"Copying"...what does that mean?

Riad S. Wahby rsw at jfet.org
Mon Nov 21 12:40:30 PST 2005

Tyler Durden <camera_lumina at hotmail.com> wrote:
> Does this mean that enforcing copyright laws basically means dis-allowing 
> experiences similar to those triggered by the "actual" recording?

I don't think it has to be this broad to cover the mp3=copying issue.
You can draw a continuous line from the original performance through
one or more automated processes intended to reproduce said performance
(recording, encoding, printing the CDs), and at all steps along the
way the newly-created data is said to be a "copy" of the original.
There is nothing particularly special about lossy methods of deriving
new data from old, since it's the fact that it is so derived that
makes it a copy.

It's a violation of copyright to translate a book into a different
language and sell it as your own, even if the two languages are slightly
at odds with regard to, e.g., their colloquialisms (i.e., the
translation is "lossy" in some way).  It's about the chain of
derivation, not the subjective experience.

IANAL, and I don't know if these arguments are "right" in any particular
legal context; take this as nothing more than musings on the definition
of a copy.

Riad S. Wahby
rsw at jfet.org

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