> On the rec.arts.tv newsgroup there is an ongoing spirited debate about
> the rights of copyright holders vs. those who feel they have a "right"
> to download copyrighted works for free from the Internet.
> I do believe the property rights granted by a copyright--which is
> explicitly provided for in the US Constitution--are very important. I
> do not think it is right for people to download such works for free.
> That is stealing. I am no fan of "greedy corporations", but they do
> have very legitimate ownership rights.
> On the other hand, the US Constitution provides that copyrights are to
> last only a "limited" time. Recent changes in the law have extended
> this limit. (I don't know exactly the terms). In one sense, I can
> understand this because of the enormous cost and risk to create modern
> motion pictures.
> However, I am concerned about industry controls as mentioned above
> because they may intefere with my legal rights as a consumer. I have
> a DVD/VCR machine, but it won't let me make a VHS copy from a DVD.
> The law says I can make a backup copy yet I am denied the means to do
> so. Considering I take CDs in my car, there's a chance they'll get
> damaged or lost and I should be able to protect myself with a copy.
> I don't want future electronic equipment to be so "tight" that it
> adversely impacts my freedom to use it as I please.
> I also am a big believer in "fair use" and am afraid the industry may
> tighten up on that.
> [public replies, please]
> [TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: I strongly believe in acknowledging the
> copyright holders and their work. I also strongly believe in making
> liberal 'fair use' of material as I wish. But I am also old enough to
> remember -- and unwilling to forget, as Hollywood and the music
> industry wishes I would do -- when the _intent_ of the internet was a
> 'share and share alike medium'. People developed whatever, their art,
> their writing, their thoughts, and put them on the net for anyone who
> could benefit from what they had done. It _still_ is that way over
> much or most of the net. Click on a link, or go FTP to some site, see
> what you need and take it. I've a quarter century of files on line
> here for people to use; just help yourself, and I will do the same
> with yours. But I do not forget where yours came from, and I hope
> you do not forget where mine came from.
> But then, in the middle 1990's, along come the latest interlopers into
> our village, the music and video producers. _They_ seem to feel the
> rules should be different for them. _They_ feel we all have to play by
> their rules. We were here a long time prior, and had our own informal
> rules to play by; _they_ say forget all those rules, our rules will
> now apply. And _they_ have the money and the mouthpieces (who by and
> large gobble up all the money) to get their way. _They_ love the idea
> of scattering their stuff all over the sidewalk and public way, to
> make it easy for the users they favor to get the stuff they want; but
> the rest of us had better not get into their stuff without their
> permission. Our stuff is all out there also, to make it easy for other
> users to find what they need, but that's not what the movie and music
> people have in mind. We were here long before them; _they_ should play
> by our rules or find somewhere else to play. But like bullies
> everywhere, they do not intend to be moved. PAT]
My Sony DVD/VHS records both ways from one or the other just fine, not
that I have a real interest in do that.
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