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U.S. to Get New IP Czar 320

Posted by timothy
from the czar-job-crisis-nearly-over dept.
tetraminoe writes "Reuters is reporting that Congress's latest spending bill provides for the creation of a federal copyright enforcement czar. According to the article, 'Under the program, the president can appoint a copyright law enforcement officer whose job is to coordinate law enforcement efforts aimed at stopping international copyright infringement and to oversee a federal umbrella agency responsible for administering intellectual property law.' It also gives $2 million to the National Intellectual Property Law Enforcement Coordination Council (NIPLAC), created in the '90s and never funded. NIPLAC will work to protect American IP overseas and oversee enforcement."
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U.S. to Get New IP Czar

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 24, 2004 @09:09AM (#10908525)
    ...is version 6. But knowing the government, I doubt it.
    • Having the GOP control the entire government is bad on so many levels - and one of the worst is the constant shilling they do for corporations at the expense of individuals. The normality of our nerd lives is continually threatened by the Republican party.
  • Am I the only one (Score:2, Insightful)

    by phaze3000 (204500)
    Was it just me who read the title of the article and thought IANA was being replaced?

    This is news for nerds, IP should mean Internet Protocol, not some copyright sillyness.

    • by truthsearch (249536) on Wednesday November 24, 2004 @09:46AM (#10908839) Homepage Journal
      As mentioned repeatedly on slashdot, IP law is now critical to nerds. No one can write software and put it out there for the public to use without having to consider IP law (even deciding to put it in the public domain is a decision in IP law). Back in the day, when nerds were all in the basements and few people had a computer no one cared about IP. But with more than half of the US licensing software IP law is more and more a part of everyday lives. And if you're a nerd who programs or even just tinkers it's an important part of your hobby.

      You can personally choose to ignore it, but it's at your own expense. If you don't fight to keep IP laws fair you'll one day find it's illegal or too expensive to be a nerd.
  • Finally (Score:5, Insightful)

    by btwIANAL (763061) on Wednesday November 24, 2004 @09:10AM (#10908530)
    I am just glad they found a cause better than education to give money to. I was affraid my kids might get an educaion. Everyone knows we cant have that.
    • Re:Finally (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Ironsides (739422)
      It's a meazley $2 million. If you distribute that evenly thats less than a dollar for every kid in school. Not like it would do anything if assigned to education. Besides, cracking down on conterfit goods should increase revenues, which will raise the amount of taxes colelcted which pays for things such as Education, Roads and Security. Besides, the Federal Government doesn't contribute that much to Education in the first place. It's mainly the states and local jurisdictions that pay for it.
      • Re:Finally (Score:3, Insightful)

        by miu (626917)
        It's a meazley $2 million.

        I'm gonna call BS on that right now. The low dollar cost projects SETI, PBS, and NEA have been favorite points of attack for the dems and pubes in their little budget battles for years - any government funding of this sort of philosophical project is an endorsement of it by the recognized rules of engagement.

    • Re:Finally (Score:5, Insightful)

      by finkployd (12902) on Wednesday November 24, 2004 @09:14AM (#10908576) Homepage
      I am just glad they found a cause better than education to give money to. I was affraid my kids might get an educaion.

      They are getting an education in how government operates and where its priorities are.

      Copyright law, as intended, has certainly jumped the shark and needs to be completely re-writen or eliminated (which, while not ideal would be a better situation than we are heading toward)

      Finkployd
      • Re:Finally (Score:5, Insightful)

        by hype7 (239530) <`u3295110' `at' `anu.edu.au'> on Wednesday November 24, 2004 @09:49AM (#10908864) Journal
        They are getting an education in how government operates and where its priorities are.


        Copyright law, as intended, has certainly jumped the shark and needs to be completely re-writen or eliminated (which, while not ideal would be a better situation than we are heading toward)


        You'd have thought the lawsuits would have done that [theregister.co.uk] for most of the kids.

        Maybe it's me, but the US seems to be heading down a deeper and deeper spiral, with the Government losing sight of the fact it exists for the people, by the people. Instead, it's for the corps, by the corps. Even wars are seen in economic terms.

        Until all the political donations by artificial entities are eliminated, things are going to get a lot worse.

        -- james
      • Re:Finally (Score:2, Insightful)

        by neoform (551705)
        Copyright law, as intended, has certainly jumped the shark and needs to be completely re-writen or eliminated
        that's true.. but..
        aimed at stopping international copyright infringement
        ..at what point did US law become International law?
        • aimed at stopping international copyright infringement ..at what point did US law become International law?

          Beats me, they way you wrote that it looks like you are quoting me saying that. I certainly never said anything of the kind.

          Unfortunately, while the US cannot enforce its laws internationally, there has been no problem getting other countries to "harmonize" their laws and enforce them.

          Finkployd
    • by JWW (79176)
      The federal government could spend an infinite amount of money on education, and they'd still do everything completely wrong!!

    • Re:Finally (Score:3, Insightful)

      by prell (584580)
      The government controls money.
      The government controls the military.
      The government controls the law.
      The government controls the prisons.

      I dunno.. somehow, I don't feel comfortable with the government also controlling the schools.
  • by C_Kode (102755)
    It also gives $2 million to the National Intellectual Property Law Enforcement Coordination Council

    Well, at least we know they will have a full set of pens and pencils now...

  • by mordors9 (665662) on Wednesday November 24, 2004 @09:11AM (#10908548)
    I feel so much better knowing my tax money is going to help fund the enforcement efforts of the RIAA and MPAA. Obviously that is much more important than the fact our borders are wide open, that security screeners at the airport are more concerned about searching 78 year old black men and 18 year old young ladies than some more obvious candidates. Sorry for the rant.
    • Huh? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Safety Cap (253500) on Wednesday November 24, 2004 @09:17AM (#10908610) Homepage Journal
      Obviously that is much more important than the fact our borders are wide open, that security screeners at the airport are more concerned about searching 78 year old black men and 18 year old young ladies than some more obvious candidates.
      Airport and border security have always been a joke. The point of the TSA is to con you into thinking you're "safe" so you'll go about your life instead of cowering in fear.
      I feel so much better knowing my tax money is going to help fund the enforcement efforts of the RIAA and MPAA.

      As for being the enforcement arm of the *AA, this country's core creed is "the protection of capital" even to the point of propping up failed business models (hey, it works for Amtrak and the Big Three Airlines). Ignore that at your peril.

      • Re:Huh? (Score:5, Funny)

        by DaHat (247651) on Wednesday November 24, 2004 @09:27AM (#10908692) Homepage
        Airport and border security have always been a joke. The point of the TSA is to con you into thinking you're "safe" so you'll go about your life instead of cowering in fear.

        Shhh, don't say that too loud.

        Do you want the population to hear you undermining our system of security? Every time you criticize our leaders and the safeguards they have put in place to keep you and me safe... you help the terrorists win.
      • Re:Huh? (Score:3, Insightful)

        by prell (584580)
        I think we do have a problem in trying to maintain businesses indefinitely, and many times we blatantly reference the size and age of the businesses as arguments as to why they should be helped. If a business is ailing, let it die. Procuring money and maintaining failed business models creates a very perverse and greedy economy that is no longer based on trade.
    • by Ironsides (739422)
      Read again. This isn't just movies and music. It's knock off goods posing as real goods. Such as purses, and physical CDs and DVDs. Nothing is mentioned about the internet. This should also include fake Games, computer equipment and many other things posing as real (Official) ones.
      • by Golias (176380)
        When people get over their knee-jerk "anything that has anything to do with copyright must be t3h suck" reactions, they will hopefully realize that this "IP Czar" idea is a Good Thing.

        IP law is currently enforced by the Justice Department. About three years ago, we were all forcefully made aware that the top levels of our federal enforcement agencies have more important things to do with their time. Shuffling these responsibilities off into a separate, relatively low-cost, department with it's own manage
        • Glad I finally found someone who understand that IP!=**AA

          On a side not, I have seen some companies that have made ther FBI warnings quite humorous. Rhino's transformers DVDs draw a pair of glasses, beard and some other stuff on the guy in the picture on the FBI warning. Be nice if others did something like that instead of giving just the dull warning picture.
    • "more concerned about searching 78 year old black men and 18 year old young ladies than some more obvious candidates..."

      I'm not sure exactly who you mean by that, but I bet if I squinted hard enough i'd see an offensive comment between the lines...
    • Sorry for the rant.

      It is a perfectly valid rant. I am more concerned however that the priority now days seems to be helping existing companies squeeze a few extra percentage points of extra profits out of consumers. The government is actively helping them in this endeaver.

      I would much rather see government put its weight behind creating new technologies and radical concepts that can in turn create entire industries. Like public space travel/space tourism, space mining, hydrogen powered economy instead
  • big deal (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SubtleNuance (184325) on Wednesday November 24, 2004 @09:11AM (#10908549) Journal
    Im sure the war on CopyrightAbuse will be as affective as the War on Drugs and the The War on Terra.


    • The war on terra is going well. Just the otherday efforts were renewed to drill in the Alaskan refuge. Terra will yield.
    • Re:big deal (Score:3, Insightful)

      by cgenman (325138)
      Highly effective. Why, millions of dollars have already been diverted away from valuable programs like our pathetically underfunded education system, so it must be working. Otherwise why waste the money, right? I mean, with all of the students turning to drugs and violence because they're the intellectual inferior of an H1-B immigrant from Calcutta who barely speaks english, then the war on drugs and terror must be tremendously effective to have any sort of net gain.

      Trust your government: they're here t
    • Re:big deal (Score:4, Insightful)

      by ratamacue (593855) on Wednesday November 24, 2004 @10:34AM (#10909229)
      Effective as in creating the first prerequisite for organized crime (a black market), providing justification for more expansion of government powers? Or effective as in fostering hatred and resent around the world, providing justification for more expansion of government powers? If government is lucky, it will be both.

      Any way you look at it, government wins, at the expense of the individual.

      Ending or "winning" the war on drugs, or the war on terror, or poverty, or copyright abuse, is the last thing government wants to do. These programs are set up not to succeed, but to provide a steady stream of revenue and justification for expansion of government powers.

    • Re:big deal (Score:3, Insightful)

      by antiMStroll (664213)
      The rights and liberties of American citizens saw the greatest curtailment in generations over those two wars. I'm afraid you're right.
  • Look forward to our Disney-Cartoon Millenial masters.
  • by The I Shing (700142) * on Wednesday November 24, 2004 @09:12AM (#10908554) Journal
    Why do I get the idea that this new IP czar isn't going to be concerning himself much with corporations abusing copyright law to silence their critics and prevent parody and satire being made about their property?

    And is he going to work toward finding a middle ground between fair use and IP protection? I have my doubts.
    • Why do I get the idea that this new IP czar isn't going to be concerning himself much with corporations abusing copyright law to silence their critics and prevent parody and satire being made about their property?

      And is he going to work toward finding a middle ground between fair use and IP protection?


      Well, duh. Where is the money in that? Expect to see copyright violation successfully linked to pirates (arrrr matey) and then terrorism (copyright jihad!) in the future. We must do all we can to protect th
    • Depends on who's president as this falls under the executive branch. Republicans will be the most corporate biased. Democrats slightly less. Ralph Nader would be the most individual-focused.

      If Lawrence Lessig ever gets appointed to the position then we'd have nothing to worry about.
    • And is he going to work toward finding a middle ground between fair use and IP protection?

      "Middle Ground" is a firing offense in the Bush administration.

      We'll see swat teams take out MP3 swappers Branch Dividian style in a couple months, just wait and see.
  • Imagine! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tkrotchko (124118) * on Wednesday November 24, 2004 @09:13AM (#10908558) Homepage
    Its comforting to know that a government agency will be responsible for ensuring the MPAA and RIAA are profitable.

    And we get to pay for it both on the enforcement and higher prices caused by inefficient distribution systems.

    What a warm way to start this holiday.
  • VOLTRON! (Score:2, Funny)

    by Luigi30 (656867)
    The power of the MPAA, RIAA, and FBI have combined to firm... NIPLAC!
  • by Doc Ruby (173196) on Wednesday November 24, 2004 @09:13AM (#10908561) Homepage Journal
    Now we'll finally stop screwing around like a bunch of liberals, and invade Russia to stop their theft of honest American labor. Once we've got them whipped, it's on to China! The Czar rides again!
  • The real question (Score:3, Insightful)

    by nametaken (610866) on Wednesday November 24, 2004 @09:13AM (#10908565)
    Will they also be responsible for sifting through and cutting short spurious IP claims?
  • I'd prefer that someone appoints some decent litigators, legislators and judges to look at reforming the actual laws instead of inforcement of those which are already botched.

    Anyone else breaking out their sleds? I see a great slippery slope to head down...

  • I for one... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ravenspear (756059) on Wednesday November 24, 2004 @09:15AM (#10908581)
    welcome our new Gov. enforcing, brutally regulating, fiercely punishing, justice mutilating, freedom curtailing, property upholding, paradigm shattering, useless blathering IP overlords.
    • And it's already November, so we have to wait until next October overthrow and kill the czar.
    • to add corporate catering, innovation retarding, *IAA enforcing, common law redefining, content restricting, product shilling, obsessively litigating, objectivity abandoning, livestock fucking, (well ok maybe not that last one).
  • Why NIPLAC? (Score:3, Funny)

    by The Dodger (10689) on Wednesday November 24, 2004 @09:16AM (#10908594) Homepage
    I guess NIPLECC was too close for comfort. :-)

    D.
  • by PortHaven (242123)
    Needs to be tarred, feathered and deballed!
  • by Anita Coney (648748) on Wednesday November 24, 2004 @09:16AM (#10908603) Homepage
    ... the copyright industry lacks sufficient funds to sue infringers on their own. Poor Disney. Poor Sony. Poor Universal. These guys really need a break!

    • RTFA, this doesn't include just movies and music. It covers physical goods such as Clothing and other things. It will also cover books, electronics, games, hardware.
      • Oh yeah, we all know that the clothing industry is broke too. Heck, they use sweatshops to create their product. They must REALLY be broke. I have such sympathy for ALL of the IP industries.

        I wonder if we'll get a Fair-Use Czar to help consumers from being screwed?

        • Well, since it is the next story on slashdot. how about making sure that when people buy batteries for their cell phones they make sure that they are getting batteries from the company and not know offs? Since their seem to be exploding cell phones [slashdot.org] in the news yet again.
          • It's easy to know you're buying cheap knockoff: THE PRICE IS VERY LOW!!! If the price is too good to be true, it's a cheap knockoff! Do you really need a government agency to tell you that?!

            • Not all have very low prices. Many just masquerade as the same item at a similar price (maybe a buck less, maybe the same price). Same goes for video games, memmory, phones...
              • And the fact that you're buying them from a back of a truck doesn't give you a clue?

                Seriously, if someone is violating Motorola's IP, why does the government have to bring a lawsuit?! Why should I pay higher taxes to protect businesses who only want to screw me over, e.g., making cell phones that require specific and much more expensive batteries.

                If you think the government should be Corporate America's lackey, that's your right. But I totally disagree.

  • motion picture industry can take care of itself.

    Actor violates copyright [reuters.com]

  • by Le Marteau (206396) on Wednesday November 24, 2004 @09:21AM (#10908636) Journal
    'Czar'? Weren't czar's, like, emperors who had ultimate rule in a non-free society?

    Is that what it's come down to in 21st century America? 'Czar's?

    At least the US gubment is going out in the open about it. No more of this pussy footing about the real intent here: screw freedom. Drug Czars, IP Czars, what next?

    • Well, we were going to save the surprise for later, but we've had plans in the works now for kicking puppy dogs and stealing children.
    • Czar, as you should remeber from history class, is russian for Ceasar. Ceasar, as you should remember from lunch, is a salad. So, like the drug and IP Czars are just like leafy green vegitables coated in a mixture of vinagar and oil. I might be afraid of soft furry kittens that rub agianst my leg, but I couldn't be afraid of something so weak and pittiful as romaine lettuce.
    • by truthsearch (249536) on Wednesday November 24, 2004 @09:51AM (#10908877) Homepage Journal
      IIRC czar was the Russian word for Ceasar. The ceasar of Rome ruled a republic (most of the time). Although the balance of power continually shifted, ceasar was not "the ultimate rule in a non-free society." Elected senators wrote laws.
      • The ceasar of Rome ruled a republic (most of the time).

        Indeed. Then came the fall of the republic. The average citizen still thought he was still living in a republic, when in fact, the fix was in. The purportedly free country was in fact an empire, ruled by the Caesars, but the poor schmuck citizens still went about thinking they were living in a republic.
      • by Mant (578427) on Wednesday November 24, 2004 @10:33AM (#10909227) Homepage

        You're a little of base there.

        Originally Caesar was Julius Caesar's name, nothing more. It was later taken by his grand-nephew, Octavius the first Emperor, and later became a title.

        This [wikipedia.org] Wikipedia article has some info.

        You seem to be thinking of Consuls, the highest executive office in the Roman republic. The Caesers after Julius where Emperors, and ruled an empire, not a replublic.

    • by Tackhead (54550) on Wednesday November 24, 2004 @10:00AM (#10908949)
      > 'Czar'? Weren't czar's, like, emperors who had ultimate rule in a non-free society?
      >
      >Is that what it's come down to in 21st century America? 'Czar's?
      >
      >At least the US gubment is going out in the open about it. No more of this pussy footing about the real intent here: screw freedom. Drug Czars, IP Czars, what next?

      In Tsarist Russia, Soviet Russia came next.

      You know the grand experiment in freedom has ended when Yakov Smirnoff jokes start sounding like a cross between Cold War era history textbooks and tonight's evening news.

    • It's marketing. "Czar" just sounds so much more "secret spy movie star" than "program director". Just like "war on terror" sounds much more righteous than "military conquest".
  • None other than Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah).
  • Is this guy going to be spearheading more commando-style raids by the RIAA of little old Mac using grannies?

    Is there any reason to expect this won't just be a post to make sure that big business continues to suddenly have their own law-enforcement branch, as opposed to actually having any interest in the consumer??

    Will Microsoft now get to buy a judgement saying that Linux already infringes and is therefore illegal?

    Sigh More protectionistic laws to come out of America are what I forsee here. But I'm s
  • by petersam (754644) on Wednesday November 24, 2004 @09:25AM (#10908672)
    Now the creation of someone to coordinate the United States' efforts to enforce international copyright law would be a good thing; who here thinks that its a good thing that you can buy "Oceans 12" or "Half Life 2" on the streets of Hong Kong today for 50 cents? With the WTO making the rules these days and our jobs being outsourced, I'm all for leveling the playing field and making sure that US companies and artists get compensated for their work.

    The bad news is that the other posters are right - this czar will probably focus more on coordinating the RIAA/MPAA legal fights and forcing computer makers to build in DRM so that I can't even legally backup copies of my own CDs/DVDs/etc.

    It frustrates me to see people who *share* content getting more persecuted/prosecuted than those who try to profit from stolen content - the real pirates.

    • Now the creation of someone to coordinate the United States' efforts to enforce international copyright law would be a good thing; who here thinks that its a good thing that you can buy "Oceans 12" or "Half Life 2" on the streets of Hong Kong today for 50 cents?

      I think that there should be only two precepts of international copyright law: 1) National treatment, i.e. that you treat foreigners the same as one's own people, and 2) Avoidance of conflicts so that obtaining a copyright in one place doesn't prec
    • I do (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      "who here thinks that its a good thing that you can buy "Oceans 12" or "Half Life 2" on the streets of Hong Kong today for 50 cents?"

      Piracy is the only check we have on the price of games, movies, and CD's.

      CD prices have dropped recently. Why? Because the competition (i.e. "free") forced it down.

      There is a myth that if there was perfect copy protection, prices would decrease because of "less losses from piracy".

      In fact, prices go up in this situation, because there is no competition.

      I view a small a
  • by CheeseTroll (696413) on Wednesday November 24, 2004 @09:27AM (#10908691)
    How about "Drug Fuhrer"?
    "Education Pharoah"?
    "Emperor of Homeland Security"?
  • by FunWithHeadlines (644929) on Wednesday November 24, 2004 @09:27AM (#10908694) Homepage
    "While congressional aides said there was a lot of support for the program, its inclusion still raised some eyebrows as there have been questions about the government's involvement in protecting a private, for-profit enterprise. A recent congressional attempt to approve legislation known as the "Pirate Act," which would allow the Justice Department to file civil lawsuits, was turned back over complaints that it would advance Hollywood's interest at taxpayer expense.

    "This isn't the Pirate Act, but I think the taxpayers would be surprised that there's money being spent for copyright enforcement when terrorists and criminals still roam the streets," said Gigi Sohn, president of the nonprofit fair-use advocacy group Public Knowledge. "When every dollar is being counted for education, health care and homeland security, it seems like a strange priority."

    Indeed, it's funny how certain industries always seem to get government help when they need it. Must be nice. "Lesse, my business is suffering because of competitors who won't play by my rules. I could try to out market them, or out produce them, or enforce my own rules, or, wait a minute! I know! I'll just cut a check to my congresscritter and get them to do my job for me! Whee! Ain't America grand!"

    Maybe that's why the article began this way:

    "Buried inside the massive $388 billion spending bill Congress approved last weekend is a program that creates a federal copyright enforcement czar. "

    Yeah, better not let this one see too much of the light of day. Just bury it in the spending bill that has to pass.

    • "Buried inside the massive $388 billion spending bill Congress approved last weekend is a program that creates a federal copyright enforcement czar. "

      Yeah, better not let this one see too much of the light of day. Just bury it in the spending bill that has to pass.


      This is why I think we need more computer technology in our government, so we can handle issues at a more granular level. Too much effort is spent in political manipulation to get unpopular stuff attached to bills that are sure to pass.
  • Quick! (Score:2, Funny)

    by mogrify (828588)
    Quick! Somebody patent the idea of government-enforced copyright protection!
  • by plinius (714075) on Wednesday November 24, 2004 @09:34AM (#10908743)
    For those of you who don't know, there REALLY IS an international conspiracy to limit people's freedoms. Globalization according to the WTO/IMF/WorldBank is not about giving cellphones to Eskimos, it's about preventing sick people from getting patented drugs at a penny less than the Corporations allows. Things get really scary when you look at GATS VI.4, which creates a non-democratic Panel that will have veto power of parliaments, the US Congress, everything. It's real and it's very, very bad -- unless you hate freedom.
  • I just read the headline as: Your Rights Online: U.S. to Get New ZIP Car [zipcar.com]. Oh, that's nice. I need more sleep.
  • WIPO? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by isa-kuruption (317695) <kuruption@kuru[ ]on.net ['pti' in gap]> on Wednesday November 24, 2004 @09:36AM (#10908767) Homepage
    I guess this is a national version of WIPO? Would NIPLAC deal directly with WIPO?

    I work for a company that has been attempting to "clean up" some fraudulent sites who use our copyrighted name to spam and sell "vi\[ag)(ra" and "c[]el3br1x" via email, www popups, etc. We, as a company, have delt with WIPO on many occasions since it seems a lot of the domain owners are in Asian nations (like China). Our efforts have been mediocre at best (it's been 6 months of chasing registrars and new registered owners to just live up to the WIPO ruling).

    Anyway, I wonder if we could use the gov't power of NIPLAC to assist us in obtaining these domain names. That would definately assist us in dealing with ICANN and their "approved" registrars, at the very least.
  • What do you think will be their primary focus, trying to enforce existing corporations IP like the RIAA.

    Or will they make an attempt to get some type of process here in america working with filing.
  • by nurb432 (527695) on Wednesday November 24, 2004 @09:40AM (#10908789) Homepage Journal
    its nice to know that all the terrorists have been eradicated so they are no longer a concern.

    Its nice to know that there are no more starving children in the country, or neglected. or abused.

    All other *real* crime has been removed from our land.. so now we can waste resources on meaningless things like this.. and have the feds invade farther into our lives, what should be civil issues?

    Don't we all just feel so much safer now?
  • by pherris (314792) on Wednesday November 24, 2004 @09:45AM (#10908826) Homepage Journal
    Look at the position of "Drug Czar" and picture the same tactics used for IP enforcement: prison and "rehabilitation". How about if you violate an IP law you lose the ability to get a federally backed college student loan.

    The private prison industry is growing and to sustain that growth they need fresh meat. Any guesses who's on the menu?

  • This is an interesting and amusing way to put it. It's trivial to create treaties and even push though laws in other countries, but when it comes to enforcement it's like pushing a freight train up a hill with a well cooked spaghetti noodle. It's not that you didn't find the train that needs to go up the hill or that you didn't get your noodle ready. The problem is, that noodle will not push the train.
    The trick here is that the assumption that you can force other countries to enforce so-called IP
  • by gmuslera (3436) on Wednesday November 24, 2004 @09:52AM (#10908886) Homepage Journal
    ... is a single point of failure, one that can be bribed, could not be objective, could follow the pressures of RIAA/MPAA/etc instead of what is fair/freedom of speech/logic/etc, and will validate whatever atrocity is done in that matter ("the czar said so, bow and agree, or else.."). Even worse, will enforce the madness involved in IP/patents? where i can patent i.e. "thinking"?

    In the other hand, "international copyright infringements"... what about US infringements about international copyrights? US laws/view of the problem always seems to be "i am the right one, the other countries just copy what is done here" even when its not, same with the "fair trade" US definition (accept our products, lets see if I accept yours)

  • Would it be too much trouble to think of a better name? We went through this when the 9-11 report called for a "Intelligence Czar", naming a government position after a line of Russian monarchs is not the best public relations move one can make.
  • After a recent trip to the theater I am a bit skeptical and a bit scare about any corporation or goverment agency with the word umbrella [wikipedia.org] in it.
  • by Nohea (142708) on Wednesday November 24, 2004 @10:24AM (#10909151)
    Criminal Penalties Suggested in S. 2560 are Anti-Consumer and Set Dangerous Precedent, Says ACU

    http://www.conservative.org/pressroom/040920.asp [conservative.org]
  • by mutterc (828335) on Wednesday November 24, 2004 @12:29PM (#10910177)
    ... past which power will inexorably slide away from the people towards the corporations? Has it already been passed?

    If so, then everything we try to do to get consumer-friendly laws pass will be thwarted, and all we will be able to do is to watch as current trends move towards their logical conclusion, where there's a small number of ultra-rich corps/people, and the rest of the world lives like Bangladeshi farmers do today.

    Have a pleasant holiday!

    • ... past which power will inexorably slide away from the people towards the corporations? Has it already been passed?

      Possibly, but things have been worse than this before. The monopolists of the early 20th century USA were far worse than today's breed, and you're probably aware of the bloody awful lot the workers had in 19th century Britain.

      The great problem right now is that the corporations are beginning to surpass the governments in power. There are only a few countries in the world that are much we

  • by rwa2 (4391) * on Wednesday November 24, 2004 @02:02PM (#10911197) Homepage Journal
    Much manufacturing is already outsourced. More software engineering is getting outsourced. What will be the most important thing that America contributes to the world market in the not-too-distant future?

    Distribution rights for copyrighted media and patent licenses!

    So all it will take for the US economy to collapse is basically the rest of the world deciding not to honor US IP. What a great thing it is to base our economy on.

    So the US just has to enforce their IP rights... I guess that's why we spend 15% of our budget on the military. At least it's less than what we spend on the Treasury department (presumably mostly on interest payments on the national debt)

    Numbers: (from a few years back, I ought to update this)
    http://hairball.bumba.net/~rwa2/misc/USbudg et/hist /US_Historical_budget,_1962_-_2008.html

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