"Copying"...what does that mean?

Shawn K. Quinn skquinn at speakeasy.net
Mon Nov 21 21:30:16 PST 2005

On Mon, 2005-11-21 at 15:25 -0500, Tyler Durden wrote:
> Hum.
> Something just occurred to me. It's probably trivial and known already, so 
> sue me I'm bored.
> Creating an mp3 from a known recording is actually not "copying" at all. mp3 
> is a lossy form of compression..."unnecessary" information is thrown away, 
> but any audiophile can tell the difference between the mp3 and the original.

If creating an MP3 file is not copying, then making an analog cassette
dub isn't copying either, because some of the information is lost. I
don't think the courts will buy that argument.

This reminds me of something else: to a computer, playing is simply a
form of copying, the output is simply a video card and/or sound card.
Isn't this is, in fact, what makes computers so powerful, that they
simply obey instructions without asking questions? Isn't this why every
attempt to block "unauthorized" copying has failed in the end, because
the reality is that if it can be played, it can be copied, because
playing *is* copying from the point of view of the computer programs?

Shawn K. Quinn <skquinn at speakeasy.net>

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