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Creative expression fixed in a medium | 354 comments | Create New Account
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Creative expression fixed in a medium
Authored by: dio gratia on Monday, November 26 2012 @ 06:36 PM EST

Note that still wouldn't get you beyond the 'system magic' of "...any method now known or later developed, and from which the work can be perceived, reproduced, or otherwise communicated, either directly or with the aid of a machine or device".

If you stop and think about it some number of compression schemes treat compressed data as one big number and they fall prey to the definition of copies. That would include algorithmic compression where you essentially write a program that re-creates the original work without the identity confusion of say word documents. I think you'd have better luck with dynamic memory, where the data is read back and written again to boost capacitive charge insuring separation of zero and one thresholds. Something that fades away if it isn't constantly 'repainted' seems not to qualify. The 'fix' is in in this case too:

A work is “fixed” in a tangible medium of expression when its embodiment in a copy or phonorecord, by or under the authority of the author, is sufficiently permanent or stable to permit it to be perceived, reproduced, or otherwise communicated for a period of more than transitory duration. A work consisting of sounds, images, or both, that are being transmitted, is “fixed” for purposes of this title if a fixation of the work is being made simultaneously with its transmission.
. The question being whether this is in keeping with what the founding fathers meant by writings, more in keeping with something written on a chalkboard, or written in the sand with a stick.

From a short story, imagine if you will data stored in the transmission delay in interplanetary communications, the receiving station retransmitting data back to the point of origin, which could in term retransmit back to the recipient. Dynamic memory, yet nothing more than transmission, which isn't included as fixation. The perception of the transmitted information is at best always of transitory duration. No different than a dynamic RAM.

The future likely holds any number of such dilemmas to hold up against the definition language attempting to make copyright future proof. Note that HR 94-1476, the Copyright Act of 1976 and the CONTU Report make it clear no expansion of copyright was intended, yet that has occurred by expanding the definition 'Writings' ("To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries") beyond historical precedent.

Just as equating the machine code generated from source code copyright protected as a literary work as a copy, equating the pattern of magnetic permeability stored on a hard disk surface signaling the original data requires a hard stretch. It's a semiotic equivalent and not an actual copy of something fixated by another means. The very idea implies idea-expression merger.

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

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