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Senate Passes Scaled-Back Copyright Bill 52

Posted by michael
from the making-sausage dept.
Finalnight writes "The Senate has voted to outlaw several favorite techniques of people who illegally copy and distribute movies, but has dropped other measures that could have led to jail time for Internet song-swappers..."
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Senate Passes Scaled-Back Copyright Bill

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  • Not Happy (Score:2, Interesting)

    by DrJonesAC2 (652108)
    Im not happy about this passing but at least most of the really stupid things were removed. Maybe my letters to good ol' Orrin helped.
    • Re:Not Happy (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Content-Free (833100)
      At least "A section that would have made it illegal to edit out commercials was removed." I was wondering if I'd have to leave the room when commercials came on in order not to watch them.
      • Not yet.

        But that will happen 10 minutes into the future.
        • I thought it was 20 minutes into the future... by the way, Channel 23 is AWESOME!

          I hope they come out with a DVD box set of Max Headroom
          • Your are correct *Hids head in shame*

          • Exactly when the story is meant to be set is an open question. However in the original (Channel 4) "pilot" we are told that Bryce is 18 years old, and his records indicate that he was born in 1987, meaning the story is taking place in 2004.

      • I was wondering if I'd have to leave the room when commercials came on in order not to watch them.

        Sorry, the door is locked during those periods.

    • by lothar97 (768215) *
      Not sure why you're unhappy about this bill passing. While I haven't read the entire bill for fun provisions, it does such dastardly things as make taping movies in theatres punishible by up to 3 years in jail. It also increases penalties on insiders who leak works before release date, and also on hackers who do the same. I cannot imagine what complaints people would have with these provisions. They sound kind of fair to me.
      • Re:Not Happy (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Relic of the Future (118669) <dales@digitaFREEBSDlfreaks.org minus bsd> on Tuesday November 23, 2004 @02:51PM (#10901127)
        The concern is that the punishments do not fit the crime. No one thinks that shoplifting is a good and moral thing to do, but would a law demanding 3 years in federal prison for petty theft be fair?

        Secondly is the issue that an ailing industry is trying to legislate itself back to super-profitablilty with special government favoritism. As the joke goes, the horse-and-buggy industry tried the same thing when the model-T came out, but cooler heads prevailed.

        Thankfully, the provision that would have made it the Justice Department's job to hunt down and prosecute file traders was dropped; the **AA will have to continue to pay for its own lawyers, just like everyone else.

        • Re:Not Happy (Score:2, Insightful)

          The concern is that the punishments do not fit the crime. No one thinks that shoplifting is a good and moral thing to do, but would a law demanding 3 years in federal prison for petty theft be fair?

          Bullshit. How can you compare bootlegging movies to stealing candy bars? Are you serious? Do you realize how much money those scumbags make from selling cam movies on the street, even at only $5 a pop? It's pure profit and it's completely, undeniably stealing. Full on larceny, no "petty" involved.

          Jeez, I
          • Do you realize how much money those scumbags make from selling cam movies on the street.

            I think there's multiple classes of pirates. In your case, you're referring to the pirates for profit. That would be like stealing a secret recipe, then selling it on the street for $5 a shot, rather than obtaining it for themselves for personal use.

            What the parent is referring to, I'm sure is swapping and obtaining songs or movies for no profit.

            Pehaps %?? would have bought that movie otherwise, but I'm inclined

            • No, that's not what the parent referred to. If you RTFA, you'll see the 3 years in jail penalty is for people caught taping movies in a theater, which are always sold. For profit.
  • Is it better... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by cheeseSource (605209) <snailbarn AT yahoo DOT com> on Tuesday November 23, 2004 @02:20PM (#10900631) Journal
    That only some of these got through than all of them or is it worse that any got through at all.

    I call it the "Be glad we only broke your kneecap. We were going break both your arms as well." approach.

  • From TFA (Score:4, Informative)

    by lothar97 (768215) * <owen AT smigelski DOT org> on Tuesday November 23, 2004 @02:22PM (#10900658) Homepage Journal
    Under a measure approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee last month, song swappers could go to jail for up to three years if they shared more than 1,000 copyrighted works.

    Glad to see that this part was left out of the final bill, as I'm a little uncomfortable for busting people for just making files available to download- and people not actually downloading. It's kind of like someone who makes lots of books they've purchased available to friends to borrow.

    I'm a little worried that this might actually pop back in for the final version of the bill. The bills that passed the House and Senate are different, so negociators will smooth out differences. Sometimes nasty provisions like this can make it in, and everyone can say that they didn't vote for that provision.

    • Whoa, there....them there's criminal charges, partner! This bill doesn't do squat about the existing provisions of the beloved DMCA which provide for draconian CIVIL penalties for persons sued and found guilty of distributing even ONE copyrighted file.
      This is actually the more frightening part to me...the standard of proof in civil cases is NOT "beyond reasonable doubt", but based on the preponderance of the evidence. Couple this with penalties starting at $15,000 and you could financially ruin a family w
  • Why jailtime? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Beatbyte (163694) on Tuesday November 23, 2004 @02:27PM (#10900724) Homepage
    People who secretly videotape movies when they are shown in theaters could go to prison for up to three years under the measure, which passed the Senate on Saturday.

    Why do we send people to jail that are at most causing loss of revenues for a certain industry? It's not removing the right for people to go see the movie. Why not just fine him for every copy he sent out? $1000/upload sounds like it would be more fit for the crime.
    • Re:Why jailtime? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Danse (1026)

      Why do we send people to jail that are at most causing loss of revenues for a certain industry? ...
      Why not just fine him for every copy he sent out? $1000/upload sounds like it would be more fit for the crime.


      Can't get blood from a stone. And why $1000 per upload? Why not $1 per upload? Isn't that more in line with the actual damage? Ok, let's do triple damages then. $3 per upload. Of course they still need a way to track how many uploads you've done. And I suppose there's no reason they couldn't

      • Why would it be actual damage? if you stole someone's car, and got caught, would you expect to pay Kelley Blue Book value?

        It's punishment not being fair for what you took.

        Besides, you can't gauge the snowball effect. If he sent it to 10 people. 5 of them sent it to 10 people. And so on... and some of those people may have spent the $10 at the theater or $20 for the DVD but won't because they downloaded it.
        • Flawed analogy (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Safety Cap (253500)

          if you stole someone's car, and got caught, would you expect to pay Kelley Blue Book value?

          No, but if I make an exact duplicate of your car, then sold it to someone else, I wouldn't expect to pay anything to you. You still have your original car, in its original condition. I haven't stolen anything from you.

          Now, if your car was a WunderCar 6000, with a innovative new design © 2004 by you, and I made a copy and sold it, then you could sue me for infringement, but that is NOT a criminal offense. The

          • If you did make a duplicate, you're reducing the value of mine. You don't have any right to make a copy of it either. Especially these fools taking cameras into theaters.

            You can't act like it doesn't hurt the companies making/distributing/advertising the movies. Even though nothing physical is removed, you still financially harm them.
            • I disagree. (Score:3, Interesting)

              by hummassa (157160)

              You can't act like it doesn't hurt the companies making/distributing/advertising the movies.

              But it doesn't!!! At least not in my case: I usually watch movies first at home, and then at the theather if I think the experience would be good. The films I can't download, I will not watch at all. I will buy a good DVD with a lot of extras instead of downloading the KVCD version of the movie. The cost (to me) would be the same (a good DVD with 1 disc here costs approx US$ 15 -- the same price of one hour of wor

              • But it doesn't!!! At least not in my case

                That's fine and dandy that you're a fine upstanding citizen but I know quite a few people who will not buy a DVD if they can find the movie online.

                A friend of mine has a DVD shelf of 300+ dvd's of which over 1/2 are pirated and covers are made or printed up onto. There are quite a few that are bought but he even told me if he could have found them online instead of buying them, they would have not be bought.
            • If you did make a duplicate, you're reducing the value of mine. You don't have any right to make a copy of it either.

              This was exactly my point. In fact, by distributing 1 song to 1 person, you are doing about $1 in damage, judging by the going rate for music online. So, as is common in cases where you want punishment in addition to damages, you triple the damages. Thus $3 per download.

        • Besides, you can't gauge the snowball effect. If he sent it to 10 people. 5 of them sent it to 10 people.

          You charge the first guy with 10 counts and then you charge the other people for however many times they uploaded it. Those would be separate offenses committed by other people. You can't tag a person for what others do.

  • by Beatbyte (163694) on Tuesday November 23, 2004 @02:29PM (#10900756) Homepage
    "This bill strengthens the intellectual-property laws that are vital to the ongoing growth of our economy," Utah Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch said.

    Maybe it's the fact that they need to create a new business model. That and not use the political puppets to create legislation that goes against the PEOPLE and for the CORPORATIONS.
  • by Beatbyte (163694) on Tuesday November 23, 2004 @02:32PM (#10900795) Homepage
    A section that would have made it illegal to edit out commercials was removed.

    I feel like for once, contacting my congressman worked!

    ...Either that or they have TiVo's themselves ;-)
  • A section that would have made it illegal to edit out commercials was removed.

    All that complaining and speculating [slashdot.org] for nothing. You may now return to your regularly broadcasted commercial-free PVR's now.
    • A section that would have made it illegal to edit out commercials was removed

      "All that complaining and speculating for nothing"

      Since the section was removed, perhaps the complaining and speculating was indeed for something.
      • no no, complaining doesn't help anything. if no one would have said anything then the law would still have come through in a fair and just manner. Just like this new amendment to repeal the 1st amendment. Please don't complain about it and everything will be all right.
  • by Lord_Raptor (738466) on Tuesday November 23, 2004 @02:54PM (#10901163) Journal
    http://www.wired.com/news/politics/0,1283,65796,00 .html?tw=wn_tophead_7/ [wired.com]: "A Kinder, Gentler Copyright Bill?"
    This is one of those cases, where the name says it all. What were they thinking?

    The official name is: Family Entertainment and Copyright Act

    How about if we add the fact that this is legislation:
    Family Entertainment and Copyright Act Legislation
    (FECAL). Guess that is fairly self-descriptive.
    • "The official name is: Family Entertainment and Copyright Act"

      So you're saying this is Family Entertainment and Copyright Act Legislation? Sounds about right to me.
  • The bill also shields "family friendly" services like ClearPlay that strip violent or sexually explicit scenes from movies. Hollywood groups say such services violate their copyrighted works by altering them without permission.
    I guess they didn't want people to miss the product placement ads in the sex scenes.
  • by sudog (101964) on Tuesday November 23, 2004 @03:58PM (#10902091) Homepage
    They introduce the bill, put draconian measures into it, and fight to pass draconian measures that would seriously impact the way Americans live their daily lives.

    Then an outcry develops, they strip out the draconian measures and leave behind innocuous, small-step leftovers that they were hoping to pass in the first place, to make it look like they were being magnanimous by compromising.

    The more they do this, the more they can get bills passed that erode the rights of US citizens and turn the US into a nation of good little worker bees making the elite upper class richer and richer.

    I wonder what it'll look like in 15 years, when another five or six of these bills gets passed in succession?

    You guys are so fucked.
    • The more they do this, the more they can get bills passed that erode the rights of US citizens and turn the US into a nation of good little worker bees making the elite upper class richer and richer.

      What do you mean "turn the US into a nation of good little worker bees"?

      We're already there, dood. No "turning" required... nobody in the US cares about anything as long as they can have their 2.5 kids, and a bigger house/TV/SUV/etc than their neighbor.

      (yes, I'm over-generalizing. There are a few (3 or 4)
    • I am as pissed-off an American liberal(generalized BS label, but it will make my position 'easy' for those who don't know better) as any of them out there. I know my rights, I know they are eroding. I educate myself well above average and am thuroughly convinced we are about to take it in the ass with our pants on dut to congress's conservative pro-special interest group crap.

      You know what keeps me south of the canadian border? What makes me get up in the morning and what makes me believe that my future ca
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Honest question:

    Can someone explan to me why, whenever there's a slashdot posting about spammers, the bulk of the posts seem to suggest that many years in the slammer is appropriate (and, of course, there are the posts that go so far as to recommend genital removal :) but when there's a posting about copyright law and "piracy" of copywritten works, the general concensus seems to be that any additional penalties are way too severe?

    Anyone?

  • by morcheeba (260908) * on Tuesday November 23, 2004 @05:20PM (#10903159) Journal
    People who secretly videotape movies when they are shown in theaters could go to prison for up to three years

    Hackers and industry insiders who distribute music, movies or other copyrighted works before their official release date also face stiffened penalties under the bill.


    Well, I hope the industry insiders face a stiffer penalty than three years in prison -- they make much better, more watch-able copies, so the damage is much worse.

    But, somehow, I don't think the industry will want such stiff penalties for their own people. And, if so, why the long sentence for taping in a theater? Hopefully someone will eventually realize that jail time is not appropriate & copyright should be kept a civil matter.
  • Are the RIAA and MPAA ever going to realize that technology is here to stay, and that they are not going to make it go away by sending people to jail, or suing them, or by any other means? Millions of people use filesharing, and like it or not, it's here to stay. You cannot legislate out of existence something that this many people do. Just look at the shining success of the United States' "War on Drugs."

    The "IP" industries have fought everything from the radio to the Betamax. In every case, when they have

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