[free-sklyarov] brainstorming

David Merrill david at lupercalia.net
Fri Aug 3 15:12:05 PDT 2001

On Fri, Aug 03, 2001 at 04:24:17AM -0700, Karsten M. Self wrote:
> 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.

You have a valid point. We need to show people how this technology
could affect their lives, and the things that are important to them.
Why not read from the Bible, the Constitution, and any other document
that is cherished by many Americans? Why do we have to read just one

> 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
> wor.

And many parents read to their children. Imagine how they will
react to finding out that it is illegal to read Harry Potter to their
five year old from an eBook? No more bedtime stories, Son. DMCA, you
understand. But we have to protect the publishing industry.

Dr. David C. Merrill                     http://www.lupercalia.net
Linux Documentation Project                   david at lupercalia.net
Collection Editor & Coordinator            http://www.linuxdoc.org

Free Dmitri Sklyarov!  http://www.freesklyarov.org
Washington DC Protests http://www.lupercalia.net/dmca

In Georgia in 1829 the penalty for teaching a slave or freedman to
read or write was set at $500 and jail at the discretion of the court.

In the USA in 1998 the penalty for giving readers Fair Use capabilities
illegally denied them was set at $500,000 and up to 5 years in prison.

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