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Infringement 'Detrimental To the Public Health, Safety' 348

Posted by Soulskill
from the just-may-save-your-family's-lives dept.
I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes "The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors has declared that copyright infringement 'substantially interferes with the interest of the public in the quality of life and community peace, lawful commerce in the county, property values, and is detrimental to the public health, safety, and welfare of the county's citizens, its businesses and its visitors.' You might laugh, but that means they can close up a property for up to one year for violations of the anti-infringement ordinance [PDF] and the owner can be fined $1,000 for each infringing work produced on site. Not to mention the penalties in the PRO-IP Act, which just sailed through the House."
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Infringement 'Detrimental To the Public Health, Safety'

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  • by MichaelCrawford (610140) on Friday May 09, 2008 @12:18AM (#23346408) Homepage Journal
    ... to make copyright reform a central issue in the US elections?

    I imagine all but a few of the candidates are squarely in the camp of the MPAA/RIAA if they are aware of copyright issues at all.

    But more Americans use filesharing than will vote in the election - or at least I know that more shared files in 2003, when I found the figures, than voted for George Bush in 2000.

  • That's funny (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 09, 2008 @12:20AM (#23346422)
    I was just about to say that the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors 'substantially interferes with the interest of the public in the quality of life and community peace, lawful commerce in the county, property values, and is detrimental to the public health, safety, and welfare of the county's citizens, its businesses and its visitors.'
  • by nihongomanabu (1123631) on Friday May 09, 2008 @12:37AM (#23346508)
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." -- Thomas Jefferson
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 09, 2008 @12:41AM (#23346536)
    are you fucking kidding me? i tell you what assfuck, when there is no one going to sleep hungry, when there is no one sleeping in the streets and no ones constitutional rights (and i mean all of them, not just the ones that two certain big parties find noble while shitting on the others) are being threatened can you even BEGIN to think that your so-called right to download ac-dc albums is worth electing an official over.
     
    for the most part every bit of the bitching i see that goes on here about copyright deals with this society's entertainment values. just where in the world do you rate a bootleg copy of ironman in relations to anyones right to a decent life outside of the threat of harm or oppression from the government?
     
    i can't believe this kind of shit is still coming out of people's mouths after how politicized slashdot has become. it's truely pathetic.
  • None? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 09, 2008 @12:46AM (#23346564)
    Since when were laws ever enforced against corporations?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 09, 2008 @12:48AM (#23346584)
    Given that most of the victims of copyright infringement are based in Los Angeles County and have contributed greatly to the county's economy, why wouldn't the board of supervisors denounce it?

    Now, whether Los Angeles County should dictate public policy to the rest of the country, which isn't as dependent on copyright, is another issue entirely.
  • by Auckerman (223266) on Friday May 09, 2008 @12:51AM (#23346594)
    The real question I would pose is: After "copyright reform" (which as best as I can tell is "make file-sharing legal"), what prevents people/companies from violating the GPL. After all you gave them a copy of the code, why can't they share with others under terms they see fit.

    I would like to note that the Submitter is "I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property". If that's the case, Mr. Submitter, then the GPL should be thrown out too.
  • by WaltBusterkeys (1156557) * on Friday May 09, 2008 @12:51AM (#23346596)

    All governments become more aristocratic over time. They serve the needs of a smaller and smaller elite few, to the detriment of the greater and greater majority.
    So the United States was serving a smaller group when women got the vote? When minorities got the vote? And when poll taxes were eliminated?

    While your statement makes for a nice soundbite, it's vastly far from true. There are plenty of countries, including the US, that have extended political power to formerly disenfranchised groups.
  • by sadgoblin (1269500) on Friday May 09, 2008 @12:52AM (#23346600)
    You forget that people get more and more lazy over time... what if next time they'll be too lazy to rebel?
  • by dave1791 (315728) on Friday May 09, 2008 @12:58AM (#23346624)
    Relax. This is the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. Their constituency pretty much consists of Hollywood.

    The real issue that we face is that IP issues are simply boring to the average voter. Most people don't own patents and don't feel that copyright law affects them in any way. They are much more interested in what J. Wright blabbers on about than about issues that have an effect on the economy; such as IP laws.

    (And yes, I think voters are morons. disclaimer - I've lived in Germany for a few years and have developed the same opinion of the average German voter. It seems that people are just stupid.)

    Your best bet is an advertising campaign to raise awareness of the issues. Until that happens, we are in the wilderness dude.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 09, 2008 @12:59AM (#23346638)
    You do realize that in the USA the President is a powerless git that's unable to legislate? He can only approve stuff from Congress or veto it, and even if he vetoes it, Congress still gets a chance to pass it anyway.

    All that "I promise lower taxes, more money, better education, this and that" are all LIES. I don't care if the President is Jesus Christ himself, unless he has Congress to propose legislation he can't approve it.

    Now, if you really want to blame this on somebody, I hear your congressmen takes letters. Mine does, but he ignores them.
  • Copywrong (Score:4, Insightful)

    by billcopc (196330) <vrillco@yahoo.com> on Friday May 09, 2008 @01:00AM (#23346642) Homepage
    Copyright infrigement is only detrimental to the health and safety of those who abuse copyright in the first place. The common people do not suffer when their neighbor burns a DVD. The local economy is not negatively affected by the "lost sale", because the money not spent on copyrighted materials is more likely to be spent locally on other goods or services, instead of being funneled to out-of-state gluttons.

    As much as I want artists to be fairly compensated, I strongly disagree with the application of copyright law. Litigation never solved anything in this world, it only creates more hatred for one another. It goes against the very purpose of law by promoting and supporting inequality, which is directly detrimental to the health and safety of everyone.
  • The GPL is a license that enforces "copyright" for the explicit purpose of fitting in to the current legal system. Were copyright to be greatly reformed or abolished completely, you're completely right that the GPL would immediately become as worthless as every other license, BUT it also wouldn't be necessary anymore.

    True, the landscape would look very different, and the real "forced openness" that the GPL gives would be gone as well (unless that was framed in the new copyright laws, but I can NEVER imagine that happening!), but don't for a moment think that GPL advocates actually like copyright. The GPL exists in the realm of copyright because it has to in order to be legally enforceable, NOT because anyone thinks it really belongs there.

  • by Admiral Ag (829695) on Friday May 09, 2008 @01:06AM (#23346670)
    We don't have the money to compete with them. But I don't think it matters. I'm guessing that most politicians who take money from organizations like the MPAA understand that trying to stop people from sharing files over the internet is like trying to stop them watching porn, except a lot harder.

    It's been evident for a long time that it can't be stopped. Any attempt to lock stuff down that people don't like immediately produces workarounds. I'd argue the opposite: I think the public interest is served by the availability of information. Whether or not people have to engage in one to one market transactions to fund its creation is a secondary issue. No matter how many times the contrary is repeated, information is not property in the same way that a car is. Making the rules for it the same ignores this obvious fact.

    My guess is that a lot of politicians welcome the money because they know that they'll never be able to do anything about it, so they'll stay cool with the public. Look at how many politicians take money from anti-abortion groups in full knowledge that they can rant and rave about abortion, but the law is unlikely to change.
  • by Leuf (918654) on Friday May 09, 2008 @01:08AM (#23346686)

    The constitution is supposed to allow us to fix the government without it coming to that, but it doesn't seem to be working. So what changes do we need to make to the constitution to make it work? Not that the congress will allow us a convention to fix it.

    We have a president who doesn't care what the constitution says at all. We have 2 out of 3 presidential candidates who voted to cede the decision to declare war from the congress to the president. How that isn't even an issue still boggles my mind. Even if you thought going into Iraq was a good idea you shouldn't have voted for that bill. But I digress. We're likely going to hand over the presidency to someone who has already proven they can't uphold the constitution.

  • by Erris (531066) * on Friday May 09, 2008 @01:09AM (#23346688) Homepage Journal

    That's what's so insidious about the current copyright reign of terror. It's not about AC/DC, it's about freedom of press and without that you and I will never learn of those other serious abuses you are talking about. Real families have already been thrown out of their homes and stripped of their life savings on the flimsiest of evidence about sharing RIAA crap that both of us can agree is trivial. If it's so trivial, why submit to such massive punishment? Don't be fooled, though, this is all about control of public knowledge, opinion and culture. It includes control of entertainment but it's also about domestic spying and neutralization of political opposition such as yourself.

  • by pembo13 (770295) on Friday May 09, 2008 @01:13AM (#23346704) Homepage

    It scares that there maybe those who actually believe these things they say about "copyright infringement". As if (US) American prisons aren't full enough, I predict the government building new ones for to hold the dam pirates. Colonial attacks against real pirates only barely succeeded, and being a sea fearing pirate takes energy. Copyright infringement takes much less energy.

    And on a side note, could you guys "pirating" via cameras in theatres just stop it? At least out of respect for art in general. There is currently no good way to duplicate a movie via cam, the quality is terrible. If people can't wait for it to come out dvd let them buy a ticket to the nearest theatre.

  • by jamstar7 (694492) on Friday May 09, 2008 @01:17AM (#23346716)

    All governments become more aristocratic over time. They serve the needs of a smaller and smaller elite few, to the detriment of the greater and greater majority.

    So the United States was serving a smaller group when women got the vote? When minorities got the vote? And when poll taxes were eliminated?

    While your statement makes for a nice soundbite, it's vastly far from true. There are plenty of countries, including the US, that have extended political power to formerly disenfranchised groups.

    Mind if I ask where you've been the last 25 years or so?

    The only time a politician listens to anybody these days is when that somebody is handing them a nice fat check for their campaign warchest. The 'citizens' they listen to are the corporations that fund them getting back into office again. Have you looked at some of the hairbrained laws coming out of Washington these days? Pro-IP was written by RIAA itself, not just a legal terrorist organisation, but a PAC (Political Action Committee for the uninformed), a high powered lobby. Lobbyists are campaign contributors through their PACs. While the telco bill getting telcos out of a jackpot for illegally handing over data to the government might or might not have been written by the telcos themselves, it sure as hell benefits them, and they contribute heavily to both sides of the aisle.

    A politician wants back into office to play statesman again? You better believe he'll throw as much bias towards his contributors as he thinks he can get away with, just about to the point of flat out stupidity. Hey, who cares, there's an election coming, and those checks can just as easily go to the other guy...

  • by WaltBusterkeys (1156557) * on Friday May 09, 2008 @01:20AM (#23346738)
    He claimed that governments ONLY got more elitist. Of course there are some policies that appear to benefit a small group; it doesn't take a genius to see that. But that's a far cry from saying that government ONLY exists to serve a small group and ONLY gets more interested in that group.

    Claiming that government just serves some arbitrary elite makes for great teenage "down with the man!" soundbites, but it doesn't account for the fact that there are movements in both directions. Nor does it account for the fact that a lot of it is a matter of perception: It's easy to view a silent majority that you disagree with as a special interest; it's vastly easier than admitting that democracy works both ways.
  • by RiotingPacifist (1228016) on Friday May 09, 2008 @01:22AM (#23346744)

    (And yes, I think voters are morons. disclaimer - I've lived in Germany for a few years and have developed the same opinion of the average German voter. It seems that people are just stupid.)
    A quick guide to any country
    america: most popular tv news network: FOX [wikipedia.org]
    uk: most popular news paper The sun [wikipedia.org]
    just look up thier most popular news network/paper and you'll realise how fscked you are.
    The problem is that idiots are very easy for big corporations to guide, and while they cant agree on everything, they sure as hell like copyright & IP.
  • by RiotingPacifist (1228016) on Friday May 09, 2008 @01:46AM (#23346834)
    Ill repharse that for you so you dont get marked troll

    when there is no one going to sleep hungry, when there is no one sleeping in the streets and no ones constitutional rights (and i mean all of them, not just the ones that two certain big parties find noble while shitting on the others) are being threatened can you even BEGIN to think that your so-called right to download ac-dc albums is worth electing an official over.

    just where in the world do you rate a bootleg copy of ironman in relations to anyones right to a decent life outside of the threat of harm or oppression from the government?

    i can't believe this is still coming out of people's mouths after how politicized slashdot has become. it's truely pathetic.
    And just in case I wasn't going to get moded troll too ill add, promoting an unpopular opinion isn't trolling, is this how groupthink slashdot moderation has become, That is truly pathetic.
  • by RiotingPacifist (1228016) on Friday May 09, 2008 @01:49AM (#23346846)
    true but hes only managed to fuck up:
    Iraq & Afganistan
    International respect for America
    The economy ....list goes on

    It was congress that fucked up the privacy, its only congress that can fuck up the laws.

    But hey im not from america so im not 100% sure this is the case?
  • by WaltBusterkeys (1156557) * on Friday May 09, 2008 @02:12AM (#23346928)
    I'm sorry, but there was a time in US history when only white men who owned more than 40 acres of land could vote. It is utterly unrealistic to claim that nothing good has come of expanding the vote to include people of every race, gender, and income group.
  • by DigitalisAkujin (846133) on Friday May 09, 2008 @02:12AM (#23346932) Homepage
    FOX isn't the most popular cable news channel because they are somehow better then the other networks.

    The polarity of American politics right vs left.

    FOX represents the right while NBC, CBS, and CNN represent the left.

    So with the right you have no choice and with the left you have a choice. No wonder they are the most watched cable news channel.
  • by dnwq (910646) on Friday May 09, 2008 @02:22AM (#23346982)
    Uh, no. Ever since Roosevelt the President is expected to lead legislation. New Deal? Great Society? you know. You may as well regard Congress as having the power to introduce additional legislation. The President introduces the big stuff nowadays.
  • by Trogre (513942) on Friday May 09, 2008 @02:39AM (#23347056) Homepage
    Voting is an illusion of choice.

    Couldn't agree more. I've been saying that for years, though not quite as elegantly.

    I believe that in this society, the only effective way to vote is with ones wallet.

    Vote wisely.

  • by mosb1000 (710161) <mosb1000@mac.com> on Friday May 09, 2008 @02:39AM (#23347060)
    The entertainment industry is based on copyright, and LA is dependent on the entertainment industry. It's not really a surprise.
  • Vote != power (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mosb1000 (710161) <mosb1000@mac.com> on Friday May 09, 2008 @03:02AM (#23347128)
    Just because someone can vote doesn't mean the government serves them.
  • by gerardrj (207690) on Friday May 09, 2008 @03:08AM (#23347158) Journal
    But in this country people do have the right to not go to sleep hungry or be harassed.
    You have confused the concept of "rights" and "obligations".
    Just because people have the right to affordable food doesn't mean that anyone has the obligation to provide it.
    To force supermarkets to lower their prices infringes on their right to charge whatever they feel like for products (what the free market will bear).

    So what people are really talking about when they say "people ought to have the right to (fill in the blank", they really mean that they want to take away someone else's right(s) and place an obligation on them to do something they otherwise would choose not to do.

    That doesn't sound very democratic to me, more like socialism.
  • by Blue Stone (582566) on Friday May 09, 2008 @03:17AM (#23347180) Homepage Journal
    >FOX represents the extreme right while NBC, CBS, and CNN represent the right.

    There, fixed that for you. :)

  • by Blue Stone (582566) on Friday May 09, 2008 @03:22AM (#23347208) Homepage Journal
    It's a great leap forward.

    Back then, only landed white men got the vote for a government that served the interests of those landed white men.

    Then it all changed: women and minorities also got to vote for a government that served the interests of the landed white men.

    Viva la Revolucion!

  • by Wiseman1024 (993899) on Friday May 09, 2008 @03:38AM (#23347280)
    Good post. Universal suffrage is worth little as soon as you realize all that "power to the masses" is reduced to, at the very best, a word shorter than three letters through your life! All democracies evolve to bipartidism, so all you can speak every 3-6 years is a single bit. Even with 6 bit plain Latin characters, all you can speak with your bit-every-4-years is a very short word. How could you possibly call that power?

    Indeed, we live in plutocracies, and the USA is the most blatant example of one, where not just extremely rich and influential people decide, but the whole state is ran by corporations like Monsanto or the mafiaa, world-renowned for their disrespect for human life and well-being and their lack of morality and honesty.
  • by professionalfurryele (877225) on Friday May 09, 2008 @03:58AM (#23347374)
    The word you are looking for is totalitarianism. Socialists and Social Conservatives are just about the same in terms of their support for a free society. The difference between left and right is just which freedoms they don't want you to have.
  • Yeah right (Score:3, Insightful)

    by archeopterix (594938) on Friday May 09, 2008 @03:59AM (#23347378) Journal

    I think this is meant to address "real" piracy, and not some guy in his basement downloading torrents.
    As is every single law giving more power to the authorities.

    "It's only for going after terrorists, pedophiles and drug dealers. Common people have nothing to fear. Trust us." Seriously people, why do you keep gobbling on this bullshit?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 09, 2008 @05:01AM (#23347656)
    I agree with you on the groupthink thing--but isn't the system essentially setup to reward it? The premise of the entire system is, and always has been, to reward conformity.

    This is the "dark side" of moderation. If you're interested in your karma, you're going to be tempted to post things that everyone agrees with, which doesn't do much for free discourse.

    Meta-moderation is almost worse, you won't get mod points unless you can prove once again that your opinion on a wide variety of topics fits in with everyone else's ideas.

    Because of this, you could make a good argument that Slashdot is, by design, nothing BUT a huge groupthink experiment.
  • by umghhh (965931) on Friday May 09, 2008 @05:03AM (#23347660)
    the two have nothing to do with each other. In reality socialism is not even in opposition to capitalism - it deals with different aspects of living in a society. There is nothing stopping people using market forces to provide social services like health systems for instance. Market participants may benefit and people could too. The principle is social but the tools are free market (as far as free market can go) and the whole thing may be decided in a democratic way so the contradiction does not really exist.
    Interestingly people call on democracy also when they do not understand what it really means. People can democratically decide to do things that result in human rights violation and destruction of whole countries e.g. Saarland has decided once to join third Reich in such a way (plebiscite on 13 Jan 1935) although people knew there is an politically and racially oppressive regime at power (I am sure there are many other examples) so democracy is not the only thing that we need to live well.
  • by Alex Belits (437) * on Friday May 09, 2008 @05:48AM (#23347862) Homepage
    "To live well", most of societies, and especially American one, need better educated people. What requires better public education system. That happens to be expensive, requires a lot of work, provides no bread and pretty lousy circuses.

    There is no way, enough ignorant people will admit their deficiency and support implementation of such such education system in a democratic way.
    There is no way, in a republic, politicians will support public education because it is not a popular position among ignorant people.
    There is no way, in Capitalist economy businesses will support public education, because it will decrease their control over consumers.

    The only way to do it, is for smart people to manipulate powerful elite and its decadent culture into forcing education onto the masses. When the next generation of people will get an idea WTF they are doing and talking about, maybe they will find a use for democracy, socialism, market, or whatever other things that are now touted to be important for the welfare of mankind. But until then, long live oppression.

    Seriously, long live oppression, the only way to get rid of oppression.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 09, 2008 @06:56AM (#23348146)
    You just don't get it... It STARTS with the things nobody finds important, like ac-dc albums. The problem is that these very same laws can be used to suppress people. Is it acceptable that what TV programs you can view on your computers is controlled remotely? Is it acceptable that what pictures you can print should be determined by software a single monopoly controls? Is it acceptable that you can risk prison time for simply telling other people that a system designed to prevent "unauthorized" redistribution of a piece of information is flawed?

    Get this through your head, the DMCA makes it an offense for you to tell other people how to circumvent DRM. Now while DRM is being touted as a way to ensure copyright holders are compensated, it could just as well be used to spy on what political dissidents are doing. Sony made their CDs take over the customers computers. Microsoft has DRM which send Microsoft information about what you do with your computer. THE DMCA PROHIBITS YOU FROM TELLING PEOPLE HOW TO PREVENT THIS. Think about that for a second. The US today has legislation which effectively makes it an offense to tell others how to prevent companies from spying on you. Is that a non-issue to you?

    This is not merely a matter about ac-dc albums or home copying of musics. This is a matter of what people who have power, either by law or through de-facto market position, are allowed to do in order to controll what you do with information, and how much information they are allowed to gather about you.

    I don't give a fuck about pages like The Pirate Bay because I never use them, but I find it outright scary that the US government can simply tell our politicians to confiscate an entire ISPs servers based on what essentially boils down to "we don't like that these people are telling others where to find copyrighted material".

    Hey, if you are concerned about people being sick or starving. Consider what happens when McDonalds start using DRM to prevent documents that detail the concentration of harmful compounds in them from leaking. The DMCA makes it illegal for whistle blowers to circumvent such a protection scheme, so the mere fact that they had made an attempt at it means you are technically risking jail time if you reveal a company's dark secret.

    Can yous ee the problem now?
  • by Brown (36659) on Friday May 09, 2008 @06:56AM (#23348150) Homepage
    ... or to someone from most of the rest of the world. Not that that really matters, as the citizens of the US have every right to whatever they believe. But it's interesting that the US political centre-ground would be seen as rather to the right in europe, which is itself probably slightly to the right of the world average (take India, where the communist party is a major power, or China).
  • by DMUTPeregrine (612791) on Friday May 09, 2008 @07:53AM (#23348382) Journal
    We need to follow the constitution, to start. Changing it won't help when we just ignore the thing anyway.
  • by Weedlekin (836313) on Friday May 09, 2008 @08:00AM (#23348420)
    "Give me a break. They killed a bunch of people, tore down some buildings with high symbolic value...and that's pretty much it."

    Which had huge, world-changing consequences such as a recession that followed it, all sorts of military actions that are still being played out at vast cost to all of those involved in them, and a whole bunch of other stuff.

    "Yeah, they shocked the world, but if it hadn't been for the mass sensationalism and rabid irrational fear that followed we wouldn't find ourselves in the situation we're in right now."

    What precisely is there about mass sensationalism and rabid irrational fear leading to new laws that place new restrictions on the rights of every individual in many countries, make life for travellers far more miserable than was the case beforehand, and causes wars that have cost many thousands of lives which fails to meet your definition of a huge world-changing event that was precipitated by a handful of people (i.e. 19 of them)?

    "Everything that followed was not caused by them, they were merely a convenient excuse."

    Read the quote I was replying to, because it didn't mention causes. The phrase used was "something completely unexpected happening to show that a handful of individuals can make a huge difference in a world-changing way." The attacks on the Twin Towers and Pentagon were unexpected by at least the vast majority of people; they were perpetrated by 19 individuals; and they did make a huge difference in a world-changing way, because the world post-911 is vastly different from the one that existed before it in many ways.
  • by aepervius (535155) on Friday May 09, 2008 @08:00AM (#23348422)
    Up to 2008 no president has been black. They were all white and well off. And none were women either. Beside the right equality (which is sometimes more a theory than something practiced) can you point anyway to any recent issue where women/non white people being able to vote for one democrate white guy and one republican white guy would change ANYTHING ?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 09, 2008 @08:09AM (#23348468)
    The problem is the current IP laws do cost lives - thousands die from treatable diseases every day for no reason other than protecting the profits of drugs companies. For a copyright example, many third world countries cannot develop while the necessary infrastucture and knowledge cannot be freely distributed (software and books).

    If you want a full review, check out http://www.iprcommission.org/home.html

    People, such as the grandparent, need to stop simply associating copyright infringement with downloading movies for free and see the real damage IP laws and regulations do to millions of lives throughout the world.

  • by Rob the Bold (788862) on Friday May 09, 2008 @08:46AM (#23348704)

    when there is no one going to sleep hungry, when there is no one sleeping in the streets and no ones constitutional rights (and i mean all of them, not just the ones that two certain big parties find noble while shitting on the others) are being threatened can you even BEGIN to think that your so-called right to download ac-dc albums is worth electing an official over.

    But today there are people going to sleep hungry, and sleeping in the streets, and constitutional rights are being trampled. One could argue that our politicians and governments do too much to protect IP, and not enough to address these very real problems -- that by electing officials that agree that too much is spent on enforcing copyright and not enough on social ills is we could attempt to set that balance right.

    Slashdot discussions may have become too politicized for some of us, but this topic is not a good example of that, since it is about politics and government. I think your comment's (Anonymous) parent got modded flamebait because it started with: "are you fucking kidding me? i tell you what assfuck". Sometimes a reader will stop right there without considering the remainder of one's well-thought-out argument.
  • by sm62704 (957197) on Friday May 09, 2008 @09:07AM (#23348832) Journal
    Kidding aside, Obama does speak about reforming the whole intellectual property system... It's hard to quantify what exactly he means when he talks about reform

    That scares the hell out of me. Any time a a politican talks about "intellectual pooperty reform" the copyright length is even longer and fair use rights are further eroded.

    I've looked at the other two candidates

    You mean Wayne Allyn Root [lp.org] and Cynthia McKinney [gp.org]? Don't you mean three? The Republicans are running some guy or another, too, you know

    Obama talks about rewriting intellectual property, writes some dream bill, only to have it obliterated in Congress due equally to his lack of commitment and Congress's general distaste for effective legislation

    He's been Senator for a while now, why hasn't he introduced this legislation? That is, after all, what Congress does. The President merely vetos it or signs it into law and runs the bureaucracy. Don't look to Obama or any other mainstream candidate to push for meaningful reform of anything, unless it benefits the corporations that pay for their election campaigns.
  • by sm62704 (957197) on Friday May 09, 2008 @09:17AM (#23348920) Journal
    I'm guessing that most politicians who take money from organizations like the MPAA understand that trying to stop people from sharing files over the internet is like trying to stop them smoking marijuana, except a lot harder.

    So how long have they been trying to get people to stop smoking marijuana now? They haven't given up yet, have they?

    I think the public interest is served by the availability of information.

    Which is why they fight availability of information. In the US, the public interest is always trumped by business interests. We are a plutocracy, our religion is mammon worship, our god is the almighty greenback and our church is called "the bank". Any talk of intellectual pooperty reform or universal health care that doesn't involve insurance companies is sacrelige and will be dealt with harshly.
  • by PMBjornerud (947233) on Friday May 09, 2008 @09:39AM (#23349076)

    It's been evident for a long time that it can't be stopped.
    Indeed.

    Intellectual property = information.

    It does not matter how much anyone would like it to be a physical property, be it you or me or the RIAA / MPAA. If it can be represented in a digital form, it is information.

    The purpose of a computer is to copy and transform information.
    The purpose of the Internet is to copy and transform information on a global scale.

    Like it or not, the biggest change in civilization the last 20 years have been about moving digital information. Computers does not differ between types of information, they just move (copy) a huge number of ones and zeros from one place to another. The Internet is basically a colossal copyright infringement machine.

    I worry a lot about "Intellectual Property". I can understand their worried and justified claims on the content industry, but no matter how you twist and turn this it boils down to "controlling information".

    There is no difference between different kinds of information. If intellectual property could be controlled, all information could be controlled. This includes any information any government would declare "illegal".

    If anyone could control who copies a Hollywood blockbuster, they could also control who copies other information that makes the government look bad. Like a video of police brutality or any violation of human rights.

    Controlling information
  • by monxrtr (1105563) on Friday May 09, 2008 @09:43AM (#23349122)
    People are starving solely *because* of intellectual property. Monsanto wishes to develop seeds that kill off natural food crops, and only grow with their intellectual property fertilizer, and only grow for one season. It's like charging people for breathing air, resulting in caused poverty as labor is required to produce something where to fore there was no labor previously required for the same output. Governments and Corporations like Monsanto wish to become a middleman between nature and mankind, enslaving by eliminating competition through the Law. This is enabled purely through government enforce copyright and patent.

    If the argument that incentives for the production of music wouldn't exist without imaginary property interference were true (which they aren't), then musicians would find it more profitable to become farmers, increasing the supply of food, decreasing the price of food, and leading to less starving people.

    The government ethanol subsidies are a perfect example of interference in the free market that mimics the effect of copyright and patent. Shortages of other productions result in higher prices for other things. People devote scarce resources to producing things the free and voluntary actions of consumers and producers show are less worthwhile production activities as evidenced by economic supply and demand.

    So we have a flood of people trying to make a living as artists, producing crap, copying the hell out of each other's ideas anyway, and sitting on their asses collecting government interference subsidized welfare.

    The broken window fallacy applies perfectly.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parable_of_the_broken_window [wikipedia.org]
  • by dwibby (1281370) on Friday May 09, 2008 @09:58AM (#23349322)

    And just in case I wasn't going to get moded troll too ill add, promoting an unpopular opinion isn't trolling, is this how groupthink slashdot moderation has become, That is truly pathetic.

    Well, that's half right. Promoting an unpopular opinion in good faith is not trolling. On the other hand, using an unpopular opinion to anger and insult is quite nearly the definition of trolling.

    Rephrasing the more-than-slightly-invective parent was fine; the micro-rant about trolling was a bit trollish itself.

    In short, trolling isn't so much about what is said, but is far more about how it is said.

  • Don't forget NPR (Score:3, Insightful)

    by MarkusQ (450076) on Friday May 09, 2008 @11:48AM (#23350938) Journal

    FOX represents the extreme right while NBC, CBS, and CNN represent the right.

    At this point, NPR is pretty far to the right as well. Just how far was driven home to me the other day when they were talking about Berry Goldwater, and the comment was made that his views were "pretty consistently liberal by todays standards." There was a round of hearty agreement from the panel and no one seemed to recognize the significance of what they were saying.

    If Barry Goldwater looks like a leftist to you, you have passed the rumble strips and are now driving off the shoulder to the right.

    --MarkusQ

    P.S. And I'd have to agree with some of the posters on adjacent threads: there is no "left" in American politics at present, and apart from a few blogs and a couple of low power AM radio stations, very little "left" left in the media.

  • by OwnedByTwoCats (124103) on Friday May 09, 2008 @01:52PM (#23352804)
    First off, a few under-educated parents have teemed up with theocratic types and are working hard to make sure the kids don't get educated in biology.

    Privatize education and provide vouchers to everyone, progressively scaled based on family income and size, add some government funding for a semi-privatized accreditation and ranking system and you'll see education in America fixed within two generations. Quality will improve, costs will decline, and parents will feel greater responsibility to help out with their children's education, because they'll have more say in it.
    Privatize education and you'll get millionare school system executives and falling wages for teachers. The incentives to cut voucher funding levels will be too great to resist, after all "they" are getting a Cadillac (errr... Lexus) education at the expense of "us" hard-working taxpayers. Surely you could slice a little bit off the education and "they" won't be worse for it.

    Schools involve transportation costs. Will private schools be located to minimize transportation costs for students in lower income neighborhoods? I think not.

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