Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Bad copyright infringement

I think it's important sometimes to reiterate that my own position is not that of total freedom of copying.  Many do support that position--and if it's a choice of maximums, I will take total freedom every single time.

But copyright has it's good points--the protection (in theory) afforded to open-source software, for example.  The commercial use of copyrighted material without authorization is another thing that rankles.  And today we hear of a case of, perhaps, abuse of trust in the early release of a Beyonce album.

The Torrentfreak article is not 100% clear if the guy being charged was actually in a position of trust for Beyonce's producers.  For the sake of argument, let's say he was.

Many pro-pirate people like to point out that if you want to keep 100% control of your music, book, or movie, then you have one very simple expedient for doing so--don't release it.

Reaching in and grabbing something that someone does not want released is not okay--that's the bad sort of hacking.  Worse still is being entrusted with something, and violating that trust.  It doesn't matter what that trust is--breaking trust is not a good thing to do.

I think artists and labels have a perfect right to control the initial release of something.  I don't see any reason why that shouldn't be the case.  I don't think they have the right to control the entire internet to have that control.  But they should be able to control their own computers, and the actions of those whom they have trusted with early copies of the information.

If you say you're not going to put it on the internet, and so they give you a copy, and you do it anyway, you are a bit of an ass.

Not a ten-years-in-prison ass.  But certainly a civil lawsuit ass.

The stuff is going to get out there and get pirated rapidly after initial release, anyway.  So I don't think major penalties are in order.  But breach of trust is a serious matter, and some civil penalty should apply.  Prison would be insane.

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