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Skinny Puppy Wants Compensation For Music Used in US Interrogations 271

First time accepted submitter time_lords_almanac writes "A Canadian band has sent an invoice to the U.S. Department of Defense after learning that its music was used without permission in 'interrogations' of detainees at Guantanamo Bay. The members of Skinny Puppy, who specialize in electronic music, were originally going to make the invoice the cover of their next album until they discovered they could bring legal action against the department. They were also none to happy to learn the purpose their music was being employed for, let alone illegally. The amount of compensation requested? $666,000, of course."
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Skinny Puppy Wants Compensation For Music Used in US Interrogations

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  • by east coast ( 590680 ) on Thursday February 06, 2014 @11:43AM (#46174157)
    It'll drive people out of their minds and since Slashdot won't have any users it will be easy to access.

    On a more serious note, I see Skinny Puppy's billing of the government to be a sign that they condone the use of their music in such a way. I know that's not true but a C&D letter would have been a much better political statement.

    Still, boycott the Beta. Fight Dice.
    • Hopefully their complaint does include a C&D clause, but they are also entitled to fair compensation for the past unauthorised use of their work.

    • by gmuslera ( 3436 ) on Thursday February 06, 2014 @12:24PM (#46174721) Homepage Journal
      There are rumors that now Guantanamo Bay prisoners are forced to use Slashdot Beta. This madness must stop, they are human beings after all.
    • by anagama ( 611277 )

      On a more serious note, I see Skinny Puppy's billing of the government to be a sign that they condone the use of their music in such a way. I know that's not true but a C&D letter would have been a much better political statement.

      Interesting idea, but are they really able to tell certain customers they won't serve them, and others that they will? I would think the best they could get from a C&D letter, would be something along the lines of "stop using our music without paying for it." I think thei

    • by Sique ( 173459 )
      Actually no. Past uses have to be paid for, and new uses have to be contracted for.
  • by TheNastyInThePasty ( 2382648 ) on Thursday February 06, 2014 @11:44AM (#46174167)

    The government should start using Slashdot Beta instead of music to torture detainees. Just sit them down in a room with a computer that can't go to any website except Slashdot Beta. They wouldn't last 5 minutes. I know I couldn't.

  • by Nightbrood ( 6060 ) on Thursday February 06, 2014 @11:45AM (#46174199)

    So are they considering interrogations a "performance" that needs to be licensed? I'm sure the guys in black vans will show up shortly to assist them.


    • by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Thursday February 06, 2014 @11:52AM (#46174273) Homepage

      So are they considering interrogations a "performance" that needs to be licensed?

      And this would be different from playing it in a bar how?

      Unless there is an explicit exemption in copyright law which says "except during interrogations", the copyright laws as bought by the media lobby still apply.

      If we can be sued by the copyright holders for crap like this, I fail to see why it should be any different for the feds.

      • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) *

        There was a story on Slashdot Japan yesterday about the Japanese rights agency chasing people for using music at weddings. These guys have no shame or morals, you play you pay.

        Also, my isn't the beta site shit. Don't forget to boycott it.

      • So are they considering interrogations a "performance" that needs to be licensed?

        And this would be different from playing it in a bar how?

        Unless there is an explicit exemption in copyright law which says "except during interrogations", the copyright laws as bought by the media lobby still apply.

        If we can be sued by the copyright holders for crap like this, I fail to see why it should be any different for the feds.

        I guess they could claim an exemption under this part of the US copyright code:

        (A) the performance or display is made by, at the direction of, or under the actual supervision of an instructor as an integral part of a class session offered as a regular part of the systematic mediated instructional activities of a governmental body or an accredited nonprofit educational institution;

      • by slapout ( 93640 )

        Except a bar is usually open to the (legal drinking age) public. To me this would seem to be more a private performance (like playing the music at a party you only invited your friends to). As long as the government paid for the music I don't think the band has a case. Of course, the band could be just using this to make a public statement.

      • by bws111 ( 1216812 )

        Not really that hard to figure out. Here is what the US copyright law gives copyright holders:

        Subject to sections 107 through 122, the owner of copyright under this title has the exclusive rights to do and to authorize any of the following:

        (1) to reproduce the copyrighted work in copies or phonorecords;

        (2) to prepare derivative works based upon the copyrighted work;

        (3) to distribute copies or phonorecords of the copyrighted work to the public by sale or other transfer of ownership, or by rental, lease, or lending;

        (4) in the case of literary, musical, dramatic, and choreographic works, pantomimes, and motion pictures and other audiovisual works, to perform the copyrighted work publicly;

        (5) in the case of literary, musical, dramatic, and choreographic works, pantomimes, and pictorial, graphic, or sculptural works, including the individual images of a motion picture or other audiovisual work, to display the copyrighted work publicly; and

        (6) in the case of sound recordings, to perform the copyrighted work publicly by means of a digital audio transmission.

        And here is the definition of 'publicly' from the US copyright law:

        To perform or display a work “publicly” means—

        (1) to perform or display it at a place open to the public or at any place where a substantial number of persons outside of a normal circle of a family and its social acquaintances is gathered

        So, the right that is being infringed is 'perfom the work publicly'. A bar clearly falls under the definition of 'publicly', while it would be very difficult to claim that an interrogation room falls under that definition.

        • by fgouget ( 925644 )

          So, the right that is being infringed is 'perfom the work publicly'. A bar clearly falls under the definition of 'publicly', while it would be very difficult to claim that an interrogation room falls under that definition.

          My understanding is that the music is played in the prisoners cells, not in the 'interrogation room'. Also from the few images that leaked from Gitmo these cells did not seem to be soundproofed and it did not look like there was one speaker per cell. Finally it's not just in bars that one has to pay to play music, but at the barber shop too, so that sets a bar of about 5 people for 'public performance'. So all that considered I don't doubt this could be considered a public performance.

          However my understandi

        • by sjames ( 1099 ) on Thursday February 06, 2014 @02:51PM (#46176447) Homepage Journal

          Actually, Gitmo would qualify as public. I don't think the detainees could be considered to be social acquaintances or family.

      • It's different because Gitmo is not a bar.

        Unless there is an explicit exemption in copyright law

        Nope. Easiest way out of this is to claim that torturing detainees is not a public performance, so the use does not need to be licensed. And frankly, that argument is probably correct. Especially if they are blasting it with headphones, which is one of the things I've read. Maybe if they're piping it to a bunch of headphones simultaneously Skinny Puppy could have an argument...

        But how do you think this lawsuit will go down? The government will simply say it can't de

        • Also, suing the Feds for copyright infringement is harder than suing anyone else, and even if you win you can only collect minimum statutory damages.

          And, thanks to the copyright lobby, the minimum statutory damages are rather sizable.

          You know, the "we want eleventy trillion dollars".

    • That's the state of the law. If the government don't like the law they can change it. Of course, talking about the government following it's own laws while in another sovereign country torturing legally innocent people is a little silly. For those who are like me and would kinda like listening to Skinny Puppy all day, they do sometimes switch it up and play Barney the Dinosaur.


  • Buck Feta (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 06, 2014 @11:47AM (#46174209)



    Captcha: fuckbeta

  • Dear slashdot editors, everyone reads the comments, we know you're not letting beta articles through the firehose. Letting non-stories like this through instead don't help your case, it just makes you look like manipulators.

  • you insensitive clod!

  • Beta woes (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bartyboy ( 99076 ) on Thursday February 06, 2014 @11:50AM (#46174239)

    I'm a long-time reader but rarely log in these days. I made an exception to voice my displeasure at the beta version of Slashdot. The new layout wastes space and moves the comments to the background.

    I, along with many others, come here for the comments. If the beta is the default design, I will stop coming here. I imagine many others will do the same.

    Your move, Slashdot.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      Am I the only one that still gets classic by default?

      • I don't know how, but I'm still getting it by default as well. I imagine that someone, somewhere, is desperately working to change that.
      • No me too.

        But today came a big nag box telling me MOVIN’ ON UP., etc

        And when I deliberatly go to beta version, it's completly broken, the page doesn't seem to render, it half-way displayed (html and some pictures, no css).

      • Re:Beta woes (Score:4, Informative)

        by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) * <mojo@world3.nBLUEet minus berry> on Thursday February 06, 2014 @12:19PM (#46174653) Homepage Journal

        I get classic by default as well, but the apocalypse is coming...

        Fuck beta.

      • Some of us still get classic... for now .
      • I only got the Beta once.

        At which point I prompty removed my eyeballs with an icecream scoop and summoned a couple of priests to banish it away again.
        Not seen it since.

      • I am logged in, and Classic is in my preferences.

        If I log out, and log in again, I get forced to go to beta, unless I visit the beta disable link [] first.

        After that, I get Classic all the time, unless I login, or have the cookies wiped.

        Looking at the cookies, there is one called betagroup and it is set to -1. Perhaps that is what forces classic.

        But, Dice seems to be set on ruining the site we know and love for 15 years, so we all have to voice our displeasure at beta.

        • by kbahey ( 102895 )

          When I wiped all cookies in the browser, and then logged in, I get betagroup 90. But I am still on Classic. So perhaps they just postponed me forced to beta by some days or weeks.

      • No, but I did get the warning that classic ends in 4 months yesterday when I logged in.

        I had been seeing all of the comments about the beta site, and finally got curious enough to open the beta site link in a separate tab.


        I stayed long enough to 'take the tour' with the little numbered boxes that show up, checked out how the comments work, then I went to the feedback survey (extreme upper right corner in my browser) to make my displeasure known.

        IMHO, the beta site is HORRID, and I for one, wil

      • by richlv ( 778496 )

        i still get classic. i opened 'beta' and it was crap.
        then i saw a screenshot of 'beta' comments.

        it's not just "fuck beta", it's FUCKING HOLY CRAP THAT THING SUCKS. and then - FUCK BETA

  • Any organization involved in this blatant piracy should have, at the least, a one year ban on internet access. The only issue is who can enforce the punishment.

  • by LaminatorX ( 410794 ) <sabotage.praecantator@com> on Thursday February 06, 2014 @11:58AM (#46174361) Homepage

    I've been here since 2001. It used to be a great site, and even in its latter days it remains a good one.

    The changes in this new interface are destructive to the culture of this community, particularly the removal of sigs and uid#s. It is the commenting community that makes this site special. Ignoring that is a gigantic mistake.

    The changes in this new interface are technically ill-concieved, requiting javascript, loading a bzillion comments but not displaying them, not supporting link markup.

    The changes in the new interface are sketchy from a design standpoint. They are what, optimizing for tablets? Isn't there already a (also crappy, but at least optional) mobile site for that?

    Please slashdot, don't do this.

    I will be joining in the Slashcott from Feb 10-Feb 17. It will be the longest I've been off the site since I was hospitalized after an accident in 2007. Hopefully I'll be back, but maybe not. We'll see.

    • by N1AK ( 864906 )

      particularly the removal of sigs and uid#s

      What does a UID tell you aside from how long ago that account was created? There's plenty of stupid posts on here by people with low IDs and plenty of insightful posts by people with new IDs, if publishing ID numbers does anything at all then it is that is makes age of account into a measure of the validity of your opinion which is something we'd be better off without in my opinion.

      I wasn't overly impressed by Beta but given the amount of immature bitching, not

      • by LaminatorX ( 410794 ) <sabotage.praecantator@com> on Thursday February 06, 2014 @12:35PM (#46174819) Homepage

        Speaking for myself, the uid tells me about the shared context that users have. I'll have some idea what events we were both around for, what in-jokes we'll both get, and so on. It's a cultural signifier in the same way that graduating classes and the like can be.

        For those who are way low, it tells me that they're they're the sort of people who were here before discussion boards were mainstream. That doesn't make old-timers inherently wise or whatever, but I'll pay a little more attention to what they have to say on that basis.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 06, 2014 @12:01PM (#46174387)

    I would think that Celine Dion or Justin Bieber would be much more effective at breaking the will of even the most stanchly determined Jihadists.

    • Don't forget Phil Collins!
    • by khr ( 708262 )

      I would think that Celine Dion or Justin Bieber would be much more effective at breaking the will of even the most stanchly determined Jihadists.

      Ug, those are pretty bad. Skinny Puppy is great stuff, I don't see how it could be used for torture. It couldn't be that effective...

  • Torture (Score:5, Funny)

    by SenorPez ( 840621 ) on Thursday February 06, 2014 @12:01PM (#46174391) Homepage
    I'm pretty sure using Slashdot Beta violates some part of the Geneva Conventions.
    • Beta is not as bad as chlorine, but worse than mustard gas. Or IOW, not as bad as getting both eyes gouged out but on level with maybe one eye, a nose, and both legs.
  • “I wouldn’t want to be subjected to any overly loud music for six to 12 hours at a time without a break”

    I hope noone plays his music at any raves

  • by Applehu Akbar ( 2968043 ) on Thursday February 06, 2014 @12:20PM (#46174667)
    ...But the SCOTUS nixed that on Eighth Amendment grounds.
  • Unhappy with the new site design? Kick them where it hurts. Block advertising.

    Up until now I always allowed slashdot to show me ads. I've been reading the site pretty much daily for over a decade (this is my second UID).

    I just disabled advertisements. Why let them profit off of me?

    If this becomes permanent, I just will have to find something else to read. I've grown up and looking more towards investment forums now, anyway. (giving a shout out to bogleheads - [] )

  • Seems like a liability black hole. If not a morality black hole.

  • I was just remarking to a friend today how Agent Side Grinder's new album "Hardware" sounded like as if Skinny Puppy, Kraftwerk, and Depeche Mode were to have an ugly baby.

  • by the eric conspiracy ( 20178 ) on Thursday February 06, 2014 @12:27PM (#46174759)

    It's causing me to do more work and less trolling.

  • by Rival ( 14861 ) on Thursday February 06, 2014 @12:30PM (#46174781) Homepage Journal

    I've been here awhile, and have watched Slashdot go through a lot. Every time there's been a major change, a significant section of the user base has left and eventually been replaced. (The significance has not always been in terms of sheer numbers, but more often in longevity, character, personality and other less tangible demographics.)

    I'm sure it will "survive" beta in the same way, which makes me sad. More pillars of the Slashdot community will leave, to be replaced with shills, trolls and youths who simply don't have the history to carry on anymore.

    There are (at least) two things Dice fails to understand:

    1.) 1,000,000 users != 1,000,000 users. Every UID is different, and when someone leaves, you can't simply "undo" that by getting another person to sign up.

    2.) We don't want change. We're happy not being reddit, or 4chan, or (ugh) web 2.0, or whatever social media site or crap technology is the current buzzword this week. We're Slashdot. We come here because it's an old and familiar community. If you change too much, it's no longer familiar and we leave. Or if too many people leave, it's no longer a community and people stop coming back.

    Please, I seriously recommend you keep the old UI codebase around for those of us who use classic mode. It's not going to kill your servers and we've been here long enough to deserve this little concession. Remember, each of us are a vital part of the conversations that happen here, and it is the comments that make Slashdot. Don't force us old-timers away with unnecessary change. Thank you.

    • by j-stroy ( 640921 ) on Thursday February 06, 2014 @12:54PM (#46175045)
      The content created by us plebes is what actually sells your ads. I come to the site to read informed discussion. That is not created by: your editors, submitters, advertisers or user interface..


      Now fuck off with your godawful site redesign. I am definitely boycotting Feb 10 to 17 and likely longer. I have enjoyed being a multi view user, practically every day since I signed up.

      Why the hell would I buy a computer screen to look at the blank colour white? Let alone giant images of the incorrect aspect and the rest of the lame features.
    • by UnknownSoldier ( 67820 ) on Thursday February 06, 2014 @05:26PM (#46178447)

      Concur 100% ! Well said Rival !

      It is NOT about us "grumpy old men" saying "get off my LAN" because we hate change. We hate change for the sake OF change. The first rule: "Don't Fuck With It!" Translation for the layman: Don't fix what isn't broken! The wheel has been around _thousands_ of years because it _works_. Sure there are minor improvements here and there but the basic design & implementation doesn't leave people guessing.

      I've been on /. since ~1999. IMHO, the only FEW things that /. needs to change in order to go from good to great are: (Sorted by priority)

      * Editors to do their actual freaking JOB of fixing typos, spelling, grammar, dupes, bad/inaccurate headlines
      * Add UTF-8 support. Only of these I'll be able to post diacritics and über -- that is "Uber" with two umlauts. WTF is this 1997?
      * Allow us to edit our posts -- BUT show the original post so we can do a _visual_ DIFF of what has changed ! /. innovated moderation .. PLEASE innovate again.
      * If they actually fixed their broken 'ecode' tag -- I'm a programmer yet still can't post properly aligned code!?
      * Fix their lame-ass lameness filter -- against I've been here years, I want to post CODE but I can't. WTF.
      * Allow us to private message (PM) other members like every other forum does.
      * Lastly, stop with the shitty Betteridge's Law of Headlines -- that is, stop trolling us just to get more "ad revenue"

      That's IT ! (Please feel free to chime in what you would like to see in /.) Obviously the ad hominem arguments will go away but for the most part this is (or was) a mostly civilized and intelligent part of the internet before it got popular. If I want those stupid lolcat memes/articles I know where to go for emo-news.

      All this extra whitespace crap and bad UI with /. beta? Do. Not. Want.

      I've written about the "life cycle" of online social sites in the heck just 2 months ago in Dec 2013 ... []

      Sorry for bad netiquette of quoting myself ...

      I've been online for 20+ years. The cycle of online human communication is *always* the same.

      * Forum (BBS / newsgroup / website) provides a common ground for people to share info. / tips / opinions
      * Site is small as only the "geeks" use it
      * Site gains Momentum and goes mainstream
      * The crazies come out of the woodwork -- Name Calling / Ad Hominem / Trolls attack -- people keep forgetting authority needs accountability
      * Moderators are either
          a) 45% of the time non-existent
          b) 45% of the time grammar/spelling/free-thought nazis where posters need to tow the party line,
          c) 4% of the time does it rarely exist there are balanced moderators who allow a difference of opinion as long as it it kept civil and intelligent
          d) 1% site allows members to self-moderate
      * All the old members complain about "the good ole days" when the noobs / newbs / hipsters, etc. didn't drive the S/N from Signal into Noise
      * New site starts that promises to be "Bigger, Better, Cheaper", etc.
      * Old site membership is split as some members leave to check out "Awesome new site" (temporarily, others for good),
      * Old site lingers but never really recovers from the mass influx of growth and decay.
      * Rinse and Repeat ad nauseum.

      What /. did innovate at the time was to allow the crapfest of usenet to be FILTERED. Reddit has mob rule when you get carpet modded into oblivion because people don't want their thinking challenged.


      Only Cowards Censor

  • by MouseR ( 3264 ) on Thursday February 06, 2014 @12:33PM (#46174809) Homepage

    Been following that band since the mid-80s and actually will see them on their tour date on feb 16th in Montreal.

    Its not surprising that they would sure, if only to clear their name. Despite the harshness of the genre, Gitmo is precisely what they advocate against.

  • First of all, fuck the beta site. Who the fuck thought a site for nerds would benefit from a cosmetic redesign? If it ain't broke, don't fix it, assholes!

    However, the classic site now seems broken for me. I log in, and it brings me to my profile page. That's fine, but I didn't really want to edit my profile. So then I click over to the main page and, voila! I'm no longer logged in! It seems that if I want to complain about the beta site while logged in, I'll have to do it while actually using the beta si
  • If the use was a "taking," then the noisers will get paid. If the use was for "police power" then the noisers are going to get stiffed.

    Seems to me that it's a taking. When the military gets its boards for waterboarding, it pays for them. Seems it also should pay for the noise it uses for noise torture.

    • by MarkvW ( 1037596 )

      . . .and they won't get paid that much. They'll get paid the fair market value of their work, plus their attorney fees.

  • You get to listen to Skinny Puppy. Sweet! Sign me up... oh wait... they put a water hose up where? while you listen?
  • by twotacocombo ( 1529393 ) on Thursday February 06, 2014 @01:17PM (#46175329)
    Every time someone sues 'the government', who pays the bill? We do. That's not the governments money, that's America's money. If you want to make a statement against the government, don't do it by putting all of us into even greater debt. Also, fuck beta in it's fucking beta face.
  • by CrashNBrn ( 1143981 ) on Thursday February 06, 2014 @01:43PM (#46175633)
    Skinny Puppy is known for their Industrial Alternative, not "Electronic" --- they aren't a hipster Dance band.

    Slashdot Beta is Trash. So was Skinny Puppy pretty much since 1992 (after Too Dark Park). But they have realized the Error of Their Ways and have returned to 1984. So now the 100,000 dollar question: Can Slashdot's caretakers realize the Error of Their Ways before it is too late?

    Anyone recall Arstechnica's major design change about 4 years ago? Nope me neither. Know why? When they did it, they left the OLD design available to use. Two settings exist to this day for Colour: Dark on Light, or Light on Dark; as well as a setting for layout. I wonder if maybe, just maybe its not such a boneheaded thing to do --- to give users a choice and stop being such a bunch of pricks.
  • a copyright infringement?

A committee takes root and grows, it flowers, wilts and dies, scattering the seed from which other committees will bloom. -- Parkinson