Copyright law is hard

Originally posted 2007-02-18 13:48:59. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

But it’s hard to have sympathy for the MPAA about its being accused of infringement, since its insane shotgun appraoch to enforcement is so just plain bad. Now as Boing Boing says, the movies people are ripping off other folks’ shareware. As Cory Doctorow (via Insty) says:

Copyright law is hard. It used to only govern relations between giant industrial players. Copyright didn’t regulate reading an interesting tidbit from the newspaper for a friend. It didn’t regulate watching movies. But now, sharing a newspaper article with a friend (by blogging it) involves copying, and so triggers copyright. Now watching a movie (by downloading it) involves copying, so it triggers copyright. The rules that are supposed to be interpreted by lawyers at Fortune 100 companies now apply to every single kid working on a project for her class’s website.

This is like having to file with the SEC every time you loan a buddy $5 for lunch.

Even the MPAA and its member companies can’t avoid violating copyright. The MPAA’s own CEO personally ripped off Kirby Dick, pirating his film “This Film is Not Yet Rated” using the MPAA’s duplicating facilities. The studios regularly hose writers, painters, composers and performers, nicking their creative labor without compensation, and sneeringly invite them to sue if they don’t like it. Even the web-development departments get in on the act.

Is it any wonder that everyone with a computer is practically guaranteed to be a copyright criminal?

I can’t say I agree with this analysis — copyright has been relevant to the whole world for a long time, and there are many ways to make fair use of copyrighted material that do not infringe.  But is it virtually inevitable that almost all of us are at least copyright scofflaws, or worse, under the present regime?  Yes.  Something is going to have to give.

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Author:Ron Coleman

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2 Responses to “Copyright law is hard”

  1. February 19, 2007 at 5:32 pm #

    Is “Copyright law is hard!” one of the things the Law School Barbie says?

  2. February 19, 2007 at 5:41 pm #

    LOL — I don’t know. I’m not allowed to play with dolls. No lawyer should.

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