Why I support Pete Ashdown


Little bit Computer Junkie, Little bit pinball Junkie. Pretty much all around Geek.

You may also like...

20 Responses

  1. EA says:

    You know what is smarter than supporting a democrat running against Hatch? Writing Hatch a smart letter asking for his views on the subject at hand.
    No donkey will ever beat the Almighty Hatch.

  2. Mike says:

    So whats the position of the Wyoming Senators? Have you checked on the position of the all the other incumbents. I am curious why you chose Hatch to examine.

  3. ethan says:

    I’m with you on this. Intellectual Property law and technology are so critical to our future, they can’t be entrusted to Senator Hatch

    who has repeatedly shown he does not understand them.

  4. Lee Hollaar says:

    I hope you are basing your decision to support Pete Ashdown on more than your (mis)understanding of copyright, and especially hope that what you wrote is not based on anything he has said.

    The current term of copyright is the life of the author plus 70 (not 75) years. It was set at life+50 by the Copyright Act of 1976, to match the standard of the vast majority of other countries. The extension to life+70 was to bring us in line with Europe, which had adopted that length from Germany.

    The original copyright term at the beginning of the United States was 14 years, with the possibility of a renewal for another 14 years. By the time of the Copyright Act of 1976, that had been extended to a 28 year term with a 28 year renewal.

    As for how you measure the life of a corporation, a look at the statute answers that question. You don’t.
    If the work is a work made for hire for the company, “the copyright endures for a term of 95 years from the year of its first publication, or a term of 120 years from the year of its creation, whichever expires first.” If not, you use the life of the author.

    As for having the term of a copyright lasting beyond the life of the author, some authors might feel that leaving something for their widow or other heirs has some value.

  5. Chris says:

    EA: Just because a Democrat doesn’t have a chance in a solidly Republican State means I shouldn’t say he that I think he has viewpoints I agree with? Some of the Apostles of the Church are Democrats, does that mean that they are wrong? Change has to happen. As it stands, the current Government is rife with Lobbiest. What happens? The loudest gear gets the grease, and the loudest gears have the most dough.

    Dad: Rick Boucher is the one the few Reps of the House that thinks along the same lines. He’s for more balance when it comes to copyright. I’m not advocating that giving works away for free, but there must be balance. The government grants an artificial monopoly on these works to *ensure* that more gets created. I’m all for that. But if you look at Disney, they get huge amounts of Money for works that have been public. Bueaty and the Beast? Pinnochio? The Little Mermaid? Was any of that original story?

    Here’s some of what Sen Hatch has said. From http://deseretnews.com/dn/view/0,1249,510033683,00.html

    “No one is interested in destroying anyone’s computer,” replied Randy Saaf of MediaDefender Inc., a secretive Los Angeles company that builds technology to disrupt music downloads. One technique deliberately downloads pirated material very slowly so other users can’t.
    “I’m interested,” Hatch interrupted.
    He said damaging someone’s computer “may be the only way you can teach somebody about copyrights.”
    The senator — a composer who earned $18,000 last year in song writing royalties — acknowledged Congress would have to enact an exemption for copyright owners from liability for damaging computers. He endorsed technology that would twice warn a computer user about illegal online behavior, “then destroy their computer.”
    “If we can find some way to do this without destroying their machines, we’d be interested in hearing about that,” Hatch said. “If that’s the only way, then I’m all for destroying their machines. If you have a few hundred thousand of those, I think people would realize” the seriousness of their actions, he said.

    He was one of the Authors of the INDUCE Act, another un balanced piece of legislation.

    He’s also become the Chairman of the Senate Intellectual Property subcommittee.

    I haven’t checked into our two Senators, but they haven’t been making any waves.

    Ethan: I agree as far as Technology and IP. Copyright is starting to do the *exact* opposite of what it was meant to do. It will start stifling competition.

    Lee: Here’s what I understand about Copyright:

    Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution for the United States gives the United States Congress the power “to promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries.”

    The purpose of Copyright is to “Promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts”. No where does it say that Authors are entiled to money or goods for their life and the life of their children. The express purpose of copyright is to create more goods. There are no other jobs I can have where my children will still get rewarded for the work I do.

    Congress then instituted the Copyright act of 1790. And then the Copyright act of 1976.

    You might also want to look into the “Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act ” or as it’s better known “Mickey Mouse Protection Act”. It was passed in 1998. Before then Individual Copyright was 50 years, Corporate was 75. This act added 20 years on both, making them 70 and 95 years respectivly.

    If you want a nice little spreadsheet check here.

    I *have* done some homework, please give me some credit.

    Like I said, I have worked for both parties. I don’t make decisions without looking at facts. If you could show me where a government controlled monopoly of this length is indeed beinificial for the Public of the Nation, I’ll look into it.

  6. Dad says:

    OK, so we know that you don’t like the copyright laws as they stand. So what is your proposal, and how do you protect intellectual or other property rights of the developor. I have lived in a nation (Taiwan) where blatant rip off occured (Speaking of books here). What if you were the guy who came up with the invention or the new operating system, or you become a composer and rock star. Do you just give it away because people now have computers and it is easier than ever to obtain music downloads, software, watch TV over the internet and not pay for it, even though the income from “your invention” is your livelihood How do you solve that problem. What is fair for one side should be fair for the other.

  7. Lee Hollaar says:

    “He was one of the Authors of the INDUCE Act, another un balanced piece of legislation.”

    And yet, the Supreme Court in it’s Grokster decision found that there was liability for inducement of copyright infringement, just what the Induce Act said.

    So inducement liability has been the law of the land since late June 2005, and the world has not come to an end (unless you were Grokster, whose bad acts were detailed in the Supreme Court opinion).

    Besides, it’s hard to blame Sen. Hatch alone for a bill whose sponsors also included Sens. Daschle, Leahy, Boxer, and Clinton.

  8. Pete Ashdown says:

    Thanks for the endorsement Chris. It really is appreciated.

    Lee, although its fun to roam the Internet responding to you on the INDUCE act, I continue to not understand your perspective. A minor constitutional nit, the Supreme Court upholds law, it does not make it. What the Supreme Court decided against Grokster is that their business model depended on violating copyright. Surely copyright in its most strictest form will not end the world, very few laws would. The more baffling question for me is why you, a computer scientist, agree with INDUCE and Hatch’s floor statement introducing it. Maybe I’ve misread both and been misinformed by Lawrence Lessig, Susan Crawford, Corante, , CEA, and of course the EFF.

    Please tell me your thoughts on the DMCA especially in relation to Fair Use and archiving. Is a default corporate copyright on all computer software of 95 years appropriate? Why should software, which usually loses its marketability in under a decade, be protected for nearly a century? Tell me your opinion on why having works age into the public domain be so harmful for our country?

    I could care less if Disney wants to protect Mickey into the next millenium, or if the holders of copyright on “Happy Birthday” want to extract fees out of every five-year-old’s party. They should *pay* considerably for that privilege beyond a reasonable term.

    Remember Lee, I respect and value your opinion. So much that I would really like you to participate on my Wiki more.

    As for the rest of the senators who have been compliant on DMCA, INDUCE, and Sonny Bono, I can only run against one of them. If I win, its one down, the rest to go.

  9. Chris says:

    Dad: I don’t propose destroying copyright. There is no all or nothing here. Right now I believe Copyright is *too* tilted towards Corporations. From Pete’s website

    Congressional extensions on copyright have been repeatedly pushed by interested businesses to the point where the public interest is damaged. Copyright should protect artists and creators when they take action to request it. Instead, it is abused to the point that innovation is held back and very little falls into the public domain.

    The creators of works should be compensated and have their works protected. The artificial monopoly that I pay for via my taxes should eventually go away. Like I said, the squeeky wheel gets the grease, and the squeek is in the form of lobbyist money. Take a look at the Jack Abramoff scandal to see how much money gets moved around.

    I think copyright is good as it was in the Copyright act of 1976. 28 years with a 28 year renewal. Other legislation such as the DMCA makes the entire Copyright issue even darker.

    If you make a Loan, does that mean you should still be able to reap residuals from that loan 70 years after you pass away?

    And realistically, when was the last time you read a book, watched a movie, or listened to a song that was owned by the artist and not the company that distributes for the artist (Star Wars?)

    Lee: My problem is with the broadness of the INDUCE act. What exactly is Fair Use? This also undermines the results of the Betamax case. Should a DVD burner be illegal because you can burn copyright infringing music? Should iPods be illegal because you can listen to copyright infringing music?

    Do I need to buy a copy of a (album, DVD, casette) or whatever other medium is available for a piece of a copyrighted material that I purchase?

    Grokster was in the wrong as far as I am concerned. If the Entertainment industry would be more engaged in adapting it’s business model (such as what is happening with iTunes and ABC, NBC) instead of pushing to maintain it’s current business model, I think everyone would be happier.

    Like I said before, give me some facts, show me how Copyright stands right now is good for the Public, and I’ll take a serious look at it, and maybe even change my mind.

  10. EA says:

    I base my opinion on Sen Hatch and his views on copyrights, intellectual rights, etc. from what I learned sitting in his living room one day while he showed me some of the music he wrote. Hatch is a composer, author, and “recording artist.” His views completely protect “the artist.” As someone who also gets royalties (and grew up in the same ward as the Hatch family) I completely support Hatch.

  11. Lee Hollaar says:

    It is amazing the misunderstandings about copyright, the Induce Act, and the Supreme Court’s Grokster decision that people have expressed here. And anybody who sees such things should provide the correct information, so the misunderstanding don’t become urban legends.

    That’s my interest here. Maybe it’s the professor in me. But I felt strongly enough about correcting the misinformation about copyrights (and patents) that I wrote a book and then put the thing on the Internet for free. You can find it, along with my paper about inducement liability and my brief in Grokster, at:
    The first chapter is an overview of copyright law, walking the reader through the major parts of the statute.

    (For anybody who really wants to learn about digital intellectual property law, I’ll be teaching a course in it at the UofU during next fall’s semester. But the book gives most of the information from the lectures.)

    Suffice it to say that the Grokster decision is fully as broad as the Induce Act — maybe broader since if the Induce Act had passed, there would have been a legislative history giving examples of what was covered or not, something not in the Grokster decision except to list a number of Grokster’s bad acts. And as to Sony, none of the justices felt that Grokster modified Sony in the least, which is why three wrote saying that it should be changed and three wrote saying it should stay the same.

    What the Supreme Court decided was not that Grokster had infringed copyright itself, but that it had actively encouraged others to infringe. That’s variously called indirect liability, secondary liability, contributory infringement, or inducement of infringement.

    The key to inducement liability, whether from Grokster or the Induce Act, is not whether something can be used for infringement, but how it is being actively promoted. If you actively encourage infringement of others, you are liable; if not, you aren’t.

    Pete: I would love to sit down and discuss the Induce Act and Grokster and the DMCA and copyright in general with you. We might never agree, but at least you’ll understand my perspective. You can send me email or give me a call at home to set something up.

    As to the “minor constitutional nit, the Supreme Court upholds law, it does not make it,” that’s not really the case in Grokster. There is no statutory basis for inducement liability in copyright, although it has been recognized by the courts since the Gershwin case in 1972. The same used to be true for patents, until the court-made secondary liability doctrines were codified in 1952. And that was what the Induce Act was going to do for copyright — codify a court-made doctrine.

    So is “fair use”. Before the Copyright Act of 1976, it wasn’t in the statutes at all. And all the 1976 Act did is codify the past court decisions.

  12. Pete Ashdown says:

    Negating the entire discussion by writing it off as misinformation and urban legend? Lee, please respond to these issues:

    1. Fair Use is overriden by the DMCA. If I want to make a copies of my kids’ DVDs for backup from their tiny scratching hands, I am circumventing the copy protection. Do you believe DMCA has no impact on Fair Use?

    2. DMCA also prevents reverse engineering. It would have penalized Compaq for the clean-room reverse engineering of IBM’s BIOS, thus blocking the jumpstarting of the PC revolution. Do you believe otherwise?

    3. DMCA allows any copyright holder to complain of infringement to ISPs, and the ISP, by law, is forced to respond. There is no compensation from the copyright holder to launch these investigations. Fine for a few dozen a week, but when it hits a few hundred a week, it gets to be an economic issue for the ISP. Do you think DMCA is fair to the ISP?

    4. Copyright is overextended and the length of default protection is not suitable for software. In Eldred v Ashcroft, the court stated the term of copyright is decided by congress. Do you think 95, 75 or even 20 years is appropriate for non-requested default copyright on software?

    5. There is a societal benefit for having works fall into the public domain. For example Disney took advantage of “Treasure Island” to make “Treasure Planet”. Do you believe otherwise?

    6. You can repeatedly say “No problem!” to INDUCE, but that does not negate the issues that were raised by CEA and EFF. I am not a lawyer, but I tend to believe EFF on their evaluation of the issue rather than people saying it was a non-issue. Do you believe CEA, EFF, and Lessig were flat out wrong?

    7. “Imposing liability on a party who contributes to the infringement but is not a direct infringer can be particularly valuable when there are a large number of small infringers and a few who are making substantial contributions to that infringement.” – Lee Hollar. Do you believe ISPs should be held responsible for the thousands of potential infringers on their networks? What about phone companies? What happens when there is no commercial entity responsible for P2P authorship?

    7. A question for the computer scientist. Do you believe any legislative authority can control the Internet?

  13. Lee Hollaar says:

    As I said, Pete, I’d be glad to spend some time with you going over this. This is way too long as it is, and likely will just generate more questions.

    But here are some quick answers to your questions:

    1. The Second Circuit examined that issue, and found that the DMCA does not unduely burden fair use. “We know of no authority for the proposition that fair use, as protected by the Copyright Act, much less the Constitution, guarantees copying by the optimum method or in the identical format of the original.” See Universal City Studios v. Corley.

    Beyond a very limited provision for computer programs only (17 USC 117), there is no general right to make a backup of any copyrighted work, although I think there should be, with tailored provisions to prevent abuse. But just because somebody might tear a page in a book that I purchased doesn’t give me the right to make a photocopy of it.

    Until the Sony decision, fair use was limited to “productive” or “transformative” uses — things like criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, or research, where something new results, and not merely copying. Now, people view it as anything where there isn’t much harm to the copyright owner.

    2. The DMCA prevents reverse engineering in some circumstances. But it doesn’t, for example, prevent reverse engineering for purposes of building interoperatble systems, because the people concerned with such things (primarily Sun) were able to suggest language that protected that activity while not gutting the purposes of the anticircumvention provisions.

    In fact, every group that did that got an exemption from the DMCA. But many people didn’t do that, preferring instead to oppose it in any form. It’s not surprising that they didn’t get the exemption they wanted.

    As for Compaq reverse engineering the BIOS, that wouldn’t be covered by the DMCA. It applies only to reverse engineering access or copy protection mechanisms. And yes, I know that some printer manufacturers or garage door opener companies have tried to scare competitors with the DMCA, but they have been generally unsuccessful. And people push the limits and beyond for every form of protection — Sega tried to use trademark law to protect the interface between their game console and the game cartridges.
    (See Sega v. Accolade. The court said nice try, but no.)

    3. Yes, because the alternative to the ISP safe harbor is that the ISP could be liable for its users’ infringement if it had notice of the infringement. “Plaintiffs do raise a genuine issue of material fact as to their theory of contributory infringement as to the postings made after Netcom was on notice of plaintiffs’ infringement claim.” RTC v. Netcom.

    (Since copyright infringement is a strict liability offense, there is a good argument that before the DMCA, an ISP could be liable for direct infringement based on any copies, such as backups, it made of works that infringe placed on their system by a user. Some copyright law experts criticized the Netcom opinion because it added a knowledge requirement not previously part of copyright law.)

    Because of this concern over liability, ISPs were the primary group pushing for the DMCA safe harbors, particularly the one covering information stored by users. In trade for an exemption for any monetary damages, they agreed to a notice-and-takedown (and putback) scheme where, upon receiving a proper notice, they take down the indicated information (with no need to investigate whether it is infringing or not). If they receive a counter-notification from their user, they put it back in no less than 10, nor more than 14, business days. That gives the copyright owner time to go to court and get an injunction to block the putting the material back. There no liability for the ISP for doing this, even if a mistake is made.

    It’s certainly some effort, but it’s better than responding to an infringement suit as a direct or contributory infringer when the ISP has received a letter indicating an ongoing infringement by its user.

    4. I agree, but it’s not something that can easily be changed. The life-plus-50 term (95 years for a work made for hire) is required by the Berne Convention, which in turn is required by our primary global trade treaty. The extension to life-plus-70 was made so that our copyrighted works were not disadvantaged in Europe, which had gone to that term. Otherwise, a European work would get life-plus-70 in Europe, but an American work would get only life-plus-50. There was a real concern that the production movies, books, and music might shift to Europe to get that longer protection. The export of copyrighted material is one of the bright spots in our foreign trade picture.

    5. Sure. But just because a work is protected by copyright doesn’t mean that everything related to it is prevented. Copyright only protects expression, not ideas. Even expression isn’t always protectable if it is a common element in a narrative.

    6. It has been six months since the Supreme Court held that inducement liability was part of copyright law. iPods are still selling well, as is TiVo. The predications have not come to pass.

    The same predictions were made not only about the DMCA, but when the NET Act was pending in 1997. In a letter to President Clinton asking that the bill be vetoed, ACM predicted that researchers wouldn’t make their works available on the Internet to other researchers, fair use would be criminalized, and free speech would be chilled. That was over eight years ago.

    And there are far worse things than civil liability for inducement that were already on the books, and would have likely been used had not the Supreme Court done what the Induce Act was proposing. Inducement was already part of criminal copyright infringement, as well as criminal and civil RICO, and copyright infringement is a RICO offense.

    7. ISPs received an exemption from liability (or at least monetary damages) from the DMCA. So did phone companies.

    Secondary liability for copyright infringement is imposed when the person is in a position to control the infringement and profits particularly from it (vicarious liability), knows of the infringement and materially contributes to it (contributory infringement) unless the contribution is a device or program with a substantial noninfringing use (Sony test), or intentionally and actively induces (aids and abets) another to infringe (Grokster).

    Most ISPs or phone companies or software authors don’t do any of those things. Those who do should be liable for their acts.

    7 (the second one). Not completely or perfectly, no. But then, that’s the case for most laws. The laws against murder don’t end all murders.

    And I certainly like that there are laws that can be used when somebody misuses the Internet, such as fraud schemes like phishing. Or breaking into an ISP’s computer systems. Or aiding and abetting that by distributing a toolkit to do it. And although it is hard to catch people who do some of these things, law enforcement takes offenses on the Internet very seriously and has a good record of getting convictions.

    Imagine an Internet with NO legislation to control its activities.

  14. Pete Ashdown says:

    1 & 2: So you felt all the actions regarding DeCSS were appropriate and didn’t burden Fair Use? My Linux would like a word with you.

    3. “It’s certainly some effort.” Due to media company automated “word search” crawlers and spiders, you have no idea how much effort it is. Should the phone company be the police for every illegality happening on their system? The “Safe Harbor” provision is a way for saying, “You’re innocent only if you’re at the free beck and call of copyright holders. Somehow I envision America to be above that kind of raw deal.

    4. Change starts where? Most of Asia does not recognize our copyright laws. If something is wrong, I prefer to attempt to change it rather than shrug it off as difficult.

    5. Derivative work is a viable way of protecting ones copyright. “Treasure Island” is in the public domain and Disney would have been sued if it wasn’t. See the problems with “Eyes on the Prize” and “Happy Birthday”.

    6. Here we disagree again that INDUCE was the same as Grokster. The problem with INDUCE is that it was overly broad and unspecific. Grokster was not. Lessig
    apparently responded to you directly
    on that.

    7. My fear is what the next step is with an ignorant congress lobbied by media companies. If its all non-commercial P2P, they’re going to go after the ISPs. In the same manner that the first drafts of HB260 (which I had a hand in fixing) held ISPs liable for pornography received through their service.

    8. (Having no preview or proper editor has its side effects.) I helped draft the anti-spam law in Utah, but it hasn’t cut back on spam. It also hasn’t enabled any damages for XMission. I was happy to help, but I realized what the outcome would be. Legislation, in my opinion, is a lot of wishful thinking where technical solutions do the real work. On the other hand, technical legislation usually does more to punish the innocent than go after the real source of the problem.

    Fraud is fraud, no matter how you cut it. The same laws that protect against fraud through other means protect against fraud over the Internet. Any amount of legislation on Phishing is not going to be as effective as updates to email servers and clients.

    Imagine an Internet with NO legislation? It isn’t hard. I used it from 1987 to 1998.

    What I find interesting is that people who rail against the concepts of regulation and “big government” feel otherwise when it comes to the Internet. This is what I wish to change.

  15. Lee Hollaar says:

    Pete: I feel that we have hijacked this blog and I hope you will suggest a more appropriate place for this discussion, perhaps one with a better text editor.

    I’m trying to keep my answers to Pete’s questions short, but this is a complex subject that goes well beyond snippets. But her we go again …

    1 & 2. The reason why there isn’t a legal open source DVD player for Linux is that open source doesn’t allow keeping the necessary passwords as a trade secret. And one of the requirements, not too surprisingly, of the CSS license is that you keep the passwords secret. (There is, or at least was, DVD players for Linux that weren’t open source.) Passwords are a particular problem, because it makes little sense having any protection mechanism that depends on passwords when the passwords are publicly available.

    Every business model has costs associated with it, and open source is no different. If I decide that my business model is that I will only pay for things using Diners Club, I can’t be an XMission customer, because they don’t take Diners Club. I can rant about how they are keeping me from using the Internet, but the real problem is the limitations imposed by my own choice.

    3. Again, it gets back to choices. There is NOTHING in the DMCA that requires an ISP to do anything. The only time you need to spend on a takedown letter is what it takes to toss it like junk mail.

    But then you won’t get that exemption from monetary damages that the safe harbors provide. I suspect that Pete thinks that may be worth the cost of handling all those takedown letters in the end.

    And, at least, you don’t have to be making decisions about whether something is or isn’t infringing, or how you might be liable. You get the letter, you take it down. You get a response from your user, you put it up in 10 to 14 days unless a court tells you otherwise.

    There are special rules for phone companies because they are regulated common carriers. I doubt whether Pete wants ISPs to be regulated in the same way. And also, because they are in less of a position to stop an infringement because there is nothing for them to “take down.” The DMCA recognizes this, and has different rules for mere conduits of communication and servers storing the content of a user.

    But again, there is nothing in the DMCA that says an ISP must do anything, and certainly nothing that says they aren’t presumed innocent if they don’t.

    4. Most Asian countries do “recognize” United States copyrights, although enforcement is poor. That’s in contrast to the United States when it was a developing country and didn’t recognize foreign copyrights for more than its first century. (Gilbert and Sullivan staged the first performance of Pirates of Penzance in New York City to get a United States copyright, after seeing all the “piracy” of HMS Pinafore.)

    So, what do you propose to do to change the term of copyright when you are a United States Senator, and why do you think that it will happen, especially when it would go against our trade treaty obligations? Or is this just a campaign thing that sounds nice but has no chance of happening?

    Sort of like the politicians that say “vote for me, and I’ll end illegal immigration” but don’t address the realities of the situation.

    5. The problem with “Eye on the Prize” is that it incorporates copyrighted works and the owners of those copyrights (including the King family, that controls the copyright on the “I Have A Dream” speech) won’t give permission for further use of their works. The problem with “Happy Birthday” is that a copyright owner has a right ask for a royalty for public performances. Neither has anything to do with derivative works.

    Sure Disney could have been sued. People are sued all the time, because that’s how we decide things when there are disagreements that need a neutral party to decide and then be enforceable.

    But whether the right to make derivative works blocks any particular movie is depends on what and how much is copied. I can’t make a movie of the latest Harry Potter book without J.K. Rowlings’ permission. But as the great judge Learned Hand said when permitting a movie similar to the play “Abie’s Irish Rose.” “Nobody has ever been able to fix that boundary, and nobody ever can.” (See Nichols v. Universal Pictures.

    6. Lessig was commenting on a paper I wrote before the Induce Act, and Grokster wasn’t even before the Supreme Court at the time, so he certainly doesn’t say anything about the breadth of the Induce Act relative to the Grokster decision.

    And his #1 criticism of my paper is that I discussed “the scope of ‘inducement’ liability in the context of patent law.” So what did the Supreme Court say in Grokster? “For the same reasons that Sony took the staple-article doctrine of patent law as a model for its copyright safe-harbor rule, the inducement rule, too, is a sensible one for copyright.”

    The rest of his comments seem to think that the Sony decision was all there was to say about secondary liability. But again, the unanimous Supreme Court disagreed, holding that it applies only when there isn’t inducement. And then he goes on to make a separation of powers argument that Congress should take the lead in defining when their is secondary liability, which is a strange argument to make against them trying to do just that with the Induce Act.

    As to the breadth of the Induce Act, not only is it similar to what the Supreme Court said in Grokster, but it is comparable to the inducement provisions in other areas of intellectual property law.

    The Supreme Court, in a rare unanimous decision, agreed with what I had written and ignored Lessig’s criticism. I can live with that.

    7. I really doubt that anything will happen in Congress regarding secondary liability in copyright now that the Grokster decision is there. The Induce Act hasn’t been reintroduced this Congress.

    8. There has never been a time when there wasn’t laws regulating the Internet, not even between 1987 and 1998. The person who sent out the first Internet worm was prosecuted under the existing law. Libel, fraud, and a whole panoply of other laws also applied.

    But sometimes it is desirable to have new laws, or amend old laws, to directly address the particular nature of the Internet. Otherwise, as existing laws are stretched to reach bad conduct on the Internet, there may be unintended consequences.

    And we have seen that just as legislation alone doesn’t solve some problems, technical solutions without laws backing them up don’t, either. The question is how to achieve a good balance, not to have the Internet as a law-free zone and hope for the best.

    I’m surprised that you just seem to be parroting things rather than understanding what copyright law really is. That may be normal for a blogger, but you are trying to become a United States senator and this is a key part of your campaign position. A wiki of people who also don’t understand copyright law doesn’t help.

    Again, I’d be glad to get together with you. And please suggest another forum so that we don’t continue hijacking this blog.

  16. John Knight says:

    This is an interesting discussion I hope you both continue in a public forum.

    3. (Burden ISP’s must carry to qualify for DMCA safe harbor) Pete, what concrete system would you suggest instead? One that would, in your view, fairly protect the intellectual property of individuals and at the same time not unduely burden ISP’s?
    Every ISP, including your competitors, must comply if they wish to take advantage of the safe harbor. None of your competitors enjoys an advantage in this respect; the costs are ultimately borne by customers, not the ISP. If an ISP decides as a business decision that qualifying for the DMCA safe harbor is important, then the rates customers pay will have to be increased to pay for it. Since every ISP is similarly situated in this regard how is this burden “unfair” to you as an ISP owner?

    4. (Length of copyright; copyright applied to computer software) Copyright, given its long life, is probably not appropriate for computer software in light of the public policy behind the protection of intellectual property and the purpose of software. However, the application of copyright to software is in a sense a historical accident. Because patents were apparently not available, the only avenue available was copyright. One solution allowing the US to satisfy its treaty obligations and eliminate the problem of too long of protection would be to legislatively remove software from the type of material that could be copyrighted. What do either of you think of this proposition?

    8. (applicability of laws to the internet) “Legislation, in my opinion, is a lot of wishful thinking where technical solutions do the real work. On the other hand, technical legislation usually does more to punish the innocent than go after the real source of the problem.” – Pete Ashdown. CSS, copy protection scheme for DVD’s, was a technical solution. Was it successful, Pete? I believe a careful study of the interplay of law and technology will prove law is often far more efficient and effective than technology for solving problems. Technical solutions always cause a competition between opposing sides, like an arms race. Neither side wins, and both expend significant resources on what is ultimately a futile endeavor. Legal solutions seek to stop the wasting of these resources to the benefit of both sides, by making the arms race unnecessary through the imposition of, usually economic, sanctions. Pete, I am sympathetic to your view that technology is the proper avenue here. It’s one I have fallen prey to myself. When carpenters see a problem, they usually try to solve it with a hammer. You’re a programmer, so technical innovation of software and storage systems seem like the right tool. I don’t believe the empirical evidence is on your side though.

  17. Lee Hollaar says:

    There is not much that can be done about a special copyright term for computer programs. Article 4 of the WIPO Copyright Treaty states: “Computer programs are protected as literary works within the meaning of Article 2 of the Berne Convention. Such protection applies to computer programs, whatever may be the mode or form of their expression.”

  18. sherps says:

    I agree with you about Sen Hatch. As far as being almighty Hatch…..the polls show that he probably will win this upcoming election….but he’s more vulnerable than people thought. In Dec his approval rating in the state of utah was fairly low.

  19. sherps says:

    I agree with you Chris about Sen Hatch(that’s what it should say).

  1. February 7, 2006

    like the things I hear Pete Ashdown saying about copyright. He seems to side with Lawrence Lessig whom I’ve written favorably about before. On a recent blog entry (ht SLC Spin), Ashdown thanked a blogger for an endorsement and then got into a bit of a debate on the copyright issue. I

%d bloggers like this: