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Re: Open Source implementations Re: Encrypted Media proposal (was RE: ISSUE-179: av_param - Chairs Solicit Alternate Proposals or Counter-Proposals)

From: Boris Zbarsky <bzbarsky@MIT.EDU>
Date: Sat, 25 Feb 2012 17:33:49 -0500
Message-ID: <4F4961CD.5040103@mit.edu>
To: public-html@w3.org
On 2/25/12 2:22 PM, Clarke Stevens wrote:
> I will freely admit that there are still questions to resolve (e.g. If you
> legitimately purchase an item under one licensing system, you might expect
> to have rights to use the same item under a different licensing system).

Or under the same one 5 years from now when the company you made the 
purchase from has gone out of business and shuts down whatever 
infrastructure was involved in the licensing system on their end.  This 
is a not a theoretical issue, by the way; people purchasing content on 
the internet have been burned by this in the past.

> However, that's far different from suggesting that the consumers desired
> rights somehow trump the rights of the producer.

Consumers have some long-established legal rights (time-shifting and 
format-shifting) in this area if I understand correctly (usual IANAL 
disclaimer here).  And yes, I know some of these are being actively 
challenged in court.

Recently there has been a trend toward systems which use technical 
measures to prevent users from actually exercising those rights.  I 
understand that to some extent this is due to some people misusing their 
format-shifting rights to violate copyright.  But we're not talking 
about "desired" rights here on the consumer side; we're talking about 
fairly well established rights.  I don't think we should be suggesting 
that the producer's right to not have their work infringed (insofar as 
there _is_ such a right, as opposed to a right to seek redress if and 
when it's infringed) somehow trump basic rights of the consumer.

I know we all wish there were easy answers here....

> I think an analog to commercial transactions in the real world is a
> reasonable objective.

Modulo the fact that some "real world" transactions have the same 
format-shifting restrictions, I agree that this is a reasonable 
objective, yes.

In particular, for streaming video, the real world model would be rental 
transactions, right?

-Boris
Received on Saturday, 25 February 2012 22:34:18 UTC

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