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On copy protection

Submitted by the admin on 16 January, 2008 - 14:44

Tuesday's Library Link of the Day is a blog-type discussion from the NY Times about copy protection. I did not have to register to read it.

A few semi-random thoughts on the copy protection issue:

The warning on a CD I have had since 1991:
All rights reserved. Unauthorized duplication is a violation of applicable laws.

On another from 1991:
All rights of the producer and of the owner of the work reproduced reserved - Unauthorised coping, hiring, lending, public performance and broadcasting of this record prohibited

The warning on a CD I have had since Christmas 2007:
FBI ANTI-PIRACY WARNING: Unauthorized copying is punishable under federal law.

No mention is currently made about lending or public performance.

Lending and public performance were included, but are not anymore. How many high school sports teams have warmed up to public performances of their favorite songs? How many have had publisher permission? There is an "educational use" exception; would a basketball game be considered to qualify?

My father had a friend who borrowed a nearly-out-of-issue cassette from us. When he finally returned it a couple of months later, he explained he had requested permission to copy it and waited for the reply.

A sports and workout club I know of was contacted by their cable TV company who thought that the club should be paying the higher rates for cable since it was part of the "entertainment package."

Another friend mentioned that, even though the VHS tapes of the day had copy protection, his Betamax player didn't know what to do with the protection; Betamax just ignored it when making the copies.

A radio program mentions that one of their most popular segments is out of issue and gives their listeners and opportunity to get their tape recorders ready.

My old Sony CD player has an option to record from CD to cassette. The volume setting of the player has no effect on the volume level of the recording. (The cassette is not working so well these days.)

Free access online does affect my buying habits. For years, the Chicago Tribune required registration before reading articles online; the Sun-Times did not. When I was in a situation to buy a Chicago newspaper, I chose the Sun-Times. If it was the case of picking up an abandoned paper on the train, I took what was available. The advertising rates for the newspapers and magazines are based on more than one reader per copy.