Photo by Joshua Davis (articnomad)
December 31, 2007 • 11:54 am 0
Copyright law was never intended to prop dieing business models. It was designed to promote societal advancement. The RIAA doesn’t understand that. The Washington Post has an article which tells of a man being sued for ripping songs from CDs he purchased to his computer for personal use only. They claim he needs to buy another copy of the song to use it on his computer.
Now, in an unusual case in which an Arizona recipient of an RIAA letter has fought back in court rather than write a check to avoid hefty legal fees, the industry is taking its argument against music sharing one step further: In legal documents in its federal case against Jeffrey Howell, a Scottsdale, Ariz., man who kept a collection of about 2,000 music recordings on his personal computer, the industry maintains that it is illegal for someone who has legally purchased a CD to transfer that music into his computer.
The industry’s lawyer in the case, Ira Schwartz, argues in a brief filed earlier this month that the MP3 files Howell made on his computer from legally bought CDs are “unauthorized copies” of copyrighted recordings.
Copyright law, when invented by George Washington lasted a maximum of 30 years, but usually only 15. It was designed so that authors, artists, and scientists wouldn’t have to compete against their own work if say, someone else decided they could sell a cheaper copy of an authors book. Former Supreme Court justice Sandra Day O’Conor said:
The primary objective of copyright is not to reward the labor of authors, but [t]o promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts. To this end, copyright assures authors the right to their original expression, but encourages others to build freely upon the ideas and information conveyed by a work. This result is neither unfair nor unfortunate. It is the means by which copyright advances the progress of science and art.
Propping up the 20 year old model of selling $15 CDs with only a few good tracks is clearly not advancing science, the arts, or business innovation. Especially when there are solutions like iTunes and Amazon MP3 where consumers can legally download an album for less than $10.
Previous cases in which defendants where sued for saving TV programs to VHS tapes for viewing at a later date where found to be under the fair use provision, so I can only hope the courts will use this same wisdom in this case.
But the real issue is not what the judges will do, it is a problem with American copyright law. At dozens of pages lawyers must specialize in one facet of copyright law. Expiration dates are complicated, and what fair use is and isn’t is overly convoluted. Of course the workman is worth of his wages, but the consumer needs protections too. Let’s go back to George Washington’s idea of 30 years and no one else can sell or distribute the copyright holders work.
December 26, 2007 • 1:01 pm 0
I took an hour walk to the new Dulles Station project that is still under construction. The project is promising, but just like Rosslyn it will take a couple of decades before this area is more than just urban style density.
Wide open spaces, wide roads, and lots of surface parking dominate phase 1 of the project. The parking garages are 9 levels and appear to be of the highest density. But when a full funding agreement is signed for phase two of the Silver Line metro, density will be increased and some tall office towers will be here.
And more open space and parking space.
As for the housing I would have rather seen taller condos. As it is they choose a rather suburban looking design. But they will be installing ground level retail here, which seems an odd choice. Isn’t ground level retail better suited for office buildings?
The project is in partnership with several other companies, which is something I’ve noticed of these newer town center projects. They have the same companies plopping down their cookie cutter buildings, but at least it’s walkable.
The architecture of the office buildings was stunning. To bad the bold style wasn’t applied to the housing. But I do remember the first phases of the Reston Town Center where urban/suburban with way to much green space and surface parking. And now the newer parts seem genuinely urban.
This project is directly across from the future Route 28 metro station and even has some space left in it for a direct connection. My guess is the Dulles TOD area will be like Rosslyn in the late 70s, and will remain a predominantly office market.
More pictures as the project progresses.