Tag Archives: copyright reform

EFF is suing the US government to invalidate the DMCA’s DRM provisions

Cross your fingers; this could get messy.

EFF is suing the US government to invalidate the DMCA’s DRM provisions

Source: EFF is suing the US government to invalidate the DMCA’s DRM provisions / Boing Boing

SoundCloud’s Automatic Content Protection System Removed a Remix of John Cage’s Silent Composition, “4’33”

How much more idiotic does copyright have to get before we do something about it? Also, best DJ name ever!

Does John Cage own the copyright for silence?

Source: SoundCloud’s Automatic Content Protection System Removed a Remix of John Cage’s Silent Composition, “4’33” | Pigeons & Planes

Librarian of Congress grants limited DRM-breaking rights for cars, games, phones, tablets, and remixers

It may not be all great news, but it is a start, a step in the right direction. Naturally, Congress could eliminate this waste of taxpayer money by simply repealing the DMCA (or, at least, Section 1201).

But there’s some good news: the rule permitting jailbreaking phones was extended to tablets, something the Copyright Office rejected three years ago. Then it said that it couldn’t tell laptops from tablets (raising two important questions: “why not allow jailbreaking on laptops”; and, “if you don’t know the difference between a laptop and a tablet, maybe you shouldn’t be regulating either of them?“) [emphasis added]. This year, thanks to EFF, it decided it could finally tell the difference.

Source: Librarian of Congress grants limited DRM-breaking rights for cars, games, phones, tablets, and remixers / Boing Boing

Copyrights and wrongs

I’m torn on long-term copyrights because of long-running, beloved characters like Mickey Mouse, but I feel like there should be some clause for commercial utilization (or under-utilization) after the original term expires. For example, if Disney doesn’t create any new works in a particular medium for a particular time using Mickey Mouse (as what happened from the 1990s until the mid-2000s or Oswald The Lucky Rabbit since the 1920s), Mickey (in that particular medium: short-subject animation) falls into public domain. Disney is still free to capitalize on Mickey’s likeness in other media, but animation is no longer their exclusive ground. It’s admittedly a hackneyed solution and probably isn’t ideal for anyone, but it’s arguably better than extending copyright terms into infinity.

This sort of “infinite copyright” is singularly important to the Gen Xers and Millennials because, unlike past generations, our epics, our heroes, and our legends may never pass into public domain and those stories might never be retold without express consent of the rights holder. Imagine a world in which Odysseus or even Sherlock Holmes was held in copyright for over 2000 years! (For one thing, Steven Moffat would never have been able to get a job–for better or worse.) Those heroes were to their generations what Batman, Doctor Who, and Han Solo (to name but a few) are to ours. Copyright financially protects the rights holder for a period of time, incentivizing creativity, but extensions into perpetuity ultimately stifle creativity and erode our shared culture.

Source: Copyrights and wrongs

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Countersuit: Georgia can’t copyright its laws

Good job, Georgia. Laws are public domain. Period. I guess you’ll need a black robe to tell you that before you believe it. Thanks for wasting taxpayers’ money.

Source: Countersuit: Georgia can’t copyright its laws / Boing Boing

An International Copyright Fight Over the Marcels Duchamps Chess Set

More reason that draconian copyright law needs to be overturned NOW!

How a hand-carved game got tangled in a dispute over copyright law, and what it means for the future of sharable things

Source: An International Copyright Fight Over the Marcels Duchamps Chess Set – The Atlantic

Why Shouldn’t Copyright Be Infinite?

Short answer: because while copyright can secure and bolster freedom of expression in the short-term, nearly infinite copyright extensions stifle creativity and expression becomes prohibitively expensive.

If an 11-note sequence counts as infringement, how much do modern artists owe Pachelbel’s descendants? The four-chord sequence making up the core of his Canon in D has been repeated in dozens, if not hundreds, of subsequent songs. Should evidence produced by Australia’s Axis of Awesome be used in copyright lawsuits by anyone who can document that, ten generations back, Johann Pachelbel was a great-great-grandfather? It seems absurd.

Source: Why Shouldn’t Copyright Be Infinite? | Electronic Frontier Foundation

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