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About this weblog
Here we'll explore the nexus of legal rulings, Capitol Hill policy-making, technical standards development, and technological innovation that creates -- and will recreate -- the networked world as we know it. Among the topics we'll touch on: intellectual property conflicts, technical architecture and innovation, the evolution of copyright, private vs. public interests in Net policy-making, lobbying and the law, and more.

Disclaimer: the opinions expressed in this weblog are those of the authors and not of their respective institutions.

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Copyfight, the Solo Years: April 2002-March 2004

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In the Pipeline: Don't miss Derek Lowe's excellent commentary on drug discovery and the pharma industry in general at In the Pipeline

Copyfight

« RIAA Goes After Store that Supports Music Sales | Main | GD gets its GIF Back, Patent-Free »

July 24, 2004

You Bought It. They Own It.

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Posted by

Rick Klau expresses the frustration that more and more of us will feel as the content industry begins to leverage the power it won through the broadcast flag mandate: "I understand NFL's concern about its product. But guess what? I pay them for their product. And I pay DirecTV. And TiVo. At what point have I paid enough people for the privilege of watching right to watch it when I want it?"

Good question. The broadcast flag allows copyright holders to take away your legitimate, personal uses, and they are perfectly capable of using that power to sell these uses back to you. The flag doesn't care about "first sale," "fair use," or any of that other stuff that copyright law traditionally allows. It listens to the signal embedded in a broadcast, not a judge. So you may *never* pay copyright holders enough to get reasonable, legal uses of digitally recorded programs. After all, it's not in their interest to stop you from paying -- again...and again...and again.

Comments (1) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: IP Markets and Monopolies


COMMENTS

1. Crosbie Fitch on July 25, 2004 6:21 AM writes...

So, if people haven't received a copy of the content (subject to copyright & fair use), what have they received?

It seems to me they've received a 'content relay', i.e. some device that relays, replays, or reproduces content in order for it to be performed to the purchaser.

So, the device is assuming responsibility (has authorisation) for any copies it produces.

Perhaps the purchaser may duplicate this device?

What protects the device from being adjusted in order to make it produce unlimited authorised copies? The DMCA? Which has the bigger penalty, DCMA infringement or Copyright infringement?

If the purchaser has not bought a copy, then they've got to determine precisely what they have bought and what they can do with it.

Things may be interesting from the content producer's point of view too, because they are no longer selling copies, but having their work performed. Might affect their royalties eh?

So, theoretically, anyone can take any artist's normal CD, encode it, put broadcast flag on it, and it can then be performed via an authorised decoder, which is included in a new package burnt on to a CD-ROM. One can then sell these CD-ROMs without infringing copyright, because one isn't providing the end user with a copy, but a performance. One just needs to pay a miniscule performance license.

You don't even need to do this via CD, you can do it within a file that can be shared via Kazaa. You are not distributing a copy remember, just a device that is able to perform and reperform a particular work.

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