FC4: Chap. 3/Catalogues

Free Culture News Stories:
1)More on Yahoo divulging info on Chinese dissident to Chinese gov't.
2) Second hand CD resale/maintaining digital copies
3)Bringing old art/film back to life FreeCulture.org and Creative commons program
Free Culture by Lawrence Lessig. Chapter for Today:Catalogues
My hero for today-Jesse Jordan
My major dissapoint of today -Jerry Yang
Some songs woven into mix to decrease some of my chatter:
The Theme:WeaponsOfMassDeception 3:21 The Bots
The Background:Sun City Solo 10:37 Orb Gettarr
Brand New Sucker 2:04 Jonathan Coulton
Let Down 4:10 Steadman
Devils Warning 3:32 Frantic Chant
Go by and visit these musicians sites, give 'em some love, and some spare coin if the spirit moves ya!
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Anonymous Shane said...

Selling the CD and keeping a copy for yourself -- isn't that skinning a cow twice? You keep the music, you keep the money -- you lose nothing but the round piece of plastic, and you've created a duplicate to which you can no longer claim Fair Use rights since you don't own the artifact. How can this be on the moral high ground that I know you mean to occupy?

I am no apologist for the music industry, which I want to see driven out of business by truly free music. Until that happens, I want to see the laws changed as much in favor of freedom as possible. But disobeying the laws isn't changing the laws; it's vigilantism, and we can't fix the laws while simultaneously declaring that they don't apply to us.

3:32 AM  
Blogger Mark Forman said...

hi Shane,
You're clever using my analogy against me:). I like that-like playing frisbee. I know you're very passionate and aware-that's good.

I guess we differ a little bit on 'letter" of the law, and "spirit" of the law interpretations. I'm not a lawyer nor am I a legal maven. However, I find it very difficult to believe that any judge would find it a convctable offense if he kept a digital copy of a CD which he later sold, specifically because record company/publishing/licensing agencies already got your cut. What you should be clammering about is, "how about the second hand CD shops. they're selling CDs and not coughiing up additional money to the aforementioned agencies.

I appreciate your heart, but don't be duped by these greed heads. Can you similarly justify RIAA's pernicious legal attack against Jesse Jordan? Does it say on CDs what a person can o can not do, and what the penalties are?

Would most people bother to purchase ovver-priced CDs if they knew they needed a legal adviser on what they can do with them?

I'm not an advocate of vigilantism, but I also don't advocate the consumer being a dupe or a victim

11:41 AM  
Anonymous Shane said...

Second-hand CD shops are exactly the contrast I have in mind. Fifteen years ago, the RIAA was complaining about the financial impact of second-hand stores, and they were wrong, because, the person who sold it to the second-hand store no longer has it, so that one copy of the CD which was paid for once still exists in the possession of one person, and all is well.

In our present day example, the contents of the CD have been duplicated. The person selling it to the second-hand store has made a digital copy with no degradation, so that paid-for-once copy is now two copies for the price of one. The person selling it has not relinquished possession, only taken money for someone else to take additional possession.

One might argue that cassette tapes made this possible fifteen years ago, and I agree. However, it is not pedantic to point out the degradation of tapes, both in the copying and with every subsequent play; the fact that digital audio doesn't mean that the seller who retains a digital copy truly gives up nothing of the music. And the prevalence of this issue in the media has left not a single person in America who doesn't know that copying without ownership is illegal (whatever their moral stance may be); which is to point out that there was an innocence to taping then that cannot be claimed now.

Here's another example: what about the people who download copies purely for the purpose of auditioning the music? Who intend to delete it if they don't like it, and will purchase the disc if they do? This is honestly intended, and I don't oppose it although it's still technically illegal. It's the deleting that sells me, the willingness to take honest ownership or none at all. Selling the disc but keeping a copy anyway is exactly the opposite.

To me, music is a gift that comes through us, not from us, so I don't even recognize a musician's right to own or sell the music; but if I accept that a professional artist's money purchases, not the art, but the time that they spend making art instead of delivering pizzas, that still in no way gives the industry to make undeserved billions from that gift. Much less do I agree with any greedy, grasping legal action they take to protect their precious revenue streams from teenagers who just want to hear some groovy tunes. I don't believe in the industry, and I'm not being duped by them.

But I believe in obeying the law. Again, I'm all for changing it, as much in favor of the listener and the freedom of music as possible, and I do not recognize a single one of these lawsuits as rooted in anything more moral than plain avarice. However, the wrongness of the RIAA does not absolve us of the social contract. If we obey only the laws that we agree with, then we're not law-abiding citizens, just fairly agreeable outlaws.

It doesn't take a legal advisor to know that you own something or don't, possess it or don't. Buying a CD is trading money for ownership -- surely we agree on this much. So is selling a CD trading ownership for money? Why, then, would we not relinquish ownership -- not because the RIAA is in any way right, not because a judge would or wouldn't find it a convictable offense, but because it's honest to do so?

Thanks for the dialogue. I recognize the possibility that I am wrong and sincerely hope to learn from continued conversation. Sorry this was so long.

3:48 PM  
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9:01 AM  

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