CMN 140 Lecture Notes - Lecture 14: Open-Source Software, Richard Stallman, Digital Millennium Copyright Act

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11 Apr 2017
Lecture 14 - 3/9: Piracy - Issue 2
1. Key Idea: the fundamental issue with piracy is ownership, that is, who owns a
media message, and the key to addressing ownership is determining what
constitutes a unique media message
2. Piracy
1. About drawing lines:
1.1. 1) ownership and non-ownership
1.2. 2) perimeter of a message
1.2.1. How much does a media message need to be
changed in order for it to be considered a different
2. Digitization of messages and high speed transmission of information raise
questions about ownership rights
3. Two value systems about the idea of piracy:
1.1. 1) media businesses and creators of commercial media messages
1.1.1. Ppl who work hard to produce messages that
appeal to public & want to be paid for their talent & efforts
1.1.2. They believe they own the product of their work &
should benefit financially when others want to enjoy their
1.1.3. Argument is based on the traditional concept of
copyright, which is the establishing of the creator’s rights to
his or her work
1.1.4. Public needs to pay for access to those copyrighted
messages & thus compensate the copyright holder Restricting access and personal ownership
1.2. 2) members of the public and some businesses
1.2.1. Ppl who believe in sharing information in a creative
commons, where ownership is not limited to any one
individual or company
1.2.2. Believe copyrights are barriers to wide-spread
1.2.3. copyleft = removing of restrictions so that
messages are free and all users have the right to distribute
copies and modified versions of a work Form of licensing and can be used to
maintain copyright conditions for works such as
computer software, documents & art In general, copyleft is about openness &
common ownership
2. What is Piracy? Unauthorized use of things owned by other ppl
1. Copyright: method to register ownership of “intellectual property”
(inventions and media messages)
2. Mass media: both a tool and threat to authors
1.1. Tool: mass media make creators’ products widely available to
audiences who pay for their products, allowing them to support
themselves and continue producing creative work
1.2. Threat: when their work is digitized and put out in mass media
channels, it not only gets disseminated to ppl who will pay for it
but also gets copied & disseminated by ppl who do not pay for
those unauthorized copies of their creations
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2. Types of Piracy
1. Bootlegging = unauthorized recording of a live delivery of a message,
then the subsequent distribution of that recording
1.1. Ex: recording entire concert or movie in theater
2. Counterfeiting = the duplication of a copyrighted message along with its
packaging, and then selling it as real product
3. Sharing copyrighted messages without paying for access = individuals
make copies that they typically already bought and make it available to
others for free
2. Two Factors
1. What is a creative unit?
2. What does a person own when he or she buys a copy of a media
2. Ownership Rights
1. Copyright owners have “sole & exclusive right to reproduce the work in
any form for any reason”; legal establishment of ownership
1.1. Copyright lasts throughout the life of the author plus 70 years
before it falls into the public domain
1.1.1. Public domain = anyone can use the message
without permission and without cost
2. 1976: copyright law was revised to include fair use = quoting portions of a
work for purposes of news reporting, criticism, teaching, but the
boundaries of fair use are often fuzzy
3. Copyright has its limits
1.1. It is static--that is, once the message is created & copyrighted, its
creators owns the rights to that message and sells access to
users in return for a royalty fee
1.2. becoming more ambiguous with digitization of messages and free
exchange through computers
2. Freeware = users can download all kinds of computer applications for free
3. Open source software = where users can download computer
applications for free but also read the code & make changes to that code
1.1. Code changed some is copyrighted and some are copylefted
1.2. Follow-on users = dissemination & alteration of an application
where users have the opportunity to alter code to improve it and
expand the application’s utility
2. Copyleft licensing creation keeps evolving as each subsequent creator
tinkers with it; no one person owns the creation so it’s openly shared with
everyone & no fees are xchanged
1.1. Invented by Richard Stallman of the Free Software Foundation in
1.2. If you take a copylefted program, make some revisions & share it
with other users, you must allow those other users to have access
to your computer code & make their own improvements
2. Idea of creation has changed
1.1. Cathedrals to bazaars (Sunstein, 2006)
1.2. Cathedral aproach: relied on an expert who had a clear vision for
the computer proram & designed its architecture to exhibit that
vision as elegantly as possible
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