Bill of Rights
Tue, 23 Aug 1994 16:38:56 +0200

Now comes "" and testifies as follows: (:-)
> In message <> Sarr Blumson writes:
> > Daniel W. Connolly says:
> >> In message <Pine.3.85.9408221141.A462-0100000@enews>, "Rob Raisch, The
> >> Internet Company" writes:
> >> > Further, I have no idea of the number of
> >> >consumers who view my content through your cache or what they view, how
> >> >and when.
> >> Do you have a right to know this? There was a lot of talk at the WWW
> >> conference in Geneva about a "Bill of Rights" for the information age.
> >> This is an interesting issue to add to the list.
> > In the sense that he has a right to be paid for each one, yes, he has a right
> > to know the number.
> Not sure about that. If I buy a book or a paper, am I allowed to let other
> people read bits? yes. Lend the whole of it to others? yes. Do these other

I am not an attorney, but lending it to someone
for the purpose of making himself a copy is surely not
permissible. Putting things out so that people can
copy it without its being know would seem also not to
be permissible.

> people have to pay the publisher? No. Do I have to inform the publisher that on
> such and such a date joe borrowed my book for two hours and read chapters 2, 4

I believe it is surely true that you cannot give your
friend a COPY of the document you yourself legally own
nor permit him to copy your original.

> and 7? No. Indeed, were I required to do so this would be a significant
> infringement of my personal freedom.
> I do not see why merely publishing information digitally changes this
> established practice.

It can change it if it makes abuse much easier, just as
the existence of xerox machines did.

> If a "Bill of Rights" for the information age were to be published, is there any
> existing mechanism whereby it could be made law, as we do not have specific
> written rights that could be added to?
Are you speaking of some international law, or specifically of UK?

It would certainly be useful to have what rights we have as
to information we want and information about us. In US we
have attempts through US law; is anyone promulgating an
international law that would go along with the international
copyright/patent laws? (I THINK there are international laws
related to respect for copyrights and patents.)

The problem is that these are basically legal questions.
But if copyrighted information is to move through the
system one either has to announce to the world that if people
put copyrighted information out on the system they do so at
their own risk, or, if one encourages it, one has to afford
protection, and affording protection means in depth understanding
of what a copy is, which may not be totally clear. Again, I
am not an attorney, but it would seem to me that one could
argue that an encrypted copy is still a copy as it can be
read as soon as one through a separate effort acquires the
key. If someone starts to distribute an encoded copy of,
say, Sarah Paretsky's latest book, is that any more okay
than if they started distributing xerox copies?

My suspicion is that it is simpler, at least at the beginning,
that the first approach be given. You might think of that
as the 'shareware' approach.

Well, I have no idea how far off I am getting from the
topics for discussion in this news list so let me stop here.

It is, however, an extremely interesting topic.

Is there a newsgroup which specfically talks about network
design for the information age?
> --
> Chris