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Rumors of a 'Whisper Campaign' Forming Against Fair Use

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the not-stronger-quicker-easier-more-seductive dept.

Censorship 174

An anonymous reader writes "Ars Technica reports that a group of companies and organizations it calls 'big content' is currently engaged in a worldwide 'whisper campaign' against Fair Use. 'The counter-reformation in question takes the form of a "whispering campaign" in which ministries in different countries are told that plans to expand fair use rights might well run afoul of the Berne Convention's "three-step test." The Convention, which goes back to the late 1800s, was one of the earliest international copyright treaties and is now administered by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).'"

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rumors of disempowerment of corepirate nazis... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22998998)

are turning into real demands for atonement. let yOUR conscience be yOUR guide. you can be more helpful than you might have imagined. there are still some choices. if they do not suit you, consider the likely results of continuing to follow the corepirate nazi hypenosys story LIEn, whereas anything of relevance is replaced almost instantly with pr ?firm? scriptdead mindphuking propaganda or 'celebrity' trivia 'foam'. meanwhile; don't forget to get a little more oxygen on yOUR brain, & look up in the sky from time to time, starting early in the day. there's lots going on up there.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20071229/ap_on_sc/ye_climate_records;_ylt=A0WTcVgednZHP2gB9wms0NUE [yahoo.com]
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20080108/ts_alt_afp/ushealthfrancemortality;_ylt=A9G_RngbRIVHsYAAfCas0NUE [yahoo.com]
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/31/opinion/31mon1.html?em&ex=1199336400&en=c4b5414371631707&ei=5087%0A [nytimes.com]

is it time to get real yet? A LOT of energy is being squandered in attempts to keep US in the dark. in the end (give or take a few 1000 years), the creators will prevail (world without end, etc...), as it has always been. the process of gaining yOUR release from the current hostage situation may not be what you might think it is. butt of course, most of US don't know, or care what a precarious/fatal situation we're in. for example; the insidious attempts by the felonious corepirate nazi execrable to block the suns' light, interfering with a requirement (sunlight) for us to stay healthy/alive. it's likely not good for yOUR health/memories 'else they'd be bragging about it? we're intending for the whoreabully deceptive (they'll do ANYTHING for a bit more monIE/power) felons to give up/fail even further, in attempting to control the 'weather', as well as a # of other things/events.

http://video.google.com/videosearch?hl=en&q=video+cloud+spraying [google.com]

dictator style micro management has never worked (for very long). it's an illness. tie that with life0cidal aggression & softwar gangster style bullying, & what do we have? a greed/fear/ego based recipe for disaster. meanwhile, you can help to stop the bleeding (loss of life & limb);

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/12/28/vermont.banning.bush.ap/index.html [cnn.com]

the bleeding must be stopped before any healing can begin. jailing a couple of corepirate nazi hired goons would send a clear message to the rest of the world from US. any truthful look at the 'scorecard' would reveal that we are a society in decline/deep doo-doo, despite all of the scriptdead pr ?firm? generated drum beating & flag waving propaganda that we are constantly bombarded with. is it time to get real yet? please consider carefully ALL of yOUR other 'options'. the creators will prevail. as it has always been.

corepirate nazi execrable costs outweigh benefits
(Score:-)mynuts won, the king is a fink)
by ourselves on everyday 24/7

as there are no benefits, just more&more death/debt & disruption. fortunately there's an 'army' of light bringers, coming yOUR way. the little ones/innocents must/will be protected. after the big flash, ALL of yOUR imaginary 'borders' may blur a bit? for each of the creators' innocents harmed in any way, there is a debt that must/will be repaid by you/us, as the perpetrators/minions of unprecedented evile, will not be available. 'vote' with (what's left in) yOUR wallet, & by your behaviors. help bring an end to unprecedented evile's manifestation through yOUR owned felonious corepirate nazi glowbull warmongering execrable. some of US should consider ourselves somewhat fortunate to be among those scheduled to survive after the big flash/implementation of the creators' wwwildly popular planet/population rescue initiative/mandate. it's right in the manual, 'world without end', etc.... as we all ?know?, change is inevitable, & denying/ignoring gravity, logic, morality, etc..., is only possible, on a temporary basis. concern about the course of events that will occur should the life0cidal execrable fail to be intervened upon is in order. 'do not be dismayed' (also from the manual). however, it's ok/recommended, to not attempt to live under/accept, fauxking nazi felon greed/fear/ego based pr ?firm? scriptdead mindphuking hypenosys.

consult with/trust in yOUR creators. providing more than enough of everything for everyone (without any distracting/spiritdead personal gain motives), whilst badtolling unprecedented evile, using an unlimited supply of newclear power, since/until forever. see you there?

"If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."

meanwhile, the life0cidal philistines continue on their path of death, debt, & disruption for most of US. gov. bush denies health care for the little ones;

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/10/03/bush.veto/index.html [cnn.com]

whilst demanding/extorting billions to paint more targets on the bigger kids;

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/12/12/bush.war.funding/index.html [cnn.com]

& pretending that it isn't happening here;

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/article3086937.ece [timesonline.co.uk]
all is not lost/forgotten/forgiven

(yOUR elected) president al gore (deciding not to wait for the much anticipated 'lonesome al answers yOUR questions' interview here on /.) continues to attempt to shed some light on yOUR foibles. talk about reverse polarity;

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article3046116.ece [timesonline.co.uk]

Leeches (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22999002)

I wish they would just choke on their own corruption. But then the evil spirit might come out of them, and then we'd all be screwed.

Re:Leeches (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22999852)

I thought that was the entire basis of Scientology? Evil spirits wandering around and re-inhabiting random vessels.

Re:Leeches (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23000132)

I thought that was the entire basis of Scientology? Evil spirits wandering around and re-inhabiting random vessels.

I'm not the same AC as this guy, but it's funny he mentions them in the context of a "whisper campaign" against fair use.

Sonny Bono was a Scilon and a Congressman. In 1998, he didn't just argue for copyright extension, he got the Mickey Mouse Protection Act named after him: The Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act (CTEA).

The Scilons, via Bono and via the rest of their Hollywood connections, were strong advocates for the DMCA. Within months of its passage, they were using DMCA threats to out critics and open them up for further harassment. They've used the DMCA as a legal cudgel against everyone from Google (they tried to prevent Google from linking to critics' sites) to Slashdot (the only time in Slashdot history that the Editors have been forced to delete a post).

Using back channels to lobby for the end of fair use would be a major legislative victory for the Scilons; the only reason they don't sue on the basis of the phrase "seventy-five million years ago" is because they'd be laughed out of court. Under cult doctrine, "the purpose of a lawsuit is not to win, but to harass", and if fair use (using quotations from cult materials for purposes of parody, expression, or criticism) goes away, they'd have standing to file such suits.

That AC's closer to the truth than he knows. It wouldn't surprise me one damn bit to see the Scilons behind this.

Re:Leeches (2, Interesting)

nickj6282 (896871) | more than 6 years ago | (#23001544)

I was wondering if Scilon [hijinksensue.com] was going to catch on. For me, this is my first sighting "in the wild". Kudos!

Re:Leeches (1)

Beefaroni (1229886) | more than 6 years ago | (#23000012)

ya what this world needs is another world bureaucracy with zero accountability.

Re:Leeches (1)

Romancer (19668) | more than 6 years ago | (#23000524)

We are El Asso WIPO and we will break fair use like SO, With our knee?

That's not how I heard it... (5, Funny)

loimprevisto (910035) | more than 6 years ago | (#22999022)

I heard whispers of a rumor campaign- thanks, Slashdot for setting me straight!

Re:That's not how I heard it... (5, Insightful)

Otter (3800) | more than 6 years ago | (#22999232)

The irony of completely fact-free scaremongering about a "whisper campaign seems to have been missed by all parties...

Re:That's not how I heard it... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23000048)

You mean "hypocrisy", not "irony".

Re:That's not how I heard it... (2, Interesting)

Teflon_Jeff (1221290) | more than 6 years ago | (#23001966)

I love how this is basically a self-sulfilling rumor.

By mentioning it, people will talk about, which will lead to wider distribution, etc.

Yes, I love the Irony as well.

Anyone remember when... (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22999248)

Bill Clinton was blasting his Presidential semen all over Monica's face? Here's to a return to the good old days, when we were blissfully ignorant about the true nature of Islam, and when battling terrorists only involved lobbing a missile at an aspirin factory. Ice Queen for Prez in '08!

Re:Anyone remember when... (3, Insightful)

MrNaz (730548) | more than 6 years ago | (#23000918)

As a Muslim, I'm interested to hear just what you think the "true nature of Islam" is, Mr AC.

Re:Anyone remember when... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23001120)

As an atheist, why become a muslim?

Re:Anyone remember when... (2)

MrNaz (730548) | more than 6 years ago | (#23001762)

If you're asking me why *you* should become a Muslim then I don't have an answer for you, contrary to what you might think thanks to the media, Muslims believe that there is no compulsion in religion.

If you're asking me why *I* am a Muslim, I'll answer that it enriches my life in ways that I cannot explain using the blunt tool we call language.

Re:That's not how I heard it... (1)

sgilti (668665) | more than 6 years ago | (#23000078)

..spending millions of dollars on Manhattan Melodies....

The "3 steps" (5, Insightful)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 6 years ago | (#22999032)

Members shall confine limitations and exceptions to exclusive rights to certain special cases which do not conflict with a normal exploitation of the work and do not unreasonably prejudice the legitimate interests of the rights holder.

According to Wikipedia, the three steps are:

1) certain special cases
2) do not conflict with normal exploitation of the work
3) do not unreasonably prejudice the legitimate interests of the rights holder

I'm no lawyer, so I don't have the background to understand that kind of gobbledygook. Maybe that's the problem. Maybe laws written for the sake of the governed should be written in a language they understand.

Re:The "3 steps" (4, Insightful)

BiggerIsBetter (682164) | more than 6 years ago | (#22999088)

Maybe laws written for the sake of the governed should be written in a language they understand.
Are any laws truly written for the sake of the governed?

Re:The "3 steps" (2, Interesting)

Jurily (900488) | more than 6 years ago | (#22999470)

They were, back when the US was founded...

Re:The "3 steps" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23000502)

yeah, the basics -- don't murder, don't steal; everything else is just the seeds in the grapes.

Re:The "3 steps" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23002030)

As one of the governed, I'd like to think laws written to prevent people from murdering me, raping me, or stealing from me are written for my sake.

Also, take a look at the Bill of Rights and let me know how those are not for the governed.

There's good things that can come out of laws - we just need to get back to understanding government as a social contract rather than as an authority.

Re:The "3 steps" (3, Insightful)

Torvaun (1040898) | more than 6 years ago | (#22999388)

Remember, the governed also refer to evolution as "only" a theory, and consider it on par with their own random thoughts. They will also borrow something to you instead of lending it to you, completely fail at verb conjugations, and generally maim any segment of the language they can pass through their mouth. There is no language they understand.

Re:The "3 steps" (1, Interesting)

siride (974284) | more than 6 years ago | (#22999658)

What's wrong with "borrow to"? Those verbs have never had a strong fixed meaning in Germanic languages. In German they are somewhat interchangeable in certain circumstances. Same with "bring" and "take". The only ignorance is on the part of the grammar freaks who think they actually know anything about how language works.

Re:The "3 steps" (1)

pxlmusic (1147117) | more than 6 years ago | (#22999932)

like people who say "on today", "on tomorrow", or "on yesterday" -- goddamnit that bothers me. /rant off

Re:The "3 steps" (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23000006)

What's wrong with "borrow to"? Those verbs have never had a strong fixed meaning in Germanic languages.

We're not speaking German and it has a strong fixed meaning in English. You aren't allowed to make up your own rules. Sure rules change over time, but not because of slang.

Re:The "3 steps" (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23000168)

Sure rules change over time, but not because of slang.
So how else do you expect this happens? By divine decree?

Re:The "3 steps" (1)

MrNaz (730548) | more than 6 years ago | (#23001004)

I am not a linguist, but I sure as hell hope that language doesn't change because the lowest common denominator of society fails to grasp the rules of grammar. If that were the case, our linguistic evolution would end up with us sounding rather like our knuckle dragging neanderthal forebears. Come to think of it, many people already do...

Re:The "3 steps" (2)

phatlipmojo (106574) | more than 6 years ago | (#23000346)

I'm pretty sure I went to high school with you. Let me guess: you also think the beer is way better in Germany, freeways should have no speed limits like the autobahn, the coffee in America sucks, and we'll never understand real Gummi Bears over here, right? Oh, and you've never been wrong about anything.

The point you're trying to make here would be all well and good if we were talking about (or, you know, speaking) German. But we're not. And while English has plenty of Germanic roots, it's also got plenty of other roots.
Furthermore, you cite a few very specific examples of words with flexible definitions (in a foreign language, under specific circumstances) as part of your little hissy fit about 'grammar freaks', but at some point, words have to have definitions and language has to have rules, or its functions (communication, higher cognition) are limited. I'm sorry that cramps your style, but that's the way it goes.

Re:The "3 steps" (1)

Gr8Apes (679165) | more than 6 years ago | (#23001608)

Let me guess: you also think the beer is way better in Germany
Better than the US? Sure. Better than Belgium? No way.

freeways should have no speed limits like the autobahn
Absolutely, and trucks should be limited to 80 kph and the right lane or two along with slower traffic.... (that'd be 50 mph)

the coffee in America sucks
goes without saying

and we'll never understand real Gummi Bears over here, right?
I don't know about Gummi Bears, but there's a host of other candies, chocolates, and sweets...

Oh, and you've never been wrong about anything.
You're sure setting up a series of precedents....;)

Now as to your sentiments about grammar, I agree. Incorrect usage should be discouraged as much as possible where it has impact. Ranting at the unschooled is not going to help much.

Re:The "3 steps" (2, Funny)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 6 years ago | (#23001078)

What's wrong with "borrow to"? Those verbs have never had a strong fixed meaning in Germanic languages. In German they are somewhat interchangeable in certain circumstances. Same with "bring" and "take". The only ignorance is on the part of the grammar freaks who think they actually know anything about how language works.
You sure learned him! You learned him good!

Re:The "3 steps" (1)

MrNaz (730548) | more than 6 years ago | (#23000978)

As a member of "the governed" I'm so glad we have our learned (learn'd, Papi, learn'd) and wise leaders like yourself to guide us away from our own stupidity. All Hail King Torvaun and his Rule of Grammatical Correctness!

Re:The "3 steps" (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22999426)

If you actually take the time to read through a few legal documents, it's pretty trivial to start understanding them. It's just a matter of learning a handful of additional semantics. At worst you might have to look up the occasional Latin phrase. Dumbing them down and making them even more vague and/or verbose for the sake of the crowds that consider harlequin romances to be fine literature and can't be bothered to learn their own language past a middle school level is *not* the solution. The intent behind all of these bullshit laws in the first place is the problem, deal with that before complaining about the vocabulary involved. And if you can't deal with the inherent vagueness of the language anyway, demand that the laws be rewritten in Lojban or such. But I rather enjoy how natural languages can tweak their meanings a bit to adjust for new situations, such as law.

Re:The "3 steps" (3, Interesting)

AvitarX (172628) | more than 6 years ago | (#22999442)

These steps read fairly clear to me (though the law associated may not).

1) not the default, this is for exceptions, (sounds redundant though).

2) Does not cost the owner in lost sales/reduced sale price

3) This reads as a ban on things like fanfic, where the character of the original work can be altered by additional information

The problem with the law is that one person's interpretations of this becomes law for future reference, and it takes years of training to have a moderate understanding of that background, and the ability to find the specifics when you need it.

Re:The "3 steps" (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | more than 6 years ago | (#22999900)

I find your post interesting, primarily because it sounds like a reasonable interpretation of the three steps, yet it's quite different to what I'd come up with (as someone who has been actively involved in the consultations about this topic in the UK recently).

In particular, your version implies that anything that may cost the copyright holder any income cannot be fair use. I would qualify that (and I do think the phrasing of the TRIPS three-step test supports this) by saying that normal exploitation does not mean the same as absolute control. We could argue, for example, that selling a second full-price copy of software to someone because their installation DVD got scratched would be profitable for the copyright holder if making back-ups were illegal, but I think most people would consider this excessive exploitation and the law in most jurisdictions reflects this.

Getting back to the proposals at hand, I think if these rumours are true, the big content guys are going to have a tough time. What's happening right now is that several countries are seeing the balance of copyright tipping toward the copyright holder and finding their laws out of sync with common perceptions of what is reasonable (and done routinely, regardless of legality, by much of the population). We've had a string of investigations over the past two or three years, such as Gowers in the UK, which have proposed changes to redress the balance. The US actually has a pretty good deal with their fair use; while DRM/DMCA issues are screwing things up, the law is otherwise pretty reasonable and the four tests are fairly transparent. In most other countries, the law is not so general, and commonly expected behaviour like making back-up copies and format shifting is actually illegal in several places!

Now, we're seeing governments actively start to implement those proposals. For example, the UK government is consulting on a proposal to legitimise format shifting, which is technically illegal at the moment even though everyone does it and media industry organisations have stated publicly that they will not chase anyone to court for doing so. (The closing date for the consultation is today, so if anyone else thinks the exception should be far more general than just format shifting, get those e-mails in to the consultation response address!)

I suspect this is just making mountains out of mole-hills, though. The whole point of fair use is that there are plenty of things you can reasonably do with content you have legally obtained that are beneficial to you yet cause no unreasonable damage to the copyright holder, and the law should allow you to do these. No-one is talking about, for example, legalising P2P file sharing in breach of copyright or letting someone buy one legal download and then burn it to many CDCs and sell them on separately, which might actually do some real damage to the big media industries. It's hard to see how Big Media can credibly argue that the changes proposed in places like the UK are in violation of the three-step test when US fair use has allowed them since forever, the US is also a TRIPS signatory, yet until now Big Media has not attacked this position.

Re:The "3 steps" (3, Insightful)

Drakantus (226374) | more than 6 years ago | (#23001094)

> 2) Does not cost the owner in lost sales/reduced sale price

I hope that isn't what it means. That definition could be twisted to apply to *all* uses.

Oh, you are using your copy of windows to reinstall on the same PC? That just cost Microsoft a sale they would have made if you instead purchased an additional copy. Oh, you are watching a DVD for the second time? That just cost Sony Pictures a sale of another DVD.

And of course what is consider legitimate fair use now, for example watching a purchased DVD movie with a couple friends- you just cost the movie a couple sales because you let your friends view it for free!

Re:The "3 steps" (3, Insightful)

Tim C (15259) | more than 6 years ago | (#22999518)

Maybe laws written for the sake of the governed should be written in a language they understand.

You could make the same argument for software and users, or science and "the public" and hit the same problem - "plain English" isn't really suited to the required degree of exactness. Often what looks to be straightforward really isn't, and provides too much wiggle room for a skilled arguer. That's worse than having laws that normal people don't understand - it potentially leaves you with laws that simply aren't worth the paper they're printed on.

Re:The "3 steps" (1)

ronocdh (906309) | more than 6 years ago | (#22999802)

Maybe laws written for the sake of the governed should be written in a language they understand.
True, but perhaps also we should be interested in bolstering our education programs to afford the population the skillset necessary to comprehend the laws we already have on the books.

I agree that many legal issues are formulated in obfuscated ways, possibly intentionally, but legalese is also often so phrased in order to achieve great precision. We should at least entertain the notion that such careful deliberation can be valuable to society.

Cutting down fair use didn't call for 3-step tests (2, Interesting)

waterbear (190559) | more than 6 years ago | (#22999874)

Funny, I don't recall any tests having to be passed when public fair use rights were massively cut down -- for example, as they were under the European Copyright Directive a few years back. (No fair use now in connection with any activity that can't count as non-commercial, for example.)

It would take an ingenious lawyer to argue that any of the fair use rights that coexisted happily with the Berne Convention for most of a century, are somehow in conflict with it now if there is any movement to revive or restate them.

-wb-

Re:Cutting down fair use didn't call for 3-step te (2, Interesting)

monxrtr (1105563) | more than 6 years ago | (#23000726)

Exactly, as prior international case law demonstrates that increasing the length of the copyright right term is legitimate under the provisions of the Berne Treaty, so to is therefore changing the length of the copyright term to ZERO legitimate. There is also precedent for differing terms for individual national rules under the Berne Convention. So this treaty is a hot air balloon just waiting to be poked by any and all national changes to copyright law.

And this Berne Convention International Copyright Treaty is itself *illegal* under United States law, as the length of copyright terms are unconstitutionally not contemporary limited. Maybe we don't even need an actual copyright infringement case to appeal all the way up to the Supreme Court, and can just directly attack Berne itself.

Re:The "3 steps" (2, Interesting)

SirGarlon (845873) | more than 6 years ago | (#22999906)

According to Wikipedia, the three steps are:
I would point out that Wikipedia cannot really be considered a disinterested party, when it comes to the subject of copyright and fair use. The possibility of bias exists.

Re:The "3 steps" (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#23000798)

Care to tell me of any party on the WWW that is not biased in a way or another? After all, the whole damn 'net is "content" by its very nature.

If anything, Wikipedia is at least halfway impartial, if for no other reason than anyone, no matter what bias, can correct a statement that leans too far to one side or the other.

Re:The "3 steps" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22999996)

How is this post insightful in any way? He just copied and pasted a line from Wikipedia and reformulated it in PowerPoint format.

Thus, this post is:

1) not insightful in any way
2) copied and pasted from Wikipedia
3) reformulated in PowerPoint format

Re:The "3 steps" (1)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 6 years ago | (#23001052)

Maybe laws written for the sake of the governed should be written in a language they understand.
Laws are written by lawyers so that only lawyers will understand them, that way you'll have to keep giving them money, forever.

Now, know your place, and stop questioning your betters :-|

Berne Convention can go piss up a rope (5, Insightful)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#22999046)

The rich bastards who own the corporations really rule the world, but they're working hard to quell a counter-revolution. They are NOT patriots od any country, no matter what country they lay claim to. They only care about their own personal wealth and power and the rest of us can go to hell as far as they're concerned.

Fair use? How about "expanding" fair use in the US to what the founding fathers envisioned, and "limiting" the endless copyrights that would have appalled them?

I have decided that I will respect no copyright older than ten years old, period. I urge everyone else to join me. I think twenty is reasonable, but damn it THIS IS WAR.

Oh yeah- I refuse to honor ANY copyright held by a corporation. Only a writer or painter or other artist should hold a copyright. Disney can go to hell (actually he probably already did).

Yeah, I'm in a bad mood. So sue me.

-mcgrew

PS- I hold copyrights. I have two ISBNs that should have already passed into the public doimain. I'm not against copyright law, only the INSANE copyright laws that are in effect now.

Re:Berne Convention can go piss up a rope (5, Funny)

El_Muerte_TDS (592157) | more than 6 years ago | (#22999162)

Yeah, I'm in a bad mood. So sue me.
You can sue people in the US for being in a bad mood?
Wouldn't that make your mood worse when you're sued?
Also, what kind of conviction can you expect? Sentenced to be in a good mood for 5 years (2 years probation when you show good behavior)?

Re:Berne Convention can go piss up a rope (1)

h4rm0ny (722443) | more than 6 years ago | (#22999230)


Happiness is mandatory. Haven't you heard?

Re:Berne Convention can go piss up a rope (4, Funny)

teslar (706653) | more than 6 years ago | (#22999420)

You can sue people in the US for being in a bad mood? Wouldn't that make your mood worse when you're sued?
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you.... the recursive lawsuit!

Re:Berne Convention can go piss up a rope (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 6 years ago | (#22999806)

Sorry, Double Jeopardy.

The lawyer would have to prove that's a totally different bad mood, not just a slightly worse bad mood directly related to the original bad mood.

Re:Berne Convention can go piss up a rope (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23000146)

You can sue people in the US for being in a bad mood?
Wouldn't that make your mood worse when you're sued?

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you.... the recursive lawsuit!
Didn't someone patent this already?

Re:Berne Convention can go piss up a rope (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23000644)

Quick, someone go and patent it... It'll make a fortune!!!

Re:Berne Convention can go piss up a rope (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#23000842)

The dripping you hear in the background is lawyers drooling.

Re:Berne Convention can go piss up a rope (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23001846)

You can sue people in the US for being in a bad mood? Wouldn't that make your mood worse when you're sued?
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you.... the recursive lawsuit!


thankfully, that would be tail recursive...

Re:Berne Convention can go piss up a rope (1)

Curunir_wolf (588405) | more than 6 years ago | (#22999958)

Yeah, I'm in a bad mood. So sue me.
You can sue people in the US for being in a bad mood?
Of course! Our right to sue suffers no restrictions or abridgments. One of the few absolute rights still in full force!

Wouldn't that make your mood worse when you're sued?
Yes, but that doesn't excuse you from a lawsuit any more than being broke does (although it may deter anyone from *wanting* to sue). Being sued when you're broke just makes you ... more broke! Just too bad for the victim of the lawsuit, there, because you can't be held liable for the effects of your lawsuit on the defendant.

Also, what kind of conviction can you expect? Sentenced to be in a good mood for 5 years (2 years probation when you show good behavior)?
Whoa! Slow down, there, cowboy. You don't get to impose criminal penalties in a lawsuit. All you get is sanctions in kind, and/or money. So, you find somebody in a bad mood - "Hey, let me cheer you up!".
"No! I want to stay in a bad mood."
"Fine! I'm suing."
"Yes, judge, I just wanted to cheer him up."
"You are ordered to be cheered up by the plaintiff - or pay him 10 billion dollars!"

Re:Berne Convention can go piss up a rope (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#23000114)

You can sue people in the US for being in a bad mood?
Yes. You can sue anybody for anything in the U.S. Whether you'll win or not is an entirely different story.

Some possible issues... (2, Insightful)

kahei (466208) | more than 6 years ago | (#22999378)


Oh yeah- I refuse to honor ANY copyright held by a corporation.

Bless!

Only a writer or painter or other artist should hold a copyright.

Think about how that might work with, say, an instruction manual.

An instruction manual with, say, 200 contributors (like the service manual for a Boeing 737).

Each of those 200 content creators would have a share of the copyright. To print a new copy of the manual, you'd need to get permission from each of them -- or their descendants.

Of course, you might say you were only referring to Art with a capital A. In that case, let's consider a movie like Event Horizon. I'd say about 50 people had major creative input into that. Perhaps the right to distribute the movie to a given theatre should be split between all 50?

But the practical problem is only really the *small* half of the stupidity contained in the post above. You're saying that artists should not be able to sell their copyrights. That they should only be able to make a living by distributing their own works -- that artist and publisher must be combined into one role. That nobody should be allowed to buy the rights to creative work on spec, thus nurturing and publicizing new talent.

I refuse to honor ANY copyright held by a corporation.

So 6 guys get together and form Little Green Man Entertainment Ltd and make a computer game and sell it. But not to *you*. No, *you* pirate it because you refuse to honor any copyright held by a corporation. To buy these guy's game would compromise your *principles*.

Maybe if they all shared the copyright, rather than giving it to their company, you'd shell out the 20 bucks. But not until then. Because *you* are making a *stand*.

I assume that if they sold the copyright to a larger, multinational company so they could get on with making the next game rather than publishing, then your rage and bafflement would tower *even higher*. The mind boggles.

I refuse to honor ANY copyright held by a corporation.

Rarr!

Re:Some possible issues... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22999452)

So 6 guys get together and form Little Green Man Entertainment Ltd and make a computer game and sell it. But not to *you*. No, *you* pirate it because you refuse to honor any copyright held by a corporation. To buy these guy's game would compromise your *principles*.

This illustrates the problem with the thinking. Corporations are made of people and corporations are set up by people so the people can work together in an organized way. Ever heard of "United Artists". It's one of the big studios now, but it was set up by actors and other "artists" who got tired of the man taking their money. Now they are the man. Is it fair? Should they be able to use the money they made doing the real work to finance the work of other artists? Really what is the difference between a corporation investing in a film and an artist giving a helping hand up to the next generation of artists? Not much, in practice.

Re: not really flamebait (1)

DirkGently (32794) | more than 6 years ago | (#22999516)

If you can get past the attempts at sarcasm and poor analogies, the poster actually has valid points. Not everyone can write like Tycho [penny-arcade.com] and get their point across. Doesn't change the fact that the grandparent poster made a lot of hard statements for which there's a lot of grey area.

MODS - Not Flamebait (2, Interesting)

porcupine8 (816071) | more than 6 years ago | (#22999562)

So now any post using sarcasm is flamebait? We're all in trouble.

Re:MODS - Not Flamebait (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23000470)

The post in question is both a flame and flamebait, even if you ignore the sarcasm. Sarcasm is a horrible way to make an argument. Often it's just used to frame a straw man. You sarcastically (aka stupidly) state you opponent's views to make them look stupid. The problem is, those stupid (aka sarcastic) things aren't anyone's views. They just something dumb someone made up. It's almost impossible to decode the point of a sarcastic argument. You can never tell exactly which parts are sarcasm and which aren't. This allows the sarcastic writer to deny they are wrong when they make a mistake. They can just claim some other interpretation of the sarcasm. Sarcasm is stupid and used by stupid people who can't properly frame an argument or fear being wrong if they state what they believe clearly.

Let's call sarcasm what it really is: stupidity.

Re:MODS - Not Flamebait (1)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 6 years ago | (#23001126)

So now any post using sarcasm is flamebait? We're all in trouble.
I've had some nutjob arguing with me recently that a post that gets flamed is flamebait, even if there was no intention to inflame. Apparently, anything that can be construed as controversial and hence flamed is to be modded down to that fool.

And the fools are legion.

Re:Berne Convention can go piss up a rope (4, Insightful)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 6 years ago | (#22999534)

The problem is lobbying, or "corruption" as it is called in other parts of the world. It is almost impossible to make disappear but one can at least try to make it illegal.
Support Lawrence Lessig's Change Congress [change-congress.org] movement.

Re:Berne Convention can go piss up a rope (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22999582)

Yeah, screw all those rich bastards that own the corporations.

Yeah, yeah, whatever

I gotta go now....

Re:Berne Convention can go piss up a rope (2, Insightful)

Firethorn (177587) | more than 6 years ago | (#22999678)

Only a writer or painter or other artist should hold a copyright

How would you handle group projects like a movie? I mean, at least with a band you generally have only a half dozen or so individuals and they generally hang together better than marriages. With a movie you have potentially hundreds of actors, musicians, makeup artists, scene designers, etc...

Corporate copyright makes sense in many cases.

only the INSANE copyright laws that are in effect now

Actually, I think that they're mostly OK, they simply need some modification. For example, limit corporate copyright length to ~20 years, extendable to 40 years with a multiple thousand dollar fee per 10 year increment.*

Stuff still held by the orginal creater, who's a person, can still be held for life, or the 20 year deal, which ever is longer. The 'longer' part is so somebody like Robert Jordan, who was seriously ill, can still write and have publishers pick him up with the confidence that they'll keep exclusivity long enough to profit. For things like bands, where they more or less 'share' a copyright, often in the form of a holding corporation where the band members hold the shares, I'm sure a law can be come up with to keep the copyright as long as any band members are alive and still hold their own shares, perhaps with a buyout clause**.

*Enough that even Disney will take a hard look at those 20 year old films and decide whether or not to renew.
** When one of the band members die, their shares in the corp is automatically bought out by the corp. Corp worth $1Mil, evenly split between 5 members and 1 dies? $200k from the corp to the estate, shares to the corp, the 4 surviving members are now 25% owners. Buyout could be done by 'current valuation' or predetermined.

Re:Berne Convention can go piss up a rope (2, Interesting)

Quila (201335) | more than 6 years ago | (#23002034)

Stuff still held by the orginal creater, who's a person, can still be held for life, or the 20 year deal, which ever is longer
Even life is too long. It is supposed to be for a reasonable period in which to make a profit to encourage further writing. There's no more writing if you're dead.

14 was the original, extendable to 28. But we live longer now so I say 20 years extendable to 40 years for everyone but lower fees for personal copyright holders. The initial 20 or any current extension is transferrable to the estate of the deceased, or to the buyer of a bankrupt corporation's copyrights, but after that copyright will expire at the end of the term.

The big thing we need to do is go back to registered copyrights only. Nothing is copyrighted unless registered. We make registration a simple and fairly cheap automated online process, including a web service API at the Copyright Office for ever-changing web content, running accounts to pay the fees. Give it 10 years to kick in, all non-renewed and non-registered works are in the public domain at that time. No more orphan works.

Why? Copyright is designed to give you profit as incentive to create. You don't need a copyright if you're not looking for profit.

What I just wrote is copyrighted, it's insane.

What about the treaties? They are meaningless. The Constitution is the highest law of this land, and the treaties disagree with it, therefore the treaties are invalid.

Re:Berne Convention can go piss up a rope (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#23000082)

Oh yeah- I refuse to honor ANY copyright held by a corporation. Only a writer or painter or other artist should hold a copyright. Disney can go to hell (actually he probably already did).
We have ways of forcing you to comply.

Thanks,
The MAFIAA

Re:Berne Convention can go piss up a rope (1)

NeoApocalypse82 (1269454) | more than 6 years ago | (#23000206)

Hilarious that you believe in hell, besides that I agree with your message.

In support of sibling (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23001026)

Parent is vastly oversimplifying. Corporations do bad things with their rights, therefore they shouldn't be granted rights? We as a people recognize that there is fundamental utility in being able to transfer rights/wealth/property/interests/liens/debt/whatever. The more fluid and exchangeable "things" are, the more able they are to find their hands into those who have the most value for them. This is microeconomics at its core. You trade with me, I trade with you, we're both richer for it.

Let's not throw the baby out with the bathwater. Let's start with limiting the bad things the corporations (and people!) do with their granted rights, by repealing the DMCA, reducing copyright terms, etc.

Re:Berne Convention can go piss up a rope (2, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#23001168)

It's hard to find sensible limits to the ideas put forwards by you, but there's one thing I think we (and a few more people here) can agree on: Copyright has gone too far.

And thus we get people like you. People who see copyright as unfair, unbalanced, biased and unjust, and thus either ignoring it altogether or making their own rules based on their set of standards and morals.

A law, to be upheld by the general population, has to be understandable and deemed fair. Of course you'll always have people breaking laws, but you will notice, the less understandable a law is, the more often it will be broken. Compare murder and theft to tax evasion and speeding. The former being very easily understandable laws, the latter are much harder to grasp. Then also compare the amount of people breaking the former and the latter.

Now, like copyright, tax laws are quite often broken unintentionally, simply because they're written in ways that nobody but a dedicated lawyer can understand, but speed limits are easy to understand and I guess everyone here (if he has a car) has been speeding, while I doubt that any gun owner here has murdered anyone.

Laws either require consensus of the population or insane checking to be upheld. With copyright, we're moving towards the latter. Usually, such means are limited to dictatorships where the general population does not support the laws they're subjected to.

Re:Berne Convention can go piss up a rope (1)

notabaggins (1099403) | more than 6 years ago | (#23001376)

Oh yeah- I refuse to honor ANY copyright held by a corporation. Only a writer or painter or other artist should hold a copyright.
I'm with you on that one. Corporations should not be able to hold copyrights. Only the actual creators of the works. The frickin' point was to "encourage the useful arts and sciences". We should "encourage" the actual artists. Not the braindead CEOs and greedy boards.

As a past (and hopefully future) copyright holder, I am increasingly of the opinion that no copyright should last more than a generation. Say 20 to 25 years. Where do people think the next generation of artistic work is going to come from if the next generation of artists are denied access to what came before them? Any work of art of any kind builds on what came before. That's how it works.

Look at the old Star Trek. It's forty years old now. The creator is dead. We can't "encourage" new works from a dead guy. What we have now is a corporation that creates nothing but "owns" something that has become a cultural icon. No copyright should last so long. The result has been endless bad rehashings and dreck that make money for people who create nothing at all.

On the other hand, you have tons of "fan productions" going on now. Like Star Trek: The New Voyages (or Phase II or whatever they're calling it this week). The studio "allows" them to exist long as they make no money. Who the hell does the studio think they are? What do they create? Besides increasingly bad "spin offs"?

The old ST should have gone public domain years ago. With a, say, 25 year limit on copyright, it would have gone into the public domain in the 90s. The TNV folks (among others) could be selling their work instead of going into debt and struggling for the sheer love of it.

By the way, so much for the corporate argument that without money, artists won't produce. The TNV folk are barred from ever profiting from their work and, instead, have to shell out money to produce the work. Yet they keep going. Art predates money for frack's sake! Some of our greatest works of art in the entire Western world were created before "copyright" existed.

Artists create because that's what artists do. Copyright was supposed to be a social exchange in which we rewarded and encouraged creators to keep producing. Not sit on their "laurels" for decades. And definitely not to create "media empires" run by people who wouldn't know art if you beat them silly with it.

(Okay, okay, I'm not saying Star Trek is "great art". It's not. But it is "art" in the broadest sense of the word. And it's a perfect example of what's wrong with copyright today. It shouldn't be in the hands of some stupid corporation. It should belong to all of us. Who knows, some bright young folk could actually produce actual serious art with it. But instead of freeing them to at least try, we have a situation where a bunch of management idiots get bonuses and big salaries for sitting on a heap of copyrights, suing anybody that so much as glances at them.)

Further, our incentives are backwards. What kind of incentive is it to allow people to profit off one or a handful of works for decades? The incentive increasingly becomes "squeeze people for money if they create anything remotely like your work" instead of "create more".

I say the current system isn't good for artists even. There should be a definite end to copyright they can see coming. If you're not going to produce more, why should society continue to reward you? And what incentive is there to keep on going if you can sit back and milk a work for decades?

Nor do I think it's a good thing that heirs receive copyrights. I know a lot of people argue that they want their relatives to control the work after they are gone to maintain its "integrity". Yeah, well, nice in "theory" but have you seen what many heirs do with the works? Sell it off to any corporation that dangles a contract and it ends up being crap.

I've always thought that argument was silly. I wouldn't trust my "heirs" to maintain anything I wrote. They don't have a freakin' clue. To them it'd be "wonder how much this is worth?"

Finally, we need to listen to Thomas Jefferson and remember that "copyright" is not a "right". It's a monopoly grant. His comment on the Constitution was suggesting a term be specified for the monopoly grants in the Constitution itself. Wish somebody had listened.

I insist that since we grant the monopolies, we can take them away. Such as the widespread act of downloading music was an act of "the people" from whom the grant came. That is, we have the right to do so because we are the ones who set the terms of the grant. Our acts--being the ones who granted the monopoly--are inherently right. "Fair use" is a misnomer. "Acts of the people in charge" would be better. The burden should be on the copyright holder to show reason for the actions of the public to be limited. The default is we--the people--are right. And if we--the people--decide we're going to limit your copyright by doing lots of downloads, then that's just a condition you have to live with.

We gave it to you, we can take it away.

Copyright was meant to stop others from profiting off your work. Not act as a bludgeon to beat the public with. If somebody is making tons of copies and selling them, yes, you should be able to stop them. And get the money. But beat up on the public? The public that gave you the monopoly?

No. Oh no. That's a good way to create a backlash. A backlash that could even rise to the point the pubic says, "Enough already! No copyrights for anybody!!!"

Because, you know, the public could. The Constitution allows monopoly grants like copyright. It does not demand them. We could, at any time, abolish all copyrights.

Hack the public off enough, they just might get nasty. Especially when you're suing and trying to jail ten year olds and elderly women...

Re:Berne Convention can go piss up a rope (1)

networkBoy (774728) | more than 6 years ago | (#23001436)

you know you can bequeath those two works to the public domain with a simple letter to the copyright office, or by ordering one more printing that contains the forward that they are now granted to the public domain.
-nB

Re:Berne Convention can go piss up a rope (1)

Colonel Korn (1258968) | more than 6 years ago | (#23001456)

"The rich bastards who own the corporations really rule the world, but they're working hard to quell a counter-revolution."

I personally think that in most case the corporations themselves rule the world. In a lot of cases corporations aren't directly controlled by a few people - they move in a direction defined by dozens, hundreds, or thousands of individuals. Unlike a nation, which is generally dedicated at least nominally to serving people, a corporation is dedicated to serving itself.

I think that corporations act as belligerent entities, alien intelligences that reside in a distributed network in the minds of the influential people within them. I think that we've essentially created AIs without realizing it, and they're specifically programmed to serve themselves.

Re:Berne Convention can go piss up a rope (1)

LihTox (754597) | more than 6 years ago | (#23001970)

I have two ISBNs that should have already passed into the public domain.

What do you mean, "should have"? You can release material into the public domain yourself, you don't have to wait for Congress to do it for you.

Good (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22999048)

"Big content" sucks ass, locking it down should encourage independents. Despite the budgets, "Big content" is only as big as any other individual when it comes to modern distribution over teh internets (sic).

The big battle is going to be when these trabant factories do start attacking the distribution channel. I suppose we should be thankful they're so short-sighted that they attack fair use, score one for CC licensed indies.

support copyright (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22999050)

I do vote with my wallet by legally purchasing the copyrighted materials I find interesting.

It is amazing to me the lengths producers of nothing except dissent will go to acquire and misuse intellectual property of others.

Oh the shame.

Counter-Reformation? (1)

kahei (466208) | more than 6 years ago | (#22999152)


A counter-reformation [wikipedia.org] would surely be an attempt to reform, improve and streamline the existing establishment -- partly in response to defections in favor of newer and more effective establishments.

What we have here seems to be more of an anti-reformation. Unlike the actual counter-reformation it seems unlikely to lead to any advances in painting, music or astronomy. Quite the reverse really.

Oh really? (3, Insightful)

arivanov (12034) | more than 6 years ago | (#22999208)

"Ars Technica reports that a group of companies and organizations it calls 'big content' is CONSTANTLY engaged in a worldwide 'whisper campaign' against Fair Use.

Fixed that for ya. And it does not need to be a "group" to be doing that. They do it anyway as this is what their interests call for.

Has the if what for and very too (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22999234)

crumb saline ghost pleonasm

Re:Has the if what for and very too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23001330)

nie a0 uu0 0u0uua 0h0ha0h00v0f0 0d00arf;p ---das00dfuaonhah0hh00hh0 h00hh0h0 f0uu00uruau00f0arawu 0 u00kjkk0k0---- f-asf jhauhHUUHHI u00---00--00- 0da0 fa0-f0a000 f0as0 fsa0ew0q0dszb0v0hg0h0gcxdgc0hg0ch0gch0gc0hgc0h0gch h00ch0 c0h0ch 0ch0c0h 0c gazamma quintessence

Only the US has fair use anyway... (2, Interesting)

CajunArson (465943) | more than 6 years ago | (#22999440)

Oh the horror, the evil illuminati and the tri-lateral commission are going to take away Fair Use all over the world! This is all America's Fault!!

Oh wait... just one tiny little problem with the usual Slashdot conspiracy theory. There is exactly 1 country in the world that has fair use: The US. In the history of the world there has been exactly 1 country that has EVER recognized fair use: The US. No country except for the US has ever recognized fair use as a legal theory. In some common-law countries like the UK and Australia there is a parallel concept of "fair dealing", but it tends to be given a much narrower interpretation than the broad equitable doctrine of Fair Use that is employed in the US. When it comes to common law countries like those in the EU, there are enumerated lists of exceptions from copyright protection that are extremely strict and inflexible compared to Fair Use rights. This is how it has been for well over 100 years, but it's fun to see Slashdot promote FUD and ignorance instead of any type of rational discussion (again).

Re:Only the US has fair use anyway... (1)

Saint Fnordius (456567) | more than 6 years ago | (#22999548)

Put it another way: Fair Use is already in the world, but the Network grabbed it before the Sons of Atlantis or the Discordians could. Now it's so deep in the power structure that it's making the Gnomes of Zurich very, very nervous. So now it looks like they are going to play the "whispering campaign" card to destroy, as Fair Use is immune to normal attacks to destroy.

It is in the Network's (and to a lesser degree, the Discordians' and the Sons of Atlantis') interests to keep Fair Use in play, because it is Peaceful, Communist and Criminal, and lowers the income of all media groups to half their normal Megabucks. So yeah, we're reacting to a threat of the Gnomes, but the longer Fair Use is in play, the better for all of us (except the Gnomes and possibly the Bavarian Illuminati...).

Re:Only the US has fair use anyway... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22999604)

Sorry, I'm not sure I understand your post. Are you saying that there are places other than the USA, and they have laws?

Re:Only the US has fair use anyway... (4, Informative)

dev_eddie (827800) | more than 6 years ago | (#22999942)

In Spain we have "Private Copy Right" granted by Constitution that forbids Penal cases against copyright infringement (in absence of lucre). Discovery causes can't be Civil, so copyright infringement is not illegal. That is not inflexible or narrower than the "fair use" doctrine. The war over the lucre definition is over and we won.

Re:Only the US has fair use anyway... (4, Insightful)

Tom (822) | more than 6 years ago | (#23000058)

there has been exactly 1 country that has EVER recognized fair use: The US. No country except for the US has ever recognized fair use as a legal theory.
You have no idea what you're talking about, do you?

Other countries don't use the same term, and the exceptions aren't all the same, but "fair use" is a very common concept.

Few countries make the use of snippets for review, criticism or quotation illegal, for example. The details vary, but the basic principles are pretty global.

Some countries go considerably further than the US. Over here in Germany, for example, I can legally copy a CD for a friend. That's called the "Privatkopie" ("private copy") and is the law's acceptance that people will do these kinds of things anyway, so within some limits (very few copies, and for personal friends only), it's allowed. (and yes, it's under attack from the copyright lobby)

Copyright laws are slightly different in every country, and with so much variety, every claim that something is a world-only is almost guaranteed to be a lie.

The definition of USA: #1!!! (1)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 6 years ago | (#23001246)

Some countries go considerably further than the US.
BLASPHEMY! ;-)

Re:Only the US has fair use anyway... (1)

CajunArson (465943) | more than 6 years ago | (#23001466)

I have much more idea about what I'm talking about than what you do, and you just proved my point to. Germany is a common law country with a highly detailed civil code in place to cover a very narrow and exact situation that you just defined. Another amusing feature that you didn't mention is that the EXACT system you just talked about also charges taxes on all copying media so that CD you gave to your friend involved a payment to the German media industry (see Wikipedia for more [wikipedia.org] ). So your magical WunderLand of Germany charges me for every CD I buy that I never infringe anyone's copyright with so that you can give away CDs.

    Fair Use is a much broader defense that is based on 4 equitable factors, the most important of which is the nature of the use. It is an affirmative defense to actual infringement (whereas your exception is just that: it is a narrow exception to an act that is NOT considered infringement). Fair use's background is grounded in the first amendments has allowed lots of things in the US that I know Germany would never allow, like unauthorized parodies that are not looked at the same way in Europe where copyright is generally considered more of a "moral" right. Despite what most teenagers on Slashdot moan about, Copyright is NOT mostly abused to prevent you from getting every movie and album you want for free. Abuse of Copyright is actually when it prevents legitimate speech and works from being made due to their necessary reliance on other media. Fair Use is a powerful doctrine that allows this speech to be published to enhance public discourse.

Re:Only the US has fair use anyway... (1)

pcfixup4ua (1263816) | more than 6 years ago | (#23000600)

That makes it easier for them to "stamp out" fair use. It's another example or corporations flexing their muscle in our new fascist society.

Re:Only the US has fair use anyway... (1)

wprowe (754923) | more than 6 years ago | (#23000886)

Finally someone with knowledge of the subject and the laws governing it. Kudos to you! The US, in fact, is the only country in the WORLD with Fair Use laws. I am a professional photographer and have researched this at great length so that I can defend my copyrights from jerks who think any image on a website is public domain. WRONG!

I disagree with the person who suggested copyright be limited to 20 years. Any individual who creates an original work should be able to exploit that work exclusively for the rest of their lives. They took the risk, invested their creative energies, and invested their own money. They should reap all the rewards. If they are paid a regular salary by someone else to spend all their time researching and developing products, then the company who pays them should own what they create. The company took the financial risk. The company should reap the financial reward.

Granting exclusive rights for 70 years after death gives individuals something to pass on to children and grandchildren. Few individuals become wealthy from their creations. Those that do generally did so by turning into a corporation or selling their creation to a corporation who can afford to take it to the next level. Corporations are not granted the same period of exclusivity granted to individuals. Drug companies only get a fixed number of years of exclusivity before the generics can start selling. It isn't like individuals passing on intellectual property rights are creating wealthy heirs like Cornelius Vanderbilt, J.P. Morgan, William Randolph Hurst, J.D. Rockefeller or Andrew Carnegie, or even a modern business mogul like Warren Buffet, Jack Welch, Donald Trump or Steve Wynn.

How many individual intellectual property creators get rich? How many bands, artists, photographers, composers, writers are there vs. those that get rich? Less than 1 percent. The term "starving artist" is not a meaningless phrase. Are you jealous of ones that do like Steven Spielberg, Ron Howard, Steven Tyler, Mick Jagger, Annie Leibovitz? Ansel Adam's work has earned more money in the 24 years since his death in 1984 than he earned over his entire life. Do you think his heirs should be robbed of that?

fighting FUD with facts (2, Interesting)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 6 years ago | (#23001220)

Oh the horror, the evil illuminati and the tri-lateral commission are going to take away Fair Use all over the world! This is all America's Fault!!

Oh wait... just one tiny little problem with the usual Slashdot conspiracy theory. There is exactly 1 country in the world that has fair use: The US. In the history of the world there has been exactly 1 country that has EVER recognized fair use: The US. No country except for the US has ever recognized fair use as a legal theory. In some common-law countries like the UK and Australia there is a parallel concept of "fair dealing", but it tends to be given a much narrower interpretation than the broad equitable doctrine of Fair Use that is employed in the US. When it comes to common law countries like those in the EU, there are enumerated lists of exceptions from copyright protection that are extremely strict and inflexible compared to Fair Use rights. This is how it has been for well over 100 years, but it's fun to see Slashdot promote FUD and ignorance instead of any type of rational discussion (again).
In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include [wikipedia.org] :

              1. the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
              2. the nature of the copyrighted work;
              3. the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and
              4. the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

VS

  six principal criteria for evaluating fair dealing [wikipedia.org] .

      1. The Purpose of the Dealing Is it for research, private study, criticism, review or news reporting? It expresses that "these allowable purposes should not be given a restrictive interpretation or this could result in the undue restriction of users' rights."
      2. The Character of the Dealing How were the works dealt with? Was there a single copy or were multiple copies made? Were these copies distributed widely or to a limited group of people? Was the copy destroyed after its purpose was accomplished? What are the normal practices of the industry?
      3. The Amount of the Dealing How much of the work was used? What was the importance of the infringed work? Quoting trivial amounts may alone sufficiently establish fair dealing. In some cases even quoting the entire work may be fair dealing.
      4. Alternatives to the Dealing Was a "non-copyrighted equivalent of the work" available to the user? Could the work have been properly criticized without being copied?
      5. The Nature of the Work Copying from a work that has never been published could be more fair than from a published work "in that its reproduction with acknowledgement could lead to a wider public dissemination of the work - one of the goals of copyright law. If, however, the work in question was confidential, this may tip the scales towards finding that the dealing was unfair."
      6. Effect of the Dealing on the Work Is it likely to affect the market of the original work? "Although the effect of the dealing on the market of the copyright owner is an important factor, it is neither the only factor nor the most important factor that a court must consider in deciding if the dealing is fair." A statement that a dealing infringes may not be sufficient, but evidence will often be required.

"These factors may be more or less relevant to assessing the fairness of a dealing depending on the factual context of the allegedly infringing dealing. In some contexts, there may be factors other than those listed here that may help a court decide whether the dealing was fair."

SCOTUS Stacked Against Berne Convention (3, Interesting)

monxrtr (1105563) | more than 6 years ago | (#22999574)

See the recent Texas death penalty case and international law. Once the Copyright Laws are ruled unconstitutional on length of term and excessive fine grounds, the Berne Convention too will be in the target cross-hairs. And once the US is folded out of Berne, separate international movements will do vast damage to world-wide attempts at standards and control.

They already can't enforce the laws on the books, because they are PR disasters, that only constantly serve to diminish the credibility of the law. The big media content owners are starting to run scared, as well they should be. Look at the comments regarding yesterday's study that 95% of 18-24 year olds copy content illegally. Nothing but solid contempt for these insane copyright laws. The tide is shifting, and politicians voting to screw consumers will be assuming ever higher political liability for doing so.

This is all good. These people are the evil cousins to the ultimate evil international bankers without any country loyalty or concern for consumers who confiscated real money world-wide and instituted fiat paper money debt control. They finance wars, they could care less who is at war as long as there is war somewhere from which to profit through the issuance of debt and confiscation through bankruptcy. And ultimately, the war on copyright is just the warm up battle to the war on fiat paper money. They are just printing control and printing taxation at will, at the expense of disparate international citizens. It's nothing put pure theft of the wealth which is the property of culture, of all, just like free speech and free trade.

Perhaps other countries will now better understand American disdain for the United Nations when they see other international institutions like the IMF, WB, and now the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). They are there to finance themselves by legalized theft against your rights.

Darkness crept back into the forests of the world. (1)

MrMonty (366322) | more than 6 years ago | (#22999748)

Rumor grew of a shadow in the East,
whispers of a nameless fear.
And the WIPO of power perceived:
its time had now come.

They abandoned The People.

But something happened then, the WIPO did not intend.

It was picked up by the most likely organization imaginable:

The EFF

(I'm not that creative, sue me. I had to post something when the title contains whispers and rumors.)

In politics, it's not a "whispering campaign" (4, Interesting)

hey! (33014) | more than 6 years ago | (#22999866)

It's lobbying.

Politics does not select for politicians who are deep thinkers -- although possibly there may be a few odd examples. Politics favors the gregarious, the people pleasers, the networkers.

So, suppose you are such a person, who makes his way in the world by being popular. You aren't stupid by any means, and let's stipulate for the purposes of argument you are not corrupt, but well intentioned. Still it's a fair bet you probably aren't the kind of person who likes to hike to a lonely spot in the mountains, to spend a pleasant afternoon contemplating the role of the unrestricted flow of information in maintaining a vibrant and free society.

But this is exactly the most important kind of issue that comes in front of you as an elected official. And in all probably, you don't have a deep reservoir of accumulated thought to draw upon when this comes up. You have deeply held convictions but you haven't worked out how they all apply in cases like these.

So, being a gregarious person, you draw upon the thoughts of others who had the foresight to propose the connections in advance. Furthermore, being a people pleaser by nature, your first inclination when they did this was to receive their argument favorably. You certainly did not tear it down and throw it in their face as a load of rubbish.

Having received the argument favorably, and since the argument connects the question to some of your values, like "private enterprise", you're primed to take it up as your own.

That's why buying access is such a huge win for special interests and a huge loss for democracy. It's not that there isn't corruption, of course there is. But a politician doesn't have to be personally corrupt for you to corrupt his opinions.

It's an odd thing, but being the kind of person who likes to spend quiet afternoons contemplating big questions, I have found vigorous "men of action" remarkably easy to steer. They're always up to do something and they think of themselves as "far sighted", but that usually means they don't have a clear view of how the ground in front of their feet is connected to the goals they see on the horizon. And they tend to be completely unaware that they are acting without a road map, so when you slip one under their nose, they internalize it. You can see that this is just one of many possible alternatives, but they have a way of seeing it as the one true path that they have been following all along.

Re:In politics, it's not a "whispering campaign" (1)

Colonel Korn (1258968) | more than 6 years ago | (#23001518)

Brilliant post.

I do think, however, that the personality you describe by definition is one of stupidity.

Re:In politics, it's not a "whispering campaign" (1)

hey! (33014) | more than 6 years ago | (#23001708)

It's a different kind of intelligence (or looked at from the other end, a different form of stupidity).

I can walk into a room of people who aren't sure of some issue, and if its an issue that I know something about I can probably convince a lot of them, probably even a majority, to view the issue my way.

On the other hand, I'd fail utterly in convincing them to trust me to handle issues like that on their behalf -- in other words to vote for me. And it would boil down to things that I said and did which would strike somebody who was versed in the art of politics as incredibly stupid.

Of course, I'm not stupid. If I did that sort of thing for a living, I'd get better at it. I'd have to. However, learning the habits of scholarly analysis is something a successful politician does not have to do. At least if by "successful" you mean "repeatedly elected." All he needs is good political instincts, a network of friends, and bit of luck.

If they win, it'll be the average person's fault (0, Troll)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 6 years ago | (#22999878)

Because of the number of people not paying for copyrighted works, and actually calling that "fair use," these organizations have potent propaganda at their disposal. Downloading songs off of P2P networks is not fair use. It's copyright infringement, but don't tell many geeks and nerds that it's something other than "sticking it to the man." I predicted a while ago that this sort of bullshit would come back to haunt us, and now they are using the redefined "fair use" against legitimate fair use.

Re:If they win, it'll be the average person's faul (1)

ratboy666 (104074) | more than 6 years ago | (#23000916)

Let's put this into perspective.

I can download any audio recording (movies, books, etc.) that was fixed prior to... 1912, I believe. WWII hasn't yet entered the public domain, culturally. Not the Vietnam conflict, Not the racial marches. Not the moon landing.

It's all under copyright; nothing is public domain.

Give it all up. Go wear a straw hat, or, if you are female, do the "flapper" thing. Until its pushed back further. I'm ok with this (personally). But then, I think Beethoven's 9th is the best piece of music ever written. I can pass on the rest of "culture" until I can own it and contribute (make use of it).

I am a person, not just a "consumer" or an "eyeball".

Since copyright law is SO SKEWED, I feel quite content ignoring it. When I was a kid, we didn't have VHS, DVDs. I went to the movies two (or three tops) times a month (less if there were no new releases). Never saw a movie twice (had better things to do with my money). Wouldn't tolerate advertisements EXCEPT trailers in the movie.

Had three TV channels, and records. Bought the occasional 45 and LP.

The media companies were happy.

Now -- I still go to movies. Pop and Popcorn the same price as the tickets, or more. Have to put up with Card ads, Soft drink ads, Still have trailers. Then, the movie comes up for rental/DVD purchase. I pay again. There are toy promotions, etc. I have in excess of 100 channels on the TV.

The media companies have much more opportunity to market and make money (I now pay for movies TWICE routinely, if I see them in the theater).

However, there is a push to control what I can further do with this deluge that is pushing in, trying to become culture. I can't even use Mickey yet! What's the answer? I figure that there is SO MUCH media being pumped (radio, TV, satellite radio, wireless internet all beaming stuff to where I am, 24/7) that it will cause some health issues. And yet, the motto is "Look, but don't touch". I would argue that it is almost IMPOSSIBLE to not break copyright. "We control your culture".

Ok, I am probably insane; just wish I had some answers. "They" make it very difficult.

it's interesting they are digging this deep (5, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 6 years ago | (#22999884)

it is interesting to see ministers and legal wranglers reaching back this far in copyright history for a sense of stability and coherence in copyright law. it shows desperation, confusion, fear. however, what the internet has done to copyright is yet a more fundamental reordering of the landscape than even law going back to the 1800s

it is simply that at one time, the means of production and distribution of media was confined to a few players. this meant that agreeing on rules, and compliance and enforcement was relatively simple and straightforward. as recently as the 1980s, if someone was counterfeiting vhs tapes, for example, the operation was ponderous, slow, required a heavy initial investment, and was relatively easy to trace and shut down those few random players. this limited piracy to a few hardy organizations

but today, the power of global distribution that was once confined to the likes of bertelsman and sony is in the hands of every college kid. enforcement? ha! compliance and agreement on the rules? ha!

the assumptions about distribution that created copyright law as we know it is so fundamentally altered as to be so alien a landscape that copyright law is simply completely and utterly destroyed. for those of you doubting this, you are simply in denial. you can't make a law that is impossible to enforce. well, you can, legislative bodies do it every day. but it simply doesn't mean anything, it's hollow, it's a joke. that's what our copyright law has become

the last ten years has simply been a slow process of awakening the world to this fact. the next ten years will simply be more awakening to this fact, everyone getting on the same page: copyright law is broken. utterly

this is what they mean by disruptive technology. the internet destroyed copyright law by making every single individual in 2000 have the same distribution power that was confined in 1990 to sony and bertelsman

obviously, rights and morality and ownership in the realm of media are issues that are still valid. these issues still need to be addressed legally. but the legal and compliance framework around these issues will need to be built almost from scratch, and copyright law as we know it must be thrown out almost in its entirety: all the basic assumptions it is founded upon are completely reordered

personally, i think some form of copyleft a la "free" software will be the basis for our new legal framework about all media and distribution: music, books, movies, etc

3 Tests (2, Interesting)

darkshadow (102598) | more than 6 years ago | (#23000316)

What kind of a test is "certain special cases"?

Well this means only one thing.... (2, Insightful)

3seas (184403) | more than 6 years ago | (#23000356)

... when fair use is outlawed then the only use will be unfair use. Otherwise why publish?

It will probably turn into.. (2, Insightful)

s0litaire (1205168) | more than 6 years ago | (#23000542)

...a game of Chinese Whispers instead! Next thing you know "Fair Use" will be said in the same sentence as "Supporting Organised Crime" or "Supporting Terrorists". Probably by the RIAA or the MPAA next time they go to Congress or a Court Case..

This is NOT a counter-reformation! (2, Interesting)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#23001620)

I think the reference was supposed to go to the movement within the Roman Catholic church at the end of the 30 years war, around 1650, when they tried to counter the protestant movement. While I can see that the big studios try to counter any development in fair use (or any kind of movement that limits their power), what they do is closer to the reaction of the Hussite Wars and the Great Schism. No, even then the RC church reformed. Maybe it's closer to the Schism between the RC church and the Eastern Orthodox church.

What I mean is that the counter-reformation led to change within the Roman Catholic church. It led to less greed (or at least less display thereof), less concern with "worldly" matters and a refocus on their original purpose, the leading of a spiritual group.

I doubt this "counter-reformation" in the music biz will lead to a refocus on the original intent of the copyright.
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