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Senate Takes Aim At P2P Providers 869

Posted by timothy
from the beware-the-evil-electron dept.
thejoelpatrol writes "The Senate Judiciary Committee, led by everybody's favorite senator, Orrin Hatch, is moving to outlaw P2P entirely by making it illegal to produce such applications. Hatch says such firms 'think that they can legally profit by inducing children to steal. Some think they can legally lure children into breaking the law with false promises of "free music."' So, when was the last time that Kazaa told kids to steal music? Shouldn't the parents be the ones looking out for their kids? The RIAA is (surprise!) in favor of this, while P2P groups are (surprise!) opposed."
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Senate Takes Aim At P2P Providers

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  • Profit? Uh...no. (Score:5, Informative)

    by Famatra (669740) on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @08:19AM (#9630573) Journal

    "Hatch says such firms 'think that they can legally profit by inducing children to steal."

    Thankfully I only use P2P programs that are GPL, and thus free as in beer, so little if any profit motivation there.

    The best p2p applications are usually free / open source like eMule [emule-project.net], Freenet [sourceforge.net], and how apparently even Shareza [shareaza.com] 2.0 is open sourced [shareaza.com] under the GPL.

  • by 1u3hr (530656) on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @08:19AM (#9630574)
    For those who didn't read to the end of the article, I think this is the vital bit Mitch Bainwol, RIAA chairman and chief executive officer, said in a statement. "Legitimate uses of peer-to-peer are upheld, while those who intentionally lure consumers into breaking the law are held to account. Under this legislation, the path to legitimacy remains clear: Respect the law and block the exchange of works the copyright owner has not authorized."

    So UNLESS a P2P app blocks all not-authorised (by the *IAA) file transfers, it will be considered illegal. The implications are amazing, and could easily be applied to hardware (any file copy, burn to CDR, upload to MP3 player, etc...)

  • Re:The Bill Itself (Score:5, Informative)

    by Karrde712 (125745) on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @08:20AM (#9630581)
    Actually, here it is:
    http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c108:S. 2560:
  • effects (Score:5, Informative)

    by dncsky1530 (711564) on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @08:20AM (#9630587) Homepage
    I found this article [ecommercetimes.com] that shows the direct inpact on digital media companies, its details that large fines could mean that a single lawsuit could force companied like Apple out of business
  • Re:The Bill Itself (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @08:26AM (#9630633)
    Sibling post doesn't lead right to the bill, but you can find it eventually. It looks like an interesting read. Skip to the bottom for the text of the law.

    By Mr. HATCH (for himself, Mr. LEAHY, Mr. FRIST, Mr. DASCHLE, Mr. GRAHAM of South Carolina, and Mrs. BOXER):

    S. 2560. A bill to amend chapter 5 of title 17, United States Code, relating to inducement of copyright infringement, and for other purposes; to the Committee on the Judiciary.

    Mr. HATCH. Mr. President, I rise with my esteemed colleague and friend, Senator LEAHY, ranking Democrat Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, to introduce the ``Inducing Infringement of Copyrights Act of 2004.'' This Act will confirm that creative artists can sue corporations that profit by encouraging children, teenagers and others to commit illegal or criminal acts of copyright infringement. Senator LEAHY and I are pleased that Majority Leader FRIST and Minority Leader DASCHLE and Senators GRAHAM and BOXER are co-sponsoring this important bipartisan legislation.

    It is illegal and immoral to induce or encourage children to commit crimes. Artists realize that adults who corrupt or exploit the innocence of children are the worst type of villains. In ``Oliver Twist'', Fagin and Bill Sikes profited by inducing children to steal. In the film ``Chitty-Chitty Bang-Bang'', the leering ``Child-Catcher'' lured children into danger with false promises of ``free lollipops.'' Tragically, some corporations now seem to think that they can legally profit by inducing children to steal--that they can legally lure children and others with false promises of ``free music.''

    Such beliefs seem common among distributors of so-called peer-to-peer filesharing (``P2P'') software. These programs are used mostly by children and college students--about half of their users are children. Users of these programs routinely violate criminal laws relating to copyright infringement and pornography distribution. Criminal law defines ``inducement'' as ``that which leads or tempts to the commission of crime.'' Some P2P software appears to be the definition of criminal inducement captured in computer code.

    Distributors of some P2P software admit this. The distributors of EarthStation 5 state, ``While other peer 2 peer networks like Kazaa or Imesh continue to deny building their programs for illegal file sharing, at ES5 we not only admit why we built ES5, we actually promote P2P, endorse file sharing, and join our users in swapping files!''

    Recently, in the Grokster case, a Federal court drew similar conclusions about the intent of other distributors of P2P software. It warned that some P2P distributors ``may have intentionally structured their businesses to avoid secondary liability for copyright infringement, while benefiting financially from the illicit draw of their wares.'' In other words, many P2P distributors may think that they can lawfully profit by inducing children to break the law and commit crimes.

    They are dead wrong. America punishes as criminals those who induce others to commit any criminal act, including copyright infringement. The first sentence of our Criminal Code states:

    Whoever commits an offense against the United States or aids, abets, counsels, commands, induces, or procures its commission, is punishable as a principal .......

    Indeed, it is absurd to think that our law might be otherwise. No civilized country could let sophisticated adults profit by tempting its most vulnerable citizens--its children--to break the law.

    I think we must understand how some corporations came to confuse child endangerment with a legal business model. Their confusion seems to arise from court cases misinterpreting a well-intended Supreme Court decision that tried to clarify two critical components of federal law: the law of secondary liability and the law of copyright.

    The Supreme Court states that secondary liability is ``imposed in virtually all areas of the la
  • by rhadamanthus (200665) on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @08:32AM (#9630677)
    Hatch, a Utah Republican, said in a statement. "Tragically, some corporations now seem to think that they can legally profit by inducing children to steal. Some think they can legally lure children into breaking the law with false promises of 'free music.'"


    While it is not at all clear that Kazaa has ever told people to use it's software to steal, it is clear that some corporations now seem to think that they can legally profit by bribing senators with campaign donations.


    Open Secrets [opensecrets.org]



    Note that he recieves a generous bonus from "lobbyists" and "TV/Movie/Music".

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @08:35AM (#9630695)
    Mr. LEAHY - D VT
    Mr. FRIST - R TN
    Mr. DASCHLE - D SD
    Mr. GRAHAM R- SC
    Mrs. BOXER -D CA

    Bi-partisanship at its best!
  • "The Corporation" (Score:5, Informative)

    by afxgrin (208686) on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @08:39AM (#9630724)
    If you've never seen this film, The Corporation is a documentary [reference.com] covering the history of how corporations came to exist and their roles in society today.

    This film begins by conducting a psychological prognosis of a corporation, where they find it's condition is of a psychopath [reference.com].

    It was shown on the Canadian equivalent [tvo.org] of PBS.

    So here's oddly enough a bittorrent download of the 3 part series.

    http://66.90.75.92/suprnova//torrents/1983/The Corporation(3).torrent [66.90.75.92]

    If anyone is asking for more proof, I think this film will provide it for them. Otherwise, I still found watching this film to be very informative.
  • Not just P2P! (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @08:57AM (#9630861)
    Reading the posts here so far, I think some of us are missing the big point. This law is way more draconian then just outlawing P2P, which sounds good to the senators. It makes any manufacturer of any product that is capable of copyright infringement liable for the infringing acts of their customers! This liablility is huge and will stiffle companies from even making new products.

    Makers of a VCR, camcorder, music player, CD/DVD burner, taper recorder, etc. would be liable for infringement by their customers. Companies will not risk this liability.

    They wanted to get rid of fair use and freedom of content out right but everybody yelled. Now they are attacking it indirectly. They successfully outlawed reverse engineering of encryption (See DMCA). Now they want to make it too risky to develop content management and creation products. Fair use and content freedom are fine with them if you have no tools to exercise them!

    Read the Electronic Frontier Foundation article. Their lawyers wrote up a fictional lawsuit where Apple, Toshiba and CNET News are sued under this law for aiding copyright infringement via the iPOD and a written review of it.

    http://action.eff.org/action/index.asp?step=2&it em =2918

    Write your Senator now! Call your Senator now! This must be stopped!
  • by SaturnSS (160457) on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @09:11AM (#9630977) Homepage
    While I am a strong supporter of IP rights this bill scares me the most by establishing a blanket effect over P2P development. This bill has the possiblity to be as disruptive as the DMCA.

    Everyone should write to Sen. Hatch [senate.gov]

  • by The Ultimate Fartkno (756456) on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @09:17AM (#9631051)


    http://www.house.gov/boucher/internet.htm

    On this one page, Boucher argues for the protection of Fair Use, for his "Digital Milennium Consumers' Rights Act," against using the DOJ to attack P2P, for...

    Oh, hell. Just go read *everything* he's doing. Boucher is the anti-Hatch, and I hate the fact that I'm moving to NC and won't be able to vote for him any more. He is, I think, the one lone voice in the government that actually understands the slightest bit of what he's legislating about.

  • by rpresser (610529) <rpresser@g m a i l .com> on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @09:29AM (#9631158) Homepage
    The integration of UPNP into common broadband routers has lessened this effect, or at least made such lessening more likely. An application can now request a port for receiving without there being a genius at the keyboard.

    ISP firewalling and port blocking still chills, of course, but I don't think the sky is black yet.
  • by killbill! (154539) on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @09:34AM (#9631197) Homepage
    Guess what, Europe (and Australia . . . and Canada . . .)? You're next. Don't think for a second that storebought government officials are unique to the US.

    About 2 weeks ago, the French Industry minister caused quite a ruckus by officially blaming declining music sales on poor quality, lack of diversity and outrageous prices, exhonarating p2p.
    Moreoever, he urged the record industry to move away from the CD and give legal music download sites their chance, instead of clinging to obsolete technology and business models. Quite a U-turn for our government, as it used to go the usual canned lawsuit route until recently.

    I am astounded that the news never made it out of France: wasn'it the first time a G7 government told the record industry to quit whining and adapt? Or was it because the US goverment was too busy surrendering to the RIAA? ;p
  • by FZer0 (585622) on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @09:38AM (#9631234) Homepage
    Seriosly. In fact i've just released a new EP [geradorzero.com] which can not only be shared but also sampled. I lead a quite succesful brazilian electronic music project [geradorzero.com] and if it weren't for MP3 downloads and file sharing, we wouldn't be known at all.

    I could say I'm the real, concrete proof that Rhino Hatchet - oops, Orrin Hatch - and the RIAA are wrong. But then, these are old news.
  • My letter to Hatch (Score:5, Informative)

    by cvd6262 (180823) on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @09:41AM (#9631254)
    I'm sending this at:
    http://hatch.senate.gov/index.cfm?Fuseaction= Offic es.Contact

    Dear Senator Hatch,

    This is the third letter I have sent you over the last three years. I am a Ph.D. student at Brigham Young University and I have lived in Utah County for almost ten years. For my education, and my employment, I have worked in cutting-edge technology and multimedia. I have authored DVDs for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, as well as several other commercial DVDs. I have also traveled to Europe and Africa to collect audio and video materials for use in online language instruction, so I understand the time, effort, and money that is required to produce high quality content.

    However, your current assailing of fair-use rights has once again reached the point of being absurd. Your bill outlined in this article:
    http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=st ory&cid=77 &e=1&u=/mc/20040706/tc_mc/billtargetsfirmsthatindu cecopyrightviolations
    seems to follow the attitude of legislating broadly, intending to enforce narrowly. Senator Hatch, we have seen "from sad experience" that this does not work.

    When I wrote you before, concerning Dmitry Sklyarov, you responded that the DMCA, as currently instituted, struck the proper balance between content provided rights and the rights of consumers. My question is this: What has changed in the last two years that the DMCA suddenly does not go far enough in impeding citizens' rights.

    You might believe that peer-to-peer technologies have no legitimate purpose. I know this is wrong. I have used P2P applications to quickly move huge amounts of data across heterogeneous networks, saving me hours. I also attended a subcommittee hearing you held at Brigham Young University where four local firms, including Novell, demonstrated how they were using P2P applications.

    I sincerely hope that you will reconsider the present INDUCE legislation, and realize that the scales are already tipped in favor of copy-right holders.

    Regards,

    Jeremy Browne

  • Re:I'm confused (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @10:09AM (#9631515)
    If computers are weapons then they come under the Second Amendment

    The second amendment protects the right to bear arms - mainly firearms. The second amendment does not protect your right to own/produce sarin or other chemical weapons, anthrax or other biological weapons, thermonuclear weapons, or other various explosive devices such as live rocket launchers, phosherous grenades, and flame throwers.
  • Re:Madness (Score:4, Informative)

    by UnrepentantHarlequin (766870) on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @10:15AM (#9631585)

    The failed business model in question is the record companies' stranglehold on the music industry.

    Few people seem to realize the hypocrisy of their sudden rush to "protect the rights of artists." (When did an "artist" become someone who makes music, not someone who paints? When did "musician" become a dirty word?) The biggest threat to those rights is, and always has been, the record companies themselves.

    "The artist formerly known as Prince" didn't change his name to a weird symbol on a whim; he did it because before he was famous, a record company had gotten him to sign a contract so one-sided that they even owned his real-life name. (yes, it's Prince ... talk about child abuse) Going back a few years, the singers and songwriters of some of the real classics of modern music, especially (though far from exclusively) those who were not white males, were paid a pittance for their work that record companies made a fortune from. In court, the record companies have insisted time and again that $100 was more than fair compensation for all rights to a song that they made tens of millions of dollars off of.

    Even today, most musicians see only a tiny fraction, if any, of the money from the sales of their CDs. They earn their money primarily from concerts. The money from that overpriced CD -- the one that sells for twice what a DVD of a movie that cost a hundred million dollars to film -- goes straight to the record company, and stays there.

    The record companies have a lock on the distribution of music. Anyone can rent a studio and make a CD ... even me (William Hung move over!) ... but if they want to get it in the record stores and on the radio, they have to sell their soul to a record company.

    That's why P2P scares the living shit out of the record companies. They know what the real numbers are, not the doctored ones [theinquirer.net] they show Congress. They know that their serfs are deserting them for independant labels and self-distribution. They know that the massive consolidation of radio station ownership [azoz.com] since Orrin Hatch and his buddies threw out rules that had preserved competition for decades and handed the market over to their supporter [surfingtheapocalypse.net] and propaganda wing [interventionmag.com] Clear Channel is costing them a fortune in payola. And I'm sure they know that they're turning out endless streams of overpriced music that, fundamentally, sucks.

    But they can't do anything about that. (except maybe the sucky music) They know they're dinosaurs. The know the industry has changed, and their chosen business model -- total control of production, distribution, and sales of music -- is going the way of a business model based on total control of buggy whips. So they're getting people like Orrin Hatch to pass laws to force the market to continue to support that model.

    It isn't fans sharing music by the record companies' serfs that the companies fear ... they know, their public statements to the contrary, it isn't hurting their sales, and quite possibly either increasing them or offsetting what would be a greater decline. What leaves them terrified is the existance of a distribution channel that they don't and can't control which will free musicians from being serfs of the record companies in the first place. They fear a system that will allow musicans to keep on doing what they already do -- making their money off of concerts and other sources of revenue -- and not have to sign their lives and their rights over to any record company. They know a system which connects the producer and the consumer directly will have no place for parasites that have gotten fat from feeding off both ends of the line.

    This is the sa

  • by TubeSteak (669689) on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @10:43AM (#9631861) Journal
    I could have sworn that it was already illegal to aid, abet or induce any crime. A completely useless law.
    Which is why Orinn Hatch is (surprise!) an idiot.
  • by Bob_Robertson (454888) on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @10:46AM (#9631909) Homepage
    How many times will people get raped by the party of state power before they realize that there is not a lick of difference between those two faces?

    Neither face of the party of state power wants you to have any control over your own lives. One side puts a nice shine on further controlling your private life, the other face shines the increasing control of your business life. Both vote for each others programs knowing that quid pro quo, one hand washes the other. Or face licks.

    D's and R's both want whatever they can get from you. They will push and only back off to keep the general population from riding in armed revolt. Remember that the "assault weapon ban" passed a REPUBLICAN congress, who were trying to make sure they could push even harder.

    Bob-
  • Re:THE BOTTOM LINE (Score:5, Informative)

    by lordkuri (514498) on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @11:00AM (#9632077)
    it does not stand for that, quit talking out of your ass and trying to score karma. It's POINT to POINT protocol.

    see here [wikipedia.org]

    -lk
  • by zaphodchak (644557) on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @11:18AM (#9632259)
    Simply outlawing the development of P2P programs seems ridiculous. There are many legal applications for these programs (a la Bittorrent) and crushing their development is not attacking the source of the problem. Programs don't break the law, people break the law. If someone really wants some file, they'll look on IRC or another such service, and get it anyway. This movement seems to be simply attacking casual use further, by making software unavailable. Most casual users have already quit, what with the RIAA scare, and this seems to be trying to (along the 80-20 rule) stop the 80% of the people doing only 20% of the sharing. The 'teaching children to steal' part is funny though. Congress is not just Big Brother anymore, it's also Mommy and Daddy, policing evildoing youngsters and tackiling childrearing themselves.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @11:23AM (#9632309)
    You can actually do something about it now: The EFF has an action alert that gets sent right to the U.S. Senators:
    http://action.eff.org/action/index.asp? step=2&item =2918
    You can help by participating and forwarding this link to anyone you know.
  • Re:Or even better... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Just Some Guy (3352) <kirk+slashdot@strauser.com> on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @12:15PM (#9632857) Homepage Journal
    i'm interested in what just happens with the "gambling bill for prop tax relief" that just passed in PA.... it promises to even out funding, and reduce local prop taxes. i'm sure that it wont....

    That is almost always a lie. In Missouri, gambling was supposed to help fund education. We all want more money for education, right? Think of the children! What happened was that the education budget was, say $1B. Gambling raised, say, $500M for the schools. $1B + $500M = $1.5B of highly-funded learning, right? Wrong! The school budgets didn't increase at all. The money coming in from gambling replaced taxpayer funds - it wasn't added to them.

    So Missouri taxpayers got a lower tax bill that year, right? Wrong! The first rule of governmental spending is that it almost never goes down. The state found some other project that coincidentally needed $500M (probably For The Children). The gambling proponents sort of told the truth: the money did go toward education. What they left out is that an equal amount of money from other sources came out of that budget item.

    Good luck in PA. I hope it works out better than it has for any other non-gambling-centric state (ie, excluding NV) that I've ever heard of.

  • Write your Sentor (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @12:30PM (#9633009)
    Our friends at the EFF have provided a handy online way of emailing or faxing(I suggest faxing) your sentor.

    The form can be found at http://action.eff.org/action/index.asp?step=2&item =2918 [eff.org]

    Or you could use a sample letter produced by the Consumers Union, publishers of Consumer Reports, urging Congress debate the issue. A copy can be found at http://www.consumersunion.org/pub/0628%20InduceCon sumerLetter.pdf [consumersunion.org]

    And finally a petition by Mac fans has also produced a sample letter, available at http://www.savetheipod.com/index1.php [savetheipod.com]

    So instead just predicting a public outcry/backlash, help create the public outcry and backlash.

    Make your opinion and voice heard, damn it!
  • Re:Or even better... (Score:4, Informative)

    by bcboy (4794) on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @01:13PM (#9633426) Homepage
    Public education gets little federal money. Republicans haven't been using federal money to destroy public education. Rather, they've been 1) passing unfunded mandates like No Child Left Behind which have zero chance of improving education, but are busting budgets across the US and are supplanting local curriculum standards; and 2) spreading enormous piles of disinformation about the quality of public education in an effort to discredit it.

    The keys to understanding the problems with public education are 1) understanding assessment (What are you trying to measure? What tools do you have to measure it? What do the tools really measure?), and 2) understanding where the money is going.

    The per-student cost of public education went up significantly a couple decades ago due to a single cause. When you find out what that cause is you'll understand why Republicans don't like to talk about it when they're bashing public education.

    No society in history has become literate through private education. Private education is a failure.
  • by Stargoat (658863) <stargoat@gmail.com> on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @01:16PM (#9633466) Journal
    Orrin Hatch, the Republican Senator from Utah. Orrin Hatch is the biggest jackass in the Senate.

    1. Last year, Hatch proposed creating black-ice like software that would destroy the hardware of people who download music illegally.
    2. One of Hatch's staffers illegally cracked several Democrats' computers in the Senate.
    3. Hatch's staff illegally used software for hosting a website at the same time Hatch was proposing destroying the PCs of those who would do similar.
    4. Hatch is routinely involved in passing laws to reinforce copywrite protections, even if there might not be any grounds for the lawsuit.
    5. Hatch's boy is a lawyer, one of who's clients in the SCO.
    6. Hatch is constantly trying to amend the Constitution. For example, he keeps introducing an amendment to ban flag burning over and over and is now talking about amending the Constitution so Schwarzenegger can run for President. But he opposed the ERA.

  • I don't get it. (Score:2, Informative)

    by DJester (729319) on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @01:59PM (#9633877)
    Can someone please explain to me how it works that the majority of Orrin Hatchs contributions come from tech and communication companies (according to opensecrets.org) and yet he's so obviously against technology and inovation.
  • induce != produce! (Score:5, Informative)

    by werdna (39029) on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @02:13PM (#9634008) Journal
    Orrin Hatch, is moving to outlaw P2P entirely by making it illegal to produce such applications.

    No doubt he would like that result, which failed in previous attempts to legislate regulation out of existence, such as the several forms of technology regulation previously advocated by Hollings. But that was not to be.

    In any case, S. 2560 does not address production of P2P applications, but rather, the inducement of infringement by a third party. Some background is in order to understand the difference.

    DIRECT INFRINGEMENT. Really, the question is when should a person be liable for infringement? One easy answer: when she infringes! Did Sarah infringe a copyright when she reproduced, distributed or made copies of a copyrighted work without consent or any other defense? If so, Sarah needs a lawyer. O/W, she isn't an infringer.

    INDIRECT INFRINGEMENT. But then, couldn't Sarah avoid infringement altogether by instructing her employee, Julia, to make the copies for her? Nope! Even though Sarah herself committed no infringing acts (reproducing, distribution or derivation), Sarah engaged in conduct that gives rise to a kind of liability, the genus of which is variously called, indirect, secondary or derivative infringement. There cannot be any kind of secondary liability unless and until some third party actually infringes. Then, the question is when is Sarah liable for Julia's infringement, even though Sarah did not herself commit a prohibited act?

    INDIRECT: VICARIOUS INFRINGEMENT. The particular species of secondary liability in the Sarah/Julia example is called "vicarious liability," and it derives from the fact that she controlled (in her capacity as employer) the conduct of Julia, directed the infringement and then enjoyed a financial benefit from that control. It is a well-settled idea in copyright law, and offers nothing new to this discussion, except to understand some of what follows.

    INDIRECT: CONTRIBUTORY INFRINGEMENT. Now, what if Sarah didn't ask an employee about this, but new that Sleazy Sammy will take just about any work left in plain sight to infringe? Now, Sarah, knowing SS is going to do the deed, advertently places the copy in a location to facilitate the infringement. This now is the classic example of contributing to the infringement of another. (The classical example is leaving a print of a movie in a place for someone to pirate from.)

    So, there you go. Acts of direct infringement by Sarah, she loses. If some third party, either Julia or SS infringe, Sarah might still be liable if she is vicariously responsible or if she contributed to the infringement. Proof of secondary liability is usually trickier, and requires proofs of scienter and financial benefit from the conduct, but varies somewhat, depending on the circuit.

    NOW, the copying machine cases. Assume Sarah doesn't even HAVE a copy of the Paul, the plaintiff's, work. However, Sarah makes this really neat new movable type printing press, that can be used to reproduce and facilitate distribution of Paul's stuff. The question is whether Sarah can be liable for Carla Customer's use of the printing press to infringe Paul's work. (Once again, we assume that Carla DID THE DEED, and has no defenses. If she didn't infringe or has no defenses, then Sarah is always off the hook.)

    This was a hot issue for awhile, that seemed to be raised by someone literally every time a new duplication or distribution technology is produced, from the player piano, to the radio, to the audio tape machine, to the television, to the video tape machine, to the DAT machines until today, with P2P filesharing technology. Allegations are old news. But what of the law? The problems are that the cost of suing a mass market of customers is often great, but liability creates a risk of deterring the development of useful and important technologies.

    Well, the principal case here was the Sony Betamax case, in which the movie studios sued Sony for manufacturing a video-tape recor
  • by RichardX (457979) on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @02:45PM (#9634302) Homepage
    I find it interesting that these kinds of measures are inevitably wheeled out in the name of some greater public good, for the benefit of The People though as far as I can see, The People are quite happy sitting at home listening to their MP3s and watching their DivXs, and for the most part aren't too worried about the sky falling.

    I know this isn't 100% ontopic, but it's kinda related, and kinda interesting. The other day, for the first time in ages, I bought a DVD. I got home, popped it in my multireigion DivX capable DVD player, and turned it on. What's the first thing I'm greeted with? The movie?

    Nope.
    A minute long, unskippable demonisation of pirates, telling me how people who pirate movies are out to kill and rape my children (funny.. don't remember having any), and fund terrorism - um, how, exactly? since when do you pay for Bittorrent downloads. And of course, that pirate movies are inevitably terrible quality and will ruin your enjoyment. Funny. I've never been forced to sit through FACT preaching at me on a pirate DVD, and I tend to find that release groups take so much pride in their rips and distribution that the quality is uniformly excellent - indeed, with anime fansubs the fan-released movies often have better subtitling than the officially released ones.

    So, their points?
    1. Think Of The Children! (oh dear)
    2. You're funding terrorism! (without spending)
    3. Inferior products! (except.. they're better).

    So, can anyone re-order these words into a popular phrase or sentence:
    On, stand, leg, to, don't, they, a, have
  • Don't forget... (Score:3, Informative)

    by StarKruzr (74642) on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @03:26PM (#9634706) Journal
    ... the emerging phenomenon of wireless mesh networking, [oreillynet.com] which this bill would surely outlaw as well.

    I seriously cannot stand Orrin Hatch. I used to be a Sean Hannity listener until he had Hatch on his program (who proceeded to bump me off the line as a caller, btw).

    Copyright holders (especially media copyright holders): Wake the fsck up. Your existing business model has been obviated by technology. No amount of legislation can save it now. FIGURE OUT SOMETHING ELSE.
  • Lier? (Score:2, Informative)

    by smashin234 (555465) on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @04:25PM (#9635248) Journal
    "I do believe that peer-to-peer file-sharing networks are here to stay" from: http://judiciary.senate.gov/print_member_statement .cfm?id=623&wit_id=51 So the famous senetor from Utah says that. And then he turns around and talks about how people share out personal information and that it is a security risk for both individuals and for the Government. How is making it possible to get sued making P2P software going to make it safer? No one will innovate if their reward is going to be the gov. on their ass. So instead of encouraging safer P2P (which he gives unstantiated claims that is unsafe), he tries to kill it off. Does he really believe it is here to stay? I wish I lived in Utah so I could vote this lier out of office.
  • by Alsee (515537) on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @04:30PM (#9635291) Homepage
    The sky is not back yet, but it is goind exactly as described in Digital Imprimatur. [fourmilab.ch] It's a long but important read.

    And how is it that the Digital Imprimatur is happening right now? Well take a look at this Slashdot story Cisco Working to Block Viruses at the Router. [slashdot.org] But guess what? The Slashdot story completely missed one vital point. These new Cisco routers DO NO BLOCK VIRUSES. No, what they really do is check that you are running a TRUSTED COMPUTER and then they remotely scan the software running on your computer. If you are not Tursted Computing compliant, or of you are not running the approved and mandated software (or if you are running prohibited software) THEN THIS ROUTER DENIES YOU INTERNET ACCESS.

    Of course it is being billed to enforce that you are running an approved and up-to-date firewall and/or anti-virus software and/or that your operating system has the latest patches. That's how it supposedly "fights viruses".

    Of course enforcing that you are using a Trusted Computer means that you no longer own/control your own computer. Of course enforcing that you are running all of that approved software and latest approved operating system patchs also means that you are forced to run only the approved operating system (Palladium anyone?). It also means that if you attempt to change any of your settings or modify your software in any way you get locked out completely, you lose your net connection, you can't open any of your 'secure' files, and most of your software will refuse to run.

    It's true that ISP's can't start installing these new Cisco Routers unless most of their customers already have Trusted Hardware - they'd be locking out almost all of their customers. However the plan is to simply include the Trust Chip as standard hardware on all new motherboards sold, starting this year. They don't have to convince you to buy a new Trusted Computer, they simply HAND you the new hardware when you replace your old PC. There's no reason not to accept a computer with the Trust Chip in it, you can simply leave the chip off and the machine can do everything a normal computer can do and run all existing software. Over the course of 4 years or so essentially all PC's get replaced as obsolete. Around 2008 or so pretty much everyone is expected to have a Trust Chip. Then the ISP's can install the new routers and lock out anyone that has failed to comply. It will only be a few percent, and the company will simply say "Your Fault, you have an incompatible computer, go buy a modern machine to replace your obsolete hunk of junk."

    At a Washington DC Global Tech Summit, Richard Clarke Special Advisor to the President for Cyberspace Security called on ISP's to enforce exactly such a policy. See the PDF here. [bsa.org] His speech starts on page 7, but you can skip to the last two paragraphs on page 11 through the end. He says TCPA(Trusted Computing) is a "Good beginning, but not enough", tells ISPs to use TCPA to enforce the use of firewalls and other software in order to get a hookup, asks them to implement a National Strategy to Defend Cyberspace. He asks them to do so "in the spirit of 9/11", to do so for our National Economy, to do so for our National Defence, to do so for Our Way Of Life For People Around The Globe, and even to defend us against Osama bin Laden himself. And the PDF notes that the audience responded with applause.

    If there is no massive public backlash against Trusted Computing it will simply be dumped in our laps and the sky will become very dark indeed.

    -

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