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Education

UK Schools to Indoctrinate Respect for IP Laws? 228

4/3PI*R^3 writes: "Alan Docherty, the editor of Internet Freedom News has an interesting piece in Salon's Technology & Business section. Apparently, the Creative Industries Task Force wants teenagers in the UK to learn the evils downloading MP3's, e-mailing newspaper articles, and exchanging JPEGs. As quoted from Prof. Jessica Litman of Wayne State University, "Many of them believe, for example, that if you buy a CD, you buy the right to share it." Minds are so much easier to manipulate when they are young." Heh. For the record, since I've read some of Litman's work, I should point out that her statement quoted here is definitely intended to be ironic.
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UK Schools to Indoctrinate Respect for IP Laws?

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    This whole concept is the bread and butter of the same companies that killed thousands of people every year in coal mines and other sweatshops. America was a lot like modern day China from the industrial revolution to the mid seventies.

    And if you look at the government back in those times, you'll realize the corporations wrote the laws back then too. As unions formed to counter the brutal methods, laws were passed to counter the efforts of unions. Might as well have been a decree from some boardroom, much like the DMCA was.

    But the new drive is for the control of information. DMCA is just the first salvo of a barrage of laws that will be coming. Each new law will place further controls on computer ownership and operation. If scientology can purchase a city (and the police force!), then Time/Warner can purchase a state. Get ready to have your doors kicked in people. Maybe not today or tomorrow but in the near future.

    I predict by 2005, it will be a crime to not run software that tracks IP usage on your machine. By 2010, critical mass. Salt to taste.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 16, 2001 @02:05AM (#82698)
    Wasn't 1984 set to happen in Britain? Kind'a prophetic, if you ask me. Well this comment would have been more appropriate for an article about the omnipresent cameras, but indoctrination is also quite Orwellian.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 16, 2001 @02:22AM (#82699)
    I am a school governor here in the UK, and the problem is more deep-seated than you might think.

    We now have a hugely prescriptive National Curriculum that dictates what must be taught and how many hours should be spent on certain subjects. All of this is coupled with enormous amounts of paperwork.

    The result has been to narrow the subjects taught to UK kids as a whole, and to remove much of the flair with which some of these subjects were taught. Not surprisingly, we now have a teacher shortage as well.

    "New Labour" here in the UK appear committed to mass-producing corporate drones with as little individuality as possible, and at the lowest possible cost - our Education services are woefully underfunded and stretched to the limits. For example, my own school will now be renting the taps (faucets) in the kids toilets because it will save us a few pounds over the next few years. Our 10 year olds are being taught in classes of 36-37 kids. And our school is succesful, over-subscribed, and turning away applicants!

    At this rate, it won't be long before they are insisting on Japanese-style "rote" education in enormous class rooms.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 16, 2001 @02:29AM (#82700)
    The point remains that breaching copyright is still against the law. Just because you're ripping off a corporation, it doesn't become ok.. nor does it change from an being an illegal activity to a moral anti-capitalist gesture.

    I still fail to understand why people would rather use a product illegally while complaining about the ethics of that product's sale, rather than just finding an alternative solution or method of purchase. If you feel you're being taken for a ride over CD prices, buy them online, import them, whatever. By all means take a stand, but don't actively make the problem worse..

    Being in small bands and struggling to get by gives you a new perspective on this isuue - you realise that people have no sense of proportion and won't stop to think 'this person is operating on virtually no funding from a backroom, I think I'll help to financially support him in return for the product he worked hard to produce'. Once they get into the habit of taking copies of everything, we all suffer. Who do you think is less likely to be harmed by this behaviour - Joe Public, or BigBadCorporation(tm)? And who, out of those two would you really like to see prosper, due to the often innovative and exciting products they produce?

    Exactly.

    So maybe it would be a good idea to consider exactly *why* you feel teaching children the law is a bad thing...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 16, 2001 @03:51AM (#82701)
    My experiences going through the educational system here (in Sweden) and working as a lower grade teacher is the exact opposite of what this article lays out. Long before there was internet there were xerox machines, wildy used in schools to give the kids an education on a stretched budget. Kindergarten: coloring books are kept in locked rooms so that the kids wont get to the originals. Because the originals are used to make copies that the kids are actually allowed to color in. Lower grade school: different kinds of excircise sheets and such are copied for the class. I think I was about ten years old when the teacher first layed out the details of the xeroxing laws (something to the effect of: no more than 30 pages or 10% whichever is lowest, may be xeroxed in more than 10 copies for classroom use), and then announcing that theyre now breaking this rule to give us an education. University: teachers compile their own anthologies of xeroxes pages from books, placing them handy next to the xerox machines for student use saying: "we could compile an official antology but that would cost a lot more, you are only allowed to read those xeroxed antologies here, but if u were to xerox them and take them home, we wouldn't know about that now would we". Thoughout every level of education the message is hammered in loud and clear: your right to an education, to knowledge, on a strained budget, comes first, not the copyright laws.
  • Either that, or something similar to DARE in the US:

    "Hey kids, do any of your parents or friends have MP3 players? They're not bad people, just doing a bad thing..."
  • Actually, it's legal in the US. The RIAA is reluctant to admit it though. As long as you aren't selling the copies for profit or distributing on a massive scale, it's legal.

  • Once we know something, it's ours as well as whomever thought of it first. The law was once somewhat reasonable on this issue. We simply had to refrain from competing commercially with the original creator for a relatively limited period of time. After such time we could do as we liked with the information. Today, IP corporations are trying to make their control over ideas and other sorts of IP absolute and perpetual. We should not stand for it. Violating such laws is simply not immorral at all. It's us or them. Do we plan to allow the collective creativity and knowledge of this country to be locked up and only be accessible through fees paid to the holders of the information? Sounds like a bleak future.

  • Copyright law was supposed to be a bargain. Creators would create new music and such and we, the people, would agree not to compete with them commercially for a period of time. That bargain is long gone, since that time, copyright has been extended well beyond any reasonable period of time, and our rights to non-commercial use have been severely curtailed. Copyright is not a bargain anymore. It's a exercise in abuse of government power. It's corporate welfare. It's a unilateral declaration that we have no right to the ideas and information we know and have access to. Everything that should have been public domain by now was stolen from us. I think we have a right to take what we want now. We've been swindled long enough.

  • by nathanh ( 1214 ) on Monday July 16, 2001 @02:59AM (#82712) Homepage

    If you have 3 pepsis, and you drink 1 pepsi, how many cool refreshing pepsis do you have left?

    Pepsi?

    Partial credit!

  • I could make a much better living than I am by driving to your house, stealing all of your things and selling them off.

    First of all when someone distributes your music you should thank them! That means there will be more people that hear your band and maybe you'll create more fans.

    If you don't want people to hear your music for free don't record anything. Just charge for live performances.

    You are in a position of a horse-n-buggy driver at the beginning of the 20th century. Your profession is being eliminated by technology and you better adapt.

    ...richie

    P.S. Copyright violation is not stealing. You still have the recording in question. It's quite different from stealing physical objects.

  • by morbid ( 4258 ) on Monday July 16, 2001 @03:07AM (#82718) Journal
    If the subject was approcahed from the angle that the copyright laws are there to protect the rights of the person who produced the work then I see no problem, especially if the discuss some of the various licenses under which data (eg pictures, sounds etc) and code (applications, games etc) are published. There would need to be a balance comparing some of the "closed" licenses that come with books, CD's, commercial software along with some of the Free licenses like GPL, BSD, free documentation etc. However I fear that the Free and Open licenses will get "missed out" on purpose. The UK is very backward in this respect.
  • Another scam they have is steelcase furniture, departments are only allowed to buy steelcase furniture (which also sucks by the way), and the university has a special *deal* with steelcase to get a discount -- but your department pays an inflated price and the univeresity keeps the difference!

    Are you sure about that? Depending on how that little deal is constituted, that smacks of illegal kickback to me...
  • My point is that, if the nature of music distribution changes so much, due to unenforcable laws and the rise of technology... perhaps being a 'musician' won't be seen as a career by as many people.
    You're the one who misunderstands. Being a 'musician' is only a career for just a little tiny overhyped minority that produces trash for the unwashed, gullible masses.

    The rest struggle to live, or repay their RIAA "loans".

    --
    Knowledge is, in every country, the surest basis of public happiness.

  • ``("See, if I copy your CD, you can still hear the music! We can both hear the music now! Do you feel like I've stolen anything from you?")''

    That explains why many of my CDs are imprinted with a notice that states that I'm not allowed to lend my CD to anyone. As it turns out, those thoughtful record companies are just looking out for my being able to hear the music that I've paid for which, of course, I can't if I've lent it to you. God bless them one and all. I also noticed, during a rather cursory check on a number of my CDs, that this verbiage is present mainly on CDs that were produced by record companies based in the UK or other European countries. Interesting, eh? Soon, even lending will be immoral. At least in the UK.

    ``I'd want them to read books on critical thinking so...

    You should know by now that today's capitalism has no need for critical thinking. (And Consumer Reports is probably a communist front organization as well.)



    --

  • ``...which are legitimately permitted: ... and not-for-profit music playing.''

    What does that mean in the UK? In the U.S., you'd think that meant charging admission to hear music that was recorded on a CD. However, bars and other businesses have to worry about the ASCAP ``cops'' coming into their business and busting them for playing music. So over here, it appears that if anyone spends money on a beer (or anything) while some music is playing in the background it's ``for-profit'' use. (At least that's I remember discussing with a bar owner one day after asking him ``Why do you guys play the radio now and not those excellent collections of taped music like you used to?'' The owner's reply was that the music was allegedly being used to attract customers so it was not not-for-profit use. Wonder the way the law can wangle any desired result out of vague wording, isn't it?) Either that or it's, somehow, covered under the phrase ``public performance''. I can see it now: ``Hey you! Turn it down or roll up those car windows or we're gonna call ASCAP!''



    --

  • First, the obligatory IANAL...

    ``SO the artists themselves are "sharing" the material. If the people who are literally making the material feel they want to share it, why should we say its wrong?''

    Mainly, because, as I understand it, the standard record company contract spells out that this is ``work for hire''. If a band then provides the recordings to the world as a collection of MP3s, it is the band that's doing the stealing. The people who download them could be said to be receiving stolen goods. Well, one could construe it that way, I guess. If I am hired by Company X to perform some programming services under a contract that states that the Company owns the results of my work, then I cannot take copies of the code with me and distribute it on my own to other people. If I don't like the terms of the contract, I tell them so and we either agree to modify the contract or somone else benefits from my programming services.

    What about the moral problem in signing a legal agreement that you don't agree with? I don't have a lot of sympathy for bands that are stupid enough to sign such a contract. Sure they see $$$ in their eyes and sign. But, if you're not creating music that's going to sell well, then go it on your own and distribute the MP3s on your own; at least you've cut out the middle man. But I don't think the band has a legal basis for taking the recordings and distributing them via the internet on their own; even if the record company had failed to do a decent job of promoting and getting sales. (They could always say ``Hey we gambled on these guys and lost. Not our fault that the public doesn't like their songs.'') The band could always, in theory, buy the rights to the music back from the record company, right? Or maybe they could hunt around find a lawyer who could convince a jury that the record company was somehow guilty of fraud and duped the band into signing the contract. Maybe we should lobby for the legal community to provide pro bono legal assistance for recording artists that wish to get out from under the legal thumb of the recording companies?

    Sorry to offer a (probably) unpopular opinion. (And, before you switch on the flamethrower, you need to know that I think most recording companies are pond scum and I buy most of my CDs either used, from indie label websites, or from the bands themselves at concerts. Oh yah, I think that 99% of MP3s sound like crap, too.)



    --

  • Not to be too rude... but "Wayne State University" is hardly Ivy League, now, is it?

    Currently, UK schools teach: the basic curriculum (for those of you who missed school, this is stuff like PHYSICS, or GEOLOGY... these are known as "academic subjects"). What is *NOT* taught is stuff like "what Microsoft wants me to know" or "how I can help ICI achieve their profit forecast for Q4 of 2002".</SARCASM>

    Seriously folks - the only thing which isn't directly related to the curriculum being taught, is a) sex education and b) drug education. These are taught because some students could be directly harmed if they don't get to know the facts. When it comes to IP teaching, it's just a farce. Silly story, silly headline
  • but exactly how far will that teaching carry into reality if nobody respects the laws in question?

    I sat through the computer classes many years ago, listening to the teach drone on and on about how bat 'piracy' was, and how it was illegal and frowned upon.

    Didn't slow me down any.

  • I use mp3 and it's kin because I'm lazy, and I don't want to drive halfway across town to look for a CD, or wait days for one to arrive by mail, I can get it right now, without waiting, so why shouldn't I? Yes, I realize that distributing this material is illegal... but so are LOTS of things we do.

    As for bands struggling to make it.. perhaps they should choose a new career? Who said anyone had a god-given right to make a living doing anything in particular? You deal with the circumstances at hand. If Music doesn't pay out for you, perhaps you need to find a more useful profession.
  • My point is that, if the nature of music distribution changes so much, due to unenforcable laws and the rise of technology... perhaps being a 'musician' won't be seen as a career by as many people.

  • Yeah.. that's another way of putting it.
  • Right, but you can print "this CD is not to be copied" all you want, and I will still ignore it because you are asserting a right you do not have.

    Even Microsoft softens this position a little when they print "Do not make illegal copies of this disk" on their CDs. Thus throwing the whole issue of the legality of copying back up in the air.

    I would far rather children were taught to share first, and get into the legal intricacies later.

    --
  • It doesn't matter if you're the copyright holder or not. Copyright does not allow you to tell me whether or not I can make a copy of your CD.

    --
  • > When does the grey area start and stop.

    There is no grey area. You just have to learn to read copyright agreements - and some idiot is going to have to tell the Them, The Lawyers where to get off on all the legalese speech, too.
    That way, you can just say "this CD is not to be copied" - if everyone *reads* what it says, no more problem.

    As for your college friend, maybe they could've done things a bit differently: how about publicizing a few tracks of their own as freely redistributable tasters, then educate the rest of the world to point to said tasters instead of redistributing *everything*?
    ~Tim
    --
    .|` Clouds cross the black moonlight,
  • Two thoughts, then, that I should've been clearer about.

    First, the printing of `don't copy this, please' has to be done by the copyright holder, who would ideally be the original owner.

    Second, I can see both "share first, then restrict" and "restrict first, then permit some sharing" approaches, and think both are less than ideal. That's why I'm saying I would choose neither, given half a chance.
    ~Tim
    --
    .|` Clouds cross the black moonlight,
  • .. but I was trying to say what should be taught as "truths".. not what should be discussed in classrooms.
    I'm all for legal-discussions on copyright-laws, as long as they are not presented as morally wrong from the beginning.
  • by GauteL ( 29207 ) on Monday July 16, 2001 @04:04AM (#82740)
    First: Software and media piracy are illegal, and of course young people should be made aware of what is legal or not. There is a difference between this, and trying to teach children what is immoral and what is not.

    The problem is that this sort of illegal activity is not in any way universially accepted as morally wrong. It is laws that were made for protecting the income of artists and corporations.. much in the same way that patent-laws were created.
    It is still in some countries regarded as totally legal and within fair-use to share IP-protected material among friends as long as you don't charge for it.

    I generally accept IP-laws as I believe it makes it easier to make a living out of arts, and thus making our quality of art higher. It is however a political issue, not a generally accepted truth, and thus should NOT be taught in public schools.

    Morality is a personal issue, and I don't buy arguments that breaking the law is always immoral, because this would mean that doing political satire in a country where this is illegal, is immoral.

    The only things that should be taught are issues that are beyond common politics. For example: murder, theft, etc..

    Before tries to make the assumption; sw/media-piracy == theft, I have to say that this comparison is political as the person being "stolen" from in the act of pirating still has a copy of his/her own.. that is, it does not transfer property.
  • To shroud yourself in the moral mantle of civil disobedience, your violation of the law must be public (and, IMHO, actually punished).
    I see. Robin Hood never got caught, indeed he expanded quite a bit of energy to avoid being caught but he's still the hero in the old myths.

    Gandhi's point if view isn't the only game in town.

    Pre.......
  • "They used to work just like patents...and fortunately patents still expire 17 years. "

    Actually,

    patents now expire after 20 years,

    LetterRip
  • by Paul Johnson ( 33553 ) on Monday July 16, 2001 @03:12AM (#82743) Homepage
    Over here we have this thing called the National Curriculum. Its a requirements document listing all the things that kids have to be taught. It does not specify how or when (beyond broad 2-3 year bands) things get taught.

    Naturally such a document is a magnet to everyone with an axe to grind. It seems like everyone has something they want put in the National Curriculum. Most of these things are fairly worthy, like road safety, how to apply for a job, how compound interest works, and how to extract cube roots without a calculator. Most people think that their favourite author ought to go in the English section. And so on.

    As a result of all this the first version of the NC had a bad case of bloat brought on by creeping featurism. After that a revised version was bought out which was slimmed down to the things that the education academics think that kids actually need to know. Copyright law is not (AFAIK) on the list.

    There is still a lot of pressure for feature creep in the NC, but the people in charge of it seem to have learned how to say "no". You still get pressure groups of one sort or another popping up and asking for their pet cause to go in the NC, but nobody takes any notice. This is just another similar suggestion, and I don't think its going to go anywhere.

    Paul

  • As long as they teach about fair use it is not a problem.

    Um, what fair use? In the UK there is no such thing. If you read the Copyright, Design and Patents Act 1988 [hmso.gov.uk] you will see that there is no mention of fair use, the closest thing is "fair dealing" which is described under "Acts Permitted in relation to Copyright Works [hmso.gov.uk]". You will not that while making a copy for personal _study_ is permitted, a copy for personal _use_ is not. So, even making an MP3 of a CD you own is illegal, regardless of whether or not you distribute it.

    Fair use does not exist in the UK, so many things that you can do legally in the US, are illegal over here. And if there is ever an international agreement on copyright, which do you think is more likely to happen - fair use rights get eroded further (by legal or technical means) in the US, or the UK grant fair use rights to match those in the US?
    --

  • I think even here in America, not only in the UK, people are teaching children what the coperations want them to believe to be right or wrong.That makes it easier to get the law changed into something more "corporate friendly".

    We are saying that copying and sharing a CD is wrong, when artists have gone out and "leaked" their material on to the internet. SO the artists themselves are "sharing" the material. If the people who are literally making the material feel they want to share it, why should we say its wrong?

    Also most people care only about the actual producers of content, singers, musicians, painters, authors, poets, actors, directors, graphic artists, etc.
    They don't care so much about publishers, broadcasters and other middlemen. With the corporates tending to fall into this catagory.
    A useful current example would be Buffy the Vampire Slayer, season 6.
  • True, but in most of the Western AND non-Western world, their educational system is patterned after UK schooling or else Prussian schooling, both of which are known for their emphasis on discipline and submission, as well as a callous disregard for the social world they are creating among their students---and it's a direct line from there to Columbine (probably a brief stop through Lord of the Flies, If (gee, why don't we blame Malcom McDowell for Columbine, he seems pretty evil) and The Wall). Try asking yourself where those uniforms came from next time you're surfing for Japanese schoolgirl porn.

    Boss of nothin. Big deal.
    Son, go get daddy's hard plastic eyes.
  • by IPFreely ( 47576 ) <mark@mwiley.org> on Monday July 16, 2001 @04:24AM (#82747) Homepage Journal
    Now all we have to do is indoctrinate respect for consumers rights into all business licenses and we're done.
  • > Run over you to learn about dangerous driving laws? The children are living in our society. Our society has rules/laws to stop people ruining the society for everyone else. If you don't tell the children what's not acceptable in their society, then there's going to be a lot of children getting into trouble.

    I sense I'm being trolled, but what the heck, I'll bite the juicy worm on the end of the string...

    > Our society has rules/laws to stop people...

    No, our society has rules because people didn't behave themselves.

    The way you teach the kid about armed robbery laws is to teach him that theft is wrong. If I steal your cookie, you can't eat the cookie. How would you like it if someone stole your cookie?

    The way you teach the kid about dangerous driving laws is you teach him upfront that killing - even accidental killing - is wrong and to be avoided (how'd you like it if someone killed you?), and that when he gets behind the wheel (or the trigger, if you take him/her hunting), he's being entrusted with the lives of the people on the road or on the range.

    I don't obey all intellectual property laws because I don't see all such breaches as immoral.

    ("See, if I copy your CD, you can still hear the music! We can both hear the music now! Do you feel like I've stolen anything from you?")

    Other things that happen in intellectual property law, I do see as immoral.

    ("See? You made the pretty painting. You can make copies and sell them to the 20 people in your class for $0.05 each. I'm gonna go to my office, make 100 photocopies, and sell them to my co-workers for $1.00 each by telling them it's a school fund-raiser. I can make $100, you'll only make $1.00, but if you beg nicely, I'll even give you $0.05 for every copy I sell. How would that make you feel if I made $99.00 and you made $1.00 for that painting you worked on all day?")

    > Would you want your children to learn about narcotics by smoking crack, or reading a book at school?

    I'd want them to read books on critical thinking so they could yell "false dichotomy" when presented with one.

  • that's because kids see that a copied game means a win for them rather than a loss for the creator. I know I would have copied a lot less if a copy meant someone else lost access to the game. It just isn't the same as stealing, both in how it feels and how it is in reality. (and don't go into the whole piracy == stealing. They're 2 different concepts in law.)

    //rdj
  • actually... that's not illegal in europe, as long as you're not running it on multiple machines at once :)

    //rdj
  • ...and, like in every other class, the teachers got a sample handout in 1990 from their curriculum suppliers and then photocopied it for each student every year since then.

  • by hernick ( 63550 ) on Monday July 16, 2001 @04:16AM (#82754)
    You say "teach children morals and a sense of right and wrong and let them make their own decisions".

    But, whose morals are you talking about ?

    Yours ? Jack Valenti's ? Rufus Shinra ? Osama Bin Laden's ? Ghandi ? Mother Teresa (I should hope not !) ? The RIAA's ?

    I don't think we should be teaching them more than the most basic morals. To a point, they all have to be subjective. I say, give them knowledge, and let them decide for themselves.
  • It should be noted that England & Wales have a different Education system from Scotland, which is controlled by the Scottish Parliment. This means that any changes to the Scottish curiculum would have to be seperately discussed and implemented. AFAIR, the "Citizenship" focus is not present in the same form in Scotland.
  • It'd be great to import CDs, but quite simply, it's illegal in some countries, and also you have things like DVD regions stuffing you around anyway.

    The point is, copying CDs doesn't make a person less of a human. Stuff like murder does, and teaching that kind of stuff to children might actually be useful. Teaching children that sharing is evil is only in the interests of big corps, it doesn't churn out prettier, kinder, purer teens for the betterment of society.



    ---
  • by Greyfox ( 87712 ) on Monday July 16, 2001 @03:54AM (#82762) Homepage Journal
    I'm all for teaching IT Ethics in school. This would, of course, include teaching our children the evils of doing any sort of work for a corporation that's repeatedly proven that it's willing to stomp your rights into the ground in the name of profit...
  • This is truer than you might imagine... I did Higher English this year, and to send in my folio I had to sign away the copyright to my pieces to the Scottish Qualifications Authority [sqa.org.uk], who run the exams system (badly). It's pathetic.

    This intellectual property thing is part of the "citizenship" idea. Basically, it's an attempt to instil American-style flag-waving patriotism rubbish into our classrooms; (c) Tony Blair 2001. Intellectual property is just one of the things our beloved government is trying to make us respect, including how "drugs are bad" and how "underage sex is bad" and so on. Ugh.

    Besides, this is a Westminster parliament thing which applies to England and Wales only, so I and my brothers won't see the "benefits" (Scotland has nothing *like* the National Curriculum that England has.) And check out the Intellectual Property [intellectu...rty.org.uk] website, which is run on a very badly configured Solaris machine (check that combo box). Sadly, Netcraft doesn't say SPARC or i386...

    However, the author hasn't looked at the Intellectual Property website itself. If you look at it, it gives a list of various items which are legitimately permitted: research, private study, critical analysis, teaching in schools and universities, and not-for-profit music playing. It seems to be slightly scaremongering. But it still has some points to make, and they're worthwhile: about exactly how weak-spined and controlled Blair is, and how it won't be improved by any of the opposition. Such a pity, really: we've got nowhere to go.
  • >At least some translations of it are. The King James/Authorized verison isn't but most of the others are.

    In the USA, perhaps. The KJV is Crown Copyright in the United Kingdom.

    > So I can take the KJV cut out all the bits I don't like, add in some interesting new commandments etc and no one can stop me.

    > If I do that with the NIV I'll probably get sued.

    And a good thing too. It's rather like the reason we have licences such as the GPL, isn't it?


    my plan [gospelcom.net]
  • If you have 3 pepsis, and you drink 1 pepsi, how many cool refreshing pepsis do you have left?

    Piece of cake! None. You never owned the Pepsis, you just bought a license to drink it - nothing else.
    -~^~^~-W3~0WN~Y00-~^~-!

    - Steeltoe
  • In other news, the University of Maryland at College Park has changed its name to The Pepsi Campus of the University of Maryland
  • Yeah, UMD does something like this too. Theyre building a new basketball arena, and Comcast, in return for naming rights, agreed to provide free cable to the U and money for the arena. Much to my surprise, i find a charge for cable on my University bill. I called up and asked what the heck was going on. Apparantly the U is charging for "free" cable and using the money to pay for the arena, not the cable. Seems that students would complain about a charge for an arena, but not for cable.
  • My *GOD* I hate the cola wars. My university (UC Riverside) is a *pepsi* school, theres not a drop of something decent do drink, and the price is outrageous 1$ for a 12 ounce bottle of pepsi / water / juice. 1$ for WATER! And the school has purposefully not put in drinking fountains, or when thats not legal, they've hidden them. "Yeah, the drinking fountain, follow that path and turn left into a building, make a left then a right, and your there."

    Another scam they have is steelcase furniture, departments are only allowed to buy steelcase furniture (which also sucks by the way), and the university has a special *deal* with steelcase to get a discount -- but your department pays an inflated price and the univeresity keeps the difference!

    Universites are just leading the trend here, high schools, middle schools, grade schools, are all headed this direction as well -- so whats to think they'd have a problem helping out the RIAA for a few $$?

  • A couple of practical/legal points that just occurred:

    Firstly, the example given in the Salon story doesn't work out anyway. If little Johnny puts (C) Johnny Bloggs, 2001 on his work, he's actually only half right - as far as I know, Johnny is legally a minor (juvenile). As such, he doesn't actually have full control over his works, in the sense that he is too young to be considered 'responsible' or able to meaningfully enter into contracts. Therefore, if this example were to be in any way meaningful, it would have to be made clear at the time that the legal guardians actually owned the copyright to the piece of work in any case.

    Secondly, based on the first comment I just made, bringing IP into the classroom is likely to lead to a few complications. Teachers tend to assume that they largely have control over the childrens' work, and can publish it in newsletters, etc, maybe telling the child about it. Which is fine. But if you're going to bring IP into the forefront, the teacher should legally be forced to ask, not only the child, but the guardians who actually control the child's copyrighted works, and ask permission. Otherwise, barring agreements previously made between the child's parents and the teachers, there's no reason (other than bad taste) for the parents to refrain from sueing the school for stealing copyrighted works.

    If we're going to bring IP into the classroom at all, actually getting the legal aspect wrong makes something of a mockery of the whole thing (hmm: a mockery of a joke. Brilliant).

    In any case, it's true that this copyright exists whether or not little Johnny chooses to explicitly sign it onto the bottom of the page. However, to me, bringing legal matters explicitly into the lives of ten-year-old children is in extremely bad taste. They don't need it, and it's a bad precedent given that we should be teaching children the value of community, outdated and unprofitable as it is. Maybe the schools ought to all sit down together and thrash out an IP agreement between themselves and the guardians, then proceed on that basis, but for one, I'd rather it wasn't necessary.

  • it doesn't become ok.. nor does it change from an being an illegal activity to a moral anti-capitalist gesture.

    Well yeah it kinda does. "United States copyright law considers copyright a bargain between the public and authors" (Stallman) [gnu.org]

    Essentially ignoring copyright laws can be a form of civil disobedience, or boycott in which the public does not have to deprive itself of the object in question. Now I'll be the first to admit that, for the most part, this isn't the motivating force behind the majority of mp3 downloads. I'll also admit that this isn't even an effective boycott in the case of mp3's, since cd sales have, in my understanding, stayed stable or even increased since the explosion of mp3 sharing.

    The concept is still however the same. If a corporation isn't behaving fairly, in your opinion, try to hit them where it hurts. It's easy to see that current laws are inadequate, and the patchwork laws that are being passed are even worse. Should the DMCA come up on a ballot it would most likely be voted down. Instead of protecting the people it protects corporations.

    All in all I'm not saying mp3 sharing is right or wrong, but it can be a valid expression of civil disobedience.

    In my outlook, I refuse to pay $10-20 for a cd that only has one good song on it, neither would I pay $3-5 if that song happened to be released as a single. If a record company made the song available as an mp3 for $1 I'd prbably pay to d/l it. Assuming that it didn't have any kind of copy protection on it. Additionally by downloading mp3's I avoid being taxed a second time on money that I've allready had taxed once. So I stop buyng cd's... no. I will still continue to buy cd's that are worth it (not just one good song), but I will never pay for a whole cd just to listen to one song.

  • Not true, it is only more effective civil disobedience if you publicize the fact. There's no denying that you're illegally distributing music, but is does not necessarily imply that you are immoraly distributing it.
  • Notice I didn't say all napsteroids. Also notice I didn't say mp3's were an act of civil disobedience, I was just showing how doing something illegal isn't necessarily wrong and using music copyrights as a possible example. Don't try changing my argument an putting words into my mouth. Besides, you don't have to declare the fact that you are ignoring a law. You just do it.
  • Uh, just read that back -

    "...kids go out to do exactly the opposite of what they're told is wrong..."

    Mmmm, double negative hell. Please pretend that I said "do exactly the opposite of what they're told".

  • The works you named are not copyrighted (especially the bible - what's the point in having a religion where you actually prevent possible converts from freely aquiring and distributing information about your religion?) - IIRC copyright law states that authors only retain copyright for something like 100 years, so if you want to publish Shakespeare or Plato on the net then go ahead (though including your Cliff notes as an appendix would be illegal). Of course, IANAL, but I'm sure that's how it works.

    Mind you, the authors aren't likely to come chasing royalty fees, and even people who can show they're decendents of WS (I doubt any decendents of Plato or the Bible authors are going to know they are), they're likely to get laughed out of court. However, copying something more recent that's just going out of copyright might lead to a more heated battle.

  • Ahem, yes, of course; I'd forgotten all about the fine religion that is Scientology - wouldn't want them to lose the revenue from all those fine books L Ron wrote. And it's simply dreadful when sites like Operation Clambake at http://www.xenu.net [xenu.net] publish details of those books and make them out to be some sort of wacked-out cult.
  • by Dr_Cheeks ( 110261 ) on Monday July 16, 2001 @03:16AM (#82785) Homepage Journal
    Well, my old school has varied it's uniform rules quite a bit in recent years:
    It used to be black blazer with school crest, black trousers, white shirt + school tie, but no-one used to wear the blazers so they gave up on that rule. Girls didn't have to wear ties at first, but then a lot of stupid parents complained that it was sexist to make their boys wear ties, so they became mandatory for girls. Nowadays though, they all wear yellow sweaters and the rules seem quite relaxed. It seems that the school gave into rebellion and met halfway.

    As for the brainwashing thing - we didn't all dress alike. It may look that way from a cursory glance, but to those in the school we were all making our uniforms individual - doing stuff like wearing the ties backwards so the skinny part was at the front, wearing trainers or Doc Martens instead of regular shoes, wearing t-shirts that were visible beneath the fabric of the white shirts etc. We were forced to conform, but dressed as differently as we could within limits that had been set.

    I don't think that uniforms is really a big problem (and it actually makes it easier to decide what to wear each day). But trying to turn kids into perfect consumers does suck, though I doubt it'll work (see my earlier post).

  • by Dr_Cheeks ( 110261 ) on Monday July 16, 2001 @02:18AM (#82786) Homepage Journal
    I went to a UK comprehensive secondary school, and I (and all my friends) knew full well that copying software (for my old Acorn Archimedes A3000) and taping CDs that we swapped was illegal. But our allowances went a lot further if we did.

    Don't assume that kids are little angels who wouldn't do something just because an authority figure tells them not to (I'd like to cite drug use and underage drinking and smoking as examples of situations where kids go out to do exactly the opposite of what they're told is wrong). You might persuade some kids to stop, but you'll probably make it more appealing to others.

  • How do you know this was not added to the Bible? How do you know Revelations is not part of the Bible?
  • Not to defend the record companies here because I have plenty of beefs with them as well. Also not to defend copyright holders at all because some can do good with thier works and some just don't.

    I think its right that we teach children not to steal. Thats what copying tapes or software is, its stealing. Using as an argument that stealing is ok if the person already makes enough money, or if you think the price for the product is too high, or you don't support ther persons beliefs is just WRONG. You would be upset if someone did the same to you.

    I commend the schools for teaching that theft is wrong. I must say I am quite upset that the parents of those children hadn't already taught thier kids that idea before the schools were required to though.

  • - IIRC copyright law states that authors only retain copyright for something like 100 years
    Actually, that length of time gets extended every time Mickey Mouse is about to lose copyright. That's been three or four times, so far, the most recent being, I belive, the Sonny Bono Copyright Extention Act.
  • And you'll go to hell, too; Revelations is quite explicit about this:

    Revelations 22, 18-19:

    For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.
  • "'Many of them believe, for example, that if you buy a CD, you buy the right to share it.' *Sigh* Sometimes you do and sometimes you don't."

    The real problem is that the original quotation was given without context. You assume that she was referring to "share" in the sense of copy, but what if she actually meant share? Then I most certainly have that right! There is no law in the U.S. or the U.K. that would actually prohibit me from loaning my copy of Atari Teenage Riot to my friend. Similarly, I CAN give my copy of Fallout to someone else if I'm done with it (even stronger, I can sell it-- at least in the U.S.).

    This is all part of a rather evil redefinition of terminology to suit corporate needs. Copying became equal to stealing, and now sharing is becoming equal to copying. We now have people who think sharing is stealing. What kind of fucked up world is that?
  • Blockquoth the poster:
    Besides, you don't have to declare the fact that you are ignoring a law. You just do it
    To shroud yourself in the moral mantle of civil disobedience, your violation of the law must be public (and, IMHO, actually punished). Otherwise, you're just a law-dodger.
  • Blockquoth the poster:
    .I suppose you think that educating young people about what rape is, and offering any opinion about, say, forcing non-consensual sex on a drunken teenage girl would be wrong too.
    You know, these circumstances aren't morally equivalent. Rape is a felony crime committed against the fundamental security of an actual citizen. Copyright infringement is an economic crime committed against the revenue stream of some entity (possibly a person, usually a corporation).

    Also, the legal and moral issues in rape are relatively stable, universal, and understood. The issues in IP law are evolving, dissonant, controversial, and muddied. Presenting it as a done deal is a disservice and a danger.

    Is copyright infringement a crime? Yes. Is it a crime on a par with rape? No, not at all. In the limited time with the limited resources available to a school for a civics program, I think it immensely obvious that teaching about rape, murder, etc., is much much much more important than a four-week unit on copyright law.

    ObAside: And I'd be mightily surprised if the issues of Fair Use and First Sale (assuming a British equivalent exists) will be raised and treated properly.

  • Blockquoth the poster:
    Get this RIAA post off of slashdot.
    It's a shame to see how people are frigtheneed, not by the facts of others' views, not by the expression of others' views, but apparently by the existence of others' views.

    I don't know if the poster is from the RIAA, and I don't agree with him/her, but why on Earth would we need to "get it off slashdot"? Slashdot's only value is as an open exchange of ideas. Sure, that one is unpopular. All the more reason to protect it, I say.

  • Blockquoth the poster:
    Robin Hood never got caught, indeed he expanded quite a bit of energy to avoid being caught but he's still the hero in the old myths.
    He might or might not be a hero. But his actions don't fall under "civil disobedience".
  • by gilroy ( 155262 ) on Monday July 16, 2001 @07:04AM (#82809) Homepage Journal
    Blockquoth the poster:
    Just because you're ripping off a corporation, it doesn't become ok.. nor does it change from an being an illegal activity to a moral anti-capitalist gesture.
    Um, these aren't mutually exclusive. The whole point of civil disobedience, for example, is to explicitly break a bad law and to be arrested for doing so, to call attention to the injustice of the law. Not that ripping MP3s is, in general, a case of civil disobedience (hint: few song-swappers actively court jail time) but it's disingenuous to equate "illegal" with "immoral" identically.
  • by gilroy ( 155262 ) on Monday July 16, 2001 @07:27AM (#82810) Homepage Journal
    Blockquoth the poster:
    However, it doesn't make it any less wrong to download mp3s that you didn't legally purchase. What amazes me is the /. attitude towards mp3s. I doubt most of the people who post here regularly would advocate going into a music store and stealing tapes or CDs.
    Of course, the tape or CD is a physical object and your absconding with it deprives someone else of the ability to use it. MP3s are digital entities and therefore your copying it does not hinder my ability to listen to it.

    Just to show that there is a difference betweeen the two, and hence, at least possible grounds for having different attitudes.

  • There is no law in the U.S. or the U.K. that would actually prohibit me from loaning my copy of Atari Teenage Riot to my friend. Similarly, I CAN give my copy of Fallout to someone else if I'm done with it (even stronger, I can sell it-- at least in the U.S.).

    Wanna bet? Check out the UCITA. One of the many nasties in it is that the only person allowed to use software is the original purchaser. I cannot resell it or even give it away. And it's been passed in one or two states. Not fun.

    --

  • The works you named are not copyrighted

    Exactly. And look at how widespread they are. Did the complete and total lack of copyright keep Shakespeare and Plato from writing? Granted, copying a book was a nasty, time-consuming process at the time, but still...

    --

  • Well, sure. So do I. Point is, there are some poor shlobs who live within these borders and would be breaking a law by doing what you just described.

    --
  • "I should point out that her statement quoted here is definitely intended to be ironic"

    Does Michael maybe mean sarcastic?

  • This should provide all of us with a good reason to resent corporate sponsoring of the education system, with a vengeance.

    Does anybody really believe that a school system, which is notoriously underfunded, cooks up some braindead plan like this one, instead of focusing on the more important aspects of the education curriculum (you know, things like reading & writing, or math - which is hard - and such). Without being influenced, not to say bribed by the entertainment industry in this case and the corporate world in general? Not bloody likely.

    I can see why a school, ill-funded and always under attack - might resort to corporate "sponsorship", but beware of the ghosts you might call into action by taking the easy route.

    There's no such thing as a free lunch.

  • At least some translations of it are. The King James/Authorized verison isn't but most of the others are.

    I haven't got a copy to hand to check but The Bible Society holds one of them, I think Hodder and Stoughton have another. Someone correct me if I'm wrong.

    I believe the theory behind it is not so much to prevent people acquiring it, or even to make money, but to prevent against someone changing the text.

    So I can take the KJV cut out all the bits I don't like, add in some interesting new commandments etc and no one can stop me.

    If I do that with the NIV I'll probably get sued.

  • Ah I didn't realize the KJV was Crown Copyright.

    I'm from the UK too btw.

    "And a good thing too. It's rather like the reason we have licences such as the GPL, isn't it?"

    Actually it's the exact opposite. The GPL is there is preserve the right to change and distribute changes. Copyright here is being used to protect the integrity of the original. Although I agree it is a good thing.
  • Are you completely daft? You said copying mp3s was illegal. It is not necessarily so. Also, I spefically said that issues of morality are the province of parents -- which you completely side-step as though I said children should be made to be completely ignorant.

    Children learning about law is an academic activity-- usually referred to as "Civics Class" (in the USA, anyway). Children being told blatant untruths like "copying mp3s is illegal" (end of discussion) is not learning. It is misinformation. The law is a complex thing and often what is and is not illegal is a matter for courts and juries decide. Furthermore, in a democracy how to handle unjust laws is a very necessary topic of discussion. In fact, getting a bad law repealed or nullified often requires substantial law-breaking so that there will be test cases for the judges to weigh in on.

    Go ahead and slide down your slippery slope if you like, but I prefer that school stick to critical reasoning skills and skip the propaganda. If you look at the situation objectively, you'll find that most people are "good" and "do the right thing" without having it spelled out for them in excruciating detail in school. I, for one, think schools should concentrate on academia (they seem to be having enough trouble graduating literate adults) than social programming (if you can't teach them to read, what makes you think you're qualified to teach them right from wrong?).
  • by ichimunki ( 194887 ) on Monday July 16, 2001 @06:37AM (#82829)
    Whether it's morally right or wrong to share MP3s/photos, the fact is that it's still illegal.

    Actually there are lots of circumstances where sharing is perfectly legal, in addition to being moral. Kids should be taught to understand that laws and social mores are complicated things and require the individual to apply a little critical thinking when venturing into the grey areas.

    I am SO glad now that I went to a school where HD Thoreau's "Civil Disobedience" was actually a required text and where there was no DARE program. Kids shouldn't be taught anything in school except academics, trade skills, arts, and whatever you'd call what it is you learn in Phys. Ed.

    Morals, right and wrong, how to deal with bullies, how to say no to drugs are all lessons that belong at home. And if the parents don't teach them this stuff, well tough. Then the kids figure it out for themselves. As a parent it disgusts me how much time I have to spend with my child going over what she "learned" in school and applying critical thinking skills to it so that my daughter has a chance to form her own opinions about what she's been told.
  • According to the Patent Office's director of copyright, Anthony Murphy, a major proponent of the new program, understanding intellectual property carries important social value: "By bringing awareness of the importance of copyright into our schools, tomorrow's consumers can take their place in a community which understands, values and respects intellectual property."
    I can see why the director of copyright would like to see this program implemented. And frankly, if it's closely regulated, it's a good idea.

    I know this may go against the average Napster-usin', CD-burnin', Porn-downloadin' Non-consumin' consumer, but copyrights are there for a reason. It's the abuse of the system by people on both sides of this fight which causes so much sound and fury, signifying nothing.


    Tongue-tied and twisted, just an earth-bound misfit, I
  • You know this may actaully be a good thing. Educate kids on why its illegal (and I use the word illegal, not wrong intentionally) and you may end up with much in class discussion on the topic. Those few overactive classes may even write letters to government persons. I do want to stress the point that while kids are influenced easily, they do make choices on there own, and I would know having grown up in a catholic schools yet being uneffected and remaining athiest. Just my 2 cents.
    - Hyperbolix
  • by graystar ( 223824 ) on Monday July 16, 2001 @02:38AM (#82837) Homepage
    As long as they teach about fair use it is not a problem. That way it's easier for the "young" to realise how stupid DMCA-style laws are.
  • Our story for today, children, is how the drug company Glaxo Smithklein stopped the nasty South African government from stealing their patented AIDS medicines. The evil South Africans wanted to treat some of their sick people, without paying the patent holders. Thanks to the virtuous IP laws, Glaxo Smithklein made profits of $5 zillion last year.

  • by tmark ( 230091 ) on Monday July 16, 2001 @05:24AM (#82842)
    I question that they have any right to teach children what amounts to their views of the law - the laws on music copryright for example are based manily on the money and power of the RIAA and Recording Companies

    The laws on copyright are quite clear about the legality of ripping and redistributing MP3s for the use of others who do not own the product - it is illegal ! You may not agree with the law, but the law is unambiguous here.

    You might also think that stealing money from rich people should belegal, and you might justify that by arguing that some rich people do bad things, screw their employees, engage in morally questionable actions, blah blah...but you would be a fool if you believed it was legal.

    As for argument that we should stop trying to "teach children morals and a sense of right and wrong"...I suppose you think that educating young people about what rape is, and offering any opinion about, say, forcing non-consensual sex on a drunken teenage girl would be wrong too.

  • by tmark ( 230091 ) on Monday July 16, 2001 @05:32AM (#82843)
    Essentially ignoring copyright laws can be a form of civil disobedience

    Sure. And if I ever get nabbed for allegedly violating the GPL, I am going to cry 'civil disobedience' too. And alleged GPL violations of the GPL by, say, the Chinese - that's an entirely valid expression of nationals of a foreign country exercising their own rights to self-determination.

  • by Agent Green ( 231202 ) on Monday July 16, 2001 @02:13AM (#82845)
    I have to wonder which big media company thought this idea up...I'd be very surprised if the school system came up with it on their own.

    Kids putting copyright symbols on drawings and papers? What's next...intellectual property contracts within a school system?

    Before the DMCA came along and gave draconian legal controls to big companies, copyrights served only to protect the economic interests of content authors, granting a temporary monopoly to foster creative works in writing and the arts which were supposed to eventually be released into the public domain. They used to work just like patents...and fortunately patents still expire 17 years.

    Regardless, I hope to see this one fall hard. I remember copying tapes on my dual-deck boom box as a kid, and it didn't hurt anyone. What the major media companies have to do is add enough value to their content to make the package worth buying.


    /* ---- */
    // Agent Green (Ian / IU7)
  • I suppose you think that educating young people about what rape is, and offering any opinion about, say, forcing non-consensual sex on a drunken teenage girl would be wrong too.

    That's a good idea, compare copyright infringement to rape, the record labels would be proud! After all, most pirates on the high seas were rapists as well, let's not forget that.

    Remember kids, as soon as you hit that "Burn CD" button, you've commited RAPE!

  • This is a long-established worldwide organisation which not only has uniforms but also indoctrinates its hapless victims (called cub scouts) in the laws of copyright when they try to get what is known as a "computer badge". They are then forced to wear this badge on their sleeve as a sign of compliance with said laws... Perhaps we need to get this issue into some perspective?
  • The law might but British constitution doesn't. Britain doesn't actually have a constitution, as such. What we have is a load of different acts of Parliament, some common law and some custom & practice. It's not pretty but it (mostly) works.
  • The real problem is not that this may pass. The real problem isn't even specifically IP laws. I think the real problem is simply that some people are thinking about taking their business concerns into the grade-school cirruculum. That's an ugly, ugly development. It's not entirely without precedent, but it could well be the beginning of a much more serious trend.
  • As someone who wore a uniform to school in Australia, this brings to mind a couple of quotes:

    "Everybody in this room is wearing a uniform and don't kid yourself"
    Frank Zappa

    and "We are all individuals and this is our uniform"
    (Don't know who said it)

    Simon
  • At school, they taught us not to smoke, drink or take drugs. By the sixth form (age 16-18), half of the year smoked, three quaters of them got pissed every night and a quarter of them smoked pot and took xtc every weekend.

    Anyway, the way the education system in this country is now, by the time it filters down to classroom level, MP3s, etc, will be way out of date.
  • by nichughes ( 321642 ) on Monday July 16, 2001 @03:57AM (#82880)
    When you cut through the rhetoric all the article is saying is that a minor governement task force has suggested including IP as part of the "citizenship" part of the national curriculum which is being introduced.

    Realistically its got little chance of making it onto the curriculum ahead of more pressing matters (discrimination, vandalism, drugs, debt, etc.).

    Even if it did slip in there for a half-hour lesson I hardly think the teachers are going to suddenly develop brain-washing powers of indoctrination just for that moment - British children have been ignoring what their teachers say for centuries and I doubt if they are going to change now.
    It might even make a few of them think about an issue everyone tends to ignore - whatever conclusions they eventually come to this is a good thing.

    --
    Nic

  • Not meaning to be picky or start a fight or nuthin', but 'indoctrination is also quite Orwellian' - isn't indoctrination quite a wide-spread practice? Isn't saying it's orwellian being slightly emotive? It's a good idea to teach the perils of violating copyright law to kids. They teach the perils of selling drugs and drink-driving, why not another illegal activity? Whether it's morally right or wrong to share MP3s/photos, the fact is that it's still illegal. Kids should be taught that they don't own the rights to share the music.

    Just my opinion.

  • Everyone says indoctrination is bad, whereas we've all been indoctrinated. When we're told as children about 'right' and 'wrong', basics of the law (ie don't jaywalk) - this is all indoctrination. If this helps people realise that mp3-dealing is illegal, then that's good. Whether they still keep doing it is up to them, and they then know what the consequences are, if they were to get caught.
  • Uniforms are still around - it depends on the school, But brainwashing might be a bit strong a term- it could be encouraging an espirt de corps, or providing a leveller - no arguments over who has the best trainers/sneakers.

    I might argue a religous school is more akin with brain washing, rather than a uniform per se.

    I don't think I would worry about the telling the authorities bit in general, school children are second only to the mafia in the 'don't squeal' stakes.
    And paying attention to copyright laws? Doubt it, I have more faith in them than that! ALso, unless the law can be effectively enforced it will likely be ignored.

    And while there is an argument of 'harm to the copywriter' I don't think it'll sway that many really.

  • sound and fury, signifying nothing.

    Hold on a minute. With new increases to the length of copyright terms, that statement may not be in the public domain anymore. Better check.

    Some people think just because they bought Shakespeare they have the right to share it with the world.

  • by SilentChris ( 452960 ) on Monday July 16, 2001 @03:38AM (#82891) Homepage
    "Many of them believe, for example, that if you buy a CD, you buy the right to share it."

    *Sigh* Sometimes you do and sometimes you don't. This upsets me on Slashdot to no end. If it's Open Source software, yes, you do. If it's just about anything else, no you don't. There was never any written or unwritten rule that said "everything on CD's can be copied". In fact, the rule should generally be viewed as the reverse: "nearly everything on a CD should not be copied".

    Of course there are exceptions to the rule. If you made a Word document that you disavowed all personal copyrights to, yes you can share it. If the software is Open Source, yes you can share it. But no one has a right to share music or software that is owned by someone they personally don't know, regardless of their purported grassroots-it's-a-CD-company, we-have-a-right-to "reasons". When does the grey area start and stop.

    I had a friend in college who absolutely hated Napster. The reason was that he was in an independent, yet popular, band whose music was being traded for free online. The problem: the band paid in full for their CD to be recorded professionally without a record label. It was something like $500 for 50 CD's, and they only had 4 songs on each of them. This was a struggling college band. But I imagine most Napster users would have argued "How was I supposed to know they paid? I thought it was an evil record company." Again, where does the grey area start and end?

  • As a child I had a ZX Spectrum. Most games where sold at £5.

    When the Hobbit came out it was retailed at £15, then well out of my league. So myself and some friends formed a cartell and pooled our money and baught one copy that we then coppied amonst our selves.

    I can't rember how meny of us where in the cartell but I'm sure that their where more than 3 of us. So insted of selling x units at £5 where x was > 3
    the softwhere house sold 1 unit at £15

    They went bust soon after.

    The morral of the story; If companies want to protect their IP rights and make money on them then DONT place such a high valu on any individual coppy
  • "If no one had ever copied Plato, Shakespeare or the Bible that would mean we wouldn't have to read them, right?"
  • by q-soe ( 466472 ) on Monday July 16, 2001 @02:10AM (#82910) Homepage
    Whats next - Special tape players which you place on your womb when pregnant so that the kiddies are well educated and obedient when born ?

    What he's really talking about is teaching children what the corporate community considers right or wrong rather than what may be moraly correct.

    Whilst i agree that many of these things may be illegal (copyright breach etc) i question that they have any right to teach children what amounts to their views of the law - the laws on music copryright for example are based manily on the money and power of the RIAA and Recording Companies who conveniently ignore the fact that they screw artists for every cent they can make and engage in morally questionable actions in the pursuit of their 'rights'

    So this is something we NEED to stop - enough - lets teach children morals and a sense of right and wrong and let them make their own decisions - not give companies the right to educate them about THEIR version of the world.

Of course there's no reason for it, it's just our policy.

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