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PRO-IP and PIRATE Acts Fused Into New Bill 324

Posted by Soulskill
from the when-legislation-attacks dept.
I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes "Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Arlen Specter (R-PA) have just sponsored a new bill, the Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights Act of 2008, which would combine the worst parts of the PRO-IP Act and the PIRATE Act. The basic idea is pretty simple: expand the Federal government to create something like the Department of Homeland Security for IP. The Copyright Czar then polices the internet and clogs the courts with thousands of civil lawsuits against individual infringers so the RIAA doesn't have to. Feel free to contact your representatives with your feelings about this bill. Right now, they believe the bill (PDF) will 'protect jobs.'"
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PRO-IP and PIRATE Acts Fused Into New Bill

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  • Protect jobs? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Ritz_Just_Ritz (883997) on Saturday July 26, 2008 @08:22AM (#24347211)

    Ermm.....more likely "will protect the stream of political contributions and lobbying money from the RIAA/MPAA/etc."

    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 26, 2008 @08:37AM (#24347287)

      Yep, protect jobs. Time to become a copyright lawyer...

      • Re:Protect jobs? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by AftanGustur (7715) on Saturday July 26, 2008 @10:14AM (#24347901) Homepage

        Yep, protect jobs. Time to become a copyright lawyer...

        Or a Jail Warden..

        It's gonna be shitty to be an artist though ..

        • Re:Protect jobs? (Score:4, Interesting)

          by Scroatzilla (672804) on Saturday July 26, 2008 @11:14AM (#24348277) Homepage Journal

          I wonder what you mean by "shitty to be an artist"? All of this IP madness is predicated on middle men looking for the next best thing to distribute that will maximize return on investment. The reason they were even able to weasel into that spot they're in is because their artistic "victims" have based their decisions on wishes to become rich and famous.

          The fact is that, particularly with music and movies since they have such high exposure these days, what is under contention is only the tip of the iceberg for consumable art/IP that is available. With the internet as a distribution center, this legal wrangling really is irrelevant to contemporary artists.

          For any artist interested in simply exposing their talents (or lack thereof), this is quite an exciting time. If anything, this has opened people's eyes to the leaky shark tank that is the true nature of Big Media, and the fact that they don't HAVE to dive into it. Business people can do a lot of things to generate revenue, but they are really bad at being creative-- today's artists are slowly realizing that the power in any business relationship is (or can be) theirs in the end.

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by billcopc (196330)

            If by "exciting" you mean "more dumb singing whores on TV", you're absolutely right.

            The greatest challenge for artists these days isn't piracy, it's publicity. Everyone and their mother are "artists", and they mostly all suck. The signal-to-noise ratio is at an all-time low, to a point where marketing is the only "reliable" driving force left standing. As a small fry, it's probably better to sue every filesharer, just for the cheap publicity, than to spend the same amount on traditional merchandising and

        • Re:Protect jobs? (Score:4, Interesting)

          by illumin8 (148082) on Saturday July 26, 2008 @12:06PM (#24348675) Journal

          Or a Jail Warden..

          It's gonna be shitty to be an artist though ..

          Actually, I believe the only way to break this law is to make it impossible for the government to prosecute. Everyone should just become basement "artists" and publish IP on the web. Put blogs up, and then force the government to prosecute Google, Yahoo, MSN search, for indexing your blog. Use automation to file copyright complaints in the millions against every index on the web. Overburden the courts with so many fake lawsuits that the government has no choice but to back down.

          Our legislators have proven that they're bought and paid for by the lobbyists. It's past the point of them representing the people.

          It's time for civil disobedience, and I think they'll find that there is no such thing as enforceable IP on the web.

      • Lots of 'em - all taxpayer funded.

    • Re:Protect jobs? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by thermian (1267986) on Saturday July 26, 2008 @08:41AM (#24347305)

      the theory goes that if intellectual property can be protected totally, then money will be made in large amounts.

      What it actually means is that as soon as profits are assured by this sort of action we will see distribution channels becoming more powerful, taking a bigger cut, and IP owners getting a smaller piece of the pie.

      Not that it would work, no government that criminalises millions of its own citizens has done well in the long term.

      • Re:Protect jobs? (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Cheesey (70139) on Saturday July 26, 2008 @08:54AM (#24347363)

        How many people are in prison for nonviolent drugs offences, "crimes" that wouldn't even be illegal in a free country? You can criminalise millions of people as long as the majority has a reason to look down on them; you can prohibit anything that the majority doesn't do (or won't admit to doing).

        We can expect the War on Pirates to be the same runaway success as the War on Drugs. I think they will probably eventually succeed in forcing piracy off the public Internet, just as they forced drug dealers into the back streets. The pirating will, of course, continue by sneakernet.

        • Re:Protect jobs? (Score:5, Interesting)

          by thermian (1267986) on Saturday July 26, 2008 @08:59AM (#24347397)

          in this case the criminalised group would be predominantly middle class, since that is the social group with the highest percentage of internet access.

          No-one cares if you criminalise lower class/unemployed/homeless/poor people. Really, they don't. Its amazing how little people with even a little success care about people less well off then them. It sounds cynical, but I'm only being honest. How many friends do you have that aren't in or above your social class?

          Criminalise people who are successful, have nice houses, jobs, and are otherwise highly respectable, and you have a potential storm on your hands.

          • by FriendlyLurker (50431) on Saturday July 26, 2008 @09:23AM (#24347539)

            It will "protect 'jobs'". Put that last little word through your Noam Chomsky filter [youtube.com], and it translates:

            "protect profits".

            but that does not envoke the same emotion in the masses as "Jobs" do.
            Which your congress spokesperson might have a hard time trying to disagree with this bill.

          • Re:Protect jobs? (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Adriax (746043) on Saturday July 26, 2008 @10:01AM (#24347813)

            How many friends do you have that aren't in or above your social class?
             
            Ok, so you only have friends at or above your social class. Explain your friends then, or do that not count as actual people?
            They have friends below their social class, so either their slumming it cause they feel bad about you, or they, like many more americans than you care to admit are different than you, don't see social class as noteworthy.

          • by shinma (106792)

            How many friends do you have that aren't in or above your social class?

            By definition, if you have friends "above your social class," then your friends have friends below their social class, which kind of defeats your argument.

            That said, I think it's more a matter that people are inherently selfish. They don't do anything when others are mistreated, only when they themselves are affected. And the poor don't have the resources to make a loud noise by themselves, so it needs to affect people who can afford the lawyers and lobbyists to get attention.

            Same effect, different cause.

          • How many friends do you have that aren't in or above your social class?

            This statement is illogical: for every friend that you have above your social class, they have a friend (i.e., you) below their social class. It exactly evens out.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Maxo-Texas (864189)

            And lots and lots of college students and young people.

            Let's destroy the country's future to protect I.P.

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by Maxo-Texas (864189)

            You have a key point...

            And highlights a lamentable loss of distinction.

            There is money and there is class.

            Today we have a lot of wealthy low class people.

            How many friends do you have outside of your wealth level?
            Personally- I have quite a few through "Meetups" for my hobbies which cut across class lines.
            I am careful to not let people know how well off I am.

            If not for the meetups and internet- all my friends would be in my same wealth class.
            The normal pattern I've seen in life is
            1) The poor envy the wealthy-

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by strabes (1075839)
          I never thought about it this way but as someone who favors decriminalization your comparison is very accurate. It's just another way for politicians to look good in the eyes of the uninformed common citizen. "I'm helping to stop piracy" is really similar to "I'm helping to stop people from using drugs." It's just targeting and demonizing a group of people who engage in questionable/unpopular activities, and using force or the threat of force to prevent them from doing their activity. The people will love y
      • Re:Protect jobs? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Znork (31774) on Saturday July 26, 2008 @09:45AM (#24347677)

        the theory goes that if intellectual property can be protected totally, then money will be made in large amounts.

        Of course, as intellectual 'property' usually doesn't involve actually making money (unless you're the mint), it's more appropriate to say that protecting intellectual 'property' means more money will be transferred to corporate accounts.

        As that money would otherwise have been spent on other things in the economy, it's most likely that the transfer of money into highly wasteful monopolistic corporations result in a net loss of jobs for the economy (not to mention a net loss of wealth for the economy as a whole).

    • Re:Protect jobs? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by gerf (532474) <edtgerf@gmail.com> on Saturday July 26, 2008 @09:31AM (#24347581) Journal

      Obviously we need another way to fun politicians then. Unfortunately, the Supreme Court gave businesses the rights of citizens, which in this case facilitates a de facto oligarchy.

      The only solution, in my mind, would be for individuals to outnumber the businesses in their influence on Washington. There are only a few ways we have of influencing our representitives: Vote, Send money, campaign. What we need is a solution that combines those traits and organizes the real populace. I.E. a popular PAC.

      What I'd like to see someone create is a website where an individual could in essence bribe their own representative by promising to donate $xx.xx if they vote correctly on a certain issue, promise that they will remember that vote (reminded by said website when election time comes), and that the general issue will be talked about/watched by that individual in the future. Imagine a House member receiving a message that they would receive $50,000 for their campaign in 3 years and that 5000 people will remember this particular vote when election times come around. Normally, they'd expect everyone to have forgotten the issue by that time, and not vote according to how the people think is best. Of course the site/PAC/whatever would have to be independent of party affiliation and open to both sides of every issue. Individuals can't be expected to watch every bill, so they'd have to be able to filter out what to watch for, and how votes are handled. Also, other PACs could use the site's infrastructure for payments or subscribing their own reviews of bills (a gargantuan effort as it is).

      This would all be akin to the Ron Paul effort, where individuals showed a great resolve. On the presidential level, perhaps that effort wasn't great enough. But imagine influencing Representatives in the House or on State levels. Truly, some gains could be made there.

      There may be something already like this, and it'd be difficult to manage, but it's the best idea I've had to correct many wrongs we've seen recently.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Solandri (704621)
        Just change it so only registered voters can contribute to political campaigns / political groups. If a company wants to spend $100,000 lobbying for a political change, they can just give it to their employees, stress to the employees the importance of contributing it to this effort so the company can survive and they can keep their jobs. If the employees agree and contribute the money, everything is fine. If the employees disagree and spend the money on a new TV, then the company has problems that aren'
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by gerf (532474)

          That's illegal, I believe. You're not allowed to give money to other people to give to a political campaign. Even a hint of telling them to do so. Pretty much, you go to jail for this shit.

          It reminds me of a guy at work (non-management) who said, "I don't know why [our company] and [main rivalry company] don't just say to each other let's not bid against each other." That sounds good too, but it'd also be collusion, and highly illegal.

          Alas, it'd be nice if companies could not donate at all, but that s

    • Re:Protect jobs? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 26, 2008 @09:37AM (#24347621)

      The truth is, there is something terribly wrong with this country.... People shouldn't be afraid of their governments, governments should be afraid of their people.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Lunarsight (1053230)

        The truth is, there is something terribly wrong with this country.... People shouldn't be afraid of their governments, governments should be afraid of their people.

        Amen. I think we need to remind the government of that.

        Dare I say it - is it time for another 1776?

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by kadehje (107385)

          Amen. I think we need to remind the government of that. Dare I say it - is it time for another 1776?

          Unfortunately, most of the Western countries that secessionist Americans might seek alliances with are on the same side as Washington D.C. or don't like Americans in general any more because of the crap we've pulled in the past 7 years. The UK is at least as far down the surveillance and corporatist society as the U.S.A., and places like Australia and Canada seem willing to follow us in our footsteps. France and most of the rest of Europe wouldn't shed a tear if a major American city got nuked by al Qae

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by Reziac (43301) *

            1776 wasn't the same, tho.

            Then, the people of America were trying to free themselves from what amounted to a foreign overseer with a massive global network but a relatively poor local presence.

            Now, the people of America would have to free themselves from a local overseer, which lacks immediate support from foreign powers but has a massive local presence.

    • by smchris (464899)

      Sounds like a winner.

      When I wrote Saint Wellstone (D) that I thought it was outrageous that the DMCA made me a felon for playing a DVD on a linux machine, he strongly defended the vote and wrote that he'd do it again. Any media bill is going to get wide bipartisan support. Presumably, Democrats feel good about Hollywood money because at least it isn't money from a cluster bomb factory or Exxon/Mobil.

      And, really, besides raw materials exports like a third world country, what are the U.S. technical exports

  • by allanc (25681) on Saturday July 26, 2008 @08:27AM (#24347235) Homepage

    If they'd had any class at all, they'd have named the new combined bill the "PRO-PIRATE" bill.

  • by Darkness404 (1287218) on Saturday July 26, 2008 @08:27AM (#24347237)
    Honestly, why do we need this? Everyone talks about how music is dying, and how movies are dying. But a quick search on MySpace or YouTube gives thousands of indie bands and a lot are as good or somewhat better than the ones signed with a record company. There are lots of low-budget films circulating YouTube, now while a lot aren't as good as the ones that take millions to make, a lot are really entertaining, something that a lot of Hollywood films aren't.

    Just because not everyone wants fast food doesn't give the fast foot industry the right to in a way punish previously legal activities for the goal of getting more people to eat fast food. In any other industry, a bill like this would be laughed at even by the idiots that are in our congress, but it seems that any trade group with the word America is enough to throw both republicans and democrats into passing a bill. Idiots.
    • by DNS-and-BIND (461968) on Saturday July 26, 2008 @08:33AM (#24347261) Homepage
      Who's passing a bill? They introduce it, it gets shot down. Repeat. The other two didn't pass, did they? Everybody's happy. The corporations think that they're getting value for their money, the politicans pocket the campaign contributions, and slashdot readers get to froth at the mouth and try to construct new metaphors to explain IPR violations. Everyone wins!
      • by Darkness404 (1287218) on Saturday July 26, 2008 @08:35AM (#24347279)
        But it is wrong that it even got introduced. It would be like introducing a bill that allowed the government to take whatever you owned with no warrant and the ability to sell that at auctions. Sure that bill wouldn't get voted in, and hopefully the supreme court would find it un-constitutional, but it shouldn't have gotten introduced.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by BigRedFed (635728)
          Ummm... Have you read the civil asset forfeiture law?
          Wikipedia entry [wikipedia.org]
          Title 18, Chapter 46 US Code [gpo.gov]
        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by JLDohm (741501)

          But it is wrong that it even got introduced. It would be like introducing a bill that allowed the government to take whatever you owned with no warrant and the ability to sell that at auctions. Sure that bill wouldn't get voted in, and hopefully the supreme court would find it un-constitutional, but it shouldn't have gotten introduced.

          They can't take whatever you own, just cash that has traces of narcotics on it (>90% of bills in circulation) or a car that had traces of drugs in it.

          It's called civil asset forfeiture. See Downsize DC [downsizedc.org] for more information.

        • Who's passing a bill? They introduce it, it gets shot down. Repeat. The other two didn't pass, did they? Everybody's happy.

          But it is wrong that it even got introduced. It would be like introducing a bill that allowed the government to take whatever you owned with no warrant and the ability to sell that at auctions. Sure that bill wouldn't get voted in, and hopefully the supreme court would find it un-constitutional, but it shouldn't have gotten introduced.

          Guys, this is the way Congress works much of the time. It doesn't matter if a bill actually passes or not. Maybe sometimes they don't even really want it to pass. You introduce the thing, you know it isn't going to pass, it gets debated endlessly or dies a slow death due to indifference or actually makes it to a vote and gets shot down like a crippled pheasant. But the congresscritter(s) who introduced it gets to crow to (choose one) constituents/lobbyists/media/all of the above, "See? I tried to (choose on

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by sexybomber (740588)

          "It would be like introducing a bill that allowed the government to take whatever you owned with no warrant and the ability to sell that at auctions."

          Sort of like eminent domain [wikipedia.org]?

      • by TubeSteak (669689) on Saturday July 26, 2008 @08:58AM (#24347389) Journal

        Who's passing a bill? They introduce it, it gets shot down. Repeat. The other two didn't pass, did they? Everybody's happy. [...] Everyone wins!

        The dangerous thing about that cycle is that one day the sponsors of this type of legislation will attach it to *must pass* spending or military bill and we're fucked.

      • by stinerman (812158) <nathan.stine@g[ ]l.com ['mai' in gap]> on Saturday July 26, 2008 @09:04AM (#24347429) Homepage

        From TFA:

        Intellectual property legislation introduced in the Senate on Thursday would combine elements of two controversial IP enforcement bills: The PRO-IP Act, which passed the House by a wide margin in May, and the PIRATE Act, which has won Senate approval several times since its first introduction in 2004.

        In fact it was the first sentence.

        The Senators are trying to tie their PIRATE legislation to the already popular PRO-IP legislation that passed the house.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by sconeu (64226)

          This is not going to be a popular sentiment here, but....

          Remember, this has to be signed into law. Hold your nose and write to Bush. Use his own prejudices to work for you. Point out how this is an unwarranted intrusion into business by the "liberal Hollywood Elite", etc... etc...

    • by PC and Sony Fanboy (1248258) on Saturday July 26, 2008 @08:35AM (#24347267) Journal
      In any other industry, the core problem would be addressed.

      for auto manufacturers, the problem is nafta, not poor quality domestic vehicles.

      for food prices, the problem is biofuel, not subsidized farming.

      for power generation (and shortfalls), the problem is canada and mexico, not insufficient production.

      for job loss, the problem is immigration, not high wages.

      for the recession? the problem is terrorism!!!, not the trillions of dollars borrowed and spent on the war, subprime mortgages, and the bush administration's economic policies...

      And for piracy? the problem is canada, china, and piracy ... not hollywood crap, and extremely high prices for garbage.

      I think that if there wasn't so much high priced garbage, people would start paying for their movies and music again. I'm 100% against paying for something (like a cd), finding out it is crap, and being stuck with something I don't want... almost every other industry, I can return unwanted goods. When music/movies are like that, I'll stop pirating.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Walkingshark (711886)

        Exactly. I just bought Bioshock and the thing keeps crashing on my computer. I should have pirated it first, but I was trying to be honest and had waited for it to hit an acceptable price point (which it did on steam this weekend). Now I'm being punished for being honest. At least when I get viruses from pirating shit, I know what I'm getting in to.

        Now I'm stuck with a couple of gigs of worthless data on my hard drive that I feel like I should keep around in case they patch it. And I'm convinced more than e

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by Darkness404 (1287218)
          No, what you should have done was run Linux then virtualize a pirated Windows install to run your pirated Bioshock. That way, you are not only a pirate but a communist too!!!
      • for job loss, the problem is immigration, not corporate greed

        I gave your otherwise on target post a little fix

    • by Digital End (1305341) <<excommunicated> <at> <gmail.com>> on Saturday July 26, 2008 @09:06AM (#24347445)
      "The ability to gain endless wealth thru the skill of a few select people's talent in music and movie is dieing"

      Think that's more what they're spazzing about
  • by sakdoctor (1087155) on Saturday July 26, 2008 @08:31AM (#24347251) Homepage

    Although I'm not sure throwing intangible goods into the harbour is going to be so effective.

    • Not such a terrible idea.

      Create a 'Tea Party' hosts file addition, and put all websites that support the RIAA and MPAA on it and point them to a Tea Party web page, describing why we refuse to support business that support them.

      • by pfleming (683342)
        Just an addition to a file? That only serves the individual who chooses to use that hosts file. Do you propose to hijack everyone's host files? Since we're going to call it a tea party, why not just call them Tea Bagging Bastards [mpaa.org]?
    • Everybody meat in Boston, write an idea down on a piece of paper, and throw it into the harbour?
  • Amazing... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Xelios (822510) on Saturday July 26, 2008 @08:33AM (#24347265)
    This bill basically gives federal prosecutors the right to bring a civil suit against infringers on behalf of the copyright owner (with proceeds going to the copyright owner), AND leaves the option open for the copyright holder to file his own suit on top of it. Now you can get sued twice for the same thing, with damages doubled up to $2 million per infringement. And best of all, the taxpayers will foot the bill for civil suits by the government.

    Unbelievable. Really.
    • Re:Amazing... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by TubeSteak (669689) on Saturday July 26, 2008 @09:07AM (#24347451) Journal

      This bill basically gives federal prosecutors the right to bring a civil suit against infringers on behalf of the copyright owner

      The definition of a civil lawsuit includes the idea that the victim brings the lawsuit on their own behalf and pays their own legal fees.

      If Federal Prosecutors are going to be bringing these lawsuits on the victim's behalf, maybe we should change the standard of proof from 'a preponderance' to 'beyond a reasonable doubt'.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by iminplaya (723125)

      Unbelievable? Bush was elected twice. And if Jeb was on the ticket, he would get elected twice. Nothing is unbelievable anymore.

  • ploughing billions of dollars of tax payers money into gas guzzling SUV's saved jobs right ? Don't laugh the US divisions of most car makers is now the only ones losing money, for example, if Ford stopped selling cars in the USA it would be making a profit.
  • Its unbelievable ! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by unity100 (970058) on Saturday July 26, 2008 @08:45AM (#24347329) Homepage Journal
    how can the ELECTED senators in your country can easily move against the wishes of the people, so blatantly, so fearlessly, so hypocritically ? unbelievable.
    • by TubeSteak (669689) on Saturday July 26, 2008 @09:15AM (#24347485) Journal

      how can the ELECTED senators in your country can easily move against the wishes of the people, so blatantly, so fearlessly, so hypocritically ? unbelievable.

      Because it is expensive and difficult to recall an ELECTED Senator, they generally get to do what they want for six years.

      The fact that the majority of them get re-elected suggests that more often than not, whatever pork they bring home and put on their constituents' table outweighs the 'bad' votes they had to make in return.

      • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Saturday July 26, 2008 @10:03AM (#24347821) Journal
        You need to push for committee reform if you want that. The most power in Washington goes to the people who sit on committees. Seniority in committees is based on the number of consecutive years you've spent in power. The more influence a politician has, the more they can do for their constituents. Ideally, you would want this set of changes:
        • No riders. Bills must relate to a single subject, you can't tack on pork to any other bill, you have to propose it separately.
        • Length limit. If a bill is too long to be read thoroughly by those voting for it, it should not be allowed to pass (ethical politicians would vote against any bill they - or their staff - have not read in detail anyway, but they are few and far between).
        • Committee membership based on relevant experience. Biases against career politicians, as they are the least likely to have useful experience outside politics.
        • Committee chairmanship by random lot. Removes advantage of incumbents.
    • Apparently research has been done to support this. People do not vote much based on their interests, they vote on how they think the sort of people they aspire to be vote. The poor, who have no aspirations, don't vote.

      In the UK, the skilled working class people who were shafted by the Conservatives voted - conservative. Because? They wanted to be seen as middle class, and they thought the middle classes voted Conservative.

      As Schiller said, only in German, against stupidity even the Gods struggle in vain.

  • Not like DHS (Score:5, Informative)

    by ronmon (95471) on Saturday July 26, 2008 @08:48AM (#24347339)

    Department of Homeland Security is a "Department", which comes with a seat on the Cabinet. This looks more like the DEA with its "Drug Czar", which I believe falls into the "Agency" category. No cabinet post.

    The property seizure powers also look similar, though not so much the civil litigation stuff.

    • by Xelios (822510)
      Yeah really. This is like the War on Drugs all over again, and we all know how well that turned out...
  • by unity100 (970058) on Saturday July 26, 2008 @08:52AM (#24347351) Homepage Journal
    its a battle between selfishness, self centeredness and will of the people.

    you think that by protesting, talking to them, you will have them change their mind ? or by working IN the system, you will be able to compete ? how many stuff you have failed to prevent in the last 10 years by doing that ?

    they DONT CARE what you think. they get their votes by doing greasy campaigns that run by donation money from whomever has the cash, and they just do as they or their masters please. thats the gist of it.

    you better draw them off, and start thinking what you can do WITHOUT them being on board, because they wont be.

    basically your senators have become your enemies.

    THEY DONT SERVE YOU
    • It's not that they don't care what we think. The problem is that Leahy is a moron and he thinks this (and many other bad policies) is a great idea.
      • It's not that they don't care what we think. The problem is that Leahy is a moron and he thinks this (and many other bad policies) is a great idea.

        I used to think like that, then I started to work in central government.

        Be assured, your view is (endearingly, but massively) naïve.

  • technical problem (Score:5, Insightful)

    by spikenerd (642677) on Saturday July 26, 2008 @09:09AM (#24347457)
    Combine this with FISA, and suddenly the only obstacle left is encryption. We all know what's coming next... The "No encryption for potential terrorists act", the "mandatory back-door act", or the "if you've got nothing to hide, you've got nothing to fear act".

    ...so instead of posting about how we're all so insightful for foreseeing it, or just whining about the government (as though our congressman might read Slashdot), let's do what we do best and solve this problem, except this time before it even happens.

    It seems to me that the solution to censorship is to route around it. How about if we code up some steganography tool to hide encrypted messages, and give them the back-door to a bunch of worthless garbage? (i.e. SSH over Nigerian scam mail.) Perhaps they'll notice that all the geeks are communicating with variations of Nigerian spam emails, but the only way they could stop us would be to solve the SPAM problem. Good luck legislating that away.
  • Arrrr! (Score:3, Funny)

    by John Pfeiffer (454131) on Saturday July 26, 2008 @09:21AM (#24347529) Homepage

    They can have my cutlass when they pry it from my cold dead hand!

  • It seems to me that the only thing worse than the incessant squabbling between Democrats and Republicans is when they arrive at a consensus on a piece of "important" legislation.

    People who are old like me and remember the famous battles between Tip O'Neill and Ronald Reagan remember when Republicans really were conservative and Democrats really were liberal. Now we just have two parties of triangulating whores selling out to try and grab the middle and flipping sides on every issue at the earliest possible opportunity.

  • by gabrieltss (64078) on Saturday July 26, 2008 @09:32AM (#24347591)

    If everyone would quite buying the RIAA music, quite pirating it even. Quit buying the damn DVD's, quite going to see the movies, quit pirating movies. Show a complete and total drop I'm talking FLATLINE of sales and use for music and movies by the MAFIAA. What will be their argument be for their lost salse then? They would lose money to BUY politicians and would have to go out of business at some point. I hear you saying "boycotts just don't work." Why don't they? Because people have to have the latest RIAA pushed band's CD, they have to go see the lateset greatest MPAA pushed movie. "Hey when is American Idol on?". I haven't bought an RIAA labeld CD in 10 years I gave the RIAA my middle finger a long time ago. Instead of watching a movie I just read a book or play a video game. F@ck the MPAA too! America your deserving all the crap that is comming down on you - because your too damn lazy to do a damn thng about it. But, some of us still give a crap!

    Me I wrote my senators and told them they should not vote for this crap. If they do it will show me that they have been bought off by the RIAA/MPAA and that I'll be informing as many of their "constiuants" as I can about their pro-corporate, anti-citizen votes.

    • by oDDmON oUT (231200) on Saturday July 26, 2008 @09:48AM (#24347711)

      "If everyone would quite buying the RIAA music, quite pirating it even. Quit buying the damn DVD's, quite going to see the movies, quit pirating movies. ..."

      [Newsflash!]

      Chairman Mao got it wrong. Religion is no longer the opiate of the masses, "entertainment" is, and like any other opiate it's addictive and addling.

      So don't hold out any hope that sheeple will "see the light" and cease ingesting shite music, gawdaful movies, or infotainment any time soon.

      • Ugh, someone who can't tell the difference between Karl Marx and Chairman Mao replying to someone who can't tell the difference between quit and quite. And you both have low UIDs, so there no excuse!
  • by viking80 (697716) on Saturday July 26, 2008 @09:39AM (#24347647) Journal

    The republican party is prioritizing business interests over consumers any time the have a chance.
    And the democrats are all cozy and in bed with the Hollywood elite.

    Expect RIAA, Viacom, Hollywood and all other companiers with IP content to consistently get everything they want from Wahington. As a consumer, dont even try to get your hopes up. You will continue to get screwed.

    Just as a reminder: After entertainment became a big business with lobbyists around 1920, *no* new copyrighted work have expired. Every 10 years or so, it has been extended by at least 10 years, and is now about two lifetimes.

  • ... and be put on some sort of 'IP watched list' once the department is formed, since if you complain you *have* to be an IP pirate.

    No thanks, id rather remain anonymous as possible.

  • by Cheerio Boy (82178) * on Saturday July 26, 2008 @10:09AM (#24347861) Homepage Journal
    Oh for fsk's sake why don't they just openly come out and make it illegal to actually _own_ anything so that we all have to rent things from large corporations.

    I mean that's what they really want here. At least if they came out openly and said it we'd know where we stand.

    And the worst part is that it's unlikely to change until the majority of couch potato people are affected by it.

    Which if the-powers-that-be are as clever as they have appeared to be so far will never happen. The last thing they want is people actually _looking_ at what they are doing - especially Joe Public - so they'll do anything to keep them fat and happy.
  • by wytcld (179112)

    Leahy is a deeply-conflicted individual. He's a long-time Deadhead who complained when the Vermont legislature considered partial marijuana decriminalization a few months back. So his favorite musicians, who thrived - indeed became one of the ten most profitable touring bands in the world - by allowing fans to trade concert recordings freely, and who thrived on the creative benefits of mind-altering drugs - he acts directly against.

    Leahy is also a staunch defender of the Constitution, and resistor of furthe

  • Welfare For the Rich (Score:3, Interesting)

    by kurt555gs (309278) <kurt555gs@nOSPAm.ovi.com> on Saturday July 26, 2008 @12:44PM (#24348937) Homepage

    This is a perfect example of bad government. The 'rich' love to offload their expenses onto the taxpayers thereby increasing their already obscene profits at our expense.

    This is purely a mater of civil action between the **AA and whoever they are trying to bully. However, the courts are starting to see through this whole bad theory that (sharing == piracy ). The logical next step is to have your sock puppets in congress change the law, and put the burden of expense and bad publicity on the US government.

    I still do not think that sharing is piracy, or for that matter even morally wrong. I do not buy the argument that sharing deprives anyone of anything. Just because some music or video reaches my senses, I do not think I owe some one money.

    If I like a work, I will buy it. If I download something, listen to it, and decided it's crap, then I really do not think I should have to pay anyone.

    I think piracy is when you make counterfeit CD's / DVD's and sell them as if they were genuine.

    I see nothing wrong with sharing software, music, videos, etc to try them out.

    Anyway, this law just codifies this whole mistaken belief, and criminalizes everyone.

    If this passes, it is one of those crucial turning points in our countries history that signifies a complete shift to fascism.

    I hope it does not make it. I really do.

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