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Copyright Alliance Says Fair Use Not a Consumer Right

CowboyNeal posted more than 7 years ago | from the no-rights-make-a-wrong dept.

Media 504

KingSkippus writes "In response to a complaint to the FCC filed by the Computer and Communications Industry Association (CCIA) to change copyright warnings before movies and sporting events, Executive Director Patrick Ross of the Copyright Alliance tells us in an editorial that 'fair use is not a consumer right.' The Copyright Alliance is backed by such heavy-hitters as the MPAA, RIAA, Disney, Business Software Alliance, and perhaps most interestingly, Microsoft, who is also backing the CCIA's complaint."

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Why isn't SCO in on this? (5, Insightful)

the_rajah (749499) | more than 7 years ago | (#20502969)

It's the new axis of evil. MPAA, RIAA, Disney, Business Software Alliance, and Microsoft. It's a rogue's gallery of the companies that we hate for their jack booted tromping on the little guys. I guess they are conveniently ignoring copyright law as written when it comes to fair use. Next step massive lobbying in congress to change it. Naw, they'd never be able to buy our upright legislators...would they?

Re:Why isn't SCO in on this? (1)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | more than 7 years ago | (#20503035)

Cause Sco's dead. Being a penny stock means you don't have the wads of cash to support many evil organizations.

You're right, but they're still evil.. (4, Funny)

the_rajah (749499) | more than 7 years ago | (#20503107)

You don't have to have lots of money to be evil, but it sure helps.

Re:Why isn't SCO in on this? (1)

MiKM (752717) | more than 7 years ago | (#20503091)

Not that it doesn't excuse Microsoft from its other problems, but wasn't there an article earlier about how Microsoft was helping to *defend* fair-use?

Re:Why isn't SCO in on this? (3, Funny)

grcumb (781340) | more than 7 years ago | (#20503279)

Not that it doesn't excuse Microsoft from its other problems, but wasn't there an article earlier about how Microsoft was helping to *defend* fair-use?

Yes, and it's the same bloody case, too! From the summary:

The Copyright Alliance is backed by such heavy-hitters as the MPAA, RIAA, Disney, Business Software Alliance, and perhaps most interestingly, Microsoft, who is also backing the CCIA's complaint [slashdot.org] .

So. no matter how this ends, Microsoft wins. But wait - no matter who loses, Microsoft loses, too!

Wow, someone give me a magnet and some copper wire. My head is spinning so fast it feels like a perpetual motion machine.

Re:Why isn't SCO in on this? (1, Interesting)

thatskinnyguy (1129515) | more than 7 years ago | (#20503251)

Does it really surprise you that all these companies are in bed together? Axis of evil?! More like the Fourth Reich! This is a war damn it!

Actually fine... (5, Insightful)

thej1nx (763573) | more than 7 years ago | (#20503499)

Fine, let them win. Okay, fair use is not a consumer right!


And copyright protection is not a producer right either then.

There is zero reason why they should be given any extra protection by law then. It should be the companies' responsibility to think of the methods of protecting their idea/IP. If joe public is not allowed to have fair use, no reason why *our* tax money should go towards wasting time of courts funded by us, to help out these companies. Let them spend their own money on trying to devise methods to prevent competitors from copying off their idea.

The whole idea of copyrights and patents was for the benefit of the public, not for the companies, by encouraging invention and arts for the benefit of public. the whole deal is null and void if they want to renegade on their part.

If the joe public must pay for everything, so must they.

Re:Why isn't SCO in on this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20503275)

My feelings exactly. [youtube.com]

WANTED: Lying sack of shit for our PR position (2, Insightful)

zooblethorpe (686757) | more than 7 years ago | (#20503277)

Is it just me, or is being a lying sack of shit a prerequisite to operating with the big corporations in the US? I'm puzzled and disturbed by what appears to be an increase in skullduggery and flat-out bullshitting. Sure, it's always been there, but the stench seems to be getting stronger...

Re:WANTED: Lying sack of shit for our PR position (4, Insightful)

turing_m (1030530) | more than 7 years ago | (#20503355)

"Sure, it's always been there, but the stench seems to be getting stronger..."

The only difference is that the conduit by which that stench gets communicated to the public now has greater bandwidth, thanks to the internet. For now.

Re:WANTED: Lying sack of shit for our PR position (1)

UncleTogie (1004853) | more than 7 years ago | (#20503599)

Sure, it's always been there, but the stench seems to be getting stronger...

Is it that the smell is more noxious, or that new technology makes it easier to dig deeper for muck?

Personally, I'm at around 50/50... A general ethical decline in the US, coupled with technology bringing the misery to us instantly, live...

I find this amusing. (2, Interesting)

DaedalusHKX (660194) | more than 7 years ago | (#20503427)

Why does a government agency get to dictate what is and isn't true?

As far as I see it, and any so called "consumer" should... if a GOOD is sold... then claim to it is relinquished for that object/service. Whether its an apple, or a DVD, if I give it to you in exchange for your cash, I can't tell you what to do with it or whom to show it to. Neither can you tell me not to use your cash to strengthen my own assets. Oh well, free markets aren't free in this world and will not be for at least a few more years.

Re:Why isn't SCO in on this? (1)

miskatonic alumnus (668722) | more than 7 years ago | (#20503563)

I guess they are conveniently ignoring copyright law as written when it comes to fair use.

That's okay. More and more people are ignoring copyright law when it comes to sharing copyrighted works. What's good for the goose is good for the gander.

Depends on what you mean by "right". (5, Informative)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | more than 7 years ago | (#20502971)

Fair use is a defense against copyright infringement suits. It is not some "inalienable" God Given right like free speech or freedom of religion. Meaning you can exercise fair use, and if someone sues you and court determines it was fair use, you're OK. However - you have no "right" to it in that if a company, say, prevents you by means of technical steps from making "fair use" of materials, you can't sue them and in fact can't do anything about it.

Re:Depends on what you mean by "right". (5, Insightful)

DrEldarion (114072) | more than 7 years ago | (#20503003)

You're absolutely right. As much as people may hate it, the companies can use all sorts of means to prevent you from accessing their copyrighted material in any unapproved manner, and there's nothing you can do about it.

Well, there is one thing: don't purchase it. As enraged as people seem to get about these things, though, nobody actually stops buying.

Re:Depends on what you mean by "right". (1, Insightful)

Omnifarious (11933) | more than 7 years ago | (#20503033)

Not enough people do. Not many people even fully realize what's going on or what's really at stake.

Re:Depends on what you mean by "right". (2)

muindaur (925372) | more than 7 years ago | (#20503147)

Nothing! I bought an import Naruto Best Hits Collection CD from Sony that had DRM that prevented it from being ripped by the average user: It used a dual session disc with a special player that was in Japanese. However if one had Nero they could rip it easily using Neros built in ripper. Windows Media Player and other Windows players could not see the first session for some reason. Recently I switched to Ubuntu and Rhythom Box (!fanboyism for Ubuntu only a statement of where I discovered this) read the first session perfectly fine. There have been a few other DRM laden discs that were esily defeated by holding down the shift key(it may have been the ctrl or ctrl-shift key.) Hence they may TRY to prevent someone from using it anyway they please through DRM but there are still ways of accessing copyrighted material they way you want to, ripping it, that don't require many steps to go out of your way other than forcing you to not buy it. Bypassing DRM might not be legal but I would rather bypass it if I get the surprise instead of tossing the disc. They can bite my shiny, metal ass.

Re:Depends on what you mean by "right". (4, Insightful)

SeekerDarksteel (896422) | more than 7 years ago | (#20503181)

Just like we as consumers can use all sorts of means to circumvent access restrictions that keep us from using the material in a method deemed fair use.

oh wait...

Re:Depends on what you mean by "right". (1)

The -e**(i*pi) (1150927) | more than 7 years ago | (#20503217)

I actually never watch a baseball game because of that message. They are still fun to go to, or so I remember.

Re:Depends on what you mean by "right". (1)

N3Roaster (888781) | more than 7 years ago | (#20503373)

I take it you never read the fine print on your ticket then. It's even worse than the message they use on television: "By use of this ticket, the ticket holder agrees that: (a) he or she shall not transmit or aid in transmitting any information about the game which it grants admission, including, but not limited to, any account, description, picture, video, audio, reproduction or other information concerning the game".

Re:Depends on what you mean by "right". (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 7 years ago | (#20503445)

"I take it you never read the fine print on your ticket then. It's even worse than the message they use on television: "By use of this ticket, the ticket holder agrees that: (a) he or she shall not transmit or aid in transmitting any information about the game which it grants admission, including, but not limited to, any account, description, picture, video, audio, reproduction or other information concerning the game"."

Yeah, riiight ... and by reading this post you agree to pay me a million bucks ... same principle.

the only reason for fair use is because of copyright law - without copyright law to restrict usage, ANYONE could copy ANYTHING. They want the benefits of copyright law, they have to take the parts that benifit consumers as well.

Bunch of spoiled rotten little mumble mumble mumble mumble ....

In the minds of a MAFIAA exec.. (1)

jx100 (453615) | more than 7 years ago | (#20503247)

don't purchase it.
Lower sales == more piracy

Re:Depends on what you mean by "right". (4, Interesting)

bensafrickingenius (828123) | more than 7 years ago | (#20503271)

"nobody actually stops buying."

Sorry, but you're mistaken. *I* stopped buying ebooks. And I was HOOKED for a long time. When I figured out that Adobe was going to steal the books I'd purchased back from me after I bought my 3rd laptop (they limit the number of devices you can read their books on), and after I spent hours on line with their "tech support" (sorry if milk just squirted out your nose at the notion of Adobe providing tech support), I decided I was done. Cold turkey. This was about 3 years ago. I'd love it if I could go back to ebooks, but I will not until they fix (or eliminate) their horrible DRM scheme.

Re:Depends on what you mean by "right". (5, Insightful)

Randseed (132501) | more than 7 years ago | (#20503315)

Well, there is one thing: don't purchase it. As enraged as people seem to get about these things, though, nobody actually stops buying.

Actually, it's the precise reason I haven't bought a CD or DVD since the RIAA and MPAA, respectively, started this little anti-fair-use jihad of theirs.

Here's an example: I subscribe to HBO. HBO shows, say, "Superman Returns." I can watch it legally on HBO. I can record it and rewatch it. The MPAA is arguing that I can't "context shift" that material so that I can watch it when I'm stuck on call at work. (Doctor. Lots of down time in the middle of the night.) What has the MPAA lost? Nothing. What has HBO lost? Nothing, because I already subscribe to that channel.

Now, I can see the MPAA's argument if I don't subscribe to any of the "premium" channels and am doing this, but regardless of HOW I get the material, I'm paying to view it. Frankly, the more the MPAA argues these points, the greater the chance that people like me are just going to stop subscribing to the "premium" channels in the first place. They've already done great strides for this with CableCard. (i.e., I'd love to record my favorite programs to my PC, then load them on my laptop and watch them during down time. Unfortunately, idiotic encrypted QAM prevents that.)

The same goes for the RIAA. If it's "fair use" that I record a song off the radio, then how is it any different if I obtain said recording through a different means? Sure, I *could* go set up a recording rig and hook it to an FM receiver. I have the equipment to do it. In that case, I have the content, and it's "fair use." So if I obtain it through different means, it's the same data. How is that not "fair use?"

Re:Depends on what you mean by "right". (1)

Actually, I do RTFA (1058596) | more than 7 years ago | (#20503577)

I can watch it legally on HBO. I can record it and rewatch it.

IANAL, but I believe you can record andwatch it later, exactly once. Hence, timeshifting.

Re:Depends on what you mean by "right". (1)

pipingguy (566974) | more than 7 years ago | (#20503397)

This goes back to the deep-linking kerfuffle from a while back (in a way).

To me, fair use is quoting relevant, but limited, text in order to explain what a link contains.

Without this "freedom", the internet would just be endless tubes of click here! links.

Re:Depends on what you mean by "right". (4, Insightful)

Doctor_Jest (688315) | more than 7 years ago | (#20503447)

Very true, since it's their crapola...

    Or, you can circumvent it yourself without consequence because you are not doing anything to deprive them of any revenue or infringe on their copyright making 10000 copies for your closet stack of DVDs. Simply put, Copyright's never been about guaranteeing revenue... but it's turned into that... and copyright's "limited time" has been assraped so much that it's probably unable to even fart. Their idea of telling you what you can and can't watch/listen to your purchased content on is their desire for a pay-per-view universe... where you pay for every viewing, listening, reading of something... not just once in the case now... like we're all in their own private little theater and we have to pay the fee each time we use their crud. It's their orgasmic dream to do that... and they are working _VERY_ hard to make it happen... harder than they work even to sue the pants off college students who trade music.

    I don't purchase crippled CD's (or those from major labels, for that matter... not that it matters much, since major labels really _do_ produce dog shit music.) I also don't purchase anything Disney has anything to do with, since they are instrumental in raping the corpse of the public domain... the goddamned vultures need all to die... It means I miss most Pixar movies... well, all of them, actually... unless of course someone else loans me their copy. :) (in the case of the Incredibles...)

    Since the "digital age" (as if it somehow has put the western world in "jeopardy") is now an attempt to force even more controls on _ME_, rather than the works themselves... I find it laughable that they can make a distinction between fair-use _now_ and in the _past_ simply because it's on a computer rather than a VHS tape or audio cassette. Because it's "bits" now instead of magnetic media (or whatever), they somehow believe all the provisions that were set forth in court case after court case in hundreds of years of law don't apply because the word "digital" is attached to it. Fuck you... to put it in terms they can understand.

    The problem with people in general is their incessant desire to be entertained, because they've known nothing more over the last few decades... people of a previous generation are less likely to hoard useless entertainment materials and seek out all kinds of entertainment because their upbringing was work until dark, then sleep so you can do it all over again tomorrow. We (and I'm including me in this one, so keep those cards and letters) are lazy, Pavlovian experiments gone wild. Ring bell, fork over money, get treat. It sucks. I figure it'll get worse before it gets better... that the moguls and idiots in charge will find a tipping point past which NO one will bother with the hassle of movies or music... and they'll have made such a mess of the legal and technology sectors because of it that it'll take two generations to fix... and then it'll go RIGHT back to the way it is now... as if the Marx cycle has an "entertainment division..."

I sometimes feel like part of the problem... and I'm not even the worst "consume more" person that I know...

Re:Depends on what you mean by "right". (2, Insightful)

Kjella (173770) | more than 7 years ago | (#20503585)

Well, there is one thing: don't purchase it. As enraged as people seem to get about these things, though, nobody actually stops buying.

They don't stop watching or listening, but I'm pretty sure there's many that's stopped buying. Pirated material is cheaper and bandwidth is increasing and getting cheaper every day. It has higher quality (HD with no blu-ray/hd-dvd player, HD broadcasts you can't get here), it's more flexible (timeshift, spaceshift, formatshift, HTPCs, backups), faster and more available (online 1-3 days later in HD, don't ask when/if it'll be on TV/DVD locally here in Europe), free of commercials (cuts 1/3rd of the runtime and massively improves the experience), works everywhere (no funny region coding, non-playable CDs, rootkits or anything) and overall more convienient.

There's roughly two things that keep people buying - fear of the law and the basic moral obligation to pay for what you use. They're making the best effort possible to be asshats that you don't want to give money to. One thing is the general feeling of overpriced, like I feel my Internet connection's overpriced, my rent is too high and owning a car is too expensive. That's just normal, that's just about not wanting to give up your hard earned cash. I'm talking about that directed hostility that you definately don't want to give them your money.

That leaves fear of the law, good luck with that. The law and public opinion aren't always equal, but they're tied together. Pull those two too far apart, and the chord will snap. Right now I see the law going one way and consumers the other, but I still think there's quite a way to go. It will get worse before it gets better.

Re:Depends on what you mean by "right". (4, Insightful)

Hooya (518216) | more than 7 years ago | (#20503007)

> [Fair Use] is not some "inalienable" God Given right like free speech or freedom of religion

Kinda like the right for copyright protection itself huh?

Re:Depends on what you mean by "right". (5, Insightful)

kebes (861706) | more than 7 years ago | (#20503097)

Actually that's precisely the imbalance we now see in copyright law: their "rights" have been enshrined in new laws (DMCA) whereas our "rights" have not.

Previously, there was some sort of tenuous balance, though it wasn't specified by law: people could use copyrighted materials in certain ways (fair use), and companies were pretty much guaranteed that widespread infringement would be easy to deal with (since printing presses were big and expensive). In the modern age, the companies see their previous comfortable position being eroded (by copying and distribution becoming trivially easy). So they get new laws to give them back the comfort they previously had. They claim that this is their "right" and so now we have the DMCA, granting them these "rights."

The people, meanwhile, are seeing fair use eroding more every day (DRM, etc.). However, fair use has not been protected by any new laws. So companies can use technical measures to prevent fair use, and there's nothing we can (legally) do. The balance is gone.

Personally, I think the means of restoring the balance would be to repeal the DMCA and even scale back copyright law, rather than creating yet more laws.

Re:Depends on what you mean by "right". (4, Interesting)

OECD (639690) | more than 7 years ago | (#20503321)

Personally, I think the means of restoring the balance would be to repeal the DMCA and even scale back copyright law, rather than creating yet more laws.

Even better, just do it. (sorry Nike, track my ass down.)

Seriously, the current copyright regime has twenty years tops before people realize that it's counter-productive. More significantly, the (jargon alert) MAFIAA will have reduced itself to a shadow of its former might by its heavy-handed tactics.

There's a beautiful symmetry to all of this. The copyright holding companies wanted to make sure a fluke like "Night of the Living Dead" never happened again. So they made everything copyrighted. Problem solved? No, since everything is copyrighted, everything was potentially infringing. The achillies' heel in all this is that if everything is sacred, nothing is sacred. You've debased the term to a meaningless point.

Now, they're trying to deal with the fact that they're a victim of their own success.

Re:Depends on what you mean by "right". (1)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 7 years ago | (#20503361)

Your solution violates the second law of legislative dynamics: Legal entropy increases for all bills. It's an unwritten prime directive of the lawyers' guild, which unlike all other guilds, stubbornly refuses to strike.

Try again when you've got something that's needlessly complicated, trounces a few unrelated rights, and funds an unnecessary bridge somewhere.

Re:Depends on what you mean by "right". (1)

dashslotter (1093743) | more than 7 years ago | (#20503319)

Or how about the right to continue to milk some outdated business model at our expense?

Re:Depends on what you mean by "right". (1)

proverbialcow (177020) | more than 7 years ago | (#20503031)

By that same token, if I happen to circumvent their attempts to impede my fair use of the product, and I do so in a manner that does not infringe their copyright, then they have no legal recourse.

It seems to me that they are lobbying to change this.

Re:Depends on what you mean by "right". (5, Insightful)

radarsat1 (786772) | more than 7 years ago | (#20503057)

It is not some "inalienable" God Given right like free speech or freedom of religion.


Freedom of religion and freedom of speech are as much socially-granted rights as fair use. (And happen to be damn good ones.) All three share the quality of being relatively new ideas in society, in the grand scheme of things. You might say we'd like to think that all three of these rights are vast improvements over how things used to work in historical times. I don't see the distinction you are trying to draw here at all.

Re:Depends on what you mean by "right". (4, Funny)

Brian Gordon (987471) | more than 7 years ago | (#20503141)

Yeah, I wouldn't quite say that freedom to choose whatever religion you want is a God-given right.

Re:Depends on what you mean by "right". (1)

kimvette (919543) | more than 7 years ago | (#20503395)

sure it is -- it's called free will. You're free to pick wrong, but then you may go to hell, come back as a worm, or end up eaten by a body thetan or whatever.

Re:Depends on what you mean by "right". (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20503591)

*whoosh*

That's what one who believes in God says. One who doesn't would say what the GP did.

Re:Depends on what you mean by "right". (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20503411)

According to the bible, freedom of choice is a God given right.

Re:Depends on what you mean by "right". (4, Interesting)

kebes (861706) | more than 7 years ago | (#20503187)

Indeed. Many of most our highly regarded social values/goals (freedom of speech, racial equality, etc.) are rather modern concepts. I would argue that in addition to the "moral high-ground" of such concepts, they brought with them considerable peace, progress, and prosperity (both intellectual, and even economic). The conclusion I hope people draw from this is that we must be on the lookout for new social values which will "elevate" our society.

Perhaps one of the hardest ideas to get across in the whole "intellectual property" debate is that, perhaps, there is some social value currently being ignored. Many people decry the "information wants to be free" rally as nothing more than "greedy pirates justifying their selfishness." While I will not deny that many people violate copyright law for purely selfish reasons, I again want to emphasize that there may be a deeper moral question... and that many opponents of the status quo may be deriving their opinions from that question.

I do not really think that a "no copyright" world is the right way to go... but there is a social value of "digital freedom" (or whatever you want to call it) that is not yet taken seriously, but I believe will be crucial to our advancement, as a society, in the coming years. I think we need to learn to accord fundamental respect to the pursuit of knowledge, to the free distribution of knowledge and culture. Yes, this needs to be balanced against incentives to artists and reward for contributing to society. However I believe the present climate where all ideas are "owned" is untenable and, ultimately, immoral.

Re:Depends on what you mean by "right". (5, Interesting)

OECD (639690) | more than 7 years ago | (#20503483)

I do not really think that a "no copyright" world is the right way to go...

I'm not quite there (yet,) but the thing that I can't figure is:

The Founding Fathers (if I ever do a superhero spoof, that's the one) figured that fourteen years was enough.

In the interim, We figured out how to do printing much faster (that's my industry, so trust me on this one)

On top of that we figured out how to get copies out to potentially unlimited individuals (c.f., SPAM.)

So, why is copyright now longer (and more inclusive) than it was when the country was founded?

Re:Depends on what you mean by "right". (1)

jx100 (453615) | more than 7 years ago | (#20503543)

You've hit the nail right on the head. The legal rights given by copyright, while providing useful incentives for additions to known knowledge and culture, are also inherently limiting to those who want to actually make those additions.

These limits are largely ignored because, in my view, far too few people actually do anything to add to our intellectual body. And even when people are encouraged to add to our intellect, how often are they told to protect it and keep it close, and how often are they told to ultimately give it to the world for everyone's benefit?

Re:Depends on what you mean by "right". (1)

ShatteredArm (1123533) | more than 7 years ago | (#20503301)

Speech, maybe. I wouldn't say freedom of religion is a socially-granted right. The freedom to choose your own belief system is as intrinsic a human characteristic you can get. Even if you have the most hypothetically totalitarian regime possible, they can only control the physical actions of their constituents; not their thought process. They can try to take away your freedom of religion (or opinion/outlook/thought, which is really the same thing), but there is absolutely no way to enforce it. Maybe openly granting freedom of religion may be a relatively new creation, that freedom itself is built into humanity.

The distinction, I guess, would be that speech, copyrights, etc. are all detectable in some way, while beliefs can be completely hidden from any detection whatsoever.

Re:Depends on what you mean by "right". (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 7 years ago | (#20503327)

Freedom of religion and freedom of speech are as much socially-granted rights as fair use.
No they are not. In the sense that "inalienable" means a "natural right" the natural state is freedom of religion and freedom of expression. In other words, those rights are the default condition if nobody comes along and tries to fuck with you. The same thing goes for real property - because real property is rivalrous (only one person can use and/or occupy any particular place at a time) private ownership of real property is also a natural right. Just because people have been fucking with each other for time immemorium doesn't mean the fucked-with-state is the natural state.

Actually 'fair use' falls under the heading of "natural rights" too because copyright is not a natural right. Unless someone fucks with you, you can make as many copies of something as you want. So 'fair use' is actually just one aspect of the natural right that is freedom of expression.

Re:Depends on what you mean by "right". (1)

rossz (67331) | more than 7 years ago | (#20503519)

Freedom of religion and freedom of speech are as much socially-granted rights as fair use.


I don't know what country you are in, but in the U.S., freedom of religion and freedom of speech are "Natural Rights" (aka god given). They are NOT granted to you by the government or society. Yes, the government or society can take those away, just like they can take away your life, but that would be considered wrong and you would be within your Natural Rights to defend your other rights (yes, the right to bear arms is also a Natural Right).

If you are an American, you need to read up on the Constitution. I highly recommend the Federalist Papers. Not always an easy read, but packed full of what the People Who Were There meant.

Re:Depends on what you mean by "right". (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 7 years ago | (#20503065)

I think you basically summarized the column.

Re:Depends on what you mean by "right". (1)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 7 years ago | (#20503069)

I think there's a hair that needs splitting here. Access isn't a right, but once you've secured unfettered access, fair use of the material is a right, closely connected to free speech.

Re:Depends on what you mean by "right". (2, Interesting)

tshetter (854143) | more than 7 years ago | (#20503197)

Fair use is part of of Freedom of Speech/Press.

I am Free to use parts of copyrighted works as part of my commentary, aslong as it abides by the principles setforth in the Fair Use Doctrine.

'No part of this broadcast may be diseminated, reproduced, or rebroadcast without the express written permission of major leage baseball....'*
Is a LIE!

Yes I can diseminate information about it, and yes, I can rebroadcast part of it.
I can talk about Barry Bonds being a douche at the water cooler, and I can also post a video from MLB of him being a douche.

Posting whole movies, shows, and games to youtube isnt Fair Use, its copyright infringement. Posting a clip and talking about it is commentary.

Proper attribution of the source is the key here.
Same thing applies to books and news papers. Source it properly.

Use of DMCA to prevent Fair Use...dunno if that has been upheld is courts yet.
DeCSS wasnt speech....but thats the only case I remember involving DMCA and First Amendment issues being raised.
*or whatever the hell it really says...

/rant off, more beer.
/fsck spelling too. =D

Re:Depends on what you mean by "right". (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20503253)

It is not some "inalienable" God Given right like free speech or freedom of religion.
Neither is a copyright but that is not the point.

Creators are given a specific time period where they have exclusive control of the distribution rights of the work. It is a violation of the copyright law to distribute the files in a manner not consistent with what the copyright owner wants. This is to allow the copyright owner a period to profit from the creative work. The theory is we will have more creative works if there is incentive for people to create them. Fair use is not a violation of the copyright law because fair means you are not distributing the creative work, only a small portion of htat work that does not take away from the copyright owners potential profit. Enter the DMCA. Somehow the DCMA has changed all of that without actually changing the intent of the copyright laws. Creators are using the DMCA not to prevent fair use per say, but saying that any DMCA violation is a copyright violation. Is breaking the protection mechanism automatically mean you are violating the copyright of the file? IMHO, no, because you have not actually distributed anything. If that was the case, simply owning a non protected file would be considered a copyright voilation. Think of it this way.

You buy a AAC DRM music file and strip off the DRM leaving you with an unprotected file against the wishes of the owner. The MPAA and RIAA are saying that is a copyright and a DMCA violation by that act alone. Now, buy that same music file on an audio CD. The file was never protected with DRM and that is not considered a copyright violation until you actually distribute a copy of it. Distributing the file is the violation! Removing the DRM is not distributing the file and is not taking away the tmeporry right the owner has of being the sole distributor of that file given by the copyright law. Somehow copyright law and distribution became a law about what you can do with that creative work other then just distributing it.

You are right though, what is fair use would be up to a court to decide. Think Ice Ice Baby.

Re:Depends on what you mean by "right". (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 7 years ago | (#20503363)

> It is a violation of the copyright law to distribute the files in a manner not consistent with what the copyright owner wants.

No. It's a violation of copyright law to make copies of works without the permission of the author.

Distribution is an entirely other matter and tends to step into another nice little land mine: the first sale doctrine.

Copyright is not an excuse for authors to run amok and pretend they are Brain or Dr. Evil. The megalomania is not supported by the law.

Although media moguls are doing their best to distort the law in that direction.

Re:Depends on what you mean by "right". (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20503343)

Yes, we all do have a God-given right to do so. If you make up a story and tell it to me, I have every right to tell it to someone else. Or to sing any song I want. Or to paint a picture that looks just like one I've seen. It is only copyright law that DENIES me those rights. You have it backwards, sir. There is no God-given right to STOP copying ideas.

Re:Depends on what you mean by "right". (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20503515)

From Wikipedia:

Fair use is a doctrine in United States copyright law that allows limited use of copyrighted material without requiring permission from the rights holders, such as use for scholarship or review. It provides for the legal, non-licensed citation or incorporation of copyrighted material in another author's work under a four-factor balancing test. It is based on free speech rights provided by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution

So actually, fair use is based on the inalienable right to free speech - that's not to say it doesn't have restrictions. But it ridiculous to claim that fair use is not a law - think for instance the Daily Show and other programs that satarize media, politics, critique books, etc. Furthermore, plenty of teachers take newspaper, journal or other media excerpts (legally and rightfully) for the purposes of education.

If you look at other countries with similar copyright right rules, they have something equivalent to fair use, which demonstrates its common sense and ubiquity.

Fist prost! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20502981)

Haven't the courts decided this already? That consumers do have some rights to the use of media that they have purchased access to...

Should free speech trump copyright? (1)

davidwr (791652) | more than 7 years ago | (#20503001)

Like all amendments, the 1st amendment theoretically supersedes any conflicting provisions that existed before it. On its face this means any copyright law or court injunction pursuant to such a law which prohibits you from saying what's already been opyrighted by someone else is unconstitutional. For better or for worse, courts haven't seen it that way in most cases.

Re:Should free speech trump copyright? (1)

elyk (970302) | more than 7 years ago | (#20503025)

The media companies have probably argued their way out of that one by claiming that such free speech is the IP equivalent of shouting fire in a crowded theater - it poses a clear and present danger to their business model.

Re:Should free speech trump copyright? (1)

jakepmatthews (1142845) | more than 7 years ago | (#20503103)

What? I'm trying to follow you but i got confused? could you explain?

Scum (1)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 7 years ago | (#20503013)

The CCIA is scum, and there's no point in mincing words about it.

They'll win (1)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 7 years ago | (#20503015)

Old people don't vote, and Gen Y and Z just pirate stuff anyway, or accept YouTube quality audio as acceptable.

How's it feel to be a marginalized demographic, Slashdotters?

Can we finally label these people as terrorists? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20503023)

(Ab)using the legal system like it was some crude bludgeon to scare people with John Doe subpoenas, claiming insane 'damages', and now trying to claim every person who's ever copied a song from their CD to MP3 player is a pirate because 'fair use' isn't a 'right'... how are scum like these not being classified as terrorists when their entire tactic to 'protect' their intellectual property is to terrorize innocent consumers?

They're a bunch of dicks.. (1, Funny)

brxndxn (461473) | more than 7 years ago | (#20503051)

If they had their way, they'd make it their right to take our money no matter what they did. So, I consider it my right to do whatever I want with it despite whether or not I pay for it. They want the extreme; I'll present the opposite end of that extreme.

In a word, bullshit. (4, Insightful)

jcr (53032) | more than 7 years ago | (#20503061)

The only reason that we issue copyrights and patents is to encourage producers to create and invent new works. Copyright isn't a right at all, it's a privilege which we the people grant to copyright holders, for limited times, for the benefit of the public.

-jcr

Apple not a part of the copyright alliance. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20503227)

If *only* Steve Jobs was on the board of one of these companies - we'd soon see a stop to this.

Anti-DRM, pro fair use Steve Jobs would never allow a company he sat on to act like this.

Microsoft Playing Both Sides? (1)

Nymz (905908) | more than 7 years ago | (#20503263)

Is it possible to believe that reasonable copyright protections can benefit society, while at the same time support a citizens fair-usage of those same materials? Because I don't care much for the either/or extreme positions, that of DRM lockdown of everything, or that of zero protections for ones work.

Re:Microsoft Playing Both Sides? (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 7 years ago | (#20503385)

Sane, sensible, LIMITED copyright terms go a long way in providing this.

Yank away from George and RK the standing to harrass other authors and a lot of the problem disappears.

Re:In a word, bullshit. (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 7 years ago | (#20503533)

it's a privilege which we the people grant to copyright holders
Shya. If "we the people" can't take it away at will then it isn't a "privilege" that we "grant".

The only good thing that can be said about copyright is that most the time it isn't enforced.

I'm not which this is the case of (1)

brennz (715237) | more than 7 years ago | (#20503063)

It could be that he is a flat-earth adherent, stating something that quite obviously isn't so.

Or

He could be a fifth column, the leader of an organization, sabotaging their PR from within by his foolish arguments.

I'm leaning towards the former.

It's not hopeless (1)

ookabooka (731013) | more than 7 years ago | (#20503073)

You know we here at slashdot see all sorts of these stories, about how the laws are being made by corporations, about how they want to take as many rights away from consumers as possible and so form an "evil" alliance with the government. While I do think that corporate lobbying is a horrible flaw in our legislative system, I have hope through the judicial system. As long as our peers are the ones to determine if Mrs. Johnson should pay 1.2 million for listening to a song she couldn't find anywhere else we should be fine. Jury nullification [wikipedia.org] is a great check & balance against a flawed legislative system. With that said I am disgusted with the current trend in copyright laws in lieu of the dawn of the information age, but I haven't lost hope. Still that doesn't mean we should sit idly by, send a snail mail letter to whoever represents you, ask them for their opinion on these matters and explain yours.

Hmmmm.....Then Copyright is not a "right" either.. (3, Insightful)

Dr_Marvin_Monroe (550052) | more than 7 years ago | (#20503083)

Seems to me that "fair-use" is an important part of the balance that's been struck between the copyright holders and the public. If they're saying that it's not included in "copyright," then perhaps we all should consider the whole deal is off. Hollywood is pulling the typical negotiation game here. First, they get the extensions in copyright length. Then they try to pull "fair-use" off the table and expect all of the other negotiated points (extensions, DMCA, etc.) to stick.

If they want re-negotiate, perhaps we should go back to the way it was originally setup in the constitution and start back from there. Full and exclusive copyright only lasts 17 years. Period. No extensions of any type. That's my best offer.

Hollywood is playing a very dangerous game here. Public opinion is pretty much against them, while we're re-defining copyright perhaps we should put this up for a referendum?

Repeat It Enough Times (1, Insightful)

asphaltjesus (978804) | more than 7 years ago | (#20503089)

And it will certainly sound like the truth.

Which meets the objective of the whole cartel.

obama hillary + cash + disney abc nbc cbs = happy (1, Troll)

kcokane (253536) | more than 7 years ago | (#20503111)

The ruling class takes cash from Disney and Disney calls the shots. Any surprise there? you may think the pols are your friend but, no, they like their bankers better. Much better. But, if they smile at you, you'll understand, won't you?

Pardon me? (5, Insightful)

downix (84795) | more than 7 years ago | (#20503125)

Last time I checked, Copyright, was not a "god-given" or even constitutionally guaranteed right. Copyright is a right granted by the people, and it is a right that can be revoked by the people. The right was granted for a temporary (repeat, temporary) monopoly to a given work, in exchange for a public record to be kept in the library of congress, stored for future generations. In addition, copyright included provisions to not harm the common citizens for utilizing their own copies of such works as they see fit. Otherwise, copyright holders could impose ludicrus and rediculous limitations, such as "if you watch this... no, if you even recieve a copy of this, watched or not, you must agree to sleep with the director" and, if these guys have their interpretations of copyright forced on us, we would be obliged!

So, I shall be publishing a short copywritten piece shortly with just this provision in it, and if anyone knows the guys behind this push, feel free to send copies to them, I insist....

Well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20503189)

Actually, the Constitution DOES say that Congress *may* create copyrights, but it doesn't actually spell out those rights, require Congress to do so, and lists an oft-ignored purpose of advancing arts and sciences. A purpose which has been replaced with "making money" with the cover story that government created monopolies are subject to free market forces which therefore guarantee advancement.

Re:Pardon me? (3, Insightful)

belmolis (702863) | more than 7 years ago | (#20503243)

Actually, the authority of the federal government to issue copyrights is directly provided for in the Constitution. One of the powers granted to Congress in Article I, Section 8 is: (Clause 8)

To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;

Re:Pardon me? (1)

bnenning (58349) | more than 7 years ago | (#20503575)

Sure, but that only says that Congress *can* establish copyrights, not that they *must*. Congress can also declare war, but it's not our god-given duty to invade Paraguay. We could abolish all copyright tomorrow and it would be perfectly constitutional. (Although there might be 5th Amendment takings issues which would require compensating holders of existing copyrights).

Re:Pardon me? (3, Informative)

IvyKing (732111) | more than 7 years ago | (#20503611)

Copyright is a right granted by the people, and it is a right that can be revoked by the people.


The origin of copyright was the king granting the right for printers to print copies of a book and that's why the term 'royalty' shows up when talking about payments involving copyrighted works. The idea that ordinary people, as opposed to the landed gentry, can own property is a relatively recent one (ca. 1700).

Now what makes all this a farce is that it is virtually impossible to create an all but the simplest copyrighted work without making use of works copyrighted by others.


Slightly off-topic rant: One of the examples used in favor of extending the term of copyright was to allow Harold Loyd's granddaughter(?) to earn some money by re-releasing his movies. At the same time, Hollyweird basically told the widow of the captain of the boat that inspired "The Perfect Storm" that she was SOL in regards to mis-portrayal of her husband in the movie.

Copyright Progress (4, Informative)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 7 years ago | (#20503131)

Here's all the power there is to deal with our rights to free expression:

Amendment I [cornell.edu]
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press;

Article I.8 [cornell.edu]
The Congress shall have power to [...] promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries;


Congress can make an exception to protecting our rights to free expression (like copying someone else's expression) where economics requires exclusivity of some expressions to promote progress in science and useful arts. But only where necessary for that promotion of progress, and only for limited times - and only to authors and inventors. Not when economics doesn't require the exemption. Not for unlimited (or so long that the limits are effectively meaningless, or renewable) times. And not to record labels, which are neither authors nor inventors.

The "fair use" isn't some exception to copyright. It's the basic right, to free expression. In recognition of its nonthreat to progress, the exclusivity, the artificial monopoly that Congress can create, doesn't apply to that free expression.

The whole copyright exclusivity is obsolete. There's a case for very short times for exclusive exploitation, different lengths for different media, before the content becomes folklore. But these Copyright Alliance creeps are just thieves. Using our government against us. Trashing the First Amendment we use to get our government to protect us. And exploiting beyond any defensible reason their license to mint money that they find in Article I.8.

Let's take them up on their offer to start over. And strip down these artificial government monopolies to actually promote science and the useful arts. 17 years for books and songs, shorter for the rest, maybe a day for news, maybe 15 minutes for financial news. That's progress.

Re:Copyright Progress (1)

ShatteredArm (1123533) | more than 7 years ago | (#20503371)

17 years for books and songs is even a bit long. It would seem that even a decade is more than enough time for the copyright holder to have a chance to get first dibs at it. Anything else is only impeding the progress of art. Besides that, there are those who have copyrights specifically to block progress of a work of art. "Only we can release this, and we're not going to release it." How is that helping the art progress?

Wait a minute.... (1)

Nero Nimbus (1104415) | more than 7 years ago | (#20503133)

First, Microsoft pretty much laughed openly about buying the OOXML vote in Sweden, and now they're openly backing both sides of the argument in this case? Has the borg finally decided to quit pretending, and just display its true form to all who can bear to gaze upon it?

Re:Wait a minute.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20503229)

Sure. Who is going to care enough to stop them? Certainly the US Govt. has shown that it does not care what MS does anymore.

Re:Wait a minute.... (1)

AusIV (950840) | more than 7 years ago | (#20503505)

I'm no fan of Microsoft (particularly what with the OOXML vote in Sweden), but I'm also not a fan of sensational journalism.


Microsoft has expressly backed the CCIA's complaint regarding fair use. This makes economic sense for them, as they have some media related products that depend on fair use in order to be legal (as far as Microsoft cares about being legal).

They have also backed the Copyright Alliance, which generally benefits them because without copyright laws, they'd have little ability to prevent people from freely distributing their product. There's nothing to suggest that Microsoft supports this particular opinion piece from one representative (albeit the executive director) of the Copyright Alliance.

There's no duplicity here. Just because Microsoft generally agrees with the platform of the Copyright Alliance does not mean they agree with all of the overzealous statements made by its representatives. I know plenty of people who support open source, but disagree with RMS when he gets a bit overzealous.

Coming out the closet is so liberating (1)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 7 years ago | (#20503619)

It is far easier to be MS when you don't have to pretend any more.

The "Right" of Copyright (4, Insightful)

rlp (11898) | more than 7 years ago | (#20503157)

Copyright is a temporary suspension of the free speech rights of others. It was intended by the founders as a short-term suspension of free speech in order to encourage authors / artists and provide them with a livelihood during their lifetime. It's long past time to reign in perpetual copyright and return it to that original limited form.

Actually... (4, Insightful)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 7 years ago | (#20503161)

I don't think we want copyright warnings to become a fair use public service announcement.

Actually, yes we do.

Consumer vs citizen rights... huh? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20503173)

I'm kind of worried about the sort of language being used nowadays. In the media, and by corporations, people are increasingly being referred to as 'consumers', whereas in the past they were more referred to as 'citizens'. I think this kind of language subtly displays a sort of attempted disassociation of people with their rights through getting them to think of themselves not as citizens, with all their inalienable and somewhat inconvenient (for corporations) rights, but mere consumers of products with somewhat more alienable "consumer rights", belittling them in the process. Merely using the term "consumer rights" implies that they are somehow separate from "citizens rights". This has shades of the somewhat fascist book "Starship Troopers" IMHO, with its distinction of citizens and civilians.

and buying their goods is not a necessity (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20503195)

if it was fair use would be required. But as it's not we can take our money elsewhere.

Got lube? (3, Funny)

Orange Crush (934731) | more than 7 years ago | (#20503199)

Because I *so* enjoy being told to bend over and brace myself. As a consumer, I work to get money. Then I hand that money to companies that make things I like. Some of these things are intangible--like music and movies and in some rare cases . . . art. Since it's hard to make money off of intangible things (since media and transmission is relatively cheap) I'll allow laws to grant companies exclusive distribution rights so they can make profit and keep making stuff I like.

*My airwaves* *My nation's laws* *My consent* *My money*

#1 & #2 were long since auctioned off. #3 has been rendered imaginary. I still have power over #4, and guess what I'm not shelling out for crap I don't want anymore?

(and why the hell doesn't slashdot have a +1 drunken rant!? Or -1 drunken rant . . . or even Z@!I#NV j60o

You still have control over money? (1)

Aetuneo (1130295) | more than 7 years ago | (#20503347)

Actually, with the recent push to replace physical money with credit cards (at least according to a lot of ads I've seen recently), and the increasing (okay, almost absolute) prominence of credit or debit cards for major purchases, you don't even control your money anymore. Corporations that are governed by laws, which, according to you, have been auctioned off, control most of your money, and, once they control the laws, can do whatever they want with it. Basically, they let you think you have control of their money because it helps prevent rebellion against the government, which would collapse their entire system. (None of the above should be taken as advice, fact, or as anything other than random musings from a parallel universe. If any of it happens to be true, it is simply by coincidence).

The article is oversimplified and confusing (4, Informative)

belmolis (702863) | more than 7 years ago | (#20503211)

The argument that Ross appears to make is a non-sequitur. He says that fair use is not a consumer right because it is an affirmative defense to copyright infringement. There's no connection between the two. For those who don't know, an "affirmative defense" is a defense that does negate an essential element of the charge. For example, if you are charged with murder, one defense that you could offer is the prosecution hasn't demonstrated that you were the one who committed the murder. Another defense would be that the prosecution has not shown that a homicide occurred (if, say, there is no body). These are non-affirmative defenses because all the defense has to do is to argue that the prosecution has failed to meet some part of its burden. Another defense to a murder charge is self-defense. Self-defense is an affirmative defense. The defendant admits that a homicide occurred, that he or she did it, etc., but argues that he or she is nonetheless not legally responsible.

In the case of copyright infringement, civil or criminal, fair use is an affirmative defense because the defendant admits the elements. He or she says: "Yes, I copied material whose copyright does not belong to me", which is the essence of copyright infringement, but its okay because the use was of a type that the law acknowledges as acceptable, just as self-defense is an acceptable reason for killing someone.

There is no reason to suppose that there should be a connection between whether a defense is affirmative or ordinary and whether it is a right. For example, surely self-defense is a right, but it is nonetheless an affirmative, not ordinary, defense. So the mere fact that fair use is an affirmative defense does not show, as Ross seems to think, that fair use is not a right.

The possible grain of truth in what he says is that the fact that fair use is a defense to copyright infringement does not mean that it is a right whose violation is actionable. Statements that describe copyright infringment in absolute terms, without mentioning fair use, are inaccurate, and possibly constitute deceptive advertising, but whether consumers have a legal right to fair use that makes technical measures, such as DRM, that interfere with fair use, actionable, is unclear. There is a colorable argument that there is a fair use right in this sense, which is what the plaintiffs are arguing, but it is also true that this has not been established in court.

So, insofar as Ross is claiming that there is some sort of connection between the kind of defense provided by fair use and whether it is a right, he is wrong, but insofar as he is just claiming that the provision of fair use as a defense does not make it a right, what he says is true. I personally think that fair use is a right, for First Amendment reasons, but this right flows from the First Amendment and not from the fair use provisions of the copyright statutes.

Re:The article is oversimplified and confusing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20503401)

For those who don't know, an "affirmative defense" is a defense that does negate an essential element of the charge.

More specifically, an affirmative defense is one that has such an effect even when the facts of the charge are not in dispute. Sort of like a mitigating circumstance, except more absolute. The burden of proof for such defenses is on the defendant, and can quite easily challenged by the plantiff in many cases. Fair use is a really hard one to prove unless you're a journalist or educator.

Finally!!! (2, Insightful)

cunamara (937584) | more than 7 years ago | (#20503215)

It's about time that these folks laid out their agenda explicitly. No need for conspiracy theories when it's out on the table.

music is evolving (5, Interesting)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 7 years ago | (#20503219)

movies aren't. the movie house business is going gang busters, but the dvd after market will fizzle (which evolved from the vhs aftermarket, which these same morons fought with the same rationalizations you hear now, 30 years ago, lost, and came to embrace the vcr as a cash cow. nice foresight, x2)

music will become something people only pay for to go to live concerts. all other music will be freely traded, and musicians will make money from advertising and abovementioned concerts. no, it's not jayz money. as if that was ever a prerequisite for the desire to make music

the only people who are losing are the economic middle men. all we hear are the cries of their death throes. zzz

let them lock up their copyrighted works with all of the advanced tools of copyright protection they want. #1: it's easily defeated anyway. #2: much like newspapers have learned, it's all about accessibility. so let the morons make their product inaccessible, and reap the fruits of that genius strategy in a new world with new rules

all we hear are from idiots in media companies who don't understand what the internet means to their business, or desperate men who do understand what the internet means to their business: it's killing it

oh well, who cares. sucks to be on the losing side of history

Re:music is evolving (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20503405)

Damn! Sometimes you do actually appear to ride the clue train. Who would have guessed?

PS, I suggest "Bebot Aswang." What a freaky-deaky movie that would be.

Re:music is evolving (1)

pipingguy (566974) | more than 7 years ago | (#20503523)

the only people who are losing are the economic middle men

And for good reason: they typically don't have to actually PRODUCE anything, they just shuffle stuff around and take money off the top. When that is gone, what do they have left? You bet they're going to fight tooth-and-nail!

Why I No Longer Respect Copyrights (2, Insightful)

TheMiddleRoad (1153113) | more than 7 years ago | (#20503221)

It's idiocy like this that makes me no longer respect copyrights. Yes, I want artists to get paid, but I'm no longer willing to go through a leeching middleman.

Legal advice? (4, Interesting)

Pearson (953531) | more than 7 years ago | (#20503231)

FTA: "So, how exactly would the FTC rewrite these copyright notices to reflect a consumer's ability to attempt a fair use defense? Should they paste in all of the above language? We're wading into the area of providing legal advice"

He is basically arguing that Fair Use is so complicated that explaining it to people constitutes legal advice. Yet he admits that the notices currently in place are simply scare tactics.

"these warnings do exactly what they're meant to do--notify consumers in a succinct fashion that infringement has legal consequences."

In essence, he's saying "Our rights are easier to describe than yours, so we'll forget about yours."

Consumer Right? Ill tell them their rights... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20503459)

Us buying their products is not their right. The sellers and retailer do not control this market place the CONSUMERS DO! We need to take back our control of the market place before this gets too out of hand. The fact that people pay extreme prices for cell phone ringtones that are 30 seconds long is proof of the market slipping out of control. All we need to do is save our money and put it way instead of wasting it on software and music and games that don't give us what we truly want and those who don't will suffer. I really think they need to study up on United States History.
This is almost as bad as someone saying /. doesn't have the right to moderate post negatively. Although I hope you don't :P

Corporations Need to be Smacked Down! (5, Insightful)

tjstork (137384) | more than 7 years ago | (#20503463)

Dear God, I pride myself on being a right wing troll, and I am capitalist to the core, but when companies start a public campaign to deceive citizens into thinking they have no rights in order to make a buck, then a line in the sand must be drawn.

The fact is very simple - corporations have less of a right to exist than consumers have of a fair use in copyright, and, even more importantly, the desirability of corporate profits does not entitle them into twisting laws to create an oligarchy. Capitalism exists as an American system to benefit the American people, and not the other way around. Corporations are no more entitled to rent seeking and guaranteed profits than a lazy man is entitled to a government check. If corporations want to earn more money, then they should be compelled to invent new products and new services, not attempt to bend the will of the government and the soul of the people into being enslaved into old products, old services, and worst of all, old ideas.

My fellow Republicans need to be reminded that to be a genuine conservative is to value freedom first and foremost. From that freedom we do have a prosperous society, yes, but prosperity is not why we value freedom and we should not let our greed rule deceive us into believing that the point of freedom is profits for someone else. There will come a time, and it may be soon, when we have to choose between freedom versus wealth, and we can only hope that men of good conscience will have to see that the former is always priceless.

My Generation (3, Interesting)

SMacD (1140995) | more than 7 years ago | (#20503469)

I've been reading stories about the DMCA, DRM, and stuff like this restriction of fair use on slashdot for a few years now. The more I read about it, the more I start getting the feeling that when my generation (teens-twenties) comes into power in the next 15-20 years, that we're so fed up with this shit that we'll abolish patents and copyright altogether, if it hasn't been done already by then. At the very least, restrict it to a very short time limit. 6 months, maybe a year.

I can see the point in copyrights and patents, but these companies have gotten so power hungry and greedy that they've really started abusing the system. I have started thinking that maybe they don't deserve the system's help. Companies like Coca-Cola have managed to make it well over a century without needing a patent or copyright on their main money-making formula. I believe that any intelligent businessman will be able to make money on any product whether or not they have a copyright/patent or not. The copyright system has become a crutch for extremely outdated business models that have been rendered obsolete.

The Fair Use kit for DVD/Mac OS (2, Insightful)

Chris Tucker (302549) | more than 7 years ago | (#20503489)

#1, Mac The Ripper.

#2, Toast Titanium.

Use #1, then #2, then enjoy viewing your unencumbered, non-copy protected, de-DRMed, region free backup copies of your inexpensive previously viewed DVDs via your DVD player, on your computer, and, by using Visual Hub, on your iPod, PSP, or other PMP device.

Don't buy new DVDs. Get them used from your locally owned independent used CD/DVD shops or eBay. You'll save money and won't be putting money into the pockets of the MPAA affiliated studios or Blockbuster.

Translation (1)

JoeCommodore (567479) | more than 7 years ago | (#20503579)

If companies can't make money from it - it's not fair.
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