Patrick's Rants


You Might Be a Copyright Violator

Filed under: Copyright,Politics — site admin @ 7:19 am

In an interesting, albeit extreme, view of copyright law, John Tehranian writes INFRINGEMENT NATION: COPYRIGHT REFORM AND THE LAW/NORM GAP. In the article he describes the typical day of mythical “John” who manages to rack up millions of dollars in potential penalties on a daily basis just by doing the little things that many of us do. While I don’t have a problem with anything that I write be copyrighted as soon as it’s in a “tangible form” (such as this blog) I do have a problem with copyright lasting for well over a hundred years. Does anyone really care enough about my opinions that they should be protected until I have great great grandchildren? And at that point, shouldn’t someone have just removed this blather from the web?


Is “stealing” music the same as supporting music? –

Filed under: Copyright,Politics — site admin @ 10:24 am

There’s an idea:
Killing the RIAA: Is “stealing” music the same as supporting music? –


Unfair Use

Filed under: Copyright,Politics — site admin @ 6:39 pm

In an equine bowel ejection titled Fair use is not a consumer right Patrick Ross (No relation. I’m not related to that starfish fellow, either if you must know) argues that telling “consumers” that they have a fair use right to things that they buy or watch is simply not true. You, consumer do not have the right to make back up copies of your music or your software nor do you have the right to show your movies to your friends without paying an admittance fee to the movie studio. And the movie studios have every single right to tell you to stop stealing their movies. That’s why there is an FBI warning at the beginning of movies that you own – to stop your inner thief. And no one, no one has the right to tell you that you have a right to make backup copies. He argues that you have an “affirmative defense” of your legal use of your movies, so that when they sue you – and they will – you have a defense.

If he wasn’t hard enough to swallow in the comments is this little gem, a horse apple if you will,

Good column!

I write my own music. I can disseminate and dipose of it as I see fit. Because you may purchase one of my tunes does not give you all of my rights – I retain the overwhelming balance/bundle. In other words – you are privileged to play my music because I say so, not because you have a right to.

Nope. I can play your music because I have a copy of it. You have the right to make additional copies and to sell those copies. It’s that simple. You retain the right to make copies for sale.

The whole fair use debate is specious. It is designed to promote a culture of poaching and freeriding. Copyright holders should not be ashamed to defend against this freerider culture – they seek to take your fruits with recompense.

The so-called “Fair use debate” centers around what I’m allowed to do with my CD once I buy it. Can I burn a copy so that my original stays pristine. I have four kids. They’re hard on CDs. Wipe your mouth, there’s still a little steaming manure clinging to your lip.

Taken to the extreme, who’s going to want to produce original work if it can’t be protected; if through expansive fair use “rights” a person who had little to do with your creation and risk can outright steal what you’ve sweated over?

The answer – no one. Not even Larry Lessig or Ed Balck.

Like the Tidy Bowl Man on a bad Bermuda vacation this argument is circling the drain here. Fair use says I can take your post, interject my comments and turn it into a new copyrighted work. I can also make backup copies of my CDs, DVDs, VHS tapes (do I still have those?) etc. I’m not selling them or giving them to my friends, I don’t buy ripped copies, I don’t sit in the movie theater with my video camera. You seem to think that when I say “Fair Use” I mean I want you to make music that I don’t have to pay for and that I’m a freeloader. <sniff> <sniff> Check your shoe, I think you stepped in something.Horse Apple comment

Oh… I commented here cause it’s more fun and I don’t have to register to spew my opinion.


Copyright Roundup

Filed under: Copyright,Politics — site admin @ 9:34 am

Optimal Copyright length
Full study
The value of the public domain


Sorry Tivo – GPL3 Looks Good From Here

Filed under: Copyright,Geek News and Stuff,Politics — site admin @ 5:20 pm

Tivo apparently doesn’t like the upcoming version of the GPL, General Public License, version 3 according to anInformation Week article.
Tivo is cool and has geek appeal since it is uses Linux-based software. The major appeal for those who want to hack at it – and in this case, I’m using the traditional definition of “one who tinkers with software”, not “one who breaks in” – is that the GPL requires anyone who distributes GPL code to release their source code. This means that if you take GPL code, hack at it and make it “better” or add to it you must release all your changes if you distribute the modified code. Unfortunately, Tivo wants to take code that they got for free, lock it up and sell it to you with no way for you to make changes. Worse is building it so that it doesn’t work if you alter the code at all. That is really not the spirit behind the GPL.

Here’s the thing Tivo: If you want to take our free code and modify it you have to abide by the license in the code you receive. Your company is already in trouble with geeks. A cool appliance device that runs Linux-based software had the geek appeal for a while. Try to shut us out and we build MythTV boxes instead (not to mention the possible copyright infringement suits you will face if you violate our license). review of GPL 3.


The True Cost Of Vista DRM

Filed under: Copyright,Geek News and Stuff,General,Politics — site admin @ 4:12 pm

In this rather long article, A Cost Analysis of Windows Vista Content Protection, Peter Gutmann writes about the hazards of Windows Vista, the hidden costs of Digital Rights Management (or as Slashdotters refer to it Digital Restrictions Management since it’s designed to restrict our rights to view digital materials) and what it will do to our hardware. This is what happens when we let a company – Microsoft – get too big. Monopoly laws are supposed to protect us and haven’t.

This is why I try not to keep feeding the beast.


Sony settlement

Filed under: Copyright,Geek News and Stuff,Politics — site admin @ 8:19 am

Sony is settling a recent case brought against them for installing “root kits” when trying to play a “copy protected” music CD. The software installed itself whether the user (owner of the CD) clicked on the “I Agree” button or not. This software hid itself on your computer and watched to see that you didn’t make copies of the “protected” CD. It also allowed others to load software on your computer and hide it using the same methods.
Geeks and regular people were up in arms. And Sony was looking at possible criminal charges. Now that a settlement has been reached, some are postulating that this is the beginning of real consumer protections against monstrosities perpetrated under the guise of “content protection”.


A-hole legislation on the horizon

Filed under: Copyright,Politics — site admin @ 10:42 pm

Well, they’ve done it again. Those tea bagging bastards have purchased new legislation that makes you and I criminals in a perversion of guilty until settled (by the way this is not criminal law, but civil law) This new legislation1 tries to close the “analog hole” that would allow you to copy something while it’s playing. I am so sick of the tea bagging bastards that can’t be bothered to bring us better quality movies starring nutso actors and instead blame their drain circling business model on people who would “steal” from them. Steal? The thing is, I pay for the movies I buy. I pay rental fees to Netflix for the movies that I only want to watch a time or two and return. And then these movies have a mini movie calling me a thief before I get to see my movie. That’s why I’m getting a new DVD player. If it doesn’t exist, someone should invent it.
I guess the reason that I get so upset with the criminal name calling is that I would never make a copy of a movie or CD to “distribute”, yet I am lumped in with anyone who ever sold/gave away a copy of a movie or song when these laws come out. My mom is penalized because she won’t be able to watch Babylon 5 later than 90 minutes after it airs. (And neither will any of you maties)

1 – Law making ears illegal. Well not really, but a decent write up on the A-hole law.
Comments on the stupidity of artificially propping up businesses dependent upon copyright law


How ’bout I just record it off the radio?

Filed under: Copyright,Politics — site admin @ 5:16 pm

Anybody listening to Will Smith’s Switch is being called a music thief.

But don’t download, go out and buy the record

or at the very least being encouraged to buy vs download. Look. I rent or buy movies legitimately. I don’t buy much er… any music (my wife and kids do any music buying that goes on around here… all under my watchful, “can you listen to that CD wherever you want?” eye). It seems like legitimate purchasers of music and movies are being continually bombarded with “don’t steal this record” and “don’t steal this movie”. Remember the so-called “pirates” completely bypass any reference to theft leaving only legitimate users to suffer through your accusations.
Hey Will, download this!


Studios admit DVDs only worth about $2.75

Filed under: Copyright,Politics — site admin @ 10:57 am

In a new twist to the so called piracy issue, Disney has admited that DVDs are only worth about $2.75 despite the fact they regularly sell for $15 – $30 or more depending upon the set. As published in the June 19th edition of Newsweek, Disney is simultaneously releasing their new movie, “Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants”, in theaters in the US and on DVD in China. Expect ticket prices to be $10 on average while the DVD will run close to $3.

As an aside, why the bloody *(^&*%*$% does everyone team up with Microsoft for news? If you type in you get, want to check out the Today show? MSNBC is a collaboration between Microsoft and NBC. This only makes me mistrust the Major News Media news that much more.

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