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Who Owns Your Digital Media? 216

Posted by chrisd
from the do-a-little-for-freedom dept.
Ren Bucholz writes "In what was designed to be a "safety valve," the Copyright Office is holding its tri-annual search for exemptions to the DMCA's prohibitions on circumventing access controls. The Electronic Frontier Foundation submitted comments last December that outlined four "classes of works" that should be exempt, including copy-protected CDs, region-coded DVDs, DVDs with unskippable promotional material, and public domain works that are only available on DVD. They are asking people to write in support of the four exemptions that they have proposed. The Copyright Office is only accepting comments until February 19th, so get on it!"
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Who Owns Your Digital Media?

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  • who (Score:3, Insightful)

    by OwlofCreamCheese (645015) on Sunday January 26, 2003 @10:23PM (#5164796)
    who owns the analog media?
  • by thoolie (442789) on Sunday January 26, 2003 @10:23PM (#5164797) Homepage
    I do?
    • by anubi (640541) on Sunday January 26, 2003 @10:56PM (#5164881) Journal
      I would certainly hope that all would consider that *I* own the media once I have legally *purchased* it. However, I do not consider that I own the work on the media. I see the media as only being a carrier for the work, much as I see a bag as a carrier for its contents. The way I see it, I have only purchased a copy of that work for my own benefit - whatever that is.

      I still strongly adhere to the concept that I have purchased a copy of the work, and strongly defend what I consider as my right to transfer that work amongst other media I may have. I do not consider replication of that work for distribution to others so that they do not need to purchase that work themselves to be my prerogative, although I would bend as far as running off a sample.. kinda like I would share a swig of my Stolichnaya, but would be quite miffed if once they got a sample, they expected me to be their free source of it.

      Personally, I think the content industry has went way too far though. I must know what it is that I am intending to buy because there is a lot of stuff out there that I have no interest in whatsoever. Walking into a record store and buying a CD, without knowing about it first, makes just about as much sense to me as walking in an auto parts store and buying a water pump, without knowing if the pump I am purchasing will fit the car under repair.

      Why is 137? Why exactly 137?

      • by Anonymous Coward
        Your words speak my mind, am assuming that they are most peoples mind. I feel bad for Eminem losing money for those who download copies of 8-Mile from Kazaa, but I own a 45 of Strawberry Letter 23 by Brothers Johnson and believe that I have a right to that download. Shutting down Kazaa because some people use it to illegally obtain copies is a severe abridgement of my rights. Honestly, I don't know where I stand on songs that I do not own, but can not purchase anywhere. It seems like they should be available to purchase digitally for a reasonable amount (and represents an unserved market).

        If I could have a digital locker that had all the music I have purchased, it would be worth something to me (another unserved market). If my ownership was confirmed, I would be willing to give up my old media (yet another unserved market).

        After removing all of the cost of manufacturing materials, and middlemen, the actual cost for the media should be so small that it is less convenient to steal. You could get a high-quality copy that is not a few seconds too short or mislabeled.

        It is a dream that I have...
      • > I see the media as only being a carrier for the
        >work, much as I see a bag as a carrier for its
        >contents.

        Yeah, but it is the content you want/buy, otherwise you would go out and buy a blank CD, not a music CD.

        >I still strongly adhere to the concept that I
        >have purchased a copy of the work,

        Yup, and thus you own that copy (just as you own a particular "copy" of a football if you buy it). You do NOT hold the copyright to the copy though. As such, you can do anything you want with your copy as long as it is not one of the things prevented by copyright. Rather simple really.

        • by anubi (640541) on Monday January 27, 2003 @05:50AM (#5166243) Journal
          Your response to my post is appreciated. I will address your comments.

          Yeah, but it is the content you want/buy, otherwise you would go out and buy a blank CD, not a music CD.

          Very true. I consider what I paying for with legal tender is a legal licence for my personal use of the work encoded onto the media. The media itself is of little value, as is the bag. Both are just containers.

          I often buy a carton of eggs. Its not the carton I want, but it comes preloaded with eggs. I know I could, if I had to, get empty cartons, raise hens, and end up with the same carton loaded with eggs - but the store made it so easy to buy eggs, so why bother? Now if the farmers started playing all sorts of games with me, trying to tell me what I could do with the eggs, and under what conditions I could prepare them, I might have to resort to raising chickens.

          I consider it to be my right to transfer the work amongst any media I have, because I have paid for it, and I intend to enjoy it. In my case, its backup to another CD, then rip to MP3, mix, and burn so I can play it in the car and jogging player.

          If the original media gets damaged later, its no big deal. As long as the original media stays intact long enough for me to transfer its contents onto my system, with due backup systems, losing the original carrier is about as traumatic as losing the box the hard drive came in, albeit that I do place significant effort to keep my original source media in pristine condition. Thats what backup is all about... the data is the only thing thats really important. Everything else is replacable.

          Back to the eggs.. just because they came a dozen to a box does not mean I am forced to eat them in sequence.. I want an egg here, a strip of bacon there, grits there, etc. Same with the music. I have my own unique tastes of what I want, and I compile my own mix. I do not feel some authority can tell me I can not mix my music anymore than some farmer can tell me I have to eat the whole dozen eggs before I can eat the toast. Or telling me I can't fry my bacon in a microwave oven.

          I do not believe I have any right to dictate to the sellers what they can do with the money after the trade, nor do I consider they have any right to tell me how I am going to be allowed to enjoy my use of their work after the trade. If I made your car, do I have a right to tell you where you can go?

          Yup, and thus you own that copy (just as you own a particular "copy" of a football if you buy it). You do NOT hold the copyright to the copy though. As such, you can do anything you want with your copy as long as it is not one of the things prevented by copyright. Rather simple really.

          True, quite simple. I feel I can do anything with my copy as long as it is not one of the things prevented by "copyright".. only problem is coming up with what both parties agree to be the fair use definition of "copyright". I feel committed to the "like a book" doctrine. I feel when I pay the purchase price, I am entitled to personal use of the work. I feel a lot of people get confused with media. Media is only the "box" the "work" was delivered in. I feel I purchased the "work", but the media was necessary just as the carton was a necessary part of purchasing the eggs.

          • Heh, regarding the egg part, I think one (or both) of us have not understood the other one. It seems we actually agree with each other I would say.

            For some reason, people tend to think of copyright as ownership (which it is not) and then think that just because you don't hold the copyright, you can't own something and can't do anything and so on. When it is actually to the contrary, you can indeed own and do anything you want EXCEPT a few well defined actions in the copyright laws.

            In part I think the blame might to be on the intelectual "property" which makes people tend to treat it as physical properties and handle copyright to something as ownership of property. This is of course great for media cooperations since it gives them more power and they certainly do all they can to twist copyright in that direction. To bad people fall for it believeing it is allready like that.

            > only problem is coming up with what both
            >parties agree to be the fair use definition of
            >"copyright".

            Could be. In general, I would say it should allready have been resolved. Copyright is nothing new and there are probably in most countries many court decisions to sort it out. The main problem seems to be that for some reason, people think that now with digital "media" (meaning content, not container) the existing copyright laws does not work. I don't see that, they seem to work very well and cover all the nessecary. All changes or additions to the copyright laws done to handle this new digital word seems to actually add new things to copyright that has not existed before, which is bad.

            >I feel committed to the "like a book" doctrine.
            >I feel when I pay the purchase price, I am
            >entitled to personal use of the work.

            Actually, you should be entiteled to ANY use that is not specifically disallowed by the copyright law. Media coorperations wants you to believe that you have no rights it seems and that copyright laws forbids EVERYTHING, including use which is not true. In addition they work hard to actually change the copyright laws to be that way as well.

            > I feel a
            >lot of people get confused with media. Media is
            >only the "box" the "work" was delivered in. I
            >feel I purchased the "work",

            Yes but here is were many people go wrong, they believe in the media's (media coorperations, that is those holding many copyrights) propaganda claiming that you don't "own" (equallying holding copyright with owning) the actual work and thus you can't possibly have bought it since you don't own it you can't do anything with it and have no rights. Oh well.

            One of the most important thing in my opinion is to actually educate people about what copyright actual is and mean. Many does not know or understand it, believeing in whatever they are told (often by big media coorperations). WHen enough people believe in it, one claim the current copyright laws does not cover it (well, doh, it was not true what was made people to believe) and that changes are needed and so on. Sad :(

            So with better information about what copyright actually is and how it works, it would be easier to fight that behaviour as well and prevent changes in copyright laws for the worse in the future.
    • by civad (569109) on Sunday January 26, 2003 @11:08PM (#5164926)
      I was trying to find out myself what could "Digital Media' mean: Here are some of the meanings of the term "Media" (Re: Dictionary.com)
      a. An ancient country of southwest Asia in present-day northwest Iran. b. A plural of medium. c. A means of mass communication, such as newpapers, magazines, radio, or television. d. The group of journalists and others who constitute the communications industry and profession. e. (Computer Science) An object or device, such as a disk, on which data is stored. f. A culture medium. g. A specific kind of artistic technique or means of expression as determined by the materials used or the creative methods involved: the medium of lithography.
      These and many more meanings of the term bring the following thoughts to my mind:
      Considering 'a' Digital Media could mean that the ancient country has been restored in a digital form. In that case, the 'owner' the digital media should be the person(s) who created it OR others.
      Conclusion (on ownership:)Depends.

      Considering 'b' plural of medium: I think the grammar of the language ownes it.
      Conclusion: MPAA/RIAA can go to hell.

      Considering 'c' means of mass communication,now here's where the picture begins to blur. Going purely by the dictionary meaning; media = means of mass communication; if I own a TV set, I should also own the media, right? In that case, the form of the media does not matter (digital or otherwise)
      Concluion: More research needed

      'd' is most interesting media= group of journalists. I wonder how the term 'digital media' could be interpreted in this case. A cyber-clone of Larry King???
      ***At this point, I have lost my ability to conclude. The very idea of a digital journalist has shocked me. Imagine being interviewed by a robot... :)

      'e' makes the most sense. Means of storage....However, if I go to say Best Buy and buy a pack of 50 CDs, then I own the 'digital media', right? Now the contents of MY digital media is a different story. I think nobody has the right to impose upon me what I should keep in my house/ car, etc. The same applies for digital media. (However that does not mean I have a right to steal others' stuff and keep it in my house/car, correct??)

      Considering 'f' culture medium: I wish I were a Biology major to comment on it. Any takers????

      Finally, 'media' means artistic expression.....so if the artist expresses something be it acting/ vocal/painting, etc...) then the artist is the owner of the 'media'...right? Then why should we even bother about the Music Labels/ Movie Studios? Arent they middlemen who are trying to milk both tte artist and their 'patrons/ audience?' Just a (more than a) few thoughts....
  • Well... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by aerojad (594561) on Sunday January 26, 2003 @10:23PM (#5164800) Homepage Journal
    If all this already exists, what is the copyright office going to do about it to prevent the big companies to just keep chugging along?
  • by stonebeat.org (562495) on Sunday January 26, 2003 @10:23PM (#5164802) Homepage
    that is why listen to public domain music ( mozart) public domain films (charlie chaplin) and read public domain text (projct gutenberg).....
    • by waffle zero (322430) on Monday January 27, 2003 @12:14AM (#5165162) Journal
      that is why listen to public domain music ( mozart)

      The sheet music itself may be public domain, but any performances of them are the owner of the performer and subject to copyright. You could download the sheet music and perform it, but downloading an orchestral recording would be a violation of the law.

      Furthermore, some public domain music old enough that it must be transcribed and rearranged to work in a modern orchestra because of variations in the pitches produced by instruments of later eras. This arranged music is also copyrighted by the arranger, who is entitled to compensation for use/purchase.

      So if you're looking for some music , may I suggest some Irving Berlin? His work is (relatively) recent and quite upbeat. By now, older performances are probably public domain, as well.

      • Copyright only protects new and original creative expression. While some new arrangements and transcriptions of music may so qualify, (such as, for example, Paul Galbraith's transcriptions of Bach's "six solo" for violin to his eight string guitar) it is arguable that no copyright could be legitimately asserted on the simply mechanical act of rescoring an old work for the pitch of modern instruments.
    • "that is why listen to public domain music ( mozart) public domain films (charlie chaplin) and read public domain text (projct gutenberg)...."

      And if you get a public domain text on e-book, you lose the ability to copy it. And if you listen to mozart on a CD, have a look at the CD and see if it prohibits you from playing it in public. And if you want to copy the charlie chaplin film from its DVD to your computer? Oops, broken the law again. And that's just for copying public domain works
  • DVDs which cannot be played on alternative systems? (For the purposes of compatibility)

    Or maybe not. Oh yes. And this comment is ROT26 encrypted so if you read it you're violating said law. kthxbye

    --NonToxic
  • Microsoft (Score:5, Funny)

    by ciroknight (601098) on Sunday January 26, 2003 @10:33PM (#5164828)
    Of course, who did you think owned it, yourself?
  • by Kethinov (636034) on Sunday January 26, 2003 @10:38PM (#5164839) Homepage Journal
    Who Owns Your Digital Media?
    Obviously the artists who make it.

    But more copy protection isn't the solution to all this pirating going on. Music, movies, TV shows, and other forms of digital media should be made downloadable on the website of whoever owns it. The owner could still profit quite handsomely from advertisements on the website, seeing as how more people will visit it to grab all the free media they would offer. Video media such as TV shows and movies would have built-in ads within them too.

    Hey, what better way to "pollute" or "stop" the P2P networks than making your product perfect quality and free! Who would want to download a movie off Kazaa when you can get it off the corporate website where you know your download won't get cut off? If you rip your own product into a file, you can throw as many ads into it as you wish. Granted, there would still be P2P around, but it'd be harder to find video and audio media without ads. Most people would be subject to ads, still, and the profit would still be there, just not at the expense of the user. This system discourages pirating.

    Perhaps if these companies would grow a set of balls and try something new (actually old.. TV has been doing it for decades) then they could stop worrying about copy protection. If a user downloaded your movie off your website laced with Ads you get paid for, then mass distributes it via P2P, their bandwidth is actually making you money. Why haven't these companies thought of this yet?
    • Two problems: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by mbredden (641756)
      1) Television shows in syndication don't show the same exact set of commercials each time the show is rerun. This would be changing the way advertisers purchase ad-time from the networks, being that their advertisements would be a permanent part of the show being distributed for free via the corporate website/p2p.

      2) The content that makes its way for distribution on p2p networks, will, most likely have the advertising stripped out of it. Have you ever seen an episode of The Simpsons on a p2p network with the commercials intact?

      • by Cyno01 (573917)
        Have you ever seen an episode of The Simpsons on a p2p network with the commercials intact?
        Yes, yes i have. In fact some have the commercials ffwd through, you get the lines and everything plus the guy backing it up when he goes too far. The worst by far was one (CABF19 - Treehouse of Horror XII - 85,452KB) that was from a digital video camera pointed at a tv playing a tape of the episode.
    • by God! Awful 2 (631283) on Sunday January 26, 2003 @10:58PM (#5164890) Journal

      Music, movies, TV shows, and other forms of digital media should be made downloadable on the website of whoever owns it. The owner could still profit quite handsomely from advertisements on the website, seeing as how more people will visit it to grab all the free media they would offer. Video media such as TV shows and movies would have built-in ads within them too.

      Cough! Yet another stupid commment by someone who has no clue about economics. If you had been paying any attention whatsoever for the last 3 years you would have noticed that most of the websites that were 100% advertising are now out of business. Then let's consider how much advertising revenue you get from a single hit on your website. It sure ain't the $5 you currently pay to rent a movie or the $17 that a CD would cost you. Plus after someone downloads your movie, edits out the commercials, and sticks it on P2P then you're right back where you started. Get a fucking clue!!!

      -a
      • "If you had been paying any attention whatsoever for the last 3 years you would have noticed that most of the websites that were 100% advertising are now out of business."

        For somebody who claims to understand economics, you sure don't seem to understand why those sites failed. The reason they failed is that they didn't reward the customer for viewing the ad. Instead, they put banners up in the corner that people learned to ignore because there was no value there. If they were smart and put cartoons or something up there, they might have had a loyal advertising audience.

        " It sure ain't the $5 you currently pay to rent a movie or the $17 that a CD would cost you."

        How many people aren't renting movies because they're too tired after work to do so? I think this would add to their revenue, not replace the rental system. Other than that, I think you're right.

        "Plus after someone downloads your movie, edits out the commercials, and sticks it on P2P then you're right back where you started. Get a fucking clue!!!"

        Who'd wanna do that? That has to be the dumbest thing I've heard today. If it's free on the website, what's the incentive for somebody to want to download it from your 256k connection? I'd rather get it off a fast server with ads than download the edited from you over the period of a day.

        • The reason they failed is that they didn't reward the customer for viewing the ad.If they were smart and put cartoons or something up there, they might have had a loyal advertising audience.

          Cartoons,you say? Yeah, everyone on here has his pet theory on how to make money on the Internet and they all involve giving away your greatest asset for free. I'll believe it when I see it.

          How many people aren't renting movies because they're too tired after work to do so? I think this would add to their revenue, not replace the rental system. Other than that, I think you're right.

          Well, if they're too tired to go to the video store, they can watch pay per view for about the same price. No need to give away their products for free on the Internet.

          I'd rather get it off a fast server with ads than download the edited from you over the period of a day.

          Whatever... someone will write an ad-skipping plugin for Mozilla. Same difference. I have yet to meet anyone who thought that downloading a movie and not watching the ads was stealing.

          -a
          • "Cartoons,you say? Yeah, everyone on here has his pet theory on how to make money on the Internet and they all involve giving away your greatest asset for free. I'll believe it when I see it."

            Okay, go turn on your TV.

            "Well, if they're too tired to go to the video store, they can watch pay per view for about the same price. No need to give away their products for free on the Internet."

            You mean like TV does?

            "Whatever... someone will write an ad-skipping plugin for Mozilla. Same difference."

            Lol okay. Whatever. I'd respond for that if you weren't so interested arguing with me instead of listening to me.

            "I have yet to meet anyone who thought that downloading a movie and not watching the ads was stealing."

            So? Technically it's not. Unless you want to call me changing the channel during a commercial 'stealing'. Truth be told, I don't think you're really thinking about what I'm saying. It's one thing to say "I understand your point, but I simply don't agree." It's another to say "well, you're wrong because somebody's going to do something to thwart it and everybody in the world will suddenly go down that path." If that were really going to happen, ad skip technologies for TV would be much higher. The truth is that people don't mind breaks once in a while.

            Anyway, I await your oversimplified speculations.
            • I don't know about you, but I have cable and I pay something like $70 a month for TV (and it goes up all the time). Broadcast TV loses market share every year and TIVO is really going to kill it if left unregulated. 100% ad sponsored TV was a dominant business model in a technological vacuum, the kind of atmosphere that never existed on the Internet.

              My comment about downloading a movie and not watching the ads being stealing was in reference to a quote from some TV network bigwig who said that skipping commmercials was stealing. Anyway, my point is that TIVO is rapidly gaining popularity and the ability to skip commercials is a large reason for that popularity. None of the viewers seem to care if the network makes money from ads, so I conclude that the value of the ads will go down and the networks will lose money. People will get used to pressing the pause button on the TIVO when they need a break.

              -a
              • by Anonvmous Coward (589068) on Monday January 27, 2003 @03:22AM (#5165810)
                "I don't know about you, but I have cable and I pay something like $70 a month for TV (and it goes up all the time)."

                I pay about $35 or so. I'm curious if you're on digital cable or not.

                "Broadcast TV loses market share every year and TIVO is really going to kill it if left unregulated."

                Okay, I understand your point, but I don't agree with it. The main reason I disagree is that in order for commercial skip to work, people have to have already recorded the show. There is value in watching it as it comes down. If anything, Tivo gives broadcasters more room to experiment beacuse conflicting time-slots is a real pain in the ass. For example, now they have That 70's Show on at the same time as Enterprise. This sucks for me. Fortunately, Enterprise is on again on Sundays. Not every show is so lucky.

                Will the ad-skipping hurt? Actually I agree with you here, I think it could, but only if left unchanged. The main reason that people would want an ad skip feature is that advertising has been abused. I tried watching a movie on TV the other day and commercial breaks happened at critical parts, even messing up the flow of the movie. "Uh, how'd they get out of there?!"

                The solution here is simple: Make the ads more interesting. You know how news stations give you little teasers that provide no info whatsoever? Why not place ads in there where they actually give brief news stories? Remember the cartoon suggestion I made earlier? Why not hire a company to do 30-second cartoon spots? The idea here is to make the commercial time more rewarding. This works. When Nemesis came out, they had commercials showing brief clips of the movie plus some hints as to how it was made. I sat in front of ALL the commercial spots to get that info. With a TiVo, I would not have skipped it.

                I have one more idea, but this one is arguably weaker. Lure people to the website of the TV show and get advertisements there. I know that comment probably made you grit your teeth, but when American Idol had a marquee at the bottom saying "to see more horrible contestants, go to this url..." my ass was in front of my computer as soon as the next commercial break.

                So yes you're right, assuming the industry stays the way it is. Truth be told, though, they were heading that way with or without Tivo.

                "None of the viewers seem to care if the network makes money from ads..."

                I agree with you. However, the fault is their own. They've done a PITIFUL job of educating their audience. And since they haven't educated their customers, then attempts to make advertising more intrusive has resulted in people making $400 purchases in technologies like TiVo. It amazes me they haven't tapped into the demand to avoid commericals by releasing more DVDs of TV series.

                I owe you an apology. I made a rude assumption about what your response would be. I regret that now. I'm sorry man.

                Cheers.
                • I think the solution to ad skipping is going to be more product placement advertising, or more precisely, the adverts will get longer, and have plots. If a company wants to advertise their stuff they'll have to either i) Find a program coming up which can use their stuff or ii) Get involved in the production of a program so that the story line can be altered to use their stuff. What you'll end up with is whole programs being written by a series of advertising execs, with a writer to glue them together, and all the comittee having a veto over how their product is used. Of course, the effect of this will be to make TV shit, which no one wants to watch. The evil alternative is some kind of encrypted TV stream that cannot be recorded except on a licenced bit of kit, which can disable ad skipping and is protected by DMCA. The final alternative I can imagine is that everything becomes pay per view, or in effect, to watch anything you download the DVD at a high price. The point is, someone has to pay for decent TV, and if it's not advertisers, its gonna be you.

                • I pay about $35 or so. I'm curious if you're on digital cable or not.

                  Yeah, I'm on digital cable. My $70 includes basic cable & two extended packages (~60 channels) + movies and hockey. I'm also in Canada, which may skew the economics a bit.

                  Your solution is to make TV ads more interesting, which might work in theory, but I think it is an unstable equilibrium. You require the ads to be sufficiently interesting that people will watch them, but not so interesting that people will seek them out elsewhere (ala AdCritic). The SuperBowl is an interesting exception, since so many people watch it for the ads (but every day can't be Superbowl Sunday)

                  Keep in mind that major brands already try to make their ads as interesting as possible. Even so, advertising works by repetition so they have a vested interest in making you watch the ad more times than you care to. About half of TV advertising (by my estimate) is for local businesses who can't afford to spend $100k on an ad with a plot, so you lose half your revenue right off the bat.

                  The other half of ads are mostly vignettes anyway, but say you want to give them a running plot line. This would necessitate changing the ads more frequently, which would increase the cost. One additional factor is that vignette-style ads aren't particularly effective at building brand awareness. The makers are already sacrificing effectiveness in order to lure you into watching the ad.

                  You know how news stations give you little teasers that provide no info whatsoever? Why not place ads in there where they actually give brief news stories? The idea here is to make the commercial time more rewarding.

                  There's plenty of that going on. Watch any talk show where they interview actors or discuss new products (e.g. the Today Show or the Tonight Show). You tune in for the entertainment, but the entertainment is always selling something.

                  I have one more idea, but this one is arguably weaker. Lure people to the website of the TV show and get advertisements there.

                  They do this, but I don't think it will have enough of an effect.

                  So yes you're right, assuming the industry stays the way it is. Truth be told, though, they were heading that way with or without Tivo.

                  I think they were heading there a lot slower without TIVO. But the fact is, advertising by itsself can't support 60 TV channels in every home. A lot of people were clamouring for more TV choice but they didn't realize that their bill would go up, even if they didn't subscribe to the new channels.

                  the fault is their own. They've done a PITIFUL job of educating their audience. And since they haven't educated their customers, then attempts to make advertising more intrusive has resulted in people making $400 purchases in technologies like TiVo

                  I don't think there's anything they could have done. You can shame people into doing something, but it only usually works when there is a personal connection. In the privacy of their own home, people are going to skip ads.

                  I owe you an apology. I made a rude assumption about what your response would be. I regret that now. I'm sorry man.

                  No problem. I try to keep things civil by simply ignoring flames.

                  -a
        • - If it's free on the website, what's the incentive for somebody to want to download it from your 256k connection?

          Which brings up the interesting question :

          Who will pay for the website's bandwidth ? It is costly you know, and I don't think ISPs will allow media producers to provide high-speed movie downloads without charging them big-time in the process. Then they're back to square one.

          In addition, considering how that new ubiquitous advertisment for drinking water (in EU) made me shut down my TV this whole week-end (yes, it was awfully noisy, boring, and broadcasted twice every 15 minutes on some channels), I think that _yes_, some ppl will still be willing to spend an additional day downloading content without ads. Count me in, btw.

    • by SoSueMe (263478) on Sunday January 26, 2003 @11:01PM (#5164901)
      Your point is exemplified in the wired.com article [wired.com] from the earlier SlashDot article [slashdot.org].
      After hearing of all the dot bombs that based their business model on internet ad revenues and failed, it interesting to see that it can be profitable if you give the people what they want.

      It's also too cool to see the "pirates" show the Corporations how it should be done.
    • by tannhaus (152710) on Sunday January 26, 2003 @11:53PM (#5165084) Homepage Journal
      No, I disagree totally. First, the artists do not own MY cd. The artist contracted with a record company. Any standard record contract gives the rights to that cd to the record company. The record company is the one screaming save the artist! while at the same time bending that selfsame artist over the table for a little woo woo.

      Ok, now that we've established that the artist doesn't own the music, the record company does, let's follow that cd to a store. That cd is on a rack. I want that cd, so I buy it. Now, I have bought the recording...it's mine. I am not free to give away COPIES of that recording, however, I am free to give away that recording if I wish..it's mine. If I want to copy that cd and put the original away so it doesn't get scratched, that should be my right. It's my recording. If I want to copy that cd and put the copy in the car, that should be my right. I bought the recording. The record company holds the rights to distribute that recording. I do not. But, I do hold the rights to listen to my recording however I wish.
    • uh.... (Score:4, Interesting)

      by feed_me_cereal (452042) on Monday January 27, 2003 @12:26AM (#5165203)
      Who Owns Your Digital Media?
      Obviously the artists who make it


      That's funny, I seem to remember them, of their own free will, selling me a copy of their work and then taking my money.

      You're talking about intellectual property rights, not fair use rights. Big difference
    • Video media such as TV shows and movies would have built-in ads within them too.

      Ads break the continuity and are most unwanted during a gripping part (cfr. Tivo). So some geeks would edit out the ads in movies especially and redistribute those. Make your filename contain ad-free and voila !

      Other than that, I like your idea.

      Why haven't these companies thought of this yet?

      A lot of users still on dial-up. Broadband users get charged by amount of traffic. Would be reluctant to download it from your site. Rather have 1 guy get it and redistribute it to friends. So advertisements on movie websites are underutilized. They also need to create hardware DivX players, or rather an interface/feature-set similar to DVD but with DivX compression.

      Most importantly, record and movie companies have a monopoly to uphold and their salaries to protect :-)
    • Who Owns Your Digital Media?
      Obviously the artists who make it.


      I find it disturbing that you find this "obvious". I don't. The creators do own their works at the time they create it, until they decide to distribute it to public. Once the work is distributed in public, then everyone who received the said work or creation, owns it too!

      However, in most countries, there is this notion and law called copyright. This grants the original creator of the work to the monopoly over distribution of his/her work for a limited period of time. In other words, for such given period of time, public, who also owns the said work, does not have the right to reproduce and redistribute the work without the original creator's permission. This by no means implies that public does not own the work, just that the creator is given a limited monopoly over distribution.

      Big media corporations that want you to believe that they own everything you see and hear, and that they are lending and/or licensing some content to you, are, in most cases (especially recently), lying to you. In fact, that's what they want public to perceive, so then they can call people they don't like such names as pirates and thieves, and, as a result bribe Congress to enact more laws in their favor.
    • Who Owns Your Digital Media?
      Obviously the artists who make it.


      Incorrect. That's the answer to "Who Owns Digital Content?".

      The media--literally, the medium(s) on which the content resides--belong to the person who bought it. Whether this is a shiny optical disk that you buy with the content pre-installed, or a pack of magnetic platters that you connect to your computers and later move the content onto, you own the media.

      Video media such as TV shows and movies would have built-in ads within them too.

      Considering that video editing software costs somewhere between 'free' and 'practically free' these days, those ads aren't going to stay in there for long.

      Some people already capture their favorite TV shows to MPEG, edit the commercials out, compress them, and distribute them to the world within a day of the episodes' original air date. The content owners allowing direct downloads from their site, even if it were a pay service (which it would almost certainly have to be to justify bandwidth and server expenses), would only serve to make the TV pirates' job much easier.

  • Unlikely... (Score:4, Informative)

    by SoSueMe (263478) on Sunday January 26, 2003 @10:42PM (#5164847)
    From the Reply Comment Submission Form [copyright.gov]

    Commenters should familiarize themselves with the Register's recommendation in the first rulemaking, since many of these issues which were unsettled at the start of that rulemaking have been addressed in the final decision.

    Like that's going to happen...
  • by Acidic_Diarrhea (641390) on Sunday January 26, 2003 @10:44PM (#5164856) Homepage Journal
    "They are asking people to write in support of the four exemptions that they have proposed. The Copyright Office is only accepting comments until February 19th, so get on it!"
    I question whether this is the right approach. Is flooding the Copyright Office with the same requests really going to have any sway whatsoever? I mean, if the number of letters that come in support of or against the DMCA determines how the Copyright Office will make up their mind, then the battle is already lost since the corporations have the money and resources to fake millions of letters. And since I seriously doubt that they're doing this, wouldn't our time be better spent doing something a bit more proactive than sending letters? These days, no one in the government is even reading e-mail. I think organizing protests that get noticed on local news stations or, better yet, national news is a much more valuable use of time than having every send off an angry letter. It will lead to more public attention. I mean, we all know that the DMCA is awful because we understand the implications but the public at large still doesn't. We need a campaign to educate the public because I don't think the copyright office is going to side with a flock of nerds over multi-national corporations when the public doesn't even care about the issue. There's no reason for any government burecrat to stick their neck out over this until it means trouble for him or her if he doesn't stick his neck out.

    Just my $0.02

    • A couple of years ago a campaign to complain about proposed organic standards that favored the big agribusinesses was successful in forcing the FDA to make a complete reversal and impose standards that favored the consumer. A few hundred thousand complaints were made by e-mail and snail mail. It was considered one of the largest responses to a call for public comment in US history.

      So yes, a similar campaign may work in this case.

      Write the letters. Send your e-mails. Getting the issue before the media would help, too!
      -
  • by Stonent1 (594886) <stonent@stonent. ... t ['lar' in gap]> on Sunday January 26, 2003 @10:56PM (#5164879) Journal
    I've got a blank CDR here. I'll keep it blank forever! It will be my only CD that no one but me has any rights to what-so-ever! Bwahahahah!

    As for the others, anyone want any War3z copies AOL 6.0, 7.0 and 8.0?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 26, 2003 @10:58PM (#5164888)
    Most of you people who use it ought to be serving life sentences in prison for using it too since three felonies (3 counts of DMCA violation) is three strikes. You people are criminals and support such monsters as Sklyarov, Felten, Corely, etc. so don't except any support on this one. The DMCA is here to stay and much more restrictive legislation is on it's way so get used to it. There is nothing you can do about it. This is a socialist country which means that anything which increases the scope of the government is the norm. Quit being a criminal and learn to obey the law and report criminal monsters like copyright violators, illegal gun owners, drug users, libertarians, people who quote the constitution etc to the authorities. People who do the above are terrorists. If you don't believe that the government doesn't consider them to be terrorists then why did THIS [leesburg2day.com] happen if they don't consider it terrorism?
  • by ldspartan (14035) on Sunday January 26, 2003 @11:07PM (#5164921) Homepage
    I'm tired of being reactive. All the letter writing in the world isn't going to make the DMCA any less of a bad law, so why try? Be proactive - vote for a congressman who doesn't support big business and its want to walk over the wants of the citizenry in the name of control. Write your congressman. Inform your neighbors that the officials they elected are rapidly signing away their rights.

    If we keep be reactive, the opposition will always be a step ahead of us, because they will continue to control congress and write the laws.
    • by inkswamp (233692)
      vote for a congressman who doesn't support big business and its want to walk over the wants of the citizenry in the name of control. Write your congressman. Inform your neighbors that the officials they elected are rapidly signing away their rights.

      Um... yeah, I've done all that. Your point?

      The problem is that there are virtually no congressmen left who won't support big business over personal rights. Most congressmen don't actually read your letters. Most people you try to inform don't know how this will hurt them in the long run and it's hard not to come off sounding like some Art Bell-like conspiracy theorist in explaining it.

    • Gee, that sounds great! All we need to do is go out and vote for the politicians that favor the citizenry over corporate cash!

      So, uhh...

      Who are they again?
    • The problem with that is that most Democrats in this area aren't worth voting for... Here's to CA Democratic Govenor Davis, who stuck his head in the sand when the power companies raised prices exponentially, and drove the 5th largest economy in the world, hundreds of millions of dollars into debt.

      Sorry, as much as I hate the DMCA, there are many things that are FAR worse. I'd rather petition my officials asking for them to reject the DMCA, rather than voting for a complete moron who happens to go against the DMCA.
  • Why not ALL? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Jafafa Hots (580169) on Sunday January 26, 2003 @11:09PM (#5164931) Homepage Journal
    Why didn't they suggest ALL DVDS, seeing as we have the legal right already to space-shift media we have already purchased?
  • One more (Score:4, Insightful)

    by jsse (254124) on Sunday January 26, 2003 @11:16PM (#5164944) Homepage Journal
    outlined four "classes of works" that should be exempt, including copy-protected CDs, region-coded DVDs, DVDs with unskippable promotional material, and public domain works that are only available on DVD.

    and materials adopting silly encryption that insults the intelligence of citizens.

    Otherwise, next time Adobe would publish ebook with ROL-26 encryption and sue those who merely look at it and don't pay up. (am I going to an extreme? that's just an example to inspire thoughts)
  • Go EFF! (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 26, 2003 @11:18PM (#5164950)
    At least as far as I've gotten which is the CD section (1/4 exemptions). The issue here is this: If I buy a CD with copy protection and it does not work in my cd player (for the purpose of playback) should I be allowed to modify that CD in a way to make it work without risking going to of breaking the law. We all know this can be as simple as using a black marker. In this CD case EFF's argument is that:
    * The labels don't tell people which cd's include copy protection.
    * A large number of stores won't take the CDs back (accept for an exchange of the exact same cd).
    * Many works are only available on CD as vinyl cassette and 8track have died (ok i added the 8track part).
    * CD copy protections measures will not ever be 100% fool proof (in providing copy protection AND in ensuring playback on devices that should be able to playback the material)
    * The problem is only going to get worse. As this problem occours on any device that is capable of reading multisessions disks. Your DVD Player, Game Console, MP3/CDPlayer, and PC are all affected.

    Remember this is specifically under fair use! That is the exemption would only be for modifications that allow playback of the material on a device that was not previously able to.

    I think this is common sense. Its certainly not far reaching. Consumers should have the right to buy products and use them for their intended purposes (and maybe not their intended purpose, but that out of the scope of this argument!). Most people 90% or more of america would be really pissed if they found out that cd companies were selling cd's that might not work in their equiptment - and that making a simple modifications to their equiptment or cd to make audio playback work could put them in serious trouble.

    If 90+% of the people in the US would support the EFF here, that means an open minded group like slashdot should be around 112% right? :) SO SHOW YOU CARE. Spam the copyright office with support for the EFF and make things happen.
    • A large number of stores won't take the CDs back (accept for an exchange of the exact same cd).

      You probably mean "except".

      I'm only pointing this out because putting the wrong word there gave your sentence the opposite meaning - it implies that it would be satisfactory for stores to accept a returned CD and exchange it for a copy of the same CD, and that they don't even do that.
  • by MoFoYa (644563) <mofoya@gmail.com> on Sunday January 26, 2003 @11:24PM (#5164970)
    I own my digital media.

    If I bought it, I should have the right and ability to use it as i see fit. If I want to load my new audio CD into my MP3 player and take it with me without having to lug around a player and CDs, I should be able to do that easily.

    The P2P problem is another issue alltogether. People have been sharing music and videos for decades, but now that we can do it online in such great numbers it's starting to hurt(so they say). This battle should not be fought by changing the media. Besides, I can still make an MP3 or Mpeg from a CD/DVD with copy protection --- Analog Inputs. This method just makes it a much longer and difficult process to manipulate MY media.

    Question - Why have we not heard so much as a buzz from software companies? Software is shared via kazaa(and others) in the same way music and video is.
    • Software companies don't care as much if their work is traded as most of them use piracy to expand their marketshare. Adobe, for instance, knows that some kid isn't going to pay $500 or $600+ for software, so they will let them steal it (as Adobe releases about 20 keys to warez sites) in order for the kids to become proficient in the software. When the kids grow up, they go work in graphic design, and go buy Adobe's products, becasue they are familiar with it, and they can afford it.

      Many software companies (including Microsoft) use this tactic to make sure their software sells more, and this method has been shown to work.
  • by semios (146723) on Sunday January 26, 2003 @11:33PM (#5165007) Homepage
    Here's the comment I made to the EFF:

    I find the fact that the FBI warning isn't skippable on my DVDs disturbing. A message pops up on my television from my DVD player that my DVD is disallowing me from jumping to the main menu. My DVD player is *disallowing* me to fast forward. No where else do we suffer being controlled by our own devices. Imagine if CD players imposed such bizarre rules such as forcing you to listen to something as obnoxious as the this before you could play the disc, "The following music you are about to listen to is copyrighted material. Any unauthorized copying of this material is a felony offense."
    • by Mitreya (579078) <mitreya&gmail,com> on Monday January 27, 2003 @01:18AM (#5165406)
      I could not agree more... Fortunately, I have not seen a DVD that has courage to *notify* me that it is disallowing me to skip the FBI warning (I would return such a DVD player, why didn't you?) But my software DVD player does have forward buttons disabled on such warnings and I can't very well return the software player.

      What I find even more distirbing (and I have commented about it) is how hypocritical and pointless such tactic is. It is unlikely that people who illegaly copy a movie from DVD will include the FBI warning when copying. Even if they do, the pirated version uses some mpeg player and will be able to skip anything. Yet I, a *legal* owner of the DVD, have no way of skipping the warning aimed at people who don't see that warning. What do they expect, that I will recite it to people that use P2P??

  • by the_mad_poster (640772) <shattoc@adelphia.com> on Sunday January 26, 2003 @11:35PM (#5165014) Homepage Journal

    ...who is your representative in Washington? How do you contact them? Do you know what their position is on the issue? Have you (intelligently) made them aware of your position on the issue? Do you still buy Digital Media? Are you just bitching because you want to be one of the people who steals it?

    I think a lot of people need to stop talking and start doing something. This issue pops up on /. what... every 20 or 30 minutes? What good is it going to do you to keep voicing your opinion here? You're just preaching to a choir of people who are preaching to the choir.

    If you're so absolutely lazy that you can't be bothered to write up a logical, intelligent e-mail, join EFF [eff.org] and at least use their default e-mails to mail your reps and let them know that corporate ownership of your life is NOT acceptable and you WILL help "throw the bums out" if they don't do something about it.

    I'm sure a lot of people here do take action against the crooks in Hollywood, but I also guarantee it's not enough....

  • Well, perhaps this is over simplifying, but since I bought this DVD & this CD; are they not mine?
  • Get the format right (Score:5, Informative)

    by octalgirl (580949) on Sunday January 26, 2003 @11:49PM (#5165067) Journal
    This format of class/summary/facts and/or legal argument should be repeated for each reply to a particular class of work proposed.

    You'll notice that only 50 comments made it in on the first round. Now you're supposed to comment on the accepted comments. Format is everthing. When they say number the class, they mean it. Start the paragraph with a 1. class, 2. class, etc.(although I notice they are not asking for a number this time?)
    --Provide a fact, a legal argument, or something from the news, or incident that happened.
    --A summary means your paragraph must start with "In summary" or identify the paragraph as a summary paragraph.
    --Don't forget to include your name on the attachment.
    This time they are also adding "whether in opposition, support, amplification or correction", so state it.
    Missing just one of these steps will get your comment rejected.
    (Mine was rejected, but after correction (I added the words 'In summary') they were accepted. We still don't know how many were actually submitted the first round.
  • by mat catastrophe (105256) on Sunday January 26, 2003 @11:52PM (#5165077) Homepage

    In the days of VHS, there was a difference between tapes that you rented and tapes that you bought, as I recall. If you went out to the video shop and rented some movies, then you would likely sit through three to five "upcoming features" trailers (as time went on, they were advertising things other than films as well) before the "Feature Presentation" was to begin.

    And, that to me is fine. After all, it's a rental and they do have the "right" to attempt to get my attention about upcoming films, right? Sure, that's no biggie. But, those ads were never present on VHS tapes that were purchased (naturally, we're not talking "Previously viewed" purchases from that same video store).

    And that's also the way it should be. After all, this isn't a tape/DVD that you'll be watching once or twice this weekend and taking back. You'll be watching this thing maybe once a month for the next ten years, and losing lots of time watching the crummy previews (likely for movies that you also bought later on). That's just unacceptable.

    Skippable or not, ads at the *front* of a DVD are an affront to the purchasing public. Sure, put those ads in, but do it in the same manner you might put in the bonus features, in a menu option. Why is this so hard for the movie moguls to do?

    But, more importantly, why is this sort of bad behavior on the part of Hollywood less vilified by the public?

    I'll stop here, before I digress....

    • Odd that you should mention this.. one thing I've pleasantly noticed as I move from VHS to DVD is the complete lack (so far) of trailers and ads on DVDs. Sometimes there's the annoying FBI warnings (ironic considering that I live in Canada), but that's it so far.

      VHS tapes typically had a lot of trailers in them, even purchased from say, Wal-Mart (ie: not previously viewed). It was always fun to watch one from 5-10 years ago and see "coming soon" for movies that were long since history :) I understand Disney DVDs have a lot of trailers in them - thankfully I'll never buy anything with the word 'Disney' on it, for both ethical and taste reasons.

      Another very nice thing with DVDs is, sure, they cost $20+, but you get an awful lot of bonus material with them - not just the same movie you already paid $10 to see in the theatre. The Spider-man DVD alone was several hours of extra stuff. All good in my books. Too bad more releases aren't done this way.
    • And that's also the way it should be. After all, this isn't a tape/DVD that you'll be watching once or twice this weekend and taking back. You'll be watching this thing maybe once a month for the next ten years, and losing lots of time watching the crummy previews (likely for movies that you also bought later on). That's just unacceptable.

      Skippable or not, ads at the *front* of a DVD are an affront to the purchasing public. Sure, put those ads in, but do it in the same manner you might put in the bonus features, in a menu option. Why is this so hard for the movie moguls to do?


      Because "moguls" usually don't have anything to do with how DVDs are put together or marketed. It's usually done by subsidiaries or contractors, who are usually boneheaded scum -- not exactly Ivy League marketing MBAs, or MIT MediaLab veterans. Before they got into big time Hollywood DVD distribution, they were probably creating popups for porn websites.
  • by Cerlyn (202990) on Sunday January 26, 2003 @11:55PM (#5165089)

    As another proposal submitter from the first round, I would like to point out that there are a variety of proposals [copyright.gov] put forth by commenters on the table. If you find that you are more comfortable supporting a proposal other than the EFF's, more than one proposal, or a combination of several people's proposals, you may freely comment about as few or as many proposals as you choose. If you disagree with a proposal, and wish to have it modified to make it acceptable to you, you may comment about what changes you feel need to be made as well.

    To state the obvious: DO NOT COMMENT BLINDLY WITHOUT READING THE RULES. Before I wrote my proposal of possible exclusions, I spent several days simply doing research on what was accepted/not accepted during the previous cycle. I also read the details of what was wanted during the current comment request, and the results of the prior comment period. Doing so greatly helped me tailor my arguments to better address what was being looked for.

    Another issue you should note: THE COPYRIGHT OFFICE WANTS TO SEE REAL EVIDENCE THAT NEAR-TERM HARM WILL OCCUR UNLESS AN EXCLUSION IS GRANTED. Contrary to what many slashdotters' think, the copyright office is being very good as to telling us what they want. If you comment during this reply period, *please* provide real-world examples as to why an exclusion should be granted/not granted/granted in modified form/etc. Simply stating "if this is not granted, I will not be able to enjoy my l33t p0rn" likely will not sway anyone to your cause.

    Finally, BE SURE TO CITE ALL SOURCES YOU USE SO EVERYONE CAN CONFIRM THE HARM YOU DESCRIBE IS REAL. By doing so, you prove you did your homework, that you read previous commenters' work, and your comment *will* stand out as being from an intelligent person. Try to get reliable sources that have not been used before; simply repeating previously used evidence will not get you very far.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      THE COPYRIGHT OFFICE WANTS TO SEE REAL EVIDENCE THAT NEAR-TERM HARM WILL OCCUR...

      I cut myself on a "do not copy" warning label from my CD. Does that count?

      Also let me take the time to mention that using too many caps is like yelling.

  • With all the copying going on, in this day of digital information wanting to be free, who is to say what's right or wrong? Digital information wants to be anthropomorphized, indeed.

  • meeting half way? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jdkane (588293) on Monday January 27, 2003 @12:13AM (#5165156)
    They are asking people to write in support of the four exemptions that they have proposed.

    Exemptions are good. However by supporting the four exemptions, are we also supporting the fact that other items are not exempt? I admit the proposed four exemptions are very broad in scope so to have them all pass would be good.

    The situation sort of has the feeling of being stuck between a rock and a hard place. Remotely. But it's still there.

  • In the mid 80's I worked in a video duplication agency .. a place studios came to to get 20,000 copies of 'Kansas City' or Alien, 300 copis of the tape showing an interesting dental surgery to send out to subscribing dentists, etc.

    I those days, many people put garbage in the 'vertical sync' signal, which wouldn't affect the display of the movie, but would produce garbage if you tried to dub the movie on your boring home VCR.

    I have no idea who won that war, since I could never figure out why people would want to use up a $5 cassette on a movie they could rent for that price .... Who would want to watch any movie more than two or three times at most, more often, ,once is enough.

    So the studios put garbage in the table of contents section of the disk, users come up with ways to decode it anyway. Studios demonstrate their total deddication to profits, fans display their insatiable need to listen to music .... Hmm, is this picture looking strange? Do studios figure out how to supply a craving for music, or do studios go out of business?

    TomDLux
    • Yes, it was Macrovision, and was added to help ensure the movie companies could keep their monopolistic grip on the video rental companies. Back then the price of buying a movie was in the $150 - $200 range. Without macrovision, since nobody in their right mind would pay that price for a movie, they were being pirated left right and center.

      So, add macrovision in, and the cost of pirating the movies goes up the price of a Time Base Corrector. No more casual piracy (not that it was all that casual as VCRs cost $500 at that point).

      So, what's the result? Pirate movies become more valuable, prices go up, and once the pirates have covered the cost of the Time Base Corrector (perhaps $5,000 back then? I don't know) they're raking it in.

      Eventually movie companies realised that the tighter their grip, the more piracy, and the more money pirates would make. Huh? I'm sure you're saying. Pirates don't follow the rules (obviously), so why the hell should they care how much it angers the MPAA when their stuff is pirated? It's like the Black Sunday ECM DirecTV sent down a couple of years ago somewhat earlier to this time... It only served to make sure professional pirates got another boatload of loot getting people back up and running. I know for certain it never stemmed the tide of piracy. If anything, the advertising that the DirecTV signal was infact piratable drove users _away_ from paying for it!

      So, they got a clue (the MPAA, certainly NOT DirecTV), figured out what it really costs to dupe a movie, and simply lowered prices to a point where they made money, and made piracy a waste of money.

      Of course, just like DMCA of today will likely hang over the head of Americans as a reminder of the bad old days, Macrovision is still with us as nothing more than an anachronism that costs about $20 to defeat. Not that it's really worth even that much to bother.

      Any of that sound like a certain other group of people?
      • You're way off base. Rental videos *still* cost in the area of $150. I know this because my uncle purchased the rental-license copy of the South Park movie since it wasn't hitting stores anytime soon.

        The DirecTV ECM signal didn't cost DTV any money (other than the R&D involved in the operation). It didn't kill off any existing, PAYING users, or even "advertise" the fact that pirates were getting cut off. The embedded message was only triggered on hacked cards, and regular users saw absolutely nothing out of the ordinary. It inconvenienced the pirates in a big way - That was the point, wasn't it? Sure, it may not have been effective long-term, but it certainly put out a lot of moochers, right? And quite a few of those people probably went and screamed at their sources, who had to fork over a good bit of cash for new H-cards (since the old ones were now looped) and figure out work-arounds.

        I fail to see where you're going with this. You seem to claim that copy-protection hurts nobody but the regular consumers, which is a claim I'd normally agree with. However, the examples you're citing certainly don't lend much weight to your point.
  • by EnlightenmentFan (617608) on Monday January 27, 2003 @12:31AM (#5165220) Homepage Journal
    Be very aware that your input may be tossed on the garbage heap if they decide it's a form letter and not "original." That's what happened to hundreds of thousands of anti-snowmobile comments, according to this New York times story, [nytimes.com] by Katharine Seelye. Registration (free) is required, so let me just quote for you the relevant bit:
    "... the [Clinton-era] Forest Service actually relied on public comment when it developed its "roadless rule," intended to protect 58 million acres of undeveloped national forest from most commercial logging and road building. It drew 1.6 million comments, the most ever in the history of federal rule-making. Almost all the comments -- 95 percent -- supported the protections but wanted the plan to go even further, which it eventually did.

    But the Bush administration delayed putting the rule into effect and sought more comments, receiving 726,000. Of those, it said that only 52,000, or 7 percent, were "original," meaning that the administration discounted 93 percent of the comments. The rule is now being challenged in court."

    There's a very, very big irony here. The Bush team just got caught with their pants down by bloggers and others including Mike Magee at the Inquirer [theinquirer.net]. It turns out they were sending out massive fake form emails to papers around the country, and bribing folks to sign their own names to them with "GOPoints" they could trade for prizes.

    That story is now crossing over to the mainstream press with articles in Monday's New York Times. [nytimes.com] and (more intelligently) Paul Boutin's Slate article [msn.com].

    Another big irony: this story has been riding Blogdex for a week--a long techno-duel of marketing droids versus nerds armed mainly with Google. And the nerds won! Probably the only place you couldn't follow the action was here on Slashdot, the story was rejected three times. So the Superbowl is a better example of news that matters?

    Inquirer article with screenshots of prizes [theinquirer.net] you get for spamming your local paper.

    • This is not a troll post. Save your points for a goatse link or 'Uncle Kike' post. Whoever runs the story submission review department must have something against conspiracy theories. However, they also must be obsessive/compulsive. We often get the same story several times, but even more often do hundreds submit the same story, all of whom are rejected.
  • by Uttles (324447) <uttles@COMMAgmail.com minus punct> on Monday January 27, 2003 @12:36AM (#5165237) Homepage Journal
    Everything we write in to support will be the first thing they take more control of.
  • handicapped access (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MikeFM (12491) on Monday January 27, 2003 @01:09AM (#5165370) Homepage Journal
    One of my biggest complaints with it being illegal to copy my own music and movies is that it makes it hard to make these things accessable to my handicapped sister. While she enjoys these things she is unable to handle discs, tapes, etc. She can't always have somebody there to manage these items for her and even if she could it takes away from her freedom and privacy.

    I've ripped hundreds of gigs of these items to the computer and have been developing an interface she can use to access these items. My understanding is that this is a criminal act because it involves breaking CSS and various other stupid technologies. This software could help others but it's probably illegal to share.

    Somehow I worry more about my little sister then I do as to if rich media companies manage to squeeze an extra penny out here and there.
  • by PotatoHead (12771) <doug@opengee k . o rg> on Monday January 27, 2003 @01:16AM (#5165398) Homepage Journal
    excuse really.

    I see UIDs' in the high 6 digits now on a regular basis. Just for arguments sake, lets say there are a percentage inactive for one reason or another.

    That leaves easily 200,000 to 500,000 users bitching here that could each send in 5 bucks or so at a minimum.

    Why not skip that next pack 'o smokes, fast food, or movie rental and just write a quick check?

    It *will* matter more than you think.
  • From the copyright office site. This rulemaking addresses only the prohibition on the conduct of circumventing measures that control "access" to copyrighted works, e.g., decryption or hacking of access controls such as passwords or serial numbers. The structure of section 1201 is such that there exists no comparable prohibition on the conduct of circumventing technological measures that protect the "rights of the copyright owner,"

    This is a very important legal distinction, and one that congress didn't address enough of when creating the law. In theory, copyright holders do not have the legal right to prevent you from bringing their content across country lines for personal use (assuming the other country has similar laws). The obvious intent of the DMCA was to support the legal rights already given by the existing copyright laws, not to create an entirely new class of de-facto (and actionable) rights defined by those who currently have the right to mass-reproduce the material. EULA not withstanding (and, let's be honest, they don't), there is no legal framework for region control of copyrighted material. If such a thing is allowed to stand, the next logistical step is to segment the captive market by state and / or metropolis. This would reduce competitive pressures from surrounding communities, and reduce online sales to a few, more highly profitable mammoth corporate entities. I'm not being paranoid here: regional access was implemented in order to increase the sale price of overseas copyrights by segmenting the market and asuaging fears of competing with offshore copyright holders. This has been a part of the video game industry since Nintendo offered the US rights of the NES to Atari. Thankfully, without a DMCA provision, importation of videogames was available to the sub-market of any hobbyist who really wanted access to the material, a market not so large that it would reduce the attractiveness of a copyright that is likely to be purchased, but large enough that a truly significant game would not be completely missed by those who might consider gaming an emerging artform (Seiken Densetsu 3? Radiant Silvergun?).

    This is just one point of the new generation of copyrights being taken by those who hold the traditional copyright. For example, they are taking the sole right to control access to the fast-forward button... preventing the user both physically and legally from advancing through anything they might have a financial stake in you watching. They have taken playback medium rights, ensuring that their content can only be seen in a particular set of circumstances, like on a Windows(tm) computer, or a Sony (tm) DVD player. Translations of media for personal use are gone, as are backups... an often abused right that is necessary for anyone who A: has lived through a fire or B: has no idea where they put that CD that they love so much.

    Some of these new rights are being taken (backups) in an understandable attempt to enforce the rights they already have. But many (regions, commercials, resale rights) are simply a way to use the legal framework to squeese out more dollars from end consumers, and should be fought against.

    Nowhere in the DMCA [dfc.org] does it state that it is an intended framework for the non-congressional creation of new rights for copyright holders. Chapter 12 is titled "Copyright Protection and Management Systems," and the first and second sub-clause 1201 and 1202 (referred to in the above article), are entitled "Circumvention of copy protection systems" and "Integrity of copy management systems," respectively. Thus, when they referred to the circumvention of ''(b) ADDITIONAL VIOLATIONS.--(1) No person shall manufacture, import, offer to the public, provide, or otherwise traffic in any technology, product, service, device, component, or part thereof, that-- ''(A) is primarily designed or produced for the purpose of circumventing protection afforded by a technological measure that effectively protects a right of a copyright owner under this title in a work or a portion thereof;

    Hence, as restricting region traversal is not a defined right of a copyright owner (holder), multi-region DVD players, and in fact the sale of region-free (but not copy-free) DVD players should be completely within the confines of the law. While it does, in certain points, refer to devices that circumvent access controls, it should be recognized that these two terms are being used interchangably by our elected officials, but that the overriding intent is the protection of existing rights, not creating a new class of rights. Intent is not the sole criteria of the courts, but many rulings have fallen upon the side of intent when explicit statements have failed. No court would believe that Congress intended to define the fast-forwarding of commercials as "theft."

    I'm sorry, this was going to be a quick little ramble. It sort of grew a life of its own.

    -C

  • 1) Big Media wants ISPs to charge users a downloading tax

    2) ISPs balk - Big Media "lobbies" lawmakers, enforces ISP tax

    3) Profit!! (for lawmakers and Big Media)

    4) Big Media now claims ISP tax isn't enough, content sales still down dramatically
    Big Media "lobbies" lawmakers for help
    Gets subsidies to save industry to cover losses
    on content they never sold

    5) Profit!! (for lawmakers and Big Media)

    6) Big Media catches on..can get income without producing any content
    Big Media "lobbies" lawmakers for help enforcing monopoly
    Non-authorized content made illegal
    No content is authorized (except government media)

    7) Profit!! (for congressmen, senators and Big Media)

    8) Music is now illegal - Zappa predicts future
  • Go figure. (Score:2, Funny)

    by vistic (556838)
    Superbowl fans were all busy watching the game, distracted momentarily from Slashdot.

    This story appears and as of yet I don't see anyone saying: "IN SOVIET RUSSIA... Digital Media owns YOU!"

    Coincidence? I think not, my friends....
  • by Billly Gates (198444) on Monday January 27, 2003 @02:22AM (#5165680) Journal
    I only bought the right to play it. What is wrong with you people!

    Just like when you buy a car you only have the right to drive it. I really feel for those people losing their cars and going to jail for lifting up the hood and repairing them without going only to the car dealership or asking the car manufactors permission in writing. Cars are copyrighted right? Then they are not yours! We all know copyright holders have godlike and patent like powers so we should not even be debating this. Ask any lawyer from Hollywood or even experts like Senator Hollings. Anything otherwise would be bad for the economy and costs jobs and the whole American way of life.

    When will you slashdotters relize that you only exist in life as a right to live granted by the government and all the corporations.
    You should be on your knee's and begging Jack Valentini for forgivenss for such blasphemic thoughts.

  • I did the P2P thing a while back, and mostly what I downloaded was remixes and club mixes. Anybody know a.) how those are made and b.) how'd I go about legitimately having them?

    I'm not a big fan of the original songs in most of those cases. It's not clear to me that having the original song on CD either would put me in the clear. Can anybody enlighten me?
    • I'm kind of curious about remixes myself. Are they derivitive works, or are DJs out there breaking the law?
      • I'm not 100% certain, but it's my understanding that remixes are derivitive works and DJs are breaking the law when they release or perform them. I seem to recall the Canadian version of the RIAA cracking down on a bunch of house DJs for royaltys a couple years back.
  • by NigelJohnstone (242811) on Monday January 27, 2003 @03:58AM (#5165946)
    As well as the 4 the EFF submitted, I would like to submit:

    * The Flumtreble invented in 2007
    * The worselhorn invented in 2020
    * The Flangtrimble invented in 2066

    If we don't get these exempted then they might never be invented because they would be illegal.
    Thank God the copyright office is giving us this chance to protect future ideas!
  • by Nogami_Saeko (466595) on Monday January 27, 2003 @04:24AM (#5166052)
    I live in Canada and their support form seems to be for the US audience only.

    I know that it's the US regulators who they will be talking to, however it goes without saying that anything passed in the US migrates north almost effortlessly.

    Sure would be nice if they'd take comments from other countries... Especially those right next door...

    N.
    • I agree - seems that these people only want the support of US citizens. The whole site seems to be US biassed even though it claims to be international.

      I'm not going to support it... Neither should anyone else.
      Why is that site so incredibly biassed towards US? It's supposed to be international.

      > Ever bought a foreign DVD only to discover it
      > won't play on your American DVD player?

      I leave you with this classic article:

      http://www.satirewire.com/news/0010/international. shtml [satirewire.com]
  • ANY work that claims copyright should be exempt from the DMCA.

    After all, copyright is granted in exchange for the public's fair-use access to the copyrighted material.

    DRM prevents that.

    In fact, it ought to be illegal to put DRM on any work that claims copyright....yadda yadda.

186,000 Miles per Second. It's not just a good idea. IT'S THE LAW.

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