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Government Crime Piracy Privacy The Courts United States

RIAA-Backed Warrantless Search Bill In California 208

Posted by timothy
from the what's-a-few-amendments-among-friends dept.
lordvramir writes "If you run a CD or DVD duplication company and you're based in California, you may soon be subject to warrantless searches in order to 'fight piracy.' California Senate Bill 550, introduced by Sen. Alex Padilla (D-Pacoima), has slowly begun making its way through the state legislature as a way to cut down on counterfeit discs, but critics worry that it may open the door to Fourth Amendment violations." This fits in well with other recent moves to neuter the Fourth Amendment.
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RIAA-Backed Warrantless Search Bill In California

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  • by bit trollent (824666) on Thursday May 19, 2011 @02:10PM (#36182298) Homepage

    That's not the most controversial part of the bill, though. SB550 also has provisions that would allow law enforcement to begin inspecting disc replication plants without a warrant in order to verify that they're complying with the law. These inspections must take place during regular business hours, but if officers find equipment that they suspect is being used for non-legit purposes, it can be seized.

    I wonder how the summary somehow left out that these warrentless searches are of commercial disc replication plants.

    I would assume that all commercial buildings are subject to warrentless searches to enforce various safety and workplace laws...

    Anyway, I don't support any degradation of the 4th amendment, but I don't appreciate the deceptive manipulation of large numbers of people who can be counted on to not read the fucking article either.

  • by gstoddart (321705) on Thursday May 19, 2011 @02:14PM (#36182348) Homepage

    Once you reach the point where the police forces are there to enforce the rights and whims of corporations, you might as well accept the fact that you're no longer a democracy.

    A lot of these things used to be civil law, but now all of a sudden we're using tax-payer funded agencies to police on behalf of copyright holders.

    If people were astonished to realize that the FBI spends most of its cybercrime resources of child pornography ... wait until traditional police forces and government agencies are spending much of their time policing copyright.

    This will only get worse.

  • by langelgjm (860756) on Thursday May 19, 2011 @02:21PM (#36182470) Journal

    I would assume that all commercial buildings are subject to warrentless searches to enforce various safety and workplace laws...

    But that's just it - there are exceptions to warrantless searches on grounds such as public safety and worker safety... e.g., health inspections, nursing home inspections, OSHA compliance, etc.

    Extending those kinds of warrantless searches to look for potential copyright infringement is not in the same vein. Where is the pressing public necessity that justifies the encroachment on the 4th Amendment? To me, it just sounds like the copyright industries want the taxpayer-funded police to act as their own private security force. What if every industry took that approach? Why not have warrantless searches of research labs in order to make sure there is no patent infringement going on?

  • by Applekid (993327) on Thursday May 19, 2011 @02:25PM (#36182514)

    Businesses are not people, they don't have any rights against warrantless search.

    This is one of the few times on this type of issue where the government isn't overreaching and violating the constitution.

    We also already have inspections of other industrys for illegal practices (food industrys, chemical industrys, etc.) So why should replication businesses have any special status.

    Because illegal practices in those other industries can lead to mass death and loss of life. Tainted food could kill consumers, unsafe chemical plants can explode and leave a city sized crater.

    Who dies if the copyright cops have to wait to get a warrant as opposed to not getting one?

  • Re:What the hell? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Hatta (162192) on Thursday May 19, 2011 @02:42PM (#36182742) Journal

    The Indiana Supreme Court wrote "We believe however that a right to resist an unlawful police entry into a home is against public policy and is incompatible with modern Fourth Amendment jurisprudence."

    It is abundantly clear that modern Fourth Amendment jurisprudence is incompatible with the Fourth Amendment.

  • Re:What the hell? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by anegg (1390659) on Thursday May 19, 2011 @02:52PM (#36182890)

    Quoting from the inset document in one of the articles, "In the 1920s, legal scholarship began criticizing the right [to resist unlawful entry by a police officer] as valuing individual liberty over physical security of the officers."

    At what point in the history of the United States did "legal scholarship" become an authoritative source of law capable of destroying inherent natural rights not granted by the US Constitution but specifically called out as examples of existing rights such as those expressed in the 4th amendment such as "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures..." To say that there is no right to resist an unlawful entry (and arrest) because there are now "after the fact" remedies available that may not have been available to those in the 18th century misses the point that unlawful entry and arrest can be just as effectively used to suppress and intimidate now as it was then. Exercising remedies to get out of jail after an unlawful arrest takes time and money, time spent in jail and fighting an unlawful arrest takes away from time required to earn a living (try missing 2 weeks of work and income - see what happens to your bills and your job), and the stain of the arrest may take a long time to fade, if in fact it ever does.

    Without *some* possibility of a negative consequence to an unlawful entry and/or arrest, what is left to hold police back from engaging in whatever related conduct they so choose, so long as they know that their superior officers (who aren't elected officials) won't hold them at fault or punish them?

  • by fnj (64210) on Thursday May 19, 2011 @02:53PM (#36182900)

    You're right; this is not Democrat vs Republican. It is statist vs libertarian.

    If there was EVER any definable difference between Democrat and Republican, it has been gone for a LONG time. To SOME degree there is a remnant of liberal (D) vs conservative (R) difference, but even that is obsolete thinking. It is about the other orthogonal axis. It is about the lure of power vs a willingness to LEAVE THE HELL ALONE. It is about caving in to faceless demonic corporations vs seeing to the rights of the people. It is about tilting at windmills: war on drugs, war on terrorism, war on copyright "infringement."

  • by Grond (15515) on Thursday May 19, 2011 @03:04PM (#36183038) Homepage

    My purpose was to inform people about the law as it is, not to argue what the law should be or curse the Court for making the law what it is. Polemics don't help anybody understand whether this law is likely to be upheld or not.

  • by dgatwood (11270) on Thursday May 19, 2011 @03:24PM (#36183254) Journal

    Where is the pressing public necessity that justifies the encroachment on the 4th Amendment?

    *shrugs* It's just part of California's grand plan to send more DVD fabrication jobs to China. Heck, it's not like much of the commercial piracy is being done in the U.S. anyway.

  • Bingo! Anyone who bothers to vote for anything other than local elections is simply wasting their time, as any and ALL choices will be pre-approved by our corporate owners before being allowed to proceed. Hell even though I don't approve of his policies just look at how quick the MSM was when it came to isolating Ron Paul when it looked like he might actually gain some support. Not pre-approved by the corporate owners? Well then you are a stupid quack nutjob worthless of being allowed to speak according to the mouthpiece of the owners, aka our "news" services.

    To those that think anything short of an Egypt style revolt will stop our slouching into a fascist corporate owned police state here are your choices in the next presidential election. you can vote for the corporate ass kissing fascist in the blue suit, or the corporate ass kissing fascist in the other blue suit. Notice how neither choice gives you someone who isn't a corporate asskissing fascist? This is what they commonly call "voting for the lesser of two evils" which is in reality about as much choice as being handed a slip with two boxes, one says "Check here to vote for el presidente!" and the other says "check here to support el presidente by voting for him".

    To all my fellow /.ers I say this...steal the shit. Steal anything and everything that ain't nailed down, pirate the living fuck out of everything you can. Because we have seen conclusively that "voting with your dollars" has completely failed as they simply list ALL lost sales as piracy and get ever more draconian laws passed regardless, and if you ever did enough damage to actually cause them any financial pain they would simply have themselves declared 'too big to fail" and take the money out of your pocket while the government holds you down.

    So snatch that shit buddy, snatch everything you can. It is only a matter of time before China calls in the loans and the whole thing turns into Zimbabwe part II, so you might as well get yours because they are sure as fuck snatching every damned thing that ain't nailed down, like the public domain, freedoms like the fourth amendment, and anything else on their corporate wishlists.

  • by DreadPiratePizz (803402) on Thursday May 19, 2011 @04:27PM (#36184108)
    Seriously? Kill them before they kill you? You don't have the balls. I'll eat my words when you and your militia storm the capitol and start executing lawmakers. Me, I prefer not to act like a terrorist and go for more non violent methods. You have many options. How about you and several million other people refuse to pay taxes? That would get the attention of an already cash starved govt. How about you stage massive non violent protests? Certainly worked for Gandhi. This isn't the dark ages; we don't have to cut off the king's head to make change. But we DO need people who are actually willing to act instead of just talk, something I doubt you're capable of. If you are, then I'll be sure to say I'm sorry by visiting you in federal prison.
  • by Kamiza Ikioi (893310) on Thursday May 19, 2011 @04:28PM (#36184124) Homepage

    It'll never survive federal court. This is a state official just looking to pocket RIAA money and favors through a bill he know can't survive. It's the same tactic Mitch Daniels of Indiana is using by blocking medicaid/medicare from Planned Parenthood, which is also illegal for him to do.

    They do it for press, money, and if they want to seek higher office. But all they are really doing is wasting our time and money on fruitless court battles they can't win.

It is not for me to attempt to fathom the inscrutable workings of Providence. -- The Earl of Birkenhead

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