.

Re:Pick Your Battles Wisely (4, Funny)

flaming error (1041742) | more than 5 years ago | (#27765383)

"Ma na ma na" is one of those songs that just really stick in your head. It plays and re-plays, over and over again. Probably by the time this Warner stooge finished thinking about Lessig's presentation he had already listened to it in his head for at least 30 minutes. That's an unlicensed full-length (and then some) copy.

Re:Pick Your Battles Wisely (1)

hack slash (1064002) | more than 5 years ago | (#27766403)

"Ma na ma na"

Do doo do-do-do!

Re:Pick Your Battles Wisely (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27765407)

Pick your battles wisely and adhere to this rule next time.

What rule? The Copyright Act of 1976, 17 U.S.C. 107 makes no mention of any kind of 30 second rule.

Re:Pick Your Battles Wisely (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27765435)

Firstly, IANAL.

However,
From my own analsys of the codified fair use doctrine, the proportion of the copyrighted work that is used for a fair use purpose is not explicitly stated excepting that it must not be in it's entierety, and should therefor satisfy as long as the proportion is not "In it's entierety"- Since the copyrighted work is a clip from the original muppet show, and the muppet show episode being longer than 2:29 minutes, I fail to see the reason why this is not fair use.

Additionally,
There is not a qualifier for quality in the codified body concerning fair use, thus the quality argument is insubstantiated as far as I can tell.

Re:Pick Your Battles Wisely (2, Insightful)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 5 years ago | (#27765683)

From my own analsys of the codified fair use doctrine, the proportion of the copyrighted work that is used for a fair use purpose is not explicitly stated excepting that it must not be in it's entierety

It doesn't say that either. It says that the portion used is a factor to be considered in determining fair use, it doesn't say, in the statute, which way that factor weighs. Which makes sense; there are circumstances where using the whole work would probably weigh in favor of fair use, where using selected portions might not (e.g., format- or time-shifting of a work which includes advertising, where removing--or, a fortiori, replacing--the advertising content might, all other things being equal, make the use less likely to be considered fair use.)

Re:Pick Your Battles Wisely (1)

Ironica (124657) | more than 5 years ago | (#27766385)

Since the copyrighted work is a clip from the original muppet show, and the muppet show episode being longer than 2:29 minutes, I fail to see the reason why this is not fair use.

Exactly. The sketch was a component of a half-hour television show, and was never created as a standalone work. Songs that are individual tracks on a CD or released as singles certainly are intended to be performed as a standalone work, but back in 1976 or whenever, I doubt Jim Henson and his crew thought of the show as a compilation of independent works.

Re:Pick Your Battles Wisely (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27767101)

At some point they did.
The Muppet Show: Music, Mayhem, and More! - The 25th Anniversary Collection
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00006IZP8

Track Listings
1. The Muppet Show Theme - featuring The Muppets
2. Mahna Mahna/Lullaby Of Birdland - featuring Mahna Mahna & The Two Snowths
3. There's A New Sound - featuring Scooter ...

Re:Pick Your Battles Wisely (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27766483)

I am needing anal love? I'm sure someone here can provide

Re:Pick Your Battles Wisely (2, Insightful)

Twanfox (185252) | more than 5 years ago | (#27765449)

Really, there are set numbers on how much of a work can be used? Because I seem to recall (as noted above) that the law doesn't give specific numbers, but only that whether a use is fair must take into account how much of the work is used. It also includes criteria such as the type of use, how it impacts the market for that work, and whether it is commercial or not. If there is case law that sets precedent for this, you might be well to include those references to back up your numbers.

Re:Pick Your Battles Wisely (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27765459)

Wrong.

What is fair use and what is not fair use is determined based on the facts of each individual case. Something that is fair use in one instanceâ"say a parodyâ"might well not be fair use in another like a movie review.

There are guidelines, much like the one quoted. However they are only guidelines and are in no way binding on courts unless they have been cited in a superior court case.

Re:Pick Your Battles Wisely (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27765631)

right... as far as I can tell Mah Na Mah Na is owned by Sony not Warner Music ... allmusic.com: mah na mah na search [allmusic.com] .

Re:Pick Your Battles Wisely (1)

Chyeld (713439) | more than 5 years ago | (#27767035)

They (WMG) seem thing they own it. See this link:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7wMHcpMmV9g [youtube.com]

Notice the reason why their is no audio...

This video contains an audio track that has not been authorized by WMG. The audio has been disabled.

Re:Pick Your Battles Wisely (1)

Chyeld (713439) | more than 5 years ago | (#27767059)

There. Not their. *sigh*

Re:Pick Your Battles Wisely (1)

brock bitumen (703998) | more than 5 years ago | (#27765689)

from TFA's blip.tv link, this takes place at 11:09

Re:Pick Your Battles Wisely (1)

jstockdale (258118) | more than 5 years ago | (#27765771)

You sir are an idiot. Lessig is possibly the most knowledgable person on the planet regarding US Copyright law, especially in it's relation to fair use.

Your lecturing tone, in addressing Lessig, is only showing your ignorance.

-J

look harder...dig deeper...find FACTS... (4, Interesting)

Archfeld (6757) | more than 5 years ago | (#27765957)

FYI... The 'ma na ma na' song IS NOT MUPPETS, or JIM HENSON, but was written in 1968 for an Italian Porn movie and has been in several movies since then. The muppets used it LOOOOONG after its creation, while that does not ensure that Warner doesn't own it now.

http://www.geocities.com/pieroumiliani/ [geocities.com]

Re:look harder...dig deeper...find FACTS... (2, Informative)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#27766209)

written in 1968 for an Italian Porn movie and has been in several movies since then.

My lady and I recently started renting the occasional muppet show DVD from netfux and occasionally there are some real gems. From memory, Rolf: Can't live with 'em, can't live without 'em. There's something kind of irresistablish about 'em. We grin and bear it 'cause the nights are long... let's hope that something better comes along! And of course, the classic Muppet rendition of Lydia the Tattooed Lady was mostly lost on me as a child...

that does not ensure that Warner doesn't own it now.

The idea that they can own something that has become an indelible part of my childhood memories disgusts me.

Re:look harder...dig deeper...find FACTS... (1)

Ironica (124657) | more than 5 years ago | (#27766631)

If he used the recording made for the Muppet Show, the copyright for that rendition would be held by whoever holds the Muppet Show copyrights (and I'd be surprised if that was Warner Bros.... might be Disney, or Henson's estate, though).

Re:Pick Your Battles Wisely (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27765971)

Any use of Mah Nà Mah Nà video or audio should be punishable by death. Or worse. That damn song is still stuck in my head.

Re:Pick Your Battles Wisely (2, Interesting)

cdrudge (68377) | more than 5 years ago | (#27766589)

Thanks for linking to the original video. I hadn't seen or heard that in a while. Kind of ironic how you lecture Larry about what fair use guidelines are (notwithstanding whether you are or are not correct), but you have directly referenced the work in it's entirety that would have even less going towards it regarding fair use. While I understand that you probably didn't post the video, don't you find what you did a little bit hypocritical at some level?

Lessig (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27765271)

Larry Lessig, also known as the guy who defended Obama's vote on the FISA bill, saying, among other things [lessig.org] :

He voted to strip immunity from the FISA compromise. He has promised to repeal the immunity as president. His vote for the FISA compromise is thus not a vote for immunity. It is a vote that reflects the judgment that securing the amendments to FISA was more important than denying immunity to telcos. Whether you agree with that judgment or not, we should at least recognize (hysteria notwithstanding) what kind of judgment it was. The amendments to FISA were good. Getting a regime that requires the executive to obey the law is important. Whether it is more important than telco immunity is a question upon which sensible people might well differ.

(emphasis mine)

I'm afraid I lost a lot of the (considerable) respect I had for the guy up until that point.

Lessig is a moderate (5, Interesting)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#27765299)

Lessig is not against copyright. He's a fundamental advocate of copyright, "especially in the digital era", he just thinks it is "out of sync" and "needs an update".

Whereas people like me are advocates of just scrapping the whole damn thing because the potential benefits of doing so are way more interesting than the deprecated business models that it will finally put to bed.. and because I believe it is fundamentally the right thing to do, from a "you don't tell me what I can and can't do and I'll do the same" sense of what right means.

Re:Lessig is a moderate (2, Insightful)

oGMo (379) | more than 5 years ago | (#27765601)

Whereas people like me are advocates of just scrapping the whole damn thing because the potential benefits of doing so are way more interesting than the deprecated business models that it will finally put to bed.. and because I believe it is fundamentally the right thing to do, from a "you don't tell me what I can and can't do and I'll do the same" sense of what right means.

This is fundamental misthinking about copyright. Copyright doesn't exist to protect corporate interests. It exists to protect authors... it's the same thing that keeps you from writing a book (or whatever), changing a few things, and publishing it under their name. Of course, as soon as you want to publish it, even if you self-publish, it becomes a "business model" which you seem to find deprecated. Any open source license out there---GPL, BSD, Apache, MPL, CC, etc---are built on copyright.

If you want everything you do to be in an unrestricted public domain, well: you can have that. Do so. But, if you want to tell me that my works must also be unrestricted public domain works: well, you're doing exactly what you claim to be against.

Re:Lessig is a moderate (-1, Flamebait)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#27765637)

Sigh. I'm kinda sick of having the same argument with idiots on Slashdot. Copyright exists to provide incentives to create works. That is all. It does not exist to protect anyone's "interests". Now kindly fuck off.

Re:Lessig is a moderate (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27765671)

Shut up, Jew.

Re:Lessig is a moderate (1)

Kharny (239931) | more than 5 years ago | (#27765775)

and this incentive would be to make some money out of your hard work.
By say protecting it as yours for a period?

I agree copyright in it's current form is out of hand, but some form of copyright has to exist.

Re:Lessig is a moderate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27765899)

Then please defend your position, lest you become a Slashdot idiot yourself. It seems to me that copyright is a tool that can be used ethically. Why not oppose the economics of copyright (exclusive publishing contracts, royalties, private ownership of public goods) while embracing the social aspects (attribution, respect for creativity, compensation through donation)?

Re:Lessig is a moderate (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#27766099)

None of the "social aspects" you mentioned are remotely related to copyright. The problem with copyright is that it focuses on copying as the fundamental unit of regulation. This is insane in this day and age of cheap ubiquitous copying. The purpose of copyright is to encourage the creation of new works that would otherwise not be created. If that's your goal then restricting copying is exactly the wrong way to go about it. It's like saying your goal is to go skiing and restricting the falling of snow. Not only can you simply not do that, but it won't work either. So forget all you think you know about copyright and solve the damn problem. Specifically we're interested in encouraging the creation of new works that would otherwise not be created. So the natural question to ask is, what works will be created with no copyright and no new laws. I suggest the best way to do that is to simply abolish copyright (if this scares you, then "phase out" copyright over some period of time), then we measure the decrease (or increase!) in the creation of works. Once this process is complete then we can make a sensible judgment of what laws, if any, are required. Maybe the only thing to go will be multi-million dollar blockbuster films. Maybe we'll decide that we simply can't live without them (maybe we won't, we can hope) and decide that some new law is needed to encourage the creation of them. This does not mean we need to reinstate copyright as it stands now just for blockbuster films. It just means we need to encourage their creation. We could do this as simply as sponsoring their creation with a tax.

Re:Lessig is a moderate (2, Interesting)

Bigjeff5 (1143585) | more than 5 years ago | (#27766511)

An alternative to copyright would be some sort of exclusive right to sell.

The work could be put in the public domain, but only the author would have the right to package and sell that work.

That would give incentive, as the only persons permitted to profit off the work would be the original author, but I don't know that the incentive would be as high as the original copyright term of 14 years exclusive right to copy.

Beyond that, I don't see how you could encourage the production of creative works.

Re:Lessig is a moderate (0)

nathan.fulton (1160807) | more than 5 years ago | (#27766107)

Copyright exists to provide incentives to create works. That is all.

Thanks for that completely useless bit of trivia. In case you haven't noticed, no one interested in copyright gives a damn why copyright exists, but rather why it exists in its present construction and -- perhaps more importantly -- the implications of those reasons.

Re:Lessig is a moderate (1)

AK Marc (707885) | more than 5 years ago | (#27766521)

But if the current execution doesn't fit the original reason, then the current execution is unconstitutional, and thus illegal.

Re:Lessig is a moderate (5, Insightful)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 5 years ago | (#27765731)

This is fundamental misthinking about copyright. Copyright doesn't exist to protect corporate interests. It exists to protect authors...

This is fundamental misthinking about copyright. Copyright (in the United States) doesn't exist to protect authors, it exists to "promote the progress of science and the useful arts." (U.S. Const., Art. I, Sec. 8) To the extent it fails to do that -- or, a fortiori, impedes such progress -- it is because the rules of copyright are poorly crafted from the perspective of the Constitutional basis of Congress's power to grant copyrights in the first place, and need to be reformed to serve that purpose.

Re:Lessig is a moderate (4, Insightful)

VGPowerlord (621254) | more than 5 years ago | (#27765981)

Copyright might work if the section after the part you quoted was applied ("by securing for limited times").

Re:Lessig is a moderate (2, Insightful)

Svartalf (2997) | more than 5 years ago | (#27766025)

Indeed. We ought to go back to the timeframes set back in the beginning or to two times that time and leave it alone. 14-28 years should be more than enough for most situations- but we have monied interests such as Disney doing everything they can to protect things like Mickey Mouse and making a mockery of the law as it was intended to be.

Re:Lessig is a moderate (1, Informative)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 5 years ago | (#27765983)

This is fundamental misthinking about copyright. Copyright doesn't exist to protect corporate interests. It exists to protect authors...

This is fundamental misthinking about copyright. Copyright (in the United States) doesn't exist to protect authors, it exists to "promote the progress of science and the useful arts." (U.S. Const., Art. I, Sec. 8)

This is fundamental misleading about copyright. You replaced the comma with something to make it seem like that line stopped without mentioning author's rights: "by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries"

It is about their right, and their right is compatible with the best interest of the nation, hence the preamble.

Re:Lessig is a moderate (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#27766247)

It is about their right, and their right is compatible with the best interest of the nation, hence the preamble.

Their right to exploit it for a limited time, yes. Their right to exploit it for the period of time currently guaranteed by law, not so much.

Re:Lessig is a moderate (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#27766307)

Authors already have the exclusive right to their writings. They wrote it. All they need do is not distribute it.

If someone who had never heard of copyright was reading that sentence of the constitution they would think that the founders were trying to say that the government can't bust into your writing room and take your writings. And when you consider that this is exactly what governments were doing before the revolution, it makes a lot of sense.

And the whole "limited times" part is basically saying, well obviously, if you're hoarding your work we might bust in and take it eventually, because otherwise you would be holding back the progress of science and the useful arts.

How exactly that got perverted into a justification for copyright law is one for the ages.

Re:Lessig is a moderate (2, Interesting)

swillden (191260) | more than 5 years ago | (#27766315)

"by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries"

Read the writings of the authors of that text, and you'll understand that they didn't consider authors to have any sort of inherent rights. The difference is actually visible right in that line, in the choice of the word "securing", rather than "guaranteeing". That word implies that the government is granting or providing the rights in question, whereas the other things we think of as rights were thought by the framers to be God-given, or natural, and which government should preserve or guarantee, never, ever, grant.

The grant of temporary exclusivity exists only to serve the interests of the public, not the authors. Its purpose is to ensure that works are created and published to enrich the public domain. If it enriches the creators, that's fine, and good, but it's a side effect.

Re:Lessig is a moderate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27766677)

Well then, shouldn't the limited time be relative to the authors then? If copyright lasts for an authors lifetime then it can hardly be considered limited wrt the author.

Re:Lessig is a moderate (1)

TrekkieGod (627867) | more than 5 years ago | (#27766733)

This is fundamental misleading about copyright. You replaced the comma with something to make it seem like that line stopped without mentioning author's rights: "by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries"

It is about their right, and their right is compatible with the best interest of the nation, hence the preamble.

Not at all. It was considered that the public domain is the proper location for those works, and thus everybody has the right to those works. However, since that encourages people to keep trade secrets and to generally not publish their works, then in order to "promote the progress of science and the useful arts," congress grants this "exclusive right." Note that this power does not exist prior to congress legislating it, and congress can only legislate such a thing because that power is enumerated in the constitution, with a justification for removing the natural rights of the people to do what they want with the works they buy or otherwise legally acquire, including copying and distributing said copies. Since granting this right is obviously infringing on the public's right, it is also specified that congress may only grant these rights for limited times, before the rights revert to the people.

Rights to their respective writings and discoveries isn't described as a right to protect such as freedom of speech (where the wording is, Congress shall make no law...abridging the freedom). Instead, it's described as something congress must grant, because it does not exist without this act.

copyright intended to grow the public domain? (2, Insightful)

bukuman (1129741) | more than 5 years ago | (#27766615)

Can one read the constitution as saying:

  1. copyright is designed to grow the public domain ('...promote the progress of science and useful arts...')
  2. by providing incentives for the creation of new works ('...by securing the creators monopoly on copying...')
  3. that will then pass to the public domain ('...for a limited time...').

i.e. it's purpose is to grow the public domain, the rest is just mechanism and a choice about how to trade off public good against private good.

The copyrighteous act like a kid who is happy to take the pocket money but not happy to do the chores. They employ Orwellian newspeak by referring to the whole balanced copyright trade-off as 'their property'. They focus only on the protected monopoly and do everything in their power to extend their monopoly duration (even for already created works, no incentive is big enough to change the past) and stop works falling into the public domain.

.

Re:Lessig is a moderate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27765743)

"Copyright doesn't exist to protect corporate interests"

Of course, the unions benefit too.

Authors on their own have very little chance of being able to own and exploit their own works. It will either be taken by the corporation that published it, or controlled by the union the author has been forced into.

Re:Lessig is a moderate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27766251)


If you want everything you do to be in an unrestricted public domain, well: you can have that. Do so. But, if you want to tell me that my works must also be unrestricted public domain works: well, you're doing exactly what you claim to be against.

No, no, not at all! You seem to assume that copyright is sort of natural universal force, and that people against copyrights were somehow trying to force overcoming fundamental right.

But the thing is that copyrights it is a creation of law (social contract, if you will). Quite distinct from fundamental forces of nature, or even basic human rights.
That has nothing to do with someone else telling you what you can do. You can do whatever you want; it's just that you do not have this society-granted monopoly at your disposal.

And as to Free Software/Open Source requiring copyright; that's a trade-off: I am fairly certain FOSS folks would happily take freedom from copyright over re-using copyright for limited freedoms (current state).

You don't need copyright to fight plagiarism (2, Interesting)

Mr2001 (90979) | more than 5 years ago | (#27766547)

Copyright doesn't exist to protect corporate interests. It exists to protect authors... it's the same thing that keeps you from writing a book (or whatever), changing a few things, and publishing it under their name.

No, you don't need copyright for that. All you need is anti-fraud laws, because plagiarism is a form of fraud. Abolishing copyright wouldn't suddenly make it legal to lie to your customers.

Any open source license out there---GPL, BSD, Apache, MPL, CC, etc---are built on copyright.

Many of us believe that the most useful part of those licenses is the way they use copyright against itself, giving users (and other developers) back the rights that copyright law took away in the first place. Without copyright, there wouldn't be much need for those licenses; if someone didn't give you source code, you could freely reverse engineer it and distribute it yourself.

But, if you want to tell me that my works must also be unrestricted public domain works: well, you're doing exactly what you claim to be against.

Not really. If I tell you your works must be public domain, that doesn't actually force you to do anything, or restrict your freedom in any way. Copyright, on the other hand, does restrict the speech of everyone who doesn't have permission from the author to make copies.

Re:Lessig is a moderate (1)

kimvette (919543) | more than 5 years ago | (#27766639)

Copyright doesn't exist to protect corporate interests. It exists to protect authors.

Incorrect. It protects the interest of public domain by ensuring that in exchange for a TEMPORARY (limited time) duration of a monopoly on distribution of that work, it will become public domain for the public good. It is to protect the public interest by encouraging the continued development of useful arts and sciences.

Re:Lessig is a moderate (1)

zotz (3951) | more than 5 years ago | (#27766867)

"It exists to protect authors... it's the same thing that keeps you from writing a book (or whatever), changing a few things, and publishing it under their name."

You don't need *copyright* law to accomplish this.

A law against plagiarism and fraud could handle it while still allowing anyone to make copies of anything they lawfully had in their possession. That people use copyright law for this purpose today does not mean that copyright law is needed for this job.

"But, if you want to tell me that my works must also be unrestricted public domain works: well, you're doing exactly what you claim to be against."

Nah, even without copyright law, you could take your works and lock them away in your closet and no one would have the right to copy them. They would be all yours.

all the best,

drew

Re:Lessig is a moderate (1)

Microlith (54737) | more than 5 years ago | (#27765651)

And he's right, it doesn't need to be abolished but fixed.

the potential benefits of doing so are way more interesting than the deprecated business models

What benefits are there to ensure that creators know ahead of time that there will be no means of ensuring at least the opportunity to recoup ones investment?

At least now they have the option to try and pursue it, success and failure are entirely on them. Without copyright then whoever makes something is guaranteed to be left holding the bag, likely by large companies like Wal-Mart who would immediately pay a chinese CD/DVD duplicator to make millions of copies of every work out there.

Re:Lessig is a moderate (1)

Microlith (54737) | more than 5 years ago | (#27765677)

And my grammar in that post is screwed up something fierce. Oh man...

Re:Lessig is a moderate (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#27765819)

Wow, really? Companies that make physical products have no such guarantees.. and yet they keep churning out product. In fact, the only restriction on copy-a-like competition is in brand names. I can legally make handbags that look similar to designer products, but I may not sell them labeled as such. Now, think about it for a minute, how is Walmart going to sell copies of books/movies/music/etc if they're not allowed to label them? How's that going to work? "I'll have a mystery DVD please." For some reason I'm pretty sure the trademark owner is going to make a LOT more money than them.

Re:Lessig is a moderate (1)

night_flyer (453866) | more than 5 years ago | (#27765905)

thats crap and you know it... ever hear of Patents?

Patents expire. (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#27766203)

thats crap and you know it... ever hear of Patents?

Patents expire 20 years after filing. Trademarks don't expire, and in practice neither do copyrights.

Re:Patents expire. (1)

night_flyer (453866) | more than 5 years ago | (#27766295)

I didnt say there doesnt need to be any reform, Copyright needs to be more in line with patents, or a "pay to protect" scheme, where in order to keep a copyright, you need to pay a fee after the initial free period

Re:Patents expire. (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#27766495)

So why not just hire goons to go around and threaten everyone who competes with you. I mean, that's basically what you want the government to do. Why do you think legitimizing anti-competitive behavior is a good thing?

Re:Lessig is a moderate (1)

Bigjeff5 (1143585) | more than 5 years ago | (#27766397)

The GP was assuming a Patent didn't apply. Most designs cannot be patented because they are either A.) Not unique enough, or B.) Don't significantly improve an existing Patent. The specific criterea are more involved than that, but that is basically it.

There is no patent on a regular style handbag, the companies that make variations on that design must compete in the market based on quality and/or price.

There are a hell of a lot of pieces of literature and media that should be in the same category as that handbag, with 90%+ of their commercial viability already past in just a few years. And yet, the copyright term is what, about 100 years? That's absurd. 15 years covers 99.9% of all the commercial value of 99.9% of literature and music and cinema. For that last 0.1%, 95% of the comercial value has been gained.

The original copyright terms were reasonable, I mean, they weren't even short! It wasn't like you got 6 months or a year to peddle your copy and that was it, it was a significant amount of time. But then your works entered the public domain, and the rest of the country could be enriched by them, since you would have gotten your due compensation by then.

Re:Lessig is a moderate (1)

Mr2001 (90979) | more than 5 years ago | (#27766621)

What benefits are there to ensure that creators know ahead of time that there will be no means of ensuring at least the opportunity to recoup ones investment?

If you insist on sticking to the deprecated business model in which you record first and ask for money later, you can use the ransom model: "I've recorded a song. I'll release it once I've received $X."

Or you can ditch that model and move on to selling your labor - something that can't be copied or taken without your permission. "I have an idea for a song. I'll record and release it once I've received $X." And then if people don't want to pay, you don't have to invest your time in something that provides no return.

Re:Lessig is a moderate (1)

grumbel (592662) | more than 5 years ago | (#27766091)

Whereas people like me are advocates of just scrapping the whole damn thing because the potential benefits of doing so are way more interesting

What would be these "potential benefits" compared to a moderate copyright law (aka. 10-20 year term, allow non-commercial use)? The only difference I see is that no copyright would make it trivial for cooperations to exploit the authors even more, by taking the authors work, slapping their company name on it, changing it to fit their need, distributing it via their channels and all that without the author ever seeing a dime. I am pretty sure that that would piss of quite a handful of artists and not exactly be a good way to increase creativity.

Copyright Warzone (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27765451)

So now we're officially at war -- Copyright vs. Fair Use vs. Piracy or Lobbies vs. People vs. Pirates. Oh boy, this is going to be good. I wish I had popcorn. Free popcorn.

Re:Copyright Warzone (1)

dwandy (907337) | more than 5 years ago | (#27767091)

Popcorn wants to be free.

Automatic claiming? (3, Interesting)

no_opinion (148098) | more than 5 years ago | (#27765499)

There's a really good chance this resulted from automatic claiming tools that make use of things like acoustic fingerprints. YouTube or a filtering partner will have a catalog of Warner tracks that new uploads are checked against. Warner may not even have known about this until it blew up. I'm sure we'll find out soon enough.

Re:Automatic claiming? (1)

orta (786013) | more than 5 years ago | (#27765717)

I expect so, I posted a slideshow with some acoustic b-sides from a realtively known band (alkaline trio) that was removed within 6 hours for DMCA violations.

Pro tip to whoever created that... (0)

tuxedobob (582913) | more than 5 years ago | (#27765959)

Your visuals should enhance your point, not distract people from them.

Mm de d (1)

DarkIye (875062) | more than 5 years ago | (#27766215)

Regardless of whether or not the DMCA takedown notice has any actual validity, just think about it - there are loads of this sort of violation out there. This is just one among many easily findable instances. Why does Warner not ignore this one too? The course of action they have chosen certainly does not help their reputation for being trigger-happily litigious.

Life Lessig err Lessons (2, Funny)

kenp2002 (545495) | more than 5 years ago | (#27766221)

I learned a long time ago there are two types of people at a bar:

Those you can fuck with.
Those you don't fuck with.

Now I am no genius, I admit that, but I have gotten pretty good at sizing up people. There are just some people you don't fuck with. For instance fat guys with tattoos of cartoon characters. THERE IS A REASON THEY HAVEN'T HAD THEIR ASS BEAT AT THE BAR AND YOU DON'T WANT TO FIND OUT WHY!

They just fucked with the wrong guy. So I am going to discretely walk out of the bar and go to my car because when the fight starts, its never the two guy that are fighting that concerns me, its the stupid shit their friends do.

And I can clearly say, I am a hell of a lot more afraid of Lessig supports then I am of the Media Mafia. Lessig has waaaay more supporters and waaay more "digital firepower." This calls for a "Don't you know who I am" moment?

Needless to say, they went after the wrong guy on this. It's like going up and punching baby Jesus in the face... you're just gonna piss everyone off doing that no matter who they are. You just don't punch baby Jesusessss...

Re:Life Lessig err Lessons (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27766963)

Did you just compare Lessig to baby Jesus?

Here are the relevant bits: (1)

MartinSchou (1360093) | more than 5 years ago | (#27766455)

The bits that may have caused them to go apeshit probably starts at 9:07 in the video [blip.tv] under the heading "Remix"

It starts with a clip from The Grey Album and then moves onto various other remixes

Could Warner promote Lessig's ideas any better? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27766667)

Or prove them right more efficiently?

First of all consider Lessig's point: Copyright Law needs to face today's realities. Now Warner is suing Lessig for some few seconds of the video, that are meant to illustrate this stupidity. Could they prove the stupidity any better?

Also the fact that the industry is acting like the late Soviet Union trying to stop events, as their world was collapsing around them. Extreme, isn't it? Until you see them trying to shut him up with this lawsuit.

Second the speech itself was an obscure event, one of Lessig's many activities. Could it be promoted any better by trying to suppress it? Because of this the speech gained worldwide attention. I mean their best option is probably to withdraw the lawsuit, and pretend the talk does not exist. Except it is already too late. For the suppression of the talk and for the fate of their "business" practices.

-1 Redundant (4, Interesting)

Bob9113 (14996) | more than 5 years ago | (#27766833)

Reader daemonburrito notes that the (rehosted) "video remains available at the time of this submission."

What I'm about to say is, I'm sure, redundant. I'm saying it anyway:

Warner,

I am pulling a copy right now. It's going in my mystical hidden repository of stuff fools think they can stop me from seeing.

Here's how this rule works: You try to suppress it, I will get it, and I will keep it forever. That is possible because we are better at this than you are. We will always be better at this than you are. The best among us will never work for you, so you will always epic fail. You cannot stop us. Every time you try to kick us, you are going to get a couple broken toes, and we will just get more ornery.

You know, I don't violate copyright because I haven't made up my mind about it yet. I gotta tell you though, it gets more tempting every time you pull some shit like this.

And if you think you can stop me (let alone the next generation of tech naturals) from watching whatever we want, whenever we want, on whatever platform we want, well, you are really stupid. The more you fight, the more practice we get, and the harder we laugh when we pee on your leg.

Try being nice to your customers some time. It might not do you much good, but it won't do you as much harm as what you're doing now.

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