Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 8th Oct 2010 13:53 UTC
Legal You think only "pirates" and "freeloaders" rail against current copyright laws? Well, think again - even the Library of Congress seemingly has had enough. The topic is recorded sound preservation, and in a 181-page in-depth study, the Library of Congress concludes that apart from technical difficulties, US copyright law makes it virtually impossible for anyone to perform any form of audio preservation. The painted picture is grim - very grim.
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Great article !
by Neolander on Fri 8th Oct 2010 14:27 UTC
Neolander
Member since:
2010-03-08

Thanks for this great article Thom ! Well-written, complete, and exposing the situation clearly.

I hope that this situation gets fixed. The Alexandria disaster is nothing compared with what we're going to undergo if libraries can't do their job properly, especially taking into account how fragile modern numeric data is...

Edited 2010-10-08 14:27 UTC

Reply Score: 8

Just disobey
by bile on Fri 8th Oct 2010 14:44 UTC
bile
Member since:
2005-07-08

Just disobey. Don't follow it. Let them jail you for saving old audio, video, images from the bitbucket of history. Then you can actually have standing to fight the law both in the legal system and in the public mind.

Good people disobey bad laws.

Reply Score: 8

Uh-oh
by lemonation on Fri 8th Oct 2010 15:02 UTC
lemonation
Member since:
2010-09-13

Something nasty is underneath this happy news. How do I know? Read the publication. It has a members list. I quote:

Recording Industry Association of America
Member: Hilary Rosen (2002-2003)
Member: Mitch Bainwol (2003-2009)
Alternate: John Simson (2002-2005)
Alternate: Carlos Garza (2005-2006)
Alternate: John Henkel (2006-2007)

There's no way the report writers just ran over them.

Reply Score: 3

?????
by n.l.o on Fri 8th Oct 2010 15:28 UTC
n.l.o
Member since:
2009-09-14

What makes you think the Republicans would improve this situation?

Same shit, different colour tie.

Reply Score: 4

RE: ?????
by jgagnon on Fri 8th Oct 2010 15:49 UTC in reply to "?????"
jgagnon Member since:
2008-06-24

What makes anyone think any politician could improve anything? :p

Reply Score: 7

RE[2]: ?????
by Neolander on Fri 8th Oct 2010 16:08 UTC in reply to "RE: ?????"
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

What makes anyone think any politician could improve anything? :p

The "you break it, you pay it" principle ? ^^

Joking aside, governments (in a democracy, isolated politicians are nothing if they don't get a bunch of other politicians united around some ideas) are good for large-scale actions. Be it either introducing packet sniffing on the whole Internet, or reducing the price of public transportation in order to improve air quality and reduce traffic congestion...

Edited 2010-10-08 16:10 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: ?????
by No it isnt on Fri 8th Oct 2010 20:11 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: ?????"
No it isnt Member since:
2005-11-14

The problem is that the political establishment is so entrenched, and so firmly connected to the other ruling class (big capital), that the only political alternative seems to be right wing populist movements, i.e. racists of various colours. And those people don't really care about copyright reform anyway.

Reply Score: 6

RE[4]: ?????
by bouhko on Sat 9th Oct 2010 12:28 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: ?????"
bouhko Member since:
2010-06-24
RE: ?????
by zlynx on Sun 10th Oct 2010 02:23 UTC in reply to "?????"
zlynx Member since:
2005-07-20

I don't think anyone claimed the Republicans would fix it. They might. But, like most Democrats, most Republicans are in the pay of Big Content.

The claim that the Obama Administration and the current Congress are not fixing the problem is certainly true.

I am sure there are other Democrats who have reasonable positions on copyright and would be glad to reform the copyright laws.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by KLU9
by KLU9 on Fri 8th Oct 2010 15:53 UTC
KLU9
Member since:
2006-12-06

A comment I found at http://www.slyck.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=52573

The situation in the US:
If you do anything before 2067 to preserve the recording on a wax-cylinder from 1895, the terrorists win. Do you really hate hard-working American families that much? Thank God Senator Orrin Hatch and the RIAA love America's children more than you do.

The situation in Europe:
Sound recordings up to 1960 are already in the public domain. The terrorists have won. Our only hope of restoring the justice of eternal and infinite copyright (and therefore saving our own children's lives!) lies in the selfless efforts of the likes of Bono and Cliff Richard, as they cry all the way to the bank about artists not being rewarded for their creativity.

Let's hope that by the time you finish reading this sentence, copyright will have been extended another 99 years... you know, to justly compensate that bloke sitting by a mic in 1895. If he'd thought that in 2066 librarians would be able to copy his recording without his permission, he would never have made it in the first place.

Reply Score: 12

Libraries are at fault!
by fretinator on Fri 8th Oct 2010 16:25 UTC
fretinator
Member since:
2005-07-06

That's what they get for saying "Sshhh!!" all these years.

Reply Score: 7

When you buy music, you have rights.
by libray on Fri 8th Oct 2010 17:39 UTC
libray
Member since:
2005-08-27

From page 112:

Because institutions frequently do not hold rights to the sound recordings in their collections and cannot make the material accessible, the likelihood increases that they will find it even more difficult to attract the resources needed to preserve important col- lections in the first place.

Why would an institution not hold a right to a copyrighted recording? If the recording was bought, there you have rights now. How are they coming about the recording? I suspect they are not using torrents or newsgroups to download mp3s like the regular Joe wants to. Perhaps they are relying on 'donations'. If so the ones donating should donate original work if they have it and not digital copies. If it is a fully owned and transferable digital blob, that should be used but I have not found out yet how this argument is being made from them.

Edited 2010-10-08 17:41 UTC

Reply Score: 2

arpan Member since:
2006-07-30

I think what they mean is that the institutions have no right to distribute those recordings.

So basically, they spend a bunch of money to acquire and convert the recordings to modern (digital?) formats. But they do not have the rights to make them available to the public, and cannot do so until 2067.

Which makes it seem like a whole lot of money is being wasted, since there is no visible ROI.

Reply Score: 5

Libraries are in danger
by orfanum on Fri 8th Oct 2010 21:29 UTC
orfanum
Member since:
2006-06-02

The situation is even grimmer than people think; these bad copyright laws are being 'broken', not by good people but by rich (potentially dominant ones), i.e., Google, who can afford litigation and which will therefore become the ultimate beneficiary. Publicly-funded bodies do not like to get near courts, so there's a reticence digitally to preserve or make things available if these processes run the risk even of transgressing copyright law (and at a tangent we have the bizarre situation currently of some University Presses taking another university to legal task over a new application of 'fair use' policy: http://library.duke.edu/blogs/scholcomm/2010/10/01/going-forward-wi... - this how deleterious copyright law and the digital environment is to the free movement of knowledge).

Here in the UK, an elsewhere, libraries of all stripes are under pressure, not so much from the financial crisis but from the so-called 'Amazoogle' effect: the notion amongst patrons that libraries are second rate to what can be sourced via the Internet (not knowing of course that an awful lot of metadata and content has been offered up to Google for indexing - Google would not 'have' the content otherwise).

As one famous defender of academic libraries (which are likely to be the ones with the knowledge, expertise and content to provide posterity with what we have today) puts it here: some libraries and their institutions are older than most current nation states (and I could add: older also than any corporation). There is longevity and persistence of purpose in them, the goal being to preserve and protect and disseminate human knowledge.

Each time we use Google over a local library catalogue, there's a potential further nail going into the coffin of precisely those institutions that feed it content and metadata, in the hope of furthering their own philanthropic and educational aims. Eventually, once Google has its cache of all the world's knowledge, it will not care about the original institutions. In fact, in some ways, it could be argued that digitisation may well lead to a situation of less long-term and equitable availability of cultural goods: for technical, legal and corporate-interest reasons.

Reply Score: 7

Huh.
by Thom_Holwerda on Fri 8th Oct 2010 22:49 UTC
Thom_Holwerda
Member since:
2005-06-29

Funny how the usual pro-big content people we have astr.... Commenting on OSNews are suddenly producing a deafening silence.

Reply Score: 4

Political Bit
by RichardLynch on Sat 9th Oct 2010 03:07 UTC
RichardLynch
Member since:
2010-10-09

While I abhor the situation, I really don't think a change in the Presidency from Obama to anybody else would make a difference...

Reply Score: 2

RE: Political Bit
by Flatland_Spider on Sat 9th Oct 2010 06:38 UTC in reply to "Political Bit"
Flatland_Spider Member since:
2006-09-01

Different money sources. If a candidate was bank rolled by the tech industry, you would see a more tech friendly agenda emerge.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Political Bit
by Neolander on Sat 9th Oct 2010 07:16 UTC in reply to "RE: Political Bit"
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

Different money sources. If a candidate was bank rolled by the tech industry, you would see a more tech friendly agenda emerge.

Certainly not.

Simple examples : Sony (copyright), Apple (patents and copyright), Unisys (patents), MPEG-LA (patent-trolling institution), Thomson (MP3 patents)...

It seems that once a tech company becomes very big, it automatically becomes a jerk about copyright and patents. So in the end, having big players of the tech industry control political power will only lead to stronger copyright and patent legislation, killing more efficiently libraries* (for copyright) small business that could compete with them someday otherwise (for patents).



(* You might ask : "Why being such jerks about libraries ? Memorization of historical data benefits to everyone !". That's totally wrong. If it weren't for libraries, no one would know that Lord Camden quote that Thom is always mentioning. No one would realize that if Schroedinger patented quantum mechanics, technology today would look like what we had in the 80s. The sole sources of knowledge would be large distribution companies, like Sony and Apple, who would make sure that we don't have access to knowledge that's potentially dangerous for their business)

Edited 2010-10-09 07:35 UTC

Reply Score: 3

Obama DOJ Appointments
by cjcoats on Sat 9th Oct 2010 18:45 UTC in reply to "Political Bit"
cjcoats Member since:
2006-04-16

Three of the top five Obama Department of Justice positions went to attorneys with strong MPAA or RIAA connections. And his second Supreme Court appointment argued in their favor as well.

The Obama administration is deeply in bed with the media oligopolies.

Reply Score: 2

Preserving digital content...
by Mage66 on Sat 9th Oct 2010 16:50 UTC
Mage66
Member since:
2005-07-11

A solution that is not seriously discussed, which I believe is trivially easy is having someone create software that would take any kind of file and convert it to a graphic format that could be printed out on acid-free, long life paper and then rescanned in later as needed.

It seems to me that paper is one of the longest lasting mediums next to stones. Just use Laser Printers or something more permanent as Ink jet ink fades or can run when wet.

Byte Magazine had something like this in the 90's that they supported. You could download the free software and scan in program listings or binaries that accompanied articles.

Once we get the legal things sorted out, this seems like the perfect solution to the short life span of CD-R/DVD-R media, and hard drive media.

If the format has error correction and is well documented, this also bypasses the obsolescence of storage media. I have old Fastback backups of my BBS from the 80's that I no longer have computers which can read them. as well as later Central Point Backups and even Iomega 20mb tapes.

Sometimes the old ways are best.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Preserving digital content...
by cjcoats on Sat 9th Oct 2010 18:48 UTC in reply to "Preserving digital content..."
cjcoats Member since:
2006-04-16

Acid free paper still eventually oxidizes and becomes extremely fragile.

A few years ago, there was a news article about IBM working on an archiving system that
burned the data onto (extremely durable) silicon wafers. Unfortunately, I don't know
what came of it. They were expecting a lifetime measured in millenia...

Reply Score: 1

RE: Preserving digital content...
by Fergy on Sat 9th Oct 2010 20:07 UTC in reply to "Preserving digital content..."
Fergy Member since:
2006-04-10

A solution that is not seriously discussed, which I believe is trivially easy is having someone create software that would take any kind of file and convert it to a graphic format that could be printed out on acid-free, long life paper and then rescanned in later as needed.

Sometimes the old ways are best.

Just save it in an opensource patent free format. Our digital storage will grow so fast and will be so cheap that if you do this it becomes cheaper everyday to store everything(not to mention making copies). I have no clue how you can even think that physical copies are a good idea.

Reply Score: 1

darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

Just save it in an opensource patent free format. Our digital storage will grow so fast and will be so cheap that if you do this it becomes cheaper everyday to store everything(not to mention making copies). I have no clue how you can even think that physical copies are a good idea.


Hmm, let me think... how about media failure? The ability to edit information after the fact and thus change history? Even if the media lasted forever, there's no guarantee that in a thousand years we'd be able to read that specific type of digital media. Are some people really so obsessed with f/oss formats that they really can't think beyond them? For digital content, f/oss formats are absolutely what we should be doing! Having digital only archives though is a very bad idea. At least if you have both a digital and a physical you'll be able to tell if the digital version has been modified from the original. I don't even want to imagine what we'd learn about history now if the world powers at any given time had been able to alter information archives at will.

Reply Score: 2

saso Member since:
2007-04-18

Which is exactly why you can't archive digital media in the same way you'd archive a stone block. It isn't enough just to make sure it's in a super-clean atmosphere behind 2 inches of hardened glass. In fact, that might be of no use whatsoever. We can't just go around keeping "physical" copies of every document or printable piece of interesting information either. Given the current information explosion, our libraries would drown in the flood of paper (or other physical medium). The reason we could do it until now, is that paper was very expensive in the past and producing books was a costly and time-consuming task, not to mention that even these physical documents often need periodic restoration which cannot be done using automated procedures as in the case of digital archives. Archiving digital media only requires periodically updating the archive format, technology and procedures used, to make sure you are up to date in respect to current technology in terms of being able to access it.

I'd agree that using FOSS formats provides the safest outlook into the future for the software side and so all that needs attention every now and then is the hardware side. There's ways around hardware failure (e.g. periodic disk scrubbing) and accidental or intentional data modification (cryptographically secure hashes).

And to refute your assertion that historically world powers have been unable to alter "history" - just think about book burning, genocide or forced coercion. There's tons of ways to alter history which don't necessarily entail "rewriting" historical documents - just remember how the Taliban just recently blew up a historical buddhist temple in Pakistan.

Reply Score: 1

mfarmilo Member since:
2009-02-28


And to refute your assertion that historically world powers have been unable to alter "history" - just think about book burning, genocide or forced coercion. There's tons of ways to alter history which don't necessarily entail "rewriting" historical documents - just remember how the Taliban just recently blew up a historical buddhist temple in Pakistan.



Well, at least we actually know who did that. The really clever bad guys in history are the ones we think were good guys.

Reply Score: 1