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[DotGNU]On "Taking the Copy Out of Copyright"

From: Seth Johnson
Subject: [DotGNU]On "Taking the Copy Out of Copyright"
Date: Sat, 01 Jun 2002 19:49:52 -0400

This otherwise very useful analysis nevertheless blankly
ignores the most important aspect of information technology
today: that the Internet is a collaborative public space for
participatory engagement.  It provides the capacities to use
and distribute information products with full flexibility to
all citizens, not just to publishers who supposedly may
somehow be demarcated from other people.  The analysis is in
fact a remarkably pure representation of the general
ignorance among "content" stakeholders, of the fact that as
citizens in a free society, we are all information producers
-- not consumers.

The article basically proposes basing exclusive rights on
the concept of controlling public distribution, rather than
on copying.

It appears to be an attempt to ally with some recent
initiatives that have been building a truly cognizant
analysis of the relationship between technology and
"exclusive rights" in a free society [represented most
notably recently at]. But it
tries to link the analysis of those concerned with
information freedom, with the terms of the recently ratified
WIPO Phonograms and Performances Treaty, which declares an
unprecedented "moral right" of creators to control public
uses of their works.

This shortsighted perspective is perfectly ordinary from the
standpoint of legal analysis, but in the end it's a very
good example of why it's so important to undertake a broad
community-based initiative representing the public's
interests in confronting the intrinsic nature of information
and of technologies that facilitate its full use.

Forwarded from DMCA Discussion list,

Seth Johnson

-------- Original Message --------
Date: Sat, 25 May 2002 20:42:08 -0700
From: "Jon O." <address@hidden>

Taking the Copy Out of Copyright

by Ernest Miller and Joan Feigenbaum*

1 Information Society Project, Yale Law School,  PO Box
207286, New Haven, CT, USA 06520

2 Computer Science, Yale University, PO Box 208285, New
Haven, CT, USA 06520 address@hidden


Under current U.S. law and common understanding, the
fundamental right granted by copyright is the right of
reproduction -- of making copies. Indeed, the very word
.copyright. appears to signify that the right to control
copying must be a fundamental part of any system of
copyright. Nonetheless, we claim that this assumption is
incorrect. The advent of digital documents has illuminated
this issue: In the digital realm, copying is not a good
predictor of intent to infringe; moreover, copying of
digital works is necessary for normal use of those works. We
argue that the right to control copying should be eliminated
as an organizing principle of copyright law. In its place,
we propose as an organizing principle the right to control
public distribution of the copyrighted work.

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