March 6th, 2005


(no subject)

I am not up on internet Drama. I don't give a damn about Frienditto. I don't think it's a big deal and I really wish people on livejournal would quit running to WORLD SHATTERING CONSPIRACY land every time some new thing comes up.
This time it's a service that will archive your friend's Friends only posts. You can then disseminate those posts to whoever you want. Basically, it's a screenshot for people who don't know how to use photoshop.

I didn't know anything about it. subbes made this post to help combat the hysteric stupidity and now I know all about Frienditto. And I have nothing to say about it other than "don't let assholes you don't trust read your FO posts."

Not only has this APOCALYPSE OF HORRIBLENESS proved that none of these people trust the people reading their friends list to not spread the info, it also means that Frienditto is violating the copyright of everyone who's posts are archived there. Because someone was very very sure of this, I'm going to go look it up. I know US copyright law is a mess. I know that I personally think copyright law in general is... well... pointless. I know that it gives people the power to make claims about artistic creations that are just *laughable*. I know that in regards to music it means that the people all ready rich enough to buy the rights to a song can do whatever they want to it, destroying it in the process (p. diddy, j-z, etc) and those who use public domain sounds will repeatedly be sued by massive corporations (coca cola) and wildly successful half rate pop bands (U2)

I dragged my ass out of bed this morning to do some dishes and get caught up on some work. Now becuase of some comments in that post that dear LORD I hope aren't actually true, I'm looking up copyright law info. Guh.

OH so educational.

Before I even get into this, I should say that I personally am opposed to the concept of copyright in many cases, but not in all. If you take a book and reproduce it with a word change here and there, I hope the author sues your ass. I personally believe that copyright law is arcane and desperately needs to be rewritten. I think that copyright law treats the concept of artistic creation as something nearly physical and it just isn't so, especially when it comes to music. That said, the links below are just...links. They actually disagree with my own believe that nothing automatically copyrighted at the time of creation. I honestly did not know that that was the case.

Authors' Rights

Although web pages and email messages are protected as soon as created, copyright registration is needed before U.S. owners can bring suit. Also, prompt registration provides remedies that make lawsuits affordable. Statutory damages of $150,000 (or more, and attorney fees) for willful infringement can be obtained if published works are registered within three months, or unpublished works are registered before they are infringed.

Registration costs only $30.00, and simple application forms with basic instructions are available from the Copyright Office -- TX still appears to be the best choice. Yet, it would be prohibitively expensive for prolific authors or artists to register individual items other than in the context of existing disputes. Their options much improve when multiple works can be registered as a collection."

This, and the other information at hand, seems to say that there *is* an implied copyright as soon as something is created. An email, a webpage, etc. But that in order to actually sue someone over infringement of that copyright you need to have registered the material. How accurate this site is currently, who knows. Becuase Livejournal is its own site, and your posts are individual, but contained on a single page, I'm not sure how that would be defined. If a blanket notice on your info page means you are notifying everyone (and you'd have to take out a registration on the page, which LJ already has a registration for becuase you're using their interface.. so I'm not sure how that works) or if you'd have to take out a registration for each individual post.

I think the problem with most of the information you find about copyight law on the internet is that it's undated. No really, I know people don't check dates of creation. Here is a list of "myths" about USENET and internet publications in general. Again, this doesn't address the concept of actually SUING someone over it. Becuase the concept of suing someone over a USENET post is pretty fucking ridiculous.

And then... the DMCA. This is a great list of information about the DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act), what it means in internet life, and some of the huge cases that have come out of the DMCA. It's from EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation). They are, of course, anti-DMCA but I don't think that that impinges on their credibility given their long standing and well reasoned arguments.