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LimeWire to Block Copyrighted Work 295

Posted by Zonk
from the compliance dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Slyck is reporting that LimeWire is working on new code that will block non-licensed material. The new code checks to see if shared material is licensed, if it is not, the LimeWire client will politely inform the user, 'LimeWire can't determine if one or more files have been published under a suitable license. These files will not be shared.'" From the article: "Approximately 3 to 5 days ago, LimeWire developers began working on two new branches, cc_reverify_interval-branch and cc-publish-branch. The code in the first branch works to verify that every file shared has a license. If this is not the case, the file will not be shared. The second branch is for publishing one's own work without a license. According to the release notes, individuals can attach a Collective Commons license if the work is either their own or have permission to distribute the work ... According to a LimeWire beta tester who informed Slyck of this news, this feature is already complete. Developers are simply waiting for the signal to integrate these branches with the main branch, providing Mark Gorton, CEO of LimeWire, decides to go through with this."
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LimeWire to Block Copyrighted Work

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  • by Stormwatch (703920) <rodrigogirao@nosPAm.hotmail.com> on Sunday September 25, 2005 @07:33PM (#13647341) Homepage
    ...Limewire use will plummet.
    • Re:In other news... (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Tatarize (682683) on Sunday September 25, 2005 @07:35PM (#13647351) Homepage
      Well, what other P2P programs are there? This one is dead.
    • Perhaps in the short term. But perhaps in the future it will enable more companies and open source groups to use it as a primary distribution method. It is hard to be taken seriously when you say the only way to get your product is threw the Pirated Software channels.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 25, 2005 @08:10PM (#13647506)
      Is it just me, or have the slashdot articles been VERY frightening/depressing of late?

      Governments across the globe are getting more and more intrusive into everyone's private lives, and more and more cavalier about their violations of personal liberty and disregard for the dangers such violations create....with cheers of approval from people who "have nothing to hide." ...while at the same time our few remaining bastions of freedom are popping out of existence or compromising to the point of uselessness, all the while being cheered on by visionless people who honestly believe that this is a good thing...

      It makes me very sad.

      • by RLiegh (247921) * on Sunday September 25, 2005 @08:28PM (#13647570) Homepage Journal
        Is it just me, or have the slashdot articles been VERY frightening/depressing of late?

        Governments across the globe are getting more and more intrusive into everyone's private lives, and more and more cavalier about their violations of personal liberty and disregard for the dangers such violations create....with cheers of approval from people who "have nothing to hide." ...while at the same time our few remaining bastions of freedom are popping out of existence or compromising to the point of uselessness, all the while being cheered on by visionless people who honestly believe that this is a good thing...

        It makes me very sad.

        Nope, it's not just you; the world is seriously fucked, at least from a civil liberties/privacy perspective.

        The good news is that the pendulum will inevitably swing the other way; the bad news, of course, is that this won't be happening in our lifetime.
        • by Capt'n Hector (650760) on Sunday September 25, 2005 @09:13PM (#13647738)
          But the bad news is that the pendulum has a blade on its end, and is slowly but surely coming closer and closer to our collective body that is chained to the floor in a dark pit while ravenous rats tear away at our flesh. Poe had some incredible foresight, didn't he?
        • Nope, it's not just you; the world is seriously fucked, at least from a civil liberties/privacy perspective. The good news is that the pendulum will inevitably swing the other way; the bad news, of course, is that this won't be happening in our lifetime.

          Every 40 years or so the liberal youth rebel against the old conservative order and the adults shun the chaos, and radical new legislation is passed to do new wonderful things. It happened in the 1880s, the 1920s, the 1960s, and we're about due again. T

      • I'm afraid that you never had the freedom to trade copyrighted materials.

        What freedoms exactly are you losing? The only reason this will effect you is if you were using Limewire to download illegal materials. But then Slashdot says that P2P is used for legal trading, so what's the problem?

        This is nothing to do with the goverment, it's a private business doing something with their own software. Please put the tin-foil hats away.
        • "The only reason this will effect you is if you were using Limewire to download illegal materials."

          No. It will affect anyone who downloads perfectly legal material for which Limewire cannot find a valid license for. It now moves the state of legality in file-trading towards "guilty until proven innocent". If this becomes the norm, there will be a de facto requirement that all files come with some sort of license attached. In other words, it is a literal case of the "authorities" stating "Papers please

    • by TCQuad (537187) on Sunday September 25, 2005 @09:26PM (#13647778)
      Limewire use will plummet.

      I'm not so sure. The article says that the application will prevent *sharing* of files, but "sharing" is disabled by scanning files on the hard drive and marking some as illegitimate. But there's no mention of to-be-downloaded files, nor of other files on the Gnutella network. So it may *increase* usage in two ways:

      1) Parents allow children to download music off of Limewire since that music now "must be legal".

      2) The normal copyright infringers use Limewire to establish plausible deniability. Limewire filters illegal files and the files were downloaded from Limewire (albeit through the unfilitered Gnutella network or using files with publishing authorization that is forged), so the files must be legal and they can't be held accountable since they acted in good faith.

      In reality, this is just opening Limewire up to even more liability.
  • hmm. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by silverkniveshotmail. (713965) * <everettpf3@@@gmail...com> on Sunday September 25, 2005 @07:33PM (#13647342) Journal
    is there anything that prevents you as sharing "HALF LIFE 2 REALLY WORKS PLAYS ONLINE.EXE" as your own work though?
  • by rd4tech (711615) * on Sunday September 25, 2005 @07:36PM (#13647353)
    Looking at the idea from purely development standpoint, it seems that it fails to address:
    1. Other clients on the same network won't by default implement their solution
    2. One can still download files from other clients (how else can you determine if the content is legal?) and other networks

    Although this might be considered a victory for the other side, it seems that for any given victory there are 10 new file sharing programs out there.

    Furthermore, straight from their website:
    "If an individual shares an unlicensed MP3 file, the LimeWire client will display the following message and prevent its distribution:"
    How will the process go to determine if a mp3 file has a license?
    Maybe the only thing that this will achieve is destroy all filesharing of 'unlicensed' (READ: not the latest 'licensed'/paid/newest-format content) and destroy their client-base in the process too?
    • I don't believe it will stop the user from downloading anything, it will just limit what it will share.
    • The powerpoint presentation was a little murky at this point, the slide in question had the following:

      1) Read unknown filename and attributes

      2) ????

      3) Display error message

      4) Profit

      They are leaving it to the developers who spent 3 hours handwaving and making grand gestures whilst all the time crossing their toes and hoping they didn't get either fired or berated by the OSS community peers.
    • by Seumas (6865) on Sunday September 25, 2005 @07:47PM (#13647407)
      I don't know much about this, but how would someone go about making their music licensed, but still distributable? That is - how can they differentiate my part-time starving-artist band's MP3s that we gladly put up on all places that we can get mass distribution for people to download and share with absolutely no strings attached from, say, som RIAA riddled garbage?

      How will they differentiate between The Hunchback of Notre Dame and something that is not public domain and restrictive? How will they differentiate between a short story from a nobody author who is gladly sharing his work with the latest crappy Anne Rice eBook?

      And further, why should anyone have to? You should have to go out of your way to say "THIS IS MY WORK - IT HAS THESE CERTAIN RESTRICTIONS ON IT" versus "THIS IS MY WORK - DO WHATEVER YOU WANT WITH IT". I know this isn't how it legally goes, but come on. And if you're not the original author, how do you make available such a license and choose it? The dude who wrote Cinderella isn't alive anymore, so the story of cinderella can't be shared, since there's not necessarily a license on any work from it I might use?

      Is this where the future is headed? Everyone must license every single thing they ever play, write, direct, say - whatever? Every creative work MUST have a license or it will become unusable and unsharable? Shoudn't the onus be on the person who wants to leverage the restrictive licenses on their works to do so? Why should I have to go through the trouble of using some digital licensing scheme just to put out something for free that a billion dollar industry has to go through to make money? It seems the hard work should be theirs - not mine.

      Oh - and how much is it going to cost to implement some sort of digital scannable license, I wonder?
      • by JediLow (831100) on Sunday September 25, 2005 @07:52PM (#13647430)
        I remember my sister (an indie artist, http://www.dawnxianamoon.com [dawnxianamoon.com] telling me the problems that Windows Media Player was giving her with her CD one time... if I remember correctly she tried to burn it or something - in turn it yelled at her about not having a license for the CD.

        Consider the impact this can have on the indie artists... and those artists who try to have their music publically available (quite a few do exist) - how are they supposed to get a license so that the music can be shared? What standard does LimeWire plan to use in order to implement the license use?

      • by Stinking Pig (45860) on Sunday September 25, 2005 @08:06PM (#13647488) Homepage
        "Is this where the future is headed? Everyone must license every single thing they ever play, write, direct, say - whatever? Every creative work MUST have a license or it will become unusable and unsharable?"

        Yes. So fight the rearguard action here (http://www.eff.org/ [eff.org] and subvert the new order here (http://www.creativecommons.org./ [www.creativecommons.org]

        Neither is going to take more time than typing that missive did.
      • And further, why should anyone have to? You should have to go out of your way to say "THIS IS MY WORK - IT HAS THESE CERTAIN RESTRICTIONS ON IT"

        For what it's worth, this is line with modern Copyright law. Starting in 1886 (due the Berne Convention [wikipedia.org]), copyrights were automatic. It's not specific to P2P programs... if you post something on the web, or write it in a letter, you have to go out of your way to say "this is in the public domain" or "this is free for non-commercial use".

        Granted, the internet

      • I don't know much about this, but how would someone go about making their music licensed, but still distributable?

        For one thing, you'd have to hire a musicologist and get some composer liability insurance [musicproinsurance.com] against nuisance lawsuits alleging subconscious copying [slashdot.org].

        How will they differentiate between The Hunchback of Notre Dame and something that is not public domain and restrictive?

        Walt Disney Pictures' animated film The Hunchback of Notre Dame is copyrighted. English translations of Victor Hugo's nov

    • "How will the process go to determine if a mp3 file has a license?"

      Wouldn't they just look it up on the internet database that lists the album info etc? (Sorry, I forget the acronymn.)

      In any event, even if it is easily thrwartable, the plus side to this is that they would end up with ammo to use against the RIAA. Maybe I'm just too optimistic or ignorant, but I have difficulty imagining the RIAA being able to shut them down if they're actively working to block content they can verify. It potentially takes
    • So isn't this just going to cause loads of files with bogus creative commons tags to be released into the ether?
  • not a bad idea (Score:5, Insightful)

    by wes33 (698200) on Sunday September 25, 2005 @07:37PM (#13647355)
    I assume that anybody can declare a file shareable. But the *user* is the one who has to make this declaration.
    This means LimeWire is not encouraging nor participating in violation of copyright.
    Thus Limewire hopes to survive the lawsuits to come.
    • I agree... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by IronTeardrop (913955) on Sunday September 25, 2005 @07:43PM (#13647390)
      ...they are protecting themselves. Fair enough. What remains to be seen is if LimeWire will provide the RIAA (or other thugs) with personal information of the people sharing files (if they even have that, I'm not familiar with their architecture).
      • If anything they're presenting the RIAA with a means of first suing everybody on the network and then suing the sh*t out of LimeWire for allowing their "secure" system to easily be compromised. It's an admission of guilt that they need the "safeguard" in the first place. The only other scenario is that they have or will have a deal with the RIAA to be the authorized "legal" P2P client, but this seems far fetched at present.
    • I assume that anybody can declare a file shareable. But the *user* is the one who has to make this declaration.
      This means LimeWire is not encouraging nor participating in violation of copyright.
      Thus Limewire hopes to survive the lawsuits to come.
      Actually it probably will open them up to better attack. By adding in code to prevent sharing of unlicensed material but allowing each user to decide on licensing now the RIAA can (quite rightfully) say they have the ability to block their works from being sh
  • Ok, and (Score:5, Insightful)

    by hungrygrue (872970) on Sunday September 25, 2005 @07:37PM (#13647356) Homepage
    what does this really mean? Limewire is just a gnutella client. If it suddenly refuses to work, users will just grab another client and use that instead. "apt-get install gtk-gnutella" Wow, that was really hard.
    • Re:Ok, and (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Internet_Communist (592634) on Sunday September 25, 2005 @07:50PM (#13647426) Homepage
      I'm glad someone said this. I can't believe how many people don't realize that limewire is just a gnutella client. There is plenty of good gnutella clients for both linux and windows. I personally use gtk-gnutella, which you've mentioned, however on windows there's things like Shareaza, among others.

      So yeah, if limewire wants to commit suicide, let them be my guest...
    • and Open Source (Score:3, Insightful)

      by cgenman (325138)
      More importantly, Limewire is Open Source! [limewire.org] If you don't like the new restrictions, just set "Is_Licensed = 1;" If past performance is any indication, within hours of this change we will see a "Limewire Lite" that is completley DRM free.

      So people can go to other networks, or can go to other clients on the same network, or can just tweak the client. This seems a bit silly. The only thing I can see this doing is driving people from the official LimeWire client to unofficial ones, ensuring that the people w
  • by camusflage (65105) on Sunday September 25, 2005 @07:37PM (#13647359)
    Sorry, but as soon as this goes out, faster than you can say "Arrrrrr, Matey", someone is going to publish a patched version that removes this. Welcome to the world of OSS: If you don't like it, compile it yourself.
  • Switch Networks (Score:4, Interesting)

    by mystic_mushroom (907924) on Sunday September 25, 2005 @07:38PM (#13647363)
    This seems like an effort in futility. With all the networks out there and only Limewire doing this people will just switch products. And if all the commerical networks start doing this then an OSS alternative will just take it's place. Check out http://gift.sourceforge.net/ [sourceforge.net]
  • yawn (Score:5, Informative)

    by cow_licker (172474) on Sunday September 25, 2005 @07:38PM (#13647366)
    Limewire pro already pops up a message saying it can't determine if a file is licensed or not and if you still want to download. Click yes and the checkbox that says "always use this answer" and you'll never see it again.

    Also here's [limewire.org] the source. Go build your own without this 'feature'.
  • by Sv-Manowar (772313) on Sunday September 25, 2005 @07:39PM (#13647371) Homepage Journal
    The legal repercussions of Limewire giving up the fight for open p2p and enforcing explicit licence checks on files are what's most important here, the fact that the supreme court have muddied the waters enough to start working against p2p developers again. The fact that Limewire itself has these blocks in place is more of a liability reduction move than anything else, as due to Limewire's open source nature an anonymous coder or two can go through and make non-official versions of the program that do not honor these checks. Obviously Limewire themselves cannot be held accountable for versions of the code produced by unrelated users, and the arms race begins for them to track the creators of modified versions.
    • Limewire doesn't have to do this to avoid trouble under the recent Supreme Court ruling. SCOTUS found that the two companies could still be held accountable for some of the infringement because they encouraged it in their marketing. If Limewire's not been encouraging downloads of illegal songs with their client they should be fine. If they have they're already screwed and this is unlikely to help much.
  • by scenestar (828656)
    The RIAA has been sueing companies that SELL p2p apps.

    What about projects like shareaza?

    are hundreds of OS contributers going to get a suppoena too?
    • Hmm, the real question is, would Shareaza be able to come under the same fire as Limewire? After all, Shareaza is fully free, while Limewire has a version you can pay for.
  • LimeWire Usage Drops Precipitously


    * "Future" = two weeks after this is implemented
  • I help a friend of mine with his band’s music [theplasticinfinity.com]. So far I’ve run into DVDs of their performance that neither of us could rip the MPEG from, and now it looks like it may be tough to share his music on LimeWire, even though he likes the idea (as a LimeWire user himself) and I have explicit permission, he’s not gonna wanna release his entire album under a CC license (although he is considering it for a few tracks with the hope of getting them used in independent films).

    I guess LimeWire feels th
  • Message (Score:4, Funny)

    by freaktheclown (826263) on Sunday September 25, 2005 @07:44PM (#13647393)
    the LimeWire client will politely inform the user, 'LimeWire can't determine if one or more files have been published under a suitable license. These files will not be shared.'"
    As opposed to the RIAA's original suggestion: "ALERT! ALERT! You are engaging in CRIMINAL ACTIVITY! Stop now or we'll sue you for everything you've got!"
  • by numatrix (242325) on Sunday September 25, 2005 @07:46PM (#13647402)
    "Collective commons?"

    What's that, like the creative commons, but by the Borg?

    (For the record, 2 seconds of search the article shows it was indeed supposed to be creative commons.)
  • by The Real Nem (793299) on Sunday September 25, 2005 @07:46PM (#13647404) Homepage

    LimeWire is open source, it'll fork...

    Every time they release a new version of LimeWire there is a "cracked" pro version within days. Why? Because you don't even need to "crack" it, it's open source, you can just d/l the source and remove the "features" you don't want.

  • by FellowConspirator (882908) on Sunday September 25, 2005 @07:47PM (#13647409)
    That is to say that licenses are tied to individuals, rather than works. I may have a license for a tune where my neighbor may not.

    The system cannot know if I have a license. Moreover, if I do put a work up for distribution, there's the problem that they have to take my word for it that I have not lied about the terms under which I am distributing it.

    Also, typically licenses can also be dependent on the type of use. How are they to know how I am using something I downloaded? In many cases, it may not be immediately clear if distribution in this manner is permissible...

    Sure, they are trying to cover their collective butts, but from what? There's no reason to believe that such a superficial system that doesn't mirror any material aspect of copyright law is going to be considered due diligence in policing themselves.
    • There's no reason to believe that such a superficial system that doesn't mirror any material aspect of copyright law is going to be considered due diligence in policing themselves.
      The RIAA's legal threats and press releases don't mirror any material aspect of copyright law, either, but that doesn't seem to bother them.
  • by elgaard (81259) <elgaard@@@agol...dk> on Sunday September 25, 2005 @07:47PM (#13647410) Homepage
    Is thousands of files with fake Creative Commons licence-tags floating the internet.
  • Shouldn't the title be "LimeWire may Block Copyrighted Work"? These branches haven't been committed to the main trunk, after all.

    I guess it is a slow news day....
  • This prevents *sharing* copyrighted works, not downloading them. If anything, it protects the average user from becoming the target of lawsuits.

    It doesn't change what's available on the network. If download times go up because fewer newbies commit accidental copyright violation, so be it. Anyone who thinks that's a bad thing is no better than a malware author exploiting the average clueless user.
  • FBI: Do you have permission from the National Football League and the American Broadcasting Company to record this viewing of Monday Night Football? Peter: Ummm. I only have permission from ABC.
  • by timeToy (643583) on Sunday September 25, 2005 @07:59PM (#13647465)
    In the long run no P2P application companies will the able to survive the RIAA/MPAA pressure, LimeWire, eDonkey and the others "commercial" P2P will have to go. But that is by no mean the end of P2P, Open Source client like eMule and for sure Open-from-the-start protocols like Bittorent are going to be the long run winner of the "underground" P2P community.
    On the other hand P2P as a distribution system for legit purpose is gaining massive momentum, just look at Red Swoosh, iFilm and IGN.com are using it and the download speed are impressive, without hogging you connection like BT will do.
    Bottom line, this move is just a trick to try to survive a little longer from LimeWire, too bad it is going to backfire...
  • What is this "Collective Commons"?
    • When's the last time you heard someone on Slashdot say, "Oh, you're right..."?
      Now that you mention it, I think it was shortly after I said something along the lines of: "Micro$oft sucks teh donkey balls." :)
  • the Courage - Sincere Mistake
    BetaVille - Giant in Tokyo
    Deleture - Like to dislike you
    False Medicine - Special J
    The Cops - Every inhale you take
    ... and so on...

    Filenames may vary.
  • Open Source (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    In case people don't know, LimeWire is open source... http://sourceforge.net/projects/openwire [sourceforge.net]
  • Child Pornography (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Namronorman (901664) on Sunday September 25, 2005 @08:11PM (#13647511)
    Perhaps the creators of Limewire should focus more on preventing the sharing of photographs and videos that exploit small children instead of going Lordy Lordy over copyrighted music.

    If they spent the same amount of time preventing Child pornography instead of music that is under RIAA's domain... well, I'm sure you get my point. What I'd like to know is why is the country that I live in more concerned about someone downloading copyrighted music than child pornography?

    I know people are arrested all of the time for it, but music makes more news, it's kind of sad I think.
  • I don't know how they plan on doing this...considering Limewire is released under the GPL.

    From /usr/lib/LimeWire/SOURCE on my Linux machine:

    -------------

    The LimeWire source code can be obtained from the LimeWire open source
    development site at www.limewire.org. The source code can be easily
    accessed at: http://gui.limewire.org/servlets/ProjectSource [limewire.org].

    Thank you for your interest in LimeWire!

    -LimeWire Team

    -----------

    The COPYING file in the same directory contains a copy of the GNU GPL v 2.

    So, considering Limewi
  • by SumDog (466607) on Sunday September 25, 2005 @08:20PM (#13647545) Homepage Journal
    I download most of my stuff using bitorrent these days and haven't touched Gnutella in a long time, although Limewire was my favorite client for Linux. A few months back I would use it from time to time to grab a song I heard on the radio. I just remember it being filled with lots of endless loops, blank files and songs with random glitches placed it and distributed by publisher groups.

    There is so much music out there in single serving format (I still think they should have $1 CD downloads..Britney Spears..yea her CDs would be worth about a dollar). Although the DRM stuff is annoying, at least it shows that the music industry is trying to adapt to what consumers really want.

    Gnutella protocols are really goind the way of the casual user who used their machine to browse the internet, use e-mail, download porn and play video games. They're more than happy to pay 99 cents (or however much it's gone up to now) to download DRMed music.

    The true people who copy tons of illegal software and copyrighted music will move on to Bittorrent or continuing using usenet and irc fservs. They'll be the next target for the RIAA of course, but stuff keeps moving fast enough that nerds, audiophiles and the such will be a few steps ahead of them.

    On to other ramblings...

  • The new code checks to see if shared material is licensed, if it is not, the LimeWire client will politely inform the user, 'LimeWire can't determine if one or more files have been published under a suitable license. These files will not be shared.'
    So no public-domain material can be distributed via Limewire.

    Hint: not everything needs a license.
  • Is the last gasp of the Enlightenment. Will the last person please knock the rust off the switch and turn out the lights.
  • by mattgreen (701203) on Sunday September 25, 2005 @08:52PM (#13647652)
    Assuming this does what it advertises, I don't see how this poses a problem. Everyone knows that P2P is mostly used for swapping music by independent artists, as well as large, legal files such as Linux distributions. It isn't a problem to tag these files appropriately.
    • Everyone knows that P2P is mostly used for swapping music by independent artists, as well as large, legal files such as Linux distributions.

      Um...I think I speak on behalf of everyone when I say "wtf?" Show me that data you have to support your statement.

  • What is so difficult to understand about: "The Genie is out of the bottle." ?!

    These companies/products can try and try to force DRM onto people, but unless people elect to use it, they will fail.

    I buy music on iTunes because it's legal/guilt-free, and affordable (and because I can afford to buy music these days).

    The only people that pirate music are high-school kids that can't afford to buy music. The record labels are crying because they can no longer take advantage of these kids. Adults still purchase
  • by stwrtpj (518864) <p,stewart&comcast,net> on Sunday September 25, 2005 @09:11PM (#13647730) Journal
    Nobody panic. This is CYA, pure and simple. If the RIAA comes knocking at their door, the project can claim that they dutifully changed the code to reject sharing of unlicensed works.

    RIAA: But look, we found these modified versions that bypass it!
    LimeWire: Sorry, man, that's not our code. Go yell at them, not us.

    Or if you prefer a more geekoid version:

    LimeWire (waves hand): This is not the code you are looking for.
    RIAA: This is not the code we are looking for.
    LimeWire: Our code is clean
    RIAA: Their code is clean.
    LimeWire: Move along
    RIAA: Move along

    • RIAA: You think you're some kind of Jedi? I'm a Lawyer, mind tricks don't work on me. Only money.

    • Or the John Cheesified [pointlesswasteoftime.com] version:

      LimeWire (waves hand): This is not the code you are looking for.
      RIAA: This is not the code we are looking for.
      LimeWire: Our code is clean
      RIAA: Their code is clean.
      LimeWire: Strip each other naked in the town square and scream 'I'M MADONNA, I'M MADONNA!'
      RIAA: Uh... We were kinda planning on doing that anyway...

      Note: John Cheese & above animation are NSW; John Cheese may cause serious brain damage!
  • What doofus wrote that headline? I seriously doubt that LimeWire intends to block all works on which the copyright has expired. Hint: copyright is automatic and compulsory.
  • by Snaller (147050)
    ...everybody just attach a Collective Commons license to what ever they share and Limewire are off the hook when its actually the latest Harry Potter film?
  • Gee, if they don't want people to use Limewire why don't they just stop making it?
  • by Haiku 4 U (580059) on Sunday September 25, 2005 @09:34PM (#13647816)
    Everyone will put
    CC on all things shared, and
    taint CC's license.

    You will hear the cry
    from the RIAA, "You
    see? CC's for thieves!"

  • by hernick (63550) on Monday September 26, 2005 @03:20AM (#13648962)
    Read carefully. Limewire users will still be able to download anything they want off the Gnutella network. However, Limewire will not SHARE copyrighted files, transforming it as the uber-leech client. Use Limewire to download copyrighted files, but never share them back. This protects the user and makes him safer from prosection, hence encouraging him to pay for the Limewire Pro registration.

    Now, this will work because Gnutella is an open network, with many clients. A commercial leech client like the new Limewire will drain some ressources off the network, and in time, other clients may adapt to detect the newer Limewire versions, at which point Limewire will fight back...

    But remember: Limewire may well be evil.
  • by el_womble (779715) on Monday September 26, 2005 @06:01AM (#13649310) Homepage
    Hypothetical 1: A child draws a picture of Nemo. Its pretty good and their parents are so proud that they scan it and distribute it to all their friends and family, and put it on a public site so that anyone can look at it, if they choose. Is that copyright infringement? I would have thought it would have been concidered a derivative work - as it was an original work inspired by a copyrighted object.

    Hypothetical 2: A /. reader is messing about in Lisp and creates an AI that can interpret a conventional image and then reproduce a derivative work that looks similar. The /. reader is so proud, that he places a few of these images on /. Is that a copyright infringement?

    Hypothetical 3: As the /. readers code was GPL, a few uber geeks get together and modify the code so that it creates near perfect derivative works. If you look closley you can see that the image is nothing like the original, but within human contraints it would be concidered almost the same. They quickly realise that this method creates files substancially smaller than the original, and even though they are not copies, those who didn't study compression technologies wouldn't really be inclined to notice a difference. The files are clearly marked as genereated by this program and distributed for free. Nobody is claiming that they are copies, they arn't they are inspired works of art and distributed under the creative commons licence. Is that copyright infringement?

    Hypothetical 4: Joe Cracker rips a DVD, removes the CSS and Macrovision and decides to create a private members website that charges $10 a year to access on an all you can eat download basis. Other that removing the encryption no work is done the file and it is essentially the same as it was when it was sold on Amazon. Now thats got to copyright infringement, right?

    This is a /. post so its not exactly a well positioned argument, but I think it shows a clear progression and abuse of the copyright law. I'm not convinced that the use of a lossy compression algorithm on copyrighted works could be concidered anything other than a synopsis of that work - if that. If you compared an MPEG2 to a DivX and H.264 created from that stream would even a single line of the source code be the same? And does the derived file have any value without an interpretor?

    I'd be interested to here what you think.

Life would be so much easier if we could just look at the source code. -- Dave Olson

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