Copyright against gunpowder and crossbow


    I often write about historical parallels. Because, in my opinion, everything is interconnected: said “A”, and you have already been called “B”; whispered softly "ZYCH", and in response a loud "YAT" was already heard. Copyright in this sense is the fertile ground for analysis.

    Take, for example, one of the most common items on the banner of standard license agreements - the prohibition of transferring the property to a third party. If you have never read the agreements (I have to read them by profession), then I will say that this position is almost the most important consequence of your click on "I have read and accept."

    Modern copyright is based on the fact that having bought a disc without the consent of the author, the user cannot copy it, arrange a public display; The downloaded online program cannot be transferred to a friend. In Article 25 of the Law of Ukraine “On Copyright and Related Rights” this is called “reproduction at home for personal purposes or family circle”. There are a lot of justifications for this prohibition in legal and paralegal literature, and therefore I will not quote them. I suggest looking back at history.

    History No. 1

    In the XI century, during the Crusades in Spain, Western Europeans first encountered the combat use of fuel mixtures based on nitrate in battles with the Moors. It was gunpowder. At the beginning of the XIII century, France began work on the creation of technologies for the production and use of gunpowder, but soon all of this research was banned by the church, which called gunpowder a "devilish potion." The knowledge of his secret became a sufficient basis for burning at the stake. In 1305, near Ronda, the Arabs used the first firearms against the Spaniards - the "mods" who fired lead kernels the size of a walnut. The guns were forged welded iron pipes attached to a wooden deck. The new weapons showed such combat effectiveness that they made Europeans quickly forget the ban on the church. And three years later, during the siege of Gibraltar,

    History No. 2

    1139 year. Europe is mired in wars. The dawn of chivalry. Civil strife is generously interspersed with religious conflicts. Pope Innocent II condemned the use of a crossbow. Fearing anathema, he pointed out that crossbows are deadly, hateful to God and unsuitable for war between Christians. Views on the specific wording of the ban vary. Other sources indicate that Latera Cathedral prohibited both the crossbow and the art of archery from being used by Christians against Christians. But not the point. The reason was simple - a crossbow (and an English bow) allowed a commoner to kill a knight. All this aristocratic, clad in the cloak of murder could be hit by one arrow of the peasant. This completely violated the established picture of the world and the foundations of society. It turns out that now birth in the right tower of the castle, military training, a horse and expensive armor do not guarantee you power over any shoemaker. The ban was severe, and even the next version of the pope - Innocent IIІ re-confirmed it.
    This ban led to an interesting result - everyone who was in no hurry to follow the advice of the pope (and often it was the townspeople) began to give a worthy rebuff to the royal troops, who relied on knightly power and valor. This greatly accelerated the acquisition of autonomy by cities and the development of modern democracy. The crossbow was also widespread in Eastern Europe, allowing to restrain the dominance of given powers. A crossbow, for example, is placed on the coat of arms of one of the districts of Kiev - Podolsky.

    What do these examples from the dense Middle Ages have in common with modern copyright?

    And the fact that the ban on private copying and transfer of copyright in modern conditions, when information transfer technologies have reached unprecedented heights, looks like a ban against progress. The motive for the ban is identical - a lack of understanding of how to handle it, and how to change your established views. Copyright holders can not learn how to make money on file sharing, preferring to spend efforts on banning and blocking sites. Motivated by the belief that the right to withdraw works from free circulation leads to wealth, rightholders in expensive sparkling suits rush to fight piracy, and fall into the mud, hit by torrents.

    The first gaps in the armor have already appeared.

    By a decision of the European Court of Justice of July 3, 2012, the court ruled that the user has the right to resell the software, regardless of whether the software was purchased on a hard drive or downloaded from the Internet. The court did not accept Oracle’s position regarding these decisions, according to which such resale violated the terms of the license agreement regarding the use of software. In essence, the generally accepted principle “software is licensed but not for sale” was overturned by the court. But the court acknowledged that the doctrine of exhaustion of the rights of the copyright holder after the first sale of the copy is applied to the downloaded software.

    At the same time, the court determined some features: the user has the right to resell a copy of the software only if he himself has stopped using this program. Oracle noted that it would not be possible to actually control the user in this case. The court replied that to solve this problem there are individual digital keys for software or their analogues.

    It is important that the position of the Court of Appeal of the United States of America is the opposite - he believes that resale of the software violates the terms of the license agreement regarding the use of the copy (but if it is a hard drive, resale is allowed). This approach in the United States is also confirmed by Microsoft Corp. vs Harmony Computers & Elec., Inc. and Adobe Systems, Inc. vs Stargate Software Inc. According to these decisions, in case of transfer of software rights under a license agreement, the licensor’s right to sell such software is not protected by the doctrine of the first sale and, accordingly, is a violation of copyright.

    As we can see, unlike gunpowder and crossbow, this conflict is in full swing. But, if you look carefully, you can see that the copyright holders have to find a way to use torrents and free file sharing in their business model. There are already many examples. Our descendants will learn about those who do not want to do this from history textbooks.

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