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Stefan's headers [was:Names and identifiers]

On Sat, Jun 9, 2018 at 3:34 AM, Marko Rauhamaa <marko at pacujo.net> wrote:
> Gene Heskett <gheskett at shentel.net>:
>> On Friday 08 June 2018 08:18:19 Chris Angelico wrote:
>>> Are news servers guaranteed to carry the X-Copyright header in all
>>> transmissions? If not, the copyright notice isn't part of the message,
>>> and is most likely unenforceable.
>> As the courts have so found when this has come up over the last 30 years.
>> Basically, its just some newly minted lawyer trying to earn his place at
>> the feeding trough.
> Copyrights exist whether they are declared or not.

Yes, this is true. It's not copyright that is unenforceable, but the
copyright notice in his message. Nobody is denying that he owns his
own words; but by posting them on a public forum, he - like everyone
else here - is implicitly granting us the right to read them.

> If I publish a poem or, say, a Python application on Usenet, you will
> need my permission to distribute it. Of course, its dissemination via
> Usenet and remailers is ultimately *me* distributing my work.

Right. Imagine if I write a poem, just like you say, and then I have
the words posted on a gigantic billboard. In small print in the bottom
corner of the billboard, I say "Copyright 2018 Chris Angelico. Taking
photographs of this billboard is forbidden.". Do I still own copyright
in the poem? Definitely. Can I stop people from (or sue people for)
taking photos of the billboard? Probably not, although that's one for
the lawyers to argue.

> In one Usenet discussion I published my translation of a Finnish
> Christmas carol. The author of the original lyrics had died more than 70
> years before so that was ok. However, the melody was still under
> copyright so I didn't have a right to *explain* in any direct manner how
> the melody went.
> Luckily, someone had posted the song on Youtube so I could provide a
> link (although even that could be considered criminal in some
> jurisdictions).

That's the flip side of copyright: you're taking someone else's
copyrighted material and posting it in public. Since you are not the
author, you do not inherently have the right to do that. There are
various legal permissions (very old works, "fair use", etc), but
absent those, you would be violating copyright.

(Whether linking to a third-party Youtube video is itself a violation
of the original author's copyright is even more complicated. IANAL and
I am not going to even think about how messy that situation could

> PS IMO copyright laws should be abolished altogether. At the very least
> one should pay for copyright protection. One ?1 for the first year, ?2
> for the second, ?4 for the third and so on exponentially.

Why should I have to pay money for the right to own my own creations?
At what point does a creation have to be paid for - do I pay only if I
think that I can make money off it? If I fail to pay, what happens -
are people allowed to completely reuse and remix my work without even
acknowledging me?

And who would you pay that to anyway? The one world government?

Copyright laws and international treaties are there to protect content
creators and encourage creation. They need to have set expiration time
(IMO 50 years is long enough - not "50 years since author's death" but
50 years since publication) after which the work becomes free to use,
but the protections are important and extremely useful. Open source
would not exist without copyright, because it is copyright law that
gives license terms their meaning. Even if your license terms amount
to "do what you like with this but be sure to credit me as the
author", that's only enforceable because of copyright law. If people
had to pay exorbitant rates for the privilege of being properly
credited for their work, theft would completely trump generosity.