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FBI Arrests Eight On Copyright Charges 352

Posted by Zonk
from the free-isn't-free-anymore dept.
luigi6699 writes "The BBC reports that 'the US authorities have charged eight people in connection with the illegal trading of copyrighted films, music, games and software over the net.' According to Acting Assistant Attorney General John C Richter, 'cases like these are part of the Justice Department's coordinated strategy to protect copyright owners from the online thieves who steal and then sell the products they work so hard to produce.'"
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FBI Arrests Eight On Copyright Charges

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 30, 2005 @05:47AM (#13201309)
    Or do they only serve the rich?
  • Selling or Trading? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 30, 2005 @05:47AM (#13201310)
    The article says that they were trading copyright material, but the Assistant Attorney General says that they were selling it... so which one is it?

  • by speights_pride! (898232) on Saturday July 30, 2005 @06:02AM (#13201336)
    Oh that's right, I don't live in America. I wonder if these other countries will actually extradite people to the US? I doubt theyt would in New Zealand as copyright infringement isn't a serious enough crime and imagine the outrage if you got 30 years jail in the US, when convicted killers often get away with 10 years here.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 30, 2005 @06:09AM (#13201347)
    One actually deprives people of something that they possesed, the other doesn't. Yet which is more heavily punished? It's just crazy.

    I had an arguement about copying vs sharing, the guy was saying that copying software isn't the same as sharing, he said if you gave away your copy to the person then that would be sharing. I guess that he also thinks that someone writting down a copy of a recipe for a friend isn't sharing either.

    There are many methods that could be used for allowing artists to make money and allowing people to share. One such way that I've thought could be good is for the artists to just with-hold new albums, and saying they need $X amount and once that is reached they will release it for everyone to share. I'm sure that they fans would quickly fund the artist, this way the artist would get money for their art (instead of the big labels soaking it up and dripping a little down to the artists) and more people would have access to the music. The only people that don't like this seem to be those that think 'why should I give money away and then people who haven't get to download the music/movie for free'.
  • Re:I wonder (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Uber Banker (655221) * on Saturday July 30, 2005 @06:22AM (#13201369)
    To copy and share copyrighted materials without permission of the copyright holder is copyright infringement. To sell copy and sell copyrighted materials in a market/environment where legal copies are also for sale is theft of a revenue stream. TFA refers to organised criminals conducting not only copyright infringement, but theft of revenue. These were not nice people benevolently running a backwater torrent site, they were copying and selling copyrighted materials.

    Yes theft is an often misused concept in regards to copyright infringement, but in this case it wasn't.
  • by Ingolfke (515826) on Saturday July 30, 2005 @06:27AM (#13201379) Journal
    One such way that I've thought could be good is for the artists to just with-hold new albums, and saying they need $X amount and once that is reached they will release it for everyone to share. I'm sure that they fans would quickly fund the artist, this way the artist would get money for their art

    Stupid blind consumers will buy a product sight unseen. I read reviews, try to find legal samples on the Internet, maybe here it on the radio, ask friends or people w/ similar musical tastes about the band. I would never pay in advance for disc that wasn't actually even recorded yet. You've probably already plunked down $50 for Duke Nukem Forever. Even the best artists produce crap sometimes, or at least music many people will not like. And what incentive would they have to make a really great disc?

    why should I give money away and then people who haven't get to download the music/movie for free

    No, many of the people who don't like your idea realize it would never work.
  • The article says... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Neticulous (900423) on Saturday July 30, 2005 @06:32AM (#13201393)
    that sweden was one of the countries involved, does this mean swedish law is changing? Will we soon see the ever popular piratebay being closed down? I know they have always taunted in their legal threats [thepiratebay.org] section about how swedish law keeps them running. Curious to know how far the grasp of the DoJ reaches on this.
  • Re:Murderers... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Antony-Kyre (807195) on Saturday July 30, 2005 @07:10AM (#13201456)
    About number three, no kidding on the millionare with lawyers angry at the police department. But the police should keep in mind that if they do something to a poor person, and if that person either wins the lottery or gets motivated enough to work and save, they'll be in trouble then.

    I don't like the concept of requiring fingerprints unless someone is convicted of a crime. People not convicted of their first offense ever should have their fingerprint copy destroyed. What if someone has no fingerprints for whatever reason?

    About cameras in cities, if the voters approved it, then that's okay. But it needs to be voter approved and temporary. Perhaps require it to be reapproved every 4 years during the mayoral election.
    -
    Personally I think they should never be lively monitored. Just review the tapes when necessary. Delete footage after 30 days. But still require voter approval every 4 years.

    About the terrorist attacks, namely September 11th, let us think about that for a second. What was Osama bin Laden's reason for attacking, if he truly did that? And who had more to gain? Bush being able to sign into law stripping out rights? Or Osama bin Laden's reason?

    By the way, not all Republicans are bad, and not all Democrats are good. Both do good things, and both do bad things. But more often than not in our federal Congress we see them voting for stupid things, Democrats and Republicans alike. I think one Senate vote ended up having it 100-0 for something bad.
  • why is this on here? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by EuphoricaL (567958) on Saturday July 30, 2005 @07:19AM (#13201482)
    I'm wondering why this story is posted on slashdot. It's simply the FBI enforcing the law. Apart from it being nothing new it makes me instantly think that this is relavent because of the assumption that the majority of slashdot readers take part in illegal download activity. I understand that any interesting changes to copyright law in any country or a big new itunes-style movie store might be worthy news, but why this?
  • Re:Murderers... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by dhasenan (758719) on Saturday July 30, 2005 @07:44AM (#13201532)
    But the police should keep in mind that if they do something to a poor person, and if that person either wins the lottery or gets motivated enough to work and save, they'll be in trouble then.

    Bah, that takes too much effort. It wouldn't happen often at all--maybe once every five years at the inside. The poor person in question would have to win the lottery or something similar (saving money and working doesn't cut it, and county/state/federal law enforcement officers don't generally harass college students in my experience, so that way's out); they'd have to remember the officer's name; they'd have to be the sort to hold grudges and vendettas; and the whole deal would have to transpire within the statute of limitations.

    About cameras in cities, if the voters approved it, then that's okay. But it needs to be voter approved and temporary. Perhaps require it to be reapproved every 4 years during the mayoral election.

    I strongly disagree with that. I want an electorate that will defend my rights even more than I will.

    What was Osama bin Laden's reason for attacking, if he truly did that? And who had more to gain? Bush being able to sign into law stripping out rights? Or Osama bin Laden's reason?

    Osama bin Laden would have benefitted greatly from those attacks. Think about it--he was fighting a nation that didn't want to actively and openly confront him. By attacking that nation, he could force a fair and open confrontation; once that was given, international coalitions against the US could be formed.
    The trouble was, none of the Arab nations were willing to go against the US. Had bin Laden's plan worked, no doubt, every Muslim and Arab nation from Morocco to Lebanon to Iran would have joined together to fight the US as soon as the latter set foot on Arab soil.

    I think one Senate vote ended up having it 100-0 for something bad.

    Get farking references. The incident in question was an appropriations bill for the war in Iraq--voting against it would be political suicide. There was a rider on that bill in the form of the REAL ID Act.
    But there's little difference between Republicans and Democrats these days. It's mainly a question of who to tax more and how much to spend on public services (health care, welfare, etc).

  • Re:Makes me sick (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 30, 2005 @09:15AM (#13201851)
    "that is so clearly a civil issue"

    Its about scope.

    Civil issues become criminal after the act is more spread out through the populace or past a certain $$$ amount.

    This wasn't someone sharing a video with his next door neighbor. It was him sharing it with thousands of next door neighbors.

    I've never understood why this is so hard to figure out for the /. crowd. Is it because its fuzzy logic and there are few clear cut divisions? Everytime someone does something like this and its obvious they are in the wrong and the geek community pushes their imagined hard line towards the suits, the suits push much further back towards them...and they are more organized in the ways that matter (i.e., laws enforced by federal pound me in the ass prison).

    Again, its obvious and the fact that at least 5 people found your post insightful sickens me. Save the faux repulsion for the time you are thrown in FPMIAP for making a dupe for backup, not when someone is making money or a reputation for flaunting the law.
  • Re:Makes me sick (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 30, 2005 @10:03AM (#13202069)
    Again, and this is what pisses me off about people that only half know the law, about the scope.

    There are such things as criminal libel all the way up to out and out fraud.

    Claim someone is killing babies, thats slander. Put it in writing, its libel. Put it in writing and try to get others to believe it to effect a course of action -- and then we get into the criminal libel cases. Sure, a lot of places won't enforce criminal libel -- but what the prosecutors will do is just more it up to out and out fraud. You don't have to defraud people for your own gain, you can defraud people to someone elses detriment.

    So again, its about the scope. Its always about the scope. Why the hell do you think there is a difference between Negligent Homicide and Man 1.

    The law is a lot more complicated these days than it was back in the days of common law you speak. In the past, to libel a business or a person to the point of detriment to their persons, you needed to be at almost equal levels before you could really hurt them. Today, a single small group of people that have little in comparison to the folks they are up against can do a lot of damage.

    Whats the point of this? In the past, society and technological restraints kept libel cases at a level where it was purely a civil matter because of the supposed parity between the two individuals. This ensured that the wronged side could recover through the others means, in theory.

    How does this work with the slack asses that sit in their parents basements and rip and distribute movies to their bestest of BitTorrent Buddies? and buddies of buddies. And so forth and so on?

    It doesn't. A single individual can take down a business and hurt its profits to the point its not worth doing what they do any more. And regardless of what you or I think of the current crop of craptacular films that aren't even worth it for the butter rush, it is a market that is willing to buy and pay to see this shit.

    And back to the point, the scope is what and why its criminal. You sir are stuck in the 1800s screaming about the legality of your difference engine reproducing others difference engines with your faulty logic.
  • by bradbury (33372) <Robert@Bradbury.gmail@com> on Saturday July 30, 2005 @10:16AM (#13202123) Homepage
    Over the last couple of years I have sold most of my CDs (several hundred), not gone to a movie and have lived in a world where I listen to a few CDs (the Ally McBeal soundtrack and the Neil Diamond Jonathan Livingston Seagull CD) on an ongoing basis.

    Guess what? It doesn't significantly impact the self-perceived quality of my life to any extent.

    That would suggest that *much* of the entertainment media (movies & sound-tracks) are "add-ons" -- i.e. they must create the demand and the consumers buy into it.

    From my perspective the entire copyright debate tends to boil down to a question of whether or not you are producing something which people are willing to pay to see/hear. From my rather jaded viewpoint the answer is no.

    If an individual has a perspective that all copyrighted information will eventually be available for free (which is true to the best of my knowledge) *and* that human lifespan is only limited by our current lack of knowledge with respect to the biology of aging and how to prevent it, then the media producers have a significant problem... I.e. "How do I produce material which people are willing to pay to see now... vs. material which they will (legally) be free to see/hear sometime in the future?"

    Even though the material producers have pushed laws which extend copyright protections far beyond their original intent -- the progress in extending the human lifespan has not been locked in stasis either. Unless copyright protections are pushed beyond the maximum feasible human lifespan I will eventually have *legal* access to all of the material for free.

    So it would appear the entire "copying" debate is wrapped up in the question of whether or not one has access to it "now" or at sometime in the future. One could obviously draw analogies between the entertainment realm and other forms of self-gratification.
  • Re:Makes me sick (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 30, 2005 @10:28AM (#13202176)
    This is a good thing.
    All engineering is IP and requires highly educated specialists.
    Manufacturing is academic and can be done anywhere by anybody.
  • by TheoMurpse (729043) on Saturday July 30, 2005 @11:52AM (#13202559) Homepage
    Your analogy is flawed. If you want an accurate one,
    A carpenter makes a chair and sells it to A. A sells it to B. OK.

    A musician makes a CD and sells it to A. A sells the CD to B. OK.

    Contrast this with

    A musician makes a CD and sells it to A. A makes a copy and sells it to B. Infringement.

    A carpenter makes a chair and sells it to A. A makes a copy of the chair through some sort of future "copying machine". Infringement? It will be interesting to see what happens with intellectual property when we have machines that can make identical copies of everything we possess.

"Consistency requires you to be as ignorant today as you were a year ago." -- Bernard Berenson

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