[Foundation-l] WMF/EFF and Copyright extension
saintonge at telus.net
Thu Feb 21 19:21:39 UTC 2008
David Gerard wrote:
> On 20/02/2008, Brian McNeil <brian.mcneil at wikinewsie.org> wrote:
>> I think "theft" is too loaded a word.
>> How about "Depriving the public domain of culturally significant material"?
> "theft of the public domain" is a phrase that ties in with the
> campaigns of various digital rights organisations fighting against the
> same copyright extension in the EU.
Actually "theft from" would be more precise than "theft of".
Nevertheless, I'm not completely convinced that "theft" isa the right
word. I would lean more toward "pillage" or :"plunder". It's more like
a visiting army that claims the material by right of conquest.
I have long maintained that copyright is a property right, and being in
the public domain does not mean that nobody owns it but that everybody
By mixing in moral rights some countries do manage to muddle the entire
issue, and frame it in a different perspective. I appreciate the link
that David is making, though an extension of that thought also gives
some strength to using the term "piracy".
In theory the government of republic should be protecting the rights of
the public rather than the rights of vested interests. Despite the
objections that I have about some aspects of U. S. copyright law, there
are others where I feel it is on the right track. It views copyrights
as primarily a civil matter rather than a criminal one, and actions for
infringement must be taken by the owner of the copyright. To the extent
that there are provisions for criminal infringement, even there civil
infringement is one of the prerequisites to criminal infringement.
While it is often argued that the U. S. system creates rights for
publishers and others beyond the original creators, at least it does
this through the front door. The EU, by treating those rights as
personal rights and allowing governments to prosecute those rights is
even more effective in protecting the rights of the publishers. It
effectively restricts competition when anyone can file a complaint that
the copyrights of a long dead author are being infringed; that helps to
keep a competing work off the market.
Perhaps we should also change DRM to PDRM: Presti-Digital Rights Management.
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