Re: When is an MP3 like a lighthouse?

From: Brian D Williams (
Date: Thu Oct 25 2001 - 07:56:06 MDT

>From: "Alex F. Bokov" <>

>On Wed, 24 Oct 2001, Brian D Williams wrote:

>> You left out another option, the affected artists can bring
>> legal action against those responsible for theft. Difficult or
>> not.

>Difficult doesn't begin to describe it. It will take cops to
>enforce this legal action. Who will get their doors kicked down?
>Those with pirated files on their computers? Those who have a copy
>of BearShare or LimeWire on their computers? Those who help
>develop BearShare and LimeWire? Those who develop the theoretical
>framework underlying p2p technology? According to the DMCA, it's
>all of the above. Who is going to go and track down these
>transgressors? Carnivore? ISPs, schools, and employers forced to
>be de-facto deputies? Sounds like a lot of cops and deputies to
>me. How are our first and fourth ammendment rights going to be
>safeguarded in the process? Who is going to pay for these cops
>and deputies? Will they be funded by a special, RIAA-members-only
>tax or will the cost of protecting recording industry business
>models be distributed to all taxpayers? How will we taxpayers be
>compensated for their money and their curtailed civil liberties?

So what if it's hard?

First I'd do probably exactly what the copyright holders are doing,
go after the napsters of the world. Then I'd probably go after
people who manufacture equipment that assists in this theft.

If I had the political clout, I'd go after the backbone itself,
filter from the NAPs and you could stop all of this traffic in the

>Even if these extreme measures were taken, those whose income
>depends on information being an excludable good would still go out
>of business. As Mr. Bradbury (I think it was) pointed out,
>consumers will just opt for free alternatives. Not only because
>they are free-as-in-beer, but also because their use presents the
>fewest legal complications and the least CPU/disk-space/code
>wasted (from the consumer's point of view) on copy protection and
>digital rights management.

People aren't opting for the free alternatives, they want these
items, they just don't want to have to pay for them.

In the digital age theft has become so easy and the chance of
punishment so small, that millions pretend they're not stealing at

>The software industry already knows this, and are busily trying to
>create technical (.NET) and legal barriers to entry. Book and
>music publishers will follow suit.

They are trying to protect their material and it's associated
revenue stream.

>Call it downloading, call it theft, call it etaoin shrdlu. The age
>of whatever you choose to call it is upon us. Perhaps I misnamed
>this thread. I should have posed it as a question:

It's like the old story about "if you call a dogs tail a leg how
many legs does a dog have?" The answer is still four because
calling the tail a leg doesn't make it one. Calling theft of
copyrighted material "downloading" doesn't make it a leg either.

>I await your answer.

You got it.


Extropy Institute,
National Rifle Association,, 1.800.672.3888
SBC/Ameritech Data Center Chicago, IL, Local 134 I.B.E.W

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