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Re: CLUEBAT: copyrights, infringement, violations, and legality

Branden Robinson <branden@debian.org>:

>     The Universal Declaration of Human
>   Rights[0], adopted by the United Nations in 1948, lists many other
>   rights commonly thought of as "natural rights" or "civil rights".
>   You'll note that the terms "copyright", "trademark", and "patent" do
>   not even appear in this document.  That's no accident.

However, Article 27 contains a part that could easily be interpreted
as referring to copyright and patents:

  (2) Everyone has the right to the protection of the moral and
  material interests resulting from any scientific, literary or
  artistic production of which he is the author.

I would be happy to see that part removed, obviously.

> * For many years, copyright infringement wasn't even illegal.

Does "illegal" mean "criminal"? Probably a lot of people think it
does, so that's reason enough for avoiding the term, I suppose, but I
don't think it's incorrect to refer to tortious acts as illegal.

> Needless to say, if you don't share my premises, feel free to ignore
> this message.  Please do not endeavor to persuade me that bypassing the
> region coding or CSS encryption on a DVD in any way morally resembles
> arson, assault, torture, or murder.  Thanks.

Or illegal parking, or not having a television licence. There are a
lot of crimes nowadays that don't seem "serious", while at the same
time a lot of very serious misdeeds are more successfully handled with
civil law, so the distinction is less clear, perhaps.

I find it amazing how many people fail to be outraged at the situation
where giving someone information about how to commit an act which
might be tortious but is probably not illegal at all (bypassing region
codes, making a back-up) is made *criminal* while giving someone
information about how to commit an act which is probably criminal
(kill someone, cause an explosion, buy heroine) is not illegal at all.
Perhaps people just don't expect laws to make sense any more.


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