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RE: [dvd-discuss] Movie Downloads, automatically illegal?

On Fri, 2 Aug 2002, Richard Hartman wrote:

> > So, do we have to do the trade/backup dance for our transfer
> > to be legal?
> Strictly speaking: yes.  Practically speaking: it could
> all be "on paper" only.  But again, you are shifting the
> argument away from the original scenario of downloading
> your copy from "the internet".  I had presumed that to

True, but sony vs. betamax says any legal use makes the device legal, so
unless that case is superceeded, then I only need two people.

Besides, some CDs sell millions and millions of copies - Even if only one
million are sold and one in a hundred downloads a song they already own on
the CD (at work, friends house, etc), that's 10,000 potentially legal
downloads, and I would venture to speculate that the real percentages are

> mean from the existing sites where movies are being
> distributed ... usually w/o regard to whether the recipient
> has a valid token of ownership (the DVD).  _Those_ people
> are violating the distribution rights of the IP owners.
> Any transaction you enter into with them -- regardless of
> your "right" to a media shifted copy -- is tainted by _their_
> legal (rather, illegal) situation.

I don't know.  I admit that area of law is unfamiliar to me, but it seems
to me that isn't always the case.

I have a ham radio license, which in MN grants me the privlidge of
receiving police communications in my car - which is illegal without the
license.  If I buy a scanner at a tailgate swap meet from someone using it
without the proper license, the scanner is still mine, and the swapfest is
still legal.  It is true that the seller could be prosecuted for their
actions, but I don't see how this would make my part of the transaction
illegal.  His use of the device may not have been legal, but his ownership
(and thus the transfer) would be legal.

> They have never explained that in court, we're still
> waiting.  (This, btw, is the argument at the heart of
> whether or not you can watch your DVD on anything other
> than a "licensed" player ...)

That is so darn frusterating that a calculated pre-meditated holiday
weekend ambush could do so much damage in a case like this (Universal v.
corley).  I still wonder how the case would have been different if on the
first day the circumvention of DeCSS was not conceeded.  Hearing the MPAA
defend their authority model would have been interesting, especially if we
had more than a few hours before presenting our side.   It amazes me that
such childish methods are allowed to happen.  How the heck anyone expects
to get justice out of a system like this is beyond me.

As far as "Should be" vs "reality", I admit some of my arguments may be
more of the former.  However, if you are pressed to describe logically how
the authority flows, there aren't very many possibilities that make sense.

Maybe we need a modern day Dred Scott decision _for_ the copyright
industry in order to piss people off enough to care...  In some ways, I
think the 2600 appeal might have helped in that department, even if we
had lost.

______         _ __                          Military Intelligence
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 / o ______    /  / _  . .                   Intellectual Property
/ <_/ / / <   /  (_</_(_/_  -- tneu@visi.com / http://www.visi.com/~tneu --