[Videolib] Public performance rights question

Jed Horovitz (JedH@internetvideoarchive.com)
Thu, 23 Sep 2004 11:54:39 -0400

I don't think anyone can afford to or should ignore copyright law. I
believe there is a large gray area covered by copyright that is open to
interpretation and a large area that is not covered by copyright and that it
behooves citizens to push back when the government or large private
interests unilaterally try to enclose and interpret those areas to their
benefit and the public's determent.

I would never suggest a librarian support any activity that they did not
firmly believe was a. morally appropriate b. clearly not allowed. I am not
advocating civil disobedience of copyright. The lawyers just pick you off
one at a time. It would never work unless massively coordinated and I have
no idea about how to do that.

I believe that Intellectual Property has become a kind of Super Property
with more protection than society gives to physical property and to personal
rights. What I advocate is self-education, education of others and
resisting (not conceding) the vast gray areas. I am not sure your examples
fall into either. It would take some digging for me to decide for myself.

My belief is that the underlying problem with copyright law is that the
playing field for dispute resolution is so unbalanced. This is due to the
burden of proof being upon the alleged infringer ('guilty until proven
innocent') and the huge weight of statutory damages. Both these things
violate our notions of due process, punishment fitting the crime and
equitable relief. Though originally intended to reduce the cost benefit
value of counterfeiting, they combine to create a prior restraint on freedom
of expression.

If copyright dispute resolution was the same as it is for other property, I
would be more willing (and think many others would be as well) to take the
financial risk of getting sued for EQUITABLE relief in order to exercise my
free speech/free listen/free watch rights (as we all do now for slander)
using copyrighted material and thus keep the wolves from the gray areas.
Balanced dispute resolution would lead to a balanced rule of law even if
some decisions went differently than either side would like.


This has come up before and I am probably an idiot for bringing it up again
but I am honestly not sure of the your answer on the following I know how
you feel copyright should be but what do you advocate for how it is
enforced & interpreted now? Are you suggesting that since you believe it
over broad & unfairly protects large corporations etc, that liberians &
educators should ignore it , interpret how they believe it should be and
just wait to see what happens legally? As you know the Supreme Court (
somewhat reluctantly) upheld the last 20 year extension of Copyright
ownership to 95 years so I am curious on what realistic hope you would base
a belief that institutions would win in court challenging this or related
issues. The case you posted today was interesting but I will happy to bet
you a steak ( or vegan dinner)) it either gets thrown out on summery
judgement or loses after hearing. On a PRACTICAL level what do you think
a librarian should do when for instance asked to dub a studio title never
released on video or asked to allow equipment to be used for student group
to show SONG OF THE SOUTH for a discussion on racism or asked to dub ANY
studio title from VHS to DVD that has not been released on DVD. These are
just samples , feel free to pick any others you like but I still am not
clear on if you are suggesting some kind of librarian version of ""copyright
disobedience" ( in which case like Civil Rights protesters they had better
be prepared to accept the legal consequences) or some type of lobbying or
legal challenge. If you are suggesting challenges on what basis would you
think you could prevail.

My apologies if you have covered this before but I am genuinely unclear
on your position on this.

Jessica Rosner
Kino International
333 W 39th St. 503
NY NY 10018

> From: "Jed Horovitz" <JedH@internetvideoarchive.com> > Reply-To: videolib@library.berkeley.edu > Date: Wed, 22 Sep 2004 14:26:40 -0400 > To: <videolib@library.berkeley.edu> > Subject: RE: [Videolib] Public performance rights question > > I don't think you can propose it to be a rip off and still have an argument. > If you can't have an arguement, you don't have a free society. That is my > point. The only thing we know about this Hegelian t-shirt is, it exits. If > it is a rip-off, it should be Disney's job to prove it to a jury rather than > to assume it is a rip-off simply because it is a copy. If it is judged to > be a rip-off than it should be Disney's job to show the damages. Then they > can ask for damages and court costs. This is how we treat all other forms > of property. (The only reason movies (etc.) are different is the lobbying > done by the MPAA, RIAA, AAP, etc.) The ownership of this super property has > created super citizens...most of them with articles of incorporation instead > of bodies and souls. > Jed > 'If you give someone a big stick, they are going to use it.' Ed Felton > > -----Original Message----- > From: videolib-bounces@library.berkeley.edu > [mailto:videolib-bounces@library.berkeley.edu]On Behalf Of Syp, Marc P. > Sent: Wednesday, September 22, 2004 1:31 PM > To: 'VideoLib' > Subject: RE: [Videolib] Public performance rights question > > > > I didn't *assume* that the Mickey t-shirt was simply a rip-off, I proposed > it to *be* a rip-off in the context of making an argument. Have you seen > the shirt I was talking about? I didn't think so, because I made it up in > my head. But here's what it looks like: A t-shirt with a simple, standard, > copyrighted drawing of Mickey with no ironic, artistic, or political > adjustment implied. > > Of course, I'm just waiting for you to say that simply the act of creating > and selling a Mickey Mouse rip off is an artistic and political statement > and therefore should be excepted from copyright law... heheh. > > Okay, sorry, folks... it's been just too tantalizing and I had to get my > teeth into it too. But I'm done now! > > > Thanks, > Marc Syp > Supervisor, Film Library > St. Louis Public Library > 314.206.6704 > > > -----Original Message----- > From: Jed Horovitz [mailto:JedH@internetvideoarchive.com] > Sent: Wednesday, September 22, 2004 11:56 AM > To: Syp, Marc P.; videolib@library.berkeley.edu > Subject: RE: [Videolib] Public performance rights question > > > Marc, > > Your example exhibits the prejudice I am concerned with in that you assume > the t-shirt is not a political, artistic statement but simply a rip off. I > think we should assume it is protected free speech (art, business, pursuit > of happiness, etc.) unless and until Disney proves other wise. That is all > it would take to level the playing field between new/future users/creators > and owners of existing creations. > > Jed > > _______________________________________________ > Videolib mailing list > Videolib@library.berkeley.edu > http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/mailman/listinfo/videolib > > _______________________________________________ > Videolib mailing list > Videolib@library.berkeley.edu > http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/mailman/listinfo/videolib

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