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[P]
Judge demonstrates Sanity, Respect for Law

By Wah in Op-Ed
Sat Apr 26, 2003 at 08:25:11 PM EST
Tags: Internet (all tags)
Internet

Outstanding news coming down about a court case involving Grokster and Morpheus.  We'll cut to the chase and quote for the judge.

The judge wrote: "Grokster and Streamcast are not significantly different from companies that sell home video recorders or copy machines, both of which can be and are used to infringe copyrights".
And it gets better from there.


A federal judge finally picks up on the reality of the situation.  The next piece of the puzzle comes a bit later.
It continued: "... there is no precedent for imposing vicarious liability on the theory that petitioners sold the VTRs with constructive knowledge that their customers might use the equipment to make unauthorized copies of copyrighted material. The sale of copying equipment, like the sale of other articles of commerce, does not constitute contributory infringement if the product is widely used for legitimate, unobjectionable purposes, OR, indeed, is merely capable of substantial noninfringing uses."
So there you have it.  This sentiment is picked up by another article on the topic.
It was "undisputed" that there were substantial legal uses for the software.
So there you have it.  This stuff had enough legitimate uses to make banning the technology the wrong thing to do.  Some of you may have noticed that some files on these networks require additional payment to access.  This is just one example of how these networks can be used legitimately.  Yet another is demonstrated by the existence of organizations such as the Creative Commons. I think there is also some near-mass media potential for these networks in distributing timely information.  But we'll get to that later.  Perhaps in another three or four years.  When my phone is not only able to surf the internet, but also gains the ability to take pictures and movies and play mp3s on the plane.

O.k, now this next bit is the best part for me, because it shows that the judge understands the full impact of current copyright law on the people of this country.  By enforcing the strong restrictions, such as the RIAA and MPAA are advocating, many, many people (i.e. everyone in the country) will be exposed to the full force of strict copyright law.  This law can be extended out of areas normally covered by copyright, and lead to all sorts of unexpected, and unintended, things.

The majority decision by the court also pointed out that many products that are readily available could also be used to infringe copyright. They stated "Selling a staple article of commerce -- e. g., a typewriter, a recorder, a camera, a photocopying machine -- technically contributes to any infringing use subsequently made thereof, but this kind of 'contribution,' if deemed sufficient as a basis for liability, would expand the theory beyond precedent and arguably beyond judicial management."
I love that part, 'arguably beyond judicial management'.  In other words, this country is too Free to control P2P networks at a fundamental level.   This will become more evident as the Information Age moves along, but we are certainly seeing how the 'device' that does this kind of stuff (copying, information distribution and capture), can be nearly anything.

One quick example of this and then I'll get along with the partying.  If you take a picture, with your phone (like the commercials are showing) and then broadcast that picture to someone, you could be in big trouble.  By some of our law, you should be in big trouble.  Especially if you are at, for example, a major sports arena watching a game.  

Do we want, and could we support, a society that had to use law enforcement to stop or punish an action like the one described in the above paragraph to provide the "judicial management" necessary to be a civil, law-abiding culture?

My answer is a resounding, NO!  And so I applaud the decision and will celebrate the event with laughter and music.  Currently I'm pulling down music from a band I saw up in the mountains of Colorado a few years back.  They don't seem to mind, so I'm going to enjoy this decision and check out some tunes, legitimately, while I can.

In a war that started nearly 2000 years ago, the right to copy has won a small, but important, victory.

I'll be waiting patiently for the inevitable appeal.

--


[Read All About It]

[something similar was posted on quantumphilosophy.net]

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o Grokster
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o something similar was posted on quantumphilosophy.net
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Display: Sort:
Judge demonstrates Sanity, Respect for Law | 108 comments (91 topical, 17 editorial, 0 hidden)
Hehe (4.60 / 15) (#6)
by komet on Sat Apr 26, 2003 at 03:15:50 PM EST

Woohoo!! Judge demonstrates Sanity, Respect for Law

There's something fucking wrong with society if this headline is actually newsworthy.

YOU HAVE NO CHANCE TO SURVIVE MAKE YOUR TIME.

yes, it is (4.62 / 8) (#11)
by Krandor3 on Sat Apr 26, 2003 at 03:31:35 PM EST

It is kinda funny that it is news. It is great to finally see a court start to understand. The RIAA has been way too good at equating P2P and MP3 with only copyright infringement to the point there people think that any MP3 or any P2P program is illegal and it is only how you use them. Good to see the courts start to understand.

[ Parent ]
Yay! (4.20 / 5) (#10)
by tang gnat on Sat Apr 26, 2003 at 03:27:58 PM EST

Now we don't have to keep switching 'tween file-sharing programs!

you missed the point (4.50 / 10) (#12)
by gnd54 on Sat Apr 26, 2003 at 03:36:18 PM EST

The decision is not the "big win" that's being trumpeted about in the geek community. The only thing the judge said is that Grokster and Streamcast don't control the network and therefore can't be forced to be responsible for it. In the one company's case, Kazaa BV, I think controls their network completely, and the judge specifically states that his decision does not impact upon their possible liability. In the case of the other company, Grokster, I think, he basically says that gnutella is an open protocol that they have no control over, and shutting them down would not in any way hamper file-sharing. In Napster's case, shutting down Napster inc stopped their service completely -- all file transfers were controlled, initially at least, by their servers. Gnutella's different, and isn't under Grokster, or anyone else's control.

The notes about substantial non-infringing use are good, and they may someday set an important precedent, but they're not the main intent of the verdict, so let's not trumpet this about as a great victory for file-sharing -- it's not. The judge clearly states that copyright infringement is going on, and that it's illegal -- he just says there's no way to hold Grokster and Streamcast liable for it. The next logical step is, as RIAA is doing now, to sue every individual they can get their grubby hands on who's ever traded a file.

anything is good now (5.00 / 3) (#13)
by Krandor3 on Sat Apr 26, 2003 at 03:42:51 PM EST

At this point in the game, any win is a good win. The RIAA and MPAA have been very successful in their PR efforts so getting a win like this is only a good thing and if people trumpet it as a "big win" even if it isn't, that only helps from a PR standpoint. Perception is half the battle.

[ Parent ]
There's some good news there too (4.66 / 3) (#14)
by Wah on Sat Apr 26, 2003 at 03:43:55 PM EST

The next logical step is, as RIAA is doing now, to sue every individual they can get their grubby hands on who's ever traded a file.

This is going to be tough.  With a real war going on, taking people away for sharing music is going to look very bad.  The major recording industries don't have a lot of time to try and keep things the way they are, which is to say, if they don't fight, they will lose.  Then they get to the hard place, which is that I think it they press too hard, and go after too many, small fish (freshmen), people won't stand for it.  So they are in a very difficult situation.  Any type of legitimization of these services will embiggen people enough so that we will keep using them, despite some risk.

Just my opinion, it was just nice to see something come out of this whole situation that is a good thing.
--
My home on your eyes and in your head.
[ Parent ]

good point (none / 0) (#19)
by gnd54 on Sat Apr 26, 2003 at 05:26:03 PM EST

Unfortunately, I fear it's going to be too many years before we actually get enough people in judicial positions and congress who actually even understand the issues -- this judge is obviously one of them, but that's one of how many?

The way things are now, even though people may not like it, that law says it's illegal to "share" music -- and congress isn't going to change that, they've basically committed to ensuring that the RIAA can continue to run rampant over their customers' rights.

[ Parent ]

however (4.50 / 2) (#21)
by Krandor3 on Sat Apr 26, 2003 at 05:47:57 PM EST

A P2P network can be used for more then just music... How many times have you had trouble downloading a file you wanted badly? the latest Redhat ISOs or whatever that were legal to download. A P2P network where load is distributed is perfect to help with those problems. However, the RIAA has been successful in making people belive P2P=MP3=Illegal which is not always the case.

[ Parent ]
how many years? (5.00 / 1) (#45)
by Wah on Sun Apr 27, 2003 at 01:41:05 AM EST

Unfortunately, I fear it's going to be too many years before we actually get enough people in judicial positions and congress who actually even understand the issues -- this judge is obviously one of them, but that's one of how many?

I hate to argue angel's advocate, but I think we have plenty of time.  The biggest battle is going to come when Bono runs out naturally, about 20 years hence.  I think if we could win that one, the tide might really be turning.

And that also means another generation of people who are more familar with the technology.  

The way things are now, even though people may not like it, that law says it's illegal to "share" music -- and congress isn't going to change that

I don't think they are.  And it doesn't seem like the Supreme Court is going to do it, although this might be a case that makes it there eventually.  This kinda stuff isn't even the radar of the major parties, so an official solution won't be forthcoming for some time.

The RIAA is going to face another challenge in the year's ahead.  Their PR level is attrocious, and it's attrocious with an important demographic, since those college students will eventually have money and real jobs (one would hope).  This is another factor that I think might be hurting their sales, and their sales are down quite a bit.  

Some companies are figuring it out.  I actually bought and downloaded Madonna's MP3 the other day.  I was just testing to see how convenient it was, and, frankly, it worked like a charm.  And I got the song faster than I could have off a P2P net.  

Regardless, and I could go on about this stuff for hours, I think this is a very good sign.  And at the very least, it's a leg to stand on.
--
My home on your eyes and in your head.
[ Parent ]

P2P vs. purchased (4.00 / 1) (#53)
by squigly on Sun Apr 27, 2003 at 06:08:02 AM EST

I actually bought and downloaded Madonna's MP3 the other day.  I was just testing to see how convenient it was, and, frankly, it worked like a charm.

I tried downloading it (purely to experiment.  I didn't want the song).  It took me about 5 minutes to download the song from Kazaa.  It actually took longer to find Madonna's "What the fuck do you think you're doing".  I guess p2p poisoning just doesn't work.

Still, it's good that the fans can actually buy the mp3.  

[ Parent ]

Fair use has persuasive precedent (none / 0) (#17)
by bigbtommy on Sat Apr 26, 2003 at 05:16:07 PM EST

While the actual facts and reasons may not have direct applicability in to other cases, it's cool that a recent case has reaffirmed the doctrine of fair use rights in copyright laws. While that may not be directly applicable, future cases may use it as persuasive precedent to show the need for fair use rights.
-- bbCity.co.uk - When I see kids, I speed up
[ Parent ]
You lost me (4.00 / 1) (#58)
by mindstrm on Sun Apr 27, 2003 at 11:11:30 AM EST

What does this case have to do with "the doctrine of fair use".

IT's about the liability of a software vendor who's software is used partly for illegal purposes.  This case says absolutely nothing at all about the legality of trafficking in copyrighted data.


[ Parent ]

The video comparison (4.00 / 1) (#70)
by bigbtommy on Sun Apr 27, 2003 at 03:11:22 PM EST

The fact that the judge made the comparison of a video recorder. When the VCR came out, all the movie industry wieners came out saying that video cassetes will kill moviemakers. (Which in the end, it hasn't.)

The judge used the VCR as an example, which has fair use usages, means this case may be able to update that example for a digital age, and this example could be used as a persuasive device to show how fair use should be applied to future cases involving such lark as digital rights management, DVD's, MP3 etc.
-- bbCity.co.uk - When I see kids, I speed up
[ Parent ]

matter under consideration (3.00 / 1) (#33)
by cronian on Sat Apr 26, 2003 at 08:35:03 PM EST

The judge contends that the users are permitting infringement because that was basically part of the stipulation between both sides. The decision is important because it says the networks are legal. As far as the RIAA going after individuals the Verizon case has so far been a dissapointment. However, the real question is what whether these cases will be heldup under appeal.

We perfect it; Congress kills it; They make it; We Import it; It must be anti-Americanism
[ Parent ]
well (4.00 / 1) (#36)
by gnd54 on Sat Apr 26, 2003 at 09:07:58 PM EST

actually the judge never said the networks are legal. He said the companies couldn't be held liable for their illegal use -- which is a fine distinction, but an important one. He said because the companies' software has non-infringing uses, it's legal for them to distribute their software. Whether this really extends to "the network" which in this case is really just the internet, as the companies don't own or control it, wasn't really addressed that I saw.

[ Parent ]
More significant than you think (5.00 / 8) (#48)
by halfStarted on Sun Apr 27, 2003 at 03:43:48 AM EST

Actually I don't think this ruling is as insignificant as you believe it is. Just about everyone that I have had this discussion with is still looking at this case in the wrong way. This ruling does nothing to legitimize theft of IP, nor did it intend to. What this ruling actually does is protect software vendors and developers from the threat of legal action when end users miss-use their product. Provided: 1. The software has substantial, current or future, legitimate uses and 2. The vendor/developer does not promote or encourage the infringing activity. There is a bit more to it than that but those are the main tests... read the court ruling (the EFF has a PDF up) for the whole story.

The reason this is significant is that it will, hopefully, go a long way against the current lobbying efforts of the media companies to place undue controls on the development of new technologies. Yes, as you say this may encourage the media companies to go after individual traders now... but unfortunately the way our (US) laws concerning IP and copyright are currently written, people sharing and downloading un-authorized copywrited material are violating the rights of the copyright holders. That is a separate issue, I don't know that I can stress it enough, what this case was about is the ability and the freedom to develop and distribute software with out fear of legal persecution just because it MAY (or does) make it easier to share copywrited works.

On the same lines as this, this ruling also starts going in the direction that is needed to re-establish consumer fair use. Just as it is not "bad" to develop and distribute software that may have infringing uses, it is also not "bad" to own and use said software for non-infringing purposes. As a programmer, and a huge fan of technology and technological development, I for one am very happy to see this ruling come through...

Sigh I have more that I want to say on this but I don't do too well after 3 in the morning ;) I should stop while this is still coherent... maybe I will add more later.

Cheers.

[ Parent ]
More lawsuits will be their undoing. (3.00 / 1) (#86)
by Lethyos on Mon Apr 28, 2003 at 12:12:06 AM EST

The next logical step is, as RIAA is doing now, to sue every individual they can get their grubby hands on who's ever traded a file.

I apologize for sounding selfish and I hope those who will bear the brunt of these lawsuits will forgive me.  I must say that this is indeed a good thing.  There will be an initial sacrifice on the part of The People in this case, but the long term result will be positive.

This eliminates the single point of failure we've seen with Napster.  If these guys are forced to go after the users, it will take them a lot longer to accomplish their goals.  Instead of taking a sledge hammer to a P2P network, they will be forced to chizel away, one scrape at a time.  But there's still more.

The RIAA/MPAA/IP-Obsessed-Co. will spend bundles of money on these lawsuits.  It is not cheap if you're the plaintiff.  This increase in their costs will cause them to raise the prices of their product.  Consumers will note this increase and more will resort to piracy.  It's a feedback loop.

On top of that, the more frivilous lawsuits they engage in, the less favor they will hold with the courts.  Like it or not, a judge's decision is influenced by his personal feelings.  If you piss off the judge, expect him less likely to rule in your favor unless the letter of the law absolutely dictates it.  Otherwise, many things are up to her interpretation.  The more of a fuss the RI/MPAA make, they will be perceived more and more as a nuisance.

Of course, I could be totally wrong on this too.  ;-)

earth, my body; water, my blood; air, my breath; fire, my spirit
[ Parent ]

Poll write-in (2.80 / 5) (#23)
by gazbo on Sat Apr 26, 2003 at 06:44:34 PM EST

Complete indifference.

-----
Topless, revealing, nude pics and vids of Zora Suleman! Upskirt and down blouse! Cleavage!
Hardcore ZORA SULEMAN pics!

Well done. (3.00 / 2) (#24)
by Torka on Sat Apr 26, 2003 at 06:52:04 PM EST

People who post to stories telling everyone they don't care are so cool.

Can I shake your hand?

Please? No, really, I just want to bask in the unutterably hip cynical aloofness that is you.

Yeah.

Cool.

[ Parent ]

Fool (4.80 / 5) (#29)
by gazbo on Sat Apr 26, 2003 at 07:19:52 PM EST

I voted the story up because it's of interest. Does the news make me happy? No, not really. Does it make me unhappy? No, not really.

Why is it always assumed that there's some sort of fucking war going on between Windows users and Linux users, P2P users and the RIAA etc, where everyone is on one side or the other? "You're either with us or against us" is the implication of the poll*; well that's crap. I don't care about this ruling, as in the real world it is really not of that much significance. Sure it's important in geek minority circles where they sit grinning, thinking that their cleverly worded usenet posts will somehow exploit a legal loophole through the use of the word "hypothetically" or some bollocks, but back on earth it has no real effect on me, a UK citizen.

I'm not for it, I'm not against it. In two weeks nobody will even remember it.

*Yes, voting "no" technically covers the "I don't care" option, but the implied meaning is different. There is a missing poll option.

-----
Topless, revealing, nude pics and vids of Zora Suleman! Upskirt and down blouse! Cleavage!
Hardcore ZORA SULEMAN pics!

[ Parent ]

Where were you? (5.00 / 2) (#46)
by Wah on Sun Apr 27, 2003 at 02:12:25 AM EST

during the editing phase?

Just joking there, but you're right, I should have added more poll options.  I needed an indifferent and a joke option.  'Twas a small oversight.  There were a number of them (check the editorial comments) and I would have fixed it.

Just wanted to mention this..

Why is it always assumed that there's some sort of fucking war going on between Windows users and Linux users, P2P users and the RIAA etc, where everyone is on one side or the other?

I don't know how much of a war it is, that's more of an analogy.  But there do seem to be at least two sides trying to define the world differently.  The Law seems to be the dividing line where things are drawn out.  So this was a case where things came down on one side of the law that I appreciated.  

And it is somewhat U.S. centric, but so's the world these days...
--
My home on your eyes and in your head.
[ Parent ]

Don't worry about US-centrism (5.00 / 1) (#55)
by gazbo on Sun Apr 27, 2003 at 07:22:10 AM EST

As I say, I voted it up anyway. I was just pointing out my non-US status as yet another reason why the verdict had very little impact on me.

PS. Congrats on FP

-----
Topless, revealing, nude pics and vids of Zora Suleman! Upskirt and down blouse! Cleavage!
Hardcore ZORA SULEMAN pics!

[ Parent ]

How... (none / 0) (#49)
by Sleepy on Sun Apr 27, 2003 at 04:06:37 AM EST

...is that not consistent with a "no" answer?

[ Parent ]
From my other response (none / 0) (#54)
by gazbo on Sun Apr 27, 2003 at 07:20:12 AM EST

"Yes, voting "no" technically covers the "I don't care" option, but the implied meaning is different. There is a missing poll option."

Voting "No" implies "this makes me unhappy". Even if it didn't (to you), it is still wrong to group unhappy and indifferent in the same option. Just a shame I didn't see the story in editing.

-----
Topless, revealing, nude pics and vids of Zora Suleman! Upskirt and down blouse! Cleavage!
Hardcore ZORA SULEMAN pics!

[ Parent ]

Really not relevant (2.71 / 14) (#26)
by SanSeveroPrince on Sat Apr 26, 2003 at 06:55:33 PM EST

It's really not relevant. While VCRs CAN be used for legal purposes, file sharing networks aren't.

Come on, let's not kid ourselves.
I use Kazaa, and I get MP3s from it. Sometimes porn, or a crack. I have NEVER, EVER seen anyone with ONE legal file on there.

Yes, there could potentially be people sharing legal stuff out there, but then they sober up and get back on with their movie and MP3 downloading.

Use it, by all means, because defying the law is in our culture and it's a beautiful habit that keeps the authorities sharp (or renders them useless), but please don't bullshit yourselves too.

These ARE issues of privacy and technology. It's a shame that the only use for that technology is illegal :)

----

Life is a tragedy to those who feel, and a comedy to those who think


You see what you look for. (4.50 / 10) (#30)
by cdyer on Sat Apr 26, 2003 at 08:00:45 PM EST

You only see things you search for.  That's how P2P works.  If you stop searching for britney spears porn for a minute and do a search for "linux" or ".rpm" or ".tar.gz" or ".tgz" you'll find plenty of legal shit.  

Cheers,
Cliff

[ Parent ]

Indeed (4.66 / 3) (#50)
by Cloaked User on Sun Apr 27, 2003 at 04:53:46 AM EST

I've used Kazaa to download game demos and patches, when the official servers have been swamped (and/or fileplanet's waiting lists have been too long).

As you say, if you only ever search for mp3s, you will only ever see mp3s. That doesn't mean that mp3s are the only things on the network.
--
"What the fuck do you mean 'Are you inspired to come to work'? Of course I'm not 'inspired'. It's a job for God's sake! The money's enough and the work's not so crap that I leave."
[ Parent ]

Look yourself in the eye... (none / 0) (#60)
by SanSeveroPrince on Sun Apr 27, 2003 at 11:38:58 AM EST

and see if you can admit that downloading demos and patches is ALL you ever did with Kazaa, and that you never infringed anyone's copyright with the software.

If you can do that, what the hell are you wasting your time on K5 for? Hollywood is waiting for you...

----

Life is a tragedy to those who feel, and a comedy to those who think


[ Parent ]
So (5.00 / 3) (#67)
by Biff Cool on Sun Apr 27, 2003 at 02:40:06 PM EST

I've used Gnutella to infringe copyrights and I've used VCR's to infringe copyrights, the point is your post that started this said that people don't use P2P for legal uses and a number of people have called bullshit on this.

I personally know a number of people who use filesharing networks as one of the main ways of distributing their music. It's cheap and fairly effective.


My ass. It's code, with pictures of fish attached. Get over it. --trhurler


[ Parent ]
Looking myself in the eye (4.00 / 2) (#87)
by Merc on Mon Apr 28, 2003 at 12:27:02 AM EST

I rarely use file sharing programs, but when I do, I'm pretty sure I'm violating the copyright on the files I am downloading. That doesn't bother me at all. I simply don't feel that copyright violation is unethical. It's on par with speeding slightly.

Having said that, it turns out that 80% of what I download is not the average ripped CD. Mostly I end up being intrigued by remixes, b-sides, and strange musical collaborations. Finding this in a store would be very difficult and would take a whole lot more effort than getting it online.

And you know what else I've noticed? Other people use the networks the same way. I look at what people are taking from me, and it isn't the CD rips, it's that obscure song from the 70s that the Beastie Boys sampled in one of their tunes.

My prediction is eventually the MPAA et al. will clue in and start selling MP3s online in a real way. But I also predict they'll try to overcharge for them, and will try to protect their "content" with laws and DRM technology. I predict that will fail. I think the world has changed, and the power of the content congolmerates has peaked. They'll fight their demise tooth and nail, but they've already lost.



[ Parent ]
Huh? (4.33 / 3) (#31)
by ti dave on Sat Apr 26, 2003 at 08:07:14 PM EST

I have NEVER, EVER seen anyone with ONE legal file on there.

Not even genuine Amateur Porn?
Not even Amateur Porn released to the Public Domain?

How would you even know that obtaining this material is an infringing use?
Are copyright notices mandatory?

I'd like to put a bullet in your head, Ti_Dave. ~DominantParadigm
[ Parent ]

OK (3.66 / 3) (#61)
by SanSeveroPrince on Sun Apr 27, 2003 at 11:40:05 AM EST

say that 99.99% of what I have seen there is illegal. Does that satisfy you? :)

----

Life is a tragedy to those who feel, and a comedy to those who think


[ Parent ]
Well... (5.00 / 2) (#64)
by ti dave on Sun Apr 27, 2003 at 01:11:04 PM EST

If one discounts the availability of "Free Software" on P2P networks, then yes.

I'd like to put a bullet in your head, Ti_Dave. ~DominantParadigm
[ Parent ]

Copyright notices (3.00 / 1) (#94)
by clarkcox3 on Mon Apr 28, 2003 at 01:07:11 PM EST

No, copyright notices are not manditory, any copyrightable work that you create is copyrighted by default.

[ Parent ]
Really not relevant (3.11 / 9) (#35)
by it certainly is on Sat Apr 26, 2003 at 09:05:43 PM EST

While WWW and FTP servers CAN be used for legal purposes, in reality they're only ever used to serve warez and porn.

Come on, let's not kid ourselves.

I use Mozilla, and I get MP3s from it. Sometimes porn, or a crack. I have NEVER, EVER seen anyone with ONE legal file on there.

Yes, there could potentially be people sharing legal stuff out there, but then they sober up and get back on with their movie and MP3 downloading.

Use it, by all means, because defying the law is in our culture and it's a beautiful habit that keeps the authorities sharp (or renders them useless), but please don't bullshit yourselves too.

These ARE issues of privacy and technology. It's a shame that the only use for that technology is illegal :)

Note to SanSeveroPrince: yes, this is a blatant violation of your copyrights. Try and enforce them, sucker!

kur0shin.org -- it certainly is

Godwin's law [...] is impossible to violate except with an infinitely long thread that doesn't mention nazis.
[ Parent ]

What's up with parrotting? (2.50 / 2) (#51)
by SanSeveroPrince on Sun Apr 27, 2003 at 05:24:58 AM EST

It's always been painfully evident that most K5ers are not exactly the shrapest tools in the box, including myself sometimes, but what's up with parrotting, lately?

There's this retard that was watching me check your message, and even he stopped drooling all over himself to call you a moron...

----

Life is a tragedy to those who feel, and a comedy to those who think


[ Parent ]
Parrot (3.50 / 2) (#52)
by Krazor on Sun Apr 27, 2003 at 06:00:27 AM EST

The guy changed certain words to show that if you have it in mind that the only thing to download from a P2P file sharing program is porn and mp3's, then the same could be said for virtually anything online. However, noone is going to try calling for www servers to be shut down, despite the fact that all people download from them are porn, and FTP servers aren't going to be shut down despite the fact that all people download off them are MP3's.

Well, it's as believeable as saying that's all people use kazaa for.

[ Parent ]
Obvious (none / 0) (#59)
by SanSeveroPrince on Sun Apr 27, 2003 at 11:32:36 AM EST

Thank you for stating the obvious.

I was referring more to the fact that more and more people are using counterpoint arguments on K5.

They are not as interesting as some may believe, and they really don't make all that much sense, as they are generally based on gross misconceptions of how things work?

An example? WWW servers ARE shut down when found guilty of infringing copyrights. FTP servers are the same. File sharing networks such as Kazaa are unique in the fact that there are NO MAIN SERVERS.

Napster was shut down because there was one central server where all information on songs traded, thus making the owners of the network responsible for the material traded, because they knew laws were being broken.

Kazaa does not have appointed backbones. Technically, the judge is correct in ruling that the software in this case is just a software, and that it can be used for as much good as evil.

Now, back on earth, to all the braindead lamers who replied to my orignal comment. If even only one of you comes out and admits in this forum that they have never used a file sharing network to break the law, I will apologize most humbly, and shut up on the issue forever.
Until then, you know you're all a bunch of banana swallowing hypocrites.

----

Life is a tragedy to those who feel, and a comedy to those who think


[ Parent ]
I want to know at what point... (5.00 / 1) (#66)
by opensorcerer on Sun Apr 27, 2003 at 01:28:33 PM EST

.. your argument went from "there is not ONE SINGLE LEGAL FILE" to "you must not have downloaded ONE SINGLE ILLEGAL FILE"?

Yes, many people use P2P networks for filesharing of illegal stuff.  Before that, they used whatever other technologies were available (Web servers, FTP sites, email...).  If you look at the development of Internet software as a sort of evolutionary process, natural selection clearly favors P2P for such file-trading.  That's not its only use (as has been pointed out by several people).

If you want to condemn users for downloading MP3s and call them hypocrites, you're welcome to.  But did you ever drink or smoke while underage?  How about driving over the speed limit?  If your objection is the violation of the law, then I want to hear whether you've ever broken it yourself.

Steve Arlo: There aren't evil guys and innocent guys. It's just... It's just... It's just a bunch of guys.
[ Parent ]

How about Usenet? (4.50 / 2) (#69)
by magney on Sun Apr 27, 2003 at 02:58:09 PM EST

If you measure Usenet by the byte, to be sure, the vast majority of it is copyright infringement. But if you ignore the binary groups, you can see that there is a substantial amount of legitimate use of the medium.

Do I look like I speak for my employer?
[ Parent ]

Hmm. (none / 0) (#72)
by it certainly is on Sun Apr 27, 2003 at 03:22:12 PM EST

Now, back on earth, to all the braindead lamers who replied to my orignal comment. If even only one of you comes out and admits in this forum that they have never used a file sharing network to break the law, I will apologize most humbly, and shut up on the issue forever.

I've never used P2P software to break the law, if that's what you mean. However, any network that shares files is a file sharing network, and yes, I've done plenty of that. I've done both legal and illegal filetrading through the postal system (on floppies before they invented CD-Rs, and on CD-Rs before high speed internet existed), I've done it with ZIP disks. I've done it by putting one of my IDE hard drives in a friend's computer and hitting the copy button. I've done it over the web and with FTP. I've done it with NFS and Windows File Sharing. I've done it with IRC clients' DCC feature. I've done it through email. These days, I've given up warez. My MP3s are traded with friends on ADSL and cable using SCP (SSH copy), and most of my pr0n is leeched from netnews, the rest comes from websites like stileproject.

I've never bothered with Napster and their ilk. A friend showed me it once, but nobody was serving decent quality MP3s, and what was there was awful crap. I'm thinking of running bittorrent in the future, because people say it beats the "slashdot effect", but I'm still wary of any system that generates outbound traffic -- who knows what it might do when I'm not looking?

kur0shin.org -- it certainly is

Godwin's law [...] is impossible to violate except with an infinitely long thread that doesn't mention nazis.
[ Parent ]

OK time to stop (5.00 / 1) (#78)
by mcgrew on Sun Apr 27, 2003 at 05:14:34 PM EST

This troll will get fat if you keep feeding him. It's pretty obvious that everyone, he included, knows that SanSeveroPrince is full of shit and talking out of his ass.

Either that, or he rode the short bus to school. Either way, talking to him is pretty pointless.

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

Anger (none / 0) (#82)
by SanSeveroPrince on Sun Apr 27, 2003 at 05:50:56 PM EST

You must be really pissed that I did not take your bait...

----

Life is a tragedy to those who feel, and a comedy to those who think


[ Parent ]
nope. (5.00 / 1) (#103)
by Eivind on Wed Apr 30, 2003 at 05:04:33 AM EST

Note to SanSeveroPrince: yes, this is a blatant violation of your copyrights. Try and enforce them, sucker!

No it is not. Your post is clearly sarcastical satire, you migth say a parody of his flawed argument. Parody and satire are spesifically protected.

[ Parent ]

Irrelevant (5.00 / 2) (#40)
by cpt kangarooski on Sat Apr 26, 2003 at 11:15:02 PM EST

To make the grade, it need only be capable of substantial noninfringing uses. It doesn't have to actually happen.

--
All my posts including this one are in the public domain. I am a lawyer. I am not your lawyer, and this is not legal advice.
[ Parent ]
Shareable music (5.00 / 2) (#57)
by Zara2 on Sun Apr 27, 2003 at 10:26:28 AM EST

I have over 300GB of artist allowed shared music on my drives right now. At least most of it by "Phish Friendly" bands. Do a search for the grateful dead, phish or oysterhead. All of those bands allow the trading of thier live shows. Just cause you only surf for warez and porn doesnt mean that everyone else does.

[ Parent ]
Here's an idea... (5.00 / 3) (#62)
by jabber on Sun Apr 27, 2003 at 12:06:46 PM EST

Everyone using Kazaa, or anything of its ilk, set aside a directory with your favorite piece of source code. Be it the linux kernel, Gimp, anything, even DeCSS if you want to make a statement, and share it. Or, mirror your favorite book from Project Guttenberg. Or post up some family photos. Or, even, mirror any article you've had accepted to K5 or whatever. Make enough "reasonable content" available through these tools to make the argument of their valid use as credible as possible.

[TINK5C] |"Is K5 my kapusta intellectual teddy bear?"| "Yes"
[ Parent ]

Legitimate uses... (5.00 / 2) (#63)
by Symmetry on Sun Apr 27, 2003 at 01:05:38 PM EST

Currently on my computer I have: 143 Anime Music Videos 10 Anime Fansubs 5 Video fragments 18 Non-legit videos 555 Legit MP3s 20 Non-legit MP3s The anime music videos I have were of course entered into the public domain by the authors. Anime Fansubs are legal so long as teh video or show hasn't been liscenced in the US-One of mine (Kaze no Tani no Nausicaa) has been liscneced to Disney, but they've been sitting on it for about 20 years, so I consider myself justified. Most of my mp3s are either public domain, or they belong to movies or games that I own. I usually have more fansubs on my computer, but I recently had to get rid of Rah Xephon becuase I found out it had been liscenced. Since then I've started buying the DVDs to it. You might find it interesting thatmuch of my taste for video game music can be traced to my trying to mostly stick to legal MP3s.
Never attribute to malice what can be explained by stupidity. Don't assign to stupidity what might be due to ignorance. And try not to assume you opponent is the ignorant one-until you can show it isn't you. -M.N. Plano
[ Parent ]
Non-licensed anime... (none / 0) (#68)
by magney on Sun Apr 27, 2003 at 02:54:45 PM EST

are you entirely certain it's legal to distribute anime that hasn't been licensed for the US? Or is it merely that the "actual damages" caused by infringing that copyright (since the material is not available for sale) are negligible, and so no one bothers to sue?

Do I look like I speak for my employer?
[ Parent ]

fair use (none / 0) (#73)
by cronian on Sun Apr 27, 2003 at 03:59:05 PM EST

IANAL but there are four criteria with the last most important:

(1)the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;

(2) the nature of the copyrighted work;

(3) the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and

(4) the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

Fansubs don't really impact the market in Japan, and they don't compete with a copyrighted work in the US if it hasn't been licensed in the US.

We perfect it; Congress kills it; They make it; We Import it; It must be anti-Americanism
[ Parent ]

Yeah, I'm pretty sure. (none / 0) (#88)
by Symmetry on Mon Apr 28, 2003 at 12:34:38 AM EST

I've heard form people who should know that this is the result of trade agreements between the US and Japan.
Never attribute to malice what can be explained by stupidity. Don't assign to stupidity what might be due to ignorance. And try not to assume you opponent is the ignorant one-until you can show it isn't you. -M.N. Plano
[ Parent ]
fansubs are not legal at all (none / 0) (#106)
by Alan Dershowitz on Sun May 04, 2003 at 04:37:16 PM EST

fansubbers have always admitted this. They keep doing it because it presumably doesn't result in a loss of sales for the copyright holders. (It's often been said that there is an implied agreement between the anime studios and the fansubbers that this helps the business, and that's why there have been few attempts to shut them down.) Anime music videos are also not "fair use" of either the music or video, and can in no way be construed as "legal" or "noninfringing".

furthermore, it is the prerogative of the copyright holder to not release their properties. I don't completely disagree thst all these things are not harmless, but except for the public domain mp3s and possibly the video clips, you are hosting illegal material.

[ Parent ]

I will feed this poor hungry troll (5.00 / 3) (#76)
by mcgrew on Sun Apr 27, 2003 at 05:09:02 PM EST

While VCRs CAN be used for legal purposes, file sharing networks aren't.

First of all, my share list has Mandrake (still) on it. People have DLed it from me. I'd IM and ask why they didn't just get it from an .edu, the answer was always "you're faster". Alas, my DSL has gone with my money supply and I'm back in dialup hell, but...

I was in a bar listening to some live music, just last night. After last call when the place had pretty much emptied out and I was taking my last few sips of beer, one of the band members walked up and handed me a home-burned CD.

"Here, dude, burn a million copies and give them away."

I asked if he minded if I post them on the internet. "Go for it!"

"Rufus and the Flycats" turned out to be a very good IMO, if short, CD. It isn't the sort of music you'll hear on clear channel. It's kind of a psychedelic funky jazz, hard to describe, harder to pidgeonhole. But excellent sound quality, better than most RIAA CDs.

I ripped some high quality MP3s. Do a Kazaa title search for "Three Green Men," a track with vocals (most of the 7 songs are instrumentals). Good shit.

This CD is the one that the RIAA wants to keep off of the internet, not maddonna (misspelling intentional). Because when this band, or one like it, makes it despite the major labels' great effort, it is all over for the recording industry as we know it.

It will happen. In the late 1960s, there was a fellow who got a recording contract but never got air play. He was a black man playing funky psychedelic rock. The black stations wouldn't play him because it was rock. The white stations wouldn't play him because it was black-funky.

Jimi Hendrix became a legend despite his lack of airplay, just from people playing it on their home stereos for friends.

P2P is people doing exactly that, only the difference is they have millions of friends all over the world.

My share list has no new top 40 pop at all. None. Nada. I was talking to the bouncer while the band was on break and the jukebox was on. "Fucking Dave Matthews, Goddamned depressing shit. I think they go to college they just hand them a free Dave Matthews CD before they ever get their books," and I had to agree with him.

My share list has old jazz from the 30s and 40s, Blues from the 40s and 50s. I have newer stuff blocked.

Except for those who WANT me to share, like the punk bands "The Queers" and "The Gunga Dins," and some ska bands- when was the last time you ever heard any ska on the radio?

Just because you're a brainwashed, wet behind the ears freshman in college who listens to Dave Matthews and Madonna doesn't mean everybody else is sharing what you share. There is, indeed, a ton of "non-infringing" stuff, despite what you ignorantly think and spout.

And yes, it is breaking copyright law for me to share those 1932 dead folks' music. I don't give a shit. Despite what the damned Supreme Court said, three fucking lifetimes is NOT limited, and a blow job IS sex.

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

too Free? (1.50 / 2) (#27)
by Kragg on Sat Apr 26, 2003 at 07:07:25 PM EST

<cite>this kind of 'contribution,' if deemed sufficient as a basis for liability, would expand the theory beyond precedent and arguably beyond judicial management.</cite>
<i>In other words, this country is too Free to control P2P networks at a fundamental level.</i>

Um, surely this is saying that if you were to rule that sale/production of devices that can be used for breaching copyright was against the law, the current system of law would be unable to support the resulting slew of cases that would result?
The US isn't too 'free', it just doesn't have a strong enough legal framework to make such an indictment feasible.
Big difference - The judge is saying 'we can't enforce this', not 'our concept of freedom doesn't accept to this'.
--
"How can one learn to know oneself? Never by introspection, rather by action. Try to do your duty, and you will know right away what you are like." -- Goethe, Willhelm Meister's Travels.

yeah yeah, preview. whatever (nt) (none / 0) (#28)
by Kragg on Sat Apr 26, 2003 at 07:08:16 PM EST


--
"How can one learn to know oneself? Never by introspection, rather by action. Try to do your duty, and you will know right away what you are like." -- Goethe, Willhelm Meister's Travels.
[ Parent ]
Actually, the author is right (none / 0) (#37)
by gyan on Sat Apr 26, 2003 at 09:20:09 PM EST

the current system of law would be unable to support the resulting slew of cases that would result?

 That's the point. Trade in this country is not regulated. Or that there aren't any centralized and effective obstacles in place to prevent or enforce the law. In other words, a free market.

********************************

[ Parent ]

you're positively giddy (3.00 / 3) (#38)
by gdanjo on Sat Apr 26, 2003 at 09:38:57 PM EST

How does the decision change anything? At all?

All you got was a legal system judgment that has observed P2P phenomena and decided that, in reality, the sky wasn't a target of those P2P evil-doers, and it is not, infact, falling.

The legal system does not define or in any way decide our behaviour. It adapts to us, and this is the first step.

Big fucking whoop.

Dan ...
"Death - oh! fair and `guiling copesmate Death!
Be not a malais'd beggar; claim this bloody jester!"
-ToT

but... (4.50 / 2) (#44)
by psxndc on Sun Apr 27, 2003 at 12:41:13 AM EST

The legal system does not define or in any way decide our behaviour. It adapts to us, and this is the first step.

But what this decision _does_ do is set a precedent at a federal level. This can then be used in future cases to undermine arguments that such networks are only used for piracy. Yes, this decision can be appealed and overturned, but until then, this is not just a first step: it is a HUGE step in the right direction. The law has been adapting to the **AAs wishes the last five years, not the people.

psxndc

[ Parent ]

Glad we cleared that up. (5.00 / 1) (#71)
by mrgoat on Sun Apr 27, 2003 at 03:14:09 PM EST

The RIAA's *not* staffed and composed of people. It's made of, what, giant outer-space robots or something.

"I'm having sex right now?" - Joh3n
--Top Hat--
[ Parent ]

Aliens (none / 0) (#74)
by squigly on Sun Apr 27, 2003 at 04:17:40 PM EST

It's made of, what, giant outer-space robots or something.

No, silly.  Giant green lizards.

Unfortunately, the lack of compassion or basic morality shown by most large corporations makes me think that Mr. Icke has a point here.  

To be honest though, the problem is that these aren't complete people.  A corporation allows people to be greedy, whilst insulating the individuals from peer pressure and the need for morality.  Any attempt to be ethical has to be justified on the bottom line.  

[ Parent ]

Indeed. (none / 0) (#79)
by mrgoat on Sun Apr 27, 2003 at 05:18:46 PM EST

I wasn't disagreeing, merely making a small point.
Unfortunately, the lack of compassion or basic morality shown by most large corporations makes me think that Mr. Icke has a point here.
Maybe I'm cynical, but the lack of compassion or basic morality shown by most people makes me think that corporations are made up of people. They bear many of the same traits, after all. It seems to me that if unethical people are in power, the organisations they create will be unethical. If any attempt to be ethical must be justified, I have to question the ethics of the person requiring said justification.

"I'm having sex right now?" - Joh3n
--Top Hat--
[ Parent ]

Wouldn't celebrate yet... (4.25 / 4) (#39)
by Mr. Piccolo on Sat Apr 26, 2003 at 10:09:57 PM EST

the plaintiffs WILL appeal, I can guarantee.  And next time the court may not be quite as, well, liberal as the Los Angeles Distric Court.

You can celebrate if ye olde Supreme Court agrees.

The BBC would like to apologise for the following comment.


Yay 9th Circuit! n/t (none / 0) (#42)
by opendna on Sun Apr 27, 2003 at 12:04:22 AM EST



[ Parent ]
No! It's not liberal. (none / 0) (#85)
by Lethyos on Sun Apr 27, 2003 at 11:57:52 PM EST

<em>And next time the court may not be quite as, well, liberal as the Los Angeles Distric Court.</em>

You are correct, the plaintiffs will appeal.  You are correctl, celebrations should not happen until the Supreme Court rules the same way.

However...

This decision is far from liberal.  (I'm not saying liberal things are bad, mind you.)  Something is liberal when it is a divergence from what already exists.  This judge was not diverging or ruling in favor of a special interest.  He was following the written law.  This is a conservative act as he was conservatively following the law.

Of course, I could be backwards on that.  ;-)  Just my 0.02$USD.

earth, my body; water, my blood; air, my breath; fire, my spirit
[ Parent ]

+1 Olde Irish Priests Were Pirates Too [nt] (4.00 / 1) (#43)
by opendna on Sun Apr 27, 2003 at 12:05:44 AM EST



Onion Headline? (3.50 / 6) (#47)
by achaudhary on Sun Apr 27, 2003 at 02:39:56 AM EST

You know... It's a sad day when you see a non-humorous headline on K5 that could be from The Onion, especially when we're talking about such serious issues.

it's all about the end users (4.80 / 5) (#56)
by Burning Straw Man on Sun Apr 27, 2003 at 09:58:29 AM EST

I've always held that the software itself, or its makers, are not responsible for the rampant copyright infringement going on. It is the end user's choice to make copyrighted files available to these programs (i.e., upload), and it is another end user's choice to use these programs to obtain copyrighted files (i.e., download).

I don't have any non-redistributable music on my computers which I did not "rip" from my own CDs, and I do not make any of that music available to file sharing programs of any kind (except the built-in Windows administrative file share "C$"). Other music (indie, out-of-copyright) I do allow to be indexed and served by these file-sharing programs.

But I do not download any files from any of these providers, because it is not readily apparent to me which files are re-distributable and which ones are not. As a software engineer whose software is sold to pay my paycheck, rampant abuse of copyright can only come back to bite me in the ass.

But in the end, if you follow the Sony case and its precedent, you have to side with the software producers in this case. As has been said many times, reversing that decision would open a whole set of industries to litigation: gun makers, copy machines, scanners, VCRs, and so forth.
--
your straw man is on fire...

Widely used for legitimate purposes? (3.50 / 8) (#65)
by splitpeasoup on Sun Apr 27, 2003 at 01:13:49 PM EST

Judge: "The sale of copying equipment, like the sale of other articles of commerce, does not constitute contributory infringement if the product is widely used for legitimate, unobjectionable purposes, OR, indeed, is merely capable of substantial noninfringing uses."

I would like to focus on the first clause (even though the judge believes it should be considered only one part of an 'or' function). Is it really true that a file sharing service like Grokster is "widely used for legitimate purposes"? Who are we kidding?

Providing a service and shrugging off the quite inevitable consequences, such as Grokster is doing, is probably legal enough, but definitely ethically gray. It's not unlike selling alcohol to an alcoholic, or guns to someone who is likely to be a terrorist.

I don't celebrate ratty methods of bending the law. If you truly believe music should always be free, rewrite the law books. Until then, buy the damn CD! (And don't facilitate stealing by other people, either.)

-SPS

"Be the change you wish to see in the world." - Gandhi

Alcohol (4.66 / 3) (#75)
by joecool12321 on Sun Apr 27, 2003 at 04:32:59 PM EST

I think your alcohol example works against you. Should we punish a grocery store because someone buys a bunch of alcohol, goes out, and kills someone? Obviously not. Should we punish services that provide for legitimate file sharing because some people abuse that service? I don't think so.

[ Parent ]
The question is (3.66 / 3) (#77)
by splitpeasoup on Sun Apr 27, 2003 at 05:13:46 PM EST

Cities can, and do, take action against clubs, bars, and liquor stores, which have been found to provide alcohol to people under 21, whether inadvertently or not. Bars do not have the right to say "We're just giving alcohol away. It's not our responsibility to check if the customers are drinking age or not."

Moreover, when the overwhelming majority of the users of a service use it illegitimately, one needs to ask whether such use was not, in fact, planned by the service provider.

I am aware that there is use of file-sharing networks that is is in fact perfectly legal, and I would be sorry to see this fair use become obstructed or regulated. However, to be realistic, the vast majority of file sharing activity is quite illegitimate.

-SPS

"Be the change you wish to see in the world." - Gandhi
[ Parent ]

so what? (3.50 / 2) (#89)
by dh003i on Mon Apr 28, 2003 at 12:59:28 AM EST

Your comparisons are irrelevant. Bars have a viable and reliable way to make sure they're selling alcohol only to those over 21. Not perfect, but pretty reliable. Not so with those offering P2P programs online. Since many of them are offering from countries other than the US where draconian IP laws don't exist, the entire issue is mostly moot for them. If the US keeps up on it's current trend, all serious software development will go on outside of the US.

Social Security is a pyramid scam.
[ Parent ]

Your comment (3.00 / 2) (#80)
by mcgrew on Sun Apr 27, 2003 at 05:22:52 PM EST

Was shown to be bullshit several times before you even posted it. Please stsop trolling.

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

Where? (3.00 / 1) (#81)
by splitpeasoup on Sun Apr 27, 2003 at 05:46:22 PM EST

[your comment] Was shown to be bullshit several times before you even posted it.

Where? Let's see it.

Please stsop trolling.

I'm not trolling.

-SPS

"Be the change you wish to see in the world." - Gandhi
[ Parent ]

the gray starts from.... (4.00 / 2) (#84)
by relief on Sun Apr 27, 2003 at 10:47:58 PM EST

majority rule, universal law, and social contract. I never signed a damn contract with anyone saying i'd abide by any law. i'm just taking advantage of people who assume so.

----------------------------
If you're afraid of eating chicken wings with my dick cheese as a condiment, you're a wuss.
[ Parent ]
What was missed, or purposely not addressed (5.00 / 2) (#90)
by Wise Fool on Mon Apr 28, 2003 at 02:14:45 AM EST

The judge accurately applied the Sony precedent as it stands, and his references to other "staple articles of commerce" that might be affected by an expansion of copyright is well-taken.  Buuuuuuuuut.... what he didn't go into are the issues raised by the fact that both the "device" (software, in this case) and the copyrighted material (movies, songs, files, etc.)are digital.  The DMCA (insert vile curse of choice here) was specifically created to address the tangle of issues that digitization of "articles of commerce" brings about.  We can argue all we want about how awful it is, what poor law it is, how overbroad it is, etc, etc.... but, it's law at the moment.  That being the case, I don't have alot of confidence in this precedent holding up.  Because....

The Sony case held, in part, that "sale of copying equipment, like the sale of other articles of commerce, does not constitute contributory infringement if THE PRODUCT IS WIDELY USED  for legitimate, unobjectionable purposes, or, indeed, is merely CAPABLE OF SUBSTANTIAL NONINFRINGING uses".

Ask yourself - Are the file networks (or network software, if you prefer.  Choose your likely target) WIDELY USED FOR LEGITIMATE, UNOBJECTIONABLE PURPOSES?  Alternately, whether they are or not, could they prove they have such uses in a court of law?  Probably not.  But, are they capable of SUBSTANTIAL NONINFRINGING USES?  Probably so, except for this one fly in the ointment of the Sony decision.  The example of "substantial noninfringing use" that was used in the Sony decision was this:

"NONCOMMERCIAL HOME USE RECORDING OF MATERIAL BROADCAST OVER THE PUBLIC AIRWAYS was a fair use of copyrighted works and did not constitute copyright infringement, and that petitioners could not be held liable as contributory infringers even if the home use of a VTR was considered an infringing use"

So, ask yourself:

Do the networks facilitate home use recording?  Well, yes, of course.

Is the material broadcast?  Nope, no way.   Broadcast is not a technological term in this case, but rather a distribution term.  Broadcast = wide distribution here.  With the built in revenue return of advertising (which brings us close to the Replay/TIVO stuff, but I won't go there now) The Internet allows broadcasting (in some forms), but allows many other forms of data exchange, and file networks are not analogous to broadcasting.  And, since loss of revenue is the key objection of the RIAA/MPAA, this is a dealbreaker.  Unless a positive economic effect can be demonstrated, of course (more on that later).

Finally, public airways.  Is the Internet public?  Well, what's public?  Can pretty much anyone get on?  Sure.  Is it defined as public by the FCC, like the airwaves?  Nope.  The net contains speech, and as such is protected to a degree, but various precedents exist for removal of offensive material by employers or ISPs, filtering to protect the young or easily offended and monitoring to prevent illegal usage (think echelon, child pornography stings, prosecution of hackers and virus authors).  Further, the vast majority of the material on the file networks is stuff demonstrably infringing under current law. So, little help here, especially for "articles of commerce" that have been converted from original purchased  form (CD, DVD) to bytes.

So, I'd be very surprised if this precedent holds up, UNLESS...

1.  SCOTUS decides that it should be somewhat activist to provide a counterbalance to the current reactionary, muddleheaded lawmaking coming down off the hill.  Probability - vanishingly small.

or, 2. Somebody comes up with a business model (and evidence it works, real world) that has a place for free file-sharing, or 3. someone demonstrates to the satisfaction of various lawmakers and media moguls that the economic impact of the networks is A. negligible, B. net-positive, or C. far exceeded by the adverse impact on society that would result the extension of copyright to the degree the RIAA/MPAA seem to be arguing for.

So, brilliant software designers, entrepreneurs and lobbyists.... get cracking.
Good judgement derives from mistakes. Mistakes derive from bad judgement.
[ Parent ]

Well, hard to tell (4.50 / 2) (#91)
by carbon on Mon Apr 28, 2003 at 02:23:37 AM EST

The most common legal use (and this is also often used when talking about images of console games used for emulation) is when your original media is damaged but you still want access to the buttery and delicious digital information that it used to contain. So you go on the file sharing network and search for it, and keep it on your computer.

On the other hand, you're probably right in that most people go through this process but forget the step about buying the original media in the first place. Still, this could be an interesting argument, especially since issues about the durability of DVDs are coming up a lot recently.


Wasn't Dr. Claus the bad guy on Inspector Gadget? - dirvish
[ Parent ]
Hmmmmm (none / 0) (#100)
by Wise Fool on Tue Apr 29, 2003 at 12:11:40 AM EST

That's an issue that got past me.  Interesting, though.  You might even call it an "online backup", or "community backup copy", something like that.  Of course, this presumes that the whole portability issue is settled, and that purchase of a physical "article of commerce", such as a CD entitles the buyer to fair use rights that extend to digitization and full inter-device transfer.  (Which is, of course, what all us little consumer peons want...)  Made with some finesse, it's a good argument._  
Good judgement derives from mistakes. Mistakes derive from bad judgement.
[ Parent ]
What grey line do we pick? (4.50 / 2) (#93)
by cione on Mon Apr 28, 2003 at 05:19:33 AM EST

All the comments and arguments choose a line and act as if these are new issues that have never come up before. The facts and issues about "stealing" from someone have always been a personal choice.

There seem to be two roads on this trip. The first is ethical and moral. The second being a pure technical question. If you want to fight the ethical and moral battle, fight the whole thing. Why don't people fight so much about the onslaught of CD burning and the software that makes it possible? Do you honestly think that people buy 50 packs of blank CD's to back up only text files and spreadsheets? Sony not only sells me the device to copy the song they don't want copied they readily advertise the media and device for that purpose. Phillips has commercials that show how easy it is "steal" music and give the CD to my friend. Alcohol to an alcoholic is not alcohol, it's a vice. Regardless, we sell it with the notion of drink responsible. We sell guns and people die but only when used improperly. I support your view of not stealing but apply it without prejudice. Grokster may not be used for legitimate reasons but it can be. A VCR can be used to steal movies and also be used to record crimes. Jack Daniels is not responsible for the alcoholic and Ruger did not kill the kids in the school. People make the decisions and carry out the actions.

Grokster, KaZaa, Napster and many others found a product that people wanted. The same product could be used in a very lucrative way abiding by current laws if they would quit fighting those who made it work in the first place. The product is a good product and has many reasons to exist and be legal. This perfect world simply doesn't exist. Remember the same gun that breaks the law is used to uphold it.

__________________
Why do the Unfortunate have all the luck???
[ Parent ]

Blank CDs (none / 0) (#97)
by DeepOmega on Mon Apr 28, 2003 at 07:47:46 PM EST

Currently, I have two 100 packs of blank CD-Rs. Am working my way through them, burning mixes and MP3s and generally transporting large files as well (mostly 3D animations and such that I make and need to give to people... you'd be amazed at how many I waste). I've never downloaded a song which either I didn't either a) already own or b) buy immediately afterward. Distribution of large files is virtually impossible without burning a CD, and there are numerous reasons to do so. I can't think of any legal file I'd download p2p, as there are more www/ftp sites which have less frequency of viruses, etc. And nobody has answered his question - who uses p2p for legal purposes? Anyone?

Peace and much love...
[ Parent ]

I think you just answered it (none / 0) (#101)
by cione on Tue Apr 29, 2003 at 02:44:16 AM EST

You state that you have downloaded music and give legal ways which you did it. So you do use p2p for legal purposes. Do you actually think you are the only one that this sort of ethics. Sure the masses don't but some do.

In fact you almost add more fuel to the fire. You downloaded a song then bought the CD afterward. So did hearing it first make you want to buy it? Did you buy the whole CD because you had one song that you had downloaded?

Sure the p2p model consists of illegal files but the model is built with change built right in. Small time programmers could stick their apps out there then make money off the registration fees. Is that realistic, Unlikely but not unfeasible. The technology needs work but could have a feasible place in the tech world. Damn the people not the technology.

Why do the Unfortunate have all the luck???
[ Parent ]

CDRs and things that piss me off (none / 0) (#104)
by Mitheral on Wed Apr 30, 2003 at 05:15:41 PM EST

Why don't people fight so much about the onslaught of CD burning and the software that makes it possible? Do you honestly think that people buy 50 packs of blank CD's to back up only text files and spreadsheets?

Yes I do. I act in just this way. In my present job I buy upwards of 100CD-Rs a month to hand out data to end users.

At a previous work place I used to, on average, send out a couple of GIS projects a week that spanned a couple dozen CD-Rs each. I purchased blank media a 1000 at a time. This was back when CD burners were $1000+ and wrote at double speed.

It makes me so mad I could lick the white crud off a battery terminal every time I think of Shania Twain, Micheal Jackson etc. making money (blank media levy here in canada) off of CD-Rs I purchased for data.

[ Parent ]

Its a matter of individual responsibility (none / 0) (#96)
by Gandalf21 on Mon Apr 28, 2003 at 05:19:51 PM EST

Making the product is not the same as encouraging others to abuse it. People who make legitimate tobacco pipes should not be sued when someone smokes marijuana out of it. At least in the US,courts have long supported a doctrine of individual responsibility for actions, even if those actions were aided by a third party. No one would think of suing Smith and Wesson if some wacko misuses a gun and kills someone, even if the nature of a gun is to kill or cause damage.


"Capitalism is the extraordinary belief that the nastiest of men, for the nastiest of reasons, will somehow work for the benefit of us all." - John Maynard Ke
[ Parent ]

Bend? No no no... (none / 0) (#105)
by pla on Fri May 02, 2003 at 11:23:10 AM EST

I don't celebrate ratty methods of bending the law. If you truly believe music should always be free, rewrite the law books. Until then, buy the damn CD! (And don't facilitate stealing by other people, either.)

No "Bending" involved here. Outright breaking.

And with good reason. The idea of "civil disobedience" still works quite well. If enough people completely ignore a law (or area of law), the law must eventually go away, or you effectively have a populace in open revolt.

Very few people can afford to fight the **AA dollar-for-dollar in legal battles, in bought politicians, in outright bribes. We CAN, however, all help make a mockery of the latest copy protection scheme. We can all help boost the piracy rate of the teen-pop-sensation-of-the-week beyond the population of the Earth, making such figures nothing short of laughable. We can all help waste the time of "law" enforcement by providing a massively distributed target (ala the War On (some) Drugs, wherein for every joint they nab, 200 make it to users).

Don't underestimate the power of giving those in power a great big collective middle finger. It doesn't work on a small scale, but if we believe even a fraction of the RIAA's numbers, we have something FAR from a "small" scale here.


[ Parent ]
Back in slavery days... (3.40 / 5) (#83)
by Fen on Sun Apr 27, 2003 at 08:32:53 PM EST

The decision would be--it's all right for people to give money to negroes in the south out of pity! The court decided that donating money to negroes (who may or may not be runaway slaves) should not be punishable, because it is unknown if that money will allow a slave to run to the north. Look, intellectual property is just like slavery. It won't be here long, either. So many think that intellectual property will always be around. Just like so few slaves thought they could ever be free.
--Self.
Follow the Drinking Gourd (4.25 / 4) (#98)
by DeepOmega on Mon Apr 28, 2003 at 07:52:28 PM EST

I suggest we form some sort of underground railroad for ideas! We have sympathizers from within major corporations smuggle ideas out. Naturally, this is best facilitated by removing the entire data storage array out of the corporations building. We'll hide RAID storage arrays under the floorboards between trips. Well, OK, fine, we'll hide them above the floorboards, and possibly drape them with sheets and play music rather loudly to cover up the sound. Slowly but surely, ideas will make their way towards freedom! We can smuggle them out of the country (I'm thinking Canada), and try to get them jobs at some equal opportunity employer. I mean, if we dress ideas in suits, who wouldn't hire 'em? Soon, ideas will have all the rights and priveleges associated with being abstract ideas! Huzzah!

Peace and much love...
[ Parent ]

As much as I think it should all be free... (3.66 / 3) (#92)
by the77x42 on Mon Apr 28, 2003 at 03:24:32 AM EST

It was "undisputed" that there were substantial legal uses for the software.

Sure, there might be 'legal uses', but come on, who uses Kazaa to get stuff that's 'legal'?

Although I support the decision 100% and I would love it all to be free, don't throw that at me.


"We're not here to educate. We're here to point and laugh." - creature
"You have some pretty stupid ideas." - indubitable ‮

BitTorrent (none / 0) (#108)
by B'Trey on Sun May 18, 2003 at 03:14:22 PM EST

Check out BitTorrent. It's another P2P system that is used quite extensively for legitimate content. And if you declare that Kazaa is illegal, then you set a precedent for ALL P2P sharing systems.

[ Parent ]
Time to strike against content channels... (5.00 / 2) (#95)
by Gooba42 on Mon Apr 28, 2003 at 03:47:27 PM EST

It's been pointed out in an earlier comment that for the Sony precedent to hold in another court the P2P systems will need to demonstrate that they are mostly a legal content distribution method.

What we need to do is "publish" on the P2P networks whatever we can. We will lose this publication method if we don't use it. If we don't want to have to become pay to become members of the RIAA, MPAA, or whatever other *AA to be able to widely and distribute our works then we need to get them out there now. If it's RFCs, Linux ISOs, Gutenberg books or whatever else you've got, get it out there before they take away the opportunity to do so without some entity getting their pound of flesh and giving their permission to you.

You could also sue for damages (none / 0) (#102)
by freality on Tue Apr 29, 2003 at 11:14:37 AM EST

If you derive livlihood from the legal use of these networks, and they are shut down, you may have the right to sue for damages, though I don't know for how much or how likely your win.

[ Parent ]
what p2p do you use? (none / 0) (#107)
by Alan Dershowitz on Sun May 04, 2003 at 04:42:54 PM EST

I absolutely NEVER find any legitimate content I am looking for in P2P, examples being gutenberg books, linux/BSD ISOs, etc.  what p2p system do you use? I have been considering starting a direct-connect hub for all legitimate materials such as recent ISOs and public domain software/books.

[ Parent ]
damn! (3.00 / 1) (#99)
by freya on Mon Apr 28, 2003 at 10:38:03 PM EST

another great article. now i must really go sit and absorb. thanks...

Judge demonstrates Sanity, Respect for Law | 108 comments (91 topical, 17 editorial, 0 hidden)
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