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DOJ Doesn't Like the Idea of A Copyright Czar 215

Posted by Zonk
from the who-does-really dept.
sconeu writes "Seems as if the DOJ is not particularly happy about HR 4729, the 'Copyright Czar' bill. The Deputy AG told Congress that the current structure works quite effectively. 'Panel members also expressed concern over Section 104 of the bill, which would allow a copyright owner to collect statutory damages for each copyrighted work that is stolen. Detractors fear that this provision could result in protracted lawsuits ... Section 104, however, would penalize criminals on a per-song basis, so if someone pirated a motion picture soundtrack that had songs from 12 different artists, the pirate would be charged with 12 separate offenses and be subject to exorbitant fees.'"
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DOJ Doesn't Like the Idea of A Copyright Czar

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  • by Mesa MIke (1193721) on Friday December 14, 2007 @04:10PM (#21701512) Homepage
    > ... would allow a copyright owner to collect statutory > damages for each copyrighted work that is stolen. So if I buy a Metallica CD, and someone swipes it, Metallica gets the money when the thief is caught? Bizarre.
    • by Conspiracy_Of_Doves (236787) on Friday December 14, 2007 @04:27PM (#21701784)
      No, of course not.

      The RIAA gets the money. Metallica doesn't see a penny.
    • by oahazmatt (868057)

      So if I buy a Metallica CD, and someone swipes it, Metallica gets the money when the thief is caught? Bizarre.

      I feel that, if at all possible, the rules would be re-written in such a way where in that situation, you would be found at fault for all infringement as you, the "owner" of the music failed to keep it from being pirated.

      If the RIAA is attempting to collect damages from secondary piracy that originally resulted from sharing the file even once, I fear they would do it with physical media if at al

  • All Pau... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by quickpick (1021471) on Friday December 14, 2007 @04:12PM (#21701548)
    I gotta be honest, I was at best buy and I didn't see any particular movie or CD that interested me and I had a $5 off coupon to spend. Movie, music, and TV executives take note: I'm done. You can keep your ball and play by your rules, but I'm going to go home and do something constructive, like build a book shelf, or read a book, and maybe stop, look up at this beautiful world we live in and decide I don't need your crap to enjoy life.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by the_humeister (922869)
      That's fine, they've captured the attention of the other 90% of the US population. Personally, I also have better things to do as well.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by ShieldW0lf (601553)
        Wasn't this sort of unfair taxation by the British the sort of thing that prompted bloody revolution in the US a few hundred years ago?

        What makes you think things are going to go differently this time?
        • Re:All Pau... (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 14, 2007 @04:28PM (#21701810)
          A few hundred years ago life was hard. Now, life is fat. That is why things will go differently this time.
        • Re:All Pau... (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Brad Eleven (165911) <brad.eleven@gmail.com> on Friday December 14, 2007 @06:47PM (#21703544) Homepage Journal
          As much as I'd like to find a way to agree with you--I dislike the RIAA and their ilk--the answer is no.

          The unfair taxation which fomented the American Revolution was judged to be preventing merchants from making a living. Add to that the insult of excluding British merchants from the taxes and tariffs, and you've got a revolt.

          The RIAA's tactics aren't preventing anyone from making a living--at least, not directly. Like the 18th century British crown, they're woefully out of touch, but they're not so much exacting taxes and tariffs as they are filing ridiculous lawsuits based on wild accusations.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by iknownuttin (1099999)
      I was at best buy and I didn't see any particular movie or CD that interested me and I had a $5 off coupon to spend.

      I don't shop at best buy (or anywhere else that demands to see my receipt: ComUSA, Costco, Mars Music, etc.. I don't care what their reasons are.) but I can only imagine that they stock their shelves for the mainstream stuff.

      Personally, I've given up on pop music. I've developed a fondness for the classics: Mozart, Bach, those guys: Not the Stones or Beatles. Granted, I still enjoy a good tun

      • by AK Marc (707885)
        I don't shop at best buy (or anywhere else that demands to see my receipt: ComUSA, Costco, Mars Music, etc.. I don't care what their reasons are.)

        But what is your reason? Aside from the club stores that you have an agreement with, you have no reason to show them a recipt. I walk out all the time without showing a receipt. The Best Buys I have been in never check receipts unless you are leaving with merchandise from some place other than the registers. Yes, if you check out, go back in the store with y
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        I've developed a fondness for the classics: Mozart, Bach, those guys: Not the Stones or Beatles.

        Funny enough, I've always listened to classical music (and still do) and also listen to rock, but lately I've been on a Beatles kick. I've actually been thinking of doing a Slashdot journal post on the subject.

        The Beatles were *unbelievably* good. You really can't appreciate them until you sit and listen to all their albums. The sheer number of styles and genres they either touched on or flat-out invented i

        • I totally agree, and have another act you might want to have a good look at listening through: Pink Floyd. Yeah, I know, cliche, but they're one of the best bands ever to come out of the UK, or indeed anywhere.

          Porcupine Tree [wikipedia.org] are excellent also, they've gone from a one-man band playing psychedelic/space rock to a progressive metal band while covering everything else in the middle over the years. Get "On The Sunday Of Life...", "Lightbulb Sun" (at least that one, easily one of my favourite albums - albeit one
          • I totally agree, and have another act you might want to have a good look at listening through: Pink Floyd. Yeah, I know, cliche, but they're one of the best bands ever to come out of the UK, or indeed anywhere.

            Pink Floyd happens to be one of my favorite bands. :) No doubt they are genius.

            Porcupine Tree are excellent...

            Haven't heard of them, but listening to the Wikipedia snippets, I like their sound. I'll have to check them out.

            • Haven't heard of them

              Nobody ever has, they get bugger all in the way of promotion. I saw one of their videos on the TV *once* and that's about it. A shame, because they could be as big as Floyd or Radiohead now if they were given a bit of a push.
    • I'm the same way... I had a $100 gift card to Best Buy... and did nothing with it for nearly 6 months because there wasn't a damn thing in the store that I wanted to buy.

      I eventually spent it when my house got hit with lightning and I needed to buy a new router.

      I've listening/viewing quite a few pod casts though. the only DVD media I buy these days are video games and the occasional Anime. TV, Movies and Music I crave new and interesting content but there's NOTHING out there that even remotely piques
      • by Reziac (43301) *
        Me too... I've been dragging around a $50 Best Buy gift card for a couple years now. Every so often I go in there and try to spend it... and find either there's nothing I want, or even after the $50 off, whatever item is STILL way cheaper over at PC Club (where the store guys will actually know enough to help me out, too).

    • Hyperbole. There are plenty of good flicks. Granted, they are buried under tons of crap, but just because most movies are crap doesn't mean you can't find ONE that is worth $5 off. Same goes for music, btw.
    • by Ziest (143204)
      I have not bought a _NEW_ CD in 3 years. I only buy used CDs. The record companies have gotten their last dime out of me. It is time for them to die and if no one buys their crappy products they will die. It's actions like this that show how desperate they are. The record companies are seeing their sales dropping, they look down the road and they don't see things improving. They have convinced themselves that piracy is the cause of all their woes. Not the fact that they are selling crappy products and/or th
  • It this passes... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tgatliff (311583) on Friday December 14, 2007 @04:12PM (#21701554)
    It will be a huge turn for the federal government in US history. Meaning, this is a blantant example of politicians wanting to use the federal government resources to help primarily large businesses maximize and enforce their revenues. Piracy, like it or not, provides a market balance where in many industries it did not exist before, and most of the politicians know this.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Telvin_3d (855514)
      Actually, I doubt that many of the politicians DO know that. How many congressmen or senators do you think have time (not ot mention inclination) to lurk on Boing Boing or slashdot? How many have ever swung by PirateBay to grab something not available at their local box store? haw many watch John Stewart four times a week?

      I am sure that many of the people that provide their information and shape their policies know this, but I also doubt they are telling.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Red Flayer (890720)

        haw many watch John Stewart four times a week?

        Well, I'm not sure how many watch John Stewart four times a week, but it would do a world of good if they would watch Jimmy Stewart once a week...
        Mr. Smith goes to Washington
        It's a Wonderful Life

        You Can't Take It With You

        Any of these three movies, if taken to heart, would make a world of difference if our Senators and Reps watched weekly.

        Well, so much for wishful thinking, now I'll put my Scintillating Robe of Cynicism +2 and my Tinfoil Hat of Protection fro

    • Re:It this passes... (Score:4, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 14, 2007 @05:15PM (#21702410)
      This bill was introduced by the House Committee on the Judiciary: Courts, the Internet, and Intellectual Property

      California has 53 reps. The committee has 6 of those, including the chair Howard Berman.
      Florida has 25 reps. The committee has 3 of these.
      9 of the 24 reps come from Florida (Disney) and California (Disney / Hollywood). Full list follows.

      CA=6
      FL=3
      NC=2
      OH=2
      VA=2
      TX=2
      WI=1
      GA=1
      IN=1
      NY=1
      TN=1
      UT=1
      MI=1

      Rep. Adam Schiff [D-CA]
      Rep. Anthony Weiner [D-NY]
      Rep. Betty Sutton [D-OH]
      Rep. Brad Sherman [D-CA]
      Rep. Christopher Cannon [R-UT]
      Rep. Darrell Issa [R-CA]
      Rep. Elton Gallegly [R-CA]
      Rep. Frederick Boucher [D-VA]
      Rep. Henry Johnson [D-GA]
      Rep. Howard Berman [D-CA]
      Rep. Howard Coble [R-NC]
      Rep. James Sensenbrenner [R-WI]
      Rep. John Conyers [D-MI]
      Rep. Lamar Smith [R-TX]
      Rep. Melvin Watt [D-NC]
      Rep. Mike Pence [R-IN]
      Rep. Ric Keller [R-FL]
      Rep. Robert Goodlatte [R-VA]
      Rep. Robert Wexler [D-FL]
      Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee [D-TX]
      Rep. Steve Cohen [D-TN]
      Rep. Steven Chabot [R-OH]
      Rep. Tom Feeney [R-FL]
      Rep. Zoe Lofgren [D-CA]
  • by Applekid (993327) on Friday December 14, 2007 @04:13PM (#21701562)

    The IP division works closely with the DOJ's cyber crime laboratory, so separating a copyright unit could fracture investigation
    More likely, then, is that those currently enpowered for enforcement don't want their power diluted. Makes perfect sense.
    • by sconeu (64226)
      Actually, in my original TFS, I had mentioned the "stepping on toes" aspect of the thing.
    • they don't want a bunch of cases they can't win. Nobody wants corporate suits telling you how to enforce the law. This puts the Federal DOJ doing the equivalent of "mall cop" for one industry sector. There's already a branch dedicated to IP "crime" where it can be demonstrated that the actions are criminal, not civil matters. The DOJ already seems to agree that the civil cases of the famed "$250,000"(that red FBI screen we all love) per "infringement" meet the criteria of the existing copyright law, so
  • Bottom Line (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Stanistani (808333) on Friday December 14, 2007 @04:14PM (#21701578) Homepage Journal
    Abuse of the court system to slam 'Intellectual Property' offenders benefits corporations.

    Taken past a certain point, though, it impairs the ability of the court system to be responsive, and brings massive costs to the agencies which have to support the infrastructure.

    We're getting to that point.
  • Pointless (Score:5, Insightful)

    by subl33t (739983) on Friday December 14, 2007 @04:15PM (#21701586)
    The American drug Czars have done soooo well haven't they? A copyright Czar is SURE to end all copyright violations!

    Yanks: DO something about your electoral system! It's time to move back to Democracy from Corporate Oligarchy.
    • Yanks: DO something about your electoral system! It's time to move back to Democracy from Corporate Oligarchy.

      Person who refers to Americans(ie People from the United States of) as "Yanks" read about the U.S. constitution and the Federalist Papers we were never a democracy, instead a Federal Republic.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      Yanks: DO something about your electoral system! It's time to move back to Democracy from Corporate Oligarchy.

      As someone outside of the situation, what would suggest? Seriously, because we seem to have no flippin' idea. None at all. Our elections have become fixed. Our politicians are totally corrupt. They've taken away all our rights and taxed us to death.

      The last time this happened, we dumped a bunch of tea in Boston Harbor and told King George to go get fscked. Then we started shooting British soldiers.

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by sexconker (1179573)
        I can totally see a bunch of angry nerds at the docks, raiding a shipment of CDs and DVDs fresh from China, and dumping them into the ocean.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          That would actually parallel the Boston Tea Party more than you think. Little known fact: The Tea dumped in the Boston Tea was also from China.
        • by ashridah (72567)
          Wouldn't the appropriate symbolism to be to toss the cds and dvds into the worlds biggest microwave and have some kind of spectacular lightshow?

          Although that would be far more harmful than tossing it into the river, given the magic smoke that'd get released in epic proportions. hm.
      • by Darby (84953)
        As someone outside of the situation, what would suggest? Seriously, because we seem to have no flippin' idea. None at all. Our elections have become fixed. Our politicians are totally corrupt. They've taken away all our rights and taxed us to death.

        The last time this happened, we dumped a bunch of tea in Boston Harbor and told King George to go get fscked. Then we started shooting British soldiers.


        It's simple. We *need* to start shooting politicians. All of the other boxes have failed completely. The ammo b
      • by subl33t (739983)
        (OK, Republic/Democracy - both representative governments)

        What can you do?

        Stop voting for Republocrats - you have been conned into playing a two-party shell game.

        Support your local independents. Aren't any, don't like 'em? Then become one.

        Hell, vote Green, vote Libertarian, vote for Nader even; stop letting the powers that be frighten you into voting for anyone else but them. Take EVERYTHING the media shoves at you with a grain of salt.

        That should be enough to get started.
  • by Finallyjoined!!! (1158431) on Friday December 14, 2007 @04:15PM (#21701594)
    Copyright infringement is a civil offence. Nuff said.
    • Copyright infringement is a civil offence. Nuff said.

      Yeah, for now.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 14, 2007 @04:30PM (#21701834)
      The NET ("No Electronic Theft") Act made copyright infringement criminal in some cases. It looks like it was intended to criminalize people trading copies of copyrighted works, because it made it criminal to infringe upon copyright if you were profiting from it. And then it added to the definition of "profiting" that you could be exchanging a copyrighted work in exchange for other copyrighted works.

      Mind you, IANAL, and the DoJ apparently has better things to do than go after low-level copyright infringers, it seems like congress wants to change that to help Hollywood.

      As for the DoJ, it sounds like they're against this primarily because they don't want to lose power. I never thought I'd be glad to see petty politics come into play, but I'm honestly glad and I agree with them that a copyright czar is a waste of time.

      But the DoJ is also sensible enough only to care about huge pirate rings selling bootleg copies, not Joe Infringer downloading at home. Hollywood hates that, obviously, but the DoJ has real work to do and I hope they keep doing it.

      Or do the politicians think that we won't blame them if the conviction rates for real crimes like homicide drop so that they can divert the DoJ's manpower to catch people who infringe upon copyrights at home? I'll sure as hell blame them if that happens.
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        Politicians don't think. There is no opportunity to think when you are on the greasy pole. If you stop the frantic climbing you slide down.

        Politician as a career should be banned.

        Politics as a degree course should be banned.

        Can everyone see the obscenity that is a "career politician". Originally politicians were people who had had experience, with life, work, industry etc. etc. & who came to politics later in life. Now you get spotty gits deciding, at age 3, to become a politician (because you get your
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by HappyEngineer (888000)
          I've long been in favor of a 12 year overall politician term limit. That would mean that a single person can never spend more than 12 years working as a politician. Preferably, the 12 years would come near the end of their lives so that they will have had a full life of experience working in some non-governmental capacity. Career politicians are a cancer.

          I'm also in favor of hiding politicians in boxes and forcing people to vote for them without knowing what they look like or sound like or what their name i
        • The Four Ecks book was (appropriately) named The Last Continent [wikipedia.org].
      • by QCompson (675963)

        Mind you, IANAL, and the DoJ apparently has better things to do than go after low-level copyright infringers, it seems like congress wants to change that to help Hollywood...

        But the DoJ is also sensible enough only to care about huge pirate rings selling bootleg copies, not Joe Infringer downloading at home. Hollywood hates that, obviously, but the DoJ has real work to do and I hope they keep doing it.

        Wow, thanks for the info. Even if the DoJ has better things to do (I won't go as far as to deem them "

        • Absolutely, it's just natural that the people who would have to enforce this piece of crap don't like it. Unenforceable, arbitrary, hard to prove...need I go on?

          There ought to be a law against unenforceable legislation! Oh, wait...
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by cpt kangarooski (3773)
      Actually, some copyright infringement has been criminalized since 1897.

      Here's what it consisted of: (I have put the relevant bits in bold)

      An amendatory act relating to the remedies for unauthorized public performance of dramatic and musical compositions

      AN ACT to amend title sixty, chapter three, of the Revised Statutes relating to copyrights. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That section forty-nine hundred and sixty-six of the Re

  • Check and balances (Score:4, Insightful)

    by techpawn (969834) on Friday December 14, 2007 @04:17PM (#21701622) Journal
    We already have laws that punish real bootlegging pirates. Walk down the street in most major metropolitan areas and you see people making money off other peoples hard work. Would those people be charged with both the original crime AND a crime for EACH of the copyrights they violated to sell a five dollar version of a 20 dollar RIAA CD?

    This isn't a bill written to make the constituents happy... I'm glad the DOJ is doing more than following along.
  • by XxtraLarGe (551297) on Friday December 14, 2007 @04:17PM (#21701626) Journal
    We're going to end up with a "Czar Czar". Last thing we need is more bureaucrats with dictatorial titles.
  • 12 separate offenses? What a waste of money and work force, this will become a huge overhead for the legal system, and a costly one, the American government should be more concerned in getting ahead of China than in suing their citizens a hundred time for a simple crime. What a waste of resources.
    • by QCompson (675963)

      12 separate offenses? What a waste of money and work force, this will become a huge overhead for the legal system, and a costly one, the American government should be more concerned in getting ahead of China than in suing their citizens a hundred time for a simple crime. What a waste of resources.

      I completely agree, criminalizing the possession of small amounts of drugs is a big waste of time and resources, and is a huge overhead for the legal system... oh wait, we're on a different subject now, aren't we?

    • 12 separate offenses? What a waste of money and work force, this will become a huge overhead for the legal system, and a costly one...


      Not as much as you think. You seem to be assuming that these 12 offenses will require 12 separate trials, with all the expense that would entail. Instead, they'll just do what they always do in such cases and try them on all 12 charges at once.

  • Thanks (Score:2, Funny)

    The Deputy AG told Congress that the current structure works quite effectively.


    ?????

    BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHHAAHHHA
    BAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH

    Oh my god it hurts...

    BWAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHA
    • The real system does work for catching people who are mass producing bootlegs, you know the folks who are actually able to hurt respective industries in a noticeable fashion. Not the guys who sell bootlegs on the street or the guys who take the shaky camcorder into the theater, the real bootleggers. The issue is, there are alot of them, it takes time to take them down, with a small amount of starting cash its not hard to do it, and there are a lot of them in places where the law isn't that clear.
  • by R2.0 (532027) on Friday December 14, 2007 @04:20PM (#21701660)
    "We dont' want to be the MPAA's bitch; if Congress likes that kind of thing, great for them, but no agent or prosecutor is going to make their career chasing college students and grandmothers. They can do their own dirtywork - we're busy with terrorism and drugs."
  • by RobBebop (947356) on Friday December 14, 2007 @04:20PM (#21701664) Homepage Journal

    Who chose the wording "Copyright Czar"? That's akin to asking members of Congress to vote on killing puppies. No, they won't kill the puppies and they won't support a "Czar" of any kind.

    Captain Copyright, on the other hand, wearing a cape, a smile, and a costume that says "Don't steal MY music" would go over much better.

    • by techpawn (969834)
      they won't support a "Czar" of any kind.

      Like the Drug Czar or Defense Czar...? I don't support them but they exist.
      • by aztektum (170569)
        They aren't official titles. The "Drug Czar" is a nickname for the Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy.
    • by kebes (861706) on Friday December 14, 2007 @05:20PM (#21702478) Journal

      Captain Copyright, on the other hand, wearing a cape, a smile, and a costume that says "Don't steal MY music" would go over much better.
      Well, it didn't go over too well in Canada.

      A "Captain Copyright [wikipedia.org]" character was indeed used for awhile in Canada to promote "rights of artists." Not surprisingly, the character and comics supporting a "copyright maximalist" slant, making no mention of fair dealing (Canadian version of fair use). Furthermore, there were a few incidents where it was shown that the Captain Copyright website was, in fact, infringing copyright.

      Because of all the negative press, the character was withdrawn and the site [captaincopyright.ca] shut down. So it looks like a cape-wearing copyright crusader is not long-lived. And luckily IP law will prevent anyone else from resurrecting that particular idea.
      • by PhxBlue (562201)

        Well, it didn't go over too well in Canada.

        I think he knew and was just going for irony (or at least a +5 Funny).

    • by RobBebop (947356)
      TFA:

      Judiciary Chairman John Conyers last week introduced H.R. 4279

      This is the same asshole who came out last week saying that the Sirius/XM Satellite radio merger was bad for consumers.

      Siri/XM has advertised lower prices and more choices if they merge. How can that be bad?

      It is clearer now. This "Judiciary Committee Chairman" is in bed with the traditional industry. If not directly, then indirectly.

  • What about pirating a cd that includes cover a cover song? Would the pirate then be responsible to pay the original artist/label's royalties as well as the covering artist?

    I realize that very few artists own the rights to their own music--the artists that this bill would affect, anyway-- but where does it end? If someone pirates a movie that has product placement in it? Nike, Coca-cola, etc...can they sue, since the pirate didn't get their permission/comission?
    • by pimpimpim (811140)
      Do advertisers get a commission when their product gets into a movie? In fact, you should get money from the company that did the product placement since you are watching their commercials.

      Just watch the latest "Miami Vice" movie. I never expected it to be a very good movie, just a simple piece of entertainment. Instead, I spent 30 minutes in the movie watching ads to see the 90-minute ad that came after it. Then wonder why movies make less money nowadays.

  • Heh (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Cleon (471197) <{cleon42} {at} {yahoo.com}> on Friday December 14, 2007 @04:29PM (#21701814) Homepage
    If the "We Don't Torture, but Oppose Anti-Torture Legislation" DOJ thinks a piece of legislation is a little too heavy-handed, Congress should damn well get the message that it's time to reconsider.
    • So where is the section in this MAFIAA written legislation that defines copyright infringement as a water-boardable offense?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 14, 2007 @04:37PM (#21701950)
    How is it that copyright receives a higher standard of punishment than traditional crime. Maybe because the RIAA holds itself more important than people who really get hurt.

    If someone is assaulted they cannot prosecute the assailant for each punch/stab/whatever....

    They are entitled to fair protections but the system must make the redress fair as well. Each $2.99 song is a million dollars by their accounting. Now they want each instance to give them a retrial and more ability to punish the poor with larger threatened lawsuits. This is not trial by judge or jury anymore. They are fighting for trial by the inefficiency of our judicial system. They want to make the court system worse and more expensive while they use it as a hammer to win settlements - out of court. And who picks up the tab??? The country.

    Go back to the initial copyright as set out by the constitution. Remove the extensions and emphasize the benefits of a global distribution system that costs peanuts to maintain.
    • It's a civil offense, not criminal. Likewise you can sue someone for beating you, and you reward will be related to how much damage was done. So yes, each punch would count.
  • Conyers, meanwhile, shot down the notion that a provision allowing for the seizure of equipment used to pirate copyrighted goods would result in the collection of a family's general-purpose computer in a download case.

    Bill authors "carefully crafted the language to allow seizure only if the property was owned or predominantly controlled by the infringer,"

    And exactly what are the PC's in a household suspected of downloading?

    "I know the bill allows automobiles of speeders to be taken away, but it won't allow

  • by circletimessquare (444983) <[moc.liamg] [ta] [erauqssemitelcric]> on Friday December 14, 2007 @04:51PM (#21702144) Homepage Journal
    you can dig in your heels and fight it tooth and nail, until reality passes you by

    or you can adapt gracefully, and keep right on swimming

    adapt, or die

    i mean these are some pretty fantastic death throes we are witnessing now

    riaa, mpaa: in 5 years i want to see shocktroopers on the street with congressionally mandated shoot to kill on sight orders for anyone caught singing christmas carols without prior authorization

    that's the logical progression of your denial
    • by plasmacutter (901737) on Friday December 14, 2007 @05:03PM (#21702266)
      Back in the 20's the christian right got the volstead act.

      Instead of curbing drinking, it criminalized everyone and resulted in the proliferation of outright poisonous liquor (things like formaldehyde in it), rampant organized crime, and rampant corruption.

      The interesting thing was.. the christian right ADMITTED THIS and congress repealed it.

      Now let's look at the nixon drug laws, which at the time were ostensibly designed to criminalize the protestors he hated. Drugs are still widely proliferated, but instead of being highly regulated, safer (granted they ARE kinda bad for you, but so is booze and tobacco), and taxed. Further, people would feel safer seeking treatment knowing they wouldn't be arrested.
      Instead of admitting their failure, the federal government continues to spend billions in a vietnam on our very shores and against our own people.

      Now theyre pulling the same damn thing with the DMCA.. the sad part is they continue to do this DESPITE the fact even record execs have outright admitted, at least between the RIAA's spin cycles, that p2p isn't going away, and the DMCA isn't helping.
      • except for the hardcore highly addicting and highly inebriating (so that excludes nicotine) drugs like heorin and the opiates, methamphetamine, and cocaine

        marijuana should be legal, it's not worse than alcohol. lsd and psilocybin (magic mushrooms) should be legal: not addicting. of course you can't take that and drive

        but the highly addicting and highly addicting trinity of meth, crack, and the opiates, especially, must forever be fought in drug war

        simply because although all of the lessons about prohibition
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Nazlfrag (1035012)
          A free man makes his own choices. The effects of prohibition are organized crime and massive profits for the black marketeers who care nothing for their victims. We already have a system in place to distribute drugs just as potent, and often more potent than meth, crack and opiates. It's called prescription medication, and those drugs share the same problems of addiction and loss of freedom. Yet instead of receiving your drugs from a gangbanger and funding organized crime you are visiting a doctor who can h
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by R2.0 (532027)
        "Back in the 20's the christian right got the volstead act."

        Applying the term "christian right" to a political movement before the 70's is like calling something a "genocide" that happened before WWII - it uses a term that didn't exist at the time of the event, not to describe it, but to leverage current emotional and intellectual trends to get the reaction the writer wishes.

        In other words, trolling.
      • Drivers still speed. Does that mean that speed limits are invalid?
        Drivers continually run red lights and stop signs. Should localities take them all down?

        I'm not equating these acts to using p2p services, but saying that a law is or should be invalid because people don't want to follow it doesn't make a lot of sense.

      • Re:Nicely put (Score:3, Interesting)

        by LordSnooty (853791)
        It's almost like the authorities want to protect the content producers so much because they supply the alternative drug, that is the endless stream of bland music, films & TV that subdues the people and stops them thinking of revolution.
  • by StickyWidget (741415) on Friday December 14, 2007 @05:01PM (#21702248)
    This really isn't an attempt to protect intellectual property, it's actually a very sophisticated attempt to create a new class of Lawyer Businessmen (ambulance chaser derivatives). Think about it:

    1. We have a new set of laws that proscribes MASSIVE penalties for intellectual property violations. People need to defend themselves from this new threat!
    2. We have tens of thousands of bored lawyers in this country, not to mention the ones graduating from college. They need money and swanky cars because they are Lawyers!
    3. We have an industry that wants to make money off of music. All music. Everywhere. They need people to go after these infringers!

    So, if these laws go into effect, we have two sets of lawyers, the Defenders and the Aggressors. The Defenders are primarily concerned with making money defending copyright infringer. If your max fine for violating copyright is around, say $50,000, wouldn't you rather spend $10,000 on a lawyer who guaranteed he would win, or your money back? Or if you are a business, wouldn't you shell out $150,000 for a lawyer to avoid the publicity and likely 1 Million in damages?

    Aggressors would be the ones who actively go after the infringers, and would basically be mercenaries under the employ of the MPAA or RIAA. Investigations would net infringers, which would be passed on to the Aggressors. Considering their take-home on a trial would be a portion of the damages awarded, they would file as many cases as possible. If a few get settled, so be it, but may would go through and they would collect.

    And here's the kicker, both Defenders and Aggressors have to serve the best interests of their client, which means settlement, and a lot of it. If a Defender manages to settle for $20k, he's just saved his client $30K. If an Aggressor settles for $20K, his client gets $20K free and clear on the ILLEGAL USE OF A SINGLE INFRINGEMENT without the hassle of a trial. Less attorney fees of course. If these guys file 30 cases like this a year, they are pulling back enough money to live on easily. If they build a firm around it, they have enough money to become tin gods.

    When are we going to learn that in the nation of Capitalism, nothing is a law, it's just another business opportunity? Once, a long time ago, lawyers were defenders of freedom and justice, providing a check against government corruption and abuses of power. While some still are, the majority are so in bed with the government they have batter on hand for pancakes in the morning.

    ~Sticky
    /First, the lawyers.
    //Then, the politicians..
    ///When the revolution comes...

  • Life was so much simpler when law enforcement restricted their efforts to catching criminals who made money from pirated wares. Unless I'm reselling the songs and movies I've downloaded for a profit, law enforcement is wasting their time coming after me. Bust the losers that sell pirated DVDs from the trunks of their cars and leave the soccer mom's who download pop singles alone.
  • ...and, coincidently, neither do most of us.
  • This is only about turf and jurisdiction. DOJ cares not one whit about your rights or wishes.
  • RI/MPAA: "you can buy our content and it may or may not play in your player, no you can't get a refund if you opened it, no you can't pirate it onto your iPod, no you can't play it in public so close your car window..." Consumer: "Okay...I'm going to go do something else then." RI/MPAA: "You can't do that. You have to buy my stuff. You can buy multiple copies so you can play it on everything you have..." Consumer: "Nah, its okay...I'm kinda having fun bike riding with my kids and hearing the wind blowi
  • by DragonTHC (208439) <Dragon@gamerslas ... W.com minus city> on Friday December 14, 2007 @06:25PM (#21703304) Homepage Journal
    I write mine every time I read about one of these monstrosity bills before congress.

    She never writes back or calls, so I can only gather that I have no representation in congress.

    I'm informed about copyright issues. I wish my congressperson was.
  • It's H.R. 4279. The resolution can be found here [loc.gov]. It looks quite bipartisan. [opencongress.org]

    What I'd like to see is a representative or senator brave enough to say, "I think we need to stop making laws for a while, to see how what we have works, or not." A key feature that is seemingly absent from our legislative process is a feedback loop. One that asks: Is this working as intended? Do we need to change it? Is it being abused? I like sunset clauses too, but I'm only aware of one piece of legislation that had it

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