[opendtv] Re: What a coincidence: Can TV Broadcasters Really Go OTT?

  • From: Craig Birkmaier <craig@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Fri, 19 Jul 2013 09:15:56 -0400

An excellent post Dan!

You touch upon another aspect of this problem which has been adulterated by the 

The corruption of the original intent for copyright, one of the few specific 
items that the Constitution instructs Congress to enact into law. The original 
law gave authors protection for 14 years; if still living when theta expired 
they could request a 14year extension.

In 1998 Congress passed the CTEA, Copyright Term Extension Act; a major 
proponent of this extension was Disney, which donated more than 6 million to 
political campaigns in 1997-98. 

The CTEA extended the term of protection by 20 years for works copyrighted 
after January 1, 1923. Works copyrighted by individuals since 1978 got "life 
plus 70" rather than the existing "life plus 50". Works made by or for 
corporations (referred to as "works made for hire") got 95 years. Works 
copyrighted before 1978 were shielded for 95 years, regardless of how they were 

Apparently the public commons is now a graveyard…


On Jul 18, 2013, at 7:42 PM, dan.grimes@xxxxxxxx wrote:

> I get John Shutt's point that a content owner has the right to put their 
> content on the internet for free or not, when they want.  Certainly they can 
> charge for it.  This is a capitalist economy, after all.   
> The problem is everything after that.  If I buy some content, what rights do 
> I have to consume it?  Does the content owner have the right to prevent me 
> from consuming it repeatedly?  Am I limited to just one screen?  Only a 
> certain time?  Only with certain people?  At a certain location? 
> Does the media make a difference?  Can I move it from one media to another?  
> Does the owner have a right to limit this?  Can I share it temporarily with 
> another?  Can I resell it (and remove my rights to it in doing so)?  
> Certainly, I think we can say unlicensed distribution is a no-no.  But what 
> constitutes distribution?  Does it matter where I buy the media? 
> Worse yet, if the content owner provides it for free, can they discriminate 
> their audience?  What are the allowable forms of discrimination?  Location?  
> Time?  Medium?  Screen size?  If I can capture it as it travels freely, what 
> can I do with it after that? 
> What constitutes fair use?  We have quite a series of laws to allow it yet 
> courts are tied up and companies put under because of them.  (Side note, what 
> is covered under fair use is always challenged.  Can I show a 30 second clip 
> of something on a DVD to a class?  If I stream my lecture, can I show the 
> clip?  Can I provide the clip in my online class?  The answer is no to all of 
> these, or Sony Media or RIAA or some other organization will sue the 
> university--we are required to clear all copyrighted material.) 
> We all differ in our answers to these questions, especially between the owner 
> and the consumer.  The result is a system full of turmoil.  So yes, the 
> system is definitely under manipulation as the war between the owner, 
> distributor and the consumer rage.  It's "game" on!  Personally, I think we 
> need a media consumer bill of rights.  Not that that won't have controversy. 
> I do completely agree with John's number 3 about ads in theaters and there 
> are answers!  There is a theater in Las Vegas that has reclining lounges, 
> sells beer and wine, doesn't have ads before their films and doesn't allow 
> cell phones to be on during the film, all for the same price as the other 
> theaters.  Guess which theater I go to!  (The only problem is it's always 
> full so one must pretty much purchase tickets in advance to get a seat!)  
> Capitalism does have some positive results sometimes. 
> Dan 

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