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Bush Signs Law Targeting P2P Pirates 727

Posted by Zonk
from the another-victory-in-the-war-on-terror dept.
BlakeCaldwell writes "CNet is reporting that President Bush signed into law the Family Entertainment and Copyright Act (previously-reported). A lawbreaker can land in jail for up to three years for distributing a single copy of a prerelease movie on the Internet. The MPAA's president Dan Glickman applauded the move, stating he wanted to 'thank the congressional sponsors of this legislation for their strong advocacy for intellectual property rights.'"
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Bush Signs Law Targeting P2P Pirates

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  • Not that bad... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mfh (56) on Thursday April 28, 2005 @09:20AM (#12370559) Homepage Journal
    Before we hear people slamming this (because it's Bush related), read what the EFF has to say about it...

    Straight from the EFF [eff.org]'s Fred von Lohmann:
    April 22, 2005

    As many have reported, the Family Entertainment and Copyright Act of 2005 (S.167/H.R. 357), recently passed the House, which also issued a committee report about the bill. Since the identical language had already passed the Senate in February, the measure now goes to President Bush for signature.

    There has been some alarmist [theregister.com] reporting about the bill. While it's decidedly a mixed bag, I think the bill should be marked as more victory than a defeat for the public interest side in the copyfight.
    ...And the bottom line from the EFF:
    The real silver lining here emerges when you consider where the entertainment industry started back in 2003, and where they've ended up in 2005. After two years of heavy investments in lobbying Congress for a host of outrageous changes to copyright laws (like the Induce Act), the entertainment moguls managed to enact only a tiny sliver of their agenda, and only by granting concessions to ClearPlay.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 28, 2005 @09:22AM (#12370590)
    The MPAA's president Dan Glickman applauded the move, stating he wanted to 'thank the congressional sponsors of this legislation for their strong advocacy for intellectual property rights.

    And they would like to thank the MPAA for their contribution.
  • by VMaN (164134) on Thursday April 28, 2005 @09:22AM (#12370591) Homepage
    ....in my mouth..

    I just can't understand how "buying" laws is considered perfectly natural and good legislation... (I know that's not exactly the context the word was used in, but still)
  • Re:Ridiculous (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jersey_emt (846314) on Thursday April 28, 2005 @09:24AM (#12370614) Homepage
    "A lawbreaker can land in jail for up to three years for distributing a single copy of a prerelease movie on the Internet." Some rapists don't even serve this much time. How does putting a copy of a movie on the Internet deserve 3 years in jail?
  • Re:Not that bad... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 28, 2005 @09:25AM (#12370625)
    You post makes little sense to me. First, we arne't Bush bashing. He wasn't really involved with this bill. It's bashing the Republicans and their love of the religious right. Second when the EFF says there is a silver lining that means the bill is a dark cloud. I don't know how you can read that as an endorsement, but you do.

    To say this bill could be a whole lot worse doesn't make it a good bill. Duh!

  • by cyberlotnet (182742) on Thursday April 28, 2005 @09:25AM (#12370630) Homepage Journal
    I know, sue americans, take all there money, put them in jail for years for doing things like hmm lets seee.. Oh yea stealing a few movies.

    In the meantime lets let convicted murders get out on "good behavior" so they can get another shot and killing someone else.

    Lets send rapests to see a shrink who can claim they are now safe for the world again.

    Lets focus on every stupid little thing that happens EXCEPT the things that harm and affect us the most!!!

    Cause gosh darn it I don't ever want to walk pass some "Axis of Evil" P2P criminal on the streets, the pure inhumanity of it all.
  • Re:Not that bad... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by slavemowgli (585321) * on Thursday April 28, 2005 @09:25AM (#12370636) Homepage
    So we should be happy because even though they got what they wanted, they maybe could've gotten even more? I sure am happy that insane rubbish like the INDUCE act was thrown out, but I don't quite see why I should celebrate a setback just because it could have been an EVEN bigger setback.
  • by RyoShin (610051) <[tukaro] [at] [gmail.com]> on Thursday April 28, 2005 @09:26AM (#12370642) Homepage Journal
    The MPAA's president Dan Glickman applauded the move, stating he wanted to 'thank the congressional sponsors of this legislation for their strong advocacy for intellectual property rights.'

    Glickman later added that he would like to apologize to those same congressional sponsors, as their seven figure checks will be delayed for up to two days.
  • Re:Not that bad... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Cat_Byte (621676) on Thursday April 28, 2005 @09:27AM (#12370654) Journal
    What does religious right really have to do with people pirating movies?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 28, 2005 @09:27AM (#12370661)
    Source on this? Sounds made up to me.
  • Re:Not that bad... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by garcia (6573) * on Thursday April 28, 2005 @09:28AM (#12370675) Homepage
    The real silver lining here emerges when you consider where the entertainment industry started back in 2003, and where they've ended up in 2005. After two years of heavy investments in lobbying Congress for a host of outrageous changes to copyright laws (like the Induce Act), the entertainment moguls managed to enact only a tiny sliver of their agenda, and only by granting concessions to ClearPlay.

    And yet after 229 years of lobbying Congress the flesh and blood people of this fine country and losing their rights sliver by sliver to those "people" created out of paper and ink.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 28, 2005 @09:29AM (#12370687)
    If we're caught, we'll do less time than if we somehow managed to get a low quality copy of a movie from the theater. Heck, we can even lose control, slam into another vehicle, and kill an entire family on their way to visit grandma, at most we'll be slapped with a small fine and told how naughty we are.

    Welcome to MegaCorp, where we make the rules, and frankly, human life is far less important than our profits.
  • Re:Not that bad... (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 28, 2005 @09:30AM (#12370699)
    You say that like you're replying to someone who is defending an administration that thinks its OK to openly lie and flaunt its corruption, who flipflops on ethics issues faster than Kerry ever could hope to, and who appears to honestly believe that this is all right because they weren't the first administration to be hives of scum and villainy.

    Really says a lot for your "values" when they appear to consist of "But he did it first!"
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 28, 2005 @09:31AM (#12370705)
    No doubt, im really getting tired of politicians purposely mis-labeling things just to get other politicians to take intrest, and these are the guys who dont bother to read most of the stuff they vote for .

    Once again, another day another bill signed for big business. Hell, in 5 years Bush Jr has yet to veto a single bill, and why would he? In order to veto something, a bill sponsored by a Democrat would have to pass the house.
  • What A Cheap Shot (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 28, 2005 @09:31AM (#12370714)
    from the another-victory-in-the-war-on-terror dept.

    Seriously, Zonk, can you cite anybody in the Administration who has said that enforcement of IP laws is part of the War on Terror?

    No, I didn't think so. So why the cheap shot connecting the two? It's funny how slashbots talk out of both sides of their mouths, that the technology shouldn't be procescuted, it should be the violators. Now the violators are being targeted, you guys still whine about...something.

  • Re:Translation (Score:1, Insightful)

    by JamesP (688957) on Thursday April 28, 2005 @09:33AM (#12370733)
    'thank the congressional sponsors of this legislation for their strong advocacy for intellectual property rights.'

    Translation: You're our , that's the least you could have done for us...

  • Re:Not that bad... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Threni (635302) on Thursday April 28, 2005 @09:34AM (#12370749)
    Give it a few months/years, and the bit about pre-release will vanish, leaving you with these over the top criminal sanctions for sharing any file, even those legal outside the States (such as Naxos licensed classical/world recordings), or deleted material.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 28, 2005 @09:35AM (#12370762)
    I am a subscriber and saw the prerelease headline for this story. It was slated before the recent OS X story, then was pulled before general release. I wondered why, and now I know:

    The original story led with a headline covering the aspects of the bill that make it explicitly legal to *filter* DVD content, certainly a positive side to this legislation for the tech industry and fair use. Apparently, that headline wasn't sexy enough, though, so they pulled the story and resubmitted it as yet another whine about the entertainment-industrial complex abusing all those poor shmoes who think they should be able to get other's creative works for free.

    (Yeah, I'm editorialzing too, but I don't have Editor in my title)

  • Skewed Justice (Score:3, Insightful)

    by inflex (123318) on Thursday April 28, 2005 @09:35AM (#12370766) Homepage Journal
    Disclaimer - I own all my music.

    What scares me here is the absolute disparity (right word?) between the punishment of virtual-space crimes versus violent, sexual and other more "real" crimes.

    When you see murderers/rapists/etc walk free 12 months after their committal to jail and yet people can get 3 years for file-sharing... wow, I'm disturbed.

    I think it's time more people in congress suffered to violent crime.
  • by Acoustic (875187) on Thursday April 28, 2005 @09:39AM (#12370809) Homepage
    If you also look at Title II of the bill it also has an "Exemption from Infringement for Skipping Audio and Video Content In Motion Pictures" This will allow manufacturers to legally create players to skip over crappy content and effectively lower the moving rating.

    Back when DVDs first came out, this was supposedly one of the big "features" that the industry was touting: the ability to select a G, PG, PG-13 or R rating for the movie. So far, Hollywood has never delivered on that. Then, when a companies (like clearplay) enter the market to fill the gap, they get sued. This bill protects that right to skip the content you don't want to see. There are a lot of good movies out there that would be a lot better if they would just leave out some unnecessary obscene material
  • Re:Ridiculous (Score:4, Insightful)

    by thagoren (879712) on Thursday April 28, 2005 @09:39AM (#12370815)
    "Some rapists don't even serve this much time." Gee, you mean that some criminals don't serve the maximum possible jail time for their crimes? Unless this law is the one exception in all of US law, movie pirates won't all be serving the maximum time either, so they can still expect to serve less time than rapists and murderers. Since you'll probably get just a few months, go ahead and steal as many movies as you want! After all, it's all in the name of "privacy" - which obviously no-one except criminals have a right to. By the so-called "logic" of most slashdotters, anyone involved in the movie industry certainly can expect no right to privacy - unless it's to protect their cocaine.
  • by dashersey (751215) on Thursday April 28, 2005 @09:44AM (#12370890)
    You were a bush supporter because you thought bush was going to address these other problems? What gave you that silly idea? Certainly not his political record, which has been one of kowtowing to corporate and religious priorities while brushing aside issues of consequence. This is entirely consistent with his behavior -- it's unfortunate that you're realizing it at this late stage.
  • Re:Skewed Justice (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Ishkibble (581826) on Thursday April 28, 2005 @09:47AM (#12370926) Homepage
    "I think it's time more people in congress suffered to violent crime."

    as sad as that statement is i feel the same way. i'd like to see some right wings congressmen get shafted by bubba. you can't possibly argue that you are more emotionally damaged by someone downloading your song, then getting raped.

    i'm just waiting for the time when some militia group takes over the gov and sets things right.
  • With the exception of the kidnapping part, I fail to remember when any of those other things became the responsibility of the Federal Government--and even then, when they became the venue of the President... And even in the case of the kidnapping, unless they cross state lines it's still not a Federal matter...
  • by mpe (36238) on Thursday April 28, 2005 @09:49AM (#12370958)
    Remember kids, when you use P2P, you're supporting terrorists, and because of that, using P2P will get you shipped to Syria where a confession will be tortured out of you, and then you'll be imprisoned without trial or access to a lawyer until such time as Democrats seize control of the government.

    Which probably won't result in any more than cosmetic changes. If you have only two political parties it's quite cheap for special interests to buy both of them.
  • Although this law probably takes no account of how lax security may be in terms of allow unwitting would-be publishers getting hold of a pre-release work, it is morally laudable.

    I'm all for abolishing copyright as applied to published works, but unpublished works are the only true 'intellectual property'.

    If it's unpublished, it remains property. Once published, it belongs to the people and enters the public domain.

    The archaic 'copyright incentive' was only a sweetener that granted a publication monopoly for a limited time. It's time that ended (at least on the Internet).

    So, yes, if the IP is unpublished and under lock and key, then anyone who steals it and publishes it is a criminal of the first order. Although, someone who privately distributes something under NDA to 50,000 conference delegates does not really deserve as much damages as a movie company who has distributed a DVD to 50 reviewers.

  • ebay? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Tom (822) on Thursday April 28, 2005 @09:53AM (#12371001) Homepage Journal
    How long until congress goes the final step and auctions off laws? It's obvious that many of the recent laws are simply bought, even if the politically correct term is "lobbyism". Why not go the whole nine yards? In the long run, it'll be the only way to save the exploding deficit anyways.
  • by mpe (36238) on Thursday April 28, 2005 @09:54AM (#12371013)
    you know, the last time i check this country was supposed to be, by the people for the people and of the people. now it seems like its by the corporations, for the Corporations, and of the upper 1%
    Not even that. The Corporations doing the lobbying are only a tiny minority of those which exist. It's probably closer to the truth to say that the US is being run by professional lobbyests. Who represent the interests of a few corporations, organised crime, nutcases and possibly even foreign governments.
  • by ArsenneLupin (766289) on Thursday April 28, 2005 @09:55AM (#12371025)
    ... the name!

    Family Entertainment and Copyright Act Law!

  • Re:Not that bad... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by tverbeek (457094) on Thursday April 28, 2005 @09:57AM (#12371049) Homepage
    So you think there is a legitimate need to distribute movies before they are released?

    Of course there isn't. And the people who do it are assholes catering to pathetic little losers with no patience and/or willingness to pay people for what they create.

    But you shouldn't go to jail for being an asshole.

  • by meringuoid (568297) on Thursday April 28, 2005 @10:02AM (#12371118)
    Heck, the bill had to pass, it had the word "family" in, nobody wants to vote against family.

    That's the key, you see. Cunning use of bills.

    As you say, putting 'family' in the name is good. Or perhaps you might slip something evil in with something good. Perhaps it's a 'perverted arts' amendment into the bill to evacuate the town of Springfield. You vote for it? Next election campaign, "he voted for government money for perverts!" You vote against it? Next election campaign, "he voted against the evacuation!" Better yet, if you then remove the evil amendment and have the vote again... Next election campaign, "he flip-flops!"

    Ah, the joys of governmental corruption ;-)

  • Re:Not that bad... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by John Harrison (223649) <johnharrisonNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Thursday April 28, 2005 @10:06AM (#12371169) Homepage Journal
    Go find the last story on this bill. You'll be shocked at how happy everyone is about it. I was amazed, since /. has consistently seen Clearplay as an evil censorship issue instead of seeing the freedom to watch media as you please side of the arguement.

    I agree that three years in jail is harsh, and probably out of line when compared to drunk driving. I would guess that on your first offense the judge isn't likely to send you to prison for three years. What would you suggest is an appropriate punishment? I would guess that most pirates do not have the means to pay for the financial damages that early release of some movies (The Hulk, for example) can cause. If you do $20 million in damages and you can't pay for it how long should you go to jail?

  • by iworm (132527) on Thursday April 28, 2005 @10:10AM (#12371232)
    If the US Law did apply to them, that would be a step forward. The problem is that the US detains them but does NOT apply US Law to them, nor any other recognisable form of Law.
  • by doublem (118724) on Thursday April 28, 2005 @10:12AM (#12371257) Homepage Journal
    What would it take for "america" to realize we need to focus on our own country and not everywhere else?

    The loss of our bread and circuses.

    While many of the ultra wealthy would love to destroy the Middle Class, it's an amazing stabilizing influence. Everyone in it is highly unlikely to rise up against the government in any dangerous way. How many suicide bombers have season tickets, a three bedroom house and a mortgage?

    It also provides a means for the masses to channel our energy into financial and economic activities, and gives the Lower Classes (I'm using these terms in a purely economic manner, please do not make any race, culture, religion or other connections). The lower classes can have the hope of living "The American Dream" and advancing economically.

    Destroy the middle class, and you lose all the stabilizing factors it provides, and you have a disenfranchised population who remembers the middle class and is pissed that it vanished.

    What's happening now with the "Generation X" situation is an entire generation is not expected to do as well as their parents. The end result will be a gradual, generational erosion of the "Middle Class" until it can vanish without the initial "They ruined me" reaction of a sudden destruction.

    While in the short term this means the Upper, Upper Class can make it nearly impossible for others to enter their monetary realm, it does, in the long run, increase the liklihood of wholesale political overthrow.

    On a side note, they don't realize that the most effective long term strategy for stability and peace ion the Middle East is to encourage the development of a middle class.
  • by tentimestwenty (693290) on Thursday April 28, 2005 @10:12AM (#12371261)
    One day the gold runs out and the aristocrats lose their heads...
  • by mpe (36238) on Thursday April 28, 2005 @10:18AM (#12371357)
    Um... There are a number of people at Guantanamo Bay (and Abu Ghraib) who might disagree with you. US law applies to anyone the Yanks don't like and can lay their hands on.

    Except that US law most definitly does not apply to the people kidnaapped to Cuba. Effectivly the people held in Guantanamo Bay appear to be held somewhere where their kidnappers are not subject to any country's laws.
  • lets hunt (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Tsiangkun (746511) on Thursday April 28, 2005 @10:29AM (#12371497) Homepage
    I'd suggest we start hunting down filesharing criminals related to senators, representatives, the president and his staff, lawyers, leaders of corporations, and members of the **AA.

    might as well add the pastors children to the list too.

    The only way I can see the stop laws like this is to send the ruling class's children to prison.
  • Re:Not that bad... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by TFGeditor (737839) on Thursday April 28, 2005 @10:35AM (#12371576) Homepage
    You know, I have watched hundreds of mevies wherein I *knew* a couple had sex, but it was not depicted explicity, yet this did not detract one bit from the movie's entertainment value.

    I have also watched hundreds of movies where sombody got their throat cut, but it did not explicitly depict the gushing blood, the cutee's bubbling, burbling, rasping sounds as he tried to breathe through a severed esophogus and inhaled his own blood, but the entertainment value was not diminished.

    So, if these scenes were edited out of a movie before I saw it, I would not miss them. If the movie is well made with an entertaining story line, the gratuitous scenes are not necessary.

    Further, all the hand-wringing over the artist's "rights" is a crock. Untalented "artists" try to compensate for lack of talent with sensational special effects, gore, sex, etc. Most of them should study the classics (Citizen Caine, Casablanca, The Magnificant Seven, et al) and get a clue about what real artists do.

  • Re:Not that bad... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by delus10n0 (524126) <delusion_&pdsys,org> on Thursday April 28, 2005 @10:43AM (#12371697) Homepage
    So, what if I play a movie in random chapter order?

    What if my DVD has scratches and cannot play a certain chapter, so I skip it?

    What if I close my eyes during a pivotal moment of the film?

    What if I watch a "modified for public broadcast" version of the film, with major scenes/language/etc. cut out?

    What if I watch a movie halfway through, then shut it off because it's crap (*cough*Butterfly Effect*cough*)?

    Gimme a break.

    You also argue that you won't know what's been removed-- I beg to differ. See, they'll still be releasing/making the regular DVDs, VHSs, etc.. and I'm sure there will be information somewhere about what was removed or questionable; if not by this company than by the numerous other websites on the internet that detail film gore/language/sexuality.
  • Re:Not that bad... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by smokeslikeapoet (598750) <wfpearson@NOsPaM.gmail.com> on Thursday April 28, 2005 @10:52AM (#12371828) Homepage Journal
    Mod Parent up. This is the only informative post in in this thread. It's the only one that accurately describes the legislation without opining.
  • Re:Not that bad... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by zuzulo (136299) on Thursday April 28, 2005 @10:58AM (#12371918) Homepage
    I think what folks dont realize is that this kind of legislation just forces the issue for those of us who think seriously about cryptographically secure distributed networks.

    There is now a demonstrable, real need for networks where *all* activities are double blind encrypted transactions through an arbitrary, configurable number of intermediaries who can *prove* they dont know who is sending them data or what data they are handling.

    A network such as this clearly falls under the fair use statues as a way to maintain secure person to person communication and confidential file sharing (ala PGP et al), and if it is constructed in such a way that only request originators and suppliers *can* know what they are using the network for yet still cannot know *who* they are doing it with, it would more than satisfy legal concerns such as providing plausible deniability.

    Therefore 'sharers' and 'users' can still be caught but only through fairly onerous chores like monitoring thier personal computers during use to see exactly what they are sharing or downloading. This is much more analogous to conventional law enforcement techniques for doing video surveillance and audio monitoring - an agent basically has to get a warrant *with probable cause* to initiate any of these activities, and it is not clear to me that data transactions deserve any less legal protection.

    So, to end this somewhat rant like spiel, it is clear that this kind of legislation may be a net *good* for the community in that it forces us to develop a better peered infrastructure simply to maintain our fair use rights.

    Heck, i might have to buckle down and give something back to the open source community and the internet community at large at long last myself. ;-)

    Now if someone would just pay me and my crew our cost of living expenses for as long as it would take to build a network of this sort, or even better if a non profit foundation or relatively wealthy private benefactor would post a bounty ala the "XPrize" with well defined acceptance criteria for such a network (double blind, multiple stops, no scaling issues, configurable encryption levels, automated discovery, etc) I would be able to convince a serious crew to do this now (and we would even donate the resulting IP to the sponsoring org or the open source community - which now that i think about it would be a nice prize requirement) rather than working on other stuff to get paid and pursuing this sort of thing as a hobby.

    Seriously interested parties feel free to contact me at zuz(del)ulo at g(del)mail (del). com. I have been thinking somewhat seriously about the algorithmic side of this for quite some time. On the whole, however, it is pretty clear to me that community forces will force the evolution of something with these characteristics, most likely within the next 24 months or so.
  • Re:Not that bad... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 28, 2005 @11:47AM (#12372621)
    Wait until you see "Saving Private Ryan", with all the blood, gore, and violence cut out. Now you've just gone from a movie where the message is "War is Hell" to one where the message is "When can I join?".
  • Re:Not that bad... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jafac (1449) on Thursday April 28, 2005 @12:18PM (#12373057) Homepage
    You know, I have watched hundreds of mevies wherein I *knew* a couple had sex, but it was not depicted explicity, yet this did not detract one bit from the movie's entertainment value.

    Part of what an artist (in this case, the Director, Producer, Writer, Actors, Editor, etc.) tries to do with his or her medium, is to convey information. Some of the information is logic (story), some is emotional. (in fact, Aristotle said that it's best to make arguments using three elements together: logos, ethos, and pathos - logic, ethics, and emotion).

    So while some people don't require more than a subtle implied sexual encounter, others are less sensitive, or maybe the artist wants to dial-up the emotional impact a notch or two for dramatic effect.

    Who the FUCK are YOU, to say that an artist can not use his or her medium in this way?

    You are a paying customer. So when material is too explicit for your tastes, simple; don't pay for that material. Don't watch. 'k?

    Yes, it's true that there are hacks out there (probably 99% of the movie industry) who abuse this freedom, because, frankly, sex sells. Also, there's simply a style in moviemaking in our contemporary era, that calls for such intensity of explicitness, or pathos, (similar to the 19th century Fauvists painters use of intense color and crude shapes). Maybe a decade or two from now, that style may change, or not, depending on the tastes of the audience, and how strongly the market is controlled by government/religious regulation.

    It could be said that the current "style" of moviemaking is driven by market demand. And that demand, is shaped, in part, by a social backlash to religious repression of sexuality, dating back to your cited "golden age" of classic cinema.

    I posit that without such repression, people, in general, will see such explicitness, and eventually get sick of it, and the demand for that style will change, to something else.

    I would like to see that happen. As a market response to a supply of material that's over-saturated in explicitness.

    But the more folks like James Dobson, Michael Powell, and yourself, try to tell people what they can (or should) or can not (or should not) see, or create, the more people will want to see, or create those things.

    I want to see good moviemaking, and more emphasis on subtlety, and logos and ethos, and less emphasis on pathos, as well.

    But I'm voting with my dollars. I don't think that government or church should intervene in this market, other than to break industry dominance by the few players, both in production and distribution.

    If the market is freed, demand will drive the next evolution in cinema. (and not, as Lucas and his ilk wants us to believe, technology - technology could make it possible to break the screwed up over-consolidated market, but it's not going to do anything to change demand-driven stylistic content - who here is sick of "good eye-candy, crappy story" movies? raise your hand. /raises hand, not alone).
  • Re:Not that bad... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cpt kangarooski (3773) on Thursday April 28, 2005 @01:45PM (#12374160) Homepage
    There is now a demonstrable, real need for networks where *all* activities are double blind encrypted transactions through an arbitrary, configurable number of intermediaries who can *prove* they dont know who is sending them data or what data they are handling.

    Yes, but not for the reason you probably think.

    Civilly, copyright is a strict liability statute. Thus, if you engage in infringing conduct, you have broken the law. It does not matter at all what your intent was. Even if you do not actually believe that you are engaging in prohibited conduct, and it is not even reasonable for you to believe that you are engaging in prohibited conduct, if you do it, you're an infringer.

    Your mental state generally only has an affect on the damages you have to pay.

    Criminally, willfulness is required, which is a fairly moderate standard. However, IMO unless you honestly have a credible, though erroneous belief in the non-infringing nature of your actions, you're likely to be considered to be a willful infringer. Most of the beliefs about what is and isn't infringement that I see around here probably fall on the non-credible side of the line. Additionally, some courts may simply decide that if the action was undertaken willfully, that is sufficient, even if there was no willful intent to infringe.

    So your proposal doesn't help people to not commit crimes. If they take some infringing action even with regards to encrypted data they don't know the contents of, then they are probably still criminal infringers. After all, courts do not look favorably on the concept of willful blindness, which is basically what you propose.

    What you're really doing is making it difficult to get caught at these crimes, which is a different proposition. It's sort of the difference between how one could avoid a murder conviction by either a) not murdering people, or b) making sure to not leave any evidence behind that points to oneself.

    A network such as this clearly falls under the fair use statues as a way to maintain secure person to person communication and confidential file sharing (ala PGP et al), and if it is constructed in such a way that only request originators and suppliers *can* know what they are using the network for yet still cannot know *who* they are doing it with, it would more than satisfy legal concerns such as providing plausible deniability.

    Like I said, plausible deniability is a really bad thing to rely on; courts simply do not like it, and if you make the attempt, you can probably rely on them to not be friendly should you need to rely on them to be voluntarily lenient.

    Also, fair use is only in one statute, and it has nothing to do with what you propose. As for technology providers, they would be relying on the current formulation of contributory and vicarious liability (read the Sony and Napster cases for more on that, particularly Napster as a cautionary example) to avoid liability themselves.

    However, the Supreme Court is at this moment reconsidering the Sony precedent, and there is a very real possibility that the creators or providers of a network as you envision could end up being liable for its use since despite it having many possible uses, it's also practically intended for an illegal one. It doesn't help that you just underlined that with your post here in a public forum, should it be you that faces future legal action. We'll know how this shakes out in the summer, when the Grokster opinion is issued.
  • In other news... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Brandybuck (704397) on Thursday April 28, 2005 @03:03PM (#12375198) Homepage Journal
    In other news, the US Congress passes law targeting P2P pirates.

    Before you start dressing in sackcloth and ashes over Bush's signing of this bill, first ask yourself if your own representatives or senators voted for it. The reason we're in this mess is because people like you find it easier to blame the big guy on national television instead of little guy who only makes your state and local newspapers.
  • Re:Not that bad... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by squiggleslash (241428) on Thursday April 28, 2005 @05:27PM (#12376758) Homepage Journal
    As long as the viewer knows the film has been altered (which is implicit here: the veiwer paid to have it altered), where's the problem?
    Because the viewer is having something presented to them as a version of something when it is not. Again, what's the problem with removing the artist's name from the credits when they ask to be disassociated with such an edit?
    Why do you think an "artist" (the term is a bit of a stretch for product from Hollywood, but anyway) has any special right to determine the terms by which I can view the movie I paid for?
    There are plenty of artists in Hollywood and elsewhere in the movie industry. I've watched some remarkable pieces of cinema of late both from populists and from the slightly more obscure and art-house. Reading between the lines here, I think you really do hate artists. I think that's what this is about. I don't think this is about you exercising "rights" so much as you "sticking it" to the George Lucases of this world.

    Again though, you seem to be doing absolutely everything you can to avoid addressing the point. Nobody here is arguing the terms by which you can view a movie. The problem is you're not viewing a movie, you're viewing an edit of one - someone else's edit - and you're viewing it passed off as a version of the original. You're happy to attribute things to the original artists that clearly were never meant. You're happy for others to do the same thing. You are actively encouraging people to lie, to you, and to others, about what those artists have done.

    Why are you so opposed to artists disassociating themselves from edits? Why do you believe a law should be passed preventing artists from requiring this?

    Answer the question. Don't give me another half-wit answer about "I can do what I like, if I want to hit fast forward I should be able to", because that has nothing to do with the principle here. I personally consider unauthorized third party edits to be deeply insulting, but this goes beyond that. You've had it explained several times. You keep pretending that I'm talking about your right to skip chapters. Are you just stupid, or is your argument so shallow you're afraid to post it?

Life. Don't talk to me about life. - Marvin the Paranoid Anroid

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