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gosta

Sobering time-line of Anti-Consumer Copyright Law...

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Hey All,I've always taken a keen interest in the progression of copyright law both in the United States and around the world. I've tried to keep myself informed of copyright legislation throughout the past twenty years and continue to try and keep-up with the fevered pace of the current diabolical minds in the Recording Industry and Paid-For-Congress (no, I agree... I'm not biased in the least :-)).So it happened that I ran across this extremely insightful article in a most unusual place for such a work: the minds at ExtremeTech.com (one of the best technical-yet-consumer oriented resources on the net IMO). Refreshingly, the gentleman who wrote this article has thoughtfully condensed this tome-of-an-issue almost perfectly - and in a form meant for a layman not a lawyer. Outlined within eight short pages is the entire time-line of copyright law since the US was born (and a tad bit before: dating to the birth of copyright law itself). Not only does this article outline the facts of copyright law as passed over the past three centuries, but gives a concise and unbiased account of the major ramifications these laws have entailed.Reading this article gives a reader a much clearer grounding to understand how mainstream uptake of willful copyright infringement, indeed blithe acceptance on an almost wholesale scale, is becoming the "norm" in very recent times. This is an issue I've been hard pressed to understand prior to reading this article.The answer to me now seems clear: If copyright law (and the special interest that drives it) had kept its original and correct focus on balancing the rights of *both* authors *and* consumers as it was originally intended, the recording industry and every other Mega Conglomerate controlling copyright industry today would not be facing the dire backlash such as they are from the very public they get their power from. As well lets not forget the growing backlash from the very artists on whose work these conglomerations depend (Alanis Morissette for example).I firmly believe that your average American (and most all nationalities of course) do NOT desire to steal. Similar moral grounding and beliefs are proven time and again when crisis strikes and national outpouring results: such as 911. This is even more evident in our daily normal lives however. Being a part of this AVSIM community is a perfect example that leads you to such an inevitable conclusion: the vast majority of Americans feel happily obliged to pay those who provide great service and products at a *fair price* (monetary and otherwise). This trait of ours is precisely one of the grounding aspects that makes us civilized.But it seems these Mega-Conglomerations simply cannot breach such an evident fact - indeed I believe they truly think we're all simply moronic animals to be tightly controlled (and milked). Their march continues towards ever more antagonistic relationships with the very public they depend upon. A perfect example is the implementation of foolish and forced copyright protections in the market like the new "uncopyable" CD's recently introduced in Europe. Of course these were just as quickly circumvented with a simple magic marker by normally law abiding yet frustrated users . Provocations (and reactions) like this only exasperate and demand confrontation: instead of lowering prices on what is widely recognized as extremely overpriced audio CDs which still cost an absurd $20 a pop, they pull stunts like this.Thanks to this article, I better understand how P2P networks like Napster and Kazza have flourished in the mainstream to the tunes of hundreds of millions of users worldwide. If the RIAA, MPAA and other Megalomaniac Corporations (and the congressmen they purchase) continue this unrelenting assault, I can only foresee even larger consumer backlash: with the forced criminalization of the mainstream as the most unfortunate outcome. Once that genie's out of the bottle (if its not already), it'll be impossible to put it back in. What could the future look like when resignation to stealing in response to iron-tough and unjust laws and practices become the moral norm? When the "underground" is no longer underground, but indeed mainstream society?Highly recommended reading:http://www.extremetech.com/article/0,3396,...&a=27255,00.aspTake care,http://members.rogers.com/eelvish/elrondlogo.gif[link:flightontario.cjb.net]http://members.rogers.com/eelvish/flyurl.gif

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Interesting article Elrond, worrying but not surprising.From this side of the pond the annoying feature is the global scale of such copyright law, and to think at one time the US Government thought the 'Reds' were trying to take over the world :-)On the computer s/ware side of things I enjoy reading 'The Register' which deals with all sorts of 'would you believe it' IT stories and the on-going MS battle is seldom off their front page.Interestingly on that front there does appear to be some resistance to MS new licensing scheme but I suppose in the end the 'heard instinct' will prevail and that model will dominate without as much a slight bump.Rgds

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Indeed a very interesting article. Well informed and well written. As a UK (England & Wales) - educated lawyer specialising in EU law, currently practising in Canada (not to mention my upbringing in Germany), I'd like to point out that fortunately (or unfortunately - depending on your point of view), there is no such thing as a 'global scale' of Copyright Law. Far from it, for example full compliance with the DMCA in the US can mean engaging in an illegal activity in another country. One of the major problems is the disparity in different legal systems as to what is regarded as a chattel, and what as a piece of Intellectual Property, especially when it comes to IT. Just one simple example (sorry it's not a very good one and only intended to demonstrate a principle): In most countries, no one will raise a eyebrow (legally, that is), if you buy a book and rip out a few pages, so that you can read them on the way to work - after all, you bought the book, the author's royalties were included in the price (that's the IP part dealt with), and the physical object (chattel), the book itself, is yours to do with as you please. Now do the equivalent to a piece of software (just for your personal use), and try to keep track of whose laws you may have broken and whose not... I hope this helps to provide some initial food for thought as to what is involved when dealing with multiple legal systems. (At some point, Microsoft may wish they had never opened this can of worms with their new licensing scheme...:))Cheers,Gosta.

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