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United States Your Rights Online

P2P File Sharing Could Cost You A Bundle 1000

geekee writes "CNET posted an article claiming you could be liable for $250,000 in fines and up to 3 years in prison for p2p file sharing. This is due to an obscure law called the No Electronic Theft (NET) act passed in 1997 (signed by Bill Clinton). Although the Justice Department has not prosecuted anyone under this new law, some members of congress have asked John Ashcroft to begin prosecuting. In response to the request, John Malcolm, a deputy assistant attorney general, said to expect some NET Act prosecutions."
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P2P File Sharing Could Cost You A Bundle

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  • by irc.goatse.cx troll ( 593289 ) on Monday January 27, 2003 @09:53PM (#5171213) Journal
    Forever. If its P2P you have to make a direct connection to other peers, which means they need your ip. The only way around this would be proxying all connections (P2P2P?) which would of course be laughably unfeasable due to the pbit+ connection this proxy would need.
  • Nice (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 27, 2003 @09:53PM (#5171215)

    (a) DEFINITION OF FINANCIAL GAIN- Section 101 of title 17, United States Code, is amended by inserting after the undesignated paragraph relating to the term `display', the following new paragraph:

    `The term `financial gain' includes receipt, or expectation of receipt, of anything of value, including the receipt of other copyrighted works.'.

    Very nice. I just traded some recently-read books with my mom. Does this mean I'm gonna fry (she'll probably turn me in 'cuz she's like that)?
  • by Kipper the Llama ( 454021 ) on Monday January 27, 2003 @09:56PM (#5171242)
    Honestly, this law will never be used against the "normal" citizen. However, what should worry you is this, the law can be used to imprison or harm people who the gov't (or a malicious DA) wants out of the way.

    Let's say you have a paranoid administration like the Nixon one, or a socio-fascist one like FDR's that wants an easy way to get rid of dissidents. What's a good way? Find out that they used Kazaa a few times, and imprison them for a few years.

    This law is another example of government intrusion into your everyday life through regulation and taxes.

    "Bring back the Articles of Confederation!"
  • Re:Funny (Score:3, Interesting)

    by stefanlasiewski ( 63134 ) <slashdot@stefanc[ ]om ['o.c' in gap]> on Monday January 27, 2003 @09:57PM (#5171251) Homepage Journal
    Do you legislators ever vote for you?

    I have a hard time believing that Swiss Citizens have voted on every single line in the law books. When Switzerland joined the UN recently, did you actually vote on that, or did some representative vote in your name,.

    Not a flame, but I'm curious how it works in other countries (I got some idea when I spent a week there in June, but a week is so little time).
  • by Stonent1 ( 594886 ) <stonent@nOSPam.stonent.pointclark.net> on Monday January 27, 2003 @09:59PM (#5171259) Journal
    Instead of hammering redhat, Freebsd, ftp.kernel.org every time the latest and greatest is released, wouldn't it be a better use of resources to make a kazaa-like program that distributes the bandwidth of multiple mirror sites? I seem to remember something similar to this being discussed before but has anything like that been done? I actually feel kinda bad that my most "local" redhat mirror is ftp.redhat.com so I purposely rotate ftp sites to even things out.
  • Re:Funny (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Spellbinder ( 615834 ) on Monday January 27, 2003 @09:59PM (#5171263)
    we voted actually
    and our system works
    with and without holes in our cheese :p
  • Re:I agree. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ainsoph ( 2216 ) on Monday January 27, 2003 @09:59PM (#5171264) Homepage
    I just tried to do that. I wrote a very long letter to her talking about consumer rights, fair use, etc.

    She wrote back to me to say, there is currently a bill that is fair and protective of consumers known as the CDPTA (or whatever the fuck it is called this week).

    Even tho she is quite liberal, we obviously are not on the same page. And even tho she thanked me for writing, she basically told me what I had to say had no value in the modern world, and to stay in touch.

    In case you havent noticed, unless you own the copyright on Micky the fuckin Mouse, or some such property (Britney anyone?) you dont stand a chance having your voice heard 'in these modern times'.

    Sorry to be a cynic. Vote with yer $buck$, thats how you get heard.
  • by lakeland ( 218447 ) <lakeland@acm.org> on Monday January 27, 2003 @10:03PM (#5171282) Homepage
    Part of what you've said is true, theft is theft. But using p2p isn't, and nor is (was) sharing files via p2p. Some people would argue it is in the entertainment industry's best interest

    Say I have a CD of "Revolver" by the Beatles, I can legally convert it to MP3. But converting CDs to MP3 is a drag, if I can't be stuffed doing the conversion, I can log into napster and download the MP3s. Similarly, if I want to save other owners of that CD the hassle of converting their CDs to MP3, there is nothing wrong with me sharing the files via p2p.

    The problem comes when someone who doesn't own the CD downloads the files from me. Now personally, I don't care -- I think it is up to each person to decide what laws they're willing to break -- but I still haven't broken any laws (or at least I shouldn't have). Just because what I do makes it easy for others to break the law shouldn't make what I do illegal.
  • by www.sorehands.com ( 142825 ) on Monday January 27, 2003 @10:06PM (#5171303) Homepage
    Lets ask law enforcement to prosecute the NET charges against the MPAA and RIAA agents that violate the terms of use and copyrights of websites while they search for pirated software.
  • by spoonboy42 ( 146048 ) on Monday January 27, 2003 @10:12PM (#5171345)

    I just brought up the text of the bill. I'll give my obligatory IANAL here, but in order to be prosecuted under the bill, it looks like you must:

    Traffic copies ammounting to over $1000 in retail value within a 180 day period.

    Engage in electronic reproduction for financial gain

    So, if you aren't selling the right to download your MP3s, or burning and selling (at a profit) CD s of material you download, or even if you do these things on a very small scale, it looks like you can't be prosecuted. This law does not affect the average P2P user, it just affects people who bootleg as a business and happen to use P2P networks to accomplish their goals.

  • by MalleusEBHC ( 597600 ) on Monday January 27, 2003 @10:13PM (#5171347)
    From the article..

    "Also, if someone logs on to a file-trading network and shares even one MP3 file without permission in "expectation" that others will do the same, full criminal penalties kick in automatically."

    I've yet to read the law, but that would seem to indicate that you would be fscked if you used Kazaa and even traded just one mp3.
  • Hmmm... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mao che minh ( 611166 ) on Monday January 27, 2003 @10:22PM (#5171409) Journal
    If found guilty of grand theft, the average teenager faces a small fine, the obligation to pay for any damages to the owner, and possible community service. A first time offending adult faces similar charges. The point is that the fine rendered usually never exceeds the amount stolen. Repeat offenders are given stricter penalties.

    The idea of facing even $5,000 in fines for obtaining a few hundred songs illegally should be considered ludicrous. This fine should be at the top of such a penalty, and only in extreme circumstances. A $250,000 fine for such a thing sounds, to me, simply un-American. We like our lax criminal penalties. Who does the RIAA think they are?!

  • Holy crap people (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 27, 2003 @10:25PM (#5171425)
    I cant believe that the same people who will jump down the throat of someone who even smells like they violated the GNU license, can complain that someone else tries to enforce the license of another product.

    Regardless of how much you disagree with a license, doesn't make it any more right to turn around and do the same thing that you hate so much when you're on the other side.

    At the risk of being labeled a troll right off the bat, quite a number of people here seem like a bunch of whiny people who feel that they can just take what they want from other people, but their heads virtually explode when the shoe is on the other foot.

  • by ralphus ( 577885 ) on Monday January 27, 2003 @10:33PM (#5171476)
    Freenet is a very interesting project that we should all pay some attention to.

    Check out http://www.freenetproject.org [freenetproject.org] and read the philosophy of the project. The philosophy is the important aspect right now, not the functionality. The functionality will get there, and when it does, what are we going to see?

    What will the powers that be do if there is a system that virtually guarantees that you are immune from monitoring?

    How will things change when we see that they can't stand it and they decide to fight back 10 times harder than they did against PGP and Phil Zimmerman?

    Freenet, and other distributed anonymous sytems like it, could be the catalayst for another crypto-revolution.

  • by axxackall ( 579006 ) on Monday January 27, 2003 @10:45PM (#5171547) Homepage Journal
    That's what I wonder, why to use KAZAA or Napster, centralized systems, when it can be IRC with bots (to keep indexes and to search), the decentralized system, which no single govt (perhaps even a group of govts) can stop? The system is unofficial - they cannot sue it. The system has not (usually) a single country where it is located.

    Also I wonder if it's possible to intersect and analyze any IRC/SSL (IRC over SSH) traffic? Because, if it's not possible, than I'll encrypt my filesystem and FBI can forget about any evidence.

    Well, fortunately I am not living in USA anymore and perhaps I can forget about crazy USA govt for awhile... untill slashdot will remind it again in such crazy news :)

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 27, 2003 @10:47PM (#5171559)
    No no no, you don't get it, they changed the definition of 'financial gain' too:

    (a) DEFINITION OF FINANCIAL GAIN- Section 101 of title 17, United States Code, is amended by inserting after the undesignated paragraph relating to the term `display', the following new paragraph:

    `The term `financial gain' includes receipt, or expectation of receipt, of anything of value, including the receipt of other copyrighted works.'.

    So, its 'financial gain' if you even receive a copyrighted work, money/trading doesn't have to be involved.
  • by cgenman ( 325138 ) on Monday January 27, 2003 @11:03PM (#5171658) Homepage
    Interesting, I don't think I can buy any of the MP3's I have on my computer... They're all ripped from CD's. Does that mean the RIAA gets to set the retail CD price, and set it equivalent to the price they recently were (all but) convicted of fixing at a tremendous markup?

    If you assume 20 dollars per retail CD, with 8 songs per album, you're docked 2 and a half dollars per album. That's 400 songs, or 30 real albums (albums with more than 8 songs... Kind of like the equivalent of 421 CD Burners). If you have ripped a portion of your CD collection to your drive, that should be enough to push you over the theoretical limit, and somehow I doubt you will be able to convince the judge to look at your Kazaa preferences file to prove that you are only sharing legal fansub anime.

    On the other hand, it does say that this distribution must occur during a 180 day period, which would imply that it is not enough to just have music on your machine, but you must actively upload 400 songs in 6 months... or about two per day, irrespective of the total on your hard drive. This sort of rate would be difficult to prove, though I tend to think that judges would accept an average rate extrapolated to a long period of time, rather than requiring the justice department to tap your line for 400 songs. I've seen an older client serve more than that at a single time, but newer ones tend to throttle that to something that won't DOS itself. Still, a newer client throttled down to 3KBps, with sharing on for only one person, can theoretically serve up a song every 16 minutes. If we assume that half of the time the computer sits idle, and 80% of song transfers are aborted / fail %50 of the way through, You get a successful song transfer ($2.50) every hour and a half. If you leave your computer running all of the time (but, as previously mentioned, Kazaa only half the time), you are stealing $6,480 dollars every 180 days from Bertlesman's pockets. Assuming the previous success rates, and the minimum bandwidth / transfer settings for non-scrubs, you would need to have Kazaa running for less than 1.8 hours per day. Not terribly hard, but it is primarily a background task. Perhaps it is time to share only indies and bands with talent?

    Does Kazaa leave logs?
  • by user no. 590291 ( 590291 ) on Monday January 27, 2003 @11:03PM (#5171661)
    If you're the lucky winner of the prosecutorial lottery, I'm sure it can be arranged for the label to make a short run of the CDs you downloaded, thus establishing a retail value. And ex post facto doesn't protect you from the establshment of that value after the fact.

    IANAL and all that.

  • Re:Theft (Score:2, Interesting)

    by machine of god ( 569301 ) on Monday January 27, 2003 @11:15PM (#5171718)
    Is criminalizing half of the population actually, "Government for the People, by the People"?

    That's an interesting question. There is no doubt in my mind that downloading music that you would normally be charged for is wrong. Even if it is way over priced. So maybe you don't want to call it stealing. Whatever. That's not my point. The point is that what if the majority (even 90%) of the population wants to do something morally objectionable. Is the government supposed to be a government for the people by respecting their wishes, or by protecting them from each other. And then, how easy would it be to be corrupt in a government where there is a parentlike relationship between itself and the citizens, where the idea is that the citizens are being protected from themselves, even if they don't want it or don't understand it.

    And lastly, can you really say you have a point, without really making any point, simply raising a question that may result in a point? What is a point anyway? And the meaning of life, what's with that? Is it beer? I think it is. More research is needed though I think. I'll get right on that.

  • by Pieroxy ( 222434 ) on Monday January 27, 2003 @11:18PM (#5171731) Homepage
    Do you think they can jail those users that work for the RIAA (or others) and try to infiltrate the P2P networks [slashdot.org] ? They intentionally share low-Q content but it's still copyrighted content right ?

    That would really make my day!
  • Everyone surrender!! (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 27, 2003 @11:24PM (#5171771)
    I think everyone who has ever shared files should turn themselves in for prosecution. Think about it: this would overwhelm the system. There would be serious overcrowding in prisons and then they'd have to let all the murderers and drug dealers free to make room for the heinoius file sharers that are costing the entertainment industry millions of dollars.

    Millions of dollars in politicking and legal fees of course. I wonder if the music industry cut back on political donations and spending millions of dollars on lawyers to issue lawsuit upon lawsuit and C&D upon C&D, if this would improve their bottom line...

  • by Positive Charge ( 592093 ) on Monday January 27, 2003 @11:24PM (#5171775) Homepage
    Strategically, it's flawed. Sure stealing is stealing is stealing, but the value is so high en mass and the method of stealing is so easy (you don't even have to intrude or even interact with the person being stolen from) that people will find ways to circumvent it.

    Since (I imagine) there are literally thousands of amoral people with enough programming talent, knowledge of network protocols, and spare time, I can't see a few "test cases" putting an end to sharing.

    Essentially, the investigators will have to monitor the networks to see where files come from, then seize the computers to show that the file lists are the same as they monitored.

    If one builds an IP spoofing scheme (similar to Triangle Boy, for example) into a P2P protocol, the actual IP of the sharer could be hidden. Then reasonable doubt goes out the window.

    Prosecutions would then have to focus on the downloaders, which is a much more difficult problem because it takes quite a bit to get to the value trip points.

    (Not that I'm trying to give anyone ideas or anything or trying to suggest that there may be a degree thesis in this scheme.)
  • Actually I have been doing this for a while now. Kazaa is too much trouble.

    Setup ssh plus a few user accounts. Swap with friends, one to one.

    No different than trading tracks in the old days via analog methods. Remember ogg/mp3 is a lossy format.
  • I don't think there are any extradition agreements that apply to civil lawsuits. In general, the purpose of extradition is to allow people charged and convicted in due process to be handed over to the respective authorities.

    However, that never applies to crimes committed outside of the jurisdiction of the court seeking extradition. For example, if you breack American copyright law in Germany and get charged and convicted in the US for that violation in a criminal case, extradition agreements do not apply because the US court had no jurisdiction over you. Most likely, it won't even get that far as a judge in general will not accept cases that the court has no jurisdiction over.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 27, 2003 @11:51PM (#5171914)
    I use Windows (so sue me), and WinXP does support encrypted file systems. How secure is it though? Secure enough that if my PC were ever seized that they couldn't get the data off of it? Anyone know?
  • tax cut / debt (Score:2, Interesting)

    by primus_sucks ( 565583 ) on Monday January 27, 2003 @11:56PM (#5171946)
    A quick check of Kazaa on Friday afternoon showed that there were 4.1 million users online

    4.1 million * $250,000 ~= 1 trillion

    Cool, now we can pay off the national debt and pay for the tax cut. Oh wait, the national debt [brillig.com] is 6.4 trillon. Better raise the fine to a couple million!
  • hrrm (Score:2, Interesting)

    by L7_ ( 645377 ) on Tuesday January 28, 2003 @12:07AM (#5172007)
    The 19 politicos--including Sen. Joseph Biden, D-Del., Rep. James Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., and Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.--urged Ashcroft "to prosecute individuals who intentionally allow mass copying from their computer over peer-to-peer neworks."
    So what they are saying is if your computer's files are made avaliable to the public (for whatever reason), and you have copyright files on your computer, then if someone takes these files from you, then it is your fault and you can get the book thrown at you. This is interesting because it seems they arent going to be prosecuting people that take the files, but only if you share them with others. That doesn't make sense.
  • by KillerBob ( 217953 ) on Tuesday January 28, 2003 @12:09AM (#5172017)
    (1) for purposes of commercial advantage or private financial gain

    Perhaps you're right. But consider the following: By downloading an MP3, you are saving yourself $17 by not buying the CD. It may not be much, but it's still a private financial gain. 17 bucks is 17 bucks. Multiply by the number of MP3's you might have (currently a little over 4,000 in my collection, though I ripped the huge majority of that myself), and it comes out to a *lot* of money you might have saved.

    All I can say is thank heavens the US has no jurisdiction in my neck of the woods. :)
  • by axxackall ( 579006 ) on Tuesday January 28, 2003 @12:10AM (#5172022) Homepage Journal
    You might be right. But give me another shot.

    Jabber, right? Easy to use client (actually many clients), extensible by new transports server, which has already got IRC transport, by the way.

    If Kazaa will go down it will be a matter of weeks that Jabber will get P2P substitution transport extension, which will be based on current IRC transport, but will use also some dialog scripts with bots.

    It could be not IRC and not Jabber - the name might be different. But you've got an idea - it will be next generation of P2P network with no one central server.

    When many servers replicate each other in many countries - forget about any chances to shut such network down.

    And don't worry about client - OSS will give you several of them. Perhaps some of them will be just as web pages. Like admin port of CUPS print server :)

  • Old news?... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by TheRealStyro ( 233246 ) on Tuesday January 28, 2003 @12:14AM (#5172048) Homepage
    It appears this is just a rehash of the same old copyright enforcement act. You remember, that annoying FBI/Interpol warning before every movie on tape, LD and DVD. The warning that somehow never makes it into your 'archival' copy. States something about several thousand dollars in fines and possible jail time for non-archival copying of the movie.

    Want to hit these jokes where it hurts? Write a decentralized Kazaa that uses pseudo-random rotating ports and a healthy encryption mix. Make sure you use all the standard ports as well as ports for gaming systems (PS2 & Xbox). Encryption doesn't have to be too heavy - 128bit for searches and 40bit for transfers. When the court commands the ISPs to monitor traffic the ISPs have to tell the court to stick it since the DMCA (?!) won't allow cracking/breaking encrypted communications.

  • by Alwin Henseler ( 640539 ) on Tuesday January 28, 2003 @12:43AM (#5172202)
    $250,000 fine? Up to 3 year prison? For file sharing? Get real!

    A fine should relate to the damage done, right? How to prove you did so much damage? The RIAA would like people to believe that every single CD shared is the full price of that CD stolen from the artist. Come on! We all know that the truth is far from that, and hard to calculate, or even prove that damage was actually done.

    Prison? Aren't they already crowded in the US? So, next to thieves and murderers, fill them up with P2P file sharing folks? Yeah, sure.

    Prosecution by the Justice Department? I thought they were there to serve the public, to keep serial killers of the street and so on. Spend tax payers money for prosecuting folks that share their favourite musician's work with other fans? Get real.

    And get it to stand up, when going through the higher courts? I don't think so.

    Who to begin with? More users of any P2P network than there are lawyers on total in the world...

    It's really amazing that such nonsense laws actually get passed in 'the land of the free'.

    And really useful too. Crackdown on KaZaA, and the next popular P2P network will be one that's harder to force out of existence.

  • Re:NET Act question (Score:4, Interesting)

    by jasonditz ( 597385 ) on Tuesday January 28, 2003 @01:02AM (#5172288) Homepage
    Actually the NET act has a clause stating that it does nothing to effect prior fair use laws. Anything you could do before you can do now.

    Then again, to hear some people tell it, watching a TV show without watching commercials is theft too, so I think fair use was obsoleted long before this thing happened.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 28, 2003 @01:30AM (#5172398)
    I read about this awhile ago and tried it out. It's totally 100% invisible. No one knows who the hell you are, not even the people running it. There is no possible way for them to find out either. Obviously it's run on it's own software, a frontend to MIRC, and you can only connect to IIRC servers, but like I said, there is no way to find out who you are via ANY method. Here is the rundown of quick stats and then I'll post the url:

    Perfect Forward Security using Diffie-Hellman Key Exchange Protocol
    Constant session key rotation
    128 bit Blowfish node-to-node encryption
    160 bit Blowfish end-to-end encryption
    Chaffed traffic to thwart traffic analysis
    Secure dynamic routing using cryptographically signed namespaces for node identification
    Node level flood control
    Seamless use of standard IRC clients
    Gui interface
    Peer distributed topology for protecting the identity of users
    Completely modular in design, all protocols are plug-in capable


  • by Blue Stone ( 582566 ) on Tuesday January 28, 2003 @01:56AM (#5172487) Homepage Journal
    I have a different question:

    If I have a Star Trek-like replicator, and I copy, ohh, I dunno, a nice set of table and chairs, or, hmmm, a nice 25-inch LCD monitor, and then replicate it for myself....
    Is that theft?
    What if I replicate a nice new sports car? Or an apple?
    Now supposing everyone had one of those replicators.

    I'll tell you what it is.... it's a technological paradigm change; where the previous status-quo is upturned and made obsolete. Big radical change. Chaos [to start with] with order forming from a new way of doing things with the technology, rather than through banning it.
    Rocky times, but not necessarilly either immoral or a case of everyone becoming "thieves."
  • by Lemmy Caution ( 8378 ) on Tuesday January 28, 2003 @04:24AM (#5172968) Homepage
    While I do think the war on drugs is a fraud, and a violation of basic human freedoms (ultimately, to do what you want with your own body) I really don't think it's comparable with P2P - I think far more people will be dissuaded by enforcement in this case, since the rewards are far less and the risk of being caught is somewhat greater.
  • by troc ( 3606 ) <troc AT mac DOT com> on Tuesday January 28, 2003 @04:51AM (#5173020) Homepage Journal
    That's all well and good but the war on drugs is supposed to stop people preying on the weak and the feeble. e.g. selling drugs to kids, giving crack to the homeless.

    Also, some drugs make the users dangerous to other people (e.g. alcohol!).

    I have no problem with a consenting adult taking drugs for recreation, they can even kill themselves for all I car, that's their freedom but I don't want them giving drugs to my kids to turn them into addicts and I don't want them inciting people to cause dangerous crimes to get more drugs.

    Do what you do to your own body, fine, but what happens when YOU are carjacked and murdered for the money in your wallet and the parts to your car, just so someone can get their fix?

    Don't be so naieve

  • Re:Funny (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Baki ( 72515 ) on Tuesday January 28, 2003 @05:26AM (#5173080)
    In fact they did recount the votes because it was so close. In the UN referendum b.t.w. it was not the majority of cantons that mattered, but the overall majority of votes.

    For some referendums both a canton and an overall voter majority is required, for some only a voter majority will do.

    The Swiss have indeed not voted on every single line of lawtext, but if anyone disagrees with some part of a law, he can start a referendum to have it changed.

    Because of the growing importance of foreign treaties in these days, the law is being changed (a referendum follows in 2 weeks) to extend referedum power: in future foreign treaties must always be ratified by the people in a referendum. This because more and more of the states sovereignty is influenced by foreign treaties.
  • Re:Funny (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Max von H. ( 19283 ) on Tuesday January 28, 2003 @05:27AM (#5173084)
    Should you want to become a Swiss citizen, here's what you gotta do:

    -move to Switzerland
    -meet a Swiss citizen to marry
    -wait for 5 years (or is it 10 now?)to get your citizenship. Don't divorce right away, otherwise you may lose the passport.

    Very few places let foreigners vote (local stuff only), but once you got the passport you'll vote 7-12 times a year. Check this post [slashdot.org] for more info on how we vote.

  • Re:Unpopular opinion (Score:2, Interesting)

    by mst76 ( 629405 ) on Tuesday January 28, 2003 @06:03AM (#5173153)
    Stealing copyrighted material IS wrong.
    I think you mean "copying copyrighted material IS wrong", unless you mean that I actually break into the artists home and swipe his original drafts. Please use the proper terminology.
    Copyrights are there for a reason
    And what exactly do you think this reason is?
    If I own a work of art that I've put a lot of effort into, I certainly do not want it copied around without any control on my part, unless I've specifically granted everyone permission to do so
    I'll give you a waterproof method to keep 100% control of your art: keep it in you're head. If you don't have a photographic memory, you can settle for the next best thing: record it on some medium and seal it in a vault. Most "artists" seek the exact opposite route of wide dissemination of their work, with the knowledge that the probability of them keeping control is virtually zero. The main reason is that in the past century, both law and technology happend to be in place to allow a handful of performers to amass wealth that no performer in the centuries before could ever hope to posess. Technology is now closing this window of opportunity rapidly, and I doubt it can be kept open by law.
  • According to the Audio Home Recording Act, as long as the audio recordings are not for commercial purposes, there are no legal probs.

    Here's a cool demo explaining it all - needs flash and sound... even has Robin Gross -EFF and mentions OGG is not a crime with an unauthorized cameo by Emmett Plant.

  • by salesgeek ( 263995 ) on Tuesday January 28, 2003 @08:43AM (#5173460) Homepage
    When they start fining people $250,000 for downloading a song worth $1.20 if you bought it, it won't take long for the people to assert their rights. I'd be surprised if the courts let the law stand anyway because punishment is unusually severe.
  • by Arpie ( 414285 ) on Tuesday January 28, 2003 @06:36PM (#5177472) Homepage
    If someone starts a fund for supporting folks being sued, I'd pitch in. This whole litigious mindset makes me sick. Big corporations think they can win just because they throw more money at it than the common folk, they don't care about being fair or who's actually braking the law. It'd be great to turn this around...

The party adjourned to a hot tub, yes. Fully clothed, I might add. -- IBM employee, testifying in California State Supreme Court