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U.S. Puts 12 Nations On Watch For Piracy 429

Posted by Zonk
from the colbert-angry-wants-board-back dept.
ColinPL writes with a link to an AP article about a public scolding the US has given China, Russia, and several other nations. Failure to 'sufficiently protect' American copyrights is the cause of the Bush administration's ire, and has resulted in these countries showing up on a 'priority watch list' that could eventually lead to economic sanctions. "In addition to Russia and China, the 10 countries placed on the priority watch list were Argentina, Chile, Egypt, India, Israel, Lebanon, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine and Venezuela. In elevating Thailand to the priority watch list, the administration said it was concerned by a range of issues including a 'deteriorating protection for patents and copyrights.' Thailand is currently in a dispute with international drug companies including Abbott Laboratories of the United States over the cost of drugs to fight AIDS and other diseases. The Thai government in January issued compulsory licenses allowing the use of much cheaper generic versions of two leading drugs in Thailand."
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U.S. Puts 12 Nations On Watch For Piracy

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  • That told them! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Threni (635302) on Tuesday May 01, 2007 @07:41AM (#18939161)
    If only China and Russia were big enough to not give a shit about US policy...
  • Re:That told them! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 01, 2007 @07:42AM (#18939181)
    I'm just surprised Canada and the UK aren't on the list, given all the piracy that goes on there. It's almost like this list has nothing to do with piracy.
  • Let's be honest (Score:5, Insightful)

    by halivar (535827) <bfelger.gmail@com> on Tuesday May 01, 2007 @07:43AM (#18939201) Homepage
    This isn't just the Bush administration. If you vote for either of the Big Two, the person you voted for has been bought and paid for by the MAFIAA, and they are in full support of sending the copyright Gestapo after law-breakers worldwide.
  • USA (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 01, 2007 @07:47AM (#18939229)
    Dear United STATES of AMERICA.

    You have your own part of the world. Please stay within it's boundaries and spend the saved time READING Wikipedia's article on law. You DO NOT and SHALL NOT ever control other nations laws. You cannot even abide by the very laws you were founded on these days, so why do you expect others to do the same?

    Lots of love
    Rest of the world.
  • I wonder (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Dance_Dance_Karnov (793804) on Tuesday May 01, 2007 @07:47AM (#18939231) Homepage
    If anyone realizes that having an economy that is increasingly dependent on "intellectual property" is a bad thing. Nowadays there is no compelling reason to buy things from the copyright holders other than maybe feeling guilty or an affinity for tangible copies. ESPECIALLY since the pirated versions often are much better than the retail versions in functionality and portability.
  • What? No Canada? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by BladedThoth (978066) on Tuesday May 01, 2007 @07:51AM (#18939263)
    After the MPAA threw it's hissy-fit tantrum a while back about how Canada is the #1 place for movie piracy because it's where screen records come from, that they're thinking of delaying out movie release for weeks, yada yada yada, Canada doesn't make it anywhere on the list? Heh. Maybe the federal government isn't quite as stupid about what the *AAs are doing as they typically act like.
  • Re:That told them! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by AuxLV (748687) on Tuesday May 01, 2007 @07:58AM (#18939329)
    LOL, China and Russia already don't give a shit. Especially China. How can USA put economic sanctions on China? It is China who can put sanctions on USA. Just imagine China stops selling all electric devices and components to USA - electronical apocalipse will destroy America in a few months. Bush and his administration is a bunch of lols!
  • by tomstdenis (446163) <tomstdenis@@@gmail...com> on Tuesday May 01, 2007 @08:02AM (#18939363) Homepage
    You do realize that in most [not all] of these countries the people make in a year what most of us make in a month [or two]? right? Buying a 25$ movie may be nothing to people in the states or Canada, but is a big deal for many else.

    Unless the mafiaa is willing to sell movies and CDs for dirt cheap they should expect piracy. let's see, I make about 70K and am willing to spend 25$ on a movie [if it's really good, otherwise I hover around $10]. These people make $7-10K so how about charge them $3 for the same movie. No? Ok, expect piracy.

    And frankly if you stake your financial security on nations where the average income is $200 a month, chances are you should rethink your business plan.

    Tom
  • Thailand? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Don_dumb (927108) on Tuesday May 01, 2007 @08:02AM (#18939365)
    Copying drugs to fight AIDS and other diseases.

    Those bastards!
  • Israel (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Secrity (742221) on Tuesday May 01, 2007 @08:02AM (#18939371)
    I find it very interesting that Israel is on the list as it is the only country on the list that could really be affected by US sanctions.
  • Bush Logic (Score:4, Insightful)

    by SlantyBard (1040070) on Tuesday May 01, 2007 @08:03AM (#18939373)
    Ok, they want to put Thailand on this list partly because Thailand has told them we are only going to pay a certain amount for anti-viral HIV medication instead of the hugely inflated US prices. Seems to me that saves US dollars in the end because it is US men (and other westerners too) going over for underage sex with potentially HIV infected girls which if treated appropriately would keep US healthcare costs down by decreasing transmission to US citizens.
  • Re:Let's be honest (Score:3, Insightful)

    by asuffield (111848) <asuffield@suffields.me.uk> on Tuesday May 01, 2007 @08:03AM (#18939379)

    This isn't just the Bush administration. If you vote for either of the Big Two, the person you voted for has been bought and paid for by the MAFIAA, and they are in full support of sending the copyright Gestapo after law-breakers worldwide.


    This is very true - however, the Bush administration is notable in their "every other country must do what we say" attitude. Even for the US, their arrogance is astounding. Most past administrations have been rather less willing to spend what little diplomatic advantages they have on matters like this.

    I cannot imagine why they think that issuing public orders to China is going to get them anything other than a lot of very pissed off Chinese. This little stunt has probably ensured that China will not be doing anything about copyright complaints from US corporations, just so that the Chinese leaders can show they don't take orders from the US.
  • Re:That told them! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ATestR (1060586) on Tuesday May 01, 2007 @08:08AM (#18939417) Homepage
    Except that the economy of China gets a big influx of money by selling to USA. Sure they can stop selling all their cheap goods over here, but if they do, what are they going to do with them?
  • Re:Let's be honest (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 01, 2007 @08:11AM (#18939473)
    Sure they can... the US can bomb the crap outta them

    And they will car bomb the crap out of us. Works both ways.
  • by Romwell (873455) on Tuesday May 01, 2007 @08:15AM (#18939503)
    ..they forgot to put the US on the watch list. Considering the computer userbase here, the "amount" of piracy might be higher than in any of those countries, or even all of them taken together. Here's some numbers for you: Ukraine Internet Users: 5.278 Million (2005) Russia Internet Users: 23.7 Million (2005) China Internet Users: 123 Million (2006) India Internet Users: 60 Million (2005) United States Internet Users: 205.327 Million (2005) (According to https://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/inde x.html [cia.gov]) That does not really reflect the whole picture (people there buy bootleg dvd's instead of downloading), but might give you some ideas to think of.
  • by A beautiful mind (821714) on Tuesday May 01, 2007 @08:15AM (#18939507)

    I think a bit of personal not-for-profit p2p downloading and an exception for life-saving drugs in OK. But, the balatant disregard for copyrights and patents with businesses in these countries openly copying and selling pharmaceuticals, software and music should be stopped.
    So you're saying that just because the USA can't come up with a working economy, it resorts to hijacking a mechanism from the 18th century to try to control what every rational human being would classify as ideas that belong to everyone. Like the RIAA, the USA Govt. should learn the lesson too: come up with a working business model/economy or roll over.
  • Re:USA (Score:3, Insightful)

    by suv4x4 (956391) on Tuesday May 01, 2007 @08:15AM (#18939509)
    You cannot even abide by the very laws you were founded on these days, so why do you expect others to do the same?

    Here's the only law that ever worked: everybody can take a shot.

    If USA has mechanisms to pressure other countries, it'll do so. If it has ability to avoid its own laws, it'll do so. It took a shot and succeeded.

    Laws are only as strong as the mechanisms built to withstand them. Interests and power always will achieve more.
  • by zappepcs (820751) on Tuesday May 01, 2007 @08:15AM (#18939513) Journal
    when you are going to sanction the whole world (more or less).

    What is interesting to me is the fact that the whole world (more or less) thinks your products are so pricey that copyright infringement is a better option.

    And this little DRM thingy doesn't seem to be working out too well at the moment. Despite the **AAs opinion that DRM is the only way to protect their business product (which is distribution) the entire world (more or less) is telling them that their product is too expensive.

    I'd be willing to be that counts as the world talking with one voice? s
  • Re:Let's be honest (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Silver Sloth (770927) on Tuesday May 01, 2007 @08:16AM (#18939521)

    Sure they can... the US can bomb the crap outta them, like they do anyone else who raises their ire.
    This is known as gunboat diplomacy [wikipedia.org]. It's a fine method of practicing international affairs except that, as the NYT reports this morning (sorry, lost the link), everywhere that the US is at war has led to an increase in terrorist attacks.

    Bombing the crap out of people always ends up with them doing the best they can to bomb the crap out of you and it's noticeable that all the worldwide military might of the US still hasn't defeated terrorism.
  • Re:Let's be honest (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jimicus (737525) on Tuesday May 01, 2007 @08:24AM (#18939627)
    The U.S. Constitution requires that the federal government respect the sovereignty of foreign nations.

    That's odd, because I could have sworn Iraq was a foreign nation with its own sovreign government until a few years ago.
  • Re:I wonder (Score:5, Insightful)

    by malsdavis (542216) on Tuesday May 01, 2007 @08:35AM (#18939771)
    It is indeed a strange twist when the pirated versions are better than the originals.

    I noticed this absurdity last week when I had to download a pirated version of a CD I had just bought so that I could actually play it in my car.

    Utterly absurd and needless to say, the next album I want I will downloading (via illegal sources of course, those legal sources are the worst of all).
  • by Garwulf (708651) on Tuesday May 01, 2007 @08:38AM (#18939821) Homepage
    "If anyone realizes that having an economy that is increasingly dependent on "intellectual property" is a bad thing. Nowadays there is no compelling reason to buy things from the copyright holders other than maybe feeling guilty or an affinity for tangible copies. ESPECIALLY since the pirated versions often are much better than the retail versions in functionality and portability."

    Wow - now that's a gross over-generalization, and only part of the first sentence is even close to right here...

    Going back to front (sort of):

    "Nowadays there is no compelling reason to buy things from the copyright holders other than maybe feeling guilty or an affinity for tangible copies."

    To meet one gross over-generalization with another, you mean besides keeping the copyright holders in business so that they can continue to produce content? There's a basic economic reality you're missing here - producing any product or content takes time and resources, and to continue to do that requires that money is made to pay for the time and resources.

    (And, before somebody bites my head off, yes, I know the internet is a cheap means of distribution, and yes, I know the RIAA treats its content creators horribly - I'm talking in the broadest of strokes here. When it comes down to it, any content creator needs to at least eat.)

    But, you know what, you're right - we don't need that pesky literature, movies, and music anyway. If shadow puppets were good enough for our ancestors, they're good enough for us!

    "ESPECIALLY since the pirated versions often are much better than the retail versions in functionality and portability."

    Um, no, not really. Windows Vista is DRM-happy to the point of stupidity, and the RIAA has done everything it can to drive music fans into the hands of file-sharers, but that doesn't mean that the greater utility lies in files on a computer. Actually, in most cases a physical media tends to have better functionality and portability.

    Take movies for example - I can go visit my parents in another city and bring a couple of movies along, and the DVDs are quite light, easy to carry, and all I have to do is put them into any DVD player in North America to have them work. No file copying, no waiting for a download to finish, no taking up space on my hard disk - everything is just on the DVD. When it comes to the DRM stupidity we have been seeing, we have to remember that it's the DRM causing the problems, not the physical format itself.

    "If anyone realizes that having an economy that is increasingly dependent on "intellectual property" is a bad thing."

    This is the one place where you are at least partially correct. But you shouldn't be saying "intellectual property" here - you should be saying "service-based," because that is what is really there. The United States used to have some of the greatest manufacturing power in the world, and now it seems it actually produces very little. But that's a more complicated argument, and not really relevant to this discussion.
  • Re:Let's be honest (Score:5, Insightful)

    by owlnation (858981) on Tuesday May 01, 2007 @08:43AM (#18939873)

    Except that they can't do much. Sure, the U.S. government can impose economic sanctions on non-compliant countries, but that only takes you so far.
    True, and certainly in China's case - who will this hurt exactly? What percentage of US goods are in fact manufactured in China? Quite a large one I'll bet, certainly a significant one. Similarly, Turkey doesn't really need the US, but the US really does need Turkey as a base.

    The fact is, speaking as a European, nobody outside the US gives a damn about US laws. In fact, we find attempts like this to assert themselves legally, to be rather lame and sad. It's just hot air and rhetoric for the voters back home I guess

    Anyway, in the highly improbable event that any of these countries paid any attention the the US on piracy and actually stopped it, there's still be many other countries to which pirates could easily and successfully move to. There's also plenty of piracy from within US borders too.

    The only way to beat piracy is to include fair use in copyright - assuming copyright needs to exist at all.

    The *IAA needs to develop new business models or simply die - those are the only two choices available.
  • by EveryNickIsTaken (1054794) on Tuesday May 01, 2007 @08:44AM (#18939883)
    How about pharmaceuticals, aeronautics, grain/crops, and produce?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 01, 2007 @08:46AM (#18939911)
    keeping the copyright holders in business so that they can continue to produce content?

    As long as there is money to be made , the Paris Hiltons and Britney's of the world will continue to produce "content". If they would stop, good riddance.

    There was "content producers" long before there were copyrights (think cave men) and I predict there will be "content producers" long after copyrights are void.

    Giving Disney Corporation 100+ years of copyright is not necessary for Disney Corporation to produce new content. The only effect is increased profits for Disney Corporation. That is to some the desired effect, but it is easy to envision Disney Corporation would producte more new content if that was the only way to increase profits.

    So to conclude: If our goal is to keep content being produced, we should reward the production of *new* content and not rewarding having lots of old content.

  • Re:USA (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Per Abrahamsen (1397) on Tuesday May 01, 2007 @08:58AM (#18940031) Homepage
    No. Congress has the right to make time limited restrictions in the freedom of the citizens of the USA to make copies (and implement methods), in order to promote the progress of science and arts. That is right there, in your constitution.

    Nowhere in that constitution does it state the congress has the right to restrict the freedom of citizens of other countries the same way.

    That would be similar to Iran demanding that women in the US should wear burkas.
  • Re:Let's be honest (Score:5, Insightful)

    by thrillseeker (518224) on Tuesday May 01, 2007 @09:02AM (#18940109)
    as the NYT reports this morning (sorry, lost the link), everywhere that the US is at war has led to an increase in terrorist attacks.

    no increase observed in the part the US cares about - the US.
  • Re:That told them! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by elrous0 (869638) * on Tuesday May 01, 2007 @09:11AM (#18940237)
    Yeah, you'd almost think that Thailand's addition just had something to do with they way they've bypassed the major pharmaceutical companies. But that would mean that our political leaders were just serving the ends of the pharmaceutical companies, not the American people or the law. And surely that can't be the case, not with our noble leaders and their "family values," "character," and such.
  • by Garwulf (708651) on Tuesday May 01, 2007 @09:16AM (#18940325) Homepage
    "I didn't say 'creators' I said copyright holders, these are very rarely the same people. People produced content for hundreds of years before copyright cartels and any copyright law."

    1. In my business (writing), most often the copyright holder is the content creator. And there are plenty of patents that are held by the people who created the invention.

    2. Before copyright law, there were wealthy patrons. Copyright law serves an important purpose in a free market economy. This is verbatim from another of my posts today:

    "Modern copyright serves a number of purposes, a few of which are absolutely vital to content creation (although a lot of people don't understand what copyright is, and would argue against this). In a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants summary (using book terms, since those are what I know best), they are:

    "1. Defining the relationship between the author and the publisher.

    "2. Defining the relationship between the holder of the publication rights (which are a subset of copyright) and the reader.

    "Of these two, the first is by far the most important, and the one that gets the least amount of press. What it basically provides is a legal framework that allows an author like myself to submit a manuscript to a publisher without having to worry about that publisher taking my manuscript, attaching another name to it, and publishing it behind my back. It also keeps me from worrying about some other publisher getting their hands on a copy of my book and publishing it. So, I can create and deal with publishers in a way that doesn't shaft me. Without this protection, any content creator is likely screwed over the moment they show it to anybody.

    "(This was an issue less than 50 years ago in the United States - J.R.R. Tolkien had to make a major revision to the Lord of the Rings in order to regain his copyright in the United States after a pirate edition was published by a major publisher.)"
  • Re:Let's be honest (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Entropius (188861) on Tuesday May 01, 2007 @09:20AM (#18940395)
    But there has been a massive *decrease* in the amount of resources the US has to take care of itself. There is infrastructure to be built, research to be done, debt to be paid down, an education system to be fixed, and on and on ... and all of these things are being neglected because of the sheer cost of these wars.

    If bin Laden's goal is to, by terrorist attacks, cause material damage to the USA, he doesn't have to attack us. The USA has an autoimmune disorder of the first degree -- we're doing more damage to ourselves than bin Laden could ever dream of doing.
  • Re:That told them! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by steelfood (895457) on Tuesday May 01, 2007 @09:58AM (#18940975)
    As a sibling post has said, the relationship cuts both ways. Eliminate the cheap goods from China, and the US economey pretty much collapses. Especially if China suddenly kicks all the US companies out. The US companies would never be able to compete internationally without their manufacturing in China.

    At the same time, China has numerous other buyers. Europe, Australia, other countries in Asia, including S. Korea and Japan. Japan and Korea still make their own electronics, but a lot of their other goods are manufactured in China. I believe even their car companies have plants there...
  • Re:That told them! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by kripkenstein (913150) on Tuesday May 01, 2007 @10:09AM (#18941171) Homepage
    As someone that lives in Israel, let me say, I am not surprised at all that it's on the list. What is ironic though is that there are so many IT companies here. This seems to show that you don't need strong IP laws to maintain a strong IT industry. Although, granted, most sales of Israeli IT companies are overseas; I don't know what proportion go to strong-IP-law countries, though.
  • Re:Piracy? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by mebollocks (798866) on Tuesday May 01, 2007 @10:14AM (#18941259) Homepage
    Everything, read the subject, "US puts 12 countries on watch for Piracy". Do you really need a sarcasm tag? Piracy is an illegal act of violence, detention, or plunder committed for private ends by crew or passengers of a private ship or aircraft against another ship or aircraft on the high seas or in a place outside the jurisdiction of any state. What we're talking about here is copyright infringement. Calling it theft, piracy, etc is a manipulative attempt to confound discussion by depicting copyright as a piece of owned property which can be stolen when in actuality it is nothing more than a government run incentive program to fund the arts.
  • Re:Let's be honest (Score:2, Insightful)

    by cpotoso (606303) on Tuesday May 01, 2007 @10:55AM (#18941883) Journal
    You mean the US treats other countries in good faith? Are you serious? Like the rampant corruption brought in by massive privatization in, e.g. Russia or Argentina? Or how about the massive agricultural subsidies that make it hard for developing countries to use their agriculture as spring-boards to development? Or how about the massive tariffs the US imposes on certain products (e.g. ethanol from Brazil). Or the times that the US lets some produce rot while "waiting inspection" so that the offending country cannot compete in some market (case in point: about 2 years ago a shipload of lemmons from Argentina were held for a month because of pressure from the US citrus lobby). No kidding, that's really fair commerce. Why wouldn't these countries ignore some of the rules the US makes?
  • Re:That told them! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Soch (188557) on Tuesday May 01, 2007 @11:04AM (#18942019)
    I've lived in Canada, and I live currently in Israel. While I don't know about the UK, or the other countries on the list, I can most certainly tell you that Canadians don't pirate anywhere near as much as Israelis. A lot of that has to do with enfocement, too.

    Just as an example, you can walk into any major bus station in Israel and find a store that sells exclusively copied CDs and DVDs. It will take the police months to close them down, and take their inventory away, but in that time they've made so much money they can afford to lose their inventory, and they just re-open after a waiting periode.

    It is worse in Egypt (where I've visited) as the police there don't even make the token attempt at closing them.

    I'm told by friends that it is SIGNIFICANTLY worse in places like China or Thailand. The proof one friend offered was a box of hundreds of CDs and Data DVDs that he bought for less than $10, not knowing what specifically was on the disks. There was a lot of usless crap on them, but a lot of cool stuff too. All in English, all obviously pirated.

    Anyway, I'm going to assume that the UK is closer to Canada than the middle-or-far East in terms of it's level of piracy.
  • by Bogtha (906264) on Tuesday May 01, 2007 @11:33AM (#18942503)

    Yep, the entertainment industry gives at least twice as much to Democrats as they do to Republicans. Since 1990, they've given $137,219,474 to Dems, and $63,574,385 to Repubs.

    So basically, what you are saying is that Republicans are cheaper to bribe? </facetious>

    Quit trying to make this a "my team is better than yours" issue. Halivar was saying that both Republicans and Democrats are corrupt, and he was right.

    The cognitive dissonance among sheltered /. basement-dwellers that this post is going to cause will be funny.

    You're just paraphrasing "I know I'll get modded down for this but...", except doing it in an insulting manner. You know, you could have posted the same information without the insults, so why do it?

  • "But you shouldn't be saying "intellectual property" here - you should be saying "service-based," because that is what is really there."

    There is no problem with a service based economy. Most of the world is changing from a production based to a service based one, and most people are happy with that.

    The problem is when you want to sell the same, easily replicated product by a large margin and expect everybody to be nice and buy it from you.

  • Re:That told them! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Kpau (621891) on Tuesday May 01, 2007 @11:46AM (#18942721)
    I saw the headline and thought.... oh, we have countries sympathetic or turning a blind eye to "HIGH SEAS NAVAL" piracy. Serious stuff, you know, with guns and RPGs ... not a small family vendor stall with a DVD duplicator. The word "piracy" has been hijacked by numbnuts....
  • Re:That told them! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by geekoid (135745) <dadinportland AT yahoo DOT com> on Tuesday May 01, 2007 @11:47AM (#18942735) Homepage Journal
    You owe a man a thousand dollars, he owns you. You owe a man a million dollars, you own him.

    adjust for inflation.
  • Re:Let's be honest (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 01, 2007 @11:51AM (#18942793)
    There is no second Gulf War. This is all one big war. Hussein never agreed to the UN cease fire - therefore, if you want to follow the rules of war, the first Gulf War never ended. He was the head of state.

    Tell me - when Clinton launched missiles into Baghdad, what was the reason? Was it that the cease fire was being violated? Did that note move the U.S. into a state of war with Iraq?

  • Re:Let's be honest (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Lisandro (799651) on Tuesday May 01, 2007 @12:39PM (#18943617)
    Bombing the crap out of people always ends up with them doing the best they can to bomb the crap out of you and it's noticeable that all the worldwide military might of the US still hasn't defeated terrorism. Maybe it's because i don't live in the US, but i still, after all these years, don't get it... what does carpet bombing places like Iraq have to do with defeating terrorism?
  • Re:That told them! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Creepy (93888) on Tuesday May 01, 2007 @03:51PM (#18946993) Journal
    China and Russia sell pirated videos on the street corner and the police know about it, which is a problem. I've heard of both of them even selling videos recorded in US theaters with camcorders the day a movie is released. Both of these are a much bigger problem than going to your neighbor's house and ripping a few DVDs because someone is reaping huge profits off it and it's not the film creator or distributor - this is a much bigger issue to those vendors.

    the US also makes an effort to hunt suppliers (the pirates or the hosts of the supplied goods). If the US started fining everyone they caught pirating anything, they might be able to put a curb on it, but just like drugs and prostitution, if they go after the supply and not the demand, it won't have much long term effect. As much as I hate to say it and as much as I loathe the RIAA and MPAA for cracking down on file sharers (and other reasons - esp. the RIAA), doing so probably curbs more illegal file sharing than shutting down file sharing sites.

    I know a guy that got busted by the FBI for piracy (well, technically for operating a pirate BBS) and that put some serious fear in me and curbed my piracy, even though it probably shouldn't have - I was a peon in the whole scheme of things and I learned years later that the FBI botched the arrest, botched collecting evidence, and failed to identify or arrest any other key member. I think he got off with confiscated hardware and community service. Still, even with minimal punishment, fear is a powerful tool - probably better at enforcing the law than actually arresting people breaking those laws.

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