The Slow Death of the Public Domain

Lawrence Lessig, in an article on the Foreign Policy site, predicts that the public domain will die a slow death at the hands of anti-piracy efforts. From the article: ‘The danger remains invisible to most, hidden by the zeal of a war on piracy. And that is how the public domain may die a quiet death, extinguished by self-righteous extremism, long before many even recognize it is gone.’

I couldn’t agree more and you’ll hear me say this time and time again. Our patent and copyright system is broken, perhaps even beyond repair. Without quick intervention, the US (and the rest of the world) will be doomed to a life dictacted by corporations greed for money and power.

From Slashdot via Lost Brain

An Open Letter to Dan Glickman

In response to a statement made by MPAA President Dan Glickman (.doc format) regarding the appearance of Revenge of the Sith on BitTorrent:

Dear Mr. Glickman,

You are a bastard. How dare you lodge such complaints against the public without first realizing your own fallacies and the crimes you have committed against the public. You are a menace to society and America and should be tried for treason.

First, you need to realize that BitTorrent is an absolutely ingenious way of transmitting files, no matter what the size or content. You yourself state that piracy will “undermine legitimate businesses that strive to unite technology and content in innovative and legal ways.”

What are you doing to BitTorrent then? BitTorrent is a legitimate business that has strived to unite technology and content in innovative and legal ways. Just because people choose to use a legal and legitimate product for illegal and illegitimate purposes is no reason to ban it or make it illegal. This has been upheld in 1984’s Sony Corp. v. Universal City Studios. Where would the movie industry be if the video tape industry never thrived? No where. You, good sir, would be dead.

Your knee-jerk reaction and failure to analyze the long term effect of what you are doing will undoubtedly lead you to your own end. If you wish to be able to make movie content available online, you will need a method of transporting it. Using current methods (BitTorrent-type technology not included), it will literally take days to download just ONE movie. If you embrace the clever ways of BitTorrent, you stand to actually make progress with the general population with regards to providing movies online because such methods will be far faster — an essential requirement in today’s fast paced society.

Second, the MPAA and members of the MPAA are conducting a regime similar to that of Cuba. In fact, you are no better than Fidel Castro himself! Companies such as Disney have used and continue to use their financial strong-arm to gain unlimited control of their content for an unlimited time.
For example, Disney’s Mickey Mouse copyright “was due to expire in 2003.” The obvious implication of this, at least for Disney, was lost revenue. Furthermore, a majority of Mickey’s gang was also due to retire, so to speak, a few years down the road. Even more lost revenue for Disney. But why let this happen? Disney lobbied congress, holding over $6 million in annual Congressional donations over their heads, and the Sonny Bono Term Extension Act was born. This completely rips to shreds existing regulations and was even challenged to be unconstitutional in the Supreme Court, although that attempt failed. Never-the-less, companies that belong the MPAA, RIAA, and organizations of the such are fearing for their lives as they slowly lose control of their product to the public domain. And don’t think people don’t hear about this either. As I see it, “illegally” downloading movies and music is really just a fair trade for what you have done to the public domain. I would have no moral quarrels doing it, if that were what I chose to do. Did I mention you are a cunt, too? Because you are.

Now let me point out something reallyinteresting. What is the original source of the Revenge of the Sith files? What? I can’t hear you! Oh that’s right. Someone from WITHIN the studio leaked them. How ironic. You can’t control your own people so you decided to cry fowl on everyone else. That just makes me sick.
So, let’s recap real quick here. Dan Glickman is both a bastard and a cunt. The MPAA (and RIAA for that matter) like to shoot themselves constantly, and if it weren’t for our court system, they would be dead. The MPAA (and RIAA) have an anxiety separation disorder (can someone prescribe some Paxil for them?) with their beloved content. Then the MPAA can’t find the culprit from within their own organization, they point the finger at everyone else and complain that they started it. And Dan Glickman is a cunt and a bastard…opps, I already said that. Well, I guess it couldn’t hurt to say it again. Feel free to respond to this letter in what ever way you feel best, including ignoring me, your client. However, I reserve the right to take your silence as a legally binding confession of guilt. (You like changing the rules, so I thought I might change a few too…kind of annoying isn’t it?) I think I’ll also reserve the right to take your silence as a legally binding confirmation that you are Lucifer as well (see attached picture).

Best Wishes,

Andrew Ferguson

RIAA has fit over DR

by Andrew Ferguson

AndrewFerguson.NET

Based on content from:

Reuters and the Associated Press

In what amounts to little more than a surreptitious plot to take over the world, the RIAA has submitted a proposal to the FCC to limit the use and features of Digital Radio. The proposed limits would deny users the opportunity to use several of Digital Radio’s features, including metadata tags and CD quality sound, broadcast over conventional AM, FM, and even satellite radio. The RIAA says the proposals are intended to prevent users from “recording certain songs automatically when they are broadcast, allowing them to build a free library of music they otherwise might pay for and distribute it to millions of others over the Internet.” However, the RIAA’s proposal is simply another way to control content that is based on a 20 plus-year-old standard that provided state of the art sound in late 80’s to mid 90’s. Since then, higher fidelity formats have been developed and implemented, such as SACD and DVD-Audio, however, the RIAA has refused to adopt such formats in masse. So what then does this all boil down to? Many things actually. First and foremost, the RIAA among many other conglomerates are abusing the American Justice system by continuously extending the length of copyrights. In a time not so long ago, copyrights used to last for 14 years, plus the option for a 14 year extension. That was less than 80 years ago. Since then, copyrights can now last well over a century with current laws usually giving the lifetime of the creator plus an additional 70 years. This amounts to complete corporate control over all major songs, books, and cartoon characters. This is a completely ridiculous number and completely circumvents the entire point of copyright laws, which was to offer the creator of the content the initial exclusive rights because they developed the idea, but then to release the content to the general public so that it could be improved upon. This obviously is not happening now…at least not in the legal sense. Second, the RIAA is refusing to recognize that CDs are the millennia’s version of cassette tape. Once mainstream, they are an incredible piece of antiquated technology that should be completely abolished as soon as possible in favor for better formats, such as DVD and the impending Blue Disc standard. Also, incredible research has been conducted on complete solid state memory devices that utilize holographic storage techniques to store data in a 3 dimensional format. The CD is dead and the RIAA needs to figure that out if they don’t want to go bankrupt.

Absolutely Ridiculous!

This is absolutely ridiculous! Who would ever want to go to a school like this? All I have to say is that Bob Jones sucks, and I would bet that Bob Dole thinks that Bob Jones sucks and is a disgrace to all people named Bob….or Jones. From Bob Jones University

Residence Hall Life

Residence Hall Life

  • A student must live in one of the University residence halls unless he is living with parents or
    other close relatives (approved by the Dean of Men’s or Dean of Women’s office), is 23 years old or
    older, is married and over the age of 20, or is a graduate student.
  • Freshmen may request a roommate. Other students are allowed one request for a friend to be in their
    prayer group, on their hall, or in their residence hall, but not in their room.
  • For the sake of accountability, students must "check out" when they leave the campus. Students
    gradually acquire more freedom in this area as they become upperclassmen.
  • Each night all students meet for prayer, either as a room or together with several other rooms.
  • Students are required to be in their own rooms and quiet at 11 pm. All lights must be out by midnight.
  • Students are required to keep their rooms clean and neat. Rooms are inspected daily.
  • Facilities and furnishings:
    • Laundry facilities are provided.
    • All rooms are furnished with twin-sized beds, dressers, desks, closets, cupboards, sink,
      telephone, and blinds.
    • Computer network and high-speed Internet access is available in each residence hall room.
  • An email account is provided for each student. Due to the flood of objectionable content coming
    through outside email services, students may use only this filtered campus email system.
  • All wireless access to the Internet is forbidden since all Internet use must go through the
    University’s filtered access.

What to Bring

  • List of what to bring pdf
  • Students may bring automobiles to campus. However, underclassmen (freshmen and sophomores) who are under
    21 years old may use their vehicles only to drive home and for extension.
  • Cell phones are permitted. Students will be instructed in cell phone etiquette.

What Not to Bring

  • Posters of movie and music stars and fashion models are not permitted. The subjects of personal photos
    should exhibit the modesty and appropriate physical contact we expect from our students.
  • Music must be compatible with the University’s music standards:
    • New Age, jazz, rock, and country music is not permitted.
    • Contemporary Christian music is not permitted (e.g., Michael W. Smith, Stephen Curtis Chapman,
      WOW Worship, and so forth).
  • Televisions and DVD/videocassette players are not permitted in the residence halls; computer DVD players
    may not be used to view movies.
  • You may not possess or play computer and video games rated T, M, or A or having elements of blood and
    gore, sensual or demonic themes, or featuring suggestive dress, bad language, or rock music.
  • Due to space considerations, appliances such as mini-refrigerators and microwaves are not permitted in
    residence hall rooms. A refrigerator for medical-related needs and microwaves are provided in each
    residence hall.
  • Residence hall students may not watch videos above a G rating when visiting homes in town and may not
    attend movie theaters.
  • All weapons must be turned in for storage. Trigger locks are required for pistols. Fireworks are not
    permitted on campus.

I think I’m going to write a email to query why BJ has this particular stance

MPAA my MPAA$$

I saw an add for respectcopyrights dot org while watching 24, which I had TiVoed so I could watch it today. Anyways, there’s this add for respectcopyrights dot org which I’m all for…usually. There are certain instances when copyrights are really just plain stupid, for example, the Disney/Mickey Mouse incident. Back to the main point: the MPAA (Motion Pictures Association of America) is claiming that people stealing movies is bad for them. Well, yes, it is. Studios lose millions of dollars on every film because of pirates and don’t take me wrong, I’m not advocating pirating. However, the MPAA has severe issues with their claims and, to me, it feels like the MPAA is putting up a
facade. The MPAA has 4 main claims:

Cheating ourselves, threatening the livelihood
of thousands, making our computer ulerable, and breaking the law. For the
first claim, the MPAA says: Only 4 out of 10 films turn a profit. If people
take
the films for free and the Studios can’t recoup their investment, they may
not be
able to make the big summer movies we all enjoy so much; the TITANICs, the
SPIDER-MANs, the JURASSIC PARKs. So, not only will the creators lose, in the
end, you, the consumer, will end up with fewer choices at the
multiplex.

I don’t know about you, but I think fewer choices would be good. There are reasons that 40% of all films don’t turn a profit…it’s called sucking! If studios stopped making bad films, they wouldn’t loose as much money. Claim two:

But, when movies are illegally downloaded from the Internet,
these are the people that suffer the most.
It’s the woman who does the make-up,
the guy who rigs the lighting,
the sound technician,
the costume designer,
the set decorator
and the caterer.

What a load of crap. As far as I know, studios are in the business for profit. That means that all the above listed people get paid a flat amount for the work they do. Some actors, directors, and produces might get a percentage of the profits, but everybody else doesn’t. If the MPAA really wants to be fair, how about implementing equal wages across the board. Once every single person on the set gets the same salary and has somesort of profit sharing plan, then the MPAA can bring that topic up. The last two claims fall into the category of scare tactics. Yes, you could download a virus but you probably have anti-virus software…and if you don’t then your stupid, SOL, and probably shouldn’t be even using a computer. If you fall into this category, let me know and I’ll be more than willing to take that computer off your hands. The legal mombo-jumbo is pretty acurate, although somewhat missleading. Most ISP’s try their best to keep customer information private. Take Verizon suing the RIAA. Yep, in a turn of events “Verizon sued the RIAA for citing the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (PDF) as a way to subpoena ISPs for the names of their subscribers.” (Wired.com, 2004). And for those who have highspeed access at home, work, or school, don’t worry too much about getting caught. While work and school most likely track who’s using what IP address at what time, those logs won’t stick around for long. It’s too much datajstorage for something too mundane to track. At home, if you have more than one computer connected to the internet, it’s almost impossible for the MPAA to determine what computer was used to download movies illegally without actually having access to the computer itself. And if you notice, I didn’t actually link to respectcopyrights dot org, this was done on purpose. As Verbal might say, “A litte FU from me to the MPAA.”

*Sigh*, I feel a wee bit better know. I know that was long, but it was worth it. In other news, I’m heading off to Colorado next week for 4 some days. I’ll be touring a few colleges, so expect some pictures when I get back. Perhaps the coolest part of the entire trip will be flying to Denver on a 777. I’m so excited!