[free-sklyarov] The Anti-DMCA Index -- Libraries, Ebooks and the DMCA

Jeme A Brelin jeme at brelin.net
Mon Aug 13 14:15:48 PDT 2001

On Mon, 13 Aug 2001, Christopher R. Maden wrote:
> Adobe allows publishers to explicitly enable or disable certain features.
> Therefore, the Reader did not enable the "read aloud" feature - i.e., the 
> feature was disabled.
> To make things worse, the notice of the disabled feature was very badly 
> worded. ("This book can not be read aloud.")
> One can certainly argue that Adobe's feature system is aggressively
> controlling, but the whole "read aloud" fiasco is not nearly as
> nefarious as it seemed at first.  Attacking it is setting up a
> strawman; better, I think, to stay focused on the real issues.

I disagree.

One only has to look at the features that can be enabled or disabled BY
PUBLISHERS (not authors... not even COPYRIGHT HOLDERS, whatever manner of
beast that may be) to notice that they're all inherent rights of fair use.

<URL: http://www.pigdogs.org/art/adobe.jpg >

Let's look at them.

* No text selections can be copied from this book to the clipboard.

Clearly this is an infringement of my fair use rights.  Copying of text
selection is protected free speech except in some cases based on INTENT
AND USE of the copied selection.  This makes no such distinction and is,
therefore, impinging.

* No printing is permitted of this book.

Media- and space-shifting have both been recognized as non-infringing
copying after first sale.

* This book cannot be lent or given to anyone else.

Clearly I have the right to loan something I own to someone else.

* This book cannot be given to someone else.

More absurdity.  If I own a thing, I can give it away... except in some
small cases of national security.  Surely no novel deserves such

* This book cannot be read aloud.

Yes, I know it's discussing a FEATURE of the eBook reader, but it's still
absolutely absurd.  What right does the PUBLISHER have to hinder my
ability to use accessibility software?  This is clearly
discrminatory.  Would it be possible to bring a suit against Adobe under
the Americans With Disabilities Act?  This feature is designed to prevent
access by the blind... except in a possible "enhanced" volue that will
surely cost more.

I understand the technical implications and difficulties inherent in
distributing digital media, enforcing copyright, and maintaining free
speech.  However, if there is a trade-off to be made, it is either the
enforcement of copyright or the distribution of digital media... Free
speech is by far the more sacred of the three.

Our choices as a society remain:

Digital media
Enforcable copyright
Free speech

Pick two.

     Jeme A Brelin
    jeme at brelin.net
 [cc] counter-copyright

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