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Entertainment Industry's Dystopia of the Future 394

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the truth-is-often-stranger dept.
renek writes "If you think the RIAA/MPAA's tactics have been outlandish, laughable, and disconcerting in the past, you haven't seen anything yet. From government-mandated spyware that deletes infringing content to border searches of media players, this reads like an Orwellian nightmare. Given the US government's willingness to bend over for Big Media it wouldn't be terribly surprising to see how far this goes and how under the radar it stays."
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Entertainment Industry's Dystopia of the Future

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  • It's simple. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Pojut (1027544) on Thursday April 15, 2010 @12:30PM (#31859276) Homepage

    You can't possibly protect content without directly affecting the people who play by the rules. Things like the Patriot Act suffer from the same problem.

    • Re:It's simple. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Gerzel (240421) <brollyferret@@@gmail...com> on Thursday April 15, 2010 @02:20PM (#31860854) Journal

      I dunno about you but www.eff.org just got another donation.

      Seriously if you don't like this kind of thing happening then:

      1. SPEAK OUT
          >Not only to those around you but to
        a. Your Congressmen and Senators - Letter writing, and phone calls are simple, fairly cheap and CAN make a difference but only if you do it.
        b. Signing Petitions - Online petitions are good ways of building support for causes you like and are quick and easy to do
        c. Talk to those around you. Let your views be known you might help someone else realize how important this is.

      2. Donate and Support good causes
          Unfortunately our legal system is a pay for service setup where lawyers cost money. You can send a few bucks to places like the EFF or ACLU to help support your rights online and off. Their websites are easy to find and often have good information on what else you can do to support civil liberties. If you are not a US citizen then the organizations may be different but the idea is the same.

      3. VOTE
          It is your right and it may be a drop in the bucket, but that bucket will never fill if you don't put it in. If you don't like either of the two-party candidates vote for a third party. Even if they don't win, a third party getting a higher percentage of the vote DOES help them and other parties in the next cycle.
          Voting is not just a right it is a duty. Yes YOU by living in a representative democracy have a duty to vote, and that doesn't mean just showing up at the polls on election day. You also have a duty to do what you can to RESEARCH and LEARN about the candidates and to THINK about who will be getting YOUR vote.

      Democracy is hard and demands the most of its citizens compared to any form of previously tried government. ALL citizens have to work in government because all citizens ARE PART of the government.

    • Re:It's simple. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by aaandre (526056) on Thursday April 15, 2010 @02:28PM (#31860998)

      This is not about protecting content. It is protecting content "owners" desire to perpetually sell the content by creating laws that support that desire at the expense of the general public.

      Human nature is one of sharing, remixing, co-creating. Standing on the shoulders of giants and all that.

      In business, like in war, the party with the least compassion wins.

      People who lobby for draconian IP laws are not creators, inventors, artists. They are the middlemen, trying to squeeze maximum profit and lock in their ownership of others' creations forever. Any politician that votes for such laws is by definition not serving the people, not doing their job, and deserves to be immediately removed from their position due to their being corrupted.

      Simple.

  • Bending over? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by gnarlyhotep (872433) on Thursday April 15, 2010 @12:31PM (#31859288)
    Sure, congress bends over when it comes to passing favorable copyright laws, but that's a long way from acting as enforcers of private property rights, which the *AAs seem to be indicating here. When it the feds have to pay their own money, you'll see far less bending over going on.
  • Disclosure (Score:5, Funny)

    by Heed00 (1473203) on Thursday April 15, 2010 @12:33PM (#31859304)

    Customs authorities should be encouraged to do more to educate the traveling public and entrants into the United States about these issues. In particular, points of entry into the United States are underused venues for educating the public about the threat to our economy (and to public safety) posed by counterfeit and pirate products.
    Customs forms should be amended to require the disclosure of pirate or counterfeit items being brought into the United States.

    [x] One eye patch.
    [x] One peg leg.

  • Sooner or later when things get ridiculous the market with solve the problem. Sites like Jamendo already exist for freely sharing music. There is impulse for distributing games DRM free and is making a profit at it.

    These old dinosaurs have a lot of power but it will soon evaporate once the world has moved on without them. There is a long line of new businesses that do "get it" which can replace them.

    • by decipher_saint (72686) on Thursday April 15, 2010 @12:46PM (#31859506) Homepage

      Trouble is, cartels tend to work outside of the free market...

      • by melikamp (631205) on Thursday April 15, 2010 @01:40PM (#31860302) Homepage Journal

        Not only that, but there is another, and may be stronger force which distorts the market operation: advertising. The entertainment industry would be dead without it. And it is not that the advertisement pays the bills, no: it is what it does to our brains. The TV-watching public is not able to make rational choices in the marketplace. An individual can, through a concentrated effort which involves skipping commercials and/or boycotting the advertised brands, but on average, enough people are brainwashed into buying shit they do not necessarily need. Entertainment is not food. You cannot get free quality food on a regular basis, but the entertainment you can. The fun factor is completely subjective and is determined, in most heads, by ads. You could rent DVDs twice a week ($10/week), or you could play with you cat ($0). You could buy an album per week from an online store ($10/week) or you could play your own guitar ($0) or a bassoon ($0). Or you can record your music and post it on your website ($5/month), or walk in the park with your dog and try to pick up chicks ($0), you get the idea.

        Ladies and gents, let's do it, let's educate the public. Tell your friends how to block ads: this is the first, and pretty much the last step, the nail in the coffin of the commercial pop art industry. Stop wondering why bad movies sell so well, I'll tell you the secret: the movies may be bad, but the ad campaigns are real works of art. So educate your friends, lovers, people on the street, and even enemies, on how to

        1. Use a secure OS that answers to no one but you: Gnu/Linux.
        2. Use a secure Web browser that respects your privacy: Firefox.
        3. Use AdBlock and NoScript.
        4. Use BitTorrent: given GNU/Linux, it is nothing but Transmission. A person may be unwilling to give up Survivor, so show them, at least, how to get an ad-free version.
        5. Use vanilla XMPP for instant chat, own website for social networking. You are a geek: get them to shell out $5/month for a simple Web host and put some PHP gizmo on it with a blog and a picture gallery. If the force is strong with you, get them a wall-wart.
        6. Last but not the least: tell them about the main difference between the free and the proprietary software. Sans the bugs, the free software does what it says it does, whereas proprietary software... Well, that's the thing, no one knows what it does. Tell them that their cell phone is reporting their location to the police right now, because we know it does; that Windows and OS X and their Web browsers report what you do with your files and which Web sites you go to, because they probably do. I personally believe they do, why the hell would they not? Even if this shit leaks, they will recover, because, after all, they don't sell on merits (they have very little in that department), they sell because a talking dog on TV told people to buy them.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by toastar (573882)

        Trouble is, cartels tend to work outside of the free market...

        I would argue that the black market is more free then the free market.

    • by brit74 (831798)
      Isn't Impulse made by the same company (Stardock) who's putting together "Goo" - which is a DRM system? http://www.joystiq.com/2009/03/26/stardock-introduces-flexible-drm-solution-goo/ [joystiq.com] While Stardock has generally gone without DRM for their past games, I don't think Impulse is necessarily a DRM-free system. It's probably more of a "here's a DRM system called 'goo' that's available for everyone who wants to use Impulse" kind of a system. My guess is that "Goo" is a low-level DRM system, not a "you must b
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Andorin (1624303)

      These old dinosaurs have a lot of power but it will soon evaporate once the world has moved on without them.

      And if they successfully legislate their survival?

    • by Troggie87 (1579051) on Thursday April 15, 2010 @12:56PM (#31859676)

      This probably isn't true. The point of the article is that the entertainment industry is trying to push obscene measures to stop "piracy." While in a normal market situation people would just stop supporting these companies and go to a competitor, such a scenario is unlikely to play out since there are no real competitors besides companies that will probably be squelched as illegal.

      Think of it this way: would the automobile ever have taken off if the buggy industry owned and legally controlled all materials and technology related to the making of wheels? Sure the buggy makers could adopt the new automotive technology, and it would be better for the consumer if they did, but there is no immediate incentive for them to do so.

      The music industry as a whole controls the vast majority of music, and are pushing laws to crush emerging technologies that might obsolete their main revenue source. There is no reason for them to switch and take advantage of these new technologies, because they don't have to. The average consumer of entertainment just doesn't have the self control to stop listening to songs or watching films for an unknown amount of time just to put pressure on the industry, and groups like the RIAA know this. Thus, they have every incentive to try and legislate the problem away, as the market has no way to correct. Only if their grip on copyright is loosened, or some form of piracy allowed to flourish, is there any pressure to adapt to changing realities in the world.

      • by LingNoi (1066278)

        and are pushing laws to crush emerging technologies that might obsolete their main revenue source.

        Maybe I missed it in the article but how so in the context of a competitor that doesn't infringe on their copyright? They're trying to impose harsh restrictions on their copyright but how does it effect consumers of competitors such as Jamendo?

        They can really only push so far before people get fed up and just go elsewhere even if there isn't as much content available. When that happens they won't be able to do

    • by Weezul (52464)

      Umm. Are you an American? They've been almost winning every legislative battle inside the U.S. If the world moves on, but American legislators block it, then the world will be moving on without America. I've watched many American TV shows on Chinese video sharing sites, usually via surfthechannel, which bods ill for America's future.

      Americans who "get it" really must support the pirate parties in Europe. Europe has some real chance for finding a western model for relaxation of intellectual property, on

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by John Hasler (414242)

        > Americans who "get it" really must support the pirate parties in Europe.
        > Europe has some real chance for finding a western model for relaxation of
        > intellectual property, one the U.S. could adopt later, and then catch back
        > up.

        ROFL. It isn't the US Congress that is happily enacting "three strikes" laws.

    • by Jaysyn (203771)

      Free Market this, free market that. Two things. One, there is no such thing as a free market. Two, the last thing the "free market" solved was Soviet Russia.

  • by decipher_saint (72686) on Thursday April 15, 2010 @12:39PM (#31859406) Homepage

    "The more you tighten your grip, the more control will slip through your fingers"

    If they treat consumers as enemies they will become enemies.

    • by Lead Butthead (321013) on Thursday April 15, 2010 @01:31PM (#31860152) Journal

      If they treat consumers as enemies they will become enemies.

      You think as if they are NOT already treating customers as enemies.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Those were my thoughts exactly.

      How many young people do you know these days that download stuff willy nilly without a second thought? How many young folk do you know that, when they can't convince Mom or Dad to buy them the next CD, find a way to get it off the internet or from a friend for free? How many college dorms exist were kids swap huge external hard drives full of content they will never listen to just because they can? How many of those folk stop and think, "What I am doing is so wrong. Maybe I
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        Well, it might be doom for the entirety of the arts if the 'iGeneration" as you deem them, doesn't stop treating art as disposable. It's not so much the 13 year old's insatiable desire to get the Jonas Brothers CD any way she can, it's the fact that music itself is becoming less and less important, so less value is placed on it. Music is now something you listen to while studying, something you put on in the car or at a party, not something to be enjoyed for its own sake. The advent of portable music device
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Americano (920576)
          You could have just said:

          "I'm old, and I predict the imminent demise of western civilization because these newfangled gadgets the kids love so much are different than what I grew up with. And get off my lawn!"

          It would have been faster. I bet if we went back and looked at the hypothetical iPod playlist of a 13-year-old You, it would be as embarrassingly banal as the playlists of today's crop of 13 year olds. Nostalgia is powerful, but tends to blind us to the fact that things really aren't "worse" t
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            Now now, don't attack the man, he raised an interesting point:

            it's the fact that music itself is becoming less and less important, so less value is placed on it. Music is now something you listen to while studying, something you put on in the car or at a party, not something to be enjoyed for its own sake. The advent of portable music devices insure that it's everywhere all the time, utterly trivial to get, and not something you'd feel attachment to. We value what we have to work to get, and getting music nowadays is not work at all.

            I hadn't ever thought about that before, the fact that many folk take music as a given since it permeates everywhere these days. I mean, it seems pretty obvious, but it is a decently insightful observation with regards to the values our culture has. The reason we don't value music enough to pay as much as we used to, these days, may very well be because we can see, hear, and access music everywhere. That doesn't just involve iPods and such, but

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by Americano (920576)

              Now now, don't attack the man, he raised an interesting point:

              It was more a joke than an attack. As an "oldish" guy myself, I know how tempting it can be to view every new gadget as the herald of the end of civilization as we know it. :)

              The reason we don't value music enough to pay as much as we used to, these days, may very well be because we can see, hear, and access music everywhere.

              "Valuing" music in the sense of art appreciation is not necessarily tied to the amount of money you pay for it. Recor

  • haggling (Score:3, Insightful)

    by rainmouse (1784278) on Thursday April 15, 2010 @12:40PM (#31859424)
    Surely this is more a case of haggling. Ask for an infeasible price knowing you then have more scope to haggle down to a still unfair price.
    • by Sir_Lewk (967686)

      From TFA:

      Of course, these comments are just an entertainment industry wishlist, an exercise in asking for the moon. But they reveal a great deal about the entertainment industry's vision of the 21st century: less privacy (with citizens actively participating in their own surveillance), a less-neutral Internet, and federal agents acting as paid muscle to protect profits of summer blockbusters.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by hitmark (640295)

      politics, where one get one batshit person in suit to make a outrageous claim so that a very similar claim from different suit seems mundane...

    • Re:haggling (Score:4, Insightful)

      by jimicus (737525) on Thursday April 15, 2010 @01:19PM (#31859958)

      Of course it is. And remember we're only seeing what EFF want us to see - they're hardly going to present the most unbiased view.

      Thing is, money talks. It certainly talks to the US government, and also to my own (UK) government. Those who are going all out pro-piracy are easily labelled as insane (which is remarkably easy - much of the western world doesn't produce any sort of property but intellectual, it doesn't take a debating genius to put forward an argument that some sort of protection is absolutely necessary for the continued wellbeing of the economy - frankly, the previous system of patronage doesn't scale so well. It's easy to overlook the fact that a cleverly built website could probably fix that by allowing lots of small donations to be wrapped up into one big lump, because nobody's done that yet. Closest thing is probably Magnatunes).

      This leaves the moderates. Those who produce and/or enjoy music, don't see a problem with artists getting paid per se but do see a problem with the current system. Problem is, AFAICT the moderates aren't proposing workable solutions, they're simply complaining that every suggestion that's brought up is worse than the current system. Which is true, but right now you've got people on all sides saying "We need to do something. Hey, Government, do something!" and the only "something" that's being presented to do is presented by the entertainment industry. So the Government reaction is likely to be "We need to do something. This is something. Let's do it."

      • Re:haggling (Score:4, Insightful)

        by mcgrew (92797) * on Thursday April 15, 2010 @03:55PM (#31862352) Homepage Journal

        This leaves the moderates. Those who produce and/or enjoy music, don't see a problem with artists getting paid per se but do see a problem with the current system.

        The MAFIAA are at one extreme, those who wish to abolish copyright completely are the other extreme, and the Pirate Party members are the moderates; they simply want reasonable laws.

  • by dkleinsc (563838) on Thursday April 15, 2010 @12:42PM (#31859448) Homepage

    The Right to Read [gnu.org] was written 13 years ago, and is still remarkably prescient.

    • I just read this for the first time. AMAZING.

      Sadly, too many people don't care, are too ignorant, worrying about the next reality show, and when to buy the next bag of Doritos(TM).

  • by sznupi (719324) on Thursday April 15, 2010 @12:46PM (#31859496) Homepage

    Border searches of data storage - sure (a small addition of one stated purpose required)

    Spyware that deletes infringing content - game DRM is very close; if it "thinks" something's wrong, it nukes your ability to use the content.

    Managing to stay mostly under the radar just fine...

  • by Andorin (1624303) on Thursday April 15, 2010 @12:47PM (#31859512)
    A few times in copyright threads, while alluding to the insanity of the media corporations, I have testified that one of my big paranoid fears is legislation that requires content filtering software on all computers and related devices. Fine and dandy for Windows and Mac, but implementing that for all the Linux distros would be ridiculously hard. The solution? Outlaw Linux. "It's just a hacker's tool anyway."

    *shakes head*
  • Would a security inspector even know what an LTO or 3592 tape cartridge looks like? I can fit a lot of music/movies on a tape. Come to think about it, most people on this earth or /. don't know what a LTO or a 3592 tape cartridge looks like. I don't even need to use the native encryption built into LTO-4 or the TS1130 drives.

    Just hope they don't put me into a little room until they locate something to access the tape..

    • by plsander (30907)

      Ahh.. big iron

      So much stuff that would be useful at home here in the data center. At least in the winter, when excess heat is a good thing.

    • by robot256 (1635039)
      Couldn't they just add a customs fee per item, based on the type of media? Then they would make it really expensive to transport obsolete media like that--or even ban it outright.
  • by Bearhouse (1034238) on Thursday April 15, 2010 @12:51PM (#31859594)

    Just a sample:

    There are several technologies and methods that can be used by network administrators and providers...these include [consumer] tools for managing copyright infringement from the home (based on tools used to protect consumers from viruses and malware).

    In other words, the entertainment industry thinks consumers should voluntarily install software that constantly scans our computers and identifies (and perhaps deletes) files found to be "infringing." It's hard to believe the industry thinks savvy [sic], security-conscious consumers would voluntarily do so. But those who remember the Sony BMG rootkit debacle know that the entertainment industry is all too willing to sacrifice consumers at the altar of copyright enforcement.
    Pervasive copyright filtering

    Network administrators and providers should be encouraged to implement those solutions that are available and reasonable to address infringement on their networks.

    Right. I have a hard enough time getting my customers to realise the danger of installing pirated software; now I'll have to tell them that they should try and implement stuff that will detected 'illegal' MP3s and AVIs.
    Oh, and in order to do so will necessitate rootkitting all their boxen and opening the corporate firewall?
    Yeah, that'll work...

  • bending (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Jodka (520060) on Thursday April 15, 2010 @12:51PM (#31859600)

    Given the US government's willingness to bend over for Big Media...

    Wrong metaphor; It is not the government who is getting screwed here. On the contrary, congressmen are collect big checks from media corporations for selling off our rights. I think you mean.

    Given the US government's willingness to force citizens to bend over for Big Media

  • by Wolvenhaven (1521217) on Thursday April 15, 2010 @12:55PM (#31859646) Homepage
    I met a devil media, they took my music away
    They said I had it comin' to me, but I wanted it that way
    I think that any music is good music
    And so I took what I could get, mmm
    Oooh, oooh, they looked at me with big brown eyes
    And said

    You ain't seen nothin' yet
    B-B-B-Baby, you just ain't seen nothin' yet
    Here's something that you never gonna forget
    B-B-B-Baby, you just ain't seen nothin' yet

    And now I'm feelin' better, 'cause I found out for sure
    They took me to their lawyer and he told me of a cure
    He said that only their music is good music
    So I took what I could get, yes, I took what I could get
    Oooh, and they looked at me with big brown eyes
    And said

    You ain't seen nothin' yet
    B-B-B-Baby, you just ain't seen nothin' yet
    Here's something, here's something that you're never gonna forget
    B-B-B-Baby, you just ain't seen nothin' yet
    You need educated

    Any music is good music
    So I took what I could get, yes, I took what I could get
    And then, and then, and then they looked at me with big brown eyes
    And said

    You ain't seen nothin' yet
    Baby, you just ain't seen nothin' yet
    Here's something, here's something,
    here's something, mama, you're never gonna forget
    B-B-B-Baby, you just ain't seen nu-nu-nu-nothin' yet
    You ain't been around

    You ain't seen nothin' yet
    I know I ain't seen nothin' yet
    I know I ain't seen nothin' yet
    Baby, Baby, Baby
    You ain't seen nothin' yet
  • by SoTerrified (660807) on Thursday April 15, 2010 @12:56PM (#31859672)

    Look, the reality is that the U.S. economy currently depends almost exclusively on culturally created content/entertainment. Nothing gets made in the U.S. and exported anymore BUT movies, music, etc. So it's not a surprise that it's becoming more and more draconian in trying to defend those assets.

    It's like if one country controlled all the oil. They'd jack up prices, but they'd also do everything they could to stifle the creation of oil alternatives. They'd start to insist changes in engine designs that used their oil, or else they wouldn't sell you the oil. They'd limit anyone trying to purchase the oil then refine it on their own, because they'd want to do all the refining themselves.

    Every indicator I see says that this is going to get much worse in the future.

    • by PPH (736903) on Thursday April 15, 2010 @01:30PM (#31860134)

      Look, the reality is that the U.S. economy currently depends almost exclusively on culturally created content/entertainment.

      So our society will collapse if people stop buying the latest Lady Gaga album?

      Nothing gets made in the U.S. and exported anymore BUT movies, music, etc. So it's not a surprise that it's becoming more and more draconian in trying to defend those assets.

      Except that all the defenses are aimed at stopping stuff from coming in, not going out. Nobody checks laptops, cameras, thumb drives, etc. that could be leaving the country with the latest music videos, jet fighter blueprints, photos of the White House and other target candidates.

      Its all about maintaining a monopoly for distribution within this country. Companies see no need to cut prices or improve products so long as they have a block of suckers (us) that have to buy their products at huge markups.

    • This is a tired myth (Score:4, Informative)

      by istartedi (132515) on Thursday April 15, 2010 @01:44PM (#31860374) Journal

      "Nothing gets made in the U.S. and exported anymore BUT movies, music, etc." [citation needed]

      Try this [wikipedia.org] for starters.

      Please note, I'm not picking on you in particular. You, like a lot of intelligent people, have come down with a nasty case of memes wrt to the composition of output in the US economy.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by nine-times (778537)

        Thank you. I think the problem is that it's a meme that the RIAA, MPAA, etc. are pushing. Their lobbyists go to congress and claim that if they don't get bailed out and propped up, then no music or movies or art of any kind will be created anymore and the entire economy will implode.

        • Thanks to all (Score:3, Interesting)

          by istartedi (132515)

          Blanket reply here at the end of the thread, because I don't feel like hanging around for the "slow down cowboy" thing.

          Thanks for pointing out that the data were stale, and for providing data that were less stale.

          As for how the meme got started, I actually think the *AAs are late comers. We did see a shift from the rust belt to the non-union South in auto manufacturing. Unions probably preferred to blame international competition, as opposed to interstate competition.

          Among geekdom, the phrase "music mov

  • I'm sorry, but as I read the RIAA/MPAA text I thought I was reading Cory Doctorow's "I, Robot" [craphound.com] again, specifically the scene where the Social Harmony (sort of like 1984's thought police, redone for the 21st century) representative explains why a government-run monopoly on technology makes everything better. (For him.)

    “Now, the latest stats show a sharp rise in grey-market electronics importing and other tariff-breaking crimes, mostly occurring in open-air market stalls and from sidewalk blankets. I

  • The Economist [economist.com]

    A return to the 28-year copyrights of the Statute of Anne would be in many ways arbitrary, but not unreasonable. If there is a case for longer terms, they should be on a renewal basis, so that content is not locked up automatically. The value society places on creativity means that fair use needs to be expanded and inadvertent infringement should be minimally penalised.

  • While this suggestions shouldn't see the light of day, one of the problems I have with the EFF is that they never propose a way to deal with piracy. This is because they are piracy-friendly. Here's an example from their own article:

    EFF's words: Bully countries that have tech-friendly policies

    From the RIAA proposal: Targeting such companies and websites in the Special 301 report would put the countries involved on notice that dealing with such hotbeds of copyright theft will be an important topic of
  • doublefacepalm.jpg
    I don't know what the entertainment industry has been smoking, but it must be some powerful shit if they think crap like this is going to fly. Read my lips: Over my dead body.
  • Sounds like the submitter is concerned that people won't pay attention to this issue and/or take it seriously.

    Here's an idea: If you want to encourage people to pay attention, lay off the trite cliches about Orwell and just stick to a factual discussion of what's going on.

    You know who's really to blame for the health care bill passing? That would be the highly vocal conservatives yelling about "death panels" when they should've been sending a message people would listen to.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by jedidiah (1196)

      What's going on?

      We're moving towards media technologies that allow Amazon to snatch back your copy of 1984.

      It doesn't get much more "Orwellian" than that. There is no hyperbole here. That's the problem.

      Sugar coating the situation is hardly going to help anything.

  • by An dochasac (591582) on Thursday April 15, 2010 @01:16PM (#31859922)
    I already have a copyright on this idea:

    This device was designed to play musical notes of the ancient equal tempered scale. That scale has been illegal since 2066 when the copyright was awarded to the Orbcorp oligopoly. Any intellectual property using this scale was confiscated, uploaded to the Orb and safely locked away forever-- along with everything else.

    Don't you just hate it when you're not even finished with your great American dystopian Sci-Fi novel and it suddenly morphs into a friggin' documentary?

  • The new War on Drugs (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Hatta (162192) on Thursday April 15, 2010 @01:23PM (#31860020) Journal

    This is the new War on Drugs. Think of all the freedom we lost fighting the war on drugs. If you're within 100 miles of a border, you can be stopped and search for any reason without a warrant. It's a common occurrence to piss in a cup in front of a stranger as a condition of employment. Anyone carrying moderate to large amounts of cash can have it confiscated by the police, with no trial of any sort. And so on.

    But the war on drugs is old and busted, we need a new enemy. As the U.S. loses its economic dominance of the world, anything that threatens (whether in theory or fact) the cultural dominance we've had is going to be attacked vigorously. It will be a scorched earth policy. We can expect to lose as many, if not more of our right under this new War on Copyright Infringement. It's just ramping up now, but we'll be seeing people who speak out against the new laws branded as anti-American. Copyright infringement will become a jailable offense.

    Sure, it sounds preposterous now. But once upon a time jailing someone for Cannabis would have been preposterous. The American propaganda system is the best in the world. If they can sell a 70 year war on a substance that's factually safer than aspirin, if they can manipulate us into an optional war in Iraq for absolutely no reason at all, they'll have no problem turning copyright infringement into the next witch hunt.

  • by SmallFurryCreature (593017) on Thursday April 15, 2010 @01:32PM (#31860174) Journal

    When I was a child our house was heated by oil, a tank car came by every now and then and fueled up a tank in the back.

    That no longer happened. The guy who drove the tanker, has lost THAT job.

    Coal was used earlier, and a lot of people made their money mining the coal in Holland and shipping it to homeowners. The mines have closed. The miners are gone.

    In Amsterdam and many an old city you can still see evidence of horse stables in the center of the city. Evidence that once horses were the only method to power transport and the industry that made it happen.

    Gas lighters once went around, turning on each street light individually, a job typically given as a charitable cause for people who could not earn their money in another way.

    Countless jobs are gone as companies claimed that putting them in other countries was best for society, for the world, for the future.

    And now, it is the time of the artist to loose their job, to see their means of earning a living turned upside down.

    Does that matter? Is it worth halting progress to keep some people earning money the same way they are used to?

    We could have stopped the car from ever going faster and thereby saved the horse industry. But at what cost to our society?

    But art is different. Why? Great art has been created LONG before copyright was added (the current copyright is a recent invention and was fought tooth and nail by the record industry) and that art will remain.

    Will people stop performing Opera because the composer is no longer being paid... oh wait, the composer died centuries ago.

    Then perhaps people will stop making new art... except unpaid art is produced all the time. Go to flickr.com for just a tiny sample. Nobody there expects to be paid, yet they are producing art.

    Yes, some artists will perhaps die of starvation. Just as lost of coal miners lost their job and countless stable boys before them.

    THOUGH LUCK. The MPAA/RIAA/Brein/Bumastemra all love to claim that our society will collapse when no more "play for cash only" bands will exist. No more spice-girls, no more backstreet boys. The end of civilization as we know it. I could just cry.

    But does it matter? I am not going to argue that pirates buy more CD's because I am trying to make a far bigger point. If indeed the end of copyright means NO more music is produced. Will that matter? Or is it just another development of our society? Imagine a world without movies. Ain't that hard, movie tech is not all that old. One thing often miss about Star Trek is that it is a fictional world without money (ToS and TNG at least) but ALSO without art. Think about it, there are no paid for artists and content in the series itself. We watch on TV a TV-less world. They make their own content, for their own consumption and art is "merely" something that each does for the fun of it, not for profit.

    The RIAA and the likes hate such a future. They want us to believe that the artist who works for profit, a Michael Jackson or Madonna IS the ONLY part of our modern civilization that is worth anything. Everything else is secondary to them. The Spice girls are the 20th century, and everything else just plays second role to it. If content is not paid for, it does not exist, it is not worth it and if it is content it must be paid for.

    This goes to such extremes that copyright mafia's collect royalties for music for that isn't even subject to royalties. If I produce a piece of music and put it in the public domain and it is played on the radio (in Holland at least) then Bumastemra collects a fee for it. A fee I, the person who created the music can't collect, nor can anyone. They have a legal right to collect money for something they don't own and which they never have to pay out to anyone. It would be like giving Shell the right to collect a fee from anyone on the road, no matter if they drive a car or not.

    And the Internet, personal liberties, common sense, artisic license, law, they all got to bend or be broken s

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      To be fair to them, [MP/RI]AA's cries are true. It would be the end of civilization as They know it.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by dkleinsc (563838)

      Some other major reasons why "think of the artists" is pure BS:
      - Well, for starters, they're musicians creating music, or actors and directors and producers and everyone else making movies, not "artists" making "content". Calling it "content" immediately states that artistic endeavors are only worth something if they can be sold.

      - RIAA-signed musicians don't get squat for their work most of the time. Read just about any of the reports on it, including this one [salon.com].

      It's also worth remembering that it's easy to d

  • by blair1q (305137) on Thursday April 15, 2010 @01:55PM (#31860500) Journal

    You know what's entertaining?

    Watching people argue for rights they don't have against people enforcing rights they don't have.

  • by CohibaVancouver (864662) on Thursday April 15, 2010 @02:01PM (#31860570)
    I do think movies like Star Trek and The Dark Knight will become a thing of the past - As "free" digital distribution moves more mainstream, the revenue streams that fund these $100M 'blockbusters' will disappear. Ditto TV - As digital distribution and timeshifting ends the 15 minutes of commercials per hour program I think shows like Lost and Battlestar Galactica will fade away. There may be a last gasp where content providers try to get people to pay $2 for an episode of Glee, but once content is free no one will pay it. Not saying it's a bad thing - There will always be creative people and there will always be content to consume - I just think it will be more like "Clerks" on YouTube and less like "Casino Royale" or "Avatar" at the Multiplex.

When the weight of the paperwork equals the weight of the plane, the plane will fly. -- Donald Douglas

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