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Re: Xpdf fuckware

phil@bolthole.com said:
> On Sun, Mar 11, 2001 at 02:35:44PM +0000, Adam Langley wrote:
> > ...
> > The PDF fuckware (Futile Unnatural Control Keeping Ware, credit to
> > Oskar Sandberg for that) is on the same road as DVD CSS and HDTV. A
> > desperate and destructive attempt to enforce copyrights in a world
> > where they no longer make sense.
> > 
> > These technical measures will be broken and companies will try harder
> > and harder to enforce them - stepping on everything in their path....
> Just as a matter of ethics, Id like to disagree on a minor point:
> I think you've overstated things a little, with reguard to copyright.
> I believe that authors should still have legal copyright on 
> electronic documents.
> You seem to say otherwise.
> But I certainly agree that attempting to enforce that through software is a
> futile effort.

Understand that legal copyright is just that - right on creating new copies.  
However, fair use allows certain levels of copying.  The problem with the 
"author's desires" idea is that it is, in fact, contrary to Copyright Law.  
Authors may not like the fact that I can create a copy in larger print for my 
use, or quote a few paragraphs, but legally, I have the right.  To answer the 
xpdf author's statement at the site listed of:
"But copyright law allows me to quote parts of a document under the fair use 
provisions -- and  Xpdf is preventing me from doing that." Well, yes. If I 
have to choose between honoring the author's request and trying to interpret 
the law (exactly how much does fair use allow you to extract? should Xpdf 
allow copying a certain amount of text out of protected documents?), 
I'llchoose to honor the author's request, no matter how misguided"

The answer of course is that it is not the software's issue to resolve this - 
it's the user of the copy.  I can take a hardcopy book and make photocopies of 
it.  If I do it for selected pieces in order to review the book, it's fair 
use.  If I make complete copies and sell them, it's illegal.  How does the 
copying machine differentiate?  Answer:  It doesn't.  It depends on me, the 
user, to obey the law.


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