Regarding copyright infringement

This story made the rounds yesterday. A lady is suing Universal for requesting the removal of her 0.29″ sec youtube family video that had a Prince song as a background score. Now, according to the law, that WAS a copyright infringement (no, there is no “fair use” for plain consumers, get over it).

However, what she has a problem with — and I agree with her wholeheartedly — is what this country has become: essentially, a policed nation. Her own words regarding what’s going on her mind when she shoots a family video:

“I’m constantly thinking about what’s going on in the background, what’s on the TV, what’s on the CD player, the characters on my kids’ clothes, the characters on the toys that they are playing with. I’m cognizant of what’s going on at every step, instead of focusing on my kids, which is where my attention should be.”

I am sorry, but she’s right. This copyright thingie just gets in the middle of our lives, it just takes away the fun factor. It’s just too much fucking shit to take into account each time. You can’t even take a dump anymore in this country without thinking if you are allowed to take a prank picture of it, in fear of using inappropriately and without permission the image of the designer toilet your ex-wife had installed.

Of course, this does not mean that copyright law should go extinct as some open source radicals think so (don’t forget that USA’s main exporting good is IP, maybe even more so than weapons), but it should ease up. That was my opinion all along regarding all these RIAA/MPAA/copyright happenings the last few years: ease up on the consumer. Give him/her the benefit of the doubt. Use such opportunities as advertising: e.g. modify the fair use clause to allow non-commercial uses of the works, as long as credit is given, or something.

I know that some will say that artists should dictate how their works should be used exactly, but all the artists I have met do NOT want the same measures and licenses that RIAA dictates. They don’t give a shit if you used their song with your home video — in fact, they like it (I actually asked Tyson just that, Drist‘s singer and front man, last Saturday).

Besides, that’s entertainment we are talking about, and that’s works that’s sold in droves, just like potatoes. No one dictates to me that the patented genetically modified Glykopatata potato must only be eaten in the oven with oregano and onions and no other way. No disrespect meant to artists by this, but people like Prince should get a clue. It’s people like him that drove me to only buy and listen to indie artists the last few months.

Let people live their lives alright. Stop policing every little fucking thing, no matter if you are the government, or RIAA or Sheriff Bob. Rewrite the copyright law if you have to (JBQ claims that “changing” or “adding” to the existing US copyright law is extremely difficult because it’s already bloated — he read it).

Update: Nice article on the current RIAA/major-label problem. At the end of the article the guy suggests 4 things that people should do to fight back, and I am glad I already do all 4 of them. The biggest thing is that I have stopped buying from major labels or from indie labels that are owned by the majors — and I usually buy from CDBaby where most of the profit goes to the artist directly.


chema wrote on October 27th, 2007 at 6:48 PM PST:

It’s really troubling what’s going on over there in the good ole USA. especially since our goverment down here in Guatemala/Central America, are too afraid to stand up.

When will people realize that we are going down a really crooked path? i hope it’s before it’s too late.

The whole Vonage thing sucked big time as well.

Jacob Munoz wrote on October 27th, 2007 at 7:17 PM PST:

IP is the highest price of capitalism as it appears to me. I don’t like it either, and unfortunately I don’t see a great solution to the problem either.

The last CD I purchased had a Sony DRM rootkit that ended the life of a perfectly good Win98se machine about four years ago. It had take me about six years to patch and update and hack that box just right – all to be ended by some weird “$$$somecrapinhere$$$” directories I NEVER AGREED TO BEING INSTALLED! It just ‘did it’ without any consent – so I could do the exact same thing a walkman can do. That was the last audio disc I’ve ever bought.

We’re getting trapped by the RIAA & etc and threatened to format our harddrives or face jailtime. I don’t share files, I certainly don’t sell them (that, I could understand legal action) – but just to HAVE and backup your constantly-scratching CDs? I back-up every disc I have, but I may be using software that’s “questionable”. DVDs scratch even worse than CDs, so I prefer to view my ‘Handbraked’ files instead. I don’t give them away or share them or sell them, but I’m nervous about it and I shouldn’t have to be. Now when rootkits get involved, I feel violated and abused!

Ajay wrote on October 27th, 2007 at 8:33 PM PST:

After reading the article, I agree that the takedown notice was unwarranted as it’s probably fair use but you have to agree that this mom is an ambulance-chaser trying to make a quick buck. For people who actually want to use the whole song as a score that they edit into their video after the fact, which isn’t fair use, it would help if these video sharing sites had an easy way for users to license music for home videos, these companies are missing out on a nice revenue opportunity by not doing that. I suppose you could look at it as them protecting their turf until they build the licensing technology, albeit too aggressively in this case.

nix wrote on October 27th, 2007 at 8:41 PM PST:

The U.S. is a corporate republic; nuff said. For any who disagree:
Warning, 2 definitions for a dictionary which may cause enlightenment:
corporate and republic.

memsom wrote on October 28th, 2007 at 3:10 AM PST:

Okay, 0.29 secs I understand, but 0.29″ looks like “third of an inch”. Is ” really a valid substitute for “seconds” in colloquial English?

devicerandom wrote on October 28th, 2007 at 3:16 AM PST:

Okay, 0.29 secs I understand, but 0.29″ looks like “third of an inch”. Is ” really a valid substitute for “seconds” in colloquial English?

It is a valid substitute for seconds in nearly every Western language.
10′ = 10 minutes
10” = 10 seconds

Viktor wrote on October 28th, 2007 at 4:40 AM PST:

Agree fully with you. Just a nitpick: I’d call someone who wants to extinct copyright law an anarchist, not an open source radical. I consider myself to be an open content activist, producing and listening to audiobooks and music under Creative Commons licenses, precisely because I don’t want to be a criminal. So we’re using (and thus supporting) copyright law to clearly state the intentions for our works.

Homer wrote on October 28th, 2007 at 5:55 AM PST:

“This copyright thingie just gets in the middle of our lives”

No it doesn’t. It only does if you make your home video PUBLIC for billions of people to see! If you share it on your private network with your acquaintances, no ones gonna interfere. There’s that TINY bit of difference you seem have hard time understanding.

This is the admin speaking...
Eugenia wrote on October 28th, 2007 at 10:04 AM PST:

Homer, wake up and smell the coffee. Making videos public is what people want to do these days, and so the law must work around that, not the other way around.

Mark Coppock wrote on October 28th, 2007 at 10:06 AM PST:

Copyright infringement is copyright infringement. The fact that the Internet has made it possible and trivial to infringe doesn’t change that simple fact. Sure, people have to worry about what they’re including in their videos–why shouldnt’ they? Why is creating a video and distributing it far and wide on the Internet considered some sacrosanct right, as opposed to the right of creators to control their intellectual property?

Capitalism says that people have to trade voluntarily. That’s the essence of it. Simply wanting what someone else has isn’t an excuse for taking it from them, not if you want to live in a free society where individual rights are protected.

This is the admin speaking...
Eugenia wrote on October 28th, 2007 at 12:03 PM PST:

>Simply wanting what someone else has isn’t an excuse for taking it from them

I just fail to see how you take away from Prince his song. Or the toy that your kid is currently playing with and you actually bought.

It’s one thing to actually steal something, be it a song or a toy, and another to use their image on a video.

JimRobinson wrote on October 28th, 2007 at 1:27 PM PST:

Why must you curse in your posts? Jesus doesn’t like it when you do such things.

Please try to be a lady (meaning quit your job) and let a man do what is godly mans work.

This is the admin speaking...
Eugenia wrote on October 28th, 2007 at 1:29 PM PST:

>Jesus doesn’t like it

And I am not religious.

mikesum32 wrote on October 28th, 2007 at 2:55 PM PST:


My satire detector just exploded.

mark wrote on October 29th, 2007 at 3:12 AM PST:

eugenia sez : i am not religious

doesn’t matter if you are religious or not, Jesus is Jesus and He gets to be decide your eternity after you die.

Jacob Munoz wrote on October 29th, 2007 at 7:21 AM PST:

“Jesus is Jesus and He gets to be decide your eternity after you die.”


Hey eugenia, did you hear that? You get to be ‘decided on’! Aren’t you excited? I sure know I am! Yay!


thanks Mark, hope we hear from Luke, John, and Peter too ;P

mark wrote on October 29th, 2007 at 11:20 AM PST:

hey jacob, i’m glad you are excited…you probably need some excitement in your boring life

God wrote on October 29th, 2007 at 12:47 PM PST:

Careful Mark, or I will smite thee

Jacob Munoz wrote on October 30th, 2007 at 10:05 PM PST:


Thank God.

herman wrote on October 31st, 2007 at 7:04 AM PST:

A police state? Yes indeed.
Don’t worry, it will all get a lot worse before it gets any better.

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