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A (Suprising?) Viewpoint On RIAA Lawsuits 193

Posted by timothy
from the sensible?-insensible? dept.
colnago writes: "The Motley Fool has an interesting article about lawsuits and their effect on capitalism. You may also read this as "lawsuits and their effect on technology." In any case the arguments are similar to what we've read here, but it's good to see the financial community on the same page as the nerds. One tidbit: 'How about picking a judge who used to work for you? Judge Chaplain (who presided over the first DVD trial and ruled in favor of the MPAA) was Time Warner's lawyer on DVD issues before he became a Judge.'"
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A (Suprising?) Viewpoint On RIAA Lawsuits

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  • by barracg8 (61682) on Sunday September 10, 2000 @10:05PM (#789461)
    • We're capable of selling bottled water in this country (something that comes out of the tap by the gallon, virtually for free).
    Spot on. The more people who recieve your music for free, the more people who will pay you for it. Logical? probably not. But then we aren't all vulcans.
    • But the tired old men circling the wagons around the old technology can't wrap their heads around that concept in a new context.
    Yup. The biggest danger to the music industry is the music industry. If they have any sense, these court cases are about buying themselves some time to catch up.

    In the UK, and probably elsewhere, I know that singles are usually sold as loss leaders to get people to buy the album. They actually sell singles to LOSE money, but to buy public awareness, so why not just give them away free on the internet? And everyone knows that the singles are supposed to be the best tracks on the album, so why not give away the weak tracks too?

    Cheers,

  • >Motley Fool reports that Valenti believes that
    >"Commerce trumpst the First Amendment."

    Not Valenti. The -JUDGE-. And he DID say it (the actual quote was "is more important" rather than "trumps"). That's one of the grounds on which they asked him to recuse himself.

    Rob

  • Back before there was IP laws did people not invent things? Write poetry and literature? Perform music? Paint paintings?
    The problem is that much of the production of "content" these days is underwritten by capital (read:corporate) interests. Prior systems of content creation relied on patronage or the willingness of the creator to live in poverty or make money doing other things. Patrons paid for the content they wanted - whether or not anyone else saw it, enjoyed it, forked over money for it was more or less irrelevant. Unauthorized duplication was not only hard but also a non-issue.

    This takes us up to the advent of the publishing industry. Now, capital investment is necessary to pay for the presses, paper, and distribution. Upside: more opportunities for creators, more content for the audience. Downside: the involvement of business means making profit, which is (or has become) synonymous with maximizing profit.

    The limitations of the medium acted as a natural check on how much unauthorized duplication could go on, but it suddenly became relevant on the radar of business interested and the content creators themselves.

    Now fast forward again to today. Limitations on duplication no longer exist. A click of a button can produce any number of perfect copies, limited only by storage space. The current crop of IP laws (DCMA, SBCEA) attempt to replace the technical infeasability of yesteryear with legal punishment. (Other conspiracy theory arguments as to the purpose of the DCMA [perpetual content control, elimination of all sales in favor of rents] also exist, but let's put those aside).

    If these IP laws do not stand, some sort of new method of funding content creation will need to be worked out. I have my doubts as to how effective a 'tip' based solution will be. The concept of elaborate online 'tipping' profiles advocated by some seems at issue with privacy and profiling concerns brought up by some members of that same faction. Grassroots creation and distribution may be feasible, but creates a 'gatekeeper' issue (how do you sort the crap from the cream in a crowded market? That's one of the functions that publishers/distributors served.). Long story short: is IP law necessary for the creation and distribution of content? No. Will it be business as usual if IP is scaled back or left untouched? No.

  • People still buy CDs, despite music being freely available on the radio.

    Um, don't radio stations have to pay the music studios when the play the music? The studios are still making money directly from music on the radio, they just aren't getting it from us. Their problem is that there's no way to do that with mp3s.

  • speaking of Quebec....

    Great place.

    Sucks...

    Nice people.

    Lots of french racist rednecks. Ever been to Quebec city? Try living there and see all those nice white pure-breed quebecers reject you.

    Multicultural environment.

    Only in Montreal. Try getting out of Montreal from time to time. What do you see? a vast land filled with uneducated french-speaking-only racists. Montreal, yes. It's a multiculturally diverse city. Ys, there are many many artists here and many cultural events. It's a nice city. The racism is not obvious because, frankly, whites (especally those pure-breed quebeckers) are a minority. But try going to Quebec city. How many blacks live there? How about jews? Irish? Indians?? Asians? Or, oh my god, Anglos? (such a dirty word... grin)
    So you see, outside of Montreal, Quebec is not that great. But don't take my word for it, goo see for yourself.

    For the occasional tourist coming in Quebec from Ontario. How do you know you crossed into quebec? The road signs are no longer bilingual (joke: in ontario, going to quebec, signs are french and english. Once you're in Quebec it's french only. Even going out of quebec and into vermont, you see french and english signs. But not in quebec...)
  • So the MPAA is cutting out part of linux's marketshare. What a fscking stupid argument.

    But MPAA does cut out part of Linux's marketshare. Why is this a fscking stupid argument?

    Perhaps if linux would get it's act together and get binary compatability sorted so we could run non-opensourced (shock horror) code on it, then things like this would be more likely to exist.

    But why does Linux need a non-opensourced solution when there's a perfectly good open-sourced one? Because one FSCKING STUPID CORRUPT AMERICAN JUDGE says so?
    --

  • KAPLAN: See CHAPLAIN, Charlie


    There is a method to the madness here...

    Well, there would be if the name were not actually Charlie Chaplin.
  • They own the music; they can do what the hell they like with it and the only sanction you have is not to buy it.

    That much is true, and would not be a problem. The problem comes in when they lobby for (and get) a tax on media (CDR) and standalone recorders so that I have to pay them when I distribute the music that *I* own. Or when they try to destroy the technology that I use (and that they don't own) through paid legislation

    Those tactics are nothing but a more sophisticated and less risky form of leg breaking. Any company that employs those techniques is just a gunshot away from organized crime.

    I'll point out that patents and copyrights are in the US Constitution; the idea that they are the result of "lobbying" is literally ridiculous.

    The existance of patents and copyright is in the constitution with the express requirement that they be to enhance the development of the arts and science. The current system which is strongly slanted to enhancing the big players' revenue at the cost of other advancement is the result of lobbying and probably payoffs.

    As far as the whole napster thing goes, Lars and the RIAA need to go after the actual copyright violators (the people who post and download their misic). What they're doing now is like sueing the postal sevvice if I mail a bunch of cassette copies of Metallica CDs to 100000 of my closest friends at cost. In that scenerio, I would be the person they should sue (and they'd be perfectly right to do so IMHO).

    Bottom line, instead of offering the best product at the best price and winning the market fair and square according to capitalist principles, they are trying to win by offering whatever they want to at whatever price they want and destroying everyone else's store. The fact that their hired goons wear Armani suits and ties and wield pens rather than fedoras and tommy guns is just a reflection of the changing ways that organized crime does business in America.

  • devine qui?

    Lemme guess, an armchair vegetarian revolutionary whose sole idea of politics is to wipe everything out (since everything's wrong) and start from scratch, and whose karma is going down so fast lately that he has to post anon.

    And what's this thing you have about Canada?

  • And these agencies have failed in their mission. By ignoring the Internet and wasting time in establishing a presence on it they have allowed other companies to fulfill consumer demand. Instead of leadership, agencies like the RIAA, have only wanked off in some futile effort to create a business where they have 100% control.

    Where can I make my $10 payment and get my quota of downloaded music?

    Worse yet, because they refuse to take the risk and/or initiative the RIAA has lost the ability to train their consumer base to whatever hypothetical business model they rollout. They waited too long and now people are used to Napster and MyMP3.com. The only option to buy some precious time which doesn't exist anymore is to litigate.

    So instead of saying, "we screwed up and did nothing while other companies came in and established themselves" they instead say that these businesses are havens for piracy which are taking food from artists' mouths. What I want to know is when will the RIAA rollout "legit" music distribution over the Internet. Or better yet, when will the music industry allow artists the freedom to work with these new companies for the artists' benefit.

    The fact that other companies tried to fill this void is an example of capitalism in action. If this was any other industry people would be saying that the movie and music establishments deserved to die as they obviously cannot adapt.

  • One tidbit: 'How about picking a judge who used to work for you? Judge Chaplain (who presided over the first DVD trial and ruled in favor of the MPAA) was Time Warner's lawyer on DVD issues before he became a Judge.'"
    Aren't judges who have prior contact with the plaintiff or defendant in lawsuits such as this supposed to disqualify themselves as they would be prejudiced toward one side or the other?
  • They were really saying "Boo-urns"!
  • CHAPLAIN: Minister, priest, man of the cloth.

    KAPLAN: Alleged MPAA Toole

    Charlie chaplan: A comedian from silent movie era

  • My point was that with if linux wasn't so damn picky about running precompiled binaries then someone would have made a closed source dvd player for linux.

    Since the original poster seemed unconcered with the licensing of such a player then this would be perfectly acceptable.

    Legally the lawyers hope the CSS is a closed algorithm and as such they want any implementation of it to be closed source.

    Linux unfortunately doesn't cater for people who want to release closed source software at all well.
  • It's also filled with a lot of other third-rate almost-weres and others who sold themselves into major label slavery, or sold their souls, or whatever, all of whom can be yanked around like so many puppets on strings.

    Hey! I can't find my coke spoon! Get me another!

    Yes sir, Mister Geffen! (mass exodus ensues)

    Boss of nothin. Big deal.
    Son, go get daddy's hard plastic eyes.

  • Perhaps if linux would get it's act together and get binary compatability sorted so we could run non-opensourced (shock horror) code on it, then things like this would be more likely to exist.

    It appears you have a fundamental misunderstanding of how an O/S works, but correct me if I misinterpreted your point.

    If you are implying that Linux cannot run non-opensourced code, you are mistaken. Whether or not the source is open has nothing to do with what O/S can run the binaries. There are many closed source applications which run on Linux. Examples: Oracle 8i, Star Office, Visual Works, Quake 3, to name just a few.

    If you are implying that Linux is somehow behind because it can't run a Windows DVD player, this is simply ridiculous. If DVD makers would release the specs for their software, there would be Linux DVD software available I dare say within a few weeks, and an entirely new market segment would be available to the movie industry.

    So, you see, it is not the Open Source community's fault that we have no DVD player, but rather the short-sigtedness of the DVD industry.

    • Um, don't radio stations have to pay the music studios when the play the music?
    Yes, they do. There are bodies who collect fees from radio/TV stations, advertisers, film companies depending on when/where/how often the music is used.

    But to go back to my original post:

    • The biggest danger to the music industry is the music industry.
    I believe that all the radio stations playing music off vinal were originally pirates, and the music industry fought them, until these organizations were set up to collect money. The music industry found a way to increase their sales through the new technology it feared. A lesson that they should have learnt, and that was repeated in the VCR.
    • Their problem is that there's no way to do that with mp3s.
    There is currently no way to do that with mp3s. Check out this [slashdot.org] recent Slashdot article for one solution to the problem. I know that I would pay money for a radio station where, in my user prefferences, I could click "Ooops, Brittany, don't do it again. Ever." How do radio and TV stations make the money to pay for using the songs? Advertisments and subscription fees.

    But even if they can't make money out of mp3s, once this takes off in a big way, no record company will be able to afford not to have their music available over the net. People using Napster today, are like the first people listening to pirate radio stations. Nowadays, record companies rely on air play to sell their music. In the future, the same will probably be true of the Internet. In reality, any major record label could find a way to survive if they stopped recieving fees from radio stations, but couldn't if all their artists stopped getting air play.

    If they are using stalling tactics to buy time to catch up, they are smart. If they think they can stop people downloading music off the Internet, they are shooting at their own feet with a sawn-off shotgun.

  • Linux? Picky? Linux is an OS. It is not some animated object with its own free will. It's a string of bits. It can't be picky. Some people are picky, but commercial closed-source software vendors have every right to disregard these people. And guess what? They do.
    --
  • They'll almost certainly win their litigation against DeCSS and Napster, respectively. They have the money and we all know you can buy yourself a nice piece of justice with a chunk of the green.

    We, however, must not forget that winning in court is necessarily equal to winning in the real world. The facts:
    • Most of the World is connected through Internet (countries that are not have more existential problems than personal liberties)
    • CDs and movies are unreasonably expensive because of cartel control
    • People don't respect the laws they don't find appropriate
    • Technology for total anonimity as well as ultimate filesharing is here or is about to enter
    With these in mind one doesn't need to be a rocket scientist to figure out the overall outcome of this unfortunate episode. Communism failed because it was impossible for the few to control the minds of the many. While they managed to hold on to the power for as much as 70 years in some countries, they ultimately were destroyed.

    Sadly, today's industry cartels and monopolies failed to learn the lesson and are trying to do the same. The question is not whether we'll succeed in crushing our contemporary oppressing forces, but how long will it take and what the cost will ultimately be.


    -----
  • by Animats (122034) on Sunday September 10, 2000 @10:15PM (#789481) Homepage
    The big problem was the '99 Congress, which basically gave Hollywood and the music industry whatever it wanted. Between the Sonny Bono Copyright Extension Act (which effectively extends copyrights forever) and the Digital Millenium Copyright Act...

    Don't blame the courts. Given that Congress enacted the DMCA, the courts are doing their job. The basic problem is that we have a pay-per-view Congress. And it may get worse. George Bush Jr. apparently believes that it is the job of politicians to do what their contributors want. No guilt, no shame, no notion of bribery or corruption. It's just supposed to be that way.

  • by iCEBaLM (34905) <icebalm@@@icebalm...com> on Sunday September 10, 2000 @10:15PM (#789482)
    You people don't understand the importance of copyright laws and intellectual property. Most of you would love to live in a world where there were no IP laws, but guess what would happen? No one would want to publish their work online!

    This is absolutely, one-hundred percent, wrong! Back before there was IP laws did people not invent things? Write poetry and literature? Perform music? Paint paintings? I really hate it when people say "without IP laws no one would publish anything" as history has shown that this is false. The very thought that one human can own an idea, or that a thought is the same as real estate, is absolutely absurd. Now I don't think we should do away with IP COMPLETELY, but it should be reformed drastically and protections severely minimized. Mattel sueing everyone and their dog over the name Barbie just shows that as it stands IP Law Doesn't Work!

    This is similar to the good intentions behind communism, yet in practice it has proven to be a failure.

    Again, this is false. One implimentation of communism crumbled so communism could never work, or doesn't work? I don't think so. This is another argumentative pet-peeve of mine. Communism as the Soviet Union practiced it didn't work, but that doesn't mean communism doesn't, or can't work.

    The lawsuits may be hard to swallow at first but they are absolutely essential for the growth of the Internet.

    No, they are not. They hinder the internet. For as many people you think wouldn't post their work online in the absence of IP law there are 20 companies and individuals who wouldn't post their work online in FEAR OF IP law.

    Why do you think many hardware makers don't release specifications? Because Microsoft is bribing them not to? No. Because they are afraid of potential law suits over patents they may have infringed but because of the time and cost involved couldn't or didn't check with the patent office on each and every method they use. Look at 3Dfx getting sued by NVidia over patent infringement. 3Dfx is open with their specs and that is their reward, NVidia isn't and their reward is staying speed king in the 3D accelerator card market. This is what IP law does.

    -- iCEBaLM
  • by Aleatoric (10021) on Sunday September 10, 2000 @10:15PM (#789483)
    Uhh, no.

    You are right that there is nothing wrong with intellectual property, either in principle, or in use, and there are times that the force of law can and should be used to protect it.

    However,we are well into the process where the laws and protections for IP are being lobbied far beyond any necessary value, either to IP or to the public in general.

    Patents and copyrights are being pushed far beyond what they were ever intended for. Little needs to be said here about the foolishness of many of the patents being awarded these days, and copyrights are supposed to fade into the public domain after a reasonable period, not be carried into perpetuity.

    Also, IP laws were not intended to trump the basic rights of use. Such necessary rights as first sale, fair use, and the right to reverse-engineer not only should (and must) be allowed, but they also are an integral part of the value of IP.

    Laws such as the DMCA, with its restrictions on fair use and reverse engineering, and the proposed UCITA, which actually seeks to shackle the first amendment (making illegal any negative comments about software does just that), among other poorly thought out 'protections', will, in the long run, do more harm to IP, and respect for IP, than any number of violators could ever do.

    The article on the Fool does not bash the concept of IP, it merely states that those worried about protecting IP can do a much better job of it if they embrace and use modern technology, rather than trying to suppress it.

    Be careful with the allegations of communism, as well. In all the communistic societies, such rights as I have listed above (and many others) are suppressed, not provided as a given. And the ongoing dialogue is definitely about rights. The holders of IP have the right to the protection of their property, but the users of IP also have the right to use that property without undue restriction. IP protection is important, but we should not sacrifice the rights of the users to allay the unfounded fears of those who can't (or won't) grow with the rest of us.

  • I just finished reading Mario Puzo's "The Last Don." In it is a bit of an explanation of the movie business pay-out system. I've no reason to disbelieve what he's written: why invent, when real-life is more horrifying?

    Anyway, it turns out to be pretty much the same way that the music industry works. A $15M picture that grosses $100M will see 50% of that amount paid out to the theatres, leaving $50M for the studio. This is called the "rentals," but I'm gonna call it the "gross," 'cause we're probably all more familiar with that term.

    So the studio subtracts the cost of making the movie, plus they subtract about thirty percent of the gross for distribution costs, and also the cost of making the prints and advertising costs. You might end up with $15M left over once that's all done with.

    Ah! But they also get twenty-five percent for studio overhead (utilities, soundstage rental, etc). The big-name star will be taking at least 5% of gross; and the director and producer will take another 5%. And the costs of the loan for the $15M to make the film will be taken out.

    There'll be less than $6M left at this point. A bunch of other dick-them-around costs will be stolen from the left-overs. Then, and only then, will the smaller actors and the screenwriter and the novelist they stole the idea from get paid.

    It's the music industry all over again. The studios take by far the bulk of the money, and the creative artists -- the writers, many of the actors -- get bupkis. Or so it goes in Puzo's book.

    Can't imagine why the music and movie industries get away with what's basically racketeering. Don't you Americans have some sort of law about that?

    Oh, my bad. The *law* is against the racketeering... but the *money* is what talks. Corrupt judges that won't recuse themselves from cases they're partial to... purchased politicians that pass laws favouring their owners... a docile public that hasn't the guts to demand change...


    --
  • "So the MPAA is cutting out part of linux's marketshare. "

    Hmmm... Maybe Redhat, Caldera, Suse, etc... Should sue the MPAA for lost profits. After all, didn't Bell telephone go after people who used non-Bell phones and equipment and, of course, they were broken up as a result. Seems like the MPAA has a type of monopoly here - one has to use an MPAA approved DVD player. It could take a sharp legal team to make the historical comparison between Bell telephone and the MPAA. Anyone who uses a copyright to gain a monopoly loses the right to that copyright. Ah but the DMCA would need to be overturned first... Anyone with legal expertise out there? How could this be tackled?
  • Nope, you are the one who doesn't understand the nature of capitalism. Since you've agreed that the capitalists own the means of production, they are not obliged to bow to you, me, the market, or Darth Fucking Maul.

    I never said they're obliged to anyone. But in a real capitalist market, the producers stop making money when they go against their market. So, all things being equal, the producers must bow to the market if they want to make money. No obligations, just economic principles.

    They own the music; they can do what the hell they like with it and the only sanction you have is not to buy it.

    Exactly. Thus, the market. But instead, they get to take money from me in taxes on equipment, media, legislation, relicensing, arbitrary content controls, etc...

    Just mentioning "racketeering" shows that you are not a capitalist; you're in favor of some sort of half-assed "managed competition",

    What are you talking about? "Half-assed managed competition" is exactly what I'm calling racketeering. Only in this racket, the corporations have tipped the half-assed management in their favor.

    I don't want anyone tipping the scales in ANY direction.

    ...whereby technocrats in ivory towers decide what is or isn't "fair" for people to do with their property.

    When did I say that? I said, let the market decide. Not government. Not coalitions of corporations. Not geeks with code. The market.

    The companies own the music, so it is right that the government protects their property rights with guns and police.

    Yes, but only insofar as they are not stifling innovation or conspiring to extinguish competition. This damages the market.

    By copying files on Napster, you are initiating force. That puts you squarely in the wrong. Deal with it.

    I can't argue with you there. Napster, in its current context, facilitates theft. It can be used for something other than theft, which is where I have issues... but Napster is more often than not used to initiate force.

    I'll point out that patents and copyrights are in the US Constitution; the idea that they are the result of "lobbying" is literally ridiculous.

    The concepts of patents and copyrights are in the Constitution. But not as they are being interpreted and reworked today. In fact, in a lot of ways, I think you'd find that the original intentions of patents and copyrights were much more balanced, seeking to reward the producer while still benefiting the larger society, or at least keeping the scales even between producer and market.

    Instead there is lobbying adding coin after coin to the producer side of the scale.

    Whatever your views on the First Amendment implications of UCITA and DMCA, the fact is that the basic principle is one of the right of the owners of music to be secure in their property.

    This is true, but once they've sold me something, I should have the right to use it in whatever way I see fit. As far as my nose, that is.

    I should be able to watch my movies, listen to my music, whatever, whereever, whenever. Note that this doesn't include exploiting what I've bought, reselling, publically exhibiting, etc, etal.. that's past my nose. But I should have control over what I have purchased.

    No reform of copyright law would ever make it OK to copy valuable music without paying its creator (or his agent, the record company).

    Agreed. And though I have a huge MP3 collection, they all come from my own CD's. I bought them, and now I want them in a different form.

    Bottom line: the companies "control technology, channel demand, and delay trends until they have time to address them" not through any special legislation, but because they own the music. And you don't, so you don't get to tell them what to do. The libertarians are squarely on the side of Lars on this one, if they are being consistent.

    I'm mostly talking about Fair Use here, that being in spirit that, if you sell me something, I get to use it. However I want. As long as I don't try to get the same rewards from it that you deserve. I can listen, I can phase shift, I can time shift, I can do whatever I need to do to enjoy what I've purchased from you... but I can't try to enter the market with your goods.

    That is what I have a problem with. Forcing me to arbitrary content controls so that I need to buy a separate copy of your goods to enjoy it in two different places (see: Divx players). Insert other examples here. Basically, you sell me something, I don't have to buy it from you again. But I don't get to sell it again, unless I'm transferring it from me to someone else.

    Blah.
  • by phutureboy (70690) on Monday September 11, 2000 @02:13AM (#789490) Homepage
    The Grateful Dead allowed and encouraged people to tape their shows and trade the 'bootleg' tapes freely. They refused to play in any venue that wouldn't provide a special section for tapers to set up their gear. Some of my friends had hundreds of Dead show tapes, and participated in elaborate tape-trading networks. Many people taped with DAT decks. Commercial use of their music (charging more than the cost of a blank tape) was strictly prohibited, however, and would be met with prosecution, although I'm not aware of any cases where that happened.

    Perhaps this could explain how the Dead came to be so popular that they sold out every show within minutes, and that their official albums sold millions and remain big sellers to this day... (BTW, Workingman's Dead kicks ASS!)

    The bootleg jams are still around - people are now making MP3s of them and trading them in a Dead MP3 binaries newsgroup... Every now and then I fire up nget and pull down a couple dozen of them.

    My point ... is that maybe the Grateful Dead had a Really Gargantuan Clue, about 25 years before it occurred to anyone else ... that you could share your music with the world and still make a living.

    Anyone serious about understanding the changing world of digital music and new business models should read up not on Napster or MP3.com, but on the Grateful Dead bootleg scene that has being going on for the past 25 years or so.

    --
  • The libertarians are squarely on the side of Lars on this one, if they are being consistent.

    Only if a they are statist hypocrites. Copyright and patents were created by government fiat, and before that it was a priveledge granted by the crown. You do not have a natural right to a sequence of bits.

    (Was it feed a troll, or starve a troll? I always forget which...)
  • I love how she put that:

    asked about
    the kid that got arrested for writing a DVD program

    Because that is exactly what he did. He is guilty of writing nothing more than DVD program without a license!

    It's interesting how the non-technical see it before they get the brainwashing propoganda of an industry that will shoot everybody, including themselves, out of speculative paranoia!

    -- Bryan "TheBS" Smith

  • by matthewd (59896) on Monday September 11, 2000 @07:42AM (#789497)
    I've read several posts about how people find it hard to explain the current crop of RIAA/MPAA lawsuits to people (non-geeks). Maybe it's easiest if you just tell people:

    "The record and movie companies want to take away our tape recorders and VCRs."

    Ultimately, that's what it comes down to. The digital equivalents of tape recorders and VCRs are the "Boston strangler" to the RIAA/MPAA in their view of the world.

    Last month Wired ran an article about watermarks in DVD video, which focused basically on DVD-writable based recorders. Entirely missing the point of once watermark rules can be placed in DVD content to prevent perfect digital copies, they can also be placed in broadcast content to do whatever the broadcasters want!

    This could include making broadcast content non-recordable (ie, a network decides you can't make your own copy of it's latest miniseries; if you want a copy you have to pay for it on DVD) or forcing you to record commercials (and not fast-forward through them on playback) or imposing a window (recorded program must be viewed within a week of recording) or imposing a limit on the number of playbacks.

    My jaw dropped to the floor when I read the link to the article in the Motley Fool about the FCC To Rule On Copy Protection [zdnet.com]
    Technology Dispute.

    Wired has a link to a current article in USA Today [usatoday.com], it seems it is a done deal now.

    How much more popular are VCR's than Napster? What's going to happen if the old line media companies are stupid enough to use technological means to circumvent legal rulings that didn't exactly go their way, even if they've been enriched by the results? Is war coming, are are the sheep lining up to be sheared even as I write?

    There is one thing I am fairly sure of though: DeCSS is the tip of the iceberg. Those hackers who have the knowledge, skill and motivation will create software that will ignore watermarks and cut through "copy protection devices". Maybe this time it will be anonymously as well as open source. What the industry execs fear will come to pass despite anything they can do.

    It is still depressing to read about how the powerful are steamrolling the rights of everyone else.

    "You may stop this individual, but you can't stop us all... after all, we're all alike."

    I really hope so.
  • Yes but as i recall all the examples you have cited are application level.

    To do dvd decoding you will need at least some driver level interaction surely since there is some degree of authorisation at drive level.

    Anyway there was never any decree that you must own windows to play dvds. In the UK you can buy standalone players and these sport far better support for high definition tv output and surround sound decoding. You can also play dvds on your Mac, you should be able to play them on solaris (either now or soon) and it's free.

  • We seriously need to email this article to the "geniuses" who run the studios in the MPAA. They don't seem to realize that they're shooting themselves in the foot here, and that many techno-freaks, including yours truly, won't even consider buying a DVD player until they grow a few brain cells. Of course, they seem to want the whole pie, even though the pie is a lot smaller than it should be if they let the people choose exactly how they want to use their stuff.

    Of course, this is the US of fucking A, so being a CEO makes you automatically gifted with perfect sight.

  • by gunner800 (142959) on Sunday September 10, 2000 @09:33PM (#789500) Homepage
    ...for those with the motivation to actually do something about all this:

    Judges really can be, in effect, removed from a case due to a conflict of interests. If it happens after the case is all done, something akin to a mistrial is declared.

    So at one time, the judge was receiving money to protect their interests in DVD issues. That seems like a pretty clear cut example of conflicted interests...


    My mom is not a Karma whore!

  • I applaud the fool for pointing out the hypocrisy of RIAA and the MPAA, and the absurdity of these lawsuits. Let me explain.

    The DMCA is one of the most important bills to hit capital hill in a while. Why isn't it receiving more coverage in the media?

    The DMCA is subtly undermining how the general populace understands their constitutional rights. Maybe I'm being a tad dramatic here, but why is it that people are simply throwing up their hands and letting someone else's money solve their problems? Why do they believe that money is the only thing that can solve problems?

    I like the fool, but what I'm getting at is the irony underlying the issues in that column. The same invisible hand that entertainment industry is trying to slap or shackle, is the one that also allowed the biggest entertainment mergers in history. Those mergers have limited all televised, thoughtful, discussion on the DMCA, EULA's, and technology in general. Everything is a 20 second soundbite makingthe EFF sound like either a cult of terrorists. In the sixties and seventies, mass media conveyed the idea that computers and mass communication were powerful toold that could change the world for the better. Now, mass media feeds us the impression that these objects/concepts are nothing more than sleek tools, or toys.

    What better way to protect your toy chest than to have people forget about it - claim that people don't even have the right to question you about it. For those few fringe people that know it exists and just want to expose it's guts, you can call them criminals and no one will care.

    So the hand. The members of MPAA and RIAA used the metaphor of the hand to justify their insanly gigantic unions, but now they're not letting the market do it's job. Corporate rhetoric always sites "the market forces," but the Fool aptly points out that this only happens when it suits them. At all other times - complete ownership of market forces is what's best for business.

  • There is nothing wrong with using a licensed DVD play to watch DVD movies on, I don't understand the point you're trying to make. They haven't sued anyone under those conditions.
  • First a few facts:
    1. I have a computer.
    2. I do not have a DVD player.
    3. I run linux.


    Now for the kicker:

    I will not buy a DVD player until I can use it in Linux.

    This is not a philosophical debate nor a boycot on a matter of principle. My demand for a DVDs is zero until I have a usable player. (usable==runs_in_linux) Therefore the MPAA is costing the DVD industry at least my marketshare worth of sales. Oh and Im willing to bet there are at least a few others like me.
  • If you buy a DVD drive (licenced) and a DVD and use DeCSS to watch the DVD under linux, you are breaking the law...

    --Ben

  • Er, isn't that supposed to be Kaplan? I can't imagine anybody going to one of this guys sermons..

    -- iCEBaLM
  • Um, don't radio stations have to pay the music studios when the play the music?

    Yes, often with part of the payola from the promoter.

  • Just because these programs have changed the world doesn't mean that they've changed things for the better. The whole purpose of these agencies is to protect the creators of music, movies, etc.

    This statement is wrong. These trade organizations exist to maintain and shepherd the interests of the owners of copyrights, not the actual creators. Musicians sign away their creative works to record companies, who ARE NOT the creators and don't care about anything other than making money. Refer to the Salon article about the repeal of the 'work for hire' clause, if you remain confused on this point. Movie studios simply finance distribution and rent out space in which to make movies. The writers, actors, and other involved in the industry have large groups and unions in place to protect their interests from the corporations involved.

    Therefore, sir, I must call you the troll that you are.

    When these producers no longer have any protection against piracy, how can they make money?

    The same way they do now. Piracy has been a problem for them for decades and the real piracy is happening offshore, in the Orient and other places whose laws don't give a crap about IP. To assert that DeCSS and Napster substantively hurt the industries involved, especially with their histories of exploitation of everyone from artist to consumer(in the form of taxes to 'protect' their revenue streams), is nothing more than a strawman. I DO have a match....

    When they can't make any money, what will motivate them to continue producing?

    Another whiny strawman. The United States is going to be one of the most lucrative markets in the world for these people. If the studios are really that worried, which they aren't, that everyone is going to steal them blind, then they should never have gone to DVD in the first place. They are their own worst enemies.

    Would a world where people got outside and started caring about what they saw be so bad? I mean, from my point of view, if Hollywood shut down tomorrow, a lot more people might find other things to do and obesity rates might plummet as well. But, alas, that's a Utopian dream that would depend on them actually have minds to open after so many years of modern media entertainment.

  • by werdna (39029) on Monday September 11, 2000 @03:10AM (#789515) Journal
    Motley Fool reports that Valenti believes that "Commerce trumpst the First Amendment."

    Of course, this is not only fundamentally wrong, but laughable. And it is not the law. The Supreme Court has said so.

    The Congress passed what seemed to be some overwhelmingly reasonable laws a few years back, stating only that the Copyright, Trademark and Patent laws applied to the States. However, during a Patent and Trademark infringement ruling appealed to the Supreme Court last year, the Court held that the Eleventh Amendment trumps the Patent and Copyright clause, and precludes the Congress from passing laws impinging on State Sovereignty. This is the Florida Prepaid Credit case. Just a year before that, the Court addressed precisely the same issue, but with respect to the Commerce clause. That was the Seminole Tribes case.

    In each case, the result was simply this: Amendments trumped the body of the Constitution.

    Congress may make no law. Although "no law" doesn't really mean no law, it does mean that unless there exists an exception, First Amendement uber alles.

    Now why does the Copyright Act not, properly applied, impinge upon First Amendment rights? So the argument goes: it only prevents aping the expression of another -- you can't be liable under Copyright for using the ideas of the work, and you can't be liable under Copyright for stating your own original ideas, even if they are identical in expression to the copyrighted work of another. At least that's what the Courts have stated. It's not that the First Amendment doesn't apply -- its that the First Amendment isn't implicated by the Act. Where it is, the interstices are usually picked up by the fair use doctrine.

    And that brings us to the DeCSS and Napster cases. In each case, we are dealing with an application of the Copyright law that doesn't concern itself at all with the distribution of a particular work by the plaintiffs -- the crux of the case is that an original work BY THE DEFENDANTS is facilitating some sort of copyright infringement. Indeed, this is really creating more patent-like than copyright-like protections, and for unpatentable technologies.

    And it is for that reason, that the First Amendment is not only implicated, but a paramount issue in these cases. The "contrebanded" works, at the end of the day, are not those of the plaintiffs, but the defendants.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    You forget though that people like N'Sync & Britney spears would soon be unable to stay afloot if they were to do the same thing... Well ok so some guys woudl still go to a spears concert to see her wiggle aroudn on stage, but overall if her music was free no one would ever bother to buy the CD's... The market after all would only stand good music being rewarded & well that wouldn't please RIAA to much as those junk bands are what they make the most money off of these days...

  • I'll point out that patents and copyrights are in the US Constitution; the idea that they are the result of "lobbying" is literally ridiculous.


    Article I, Section 8, Paragraph 8:
    To promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries;

    One line. Nothing about patents, copyrights, or their durations.

    Where does the REST of our fucked up system spring from?

    How about the thoughts of a founding father (on patents):

    "If nature has made any one thing less susceptible than all others of exclusive property, it is the action of the thinking power called an idea, which an individual may exclusively possess as long as he keeps it to himself; but the moment it is divulged, it forces itself into the possession of every one, and the receiver cannot dispossess himself of it. Its peculiar character, too, is that no one possesses the less, because every other possesses the whole of it. He who receives an idea from me, receives instruction himself without lessening mine; as he who lights his taper at mine, receives light without darkening me. That ideas should freely spread from one to another over the globe, for the moral and mutual instruction of man, and improvement of his condition, seems to have been peculiarly and benevolently designed by nature, when she made them, like fire, expansible over all space, without lessening their density in any point, and like the air in which we breathe, move, and have our physical being, incapable of confinement or exclusive appropriation. Inventions then cannot, in nature, be a subject of property. Society may give an exclusive right to the profits arising from them, as an encouragement to men to pursue ideas which may produce utility, but this may or may not be done, according to the will and convenience of the society, without claim or complaint from any body. Accordingly, it is a fact, as far as I am informed, that England was, until we copied her, the only country on earth which ever, by a general law, gave a legal right to the exclusive use of an idea. In some other countries it is sometimes done, in a great case, and by a special and personal act, but, generally speaking, other nations have thought that these monopolies produce more embarrassment than advantage to society; and it may be observed that the nations which refuse monopolies of invention, are as fruitful as England in new and useful devices."

    - Thomas Jefferson, Letter to Isaac McPherson, August 13, 1813



    Hmmm, certainly in not there either.

  • Sounds great. I have a $1000.00 laser disk player. I can not rent movies for it. Most titles are at least 5X the cost of a VHS. Think all the new stuff will be released on VHS? Think again. VHS releases are being phased out as DVD's are taking the space on shelves. Soon VHS will be as common as my 12 inch video disks. New formats (HDTV & DVD) are always more restrictive. AS soon as the market mass hits the HDTV wide screen standard, with encription all the way to the display, (non letterbox of course) then films will only be on fully locked down media. Don't expect HDTV to have any kind of recorder that is usable. They will only have retail, Digital Cable and rental play only media releases. My VHS will be stuck only with reruns of the Brady Bunch and I love Lucy. The movie industry will just wait for all the tapes to decay and turn to dust. The idea is of course is you can only play by their rulls. If you want anything new, you have to follow like sheep to get it. They know they don't have to release to what most people have, because there is no real competition. They own the distribution channel.
  • Maybe I'm being clueless, but AFAIK the fruits of creative labor are NEVER property. What is property [after a fashion] is the monopoly rights granted by the state to encourage creative endeavours.

    Trademarks, Copyright and Patents are de jure monopolies, and can be traded like property. The term IP might apply to these. Still, the debate is one of pejorative terms:
    pirate vs monopolist.

    Even secrets are not property. A person misappropriating data ought to be charged with trespass or breech-of-contract, not theft.
  • by deusx (8442) on Monday September 11, 2000 @03:56AM (#789524) Homepage
    Yes they are, and you are the prickwad. The fact is that the "legislature and judiciary" have already decided that the "means of production" of music and movies are to be "privately owned" by the RIAA and MPAA, and the people who are attempting to "manipulate" (ie, break the law) for "financial gain" are the Linux bores and Napster. You're the worst libertarian I've seen this week.

    Umm, what the hell are you talking about? You really make no sense, and are being a twit to boot.

    This is not capitalism, this is racketeering [dictionary.com] on the part of the entertainment industries, assisted by the central government's system of judges and legislators. Yes, the means of production are privately owned by corporations. But, in a real capitalist system, the corporations must yield to the market, not bend the market to its rules via bribes, lobbied laws, and prohibitive litigation.

    These companies are gradually insulating themselves from the forces of a capitalist market by placing control points in place which let them control technology, channel demand, and delay trends until they have time to address them. And they are assisted in this by the central government who wields the ultimate say in the market, in the form of police and guns.

  • Just because these programs have changed the world doesn't mean that they've changed things for the better. The whole purpose of these agencies is to protect the creators of music, movies, etc. When these producers no longer have any protection against piracy, how can they make money? When they can't make any money, what will motivate them to continue producing?
  • Ah, so it was DeCSS that he was referring to. He didn't mention that in his post. I don't see anything wrong with viewing DVDs in other operating systems, the problem with DeCSS is that it enables anyone to decode the movie and freely distribute it. People have already begun doing this and encoding movies into Divex or 3ivex so they can be downloaded faster. Face it, the whole purpose behind DeCSS is to make piracy a lot easier.
  • Please point out which section of the GPL says "you may not make money off this". Of course, there is none.
    Please point out a company currently turning a profit from the sale of GPL'd software.
    While there is no explicit prohibition against making money, the GPL effectively prevents companies from turning a profit.
    Do try to think before posting.
    --Shoeboy
  • The awards are filled with industry people, and put on by Viacom, an MPAA (and RIAA?) member. Try an audience of actual fans, and you'll have a different reaction.

    sulli

  • The RIAA and MPAA are the classic "Hollywood Parasites", they get between the talent and the money, and most of it sticks to their fingers.

    You want to put them out of business tomorrow? The magic word is "disintermediation". Find a way that Napster-like software users can pay the artists *directly*, and the parasites will dry up and blow away.

    Right now the RIAA and MPAA, in spite of the fact that they are talentless scumbags who live by sucking the creative life out of everything and everyone they touch, have the moral high ground because the artists, who *are* entitled to compensation for their work, don't get any from Napster-doanloaded works. The winning strategy will be the one that exploits internet distribution and still lets the artist get paid.

    Now, do you want to keep digging your heels in and trying to get everything for nothing, and let the parasites figure out how to set that up so they still get their cut, or do you want to actually accomplish something? Figure out how to do that, and the artists not only won't walk out on your when at the MTV awards, they'll *give* you an award, even if they have to make up a category.

    --Dave Rickey

  • Copyrights are not a natural right; they simply do not exist without being legislated into effect. Furthermore, if you actually examine what it means for something to be owned, what it means for something to be property, you'll find that music is not owned and cannot be property.

    Additionally, we don't have to have copyrights at all; the Congress doesn't HAVE to permit them, they just have the ability to do so (within three fundemental constraints). So yeah, you could reform copyright law out of existance and legally permit the copying of valuable music without paying the creator or his agents.

    I'm not against copyrights per se, but the current crop of copyrights are IMHO unconstitutional. After all, the only authority that exists in this country to copyright things derives from the constitution. BUT the same clause limits just how expansive copyright laws can be. I think we've exceeded those limits, and I'm pissed off about it. (and just in case you're wondering, I _am_ an artist. And because I know about my line of work, I know that copyrights are usually more harmful to art than useful.)

    I can see that you've looked at this issue a bit. Now dig deeper and you'll see that many of the 'truths' that the RIAA et al espouse are merely their points of view. While they've had success in buying laws, that doesn't make the laws consitutional, and certainly doesn't make them just. And all unjust laws must be fought tooth and nail, don't you agree?
  • CHAPLAIN: Minister, priest, man of the cloth.

    CHAPLAIN, Charlie: Comedian. Bumbling fool. Movie Idiot.

    KAPLAN: See CHAPLAIN, Charlie

    There is a method to the madness here...
  • I know I shouldn't feed the trolls, but just in case anybody takes this guy seriously:
    • It is obviously pandering to the majority of Internet users who know nothing about the way things work in the real world.
    Uh, the article makes its point using a "real world" example - the effect of the vcr on the motion picture industry.

    Please, if you have facts, bring them to the discussion; if you just another damn troll, insert your head up your own arse.

    G

  • by phutureboy (70690) on Sunday September 10, 2000 @10:40PM (#789548) Homepage

    Capitalism is: an economic system in which the means of production and distribution (aka capital) are privately owned. Under capitalism, distribution of resources is controlled by market demand rather than central government planning.

    A capitalist is someone who supports this economic system. Sometimes the term capitalist is also used to describe persons who provide capital for business ventures, e.g. Venture Capitalists.

    Someone who manipulates the legislature or judiciary for financial gain is definitely NOT a capitalist. The term that is generally used to describe these people is 'unethical dickwad', although other vulgarities may certainly apply as well.



    --
  • This is absolutely, one-hundred percent, wrong! Back before there was IP laws did people not invent things? Write poetry and literature? Perform music? Paint paintings? I really hate it when people say "without IP laws no one would publish anything" as history has shown that this is false. The very thought that one human can own an idea, or that a thought is the same as real estate, is absolutely absurd. Now I don't think we should do away with IP COMPLETELY, but it should be reformed drastically and protections severely minimized. Mattel sueing everyone and their dog over the name Barbie just shows that as it stands IP Law Doesn't Work!

    Back when there weren't any IP laws, there was no way of distributing digital copies of music. The Internet makes possible things that we had never even imagined, and there will always be people who will take advantage of these new possibilities.

    Again, this is false. One implimentation of communism crumbled so communism could never work, or doesn't work? I don't think so. This is another argumentative pet-peeve of mine. Communism as the Soviet Union practiced it didn't work, but that doesn't mean communism doesn't, or can't work.

    You were missing my point here. I was saying that communism sounded like a great idea at first, you didn't have to worry about money and everyone was equal. However, they didn't factor in laziness, which was why it never worked. In this case, people like you fail to factor in others who will abuse a society which has weak IP laws.
  • Sorry for the poorly formatted original, that was my first post.

    -- My Over-the-Top Statement --
    I would request that all legal cases by the RIAA and MPAA be dropped or halted until the courts have validated whether they are practicing anti-competative and legal manipulation counter to the will of the democratic people. Otherwise we all face courts of false precedent and illegal closure.

    If the legal system is being manipulated by a specific few, then we are no better off than a totalitarianism society.
    -- End of Statement --

    (I encourage a response to this, but please don't hit "submit" until at least 10min have passed, so you have time to think over your ideas.)

    Remember, we must keep our rights (not copyrights) and freedoms. Basic human rights should never be violated, and beyond that, we should exist in a fully democratic society. If the democratic process is better described by people's will (not money), then we should not resolve these issues in court (biased by money), but instead rely on the value someone is willing to put into an idea or action (individual time and effort).

    Money can be biased by a specific few who have managed to create an empire, via cashflow redirection and monopolisation strategies. In this case we should analyse and detect common structures with a common behaviour that can bias decision. That's a heavy sentence for, "watch out for the influential few, identify their commonalities, and constantly make efforts to counteract that influence." It's a constant battle, which can be easily sidetracked. A few examples of large masses of people (individuals) fighting for what's right are OS wars (MS & Apple Vs GNU/Open Source), tech Vs media wars (RIAA and MPAA Vs Gnutella, Napster, casset tapes, CDR, DeCSS), and economic or human rights wars (China, Cuba, etc Vs USA & Commonwealth), and people's copyrights for education and prolifferation of knowledge (students Vs publishers). The last is in reference to the unreasonable cost and issuing of books.

    I feel the only proper legal protection required by many of these parties should be in the social and economic safety nets. Further protection and enforcement for copyrights are initially a good thing, much like the protection a King gives its people. However, as the copyright holders abuse their "rights" so hurt are the people, much like a King's "rights" are abused to squash troublesome peasants.

    Be allert, as history really does repeat itself.
  • That link was even in the original story...
  • by Anonymous Coward
    A whole bunch of people are screeching that a playing a purchased dvd with a licensed dvd player under linux is illegal. You are all idiots.

    The only reason a dvd player is licensed is because it has the capability of DECODING the data stream coming from the laser/reading portion of the hardware. Most dvd players come with a seperate decoder card because the drives themselves don't decode anything.

    The MPAA wants to ban software implementations of the hardware. It's that simple. Why? Because they don't get royalties if people use free software decoders instead of hardware. They also think that forcing people to watch previews and stuff somehow helps them generate revenue, and if there are free software decoders, they're not going to have to interpret the commands that disable skipping through fbi warnings and previews.

    I don't think there are any linux drivers for the hardware decoders either, but if anyone released specs for them, I'm pretty sure those drivers would be legal and the MPAA shouldn't have a problem with them.

  • Your style reminds me a bit of TheReverand.
    Not sure why.
    --Shoeboy
  • I find it hard to imagine that the whole, and until now vastly successfull (we have to give em that), record industry (or at least a major part of it) is really to boneheaded to see that the future lies in the internet and that a big part of trading music will be via internet services, be it with or without them.

    The whole lawsuit is far easier to understand if they're only playing for time, time to get their marketing concepts updated, time to get the whole infrastructure in place, time to get the 'right' legislation (favourable for them) 'installed', in short, time to move their whole huge marketing apparatus on the right tracks.

    I think it's sad though, that american judges so willingly play their game (terming something a 'monstrosity' what will clearly be part of future business), maybe feeling a need that that huge industry with so much income (paying so much taxes) has to be protected.

    It's not truely helping american industry as a whole, because obviously the internet music market would grow much faster if smaller businesses had a chance to play the game too, at least forcing the existing music industry to act faster, generating a more diverse market (the pricing of CD's shows that there really is a necessity for that) and generally would wake that huge music industry up to DO something with all their money (instead of suing).

    We have seen this happen with the internet, it started as a small thing, only a few geeks at universities had a part in, as long as it was left alone it was growing quite fast, now all that hassle about encrytion, copyrights and stupid patents starts slowing things down.

    Now i'm not proposing the internet should be a place without laws, but i think judges should at least consult some unbiased experts to get to an understanding what effect their rulings will have on a market with a really huge potential, especially in the case of the internet, because this market can move to another country (with different legislation) in a matter of weeks!

    Well, maybe the american judges/politicans just feel a need to help european economy a little, and if our politicians are stupid enough to give the chance away too, why not give chinese economy a hand (i think they view copyrights/patents/etc. that have the sole function of giving a mainly US industry advantages quite different, at least they're buying a hell of a lot industrial CD and DVD burners over there).
  • by ronfar (52216) on Monday September 11, 2000 @04:28AM (#789565) Journal
    Why is this man still the president of the MPAA? The statistics have shown that vhs and casette tapes helped the industry.
    In all likelyhood, there is going to be an actor and writer strike against the multinationals in Hollywood soon. See this article: Variety: Thesps set for strike [findarticles.com]. At the heart is the feeling that the multinationals are out to keep all the money for themselves and give as little as possible to the actors and the writers.

    I was reading an article about it in my sister's Entertainment Weekly (cover "A Year Without Movies?"), which basically said that the last time a strike like this was coming, one of the Hollywood moguls was able to negotiate a deal. However, huge multinationals, so says the article, are apparently incapable of negotiating... they'll just have to break the strike.

    One of the points that the strikers are upset about is that they are pretty sure that "pay-per-download" TV is coming, but that the writers and the actors who created the original shows used by this system won't get a penny of the profits from it.

    I keep wondering if there was some way the people involved with the anti-MPAA lawsuits could hook up with the anti-MPAA strikers. I doubt they'd see eye to eye though.

  • by ronfar (52216) on Monday September 11, 2000 @04:32AM (#789566) Journal
    Here's a better article on the same subject Showbiz faces labor pains.(Hollywood) [findarticles.com]

  • by coats (1068) on Monday September 11, 2000 @04:37AM (#789567) Homepage
    You people don't understand the importance of copyright laws and intellectual property
    Nor do you!

    DISCLAIMER: I am not a Napster user. Nor am I much of a movie viewer -- and don't have a DVD player nor do I watch them, so do not have a direct interest in that mess, but rather see it as part of a larger pattern. My hobbies -- ballroom dancing, choral singing, reading SF -- keep me busy enough that I rarely even look at TV.

    The Founding Fathers did not regard "intellectual property" as a natural right, but rather as an artificial, legislated right which was of benefit to society as a whole, only if managed properly. The compromise they decided upon, and wrote into the Constitution dictated that "authors and inventors" might be granted for a limited time copyright or patent protection, with the consideration that after that limited time the work must pass into the public domain.

    I contend that the present regime does not fit under these Constitutional conditions and limitations. In the music industry, it is rare for the true authors to have title to the copyright of their works (there has been rather a bit of commentary lately about impoverished artists, from whose work the big music houses have made fortunes). Nor -- and this is my most critical point -- is the present copyright term anything that can be considered "limited" at least from my point of view.

    Under the present copyright law, works written a generation before I was born (I was born in 1953) are not scheduled to be released into the public domain until at least a generation after I die. This is not what the authors of the Constitution meant by "limited".

    And even when works pass into the public domain, the publishing industry claims that they have not! As an example (I am an avid singer of classical music), my copy of Vivaldi's Gloria claims "Copyright Walton Publishing Co. 1988 All rights reserved No copy whether in whole or in part may be made without written permission of the publisher." (A quick survey of my pre-1800 music collection shows that this behavior by the publishers is pervasive.) This is not a claim "editorial markings copyright..." as case law would suggest, but of copyright in totality for a work first published more than two centuries ago! This kind of claim is widespread in the classical-music publishing business -- Kalmus (New York, Berlin) being the primary exception that comes to mind in this matter.

    Some will claim that such protection is appropriate reward for the (mechanical! -- music-typesetting is a mathematical algorithm, described as such in the IEEE's journal Computer in the mid-Eighties) job of typesetting. Kalmus success as a publisher that does not make this kind of copyright-fraud sets the lie to this claim that copyright is necessary as a protection for the job of type-setting.

    The publishing industry have hijacked copyright law in a way that seriously conflicts with the Constitution. After due thought, it is my considered, reasoned belief that they are (by and large) a bunch of thieves, robbers, and extortionists.

    In the matter of "Two wrongs do not make a right," it is well worth writing about this first and primary wrong as well as the second ("music pirating") one.

  • Being a musician is about turning feeling into music, being a professional musician is performing the alchemy of turning music into money. Just be a musician.

    Brought to you by Discipline [discipline...mobile.com]

  • by Omnifarious (11933) <eric-slash@omERD ... g minus math_god> on Monday September 11, 2000 @04:53AM (#789573) Homepage Journal

    I have come to the conclusion that copyrights and patents (I refuse to use the term 'Intellectual Property') mainly encourage distribution, not creation. If you look at who, by in large, has profited most from them, it's distributers, not creators. If you look at who screams the loudest, it always the distributers, not the creators.

    This encouragement isn't needed as much anymore. With the widespread ability to copy practically anything, the economic incentive to distribute isn't as important.

    I think creators should have some form of limited control over their work that vanishes over time. I'm not convinced that copyrights and patents are the best form for this control to take. They do, of course, have the ultimate control of choosing whether or not to produce something.

  • Don't email. Email is easily ignored. Send a letter on actual paper.

    ------------------
  • Actually they care more about the price of gas; that's where the middleclass viewpoint starts and ends.

  • When Lars went after napster he generated more publicity for napster than he probably intended. I know many who learned of napster due to Lars.

    Just to back you up on this--most of the people I've met know about Napster due to Lars. At the time Metallica was making their big stink about Napster my friends were hosting an open mic night which I was recording to put online. Immediately after that people that showed up started asking if the music would be available on Napster and people were making jokes about Metallica. And this wasn't in the valley, it was Jacksonville, FL.

    So, you're absolutely right about Metallica shooting themselves in the foot. I also recently was asked about "the kid that got arrested for writing a DVD program." This was from my friend's mother-in-law, a nurse and not involved in the tech industry whatsoever. So the MPAA is also generating a decent amount of publicity. Unfortunately, I don't think people understand the concept of DeCSS as well as they do Napster.

    numb
    • MP3s make marginal cost zero
    True, in the sense that they allow music to be distributed at no visibe cost to the user. Exactly the same arguement could be applied to radio. That hasn't killed the music industry; quite the opposite - record sales depend on getting air play. Mp3s are not a competitor to CDs. As the trade in mp3s rises, so does the sale of CDs; but I know this I listen to the radio a little less these days.
    • napster creates a competitive market.
    For whom, though?
    The whole point of the article was to say: who says mp3s pose any competiton to the music industry, in the same way that the vcr has proven a help, not a hinderance to the motion picture industry.
    • People still buy CDs, despite music being freely available on the radio.
    • People still buy bottled water, despite water being freely available from the tap.
    • People still buy CDs, despite music being freely available as mp3s.
    Nothing changes in the model.

    cheers,
    G

  • Back when there weren't any IP laws, there was no way of distributing digital copies of music. The Internet makes possible things that we had never even imagined, and there will always be people who will take advantage of these new possibilities.

    Oh so IP law is all about DIGITAL? I'm sorry, but IP law has been around a lot longer than the internet, digital computers, etc. Back without IP law there were still ways of copying, sharing, etc. IP law has absolutely nothing to do with whether the medium is digital or not, thats such a crock.

    You were missing my point here. I was saying that communism sounded like a great idea at first, you didn't have to worry about money and everyone was equal. However, they didn't factor in laziness, which was why it never worked. In this case, people like you fail to factor in others who will abuse a society which has weak IP laws.

    Law will always be exploited, period, there just isn't a way to make a law air-tight in a democratic society. Nor should we try. The object is to find a common ground, make laws that benifit the public and the corporations but ones that infringe on neither. All I've been seeing lately are laws that heavily favor corporations. Copyright should not be perpetual, patents don't expire quickly enough in our society, trademarks are getting to the point of absurdity.

    -- iCEBaLM
  • I have read some of this person's columns in a local newspaper and I think in other major publications. I know the column has a massive reader base.

    The article didn't go into much depth in any of the issues, but it did highlight some of the most absurd details of a lot of the current cases that are concerning technology today. I hope people will see these cases in a new light and start caring more about it now.

    I have tried to explain to MANY people why I am wearing a t-shirt that says down with DVD-CCA and why I am boycotting various companies, but most people don't see the big problems or understand the importance of the outcomes of these cases. Hopefully, more people will start paying more attention to what is going on currently that will affect them in the future.

    In short, we need more major columnists like this to write more colums like this. Maybe we can persuade Dave Barry...

  • The Open Source movement as a whole stands as an extremely strong counterpoint to your argument. And it's not a flash in the pan movement either. It's been building and growing for over 20 years.

    Yeah, go ahead, trot out the stupid 'GPL depends on copyright law' argument. Well, the GPL largely exists to prevent people from using copyright law in the manner it was intended. If copyright law didn't exist, most of the GPL wouldn't be needed.

  • by spitzak (4019) on Monday September 11, 2000 @05:16PM (#789594) Homepage
    Tell them this:

    We are fighting to prevent the day when they will be unable to fast-forward through the ads on a DVD..

    I think that is a powerful argument for a layman, and actually matches our own arguments. It is actually quite serious, there is "don't fast-forward" codes already on the DVD (I think we don't know how to decode them, or any navigation info, but DeCSS bypasses this by pulling the interesting movie data off the disk).

  • Since DeCSS does not need kernel modifications, I think you are wrong.
  • by esper (11644) on Monday September 11, 2000 @04:59AM (#789596) Homepage
    I'll point out that patents and copyrights are in the US Constitution; the idea that they are the result of "lobbying" is literally ridiculous.

    The concepts of patents and copyrights are in the Constitution. Their current forms, however, are the result of lobbying. (ISTR the Constitution saying something about them remaining in force for a limited time. Copyrights which last longer than the life of the author do not, IMO, match that criterion. It also says something about them being there to promote creativity and scientific advancement, but when the laws have shaped them into forms which require you to consult a lawyer before creating anything, it would appear that their intended purpose has been subverted.)

  • A couple points though:

    A) That's your personal preference, not everyones.
    B) Considering that musicians also play to be heard, one might easily argue that it is the labels that bring in an audience.
    C) If you don't get paid (significantly), the odds are you won't have a lot of time to devote to it. Thus, it is reasonable to assume that your work will suffer.
    D) There is still plenty of unsigned music out there, and look how much good it is doing the world.
  • Yeah, if you read the legislative history of the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act of 1998, you will observe that congresspeople solemnly stated their intent to have the movie studios pay film workers fair residuals on all the films that would be under copyright for another 20 years.

    Did the studios pay them? Or, instead, will there be more accounting gimmicks so only the shareholders profit?

    Time again the studios hide behind "artists' rights"--but the studio producers are not "artists" at all. Just as the big publishers hide behind "authors' rights"--these giant global corporations claim to own all "intellectual property" in the world, and they demand we pay them whatever they ask, or they'll stop producing it.

    Time to take them up on the challenge, and produce our own infotainment for once?

  • Let's also note that Sean Fanning (Mr. Napster) walked out wearing a Metallica T-shirt.

    His words, when Carson Daly commented on it, were: "Yeah, a friend of mine shared it with me, but I'm thinking about buying my own soon."

    They switched to a shot of Lars, who had this look of, "yeah, yeah, real f***in' funny" on his face. But the people around him looked amused.

    (Hey, I just watched it in reruns after hearing about Christina Aguilera and Fred Durst on stage together - and may I say that it was, indeed, most cool to see Fred doing 'Break Stuff' with Christina and her dancers in the back picking up the backing vocals.)
    ----

  • Guess what? There are already many people publishing their work online, without any copy obstruction or restriction, and with no demand for payment. If youre reading /. you should know that. I am one of them. You are proven wrong.

    I'd say that you're in the minority. For every artist that support Napster, for example, there are 10 tht are against it. To say that people would still produce movies and music for no compensation is ridiculous.

    But I dont see what Communism has to do with anything, other than that some people all into American Captilalism call everything they dont like Communism.

    Communism seemed like a good idea except that they didn't take in human flaws (laziness) into account. People like you don't take in others' intent to pirate through DeCSS and Napster into account.

    I dont know what to say to such an abysmally stupid and brainless comment. I assume by "the growth of the Internet" mean its forced takeover by undemocratic corporate interests and its turning into a similar mixture of "entertainment", advertisement, shopping and brainwashing as the TV networks.

    I will continue supporting initiatives like DeCSS, Napster, FreeNet etc., trying to spread their usage as much as I can, if only to piss you off all the more.

    I have only one thing to say to you and your corporate backers: Go to Hell!


    I'm not going to deal with your flamebait, it's pretty obvious that the only reason you're resorting to petty insults is that you agree with me.
  • by BlueUnderwear (73957) on Sunday September 10, 2000 @11:08PM (#789613)
    Guess what? The defendants did raise the issue [eff.org]. However, oddly enough, the rules stipulate that the judge himself has the ultimate say in these matters, and in our case, he just refused to recuse himself...

    N.B. This link was not hard to find either, just go to www.free-dvd.org.lu [free-dvd.org.lu] and click on the cute furry Kangaroo...

  • by eclectro (227083) on Sunday September 10, 2000 @11:47PM (#789614)
    to think it does. And in the confusion that is presently called copyright everybody has bought off on this idea. But it's not just Slashdotters who are confused about copyright - everybody is. Including, which is very depressing to say, our lower courts. So we are in good (bad!) company. The erosion of our public "copyright" has reached the point where we have been put in a "virtual prison", and by illusion have lost all our rights given to us by our constitution. I say by "illusion", because companies want us to believe that we don't own the work that they sell us, that we just "rent it".

    The startling fact of the matter is, and some of you are going to have a hard time believing this is - but it's true- that copyright owners do not "own" the work that they have a copyright for. They own the right to copy only, not the work that they have a copyright for. See the link below to understand this (and before you email me in a huff). So the notion of "intellectual property" is not constitutional. Only the "right to copy" is constitutional.

    Congress has sold us down the river Big Time [nytimes.com] . They have bastardized copyright law to the point that it is only good for suing people, which is exactly what MPAA/RIAA and pals wanted in the first place. If anybody wants to have _any_ right to fair use in the future, we have to get organized. Whatever shreds of public access to the works of authors, both past, present and future - we _must_ protect. It's so bad that nobody knows what those rights are any more, and especially what they should be [uga.edu] . You must read this [uga.edu] to appreciate fully what's going on here. And to understand that Congress has enacted unconstitutional laws at the bequest of companies, and nobody has noticed until now. Please email me (kphil(at)hotmail)if you are interested in organizing to reclaim our public rights. It's going to be long, hard, and boring work. But it has to be done.
  • by eclectro (227083) on Sunday September 10, 2000 @11:10PM (#789615)
    of the people I talk to. They think it absolutely does not matter one iota. The either don't know, don't understand, don't care, or don't want to be bothered.

    Admittedly, some of the issues are technical, complicated, and the result of letting the media mafia get their way is not apparent.

    The fact of the matter is that the same symptom that has produced bad copyright law has also been unable to do anything about healthcare. And that's a congress that is overrun with special interests. See what a billionare says about it here [nytimes.com].

    I would like to start an informal discussion on IRC on organizing/strategies to correct/inform public attitude about this. If you are one those who want do something, email me kphil(at)hotmaiI
  • If you were intent on mass-pirating DVDs (or even making copies of DVDs), there's equipment out there that can do this without even decoding the disk first. There is no way to prevent someone from copying the encrypted stuff on the disk to another disk, then having a player (licensed or not) happily decode the thing for you to watch.

    The whole point is that with DeCSS, you don't need any equipment. Once you decode the DVD and have it on your computer, all you have to do is convert it to DivX or 3ivx and you're ready to distribute it on Gnutella, Freenet, or whatever program you use.
  • situational actuality (...) synthetically modelled reactionary simulation.

    Ouch.

    (Comment on dit langue de bois en anglais?)

  • Just think, you can walk around tomorrow and tell your friends in 5th grade: look at me, I'm a FuckNut! It's official!

    It's good to see someone else who agrees with me.
  • by Aleatoric (10021) on Sunday September 10, 2000 @11:54PM (#789620)
    The whole point is that with DeCSS, you don't need any equipment. Once you decode the DVD and have it on your computer, all you have to do is convert it to DivX or 3ivx and you're ready to distribute it on Gnutella, Freenet, or whatever program you use.

    This is still missing the point. While it is true that DeCSS allows such behaviour, the possibility of that behaviour is not sufficient reason, in and of itself, to make it wrong (or illegal).

    The abilities you mention are possible without DeCSS, as well.

    Piracy is piracy, and should be dealt with, but dealt with directly, and not by blaming the tool. The primary legal test of a tool is that it has a legitimate utility apart from illegal use. DeCSS *does* meet this criteria.

    Even though the digital realm makes copying and distribution easier, it is not sufficient justification for the trampling of the rights of the users. IP can (and IMHO, will) be protectable in the digital age, but that requires that we address the correct issues. It is not necessary to remove first sale, fair use, and other rights to protect IP.

    Just as with every other technical advance through history (from the printing press and so on), adaptations have had to be made. None of those adaptations have bankrupted the IP holders, and neither will these current changes. The fact is that the *only* way for IP holders to profit in the current environment is to adapt and embrace the new technology, not to attempt to suppress it. If they try to suppress it, someone else will come in that uses it, and the current businesses will fall by the wayside, sooner or later.

    Also, it is not necessary to unduly overdo IP laws. We don't need the DMCA, and we don't need UCITA (at least in its present form). IP can be sufficiently protected through application of the laws that existed before these travesties (or at most, by reasonable extensions to those laws), and this can be done without diminishing the proper rights of the users as well.

    Just like piracy, go after the pirate, don't blame the tool.
  • A few more facts:

    1. I have a computer
    2. I do have a DVD drive
    3. I run windows

    Now for the kicker:

    I will not run linux until I can use it for DVDs

    So the MPAA is cutting out part of linux's marketshare. What a fscking stupid argument.

    Perhaps if linux would get it's act together and get binary compatability sorted so we could run non-opensourced (shock horror) code on it, then things like this would be more likely to exist.

    Ok just for the reference I have both a linux and a windows machine, and neither do have dvd drives but maybe my point still stands
  • by barracg8 (61682) on Monday September 11, 2000 @12:11AM (#789622)
    LOL.

    But to address this as a serious point, the differencial in quality is one of the reasons people buy bottled water, and also one of the reasons people buy CDs of music that they already have on mp3.

    The main reason is both cases in probably marketing, though. :-)

    cheers,
    G
  • Bullshit bullshit bullshit!

    Okay, I'll calm down. But really:

    • but overall if her music was free no one would ever bother to buy the CD's
    Her music is already freely available. Have you never heard of radio? Anyway, if people want it for free, it is just as easy to get a friend to tape it for you, as it is to go to the shop. People seem quite happy handing over their hard earned cash.

    People go out and buy the singles, despite the music being crap. People go out and buy the albums anyway, despite the fact that they contain exactly the tracks, along with a bunch of b-sides. They also buy more posters than they have wallspace for. Then they go to the live concerts, despite the fact that the bands are just lip-syncing to exactly the same goddamn tracks.

    • The market after all would only stand good music being rewarded & well that wouldn't please RIAA to much as those junk bands are what they make the most money off of these days...
    Oh I wish that was true.
    But, in taste tests people often can't tell bottled water from tap water. The what is the differencial, why do people cough up the money? Marketing. Why is Britney successful? Marketing. No need for this to change, I'm afraid.

    G

  • by erotus (209727) on Sunday September 10, 2000 @09:48PM (#789627)
    When Jack Valenti, president of the MPAA, said in 1982 - new technology (vhs tapes) "is to the American film producer and the American public as the Boston Strangler is to the woman alone." Yet today, so much revenue is the result of vhs tapes being sold... casette tapes were even shunned because people could tape off of the radio. Why is this man still the president of the MPAA? The statistics have shown that vhs and casette tapes helped the industry.

    When Lars went after napster he generated more publicity for napster than he probably intended. I know many who learned of napster due to Lars. The MPAA publicized DeCSS when the went after Johansen... They are trying to fight the war the old fasioned way and it's not working... When will they wake up. They're shooting themselves in the foot. This 2600 case no doubt brought more attention to DeCSS. The MPAA hypocrites are bringing more attention to that which they are so desperately trying to hide from the public. Wouldn't it have been better for them to take a wait and see attitude?

    New technologies are always feared by the tyrants and control freaks of capitalism. The market advances only when it's free of restraints. Would the MPAA have made billions of dollars of vhs tapes? NO... they would not be as rich as they are today. If Linux users could watch DVD's then they would buy DVD's. Unfortunately this is about Control.

    The MPAA wants you to be a consumer droid... buying what they tell you to buy, watching what they tell you to watch, and watching it their way - through their system. I'm sorry, but if you look at the recent past, you will see that when consumers could choose how to watch, listen to, or enjoy their media the MPAA was financially successful. Now with the advent of HDTV, they want to stop you from recording shows because "it's digital." So what, people can record movies off cable now. After watching a few taped episodes of the Discovery Channel I would even consider getting cable. The more someone is exposed to samples of a product, the better the chance that they would buy that product. When will the MPAA get it!

  • I thank my colleagues for their correction, but I'm not sure where Judge Kaplan stated so in his opinion. Perhaps this was Valenti's gloss on the opinion?

    Indeed, Judge Kaplan's First Amendment analysis was, IMHO, highly suspect, essentially legal-babble for replacing the traditional first amendment standards with a judge's discretion to say which regulations were permissible and which were not in the case of "functional" speech. As the 9th Circuit found, this is a dangerous view, and one that cannot be tolerated.

    But while I found Judge Kaplan's analysis dangerously violative of fundamental constitutional principles, I don't think it could fairly be reduced on any analysis to "commerce trumps the First Amendment."

    On the other hand, if I missed something, that alone would be extraordinarily strong grounds for appeal for the reasons previously stated.
  • So you think that it's ok that the MPAA will sue me for money that I don't have, if I buy
    A- their DVD which they recieve royalties from
    B- their DVD Drive which they recieve royalties from

    and then do

    C- use B to view A

    Does that seem right to you?
    Anyone? Anyone?

    Indeed, this /is/ a sad state of affairs...

  • Well, we're all living in a consensual hallucination. You wanna drop acid and go and talk to space monkeys, be my guest, but if you want to discuss economics you have to discuss it on the plane on which it's been defined.

    What you say is true ... of course it is. But this article is not "nothing more" than this. That's like saying that Wiles' proof of Fermat's Last Theorem is "nothing more" than a rehash of Euclid's postulates. It is, and it isn't.

    If we accept the axioms of Economic Theory then we can argue further. That's what this article does, and in doing so it uses the RIAA and MPAA's ammunition against them. It's like a philosophical argument where you disagree with your partner's basic axioms. You don't argue axioms, necessarily, if you can beat his logic with the axioms he has already.

    Anyway, if you want to discuss economics in the real world, rather than in an ivory tower, you'd better either accept the axioms that already exist, or come up with some of your own. Mathematics wouldn't have got very far if Archimedes and Euclid had just sat in their dorm rooms arguing about whether or not an axiomatic foundation for mathematics is even possible.

  • artists, who *are* entitled to compensation for their work, don't get any from Napster-doanloaded works. The winning strategy will be the one that exploits internet distribution and still lets the artist get paid.

    There is some site that claims to provide a means for fans to pay artists directly, in the name of a song or album.. Alas, the URL escapes me.

    Anyone?

    - Scott

    ------
    Scott Stevenson
  • You set up it up nicely, by assuming that the only way programmers can get paid is by making their software proprietary.
    Apparently only one of us knows how to read. I did not make that arguement at all.
    What I argued was that the buisness model of distributing software for profit relied on the software being proprietary.
    You shouldn't get all worked up about something you read until you develop some comprehension skills.
    --Shoeboy
  • RANT

    You guys are making far too much of this. This guys is NOT the financial community. At best, he's an individual on the fringe of it. Even if he were, the financial community and the business community are entirely different. Generally speaking, when one says the financial community, they mean Wall Street and other such places where stocks and bonds are traded. These are not the people running the show. They don't build businesses. They don't create products. They don't innovate. What they do is push capital around. But, let me remind you, these are the same people who have been pushing every financial fad you've heard about. Remember push technology? Remember them telling everyone that all these DotComs were worth 30billion even though they hadn't any hope of breaking even? Remember when biotech was redhot? Only to be treated as if was the plague only a week later? The point is, you should take the financial community with a healthy dose of skepticism.

    Frankly, if you wanted to persuade people other than yourselfs, you should bring up an article by someone who's built a business from the ground up. Someone who has seen something through from start to finish, and been unphased by the latest fads or scares. Especially someone that has built a business around something that they developed. I know more than a few such people, and the fact is that almost every single one of them comes out in support of intellectual property.

    While they may not believe that each and every decision is perfect, that is the nature of intellectual property and why it works. It's yours to lose or win; instead of having some outsider whose never run a business dictate to you how things "should" be done. Ok, so RIAA and the MPAA have been "wrong" before, but so what? That doesn't mean they're wrong now. Too many slashdotters seem to ignore the thousands of every day decisions that these people make on a daily basis.

    I'm sure all of you have made mistakes before. But that doesn't mean we should all "vote" on how you should manage your life. That assertion is kind of like saying we, Americans, should be stripped of the right to vote, because we've made the wrong vote before. The integral feature of freedom is the right to be wrong. So let them make their own decisions, for better of for worse.

    The interests that own RIAA only own a small fraction of the recorded music out there. I have little doubt that there are even more undiscovered talents out there than those in RIAA's collective pocket. What sets these talented artists apart is RIAA's marketing and distribution. In other words, those that sign with RIAA have some chance at wealth and fame; those that don't, you never even hear of. Don't you think you owe RIAA just a little respect? Don't you think you owe the would-be artist that avenue of choice, to sign with a label that promotes like X, Y, and Z and enforces their IP like A?
  • And don't bother doing either to Valenti, he's just a stuffed suit payed for by the movie companies to say what they want him to.

    Better to send your mail to execs in the major movie studios which are part of the MPAA.

    Walt Disney Company [www.disney.comtargetnew]
    Sony Pictures Entertainment, Inc. [www.sony.comtargetnew]
    Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. [www.mgmua.comtargetnew]
    Paramount Pictures Corporation [www.paramo...mtargetnew]
    Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp. [www.fox.comtargetnew]
    Universal Studios, Inc. [www.mca.comtargetnew]
    Warner Bros. [www.warner...mtargetnew]

    and of course all their subsidiaries (too numerous to list even if I knew them all)

    At least they have some power.
  • Sorry 'bout the broken links shoulda checked them.

    here's ones that work:

    Walt Disney Company [disney.com]

    Sony Pictures Entertainment, Inc. [sony.com]

    Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. [mgmua.com]

    Paramount Pictures Corporation [paramount.com]

    Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp. [fox.com]

    Universal Studios, Inc. [mca.com]

    Warner Bros. [warnerbros.com]

    Those at least work, not sure how helpful they are ;) (particularly since about 50% don't load uless you have Javascript enabled :()

  • by greggman (102198) on Sunday September 10, 2000 @09:58PM (#789650) Homepage
    Did anybody watch the MTV music awards Thrusday?

    A large part of the audience started walking out when they introduced the author of Napster as an award presenter. They quickly got him off the stage but that part of the show is still viewable in the daily re-broadcastings of the show.

  • You are seriously handicapped with black & white vision. You see Slashdotters as wanting no IP where you want things unchanged. You see no one wanted to pulish without conventional IP protection where, really, that's what a lot of Slashdotters do already.

    The problem with copyright law is that the copyright term extensions have allowed the copyrights to go from 7 years to around 100 years -- all in the name of corporate profits. It's not that we can do away with IP protection, because, like you said, a lot of people wouldn't want to do their work if they couldn't reap rewards from it.

    But even today there are some cases where people have had to invert copyright law to prevent the reaping of rewards from their work. Just look at the GNU Public Licenses and it's offspring. The big thing it does is prevent people from reaping rewards, at least monetary ones, from anything with the GPL stamped on it. Now, that of course still allows room for bragging rights rewards!

    Perhaps you are a computer and can't see anything other than a zero or a one?

The meat is rotten, but the booze is holding out. Computer translation of "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak."

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