What is the copyright law, how is it evolved, and can we have a better one? What can we do meanwhile, before changing it, to reduce the harms of this existing law? These are the questions which I will try to cover in this post.
In previous posts we went over the software issues and discussed how using/developing free (libre) software is an ideal we need for our freedom (philosophy) and also it is made possible by some developers (practicality). We also argued how harmful it is to use/develop non-free computer programs. For software, I talked about copyleft idea and how copyright law only comes handy when trying to use copyleft licenses to promote free (libre) software. Because freedoms 0, 1, 2, 3 are necessary, copyright law cannot and must not restrict users on how they use their software (I am assuming it is Free Software).
Now we change gears, and try to answer the questions about other works such as scientific papers or art works, some uses of which are restricted by the copyright law. We will see how implementing the copyright law enforcement, in a crude way, has become unpractical and a danger to our privacy. Basically you have to watch everyone’s computer to see if they are copying your work illegally. And to achieve this goal you are creating much bigger issues than the copying ‘issue’, if you can call it an issue at all.
I am publishing this post on May 6th, the day against DRM (@DayAgainstDRM). DRM, to be more precise, stands for “Digital Restrictions Management” or simply “Digital Handcuffs”. Please check defectivebydesign.org to find out more.