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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Jack (Who is called Jack) Serious BS: HFA/NMPA Round 2 (135* d) RE: Serious BS: HFA/NMPA Round 2 08 Nov 99

With regard to Harry Fox Agency and its purpose.

By removing most of the physical barriers to communication, the internet has thrown the regulation and monitoring of the use of copyrighted material into dissarray. Were experiencing a minor skirmish in a larger ideological war over how information, particularly electronic information should be treated and handled. On one side you have the 'maximum openness' camp, on the other side you have the 'apply the old regulations the same way as before'. The battle rages on several fronts. In the arena of software and operating systems you have the Open Computing advocates represented best by the LINUX operating system, and on the other side you have the closed, proprietary model personified by Microsoft and Bill Gates. The interesting thing is that Gates' views are not an outgrowth of his wealth. Way back before Microsoft was founded, back when Apple was 3 guys in a garage, Gates publised an open letter to the computing community basically stating that the practice of getting software without paying for it by making a copy electronically was Piracy--open and willful theft of another persons work. In fact, Microsoft has assisted in the prosecution of software pirates just to set the example for others.

In the publishing arena, the fact that lyrics, songs, music, books, newspapers, journals etc can now be treated the same way, has the people who make their living off publishing thinking the same way.

My guess is that the publishers represented by HFA have given the agency marching orders. "Try and get a handle on this internet situation. Do something to make sure that if paper publishing becomes obsolete, we still have an inventory! The internet laws will have to get sorted out in the legislature and the courts, but in the meantime, see if you can get these people to stop putting our stuff on the web till we know what our rights are. Twist some arms, set some examples, whatever it takes."

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