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Censorship United States

Using Copyright To Suppress Political Speech 1324

MacDork writes "As most /.'ers know all to well, Copyright is increasingly being used as a means to suppress free speech these days. And the trend has not been lost on our 2004 US Presidential candidates. Both George and John are using copyright law to 'vaporize' information considered embarrassing or harmful to their campaigns. Don't worry about basing your vote on copyright issues though. Like most other domestic issues (gay marriage: no, offshoring: yes), their stance is pretty much identical (i.e. pro Hollywood)."
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Using Copyright To Suppress Political Speech

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  • Democracy.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dBLiSS ( 513375 ) <theking54@gm[ ].com ['ail' in gap]> on Wednesday August 11, 2004 @12:58AM (#9936820) Journal
    Like in all great republics, democracy is but an illusion.
    • Re:Democracy.. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 11, 2004 @01:02AM (#9936838)
      Why is this a troll? The fella speaks the truth. The best slaves are ones that think they are actually free.
    • Re:Democracy.. (Score:4, Insightful)

      by ron_ivi ( 607351 ) <.moc.secivedxelpmocpaehc. .ta. .ontods.> on Wednesday August 11, 2004 @01:08AM (#9936873)
      So who would be for reasonable copyright use? Badnarik [badnarik.org]?

      Just remember, unless the voting results in an exact tie, you're throwing your vote out anyway, so a vote for a third party candidate is as good as any.

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

        by gilroy ( 155262 ) on Wednesday August 11, 2004 @01:41AM (#9937048) Homepage Journal
        Blockquote the poster:

        Just remember, unless the voting results in an exact tie, you're throwing your vote out anyway, so a vote for a third party candidate is as good as any.

        What? Sure only the (50%+1)th vote is all that counts. Problem is, you don't know whose vote that is until the votes are all in.

        Let's make it simple. Alice and Bob both love cookies; Charlene hates them but loves spinach for desert. They decide to hold an election to see what desert will be offered. Both Alice and Bob have read the parent comment and decided that, since the vote can't be split evenly (three people, after all), their votes must not count. They stay home from the polls. And bam! suddenly they're having spinach for desert -- even though a clear majority favors cookies.

        It's an extreme example of course -- small numbers make it more dramatic -- but it's the reality. It's called the Paradox of the Infinitesimal: Each vote is such a small part of the total that its almost negligible... but together, in aggregate, they all count.
        • Re:Democracy.. (Score:4, Insightful)

          by name773 ( 696972 ) on Wednesday August 11, 2004 @01:57AM (#9937118)
          the thing you're forgetting is this: what does the public want for desert?

          strawberries would have won... but there was no representative, because to qualify to become a representative (money, connections, law school) none of the strawberry lovers (who are common people) could have been representatives.
        • by NoMercy ( 105420 ) on Wednesday August 11, 2004 @05:32AM (#9937898)
          Least in the UK we still have parties which are diferent, we have Bad, Worse, and Terrible :)
    • Re:Democracy.. (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      It's only an illusion if you *say* it is.

      On one level it's that argument about philosophy stemming from Wittgenstien - things are what we call them there are no illusions seperate from "reality" because this *is* what we call reality. So regardless of there being another level of existence, the *name* of this one is "reality" so it cannot be "illusion".

      This leads to the question of, if this is democracy it is only such because that is what democracy has come to mean.

      And it's only that because people like
      • Re:Democracy.. (Score:4, Insightful)

        by hyphz ( 179185 ) * on Wednesday August 11, 2004 @08:13AM (#9938371)
        No, he's right.

        The problem is that "democracy" means rule by the people - in other words, you'd have to have referenda on everything. Most folks agree that this would be pretty impractical.

        But "representative democracy" changes the meaning of the word fundamentally. Now, it's no longer the case that the people have the power. Instead, the people decide who gets the power.

        Yet this is a major distinction. Think about a plutocracy. Plutocracy is any form of government where the people who have the most money get the power. But here's the important point: the definition says nothing about *how* they get the power, or how the decision to give the power to them as made. If they happen to get the power through being voted for, that doesn't change the fact that it's still a plutocracy. If people are happening to vote for the people with the most money (and thus the most media coverage), they create a plutocracy.

        Likewise, if people always vote for the party that their family has always voted for, they create an oligarchy.

        The idea that "the people can rule in a representative democracy by forming parties and getting involved" is also a lie - the current system, whereby the party that has the most votes still gets in even if the majority of votes were for other parties (but not for the same other party), basically ensures that only the established parties ever have a hope of getting power. It makes it impossible to "work your way up" because, if you're not already at the top, you get nowhere.
    • by techno-vampire ( 666512 ) on Wednesday August 11, 2004 @01:24AM (#9936951) Homepage
      Like in all great republics, democracy is but an illusion.

      Lunchtime doubly so.

    • by Alien54 ( 180860 ) on Wednesday August 11, 2004 @01:32AM (#9937002) Journal
      Strangely enough this article entitled Who Would Jesus Vote for? [conspiracypenpal.com] makes a actual point:
      Shortly after George W. Bush first assumed office, I found myself driving down a rural Arkansas road, enroute to a speaking engagement. A small church stood alongside the road and, as I swept past, I noticed that it's readerboard said, "The lesser of two evils is still evil." I nodded to the wisdom of that rural pastor in posting his commentary on things Presidential. I assumed he meant Bush, of course, as representing the lesser evil in the choice that America had just made.

      Amazing how far we have come. I never would have thought it possible to sit here, over three years later, and actually feel nostalgic about the Bill Clinton era. Ah, for the good old days when I merely was ashamed of America's President and thought governmental growth and spending to be simply grossly out of control.

      The lesser of two evils is still evil.

      So many of us voted Bush into office with the conviction that voting for anybody other than Bush or Gore was wasting our votes. So many of us pulled the lever for Bush, thinking him the lesser of two evils. Ironically, even more of us pulled the lever for Gore, thinking the same thing. Now we face yet another Hobbesian choice: Do we continue with the devil we know, or choose the one we don't? Bush or Kerry?


      What? You're not Jesus? Nobody asked you to climb up on a cross, you know. You don't have to pay with your life to vote your conscience. All you have to do is vote against evil.

      Bush or Kerry? The lesser of two evils is still evil.

      If we all, every single one of us, voted against Bush and Kerry, we could change America overnight. Even with the substantial vote fraud that takes place all across America.

      Ok, you might say - I'll play. Who do I vote for? That is where your responsibility as a citizen comes in. Find out who else is running and choose someone - anyone - that you honestly can say is not a lesser evil. You might even find someone you can support in good conscience. It could happen.

      Of course, it's a bit longer in the original article. But definitely worth a read.
      • by kfg ( 145172 ) on Wednesday August 11, 2004 @02:52AM (#9937334)
        Now we face yet another Hobbesian choice. . .

        No, we do not. A Hobbesian choice is one in which no choice is actually offered. You can have any color Ford you want, so long as it's black.

        I've lived through an actual "democratic" election in a third world country. You were told who the candidate was, and you voted for him.

        Oddly enough he won with an overwhelming "mandate from the people."

        It wasn't pretty. Mostly because there was never so much as a hint of civil unrest during the process. No bloodshed. No arrests. No fear among the populace. Nothing. Complete civil order reigned as they lined up to vote en masse for the same man. Completely democratic autocracy.

        Our system may well be flawed, but it isn't anything like that. . .yet. You still have the power to choose, and the responsibility for that choice still resides with you. You can't pass it off to "the party."


        If you don't like the candidate either of the "two" parties present to you, choose more wisely.

        But choose.

        Or they really will end up telling you who to choose someday. And you'll do it. And be happy about it.

        Because choosing your leader will be somebody else's problem.

      • by wass ( 72082 ) on Wednesday August 11, 2004 @03:17AM (#9937437)
        Bush or Kerry? The lesser of two evils is still evil.

        True enough. But anybody reading please keep in mind that republicans have started going around trolling liberal-leaning blogs (like /.), parading as ultra-liberals. Their point is to give pep-talks such as this to sway the liberal votes away from Kerry, towards Bush.

        I'm certainly not accusing you of being such a troll, but I just want other readers to be aware that such right-wing efforts are going on.

        Anyway, as for me, I think the stakes of this election are way too high. Think of all the REALLY controversial stuff Bush didn't do because he needed to maintain his swing voters. He'll have no such obligation to them if he's re-elected.

        I really don't think Kerry is that evil. At least not much more than most other candidates, including Nader. I voted Nader in 2000 (my state was solidly democratic), so I totally know where you're coming from. But IMHO the stakes are WAY too big this time around.

        This time I'm voting Kerry for several reasons. He seems much more centrist, so hopefully he can unite the majorly partisan congress. Remember that the big-time conservatives would hate Nader nearly as much was we hate Bush, and this would cause even more partisan splitting. Gingrich really fucked the country up by effectively making war against the 'other' team, and now the whole politics is way too fractured. I'm hoping Kerry can pull the more moderate republicans to him, bringing some sanity back to the Capitol.

        Also, it seems like the election will be close again. This time I want my popular vote to be counted for Kerry. When they said Gore got more popular votes last time than Bush, my vote wasn't counted. If Gore would have lost the popular vote by 1 vote, I would have been sad that I didn't vote for him. So yeah, I want the results to include me for Kerry.

        Anyway, I don't see Kerry doing anything particularly damaging, especially anything that Bush wouldn't have done already. And my biggest priority is to make sure Bush doesn't drive this country off a cliff any more than it's already been pushed, so I must do all I can to get Bush out. If that's voting for Kerry, then that's fine with me.

        But anyway, I really don't think Kerry is all that bad. I don't know of any candidates that are perfect, and ALSO not too radical that they'd be able to effectively form a coalition with the other Congress members.

      • by sparrow_hawk ( 552508 ) on Wednesday August 11, 2004 @04:01AM (#9937585)
        The problem with this view is that it presumes that politics is all about making the right choices for *you*. In fact, that's not it at all -- the point of politics is about making the right choices for the *country*. Here's an example:

        (okay, got my asbestos suit on)
        I'm a Kerry supporter, but I tend to think he doesn't go far enough in his views. For instance, he's not in favor of gay marriage, although he is in favor of civil unions. (Bush, for the record, is in favor of a Constitutional amendment banning *both*, so the original submitter of this story has it wrong). I see absolutely no reason why gays shouldn't be allowed to get married, and so I'd really like Kerry a lot more if he fully supported the right of gays to get married.

        Why, then, aren't I supporting someone who *would* fully support that right? Because the question isn't who best represents my views, the question is who would be the best for the majority of the people. *My* personal views are never, ever going to be perfectly represented by the person running the country unless *I* run for president. Since that will never happen, I have to choose the person who I think best approximates my views and has the best chance of effecting positive change. I have no problem with that, because the question is not, and never has been, which candidate is best for *me*. The question is which candidate is best for the *country*.
        • by abb3w ( 696381 ) on Wednesday August 11, 2004 @11:42AM (#9939970) Journal
          I see absolutely no reason why gays shouldn't be allowed to get married, and so I'd really like Kerry a lot more if he fully supported the right of gays to get married.

          Would be replies, finish reading before reacting.

          I was raised Catholic. My two sisters and I regularly argued theology with the parish priest-- mutually educational and broadening. =)

          Under the contemporary view of Catholicism on marriage, marriage is a sacrament [newadvent.org], an external sign of god's grace. Furthermore (and pay attention), Matrimonium facit consensus, i.e. Marriage is contracted through the mutual, expressed consent. Therein is contained implicitly the doctrine that the persons contracting marriage are themselves the agents or ministers of the sacrament. [newadvent.org] In other words, any two people who declare themselves married before the community have ipso facto married. However, it has also held that marriage, like other sacrements, must be performed with the approbation (spiritual approval) of the church.

          Even when leaving aside questions of non-Christian faiths, not all faiths recognize the Authority of the Patriarch of Rome to give approbation. Furthermore, under the American precepts of the separation of church and state, the government of the United States lacks jurisdiction to establish whether the Patriarch has that authority or not.

          Therefore, any union recognized by the state is ipso facto a civil union. Whether it is also a marriage is not a question for the courts of men, but for the court of God-- and ought be presumed valid by the state given the acceptance of any church.

          Therefore, I would hold that the government has no business discriminating between ANY "marriage". Mind you, they might conceivably have some business deciding which civil unions to recognize (which is why arbitrary declarations as above may be valid canonically but not civilly without a marriage licesne), but that would be a fairly straightforward civil rights case... which neither the politicians nor the preachers like the taste of.

          In short, I'd say that the problem is that the politicians aren't theologians, and that the theologians want to be theocrats. Technically, the only thing politicians can discuss by definition is whether gays (or straights!) can have civil unions, not whether they can get married! Of course, neither the politicians nor theocrats are that precise in their speaking or thinking.... which is Unhelpful in discussing the issues.

  • Irony (Score:5, Funny)

    by cortez ( 316233 ) on Wednesday August 11, 2004 @12:58AM (#9936825) Journal
    First 4 times I clicked on the link (before I tried de-fuglifying it) all that loaded was:

    Nothing for you to see here. Please move along.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 11, 2004 @12:59AM (#9936826)
    Abortions for some, miniature American flags for others.
  • by chatooya ( 718043 ) on Wednesday August 11, 2004 @01:03AM (#9936846)
    If you're on a college campus and want to work to make copyright law more sane, join FreeCulture.org [freeculture.org].

    Colleges and universities have a huge amount of power to influence this debate and reasonable copyright law is perfectly inline with the mission of a public education and research institution. So go get linux in the campus computer labs and work up from there!
  • Yeah, right... (Score:4, Informative)

    by Aardpig ( 622459 ) on Wednesday August 11, 2004 @01:05AM (#9936858)
    Vietnam Veterans Against Kerry [vietnamvet...nkerry.com] (the website pointed to by the 'Kerry' link) is the organization running attack ads on US television, attempting to besmirch Kerry's war record. The adverts include the catchphrase 'I served with Kerry', which is stretching the truth a bit -- not a single vet in the adverts actually served alongside Kerry, they were merely in Vietnam at the same time.

    This brought to you by the Republican party, the political group led by an imbecile cokehead who didn't even have the balls to turn up to his cushy National Guard posting. I have little sympathy for their copyright complaint...

    • Re:Yeah, right... (Score:3, Insightful)

      by killjoe ( 766577 )
      What's weird is their claim.

      They don't dispute John Kerry served in vietnam. They don't dispute John Kerry saved a man's life. The only dispute they have is that people were not firing at John Kerry as he was saving some guys life. Oh and they don't dispute his other purple hearts either.

      If I was john kerry I too would keep comparing my record during the war to GW too. They both came from privledged families and yet one volunteered to go fight for his country the other pulled strings to get into the guard
    • Re:Yeah, right... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Kierthos ( 225954 ) on Wednesday August 11, 2004 @01:17AM (#9936912) Homepage
      Ah, so you watched that episode of "The Daily Show" as well?

      Yeah, none of the veterans served on the same boat as Kerry. The doctor they have talking about his first Purple Heart apparently didn't treat him at all for the wound, so that doctor commenting on whether it was a minor wound or not is irrelevant.

      Where are the "I went to Harvard with GWB ads", I ask you?

  • by sheldon ( 2322 ) on Wednesday August 11, 2004 @01:06AM (#9936865)
    GW Bush is censoring free speech because NBC won't let Michael Moore use a clip from Meet the Press.

    And John Kerry is censoring free speech because his friend George Butler won't let people slandering John Kerry use a picture he took for their book cover.

    Uh huh.

    You got something to say, then say it. You don't need these stage props to make your point.

    Fucking whiner.
    • by Wavicle ( 181176 ) on Wednesday August 11, 2004 @01:21AM (#9936934)
      GW Bush is censoring free speech because NBC won't let Michael Moore use a clip from Meet the Press.

      IANAL, but isn't there a particular length of a clip that is considered fair use? A lawyer can write all they want, but that doesn't mean what they write is necessarily what the law says.

      And John Kerry is censoring free speech because his friend George Butler won't let people slandering John Kerry use a picture he took for their book cover.

      Still, IANAL, but don't the courts generally give fairly wide lattitude to political speech? Using many images from George Butler's collection might be questionable, but a poignant image to their political message might be appropriate use.

      Anybody who is AL know what the courts have generally done in these circumstances?
      • The article states (at least the one concerning the MTP footage) that it's expensive to fight off a copyright lawsuit, and there are no real hard rules that you'll be alright if you follow for when you do not have permission to use copyrighted footage. So, even though they may be perfectly within their rights, it's just not worth the risk finacially. Still, the grand parent was complaining about how everything was being construed to mean that Bush and Kerry were the ones surpressing the respective media.
    • Fact checking... (Score:4, Informative)

      by SeaFox ( 739806 ) on Wednesday August 11, 2004 @01:32AM (#9936998)
      GW Bush is censoring free speech because NBC won't let Michael Moore use a clip from Meet the Press.

      BZZT! Sorry, but that is incorrect. It is not Micheal Moore, but another Iraqi War documentary maker: Robert Greenwald, who is trying to use the clip.

      Source: This editorial from Wired about, not-ironically, big media and copyrights suppressing democracy.
      http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/12.08/view.html ?pg=5?tw=wn_tophead_6 [wired.com]
  • by localman ( 111171 ) on Wednesday August 11, 2004 @01:07AM (#9936870) Homepage
    For a long time I've believed that a third party vote is a waste because of our lousy voting system. But I'm beginning to change my mind. If the dems lose enough elections because of spoilers like Nader, maybe they'll eventually back voting reform and we can get a decent system like instant runoff.

    I think I may vote my concience this time. I'm begining to think that voting reform is a more worthy long term goal then replacing Bush the tool with Kerry the tool.

    • by Minna Kirai ( 624281 ) on Wednesday August 11, 2004 @01:15AM (#9936901)
      If the dems lose enough elections because of spoilers like Nader, maybe they'll eventually back voting reform and we can get a decent system like instant runoff.

      Impossible. Even if losing makes them support voting reform, so what? They're LOSERS, and have no power to change anything.

      If you have the power to make changes, then the current system is working for you and you won't change it. Or if the system is against you, then you'll want to change it but be unable.

      (Notice how Congressional districts have been carefully laid to uphold the status quo)
    • Nader (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Colonel Panic ( 15235 ) on Wednesday August 11, 2004 @01:42AM (#9937054)
      I really want to vote for Nader. I just wish there were a 3rd party (4th party?) candidate on the right siphoning votes from Bush as well. Then there would be less complaining about Ralph being a spoiler. (what is a spoiler anyway? Couldn't Kerry be a spoiler for Nader?)

      I went to the local Nader nominating convention here in Portland. It was a 3 ring circus. There were Rupublicans there who wanted Nader on the ballot. There were Democrats there filling the seats and refusing to sign the petition because they wanted to keep him off of the ballot (they were unfortunately successful). And then there were those of us who thought that it would be nice to have Nader on he ballot so we could have a real choice if we decide in November that we can't go with Kerry.

      Amazingly, at the end, Nader took questions from the audience. Unfiltered questions. Some of the questions were form angry Democrats. One question was from a guy that was not mentally all there (and Nader was quite gracious with him, I thought). I was so impressed by this Q&A session. Not that the questions were all that great, but that Nader opened himself up to questions like that and handled then well. It would have been unimaginable at a Bush or Kerry rally.
    • by Veridium ( 752431 ) on Wednesday August 11, 2004 @01:44AM (#9937057) Homepage
      I say vote your conscience man. Do it, do it, do it. Don't listen to the naysayers.

      As for voting reform, I think we need a system like the Aussies. Preferential voting. Here's a page that has info about one implementation if you're interested:
      http://www.vec.vic.gov.au/ElectoralInfo/WP_Prefere ntialVoting.htm
      • by Concerned Onlooker ( 473481 ) on Wednesday August 11, 2004 @02:56AM (#9937349) Homepage Journal
        I say vote your conscience man. Do it, do it, do it. Don't listen to the naysayers.

        Basically, I'm with you on the idealism, but the problem is that the Republicans would be happy for you to vote your idealism because that way they will always win. When was the last time you saw a conservative question his party or candidate? You don't hear about it that much. They are united. They do not question the party line. And it works to the party benefit.

        The Democrats seem constantly divided up between many camps. Kerry may be the lesser of two evils but I just will not stand by and watch conservatives turn this country into an intellectual, spiritual and (for most of us) economic wasteland. Yes, that sounds a bit harsh, doesn't it? Well, it's time liberals started playing by the same linguistic rules as the conservatives. It's time to make 'conservative' a dirty word.

  • Gay marriage (Score:3, Interesting)

    by kyhwana ( 18093 ) <kyhwana@SELL-YOUR-SOUL.kyhwana.org> on Wednesday August 11, 2004 @01:09AM (#9936881) Homepage
    Both Bush and Kerry are against Gay Marriage, but there are really only two parties.
    So who do the gays vote for, huh?
    Go Democracy!
    • Re:Gay marriage (Score:5, Interesting)

      by gilroy ( 155262 ) on Wednesday August 11, 2004 @01:35AM (#9937015) Homepage Journal
      Blockquoth the poster:

      So who do the gays vote for, huh?

      How about, for the one that didn't try to carve its position into the actual living flesh of the Republic, the Consitution?

      I am getting so sick of people saying that there is no difference between the two parties. Guess what? We heard "It doesn't matter which one wins" in 2000. Then we ran the experiment. If you honestly believe this nation would be where it is is now, had Gore been sworn in, then you are either ill-informed or insane.
    • Re:Gay marriage (Score:5, Insightful)

      by k8to ( 9046 ) on Wednesday August 11, 2004 @01:56AM (#9937114) Homepage
      Speaking as a gay, this is pretty much a no-brainer.

      Bush: actively opposes gay marriage. Engages in mindless hate-speech against gays and nonsense rhretoric in an attack on my position in society. Attempts to pervert the Constitution of the nation in order to enshrine his personal bigotry in it.

      Kerry: Will not actively work to create national marriage parity, but instead will allow states to decide as they have already begun to do. Will make at least some effort to avoid supporting obvious anti-gay bigotry as in Bush's above-mentioned constitutional amendment.

      Wow, this is a really tough choice!

      Sure I'd love to vote for someone who believes fervently in equality, but for a given office there is often no likely candidate who closely aligns with one's views. You make the best choice you can.
      • Re:Gay marriage (Score:4, Interesting)

        by MarsDefenseMinister ( 738128 ) <dallapieta80@gmail.com> on Wednesday August 11, 2004 @02:15AM (#9937197) Homepage Journal
        Too bad Kucinich isn't still running.

        http://www.kucinich.us/issues/gayrights.php [kucinich.us]

        I believe that equality of opportunity should be afforded to all Americans regardless of race, color, creed or sexual orientation. For that reason I support the right of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered persons to have the full protections and rights afforded under civil law including the right to marry the person of their choice.

        So there you go. Kucinich is the only politician that I know of that doesn't classify humans into "people with rights" and "people without rights".

  • by bigskank ( 748551 ) on Wednesday August 11, 2004 @01:14AM (#9936900)
    It is becoming more and more clear that the focus on tightening up intellectual property law to make it more like a form of "real" property is not just affecting geeks and pirates anymore. As the entertainment industry and members of congress continue to pound it into our heads that "taking any expression from anybody from any reason is bad" we are going to realize extraordinarily negative consequences to our democracy. Will we be able to show the "State of the Union" address after the original airing? I most certainly can't get into Congress to tape it, so it seems that the networks can lock down political information very tightly. Sure, there are transcripts, but political messages aren't just about what's said, it's about how it's said and who the message is said to, and what the reaction to that message is. The use of copyright as a tool to stifle opposing viewpoints or criticism in politics is a very powerful - and extremely dangerous - political weapon, and it is one that could kill democracy as we know it. If we aren't even free to draw up words and images of the leaders who we elect, who we pay out of our tax dollars, and who we let govern us, then the ideals which this country was founded on are dead (if they aren't already). Just because NBC or ABC or CNN shot the film of a leader doesn't mean the public shouldn't have certain rights to choose who can or can't use it or how it can be used. These networks use public airwaves, receive public services wherever they shoot (i.e. the extra police protection around the press corps at the Democratic Convention in Boston) and take the time of our elected leaders. Surely the public deserves a little fair use.

  • by ortcutt ( 711694 ) on Wednesday August 11, 2004 @01:20AM (#9936927)
    I was hoping that the person who posted this would deign to provide us with some solid information or maybe just a link. As it is, the post just makes this unsupported claim that Bush and Kerry are using copyright to censor and then asserts without proof that they are no different than each other. Could someone please explain to me how something this thin got posted here.
  • Don't blame me... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Sean Clifford ( 322444 ) on Wednesday August 11, 2004 @01:20AM (#9936928) Journal
    I voted for Kodos.

    Seriously, though. Demopublicans, Republicrats, same same. Both parties are feeding at the corporate trough. I'm hopeful that under Kerry we'll have Evil Lite rather than Double Evil with Cheese and Curly Fries.

    I like Nader and his take on things - I've been a fan for a long time. But I don't think he has a shot - he's not going to be on the ballot in many states, some of them key states like California.

    It would be nice if one day we can have a third party candidate who (a) had a hope in hell, (b) wasn't a nutball, and (c) had the stones to be a progressive rather than a "me too" corporate slave.

    Kang: Go ahead, throw your vote away.

  • Mistake (Score:4, Informative)

    by neurojab ( 15737 ) on Wednesday August 11, 2004 @01:21AM (#9936938)
    >Like most other domestic issues (gay marriage: no, offshoring: yes), their stance is pretty much identical (i.e. pro Hollywood)."

    That's not true. John Kerry is anti-offshoring. He went as far as naming CEOs who do extensive offshoring "benedict arnold" CEOs.
  • Well Duh (Score:5, Interesting)

    by rsilvergun ( 571051 ) on Wednesday August 11, 2004 @01:25AM (#9936958)
    They're our ruling class. They take positions that benefit them, and only them. It bugs me to hear starry eyed morons going on about gov't for/by the people, and never stop to consider that America's got rulers just like any Dictatorship you care to name. The fact that you can sometimes join the ruling class doesn't change that. If the people ever really do wise up and start trying to change things, you can bet your @$$ our facade of democracy's gonna colapse real quick.

  • by teamhasnoi ( 554944 ) <.teamhasnoi. .at. .yahoo.com.> on Wednesday August 11, 2004 @01:26AM (#9936964) Journal
    Why, when DRM gets here, we won't have any of these Fair Use or copyright infringement discussions because there won't be fair use, and there won't be infringement. If something slips past the Analog Hole, unjust and misused laws like the DMCA and anything Senawhore Hollings has a filthy hand in will carry the day.

    When corporations can absolutely control what you can archive, reuse, or replay - that will be the day that free speech is reduced to what an individual can mimeograph and hand distribute. And there are already laws that chill that speech, such as vandalism, loitering, disturbing the peace, unlawful assembly, and thousands more. Don't worry, one applies to you. Right now.

    So violate copyright every chance you get. Copyright has been abused to the point where it is useless, unjust, and no longer represents the intentions of the framers of the Constitution. Civil Disobedience, kids - 1 in 6 Americans can't be wrong [slashdot.org]...or can they?

  • Misleading (Score:4, Informative)

    by peachpuff ( 638856 ) on Wednesday August 11, 2004 @01:28AM (#9936977)

    This article makes it sound like both candidates are engaging in a campaign of suppression. If you actually follow the links, you find out that there is (as far as i can tell) only one lawsuit per candidate, and that the suits were not filed by the candidates.

    I think copyright holders are wrong in both cases, but the candidates aren't necessarily behind it.

    If you want to know where a politician stands on an issue, you should ask them and check their record. It's not enough to find one example where they've benefitted from someone else's lawsuit.

    Come to think of it, how come these suits are only evidence in one direction? The candidates aren't party to the lawsuits. You could just as easily say that both candidates are against copyright suits because a movie that helps Kerry is being suppressed and so is an ad that helps Bush.

  • DoS voting (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Doc Ruby ( 173196 ) on Wednesday August 11, 2004 @01:31AM (#9936993) Homepage Journal
    That's why I'm voting for Kerry. His party is much less effective at passing legislation restricting citizens rights than is the Republican Party. And with the Republican control of Congress, the balance of power between the Legislative and Executive branches will defang them more than ever. Moreover, the more precarious position of the Democratic Party makes it more responsive to activism from the people. Through individual donations to the DNC and anti-Bush "527" corporations, especially over the Internet, the people are much more important to the DNC than they are to the RNC, which protects their corporate "donors" more effectively, at the expense of the people.
  • The President (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dnb415 ( 740909 ) on Wednesday August 11, 2004 @02:04AM (#9937154) Homepage
    Let me start this with I work for lobbyists out here in Colorado. I've been working in politics for a while now and it's safe to say the President doesn't hold nearly as much power as everyone seems to think. The biggest movers and shakers reside within the federal senate, congress, and your state legislative representatives (if the senate holds a contrary majority to the President nothing will get done, etc.). Remember he can't do much unless the congress and senate approve it (you voted them into place too). So, in your effort to vote out bush, or keep him there, remember there are other elections on your ballot that you all should be watching!!
  • Your Vote (Score:4, Informative)

    by PsiPsiStar ( 95676 ) on Wednesday August 11, 2004 @02:33AM (#9937271)
    Don't worry about basing your vote on copyright issues though. Like most other domestic issues (gay marriage: no, offshoring: yes), their stance is pretty much identical (i.e. pro Hollywood).

    Vote Libertarian?
  • by scoobrs ( 779206 ) on Wednesday August 11, 2004 @03:18AM (#9937439)
    It's the mass media that hides stories so blatantly.

    Even Slashdot is incapable of demolishing the most creative inventions of the mass media. Watch "Outfoxed" (outfoxed.org) if you don't believe me. Imagine all those FOX News viewers hearing these deliberate falsities repeated everywhere and having their world picture altered to include all of it. Or to include SCO's latest fabrications? What room does this leave blogs and the alternative media to reveal to the mainstream that Kerry really isn't that French and that the Bush administration really wanted invade Iraq long before 9/11?

    I wrote a decent essay on this topic four years ago. [afn.org]

  • by JaJ_D ( 652372 ) on Wednesday August 11, 2004 @04:57AM (#9937797)
    If voting changed anything, they'd abolish it [saidwhat.co.uk]

    Ken Livinstone [wordiq.com], the current Major of London, can be a bit of a prat sometimes, but other times he has a point. When did voting (by all the people in the country), alone, last change something?

    In the UK the 'opinions', and I use the term in the looses sense of the meaning, between the two main parties are almost identical. It's becoming like the US (or how the US is portried in the UK), of "(s)he with the most money" or "(s)he who is most photogenic" will be elected

    It could be worse, much worse, but the present system of politics dominated by large corporations, almost buying their way (or their cronies way) into power cannot be good, in the long run, for the average Joe on the street

  • by theolein ( 316044 ) on Wednesday August 11, 2004 @08:02AM (#9938340) Journal
    I can see the reason why GW does not often do interviews:Bushisms. The man is so obviously unable to articulate himself in his own language, and very probably think in it (His latest one on Tribal sovreignty was really painful) that I'm am pretty sure his campaign advisors such as Karl "Goebbels" Rove almost crap themselves every time GW has to answer impromptu questions in public. A good deal of the USA might be unable to use their own language properly and appreciate the fact that their president is as dumb as they are, but I think the majority are probably more than a little worried now that GW "The Chimp" Bush is really an utter idiot acting as puppet for a group of far right fanatics.
  • 100% of society (Score:5, Insightful)

    by maximilln ( 654768 ) on Wednesday August 11, 2004 @09:00AM (#9938615) Homepage Journal
    There are 100 people in society

    There are 2 brilliant people
    There are 20 greedy people
    There are 20 gullible people
    There are 10 who are opposed
    There are 48 apathetic people

    5 greedy people ambush 2 brilliant people
    5 greedy people convince 20 gullible people
    20 gullible people make lots of noise
    38 apathetic people restrain 8 who are opposed to restore calm
    5 greedy people, 20 gullible people, 10 apathetic people, and 2 who are opposed vote
    5 greedy people sit back, enjoy the show, and profit.

    Using copyright to quell political speech is a tactic of the greedy people perpetuated by the apathetic people who simply want things to quiet down so we can go back to trying to pay bills and keep up with rising taxes.

You know, Callahan's is a peaceable bar, but if you ask that dog what his favorite formatter is, and he says "roff! roff!", well, I'll just have to...