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The RIAA's Halloween Tricks 670

Posted by Zonk
from the surprise dept.
deus42 writes "BoingBoing has an interesting article about a joint RIAA/MPAA move started yesterday on Capitol Hill. From the article: 'Hollywood has fielded a shockingly ambitious piece of Analog Hole legislation while everyone was out partying in costume. Under a new proposed Analog Hole bill, it will be illegal to make anything capable of digitizing video unless it either has all its outputs approved by the Hollywood studios, or is closed-source, proprietary and tamper-resistant. The idea is to make it impossible to create an MPEG from a video signal unless Hollywood approves it.'"
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The RIAA's Halloween Tricks

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  • by concreationist (760560) on Tuesday November 01, 2005 @05:31PM (#13926743)
    I can think of a hole I'd like them to approve...
    • by Pichu0102 (916292) <pichu0102@gmail.com> on Tuesday November 01, 2005 @05:33PM (#13926788) Homepage Journal
      So now someone can broadcast Goatse and not be prosecuted because it would be illegal to record it?
    • by Saiyine (689367) on Tuesday November 01, 2005 @06:02PM (#13927145) Homepage

      I can think of a hole I'd like them to approve...

      Oh, I know, I know: the anal-og hole!
    • by DrEldarion (114072) on Tuesday November 01, 2005 @06:04PM (#13927169)
      Now, abbreviated, it becomes the "A. Hole" bill. Appropriate :)

  • by Ikn (712788) <{rsmith29} {at} {alumni.nd.edu}> on Tuesday November 01, 2005 @05:31PM (#13926745) Homepage
    The simple audacity of their intentions, or the idea that they think they will actually get away with it, or that it will even be plausible.
    • by rovingeyes (575063) on Tuesday November 01, 2005 @05:33PM (#13926770)
      You sir, must be new to America!
      • I'm not new to it, I just haven't -completely- given up on it yet.
        • by Pichu0102 (916292) <pichu0102@gmail.com> on Tuesday November 01, 2005 @05:45PM (#13926934) Homepage Journal
          You haven't given up on America yet? You're REALLY new here then.
          • by flyingsquid (813711) on Tuesday November 01, 2005 @06:05PM (#13927176)
            You haven't given up on America yet? You're REALLY new here then.

            That, or he entered a coma in November of 2000, and just woke up...

            • by Mr. Underbridge (666784) on Tuesday November 01, 2005 @06:40PM (#13927532)
              Tell me again when the DMCA was passed? Oh, right, 1998. Telecommunications act, which resulted in massive cosolidations and generally screwed users? Oh, right, 1996.

              If you're going to troll, at least know what you're talking about, because the gross injustices we now have to deal with were instituted during the Clinton administration. I'm not specifically blaming Clinton, and I'm not defending Bush. However, when you blame everything under the sun on Bush, then it kind of raises the nose floor and no one listens when people talk about things Bush really *has* done.

              • by VP (32928) on Tuesday November 01, 2005 @07:47PM (#13928077)
                Tell me again when the DMCA was passed? Oh, right, 1998. Telecommunications act, which resulted in massive cosolidations and generally screwed users? Oh, right, 1996.

                Yep, passed by a Republican Congress. The same shady individuals who are still running the legislative branch of the government....
              • Don't try to figure out which is more guilty. They're both just as horrible. Remember, there is very little real difference between Democrats and Republicans today. Indeed, they both share the same interests, and those are not the interests of the majority of American citizens. Thus you get crap like this, which serves the interests of a very, very small handful of people, at the expense of basically everyone else.

        • by letxa2000 (215841) on Tuesday November 01, 2005 @06:00PM (#13927127)
          As long as integrated circuits can be purchased and people can build circuits, any attempt to close the analog hole is doomed to failure. Granted, it might raise the bar a bit so that the hardware will either be sold in the "black market" of the Internet or will force people to build their own, but there's no way short of draconian controls on purchasing raw electronics that Hollywood can ever hope to close the analog hole.

          An unintended side effect might be that it might respark the true electronic hacker culture that has rather deteriorated over the last couple of decades. It used to be someone would build a radio or some electronic device from scratch based on ICs, capacitors, etc. Now some geeks think they're cool because they can attach a few IDE cables, insert some memory, and claim to have "built" a computer. Nonsense... that's not building a computer. This change in culture is why Radio Shack now sells things like cell phones, wireless phones, computers, and stereos and resistors and capacitors gets a few square feet of shelf space in the back.

          But I digress... the point is that as long as resistors, capacitors, ICs, and soldering irons are sold, the analog hole will never be closed. Now, if we ever see RIAA/MPAA suceed at getting the soldering iron declared a "circumvention device", be worried--be very worried. :)

          • by flyingsquid (813711) on Tuesday November 01, 2005 @06:13PM (#13927254)
            Now, if we ever see RIAA/MPAA suceed at getting the soldering iron declared a "circumvention device", be worried--be very worried. :)

            They're way ahead of you- their next move is to regulate opposable thumbs.

          • But I digress... the point is that as long as resistors, capacitors, ICs, and soldering irons are sold, the analog hole will never be closed.

            At least not until all electronic parts vendors require all purchases of each part to be bought in $1000 bulk purchases. And it's already happening: the only local vendor for a part to fix the power connector on my Joust machine would only sell to me if I bought $1000 worth of the part.

            The parts will be kept in the hands of those trusted to assemble them into complian
            • by Grishnakh (216268) on Tuesday November 01, 2005 @06:39PM (#13927529)
              At least not until all electronic parts vendors require all purchases of each part to be bought in $1000 bulk purchases. And it's already happening: the only local vendor for a part to fix the power connector on my Joust machine would only sell to me if I bought $1000 worth of the part.

              Go to mouser.com or digikey.com. They sell in small quantities and surely have far greater selections and far cheaper prices than any place local to you.

              The parts will be kept in the hands of those trusted to assemble them into compliant devices. Individuals will still be able to get soldering irons and solder; just not anything to solder with them. (It will become harder and harder to harvest parts from existing devices as well. Entire circuit boards will be covered in black epoxy.)

              Well that's just great; we can then kiss our entire electronics industry good-bye in this country. There's an enormous number of companies (most small ones) in this country that make and sell electronic devices using component parts. These items are designed in-house by engineers, and then prototyped, frequently with parts from Digi-Key and other such distributors, sold in small quantities. The prototypes are debugged, and then eventually the completed design is manufactured either in-house (if the company is large enough), or out-of-house by a contract manufacturer. I used to work as a component-level design engineer, doing schematic design and PCB layout at a small company, so I know a little about this.

              Eliminate the ability to buy parts in small quantities and you wipe out virtually all prototyping of electronic designs. The effects of this on the economy are incalculable.
          • Just buy your new dvr/cd drive/tv/whateverencodingdevice from China, Taiwan, Mexico or any other country we've been buying from in the last 15 years
          • by RobinH (124750) on Tuesday November 01, 2005 @07:08PM (#13927779) Homepage
            An unintended side effect might be that it might respark the true electronic hacker culture that has rather deteriorated over the last couple of decades. It used to be someone would build a radio or some electronic device from scratch based on ICs, capacitors, etc. Now some geeks think they're cool because they can attach a few IDE cables, insert some memory, and claim to have "built" a computer. Nonsense... that's not building a computer. This change in culture is why Radio Shack now sells things like cell phones, wireless phones, computers, and stereos and resistors and capacitors gets a few square feet of shelf space in the back.

            Look, the guys at radio shack already look at me like they're about to call the FBI when I go in to purchase 10 resistors and a few capacitors, along with a couple DB9 connectors to make an RS232 terminator. That's on top of the fact that the guy didn't even know he carried that stuff. He says to me, "looks like someone's building a HAM radio". Ya, no kidding. What he's really wondering is if I'm building a bomb to take out a few city blocks.

            So anyway, now if it's illegal to build a device to record video, but a bunch of "electronics hackers" start going out to do it, am I going to be lumped in with them too? Are they going to be raiding surplus electronics stores with stashes of old camcorders tucked away on shelves in the back? Is anyone who tinkers with fundamental electronic components going to be on a government watch list? (Is that why radio shack asks for your phone number when you buy batteries?)

            This is some scary stuff. Americans are so concerned about the right to bear arms, but I really think that if you ever plan to overthrow the government in the future, electronic components for communications and such are going to be just as important as bullets and grenades.
            • Look, the guys at radio shack already look at me like they're about to call the FBI when I go in to purchase 10 resistors and a few capacitors, along with a couple DB9 connectors to make an RS232 terminator. That's on top of the fact that the guy didn't even know he carried that stuff. He says to me, "looks like someone's building a HAM radio". Ya, no kidding. What he's really wondering is if I'm building a bomb to take out a few city blocks.

              Correcting him by telling him that you were just making a terminat
          • Well I belive that the reason Radio Shack is mainly selling "phones, wireless phones, computers, and stereos", and the "resistors and capacitors get(s) a few square feet of shelf space in the back", because the true tinkers/hackers in the true sense have all gone online to places such as digikey.com [slashdot.org] and mouser.com [slashdot.org] to get all their resistors, capicators, ic's, and the like, because of the outragous prices that Radio Shack charges, add to that, the now, dwindiling selection of these items. And who wants to p
          • "As long as integrated circuits can be purchased and people can build circuits, any attempt to close the analog hole is doomed to failure."

            No it's not, and you're missing the point. Back in the '80s the "analog hole" was closed when commercial VHS movies started using MacroVision to prevent casual copying of tapes. Yes, you could go to the back of PopSci and find an ad for a stabilizer, but by and large the vast majority of people didn't bother the extra bucks. They stopped copying and either bought or re

      • by anothy (83176) on Tuesday November 01, 2005 @06:12PM (#13927249) Homepage
        i have mod points, but i couldn't find the option for "Depressing".
        • by Anonymous Coward
          > i have mod points, but i couldn't find the option for "Depressing".

          I'd mod you (+1, Insightful) for pointing out the need for (+1, Depressing).

          I'm hoping for a (+1, Insightful) for pointing out that I use (+1, Informative) as a substitute for (+1, Depressing), thereby resulting in a recursive moderation to (+5, Funny) for this post.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 01, 2005 @05:36PM (#13926823)
      ...or the fact that they actually introduced an "A Hole" bill. Nice that they are at least being up front about it for a change.
    • by xmas2003 (739875) * on Tuesday November 01, 2005 @05:36PM (#13926827) Homepage
      I agree with parent - what a load of crap from the RIAA. Video is becoming more and more mainstream, with the average consumer having access via traditional video camera's, webcams, and even phone's. And if I buy the recording device and shoot the video footage, don't I "own" it anyway. Heck, does this mean that I can't do my halloween webcam [komar.org] next year unless I have "permission" from the RIAA?
      • by Geckoman (44653) on Tuesday November 01, 2005 @06:10PM (#13927220)
        Video is becoming more and more mainstream, with the average consumer having access via traditional video camera's, webcams, and even phone's. And if I buy the recording device and shoot the video footage, don't I "own" it anyway.
        Now you're starting to get the idea! The MPAA/RIAA crusade against "digital piracy" has never been about protecting the artists or protecting their intellectual property or even solely about preserving their current business models. It has always been about control! First, control of distribution. Then control of consumption. And finally control of production.

        It isn't individuals in their bedrooms sharing albums and movies that scares the studios, it is individuals in their garages making albums and movies.

        If people are free to create and distribute their own content, it does two things:

        1. It diminishes that person's role as a consumer. People who are busy creating new things will naturally find less time to consume the studios' products. Thousands and millions of producers will inevitably have an impact media consumption.
        2. It diminishes the value of particular productions. The demand for new content won't increase significantly, because people only have 24 hours in a day (and it may decrease per #1), but the available content will increase significantly. More supply plus equal (or less deman) implies lower values.

        Of course, they also run the risk of small, independent producers creating content that is superior to their own. To use an analogy, the big media companies are in the same position now that the Big Three auto makers were in the early 70s. They've had a cooperative oligarchy for decades. Now there are smaller, cheaper,faster (and potentially better) competitors entering their market. Rather than compete in the new world of smaller cars and expensive gas (or, for the studios, independent content and cheap distribution), they react by lobbying for import restrictions and spreading FUD about unsafe foreign cars (or lobbying for content controls and spreading FUD about destroying the incentive to create).

        They probably realize this, and they've seen what the failure to successfully lobby has done to the American car industry. Rather than choosing the alternative route and rapidly adapting to the new world, the lesson they've learned from the past is that they need to lobby more effectively.

  • by Quaoar (614366) on Tuesday November 01, 2005 @05:31PM (#13926757)
    ...people will find a way around it. They will NEVER make any media copy-proof. It has been cracked again and again and again. I am not worried.
  • by Umuri (897961) on Tuesday November 01, 2005 @05:32PM (#13926759)
    Oh no, the big bad RIAA is being silly again, howsoever shall we watch our tv now? *plugs into a converter, pipes it through co-ax to his computer* Wow that was hard. They need to learn the wonderful world of old technology will never allow for this to happen. Sure it may not be digital, but there will alwyas be a way to convert to a lesser standard, because the entire USA won't upgrade their TVs in an instant.
    • They need to learn the wonderful world of old technology will never allow for this to happen.

      It's not just old technology. You think if they pass something like this there won't be tech all over the net that will convert/bypass/ignore the new laws. It will be a boon for Ebay and retailers outside the US. The government can't stop drug sales (illegal, perscription, performance enhancing) on the Internet, how are they going to stop illegal video cards. All rules like this do is create a black market an
      • All rules like this do is create a black market and more criminals.

        That's the idea. In a society where breathing air is illegal, everyone, except the annointed "lawful inhalers" are criminals. Then tyrants have no difficulties in extracting obedience as all citizens are subject to arrests which are both a tool of control and "legal" at the same time. Such ubiquitous "criminality" is one of the basic components of tyranny.

        "War" on drugs is a perfect example: a problem which is medical in nature has been cri

        • by Phoenix666 (184391)
          So, what are you doing about it? Are you a thinking, educated, informed, and motivated human being? If you are, you can make an enormous difference.

          I kept bitching on sites like Slashdot for years and ultimately found it uniquely unsatisfying. Nothing changed. So 18 months ago I started a grassroots political organization in New York. 8 months ago there was a reform package put before the state legislature that had the audacity to require legislators to actually be present to vote, and many, many other
  • And this means... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rdoger6424 (879843) <{rdoger6424+slashdot} {at} {gmail.com}> on Tuesday November 01, 2005 @05:32PM (#13926765) Journal
    The people who are doing this illegally still don't care, but the *aa has managed to alienate yet more people.
  • A modest proposal (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Guysmiley777 (880063) on Tuesday November 01, 2005 @05:32PM (#13926768)
    Make lobbying illegal, punishable by hanging in front of the Capitol Building. Problem solved.
    • Make lobbying illegal, punishable by hanging in front of the Capitol Building. Problem solved.

      Your proposal intrigues me, sir. I wish to support you in your endevor to have this passed by congress, only I feel a bit unsure about the best way to lobby such a bill....

    • No, no, no. "A modest proposal" would be to empower the FDA to approve and grade meat made from lobbyists.
  • And thus... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nightsweat (604367) on Tuesday November 01, 2005 @05:33PM (#13926774)
    And thus did the American cultural hegemony over the rest of the world collapse, leading to a world where India and China exported their values through their music and films while the Hollywood studios argued about whether consumers should be allowed to keep a taped episode of Will and Grace for 24 hours or only 12...
  • by pythonguyy (880807) on Tuesday November 01, 2005 @05:33PM (#13926777) Homepage
    This whole piracy thing is so silly. It's wierder than "terrorist". Both terms depend on who they are working for. If they're working for the "competition"(so to speak), they're pirates and terrorists. If they're on "our" side, they're distributors and freedom fighters. Do you know who will be the first to go out of business when P2P really takes off? The pirates. The guys out there selling millions of bootlegs. Most pirates usually sell the top 40, RIAA stuff, so they also "controlled" who was distributed, but they are the most expendable. Hell, they're off the books, so who's gonna care? Most people understand that P2P will increase record sales and concert attendance manyfold. This isn't just about money. Control plays a bigger role here. Just like both sides use terrorists in a war, both sides use pirates to distribute their wares. It seems to be mutually parasitic. What I'm trying to say here is that piracy is a diversion, a smokescreen used by those who want to control distribution of information(text, audio, video). It's little different from those who use terrorism to create unjust laws.

    (kind of offtopic)
    I sure wish the ptroleum industry was as concerned about the leaks in their distribution system as the content industry is about theirs. (11230681)
    • by Mark_Uplanguage (444809) on Tuesday November 01, 2005 @05:46PM (#13926955)
      I agree with the smokescreen argument.

      I'd also like to comment that while the ACLU/EFF do a great defending our rights against moves such as this, it seems odd that the congress we elect to preserve our rights is the same congress taking money from big business to remove our rights. Does the constitution need a group of lobbyists to protect itself? With all of the supreme court moving lately I've heard a few times how some members of congress get upset when the supreme court comes in to say they've oversetpped their bounds. Waiting for the checks and balances in the system to work themselves out really seems like a pain, but it's our country and if you're going to complain make sure you stand up and fight this type of lunacy.

      Find your cause and do more than comment on slashdot.
  • by maharg (182366) on Tuesday November 01, 2005 @05:33PM (#13926782) Homepage Journal
    ewwww. I can't believe I typed that.
  • Excellent move (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 01, 2005 @05:33PM (#13926790)
    Kills two birds with one stone. Copyright infringement becomes slightly harder, but more importantly, independent production of content comes to a stillstand. With no consumer hardware capable of filming and making arbitrary reproductions of the material, how will anyone make a movie? Yep, gotta have the pro hardware. $$$
  • by Kenja (541830) on Tuesday November 01, 2005 @05:34PM (#13926798)
    Sweet, sweet irony.
  • by conner_bw (120497) on Tuesday November 01, 2005 @05:35PM (#13926809) Homepage Journal
    This, indeed, does suck but the keywords are "to make it impossible to create an MPEG from an (analog) video signal" so it is my understanding that applications like handbrake [m0k.org] won't be affected by this law. In fact, neither will stuff technology such as TIVO plugged into digital cable be affected because none of this is analogue video.

    What I don't get why anyone would care about making a law concerning analog video since it is slowly being phased out anyway?

    • Informonopoly (Score:5, Insightful)

      by inKubus (199753) on Tuesday November 01, 2005 @05:42PM (#13926904) Homepage Journal
      Perhaps they are referring to old films and stuff that people have just started archiving with the advent of affordable telecine, etc. Or it could be that they are about to offically close the hole in digital using some ingenious new system and they want to remove the analog option completely first.

      Soon, you won't be able to buy a new DVD or CD player, reciever, etc. that has analog inputs and outputs, since they won't be "certified". Another reason is that they (the big studios and publishing companies) really want to move over into video on demand style stuff as an industry and cut out the retailers and wholesalers and distributers who have acted as middlemen.

      The ultimate goal, of course, is to control all information, entertainment or otherwise, for monetary and political gain.

    • by DevNova (24921) <info2@network23 . c om> on Tuesday November 01, 2005 @05:48PM (#13926983) Journal
      The reason being that eventually, most if not all digital methods of transmittal will be controlled by DRM, and thus, the industry already has control of that. After that, it will still be possible to make copies via analog methods, and they want to make sure those copies don't wind up in some other digital, albeit slightly quality-degraded form.
  • by 10101001011 (744876) on Tuesday November 01, 2005 @05:35PM (#13926814) Homepage
    I honestly wonder what historians will think of this time period, say, one hundred years from now. Think of how we view the Western European Dark Ages, where education slowed to a halt, an organization managed to secure society and manipulate it at will, while those in the East jumped leaps and bounds ahead of them. Gosh, sounds vaguely familiar....
    • by garcia (6573) on Tuesday November 01, 2005 @05:54PM (#13927053) Homepage
      I honestly wonder what historians will think of this time period, say, one hundred years from now. Think of how we view the Western European Dark Ages, where education slowed to a halt, an organization managed to secure society and manipulate it at will, while those in the East jumped leaps and bounds ahead of them. Gosh, sounds vaguely familiar....

      Ahh yes, the good 'ol "How History Repeats Itself" thing. Yup, I agree. We should learn from our mistakes yet we are told time and time again how this is so much better!

      I went to see Good Night and Good Luck which was supposed to reiterate the importance of learning from history. I mentioned that I went to see it to my father. His response to me was: "Son, I lived through that fucking horseshit. I hated that reporter. Why would I want to relive all that shit again?"

      Obviously my response fell upon deaf ears. *That* is why history continues to repeat itself. People are just UNWILLING to accept that they are wrong.
  • by Zordak (123132) on Tuesday November 01, 2005 @05:38PM (#13926863) Homepage Journal
    Remember! If technology is outlawed, only outlaws will have technology.

    And that would make all of the geeks rogue outlaw bad-boy types, which would make them suddenly very appealing to women, so maybe this isn't such a bad idea after all.

  • Any Digitization (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 01, 2005 @05:40PM (#13926876)
    Does this mean that if I view a video with my eyeballs and write down a number based on what I see I'm subject to a lawsuit as an unapproved and unlicensed device?
  • by jeblucas (560748) <jeblucas&gmail,com> on Tuesday November 01, 2005 @05:42PM (#13926905) Homepage Journal
    The article annoyingly refers to this as "Broadcast Flag On Steroids", but who cares? That concept was tossed out--on it's unanimous ass, mind you--by the DC Court of Appeals. An opinion filed by our current Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. This thing is as least as obtrusive as the Broadcast Flag, which the Court says was unenforceable because the FCC doesn't have the power to tell manufacturers how to build things. How could this bill be treated any differently?

    Here's a link to the EFF's Broadcast Flag work [eff.org].

    Here's a PDF link to [then] Circuit Judge Edwards' decision [uscourts.gov] in ALA v. FCC.

  • by radarsat1 (786772) on Tuesday November 01, 2005 @05:43PM (#13926915) Homepage

    Are they trying to make life insanely difficult for student and amateur video makers?

    What I don't get is that there is TONS of "analog signal" that is not RIAA-owned, so how can they legislate on it?

    Or perhaps they won't, but apparently they'll make it very difficult to use the required equipment. Make life difficult for students, and you're cutting off your source of income 20 years down the road..

    • by gstoddart (321705) on Tuesday November 01, 2005 @06:12PM (#13927246) Homepage
      Are they trying to make life insanely difficult for student and amateur video makers?

      Why, of course they are. Unless they are in an MPAA sanctioned film-school, using expensive *AA sanctioned recording technology. Because we can't possibly allow an independant film-maker to make a movie which does better than a highly expensive Hollywood flop. Witness, Saw II and Zorro from this weekend.

      Do you have any idea of how much money they would lose if just anyone could release a better movie than they can?

      And home movies are right out. You could be at home watching little Billy win the track meet again, instead of generating revenue for them or their advertisers. What are you, a communist?

      What I don't get is that there is TONS of "analog signal" that is not RIAA-owned, so how can they legislate on it?

      Same way they've done this all along -- "we don't care what you're doing with it, someone could, in theory rob from us. Therefore nobody gets access to the technology". Sheesh, it would be like arming terrorists or something. They basically try to cut off any arguments about legitimate contexts in which you would so this -- it's clearly a smokescreen to actually Pirate The Day After Tomorrow.
      Or perhaps they won't, but apparently they'll make it very difficult to use the required equipment. Make life difficult for students, and you're cutting off your source of income 20 years down the road..

      Student film-makers are too pesky. You could get someone new Like Michael Moore who points out the wickedness of the studio system. All future film-makers will be genetically engineered to give us a steady stream of gruel which has been approved by the *AA's.

      Face it, in the Draconian future the *AAs envison, any technology capable of recording/transmitting either video or audio is just too dangerous to be in the hands of consumers and needs to be outlawed and controlled. I mean, we don't sell assault weapons to children, do we?
  • by Windcatcher (566458) on Tuesday November 01, 2005 @05:46PM (#13926947)
    Everything will eventually go digital, and once no one is manufacturing analog equipment (VCRs) anymore, there won't be any more VCR's (or anything that does the same thing). Say goodbye to your capture card, too, or be prepared to PAY everytime you want to record something on your ATI All-In-Wonder.

    From my standpoint, they couldn't possibly poison the well any further. The day I give them any cash so they can use it to buy my representatives is the day Satan's snowplow crews start making money.
  • by Bad Boy Marty (15944) on Tuesday November 01, 2005 @06:03PM (#13927164) Homepage
    is go to your 3 elected representatives (in the US, each citizen is represented to the Federal Government by 2 Senators (per state; sorry, D.C. and Territories) and a Representative (per Congressional District)) -- seriously, call up their offices and arrange a face-to-face meeting -- explaining why any legislation that in any way restricts the current "fair use" of copyrighted material is so basically wrong. Join the EFF. Explain how all "survey papers" would be made illegal if this restriction of fair use is permitted (remember, as soon as it applies to one medium, it will shortly follow that it will apply to all media).

    The MPAA & RIAA are both mired in a business model that is out of date, unfair to most of the participants, and robs blind all the consumers. Ask any so-called "indie" producer. We must put a stop to this.
  • Three questions. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by leereyno (32197) on Tuesday November 01, 2005 @06:07PM (#13927191) Homepage Journal
    All that is necessary for evil to succeed is that good men do nothing. Therefore there are three questions that must be asked:

    1) Which senators and congressmen submitted this bill for consideration?

    2) When are they up for reelection?

    3) Where do I send a check to support their opponents?

    Bitching and moaning about Hollywood trying to pull crap like this is all fine and good, but unless we PUNISH their accomplices in government, this kind of crap will just keep going and going.

    So the next time these turkeys are up for election, start sending their opponents money. When you send them the money, make sure you include a little note explaining exactly WHY you're sending them money. While you're at it, send the turkey a note as well telling him that you've just sent his opponent money and why.

    This isn't limited to just the people from the districts in question. I live in Arizona, but there is nothing to stop me from making a contribution to a candidate in another state. I can't take part in the official election, but I can sure as hell vote with my money. Imagine if one of the turkeys who tried to pull this crap got tens of thousands of letters from accross the country that all said the same thing: "I gave your opponent X dollars because you supported the Analog Hole bill" Meanwhile their opponents get tens of thousands of letters saying "I'm giving you X dollars because your opponent supported the Analog Hole bill, don't make the mistake he did."

    Freedom is precious and fragile. It is also one of the few things in this world outside of family worth dying for. You can either fight for your freedom, or you can sit by idly and hope that things don't get any worse. Hope that someone else will pick up the tab for your liberty. Hope that the ever-present forces that seek to deny you your freedom will go away. Well guess what, they won't. If you're not fighting against them then you're actively helping them. The price of freedom is eternal vigilance and it is a price that we all must pay each and every day. If you're not fighting for your freedom then you've already forfeited it.

    Lee
    • Amen (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Phoenix666 (184391)
      Amen and Amen! People think that defending freedom is a task that's outsourced to the military and cops and maybe the intelligence services. In fact, it's the duty of every human being who wants to be able to say what they want, go where they want, believe what they want, and become what they want.

      But let's bring it down to the level of the every day. Good candidates for office are out there. They're constantly hurting for money, but even more than that, expert help. If you can give either, it is your
  • by rewt66 (738525) on Tuesday November 01, 2005 @06:12PM (#13927250)
    The article (or the EFF article it linked, I forget which) said that this bill was brought before a House committee. Well, what I want to know is, did it pass?

    And who brought it before the committee? Did a Representative actually introduce/sponsor this? If so, which representative(s)? Let's see... all representatives are elected every 2 years, next one in November 2006, exactly one year from now... An opponent could fry the person responsible, if they could just communicate to the public what this scoundrel tried to get passed...

    • by kbielefe (606566) <karl.bielefeldt+ ... m ['l.c' in gap]> on Tuesday November 01, 2005 @07:24PM (#13927912)
      house.gov [house.gov] is your friend. The hearing [house.gov] isn't actually scheduled until Thursday at 2:00 p.m. Basically, a draft of the proposed legislation was released yesterday by a lobbyist. A congressman hasn't even touched it except for maybe a few subcommittee members reading it in preparation for the hearing. It hasn't been sponsored, co-sponsored, introduced, or even mentioned in any congressional record. There are still a dozen roadblocks before this even comes close to becoming a law. A congressman actually has to endorse it, the subcommittee chair can kill it, the subcommittee can kill it, the committee chair can kill it, the committee can kill it, the speaker of the house can kill it, and the full house can kill it. And then the whole process must be repeated in the senate. And then the president must sign it. Yes, this is a horrible piece of legislation, but in my opinion it has a slim chance of passing.

      And lest you think all lobbyists are evil, Public Knowledge [publicknowledge.org] and the Home Recording Rights Coalition [hrrc.org] will also be testifying at the hearing.

      There are no representatives from my state (Arizona) on the committee [house.gov], and they get so much correspondence that they essentially ignore anyone who is not their direct constituent, but if your congressman is on the list, then now is the time to let them know how you feel, especially if you are from Texas or California.

    • Good News (Score:5, Informative)

      by Overzeetop (214511) on Tuesday November 01, 2005 @08:04PM (#13928226) Journal
      Representative Boucher (D-Virginia) is on this commitee. He is a strong opponent of the restrictions sought by the RIAA/MPAA. There will be at least one voice on the committee that will tell them where they can put their draft.
  • by terrencefw (605681) <slashdot@jamesho[ ]n.net ['lde' in gap]> on Tuesday November 01, 2005 @06:17PM (#13927297) Homepage
    Don't forget that Americans can only make stuff illegal in the USA. The rest of the world couldn't give a flying fuck what's illegal there. Do I care about the DMCA? No, because I don't live in the USA.

    If this kind of legislation continues to go through, the USA will end up back in the tehcnological stone age as emerging economies such as India and China overtake. Don't forget that these economies still make stuff for the west too. Does your Toyoya have all the dashboard icons in Japanese? Of course not.

    There are a groing number of bands rejecting the copy protection that the labels are applying to their CDs. I'm sure the film industry will follow soon. How long before the next Hollywood blockbuster is produced by a non-USA company because they know the USA film industry's anti-consumer practices will actually harm the films success.

    My only fear living here in Europe is that our brain-dead politicians will follow suit with the USAs practices. There's still a lot of work to do to make sure we don't.
    • Remember... this legislation is being pushed on behalf of the pursuit of the almighty dollar. I assume that your politicians like money as well as ours (be it euros or pounds).

      As goes the USA, so goes the world (eventually). Maybe less so that before, but still...

  • McCarthy's legacy (Score:3, Insightful)

    by moviepig.com (745183) on Tuesday November 01, 2005 @06:19PM (#13927320) Homepage
    ...capital hill...

    ...so renamed to show that it's Adam Smith, and not some commie, who thrives there...

  • by rpresser (610529) <rpresser@NosPaM.gmail.com> on Tuesday November 01, 2005 @06:20PM (#13927323) Homepage
    Either we tar and feather every single official at the RIAA and MPAA, as well as any Senator or Congressmen who even whispers about supporting this horror ...

    Or we stop being "consumers", NOW. Starve the fuckers.

    Don't buy any more CDs. Ever.

    Don't buy any more DVDs. Ever.

    Don't go to any movies in the theatres, attend any concerts, patronize iTunes or Napster, play any MP3s, watch any TV, visit ANY web sites with ANY advertising. If your favorite indie bands or filmmakers get hurt too, that's their problem.

    Learn to read and have conversations. Play your own instruments. Have a lot of sex.

    Strike. Now.
  • by a_greer2005 (863926) on Tuesday November 01, 2005 @06:47PM (#13927602)
    This is a move to try and stop the "home brew tv" industry. Personal cams were fine when they shot crappy quality, but now that truly creative people can have a setup that can pull off anything the big boys can do for under 10 grand...they are shitting their pants...now that vic-xasts on places like itunes ate taking off with out them as the middle man, they are shitting their pants...in general this is a final move, proving cowardis, and shame of their content, knowing that now they can be upstaged by kids in a garage with a powermac and a HDV Cam so they are looking for revinew by threatening the companies that make the stuff.
  • by earthforce_1 (454968) <earthforce_1@yaho o . com> on Tuesday November 01, 2005 @07:08PM (#13927778) Journal
    for digitizing my parents 8mm home movies without Hollywood's consent?

    Sorry, but I find Life south of the border is getting loonier by the minute. Please remind me who won the cold war? I think Stalin is laughing in his grave.

  • by way2trivial (601132) on Tuesday November 01, 2005 @07:56PM (#13928152) Homepage Journal
    which was adapted into a movie starring the now govenor of california...

    it's pretty good.

    Among the other 'worlds gone to shit' elements are 'freevee' which is tv, which by law, must be on 24 hours a day in every household..
    (I think there was even allusion to requirements that the volume be above 0 a certain number of hours per day, but I can't remember for sure)

    I read the article at boing, and couldn't help but think freevee was next....

    it'll never happen, you'll have to excuse me now, I gotta go to the store and get some more mokie-cokes....

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