August 20th, 2004


Well halle-fuckin-lujia, Betamax Lives

TV and movie studios tried to sue Sony, makers of the Betamax video-recorder over copyright infringement- based on the idea that VCRs, like P2P networks, had no fair-use, non-infringing purpose; they existed to steal TV and movies.

P2P networks have recieved the same accusation, however US courts have applied Betamax to P2P- you can't blame the people making the tech for people breaking the law with the tech.

The INDUCE Act still lives however. It's funny how any word can become ominous when it's in all caps and followed by "Act". The PATRIOT Act. The INDUCE Act. The PANTY Act. See? Any word. Ominous. OMINOUS Act.

Basic text of the INDUCE Act? If you produce something that induces people to infringe copyright (aren't they being oh-so-creative?) you can be held legally responsible. Not that we want to stifle innovation, but we um... want to stifle innovation.

Has anyone ever considered taking the TV network approach to this? Studios and TV networks can release digital versions of their products- with included commercials. They can be under a Creative Commons Liscense- No-Driv-Attribution perhaps? If anyone takes out the commercials, then they've broken the terms of that liscense and action can be taken against them. Anyone distributing a version of the film without commercials is also being bad.

Personally, for the convience of downloading movies for free, I'm perfectly happy to watch commercials. Even more so with TV shows I download. We're putting goddamn advertisments on _everything_, I don't see why this should be any different.