Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 2nd Jan 2012 19:12 UTC
GNU, GPL, Open Source Late last year, president Obama signed a law that makes it possible to indefinitely detain terrorist suspects without any form of trial or due process. Peaceful protesters in Occupy movements all over the world have been labelled as terrorists by the authorities. Initiatives like SOPA promote diligent monitoring of communication channels. Thirty years ago, when Richard Stallman launched the GNU project, and during the three decades that followed, his sometimes extreme views and peculiar antics were ridiculed and disregarded as paranoia - but here we are, 2012, and his once paranoid what-ifs have become reality.
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Alfman
Member since:
2011-01-28

Brenden,

"If someone owns some media, you have no inherent rights (except "fair use") to that media whatsoever....you're receiving rights that you otherwise wouldn't have. The only thing DRM does is make it hard for you to take rights that you were never granted."

I have two problems with your statement. Just to get the obvious one out of the way, it's an outright contradiction. DRM does take away fair use rights that were legally granted.

Now, the much bigger ethical problem with your logic is that it could be applied to absolutely any rights that you don't have. For example: online censorship in china. What's "right" should be defined by a democratic process, and that hasn't happened either in the case of chinese censorship or US copyright law.


"Just because you have a 'fair use' right to use something, does not mean that the owner has to give you that thing in a usable form."

The authors of fair use rights must be rolling in their graves right about now.


"Yes you have a fair use right, but the newspaper can happily hang up on you while laughing their asses off because they are under no obligation to provide you with their content at all, in any form, despite your legitimate 'fair use' right."

I don't understand this example, it doesn't seem to be about "fair use rights" at all. Neither does your next example about demanding private photo albums.

It sounds like you are under the assumption that we are all against copyright itself, but that not the case. We're not against the copyright holder retaining rights to their content, we're against DRM, which restricts how content is consumed. To understand us, it's important to realize the difference.

Reply Parent Score: 3

Brendan Member since:
2005-11-16

Alfmen,

I have two problems with your statement. Just to get the obvious one out of the way, it's an outright contradiction. DRM does take away fair use rights that were legally granted.


DRM doesn't take away fair use rights that were legally granted. It only takes away your ability to cut and paste from the original (which makes it a little harder to exercise your fair use rights, but doesn't mean those rights were taken away). There never were any legally granted "cut and paste from the original" rights (and the content provider is under no obligation to give "cut & paste" rights to you, just because you have legitimate fair use rights).

Now, the much bigger ethical problem with your logic is that it could be applied to absolutely any rights that you don't have. For example: online censorship in china. What's "right" should be defined by a democratic process, and that hasn't happened either in the case of chinese censorship or US copyright law.


Democracy doesn't apply in non-democratic countries (e.g. China). Democracy should apply in democratic countries, but there are no true democratic countries (e.g. were everyone has an opportunity to vote on every decision). Countries like America are "pseudo-democratic", in that every now and then citizens get to democratically elect a team of dictators.

Ironically, the majority of citizens are below average intelligence (note: imagine a room containing 99 normal people and one genius if you can't see how a majority can be below average), so true democracy (and possibly the idea of democracy in general) is a scary thing - it gives people with below average intelligence more influence than people with above average intelligence. The "pseudo-democracy" idea is probably worse (popularity contest). At least with a monarchy you know the leader is going to be someone smart enough to get rid of their rivals without being caught... :-)

"Just because you have a 'fair use' right to use something, does not mean that the owner has to give you that thing in a usable form."

The authors of fair use rights must be rolling in their graves right about now.


Possibly.

"Yes you have a fair use right, but the newspaper can happily hang up on you while laughing their asses off because they are under no obligation to provide you with their content at all, in any form, despite your legitimate 'fair use' right."

I don't understand this example, it doesn't seem to be about "fair use rights" at all. Neither does your next example about demanding private photo albums.


You have a fair use right to use the (as yet unpublished) main story, yet the newspaper is under no obligation to make it possible for you to exercise those fair use rights. There isn't even any DRM involved in this example.

It sounds like you are under the assumption that we are all against copyright itself, but that not the case. We're not against the copyright holder retaining rights to their content, we're against DRM, which restricts how content is consumed. To understand us, it's important to realize the difference.


I'm not under the assumption that you are all against copyright itself - I'm fully aware that each person can be wrong in their own special way. :-)

- Brendan

Reply Parent Score: 2

Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

Brendan,

"DRM doesn't take away fair use rights that were legally granted. It only takes away your ability to cut and paste from the original (which makes it a little harder to exercise your fair use rights, but doesn't mean those rights were taken away)."

That depends on how well the DRM works, doesn't it? ;)
One might be indifferent to DRM because it's broken, but being broken is certainly not a good reason to justify DRM.

There are scenarios where copying is fair use, you can read an explanation here (jump down to the Fair Use section):
http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Fair+use+rights

Is it possible you overstated your initial position? Can you admit that DRM can prevent users from practicing their fair use rights?


"so true democracy (and possibly the idea of democracy in general) is a scary thing - it gives people with below average intelligence more influence than people with above average intelligence."

Yes I've heard this theory before: China's government can make better decisions than their citizens can. And while that might have merit, I still believe people have the moral right to rule themselves democratically.

"You have a fair use right to use the (as yet unpublished) main story, yet the newspaper is under no obligation to make it possible for you to exercise those fair use rights."

I frankly have no idea what you are talking about here. Can you cite an example of this kind of "fair use right" anywhere?


"I'm not under the assumption that you are all against copyright itself - I'm fully aware that each person can be wrong in their own special way. :-)"

First of all it's an opinion. You used examples which assumed we'd be against copyright, but the whole discussion here is about DRM. You need to appreciate the difference.

Reply Parent Score: 2