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Copyright Hypocriticism? Expand / Collapse
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Posted Thursday, October 6, 2005 4:32 PM


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Tech companies have a balancing act. One one hand they don't want anyone infringing on their copyrights (Microsoft Sues More Resellers) and on the other hand they build products and technology that can be used to infringe on other copyrights (Hollywood Studios Unite).


Before anyone gets upset and complains, I know that Microsoft and many other companies are working to ensure that their products aren't being used to infringe on copyrights. But in many cases the fundamental nature of these products is that a copy is made of digital data. And digital data is, in many ways, much more fragile than physical data if it is not backed up. And making a simple back has become a contentious issue in many cases.


And the companies that are giving us technologies and capabilities to potentially infringe on artistic copyrights seem to be very concerned about others infringing on their own software copyrights. I know I'm dumbing this down and it's not a cut and dried thing, but this is why the issue gets extremely complicated quickly and there are not simple solutions.


I'm for going back to the US Constitution's 14 year copyrights, renewable once. And I'm for shorter protections for software, much of which is outmoded quickly. Or at least requiring things to fall into the public domain once their are end-of-lifed for some period of time, like 5 years.


At least things in the physical world do that. If my 30 year old car needs parts, I can work with it and fabricate what I need. Can't quite say the same thing for Windows 3.1 or NT 4.0.


Steve Jones







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Post #226942
Posted Thursday, October 6, 2005 6:46 PM
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The problem with copyrights and patents is that the concept of intellectual property rights is fundamentally flawed.  (In that they are completely unnatural and in no way rights).

As a result it is simple cause and effect that any set of IP rules will eventually lead to the kind of insanity we have today and worse.  (And, you certainly can't fix it, that would be like trying to modify rain so that it will not fall from the sky.)

Give the automakers some time to catch up with the evil which is the EULA:  In a few years it will be illegal for you to fix your old car yourself.  (Heck, with the computer chips and their diagnostics tools they're not far from making it illegal for you to find out what's wrong with your car.)

Post #226967
Posted Friday, October 7, 2005 7:14 AM
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One of the problems with current law is that the responsibility is placed on the wrong party (mainly for legal convenience). A digital copy is simply a digital copy and a copying device should not be trying to interpret content (which is an opening for all sorts of inconveniences and failures). Only PEOPLE violate copyright.

We've seen bizarre situations where stores refuse to copy any photo that a clerk things might be a professional photographer's image (sometimes based on invalid criteria, such as 'was a background sheet used' or 'does the lighting appear to be professionally set up'). On a few occasions that I heard of, photographers were unable to get their own work copied at Walmart.

I agree we ABSOLUTELY should get back to the original Constitutional standards, these guys had a lot more sense than Disney's lawyers.



...

-- FORTRAN manual for Xerox Computers --
Post #227096
Posted Friday, October 7, 2005 7:22 AM


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The fact that Disney, Sony and the rest of the media industry (those two irk me the most) don't want me to make copies of my $20 DVDs is incredibly annoying. My kids have been using DVDs for several years and they still don't know how to put them away. I am surprised that none have been broken since they often end up on the floor; we did actually have a CD explode in my daughter's CD-ROM drive once so make sure you don't use any damaged disks in your drive or you might end up replacing that drive at your own expense.

321 Studios had a great product called DVD XCopy. Your first thought might be that it was OK that Sony, et al put them out of business through constant court battles but this was a really good company that actually had everyone's best interests at heart. I purchased the Gold edition of the software and before I could use it I had to register and activate the software online. Through this process, I was given a unique ID number which was imprinted on all copies I made with the software. So, if any illicit copies made it out of my house I could be identified as the culprit. Now, instead of identifiable copies I just make backup copies the old way; a legal DVD copy package teamed up with a DVD decoder. I am surely not about to give up another $20 because a DVD is broken. I didn't pay the money for the physical media; I paid for the right to watch the content in my home.

John is right too, intellectual property is a very confusing topic. The whole concept came about to protect entrepreneurs with new ideas from bigger companies that were already established. With the Microsofts, Oracles, and Suns of the world it's getting harder and harder for the little guy to compete. Add that with the legislation that paid-off politicians put in place to protect companies from competition and you have a complete nightmare. Maybe we should stop allowing lawyers to run for political offices?!



Bryant E. Byrd, BSSE MCDBA MCAD
Business Intelligence Administrator
MSBI Administration Blog
Post #227099
Posted Friday, October 7, 2005 11:14 AM
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There is something informative in the hubbub to try to stamp out CSS (open source DVD player) which exposed the DVD decryption details. News reports consistently portrayed this as a move to provent pirate copies. This is not really true. Making bootleg copies of a DVD does not require decrypting anything, simply a sector by sector copy. Access to the decryption, however, enables access the streams (which actually would be necessary for 'fair use' access). Is that what they're really afraid of?

 



...

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Post #227227
Posted Friday, October 7, 2005 1:55 PM


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A related story from Wired News: http://www.wired.com/news/politics/0,1283,69115,00.html?tw=rss.TOP

Abstract:
The Copyright Office periodically asks the public for examples of copyright-protected material that should be exempt from the DMCA. It's your chance to tell the government to get crackin'. By Holly J. Wagner.



Bryant E. Byrd, BSSE MCDBA MCAD
Business Intelligence Administrator
MSBI Administration Blog
Post #227328
Posted Thursday, October 13, 2005 1:46 PM
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A couple of examples of hypocrisy have struck me over the years.One product which had a download after you 'agreed' to not copy, distribute etc was distributed in a DEMO version of a zipping tool.

 

Another case was a spyware program with notices demanding that you not 'reverse engineer' their product--- except their product works precisely because they reverse engineered other people's products



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-- FORTRAN manual for Xerox Computers --
Post #228804
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