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Software Government Politics Your Rights Online

RIAA Sets Their Sights on Russia 485

Conor Turton writes to tell us that the RIAA has set their sights on Russia for their newest push into anti-piracy. A recent bill was sponsored in the Senate to deny Russia's entrance into the WTO (among other things) if they did not take major action against piracy. From the press release: "The effective protection of American intellectual property has been sorely lacking in Russia. This resolution is significant because it expresses the will of the U.S. Congress that Russia must take effective action against those who would steal America's knowledge-intensive intellectual property-based goods and services. We must not enter into political arrangements with countries ill-prepared to adequately protect our greatest economic assets."
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RIAA Sets Their Sights on Russia

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  • In soviet Russia, files share YOU!
    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 26, 2005 @10:37PM (#14342432)
      In Soviet Russia, Slashdot posts on fucking idiots.
    • Sarin Gas (Score:3, Interesting)


      I hope the folks at the RIAA have a good supply of gas masks:

      Gas attack on DIY stores hits dozens of shoppers
      Tue 27 Dec 2005

      DOZENS of Russian shoppers collapsed when a mysterious gas was released in an apparent attack by criminal gangs on four DIY stores in St Petersburg yesterday...

      The attacks revived concerns about the city's mafia connections. In the 1990s, St Petersburg was known as the "gangster capital" of Russia because gangland murders eclipsed those of any other city, including Moscow. Bac

      • by hughk ( 248126 )
        According to the BBC [bbc.co.uk], it was Methyl Mercaptan [cdc.gov]. This is an extremely smelly substance which amongst other things is used to add the pong to the otherwise odourless natural gas (on the principle, that if you can smell it, something is wrong).

        It isn't Sarin, it isn't a CBW agent (although it could be used for temporary area denial). Just think of a very, very powerful stink bomb. It probably was used during a shake down by a rival outfit offering "security services".

        I'm following this with more than a litt

  • by Crashmarik ( 635988 ) on Monday December 26, 2005 @10:34PM (#14342424)
    Amazing how much they have in common. Hopefully the RIAA has as much success as the first two.
    • by Justin205 ( 662116 ) on Monday December 26, 2005 @10:42PM (#14342454) Homepage
      I hope they have less success than Hitler and Napoleon, personally, or we could be in for a dark few years... :-/
    • by User 956 ( 568564 ) on Tuesday December 27, 2005 @12:25AM (#14342848) Homepage
      Not to mention complete, balls-out arrogance as to their own importance:

      We must not enter into political arrangements with countries ill-prepared to adequately protect our greatest economic assets.

      So the RIAA did $12 billion in sales last year (link [cirpa.ca]) That's *total* of all sales, including sales of downloads. In comparison, General Motors had $193 billion in revenue. (link [autointell-news.com])

      You tell me which one's the real "great economic asset".
    • by HardCase ( 14757 ) on Tuesday December 27, 2005 @01:36AM (#14343111)
      Blammo, Godwinned right off the bat!
      • by Catbeller ( 118204 ) on Tuesday December 27, 2005 @03:32AM (#14343467) Homepage
        "Godwinning": Calling cliche and quits on any comparison, valid or invalid, to either the ramp-up to power or the actual government of the Nazi party in post-Weimar Germany, and the ascension of fascism in both the U.S. and Russia.

        Usefulness: shutting off discussion of actual similarities between the fascist takeovers of Italy and Germany to the fascist takeovers of Russia and the United States. Takes away the most powerful arguments of those who must use the comparison to bring home the fact that Americans gravitate naturally towards a superpowerful, unconstitutional dictator coupled with hypermilitarism, suppression of dissent, and directed fear against a faceless adversary. Oh, like in the last five years.

        Godwin! 9-11! Terrorism! War! 9-11! Muslism with nukes! Crazed enemies without provocation! Godwin! Must take out the treacherous Poles, er, Iraqis, before they strike first! No similarities between the Nazi's methodology and the current admin's. Nothing to see here, move along, Godwin, 9-11. Thank you, and 9-11.
        • by poot_rootbeer ( 188613 ) on Tuesday December 27, 2005 @12:17PM (#14345242)
          the fact that Americans gravitate naturally towards a superpowerful, unconstitutional dictator coupled with hypermilitarism, suppression of dissent, and directed fear against a faceless adversary.

          HEY!

          Only fifty-one percent of Americans gravitate towards such a state, thank you very much.

          The reason why Godwin's Law (someone will say Hitler) and it's Corollary (that means Game Over) are useful is that regardless of the merits of the comparison, mentioning the Nazis invariably provokes an emotional reaction. Emotion is the enemy of thoughtful, reasoned debate.

          There very well are some valid comparisons between the American state today and the German state 70 years ago, but please, if you wish to engage in rational discourse, try not to use language that suggests a party to the debate wants to kill 5 million Jewish people.
  • So this is it? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Orgazmus ( 761208 ) on Monday December 26, 2005 @10:35PM (#14342429)
    THIS is a valid reason for the US to not co-op with russia?
    Major corruption? Bah
    A weak if existant democracy? Bah I say!
    But piracy? Close the borders, its war!

    I knew the policymakers had deep pockets, but damn!
    • Re:So this is it? (Score:2, Insightful)

      by shark72 ( 702619 )

      "But piracy? Close the borders, its war!"

      Yes, you are correct. Whether we like it or not, intellectual property is one of the USA's biggest exports, if not the biggest export. It's one of the reasons why we're one of the richest nations on the planet, and it's a major factor in the quality of life we enjoy. It's no coincidence that countries which don't pay much bother to the Berne Convention and other similar international agreements are by and large shitty places to live.

      • Re:So this is it? (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Orgazmus ( 761208 )
        So..
        Bad govt + Money == Good
        Good govt - Money == Bad
        Is this it?

        I feel like quoting the last lines of your national anthem, since must have forgotten
        • Re:So this is it? (Score:3, Interesting)

          by shark72 ( 702619 )

          I'm not sure how you read that into my post. I am stating a fact: whether we like it or not, our country makes a hell of a lot of money on intellectual property. Whether this is a good thing or a bad thing is, as the math texts say, an exercise left to the reader.

          The countries that are not signatories to the Berne Convention do not generally have what I consider to be "good" governments, either. If I were to try to come up with a list of five countries in the world that I consider to have "good" gover

          • Re:So this is it? (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Husgaard ( 858362 ) on Monday December 26, 2005 @11:55PM (#14342763)
            The countries that are not signatories to the Berne Convention do not generally have what I consider to be "good" governments, either.
            Please remember that the US refused to sign the Berne Convention for 103 years, and didn't sign it until March 1th 1989.
            • Re:So this is it? (Score:3, Informative)

              by HardCase ( 14757 )
              Please remember that the US refused to sign the Berne Convention for 103 years, and didn't sign it until March 1th 1989.

              It wasn't so much that the US refused to sign as that the government couldn't sign. The Berne convention was incompatible with US law until 1988. The US has been a member of UCC for over 50 years, though.

              -h-
          • Taiwan isn't on the list of signatures to the Berne Convention either. While Taiwan's government is far from perfect, I think we're doing a lot better than countries like China, Turkey, South Africa, etc.
          • Re:So this is it? (Score:5, Interesting)

            by slavemowgli ( 585321 ) on Tuesday December 27, 2005 @12:41AM (#14342898) Homepage
            I can understand not wanting to live in Afghanistan, or Ethiopia, or Yemen, but.. San Marino? What's wrong with *that* one?
          • Re:So this is it? (Score:4, Informative)

            by owlnation ( 858981 ) on Tuesday December 27, 2005 @04:21AM (#14343548)
            For reference, the latest list of non-signatories that I could find is: Afghanistan, Bhutan, Ethiopia, Iran, Iraq, Nepal, Oman, San Marino, Tonga and Yemen. I would not want to live in any of these countries, and the ability to pirate music to my heart's content would not make up for the other issues.


            Not sure what anyone could have against San Marino or its government. Or why anyone wouldn't want to live there, it's a very beautiful little collection of villages. You do know where it is, right?

            Unless of course if you were Swedish, since the longest state of war (technically speaking) in European history existed between San Marino and Sweden, only to end in about 1992.

            I've always loved this imagery, a tiny group of villages in the mountains of Italy fighting a country of 8 million famous for their very safe cars, social democracy, Abba and nice pine furniture.

            Hail Freedonia!
        • Re:So this is it? (Score:3, Insightful)

          by ScentCone ( 795499 )
          So..
          Bad govt + Money == Good
          Good govt - Money == Bad
          Is this it?


          No, that's not it.


          Liberty + Rule Of Law + Market Economics == Good
          Communist Baggage + Pirate Mentality + Too Much Vodka == Bad

          If the Russian government won't recognize and grapple with the huge, nearly China-like, economy-wide house of cards that is their disregard for intellectual property rights, it's sure as hell a good sign that we don't want to recognize them as economic peers.

          I feel like quoting the last lines of your natio
          • Re:So this is it? (Score:3, Insightful)

            by EzInKy ( 115248 )

            If the Russian government won't recognize and grapple with the huge, nearly China-like, economy-wide house of cards that is their disregard for intellectual property rights, it's sure as hell a good sign that we don't want to recognize them as economic peers.


            What's with the "we"? You aren't talking about recognizing them as economic peers, you're talking about making them economic slaves. I certainly don't care if some poor Russian who only makes $100 a month buys a movie he would otherwise be unable to see
          • Re:So this is it? (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Jafafa Hots ( 580169 ) on Tuesday December 27, 2005 @01:57AM (#14343182) Homepage Journal
            Other countries recognize intellectual property rights? What does that mean? Intellectual property is NOT a natural right and has never been considered as such by law. Under law, IP is an ARTIFICAL right set up to give only temporary rights for a limited time, and only so far as it PROMOTES the advancement of the arts/sciences. NOT promotes an economy.
            Again - NOT a natural right, but rather a temporary PRIVELEGE designed to promote advances... in this way not much different than enterprise zones, tax breaks, etc. As such, as an artifical construct, it is not something that we can say crosses political boundaries, as we can say human rights do.

            What right do we have to demand that other countries fall in line with OUR economic or social development policies? Countries look after their own interests. in creating the temporary and artifical "intellectual property rights" we were looking after our interests - in IGNORING our policies, they may be looking after their own.

            House of cards? You know what is a house of cards? Trying to base an entire nation's economy on this artificial "property" and then demanding that all other countries and cultures - often cultures where the entire concept is anathema, follow suit, play along and hand us their money simply because its what WE want.

      • Re:So this is it? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by kesuki ( 321456 ) on Tuesday December 27, 2005 @01:45AM (#14343149) Journal
        First off lets go myth busting your arguments.

        1. IP the biggest export.

        http://www.ita.doc.gov/td/industry/otea/usfth/aggr egate/H04t02.html [doc.gov]

        Fact, IP was the Number 4 export for the united states in 2004.

        and at about 7.5% of our total exports, it wasn't aa huge a player as you made it out to be.

        2. It's one of the reasons why we're one of the richest nations on the planet

        BS, we're rich because a. america had vast untapped resources and still widely under utilized natural resource bases b. america stole virtually every piece of technology they could to 'build' their industrial base and c. no major wars rased any of our industrial complexs.

        3. it's a major factor in the quality of life we enjoy.

        Actually the ammount of profit made off 'ideas' has almost no correlation to qquality of life what so ever. there are a lot of important factors, but frankly ip centric societies (the UK) have managed to prosper with tight IP laws, and 'historically lax' IP nations as the US have also prospered... IP laws come in so late in the equasion that they can't really change a whole lot about an economy...

        4. It's no coincidence that countries which don't pay much bother to the Berne Convention and other similar international agreements are by and large shitty places to live.

        others called BS on this already, for 103 years the US refused to sign said convention. the entire decade 'of greed' occured before said convention was signed in the US.
      • by metamatic ( 202216 ) on Tuesday December 27, 2005 @02:05AM (#14343208) Homepage Journal
        It's no coincidence that countries which don't pay much bother to the Berne Convention and other similar international agreements are by and large shitty places to live.

        Singapore didn't sign on to the Berne Convention until 1998. That was after they had transformed a largely agrarian society into a technological powerhouse in the space of less than a century.

        It's not a coincidence, in the sense that the USA pressures any country that wishes to trade internationally to implement copyright protection.

        Singapore did the right thing, and built a strong economy first before implementing copyright--like the USA did. Russia made the mistake of implementing copyright as part of the "market reforms" that the west told them would transform their country, and look at their economy now. So now we're going to tell them that the problem is they haven't tried it hard enough...

    • Well, yeah, considering this the World Trade Organization. Did you honestly think the WTO handled human rights abuses? Their mission is to facilitate trade and open markets worldwide, not to police the actions of governments based on their human rights records.
  • by MacDork ( 560499 ) on Monday December 26, 2005 @10:37PM (#14342436) Journal
    these guys [allofmp3.com] would it? Nah, they pay royalties to some other russian front who pays to ... well ... not the RIAA.
  • by revery ( 456516 ) <charles AT cac2 DOT net> on Monday December 26, 2005 @10:38PM (#14342439) Homepage
    We must not enter into political arrangements with countries ill-prepared to adequately protect our greatest economic assets.

    I don't know which is sadder, that the RIAA has such influence over Congress, or that this might be true.

    • I don't know which is sadder, that the RIAA has such influence over Congress, or that this might be true.

      A recent bill was sponsored in the Senate. If you give enough money to your senator, you can have a bill sponsored too. Doesn't mean it will pass...

  • by Ritz_Just_Ritz ( 883997 ) on Monday December 26, 2005 @10:40PM (#14342449)
    You cannot legislate away theft. If you want to curb it, you have to remove the economic incentive to steal. For music/video, you do that by making it easier/cheaper to buy the content from a legitimate distributor than to copy it. The "man" thinks they can also do this by limiting the quality of the output from illegitimate sources (using onerous copy protection systems that probably won't work anyway). They need to believe this if they have any hope of maintaining their rather excessive markups on their product. I am of the opinion that they'll kick and scream some more and eventually mostly give up and use pricing to fight piracy. But we'll see....
    • You cannot legislate away theft
      Are you serious? It is legislation that keeps theft to a minimum. If it were perfectly legal download copyrighted music/video, then what reason would anyone have to pay for it? You say that distributors need to make it easier/cheaper to buy the content than to copy it. This is not possible to do if there is no legislation against sites/programs which allow you to download the material with the click of a mouse. Now I would agree with the conclusion that legislation alo
    • You cannot legislate away theft. If you want to curb it, you have to remove the economic incentive to steal

      Uhm...that's what legislation does. It reduces the economic incentive by raising the cost of theft. Surely you don't think the direct cost to buy something is the only economic cost, do you?

    • You cannot legislate away theft.

      No, but you can reduce theft by first defining what a theft is, and then enforcing the penalties thereof. In Russia, what we call copyright violation they call "legal".

      If you want to curb it, you have to remove the economic incentive to steal.

      Anything of value has an economic incentive to steal. There's tremendous economic incentive to steal diamonds, but the threat of jail time, combined with the difficult problem of breaking into maximum security safes, outweighs the bene
  • China? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by orkysoft ( 93727 ) <orkysoft.myrealbox@com> on Monday December 26, 2005 @10:42PM (#14342455) Journal
    China has a rather severe ``piracy'' problem as well, yet you don't hear the USA motioning to deny China access to the WTO...
    • The prospect of sparking off World War III probably has a lot to do with that.
    • Not to mention the fact that China's recent history of human rights abuses is every bit as bad as Soviet Russia's(no pun intended).

      LK
    • Re:China? (Score:3, Informative)

      by wirefarm ( 18470 )
      I've been to both China and Russia and I must say that it was *far* more apparent in Russia.
      There were shops along Nevsky Prospekt in St. Petersburg, the main shopping area, that openly sold pirated movies, software and music. Every underground crosswalk had kiosks selling CDs full of stuff and the police neither noticed or cared. I heard that at that time, 2001, there were no real laws against it.
      (This may have changed in the last few years, I'm sure someone could confirm.)

      In Beijing, I saw one seller of
      • Re:China? (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Nohbdy001 ( 265019 )
        I spent six weeks in Russia this summer. Pirated movies, software and music are indeed rampant throughout the country, certainly not just in the big cities like Moscow or St. Petersburg. Perhaps most interesting is just how accepted this is. It is in fact very difficult to find legitimate movies or music, the upscale video and software shops only sold pirated material.

        As common place as piracy is in Russia, I imagine this would be impossible to enforce and likely just ignored.
      • by MMaestro ( 585010 ) on Tuesday December 27, 2005 @01:31AM (#14343088)
        For the most part, China does a good job at funneling tourists and foreigners into certain areas. I haven't been to Russia, but after visiting China I can tell you that you'll be shut out of most areas simply because you look differently, ESPECIALLY if you can't speak the language/local dialect. I've been to shopping areas in the Beijing area where mini-mall sized areas sold bootleg/pirated movies, software, music and hacked video game consoles with uniformed police officers standing around these kiosks openly.
  • Russia isn't exactly a place I'd want to meddle in business [yahoo.com], even if it's on an international-agreements scale.

    --LWM
  • China and WTO (Score:5, Informative)

    by mikejz84 ( 771717 ) on Monday December 26, 2005 @10:44PM (#14342461)
    Hummm.....Why did this never come up when China was being admitted into the WTO???
    • Re:China and WTO (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Because American corporate interests (and especially the RIAA and MPAA) need China as one of the greatest growing markets in the world. As usual, American corporate entities show just how hypocritical and amoral they truly are.

      (Yeah, I realise the question was probably rhetorical)
  • by Chaffar ( 670874 ) on Monday December 26, 2005 @10:44PM (#14342462)
    Quick, somebody crack a in Soviet Russia joke before it's too late!

    On a more serious note: So, the **IA wants to blackmail Russia into providing protection of intellectual property rights or risk not being accepted into the World Trade Organization... Like that will work.. 'cause in Soviet Russia, YOU blackmail music... no wait, that's not right...

  • by LordZardoz ( 155141 ) on Monday December 26, 2005 @10:46PM (#14342471)
    Given the huge number of social and security issues that Russia faces at the moment (corruption, poverty, keeping track of its nuclear arsenal) I expect that they will put this item pretty low on their list of priorities.

    If the RIAA really wanted this to happen, they would pretty much have to offer to pay for the enforcement and prosecution. I would not be suprised if Russia would accept an offer that involved the RIAA paying for the police salaries, especially since the police would also server more useful functions.

    Then again, I dont really like the ramifications of a corporate funded police force that had the full backing and authority of the state.

    Good thing that I am basically talking out my ass then, I suppose.

    END COMMUNICATION
    • by S3D ( 745318 ) on Tuesday December 27, 2005 @03:35AM (#14343476)
      Then again, I dont really like the ramifications of a corporate funded police force that had the full backing and authority of the state.
      However coprporates already running prisons in US and some other contries in the world.
      The private prison industry in the United States is in the hands of four huge companies that make billions in profits every year ($2.3 billion in 2004 alone) and is in a state of constant growth. The living conditions in those prisons, such as population density, health and the severity of punishment, are disgraceful. Guards with low levels of training are employed by manpower agencies at starvation wages, with a high turnover rate in employment. The violence in those prisons is on a constant rise, as are escapes and drug abuse. Experts who examined the privatized prisons over long periods of time even argue that handing over the prisons to private hands did not make it any cheaper for the state, and that it is difficult, if not impossible, to guarantee proper supervision of such institutions. All this is dwarfed by the most worrisome fact of all: The companies who own the prisons spend millions of dollars every year lobbying for stricter legislation. They say that some 2,000 legislators around the country "work" for them, and make sure to initiate harsher minimum sentences, define new crimes and monstrous punishments (such as the "three strikes and you're out" law in California that sends a person to life in prison if they are convicted of three crimes, even if they are light), promote the appointment of tough prosecutors and cancel state-run rehabilitation plans. They do everything they can to guarantee more profits for the franchise holders.
      from Google cache [66.102.7.104]
    • Re:Doubtful (Score:3, Insightful)

      by SolitaryMan ( 538416 )
      Given the huge number of social and security issues that Russia faces at the moment (corruption, poverty, keeping track of its nuclear arsenal) I expect that they will put this item pretty low on their list of priorities.
      It is sad to say this, but these items are lower than anything in Russia's list of priorities. (I live in Russia, btw)
  • Hahahahaha (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sockonafish ( 228678 ) on Monday December 26, 2005 @10:47PM (#14342478)
    Even if Russia passes DMCA look-alike laws, they don't have any resources for enforcement.
    • I'm sure the RIAA could hire some of the Soviet-era thugs who've been desperate for work. Although, if the thugs want to feel good about themselves in the morning, I hear there's a large organized crime industry in Russia as well.

  • by Kawahee ( 901497 ) on Monday December 26, 2005 @10:48PM (#14342482) Homepage Journal
    Knowledge Intensive Intellectual Property? Please.

    Here's some knowledge intensive U2 lyrics for you:

    WoooAoo! WoooAoo! WoooAoo! WoooAoo!
    Yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah,
    Yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah.
    I can feeeeEEEEEEeeeeeel.
  • of course (Score:2, Funny)

    by know1 ( 854868 )
    in communist russia...
    slashdot cliches you
  • ...that any country can "steal" something considered "property" of the other country-without committing an overt, forceful act that would normally be considered an act of war?

    Something seems very wrong with this definition of "property", and every attempt to shoehorn it into that box seems to be more of a stretch then the last.

  • by qzulla ( 600807 )
    This resolution is significant because it expresses the will of the U.S. Congress that Russia must take effective action against those who would steal America's knowledge-intensive intellectual property-based goods and services. We must not enter into political arrangements with countries ill-prepared to adequately protect our greatest economic assets.

    "knowledge-intensive intellectual property-based goods"

    Hey! Wait! I know those three chords - D-A-G.

    "our greatest economic assets."

    Hey! Wait! I know t

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 26, 2005 @10:56PM (#14342512)
    This is the same USA that ignores any rulings handed down from the WTO that it doesn't like?

  • Ell Oh Ell (Score:2, Interesting)

    by mofomojo ( 810520 )
    I think this article itself proves the corporate stronghold on American Politics.

    "greatest economic assets."

    Such a statement is ill-worded. The world wide record industry, according to the RIAA site [riaa.com], is a mere 40 billion dollars. Now, this may seem grand, but on the scale of the entire United States GDP, it's only...

    ...subtract the one...

    ...carry the two...

    ...that's really only about 8.5% of the US economy, which totals at about 11 trillion.

    If that's bad math, which I have a rousing sus
    • Re:Ell Oh Ell (Score:3, Informative)

      by shobadobs ( 264600 )
      40 billion is 0.363636 % of 11 trillion. I don't think they were talking about the record industry alone, though.
    • They are speaking of intellectual property in general, not the music industry in particular. The US also exports a lot of movies and software. I don't know how much software and DVD content is pirated in Russia, but it's probably significant as well. This would put your calculation off by a significant amount.

      "I would also consider it good samaritan-ship to be generous and share music, isn't that what they teach us to do in school? To share? It's not as if a bucaneer would ripping it directly off thei

  • who lost Russia? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by bzipitidoo ( 647217 ) <bzipitidoo@yahoo.com> on Monday December 26, 2005 @10:56PM (#14342516) Journal
    Why is this cartel being allowed to speak for the US, with Senators as mouthpieces? I'd trust them with diplomacy about as much as I'd trust Enron's stock. If they manage to impose their poisonous interpretations of intellectual property law, maybe we'll have the answer to the question "who lost Russia?"
  • In Soviet Russia... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by SilverspurG ( 844751 ) * on Monday December 26, 2005 @10:57PM (#14342520) Homepage Journal
    The rules made by the US dictate you
  • ... may the force be with you :-/
  • by oDDmON oUT ( 231200 ) on Monday December 26, 2005 @10:58PM (#14342529)
    That ephemeral, rather than concrete, goods are now being touted as Americas most valuable possessions is nothing short of depressing.

    A nations ability to manufacture real goods is the true measure of its vitality.

    Which is why we should all consider learning Cantonese as a second language.
    • That ephemeral, rather than concrete, goods are now being touted as Americas most valuable possessions is nothing short of depressing.

      Why? You've heard the old saying "give a man a fish...?" Part of the point there is that the knowledge of fishing is more valuable than the actual fish, or the actual fishing is.

      Similarly, consider the atomic bomb. What would happen if the US had had two of them bestowed upon us by an alien race, rather than made by scientists? The fact that we could at any time make more was the thing that really clinched the decision to end WWII.

      If we export mostly ideas then it is quite possible that we've got more ideas than we have people to handle them, and need to export the work to make them happen. Don't get me wrong: there's certainly lots of laziness and of living off of the squalor of other parts of the world to blame for why we're doing all that exporting of ideas only. But that's not all of it.

      Ideas can be precious and highly valuable things, and those who produce them are sometimes the most productive people in the world.

      Of course, I'm willing to admit I'm wrong, but you're going to have to do more than make claims without backing them up with facts or even examples.
    • Not Cantonese,

      You want Mandarin. My wife and I will be taking such a course this January.

  • The RIAA Pirates YOU!

    I mean, America.

    Screw it.
  • by Kutsal ( 514445 ) on Monday December 26, 2005 @11:00PM (#14342538) Homepage
    From TFPR: "The effective protection of American intellectual property has been sorely lacking in Russia ". (Emphasis mine..)

    Why should the RUSSIANS (or insert your favorite country here) care for "protection of AMERICAN intellectual blahblah.."?... When first and foremost, they're supposed to be caring for their own "intellectual blahblah"...

    And this will somehow pass, and we'll go on trying to get countries to uphold US Law in their own land, and more and more and more people will get to love us, don't you think?...

    Geez...
  • SONY's new trick (Score:5, Interesting)

    by PaulG1837 ( 941530 ) on Monday December 26, 2005 @11:01PM (#14342539)
    I just picked up a VAIO, and was reading the new license agreement. It now includes verbiage that SONY has the right (or a third party) to monitor the system. I have HIPAA covered data on my network, and can not allow anyone access to this data whatsoever, even if they are saying that they are looking for something else. Even a hint of a leak could cause a penalty to be triggered. I guess SONY has lost this sale. For anyone else, I would advise you ALL to look carefully at the license agreements, and think twice about SONY.
  • by Proudrooster ( 580120 ) on Monday December 26, 2005 @11:09PM (#14342571) Homepage
    I was wondering if anyone knows how much money it costs to buy a piece of legislation. It is a well established fact that our elected officials are addicted to contributions, gifts, and other quid pro quo from special interest groups. I suspect it only costs around $5,000 to $10,000 to get a piece of legislation introduced.

    If that is the case, we could start the Slashdot Political Action Committee and bury the RIAA/MPAA with some really interesting legislation. Just a thought.
  • an emerging issue (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ZoneGray ( 168419 ) on Monday December 26, 2005 @11:10PM (#14342575) Homepage
    >> We must not enter into political arrangements with countries ill-prepared to adequately protect our greatest economic assets.

    And exactly why should Russia give a hoot about protecting the RIAA's assets? This continues to emerge as a huge issue in international relations.

    In the Internet age, the only way to make copyrights & patents work is to enforce them wordwide. And agreements can be made, as long as both involved countries have IP to protect. France, Germany, UK, Japan, I can see why they'd cooperate. But most of the world's nations don't have much commecial IP to protect. I don't see how IP can be protected worldwide without bullying the crap out of a lot of little countries. In fact, I don't think even that will work.

    Sure is gonna be messy over the next few decades.
    • Russia got nothing better to do at the moment then go after filesharers. America wanted the soviet union gone, well this is what you get.
    • Odd the same claim is not made about china. China would feel a trade ban far worse, or could it be that such a ban would be bad for america?
    • The US stands alone in the war on terror. Russia has its own war against pretty much the same enemy. Logical US diplomatic action? Upset Russia every chance you get.
    • WTO is already being seen as an american puppet. If this succeeds
  • by olddotter ( 638430 ) on Monday December 26, 2005 @11:14PM (#14342589) Homepage
    I really don't think this will go very far in Russia. The Russian's might play lip service to protecting US IP rights, as the Chinese did earlier this year, [chinadaily.com.cn] but the Russian's have too many real problems for this to be a priority.

    The music industry is desperate, because the fat profits are drying up. And if that "problem" weren't enough they are being faced with disruptive technologies that almost make them obsolete. Face it, big music labels are only needed for marketing. With a few thousand dollars worth of equipment you can put together a good home studio, make your own CD, and sell your music online. And if you are good enough to get some grassroots buzz, you will probably make as much that way as signing with the big label. As someone said "last throws."
  • by hackstraw ( 262471 ) * on Monday December 26, 2005 @11:20PM (#14342610)

    In Soviet Russia, the ecording Industry Association of America owns you!

  • by thephydes ( 727739 ) on Monday December 26, 2005 @11:57PM (#14342767)
    US companies are the best (worst) at pillaging other countries intellectual property and claiming it for themselves. Just look at native uses for various plants that have been patented by a rotten system, with the original traditional "owners" being denied access to any benefits. Maybe some of these pirating companies and countries see you greedy cunts as fair game. Call me a troll or whatever the hell you want to - I actually dont give a flying fuck either way - but its only a matter of time before other rapidly developing countries - India and China two name two will tell the US to get stuffed, and they'll have the economic clout to do so.
  • by thesandtiger ( 819476 ) on Monday December 26, 2005 @11:57PM (#14342768)
    .... being fed their own testicles before being stuffed in a trunk.

    I have a hard time imagining that Russian piracy rings would be filled with nice-nice people who would be scared of a few lawsuits or even Russian "law enforcement."
    • To you and all others who dragged in the "Russian Mafia". It is irrelevant, and not just because the godfather lives in the Kremlin. It is irrelevant mostly because there is virtually no "piracy" in Russia. The distribution that takes place is entirely legal and is carried out by legitimate businesses.

  • by DanThe1Man ( 46872 ) on Monday December 26, 2005 @11:57PM (#14342769)
    That's funny because I proxy all my peer-to-peer traffic through a server in Russia. I wonder if my mass downloading has anything to do with this?
  • Such hubris (Score:3, Funny)

    by petrus4 ( 213815 ) on Tuesday December 27, 2005 @12:05AM (#14342785) Homepage Journal
    As I recall, Hitler's fatal mistake was to attempt to conquer Russia, as well.

    I wonder if this parallel is symbolic of anything? ;)

    (To the lemmings who will doubtless now pour out of the woodwork screaming about Godwin's Law, please go back to sleep. That law refers to gratuitous overuse of references to Hitler or the Nazis...it doesn't say they should not be mentioned at all. Although even if it did, personally I'd hardly care...so don't bother.)
  • China (Score:5, Interesting)

    by opencity ( 582224 ) on Tuesday December 27, 2005 @12:11AM (#14342807) Homepage
    One way China is ahead of the game is their artists / music industry have given up on CD sales revenue. The artist makes money, or tries to, by selling concert tickets and with marketing tie-ins. In India bootlegs are available the day they are released. It won't come as much of a suprise to \.ers that, as the US moves toward this model, it is corporate profits and support staff who seem to be taking the heat / losing the livelyhood.

    As a career sideman, I feel no pain for the old industry passing (especially the lawyers), but the job of recording engineer is going the way of the hatmaker. Actually that analogy breaks down: The job of recording artist and recording engineer are being merged and will not pay very well. There used to be more work for painters, too.

    OT: There's a bigger issue here about labor and specialization - the best singer I've ever knew (hits in the 60s) was taking an occasional plumbing job in the 80s and wasn't bitter: The way he put it was: $30 an hour. This while commanding $2-$4k for 20 - 40 oldies shows a year. I didn't quit playing during the 90s net boom and still work a lot now. I also stay buzzword compliant - this year: AJAX(ugh) and psych-folk(cool).
  • by Svartalf ( 2997 ) on Tuesday December 27, 2005 @12:50AM (#14342932) Homepage
    ...the US' greatest asset, or more appropriately the rubbish that the bulk of the RIAA and MPAA members produce.

    C'mon, now, if that stuff is all our greatest asset, then we're pretty much done for as a country and an economic power. And it's as disturbing that Congress views it that way too.
  • That takes balls (Score:3, Informative)

    by Ryosen ( 234440 ) on Tuesday December 27, 2005 @01:57AM (#14343183)
    knowledge-intensive intellectual property-based goods and services

    Since when does Britney Spears and the rest qualify as this?
  • by fragmer ( 900198 ) <fragmerNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Tuesday December 27, 2005 @02:48AM (#14343350)
    I honestly don't see how piracy can be rooted out in Russia any time soon. I lived in Zheleznodorozhnyj (near Moscow) for 15 years and the amount of "intellectual property" flowing around is humongous. Out 2000-odd local area network had a dozen local ftp servers filled to the rim with hundreds of gigabytes DVD rips, albums, software and what not. I myself shared 50 gigs or so (shh! don't tell anyone...) It is practically impossible to find legitimate copies of CDs and DVDs, no matter how many tons of pirated discs they publicly crush with bulldozers every week! And, as many people previously commented, it is most rediculous to prevent such a large and influential country to enter WTO because of IP.

If I'd known computer science was going to be like this, I'd never have given up being a rock 'n' roll star. -- G. Hirst

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