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RE: [dvd-discuss] COMDEX speech

Ok, major snippage because I only want to respond to 
a couple of sections . . .

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Jolley [mailto:tjolley@swbell.net]
> In/out of the public domain.  Can/can't copy.  Two bits and four
> combinations.
> 1. A work in the public domain that can be copied.
> 2. A work in the public domain that can't be copied.
> 3. A work not in the public domain that can be copied.
> 4. A work not in the public domain that can't be copied.
> I think a work can be in any of the above conditions.  A work in the
> public domain is independent of whether it is copiable because of
> conditions 1 and 2.

I disagree with condition #2.  If it can not be copied
than it can not be considered to be in the public domain.
There is a fundamental accessability that needs to be
present to be in that state.
> Public domain works can have access protection via DRM.  

???  Protection from _what_ ???  If they are in the public
domain, protection is completely inappropriate.  Public domain 
is the state where a work can be made use of freely by the public.
The presence of DRM negates this ability, and thus vacates the 
claim that something is in the public domain.  

>Should it
> be illegal to bypass the DRM?  The answer is no.

On a public domain work?  Why not?

> If a work is not copyrighted because there is a DRM, do you mean
> it should be in the public domain?  Or, is the work in some kind of
> limbo between copyright and public domain?

It is in the (as yet unrecognized or defined by law) state that
is the analog of "trade secret" (where "copyright protection" is 
the analog of "patent protection").

A trade secret is not in the public domain, but neither is it
protected by patent because the owner of the secret has undertaken
self-protection.  A DRM protected work is the parallel condition,
self-protection by owner.  You are perfectly free to choose self-
protection.  You may get protection for far longer than patent
would allow (does anybody yet know the real formula for Coca-Cola?)
On the other hand, you may not.  If you undertake self protection
you have refused the bargain offered by society (or it's agents,
the government) which trades legal protection for limited monopoly.
Once you have chosen this route, your self-protection is the only
protection you should have.

-Richard M. Hartman

186,000 mi/sec: not just a good idea, it's the LAW!