While I don’t have time to comment on these at the moment, I hope that I wil lbe able to offer up my thoughts on future list items, now that I am caught up. I may also swing back and comment upon select Hit List entries if time allows.
- Hatch’s Hit List #14 – Deepnet Explorer
If enough browsers had built-in P2P, then many websites would be able to effectively offload much of their bandwidth needs. Rather than linking to the file with HTTP, they would link to the file with a bandwidth-sharing P2P protocol. Which protocol? Wouldn’t really matter, actually. Heck, maybe the link would be to a hash that the browser would use to launch a search for the appropriate file via several protocols. Makes a lot of sense for certain types of legitimate distribution actually.
- Hatch’s Hit List #15 – Ringtone Remixers
Custom ringtones are very handy for distinguishing your phone (and yourself) from the crowd, as this (SSEYO Ringtone Remixer with DJ Spuddy) ringtone remixing website notes:
Anyone can create a ringtone remix of a popular track with just a few mouse clicks! Select the ringtone you want, make and preview your remix, and then send your handywork to your mobile phone. Easy, and cool.
Well, that sounds like a derivative work to me. The intent is also extremely clear from the reference to a “popular” track. Clearly, a codeword for a copyrighted track.
- Hatch’s Hit List #16 – The New York Times
Yesterday, the New York Times published an article in their Circuits section that painted a romantic picture of copyright infringers who violate the public perfomance right for films (Now Playing, a Digital Brigadoon). The article was about “guerilla drive-in” theater, in which copyright pirates go to public spaces (sometimes trespassing) and project films so that anyone can watch them. Rather than condemning the copyright thieves for what they were, the article seemed favorably inclined to what they were doing. It called them “hipsters” and “impresarios” and “movie buffs” when, in fact, they are the enemy of legitimate film.
The article touted the fact that the scoundrels used many devices that should be on Hatch’s Hit List, including one that has already been covered: Hatch’s Hit List #3 – AM/FM Transmitters. The article is practically a “how-to” for piracy.
A reasonable person would realize that reporting about these events will induce some people to participate or even start their own.
- Hatch’s Hit List #17 – Cellphones with Hard Drives
As hard drives (and digital storage in general) get smaller and cheaper (for example, Toshiba Whips Out Tiny Hard Drive, Smacks Apple), undoubtedly we are going to see cellphone storage increase tremendously. Let’s see, a communication device with tons of digital storage? Sounds exactly like something the INDUCE Act would ban. Putting communication and storage together is just asking for trouble if the INDUCE Act passes.
- Hatch’s Hit List #18 – Universal Turing Machine
Turing machines seem pretty simple, so I can’t imagine why someone would need a “universal” one. Why not just build more of the single-purpose Turing machines? The only possible use I can see for a “universal” Turing machine is to copy what another copyrighted Turing machine does. If you give people a Universal Turing Machine, they will inevitably be induced to infringe copyrights with it. Any “reasonable person” can see that UTMs are, in reality, the most perfect copyright infringement devices ever invented.
- Hatch’s Hit List #19 – Battle Torrent
Battle Torrent might be a great idea for letting people publish bulky files and engage in free expression, but that is precisely why the INDUCE Act will have to outlaw it.