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Tennessee's Super-DMCA Rises From The Grave 245

Tsar writes "Members of the Tennessee Digital Freedom Network turned out in force as Tennessee's Super-DMCA Bill, its hour come round at last, slouched back to Nashville's Legislative Plaza. The industry heavyweights made their pitches, but were thwarted by thoughtful, intelligent comments and questions from the newly-formed Joint Committee on Communications Security. My favorite quote of the day: 'I stand here before you as representing the MPAA, one of the leading advocates of First Amendment rights...' I think I blacked out for a minute after that."
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Tennessee's Super-DMCA Rises From The Grave

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  • When will it end? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bl1st3r ( 464353 ) on Wednesday October 29, 2003 @05:30AM (#7336272) Homepage Journal
    I'm an American. I love my country and I love the freedoms we have. But when will the copyright crap end? Its getting to the point where enough is enough, and the next president should be considering what to do about the situation.

    On one hand, you have 60 million American felons, on the other hand, you wrestle control away from fat, rich corporations. It seems like a no-brainer.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 29, 2003 @05:56AM (#7336336)
      Our Founding Fathers viewed exclusive ownership of "intellectual property" not as a right, but as a sharply time-limited privilege temporarily granted by the Government. Copyrights and patents were not intended to last more than a couple of decades of years.

      We are now living in a society which is growing increasingly at odds with the original intent of those who created this nation. We are subjugated by the twin pathological powers of corporate special interest cartels and judicial tyranny.

      • Too bad founding fathers did not patent their intent. :)
      • Our Founding Fathers viewed exclusive ownership of "intellectual property"...

        Others in this thread have correctly identified Jefferson as a proponent of a particular limited version of patents. If that is what you had in mind, you should have said so. Because anyone who says "The Founding Fathers believed..." has no knowledge of history. With the possible exception of independence from England, there is no single issue which all of the Founders were of one mind about. They tended to be sharply divid
        • With the possible exception of independence from England, there is no single issue which all of the Founders were of one mind about. They tended to be sharply divided over most of the crucial issues which went into forming our Constitution. It therefore makes no sense to make them into one monolithic body, "the Founding Fathers," whose "intentions" can be quoted like Scripture.

          Someone mod this joker up. He's got the best point in the thread.
        • Founding Fathers (Score:5, Insightful)

          by solprovider ( 628033 ) on Wednesday October 29, 2003 @11:24AM (#7337845) Homepage
          It is true that the "Founding Fathers" were divided about just about every issue. The whole State power versus Federal power took 2 tries because the States won the first time, but the Articles of Confederation proved impractical.

          But when referring to the Constitution, we assume the "Founding Fathers" were the ones whose ideals were codified. Many of the ones about copyrights orginated with Thomas Jefferson, just like the banking system came from Alexander Hamilton. Jefferson and the rest of the Founding Fathers were able to find compromises between those who believed free spread of information was important, and those who believed that business would suffer without the monopolies granted by copyright. These compromises are what made our system flexible enough to survive. In this instance, the compromise was that there would be monopolies, they would be granted to the creators (rather than the publishers), and they would exist for a LIMITED time.

          Today, we are violating the spirit of this. Big business has wrested control of many of the copyrights from the creators for music, and made a good effort to do the same for books back in the 1970s. And the time limit is almost useless. Rather than 17 years with one possible renewal, it is now life + 50 years and growing. We have also contracted with Europe to defend this practice, so it is unlikely that the U.S. can fix it internally.

          Many stories published on the early internet came with copyright notices that allowed the works to become public domain after 120 days. There is little reason for computer books to keep their copyrights beyond a decade, as the technology could be obsolete in 4 years. Creators can limit their own copyrights, and many do. Big business will never relinquish anything unless forced by law. It will probably take another revolution for the public to win back control of ideas.

          Technology has changed the need for copyrights. Historically, they were granted to a specific publisher to prevent other publishers from stealing popular works. Then they were granted to the creators, to encourage them to create more. Then the publishers bought them from the creators. But every law assumes that the COPYING takes effort, and that is no longer true. I did not need to publish this as a pamphlet and try to sell them on street corners for a penny each. I wrote it; I published it; you are reading it, and any costs in the process are subsumed in the overhead of having a computer attached to the internet.

          I would like to use a well-thought license that allows works to enter public domain for most purposes within 20 years, but still allows me to benefit if Disney decides to turn my work into a movie. Of course, this clause in itself would prevent Disney from making a movie from my books, because they only publish material if they can retain all the profits. They wouldn't publish something like Star Wars because Lucas insisted on keeping the associated toy franchise. Why should they make my book into a movie when there are still tons of material already in the public domain from before their efforts to extend copyright into eternity?
          • When you say the Articles of Confederation proved impractical, you don't quote much evidence. The evidence that I have heard said that they were adopeted *DURING* an extremely severe economic depression brought on by the war, and were never given much change to succeed before a bunch of *SELF APPOINTED* aristocrats and wealthy folk got together and decided to replace them with a document more to their liking. The creation of the constitution had no pre-authorization from the respective states that they cl
    • Re:When will it end? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Lumpy ( 12016 )
      Its getting to the point where enough is enough, and the next president should be considering what to do about the situation.

      That's the problem... we are NOT a democracy, we are an Oligarcy.

      if you vote next year you do NOT vote for your president, you vote for a person to vote for president.

      Until we can tear down the system in place that makes everything so easy to corrupt, you will only get presidents in the white house that are nothing but puppets that tow the party line and ensure that the party's f
      • More to the point, when you vote you will be choosing between two rat-bastards. And I say this without knowing, or even speculating, who the candidates will be. This is because the basic system is to get people to "buy in" to one rat-bastard or the other. Whichever one most people think is worse will be voted against, but by doing so the people are "buying in" to the other rat-bastard. I think the two parties vie over who can nominate the more visciously vile candidate and still win. Once you get buy i
  • by Michael's a Jerk! ( 668185 ) on Wednesday October 29, 2003 @05:31AM (#7336278) Homepage Journal
    If you're taking the time to write a comment on this story, DON'T. Instead, take that same amount of time to write a one page, reasoned, intelligent letter to your Senators (you have two, you know that?) telling them that you disapprove of this bill, telling them WHY (privacy violation, overextension of copyright, and so forth are good places to start), and encouraging them to work against it. Not tomorrow morning, RIGHT NOW. Get away from that Submit button and go write a letter to someone who could actually do something. Then send it snail mail to their LOCAL office (not DC office), or fax it. (Not email. Many offices don't pay attention to email, although some do.)

    I don't want to see any replies to this post. Get away from Slashdot and do something other than whine, or you'll have no one to blame but yourself.

    Are you still here? Stop reading and start acting!
    • What is SB213/HB457?

      SB213/HB457 is the Tennessee version of the "Super-DMCA" bill, which is backed by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA). Proposed in the Tennessee General Assembly in the 2003 session, versions of this bill have already been passed in eight states (and counting). This legislation negatively impacts citizens' freedom of speech, access to secure communications, and use of many networking technologies. It gives Internet service providers (ISP's) unprecedented control over what t
      • by Cpt_Kirks ( 37296 ) on Wednesday October 29, 2003 @10:28AM (#7337200)
        I live outside Memphis. Mark Norris is my State Senator. When this first came up, I sent him an email calmly explaining why I thought this was a bad bill. He replied that he was already doing research and looking at info from the EFF. They backed the lobbyist into a corner, asking questions he *DID NOT* want to answer. It went away, but a staffer told me it would come back later.

        I will have to check with him again when I get home, but it looks like (for now) they are doing a good job in grilling the lobbyists again.

        Norris seems like a good guy. He had pretty good grasp of the issues and understood why the bill was bad as written.

    • If you're taking the time to write a comment on this story, DON'T. Instead, take that same amount of time to write a one page, reasoned, intelligent letter to your Senators

      Excuse me sir,

      If you take the same amount of time to post a comment on /. and to write a "one page, reasoned, intelligent letter to your Senators", I regret to tell you that you take slashdot way too seriously. I would advise going out and taking a breath of fresh air :)

    • by putaro ( 235078 ) on Wednesday October 29, 2003 @07:13AM (#7336450) Journal
      It's not a federal bill. Unless you live in Tennessee those senators are not real interested in your input.
    • I already have. Fortunately, the state Senator Trail, quoted extensively in the linked article giving the MPAA/RIAA/cable crowd a hard time, is a personal and professional acquaintance of mine, close enough that we're on a first name basis. Also fortunately, I'm also on a first-name acquaintanceship with the U.S. Representative (Congress-critter) from that Distric, Bart Gordon. I don't hesitate to write whatever letters I can and to chat them up on these issues when I run into them. The best way to stay
    • Yep, write a letter to your senator and watch him laugh immediately before wiping his ass with it. No money, no influence. You can pretty much buy votes these days so what does it matter what the voters think?
  • Slashdotted (Score:2, Informative)

    by Pingular ( 670773 )
    I can't access the file, so here's a link to the .pdf, HB0457.pdf [].
    • Re:Slashdotted (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      This is a different House Bill 457 - it's from Montana, and it's "An act requiring a county to conduct a special mail ballot election at municipal government expense when a municipality requests an election to approve or disapprove the application of the municipality's building code jurisdiction to all or part of an area not to exceed 4 1/2 miles beyond the municipality's corporate limits" Not quite the same thing, methinks.
  • Uh oh... (Score:4, Funny)

    by darnok ( 650458 ) on Wednesday October 29, 2003 @05:41AM (#7336298)
    > the newly-formed Joint Committee on Communications
    > Security...

    It seems that whenever the term "security" is part of the name of a government body in the US, something bad is about to happen.

    • Re:Uh oh... (Score:3, Funny)

      by vidarh ( 309115 )
      You have to realise that "security" refers to job security for lawyers and law enforcement officials... :)
  • by t4b00 ( 715501 ) on Wednesday October 29, 2003 @05:41AM (#7336299)
    'I stand here before you as representing the MPAA, one of the leading advocates of First Amendment rights...

    With Advocates like you, who needs adversaries?
    • Whatever. The MPAA is a leading beneficiary of the first amendment, but frankly if the first amendment were repealed tomorrow the MPAA would do what it must in order to survive... go back to making propaganda films and the like. At least Jerry Bruckheimer and Michael Bay would still be thriving.
    • Like many say: the RIAA and the MPAA support free speech. They really do... long as it's their speech and no-one else's.

      They believe in the inalienable right to do what you're told (by them,) and the right to enjoy paying them money for whatever they want you to pay for. They believe in all kinds of freedom and free speech... fact they believe in all the freedom and free speech that allows things to work in their direction. The problem is that they believe in no other freedoms and no oth

  • Why black out? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Forge ( 2456 ) <> on Wednesday October 29, 2003 @05:42AM (#7336301) Homepage Journal
    The statement was true. The MPAA and RIAA for that mater promote 1st amendment rights. They advocate free speech for musicians and movie producers. They aggressively block attempts to sensor what they want to say.

    Sure they spend millions trying to fight our attempts to freely use the stuff we have bought. However they spend billions producing junk^M^M^M^M^art that aught to be sensord for the preservation of what little intellect remains on this planet.
    • Re:Why black out? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by DarkZero ( 516460 )
      The statement was true. The MPAA and RIAA for that mater promote 1st amendment rights. They advocate free speech for musicians and movie producers. They aggressively block attempts to sensor what they want to say.

      They block attempts by the GOVERNMENT to censor what artists can say, but they willfully censor artists themselves. With the vast majority of the movie theaters in this nation controlled by the MPAA and its standards, any attempt to freely reach an audience requires that you jump through hoops by
    • The MPAA and RIAA for that mater promote 1st amendment rights. They advocate free speech for musicians and movie producers.

      In a very superficial sense, yes. Those industry groups will fight for the right to make an excessively gory movie, or profanity-laced compact disc--if they think there's money to be made from them.

      Wouldn't you like to hear what the major recording artists really think about the RIAA, though? Ever wonder why you never do?
  • long nobody tells things about us or our tech that we don't like.

    and by the way, that korean manual on your vcr is a 'copyprotection device', so don't press that button with a red circle.

  • by Excen ( 686416 ) on Wednesday October 29, 2003 @05:55AM (#7336331) Homepage Journal
    In all seriousness, the people of Tennessee need to stomp this law into the dirt, before it can spread throughout the country. You may deny it, and say that only the hicks, to use a generalization that would only be relevant in NYC and LA, would approve of something like this, but it's only a matter of time before a whole bunch of states pass this kind of legislation.

    On a side note, the -IAA crowd couldn't buy off Congress all at once to get their way, so they're purchasing state legislatures one-at-a-time now? Why don't they just save up for a few months or years or whatever to get what they want? It's what the rest of us have to do!
  • by Debian Troll's Best ( 678194 ) on Wednesday October 29, 2003 @05:55AM (#7336334) Journal
    In a previous job I was the system administrator for a small legal firm (taking care of their Debian-based legal document tracking and retrieval database server). Hence, I've been taking more than a passing interest in the proceedings of the various DMCA related court actions. If I'm understanding things correctly, then this latest case in Tennessee will be a real threat to open source software, and especially Debian.

    The thing with the DMCA is that it's all about trying to thwart people from cracking copy protection mechanisms. And a key step in the process of breaking protection is its eventual transmission from its original source to its eventual destination. IANAL, but from my readings, the DMCA will be coming down as hard on mechanisms which facilitate the transmission of protected materials as much as the mechanisms which are used to circumvent that protection in the first place. Now, let me describe to you the perfect DMCA-circumvention transport tool. It's simple to use. It moves data (software especially) with a minimum of fuss. It can check for differences between the source and the sink, and make appropriate changes to what's being grabbed. And you can use it to upgrade Debian.

    Yep, it's apt-get I'm talking about. This is something which has started to get some serious consideration on the Debian mailing lists. What if apt-get is in contravention of the DMCA? What is apt-get is considered to be a tool for the transmission, installing and dist upgrading of pirated/cracked data protected under the DMCA? It's something which is keeping people like Ian Murdoch, Bruce Perens and Joel 'Espy' Klecker up late at night talking with their lawyers just in case the worst does happen.

    So fellow apt-get users...please take a moment to consider the precarious position we are all in as a result of this DMCA madness. Write your local congressman. They need to know how evil the DMCA is. And send them a Debian CD-ROM while you're at it...maybe we can win over some Windows users in the process!

    apt-get peace out, comrades!

  • Excuse me???? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by rock_climbing_guy ( 630276 ) on Wednesday October 29, 2003 @05:59AM (#7336345) Journal
    I started reading this and the following statement caught my attention:

    She then introduced the next two speakers, who she said "speak around the country on this specific piece of legislation." Senator Trail asked her why we needed this legislation at all since we already had laws that made cable theft illegal. She stated that the existing law only covers analog, not digital cable theft--giving the impression that, without this new bill, digital cable theft is legal. In responding to Senator Trail's continuing questions about this, she also admitted that the primary goal of the new legislation was getting stronger civil penalties.

    Are they actually claiming that it's legal to steal cable TV if the cable is digital?????? WTF???????

    • Stealing cable is a civil offense, or criminal if you do it for profit(resell), because it's copyright infringment (also probably trespass to chattel and theft of service and a number of other things). It's ALSO illegal in it's own right, because when the big cable rollouts were happening the telcos were in bed even more with the politicians than they are now, so there was special, specific legislation passed to protect cable companies. The people referred to in the notes are complaining that the FBI, which
  • This is what happens when you don't democratically elect a leader.
    • This is what happens when you don't democratically elect a leader.


      However, even if your fantasy were true, think what things would be like with algore as Supreme Leader. I'm sure he'd be fighting the DMCA, MPAA and RIAA tooth and nail, right? BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

      No, in fact he'd be fighting for them, because just like the Republicans, the Democrats receive millions of dollars from the media big dogs. The rights of regular Americans and the public good mean nothing by comparison.

      That is the reason

    • Wrong Statement (Score:4, Insightful)

      by famazza ( 398147 ) <fabio,mazzarino&gmail,com> on Wednesday October 29, 2003 @07:41AM (#7336499) Homepage Journal

      I'm sorry, but this have nothing to do with the president (we all know who we are all talking about). This is about the faillings of this so called democratic govenment.

      In a democratic government we have people electing their representatives so they can have their interests defended and laws supporting their needs and opinions. The way US government is organized it just doesn't happen this way.

      The legislative is mostly supported by huge corporations that use their power and money to buy the ones that was supposed to defend the people interests.

      And what happens then? Then we have draconian laws that protect most corporations, harming just a few of them, aproved, even if them simply don't bring any good to the people. That's the case of DMCA, for examplo.

      What can be done? We can try changing the way we vote, and the way we participate, avoiding being confused and manipulated by huge organizations and voting in politicians that really represent us.

      IMO we need even more. Politicians should not be allowed to be paid by corporations. Corporations should not even participate in politcs decisions. Politics campains should be maid on the streets, squares, not on TV. We should be able to contact in person our representatives.

      Will that be true someday?

      • Contact your representative.

        Votes come from people, not corporations.

        Money comes from donations, money will advertise, hopefully buying votes.

        Either buy the vote with action, or buy it with the advertising money.
        Without money, nobody will even know what they stand for.
        They need both, you just have to play the game.
      • The legislative is mostly supported by huge corporations that use their power and money to buy the ones that was supposed to defend the people interests.

        You know, at first I was going to blast you for being stupid. I mean, last I checked it was votes that elected representatives, not dollars. But wait a minute. In the near future when we all use Diebold SuperVote 3000(TM) voting machines, we will in fact get a nice big taste of how it feels for our votes to count for nothing. Politicians will finally, trul

        • Sorry, I don't mean to be unpolite, but I think that you are being ingenuous.

          Let's consider that you live in a society that have values, and this values are defined not only by looking people around you, but also by other ways, such as media (newspapers, magazines, TV).

          Do you really think that those who controls media are imparcial? That they don't use this tool to control masses?

          Media is the most effective tool, and most hard to prove, to control masses. Most people are easily controled by media, You

      • Politics campains should be maid on the streets, squares, not on TV. We should be able to contact in person our representatives.

        According to the US Census, New York state has a population [] of 18,976,457 (2000 Census).

        Please explain to me how, in a democracy (okay, a republic) with involved citizens, 18,976,455 people can have contact in person with 2 people? (NY state has 2 US Senators, who, theoretically, each directly represents the entire population of NY state.) (Or even the 14.2 miilion that are over

  • by Slur ( 61510 ) on Wednesday October 29, 2003 @06:59AM (#7336430) Homepage Journal
    In the world of electronic data transmission the notion of theft is much blurrier than it used to be. A company that sold onions could point to an onion thief and say "he stole seven onions so we want seven equivalent onions as a remedy." They could easily prove damages because they have physical goods on hand.

    The issue becomes blurrier in the case where - at the end of their season - the onion company ends up with a lot of rotten onions that they can't sell. They cannot claim unequivocally that the individual onion thief caused them any damage. They would have to know whether the onion thief would have bought the onions he stole, or whether those seven onions would have rotted with the rest.

    In the case of cable tv or music downloads, it seems to me that a company has to be able to show that a given individual thief would have bought the item in question.

    In other words, a million dollars in "theft" probably only amounts to a thousand dollars in actual damages. And that's a generous estimate.

    Obviously companies have to sustain themselves somehow. However, it ought to be done in ways that make creative use of the newest technologies. It ought to be done through adaptation, not through shortsighted legal scheming.

    If I were the President of Show Business I'd tell the music and movie folks to suck it up and send the lawyers home. The present may seem scary, but there's no need to panic and start making kooky demands. In the longer view this is just a little bump in the road.
  • by Phil Karn ( 14620 ) <`karn' `at' `'> on Wednesday October 29, 2003 @07:11AM (#7336446) Homepage
    Seems to me the cable companies and telcos want this bill mainly to protect a fundamentally flawed business model -- the flat rate broadband plan.

    Yes, residential customers really like flat rate plans because they know exactly how much they'll spend every month. But they have a Faustian downside: they give the carriers an excuse to severely limit and control how you use the service. Just as all-you-can-eat cafeterias have rules that regular restaurants do not (e.g., against sharing food or taking it home) most flat-rate broadband plans prohibit connection sharing, business use, running servers, etc.

    If the carriers instead charged by usage for the shared part of their network, then they would have far less of an arguable case (i.e., none whatsoever) for claiming that a NAT box, even if you use it to provide service to your neighbor, constitutes "theft of service". If you pay for those bits, they're clearly yours to give away.

    I know it's unpopular to argue for usage-based billing. But if I'm forced to choose (and I think I will be) between flat rate plans with lots of heavy-handed restrictions and a pay-as-you-go plan with no restrictions at all, I know what I'd do.

    Groups like those opposing the Tennessee bill should educate their lawmakers that it's simply not their job to protect unsustainable business models. Although broadband service is frequently provided over cable TV facilities, it is nothing like cable TV. With usage-based billing, even your average legislator might see how analogies between NAT boxes, which support a two-way telecommunications service, and illegal cable descramblers, which gain access to a one-way broadcast service, simply don't apply.

    Imagine also the public outrage that would finally be directed against Microsoft when end-users have to pay for all the traffic generated by their worm-infested machines. Not only might that create an incentive to get such machines quickly off the net, we just might see a lot of ordinary Joes defenestrating their copies of Windows. Clearly a good thing.

    Even the MPAA and RIAA couldn't complain, since usage-sensitive billing would discourage file sharing. (We don't have to tell them that everyone would simply revert to the way music was widely pirated long before the Internet: by exchanging physical media.)

    Oh, and the spammers would have to pay more, too. Wouldn't that alone make it worthwhile?

    • If the carriers instead charged by usage for the shared part of their network

      Go to college. Take networking 101. See why the entire concept of charging for bandwidth usage is flawed.

      Here's the gist of it:

      If the other end doesn't get your packet, you send it again.

      So, if the cable modem drops packets, who pays for those packets? How is the ISP going to prove that a given packet made it through their network? How do you know that the ISP isn't dropping every other packet intentionally to double your ba
      • I suggest you go to college and take Economics 101. Pay special attention to the sections on demand-side elasticity and the "tragedy of the commons".

        It may surprise you to learn that most commercial Internet users already pay by usage. They already have to deal with the problem of having to pay for DDos traffic. The answer here is not flat-rate billing, but new mechanisms to control such attacks. Routers should give the user of any IP address, without prior arrangement, the ability to create filters that

  • by Pan T. Hose ( 707794 ) on Wednesday October 29, 2003 @09:01AM (#7336751) Homepage Journal
    I've already said it countless times, but if you haven't already read The Right to Read [], do it now while you still have the right to do it. From what I witness it might change in the near future. That's funny that we all were laughing out loud at Richard when he wrote his "stupid dystopian science fiction which will never happen outside of a paranoid mind foolishly guarded with a tinfoil hat" and at the same time we all kept allowing it to slowly happen. And who looks like a fool now? Sadly, not Richard but us. It certainly doesn't make me feel proud at all. The DMCA is the fruit of our own inaction, our own inertia, our own plain stupidity. We all have to remember that. We have to take the responsibility if we ever want to overthrow the law system we don't agree with. The DMCA was introduced democratically and it can be fought only democratically, where everyone takes the responsibility for the will of the majority. It is a great time to renew our EFF memberships [] because that is our freedom at risk.
  • be proud that I was born in Knoxville.

    I guess hicks don't like oppressive legislation, regardless of it's focus.
  • by jonwil ( 467024 ) on Wednesday October 29, 2003 @09:21AM (#7336822)
    Just what constitutes a "communications service".
    For example, does the "communications service" end at your cable/DSL/dialup modem?
    Or does it end at your web-browser?
    Or what?

    If we cant get these new bills overturned completly, we should push for clear definitions of just what a "communications service" is to be enshrined into the bills. That way, they can only be applied in the ways that the law-makers intend.

    My take on why these bills are being pushed for: enable companies providing "communications services" (e.g. cable providers, telcos etc) to go after people who are stealing service (e.g. cable pirates, phone phreakers etc) enable those same providers to have greater controlls over the networks (for example, cable companies can make it illegal to plug digital recorders into their networks and record stuff)
  • by jodo ( 209027 ) on Wednesday October 29, 2003 @09:41AM (#7336922)
    "At that point, Ann Carr [lobbyist] was wildly mouthing to Senator Person that she wanted another of her speakers (Dean Dale, ex-CEO of Time Warner Cable Memphis) to take the Podium. Dale went to the mic and briefly stated that prosecutions were brisk, involving large piracy rings and investigations lasting as long as 18 months. He also said that in the Memphis area they believed there were around 60,000 people with illegal cable service."

    Here is a population/household stat on Memphis. []
    Memphis Population: 650100
    Male Population: 307643
    Female Population: 342457
    Households: 250721
    Median Age: 32
    Average Household Size: 2.52

    Taking this information: 60,000 illegal cable user is roughly 25% of households and therefor the cable company is claiming that when you drive down the street every 4th house is stealing cable services.

    Do you believe that?

    • A) He was most likely referring to the area that Time Warner Cable Memphis served, which could include suburbs/outlying areas.

      B) If TWC Memphis charges for extra outlets/cable boxes in a house and someone is paying for 1 cable box/outlet, but has 2 other grey market cable boxes in other rooms in the house, they're stealing cable service as far as the law is concerned (and are probably counted as two people, since he did say people, not households).

      Whether this is right or not is an exercise for the reader
    • What data set are we supposed to use to determine the veracity of the time warner's claim? I am perfectly aware of the imperfection of the census numbers used in my post but we have to start somewhere. TWC does not indicate anywhere on their web site [](that I could find) the size of their Memphis market.
      I did find these numbers. [] "Time Warner Cable has about 124,000 customers in Memphis, about 10,000 in Germantown, about 8,500 Bartlett, and about 9,000 in the West Memphis system, which includes Sunset and M
  • My favorite quote of the day: 'I stand here before you as representing the MPAA, one of the leading advocates of First Amendment rights...' I think I blacked out for a minute after that.

    Amazing, it sounds just like Microsoft. These days, we need to make everyone qualify their statements - back them up with evidence. Self-congratulatory, passing phrases such as the MPAA's try and show true substance where there is none. If they were a real business providing value, they wouldn't need to make things up t
  • Void in Tennessee
  • Tennessee's Super-DMCA Rises From The Grave

    The title never gives enough information. It is a vampire or a zombie? I don't know if I should go and buy a wooden stake or lighter fluid.
  • As a Memphis resident and Nashville hater, I have to say that this doesn't surprise me. The country music industry is based in Nashville, and is the source of much of Nashville's prosperity. There are also television shows filmed in Nashville (there was TNN - The Nashville Network, and there is some country square dancing show that a lot of people watch that's filmed at some club on Nashville's Broadway (their version of our Beale Street or New Orleans' Bourbon Street). So, it's in the Tennessee governme
  • 'I stand here before you as representing the MPAA, one of the leading advocates of First Amendment rights...'

    If you have to state it for yourself, then you most likely aren't.
  • We should not be surprised when corporations seek to use the power of the state to their advantage, since business are about nothing more than self advantage. So are many individuals - and that is perfectly fine. The problem lies with the government that holds enough power to make such abuses possible, not with the corporations that try to benefit. And yet many think that we can get rid of "big business", or limit its activities somehow, and thereby solve this problem.

    In communist countries, where no corpo

Life in the state of nature is solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short. - Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan