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Kazaa: Happy In the Global Legal Briarpatch 262

Posted by timothy
from the hive-mind dept.
Steve0987 writes "The Washington Post has an article on the entertainment industry's atempts to close down the file-sharing system Kazaa. I agree that copyrighted material shouldn't be freely distributed from an ethical standpoint. However, the entertainment industry has been acting in an arbitrary manner trying to impede anything remotely impinging on their industry. Go Kazaa."
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Kazaa: Happy In the Global Legal Briarpatch

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  • Obligatory... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by gearheadsmp (569823) on Saturday December 21, 2002 @01:41PM (#4936807)
    Freenet link:
    http://freenetproject.org/cgi-bin/twiki/vie w/Main/ WebHome

    Project goal is to be secure so that 3rd parties can't see what you're exchanging.
  • by swordboy (472941) on Saturday December 21, 2002 @01:41PM (#4936808) Journal
    If the article gets slashdotted, you can find it on Kazaa with the search query, Fuck Holywood.
    • Re:Just in case... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by liquidsin (398151) on Saturday December 21, 2002 @01:46PM (#4936833) Homepage
      hmmm...P2P sharing of articles to defend against the slashdot effect. It's about time KaZaA got a legitimate use ;)

      But seriously, since /. is so reluctant to set up a cache to protect the sites they link, how about a distributed /. client? Sits in your tray, checks slashdot for updates every couple minutes, and if it finds any new links on the front page, grabs them and stores them on your harddrive. Then some sort of link system on the sidebar of the mainpage ("view the cache at http://slashdot.org/p2pcache?articleID=whatever") that links us all together.
      • Re:Just in case... (Score:4, Interesting)

        by inerte (452992) on Saturday December 21, 2002 @01:54PM (#4936872) Homepage Journal
        Yeah, it's possible... you could use GnucDNA [gnucleus.net] to make a browser plug-in that would request contents of a webpage not only to its server, but also by querying the p2p network for it.

        I've tought about doing it several times, but couldn't find the time. It would not only help slashdotted websites, but anyone with large files (images, music or video).

        And if you could setup a system where the server, while saving bandwidth, compensated an user who upload the content, it would be a success.
      • Re:Just in case... (Score:3, Insightful)

        by bedessen (411686)
        Sits in your tray, checks slashdot for updates every couple minutes, and if it finds any new links on the front page, grabs them

        Sweet jeebus, you could flash-fry a server in 30 seconds with that kind of setup.

        I think it would do more harm than good, think about the wastefulness of thousands and thousands of nearly-instantaneous hits for the sites linked. Sure, it would be useful in that when you get around to reading slashdot you'd have your own local mirror ready, and if not you could get one easily. But not everyone reads every story, etc, etc. There would have to be some way for the clients to coordinate before hitting the linked site. That way they could arrange for an initial handfull of well-connected clients to get the content and then pass it on down a tree structure, kinda like the old concept of the "phone tree" that schools and church groups use. The whole point is to not hit up the server, but rather use the peer network as soon as its available.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 21, 2002 @01:45PM (#4936829)
    Just one of the powers of the DMCA, whose vagueness prohibits owning a crowbar.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 21, 2002 @01:48PM (#4936844)
    That the article makes casual mention that the programmers who wrote the original Kazaa are now working on a new program with built-in DRM, for a company called Altnet? Sound familiar? It seems this Washington Post correspondant didn't bother to investigate how Altnet is linked to Sharman Networks... Altnet is virtually Sharman Networks...

    • I doubt it. Any kind of "Hollywood Style" DRM implementation, which prohibits regular Joe Swapper from downloading a certain _available_ file would drain their userbase. If you read between the lines in the article, it says they are "looking for ways..."

      "Looking for Ways..." is another phrase for "We want to get paid"

      You and I, both know that business owners are not in it for the thrill or the adventure. The bottom line is what's important to them. They are working on a way to restrict personal downloads to a certain number, unless you upgrade your account to a low fee of (x) dollars. And that's perfectly fine.

      If I was a Kazaa user, I'd definately pay $5/month for the premium service.
      • Indeed. We should have a service that's $5-$7/mnth with unlimited d/ls, and less $ if you want to do it on a file-by-file basis.

        The key is that users would be allowed to rip their own music, but the thing would be sanctioned by the RIAA/MPAA/???. They get a cut, everyone's happy, and we can get on with what we started 10 yrs ago. Geez, it's not that hard.
  • Civil Desobedience (Score:4, Interesting)

    by famazza (398147) <fabio.mazzarino@ ... om minus painter> on Saturday December 21, 2002 @01:50PM (#4936846) Homepage Journal

    Is a way to protest against laws that you don't agree, usually associated with passive resistence.

    This means keep doing whatever you have always done ignoring the law, and of course paying the consequences. It works as a colective form o protest.

    Let's suppose that the speed limit becomes 20 mph at highways. If everybody ignore this limit then the police won't be able to fine everybody.

    The same happens here, if a considerable number of citizens ignore the way copyright works today it will be impossible to sue everyone, and of course they won't sue none of us!

    That's how it should work, passive resistence.

    • ... to make an example out of people? It's not unheard of for law makers to change the penalties for infractions of things that the populace as a majority or large minority want to be legal, and still get away with remaining in office, in power. Worse yet, those that get caught doing whatever "bad thing"(tm) that has been legislated against suffer massive penalties. I don't personally want to be the one caught if something that I enjoy doing, listening to, using, etc, gets made highly illegal in an attempt to make an example out of me to the others if I should happen to be one who gets caught.

      Regarding your speed limit argument, something to keep in mind in many states is that there is a 'resonable and prudent' clause, where certain speeds above the posted speed limit are acceptable. In Arizona, one can go up to fifteen miles per hour over the posted speed limit and not have broken the law, assuming that one can demonstrate how that was reasonable and prudent (ie, everyone was going that fast, or there was no one on the road for a mile in each direction). Those that do exceed the reasonable and prudent grey area, however, are now subject to criminal traffic citation, rather than the civil citation that normal speeding, red light running, failure to stop, etc, would qualify for.

      The only way that I could see such civil disobedience working is if it's in conjunction with pressure on lawmakers to change laws, so that when massive penalties are dealt upon parties involved, there can be a public outcry that lawmakers might feel they have to follow, else their continuing jobs will be threatened. Even then, though, I don't know if the modern system of campaign contributions, favours, kickbacks, and the like will allow for such.
    • by dirk (87083) <dirk@one.net> on Saturday December 21, 2002 @02:02PM (#4936898) Homepage
      Is a way to protest against laws that you don't agree, usually associated with passive resistence.

      This means keep doing whatever you have always done ignoring the law, and of course paying the consequences. It works as a colective form o protest.

      Let's suppose that the speed limit becomes 20 mph at highways. If everybody ignore this limit then the police won't be able to fine everybody.

      The same happens here, if a considerable number of citizens ignore the way copyright works today it will be impossible to sue everyone, and of course they won't sue none of us!

      That's how it should work, passive resistence.


      While civil disobedience is fine, that is far from what this is. Kazaa (and most other P2P systems) are built on the concept of being anonymous. That means the current P2P technology is built around not being caught and not being punished, which is anything but civil disobedience. If you want to use P2P as civil disobedience, you have to make sure the law knows who you are and what you are doing. Try using your real name as your user name. Share not only MP3s, but a file with your name and address that says you know what you are doing is illegal, and if the RIAA wants to come after you, here is where they can find you. Unfortunately, 99.999% of the people using P2P have no interest in civil disobedience, they are only interested in getting stuff for free. P2P isn't about anything but getting free shit for most people.
      • by dh003i (203189) <(moc.liamg) (ta) (i300hd)> on Saturday December 21, 2002 @02:16PM (#4936960) Homepage Journal
        No, that's what your narrow definition of civil disobedience is.

        Civil disobedience simply means peacefully disobeying the laws. That's what people of Kazaa are doing. Why shouldn't they be anonymous? Anonymosity is a good thing: it protects our privacy. Getting a law to be changed due to massive non-compliance with that law does not require publicly disclosing who's disobeying that law. Ref. prohibition. But, oh wait, according to you, all the people who drank during prohibition were wrong b/c they didn't do so openly and "accept the consequences". Of course, that's absurd: the law was unconstitutional and should never have existed in the first place. There is nothing good or noble about allowing one's self to be punished by an unjust law.
        • by dirk (87083)
          Civil disobedience simply means peacefully disobeying the laws. That's what people of Kazaa are doing. Why shouldn't they be anonymous? Anonymosity is a good thing: it protects our privacy. Getting a law to be changed due to massive non-compliance with that law does not require publicly disclosing who's disobeying that law. Ref. prohibition. But, oh wait, according to you, all the people who drank during prohibition were wrong b/c they didn't do so openly and "accept the consequences". Of course, that's absurd: the law was unconstitutional and should never have existed in the first place. There is nothing good or noble about allowing one's self to be punished by an unjust law.

          I never said the people using P2P were wrong, just that it wasn't civil disobedience. Civil disobedience wasn't why people drank during prohibition. They drank because they wanted alcohol. There is a world of difference between doing something for a "noble cause" like getting an unfair law changed, and doing something because you're cheap and want something for free. People using P2P aren't noble, their cheap. Wrapping yourself in the holy cloth of civil disobedience is an insult to those people who are actually working to change to change the law.
      • If you want to use P2P as civil disobedience, you have to make sure the law knows who you are

        You're right. In this respect sharing copyrighted files without express permission is more like disguised participation in the Boston Tea Party - deliberately making life difficult for those who would do you wrong, and violating the insane "right to profit" that seems to have popped up in this country.

        We're much more like the American revolutionaries who refused unelected sovereignty than we are like Martin Luther King playing goodcop to sympathetic but tentative white people.

        So I have to agree with both of you; it is not exactly the same as what people normally think of as civil disobedience, but it does constitute passive collective resistance in the tradition of the American revolutionaries.

      • Your line of thinking about wishing to remain anonymous conflicting with civil disobedience is, in this case, not applicable. Part of the battle that's being waged by p2p users is the battle to remain anonymous on the net. That users remain anonymous is, in itself and in the face of the radical Bush administration's regime, an act of civil disobedience. That it doesn't follow exactly the Ghandi model is beside the point.

        In this day and age, we have to broaden what it means to be civily disobedient. Using p2p isn't on its own an example of civil disobedience any more than driving seventy mph on a sixty-five mph highway would be. But, using p2p and sharing music with the intent to open the network _is_ to my mind civily disobedient. Same action, different mindset, different outcome.

        That p2p users do not turn themselves in at the local police station, request arrest under the terms of the dcma or other laws, isn't a matter here and neither is identity. The identity here belongs to the the group of users, rather than the individual.

        Perhaps it would be more fitting to term p2p use as a new revolution for independence. We have seen the irresponsible taxes that some corporations are levying on users. We have seen that our government has sided more and more of late with the oppressive acts of some of these corporations. And now we, the revolutionaries, are dumping tea in the harbor with gnutella.

        There's a line from the musical _1776_ in which Ben Franklin says that Americans at the time were subjects of the king and that never has a natural resource been so squandered. The same is true of music publishers. Phish is going to make a ton of money from users just as the Dead did years ago. They understand that respecting users loses you very little (the cost of some copying) and that disrespecting (dcma) users loses much more (napster).

        I for one am willing to say that civil disobedience now comes with a 1770's twist of revolution. So be it. The revolution will be anonymous!
    • by 2nesser (538763)
      "Let's suppose that the speed limit becomes 20 mph at highways. If everybody ignore this limit then the police won't be able to fine everybody. ... if a considerable number of citizens ignore the way copyright works today it will be impossible to sue everyone, and of course they won't sue none of us!"
      You may want to rethink your logic there. What would really happen if everyone drove 40mph over the speed limit besides the police handing out lots of expensive speeding tickets? This kind of takes me back to the playground in elementary school.
      "Just because everyone else is doing it doesn't make it ok." -- Mr. Harder, my grade 5 teacher.
      Is the bolded part of the quote a double negative?
      Yes, you will get sued.
      The probability of being caught is much lower because there are so many others who are also doing something wrong. You may be lucky and get away with it, but over time your chances of getting caught will approach 1.
    • I agree in many ways BUT..

      If there is a law that everybody breaks, that gives the police the ability to bust whomever they please, at their discetion. Thus it is a police state. In this situation, they can focus on minorities, people with warts, ex girlfriends etc. lol

      Seriously, most laws are like that. Everybody breaks the speed limit, and this allows the police to pull over anybody they care to pull over, legally. Thats why, in CA, they pull over mexicans who are driving the same way as the white guy in the lexus ahead of him.

      wHAT WE NEED ARE LESS LAWS THAT MAKE SENSE. 'Too many laws' + "masses of people ignoring the law' = discrimination. =class society. =assholes =poor getting poorer through fines =we are fucked.

  • I agree (Score:2, Insightful)

    by cdrj (556227)
    Kazaa has basically made it too easy to pirate all things. Before, because of the inherent difficulty involved, (FTP, IRC, etc...) some people were prevented from doing so. Now, everyone looking for an alternative to Napster, has begun to pirate much more than just games. I feel that sooner or later, the majority of consumers will pirate software, rather than vice versa.
    • Re:I agree (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Rogerborg (306625) on Saturday December 21, 2002 @02:12PM (#4936942) Homepage

      While we're at it, let's ban Colt semi-automatic pistols, Saab cars, and Hitachi VCR's, because they're all specific examples of technology that can be used for bad things. That'll set an example, and everyone will stop making and using that technology and we can put the genie back in the bottle, right?

      Alternatively, we could live in the real world. Remember Napster? When that was destroyed, people moved to Kazaa. Destroy Kazaa, and people will move to Morpheus. Destroy Morpheus, and they will move to (e.g.) Gnutella. Destroy Gnutella (how?) and they'll move to Freenet. Destroy Freenet and, well at that point we've destroyed the internet in its current form. Let's give ourselves Ashcroftian superpowers and pretend we can do it. Do that, and people will go to BBS's or to Neighbourhood Area Networks. Do what you like, people will keep sharing.

      Are you getting it yet? We can't put the genie back in the bottle. So go ahead and destroy Kazaa if it makes you feel good. The War on Sharing is about as winnable as the War on Drugs or War on Terror. They all have the same purpose anyway: making the hard-of-thinking feel safe and happy and protected. So you enjoy your cozy little fantasy world. Send us a postcard!

      • Re:I agree (Score:2, Insightful)

        While we're at it, let's ban Colt semi-automatic pistols, Saab cars, and Hitachi VCR's, because they're all specific examples of technology that can be used for bad things.

        I can't agree with that. I think it's fair enough to consider something bad, even worth banning, if the vast majority of its uses are illegal. Hence I want to see guns made illegal (and they are generally here). Cars and VCRs are generally not used more than 90% of the time for illegal things. Cars can kill people but they aren't meant for that and are hardly ever used for that. VCRs can pirate videos, but because of the complexities involved and loss of quality, they're mostly used for timeshifting TV programs and renting videos.

        Kazaa on the other hand is practically all college students swapping gigs of ripped MP3s, games, warez, porn etc. If anybody here thinks Kazaa is mostly used for anything else, they're insane. Although it could be used for say load balancing of large downloads, it practically never is, so in this case yeah, I wouldn't mind seeing it banned. The load reduction on the backbone and speedup for the rest of us would certainly make it worthwhile.

        These guys don't even have the excuse of it being a good cause like the Freenet guys do. They just want pop music, hit games, and expensive pro level software for nothing.

        The War on Sharing is about as winnable as the War on Drugs or War on Terror. They all have the same purpose anyway: making the hard-of-thinking feel safe and happy and protected.

        Unwinnable perhaps, but definately worth it. I'd rather see us fight an unwinnable war against drugs if it means there are fewer crack dealers on the street, even if it isn't possible to eliminate them entirely.

        • Worth it? For what possible reason? The ONLY one that seems plausible to me is that it's to increase the amount of government control. That's the ONLY one.

          I'm not saying whether that's a good reason or not. That's a separate judgement. I just can't think of any other convincing reason. (Unless you assert that political corruption is even more extreme than I tend to accept.)
      • Re:I agree (Score:3, Insightful)

        by t0qer (230538)
        Let's give ourselves Ashcroftian superpowers

        Lately i've seen this commercial run alot lately. Is this what you mean by Ashcroftian Superpowers?

        [Ashcroft comes in stage left]
        [Ashcroft]Hi i'm josh ashcroft, head of Homeland security, a newly formed branch of the goverment dedicated to fight the threats we face today.
        [wipe to ground zero 9/11]
        We're looking for patriotic americans who want to help their country protect its citizens from these threats. There are many exciting oppertunities for those americans
        [wipe to 4 panel picture showing congress building, american flag, an astronaut, and some field of wheat]
        We're offering training to qualified individuals to pursue these careers
        [fade to two dumb looking rent a pigs with shit eating grins on their faces]
        -----end commercial-------

        I saw that commercial and I was sooo pissed. Here i've been eating ramen for the last 2 years, and the best GWB has to offer us now is a rent a pig job?? I mean fuck, cmon people wake up.

        9/11 was bad, very bad. Nothing good at all could have ever come from it. It just feels a little too weird and paranoid right now though. Police departments everywhere are hiring, security guard companies are hiring, the Army gave a 35 yro tow truck driver buddy of mine a 18k enlistment bonus to drive gas tankers. The writing is on the wall folks, I think for the first time in a long time, america is going to war.

        The thought of a draft is very scarey to me. All of the slashdot employees are of draft age, they should think about it too. The times ahead are nothing I want to be heading into. The turmoil of this paranoia vortex will rip this country to shreds.

        It's bad times right now.
        • A draft? Are you crazy? The last thing the military wants is for a bunch of people who do not wanan be there, fighting a war.
          • A draft? Are you crazy? The last thing the military wants is for a bunch of people who do not wanan be there, fighting a war.

            You are, of course, absolutely correct. Which is why President Boy George *HAS* to destroy the economy enough to get a million more Americans unemployed by the middle of next year. Only poor people (for the most part) will take the risks necessary to be soldiers. Or as the famous sign goes that got a man jailed at a pro-Bush rally for the crime of sedition, [post-gazette.com] "The Bushes must truly love the poor -- they've made so many of us."

            If you give a man the choice between his family starving to death, and joining the Army, he will be happy to join the Army, and will do what it takes to stay in the Army, including killing plenty of Jews^h^h^h^hMuslims (whoops, sorry, got caught in a 70 year old time warp). The same deal is why Reagan torpedoed the economy in the early 80's when he needed to build up the U.S. military to the point where it would be capable of taking on the Soviet menace (as defined by the CIA's ridiculous exaggerated Soviet military strength figures, which had the Soviets aiming close to a million tanks at Western Europe). What, you don't remember Reagan torpedoing the economy in the early 80's? Tsk tsk. What a short memory you have...

    • "I feel that sooner or later, the majority of consumers will pirate software, rather than vice versa."

      Rather than sofware pirating the majority of consumers? What is this, Soviet Russia?
    • I feel that sooner or later, the majority of consumers will pirate software, rather than vice versa.

      The majority of software will pirate consumers?

  • Notoriety (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Bob Bobbinson (574371) on Saturday December 21, 2002 @01:51PM (#4936854)
    The music companies did win their case against Napster, and we all know that Napster is dead and buried because of this, but would we all have known about Kazaa if the Napster wrangle had never been made so public? I can remember using Napster in it's very early forms, and very few people back then had even heard of an MP3 file, let alone peer-to-peer or Napster. Now even my aunt and uncle who have only just recently bought their first ever PC have Kazaa nicely installed on their computer. Surely something like as high profile as this will surely turn out to be will just be another shot in the foot for the music and movie industries. Especially if they don't end up closing it down, just think how many more people will know about it.
    • Re:Notoriety (Score:2, Informative)

      by einTier (33752)
      No, they did not win. Napster ran out of money to fight, sold out to Bertlesmann, and there was no point in pursuing the case any further.


      You make it sound like Napster actually went to court and was found guilty by a judge and a jury -- when in fact, they never got to the trial stage at all.


      You don't have to be right when you have enough money to sue the other guy into bankruptcy.

  • by EvilAlien (133134) on Saturday December 21, 2002 @01:54PM (#4936869) Journal
    They are doing far more damage to their bottom line by these petty holy wars against P2P than P2P could do, even if the claims that people no longer buy music could be supported.

    What is happening is that the industry is bludgeoning the public with their short-sightedness, forcing everyone to realize that far too much money gets page to music publishers, far too little rights actually belong to the artists themselves, and the big sell-outs like Metallica (s/big/has-been/) who jump on the "STOP THIEF!" bandwagon even damage and (prematurely?) end their own careers due to the PR fiasco.

    Its time the recording industry focused on making music and less on making headlines.

  • impinging (Score:2, Funny)

    by vudmaska (584760)
    [anything remotely impinging] Isnt that what you do when you see if your chat buddies are on line?
  • by indiigo (121714) on Saturday December 21, 2002 @02:00PM (#4936890) Homepage
    Free.

    So they shut down Kazaa. The Consumer available models of file trading are all gone? No, more effort put into efforts like freenet, or Edonkey, or much more sophisticated methods that are decentralized, encrypted, and much more difficult to shut down?

    No, witness DC++, which is 99% warez, and no efforts to shut that down.

    What they don't realize is people want this, they can get it, and their efforts truly are being wasted. At least the Motion Picture industry is attempting to head them off at the pass with their own service ramp-up.

    For music? It's too late, they have lost the battle for distribution. And to think, if they had their own distribution model in 1998, we would likely all be paying for it, and be happy!
  • by HanzoSan (251665) on Saturday December 21, 2002 @02:00PM (#4936891) Homepage Journal


    Theres two options.

    Option A, people who make something always own what they make forever.

    Option B, people who make things share what they make with all of humanity.

    The same arguement which claims we should have software be open source because it benifits the whole instead of one part of the whole is the same arguement we use with file sharing.

    More people benifit from file sharing than those who dont, the purpose of technology is to benifit the people.

    When deciding what is more ethical, I look at patents as something mythical in my world, I do not know anyone who owns a patent in anything. I know musicians like my mother or my father who both make music but never made any money.

    I make music but I never make any money. I know artists who when they make art because they have to begin to not like drawing anymore. Some things are meant to be an art, and some things are meant to be a business.

    Its not very logical to try to turn bits of information into a product, it doenst benifit the majority of the people in this world. People in africa cannot buy medicinee because of this. People in afganastan cannot get educated because of patents on books. People in the USA cannot learn programming or be productive in todays society because of patents.

    Why do we need patents? So a few hundred people can make billions of dollars? How does this help me? IT doesnt, I benifit more from Open Source than I do from closed source because I have no money.

    I benifit more from file sharing because if there were no napsters and gnutellas of the world I simply wouldnt have the money to listen to music AT ALL, PERIOD.

    • by bogie (31020) on Saturday December 21, 2002 @02:41PM (#4937050) Journal
      "I benifit more from file sharing because if there were no napsters and gnutellas of the world I simply wouldnt have the money to listen to music AT ALL, PERIOD."

      Well there is something called a radio.

      Fuck the RIAA and all that, but don't act like your downloading music is some sort of humanitarian benefit to society. People download because A) they could care less about copyright B) they're tired of overpaying for CD's or C) they think its some form of protest against the record companies and/or copyright. The no money arguement is bogus. If you have no money, do without. Music isn't included in the basic Food, Clothing, and Shelter need we all have.

      Morally I could care less about downloading music and I would never hold anything against someone who does. I simply don't care enough. But file sharing is no big benefit to society, its a convenience pure and simple for those who fit in one of the categories I described above.

      • But file sharing is no big benefit to society, its a convenience pure and simple for those who fit in one of the categories I described above.

        Wrong. File-sharing has dramatically increased the average societal interest in music. It has increased interest in modern music, old-time hits, and classical music. This is a good thing.

        Thus, file sharing has been a big benefit to society.
      • I buy CD's that I like. But how can I tell if I like them unless I can hear them? They have listening stations for some CD's is stores, but you can't hear everything that way...

        So when I run across music I like, I download the CD. If I like two songs or more, I usually buy it. If I only like the one song I heard, then I don't, and delete all the files - after all, why would I want a bunch of crappy music hanging around?

        I use Limewire as a tool very much like radio to help me maximize my music purchases, not any of the reasons you listed. And that's the way it should be thought of in my mind. You can tape off radio or download music of dubious quality from Limewire. What's the diifference?
    • Patents are there so people will share their knowledge and in return they get exclusive rights to their patent for a while. So yes, permanent patents are a problem because it defeats the whole purpose, but that's a different debate. Maybe you're just used to seeing stupid one-click patents, which are indeed, stupid. But there are much better uses for patents and history shows that inventors that don't get compensation for inventing will in fact, not invent. Go figure.

      Artists don't like to make money? What kind of argument is that? Yes, I'm sure some artists don't like to make money, I won't touch that. But ... why are you telling other artists that do want to make money, that because your family didn't make money off art, that it's okay to steal their work?

      IT doesnt, I benifit more from Open Source than I do from closed source because I have no money. Right. The solution is to find free music. People that do agree that artists don't want to get paid. Even RMS himself uses a license, to protect the rights of ... of ... guess who? The creators. Even if your family wrote code for years for public domain, I bet RMS would be upset that you thought it was okay to violate the GPL because of it. How would you feel if the RIAA tried to violate the GPL?

      • So why do we need patents? You are sharing your knowledge now, Do you need to patent this quote and sell it?

        Artists can make money without patents, its called selling services instead of the music itself, selling the service of actually making the music.

        If you buy a hamburger from mc donalds you arent really paying for the beef and bread you are paying for them to prepare you a burger on command.

        So why cant musicians make money by playing in concerts and creating music for their fans?

        Let the musician sell his own Mp3s.
    • While you make many good points about patents, you also ignore the other side, which is many things would never be invented if there were no patents. You complain about people in poor countries not being able to afford medicine, which is a legitimate point. But without patents, these medicines would not be available to anyone, because they never would have been invented. Patents encourage people to spend the money it takes to design something new, because they know they will have the opportunity to make that money back by having a monopoly on it. If there were no patents, medical companies would not put millions of dollars into R&D for a new drug, because after they were finished, another company could market the exact same drug at a much cheaper price because the second company didn't pay anything for R&D.

      Patents are not the problem. Patents are a good thing that encourages innovation. Unlimited patents are what is the bad thing. People need a reason to spend their money on developing new things, and patents provide them that reason. But after a reasonable amount of time, their inventions should go back into the public domain to encourage further work.


      • There is no R&D when it comes to producing information. I can understand you patenting a physical process, or even a physical item which costs you millions of R&D to produce, for a very short period of time such a patent should apply, maybe 2-5 years, allowing you to profit, but no, these patents last almost 100 years.

        Its currently out of control, the R&D for drug research, you should not be able to patent the ingredients or information, you should be able to patent the physical product, the tools used to create the product, and you dont have to tell people how you physically create the product you create.

        However the information itself should never be patented. People can make money selling products, people can make money selling services, but there is no need for patents, these patents hold back innovation more than helping, these patents keep the majority of this planets population poor, billions of people in africa, india, china all make up the majority of humanity and these people are poor because of patents.

        In an entirely open world, these people could do their own R&D to cure their own diseases, they could release the ingredients to the cure, companies in the USA would still have to BUILD the machines and factories to make the cure, they'd sell the medicine still, but you'd sell he physical OBJECT, not the information!

        So if you buy something you are paying for labor and not ideas.



      • Innovation comes from knowledge and sharing of information.

        You'll make better music if you listen to more music and have access to better tools.

        You'll be smarter if you read more books and with this intelligence you can use this knowledge to give back to the world in the form of your own knowledge.

        Its give and take, its not like you can pay for innovation, you cannot, you can pay for products, you can pay for people to give information they already have away but the fact is people would create and distrubte information even if they dont make money doing it.

        People do it on the internet now, giving away files and information when they arent being paid to do so.

        Innovation does not need to be encouraged, theres no short supply of innovation, its natural, selling innovation is like selling air.

        You have a point people need a reason to spend their money to develop new things, and things which cost alot to develop will make money, my point is not that a person shouldnt have exclusive right to sell what they create, they definately should have the exclusive right to sell what they create if they created it

        What they DONT have the right to do, is to stop people from giving away what they buy. IF I buy information I should become an owner of that information as well, giving me the ability to give it away if I want to.

        Information should not be owned, products should be owned.

        Microsoft can say that I dont have the right to sell Microsoft Windows and I'd agree with them, but If I give it away for free they have no right because I'm not taking anything away from them, the person I gave it to for free wouldnt have purchased it anyway.

        Just like If i give away the cure for aids to africa, American drug companies shouldnt be able to sue me because I didnt create and sell a bottled drug, I just gave them the ingredients.

        How can you sue me for giving the ingredients? This is what I mean when I say I'm against patents, I'm not against Capitalism or making money off of ideas, I'm against people who claim that when I buy something that I cant do what I want with it.

        I can do whatever I want with anything I buy. If drug companies want to make money in a world with no patents they can sell drugs to the goverments itself, simply sell the drugs to the governments before you release your ingredients. This is like what Lindows does, they sell the OS beefore they give the code.

        Redhat does this too you can get the code but theres reaosns for you to buy the product instead of just taking the code and creatinng your own.

        • If you were to give them the ingrediants, there would be no problem. If you bought the drug and then gave the drug to peopl ein Africa, there would be no problem. But you are proposing taking the information that cost a drug company millions (if not billions) of dollars to develop and giving that away, so the drug company will no long make money. Just because you don't make any money on the deal doesn't change anything. If I steal a car, I'm wrong. It doesn't matter if I give the car to a homeless person or not.

          You are suggesting taking the recipe for a drug, that the company paid millions of dollars to develop, and making it available so that any company can make the drug. This means these later companies can sell the drug at a much cheaper price, since they don't have any up-front money invested in the drug. If a company is not guaranteed at least a chance to make it's money back before another company starts making an exact copy of their drug, they will not expend millions of dollars to develop new drugs, because they know there is no way to make money doing it. Owning the drug does not mean you own the rights to make the drug and distribute it (either for money or for free). You can do what you want with what you own, the actual tablet that is the drug. Buying a copy of Linux doesn't give me the right to use the source code however I want (such as in closed source apps), even though the source is part of what I actually paid for.

          • The information are the ingredients, dont you get it?

            The drug company does not need to patent the information to make money off of it. Look at redhat, they dont own linux, they spend millions helping to develop it, and they profit off of it.
            • That's because they can offer something no one else can, support. There is nothing like this for most products, especially drugs. Also, you have to consider the money RH puts into Linux is nothing compared to what MS puts into Windows. Linux is mostly free, and they sell support for it. If a drug company develops a drug, you are selling the drug, there is no other "offshoot" product such as support that they can make money from. If they sell drug X at $5 and another company can sell drug X at $1 because they don;t have any costs to recoop, people will buy the drug from the other company. These wouldn;t be similar products, or competing products, these would be the exact same product, which means the cheaper product wins.
    • Its not very logical to try to turn bits of information into a product, it doenst benifit the majority of the people in this world.

      Nonetheless, it IS necessary. We operate under capitalism, and capitalism works by rewarding people for resources they produce. A tin of beans is a resource. The girl at the checkout is selling a resource (her time/skills). Lawyers sell resources (their services).

      These things are resources because they are scarce - they are tied down to something in the physical world, either a physical object (a tin of beans) or time (a service).

      Creative works are not bounded by these rules - once made, they cannot be unmade, and they can be copied for zero cost. Capitalism cannot deal with this situation, so stop things going wrong we try and pin creative works, either to something physical (CDs/DVDs/books), or in time (patents/copyrights).

      This is the only way that people can make a living out of producing non-scare resources. Without it, there would be no way that people could produce these things full time.

      Until somebody reinvents capitalism, we're going to be stuck with these systems, imperfect as they are.

      • Under real capitalism there are no copyrights, not only is copyright and patents anti capitalism, its against the constitution as well because it prevents freedom of speech.

        You can argue that some products DO need patents, and I might agree with you that products which take millions to produce need patents for a set amount of time, such as movies, highly expensive cures to diseases, etc, but you can patent the physical device without patenting the information on it.

        Example, you make a drug, you can have it so you are the only company in the world who can make this drug, yet the ingredients for the drug are free.

        WHat about movies? You can make it so you are the only one who is able to sell this movie, but people can copy it themselves for free.

        Most people do not have their own personal drug factories, so medicine companies will still be able to make plenty of money ot make up for R&D, movie companies will make less money until they increase the quality to a level which we cannot reproduce on our home PCs.

        The information however should always be public domain and free, the right to sell it should not be free, the right to look at it, use it, read it and share it should be free.

        This means a musician has the EXCLUSIVE right to sell their music, but if you copy and give it away they cannot do anything about it because no ones making money off of it. Thats how the laws should be, patents are not needed, just the exclusive right for the creator to profit off of what they made.
    • Option A, people who make something always own what they make forever.

      Option B, people who make things share what they make with all of humanity.

      You are simplifying the situation way too much. Consider:

      Option C, people make things and sell them to individuals, who then own them.

      Option C is the way business works.

      The same arguement which claims we should have software be open source because it benifits the whole instead of one part of the whole is the same arguement we use with file sharing.

      Actually, the reason software should be open source (in the long run, at least) is as follows. At least as a sequence of bits, software doesn't suffer from age. As long as you could get reliable hardware to run your bits on, software should live forever, unlike chairs, cars, books, and other tangible goods which need replacing. Once you have software that performs a certain task, it should never need replacing. Furthermore, once you have open source software that does functionally the same thing, no one will be able to make money from selling equivalent proprietary software.

      In other words, it's just a matter of time before the following situation develops:

      • All common and/or interesting software (operating systems, office automation s/w, video card drivers, etc) is open source.
      • All special-needs software (embedded systems s/w, customer-specific s/w) is proprietary.
      Of course, since special-needs is defined by whatever hackers think is boring, most software will eventually be open sourced.
  • by Catharsis (246331) on Saturday December 21, 2002 @02:05PM (#4936909) Homepage
    My memory is a bit sketchy in places, but I am sure y'all will fill in the blanks with /.'s usual enthusiasm.

    So we begin.

    A few internet cowboys, seeing the demise of Napster, cobble together Kazaa -- a decentralized filesharing network.

    Originally, the software was licensed for distribution under three names, Kazaa, Morpheus, and Grokster, each of which was essentially the same program, with a different skin.

    Kazaa was known for making an attempt at placating the record industry by only allowing lower bit-rate songs to be downloaded, whereas Morpheus had no such restrictions.

    Forgive my lack of knowledge about Grokster -- the programs were all so close to identical that I never tried it.

    Now, Kazaa came under legal fire in the Netherlands, but didn't get an official shut down.

    Fearing their investments (and possibly their freedom), the original owners of Kazaa sold Kazaa to Sharmin Networks, who are perhaps the dodgiest software company I've ever seen.

    Sharmin is also infamous for their spyware, and Bonzi Buddy. I can't remember who the founder was -- and Sharman Network's web page has mysteriously disappeared, but they were involved in some great scandal in Australia, and even a cursory Slashdot search (of the kind I'm unwilling to do on a saturday morning) will turn up the details, undoubtedly.

    Sharmin was the one who loaded up Kazaa with enough spyware to make Back Orifice look like a legitimate client application, and has a EULA including a clause giving Sharmin permission to use your clock cycles, bandwidth, and hard drive space however they want.

    This was part of what is known now as AltNet, Sharmin's answer to the Seti@Home project, or ud.com's Cancer curing project. Turn Kazaa users into a giant super computer... And then sell the time to the highest bidder.

    Only one problem -- Kazaa's reputation was so bad, everyone was using Morpheus, who's tagline was something along the lines of "File-sharing without spyware".

    Kazaa responded by ejecting Morpheus from their network by poisoning all the Kazaa hosts that upgraded to the new version. Any Morpheus client that touched an infected node was killed -- Kazaa overwrote a part of your registry to ensure you would never be able to use Morpheus again.

    Around that time, they put up a button on the front of their site offering amnesty for refugees in this file-sharing client war, and Morpheus released Lime-Wire as Morpheus 2.0b.

    Basically, the new morpheus was an old fork of the limewire code with an M for a logo, and was just a klunky gnutella client. There was some hullaballoo about open source this, and no source code that, and then Morpheus released the code again. Checking their web page now, they claim to have a final 2.0 out, but I haven't used it and cannot vouch for its quality.

    Since then, Sharman Networks has been keeping a fairly low profile, and a hacker named Yuri has started releasing KazaaLite. KazaaLite is not a stripped down version of the software, so much as a stripped down version of the installer.

    One without Bonzi Buddies, or yellow link underliners (remember that little ad-fad?) or any of the other myriad hacks and stupidities which Kazaa inflicts on your system.

    KazaaLite does actually include a few patches to the executable, mostly to ensure Kazaa can't monitor your usage or install spyware on your system, and new versions are released with some regularity.

    Well. Now we're up to the current date, with somewhat foggy bits along the way, and probably a few confused details by myself. I would appreciate any clarifications or corrections, as this all came from memory.

    Cheers, and remember: KazaaLite is the answer.
    • Excellent history overall, but Morpheus 2.0b was not based on LimeWire. It was based on Gnucleus.
    • by The J Kid (266953) on Saturday December 21, 2002 @03:47PM (#4937315) Homepage Journal
      You're account is slightly wrong in certain places...let me see:

      A few internet cowboys, seeing the demise of Napster, cobble together Kazaa -- a decentralized filesharing network.

      Nope, a Dutch software firm set up a daughter firm called FastTrack which set out to make a File-sharing program. They (seemingly from the article) got a few Estonians to make it. The software was targeted at business. To get more intrest from businesses they made a Public version called KaZaA, which they housed in another daughter firm (called KaZaA).

      Originally, the software was licensed for distribution under three names, Kazaa, Morpheus, and Grokster, each of which was essentially the same program, with a different skin

      correct.

      Kazaa was known for making an attempt at placating the record industry by only allowing lower bit-rate songs to be downloaded, whereas Morpheus had no such restrictions.

      This move made KaZaA a tad bit less popular, and Morpheus got a few more users out of it.

      Now, Kazaa came under legal fire in the Netherlands, but didn't get an official shut down.

      They did come under legal fire: They had to pay (i think) a million Euro's a day, for each day the network was still active. KaZaA said that it couldn't be shut down because it was "more p2p than napster" (which is true, but not to the extent of Gnutella for instance)

      (inbetween here is correct)

      Only one problem -- Kazaa's reputation was so bad, everyone was using Morpheus, who's tagline was something along the lines of "File-sharing without spyware".

      Kazaa responded by ejecting Morpheus from their network by poisoning all the Kazaa hosts that upgraded to the new version. Any Morpheus client that touched an infected node was killed -- Kazaa overwrote a part of your registry to ensure you would never be able to use Morpheus again.


      Nope...Morpheus was kicked off the FastTrack Network because it hadn't paid it's bills! (In the same move they kicked off giFT, the GPL FastTrack program..) Sharman did this by encripting it's login-servers authencation system.

      Though by doing that they actually showed that KaZaA could be stopped, as Morpheus was now left with no central login servers. However, downloads allready begun could be finished & if you had a network of pure Morpheus users around you, you could still search each other.

      Around that time, they put up a button on the front of their site offering amnesty for refugees in this file-sharing client war, and Morpheus released Lime-Wire as Morpheus 2.0b.

      Basically, the new morpheus was an old fork of the limewire code with an M for a logo, and was just a klunky gnutella client. There was some hullaballoo about open source this, and no source code that, and then Morpheus released the code again. Checking their web page now, they claim to have a final 2.0 out, but I haven't used it and cannot vouch for its quality.


      Correct info, wrong name...it was gnucleus. However, this move did have massive impact on the Gnutella network (which gnucleus, limewire, bearshare, shareaza, etc. use). The network just couldn't handle the massive increase in non-sharing bandwidth slurping morpheus users. (Not all, but most of them actually are that)

      - the rest is correct -

      Well. Now we're up to the current date, with somewhat foggy bits along the way, and probably a few confused details by myself. I would appreciate any clarifications or corrections, as this all came from memory.

      You have a good memory, but my part is also from memory, though I actually read a article about it (in the time that KaZaA (the Dutch firm) was under legal fire.

      Cheers, and remember: KazaaLite is the answer.

      Well, ehm, partly. For now it is, though I would advise you to run giFT (gift.sf.net) under linux. It now has a FastTrack-Network lookalike plugin: OpenFT. Really cool. Scales well & really fast searches.

      In the long run w'll probably want to run Freenet, but that isn't going to be done for a very long time.
  • by tanveer1979 (530624) on Saturday December 21, 2002 @02:06PM (#4936919) Homepage Journal
    RIAA MPAA have filed a suit against the ear. Apparantly people were storing data in neural networks without paying royalty using a highly sophisticated device ear. This device actualy can work around any copy protection mechanism to feed data into a neural network. Moreover this data can be broadcoast to other nodes using another devilish creation called the mouth and while doing so it rips of copy protection from stolen data.

    The Courts have shown favourable response to the petition.. after all they dont want our poor homeless singers and bands to suffer. Probably earplugs will become mandatory at concerts.. insider sources said.

    "Due to this stealing, our artists are so poor. Look at the music videos, they dont even have clothes to wear and have to appear in undergarments" said a RI** executive.
  • by DuctTape (101304)
    I'll assume that Tallinn, Heinla and Kasesalu have no current plans to visit the U.S. anytime soon.

    I know who'll meet them at the airport.

  • yeah, the Subj is a bad one, I know.

    Anyway, the MPAA went after individual users on ATTBI and ATTBI responded by shutting those people off for TOS violations. Basically, don't share files and they can't really catch you.

    There was a quote in the article, something like "it's software that allows you to request a file and download it, that's all it does". It's not illegal to do that, we have been using programs to req. files and download them for years (BBSs, FTP, etc).

    Asking for the source to the software to find out "how it works" is non-sense. They know perfectly well how it works. It's P2P just like any other sharing program these days.

    I'm sorry that people abuse the software. That's not the fault of the programmers or the 5% of the Kazaa userbase (a large number no doubt) that use it for legitimate reasons.

    Go after those people that are sharing the stuff. If you can't find them, I'm sorry. That's not Kazaa's problem.
  • I seem to remember an artivle from a year or so back dealing with Kazaa. The article stated that instead of going after Kazaa, which has failed in the past, the lawsuits would be against FastTrack, and forcing them to shut Kazaa's p2p abilities down. Is Kazaa still based of FastTrack's p2p?
  • by WildBeast (189336) on Saturday December 21, 2002 @02:24PM (#4936989) Journal
    If they shut it, something else will come along. It's not as if Kazaa is the only p2p program.
  • LEGITIMATE USE!!! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Cyno01 (573917) <Cyno01@hotmail.com> on Saturday December 21, 2002 @02:27PM (#4937000) Homepage
    Me and some of my friends just shot a short film(sort of) and have been distributing burned CDs with the movie in several formats (*.mov, *.mpg and DivX'd *.avi) and with a readme file on the cd urging people to share these files on KaZaA, gnutella etc. and to burn copies for their friends. Now to me this seems like a perfectly legitimate use of both CD burners and P2P file sharing. I'm not naieve enough to not think that 99% of whats on P2P nets is copyrighted (its against the law, but i'm not morally opposed to it as i have 100+GB of tv shows on my computer) but what about the other 1%. These are easy means of distribution to independent content producers, if they're shut down, what are we supposed to do.

    PS: Anyone interested in a Star Wars Themed Mullet Hunting video(complete with rotoscoped duel) search KaZaA for Mullet Wars: Episode One the Phantom Mullet or star wars mullet or something of the likes, also feel free to e-mail me about it.

  • by MenTaLguY (5483) on Saturday December 21, 2002 @02:36PM (#4937027) Homepage

    I agree that copyrighted material shouldn't be freely distributed from an ethical standpoint.

    If that's the way we're talking, then the RIAA have already won. There are plenty of legitimate circumstances to distribute a lot copyrighted material -- and that's not even getting into fair use yet. Consider examples in software [gnu.org], or other types of media [creativecommons.org].

    It's not an issue of copyright per se, it's an issue of what's permitted by the license.

  • by Murdoc (210079) on Saturday December 21, 2002 @02:36PM (#4937029) Homepage Journal
    Of course the whole reason companies are trying to shut stuff like this down is because it is "stealing". A lot of us don't care because these same companies are so rich that any *actual* losses they incur (as opposed to their *projected* losses that assume that if everyone who pirated music were to buy it they would make), are negligable at best. Then comes the arguement that the artists are losing out, and so on.

    Of course I wholeheartedly beleive that artists deserve something for their work, and certainly deserve a decent living (don't we all?) The fact that they either have to use their art to make money or get an unrelated job that impinges on their artistic efforts is simply a symptom of our ever-present scarcity economics. Wouldn't it be nice if artists (and programmers, and others) could live without economic insecurity, simply giving to the community as is their basic impulse to do so? This would make the need to make an income from their work irrelevant, because most of these people do not do it for the money (at least not as the primary motivation). I'm sure many of the people here, more than most places, understand this. This would solve issues like Napster and Kazaa, since the free flow of information (and sharing of files, whether they be art, music, or software) could proceed without any harm to anyone. If an author doen't want his work shared, he simply need only keep it, or give it to people he trusts. Perhaps there could even be a copywrite law that gives the artist/whoever the power to decide how "free" his/her work is, but there would still be no need to do so to earn a living, i.e. artificial scarcity.

    So how could this be done? Scarcity, we are told, is forever with us, an unsolvable problem. But is it really? People like Jeremy Rifkin (The End of Work [amazon.com]) have shown us that work as we know it is obsolete. Machines and automation can do most if not all of the tedious tasks that make life dull, freeing up human society for more creative persuits. So scarcity no longer exists, except that we continue to impose it on ourselves because we know of no other way of doing things. And this creates its own set of problems, believe me!

    The only thing missing now is a workable system of economic distribution that does not employ scarcity, and its tools like money and debt. If this could be done, all crime due to poverty would vanish. There would be no point to stealing something you could very easily afford yourself (pathology aside). Millions of property and litigation laws would also become obsolete, releiving the justice system of a huge infrastructure. Banks, stocks, all business related to money need no longer exist, and what results is a huge outpouring of people to now share what little work need be done. Thus, with secured incomes, people need not work more than a few hours each week, and could have a standard of living that far exceeds what we have now.

    It's too bad more people aren't trying to think of ways of doing this, because it is possible. It would be a world were programs like Linux would be the norm, and no one could make shoddy MS-like products (or they could, but no one would have to use them). So far the only serious research group with any credibility that has devised such a non-scarcity economic system is Technocracy [technocracy.org]. They've been working on this idea since the 1920's, so they have a pretty detailed and workable plan. I hope we one day switch to a society they they propose.

    • by NineNine (235196)
      It will never happen. Most people only *need* to work about 5 hours a week to live according to living standards, say, 100 years ago and still survive. But the thing is that people always *want* bigger and better. There's always going to be competition. There's always going to be scarcity of the newest gizmo, driving up the price, thus forcing people to work more, etc. etc. As far as scarcity goes, there's very little true scarcity in the US today. You can grow & buy what you need for food for next to nothing. That and a tent and you're alive. No scarcity. But that isn't realistic. It'll never happen. Sure, Linux isn't scare. If you *need* an OS, you can get Linux for free. You can download it for free. But the point is that people *want* better. People are willing to work to earn money to *buy* a usable OS.

      As is, over time, through this economic model, standards of living have continued to increase. You can have instant entertainment of any kind at home for many years for the cost of a few hours or work (TV). You can speak to anyone on the planet at any time from anywhere for the cost of a few hours' work (cellphone).

      Standards of living continue to increase. Anyone who says that scarcity doesn't work is a fool.
  • Copyright (Score:5, Insightful)

    by javacowboy (222023) on Saturday December 21, 2002 @02:40PM (#4937041)
    I agree that copyrighted material shouldn't be freely distributed from an ethical standpoint.

    Well, I don't know about you, but I don't agree with large corporations making money off artists 90 years after they died.
    • Corporations can't dop that. Since corporations can't die in the sense that people can, Congress limits a corporations copyright term to 96 years. Now, someone can sell their copyright to a corporation for a limited time, in which case the IP reverts back to the original author and it protected as if it were the copyright of a person. However, in either case the copyright duration is still fixed from the date of creation.
  • From the article:
    (the MPAA and RIAA)...have issued a statement saying Kazaa is perpetrating an "intricate international shell game aimed at evading the U.S. court's jurisdiction and avoiding liability" by spreading its operations around the world.

    Haven't these huge multinational corporations, the likes of which are represented by the MPAA and RIAA, been spreading their operations overseas for years now for the very same reasons?

    Suck it up, guys.
  • by Snaller (147050) on Saturday December 21, 2002 @04:42PM (#4937525) Journal
    Like they are doing in Denmark (check previous Slashdot stories), the attorneys scan the Kazaa network, when they find Danish Ips they check what people are sharing. Get a court order, send them a letter which essentially says "we can see you have done violations which amount to x amount of money, if you pay now you won't have to go to court". Then the newspapers are filled with sad stories, like how a single mother suddenly gets slapped with a $5000 fine because her son, unbeknownst to her, had downloaded his favorite songs. They try to scare people to stop - and none of these P2P programs have much in the way of security, you can always see the IP number. And even if they do try, people can just use the netstat command (On Windoze) to see which machines you are currently connected to.
    How long before they start doing something like this in the united states?
  • Why are there so few functional file sharing apps for Linux? AudioGalaxy [audiogalaxy.com] blows chunks, Kazaa-Lite [doa2.host.sk] works only with Wine IF you have saintly patience and the spare dll's handy, and Limewire [limewire.com] isn't a walk in the park either unless you have Java installed and the $PATH enviroment variable right - not to mention any needed dependencies. I'm not adverse to commandline (I prefer it for most administrative tasks) but I'm not going to run some bare bones text-based Gnutella client in a friggin terminal. I'm too spoiled for that.

    I'm just surprised the Linux community hasn't made more noise about this... or is everyone dual booting?
  • or is Niklas Zennstrom the long lost brother of Bill Gates?
  • by racerx509 (204322) on Saturday December 21, 2002 @07:20PM (#4938141) Homepage
    One of the odd things I've seen about this is what the RIAA calls it and how they punish. If downloading songs is stealing and users are to be punished, then why punish them otherwise? By their logic, a user should be charged for theft of an item rather than copyright infringement. Maybe call it digital copy shoplifiting or whatever.

    A user should pay for the materials downloaded. Rather than the $500,000 tag for copyright infringement, they should eat their words and charge users the way they say what the users are doing. If I download a song, I should pay list price for a song. DOwnload a DVD ripped movie and I should pay 21.99. People should be charged exactly for what they download. $500,000 for copyright infringement is bull crap.
  • Am I the only one who sees a distinct likeness between the pictures of Niklass Zenstrom [washingtonpost.com] and Bill Gates? [cnn.com]
  • The article regarding Kazaa demonstrates that if our system of intellectual property law further ossifies, we are at serious risk of innovation going overseas.

    True creativity is generally the result of the liberal borrowing and reworking of earlier ideas--and contemporary ones--in a new fashion.

    Locking up mindshare may cost the US its intellectual leadership in the long run.

    The problem is that our legislative leaders are driven by money and a lazy reliance on lobbyists, not principle. Howard Coble is a perfect example of this. I have to say I'm embarrassed that he represents my congressional district. How he became head of an important congressional committee on IP--when he represents a manufacturing district that is losing textile and tobacco jobs--is either an example of the Peter Principle in operation, or a testiment to the fact that those who have a vested interest in the continuing drive to own all information don't want anyone who really understands the issues overseeing legislation.

  • Responsibilities. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by lionchild (581331) on Sunday December 22, 2002 @02:10AM (#4939544) Journal

    A Matter of Motive?

    The defendants, which in addition to Kazaa include Grokster and Morpheus, contend they are doing nothing wrong. They said their role is analogous to photocopy-machine makers, who aren't responsible for people who copy entire books, or to computer makers, who aren't responsible for people who use their machines for hacking.

    "If you can be held responsible for everything your end users do with it, it becomes very hard to build any technology," said Fred von Lohmann, a lawyer with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which represents Morpheus creator StreamCast Networks Inc.

    The entertainment industry argues that the Kazaa case is different because the key issue is motive. While some makers of technology truly aren't aware of or do not advertise the illegal aspects of what their technology can do, they say, the owners of these file-sharing systems do.

    "Peer-to-peer services overwhelmingly are used for illegal copying and transmission of copyright material over the Internet, and actively encourage, assist and participate in this activity," said Allen N. Dixon, executive director of the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, which represents more than 1,500 music producers and distributors.

    This was the part that I found really interesting. So, if this goes through, and the creators are responsible, does that mean that firearms manufacturers are in trouble? As we all know, a firearm has only one purpose, to shoot things. (Human, animal, or otherwise.) And what about those who manufacture the bullets?

    Just food for thought.

If it happens once, it's a bug. If it happens twice, it's a feature. If it happens more than twice, it's a design philosophy.

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