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Viacom Wants Industry Wide Copyright Filter 248

Posted by Zonk
from the putting-a-lid-on-free-speech dept.
slashqwerty writes "Unsatisfied with the proprietary copyright filter Google recently unveiled, Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman has called for an industry standard to filter copyrighted material. Mr. Dauman has the backing of Microsoft, Disney, and Universal. 'They reflect the fact that there ought to be a filtering system in place on the part of technology companies,' he noted. 'Most responsible companies have followed that path. What no one wants is a proprietary system that benefits one company. It is a big drain to a company like ours to have to deal with incompatible systems.' How would an industry standard impact freedom of speech and in particular censorship on the internet? How would it affect small, independent web sites?"
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Viacom Wants Industry Wide Copyright Filter

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  • Youtube (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Ethanol-fueled (1125189) on Sunday October 21, 2007 @07:20AM (#21061945) Homepage Journal
    Has anybody been to youtube lately?
    Almost every link to a video worth watching(with the rare educational exception) leads to "This video has been removed due to...."
    Control is controlled by the need to control. The content providers will shoot themselves in the feet so many times that they won't have a leg to stand on.
  • What's the point? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by fgaliegue (1137441) on Sunday October 21, 2007 @07:23AM (#21061967)
    I really don't get it. So, they want to filter out content so that no one sees any copyrighted material anywhere on the net. What next? Sue movie theaters for displaying trailers of films you didn't pay to see in the first place?

    Heck, if you don't even get a preview/prelisten of the movies/songs you are interested in in the first place, how do you know whether you'll want to buy them later? And they still wonder why their revenue is on the decline?

    These guys should get a clue from RadioHead.
  • by speaker of the truth (1112181) on Sunday October 21, 2007 @07:34AM (#21062019)

    What next? Sue movie theaters for displaying trailers of films you didn't pay to see in the first place?
    Wha? I don't get this "next step" of yours. If a theater was showing trailers without permission you can bet your ass there'd be trouble. However movie theaters don['t do that. Instead they get paid to show the ads. This makes no sense.

    Heck, if you don't even get a preview/prelisten of the movies/songs you are interested in in the first place, how do you know whether you'll want to buy them later? And they still wonder why their revenue is on the decline?

    These guys should get a clue from RadioHead.
    Exactly. The free market decides who wins and loses. If society rules this filter too draconian they'll move to content that isn't protected by the filter.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 21, 2007 @07:36AM (#21062025)
    Hold on a minute. Isn't *all* content copyright protected?. I mean everything that gets written down, recorded, or whatever, is instantly protected. Why should content belonging to one set of businesses have any sort of special protection above and beyond anyone else's content?
  • Re:Youtube (Score:5, Insightful)

    by LiquidCoooled (634315) on Sunday October 21, 2007 @07:43AM (#21062063) Homepage Journal
    You are right, but I think we should help them.
    Lets remove all pirated content everywhere.
    No more illicit MS Windows, no more photoshop, no more movies, no more music.

    Let them go out of business when they realise word of mouth is 99% of the battle.
  • I want a pony. (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 21, 2007 @07:49AM (#21062087)
    And I want Viacom to buy me one and keep paying for it. Why should Viacom get a copyright filter if I can't have a pony?
  • by maxwell demon (590494) on Sunday October 21, 2007 @07:58AM (#21062141) Journal

    So, they want to filter out content so that no one sees any copyrighted material anywhere on the net.

    Given that everything you create is copyrighted (including things explicitly written for display on the web), not displaying anything copyrighted would basically mean completely emptying the web. Yes, this post is copyrighted (through the simple fact that I wrote it just now), and therefore disallowing any copyrighted stuff on the net would mean it couldn't be displayed.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 21, 2007 @08:04AM (#21062171)
    They don't want a filter on every copyrighted document. They want a system which allows them to declare which files are published in violation of their copyright, and they want it to be a standardized (and automated) system so that they don't have to look for contact information, craft letters and wait while the letters are read and acted upon. They want a switch that allows them to turn off publications because talking to people takes longer and costs them too much.

    The tech industry's interest is very similar because they must act upon DMCA notices and without a common system, doing it manually costs them a lot of money too. Now that the big players have established themselves, doubtlessly benefitting from the slow DMCA process, they can make it harder for new competitors with a standard that excludes them from that beneficial first wave of illicit content.
  • by Howard2nd (162784) on Sunday October 21, 2007 @08:44AM (#21062349)
    London Printers, Music Moguls, Hollywood Twits; all these content providers want to own the content. They start as a service to deliver content from producer (author, musician, director & actors,..) to consumer (you & I), BUT greed makes them stupid. Unfortunately the best friends of 'Greed & Stupidity' are lawyers. They can and will support either side of an argument for money. Right, morals, ethics are not part of the equation. And we, the consuming public, allowed the legislatures of nation and states to be filled by these amoral, anethical, 'money is right' bottom feeders. A pundit wrote that 'wanting to make laws controlling others, is proof that you are not to be trusted to make laws!'

    The freedom of the future belongs to those who understand that the threat of content control is not JUST entertainment, but truth. It is not about the next episode of '2&1/2 Men', it is about the next election or the next war or the next reduction in services or the next increase in taxes for the middle classes.

    If all you have is "Trusted!" computing can you trust your family to their control?
  • by 3seas (184403) on Sunday October 21, 2007 @08:53AM (#21062387) Journal
    Copyright application is really quite simple.

    The moment anything is published it is copyrighted. Its about prior art, establishing it.

    The only way to fulfill what he wants is to take down the whole world wide internet.
    Considering everything is copyrighted. The real question is: when are such people going to
    get a clue that what they want is simple not going to happen. Not everyone wants to constrain
    their works

    A clue that its getting time for fundamental changes in the way we live and exchange value?

    If the world wide internet was taken down then the same people would come along and say they
    want to have it back but only if they completely control it like any other media.

    Their problem is no more up to others to solve this delima for them, then it is for everyone
    to be responsible for making me a billionaire while those who help me do so, are to be put in
    the poor house with constraints I used to get there.

    Perhaps the easier solution that provides them with total control, is for them to simple not
    publishing anything that they don't want people to access. That way they are not trying to impose
    constraints upon the freedoms of others.

    The only reason piracy exist, the only reason infringement of copyright, patent and in sum
    "Intellectual Property" (with its double meaning) constraints exist is because the abstract economic
    systems we have can't handle it otherwise. IP rights are done on a "cannot use" basis. You cannot use it
    unless I say you can.... Yet all that we have today is built upon what those before us have done because
    we "did use" the works of others.

    It is by using the works of others that we improve upon the quality of life for all.

    So... we have abstract value exchange systems in place that have problems dealing with abstract
    works using a technology designed specifically to manipulate the abstract.

    Seems to me we have created our own abstraction problems. However, since we are the ones who
    created such abstractions, we are the only ones to correct them. It'd be interesting to create a
    parrallel to what we have, value representation system. Even if only to start getting a better
    handle on whether or not such piracy claims are real of just excuses to try and rationalize even
    more constraints to apply.

    The only problem there is here is of the more fundamental economic systems that employ "cannot use"
    as a way of extracting value through permission constraints.

    So Do I have permission to improve quality of life for everyone including myself? Even by such a
    seemingly insignificant amount?

    Not with the economic systems we have in place.

    I'm all for credit where credit is due. Its to bad there are those who haven't figured out what
    the open source community has.

    I'm finding more and more value in open source software in comparison to proprietary software.
    And there is one thing for sure regarding infringement claims and that is any such constraint
    claims are very small in comparison to the overall value of open source even minus the claims
    property.

    We need to develop another abstract value representation system that allows "can use".
  • Re:Youtube (Score:3, Insightful)

    by JackMeyhoff (1070484) on Sunday October 21, 2007 @09:35AM (#21062569)
    The point is, if you eliminate these pirate copies they would NOT switch and the numbers of legitimate windows users would not increase.
  • Re:It shouldn't (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jc42 (318812) on Sunday October 21, 2007 @09:59AM (#21062649) Homepage Journal
    I have mentioned before that we will come to a time where the Internet as we know it will no longer exist in the way we see it now. There will be the "Trusted Computing" Internet where these low-jacked computers will communicate and there will be the "Hacker/Hobbyist" Internet where custom built machines, not running the majority OS, will connect to. Guess which one your banking, newspapers, search engines, most of your friends, jobs, etc will operate on?

    Actually, this sort of thing happened back in the 1980s, when we had a lot of commercial networks, controlled by the corporations, each one in use by only a small set of corporate customers. Then news got out about this other network called the "Internet", built on government projects by a flock of "hackers", and not controlled by anyone.

    It's pretty clear which one people decided to use.

    So now the corporate world is hard at work bringing the Internet to heel, with strict corporate controls on what you and I can see or do. If they succeed, your scenario will happen once again. And as the Internet becomes as unusable as all those other networks back in the 1980s, people will slowly move to the network that actually works.
  • Re:Youtube (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ShieldW0lf (601553) on Sunday October 21, 2007 @10:16AM (#21062737) Journal
    Now you're getting the picture.

    The correct tone for a creator to have when discussing the continuation of copyright is that of a salesman attempting to pitch the advantages. Not one of moral outrage.

    The correct approach is to have a clear idea as to precisely what it is that you as a creator are hoping to get by perpetuating copyright. Security, reputation, etc.

    Then you should use a little humility and be ready to consider that there might be ways you could get what you want through different means that have less social cost than a blanket copyright enforcement.

    There is a vast amount of administrative and executive waste in the current scheme. It forces you to compete against the dead.

    If you are actually a creator, there is the opportunity for more reward waiting for you if copyright is devalued, because all the expenditures that are budgeted towards paying media groups would then be available to spend on custom work.

    Think about it.
  • Re:on anarchy (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ScrewMaster (602015) on Sunday October 21, 2007 @10:19AM (#21062751)
    A copyright holder can't demand cash keep flowing to him, he can only demand that for a limited number of years he have a monopoly on publishing his work as granted by the Constitution.

    The current duration of copyright is effectively infinite, and will be extended as necessary by the likes of Disney. You can no longer use the "limited duration" of copyright in any rational discourse on this subject. Also, since you brought up the Constitution, I feel compelled to point out that the Founders did not intend copyright to provide an unlimited cash flow to content creators. They certainly did not intend it to have the dramatic negative effects that modern copyright law is having on the whole of our society. No sir. The intent was to enrich the public domain, so that all can benefit from the creative minds among us.

    So, copyright holders got a limited time to make a buck: the presumption (and it was only a presumption) was that potential remuneration was required to encourage the production of such works. The fact that you believe that to be true has little to do with the primary function of American copyright, which was to make more creative works available to all. Jefferson himself considered copyright to be a loan from the public domain! Ideas and creative works were never meant to be kept under private control indefinitely, yet that is precisely what has happened. It's my belief that we would be far better off abolishing copyright completely rather than maintain the current state of affairs. Modern copyright is diametrically opposed in purpose and effect to what the Founders wanted: a vibrant public domain that enriches us all.
  • Re:on anarchy (Score:4, Insightful)

    by stinerman (812158) <nathan.stine@NosPaM.gmail.com> on Sunday October 21, 2007 @10:46AM (#21062939) Homepage
    You're begging the question.

    You seem to think copyright protection should be a given. Why shouldn't there be some sort of legal protection to allow me to at least try to make money off of filing bug reports? I'm sure you know that most musicians don't make money off of copyright, but from performances. Most musicians really don't need copyright to make money. Radiohead's recent album might as well be public domain for all intents and purposes since they are giving it away to anyone who asks for it, and they've made about $6,000,000. They've got a better than 0% chance. I hope that dada21 is reading this so that he can put his word in. I believe he is working on music production for artists that don't utilize copyright. AFAIK, his artist partners are making money w/o the benefit of copyright.

    A copyright holder can't demand cash keep flowing to him, he can only demand that for a limited number of years he have a monopoly on publishing his work as granted by the Constitution. Piracy is, funnily enough, unconstitutional.
    Which...the only reason why he'd want the monopoly is to keep cash flowing to him.

    Piracy is not unconstiutional. Piracy is spelled out in Article 1, Section 8:

    To define and punish piracies and felonies committed on the high seas, and offenses against the law of nations; So congress can define and punish piracy, but it doesn't have to. Getting back on topic:

    To promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries;

    Congress has the power to establish copyrights and patents, but it is not commanded to do so. Famously, Thomas Jefferson was very much against copyrights. In any case, the Constitution restricts the government, not people, so the Constitution cannot declare the actions of a private citizen to be repugnant to itself. What you mean to say copyright infringement is illegal under current law.

    Because the constitution says it is, and we as a society also say it is. It is believed that the amount of quality creative works developed would decrease dramatically without copyright. This is one belief I believe in.
    The constitution singles out only authors and inventors. I am an author of this post, but I have no possibility of making any money from it even if it was copyrighted*. Copyright as a means to try to make profit off of one's works isn't as important as you think it is. And judging from the amount of people my age (early-to-mid 20s) who download music illegally, your argument that society supports copyright is suspect.

    When all is said and done you believe that people who make creative works should be allowed to try to make a profit from them. That is fine, but you believe they are entitled to special rights to that effect which allow them to be paid again and again for work they've already done. No other profession I'm aware of allows for such special rights. I don't get royalty checks for my previous consulting gig, even though they are still using the systems I set up for them. Why authors and inventors should get a special pass, I don't know.

    *All my posts are public domain.
    ** I support a limited copyright as intended by the founders. A copyright that has the goal of enriching the public domain. I believe a term of approximately 10 years with an optional 5 year extension to be optimal.
  • Re:Youtube (Score:2, Insightful)

    by jamar0303 (896820) on Sunday October 21, 2007 @12:29PM (#21063707)
    I am of the belief that if the copyrighted content in question is no longer legitimately available, then it should be public domain. For example, NES games should remain under copyright because they are now legitimately available (Virtual Console). Youtube- a music video of a song entitled "Rough Diamond" by the band Lindberg should not be under copyright because there's no one selling it anymore.
  • Re:Youtube (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cpt kangarooski (3773) on Sunday October 21, 2007 @12:55PM (#21063945) Homepage
    Fundamentally, it comes down to whether it is moral to prevent the free flow of information and creative works, including derivative works of other artists, for one's own financial benefit, or whether it is moral to try to spread those works, to preserve them by distributed effort (n.b. the libraries of antiquity did not survive; only the widespread dissemination of works got us what little we have), and to encourage and assist in the free use, enjoyment, and creation of others.

    I can tolerate copyright on utilitarian grounds, but it is basically amoral, and if not that, then immoral.

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