Passing On Our Rights

by David Sleight

6 Reader Comments

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  1. The video game industry is really horrible when it comes to this stuff. Unlike the music industry, the trade of physical disks is still high and the law clearly states this is OK. Video game publishers are incentivizing buying new games by providing sometimes major gameplay via download to people who buy new games. Extra payments for DLC are often stacked on top of a game to increase the profits from re-sold games as well. None of this extra content can be re-sold when you, the owner, are done with it.
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  2. By their understanding (that making a “copy” on your harddrive is illegal) it’s illegal to use digital content *period*, not just to transfer it. That means iTunes is an illegal piracy machine, since it lets you (the license owner) download an apparently illegal copy. So it’s more absurd than you give it credit for, really. By their logic it is completely impossible to legally do anything with your digital goods; merely downloading them to use them personally is a violation.
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  3. I know I’ll get mocked for this but. Patriot Act, NDAA, CISPA bill, email bill, Healthcare bill [registration and electronic implant required for some of the services], Gun Control. In 10 years our constitution was completely killed. These bills under the idea that we needed “security” now allow us to be taken away and held without due process, our homes/computers/cellphones/cars to be search without a warrant. Our internet traffic and phone conversations to be listened into without a warrant. The last bills require you to actively register and submit yourself to review and report your real location. I know i’ll sound like a nut job, but I think there was real plan to remove our rights completely. When anyone in government tells you we need new laws, we should always question and assume there is another agenda.
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  4. If the ability to recoup a portion of your expense on the secondary market is important to you, you’d best stick to tangible, physical objects you can hold in your hand - cameras, hard drives, etc., rather than virtual goods. Since “purchasing” an mp3, doesn’t convert a physical item to one’s possession, it’s merely payment for the right to play a copy repeatedly. Buying an mp3 has more in common with purchasing a movie ticket, than it does buying a vinyl copy of Led Zeppelin IV with a gorgeous gatefold sleeve, which, as you said: “You can sell to somebody else if you don’t want it anymore.” But when you tire of experiencing that latest Ke$ha download, there is no item to sell. Your only option is to stop listening to it. I would go ahead and agree you can sell your macbook with a hard drive full of legally-purchased mp3s. You can even use that bonus as a selling point in your auction description; no one should force you to wipe the drive first. Instead of believing you “own a copy” of a song, realize you merely paid for the right to download but not redistribute the files. Extending first-sale doctrine to the digital world is outdated thinking.
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  5. Libraries have been struggling with this legal position for some years now. Walk into your local library and ask them about eBooks. You’ll get an earful about the harm publishers are doing to libraries by holding the view described above in regards to digital media.
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  6. Can you give it away without breaking the law?
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