[free-sklyarov] brainstorming

Karsten M. Self kmself at ix.netcom.com
Fri Aug 3 04:24:39 PDT 2001

on Fri, Aug 03, 2001 at 12:48:12AM -0700, Alex Fabrikant (alexf at hkn.eecs.berkeley.edu) wrote:
> On Fri, 3 Aug 2001, Benjamin Krueger wrote:
> > > The US Constitution is my own personal pick.  Or the Bible, which should
> > > score some points with the political conservatives.  
> >
> > The Bible is probably not a good choice. Most versions of the Bible are
> > Copywritten, not public domain. For the most part, they may be altered or
> > [...]
> Using the Bible will also alienate a substantial part of the group who are
> not Christian as well as the respective part of the observers to whom we
> are trying to deliver our message.

Well, there's a conflict here:  do we want a public domain work or one
that's copyrighted?  The Bible would fit either bill, it seems.

As for the Christian/non-Christian groupings, don't be too quick to lump
me into one category or the other.  While I'm not particularly
religious, I would suggest that the impact this work has with both
legislators and the public, particularly with a conservative
administration in Washington, shouldn't be underestimated.   Personally,
I'd prefer finding a good Old Testament passage (note OT shares much
with Judaism and Islam), possibly Ecclesiases.

Point being:  the Congressman or Senator who has to go home, face the
folks, and answer why it is that they could spend five years in jail for
reading the bible, is going to have some heat to deal with.  I'm not
suggesting this text for any other reason.

By all means pick additional texts, but this is a good one from a
political perspective.

> The US Constitution is a better pick, but still doesn't really satisfy
> the original intent since we are trying to show off the fact that
> we're making fair use of a COPYRIGHTED work by reading to others from
> a copyrighted book we bought. Last time I checked, the US Constitution
> wasn't too copyrighted (or so I should hope...).

There are a few different angles.  One is to make clear to people that
DMCA 1201 has absolutely nothing to do with copyright and absolutely
everything to do with access control.  Bible, Constitution, or other,
less loaded, traditional works, no longer copyrighted, would be a good
demonstration of this.

> Pick a recent children's book. Harry Potter or something similar which
> a large fraction of the population knows about, and which is still
> subject to copyright law. And then we can do the "50 people to commit
> a felony at high noon at __(place)__" pitch, too. I think this can be
> quite effective.

This hits the other side, which is to show that the rights people don't
even think about -- they just *are* -- with traditional media, no longer
exist.  But the message isn't quite so clear -- you're now dealing with
two concepts:  fair use, and access.  The first demonstration makes very
clear that there's something very wrong with the DMCA, regardless of the

Karsten M. Self <kmself at ix.netcom.com>            http://kmself.home.netcom.com/
 What part of "Gestalt" don't you understand?               There is no K5 cabal
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