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(Ovid - yes, it is) Re: DMCA - as bad as you think?

by Ovid (Cardinal)
on Jul 19, 2001 at 07:57 UTC ( #97978=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to DMCA - as bad as you think?

tachyon, excellent information. As a US citizen who has worked for large corporations, I have a typical US slant on the law. You wrote:

This is not to say that you could not easily have your life made miserable and be sent broke defending yourself in court against a well funded corporate legal attack.....but that, as they say, is a different story.

That reminded of an incident I was involved with that may shed some light on the US attitude. I worked for a company that posted the firewall logs that our firewall retained for "unauthorized accesses". These logs were posted to our internal Web site and I discovered certain individuals in our company were trying to get to sites that were, to say the least, rather compromising. I'm not just talking about *pr0n* (sic) sites. I'm talking about sites so potentially offensive that, were word of these individual's interest to get out, could permanently destroy careers.

I immediately went to one of the people involved and insisted that the logs be taken down (which was rather amusing as I was a junior programmer in a company of over 5,000 people). I was told that (paraphrasing) "since our company policy forbids this behavior and since the individuals in question signed agreements that they would not violate these policies, our lawyers have assured us that we are not violating any laws and will win any lawsuits." My reply:

Do you know what a Pyrrhic victory is? How much will it cost us to win a lawsuit?

He sat there stunned (I wish I had that effect more often!) and then said "Good point". The logs were taken down the next day.

One of the things that I do not care for about my country is that one can sue for anything. I, for one, am rather concerned about these things being on Perlmonks. Perhaps I am overreacting, but living in the US has made me paranoid.


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Re: (Ovid - yes, it is) Re: DMCA - as bad as you think?
by schumi (Hermit) on Jul 20, 2001 at 14:10 UTC
    Good point, Ovid! Here in Europe most people have the impression that in the US, anyone can sue anyone about anything, however unimportant the issue may seem. Living in Switzerland, I don't think I can really judge the truth-value of such a statement.

    I can see the point of defending your property when someone else gains profit from it without really doing anything to it. I am partly a freelance worker, and thus I can understand the arguments in this node very well. same goes for this thread here. Still, I think we should always keep an eye on the appropriateness of legal action.

    Of course this goes only for cases where we are at the "right" end. Things look radically different when we are at the wrong end of legal action, especially if the prosecution (is that the right word?) is a huge company with seemingly unlimited financial possibilities.

    The only thing that I can't quite see is how things work out on an international community site like this one here. As tachyon says, being an Australian he didn't know about the DMCA - and being Swiss, neither did I. So does it apply to this site? And if so, on what grounds? Is it the palce where the site is hosted that counts, or is it the nationality of the monks the contribte to th discussion?

    I think this is one of the major problems with any such case on the internet. Laws usually are just not made for such a high grade of itnernationality (except for international laws and treatises, obviously).


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