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Media Industry Wants Mandated Spyware and More 373

Posted by timothy
from the give-'em-an-inch-they-take-a-file dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The joint comment filed by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) requests anti-infringement software on all home computers, pervasive copyright filtering, border searches, forced US intellectual property policies on foreign nations and a joint departmental agency to combat infringement during major releases." The MPAA would also like to have its rent paid a bit by Congress, with a ban on what seems to me like a useful tool (for those in as well as outside the film industry), the recently-discussed futures market for box-office receipts.
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Media Industry Wants Mandated Spyware and More

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 17, 2010 @09:35AM (#31881146)

    Indeed.

  • by Cheerio Boy (82178) * on Saturday April 17, 2010 @09:38AM (#31881170) Homepage Journal
    When are these bastards going to be prosecuted for racketeering?

    When are people going to finally be fed up with being treated like criminals for the sake of a greedy cartel of Suits that have no morals to speak of?

    When are people going to finally wise up and put these assholes in their place?

    Yeah...I know. I'm delusional because they hold almost all the cards and have the gooberment in their pockets.
  • Re:Ludicrous (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Shadow of Eternity (795165) on Saturday April 17, 2010 @09:40AM (#31881190)

    Simple, they bought it.

  • Eh, the typical (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Megaweapon (25185) on Saturday April 17, 2010 @09:40AM (#31881192) Homepage

    1. Propose something to Congress so wacked out it would never ever pass
    2. "Negotiate" it down to "semi-reasonable"
    3. Pass legislation, GOTO 1

    They won't get what they want this time, but something bad will still likely get whittled out from this.

  • by j0hnyquest (1571815) on Saturday April 17, 2010 @09:45AM (#31881226)

    Yeah...I know. I'm delusional because they hold almost all the cards and have the gooberment in their pockets.

    That's the sad part :( This makes me want to not pay for next album or movie just that much more...

  • by adosch (1397357) on Saturday April 17, 2010 @09:48AM (#31881240)

    Yet another lost cause for MPAA and RIAA with failing to provide a legit and legal way on their own to produce and distribute digital content to the masses, so now you're going to hit up the government like every other 'Big Corporation' or 'Big Industry' has to help some failed quest.

    Never once have I seen these two organizations do anything more than indictments, court battles and really lame 4 minute short films on why 'piracy of copyrighted material is bad'. Come up with a real solution. Software implementation will not even put a dent in this and it'll be worked around in 24 hours or less at best. More tax dollars at waste!

  • by mfnickster (182520) on Saturday April 17, 2010 @09:50AM (#31881256)

    RIAA, MPAA - why don't you just sell your product for a reasonable price so that more people will buy it? Make it easily downloadable and hassle-free (standard formats with no DRM).

    Wouldn't that be easier than the technical and legislative shenanigans you seem so enamored of??

  • What about Linux? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by javacowboy (222023) on Saturday April 17, 2010 @09:52AM (#31881276)

    Well, if this happens, people who never before even considered running Linux will start installing it en masse on their PCs or Macs. People who never before would have made the effort to learn how to install it will become quite proficient at doing so.

    I'm guessing nobody will bother writing such software for Linux. Even then, how do you ensure it's installed with every single distro? What are they going to do? Ban Linux? They'd have to either shut down or block every single site that offers a Linux ISO.

    One way or another, this isn't going to fly.

  • Re:Careful (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anarki2004 (1652007) on Saturday April 17, 2010 @09:53AM (#31881286) Homepage Journal
    Correct. Corporations aren't human. But somebody thought it would be a great idea to give them the same rights as individuals.
  • by Mr. Slippery (47854) <.tms. .at. .infamous.net.> on Saturday April 17, 2010 @09:56AM (#31881296) Homepage

    Of course, if they want spyware on every computer, then you can no longer have control of your computer. Software development will have to be heavily regulated.

    RMS saw it coming over a decade ago; go read his little parable The Right to Read [gnu.org] , if you don't know it already.

  • Re:Eh, the typical (Score:2, Insightful)

    by MasterPatricko (1414887) on Saturday April 17, 2010 @09:58AM (#31881312) Homepage
    Yup, they're just using the old tactic of pushing the comfort boundaries. This is what really worries me ... they'll "water this down" so that its "fair in comparison to the original proposal" after much debate, but in absolute terms it will still be ridiculous.
  • Re:WHAT? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by deniable (76198) on Saturday April 17, 2010 @09:59AM (#31881324)
    Just wait, they'll 'compromise' on a 'reasonable' solution that's probably better than they wanted in the first place.
  • by rtfa-troll (1340807) on Saturday April 17, 2010 @10:02AM (#31881356)
    There is method in their madness. They ask for the moon and then, whilst you are arguing about how outrageous that is, they slip 100 dollars out of your pocket. Even if you catch them, the police just shrug their shoulders "100 dollars sounds like a pretty good price for the moon sir; what are you complaining about? Now please move along and let's not have any funny business".

    Sometimes the position of the pirate party looks more and more sensible.

  • Exactly how? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by headkase (533448) on Saturday April 17, 2010 @10:02AM (#31881358)
    Exactly how is this proverbial scanning software supposed to tell the difference between an illegal file and a legitimate one? Based on file name? Based on hash? Easily defeated and ineffective. The only way to truly tell if a file is infringing is to have a Turing complete artificial intelligence to watch it, listen to it, read it, or play it. Nothing short will do. Since websites hosting questionable content are having such difficulty separating out the files when forced to we can only conclude that Turing quality AI is not available yet. So, although the design specs call for a magic wand none are available.
  • by Zumbs (1241138) on Saturday April 17, 2010 @10:07AM (#31881394) Homepage
    If it is illegal to have a home computer without the "anti-infringement" software, and such software does not exist for Linux, it will in practice become illegal to run Linux. A gray shade will be if the software will need to run, that is, will it be legal to dualboot with Windows/Mac (with the software) and Linux (without the software)? Either way, the requested law is a draconian invasion of privacy, as well as a backdoor into your system for anyone from malicious hackers, spies or blackmailers to use.
  • Don't stop there. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by khasim (1285) <brandioch.conner@gmail.com> on Saturday April 17, 2010 @10:08AM (#31881400)

    This makes me want to not pay for next album or movie just that much more...

    Instead of just not paying for it, don't watch it at all. Or don't listen to it.

    If you don't like their tactics, do not provide them with an avenue to distribute their products.

  • Re:Eh, the typical (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 17, 2010 @10:11AM (#31881414)

    Hey, maybe those Tea party people could help. Couldn't you frame this as one more branch of the evil Obama administration's efforts to take our rights away? ...

    Psshshshthahahahahahaha...heh... ...

    *cry*

  • Re:Ludicrous (Score:3, Insightful)

    by sznupi (719324) on Saturday April 17, 2010 @10:12AM (#31881422) Homepage

    They want to be free doing what they want, operating from "land of opportunity"?

  • This is hilarious (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 17, 2010 @10:15AM (#31881436)

    Seriously, this is all to be done in the name of protecting movies? Not nuclear secrets or D-Day invasion plans, but movies? I don't want whatever it is they've been smoking, as it's clearly too powerful and causes grandiose impairment of one's general reasoning abilities.

    Puh-lease. They're acting like guarding the earning potential of Waterworld should rank right up there with National Security secrets.

  • Not only NO (Score:3, Insightful)

    by shadowbearer (554144) on Saturday April 17, 2010 @10:16AM (#31881442) Homepage Journal

      But FUCK NO.

      Who the hell do they think they are? Arrogant bastards.

      You know what we need in this country? A presidential administration with the balls to dissolve the RIAA and MPAA and put their executives in prison, where they rightly belong. Any corporate executive who would sign off on an idiot statement like this badly needs a reality check.

    SB

     

  • Re:Ludicrous (Score:5, Insightful)

    by boarder8925 (714555) <thegreentrilby@NoSPAM.gmail.com> on Saturday April 17, 2010 @10:24AM (#31881502) Homepage
    It's the American way to pay shittons of cash for the laws you want.
  • by shadowbearer (554144) on Saturday April 17, 2010 @10:25AM (#31881514) Homepage Journal

      Because charging *less* would cut into their hooker and blow money. Duh.

    SB

  • by ScrewMaster (602015) on Saturday April 17, 2010 @10:33AM (#31881568)

    Really? It's entertainment. Go find something that's actually important to get your panties in a wad over.

    Damn, people, are we all that spoiled and unaware of the world around us?

    The problem is, it's not just entertainment. Or are you going to claim that the DMCA and the Sonny Bono Copyright Extension Act (among others) only affect entertainment??? The ramifications to this are far-reaching and very dangerous, if for no other reason than that they set a very bad precedent for other industries to follow. I'm very disappointed in my own country for even entertaining these ideas: they're morally and ethically defective and should be discarded out of hand.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 17, 2010 @10:33AM (#31881570)

    I think the more scary thing is that most people just wouldn't care and wouldn't educate themselves enough to know what was in the MS monthly push.

    "I'm not doing anything wrong, I have nothing to fear".

  • by mfnickster (182520) on Saturday April 17, 2010 @10:41AM (#31881614)

    > What price beats free?

    People will buy something if they get a perceived value, and the convenience saves them the trouble of going out and finding it. Witness iTunes Music Store.

    If they feel they're being ripped off, they'll go out of their way to pirate it.

  • by uffe_nordholm (1187961) on Saturday April 17, 2010 @10:50AM (#31881670)
    In your position I would pirate everything, and send a couple of bucks straight to the artist I like. And for the artists, it might very well mean _more_ money, since they only get peanuts per sold CD anyway... For the record companies, though, it will mean _less_ money. I am not sure that is a bad thing though ;-)
  • by bhtooefr (649901) <bhtooefr@b[ ]oefr.org ['hto' in gap]> on Saturday April 17, 2010 @11:11AM (#31881782) Homepage Journal

    Well, considering IP is the only product that the US can actually export any more... arguably, Waterworld's earning potential IS of utmost importance to national security, otherwise, China utterly pwns us.

  • by Aldenissin (976329) on Saturday April 17, 2010 @11:13AM (#31881796)

    There was a guy in another article who stated that he believes that piracy is as much of an enemy to open source as it is to proprietary software companies. His theory was that Adobe for example turns a blind eye to college kids pirating Photoshop so they will be hooked and pay for it later when they work for or start their own business. Also, Microsoft would rather you pirate Windows and keep the mind-share as he called it instead of downloading Linux. I agree, and hope this idea backfires, similarly to Apple backtracking on the political cartoonist and Opera browser.

    Imagine, everyone (average Joes) starts to see just how invasive these snobs are and say, NO we don't want your spyware watching me (I like porn, or whatever, I just want a little privacy and not to wonder if my webcam is on while I get dressed), I don't want to be searched at the border for a DVD that (I feel) looks clearly legit. I want to be able to freely trade and invest in movie futures and just because you don't like it, tough titty. I do it with everything else that involves money. One day, perhaps they will cross that line. All it takes is the media seeing green and watching everyone else make money and they will fall like dominoes not wanting to miss the story.

  • Re:Eh, the typical (Score:3, Insightful)

    by shentino (1139071) on Saturday April 17, 2010 @11:21AM (#31881832)

    Not to mention Microsoft would be tickled pink.

    I would not be surprised if such a spyware program didn't have linux or osx versions.

  • Re:Not very soon. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Cheerio Boy (82178) * on Saturday April 17, 2010 @11:25AM (#31881852) Homepage Journal

    Let me answer your questions:

    1. It is not called racketeering it is called capitalism. The same things are happening in other places as well.

    2. As long as people are frightened by terrorists, various diseases, house prices, jobs and each other, they will not have enough time or capacity to do that. Even more the TV is keeping their brains off. So they will not rise until we run out of oil.

    3. When the oil runs out (same as 2)

    I agree with number 2 and 3 but not number 1.

    When what a corporation does would be called criminal under laws not within their control then they are criminals in everything but name. Sorry but calling it capitalism when the corporations are running the government just doesn't cut it with me.

    As far as I'm concerned real capitalist make money within the system NOT change the system so they can keep making money.

  • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Saturday April 17, 2010 @11:39AM (#31881918) Journal

    As Jeff Raikes (Microsoft buisness group president) said on the subject of piracy:

    If you're going to be a software counterfeiter, then please copy and illegally use Microsoft products.

    It's not just open source that suffers, it's smaller competitors. In the '90s, MS Office was probably the best office suite around, but there were lots of ones that were good enough for most people and cost a tenth of the amount. Given the choice between MS Office for $200 and SmallCo Office for $20, it was a trivial decision; MS Office was not worth $200 to a typical home user, or even a lot of small businesses. If you're pirating though, it's a choice between MS Office for $0 and SmallCo Office for $0. You pick MS Office, because it has more features.

    The product that you're pirating comes from MS, but the company that lost a sale is SmallCo. This seems to be something that the RIAA and friends miss when they equate one download to one lost sale. Even if the person would have bought if they couldn't pirate, they often would not have bought the same thing that they downloaded.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 17, 2010 @11:49AM (#31881998)

    There won't be any spyware on my machine. The bastards can spy from my internet gateway, but that's as close as they get, unless they come in with a warrant.

    Not having spyware will be considered probable cause, allowing them to get a warrant.

  • by JohnBailey (1092697) on Saturday April 17, 2010 @11:52AM (#31882022)

    What price beats free?

    Fair.

  • by mpe (36238) on Saturday April 17, 2010 @11:55AM (#31882044)
    I "want" constant IRS scrutiny of all their books.

    Especially given that these industries use all sorts of dodgy accounting to avoid paying people such as screenwriters. Thus, any of their claims for losses due to "piracy" should be taken with a large pinch of sylvite.
  • by cpghost (719344) on Saturday April 17, 2010 @11:56AM (#31882052) Homepage

    Thank God (and Torvalds) for Linux. There won't be any spyware on my machine.

    Only if you're not installing binary blobs, i.e. drivers (*cough* nVidia *cough*) in the kernel and closed source programs (*cough* Flashplayer *cough*). And who knows what's lurking inside your closed-source BIOS (both on the motherboard and in network adapters)? I'm not saying that those binary blogs contain spyware, but I have no way (short of reverse-engineering them) to be sure they don't... and never will on subsequent updates.

  • by Pascal Sartoretti (454385) on Saturday April 17, 2010 @11:59AM (#31882078)
    I am always surprised that people associate the MPAA and RIAA together. To me, there are huge differences between them.

    RIAA - Music
    • Music is a natural human activity.
    • Music existed many centuries before the RIAA, which may one day be seen as a small blip in the history of music.
    • Technology has become so cheap that great records can be made at very small costs.
    • Music belongs to the artist who wrote or played it.

      MPAA - Movies
    • A movie is always the work of tens, hundreds or thousands of people.
    • Even a low budget movie costs millions.
    • A movie is nearly always the product of an industry (save for a few documentaries).
    • Movies could not exist without the movie industry, which is nearly as old as movies themselves.
    • A movie belongs to those who financed it.

      I don't want to excuse all of what the MPAA is doing, but I understand that an industry defends itself against its ennemies. For the RIAA, however, "racket" is the only word that comes to my mind.
  • by suomynonAyletamitlU (1618513) on Saturday April 17, 2010 @12:06PM (#31882122)

    Or we could just leave any nation stupid enough to pass laws like that.

    It's not like those countries need us for taxes or anything, right? I mean, they have all those rich people. Rich people have to pay the greatest share of the taxes anyway, right? Right? Because that's the only sane way to do it. So all the decent human beings who are tired of being treated like they are somehow lower class leaving shouldn't have any effect at all. And since those rich people have so much money, I'm sure they can just pay people in other nations to do all the work anyway without those workers living under the stupid laws they don't accept but never had agency to change.

    Seriously, now.

    I've said this before. RIAA == ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY. E-N-T-E-R-T-A-I-N. You do not have the authority as an entertainment organization to fuck up millions of peoples lives. The government is tasked with law enforcement, military defense, et al, and they STILL don't have the authority to be tyrannical dickheads. They try, lord do they try sometimes, and hell, sometimes they manage, but they do not have the authority.

    xxAA should not be thinking they've found a loophole in that system. If they are thinking they have a loophole, they should be shot, along with anyone in the government who is enabling them to do so.

  • by Surt (22457) on Saturday April 17, 2010 @12:08PM (#31882134) Homepage Journal

    I should roll over for private surveillance of my computer because its entertainment?

  • Re:Careful (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Surt (22457) on Saturday April 17, 2010 @12:13PM (#31882170) Homepage Journal

    And if there were a corporate death penalty, all the issues that came with individuality would be resolved.

  • by NotBornYesterday (1093817) on Saturday April 17, 2010 @12:53PM (#31882384) Journal
    The fortunate truth is that different people have different tastes, and so what sucks to you might be considered a rock anthem by the next person. It's called diversity, and we might see more of it if the **AA didn't effectively dictate our choices to most of us.
  • by Nyder (754090) on Saturday April 17, 2010 @01:14PM (#31882470) Journal

    As Jeff Raikes (Microsoft buisness group president) said on the subject of piracy:

    If you're going to be a software counterfeiter, then please copy and illegally use Microsoft products.

    It's not just open source that suffers, it's smaller competitors. In the '90s, MS Office was probably the best office suite around, but there were lots of ones that were good enough for most people and cost a tenth of the amount. Given the choice between MS Office for $200 and SmallCo Office for $20, it was a trivial decision; MS Office was not worth $200 to a typical home user, or even a lot of small businesses. If you're pirating though, it's a choice between MS Office for $0 and SmallCo Office for $0. You pick MS Office, because it has more features.

    The product that you're pirating comes from MS, but the company that lost a sale is SmallCo. This seems to be something that the RIAA and friends miss when they equate one download to one lost sale. Even if the person would have bought if they couldn't pirate, they often would not have bought the same thing that they downloaded.

    What does that happen to do with music?

    When I want to listen to some good rock, like Led Zepplin, I get Led Zepplin. I don't go and buy Ratt because it might be cheaper and have less good songs.

    When your talking software, yes, you got choices, but music? No.

    If you like The Legendary Pink Dots, your not going to be happy getting Tiny Tim Cd's instead.

    Well, you might be, but I know I won't be.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 17, 2010 @01:25PM (#31882508)

    I understand that an industry defends itself against its ennemies.

    Fine, but industries are not supposed to defend themselves by influencing legislation. Legislation is supposed to be for the good of the people, and industries are supposed to prove themselves useful within that framework in order to survive.

  • by pspahn (1175617) on Saturday April 17, 2010 @02:59PM (#31882982)
    I used to have an emusic.com subscription. They were DRM free before it was cool, and had a catalog consisting of mostly independent labels. The songs cost a fraction of what you would have found on iTunes at the time, and you didn't have to worry about what computers or devices you could put them on.

    Clearly, I wanted to pay for a good service, and I did. As a result I found dozens and dozens of artists I would have never found otherwise because they are small-time. I could have spent more money on artists signed to big labels and been sold a restrictive product, but I spent less for more instead.

    Had I pirated, I would have probably just found the same crappy recycled stuff that everyone else thought I should listen to. The software analogy shared by TheRaven holds true.
  • by w0mprat (1317953) on Saturday April 17, 2010 @05:17PM (#31883718)
    You can bet that there will be a clause that running the software isn't a get out of jail free card. Running a cracked version will also be made a crime.

    This kind thing has never been shown to work. The choices they have with this:

    1. It won't perform very well. False positives, false negatives and generally slowing down your machine
    2. It'll cost an enormous ammount of money that the taxpayer will pick up part of.
    3. It'll be easily cicumvented,as you described, with the inevitable cracked version.

    Pick two... at best
  • by lgw (121541) on Saturday April 17, 2010 @08:16PM (#31884492) Journal

    TPM is the correct term. The TPM is what "trusted" computing is built on. And it's not a bad thing: like any tool, it's moral value lies in how it's used. For the TPM, whoever owns the keys owns the computer. If you have the keys, all is good; if the vendor does you're just sort of leasing the right to use the computer in approved ways. Which, again, is fine if you know that's what you're getting and you like it (e.g., XBox360).

  • by Runaway1956 (1322357) on Saturday April 17, 2010 @08:34PM (#31884562) Homepage Journal

    Obviously, you have no comprehension of "fair use". Of course RIAA doesn't force anyone to purchase and/or to pirate entertainment. But, they are actively seeking to extend copyright law far beyond anything that is reasonable.

    Much of the music being downloaded today is properly in the public domain. Much more is being downloaded to circumvent overly restrictive DRM.

    RIAA sucks, as do all the other **AA's that work to deny freedom and liberty.

  • by Mista2 (1093071) on Saturday April 17, 2010 @08:40PM (#31884580)

    And as much as you have thinking about it, Richard Stallmans way of life starts making sense. The thing I do like about stallman, is that unlike many ofther extremists, he doesnt push his ideals where they aren't wanted. If asked to speak on the topic he will, and at lenght, but he doesnt go around lobbying govertment to make sure all software development is open source and free, he just wants to make sure there is enough of it that you can create a "free" computer system if you want to.
    The hardest stuff to do as open source is the hardware, becasue this does cost a lot of money to develop and reproduce, but guess what, Linux juns just fine on my Mac too, and even when using OS X, based on Unix, most of the software I do use is opensource. I dont need iWork, or MS Office, Open Office does the job, Handbrake takes care of video file transcoding and ripping my own DVDs, VLC plays nearly everything, GCC and other compilers still work in Linux and OS X. Infact lots of opensource stuff works better in OS X than windows because of a smaller number of different systems that might be running it, not like with Windows, which might be XP, Vista, Win7, Server2003, 2007, etc. Most of the intel systems would have gone 10.5 altleast, and most PPC systems will be there as the last stop before 10.6. (also PPC based Macs make good linux systems too)

  • by WCLPeter (202497) on Sunday April 18, 2010 @02:39AM (#31885642) Homepage

    It's disgusting they can claim Star Wars never made a profit.

    Which is why someone needs to haul their ass before a court and bring them up on charges.

    According to the law, I can't seem to find the specific one right now, a corporation has the sole duty of legally providing increased profits for their shareholders. In fact, outside of illegal activities, they are legally obligated to maximize profits to exclusion of all other considerations. If Star Wars has never made a profit then it is a failed product. As they have continued to grossly mismanage the shareholder's investment by continuing to invest in a failed product over the past thrity some years, LucasFilm and 20th Century Fox are in violation of the law and they need to be taken to task for it.

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