-=PCTechTalk=- Re: 4 everybody who lives outside exUSSR

  • From: Master NetLord <NetLord@xxxxxxx>
  • To: <pctechtalk@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sat, 13 Jul 2002 22:57:39 -0400


You make some good points......but we do not agree on the principles.  Rather 
than try to carry this on further, let me share a recent article from 
Lockergnome.  I think it's fair to post it as it provides an interesting 
perspective, and a legal viewpoint, on the issue of sharing MP3 files.

Copied from Lockergnome as is -- an article by Jim Girard:

The Evidence is Against You

Scribbled by Jim Girard 

Every time some new technology has expanded free access to popular
music, starting with radio broadcasts of recorded songs in the 1930s,
the recording industry has fought it - claiming that it would cost
them money. And every time, it has resulted in increased sales. The
best-known example, of course, was the advances in tape cassette
technology in the 60s and 70s, including Dolby sound technology. As
with MP3, this technology was opposed by the music industry as
different from previous such developments, because it made it
possible for ordinary people to create their own copies at near-
professional quality. The actual result was the creation of a whole
new profit center for the music industry - pre-recorded cassette
tapes - which actually became more popular than vinyl for a while
(before the advent of CD technology).

The thing is, the music industry is well aware of this effect - and
they are not really aiming to stop the private exchange of songs in
MP3 format. If that were their goal, they'd be instituting
widespread, aggressive legal actions against all the server-
centered nodes (as they did against all radio stations playing their
music in the 30s, when they really thought the phenomenon was going
to wipe them out). Instead, they have focused on the best-known
services - first Napster, then Morpheus, KaZaA, and most recently,
Audiogalaxy. Even in those cases, they've limited their legal
challenges to things they know they can win - and they've avoided
actual court trials whenever possible (to avoid the possibility of
setting some damaging precedent).

The point that seems to escape a lot of people is that copyright is
not a property in the same sense as most of the things we think of as
property. One key difference is that if you don't defend it, you lose
it. If you left your car sitting in the driveway, with the window
open and the keys in the ignition, and somebody drove away in it,
that would still be theft - and you'd still be entitled to get your
car back. Not so with copyright. If you are aware of infringement and
you do nothing to try to stop it, you are voluntarily allowing it to
enter the public domain. It's for the same reason that big companies
insist that newspapers put a copyright or trademark symbol after the
names of their products whenever they're mentioned, and not use words
like "Coke" or "Kleenex" as generic terms. They don't really expect
everybody to do what they say - and they're well aware that having
the name of one's product become the generic term for a product is
actually a great marketing boon. But if they DON'T do that, someone
at some point could start using the word on their own product,
arguing that it is in the public domain.

The efforts of the music industry are not aimed at actually stopping
the exchange of music between individuals - which they know from long
experience, increases their sales because most of the people who
normally buy the music aren't really satisfied with near-perfect
copies. For most of them, the learning curve and the cost in time of
creating those copies themselves outweighs the cost of simply buying
the CD. Most of the outright piracy is committed by people who
wouldn't have bought the music in the first place. What the music
industry is doing is clearly aimed at establishing a public record of
their efforts to defend copyright, in the broadest, most public way;
to prevent anyone from making a legal claim that the stuff they own
has entered the public domain. The thing they're really worried
about, in terms of profits, is the change in the marketing model.
Even legitimate online music commerce threatens the album format,
with its traditional mix of a few good songs and a bunch of others
most people wouldn't pay for if they were buying the stuff song by
song. The problem is how to make as much money on a per-song basis
- and, at the moment, it requires charging far more for an individual
song that most people are willing to pay.

At any rate, copyright is actually a fairly complex matter of civil
law, with a good deal of history behind it - dating back to the
Renaissance. The strategies music companies use are clearly directed
to realities and necessities, in light of history and case law. They
have also done a great PR job, convincing the most technically
knowledgeable people on the Internet that it is a simple moral or
criminal issue. "Common sense" tells a lot of people that copying
music without paying for it is just like stealing someone's car, and
represents a loss to the owner. But if common sense could decide the
issue equitably, we wouldn't have the law in the first place. Most of
our great intellectual systems, including not only law but science,
are designed in large part to overcome the errors of common sense,
and that is more the case in civil law than criminal. The people who
work within those systems are well aware of that, but they are also
well aware that most people aren't - and that it can work to their
advantage. Any time a highly paid civil attorney begins by telling
you that an issue vital to his client is actually very simple, or
just a matter of common sense, there's a very high probability that
what he means is that it's to his clients advantage if people like
you believe that. If it really WERE that simple, the client wouldn't
be paying him as much as he is.

Regards from the
"Keyboard Cowboy",
Master NetLord
Cincinnati, Ohio
Scottsdale, Arizona
10:48:21 PM

On Sat, 13 Jul 2002 10:19:46 +0200, Glenn Folkvord - Hyperion Media wrote:
>----- Original Message -----
>From: "Master NetLord" <NetLord@xxxxxxx>
>>To be clear, we're not talking about trial software, or even MP3
>>someone own's a file and gives it away.
>Let's see - your friend owns a CD, and copies the tracks to MP3
>files and give them to you as a gift. Is that what you are meaning
>when saying "gives it away"?
>FYI, nobody who buys a CD owns the music. You own the CD itself, the
>plastic disc, but not the content. That is still owned by the

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