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Australia Considering P2P 'Three Strikes' Law 101

Posted by Soulskill
from the pitching-a-new-plan dept.
caitsith01 writes "ITNews reports that Australia's ever-unpopular Minister for Communications, Senator Stephen Conroy, has foreshadowed new action by the Australian Government to crack down on illegal file sharing under the guise of promoting the digital economy. Options apparently being considered include the controversial and previously reported French three-strikes approach and an approach which sounds suspiciously like New Zealand's even more dubious guilty-upon-accusation approach to filesharing. Needless to say, although the Government is consulting with 'representatives of both copyright owners and the Internet industry in an effort to reach an industry-led consensus on an effective solution,' arguably the most significant group — ordinary Internet users — are not being consulted. Senator Conroy is the man behind the crusade to 'protect' Australians from the horrors of the Internet with a mandatory, government-run blacklist, an effort which recently earned him the title of Internet Villain of the Year for 2009."
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Australia Considering P2P 'Three Strikes' Law

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    There I said it. Those with money and power control all governments, even democratically elected ones. Sure you could vote out the bad politicians, but democracies are notorious for having apathetic voters. Tax dollars being given to billion dollar corporations and withheld from the poorest of communities. Criminalization of copyrights to protect billion dollar corporations, when all along civil courts could have served the needs of everyone easily.

  • Every article I see about this always uses the scary language. "ILLEGAL FILE SHARING" This is quite frankly disturbing to me.

    I can't help but think of Darth Sidious telling Knute Gunray, "I will make it legal!"

    Except in our case, the evildoers who sit in our houses of legislation will make it illegal!

    It currently is not.

    • It currently is. "Illegal" does not necessarily mean "criminal". A very large amount of p2p filesharing is copyright infringement, which in Australia at least is illegal.

      • by QuantumG (50515) *

        Ya, the legal definition disagrees with you.. and I kinda think its about the only definition that counts.

        If you want to overgeneralize the word don't be surprised when people look at you funny.

        • Ya, the legal definition disagrees with you

          I think you're saying that there's a 'legal' definition of the word 'illegal' which restricts it to applying to criminal acts. Have I understood that correctly? If so then can you say where you get that from and which jurisdiction you feel it applies to (from context it looks like you must be referring to Australia)? I'm not saying you're wrong, though I am a little sceptical.

      • Yes, illegal file sharing is illegal in Australia (fair suck of the savaloy guys!)... But lobbying obnoxious MP's is not. I say good luck trying to pass a three strikes law, it would probably be enough to end Stephen Conroy's career. Getting to much attention is not good for any politician. Having a "tent embassy" parked outside your electoral offices might not be as exciting as some might think!
  • Gentlemen! (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Em Emalb (452530)

    You can't download here, this is the war room!

    I don't pirate software, music, or anything else. I understand a lot of people do, however. The thing I don't get in all this, he's essentially correct. Downloading music or other files illegally should be punished.

    The problem is that there's no way to prove who actually downloaded the content illegally. I also don't understand the /. crowd and the belief that downloading stuff off the internet without paying for it (assuming it isn't offered freely) is just

    • Re:Gentlemen! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by catxk (1086945) on Wednesday July 15, 2009 @09:20AM (#28702547)

      The downloading is rarely the issue. The issue is the liberties and justices sacrificed by lobbied and next-to-corrupt politicians in the name of saving the record industry. The consequences of this will not stop at pirates, it spans over the entire society, effectively undermining the freedom and security enjoyed by all of us. Is it really worth it? Some people seem to think so. I don't and I don't give a shit about filesharing.

      • by Em Emalb (452530)

        I understand that. I do. But again, there's this whole group-think thing going on here on slashdot. It's weird, seriously. A lot of people on here say that things are screwed up cause you've got these politicians reducing freedoms and whatnot by trying to pass these draconian laws, but at the same time, you've got a bunch of knuckleheads downloading every file they can....ILLEGALLY.

        So, which came first?

        • by Yvanhoe (564877)
          Is it important which came first ? The whole thing is screwed. Let's fix it instead of trying to blame someone. And the proposed laws don't go in the direction of fixing it. That is all we are saying.

          You know, sometimes people give the impression of doing group-think when they independently come to the same conclusion. We don't try to be right just by opposing the "Big Guys", we try to be right by actually seeking the truth. Sometimes we yay at the Powers That Be (suddenoutbreakofcommonsense expresses tha
        • by adona1 (1078711)

          So, which came first?

          Well, Disney [wikipedia.org] pushed through ridiculous copyright extensions a long time before Bittorrent hit the tubes, and by the date (1998) would have been lobbying for it before Napster came to be.

      • The downloading is rarely the issue.

        Certainly not, because as soon as it becomes the issue, it becomes painfully apparent exactly what "freedoms" are being defended by 90% of anti-copyright statements.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by catxk (1086945)

          A valid point to some extent, but still no.

          This uproar among Slashdotters is not heard only when politicians trade the democratic freedoms and rights we all have come to take for granted in order to please the media lobby. It is also heard when US customs claim the right to go through all the data on your laptop when you cross the border or when voting machines are closed source. Or when the Swedish government and parliament passes a law enabling a civilian authority to scan _all_ communication passing the

    • Re:Gentlemen! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Yvanhoe (564877) on Wednesday July 15, 2009 @09:28AM (#28702617) Journal
      Few people say it is okay. A lot of people however say that you won't manage to prevent people from file sharing unless you control Internet and personal computers completely and that would have a huge cost to society. Therefore, if filesharing becomes such a serious problem that it prevents artists from getting a decent pay (this has still to be proved though), the remuneration of artists has to go through a different system.

      It looks like people are wanting to just get free stuff, but the claim is different : they say that trying to protect a revenue stream based on the control and production of copies, in a world where making copies is basically free, is nonsensical and counter-productive.
    • Why do people think it's okay to download stuff without paying for it?

      You need to understand the technology behind the web before you can truly understand the logic.

      HTTP is a stateless protocol. If I download a file today, it has no bearing on how the server operates nor does it restrict what I can do on my end. The only thing your server knows about our transaction is the data I sent to you and the data you sent back. For all your server knows, I could be a kid whistling phreak codes into a payphone receiv

      • Therefore we aren't sharing files. We are sharing temporal garbage as far as either of us knows. If you want to make sharing garbage packets illegal, I think you'd find a lot of people wanting to tell you to mind your own business.

        So, if I somehow sent you the source code to Windows, you would just say that it was only a stream of "garbage packets"? I'm sorry, but data can be extremely valuable, whether it's in the form of code, movies, or music. Packets by themselves are only packets, but it's what they carry that counts.

      • by shmlco (594907)

        "We are sharing temporal garbage as far as either of us knows."

        If all you want are packets full of static and garbage then download them. Unfortunately, you don't, and instead download packets containing the lastest song by the Black Eye Peas, The Dark Knight, and the current copy of Photoshop.

        None of which sprang into being without someone (or a lot of someones) spending a significant amount of time, money, energy, and other resources to create them.

        So in my book, the "per copy cost" is irrelevant. Spend $

    • Re:Gentlemen! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by HungryHobo (1314109) on Wednesday July 15, 2009 @09:40AM (#28702745)

      On slashdot? It's the guilty-upon-accusation bit that bothers people here more.
      It's the "Every kind of P2P is people violating copyrights" idea that idiot politicians have that bothers people here on slashdot.

      I don't care if 90% of the people using a certain protocol are using it to swap the latest transformers movie because I'm part of the 10% using it for legitimate purposes.
      Should I be denied my right to disseminate information because of that 90%?

      If 90% of the people in your apartment complex are growing their own pot and you're part of the 10% that is not should you lose your right to not have the police kick down your door without a warrant?

      • by Rageon (522706)

        If 90% of the people in your apartment complex are growing their own pot and you're part of the 10% that is not should you lose your right to not have the police kick down your door without a warrant?

        Yes. You should. To do otherwise would allow illegal activities to go on simply by keeping at least one law-abiding person on the premises (i.e., children).

        • I think he was agreeing that the police should raid the pot-growing apartments, but that they should not raid his, without a warrant.
        • by mdwh2 (535323)

          Firstly, I presume he meant different buildings in the same "complex", not people in the same building. I don't see how not kicking down the door of an innocent person allows illegal acts to go on elsewhere.

          Secondly, he said "without a warrant" - I fail to see how the ordeal of obtaining a warrant means that crimes can't be stopped.

        • "people willing to trade their freedom for temporary security deserve neither and will lose both" -- Benjamin Franklin

          Sadly, most people's response to any problem these days is "the government should do something!" This unfortunately tends to cause many problems to get worse, while racking up an enormous bill. Not to say that everything the government does is useless (highways are nice), but many things they touch do go down the drain. Good example, Social Security started with the best of intentions. Th
        • by Nadaka (224565)

          ever heard the phrase "Better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer"? Its part of the foundation of at least the American legal system.

      • by nizo (81281) *

        ...guilty-upon-accusation...

        I wonder how gung-ho politicians would be about this law if people started parking outside their houses and using their wireless to download illegal content? Because at least some of them have to have poorly configured or otherwise insecure WAPs.

      • I'll take you one further...

        If 90% of people think that an activity is perfectly acceptable, and those opposed consistently fail to prove that it harms them in any meaningful way, then it probably shouldn't be illegal in a democratic country.

        Feel free to substitute 90% with "a majority", or even "a significant minority".
    • by AbRASiON (589899) *

      I can give you several reasons why people think it's fine to do!
      Firstly we're geeks here, denying that 80% of us download TV and movies would be stupidity, I'm sure we've all been to astalavista for a crack now and then too.

      As I get older I do less of the dodgy stuff but for example, I 'steal' TV shows from the US all the time, because they don't air here at all, or at sensible times or within months of them airing in the US.
      Now sure, that's a grey area to some you might say but the question then becomes, w

    • by Cinnaman (954100)

      Come on, copyright infringement is a back-door way of guarding the old physical media empire the record and movie companies were built on. It was (I assume) meant to target people mass producing counterfeit copies and unethically earning money through that. A person who technically infringes copyright (the letter of the law rather than the spirit) by uploading a copy (or parts of one) to a few people for free happens to have a pre-digital law that (technically) says that they fall into this category.

      So beca

    • Yes, there should be legal remedies for copyright violation. They should be reasonable, and they should be properly targetted. I am against excessively high statutory damages, any form of punishment that does not result from a courtroom trial, and any form of penalty or excessive inconvenience for legal downloading, and these sort of things are often proposed or even enacted.

      For your question, people think it's okay to download stuff without paying for it because they aren't directly hurting anybody. I

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      I seriously don't get that. Why do people think it's okay to download stuff without paying for it?

      The thing is, that's only a tiny part of the real issue, and only acts to camouflage the real threat.

      The real threat is that the government will lose its initial sense of trepidation over filtering content it doesn't like and start applying it wherever it finds an advantage to do so. It only takes a little bit of time for a bureaucrat to become comfortable with previously unpalatable acts.

      Laws like the Three Strikes rules can be used to enforce an autocracy. If you can keep any particular group of people

    • by snookums (48954)

      Downloading music or other files illegally should be punished.

      Well, the law as currently written means that the creation of such unauthorised copies is something for which the copyright holder can claim compensation and damages. Certain types of commercial infringement are also criminal acts, but that's not the issue under discussion here. The core issue is whether the Government has a mandate to create statutory penalties for non-criminal acts. There is also an issue of matching the severity of punishment to the gravity of the misdeed.

      Let's take the tort of defamatio

  • Hmm.... So now I won't be criminally prosecuted or even sued for infringing copyright, I'll just be disconnected from my ISP? What's stopping me from signing up with a new one? Hell, maybe I'll sign up with a different provider just for committing copyright infringement. And there's no risk at all. Good one Conroy, that makes as much sense as trying to filter the internet.
    • by fredklein (532096)

      What's stopping me from signing up with a new one?

      Exactly how many ISPs are available where you live? Many people only have two- the phone company (DSL) and the cable company.

      • by KenMcM (1293074)
        Optus (cable/DSL) Telstra (cable/DSL) TPG (DSL) Internode (DSL) iiNet (DSL) iPrimus (DSL) Swiftel/People Telecom (DSL) Eftel (DSL) Dodo (DSL) Unwired (3G) These are just the major ones I can think of that provide broadband.
      • by mjwx (966435)

        Exactly how many ISPs are available where you live? Many people only have two- the phone company (DSL) and the cable company.

        Telstra, Optus, iinet, Westnet, TPG, Iprimus, Internode and Amnet for DSL. Three, Vodafone, Telstra and Optus for mobile (HSPA).
        This is in Perth, get to the eastern states and the increases, Australia has a well regulated telecoms industry. Phone companies aren't permitted to monopolise area's and if they have an infrastructure monopoly then the government sets a wholesale price fo

    • by mjwx (966435)

      Hmm.... So now I won't be criminally prosecuted or even sued for infringing copyright, I'll just be disconnected from my ISP? What's stopping me from signing up with a new one? Hell, maybe I'll sign up with a different provider just for committing copyright infringement. And there's no risk at all. Good one Conroy, that makes as much sense as trying to filter the internet.

      And it will never happen for the same reason as internet filtering. This requires too much co-operation from ISP's and ISP's dont want

  • by smash (1351) on Wednesday July 15, 2009 @09:13AM (#28702453) Homepage Journal
    mate, i hear iraq are looking for a new information minister?
  • by DiSKiLLeR (17651) on Wednesday July 15, 2009 @09:14AM (#28702471) Homepage Journal

    Lets hope The Pirate Party of Australia [ppau.info] comes to the rescue here.

    • Well, come on, since Australians come from Australia, as everyone knows, and Australia is entirely peopled with criminals, and criminals are used to having people not trust them, this law makes perfect sense!

  • Despite the Sturm und Drang about copyright and filesharing here on Slashdot, most people really don't care one way or the other. Those that do care are so polarized on the issue that there isn't a middle ground to be had.

    This is sad, because it didn't used to be this way. Early on, it was always clear that filesharers were breaking the copyright law and that something had to be done about it. What happened was a massive campaign to change the laws to crack down on illegal filesharers. Legal filesharing got

    • by Sj0 (472011) on Wednesday July 15, 2009 @09:44AM (#28702795) Homepage Journal

      They shot first.

      How long is copyright today? 70 years? 90? 150?

      Companies are stealing our culture. Perpetual extension of copyright is theft from society.

      Compared to the artists of the days when copyright was 20-something years, today's artists don't contribute more to society, yet they demand many times the protection. They want to get this for free -- they've never offered any form of payment, no return on investment for society.

      When my grandmother was a child, she heard a song. If I were to listen to her sing me that song, she'd be breaking the letter of the law. Compared to a few brittany spears songs, the theft of every copyrighted work for 50 years is a much greater crime.

      • They shot first.

        So did Greedo. But that doesn't mean that Star Wars is worse off for it.

        The payment is that anyone who creates can take advantage of those protections. So the only ones who are at a disadvantage are those who don't create. It is the freeloaders who are crying the loudest.

        • by Sj0 (472011) on Wednesday July 15, 2009 @10:14AM (#28703113) Homepage Journal

          That's not payment. Society at large doesn't gain anything from being able to have 150 year copyrights. It's only freeloaders who want to sell dead people's works as their own who are crying that copyright needs to be longer.

          The "Happy Birthday" song first appeared in print in 1912. In other words, before nearly every defining moment of the 20th century. Despite that, it is a copyrighted song -- The Time-Warner Corporation owns the rights and charges $10,000 per performance in royalties.

          So you're a filthy disgusting criminal. YOU. I know you sang the song publicly and didn't pay Time-Warner their due. Why are you such a filthy disgusting criminal? Why don't the long long long dead writers of "Happy Birthday" deserve compensation for their work?

          • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

            by Anonymous Coward

            Wrong. The song has been around since the late 1800's when school teachers changed the words of a then-popular tune to celebrate birthdays. The copyright owner is ASCAP, which only charges $1 for singing the song publicly. Don't over-inflate the issue.

            And for the rest of Slashdot, copyrights end 70 years past the death of the author, or 90 years past the date of creation if it is a paid-for work (I'm not sure if corporate code counts as this, but I would think so).

            I am not a lawyer. This is not legal ad

            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by Sj0 (472011)

              Care of Wikipedia:

              The melody of "Happy Birthday to You" comes from the song "Good Morning to All", which was written and composed by American sisters Patty Hill and Mildred J. Hill in 1893.[3] They were both kindergarten school teachers in Louisville, Kentucky, developing various teaching methods at what is now the Little Loomhouse.[4][5] The sisters created "Good Morning to All" as a song that would be easy to sing by young children[6]. The combination of melody and lyrics in "Happy Birthday to You" first

        • Hate to break it to you. Most people won't create great culture. If everyone could paint like a renaissance master, then that would by definition be average. What makes actual works of art (paintings, photos, movies, books, music, plays, etc.) culture, is the fact that they're shared. Sometimes the creator needs some money back, which is fine. You buy books, and music, and you pay to see movies and plays. But once the artist has received their due (usually in less than 10 years, if I recall correctly), it
          • by shmlco (594907)

            "Digital mediums have very low upkeep cost (virtually non-existent on a per file basis)..."

            Perhaps on a "per file basis", but in aggregate all of those little "upkeep costs" add up. Quickly.

            Servers. Software. Maintenance. Hard drives. Switches. Routers. Power. Bandwidth. Lots and lots and lots of bandwidth.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Sir_Lewk (967686)

          They shot first.

          So did Greedo.

          LIES

    • by mdwh2 (535323)

      Despite the Sturm und Drang about copyright and filesharing here on Slashdot, most people really don't care one way or the other.

      You're right that most people don't care about the laws or the ethics, but that doesn't mean that most people don't do it. I don't know what the current stats on the number of people who have ever downloaded are (anyone?) but just consider how commonplace copying tapes and CDs, as well as recording off the radio, were. They never cared about the legality or the ethics - they just

    • by JCZwart (1585673)

      The idea that these people are somehow in the wrong for trying to exercise control over their own works is a bad mind virus, and I'm afraid that the tenor of stories like this are indicative of a fatal infection.

      When I was young and we copied our friends' games on floppies (bad, bad me), we knew that this was illegal. However, we also knew that we'd never experience punishment, mostly due to the small scale at which our file copying took place. Bad mindset? Sure thing. I've grown up and buy my games now. Same thing for music.

      Most people will agree that going after people illegally sharing their music for example isn't a bad thing. What IS bad is the draconian solutions being proposed. The fine rate in the US is way

    • Despite the Sturm und Drang about copyright and filesharing here on Slashdot, most people really don't care one way or the other

      [Citation needed]

  • So long as people keep trying to justify stealing by using excuses like "consult the people", there won't be much left to steal soon. We wonder why the economy is as bad as it is yet still feel entitled to just take everything without paying for it and then get upset at the people we're stealing from. Imagine if our employers started taking the same approach to employees.
    • Re:entitlement (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Nadaka (224565) on Wednesday July 15, 2009 @09:44AM (#28702789)

      I feel exactly the same way.

      Illegal file sharing is wrong and there should be consequences for it. It is however not theft. Theft involves taking something away from another. With filesharing, ownership and possession remain with the originator.

      What is theft is the extension of copyright, erosion of fair use and bypassing of the courts that media companies are bribing governments around the world to achieve. And its not theft from an individual, it is theft from the public domain, it is theft from us all.

      These 3 strikes laws are intended to circumvent the courts and allow media companies to extort real people into paying them with no burden of proof or legal recourse.

  • I thought everything was going to change with John Howard out and Rudd in. Kinda like Obama (PBUH)........so what happened?

    • by mjwx (966435)

      I thought everything was going to change with John Howard out and Rudd in. Kinda like Obama (PBUH)........so what happened?

      No its the same story, Obama got in for the same reason as Rudd, because the alternative was a fascist with a retard as an understudy.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 15, 2009 @09:33AM (#28702663)

    I am forced to somehow like the idea of a three strikes system. We really should ban ISPs when they interfere with P2P traffic for three times.

  • Only MC Double Def DP can save us now from those downloading with Hitler!
    • Only MC Double Def DP can save us now from those downloading with Hitler!

      "Hah!" (pulls "Godwin Safe" card from hand, lays on table with a flourish) "Let the discussion continue!"

  • ... send them to a far-away island populated entirely w/ aboriginals and convicts???

    hmmm.. or maybe ship them back to the UK?
  • People, people, be reasonable! There is a simple and effective solution. Everyone should start downloading illegal content. Then after 3 strikes we'll all be out, and then the internet will disappear in the puff of logic :-D

  • Cartel (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Wowsers (1151731) on Wednesday July 15, 2009 @10:34AM (#28703393) Journal

    How about governments tackle the more important crime of the film and music industries running a cartel? It is things like region encoding which allows the media companies to run protected cartels in the various ways they've carved up the plant and where people can buy DVD's etc. from - this screws over consumers. Or is that the media companies give very generous amounts of campaign money to the politicians in different countries, and the politicians actually don't care and turn a blind eye about consumers?

    • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      The Australian government did that already. Region encoding was deemed 'anti-competitive', against consumer interests, and therefore illegal.
      If you buy a DVD player in Australia you will find that it will play any DVD regardless of its region code =)

      Sometimes, just sometimes... governments get it right, too.

      • The Australian government did that already. Region encoding was deemed 'anti-competitive', against consumer interests, and therefore illegal.
        If you buy a DVD player in Australia you will find that it will play any DVD regardless of its region code =)

        Sometimes, just sometimes... governments get it right, too.

        Really? Are you sure? Because I live in Australia... I visit electronics stores, and I see a LOT (read that as 98.394%) of DVD players which have the "Region 4" logo on them. LG, Sony, Panasonic, Pioneer, Sanyo, Sharp, you name it. Having said that, most of the time it is a pretty simple thing to region unlock them, but they are still shipped, and sold, as region 4. Most of the DVD players that you see around that are sold region unlocked are the no brand generic DVD players.

        From Wikipedia (yes, I know it i

        • I bought a Toshiba DVD player about 3 weeks ago that was locked to region 4. However it also came with a firmware DVD and instruction leaflet that after reflashing made it region free.

    • by mjwx (966435)

      How about governments tackle the more important crime of the film and music industries running a cartel?

      Great idea but there is nothing the Australian government can do when the biscuit industry can tell them to take a hike when they implement crappy laws. Bad laws like this and the internet filter that require the ISP to enforce them will simply not be enforced because no ISP actually wants to.

  • ... because then the amount of money I spend on DVD's will drop to almost nothing.

    I don't watch broadcast TV and so the only way I find out about good shows is by P2Ping them. Oh well other companies want my money if the TV/movie industry doesn't.

    • by JCZwart (1585673)

      However, it's not the restrictions they propose that matter. You might not care about them, and neither do I. What I do care about however is the trend of taking idiotic measures to prevent... Well, what actually? Bad stuff from happening? I know cars cause bad stuff to happen to people wandering at the wrong time in the wrong place, and yet cars aren't prohibited, nor is there some kind of 3-strikes-law in place. Yet, on the internet we have the file sharing thing, oh and we also have child porn. So let's

  • The question is, how many times have people been lawfully charged and convicted of illegal file sharing in Australia? I am not actually aware of any, sure the big movie companies and such send you emails accusing people of it all the time but lawfully charged and prosecuted? If it's down to what the big companies think then very few people will have an internet connection by the end of the decade, and there's the problem, nobody is going to police it at a government level, they will all just process the rea
  • by snookums (48954) on Wednesday July 15, 2009 @08:06PM (#28710527)

    I RTFA, and it says that some copyright owners have suggested a three strikes law, but that this is unpopular. The government is interested in an "appropriate solution" to the issue of copyright infringement via the Internet. The language in the quoted passages is quite neutral and correct -- speaking of unauthorised copies, rather than theft.

    There are many ways this issue could be resolved. It could be through complete copyright reform, however that is unlikely. It could be through criminalization and tough statutory penalties, which would be very unpopular. It could be by declaring the Internet and P2P as a type of broadcast system, with mandatory licensing of copyright and statutory royalties (like radio).

    This is not an excuse to panic and engage in public Conroy-bashing. Join an appropriate lobby group, engage in public discussion of solutions fair to all parties, do something constructive. If you let a politician believe that he is hated beyond redemption, or a political party believe that they've already lost the next election, then they have absolutely no incentive to do what you want between now and when they leave office.

    • by shmlco (594907)

      "It could be through complete copyright reform..."

      Doesn't matter. Even if they backed off copyright to, say, 14 years, people would just find some other rationalization for stealing.

      The real problems is that can get valuable stuff FOR FREE, and NOT get caught or punished. Fixing things will require either that: a) it's no longer free; or b) doing so leads to a probable chance of getting caught and punished.

      Just like shoplifting in a store.

      • by snookums (48954)

        "It could be through complete copyright reform..."

        Doesn't matter. Even if they backed off copyright to, say, 14 years, people would just find some other rationalization for stealing.

        By "complete copyright reform" I wasn't talking about reducing the term. I was thinking about something more radical, like finding another way to promote the creation of creative works without legislating an artificial scarcity.

        The real problems is that can get valuable stuff FOR FREE, and NOT get caught or punished.

        Every day I get a whole bunch of oxygen for free, and that's extremely valuable in the sense that I'd be dead without it. The reason I can do this is because the supply is, for practical purposes, unlimited. Copies of digital media are also unlimited for practical purposes. The reaso

        • by shmlco (594907)

          "Every day I get a whole bunch of oxygen for free...."

          Fine. Did someone spend $200 million dollars creating that oxygen for you? No? Hmmmm. Oxygen is an abundant resource. The money, time, energy, and talent needed to create a $200 million dollar movie is not.

          "The reason copyright infringement is illegal is not because people are getting something valuable for free, it's because someone (the creator) is not getting their due."

          Reread please. I meant that pirates are getting something valuable for free, with

  • For the record, the New Zealand law referenced in this article (or rather, the specific clause that allowed guilt by accusation) has been postponed pending a review.

  • I guess the way to game this system is to accuse the accuser, I mean, if enough people spend time accusing the accuser of pirating software. They will be forced to spend time defending themselves instead of attacking 8 years olds and puppies.

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