The World of Legalistic Wordplay

Whether it’s the political speeches or the corporate fine print, there’s one thing becoming increasingly clear: variations in word meanings are turning the planet into another Babel. Witness the latest word out of Russia courtesy of Gizmodo:

Basically the catch is in the definition of “distribution” under that law implies actual physical sale of pirated cassetes and disks, in case of downloads the DA office said that “Allofmp3 does not distribute copies of CD’s, but creates conditions for its users to use the content themselves”, and they don’t have an article against that. I think it’s their online encoding feature that “saved” them – with it, the user supposedly makes a copy of the song himself, and this is not something that was assumed under the anti-piracy law.

And here’s a link to a Russian blog (in English) discussing the case.

Of course much of the West has gone down this path before. But this case is a good reminder to ask ourselves: did we do it correctly? Assuming rapid prototyping becomes affordable and readily available to consumers, will the high-resolution models being created for videogames be ripped and “saved” as toys? It’s certainly possible for me to do this now – and I do not use the game’s 3D model to accomplish this. So what are the laws preventing this activity? Are there “outs”? Do they use terminology that ignores the possibilities of future technologies or methodologies the way this Russian law does and ours once did…. maybe still do? Have to wonder how many loopholes we have yet to find in the U.S. legal system.