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PRO-IP Act Passes Judiciary Committee 185

I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes "The Pro-IP Act has passed the Judiciary Committee unanimously, thanks to the support of committee chairman Rep. John Conyers (D-MI). We've discussed this before — it's the same bill which would create copyright cops with the power to seize computers, when powers like that have been systematically abused in other areas. But, apparently, they think the bill is just wonderful now, simply because they cut the provision that would've increased statutory damages while keeping the rest. This is the same bill that William Patry called the 'most outrageously gluttonous IP bill ever introduced in the US.'" While we're on the subject of intellectual property, Canadian law professor Michael Geist gave a talk on Monday about "copyright myths."
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PRO-IP Act Passes Judiciary Committee

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 01, 2008 @07:19PM (#23269406)
    The war on copyright infringement is not a sane way to spend the governments money... i mean come on, we're almost at 10 trillion in national debt and now they want to create an organization, with a 7 figure salary guy at the top that seizes computers that jimmy made mp3s on from his cd collection, not knowing that one of those cds had a rootkit that monitored this and turned him in to this organization?!?

    WTF like we need a new agency sucking 20-40 million a year just harassing computer users who went on kazza once, not knowing what it was and deleting it when they saw all the pedo crap on it..

  • by Unlikely_Hero ( 900172 ) on Thursday May 01, 2008 @08:04PM (#23269696)
    Oh the cop killing routine. Fed != Cop. "Cop Killing" brings up the image of a posterboy neighborhood cop getting shot by some asshole who was drunk driving. Law enforcement from the federal government is a great deal different than local or even state. What's the big difference? Feds can make you disappear. No trial, no "due process". They can quasi-legally make you disappear (see black sites in Hungary, etc). Dispute about copyright violation is different from someone coming into my home, violating my personal sovereignty and taking my belongings because I'm acting against the wishes of a cartel. I'm honestly not a violent person, but when assaulted in any way I consider it to be my human right to defend myself from aggressors unless I aggressed upon them and if the aggression was not violent I would ask that they come discuss it with me rather than a show of force. Anyone who can't stay out of other people's business unless they're coercing them should be considered a threat to your life.
  • by Ethanol-fueled ( 1125189 ) * on Thursday May 01, 2008 @08:09PM (#23269726) Homepage Journal
    I was half-joking. I don't own a gun and don't plan to own one, but if some enforcer wants to seize my gadgets just because of the music on them then I fully support the beating, maiming, and bukkake'ing of them. Just not shooting them in the head, because that would be savage.
  • Re:quickboot (Score:3, Interesting)

    by calebt3 ( 1098475 ) on Thursday May 01, 2008 @08:13PM (#23269748)
    Something another /.er posted at some point that I found interesting:

    545 People
    By Charlie Reese --

    Politicians are the only people in the world who create problems and then campaign against them.

    Have you ever wondered why, if both the Democrats and the Republicans are against deficits, we have deficits?

    Have you ever wondered why, if all the politicians are against inflation and high taxes, we have inflation and high taxes?

    You and I don't propose a federal budget. The president does.

    You and I don't have the Constitutional authority to vote on appropriations. The House of Representatives does.

    You and I don't write the tax code, Congress does.

    You and I don't set fiscal policy, Congress does.

    You and I don't control monetary policy, The Federal Reserve Bank does.

    One hundred senators, 435 congressmen, one president and nine Supreme Court justices - 545 human beings out of the 300 million - are directly, legally, morally and individually responsible for the domestic problems that plague this country.

    I excluded the members of the Federal Reserve Board because that problem was created by the Congress.

    In 1913, Congress delegated its Constitutional duty to provide a sound currency to a federally chartered but private central bank.

    I excluded all the special interests and lobbyists for a sound reason. They have no legal authority.

    They have no ability to coerce a senator, a congressman or a president to do one cotton-picking thing.

    I don't care if they offer a politician $1 million dollars in cash. The politician has the power to accept or reject it.No matter what the lobbyist promises, it is the legislator's responsibility to determine how he votes.

    Those 545 human beings spend much of their energy convincing you that what they did is not their fault. They cooperate in this common con regardless of party.

    What separates a politician from a normal human being is an excessive amount of gall.

    No normal human being would have the gall of a Speaker, who stood up and criticized the President for creating deficits.

    The president can only propose a budget.

    He cannot force the Congress to accept it.

    The Constitution, which is the supreme law of the land, gives sole responsibility to the House of Representatives for originating and approving appropriations and taxes.

    Who is the speaker of the House?

    She is the leader of the majority party.

    She and fellow House members, not the president, can approve any budget they want.

    If the president vetoes it, they can pass it over his veto if they agree to.

    It seems inconceivable to me that a nation of 300 million can not replace 545 people who stand convicted -- by present facts - of incompetence and irresponsibility.

    I can't think of a single domestic problem that is not traceable directly to those 545 people.

    When you fully grasp the plain truth that 545 people exercise the power of the federal government, then it must follow that what exists is what they want to exist.

    If the tax code is unfair, it's because they want it unfair.

    If the budget is in the red, it's because they want it in the red.

    If the Marines are in IRAQ, it's because they want them in IRAQ.

    If they do not receive social security but are on an elite retirement plan not available to the people, it's because they want it that way.

    There are no insoluble government problems.

    Do not let these 545 people shift the blame to bureaucrats, whom they hire and whose jobs they can abolish; to lobbyists, whose gifts and advice they can reject; to regulators, to whom they give the power to regulate and from whom they can take this power.

    Above all, do not let them con you into the belief that there exists disembodied mystical forces like 'the economy,' 'inflation' or 'politics' that prevent them from doing what they take an oath to do.

    Those 5
  • by analog_line ( 465182 ) on Thursday May 01, 2008 @08:44PM (#23269940)
    Don't get me wrong, I think this is insane, and I hope it goes the way of similar bills before it, but the tighter the so-called "content cartels" grip on their copyright, the more persuasive the arguments for Creative Commons, GPL (v2 or v3), and other similar copyright-related social movements become. The same laws that protect the iron grip of Disney on Mickey Mouse for as long as they can legislate it, also protect those who participate in the Creative Commons (like Nine Inch Nails to take a totally non-random example) from the Disneys, the Time Warners, and the Sonys of the world. They can only be the gatekeepers of "the culture" if YOU choose to pay the entry fee. There's plenty enough out there that they don't control, that they CAN'T control anymore. All this sound and fury is trying to make people focus on them instead of looking for alternatives. There's no such thing as bad publicity, and all that.

    The onus is on those who claim that art should be for love and not money to put up or shut up. If you're an artist, go make some art under something like Creative Commons that both allows you to make money off it when someone else is making money off it (and sue the pants off them if they don't pay you for it), and allows people who aren't making money off it to spend as much money as they want spreading the word about how awesome you are. If you're not an artist, don't forget that artists need to eat as much as you do. Actually reach into that wallet and give money to artists that take a chance and produce work that you like under a Creative Commons license (or some other license with terms that aren't crazy) and be as generous as you can afford. Every Tom, Dick, and Sally that releases something under Creative Commons isn't worth supporting just because they're releasing as Creative Commons. There is a TON of freely distributable junk out there. However there ARE people out there that every one of us reading this story would feel comfortable supporting, and rather than shovel money on a monthly basis into Comcast's, or Sirius', or Time Warner's or whomever's bank account for content that isn't worth using as toilet paper, a small fraction of that money could make a world of difference for one of the people that IS taking a risk and releasing good content under terms that are reasonable.

    Where the hell is the Creative Commons Foundation of the Arts, taking donations and patronizing quality artists that release work under the Creative Commons like the foundations supporting free software? Do you think this stuff grows on trees?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 01, 2008 @08:45PM (#23269946)
    What really matters is that you're using the word "enemies" without even thinking about it.

    The people are "enemies" of the cops? For engaging in imaginary victimless crimes?
    The cops are the "enemies" of the people for enforcing absurd and abusive laws?

    It no longer matters whether you use words like Nazi once you reveal that deeper thinking,
    even as you defend your "enemies".
  • by mOdQuArK! ( 87332 ) on Friday May 02, 2008 @04:35AM (#23272248)
    There's lots of evidence that many law enforcement agents already have an "us versus them" viewpoint when it comes to the general populace. Is it really surprising that the general populace is starting to feel the same way?

Thus spake the master programmer: "Time for you to leave." -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"