Thursday, January 29, 2009

Can it be illegal to throw free CD's or DVD's away? Just wait!

Electronic Frontier Foundation has a story Jan 28, 2009 by Fred Van Lohmann, “MP3 Bloggers, Where are your Promo CD’s?”

If you can’t account for every promotional CD you’ve received or picked up at a digital conference or movie theater (AMC gives them away), you’ve broken copyright law. (Ah, yes, the CD’s are usually not in sleeves; they get cracked or broken and thrown away. Yup, that would be illegal!) That’s the argument of UMG, Universal Music Group, appealing its loss in litigation against Triy Augusto, an Ebay reseller.

This leads us into delicious circles. Imagine a book with a stamp that says it can’t be leant by a library, or referenced in a bibliography. (Actually, I have seen at least one technical programming manual like that, back in the 1990s at work; EFF says that you can’t do this, according to a 1908 Supreme Court ruling.) It reminds me of putting a posting on the web and saying you can’t link to it. We’ve covered that one, too.

The link for the story (oh, yeah) is here. Today, my post is just a “short story.”

Lee Tien has a recent AP story to the effect that some health clubs and shopping centers are webcam-videotaping people who watch their ads on big plasma screens. EPIC will love this one.

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