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Re: 'Chinese Internet' Comes to the Rest of the World

  • Subject: Re: 'Chinese Internet' Comes to the Rest of the World
  • From: The Ghost In The Machine <ewill3@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 3 Nov 2008 19:21:21 -0800 (PST)
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  • Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.advocacy
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  • Xref: ellandroad.demon.co.uk comp.os.linux.advocacy:702360
On Nov 2, 5:46 pm, Roy Schestowitz <newsgro...@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> Hash: SHA1
> E-Speech: The (Uncertain) Future of Free Expression
> ,----[ Quote ]
> | Imagine this: It’s the day before your daughter’s birthday. She lives in
> | another state, so you make a video of the rest of the family singing “Happy
> | Birthday to You” on your camcorder and put the videotape in a box with her
> | address on it. But at the post office, you’re told the box will take two
> | weeks to deliver unless you pay your daughter’s local mail carrier an extra
> | delivery fee.

Ideally (FSVO), the local mail carrier would receive
an extra surcharge as well to be forwarded to the owner
of the song, currently (according to Wikipedia) Warner
Chappell, or a company under his ownership; Wiki doesn't
give further details.  (The copyright is set to expire on
2030 in the US, and 2016 in the EU.  The question arises as
to what this expiration will do to international collection
efforts of these fees.)

I'm assuming that the first surcharge is for administrative
details related to the USPS's collection services.

Of course it gets weirder; the actual tune (the lyrics
are a separate matter) is based on "Good Morning To All",
which is apparently not under copyright.  It was originally
written by two sisters, Patty Hill and Mildred J. Hill,
in 1893.

Note also the fuss Prince made over the "Let's Go Crazy"
video posted on YouTube (with Prince's song clearly identifiable
in the background):


Clearly, enforcement of copyright details has already
started.  Fortunately, the Electronic Frontier Foundation
stepped in (at the mother's behest). Unfortunately, it is
not clear that the matter has been sufficiently resolved
in either direction; I'd have to dig further.  The
details apparently are getting insufferably messy.

For its part YouTube took down the offending video at
Universal's request, as it is required to under the DMCA.
I can't fault them, really; to do otherwise invites
much abuse, as YouTube would have to actually view and
interpret such material to see if it's a violation thereof,
or forward it to a judge -- oh, the delays.

(Of course, ABC News' article is also copyrighted material.)

Hardly hypothetical stuff, anymore.

> |
> | So instead, you write her a letter describing the video and including the
> | lyrics to “Happy Birthday to You.” She never receives the letter; unbeknownst
> | to you, the post office has opened it en route, and, seeing that you’ve
> | enclosed copyrighted materials (yes, the “Happy Birthday” song is
> | copyrighted), has decided not to deliver the envelope to her.

One wonders if the USPS should:

[a] destroy the envelope,
[b] hold it and submit an amicus curae brief or even a lawsuit
    filed on behalf of the copyright holder(s),
[c] send it, or duplicates of it, to the copyright holder(s);
    one after all could envision multiple violations in a
    single packet,
[d] all of the above.

Nice!  George Orwell (_1984_, (c) 1948) would approve wholeheartedly.
Well, OK, maybe some of the minions in _1984_ might.

> | You write her
> | another letter, without the song lyrics, and although it arrives on her
> | doorstep intact, she can’t open it because you used a large manila envelope
> | and her electric letter opener works only on size A2, A6 and A7 envelopes.
> |
> | [...]
> |
> | Similarly, the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), an international
> | treaty currently under negotiation, may allow customs officials to search our
> | computers, MP3 players and other electronic devices for unpermissioned
> | content when we travel,

I believe it *requires* such.  Why would anyone's devices be exempt?

> |  and may force ISPs to disclose more information about
> | our online activities to copyright owners claiming infringement.

Presumably, everyone is required to enforce copyright law.
That includes delivery conduits such as the ISPs.

> | ACTA
> | negotiations have been held in secret, and what little we know is the result
> | of leaks. Despite not telling us much about it, the Office of the United
> | States Trade Representative (USTR) says it is trying to “complete the new
> | agreement as quickly as possible.” The Electronic Frontier Foundation and
> | Public Knowledge recently filed suit against the USTR, demanding more
> | information about ACTA before it’s actually ratified.
> `----
> http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/20081024_e_speech_the_uncertain_f...
> MTVmusic.com Censors Weird Al
> ,----[ Quote ]
> | The four file-sharing networks are now those that shall not be named on MTV.
> | At first the bleeping seems like a joke, but Yankovic also posted his video
> | on his YouTube channel, where it is uncensored. (It’s not, however, available
> | for embedding.)
> |
> | MTV sparked controversy in the past for bleeping out words referring to guns
> | and violence, or misogynistic words like “bitch” and “ho,” but at least those
> | cases of selective censorship seemed geared toward decent ends. Censoring the
> | names of places where people can share files (not just music or copyrighted
> | material) is not only heavy-handed—come on, you think they don’t know
> | already?—but also comes across as sheer corporate protectionism, taking the
> | side of the once-demonized-on-MTV machine instead of the rocking audience
> | that used to rage against it.
> `----
> http://www.webpronews.com/topnews/2008/10/31/mtvmusiccom-censors-weir...

I fail to see a problem *here*, though if MTV extends its influence
beyond its own transmission network (e.g., censoring Weird Al's
Youtube submission!) there could be trouble.

> Recent:
> In Conroy’s muddy waters you'll never know what’s being filtered
> ,----[ Quote ]
> | Critics of Conroy's Internet filtering say Australians will not be able to
> | find out what the government censors online, and ask: who watches the
> | watchmen?
> |
> | An Australian law expert has warned that under the government’s proposed
> | mandatory Internet content filtering scheme Australians will have no way of
> | finding out what “illegal” content has been censored and blocked online,
> | while Greens Senator Scott Ludlam voiced his concern over Conroy’s ambiguity
> | regarding exactly what content will or won’t be blocked, and who will be able
> | to opt-out of the filtering.
> |
> | Conroy’s mandatory Internet filtering proposal caused a stir last week when
> | it was revealed a member of his department had tried to censor severely
> | critical comments made on the Whirlpool broadband forum by an Internode
> | network engineer regarding the merits of ISP level filtering.
> `----
> http://www.linuxworld.com.au/index.php?id=355409327&rid=-50
> Big tech companies back global plan to shield online speech
> ,----[ Quote ]
> | Stating that privacy is "a human right and guarantor of human dignity," the
> | initiative commits the companies to try to resist overly broad demands for
> | restrictions on freedom of speech and overly broad demands that could
> | compromise the privacy of their users.
> |
> | The initiative was begun after human rights groups and Congress criticized
> | the Internet companies for cooperating with Chinese government censorship and
> | demands for information on dissidents. In addition to laying out the code of
> | conduct, the initiative will provide a non-governmental forum for the
> | companies and human rights groups to jointly resist demands for censorship.
> | It will also establish a system of independent auditors to rate the
> | companies' conduct.
> `----
> http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/10/28/technology/28privacy.php
> Internet Companies Pay Lip Service To Human Rights
> ,----[ Quote ]
> | While it's nice that they're actually thinking about these issues, the
> | guidelines on the whole are pretty weak and don't bind the companies to do
> | anything. Basically, it just says that the companies will consider the human
> | rights issues in their decision making. If anything, this seems like an
> | attempt to just keep the government from legislating on the issues, and it
> | may not be very successful on that front. The real test will be in seeing how
> | these companies actually act, rather than what sorts of guidelines they've
> | signed.
> `----
> http://techdirt.com/articles/20081027/1946252660.shtml

But they *do* pay quite a bit of homage to copyright owner's rights.

I get the feeling the latter have a little more money....

[rest snipped for brevity]

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