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Re: [ARSCLIST] Two other N.Y. Times article on a different type of digitizing

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Karl Miller" <karl.miller@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
<snip> to comment on one item here...
>   No doubt I am in the minority, but I find the notion of a "digital object"
to be an oxymoron and a wonderful example of those who can't seem to let go of
the old ways of thinking.
No...a "digital object" MUST exist, and must somehow be accessed to
in turn access the information it contains! Thus, the term "digital
object" applies to a specific sequence of bits/bytes, which (it would
seem) would have to be preserved in some way to allow "re-access" as
the user sees fit.

Of course, such a "digital object" would have to be (to be of any use)
"playable" (that is, accessible) by some sort of digital program and/or
application...generally a standard one (or a proprietary one provided
with the "digital object." Thus, a truly random series of bits/bytes
could NOT serve any comprehensible purpose...it contains no information
(of a useful sort) and cannot be accessed except by the use of a
"file viewer."

Insofar as a "digital object" contains any sort of usable content
(i.e. a sound file, an image file, a working program, usw. usw.)
then either the "digital object" or its content must fall under
copyright (note that in many cases, the "digital object" is a
digital version of something already under copyright...!) This
is why computer applications usually carry copyright notices.

> At least I know I am not alone, especially on this list, when it come to
thinking that our copyright laws are absurd, with the video game emulation being
an excellent example. Again, it seems to me that we have too many copyright laws
and methodologies predicated on those old Euclidian notions of linearity...thank
you Marshall McLuhan (my source for that phrase "Euclidian notions of
Well, those referring to sound recordings are certainly absurd (at least
in the USA)...but the biggest problem in the 21st century is that their
definitions are too limited. They list information-carrying entities
that existed when the laws were written...and do likewise with methods
by which those can be copied. Thus, as new developments in either
occur, it becomes necessary to establish legal precedents (or rewrite
laws) to make sure the new items and methods are covered!

What we need is something like: "Any objects of any type or sort,
created by a person or persons, or a device operated by same,
whose primary purpose is (but not limited only to) the conveyance
of information in any form, regardless of the reason or reasons
for the creation of such objects, shall have a quality of copyright
by virtue of its/their creation. This quality shall exist for a
term of years as defined in applicable laws, and shall not permit
the copying of said object or objects without the express permission
of the holder of said copyright. The penalties for violation of
the above shall be set by the applicable laws."

In other words, "somebody created this, and you can't copy it
without his/her/its letting you!


Steven C. Barr

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