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Re: [tlug] GPL Quote

Dimitar Dimitrov writes:

 > Backing up a DVD, retaining encryption and preventing copy of copy is
 > claimed to be illegal (case in progress [1]).
 > Backing up a game, retaining the full content of the original,
 > preventing copy of copy and inserting a disclaimer is claimed to be
 > illegal [2], [3]

And your point is?

None of these have been decided, none of them look frivolous to me.
In a technical sense, circumvention is involved; whether it legally
qualifies as section 1201 circumvention is in court.  This is
precisely what section 1201 was designed for, it seems to me.  Stupid
policy, IMO, but it's the law.

 > The act of extracting the textual content from encrypted PDF is
 > illegal, as it constitutes circumvention of technical measure,
 > irregardless of the actual content [4] (I believe that if you save
 > encrypted PDF with no text and then extract an empty text file out of
 > it by cracking the encryption, you are at fault). This has
 > implications for the accessibility software as well.

Yup.  But "working[sic] as designed" (see above) still applies.

On the other hand, the font-makers shot themselves in the foot by
getting some font design programs to lock fonts by default.  A lot of
free fonts were then published in locked form, so somebody wrote an
unlocking program to fix that ex post.  The courts decided that was
not circumvention (since the lock was unintentional), and therefore
allowed distribution of the software.  (Try goggling for "fonts".)

 > Also, consider this: If we assume that the average song size is 3mb,
 > filling up an 80G iPod would cost a whopping 26 thousand dolars. I can
 > safely bet that none of the people I know has spent that much on
 > iTunes, yet many have filled their iPods and have even more music on
 > their drives. I am not sure whether one can claim that in this case
 > Apple is encouraging piracy?

Where have you been?  Sony and the RIAA have been claiming that for
years, with no joy to be seen.  The problem for them is that making
MP3s is easy to do with widely available software, and digitizing
audio just as easy.  I make MP3s out of my economics lectures and the
occasional student puts them on their iPod with iTunes.  You can't
prevent piracy without preventing that usage, so section 1201 doesn't

 > Here is an article - one of many [5]. You won't find the word "backup"
 > inside, instead you'll see a lot of "crime", "theft" and "violating
 > the law". These rhetoric scare people into thinking they are criminals
 > for doing what everybody else is doing.

"What everybody does" has nothing to do with legality.  70% of the
people in my college dorm smoked pot (and that was low for that
campus, it was the "Honors Dorm").  That didn't make it legal.

 > I have ripped many of my CDs (I would rip all of them if I weren't
 > too lazy).

As long as you don't give copies away, that's protected fair use AIUI.

 > I have also downloaded a lot of music that I already own (and some
 > that I don't, for the lack of legal non-DRM'ed ways to obtain it in
 > digital format).  I believe I am morally right

But you're legally a criminal if you've downloaded proprietary music
you don't own without permission.

You are in *no* position to kvetch about the RIAA's use of the word
"theft" if you back up your greed with "I believe I'm morally right".
I've paid for *all* of the music I possess, and have a lot less music
than I would like to have.  That doesn't necessarily make me more
moral than you, but it certainly puts me way ahead on the issue of
conflict of interest.

 > Falling behind the Internet in terms of attractiveness of the
 > content, RIAA is trying to increase their profits by scaring people
 > into re-buying what they already bought.

I have a friend who played "Who's Next" so often that he wore out the
vinyl ... SIX TIMES in the three years we were neighbors in that dorm
(premed, he was one of the 30%).  He paid hard cash for each new copy.
That was 30 years ago, pre-DAT, even.  Nothing new in the RIAA asking
you to rebuy what you already bought.  Hey, man, so does Toyota when
your car breaks down.  So does DaiwaHouse when a typhoon blows down
your domicile.  You have a problem with that?

BTW, RMS and the FSF do the same kind of thing.  That's what strong
copyleft is all about, even though I don't know anybody except RMS who
really believes that CLISP or Ghostscript was infringing copyright by
providing a stub library to link to libreadline.

 > >  > Having a precedent makes a case stronger, but a corporation big
 > >  > enough can still file a suit and force a person into settlement (or
 > >  > bankruptcy.)
 > >
 > > And what's the big deal about this?  The largest settlement that can
 > > be forced on you is retail price x number of copies.
 > Not if you subscribe to the "lost sales" doctrine. In that case,
 > when you upload your dancing toddler video on YouTube, RIAA just
 > counts the number of views, multiplies by the retail price of the
 > track and presents you the bill [6]. If it turns out to be fair use

How many cases can you cite where there's reason to believe fair use
was involved?  Remember, YouTube wouldn't exist if it wasn't for
people wanting to get a million views.  So these people are doing it
for their own private benefit (== enjoyment of celebrity or whatever),
and that benefit increases with the number of views.  I don't see why
the copyright owner shouldn't ask them to pay in proportion to the
number of views.  That is, after all, the underlying rationale for

 > - they are not obliged to check this in advance, so they just did
 > their duty to raise the concern. If you settled - it's your
 > problem, you should have known better.

Yup.  I still don't see a problem with this, in terms of the law.  In
particular, you clearly don't see any obligation on *your* part to
check whether posting a video set to ripped-off music (I bet you the
kid's babysitter would be happy to play some public domain music on
the piano for $5) is fair use before doing so, or to even try to get
permission of the legal owner.  On the other hand, the RIAA has the
principle of the law on its side.  "Fair use" is an *exception*, it is
a *defense* to the *presumption* of infringement.

"Fair use" means that you don't depreciate the value of others'
property.  In the case of repair/backup, it's *your* property that
you're protecting, so it's fair use.  In the case of a critical review
or political speech, you need an exact quote to make the point, and
this is permitted so long as you keep it to a minimum.  It's fair use
because it's good for society (and for all the good movies) to have
accurate reviews (and the bad movies shouldn't be allowed to hide
behind copyright to prevent accurate informative reviews).

Simply reposting somebody else's video or the music to go with it,
though, you'd better be prepared to go to court.  And lose.

 > Agree. Though a huge part of the copyright-related changes are driven
 > by the needs of the publishing industry and not the authors. Here is a
 > gread quotate from an old article[7]:

*All* copyright is driven by the publishing industry, and not the
authors.  If it was just about authors, there'd be no problem; they
can negotiate with the customers directly, just like Vincent van Gogh.
The problem is that authors can't do that, some of the potential
customers aren't even born yet, and if they had to, they'd *all* end
up like Vincent van Gogh.  Thus, the whole point of copyright is to
create a market aka "the publishing industry" where otherwise people
would just make their own copies for media cost.

 >    It is that the author who produced that book has had the profit
 >    of it long enough, and therefore the Government takes a profit
 >    which does not belong to it and generously gives it to the
 >    88,000,000 of people. But it doesn't do anything of the kind.
 >    It merely takes the author's property, takes his children's bread,
 >    and gives the publisher double profit. He goes on publishing the
 >    book and as many of his confederates as choose to go into the
 >    conspiracy do so, and they rear families in affluence.

*sigh* All I can do is echo Murakami: 金儲け、どこが悪いですか?

As usual with these wonderful quotes, there's no evidence presented
that the author would have made any money at all without the
publisher.  But the fact that publishers get rich (which is also a
lie, in general, they just stay rich) is considered open-and-shut:
they're guilty.

 > [8]

In the U.S., they'd lose outright ("first sale doctrine"), I think.
The right of performance might apply, but the PRS would have to show
they were charging admission. ;-)  Did you misspell "UK" when you wrote
that people should "avoid the US"?

But as Feyd-Rautha Harkonnen pointed out, it's much more disruptive
when you don't know which blade carries the poison.  Eg, the net
neutrality issue in this article linked from the above:

*That* is something to seriously worry about, much more than the RIAA
and the SPA even.

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