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Uncle Sam Finally Wants To Hear From Us On Digital Copyright Law? 183

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the but-not-you dept.
NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "Can it be true? The US government claims it really wants to hear from us on the subject of how copyright law needs to be modified to accommodate the developing technology of the digital age? I don't know, but the US Patent & Trademark Office (which btw has nothing to do with administering copyright) says 'we really want to hear from you' and the Department of Commerce Internet Policy Task Force wrote a 122-page paper (PDF) on the subject, so they must really mean it, right? But I couldn't find the address to which to send my comments, so maybe that was an oversight on their part."
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Uncle Sam Finally Wants To Hear From Us On Digital Copyright Law?

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  • Don't do it! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Ol Olsoc (1175323) on Tuesday August 20, 2013 @05:15AM (#44615877)
    It's a trap!
    • Re:Don't do it! (Score:5, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 20, 2013 @05:43AM (#44615953)

      So I went and said something anyway. All I got was:

      Your comment was marked as spam and will not be displayed.

      It apparently was too wordy. Their attention span doesn't last past 1000 characters, when the question is 122 pages to start with.

      • by mcgrew (92797) *

        tl;dr I guess (for them). They don't care what we think or pot would be legal. They just want us to believe they do.

        • Pot is becoming legal in parts of the US. It's legal in some other countries. It just takes a while for a country to react to its people's wishes.

          • by Mashdar (876825)

            Marijuanna is still illegal everywhere in the USA by federal law, and the DEA (federal agency) performs raids and busts on otherwise licensed, tax paying, and law abiding operations.

            Calling marijuanna a Schedule I drug in the first place is a joke. Funny, since it was in the pharmicopia prior to prohibition (Schedule I drugs are supposed to have no recognized medical value), and is impossible to overdose... For reference, heroin is classified Schedule I, but cocaine and meth are only Schedule II.

            DOJ/DEA way

            • Yeah, I remember reading about how the paper industry was, among others, instrumental in getting maryjane prohibited in the US. Because the same plant is such an excellent alternative to dead wood, presumably.

              In pharma, I think it is fair to say that cocaine might have medicinal uses -- but the industry would much prefer we use their expensive synthesized surrogates. For heroin/morphine though, I don't think anyone actually has an alternative which even comes close to being a serious substitute. So, are you

              • by Mashdar (876825)

                I pulled from the USA Department of Justice website:
                http://www.justice.gov/dea/druginfo/ds.shtml [justice.gov]

                It's a strange system set more for political reasons than science or fact. Helps keep our racial minorities in jail...

                • Wow, that's even more f'ed up than I thought. Any system in which mj and mdma are deemed *more* dangerous than crystal meth has serious issues.

              • by b4dc0d3r (1268512)

                Pharma conspiracy nutters. Heroin has never been prescribed, nor has marijuana. Therefore no recognized medical use, as of when they were classified. The AMA was asked specifically, and their representative said flatly yes, schedule 1.

                Natural marijuana is not consistent in its potency nor makeup, and only a few cannabinoids are understood. It makes sense to make marinol less restricted, according to the classification system.

                Not agreeing or disagreeing, just answering.

                • I was (as many are apparently) mistaken in the paper industry - marihuana connection. Heard it somewhere, sounded credible enough at the time. Thank you, learned something new today. Though if this article [alternet.org] is accurate, the paper connection would have been less ugly...

                  I guess I might have conflated heroin and morphine, for both being opiates doesn't mean they are classified the same way of course. The latter clearly has medicinal use. Medicinal use of marihuana might, as you suggest, not be entirely understo

                  • by Rockoon (1252108)

                    I was (as many are apparently) mistaken in the paper industry - marihuana connection.

                    Seems obvious since it would be the lumber industry and other industries related to the ability to reduce lumber to a suitable pulp (the raw material producers), not the paper industry, that has a stake in tree chopping.

                • Re:Don't do it! (Score:4, Informative)

                  by tragedy (27079) on Tuesday August 20, 2013 @12:17PM (#44619729)

                  Pharma conspiracy nutters. Heroin has never been prescribed, nor has marijuana.

                  You might be correct, but only because prescriptions weren't required for them at the time. I should point you to this article [businessinsider.com]. I has some interesting pictures of ads for heroin, mostly for children. I'm not sure if I should be typing "Heroin (R)" since it was a registered Bayer trademark, but they've let it lapse, plus the term has become a generic, so I don't think I need to.

                • by sjames (1099)

                  Heroine was developed specifically for prescription use and is still in use today [wikipedia.org] but is typically referred to as diacetylmorphine.

              • by Ol Olsoc (1175323)

                .

                In pharma, I think it is fair to say that cocaine might have medicinal uses -- but the industry would much prefer we use their expensive synthesized surrogates.

                You are correct on both counts. Cocaine is used in some cases where you need a combination of anesthesia and vasoconstriction, places around the head and neck, and especially the eye and nasal area.

              • by geekoid (135745)

                "Because the same plant is such an excellent alternative to dead wood, presumably."
                because the lumber tycoon could grow and corner papr making with Marijuana?

                Please.

                That's the same logical nonsense as 'Phram doesn't wna ti to be legal' or 'Tovbaccoa doesn't want it to be legal'.

                Those industries and entrenched companies would make a lot of money.

                Well tobacco would, there is no Good evidence of medicinal success vie smoking marijuana.
                Medicinal being healing properties; which is different then something that a

        • by Joce640k (829181)

          They're just trying to distract us from the NSA thing...

        • by geekoid (135745)

          Many people in the US don't want pot to be legal.
          Don't think you are a majority.

          This, in no way, reflects a view on the subject. If you think it does, you are projecting.

          • by mcgrew (92797) *

            Check the polls, 52% want it legal. The numbers have been steadily rising for 40 years, in 1969 it was 13% and 33% just ten years ago.

            Here's a bunch of links. [google.com]

      • by Hatta (162192)

        Here's my comment:

        Abolish copyright. Supply and demand make copyright completely unworkable in the digital age. When the marginal cost of a good is zero, the marginal price of that good will be zero. You cannot legislate around basic laws of economics. It's time for artists to find other ways to monetize their time and skills.
        The only alternative to aboliton of copyright will be a war on copyright infringement that will destroy our liberties. And the copyright hawks will still lose, just like they lost

    • Absolutely! I trust the government to put my best interests first. They genuinely want to hear from people on this issue.

      In completely unrelated, totally not relevant news, the NSA just found out about the hundred flowers campaign [wikipedia.org], which I support. I mean, hundreds of flowers? That can't be bad in ANY way.

      The government believes, and I quote, that "The policy of letting a hundred flowers bloom and a hundred schools of thought contend is designed to promote the flourishing of the arts and the progress of science".
      • by TWiTfan (2887093)

        They do want to hear from "the people." They just happen to define "the people" are corporations, wealthy individuals, and big campaign donors.

      • by jc42 (318812)

        ... the NSA just found out about the hundred flowers campaign, ...

        We now have well over 100 flowers blooming in our (average-size, suburban) yard. Should be be worried that the NSA are monitoring our gardening?

        But the daylilies are nearly done; I've started to cut down the not-very-attractive stems that they've left behind. I wonder if the NSA has recorded this behavior. We were also wishing we'd kept records of when our various perennials bloomed, so we could see what effect the climate change has had on our yard. Maybe we should ask the NSA for that information.

      • by Hatta (162192)

        It's a little strange that this post has been up since August 9th and there are only 4 comments on it. Has no one noticed this post until now, or are 99% of comments deleted?

        • It was posted late last night (8/19) or early this morning (8/20)
          • by Hatta (162192)

            I meant the USPTO blog post, not yours. The USPTO blog post is dated "Friday Aug 09, 2013" with comments from the 9th, 10th, and 11th.

            I'm guessing it's just been poorly publicized until now. But we'll see if any of our comments show up on uspto.gov.

      • by geekoid (135745)

        And that's why I hate the term 'The Government'.
        NSA and USPTO are completely different thing, run by different people.

        IT's the same argument that says an entire group of people should be killed/stopped because a few did something we don't like.,

        the amount of 'abuse' by the NSA compared to the amount of clearly legal searches they do is tiny. They do 100s of millions of 'searchs', and 22,000 were either questionable or out and out wrong.

        That's actual a good ratio.

        The varies agency within the US Government ha

    • by ibwolf (126465)

      It's a trap!

      Indeed. I suspect that what they really want is to be able to say that they consulted the public without it being a bald-faced lie. That fact the only public input they may use is one they already agreed with will not be mentioned.

    • Dear Uncle Sam, here are my thoughts on DCL: please put your head between your legs... and kiss your fat ass goodbye!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 20, 2013 @05:26AM (#44615903)

    Just like in the recent Obama said in his speech about NSA operations, the government is really concerned about public opinion and very much wants to know the best way to make you comfortable getting screwed. After all, people being uncomfortable with getting screwed is the biggest impediment in a democracy for advancing to the next level of screwing them over. So your feedback is important to them.

    • by gigaherz (2653757)
      Democracy is all about choosing who, and how, screws you over, so that the country can function, and the politicians can get rich.
      • by Thanshin (1188877)

        The system isn't made to make rich the politicians, but their masters. The politicians are just the executive arm of the very rich and get paid for obeying.

    • Maybe they should just ask Kim Dotcom for input . . . ?

      The government has outsourced copyright law policy making to Hollywood.

      • by c0lo (1497653)

        The government has outsourced copyright law policy making to Hollywood.

        Clueless as usual; this instead of keeping jobs in US and outsource law making to China and India.

    • by AmiMoJo (196126) * <mojo@@@world3...net> on Tuesday August 20, 2013 @06:22AM (#44616075) Homepage

      We need to start hacking the political system. Politicians already do it with their spin doctors, but we can do the same to fight back.

      It's about controlling the narrative. We need to find ways of making it almost impossible to argue against our point of view. Making a convincing case is not enough, we need to make it impossible for anyone else to oppose it.

      Think about the way terrorism and children are exploited to this end. No-one can be against safety from evil terrorists. You are either with us or against us, nonsense like that. No-one can be against child safety either, or for greater sexualization of children, or on the side of child molesters.

      We need something along those lines, and we need to make it the narrative, the frame for every debate.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        You'd think the millions we blow on this crap while not even providing proper universal healthcare would be enough, we fight boogymen while people die right now due to lack of medical treatment.

      • by c0lo (1497653)

        We need to start hacking the political system.

        Careful with that axe, Eugene.
        (hint: when dealing with psychopaths, any other kind of hacking will fail. Can't reason with them, their empathy buttons are jammed, they only hear what's justifying them in their own eyes... but will listen to fear).

      • by mcgrew (92797) *

        Only one problem: They control the mainstream media. There's no way to out shout them.

        • by booch (4157)

          If by "mainstream media", you mean the "liberal lamestream media" and the "right wingnut media" -- then yes -- they control both of those.

      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        We need to find ways of making it almost impossible to argue against our point of view.

        Great. When you figure out how to control the media, get back to us.

        In fact, it will eventually become impossible to argue against our point of view. Everyone dies eventually.

        We need something along those lines, and we need to make it the narrative, the frame for every debate.

        You cannot do that without controlling the media. So now we're back at the top of the flowchart.

        You're not going to win using their tactics on their battlefield. Sorry.

      • Perhaps you can start a counter-lobbying kickstarter project :)

        Or start your own counter-lobbying initiative.

      • Copyright used by Hoarders who value profits above all else.
        Copyleft used by those who believe Culture is worth freely sharing.

    • by c0lo (1497653)

      Just like in the recent Obama said in his speech about NSA operations, the government is really concerned about public opinion and very much wants to know the best way to make you comfortable getting screwed. After all, people being uncomfortable with getting screwed is the biggest impediment in a democracy for advancing to the next level of screwing them over. So your feedback is important to them.

      Nothing new [whitehouse.gov]. Nothing to indicate the results will be different either.

  • by gigaherz (2653757) on Tuesday August 20, 2013 @05:32AM (#44615933)
    Another one of those articles with question-titles that can be answered with a simple "No."?
  • by nimbius (983462) on Tuesday August 20, 2013 @05:52AM (#44615979) Homepage
    Is the government so up-to-its-tits in lobbyists it cant complete a single google search without a campaign contribution? Here are a few license models that might work for some, hell in fact all, digital media in the 21st century.
    BSD
    GPL
    copyleft
    LGPL3
    MIT
    Creative Commons
    the list goes on but at no point does it include the whistling clown-car that is DMCA or the iron boot of DRM. copyright in the 21st century is premised on the idea that expiration encourages innovation and that on some level, we all benefit and advance greatly from sharing as opposed to consolidating the knowledge and power amongst a cloistered few. yeah, its a radical departure for some but discourages cashcowing a product or franchising something to death (the Matrix series anyone?)
    • by JaredOfEuropa (526365) on Tuesday August 20, 2013 @06:43AM (#44616135) Journal
      This is about copyright, i.e. ownership of a work, not the licensing models. The main issues seem to be the duration of that ownership (which is pretty much defined as being as long as necessary for keeping Mickey Mouse out of the public domain), and the penalties for violating copyright law. Changing copyright law would affect those Open licenses as well: if we reduce the duration of intellectual ownership to a term of 20 years, then works released under BSD, GPL, CC etc would revert to the public domain after 20 years as well (free them up for commercial use and removing the requirement of attribution, for instance)
      • Put all the laws back to what they were (28years) and grant Disney an indefinite heritage copyright for their top three things for every year they don't lobby.
      • by ibwolf (126465) on Tuesday August 20, 2013 @07:39AM (#44616331)

        if we reduce the duration of intellectual ownership to a term of 20 years, then works released under BSD, GPL, CC etc would revert to the public domain after 20 years as well (free them up for commercial use and removing the requirement of attribution, for instance)

        And this would be bad how exactly?

        If some company wants to take 20 year old FOSS code and build something on top of it that they can sell, more power to them. Note that they wont be able to incorporate ANY updates made to that code base in the last 20 years, so it is not as if any software project that began more than 20 years will become public domain, just he oldest versions.

        After all, the 20 year old code will still be public domain, so others can use the same codebase to build a (possibly free) alternative. And if there really is a market for something built on top of the old code, someone was dropping the ball during the 20 year copyright period.

      • by mcgrew (92797) *

        Copyright isn't supposed to be ownership, but a limited time monopoly. I'm fine with my copyrights expiring in 28 years, long copyrights stifle artistic innovation. Imagine how tech would have suffered if patents lasted as long as copyright?

        • Copyright isn't supposed to be ownership, but a limited time monopoly. I'm fine with my copyrights expiring in 28 years, long copyrights stifle artistic innovation. Imagine how tech would have suffered if patents lasted as long as copyright?

          Well spoken.

    • by pipedwho (1174327)

      yeah, its a radical departure for some but discourages cashcowing a product or franchising something to death (the Matrix series anyone?)

      It's a pity they never made sequels to that movie. Maybe they will one day, as that setting is ripe for some brilliant story telling.

      • Yeah, but that applies to so many movies.

        I mean, Highlander deserved a sequel. I always thought they could have done more with that Riddick character from Pitch Black. I don't recall any movies from the New Generation era of Star Trek (wait, there might have been one). And one day I wish they'd show how the Star Wars universe came to be before Luke Skywalker was born.

        But I guess we can't always get the movies we want and anyway, this lack surely allows the studios to focus on creating new and original conte

  • by wbr1 (2538558) on Tuesday August 20, 2013 @05:55AM (#44615995)
    Dev.null@uspto.gov
  • by RenHoek (101570) on Tuesday August 20, 2013 @05:56AM (#44616007) Homepage

    Homer: “Don't worry, baby, the tube'll know what to do.”

    He takes her form, puts it into a canister, and sends it through the pneumatic tube system. The canister takes a wild ride through the tube system, eventually being deposited... outside, where a nearby beaver collects it and adds it to a dam built entirely of message canisters.

  • Suggestion List (Score:4, Insightful)

    by maroberts (15852) on Tuesday August 20, 2013 @06:06AM (#44616035) Homepage Journal

    Yes we recognize artists have the right to be paid for their work, but....

    1) Please reduce the absurd duration of copyright. We can argue about exactly how long, but anything above 30 years is definitely absurd. Also copyright would be better if anything above 20 years required a substantial payment.

    2) Copyright should be non-transferable and belong to the artist producing the work.

    3) Please ensure that all private copying from media to media for personal use only is regarded as Fair Use.

    4) Commercial Piracy should attract large fines, however small personal acts of piracy should be penalized in the region of a few thousand dollars TOTAL, not several tens of thousands for each work. As an example, Jammie Thomas was definitely guilty, but a maximum fine of about $5,000 would be seen as far more reasonable especially as she made no significant financial gain from the act.

    Anything else?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Yaotzin (827566)

      I agree on all points and this is really all that is necessary to fix copyright. The original intent was to protect the creators of artistic works and at the same time give them incentive to keep creating. It was never this monstrosity that we call copyright today. Instead, the ridiculous time periods granted is hardly an incentive to continue creating but rather to create one or two smash-hits and then retire. I won't even go into the corporate mess that has arisen.

      A comparison I've been thinking about is

      • A comparison I've been thinking about is comparing with pharmaceutical patents. The pharmaceutical industry is super-high risk as the average pharmaceutical costs around $1b to bring to the market and yet 9/10 candidate drugs fails to get there. Even getting a drug out on the market is no guarantee for success. The patent right is only twenty years because pharmaceuticals are seen as essential to the general well-being of society, but it works. So why the hell should an artist (and then a corporation after the death of the artist) should have 70 years to collect profit when the risk is nowhere near as high? Not to mention that the artist is unlikely to be alive for that entire period of time, or as in the States be dead for 70 years.

        Part of the difference here is the two parties involved. In copyright, on the one hand, you've got the distributors like Disney, Sony, BMG, Warner Bros., etc., with billions of dollars to spend to protect their exclusivity. And on the other hand, you've got the public - and really, just the subset of the public with an interest in distributing and remaking old movies, resampling works, etc. And they have little to no money. So who do you think some Senator is going to listen to? Hence lifetime+70 years copy

      • Exactly. If a life saving drug can only have 20 years of patent protection, why would a mashup novel of Jane Austen and zombie pulp be entitled to 70+ years of copyright protection? Is it because the life saving drug is essential to the general well-being of society and the novel is not? If so, then the novel does not need such lengthy protection since it clearly is not as important.

        *I realize we are comparing patents and copyright, but I don't see a reason not to look broadly when determining what a reason

    • by ibwolf (126465)

      2) Copyright should be non-transferable and belong to the artist producing the work.

      This would make collaborative works (e.g. film and tv) pretty much impossible. After all, who is the 'artist' behind a movie like From Russia With Love?

      Is it the original author Ian Flemming? (Hardly, although the story is mostly lifted from the book)
      Is it the screenwriter Richard Maibaum? (Again, hardly, he based is work on Flemmings, and Johanna Harwood and Berkely Mather both contributed to the work).
      Is it the director Terence Young? (Directors often get the 'Film by' credit and are hugely important,

      • by Nerdfest (867930)

        I think you need to do that now. I remember WKRP not being able to be re-broadcast because the music wasn't licenced. If you see it now, some of the music is different.

    • Copyrights should be transferable.

      If you create a body of work, you have a right to sell the copyright to someone else. I mean its like saying if you personally build a house then nobody else can ever own it which is absurd.

      Realize there is a whole market of artists who create works for commercial purposes. They write music for shows, commercials, movies, etc and are not considered "mainstream" artists that would otherwise have songs on the radio or perform in concerts. Their only source of income is to

    • 2 Needs a work for hire exception. If I pay for something to be done by default I should own the copyright. In some ways this needs to be stricter the majority of wedding photographers love to try and keep copyright took forever to find a good one that understood this.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Jason Levine (196982)

      I agree. My only compromise would be that companies would be against decades' worth of content suddenly reverting to public domain (and we would be against allowing items from the 1970's remain copyrighted for nearly 100 years while items produced today went public domain in 30 years). Therefore, there should be a phase in period to allow companies to adjust. Let's start at the earliest decade affected (the 1930's if memory serves) and move forward freeing up a decade's worth of material every 5 years.

    • small personal acts of piracy should be penalized in the region of a few thousand dollars TOTAL

      Doesn't go far enough. "personal acts" of copying should be 100% legal, and should be encouraged. Being able to share with friends is a huge public good that these property rights trolls have been trying to persuade the public is unethical, immoral, unAmerican, and Bad for Business. Of course it's bad for business! It's bad for the business of rent seeking. They've got many people more than half persuaded that data should be treated the same as physical property. It's a simple way to think of the matt

    • 4) Commercial Piracy should attract large fines, however small personal acts of piracy should be penalized in the region of a few thousand dollars TOTAL, not several tens of thousands for each work. As an example, Jammie Thomas was definitely guilty, but a maximum fine of about $5,000 would be seen as far more reasonable especially as she made no significant financial gain from the act.

      Interestingly, this is already in copyright law. It's just being misapplied.

      First, as a premise, when given a range, juries (or anyone) tends to default to approximately the geometric mean of the range. For example, if a crime carries a sentence of 1 to 20 years, you might expect that people would default to around 10 years, but they don't. After all, if 1 year is a possible sentence, then 10 is an order of magnitude larger! And the top of the range at 20 is only just double that. Clearly 10 is too high. Instead, juries will default to around 4-6 years.
      Well, it's the same thing in monetary damages: given a range (say, $750-$150,000, as in the "willful infringement" tier of copyright statutory damages), the geometric mean is $10,606. Tenenbaum was dinged for $22k per song. Thomas got hit for $9,250 per song. So, pretty close to the geometric mean.

      But wait, is that the right range? The statute says up to $150k for willful infringement, which the RIAA has defined as any infringement that's intentional (as opposed to accidental copying?). Their argument is that, if you've ever seen a copyright notice, and you then distribute a copyrighted work, that's willful, 'cause you knew it was wrong.
      But that's not what Congress intended. If you go back to the original House comments, it appears that they intended "Willful" to mean "malicious, or for commercial purposes" as in the trademark and patent acts. Like, if you sneak into your author neighbor's house and steal his manuscript and publish it to destroy his career, even if you didn't do it to make money, that's pretty evil, and you should be responsible for enhanced damages.

      So, the non-enhanced range is $750-$30,000. The geometric mean of this is $4700. Your suggestion - "about $5000". QED.

      Hence, we need to fix that interpretation of "willful", not go try to rewrite the copyright act, which can be done by arguing this issue in court and persuading judges, rather than fighting with well-monied RIAA lobbyists for Senators' favor.

  • by Bearhouse (1034238) on Tuesday August 20, 2013 @06:26AM (#44616087)

    The NSA will forward it for you...without you needing to even send it!

  • The best way? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by wertigon (1204486) on Tuesday August 20, 2013 @06:48AM (#44616155)

    1. Stop trying to control the non-commercial filesharing. The damages to creators are, at worst, about as big as trespassing on private property that isn't near a house or is actively exploited - like say, a forest. The positive effects, meanwhile, are huge and not to be neglected. Instead focus on the commercial filesharing efforts and the people making money on protected works without sharing those profits.

    2. Lots of works can no longer be used because their right holders cannot be found (orphan works). In order to solve this problem, copyrighted works should be registered or face a very short copyright term on e.g. five years after publication. An extension of this idea is that economic copyright should only be allowed as long as the copyrighted works do have a substantial value, therefore we have a yearly fee of 2^x where x is the number of years a copyrighted work has been published. This ensures orphaned works become public domain, but it also ensures that copyrighted works that no longer have any commercial value also falls into public domain.

    3. Copyright terms either need to be severely reduced, or there needs to be an exception clause for archivists, museums, libraries and the like to let them complete and create as complete collections of works as possible, lest our entire culture from the fifties and onward disappear.

    Just a couple of ideas to get started...

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Jason Levine (196982)

      I completely agree except for a little bit with #1. I wouldn't propose to eliminate fines for unauthorized sharing, but noncommercial unauthorized sharing should have fines limited to a small multiple of the retail value of the works. For example, if you share out a thousand songs, you can currently be sued for $750,000 - $150,000,000. That's enough to permanently bankrupt you for life. If you limited it to ten times the retail value of a digital song ($0.99), then your fine would be $9,900. That's sti

    • 3. Copyright terms either need to be severely reduced, or there needs to be an exception clause for archivists, museums, libraries and the like to let them complete and create as complete collections of works as possible, lest our entire culture from the fifties and onward disappear.

      The result will be the opposite. All works will be owned in perpetuity by corporate masters. Libraries will be closed since paper books will be non-viable. All books in private ownership will be collected and destroyed because they violate copyright of the new owners. All future media will be pablum and propaganda, carefully controlled and disseminated. You will not have the option to purchase. It will be required.

  • Just email your thoughts on copyright to someone who sounds foreign. The NSA will forward it to them.

  • by jones_supa (887896) on Tuesday August 20, 2013 @07:47AM (#44616371)

    But I couldn't find the address to which to send my comments, so maybe that was an oversight on their part.

    You can find the comment form in the We Want to Hear from You [uspto.gov] article.

    Use it.

  • by TheSkepticalOptimist (898384) on Tuesday August 20, 2013 @08:11AM (#44616501)

    I don't see why digital content is not treated in the same way as the physical media it replaced.

    I think I have a right to play my digital content on ANY device I see fit. Realize that this means all these "walled gardens" should be illegal. If you equate what is happening today with digital content vs physical media, it would be like Walmart creating their own version of DVD and then Best Buy creates their own version of DVDs. A Walmart DVD would not be playable and a Best Buy DVD player, and vice versa. NOBODY would have tolerated that bullshit so why are people happy with buying iTunes content that is not playable on an Android device?

    Also with physical media I always had the right to lend the content to a friend or family member. But realize that while it is lended out that I no longer have access to it. I think it should be perfectly acceptable to share my digital content with a friend or family member. However realize that NOBODY has 1 million friends so that does not apply to sharing it digitally to the whole world.

    The only thing different about digital content that I feel should not be analogous to physical content is that I should not have to rebuy the content in a different resolution and there is NO REASON why an HD version of a digital movie is more expensive than an SD movie. The reason why Blu-ray's are more expensive the DVDs comes to the cost to author/produce a Blu-ray disk, but even then that coast hast diminished greatly over the last 5 years. I should be buying access to a movie and then have a choice to view it in whatever resolution suits the device I am playing it on, whether its SD, HD or 4k or 8k in the future. Unless the movie had to be remastered to get it to look better at a higher resolution I should never have to buy a movie twice.

    Of course the US government is taking a page out of Canada's government handbook. Before making an absurd and unpopular law, get the citizens opinion to make it look like you give a rat's ass about the common person before making sure to protect an industry right to maintain a monopoly and charge high prices for products and services, just like what Canada's CRTC does.

  • by mschaffer (97223) on Tuesday August 20, 2013 @08:21AM (#44616565)

    The USPTO cannot change the law of the land. That's what Congress is for.
    This will amount to nothing.

  • Just as the NSA for all the emails and forum postings related to copyright. The information you seek is all there.
  • they're not ready yet

    " But I couldn't find the address to which to send my comments, so maybe that was an oversight on their part."

    [W]e will soon be reaching out to the public for views on a variety of topics. Please stay tuned for announcements about how to share your thoughts, insights, and recommendations. ..new low for /. the OP doesn't even RT fucking A

  • But I couldn't find the address to which to send my comments, so maybe that was an oversight on their part.

    Does it matter? Just send them anywhere, the NSA will forward them.

  • Fix the abandonware issues as well older software vers that are no longer sold not 100% of old software but in some cases there may be stuff for older hardware / os that is no longer sold but they sell newer vers that don't work on the old systems.

    There is a lot of old games that are abandonware right now that you can't really buy any more. GOG does have some of the older games that used to be abandonware.

    • by omnichad (1198475)

      Don't forget the "Disney Vault" - they're actually abusing artificial scarcity. Abandonware is just difficult logistics that can be solved by the copyright owner if they wanted to. GOG is a nice start on that front, but we really need to make the process easier. People are eager to throw money at some abandonware. I'd love to buy the game The Neverhood - but that's crazy expensive secondhand.

  • They should just read The Case for Copyright Reform [copyrightreform.eu] by Christian Engström (Member of the European Parliament for the Pirate Party) & Rick Falkvinge (founder of the original Pirate Party), and implement it. You can, of course, download the book for free on that website. I highly recommend reading it.

    • They should just read The Case for Copyright Reform by Christian EngstrÃm (Member of the European Parliament for the Pirate Party) & Rick Falkvinge (founder of the original Pirate Party), and implement it. You can, of course, download the book for free on that website. I highly recommend reading it.

      Thanks for the recommendation. You deserve to be modded up for that.

  • Sorry, Mr Uncle Sam The Kenyan Superman, but it's too late. I don't believe shit that you say or do any more.

    You come out all like, "Oh, I'm really really glad that this information about the NSA has become public because now we can have this awesome discussion about how best to make the surveillance state more transparent and accountable and so I'm going to put in charge of the new NSA transparency commission the guy who's been lying his ass off to congress and everyone about the NSA".

    Fuck off, unk. I re

  • by jonwil (467024) on Tuesday August 20, 2013 @09:37AM (#44617485)

    1.Change DMCA s512 to impose penalties on anyone who sends a take-down notice for content for content they do not own. This stops take-down notices being sent when the entity doing the sending doesn't actually own the content they are claiming to own.

    2.Change the DMCA and other laws to state clearly that any search engine or aggregator that uses automatic content collection systems (like Google or Bing or similar) gets 100% legal immunity for the content aggregated by their sites (i.e. takes away the ability for copyright holders to target or go after search engines because of content their spiders pick up)

    3.Change DMCA s103 to state that it is NOT a DMCA violation if you are breaking protection for the purpose of using content if you have permission from the copyright holder to make or use copies of the content.

    This means that it would be legal to break protection on phones, games consoles and other things in order to run "homebrew" or "side-load" software where the copyright holder has given permission for such uses.

    It also means that for example its legal to crack protection on proprietary camera RAW formats so you can access the photos you took without buying the proprietary tools to access it.

    4.Do something to handle "orphan works" (that is, works where the copyright holder cant be located). Plenty of old works (e.g. old computer games) cant be enjoyed again because no-one can identify who actually owns the rights.

    5.Pass laws to once and for all declare that APIs are not copyrightable (and end the Oracle v Google fight over API copyright for good)

    • by omnichad (1198475)

      1.Change DMCA s512 to impose penalties on anyone who sends a take-down notice for content for content they do not own. This stops take-down notices being sent when the entity doing the sending doesn't actually own the content they are claiming to own.

      Isn't that technically already perjury the way it's written? It's the enforcement that's difficult - not the legality.

  • We haven't had a good laugh in weeks!
  • And what a disappointment it was.

    A staggering majority of the submissions spoke very clearly against the problems of giving digital rights management legal protection. I think, perhaps, that the single biggest problem was that a well-meaning website creator crafted a web page that contained a template letter in a web-based form which would send off the email to the people who were conducting the public consultation, and unfortunately more than half of the submissions that were actually received were pr

  • 1 for works where there are multiple persons credited 15 years after ALL persons credited are deceased
    2 if a reasonable search can not determine the correct copyright holder then it can be assumed the work is abandoned*
    3 claiming copyright on a work shall have a penalty of the greater of75% of the penalty for breaking copyright or The Full and Complete Damages (to include salary for the lawyers, lost income, court costs and the tips for the delivery guy(s))
    4 without an actual physical signed (in black or da

(1) Never draw what you can copy. (2) Never copy what you can trace. (3) Never trace what you can cut out and paste down.

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