Kill the DMCA!

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  1. Frankie commented on Mar 22

    Somehow, I can’t gather the optimism to think that any re-writing of the DMCA would produce a decent and fair outcome.

    Just look at how the banking lobby killed Wal Mart potential competition.


  2. greg0658 commented on Mar 23

    In defense of Viacoms position, DVD box sets of South Park may suffer because the intellectual message comes across on small screen.

    In defense of our consumer rights after paying full purchase price – coping from a CD to an MP3 portable to a computer juke box to a family video presentation – carrying the sound track of our life around – must be allowed.

    Now handing out 400 takehome copies of your family video presentation with that soundtrack at your wedding is IMO going to far, unless you buy the rights at 99cents per song X 400. But then again on the consumer side again, how much does a radio station pay per play X 10,000 listeners?

    I’m with ya Walt. We’ve come along way already tho.

    Heres another. A week ago I decided to go buy the real deal CD at the record store, 5forFighting, after I’d listened to the whole thing on Napster. I could’ve got it for 1/2 the price as a download. And I knew plunking my $20 down I’m gonna want it on the computer juke box, cause its cool. When I wanna downsize my massive shelving space of music, am I a pirate if I sell all the original disks at the pawn shop and keep my computer juke box?

    And Barry, I value my record collection more than gold. What ya think of that? Actually the only gold in this place would be on a electronic connector.

  3. dryfly commented on Mar 23

    I’m glad I watched all 4:44 minutes of that… it was beginning to look like I was going to have a case of insomnia tonight… not after watching Walt.

    My guess is he won’t have to worry much about that clip being pirated & making the rounds on youtube.


  4. Kevin Rooney commented on Mar 23

    Rewarding creators is one thing. Creator an entire army of parasitic rent collectors is something altogether different.

    1) The DMCA is like prohibition and bound as equally to fail. The kids who are growing up with iPods and the like have zero qualms about sharing music with each other. Selling an illegally copied file would be over the line for them. Mashing something in a way that acknowledges the source is totally OK. Taking something and reworking it to make it look like it is completely your own is over the line.
    Any copyright law that fails to acknowledge the moral sensibilities of ordinary decent people will be perceived not as legal codification of good morals, but as an attack grounded in nothing but greed. Just as the lawsuits against teenage downloaders were.

    2) About the wedding CD. I know what the legality is, but morally, I would be OK with a wedding CD of golden oldies we all know anyway. So either we already bought it or if we don’t, it’s because we don’t like it, so we won’t listen much to the wedding CD anyway.

    3) I completely support creators of intellectual assets being compensated. I do not support them being allowed to suppress other people’s creativity by selectively withholding their creations. And I do not support intellectual property laws giving creators, or worse suits with rights from creators, the ability to drive the direction of our culture.
    Think about this: under current copyright law, the Jewish Talmudic commentaries, the Islamic Hadith commentaries, even possibly some of the epistles of the new testament could well be construed as copyright infringement.

    4) Good intellectual property law balances two needs: to create intellectual assets and to distribute them. Piracy undermines creation by eliminating the reward for creators. Copyright law as now written severely constrains distribution.
    On top of that, constraining distribution can loop back and interfere with creation. For example, pharmaceutical companies hold their research info tight to the vest. (Which is absolutely demanded by fiduciary responsibility under our current system) But this causes duplication of effort and prevents synergy.

    Contrary to what it may seem like above, I do not think the problem is evil copyright holders. I think the problem is that we as a society have not found a way to both encourage and reward the creation of intellectual assets and facilitate their distribution. No one ever has. Copyrights and patents don’t work that well and neither does piracy.
    As intellectual assets become the driving force our economy instead of labor or capital, overcoming this obstacle will become more and more crucial.

    (The real reason advanced economies like ours at their very best grow about 1/3 the rate of China’s is that the economy we should have is so competely precluded by the absence of the needed soft infrastructure for intellectual assets that we can hardly even imagine what our economy actually should be. It is not always the case that the nations catching up run faster than those at the front of the pack. That happens when the front of the pack has run into an obstacle.)

  5. Tom B commented on Mar 23

    If I make a back-up copy of a DVD, that might put me in violation of DMCA. If I make a little non-commercial video of my kids with some jazz music in the backgound, that might put me in violation of DMCA— even though both actions are squarely within the traditional interpretation of “fair use”. DMCA needs to go; or, at least, someone needs to take a case to the Supreme Court, so it can be tossed out as absurd.

  6. Kevin Rooney commented on Mar 23

    I am not 100% confident the courts would back up Fair Use. They might overturn it altogether. Although that would be like the Dred Scott decision: an overreach by the court that ultimately brought about the exact opposite of what the court ruled.

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