[Wikimedia-l] RfC: Should we support MP4 Video on our sites?

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] RfC: Should we support MP4 Video on our sites?

Andrew Lih
On Fri, Jan 17, 2014 at 12:05 PM, Bjoern Hoehrmann <[hidden email]>wrote:

> * Andrew Lih wrote:
> >BTW, Luis from WMF has put a very lengthy and detailed analysis of the
> >legal issues that does help quite a bit, at the end of the RFC:
> >
> >
> https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Commons:Requests_for_comment/MP4_Video#Commercial_use_and_h264
>
> I note that the Wikimedia Foundation does not really have to obtain a
> license to use H.264 encoders and decoders, users could do the format
> conversions elsewhere and the Wikimedia Foundation could then "merely
> distribute" the files. As the RfC notes, "Merely distributing MP4 files
> never requires a patent license." That would spare us problems like the
> "secret contract" issue.
>

That would be the status quo. But that's also the problem -- the conversion
tools are lacking and serve as a choke point for contributions. Right now
the most ubiquitous MP4 creation devices (your mobile phone) cannot
directly upload to Commons because of this issue. (Disappointingly, this is
a reason for some Commons users to cheer/vote who simply don't like ease of
video contribution.)

Requiring users to do format conversion on their side also it makes it
extremely hard for remixing, since popular video editors don't ingest Ogg
or WebM as downloaded from Commons. You would have a situation of
MP4->Ogg/WebM conversion; upload to Commons; next user downloads Commons
Ogg/WebM; Ogg/WebM->MP4 conversion; ingest to video editor. That means
there's undesirable generation loss.


> Why does the proposal, instead, suggest the Foundation should engage in
> the practise of, not just mere distribution, but Internet Broadcasting?
> That apparently requires a patent license. For that matter, would users
> who download video automatically obtain Internet Re-Broadcasting rights?
>

Read the details and you'll see that free (as in beer) Internet Broadcast
video doesn't need a license.

SUMMARY OF AVC/H.264 LICENSE TERMS:
http://www.mpegla.com/main/programs/avc/Documents/AVC_TermsSummary.pdf

"In the case of Internet Broadcast AVC Video (AVC Video that is delivered
via the Worldwide Internet to an End User for which the End User does not
pay remuneration for the right to receive or view, i.e., neither
Title-by-Title nor Subscription), there will be no royalty for the life of
the License."



> I do note that according to MPEG LA there are only about 1300 entities
> with relevant license agreements, if putting a H.264 video on my web
> site whether people can download it is Internet Broadcasting and I do
> not obtain an Internet Broadcasting license by pressing the "record"
> button on my camera, or some other automatic process, then that figure
> is several orders of magnitude too small, or patent holders tolerate a
> lot of infringement (for the moment).
>

Yes, this is what's confusing about MPEG-LA's stance -- basically it wants
to rich entities with deep pockets near the end of the distribution chain
to pay.

This article might help, but it's still confusing:
http://news.cnet.com/8301-30685_3-20000101-264.html

-Andrew
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] RfC: Should we support MP4 Video on our sites?

Andrew Lih
In reply to this post by Nathan Awrich
On Fri, Jan 17, 2014 at 12:07 PM, Nathan <[hidden email]> wrote:

> One thing that hasn't come up in the debate is the relative importance of
> Wikimedia's approach to video, given the existing video ecosystem. YouTube
> enables cc-by uploading and has 4 million videos with a free license, and
> 6.5 million videos that are explicitly educational. Are we sure focusing on
> our own base of uploaded videos is the approach best calibrated to serving
> Wikimedia's mission?
>

"In general, downloading videos that other people have posted on YouTube is
not allowed."
https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/56100?hl=en

Most folks have concluded it's a violation of YouTube's Terms of Service.

So much for the "remix" part if you want to do it outside of YouTube's own
editor.

More here in the comments:
https://creativecommons.org/weblog/entry/27533
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] RfC: Should we support MP4 Video on our sites?

Andrew Lih
In reply to this post by Nathan Awrich
I'm not sure what debate you're referring to. If it's about whether video
belongs in Wikipedia, I don't think it's even in question.

Wikipedia started in 2001 as all text.

It didn't have photos then, we now have photos.
It didn't have audio then, we now have audio.
It didn't have video then, we now have video (albeit not that much).

Video shouldn't need special justification to be a full-fledged part of
Wikiepdia's content.



On Fri, Jan 17, 2014 at 12:12 PM, Nathan <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Fri, Jan 17, 2014 at 12:07 PM, Nathan <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> > One thing that hasn't come up in the debate is the relative importance of
> > Wikimedia's approach to video, given the existing video ecosystem.
> YouTube
> > enables cc-by uploading and has 4 million videos with a free license, and
> > 6.5 million videos that are explicitly educational. Are we sure focusing
> on
> > our own base of uploaded videos is the approach best calibrated to
> serving
> > Wikimedia's mission?
> >
>
> Actually it did come up, allow me to reproduce the comment in a vote posted
> by Brad Patrick (former WMF general counsel):
>
> I agree that the dominant file format means we need to be able to
> comprehend what is ingested. But it is not okay to ingest and spew using
> that file format if it means we are putting on someone else's intellectual
> property yoke. Commons' great benefit to the world is no-questions-asked
> reusability, and I don't want to see it compromised in this fashion,
> license freebie or otherwise. I'm with User:David
> Gerard<https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:David_Gerard>
>  on this. On the whole it is of far less importance to me as there is no
> guiding principal or idea that WMF is intended to be an *exclusive*
> repository of anything. Others do nothing but video, and that's great. I
> want there to be video, *but it is not part of a grant vision to
> out-YouTube YouTube, or Vimeo, or any other huge site with billions of
> hours of video*. User:Fuzheado<
> https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Fuzheado>
>  is right - we lack the present toolset to be able to address such volumes
> of video, and I'm not sure that's a bad
> thing.--BradPatrick<https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:BradPatrick>
>  (talk <https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User_talk:BradPatrick>) 14:45,
> 16 January 2014 (UTC)
>
> Emphasis is mine. I'm sure smart people have debated this before, can
> anyone point me to it?
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] RfC: Should we support MP4 Video on our sites?

Nathan Awrich
On Fri, Jan 17, 2014 at 2:15 PM, Andrew Lih <[hidden email]> wrote:

> I'm not sure what debate you're referring to. If it's about whether video
> belongs in Wikipedia, I don't think it's even in question.
>
> Wikipedia started in 2001 as all text.
>
> It didn't have photos then, we now have photos.
> It didn't have audio then, we now have audio.
> It didn't have video then, we now have video (albeit not that much).
>
> Video shouldn't need special justification to be a full-fledged part of
> Wikiepdia's content.
>
>
>
More specifically, if growing Commons as a repository for video in the same
way it is for images is the best use of Wikimedia resources. I'd think
lobbying Google to be more expansive in its license permissions for cc-by
YouTube videos, curating existing educational video content, etc. might
bear more fruit. Not to say that using video from Commons to illustrate
other projects isn't valuable, but hosting millions of videos not used on
any projects (as it is with images on Commons) seems like a misuse of time
and effort given the far more popular alternatives.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] RfC: Should we support MP4 Video on our sites?

Bjoern Hoehrmann
In reply to this post by Andrew Lih
* Andrew Lih wrote:

>Read the details and you'll see that free (as in beer) Internet Broadcast
>video doesn't need a license.
>
>SUMMARY OF AVC/H.264 LICENSE TERMS:
>http://www.mpegla.com/main/programs/avc/Documents/AVC_TermsSummary.pdf
>
>"In the case of Internet Broadcast AVC Video (AVC Video that is delivered
>via the Worldwide Internet to an End User for which the End User does not
>pay remuneration for the right to receive or view, i.e., neither
>Title-by-Title nor Subscription), there will be no royalty for the life of
>the License."

You need a license to enjoy this term of the contract.
--
Björn Höhrmann · mailto:[hidden email] · http://bjoern.hoehrmann.de
Am Badedeich 7 · Telefon: +49(0)160/4415681 · http://www.bjoernsworld.de
25899 Dagebüll · PGP Pub. KeyID: 0xA4357E78 · http://www.websitedev.de/ 

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] RfC: Should we support MP4 Video on our sites?

Andrew Lih
In reply to this post by Nathan Awrich
Ah. Well if you're not even buying into the legitimacy of photos on
Commons, I'm not sure there's a way to have a productive discussion about
video.

-Andrew



On Fri, Jan 17, 2014 at 2:26 PM, Nathan <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Fri, Jan 17, 2014 at 2:15 PM, Andrew Lih <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> > I'm not sure what debate you're referring to. If it's about whether video
> > belongs in Wikipedia, I don't think it's even in question.
> >
> > Wikipedia started in 2001 as all text.
> >
> > It didn't have photos then, we now have photos.
> > It didn't have audio then, we now have audio.
> > It didn't have video then, we now have video (albeit not that much).
> >
> > Video shouldn't need special justification to be a full-fledged part of
> > Wikiepdia's content.
> >
> >
> >
> More specifically, if growing Commons as a repository for video in the same
> way it is for images is the best use of Wikimedia resources. I'd think
> lobbying Google to be more expansive in its license permissions for cc-by
> YouTube videos, curating existing educational video content, etc. might
> bear more fruit. Not to say that using video from Commons to illustrate
> other projects isn't valuable, but hosting millions of videos not used on
> any projects (as it is with images on Commons) seems like a misuse of time
> and effort given the far more popular alternatives.
> _______________________________________________
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> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] RfC: Should we support MP4 Video on our sites?

Nathan Awrich
On Fri, Jan 17, 2014 at 2:37 PM, Andrew Lih <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Ah. Well if you're not even buying into the legitimacy of photos on
> Commons, I'm not sure there's a way to have a productive discussion about
> video.
>
> -Andrew
>
>
No, I think the vast repository of images, properly curated, is valuable
and useful. But Commons is still pretty close to square one with video, so
it seems natural to discuss whether it can fulfill the same role for video
content that it does for images, and whether there exists out there enough
interested reusers to make large investments worthwhile.

Reading the multimedia vision and watching the video answers some of my
questions, in that it seems the goal for videos is more limited than it is
for images. I don't think it would be of much value to have 100 million
videos where only 50,000 are used in another Wikimedia project, but judging
by the video presentation that clearly is not the WMF's goal or direction.
Some of the comments in the RFC seemed to suggest that as an object and I'm
glad that isn't the case.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] RfC: Should we support MP4 Video on our sites?

Mike Peel
In reply to this post by Andrew Lih

On 17 Jan 2014, at 19:11, Andrew Lih <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Fri, Jan 17, 2014 at 12:07 PM, Nathan <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>> One thing that hasn't come up in the debate is the relative importance of
>> Wikimedia's approach to video, given the existing video ecosystem. YouTube
>> enables cc-by uploading and has 4 million videos with a free license, and
>> 6.5 million videos that are explicitly educational. Are we sure focusing on
>> our own base of uploaded videos is the approach best calibrated to serving
>> Wikimedia's mission?
>>
>
> "In general, downloading videos that other people have posted on YouTube is
> not allowed."
> https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/56100?hl=en
>
> Most folks have concluded it's a violation of YouTube's Terms of Service.
>
> So much for the "remix" part if you want to do it outside of YouTube's own
> editor.
>
> More here in the comments:
> https://creativecommons.org/weblog/entry/27533

Doesn’t that break the terms of the CC-BY license, if not legally then at least ethically? The right to distribute copies is built into the license, no?

Thanks,
Mike


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Re: [Wikimedia-l] RfC: Should we support MP4 Video on our sites?

metasj
In reply to this post by Todd Allen
On Thu, Jan 16, 2014 at 9:14 AM, Todd Allen <[hidden email]> wrote:

> This proposal asks to move to a "free as in beer" model, where content will
> be free to view, but not necessarily to reuse


I'm not sure this is correct.

There are two different implementations possible.
* Accept MP4 and support a transcoding toolchain, but only show readers and
editors patent-unencumbered* formats.
I think this is an excellent idea, and something we should implement.

* Accept MP4 and support transcoding as above, show readers and editors
patent-unencumbered formats by default, and allow them to download the
original file if they wish.  This would allow people using toolchains that
only support MP4 to continue to edit one another's work without themselves
having to implement a transcoding toolchain on the client side. Again, the
default presentation for anyone who doesn't know what they are doing would
be unencumbered, but we would be more extensively providing a server-side
transcoding toolchain for users who do not or cannot [depending on whether
they have full control over the hardware they use].

Lionel writes:
> Most of the time it is a bad idea to upload a video without any form of
editing. Most of the time you need to
> remove at least the begining and the end of a video file.

Just because that video is incomplete doesn't mean it is a bad idea to
share.  As with text, we should be able to upload drafts and work on them
online.  This sort of basic editing is something we should support online
post-upload.  Forcing uploaders to have an offline editing toolchain in
order to be able to share material is unnecessary; the uploader doesn't
have to be the one to refine the result.

Sam.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] RfC: Should we support MP4 Video on our sites?

Victor Grigas
On Fri, Jan 17, 2014 at 3:33 PM, Samuel Klein <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Thu, Jan 16, 2014 at 9:14 AM, Todd Allen <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> > This proposal asks to move to a "free as in beer" model, where content
> will
> > be free to view, but not necessarily to reuse
>
>
> I'm not sure this is correct.
>
> There are two different implementations possible.
> * Accept MP4 and support a transcoding toolchain, but only show readers and
> editors patent-unencumbered* formats.
> I think this is an excellent idea, and something we should implement.
>
+1


>
> * Accept MP4 and support transcoding as above, show readers and editors
> patent-unencumbered formats by default, and allow them to download the
> original file if they wish.  This would allow people using toolchains that
> only support MP4 to continue to edit one another's work without themselves
> having to implement a transcoding toolchain on the client side. Again, the
> default presentation for anyone who doesn't know what they are doing would
> be unencumbered, but we would be more extensively providing a server-side
> transcoding toolchain for users who do not or cannot [depending on whether
> they have full control over the hardware they use].
>
> Lionel writes:
> > Most of the time it is a bad idea to upload a video without any form of
> editing. Most of the time you need to
> > remove at least the begining and the end of a video file.
>
> Just because that video is incomplete doesn't mean it is a bad idea to
> share.  As with text, we should be able to upload drafts and work on them
> online.  This sort of basic editing is something we should support online
> post-upload.  Forcing uploaders to have an offline editing toolchain in
> order to be able to share material is unnecessary; the uploader doesn't
> have to be the one to refine the result.
>
> Sam.
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--

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] RfC: Should we support MP4 Video on our sites?

MZMcBride-2
In reply to this post by David Gerard-2
David Gerard wrote:
>Given Commons' attitude on even incredibly unlikely copyright risks
>... it's just ridiculous to assume such a provision on a format would
>be allowed to pass.
>
>I see at least one person has deemed it a snowball-pass after just a
>few hours. I find this ... unlikely.

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Commons:Requests_for_comment/MP4_Video

Looking at the discussion, there are currently approximately 105 users
under general support, 167 users under general oppose, and 34 users under
partial support (contributions only). The few other sections have a
negligible amount of activity.

There's already discussion on the talk page about how to close what will
inevitably be a very long and contentious discussion. If we avoid treating
this RFC as a vote, there's possibly hope for a reasonable compromise.

MZMcBride



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Re: [Wikimedia-l] RfC: Should we support MP4 Video on our sites?

metasj
Yes.  The current discussion has confused people about the things that are
not very contentious:
* Ingesting and converting out of more formats is good: we should start
ingesting MP4 and converting on the fly.  There are no major legal risks to
our doing so.
* We have a tiny video community; even so we are one of the largest
collection of WebM videos on the web.  We should try to increase the global
population of WebM videos so that there is more incentive for remixers and
videographers to start playing with and using compatible tools.
* We should increase our support for toolchains for WebM and similar
unencumbered formats: by helping the major clients implement support.

If we clarify those things, a new RFC that focuses on implementing MP4
autoconversion would have more support.  It would be easier & faster if the
RFC creators chose to close discussion for now while reframing & revising
the focus of discussion.

SJ


On Fri, Jan 17, 2014 at 11:18 PM, MZMcBride <[hidden email]> wrote:

> David Gerard wrote:
> >Given Commons' attitude on even incredibly unlikely copyright risks
> >... it's just ridiculous to assume such a provision on a format would
> >be allowed to pass.
> >
> >I see at least one person has deemed it a snowball-pass after just a
> >few hours. I find this ... unlikely.
>
> https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Commons:Requests_for_comment/MP4_Video
>
> Looking at the discussion, there are currently approximately 105 users
> under general support, 167 users under general oppose, and 34 users under
> partial support (contributions only). The few other sections have a
> negligible amount of activity.
>
> There's already discussion on the talk page about how to close what will
> inevitably be a very long and contentious discussion. If we avoid treating
> this RFC as a vote, there's possibly hope for a reasonable compromise.
>
> MZMcBride
>
>
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] RfC: Should we support MP4 Video on our sites?

Fæ
On 18 January 2014 04:41, Samuel Klein <[hidden email]> wrote:
> Yes.  The current discussion has confused people about the things that are
> not very contentious:
> * Ingesting and converting out of more formats is good: we should start
> ingesting MP4 and converting on the fly.  There are no major legal risks to
> our doing so.
...
> If we clarify those things, a new RFC that focuses on implementing MP4
> autoconversion would have more support.  It would be easier & faster if the
> RFC creators chose to close discussion for now while reframing & revising
> the focus of discussion.

No disagreement with wider ingestion options, many other formats
remain tricky for our contributors including audio.

The RFC is non-neutral and unnecessarily complex. With so much
experience of trying these things, along with full time expertise, I
would hope for a more sophisticated approach from in-house WMF teams.

Fae
--
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] RfC: Should we support MP4 Video on our sites?

???
In reply to this post by Mike Peel
On 17/01/2014 21:24, Michael Peel wrote:
>
> Doesn’t that break the terms of the CC-BY license, if not legally
> then at least ethically? The right to distribute copies is built into
> the license, no?
>

How? If I upload a video to some hosting site and license it CC-BY what
does that have to do with the hosting site?




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Re: [Wikimedia-l] RfC: Should we support MP4 Video on our sites?

Andrew Lih
In reply to this post by Fæ
On Sat, Jan 18, 2014 at 5:37 AM, Fæ <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
> The RFC is non-neutral and unnecessarily complex. With so much
> experience of trying these things, along with full time expertise, I
> would hope for a more sophisticated approach from in-house WMF teams.


It is actually very complex -- legally and technically. And the MPEG-LA
licensors did not gear their licenses or documentation towards
user-generated content, or free culture projects, which makes our job
harder.

-Andrew
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] RfC: Should we support MP4 Video on our sites?

Fæ
On 18 January 2014 13:41, Andrew Lih <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Sat, Jan 18, 2014 at 5:37 AM, Fæ <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>>
>> The RFC is non-neutral and unnecessarily complex. With so much
>> experience of trying these things, along with full time expertise, I
>> would hope for a more sophisticated approach from in-house WMF teams.
>
>
> It is actually very complex -- legally and technically. And the MPEG-LA
> licensors did not gear their licenses or documentation towards
> user-generated content, or free culture projects, which makes our job
> harder.

Yes, of course. However the end RFC put to the community need not be
complex. Most of the community will not care about legal or technical
detail, they just want the conclusion.

You may wish to consider whether the technical and legal aspects might
be better explored as essays and included as background in future
proposals, not the meat of the proposal itself. Personally, were I
leading this team, I would make it a requirement that the proposal is
limited to 50 words. Punchy, factual, neutral.

For example, a simple yes/no RFC on adding an ingestion process for
MP4 video upload might now be successful. The legal aspect can be as
simple as "WMF legal has determine this poses no risk to the WMF,
uploaders or reusers, refer to <essay>" and the technical aspect could
be "See <essay> for an explanation of optimized transcoding, workflow
processes and test examples". There's nothing new in keeping it
simple.

Fae
--
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] RfC: Should we support MP4 Video on our sites?

Mark
On 1/18/14, 2:56 PM, Fæ wrote:
> For example, a simple yes/no RFC on adding an ingestion process for
> MP4 video upload might now be successful. The legal aspect can be as
> simple as "WMF legal has determine this poses no risk to the WMF,
> uploaders or reusers, refer to <essay>" and the technical aspect could
> be "See <essay> for an explanation of optimized transcoding, workflow
> processes and test examples". There's nothing new in keeping it
> simple.
>
That comes a *little* close to presupposing some consensus though, which
the RFC is in theory supposed to be actually looking for, not declaring
to have already happened. The RFC you're contemplating sounds like a
somewhat different way of saying: "A consensus has emerged that MP4
video uploading can be enabled on Wikimedia Commons without major legal
or technical problems (see [here] for details). Do you therefore agree
that it should be enabled?"

If true, that makes sense, but is there such a consensus already? I
worry that these kinds of short-and-snappy RFCs lose the
request-for-comments aspect, which is supposed to be about people
developing an understanding of a situation (including its details!) and
a consensus emerging... not just a vote, especially not a vote set up in
a way to make it easy for people to glance at a page and cast a vote
without participating in discussion or familiarizing themselves with the
details of the issues under consideration.

I guess this is more of a meta-complaint, because I don't have any
particular objection to MP4 uploading. But I worry about RFCs as
"ratification votes", especially those that seem to draw
"get-out-the-vote" efforts from third-party sites, where you get an
influx of yes/no votes from people who came in via a post on Slashdot or
elsewhere, rather than a discussion/consensus process.

-Mark


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Re: [Wikimedia-l] RfC: Should we support MP4 Video on our sites?

Marc-Andre
On 01/18/2014 10:53 AM, Mark wrote:
> A consensus has emerged that MP4 video uploading can be enabled on
> Wikimedia Commons without major legal or technical problems (see [here]
> for details)

While there are a great deal of "interesting" philosophical and ethical
questions surrounding this issue, what makes you think that the
existence of legal or technical problems is subject to consensus?

-- Marc


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