[linux-elitists] Quite chatty this week.

Heather star@betelgeuse.starshine.org
Thu Jan 27 10:02:16 PST 2000

Funny, that appeared to be an anti-animation trick; if one followed its 
instructions one is steal dealing with the pernicious, encumbered format.

A *real* elite anti-animatedGIF comment would have told us about something
to convert animated GIFs into some broadly supported animate format like 
MPEGs (probably easy) or about some format which does an equal or better
job at shipping small but also offers limited animation like GIF89a.  
Including being able to NOT animate forever.  (sadly new formats require 
code tweaks in browsers, that would probably flunk in the proprietary

It's hard to say, but PNG may not have caught on because although it
has -excellent- transparency qualities, (1) editors and convertors didn't
ship fast enough to windows weenies, and (2) it cannot do all the things
GIF does even though its images are typically better quality. 


As a user of the fragment of U.S. copyright law regarding archival backups,
let me give you the summation of it that I use to tell people what a good
thing that point is.

The idea is that once you have purchased a thing, it is yours and you now
have the right to have it.  This right is not taken away just because tapes
and paper fade - you have the power to make a backup, and to use that backup
to turn the -information- which you have a right to, into usable form on 
entirely other media.

I'm not involved in the DVD case, and I'm paying attention rather 
peripherally, but I'd say they are attempting to steal that right from you,
by making it impossible to make backups of info you have legally bought.

It's this right that makes Rios and the like saleable;  I bought music, I 
have the right for it to stay in musical form.  So it should be able to live
on my computer speaker (mp3), on my walkman (recorded down to tape), on my
Rio (mp3 transmitted).


That it "may encourage piracy" is bull pockey. There are already laws against
piracy.  Use them when you see pirates... but as Don Marti noted, we haven't
seen 'em.  Underwear may encourage getting frisky.  Gonna make it illegal
for people to wear underwear in their own home with the doors and windows 
closed?  And for stores to sell underwear, because some people may have Unclean 
Thoughts while wandering K-mart?  Not.  (I don't think sex material should
be illegal either;  there are already laws against rape, and against abusing
youngsters overall.)


Oh yeah, my actual use of the law.  I have some gaming manuals from days gone
by.  When I bought 'em they didn't come hardbound so it was easy to see they 
probably wouldn't last 3 years.  Scanners w/OCR didn't exist but I and my Dad
(who own this material) typed into the computer.  The material is still under
its original copyright - so it's not legal for us to give copies to someone
who doesn't own the same (that'd be piracy, though considering how hard it is
to find that edition anymore, how one would properly purchase it is a good 
question).  But the fact that paper is weak, the paper in question was kinda
cheap anyway, and it has been almost 20 years since we bought it doesn't mean
we don't own that book.  The battered, nearly useless original sits on a shelf
where my Dad games.  (Why did we care?  Because we preferred its rules to the
versions that followed;  also, electronic media is more easily searchable.)

That record companies et al would rather have a market in having to sell you 
even more copies of it as the media wears down is *their* problem.  They've 
tried to sell stuff that would wear out quick - even Joe Public can spot 
them trying to pull that, those "good for 4 plays" rental DVDs sure flunked.

(this opinion is mine, but you can have it if you like without any requirement
whatsoever to grant credit. no restrictions on derivitive works.  I guess 
technically Public Domain is the correct license here, but I hardly see a means
to return it to proprietary state.)


Deirdre, that reuters article wasn't reachable; I got a NY Times 404 page.

* Heather

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