Tag Archives: fair use

Copyright Alerts System

The Copyright Alert System (CAS) is coming to the US next week.

AT&T, Cablevision, Comcast, Time Warner, and Verizon have come together and created a 6 strike system where every time it detect “pirated content” being download on your internet connection it sends you an email/telephone message, makes you watch an education video/view anti-piracy material, slow down your internet connection, demote you to lower tier of service, and/or disconnect you from the internet completely until you complete an anti-pirating class. All depending on how many strikes your have.

CAS does this by scanning your internet packets, a violation of 4th amendment rights (assuming we still have have it at this point). After all if your ISP is already scanning your internet packets I *doubt* the CIA, FBI etc. will ask to see then. Also who knows how much of a bottleneck the scanning process will slow down the internet. (Think TSA in an airport)

The company making the CAS software MarkMoniter has already had many false positives problems accusing HBO.com of pirating HBO content. The CAS scanning system would also wouldn’t be able to identity “fair use” cases like sharing a family video with music in the background.

The only way to appeal strikes to is pay $35 to have your case heard in front of the American Arbitration Association (not a court of law).

This quote sums up CAS perfectly.

So, basically, it’s an unelected body of industry-connected officials who get to police the Internet?

Read more about CAS here: Primer GuideUnintended Consequence.

Everything Is a Remix

Everything Is a Remix is a 4 part video series showing why fair use is important topic to talk about and what role fair use plays today in creativity and creating “new” ideas.

Part 1 follows how music has evolved by taking existing beats and words and coming up new songs. A real world example of this would be the four chord song which compiles song people would consider each unique but happen to be based on the same 4 chords. If 1 person had ownership over these 4 chords and could stop other from using them a lot of famous songs couldn’t have been written.

Part 2 follows movie making and how story are reused over and over again that were in the public domain. If Disney and others keep extending copyright will we run out of story “idea” if new information doesn’t enter public domain?

Part 3 goes into how creativity works by looking at the history of the computer. How companies copied one another features like the GUI and mouse without suing each other as often as today where every having a similar looking design land you in a billion dollar lawsuit.

Part 4 goes into the history of intellectual property and why copyright and patents were invented. The issue discuss in class about how idea are difference from material properties. Also the effect of the growing legal protection on software and music.

I highly recommend you watch all 4 parts of Everything is a remix it is a very informative series.

Kirby Ferguson, the maker of Everything is a Remix, also did a TED talk on the subject of intellectual property.

Fair Use: Do you “own” the media on storage mediums?

If you buy a CD or book do you “own” it and should you be free to use it as you wish?

First, can you even copy your own media from one form to another? With CDs you now can copy them to in a cloud storage site / music player (through companies like amazon with the roll out of Amazon AutoRip). But with DVD making backups on your computer  is illegal (because you have to break DRM).

Do you have to buy the same media in difference formats for every device you own which seems “wrong” to having to repurchase VHS then DVD then Blue ray then digital download of the same material when there is nothing (other then legally) stopping you  from copying it over from one format to the next.

Second, can you resale or lend CD you own with others (first sale doctrine). Physical lending a CD to a friend doesn’t seem to be wrong morally (legally is another matter) since you can’t have it at the same time. It would be like a lending/selling a microwave. Digital lending a song is another matter because it would be like cloning a microwave and both people can use it. Assuming you do not delete your the file when the friend has it. 

If you buy a microwave you can do anything you want with it from reselling, taking it apart. or putting tin foil in it. So when you buy music should it be any different? Are you buying a licence to listen to a song, a piece of plastic, or the song itself?