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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 Mordok-DestroyerOfWo ( 1000167 ) on Thursday May 01, 2008 @06:57PM (#23269238)
    I mean the secret police worked out well for Nazi Germany right?
  • I think I speak for everyone here when I say...

    "Awwwww, fuck."
  • Before we have a bill like this passed and then a bunch of 'ip cops' running around ripping ipods out of your children's hands, and following you home after buying a pack of recordable CDs to search your home.

    Either will legally become "probable cause" and justification of an instant warrantless search/seizure/detainment.

    Freedom and privacy is screwed and our founding fathers are spinning in their grave.

    • by lgw ( 121541 )

      Either will legally become "probable cause" and justification of an instant warrantless search/seizure/detainment.
      The cops stopped needing that quite some time ago. Seems DWI checkpoints were more important to the voters than the 4th Amendment. Then cam the War and Drugs, and then the War on Terror, and now there's not much that calls for a warrant any more.
    • 1. Put copy of kid's book report HarryPotter.txt on P2P server
      2. Wait for DMCA notice
      3. Immediately call cops to raid the offices of Media Sentry because they have clearly downloaded YOUR copyright work.
      • by Shagg ( 99693 )
        If Media Sentry downloads your kids book report from your server, it's not copyright infringement. Distributing your own content is not illegal, it'd be kind of silly if it were.
    • by Reziac ( 43301 ) *
      Or require a permit and license to purchase CD/DVD media. And as a condition of the license, you agree to allow warrantless search of your property at any time.

      Don't think this could happen?? Well, here's an existing precedent: this is EXACTLY what you agree to if you have a kennel permit (notably in most California jurisdictions, but also in some other states) -- the terms of the permit state that your property can be searched at any time, for any or NO reason, WITHOUT A WARRANT.

  • by Unlikely_Hero ( 900172 ) on Thursday May 01, 2008 @07:07PM (#23269328)
    When a fed comes to your door, I have three words for you. Headshots headshots headshots. They wear armored vests and helmets so aim for the eyes. (paraphrased)
    • Most of will agree with you but they'll be too afraid to mod you up. Sad.
      • by Kjella ( 173770 )
        Yeah, because eeeeeverybody here agrees to cop killings over some dispute about copyright violations. Now I don't know what'd happen if I got on your bad side, but I think you're one of those that make me very much pro gun control laws...
        • by KlomDark ( 6370 )
          Because gun control laws have proven so effective in reducing crime, right?

          Come on guy, give me a fucking break. All those laws do is make it more difficult for law-abiding citizens to obtain life-preservers to use to protect themselves against the people who just ignored the gun laws.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          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 pe
          • Amen my brother, Amen.

            (this is in reference to the Amen Break, an extremely over used piece of audio that the originators were never paid for, nor were they granted copyright)
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          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.
          • by mrscott ( 548097 )
            THAT would be an interesting altercation. Smack! Punch! Jab! Cut! "Ok... now hold on while I round up a bunch of guys to help me finish this fight!"
        • Yeah, because eeeeeverybody here agrees to cop killings over some dispute about copyright violations.

          When enough pigs will be killed because they're stupid enough for enforcing silly laws, one day will come that only the smarter cops will be left, and hell will freeze over when they'll start enforcing them...

          Don't believe me? Something very similar just occured in Australia: hundreds of police officers in South Australia were caught with pirated movies on their computers, but they will not be prosecut

        • by Dog-Cow ( 21281 )
          It's not a dispute over copyright violations. It's a dispute over civil rights. If I recall correctly, there was a war faught on this continent over the same kind of thing. I think it's referred to as the American Revolution, or something silly like that.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by frdmfghtr ( 603968 )

        Most of will agree with you but they'll be too afraid to mod you up. Sad.
        That's because there is no "agree/disagree" moderation option. If you agree or disagree you respond to the post.
    • by lgw ( 121541 )
      Ahh, but he Liddy issued a public retraction a few days later, something like "I'm sorry I asked my listeners to shoot the feds in the face ... the groin is a better target". Nothing I could possibly add to *that* comment.
  • but some IP is more equal than other IP.
  • I'm saddened that Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) doesn't represent my district so I can't try to get him recalled. At the same time, I'm glad I didn't elect him to office.

    As for the bill, there is nothing to be glad for there.
  • by Picass0 ( 147474 ) on Thursday May 01, 2008 @07:18PM (#23269404) Homepage Journal
    I prefer the political puppet on the right.
    Well, I prefer the puppet of the left.

    Hey, the same guys are controlling both puppets! We're fucked!
    • "Hey, the same guys are controlling both puppets! We're fucked!"

      Sorry, but presenting a false dichotomy is also why we're "fucked"!

      We have other choices. I suggest you start exercising those options before its too late. Well, okay, it might be too late, but maybe the echos of our screams might be heard in the future.

      • by Dog-Cow ( 21281 )
        Given the way the voting system works, it is basically impossible to elect anyone to a Federal office that was not at one time associated with either the Republican or Democratic party. There are basically zero Congressmen who were elected as independants, regardless of what they profess to be now.

        There are actually laws regarding providing equal access to media and to the way national debates are organized. All these laws preclude 3rd parties getting any real exposure. If these laws were not sufficient,
  • If this passes... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by MrKaos ( 858439 ) on Thursday May 01, 2008 @08:01PM (#23269666) Journal
    soon after will we have

    Seed cops; Those seeds are copyright - you cannot plant them/you violated copyright by planting them

    IP cops; thank you for welcoming us to your business, we will now audit all of your computer systems

    RIAA cops; thank you for welcoming us to your home, we will now audit all your media for copyright violations

    MPAA cops; You know when you pirate a movie a small child dies in a third world country, you should be ashamed of yourself

    And of course the "say goodbye to innovation cops", these guys will be the thought police come to audit your head for having ideas that just happened to already be copyright.

    Big Mother in sooo many ways.

    • What you have mentioned already exists.
      Monsanto has seed cops and can sue you even if their seed was blown off a truck and landed in your field, without your knowledge.
      IP Cops exist at borders.
      RIAA and MPAA cops are well known for sending notices to universities.
      Innovation?? What the heck is that? And are you thinking the same thing am thinking? See ya in court.
  • 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?
  • Any suggestions for effective ways American citizens can push against this legislation? Somehow I feel emailing my congresswoman doesn't really do much (and Pelosi probably opposes it anyway, I hope...).

    Howabout non-us citizens (i.e. my French and Canadian friends) anything productive they can do?

    • Howabout non-us citizens
      Non-US citizens aka Aliens interfering in US affairs will be subjected to rendition to eastern europe or worse, Syria.
      When we send our own citizens to Guantanamo under suspicion, what good are your Alien status going to do?

      One Advice: US citizens can donate significant amounts to senators under a pooled fund, and convince senators and congress critters to defeat the bill.
    • You can push against it, of course!

      But pushing against the government is like pushing against a giant bear. It accomplishes nothing, and there's a good chance if you piss it off, you'll wind up "missing".

      This would be funny if it wasn't so serious.
    • "Any suggestions for effective ways American citizens can push against this legislation?"

      Yup. It's called "Plenty of rifles and ammunition to go around". So far, it's worked pretty well: Nobody has taken my computers, or other least while I'm still alive. The RIAA and MPAA are more than welcome to try.

      For those who do not feel inclined to use deadly force against Big Brother, you can always rip and download from a WiFi network. If you actually *do* get caught, you can always say that you rippe
  • I'm afraid xkcd inches ever closer to reality: []

    Let us hope Ninja Stallman can defend us, because so far it's only looking like him, NewYorkCountryLawyer, and Lawrence Lessig are on our side.
  • A phone rings at KGB headquarters:

    "Hello, is this the KGB?"
    "Yes. What do you want?"
    "I`m calling to report my neighbor Yankel Rabinovich as an enemy of the State. He is hiding undeclared diamonds in his fire wood."
    "This will be noted."
    The next day, the KGB visit Rabinovich`s house. They search the shed where the fire wood is kept, break every piece of wood there, but find no diamonds. They swear at Yankel Rabinovich and leave.
    The phone then rings at Rabinovich`s house.
    "Hello, Yankel! Did the KGB come

No extensible language will be universal. -- T. Cheatham