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RE: Chat, Copy, Paste, Prison


RE: Chat, Copy, Paste, Prison
by Decius at 2:18 pm EDT, Apr 13, 2004

Acidus wrote:
] -What about conference calls? Do you still only need 2 of the
] parties to consent? (in 2 person states, GA is 1 person).

All parties must consent. "2-party" is a euphemism.

] -How does consent factor into a chatroom, arguably the digital
] equivlent of a conference call?

I'm not sure. It ought to depend. I think an open IRC channel is a public place and you should have no expectation of privacy. However, if you have a +i channel then thats different.

] -Personally I dismiss an IM conversation is like a telephone
] call. Its more like sending telegrams to each other. I wonder
] how consent applies to telegrams:

Email is like telegrams. IM is like real time telegrams. There is no direct analogy and possibly the laws should change to reflect that.

] -I argue the very nature of Chatrooms and IMs are so different
] than telephone calls, you can't *not* violate 2 party
] consent.

I don't agree. If you are having a private chat with one person then you have an expectation of privacy, same as with a phone call.

] The consent laws basically
] say you can't "cache" this data for later, by recording the
] stream, without permission from 1 or both parties.

Not exactly. They say you can't cache the data and then disclose it (ie as evidence in a court).

] -Furthermore, the infrastructure itself causes me to violate
] the laws without even knowing it.

It is my opinion that laws ought to apply to people and their behaviors, rather then technologies and their architectures. There are cases where technologies make new behaviors possible, and in those cases we need new legislation, but simple ideas such as the notion that a private conversation is private ought to apply without respect to the technological mechanism through which the conversation takes place.

In almost all cases where it has been argued that old laws do not apply or that new laws must be created because of the technical architecture of a system, such arguements are almost always wrong and consistently employed dishonestly.

However, this simple principal, that laws apply to people and not things, is not widely understood or respected.

The copyright maximalists have successfully argued, both nationally and internationally, in the dishonest and narrowminded fashion which has become their hallmark, that copies of material made by http proxy caches or local web browser caches are copies from the perspective of copyright law, and all restrictions and royalties ought to apply.

This is bald faced attempt to squeeze revenue and control from the architecture of the system. It has absolutely no relationship to the actual behavior of *people* redistributing copyrighted material to *other people* without permission that the copyright laws are intended to regulate. And yet it persists, because our political system is more concerned with power then with right and wrong.

Wrapping things back to ground here, I would argue that the NH law ought to apply to private chat room conversations, and that cacheing and other incidental copying shouldn't fall under such a restriction. The point of the law is to protect your privacy by preventing the distribution of the material, and not the copying thereof.

RE: Chat, Copy, Paste, Prison

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