defending the right to innovate
Monopoly corrupts. Absolute monopoly corrupts absolutely.
Copyright Notice: We don't think much of copyright, so you can do what you want with the content on this blog. Of course we are hungry for publicity, so we would be pleased if you avoided plagiarism and gave us credit for what we have written. We encourage you not to impose copyright restrictions on your "derivative" works, but we won't try to stop you. For the legally or statist minded, you can consider yourself subject to a Creative Commons Attribution License.
Rationalization knows no bounds. Instead of IP law, how about anti-IP law where we can sue people for being jerks?
Rhianna and Def Jam Music must stand trial for being inspired by David LaChappelle's ideas regarding photographic images.
They didn't copy a damned thing. They were only inspired by someone else's work which influenced they way in which they created a new work - the same way all creation happens on some level.
For that, they must now stand trial.
The court will try and tell you that the Defendants here have "copied" what amounts to "fixed expression" and that copyright doesn't cover "ideas" - but please scroll down to pages 31-34 of the PDF file of the decision below and then try to say the following to yourself with a straight face: "Copyright doesn't protect ideas, only the fixed expression of ideas."
This decision is an absolute farce and outrage. But what it is not is an aberration. It is instead an accurate and standard application of what our current monstrous copyright laws have become, and why anyone who cares about free speech, civil rights and basic human freedoms must now support serious copyright reform in order to roll back its scope.
Read and see for yourself just how far copyright goes in placing a stranglehold over ideas here:
Via The Arizona Republic / Tucson Citizen (with selected bold emphasis added):
A Tucson portrait photographer whose image of 9-year-old Christina-Taylor Green was shared with media outlets by her family after she was killed is seeking compensation from numerous media companies, including The Arizona Republic and TucsonCitizen.com, and has threatened to sue if he is not paid.
Read further details of this sordid tale here:
See the Facebook boycott page continue to grow here:
The problem with monopolists is that they never rest. Just because an industry is working well, highly innovative and very profitable does not prevent the greedy from trying to garner monopoly under the guise of "fairness." Now the fashion industry is under attack...there is a nice article by Ed Lopez in the Freeman on the subject.
Volok.com's David Post Comes Out Swinging Against Domain Name Seizures By The U.S. Government Over File Sharing Concerns
A sample of his thoughts:
It's an outrage. To begin with, there's the bizarre spectacle of the Department of Homeland Security - which, last I looked, had some important issues before it that actually relate to "homeland security" expending time and resources to protect purely private interests (of. e.g., the Louis Vuitton handbag manufacturers and Warner Brothers' Records). And the operation perfectly illustrates the objections we raised in the COICA Letter: 80 websites many of them operating overseas have now been prevented from speaking to US citizens even though the website operators, whose domains were seized, had no notice or opportunity to respond to the charges against them (and to argue, for instance, that they are NOT infringing copyrights or trademarks), no adversary hearing, and certainly no adjudication before a neutral, that anything unlawful is going on at these sites, only an affidavit to that effect submitted by the ICE.
Read the whole thing here:
UPDATE - Some potential pushback worth noting here:
Read all about it:
And, in the words of Groundhog Day's Ned Ryerson, "It's a doosy".
As noted previously (see Stop the ACTA (Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement)), this treaty was being negotiated in secret and is an attempt to extend the reach of the west's horrible and draconian IP (patent and copyright) regimes to other countries. As I noted, the
ACTA is also similar to another arcane law, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), which, under the guise of protecting "property rights," snuck in provisions that criminalize even the mere possession of technology that can be used to circumvent digital protection systems (see, e.g., my post TI Uses Copyright Law to Attack TI Calculator Enthusiasts). Likewise, under the guise or protecting property rights in inventions and artistic works (patent and copyright), it "seeks to provide legal authority for the surveillance of Internet file transfers and searches of personal property". As one group notes, "ACTA goes way, way beyond the TRIPS (the copyright/patent/trademark stuff in the World Trade Organization agreement), creating an entirely new realm of liability for people who provide services on the net". More invasion of personal liberty and property rights in the name of false, artificial property rights.
The draft text has now been released, under pressure from the European Parliament (see Declan McCullagh's post, ACTA treaty aims to deputize ISPs on copyrights; see aslo Michael Geist's analysis of the draft text). As I suspected, the text (available here) reveals, as McCullagh notes, that ACTA "seek[s] to export controversial chunks of U.S. copyright law to the rest of the world," such as the DMCA's "'anti-circumvention' section, which makes it illegal to bypass copy protection even to back up a Blu-Ray disc" (see, e.g., my post TI Uses Copyright Law to Attack TI Calculator Enthusiasts). This is a horrible US law that was snuck in the DMCA that may now become part of other countries' laws. It prohibits not only copyright infringement but also makes it illegal to sell devices that could be used to circumvent encryption of DRM'd information.
Now, the DMCA also contained a "safe harbor" for ISPs that probably would not pass now (since it gave ISPs an exemption for liability that turned out to be broader than initially realized when the DMCA was enacted in the 1990s). I was concerned that ACTA would contain the anti-circumvention provisions but not the ISP safe-harbor rules--but some version of this does, at least, seem to be contemplated in the ACTA text (see pp. 20-21).
In any case, this horrible treaty needs to be stopped.
For those of you who would argue that copyright doesn't need major reform because it already provides for exceptions such as "parody", here is an example to demonstrate how hollow such arguments can be in terms of how the law actually operates on a practical level for everyday users:
David Post over at Volokh.com lends his (blogging) voice against the international cabal (and I don't feel that such a phrase is hyperbole in this instance) that is trying to foist a stricter copyright regime throughout the world via the ACTA treaty.
Read it here:
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