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White House Holding Piracy Summit 268

Posted by kdawson
from the meet-the-new-boss dept.
DesScorp writes in to let us know about a White House piracy summit, which is going on this afternoon. Judging by the press accounts, the sort of intellectual property criminals they are interested in are large-scale DVD bootleggers, not individual downloaders. "Hollywood once again demonstrates its close ties to Washington DC, regardless of who is in power, with a White House summit on piracy to be attended by the top executives in Hollywood, as well as the music industry. Vice President Joe Biden will be leading the summit to discuss organized cooperation between the federal government and the entertainment industry on all matters of piracy. Also at the summit will be the Obama Administration's new Copyright Czar, Victoria Espinal. The summit comes after Congress has earmarked $30 million dollars of taxpayer funds for anti-piracy efforts." According to one attendee's tweet, the press was kicked out of the meeting around 20:45 GMT.
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White House Holding Piracy Summit

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  • !change (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Shakrai (717556) on Tuesday December 15, 2009 @05:46PM (#30450398) Journal

    Amazing how the more things change the more they stay the same, isn't it?

    I can't wait to hear all of the partisans who rightfully complained about Dick Cheney's energy task force come out of the woodwork to tell us why this is "different".

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Moryath (553296)

      Al Gore Senior was one of the MafiAA's pet stooges who wrote/pushed the 1987 predecessor to the DMCA that tried to criminalize DAT tape unless it had a "copy protection flag" built in.

      Amazing how some things never change, indeed!

    • I'd be inclined to doubt it. Even the most starry-eyed members of the uncritical Obama fans club don't have any real use for Biden or the Obama administration's general chumminess with Team Content.
      • by Shakrai (717556)

        Then why'd they vote for them?

        Oh yeah, "lessor of two evils" and all that. Who was it around here who first said "The lessor of two evils is still evil"?

        • Why settle for the lesser of two evils?
        • by quanticle (843097)

          Oh yeah, "lessor of two evils" and all that. Who was it around here who first said "The lessor of two evils is still evil"?

          The lesser of two evils is still evil, but it is also lesser. What's the alternative, voting for Cthulu? As long as we're going to elect evil, we may as well elect the greatest evil of all, right?

    • Why post that when it's so much more fun to watch you knock down strawmen!
      • by alvinrod (889928)
        Why bother to address any of his concerns (regardless of the slanted manner they're presented.) when you can just post logical fallacies. I'm sure for a certain subset of people, the OP is just putting words in their mouths, but there are going to be some people who tow the line on this and suggest that there's nothing wrong with this or attempt to downplay it. This is really just another straw man that detracts from any actual discussion of the topic and quickly degenerates into a flame war.

        The partisan
        • by Vancorps (746090)

          The problem is that the U.S. falls asleep and becomes complacent. Think of this country back in the 1920s and 30s. Once there is enough political will things will change rather rapidly. There is a long slope for those of us that see what both sides are doing as wrong. I do see more and more people getting fed up with both sides. The republican party has completely fallen apart and look like children. The democratic party can't stop arguing amongst itself. Look at the shamble that is the health care legislat

    • by elrous0 (869638) *
      You'll find very few people here who ever worshiped the Obamassiah. It's no secret that the Dems are just as much in the pocket of the media companies as the Republicans.
      • by megamerican (1073936) on Tuesday December 15, 2009 @06:19PM (#30450910)

        This isn't surprising in the least. Less than two weeks ago they had a workshop for Federal employees on openness in government and it was closed to the public. [yahoo.com]

        Don't forget that Obama promised to have debates on healthcare on C-Span. [74.125.155.132] (google cache)

        I’m going to have all the negotiations around a big table,” Obama said. “We’ll have doctors and nurses and hospital administrators. Insurance companies, drug companies — they’ll get a seat at the table, they just won’t be able to buy every chair. But what we’ll do is we’ll have the negotiations televised on C-SPAN, so that people can see who is making arguments on behalf of their constituents and who are making arguments on behalf of drug companies or the insurance companies.

        Then he goes on to have closed door meetings with drug companies and insurance companies. Not to mention that he promised to not support any health care bill that forced people to get healthcare.

        You'll find very few people here who ever worshiped the Obamassiah. It's no secret that the Dems are just as much in the pocket of the media companies as the Republicans.

        As a person who was continually modded down for saying there was (and will be) no difference between Obama and McCain before and during the election I find your statement very funny.

        • by h4rr4r (612664)

          Of course there is a difference.

          Dem: Less war, Less regulating morality, more bending over backwards for Big Media.

          Repub: More war, More regulating morality, less bending over backwards for Big Media.

          Not that Republicans are really war hungry, but they are in the pocket of arms manufacturers.

          • by PopeRatzo (965947) *

            Repub: More war, More regulating morality, less bending over backwards for Big Media.

            Can you give any evidence of the last part of that claim?

          • by Vancorps (746090)
            I think you forget that a republican congress passed the DMCA. They both bend over backwards for big media. It makes sense given that they need them for exposure to get re-elected.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by causality (777677)

          As a person who was continually modded down for saying there was (and will be) no difference between Obama and McCain before and during the election I find your statement very funny.

          It's not about the candidates, for they are like puppets. It's about the monied interests who finance their campaigns and put them into office. That's where the real power is, and it's not up for a vote. It's more of a plutocracy. Whether it's Obama or McCain who won the election, either of them has a career in politics onl

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by TubeSteak (669689)

      I can't wait to hear all of the partisans who rightfully complained about Dick Cheney's energy task force come out of the woodwork to tell us why this is "different".

      Reasons why this is different:
      1. Dick Cheney never put out a press release announcing there was a meeting
      2. Dick Cheney never released any of the names of the people he or his Task Force met with
      3. Most of the activities of the Task Force have never been/will never be disclosed by the government

      Here's most of what we know [washingtonpost.com] about the Energy Task Force [washingtonpost.com] (two articles)

      I find it distasteful that the press is getting kicked out, but none of this is happening in Cheney-esqe secrecy.
      I'm going to save my outrage for

    • I can't wait to hear all of the partisans who rightfully complained about Dick Cheney's energy task force come out of the woodwork to tell us why this is "different".

      Your wish, it is granted:

      Judging by the press accounts, the sort of intellectual property criminals they are interested in are large-scale DVD bootleggers, not individual downloaders.

      Well thanks for clearing that up! This copyright summit would never harm you, citizen! It's utterly different than any that have come before because it only goes

  • Well (Score:5, Insightful)

    by elrous0 (869638) * on Tuesday December 15, 2009 @05:52PM (#30450498)
    I guess the EFF's and other consumer groups' invites must have gotten lost in the mail.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by yincrash (854885)
      tbh, it'd be nice if even creator rights advocates were there at least. mpaa and riaa do not truly have the content creators best interests at heart
    • by nurb432 (527695)

      Why would they want the public to be there? They just get in the way.

  • And I thought... (Score:2, Flamebait)

    by rainer_d (115765)

    ...they were going to discuss about the problem with "real" piracy.
    If anything, this should encourage the pirates operating in the Arabian sea near Somalia: unless they start bootlegging songs and movies, they should be relatively save and Uncle Sam will not go after them.
    At least not in a big, coordinated way.
    In essence, they, the ship-wrecking, people-killing pirates are a mere nuisance, while copyright-violating pirates mean the end of civilization is near.

    Or maybe it's just another episode of "Politicia

    • In all honesty? DVD bootlegs are probably funneling more money to the same types of people who rob and murder for a living than what happens in Somalia. It's just a gentler hand and it's mostly socially acceptable.

      Not to mention that the US government has a much wider range of jurisdiction and tools to work with when it comes down to bootlegged goods that sell on our lands.

      Plus, who says we only have to deal with one problem at a time? The issues off the African coast will not be solved by one nation. Was
  • by Weezul (52464)

    Hollywood has considered redirecting any significant effort towards people who actually press pirate DVD instead of their own fans? Seriously?

    Oh! I see, they want congress to pay for it, they'll keep using their own lawyers on their fans.

    It's obviously good if these sorts of large scale industrial pirates are sued for copyright infringement. I'd strongly support a fund that aided small publishers when going up against pirate publishers, especially the largest pirates that are members of the RIAA and MPAA

  • by nebaz (453974) on Tuesday December 15, 2009 @05:57PM (#30450586)

    As much as I hate the idea that the Federal Government is in the interest of helping the RIAA, it seems that "intellectual property" is just about the only thing left that our country exports. I can understand thinking that it should be a national economic priority if you think in those terms. That doesn't address the reality of the "value" of said property, or its constitutional justification, however.

    • Except for the fact that Hollywood is a very minor part of the US economy compared to other areas. Intel alone has more revenue than everything Hollywood does. I'd buy this argument if the US economy was relying on Hollywood, but that just isn't the case. The biggest sector of the US economy is still manufacturing (and in fact the US still has the biggest manufacturing sector in the world). When you look at it, the movie and music industry just aren't that big a deal.

      So this really isn't based off of need,

      • Re:Ummmm (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Amouth (879122) on Tuesday December 15, 2009 @07:32PM (#30451814)

        if i remember the random story yesterday they are slated to break 30bn this year which puts them at 0.2% of the US GDP or better phrased 1/500th of the US GDP.

        0.2 doesn't sound like much but 1 in 500 is.. think if they where to disappear 1 in 500 people wouldn't have a livelihood.

        i'm not advocating for them - nor do i think the taxpayers should give them anything or pay for their troubles. BUT i think 1 in 500 is enough to justify a meeting at the white house.

        while there are bigger companies and sectors - Hollywood isn't small

        • What it doesn't justify is special laws to protect them, especially when some special laws hurt other sectors, like electronics which is way larger.

    • Id gladly trade that 'resource' for a plant that made cars, or food... IP wont mean much when we cant actually make anything.

  • by WillAffleckUW (858324) on Tuesday December 15, 2009 @06:01PM (#30450650) Homepage Journal

    As we said early on, and have continually been proven right, Information just wants to be free.

    And no amount of trying to stop that will end up working in the end.

    Restore copyright to 17 years renewable only by the author of the work, remove patent protection for software, and let's get back to creating and away from lining CEO's pockets.

    • by TubeSteak (669689)

      Restore copyright to 17 years renewable only by the author of the work, remove patent protection for software, and let's get back to creating and away from lining CEO's pockets.

      Copyright was never 17 years.
      It started out as 14 years + a 14 year renewal.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_copyright_law#History [wikipedia.org]

      Anyways, the USA can't make any meaningful changes to copyright law without going through the World Trade Organization.

      • by Anomalyst (742352)

        Anyways, the USA can't make any meaningful changes to copyright law without going through the World Trade Organization.

        Actually they can, my understanding is that a constitutional amendment (and only an amendment) would supersede the treaty without renegotiating. Like that will ever happen.

    • by BobMcD (601576)

      Restore copyright to 17 years renewable only by the author of the work, remove patent protection for software, and let's get back to creating and away from lining CEO's pockets.

      So when we do all this, it stops wanting to be free and this amount of trying will work in the end? Or does it still want to be free? That part isn't clear.

  • Wrong way round (Score:5, Insightful)

    by newhoggy (672061) on Tuesday December 15, 2009 @06:06PM (#30450742)

    "Hollywood once again demonstrates its close ties to Washington DC"

    should be

    "Washington DC once again demonstrates its close ties to Hollywood"

    It's your political system that's broken - not Hollywood.

    • by bananaquackmoo (1204116) on Tuesday December 15, 2009 @06:09PM (#30450798)
      What... can't it be both?
    • by Rayonic (462789)

      "Hollywood once again demonstrates its close ties to Washington DC"

      "Washington DC once again demonstrates its close ties to Hollywood"

      Ha, sounds like the Republican vs. Democratic versions of the relationship. Kind of a lame "In Soviet Russia..." style joke.

    • Too true. Hollywood was instrumental in getting Obama elected, and as a reward, he created a new, entirely pointless, position of "Hollywood Liason" that he gave to Kal Penn to repay him for all the hard work he did in getting Obama elected. That's why I laugh when Democrats complain about corruption with Republican politicians while they cheer on the corruption among Democrat politicians.
  • Full text (Score:5, Insightful)

    by oDDmON oUT (231200) on Tuesday December 15, 2009 @06:08PM (#30450780)

    "are interested in are large-scale DVD bootleggers, not individual downloaders [for now]. "

    • Re:Full text (Score:4, Insightful)

      by The Archon V2.0 (782634) on Tuesday December 15, 2009 @06:26PM (#30451002)

      "are interested in are large-scale DVD bootleggers, not individual downloaders [for now]. "

      You can scratch the "for now" even. Any laws that start in meetings like this aren't going to be "If you bootleg DVDs, you get punishment X per bootleg disk." they're going to be "If you infringe copyright, you get punishment X per infringement." where "infringe" can be taken to mean "bootleg, copy for a friend, download, upload, format shift for yourself, write an unfavorable online review of" and so on, however much the lawyers can twist the word and destroy the spirit in a court of law.

      See also: Laws against pedophiles and child pornographers that somehow apply to pairs of consenting teenagers and individual teenagers photographing themselves, laws against racketeers that apply to people not running a racket, laws against drug dealers that apply to people with a lot of cash, etc. etc. etc.

      • by zullnero (833754)
        With the numbers on the table, the only thing that 30 million could be effectively used for is ramping up police departments and the FBI for cracking down on large scale bootleg operations. Paranoia is one thing, but the numbers right there don't back that paranoia up. If the government were "getting serious" about illegal downloading, we're talking somewhere close to a billion to make a serious difference, along with massive regulations placed on ISPs and the major carriers where that cash would be used
        • With the numbers on the table, the only thing that 30 million could be effectively used for is ramping up police departments and the FBI for cracking down on large scale bootleg operations.

          Assume it is. How does Congress' budget change the summit at all? It's not a summit to discuss the money Congress earmarked, it's a summit to discuss piracy, so is probably only marginally related.

          Besides, Variety reported that representatives of Warner Music Group and the RIAA are there. If it's all about DVD copying, why is the music industry there? Protecting their tour video DVDs?

          Meddling with the Fourth isn't going to be something that can be done at a whim.

          And I don't expect anything a tenth as big as that directly out of this summit. I don't expect oak trees from acorns becaus

  • Who is representing the consumer's interests? Does any of these people have a grasp on topics such as "fair use" - you know, that thing that the DMCA wasn't supposed to hinder (DMCA sec 1201(C)(1)). Well, I guess some do, but they're the ones trying to destroy that concept.

    Reference: http://www.copyright.gov/title17/92chap12.html#1201 [copyright.gov]
  • Unfortunately... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rickb928 (945187) on Tuesday December 15, 2009 @06:10PM (#30450812) Homepage Journal

    " the sort of intellectual property criminals they are interested in are large-scale DVD bootleggers, not individual downloaders"

    The law won't discriminate. Neither will the lawyers.

    If they write it, someone will sue.

  • by westlake (615356) on Tuesday December 15, 2009 @06:16PM (#30450882)

    Hollywood once again demonstrates its close ties to Washington DC, regardless of who is in power

    Industries that generate significant export dollars are guaranteed a hearing in Washington.

    Bonus points for cultural exports.

    If you are a Brit, ask yourself what the return has been on Sherlock Holmes, The Beatles, James Bond, Harry Potter.

    Bonus points for clean industries. Bonus points for tech. Bonus points for skilled labor and labor-intensive industries.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Shakrai (717556)

      Industries that donate significant campaign dollars are guaranteed a hearing in Washington.

      Fixed that for you :)

      (Snarkiness aside I do get and agree with your main point)

    • by cpghost (719344)

      Industries that generate significant export dollars are guaranteed a hearing in Washington.

      True.

      Bonus points also for an industry that has the power to sway public opinion at home. MPAA and RIAA can easily make and destroy politicians.

      Bonus points for cultural exports.

      Not so many anymore. In the 70-ies and 80-ies, a LOT more US films and series were available in third world countries. Due to insane licensing costs nowadays, US cultural exports have dropped significantly there.

      Bonus points for clean in

  • Joe Biden? (Score:3, Funny)

    by NullProg (70833) on Tuesday December 15, 2009 @06:23PM (#30450968) Homepage Journal

    Vice President Joe Biden will be leading the summit to discuss organized cooperation between the federal government and the entertainment industry on all matters of piracy.

    You mean this Joe Biden: http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&source=hp&q=joe+biden+plagiarism&aq=0&oq=joe+biden+pl&aqi=g10 [google.com]

    Maybe someone will ask Joe the difference between bits in a track and the letters in a book.

    Enjoy,

  • Now we know (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 15, 2009 @06:25PM (#30450996)

    where to drop a bomb to rid us of all of the MPAA Assholes in one shot. It gets the RIAA as well. Sweet.

  • by RichMan (8097) on Tuesday December 15, 2009 @06:51PM (#30451308)

    CRIA is a huge violator. I suspect the RIAA is a similar violator. These organizations should be made to pay in full.

    http://www.zeropaid.com/news/87347/can-cria-recover-from-the-largest-copyright-infringment-case-in-canadian-history/

    ---
    Canadian Recording Industry Association (CRIA) was sued for $6 billion (not $60 billion as initially reported) for commercial copyright infringement. The case was only filed and already, it is seemingly beyond the point of damage control for CRIA. The question is, can CRIA recover from what may be the biggest blunder in its history?
    --

  • Copyright doesn't just grant ownership to the creator. It grants him the right to give copies to other people and still tell them what they're allowed to do with them. That is not some inherent right. It requires lots of laws and government infrastructure to make it work. Consequently, even the content creator should not really "own" what he creates. All of us that help pay for the infrastructure to make that work with our taxes deserve a piece of that ownership. That's what the public domain is all about.
  • !Piracy (Score:5, Informative)

    by AP31R0N (723649) on Tuesday December 15, 2009 @08:01PM (#30452124)

    For the 88th Time:

    Piracy is ship to ship armed robbery. Calling copyright infringement piracy makes light of murderous thugs, and makes infringement sound worse than it is. It doesn't even work as a metaphor. When we use their misnomer, they win. Then one of two things will happen. Either infringers will be demonized people sharing 1s and 0s or the word piracy will lose its gravity.

    Cue the "langwijiz morf, get/it" crowd.

    And yeah, get off my lawn, or whatever other dismissiveness you want to conjure. Disagree all you want, but try to do it without dismissing me as pedantic or a grammar nazi. Try some substance.

    Language matters; word choice matters. All actions start as thoughts, thoughts happen in words. By calling a government a regime, we can make overthrowing it more palatable. By calling a person a kike, nigger, rag head, witch etc, we can make them not human, so killing them won't be murder. Hacker was a positive term. The "man" (media, law, etc) has corrupted the word hacker to refer to criminals. It's like calling Nazis German over and over until the word German means Nazi. When we blur the distinction between words we lose expressiveness and have to invent awkward ways to regain specificity that we threw away out of laziness and ignorance. Yeah languages change over time, but there is evolution and there is devolution and corruption. Change is not inherently good.

    And stand up for yourselves.

    Last time you guys modded this "redundant", let's see if you do better this time!

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