FC: Esther Dyson replies to RIAA, says CD copyright laws necessary(fwd)

Eugene Leitl Eugene.Leitl@lrz.uni-muenchen.de
Fri, 4 Jan 2002 17:51:46 +0100 (MET)


-- Eugen* Leitl <a href="http://leitl.org">leitl</a>
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---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Fri, 04 Jan 2002 11:03:29 -0500
From: Declan McCullagh <declan@well.com>
To: politech@politechbot.com
Cc: JCabrera@riaa.com, gnu@toad.com, edyson@edventure.com
Subject: FC: Esther Dyson replies to RIAA, says CD copyright laws necessary

Previous Politech messages:

"RIAA replies to John Gilmore on Ukraine: Don't cheer piracy!"
http://www.politechbot.com/p-02987.html

"John Gilmore on Ukraine doing the right thing, fighting RIAA"
http://www.politechbot.com/p-02983.html

"U.S. says Ukraine turns blind eye to piracy, levies tariffs"
http://www.politechbot.com/p-02977.html

And the Slashdot thread:
http://slashdot.org/articles/02/01/03/1621205.shtml

**********

Date: Fri, 04 Jan 2002 09:29:05 -0500
To: declan@well.com
From: Esther Dyson <edyson@edventure.com>
Subject: Re: FC: RIAA replies to John Gilmore on Ukraine: Don't cheer piracy!
Cc: politech@politechbot.com, JCabrera@riaa.com, gnu@toad.com,
         farber@cis.upenn.edu
In-Reply-To: <5.1.0.14.0.20020103173415.00aab410@mail.well.com>

Let me weigh in here, too, please, more from the software than the content
perspective.  I am not normally an apologist for the RIAA, but I do support
the *principle* of copyright even though the mechanisms of enforcement are
sometimes overreaching.

Cabrera/Turkewitz are correct in many respects.  Aside from enriching the
Ukrainian "mafia," a truly despicable bunch, many  with links to government
figures, lax copyright enforcement hinders the development of Ukraine's
indigenous software and content creators.  These developers would benefit
from the Western price umbrella to work under as they build their own
industry; they are eager to develop products and to get paid for their work.

When I began traveling to the Soviet Union in 1989 and after, the naive
view was that Microsoft et al. should help the poor Russians/Ukrainians by
giving them free or cheap software, but the locals vigorously rejected that
approach, which would have  had the side-effect of rendering their own
entrepreneurial efforts useless.   You can argue about degrees and
mechanisms, but free software is no help to developing economies that are
struggling to productively exploit their own local IT talents.  They want
investment and paying customers, not charity (or piracy).

As Turkewitz/Cabrera says, the targets of enforcement in this case are not
small businesses using Western software to run their businesses (they
mostly use 1C, anyway, which is a Russian small-business accounting package
distributed, sold for a fair price and *supported* by a network of VARs
throughout the region), but a crew of thugs crowding out honest
entrepreneurs.  Their presence deters not only software vendors but also
software developers (local and foreign) who might otherwise hire Ukraine's
talented programmers and give them a chance to make a decent living and
contribute to their and the world's economy.


Esther Dyson                    Always make new mistakes!
chairman, EDventure Holdings
writer, Release 3.0 (on Website below)
edyson@edventure.com
1 (212) 924-8800    --   fax  1 (212) 924-0240
104 Fifth Avenue (between 15th and 16th Streets; 20th floor)
New York, NY 10011 USA
http://www.edventure.com

PC FORUM: 24 to 27 March 2002, Scottsdale (Phoenix), Arizona
High-Tech Forum in Europe: November 2002, Berlin

**********

Date: Fri, 4 Jan 2002 05:30:58 -0500 (EST)
From: Edward  Jahn <ej71@columbia.edu>
To: gnu@toad.com
cc: declan@well.com, politech@politechbot.com
Subject: response to politechbot post

John,

As a musician with music released on CD and vinyl I have to wholeheartedly
agree with your position concerning the RIAA and the tariffs that the U.S.
has apparently imposed in response to the Ukrainian position.  I think
that Declan would sympathize with my view that I would much sooner have my
own music "pirated" (translation: shared with as many people as possible)
than see a police state imposed in the form of intrusive surveillance and
technological limitations hardwired into consumer electronics.  Are the
profits of the content industry really more important than basic freedoms
and the tenets of this country's constitution?  The recording industry has
a legacy of ripping off the artists that supply the content for the
recording mediums that they rely on.  Any artist who has questioned the
$18 price tag on a CD compared with the stingy royalties they receive for
that same CD is aware of the greed that motivates this industry.  I want
to point out the business model that I have always thought demonstrated a
high level of artistic integrity, that could coexist with napster and
other file sharing and copying, but would also serve to flush out a high
proportion of "low integrity" art:  THE GRATEFUL DEAD and PHISH.  While I
am far from a "head" I have an incredible amount of respect for these two
groups because they encouraged their fans to record and distribute their
live recordings without restrictions.  Why were they able to do this and
still survive as artists?  Because they are true performers who could draw
a large audience wherever they went and make their shows different every
time.  Phish hardly generated any income from record sales; they made
their money from touring and merchandise.  In 1994 I was told that Phish
grossed ten million dollars in concert ticket sales that year.

Let's look at the opposite situation in the music world:  the manufactured
pop star.  There is now signal processing technology available that can
correct the pitch of a vocalist within a specified threshold.  In other
words, someone who can't really hold their pitch and might not otherwise
be considered to be a proficient vocalist can now appear on an album and
fool the consumer into thinking that they have talent.  When this
undoubtedly sexy-looking performer appears on stage in front of thousands
they might even be lipsyncing to a pre-recorded track that originated in a
studio using the aforementioned processing gear.  Computer recording and
sequencing has largely replaced studio musicianship, so the budget has
been significantly lowered.  As far as the fans are concerned this
"artist" is a perfect, pop GOD or GODDESS.  When you consider that the
album sells for $17.99 at Tower Records and has two or three four minute
songs that are even bearable to listen to, the deception begins to emerge.
Is it any wonder why millions of songs were downloaded through Napster
with very little guilt on the part of the "pirates"? Every single day I
can take a walk through the streets of Manhattan and find street vendors
selling piles of records, tapes, and CD's for one or two dollars.  There
is so much garbage in the record stores that it inevitably ends up on the
streets as junk.  I think it's time for a change to hit the industry much
like a forest fire cleans out the weeds, undergrowth, and sickly trees but
leaves the old growth standing.  I am simply not willing to sacrifice my
freedom to distribute binary information wherever and whenever I want, for
no cost, to protect a scam that the record industry has perpetuated for
far too long.  I'm afraid, however, that there is only one way to fight
what might appear to be inevitable: it's time to boycott pre-recorded
content and participate in civil disobedience by distributing as much of
it as possible in a decentralized manner.  And while you're at it, why
don't you spread some of my music around (www.metaprofessor.com).

The digital information revolution can serve to raise the integrity and
quality of many forms of music and visual art through competition.  It
seems to me that it's my ability to compete with the major labels by
harnessing the internet that has them deathly afraid for their jobs.

...and that's the end of my late night rant.  I just had to get that out!

one final thing:  am I writing to John Gilmore the jazz guitarist who has
played with Steve Coleman?  If so, I have even more respect for your
viewpoint.

Cheers and all the best,

Edward

**********

To: declan@well.com
cc: jcabrera@riaa.com
Subject: re: Ukranian piracy
Date: Thu, 03 Jan 2002 21:12:36 -0500
From: Piotr Mitros <pmitros@MIT.EDU>

 >Gilmore suggests that sanctions were imposed because the Ukrainians
 >failed to adopt an "optical media licensing regime." The reality is
 >that while the vote on this licensing regime may have been the final
 >act precipitating the introduction of sanctions, the sanctions were
 >not introduced because of the Rada's rejection of the bill, but
 >because the Government of Ukraine had violated nearly every provision
 >of a US-Ukraine agreement reached in June of 2000 under which it
 >committed to take a number of steps to address runaway pirate
 >production.

You would do well to back this up with some evidence.

Quite frankly, I've seen enough lies out of the content industry that
I have a difficult time believing statements like this at face value,
and I would say I'm actually one of the less hostile people in the
audience to which you're writing.

If you can document what else the Rada has failed to do or should have
done, your arguments would be much stronger.

I would support economic sanctions against massive anticopyright
violations of the sort that I have seen in Eastern Europe. However, it
is one thing to expect a country to enforce basic copyright laws. It
is quite another to push our own draconian standards of how they
should do so onto foreign nations, as seem to be developing a habit of
doing.

- Piotr

**********

Date: Thu, 03 Jan 2002 15:58:18 -0800
From: David Brownell <david-b@pacbell.net>
Subject: Re: RIAA replies to John Gilmore on Ukraine: Don't cheer piracy!
To: declan@well.com, politech@politechbot.com
Cc: JCabrera@riaa.com, gnu@toad.com
Message-id: <0c7101c194b2$85226d40$6800000a@brownell.org>

 >     If Gilmore truly wants to promote the overthrow of oppression, he
 > should support measures designed to introduce the rule of law and to create
 > a fair playing field where the old guard is not in control. Sadly, he
 > laments such measures.

Someone needs to point out to this guy that one of the problems
is that the "old guard" (in the US, the RIAA) is in fact using such
measures to tilt the playing field in their favor.  We have pot calling
kettle black, in at least this case.

The problem with "rule of law" in such cases is that the plutocracy
known as "the United States of America" is, well, oppressing its
citizens by systematically depriving them of various rights ... not
limited to eliminating the "fair use" and "limited span" parts of the
copyright bargain, or reducing the already minimal diversity seen
in popular media culture.

Since we live in a plutocracy (here in the US) it's been ineffective to
try to fix "the rule of law", itself an instrument of such oppression by
virtue of disproportionate corporate influence on lawmaking and
other government policies.

- Dave

**********

Subject: Re: FC: John Gilmore on Ukraine doing the right thing, fighting RIAA
Date: Thu, 3 Jan 2002 15:57:02 -0800
From: David Lawrence <david@online-today.com>
To: "Declan McCullagh" <declan@well.com>

On or about 1/3/02 7:31 AM, a certain Declan McCullagh [declan@well.com]
wrote:

 >     * close down and prosecute printing plants that have been involved in
 >       high volume printing
 >     * seize and destroy all private property accused of copyright violation
 >     * carry out regular and unannounced inspections of printers
 >     * introduce and enforce strict paper production control
 >   regulations, includling the compulsory use of identification
 >   watermarks in the printing machinery, and control of trade in
 >   printers and blank paper
 >     * introduce new 'protection' laws for foreign record companies,
 >   and appropriate criminal penalties for copyright "and related
 >   rights" infringement
 >

And if they were pirating books instead of CDs, what would be wrong with
the above points? I'm not sure I follow.

 >Reader, in case you didn't know, every color Xerox machine and color
 >laser printer prints the serial number of the machine on every page
 >they produce, covertly hidden in the output, under a long-standing
 >private "arrangement" with the US Treasury Department.  I have been
 >unable to confirm whether this is also true of black-and-white xerox
 >machines.

What in the HELL is he smoking? This is laughable. Are we just being
goaded by someone who is a conspiracy theorist?

David

.......................................................
:     [xmradio CH 130 | radio.com] = [06a-09a ET M-F] :   David Lawrence
:             [online-tonight.com] = [10p-01a ET M-S] :   v:800-396-6546
:          [netmusiccountdown.com] = [check listings] :   f:509-479-6695
:.....................................................:.................
[http://www0.mercurycenter.com/justgo/columnists/ear/docs/ear060900.htm]
  ------------------------- ---------------------------- ---------------
[http://online-tonight.com http://netmusiccountdown.com http://cnet.com]

**********

From: "Vincent Penquerc'h" <Vincent.Penquerch@artworks.co.uk>
To: "'declan@well.com'" <declan@well.com>
Subject: RE: RIAA replies to John Gilmore on Ukraine: Don't cheer piracy!
Date: Fri, 4 Jan 2002 10:45:38 -0000

Hi Declan,

This is not directly related to Neil Turkewitz' answer, but
I would like to know where RIAA and such organizations put
the freedom of people to create, record, and distribute
their own work independantly.
The advent of mandatory copy protection, and the omission
of quality output for recording on many packages forces one
to buy so-called "professional" hardware (that is, uncrippled hardware at a
much higher price that is not fundamentally
different from the base one). This is a formidable deterrent
to amateur production.
I will be objected that it is not that bad, that this is
still possible. Fair enough, but I do not think that this
will stop here. Music pirates (and people stealing anything
for that matter) will exploit whatever possibility they can
get, so every "hole" must be patched in order for, say, music
piracy to start to be hindered. This will also patch the last
possibility for amateur people to create and distribute
their own work easily. How long before you have to apply to
RIAA to have a license to buy even this expensive hardware ?
With associated background checks, database filing, etc ?
Because as we all know, commercial pirates won't be stopped
by having to shell out more money for uncrippled hardware.
This will stop only kids doing a copy for their friend.
And amateur musicians.
Which are not really musicians, since they're not affiliated
to RIAA. If that's not a grab for a monopoly in music creation,
tell me what is.
Welcome to the world of officially approved music and art.

-- 
Vincent Penquerc'h

**********

From: "Ben" <bmw@carolina.rr.com>
To: <declan@well.com>
Cc: <JCabrera@riaa.com>
References: <5.1.0.14.0.20020103173415.00aab410@mail.well.com>
Subject: Re: RIAA replies to John Gilmore on Ukraine: Don't cheer piracy!
Date: Thu, 3 Jan 2002 23:32:09 -0500

MY favorite tidbit from the Slashdot version of the story is this quote.....

"With China, we don't mind granting full trading rights. If the Chinese
government practices human rights abuses against their own citizens, it's
their own internal business.
But if some foreign country's citizens cause a theoretical loss to a U.S.
company, then that's an entirely different matter."

**********

From: "RV Head" <4whp@home.com>
To: <declan@well.com>
References: <5.1.0.14.0.20020103173415.00aab410@mail.well.com>
Subject: Re: RIAA replies to John Gilmore on Ukraine: Don't cheer piracy!
Date: Thu, 3 Jan 2002 21:31:54 -0500

Aww, shucks - My heart bleeds for them, the poor little RIAA! Why, I think
the mere sacrifice of my supposed right to make so-called "fair-use" of
items I've bought^H^H^H^H^H^H licensed is scant price indeed, since the
alternative is to hand the keys to the kingdom to the Russian Mafia!

(Why didn't the American press explain this to us sooner?)

**********

From: terry.s@juno.com
To: cuckoosnest@yahoogroups.com
Cc: declan@well.com
Date: Thu, 3 Jan 2002 22:33:27 -0500
Subject: Re: [cuckoosnest] Re: RIAA replies to John Gilmore on Ukraine:
Don't cheer piracy!

On Thu, 3 Jan 2002 21:31:54 -0500 "RV Head" <4whp@home.com> writes:
 > Aww, shucks - My heart bleeds for them, the poor little RIAA! Why, I
 > think
 > the mere sacrifice of my supposed right to make so-called "fair-use"
 > of items I've bought^H^H^H^H^H^H licensed is scant price indeed, since
 > the alternative is to hand the keys to the kingdom to the Russian
Mafia!
 >
 > (Why didn't the American press explain this to us sooner?)

Because as you doubtless know, it's not that simple.

You can do anything you want with the item you bought, physical media.
You only licensed its useful contents.  You do of course have the Fair
Use right per our courts to make copies for certain uses, like use in
your car.  That of course is why the RIAA and MPAA had to get so creative
finding ways of teaming up with cable TV MSO's, cel phone companies
wanting to market an illusion of privacy, satellite TV operators, et al,
and crafting laws banning decryption of so much as ability to easily
decrypt.  That obviously is about an entirely different issue than
violating your Fair Use rights, or defaulting on their license
obligations to deliver usable content to you.

So long as Jack Valenti remains an effective teller of supposed old Texas
stories, RIAA is subject only to ridicule in South Park, not effective
consumer protection law.

A corrolary the media worked even harder to bring to our attention is how
police (staties, large cities, and many Feds) play out this law to void
accountability to citizens.  Scanners were a nuisance, as some
departments got in lots of trouble and even lost civil rights suits based
on citizen monitoring or recording.  With these new laws to protect us,
cops can arrest anyone who watches them too closely, or gathers evidence
of when, how, and why they're crooks.  Short of really expensive
commercial test equipment, they even banned import or sales of suitable
radios, such that one has to smuggle a low 4 figure price scanner in from
Europe to listen to what our guv'mint thugs are up to.

Of course, this also helps those cops who have traffic accidents in the
adjacent town, when they cross the street outside their jurisdiction
going to McDonalds or the donut shop.  That used to be very embarassing
when anyone in town could hear them call for help, and request
supervisors since a cop had an accident.  Now, with the help of Jack
Valenti, Sony, BMI, and MPAA, cops can arrest anyone who catches them
sneaking an out of town donut run and damaging city property in the
process, as well as when they violate the civil rights of skyclad males
by arrests, and of skyclad females by calling fellow cops to bring
binoculars.

Terry

**********

Date: Thu, 3 Jan 2002 18:10:02 -0500
To: declan@well.com
From: "James M. Ray" <jray@free-market.net>
Subject: Re: FC: RIAA replies to John Gilmore on Ukraine: Don't cheer
  piracy!
Cc: politech@politechbot.com, JCabrera@riaa.com, gnu@toad.com

At 5:42 PM -0500 1/3/02, Declan McCullagh wrote:
...
 >Russia. If Gilmore truly wants to promote the overthrow of oppression, he
 >should support measures designed to introduce the rule of law and to create
 >a fair playing field where the old guard is not in control. Sadly, he
 >laments such measures.
...

Wait a second, am I supposed to believe that the RIAA does not comprise
music's "old guard" intent on control over convenience? Sadly, both work
and personal experience(s) suggest otherwise, but hope springs eternal...
JMR
Regards, James M. Ray

**********




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