[Linux-aus] Australian Digital Civil Rights Quiz

Janet Hawtin lucychili at internode.on.net
Sat Jun 17 14:44:12 UTC 2006

Hi folks

Hows this for an Australian Civil Rights Quiz which asks people to pick 
which rights we have, ie which of these is true, which of these would 
you like to be true. I would like to do it as a poster.
If someone would like to do it as a digital quiz feel free.
Please holler if I need to correct any points.

* I can rewind a movie on my VCR
Currently not legal due to copyright of movie publishers.
You may play a movie once legally.

* I have the right to read a digital book aloud to my child.
Currently not legal with some e-books.
DRM act may leave it up to the publisher to choose if you have this right.
See Brendan Scott's document:
Alice in Wonderland
Copy:  No text selections can be copied from the book to the clipboard
Print:  No printing is permitted of this book
Lend:  This book cannot be lent or given to someone else
Give:  This book cannot be given to someone else
Read Aloud:  This book cannot be read aloud
 From cover of recent ebook edition of Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

* As an musician I created a work and licensed it. It was distributed on 
a website. I can now publish it as a CD.
The United Nations' World Intellectual Property Organization has called 
a last-minute meeting on June 21 in Barcelona, out of the normal 
diplomatic venues to try to ram through the Broadcasting Treaty. This 
treaty gives broadcasters (not creators or copyright holders) the right 
to tie up the use of audiovisual material for 50 years after 
broadcasting it, even if the programs are in the public domain, Creative 
Commons licensed, or not copyrightable.

We have very few exclusive rights that accrue to people on the basis of 
an investment, as opposed to on the basis of creativity. One of them is 
the investment in medical research. If you do original medical research 
you do get a monopoly over that research even though it is largely 
factual. But that monopoly lasts for six months. So what we are seeing 
is that the process of electromagnetically modulating creative common 
license video gives you more of a stake in it than conducting original 
medical research does when you've conducted original medical research, 
not just more but a hundred times more of a stake.

* I can put a new video card in my computer.
If the DRM act allows each software and hardware manufacturer to specify 
which cards and drivers are legal to use with their products then this 
could be a problem.
It is also unclear if the software or hardware vendor could swap the 
warranty void if removed for a license void if removed sticker.

* I can put a new printer cartridge in my printer.
Any device which has a call response interaction can be included under 
DRM. Developing, selling or using a generic brand or alternative brand 
of printer cartridge could be blocked using DRM. It is possible the 
printer could be sold with a license that requires a new printer to be 
purchased instead of a new cartridge.

* My car's computerised ignition is broken. I can do a roadside fix to 
get back on the road.
If the DRM act is not tied directly to copyright infringement then
any workaround could be considered illegal. Even if you're stuck on the 
Birdsville Track.

* I can buy the software I want and use it on my computer.
If the DRM act allows publishers and manufacturers to determine what may 
be developed installed and used on their products then the manufacturer 
of your computer, or publisher of the operating system, or indeed any 
driver or other application on the computer which may interact with your 
game could deem it illegal. They could also change their licenses over time.

* I have the right to choose what information is collected from me and 
my computer.
You may not have the right even to find out if something is collecting 
and forwarding your information as unpacking a suspected device or 
program could be considered circumvention.

* I have the right to refuse spam.
Postal mail - you can put a sticker on your letter box.
Telephone - you can advise a caller that you do not accept commercial 
calls and to ask them to remove you from their call list.
Email - you can delete them, some install viruses on some computers.
DVD - You must watch them and may not forward them or remove them.

* I can lend a book to a friend.
Paper book - Yes
Digital book - Unclear. Currently illegal for some e-books.

* I can sell a book to a second hand shop.
Paper book - Yes.
Digital book - Unclear. Currently illegal for some e-books.

* I am farming with a new seed species. I can customise my seeder to 
work with different components for planting this new seed.
Non computerised seeder - Yes.
Computerised seeder or component involved. Unclear.
Depends on how the DRM is drafted.

* I can recycle old computers and make refurbished computers, new 
artworks and gadgets.
Unclear. Re-using equipment for new purposes is a common practice.
Recycling is usually seen as an environmentally useful practice.
Depending on how the DRM is drafted, you could need to get permission 
from any manufacturer or software publisher involved in each of the 
components you are working with, perhaps each chip, each driver..

* I can choose to install a new operating system on my computer.
Unclear. Depending on how the DRM act is drafted hardware and software 
companies could require that their products must only be used together.

* I can play a game I buy.
It is possible that a software publisher could sell you the game, then 
also sell you permission to run the game each time.
This kind of situation is possible to implement using multiplayer games 
sites. A US games publisher has already won a court case against 
customers who developed an alternative multiplayer server for use on 
their own network. The games publisher requried the game to be played on 
a specific website.

* I can read a book I buy
As the DRM act provides a framework for publishers and manufacturers to 
determine specifically what you may do with any of their products after 
you have purchased them. Licenses are contracting the permissions which 
consumers have to pay to play, or pay to use. The Australian Government 
is not balancing the development of the DRM act with development of 
fundamental sets of rights which the consumer can count on.

* I can use software I buy
If the DRM provides the right to decide to your computer's manufacturer
and software publisher it could take an exhaustive search of the 
licenses of each aspect of your computer to find out if this is 
approved. Large publishers could issue licemces to specific developers 
to allow then to produce applications which comply.
Australian software developers are likely to be operating in small 
markets which could easily be excluded and disadvantaged by this kind of 

* I can write a game to be played on my computer.
If the DRM permits copyright holders to determine how their products may 
be interacted with, then it is possible that developers would have to 
subscribe to a membership to be allowed to develop at all.

* I can write a game to be played on my game console.
Unlikely. Console games developers already pay large fees to
gain access to developer kits and permission to develop for these platforms.

* I can network two computers.
Do the computers run different operating systems?
Do you need to use a specific kind of networking protocol to run the 
service that you want? VOIP or wireless? These protocols and networking 
standards could easily become outlawed by copyright led control measures.

* I wrote a book which a publisher is not interested in reprinting.
I can save this to an archive or website for other folk to see.
Copyright for the author of a book or artwork is far weaker than that 
for the publisher or distributor.
The DRM recommendations are written on behalf of large copyright 
holders. Authors, artists and musicians are not effectively protected
from exploitation and disenfranchisement by publishing interests.

* I can find a list of my Australian Digital Civil Rights
If you do please let us know.

* It is possible to know if my action will be legal.
Prior to the decision on the DRM act the legality of our actions are not 
possible to determine.
Following the decision, if the rights are determined by copyright 
holders, there can be no overarching clarity about what is generally 
legal and illegal. Your basic rights have not been a primary 
consideration in this process. They were addressed by inviting people to 
submit comments on specific kinds of use as exceptions to a default DRM 
law. This should be the other way around. Your access rights should be 
defined and consistent with exceptions for nefarious circumvention to 
defraud being an exception to normal use.

* I can choose to use non DRM software.
Yes Currently. Open source software is an example of the kind of
shared copyright which can enable consumers to choose what they would 
like to install use and share with others.
It is important that the DRM act be implemented in a way which
makes it clear that open source development and use is a legal choice.

* I can change this.
If this is a democracy then Australian interests can define our rights.
The laws are developed on our behalf.
Perhaps we have become too willing to accept international 
recommendations uncritically.
Time for Australian consumers, developers, inventors, artists, 
musicians, educational institutions and businesses to identify our 
Digital Access Rights and bring those to any agreement which impacts on 
our right to innovate, communicate and trade.
Please sign the petition and talk about these issues with
friends family and business partners. Make your digital rights
an issue for your government representative.

* Australia is a free country

Has been?
Providing right of way to manufacturers and publishers at the expense of 
all other members of our digital community establishes a feudal system 
of control over our rights to access and interact with digital information.

Free nations are built on a precept that freedom comes from sharing
rights jointly with others. Not on exlcuding the rights of the many in 
the interests of the few.

Digital media is a chattel.
Digital products should not cause anomalies in our civil rights.
These tools and the content on them increasingly are becoming our means 
of communication with each other. Distortions of our rights on these 
products have dramatic implications for our cultural, community and 
business freedoms.

As an interesting contrast:

 From the Universal Decalaration of Human Rights:

Article 17.
(1) Everyone has the right to own property alone as well as in 
association with others.
(2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property.

Article 19.
Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right 
includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, 
receive and impart information and ideas through any media and 
regardless of frontiers.

Article 20.
(1) Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association.
(2) No one may be compelled to belong to an association.

Article 21.
(1) Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his 
country, directly or through freely chosen representatives.
(2) Everyone has the right of equal access to public service in his country.
(3) The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of 
government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine 
elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be 
held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures.

Article 27.
(1) Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of 
the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement 
and its benefits.
(2) Everyone has the right to the protection of the moral and material 
interests resulting from any scientific, literary or artistic production 
of which he is the author.

Article 28.
Everyone is entitled to a social and international order in which the 
rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration can be fully realized.

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