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FCC Commissioner Lauds DRM, ISP Filtering 217

Posted by kdawson
from the by-some-definition-of-"effective" dept.
snydeq writes "Ars Technica's Nate Anderson and InfoWorld's Paul Venezia provide worthwhile commentary on a recent speech by FCC Commissioner Deborah Taylor Tate (PDF), in which she praised DRM as 'very effective' and raised a flag in favor of ISP filtering. Anderson: 'Having commissioners who feel that the government has a duty to partner with and back educational classroom content from the RIAA; who really believe that ISP filtering is so unproblematic we can stop considering objections; and who think that universities worry about file-swapping because tuition might be raised to pay for the needed "expansion of storage capabilities" (huh?) isn't good for the FCC and isn't good for America.' Venezia: 'Leave the ISPs out of it — it's not their job to protect a failing business model, and a movement toward a tiered and filtered Internet will do nothing to stem the tide of piracy, but will result in great restrictions on innovation, freedoms, and the general use of the Internet. There's nothing to be gained down that path other than possibly to expand the wallets of a few companies.'"
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FCC Commissioner Lauds DRM, ISP Filtering

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  • Her email address (Score:5, Informative)

    by Tubal-Cain (1289912) * on Tuesday December 09, 2008 @10:11PM (#26054601) Journal
    dtaylortateweb@fcc.gov
    • Re:Her email address (Score:5, Informative)

      by Killer Orca (1373645) on Tuesday December 09, 2008 @10:25PM (#26054693)
      Anyone who is going to email her should also do so before she leaves in '09, not after.
    • Re:Her email address (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Afforess (1310263) <afforess@gmail.com> on Tuesday December 09, 2008 @11:41PM (#26055241) Journal
      I wrote her an email. Thanks for the address. It follows, verbatim: "Dear Deborah Taylor Tate, I recently became aware of your support of DRM (Digital Rights Management) and ISP (Internet Service Provider) filtering. I am deeply disappointed in your decision and will factor your policies choices, among other things, in with my vote in the next national election. In any case, I urge you to drop your support of DRM and ISP filtering because of the numerous economic and constitutional issues they raise. ISP filtering is akin to having the USPS read all of your mail before delivering it to you, "For national security purposes." Is that really necessary? Is the average American guilty until proven innocent? DRM is a sneaky way of saying "Ha, I lied, you only rented that movie, you don't really own that copy." When they decide that not enough people care about the product (This decision is completely arbitrary, by the way), they end DRM support. This has happened time and time again, and one merely has to look as far as Wikipedia for numerous examples. Although, on a more positive note, I am glad that you at least make decisions at all, and don't equivocate, like some politicians we know. A discontented American Citizen, Cameron McAvoy."
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Tubal-Cain (1289912) *
        She wasn't elected. She was appointed. :-(
      • i think most of us would really like to see the non-automated response you get, if you get one. regarding drm, i wrote to my congressman and senator... never heard anything from either of them. :-(
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by me at werk (836328)

        Her reply:

        "Wikipedia? Didn't they blacklist that site in the UK for having a naked girl on it? We need to blacklist that filthy perverted site here in America too, thanks for reminding me!"

      • Re:Her email address (Score:4, Informative)

        by Thaelon (250687) on Wednesday December 10, 2008 @11:01AM (#26060167)

        Here's mine.

        I am writing you in response to your recent speech which you erroneously claim DRM is "very effective" and hail ISP filtering as a good thing.

        First of all, DRM does not work and never will. In fact it reduces the quality of works and punishes only legitimate buyers.

        See the recent PC game, Spore for example. It contains one of the most vicious, obnoxious and reprehensible forms of DRM on the market. Hundreds of legitimate users have experienced problems with it. The interesting part? It's the most downloaded (illegally) game of 2008 and it was only released in September. So not only did the DRM completely and utterly fail to prevent illegal copies, it punished legitimate users exclusively. And that's the most DRM will ever accomplish.

        As for ISP filtering of the internet, I cannot possibly conceive of how you think this is possible, let alone wise. History is full of censorship attempts that blocked harmless things by accident, while still allowing unbelievably bad content through. One only needs to think about it for a few moments to realize how futile it is. Can one organization think of, document, and block every possible permutation of every possible objectionable thing that six billion people can come up with? Absolutely not! It's completely absurd to even think it's possible. And what do you get in return for this inaccurate, false positive ridden half-measure? Slowdown of internet traffic from 10% to 80%.

        In short, neither DRM nor ISP censorship can ever be effective. DRM exists only to prop up dying business models that didn't evolve with the rest of society. ISP filtering only exists so that politic ans can say they're doing something "for the children" to get elected. I actually am doing something for the children. I'm writing an uninformed, un-elected ignorant human being in a position of power to let them know that they're wrong. In defense of the digital content and information on the internet that they'll hopefully be able to access with no restrictions when they need it. It's the responsibility of parents to supervise what their children see on TV and the internet, I see it as my responsibility to preserve the fully functional, uncensored, high speed internet for them to use.

    • Great, because after reading the tags on the story, I am /positive/ that she'll get plenty of insightful, well-thought-out email from the slashdot crowd.
  • DRM is effective (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anthony_Cargile (1336739) on Tuesday December 09, 2008 @10:12PM (#26054603) Homepage
    pshyeah, tell that to the pirate bay!
  • amen! (Score:4, Funny)

    by larry bagina (561269) on Tuesday December 09, 2008 @10:12PM (#26054605) Journal

    Leave the ISPs out of it â" it's not their job to protect a failing business model

    Yeah... and congress doesn't like the competition.

  • In other news... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 09, 2008 @10:17PM (#26054631)

    Former FCC Commissioner Deborah Taylor Tate has announced she is retiring in 2009 and is looking forward to serving on the board of the RIAA as their new "Token Ex-Government Paid Mouthpiece" Director.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Deborah Taylor Tate is pants.
    • by MightyMartian (840721) on Tuesday December 09, 2008 @11:08PM (#26055025) Journal

      Former FCC Commissioner Deborah Taylor Tate has announced she is retiring in 2009 and is looking forward to giving her full attention to giving blowjobs to RIAA executives, and apologizes for having divided her time between being a corporate shill and cashing her government paycheque.

      • Former FCC Commissioner Deborah Taylor Tate has announced she is retiring in 2009 and is looking forward to giving her full attention to giving blowjobs to RIAA executives

        There are some things it is a pleasure to leave behind in high school.

        Trash talk from a nerd is one of them.

        Talk of blowjobs isn't "insightful." It is adolescent.

        Beavis and Butt-Head. You have given no reason why any one over the age of consent should take you seriously.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by neomunk (913773)

          You know, I normally agree to this kinda of sentiment hardily, but after reading what this woman has say on the subject, I feel the need to paraphrase Freud... Sometimes a cocksucker is just a cocksucker. I mean, the little voice in my head that read in it older-WASPy-woman voice actually mumbled a bit, having to talk around the big publishing-industry cock in her mouth.

          Yes, it's crude and coarse, but pretend civility that passes as public discourse has gotten us to the point where people like this are ta

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by westlake (615356)
            I think being a bit lewd and even rude are far preferable to letting shit like this be taken seriously.

            The problem is, it is the geek who isn't taken seriously. The mod-up to +5 simply makes him "one of the boys."

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by MightyMartian (840721)

              I wasn't trying to impress anyone. If you think crudeness is wrong in trying to satirize elements of our society, then I recommend you don't read Swift.

  • by DynaSoar (714234) on Tuesday December 09, 2008 @10:22PM (#26054673) Journal

    "...There's nothing to be gained down that path other than possibly to expand the wallets of a few companies."

    That's precisely the reason the government would back it. Governments have created corporations and have conducted wars for exactly that reason.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by xlotlu (1395639)
      Let me fix that:

      "...There's nothing to be gained down that path other than possibly to expand the wallets of a few companies."

      That's precisely the reason the government would back it. Corporations have created governments and have conducted wars for exactly that reason.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 09, 2008 @11:09PM (#26055035)

      I've really come to believe that some of this is an ideological problem. Some people seem to believe the rich people and successful businesses, by being successful, have shown themselves to be smarter and to have better judgment than the rest of us. "After all", they think, "If I were smart enough to make massive amounts of money, I would!"

      For as long as the wealthy are doing well, the people who think this way also think that, ideally, we should hope that the rich get richer. Since the wealthy are so smart and have such great judgment when it comes to financial matters, they're best equipped to manage money. Society will be most benefited by having as much money as possible concentrated in the hands of the greatest financial geniuses.

      And then when the wealthy start to fail, they think, "Well these people are the best of the best. If the smartest people with the best judgement are failing, then it must mean that the system has been broken by someone. We need to fix this! Whoever is ruining things, we should stop them!"

      I may be stating the obvious, but I've only recently discovered that this is how some people think. Crazy, huh?

      • For as long as the wealthy are doing well, the people who think this way also think that, ideally, we should hope that the rich get richer. Since the wealthy are so smart and have such great judgment when it comes to financial matters, they're best equipped to manage money. Society will be most benefited by having as much money as possible concentrated in the hands of the greatest financial geniuses.

        This is a perfect paradigm for Wall Street, whose assurance in what it did was topped only by its ignorance of what it was wise to do. The public was so sure of Wall Street's greater wisdom that it made two cardinal mistakes: Allowing the big investment banks to go public so that they could invest risking other people's money; and suffering the deregulation of an industry on which its entire fiscal stability was based. After Enron, did no one look for similar risks in the principal investment banks?

    • "...There's nothing to be gained down that path other than possibly to expand the wallets of a few companies."

      That's precisely the reason the government would back it. Governments have created corporations and have conducted wars for exactly that reason.

      I completely agree. Consider the role of the zaibatsu (Japanese conglomerates) in pressuring Hiro Hito into WWII. Or more recently, American special interests in pressuring Dubya (via Cheney) into Iraq.

  • by Tubal-Cain (1289912) * on Tuesday December 09, 2008 @10:25PM (#26054691) Journal
    Are people allowed to settle on Antartica?
  • It's almost as if (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sleeponthemic (1253494) on Tuesday December 09, 2008 @10:26PM (#26054699) Homepage
    We're entering some sort of technological dark ages - the honeymoon period is now over.

    The mainstream regulation committees have taken interest in these type of subjects and as usual, the ignorance/commercial interests is/are beginning to shine through.
    • Re:It's almost as if (Score:5, Informative)

      by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Tuesday December 09, 2008 @11:11PM (#26055049)

      We're entering some sort of technological dark ages - the honeymoon period is now over.

      The mainstream regulation committees have taken interest in these type of subjects and as usual, the ignorance/commercial interests is/are beginning to shine through.

      Nah, not really. Those self same interests have been shining bright for over a decade. [cnet.com]

      • Sure, but you'd have to agree that they've been getting more and more audacious with their nonsense as the years have progressed. It is getting worse. We are regressing. (Australian Resident speaking here)
    • by Ihmhi (1206036)

      Just means we gotta fight harder.

      For once, they're on our playing field. They could deploy 10,000 servers to filter out the Internet, and all it takes is one bored college kid to find a way to circumvent those servers.

      This is not a game of numbers or money but brains - an area the government is decidedly lacking.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 09, 2008 @10:35PM (#26054743)

    Here in .au the government is scaling back it's plans for filtering due to being laughed at by anyone who knows anything about the internet.

    In a recent call for ISPs to participate in live tests of their system the biggest ISP here said no, it's stupid. The second biggest said OK, but we won't block all that you want us to, and the third biggest said we'll participate fully just to show you how dumb you're being.

    It seems that the point was finally driven home and now the government is trying to back down without losing face.

    • how can our government possibly lose face when it is already a joke?
    • The biggest misscomception is this one;

      There's nothing to be gained down that path other than possibly to expand the wallets of a few companies

      During the heyday of napster, CD sales were up. When the exposure to music was severely limited and incompatible (DRM) formats were introduced, sales fell. DRM does to music sales what hardware dongles do to software sales. It reduces piracy, exposure, and sales while increasing costs.

      I don't do dongles or DRM.

  • Why would anyone here seriously expect otherwise? I mean this as a serious question. Aside from blind optimism, why would you expect anything else from the people at the top of the "stakeholder" food chain.
    • by cromar (1103585)
      I want to stay informed. There's some leeway here and if we keep making enough noise we may eventually get our way and have competent technology leadership in the government. Plus, when people start to see how poorly the prevailing corporate ideas of the IP goons are going to work out (think worse case scenario 10 years from now), we can say "We told you so." (Seriously though if people see why the current IP system is ridiculous there will be a body of discussion waiting to educate those who want to rea
  • To be fair... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 09, 2008 @10:38PM (#26054771)

    DRM is very good at what it does: preventing us from using our legitimately purchased items.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Technician (215283)

      That is almost correct;

      For those who have had problems with their purchases, the correct phrase is;
      DRM is very good at what it does: preventing us from purchasing items.

      I stick to open formats. Sell in a closed locked propritory format = no sale.

  • by ishmalius (153450) on Tuesday December 09, 2008 @10:40PM (#26054795)

    Maybe with the new administration it could be a rule that an FCC employee who is involved in regulation cannot work for a telecommunications company or one of their contractors or agents, for 10 years prior, or 10 years after employment.

    It's reaching, I know, but it's a dream I have. Real honesty, and no more corporate ass-kissing.

    The CTIA and their minions have a special place in Hell.

    • by syzler (748241) <david AT syzdek DOT net> on Tuesday December 09, 2008 @11:03PM (#26054983)
      So you want people who know nothing about the internal workings of the Internet to decide whether or not to regulate parts of the internet? How exactly does this help the US people? My experience from working at an ISP/Telecommunications company is that the actual engineer types usually are against regulations, filtering, DRM, etc; and it is the bean MBA types that push this type of thing down our throats. By forbidding the engineering types from working for the FCC until their knowledge is horribly out of date, you would be effectively making the FCC rely on outside "expert" witnesses put forth by the MBA types of the companies with agendas.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by ishmalius (153450)

        Sounds good, but from what I can see, that never happens. Only the political lawyer/MBA scum seem to be involved.

      • by Zerth (26112)

        So you want people who know nothing about the internal workings of the Internet to decide whether or not to regulate parts of the internet? /blockquote

        Doesn't that describe the FCC/Congress already? At least now they won't get paid extra for their ignorance.

    • I think 10 years is too much, for the same reason that I think non-competes need to be restricted; you shouldn't be able to ban somebody from working in an industry forever, just because they worked for one entity in the industry. But I can see two to three years easily.

    • by lachlan76 (770870)
      Assuming the FCC is similar to the ACMA in Australia, it regulates things like radio spectrum use. Preventing an entire industry's contingent of RF engineers from being involved in the preparation of such regulations would not be such a clever move.
  • Oh FFS! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by cailith1970 (1325195) on Tuesday December 09, 2008 @10:47PM (#26054839)
    Don't YOU lot start on internet filtering now, we're only just managing to slow the push for this here in Oz! If there's a push for it in the US, then our esteemed, clueless leader is going to say that there is more evidence it should be implemented here!
  • Simple solution. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anachragnome (1008495) on Tuesday December 09, 2008 @10:52PM (#26054871)

    But kinda of hard to swallow.

    Simply stop giving the people that back this shit your money. Put your money where your mouth is.

    Before I purchase any product, I look it up on the web and see if it has DRM, if it does, I don't purchase it. When my ISP starts filtering my connection(throttling is one thing, censorship is something entirely different), I will disconnect. When I cannot look up DRM on products because I no longer use the Internet, I'll just have to assume its there.

    Why pay for it when it doesn't work anymore?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by symbolic (11752)

      That's pretty much it. When you remove the means of sustenance (money), it will eventually die.

    • by schon (31600)

      stop giving the people that back this shit your money. Put your money where your mouth is.

      The problem with this is that it's *not* a solution.

      What happens when you do this is that they say "hey our sales are down, we need more DRM and government restrictions - send some more lobbyists to Washington to buy some more laws."

      And drop in sales is attributed to "piracy", whether it's really the cause or not.

  • by smchris (464899) on Tuesday December 09, 2008 @10:54PM (#26054893)

    Remember, managers don't have to know anything about their field; they just need to know "management stuff".

  • by iVasto (829426) on Tuesday December 09, 2008 @10:59PM (#26054941) Homepage
    In recent news, the RIAA has appealed to congress for a national bailout. Congress realizes that they have a failing business model, but believe that if the industry was given a "couple" billion dollars everything would change.
    • No, wrong, bad. The companies are not the industry. If these companies fail due to an industry paradigm shift, tough shit; leave it, new companies will capitalize on the new business model. Tell congress to shoot itself in the balls.
    • by Ihmhi (1206036)

      Giving the RIAA a bailout would be more like giving a union money rather than giving a business or industry money.

  • I have had the unfortunate need to try to contact the friendly FCC lately, due to unwanted phone calls (they are the communications commission, after all). I can tell you that they are every bit as frustrating to work with as the DMV, minus the efficiency and courteous service.

    Though the most frustrating aspect of the FCC, from my vantage point, is their lack of concern for accountability of phone customers. If you compare phone registration to domain name registration, you'll find that phone registration has all the built-in obfuscation that computer spammers have dreamed about. Toll-free numbers, in particular, have protected identity information.

    If you get a call from a toll-free number, you have no good mechanism to determine the owner of the number. There is no central whois-like registry for this number, and the companies that sell the numbers are under no obligation to share information on who is using the numbers they sell.

    Want to lodge a complaint with the FCC? Fill out their automated form, and you'll see an automated response later. It won't likely address your complaint. And if you call their own number (888-call-fcc), you'll wait for some time and then receive no help.

    Frankly, KMart is a shining example of customer service in contrast to the FCC.
    • by compro01 (777531)

      You'd likely do better to complain to the FTC about unwanted calls. The US do-not-call registry is also run by the FTC, rather than the FCC, for whatever reason.

  • by justinlee37 (993373) on Tuesday December 09, 2008 @11:09PM (#26055029)

    From her speech: "Overall, the U.S. economy lost $58 billion in output that would have been realized if piracy had not occurred. In addition, the U.S. lost 373,375 jobs due to piracy, and federal and state governments lose $2.6 billion annually through unrealized tax revenue."

    That is total BS. Piracy != losses; most (or at least many) people who pirate would not otherwise purchase the product. She needs to go take Economics 101 and realize that if you make something free (which is what piracy does), the demand is going to skyrocket beyond what it would normally be at any reasonable price level.

    Statements like this are dangerous because if people really believe piracy caused $58 billion of damage to the economy, then they will be willing to spend similar sums of money in order to combat piracy.

    In fact, maybe she realizes that this is total FUD, and just wants to justify an exorbitant budget for her department in order to "combat piracy."

    As I said: where's an economist when you need one?

    • by Alpha830RulZ (939527) on Tuesday December 09, 2008 @11:50PM (#26055293)

      She needs to go take Economics 101 and realize that if you make something free (which is what piracy does), the demand is going to skyrocket beyond what it would normally be at any reasonable price level.

      You might consider a visit there yourself. It's ignorant to say that piracy != losses. Of course it equals losses. You'd have to be fucking daft to think that -noone- who pirates would not have bought the material, had piracy not been available. Some of the users would have bought the material, some wouldn't have. In econ 101, you'd learn about a demand curve, whereby more people want a good at a lower price than a higher price, but the curves are generally found to be smooth, with a slope between 0 and 1.

      What econ 101 teaches you is that a realistic estimate of the losses does not equal the retail price times the number of pirated copies.

      • What econ 101 teaches you is that a realistic estimate of the losses does not equal the retail price times the number of pirated copies.

        You'd have to be daft to not realise that that is not what he meant by:

        Piracy != losses; most (or at least many) people who pirate would not otherwise purchase the product.

      • Alright, that's true, technically I should have said piracy != the amount of losses that they are reporting. I didn't edit enough before posting (it is just /. after all). My point still stands, though. And the people quoting those bloated losses are professionals -- I'm just an undergraduate!
      • Yes, but the losses to one industry means gains to another: even the people who would have bought if they did not pirate, probably spent the money they saved on something else, so another industry made gains. Otherwise they saved it, and it would have been available to provide capital to industry.

        You could even argue that as the consumers who pirated and bought something else are now better off than if they had not pirated, there is an increase in consumers utility - and utility maximisation is the entire p

      • Some of the users would have bought the material, some wouldn't have.

        I'll also bet that some of the users who would have paid for it, would not have paid for as much as they pirate -- which again, skews the numbers.

        I suppose it depends how you interpret that -- Piracy does imply some losses, yes. But piracy > losses, therefore piracy != losses. At least, that's how I read it.

        Now, what about those who would have bought it, were it unrestricted? As more DRM is added to a product, what happens to the amount of piracy, and to the number of sales?

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by OzPhIsH (560038)
        God, how was this modded insightful?

        YOU might consider a visit to Econ 101, as you fuck up the most basic economic principles.

        Demand generally only has a constant slope in the SHORT term. In said short term, price does NOT have an effect on demand, but on quantity demanded. If Britteny releases a new album, I don't not want it at ANY price. When the PS3 was released, lots of people wanted it-there was high demand. It sat on shelves though because of the high price point. How times did we hear "I really

    • Combat piracy? Maybe the pirates just need to fight back?

      Grab those pirate hats and eyepatches and protest outside of her office! :)

    • by zxnos (813588)

      lets see if i follow this.

      1. someone does not desire a product
      2. product becomes free
      3. product is now desired

      if i dont desire a new blender, i wont take one just because it is free. same with music or software. if i dont want something, even if it is free, i am not going to listen to a tune or play a game.

      it really comes down to price point. digital things are harder for people to rationalize since you don't have a great big hunk of stuff hanging on your wall after you drop a bunch of cash for photoshop.

      i

      • What I meant to say was that total piracy != total # of losses. Frankly speaking, there are people out there who DO want a new blender, but can't spend $$$ to buy one. However, if a new blender was FREE, they'd jump all over it. That's where the additional demand comes from. Yes, piracy is theft, yes, not all pirates are broke and some would pay otherwise, yes, DRM is not an excuse to pirate. Frankly, I'm an amoral, agnostic nihilist, and I don't have to justify anything to myself or anyone else.

        But this is

  • Lobby (Score:4, Insightful)

    by tsa (15680) on Tuesday December 09, 2008 @11:09PM (#26055041) Homepage

    I guess the MAFIAA lobby is very strong. Obviously politicians have no idea of the real world and are told what to say by their staff.

  • by bluefoxlucid (723572) on Tuesday December 09, 2008 @11:19PM (#26055103) Journal
    I praise Bacon as being very nutritious and good for weight loss, especially in large quantities. It should be blended into all health foods and general bread.
  • bureacracy is just damage to route around

    block the servers, we make it p2p

    block the ports, we make it http

    sniff the packets, we mask it as as form gets and posts

    throttle our connection, we just download slower fractional pieces and assemble in alternative channels

    a billion media hungry, poor, and, most importantly, technically astute young people. far more technically astute, far more numberous, and a lot more motivated than your hired tech guns. you can't pay someone to do well enough what we do for free from passion

    go ahead, sue us. if you can find us. go ahead, bankrupt some poor dumb college kids. like those you catch are anything but dumband clueless. go ahead, reap the bad pr. nothing stops, full steam ahead

    game on, ignorant dinosaurs. its the extinction of your outmoded business models and your laws based on philosophies from the 1800s understanding of media

    whether your realize it, or fight it, or whatever, you lose, no matter what you do. you just don't know it yet

    • Just look at China.

      The real danger isn't necessarily that they'll be able to win -- it's that they'll be able to convince the majority that it's a good thing, so there won't be as much resistance as you imagine.

      But consider the technical trends lately... Alright, yes, mask it as form gets and posts. What happens when ISPs actually start censoring sites? What happens when IPv4 runs out, and we still refuse to upgrade -- so we are all behind NATs, so no one can expose port 80 unless they're one of the approve

  • by A. Bosch (858654) <anonymous...bosch@@@gmail...com> on Tuesday December 09, 2008 @11:57PM (#26055327) Homepage
    "[T]he U.S. lost 373,375 jobs due to piracy, and federal and state governments lose $2.6 billion annually through unrealized tax revenue." Based on what? Every act of stealing a song doesn't mean the person stealing would have purchased the song, for example.
    • by Zedrick (764028)
      > Every act of stealing a song doesn't mean the person stealing would have purchased the song, for example.

      Pirating, not stealing. If the song had been stolen then I guess the figures could be right, since the artist/record company wouldn't have it anymore.
  • 'Leave the ISPs out of it â" it's not their job to protect a failing business model, and a movement toward a tiered and filtered Internet will do nothing to stem the tide of piracy, but will result in great restrictions on innovation, freedoms, and the general use of the Internet. There's nothing to be gained down that path other than possibly to expand the wallets of a few companies.'

    QFT

    I wonder how much lobbyist money she took from the RIAA to say those things?

    It is not just the business model that i

  • From the speech (Score:2, Insightful)

    by FrostDust (1009075)

    Its crucial that we not only allow operators to manage their networks, but to not tie their hands with prescriptive regulations. And make no mistake, net neutrality as network management is sometimes referenced in Washington and among political discussants, if implemented in its strictest form, will tie the hands of network operators. Digital fingerprinting and watermarking would not be possible if net neutrality is enforced in its harshest form.

    I'm pretty sure New_Movie.avi would still contain their precious watermarks, regardless of how they throttled your connection. Unless, of course, they are hoping the ISPs reroute "unauthorized" destinations and protocols to their own servers.

  • Go ahead and try, all that will happen is that services will use rotating ports and encryption to get around filters. Good luck, let the arms race begin.

  • by Newer Guy (520108) on Wednesday December 10, 2008 @12:07AM (#26055401)

    The FCC is by far one of the more corrupt of the Govt. agencies out there. Remember, the FCC was established to prevent interference between (then) radio broadcasters. Today's FCC has actually encouraged interference, by allowing the radio stations to run a digital broadcasting system that operates on their neighbors' frequency! They have totally screwed up cell phones, cable TV, broadcast TV, the Internet and just about everything else they have been allowed to touch! There has never been an engineer as an FCC Commisissioner, even though much of what they regulate is physics based. They all are lawyers!

    Under their tutalige, (and in concert with a corrupt Bush administration) the United States has wound up with the costliest, slowest, most content regulaged Internet of all the first world countries. The Communications Act of 1996 was GUTTED by them! There is virtually NO competition for Internet in the USA! We have three non-compatible cell phone systems here in the USA; and even where systems ARE compatible, unlike the rest of the world, you can not take your phone from one carrier to another and use it! Instead, perfectly good phones clutter our landfills!

    Our Digital TV system is a JOKE-just wait until next February to see how bad THAT is going to be (Hint: the digital coverage of TV stations is only about 60% of their current analog coverage, resulting in lots of coverage gaps). The AM broadcast band has been destroyed by an FCC that has allowed all sorts of interfering electronic devices to create digital grunge without licensing or oversight. Finally, the only thing that talks at ther FCC is MONEY!! Why else would under 35 TV stations be able to occupy TV channels five and six after digital, when a new FM band that could accomodate EVERY ONE of the 5000 plus AM stations could make MUCH BETTER use of this precious spectrum (another hint: channels 2-6 are USELESS for DTV)!

    The FCC needs to be abolished and replaced with a non-partisan agency primarily run by engineers. For far too long, the FCC has allowed the foxes (the very licensees they regulate) run the hen house. It's time to put this dog to sleep!

    • by Aphoxema (1088507)

      I've kind of gotten this thing against the government supporting civil agencies to control other civil entities, and it seems the only thing the FCC does is just that.

      It's illegal to 'steal cable', it's not just unlawful, it's a federal offense. Cable companies, corporations, provide consumers with a service. They don't have to go to civil court if they discover signal theft, they get the fast track of federal support, the taxpayers paying for the litigation.

    • by Darundal (891860) on Wednesday December 10, 2008 @07:53AM (#26058085) Journal
      The most content regulated internet of all the first world countires? Are. You. High?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 10, 2008 @12:19AM (#26055499)

    Sent via Fax: 1-866-418-0232

    Dear Commissioner Taylor Tate:

    As president of a small software company in New Hampshire I am quite aware of the critical place that copyright law plays in protecting my company's software and intellectual property.

    I just read the PDF of your speech last week at Penn (http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-287150A1.pdf), and I must say that this it is a striking piece of work.

    It seems laden with misinformation, half truths, fear, uncertainty and doubt. It's hard to see where to begin, but I will raise four points:

    1) You spend a good third of the speech citing truly frightening statistics about the losses borne by creators of intellectual property. I would appreciate support for the numbers that you mention - the US Chamber of Commerce figure is particularly suspect, as it appears to refer to various other studies that ultimately rely on that original CoC figure.

    As a taxpayer, I ask you to provide the raw data for these statistics your argument relies on.

    2) I'm astonished that you include auto and fashion industry losses as ones of copyright. Certainly counterfeit products could be guilty of trademark infringement or outright fraud, and drug counterfeiting might be criminal.

    But it seems sloppy rhetoric to use such a broad brush in your talk.

    3) You then go on to cite efforts to use technology to minimize copyright violations. These watermarking and fingerprinting measures allow copyright holders to easily and reliably identify their content on public web sites. This, too, strikes me as a good way to make effective use of the current DMCA to take down the offending material.

    However, these seem to undermine the thesis of your talk that, "We have to do something about this!"

    4) The final part of your speech goes on to stump for greater education, at the expense of scaring the bejesus out of the audience, and completely ignoring (or worse, trampling) the right of Fair Use.

    In short, this was a red-meat speech that strives to stir up all the bogeymen of the "bad Internet".

    As a taxpayer and small-C conservative, I was hopeful that a federal government employee might present a more balanced view, especially to a university audience who could understand the nuances, of the current state of the law and a more thoughtful view of the national policy might be.

    I would appreciate a response, especially on the raw data for the statistics you cite.

    Best regards,

    Rich Brown
    Hanover, NH USA

  • by arhhook (995275) * on Wednesday December 10, 2008 @01:03AM (#26055799)

    Let me point people to the Save The Internet [freepress.net] movement and encourage people to send a letter to their representatives with what they think. The template letter is as follows:

    * Subject:. Required.

    Dear [Decision Maker],

    Please personalize your message
    Countless Americans rely upon an open Internet in their daily lives. Our elected leaders must protect our basic right to communicate from those who want to take it from us. Please join with me and 2 million others to demand that Congress protect the free-flowing Internet from blocking, censorship and discrimination by phone and cable companies. This is not an issue of left against right but of right over wrong. To allow companies to interfere with our Internet access is a stark violation of the principles of openness and nondiscrimination that have been the bedrock of U.S. communications policy for more than 70 years. It's up to Congress to protect innovation, free speech and democracy on the Internet.

    Sincerely,

    [Your Name]
    [Your Address]
    [City, State ZIP]

    And will be automatically sent to your representatives depending on where you live. If you feel strongly, please help take action.

  • by DragonTHC (208439) <Dragon@gamersl a s t w ill.com> on Wednesday December 10, 2008 @01:08AM (#26055827) Homepage Journal

    A) she has excellent research available on the subject the effectiveness of DRM and ISP filtering

    or

    B) she is grossly misinformed and spouting off like an idiot

    or

    C) she knows what she says isn't true, but she's saying it to push the riaa agenda.

  • by i_b_don (1049110) on Wednesday December 10, 2008 @03:30AM (#26056637)

    Wow. I can't believe what an echo chamber it is in here.

    First of all, why would the FCC care one whit about the anti-DRM movement? As far as their concerned this is the same stuff that cable companies have been putting on their lines for years for movies and pay channels. Why is this any different for them?

    So what's the big deal. They think "ah, just move the cable industry model to the internet and you now have streaming TV and movies, great!" And again, i don't actually see a problem with this... until they try to stop you from being able to record on your VCR or something and destroy the cable legacy user model we have today. That's where the problem is and that's what you should be arguing against.

    Now again, this whole bittorrent thing eats into their business. First off, they're basically there to support industry. They don't care about us as consumers, they just want to control the content that we can see and view. I mean really, in this day and age, what else do they do? Manage airwave frequencies? Um... yeah... that would take about 10 people for the whole US if that's all they did.

    So they're basically the morals gatekeeper to keep us from seeing Janet Jackson's boob. The whole bittorrent thing really eats into that control. I can DL anything from Bambi to 2 girls 1 cup with out any form of content control... and so can any unsupervised 5 yr old. O M G!~

    From their point of view, internet filtering is great and DRM is totally old news. So unless you're a religious organization that can whip your people into having orgies of indignation at the drop of a hat, they don't care about your rights as an individual or your rights as a consumer. They only care about your rights to pony up money for the latest Hollywood flick... and maybe about how messed up if little Timmy hears a swear word or sees a (gasp) boob.

    Look for other people to protect your rights, the FCC is about limiting, not protecting. Don't expect any different. I hate to say it, but congress and the courts are the path to protecting your rights, not the FCC.

    d

"In matters of principle, stand like a rock; in matters of taste, swim with the current." -- Thomas Jefferson

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