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ARSCLIST  October 2005

ARSCLIST October 2005

Subject:

Re: legal action, and libraries & archives

From:

Scott Phillips <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Fri, 7 Oct 2005 09:25:01 -0500

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Reading all the exchanges on the list I have reached the conclusion that
the situation, at least in the USA, is exactly the same as interpreting
the tax laws. No one really knows what they really mean, not even the
people that wrote the laws. Call the IRS for a tax question, and polling
indicates you get the wrong answer 75% of the time. Worse, follow the
advise they give you, and they will turn around and penalize you for
following their advice. Like the tax laws (no, the IRS has never audited
me, thanks !), the copyright laws are such blunt tools as written that
to avoid having SOMEONE, SOMEWHERE, having an interpretation different
than yours and getting sued, everyone effectively takes no action at
all. It seems apparent that the laws as written serve extremely narrow
interests if any at all. That may play into a couple of antiquated
business models, but it is difficult to see how it really serves anyone
in the long run. On the face of it, IMHO, it is just another example of
lobbying efforts by record companies and their ilk. These are the same
folks that to prevent the inevitable changes to their business models
that newer technology requires will strangle access and preservation
efforts. Short term thinking and greed at work.... SNAFU !!!

Again, just looking at the posts here, it seems that nearly everyone has
a different take on the copyright situation. Some seem to favor simply
following the strictest possible interpretation of the laws, others
prefer to stick their necks out in either the loosest interpretation of
the laws or actively flouting them in the interests of making for better
access. I get the sense at least on this list that profit takes a back
seat to the love of the material. Personally, I agree in part with both
ends of the spectrum. At the bottom of it all, the laws are basically
unworkable as written. I happen to agree with Steven about a libraries'
mission, and some of the differences between libraries and archives. But
no matter how you look at this. The laws are broken. How can this be
changed ? One wonders if the issues are too complex for congress members
to take in (or want to), let alone how to deflect the massive lobbying
efforts of the 'few'......


Scott

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