[free-sklyarov] Another ebook "processor"

alfee cube sisgeek at yahoo.com
Thu Aug 16 12:55:10 PDT 2001

hey jeme,

i still like sonja's simple and less verbose
explanation of delicately balancing competing

can u amplify your logic of how copyright law has
anything whatsoever to do with natural law (rights)?

--- Jeme A Brelin <jeme at brelin.net> wrote:
> On Thu, 16 Aug 2001, Sonja V. Tideman wrote:
> > First of all, the opposition against laws such as
> the DMCA has nothing
> > to do with opposition to copyright in general.
> As I think I've said on this list before,
> Digital distribution
> Effective copyright protection
> Free speech
> Pick 2.
> Without the DMCA, we'd still have corporations
> encrypting their
> copyrighted work and distributing it with all kinds
> of "license
> restrictions" and fighting in civil rather than
> criminal court to suppress
> expression that they perceive to be detrimental to
> profit.  Those civil
> suits and the threat of civil suit would do as much
> to quell free speech
> as an outright ban.
> > Copyright is a delicate bargain.  The government
> creates a temporary
> > artificial monopoly on a creative work to allow
> the creator to gain a
> > profit.
> This is the propaganda of the copyright industry and
> an absolute lie.
> The public (through their agency, the government)
> restricts, for a limited
> time, the natural rights of the majority to
> distribute copies or
> derivatives of individual expressions of an idea and
> reserves those rights
> exclusively, for that same limited time, for the
> creator of the work AS
> Without publication, there is no impetus for the
> public to restrict its
> natural rights to distribute the expression. 
> Publication means making a
> work available to the public in a usable form. 
> Distribution via license
> or distribution of an encrypted version of an
> expression IS NOT
> PUBLICATION.  Unless the public retains ALL RIGHTS
> FOR THE AUTHOR, there is no publication.  If a
> publisher distributes a
> work that is specifically designed to prevent the
> public's exercise of
> their rights, there is no publication.
> The Berne Convention was a sort of treaty signed by
> the United States
> (among other nations) that contained ideas
> eventually expressed in the
> United States as a rewrite of the Copyright Act.  In
> particular, the Berne
> Convention requires signatory nations to protect
> copyright on unpublished
> expressions and removes the requirement of
> publication via registration of
> a copyrighted expression with the Library of
> Congress.  This is directly
> opposed to the Congressional mandate set forward in
> the Constitution to
> promote progress and directly opposed to the bargain
> struck between the
> public and authors.  The Berne Convention is another
> example of an
> industry, created by a public trust, using its
> influence to leverage and
> subvert the will and benefit of the public.
> The copyright bargain is one in which the public
> gets to use an expression
> and an author gets to ensure that the expression
> remains true to its
> intent.  These rights are reserved for only a
> limited time because it is
> the nature of expressions to evolve and it is to the
> public benefit and
> the progress of all mankind that expressions be
> allowed to
> evolve.  Eventually, it is necessary for the public
> to be able to digest
> and regurgitate the expression in other forms not
> approved by the
> author.
> It's important to note, I think, that the
> Constitution of the United
> States carefully states that the mandate of Congress
> is "to promote the
> progress of science and the useful arts" with
> appropriate legislation of a
> form that secures "the exclusive rights of authors
> and inventors to their
> respective writings and discoveries".  Modern
> copyright is only rarely
> used to protect the integrity of a scientific work. 
> Mostly, copyright is
> used to protect those practitioners of the fine
> arts.  It was wise and
> insightful of our forefathers to intentionally
> neglect the fine arts in
> their clause.  It is the nature of fine art to feed
> upon itself.  Fine art
> exists, some would argue, to reflect the culture and
> encourage other
> expression in that reflection.  A mirror can
> infringe copyright and fine
> art is a mirror.  If the fine arts (such as
> painting, poetry,
> non-scientific writing, and sculpture; as opposed to
> the useful arts, such
> as carpentry, smithery, and architecture) are not
> allowed to feed on each
> other in a cannibalistic way, it stagnates and
> becomes dreary or
> debauched.  This is the state of the modern fine
> arts, in my opinion.  And
> this state is perpetuated by and was originally
> brought into being as the
> natural outcome of the extension of copyright to the
> fine arts.
> To promote the progress of science and the useful
> arts, Authors and
> inventors are granted some exclusive rights to THEIR
> RESPECTIVE writings
> and discoveries.  This is very precise language to
> me.  It says two
> things:
> To promote science, (scientific) authors are granted
> exclusive rights to
> their writings.
> To promote the useful arts, inventors are granted
> exclusive rights to
> their discoveries.
> Those are the foundations of copyright and patent. 
> How far we've strayed!
> Authors are not granted exclusive rights to their
> discoveries... IDEAS
> cannot be copyrighted or patented, only particular
> expressions in writing.
> Inventors are not granted exclusive rights to the
> object, only their
> DISCOVERY.  Hence, independent discovery is still a
> right reserved by the
> public.
> > In return, the public gets the benefit of using,
> and eventually
> > gaining, that piece of work.
> This requires, I hope you see, that the work be
> presented to the public in
> a usable form.  An unusable form means that at least
> the first part of the
> bargain is not fulfilled.
> The unreasonably long periods of time in current
> copyright law mean that
> the public that grants these exclusive rights to
> authors will not be alive
> to reap the benefits and so that side of the bargain
> is not fulfilled
> either.
> > The key part of copyright, the nasty truth that
> everyone seems so
> > ready to forget, is that it is for the benefit of
> the public.  It is
> > NOT for the benefit of business, or even for the
> creators.
> When you state that copyright is there to allow for
> profit, you are
> implicitly relating copyright to business needs.
> Remember that copyright protects the individual
> pamphleteer as well.  And
> he is not writing for the sake of mere profit.
> > It, of course, hopes to enable the creators to
> profit from their work,
=== message truncated ===

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