Originally Posted by latepaul
I think this and not the social DRM aspect is the biggest change from current laws. At the moment you're either allowed to copy or not and law is pretty much agnostic about the method (at least AFAIK). This would need to define and prohibit specific methods, the problem with which is that it would create unforeseen loopholes. There would almost certainly be ways developed that are as convenient and easy as the internet but which avoid the legal definition of "the internet". And as with your Dropbox example you'd have to prohibit cases of exactly the types of sharing you want to encourage just because they use the wrong method.
point latepaul! Thanks! Now let's see if I can make my idea survive :-)
The new and improved version of my social DRM proposal is the following:
Media files are sold (not licensed) to buyers. When a buyer downloads a media file, her/his own copy of it includes embedded metadata that allow the vendor to identify who bought it, and when. Buyers are allowed to give copies of the files they bought to other people of their choice; however, they have a personal responsibility if copies of their media files get illegally distributed(*), whoever the actual distributor is.
If a media file gets illegally distributed, the original buyer of that file is considered responsible of that along with the actual distributor, and they both get fined. Only the distributor gets fined if one or both of the following conditions apply:
(1) at time X, before the illegal distribution, the buyer of the file notified the police of a theft of property or data which included media files, and the illegally distributed file was purchased before time X;
(2) the buyer of the file is able to identify the physical person who actually distributed the file, and this person confirms to have done that.
When a buyer gets fined for illegal distribution at time Y, she/he cannot be fined again for illegal distribution of files she/he bought before time Y.
Finally, buying a media file gives to the buyer the right to download how many copies of it she/he wants, in whatever file format of choice, at the moment of purchase or later. All copies include embedded metadata identifying the buyer. The buyer is not not allowed to perform format conversions on the media file, as they can destroy the metadata, except when the destination format is not made available by the vendor.
(*) A media publisher can ask that fines are issued for illegal distribution of file X if a police officer is able -following the instructions of the publisher- to get a copy of the file without contacting anyone that the officer personally knows.
Note: I modified this post to incorporate a simpler definition of "illegal distribution" that I developed later (see post #358 below).