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Old 11-16-2012, 02:40 PM   #361
Hellmark
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Originally Posted by BoldlyDubious View Post
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.
Problem is, what if you didn't realize it was missing or you submitted a police report after X, but before anyone is notified?

Here is a situation that happened at my school. Forget a flash drive at the school computer lab, next kid along grabs it and uploads everything. You make a report, drive gets turned in later, and you get it back. You're on the hook for everything in that scenario. School network so can't exactly track who uploaded it.

Another instance, i had a flash drive at work, in my work area. Someone snagged it without asking because they needed to sneaker net a few files. Drive turns up later that day, but with files that weren't mine. I didn't even notice the drive missing till a coworker found it laid by one of the communal work spaces. In that instance i would get in trouble if my files were shared, and i would seem to be responsible for the other files because they're on my drive.

Plus some police officers balk at doing reports on lost items. Hell, i personally have had an instance where a person broke into my house and steal my dad's medicine from when he was dying of cancer. The cops refused to do a police report. If they won't on a B&E, do you think they will if you forget a flash drive somewhere?

There are a bunch of problems with this.
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Old 11-16-2012, 03:09 PM   #362
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Originally Posted by murraypaul View Post
  • People who are not tech-savvy, and do not know how to strip DRM will be able to share ebooks with their friends, when they cannot do that at the moment, so increasing piracy.
Right. However I think that sharing books with your friends is not "piracy". It's the same thing I do with my paper books, and I don't feel like a pirate at all.

It's different if one starts giving away copies of her/his books to friends of friends of friends, but I don't do that and my proposed "social DRM" scheme actively pushes against this.
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Old 11-16-2012, 03:17 PM   #363
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Originally Posted by BoldlyDubious View Post
However I think that sharing books with your friends is not "piracy". It's the same thing I do with my paper books, and I don't feel like a pirate at all.
But it's not the same thing that you do with your paper books. Unless you're in the habit of poofing brand new copies of your paper books into existence to loan to friends, that is.
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Old 11-16-2012, 04:34 PM   #364
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As usual, a most detailed and clear criticism :-)
Here are my point-by-point replies.
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Originally Posted by CWatkinsNash View Post
I fail to see how there can be a reduction in casual sharing when you go from "sharing takes effort, requires doing stuff and breaking the law" to "easy to legally share just by handing off a copy of the file".
Because with my scheme sharing is not casual.
With current DRM systems, every file that gets shared can be shared by everyone with everyone else. There's no mechanism pushing someone who is willing to share to refrain from giving a copy of her/his files to anyone who asks. And there's no mechanism pushing people who receive a file from the original buyer towards avoiding to share it with other people, who will share it with other people... ad infinitum.
With my system, sharing generates risks for the original buyer. So the buyer will be much more picky in choosing who to share with. And the chosen people will be those that care for the buyer most: i.e., exactly the people that will avoid performing further sharing of their own for fear of damaging their friend/spouse/relative.

So the first situation (current DRM) is one of exponential growth of the diffusion of a file: every person who gets a file can become a new center of diffusion. There's no damping mechanism at all, because (promised) punishment is as much hyper-terrible as hyper-unlikely.
The second situation (my proposal for social DRM) is one where a strong mechanism for damping is in place. Social links between people tend to keep the file within a finite circle of people comprising the original buyer and his most close acquaintances. There's no exponential spread, only local "sharing groups", each having a media buyer at their center and an outer layer of his closest acquaintances around her/him. Passing of files from one group to the other tends to not occur, even when the same person belongs to different groups. In fact, passing files is mostly done by buyers, and by definition different "sharing groups" have different buyers as their centers.
(Of course the geography of "sharing groups" is dynamic. It changes for each specific file and evolves over time, but the key property of such groups -resistance to exchange of files between different groups- is always retained.)

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Originally Posted by CWatkinsNash View Post
However, reducing piracy was one of your initial selling points, and it's now not.
I strongly object to this. Not because it seems to me that my "social DRM" will reduces piracy, or at the very least does not increase it (though I am pretty convinced of this). But because reducing piracy was not the aim of my proposal: only a side effect that should make it interesting to publishers.

My main "selling point" is that my social DRM system removes the absurd limitations imposed to media buyers by current DRM systems, legalizes a set of "sharing practices" (such as letting your spouse or kids or closest friends read your books) that have a key impact on people's cultural lives, and empowers media buyers by giving them the possibility of choosing what to do with their media (such as backing up).

Getting this result without any increase in piracy would already be a great result in my view. If, as a side effect, piracy is reduced, I think that publishers should be happy as well.
Of course, my reasoning may be flawed: this is why I really appreciate the thinking effort that you and the other posters of this thread are putting into helping me finding flaws.
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Not everyone thinks about the author in the equation. They liked a book, it's legal to share, so they do. [...] It's not that they hold any ill will or don't think the author deserves it, they just don't think about it at all.
That's my point too! Maybe these people don't care about the author (or the publisher or...), but the surely care about themselves. With my system, if you buy media and share them without really thinking about what you are doing, you will almost certainly be damaged personally by this by getting fined. My social DRM turns the problem of preventing "piracy" into a personal problem of the buyer, so even the most selfish buyers will care about what happens to their files. The good thing is that if you think before you share, you don't actually risk anything and, in exchange for your increased responsibility, you get the freedom to actually own your media, i.e. to do with them what YOU want and not what the publisher wants. You are in charge: exactly the opposite of what happens with current DRM systems.

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Old 11-16-2012, 05:09 PM   #365
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Hi Hellmark. Welcome on board.
The points you make are reasonable, but have already been addressed in the preceding posts or are (the way I see things) non-issues. I'll try to explain... after all this thread is clearly on the tl;dr side! :-)

About the "they copied the contents of my pendrive" scenario: this is the non-issue.
In my proposal, you get freedom in exchange for responsibility. Freedom to own your files and do whatever you want with them, in exchange for the responsibility of being careful about who gets them. So if you don't trust the people around you (other students, coworkers, ...) you should simply not leave your media files around, or encrypt/password protect them.

I introduced the "report theft to police" clause to cover the cases when you take all the reasonable precautions, but your files get in the wrong hands all the same. Say, because someone stole a piece of hardware of yours.
If something like that occurs, you usually notice it and can immediately notify the police.
if the "theft" is actually an unauthorized access to your PC, noticing is not so easy. So you can either (i) be very careful about security administration or (ii) avoid risks by keeping your media files password-protected, and possibly not physically on the PC (maybe in some cloud repository). The "digital part" of our lives gains increasing weight, and everyone of us has sensible data (personal or associated to other persons) on her/his PC: so security is an issue even if you don't have any media files, and a solution has to be found.

Next issue. You seem to think that (in my proposal) reporting a theft of media files to the police has the function of having them try to get your things back. It's not like that. The function of such a report (that can take the form of an email sent to an automatic logging system, for instance) is that of getting you off the hook if some of your files (that you bought before the time of your report) ever appear online somewhere.
(Of course if you file a report a week, someone could become suspicious...)
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Old 11-16-2012, 06:01 PM   #366
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Originally Posted by DiapDealer View Post
But it's not the same thing that you do with your paper books. Unless you're in the habit of poofing brand new copies of your paper books into existence to loan to friends, that is.
That ability would have saved me quite a bit of money over time :-)

...more to the point: yes, you are right... but it doesn't matter. Let me explain.
The fact that you can copy a digital file and have two identical things instead of the single one you started with is exactly the reason why current DRM systems don't work.
With digital media, poofing is possible.
Current DRM is based on the idea of making poofing difficult. However this kind of limiting mechanism works only if it makes poofing utterly impossible. In practice eluding DRM is feasible, so some poofing occurs. Then, some of the new media poofed into existence will be used to poof other copies, and so on and so on. Given that no effect limiting the number of copies that get poofed (the thing that I called "damping mechanism") is in place, the overall number of copies that get spread around tends to be, on the long run, very large. This is an inherently explosive system, and any reduction in the number of "first-generation" copies will only slow down the explosion a bit, not prevent it.

My proposal changes this by making the system strongly damped. The owner of a file can poof how many copies she/he wants, to give them to people. However, the number of people who get copies is limited by the fact that the file owner only gives copies to people that she/he can be sure will not give the file to others, because otherwise she/he will risk getting fined. The file owner, in other terms, will give the file only to people who care about her/him enough to avoid further sharing. And such people, precisely because they care, will really avoid sharing the file they received with other people. So the file will not spread.

However, black sheep and social misunderstanding exist.
What happens (with my "social DRM") if Brad gets a copy of file X from Anne, the owner, but "cheats" and gives a copy to Charlie even if Anne doesn't want that? Does the system explode into exponential poofing of new files? I think not.
Maybe Charlie cares about Anne, so will not share X further because that would risk damaging her. But even if Charlie doesn't care at all about Anne, there's another reason for Charlie not to share the file. In fact Charlie probably cares about Brad. We know that Brad feels so close to Charlie to disobey his friend Anne and risk damaging her just to give Charlie a copy of X. So it's likely that Charlie is somewhat close to Brad, in turn. Therefore when Brad says to Charlie "Please, don't share X with anyone else. I had to disobey Ann to give it to you. If you share X, it may happen some day that Ann gets fined, and I don't want her to be damaged. Moreover, if that happens Ann may discover that I cheated on her by giving you a copy of X, and I don't want that to happen as well. So please don't share the file!", Charlie will experience a strong social pressure to avoid sharing the file.

At every passage of the file from a person to another one, a strong local pressure exists which tends to stop further sharing. Such pressure does NOT decrease as we go farther from the original buyer of the file, because is due to the local social ties linking the person who gives the file and the person who gets it.
If after all Charlie disobeys to Brad and gives the file to Donna, Donna will be worried about letting down Charlie just as much (on average) as Charlie was worried about letting down Brad.

All in all, in my social DRM system distributed social links between people act as an effective damping mechanism that tends to stop the diffusion of files at every passage, and the number of copies does not explode.
I hope to have made myself clear!

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Old 11-16-2012, 07:53 PM   #367
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BoldlyDubious View Post
About the "they copied the contents of my pendrive" scenario: this is the non-issue.
In my proposal, you get freedom in exchange for responsibility. Freedom to own your files and do whatever you want with them, in exchange for the responsibility of being careful about who gets them. So if you don't trust the people around you (other students, coworkers, ...) you should simply not leave your media files around, or encrypt/password protect them.
It's NOT a non-issue. It's a major issue. It's a classic case of blaming the victim. Other people have no right to steal from me, even if I leave my doors unlocked, even if I'm careless, even if I flaunt my possessions around them. Yet you blithely put the onus on the legitimate owner.

You are putting all the responsibility for safeguarding the product on the people who bought and paid for it; you're turning them into potential criminals when they are the victims. And yet you keep pooh-poohing this as a "non-issue."
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Old 11-16-2012, 10:34 PM   #368
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I think the horror scenarios painted by some every time when "watermarking" is being mentioned are way overblown. After all, iTunes has watermarked all their music files for many years and nobody has even been accused, much less convicted, of distributing one of their files. I don't agree with BoldlyDubious that an automatic conviction should follow if your file shows up on torrents, but I do believe that it is a good thing to have digital trail that the copyright owners or the police can follow and investigate. It will definitely make people act more responsibly.

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Old 11-17-2012, 03:05 AM   #369
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Originally Posted by Catlady View Post
It's NOT a non-issue. It's a major issue. It's a classic case of blaming the victim. Other people have no right to steal from me, even if I leave my doors unlocked, even if I'm careless, even if I flaunt my possessions around them. Yet you blithely put the onus on the legitimate owner.
I think the disagreement between us on this point will never disappear, however maybe I have not made myself clear on it.
With my proposed social DRM, when you buy a file you own it, in the sense that you get also the freedom to do whatever you want with it. Share it, backup it, copy it... whatever.
However, you are now in the position of making damage to the publisher and the author with your actions, and you have a responsibility towards your actions. If you act carelessly and illegal distribution occurs, it's fair that you get a share of the punishment.
You see, you never got freedom actually for free.

Currently media vendors are treating their customers as small children. They are (with license-based DRM) physically preventing us from doing the things that the vendors don't want us to do (such as having a friend read a book of yours). You don't get a choice: with DRM in place, you cannot do these things. Just like when you keep a child in a crib... except that in that case you do that because you care about the child's safety, not yours.
To get your freedom back, today you have to strip the DRM, thus doing something that at the very least violates the contract between you and the vendor, and in some places can get you in trouble with the law.

With my proposal, you get your freedom back. But with freedom comes the responsibility to think about what you do with it. Instead of acting carelessly and unthinkingly like a small child, you are now an adult and have to take decisions. As in all other aspects of life, if you act without thinking you risk to damage other people, but also risk to get damaged yourself.

The current situation is similar to this one.
My neighbor Joe has a lawnmower. It's a good one, and there are people around that would be glad to steal it. I need to mow my lawn, so I go to Joe and ask for the use of his lawnmower. He says: ok, but I am attaching this heavy chain to it that links it to the wall of my house. You can use it, but of course you can't go around trees (the chain would jam) and you can't mow your back yard (the chain is too short). Finally, I don't want my lawnmower to be outside at night, so every night you have to bring it back in my own garage and then take it out again in the morning.

My proposal is like this, instead.
My neighbor Joe has a lawnmower. It's a good one, and there are people around that would be glad to steal it. I need to mow my lawn, so I go to Joe and ask for the use of his lawnmower. He says: ok, here it is. You can take it for as long as you need, and use it as you think appropriate. However, please be careful: it's a costly device and it would be bad if it got stolen. Bye!
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Old 11-17-2012, 10:20 AM   #370
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BoldlyDubious View Post
Currently media vendors are treating their customers as small children. They are (with license-based DRM) physically preventing us from doing the things that the vendors don't want us to do (such as having a friend read a book of yours). You don't get a choice: with DRM in place, you cannot do these things. Just like when you keep a child in a crib... except that in that case you do that because you care about the child's safety, not yours.
They treat me like small child; you want to treat me as a criminal. I can easily overcome the first and go my own way; I may be marked for life by the second.

The only benefit of your proposal to me as a customer is illusive. I would "own" the e-book, but of course I couldn't truly do any with it, for fear of someone else's future behavior boomeranging back to me.

Quote:
To get your freedom back, today you have to strip the DRM, thus doing something that at the very least violates the contract between you and the vendor, and in some places can get you in trouble with the law.

With my proposal, you get your freedom back. But with freedom comes the responsibility to think about what you do with it. Instead of acting carelessly and unthinkingly like a small child, you are now an adult and have to take decisions. As in all other aspects of life, if you act without thinking you risk to damage other people, but also risk to get damaged yourself.
That's just silly. We're talking about BOOKS, not firearms or booze or anything that could cause real damage if one acts irresponsibly. Your proposal means that a single act of sharing, deliberate or otherwise, can reverberate endlessly, for all time.

Quote:
The current situation is similar to this one.
My neighbor Joe has a lawnmower. It's a good one, and there are people around that would be glad to steal it. I need to mow my lawn, so I go to Joe and ask for the use of his lawnmower. He says: ok, but I am attaching this heavy chain to it that links it to the wall of my house. You can use it, but of course you can't go around trees (the chain would jam) and you can't mow your back yard (the chain is too short). Finally, I don't want my lawnmower to be outside at night, so every night you have to bring it back in my own garage and then take it out again in the morning.

My proposal is like this, instead.
My neighbor Joe has a lawnmower. It's a good one, and there are people around that would be glad to steal it. I need to mow my lawn, so I go to Joe and ask for the use of his lawnmower. He says: ok, here it is. You can take it for as long as you need, and use it as you think appropriate. However, please be careful: it's a costly device and it would be bad if it got stolen. Bye!
So ... if the mower (the e-book) gets stolen while in my possession, let's blame Joe (the author/publisher) for not safeguarding his lawnmower (e-book), for trusting me (the customer) in the first place. Joe (the author/publisher) clearly should have chained it (DRMed it) and never let it out of his control.
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Old 11-17-2012, 11:36 AM   #371
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get a Kobo - you can put any epub book on yourself. Or get an ipod touch or iphone - you can also download kobo, kindle or a number of other readers on which you can put your own non-drm books.
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Old 11-17-2012, 12:17 PM   #372
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Because with my scheme sharing is not casual.
"Casual sharing" is a term used to differentiate friend-to-friend or household sharing from large scale or organized distribution. It does not necessarily imply either method or attitude.

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Originally Posted by BoldlyDubious View Post
So the first situation (current DRM) is one of exponential growth of the diffusion of a file: every person who gets a file can become a new center of diffusion. There's no damping mechanism at all, because (promised) punishment is as much hyper-terrible as hyper-unlikely.
The first damping mechanism is illegality (which can be a moral choice or a logical choice, but for most people the result is the same). The second damping mechanism is that it takes effort, and the desire to figure it out. Yes, it's easy to strip DRM once you know how, but as I stated before, most people don't care enough to bother. The third dampening mechanism is the "I wasn't aware there was a problem" crowd - they read a book, move on to the next. For them, reading is a solitary venture, not a communal one, and sharing books never enters their mind.


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Originally Posted by BoldlyDubious View Post
I strongly object to this. Not because it seems to me that my "social DRM" will reduces piracy, or at the very least does not increase it (though I am pretty convinced of this). But because reducing piracy was not the aim of my proposal: only a side effect that should make it interesting to publishers.
I intended no offense, and I did state "a" selling point, rather than "the" selling point. My point was that any system MUST be attractive to publishers and retailers. That's why I keep bringing up the potential lost sales. If your focus is only on consumer rights (though a good thing, obviously) then the content providers won't play ball. Period. You can't force them because if they feel that they can't manage in this brave new world, they will take their toys and go home. There must be incentives for them that can be quantified. Our current DRM system is in place because "OH NOES! PIRACY!" and regardless of how much of an impact piracy currently has, any alternative must either:

a) reduce piracy, or
b) increase sales.

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Of course, my reasoning may be flawed: this is why I really appreciate the thinking effort that you and the other posters of this thread are putting into helping me finding flaws.
And I appreciate the fact that you take the time to think about and respond to our points.

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The good thing is that if you think before you share, you don't actually risk anything and, in exchange for your increased responsibility, you get the freedom to actually own your media, i.e. to do with them what YOU want and not what the publisher wants. You are in charge: exactly the opposite of what happens with current DRM systems.
As catlady already pointed out, I simply can't mentally elevate ebooks to the level of firearms, or the key to the liquor cabinet. I already take file security seriously, so if I'm having issues with this concept, I fear that the average user's response may be "LOL wut?". It would take a whole lot of screw ups causing problems for a whole lot of people before it would really sink in, and call me crazy, but I don't think things should work that way. I just feel like you are both underestimating and overestimating human nature at the same time.
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Old 11-17-2012, 01:03 PM   #373
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They treat me like small child; you want to treat me as a criminal. I can easily overcome the first and go my own way; I may be marked for life by the second.
Why a criminal? I want you (and everyone else) to be treated like an adult, responsible person. About "being marked for life", this is what I wrote in my proposal:
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.
So you are not marked at all. You get one single fine, and that's it. Finished :-)
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That's just silly. We're talking about BOOKS, not firearms or booze or anything that could cause real damage if one acts irresponsibly.
In this contex, "damage" is economic damage. The economic damage caused to publishers from illegal distribution of media is the reason why we are getting oppressed by silly (though hardly working) DRM schemes and -worst- because publishers are lobbying to get absurd (and dangerous for democracy) laws passed.
This is not silly at all.
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So ... if the mower (the e-book) gets stolen while in my possession, let's blame Joe (the author/publisher) for not safeguarding his lawnmower (e-book), for trusting me (the customer) in the first place. Joe (the author/publisher) clearly should have chained it (DRMed it) and never let it out of his control.
What?!? By your definition of blame, if anyone gets robbed it's always her/his own fault if that happened...
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Old 11-17-2012, 01:05 PM   #374
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Hi Hellmark. Welcome on board.
The points you make are reasonable, but have already been addressed in the preceding posts or are (the way I see things) non-issues. I'll try to explain... after all this thread is clearly on the tl;dr side! :-)
Welcome? I'm not exactly new to the forums, or even to this thread.

It isn't exactly a non-issue if it opens you to potentially millions of dollars in fines, and fees for copyright offenses. And in legal situations, it is holes like these that get exploited, or get the law ultimately thrown out.

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About the "they copied the contents of my pendrive" scenario: this is the non-issue.
In my proposal, you get freedom in exchange for responsibility. Freedom to own your files and do whatever you want with them, in exchange for the responsibility of being careful about who gets them. So if you don't trust the people around you (other students, coworkers, ...) you should simply not leave your media files around, or encrypt/password protect them.
There are still scenarios that even when you take proper steps to safeguard your information, that it can still be lost.

Someone from one of my college classes, split from her boyfriend. He snuck in to her dorm, and copied pictures of her, of a sensitive nature from her computer. He knew here well enough he was able to guess her password, so no hacking or anything. He left, and she was none the wiser, till she found out the files were uploaded to the internet. Now, she knew it who it was that did it, but had no proof of it. In one of your clauses, you stipulate that the person is no longer responsible if they can identify the party that did it and they admit it. Problem is, you have the burden of proof. In this situation if she just makes the claim that he did it, without any proof, all he has to do is deny it, and she's fully on the hook. In the actual case of events, he denied it when asked by authorities. When the cops or school officials weren't around, he joked about it, but that couldn't ever be admitted in court, due to being hearsay, and as in many areas of the US, it could not be recorded without all parties being notified (at which point, he wouldn't freely admit his duplicity). Also this would be another case of where the involved parties were not aware of the files being distributed until after the fact.

Plus the whole admitting to it when questioned about someone's accusation also could get things thrown out on the basis of not being constitutional, as it would only work if someone willingly suspended their 5th amendment right of protection against self incrimination. He wasn't supposed to be in her dorm room, let alone her dorm building (my school has non coed dorms), so just his getting to where the files were was in violation of several rules or regulations, and reason enough to not admit it.

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I introduced the "report theft to police" clause to cover the cases when you take all the reasonable precautions, but your files get in the wrong hands all the same. Say, because someone stole a piece of hardware of yours.
If something like that occurs, you usually notice it and can immediately notify the police.
if the "theft" is actually an unauthorized access to your PC, noticing is not so easy. So you can either (i) be very careful about security administration or (ii) avoid risks by keeping your media files password-protected, and possibly not physically on the PC (maybe in some cloud repository). The "digital part" of our lives gains increasing weight, and everyone of us has sensible data (personal or associated to other persons) on her/his PC: so security is an issue even if you don't have any media files, and a solution has to be found.
This also opens up another legal can of worms. You're offloading an immense amount of obligation onto the owner of the files, with very little means of protection, and even you admit that having knowledge of the event can be difficult. You can have very good security, and password protection, and still get your files ganked. It is much easier than you think. Also, how good is good enough? Say if you do take proper steps to ensure that you protected your files, and they get broken anyway. For most of legal law, a good faith argument will stand up, but with how you have things phrased and worded, it would not. Under copyright law as is, the only ones actually getting prosecuted (note, prosecution is not the same as a lawsuit, and goes through completely different courts), are the ones that show a willful action. For instance there are a few forms of password protection that are in widespread usage, but are extremely easy to break. For example, zip files support is built into all modern computer operating systems, but there are issues inherent with the zip encryption system, that means anyone who knows what they're doing can break into a zip file with in seconds. Even with more secure encryption as introduced as part of the NTFS partition system, I have a 120 gigabyte set of rainbow tables that will let me break into your file system within a couple minutes. Hell, and that's if I want to do things nondestructively. I have a program that is only a megabyte, that will let me force a new password of my choosing onto your system, letting me get all the files as if I were you. And this is just what I can do, being amateur who doesn't keep up on all the latest and greatest methods.

Also, your suggestion on using cloud based storage, is laughable, as that is just as vulnerable. Look at how many different online services have been hacked and had their customer's information stolen? I am particular about which companies I deal with out of some security paranoia, and I've still had it happen several times in the last couple years. Also, based on current US case law, if you use cloud storage, you relinquish your rights of ownership to the files when storing them with a third party. Should anything happen to the host, you're screwed. You don't get access to your files, but according to your scheme, you're still obligated as you're the registered original purchaser of the content.

Look at Megaupload. There were millions of users, and when the site was taken down because of some of their users were using it to share copyrighted files, everyone lost everything. There are a few companies suing because they are being denied access to the files they created. Their court cases have no been fairing well, and the government has been continually denying them access. And that isn't even one of the parts of that case that is related to the legally dubious actions of the US government (such as how Megaupload was a non US entity, that complied with DMCA take down requests, but still were taken down by the US, with evidence being illegally taken out of the country that it was originally in by the US government, following illegal surveillance operations by the US and New Zealand authorities, and despite Megaupload complying with the laws giving safe harbor protection to service providers in the even that their users do something illegal).

And all this isn't even taking into account the fringe cases, such as people who have to deal with files between multiple countries. Some countries, encryption is not legal, and it is illegal to have encryption or decryption tools. It hasn't been that long since France has relaxed its laws regarding cryptography. Or even the US, which it wasn't legal for encryption tools or information about cryptography to be "exported" out of the country. In China, you currently have to apply for and be approved for licenses to be able to use Encryption. China is a big enough country, where it isn't essentially unheard of for someone to have relations with people in that country, and you are obligated to follow the rules of both countries.

So you're right, security is an issue, but you cannot just allow things to wait till a solution is found, because of the legal implications for the meanwhile. Not only that, but there has never been a totally fool proof security system. There are ways around everything.

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Next issue. You seem to think that (in my proposal) reporting a theft of media files to the police has the function of having them try to get your things back. It's not like that. The function of such a report (that can take the form of an email sent to an automatic logging system, for instance) is that of getting you off the hook if some of your files (that you bought before the time of your report) ever appear online somewhere.
(Of course if you file a report a week, someone could become suspicious...)
As far as the police report, I do not think that at all. Making a police report just notifies any appropriate parties that the item in question is no longer in your possession, such in the case that it is found, or that it is used in the commission in a crime, that you're absolved of any legal responsibility without the need of further investigation. I never said anything to the effect that filing a report required the police to look for my lost items. However, the paperwork required for the police to do in the missing item report is beyond what many want to do especially in the face of what one officer claimed as "real crime". Even with more serious crimes, police officers are loathed to do paperwork. Look at the example of when my house was broken into. The person who did it smashed in the back door, stole my dad's medicine, and then proceded to carefully lay out all of my mother's panties on the bed. The cops said it wasn't worth even doing the paperwork, and just jokingly called him the "panty bandit". We didn't really need the return of the medicine (by that point, he was in the hospital and any medicine he required was supplied there). We simply wanted a police report, so that should the medicine bottles be found, the claim could not be made that we sold the pills (which we made emphatically clear to the officers). On top of that, afterwards, the guy who broke in started stalking my mom, for a period of 3 years before we were able to move. During that time, he broke in several times, and each time the police refused to do paperwork. So goes back to my point of, if police refuse to file paperwork for more serious crimes, then how can you expect everyone to be able to file a simple missing item report?

Basically, there seems to be a lot of glaring legal issues with your plan as it stands. It requires everyone doing exactly what is expected of them, and being totally honest the entire time.
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Old 11-17-2012, 01:13 PM   #375
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About "being marked for life", this is what I wrote in my proposal:
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.
So you are not marked at all. You get one single fine, and that's it. Finished :-)
And humorously enough, based on that wording, you're protecting them from multiple offenses, rather than doing a simple double jeopardy defense. Say someone buys a bunch of ebooks, strips the DRM, and then releases them online. They only at first get caught for one of the ebooks, and are charged with that. Now, they're protected against all of the others, that get found later.

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What?!? By your definition of blame, if anyone gets robbed it's always her/his own fault if that happened...
Actually, that's the takeaway from your particular wording of things. You have to be very careful about your wording, because while you obviously didn't intend that meaning, a good lawyer can take and twist things around, and totally negate your intent. Plus once something gets used a particular way in court, it becomes court law, and gets used as a means to further use the same method in later court cases of a similar nature.
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