[clug] Consume But Don't Try Programming [was viva la DMCA? [was: Against US-AU FTA Intellectual Property Clauses]]

Jepri jepri at webone.com.au
Sun Apr 11 10:14:56 GMT 2004

Martin Pool wrote:
> Three of the core freedoms of a western society are: free speech, free
> markets, and stable property rights.  DMCA-like laws attack all three
> freedoms: prohibiting speech (DeCSS), entrenching monopolies, and
> retrospectively deleting property rights (reselling software you no
> longer use.)  Put like that, it seems more important to me.

OK, that one was just willfully deceptive.  CSS does NOT prohibit 
freedom of speech.  You are talking about a 'right to listen'.  Every 
western society I know of has laws specifically to prevent unauthorised 
listening, e.g. wiretapping and privacy laws.

I put a home movie on my website, and encrypt it with CSS. I can give 
the decrypt key to my friends and not to you, and you are just going to 
have to wear that.  You have no right to view my movie, if I don't give 
you access.

If  you manage to get the key from my friends, or crack the encryption, 
I think it's reasonable for me to come after you for damages. 
Especially if I have a message on my webpage saying "Unauthorised 
viewing prohibited".

As for entrenching monopolies:  no again.  My computer can play movies 
that haven't been encrypted, like the AniMatrix( 
http://www.intothematrix.com/ ).  It would be a monopoly if someone 
could prevent me or you from watching the animatrix.

And as for deleting property rights, I thought we were all agreed that 
ideas and software aren't property.  Switching horses in midstream is a 
clumsy maneuver, just like changing positions in a debate.

You use software under a license.  If your license doesn't allow you to 
transfer the license (by selling it), then you can't.

I remind you that you are only allowed to use Linux and its friends 
under the terms of the GNU License.  If you think that's a mere 
formality, I invite you to start selling Linux without source and see 
how quickly you loose your license to use Linux.

Just because you like the GNU license more than the restrictive 
shrink-wrap license most software has does not give you the right to 
rewrite the shrink license to be more in your favour.

>>You are free, right now, and you will be free under the FTA.
> <1984>We have always been at war with Eastasia</1984>

I think we need to extend Godwin's law.  I make a few reasonable, on 
topic points ( a first, I know ),  and you start quoting George Orwell 
at me.  If you were implying that just like in the book 1984, the 
government (or me) is rewriting history, let everyone know about it on list.

Or is it chicken little time already?  Aaagh! The sky is falling! 
Aaaagh!  Aaaagh!  Big Brother is watching us!  Aaagh!  Aaagh!  Aaagh! 
My toes are plotting to kill me while I'm asleep!

> Right now I'm free to buy a DVD player that plays US DVDs I bought and
> paid for.  Under the USFTA, I might not be.  Explain how this is good?

I'm not sure about this one.  I didn't see anything that would stop you 
importing a US PlayStation and using it to play US-encoded DVDs.

People in the US already do this so they can watch Japanese movies that 
are never released in the states.

> Right now if somebody patents an obvious/trivial software idea, I am
> free to just smile wryly.  Under the USFTA, it might make it illegal
> to write some free software.  Sounds bad to me.

OK, that one is bad.  But most of the protests focus on not being able 
to watch movies/listen to music.  For instance, one of the links Darren 
quoes ( http://www.linux.org.au/fta/ ), starts off by announcing that 
the FTA will crush open source.

Unfortunately it then insanely jumps to babbling about how you won't be 
able to play DVDs in your DVD player.

WTF?  Local business will be crushed, the internet will be crippled, but 
more importantly, nobody will be allowed to play DVDs?

I urge everyone NOT to sign the petition, until they come up with one 
that actually represents OSS developers and users rather than whiney 
people who want to watch DVDs on their laptops and play playstation 
games that they aren't supposed to.

Not only that, the petition veers into actual craziness in at least one 
place.  The petition is just plain embaressing.

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