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The Courts Government News

Music Industry Raids Taiwan Campuses For MP3s 200

martijnd writes: "The Taipei Times newspaper reports that in Taiwan at least the music industry and police agree that possesion of illegal music must be as dangerous as having other substances hidden in your dorm room. In an attempt to stamp out MP3 file trading on campus the music industry is going after individual university students and has the police bring them in." The article says that some students are teaching others "techniques of erasing files without a trace, keeping hidden backup files, and even smashing one's own hard drive in the event of a police search in school dorms." Those sound like pretty good things to encourage anyhow to me.
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Music Industry Raids Taiwan Campuses For MP3s

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    I get dibbs on smashing Taco's HDD.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    "Those sound like pretty good things to encourage anyhow to me. " Yes, and All Your -- no...I can't do it. I WON'T do it! Mod me to the cellar.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Thats coz they PAY$ to the cops to make sure they arent busted.

    FREE MP3s eat into the police bribes profits, they want those bootleg/pirate factories to keep running.

    Free mp3s are for once prooving to be hurting the pirate industry as much as the real industry.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    The Tiananmen square massacre was in communist China. These students are in Taiwan. Despite what the communists in China claim, these are two completely separate nations and have been for over half a century.

    Unless of course something changed on that since this morning.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Ok, no-one seems to have pointed this out yet so here goes: Taiwan has been controlled by various imperial powers (Dutch, Portuguese, etc.) for hundreds of years. Around 1949, when the communists took over mainlaind China, the nationalists (the Kuomintang I think) fled to Taiwan and set up the government there. For a long time, Taiwan was seen by the world as the legitimate seat of the Chinese government, even though the communists were in charge of the mainland. It was, and I think still is, referred to as the Republic of China or China Republic as opposed to the People's Republic of China. This has been the state of affairs for a long time. Over time, the nationalists have died off, and a Taiwan has emerged as its own sovereign nation

    At least, that's what the Taiwanese want. China's view on the matter is that Taiwan is a renegade state and will be re-unified with China. Despite the fact that Taiwan has its own government, China exerts considerable influence over Taiwan. It's all still up in the air, but China could initiate a military takeover of Taiwan sometime soon. After that, Taiwan would presumably end up under a one nation, two systems arrangement like Hong Kong.

    In any case, Taiwan had nothing to do with the Tiananmen incident, which occurred in mainland China under the PRC.

    I apoligise for posting this more than once, but no-one seems to actually read other posts and someone really ought to set you straight.

  • This needs to be a track >:)

    Seriously- I'm picturing some type of minimalist industrial electronic music with this text as a spoken word passage (perhaps a vocoder like on that Cher song, only instead of a singing Nord Lead it'd be a talking bench grinder or arc welder)

    Makes me wish I had time to do it- but _somebody_ should. dh003i, get some recording software and a mic and do more stuff like this! :)

  • Except for the fact that it takes up a lot more space than it should in this case, suggesting that there is something else hidden there.
  • by acb ( 2797 )
    Once the low-level format is gone, the drive is a paperweight.

    That is assuming that the magnetic field penetrates the metal shell of the drive, of course.
  • yea.. sometimes makes me want my rip script graphics back :]
    Just one man beneath the sky,
  • I wonder how many people in other countries associate US companies with the US government? (Not entirely unreasonable, of course.)
  • I may hate the music industry, but nothing can knock Microsoft from the top of my hate list.

    I love computers. I love the damn things. I can stay awake for days just messing around with and tinkering with hardware/operating systems. Microsoft is the epitomy of bad taste. They've in many ways ruined the computer industry.

    How often have I heard some ignorant relative ask me "What do you want to do with your life?" and I respond "Computers". Then I almost invariably get "Oooh....like Bill Gates!". That's the part where i shudder in horror and proceed to beating the relevant person with a very large brick.
  • This shows the obviously distorted priorities that the police are getting due to lobbyists. What's next...police raids on domestic homes to seize that 10 Gig collection? Doesn't Babylon have anything better to do than this???
  • Although Beijing would certainly like the situation to be otherwise, currently Taiwan is not a part of the People's Republic of China. Students living in Taiwan are not subject to their rules or decisions unless such rules and decisions involve the invasion of their country.
  • Er. Actually, I'm given to understand that the second amendment was adopted because the states were worried about a ubergovernment rolling over their freedoms with an army, so they wanted to keep state militias. I guess that's a similar idea, but with the caveat that it was intended to keep the national government from infringing on the rights of the state government. The individual person oppressed by the government didn't enter into the equation.

    Though it is worth noting that that particular intended use failed. The national government did in fact roll over states' rights, and is in fact oppressing everyone uniformly now.
    you got me with the Hemos bit... very nice. I am definitely impressed.
  • How is it that copyright violations like this come under criminal law?

    Any reasonable human (ie, not a lawyer) would agree that IP "theft" is an issue between the copyright holder and the accused thief--so it should be under tort law.

    Instead, it's prosecuted under criminal law and in addition to the surly copyright holders, the government comes running in too, demanding a $250,000 fine and, uh... some number of years in prison--don't know exactly 'cause I haven't bought any CDs in a few years. :p

    Anyway, what the hell? At what point did the gubbermint stop working for We The People and get a part-time job for Big Business anyway?
  • This is the part i find most intreging, Why dod they start the raids now?

    "The university authorities urged students to remain calm and focus on their studies.

    Midterm exams will begin at Chengkung University next week.

    i would like to see the exam results for this college and compare them to the older results, can you imagine the students not happy with the results then sueing the authoroties for causeing unnsacary mental anguish at an already stressfull time.
  • yeah yeah, a drunken dyslexic post, late at nigh, u get the picture..... :)

    Funny how all the dyslexics I meet can actualy spell dyslexic but this is the word that we get the most agony about. 'Sooo you are dyslapstic, dicexptic, dissloposite etc...'

  • I got Higher French/German results than my english Lang/Lit. Passed all GCSE's. Art and IT got A* continued to do GNVQ level 3 Advanced art and design, then Degree in fine art, Got bored in art, it had all been done before and no money in it. So the following year after selling some paintings in a local gallery and woking in a joinery i decided to get back into IT, Did G&G level II microcomputer maintanence and enjeneering, then a Level III, and Diploma in novell 3.12 and NT wrks/srvr administration and network administration. Got a good job i.e. loadsa cash for little work. Who needs to spell anyways, there are such things as spellcheckers, but only for important documents.

    Does that cover it?
  • by magic ( 19621 ) on Saturday April 14, 2001 @05:41AM (#292024) Homepage
    Asian countries (China/Taiwan in particular) are under intense pressure from the US to respect US copyrights and patents. This leads to swat-team level enforcement, usually targetted at large scale pirates.

    They probably aren't doing this because they are very upset about MP3's, but because it is a demonstration that they are working to stamp out piracy.


  • all they have to do is put a few hundred turns of enameled copper wire around the hard drive with the MP3's on it and rig it to a large battery and a big red button with a cover on it. Move the cover, hit the button, and the drive is clean. Much better than smashing the drive, you have a chance of being able to re-use the drive after.
    • I have already had strange looks from people simply for mentioning MP3s in conversation. And people trying to tell me that copying from my own CDs to MP3s is illegal.
    On this note, I have several CDs of which I own the original pressed CD, that I have encoded on a computer at work so that I don't have to worry about bringing the CD in and possibly forgetting it. Some people would say this is illegal, but it is just fair use. I have hidden the folder so that the average schmuck can't get to them, so that argument goes out the window.
    Scott Jones
    Newscast Director / ABC19 WKPT
  • 1. China is *not* a dictatorship, its of course not democratic or libertarian in american sense...

    Why, has the Chinese communist party renounced the "Dictatorship of the Proletariat?"
  • An external SCSI drive, like Macs used to have, except with a heavy case to contain the extra feature: a small explosive, incendiary, or strong electromagnet. push a button or issue the right command and foom! data all gone.

    Assuming you have data that'd get you in more trouble than the explosives or incendiary.

  • One thing that really annoys me is the perception that it's not such a big deal when there are police raids on student accomodation. This isn't a problem I've had to deal with personally, but this is hardly the first Slashdot story that shows police being able to get into student accomodation more easily.

    Why does being a student make it any different from if we were not? Raids on student accomodation should be reacted to exactly as raids on domestic homes would be.

  • Disclaimer: this is slightly off-topic, since I'm discussing residence hall raids in the U.S., not Taiwan.

    The reason residence hall rooms get raided more easily than private homes is not so much because they are government institutions, per se. It actually comes down to a conjunction of two legal principles: lanlord/lessee agreements and in loco parentis.

    Basically, since the student living in a residence hall has a "lease" with the college/university (leaving aside for the moment the compulsory nature of these "leases," especially for freshmen), they agree as a condition of their lease to allow the landlord (the college) access to their room for any reason at any time. Thus, when the institution finds it expedient to bypass the normal warrant procedures, they can. Anyone renting an apartment most likely has a similar situation, even if it's not explicitly in their lease agreement. The property owner, not the occupant, retains their Constitutional rights protecting them from unwarranted search and seizure. They can grant permission to law enforcement without the lessee's consent, and often do just as a method of reducing their legal liability by cooperating with the authorities.

    The other legal doctrine involved, in loco parentis (in capacity of parent), gives schools most of the legal authority of parents over students under the age of 21, and moreso under 18. This doctrine applies in high schools, too, for example. In loco parentis is fading into the background, however, in favor of the legal arguments under landlord/lessee agreements, as above.

    Note, however, that many (not all, perhaps not even most) schools do not violate student privacy so flagrantly as a matter of policy. At the University of Oklahoma, for example, the campus police (actually Oklahoma State Patrol officers) in my experience always abided by normal warrant/probable cause procedures, and the administration did not give them carte blanche to enter rooms.

    Of course, the obligatory "Dammit Jim, I'm an engineer, not a lawyer!" statement applies here...

  • Quick, someone call steve jackson games!
  • I'll bite: Are you arguing against all forms of "Intellectual Property" (ie, patents, trademarks and copyrights)?
    If so, then how do you propose that creators of exceptionally expensive to develop and valuable IP (CocaCola TM, UNIPOL Process, drugs and Brittany Spears music?) be compensated for their efforts?
    Or do you propose they not labor at all?

    If not, it is easy to see your point: raids are just another enforcement tool.

  • What they need is a big ol' electromagnet wired next to their hard drives.. then when the police come busting down the door.. *zap* no more data. Quick and easy to. No sledgehammer required.

  • One of the best anectdotes I've heard for this situation:
    Mafioso guy has very strong encryption of his files, with a key on a 5.25 floppy disk (this would work with a cd-r, too). Has an industrial strength waffle iron hot and ready at all times. If the heat is uppon him, put the key in the waffle iron. It would probably help to have a backup somewhere safe, if there is such a thing as a safe place.
  • Wow! That is so...
    Wait a second...you're pulling our collective legs!

    You *almost* got me, then I though, hey...back in the days of 300-2400 baud modems, we were DAMNED lucky to have CDROMS, much less anything that could RECORD CDs.
    So, I checked good old Google [google.com], and lo and behold:
    In 1990, part II of the so-called "orange book" published by Philips (who else), specified the characteristics and format of a recordable CD, or CD-R. CD-R is also sometimes called CD-WORM or CD-WO, where WO means "write once" and WORM "write once read many", both reflecting truisms about the medium. (There are other types of drives that are also WORM however.)
    Initially, CD-R was prohibitively expensive--well over $1,000 for a drive, and $10 or more for each blank disk. As both of these numbers have dropped in half or less, CD-R has become quite popular for several applications, including archiving, software distribution, backup, custom audio, and a host of others. This section takes a look at CD-R in a fair bit of detail, although certainly not exhaustively; there are enough descriptions and aspects related to CD-R to fill a chapter as big as everything I have written about CD-ROMs in general, easily.
    read more [pcguide.com]

    So, it seems to make sense that you and your leet buddies didn't spend hundreds of dollars on this fancy new 'CD-R' stuff. Likely, you kept it all on 3.5" floppies like the rest of us did.
    Have a good day.

    It occurs to me that I need to start getting more rest. Sigh.
  • Actually, he said:
    (heck, a lot of us still used 2400 baud modems)

    And what do you mean 'html shit'? I've never seen a BBS using html...it's ALL text babbbyyyy... Unless, of course, you mean 'the web', or 'the information stuporhighway'.
  • The article says that some students are teaching others "techniques of erasing files without a trace, keeping hidden backup files, and
    even smashing one's own hard drive in the event of a police search in school dorms." Those sound like pretty good things to encourage anyhow to me.
    (emphasis mine)

    I wonder if these raids are co-sponsored by Maxtor or Western Digital?
  • by wumingzi ( 67100 ) on Saturday April 14, 2001 @02:37PM (#292038) Homepage Journal
    This has been repeated many times, but there have been enough ill-informed comments here that it bears repeating. The People's Republic of China is a hard-core dictatorship. Taiwan is a democracy. Not a perfect democracy, but not bad. Freedom of speech and freedom of expression through public protest are legal and practiced frequently by the residents of the island. Other than both places being populated by ethnic Chinese, and a few commonalities between their respective legal codes, their respective governments views on the rights of individuals and the nature of law in general are poles apart.

    First, as has been mentioned by another poster, the government of Taiwan is under unbelievable pressure from the United States to enforce intellectual property rights laws. Somewhere around 30% of Taiwan's economy is based on the export of goods to the United States. Threatening trade relations is a remarkably effective stick to beat the government with.

    In 1993, Taiwan passed a law protecting intellectual property rights. Here is a link to the English translation of the law if you are curious [virtualtaiwan.com]. The general understanding is that the text of this law was delivered from the American Institute in Taipei (the official unofficial embassy since the United States does not maintain formal relations with Taiwan), with instructions to pass it, as written, without ammendments or modifications, or suffer punitive tarrifs under Section 301 of the United States Trade Act of 1974 [doc.gov].

    Eight years ago, the issue was bootleg microchips. Now it's bootlegged MP3s. Little else in the basic dynamic has changed.

    To condense a very deep topic into a paragraph, Chinese law enforcement is based the principle of "Sha Yi Jing Bai" -- kill one to warn a hundred. Rather than trying to consistiently enforce laws, the police excercise a crackdown mentality where a number of people are run in on the crime of the week, extremely harsh sentences are metted out to the few unlucky folks who have been caught, and then the usual state of barely controlled anarchy which makes up Chinese society resumes.

    This promotes a lot more flaunting of the law than respect for it in my mind, but how can a gawailo like me comment on a legal system which has been using this technique for the last thousand years?

    A final aspect of the legal system in Taiwan (and China to a great degree) is that you can apologize your way out of a lot of things. I suspect that very few of the students arrested will actually see any jail time for their sins. Most of them will act very contrite, and will be set free to go forth and sin no more.



  • That old saying about "If you download MP3's, you are downloading communisim." is completely backwards. "If you don't download MP3's, you are promoting communisim." is more like it! Actually, the saying is more correct than incorrect. Communism is not totalitarianism, and does not suggest an eternal ruling class. Rather, it is the idea that all people in a nation are equal and have equal rights to everything, regardless of who created it or where it is. "Ownership of property" is a meaningless concept in communism. All people will work equally and do what they're best at, to promote the well-being of everyone else. Of course, the so-called "communist countries" don't actually implement communism; they're totalitarian. It seems that it's far too tempting to:

    a) slack off, not work, and just ride on everyone else, and
    b) take advantage of the government position and increase its influence, rather than wait for it to naturally dissolve, as Marx believed.

    Now, I don't promote communism as a national policy, and I don't support what are popularly called "communist countries". But I think that if it weren't for the massive failure of places like Russia, a *lot* of Slashdotters/GPLers would be promoting a communist viewpoint. It's got a lot in common.
  • Oh, don't get me wrong; I don't think communism will work. You've hit the point perfectly. Even without your comments on what you believe to be "right" or "wrong" (which a communist supporter would never accept), you're right in saying that one or more people that don't accept communism can and will screw the system up. I think Mark said that everyone would realize that communism benefitted everyone; I think that people would realize that if everyone BUT them was communist, they came out on top.

    My point was (and is) that a lot of thinking which is common around Slashdotters and free-software advocates has a lot of fundamental ideas similar to communism. Consider these statements (from the FSF home page):

    ...you may find yourself using a proprietary program. If your friend asks to make a copy, it would be wrong to refuse.

    The system of copyright gives software programs "owners"...(this is then construed as a Bad Thing)

    ...I am working to build a system...based on voluntary cooperation, and decentralization.

    The Communist Manifesto mocks the modern concept of "Hard-won, self-acquired, self-earned property" as having no value, and Stallman similarly derides the statement "I put my sweat, my heart, my soul into this program. It comes from me, it's mine!" The FSF talks about "a system where people are free to decide their own actions", while The Marxist Society talks about "working to build a system where people are free to decide their own actions"...identical wording! Marx talks endlessly about the revolution of the social classes, and RMS discusses a revolution of today's software market.

    This isn't saying that I support communism, or that I disdain the FSF. I think that, while communism may have some laudable goals, it will never work, and attempts to make it work do far more harm than good. I think that the FSF is an excellent organization, and I fully support it, but I find some of their views extremist. But that's not my point.

    I remain convinced that if it were not for the massive American social stigma against communism, left especially from the Cold War, it would be an extremely prevalent viewpoint around Slashdot. It meshes perfectly with the views about patents and intellectual property that are so commonly expressed.
  • IE, if you find yourself in possession of something contraband, doing X would be the equivalent of burning it from a legal point of view.

    Uh huh. And let's say you wipe those files off, zeroing them out, and it's impossible to tell if they were on there or not. Consider

    1 - student has mp3s shared (bad idea) on network
    2 - MPAA sees this and OF COURSE goes to a judge to get a search warrant (hah)
    3 - the student feels guilty, and because he is security concious, secure-wipes the files
    4 - MPAA/Police show up. Grab his computer (legal)
    5 - they discover there are no mp3 files!

    So, let's charge the user with what, obstruction of justice? Destruction of evidence? This would be silly, as it would set the precedent - if you download mp3s, you CANNOT delete them because they might, at some further point, be used against you.

    In terms of "real life" items - if the user were to have say, an illegal substance, and he "got rid of" that substance before the police showed up - possession is 9/10ths of the law, isn't it. The police would have nothing. But lets say the student "hid" the stuff, say in the toilet. Then, the item is recoverable and the user is in possession, bamn, he can be charged.

    Therefore, what judges would hold people to files that were deleted? I don't think any judge would, as long as those files could not easily be recovered.

  • Funny, I found them quite plentiful last summer.
  • by kbs ( 70631 ) on Saturday April 14, 2001 @04:42AM (#292043)
    Many acknowledge that downloading illegal music from the Web is wrong but feel that students play only a tiny role in the larger problem of pirated music. The entrance of organized crime groups into the business of pirating music is perceived as far more serious.

    They completely miss the real source of the problem. Bootlegs in Taiwan are plentiful and public, and there is no enforcement on the retail level. You can easily purchase a bootleg "collection" CD in any large department store. In this way, the whole "cheaper is better, regardless of source" concept is promulgated throughout society. If the IFPI is serious about decreasing profit margins, then they should attack the criminal organizations creating these that clearly violate Taiwanese copyright, not students that are engaging in what may actually be considered fair use under Taiwanese law. My impression is that the law there has not yet been clarified in that manner.

    At least in the U.S., the CDs we buy in stores are bona fide copies. Now, I'm no fan of RIAA; I believe that they don't really serve a purpose other than to promote a monopolistic view for music, to keep the recording industry's profit margins nice and fat while the common artist is screwed.

    But I sincerely hope that the RIAA doesn't start using the Gestapo tactics that the IFPI is using.
  • I mean isn't the government suppose to represent the people?

    Absolutly _not_! The purpose of government is to protect people, reguardless of their views. If the purpose was to just "do the will of the people" it's pretty much justified in doing _anything_, including things like the Holocaust, just because "it's the will of the people". Anyway, don't complain to me when the majority of people think that free speech is bad on the Internet and that's taken away, after all, as you said, "it's the will of the people".

    So, merely the fact that a lot of people use Napster doesn't make it right or wrong.

    Grades, Social Life, Sleep... pick two.
  • You don't strike the strongest, most visible targets in this case organizations like Philips Electronics for making stuff like mp3 cd players, you attack the small targets that everyone assumes are more or less outside the conflict.... the students in this case. Why do terrorists of all stripes do this? Simple: the more visibile targets usually have more than sufficient resources to retaliate in full force. Who here honestly thinks that if IBM were to make a lot of really good mp3 players and the like that the RIAA would dare take them on in court?

    MP3 files, are not necessarily that of pirated music, and therefore are not all necessarily illegal, and therefore such a case would not hold up in court anyways. Like having or making a bong in itself is not enough to incriminate you, regardless of its most common use. It's the substance you put into it that they'll have to bust you for, and not the medium of consumption itself.

  • This guy maybe anon, but I think he's got a clue as to WHY they are doing this.
  • No it doesn't take up any extra verifiable space, that would kind of give it all away wouldn't it? Read the info at the website.
  • Check out Rubberhose. It is a cryptographic filesystem for linux and almost the BSD*'s that provides plausible deniability. I.e. even if they grab your computer and figure out that you are running rubberhose to hide stuff, you can throw them a bone by just decrypting your financial records, or your diary, or some other similarly benign piece of information and then no one can prove that there are any other items still encrypted on the disk.

    www.rubberhose.org [rubberhose.org]
  • I know that this could be seen as simply
    the guilty whinge of "why aren't they catching
    real criminals" - but I wonder what this is
    costing the Taiwan Police to carry out. Maybe
    they don't have much other crime if the link
    below is to be believed, but as the article
    states "students play only a tiny role in the larger problem of pirated music". To spell
    it out - the more serious crime is that of
    pirating music for profit (i.e. forgeries) but
    the police appear to be going for the easy and
    obvious targets as a example.
  • Wasn't Taiwan one of the only countries not to ratify the Berne Convention? If so then why are they bothering to enforce foreign copyrights?
  • by Alpha State ( 89105 ) on Saturday April 14, 2001 @04:48AM (#292051) Homepage

    I have already had strange looks from people simply for mentioning MP3s in conversation. And people trying to tell me that copying from my own CDs to MP3s is illegal.

    Looks like it's not going to be long before parents are searching their kids' HDs fof MP3s (hey, great product opportunity!) and government ads are coming out with moronic slogans.

    "Friends don't let friend's use MP3s!"

    "Every download is doing you damage!"

  • by JoeShmoe ( 90109 ) <askjoeshmoe@hotmail.com> on Saturday April 14, 2001 @05:21AM (#292052)
    I remember reading an article (I think it was posted here on Slashdot) by a judge who argued there should be a way to legally define file deletion as a way of escaping legal consequences.

    IE, if you find yourself in possession of something contraband, doing X would be the equivalent of burning it from a legal point of view.

    Exploiting that concept...I wonder about the legality of the following things (pardon the Windows bias but hey, that's me)

    1) Keeping your MP3/BombPlans/TeenPorn in the \RECYCLER folder on an NTFS volume. Note that under Windows NT, each user gets his or her own "Recycler Bin" (whereas they all share one common \RECYCLED folder on non-NTFS volumes). So, anything you put in the root of this folder is not deleted when you "Empty Recycle Bin". From a legal perspective, it seems possible you could say, "Hey, I dragged that all to the trash to delete it, don't blame me!" At the same time, all the files would be perfectly usable. Just have to clear your file histories to hide the fact that you are accessing the files there.

    2) Same as #1 but actually putting them in the Recycle Bin...and disabling/teaching yourself not to ever empty it. Stronger case than #1 although you can't navigate folders and some programs give error messages when you try to use those files.

    3) Have a hard disk that you do not use. "Delete" files...which in Windows land means the first letter of the file name is erased from the File Allocation Table. When you want to access the files, unerase them with a utility. As long as you don't write anything else to the drive while files are in "delete" state you can repeat this infinitely.

    4) Write a program that automatically does #3 on the fly (Unerase D:\MP3, Open WinAmp, Play, Close WinAmp, Erase D:\MP3).

    Seriously...would judges hold people accountable for files that were deleted? It seems worth considering...

    - JoeShmoe
  • The only good Microsoft is a dead Microsoft

    Seems to me that after that short yet passionate rant you should perhaps change your .sig to something hateful towards RIAA or the world wide recording industry, period.


  • I am not sure what to make of this situation...
    Arresting students for trading MP3's is very bad of course and is a terror tactic aimed at scaring other students and the general public. On the one hand Americans like myself shouldn't expect this kind of thing in the US, but on the other hand it isn't inconceivible either that somehow the RIAA would find a way to single out and arrest some students.

    The other part of this that does not make any sense at all is why the Recording Industry is doing this in Taiwan. There are bootleg CD's sold in stores all the place right? That has to be costing the recording industry many times as much as lost revenue from MP3's. Is the case law and legal system in Taiwan such that making and selling pirate CD's is impossible to prosecute, but owning MP3's is easy?
  • The first article [theregister.co.uk].
    The more recent article [theregister.co.uk].
  • by browser_war_pow ( 100778 ) on Saturday April 14, 2001 @04:46AM (#292066) Homepage
    Their actions are nothing more than a form of legal terrorism. The only difference in my opinion between these industries (intellectual property) and the terrorists that have in the past struck fear in countless nations' civilian populations is the weapon of choice. For Osama Bin Laden and the like it is a bomb/gun, for these guys it is a court brief. The end result is the same: extreme response against those that are the weakest, most defenseless targets to send a message to the strong/rest of society saying that "none of you are safe from us, all of you are at our mercy." That my friends is how terrorism works. You don't strike the strongest, most visible targets in this case organizations like Philips Electronics for making stuff like mp3 cd players, you attack the small targets that everyone assumes are more or less outside the conflict.... the students in this case. Why do terrorists of all stripes do this? Simple: the more visibile targets usually have more than sufficient resources to retaliate in full force. Who here honestly thinks that if IBM were to make a lot of really good mp3 players and the like that the RIAA would dare take them on in court? IBM's annual revenues are probably at least 2x the entire recording industry's combined! So you go after the middle and lower class guys that you know will be forced to play russian roulette in that they have two options: submit and be forgiven for now, or fight for their rights and run the risk of paying off legal bills for the rest of their life and/or destroying their family's economic future. Finally one thing to keep in mind is that other industries don't behave this way when they are "robbed" by the public. Most other industries don't deceive themselves and their member companies' stockholders into equating not achieving the maximum profits with being victimized by thieves. The fact of the matter remains that even when other industries are affected by theft, they don't respond by lashing out at a great many of their potential customers. They isolate the problem few and deal with them and leave the rest out of it. That is the difference between an intelligent, shrewd corporate approach and the insanely stupid and self-defeating approach most intellectual property giants have. To the IP companies I say keep it up bozos, the more people you all go after, the less sympathy you all will have and the more contempt the average joe blow will hold you in.
  • In America, as the FBI Warning is so fond of pointing out, the maximum sentence is $200,000 in fines and up to 5 years in prison.

    The only "intuitive" interface is the nipple. After that, it's all learned.
  • I don't know what percentage of the population use Napster, obviously it will be low due to the fact that not everyone has Internet access, but how about what percentage of the Internet using population uses Napster? If the percentage is considerably large, then shouldn't the laws about all this nonsense change? I mean isn't the government suppose to represent the people?

    Might a referendum be the answer here? If the majority of the population believes that the law should be changed then so be it. It may screw up the economy, it may not, but it is the people's decision either way.

    That old saying about "If you download MP3's, you are downloading communisim." is completely backwards. "If you don't download MP3's, you are promoting communisim." is more like it!
  • Eventually it will happen. With all these treaties and international agreements and strong arm tactics by MPAA, RIAA, BSA, etc, eventually, a US organization will cause someone to be executed for intellectual property violation. When it happens, those orgs will say "We just ask them to be punished, we had nothing to do with what the punishment was, as long as it was at least the minimum specified by our treaties. Anything beyond that is up to them. The fact the person was beheaded is an internal matter to that country that we have no business being involved with." Even more scary scenario: Person A violates IP "rights" of company B by distributing intellectual property C over the Internet. A and B are both based in the USA, IP "C" orginated in the USA. Person D downloads IP "C" over the Internet. Person D resides in an extremist country "E". Now company B goes to country E and tells them to stop this violation of their rights. Person D is beheaded by country E. Under the international cybercrime treaty, country E has US authorities arrest "A" for violation of E's laws, and extradited to E. Country E then beheads "A", which would be illegal under (current) US copyright law, but totally legal under E's. The US doesn't mind, since E gets to do the dirty work and get the blame, and the US is glad to see the "pirate"/"economic terrorist" punished, but can claim to have nothing to do with it. Any LEGAL reason the above cannot happen?
  • Taiwan != China. Dumbass

    Rate me on Picture-rate.com [picture-rate.com]
  • I doubt these students could either, because they don't live in the same contry. You fucking idiot.

    Rate me on Picture-rate.com [picture-rate.com]
  • haha

    Rate me on Picture-rate.com [picture-rate.com]
  • There are people who smoke all their lives, and live to be 80 and never get cancer. Does this mean there is no problem? I'll save you the trouble, the answer is no.

    Rate me on Picture-rate.com [picture-rate.com]
  • I am female

    Rate me on Picture-rate.com [picture-rate.com]
  • Even writing zeros over every byte in a file doesn't completely remove it. The heads in a HDD aren't powerful enough to completely relaign all the magnetic domains on the ferreous surface

    This is true. However, this is also the reason why programs such as 'shred' write over a file multiple times -- the HDD heads will have slightly different alignment each time, and by making more passes, more of the data track will be erased. There is even a Department of Defense standard on how many passes should be made, plus the write-over pattern that should be used for secure deletion of sensitive military information.

    The AOL-Time Warner-Microsoft-Intel-CBS-ABC-NBC-Fox corporation:
  • Another amazing pirating scam that in Taiwan is credit card fraud, which is more widespread in that country than any other. One can now get a fake credit card made there in under 3 minutes, and most people are afraid to use their legitimate credit cards for fear of the number being stolen by a planted clerk. BUT this organized crime *pales* in comparisson to these evil despicable, dastardly students, viciously PIRATING and infringing away in their dorms, we must stamp them out!

    Also on widely available pirates, in Russia one can get any CD, and I mean any to the most obscure stuff, perfect copy with book and all on high quality paper, for around US$2 (less without the book). BUT those dastarly students, that's where the problems lie....

  • In the average American viewpoint, the suburban highschool would be *worse* than the World Trade Center.

    Everyone knows the World Trade Center is in the middle of a piss-soaked metropolis and is surrounded by strange foreigners 24x7. Something like that was bound to happen, and everyone who goes there knows it. The guys who committed the crime had no idea they were attacking an anti-icon.

    On the other hand people believe bad things don't happen in "nice neighborhoods like ours", and when they do, it totally shakes their sense of security. That's why Columbine and OK City are in respective order, worse tragedies than normal inner city violence and the World Trade bombings.
  • What the students should do is protest,

    Cast your mind back to June 4th 1989 [christusrex.org].

    Caution: the above link may cause some people distress.
  • Keep in mind that the reason Mao won in China was that the Nationalists were closely allied with the criminal tongs - something of a public relations problem at the time, compared to the Marxist pose of purity - and when the Nationalists retreated to Taiwan they took their allies with them (in many cases, their allies were them). So when the present Taiwanese government cracks down on file sharing, they have a direct interest in encouraging the sale of physical product, even (especially) if bootlegged, because the bootleggers are close allies with the government.

    Nor is this necessarily a bad thing for Taiwan. In fact, it seems that mainland China has enthusiasticly embraced this model, which in fact is the ancient Chinese Imperial way of doing business. As some wags suggest, when we say "capitalism" we often really mean "current business customs among English speakers." It may be somewhat against our custom for government to be so close to criminal gangs (although remember J. Edgar Hoover was fond enough of the Mafia to insist publicly for years that there was no such thing in America!), but as Taiwan shows, when handled right, this can produce a vibrant capitalist economy.

    On the other hand, when viewed from the culture of 50-years hence, if we make it that far, I suspect the RIAA will appear to have been a criminal gang.

  • All these schemes may work if you don't get caught or don't go to trial.

    Judges and prosecutors are resourceful. If it looks like you did something with criminal intent they will find a way to nail you.

    In addition consider that, if you are charged, any lwayer will tell you to cut a deal with the prosecution, because, a) you don't have the money. b) you don't have the guts to risk jail. c) something like 97% of tried criminal cases end in a guilty conviction. ( in other words, the chances of hearing a US jury say not guilty is about half of the chance an accused had of winning a case before the spanish inquisition).


  • In the eyes of the generators of the music, they have broken the law. So they ought to be punished somehow. I suggest the fairest punishment is to make them pay for the albums that they have. However, as _no_ retailer, _no_ wholesaler, _no_ distributor, (and no marketing) was needed in order to get the album to the offender. That should keep the fine down to quite a reasonable level, don't you think...

  • Mike, I am a European and we will soon (probably 18 months) have the same shit imposed on us. I am prepared to be as much of an arsehole as possible to get your DMCA weakened, and I hope that you Americans will return the favour for us. My gesture was small, but Dave Tourtsky liked it...

    I believe an online discussion group called 'slashdot' once ran a story on it...

    http://slashdot.org/articles/01/03/17/1639250.sh tm l


  • NEVER, EVER, go after students. Haven't the governments learned anything from the near revolution in France in the late 60's, the riots in America in the late 60's, Tiananman Square, etc.? Students are the last people in the world to piss off!

    Maybe it's because we have no resposibilties freeing us up to devote ourselves heart and soul. Maybe it's because we still have our enthusiasm.

    But the best way I can see for any music association to destroy its power is to attack the students. If this were to occur in the US, I feel that within 5 years the laws would be so radically changed that the RIAA would be nothing more than an archaic symbol stripped of all power.

    So I say, keep it up, Taiwan. The sooner you go after individual students, the sooner those future leaders will come to resent copywright monopolies.

  • What kind of penalties do they have for this sort of thing in Taiwan? I would really hate to think that some copyright megalopoly would seek to enforce its laws in a country where people who break stupid IP laws that shouldn't exist and are in dire need of reform get caned or have their hands chopped off or something. Actually if this did happen on a mass scale it might help to turn public sentiment completely against the robber barons, and maybe then something could finally be done to put these people in check.
  • by dh003i ( 203189 ) <{dh003i} {at} {gmail.com}> on Saturday April 14, 2001 @09:55AM (#292128) Homepage Journal

    The RIAA is watching you.

    MP3 police.

    Who controls the internet controls the MP3s: who controls the law controls the internet.




    You could create and share noise but not music.

    We're getting the music into its final shape -- the shape it's going to have when nobody hears anything else. When we've finished with it, tpeople like you will have to learn music all over again. I dare say, that our chief job is inventing new music. But not a bit of it! We're destroying notes -- scores of them, hundreds of them, every day. We're cutting the music down to the bone. The eleventh album won't contain a single note that will become obsolete before the year 2050.

    You don't grasp the beauty of the destruction of notes. Do you know that Newmusic is the only music in the world whose repratrauer gets smaller every year?

    It's a beautiful thing, the destruction of notes.

    Don't you see that the whole aim of Newmusic is to narrow the range of thought? In the end, we shall make musicrime literally impossible, because there will be no notes in which to express it. Every song that can ever be needed, will be expressed by exactly one note, with its tone rigidly defined and all its subsidiary tones rubbed out and forgotten.

    Every year fewer and fewer notes, and the range of consciousness always a little smaller. Even now, of course, there's no reason or ecuxe for committing musicrime. It's merely a question of self-discipline, reality-control. But in the end there won't be any need for event hat. The Revolution will be complete when the music is perfect. Newmusic is Riaasoc and Riaasoc is Newmusic. Has it ever occured to you that by the year 2050, at the very latest, not a single human being will be able to understand 'music' wuch as we are listening to now?

    The whole climate of music will be different. In fact there will be no music, as we understand it now. Orthodoxy means not hearing notes -- not needing to hear notes. Orthododxy is unconsciousness. Soon, people will buy CD-albums which are blank.

    Duckmusic, to quack music like a duck. It is one of those interesting words that have two contradictory meanings. Applied to an opponent(such as Napster), it is absue, applied to someone you agree with, it is praise.

    Two minutes hate.

    It was terribly dangerous to let your singing wonder when you were in any public place or within the range of the Riaascreen. The smallest thing could give you away. A nervous tic, an unconscious look of anxeity, a habit of muttering to yourself -- anything that could give you away...Even to wear an improper expression on your face when a victory against napster was announced, was a punishable offence. There was even a word for it under the Newmusic order: facecrime, it was called.

    Everything faded into mist. The past music was erased, the erasure was forgotten, the lie became truth.

    Napster was a fragment of the abolished past

    In the end the RIAA would announce that a sharp was a flat, and you would have to believe it. It was inevitable that they should make that claim sooner or later: the logic of their position demanded it.
  • Given Red China's military superiority and the US's weak pledge of support, I think this [modernhumorist.com] is what they're really afraid of :)

  • The university authorities urged students to remain calm and focus on their studies.

    Yeah. Just remain calm and focus on your studies while we drag away your fellow students to either be questioned or jailed for the horrific crime of trading mp3s.

    And while we're turning the place upside down looking for mp3s we might also find other subversive contraband.
  • ...another use for StegFS [cam.ac.uk].

    (Evil Music Industry Spy): OK you little pirate scum, what's the password?
    (Innocent College Student): ********, sir.
    (Evil Music Industry Spy): Hmm, only GPL'd software here, no MP3's in here. Let's move on. Sorry to bother you.
    (Innocent College Pirate^H^H^H^H^H^H Student): Oh, No Problem (evil grin)
  • Moronic slogans? You mean like this [modernhumorist.com]?
  • by LordArathres ( 244483 ) on Saturday April 14, 2001 @04:32AM (#292147) Homepage
    I am drawing several similarities between this and the case against Kevin Mitnick.

    "Let's single out somone and beat them into the ground with lawsuits, jail etc... and soon people will be afraid to cross us. We Rule!" The Music Industry.

    We live in a strange world, and it keeps getting BETTER!


    I love my iBook. I use it to run Linux!
  • "Why does being a student make it any different from if we were not? Raids on student accomodation should be reacted to exactly as raids on domestic homes would be."

    Three things make being a student "different", with respect to the government:

    1. Students are in the most impressionable stage of their lives, one reason why so much effort is concentrated on the educational establishment by special interests (enviro-wackos, wacko cause `celeb-of-the-month, and any other radical, pro-GOVERNMENT authority groups). By wacking some students, the government can use the terroristic fear to silence and affect thousands more. And they carry this fear to their adult professional lives.

    2. Most schools, obviously, are run and owned by the government, and thus government is allowed to circumvent many laws with regard to access and search. It's probably Unconstitutional, but the courts have seemingly long since given up on demaning ANY substantive "probable cause" for issuing warrants.

    3. Students are students. NOT working professionals. This means they are not earning significant income, and thus, are far less likely to be able to turn around and fight back with any effect. In other words, students are vulnerable to being exploited by the legal system, where the public defenders are most likely IN bed with the local legal "establishment" or else too incompetent to be hired by the corpers and strike it rich.

  • "Why does being a student make it any different from if we were not? Raids on student accomodation should be reacted to exactly as raids on domestic homes would be."

    Which they SHOULD be. I really don't understand how schools get away with the level of "co-operation" with government in conducting such raids. I also don't understand how there can be ANY legal difference between a home you own or rent off campus, with a dorm you RENT on campus!

    IMO, the difference has more to do with the campus dorm being GOVERNMENT PROPERTY and the private, off campus apartment being PRIVATE property.

  • "Another amazing pirating scam that in Taiwan is credit card fraud, which is more widespread in that country than any other. One can now get a fake credit card made there in under 3 minutes, and most people are afraid to use their legitimate credit cards for fear of the number being stolen by a planted clerk"

    Could this be like the way we do it here in the USA? After all, we have violent criminals being let loose by the thousand every day to make jail space for largely non-violent drug offenders... (and, it should be noted, largely "somehow" letting the VIOLENT drug lords get away).

    It's VERY out of whack! The punishment no longer fits the crime anywhere in the USA. As one poster pointed out on an earlier /. story, it's possible to get a FRACTION of the jail time for running over Jack Valenti in your car (vehicular manslaughter) than violating the DMCA!

    Just like any other profession, law enforcement would rather take lower-risk path of arresting people less likely to kill them. Hell, they will jump right on this bandwagon! Mp3 users are a lot less likely to kill cops than are even drug users!

  • "You make it sound as if this took place in the USA. However, it didn't."

    I was more commentin on the rash of college dorm raids in the USA that have been ./ stories. I dont' know WHAT the law is in Taiwan.

  • "So you would open fire on a bunch of federal agents with a signed search warrant. This would get you killed and the corporate press would report you as just another maniac with a gun, who shot at some brave guys doing their job. Legal gun ownership is great in theory, but remember who has all the power and control of the press."

    I'm not advocating such violence. However, the government has shown an increasing willingness to violate the law, especially in these armed stormtrooper raids. Sooner or later, something is going to happen.

  • "There are bootleg CD's sold in stores all the place right? That has to be costing the recording industry many times as much as lost revenue from MP3's. Is the case law and legal system in Taiwan such that making and selling pirate CD's is impossible to prosecute, but owning MP3's is easy?"

    Even mom and pop store owners have more political clout than an unemployed student. I think some others are right, piracy is rampant in Taiwan, and the government went along with this to both appease the RIAA (making it look like they will crack down), but yet not do anything to anger their own business community.

    So, they bust those not making money off piracy and let the ones that ARE scoot... Isn't that rather like how the USA treats the "drug war"?

  • "If that were only the case. I know in many of the more backward (and they think they're more advanced) countries in Europe, the "paraphenalia" is illegal. A clean glass bong is illegal, even if it's obviously unused. Sad but true."

    We have that law here in the USA now... The DMCA. The MPAA has already gotten a utility (DeCSS) declared so illegal that you can't even link to it. What does DeCSS do? It allows you to watch a DVD that you bought on the OS or player of your choice...

    Just because DeCSS COULD be used to eliminate CSS encryption, it's "illegal paraphenalia".

  • "The people in charge of enforcing laws do not make them."

    Of course they don't make them. But they do enforce them. And it's plain to anyone that the police tend to be more likely to enforce the laws that:

    1. Realize revenue (ie: the high percentage of cops you see sitting by the road with a radar gun)

    2. Get arrests with a low likelyhood of danger (drug arrests).

    It is rare to see the police pursue a violent crime or the drug BOSSES with the same zeal that they do speeders and drug users. In fact, I'd be willing to bet that going after speeders and drug users probably represents over 90% of what the police DOES!

    Raiding college dorms for MP3 users is an even more attractive job for the cops, as there is virtually NO risk.

    After all, a MP3 never killed anyone, did it?
  • "Just because it wasn't done in the halls of Congress and they were considered too dull for even C-SPAN to carry doesn't mean they were done behind closed doors."

    But it DOES mean that it was not done in a CONSTITUTIONAL (meaning illegal) manner. Laws are supposed to be made by CONGRESS, not by the President or an unelected bureaucracy.

    But then, laws are often passed by Congress without a debate... The DMCA was one of them. IMO, whenever you have something that is slipped in the cover of darkness into law (such as the ergonomic rules and of course, the DMCA) it's almost always BAD LAW.

    If there is to be widespread regulation of business, it needs to be done in the open. The ergonomics rules would have cost US business billions of dollars for what may be no public benefit. And that cost will be paid by EVERYONE. People will lose jobs, and products will become more expensive.

    All the more reason why there needs to be PUBLIC debate by our representatives before such rules would be enacted.

    BTW, I scoff at most of these so-called "carpal tunnel" and RSI "injuries" with relation to computer equipment. I've been using computer keyboards for many hours a day since I was 8 years old. I'm now 28 and have NEVER had any problem, nor would it seem likely to me that I ever will.

    You do realize, that if executive order was used in the manner Clinton did with the ergonomics rules, the president could, by fiat, outlaw MP3's, or give the BATF authority to "regulate" them.

  • I have NO doubt in my mind whatsoever that these terrorist raid tactics used in Taiwan is nothing but a dress rehearsal for what they want to start doing in the US.

    And I have one question: Even IF the RIAA busts into your apartment and seizes your hard drive full of MP3's, HOW can they prove that they aren't tracks you made from music that you had bought? Even if they WERENT? I have yet to see a CD or casette come with a software like "shrink wrap EULA" that states that you have to keep the license and originals as proof of purchase.

    After all, there is a well established, Constitutionally protected right of "fair use" (though being eroded constantly by moronc Federal "judges" (Kaplan) and illegal statutory law (DMCA).

    Also, in the USA, you are legally innocent UNTIL they prove you guilty beyond a REASONABLE doubt. They have to PROVE that you didn't make those MP3's from stuff you'd bought over the years, but may not have kept the originals. Thus it seems likely that it would be hard to make any such case stick, unless they could seize logs or something that showed you using Napster.

    However, as we well know, the corpers are writing the laws and are paying the lawyers who become judges (Kaplan). Just as the DeCSS case verdict was irrational, Constitutionally illegal, and indefensible (as was Kaplan's conflicted conduct), there is sure to be a RIAA vs. Joe Napster user that will be just as stupid.

    What is happening, IMO, is the RIAA is trying to establish a precedent somewhere, that they can then con some local or Federal jackboots into following HERE, to treat people who have MP3's like drug dealers and software Warez sellers.

    If this starts happening here, well, now you anti-gun ownership people understand the argument that I and others make for the reason BEHIND the fact that the Founders included the right to "keep and bear arms" right in the second amendment. The right to bear arms is intended to keep the government in line, and within the law.

    To be honest, though, I wonder if the RIAA realizes what would happen if they started such raids in the USA? I think there would be a CONSIDERABLE public backlash against them.

    Or maybe I'm putting too much faith in the sheep masses who keep voting for the same two (one) party system all the time. The same parties that are so similar in their desire to kowtow to the corpers that they unanimously, and secretly, voice voted in the DMCA.

  • "Yes, Clinton has NAFTA, the WTO, and Marc Rich to answer for. But do you honestly think the ergonomic rules, national monument designations, or arsenic rules were examples of Clinton bowing to the wishes of big business?"

    No, the "ergonomics" rules (passed by no legislature, with no public debate, but IMPOSED in an autocratic fashion by executive "fiat") were put in place to appease the Trial Lawyers.

    The US Trial Lawyers are the largest contributors to the Democratic Party. The more regulations, the more money THEY make.

    How can you NOT call the plantiff's lawyer industry a BIG BUSINESS?

  • I must disagree with with this statement, "Those sound like pretty good things to encourage anyhow to me." Encouraging people to break laws is not a joking matter especially in a strict system in a 3rd world country.

    Sure Asia has some strict laws [internet.com], but telling people to break them is not the solution, and will only enforce their government's petty stance on regulations. What the students should do is protest, make the world aware of the harsh sentences being imposed in their countries. Lobby to get them removed

    If some states in the US started trying to circumvent drug laws by hiding their "stashes" their breaking the laws just as well so you can't have it one way and not the other. Fsck yea I disagree with someone like the government's bs, but at the same time a rule is a rule no matter how you cut it.

    Now on the flip side of things, I hope their doing a good enough job of ridding their songs. If not they could use BCWipe [jetico.com] to rid them, or if their laws allow for encryption, they could write an hourly cron script to tar then pgp them without destroying evidence.

    Personally some of those students who are protesting, should look into getting into politics to ease things for their future kin.

    use the source! [antioffline.com]
  • I knew someone would bring up Tiananmen on this one. One of the things to remember, are the differences in date. Its doubtable with the way things are there would be a repeat of it, as the world would be watching. So instead of even trolling about that I'll just quote.
    "In the years since June 1989 China has changed enormously. Since that time the USA and the world have witnessed several genocides (Rwanda and Bosnia for example). Yet Americans seem peculiarly troubled by what happened in Tiananmen Square over ten years ago.

    It is time to stop dwelling on this one particular event in modern Chinese history. We must look at our own past, see our own experiences, and not pass judgement blindly. In the words of the memorial to the Kent State massacre, we should "Inquire, Learn, Reflect."
    quote source [sinomania.com]
  • Well this will be the last I respond to this to not sway or troll longer.

    However, imagine YOU are a student in a country where 12 years ago the government killed it's own people for peaceful protest. Do you go out on the streets over some MP3s? Personally I would move, and if under given circumstances I couldn't then yes I would look into raising awareness via form of protest or other methods, such as switching into the political realm so future folk would not have to deal with it.

  • I post at 2. Aside from that what does that have to do with anything? Like I said I don't wanna troll about it, but to think that Tiananmen square would repeat is absurd, especially with tensions on the rise all around, and another protest would likely garter immediate attention, and close scrutiny of the government. So again whats your point?
  • Well then your point is well missed, since you have nothing to substantiate anything you said. You can't compare something that happened 12 years ago with this instance, without supporting the claims.

    Don't be mislead, I sympathize with the families of those lost in that massacre, but at the same time, common sense would tell some, that another repeat of that incident would be rare, and their political officials know it would impact their economy in a harsh fashion.

    So to just rant on about Tiananment Square is opening up a can of worms, only the worms are dead... Meaningless at this point.

  • Agreed which is why I stated that some of the students who opposed these things should air their concerns, they should know (or hopefully be aware) that the world would be watching to see that another massacre would not occur.

    Again I also stated that those who are oppressed should look into getting into politics now to aviod having their kin subjected to this in the future. I don't disagree with your points, maybe I'm too tired to take them for what their worth, and I sincerely agree with most of the things you've said to an extent. About the westernization, you have to understand, they have to form their own laws, judgments, etc., its kind of like what the US had in the 60's in the form of racism, its a long road but slowly, people are moving towards better modes of life.

  • by deran9ed ( 300694 ) on Saturday April 14, 2001 @05:36AM (#292173) Homepage
    they should attack the criminal organizations creating these that clearly violate Taiwanese copyright, not students that are engaging in what may actually be considered fair use under Taiwanese law. My impression is that the law there has not yet been clarified in that manner.

    Agreed, but thinking the government is going to attack "cities of industry" within criminal enterprises is like telling them "Go to war" as opposes to just finding a scapegoat. Maybe I'm not saying it right since I'm tired as shit so let me rephrase.

    If some of these criminal enterprises are contributing money to anyone in underhanded fashions, then it'd be easier to their music industry to pass blame on students, and have the government go after them.

    At least in the U.S., the CDs we buy in stores are bona fide copies. Now, I'm no fan of RIAA; I believe that they don't really serve a purpose other than to promote a monopolistic view for music, to keep the recording industry's profit margins nice and fat while the common artist is screwed.

    Well out here in New York City, there is a slight problem with bootleg copies of music, in fact (no bullshit) while passing by Federl Plaza last week there were bootleggers selling those CD's in front of the FBI's headquarters. (The bootleggers don't worry though, government only goes after cypherpunks [about.com]. I think there are more important issues than going after the students as well. As for the RIAA, its a business like any other one, they do what they can to generate their revenue, its all fair game.

  • by deran9ed ( 300694 ) on Saturday April 14, 2001 @05:56AM (#292174) Homepage
    First of all thats a shitty case to reference as Kevin was blatantly committing crimes. Sure the government pounded law after law after law on Kevin but he is no martyr nor should he be treated as one.

    I totally disagree with him getting shafted on a trial for so long, and one of the things I blame on society is their lack of knowledge regarding computer crimes, etc., etc., and the so called "jury of your peers" bs.

    Referencing Kevin is like a pro doo hickey radical coming here, and saying something like "Well Timothy McVeigh was right to think that be committing his crime, he would make those aware of the bs gov is spewing on groups like those in Waco" or something like that.

    Kevin was a criminal no one gave him permission to go into any of those networks, had it been a flip side situation where he was contemplating selling information he garnered, (which no one but him will ever know) people would've called for harsh sentencing.

  • "That my friends is how terrorism works. You don't strike the strongest, most visible targets in this case organizations like Philips Electronics for making stuff like mp3 cd players, you attack the small targets that everyone assumes are more or less outside the conflict"

    *Bzzzzt*! Wrong! If terrorists struck the small, irrelevant targets, no one would care about terrorism. Seriously, terrorism is a serious threat in our country, largely due to the World Trade Center bombing. You take out an 80 story building and people notice. If those guys had done what you suggested and said "Hey Shiek Ahmed, you busy? Let's go bomb some old lady's barn in the middle of Hicksville." No one would have cared, because they're attacking an obscure an inconsequential part of society. True, the little guys don't hold out as long in a fight, but nobody notices, and that's the whole point of terrorism.

  • by eadz ( 412417 ) on Saturday April 14, 2001 @04:38AM (#292190) Homepage
    I'm sure they will find a way to evade the athorities. I just hope it isn't a sony memory stick somewhere where the sun don't shine.
  • by KilljoyAZ ( 412438 ) on Saturday April 14, 2001 @07:28AM (#292196) Homepage
    Or maybe I'm putting too much faith in the sheep masses who keep voting for the same two (one) party system all the time.

    I really wish people like Nader would stop insisting that there is no difference between Bush and Gore. I think Bush has proven in the first 100 days how far away from Gore he actually is on the environment, the abortion debate, worker safety, the energy crisis, gun regulations, Justice Department priorities (see Microsoft case), the worldwide AIDS epidemic, the degree of separation of church and state, acceptable levels of judicial activism, military intervention, school vouchers, taxes, and foreign policy. Dubya is not as moderate as he would have us believe during the election. About the only thing the parties have in common is the relentless pursuit of fundraising and the willingness to be corrupted by it.

    But Democrats are also beholden to labor unions and environmental groups, and Republicans are beholden to the war hawks and religious right. The split among Democrats was shown during the WTO and NAFTA debates; the split among Republicans during this latest China mess

    Yes, Clinton has NAFTA, the WTO, and Marc Rich to answer for. But do you honestly think the ergonomic rules, national monument designations, or arsenic rules were examples of Clinton bowing to the wishes of big business?

    There are even difference within the Democratic and Republican parties. It would be intellectually dishonest to say Sen. John Breaux shared every view with Rep. Maxine Waters, or that Sen. Olympia Snowe was in lockstep with Sen. Strom Thurmond. Guess what? Nader LIED, like EVERY other politician does, in order to secure your vote. Don't get me wrong, a lot of what Nader said about corporate power in this country made a lot of sense, and I agreed with it. But if the best that the Greens can do is to mischaracterize 90% of the politicians as "one and the same," instead of convincing people of the strength of their platform, it's no wonder that they never get very far in national elections.

    Unfortunately these two parties do agree on the topic of copyright in the digital age (because basically they listen to whatever the *AA tells them). It has a lot to do with money, but it also has a lot to do with the power the media conglomerates hold in this country. The companies that own the news organizations also own record companies and movie studios. Today we live in the age of television and 24 hour news coverage. Most are too afraid to do anything to hurt the media conglomerates' bottom line because politicians are so dependent upon positive media coverage.

    As for many of the "sheep," copyright law isn't as important to them as it is to you or me. Most are more concerned with issues like abortion, education, and taxes. These are places where the parties differ.

  • Ok, so you got 14 students caught with mp3s. Sure, they broke the law. But now there's a bunch of RIAA-type nazi assholes that are taking those 14 students and placing them on a pedestal. Those 14 students will probably have a hard time with their studies, having to talk to lawyers and go to court sessions and all, and if this case does start to escalate, I'm sure that they'll have to drop or postpone their studies. The music industry gets to deny these 14 students the opportunity to get a better education. The unlucky 14, at that. If I was a music artist represented by a group that goes off and persecutes small groups of people for the sake of generating fear amongst the rest of the populace who download mp3s, I think I'd leave. But appartently (aside from those bitch-ass pussies Metallica and sell-out Dr.Gay), many artist do support this kind of persecution implicitly by not speaking up and taking a stand against bullshit like this.

    You finding Ling-Ling's head?
    Someone come into yard, kill dog.

I am here by the will of the people and I won't leave until I get my raincoat back. - a slogan of the anarchists in Richard Kadrey's "Metrophage"