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Censorship Your Rights Online

Sweden To Outlaw File Sharing, Crypto Breaking? 578

Martin Kallisti writes "The Swedish Department of Justice has today proposed a bill to be put into effect, if it passes Parliament, on the 1st of January, 2004. It is in accordance to EU directives, but will also criminalize the downloading of material from the Internet without the explicit permission of the copyright holder. Furthermore, it will become illegal to break cryptos, circumvent copy protection (mod chips et al), copy books, and as I understand it, use software that is designed to help with any of these tasks, and many other things." An anonymous reader points to an English-language article about this Swedish EUCD proposal, which also mentions a hefty $4 levy on blank digital media such as CD-ROMs.
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Sweden To Outlaw File Sharing, Crypto Breaking?

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  • DMCA (Score:4, Interesting)

    by benna ( 614220 ) * <mimenarrator@g m a i l .com> on Wednesday June 18, 2003 @08:56PM (#6238741) Journal
    Man and I thought the DMCA was bad. This law is just ridiculus. If sweden has any free speech rights in their constitution I doubt ths law will be enforcable. Does this law really have any support?
    • by The Monster ( 227884 ) on Wednesday June 18, 2003 @10:06PM (#6239160) Homepage
      Let's start with this:
      criminalize the downloading of material from the Internet without the explicit permission of the copyright holder
      How, pray tell, am I to get that permission? via a notice that says:
      Copyright 2003 BigMediaConGlomCo. All rights reserved. You are hereby explicitly authorized to download this material for your own personal, noncommercial use. Redistribution without permission is prohibited . . . .
      But here's the glorious Catch-22 of it all. The act of typing an URL into an address field of a browser, or of clicking on a link, causes that browser to attempt to . . . wait for it . . . DOWNLOAD material, which by definition is itself copyrighted! Unless you want to send snail mail to a company to secure written authorization to access their website in advance, you are illegal.

      This law would effectively outlaw the Internet, which is based on the premise that it provides an infrastructure for moving data between consenting parties. In its place would be the presumption that moving data is illegal unless proven otherwise.

    • Re:DMCA (Score:5, Informative)

      by JanneM ( 7445 ) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @05:37AM (#6241085) Homepage
      This is not a good law, to be sure, but the blurb at the top is just plain wrong.

      Most of it is just a codification of what we already know - you may not copy copyrighted works other than for specific, well-defined purposes (research, private copies and so on). And no, file trading networks are _not_ outlawed in any way, shape or form (the press release from the justice ministry was misleading on that issue).

      The thing that can rile people is that you aren't allowed to break copy protection. Well, actually reading the proposal, the picture is not as clear.

      First, any content holder _must_ provide a way for disabled to access the media (it could be by sending a different version to those asking for it, for example). Also, breaking protection on documents and the like in the public area is allowed (courts that want some material for a court case, for instance).

      But, and here what's interesting: the law only protects protection mechanisms that are _solely_ for hindering copying.

      * It does explicitly _not_ protect stuff like region coding on DVD:s (they have that as an example in the text). You are _always_ allowed to break stuff to make use of the media in intended ways, and as DVD:s are meant to be played, region coding has no protection.

      * When one mechanism is used for copy protection, and has as a consequence that intended use is hindered, it no longer has protection. Intended use trumps protection in other words. So DeCSS is likely perfectly legal to use.

      * The law explicitly does _not_ require device manufacturers (or OS writers) to include support for any copy protection mechanism. Media giants can thus not stop the sale of players that do not include some protection scheme. Nobody can ask for operating systems to include DRM.

      Oh, and $4 for blank media? I suggest somebody brush up on their mathematics: the suggestion is about $0.4 - still too much (and gives rise to the question if you haven't actually paid for the right to make a copy of something on the media), but it's nowhere near the outrage implied in the blurb.

      So, the law is not good, but it is not the kind of disaster people here seem to think it is either. With some adjustments (not making private copies a permissive right), it is quite livable.

  • Cracking Down (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Zarxos ( 648322 ) on Wednesday June 18, 2003 @08:58PM (#6238748)
    Well I don't think this will do much. It's like when the US outlawed the selling of Alcohol. People continued to buy it, just illegally. It will be the same here, just with file sharing instead of alcohol.
    • by Hogwash McFly ( 678207 ) on Wednesday June 18, 2003 @09:02PM (#6238778)
      And there'll be file sharing barons who'll send you your Britney Spears audio tracks in an iPod stashed in a bowling ball that rolls through a series of underground tunnels, with the authorities none the wiser
    • Re:Cracking Down (Score:5, Interesting)

      by mumblestheclown ( 569987 ) on Wednesday June 18, 2003 @09:06PM (#6238811)
      "people continued to buy it" is a meaningless first-pass approximation of what happened. Actually, counter to popular belief, prohibition curbed the actual consumption of alcohol significantly. however, criminalization led to every manner of sensationalism such as organizes crime, speakeasies, bootlegging, moonshining, and so forth.

      people continue to murder despite murder being illegal. your argument about file sharing is as naive as it is unquantified.

      • Re:Cracking Down (Score:4, Insightful)

        by fruey ( 563914 ) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @04:37AM (#6240883) Homepage Journal

        People went out of their way to buy it. Supply and demand rules the market. Always has, always will.

        Now, trying to stop filesharing and levying a tax on blank CDRoms is a terrible double standard. If the tax is made to give copyright owners their dues, then I should be able to pay that tax on my blanks and copy what I want, because the dues are being collected indirectly anyway. If I want just to copy my OWN material I am still paying the tax so I am accumulating quite a bit of "right" to copy more music.

        Then, they make copying music and downloading etc illegal - but by the same system they are admitting that everyone does it. Pretty stupid IMHO.

        Murder is a ridiculous comparison. Murder requires premeditation, physical contact, and a clear knowledge of the implications of one's acts. Hardly on a par with listening to a couple of bootlegged MP3s, friend.

    • Re:Cracking Down (Score:5, Interesting)

      by DarkSkiesAhead ( 562955 ) on Wednesday June 18, 2003 @09:13PM (#6238853)

      Well I don't think this will do much. It's like when the US outlawed the selling of Alcohol.
      It may not prevent all filesharing or CD burning, but it certainly could take a heavy toll. Marijuana usage is farily common in the US becaues it's easy to get. However, about 1/4 of the prison population are in for drug offenses. I don't doubt that people will continue to fileshare, but not without a great deal of punishment dealt out. And Sweden has shown (with regards to drugs) that it is able to enforce behavior laws more strictly than the US. I would hate to think of Sweden's prison population swelling with college students who can't pay the fines for downloading kazaa.
      • Re:Cracking Down (Score:3, Informative)

        by yintercept ( 517362 )
        The crack down on bootleggers continued after the end of Prohibition. Everyone living in the hills know that revenuers chase you down when you are transporting a little bit moonshine.

        This is the case of trying to close illegitimate channels of distribution, so it is not quite the same as a complete prohibition. The problem, of course, is that the music industry hasn't done as good a job as it could at creating new low cost distribution mechanism for above ground MP3s. They want dollars for what probably s
    • Re:Cracking Down (Score:3, Interesting)

      by cshark ( 673578 )
      Let them. The economic implications of this are kind of silly. I mean $4.00 per blank CD? Sounds like something Greece would try to pull. This is the second such offensive article on this topic today. I'm a firm believer in technocracy. Seriously. People who know nothing about technical issues shouldn't be making laws that govern them. Just think how well we would be doing in the area of intelectual property if reasonably educated programmers were in charge.
    • Re:Cracking Down (Score:3, Insightful)

      by mindriot ( 96208 )
      All I ever see when it comes to digital copyright is people like us whining about any proposals coming up in different places of the world, saying "that won't work because...", or "what about fair use", etc. etc. I know I myself have been whining as well.

      But, I'd much prefer to read something about proposals as to what "copyright laws done right" should look like. I have hardly seen anything in that direction. Maybe the EFF or other sources on the web have such proposals? Maybe someone can give us a link?
  • Good (Score:3, Funny)

    by MisterFancypants ( 615129 ) on Wednesday June 18, 2003 @08:58PM (#6238749)
    It is about time a government started taking intellectual property rights seriously. I hope this same attitude will take hold in the US, where we are in danger of the creative people who bring us movies and records going bankrupt due to all of the digital pirating of their content.
    • Re:Good (Score:2, Insightful)

      by benna ( 614220 ) *
      I'm not totally sure that that comment was supposed to be funny. It is possible we have someone from the RIAA here and they were being completely serious.
    • This will stop windows pirated windows landing on people's desktops, but will be no obstacle to GPL.

      As for the draconian restrictions on personal freedoms like getting blank cds and researching crypto, that is good for the rest of the world, because it will allow us to continue on while they are slowed down by their laws.

      Heck, imagine if they don't have any local researchers to validate their crypto because getting a licence to do so from the government is prohibitive? We'd become the sole source of decen
    • Re:Good (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Luscious868 ( 679143 )

      Hahahaha .. yeah right. The movie studios and record companies are nowhere near bankrupt yet. Look the bottom line is there is no way to stop file sharing. It's here to stay.

      The record labels could have cut the head right off of file sharing years ago by putting their catalog online and letting users pay a reasonable fee ($.50 - $1) to download an MP3. In fact, if they would have done it before MP3 caught on they probably could have introduced their own format with reasonable DRM and that format would hav

  • pr0n (Score:5, Funny)

    by eniu!uine ( 317250 ) on Wednesday June 18, 2003 @09:00PM (#6238764)
    This isn't going to affect Swedish porn is it?

    • Re:pr0n (Score:4, Funny)

      by coupland ( 160334 ) * <(moc.liamtoh) (ta) (esahcd)> on Wednesday June 18, 2003 @09:21PM (#6238902) Journal

      This isn't going to affect Swedish porn is it?

      Dunno, could undoing a bra stap be considered a circumvention technique?

  • by Surak ( 18578 ) * <[surak] [at] [mailblocks.com]> on Wednesday June 18, 2003 @09:00PM (#6238770) Homepage Journal
    but will also criminalize the downloading of material from the Internet without the explicit permission of the copyright holder

    How do you KNOW if what you're downloading is copyrighted or not and whether or not you have permission. For instance, variouis sites [beta-cc.de] have ripped off Slashdot's icons, which I believe are copyrighted by OSDN and/or Rob Malda.

    By accessing the above link, you are downloading copryighted material without the permission of the author.

    • By accessing the above link, you are downloading copryighted material without the permission of the author.

      No kidding. ... but will also criminalize the downloading of material from the Internet without the explicit permission of the copyright holder.

      I haven't read the article, but if I take this statement literally then that would technically mean you could not legally use the Internet at all. You would have to snail-mail every web site to get permission beforehand. I mean, every web page on the 'Ne
  • by jr87 ( 653146 ) on Wednesday June 18, 2003 @09:04PM (#6238789) Homepage
    there is no possible way for them to enforce this.Even if they did I could imagine the headline... 1/3 of population rounded up in latest crackdown on downloading.... story at 11
    • there is no possible way for them to enforce this.Even if they did I could imagine the headline... 1/3 of population rounded up in latest crackdown on downloading.... story at 11

      In fact, the swedish minister of justice said something to the effect of: "This is not a law we will try to enforce."

      Great! Why don't we just make some new laws for a few special interests, lets make 'em so broad that they criminalize a large part of the population... and then we pick and choose where to enforce it.

      I don't fe
  • OK so another government is delivering to lobbiest what they want yet again. This is news? Besides the specifics of this case it's just the same old.
  • This can't be true (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Arandir ( 19206 ) on Wednesday June 18, 2003 @09:07PM (#6238813) Homepage Journal
    This can't be true. All the draconian IP laws come from the US. The MPAA and RIAA come from the US. The DMCA and UCITA are US laws. Microsoft and its DRM partners are all lcoated in the US. Alan Cox is boycotting the US. Every few weeks some random Slashdot poster threatens to emigrate from the US to preserve their dwindling freedoms.

    But this is Sweden! As with all non-US nations, it's a socialist paradise of digital liberty. Is Holland going to criminalize marijuana next? Either this is April 1st in the Mayan Calendar or this must be a transcription error...
    • by arth1 ( 260657 ) on Wednesday June 18, 2003 @09:37PM (#6238983) Homepage Journal
      Unfortunately for some, US lobbying to make EU rules and regulations more like the US counterparts (in the name of free an equal trade, of course) is having an effect in Europe.
      Some EU politicians are fighting it, but the governing body does, after all, mostly consist of older men with friends in the big industries, and little understanding of or sympathy for new technology or how the world is changing because of it.
      This is as it always has been, just more so %-)

      The problem is to get the lawmakers in Sweden and everywhere else to see what is happening, and how definitions of "fair use" necessarily MUST change in an information-based global society.
      Local and world regional laws might serve as a temporary hinder, but the genie is out of the bottle, and starting to wake up. Short of turning the into a society modeled after the Orwellian 1984 (or Gillianian Brazil), there's no way to stop information from being free. It may take time, and in the mean time the big corporations and reactionary old politicians can do a lot of damage.

      It will be temporary, though. Technology is getting way to advanced to micro-manage and regulate in detail, and lawmakers will sooner or later go back to making general laws like "It's illegal to steal no matter how you steal", which can be interpreted by judges and juries on a case-by-case basis, according to the common will of the people.

      "The computer is your friend. Trust the computer."
  • by muon1183 ( 587316 ) <muon1183.gmail@com> on Wednesday June 18, 2003 @09:07PM (#6238815) Homepage
    $4 is awfully expensive for a per cd levy. The levy is 40 times what one would reasonably expect to pay for the media. If anything, this will simply cause the black market for blank media to explode. I'm already opposed to such levys, since this assumes that the only possible use of the media would be for piracy. From what I can tell, the only effect this legislation will be to elimante all IT from Sweden, since backups will be prohibitively expensive. Immagine trying to backup a 4TB database. Even backing up to 8GB tapes, at $4/tape it works out to $2048 per backup, plus the pre-tax cost of the tapes. Of course, I haven't even touched on the myriad of other issues this type of legislation brings with it, since I'm sure others will do so. This legislation is rediculous. I can only hope that the $4/cd addendum was attached so as to prevent this from passing.

    Note: IANAROS (I Am Not A Resident Of Sweden)
    • by Jeremy Erwin ( 2054 ) on Wednesday June 18, 2003 @09:50PM (#6239048) Journal
      Not exactly. The 4 dollars per CD is a little off [cdfreaks.com]. It's actually 0.007 SEK/MB for rewritable media, and .0025 SK/MB for write once media.

      So figure 1.625 SK (US$ 0.20) for a standard 650 MB CDR, 4.55 (US$ 0.59) for a CDRW of them same size. The 31 SKR ($US 4) is really only appropriate for a 4.7 GB DVD-RW.
      And your 4TB database would cost $USD 3816 in added levies, assuming you were using 870 DVD-RWs per backup.
    • In all fairness...
      If you are a business and you are backing up to CD then you deserve to go under.

      I didn't read the article (I know, I know...) but I have not heard of people including digital back up tapes in the same boat with CD's, so I don't buy the idea there will be any additional taxes of levy's on that media.

      And besides an 8gb backup tape is sooooo 21st century.
      The company I work for (far from the cutting edge) uses 40 gb backup tapes.

      I seriously don't see this hurting IT. As for other things...
    • By pre-paying the fine for illegal use of those CDs, does it thereby allow you to go ahead and use them for their (purported) intended illegal purpose?

  • by rdewald ( 229443 ) * <rdewald@@@gmail...com> on Wednesday June 18, 2003 @09:09PM (#6238827) Homepage Journal
    Freedom of speech is regarded by European governments as an important component of civil government, but they don't worship at it's throne like US Citizens regard the First Amendment.

    It won't prevent pirating, I think the fact that the law doesn't address *use* is a concession to that point. It seems that they rather seek to prevent pirating from becoming a European industry. I think this is analogous to US laws against gambling, where they still exist.

    IANAL, but in Texas, the law against playing poker for money actually makes the *house cut* illegal. I think the lawmakers conceded the point that people were still going to play poker, they just wanted to prevent it from becoming an industry.
  • by Blue Stone ( 582566 ) on Wednesday June 18, 2003 @09:09PM (#6238831) Homepage Journal
    I don't get it. They're saying it's illegal to download copyright material without the copyright owner's permission, but they're saying that law abiding citizens should pay a levvy on blank media, to compensate the copyright holders for infringement.

    Don't pirate anything, AND pay for not pirating anything.

    Greedy and ridiculous.

  • by mrklin ( 608689 ) <ken.linNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Wednesday June 18, 2003 @09:11PM (#6238842)
    1. Hoard CD-ROMs now.

    2. Sell in Sweden after 1/1/2004.

    3. Profit!!!

  • Yowza! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by BigRedFish ( 676427 ) on Wednesday June 18, 2003 @09:13PM (#6238852)

    What a great idea! Imagine, indie bands having to pay $4 per blank CD for the privilege of recording their own original music without a label. The competition might eat into corporate-music profits, after all, so it must be piracy and the majors should be reimbursed somehow! [We all know that the reason for the RIAA's declining sales couldn't possibly have anything to do with their elimination of the single format or statements comparing Eminem to Sinatra.]

    I also like the opportunity to inderectly pay the operating expenses of a large software company, whose products I utterly refuse to purchase or use, for the privilege of creating and maintaining bootable CDs for my Linux installation.

    Way to go, Sweden!

    • Re:Yowza! (Score:3, Funny)

      by EverDense ( 575518 )
      What a great idea! Imagine, indie bands having to pay $4 per blank CD for the privilege of
      recording their own original music without a label.

      Sounds like a GREAT PLAN to me.
      Hopefully it will kill off the next ABBA, before they even start.
      • Re:Yowza! (Score:3, Informative)

        by The_dev0 ( 520916 )
        ABBA is very scary, but sweden has an excellent hardcore and punk scene. Check out the Burning Hearts website. Burning Hearts are a swedish label, who brought out many good bands such as Millencolin as well as others. The underground scene is very large with some great emerging punk acts. Check it out!
  • Well, this sucks! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Dr. Spork ( 142693 ) on Wednesday June 18, 2003 @09:13PM (#6238856)
    Has anyone else noticed that Swedes are the some of the best file-sharers in the world? It's largely because they have such awesome upload caps, typically much higher than other European broadband, and maybe 10X that of standard North American DSL. If this turns out to be enforceable, expect online filesharing to get noticeably worse.
    • by muffen ( 321442 )
      Has anyone else noticed that Swedes are the some of the best file-sharers in the world? It's largely because they have such awesome upload caps

      Actually, we don't have caps. I have friends who have their 512Kbit ADSL downloding all day, they dl around 5 gigs a day, and have been doing so for months (one would think they'd run out of things to DL, but they seem to manage to find it).

      I think that Sweds share a lot of data because of the connection speeds being offered in the country. How does an uncappe [bostream.se]
  • by GammaTau ( 636807 ) <jni@iki.fi> on Wednesday June 18, 2003 @09:15PM (#6238874) Homepage Journal

    The EUCD was supposed to be a law in all European Union member countries already by last December. That is after each parliament had two years to pass the law. As far as I know, only two or three EU member nations have modified their laws to comply with the EUCD.

    On the other hand, sooner or later the national laws must be passed. I personally wish that at least one EU member would refuse to implement the law so that the issue would be brought back to the EU parliament.

    After the fall of Soviet Union, EU became the new safe haven for bureucrates so it's really hard to say how the EUCD situation will develop due to lobbying and politics. What is clear, however, is that most of the national parliaments have not been all that happy with many regulations the EUCD is trying to enforce. I hope that the Swedish parliament will protect its citizens from this legislation that goes way over any reasonable balance.

    • The article does a good job of showing how the quality of government legislation drops with competing legislatures start injecting directives into the legislation.

      Each member country of the EU is passing laws based on directives of the EU. This is impeding full debate on the issue of copyrights and patents. A partial debate about principles takes place in the EU, and a partial debate about implementation takes place at the country level. The result is that you end up with convoluted, fractured laws.

  • by erroneus ( 253617 ) on Wednesday June 18, 2003 @09:16PM (#6238879) Homepage
    I have said it in the past and the same logic still pops into my mind.

    How can a government body justify making honest people pay for "assumed criminal activity." When do they start adding cost to paper because someone might attempt to use it in counterfeiting?

    If it's criminalized to use P2P networks, then it is unfair to charge more for media to "compensate" for criminal acts assumed to be occuring without proof and due process. I can see one act or the other, but not both.

    Frankly, the act of purchasing CD media and being charged enormous prices because of assumed criminal use, then it should then be LEGAL for me to put anything on it -- legal or otherwise since I have paid for the right, in advance, to do something illegal. In effect, it's double jeopardy -- punished before the fact and then to be punished again, for the same crime if caught.

    I have no idea what recourse EU-folk have against this, but I hope it can be stopped.
    • Fee on paper? Close! (Score:3, Interesting)

      by jeti ( 105266 )
      Over in Germany, we have the VG Wort, the interest
      group of publishers.

      And for every photocopier, fax machine and scanner
      sold, a fee goes to the VG Wort. It is supposed to
      pay a compensation for fair use and breaches of

      The most ridiculous part is, that the fees on
      machines vary with their speed. So if you buy a
      scanner in Germany, it often is slower than the
      ones sold in the US.

      In many cases, downloading english drivers will
      speed up your machine.

      Sad but true.
  • by drdale ( 677421 ) on Wednesday June 18, 2003 @09:18PM (#6238890)
    It says here [swipnet.se] that Swedish law currently includes a meatier fair use exception to copyright law than, say, US law; anyone can make one copy of a copyrighted work for personal use (computer software excepted). If this is right, then this new proposal is maybe even more surprising than it appears at first glance.
    • by maswan ( 106561 ) <<slashdot2> <at> <maswan.mw.mw>> on Wednesday June 18, 2003 @11:18PM (#6239553) Homepage
      Yes, this is true. It is legal to make a copy for personal use. This has been commented upon by the Minister of Justice as a problem for getting at filesharing, where only the one sharing might be commiting a crime, the downloader is perfectly safe.

      The big difference in this new law is that for making this personal copy the thing you are copying from has to be a legal copy. Essentially taking care of a loophole in the law.

      Allowing copying for private use is also the reasoing behind the CD-fee, even if that is highly annoying for me that only use it for software (debian boot/install-discs).

      For all of those claiming "the internet is now illegal", there is both provisions for temporary copies (as in the ones your browser are making) and a discussion about "good faith" in the paper. They are expecting to be able to go after filesharers and allow ISPs to disconnect users under the "we'll cut your access if you break any laws" sections of the AUP if they detect this stuff.

      All in all, I was fearing a worse law after reading the press release, even the law against anti-circumvention tools have provisions to allow DVD-players, even if DVD-copiers might be disallowed. They even make an example of region coding not being an effective technical meassure.
  • Laws... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Loki_1929 ( 550940 ) * on Wednesday June 18, 2003 @09:21PM (#6238906) Journal
    Laws, laws, laws. When your business is failing, laws. When your prices are too high, laws. When you're exposed for the fraud you are, laws. Laws are supposed to ensure the safety and security of folks within a society. This round of DMCA-style laws is just the latest in series of laws designed to ensure that the few on top remain on top. Those who enact the strictest and most ridiculous laws simply hasten their own demise. The issue of copyrights will become an election-decider within two to four years. Folks like us who stay informed are the canaries in the mine shaft of laws. When those in charge get out of hand, we're the first to be alarmed, yet no one has taken notice since we started yelling about copyright abuses in 1999. What will make them take notice is when these broad, overbearing laws begin to affect a large portion of the population, thereby ensuring a backlash the likes of which copyright holders can hardly imagine.

    I predict, on this day, that within 5 years, we will see the crippling or perhaps even the complete elimination of all copyright, patent, and trademark laws. Things will get worse, much worse, before they get better. But mind you, when things get rough, we must remember to continue getting the word out to the uninformed masses while we wait for our revenge to fully take hold, that it may obliterate the copyright bastards of our time.

    • Re:Laws... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by wfrp01 ( 82831 ) on Wednesday June 18, 2003 @10:24PM (#6239287) Journal
      I hope you're right. Elections are non-violent revolutions, after all. Democracy doesn't mean that bad ideas can't take hold. But it does mean that one party can overthrow another without a shot being fired. At one time, that was a very revolutionary idea.

      But democracy presumes an informed public. What happens when big media becomes conflicted about political issues? What would have become of the American Revolution without anonymous pamphleteering? Now we see states outlawing any attempt to hide the origins of communication. These are troubling issues.

      How much will people tolerate? I think there's an ironic trend at work: the better off people are, the more oppression they will tolerate. "I have food on the table, why should I cause any trouble?"

      I don't think the issue of copyrights will become an election decider because the media have a vested interest in promoting copyright. It will never become an election issue. People like us may be canaries in the mine shaft that collapses. Yippie.
    • Re:Laws... (Score:4, Interesting)

      by HBI ( 604924 ) on Wednesday June 18, 2003 @11:55PM (#6239759) Journal
      You are too optimistic.

      The sheeple will accept whatever dish the government hands out to them on this. This is why such issues are so maddening. Sure, people will die over some things, but the latest Eminem tune is not one of them.

      Technology may offer loopholes, but the governments of the world do not, really. The industry barons come to the politicians with stuff like "This is costing jobs, and hurting my profitability. Fix it." and the politicians respond. Why do they respond? Because republics are like that. The lawmakers are beholden to get reelected, which means bringing the pork back home. Whatever it takes, whatever harm befalls the many, as long as it keeps jobs, keeps the money flowing, they'll do it.

      We lost this one in the governmental circles. It is _not_ going to be rolled back until the issue is irrelevant anyway. Too much money is involved. However, technology will keep the whole filesharing thing alive.

      You need a dollop of cynicism to go with your idealism.
    • Re:Laws... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by CanadaDave ( 544515 ) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @08:31AM (#6241664) Homepage
      Long live Kazaa! Free music and software for all!
  • (c) (Score:5, Funny)

    by NanoGator ( 522640 ) on Wednesday June 18, 2003 @09:22PM (#6238907) Homepage Journal
    I hereby copyright this post. I expressly forbid these words from being read anywhere inside of Sweden.

    Man I can't wait to see how many people end up in jail now.
    • Re:(c) (Score:3, Informative)

      Actually under the Berne convention everything you write is _automatically_ copyright. You would have to explicitly grant permission (by license or release into the public domain) for _everything_ you post to /., usenet and everywhere else for the Sweedes to be able to read it.
  • Sweden DOES suck (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jovlinger ( 55075 ) on Wednesday June 18, 2003 @09:28PM (#6238935) Homepage
    I'm from there, and in many more ways than highlighted by the article, Sweden fails to excell. NB: comments are about the government, not the people, who I miss.

    For some reason, the media and government are a bunch of wishy-washy whiners, incapable of seeing far beyond the end of their noses. I think the problem is that politics isn't really a road to fame and power there (egalitarian society, dontchano), so the people who end up running for politics are well meaning incompetents.(*) You know where you get by good intentions.

    I could very well see them putting this sort of levvy on blank CDs and then be suprised when sales plummet. It's like the government doesn't realize they exist in a global economy.

    Not that it is the worst country in the world, but there is a reason I don't live there anymore.

    BTW: Can't say that I've ever come accross that much swedish erotica, in much the same way that swedish fish aren't terribly popular there. Gott-o-Blandat, on the other hand, rocks. Salt-o-Blandat even more so.

    (*) with some exceptions. Apparently a girl I went to high-school with is the Green Party's spokesperson. Sharp as a tack, that one.
  • by Googol ( 63685 ) on Wednesday June 18, 2003 @09:31PM (#6238950)
    The article wasn't clear whether *freely redistributable* copyrighted material was also to be outlawed. Linux is copyrighted. Is it illegal to download it? How do you determine, then what is legal and illegal to download. Isn't everything copyrighted, more or less?


    IP Law in two easy lessons

    Theft by value: I take something that is yours.

    Theft by reference: you think of something; I think of the same thing.
  • by Leo Giertz ( 584210 ) on Wednesday June 18, 2003 @09:39PM (#6238991)
    Asking them to clarify a few things.

    It won't actually be as dreadful as the DMCA, since it will only be illegal to break a copyright protection system if you're going to make a copy, it won't be illegal to circumvent it to use it as it's meant to be used. I.e. watching a DVD movie on your linux computer using DeCSS to "break" the crypto won't be illegal.

    Neither will these redicilous "region codes" be protected, they can still be legally circumvented.

    Further, it won't be illegal to break the copyright protection system on these new "CD's", if you're only going to play them in your computer.

    If anyone has any questions regarding this, just send them a well written e-mail, since they're very helpful and will answer all of your questions quite fast. (a few hours for mine) -L
  • by f97tosc ( 578893 ) on Wednesday June 18, 2003 @09:40PM (#6238996)
    A few notes to put this in perspective.

    Generally speaking, Sweden (or the rest of Europe, for that matter) is not at all as literal about their constitution as is the US. Occasionally, this is not so bad because common sense prevails over unexpected outcomes of ancient formulations. In this case and many others, however, politicians can infringe of freedoms of speach easier than in the US.

    A second observation is that Sweden is a small country that always emphasizes international cooperation. In the EU this means that they are usually among the first to implement new EU laws. In the past, they have implemented crazy internet laws (such as making it illegal to write the name of any person on your web page without a written permission) before anyone else. Then the bigger countries thought it through they realized that it was too crazy even for Europe and sent it back Brussel to have it changed.

  • Insane I tell you (Score:5, Interesting)

    by pjdepasq ( 214609 ) on Wednesday June 18, 2003 @09:50PM (#6239043)
    As someone that is about to finish his Ph.D. dissertation, I have to copyright my work as I publish it to my school's on-line dissertation initiative [vt.edu].

    Reading the /. blurb (and not the full article), doesn't that mean no one in Sweeden can then download my (freely available), yet copyrighted dissertation without asking my permission first? That's nuts.

    First off, it's tied to the web, and unless I specify, anyone can download the PDF we deliver to the ETD project. I don't care who dowloads this crap.

    Secondly, I don't want emails asking for my permission to download this, or anything else I work on, yet copyright.

    Ugh, this RIAA/DRM/patent nonsense really makes me loathe working with computers now.

  • When is it tea time? (Score:5, Informative)

    by wfrp01 ( 82831 ) on Wednesday June 18, 2003 @09:58PM (#6239103) Journal
    Back in the day, being asked to give a couple bucks to King George III for some tea caused quite an outrage. First there were tea boycotts. Then some guys dressed up like Mohawk Indians, boarded three ships and threw their tea into the harbor. Later guns started firing. Lots of people died. A new country was born. And we're all (those of us in the US) very proud of all this.

    All because of tea.

    Now money that is spent on the media used to promote free communication should be taxed? Certain senators want to destroy people's computers? The US attorney general wants to circumvent the right to a fair trial? Blowing up Palistinian families, children and all, with US missles is "defense", but the impoverished occupied Palistinian nation's response is "terrorism"? Launching thousands and thousands of sorties, killing tens of thousands of unwilling soldiers to prevent "mass destruction" by weapons that cannot be found is not ironic? Our economy is a shambles. The rich are laughing. And our commander-in-chief [about.com] wants to appoint this penis [salon.com] to the bench!

    Osama bin Laden is free today. US citizens are not. And we would like the rest of the world to follow our lead. God bless Sweden for seeing the way. I'm Swedish. American. And pissed.

    Flamebait? It's a /. high crime. Fomenting an uncomfortable discussion. And that's just talking! God forbid anyone ever actually did anything!
  • by jbs0902 ( 566885 ) on Wednesday June 18, 2003 @10:02PM (#6239130)
    "[It] will also criminalize the downloading of material from the Internet without the explicit permission of the copyright holder"

    Since copyright (US at least) attaches on creation, as opposed to registration, everything on the web (including this post) is copyrighted. When you go to a web site and download the page (e.g. index,html) there is an assumption of IMPLICIT copyright permission. The theory is, if the copyright holder put the web page up to be viewed, and the only way you can view it is by downloading a copy, the copyright holder must have implicitly granted you permission to copy the page to your computer.

    If Sweden is going to require EXPLICIT permission before downloading, youâ(TM)d have to get an email giving you permission to download from every site you visit.

    And, no Iâ(TM)d didnâ(TM)t actually read the article. What type of self-respecting Slashdot poster would do that?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 18, 2003 @10:07PM (#6239168)
    If any Swedes want to protest this, e-mailing the department of justice might be a good idea. registrator@justice.ministry.se [mailto]
    See the Government Site [regeringen.se] for more info.

    Here's the coverage (in Swedish) from all the four major newspapers:
    Expressen [expressen.se]
    DN. [www.dn.se]
    SvD [www.svd.se]
    Aftonbladet [aftonbladet.se]

    Some great quotes from Mr BodstrÃm (Minister for Justice) include:
    "We have not done this to satisfy the big record companies"
    "The police will not come running into people's homes looking for these things"
    He is clearly completely clueless. I bet he has no idea that it's even possible to trace people with their IP address.

    This law is unenforceable and will not be enforced. The police can't even keep child porn off the p2p networks here, so really, this is ridiculous.
    The real enforcers will be Antipiratbyrån [antipiratbyran.com], the anti piracy bureau, a group of lawyers representing a number of companies. You can see a list of the member companies here [antipiratbyran.com]. Most should be familiar to non-swedes too.
    This is the only organisation activiely looking for copyright infringement online. (and their efforts so far has been very sporadic, even they have the sense to mostly go after CD bootleg sellers). In practice this all means that if you are careful not to share anything from the member companies of Antipiratbyrån on your favourite p2p network, you will not get caught.

  • by dcavanaugh ( 248349 ) on Wednesday June 18, 2003 @10:25PM (#6239291) Homepage
    If only noninfringing uses of blank media are allowed?
  • CD Levy (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Moldy-Rutabaga ( 681427 ) on Wednesday June 18, 2003 @11:40PM (#6239651)
    >I don't get it. Don't pirate anything, AND pay for not pirating anything.

    The same thing happened in Canada several years ago when a CD levy went on blank CDs--we paid a penalty for the pirating we're not allowed to do. And half the people in my dorm building who hadn't previously used filesharers said, "If we're doing the time, we're entitled to the crime" and started downloading and burning away. I sure did; I was paying a license fee to record my own original music.

    I'll say it again: treating your customers like criminals is an unworkable business strategy. And making laws that a majority of your citizens don't think are fair undermines the laws that are fair.

    Ken:> http://keneckert.byus.net
  • Levy (Score:3, Funny)

    by heli0 ( 659560 ) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @12:18AM (#6239896)
    $4 levy on blank digital media such as CD-ROMs.

    So I assume blank DVD's have a levy of $28 since they store ~7x the data?

    Now a spindle of 100 CDR's will be $420 instead of $20?

    Will a spindle of 100 DVD-R's be $3000?

    I suppose I will have to begin importing DVDR's instead of Heroin into Sweden now.
  • The Denmark Equation (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Scot Seese ( 137975 ) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @12:57AM (#6240098)
    Bear with me-

    So, the Swedish government levies incredibly high taxes on hard liquor and beer >3% alcohol content. OR something like that. My memory isn't perfect, I just returned from Goteborge two weeks ago. So, moving along with the story - You can only buy alcohol at Systembolaget, the state owned, state operated liquor store. They have bankers' hours. To their credit, the selection is amazing and the employees are incredibly knowledgeable about the product.

    To buy alcohol cheaply, Swedes from Gothenburg and the surrounding area take the ferry to Denmark. And do they. The day I rode the ferry was two days before the Derby - The big soccer match between two Gothenburg city teams. The ferry probably had 200-300 people on it. They were using airline carry-on bags, shopping carts, little wheeled dollies - all LOADED with liquor for the 20 minute trip back to Sweden.

    So Swedish merchants will be forced to sell CDR's for $4/ea. This means what, exactly? The little shops that stack FORKLIFT PALLETS full of wine, liquor and beer at the curbside in little towns on the Danish side will just add blank CDR's for $1/ea to the pile.

    I really dislike the implication by the government that ALL CONSUMERS are purchasing CDR's to further CRIMINAL ACTIVITY.

    This is really about the recording industry being slow to evolve and adapt to a changing marketplace. Kudos to iTunes & Steve Jobs. When the customer is given a fair and realistic alternative to buying a CD for $20 with two good songs on it or pirating it off Kazaa, they'll probably take it - As evidenced in iTunes runaway success.

    These laws are being created by men and women who call tech support three times a week with Outlook Express questions.

    • by zonix ( 592337 )

      For the record, I'm Danish.

      To buy alcohol cheaply, Swedes from Gothenburg and the surrounding area take the ferry to Denmark. And do they. The day I rode the ferry was two days before the Derby - The big soccer match between two Gothenburg city teams. The ferry probably had 200-300 people on it. They were using airline carry-on bags, shopping carts, little wheeled dollies - all LOADED with liquor for the 20 minute trip back to Sweden.

      Actually, we have recently built a bridge accross Oeresund [oeresundsbron.com] connecting De

  • by Caine ( 784 ) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @01:15AM (#6240191)
    This is what happens when a major swedish newspaper prints a completly incorrect article. In reality what's proposed doesn't change much, i.e it's still allowed to backup for private use (those laws are much more generous in Sweden than in for example the US) and all the other things Swedes all love and use.

    In fact, it actually widens some rights, for example, the right to copy digital materials to help disabled people and easing the process for schools to make digital copies of material. But alot of people read the article and got up in arms. *Rabble rabble rabble*. The real proposal from the Justice department (in Swedish):

    Press release [regeringen.se]

    Part 1 of the proposal [regeringen.se]

    Part 2 and appendixes [regeringen.se]

  • Oh well... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by brsmith4 ( 567390 ) <brsmith4@gm a i l . com> on Thursday June 19, 2003 @01:57AM (#6240334)
    its wrong. don't do it. what's the big fuckin deal? Why have copyright laws if they can't be enforced at all? Most of you seem to suggest that we just forget copyright law enforcement. You seem to suggest that copyright law only be enforced when it comes to large corporations or large groups (hm, I wonder why?). Now, I don't agree with Corporations like RIAA or MPAA playing vigilante and doing it on their own. Thats also illegal.

    Its really interesting, seeing it from my perspective:

    1) Write P2P software to distribute copyrighted material
    2) Goverment takes action to stop distribution of said materials
    3) ???
    4) Bitch at government

    5) With new ways to circumvent goverment's means to stop copyright infringement, you download more music.
    6) Government enacts more laws, now more draconian than before, to stop this
    7) ???
    8) Bitch at government

    Hm, looks to me like the problem started with us.

    Sure, the RIAA and the MPAA didn't give a flying fuck about John and Bill making taped copies of the latest White Snake album back in the 80's. Sure, there were some bootleggers selling copies of tapes en mass back then too. But they were few and far between and John and Bill probably only made copies for a few friends. Now, we have people downloading songs that were downloaded from a person who dowloaded from someone else who might actually have owned the CDs. Now, I am not all that sympathetic towards the big industries seeing as the exploit their artists and keep most of the profits for themselves but c'mon people, this is an intelligent crowd, you can see where i'm coming from, right?

    The way I see it is like so:

    You can GPL your software, you can put your music under public domain, and you can give your literature out for free. Its your choice. But when someone decides to put a copyright on a piece of material, you should obey the law. It's only fair.
  • by Jugalator ( 259273 ) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @02:38AM (#6240507) Journal
    This is from an article [aftonbladet.se] at Aftonbladet (swedish);

    - It will still be allowed to make a "few" copies of CD/DVD's for personal use, and also to use VCR's and similar devices.

    - You will only be allowed to copy parts of a book (right now, I suppose you can copy entire books), to prevent the large scale copying of those especially on universities.

    - A quote from the swedish minister of justice: "We have not done this to meet the demands of the international movie and music companies. Ultimately, it is about preserving earlier views on copyrights, and when the technology evolves, so need the laws to do."

    - The penalty for violating them by sending or receiving illegal copies on the internet will normally be fines. If it's about organized violations (read: warez groups, etc), the penalty can be prison for up to two years. The law will mostly be used to give copyright holders a right to demand compensation from the person violating the law.

    - The swedish minister of justice hope that these laws will frighten people from using file sharing software. He admitted that the law will not get a high priority by the swedish judicial system, and continued: "It's not like the police will run into peoples' homes to look for these things. It is also obvious that some persons will continue, but that is not a reason to not do anything".

    So it seems like this will be another low-priority law that won't be very enforced, which mostly just adds unnecessary complexity and "grey zones" to the judical system. :-( The minister of justice even admits the law is created to spread fear (!). It's a very controversial law that judge people before they violate it (much like the discussed $4 CD fees) and I especially don't like how they seem to be willing to ban an entire software genre (P2P software). Amazing...
  • by IonSwitz ( 609514 ) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @02:38AM (#6240508)
    In the English language article, the levy tax is said to be set to ~$4 on blank CD-Rs. This isn't true. As much as I hate to "defend" this new ridiculous law, the suggestion is to impose a levy tax of 0.25 Swedish "cents" per Megabyte of storage space on the media. (one Swedish "cent" being ~ 0.11 US cents.) So the levy tax on blank CD-Rs will be 0.25*700*0.01 SEK, totalling 1.75 SEK, or less than a quarter in US coinage.

    I spent some time yesterday reading through the damn suggestion and it's filled with weird stuff. For instance, it will still be legal to create "fair use" copies, for your car CD player, etc. BUT, it's illegal to produce or sell software that hacks the copy protection scheme on CDs and DVDs...BUT I still have the legal right to make personal copies.. So, HOW DO I DO THAT, THEN, My DEAR GOVERNMENT??? If I have a legal right to make copies of a CD for my own use, will the Government aid me in suing the record companies that put out copy protected CDs?

    I suppose they won't. ;-)

    So, Yeah, the initial reaction at work yesterday was "Welcome to the DDR". Fsck. /Switz
  • by vnv ( 650942 ) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @03:23AM (#6240664)
    The irony of this new Swedish law has got me laughing at the sheer folly of modern life. Our era seems to have been 'gifted' with a pandemic of corruption in our culture and moral fabric.

    Consider the fact that VDSL is just rolling out in Sweden and that it is quite affordable. Imagine 26 mbits/sec for $40 euros a month. In fact, it's a much better deal [theinquirer.net] than almost anywhere else. Especially Greece, where broadband will run you approximately 850 times as much. [theinquirer.net]

    Now what can someone legally do with that bandwidth under the new law? You guessed it. They can watch government-okayed programming channels and view government-okayed content. These are the websites that will have gone through some sort of copyright review and approval process.

    With these new laws, the powers that be will have successfully turned the European internet into something resembling interactive television. The existing media lords are of course quite happy with the new laws as their sphere of control has been strengthened. And the existing governments are of course quite happy with the new laws as it gives them even more control over their respective populaces.

    It's hard to say how the Swedish populace and the rest of Europe will react to these new laws. Most likely nothing significant will happen beyond a few protests. But as someone pointed out, sooner or later the government will put one too many chains of laws and taxes on the people and the people will start to exhibit some very interesting non-linear behaviors. As history has taught us, there is only one way to take liberties back from an oppressive government.

    However, for the time being, we do know one thing for sure. Sweden's rank ranking [transparency.org] on the "most corrupt governments list" is going to take a hit. And it's about time -- Sweden is the only country on record for filing criminal charges [theinquirer.net] against a news company for second guessing URL's.

  • by AftanGustur ( 7715 ) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @03:29AM (#6240685) Homepage

    It is a nation of blondes after all..

  • by Capacitor ( 241918 ) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @04:03AM (#6240790)
    Being a Dane myself, I know that free speech is not that well integrated into Scandinavian constitutions. It is possible, however unlikely, that this completely outrageous violation might actually pass in Sweden. In Denmark, general taxes are already being levied on CD-Rs, which means that the government has to some extent sanctioned a reversal of the burden of evidence: as a user of blank media, you are assumed to be a criminal until you specifically sign a document guaranteeing you won't replicate copyrighted material. Personally, I'm still reeling from that one, but as this Swedish example points out, things might get a lot worse in Scandinavia.
    Fortunately, as others have pointed out, free speech is a human right, and issues such as this may ultimately have to be resolved by the Human Rights Tribunal. Interestingly enough, the amount of Danish cases that are being referred to that particular institution is skyrocketing these years, which is good in a sense - people are aware that their rights are being violated. I just think it is infinitely sad that Scandinavian countries that have prevoiusly been shining examples of well-tuned democracies choose to shaft basic human rights For a Few Dollars More.
  • This guy gets it. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 19, 2003 @04:16AM (#6240836)
    Excerpted from 2003-06-17: The Underground Railroad, Intermission 1 [prohosting.com]

    Face: Why destroy copyright?

    Machinator: Because it is a legal solution to a social problem. And as always, it creates more problems than it solves.

    Face: Like, individual copyright?

    Machinator: All copyright. We should still have social expectations of crediting people. And creators *will* profit, I think considerably better than now. Plus, the quality of art will improve, because it won't reward the same sorts of commercial behaviors.

    Face: I'm not sure how creators will profit better than now in, say, literature. Or books. I don't know. Music: I think I agree, at this point.

    Machinator: Because people will pay authors to write.

    Face: [Laughs.] Fair enough.

    Machinator: And publishers will not capture the main part of their revenue.

    Face: Which is?

    Machinator: Publishers take (I think) well over 95% of the revenue that would go to the author.

    Face: I'm just curious, though; if company A pays an author to write a book, and company B copies the book and reprints it sans royalty, how does this one work?

    Machinator: If you're thinking corporations, they need to go too. [Smiles.]

    Face: But they won't.

    Machinator: Think people. People will pay authors to write because they appreciate their work, and because they want to read more.

    Face: Consider the SoulSeek model. Less than 1% of the user base pays Nir.

    Machinator: So? Nir is profiting handsomely, I think.

    Face: True.
    So say that group A agrees to publish a random author.

    Machinator: You're talking about printed matter?

    Face: Yes. Or electronic.

    Machinator: Then they can print it...and they must credit it (or be considered very rude). And if they promote it successfully, they make lots of money selling books for awhile. Then maybe another publisher picks it up, and makes money too. And meantime, the author gets famous, and people pay him to write more.

    Face: Why do they pay him?

    Machinator: Because they want him to write.

    Face: Fair enough. Any proof for said model in human history?

    Machinator: Yes. The Italian Renaissance.

    Face: Good one.

    Machinator: There was *no* copyright. It was one of the most artistically amazing eras, including literature.
    Artists create to be appreciated, anyhow. Not to make money. If you just want to create product, maybe this model doesn't work as well for you. So? Boohoo, no Britney Spears; I'm crying in my coffee.

    Face: Yeah. But you have to convince people of that. And they *like* Britney.

    Machinator: Did I convince you?

    Face: I'm not your typical audience, by far.

    Machinator: Yes, you are. I only try to convince intelligent people. I don't *care* what the mainstream thinks. Truly. They will be led to whatever, because they don't think, period.

    Face: Literally. They don't think, but they shell out money, and detest change.

    Machinator: So, they can detest it. Change happens.
  • on second taught (Score:4, Interesting)

    by oohp ( 657224 ) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @04:23AM (#6240850) Homepage
    Hey. What if someone makes an *encrypted* P2P distribution application. It would be illegal for them to crack the encryption in the first place and obtain proof that you are indeed distributing illegal content.
  • by pointwood ( 14018 ) <`jramskov' `at' `gmail.com'> on Thursday June 19, 2003 @04:33AM (#6240876) Homepage

    The article is a bit wrong - as the only EU countries, Denmark and Greece implemented this before the time limit. Even though there was a lot of protests against it and a lot of suggestions to make it less bad (countries have some flexility in the way it implements such EU directives), our (completely clueless) minister for that area pretty much ignored them and they implemented a very confusing law. Even the state financed "consumer advisory council" (dunno if that's the correct term) is so confused about the law that they simply forward questions about it to the ministry that handles that because they don't know how to answer the questions!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 19, 2003 @05:08AM (#6240963)
    Having seen too many "no more free speach in Sweden" quotes, I don't think the majority of slashdot users really know about the current laws in Sweden.

    The laws PROTECT anyone downloading copyrighted material. ISPs are not allowed to snif or analyse your IP trafic. That means, if you set up a warez site at home and do >1 TB/month (yes TERAbyte), they cannot do anything (and the networks support this amount of trafic without being congested). Try that in other countries.

    Broadband (10Mbs) connections are very common. No need to download movies to disk anymore, you can watch them on-the-fly =) Last summer, some CTO/CIO at one of the broadband companies sayd (can't remeber which one) "We think it's good thing that people use their broadband connections (read: download movies). Otherwise, we would not get as many subscribers, would we ?"

    Also, the swedish police lack in funding and hardly investigate crimes anymore.

    Being a first class computer geek and living in Sweden, i'm not worried at all.
  • by hdw ( 564237 ) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @06:11AM (#6241168)
    There's three different issues here.
    1. It will become illegal to download material that have been made available in an illegal manner.
    It's simply the law about recieving stolen goods applied to electronic media.
    If it's illegal to make copyrighted material available for download, it's only logical that it's also illegal (albeit to a lesser extent) to download it.

    The right to make private copies are made clearer and allows anyone to make backups or move material to another media for private use.
    Including recording of TV, radio or other streaming media for private use.

    2. The law makes it illegal to create and distribute tools for breaking copy protection and likewise to use such tools.
    It does _not_ outlaw generic crypto tools, just tools used to bypass copy protection.

    This will not make it illegal to backup your DVD, but you can't rip it, recode it and store it in another format.

    It will make it illegal to decode encrypted DVDs using anything else than the tools blessed by the copyright holder.
    But that's a commercial decision taken by the DVD distributors.

    3. The levy on recordable media has been there for ages, it has been extended to cover new forms of media.
    It's intented to cover the _legal_ copying, like recording streaming media.

    // hdw
  • If the law passes... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by charnel ( 61216 ) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @08:15AM (#6241582)
    I will cease buying cd's, dvd's, films and more, just to stop the companies that support this law being passed from taking my money.

    I have always used the p2p progs to download music and then buying it if i like it, deleting it if i don't like it. I've watched movies at home to see if they're worth paying the $10 they charge at the cinemas (and yes, it's still worth going to the cinema after watching it at home since it a whole different thing on the big screen). P2p progs are also a great way of finding a new movie/series to buy on dvd when browsing a persons share, this other night i saw Kindred: The Embraced on some guys share and just had to order it.

    Anyways, i've prepared a little example of how much the industry would lose per year just because i stopped buying the stuff they claim to lose money from cause of pirates.

    Note, these are not exact prices since pricing differs alot from store to store, specially on the VHS

    Cd's, 18 - $414
    DvD movies and series 15 - $650
    VHS movies 30 - $360

    Makes for a total of $1424 per year spent only on entertainment at home.

    I'd like to see the catastrophic downfall in revenues to the companies involved if more people would do just like me.

Radioactive cats have 18 half-lives.