Sinced I created I can tell you with certainty is was created by me in July of
2000. I started it after the DeCSS trials and protests here on Pearl Street in
Manahattan. The first general membership meeting announcement went out in July
of 2001. I started the website and mail list slightly earlier in August of 2000.
The fisrt meeting was at the Harvest Brewery at Union Square, on the second Floor. It was attended by:
Wendy Seltzer: Harvard graduate lawyer and founder
of the Open Law Initiative, Noah Sussman - Senior web designer for Deltathree, Sean Aurita, Joe Katz, Forest Mars, Vagn Scott - Regular NYLUG member and co-leader
of the Free-Dmitryanti-adobe protests, Lo - Regular NYLUG member, founder of GNUBBIES, graduate of NYU, Japanese translator, JoeAnn Cripps - Regular NYLUG member, Seth Johnson, Ruben Sair
The meeting melted down to a bunch of petty bickering and accomplished almost nothing, other than giving me a lesson on organization.
I had to spend three months nursing it to a breathing organization. I had the help of Joe Ercole in this regard. Joe brought order to the meetings by using Parlimentarian proceedure.
At no time through this period did the anyone in the current renegade network do anything or attend any meetings.
Finally, LO refused to be restrained by Rodgers Rules of Order. She walked out in a storm in August, clearing the way for the growth of the organizaition and the first DMCA action.
The event which drove the membership forward was the arrest of Dmitry Skylov. We worked with LXNY on the 4 month long protest through that summer. My kids, Jay and Seth Johnson were the only ones to walk the line during that period.
In August we finally were able to focus on the "Save the Libraries" campain. The first meeting on that Sunday on September 9th was with Jeanne Thewell, Vaugn Scott, Seth Johnson, Me, and joann Crips. The photo of that first real NY Fair Use action on the Events [nylxs.com] page of NYLXS. I had to break up a fight with Mr Wynkoop and Mr Scott which was started by Mr Wynkoop.
2 days later, the WTC was attacked. I decided to continue meeting and we moved from the Killarny Rose, in the shadow of the WTC to Juniors Cheese Cake coffee house in Brooklyn. We continued the actions despite plead from LO of GNUBIES telling me it was in appropriate.
We had a smashing success, mostly with just Ruben, Seth and JoAnn making the Sunday Petitioning sessions.
on October 28th I went to a town Hall Meeting and Met Schumer and Weiner for the first time for a WTC aftermath meeting. I spoke to each about the libraries. Nobody other than me showed up.
Weiner took one of our buttons.
On November 7th we planned to Meet with Congressman Weiner who is on the IP Sub-committee in Congress.
In October I started the second phase of the NY Fair Use plan and began NYLXS and the NYLXS Free Software Institute to fund the political activities. It worked as I planned. Each complimented the other but NYLXS was set up as a Democratic Organization and NY Fair Use was run strictly by me.
November 9th was the last date of Canvassing for the Save the Library Campaign.
on December 5th of 2001 we met at Weiners Office in Brooklyn. Jay Sulzburger, Kevin Mark, Vaugn Scott and Joeann Cripps made the visit with the Local Cheif of staff.
In January we got an invite to Washingto DC. My left me in January do to my increasing commitmment tothe movement and fear of another attack on NYC. We left on February 19th to DC and NYLXS paid the entire bill for going. Rich Weinberg, Mike Richardson, Paul Rodriguez, Mr Mars, and Joe Grastara went their. The photos of the trip were published in the Linux Journal.
We got lost in DC and then finally met with Lamar Robertson in his home. We polished off 2 bottles of Scotch with him and his family. Joe and I almost got into a fist fight over Middle East Politic on the ride back. We do this traditionally. :)
Paul Rodriguez and I met at Le Marais to discuss another trip to DC about the CBDTPA/SSSCA. Noone showed up but us.
In June NYLXS launched it's radio show.
In July I went to Boradeux France to present a paper on Free Software, Fair use and creating a bigger tent of Free Software education, and education in General. Seth Johnson determined the Department of Commerce was giving panel on DRM with jkack Valenti. I was looking for this oppurtunity, so despite being in Europe and arriving back in NY the day before the Panel, I authorized a trip to Wasington agian. Again it was paid for out of NYLXS funds. Richard Stallman met us in Washington. Jay Sulzburger, Seth Johnson, Vinnie, Mike Richardson, Mars, and finally we dragged Brett Wynkoop to come. Wynkoop refused to drive with us and took his own car.
We had a hugely succesful trip to the DOC. We got a lot of press, My account of the trip on July 17th is on NY Fair Use [nylxs.com] and was published in the Linux Journal. I wrote in in a single sitting.
The trip was successful because we stuck to our Slogans and were disiplined. I invented the slogan 'DRM is Theft" and 'We are the stake holders'.
After the trip, disiplin broke down. Everyone anted the credit and jelosy broke out. I got tired and wanted to focus on the NYLXS business end and asked Bret Wynkoop, who FALSLY claimed to be a co-founder to take care of the day to day operations of NY Fair Use. The DOC wanted to meet with us. It was no public, no press. I was reluctant to go, but since it was a small audience of only about 4 people, I decided to go. Jay, against my wishes, invited the whole damn world to the meeting, decreasing our effectiveness to show concreate messages and strength. I told Wynkoop not to commit NY Fair Use to it under those circumstances. He did what he wanted anyway and cybersqwatted on the www.nylxs.org domain and the www.nyfairuse.org domain.
We rebuilt the membership and returned to DC again for the Berman P2P hearings. NY Fair Use met with Congressman Weiner for 3 hours during and after the hearings in September. Gigi Sohn gave a terrible presentation representing fair use. It was terrible, except for our private one on one with the Congressman.
NY fair Use then started it's P2P action in October which was followed up untilk the LWE last month.
SO - That IS the history of NY Fair Use, and NYLXS. There is no disputing it, unless you've lost touch with reality.
Founder and President of NY Fair Usehttp://fairuse.nylxs.com
Elected President and Founder of NYLXS
Who We Are
New Yorkers for Fair Use is a group of New Yorkers
who have come together in the media capital of the world, in order to
protect a balanced Copyright in the digital age from people who would destroy
our ability to legally obtain or create digital copies of media
and use it. We see a new digital age where the easy copying of
music, video and print threatens the foundation of Copyright.
We must take action now!! This organization is formed to bring
to the front legislation which protects Copyright law and to encourage politicians
to produce balanced Copyright legislation. If we don't do something now, Copyright
will become irrelavent in the digital age. In order to protect Copyrighted works
we must assure Fair Use. Otherwise Copyright will be ignored
and piracy will destroy the foundations of the media industry!
What is Copyright?
Copyright is like love - everyone thinks they know what it is, but few actually understand what
it really means.
Historically, Copyright did not exist in western civilization. At the time of Shakespeare,
there was no Copyright.
At that time playwrights, poets, and artists would vigorously hide their works until playtime
for fear of piracy.
All poets and playwrights borrowed from each other. Shakespeare' Macbeth is a largely a copied
previous versions. It is altered by Shakespeare. He added original verse and molded the play
come down to us. Original elements are intertwined into previous versions from other
works. This was not only commonly done by playwrights, but accepted practice.
Prior to the Guttenburg Bible and the mass usage of the printing press, the reproduction of
cultural artifacts such as
literature and books of learning, was largely controlled by religious institutions like the
Catholic Church. The decreasing cost
of education and the obtaining of information challenged the political control of the Church,
and caused a social revolution. The Protestant revolution was the most visible, but not the
only result of the decreasing cost of information.
With increasing literacy and access to information, the middle class began to swell from the
ranks of peasantry.
They brought with them practical demands for works of art and learning, and the need to
produce original works of arts and sciences for business and spiritual reasons. People
started to demand control over the original creations they produced.
Copyright in Europe and Colonial
The first Copyright laws developed in Europe in response to the
increasing needs of this middle class.
By the 1600s in England, it was apparent that it was a benefit to the British nationstate
to have some control over the distribution of
certain works. Absolute control of original materials was given to Copyright holders.
Copyright was established in the law,
along with trade secret and patent laws, all designed to assure English dominance in the
industrial revolution which was slowly
taking hold. Copyrights were issued by the government on a case to case basis. Copyright
law and patents became an arm
of British colonial policy. Works on industrial processing and other areas were prevented
from being transported
out of the native isles of English Crown. This helped assure the colonial relationship of
England to her colonies,
and helped assure British sea power as well.
After the American Revolution, our Founding Fathers looked closely at the issue of Copyright
and patents. They determined
that an unlimited Copyright was inherently contrary to their aims to create a democratic
society. They recognized the need for
free association and free speech, which Copyright inherently limits. They recognized the
intrusion that Copyright presented
on individuals property rights. And most importantly, they realized that unlimited Copyright
would erode the principles of a shared
cultural heritage which we enjoy as a free people in a common civilization. Unlimited
Copyright would surely undermine a free
American Copyright is based on the constitutional precept of a limited Copyright license
designed to promote the public well being.
All Copyright law is an extension of Congressional power to limit property rights and freedom
of speech of the public through a
limited Copyright license. This power is granted from the following paragraph in the
without which Copyright would be unconstitutional:
Key to Copyright was the concept that Copyright is limited. This was a break in American law
and English common law. Congress has the power to grant Copyrights, or to not grant
Congress can revoke all Copyright protections tomorrow, and Copyright owners are without
This is different than Freedom of Speech, which is guaranteed in the 1st Amendment. Congress
can never suspend Freedom
of Speech or Freedom of the Press with the passage of a bill. The institution of Copyright as
defined by the Constitution meant
that by constitutional law, and as uphelded repeatedly in the Supreme Court, Copyright does not
supercede the constitutional
guarantees of the citizenry. Their property and freedom of speech are protected under the law.
The balance between the
exclusive rights of authors and inventors who have obtained Copyright, and the public's
inalienable rights is called Fair Use.
Fair use is the constitutional rights of citizens in respect to their legally obtained
property, which happens to be of copies
of works granted Copyright. Copyright is a privilege that is superceded by Fair Use
constitutional guarantees. Copyright
can never supercede Fair Use. Without Fair Use, Copyright makes a criminal of citizens using
Copyrighted works in support of a
free society and a free government.
|[Congress can pass Laws]
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;|
This is further codified into statutary law under the Copyright Act:
Sec. 107. Limitations on exclusive rights: Fair use
Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 106 and 106A,
the fair use of a copyrighted work,
including such use by reproduction
in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified
by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news
reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use),
scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright.
In determining whether the use made of a work in any
particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered
shall include -
(1) the purpose and character of the use, including whether
such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit
(2) the nature of the copyrighted work;
(3) the amount and substantiality of the portion used in
relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and
(4) the effect of the use upon the potential market for or
value of the copyrighted work. The fact that a work is
unpublished shall not itself bar a finding of fair use if such
finding is made upon consideration of
all the above factors.
Recent trends in the law in response to the internet and the advent of digital medium have
Among the recent laws passed which threaten Copyright is the Digital Millennium Act which
in 1998 in response to pressure from the broadcast and mass media industry in the US.
Another law recently passed which attempts to destroy Copyright is the Sony Bono Copyright
Since Copyright can not be legal without Fair Use, both of these laws, among others making
rounds on the Federal and State level,
are undermining the legal and moral foundation of Copyright. New Yorkers for Fair Use is an
organization which is determined
to protect the validity of Copyright law by protecting Fair Use and dispelling misinformation
We would like you to know, first and foremost what is a legal use of Copyrighted material and
what is not.
First of all: Can I own an idea,
song, work of art, writing or other creative work of abstract human intellect?
No - One can not own an idea, even if you created it. You can only own a limited license
Copyright or patent to exploit your idea for comercial purposes, or not to exploit it if you
Intellectual Property is a misuse of language often used to confuse people about their rights
and responsibilities. It is similar to "The Democratic Republic of China" By supporting
Copyright legislation, you can best protect your rights under Copyright.
- Copying a Copyrighted work.
- Making an archive of Copyrighted works.
- Editing a Copyrighted work.
- Distributing a quote from a Copyrighted work within an original work for the purposes of
discussing that work.
- Giving a copy of a Copyrighted work to a friend without a charge or other monetary
- Using the Copyrighted work without permission of the Copyright holder in a way the
Copyright holder did not initially approve of in its sale of the work to you.
- Destroying your copy of the Copyrighted work.
- Travelling with the Copyrighted work into a different jurisdiction.
- Selling your copy of the Copyrighted work.
- Making a copy of a Copyrighted work and selling it.
- Charging for the viewing a Copyrighted work without permission of the Copyright holder.
- Amassing a database of Copyrighted works and charging for access to that database.
- Mixing together Copyrighted works and selling your services for reading or playing that mix.
- FBI Warning on Video Tapes.
- The FBI Warning about copying a video tape is a lie. Owners of Copyrighted
material are allowed to copy the VHS Tape for their personal use. Copying is not a crime.
- Ripping CD's to MP3 files.
- This is LEGAL. Copying legally purchased Copyrighted material is a protected act
under the Constitution.
- Making copies of a Copyrighted article for a class discussion and distributing them to the
- Legal and explicit under Section 107 quoted above.
- Sharing an MP3 music file, or a cassette tape of music without charge.
- This is LEGAL unless your doing this as part of a business plan or promotion. You can have
a website full of MP3's as long as it is not a business site, you are not selling ad space etc. If you can afford it, have fun.
- Copying software in a business.
- Illegal - Don't do it.
- Copying software you own for personal use.
- Legal if no money is passing hands.
- Sell copies of software you own and no longer use.
- Legal as a second sale.