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Re: Group Copyright

On Mon, Aug 13, 2001 at 05:52:28PM +0000, Jeff Prescot wrote:
> The 2001 DMCA is fulfilling an important duty.

Agreed; it's illustrative of how deep into the pockets of Big Media the
U.S. Congress has become.

> The Berne convention was written by the United Nations (there
> including USA itself), who is also author of the very noble universal
> declaration of human rights.

So?  The authors of the DMCA and the UDoHR are different people, and
even if they were the same, no merit would automatically attach to one
of the documents because of the virtues of the author.

> I understand that some of our states still have death chambers
> (regardless of the fact that our fathers went to save Europe from
> similar devices...),

Screechingly irrelevant.

> and I also understand that along the same line there are people who
> dislike the copyright law, but the world at large (including us), has
> agreed upon UN conventions *to protect* basic rights world-wide!

It may be the *intent* of the DMCA to protect "basic rights", but as
applied in the United States it's doing quite the opposite.

Ends do not justify means, nor means ends.

> The campaign against commercial software is now going too far, and
> moving against the DMCA is simply *childish*.

FYI, this is not a logical argument.

> In reading the rest of this thread, it really seems that you have no
> clue of what those laws are really for.

One need not be well-versed in the legislative or philosophical history
of a given statute to recognize injustices in its application.

> Please step aside from the software domain for a moment, and think
> about the world at large.

Please step aside from your Platonic dreamland of perfect execution of
noble intentions, and recognize that even good tools can have bad uses.

> The DMCA basically says two things:
> 1. that you can do what you want of an authored work of which you are
> the copyright owner, and
> 2. that you are legally entitled to do certain things of an authored
> work of which you have a licence of use.

I'm sorry, but I'd rather take the text of the DMCA as authoritative
over your feel-good, boiled-down version.

> Now, at large, if you are the author of a code, or whatever, and you
> want to transfer your copyright for this work to the free software
> community, you do it! The DMCA is granting you the right to do it!

Incorrect.  This right existed long before the DMCA, and the DMCA is not
necessary to legitimize the practice.

> If you want to keep the copyright, and sign a GPL licence, you can
> still do it! It is your right! That's what the DMCA is for; to
> protect your rights! Period.

No one has argued that the DMCA is the same thing as UCITA, which under
some analyses would appear to threaten these rights.

Again, what the DMCA is "for" and how it's used are not necessarily the
same thing.

> On Group Copyright, the law is simple. It applies to each single
> author of the commonly written work. And the DMCA, again, is granting
> you the right to do it, and is defending your right too.

Incorrect.  The DMCA is not necessary to legitimize the GPL.

Okay, you can go back to your regular duties interning for Jack Valenti
or Hilary Rosen now.  You're no longer needed here.  Bye, bye, now.


The following text is Copyright 2001 Branden Robinson.  Unlimited
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G. Branden Robinson                |    You should try building some of the
Debian GNU/Linux                   |    stuff in main that is
branden@debian.org                 |    modern...turning on -Wall is like
http://people.debian.org/~branden/ |    turning on the pain. -- James Troup

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