Re: [rumori] Yahoo copyright grab

Taylor McLaren (
Sat, 03 Jul 1999 12:31:21 -0400

MEEP! DJ Battista wrote:
>>"..reproduce, modify, adapt, publish,
>> and create derivative works..."
>yup, Steev... the only trouble is that they won't be doing anything
>"creative" with our pages... they're just gonna make money out of some
>crappy cd-r collection...
I sure hope that somebody else out there is finding this
quasi-hand-wringing funny, because all that comes to mind for me right now
is the initial fuss over and Steev's suggestion that the people
establishing a should try to beat the copyright goon squad at
its own game.
  If, as Nicole suggests, the point of this agreement is to give
Yahoo!/Geocities the go-ahead to start producing a hard-copy version of a
site that is freely available for download already (which I doubt... how
many businesses actually did well doing the same thing with shareware
CD-ROMs five years ago?), then I have to ask: how many people would still
have a problem with the agreement if "reproduce" and "publish" were removed
from its current wording? And does rejecting the entire thing create the
possibility that legal precedent could be established for the rejection of
the "modify, adapt... and create derivative works" bit by association? Are
reproduction and publication, then, a fundamental part of the process by
which appropriative art is created?
  This is largely what I was trying to get at with the art-law parallel in
my too-wordy posting a couple of days ago. Not only are people on both
sides of that divide starting to get really good at getting the others'
collective goat by similar means, but they're also both assuming the worst
when it comes to the others' intentions... and those assumptions frequently
depend upon a very particular definition of the word "reproduce". It's a
very sticky word, after all, when money is involved. Speaking of which... wrote:
>yikes - this is supposed to calm people down? They'll be arbitrarily
>converting 24-bit images from people's pages to 8-bit?.... [snippage]
>Taken a step further, it could really screw
>up people's reputations and/or businesses...
Yeah, it's sort of like those bastards who gleefully muck around with
samples without any regard for how they were originally supposed to... oh.
  I know that the parallel isn't even close to being perfect; colour depth
and sample context are only barely related as far as I'm concerned, and I'm
going to assume that this holds true for most other people on this list,
too. As it was pointed out, this sort of procrustean makeover probably
isn't going to happen in such a JPEG-friendly environment as the Web, but
that latter comment about reputations and businesses definitely form the
basis for an awful lot of the complaints that have been made about
sampling. After all, might the idea of fair use not be applied to the
arbitrary elimination of two-thirds of the colour information in a file so
that it could be, say, distributed on a CD-ROM instead of being stored in a
multi-gigabyte environment like a network drive array?
  These arguments all work two ways, it seems.


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