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Re: [dvd-discuss] COMDEX speech

On Thu, 21 Nov 2002, Jolley wrote:
> There shouldn't be any obligation to make a work easy to copy in
> exchange for copyright protection.

Why not? Copyright is a quid pro quo affair, and the public via the 
government determines what quo they want.

Why should there be a deposit requirement? Or notice formalities? Or 
registration? Or a certain extent of originality? Etc.

I think that we very much should require works to be easy to copy, so that 
we can easily make fair use of the works, and easily use the works in any 
way upon entry into the public domain.

Unless a DRM is RE'd, and there is no guarantee of that, the inability for 
an ordinary person to meaningfully copy a work is reduced to zero. Perhaps 
it'll stay that way even after REing, unless it's made sufficiently easy. 
(the original DeCSS for example was not easy)

If a work is like that, then I dispute that it truly has entered the 
public domain. Isn't that after all supposed to be the land of wind and 
ghosts, where people can just go nuts with works? Is it still the same if 
you effectively can't?

The 2600 court felt that the analog hole was enough. I disagree. Firstly, 
because it too is being plugged. The tools necessary to really use it are 
being taken away from us and their replacements unable to satisfy that 
role. But secondly, and more importantly, perfect fidelity is critical. 
I'm sure the 2600 court would not appreciate it if I misquoted them 
because a little loss of accuracy is okay. A work like 1984 can be changed 
quite a lot if we make the very tiny change of having Winston continue to 
say four instead of five. (the case involving Ford's memoirs was cognizant 
of the importance of even small parts of a work)

And of course, the author certainly thought it was important enough to put 
it in -- and probably would sue if it were used elsewhere impermissably.

The work that was copyrighted -- not a cheapened version of it -- is what 
the public is owed as a result of the copyright bargain. If it were a 
formal contract, I imagine that DRM measures would instantly be perceived 
as a breach. 

Of course, I'm not against _all_ DRM. I have no qualms about DRM systems 
that can make the exact same decision that the Supreme Court would make if 
the user attempting to do stuff with the work and the copyright holder 
both brought it before them at that instant time.

Not yet seeing a way to do that (since it would have to apply to all 
copies of a work, even offline, stay abreast of the law AND foresee 
changes that would've been made in that case, etc.) I'd prefer to err on 
the side of the public and not grant copyright to such works altogether.

Honestly, I think that the various publisher's threats of leaving the 
market are bluff. There's just too much money to be made still. Tell them 
to use legal remedies exclusively of self help, and then disincentivize 
self help further, and I bet they'll just keep on publishing.