arcana imperii :: the book of j


«appeals court upholds legality of p2p software»

over a year ago, a los angeles judge ruled that file sharing software programmes were legal and developers could not be held liable for copyright infringement that may occur when people use their products. the record and movie industry appealed the decision, and now the ninth circuit court of appeals has upheld that ruling.

«the (record labels and movie studios) urge a re-examination of the law in the light of what they believe to be proper public policy», the court wrote. «doubtless, taking that step would satisfy the copyright owners' immediate economic aims. however, it would also alter general copyright law in profound ways with unknown ultimate consequences outside the present context.»
this quote highlights some concerns the congressional budget office outlined in a report on digital copyright issues. they stressed that «revisions to copyright law should be made without regard to the vested interest of particular business and consumer groups». in essence they urge that lawmakers help restore the balance between copyright protection and consumer concerns that recently have shifted in the copyright holders' favour [read: the industry].

now the question is how long will the ninth circuit court's ruling be relevant. senators orrin hatch and patrick leahy are aiming to push through the induce act that would circumvent today's ruling and render illegal any software or technology that [may in the eyes of the industry] infringe copyright. senator hatch has vowed to move ahead with the induce act even though software and other tech companies believe the legislation goes too far in protecting copyright [read: business interests; at the expense of the consumer] and would stifle innovation. the latest ruling may lead the mpaa and riaa to increase pressure through lobbying for the bill's passage upon a legislature who doesn't quite grasp what's at stake. just like the industry they remain blind to the reality of a business model forever changed by technology; one in which the consumer has a say in how much he'll pay for what, when and how. also a business model which can in effect properly remunerate artists, authors and other producers of intellectual property.

even though hearings on the proposed act ended in with a call for compromise, the bill may still produce a law heavily slanted in the copyright holders' favour and undermining the rights of the end user even though senator hatch placed the register of copyrights in charge of organising comments for a consensus bill. this move is disturbing since the register of copyrights, marybeth peters, does not seem to be impartial as she has testified that the proposed induce act isn't strong enough in protecting the interests of copyright holders [read: business].

via getskinned and member corwyn, 20 august 04. news source: arstechnica.