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Cellphones Your Rights Online Technology

We Should Be Allowed To Unlock Everything We Own 317

An anonymous reader writes "When cell phone unlocking became illegal last month, it set off a firestorm of debate over what rights people should have for phones they have legally purchased. But this is really just one facet of a much larger problem with property rights in general. 'Silicon permeates and powers almost everything we own. This is a property rights issue, and current copyright law gets it backwards, turning regular people — like students, researchers, and small business owners — into criminals. Fortune 500 telecom manufacturer Avaya, for example, is known for suing service companies, accusing them of violating copyright for simply using a password to log in to their phone systems. That's right: typing in a password is considered "reproducing copyrighted material." Manufacturers have systematically used copyright in this manner over the past 20 years to limit our access to information. Technology has moved too fast for copyright laws to keep pace, so corporations have been exploiting the lag to create information monopolies at our expense and for their profit. After years of extensions and so-called improvements, copyright has turned Mickey Mouse into a monster who can never die.' We need to win the fight for unlocking phones, and then keep pushing until we actually own the objects we own again."
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We Should Be Allowed To Unlock Everything We Own

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  • by macraig ( 621737 ) <mark@a@craig.gmail@com> on Monday March 18, 2013 @01:08PM (#43204539)

    This tactic of hoarding information and claiming copyright - aka Divine mandate - is called shamanism. It's a very VERY old tactic. Copyright is just a new twist on the tactic that lets opportunists without a Divine birthright get in on the action.

    Information has always been a commodity, for better or worse and "right" or wrong.

  • Re:Obviously (Score:4, Interesting)

    by DarkOx ( 621550 ) on Monday March 18, 2013 @01:33PM (#43204871) Journal

    Not without gathering a army of lawyers like never before seen, first to dot every I and cross every T; and I say that well aware Google probably has more lawyers than I could count. The content industry types are experts at separating even the most sophisticated investors from their money and leaving them with nothing to show for it.

    Just look at every tech firm that has ever attempted to buy a content company. Its almost universally the case that some how the former owners manage to outright abscond with or otherwise impair any intellectual property or talent. Hollywood folk CAN'T BE TRUSTED to deal fairly; the tech industry never gets what they think they are buying. Which is why Netfix is smart to build their own content production capabilities rather than try and buy an existing studio.

    Google would more likely be better off simply out record company-ing the record companies. Google has access to eyeballs to promote talent; they have outlets to market product directly to consumers, and can afford to let the artists have a bigger cut. If they really smart they make that cut almost 100% of the direct revenue (sales of music files; licensing of content to other media companies) and just draw their own profit from ads. The existing record industry probably could not match the dollars, Google with get the artists, and the RIAA ilk will get court dates for the bankruptcy hearings.

    Google, Amazon, and Apple or some combination there of is well positioned to simply gut the existing record industry. Google probably the best because they have the least to loose in terms of reprisals.


  • Re:Obviously (Score:4, Interesting)

    by james_shoemaker ( 12459 ) on Monday March 18, 2013 @02:05PM (#43205281)

    Red book (CD Audo) does have copy protection, there is a bit in the subcode you can set to disallow copying. It could probably be argued that any cd drive that can rip audio is in violation because it is ignoring the copy protect bit in the subcode.

  • Re:AMEN! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by grantspassalan ( 2531078 ) on Monday March 18, 2013 @03:17PM (#43206267)

    Even if there is no mortgage on your house, you still don't own it but are only permitted to live there if you pay your property tax on time. Therefore you don't really own it, but rent it from the state. The same is true for your automobile. If you don't pay your license fee, you are no longer allowed to drive it. Paying the fuel tax does not give you the right to use the roads and highways. This paradigm Is gradually being extended to other things you think you "own", such as your phone and other electronic devices.

  • Re:AMEN! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 18, 2013 @05:02PM (#43207425)

    No, you do not. You pay taxes on the part you pay, not the part that is deferred.

    Reading this as a California resident, I got a little confused over your use of the word 'deferred.'

    When you purchase a cellular phone in CA, you are charged sales tax on the non-subsidized price. Source: I recently purchased a Galaxy SIII for my mother and was charged a little more than $50 in sales tax although the out-of-pocket cost for the phone was $100.

  • Re:Obviously (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Gr8Apes ( 679165 ) on Monday March 18, 2013 @11:12PM (#43210453)

    It is 100% legal to rip CDs and DVDs, DMCA not withstanding. As decryption technologies for DVDs were available prior to the DMCA, those products and technologies were grandfathered in.

    Got a cite for that? Also, you may be interested to know that the DMCA was enacted in late 1998. DeCSS didn't come out until about a year later.

    Sure - got a cite for that it is not? Or is it now illegal to photocopy books? Because copyright was never about copying, only about distributing. Go read the original documentation.

    Furthermore, it greatly expands and oversteps the original Constitutional clauses related to copyright. (someone would have to show me how the DMCA does not violate the copyright clause as it originally was stated in the Constitution, nor in what way the federal government has any right to interfere with individual actions that are akin to cutting up, say, a book for excerpts)

    On the rare ocassions that it has seriously been discussed, the DMCA was generally felt to have been enacted pursuant to the commerce clause, rather than the copyright clause, IIRC. Post Eldred I don't think there have been or are likely to be serious attacks on its constitutionality.

    The DMCA greatly restricts various aspects of established copyright law, and makes various obvious and legal activities potentially crimes. e.g., you're filming your kid's first steps. Mickey Mouse is in the background on an HDTV. That's already a violation. You post your kid's first steps on youtube because he falls face first into the dog - welcome to Gitmo.

    If you don't see the absolute violations of various rights in there, I don't know what will convince you.

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