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Copyright Claimed on Telephone Tones

michael posted more than 12 years ago | from the ode-to-dtmf dept.

It's funny.  Laugh. 495

awful writes: "Two composers in Australia have copyrighted over 100,000,000,000 phone tone dialing sequences. They state in the article that they are lampooning copyright laws that protect big business rather than artists. Their website has more info and explains how they did it. You can check your number and make sure it hasn't been copyrighted by these guys. They have already recieved one offer of money - from a guy who wanted to purchase the copyright to his number so he could stop direct marketing firms from calling him." Somehow I don't think the inventors of DTMF envisioned this. Update: 10/04 14:11 GMT by M : There's a US mirror available.

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where will it stop? (1, Redundant)

alien88 (218348) | more than 12 years ago | (#2386587)

Where are the copyrights going to stop? It seems that there should be a limit to the things you can copyright..

Re:where will it stop? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2386604)

That's the whole point and beauty of these guys!

More of us should be doing this kind of thing. Copyright as many things as you can and beat them at their own game!

Re:where will it stop? (1)

OS24Ever (245667) | more than 12 years ago | (#2386605)

But that is the point! The entire point of the excercise was to show how idiotic the copyright process is!

They took something that has been available for what, 30 years? Copyrighted it as something, and now are legally right to sue anyone with that combination of numbers, or to charge a licensing fee.

Re:where will it stop? (0)

HBD (450014) | more than 12 years ago | (#2386697)

this would never hold up in court would it?
also why the hell can people copyright shit every single person uses...my main beef is w/ copy-righted dna and cells, wtf is up w/ that?
some professor thought that he was the only one capable of studying something and wants royalties rather than being remembered for a discovery..ppl r sick..

WARNING: moderators on crack (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2386709)

How can the first post of the story be "score 0 redundant"?

Re:WARNING: moderators on crack (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2386756)

Something really fishy is going on. I have seen, and been the victim of, quite a bit of extremely bad moderation in the last two days. It's like the biggest asshole on /. got hold of 1000 mod points and is just going hog wild.

Re:WARNING: moderators on crack (-1)

medicthree (125112) | more than 12 years ago | (#2386761)

if a certain comment has been stated numerous times previously on slashdot and adds nothing new, it's redundant.

The Foot (1)

devinoni (13244) | more than 12 years ago | (#2386593)

Don't you see the foot. Hopefully this means it's not real.

Re:The Foot (1)

JPrice (181921) | more than 12 years ago | (#2386624)

It's quite real, but they're lampooning the copyright process that allows big businesses to copyright things like the human genome.

Are they going to sue you for copyright infringement? Of course not. They're just demonstrating the silliness of it all.

i just want to say (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2386594)

that this is really cool.

and i wand a first post.

rdrr (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2386595)

rdrr look at this Patent Info [somethingawful.com]

prior art? :) (5, Funny)

brood (126904) | more than 12 years ago | (#2386601)

Jenny, Jenny who can I turn to
You give me something I can hold on to
I know you'll think I'm like the others before
Who saw your name and number on the wall
Jenny I've got your number
I need to make you mine
Jenny don't change your number
8 6 7-5 3 0 9

Re:prior art? :) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2386662)

Just out of curiosity, does anyone know if in some area code this number exists and there's a Jenny that presides in the associated building? That would be really cool.

Re:prior art? :) (2)

bryan1945 (301828) | more than 12 years ago | (#2386720)

The 814 area code has an 867 exchange- which just happens to be the State College, PA (Penn State) area. And yes, we tried calling 867-5309, and no, this number is not working! After 10 years of prank calls, the phone company probably got the hint!

Re:prior art? :) (2)

toofast (20646) | more than 12 years ago | (#2386689)

That was a good tune... Tommy Tutone, circa 1980.

How many people must have tried to dial that number when the song came out?

Re:prior art? :) (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2386752)

Actually, it was a real problem according to VH1's "One Hit Wonders" show. Not only did the real Jenny get bombarded with calls (yes there was a real Jenny who gave her number to one of the band, and it was 867-5309), but everyone else in every area code as well.

This absolute waste of bits known as pop culture trivia was brought to you by the letters L, O, S, E and R.

School's number... (1)

NetJunkie (56134) | more than 12 years ago | (#2386699)

That was the phone number for my elemantary school. They had a gold record for it hanging in the office.

Re:prior art? :) (1)

aka-ed (459608) | more than 12 years ago | (#2386758)

Tommy Tutone, fooey. Wilson Pickett!!!

If you need a little lovin'
Call on me all right
If you want a little huggin'
Call on me baby, mmmmmm
Oh I'll be right here at home

All you got to do is
Pick up your telephone
And dial 634-5789
(What's my number)
634-5789

If you need a little huggin'
Call on me
That's all you got to do now
If you want some kissin'
Call on me baby, all right
No more lonely nights
Will you be alone

All you got to do is
Pick up your telephone
And dial 634-5789
(What's my number)
634-5789

Oh I'll be right there
Just as soon as I can
And if I be a little bit late now
I hope that you'll understand
Oh yeah all right
mmmmmmmm

If you need a little lovin'
Call on me
Lord have mercy
If you want some kissin'
Call on me baby
That's all you got to do now
No more lonely nights
Will you be alone

All you got to do is
Pick up your telephone
And dial 634-5789
(What's my number)
634-5789

from 907 it gives you an unused extension (1, Offtopic)

human bean (222811) | more than 12 years ago | (#2386765)

on a switch in Chalkyitsik.


No Jenny there.

Rotary (5, Funny)

NitsujTPU (19263) | more than 12 years ago | (#2386602)

Well, now I'll have to get a rotary cell phone so I can call home without paying royalties!

Turn about is fair play (pun intended) (5, Funny)

Soko (17987) | more than 12 years ago | (#2386609)

Ooo!Ooo! I know what these guys can do for us - sue Hillary Rosen or any RIAA member when they have to call each other in order to make thier little cabal plans. Could you imagine the scowl on her *cough*lovely*cough* face?

Soko

And pulse too... (2, Funny)

Quasar1999 (520073) | more than 12 years ago | (#2386611)

I just copyrighted all the possible combinations of pulse dialing tones too... ahhahahahhah... you all owe me 0.05 cents per use... I'm rich!! I'm rich!!! ahaahhahahha

Re:And pulse too... (5, Funny)

AntiNorm (155641) | more than 12 years ago | (#2386754)

I just copyrighted all the possible combinations of pulse dialing tones too... ahhahahahhah... you all owe me 0.05 cents per use... I'm rich!! I'm rich!!! ahaahhahahha

Just copyright all pulses, period. That way, for example, if someone causes a 500 Hz tone to be emitted, you'd be owed .05c * (500 Hz) = 25 cents per second. Not too bad if you ask me.

GENIUS! (5, Interesting)

BiggestPOS (139071) | more than 12 years ago | (#2386612)

These guys are brilliant. But what about the timing, or spacing between the "notes"? If I dial in a different rhythm is it the same?

Re:GENIUS! (1)

iamgarageguy (462858) | more than 12 years ago | (#2386759)

I think that that would be the point that the first lawyer would bring up. Does anyone know about music law? Does it pertain to the duration of the notes and spacing?

That covers every phone number in existence (4, Interesting)

plaisted (449711) | more than 12 years ago | (#2386614)

Assume that phone numbers have at most 11 digits (ie 1-910-xxx-xxxx). Each digit has 10 different values. So there are 10^11, or 100,000,000,000 possible 10 digit phone numbers. Does that number look familiar? If the story is correct, they have tried to copyright every single possible 11 digit phone number

Re:That covers every phone number in existence (1)

JPrice (181921) | more than 12 years ago | (#2386636)

Yes... that was the whole point.

Re:That covers every phone number in existence (3, Funny)

plaisted (449711) | more than 12 years ago | (#2386664)

Yeah well it's funny that you can check to see if your number has been copyrighted, when you can be sure it has been.

Reading the site, it's pretty much clear that it's a hoax/joke. A pretty funny one:


Q - I do not wish to purchase a Magnus-Opus licence - what is the best way to dis-continue the use and dispose of my telecommunications device?

A - Magnus-Opus can offer several useful suggestions regarding the disposal of redundant telecommunications technology. We call this our three R's strategy.

Return
Return your telecommunications device to your service provider and/or supplier together with a legal demand for a full refund of the product and services. The service provider and/or supplier may well have failed to inform you, as the customer, of the full copyright implications of the use of such products and services and may, therefore, be legally liable to pay compensation for the loss of amenity. Make sure to send a photocopy of your original receipt and/or contract as evidence of proof of purchase.

Recycle
...

Reuse
...

Re:That covers every phone number in existence (1)

leifw (98495) | more than 12 years ago | (#2386723)

If the story is correct, they have tried to copyright every single possible 11 digit phone number

Well, what you assume is that they also copyrighted all the sequences which have leading zeros. The alternative interpretation is that they copyrighted the shorter sequences which do not have leading zeros.
Or possibily, you meant that they copyrighted every possible 11 digit and shorter number which did not have leading zeros.
<digress/>

Re:That covers every phone number in existence (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2386735)

Yes, because they only have telephones in the USA.

A good use for copyright (5, Funny)

beretboy (221801) | more than 12 years ago | (#2386615)

I forsee the following dialouge:

Me: hello?

Tele-solicitor: Hello would you like to buy-

Me: You have just infringed on national copyright hangup now or I will seize all your assets!

Tele-solicitor: *click*

Ah finally a good use for copyright :-)

Re:A good use for copyright (-1)

cyborg_monkey (150790) | more than 12 years ago | (#2386641)

Sorry, but that really fucking stupid. Anyone that would moderate that as funny is either mentally retarded (like the author of the post) or on crack.

Your choice.

We can bend the rules a little.... (1)

DriceX (210607) | more than 12 years ago | (#2386619)

...as long as it stops annoying telemarketers from calling me while I'm eating dinner...

Sure to be slashdotted! (2, Redundant)

BiggestPOS (139071) | more than 12 years ago | (#2386621)

Magnus-Opus

This very large series of algorithmic compositions originate from the early 1970's (our diatonic period) and were inspired by the pitch class set pieces of Webern and the stochastic works of Xenakis.

The Magnus-Opus series is based upon pairings of eight notes used to create sixteen different diads or two note chords. These tone pairs are used to create melody 'modules' of a standard twelve note length. Additional compositions may be obtained by joining melodies together, or by adding melody fragments to standard twelve note melodies.

Our method was to assign each of the sixteen tone pairs to an alpha-numeric pattern so that each letter or digit corresponded to a pitch pair. This sequence when expressed through the operation of a simple algorithmic generator produces some 10,000,000,000 melodies (together with a more or less infinite number of additional compositions produced by the addition of melody modules or fragments thereof).

It is not without reason, therefore, that we claim to be the world's most prolific composers, hence Magnus-Opus.

It has, more recently, come to our attention that many (certainly not all) of these compositions correspond to the tonal sequences transmitted in contemporary telecommunication, making us without doubt, the world's most popular composers.

Warning: All of the melodies contained within the Magnus-Opus series are protected by copyright. You may inadvertently be in breach of international copyright law by using a telecommunications device (telephone, mobile telephone, modem and other internet devices) to transmit and perform one of the Magnus-Opus melody series.

In order to ascertain if you are in breach of international copyright law you may test your number against our composition database by clicking here.

Haiku (0, Offtopic)

575 (195442) | more than 12 years ago | (#2386622)

Walk to hospital...
Tones copyright Microsoft
Can't call 911

Re:Haiku (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2386705)

I don't know about you, but these silly Haikus are getting old...

Re:Haiku (1, Offtopic)

575 (195442) | more than 12 years ago | (#2386722)

Haiku are quite old
I've bastardized ancient art
Thanks for noticing

Re:Haiku (1)

Silver222 (452093) | more than 12 years ago | (#2386729)

I can't tell you how happy I am to see shitty haiku instead of the other traditional slashdot crapfloods. Microsoft wasn't mentioned here, so why bring it up?

Re:Haiku (1, Offtopic)

575 (195442) | more than 12 years ago | (#2386747)

Friend, this is Slashdot:
Who needs justification
To slam Microsoft?

Let me get this straight... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2386625)

The worst terrorist attack in recorded history occurred less than one month ago, and you people have the gall to be discussing how two composers in Australia have copyrighted over 100,000,000,000 phone tone dialing sequences, who state in the article that they are lampooning copyright laws that protect big business rather than artists???? My *god*, people, GET SOME PRIORITIES!

The bodies of the 6000+ innocent people who died in this unprecedented tragedy could give a good god damn about your foolish copyright actions, your childish Lego models, your nerf toy guns and whining about the lack of a "fun" workplace, your Everquest/Diablo/D&D fixation, the latest Cowboy Bebop rerun, or any of the other ways you are "getting on with your life" (here's a hint: watching Cowboy Bebop in your jammies and eating a bowl of Shreddie's is *not* "getting on with your life"). The souls of the victims are watching in horror as you people squander your finite, precious time on this earth playing video games!

You people disgust me! In a way, you're almost as bad as the terrorists themselves. At least they had the conviction to die doing something they believed in.

Re:Let me get this straight... (1)

beretboy (221801) | more than 12 years ago | (#2386639)

Hey! I honestly believe in what I do!

Re:Let me get this straight... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2386643)

Apparently posting useless crap on slashdot *IS* on the list of priorities.

Glad I could get on with my life by posting this.

Re:Let me get this straight... (1)

Mr. Foogle (253554) | more than 12 years ago | (#2386757)

I'm not callous but ... what are the slashdot masses supposed to *do*?

The world keeps turning, ac.

You've ranted. Now be constructive.

Opportunity knocks (1)

Das_Trench (243617) | more than 12 years ago | (#2386626)

I wonder how many offers they will get from telemarketers who want to buy that list of numbers.

Does this mean.... (0, Offtopic)

CmdrMightyTaco (517355) | more than 12 years ago | (#2386627)

...we can stop the scourge of late-night porn line infomercials if someone else owns the copyright?

(insert cheesy porn music here)"Pick up the phoooonnnneeee"

If they Have good lawyers... (2, Interesting)

patrick687 (260027) | more than 12 years ago | (#2386628)

IMHO, if they have the cash to buy some good lawyers, they'll probably be able to pull this off. What's sad is that big companies have gotten away with worse. (In fact, someone owns the patent on the Peanut butter and Jelly sandwich!) Maybe this will knock some sense into big companies copyrighting and patenting the lamest things (Hey, there's a patent on using a laser pointer to excersize cats too!)
-Patrick

Re:If they Have good lawyers... (1)

Purificator (462832) | more than 12 years ago | (#2386707)

i'm betting the corporations have good lawyers as well, and can make a fair argument for prior art.

Re:If they Have good lawyers... (1)

silicon_synapse (145470) | more than 12 years ago | (#2386713)

I thought they only have a patent on crustless peanut butter and jelly sandwiches...

Nice idea, but won't work (5, Informative)

Gorobei (127755) | more than 12 years ago | (#2386629)

Copyright is concerned with COPYING work. It does not apply if someone else independently (usually defined as "was not exposed to your work") recreates the thing in question.


So, even if they have a phone number in their melody database, you don't infringe if you dial that number, because you created the melody independently.

Re:Nice idea, but won't work (1)

Troodon (213660) | more than 12 years ago | (#2386663)

But through dialing are you not replicating said work and publishing it through the telco's system? Might be amusing to hear media interests backpedalling and claiming fair use.

Re:Nice idea, but won't work (3, Funny)

Soko (17987) | more than 12 years ago | (#2386669)

Quote:
So, even if they have a phone number in their melody database, you don't infringe if you dial that number, because you created the melody independently.

I think you're right.

Crap! There goes my evil little plan to copyright any sequence of four numbers, where each number is between zero and 255, when separated by periods. ;-)

Soko

Re:Nice idea, but won't work (1)

sweatyboatman (457800) | more than 12 years ago | (#2386691)

However, I believe that once you are made aware of the copyright you must desist or else you are in violation. Looks like all of us /.ers have to get off the phone completely.

Re:Nice idea, but won't work (3, Interesting)

Gorobei (127755) | more than 12 years ago | (#2386764)


However, I believe that once you are made aware of the copyright you must desist or else you are in violation.


Independent invention is not a violation (unlike patent law.) I could spend months writing the perfect Apple II sprite blitter. You, being equally intelligent and hard-working, independently create the same 60 line routine. We can now both copyright the exact same thing! We both created it, and we can both prevent third parties from copying our work. When Programmer C creates the exactly same routine and uses it in a game, we can both try to sue him. Do we win? If he bought a copy of my game, and he is a known disassembler, then I have a good chance of winning. If you published your routine in a magazine he subscribes to, you will probably win. Otherwise, he gets to copyright the routine as well!

Get some PRIORITIES (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2386631)

The worst terrorist attack in recorded history occurred less than three weeks ago, and you people are discussing how two composers in Australia have copyrighted over 100,000,000,000 phone tone dialing sequences and how they state in the article that they are lampooning copyright laws that protect big business rather than artists?!?!?!? My *god*, people, GET SOME PRIORITIES!

The bodies of nearly 10,000 dead people could give a good god damn about telephone dialing tones, your childish Lego models, your nerf toys and lack of a "fun" workplace, your Everquest/Diablo/D&D addiction, or any of the other ways you are "getting on with your life".

Re:Get some PRIORITIES (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2386682)

It looks like somebody needs to lighten up. Do tell us, how are you "getting on with your life" ?

312-2333 (3, Funny)

dghcasp (459766) | more than 12 years ago | (#2386632)

The canonical phone song: "Mary had a li-tle lamb." Is that prior art or public domain?

Good thing I'm not six years old anymore and no longer so easilly amused; I'd hate to have to retain a lawyer just to determine if I could do that; especially on a six-year-old's allowance.

Ok.. um... (1, Interesting)

sporty (27564) | more than 12 years ago | (#2386633)

Ok.. um.. but what about actual songs. Would we have duling copyrights? I'm sure you can play dulling tones while you are at it.

well...its a step in the (right, wrong) direction (3, Interesting)

laymil (14940) | more than 12 years ago | (#2386634)

ok, little note for some prior posters:
copyright and patent are two completely different things, with two different purposes. prior art doesn't apply to copyright. ok...now that i've gotten that out of the way...
i'm not sure if i agree with what these gentlemen have done. i don't believe that such things deserve to be 'owned' by anyone. no matter the reasoning behind their actions, and even if they are attempting to protect people from corporations and 'BIG BROTHER' i find myself disagreeing with their methods. also, i fear the day that they are threatened and bought out by a [insert entity here]that doesn't have their moral fabric. in such a case, beware.

Oh so close! (3, Interesting)

donutello (88309) | more than 12 years ago | (#2386694)

You started in the right direction by pointing out that copyright and patent law were not the same.

However, you failed to complete your analysis. Of course, having a copyright on those tones doesn't prevent any normal usage of DTMF. Why that is, I'll leave as an exercise to the reader.

Re:Oh so close! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2386753)

Thanks for giving no analysis whatsoever in response. Since you're being so obsequious I just have to point out that they copyrighted the melody and not the tones. I'll leave reading the article so you know what the fuck you're talking about as an exercise to the reader.

What is the melody.... (1)

Mr. Flibble (12943) | more than 12 years ago | (#2386640)

of 100,000,000,000 webhits in an hour? And is it copywritable as the slashdot effect melody?

(As I look now their site [magnus-opus.com] is not down, but .jpgs are loading REALLY slowly...)

Hilarious! (0)

ZaBu911 (520503) | more than 12 years ago | (#2386644)

What can one say but,
ROTFFLMFAO!

Copywrighting names, like AOL banning GAIM is stupid but understandable.
But numbers? No longer may i have my 408-HOT-GUYS

:/

Thats it, time to take action (5, Funny)

Seemlar (90176) | more than 12 years ago | (#2386647)

So, who wants to help me encode all these 100,000,000,000 possible ringtones and put them on Morpheus?

Re:Thats it, time to take action (1)

chundercanada (520279) | more than 12 years ago | (#2386726)

Screw that. Just build a protocol client that advertises all of them and generates the .wav file on-the-fly whenever one is requested.

The real question (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2386648)

The real question is whether or not this tactic will hold up in court. If you check the article you see It blatently admits [eggforge.com] that the phone company had been using the tones [eggforge.net] previous to their copyrights.

What's more is, even if the phone numbers weren't already being used, the mere fact that the phone company has a pre-existing document [eggforge.net] specifying the format and access-method for all telephones negates any further attempts to copyright.

Besides, if 2600 can lose the MPAA case -- I'm sure a judge will throw this right out the window.

btw. I love Eggplants! [eggforge.net]

--ECA Rebel Bastard!

what about... (4, Interesting)

Polo (30659) | more than 12 years ago | (#2386649)

what about sampling?

could I sample portions of seven notes of a "melody"?

What about dial tones... (1)

joel8x (324102) | more than 12 years ago | (#2386651)

What about the dial tone before you dial? And then the sound of the ring after you finish ? Will different combinations free us from paying royalties? Doh... (_8^(o)

more prior art hilarity (1)

z)bandito(_X (243059) | more than 12 years ago | (#2386653)

what about playing hot cross buns on the pad?

9-5-1...9-5-1....1-1-1-1-5-5-5-5-9-5-1...yes hello, and thank you for calling. this call is a violation of the dmca, and is being traced. please stay on the line while an officer is dispatched to your location. have a nice day!...

Copyright does not squash other independant works (5, Interesting)

rcw-home (122017) | more than 12 years ago | (#2386655)

If a million monkeys type out the source code to MS Office, Microsoft can't sue. Likewise, if you happen to create a series of dual-tone meta frequency notes using a touch-tone phone using non-copyrighted material (a phone book, your memory, etc), then that's an independant creation. Now if a telemarketer overheard you dialing, and recorded it (made a copy), then you might have something.

IANAL (and I know the whole point was to be funny anyway).

Re:Copyright does not squash other independant wor (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2386717)

If a million monkeys type out the source code to MS Office, Microsoft can't sue.

The problem is that you'll need 256^{size of MS Office in bytes} monkeys to get MS Office. Phone numbers only required 10^11 monkeys, so it was possible to simulate the process with a computer.

Re:Copyright does not squash other independant wor (5, Informative)

charon_on_acheron (519983) | more than 12 years ago | (#2386770)

Actually, phone books are copyrighted. You can't legally copy lists of names and phone numbers from the phone book to make your own phone book for sale. Same for maps, which I always thought was the stupidest thing. A basic outline of the US is copyrighted. It is just a shape. A really bumpy shape. But if it is in a child's coloring book, it is copyrighted.

Ok, Ok. (1)

bl1st3r (464353) | more than 12 years ago | (#2386656)

I have given up on fighting or arguing over all this copyright/patent bullshit, but as soon as some mathematician copyrights my Social Security Number to be used only in an algorithm, I am going to get pissed off and move to Germany or something.

And I refuse to sign one of their licensing agreements. If they want to take me to court, fine, I will see what Ameritech thinks of a law suit as well.

/. them out of exsistance (1)

(startx) (37027) | more than 12 years ago | (#2386657)

ohhh, they copyrighted my phone number, /. them out of exsistance! Oh, wait, you allready have. Nevermind, go back to bitching about RIAA.

oh by the way (0)

GoatPigSheep (525460) | more than 12 years ago | (#2386672)

this post copyright 2001 goatpigsheep

you can contact my lawyers to arrange the royalty payments required to respond to it

Not what copyright was for. (4, Interesting)

Diashi (313855) | more than 12 years ago | (#2386674)

I kind of doubt this is what the idea of copy righting was for. Copyrights along with patents were originally made to promote scientific research. Protecting one's intellectual property is the whole idea behind copy righting.

Some schmuck who starts to copy right tone sequences is totally not getting the point. He's not promoting scientific research, or protecting his intellectual property. He's just trying to make a quick $, through a loophole in the laws.

Its as if suddendly the sequence of phone digits has been invented by this guy and he has to have the copy right to your tone. This whole thing is as rediculous as the guy who claimed to own all the land outside of the solar system, and thinks he's somehow going to get away with that. If your armies/people are using/conquered something, its theirs, and no one elses.

Re:Not what copyright was for. (5, Funny)

smack_attack (171144) | more than 12 years ago | (#2386690)

STEP 1: Place hand 3 inches above head and 3 inches in front of head.
STEP 2: Briskly move hand from previous position to 3 inches above head and 6 inches behind head.

Re:Not what copyright was for. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2386762)

totally not getting the point


Boy, you said it. I can offer you a sense of humor implant if you have the money.

Wow, copyright law needs changing (1)

ispq (301273) | more than 12 years ago | (#2386676)

I hope this is a wake up call to law makers everywhere, change copyright laws now.

Re:Wow, copyright law needs changing (1)

ZaBu911 (520503) | more than 12 years ago | (#2386730)

But isn't this scheme just going on in Australia? We need the UN to put its foot down.

Free Mod points for a mirror (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2386680)

Quickly, someone mirror the site. You know you want the free mod points.

Probably not enough original work here (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2386684)

Registering or claiming copyright protection and actually winning an infringement claim are two very different things.

Copyright (at least in the United States) only applies to ``original works of authorship,'' not ``[w]orks consisting entirely of information that is common property and containing no original authorship.''

Perhaps the authors could receive protection for the entire compilation, but not for the telephone numbers taken individually.

Many Slashdot readers would do well to read the U.S. Copyright Office's Circular 1 [loc.gov] , Copyright Basics, from which the above quotations were taken.

Fees (1)

plaisted (449711) | more than 12 years ago | (#2386685)

Permanent License for Personal Use- $1000
Permanent License for Organisational Use- $10,000

Bit steep?

I can see it already.... (1)

bIOHZRd (196012) | more than 12 years ago | (#2386686)

Due to the Magnus-Opus Copyrights, LWY(Lawyers Inc.) Stock has jumped an incredible 45.23 points in a single day, and does not seem to be stopping any time soon.

Re:I can see it already.... (2, Informative)

bIOHZRd (196012) | more than 12 years ago | (#2386700)

From their Site...

" Magnus-Opus

You may be inadvertently performing one of the Magnus-Opus melody series each time you use your telecommunications device (telephone, mobile telephone, modem and other internet devices).

In order to ascertain if you are in breach of international copyright law you may enter any alpha-numeric sequence you may be using via your telecommunications device in our dialogue box below. This will compare your number with our melody database. If your number should match one of our compositions the melody and opus number will be displayed. You should then complete a licence agreement as soon as possible. "

Lol... this is too funny

./ed (0)

Gantoris (442791) | more than 12 years ago | (#2386693)

As of 12.00 midday Australian eastern stadard time the site has been ./ed!

Bet the provider wasn't expecting that!

Their routers and http servers will be glowing red by the end of this.

867-5309 (2, Funny)

Arkoth (228492) | more than 12 years ago | (#2386702)

Tommy Tutone be warned. Prepare to be sued by some rich guy with a lawyer waiting to
serve him that owns the patent to the phone number 867-5309 that you illegally sang
back in the 70s.

You will be sued, resistance is futile!

What do you call this? A straw clown? (2, Interesting)

Nindalf (526257) | more than 12 years ago | (#2386708)

The thing is, there are limits to copyright. The shorter a work, the harder to defend its copyright in court. For instance, it is impossible to copyright a word, phrase, note, or chord. Short poems, like haiku, push the lower bounds, and have quite weak protection: only a very blatant direct copy might infringe on them.

Obviously, these are not legal (or at least not legally relevant) copyrights, and couldn't be enforced.

I know it's all in fun, but I think it would be more satisfying to mock the system using things that would stand up in court.

database of public domain melodies (1)

uncadonna (85026) | more than 12 years ago | (#2386710)

This is relevant to a more serious idea I had that also addresses IP abuse in the music industry.

There have to be an enormous number of melodies in the public domain. These should be collected into a database. (There's already a crude website that tries to do this, but I'm talking about something more elaborate.)

Ideally, one could replay music into this system (it is not used for distributing music, merely for collecting it) and it would compare against any known music in the public domain. At first, you'd have to manually enter or scan a score.

I'll bet except for some mighty wierd edgy stuff just about everything with a standard scale is already in the public domain. Would it be worthwhile to build a tool to prove it?

The pattern matching might need to get pretty clever, but the database would be large but tractable (something like MIDI, I guess). Suppose there are a million folk tunes and hymns and out-of-copyright jazz lines out there. A couple of Kbytes each.

Then start doing something like regexp parsing with a couple of simple modulations and mode changes, and I'd be surprised if you couldn't bury the copyright of just about anything.

This probably wouldn't work in any other copyright domain, but I wonder if it wouldn't effectively kill copyright on any music that uses the conventional scale.

Re:database of public domain melodies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2386773)

Distinct copyrights have to be different to within 4 bars. Assuming 8 notes per bar, each with a range of about 16 tones [inc. one "rest" tone], that's 16^32 or 2^128 possible melodies.

Nope, sorry, a million public domain folk songs isn't going to put a serious dent in this. You'd be better off trying to brute-force Rijndael.

Pulse/rotary dialing? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2386712)

Don't worry people, we'll all still be able to call one another because I just got through Copylefting every pulse/rotary number.


So we're cool.

Pretty silly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2386716)

Ok, copyrighting phone numbers is one thing... but, do you realize that they say to enter YOUR phone number and check against their DB, and if it's there, you should buy a license? How idiotic is that? How often do you call yourself, really? Ok, you sometimes call home, but most of the time you call *other* people. So, it is not the owner that should buy the license, but people need to get a license before they call someone, not actually the owner of the number.

And, like people pointed out, because of the dial tone and ringing after the call, it should be considered a different 'opus' than theirs.

I just hope they are joking and they did this as a political statement of how easy to do stupidity like this. I just hope so...

DMCA Violations (3, Funny)

AnalogDiehard (199128) | more than 12 years ago | (#2386721)

Well this means that every online yellow/white pages directory is now in violation of the DMCA.

And while we're at it, we'll have to dispose of our phonebooks since they are now vulnerable to lawsuits of patent infringement.

I wouldn't be surprised if someone were to patent IP addresses.

Numbers not copyright-able (2)

MxTxL (307166) | more than 12 years ago | (#2386725)

But every good computer geek knows that just number strings are non-copyright-able and non-trademark-able (yes, i know neither of those are actually words)

Everyone on this site should remember this fact when Intel changed their chip naming scheme from numbers, 8086, 286, 486 etc. to Pentium and Pentium Pro etc. The reason for this was that the numbers could be neither copyrighted nor trademarked and other manufacturers were able to call their chips 486 as well thus leading to a loss of brand value for intel.

music, not number (5, Interesting)

hagbard5235 (152810) | more than 12 years ago | (#2386755)

Ah... but they have not in fact copyrighted the
numbers. They have copyrighted the musical
representation of these numbers as DTMF tones.

Additionally, like hell numbers aren't copyrightable.
What do you think an mp3 file is? It's a very
large number. In fact EVERYTHING digital is a
number. So if you can't copyright a number, how
then is software, source code, digital music,
digital video copyrightable?

Re:Numbers not copyright-able (1)

great om (18682) | more than 12 years ago | (#2386767)

Yes but what they appear to be doing is copyrighting the tones used to generate those numbers (you know, the beep, boop, beep you hear when you dial a phone), and technically musical works are copyrightable (look at the liner notes to almost any album)

When will it end? (1)

LoudMusic (199347) | more than 12 years ago | (#2386734)

Does anyone else see this as getting out of control? Copyrights on a damn tone? Ok, a 'sequence of tones'. In essence, a short song, which can have copyrights. But once again I see someone coming forward (what I call) a little too late. They're now asking that a _major_ social and economic device have yet another charge layed on it. They realize it's not something that can easily be changed or dropped. The world is 'stuck' breaking their copyright.

I think Open Source and free software have come of age just in time to see the copyright system spin out of control and burn out in a ball of flaming dung.

~LoudMusic

From Now On... (2)

istartedi (132515) | more than 12 years ago | (#2386740)

...I'll be sure to dial a few extra digits after the number. :)

Excellent company. Target the RIAA (0)

xQx (5744) | more than 12 years ago | (#2386766)

If this company targets the RIAA for copyright, the world would be a better place.

I for one would vote the CEOs of this company into congress if they could stick a copyright lawsuit againts the RIAA for making so many phone calls to their lawyers.

It'd be a nice sence of irony.

End of stupid commercials? (1)

fonetik (181656) | more than 12 years ago | (#2386768)

Wonder if they got the 10-10-220 and 1800-collect numbers?
I'm sure they were already copyrighted, but wouldn't that be cool.

So couldn't you circumvent this by dialing the country code also?

-Tom

copyright? (1)

L-Wave (515413) | more than 12 years ago | (#2386772)

anyone got a copyright on copyrighting yet?.....hmmm...
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