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[P]
Hack the DMCA

By qpt in Op-Ed
Fri Jul 27, 2001 at 06:21:50 PM EST
Tags: Politics (all tags)
Politics

The Digital Millennium Copyright Acts is without doubt one of the most dangerous and subversive pieces of legislature to come out of Washington in decades. The purpose of the act is to provide singular protection for copyrighted works that are distributed in digital formats. Most importantly, it forbids circumventing any access control on digitalized copyrighted material or using such materials contrary to the owner's wishes.

Effectively, the DMCA grants broad powers to corporations at the expense of individual rights, because corporations control the vast majority of copyrighted material. For example, in the United States, ninety-nine percent of all copyrighted material is owned by the richest one percent of corporations. This statistic is frightening, and quite possibly wildly inaccurate. What is relevant, however, is that the act gives corporations the power to strictly control the distribution of music and movies on the Internet, thus making us consumers unhappy.


By making the free circulation of music and movies a felony, the DMCA forces us to pay for what we might otherwise have gotten for free. It is not hard to see that the former is a superior state of affairs. In addition, the DMCA likewise restricts the unbounded distribution of commercial software, another product that we would prefer not to pay for. In essence, the DMCA is legalized highway robbery. The federal government has given the entertainment and software industry a free pass to expropriate our hard-earned money.

Some might object, claiming that artists and software developers deserve compensation for their work. While this might be true, it is something on which we would rather not reflect. A much rosier thought is all the free movies and music we could have if the DMCA were repealed. Furthermore, it is a well-established fact that the entertainment industry does not pay musicians and actors anything at all. Thus, they are really no worse off if their corporate overlords are deprived of revenue.

In addition, the DMCA threatens more than our immediate gratification, important as that is. By putting a price on the shared culture of our society, the unity of its citizens is threatened. If the very poor cannot afford to hear Brittany Spear's latest offering, a schism develops in our society as we lose valuable shared cultural artifacts. Before the DMCA, even homeless crack-whores could download and enjoy the same music as the affluent.

Most importantly, the DMCA threatens the foundations of Constitutional law in our country. The Constitution promises "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness," but how can anyone hope to be happy when forced to waste money on music, movies, and software? Furthermore, the DMCA ignores the equal protection clause of the Constitution, by failing to grant digital copyrighted material the same liberty that is afforded people. It would be unthinkable to buy and sell human beings; why does our society tolerate the open marketplace of copyrighted material?

As should now be obvious, the DMCA is a destructive law that must be abolished, or barring that, whined about. Doing so, however, will take determination, dedication, and a concrete, workable action plan. As a service to the community, I have provided such a plan.

qpt's Guide to Overthrowing the DMCA

  • Establish underground file sharing networks to provide free music and movies for R&R while working on the digital revolution.
  • Write your government representatives, or at the very least talk about writing them.
  • Write long stream-of-consciousness rants about the DMCA. Do not proofread them. Post them to various web sites.
  • When your friend buys a DVD player, point out that it cannot play Japanese DVDs. Ignore her when she claims not to care.
  • When in a restaurant, argue with the waiter about the DMCA. If the waiter feigns ignorance, it is a cue for you to pontificate long-windedly.
  • Pretend like the DMCA does not exist. Act surprised and hurt when arrested for violating it.
  • Hack the RIAA website. That'll show 'em.
If enough individuals followed these simple steps, the DMCA would be quickly abolished. I would encourage you to copy the above list and send it to everyone whose email address you know, especially if you are a professional spammer. If enough individuals are educated, history will show that corporate greed was no match for our desire for free music and movies.

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Poll
The DMCA can be reversed if enough people follow this plan.
o Yes 44%
o No 55%

Votes: 38
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
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o Also by qpt


Display: Sort:
Hack the DMCA | 54 comments (39 topical, 15 editorial, 0 hidden)
I need more (4.28 / 7) (#1)
by duxup on Fri Jul 27, 2001 at 06:09:40 AM EST

I'm fond of torches and angry mob justice.
Throw in both of those and you've got me.

hacking the riaa. (3.00 / 5) (#2)
by thopo on Fri Jul 27, 2001 at 06:41:30 AM EST

While that might not be the appopriate move to make them listen to us (will they ever?) but i'd love to see it. It has to be an intelligent hack tough, no "j00 go7 0wned by the l33t d00dz" but no philosophic essay either.

Sharing music/movies etc. is not the right way i'm afraid. I know that almost everyone does it (legal disclaimer: i dont) but that just will give them more excuses for their tactic to restrict everything because of the bad bad pirates.
So i think the only way is to open peoples eyes and make them really THINK about their live and freedom (as in speech).


the grammar police can stay at home
Unpopular Opinion, But.. (3.66 / 3) (#4)
by sventhatcher on Fri Jul 27, 2001 at 06:46:46 AM EST

What the hell does freedom of speech have to do with piracy?

--Sven (Now with bonus vanity weblog! (MLP Sold Seperately))
[ Parent ]
.. you misunderstood (4.00 / 4) (#5)
by thopo on Fri Jul 27, 2001 at 07:10:52 AM EST

Not Freedom of Speech but as in speech, as opposed to free beer. And we are not talking about piracy here but the DMCA. And it does restrict your freedom.


the grammar police can stay at home
[ Parent ]
Right (1.60 / 5) (#6)
by sventhatcher on Fri Jul 27, 2001 at 07:16:11 AM EST

My freedom...

to pirate software/music/movies/e-texts/etc. =)

--Sven (Now with bonus vanity weblog! (MLP Sold Seperately))
[ Parent ]

Lost freedoms... (3.75 / 4) (#11)
by simon farnz on Fri Jul 27, 2001 at 08:45:40 AM EST

And to design a DVD player, an e-text reader, a music player (if SDMI ever does produce a secure format), to format your hard drive and reinstall, to upgrade your processor without buying a new OS etc.
--
If guns are outlawed, only outlaws have guns
[ Parent ]
What? (2.42 / 7) (#7)
by Stick on Fri Jul 27, 2001 at 07:35:40 AM EST

"Before the DMCA, even homeless crack-whores could download and enjoy the same music as the affluent. "

So a homeless crack-whore can afford a computer, but not a music cd?


---
Stick, thine posts bring light to mine eyes, tingles to my loins. Yea, each moment I sit, my monitor before me, waiting, yearning, needing your prose to make the moment complete. - Joh3n
It's satire! (3.00 / 1) (#15)
by dennis on Fri Jul 27, 2001 at 10:24:52 AM EST

Don't they teach anything in literature classes anymore?

[ Parent ]
I don't think (none / 0) (#38)
by ZanThrax on Fri Jul 27, 2001 at 07:06:10 PM EST

that they have literature class anymore. At least not anything that deserves the name.


If there's nothing you'd die for, then what do you have to live for?


[ Parent ]
duh! (2.00 / 2) (#16)
by garlic on Fri Jul 27, 2001 at 10:29:32 AM EST

of course they can. they even have access to a T1 line.

most of them only became crack-whores when they couldn't download music/movies/software for free anymore.

HUSI challenge: post 4 troll diaries on husi without being outed as a Kuron, or having the diaries deleted or moved by admins.
[ Parent ]

Of course! (4.66 / 3) (#17)
by flieghund on Fri Jul 27, 2001 at 10:39:43 AM EST

Though it may not be the case in countries where consumers are more savvy than a half-rotten turnip, here in the United States (birthplace of crack whores thanks to dubious CIA intervention) we have these "wonderful" internet-rebate deals on new computers. Perhaps you have seen them yourself: a US$400 computer (say, 500 MHz Celeron w/ 64 MB RAM and a 15" monitor w/ built-in speakers, real SOTA to be sure) that offers a US$400 mail-in rebate in exchange for a 3-year ISP contract (which tends to be for Compu$erve around here). Of course, it takes someone on crack to accept this deal (US$400 now in exchange for US$790 in future expenses), especially since it is $22/month for 56k dial-up service that you have to keep paying for three years.

Now take this not-so-hypothetical crack whore who, realizing a swell deal when she sees one, rushes down to the local RadioShack and buys the aforementioned computer system. Now she has the ability to download as much music as she wants (that is, when she can bum change from passers-by for a pay phone with a modem connection), and all it costs her is $22/month -- about what she would have spent buying a single CD each month! Of course, she has to carry around this bulky monitor and computer case, not to mention the stringy wires for the mouse and keyboard. But hey, that's why grocery stores provide shopping carts, right?

So, anyway, along comes the DMCA. Ms. Crack Whore, a Napster God with a music collection that nearly fills her computer's roaring 8 GB hard drive, suddenly finds herself cut off from the music trading scene. So there she is, left holding the bag (er, shopping cart) for two more years of some crappy dial-up service that has become nearly worthless. Being homeless, however, has its advantages in this case, as she can simply move to a different refrigerator box and let the Compu$erve bills pile up in the alleyway.



Using a Macintosh is like picking your nose: everyone likes to do it, but no one will admit to it.
[ Parent ]
The separation between big business and state. (3.25 / 4) (#10)
by sumorai on Fri Jul 27, 2001 at 08:18:43 AM EST

This country was started by folks fleeing from oppression by the church in Europe. They started a revolution and created a free country. This free country has now been taken over by big corporations. Maybe it is time for another revolution?

what a crock! (4.66 / 6) (#12)
by Anonymous 242 on Fri Jul 27, 2001 at 09:24:39 AM EST

This country was started by folks fleeing from oppression by the church in Europe. They started a revolution and created a free country.
Well, this isn't entirely a crock, but in leaving out tremendously important facts it turns into a crock. Consider:
  • Aside from the colonies established by schismatic groups searching for freedom of religion, a large number of colonies were established purely for commercial purposes. Trading posts for trappers, logging, tobacco farms, gold, coffee and other lucrative businesses attracted at least as many immigrants to the new world as did religious freedoms.
  • Of the thirteen origininal colonies, the only one that started out with any modicrum of freedom of religion was Rhode Island (settled by Roman Catholics, no less) that proclaimed religious freedom for any form of Christianity. In all of the other colonies one could find oneself expelled, jailed, or tarred and feathered for being the wrong flavor of Christian.
  • The American Revolution was started by Deists who didn't want to pay taxes, not people fleeing repression. Further, the American Revolution started as a prolonged riot that typically ended with the complete destruction of private businesses and property of those who had business importing British goods.
  • Portions of the American Revolution were a Holy War. The forays into Canadian territory by Revolutionary troops were evangelized as a way to put down those anti-Christ and Satanic Catholics living up there.
This free country has now been taken over by big corporations.
There is much truth to this statement, but one has to wonder just who purchased the majority of guns, canons, gunpowder, shells, rations and such during the American Revolution. Here's a clue: it wasn't the common person. It was the wealthy person who had a vested commercial interest in seeing the revolution succeed.
Maybe it is time for another revolution?
Or maybe its time we actually started voting with our pocket books about issues we care about. I know more than a few people that despise Nike for running sweatshops. The same people buy shoes made by other companies in those same sweatshops because they don't care enough to do their homework before making a purchase. Or given all the complaints about the DCMA and the RIAA, and then consider all the people that do said whining go see Jurassic Park III or buy the re-release of Akira on DVD or buy the latest CD with those groovin' techno tunes from some large music chain.

Boycotts are incredibly effective. Mahatama Gandhi demonstrated such in India. The American Patriots demonstrated such in getting several tax acts repealed prior to the American Revolution. More recently there have been victories in the treatment of migrant workers by several vegetable farming corporations.

Boycotts work, but in order to work, they must be wide-spread and effective. Mega-Corps only have the power that we consumers give to them. In a society where convenience, luxury, and purchase price are more important to consumers than freedom and ethics, you will have power ceded to commercial interest just like is currently happening.

Regards,

-l

[ Parent ]

Civil disobedience (4.00 / 6) (#14)
by dennis on Fri Jul 27, 2001 at 09:51:56 AM EST

Pretend like the DMCA does not exist. Act surprised and hurt when arrested for violating it.

While it sounds ridiculous when you put it that way, it's worth noting that you're describing the long and honorable tradition of civil disobedience.

Furthermore, in the latest case it's a Russian we arrested, for taking actions which are perfectly legal in his own country. In fact, Adobe's e-book protection is what's illegal in Russia. All Sklyarov did in the U.S. was give a speech--though of course he should have known better than to think he could speak freely in America.

Tit For Tat (4.00 / 2) (#24)
by priestess on Fri Jul 27, 2001 at 12:52:11 PM EST

In fact, Adobe's e-book protection is what's illegal in Russia.
So, has anyone suggested to the Russians, who are no doubt concerned about thier countryman, that they arrest and imprision someone working for Abobe and then offer one of those diplomatic tit-for-tat trades that they're always doing?

Pre......

----
My Mobile Phone Comic-books business
Robots!
[ Parent ]
Absurdity (4.66 / 3) (#28)
by sventhatcher on Fri Jul 27, 2001 at 02:14:01 PM EST

The true absurdity here is not the DMCA then.

The true absurdity is that the US government is arresting a citizen of another country for acts not commited in the US.

--Sven (Now with bonus vanity weblog! (MLP Sold Seperately))
[ Parent ]

Two probelms *I* have with the DMCA. (3.25 / 4) (#20)
by Sheepdot on Fri Jul 27, 2001 at 11:39:25 AM EST

Might want to cover these issues:

1) The ends do not justify the means. It simply looks like a libertry-squelcher to me. For more info:

http://www.mackido.com/Thought/EndsAndMeans.html

2) The DMCA is a "dud law" in that it attempts to regulate the means through which the crime is done, not the criminals themselves, which are already liable under existing law. In other words, no new laws need to have been created.

In other words, I'd rather see the MPAA bust me for having 5 newly released DVD movies on my computer rather than DeCSS. Especially when fighting DeCSS is ridiculous to think of since a large number of people already have it.

Circumvention devices are *not* an attack on a creator's work. Just as lockpicks aren't an attack on locks, and look how many lockpick companies we have, at least one in every small city in the US.

The *crime* I think should be the ownership of a copyrighted material that you didn't pay for etc. For example, the 5 newly released DVD movies I have on the computer.

The only reason the MPAA and RIAA don't attack *us* the criminals, is because of the following:

1) We still buy their stuff
2) There's way too many of us
3) It'd be cheaper to take our liberty of creating a "circumvention device" away through one court case, and around 3 billion or so in "soft money", lobbying, and etc.

"As should now be obvious, the DMCA is a destructive law that must be abolished, or barring that, whined about. Doing so, however, will take determination, dedication, and a concrete, workable action plan."

If only people felt the same way about charitable trust funds. IMHO, that is what has been seperating the meritocracts from the rest of us, and keeping them seperated.


New law *did* need to be created (3.00 / 1) (#43)
by Pseudonym on Fri Jul 27, 2001 at 11:04:01 PM EST

One thing which is should be kept in mind is that some new law was needed for copyright in the digital arena. For example, under a strict reading of copyright law, proxying was illegal. The DMCA (and similar laws in other countries) made it legal.

That's why it annoys me when people like Tim O'Reilly say "there's little about it that I like". He's entitled to his opinion, but really, we're all only really complaining about the anti-circumvention provisions of the DMCA. A lot of the rest of the act is fine, and was some of it was very much needed.



sub f{($f)=@_;print"$f(q{$f});";}f(q{sub f{($f)=@_;print"$f(q{$f});";}f});
[ Parent ]
Annotation to qpt's Guide to Overthrowing the DMCA (3.33 / 3) (#21)
by mami on Fri Jul 27, 2001 at 11:50:14 AM EST

Write long stream-of-consciousness rants about the DMCA. Do not proofread them. Post them to various web sites.

Delete this story immediately from this site to not give authorities a clue about our tactics and strategy. It will greatly enhance our chances to achieve a successful overthrow.

P.S. Would make mami happy, as it would be the first case to prove that a very fine +1 satire could be deleted from the archives to do The Right Thing(tm) . We shall overcome.

Hacking ? I think not! (2.80 / 5) (#33)
by WinPimp2K on Fri Jul 27, 2001 at 05:49:04 PM EST

Darn, I voted this up because I thought it was going to be about something like:
  • running the plaintext of the DMCA through a code morpher and getting the DECSS code.
  • using advanced origami techniques to turn hardcopy of the DMCA into a DVD duplicator (press "circumvent" to copy)
  • or at least a press release for "Scream 5" with an all new cast: Jack Valenti and Hilary Rosen would play the part of the deranged psycho killers, Eric Corley, Jon Johanssen, Dmitry Sklyarov, Edward Felton, and David Touretzky as the hapless victims.
Still a nice bit overall. No need for anyone to help me "correct" my vote.

Using the DMCA (3.66 / 3) (#34)
by spacejack on Fri Jul 27, 2001 at 06:35:09 PM EST

I wonder how many instances there would be where we could find large corporations (such as Microsoft, Sony, etc.) guilty of infringing. We could set up a public "offense" fund that, upon seeing an injustice (eg. Dmitry), could then lash back at the offending company with counter-charges. One shouldn't need to be too creative to find instances of DMCA violations within just about any technology-based company.

DMCA: Quantum theory for the Legal System (3.50 / 8) (#35)
by Corbin on Fri Jul 27, 2001 at 06:59:29 PM EST

According to quantum physics, it is possible for a quantum object (eg: photon) to interact with another object whether or not the second object is actually there. The only requirement is, at some point in time, the second object might be there (eg: double-slit experiment)

According to the DMCA, a person is guilty of copyright infringement if, at some point in time, copyright material might be present to be copied.

My question is this: is the state of law-breaking uncertain until the law-breaker is observed by an intelligent 3rd party? (Schrodinger's Cat).

Good point! (2.00 / 1) (#41)
by Pseudonym on Fri Jul 27, 2001 at 10:42:25 PM EST

My question is this: is the state of law-breaking uncertain until the law-breaker is observed by an intelligent 3rd party?
No, intelligent observers can't determine this. In order to get a definite answer you need to ask someone with the intelligence of a half-dead cat.



sub f{($f)=@_;print"$f(q{$f});";}f(q{sub f{($f)=@_;print"$f(q{$f});";}f});
[ Parent ]
you're a fucking moron (1.80 / 5) (#36)
by crazycanuck on Fri Jul 27, 2001 at 07:02:37 PM EST

or at least a troll.

let me see, "By making the free circulation of music and movies a felony, the DMCA forces us to pay for what we might otherwise have gotten for free. It is not hard to see that the former is a superior state of affairs. In addition, the DMCA likewise restricts the unbounded distribution of commercial software, another product that we would prefer not to pay for. In essence, the DMCA is legalized highway robbery. The federal government has given the entertainment and software industry a free pass to expropriate our hard-earned money. "

What the fuck are you smoking?
Now, I am completely against patents and trademarks and big corporations, but what you're basically saying here is that the DMCA is bad because it makes stealing illegal. Hello?
Like, I'm really mad at the government because the free trade of goods stolen(sorry, "borrowed") from your house is illegal.
Get a life. "the unbounded distribution of commercial software" is just an euphemism for stealing software. BTW, you clearly said *commercial* software. Don't want to pay for it, get Linux and GPL software. Or pirate windows like everyone else does. but if you pirate windows, shut the fuck up about it. You're stealing it, then complaining that it's illegal. jesus crist, what a moron!
artists and software writers DO have a right to get paid for their work.
The DMCA is not a free pass to your wallet, moron. Nobody forces you to buy music. Don't like paying for it, don't get it, period.

your attitude is tipical for an imature spoiled brat. try working a bit and earn a living, and see how hard it is, and then dare say that all those programmers or artists should work for free.

(disclaimer: yes, I have windows, and office and a shitload of other software I never paid for. I think I bought 2 games in my life and that's it. But I shut up about it and don't act like it's *not* stealing. and if the police actually start targeting indvidual users instead of corporations and the stolen software dealers, well, then I'll get something free like linux, or pay for commercial software. but I won't start compalining that stealing commercial software is illegal. corporations DO have a right to make profits)

a good troll actually (3.25 / 4) (#37)
by crazycanuck on Fri Jul 27, 2001 at 07:05:46 PM EST

upon re-reading more casrefully, you MUST be a troll. And yes, my reaction was exactely as expected.

if you weren't trying to troll K5, then you, sir, are a moron.

qpt?=troll (none / 0) (#39)
by hollowearth on Fri Jul 27, 2001 at 07:50:07 PM EST

Yeah, qpt has been around for a while as far as i'm aware. The original qpt seems to have given up the account after attempting to sell trolling services, whoever took the account on board then wrote anumber of pretty good trolls before giving up the account again.

I think the nature of qpt is generally the same though... but that's only my understanding, and I'm willing to believe that all incarnations are actually the same identity, but clever nonetheless...



[ Parent ]
Yeh, right. (none / 0) (#40)
by delmoi on Fri Jul 27, 2001 at 09:43:44 PM EST

I'm sure the three people who randomly grabbed the account have the exact same writing style... and sense of humor.
--
"'argumentation' is not a word, idiot." -- thelizman
[ Parent ]
I agree ( i think ). (none / 0) (#49)
by hollowearth on Sat Jul 28, 2001 at 04:25:06 AM EST

But i do like the idea though, and it's definitely in qpt's style to fake this kinda thing. Paul

[ Parent ]
So, basically... (none / 0) (#51)
by aonifer on Sat Jul 28, 2001 at 12:24:43 PM EST

...qpt's a meta-troll.

[ Parent ]
What is SOOO bad about the DMCA? (1.00 / 3) (#42)
by dnos on Fri Jul 27, 2001 at 10:53:45 PM EST

"Effectively, the DMCA grants broad powers to corporations at the expense of individual rights, because corporations control the vast majority of copyrighted material."

What 'rights' is it taking away from me? The 'right' to use other peoples copyrighted material as I choose? ... Since when has it been a right to take copyrighted material and do what you want with it? Maybe you should try to understand that before you start a mission to destroy the law.

I'm sure you'd think differently if it was your copyrighted material that was out there getting raped...

right to fair use (3.66 / 3) (#44)
by madman2002 on Fri Jul 27, 2001 at 11:49:28 PM EST

We have the right to fair use. That means that if I buy a CD I can legally burn a copy of this copyrighted material, then I can put the original safely away so that it does not get scratched and use the burned one. Our right to fair use says we have the right to make copies of copyrighted material that we purchased for personal use. If I bought an E-book and wanted to read it on Linux I would need to use Dmitry's program to circumvent their "copyright protection" (I guess it can be called protection even though their encryption sounds like it can be broken by a chimp with a slide ruler) and make it into a normal .pdf so I could read MY PROPERTY on MY COMPUTER. Those are the rights being violated in plain english, I now expect a post sying "ok, our rights ARE being violated" with anymore questions you may have on the subject.

Sorry can't resist....a look at windows security at it's best..... http://www.tardsite.com/trdomnth01_01.htm thats right you can't beat that for security :)...yes I know this is OT but I just found it and didn't want to wait arround for a microsoft is bad topic to post it in :)

"I may not like what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it" Voltaire


[ Parent ]
A little flaw in your argument (4.00 / 2) (#45)
by VitaminSupplementarian on Sat Jul 28, 2001 at 12:06:12 AM EST

Copyright laws was until recently a civil code, not criminal code for the most part. The government usually put the onus on the copyright holder to take the infringer to court, it just made it quite easy for the copyright holder to win the case. Now however the law is quite different as it preemptively shuts down anything that could be harmful to digital copyrighted materials.

I oppose the DMCA because of its all out attack on academic freedom of inquiry, the right of those with bright ideas (such as consumer DVD recorders) to make products based on those bright ideas and the idea that fair use and copyright cannot coexist. I suppose it doesn't help my view of the DMCA much that I am in the district (6th, VA) of a House Rep that played a large role in its creation. I have dealt with Bob Goodlatte occassionally and he is in my opinion one of the worst examples of what Congresscritter shouldn't be. And what gets me the most is that so many other people my age (I'm 18 and plan to vote for Satan before I vote for him) feel the same way. I am mostly a libertarian and to me, he and his precious DMCA are utterly repugnant.

The DMCA is proof that we need to have a constitutional amendment that says that lawyers cannot run for Congress and that the only people in Congress that can draft laws or modify laws regulating something are those that either have a degree in that field or have significant professional experience in that field.
"A policy of freedom for the individual is the only truly progressive policy" --F.A. Hayek
[ Parent ]
Nice troll... (none / 0) (#47)
by ehintz on Sat Jul 28, 2001 at 03:03:34 AM EST

You almost got me. Good job.

Regards,
Ed Hintz
[ Parent ]
Doing what you want with copyrighted material (5.00 / 1) (#48)
by RadiantMatrix on Sat Jul 28, 2001 at 03:31:50 AM EST

Since when has it been a right to take copyrighted material and do what you want with it?
Since the inception of copyright law, with some restrictions. That is what most people who make this point don't realize -- copyright law is designed to protect the consumer's rights to use while still protecting the copyright-holder's interests. Copyright law basically makes it legal to do whatever you want to a copyrighted item, so long as it doesn't infringe on the copyright. Infrigement is, simply defined, copying and/or distribution of a complete work (or significant portion thereof) without permission of the copyright holder. Exceptions are made for educational and other "fair" uses.

According to copyright doctrine, downloading a copyrighted MP3 would not be, of itself, illegal -- temporary copies of work are protected under fair use. The DMCA doesn't address MP3 sharing in any way (contrary to popular belief). The real impact of the DMCA is one clause that makes it illegal to circumvent copy protection devices. Seems like a good idea, except that circumventing such measures is often a requirement to excercise our right to fair use. What we have here is a clash between two pieces of copyright law.

In short, the intent behind the DMCA is honorable -- copyright law needs to be updated to address newer forms of media -- but the implementation is very 1.0-standard. Great idea, try again.

--
No amount of genius can overcome a preoccupation with detail.

[ Parent ]

three strikes (4.00 / 1) (#46)
by kpeerless on Sat Jul 28, 2001 at 02:16:59 AM EST

Let me see if I have this right. In the "Land of the free and the home of the brave" about half the states have the three strikes law. Three felonies and you go away for life. That means that you could concievably download three songs and play them in the pricvacy of your own home and could spend the rest of your life in jail. That's not a country... it's a fucking insane asylum

Three strikes (none / 0) (#50)
by aonifer on Sat Jul 28, 2001 at 12:16:53 PM EST

Actually, three strikes laws usually refer to violent crimes or drug crimes. Plus, they only apply to state law (DMCA is Federal law).

[ Parent ]
Wow! (none / 0) (#52)
by Shalom on Sat Jul 28, 2001 at 01:24:06 PM EST

This was the best piece of satire I've seen on this site so far. Worthy of Jonathan Swift, albeit in a less spectactular fashion :) Rarely does it take me so long into the article to realize that I'm not reading a real rant.

Now I'm trying to figure out if most of the comments are actually satire or not. They don't seem like it. It continually amazes me how often people just do not get satire, even presumably well-educated people at Kuro5hin.



Wow... (none / 0) (#53)
by falden34 on Sat Jul 28, 2001 at 03:03:25 PM EST

I'm amazed at the number of people that are taking this article seriously. Poor people...

Been thinking about this for a while... (none / 0) (#54)
by Elendale on Sat Jul 28, 2001 at 04:56:26 PM EST

Ever thought of using the DMCA against itself? True, the DMCA seems to be one of those laws that only applies for the big folks (that is, large companies) so abuse of it by individuals would likely be laughed at. Nonetheless, here we go.

Elendale Intellectual Property Retention Agreement (EIPRA)
Layer One

  1. By reading comments made by Elendale (first person pronouns from here on) the reader (you) agree to this license.
  2. Comments made by me contain my intellectual property, this can be done with as you please- within reason (as defined by other Layers of the EIPRA). I retain all rights to these comments.
  3. By reverse engineering the content protection systems (here after known as "Acronyms", further definition in other Layers) contained within my post you are in violation of the DMCA (furthermore, to understand the DMCA you must also be in violation of the DMCA as long as you are reading it in one of my comments), however: by agreeing to this liscense (Layer One in particular) you may reverse engineer my Acronyms legally.
    1. In addition to this: you also agree to have 1984 flashbacks whenever you read "DMCA", if this doesn't make any sense to you you agree you are a senseless fool and you agree that you should go read 1984- its a good book.
  4. By agreeing to Layer One of the EIPRA, you also agree to any further Layers. These may be witheld from your view at my leisure.
Layer Two
  1. AYBABTU, TINK5C
  2. I claim immunity to any and all DMCA related licenses under the ownership of those who agree to the EIPRA.
  3. You agree to refer to me as "Elendale, Lord of All He Surveys" or "Lord of the Morning" or something equally pointless, invalid references are defined in other Layers of the EIPRA.

  4. You agree to surrender control of the world (Earth) at any time I see fit. You retain the right to pretty much everything (defined in other Layers).
  5. I agree that once I obtain control of the Earth, I will remove the DMCA and step down (I will also retain some form of immunity from prosecution, as defined in other Layers of the EIPRA) and perhaps grab a nice new car and box for my own personal use.
  6. This license may be cancelled at any time at my discretion. See other Layers for the steps that are to be taken by you when this occurs.
Layer Three
  1. This license will self destruct whenever the DMCA is repealed, invalidated, or changed to my liking (as defined in other Layers).
-Elendale (The Bill of Rights is my protection mechanism, the DMCA is a circumvention device)
---

When free speech is outlawed, only criminals will complain.


Hack the DMCA | 54 comments (39 topical, 15 editorial, 0 hidden)
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