Posted Sep 14, 2010 7:04 UTC (Tue) by khim
In reply to: What are you smoking?
Parent article: EFF: Magic Words Trump User Rights
Oh, will you stop being melodramatic? Please...
That is the theory, anyway. Someday Congress and/or the Supreme Court is going to have to decide (1) whether shrink wrap licenses are valid and (2) whether to uphold the Ninth Circuit's nullification of the First Sale Doctrine and the unprecedented legal presumption that end users do not own copies of creative works any more.
Well, in a lots of countries they are already valid - and sky is not falling.
In the Ninth Circuit, do you really own those books on your shelf? Can you resell them? Can book publishers add fine print inside each one prohibiting resale? Do libraries need special licenses to lend books out? Can private purchasers be prohibiting from reading books aloud to their children? Or lending them to a neighbor?
Have you actually read the decision? It's pretty narrow. You must include EULA, protective measures, etc. So you do own [physical] books on your shelf. You can resell them. And no, fine print on [physical] book will not change anything. Fine print on [music] CD will not change anything. It'll be pretty stupid to try to push in this direction. Now, the new stuff. That's different story: of course you don't own books on your iPad, but that was pretty obvious from the start. You can not sell them. Take a look on broader world and you'll see how it goes - US is not the only country in the world, it's kind of rare country with fair use doctrine: usually there are some exceptions in the law (for libraries, critique works and works of parody, private in-home use, etc) and that's that. Want additional "fair use" right? Start the campaign, change the law...
If this decision stands much of copyright law will be a dead letter. Pretty much everything from section 107 to section 122 will be meaningless and trivially waivable in the fine print.
This will depend on what will actually be decided. In Russia, for example, EULAs are explicitly permitted - but only for computer programs (which are separate from music records and from databases). Why do you think Congress will be stupid enough to try to extend the decision on physical books (which can actually provide serious reaction from "ordinary people")? I'm pretty sure they'll stick with computers and will try to "find a balance" between greed of publishers and probability of riots.
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