DMCA Faces Last Big Test
11/29/2000; 12:01:36 PM
'On Wednesday, the U.S. Copyright Office will hold its final mandatory hearings in Washington, D.C. with representatives from the library associations and webcasting, content and digital music industries....
'This hearing will seek to clarify two points of the law: whether the "first sale doctrine," which allows activities like the legal sale of used books, should apply in a digital age; and whether users should be allowed to make a digital, archived copy or adaptation of content -- be it music, video, or software application files -- to use on another machine such as a portable MP3 player....
'When music is streamed, webcasters are required to pay a performance royalty. In order to generate smooth playback of incoming streams, computers temporarily store some of the data in memory in a RAM buffer. Music publishers have stated that the data in this buffer should be considered a physical creation that would require webcasters to pay a mechanical royalty, similar to what they pay for downloads or CDs.'
That's stupid, because it doesn't apply anywhere else. Content of all kinds are buffered and cached all the time, including this page in who knows how many places, and it's not considered a seperate copy. If we label those things seperate copies, we've got bigger problems then just music.