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Senate Takes Aim At P2P Providers 869

thejoelpatrol writes "The Senate Judiciary Committee, led by everybody's favorite senator, Orrin Hatch, is moving to outlaw P2P entirely by making it illegal to produce such applications. Hatch says such firms 'think that they can legally profit by inducing children to steal. Some think they can legally lure children into breaking the law with false promises of "free music."' So, when was the last time that Kazaa told kids to steal music? Shouldn't the parents be the ones looking out for their kids? The RIAA is (surprise!) in favor of this, while P2P groups are (surprise!) opposed."
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Senate Takes Aim At P2P Providers

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  • by sploo22 ( 748838 ) <dwahler@@@gmail...com> on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @08:12AM (#9630521)
    So, when was the last time that Kazaa told kids to steal music? Shouldn't the parents be the ones looking out for their kids? The RIAA is (surprise!) in favor of this, while P2P groups are (surprise!) opposed.

    My gosh! Thanks to the submitter, I know exactly what position to argue! Thanks so much!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @08:14AM (#9630536)
    Its hard to find sympathy for America and its RIAA, and its so-called 'industries'.

    Hatch says such firms 'think that they can legally profit by inducing children to steal..

    This, coming from the same government who think its perfectly acceptable to "legally profit by inducing children to kill and steal (oil in Iraq)".

    As long as the U.S. falsely believes in its own security above all else, it will continue to be a criminal police state populated by hypocrites and irresponsible drones, run by the insane.

    You get what you deserve, America. Restrictions on your right to cultural communication are all the lobbyists truly want.

  • Next Year... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by dave1791 ( 315728 ) on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @08:16AM (#9630555)
    Well, if you are not allowed to develop P2P in the US, then only foreign P2P apps will be available. Then we will hear about legislation to ban these evil foreign pirate apps... ...or sever the US from the rest of the internet. After all, the world is full of shady characters just waiting to pollute the minds of the young.

    Oh boy, I am on a soapbox today.
  • Every day... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by svg ( 100938 ) * on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @08:19AM (#9630577)
    I become more and more amazed at the stupidity of everyone in government, and the music industry. They have clearly lost the ball, and are trying to protect short term profits, while sacrificing, long term market stability, profitability, not to mention a positive public image. I used to be really depressed. Then I realized that all these technical solutions wouldn't work; the techno-neophytes that supported/introduced this legislation would retire, or die. For a short period of time, I was happy. Then I realized that there are still places in the United States where evolution isn't taught in the schools. [And yes, there is a link, stupidity, evil, and fundamentalist religions rear their ugly heads everywhere]. Now I am depressed again. The technologically enlightened should form their own country, and screw the rest of them. Except the telephone sanitizers.

    Clearly, there must be a balance to online music sharing, but music companies must recognize that they have to adapt to the changing world like the rest of us, or be left behind.
  • Re:Senator Hatch (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @08:20AM (#9630583)
    Its akin to a movie "star" talking about politics. Leave those discussions to the experts in the field.

    excuse me? You're saying that unless you're a politician, you shouldn't get involved in politics? Are you some sort of fascist? The basis of a sound democracy is that EVERYONE is welcome to have their opinion and participate.
  • Re:Madness (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @08:20AM (#9630588)
    Failed business models? If someone is stealing from your store, you don't have a failed business model, you get a guy to stand in front of it with a big fucking bat. I love you way you guys try to justify stealing, it's really getting funny.
  • by MoonFog ( 586818 ) on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @08:21AM (#9630589)
    Not only that, P2P is an interesting alternative to the traditional C/S model. This appears to be a move that is not very well thought out, are they going to ban FTP since you can distribute copyrighted material over FTP as well? I don't think these guys know enough about technology to really tell what's going on and what needs to be done. I'm fairly sure they are not even willing to hear expert opinions on this either..
  • Re:The Children (Score:4, Interesting)

    by xyvimur ( 268026 ) <koo3ahzi@hTEAulboj.org minus caffeine> on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @08:26AM (#9630632) Homepage
    Children are extremely good topic for the `masses' - people who don't know anything about p2p will be against it - if you say them - that banning it will protect children.
    Unfortunatelly not many know, who will really benefit from this legislation.
  • by Karrde712 ( 125745 ) on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @08:28AM (#9630647)
    Basically, it seems that they're trying to restrict the law in a very reasonable way. The law states that in order to be in violation, it has to be proven that the P2P application's only method of commercially viability is by inducing copyright violations.

    Sounds reasonably fair to me. It's not an end-all "P2P is evil and must be stopped" bill. It's a method to keep out the more dangerous offenders. For example, BitTorrent should be immune to prosecution under this law because its main intended purpose is to lighten the hit on the download of new versions of legal software, specifically Linux distributions.

    Kazaa, on the other hand, really doesn't have a legal leg to stand on. Perhaps if they didn't have a built-in MP3/Video player in the client, they might have gotten away with it, but they specifically built the GUI so as to make it easy and convenient to download illegal songs and movies.

    And yes, I acknowledge that there are legal downloads that can be made through Kazaa, but most of those were added as an afterthought in order to try and delay/counter litigation.

    Section 501 of title 17, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:
    `(g)(1) In this subsection, the term `intentionally induces' means intentionally aids, abets, induces, or procures, and intent may be shown by acts from which a reasonable person would find intent to induce infringement based upon all relevant information about such acts then reasonably available to the actor, including whether the activity relies on infringement for its commercial viability.
    `(2) Whoever intentionally induces any violation identified in subsection (a) shall be liable as an infringer.
    `(3) Nothing in this subsection shall enlarge or diminish the doctrines of vicarious and contributory liability for copyright infringement or require any court to unjustly withhold or impose any secondary liability for copyright infringement.'.
  • by mmclar ( 593446 ) on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @08:35AM (#9630696)
    At school we used Microsoft's SMB protocol to share music on our network. They made it hella easy. Should they also be a target for this bill?
  • Re:Madness (Score:5, Interesting)

    by nomadic ( 141991 ) <.moc.liamg. .ta. .dlrowcidamon.> on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @08:37AM (#9630713) Homepage
    It's not "law-makers", it's Orrin Hatch. This is one of the problems, everyone sort of just waves their hands and complains about politicians in general, rather than holding specific people responsible.
  • by eofpi ( 743493 ) on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @08:41AM (#9630740) Homepage
    I haven't read the text of the bill myself, and, as my sig says, IANAL, but everything I've read about it (probably all biased, but still...) says it's even more overly broad than the DMCA. It seems to me that we would effectively be able to say anything related to data interchange documented in an RFC would immediately be illegal, regardless of legal usefulness.

    Regardless of whether they want expert opinions on this or not, they need them. Anyone else up for writing their congresspeople?
  • Re:Madness (Score:5, Interesting)

    by dunstan ( 97493 ) <dvavasour@RASPiee.org minus berry> on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @08:45AM (#9630775) Homepage
    It goes deeper than this.

    In the old world there was a simple distinction: either a band was signed to a label, in which case the label dictated their term, whether they were promoted etc; or the band wasn't signed to a label and had no channel to get their music to listeners.

    In the new world, P2P is an alternative channel between producers and consumers in which record companies have no control - the process has become disintermediated. In this world you have the appalling prospect (for the companies) that talented, affluent people will make music because they enjoy it, and and then distribute it via P2P networks so that people can listen to it and enjoy it without paying them.

    In essence, the scarcity of music distribution has ended, and the beneficiaries of this scarcity (the record companies) are seeing their business model starting to fail. They're doomed, and they know they're doomed, but they're also keen to prolong their dominion as long as they can.

  • by Col Bat Guano ( 633857 ) on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @09:03AM (#9630900)
    Delivering email is a P2P program - lots of cooperative servers passing messages on, until they finally get to their target.

    Same goes for RTSP (real time streaming protocol?) for broadcasting I believe.

  • by Allen Zadr ( 767458 ) * <Allen.ZadrNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @09:07AM (#9630938) Journal
    As mentioned in the Digital Imprimatur [fourmilab.ch] (recommended reading) all of the technologies that you mention are facilitated by a designated server in their common use.

    There are Peer-to-Peer uses of IM, FTP and EMail, but these uses are being degredated by firewalls.

    That is to say that every hacker that decides they want to try their hand at cracking, or play with some script kit is directly causing the further segmentation of the internet into discreet networks connected only by the proxy servers hardened for use on the "open" internet.

  • by torpor ( 458 ) <ibisum@gm a i l . com> on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @09:09AM (#9630957) Homepage Journal
    I dunno, in a twisty sense I think it is sort of insightful. That a few Americans get their feathers ruffled by such statements doesn't mean its Flamebait, necessarily.

    Fact is, the RIAA is only able to exist and propagate its tendrils of control because the public don't do anything about it. It makes no sense to have such draconian restrictions on technology; yet that is what is happening, behind the curtains.

    Because someone doesn't come forward and sponsor a bill to protect the emerging P2P industry, before it is /crushed/defeated/degraded/monopolized by existing powers, these powers are able to sponsor their own bills.

    Americas' freedoms, and the so-called glories of its citizenry are one thing. But farcical banter about what is 'right and wrong' about America, while lobbyists and special control interests are writing new laws for you, and only for you, is another thing entirely.

    RIAA is getting away with this bullshit simply because the American public are too lazy, and too irresponsible, to actually rise up and do something about it. As long as the Television Always Works After Dinner, most people don't give a damn what their politicians are doing to protect the right of free speech, free media, and free culture.

    P2P networks are of the people, and for the people, and NOTHING ELSE. So far.

    The American government is working pretty hard to change that. Lord knows, it dislikes it whenever anything else of the people, and for the people comes along to lure the masses from its protectionist skirts ...

  • by dave1791 ( 315728 ) on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @09:12AM (#9630986)
    "We mostly vote according to the record of the MP rather than their advertising."

    No more or less. You do this. I do this. Do your neighbors?

    "We think that freedom of speech also means stuff that's unpopular, irrational and sometimes off colour."

    I can't speak for the places where they spell it "colour", but generally it has been the case that freedom of speech is more extreme in the US than is the case for Continental Europe. The line between what is acceptable, but unsavory and what is incite-full is generally more liberal in the states. France and Nazi stuff for sale on Ebay comes to mind. Hate groups banned in Europe move their servers to the states. This is less the case post September 11, but given time to settle down, it will return to being this way.

    "We rarely think that government should be protecting us against ourselves."

    Ask a group of people anywhere if they want their government to protect them from themselves and would will probably get a unanimous NO. Now ask them if they want GM foods banned because they might not have the willpower to leave them on the supermarket shelves.

    "We didn't allow the growth of an evangelist Christian super bloc with direct ties to government, then stick by the claim that our church and state are separated."

    There is a lot of talk of the rise of evangelicals, but that is just media chatter. They have always been there and have always had political clout. And is not oppressing a block of voters that you disagree with undemocratic?

    "We use democracy as a method of changing policy because we don't have access to armour-piercing bullets."

    But Armor piercing bullets are more fun!
  • My Solution (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Mr. Cancelled ( 572486 ) on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @09:14AM (#9631011)
    Introduce legislation to prevent people from lobbying for business's in which they themselves have a financial interest in.

    For example, if I remember correctly Senator Hatch supposedly receives royalties from several (questionable) musical projects of his. Thus he should not be allowed to introduce legislation which could financially benefit him through his affiliation with the RIAA, and/or his project(s). It's a clear conflict of interest to me.

    There should be a window of time to make this a viable solution. Something to the effect off not being able to profit or work for any represented industry's for 5 years prior to taking office, or 5 years after taking office. This should eliminate any doubts about someones ulterior motives, while ensuring that people aren't passing laws simply to increase their own bottom line.

  • Which bill? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by cjpez ( 148000 ) on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @09:15AM (#9631032) Homepage Journal
    So does anyone have the bill number, or a thomas.loc.gov link? I'd love to call up my senators about this, but I'd like to be able to use terms more specific than just "that one p2p bill from Hatch." Why don't they put that kind of information in their articles?
  • Re:I'm confused (Score:3, Interesting)

    by confused one ( 671304 ) on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @09:18AM (#9631063)

    Hunting (you need a big handgun).
    Protection... from animals. I WILL NOT hike in certain parts of the country without a gun, or at least a big can of police/military grade pepper spray.
    Target practice. Granted, this can be argued to be a form of practice for killing humans... But, many people find it, in and of itself, to be fun, challenging, and a good stress relief.

  • by RalphSouth ( 89474 ) on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @09:34AM (#9631203)
    The whole thing sounds like prior restraint. The right to free speach is guaranteed in the Bill of Rights! You make the assumption that any p2p application is uese for illegal purposes and that any mp3 file is copyrighted material. It is like assuming that all news papers will print treasonous material; this is not a valid assumption. P2P can be used to transmit pictures of my dog to a friend, with an mp3 of her barking her fool head off.

    You want to poke a finger in the RIAA? Get a college student to upload a whole bunch of different mp3 files from a broad range of sources. Make sure that all of the mp3 files are titled with almost right rock music names and make sure the content is not copy righted.... Or, set up fake identities that do that. Create a lot of them. Make them sift through it all.
  • by NoSuchGuy ( 308510 ) <do-not-harvest-m ... dot@spa.mtrap.de> on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @09:35AM (#9631213) Journal
    How to use P2P the propper way:

    1) Sing or play a song:
    - Text and Music have to be in the Public Domain
    - A nursery rhyme is just fine.
    2) Recod this song in your favorite format (mp3,ogg,divx,mpeg,...)

    3) Use a P2P application to share "your" song

    Your arguments:
    - Freedom of speech
    - You want to promote your singing skills
    - You are better than any of the American Idols

    You have another legal use of P2P.

  • Words as tools? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Maljin Jolt ( 746064 ) on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @09:43AM (#9631276) Journal
    My advise to all opressed people: Use the same technique law/politics people are using very often against you. New-speak. Just change terminology, invent new words, as they do to infect you with false distractive ideas.

    In case of P2P, say 'an equiv' instead of 'a peer'. Say 'resource scattering' instead of 'file sharing'. Say 'support lobby' instead of 'tracker server'. Insist you are not a peer, but an equiv, that you do not share files but scatter resources. Make a difference out of nothing, just as is the method of making human laws.

    Words are software. Human brain is adaptable. Geeks are the most adaptable from all people, because they understand nature of software. Resist rigidity of any ideology by resillience of mind.
  • Dont forget Cars.... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by nurb432 ( 527695 ) on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @09:50AM (#9631329) Homepage Journal
    We need to sue car makers because some moron got drunk and ran down little Timmy while he was waiting on the bus. It gotta be their fault for making a car that could kill..

    Oh, and the liquor store, the brewery.. hell lets sue the state for providing the road he drove on...

    Or how about using a bicycle to transport said copyright violated copies ( kid listening to music on his Ipod ).. we should sue them too, and apple...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @10:07AM (#9631496)
    Corporations have been pressing for school children to be taught that sharing is inherently wrong for a long time. You can find FACT materials aimed at persuading educators to introduce this into the curriculum, perhaps in the guise of Social Studies or Citizenship. The Disney corporation provides "educational" materials for very young children that discourage co-operation and sharing in favour of relying on corporate entities and authority figures.
  • by JustNiz ( 692889 ) on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @10:12AM (#9631545)
    that the US Senate Judiciary Comittee (and in particular Orrin Hatch) are either totally corrupted by the giant corporations, or are completely ignorant of the subject matter they are meddling with (or both).

    Its boggles my mind that these bureaucrats persistently abuse their position of power yet are allowed to continue trampling on and removing basic rights of all US citizens for their own corrupted agendas.

    Thank God not all governments around the world are allowed to act in the same appalling way.
  • by silicon not in the v ( 669585 ) on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @10:23AM (#9631656) Journal
    Maybe what we should do is check out the computers in use by Hatch's political organization, and demand that they remove all software that enables copyright violation, starting with their email software. Maybe that would get the message across.
    Now that would be a cool move. I don't think they realize how idiotic and broad the legislation is. It will probably have to hit them in the nose before they will realize what they have done. I would like to pursue that with the police if that passes. What? You have an email account? We'll have to press charges against your ISP. You have a computer you use to check that email? We'll have to confiscate that.
  • Re:"The Corporation" (Score:2, Interesting)

    by afxgrin ( 208686 ) on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @10:32AM (#9631743)
    Sorry, the URL is somewhat broken, I forgot about the space in the URL. Here's a working link:

    The Corporation []
  • Re:Madness (Score:3, Interesting)

    by julesh ( 229690 ) on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @10:41AM (#9631838)
    Exactly the same thing has been said about technologies like e-books and print-on-demand presses allowing writers to get their content to the public without going through traditional presses.

    I don't see the public queueing up to buy these products.

    There has to be a filter on quality, and the record labels / presses have traditionally provided this. Of course, other organisations could step in to provide a similar framework for these 'new channels', but without there being a viable business model for them, they will be unstable at best. Building the public's trust in your filtering abilities will take a long time.
  • by ajs318 ( 655362 ) <sd_resp2@earthsho[ ]o.uk ['d.c' in gap]> on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @10:44AM (#9631872)
    ..... when they pry it from my cold, dead hands.

    Seriously, all this fuss is being made because people aren't paying record companies money anymore. You know what? I couldn't give a fuck. Record companies made every penny they ever earned because the ability to manufacture recorded media was scarce. Now it isn't -- thanks to the Internet, ready availability of CD burners, compressed audio formats, portable devices, and so forth, just about anyone can make records. I'm almost surprised the RIAA aren't trying to demand that you buy a licence to own an instrument (after all, performing a song might be construed as copying it, in some warped, twisted way).

    Of course, before you can make a record, you first need a song. Musical talent is a scarce commodity -- and the person whose voice is on the record is the only one whose job can't be done by someone else, and probably for less money. Everyone else is just a middleman, and is totally replaceable. That, the record companies need to realise, is how the real world works.

    My proposed new business model for the recording industry works like this. A singer or band borrows some money to cover the overheads of hiring a studio, session musicians, producers, making a glass master, stamping CDs, designing and printing booklets, and so on (of course they may well already have some equipment of their own, so they won't need to borrow as much); and then sells the CDs at such a price as to recoup that loan and make a profit for themself. Like any other business venture, the money is lent on the understanding that the recorded performance will be of a sufficient standard that the resulting product will be saleable. Until the moment when the loan has been paid off, the lender has lien over the CDs and the content in them, and can prevent anyone else from distributing independent copies; but as soon as the loan is paid off, then control reverts to the original performer (until the work goes PD, anyway; and if the work goes PD during the lender's lien, that just serves them right for picking the wrong person to lend money to). Some fancy wording will almost certainly be required to prevent any shenanigans, e.g. where the artist holds out on the last pound and so the music still belongs to the lender.

    I would also make it law that, once any debt incurred in making a recording is paid in full, then an artist must allow anyone to distribute copies of their work, for a fixed fee -- which would be the same amount irrespective of who does the distributing, and irrespective of the format in which the recording is made or the medium on which it is stored. This fee would be applied whenever a permanent recording of a copyrighted work changes hands, unless in the course of transfer the supplier loses the ability to make further copies. The onus would be on the supplier if any payment is made to the supplier, or on the recipient otherwise. (So I can make a free copy of an album I own for my MP3 player, but I have to pay to make a copy of my friend's album; and I would not have to pay anything if I sold a CD outright, unless I retained any copies of the songs on it. If my friend made a copy of one of my albums, it would be my friend's responsibility to pay the artist -- unless my friend bought me a pint, in which case I would owe the artist.)

    It's also quite feasible that a few local bands could get together, pool their resources, and produce an album each without having to borrow any money against their "audible collateral" (for want of a better phrase to describe it).
  • Paranoia (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Positive Charge ( 592093 ) on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @11:27AM (#9632338) Homepage
    The voice in my head says this is an insidious government plot to keep people from communicating directly with each other rather than through servers that can easily be ordered to tap communications.

    But that's nonsense.

    Of course.

    Anyway, if Orrin Hatch is able to draft this in a way that passes constitutional muster, I'll kiss him full on the lips.
  • by Monoliath ( 738369 ) on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @11:27AM (#9632350)
    This just seems to be another classic case of politics trying to regulate a very technical field it has very little knowledge of, with very general applications, which in turn will obviously create thousands of complications and loopholes etc. I'm sure many others have noticed, just how much work our dear senators seem to be putting into the RIAA groove and it's ripple effects, while making fools of themselves at the same time because of their lack of even the most basic concepts of internet architecture or networking. We have senators who are not keeping up with the digital age of our country, attempting to regulate and control the same. This, is ignorance. Total ignorance and will in future, begin to hamper and destroy the growth of the internet, turning it into yet another censored overused, advertisement infested medium much like t.v. and radio. Controlled by corporate sponsors and special interest group funding. We need to vote in political leaders who are educated at least on how to research these kinds of things and truly understand them before regulation, instead of mindlessly spitting out paper legislation that will cause more damage than development. I'm not saying that they need to be programmers, no. I'm saying they should at least make an attempt to understand the issue from all perspectives and not just one. This all seems to prompt for much more action from the technical community of the internet. With the kind of expansion that is taking place, and the role that the government is playing within the future development of the internet and the software written for it / on it / that it will utilize, defensive mechanisms should be put in place by those who hold much support in the technical community....could this be the beginning of the digital-law-enforcement age? Where we could vote in technically adapt individuals into political positions, enabling someone who truly understands what they're regulating...how much would that change the way technology and the internet develops in the next hundred years.
  • P2P vs Piracy (Score:2, Interesting)

    by i-Chaos ( 179440 ) on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @11:37AM (#9632459)
    My stance is simple: P2P apps, in and of themselves, should not be illegal - just like port scanner apps, or even virus source code, to some degree. Only problem is: Pirate traffic accounts for (and I can only guess this figure) at least 50% of the traffic on most P2P networks. P2P networks, like firearms, should not be outlawed, but rather regulated. How, and by what organizations? That remains for governments and nations to decide for themselves. The UN has stepped in to fight Spam, and I think that it's a good first step. If they start working on other fair internet use laws, then the internet would be a safer place, and I wouldn't have to worry about getting hit by the blaster worm before I can even finish downloading my XP updates.

    And for those who think that "sampling" music on the net before buying a CD is good, and those who are using P2P to attain legal backup copies of music they already own - it's a load of crock. Sure, one of the side-effects of piracy is that artists are becoming more popular quicker due to their music coming down the grapevine faster, but it's just an unintentional side-effect. How many people actually delete MP3's of the songs where they didn't buy the CD? People keep illegal copies of songs that they've "sampled" but never bought - that's a known fact.

    A good "sampling" system would be programs that create self-destructive tracks that die after X number of playing times. Imagine a P2P application that not only allows you to search and download, but allows you to RIP them from CD or DVD as well! However, only files of a specific format that has that sort of protection built-in should be ripped. RIAA would eat it up, as it would allow their artists' songs to be sampled without a real loss in revenue.

  • by Izago909 ( 637084 ) <tauisgodNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @11:44AM (#9632525)
    Knowing Hatch's other brain children, I'm not very shocked by the news. As with most of his other bought-and-paid-for legislation I don't see much coming from this. On the unlikely chance something is produced, won't the vagueness of the wording be applicable to legitimate P2P applications as well? This sounds just like the Betamax case. An industry doesn't like new technology, so they buy politicians to try and completely outlaw it. P2P is the future of the internet. Star topography, even though the dominant layout of the internet, still has major weakness that mesh topography can provide solutions for. By the looks of everything, he is being so vague as to include any sort of decentralized communications.

    I was always told republicans were about less government intervention into personal and business sectors. In the last 4 years I've seen more laws passed where the government takes an active role in propping up the powers of big business while legislating away so many personal rights and privileges. This doesn't seem like the hands-off approach they like to pat themselves on the back so much for.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @12:45PM (#9633159)
    The people who support Palladium also want to "watermark" all content to prevent your scenario. Every sound card, CD burner, etc. would have to detect watermarks--which appear even in analog copies--and then refuse to record/transmit/whatever the data.
  • Re:THE BOTTOM LINE (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Our Man In Redmond ( 63094 ) on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @12:59PM (#9633292)
    Actually I remember PPP standing for "Point to Point Protocol".* Minor quibble, really, because when I first got into networking in 1995 the Internet was indeed held up as an example of a massive peer-to-peer network, where content is offered by the machines on the network, as opposed to a server-based network (think NT domain or Netware network).

    Trying to redefine "peer-to-peer" network as "mechanism for wholesale IP theft"** will of course net make it so. This strikes me as one of those bills whose purpose is to make it look like Congress is doing a Good Thing(tm), only to have the law struck down in the courts so the congresscritters can say they tried, it's not their fault.

    * But hey, they tell me I remembered the origins of PHP wrong, so what do I know?

    ** Yes I know it's copyright violation, not theft, but that's the way they'll try to present it.
  • by JustNiz ( 692889 ) on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @01:52PM (#9633820)
    Sorry its so late but I just spotted this:
    You gotta read it!

    http://www.wired.com/news/politics/0,1283,59305, 00 .html
  • by Alsee ( 515537 ) on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @03:29PM (#9634736) Homepage
    I'd love to see a Jonathan Swiftian white paper on this subject.

    It becomes difficut to do when people have already gone so far off the deep end. Hatch has stated that he wants to remotely destroy people's computers. He has introduced legislation to outlaw ordinary computers. Hatch has has sponsored or co-sponsored no less than SIXY-SEVEN attempts to ammend the constitution, often various attempts to STRIP AWAY PORTIONS OF THE BILL OF RIGHTS. And those are just the antics I can think of off the top of my head.

    Attempting to parody Hatch is like attempting to parody White Supremacists or fanatical religious fundamentalists (of any flavor). Anything short of "lets eat the children" winds up looking just like the genuine and sincere words of those you wish to parody. It is frighfully hard to successfully parody some people.

  • by CantGetAUserName ( 565692 ) <.moc.liamg. .ta. .htimsdpa.> on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @03:48PM (#9634933)
    Are you kidding?

    This is a technology that's going to force damn near every PC on the planet into obsolescence or at the very least require a new OS. All the stuff in the middle is going to have to be changed as well, after all we can't be allowed our precious 'analog hole', can we. And who do you think is going to have to stump up - clue: it's not MS or Sony or even the government (which mostly these days seems to work to funnel taxpayer money to friendly companies but that is an entirely different debate). Oh, sure, there will be some horse-trading of a few million between ISPs and such, but that'll just get tacked on to your bill (at a 200% markup, of course) and no more will be said about it

    Think of it as a new, one-off tax that will spawn (or perhaps excrete is a better word) a further tax to rent stuff you used to own.

    Damn, that sounded like a flame. Must be getting low on caffeine to get that feisty.

    The worst bit about the world these days is that I can scarcely spot the parody any more.
  • by Newer Guy ( 520108 ) on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @04:37PM (#9635421)
    Dear Senator Hatch:

    I saw that you wish to make all P2P applications illegal. Indeed, your quote said: "It is illegal and immoral to induce or encourage children to commit crimes,"

    I have a request, Senator Hatch. Instead of making software programs, illegal can we make GUNS illegal? After all, it's been proven time after time that guns: "Induce or encourage children to kill each other" (my quote). To me, keeping kids alive is MUCH MORE IMPORTANT then keeping them from downloading the latest Britney Spears single off the Internet! Of course, I suppose if you let kids kill each other, then they can't download things - Right?

    Perhaps this is your logic in trying to 'protect' kids from the wrath of the RIAA, while supporting the guns that they use to kill each other. If this is indeed the case, then perhaps you should encourage the RIAA and MPAA to distribute guns to children.

    Of course, what I've just typed is 100% absurd, but no more so then your proposal to make p2p programs illegal. Not only is your proposed law absurd, but it also is quite likely unconstitutional. See, we have a Supreme Court in this country, which in the "Betamax" decision many years ago declared that techology that can be used for both illegal and legal puproses cannot be banned. Again, the MPAA was fighting Sony in this case to stop the VCR from existing. Ironically, the VCR (via movie rentals on tape) became one of their biggest profit centers.

    Of course, if you're truly hell bent on shredding everyone's Constitutional rights, while you're at it, it would help the book industry by banning the copier, scanner and laser printer. This would also keep children (and adults) from breaking the law.

    OH...and let's also make alcohol illegal (again!). That will discourage childern from drinking (and driving!).

    Mr. Hatch, what I mainly want from my government is to keep me safe from enemies, foreign and domestic. That's it. I don't WANT you to be my nanny, nor do I want you to insert yourself into how I raise my children! Since you all seem to be doing a lousy job of keeping us safe from enemies, why not make that job #1 instead of wasting time keeping childern safe one MP3 at a time?

    Thank you. XXXXXXx
  • by cryophan ( 787735 ) on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @04:40PM (#9635471) Homepage Journal
    I am not advocating any illegal acts here, but the ruling elite of our country are selling us out to the corporations, and we should organize and take action at the ballot box to punish Hatch and his ilk. And this treason by Hatch, et al., will continue until we humilate and shame and send to lasting infamy some of these traitors. That will serve as an example and a deterrent to future politicians.

    As it is now, traitors like Hatch are in a win-win situation--there is NO punishment for this treason. if they get thrown out of office, they will make even more money working as lobbyists for the corporations. We need deterrents to this kind of treason.

    Here is how we can make this country a country that works to serve its citizenry, and not the ruling elite, the wealthy, the corporations: First, we elect representatives who say they will indict, try, and punish these politicians who have sold out the people to corporations.

    Then they can write laws under which these traitors may be indicted.

    They we indict and try them in a court of law.

    Then we punish them publicly when they are found guilty. The Stocks? Flogging? Life in prison? These punishments are well suited for this type of treason.

    We can do this. We have the power as granted to us by the Constitution. It starts here. One step at a time.

    Why should traitorous politicians like Hatch get away with this. Why should dirt-poor young men give their lives in uniform just so they can scratch out a living, and meanwhile the imperial ruling elite like Hatch betray us without fear of the slightest harm?

    These ruling elite should pay for their crimes after being tried and found guilty in a court of law. And they are guilty, no doubt of that. If you and I and our peer citizenry sit in the jury box, do you doubt conviction?

    We have freedom of speech in the USA, at least for now. But you use, or you lose it!

    You think such a plan is impossible? It is not! Not if you and I and 50% of the voters in each state believe it can be done, and then go do it at the ballot box.

  • The actual text of this bill [loc.gov] really isn't that long. For the link impared, this is the formal text of the bill:


    This Act may be cited as the `Inducing Infringement of Copyrights Act of 2004'.


    Section 501 of title 17, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:

    (g)(1) In this subsection, the term `intentionally induces' means intentionally aids, abets, induces, or procures, and intent may be shown by acts from which a reasonable person would find intent to induce infringement based upon all relevant information about such acts then reasonably available to the actor, including whether the activity relies on infringement for its commercial viability.

    (2) Whoever intentionally induces any violation identified in subsection (a) shall be liable as an infringer.

    (3) Nothing in this subsection shall enlarge or diminish the doctrines of vicarious and contributory liability for copyright infringement or require any court to unjustly withhold or impose any secondary liability for copyright infringement.


    With all the knee jerk anti-Republican anti-anything sentiment on /., I am really surprised that nobody actually posted the contents of the bill itself.

    The problem with this bill is that it is overly broad and can mean quite a bit to many people, and is so broad that it actually forces judges into interpreting this in whatever manner they really want to. This is especially surprising when Mr. Hatch's own website [senate.gov] is railing on the fact that judges are ruling in areas he feels should be regulated by congress. A clue to Senator Hatch: If you don't want judges making arbitrary rulings, don't give them bills like this that allow this sort of broad judgement that makes them to have to create new laws for every arbitrary and silly concept that comes up.

    Frankly, this is a poorly written bill, and should be killed for that reason alone.

    What, from my reading of the above text can tell, this allows any system that allows bits to be copied in any manner, including chip manufacturers that incorporate the "MOV" opcode in their CPUs, to be potential targets of this legislation. By creating the "MOV" opcode in their CPU designs, they are intentionally creating a device that "intentionally aids, abets, induces, and procures and creates acts a reasonable person would find to induce copyright infringement". We are not talking P2P networks, but going much lower than that here.

    Computers are information storage and retrevial devices. They work because they copy data and information all over the place. You can litterally sneeze, press the wrong key, and send a "copy" of any data that is on your computer to anybody in the world that is connected to your PC.

    How this would more than likely be read by judges is that stuff like DeCSS would be illegal, because its purpose is to defeat copyright protection. I even think that was the intention of Sen. Hatch in this case. That is also why P2P networks of most sorts would also be declared illegal, although that is starting to get into more grey areas.

    Where I wish that legslation would have gone, as has been pointed out elsewhere, is to go after hardcore(??) software pirates. I.E. people who make it their livelyhood to produce copies of copyrighted works without payment to the original authors/companies that make the copyrighted material. I could name many cases that I know of personally where for-profit companies, in some cases even with a business license and chartered corporations, in the USA (not some far-off country that has more liberal copyright laws), have copied computer software with impunity and only bought a single copy when they've sold hundreds of copies out of their store or business.

    The key is the act of copyright

Help! I'm trapped in a PDP 11/70!