Intellectual Property vs. The People's Rights

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by RoboNerd, Jul 25, 2002.

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  1. RoboNerd Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Nov 7, 2001
    star 2
    C|Net's News.Com has an article about the ACLU's challenge to the DMCA, which I will definitely chime in right now as being opposed to for its draconian anti-fair-use and anti-free-speech measures.

    For example -- let's say the latest Disney DVD's 5 minutes of commercials before the movie blocks the fast-forward button. By modifying the player to allow you to fast-forward anyway, you would be guilty of tampering with anti-circumvention devices, and would face 5 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

    Furthermore, a Russian programmer created a piece of utility software that would allow a person to convert an Adobe E-Book Reader document into an Adobe PDF document. Big deal, eh? The only problem is, by modifying the file format, anyone can read and modify the documents. Adobe alleges that this is a DMCA violation. Read the link for much more detail.

    So far, I have yet to see any LEGITIMATE USE of the DMCA. The only things I've been seeing come from it are what can only be called Corporate Terrorism -- where big companies are not fufilling their responsibility to make effective and tamper and error-free products, and instead are using the DMCA to prosecute those who are discovering legitimate problems and vulnerabilities, not to mention extending the usefulness of existing software (IE, bnetd).

    Of course, I am just scratching the surface with these examples -- there are hundreds, if not thousands, more violations of Fair Use provisions which are vitally important to the everyday American.

    Right now, my mind is made up, and any company that uses the DMCA to push little guys around will not get my business again -- at least, not until the stop this foolishness and retract their actions & statements.

    Of course, while I back up my opinion with facts, it is still opinion. I would like to read what others might opine here. What do you think? Is the DMCA necessary, or a violation of rights?

    +=o RoboNerd o=+

  2. Darkside_Spirit Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Sep 9, 2001
    star 3
  3. Kimball_Kinnison Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2001
    star 6
    You know, I started a thread on a similar topic [shameless self-endorsement]International Law and the Internet[/shameless self-endorsement] that also refers to Dimitry Sklyarov's case. It is interesting to also note the case of Ed Felton, who wanted to publish research about digital watermarking and was blocked by the RIAA using the DMCA. After various threats (and a short-lived court case), Dr. Felton was allowed to present his paper.

    Just a little food for thought.

    Kimball Kinnison
  4. SaberGiiett7 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 2002
    star 6
    The ACLU are too much of liberal extremist.
  5. Red-Seven Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 21, 1999
    star 5
    Corporate 'terrorism'?


    You have a very good post, without needing to try to add shock value and connotations by utilizing the overused 'terrorism' reference. Please, that's just lazy and wrong and further disconnects the word from its true meaning and value.
  6. Jades Fire Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Nov 8, 1998
    star 4
    Companies are seriously pushing back against the Fair Use laws. Back in the early 80's, entertainment companies opposed allowing people to use their VCR's to make a recording of a movie from television for their own personal use.

    Look for the entertainment industry to try to take another shot at Fair Use, especially now that digital copying technology is gaining widespead use. Wanna copy those old VCR tapes you have to DVD? The entertainment industry is going to resist that idea. They want you to buy new DVD's instead.
  7. RoboNerd Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Nov 7, 2001
    star 2
    Red-Seven,

    May I point out that people are afraid to come to the United States now that the DMCA is in place? Many academics fear arrest upon their entry (a la Skylarov).

    What is the point of terrorism? To instill fear and compliance with a minority's agenda.

    What is the point of the DMCA? To instill fear and compliance with the agenda of a minority of copyright holders.

    I would submit that this law is nothing more than a vehicle to terrorize the population into submission to the whim of the minority of copyright holders... after all, who can spare 5 years and $250,000?

    SaberGiiett7,

    While normally I agree with you on that respect, and I absolutely abhor the ACLU's defense of NAMBLA, I think that the ACLU is right on the money with this issue.

    +=o RoboNerd o=+
  8. Darkside_Spirit Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Sep 9, 2001
    star 3
    Is it possible for the Supreme Court to issue a writ of certiorari to a district court?
  9. TreeCave Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2001
    star 4
    Wanna copy those old VCR tapes you have to DVD? The entertainment industry is going to resist that idea.

    No one will do this for you even now. I wanted to get my widescreen digitally remaster PRE-special edition SW trilogy put onto DVD for my personal use only, since Lucas says he'll only DVD the Special Edition, which I can't watch (of ESB particularly). No one will dub these onto DVD for me, for fear of being sued.

    This is ridiculous. I'd be happy to sign something swearing its for my own use and the company can't be held liable if I distribute or sell copies, because I have no intention of doing this. And the copyright warning on each video states I can make a copy for my own personal use.

    I don't understand all the details of this stuff, but copyright laws have ALWAYS been decades behind the times. The people writing them don't even understand the internet half the time.

  10. RoboNerd Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Nov 7, 2001
    star 2
    THE PLOT THICKENS

    A new bill just introduced today will allow the RIAA or the MPAA to perform a denial-of-service (DOS) attack on your computer -- without any recourse available to you for lost time and other damages... if they just happen to think your PC has any copyrighted materials on it.

    This is ridiculous, and if it passes, it is the same as a declaration of war by the MPAA & RIAA & Congress against the people.

    The fight is on.

    +=o RoboNerd o=+

    (edit: speeeling)
  11. Maveric Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 17, 1999
    star 4
    D_S

    The USSC can issue a writ of cert to any court in the US to hear a case.
  12. solojones Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 27, 2000
    star 9
    TreeCave- There are legal programs coming out now that allow for that. Besides, making a copy of something not to sell or give away, but for your own use, is perfectly legal.

    -sj loves kevin spacey
  13. TreeCave Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2001
    star 4
    SJ, what programs?

    And you're right that it's legal, but companies who professionally transfer VHS to DVD won't do it for FEAR of some legal liability that MIGHT happen.

    All the griping about frivolous lawsuits boils down to one thing: all American companies and many American individuals now make most of their decisions in terms of "How will we avoid being sued" instead of "What's the right/smartest thing to do?" This is NOT a way to run a business or your life, and we need to get off the hook from this kind of thinking.
  14. DARTHPIGFEET Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Jan 24, 2001
    star 4
    I hate the ACLU with ALL my heart so I will never support anything they try to fight against. They have worn out their welcome around here as far as I'm concerned.
  15. Rebecca191 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 2, 1999
    star 6
    A new bill just introduced today will allow the RIAA or the MPAA to perform a denial-of-service (DOS) attack on your computer -- without any recourse available to you for lost time and other damages... if they just happen to think your PC has any copyrighted materials on it.

    I agree. That law would be completely ridiculous. It would allow copyright holders to hack into a computer, and if it turned out to have no copyrighted material and files were irreparably damaged, then the computer owner can't do anything about it! I simply don't understand how such a law could be passed. It sounds like it would cause more harm to innocent people, than stop people who pirate copyrighted material. It will be a sad, sad day if a law exactly like that was passed. You can't give copyright holders ultimate power to screw up the computers of people who have not been proven guilty of anything. Something needs to be done to prevent a law like that.
  16. Coolguy4522 Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Dec 21, 2000
    star 4
    I think the ACLU has done quite a few good things, they take on the case of the little guy. Most of the time this means they take on the stupid guy, but sometimes they are needed.
  17. Kyle Katarn Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 10, 1998
    star 6
    I'm glad the ACLU has finally grown a brain cell or two and put them to work. Their past exploits have been anything but worthwhile, unlike this one.
  18. ferelwookie Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Oct 4, 2001
    star 4
    DarthPigFeet...why do you HATE the ACLU? Is it even possible to hate an organization? Or do you hate what they stand for? I have seen them fight many cases, which I didn't agree with, but that fact is, if they weren't standing up against issues like censorship, and free-speech, what other group would?

    To paraphrase someone: "We must defend speech, even speech that is offensive to us." ...and all that. ;) I believe strongly in free-speech, privacy rights, and the like. To defend everyone's right to express themselves in a free society means having to put up with some speech, "art", expressions, that some of us may not like. What is offensive or "pornographic" to one person, "artistic" or beautiful to another. While I feel the ACLU has defended some slimy cases at times, I believe it is necessary to have "watch-dog" organizations such as this to guarntee that we all have the right to truly express ourselves and live our lives to the fullest with the liberties that our country promises us.

    (waits for the backlash...)
  19. Diesel_Dave Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    May 16, 2002
    star 4
    I have not been a fan of the ACLU ever scince they made it illegal to ask for status of citizenship on a wellfare form. Infact I downright hated them. But I'm glad to see the ACLU actually do something right with their abundace of lawyers.

    It's about time they stand up for the Real Rights of Americans
  20. TreeCave Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2001
    star 4
    Dielsel_Dave, that's a cool way to look at it.

    I think the ACLU had a noble purpose once. To make it possible for individuals to beat huge corporations when the coporations were wrong. To help individuals beat the govt when the govt was wrong. Then they fell into the trap everyone does in our adversarial legal system: WIN WIN WIN.

    Now it doesn't seem to matter how crazy the case is, they'll take it on. A criminal defense attorney has to argue for his client the best he can, no matter how guilty the person is or how much the lawyer dislikes his own argument. But the ACLU are civil lawyers - they have the luxury of being able to choose only worthwhile cases that will actually ultimately benefit people. And they seem to be exercising no discretion anymore.

    But the ACLU is hardly unique in not living up to its original intent. Most causes don't.
  21. DARTHPIGFEET Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Jan 24, 2001
    star 4
    "To paraphrase someone: "We must defend speech, even speech that is offensive to us." ...and all that. I believe strongly in free-speech, privacy rights, and the like. To defend everyone's right to express themselves in a free society means having to put up with some speech, "art", expressions, that some of us may not like. What is offensive or "pornographic" to one person, "artistic" or beautiful to another. While I feel the ACLU has defended some slimy cases at times, I believe it is necessary to have "watch-dog" organizations such as this to guarntee that we all have the right to truly express ourselves and live our lives to the fullest with the liberties that our country promises us."

    Well I don't. I think there is a line between free speech and good taste. For example I could care less if someone wants to watch porn via internet or home video. I don't care just as long as it's not dealing with minors especially kids.

    The ACLU has defended a internet site which PROMOTES and it's members discuss having sex with small kids and getting away with it. That is a criminal offense. A member of this group went out and made his fantasy a reality and raped and killed a small child. Now if I had to choose between someone rights of free speech and privacy and saving a child from some sexual predator, I choose the childs life and twice on Sunday. There is a time when we as a society should say "you know what there must be a fine line to what should be protected under the 1st ammendment and what should not." I think this should really ring home to all of us since we have recently had 4 cases in the past year of kidnapping and recently a 5 year old in California abducted outside her house and found dead. Thank God they caught the guy who did it, and you know what. The guy who did it was recently aquited of the same charge of child molestation. Oh and before I hear any innocent before proven guilty. "The guy is down right guilty and evidence goes out the door on him".

    So no backlash is needed but there must be a difference between free speech and common sense folks. That is all I ask.

  22. RoboNerd Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Nov 7, 2001
    star 2
    For those of you who were following the ACLU Vs. DMCA thread, we're back with a bit broader title. So, okay folks, here's the next big issue:

    Copy Protected CD's

    As you all probably know, there are numerous audio CD's being released with a stripe of computer data which renders the disc unreadable or uncopyable by most computers. And you probably know that there's and easy workaround: scribble over the stripe with a magic marker.

    However, as someone who routinely copies all the discs I buy for backup purposes (that is, I buy a CD, copy it, and listen to the copy), I am rather infuriated that the RIAA thinks I don't have that right.

    As we mentioned before, the DMCA technically could put you in jail for marking over the stripe (it is considered circumvention of an anti-copying measure).

    So, here's the pith of this whole thread:

    Do we have the right to bypass anti-copying measures when they interfere with our reasonable enjoyment of a product?

    +=o RoboNerd o=+
  23. Cailina Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 18, 1999
    star 4
    Do we have the right to bypass anti-copying measures when they interfere with our reasonable enjoyment of a product?

    I think we do. In my case my computer has an awesome sound system so I usually listen to CDs on my computer, if I bought one of these copy-protected cds than I wouldn't be able to do this since the computer can't even read them(as far as I understand...I don't actually have any). The CD would be essentially useless to me and I might not know this untill after I bought it and opened it since I don't know that they are marked outside the package.
  24. Darth_SnowDog Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Sep 10, 2001
    star 4
    The answer is simple... if you don't like a product... don't buy it.

    In the 21st century, recording companies are becoming quickly obsolete. I am currently recording my second album... entirely on my own, with a computer. It will be distributed independently, almost exclusively via the internet. I've done so at extremely minimal cost compared to what debt one encumbers when they sign with a recording label.

    So, my contention is that we do not need record labels. With the decentralization of distribution resources as a result of the internet, the DMCA becomes somewhat of a moot point... because natural market forces will eliminate those manufacturers/producers of music who are unwilling to adapt to the changing demands of consumers.
  25. Vaderize03 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 25, 1999
    star 5
    The "Hacking Bill" might just actually pass the House. I was watching CNN the other day and it has quite a bit of support, if you all can believe that.

    From a legal standpoint, this bill is clearly unconstitutional.

    Number One: It presumes that all citizens are breaking the law and therefore, in the 'name of intellectual property rights', record companies and movie studios will be able to read all of your files to 'search' for copyrighted materials. The constitution guarantees a presumption of innocence, therefore the premise of the RIAA, that all citizens must be breaking the law, is not valid or legal.

    Number Two: This bill violates the 4th amendment to the US constitution, namely protection against illegal search and seizure. Whether or not a person is actually breaking the law is not justification for the violation of due process that this bill would allow.
    If a person breaks a law, the police arrest them, gather evidence, present it to a judge, who signs a search warrant and they enter the home and get what they need for the district attorney's office to prosecute.

    Also, the scope of things here needs to be put in perspective. Now, I'm not saying that someone who copies CD's and sells them shouldn't go to jail, but the RIAA has gone overboard with what it considers copyright protection. Should private companies be allowed to enter your home and search all your CD's and tapes to make sure you've never copied something off the radio? Of course not, because it's absurd. Yes, there are abuses, but they aren't bad enough to justify this type of action. We're not talking about murder here, Mr. Record Executive. Geez, even if you are arrested for homicide, the police still need a warrant to search your home.

    Every time I copy a song from the radio, the RIAA loses money, as does the artist. Do I go to jail for that? If I copy the song and give it to a friend, what is so terrible about that? And frankly, someone could make a million copies of a CD and give them away, which would cause just as much damage as the computers do.
    All I keep hearing about is how the movie and music industries continually break records with sales. Obviously, the uber amount of violation taking place is somewhat exaggerated, wouldn't you think?

    The solution is simple: CHARGE PEOPLE FOR FILE SHARING. Pay a fee for Madster, Kazaa, and the like, so that they can pay off these whining multibillionaires who will then hopefully stop trying to erode our civil liberties 'in the name of intellectual property rights'.

    Anyway, I'm all for the boycott of everyone that signs onto this. Enough is enough. The ACLU, by the way, is a big help in situations like these. They'll take it to the supreme court, where it will probably be struck down 6-3, with Thomas, Renhquist and Scalia for it and everyone else against.

    Peace,

    V-03
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