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RIAA Sends Letter to Senate Supporting INDUCE Act 511

The Importance of writes "Slashdot has discussed the INDUCE Act before (and here and here). The act would make 'intentionally inducing' infringement a crime, but defines inducing so broadly that all sorts of technology is threatened. A little over a week ago, tech companies and civil rights groups sent a letter to some senators asking for hearings on the bill. A couple of days ago, the RIAA responded with their own letter sent to all 100 senators. There is also an abridged and annotated version of the RIAA letter. LawMeme has put together an index to INDUCE Act analysis."
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RIAA Sends Letter to Senate Supporting INDUCE Act

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  • by garcia ( 6573 ) * on Thursday July 15, 2004 @12:29PM (#9708344)
    S. 2560, introduced by Senators Hatch, Leahy, Boxer, L. Graham and both Majority Leader Frist and Democratic Leader Daschle - is timely, warranted legislation. We urge you to support it. It is intended to target bad actors only - those who have built business models to get away with stealing the creative work of predominantly American artists. The bill finds the right balance to protect both technology AND content innovators.

    I *love* that they use the word "stealing". No matter what spin they try to put on this issue, spreading and copying music is not stealing.

    Four of the top ten downloaded applications on the Internet are P2P programs operated by companies who purposefully set them up to be used for illegal conduct. Popular for sure... but lawbreaking nonetheless.

    Oh, I just LOVE this. Yes, BitTorrent (just took over as the leader in P2P traffic) was created for illegal use. I could see Kazaa or Napster, but BitTorrent, no, I just don't believe that.

    But it has been hijacked by some unscrupulous operators who have constructed a business model predicated on the taking of property financed by my member companies.

    As far as I am aware, BitTorrent has no true business model. I got the software legally and without cost.

    We take profits from sales - when we're good and lucky enough to get them - and plow money back into the search for that next great talent who will thrill music fans around the globe.

    When you're lucky? Give me a fucking break. You support the consolidation of radio and other music distribution networks so you have tight control on who listens and how they listen. Perhaps if radio and music distribution wasn't controlled by you and your existance wasn't backed and supported by the government (who should have broken you up years ago) I would believe you.

    In 2000, the top ten hits sold 60 million units in the U.S. Seven of the ten sold more than 5 million units each; every one of them sold at least 3 million units. Then the slide kicked in. Last year, in 2003, the top ten hits were cut almost in half, to 33 million units. Just two of the ten sold more than 5 million units; five of those top ten hits sold less than 3 million units.

    Where are you statistics about units shipped? I don't see them listed there. Looks like spin to me.

    This creative product is lost forever. Many of our greatest performers took years to catch on before their careers took off. In today's world, those performers are being cut before they have a chance to delight fans and realize their own dreams.

    *BARF* You don't have creative products for the most part. You have cookie-cutter talent that you create and promote. You cut their chances at survival by overplaying their one-hit-wonders via your controlled outlets.

    They are havens for pornographers that project their filth into your homes when your kids innocently seek to find their favorite artists.

    Yes, news at 6, your children are affected by porno!

    Do these illegitimate services compensate artists? No. Songwriters? No. Pay taxes on the value of product? No. Compensate the record label in any way? No. Invest in the generation of new art? No.

    Do you fairly compensate them? Do you pay taxes like you should? Do you care about anything other than your bottom line? Would you have mentioned your own compensation if you did?

    My industry can continue to sue users, many of them kids, to establish deterrence and educate the public. But the real villains are not the kids. The real villains are those profiteers who offload liability on these kids and are laughing all the way to the bank as American courts struggle to apply existing law (or misapply it) to this abuse of good technology.

    So stop suing the children you claim you want to protect from the supposed evils of P2P. Also, please show me where BitTorrent (again the leading P2P application) is making enough money s
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Havent there been quite a few articles recently talking about the rather steep decline in peer 2 peer downloading in specific age groups? you would figure if the number of people dowloading music thru less then legal means that would also mean that their losses wouldnt be in such a slide....unless the slide in sales is actually being attributed incorrectly?
    • by Anonymous Coward
      I believe that if we can moderate that letter from the RIAA, it would have a score of (-1, Troll).
    • by iainl ( 136759 ) on Thursday July 15, 2004 @12:39PM (#9708448)
      "This creative product is lost forever. Many of our greatest performers took years to catch on before their careers took off. In today's world, those performers are being cut before they have a chance to delight fans and realize their own dreams"

      Err, did I just miss something? This is all their own fault, or concentrating entirely on the teen market and dropping any acts that don't sell at least 1.5 million with their debut. Them not nurturing talent is hardly filesharer's fault.

      Their whole bloody argument is that filesharers aren't buying lots of albums (debatable, I know). So what does that have to do with the idea that bands not selling lots of albums aren't around any more?
      • by kardar ( 636122 ) on Thursday July 15, 2004 @04:36PM (#9710951)
        They have it in red China. Songs that are sung to praise the leaders and songs that sing about how great everything is.

        Someone like W gets elected and then we have all of these right-wing authors and talk-show hosts that all of a sudden become relevant - they weren't relevant before, and won't be relevant if/when someone like Kerry gets elected.

        The music industry should try to seperate itself from the government; the reason it should try to do this is because the music industry should remain in a place where it can enable artists to be critical of the government; where it can enable artists to be critical of unjust wars and other things.

        When the music or entertainment industry goes to the government to seek help, they are hurting their future ability to remain independent of that government, they are hurting the ability of artists that they support in the future to be critical of the government, and to remain independent of the dark, inaccurate corners of that government's policies.

        Any government will make mistakes, and constituent "bases" will take delight in things that need to be changed. Here is one area that artists can provide an alternate opinion, a different view - one can only infer from its actions that the music industry has no intention of trying to support and encourage diverse thought and opinion.

        So they will keep churning out pickup truck and cowboy gear advertisements and SUV aftermarket parts advertisements and reality videos of karaoke, with perhaps the occasional college band-member's reality heartbreaking girlfriend-boyfriend relationship reality video mixed in here and there.

        I think that a more likely scenario is that no one is really going to want to download anything the mainstream music media has to offer if they keep going at it the way they are going at it.

        Popular music and conservative government should not mix, it does not lead to good things. If the music industry wants its fans to take care of it, and respect it, if it wants to attract talented artists who think outside the box, and aren't afraid to voice their political opinions, it should not go running to the government like it is doing.

        There is the quote from an AC/DC song - "living on the streets, you gotta practice what you preach" - so that is, if the mainstream music industry wants to support and encourage artists that present an unbiased opinion, perhaps artists that present opinions that aren't as favorable to government and the status quo, they can't go running to the goverment for help like that. It won't work. No one is going to take the maistream music industry seriously.

        Maybe all those dowloaders are just bored, and/or have nothing better to download. Destroying their ability to download anything other than music industry stuff via criminalizing competing technical gadgets isn't going to make them any less bored, or give them anything more interesting or more download-friendly (in a legal sense) to download.

    • by Stripe7 ( 571267 ) on Thursday July 15, 2004 @12:41PM (#9708468)
      It is getting near election time. Time to remind these senators who actually votes them into office and keeps them there.
      • by Bob_Robertson ( 454888 ) on Thursday July 15, 2004 @01:22PM (#9708938) Homepage
        Just look at the selection of senators and congress crawlers looking seriously at this filth. It's quite bi-partisan.

        The Senator from Disney is a Democrat, Senator Hatch is Republican. There isn't any difference between the two. None. Zip. That's why they can trade members like baseball players and the same policies continue to be enacted.

        That's because R's and D's have NO PRINCIPLES, they react to focus groups and think tanks with what they think will get them re-elected this time.

        Read the Libertarian platform on this, and ask yourself what you're actually voting for when you cast your ballot.



        "We defend the rights of individuals to unrestricted freedom of speech, freedom of the press and the right of individuals to dissent from government itself. ...

        We oppose any abridgment of the freedom of speech through government censorship, regulation or control of communications media, including, but not limited to, laws concerning:

        Obscenity, including "pornography", as we hold this to be an abridgment of liberty of expression despite claims that it instigates rape or assault, or demeans and slanders women; ...

        Electronic bulletin boards, communications networks, and other interactive electronic media as we hold them to be the functional equivalent of speaking halls and printing presses in the age of electronic communications, and as such deserving of full freedom;

        Electronic newspapers, electronic "Yellow Pages", and other new information media, as these deserve full freedom. ... "



        Politicians are trying to take away your right to read what you want, and to say what you want.

        The Internet is making it possible for new voices to be heard -- the voices of people who simply could not afford to publish their ideas or display their artistic talents to a wide audience using older technologies. Established interests of both the left and the right fear new voices, and are trying to control what appears on the Internet through new laws and regulations.

        America's Founders couldn't foresee the Internet, but they knew that government control of information was not only a violation of personal liberty -- it was a threat to their hopes for a nation based on the principles of self-government. So they gave us the First Amendment.

        • They are not Borg (Score:3, Insightful)

          by ihaddsl ( 772965 )
          lets see your logic goes like this

          A Republican sponsored a bad bill
          A Democrat Sponsors said same bad bill

          Therefor Repulicans = Democrats and vice versa

          Buzzt sorry

          Just because there are stupid D's and stupid R's doesn't mean they are the same, nor does it mean that other R's or other D's share the same views

          Being a Democrat or Republican is not like being Borg
        • by wwest4 ( 183559 ) on Thursday July 15, 2004 @02:18PM (#9709588)
          The problem isn't that R's and D's are the same, it's that: mainstream politicians are generally centrists, and the "center" of American politics is skewed to the right such that democrats are no longer very liberal.

          • Not liberal? (Score:3, Interesting)

            First, define "liberal". It has come to mean someone who advocates the policies of the "left", embodied substantially in the socialist manifesto.

            So, let's take a look at the socialist party platform and see what they advocate.

            Regulation of business practices especially of stock markets. Both parties continue to increase the powers of departments that do that.

            A graduated income tax. Social "insurance" for retirement and medicine.

            Licensing of all professions by the state.

            Oh, I could go on. These are all
            • Re:Not liberal? (Score:3, Informative)

              by wwest4 ( 183559 )
              Not sure why you were modded troll here. Oh well.

              > define "liberal".

              OK - liberal means the opposite of statist. Liberals are not intrinsically socialist. E.g. anarcho-capitalists and libertarians are liberals but not socialists.

              > let's take a look at the socialist party platform
              > ...
              > These are all very "left" and all very "centrist" in the US.

              Assume the french parliament definition of right/left and that a fundamental definition of liberty yields an absolute center (exactly enough governmen
              • You're missing an axis. Try the Nolan graph, which includes "statist" "libertarian" instead of just the "left" and "right" that came out of the French Revolution.


                By the "deomcrat" definition, they are liberals. By the classical Liberal definition, they are statist.

                You are absolutely correct that these policies end up being both "right" and "left". Remember that Nazi means "National Socialist", yet fascist is considered "right" while socialist "left". The fact is that both left and
    • trick tricksy RIAA tries to tricks us. wants to steal our PRECIOUS.
    • Responses (Score:5, Informative)

      by mfh ( 56 ) on Thursday July 15, 2004 @12:45PM (#9708522) Homepage Journal
      > I *love* that they use the word "stealing". No matter what spin they try to put on this issue, spreading and copying music is not stealing.

      I have to agree with you. Stealing is when you deprive someone of something they have; copyright infringement is merely making a copy of something and passing it around. It's like cutting the line to pay cover charge at a bar, kinda. But it's not so literal. In Canada, it's legal to do pretty much anything except distribute copies of copyrighted material. But many institutions have a free pass on it, like libraries and museums.

      > Oh, I just LOVE this. Yes, BitTorrent (just took over as the leader in P2P traffic) was created for illegal use. I could see Kazaa or Napster, but BitTorrent, no, I just don't believe that.

      They are only attacking Bit Torrent because it broke Kazaa's record. Bit Torrent was created as a science project to see if it would work, and when it did, the usefulness of the project became apparent to anyone who wants to pass around large files. Actually the original use was not intended for copyright infringement at all... it was for public projects like games mods and stuff like that. Gamers really pushed its use more than anyone at first.

      > *BARF* You don't have creative products for the most part. You have cookie-cutter talent that you create and promote. You cut their chances at survival by overplaying their one-hit-wonders via your controlled outlets.

      Funny you should mention that. Last nite I happened to catch part of the Jessica Simpson show and I was thinking how much she is like a replacement for Britney... like a cutout doll, but not quite as stupid as Britney is. Stupid, but not that stupid. :-)

      They are in it for money, and music was never about money... it was once about spreading news and stories all over the land, because music was easier to remember than a long dry tale. Bards intended it to be useful as a way of transfering data between cities. The songs made people want to listen, as a side effect.

      Nowadays, the music industry is only an industry.

      > "They are havens for pornographers that project their filth into your homes when your kids innocently seek to find their favorite artists."

      That's just a way of getting sympathy, they're using. It's nothing new. They'll tell you that child porn is available on these systems and that the systems are to blame. Next they'll say terrorists profit from downloading.

      > Do you fairly compensate them? Do you pay taxes like you should? Do you care about anything other than your bottom line? Would you have mentioned your own compensation if you did?

      Totally accurate. The industry has been robbing artists blind for decades now! It's a crying shame.

      Corporations are never going to support interesting new music. They get a new hot ticket and try to get others to be breadwinners for them. It destroys the music and the life of the artists. Touring also hurts the artists, who are no more than slaves to their creativity until they have to become shitty just to have some peace of mind.

      It's just the way it is, and it's always been. Greed ruins everything.
      • Re:Responses (Score:5, Interesting)

        by cayenne8 ( 626475 ) on Thursday July 15, 2004 @01:19PM (#9708898) Homepage Journal
        "Touring also hurts the artists, who are no more than slaves to their creativity until they have to become shitty just to have some peace of mind."

        I was with you most of the way except for this. I think that touring is what MAKES an artist. The problem with today's cookie cutter, studio enhanced 'artists' is that they can't go out on the road and perform. Lip synching????? I know I'm getting older...but, this was unheard of back in my day. Sure the performance might sound a little stripped down since they couldn't do the multiply tracked guitars live...but, they still sounded great...they just made up for it with inventive playing...and best of all, showmanship.

        Take a dinosaur group, Zeppelin. Those guys knew how to perform live. Sure, Page would flub notes here and there....but, just seeing someone LIVE trying to squeeze 12K of notes in a beat was amazing to watch and listen too. I'd much rather see a live band sweating and putting feeling into a song...playing it a little different every night, improvising on stage....that something so choreographed that if someone misses a mark...the whole show is out of whack.

        I think many of the bands of old got their inspiration FROM touring and the road. Many albums were started and sometimes fully recorded on the road (the Stones Muscle Shoals sessions, Zeppelin doing most of II on the road while supporting the I album). Hell, Pink Floyd had most of Dark Side of the Moon layed out from playing it live before they even went into the studio for that session. So, no, I like the idea of a band being on the road and touring. Live performance, to me IS what makes a great band. Bands that actually can play their asses off....sing....and get an audience into it...that's what a rock band at least should be.

        'Back in the day' while I was growing up, I pretty much saw it that the albums were there to generate interest to go see the band live when it came to your town!! Of course...tickets were over three figures back then...but, I digress. I think the artist should get a ton of the money from record sales...but, I also think the majority of their earnings should be from the road....playing live...and coming up with those new idea while playing for us, the audience.

        • Re:Responses (Score:3, Informative)

          Well, I agree with both of you here. Touring is a necessity, possibly if only to keep the ideas flowing and the storylines behind songs fresh. Some of the most boring music ever recorded has been recorded recently because the storylines are old and played out. It's not just the music that is boring, but the message itself. That's why current music is failing -- the formula is broken.

          But some bands literally have to start putting out shitty music because of bad record deals they made. Take Jane's Addic
    • by eidolons ( 708050 ) on Thursday July 15, 2004 @12:55PM (#9708626) Homepage
      Member of the Electronic Frontier Foundation [eff.org]? That's a great place to go to get form letters to send out to your congressmen, find out about copyright law and digital rights, and, of course, donate or become a member to an organization that has professionals involved, including lawyers.
      • Sure, joining an ultra-left wing organization like the EFF is very effective in combatting this type of legislation that has the freaking Democratic majority leader as one of the sponsors.

        This one is a lost cause. You can't come up with an argument against it that sounds legitimate. It's going to pass.
        • by finkployd ( 12902 ) on Thursday July 15, 2004 @01:22PM (#9708940) Homepage
          I have a really hard time finding the EFF to be ultra left wing.

          This one is a lost cause. You can't come up with an argument against it that sounds legitimate. It's going to pass.

          The tech industry (which, oh by the way is significantly larger than the RIAA) put forth a legitimate argument, what do you think this poorly written RIAA letter is in response to?

          • A brief quote from just one of the EFF's web pages [eff.org]

            OnLine Activism

            EFF developed materials to inform online activists of the state of the law concerning their protest activities online. Set to be launched in summer, 2002, the website will augment presentations that EFF legal staff have given at several conferences of and about activists, including the 2002 Computers, Freedom & Privacy Conference, the Berkman Center's Cybertree Conference in May, 2002 and the Ruckus Society Tech Toolbox Camp in June, 2
            • by finkployd ( 12902 ) on Thursday July 15, 2004 @02:08PM (#9709465) Homepage
              Puh-leeeze. Left wing all the way!

              So protesting and concern over constitutional rights are the sole domain of the left? Right wingers never protest or are concerned over constitutional rights? Plenty of gun owning, anti-abortionists would disagree I'm sure.

              As for the arguments presented - the RIAA claims their business is being wrecked by this. That's all that matters.

              So following your logic. The only thing that REALLY matters is that the tech industry claims their business will be wrecked by this law, and they are larger. So sorry but they matter more.

              The only counter-argument that would have any traction would be that the RIAA is lying, and no one is advancing that pov because no one has the credibility to do so.

              Actually the RIAA's numbers are anything but reliable. They have profited in a period of economic slump at an unheard of rate, yet spew out illogical estimations of losses. Given the number of times their claims have been effectively discredited I'm surprised it is even necessary to prove they are lying at this point.

              I repeat: this is a lost cause and it's going to pass.

              If it is such a closed case, I wonder why the RIAA felt the need to write a long winded (and as I read it again, childish sounding) letter to every senator? Sure they have better things to do than lobby for bills that are guaranteed to pass.

    • Language (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ZeroGee ( 796304 ) on Thursday July 15, 2004 @01:08PM (#9708776)
      Sadly, you make some very good points, but they get lost in the noise. Maintaining a professional demeanor is very important to being heard and understood. I assume since you are posting these thoughts here, you want others to listen to them. I respect the opinions you present, but using foul language and vicious comments only undermine the (otherwise very high) effectiveness of your message.
    • by gradius3 ( 457417 ) on Thursday July 15, 2004 @01:08PM (#9708780)
      They are havens for pornographers that project their filth into your homes when your kids innocently seek to find their favorite artists.

      Because we all know that gansta rapper songs about cop killing and drugs are wholesome familiy entertainment...

      • by Anonymous Coward
        The irony is, if we put out our own "INDUCE" act, to blame them for "inducing people to violence, especially against cops" they would be the first to complain that it was too broad, because it might make them liable via one of their moneymakers (said gangsta rap).

        So, "inducing" people to commit copyright infringement (where "induce" is understood to be VERY broad) is somehow worse than inducing violence against the police, of which they are surely guilty when same incredibly broad reading of the word "indu
  • by Pig Hogger ( 10379 ) <pig DOT hogger AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday July 15, 2004 @12:32PM (#9708365) Journal
    Sharing music via MP3s is no different than sharing music via minicassettes, which records companies have not opposed.

    Both are lossy formats, so they are a lesser-quality than the original.

    • by garcia ( 6573 ) * on Thursday July 15, 2004 @12:34PM (#9708385)
      Of course they haven't opposed that. Sony created the mini disc. Sony owns music distribution channels and music rights. The RIAA letter to the Senate even mentions that they support Sony and even mentions that the Sony Betamax was created not just for making illegal copies!

      Imagine that.
    • by Rufus88 ( 748752 ) on Thursday July 15, 2004 @12:37PM (#9708426)
      Yes, but MP3s are stil digital, and don't suffer from generational degradation. If you copy a minicasette and give a copy to a friend, and he makes a copy of that and gives the 2nd copy to his friend, the second copy is degraded twice as much. With an mp3, the degradation is limited (barely discernible) and happens only once. After that, all copies of the mp3 file are identical.
    • by Pieroxy ( 222434 ) on Thursday July 15, 2004 @12:38PM (#9708439) Homepage
      There is a huge difference. 10 people sharing a cassette can - at best - hit 10 other people at once. Whereas one guy putting MP3s on BitTorrent can flood the entire world in hours.

      The magnitude is quite different here, you must admit.
      • if by "entire world" you mean a relatively small contingent of geeks. Let me get this straight, they're complaining about album sales going down forom 50 million per hit to 33 million, in a depression, and when home recording equipment is making a wide selection of high quality indie music avaliable?
      • by Nom du Keyboard ( 633989 ) on Thursday July 15, 2004 @01:04PM (#9708740)
        Whereas one guy putting MP3s on BitTorrent can flood the entire world in hours.

        A beautiful myth -- and utter garbage. A few million file sharers -- a few billion inhabitants of this Earth. Yeah, that's going to happen. Would that there really was a song so popular that everybody actually wanted it.

      • by bfg9000 ( 726447 ) on Thursday July 15, 2004 @01:08PM (#9708783) Homepage Journal
        Good point -- and I would bet that sharing a cassette, in their eyes, is just as illegal as putting an MP3 online -- it's just not worth the effort to crack down on it because of the smaller scale. Because we're being led *by industry* into going all digital, everything and anything can be tracked, monitored, and accounted for if you put software in the right places (ISPs, etc.).

        While catching tape traders is impossible, catching MP3 traders (or anyone else doing something "they" don't like online) is simply a matter of getting the right laws passed and throwing money at it until the entire net is covered with surveillance.

        Eventually, they will block off all avenues of escape, and they will win, and the people -- and freedom -- will lose. Because right now you have no idea how many laws you're breaking that are currently unenforceable. Give the gov't/industry total control and total omniscience, and we'll be getting fines in the mail on a weekly basis.
    • Both are lossy formats, so they are a lesser-quality than the original.

      Like I care? AM radio is very lossy, and that's where I've often fallen in love with the songs I've chosen to own afterwards.

    • "Sharing music via MP3s is no different than sharing music via minicassettes, which records companies have not opposed."

      Well that's not entirely true. The scale is a lot bigger. The question is: Is getting some music for free resulting in more excitement generated for music, thus earning more money overall?
    • Um, the RIAA WERE SUCCESSFUL in outlawing cassette recorders in the late 70's and early 80's. You couldn't get them except to order them from Europe or Japan. The RIAA's claim was that everybody would copy their records for their friends and then the RIAA'd go out of business. Sound familiar?

      Only thing that stopped it was enough American's getting pissed off and writing their congressman. And then Congress passed the "mixtape law". How many times do we need to go over this, folks?
  • by kyknos.org ( 643709 ) on Thursday July 15, 2004 @12:37PM (#9708425) Homepage
    If some American citizen is going to emigrate i can help to start a new life in a free country ;)
    • Judging from your sig, you're from Europe, what about the EU's software patents? I feel like moving to an unindustrialized nation and establishing myself as a super-power.
  • "They intentionally invite theft. They are havens for pornographers that project their filth into your homes when your kids innocently seek to find their favorite artists. They compromise computer security. They facilitate the unintended disclosure of personal documentation - resumes, tax and credit card data, medical returns and more. And their warnings - about privacy abuse, security, pornography and copyright - are anything but conspicuous. No objective review of these services can possibly conclude that
  • by Nom du Keyboard ( 633989 ) on Thursday July 15, 2004 @12:38PM (#9708432)
    The RIAA companies sells CD's at prices far above the cost of manufacture + royalities.

    This induces people to commit crimes by copying and sharing these recordings that would never exist if the RIAA didn't sell them in the first place.


  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 15, 2004 @12:38PM (#9708434)
    We urge you to support it. It is intended to target bad actors only

    Bruce Willis and and Sylvester Stallone were unavailable for comment.
  • When will the senators etc. relise EVERYONE hates the RIAA and similar groups. If they support something then everyone else should be anti it. It's like Microsoft or the bogey man. All really evil but no one who can do anything about them ever sees them.
  • by d_jedi ( 773213 ) on Thursday July 15, 2004 @12:39PM (#9708446)
    In their upcoming election:
    Support those candidates who aren't in bed with the RIAA (are there such people?)

    By continuing to vote for the same people who take bribes from the RIAA, you're supporting the DMCA, the INDUCE act, and any/all of the other lamebrain pieces of legislation the RIAA wants to push through.

    Anyone who votes for those who support these poor pieces of legislation deserve what they get.
    • by kcbrown ( 7426 ) <slashdot@sysexperts.com> on Thursday July 15, 2004 @01:03PM (#9708720)
      Support those candidates who aren't in bed with the RIAA (are there such people?)

      You basically refute your own statement with your question. :-)

      There are people who aren't in bed with the RIAA, etc., but they are essentially "unelectable".

      That's because to be electable means that you have to get media exposure, and favorable media exposure at that, since nobody votes for someone they haven't heard of. And guess who happens to own the media? Why, the very same corporations that are also members of the RIAA and/or MPAA!

      This is essentially why our government no longer listens to its people, only its corporations.

  • Sure (Score:5, Insightful)

    by arieswind ( 789699 ) * on Thursday July 15, 2004 @12:40PM (#9708453) Homepage
    And while we're at it, why dont we ban cd-r and dvd-r drives, since they can be used to copy cds and movies, and audio cassettes, since they can be used to copy music as well. One could even go as far as suggesting that all computers and the internet be banned, since they are obvious outputs for warez and piracy.
    • by MosesJones ( 55544 ) on Thursday July 15, 2004 @12:47PM (#9708546) Homepage
      Agree totally. Speech and singing should also be banned as people often SING copies of songs, WITHOUT PAYING AN ADDITIONAL FEE.

      -- Yours the RIAA

    • by Anonymous Coward
      ...after all it is overwhelmingly preferred pirating software tool in use worldwide.
    • That's what they are trying to do!

      Seriously, how can anyone look at all that they have been doing and not think that this is part of a general attack on the Internet, Personal high-performance computers that the owners control, and the general power/potential for free information that they bring.

      Do I think that the RIAA is hatching plots with the goal of stifling free speech? No, of course not. I think that they want money, just as John Ashcroft wants us all to be "moral" and do what he thinks is right.
    • Re:Sure (Score:5, Insightful)

      by jeffasselin ( 566598 ) <cormacolinde.gmail@com> on Thursday July 15, 2004 @01:00PM (#9708692) Journal
      I'll forget about moderating this discussion to answer your post:

      They don't want to forbid the internet or computers. What they want to make illegal is "all-purpose" computers under the control of their owners. They want Consumer Electronics-like devices that do ONLY what they want us to do with it, make illegal any tampering of the devices in question, and control the internet at its key points (the ISPs and content providers) to transform it from a world of ends and user-provided information to a corporate-regulated consumer marketplace.

      They want to control our habits, our views and our needs, so that we provide them with more and more power and money. They don't give a shit about liberty, or about the people, they care only about themselves and their need to regulate our lives, to change us into drones that will do nothing but buy what they want us to buy. They want us to have 2 cars per family, buy one CD per week (of whatever artist they think we should be liking), and one toaster a year.

      They want to de-humanize us, by controlling any new technology solely for their own benefit, and prevent the emergence of any new ideas that could threaten their power and control over our civilisation.

      I'm not talking only about the ??AA here, but about most corporations, it's just that the ??AA are more vocal and public about it than most, possibly because they happen to be the most publicly threatened these days. Other industries do the same and have done it in the past: think about how long it's taking for hydrogen cars to materialize, or for hybrid or electric cars to get on the market at a reasonable cars. We have the engineering capacity to do all those things, but since it threatens a lot of industries it's not happening very fast.
    • by Kjella ( 173770 ) on Thursday July 15, 2004 @01:01PM (#9708700) Homepage
      They've already been at it with something like that before, they dubbed it TORA BORA - The idea is that `Trusted Operating Root Architecture' (Palladium) will stop the `Break Once Run Anywhere' attack, by which they mean that pirated content, once unprotected, can be posted to the net and used by anyone.

      Essentially, it only involves replacing all general purpose-computers with semi-programmable applicances. Your burners would be appliance add-ons and the Internet no longer a general purpose network, but a semi-restricted appliance network. Welcome to the future.

      Fortunately, that seems to be many years off, and Longhorn's ship date seem to drift further and further off. None the less, just be beware that there are people that seriously wish to do pretty much what you just suggested.

  • Write your Senator (Score:5, Informative)

    by the MaD HuNGaRIaN ( 311517 ) on Thursday July 15, 2004 @12:42PM (#9708473)
    I already wrote a letter to mine. Do it now. [senate.gov]

    It's important to point out the absurdity of the wording--the fact that it's too broad and could even be used to target Mead and other paper companies for making tracing paper.

    It's heavy handed legislation whose wording leave too much open for interpretation. That alone is enough to have any sane legislator view it as unsound public policy---regardless of the bill's true vs perceived/implied motivations.

    Keep it short, but point out how ridiculous it is.
  • by Xeth ( 614132 ) on Thursday July 15, 2004 @12:42PM (#9708479) Journal
    Dear Duly Brib^H^H^H^HElected Members of Congress,

    lies, lies, contrived statistics, spin, I'm a tool, lies, emotional evocation, misrepresentation, lies, lies, damn lies


    Mitch Bainwol

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 15, 2004 @12:42PM (#9708484)
    Bureaucrats United with Lazy Lobbyists Stopping Helpful Information Technology act.
  • Not a problem (Score:4, Insightful)

    by symbolic ( 11752 ) on Thursday July 15, 2004 @12:43PM (#9708495)

    As long as people continue to shove money into their warchest, they can expect more of the same. This issue has almost become source of amusement- it's like the consumer public is paying the RIAA/MPAA to build a lynching platform, and to supply the rope and enforcement detail that go with it.

    The solution is simple: stop buying, stop stealing, stop playing the game.
  • by Xaroth ( 67516 ) on Thursday July 15, 2004 @12:43PM (#9708498) Homepage
    According to this proposed law, anything that can be used for or is used in the infringing of copyrighted material can be construed as inducing infringement.

    In order to infringe on copyrighted material, you need to have the material itself and a device or method to copy it.

    Therefore, copyrighted material is an inducement to infringe.

    Copyrighted material can't be copied if it's not created.

    Artists create copyrighted material.

    They are therefore contributing to the infringement of copyrighted material.

    The RIAA can only exist if it supports artists.

    The RIAA supports artists who create copyrighted material.

    The RIAA are therefore contributing to the infringement of copyrighted material.

    Because of this, the RIAA should be ordered to stop supporting artists as a result of this law.

    Since the RIAA cannot support artists, it must cease to exist.

  • Good timing (Score:5, Insightful)

    by NanoGator ( 522640 ) on Thursday July 15, 2004 @12:45PM (#9708508) Homepage Journal
    Hot off the heels of iTune's 100 millionth (legit) download and the movie industry's lucrative success, they need to really crack down on piracy!
  • Harass them (Score:4, Funny)

    by gelfling ( 6534 ) on Thursday July 15, 2004 @12:46PM (#9708532) Homepage Journal
    I'm all for electronic harassment.

    Record all of your complaints in wav format, copywrite your own words, and email them to the RIAA.
  • by 91degrees ( 207121 ) on Thursday July 15, 2004 @12:46PM (#9708535) Journal
    The stupid analogy act.

    Whereby, if someone uses that stupid shoplifting analogy to compare to copyright infringement, they get sentenced to 1000 years and regular beatings with a baseball bat.
  • by losttoy ( 558557 ) on Thursday July 15, 2004 @12:47PM (#9708544)
    For once, being in a third world country feels great. No big brother watching while you pirate to your heart's content!! :))

    Law enforcement in countries like China/India is especially more difficult given the HUGE populations and meagre resources/understanding/moral (read corruption) at the disposal of the law enforcement agencies to go after the culprits.

    This will force the music and software companies to sell there wares for cheaper and more reasonable prices. If they don't, then won't sell at all, like now where most of us simply pirate all the stuff!!

    Three cheers for poverty and bad law enforcement!!

  • by Nom du Keyboard ( 633989 ) on Thursday July 15, 2004 @12:48PM (#9708558)
    Record companies are like Union Bosses.

    1: They might once have been necessary, as when the cost of production, distribution, and promotion was a high barrier of entry to independents.

    2: That case no longer exists in anything like its original form.

    3: They continue to live well off the efforts of others, not due to any contribution of their own that actually adds to the work being done, but rather through their ability to continue to convince the workers that they remain somehow essential to that worker's survivial.

  • by N3wsByt3 ( 758224 ) on Thursday July 15, 2004 @12:49PM (#9708569) Journal
    The IFPI/RIAA/MPAA is fighting a lost cause. And I think they know it, but still they fight like a devil trying to safeguard their way of doing things, at all costs. This INDUCE lawproposal is just one example of how tenatious they want to keep their profits rolling, instead of searching for other ways themselves. It isn't the first, and it won't be the last. And they do not care how broad it is, believe me. Infact, the broader the better, because then they can sue evryone who is even just running a P2P prog they don't like.

    The amount of bull they FUD is unbelievable. First off all, I have difficulties with their acclaimed 'stealing' of music/movies/etc.. As far as I know, stealing implies that the one that has been stolen has been derived of something. When you take a copy, you do not take the original away, thus they have not 'lost' anything. They might claim that they loose money when ppl d/l music, but even that is far from certain. Not only is it not shown statistically to have had that effect (they didn't even show a correlation thusfar - see aussie music-news - let alone a causality). Furthermore, in an individual case, they would have to show they actually lost revenue. Which is far from said, because I sure know some guys who d/l music or movies, but would NEVER have bought that music if they were unable to d/l it. So, how did the RIAA/IFPI/MPAA loose revenue, exactly? And if they didn't lose anything, how can the term 'stealing' apply?

    It would still be copyright-infringement, ofcourse, but that's another matter. I think maybe it's time we went beyond our current system of copyrights and walk into the era of cyberspace. With the industrial revolution, patents and copyrights knew a high flight, maybe it's time to let it leave and try something new? Maybe something in the lines of this: fairshare (http://freenetproject.org/index.php?page=fairshar e).

    And don't worry, contrary to what the RIAA claims, musicians will not starve to death, and music-making will not stop. We had music long before we had copyrights, and we will have music long after copyrights have vanished from the scene.

    And lastly, it's something that *can not* be stopped. P2P progs and their development act as organisms that follow the darwinian rules of survival. When Napster was 'killed' by the RIAA, immediately others (like kazaa) took over, being more resistent to attacks from the RIAA&co. Whenever kazaa will be shut down, others again will take over. When endusers are targeted, systems that protect the user will become dominant (like FreeNet).

    It really is a lost cause. But then again, they are not truelly battling for the survival of musicians (as I said; they will survive, just as they used to do), it's for their OWN survival they are fighting. There is no way in hell they are going to keep the giant profits that they have been gathering for the last decades.

    But ultimately, they will have to do what P2P systems are already doing: adapt to the new circumstances (and forget about the former levels of profit), or whither and die. But ofcourse, for the time being they are going the other way (as others have done in the past); trying to manipulate the law to their needs, so that, basically, their way of doing business gets entrenched in law and protected by law, even if everyone else would be made a criminal by it.

  • by Lonath ( 249354 ) on Thursday July 15, 2004 @12:51PM (#9708584)
    making it illegal to INDUCE Congress into using IP and "doing it for the children" as reasons to hinder the progress of Science and Useful Arts by restricting what computers can do.

    They will cripple computers because computers are machines that can send, receive, copy, modify, and display huge amounts of arbitrary data. That's really all that computers do. Copyright law allows authors the exclusive right to copy, distribute, make derivative works of, and display or publicly perform the work. Funny, since these restrictions are exactly the things that computers do.

    So, computers are copyright breakers. Therefore, the way to preserve copyright is to cripple computers or make them illegal. But that would hinder the progress of science, since computers are NEEDED to advance science these days.

    So who will win? I dunno. I would like to think the Constitution will win, but I dunno. My request here is that you minimize the amount of money you give to the copyright industry because they realize that they need to make computers illegal to stay in business. They will just do it in 1000 little baby steps like this law where they make more and more computer uses illegal until you can't do much of anything with these machines without the permission of giant corporations. Then they will decide to just make the machines themselves illegal, and we can all sit around the house watching our perfectly legal Content Appliances wondering how the heck the rest of the world has left us behind.


    Oh, and please don't download illegally using Kazaa or whatever. :) You're not helping.
  • This is intentionally inducing ..... BPAC [inetsoda.com]
    It is also called free speech.
  • One question... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 15, 2004 @12:52PM (#9708598)
    could this bill also apply to libraries, which also are in the business of distributing music for free?
  • by Morphine007 ( 207082 ) on Thursday July 15, 2004 @12:55PM (#9708627)
    ...out of the way right away. Before anyone starts bitching and complaining about the whole "copying music/software is stealing" and then the enlightened come back with "no it's copyright infringement" and then we get into the whole car analogy.... etc.... I'll start off with the "NEW AND IMPROVED CAR ANALOGY"(TM) ... as far as I can tell it's the closest damned thing to a valid analogy as I can get to (and still maintain the simplistic view that talking about cars empowers one to employ):

    Suppose you somehow manage to build a true-blue 3D copying machine. You feed the damned thing with various scrap materials that you own/paid for and take it to your favorite car manufacturer and use it to scan a car.... note that this scan does not in ANY way have any effects (adverse or otherwise) on said car. A short time later, however, you are the proud owner of (insert car name here) ... now, and idiot can see that you have NOT stolen a good-god-damned-thing... so besides breaking and entering (maybe... if you needed to do so in order to scan the car) what crime have you committed? Automobile manufacturers are just lucky that no such technology exists, otherwise their business models would be in just as much jeopardy.

  • by 0x0d0a ( 568518 ) on Thursday July 15, 2004 @12:58PM (#9708661) Journal
    I'm a little disappointed that Apple isn't on the list of companies requesting a review -- it would seem that their iPod produce is certainly one of the affected devices.
  • Is this what the future holds for the US?

    Companies creating laws that take away rights of citizens? Corporations that make people consume as much as possible using any means necessary?

    It looks like the corporations vs the rest of the world. Only the corporations are used to organising themselves and normal people aren't.

    How unfortunate that the representatives of the citizen are only representing themselves and corporations. I was about to suggest that the "normal" people form a group to fight evil group
  • dear slashdot (Score:4, Insightful)

    by circletimessquare ( 444983 ) <circletimessquare@nOSpaM.gmail.com> on Thursday July 15, 2004 @12:58PM (#9708671) Homepage Journal
    it has come to our attention that you are talking about potential problems in ip law

    due to the nature of this sort of discourse, it is possible it might induce infringement of some ip laws

    therefore, we have no choice but to take legal action against this website until such time that you are bankrupt

    thank you,
    your friendly riaa
  • by Nom du Keyboard ( 633989 ) on Thursday July 15, 2004 @12:59PM (#9708673)
    The real question is why do musicians make music?

    Do they do it to:

    1: To enrich big companies that hold their contracts?
    2: To enrich themselves?
    3: To enrich their descendents for n generations through perpetual copyrights?
    3: Because it's more fun than anything else they can think of to do?
    4: Because the music is in them and this is what they do, and they'd perform for free on the street corners if there was no other way to express themselves?
    5: Some combination of the above?

    Your answer to this will determine if the failure of the big record companies will destroy the creative future of music for us all.

    Observation: There are a lot of fiction authors who publish their work for free on the Internet because they can't sell it otherwise. The lack of a big publishing contract has not stopped these people from creating and sharing their works with the rest of us!

  • X = RIAA, SCO, MPAA or whomever you want to go away.

    1: Send a mail to X complaining about [insert issue here, today: INDUCE] add "(C) 2004 your.name.here" in the bottom of the letter.
    2: When they reply, send a Cease and Desist letter to the X since their computer has made an illegal copyright infringing copy of the email in its memory. Demand the immediate destruction of all their computers and servers and the lobotomy of all employees who has come in contact with the letter. Write "(C) 2004 your.name.here
  • Draconian laws like these is shooting its own foot.

    If this law passes development of new technologies will become too expensive to be held inside US. The costs involved in legal actions to avoid developer and researche team to get jail will make technologic industries emigrate to countries where there are no legal problems like this.

    Investments in new technologies will still occur, but will occur in foreing countries, like India, China and Brazil. Good for them, terrible to US.

    Migration of these compa

  • By my culture-o-meter, homestarrunner.com >> Britney + NBC + Disney *COMBINED*!
  • Barbara Boxer? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by EvilStein ( 414640 ) <spamNO@SPAMpbp.net> on Thursday July 15, 2004 @01:18PM (#9708891)
    "S. 2560, introduced by Senators Hatch, Leahy, Boxer, L. Graham"

    Guess who just got a letter telling her that she's lost *my* vote?

    Anybody that sides with Hatch on issues like this loses my vote forever.
    • Senator Pat Leahy just lost mine, too.

      I went into shock over Leahy's position here. He's always seemed to 'get it' about tech issues. Then, I decided this was possibly a case of /. collective stupidity and went to his website (http://leahy.senate.gov), did a search on INDUCE, decided that his staff was lax/lazy since the articles came up in random-date order, found his press release on the introduction of S2560, and I just about died:

      But there are other problems that require immediate attention, bec

  • by the_rajah ( 749499 ) * on Thursday July 15, 2004 @01:52PM (#9709263) Homepage
    So many laws are plagued with them. This is a case in point. The lawmakers seem incapable of making legislation dealing with technical matters, especially where the Internet and computers are involved. We all see how well the Can Spam act is working.

    The concept of this "paid for by big media legislation" is carrying things to extremes and shows their desperation. There are all sorts of analogies that relate to this, but one of the most simplistic that comes to my mind is that a hammer can be used to commit a crime, even murder, therefore the possession, manufacture or sale of hammers must be made illegal as well as the use of blunt objects like rocks that could be used as a hammer. This proposed legislation makes as much sense.

    Recent news articles say that the BSA claims that software "piracy" has cost the industry $29 billion. I call BS. The vast majority of such copyright infringement is by people who cannot afford the ridiculous prices of M$ software and would not otherwise use the software if they had to pay the full retail price. I suspect that the buggy whip industry did everything they could think of to discourage the use of automobiles. Our current IP situation leaves the "AA" associations in the same position. They have to find a new paradigm because this one just isn't working. All they are doing is pissing off their customers. I think that the success of iTunes shows that alternatives can work if they will just move their thinking into the 21st Century.

    "Do the Right Thing. It will gratify some people and astound the rest." - Mark Twain
  • by Lodragandraoidh ( 639696 ) on Thursday July 15, 2004 @02:14PM (#9709551) Journal
    This bill is equivalent to outlawing the production, manufacture and use of scissors because they might be used to stab someone.

    The potential loss of utility outweighs the alleged protection imparted.

    People get stabbed by scissors from time to time, and the police and justice system deal with the actual crime committed quite well - without closing down the scissors manufacturers or arresting large number of outlaw scissors users!

    The greed of these people has overpowered any shred of good sense they may have had left. Now I know the USA is in decline... :(
  • by 0x0d0a ( 568518 ) on Thursday July 15, 2004 @02:37PM (#9709763) Journal
    First of all, has anyone noticed the number of *awful* things sponsored by Sen. Orin Hatch? Why is he the source of so much stupidity? Why doesn't he get, y'know, voted out? It seems like a lot of things he does are awfully unpopular.

    It is no secret that the intellectual property assets of our nation are under assault, as never before.

    Absurd. We have had stronger intellectual property protection in our nation for the last few decades than we have *ever* had.

    The bill is aimed at ensuring the vibrancy of both our creative community and our technology community.

    I'm not sure that it helps either artists or technology companies. It is possible, if the RIAA's thesis that they are badly losing money is correct, that it helps music publishing companies.

    We urge you to support it. It is intended to target bad actors only - those who have built business models to get away with stealing the creative work of predominantly American artists. The bill finds the right balance to protect both technology AND content innovators.

    In subsection (g), "intentionally induces" means intentionally aids, abets, induces, counsels, 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.

    As other analysis has pointed out, no, the bill decidedly *does* target people who are not "bad actors".

    Global sales of recorded music - dominated by our country - quadrupled from 1980 to 1999. Then, almost on a dime, that trend line reversed, with sales figures falling by about a third to the mid point of last year. Before the launch of lawsuits by the industry last fall against those induced to steal music online, we were spiraling down with no sense of a floor.

    I do not have the data necessary to judge the accuracy of this claim. However, I have seen many citations of numbers that do not agree with this, and many people have pointed out that there is a strong coincidence with the current economic recession and finally, that it is possible that RIAA-sold music simply does not have the appeal that it once did -- for example, the Internet allows a broader range of new types of music to be discovered, which makes the music that the RIAA markets have less advantage relative to non-RIAA marketed music.

    I do not think that this data is convincing enough to broadly extend the reach of IP law, and to make illegal much development in a field that is seeing some of the most interesting research in computer science.

    Finally, let us assume that the RIAA really is losing large sums of money and that copyright infringment is the direct cause -- what of the companies that have *benefitted* from the current boom in MP3s? Apple, HP, and many other companies have profited admirably. I know people that spent more money on music-related technology than ever did on music. There are still questions of whether this is a sustainable or long-term beneficial system, but even if the RIAA establishes that it is making less money is not cause for the RIAA claiming that this bill is necessary. Finally, the ultimate goal of IP law is to ensure that production in the arts continues -- I know people that have both pirated music and found new musicians that they were never familiar with before, and purchased albums from those (European musicians, odd techno types, and the like). In addition, electronic music distribution may be a more economically efficient method of music evaluation for such purposes than MTV or the radio. I am very unsure that even if the RIAA is making less money, that there is less money going into the pockets of content creators. The RIAA is primarily a set of companies that do music promotion. If promotion is no longer required for people to find artists that they like (the now-Microsoft-purchased-and-d
  • by crazedlunatic ( 797278 ) on Thursday July 15, 2004 @03:16PM (#9710175)
    PCs, Disk Drives, DVD/CD burners, could all be construed as "inducive" to copyright infringement.

    Developers of Operating Systems, open source, or not, would be required to spend money and resources to avoid "inducing" copyright. Do you go after the people who wrote the compilers also, since they're used to write the code that is used to induce the copyright? What about the contractors who set up a production line for a DVD burner that was used for copyright infringement?

    Where does the buck stop with this? If you give someone a baseball bat as a gift, and they use it to beat down your neighbor, does that make you a criminal? Should you be prohibited from distributing baseball bats? This logic is insane!

    If this is passed, I would get out of this country, or at least get some gold or foreign currency. Our economy will collapse in a matter of months. No one has the resources to reverse engineer this functionality into existing product lines.

    This will just drive the technology sector into bankruptcy and its resources will go to the entertainment industry. When all is said and done, the entertainment moguls will probably turn the tables and buy out the techs. Instead of "AOL - Time Warner", we'll have "Viacom - Dell - Comcast". There will be no jobs for millions of tech oriented college graduates, and they will not spend money on overpriced DRM enabled media if they don't have jobs. It's like an economic virus - once it consumes its host, there is nothing left to thrive on. Unfortunately its host is anything and everything in our economy that is even remotely involved with "entertainment".
  • by Lethyos ( 408045 ) on Thursday July 15, 2004 @05:54PM (#9711731) Journal

    George Orwell described a bleak, decayed society in Nineteen Eighty-Four where science was banned and all technological progress was halted, unless it directly pertained to the military. I think what we see happening even now is corporations are working harder than ever see put an end to technological progress. Any progress in technology creates change. Any change is a threat to corporations. Any threat is a risk to them losing their immense wealth and power, and therefore, influence. Those at the top of this hierarchial society cannot retain their standing in the face of technological or any kind of intellectual advancement.

    The only place all of this can possibly lead is to the society described by Orwel. The money and power are centralized to a very elite few while everyone else lives in a world where nothing is created to better their lives. Then the common people will no longer be a threat. This type of bullshit legislation will come again and again and again until what I have just described is achieved. The only alternative is for us, the "proles", to eliminate organizations like the RIAA.

    Of course, this just something of a rant of my random thoughts on the matter. But I don't think I am the only one who sees where all of this could lead.

Nothing is finished until the paperwork is done.