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The Copyright Fuss Revisited

michael posted more than 11 years ago | from the apartment-will-clean-itself dept.

News 235

mpawlo writes "I was going to clean up my apartement, but instead I wrote a piece for Greplaw introducing a framework for the debate on how we should obtain a balance between users and authors where the author has good incentives to innovate, but where society at large is not too restricted due to the author's previous innovations. I am afraid that I personally have few practical solutions to introduce, but you might find my text useful as a quick introduction to what the copyright fuss is all about and why you should care."

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235 comments

Fist Sport! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4804795)

Anyone who claims that copyright is dead secretly wishes artists to be deprived of the income and rights inherent in contributing to the artistic worth of society.

Wasn't there a song? (3, Funny)

swordboy (472941) | more than 11 years ago | (#4804799)

"I was gonna clean my apartment, but then I got.. wrote a piece for Greplaw..."

No... I don't think that was it...

Re:Wasn't there a song? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4805213)

So it's not "apartement"?

Re:Wasn't there a song? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4805463)

So it's not "apartement"?

No.

And not "lightening," either. Unless you mean "getting lighter" rather than "ginormous energy bolt of DEATH!" Nor is there such a word as "shutup." And "goto" is only acceptable if you're programming in BASIC. Also, "shut down" is the verb ("I'm going to shut down the system now."), and "shutdown" is a noun ("The shutdown completed normally."). Possessive "its" does not have an apostrophe; "it's" means "it is." Plurals do not have apostrophes. It's "n't," not "'nt." They're ("they are") going over there (to that place) to get their (owned by them) stuff. "Should have" not "should of;" "would have," not "would of." Et cetera, et cetera, and GOD DAMN IT, IT'S "DMCA," YOU ILLITERATE FUCKS!</RANT></IHTFP>

That is all.

TT (-1, Offtopic)

LordKariya (195696) | more than 11 years ago | (#4804801)

Happy Troll Tuesday.

Damn it but it is already Wednesday where I live (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4804943)

I can't afford to keep missing out on Troll Tuesday.

0th post ! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4804804)

0th post (© myself, now, forever)

I was going to clean up my apartement, (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4804821)

but I didn't, and that's why I couldn't find my spell checker.

Have you seen her? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4804823)

See [uwec.edu] here for picture.

Re:Have you seen her? (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4804877)

Hmmm, I'm imagining a beowulf cluster of these.

My introduction to the current copyright fuss: (3, Funny)

darkov (261309) | more than 11 years ago | (#4804826)

The evil corporates want you by the balls. Even if you're a girl.

Re:My introduction to the current copyright fuss: (2, Funny)

Anonvmous Coward (589068) | more than 11 years ago | (#4804865)

"The evil corporates want you by the balls. Even if you're a girl."

Comments like that tend to inspire Jeff Foxworthy style jokes.

1.) If your mom...
2.) ...the evil corporates...
3.) ????
4.) ...by the balls...
5.) ????
6.) ...you might be a redneck.

Re:My introduction to the current copyright fuss: (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4805342)

Maybe...but you don't have anything to worry about.

You won't ever meet a girl.

Now go back to jerking off to the thought that 2600 might someday publish one of your letters, you fucking dweeb.

heavy writer (5, Funny)

WPIDalamar (122110) | more than 11 years ago | (#4804845)

"I was going to clean up my apartement, but instead I wrote a piece for Greplaw"

wow... when I skip cleaning my apartment, I usually end up playing a game of BF1942 or perhaps watch a bit on the tube. This guy goes out and writes a rather long essay on intellectual property that actually reads fairly well.

A framework (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4804850)

I think one side of the copyright argument already has all the "framework" they need, ie:

"We've got the advantage, we're keeping it that way, and that's the end of the discussion. We don't care what you have to say. SH!!!"

The main thing I'd like to see no-matter what (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4804873)

Is no retroactive copyright protection. The terms of copyright at the time you create something should be the same terms that apply to it forever. You only need and know what the incentive is before you create it. Changing it after the fact does nothing to increase your incentive.

The other thing this would accomplish... (1)

word munger (550251) | more than 11 years ago | (#4805189)

... is copyright-rich deep pockets (like Disney) would have no incentive to lobby for longer and longer copyright terms. They care about profits over the next 5 years, tops. So if there's nothing Disney can do to extend the copyright-milking period of Steamboat Willie, they're not going to bother with extending the copyright of Treasure Planet II into the next century. No retroactive copyright law changes could effectively mean the end of big business's meddling with freedom of speech [of course, we'd still have the DMCA to worry about, but that's another thread....]

Re:The main thing I'd like to see no-matter what (2)

Sloppy (14984) | more than 11 years ago | (#4805439)

Ah, but what if part of your incentive was the speculative possibility that copyright terms would be extended in the future?

"I only get exclusive rights for 90 years?!? I don't think that's enough. OTOH, 15 years from now, the term will be increased to 110 years. So yeah, I guess doing this work is worth it, after all." ;-)

Credit, Plagiarism (2)

SkewlD00d (314017) | more than 11 years ago | (#4804875)

It's all about giving credit where credit is due. Plagiarism is the result of violating this. Credit is sorta like /.-karma in a way....

Re:Credit, Plagiarism (1)

RazzleFrog (537054) | more than 11 years ago | (#4805020)

Plagiarism and Copyright are two very different issues. Plagiarism is stealing somebody else's work and claiming it as your own. Copyright prevents you from distributing copies of an entire work without the copyright holder's permission.

Anybody is allowed to take quotes from a copyrighted source so long as they properly reference the original work. This will never go away since copyright holder's like when you refer to their work since it is basically free advertising - "If you like this quote then go buy the book."

Re:Credit, Plagiarism (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4805049)

I wish it was that simple, but plagiarism is only about credit, not money. Copyright holders these days are far more worried about money than getting proper credit. As an example, most MP3 files have the correct name of the band who made the music.

I wanted to put some kind of credit == money joke in there, but I was scared you'd miss my point.

Re:Credit, Plagiarism (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4805150)

Wouldn't that be credit != or (for you VB programmers out ther)?

Framework? (2, Interesting)

DoNotTauntHappyFunBa (592447) | more than 11 years ago | (#4804881)


While the article has lots of good information, I did not come away with an understanding of the author's "framework."


Perhaps a diagram, or an outline summary would help.

Art, not innovation. (5, Insightful)

Planesdragon (210349) | more than 11 years ago | (#4804884)

Copyright does NOT protect innovation. Look at Tolkien & how just about every "innovation" he made has been swiped by the fantasy genre. Same thing for the GUI, same thing for music, etc, etc.

PATENTS protect ideas, innovations, and inventions. Copyright should be pared back by whatever means necessary so it can stop doing the job of Patents (or trademarks!).

Re:Art, not innovation. (2)

NineNine (235196) | more than 11 years ago | (#4804924)

No, but copyrights do protect the creators. If not for copyright, who's to say that Tolkein's books would ever have been written?

Re:Art, not innovation. (1)

Planesdragon (210349) | more than 11 years ago | (#4805087)

Copyright does, and is supposed to, encourage artists (like Tolkien) to create art.

It is NOT supposed to protect innovation the way patents are; using the word "innovation" to describe what copyright protects is worse than using "theft" to describe the act of copyright infringement.

Re:Art, not innovation. (2)

AndroidCat (229562) | more than 11 years ago | (#4805114)

There was a big problem with the US copyrights when LoTR became really popular. I don't know the details, but it took quite a legal fight for Tolkein to get control of his property and receive royalties on it.

Re:Art, not innovation. (5, Informative)

Gleef (86) | more than 11 years ago | (#4805235)

NineNine wrote:
No, but copyrights do protect the creators. If not for copyright, who's to say that Tolkein's books would ever have been written?

For what it's worth, in the 60's, Ace Books used loopholes in the US copyright law to legally publish the Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings trilogy, without concent of JRR Tolkien (or Allen & Unwin) and with no intent to pay royalties.

Tolkien had no legal stand to fight the publishing, but spread the word that the Ace edition was unauthorized, and that he was receiving no royalties. Ace was eventually pressured by the publicity backlash to pay him royalties and to cease publishing.

Ironically, a good deal of his popularity in the United States could be argued to be due to the swarms of college students buying the cheap (75 cent) unauthorized Ace Books versions.

As for whether or not the books would be written, the Hobbit was written for Tolkien's children, the decision to publish it came later. the Silmarillion seems to be written for himself, without regard to publication (he occasionally attempted to get it published, but nobody was interested until his death). The Lord of the Rings trilogy, however, was written at least partially due to the encouragement of Allen & Unwin (the publishers of the Hobbit in England), and thus copyright could easily be considered one of the motives. Likewise with his short stories.

Re:Art, not innovation. (3)

MacAndrew (463832) | more than 11 years ago | (#4805110)

Copyright, patent, and trademark are all just forms of IP law.

As for Tolkien, I don't know any details, but the law is not self-executing. Private parties have to litigate it. Perhaps Tolkien did not discover "trade dress" and the C&D letter in time. I have no doubt the copyrights on his books are intact. Anyway, he consciously ripped off much from older traditions in Welsh and Anglo-Saxon mythology himself. Imitators are not necessarily derivative of his version. Disney the copyright nut received many of its stories from Hans Christian Andersen, Grimm tales, and so on -- public domain.

GUI -- microsoft stole from apple stole from xerox. We're probably better off they got away from it. The look and feel thing was novel and shaky from the start. Other models [haledorr.com] are probably superior to copyright.

Music -- Patent? Trademark? Really? Enforcement of copyright and, lately, interferance with illegal duplication, are the usuall routes.

Re:Art, not innovation. (1, Flamebait)

Planesdragon (210349) | more than 11 years ago | (#4805252)

Disney the copyright nut received many of its stories from Hans Christian Andersen, Grimm tales, and so on -- public domain.

We, as a society, decided somewhere along the line that new tellings of old stories is a Good Thing Worth Protection--and so the Telling is covered by copyright, while the Story itself is free for all.

GUI -- microsoft stole from apple stole from xerox. We're probably better off they got away from it. The look and feel thing was novel and shaky from the start. Other models [haledorr.com] are probably superior to copyright.

The ideas used to setup each GUI should not be protected by copyright. The actual form of each one is, but that is (and should be) about it.

Music -- Patent? Trademark? Really? Enforcement of copyright and, lately, interferance with illegal duplication, are the usuall routes.

If I make an innovation in music--for example, by creating a new instrument or band organization--my innovation should not be protected by copyright. Unless I get a patent, anyone should be able to take my innovation and use it in THEIR music.

Each song, and each performance of a song, is a work of art, and therefore justly protected by copyright. But they're not innovations; they're ART!

Re:Art, not innovation. (2)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 11 years ago | (#4805129)

Copyright protects innovation within art, patents protects innovation within science.

Computer software lands in that fuzzy land on the border between art and science, but the business interests of software were smart enough in the early days of software to see to it that their works fall under copyright law where they enjoy 95 years of ownership instead of patent law where they would get a mere 17-20 years of ownership. Nothing creates an incentive for you to build a better mousetrap than to have your old mousetrap flooding the market against you.

Re:Art, not innovation. (1)

Planesdragon (210349) | more than 11 years ago | (#4805297)

Copyright protects innovation within art, patents protects innovation within science.

Then explain to me why I can do exactly what tolkien did--create a hero's journey based on a plehtora of old earth traditions and stories wherein a meek hero succeeds through chance over an evil Archvillian--, thus stealing Tolkien's "innovation", and Tolkien LLC can't do a darn thing about it?

Copyright simply elevates art on part with real goods: you can't partake of the art without permission of the artist, just like you can't take a shopkeeper's wares without his permission.

Patents protect real-world inventions, because real-world inventions are heck of a lot more valuable and useful in everyday life than simple artistic innovations. A world full of innovative reality is good. An ART world full of innovations is just, well, jumpy and faddish.

Re:Art, not innovation. (1)

Mikeytsi (186271) | more than 11 years ago | (#4805131)

Try patenting a song, a poem, or a book.

Re:Art, not innovation. (1)

Planesdragon (210349) | more than 11 years ago | (#4805357)

Show me the innovation in a song, poem, or book. We'll do a patent search _on the innovation_, and then get a patent on it.

Songs, poems, and books are _works of art_, not _innovations_. Thinking them in the same block as the rules we have for protecting inventions or distinguishing company names is a fallicy; as RMS says, the branches of "IP" have so little in common that it's not a good idea to think of them together at all.

Who copyright is protecting innovation for (1)

hackwrench (573697) | more than 11 years ago | (#4805167)

Copyright is not about protecting innovation for the author, it is about protecting it for the public good. Copyright was given to encourage authors to produce so that their innovations would be made available to the public. Copyrights protect innovation from falling prey to potential authors other priorities.

What's the fuss? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4804899)

When you hear a song you like - commit it to memory and learn to play all the instruments and record your own identical version of the song. Pfff, on second thought - just rip a copy.

open source + ransom model (5, Interesting)

jki (624756) | more than 11 years ago | (#4804904)

I think I saw this article [theoretic.com] about the ransom model on /. as well: "Ransom is a software publishing model where the rights to the source code remain restricted until a set amount of money is collected or a set date passes, at which point the code is freed"

Anyway - I believe this model makes open source the good solution for cases in which it has previously been thought not to be suitable. Such as cases where companies need to invest huge amounts of money just to get the "seed done" - I believe that the ransom model really for example enables co-operation between research companies to produce something that requires huge resources and capital - and get paid for doing it - and still eventually have the solution released under open source - developing it even further.

Re:open source + ransom model (3, Insightful)

kawika (87069) | more than 11 years ago | (#4805169)

It seems like the ransom model is really just a copyright/patent model with an additional dollar limit on it. That is, the code is released when a particular amount of money is made OR when a particular time limit is reached. That limits the profit upside of any particular development, but doesn't protect from the downside.

Plus, it's not the gross revenue I would care about, it's the net. Lets say I release a product under a ransom model and I've priced the ransom with the assumption that maintaining and enhancing it will take half my time. I budget the other half the time for lucrative consulting. Unfortunately, the product ends up sucking down nearly all my time just to get enough buyers, and the sales aren't enough to yield a good salary. At some point the buyers dry up completely because they figure it's easier to wait for the time limit than to pay.

Re:open source + ransom model (2)

jki (624756) | more than 11 years ago | (#4805291)

At some point the buyers dry up completely because they figure it's easier to wait for the time limit than to pay.

True - I don't believe the ransom model or any model is the magic solution for everything :) But, I think it might work very well for examples in cases in where for a group of companies in the same business have made pre-agreement to utilize this model. Assume, that one company has initially invested $42 million dollars in research required to create software. They invite new members to a coalition to speed up or to make the development possible. Each new member pays $4 million. The first 10 companies to joing the coalition get early access to the technology, then 1 month after the 11th company has joined, the technology is released under open source. Increasing market, and bringing new players. The implementors of the technology have acruired significant benefit from paying extra.

Not magic, but works in some cases.

ps. (That "coalition price" model was simplified, in reality it might be so that the price per joining company would go down for example per each new member or per time)

protection vrs freedom (5, Insightful)

Shymon (624690) | more than 11 years ago | (#4804907)

Copyright laws will always be messy if only beacuse there is no cut and dry options. A law that says all works are free to anyone undermines the purpose of creating those works (open source software being somewhat of a exception to this) and one that never releases information into the public domain is also a less then perfect solution. and while this is a gross simplification it's applicable to almost every aspect of copyright laws (fair use and the like). for all the ranting about these laws on slashdot very rarely do i see a realistic purposed solution to the problem, which suggests that it probably won't be solved in the near future, or maybe ever.

Copyright isn't just about software and MP3s. (5, Interesting)

Corvaith (538529) | more than 11 years ago | (#4804934)

I don't think you can reform copyright law while treating copyright for different types of things differently. I don't, genuinely, believe that authorship of a computer program should be essentially different from authorship of a book. With all the protections that entails.

Which is not to say that copyright law in itself isn't screwed up. But the whole MS problem isn't a copyright issue, it's a monopoly issue. And the music industry will eventually either die or adjst with the times.

The real problems with copyright lie with things like the insanely long copyright period and the narrowness of 'fair use' rights for *everything*, not just music. There are middle schoolers out there getting lawsuit threats over fan art galleries. Disney's never going to have to come up with anything new, because they'll just keep getting extensions for Mickey Mouse. These are big problems, and things that seem to not be well addressed by the article.

Re:Copyright isn't just about software and MP3s. (2, Interesting)

Autistic (613287) | more than 11 years ago | (#4804992)

But the whole MS problem isn't a copyright issue, it's a monopoly issue.

Not even that. A Copyright is by its definition a limited monopoly. It's a profit issue. If you an figure out a way for the fat cats to get richer and fatter without strangling everyone else, then you have a solution. Any solution that does not involve the fat cats getting righer and fatter is not a solution (according to the fat cats).

the insanely long copyright period and the narrowness of 'fair use' rights

The limiting of rights, the extension of limits, all of that are just by-products of the fat cats trying to get righer. To cure the disease, go after the the scum at the center. Don't just tackle the symptoms. Take out the Corporate greedfest. The rest will clear itself up.

We need to replenish the public domain (5, Insightful)

why-is-it (318134) | more than 11 years ago | (#4805047)

Disney's never going to have to come up with anything new, because they'll just keep getting extensions for Mickey Mouse.

And therein lies the dilemma. Disney has made several fortunes by taking something that was already in the public domain and building on it. I don't know if the Brothers Grimm even get mentioned in the credits of the Disney films that are based on their stories. Now we see Disney purchasing politicians and legislation to extend their copyrights in perpetuity.

I wonder if anyone at Disney recognizes the irony of it all...

Re:We need to replenish the public domain (2)

stubear (130454) | more than 11 years ago | (#4805151)

There's no dilema here. You have just as much opportunity as Disney does to create animated works based on these classic tales. The fact that you don't doesn't mean Copyright is broken, it means you have failed to take advantage of the same opportunities afforded to all.

Re:We need to replenish the public domain (2)

Fugly (118668) | more than 11 years ago | (#4805237)

There's no dilema here. You have just as much opportunity as Disney does to create animated works based on these classic tales. The fact that you don't doesn't mean Copyright is broken, it means you have failed to take advantage of the same opportunities afforded to all.

Aye, but you don't have the right to create animated works based on Disney's classic tales, even those that are nearing 100 years old and clearly a part of our culture. There's the problem.

I have a problem with companies that are perfectly willing to take from the public domain but unwilling to give back to it. It's greedy and wrong.

Re:We need to replenish the public domain (2)

why-is-it (318134) | more than 11 years ago | (#4805262)

There's no dilema here. You have just as much opportunity as Disney does to create animated works based on these classic tales.

The dilemma is that in the current copyright climate, there are not likely to be any more "classic tales" in the future because the public domain is deliberately being starved. Disney has legitimately used what is in the public domain, and Disney has spent a lot of money to ensure that their own works will not end up in the public domain.

The fact that you don't doesn't mean Copyright is broken, it means you have failed to take advantage of the same opportunities afforded to all.

What opportunities will Disney afford me (or anyone else for that matter) to derive new works based on Mickey Mouse? Had they not bought the Sonny Bono Copyright Extension Act, Micky would be in the public domain by now. As it stands now, it is unlikely that Mickey will ever enter the public domain. So yes, I believe that in it's present form, copyright is indeed broken.

Re:We need to replenish the public domain (2)

MrEd (60684) | more than 11 years ago | (#4805153)

Heck, Disney has made several fortunes taking something that was not in the public domain and copying it! I don't know if any of the Japanese anime [utdallas.edu] even get mentioned in the credis of the Disney films that are based on their stories.


Then again, everyone rips everyone else off in this industry so I don't know how upset I should be.

Re:We need to replenish the public domain (1)

RazzleFrog (537054) | more than 11 years ago | (#4805238)

Stealing a general plot is not infringement. If it was then Shakespeare would have been the greatest infringer ever. Romeo and Juliet is a great example of a plot that was taken from other earlier stories and has been used in newer stories. The trick is to make it different enough that it isn't an issue. Sort of like Vanilla Ice's "Ice Ice Baby" and David Bowie's/Queen's "Under Pressure." There was a subtle enough difference that if it had ever gone to court he might have won. Instead he settled.

Re:We need to replenish the public domain (1)

MrEd (60684) | more than 11 years ago | (#4805468)

It's not the plot, it's the artwork too! Search Google and you'll see. Both the Lion King and Atlantis borrow character likenesses and artistic style from Japanese cartoons. I forget the actual names of the plagiarized Japanese shows, but I'm sure some anime buff here can enlighten us.

Not even the Brothers Grimm's Stories! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4805459)

As folklorists, they just collected the stories from Random German People.

Re:Copyright isn't just about software and MP3s. (4, Interesting)

JoeBuck (7947) | more than 11 years ago | (#4805080)

Of course there need to be differences. For example, current US copyright law explicitly gives permission for a legitimate owner of a copyrighted program to create a backup copy. There is no such permission for books.

However, you do have a point, in that we need to firmly (re-)establish the "first sale" doctrine for programs and electronic files. If I buy a book, I can't copy it without permission, but I can sell my copy without getting permission from the copyright holder. The "content industry" would dearly like to get rid of that concept.

and again.. (2)

happystink (204158) | more than 11 years ago | (#4804938)

You know what, I am so sick of people writing boring-ass essays just re-iterating the same things that everyone always says in essays on copyright. I know I'll get slapped for trolling, but I'm not, I just can't get excited over one more wannabe grad student whose big mission in life is to fight for better copyright laws by submitting long boring essays to websites that noone will read except people who agree with them anyway.

Re:and again.. (2)

SkewlD00d (314017) | more than 11 years ago | (#4805007)

Rgr that. People gotta start bitching or the mpaa/riaa thinks it's "ok" to screw us; and, at the same time, ppl shouldn't share their copy of Star Warez with every Dick, Tom, Harry, Habib and Mullah on the planet via Gnutella. The news is that a Star Trek no-money economy would never work, you gotta get only and at least what you pay for. The big prob is the laws are so crazy when it comes what media you are deal with: internet, print, recording, broadcast, movies that it takes a 20-person legal staff scratching their asses (i mean heads) to write a binding NDA/EULA/WOYBAA (We Own Your Bitch-Ass Agreement). Most people just say "fuck it" because it's one big fucking headache and buy their directv hax0r boxes, download mp3s, copy replaytv programs and divx dvd rips.

Re:and again.. (1)

nyseal (523659) | more than 11 years ago | (#4805162)

Oh don't be ridiculous, that's exactly how legislation gets passed in this country; they're just practicing to be a senator or congressman. That way, when they get bought off by some lobbyist, they can claim: "...but look; I wrote this AWESOME paper back in college where I protested this stuff!" At least that way their conscience is it ease. No better or worse than smoking pot in college and running off to Moscow during a war and eventually becoming president.

Re:and again.. (2)

Junks Jerzey (54586) | more than 11 years ago | (#4805204)

You know what, I am so sick of people writing boring-ass essays just re-iterating the same things that everyone always says in essays on copyright.

Amen to that. C'mon, being a Student Who Has Been Reading Geek News Web Sites for Gosh Maybe Three Years Now is not any kind of qualification to be a legal mouthpiece.

TOSHIBA MP3 Player GIGABEAT GPL Violation doubt (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4804956)

MP3 Player GIGA BEAT of Toshiba which adopted Linux as an OS in Japan in this November was put on the market. However, it is said that this Toshiba GIGA BEAT has doubt that violation of GPL is carried out. The degree of truth is how.

Reference site(written in Japanese)
Site for GIGA BEAT developers [toshiba-dme.co.jp] http://linux.toshiba-dme.co.jp/GIGABEAT
Applet development information for GIGABEAT [toshiba-dme.co.jp]
(The software use consent contract (library) and the software use consent contract (sample source) are described.)
http://linux.toshiba-dme.co.jp/GIGABEAT/develop_en try
The support page of Toshiba Linux [toshiba-dme.co.jp] http://linux.toshiba-dme.co.jp/linux/indexj.htm
Toshiba GIGA BEAT product page [toshiba.co.jp] http://www.toshiba.co.jp/mobileav/audio/
2channel(famous Japanese BBS) [2ch.net] http://pc.2ch.net/test/read.cgi/linux/1038780907/

ok fella (1)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 11 years ago | (#4804969)

>> I am afraid that I personally have few practical solutions to introduce

WELL, THEN, THANKS FOR NOTHIN!

I think the DMCA and Sonny Bono CEA are a good start, though. We didnt need you after all.

Mandatory Spelling-Nazi comment (3, Funny)

Greedo (304385) | more than 11 years ago | (#4804981)

I was going to clean up my apartement, but instead I wrote a piece for Greplaw ...

I hope you also skipped cleaning the bathroom, and took the time to spell check your article.

Re:Mandatory Spelling-Nazi comment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4805014)

Oops. This comment has just been banned in France.

screw you (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4805068)

you know how to spell, so what.

Do you have an idea in your head?

Correct page width link (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4804988)

Some troll, apparently looking for something to do after calling people to check if their refrigerator is running, threw a page widening post onto the greplaw article. Thanks for the maturity. I'm sure your family is so proud ("John is lawyer, Chris is a doctor, and Billy Bob wastes the time of hundreds of people a day.")

To read the article without the comments (thus avoiding the troll and allowing you to see the article correctly formatted), try this link [harvard.edu] .

Re:Correct page width link (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4805032)

Damn! That sumnabitch is WIDE!

Mad props to you, good sir!

And then to post a corrected link for us all to get the +5 insightful.. How crafty and clever. Hats off to you.

Truly you are a troll among trolls.

Re:Correct page width link (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4805244)

Yeah, you're sure right about that. This guy's such an obvious Karma whore, looking for that "+5 Insightful."

But then, that's always the story with those damn Anonymous Cowar...uh...wait...

YOU FUCKING IDIOT. Why don't you take your uncle's dick out of your mouth and pay some fucking attention the next time you try to say something?

Its getting even worse (5, Interesting)

night_flyer (453866) | more than 11 years ago | (#4804989)

In Finland, taxi drivers are now ordered to pay royalties if they play music, even if it is on the radio, if they have passengers in the car.

two churchs were also sued on copyright infringement for singing Chistmas hymns....

the story is here [ananova.com] .

I would have posted this as a story, but seeing as how my approval rate is 1:50 its not worth the time or effort anymore

Add one more a little closer to home... (5, Informative)

night_flyer (453866) | more than 11 years ago | (#4805222)

Girls Scouts must pay to sing songs...

"Starting this summer, the American Society of Composers, Authors & Publishers has informed camps nationwide that they must pay license fees to use any of the four million copyrighted songs written or published by Ascap's 68,000 members. Those who sing or play but don't pay, Ascap warns, may be violating the law."

the story [s-t.com]

They should try this: (2)

Snork Asaurus (595692) | more than 11 years ago | (#4805242)

Finland's 9500 cab drivers should band together, generate some tapes or CD's of independent artists (or get the artists to submit them) and play those for their customers' listening pleasure. They could have a menu of artist names and song titles posted in their cabs. There would be no royalties to pay and free captive audience promotion for the independent artists. Sounds like a win-win to me. Oh and a middle-finger salute to the music business. Make that a win-win-win.

The harder the entertainment industry make it, the faster they will expire.

Yeah, that's the ticket. (© Jon Lovitz, SNL Entertainment and NBC Broadway Video).

Mirror (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4804995)

Efficiency, Innovation, and Transparency - The Future of Intellectual Property Rights

- - - - - -

1. Experimental copyright in action

2. Freedom of speech challenged

3. Open code legislation

4. "Lagom" copyright for computer programs

5. Music and the threat of efficiency

6. Compulsory licensing

7. The future of intellectual property

- - - - - -

- Why are they after me?

In the movie Antitrust, Tim Robbins, with his usual excellence, plays the part of the Bill Gates character. When the Robbins character blurts out his desperation it is because the US Department of Justice is on his tail, exploring the innermost secret of the code in Robbins' computer programs. In one of the crucial scenes where Robbins' character eventually loses control over his code, Robbins still cannot understand why his protégé Ryan Phillippe's character is working against him. After all, the code is mine, Robbins' character concludes. Should not Robbins as the copyright proprietor be able to decide just what to do with his computer programs? Should not the legislator protect the Robbinses of our world from the efforts of self-appointed Phillippe freedom fighters to release and reveal the Robbins code to the world? Only to a certain point.

1. Experimental copyright in action

The number one full-scale experiment on intellectual property in history is now in practice. I am referring to the new types of licenses for computer programs: free software and open source. We are looking at an experiment that will define the future of intellectual property.

Free software, as defined by Richard M Stallman, rests on four foundations:

* You are free to run the program, for any purpose.

* You are free to modify the program to suit your needs. (To make this freedom effective in practice, you must have access to the source code, since making changes in a program without having the source code is ex-ceedingly difficult.)

* You are free to redistribute copies, either gratis or for a fee.

* You are free to distribute modified versions of the program, so that the community can benefit from your improvements.

Free software is very simple in its construction. It uses the provisions of copyright law whereby the author has an exclusive economic right in his work. In copyright law, computer programs are regarded as literary works. Thus, the author of a computer program can enter into any agreement regarding his work. One such agreement is the GNU GPL. GNU GPL stands for GNU General Public License, while GNU is a "recursive" abbreviation of Gnu's Not Unix. GNU is the manifestation in practice of free software and Richard M Stallman's attempt at building a free Unix system.

The most famous part of the GNU system is the kernel developed by Linus Torvalds under the name Linux. The GNU GPL that lays the foundation of free software is enforceable both under the principle of freedom of contract and through copyright law. According to Stallman's legal counsel, Professor Eben Moglen, the GNU GPL has yet to be successfully challenged. In a decision handed down in Boston during the spring of 2002, US District Judge Patti B. Saris has ruled on the preliminary injunction motion in MySQL AB vs. Progress Software Corp. That case is often referred to as the first test in court of the GNU GPL. It is a complicated case with several components. In the matter of Progress's distribution rights under GNU GPL, Saris did not grant an injunction. In the public hearing, Judge Saris made clear that she sees the GNU GPL as an enforceable and binding license, but that as long as Progress Software appears to be presently in compliance with the GNU GPL, there is probably no irreparable harm being caused to MySQL AB, and therefore no case for a preliminary injunction.

Open source is different from free software. Open source is based on a definition designed by Eric S Raymond and Bruce Perens. The basic idea behind open source is simple: when programmers can read, redistribute, and modify the source code for a piece of software, the software evolves. People improve it, people adapt it, and people fix bugs. And this can happen at a speed that, if one is used to the slow pace of conventional software development, seems astonishing. Raymond and Perens designed the open source definition. Open source is less restrictive than GNU GPL and free software, but it does not just mean access to the source code. Open source is not a license, but a set of rules that any license claiming to be open source must follow. The most important clause in the open source definition requires the distribution terms of open-source software to comply with the following criteria:

"The program must include source code, and must allow distribution in source code as well as compiled form. Where some form of a product is not distributed with source code, there must be a well-publicized means of obtaining the source code for no more than a reasonable reproduction cost - preferably, downloading via the Internet without charge. The source code must be the preferred form in which a programmer would modify the program. Deliberately obfuscated source code is not allowed. Intermediate forms such as the output of a preprocessor or translator are not allowed".

The Open Source Definition is described as a bill of rights for the computer user. It is not a developed philosophy like free software, but maintains a more prag-matic hands-on approach.

It is often said that Rome gave civilisation the law. That may be true, but someone else invented intellectual property law. According to Stewart - an ac-claimed scholar on international copyright law - the early Greeks and Romans had a developed notion of authorship, which was confined to the desire of teachers and philosophers to be credited for their own teachings. This was a moral question, thus not regulated in law.

Most people agree that the first copyright law was the English Statute of Anne passed in 1709. The system used today in most Western societies derives from the Berne Convention of 1886. Some things have changed over time, but only in favour of stronger protection of the author and the copyright holder. The one common principle is simple and almost globally applicable: with few exceptions, you need the copyright holder's permission if you want to make new copies or create a work deriving from the author's work within seventy years of the author's death.

2. Freedom of speech challenged

The Romans took a broad view of contract law and other essentials of civil law. Details may vary over time and between jurisdictions, but there is little contro-versy about the basics. Copyright, however, is widely debated these days. American scholars Lawrence Lessig, Jessica Litman and Siva Vaidhyanathan produced the most famous recent works in the area, following a long European tradition of debating the author's rights. You may think that the time for copyright protection - life plus seventy - is too long. You may think that fair use is too limited. You may think that the Russian programmer Dimitry Sklyarov should never have been prosecuted under the DMCA (the Digital Millennium Copyright Act) for designing an anti-circumvention device for e-books. You may think all these things, and Lessig, Litman and Vaidhyanathan very eloquently put them all, but I think the issue of copyright protection of computer programs - of code - is different in principle.

In his book "Code and other laws of cyberspace" Lessig has demonstrated that code, i.e. programmed functions of computer systems, can be more important than law. Computer programs should never have been protected as literary works in the first place. That just happened. But now that it is time for a change, I think the great experiment that we are all taking part in is a wonderful way - through freedom of contract - to experiment towards a new legal take on code.

Free software and open source could together be described as open code. With open code, I mean that the source code is available to the user and the development of the computer program is decentralised. It is often argued from the experience of Linux, Apache and Sendmail that the distributed development process of open code is good for security, speed of development and interoperability.

Lessig argues in his book "Code" that code could be more important than law, when it comes to free speech in computer networks. Lessig concurs that we should think about the architecture of cyberspace - its "code" - as a kind of regulator; that this regulator is likely to regulate more than law does today; that "doing nothing" is to lose some of the freedom the Internet now guarantees. The code - by not being transparent - may threaten freedom of speech. What if the code in itself makes certain types of expression void? Freedom of speech would then be stifled through the architecture of the online, Internet or IT environment. And this could happen without any political debate.

Furthermore, open code is good for consumer and customer confidence and trust. Would you trust a product that you are not allowed to disassemble? What if the product carried all your personal data? The trust and transparency argument is in my opinion the strongest argument for open code legislation.

3. Open code legislation

One of the big issues of free software during 2001 was whether Richard M Stallman was for or against a codified GNU GPL. Hence, did Stallman - the father of free software - propagate a law to support his beliefs?

Tim O'Reilly tried to press the issue in a couple of articles and seemed convinced that Stallman and his colleague Bradley M Kuhn were for GNU GPL legislation. O'Reilly suggested a system where developers themselves choose the rules under which they release software, not very much different from the system in effect today. Eric S Raymond wrote a satire to prove how wrong Stallman and Kuhn would be to suggest a GNU GPL law. Raymond posed Stallman and Kuhn the question whether they would get a law passed making proprietary licenses illegal if they could. Stallman and Kuhn leaned slightly towards the legislative point of view, but never gave a straight answer whether they were for or against a codified GNU GPL. Stallman and Kuhn wrote: "We believe, though, that with time, as more and more users realize that code is law, and come to feel that they too deserve freedom, they will see the importance of the freedoms we stand for - just as more and more users have come to appreciate the practical value of the free software we have developed."

As stated above, copyright law is often questioned. In an article in Wired 1994, John Perry Barlow wrote that copyright was not designed to protect ideas or bits of information but only to protect ideas as expressed in fixed form. Hence, according to Barlow copyright is dead in the digital age.

Copyright was made to create an incentive for authors and scientists to create and explore and give them a guarantee that they would profit from their creations. A copyright system that is too strict in favour of the authors will work as a hinder and not an incentive for creativity. In the epilogue of his book Copyrights and copywrongs Siva Vaidhyanathan states that "a looser copyright system would produce more James Bond books, not fewer. Some might be excellent. Other might be crappy. Publishers and readers could sort out the difference for themselves. The law need not to skew the balance as it has."

4. "Lagom" copyright for computer programs

In Sweden we have one word that I have yet to find anywhere else. The word is "lagom" and it defines the space between too much and too little. Lagom could be translated into "moderate" or "just right", it is the situation where the glass is not half-full or half-empty - it is lagom filled. We need "lagom" copyright for computer programs because computer programs are written incrementally. That means that it is important to be able to reuse previously written code. Hence, you need to be able to write the computer program without the original author being present in your project. The aforesaid is a strong argument for a codified GNU GPL, since one of the cornerstones of GNU GPL is the right to reuse previously written code. Further, examination of the code is important for interoperability. Interoperability means that computer programs should contain interchangeability, one should be able to substitute one computer program for another, and connectability, that is the ability of one computer program to function with another.

The European debate on interoperability ended in 1991, when the European Union introduced a directive on the Legal Protection of Computer Programs. The directive exempts ideas underlying any element of a computer program, including its interfaces, from copyright protection. It also specifically permits disassembly of computer programs in order to achieve interoperability. Transparency is therefore ensured, but without access to the source code of the computer program it would still be hard to disassemble and interpret the functions of the computer programs. The GNU GPL wants to solve this by always forcing the developer to disclose and distribute his software.

Would not a modern democratic society benefit from a plurality of irreconcilable and incompatible doctrines? We need the GNU GPL, but we also need proprietary software and open source software. That would make the case for GNU GPL legislation void. However, as Lawrence Lessig concludes in his book Code, the code may in itself work against plurality. If we choose to believe Lessig we might want to reconsider regarding computer programs in the same way as literature.

In his book "The Future of Ideas" Lessig suggests a reform of software copyright law forcing computer programmers to disclose their source code when the copyright expires. Lessig would protect computer programs for a term of five years, renewable once. Copyright protection would in Lessig's proposal only be granted if the author put a copy of the source code in escrow. The source code should be disclosed to each and everyone when the copyright expires, perhaps through a server with the U.S. Copyright Office.

That much said, Lessig is very reluctant to make open code a law. In The Future of Ideas, Lessig states that the government should "encourage" the development of open code. Such "encouragement" should not be coercive. According to Lessig there is no reason to ban or punish proprietary providers. But this view is hardly consistent with Lessig's view on the future of software copyright law. In Lessig's future system proprietary providers are severely punished. They lose about 100 years' protection, which is life of the author plus seventy years compared to five plus five years and then full disclosure. Lessig's system is very similar to WIPO's proposed system of 1970 where copyright protection should be traded for putting the source code in escrow. However, the European development of copyright seems to have been founded on two principles:

1. more copyright (stronger IP laws) is good,

2. everyone should think 1, if only through harmonization.

Lessig's ideas are not new from a European perspective, but they have revitalized the European copyright debate. In Europe, the debate over the copyright system has not been as intense as the US debate in the recent years. This is probably because the European debate over copyright has been ongoing for the past century and the US debate is quite new. The focus of the European debate on intellectual property development concerns patents on life and software. The European patent system is influenced by the US patent system and more things can be patented in practice than the legislator intended. This creates an interesting situation where the strong European copyright is exported to the US and the strong US patent system is imported, thus creating stronger intellectual property rights in both the US and Europe respectively. The strong US patent was a consequence of the relatively weak copyright protection. Therefore the new legislation creates a situation where the intellectual property protection of computer programs is stronger than ever. But is it good for innovation, and how will it affect the society's need of transparency?

In an article published in the Stanford Technology Law Review, Mathias Strasser argues that any move towards more open code would be highly undesirable from societal point of view, as it would destroy the market-based incentive structure that currently encourages software producers to develop code that consumers find attractive. By applying the utilitarian incentive theory and the Lockean labour-desert theory, Strasser tries to explain why the current copyright system is the best. According to the desert-labour theory, natural resources were given to people by God and title may be lost or abandoned, but anyone might gain title to anything, even resources held in common, if one used labour to convert the natural resources into something useful.

Stallman and Moglen have yet to convince me that the GNU GPL and free software philosophy is the final answer to intellectual property protection of computer programs. However, I am not convinced that neither Strasser nor Lessig is right in their view of the software copyright. But I choose to believe Lessig when he states that code is law. The two fundamental principles of European copyright development do not address this issue. The code layer in the networks may in my opinion affect the freedom of speech at large. I do not think that copyright is dead in the sense Barlow told us in 1994. Copyright is still around, and even if it's not effective in the digital age - as observed by Barlow - the courts enforce copyright. Therefore, we need to find a new way to deal with copyright protection of computer programs. The U.S. Digital Millennium Copyright Act, the Infosoc EU directive (2001/29/EC) and prohibition on reversed engineering is not the right way to develop copyright. We need more transparency, but still we need to consider the points raised by Mathias Strasser and Tim O'Reilly. It is important that the incentives for larger businesses remain even if the code is more open through a change in the copyright law. If such a change is made, we need to consider the unique characteristics of computer programs. We should not continue to compare computer programs to literary works. Books are not software.

What we need is balance. What we need is "lagom" copyright protection for computer programs. I guess you should take the main parts of the current patent and copyright system and catalyse these systems into the new "lagom" copyright directive. We need to start thinking about these issues soon if we're not aiming to keep our grandchildren stuck with the current system for life.

5. Music and the threat of efficiency

In the past, legislators have designated a private sphere in the life of each individual as unregulated. In your private sphere, you could do many things, as long as they concerned only yourself and maybe some friends. The private sphere was considered your home. You could exercise your fair use rights to copy music and papers for personal or academic use. The Internet tampers with this ancient tradition.

Your means of communication are much more efficient than legislators could have foreseen when the copyright statutes were designed. Making a copy of something for your friends is completely different in the Internet age. You can send the copy to a thousand of your friends with very little effort at a very low cost. It is extremely efficient.

Legislators did not want to regulate the private sphere and did not recognise a need for doing so. Ten years ago, when the Swedish Copyright Act was revised, this was still the position held by the legislators. They were aware of the common practice among friends of copying and distributing mix tapes of favourite songs. Swedish legislators reasoned that it was not a good thing to try to regulate the private sphere, since the legislation would be very hard to enforce. In regulation, one should try to refrain from creating rules that cannot be enforced, since they erode the populace's confidence and trust in the law as something logical and beneficial to society.

But the digitalisation of copyright and the Internet have made it much easier to obtain control over and monitor copyright violation, even if such activities are conducted in the private sphere.

In the mix tape example, there was a physical barrier preventing the communication from reaching efficiency, since distributing the tapes en masse would be prohibitively expensive. When Xerox introduced the copier in 1959, several smaller printing houses were forced to close. In 1966, Xerox introduced the Telecopier (now known as the fax machine). Xerox made copying possible over the physical barrier of distance, but it was still possible to make money on printed works. The improved means of communication and distribution of information represented by the copier and fax machine did not put all journalists and writers out of work, and neither machine was prohibited. Still, it looks like the musical equivalent of these Xerox machines - Napster and its followers - will be prohibited or at least sued out of business. Some intermediaries will die because of the new technology, just like the smaller printing houses died out when the copier was invented. But is this really an argument for prohibiting technical progress as such?

So, what is the proper balance between the music industry's wishes and the sanctity of your personal sphere? How efficiently will copyright holders and record companies allow us to communicate with each other?

6. Compulsory licensing

For the record, I do not think that music should be free as in free beer. But I do think we need compulsory licensing to stimulate creativity and innovation. Music would then be free as in free speech (but that is another story). It is important that the legislators - and the courts - give users the freedom and the right to a private sphere. Even though enforcement and control of the private sphere could increase with new technology, I do not want record companies and Microsoft to become a private alternative to the Orwellian surveillance state. Stay away from my hard drive. Please. And let me communicate in the most sophisticated and efficient way available, even if it means that you risk losing money from my possible contributory or direct copyright infringement.

To ensure that the record companies still obtain revenues, it is important that the developers in the post-Napster era create commercial alternatives to the user-driven free beer networks. With the right commercial package, I am certain that record companies and artists can find a future in the post-Napster era without monitoring everything in the private sphere. After all, the fact that the record companies would stay away from my hard drive wouldn't mean that they waive all rights to digital music.

7. The future of intellectual property

Communication is important, and no matter what your favourite lobbyist and favourite lawyer tell you, technical progress and innovation should not be sacrificed on the altar of copyright. We need a balance between users and authors where Tim Robbins' character in Antitrust has good incentives to innovate, but where society at large is not too restricted due to Robbins' previous innovations. We also need a copyright commons where innovators may innovate and create without having to call their lawyer before they strike a chord on the guitar.

All this may sound easy to agree upon in theory, but in practice these propositions raise a lot of important questions. What should you do with current intellectual property proprietors? How will you keep incentives for very costly types of innovations, like drugs, computer programs and big screen movies? In theory, it is easy to stifle innovation through limiting copyright protection, regardless of area. In practice, it is more complicated as the case for "lagom" copyright illustrates.

The conversation continues.

My licensing plan is simpler. (1)

SHEENmaster (581283) | more than 11 years ago | (#4805010)

penguin-powered users: The Linux version is free as in free as in speech as well as free as in beer.

winshit users: The windows(uncaptialized to show disrespect) version is free as in herpes due to an outlook bug.

Mac users: The Mac version is free as in beer, but only if you denounce communism and respect my authoritie!

M$ employees: may use the Linux version, but must burn their systems should the contract the 'free as in herpes' one.

Damn Commies: See M$ employees.

If it were me... (5, Funny)

tmark (230091) | more than 11 years ago | (#4805017)

I was going to clean up my apartement, but instead I wrote a piece for Greplaw

If I was this guy, I would be the most prolific contributor to Greplaw. Legal scholars would be citing my works as I am always looking for ways to put off cleaning my apartment.

Thank heavens for slovenliness, or we would have one fewer article to throw on the copyright flame-heap here.

Page Widening Troll (2, Informative)

szquirrel (140575) | more than 11 years ago | (#4805021)

If any GrepLaw admins are reading, please consider a higher default threshold for comments. At zero the "page widening troll" has made the story unreadable. I could register and set my own default, but it's easier to just forget about it. Other potential members probably feel the same.

Picking a few nits. (2)

robkill (259732) | more than 11 years ago | (#4805041)

One precedent for music sharing that is not mentioned was the Online Guitar Archive (OLGA) [olga.net] and its struggles with the Harry Fox Agency. The debate took place in 1997 over whether users posting tablature arrangements of copyrighted songs infringed on the publishing rights of HFA. The HFA won in court.

There are compulsory license rules for the songwriter's copyright. Any artist can cover another artist's work, provided he or she pays the compulsory license fee. I agree with the original article that there should be compulsory licensing for the physical and digital recording. It would also clear up issues with "sampling" as done by rap and other artists.

Easy Solution (4, Insightful)

ch-chuck (9622) | more than 11 years ago | (#4805057)

if you're an 'artist' and are adamant about being paid for each and every copy, don't create anything that can be easily copied by your admiring public. That includes audio, video, writing, software, or ip in general. Face it, your just trying to cash in on the 85% profit margin of being able to produce once, make easy copies and distribute them. But now your customers have the ability to make easy copies and share them. Face it. Instead, go into sculpture, crafts, paintings, custom autos, landscaping, live performances, etc etc etc.

NO, this is not a troll, just a clear headed statement of fact. If you want to press an audio cd and sell copies, fine. Just realize there's going to be 'shrinkage' from maximum profit and you can cuss and stomp, beg for govt assistance, try to get consumer devices banned, mandate DRM in every electronic device, but the genie is already out of the bottle and everybody has one now. Artists and publishers are just going to have to adapt to the new environment or go extinct.

Re:Easy Solution (1)

FauxPasIII (75900) | more than 11 years ago | (#4805171)

This is the most rational point of view I've ever heard on the issue, and it's lended me some concise, coherent language with which to explain this to people. Thank you.

As far as its being likely to be implemented, as another poster said, you're going to have to find some way to provide for people who are filthy rich (and therefore, politically dominant) now to benefit somehow from the system or they'll scuttle it, just as proprietary software monopolies want to scuttle free software, just as the petroleum cartels continue to scuttle alternative-fuel vehicles. The people who own the world aren't going to relinquish their ownership by choice.

Weird (2)

zephc (225327) | more than 11 years ago | (#4805094)

I just turned in a long, yet crappy, essay on copyright and what should be done about it. I'm so sick of this shit now, I know what needs to be done, I know all the facts (well, most the facts), but nothing is going to get done with these criminals in elected positions.

and i bet... (1)

ph0rk (118461) | more than 11 years ago | (#4805106)

>>> "I was going to clean up my apartement, but instead..."

I bet that didn't work and your girlfriend -still- made you clean up.

.

Re:and i bet... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4805207)

You're probably right.

You, on the other hand, have a spotlessly-clean apartment year-round...because your mom mops the dirty floor with her tongue every Sunday, on all fours, with your puny dick stuck in her wide, filthy asshole.

Now go play EverQuest some more, you fucking dweeb.

In the movie... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4805107)

I refuse to read any article that begins with "In the movie..."

I am the page widener (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4805108)

I hope you like my work, because unlike slashdot, greplaw actually lets trolls be creative!

PAGE WIDENING IS BACK! And you will LIKE IT!

Copyright laws don't need to change (1)

notasheep (220779) | more than 11 years ago | (#4805159)

What needs to change is all the whining about it. Face it, for software, copyright is just about irrelevant - it's the licensing terms that it's released under that are important. Those are what determine your rights in relation to a work. The length of copyright is also moot in relation to software - that fabulous C program you wrote last night has a shelf life somewhat shorter than bell-bottom jeans.

For those of you that want to bring up Walt Disney - do you really think society would benefit greatly if the copyright on Mickey Mouse ended? Give me a break. The only people who would benefit are those who wish to make a buck or two off of someone else's work. I have no tears for them.

At one time in our recent history a short copyright length actually benefitted society because information was costly and not as easy to find. So putting information in the public domain increased access and was a real benefit to society. That's not true today. Information is cheap and difficult to avoid. Who cares if it's going to be 120 years (or whatever the number is) before John Irving's novels fall in to the public domain? You want to read one - check one out of the library, it's free.

You pissed because music is more expensive than you'd like? Listen to the radio - it's free! And, by listening to the radio and not purchasing the music you give the music industry a reason to lower their prices.

Whatever you do, just shut up and stop whining.

Re:Copyright laws don't need to change (3, Insightful)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 11 years ago | (#4805309)

>> For those of you that want to bring up Walt Disney - do you really think society would benefit greatly if the copyright on Mickey Mouse ended?

Who's to decide what 'greatly' means in your context? Will it end world hunger? No. Will it cure cancer? No. Will I be able to show my (grand)children the entertainment I grew up with, in an uneditted non-PC form, without owing anyone anything? Yes.

>> Who cares if it's going to be 120 years (or whatever the number is) before John Irving's novels fall in to the public domain? You want to read one - check one out of the library, it's free.

Well, not only are you then limited by what happens to be in the library, it won't be free for much longer. More and more books are appearing on shelves shrinkwrapped with a pretty EULA borrowed from the new 'digital' legislation. The contract of first sale is no more. As it happens more and more, without 'whining', it becomes more acceptable. Libraries will soon be museums, nothing more.

You ever seen a digital library? Where I can check out a video game, word processing app, etc for free, borrow and return it?

>> You pissed because music is more expensive than you'd like? Listen to the radio - it's free!

Not for long! Digital radio! XM Band! W00t! They can embed a digital copyrighting bit right into the stream, that'll tell you if you can record it or not, or even hear it or not. HDTV - same thing!

In Soviet Russia (1, Funny)

AllDewedUp (20540) | more than 11 years ago | (#4805182)

from the apartment-will-clean-itself dept.

Apartment cleans you!

I'm sorry, I couldn't resist. Really, I am sorry.

Scary IP Protection (2)

AndroidCat (229562) | more than 11 years ago | (#4805249)

I know I've already posted this link in the Albert Einstein topic, but if we're tossing IP arguments around, this bit [albert-einstein.net] would make a good spice for the mix.

These people claim to own/control any representation of Albert Einstein. This would fall under Trademark protection, right?

The Roger Richman Agency, Inc., specializes in representing entertainment and historical personalities for a variety of licensing applications, including advertising, merchandising, premiums, promotions, film & television programming, theatrical productions and look-alike/sound-alike services. Exclusive licenses are available in most product and service categories. Licenses include full persona usage, consisting of name, voice, signature and image (photo, illustration, animation and/or look-alike).

Re:Scary IP Protection (1)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 11 years ago | (#4805348)

This isn't that scary, and in an age where any kid with his PC could put your face into a gay porn flick, this type of protection makes sense.

Maybe you wouldn't want your grandfathers image on TV promoting abortions, or JFK standing in front of a burning cross calling on his Aryan brothers. Or Kurt Cobain selling Marlboros.

Hell, if there's any IP worth protecting, it's your own persona.

Re:Scary IP Protection (1)

AndroidCat (229562) | more than 11 years ago | (#4805393)

And I wouldn't want good tunes from years ago used to sell products on TV. Oh well. :^)

Perhaps this sort of protection is needed, but I couldn't afford the lawyers required to protect my persona even while alive.

The Author isnt the problem... (2, Insightful)

Lissst (451356) | more than 11 years ago | (#4805261)

Please excuse my ignorance on this because I haven't read the essay yet, but from my perspective, the problems aren't with the authors, but with the corporations that own the authors work. I don't think the author gives a rats ass who does what with something he/she created once their dead, only the cooperation that owns the rights of that authors work cares. I personally say that when someone dies, so does the copyright, END OF STORY!!!

I AM THE TROLL KING!!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4805303)

I widened the page.

I also added the 30+ minutes of footage to "The Fellowship Of the Ring."

I added the half-hour or so of gratuitous "Enterprise circling" in the director's cut of "Star Trek."

When Oliver Stone made "JFK," I talked him into having Jim Garrison repeat "back, and to the left" seven times.

The Simpsons writers had planned for Sideshow Bob to walk into only three rakes. I insisted upon nine.

My purpose in life is to EXTEND, EXTEND, EXTEND...to waste your time, and to compensate for obvious Freudian "shortcomings."

I AM THE TROLL KING!!!

Signed,
Jon Katz

Re:I AM THE TROLL KING!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4805322)

(That's actually pretty fucking funny... ;-)

Re:I AM THE TROLL KING!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4805371)

Dude...

I liked JFK.

--------------
p00p.cx

Copyright vs. Drug Companies patents (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4805434)

It is interesting to me that drug companies are allowed patents that run out relatively soon (15 or 20 years, I think) compared to copyrights, and they have to put in tons of money and research to create their products, but we'll give anyone who can throw together a few words and make a poem, song, or book, or who can draw or animate a mouse (Mickey), a 75 year copyright, and Congress the option to extend that indefinitely, when they certainly didn't have to spend billions to develop a lifesaving or life-extending product.

Things are definitely screwed up around here. But make no mistake, I am not defending the big druggies either, just pointing out the oddity.
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