[kwlug-disc] are you going to be a criminal?

John Van Ostrand john at netdirect.ca
Fri Jun 4 20:17:45 EDT 2010

----- Original Message -----
> John Van Ostrand wrote, On 06/04/2010 2:46 PM:
> > ----- Original Message -----
> >> Discussion might help to focus on what the shortcomings of the bill
> >> are and - more importantly - what constructive suggestions we can
> >> make.
> >
> > Let me float these ideas around. Do they make sense?
> >
> > Digital lock anti-circumvention laws are bad because:
> . .
> .
> In some ways, going about things this way is ineffective. (Not that
> I'm suggesting it be stopped.)
> I don't disagree with the premises, and certainly full speed ahead,
> but alternatives need to be floated as well.

You are correct a complaint coupled with a potential solution is often better received. But we are the public not a co-worker. We can just make complaints.

My implicit alternative is "no digital locks". How does a lock protect the public? What good does it do the public? Will is stop piracy, or even slow it down? I can copy DVDs but I don't Everyone that I know that has copies bought them from someone, that same person that's going to get a cracked version from Russia.
> IIUC, and as far as I can tell, I have two basic problems:
> - the cracking of digital locks for purposes legal if the digital lock
> wasn't there.
> - giving my buddy the same ability.
> I'm paraphrasing 'urban legend' here - something like what is proposed
> must be passed to honour our 'treaty obligations' and to get the
> industry lobbyists off the politician's back.

As I understand it Canada is obligated to abide by WIPO treaty as I posted before. Those were politicians working on our behalf and I doubt there was a vote on it. There certainly wasn't a public consultation. We are bound by it because we are part of the UN. 

The UN and many other "international" bodies are heavily influenced by the US, who holds rare veto power. I'm guessing there was some collusion in passing such a rigid international copyright law. I don't know for sure, but I can imagine which country makes the most licenses from content.

> So, proposals must include alternatives that accomplish those two
> objectives, or we're doomed.
> Problem: The industry is immovable on the digital lock (and its
> provisions).

Fine let them not move. Should we allow corporations to just write their own copyright act? I think that's what we are doing with digital lock anti-circumvention laws. Let's not forget that the corporations only exist because the government laws make it so. The government can take a corporations right to exist away. The corporations aren't making the content, in fact they tend to stifle creativity in favour of formulaic money makers that insult our collective intelligence. Writers will continue to write without the large corporation, musicians will continue to make music, and now with digital editing and effects, movie makers can make movies without large corporations too.

> Solution (unlikely): It is better for the politician to not give in to
> the pressure. I have no idea how you get there. [Or provide the
> industry with another means to accomplish the same thing / what they
> want - chicken and egg there.]

The corporation say they want to prevent piracy. We all know that anti-circumvention won't stop it. I think the real truth is they want to extract more money from us. I've heard it said that one person immediately doubled shampoo sales by adding two words to the bottle: "and repeat". When new media comes out, content publishers will double their sales because people will have to repurchase what they already legally own and are legally allowed to move to a new media. "And repeat"

> So, it's insufficient to say "It's bad because." without "You can
> accomplish the desired impact via <x> instead, which is more
> palatable."

Yeah, it's just tough to say they can make more money by ...

> Is local reinventing of the wheel (analysis, it's bad because) effort
> better spent in enhancing efforts such as Geist's?
> Looking to the future, presuming all content is going to be delivered
> over the internet, presumably via streaming, the desire will be to
> capture that streaming. And, of course, doing so would mean breaking a
> digital lock, and the future looks like where we are already.

Except now it's legal, in the future you are charged with an offense.

> The industry wants away from the consumer holding the content. They
> want a continuous revenue stream, via pay per broadcast (no capture).
> The consumer only wants to pay for the content once, and play it as
> many times as they wish. Unstoppable force, immovable rock.
> 'Urban legend' seems to indicate this bill will ultimately pass. If
> you don't like the bill, you must take the pressure off the
> politician's back and/or provide more pressure from some other
> direction. A negative approach, it's bad because, in and of itself, I
> don't expect to be successful.
> Palatable alternatives must also be proposed.

Richard Stallman sure looks and sometimes talks like a crazy man, but I heard that as crazy as he appears, he's always right.

He says that authors are held hostage by publishers, musicians don't make any money selling CDs because of the contracts and have to make money on concerts and merchandise.

The corporations used to control distribution and used that position to take all the money from the content creators. This is reversed from what the original law was designed to do, protect the author. That protection was lost to gigantic multi-national corporations long ago.

Give those giant corporations laws tailor made to increase their monopoly, like an anti-circumvention law and see how well it works for the authors.

John Van Ostrand 
CTO, co-CEO 
Net Direct Inc. 
564 Weber St. N. Unit 12, Waterloo, ON N2L 5C6 
Ph: 866-883-1172 x5102 
Fx: 519-883-8533 

Linux Solutions / IBM Hardware 

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