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back to article You want the Cloud? You can't have proper copyright, then

UK law makers and the judiciary should take note of new research that has claimed that a narrow reading of copyright law exceptions can result in an erosion of investment in new technologies, an expert has said. Harvard Business School Professor Josh Lerner has published a new report (32-page/300KB PDF) that claims that venture …

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Meh

Nooooooooooo

WTF is this about? The fog certainly isn't new but the news acts like this technology isn't from the 1980's.

Even uber-geek Linus says it's just a bunch of smoke up your ass. I'm glad to see the lawyers are benefiting but I think we should drop the term cloud computing & call it networked computing which is all it is.

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Meh

Best Guess

I would wager that the reason the 'cloud' is so named because of that stupid cloud object in Visio that every exec uses in step 2 of any proposed project/idea or middle managers hand to developers when thay want something done but have no idea what it takes to make happen.

1: Idea

2: ????/Cloud

3: Profit

As much as I like MS I blame them for the stupid notion of the cloud name.

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The examples given are spurious

The examples given (time shifting of broadcast works, for later private viewing, as a service) have nothing to do with 'cloud computing', except that the service just happens to use the internet and networked storage, somehow and somewhere. These particular examples have been thrashed out in the courts in various forms over the years, with various technologies 'in the dock'.

I would suggest that this 'study' is being used (badly) as a justification and a stepping stone to modification of copyright law and/or the control of copyright law, by people with vested interests in seeing this happen.

"Unless you modify copyright law, the bright and shiny future of cloud computing (and your cut of a multi-billion pound/euro industry will be threatened" Yeah, right.

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Flame

Re: The examples given are spurious

I was trying to figure this one out. Seems to me the examples given are blatant examples of obvious copyright infringement that would get ICE jumping up and down on their heads with *zero* judicial oversight in the States. Might as well argue that pirate bay being blocked in the UK by some ISPs is stopping Google opening a cloud in the UK - which TBQFH wasn't going to happen anyways even if the example wasn't ass-backwards retarded.

Anybody care to explain cloud relevance because this story reads nonsense.

Ridiculous though some interpretations of copyright treaties are - and obviously copyright is an issue with cloudy stuff the article is pure stupids.

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Happy

Here we go again

These are two very narrow examples; even the subject media (TV programs) is the same! How can you possibly let this influence any kind of policy?

I have to agree with the first comment though - when did "networked" become "cloud"? It's yet another stupid buzz word to try and make a very very old idea sound new. The only reason this new-fangled "cloud" stuff is becoming more popular with those that choose to push it is because of the relatively recent rise in mobile kit and the fact that it's handy to access the same stuff from different places. Which has always been the case since the dawn of ethernet; it's why we have protocols like IMAP, and FTP, rsync, and various VPNs, etc. What I would find more interesting is some decent standard way of doing this over the internet without some middle-man taking his cut. Oh hang on, that exists already, no?....

And none of this addresses the question of why the hell should I trust and pay someone else to look after my data? Nope - I don't have an answer to that one.

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Have you all missed the point? or have I?

I think the message from this is that something which is accepted as NOT a breach of copyright when carried out with a physical piece of equipment used in the home (recording TV to replay later) is being classed as a breach of copyright when exactly the same activity is carried out via purchasing the service from an online supplier.

To use an analogy, let's speculate that someone has copyright for the recipe for scrammbled eggs and it is generally agreed that you may use it free to cook scrammbled eggs for yourself at home but cafes must pay for the right to do so. Then comes along a service which gives you access to a kitchen on "commercial premise"s to cook your own meals, let's say rented accomodation, and this is then classified as a restaurant rather than an at home activity. Suddenly looks kind of weird doesn't it.

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Re: Have you all missed the point? or have I?

"I think the message from this is that something which is accepted as NOT a breach of copyright when carried out with a physical piece of equipment used in the home"

Except it is.. Because it's agreed that <some service> can do it (say tivo) by way of a license doesn't mean just jumping on a video stream and copying isn't a breach of copyright statutes - because it is.

However if you went to say Sky and said you want to do this, and pay a license for copying Sky One lets say so you can do as described and it's stuff that sky can legitimately resell like that then you'd be okay.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Have you all missed the point? or have I?

"Except it is.. Because it's agreed that <some service> can do it (say tivo) by way of a license"

I think the old Sony ruling that a VCR for time-shifting a public broadcast was NOT an infringement but an accepted fair use, in the states at least. Any how many folk in the UK have been prosecuted for buying a cheap non-name VCR in the past due to copyright infringement at home?

The point is that if I have a paid license to watch TV (BBC license fee, etc), why the hell should it matter how I do that, and on what time-shift it is done?

I am happy to see people getting a reward for their creative work, but not to have DRM-style restrictions applied by either technical or legal means on how I 'consume' it purely as a revenue-maximising trick to make my pay twice, or pay Ryan-air-like supplements to do it when it suits me.

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Pirate

My opinion is with the courts on those TV sites

if they are acting without the broadcaster's permission. It's like taping the shows yourself and selling the tapes- but worse, because you're doing it to order and making a business out of it.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: My opinion is with the courts on those TV sites

Really, selling the tapes? I think their business it is more a case of you renting a VCR-equivalent elsewhere to make life easier for you. Nothing wrong with that providing that you to have the right to watch the shows in the first place.

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Wild extrapolation

"... a new report (32-page/300KB PDF) that claims that venture capital investment in cloud computing companies in France and Germany has fallen in relation to elsewhere in the EU as a result of court judgments on copyright issues in those countries... Technology law expert Luke Scanlon of Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind Out-Law.com, said that the report should be a warning to UK legislators and judges over the impact copyright law, and its reading, can have on the economy."

It's not "the economy": it's venture capital investments in 'Cloud computing'. A reduction in venture capital can be due to the subject becoming mainstream, a realisation of insufficient return on investment or many other causes.

Perhaps Luke Scanlon should try looking at the entire economy before warning everyone about it or, more realistically, avoid wildly extrapolating in order to make headline grabbing statements that can't be backed up.

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Gold badge

Re: Wild extrapolation

Indeed. So a new report "claims" that investment is down "as a result of" particular "court judgements".

I find it hard to imagine how one might go about proving that. I certainly don't believe anyone has done. Let's see, what else has happened in France and Germany in the last few years that might have hit VC investment levels? Anything?

[sound of the breeze rustling through trees]

[little bit of birdsong]

Nope. Must be those court judgements, then.

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Mushroom

My two

This subject is discussed at length in: The Public Domain ... James Boyle

http://www.thepublicdomain.org/

A "proper copyright" very much depends upon an improper understanding of Fair Use. While the Copyright Holder would like you to think that Fair Use is a "right" he/she grants to the Public, in fact it is a restriction on the Copyright Holder as a condition of granting the monopoly right.

There are several ways to make Fair Use difficult to practice. Hollywood uses them all. There are several ways to represent Fair Use as a gift from the Copyright Holder to the (adoring) Public. Hollywood uses them all. There are many ways to dissemble, Hollywood uses them all.

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@ Gannon -Thank you

That was well put.

So often these days we are told that some thing has a copy right

on it and there fore it cannot be used or recycled. It's not true,

never has been

As far as I under stand it, copy right is a system of asking some

one else to protect your idea for a certain amount of time so you

can gain from it. Part of that protection allows others to use that

idea or copy righted material for there own usage without stopping

you from gaining from it. Fair usage is just that, using some one

else idea / material with out impinging on the copy right holders

right to gain.

Cloud computing, it's existed for century's and longer. Lie on a bit of

meadow, look at the sky and and wonder what that cloud looks like :)

other than that cloud computing is just another network.

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Mushroom

hardly surprising

"CCIA ..... Google, Microsoft and Facebook"

Bet all those freetards are wondering how they ended up in bed with that lot.

If we give away our cultural heritage and dumb all creativity down to the level of youtube just to allow a bunch of global corporates to keep their share prices up I wouldn't be a bit surprised.

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Silver badge

Bah!

"The purpose of copyright law is not to maximise revenues for rights holders."

Mendacious bollox.

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Anonymous Coward

A "proper copyright" very much depends upon an improper understanding of Fair Use. While the Copyright Holder would like you to think that Fair Use is a "right" he/she grants to the Public, in fact it is a restriction on the Copyright Holder as a condition of granting the monopoly right.

Its that sort of crap is the reason we don't have Fair Use in the UK, its just completely open to abuse

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