Outreach Volunteers Needed - Content Control is a Dead End

R. A. Hettinga rah at shipwright.com
Wed Aug 29 06:58:12 EDT 2001

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Status:  U
Date:         Wed, 29 Aug 2001 02:16:25 -0400
Reply-To: Law & Policy of Computer Communications
Sender: Law & Policy of Computer Communications
From: Seth Johnson <seth.johnson at REALMEASURES.DYNDNS.ORG>
Organization: Real Measures
Subject:      Outreach Volunteers Needed - Content Control is a Dead End

I'm sending this because I am looking for concerned individuals who
understand the importance of the following cause:

Content control is a dead end.

The legal tradition in copyright has always drawn a distinction between
facts and ideas on one hand, which nobody can own; and expression on the
other hand, which is what has been allowed to be copyrighted.  The thing
is, data elements are facts, whether they are part of an expressive work
or not.  Free speech, the use of information and the very purpose of
copyright are being revised by publishers and other "content"
stakeholders by means of "content" control measures, such as the
American Digital Millennium Copyright Anticircumvention Act, and the
provisions of the international TRIPS treaty.

Currently, a Russian citizen, Dmitry Sklyarov, is being prosecuted for
felony charges under the DMCA, for work he did in developing software
that decrypts the Adobe e-Book.

The Copyright Clause in the US Constitution is geared toward allowing
Congress to grant artificial monopolies ("exclusive Right" for "limited
Times" to "Writings and Discoveries") in order to "promote the Progress
of Science and useful Arts."  It does not grant copyright as a natural
right, and it does not provide for the superseding of free speech by
this power of Congress.

Do you agree that content control must not be allowed to enable
copyright to supersede our free speech right to process and distribute

We need outreach volunteers and coordinators who wish to help get the
word out about what is going on, and to build the constituency of those
who are affected by these developments.

If you agree that content control must not be allowed to enable
copyright to supersede free speech rights, then please contact me, or
subscribe to the C-FIT Content Control Outreach discussion list by
sending an email saying "subscribe C-FIT_Release_Community" to
ListServ at realmeasures.dyndns.org.

Seth Johnson
seth.johnson at RealMeasures.dyndns.org

Information Producers Initiative Basic Position Statement:

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R. A. Hettinga <mailto: rah at ibuc.com>
The Internet Bearer Underwriting Corporation <http://www.ibuc.com/>
44 Farquhar Street, Boston, MA 02131 USA
"... however it may deserve respect for its usefulness and antiquity,
[predicting the end of the world] has not been found agreeable to
experience." -- Edward Gibbon, 'Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire'

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