Weblog:   The Right Term is Copyright Infringement
Subject:   I've invented a matter replicator
Date:   2002-12-15 19:22:15
From:   grepsedawk
With apologies to Star Trek...

I've invented a matter replicator. I can make an exact duplicate of any physical object in a matter of seconds and for free (it recombines hydrogen molecules out of water). I also open-sourced the specs for the matter replicator so anyone can make one of their own.

I have a large collection of O'Reilly books and a lot of poor geeky friends who want these books. Out of the kindness of my heart I replicated my entire collection of O'Reilly books for my friends. Hundreds of copies of "Running Linux 4th Edition" "Mac OS X: The Missing Manual".

I even went so far as to hook my matter replicator up to the Internet, and give the IP address out to the Slashdot community. Would you believe that in a matter of two months over 200,000 people replicated my collection of books? Thanks to me O'Reilly has reached a very widespread audience of people who now love their tech pubs but know they don't have to pay for them. I'm still waiting for that phone call from Tim thanking me for my service.

Maybe not the best analogy in the world, but I'm just trying to make a point. What is any industry going to do when pratically overnight people are able to get the fruits of their labor for free?

Sure, a forward thinking music publisher would have saw the advent of P2P, digital music, etc, and found a business model for it. But, it's not that easy. Even if Napster didn't have legal problems, nobody was entirely certain what their Step 4 was going to be before Step 5: Profit!

It's not like you can even count on people saying to themselves, "Wow, it sure is nice to get music files for free, but something just doesn't seem right about this. How are the artists getting paid? Should I be burning a copy of my Sting CD to share with my friend Tim even though I know both of us will be listening to it at the exact time on two different devices? That doesn't seem right, so I'm not going to do it. Even if everyone else. I'm also not going to pirate copies of Windows XP anymore."

I believe I understand what you're saying Tim. There is a market out there for the publisher that can get the digital music into the customer's hand in a way that allows him to listen to it on multiple devices. But markets take time to develop, and what do the publishers do in the meantime?

Full Threads Newest First

Showing messages 1 through 10 of 10.

  • Re: I've invented a matter replicator
    2002-12-15 19:37:52  jasontm [View]

    Humm.. well, here's my idea for what they could do (and i target this more to the RIAA and the MPAA than publishers like O'reilly, because i have no idea how much cash Tim is sitting on..) in the meantime..

    They could use that massive mound of cash that they have collected over the years of ripping off customers. Yeah, maybe you don't, but i consider selling a CD with 1 or 2 good songs, the remaining being crap, a rip off. It's not like they're going to go out of business 6 months after people stop buying CDs, and even then it's abserd to think that people will just stop en mass. So what if that pile of cash gets a bit smaller while they adjust to changing times?

    It's too bad they'd rather spend that pile of cash on lawyers, instead of some bright people to help them adjust..
  • I've invented a matter replicator
    2002-12-16 01:27:22  simon_hibbs [View]

    Why resort to absurd matter replicator analogies, when there are truck loads of far more relevent historical analogies available. You are writing as though music sharing was a completely new class of problem (and therefore needs new measures to regulate or eliminate it), when in fact it's merely a re-run of an old, old problem.

    Exactly the same problem was faced by sheet music publishers when photocopiers became common, a common sense solution was found. The music industry has already faced the same situation with tape recorders, there was no need to panic. The film industry should have learned their lesson over VCRs, but quite obviously they're just too mindless to do so.

    The fact is there is absolutely no evidence whatsoever that music copying by consumers has harmed recording industry profits. in fact their profits rose significantly during the Napster years, and have declined since the demise of the service. Hardly compelling evidence of their claims.

    Nobody is saying that mass copying and organised redistribution of copyrighted works isn't a problem, just that harrassing consumers and removing traditional fair use behaviour hasn't solved similar problems in the past and is unlikely to do so now. Please address the point being made, and not a different point that's easier for you to attack.

    Simon Hibbs
    • I've invented a matter replicator
      2002-12-16 18:06:26  grepsedawk [View]

      I used the matter replicator analogy for two reasons. 1) I am not overly familiar with past precedents. I'm not a student of such things. 2) The essential difference between copies of digital works (software, music, movies) and physical works (books, computers, and automobiles) is that exact duplicates can be made of the former and practically no cost, but the latter requires investment of raw material, engineering skills, machinery, etc. The matter replicator puts the two on an equal footing. Thus putting a publisher like O'Reilly in the same realm as BMG or Sony.

      Since you bring it up, sheet music, tape recordings, and vcrs are not the same as what is currently happening in the music space. 1) Exact duplicates cannot be made of these items. 2) They aren't necessarily cheap, a tape and a VHS tape still cost more than a blank CD or digital transfer. 3) They require equipment that can be expensive if you want to make copies in mass. 4) The global connection that allowed for a worldwide market for these items was either slow (mail order catalog) or none existant.

      The fact that exact copies can be made of a song, for pratically no money, then shared with a global community, again, for no money, puts copyright infringement of music works in a different place than your examples. It is similar, but it is an order of magnitude greater.

      A better example would be software copying. However, we know that warez sites are illegal, and we know that the Business Software Alliance (BSA), can get Federal Marshalls to raid your computer if it is suspected of using illegal software. I'm talking about a company that doesn't even know that a user installed their personal copy of Adobe Photoshop on a work machine to view the occasional eps file; not about a company that is making it their business to copy Windows XP and sell it to people through eBay. If this use of Adobe Photoshop is copyright infringement, how much more so the entire ripped CD of Sting's latest album available via Kazaa?

      You're right, there is no evidence that music copying by consumers has harmed recording industry profits. However, your claim that their profits rose during the Napster years implies a causal relation between copyright infringement and music sales that cannot be proven.

      Your final paragraph gets to the heart of what I tried say, perhaps to obliquely. What is fair use? Tim asked a dozen questions about what is fair use of a music cd. Most of them are quibbling and ignore a person's inherent gut feeling of, "Would I like what I am doing unto this other if it were done unto me." Thus my matter replicator analogy, an attempt to give Tim a chance to answer fair use in a way that could affect his business. While Tim is willing to give fair use of music a chance to get legs and develop, mature and find a market, would he be so willing to do the same if fair use meant his books were being shared freely in the very market he wanted to sell to?

      Ultimately, I feel that there is a change happening. That music distribution is going to adapt to a model preferred by customers, and this model is appearing to be online distribution, possibly P2P, not just B2P. But, I know that the current form of sharing, as done by most people, is not fair use. It is copyright infringement, it is illegal, and customers should not use illegal methods to force an industry to change. That's a kind of corporate terrorism.

      • Tim O'Reilly photo I've invented a matter replicator
        2002-12-17 11:42:17  Tim O'Reilly | O'Reilly AuthorO'Reilly Blogger [View]

        I still feel that you haven't read my article.

        1. I agree that what many people are doing on P2P networks is copyright infringement. There are many fair uses, but there are also infringing uses. However, the fact that the two shade into each other means that we must grapple strenuously with the issue, rather than simply trying to fit new wine into old bottles.

        2. Matter replicator or not, perfect copies or not, I argue that p2p file sharing will *never* replace publishing, because physical distribution is not what defines the role of the publisher. (Heck, if physical distribution was the critical factor, would virtually every major publisher have outsourced most of it?) Software is indeed a good analogy. Physical distribution of software is now a fairly small part of the market, yet software publishers haven't gone away. Infringing copies of software have been available for decades, and yet Microsoft has amassed a $40 billion hoard. Web content is freely copyable, yet Yahoo! and Google and AOL and MSN have emerged as major "distributors" of that content, and folks like yourself post on the O'Reilly Network as well as on your own site.

        3. While we don't have a matter replicator yet, many O'Reilly books ARE available in online form, and I do grapple daily with issues of copyright infringement. I am not at all happy to see people selling CDs containing copies of our books on eBay, or hosting them on websites in Romania or Russia--we have a couple of people who spend a fair amount of time dealing with infringing copies. But nonetheless, I argue that fear of file sharing is overblown--and in fact, that shoplifting of physical goods is a larger threat to IP holders than file sharing, because it has only downside, and due to the mechanics of attention distribution, sometimes a critical downside.

        My point is that the fear-mongering about the death of the music industry obscures the real issues, which are to understand what are the fair uses, how people can best get paid, and how to get on with the business of building the future.

        • I've invented a matter replicator
          2003-12-02 04:09:46  anonymous2 [View]

          no you havent because i did it first silly man
      • I've invented a matter replicator
        2005-01-24 11:40:49  GinEric [View]

        Please do a favor, the BSA is the Boy Scouts of America, not the business alliance [does that sound like the RIAA to you? It does to me]. Tell the business alliance to change their name, the Boy Scouts of America had it first.

        On the subject of software piracy: as a songwriter I long ago advised programmers of what was coming, and asked them to join us. We, as songwriters, have really set all of the precedences and made the laws for Copyright. Don't give credit to congressmen and senators, they were merely carrying out our will, often with much resistance, which ended up in the courts, where we had to fix the crooked clauses they put into the bills and legislation.

        We know who was paying them, the movie industry [R.I.A.A.] and its movie stars, producers, and directors; through bogus campaign contributions, in return for favors like "sleeping at the White House." Clinton had a lot of female singers, actresses, and movie producers "sleep over." Usually in the Lincoln room [I always wondered why that room in particular].

        From "Designing Women" to Ms. Ethridge, deals were made in the Lincoln bedroom for Music Industry R.I.A.A. legislation; it's on tape, the U.S. Secret Service knows this is the truth, don't bother trying to argue against it. They are there, just like Nixon's tapes.

        It costs you quite a bit to copy a song. If you have a decent computer [$1,000.00] with a CDR [$150.00] and/or a DVDR [$300.00], then you add the cost of each CD, about $1.00

        At a penny a page, I could print a book on my computer just as easily, for about a dollar. So the comparison of music and video vs. print doesn't hold up.

        I have, in fact, printed books, of my own of course, on my computer. I think Steven King does the same and then goes to a big printer to make mass copies at around the same cost, about $1.00 per copy.

        CD's and DVD's cost the music and moviemakers about the same thing, in the end, $1.00 each. It's the magic number in the entertainment industry.

        You make it for a buck, and sell it for $10.00

        That's also standard industry practice, of all industry, make ten times the profit. Even computer manufacturers. It's what they don't teach in business school, and it's as old as business itself.

        Now, where does the money go?

        First, half has to go to the distributor and retailer, or, if you charge $20.00 for a CD or DVD, you get half, $10.00, and the distributor usually takes 10% [the magic $1.00} while the retialer, like Walmart, makes the other $9.00

        This way, Walmart can do closeout sales, and empty their stock shelves by selling at near cost. Some older stuff the get for less, cutouts, maybe $2.00 or $3.00 each as the record company clears out its stock, and they can sell these at the retailer as low as $2.99 and still make a profit! Or $3.99 for the $3.00 cost one.

        This is about business; these people don't lose money, believe it, they are in business to make money, not lose it, and they know how from about 7,000 years of experience, not just a statistically zero value of four years at Harvard.

        At the top of the food chain, belive it or not, is the songwriter, the author. He controls all of it, if his lawyers are sharks, he is killer whale, if they are Predators, he is Arnold Schwartzenegger.

        Most new songwriters are also performers and they accept a measly two and one-half cents per song per copy sold. Established artists, like Michael Jackson, can command may that magic $1.00 per album. But until the Internet and downloading, none could ever get $1.00 per song.

        And if the author bypasses all of the record companies, labels, distributors, and retailers, he can either start his own site and collect the full amount, or he can use another site and pay them some fee. Steven Jobs' fee is too high already and he's beginning to resemble his movie industry buddies at 40 or 50 cents per song. I had advised Derek Sivers of CDBaby.com to be wary of Mr. Jobs and good ole acid head Steve proved me right; he's just another con on the con.

        Jobs reneged on his deal, as he always does; he's a good thief that always make money for his clients, like Heimy Rothstein of "The Godfater."
        If you doubt this, go see the movie "Pirates of Silicon Valley." Which a factual movie about how the big software guys made their billions, by stealing.

        So the circle has come full turn and now the software programmers, developers, and Website companies are beginning to realise that it is they who will soon be Copyright Infringed. Steal a little image here, a little paragraph of code their, some forms, etc., and the Website owner has paid to set up and finance some fly-by-night website that is is using his copyrighted site to develope their own without paying a website designer.

        As for the software, it gets hacked everyday.

        Like music downloading, bootleg software downloading and sharing is everywhere. They're in the same boat as the creators of music have been in for hundreds of years.

        So how do you get fairly compensated for your creations?

        Changes in the medium. Just as in music. Subcarrier and hidden ISRC type keys encoded into the work itself.

        This can not only be detected by humans, it can be detected at the speed of light by computers, especially the computer from which you are downloading.

        You can make this so intricate as to sideband encode it into a single text font, like those old spy movie dots on a stamp that turned out to be microfilm.

        And, any computer contacting your computer can discover that you have a copy of a copyrighted work, and whether or not it is a legal copy. It can also track how many times you broadcast this copy by offering it for download. The code gets stripped out by the routers on the Internet, and sent via a co-router to the reporting database network.

        It doesn't matter where it gets routed, because network, satellite, palm jobbies, wireless, they are all routed and the copyright tracking sidebands are routed to the creators source database and reported as a broadcast, because that is what it is, a broadcast. The nanosecond you put it on the Internet, you are broadcasting.

        Currently, many lyric sites and other sites are offering free lyric downloads. This will come to an end. This is nothing less than publishing of the music words, which are lyrics, and which constitute 50% of the song in general. No, lyrics, like programs and books, are not free. Nor is a module of Microsoft Windows Source code.

        Fair Use use to apply to a person "buying" the first copy in the form of a manuscript, sheet music, or a record. It still stands. Usage thereafter that is allowed is a reasonable copy for personal use, storage in case the original breaks, and maybe to listen to on a differnet medium, such as a cassette or CD while driving in your car. It never meant lending your buddy a copy [as if anyone ever actually lends a CDR, they trade or barter them for profit, even it that profit is only a social grace, you still get paid back with other favors and therefore you have profitted].

        And is sure as hell never meant putting it on a website where everyone could download a copy for free. That idea and tact is so full of holes it wreaks of rats and rotten cheese.

        Free music? Free "your butt!" Why don't you give that away?

        As for the other side of the coin, children and teenagers downloading, even college students and adults, is actually Fair Use if they have to download it to listen to it to see if they like it. It's like walking into Tower Records and listening in a private booth or something to see if you like a new CD by some artist. I, as an author and performing artist, see absolutely nothing wrong with "test listening" a song.

        But I am not the R.I.A.A., the Saoran of the Music Industry, which should be destroyed, along with it's "golden" rings to save Middle Earth and the Age of Men.

        The R.I.A.A. has no "author" members. It is a fact that you cannot join the R.I.A.A. if you are a songwriter. Did you know that?

        The R.I.A.A. is the same old street cons that existed in Rome and Jerusalem to sell you false weighted gold. They are street people wearing suits and carrying letters of introduction from the kings and nobles of the universities and other businesses. There are no songwriters nor any true authors in the R.I.A.A. They are not only the guy hanging on a cross besides Christ, the offensive one and not the one who admitted his guilt, they are also the ones that put Him there!

        A person cannot get any lower than a member of the R.I.A.A. In Someone's famous words, "they shall crawl on their bellies throughout the Earth." And crawl they do, into every creak and cranny of the author's pocketbook.

        And now, they've spread to other people's pocketbooks. If you had a matter replicator, or a software program, they would steal without hesitation.

        Know who you're dealing with here. These people are surrounded by major drug dealers, organized crime, crooked accountants, and more. They are the ones living high off the hog on the backs of others. They are the people at a social gathering that can't wait to get their digs into you and expose your every secret, strip you of your dignity, and steal what they can from the resulting corpse. They are ghouls in every sense of the word because, yes, they do, indeed, steal from the dead.

        So, now that you know who you're dealing with at the R.I.A.A., treat them according, as Caesar would, hold these enemies closer than your friends, and as the Duke of Milan would, demand from them the pound of flesh that each Shylock at the R.I.A.A. owes to their King.

        If you want to make money from your software or your music, stay away from them and try working with Authors only. And make sure that the author has bonafide credentials and is not a member of one of these crooked organizations.

        As I said, the Age of the Internet has deprecated the former things, and they are all past, the new millenium is the age of the end of the distributor/marketer/retailer chain and the Internet is the medium now.

        The author is now the creator, distributor, marketer, and retailer of his product and no longer needs any of the uncreatives. Let them die off, don't feed them any longer. A starved parasite is a dead parasite. And the Internet is the R.I.A.A. vermin's Insecticide and Exterminator.

        Tell those who work for the R.I.A.A. to start looking for a job because the one they have will soon be "outsourced" by the owners, the Authors who created their jobs in the first place.

    • I've invented a matter replicator
      2005-01-24 10:32:18  GinEric [View]


      Sheet music and lyrics will now also be encoded for tracking. The same type of codes as ISRC can, and soon will, be employed by Internet Websites to track the use of their Copyrighted content.

      By the way, sheet music publishers suffered most from the advent of radio, not Xerox. The sheet music publishers were at least fair, splitting the profits 50/50. Radio, in the beginning, under an Italian and three Russian Generals "the Brothers Sarnoff and Mr. Paley, aka, ABC, NBC, and CBS, all under Marconi's, Edison's, Bell's control via the MPA and other illegal organizations, did not pay for music. Why? They were cheap! Skinflints! And none of these inventors can actually claim the devices they said they invented! In short, they were really good con men.

      Unlike the American print publisher. Who, having a tradition of American Heritage [unlike the foreignors above] and Fairness, paid the author half of the profits for the right to publish them.

      The Sarnoff's, Paley's, Marconi's, Edison's, and Bell's are gone, thank God, and maybe now we can fix that other crooked office, the U.S. Patent Office.

      Meanwhile, around the early 1900's, movies and radio started up. By 1927 both the movies and the radio were stealing not only from songwriters, but also from some of the old movie companies in New York City and the East Coast. The whole idea of setting up movie lots in Hollywood was to bootleg film and music and not pay any royalties to the people who had created them on the East Coast. Nor to pay for the use of patented equipment.

      Television came along, LP's, cassettes, even CD's and DVD's and Hollywood is still stealing from the creators of music, stories, whatever they can get.

      But it all goes back to the early movie lots of Hollywood and their desire not to pay artists. The sheet music publisher was the last honest publisher this country knew of.

      Had the movie industry dealt fairly, none of the writers would be complaining. However, not just songwriters, but people like Moses [Charleton Heston] have had to take on these Hollywood and Beverly Hills moguls for their acts of theft. SAG and the Directors Guild have had a hell of a time fighting the crooked lawyers of Los Angeles, New York City, and Nashville. These are the same types that hired Pinkertons to put down strikes by shooting and killing people. They are no less scum than that. Most of the movie moguls are Organized Crime Syndicate Members. That is were most of the dirty money gets laundered, through the untouchables in Beverly Hills and Hollywood. Some, like Meyer Lansky, preferred Miami over Hollywood, but the current ranking Russian Jewish Mafia that controls the movie industry prefers the pomposity of richness which they never knew in their native U.S.S.R.

      Think I'm joking or I don't know what I'm talking about? Look up their dossiers under the Freedom of Information Act.

      Am I trying to start a war? Yes I am.

      Mr. Claymore, who doesn't live too far from me, needs to sell some hardware, doesn't he?
  • Tim O'Reilly photo I've invented a matter replicator
    2002-12-16 15:51:18  Tim O'Reilly | O'Reilly AuthorO'Reilly Blogger [View]

    I put my thoughts about "what to do", and why middlemen would be necessary even in the event of matter replicators, in the article entitled Piracy is Progressive Taxation. Hey -- all that content on the web is free, so why do we need Google, Yahoo! and the like (not to mention CNet, Wired, and the O'Reilly Network).... Publishing is not an artifact of physical distribution, but of the mathematics of attention.
    • I've invented a matter replicator
      2002-12-16 18:13:11  grepsedawk [View]

      Hmmm, I'm not certain this post is an answer to the matter I raised. It seems more to answer my post "Whither go the publishers" in the article you mention.

      I was trying to put the advent of copying music in terms that would hit closer to home for you personally and your business.

      Thinking of your business, could you afford to wait while you figured out Step 4 before Step 5: Profit! while thousands of potential customers are enjoying the fruits of your labor for free? Perhaps it is too personal of a question in a public forum.

      Believe it or not, I'm actually with you. I'm one of those people who has created his own notion of "fair use" and how it applies to music I've downloaded over the Internet. My method was that I would hear a song on TV, remember a lyric line, google it, find out the song and artist, visit Napster, get a copy, listen to it, and go buy the album if I liked it enough, leave it or delete it if I didn't. I bought more music the spring of 2000 than I did my entire life. Did I do anything wrong? Not in my mind. But, I know my mind and intent. Do the music producers and publishers know the intent of millions of college students? Can they afford to wait and find out? Are they being fair to their stockholders to not try to stop it? Are they being fair to their stockholders to not figure out Step 4 in this new distribution medium?
      • I've invented a matter replicator
        2005-01-24 10:11:47  GinEric [View]

        If you happen to meet my producer and publisher, and their lawyers, please punch them in the mouth for me. That seems to be the only way to get the truth out of these types.

Showing messages 1 through 10 of 10.