Hi Dark,

This is a case where I'd absolutely apply to the spirit of the ethical thinking
behind the initial law, not the law itself.
End snip

Absolutely. That is exactly why i said copyright law is not always a black and white issue. At what point does a person have the right to create something similar to another copyrighted work before it can be considered copyright infringement. Where do we draw the line where ideas can be copyrighted and be held by any one single person/company? Sometimes I feel courts all too often lean towards major corperations rights rather than smaller companies and individuals.One case in point was Microsoft VS Lindows. As some might recall a company called lindows opened up about 4/5 years ago to try and create a Linux based operating system that was able to run both Windows and Linux software simaltaniously. Initially the software got great press, great reviews, and really was looking like it might give Microsoft some compitition for the PC. AS soon as Lindows got noticed and started appearing in Wal-Marts on e-machines Microsoft sued Lindows over a vvariety of copyright and trademark violations. The biggest one of them all was that in there manual they used terms like desktop, window, toolbar, etc which were used by several linux distributions besides Lindows. According to the suit microsoft claimed that they alone had the right to use those terms because they of course invented the Windows graphical user interface. Then, they said the name Lindows was too much like Windows and end users might get confused. In the end the case got settled out of court. Microsoft won the case forcing lindows to change there name to Linspire and they fell out of public view. As for terms like toolbars, status bars, etc Microsoft didn't get their way just because the courts felt they were too common to be copyrighted and awarded to any one company. However, it did not stop Microsoft, the Natzis of the software world, from trying to utterally slotter there compitition in court. Had they gotten their way they would have instantly monopolized all graphical user interfaces we know of in one swift move. However, microsoft did achieve a major advantage in that court case. Not only did they force lindows to change their name, force them to remove some Windows software compatability, they basically killed Lindows as a major competitor. In addition to all that they took one major step towards fully proprietary software for specific one platform. In a sense what Microsoft got out of the deal is that unless a developer intentionally designs a product to run on Linux, Mac, whatever it is Microsoft's soul right to have every Windows based product run only on Windows PC's. Having a concept like Lindows which could run both Linux and Windows applications together on a non-Windows os was a great concept, and I think the outcome was atrain wreck for any non-Windows based platform. The outcome really was not in the spirit of copyright law at all. It is suppose to protect certain rights for companies and individuals, but not to let a company create a monopoly that hurts humanity in general. Personally, with the number of platform choices available it is not a bad idea to be able to have some sort of common OS core that would allow Mac, Linux, and Windows applications to be run on any OS without serious issues or forcing a company to design multiple versions of the same product. Though, we all know that to be unlikely because money talks and companies like Microsoft will always actively destroy their competition.

My own thinking on this subject is that copywrite law is to A, prevent plagerism or taking of creddit for someone else's work, and B, allow a commercial enterprise to receive some sort of payment for the creative service of providing said copywrited material (often imho this gets extreme with large corperations and hollywood, but
that's another debate entirely).
End snip

Exactly. Unfortunately, in the case of big corperations and institutions they demand full rights under the law. Often they use it to spite the competition. See the case of Freedom Scientific VS GW Micro over Window Eyes 7. Freedom Scientific knows that Window Eyes 7 is some serious competition for Jaws 10 with the built in scripting abilities and a quality feature by feature comparison. What else can FS do but pull the old he stole my idea game to try and bend them over a barrel so to speak. To force them to become a substandard screen reader through the courts since they don't want to compete on a fair battle ground apparently.
My thinking is that a company or individual cannot claime any legitimate loss of
prophit and/or due creddit where they themselves do not seak to  obtain any.
While there are cases, --- such as when I tried to buy a dvd of the Lion King this Christmas to find it utterly unavailable sinse a remastered version is in the works, where a creative project may be unavailable for a comparatively short time, in these casis the company has a vested interest in stating that the creative project will
be available.
End snip

Yeah, and I understand your feelings completely. There have been a number of cases that Disney and others have pulled the game of running a certain movie for a limitted run on DVD. They say get yours while supplies last. Sure there will be an initial race to get the movie, but what happenes the minute production stops. People who have them begin selling bootlegged copies. If Disney doesn't like it they only have themselves to blame for making such a limited run in the first place. If they demand people buy a legal copy then in theory they need to make a new production run or my opinion is screw them. I'll buy the bootlegged copy and tell them where to go. Then again we are involved in the fair use area of the copyright laws. When a company stops production on a product and people begin copying it or starts up production of their own should we in theory have the right to do so. Under the law no, but clearly the company themselves lost the right to complain the second they stopped producing the movie, game,etc for sale. unless of course as in your case they pull the movie off shelves to remaster it, upgrade it, or sell it for a special holiday promo.
Btw, Applied to disability, there is also the huge mire of access. For the past 20 years, copywrite law and the greed of the publication industry who may or may not wish to release overpriced audio versions of books has played a massive part
in unavailability of audio in the Uk.
While the situation is slowly improving, it's a long long loooong! way behind what
it is in the states.
End snip

I do certainly understand your situation though it is in reverse. i generally don't have problems obtaining written materials in an accessible format thanks to Public Law 9-22 which basically gives anyone the right to copy written materials in a free and specialized accessibility format for people with disabilities. However fantastic Public Law 9-22 is for written materials we still get screwed in a lot of other areas such as reasonably decent described movies and television programming. For example, I can turn on the Sci-Fi channel and get Dr. Who or turn on Cartoon Network to see Star Wars clone Wars but neither program is described in the U.S. So as the person who pays for my television programming i feel extremely screwed to find out that the exact same shows I wach are described in the U.K. In fact I have to join lists like the Blind Movie buffs lists just to get shows like Star Trek, Clone Wars, and other programming described because it isn't available where I live. If the U.S. companies want to scream about me breaking some sort of copyright law I'm sure I could give them an earful how they have totally failed the blind community in this country for equal access to their content. Access is a huge area where I believe copyright law has failed everyone. They never said weather or not a product or service has to be generally accessible to everyone so by downloading described movies from sendspace might be breaking half a dozen laws in the process. Though, my situation is a bit unfair becauseI get little out of my tv programming without descriptive vidio, and my tv services don't provide it. I am forced to do something illegal to get the right I should have had in the first place which was to listen to that program with description or equal accessibility.Impass.

Accessible computer games I'd view in a similar light I think. Afterall, it's not as if we can all go out and make money for activision's successors by buying their
latest games.
End snip

Basically, that is in the same boat as described movies for me. I can't just slap a brand new game on there like Tomb Raider Underworld and expect equal access even though that is pretty unfair. if i rewrite the game with the proper accessibility then I am doing something illegal. This, i don't believe, was the intent of copyright law to punish someone for accessibility. To be honest I don't think they ever considered what would happen if a product was unusable to a person with a disability and could be made to be so. The average person is holy ignorant of our needs, wants, desires that the thought never cosses their minds. When I talk about accessible gaming with sighted people think I'm half nuts because it never occurred to them a blind person could play games on the computer let alone their favorite games could be modified to improve playability. It is one of those things most people who make the laws are ignorant of what needs be done to make acessibility a fair use claus in the law.

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