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Rant about copyright reform plans

Warning: here follows a political rant. Feel free to ignore.

But I've just been scared out of my head by these news I found at C-net news com:

US plans for new digital copyright bill

Does anybody besides myself here get a very bad feeling about this?

The implications for fair use, freedom of information and freedom of speech are very scary, because hey, now you can become a criminal just for owning eqipment that would make it possible for you to get around copyright protection or distribute copyright protected works. Most people who *own a computer* qualify, especially if that computer works under open source software instead of an Apple OS or an PC with MS. Free open source software? A lot of copy protection tools do not work on such systems, so will having an open-source-based system be illegal from now?
And I do not even want to contemplate what this means for fanfiction!...

I am very deperessed now.
Here is a link to an article at TechNews with more information about the complaints of the EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation) about the negative effects even the currently applying Digital Millenium Act had for the areas of Fair Use, Creativity and for the Public Domain:

EFF Report Highlights Unintended Consequences In Seven Years of DMCA.

And now they go and make it even worse...

Not that the situation down here in Europe would be much better. In Germany, the discussion about the second part of the copyright reform has been critizised by universities and the scientiffic community as well as by journalists to cut into the possibilities of fair use and the public domain of knowledge and the possibilities of free information, too.

I think I start looking into the possibilities of stuff under the creative common license. Too bad my favorite fandoms do not apply to that...
Rant out.
Sorry, had to do this.



( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 24th, 2006 01:24 am (UTC)
This always makes me *so* angry. I can understand that copyright-holders want to see their rights upheld. But all this lobbyism and panicked overreacting is done by people who don't seem to comprehend that the ways of accumulating and using information have changed drastically since the internet became a tool that could be use by about everyone. The fact that a German court just recently decided that a board-owner/board-administrator is to be held responsible for all and every posts in his board is just as atrocious. You can check Heise for the whole discussion.

Don't get me started, or I'll rant until this commentary function gives out...
Apr. 24th, 2006 01:41 am (UTC)
Yes. Exactly. Meaning thatto host or offer a board whic supplies the possibility of free discussion of its users/ members is a risky thing and especially oraganizations which have not a lot of money in their back may get second thoughts about offering one. What means in the consequence that people lose a new and very powerful possibility to discuss and share their opinions.
And what if somebody should decide he or she owns certain news, or the way those were contributed, and forbids quoting them on claims of infringement? And there are a lot of attempts lately to uncover screennames and get the identity of the peopleusing them. The most recent example is Apple. Whenever I read a bit on chilling effects I get back a bit more depressed than before...

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )