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The Great Copyright Debate
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paul e.



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PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2005 8:51 am    Post subject: Re: The Great Copyright Debate Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

dilvie wrote:
Possibly the single most important social issue today: The management and mismanagement of intellectual property in the internet age:



i highly doubt if this is the most important social issue we face today...i can think of just a FEW others that might be more important

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I wouldn't discount it...ALL business is driven by who owns, buys, or sells what. Since these methods have moved into new mediums, there is misconduct, misunderstanding, and misuse of these new mediums. These new ways of communication have opened up the control of ideas and knowledge as a driving factor in business...Ideas can be copied without effect on the original. This is way beyond the scope of just downloading music. This also effects how government reacts to business and economy versus the advancement of humanity.

This exact same discussion could be applied to why US pharmecuticals can withhold AIDS medication from African countries that desparately need them. Do you choose ownership & economy over human value?

I think *ideally*, ALL ideas that are put into public, become public domain. It is the only way all of humanity benefits. The Native Americans lived this way for a very, very long time. I suppose we've just all become *dependent* on other things, so we all feel the right to control those things, or at least have a say in how those things are controlled. But we're not close to there, and have a few more generations of political evolution before these types of social ethics can be re-introduced. (assuming there's no devolution between now & then)

Anyways, in the many democracies that exist today, the non-voting corporations have found better ways than voting for a political voice. Dealing with this is really the core of the issue.
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dilvie



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PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2005 2:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Quote:
Quote:
It's a very slippery slope. Senator Hatch has proposed legislation that would MANDATE DRM in devices that are capable of making copies. The DMCA makes it illegal to manufacture products that can circumvent copy protection measures (like DRM), even for legal purposes, such as archival copies, quoting, collage, etc...


this is a much better policy than the tax charged on blank cassette tapes to cover the fact that some of them are used to make illegal copies of records. at least with drm it doesn't cost me anything extra to make copies of my own work that i own (not possible on audio cassette).


Uh, except that the DRM doesn't allow any copies to be made for any reason... The control over how the DRM is used is in the hands of the corporations, who traditionally err on the side of protection -- for example, in many ebook readers, works that have been in the public domain for well over a century cannot be copied without circumventing the DRM -- even though it's perfectly legal to copy the text in question.


Quote:
if your collage is dependant on a bit for bit copy of someone elses copyrighted material (ie, a still image lifted directly from a dvd as opposed to a photo of the television screen), then it is not your collage, but someone elses work.


That's just silly. So I should endure 2 extra generations of quality loss (which is exponential, BTW), on a snare sample I want to lift from a song that's already encoded in a lossy format? BTW, the equipment used to record the sound coming from the speakers could be viewed as equipment intended to circumvent the copy protection -- thus, contraband under the DMCA.

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Quote:
The "Inducers" act seeks to make "enabling" technology such as P2P software and iPods illegal -- holding programmers and manufacturers responsible for infringement.


setting up a p2p network for the purpose of trading copyrighted material seems to me to be akin to setting up a storefront record library with cd recorders at all listening stations and saying "oh, we are not responsible if our visitors happen to make copies".


Again, that's just silly. Bittorrent (a recent target of anti-P2P lawsuits) is a very popular method of distributing authorized downloads, to ease the bandwidth burden on creators of popular, large downloads. However, under the inducers act, the creators of the technology could face very serious penalties -- even though the software has substantial, legal uses.

Quote:
unless such a p2p network has as it's true purpose (and works hard to maintain it's purpose) sharing of legal material (original and/or non copyrighted material), it is bound to be seen as an attempt to distribute other's copyrighted material...


I might agree with you on this point, if I were one of the many people who never use P2P for anything but searching for illegal content. However, I'm one of the many people who have used P2P to grab and distribute legal content. Why should the creators of the technology be punished for abuse that the users are responsible for? Shouldn't a notice that sharing copyrighted material is potentially illegal be enough? Do you really expect the technology creators to have the resources to police the networks themselves? Most of these guys start out as hobbyist teenagers...

Quote:
given the fact that very few people produce their own music, images, software compared with the number of people who distribute material produced and owned by others, this seems to be a no brainer.


Speaking of no-brainers...


Quote:
Quote:
Is your integrity worth sacrificing our right to speak out, unencumbered by censoring technology? The bozos want to sacrifice the integrity of our social communication to protect a dead artist's right not to be remixed or copied on a P2P network.


...now you are talking apples and oranges here. censorship has nothing to do with intelectual property...


Sounds to me like you know very little about the way that copyright law has recently been applied, to stifle acedemic security research, to silence people speaking out against corporate policy, and to shut out potential competitors (companies who would produce alternative remote controls for AV equipment, for instance)...


Quote:
my own original words can be censored, but they are not copyright infringment.


Funny thing about DRM... if a company wants to, they can (and have) automatically filtered speech containing keywords they don't want people talking about. DRM is essentially a digital police state in every computer, controlled by a corporation who doesn't have your civil rights or best interest in mind.

Quote:
being sued for plagerism, software piracy, or copyright infringment is not preventing you from speaking your mind or making music...


It can, and has been used to sue people for sampling rediculously small pieces of protected works. See 3 Notes and Runnin', for instance... That's not plagiarism. That's not even a direct quote.

Quote:
it is an entity (individual or otherwise) calling you on the fact that you are using someone elses material.


The trouble with DRM is that it's automated and arbitrary. It shuts you down first, and never bothers to ask questions. It cripples your legally purchased content, so that it doesn't operate the way that it should, and cannot be used in ways that the law allows.

Quote:
if it is recognizably not yours, then you don't own it, and can't distribute it....it's not your idea if you can't express it in your own words.


If that were all that was at stake, I wouldn't be so serious about this. Perhaps you should check out the Chilling Effects weather report before you respond.

- Eric

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dmosc



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PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2005 2:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Here's my take.

Principle: there are certain "nessisary evils" in life. Greed is clearly bad but there's nothing you can do on a society wide basis to control it except embrace it. Cage even has us use it to fuel our economy and social progress. Similarly, certain things that are wrong must be done to allow finantial backings behind new ideas and change.

Basically, Copyrights at their core are needed to give legitamacy and spawn investment. I do not believe that this works all the time but I think it does the MAJORITY of the time. It is a "nessisary evil". We need record companies to have enough legal rights to actually want to distribute music. We need to have pattents actually hold enough water to get investment backings and allow corperations to make money. Clearly there is a problem with this when the copywrites are abused, and I think they are. I just don't see much other alternative.

The extreme example is of course microsoft uselessly creating unique aspects of it's code to prevent it from interfacing with non-ms products. This literally impedes progress and competition but I believe under our current laws it is unconstitutional and they are at least taking some heat for it in EU courts.

You have to respect the big music publishing companies for taking the line they do. They want to maximize profits, not advance society. People don't buy shares in them for the betterment of mankind. Because of this I think the current interpretations of the laws have gone too far. The other side of the debate is clearly not as well funded. Still, it is largely a "nessisary evil". I agreed with the earlier argument about "deep linking" etc that we're getting a little crazy to see such a huge difference between a site link and a more specific link but this site can't fight that legal battle, nor likely does it want to. I'm sure if Bush made a law banning synths this site would be more active in opposing the law but clearly the intended functions supported by this site are not restricted (YET).

This is also why I voiced opposition to Microsoft's OS as a legally copywrited product because that is a fight I do take on.
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dilvie



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PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2005 3:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I believe that we should tackle big problems while they're still small. At this point, it's pretty obvious that the big media corporations cannot be trusted with the sort of absolute power that government-mandated DRM would give them.

So far, DRM has done a whole lot of harm (and only to those who purchase products legally... the lawbreakers get the cracks), and not a lot of good. They want to sell CD's with DRM, fine, I won't buy those CD's, but they want to put DRM in every computing device, and everything capable of making a digital copy -- that's going much too far.

Pretty soon you'll be unable to copy your own CD's because the DRM mistakes it for a country album issued in the early 1940's (it's hapenned to me using a DRM-enabled CD copier at a friend's house).

Obviously, that's something that every fan of freedom should be fighting tooth-and-nail.

Big media companies are taking advantage of the ignorance of the general populace to undermine our core liberties, central to democracy, in the name of the mighty dollar.

For me, this has never been about somebody's right to pirate music... It's about our right to remain free, and communicate socially and artistically without worrying about getting sued.

Should people get sued for copyright violation? Sure... as long as there are reasonable copyright laws (life+70 years? oi!), and the plaintiff can demonstrate intent in court...

Should corporations be allowed to mandate DRM in every computing advice, or seek vigilante justice without the oversight of the public or the legal system? HELL NO.

Like I said, I'm not totally against all brands of IP protection, but they crossed the line a long time ago, and it's time we wake up and fight back.

- Eric

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2005 3:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

dilvie wrote:
...they want to put DRM in every computing device, and everything capable of making a digital copy -- that's going much too far.


Eric, on this one we are in complete agreement.

We should treat digital copying devices like we treat guns. Both can do bad things - guns can kill people and digital copying devices and make illegal copies of software and commercial media. With guns, we seem to see reason in letting the person be responsibile for the killings, not the gun makers. The same with digital copying devices.

As for collecting a tax on these devices or blank media and giving it to a rights management orgainzation is outrageous. It is taxation without representation - the reason for the American Revolution.

If we hold by a tax or fee the makers of digital copying equipment responsible for sealing media, why don't we hold the electric company responsibile for supplying the power?

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dilvie



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PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2005 4:13 pm    Post subject: Re: The Great Copyright Debate Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

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i highly doubt if this is the most important social issue we face today...i can think of just a FEW others that might be more important


I can think of very few other issues with as much power to enable or to crush the freedom and quality of life for all of society. There's a fine line to walk between IP protection and an unfeeling, arbitrary robotic machine that can literally put a stranglehold on world economies. We (thankfully) have not reached that scale yet in the debate, but if certain companies and lawmakers get their way, we very well could.

The printing press had ramifications that went far beyond the ability to get your hands on important literary work. It changed the landscape of politics and economics at large. We're talking about the same thing here (the freedom of society to communicate), on a much larger scale.

A lot of people fail to see the importance of the issue... we've been taking the power we have for granted... and that's part of the problem. We take it for granted that the law is on our side, right up until we are the ones on the wrong end of a criminal prosecution.

IP legislation has a tendancy to be retroactive (ie, changes in internet broadcasting regulation, extending the life of copyrights that should have expired decades ago, etc...). Under this light, there's a chance that we could be jailed in the future for something that is perfectly legal today...

Sounds insane, I know, but a lot of the laws that already exist are insane. That's what happens when you let the momentum of the status quo dictate the way we live our lives.

- Eric

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2005 6:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

mosc wrote:
As for collecting a tax on these devices or blank media and giving it to a rights management orgainzation is outrageous. It is taxation without representation - the reason for the American Revolution.


Beautifull comment, well phrased, catchy too.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2005 8:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

mosc wrote:
Quote:
We should treat digital copying devices like we treat guns. Both can do bad things - guns can kill people and digital copying devices and make illegal copies of software and commercial media. With guns, we seem to see reason in letting the person be responsibile for the killings, not the gun makers. The same with digital copying devices.


i don't know if i quite agree with this howard. i don't think there is anyone in this group that couldn't _at least_ make an analog copy of a protected work with less than $20 worth of equipment (in addition to the vcr and dvd player needed to play and record the protected work). ...or even aim a dv video camera at the tv screen. software encryption schemes are generally easy to bypass as well.

in the case of guns, having one makes you a not so easy target for someone with bad intentions that also has a gun. there is a level of personal protection (and i often think about "beyond this horizion" by heinlen where every voting citizen is required to carry a gun. you cannot be attacked or challenged to a duel by someone with a gun if you don't have one, but you can't vote either). in the end, in protecting one's self, there is a real benefit to owning a gun (which can also backfire ,but that is up to the conduct and temperment of the indivuidual gun owner).

i don't see how the ability to make a bit for bit copy of someone elses material has any benefit to the indivudual that does not intend to distribute the work. of course there are difficulties with backups, but this can be easily solved by the publishers (send in your damaged dvd or rom and we will replace it)...we have a _lot_ of books in the house (and lp's for that matter) that are not "backed up". books and lp's are relativley expensive to replace (even for the manufacturer), whereas dvd's, cd's and downloads are almost free, meaning there is no good reason for the manufacturer to be happy to replace damaged media. none of these schemes prevent a producer (or creator, or ip owner) to make copies of their own work, and i think this is the only really important issue.

the problem with digital material is it is just too damn easy to make a perfect copy. i'm sure if i were properly motivated, i could make a decent copy of "the illuminatas trillogy", have the cover color copied, and have the whole thing bound...but it would be more expensive (and more work) than buying a new or used copy. it's also easy to shoot someone in the head (if they aren't expecting it), but there are good reasons not to do so. sharing a dvd on a p2p network is also easy, but if widespread enough, it takes away the profit potential from those actually making (and paying) for the production in the first place.

the small airplane industry is at a virtual standstill development wise because it is too expensive (vs. the potential profit) to try anything new (in this case it's because of lawsuits and the like, but it's the same concept....things get created and improved because it is profitable to do so).

i won't say that i have never copied a piece of software, or music for myself or others, but i have never shared on a p2p network...the scope is just too big. i certainly don't agree with the prosocution of those that cracked the dvd encription code, but i do think that those posting the method publicly should be liable for prosocution (just as those that give step by step directions to drug someone and steal their kidneys for fun and profit should be). i think there is value to having some of these things to be happening "undergound" (if nothing else, it will make the encryption schemes stronger), but it doesn't have to be free from risk.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2005 8:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

deknow wrote:
.......i certainly don't agree with the prosocution of those that cracked the dvd encription code, but i do think that those posting the method publicly should be liable for prosocution (just as those that give step by step directions to drug someone and steal their kidneys for fun and profit should be). i think there is value to having some of these things to be happening "undergound" (if nothing else, it will make the encryption schemes stronger), but it doesn't have to be free from risk.


Yes, that seems to be a commonly held set of ideas, especially outside of the crypto community. Cryptographers and cryptoanalysts uniformly disagree. What makes encryption algorithems stronger is *public review*. The DMCA is the enemy of cryptographic research and is used in ways that are downright ugly. Perhaps you are aware of the cxase where a Russian crypto analyst who had done research into the protection of e-books traveled to the U.S.? in case you aren´t, this scientist had done some research into Adobbe implementation and found some bad holes in it (this is perfectly legal research in Russia) he then published about it (also perfectly legal). He later traveled to the U.S. to attend a convention and was promptly arrested. Cryptographers, notably Bruce Schneier, have warned that this is a very dangerous policy to the U.S. since this policy (there were other cases) leads to less foreign scientists attending U.S. conventions on cryptography (this is already going on right now), leading to a weaker position for the U.S. int aht world (well, the oublic side of the U.S., excepting the N.S.A.) and possibly less cryptographic research in general.

That is very bad news indeed since banks depend on strong crypto as do other institutions and the voting merchanism of many countries.

If I can borrow a phrase fromt he U.S. gun lobby; If cryptoanalysis is outlawed only outlaws will have strong crypto.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2005 9:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Quote:
Yes, that seems to be a commonly held set of ideas, especially outside of the crypto community. Cryptographers and cryptoanalysts uniformly disagree.

i understand that, but it is a self serving opinion, and needs to be regarded as so. every business and industry disagrees with any laws that limit what they can do, and it never has to do with the impact of the population at large. cryptography would most certainly be a bigger industry with bigger salaries and more jobs if it were more open. i don't really know much about cryptoraphy, but i have known people who left the us because they could not do the work they wanted to here.


Quote:
What makes encryption algorithems stronger is *public review*.


i agree...but isn't encryption a leapfrog concept?.....stronger encryption...ways to break them...stronger encryption.....and so on. i'm not sure why _i_ personally would benefit from faster development in both the encryption and the compliantary cracks (unless it lets me copy dvds easily and pirate the latest video software). is there an end game? is it just to see how fast we can get to an unbreakable encryption scheme that looms in the future (protecting the big, greedy corperations and their ip)....or is it just a cycle that continues? i think it just continues, and i don't really care how fast it happens.

Quote:
Perhaps you are aware of the cxase where a Russian crypto analyst who had done research into the protection of e-books traveled to the U.S.?

...this was exactly the case that i had in mind when i said i thougth some things were going too far. the big problem here was that he published his research. just like copying cd's or software from a friend on a small scale is differant from posting it for download on your web site, doing this research, collaberationg with others, working for a bank and doing this research is not a problem.....as long as you don't publish it.

i admit there there may be some aspect that i just don't get, but i just don't see it.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2005 10:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

deknow wrote:
Quote:
Yes, that seems to be a commonly held set of ideas, especially outside of the crypto community. Cryptographers and cryptoanalysts uniformly disagree.

i understand that, but it is a self serving opinion, and needs to be regarded as so.


Lost me there. How is this so?

Quote:

every business and industry disagrees with any laws that limit what they can do, and it never has to do with the impact of the population at large.


Generally the effect isn´t "no more safe bank accounts" either..... Also bear in mind that cryptography is a division of math, a field notorious for scientists who like to research and publish for the sake of researching and publishing.

Quote:

cryptography would most certainly be a bigger industry with bigger salaries and more jobs if it were more open.


More open in what way? All of the important algorithems are open source, exactly because it´s well established that peer review is needed. It´s the stray cludges like CSS that get cracked, it´s not like Scandinavian teenagers are posting five line pearl scripts to deal with tripple DES or Blowfish, at least not that I´m aware of.

Quote:

i agree...but isn't encryption a leapfrog concept?.....stronger encryption...ways to break them...stronger encryption.....and so on.


Yeah, so?

Quote:

i'm not sure why _i_ personally would benefit from faster development in both the encryption and the compliantary cracks


Well, you wouldn´t if we could indeed stop all research. You´d be safer if all guns were destroyed too, the problem is that some people will secretly keep their guns at which point you are f***ed. You do, however, benefit from your bank being able to use safe comunication between the atm machine and the central server, you also benefit from secure logins to your website, etc.

Quote:

is it just to see how fast we can get to an unbreakable encryption scheme that looms in the future (protecting the big, greedy corperations and their ip)....or is it just a cycle that continues? i think it just continues, and i don't really care how fast it happens.


There is a theoretical end; the point at which we have a algorithem which can´t be cracked before the stars burn out given the use of all the cilicium in the universe. We might be close to that point, it´s just that the proof of such things is realy, insanely hard.

Quote:

...this was exactly the case that i had in mind when i said i thougth some things were going too far. the big problem here was that he published his research.


No, the big problem is that Adobe used a cheap stupid cludge and stored the password in the file itself, then blamed the messenger when they got caught.

Quote:

just like copying cd's or software from a friend on a small scale is differant from posting it for download on your web site, doing this research, collaberationg with others, working for a bank and doing this research is not a problem.....as long as you don't publish it.


But this research is a devision of mathematics. Outlawing the publication of a whole branch of math would rank along "throwing attom bombs" on the scale of "stupid things you can do in the development of your spiecies". Russia, for all it´s faults, is still a soveriegn state and they are perfectly free to have laws that permit the distribution of cryptographic research, the majority of countries do.

The problem, much like with guns, is that if you outlaw publicity on this subject then some people will have knowledge others don´t. Knowledge is power, particularly knowledge with political and military aplications. Take for instance electronic voting machines. These are a case where everybody in the field (except for those who make them and some governements, even one or two western ones) agrees all code should be open source since peer review is a inherent part of democracy. Now imagine we live in the same country and I secretly break the encryption because I ignore the law that outlaws crypto analysis. I will never be prosecuted for this since I will pardon myself soon after, using laws I shall make for that. There will also be laws involving teenage girls and my palace ;¬).


Quote:

i admit there there may be some aspect that i just don't get, but i just don't see it.
deknow


That´s no problem, this is a field that matches unconventional sides of politics with math so hard only a few people are good at it and a couple more can judge how good those are, There rest is left go look up to those in silent admiration, hoping for a few simplified crubs to be thrown to them ;¬)

I don´t get it either, but I would encourage you to give some of these points a little thought, and perhaps wonder how usefull it is to outlaw trying to crack copyprotaction if we already outlawed the forms of copying we don´t wish to allow. To me that sounds a little like having a game rule that says "you are not allowed to break the rules".....

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 24, 2005 6:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Wow! This thread is on FIRE!

I think it's clear that no matter how easy it becomes to get music from the creator to your ear, there will always be problems. Perhaps we've gone a step too far with music as digital files. There's no more work in stealing a song or album. Remember the good old days, when you were a kid and taped a song off the radio, or recorded a record onto a cassette tape with RCA cables. Then everyone had cassettes and it was easier to make copies. The loss in quality was usually obvious. And then CDs to cassette.
When everyone was able to rip CDs, make CDs, and then mp3s, there was no more work involved in stealing a song. Programs do it for us. I'm not saying that it's the programmers' fault; they can do whatever they want.

I think many of us here today still feel that they need that actual product in their hands, with the album art, shameless shout-outs on the inside, etc. Don't get me wrong, I love mp3s. But when I started to imagine what would be the next media after CDs, I didn't imagine DVD-As or SACDs or mp3s on an IPod, I imagined some sort of credit card-looking thing. Some sort of card with a magnetic strip where nothing really moved inside the player like a record needle or cassette tape reel or CD laser arm. I STILL wanted an actual product, with album art. Something I could collect and look at, even if I wasn't listening to it. Just like baseball cards. Of course, this "credit card" thing would be digital and meaningless in a society already accepting of mp3s and AACs.

I love the idea of $1 a song, $10 for an album. I think the real problem here is how nobody but the artists care about stealing or art.
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 24, 2005 8:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Yeah, it´s on fire, but in a good way, I think. The last one was kinda ugly, I like the more positive aproach here much better. We (well, the people making new kinds of electronic music right now) need to discuss this, at the very least we need to think about how this affects the relationship between us and our audience or us and the people who´s music we enjoy. Of cource we also need to see how this field affect the relationship between society as a whole and art (or creative works) as a whole.

Anyay, I share your feelings about cd; It was cd burners amongst other things that made me care very little about that medium. There is still something magical about vinyl in that you can´t make it yourself at home. Come to think of it; because of the work and time involved casettes are now "more magical" then cd´s are.

On one hand this complicates the issue, on the other I´m realy facinated by the emotional value of "dead" things, particularly technologicaly created ones, and what effects that. After all we ourselves are trying to affect people emotionally with technolocically created music....

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Kassen
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Janitor


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 24, 2005 11:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Now this is a interesting development!

Perhaps most interesting about this is that contrary to ideologically based initiatives like Archive.org, Yahoo is a commercial venture.....

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opg



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PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2005 6:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

opg wrote:
Wow! This thread is on FIRE!

I think many of us here today still feel that they need that actual product in their hands, with the album art, shameless shout-outs on the inside, etc. Don't get me wrong, I love mp3s. But when I started to imagine what would be the next media after CDs, I didn't imagine DVD-As or SACDs or mp3s on an IPod, I imagined some sort of credit card-looking thing. Some sort of card with a magnetic strip where nothing really moved inside the player like a record needle or cassette tape reel or CD laser arm.


And so it begins.

http://deepquest.code511.com/blog/more.php?id=263_0_1_0_M

And if you don't go regularly, I highly recommend:

http://www.hackaday.com

The latest is hamster movements converted into MIDI data......
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redskull



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PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2005 8:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

What is Copyright?

Copyright is a protection that covers published and unpublished literary, scientific and artistic works, whatever the form of expression, provided such works are fixed in a tangible or material form. This means that if you can see it, hear it and/or touch it - it may be protected. If it is an essay, if it is a play, if it is a song, if it is a funky original dance move, if it is a photograph, HTML coding or a computer graphic that can be set on paper, recorded on tape or saved to a hard drive, it may be protected. Copyright laws grant the creator the exclusive right to reproduce, prepare derivative works, distribute, perform and display the work publicly. Exclusive means only the creator of such work, not anybody who has access to it and decides to grab it.



When does Copyright Protection begin, and what is required?

Copyright protection begins when any of the above described work is actually created and fixed in a tangible form.

For example, my brother is a musician and he lives in the United States. When he writes new lyrics, he prints them out on paper, signs his name at the bottom with the Copyright © symbol to show that he is the author, places it in an envelope and mails it to himself without opening it. His copyright begins at the moment he puts his idea in a tangible form by printing the lyrics out on paper. He creates proof when he mails it to himself - the postmark establishes the date of creation. He then registers his copyright with the U.S. Copyright Office which is a requirement in order to sue for monetary damages should a violation of his copyright arise. However, if somebody copies and redistributes his lyrics without permission before his copyright is registered, he still has the right to assert a copyright claim as the true author.

The above applies to digital art and graphics. Open a gif, jpg or png file that you created and look at the properties. It states the date that you saved it to your hard drive as the date of creation. If somebody copies a graphic from your web site I assure you that the date of creation on your copy of the file is earlier than the copy taken off your web site. If that still doesn't feel like enough proof for you, save everything to a floppy disk and mail it to yourself via certified mail. Keep the envelope sealed, wrap it in protective plastic and put it in a safe place.

Somebody once asked if it was "illegal" to place the copyright © symbol next to your name if you have not registered your copyright. Unless you have stolen the work from somebody else and you are not the true author of the work, it is not illegal to place the copyright © symbol next to your name - it is your right to do so.

The proper way to place a copyright notice is as follows: Copyright © (first date of creation) (name of owner). Like this: Copyright © 2003 John Smith.



When does Copyright Protection end, or expire?

If a copyright statement reads, "© Copyright 1998, 1999 John Smith." does that mean that John Smith's copyright expired in 1999? The dates that you see in a copyright statement do not refer to the dates that the owner's material will expire and become public domain - they actually refer to the dates that the material was created.

When you see several dates in a copyright statement, it simply means that certain things were created in one year and modified later. It could also mean that new things were created and added in a later year. It most definitely does not refer to the date that a copyright will expire. Expiration of a copyright actually takes place much later, and this period of validity begins from the date that you see in the copyright statement. The Berne Convention establishes a general and minimum period that lasts the life of the author and fifty years after his (or her) death. Cinematographic works and photographic works have a minimum period of protection of 50 and 25 years upon the date of creation, respectively. This applies to any country that has signed the Berne Convention, and these are just the minimum periods of protection. A member country is entitled to establish greater periods of protection, but never less than what has been established by the Berne Convention.

So, what does all this mean? This means that if a copyright statement reads, "© Copyright 1998, 1999 John Smith" and John Smith is from a country that has signed the Berne Convention, he created his works in 1998 and 1999, and his copyright is not going to expire until at least fifty years after he dies (this period may be greater - remember that member countries may establish longer periods of protection). Until that time his works are not in public domain.

I have actually seen copyright statements with future dates, such as "© Copyright 2003, 2004 John Smith", most likely because the copyright holder thought that they could establish an expiration date for the copyright. This is incorrect unless John Smith traveled to the future and created the work in question. These types of copyright statements also mislead others to believe that dates in a copyright statement refer to the date a copyright expire, when the date should really refer to the date of creation.
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deknow



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PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2005 9:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

redskull, not all of that is good advice (mailing things to yourself for instance is not a good way to protect yourself). i'm a stickler for knowing where information comes from, and this was clearly pasted from somewhere on the net.

i copied the first 20 words or so, and did a google search (with the words in quotes), expecting to find a website that was giving out bad legal advice about protecting one's copyrights. instead what i found was that this is being posted (verbatim) by all kinds of individuals and organizations. given that it was written by someone, and probaby copyrighted in it's original form (i don't know where that is). it's even funnier that the web sites that post it are also copyrighted....giving out advice on how to protect the reader's copyright, by violating someone else's copyright, copyrighing it themselves...and all the while the advice is bad. this kind of thing cracks me up

deknow
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redskull



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PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2005 9:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I suppose i goofed there, as I never said i wrote it, nor did i say i did not.

the copyright office official site doesn't veer away form my former post much to make it void Wink

http://www.copyright.gov/circs/circ1.html
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play



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PostPosted: Wed Apr 27, 2005 7:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

This post has been censored by Protect-o-Bot due to possible copyright infringement.

Protect-o-Bot, "Serving your community better."



----------------------------------------------
For more information about this service,
see U.S Patent 666
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play



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PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2005 7:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Via Slashdot:

Wal-Mart Parody Site Censored by DMCA
http://www.businessweek.com/ap/financialnews/D89NUI9G0.htm?campaign_id=apn_tech_down
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Patrick Stacey



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PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2005 1:21 pm    Post subject: collages, mashups in live performance Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

really enjoying this discourse....

Let's leave some Chinese entrepenuer bootlegging a million "Titanic"
DVD's off the table for a minute...and consider someone who is presenting some type of musical collage or mashup in a live performance...this someone is performing for free, not distributing the music in any other way, CD, mp3 or otherwise...is this person really infringing on some IP law? Should the "owners" of his/her raw source material have some say as to whether he/she engages in that activity or not? Does this person need permission? Does the owner of that one snare hit that came and went into the air momentarily have a right to request money from that person? How much?

I quote Anthony Kedis..."Give it away, give it away, give it away now!"

forgive me, but...You have an original idea, do you? And you want to own

it? How precious...sell it, liscense it, protect it, fight over it...fine...but I

submit that you do not "own" it....

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dmosc



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PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2005 1:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

1) if I hack a game I legally bought so it doesn't need the CD to play, did I do something illegal?
2) if I buy a game but it gets backordered so I download it to play in the meantime did I steal it?
3) If I play a CD and my friend puts me on speakerphone, did he just pirate the music?
4) what if I have a recorded line and I call somebody up who puts me on hold and music kicks in. Now, that music is being recorded (involuntarily). Did I just pirate it?
5) If I have a key to winxp I legitamently purchased but use another one microsoft published as a known stolen key instead did I pirate it?
6) If I make copies of a CD for my own use in say, my car that's fine right but if I then LOAN my real CD to a buddy to try out, did I just distribute? What if I don't listen to the burnt one until I get the original returned?
7) with all these gray areas, is it any wonder that some level of pirating is unavoidable?
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2005 3:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

This one could easily be mistaken for a joke. It's not.

Apple sued for using the name "Tiger"
http://www.appleinsider.com/article.php?id=1039
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2005 4:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

dmosc wrote:
1) if I hack a game I legally bought so it doesn't need the CD to play, did I do something illegal?
2) if I buy a game but it gets backordered so I download it to play in the meantime did I steal it?
3) If I play a CD and my friend puts me on speakerphone, did he just pirate the music?
4) what if I have a recorded line and I call somebody up who puts me on hold and music kicks in. Now, that music is being recorded (involuntarily). Did I just pirate it?
5) If I have a key to winxp I legitamently purchased but use another one microsoft published as a known stolen key instead did I pirate it?
6) If I make copies of a CD for my own use in say, my car that's fine right but if I then LOAN my real CD to a buddy to try out, did I just distribute? What if I don't listen to the burnt one until I get the original returned?
7) with all these gray areas, is it any wonder that some level of pirating is unavoidable?


I bought Half-Life 2 not too long ago and part of their Steam "service" is automatic, forced updates. You can't even play the game if you aren't on the net. Well, their updates caused an incompatibility with my hardware so I downloaded a version off the net that I knew would be before the updates so I could play the game until they fixed it. Oh yeah, I tried getting help from their tech-support first it took two weeks to get the "Is your computer plugged in?" - type response. Well, they fixed it finally, so I deleted the version I downloaded.
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