Computer Ethics, Summer 2020 online, Class 3

5/26 miniwriting assignment:

Are the Big-Content filesharing lawsuits legitimate?
Does Big Content have an alternative? How significant are the fairness issues?
Bottom line, should these kinds of lawsuits be allowed?

Write a few sentences on the Sakai forum, or, if you really prefer, send them to me by email. I'd like them by the next class.

5/29 Paper 1

Class 3 Readings

Watch the first two videos, on filesharing and on ethical theory (in the Sakai Panopto tab)

Read all of Baase chapter 1 and sections 1-3 of chapter 4.

As of last September, it's "MPA", not "MPAA". They dropped "American".

Google as Thought Police

1. Google bans Podcast Addict app for letting users play podcasts mentioning Covid19. But Podcast App is a search engine for podcasts. allows search for non-official Covid19 information as well, and guess who is not banning that. Google is also not banning its own podcast-search app, Google Podcasts, or removing Covid19 references.

2. Google bans my events app for referencing Covid19. According to the developer, the only reference to Covid19 is in the description of the app as allowing you to find things to do during the Covid19 shutdown:

Are you thinking of things to do when bored? Or are you planning what to do tomorrow? With this app you can discover online events and movies from your favourite online platforms.

Find out online events in your quarantine like activities, meetups, cooking recipes, business and networking events. You can also filter the types of events and if they are free or paid events.

Thanks to this app, you will never be bored tonight. You have a ranking of the best movies in all online movie platforms, which will allow you to enjoy this confinement and is one of the main sources of things to do in your free time.

Note: We don’t play movies in this app. This app allows you to browse movies in your favorite platform, some of the movies are free, some not, the owners of those platforms are the ones who own the rights of the movies.

3. Banned by YouTube: Professor Karol Sikora

But this video does take some unorthodox positions. Not impossible, not all of them, but some.

4. Google Drive takes down user's personal copy of Judy Mikovits' Plandemic

Plandemic is a conspiracy-oriented video about Covid19; it repeats, for example, the allegation that Bill Gates created Covid19 so he could profit from vaccine sales. I would have to agree the video deserves to go away. But this was in an individual user's Google Drive folder. That is something that is shareable, but it's still creepy.

More at

Copyright bots and classical musicians are fighting online. The bots are winning.

The issue is probably that Content ID matches the melody (either intentionally or because of opaque machine learning), and someone else has claimed copyright on their performance of that melody.

eBay is port-scanning your computer whenever you visit (at least if your User Agent value identifies your system as Windows)

Is this bad? Creepy? A good security practice?

 miniwriting 3:

Are the Big-Content filesharing lawsuits legitimate? Does Big Content have an alternative? How significant are the fairness issues? Bottom line, should these kinds of lawsuits be allowed?

Paper topics:

samping questions: fair use? Voice? "Heart" of a piece?

Sci-Hub: do traditional publishers have a place? Does the Utilitarian copyright theory include them?

Is there something wrong with big-content infringement lawsuits? What do you think of N-strikes-and-you're-out rules? What about the claimed DMCA application to ISPs?

Did Jammie and Joel get a fair shake? Are they crooks?

Tanya Andersen

What about this statutory infringement rule? Should it allow a 30,000-to-1 ratio?

Joinder (vs the early interpretation of the DMCA that content holders could subpoena subscriber IDs without a court order)

Chapter 7 bankruptcy and "nondischargeable" debts: some taxes, child support, student loans, criminal restitution, fines, debts for physical injuries due to your negligence while driving, some credit-card purchases of luxury goods, and debts due to willful injury to a person or to property, or to malicious acts.

3-strikes programs

    Smaller fines?

Forwarded settlement threats

    Google Fiber

Prenda Law

Ebooks and DRM


What should publishers do?

Fair Use

How fair is it? How much?

Transformative use versus "Legitimate use that would never get permission"

Leval: stifling progress; "stimulating productive thought"; biographies and printing letters.

Cloud use: keeping your content in the cloud makes sense. Sharing it is another question.

How can cloud providers stay legit?

Bridgeport and Fair Use: not

Perfect 10 and search as a transformative use

Should Google allow opt-out from searching?

Effects on hypothetical markets


Cariou v Prince:

To what extent does Prince's work "stimulate productive thought"? To what extent does the "different aesthetic" rule apply to music sampling?

Copying and Reverse Engineering


Michael Eisner