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Re: Group Copyright

On 14-Aug-01, 17:32 (CDT), Jeff Prescot <jprescot@hotmail.com> wrote: 
> So, is the DMCA is not being applied properly, or the DMCA is not
> implementing the WIPO Treaties correctly? What is your standpoint?

The DMCA is not needed to enforce the WIPO treaty (standard US copyright
law did that). The DMCA was enacted on behalf of the large publishing
concerns to criminalize actions that were (and are!) protected rights
in standard US copyright law. Example: it is considered fair use
for me to make a magnetic tape copy of a vinyl LP for use in my
automobile. However, if I make an Ogg Vorbis copy of a track on a
hypothetcal(?) copy-protected audio CD using some hypothetical tool to
decode the track, I've violated federal law. If I even talk about how
one might decode such a track, or flaws in the algorithm to encode the
track, I've violated the DMCA -- and that's not hypothetical, as I'm
sure you're aware (if not, search on google for Adobe+DMCA+FBI).

US copyright law prior to DMCA provided plenty of protection for authors
while protecting rights of consumers. The DMCA is completely one sided
on behalf of authors (or more correctly, large publishers: they are
not the same).  It is also very likely unconstitutional because of
the provisions that limit free speech about encryption techniques and

None of this belongs on the Debian list, though; sorry Thomas. :-)

> [The Debian community...] is also very shy with copyright.

I think you will find that "the Debian community" is actually a
very strong supporter of copyright; that's why we have the DFSG,
and are extremely careful about evaluating the licenses of what we
distribute. There's lots of bitching about restrictive licenses, but
that's because we *do* respect copyright, if we didn't we'd distribute
the stuff regardless of license. What we (in the US, anyway) object
to is the paid enactment of laws designed to protect the financial
interests of large corporations, which is what the DMCA is all about.


Steve Greenland <stevegr@debian.org>
(Please do not CC me on mail sent to this list; I subscribe to and read
every list I post to.)

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