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RE: Clarification (RE: "Fair Use" Is Getting Unfair Treatment)

> Yes, I could encode it so nobody else could read it.  But then I could
> hardly expect to sell it unless my reputation were such that people would
> want to posses a copy of unreadable text from me.
> If I advertised that the book is in English, and you bought it for $50,
> and it turned out to be encoded, and I then offered to sell you the code
> for $5,000? Speaking loosely, that's fraud.

Well, right... but I don't think anyone's arguing that you should be able
to misrepresent your product.  Let's bring your example closer to the
question at hand: Say you own the copyright to the letter and you put it
up on the Web in an encoded version, charging readers $50 for a key to the
code.  Is that okay?  If it is okay, then why should it also be okay for
me to hack past the code without paying and tell all my friends how to do
it as well?

We need to be honest about what our argument is here.  Either copyright
holders should _not_ be allowed to limit access to their content, because
by doing so they will prevent some people from making fair use of it, or
they _should_ be allowed to limit access to their content, in which case
we have to accept that some people will be frustrated in their attempts to
make fair use of it.  I can respect either of those positions, because
right or wrong, each of them is at least coherent.  What is _not_ coherent
is a position that says "You, Mr. Copyright Holder, have the right to
limit access to your database to those who have paid a fee.  And you, John
Q. Public, have the right to defeat that limitation in whatever way you
wish.  And by the way, feel free to share the technique with all your

Rick Anderson
Director of Resource Acquisition
The University Libraries
University of Nevada, Reno      "I'm not against the modern
1664 No. Virginia St.            world.  I just don't think
Reno, NV  89557                  everything's for sale."
PH  (775) 784-6500 x273             -- Elvis Costello
FX  (775) 784-1328