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Messages - CLS2009Student

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Incoming 1Ls / Re: JAG, LRAP
« on: February 23, 2008, 05:22:18 AM »
probably going to NYU. does anyone know if JAG counts as pubic service.

more importantly do all the housing credits, etc count as income for LRAP?

I take it you don't expect Columbia to be an option?  I know that Columbia's LRAP does include JAG.

I don't know about NYU, but a quick look at their LRAP policy ( makes it look like JAG would be covered by them too.

Incoming 1Ls / Re: What are people doing this summer?
« on: February 22, 2008, 07:24:02 PM »
How are you guys spending the 0L summer?

I'm spending my 2L summer at a firm.  You should spend your 0L summer (1) saving up money for law school, (2) relaxing for the longest uninterupted period of relaxation you'll have between now and retirement, and/or (3) doing lots of crazy stuff you won't have the chance to do when you're older.

I really would worry more about these things than about resume-building things.  Enjoy it!

General Off-Topic Board / Re: Views on illegal downloading
« on: February 22, 2008, 07:14:35 PM »
The analogies are rather faulty, however - the way they are framed is comically transparent.
This might be true but please elaborate.

General Off-Topic Board / Re: Views on illegal downloading
« on: February 22, 2008, 07:13:37 PM »
This is not similar to reading a book at B&N and then leaving.  First, illegal downloading actually displaces sales even though it isn't taking away a tangible object.
Reading a book at a store instead of purchasing the book doesn't displace a sale to a similar degree that downloading a song does?
Right.  There are inherent limits on reading a book in the bookstore that make it not a viable alternative to purchase.  In-store sampling thus encourages rather than displaces purchases.  See the next point.

Second, browsing books in a B&N is done with explicit permission and also has inherent limits on abuse--neither of which is present with illegal downloading.
From whom, the bookstore?  What are the limits on abuse?  The bookstore seems to encourage people to sit and read books at their stores by providing comfortable couches and chairs.  Have publishers explicitly granted bookstore patrons the privilege to read their books in bookstores?
The limits on abuse are simple:  It is remarkably inconvenient to drive to a bookstore and camp out there for the three days it'll take you to read a good-sized book.  In-store sampling encourages purchasing rather than displacing it.  People want to the book to read at home and to have around.  Likewise, people can sample music in stores.  This sampling makes them want to buy it to have around at home.  Such practices are explicitly sanctioned by artists, publishers, and bookstores--which means you're not infringing on artists' intellectual autonomy rights.  Illegal music downloading isn't like sampling the book at the store, it is like bringing it home and keeping it.

Third, illegal file sharing prevents the development of legal outlets for the sale of music.
I think the converse is true.  File sharing was definitely a precursor that was instrumental in the success of online music sales.
Perhaps that was true at one point, but it is certainly not true today.  I think I cited the example of Ruckus, which could be a viable legal outlet for tons of free music but is having trouble balancing its budget because people have such easy access to illegal music.

Would you take issue with a music library, where people pay (nothing directly to copyright holders) to be part of a collective of people who purchase a large volume of music and share that music on a one-user-per-song-at-any-given-time method that is controlled by DRM?
Well, the underlying principle here is that I believe artists are entitled to, within certain limits, control the fruits of their labor.  To the extent that artists do or do not want their works as part of such a library, I think we should respect their autonomy and rights.  If they want to condition the license to reproduce and enjoy their works on certain conditions--including only single individual use--I think that is reasonable.  Note that a digital library like you describe is not quite analogous to a physical library, because of the inherent use limitations involved with physical objects.  Obviously, a shared library of CDs would be impractical enough to encourage people to consider purchasing the music.  The instant sharing of digital files is a little different.

General Off-Topic Board / Re: Views on illegal downloading
« on: February 22, 2008, 05:48:55 PM »
This analogy should be modified...  The evil pirate would have opened the game, copied it in a manner that would have left the original in brand new condition, then left the store.  His actions could not have prevented another person from purchasing the game.  This is similar to reading a book at Barnes and Noble and then leaving, right?
This is not similar to reading a book at B&N and then leaving.  First, illegal downloading actually displaces sales even though it isn't taking away a tangible object.  Second, browsing books in a B&N is done with explicit permission and also has inherent limits on abuse--neither of which is present with illegal downloading.  Third, illegal file sharing prevents the development of legal outlets for the sale of music.  Fourth, people lie when they say they just download music illegaly to sample it so the excuse is not valid anyway.

You have mentioned "borrowing from the library" several times, but if someone has a copy of a work, they can create an illegal copy just the same as they could if they downloaded the work online.  Also there have been several comments analogizing libraries as a good methodology to loan music.  However, written works are frequently copied in ways that far exceed what I understand to be fair use.
Yes, anytime someone HAS a legal copy of a work they are generally capable of making an illegal copy.  That doesn't mean there is anything wrong with possession of the legal copy, nor does it mean that it is okay to make an illegal copy.  Libraries are not a good metaphor for illegal music downloads, for the reasons I already explained in an earlier post in this thread.  Downloading music is NOT borrowing it, it is itself the act of illegally copying.

By the way, how do you feel about Google's book search project?
I think Google's book search project falls into fair use in a way that illegal music downloading does not.  Google is not, in general, making these books usable online.  It is not displacing sales of print or online copies of these books, or allowing people to unjustly enrich themselves.  On the contrary, there are careful controls in the Google Book Search project that prevent people from using it as an alternative to buying the book, and actually encourage and enable people to get a copy of the book.  Also, it is very important to note that for the most part, it involves only (1) public domain works and (2) works where a publisher has granted permission for Google to post them online.  This is actually the most important contrast--what Google does is mostly in cooperation with the creators of intellectual property.

General Off-Topic Board / Re: john mccain, adulterer
« on: February 22, 2008, 04:59:04 PM »
mccain vote impeach.  and certainly never say "i not criticize clinton for adultery, even as my party do."

Well, here's the problem with this argument.  McCain (and most Republicans) didn't criticize Clinton for adultery.  The fact that people claim they did is just a straw man argument.  McCain and the others voted to impeach Clinton for perjury and obstruction of justice.  Swearing an oath to tell the truth and then violating that oath, in a way that delegitimizes the and impedes the justice system is a very different thing from just sticking your junk where it doesn't belong.  Especially for someone who is supposed to be a member of the bar, an officer of the court, and the highest authority in our government.

General Off-Topic Board / Re: Views on illegal downloading
« on: February 22, 2008, 04:51:07 PM »
I read it. Sometimes short-term costs lead to long-term benefits. An attempt to boycott the major labels would mean short-term costs to the smaller guys (maybe), but ultimately a more open, fair system in the long run.

Kind of like the WGA strike -- sucks for a lot of the crew while the strike is going on, but sucks a lot more if they're always at the hands of the major networks and don't get paid proper royalties.

This is a rationalization that has little basis in reality.  First, a "more open, fair system" is not the real reason you illegally pirate music.  It's just a poor excuse you offer when your earlier rationalizations prove weak.  Second, your argument that the current system is unfair to little guys doesn't have much empirical support. Third, your argument that the little guys will be better off by the widespread theft of their music and the dstruction of the music labels that give them a chance at success also lacks empirical support.

General Off-Topic Board / Re: Views on illegal downloading
« on: February 22, 2008, 04:47:41 PM »
Although illegal, speeding is not deviant, which is similar to modern digital copyright infringement. It is easily attainable and easy to break the law - it is also an acceptable norm.

The fact that something is not deviant does not mean it is not wrong.  Slavery has always been wrong, but at one time it was not deviant.  Same for wars of conquest, racism, sexism, littering, etc.

General Off-Topic Board / Re: Views on illegal downloading
« on: February 22, 2008, 04:41:02 PM »
One last thing, for those who think it is immoral and wrong and unambiguous. If I 'illegally' download a song, but then proceed to purchase an album based on enjoying that song, did I do something wrong? If I download a song I do not like, is that still considered stealing? As someone else asked, what if I delete it? This isn't about what copyright law says is right or wrong -- my intuition tells me this isn't unethical. It's not as if I feel 'it's wrong, but I'll do it anyway'. I have a very strong opinion about it, and nothing about it has to do with making myself feel better about it. I listen to and buy tons of music. I love music and support it however I can, but to me, that means denying support of major labels.

I think this argument is best refuted with an analogy.  Imagine you see an interesting game at your local electronics store.  You see a video game that think you might like it, so you steal it and bring it home.  You proceed to play it until you win the game a couple weeks later.  Then, you decide to either covertly put it back on the shelf or return to the store and pay for it.  This is stealing, intuitively, legally, and ethically.

Likewise, let's say you're walking by a farmer's market, steal an apple, and eat it.  But then you discover that you didn't like it and got no pleasure from it.  Does that negate the stealing?

I guess I should also note that I do not think it is right to only download music, and never buy it. I strongly support downloading as a means, not an end. Because of that, I do not support measures designed to reduce illegal downloading, because I see it as a valuable system (for now). But, on a person to person basis, I could see myself annoyed by someone who downloads music because they are simply too cheap to buy it.

Okay, a few thoughts on this argument:
- First, there are legal ways to sample music.  You can easily and legally sample music using online 30-second samples, borrowing a CD from the library or a friend, listening to the radio, listening to music sampling stations in record stores, or using a service like Ruckus.
- Second, this supposed excuse does not usually reflect reality.  People who claim to only "sample" music actually just steal it and then enjoy it until they get tired of it.  Or they download and use thousands of dollars of music, but drop twelve bucks on an album every couple of months. 
- Third, the pervasiveness of illegal file sharing has hindered the growth of LEGAL ways to download, share, and sample music.  For example, Ruckus is a great service that offers millions of ad-supported, free song downloads.  But--no doubt in large part due to illegal downloads--it has yet to attract enough of a subscriber base to make the business model work.  Moreover, illegal downloading has made labels, studios, and artists extremely skittish about online music options.
- Fourth, even if a few people do just illegally download to "sample" (which is not true), this is not an argument against measures to stem illegal file sharing.  Almost all file sharing is illegal.  Almost all of this is unjust enrichment by music pirates.  Much of it displaces sales that support a huge music industry, hundreds of thousands of jobs, and the rights of artists everywhere.

I really am convinced that there is no justification for illegal file sharing.  It is intuitively, legally, morally, and ethically wrong by any reasonable person's standards.  I really challenge music pirates to delve deeply into theif claimed beliefs, because I really think that they are merely unsupported rationalizations to justify theft.

In all honesty, the quality of a website would probably have some influence on me.

That said, I recognize that it is completely irrational and think the temptation to judge a school on its website should be supressed.  Frankly, it could be very easy for a bad school to spend its time making a fancy website rather than a good student experience.  Moreover, the quality of a school's professors, students, and reputation in the legal world has almost no link to its wider reputation. 

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