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375 comments

What's wrong with content protection? (2)

wik (10258) | more than 13 years ago | (#490902)

It doesn't protect us from the "content" in EMINEM's songs. :-)

Can't tape HDTV??? (5)

trazom28 (134909) | more than 13 years ago | (#490903)

I find this just a little disturbing. Fast-foward about 10 years. There's a show on TV that I enjoy watching, but will be missing because of a prior engagement. I used to be able to tape it and watch it later. Now? Tough luck... Will this also kill the Tivo market as well as the VCR market? If my VCR can't transmit to HDTV.. can I rent movies still?

Shortest intro ever (3)

Wizard of OS (111213) | more than 13 years ago | (#490904)

This is the shortest description of an article that I've ever seen on slashdot in the last 2 years .. ;-)


--

Information == $$$ (2)

Bonker (243350) | more than 13 years ago | (#490905)

Corporate types have been trained and trained and trained to think that information is equivalent to money. As long as this way of thinking is popular, we're going to have content protection, upto the 'Snowcrash' level, were even the information in your head is considered someone else's property

Is there an understandable, non-technical summary? (2)

Shadowlion (18254) | more than 13 years ago | (#490906)

Does anybody have a link to a layman's summary of what copyright is, what the concepts of fair use and reverse engineering are, the current abuse of copyright in the world, and why copyright abuse is a severe erosion of our rights and abilities as end-users?

I'd like to get some of my friends more aware of the issues (and hopefully, they'll get _their_ friends aware of the issues, who will get _their_ friends aware, etc.), but most of the summaries tend to be more technical than my friends are (they wouldn't understand a casual reference to the first-sale doctrine or have any clue what DeCSS is).


--

Re:Shortest intro ever (1)

Ziploc (303967) | more than 13 years ago | (#490907)

What do you expect, it's monday morning :)

Z

*Sigh* (1)

Metal Machine Music (255620) | more than 13 years ago | (#490908)

I always hear this argument when it comes to copy protection. "It's not fair because people have legitimate uses."

This might be true, but the fact is that most of the uses are not legitimate. This stuff about being denied access to these things unfairly is wrong.

If you can show me one person who has not been able to pursue legitimate recording activites because of copy protection I will eat my words. Otherwise I stand by what I say.

'Oh yes', I hear you say, 'People haven't been able to use their DAT tapes'.

Big whoop. Just use some other way. It's not going to stop you getting your recording contract.

And people seem to think no-one gets hurt by these things.

They are wrong. The people working for record and computer companies have jobs and families too.

Even worse:

> Like Apple's recent happy-happy web pages on their new DVD-writing drive, announced this month (http://www.apple.com/idvd/). It's full of glowing info about how you can write DVDs based on your own DV movie recordings, etc. What it quietly neglects to say is that you can't use it to copy or time-shift or record any audio or video copyrighted by major companies.

This is just my point. Why the hell shouldn't companies be allowed to protect their property? The big word there is copyrighted - like 'owned by'. The fact is that piracy makes companies go bust. Piracy increases the costs for people who aren't thieves. Piracy means that some great software just doesn't reach you. If we remove the tools, we remove the crime, and the world is better off in the end.

Next thing the free software guys will be trying to tell me that I can't put a chain on my bike! I mean this is getting Communist in proportions - surely we've got past the belief in common ownership of property.

This is about theft. That's all.

Ron Rivest ? (1)

maroberts (15852) | more than 13 years ago | (#490909)

Is the Ron Rivest mentioned in the email/ article the same as the one in the RSA (Rivest Shamir Adelman (n?) ) algorithms/ company ?

Be nice if this persuaded him and others to keep away from 'Dark Side' uses of encryption...

:-)

Well Written (2)

ishrat (235467) | more than 13 years ago | (#490910)

This is one of those rare well written articles which even laymen can understand. But the responses go to show that slashdot guys are definitely no laymen they just haven't read it. Yes too many things are wrong with copyrights of companies.THey are claiming to protect their rights but are invariably infringing on ours.

If you haven't already done so... (5)

mav[LAG] (31387) | more than 13 years ago | (#490911)

...join the EFF [eff.org] . If you live outside the US, then do whatever you can to make sure that your government doesn't bow down and accept any stupid IP recommendations from the US.

And if you're a pissed-off journalist, attend Sony press conferences and tell them they can shove their products up their corporate backsides. It make not make much difference but it _will_ make you feel better. Nothing better than seeing the grin freeze on some smart lackey with all the Playstation buzzwords after you tell him his company can go fsck themselves.

And if you're a pissed-off techie and you work for anyone of these scum-buckets then I have just one question: WHY? Don't give me that "well I have to earn a living" shite. Go and work for someone else and get a clear conscience.

Aah - I feel better already...

control (5)

bluecalix (128634) | more than 13 years ago | (#490912)

The rant hits a few important points, but i think the most important is this: The media giants don't want you to be able to be a content provider. Not only do they want to put out their music on uncopiable formats, they don't want you to be able to use your own 'free mp3/get paid touring' business model because it could prove to other artists that the record companies are squeezing them dry. If they can keep you locked out of portable music players, home stereo components, and desktop software then their monopoly is assured.

Re:Information == $$$ (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#490913)

Actually Information in your head IS considered property. Ever read a non-compete agreement? Or better yet an intelectual property agreement. A lot of them have a blip about anything you develop on your spare time is the property of the company you are currently employed under.

Jargon file says it best! (5)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#490914)

copy protection n.

A class of methods for preventing incompetent pirates from stealing software and legitimate customers from using it. Considered silly.

Re:Shortest intro ever (1)

Anonymous._.Coward (119202) | more than 13 years ago | (#490915)

By giving us no description they're protecting the content of the article. They're a very clever bunch of guys at slashdot HQ...

take a triptonica to subthunk [subthunk.com]

Re:Is there an understandable, non-technical summa (3)

Metal Machine Music (255620) | more than 13 years ago | (#490916)

Briefly:

copyright exists in artistic works
patents exist in processes

Whenever you produce a work, it is protected by international treat and you own the copyright in it. You don't need to apply for copyright - you own it immediately.

However, the copyright might belong to someone else under copyright. For example, under your contract of emplyoment, your work will probably be owned by your employers, and some websites might have as a condition of your agreement with them that they own the copyright.

Fair use applies for criticism and study, broadly. Thus it is legitimate to post a few lines from a book in order to review it, since that would be fair use. Posting the entire book, OTOH would not be fair use.

Reverse engineering OTOH, is not illegal as such, since copyright does not exist in ideas (only in expression of those ideas). Thus when Rob Malda said that he wouldn't sue
Kuro5hin 'in the spirit of open source', he was wrong, since the idea cannot be copyrighted. Software code is treated as a literary work (although most code is not very poetic),
and so is protected by copyright.

There do exist design rights however, and the look and feel may be protected under copyright. So if you produced something that looked to similar to Slashdot, that would be breach of copyright.

Patents exist in respect of processes - in particular there is a requirement for a novel and innovative way of doing something (with a particular requirement for absence of prior art). These can affect software, if the software includes a novel process.

Finally, there is passing off - if a product is confusingly similar to another well-known product it will be passing off, provided they are in the same market sector.

Thus a McDonalds construction company has no chance of confusion with the burger chain, whereas the cafe owned by Ronald McDonald was, since they were in the same business.

In conclusion, the copyright holder owns the work, and can do what he likes with it. He can sue if you do anything, excluding fair use that breaks his owners rights.

Inefficient Content Distributors (2)

Delambre (237829) | more than 13 years ago | (#490917)

The punchline of this article comes toward the end, where Gilmore points out that really what the content distributors are doing is enforcing a scarcity-based, inefficient market, even when the potential exists to have a much larger, more accessible, more efficient market. This is perhaps the first time that I can think of where a vastly better technology was not adopted.

Yes, the removal of inefficiency will cause problems for those who are inefficient. That's too bad. As Bob Dylan said, "the times, they are a changin'"

Del

cover your mouth when you sigh please! (1)

Rares Marian (83629) | more than 13 years ago | (#490918)

The RIAA recently tried to steal artists' rights to get paid in the form of royalties. Just a little clause that turned a creative work into a work for hire.

In Other Words, Shove your whiny recordings should be done by rocording companies tripe wherever you see fit.

Minor niggle (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#490919)

I think this is a well written piece, if a slight bit disjointed around the MS reference. My onl niggle is with the fact that he uses MiniDisc as an example. It would be a nice example, except that

1) There are MiniDisc /decks/ that have digital output. A feature not generally considered necessary on a portable because you rarely need to connect it to a digital input. (note, however, that portable CD players with digital output are NOT hard to find at all)

1) MiniDisc is a lossy medium by design, it works very much the same way as MP3. Even if you use a digital output, you wouldn't be able to, effectively, record the track to a second MD, or convert it to an MP3. The generational losses of ATRAC->RAW->ATRAC/MP3 compression would ruin the Audio. (that being said, Pro-decks WILL do direct digital copying, but they cost $$)

3) SCMS circuits and their schematics are readily available on the internet, and not all that expensive to build/buy. Add to that the fact that high-end MD decks completely ignore SCMS, and CD/MD dual-decks even offer high-speed CD->MD dubbing.

What a great read. (2)

TheFlu (213162) | more than 13 years ago | (#490920)

I guess what I got most out of the article is that we are stifling progress in order to make a few people rich. I never really thought about it in those terms before. Help! Help! I'm being repressed! [tripod.com]

This way to the egress of repression > The Linux Pimp [thelinuxpimp.com]

ok, I'll bite the troll. (1)

mikeee (137160) | more than 13 years ago | (#490921)

Suppose I'd like to buy my Disney movies on DVD, then let my toddler watch them off VHS copies. In the not unlikely event she breaks or wears out the media, I can make another copy. This is clearly fair use, and would be legal if there were a legal way to do it; DVD copy prevention and the DMCA makes it a criminal act.

Its a book... (5)

FunOne (45947) | more than 13 years ago | (#490922)

Just treat any modern form of IP (DVD, software, music) like you would old world IP, a book.

Can I make copies of my book for myself? Yes.
Can I take my book apart? Yes.
Can I modify my book? Yes.
Can I loan my book out? Yes.
Can I read my book in any order? Yes.
Can I read my book when I want? Yes.

Look at all the HORRIBLE things I can do with books, and yet I dont see people claiming that modern copy machines are hurting book sales.


FunOne

Matter duplication (2)

divbyzero (23176) | more than 13 years ago | (#490923)

John Gilmore wrote:

If by 2030 we have invented a matter duplicator that's as cheap as copying a CD today, will we outlaw it and drive it underground?

There was an old science fiction book by the name of A for Anything [amazon.com] which explores the societal implications of just such a technology. It does not take anywhere's near as cheery a view as the EFF.

I haven't decided exactly where I stand on the issue, but Mr. Gilmore raises some good points.
Div.


But my grandest creation, as history will tell,

TWO turntables and a microphone (1)

Rares Marian (83629) | more than 13 years ago | (#490924)

I suppose that's someone's idea of poetry but it really comes to this:

What's 2+2? 4.

What's content+a recordable media? A recording.

Enough of this ass-licking bend over backwards to get from point A to point B bullshit.

Why I'll just design my own hardware!

Re:*Sigh* (3)

mav[LAG] (31387) | more than 13 years ago | (#490925)

If you can show me one person who has not been able to pursue legitimate recording activites because of copy protection I will eat my words. Otherwise I stand by what I say.

Easy. From the article (which I can tell you did read because of your quote later on):

By private agreements behind the laws and standards, such as the unwritten agreement that DAT and MiniDisc recorders will treat analog inputs as if they contained copyrighted materials which the user has no rights in. (My recording of my brother's wedding is uncopyable, because my MiniDisc decks act as if I and my brother don't own the copyright on it.)

John Gilmore wanted to pursue a legitimate recording activity and was unable to because of copy protection. Start eating.

And people seem to think no-one gets hurt by these things. They are wrong. The people working for record and computer companies have jobs and families too.

Boo-frigging-hoo. So the entire population must accept crippled technology and a steady erosion of its constitutional rights so that a small minority of sharks and their dependants can survive?

As for the rest of your comment - copyright does not mean "owned by" and it is not the same as property. It means the copyright holder has a limited time over the distribution and use of his or her work.

Re:*Sigh* (2)

Masem (1171) | more than 13 years ago | (#490926)

Copyright protection which takes away fair use rights is basically saying "guilty until proven innocent". By using copyright controls, RIAA and MPAA are considering that all consumers are going to violate copyrights, instead of what really is only the 5% or so that will.

I think what needs to happen is to have a paradigm shift in the way that RIAA/MPAA and others think about copyrights -- if they spent less time in the vigalence of copyrights and instead spent more in improving quality and increasing quantity of titles available, they would still pull in the same profits and possibly more.

Re:*Sigh* (2)

(void*) (113680) | more than 13 years ago | (#490927)

If you can show me one person who has not been able to pursue legitimate recording activites because of copy protection I will eat my words.

The fact that we can now, does not mean that your children can in the future. The rant is about people who want to deprive future generations, not the present. They are setting a trend whose logical conclusion would be to impoverish our kids. That is what the rant is about, amongst others. It is about the evils of a trend which is not good for society as a whole.

I don't know about you, but the economic argument was the most compelling. The content guys make a few billions in a year combined, but the combined telco's and carriers make that sum in a few weeks. From a government's and lawmaker's perspective, that alone should give one pause about the relative merits of content protection vs free speech.

There is no RIAA there is only Zool (1)

Rares Marian (83629) | more than 13 years ago | (#490928)

Or rather the Recording Industry Publishers Association

This all leads to mono-culture technology. (4)

crovira (10242) | more than 13 years ago | (#490929)

Ask the Irish about the dangers inherent in mono-culture.

They became dependent on a single kind of potato even though the new world had dozens of them.

The end result was the famine, the death of millions, economic disruption Ireland still hasn't recovered from and some stern lessons which are being ignored at the peril of those who would repeat history in technology instead of agriculture.

Mono-cultures are forever poised on the knife edge of catastrophy. One slip leads to oblivion.

Has anyone noticed that infection incidents are becoming more severe? Melissa is spawning faster and spreading much wider using ruses programed into it.

Changing the vector from diskette to e-mail is part the reason. Using larger 'active' content is another part. Now imagine a exploit of content files, infected media. I'm sure someone's already getting hard at the thought.

One particularly complex and capable computer virus which could be carried over the expanded communications channels in place now could conceivably wipe out everybody without a set of uninfected backups.

The Luddites would win. But at what a cost...

Re:*Sigh* (2)

DemianJ (30140) | more than 13 years ago | (#490930)

> If we remove the tools, we remove the crime and the world is better off in the end.

Are you insane!? By your logic, anything that can be useful inappropriately (in your opinion) should be denied to the people.

Hmmm, Cars,Planes,Trains & Boats, cannot only be used to kill people, but to rapidly deliver other products that can be used to injure others. Get Rid of Them!

Lets see, Fire! Fire can be used to burn people's homes and even the people themselves, Lets outlaw fire!

Too radical an argument for you.. How about "Words" (tm). With "Words" (tm) you can incite violence and lead other people to revolution and worse. Look at Adolf Hitler, he used "Words" (tm) to devastate a continent. We definitely should outlaw "Words." (tm)

The fundamental difference between a chain on your bike and the ownership of "Intellectual Property" is the following:

If you give me your bike, you no longer have a bike.
If you give me food, you no longer have food.
You are worse off without your bike and without your food, and I am in a better situation.

With "Intellectual Property", if you give me your IP, you have the IP and I have the IP.
You still have it! You can give it to everyone and everyone can have it. There is INFINITE SUPPLY of IP!

However, you have lost the opportunity to sell your IP to me or anyone I supply it too. The Media Companies and Music Companies work very hard to turn a infinte quantity (IP) into a finite quantity (CD's,DVD's, Books,etc...). These corporations have figured this out, and they expect the public to remain ignorant (seems to be a common trait today) of the real issues.

Imagine, as John Gilmore did, that we extend this to future "properties" that become infinite in nature: Energy, Food, etc... Were these things to become plentiful and abdundant would you, as a human being, allow corporations to control the ability to harvest Energy and Food and force you to pay for something that costs them nothing to give?

I'm all for a capitalist society, I'm a big fan of corporations being allowed to protect their business. But when everyone can benefit from something that costs nothing to share, and does not deprive the creator of its benefit, then its time to give to the world.

Pickled Software (1)

fognugen (237685) | more than 13 years ago | (#490931)

One thing that still confuses me when discussing these new technologies which will prevent us from copying and storing our digital music collections is, we already have the hardware/software to do such things. So what if Intel or IBM has a new way to encrypt a music file?? All that means is I won't use their sofware to rip or encode my music.

I don't see the compact disc going away anytime soon, so as long as I've got CD's and the software I currently use to rip music, things will be ok. The RIAA is going to have to come to my house, format my hard drive, and trash my backups if they want to get rid of the software which I currently own and use.

Re:*Sigh* (2)

Stiletto (12066) | more than 13 years ago | (#490932)


You are arguing from the premise that information is property--which is still open to debate. But for the sake of this discussion, let's assume that "information as property" actually makes sense:

If I hear a song that you recorded (and "own") am I allowed to hum it to myself? Am I allowed to sing the song to someone else? Can I play the song with other people in the same room? According to popular corporate logic, all of these situations make me a pirate--I am reproducing your content without your permission. Of course these examples are absurd, but it only illustrates the absurdity that is "intellectual property".

To corporate media, intellectual property is about PROFIT and PROGRAMMING. It's about control. Ideally, these huge conglomerates would like a garden hose that goes directly from their studio to your brain--preferrably a hose that required you to put money in each time to operate. They want a world where every bit of communication you might receive has a price tag. This is not the kind of world most people want to live in.

The sad thing is, the people who believe communication is property are winning. They bought the appropriate laws, and they bought the approval of the government (armed enforcement). How do we fight this? Go to a free live concert (they are everywhere). Read a book in the library. See and appreciate the beauty in the world that, so far, has not been bottled up and sold by the corporate world. Spread the attitude that life would go on without Brittany Spears and Bruce Willis.

Re:Ron Rivest ? (1)

Bojay Iverson (261262) | more than 13 years ago | (#490933)

Yes, he is the same person. His homepage is here [mit.edu] . And it's The Rivest-Shamir-Adleman (RSA) algorithm, but you were close.

Re:ok, I'll bite the troll. (1)

mikeee (137160) | more than 13 years ago | (#490934)

>Fair use is about criticism and review, not making a backup copy.

Oh, for god's sake, does anyone but Jack Valenti believe that?

Supreme Court decisions clearly state that fiar use includes the right to convert your working copy to a more convient medium; this is from the case in which the MPAA tried to ban VCRs back in the early 80s.

Minidiscs which refuse to record? (1)

Arkleseizure (251525) | more than 13 years ago | (#490935)

I have a minidisc recorder which has never complained about recording anything, be it analogue, digital, copyrighted, tasteless, heretical or obscene. I wasn't even aware that minidiscs would or could detect the copyright of what they were being asked to record. Is this just an American thing or am I being dumb?

Re:*Sigh* (2)

guran (98325) | more than 13 years ago | (#490936)

Next thing the free software guys will be trying to tell me that I can't put a chain on my bike!

Nope, You cannot put a chain on your bike. The bike company provided your bike with its own patented locking mechanism, and by putting a chain on your bike, you would alter their copyrighted bike-design...

OK you do have a point or two. Much of the talk about the freedom of information may really just be whining for a free lunch.
BUT
There are laws regarding copyright. They do NOT give the copyright exclusive rights to published content. Some things are explicitly excluded. (fair use)
What the various copy protection schemes aim at is *total* control of published content, that is beyond the copyright given by law.

And no, piracy does not make companies go bust. (show me one single example that it does)
Piracy limits the profit margin for popular content, true, but popular content, makes money anyway and less popular content is less widely pirated.

Yup, *Sigh* (2)

Pig Hogger (10379) | more than 13 years ago | (#490937)


This is just my point. Why the hell shouldn't companies be allowed to protect their property?
They can very well protect their property, but not using means that tramples on the rights of others. Just like you can't protect your real-estate with automatic infrared seeking guns and land mines.

--

Umm... what about other countries? (2)

evil_one (142582) | more than 13 years ago | (#490938)

As a Canadian citizen, I would really like to see the DMCA effect me directly. We have anti-piracy laws up here too, but if I want to tape something off T.V., there's nothing to stop me. If I want to record a copyrighted video stream, there will be a way, regardless of the method.
Not too long ago, DISH network, who provides the hardware for ExpressVu was cracked. People everywhere made use of this. The same will happen with HDTV copy protection.
---

Re:*Sigh* (3)

SquadBoy (167263) | more than 13 years ago | (#490939)

Get ready to eat your words. Backup. I have children. Every once in a while CDs tend to get ruined. At the moment with most CDs that I have I can have a backup. I have a VCR at the moment I have backups of many of the tapes. The ones that I can't backup piss me off. One of the reasons I have not gone to a DVD yet is because of the backup issue. At the moment, and due to brain dead schemes like this, I buy a shiney new DVD and if by chance it should fall into the hands of my daughter it is going to be gone, bye-bye, sorry. I have *no* way of backing it up, my only choice is to buy it again. So yes I am being hosed at that point. And oh BTW "piracy" does not mean that great software never reaches me. I don't use software that is not free (as in speech) to start with. So why is that not a good use?

Moneyed interests (2)

redelm (54142) | more than 13 years ago | (#490940)

This is an excellent polemic. I would add it's only part of a larger phenomenon: Concentrated interests dominate diffuse interests. Irrespective of merit, right, numbers, or aggregate welfare.

Media companies represent one concentrated interest. They exist mostly as a middleman between the artist/creator and their public. Their entire livelihood is threatened by new communications/electronic technology. (They mustn't be adding value anywhere else to feel so threatened!) So they fight tooth-and-nail in the Courts and Legislatures, spending money lavishly. No surprise.

Consumers are the diffuse interest. Sure, they like the music/TV/whatever, but they won't die without it. What most are willing to do to protect their rights is very limited. Even if they are very numerous, their interest is difficult to concentrate. So they lose.

Ultimately, this is a very bad thing for society. It harkens a return to feulalism.

Civil rights? (2)

Alien54 (180860) | more than 13 years ago | (#490941)

IANAL

I wonder is somehow these restrictive contracts can be taken for litigation under some civil rights law action.

Or maybe extend the protections of a legal/illegal contract, so that the rights a person has cannot be signed away under a contract, effectively killing some of these contracts.

IANAL

it seems like there has to be some sort of large scale action against these commercial interests to put the hurt on these actions. But because of their large financial resources, this is sure not going to be easy.

IANAL, but there are days when I wish I knew it better than I do.

Re:*Sigh* (2)

kyz (225372) | more than 13 years ago | (#490942)

the fact is that most of the uses are not legitimate.

According to who? You? Do you have a guilty conscience, or something? Are you not aware of your own rights? Are you too scared to exercise them?

Why the hell shouldn't companies be allowed to protect their property?

But it's not their property. You paid money for it. It's yours. Keep it, treasure it. Imagine you BUY somethign from a company, but at the end of the day they still own and control it? Can you spell 'sucker'?

copyrighted - like 'owned by'. ... piracy makes companies go bust. Piracy ... Piracy ... free software guys will be trying to tell me that I can't put a chain on my bike! ... Communist ... theft ... Trolltrolltrolltroll. YHL. HAND.

Book piracy (1)

Metal Machine Music (255620) | more than 13 years ago | (#490943)

You've missed the point.

There isn't any book piracy. That's why we don't restrict copiers.

It's similar to the fact that I need to put a chain on my bike but not my house.

If people stole houses we'd protect them to.

Re:*Sigh* (2)

maroberts (15852) | more than 13 years ago | (#490944)

You have to bear in mind that copyright is a right granted to the producers of a product to encourage distribution of ideas, and this right has taken away the right of other people the right to make copies of anything they buy.

If you buy a lamp, for example, there is nothing preventing you from making thousands of other lamps just like it provided you can do so [and you don't pretend your lamp is made by anyone but yourself]. All you have to do is sort out and buy the materials to build one. In any other field, the ability to buy an object and make a cheaper copy of it is called Competition, not Piracy, which incidentally is something involving bloodshed, which Duplication (normally) doesn't. If copyright did not exist, prices would be forced down, not up, since an author would soon be priced out of the market by his copiers. Incidentally this would create jobs, not kill them, although it is arguable whether such jobs would be so rewarding

Note that I am not denying that copyright should exist - its purpose is to ensure that authors, publishers etc receive a decent return on their investment of time effort and money, and I have no quibble with that. I do however quibble with how long that copyright lasts (up to 95 years!! well after the author has shuffled off his mortal coil).

However the dividing line is that most people on 'our' side of the fence believe that providing we have bought a legal product, we should be free to do anything we like with that product short of distributing it to anyone else. For example, if I have bought a DVD, I should be free to put the music from that DVD onto my In-Car MP3 player, or edit the movie/contents for personal use in any way I see fit on my PC.

Next thing the free software guys will be trying to tell me that I can't put a chain on my bike!

We have no problems with you putting a chain to protect your bike, it's when you put a chain on our bike we start to get Bolshy (in the non-Communist sense of the word!). We are perhaps far more right wing than you in the sense we want more individual freedom and less corporate rights, since that is where copyright normally ends up.

You also have to remember that copyright has long been used as a bludgeon to prevent new technologies and ideas; exactly the opposite of what copyright is supposed to foster. Cassette tapes had a long battle with the recording industry (which still ain't over) and DAT effectively died because, amongst other reasons, the industry didn't want a media which made perfect personal copies 'out there'. 'Just use some other way' is not the point; if the industry had their way their would be no other way. MP3 players and other non-media recorders would not exist unless Diamond had the balls to stand up to the industry.

[If you think this should be modded up, then mod the parent post up too - I think the points made in the parent post are why many people don't see our point of view]

Re:Can't tape HDTV??? (2)

guran (98325) | more than 13 years ago | (#490945)

No, there will be no real-time shows on TV. It will all be downloadable, for a price.

Only live envents will be sent in real time, and rest assure that you will be able to purchase it afterwards. You will get your content whenever you want it, you'll just have to pay for it...

Too bad if you want to watch the (unedited) olympics and happen to be in the US though.

Re:*Sigh* (1)

Fenris2001 (210117) | more than 13 years ago | (#490946)

So what next? We force hardware stores to stop selling bolt cutters, because "most" of the people buying them are going to cut the lock off your bike and steal it?

Don't laugh, the analogy is there. And what's worse is, it's not even your bike. Sure, you bought and paid for it, but when you did, you signed a slip of paper saying you wouldn't let anyone else ride it. That's the point Gilmore is trying to make. The restrictions on copy-making technology are being made for the benefit of large coroporate interests, in the name of the consumer.

This is *not* about theft. It's about the right of consumers to use what they have paid for in a legal manner.

Yes, the people who work for these companies have a right to earn a living. Gilmore recognizes that people do this best when they are making something new, not searching for more ways to sustain an artifical scarcity.

If there was some credence to your claim that "most of the uses are not legitimate" then I might believe you.

Change and the padded-cell society (2)

tjwhaynes (114792) | more than 13 years ago | (#490947)

I always hear this argument when it comes to copy protection. "It's not fair because people have legitimate uses."

This might be true, but the fact is that most of the uses are not legitimate. This stuff about being denied access to these things unfairly is wrong.

So you would outlaw lockpicks for example, because they are obviously buglary tools with only limited fair use? Or would you go further, and outlaw guns, because you can kill people with guns? Or crikey - you would outlaw hammers, because they can be used to bludgeon someone to death? Or outlaw writeable CDs, because obviously everyone uses them to copy their friends CDs (actually that is legal in Canada). Or eradicate any knowledge about encryption, since this information will, in part, be used to decrypt copy-protected information?

If you go down this road, we will be living in a society that is living in the equivalent of a padded cell. Anything which can have illegal use is banned. Anything that could remove someone's (people or corporations) job or income today will disappear.

And people seem to think no-one gets hurt by these things.

They are wrong. The people working for record and computer companies have jobs and families too.

When mechanisation arrived, thousands of agriculture workers lost their jobs. When steam powered looms were invented, the number of people needed to make cloth in quantity shrunk by at least an order of magnitude. The industrial revolution changed the working patterns of society. All major changes in production or techonolgy obsoletes certain ways of life. Puts people out of work. What you fail to recognise is that out of this change comes new opportunities. There is often a period of difficulties and resentment by those who are affected - this is natural and understandable.

Don't stop the train just because you can't see the destination.

This is just my point. Why the hell shouldn't companies be allowed to protect their property? The big word there is copyrighted - like 'owned by'. The fact is that piracy makes companies go bust. Piracy increases the costs for people who aren't thieves. Piracy means that some great software just doesn't reach you. If we remove the tools, we remove the crime, and the world is better off in the end.

Fair use. Do you really want to live in a world where criticism of any work is not possible because content restrictions stop you publishing any of it, even it's name? Would you be happy knowing that you could not record you own musical or video creations and distribute them to a purchasing public, because everyone else has equipment that will only play 'trusted' media because of content restrictions?

Piracy happens. The biggest threat to income is not the home user making MP3s of their music collection so they can listen to any track in any order. It is the CD pressing plants turning out thousands and thousands of copies of the latest Brittany Spears album (why, I don't know) or copies of Windows 2000 Professional (to be sold at $50 a shot). Organized crime makes vast profits from copying goods. Even DVDs, with all their encryption, access controls and region codes, can be churned out by a DVD pressing plant if you have one original to work from without having to break the original codes. Just make a bit copy which includes the key codes.

Piracy does hurt the consumer. But why hurt the consumer further by limiting the consumers rights through technological barriers?

Cheers,

Toby Haynes

Re:*Sigh* (3)

rangek (16645) | more than 13 years ago | (#490948)

You quote:

What it quietly neglects to say is that you can't use it to copy or time-shift or record any audio or video copyrighted by major companies.

And then you say:

This is just my point. Why the hell shouldn't companies be allowed to protect their property? The big word there is copyrighted - like 'owned by'.

Which makes no sense. Even if we accept your spurious interpretation of copyright as ownership, copyright law explicitly permits copying (e.g., for backup) and time-shifting.

The fact is that piracy makes companies go bust.

Name one.

Next thing the free software guys will be trying to tell me that I can't put a chain on my bike!

Information is not at all like a bike. If i use your bike, you can't, so you better lock it or walk home. But I can use your information and you can use mine all at the same time. We just like it when we compensate each other for the effort it took to create that information. That is what copyright is intended to do.

In the "olden days", your bike analogy worked quite well. The only way for me to get compensated by consumers of my info. was to have them pay for copies. Now, the cost of making copies is essentially zero. New economic models are going to have to be created to deal with this. Someone mentioned a "'free mp3/get paid touring' business model". Why can't that work? Because it takes Time Warner and Sony out of the loop... Now does that sound right?

Re:Is there an understandable, non-technical summa (1)

grahamm (8844) | more than 13 years ago | (#490949)

I think that the problem we have now is that the copyright owner sometimes gets too many rights. The right to control copying is fair enough. But should the copyright owner have any say over what is done with the legally produced copy? If a copy of a work (book, software, music CD, celuloid movie,DVD etc) has been created with the permission of (and probably fees paid to) the copyright owner, then the only activity which should concern the copyright holder is creating another copy. How and where you use, change, or dispose of the legally created copy should not be any business of the copyright holder.

Re:*Sigh* (1)

lalas (85981) | more than 13 years ago | (#490950)

Why the hell shouldn't companies be allowed to protect their property? The big word there is copyrighted - like 'owned by'.

When the copyright runs out and the work enters the public domain, the DMCA will protect the work beyond copyright.

Piracy increases the costs for people who aren't thieves.

So does anti-piracy technology

If we remove the tools, we remove the crime, and the world is better off in the end.

How many classes of crime have ever been eliminated through removal of tools?

Re:*Sigh* (1)

h0mi (135188) | more than 13 years ago | (#490951)

I don't think you get it. The companies want it both ways.

I pay $11 dollars for a _tape_ of a recording act. If the tape is damaged, I can't get it replaced- my "license" to listen to that tape is done. I have to buy a new one. But I can't do whatever I want with this tape- if I play the tape as background music for my restaurant, I get sued for some sort of infringement. If I don't own the content; if they do, then when I purchase a license to listen to it, it should be valid regardless.

Problem is that cracking will get you jail. (2)

crovira (10242) | more than 13 years ago | (#490952)

And the US is only too willing to send the cops to Norway if that what it takes to protect reruns of "I Love Lucy"

Why? Because, if they get their way, you pay but it costs them nothing. Eventually you'll get bored and go back to culture and having some time for yourself in the evenings.

I gave up on TV (and being a passive sponge,) and I'm having more fun that I ever did sitting there asking myself "Why am I watching this shit?"

Re:*Sigh* (2)

clare-ents (153285) | more than 13 years ago | (#490953)

"
This is just my point. Why the hell shouldn't companies be allowed to protect their property?
"

Why shouldn't I be allowed to protect my intellecual property. If the means exist to prevent me copying the material of a movie studio, and the movie studio is allowed to prevent me copying it's materials, why I am not allowed to choose what protection my original material has.

"
If you can show me one person who has not been able to pursue legitimate recording activites because of copy protection I will eat my words. Otherwise I stand by what I say.
"

I have a minidisc of a live Concert that *I* recorded of two friends of mine performing songs that they wrote. I am not allowed to copy it because the minidisc player has decided that I am not the copyright holder. As a result, of the three people involved, the other two are not allowed identical copies to the original. We were not able to distribute perfect promotional copies to pubs and clubs to get gigs since according to Sony we don't own the copyright.

"
Next thing the free software guys will be trying to tell me that I can't put a chain on my bike!
"

I think the problem is the Cycle companies have said, here, have the bike you paid for. You aren't allowed to give it away, resell it to someone else, photograph it without an approved photography device, ride it without an approved helmet or without paying the Cycle Company Road fee. If you wish to ride in a different country you must purchase a new bike because this European bike has been prevented from working in America. If this bike breaks and you attempt to fix it with a non Cycle company approved part you may be sent to jail. If you wish to lend your bike to a friend, you must write to the Cycle company and ask for permission first. Please note that attempting to make your own bicycle is in contravention of international law.

The free software people are saying, here is a bike, ride it, give it away, resell it, if you want you can even set up your own bicycle manufacturing company based on this bikes design. The only thing you can't do is restrict the rights of anyone you give / sell a bike to.

"
The people working for record and computer companies have jobs and families too
"
So do executioners. Does this mean we should encourage murderers or the executioners would be out of a job?

All CDs have "no copy" bit. Why no DMCA lawsuit? (5)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#490954)

Check the redbook format for audio CDs. It actually defines, on a track by track basis, a "no copy" flag. Naturally this bit is set for all commercial audio CDs. It's also set by every CD burning program I've seen.

Yet all CD ripping software, including that made by "big name" companies ignores the no copy flag. And the CD reader hardware happily extracts digital audio from tracks with the flag set too.

How come no one is getting sued for circumventing this copy control? I think this should qualify as abandonment of the DMCA or selective enforcement. Take your pick, either is sufficient to have the DMCA stricken from the lawbooks.

Copyright (2)

h0mi (135188) | more than 13 years ago | (#490955)

I also have a problem with the apparant fact that the copyright to Disney characters will _never_ expire.

Copyrights were never intended to last for eons.

Re:TWO turntables and a microphone (1)

bluecalix (128634) | more than 13 years ago | (#490956)

>What's content+a recordable media? A recording.
Exactly. And what happens when they take the recordable media off the market?
Content + no available recordable media = Content no one can access

The heart of the matter (5)

Slak (40625) | more than 13 years ago | (#490957)

One point about this whole thing that I haven't seen mentioned:

The MPAA/RIAA and other "big media" "content owners" are operating under the assumption that their content is their's into perpetuity. This is wrong, per the Constitution which only grants "limited time" ownership. By behaving in a manner which assumes that content can never fall into the public domain, perhaps the EFF can seek to overturn all Copyright Extentions back to the original 14 + 14 year one.

None of these players takes into account "content protection" expiration, and as such should be forced to include such features.

Re:Book piracy (2)

sqlrob (173498) | more than 13 years ago | (#490958)

There isn't any book piracy. That's why we don't restrict copiers.

Yes, there is book piracy. Ever buy a book with the cover torn off? Chances are the book wasn't "accidentally" damaged. It was reported as destroyed to the publisher

Copiers are restricted. You aren't legally allowed to make copies of books. There is no TECHNOLOGICAL restriction. That is the difference.

Re:Information == $$$ (2)

TheCarp (96830) | more than 13 years ago | (#490959)

You know I have heard abou tthese so many times.

NDAs and Non-Competition agreements - its amazing. All the hassle and problems. I dunno about anyone else, but this is alot of why I am seriously thinking that I don't ever want to work for a "for profit" company again (right now I work for a university).

In any case, I have already decided that I will NEVER sign an NDA, and I will never sign a non-compete agreement. EVER. I don't want to work on a project where I can't talk about it freely with my friends, or anyone else, and I wont.

I also wont buy a DVD player either, not unless I can find one that will not respect "regions" or any of the other nastyness. My player is _MY_ equipment and should do what _I_ tell it. It should NEVER tell me "you can't do that" or refuse to operate for anything other than real technical problems...not for simple "policy decisions" (like region encoding)

-Steve

Not to worry (4)

cyber-vandal (148830) | more than 13 years ago | (#490960)

Why would anyone buy a VCR/DVD-R which didn't allow them to record from the TV? DVDs sell because the consumer rarely feels the effect of multiple regions, but if they cannot record Friends while out at a party, they will stick to non-protected VHS. I can't see the manufacturers that were burned by the DAT fiasco wanting a repeat performance with digital video devices.

Re:Inefficient Content Distributors (1)

Saige (53303) | more than 13 years ago | (#490961)

Gilmore points out that really what the content distributors are doing is enforcing a scarcity-based, inefficient market, even when the potential exists to have a much larger, more accessible, more efficient market. This is perhaps the first time that I can think of where a vastly better technology was not adopted.

His best point in the article, IMHO, was about how this seems like preparation for industry after industry to get nanotech-based technologies banned in the future when it becomes possible to manilpulate matter like we can manipulate information today. That they'll prevent people from making diamond en-masse because it'll ruin DeBeers' near monopoly and put miners/jewelrs out of work. That the concept of "intellectual property" is so important that we must do anything to protect it, even if it means giving up all these potential technologies.

But why would the politicians go for it? Because they know their campaign contributions come from the big companies that have the most to lose, and that anyone losing their job will throw a fit and do anything they can to get revenge, even if they didn't need to work anymore (since in America, your job defines who you are, and not working means you're useless and not deserving of life)

---

Re:Can't tape HDTV??? (1)

olmuckyterrahawk (137825) | more than 13 years ago | (#490962)

Um, I can record HDTV on my DirecTivo, but of course, this is from a paid-for satellite television service. The DirecTivo, by the way, can not record *any* off-air signals, because it lacks a MPEG encoder. Instead, it records the variable-bit-rate MPEG-encoded signals directly from the built-in DirecTV satellite receiver. This provides a superior recording compared to using one of the regular Tivo recorders in fixed-bit-rate mode (the only mode they support), at 'basic quality' rate, so you can get a decent amount of recording space on the internal hard drives. Considering that DirecTV doesn't carry WB or UPN, I now can no longer timeshift shows on those channels, unless I use my VCR 8-(. On the other hand, MTV seems to carry the one or two UPN shows I care out these days (Gary & Mike, Celebrity Deathmatch), so it's not a complete loss. I 'willed' my old 14-hour Tivo to my daughter to take to college, so he can timeshift her favorite Toonami shows. Anyway, I find the lack of being able to record off-air signals with the DirecTivo a harbinger of things to come. It provides superior picture and audio, but at a price of freedom. I suppose that I'll just get used to the idea of getting all my programming off of the satellite, and I'll end up being one of those massive hordes that have just simply accepted that that's they way you get your entertainment. At least I still have my MP3 collection... 8-)

Re:Well Written (2)

mindstrm (20013) | more than 13 years ago | (#490963)

Yes. Exactly.
I found that article summed up what I am unable to articulate myself.

The one phrase that really got me was the one about how copyright is the tail wagging the dog of human communications. That about sums it up.. the way I see it anyway.

It's not about 'copyright holder's rights' or anything. Whether you can technically copy something doesn't take away their rights...

My one problem with this. (3)

Ergo2000 (203269) | more than 13 years ago | (#490964)

While I completely and absolutely agree that the restrictions on digital mediums (i.e. the crippling of DAT) are absurd and should not exist, I think the article took a turn for the worse near the end when it sort of proclaimed that we're in a brave new world where everything should be free, etc, because it can be copied.

Firstly there is absolutely nothing stopping any of you from recording your own CD and sticking it on an FTP server. Note that I'm talking about an original work of art created by YOU with your banjo and Casio SK-1 keyboard, not ripped from your Kid Rock collection. Easy and free distribution! There is nothing stopping you from burning it on CDs and giving it away at the local homeless shelter. There is nothing stopping you from taking a DV camera and recording your own movie, mixing it down on your iMac, and cranking it to MPEG and putting it on your FTP server. NOTHING. Create all you want and you have to right to do whatever you want with it.

However rather than pursuing that people like to look to the hard work and creations of others and say "Because I CAN copy this therefore it is my RIGHT to copy this....yoink!". For all the claims about legals rights, blah blah blah, let's get to the root of the matter which is that people think everything should be free. Everyone else should be busy making movies and great CDs and because we can, we have the almighty given right to distribute it for free. Napster, despite manys claims that it would be a replacement of big music (i.e. letting bands grow independantly through this brave new world) ended up being almost entirely (i'd wager >99.999%) about RIPPING OFF the music of big music. Uh, if you own the CD why are you trying to download it from someone else? That's one of the poorest excuses I've ever heard. Lots of free rippers to MP3s so no one can claim they can't do it themself.

The matter is quite simply that people feel that if they CAN that they SHOULD. I could look on the net I'm sure that I can find a "How to steal a Chrysler" manual. Does that give me the right to go out and `borrow' Chryslers? Of course this gets into the "Well in that case you're depriving someone of something...but me I'm just making a copy! I've deprived no-one of anything!" That of course is complete bullshit that is the excuse of the thief. "Well that old bag had lots of money anyways!"

I would love to see a free world of people creating movies, music, etc., but you can see by example that it DOESN'T WORK. Without the capitalist incentive these reams of independants don't seem to be bothering. Somehow this would be resolved by raping the media companies and depriving the only ones who are creating viable entertainment of the right to control their creations? How utterly absurd and foolish. The proof is all there right in people's faces but people ignore it under the pretense of righteous indignation.

Re:*Sigh* (4)

cavemanf16 (303184) | more than 13 years ago | (#490965)

If you can show me one person who has not been able to pursue legitimate recording activites because of copy protection I will eat my words. Otherwise I stand by what I say.

Not to slam you for what you think, but here is my example:

I copied a CD which I paid full price for several years ago onto .wma format on my 400Mhz PII computer last year because the CD was starting to get a little scuffed up and hard for CD players to read due to some scratching that had occurred on its surface (I loved that CD and listened to it A LOT!). I then bought a new PIII 500Mhz computer with an even better sound system attached to it. I transferred all my music files, including the .wma files, to the new computer. Well guess what, now I'm not allowed to use them because I, quote "didn't purchase them", when in fact, I did. I would rather listen to the .wma files on my computer and let them get corrupted, than further scratch up a now out-of-print CD that can be copied over and over. Let me reiterate this: I CANNOT RE-PURCHASE THIS CD! The band has more or less broken up, and no longer puts out this CD. How else am I supposed to listen to these songs once my CD finally bites the dust?

P.S. - As indicated in my sig, the 77's are the group I am referring to, and Pray Naked is the now out-of-print album.

Re:Can't tape HDTV??? (1)

Schnedt Microne (264752) | more than 13 years ago | (#490966)

I can live with paying for my content as I view it. Particularly if it contains no advertising.

I suspect it won't be that clean of a transaction, though. We'll be able to download the programs we want to view for free, but not able to fast forward through the commercials.

It's already impossible to watch the (unedited) olympics, and always has been. Surely you weren't going to claim the IOC allows open unedited broadcasts....

Re:Minidiscs which refuse to record? (2)

TheFlu (213162) | more than 13 years ago | (#490967)

I was wondering about this myself. At home, I have the first commercially available recordable mini-disc Sony released. I'm not sure if the no digital output is a recent phenomenon or what? I don't recall it not having a digital output, but I'd have to have the unit in front of me to see for sure...I think I paid like $500 for it when I bought it back in 1994 or so, and I don't think I've even used it since '95. :o) I'll have to dig that thing out of the closet when I get home from work, I think it's right next to my Sega Genesis and my 3D0.

Re:Is there an understandable, non-technical summa (3)

puppet10 (84610) | more than 13 years ago | (#490968)

Here is a link [ifla.org] to the International Fedration of Library Associations and Institutions with a huge bibliography of resources, not a summary but a great source of links to a large number of documents on current IP laws and regulations and some of the problems with the system.

One interesting link [ifla.org] is about common myths of copyright.

And here [landfield.com] is the copyright FAQ (a bit hard to find since the orignial link from the IFLAI is dead.

Re:*Sigh* (2)

cyber-vandal (148830) | more than 13 years ago | (#490969)

Do you have an example of a former member of the MPAA/RIAA who has gone bust solely due to piracy? Or any company for that matter.

Re:Information == $$$ (1)

Schnedt Microne (264752) | more than 13 years ago | (#490970)

Relax then, and don't worry about anything.

After we've cut the budgets of the universities, you won't have to sign a NDA to operate the french fry computer.

You'll be able to go home each night and not have to think about your job.

And you won't be able to afford DVDs, so again, stop worrying.

Be happy.

And the question is whether people will be willing (1)

pergamon (4359) | more than 13 years ago | (#490971)

...to go to jail over this issue.

Re:This all leads to mono-culture technology. (2)

Fenris2001 (210117) | more than 13 years ago | (#490972)

...which is why we need the fair use laws to protect from large corporations.

The end result of freedom from copy restrictions is not a mono-culture, but many thousands of micro-cultures.

Think about the root of the word "culture" - it stems from "cult." Now think about the cults you belong to - they;re not called cults these days, but that's essentially what they are.

Our identity as individuals is shaped by the connections we form with others - Lion's Club Member, SCA, Republican, American, Socialist. It doesn't matter what the group is, as long as it holds value to you.

What the corporations seek to do is turn everyone in the world into revenue streams - they've done it already with musicians, and most of them don't realize it. The corporate monoculture is exactly what fair use and copy-making are countering.

The problem is, as you have pointed out, that as hard as the corps try to make us into drones, the opposition to them is trying to "free" the consumer from technology. What these Neo-Luddites fail to realize is that technology is not the problem, and abolishing it will solve nothing. Only a fundamental change in views will. The corporate mindset is a distant descendent of the worst inherent in slave-trade capitalists - the ones who made their money off of the sweat of others. The Luddite mindset is a knee-jerk fear of anything new.

There *must* be a better way. These mindless giants (corporations and anti-corp terrorists) threaten everything that is good about copyright and technology.

Re:Can't tape HDTV??? solution!!! (1)

marcop (205587) | more than 13 years ago | (#490973)

You could always place a camcorder in front of the TV and record the show. In case the audio is watermarked, just stick a microphone in front of the TV (although that might not work either). You could even use a timer to automatically turn your camcorder on to record shows while you are away. And if you happen to be in the room you could pan-and-scan the camera instead of just capturing the "default" center portion of the HDTV widescreen. Of course, you may need to use an older camcorder since camcorder manufacturers may impliment some form of copy protection to prevent you from "stealing" shows in this way.

This method is vulnerable to eathquakes and pets knocking your camera off its stand. Oh well, not a perfect method.

shudder... sorry, can't finish this reply because I am too disgusted.

The consumer has a choice (1)

hafree (307412) | more than 13 years ago | (#490974)

The bottom line is that consumers will not adopt a new technology that costs more and offers significantly less value. This is the main reason why pay-to-play downloadable music with copyright protection never took off. If you buy a CD, you have a digital copy of your music in a format that is easily converted to just about any other form of media. But with SDMI-compliant digital music, you can only play it on one computer, you cannot convert that file to an unprotected mp3 or record it to CD, and if you have a portable digital music player such as those produced by Sony, you can't download it to the player and then copy it elsewhere. This same theory applies to other markets as well. People won't rush out to buy DVD recorders for their home that won't let them record their favorite soaps during the day so they can watch them after work, or copy home movies to share with friends and family.

Learn how to negotiate (1)

UnknownSoldier (67820) | more than 13 years ago | (#490975)

> A lot of them have a blip about anything you develop on your spare time is the property of the company you are currently employed under.

If that got slipped into your NDA, then you had better to learn how to READ NEXT TIME! (not a flame, just an opinion) If you can't understand what you are reading, then wtf are you signing your rights away?!!

Yes, companies try to get away with whatever they can. i.e. 2 year non-compete clause, ownership of all your ideas outside company time, and other bullshit.

Simple solution is to be reasonable:
a) Ask for a 6-month non-compete clause (if they offer a 2 year)
b) Point out, that outside company time, that is YOUR TIME, and the ideas your come up are yours.

A friend of mine, was once offered a contract where the company tried to claim ownerhip of all PREVIOUS ideas! He told the company where to go. They changed their wording to mean only company time, and offered substanially more.

Remember, a contract means you are signing your rights away. If you don't like the terms of the deal, offer to have it changed! (No one is forcing you to sign, and if they are, the contract is null and void, since it was signed under duress.)

Cheers
--
"The issue today is the same as it has been throughout all history, whether man shall be allowed to govern himself or be ruled by a small elite." - Thomas Jefferson

Re:Information == $$$ (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#490976)

I also wont buy a DVD player either, not unless I can find one that will not respect "regions" or any of the other nastyness.

Get an APEX DVD player then, or a DVD player fom www.codefreedvd.com (region free DVD players, lifetime guarantee.)

Re:What's wrong with content protection? (1)

Ergo2000 (203269) | more than 13 years ago | (#490977)

He doesn't sing about little boys.

Re:Can't tape HDTV??? (2)

guran (98325) | more than 13 years ago | (#490978)

It's already impossible to watch the (unedited) olympics, and always has been. Surely you weren't going to claim the IOC allows open unedited broadcasts....

Nah, just insinuating that some tv companies are worse than others (as reported)

Seriously, though. It would be very easy to alter history, if the stations official archive was the *only* archive. (No Trotskij was never there, see nowhere in our pictures, and if you have any record of him being there, you are a PIRATE!)

Re:*Sigh* (1)

Schnedt Microne (264752) | more than 13 years ago | (#490979)

The law as it stands today, and the whole legal tradition of our culture, tells us that information is property.

If you're going to engage in the soliphism of claiminv that 'information wants to be free' please just chant that over and over.

There's no basis for a mature intelligent discussion if we don't agree on basic principles.

Returning to our past (1)

cliffiecee (136220) | more than 13 years ago | (#490980)

In the prehistoric past, we relied on human storytellers to transmit our entertainment. We depended on their (and our) capacity to remember the stories if we wanted to hear them retold.

Then along came TV and radio, and their attendant recording devices, and we were able to see more-or-less exact duplicates of the events we wanted to review.

Now, with the permission to copy these events gradually being taken away from us, we must return to our ancestral methods of human-human interaction. Perhaps movies and television and radio will slowly be eclipsed by plays and live bands.

Aw hell, who am I kidding...

Re:*Sigh* (2)

MenTaLguY (5483) | more than 13 years ago | (#490981)

IP In the form of movies or music is not "infinite".

Yes it is. Assuming digital media, there is an infinite supply of copies of existing works.

It costs $$$ to make a movie (About $40 million on average these days).

Right. That's the (one-time) cost of generating the content, not copying it. We're just used to "subsidizing" these costs by paying per-copy fees.

We're going to have to either find other ways to "subsidize" content creators, or settle for a world in which it is effectively illegal for anyone but "authorized content providors" to create or copy content.

I think I could live with the societal and artistic consequences of former better than I could the latter.

Re:Gilmore should hang it up (1)

bluecalix (128634) | more than 13 years ago | (#490982)

I am well versed in all things floyd and while it is true that Waters wrote more than the others the disparity got bigger as the band went on. The best albums, like echoes, are much more collaborations then Waters' angst ridden therapy exercises (like the Wall). And I stand by my claim that Sid introduced the band to Gilmore and that at that point Sid was the leader of the band. I am not a big fan of post Waters Pink Floyd and I do like some of Waters' solo stuff (like Pros and Cons and Some Radio Kaos) tho definately not Amused (enought of the cheesy back up singers, Roger!). Waters didn't even want to play Floyd songs for years, so why does he care that the rest of them still do? Oh yeah Final cut was also all written by Waters (mostly tossed off material from the Wall)

I suppose..... (1)

Kalabajoui (232671) | more than 13 years ago | (#490983)

That I should give up the right to create my own copyrighted content or high quality content of any kind. It is stealing after all, the record and movie companies have less market share and I have more market share at their expense when I make my own content. What gives me the right to take that market share and profit away from it's rightfull owners? In a fair and just society people who steal market share should be fined and jailed after all.

Stop (1)

rodentia (102779) | more than 13 years ago | (#490984)

Talk a walk with your babies. Read a book. Get in the car and drive. Boycott this garbage. The infotainment culture is a waste. These companies are betting the farm that the only thing we care to do with our precious free time is buy, buy, buy their product and their players, lease their shit software, watch their shit, listen to their shit. Don't consume! Produce!

Artists, stop playing along. These bastards know that this is a last gasp attempt to butter their bread before technology makes their whole distribution and licensing architecture obsolete. Start now.

The punker ethos is the answer. DIY.

Re:cover your mouth when you sigh please! (2)

(void*) (113680) | more than 13 years ago | (#490985)

But frequently the sign without learning of the full implications of what they do.

You mean like this .... (2)

UnknownSoldier (67820) | more than 13 years ago | (#490986)

> Imagine you BUY somethign from a company, but at the end of the day they still own and control it? Can you spell 'sucker'?

You mean like a typical commercial software licencse? ;-)
Or a driver's license?

*ducks the flames, because this will get incorrectly mod'd as flamebait*

Re:*Sigh* (1)

jayhawk88 (160512) | more than 13 years ago | (#490987)

Companies have every right to copyright their material, but in the rush to stop illegal copying of their content, they're intruding on their consumers rights to said content.

Why should I be denied the right to record an HDTV broadcast of Monday Night Football? Recording live sporting events might seem silly to some, but there's been many times I've recorded a "big game" when I had to be somewhere else during the broadcast, and simply avoided all sports reports until I could watch it. Same applies to live concert events, or things like the Oscars and such.

Why should I be forced to buy a traditional, rack DVD player to watch The Matrix? If I have a DVD-Rom player in my PC, I can watch it, provided I run Windows. But I don't want to run Windows, I want to run Linux, or BeOS, or whatever. If I have the skill to write a player for said OS, why should I suddenly be breaking a law?

True media pirates, the kind that operate large-scale copying houses out of Taiwan or wherever, aren't stopped by such copy protection methods. There's always a way to break encryption, or bit-copy a Macrovision DVD, or hack an install-key generator. The only people these copy protection methods inconvienience are honest consumers.

Very nice. Next step? (2)

phil reed (626) | more than 13 years ago | (#490988)

How do we get this into the wider public spaces, where it can draw more attention?


...phil

GPL on harware (1)

Saint Mitchell (144618) | more than 13 years ago | (#490989)

I've not done any research on the subject, but it keeps popping into my head when I see articles like this. Can you GPL (or other free licence) hardware. It in theory would protect things like this from happening. Engineers could make a DVD-R(W) drive WITHOUT the copy protection bullshit and post the GPLed blueprints out on the web. The genie would be out of the bottle then. Granted most people would have no way of actually making the product. And the MPAA would be first in line to sue any harware distro that made them available. Any ideas on how to get around some of this stuff. I'm tired of these bastards covering thier asses and sticking it to mine. I think it'd be cool as hell to take Pulp Fiction and put the chapters in a linear order. I'm not going to sell it, just watch it. Since I own the DVD that should be well within my right...but nooooooooo.

WTO, GATT, etc. on _our_ side? (3)

gilroy (155262) | more than 13 years ago | (#490990)

Hey, here's something the article sparked in me that I'd never thought of:
Movie companies insisted on a "region coding" system for DVDs, because they would make less money if DVD movies were actually tradeable worldwide under existing free-trade laws.
Why use use free-trade laws to attack things like regional encoding? IANAL, but it sounds reasonable that encoding might violate numerous trade agreements.

I can live without recording content... (1)

TWX_the_Linux_Zealot (227666) | more than 13 years ago | (#490991)

"I can live with paying for my content as I view it. Particularly if it contains no advertising. "

So can I, it's called "not watching television". It's quite simple. There is this thing called "outdoors" that I discovered a few months ago (wow, I wonder if I can patent it?) that has things called trees and birds and sidewalks and parks and grass and stuff in it... it's amazing! If I'm not collecting movies on (non-region non macrovision!) LaserDisc, IRCing, or reading stuff I'm usually outdoors. It's done wonders for my physique, I'm actually losing weight, gaining strength and stamina, and my vision isn't going bad as fast as it was from CRT radiation!

Rant aside, if this Television/Movie industry wants to make content harder and harder to enjoy I'll just do without. As is, I mainly watch PBS and listen to NPR, so I'm not exposed to nearly as many advertisements as most other people. I get ads from the banner at the top of Slashdot (for geek stuff pretty much only), billboards and signs on the streets, and the shameless plugs in the occasional movie that I go see. I'm the marketer's greatest bane, or at least my type is, for I do not conform. Hell, the movies that I actually DO buy are almost ALL on LaserDisc, (currently 75 titles) and are generally movies that have stood the test of time. This consumerism culture that I am subjected to in the United States is bullshit.

Well, enough of my rant...

"Titanic was 3hr and 17min long. They could have lost 3hr and 17min from that."

Re:Matter duplication (1)

jeek (37349) | more than 13 years ago | (#490992)

Rudy Rucker also explored this in Realware...a very good book if I do say so myself.

Minidisc Copy Protection. (3)

TheFlu (213162) | more than 13 years ago | (#490993)

Minidisc's employ the SCMS [hometheatersite.com] (Serial Copy Mangement System) copy protection scheme, which basically means you can't make a digital copy of a digital copy. You can read a short CDR versus Minidisc review here [hometheatersite.com] and you can find out information about the Prospec MSP-730 SCMS "stripper" right here [hometheatersite.com] . The MSP-730 basically outputs unlimited SCMS bits to allow you to copy digital copies. I believe the article is a bit old, so there may or may not be other products like the 730 available. According to the article, the DMCA made this product illegal, but perhaps you could find someone somewhere still selling them, I haven't looked so I don't know. If you're intested in knowing more about the Minidisc, you can also check out the Minidisc FAQ [minidisc.org] .

News report: (2)

Psmylie (169236) | more than 13 years ago | (#490994)

This just in:
In a lawsuit filed today, CRAP (Cruiseline and Railway Associated Protectorate) has filed suit agains al of the world's major airlines, citing unfair competetive practices. A spokesman for crap made the follwing statement:
"Because the airlines can get people from coast to coast, or even overseas, in an incredibly short amount of time, we can't compete. Therefore, we want to limit them to travelling at the same speeds as passenger trains and ocean liners."
When informed that reducing airspeeds to such an extent would cause airplanes to fall out of the sky, the represenative replied, "That's their problem."

Okay, so that's a little silly, but the point is, it's stupid to use litigation to limit competition, which is what a lot of entertainment companies these days seem to want. And, it's even more ridiculous building obsolesence into your technology to discourage fair use.

Re:*Sigh* (1)

PerlGeek (102857) | more than 13 years ago | (#490995)

> If you can show me one person who has not been able to pursue legitimate recording activites because of copy protection I will eat my words. Otherwise I stand by what I say.

My brother, who tried to hook up a DVD player to his stereo system, only to find out the picture was fizz-fuzz. He eventually found out that the problem was all VCRs produced after a certain date won't accept input from a DVD player, making it impossible to back up DVDs onto VCR tapes. That would have been a legitimate recording activity, and he couldn't do it because the movie industries decided to punish him for being able to become a criminal.

No, he would not have made copies for his friends, though I can't prove it to you. He's a stickler for staying legal, so though he was insulted, he swallowed his pride and did it their way.

> And people seem to think no-one gets hurt by these things.
> They are wrong. The people working for record and computer companies have jobs and families too.

Most record and computer companies depend on an artificial scarcity. They make the whole world poorer, just to allow a content-selfish company to survive. If the people working for those record and computer companies minded being thieves and pirates of our fair use rights, they would have quit long ago.

If you can show me how an ethical and upstanding person can work at Microsoft or Sony, I will eat my words. Otherwise I stand by what I say. I'm not saying they are bad people, I just can't understand why they would stay.

> They are wrong. The people working for record and computer companies have jobs and families too.

Yes, and I'm sure they will still be able to support their families, but working at another company.

> This is just my point. Why the hell shouldn't companies be allowed to protect their property?

Why shouldn't fans be allowed to time-shift and space-shift their favorite shows? I've been reverse-engineering clocks, motors, toy cars, electronics junk, and computers for nearly as long as I've been alive. Why shouldn't I be allowed to reverse-engineer Windows, or the lastest internet filtering software?

> Piracy increases the costs for people who aren't thieves.

"Piracy" is what the media companies are doing.

> If we remove the tools, we remove the crime, and the world is better off in the end.

What a horrifying thought! Should crowbars be illegal because they can be used for burglary? Should binoculars be illegal because they can be used by peeping toms and stalkers? Should syringes be illegal just because they can be used by druggies? If a tool has even *one* legitimate use, it is wrong to make the tool illegal. The US courts have at least ruled this way.

Some would say it is wrong to make tools illegal even if they have no legitimate uses. I can't say they're wrong or right, but it makes sense to punish the criminal, not the tool.

> Next thing the free software guys will be trying to tell me that I can't put a chain on my bike! I mean this is getting Communist in proportions - surely we've got past the belief in common ownership of property.

NO! NO! NO! Do you know what the content on a DVD is? It is a number. A number with many digits, but still a number. Are you seriously telling me that *numbers* can be owned? Bikes can be owned, but ideas, numbers, and words cannot.

I believe very strongly in free enterprise, and an individual's right to property. The way IP is going, it's not free enterprise, it's Fascism. Next thing the copyright extenders and patent-happy people will be telling me I can't make my own software, or my own movies, or time-shift or space-shift tv shows!

> This is about theft. That's all.

Yes. The theft of the people's rights by a powerful minority. That's all.

Re:Can't tape HDTV??? (1)

Sammy76 (45826) | more than 13 years ago | (#490996)

Society responds most strongly to changes to the current paradigm. Recording of TV shows with a VCR is not only common and accepted, it is widely used by a vast cross section of society. To take away this option will definitely fuel debate on at least this scenario. I suspect that even ignorant politicians will be able to grasp the implications of not being able to record must-see-tv, and will move to preserve the right of time-shifting.

Perhaps the FTC will apply pressure to the broadcast networks, as they are effectively the beneficiaries of a large public gift of broadcasting bandwidth, and therefore have an obligation to work for the public interest. At least it would seem that some executives will realize that watching time shifted tv allows more people to tune in their programs and developes greater viewer followership.

Best line in the rant... (2)

The Babushka (44270) | more than 13 years ago | (#490997)

I think the best line in this rant is about 3/4ths the way down:

I think we should work on understanding how people can make a living by creating new things and providing services, rather than by restricting the duplication of existing things.

Afterall, isn't that what open source is all about?

-the Babushka

Re:*Sigh* (1)

NumberSyx (130129) | more than 13 years ago | (#490998)

This is about theft. That's all.

No this is not about theft, it has never been about theft and it never will be about theft. Absolutly everyone aggrees that pirating is illegal and should be illegal. The definition of IP Piracy is the distribution of copyrighted material by someone who does not own the copyright for profit and/or to the detriment of the copyright holder.

What this battle is about is the right of the consumer to use legally obtained copyrighted material as they see fit as long as they do not redistribute the material for a profit or to the detriment of the copyright holder. This fight is about control, if the Media giants had it thier way, VCR's would be illegal and posting an article on how to set the timer to record a TV show would get you sued. You may be able to live under this type of restriction, but I can not. I want to live in a country were "Fair Use" and "Freedom of Speech" means something. I would ask these companies to please embrace this new technology instead of trying to legislate it out of existance.

Oh, and yes I voted, and I have written my Congressman and Senator, the previous President and as of this morning, I have written the new President on these matters.

If you can show me one person who has not been able to pursue legitimate recording activites because of copy protection I will eat my words. Otherwise I stand by what I say.

Start eating, because www.2600.com was unfairly sued by the MPAA for simply reporting on DeCSS. Showing that the DMCA ripped "Freedom of Speech" and "Freedom of the Press" to sheds. I beleive you have this backwards, most people pursue legitimate recording activites, rather than illegitimate ones. These laws assume everyone is a criminal and this is just not the case


Jesus died for sombodies sins, but not mine.

Re:All CDs have "no copy" bit. Why no DMCA lawsuit (1)

Nilatir (179045) | more than 13 years ago | (#490999)

Simple, If companies were to sue to prevent people from ripping CDs they own then they would most likely lose the suit on the grounds that ripping a CD for personal use is legal under the Supreme Court's BetaMax "time-shifting/media-shifting" ruling. Every court case lost by the recording indusrty would rip another hole in the DMCA eventually leading to it being ruled (rightly so) unconstitutional.

The recording industry doesn't want to lose the DMCA this easily so they ignore the ripping programs.

Re:Can't tape HDTV??? (2)

Kagato (116051) | more than 13 years ago | (#491000)

Question: How do you play back HDTV content on DirectTivo? I didn't think it had a RGB or VGA output. Only S-Vid and Composite.

Re:Book piracy (2)

CrayDrygu (56003) | more than 13 years ago | (#491002)

There isn't any book piracy.

Apparently someone hasn't been to the ebooks newsgroups. Granted, it's not done with a photocopier, but there is indeed book piracy.

--

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