Senator Tillis Plans Major Copyright Overhaul: Recognizes Legit Problems, But Current Solutions Are Lacking

from the pandora's-box? dept

We've criticized Senator Thom Tillis for his patent and copyright reform ideas that seemed to take a strong "maximalist" line in its approach. He's also taken the Hollywood line on things like the Internet Archive that was troubling. He's been promising a copyright reform bill for a while, and many thought it wasn't going to matter much, since polls indicated that he was very, very likely to lose his re-election campaign in North Carolina (even after his opponent's bizarrely chaste sex scandal made the news). However, Tillis pulled out a surprise victory, and that means that his plan to reform copyright is something worth watching.

Earlier this month, he sent around a a letter to "stakeholders" asking for thoughts on a wide variety of issues related to the DMCA -- which actually suggests that he might be open to some good changes, and not just the terribly awful ones we've been hearing from Hollywood over the last few years. There are still many horrific ideas in the letter, but the fact that so many broad ideas are in there at least (hopefully?) suggests that Tillis' office is willing to look at the entire DMCA structure, and not just pasting on another favor to Hollywood (which had been Congress's traditional approach to copyright law for decades). The letter even states this upfront:

Rather, than tinker around the edges of existing provisions, I believe Congress should reform copyright law’s framework to better encourage the creation of copyrightable works and to protect users and consumers making lawful uses of copyrighted goods and software-enabled products, respectively.

The very fact that it states upfront that the law should protect users and consumers is a surprisingly good start. Many of the questions in the letter could lead to good, bad (or neutral) results depending on how the eventual bill answers the question. One good aspect is that it appears that Tillis is skeptical of DMCA 1201, which is the "anti-circumvention" or "digital locks" provision in the DMCA that says circumventing "technological measures" to lock down content is infringement, even if the circumvention is not done to infringe on anyone's copyright. This has been a mess in practice, and has resulted in fairly widespread abuse of the law to lockdown products and effectively take away ownership rights from buyers. It's also been hell on security researchers who risk tremendous liability for just doing their jobs.

1201 has this incredibly messy "triennial review" process by which the Copyright Office and Librarian of Congress decide to "exempt" certain applied for use-cases from 1201's rules for the next three years. But as we've seen time and time again this whole process is very sketchy and can even lead to rights being taken away at a later date. Also, frankly, if your law needs a review with new exemptions every 3 years, that seems to suggest the law is the problem. Tillis' questions seem to recognize some of the problems with 1201 and the triennial review process:

Section 1201 currently allows for temporary exemptions to be granted from the circumvention prohibition, but those exemptions do not extend to third-party assistance. This means that when the Librarian of Congress grants an exemption for circumvention of technological protection measures (TPMs) over software for a tractor to allow for repair, the tractor owner must perform the software repair themselves. The Copyright Office has recommended amending the statute to grant the Librarian authority to adopt temporary exemptions permitting third-party assistance “at the direction of” an intended user, and this may be the right way to address this problem. Do you agree with the Copyright Office? If so, how should this provision be drafted to avoid unintended consequences, and to what extent is the Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act a helpful model? If not, please explain why you do not agree and provide specific recommendations as to how you think this problem should be addressed?

The Copyright Office has recommended revising some of the permanent exemptions so that they are better tailored to the types of uses sought today. In particular, the exemptions for security testing and encryption research should be revised to expand the types of activities permitted, ease the requirements to seek authorization from the owner of the relevant system or technology, and eliminate or clarify the multifactor tests for eligibility. What thoughts do you have about revising these existing permanent exemptions, and how would you recommend that be done?

Congress should adopt new permanent exemptions for noninfringing activities that have repeatedly received exemptions in recent triennial rulemakings, or where there is a particularly broad-based need, including to enable blind or visually impaired persons to utilize assistive technologies and to allow diagnosis, repair, or maintenance of a computer program, including to circumvent obsolete access controls. What other temporary exemptions should be made permanent?

There are various ways that the triennial rulemaking process could be streamlined to be more efficient and so that section 1201 better accounts for user concerns. These include establishing presumptive renewal of exemptions adopted in the previous rulemaking cycle, shifting the burden to those who want to oppose an exemption from the previous rulemaking, and authorizing the Librarian, upon recommendation of the Register, to make permanent a temporary exemption that has been renewed twice without opposition and without modification. How ought section 1201 be revised to reflect the stakeholder desire for a less burdensome triennial rulemaking process and consumer interests, and what other means should be adopted to make the rulemaking process more efficient?

It's good that Tillis recognizes the problems of the triennial review, though I wish that the office was more open to the fact that all of 1201 is outdated and not useful (and open to widespread abuse). Rather than just looking at fixing the triennial review process, it would be even nicer if Tillis was open to just dumping 1201 altogether. He noted in the opening that he's not interested in tinkering around the edges -- but many of these questions indicate that is what's happening. A real review would question the entire premise of 1201 itself. Is it actually needed? Is it useful? Is it promoting the progress of knowledge? Or is it simply a tool for taking away user rights and harming innovation?

Most of the rest of the questions focus on the more well known parts of the DMCA, Section 512, which is the "notice-and-takedown" part of the DMCA, or the "safe harbor" part. 512 has always been problematic, and there's a long history of it being abused for massive censorship. I still think there's a decently strong argument that 512 itself violates the 1st Amendment, in that it uses state pressure to remove 1st Amendment protected content.

Tillis seems to recognize that 512 is outdated, but it's a very mixed bag in how outdated it is. Some of his suggestions are very much needed, but a few suggest he's considering making 512 even worse and even more censorial. Again, starting with the positive, the letter recognizes that 512's classifications of service providers is weird and no longer in-step with reality. Currently it has different rules for conduits, caching services, hosting services, and location tools. But in many 512 cases, it's not always clear which category sites fit into, and it's not always clear how the different rules apply to different types of services. Clarification on that would certainly be useful -- though, again, what that clarification looks like will matter a lot.

OSPs eligible for the safe harbor under section 512 are divided into four categories (conduits, caching services, hosting services, and web location tools) that can be both under-inclusive and over-inclusive. First, what types of OSPs should be covered to account for technological advances and business practice changes that have occurred during the past twenty-two years? Second, how should the categories be revised to better cover the types of OSPs that need—rather than just appreciate—the safe harbor’s benefit? Among the possibilities would be to either increase the number of statutory categories to more explicitly cover specific types of service providers or to reduce the number of statutory categories, possibly to only one, and delegate authority to the Copyright Office to identify, by regulation, the covered types of service providers. If Congress were to take the latter approach, would this raise concerns about such authority being delegated to a non-presidentially-appointed Register?

Of course, neither suggested approach seems likely to be that useful. Simply increasing the categories is going to lead to the same problem down the road (and could impact future innovations as companies "choose" which category to go into). And having the Copyright Office pick and choose would also be a disaster (and arguably unconstitutional). A better approach would be to go in the other direction, and stop trying to fully distinguish types of services but to focus on types of uses. Indeed, the best fix to the 512 safe harbors is actually to align it with Section 230's immunities. That is, rather than put in place a series of specific conditions you have to meet to "earn" the protections (which has been a mess in practice), just set up an immunity that makes it clear that service providers are not liable for the actions of their users. Simplify the situation and let innovation bloom.

Another potentially good thing in the questions is that Tillis recognizes the counternotice situation for many users is not good, and is leading to non-infringing works that are being taken down remaining down because users do not wish to poke the bear. A counternotice under existing law is effectively daring the copyright holder to sue. And even if you believe strongly that your use is non-infringing, going through a federal lawsuit to prove that would bankrupt many people. That's correct, though Tillis' proposed solution of a "small claims" court creates many other problems that we've discussed in the past. There needs to be a better way, but the small claims proposals we've seen to date will lead to more trolling.

The questions also recognize problems in automated takedowns, and potential privacy issues with notice-and-counternotice situations (in which abusive individuals file bogus notices in order to try to dox someone by receiving their counternotice, including contact info). Again, it's good to recognize these problems, even if the suggested solutions leave much to be desired.

It is clear from the record established across my hearings that one major shortcoming of section 512 is that users who have had their content removed may decide to not file a counter-notice because they fear subjecting themselves to federal litigation if the copyright owner objects to the putback. At the same time, the requirement that a copyright owner pursue federal litigation to keep a user from having content put back up following a counter-notice is a heavy burden. Congress might consider improving dispute resolution by directing disputes between notice and counter-notice filers to a small claims court rather than federal court. What is the best way to accomplish this? Would the copyright small claims court as envisioned by the CASE Act be the proper forum? If not, how should such a tribunal be designed? Related, what should be the time period for putbacks? There is broad agreement that the current 10-14 day window works poorly for both copyright owners and users. How would you amend this?

More generally, the notice- and counter-notice sending process have many shortcomings. These could be improved by clarifying when automation is appropriate and that OSPs cannot erect requirements beyond those in section 512(c)(3); by authorizing the Copyright Office to develop standardized web forms for notices and counter-notices and to set regulations for the communications that OSPs must deliver to a user when their content is taken down or had access disabled (including offering information about the fair use doctrine as codified in section 107 and as illustrated in the Copyright Office’s Fair Use Index); and by increasing privacy protections for notice and counter-notice senders by masking certain personally identifiable information, including address and phone number. How could this best be done? Please provide specific provisions for accomplishing these

Tillis also seems to recognize that one of the big problems of copyright law has long been the fact that it was designed in an era when the only real infringement and copying was done for commercial reasons, and that we've moved to an era when we all have super powerful copying machines in front of us (and in our pockets) all the time -- and that every single person with a computing device likely incidentally infringes thousands of times per day, based on a strict reading of the law. There's also the fact that copyright law treats a website run by a single user the same as a giant company like Google or Facebook. Tillis' suggested approach to dealing with this is to classify service providers by different markets or sizes:

The record established in my DMCA reform hearings indicated that an overarching principle of any reform should be making digital copyright less one-size-fits-all. The law needs to account for the fact that small copyright owners and small online services providers (OSPs) may have more in common with each other than they do with big copyright owners and big OSPs, respectively. Accordingly, I think we should consider whether copyright law should be revised to account for such differences among stakeholders. In particular, could copyright law borrow from employment law, or other relevant fields, to establish different thresholds for copyright owners and OSPs of different size, market share, or other relevant metric? If so, what is the best way to accomplish this? Is there a particular area of law, or existing section of the U.S. Code, that provides crucial guidance? As with all questions where it is relevant, please include in your response specific recommended legislative

Similar to the other questions mentioned, he's actually looking at the right issue, but approaching it with the wrong solution. This approach is almost certain to lead to weird incentives, potential regulatory capture to design specific rules, and a significant amount of gaming, as companies employ copyright lawyers to figure out how to stretch and twist around the rules' definitions to comply with the law as a technicality, but not in spirit. We've seen enough of that, and it leads to wacky scenarios like Aereo, in which a technically insane setup is put in place in the belief that it has to be built that way to comply with copyright law (even if the Supreme Court then stepped in with its weird "looks like a duck" precedent that made a mess of things).

Again, rather than trying to just craft a bunch of specific rules that will be gamed, shouldn't the focus be on setting an appropriate rules that actually makes sense across the board?

Where the Tillis questions get much more problematic is the suggestion that we should import some very dangerous, censorial and likely unconstitutional ideas like "notice-and-staydown" and full site blocking.

Section 512 places the burden on copyright owners to identify infringing materials and affirmatively ask the OSP to remove the material or disable access to it. This burden appears to strike the correct balance, but the burden that the notice-and-takedown system itself places on copyright owners is too heavy; the system is also woefully inefficient for both copyright owners and service providers. I believe U.S. copyright law should move towards some type of a notice-and-staydown system—in other words, once a copyright owner notifies a service provider that a use of a copyrighted work is infringing, the service provider must, without further prompting, remove subsequent infringing uses absent a statement from the user (whether the copyright owner or not) that they believe the use is licensed or otherwise authorized by law (e.g., fair use). What are your thoughts on such a system, and how could it best be implemented?

The injunctions available under section 512(j) have been narrowly interpreted by courts and thus little-used by copyright owners. Is it worthwhile for Congress to consider revising this provision to make injunctions more readily available for website-blocking in special circumstances (with an eye toward article 8(3) of the Information Society Directive)? Such injunctions could be issued by a special tribunal and appealed to federal district court, or, out of concern for user protections, the law could require that injunction orders come from the district court alone. If warranted, what would be the best way to enact limited website-blocking via such injunctions? Again, please provide suggested legislative text. If you do not think the law should be amended to expand the availability of injunctions, please be specific about any ways you think section 512(j) could be improved.

Yikes on both of these. Notice-and-staydown is a horrifically bad idea. We're already dealing with a situation in which the notice-and-takedown process is regularly and consistently filed for non-infringing reasons, with an effort to suppress or silence speech. Notice-and-staydown would make that problem much worse.

Furthermore, notice-and-staydown ignores the fact that it's not the content that is infringing, but the use. That is, the very same content may be infringing in some use cases, but not in others. The very same content could be fair use in certain contexts, but not in others. Notice-and-staydown ignores that.

Site blocking has massive 1st Amendment implications as well. Taking down an entire site because of some infringing material would violate the general principle as set by the Supreme Court that any regulation impacting speech must be narrowly tailored to only impact speech that is not protected by the 1st Amendment. Full site blocking does not do that.

There are other big reform ideas that seem to be missing entirely. A full (non-tinkering on the edges) reform bill should look at issues like false takedowns, copyright terms, digital 1st sale rights, and statutory damages. But those don't appear to be mentioned. There is one question that touches on the fact that a ton of takedown notices are bogus, but only loosely:

At the same time that Congress should revise section 512 to ensure that infringing material stays down once identified, it should also discourage the over-sending of notices as a counter-balance to the more significant action that an OSP must take after receiving a notice. This could be done, for example, by heightening the requirements for accuracy in notice sending, possibly with stricter requirements and heavier penalties. As noted above, the standard may be more lenient for small entities and individuals. How might the requirements be heightened in a meaningful way while not unduly burdening copyright owners trying to protect their work against infringement?

It seems odd that they don't even name the totally toothless 512(f) in this section, even though other questions focus on specific parts of the law. The idea that stronger penalties for false notices would "unduly burden copyright holders" is kind of laughable when you look at the current "balance" in copyright law, in which purely incidental infringement of a single thing could bankrupt most Americans.

In the end, while there are a bunch of bad ideas presented in the questions, I'm still somewhat pleasantly surprised that many of the questions raised indicate an awareness of the actual problems in current copyright law. That's better than we've seen in the past. That said, most of the proposed "solutions" will not help and may make things worse.

That is why it's important for people to weigh in with thoughtful ideas on how to actually fix copyright law. That said, there's an insanely short time frame for this. The letter asks for any comments to be sent in by December 1st (next week!) and says that Tillis intends to release a draft bill by December 18th. That seems like an astoundingly short time frame (1) for people to organize and submit their ideas and (2) for Tillis' staff to incorporate them into legislative text.

There's still a very strong chance that the bill that Tillis proposes will be a dangerous disaster towards free speech and innovation online. Certainly, some of the questions strongly hint at that. However, the very fact that the questions also indicate at least some legitimate recognition of the problems of today's copyright law is nice to see. Hopefully, Tillis and his staff recognize that the answers to these problems is not to make copyright law even more draconian, but to recognize that there are better solutions.

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Filed Under: abusive takedowns, copyright, copyright reform, dmca, dmca 1201, dmca 512, dmca reform, free speech, innovation, notice and staydown, takedown notices, takedowns, thom tillis, triennial review


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  • icon
    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 23 Nov 2020 @ 1:50pm

    I can all but guarantee that the only “stakeholders” in copyright to which Tillis will listen are the ones that don’t matter nearly as much as the ultimate stakeholder — the American public at large.

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      Major Outbreak hits Navy crew, seaman decks him, 23 Nov 2020 @ 3:05pm

      Re: The 'only “stakeholders” in copyright' ARE the stakehold

      the American public at large.

      Oh, here you go posing as champion of The Public!

      In practical First Amendment rights, like Masnick, you advocate that corporations have TOTAL ARBITRARY CONTROL of "platforms", mere web-sites hosts, so that ANY person in "the American public" can be silenced by whim of one unknown weenie in a cubicle.

      Do you see any tiny bit of contradiction there? Doesn't "the American public" have a right to NOT be arbitrarily silenced? -- By a legal fiction which WE permit to exist? Are you going to go on claiming that mere web-site hosts have sweeping power to control the speech of hundreds of millions, while you rant over a few instances of what you claim are draconian control from DMCA?

      YES, you will.

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      • icon
        Mike Masnick (profile), 23 Nov 2020 @ 3:37pm

        Re: Re: The 'only “stakeholders” in copyright' ARE the stake

        In practical First Amendment rights, like Masnick, you advocate that corporations have TOTAL ARBITRARY CONTROL of "platforms", mere web-sites hosts, so that ANY person in "the American public" can be silenced by whim of one unknown weenie in a cubicle.

        This is the nature of private property. You don't support private property? And, no, no one can be "silenced" by whim of any one person. They can only be denied the services of a single website. There are many other websites, or they can set up their own.

        Do you see any tiny bit of contradiction there?

        There is no contradiction there.

        Doesn't "the American public" have a right to NOT be arbitrarily silenced?

        Just as Macy's need not let you stand in the middle of their store and scream obscenities, no website needs to let you cause a disruption in the middle of their site.

        I am confused as to how you still don't get this after it's been explained to you over and over again during the past 10 years.

        By a legal fiction which WE permit to exist?

        The legal fiction being... property rights?

        And, yes, since you bring up the DMCA, you still have not been able to square how your support of corporations holding copyright to actually silence works across the entire internet is no problem in your book, with the fact that any individual website has every right under basic property concepts to deny someone the right to use their property.

        Because it's nonsensical. Like you.

        You've been here on this site for over a decade now. I don't get if this is just a bit you do, or if you legitimately are this ridiculously stupid.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 23 Nov 2020 @ 4:44pm

          Re: Re: Re: The 'only “stakeholders” in copyright' A

          I don't get if this is just a bit you do...

          The answer is 'yes'. It gets him replies. He has thus proved he can control a portion of the world in a way.

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        • icon
          Jeroen Hellingman (profile), 23 Nov 2020 @ 11:44pm

          Re: Re: Re: The 'only “stakeholders” in copyright' ARE the s

          I think replying to a position that seems to imply that there should be some limits of what platforms can do with a generic suggestion that that person is against private property is unhelpful in the discussion. I am in favor of private property, but there are limits to it, as everybody except the most staunch libertarian will admit.

          I think the whole discussion about the power of platforms should not be a discussion about free speech, but about market domination and monopoly abuse. Areas were limits to what you can do with "private property" are well established (although vested interests have put the barriers against government intervention a bit too high, in my opinion) -- and in this case that market domination does have of impact on free speech: it makes it much harder to look for another platform to bring your speech to.

          In my opinion, the solution here should be to look at the monopolistic aspects of media companies, and introduce barriers, in business, such that a dominant position in one area cannot be used gain leverage in another. One prime example: Amazon using its platform information to gain insight in "partners" successful business, then taking that business over -- you should either be a open platform, or a trader of goods, but not both, similarly the strength of "Big Tech" mostly derives from one core feature: the power of search, and related network effects. Facebook is powerful because I can find many of my acquaintances over there, and reach a large public. How much I do support the position that everybody should have a private server in the basement, using standard interfaces (API's) and data easily being portable between applications, I do not see that happen quickly. I do think regulations like the EU GDPR and Copyright Directive will have their impact and push things in that way, but they too include some highly questionable elements.

          Finally, on the subject of copyright reform. They always give me the shivers. Whenever it comes up, the claws of industry reach out to get more of it, while we actually need less copyright to make it work better -- for both the public and the authors (in a broad sense: includes artists). Again, monopolistic abuse of the channels is the issue here. After significant reducing the term, I am much in favor of tying copyright to the original author, even renaming it author's right, as it is already called in the several European languages, and limiting sales and exclusive licensing deals, in an effort to stop the massive hoarding and locking in of cultural heritage by a few monopolistic players.

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          • icon
            Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 24 Nov 2020 @ 1:05am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: The 'only “stakeholders” in copyright' ARE t

            "I think replying to a position that seems to imply that there should be some limits of what platforms can do with a generic suggestion that that person is against private property is unhelpful in the discussion."

            It really isn't. If you own a house and people have been invited to a party then the possible position where the owner of the house can't evict people at will is a world no one really wants to live in. It certainly is a world where no one would dare open their homes to strangers.

            Yeah, you're answering that with suggestion of constructive criticism and separation of monopoly and free speech issues as separate topics - but it's wasted in a comment thread started by the persistent and unceasing Techdirt troll.
            Because Baghdad Bob's repetitive harping about whether a platform should be allowed to dictate the terms under which people are allowed to post is that final frontier. The principle where every social platform today can only exist because the owners of those social platforms realize they have control over which people they allow to mingle there or not.

            "In my opinion, the solution here should be to look at the monopolistic aspects of media companies, and introduce barriers, in business, such that a dominant position in one area cannot be used gain leverage in another."

            Well, yes. Unfortunately the people who keep harping about section 230 and "free speech online" have no interest at all in the actual problem of monopolization. They're only invested in making sure Facebook and Twitter won't be able to censor accounts for spewing White Power propaganda.

            You can readily tell when someone has an interest in trustbusting when they discuss enforced adversarial interoperability or separating supply chains and content creation from infrastructure ownership. None of which applies to the trolls who keep screaming about how butthurt they are because they keep getting censored over the N-word, antisemitic rhetoric, misogynic statements or bigoted scapegoating.

            Finally about copyright - it's not going to be possible to "fix". In many european nations, as you say, there are actually two rights currently conflated under the US definition - The "Right of authorship/origin" and the "Right to copy". One of those makes perfect sense an is naturally embraced by the vast majority of people. The other is, in practice, regularly violated a thousand times by every person, every day, and is nothing more than a protectionist Red Flag Act.

            It's never going to get fixed until the concept of "copyright" is utterly abolished.

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            • icon
              Jeroen Hellingman (profile), 24 Nov 2020 @ 3:18am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The 'only “stakeholders” in copyright' A

              I think my comment on limits to private property is misunderstood here: It is not about not being able to kick misbehaving party-goers out, a better analogue would being able to intervene when such party-goers cause significant nuisance to the neighborhood. I fully agree with the basic premise that publishers of platforms should have the freedom to throw out content when that is in conflict with their rules. We also need to consider to what degree a contract exists between the platform and the individual using that platform, to avoid complete arbitrariness in this respect. A privately owned open-for-all platform is still very different from a individual private residence.

              In this case, it is also about the issue that for free speech to be able to exists, you need to establish where the public space is. Compare it with the old situation, where shops are located on a public street, as a modern situation, where shops are located inside a privately owned mall, eliminating the entire concept of a public street that is free for all to walk along. When such a thing effectively eliminates free speech, you may well need to re-evaluate the balance between property rights and free speech, which are both important in a free society.

              The public street in this case should not be the platforms, but the ISP's, which should have a content neutral obligation to carry any lawful communication, and connect any party in their area of operation, which would enable people to build their own platform. (Opening up that other can of worms, network neutrality).

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              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 24 Nov 2020 @ 4:53am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The 'only “stakeholders” in copyrigh

                Free speech requires that people can find an outlet for their speech, but not necessarily the same outlet. Many of those people attacking the large social media platforms over their moderation policy are not doing so because they cannot find an outlet, but rather because they want the audience of those platforms, and cannot attract a significant audience on the platforms that tolerate their speech, or they wish to directly attack people for some reason like their sexual orientation.

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                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 24 Nov 2020 @ 6:29am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The 'only “stakeholders”

                  "Free speech requires that people can find an outlet for their speech"

                  Is this in reference to the law or something else?
                  In the US, the law makes no such distinction.

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              • identicon
                Rocky, 24 Nov 2020 @ 5:06am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The 'only “stakeholders” in copyrigh

                We also need to consider to what degree a contract exists between the platform and the individual using that platform, to avoid complete arbitrariness in this respect.

                It's usually spelled out in the TOS, so I wouldn't call it arbitrary. Behave like an adult and adhere to the TOS and you shouldn't have any problems. The problem is that just because someone lets people onto their private property, some of these people behave like entitled assholes thinking that access equals do-as-they-please without any consequences, and when they run into those consequences they start whining like little children.

                In this case, it is also about the issue that for free speech to be able to exists, you need to establish where the public space is.

                And something that is private can never be a public space in the free speech sense, because that means you are forcing the owner of a private property to accept speech which he or she may not agree with. So the public space is very easily defined: I, as a property owner, decide who is welcome or not. Because any other way means you think eminent domain is just fine.

                Compare it with the old situation, where shops are located on a public street, as a modern situation, where shops are located inside a privately owned mall, eliminating the entire concept of a public street that is free for all to walk along. When such a thing effectively eliminates free speech, you may well need to re-evaluate the balance between property rights and free speech, which are both important in a free society.

                What old situation? A public street is a public street in the sense it's not privately owned (although there are some very narrow exceptions to it).

                How does it eliminate free speech? Are you suggesting that the only place that someone can exercise their free speech is on someone else's private property? I think you are confusing free speech with the non-existent right to use someone else's private property.

                The public street in this case should not be the platforms, but the ISP's, which should have a content neutral obligation to carry any lawful communication, and connect any party in their area of operation, which would enable people to build their own platform. (Opening up that other can of worms, network neutrality).

                A private platform can never be considered to be a public street/space, an ISP on the other hand is equivalent to an utility which makes comparing them to a public street/space a bit better. But that is also why network neutrality isn't really a can of worms, it's a very simple concept that works very well everywhere (except in the USA) for the simple reason that most people actually realize that an ISP is equivalent to an utility.

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                • icon
                  Jeroen Hellingman (profile), 24 Nov 2020 @ 6:47am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The 'only “stakeholders” in copy

                  I think we are actually mostly on the same line in most of this argument.

                  The point I am trying to make that if a party truly monopolizes a certain resource, we need to tackle that monopoly, not impede everybody with forced use of their property. However, I do not see the right to private property as so fundamentally superior to other human rights that private property should always prevail. (But, again, I strongly reject support forced access to a platform for loud-mouths that only want to spew hateful dirt).

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                  • identicon
                    Rocky, 24 Nov 2020 @ 7:15am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The 'only “stakeholders” in

                    The point I am trying to make that if a party truly monopolizes a certain resource, we need to tackle that monopoly, not impede everybody with forced use of their property.

                    Yes, but free speech isn't a finite resource and the outlets for exercising your right to free speech isn't a finite resource either. And a monopoly has no bearing at all on free speech.

                    However, I do not see the right to private property as so fundamentally superior to other human rights that private property should always prevail. (But, again, I strongly reject support forced access to a platform for loud-mouths that only want to spew hateful dirt).

                    And that argument falls flat unless you live in a fucked up society. The point is that one persons right doesn't negate other persons access to the same right, to argue otherwise means that we are saying that there are different rights for different people - and that is seriously bad.

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                    • icon
                      Jeroen Hellingman (profile), 24 Nov 2020 @ 11:38pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The 'only “stakeholders”

                      Last time I looked, the size of the US was pretty large, but still very finite. If everything would be privatized, free speech would die with it as well.

                      You seem to express a pretty dogmatic stance with regard to private property, not taking into account how this property might have become "private" and not taking into account that other human rights can conflict with those, and sometimes must take precedence to NOT live in a fucked-up society.

                      To give one example, former King Leopold II considered what is now Congo as his personal private property, to plunder at will, and to do with it's inhabitants what he wanted, including chopping of hands of children not slaving hard enough on his plantations. That is what I call a fucked-up society (the place is still a mess).

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                      • icon
                        PaulT (profile), 25 Nov 2020 @ 12:29am

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The 'only “stakeholder

                        You seem to be conflating totally different things here.

                        "If everything would be privatized, free speech would die with it as well."

                        Nobody's asking that everything be privatised, they're just saying the private property should be managed at the discretion of the property owners. To give your mall example - nobody's saying that the public streets outside the mall should be seized and used by the mall owners, just that within the walls of that mall they should be able to control who is able to disrupt their customers.

                        "To give one example, former King Leopold II considered what is now Congo as his personal private property"

                        Invalid example. Nobody's talking about taking public property and making it private. They're talking about allowing Facebook and Twitter to manage the property they themselves built.

                        That's the crux of the issue here - should these platforms have control of their own private property, or should they lose that right because they passed some undefined threshold?

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                      • identicon
                        Rocky, 25 Nov 2020 @ 1:02am

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The 'only “stakeholder

                        Last time I looked, the size of the US was pretty large, but still very finite. If everything would be privatized, free speech would die with it as well.

                        If that was the case, free speech would be the least of the problems. You are presenting a strawman here.

                        You seem to express a pretty dogmatic stance with regard to private property, not taking into account how this property might have become "private" and not taking into account that other human rights can conflict with those, and sometimes must take precedence to NOT live in a fucked-up society.

                        I'm not dogmatic at all, it's just that your argument only works if society IS fucked up to such a degree that the government has failed and everything is owned by private interests.

                        To give one example, former King Leopold II considered what is now Congo as his personal private property, to plunder at will, and to do with it's inhabitants what he wanted, including chopping of hands of children not slaving hard enough on his plantations. That is what I call a fucked-up society (the place is still a mess).

                        Case in point with a twist, a state sponsored personal fiefdom seems to tick all the boxes for a fucked up society. Now tell me how this is relevant to the USA, free speech and private property that wasn't stolen wholesale from the public, except as a cautionary tale about having an asshole as the head of state?

                        Or do you think this is the direction the world is going? Because if you do, free speech is the least of our worries.

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                      • identicon
                        Anonymous Coward, 25 Nov 2020 @ 2:04am

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The 'only “stakeholder

                        If everything would be privatized, free speech would die with it as well.

                        Before the Internet all routes to publication were private. However people still found means to publish, even if it meant printing and distributing or selling their own publications. Those efforts generally had a small audience, as does setting up your own blog on the Internet.

                        Private platforms, with their own rules on what they will publish is nothing new. What is new however is that so long as you follow those rules you can publish on them, rather than most submissions never even being looked at by an editor.

                        Not being able to force publication on social media is not a free speech issue, and those who claim that are really claiming that they are entitled to force their word in front of an audience.

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                      • icon
                        Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 26 Nov 2020 @ 8:12am

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The 'only “stakeholder

                        " If everything would be privatized, free speech would die with it as well."

                        False premise, so nope.

                        Can you open your mouth to discuss a topic anywhere without government coming to shut you up? Then your speech is free.
                        We can argue that the US method of privatizing everything is seriously unhealthy in more ways than one...but it's not a threat to free speech. To antitrust, freedom of choice, and a number of other core criteria indicating a healthy and functional society, yes.
                        But free speech - any of the UN human rights, EU charter clauses, or US constitutional amendments - are not injunctions levied against private citizens. They are injunctions stating that the holder of the violence monopoly may not do certain things.

                        And it's extremely important not to conflate the two. If a private platform is forced by government regulation, to practice government-defined moderation rules, then you have just applied that violence monopoly to cut one human right to shred another one. The precedence being that rights do not exist, because they're in reality only conditional privileges.

                        "and not taking into account that other human rights can conflict with those, and sometimes must take precedence to NOT live in a fucked-up society...."

                        If you want to experience a truly fucked-up society then I invite you to one where it is possible to use one human right to abolish another, using the violence monopoly. If private property owners do not have arbitrary right over their own property then you have just delivered the argument that what we know as a "right" is conditional. Throw that resolution past a constitutional judge in any country and the Telescreen monitor of 1984 is suddenly just one shady politician away.

                        "To give one example, former King Leopold II considered what is now Congo as his personal private property, to plunder at will..."

                        Fortunately the human rights would have Leopold II be in violation because his plundering and usurpation are in violation of other equally important rights.
                        Now if Leopold II had bought himself a whole shitload of sand, poured it into the middle of the pacific until he had a mock-up of Congo then he could play in that sandbox to his heart's content. And would have full authority over which people he allowed to make landfall or evict from his shores.

                        "That is what I call a fucked-up society (the place is still a mess)."

                        It is indeed, and also false equivalence, therefore not a good analogy.

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                        • icon
                          PaulT (profile), 26 Nov 2020 @ 8:47pm

                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The 'only “stakeho

                          "We can argue that the US method of privatizing everything is seriously unhealthy in more ways than one...but it's not a threat to free speech"

                          We certainly can - but it's also utterly irrelevant to the conversation at hand. Whatever fears Jeroen has about this issue, no privatisation has happened. Social media are 100% private enterprises that have grown out of private investment and private entrepreneurship. There may be an issue where people are choosing to exercise their speech on those private platforms instead of truly private spaces, and thus reducing the exercise of speech in public areas, but that does not mean that public spaces have been privatised. It's also not something that can be "fixed" without the actual socialist tactic of seizing private property, which is hilariously what a lot of the people opposed to social media platforms moderating themselves pretend to stand against.

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                  • icon
                    PaulT (profile), 24 Nov 2020 @ 7:47am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The 'only “stakeholders” in

                    "The point I am trying to make that if a party truly monopolizes a certain resource, we need to tackle that monopoly, not impede everybody with forced use of their property"

                    But, what is the definition of a monopoly in this case? People love to talk about Twitter and Facebook as if they're monopolies, for example. But are they? Plenty of people (myself included) have accounts on both services. There are many competitors. There are many non-social media platform methods of exercising free speech.

                    If you're complaining about "monopoly", you need to first define what that means in this case, and I don't think "platform a lot of people use" works in a market where people have no restriction on using as many different platforms as they wish.

                    "However, I do not see the right to private property as so fundamentally superior to other human rights that private property should always prevail"

                    ...and where the private property threatens to restrict overall rights I'm sure people will agree with the objections. So far, the only objection seems to be that people who have been kicked off some larger property can't access the same audience size as they used to, but that's not a right.

                    "(But, again, I strongly reject support forced access to a platform for loud-mouths that only want to spew hateful dirt)."

                    But, that's the only reason this particular issue is controversial - loudmouthed bigots finding they can't profit as much from a smaller audience and demanding that social media platforms let them back in.

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                    • icon
                      Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 26 Nov 2020 @ 8:16am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The 'only “stakeholders”

                      "But, what is the definition of a monopoly in this case? People love to talk about Twitter and Facebook as if they're monopolies, for example. But are they? Plenty of people (myself included) have accounts on both services. "

                      What bugs me here is the underlying premise - that a receptive audience is something to which anyone is entitled.
                      That premise, when logically extended just half a step, is fucking horrifying.

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              • icon
                PaulT (profile), 24 Nov 2020 @ 5:50am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The 'only “stakeholders” in copyrigh

                "We also need to consider to what degree a contract exists between the platform and the individual using that platform, to avoid complete arbitrariness in this respect"

                You sign up to the site and are faced with a TOS. Very simple. Now, the enforcement of the TOS is in question recently, but it's something that does not tend to be biased against the right wing as so many of them like to claim (see, Zuckerberg having been shown to approve pro-right wing moderation or Trump being allowed to break every part of the TOS on Twitter while he's in office). Generally speaking, they say "you're welcome to come here unless you do X", then the people who do X whine about being treated unfairly. I have seen very, very few examples of people being kicked off of these platforms unfairly, and the ones I'm aware of have tended to be reinstated quite quickly when the mistake was realised (at these scales, mistakes are sadly inevitable)

                "Compare it with the old situation, where shops are located on a public street, as a modern situation, where shops are located inside a privately owned mall, eliminating the entire concept of a public street that is free for all to walk along."

                Yes, let's compare that. The mall is private property. The public street is not. Those are not the same thing. There's plenty of space outside of the mall, many of them public streets, if you want to do whatever you want to do, you just don't get the free captive audience of mall shoppers if the security guard tells you to STFU and GTFO.

                This is directly comparable to the modern situation, where Facebook can kick you out of their mall no matter how much you want to use your megaphone to shout obscenities at the food court.

                "The public street in this case should not be the platforms, but the ISP's"

                Yes.

                "(Opening up that other can of worms, network neutrality)"

                Which, strangely, is only a can of worms in the US. Most of the rest of the world has effective regulation that makes it an uncontroversial point.

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              • icon
                Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 26 Nov 2020 @ 7:55am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The 'only “stakeholders” in copyrigh

                "It is not about not being able to kick misbehaving party-goers out, a better analogue would being able to intervene when such party-goers cause significant nuisance to the neighborhood."

                It might be a better analogue if it actually applied...but online, it doesn't; You will never today find a user on any social platform who in order to access that platform did not first knock on the door, introduce themselves, and ask for entry after reading the clearly delineated rules nailed to the door.

                "We also need to consider to what degree a contract exists between the platform and the individual using that platform, to avoid complete arbitrariness in this respect."

                That's what the Terms Of Service you sign to when you establish an account on a platform such as Facebook, Twitter, Parler and Gab are for.

                "A privately owned open-for-all platform is still very different from a individual private residence."

                Not in any meaningful way, really. The physical analogue to an online social platform is the bar or restaurant. If the sign says "No shirt, no shoes, no service" then them's the rules. If the bar owner chooses to evict a patron s/he needs to state no given reason, and the only barrier applied is discriminatory practice - i.e. you can be held liable if it can be proven that, for instance, you refuse the same service under the same rules to gay or black people that you extend to everyone else.

                But the bar owner is perfectly within their rights to tell any customer "You are no longer welcome" for any reason other than that. Hell, he can decide anyone asking for a budweiser is to be shown the door and it's still perfectly legal - and always has been.

                "In this case, it is also about the issue that for free speech to be able to exists, you need to establish where the public space is."

                That is and has always been very well established. No ambiguity exists.

                "...where shops are located inside a privately owned mall, eliminating the entire concept of a public street that is free for all to walk along."

                And? A mall is not public property. It's privately owned. Hence why "mall cops" exist to enforce the rules clearloyu laid down to every visitor.

                "When such a thing effectively eliminates free speech, you may well need to re-evaluate the balance between property rights and free speech, which are both important in a free society."

                Since such a thing does not eliminate free speech no such re-evaluation is required.
                At this point let's begin with the obligatory warning; Your argument so far indicates only that either you do not understand what free speech is, or you are, by misunderstanding or deliberately, running some fairly shitty rhetoric.

                Here's what "free speech" means; It means government can not use the violence monopoly to silence you. If you are thrown out of Facebook, Twitter, Parler, Gab, yet are still able to yourself set up a webpage and exercise your right to speak...then your speech is still free because you have not been silenced.
                If opening your mouth on a given topic anywyhere means the government comes to shut you up - THAT is a free speech violation.

                Free Speech Does Not Mean Anyone Owes You An Audience

                And just as much as it is your right to speak, it is the bar owner's right to say "Sure, but not in my place, thank you very much!".

                How popular that bar - or platform - is is completely irrelevant.

                "but the ISP's, which should have a content neutral obligation to carry any lawful communication, and connect any party in their area of operation, which would enable people to build their own platform. (Opening up that other can of worms, network neutrality)."

                This, on the other hand, is a completely different topic. Mere conduit and common carrier have nothing at all to do with free speech. They exist because the alternative is to allow monopoly.

                Net Neutrality is very important, not because it's a free speech issue but because not having it means you allow a corporation to practice unfair business practice on the consumer.

                The background reasoning of net neutrality, common carrier, mere conduit, is, in most sensible countries, included in some telecommunications act or other primarily as an antitrust instrument and only rarely and tangentially does it impact messenger immunity, or other topics related to free speech.

                Although it's understandable the confusion exists given that numerous trolls keep trying to conflate the issues.

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          • icon
            PaulT (profile), 24 Nov 2020 @ 1:19am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: The 'only “stakeholders” in copyright' ARE t

            "I am in favor of private property, but there are limits to it"

            Yes, but I have seen no reasonable position where "you must be forced to tolerate someone you don't want on your property" is on the table, if the reason the property owner wants them gone is due to the behaviour of the unwanted guest.

            "I think the whole discussion about the power of platforms should not be a discussion about free speech, but about market domination and monopoly abuse"

            That is a very different discussion, unfortunately our resident idiot does not want such a conversation.

            "Areas were limits to what you can do with "private property" are well established"

            Yes, for example, "the owner reserves the right to admission", "no shoes no shirt no service" and "I'm kicking the dickhead making racist comments about the black couple on the next table out so that all my other customers can eat in peace" are all well established. The problem is how do you pretend that Twitter loses their rights to do this, and which arbitrary conditions are you placing on them that don't cause problems for smaller players?

            "Facebook is powerful because I can find many of my acquaintances over there, and reach a large public."

            Neither of which is a guaranteed right that's unfair for Facebook to prevent you accessing, especially if what made you unable to access Facebook was your actions while one there previously.

            "How much I do support the position that everybody should have a private server in the basement"

            It doesn't matter how much you support that, in reality most of the public will be doing no such thing.

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      • icon
        Stephen T. Stone (profile), 23 Nov 2020 @ 5:03pm

        How can a corporation control and enforce a copyright when you believe corporations have no legal rights, and how do you feel about corporations using copyright to censor speech?

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      • icon
        Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 24 Nov 2020 @ 12:49am

        Re: Re: The 'only “stakeholders” in copyright' ARE the stake

        "Doesn't "the American public" have a right to NOT be arbitrarily silenced?"

        On someone else's private property?

        No, the american public doesn't have any rights at all to remain in a private house or website when the owner demands they leave. That's the end of that debate.

        Damn, Baghdad Bob, we used to think being a deranged copyright maximalist was the deep end of your persona. Yet here you are quoting Marx at everyone and demanding that for the common good the means of production must be seized.

        I guess I shouldn't be surprised to see a zealous communist spouting Maoist doctrine similarly advocating information control - because it takes a very special type of extreme leftist to advocate that the only property which can be owned is other people's ideas.

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        • icon
          Jeroen Hellingman (profile), 24 Nov 2020 @ 6:51am

          Re: Re: Re: The 'only “stakeholders” in copyright' ARE the s

          Ideas cannot be owned at all. Copyright only extends to a particular tangible novel expression of an idea. Patents only to a working implementation of a novel idea (aka invention). Ideas still remain free.

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          • icon
            bhull242 (profile), 25 Nov 2020 @ 4:41pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: The 'only “stakeholders” in copyright' ARE t

            Patents should be restricted to working prototypes, but they aren’t. It’s actually a huge problem with the US patent system.

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          • icon
            Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 26 Nov 2020 @ 8:20am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: The 'only “stakeholders” in copyright' ARE t

            "Ideas cannot be owned at all."

            You obviously haven't been listening to the copyright maximalists take on this. Sadly, in practice at least the US has managed to conflate the two concepts. Software patents do, in fact, often place ideas under ownership, as do a number of highly unfortunate US patents which have passed scrutiny and are thus legal until successfully challenged by someone with a few million dollars lying around to cover court costs.

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  • identicon
    Andy J, 23 Nov 2020 @ 2:15pm

    Section 1201

    While "all of 1201 is outdated and not useful" may seem sensible when trying to solve the right to repair issue, but even if Congress did end up repealing that section they would have to re-insert something that looked a lot like Section 1201 (a)(1)(A) in order to comply with Article 11 of the WIPO Copyright Treaty which the USA ratified in 1999.
    That article says: "Article 11. Obligations concerning Technological Measures. Contracting Parties shall provide adequate legal protection and effective legal remedies against the circumvention of effective technological measures that are used by authors in connection with the exercise of their rights under this Treaty or the Berne Convention and that restrict acts, in respect of their works, which are not authorized by the authors concerned or permitted by law."

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  • identicon
    James Salop, 23 Nov 2020 @ 2:25pm

    How does the house feel about Tillis idea?

    Any idea how the US House of Reps under Pelosi feels about Tillis idea for notice and stay down regarding copyright reform??? Thanks

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    identicon
    Major Outbreak hits Navy crew, seaman decks him, 23 Nov 2020 @ 2:56pm

    Clearly, you hate people protecting their own work.

    This has been a mess in practice, and has resulted in fairly widespread abuse of the law to lockdown products and effectively take away ownership rights from buyers.

    It's not an "abuse" to lockdown (or attempt) your own products, with or without DMCA. Period.

    IT'S THE LAW. Clearly, you hate people protecting their own work. It's constant topic here in your attacks on copyright, patents, trademarks, and DMCA.

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      identicon
      Major Outbreak hits Navy crew, seaman decks him, 23 Nov 2020 @ 3:21pm

      Re: Clearly, you hate people protecting their own work.

      take away ownership rights from buyers.

      Forgot to cover this distinctly.

      "buyers" in general have ZERO "ownership rights" in the intellectual parts of products.

      You DO NOT "own" the content on a DVD or book. You have claimed exactly that in the past, unable to grasp "licensing" to access the content often as wish from "owning".

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 23 Nov 2020 @ 3:29pm

        Re: Re: Clearly, you hate people protecting their own work.

        Said by a man that claims that social media have no rights to moderate what appears on their platform, the use of which is licensed by term of service.

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      • icon
        Stephen T. Stone (profile), 23 Nov 2020 @ 5:10pm

        …says the guy who still doesn’t get the difference between “private” and “privately owned”.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 24 Nov 2020 @ 2:22pm

      Re: Clearly, you hate people protecting their own work.

      “It’s the law”

      Well the law sucks so who cares lol

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    • icon
      bhull242 (profile), 30 Nov 2020 @ 8:49am

      Re: Clearly, you hate people protecting their own work.

      WIthout the DMCA, a strong argument could be made that locking down products to only work with your replacement parts or something like that would be an anti-trust violation or something similar.

      Also, what is or isn’t “abuse” of the law is fairly subjective, but using a law meant specifically to stop online piracy and piracy of software (and only that) to prevent unauthorized repair of a physical product that happens to have some software built-in is abuse of the DMCA for purposes it wasn’t meant for. Copyright protection is only supposed to protect infringement of copyright, not unauthorized repair of a physical product.

      Copyright also isn’t supposed to protect goods once they’ve been sold to a consumer (right of first-sale), nor to prevent unauthorized modifications, nor to stop copying for purely personal, private use. Copyright is a limited monopoly.

      With trademark and patent law, the issue is completely different. With both, the issue is certain marks receiving protection or ideas being patented that shouldn’t under the current law. Generic, descriptive marks can’t be trademarked, and unoriginal, obvious, and/or broad inventions can’t be patented. And yet they get through the PTO. There’s also using trademarks to go after companies with completely different marks or in a different market, which is again umder the current law. There are also a few cases where people try to use trademarks or patents to go after other issues (see Lexmark). Basically, it’s criticism of those abusing the legal process to get results they aren’t legally entitled to to begin with.

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    Major Outbreak hits Navy crew, seaman decks him, 23 Nov 2020 @ 2:57pm

    For Twitter's pages you *state* it has "First Amendment rights

    ... to deny service to anyone" whose SPEECH they don't want on the "platform", but when it's complex products, you claim owners are evil ogres for wanting to be paid for their work?

    Your views are always pro-corporate for control of Speech YET zero control for producers so that your pirate allies can gain money off valuable works.

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    Major Outbreak hits Navy crew, seaman decks him, 23 Nov 2020 @ 2:57pm

    The intersection of "hacking" with "circumvention" is criminal.

    It's also been hell on security researchers who risk tremendous liability for just doing their jobs.

    Boo hoo. -- If your "job" involves finding such
    then you're probably malicious / pirate. There's no actual case to be made for such activities. There is no visible benefit to society from finding HOW to circumvent: as you so gleefully point out most of the time, the products remain vulnerable, so all that's done in this area simply aids criminals and piracy.

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    Major Outbreak hits Navy crew, seaman decks him, 23 Nov 2020 @ 2:58pm

    DMCA works fine for everyone honest. Only pirates hate it.

    512 has always been problematic, and there's a long history of it being abused for massive censorship.

    NO, that's just your on-going assertion. This "massive" effort has never come to my notice except on Techdirt, which howls like stepped-on puppies at every anomaly. The Register just regards the few items as amusing / silly, NOT any need for panic.

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    Major Outbreak hits Navy crew, seaman decks him, 23 Nov 2020 @ 2:58pm

    I'll handle the "John Deere" case before brought up as "proof":

    NO, that's a repair parts problem. It may be a tactic of John Deere to sell their own expensive parts instead of allow third-party ones, but it's wise too. Deere cannot allow their expensive iron to be ruined by unknown quality knock-offs. This is not like "jail-breaking" your phone.

    Just answer this: do you want Airbus to allow Chinee knock-off parts on their assemblies of already multi-sourced death traps? -- And Boeing the same! Both now assemble from parts mandated to be multi-national and therefore random quality, resulting in poorly integrated systems vulnerable to single-point failure. -- They now say that ONE line missing from the code killed over 300 people. Do you want to risk MORE of that by third-party sources?

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 23 Nov 2020 @ 3:28pm

      Re: I'll handle the "John Deere" case before brought up as "proo

      So you are against corporate rights when they mean you cannot force your views on onto other people, but all for them when they are being used to turn people into serfs of the companies that control their entertainment, tools and other possessions.

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    • icon
      Madd the Sane (profile), 23 Nov 2020 @ 3:40pm

      Re: Clearly, you hate people protecting their own work.

      Either A. Reply to your previous comment, or B. Put them all in one big post. Don't separate it out into separate threads. And I prefer B. It's less spammy that way.

      It's constant topic here in your attacks on copyright, patents, trademarks, and DMCA.

      Remember that the Constitution of the United States of America, the highest law of the land, has said Congress may enact such laws, not that they must. Also, it must be for the benefit of the arts and science. If the law starts harming innovation and media, something is wrong. Maybe the existing laws need to be re-written or abolished entirely.

      Boo hoo. -- If your "job" involves finding such
      then you're probably malicious / pirate.

      Nice line break.
      There are three main types of hackers: black-hat, grey-hat, and white hat. Black hat hackers look for exploits in code and systems to sell the information off. White hat hackers look for exploits in code and systems to make sure that they're safe from future hacks and exploits by telling the people that they hacked what they did. Grey hats do both. White hats make systems more secure by checking the vulnerabilities and reporting them to the company/people who control the site.

      DMCA works fine for everyone honest. Only pirates hate it.

      Nope. A lot of content creators on YouTube have had their livelihoods taken away by fraudulent DMCA notices. TotalBiscuit, the Cynical Brit, had a couple of strikes by Sega Japan against his Shining Force videos because Sega Japan went on a DMCA spree to drum up search rankings on the sequel Shining Ark. Yes, this is abuse of DMCA. Yes, his channel was affected. And it wasn't just his channel.
      He also had a couple of videos being critical of a couple of different indie games, both which were very poorly made. Both times, the developer issued a fraudulent DMCA claim. One of the games, Garry's Incident, got a special video where TotalBiscuit goes into the problems with DMCA and being a content creator on YouTube.

      do you want Airbus to allow Chinee knock-off parts on their assemblies of already multi-sourced death traps?

      If they work (both in stress tests and as replacements), I see no issue. Things go wrong when testing starts being skipped or ignored.

      You DO NOT "own" the content on a DVD or book.

      No, but you do own the physical item itself. If you cut out all the words of a book and paste them together randomly on a poster, is that copyright infringement? Can the author or publisher go after the person who bought the book for misuse of their product (and remember: books can be resold, so the original buyer might not have been the one to cut it up)? What about showing someone else a picture in a magazine: are you infringing on copyright by showing someone who didn't buy the magazine the picture? If not, why not?
      There needs to be some sense on what a user can do to the product they bought. Copying it and selling the copies verbatim is an obvious no-no; reselling an item after it's no longer wanted or needed is accepted. Other than that, it has become a legal grey area on self-modifying the stuff you built, such as third-party ink cartridges or the right to repair.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Gary Burn, 23 Nov 2020 @ 3:47pm

        Re: Re: Clearly, you hate people protecting their own work.

        You have sense. The other guy was just crying over stuff he knew ZERO ABOUT. Made NOT ONE OUNCE OF SENSE UNLIKE YOU FRIEND. You are a very very smart person MADD AS SANE. Bless you, you have a brain unlike the crybaby. STOP TOM TILLIS. Another lying Corporate Republican which is why he nearly lost his seat.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Samuel Abram (profile), 23 Nov 2020 @ 4:01pm

        Re: Re: Clearly, you hate people protecting their own work.

        Remember that the Constitution of the United States of America, the highest law of the land, has said Congress may enact such laws, not that they must. Also, it must be for the benefit of the arts and science. If the law starts harming innovation and media, something is wrong. Maybe the existing laws need to be re-written or abolished entirely.

        There's just a teeny-tiny problem with that…we're also signatories to treaties such as the Berne Convention and the WIPO treaty. If anything requires ©, it's those treaties, not the constitution, which only says that we can create ©, not that we must.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 24 Nov 2020 @ 1:29am

      Re: I'll handle the "John Deere" case before brought up as "proo

      You're mixing two things.

      Making sure that a vehicle, for example, is safe is an industry regulation issue and has nothing with being forced to use specific parts.

      As long as the parts have been validated by your own regulatory bodies, and whoever installs them is also certified, there shouldn't be any issues with using brand or unbranded parts.

      And if you do it yourself, you can always bring the vehicle to have it validated for use.

      The right to repair your own property has nothing to do with safety, because measures can be taken for that.

      It has to do with the fact that you don't want the maker to hijack your own property by a de facto monopoly on anything related to it, thus being able to set the prices as high as they want.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Nov 2020 @ 3:34pm

    innocuous leader

    OKAYING EACH WAS CLEARLY TURNED ON. The Maz can't stand dissent.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      AC Unknown (profile), 23 Nov 2020 @ 9:39pm

      Re: innocuous leader

      You have no proof that it was Mike Masnick. Stop with your incessant lies.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 24 Nov 2020 @ 1:12am

        Re: Re: innocuous leader

        Oh, just give up. In Baghdad Bob's world view this whole site is just Mike Masnick and an army of sock puppets Mike uses to spam down poor little Baghdad Bob. Because in Baghdad Bob's eyes, Baghdad Bob showing up and screaming hysterical one-liners of ad hom and invective at people is that harmful to...uh, "important people".

        I think the biggest laugh I ever got from TD lately was when Baghdad Bob implied the CIA was responsible for "silencing" him through "their puppet" Mike on behalf of Google.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Châu, 23 Nov 2020 @ 3:44pm

    Miss ideas

    Also not have:
    • Shorter copyright monopoly
    • Require register
    • Require renew every 2 years (copright tax), fee increase 3x every time
    • Require keep contact information correct/update
    • Lose copyright if too many bad law suit about that copyright
    • Lose copyright if creater/controller destroy work (like BBC)
    • No copyright for any work get money from any government (like BBC)
    • Anything create by any government is automatic pubic domain
    • Punishment for infringe always less than punishment for physical copy

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    PNRCinema (profile), 23 Nov 2020 @ 3:48pm

    I'm sure this will come as no surprise...

    But the RIAA has NO intention of letting copyright reforms pass anytime soon. See this arrogant, boastful article from last week's Billboard magazine - their attitude is thoroughly obnoxious...

    https://www.billboard.com/articles/business/9484678/riaa-mitch-glazier-michele-ballanty ne-biden-twitch-copyright-interview-photos/

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    AC_Unknown, 23 Nov 2020 @ 4:01pm

    OKAYING EACH WAS CLEARLY TURNED ON.

    THIS is a LIE: "Comment Held for Moderation..."

    The Maz can't stand dissent.

    It's NOT "moderation", but censoring and viewpoint discrimination.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 23 Nov 2020 @ 4:12pm

      re: Stupid is as Stupid does

      If you spammed less and kept your thoughts together in one post you wouldn't get flagged by the spam filter.

      And if your thoughts weren't utter foam-spitting nonsense full of baseless name-calling and accusations they might not always, without fail, get flagged by the community.

      Grow the fuck up already.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 23 Nov 2020 @ 5:09pm

      Re: OKAYING EACH WAS CLEARLY TURNED ON.

      “Viewpoint discrimination”

      Your viewpoint about elections told me all I needed to know about you people for the final time.

      So I dont need your viewpoint.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 23 Nov 2020 @ 5:16pm

      Re: OKAYING EACH WAS CLEARLY TURNED ON.

      Who do you hope to convince?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Mike Masnick (profile), 23 Nov 2020 @ 5:22pm

      Re: OKAYING EACH WAS CLEARLY TURNED ON.

      Just to be clear, despite your paranoid delusional fantasies, no changes have been made to the commenting system in ages, and we do not require every comment to be pre-approved. If your comments keep getting caught in the spam filter, maybe stop acting like a spammer.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 24 Nov 2020 @ 1:35am

        Re: Re: OKAYING EACH WAS CLEARLY TURNED ON.

        "...despite your paranoid delusional fantasies, no changes have been made to the commenting system in ages, and we do not require every comment to be pre-approved."

        A comment system which only lets one and the same address post X comments in Y minutes is a very convenient template tailor-made by the CIA to spot and catch those repositories of transcendental truth so filled with information their sphincters are giving up on them...like poor old Baghdad Bob who just can't keep from venting his bowels all over Techdirt.

        Fess up, Mike. Techdirt's just a honeytrap you started on behalf of the Lizard Lords of the New World Order as part of a ten-year running nefarious plot to send Black Helicopters, Rectum-Probing Greys and Slender Man after poor little Baghdad Bob who threatens to spill the important secrets - such as why the narwhal bacons at midnight.
        It's the only explanation which makes sense.

        /s, because as much as it pains me nothing I can say will ever become obvious sarcasm against the backdrop of a bona fide Baghdad Bob shitpost...

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 23 Nov 2020 @ 5:32pm

      viewpoint discrimination

      No one has an obligation to respect any viewpoint, much less host it on their private property.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      bhull242 (profile), 25 Nov 2020 @ 4:53pm

      Re: OKAYING EACH WAS CLEARLY TURNED ON.

      Dude, I’ve had multiple comments “held for moderation”, and I guarantee we don’t share the same viewpoint. Did I react by spamming until something got through? Did I rant about being censored? No. I waited patiently, and they eventually got through.

      Also, the fact that a number of your comments got through shows that it’s not the case that every comment has to be okayed first because why would they let these ones through? It also shows a lack of viewpoint discrimination because, again, a number of your comments are visible on this site.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Nov 2020 @ 4:10pm

    You clearly don't want an "open arena" as claimed

    last week, else you wouldn't have the Public HTML box locked down.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Nov 2020 @ 5:07pm

    No belief

    After what these people did during the election this is like expecting the devil to want to put out hell and make peace with god.

    I will never support anything a republican puts forth.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 23 Nov 2020 @ 6:01pm

      Re: No belief

      To the credit of Republicans, even a few of the notable ones in positions of power have gone and told off Trump that his election fraud claims are trash.

      On the other hand, these guys have squandered so much goodwill, it feels like they know Trump has outlived his usefulness and they're wasting little time in throwing him under the bus.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous, 23 Nov 2020 @ 10:05pm

    Not surprised

    Senator Tillis is obviously trying to get into the coffers of the copyright industry and make a name for himself as being a MPAA/RIAA puppet for compaign money. After all, it's no secret that Biden and the DNC are corrupt puppets for the MPAA/RIAA. He might as well abandon his party and join the DNC.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous, 24 Nov 2020 @ 1:47am

    Idea

    Everyone should send Senator Tillis SPAM. Call him every day telling him you're a bill collector. Better yet, call him everyday and tell him he downloaded or streamed a copyrighted movie or music and he needs to call (any known copyright trolls number).

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous, 24 Nov 2020 @ 2:53am

    I bet this is what happens.

    Senator Tillis is just using this as a front to pretend he's listened to anyone, then ends up pasting on another favor to Hollywood (you know because it's been Congress's traditional approach to copyright law for decades).

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Nov 2020 @ 3:19am

    We’re just gonna have to wait and see

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous, 24 Nov 2020 @ 3:36am

      Re: we're just gonna have to wait and see

      That sounds like a reckless choice. You know, coming from a MPAA/RIAA suckup. Whatever id decided will be in secret, and in order to see what's in the bill, you have to pass the bill.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 24 Nov 2020 @ 4:30am

        Re: Re: we're just gonna have to wait and see

        I’m not trying to downplay the threat, Im just hoping for the best, And I’m prepared for the worst.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous, 24 Nov 2020 @ 3:38am

    we're just gonna have to wait and see

    I meant "That sounds like a reckless choice. You know, coming from a MPAA/RIAA suckup. Whatever is decided will be in secret, and in order to see what's in the bill, you have to pass the bill."

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Nov 2020 @ 6:47am

    If I can have one change to the DMCA, it would be having REAL Punishments for False/Invalid DMCA Reports.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Blake C. Stacey (profile), 30 Nov 2020 @ 9:21am

    I sent a letter to Tillis' staff, for what little that will do.

    I am writing to express optimism regarding Sen. Tillis' open letter regarding copyright reform. It is past time that we acknowledge that both creators and consumers can benefit from legislation that reflects the epochal changes of circumstance we have witnessed with digital technology. As an author who will always be too niche to have the legal department of a giant corporation standing behind me, I am naturally interested in how regulation will affect the proverbial "little guy".

    I do, however, have areas of concern. Chief among them is the proposal of a "notice-and-staydown system". Such a system would be ripe for abuse. Given the curerent prevalence of frivolous, spurious and censorious takedown notices, strengthening this mechanism will inevitably create a chilling effect upon legitimate speech and artistic expression. We do not need copyright law to become a way for people to be "cancelled" via takedown. The fact of the matter is that the same sequence of bytes can be an infringement in one context and fair use in another; fairness depends upon the use. Takedown-and-staydown is too blunt an instrument for an issue of this subtlety.

    My second area of concern is the suggestion of website-blocking. Over the past fifteen years, the Internet has moved in the direction of having each website hosting the expressions of many individuals. Thinking of an issue like copyright infringement on a site-by-site basis would move us backward, to the Internet of 1995 rather than that of today and tomorrow. Moreover, on Constitutional grounds, the overarching principle of First Amendment jurisprudence is that regulation and legislation affecting the freedom of speech must be narrowly tailored to preserve the rights that Amendment enshrines. Website-blocking is again a blunt instrument that is not in accord with this principle.

    I thank you for your time and attention.

    I figured a Republican might respond favorably to a criticism of "cancel culture", but I'm neither rich nor a lawyer, so I doubt my words will have much impact at all.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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