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P2P Bits 300

Posted by michael
from the law-of-the-jungle dept.
yohaas writes "Two Op-Ed stories today in the NY Times address music sharing. In one Kembrew McLeod says that the lawsuits aren't working and gives some alternate suggestions. In the other Harvard Law professor William Fisher says that the industry is going about the situation in the wrong way, concluding that 'the record industry's response to file sharing--trying to block the technology altogether--would generate the worst of all possible results'. Neither article is comprehensive, but they are good read nonetheless." Reader Brill Pappin points out that Canadians aren't afraid of the music industry. And reader The Importance of Being Earnest writes "The INDUCE Act, which would make it a crime to 'induce' copyright infringement, such as by inventing things like the Betamax, has finally been officially introduced. The bill has been renamed the Inducing Infringement of Copyrights Act [PDF]. In addition to the name change, there has been another slight modication: 'counsel' is no longer part of the proposed statute. Here is a line-by-line refutation of Hatch's introduction [PDF] to the Act. EFF has shown how broad the Act is by writing a mock lawsuit [PDF] suing Apple (for making the iPod), C|Net (for reviewing the iPod), and Toshiba (for supplying hard drives for iPods). Previous Slashdot coverage here."
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P2P Bits

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  • Well atleast they dropped the Child Exploitation part.
  • Warning - (Score:3, Funny)

    by calypso15 (767323) on Friday June 25, 2004 @01:21PM (#9530588) Homepage
    If bill is passed, please INDUCE vomitting.
  • by lordkuri (514498) on Friday June 25, 2004 @01:21PM (#9530593)
    great.. more laws BOUGHT to prop up an obsolete business model.

    when do we start enforcing the constitution and putting a stop to legalized political bribery?

    -lk
    • by southpolesammy (150094) on Friday June 25, 2004 @01:24PM (#9530653) Journal
      Not a law yet, just a bill. And given Sen. Hatch's track record, I wouldn't worry too much about it becoming law.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 25, 2004 @01:46PM (#9530918)
      Political bribery need to be criminalized and a strict system set up to ensure that no bribery happens under the table. Even if that system involves something drastic like: having the state control all of the politician's money or monitoring them around the clock.

      Just as the USA has a separation between church and state there needs to be a separation of industry and state.

      back on topic: making it illegal to invent things is a very innovative way to stifle innovation.
      • Maybe introduce a mandatory cap on campaign treasuries. If the treasury goes over the cap then the monies go to the State.

        If bribery is found to have occured, then federal prison sentences should be imposed on both the elected official and the Company's officers.
    • when do we start enforcing the constitution and putting a stop to legalized political bribery?

      As a representative of the World Ethical Association of Salient Entrepreneurial Lobbyists (WEASEL), I must say that your statements constitute libel. Our attorney, Leonard "J" Crabs [somethingawful.com] will be in contact. For the legal proceedings may we suggest KY [lubery.com].

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 25, 2004 @01:21PM (#9530596)
    "The INDUCE Act, which would make it a crime to 'induce' copyright infringement, such as by inventing things like the Betamax, has finally been officially introduced. The bill has been renamed the Inducing Infringement of Copyrights Act"...isn't a loophole for this simply making a multi-funtion method for *whatever* where one of the funtions happens to circumvent or break copyright protections?
    • by kfg (145172) on Friday June 25, 2004 @01:58PM (#9531058)
      No need. Everything can already be used to break copyright if you try hard enough. iPods, VCRs? Pffffft! Tip of the iceberg. Here, let me give you a concrete example of using a device to infringe upon a copyright:

      Three rings for the elven kings under the sky,
      Seven for the Dwarf-lords in their halls of stone,
      Nine for mortal men doomed to die,
      One for the Dark Lord on his dark throne
      In the land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.


      RUuuuuh roh, Rasro! AMD, ASUS, Addtronics, nVidia and NEC have now all induced me to infringe upon a copyright.

      The printing press that made the book I copied it from could itself induce copyright infringment. A pen, a charred stick, both induce copyright infringment. The pen is used for such all the time. A Q-tip can be used as a pen. All artist supplies can infringe both visual art and literary art.

      I can take this 10 mm box wrench and use it to scratch "Three rings for the elven kings" in the dirt or on a concrete wall.

      The prosecutorial scope of this bill is infinite. It isn't a "loophole" when anything can be used as a copyright infringing device, it's an "Everybody goes to jail free" card.

      Here, let me give another example, although I can't do this one directly, so you'll have to imagine the scene:

      Here I am, standing in a large empty space, I have no impliments and only have on as much clothing as is necessary to make the image palitable to you, now -- I beging to recite. . .

      Three rings for the elven kings. . .

      My parents have just become illegal.

      KFG
    • by An Onerous Coward (222037) on Friday June 25, 2004 @02:12PM (#9531214) Homepage
      The goal of this attack on consumers^W^W^W law is to close the very loophole you describe. In the Sony vs. Betamax case, the Supremes ruled that a device was legal so long as it had "substantial non-infringing uses." This law would overrule that decision by saying that anyone who created a technology that "induced" people to copyright infringement should be held responsible for the infringement.

      I worry about Senator Hatch. He just doesn't seem to give a rat about whether the laws he proposes are sane, or constitutional.
  • Fingers crossed... ...that this act never makes it as a law. ...that the EFF's mock lawsuit is seen and understood by people with influence. ...that Senator Hatch's financial backing discredits his attempts to ruin intellectual property.
    • Even more frightening (and this may be slightly OT) is that if this bill passes and becomes law, it could (will?) open the door for similar legislation reaching to other types of technology as well.

      Think about it - if they outlaw a certain piece of technology solely because it could be used to circumvent copyright (the iPod is a good example), then how long will it be before some capitol hill schmuck decides to author a law making other devices illegal? After all, a rifle could be used to shoot someone, a
      • by PitaBred (632671)
        Hell, if this crap passes, I say we sue Apple, C|Net and all these 'enablers', so that when we lose the suits, the law will be more or less invalidated by the courts.
  • by trainsnpep (608418) <mikebenza.gmail@com> on Friday June 25, 2004 @01:22PM (#9530608)
    I remember a quote from a book I read abuot 5 years ago....or something like it.

    To make a pig go forward, tie a string around its leg and pull it backward.

    The basic instinct of anyone or anything - pig or human (or as the RIAA seems to consider P2P users pigs) - is to go the opposite of the way you're being directed. Now, I'm not saying the RIAA should encourage P2P, I'm just saying they are definitely going about it the wrong way. I've gotta agree, they're doing it all the wrong way. Perhaps some positive campaigns, not negative ones?

    • Have you seen the MPAA commercials? They're showing pictures of the production crew, editors, etc... and that downloading movies affects these people and their families. Quite the opposite PR campaign that the RIAA is using which is "stop downloading or these large corporate executives will have to buy a smaller yacht."

      I wonder if the MPAA campaign is appealing to the public any better?

      • You know those "truth" cigaratte ads? We need propaganda that is on the opposite side like that for things like this as well. As much as the "truth" ads really bend the truth to really make cigarettes look even worse then they are, I like seeing those comercials, they are kinda funny even.

      • I wonder if the MPAA campaign is appealing to the public any better?

        Absolutely. I felt really guilty after downloading a bootlegged copy of Harry Potter 3.


        note: I didn't really download a bootlegged copy of HP3. I did download a bootlegged copy of Kill Bill: Vol 1, but I ended up buying the DVD less than a week later anyway
      • Actually, no, they're not a lot more effective.

        See, I don't have a television. The only place I have seen one of these ads was in a cinema.

        The result of me having to listen to propaganda like that without the benefit of "mute" or "fast forward" buttons, while trying to "do the right thing" and actually *spending* $20 or so on admission to a movie on a non-discounted night, left a distinctly unpleasant taste in my mouth.

        If it weren't such a cool movie (LoTR 3), I would have been decidedly dempted to l

    • by vDave420 (649776) on Friday June 25, 2004 @01:51PM (#9530970)
      The basic instinct of anyone or anything - pig or human (or as the RIAA seems to consider P2P users pigs) - is to go the opposite of the way you're being directed.

      RIAA bashing will get you your +5, despite being factually inaccurate.

      I like bashing RIAA as much as the next /.er, and working at a p2p company, I have good reason.

      However, the truth of the situation is that despite having reservations over being told what to do, most people merely accept instructions from authority [google.com] without questioning them.

      I would say that desipte RIAA attmpeting to shut down my business, that they are, in fact, going about the situation in "the right way(tm)", where "right" in this context means "likely to achieve the majority of self interest goals", if for no other reason than because most people don't question "authoritative answers" to issues they encounter.

      I fairly recently had a discussion with a friend of mine, who fairly clearly demonstrated this principle. She had heard on the "FOX news" that downloading mp3s would cause you to go to jail. When I asked about this, seeking more details from her (remember, I make p2p software, so am interested in average people's thoughts on the subject) she actively avoided putting any thought into the subject, and instead rapidly retreated to the comfort of TV-delivered answers, as stated in passing moments across the "news" about it being illegal or being responsible for "starving artists" or "child porn".

      To me, it just reinforced my oppinion that the average person (and this friend is truly an average American) would rather just accept the "Authoritative answer from TV" to nearly any problem or situation encountered.

      What a long post to disagree with your off-the-cuff statement, eh?

      -dave-

      • Personally, I think you're both partially right- in that people rarely have good reasons for what they do. They are usually A) following instructions, senselessly, merely because they were told to, B) rebelling against authority, senselessly, without even considering whether the authority is right, or C) doing whatever they are most used to doing, senselessly, merely out of habit.

        Often people are motivated by a combination of these three, with (A) being dominant for most people most of the time, (B) being

  • Reader Brill Pappin points out that Canadians aren't afraid of the music industry.

    Not really true, there's just a bit of confusion going on now. The courts are sorting it out for us and will let us know if we should be afraid or not real soon.

    There was a photo of the Culture minister wearing a t-shirt that said "I support canadianmusic.com." Of course, it really should have said "I support thecanadianmusicindustry.com." Two entirely different things.
    • The Canadian Culture Minister you're talking about is Hélène Chalifour Scherrer, and she has a bill to make downloading music not legal again. However, we are days away from the Canadian election, and the riding she's in (Louis-Hébert, Quebec) is a tight race according to this site [electionprediction.org]. Make sure you check this site again after the election (June 28th) to see her fate. And for our Canadian slashdot readers, please get out and vote!
  • Canada not afraid (Score:5, Informative)

    by jeepee (607566) on Friday June 25, 2004 @01:22PM (#9530614) Homepage Journal


    Pretty logic Canadians are not afraid....
    File sharing is legal here...

    http://news.com.com/2100-1027-5182641.html [com.com]

    • Re:Canada not afraid (Score:4, Informative)

      by Otter (3800) on Friday June 25, 2004 @01:34PM (#9530781) Journal
      In the Canadians' defense, aren't they already paying a surcharge on recordable media and MP3 players to the music industry? It seems unfair to preemptively tax them for copyright infringement and then complain when they infringe.
    • Well, at least it gives you something to do while waiting for your heart surgery. ;-)

      Seriously though, I bet it won't last much longer. Canada's a smaller market than the U.S., but I'm sure the Media Hegemony hasn't forgotten about it. Wait, are those cross-hairs I see on the Great White North? Good luck, Canada.

    • Re:Canada not afraid (Score:5, Interesting)

      by 56 (527333) on Friday June 25, 2004 @01:42PM (#9530878)
      I go to the University of Toronto, and a girl from my college, Vic, got her internet connection suspended after a round of threats from, if I remember correctly, Paramount. I guess it could have just been scare tactics, but you wouldn't think the university would be willing to set a precident like that if they didn't feel like they had a reason to back down.

      The Vic newspaper said she was using Kazaa, which doesn't make much sense as we have our own UToronto-wide file-sharing network using DC++ that goes at like 7mpbs and has a huge selection...

      The article you cite is dated March 31, so maybe the instance I'm referencing took place prior to that date.

    • Re:Canada not afraid (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Ubergrendle (531719) on Friday June 25, 2004 @01:52PM (#9530975) Journal
      I'm not so sure that its legal, just that the CIRA has not come up with a viable copyright infringement legal case that works within our justice system...yet. Once they have a framework, I fully expect numerous lawsuits in a similar vein to the RIAA.

      We're in the midst of federal elections here. Unfortunately its the standard issue of compromised choices. I can vote for the Conservatives, who although state they are hands-off for business subsidies and want to eliminate CANCON, they also would override the canadian consititution in issues of gay rights, want to privatise healthcare, and have heavy backing by funadmentalist christian groups from the rural western provinces.

      Alternatively, I can vote for the Liberals who have been plagued with spending scandals, are firm supporters of CANCON, and wish to strengthen copyrights rules. Unfortunately they're the more progressive party in terms of personal rights and freedoms and have a less aggressive tax-cut strategy.

      The New Democratic Party would raise taxes both on the recording industry and on the CDs... no one would buy them anymore, and the recording companies would go bankrupt. ;)
      • Can a canadian or someone who knows fill us in if there is a parallel to the RIAA in that country (or any other country).

        The closest thing I could find was Canadian Country Music Association [ccma.org]. However their about us [ccma.org] page differs greatly from RIAA's about us page [riaa.com].

        Remember, frivilous lawsuits is a big business here in the US. We are familiar with the litigious bastards [sco.com]. We, believe it or not, actually have lawyers on TV telling uninteligent people that they will get them CA$H for any wrongdoing done to th
        • I referred to it incorrectly in my original post... the CRIA is the Canadian Recording Industry Association [www.cria.ca], the Canadian RIAA equivalent.

          We also have something colloquially called CANCON [media-awareness.ca], short for Canadian Content. Our equivalent of the FCC mandates that media formats distribute a certain volume of Canadian created/produced content to compensate from the inevitable avalanche of American culture spilling over our boarders. It is somewhat effective, and has led to the rise of a domestic music and televis
      • In my opinion, vote for whoever is going to spend the money properly. Personal rights come about naturally in a democracy, but spending generally doesn't follow suit. Remember, people will go about doing what they want, and the government eventually accepts it because they're in office to legislate for the people. I dunno, maybe I'm too idealistic, but I still think the government works for what people want. They just have trouble spending money appropriately.

    • Of course you Canadians don't have to fear the CRIA coming after you.

      They get money every time you buy a blank CD-R or MP3 player. They don't have to threaten you to get your pound of flesh... because they already have it.
  • Ironic... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Shoeler (180797) on Friday June 25, 2004 @01:22PM (#9530617)
    That the RIAA is spending millions or tens of millions or more of their "hard earned" money to combat piracy, but yet they see fit to increase the price of downloaded songs from iTunes, Napster, etc. At $.99 songs were a bargain, but why the hell would I go out to download an album that I can buy on a CD for the same price???
    • Re:Ironic... (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Fearless Freep (94727)
      If the RIAA really actually cared about the *artits* they would spend a lot more time working to make sure the *artists* got more money per CD and didn't get acidentally trapped into vicious contracts

      There's a *lot* more the RIAA could de doing to help the people they supposedly reresent then going after file sharing. I mean, if a CD is sold a few less times due to downloads then the artists loses a few hundred bucks and the record company loses thousands. If the RIAA really cared about the money the ari
  • Other perspectives (Score:5, Interesting)

    by sphealey (2855) on Friday June 25, 2004 @01:23PM (#9530625)
    I think it is important to read Jerry Pournelle's perspective [jerrypournelle.com] as well, however. As a person who has earned his living from selling written works for more than 30 years, he brings a different viewpoint to the discussion, and asks some good questions of the more radical end of the anti-DRM group.

    sPh

    • We need to protect our precious property!
      (But it's already illegal to copy and distribute)
      But we need to protect our precious property!
      (But you're asking to put regulations in effect that stifle innovation)
      But we need to protect our precious property!
      (But you're disabling all manner of legitmate and fair use)
      But we need to protect our precious property!
      (But what you propose causes immeasurable collateral damage that has nothing to do with your industry)
      But we need to protect our precious propert
  • by nebaz (453974) on Friday June 25, 2004 @01:23PM (#9530635)
    I could start about how corporations have bought the congress and that we are going down a road to hell, but unfortunately it has been this way for a long time [www.uhb.fr]
  • by bigberk (547360) <bigberk@users.pc9.org> on Friday June 25, 2004 @01:25PM (#9530659)
    ... address music sharing. In one Kembrew McLeod says that the lawsuits aren't working
    Does anyone else notice a pretty serious effort to associate, psychologically, music sharing with illegal activities? The two don't always go together. I share legitimate music on the Internet with strangers. And I legitimately share music I own with close friends. They're trying to brainwash us (and it's working BTW)
    • Aside from psychologically criminalizing the legal types of music sharing, there is also a dangerous attempt to equate the admittedly illegal file-sharing with stealing.

      The argument goes something like this:

      "If you go into a store, find a CD, and walk out without paying for it - that's stealing." Most people agree that it's wrong, so you already have them halfway there. Then you equate downloading to shoplifting a CD.

      Shoplifting a CD will get you a fine and/or some minor jail time. Download a single song
    • Man, there's this great ad campaign in Vancouver, BC where a kid gets caught stealing a candy bar and just tells his dad 'but you steal satellite singals.' It's brought to you by the concerned statelite people of north america or something.
      Man, i love those 'Concerened X's of Y.' Who are these people. Are they a a group of house wives (or husbands) who get together and say 'our society is falling to pieces, we must raise money to publish adds that will make satelite-single-stealers/internet-pirates/movie
  • There goes ftp... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by jbeaupre (752124)
    Can't write ftp code. Could be used to copy files... Worse, don't try reading a childrens book to your kids while away on business (which the US Navy encourages by offering recording services). Unlawful encoding of copyrited material.
    • Even pen and pencils are ilegal then. Those can be used to copy written IP.

      Like things are going I expect to see Americans, Canadians and Europeans seeking refuge in Cuba.
  • by Kenja (541830) on Friday June 25, 2004 @01:25PM (#9530663)
    File sharing is legal in Canada and its had no effect on the quality of music and art, just look at all the high quiality IP comming out of the land up north! I even hear that Shatner is back in the recording studio.
  • by CashCarSTAR (548853) on Friday June 25, 2004 @01:27PM (#9530680)
    Both assume that somehow the RIAA should play nice with alternative distribution/promotion methods, and somehow that they are trying to do that, just going about it the wrong way.

    Frankly, that's foolish.

    The RIAA has absolutly nothing to gain by releasing the promotional controls they have over the industry. Why? Because it completly removes all their power. P2P/Webcasting make the threat of the next big thing coming up outside their reach very possible...and possibly very likly.

    The fight over P2P and webcasting is not intended to raise money in the short term, it's intended to monopolize the promotional channels to ensure their long-term relevence.
    • Exactly right. The royalty system proposed by the EFF would go a long way to levelling the playing field between the major labels and the independent artists. When a band can record and release an album themselves, promote it on the internet and get paid for every download, who needs a major label?

      Expect the RIAA to do everything within their power to ensure that such a scheme will not be implemented.
    • One group who could actually make a diffrence is the artists.

      For a long time the only way for them to make money has been through contracts with soul stealing capabilities, one would expect them to jump on this alternative.

      Course then you have the beasty boys thing and you wonder if they even give a f*#C. (Swearing was called for, in this case).
    • People, stop thinking of the RIAA as a company. They are not. They don't have any distribution or promotion methods. They do 2 things. They "give" labels to albums that have sold X numbers of copies (gold, platinum, etc), and they go to court. Don't believe me, read it from them.

      If I were a lawyer, and couldn't get a real job, playing the RIAA game would certainly pay the bills.
  • One of the linked sites proposes that a monthly access fee that allows users to share files indiscriminately('freely') is the ultimate and best solution. The problem with this is, how are we going to determine how the money will be distributed among the many target beneficiaries (the various record companies, the artists and composers who are paid a commission, etc.)
    _____
    Internet, Productivity Blog
    • Well, there's a fairly simple solution to that.

      Expand the issue to not being merely file sharing (which is an issue of reproduction and distribution) but expand it to the entire scope of copyright (so that this scheme would also apply to creating derivatives, and some public distributions and performances and such), and then instead of paying a monthly fee, don't pay at all. But rather than make this available altogether, which would merely be the abolishment of copyright, instead only permit natural perso
  • by Mr. Neutron (3115) on Friday June 25, 2004 @01:28PM (#9530702) Homepage Journal
    Let's say the EFF's worst nightmare scenario occurs, and legislation eventually gets passed making all sorts of things, from DRM-free hard drives to writing simple Internet clients, to "unprotected" ADCs in every possible consumer device, illegal. Eventually the people are going to realize that we've stumbled into Regulations Hell, and the people will demand a repeal of all of these stupid laws. "Load a program, go to jail" laws will not be popular, and when ordinary people start getting busted for doing utterly benign things, there will be a backlash.

    The simple fact of the matter is that the existance of the Internet has made unlimited digital sharing a reality. The genie's out, people love getting free stuff, and nothing short of a police state is going to stop it. The content providers are either going to have to find a business model to take advantage of this, or learn to live with it. It's that simple.
    • Oh yeah? Name one time since the revolutionary war that people "realize that we've stumbled into Regulations Hell, and...demand a repeal of all of these stupid laws."

      • by Mr. Neutron (3115) on Friday June 25, 2004 @01:49PM (#9530948) Homepage Journal
        The repeal of Prohibition, passed February 20, 1933, ratified December 5, 1933
        • Prohibition lasted 14 years.

          The DMCA was 4 years ago.

          Does this mean we only have another ~10 years before the backlash gets us out of "regulation hell"? Or should we count from some other regulation, perhaps the IICA Hatch is proposing? /raises his glass of free as in beer to the next 14 years of Prohibition

          I wonder who will be our generation's Al Capone?
        • Drug prohibition has been going full strength since the 70's, and it hasn't showed any signs of slowing. It's responsible for jailing people that arn't real criminals, just as prohibition did, and it's certainly contributed to crime, just as prohibition did. Not to mention the havoc in third world governments that illegal drugs are netting. Drugs havn't been made legal, and I doubt they will be. Corporations didn't have nearly as much power over the government back in the early 20th century, but they do
    • See we are well past that point.

      The sad thing is that companies are able to get rights and file lawsuits when it's "possible" their rights are being infringed while the people of America who's rights "Are" being infringed are too disorganized to do anything about it.

      Vote Hatch I guess.
    • Eventually the people are going to realize that we've stumbled into Regulations Hell, and the people will demand a repeal of all of these stupid laws.
      Unlikely. Joe Sixpack, like always, will moan and put up with it. Would you risk your easy and confortable life over this?
    • The simple fact of the matter is that the existance of the Internet has made unlimited digital sharing a reality. The genie's out, people love getting free stuff, and nothing short of a police state is going to stop it.

      Exactly. I would take it further toward basics. One of the fundamental design purposes of a digital computer is to copy information perfectly. This is what data storage and retrieval is all about! Right now you're sitting at a desktop machine, the result of billions of dollars of research

    • by Anonymous Custard (587661) on Friday June 25, 2004 @03:15PM (#9531949) Homepage Journal
      and when ordinary people start getting busted for doing utterly benign things, there will be a backlash.

      ahhhhh... but therein lies the key... You're right that a law that starts being used to bust everyone will soon be repealed.

      But when an unreasonable law is rarely applied, and therefor publicly accepted/ignored, then everyone becomes a criminal, though usually thy're not prosecuted. Think of stupid 55 mph speed limits. Everyone (in my area) drive at 60-80 miles an hour, and 99% never get a ticket, so they never lobby to get the unreasonable law repealed and the limit raised. But for those who do get caught, they have no recourse in court, and the argument "everyone else was driving 80 mph" never proves to be an effective defense, since the law was so clearly broken and teh speeder was so clearly guilty.

      Thus, instead of keeping people safe by making people drive more slowly, selective enforcement gives the law enforcers broad, imbalanced powers. They can pull over just about anyone on the entire highway, since very few people drive at 55 mph or lower. I'd bet that statistically 95% of people drive at least 5 mph over the speed limit on the highway. So if they don't like the way someone looks, or they want to meet a cute woman, or any other reason, a police officer can pull over anyone at any time, because they were "speeding".

      This new Copyright Inducement law will now be applied to everyone who it could be applied to. It will be applied selectively. Most people, unaffected personally, will not be motivated to get it repealed. Congresspeople will see hat it's not a majority concern in their district, so they won't pay attention to it. And, like the 1% of highway speeders, a few unlucky bastards will find themselves undeniably guilty under the law with million dollar court cases against them.

      So thats why it's up to activists and watchdogs to get this legislation stopped before it gets passed.
  • by f0rtytw0 (446153) on Friday June 25, 2004 @01:28PM (#9530705) Journal
    I hope this passes since it could be great at generating income for me or at least be a great investment. First off I can sue Dell since I have a computer from them and it was really easy to get and they gave me no warnings on how easy it was to use a computer to commit fraud. Then I can sue Microsoft for making an operating system that allows for easy copy right infringement. Their "copy" and "paste" methods have cost trillions and trillions of lost sales and IP revenue. Then I am going to sue my ISP for giving me internet access. Finally I am going to sue the government for inventing ARPA Net which evolved into the IP stealing networks we have today. There are pleanty of others on this list but I think this is a good start. All I need is a couple hundred million dollars to start the lawsuits but the return on this inventsment is quite substantial.
    • Take any Kazaa search query, add the phrase "parent directory" and "index of", and type it into Google. Now, who do you sue? Google, for not teaching their webcrawlers that there are good pages to index and evil pages to index? Microsoft and the Apache Software Foundation, for writing filesharing software that can commit copyright infringement?

      In practice the answer will be "You sue whomever you can bully into an out-of-court settlement", but I'd like to know what this bill's sponsors think the answer s
  • by bobhagopian (681765) on Friday June 25, 2004 @01:29PM (#9530709)
    Lord knows I don't agree at all with the RIAA/MPAA, and it certainly hasn't stopped me (or probably most other /. readers from "sampling" music "before I buy").

    But, their tactics have worked reasonably well, at least as a low-pass filter. I'd say that the lower 80% (in terms of resourcefulness) have significantly reduced or altogether ceased downloading music and videos online. Everyone is afraid at some level of the RIAA, and the effect has been noticeable. Whether or not the RIAA's campaign has been cost-effective is another matter, but that's not to say that it hasn't worked.
  • by Random BedHead Ed (602081) on Friday June 25, 2004 @01:33PM (#9530763) Homepage Journal

    This lawsuit is creepy, but extremely plausible. After reading so much Grooklaw recently I felt like I was reading a real lawsuit. Time to write our senators this weekend. Find your senators here:

    And the EFF's action item on this, complete with a sample letter, is here [eff.org].

    We should all make a habit of this - I personally don't write these people often enough.

  • Lawsuit brought against audio / video equipment manufacturers and the studios that bought them that allowed the music / movies to be recorded in the first place. Then the equipment manufacturers and companies that used them that created the CDs, cassettes, DVDs, and VHS tapes of the movies that allow people to see them and possibly record them. Then we go onto the chain stores who purchase the equipment to play them and the media that contains the information that can be copied. all of this before we ever
  • Downhill Battle [downhillbattle.org] is the group that's best leading the fight to stop the RIAA and the major record labels. Check out the summer concert flyering campaign.
  • Dear Senator Hatch,

    In order to comply with the Inducing Infringement of Copyrights Act of 2004, I am turning in my now illegal devices which can be used to infringe copyrights to you so that they can be properly disposed of.

    Sincerely,

    [Your name]

    Now, round up a bunch of broken VCRs and old 486 PCs (think thrift stores), and send them, along with your letter to:

    Senator Orrin Hatch
    104 HART SENATE OFFICE BUILDING
    WASHINGTON DC 20510
  • 0.001% (Score:3, Interesting)

    by artlu (265391) <artlu@artlu . n et> on Friday June 25, 2004 @01:42PM (#9530875) Homepage Journal
    Does anyone know the cumulative total of all the RIAA lawsuits? These are just being instantiated in order to scare the general populus into thinking they get sued. Sure, go download music as much as you want but if you share it you get sued. It is definitely a one way street.

    What I don't understand is that I can have an archive of music on a network and someone can "break in" and steal that music from me and then I can get sued by the RIAA. Where is the logic in that!

    Aj

    GroupShares Inc. [groupshares.com] - A Free and Interactive Stock Market Community
  • by BrookHarty (9119) on Friday June 25, 2004 @01:43PM (#9530888) Homepage Journal
    That's a scary bill, I don't think it will pass, its too vague.

    But, I'm getting tired of hearing how some elected fuck nut bought and paid for by special interests are introducing a bill to fuck over Americans.

    Key word, ELECTED OFFICAL.

    How can I hope for the best for America, when they want to re-elected people like this over and over. When questioning our presidents actions is Un-American? When watching a movie like Fahrenheit 9/11 can make your blood boil, and still people don't do anything.

    Seems like the Dark Ages.
    • When watching a movie like Fahrenheit 9/11 can make your blood boil, and still people don't do anything.

      Umm...offtopic, but I still feel constrained to reply: Fahrenheit 9/11 is a "mockumentary". It is not real life. It is a carefully collected montage of video clips designed to preach to the choir. The people who listen to Michael Moore and Al Franken and take them seriously are no different than the people who listen to Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter; they're listening to what they want to hear.

      There a

    • When watching a movie like Fahrenheit 9/11

      You didn't download that movie did you? What was your IP address again? ;)

      Not to mention that Fahrenheit 9/11 was crap [nypost.com].
  • Funny timing (Score:5, Interesting)

    by I8TheWorm (645702) on Friday June 25, 2004 @01:43PM (#9530889) Journal
    I just got off the phone in a lengthy conversation with a friend who is a widely recorded songwriter. You can imagine the arguement between a programmer and a songwriter regarding the issue or piracy. He brought up some interesting points (and I like to think I did too)...

    • Songwriters feel the RIAA is going about it all wrong. The RIAA is funded by labels, so of course that's the drum they'll beat the strongest. The NSIA [nashvillesongwriters.com] believes the RIAA's PR is attricious, and will (already does) hurt the performing industry. Nobody cares that record labels with a bad business model (read, spend too much money on production and marketing per cd) are either not making as much money or losing some. The NSIA (and others) have and continue to pressure the RIAA to change it's tactics.
    • Songwriters are in a different situation than programmers. I can charge whatever I like for my time or my programs. Songwriters are beholden to federal law (in the US) regarding what they can charge which is $0.085 per song per album cut, and $0.015 per song per radio play. Songwriters cannot charge a salary and forego any rights to what they write legally.
    • Songwriters love the idea of iTunes and other paid services. Part of reason is their pay per download is likely to go up from their pay per cut. The only downside is the copyright law has to be amended (again) to allow this, and until that happens, iTunes etc.. will have to put the artist money in escrow.
    • The media hasn't been any help in that corporations going after the little guy are front page news (ala the McDonald's coffee burn woman), while details that emerge later (also ala the McDonald's coffee burn woman) make small print in the back pages. The little girl that was sued by the RIAA got seven messages from them telling her to stop sharing files.


    • The RIAA is just another group funded by large corporations to pursue their interests, rather than the interests of individuals, and I could care less if they disappeared tomorrow. I know this, though: Sharing songs with no revenue going to the people that created them is financially harmful to the songwriters. Music isn't something that a person can't live without, and listening to radio is free.

      Here's something else I know. If labels like RCA didn't spend $250,000 recording a CD (that could be done for easily 1/10 that cost) they'd have less to cry about in the profit news.
    • Songwriters are in a different situation than programmers. I can charge whatever I like for my time or my programs. Songwriters are beholden to federal law (in the US) regarding what they can charge which is $0.085 per song per album cut, and $0.015 per song per radio play. Songwriters cannot charge a salary and forego any rights to what they write legally.

      You're kidding right? Please tell me your kidding. Kidding? At all? That $0.085 per song per album, explain that a little more, i don't understand the
    • Re:Funny timing (Score:3, Informative)

      "Songwriters are in a different situation than programmers. I can charge whatever I like for my time or my programs. Songwriters are beholden to federal law (in the US) regarding what they can charge which is $0.085 per song per album cut, and $0.015 per song per radio play. Songwriters cannot charge a salary and forego any rights to what they write legally."

      This sounds like manditory mechanical licensing (might have the exact terms wrong... I can't find my copy of 'This Business of Music' right now). Thi
  • the lawsuits are such a joke, they don't impede anyone. and they just make 12 yr olds suffer.
    • Actually, those lawsuits fund more lawsuits, which in turn fund PAC money, which get laws changed in the favor or the RIAA and major labels. Then come more lawsuits....
  • by CHaN_316 (696929) on Friday June 25, 2004 @01:51PM (#9530971)
    EFF has shown how broad the Act is by writing a mock lawsuit [PDF] suing Apple (for making the iPod)

    Ummm...that's not too far from reality. The RIAA tried to sue Rio for making MP3 players in the late 90's. I refer you to this wired article [wired.com].
  • by bgeer (543504) on Friday June 25, 2004 @01:52PM (#9530973)
    I was reading this and I got to thinking...

    "Senator Orrin Hatch today introduced a bill that supporters say would prevent software companies from profiting from Internet piracy. But opponents say it would outlaw legitimate technology, possibly even VCRs. Orinn Hatch's campaign received contributions from the bill's industry supporters in his last election."

    Sounded like a Headline News blurb until the last sentence huh? Just imagine if news outlets were required to report on Politicians' conflicts of interest when they were mentioned in connection with legislation that would benefit their backers. Just imagine how much effect that little disclaimer would have on the mind of people listening to the story. We could do a better job of controlling campaign influence than McCain-Feingold does without limiting free speech at all. Whores like Hatch and Boxer would be exposed on a regular basis. IANAL though, so what do you guys think?

    • That's actually an interesting point. In science, you have to go through lengthy disclosures about any potential conflict of interest. If they exsist, they must be disclosed in any publication or presentation you make. It doesn't restrict what you can submit for publication, but putting it out there that AstraZeneca funded your research puts a big grain of salt into your claim that Nexium is clearly superior to Zantac.

      This kind of thing is not limited to any small number of Congressmen; it's ubiquitous. They all need to have their laundry aired on a regular basis.

  • Can I file a lawsuit on someone's behalf? For example, if I am on a bus and someone is humming or whistling a tune, can I sue that person on behalf of the RIAA for violating copyright by doing an illegal public performance of a copywrighted work? It seems to me that the more lawsuits and more attention the RIAA gets will undermine all their attempts to where a politician would rather be supported by Hammas than the RIAA.
  • by Apocalypse111 (597674) on Friday June 25, 2004 @01:57PM (#9531038) Journal
    Assuming that this passes, here is a partial list of technologies that will shortly be outlawed, as they could be used to violate IP laws...

    Portable MP3 Players (iPod, Rio, etc)
    Tape Decks
    Record Players
    DVD Players
    Camcorders
    VCR's
    Computers
    Cell Phones
    Voice Mail
    Cameras
    Typewriters
    Pencils
    Pens
    Paint Brushes
    Chalk

    This list subject to change at will without notice.
  • by Kurt Gray (935) on Friday June 25, 2004 @01:58PM (#9531056) Homepage Journal
    The way I read the text of the INDUCE Act that offending "activity" would have to clearly be intended for infringement and "...including whether the activity relies on infringement for its commercial viability" so this is not describing any software or device that facilitates piracy but rather software or devices that clearly have a purpose of nothing other than piracy *and* the creators of said tool are using it as a revenue source. So I'm not sure how this would apply to cases where a kid writes a crack tool and releases it for free... since there's no revenue, no commercial viability, does this not apply?
  • by axis-techno-geek (70545) <rob AT goshko DOT ca> on Friday June 25, 2004 @02:00PM (#9531072) Homepage
    Just because home copying is legal in Canada, ie. you borrow my disc and make a copy that is legal under the Canadian Copyright Act. Making a copy and giving it to somebody is illegal.

    We are all presumed guilty anyway, as we are charged a tax on blank CD's for money to go to the "poor starving" artists. SOCAN has collected the money, but last I had heard none (or very little) had ever made it to the artists as it was mainly used to pay for the administration of collecting the fee.

  • The EFF picked the wrong subject for their pseudo-lawsuit to illustrate the idiocy of the law. A better choice would have been a lawsuit against Sony (Beta) and JVC and Panasonic (VHS) over their introduction of the VCR. Joe Sixpack probably doesn't know the iPod from Adam's off ox, but he knows what he records the football game on and how inconvenient it'd be if he couldn't.

  • Canadian CD's (Score:2, Informative)

    by spectasaurus (415658)
    It's not surprising that Canadians are not flocking to pay sites for music. At $.99 USD for each song, an entire CD will often cost more than $20 CAD. Most CD's in Canada are already priced at $12-$16 CAD. Why would we want more expensive, inferior quality music in the form of MP3 or other?
  • Please note, this isn't just a one sided issue. This bill also has it's cosponors Bill Frist (Senate Majority Leader) and Tom Daschle (Senate Minority Leader). We have to call our Senators NOW to stop this.

    Also of interest, might be the comments made by Senator Leahy (D-VT) and Senator Frist (R-TN). I've got the entire senate discussion of the bill available on my web page [wagstrom.net]. You should read it and the EFF's rebuttal before calling your senator.

    Take action now and we can kill this before it ruins innovation.
  • by canfirman (697952) <pdavi25@ya[ ].ca ['hoo' in gap]> on Friday June 25, 2004 @03:01PM (#9531801)
    (Preface: I am not a lawyer, but here's my $.02):

    Even if this did make it into law, it would still have to be proven in court. I would think that most "defendants" under this law would try to prove the legislation in it's current form is too broad in scope, as virtually anything can be used to infringe at least something that's "copyright protected". I'd be willing to bet that some judge looks at this and dismiss the case.

    If I remember correctly, American law is unenforceable outside of it's borders, but it'll be interesting to see if other countries (e.g. Canada) follows suit.

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts." -- Bertrand Russell

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