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Re: [dvd-discuss] COMDEX speech
- To: dvd-discuss(at)cyber.law.harvard.edu
- Subject: Re: [dvd-discuss] COMDEX speech
- From: Joshua Stratton <cpt(at)gryphon.auspice.net>
- Date: Fri, 22 Nov 2002 00:57:43 -0500 (EST)
- In-reply-to: <3DDDB276.69E4157D@swbell.net>
- Reply-to: dvd-discuss(at)cyber.law.harvard.edu
- Sender: owner-dvd-discuss(at)cyber.law.harvard.edu
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.