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United States The Courts Your Rights Online

US "the Enemy" Says Dotcom Judge 469

Posted by samzenpus
from the know-your-enemy dept.
First time accepted submitter Flere Imsaho writes "During the NetHui Internet conference last week, the NZ judge to hear the Dotcom extradition case was speaking on the Trans Pacific Partnership agreement and how the U.S. entertainment industry is pushing to make region code hacking illegal, when he said 'Under TPP and the American Digital Millennium copyright provisions you will not be able to do that, that will be prohibited ... if you do you will be a criminal — that's what will happen. Even before the 2008 amendments it wasn't criminalized. There are all sorts of ways this whole thing is being ramped up and if I could use Russell [Brown's] tweet from earlier on: we have met the enemy and he is [the] U.S.'"
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US "the Enemy" Says Dotcom Judge

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  • by crazyjj (2598719) * on Monday July 16, 2012 @09:14AM (#40662499)

    And even if your country doesn't have a DMCA (and they WILL soon, if not already), don't think for a second that the U.S. can't extradite you here for punishment anyway, or that your government won't fall to its knees like a trained lapdog when the FBI snaps their fingers and says "Put him on a plane."

    The sooner you people accept that the U.S. is large and in-fucking-charge, the easier it will go for all of us.

    • by Jeremiah Cornelius (137) on Monday July 16, 2012 @09:55AM (#40662863) Homepage Journal

      War is Peace
      Freedom is Slavery
      Ignorance is Strength
      Land of the Free
      Home of the Brave

      Repeat the phrase "Land of the free, home of the brave" with a straight face. Now, repeat until some one has to pick you up, off the floor with the laughter cramps preventing you from remaining upright.

      • by Bogtha (906264) on Monday July 16, 2012 @10:43AM (#40663349)

        Don't forget:

        Sharing is stealing.

    • Team America: World Police

      Who would have thought that with a little bit of time it would no longer be a satire?
    • As a US citizen living in a small foreign country subject to the bullying of the US over these kinds of matters, I feel ashamed of what the US is doing. AND it is not funny!
  • Then buy NZ music (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    If you buy music produced in the US you buy it under the terms of the license. Don't like those terms? Buy music produced elsewhere.
    • by cpu6502 (1960974) on Monday July 16, 2012 @09:44AM (#40662757)

      Or we could have a license-burning bonfire. That would be fun. I'll bring the marshmallows.

    • by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Monday July 16, 2012 @09:47AM (#40662779)
      I'm sorry, but do USA copyrigth laws cover every country on the planet? No, they do not, so people need to learn to deal with the fact that some countries take a different approach to promoting the distribution of science and art.

      Oh, what, you were hoping to turn music into a form of property? That's cute.
      • Re:Then buy NZ music (Score:4, Interesting)

        by MickyTheIdiot (1032226) on Monday July 16, 2012 @09:52AM (#40662825) Homepage Journal

        but but but but but... we have the missiles!!

        look at the warships!

        • Re:Then buy NZ music (Score:5, Interesting)

          by Antipater (2053064) on Monday July 16, 2012 @10:07AM (#40662975)
          Funnily enough, NZ people don't have to look at the warships (or at least they didn't 10 years ago; this might have changed). NZ at some point declared themselves a "nuclear-free" zone, meaning not only no warheads but no vessels running on nuclear power are welcome there. And since that means the US Navy has to skirt waaaay around NZ to get to their Australian naval bases, it's actually been a major source of diplomatic tension between the two countries. But it also shows that the Kiwis have no qualms about giving America the middle finger, so don't expect them to cooperate with this copyright stuff all too quickly.
          • Re:Then buy NZ music (Score:4, Interesting)

            by aaarrrgggh (9205) on Monday July 16, 2012 @10:45AM (#40663369)

            Just wait until Peter Jackson or a delegate runs for office in NZ, and then there will be a re-focused priority on protection of intellectual property.

          • Re:Then buy NZ music (Score:5, Interesting)

            by modecx (130548) on Monday July 16, 2012 @11:06AM (#40663583)

            They say NZ's nuclear-free law extends only to their territorial waters--12 nautical miles from shore--not even out to the the 200 nautical mile "exclusive economic zone"; 12 NM hardly qualifies as a "long way" around NZ, particularly for a nuclear powered warship, which would typically not come that close to shore unless the ship was already going to port.

            So, like most blahblah-free zones, it's basically just a feel-good measure. It's almost certianly more of an negative economic cost to business in NZ than anything else, since even diesel-powered US warships won't be able to visit NZ ports for provisions or other economic purposes, as the US Navy will refuse to confirm or deny that they have nuclear weapons on board any particular ship. Also, in the event of a natural disaster, the people of NZ might be in for even more hurt. The US Navy, more than any other force on the globe, is a massive resource for quickly sending out a great deal of logistical support for disaster relief. I wonder if they would suspend that policy in the event of a disaster, even though I hope that need never arises.

    • by Goth Biker Babe (311502) on Monday July 16, 2012 @09:58AM (#40662883) Homepage Journal

      I don't buy US produced music anyway. Its not like you make it all or far from it. The UK makes better music!

    • by PPH (736903)

      I started digging through my DVD collection. All my region 1 discs state "Licensed for sale only in the U.S." or something similar. If they say anything at all.

    • Re:Then buy NZ music (Score:4, Interesting)

      by StripedCow (776465) on Monday July 16, 2012 @10:23AM (#40663131)

      Sorry, that music may have been produced in the US, but contains ingredients taken from music produced elsewhere. Ergo, there is no basis to declare that US copyright laws should extend to other countries.

    • by X.25 (255792)

      If you buy music produced in the US you buy it under the terms of the license. Don't like those terms? Buy music produced elsewhere.

      You are confused a bit.

      They don't need to buy NZ music, US needs to stop selling music in the NZ and expecting their laws to apply there.

    • Re:Then buy NZ music (Score:5, Informative)

      by ccguy (1116865) on Monday July 16, 2012 @11:07AM (#40663597) Homepage

      If you buy music produced in the US you buy it under the terms of the license.

      No. If I buy music (from any country) in Spain I buy it under Spanish laws. Anything else, feel free to shove up your ass, license included.

      • by SharpFang (651121)

        This is true when concerning local purchases, the labels need to sell music under local laws of where they sell it.
        This is not true when you download the music from American file-sharers. The sharer violated US license, and you participate in violation of the same license by downloading the music from them. And by redistributing it, you continue violating the same license.

        Of course if the sharer is, say, Spanish, and their law says they are legal to share the music, American labels can kiss your ass. You're

  • by Q-Hack! (37846) * on Monday July 16, 2012 @09:22AM (#40662567)

    I know that this is normally a forum to bash **AA, but the fact still remains that Kim Dotcom made his fortune by providing a service that was used to circumvent paying for content. Never did he even attempt to stop this illegal activity, and at times, promoted it. People like to talk about how the rich make there fortune off the backs of the working class... this guy is your poster child.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      This interview by Cambell paints a different picture about what Kim Dotcom actually does.
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pF48PjCtW4k

    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 16, 2012 @09:33AM (#40662653)

      Certainly he's a shady character, but last time I checked, this guy actually wanted to pay the artists [techcrunch.com]

      Dotcom described Megabox as Megaupload’s iTunes competitor, which would even eventually offer free premium movies via Megamovie, a site set to launch in 2012. This service would take Megaupload from being just a digital locker site to a full-fledged player in the digital content game.

      The kicker was Megabox would cater to unsigned artists and allow anyone to sell their creations while allowing the artist to retain 90% of the earnings. Or, artists could even giveaway their songs and would be paid through a service called Megakey. “Yes that’s right, we will pay artists even for free downloads.

      • by NotSanguine (1917456) on Monday July 16, 2012 @10:30AM (#40663191) Journal

        Certainly he's a shady character, but last time I checked, this guy actually wanted to pay the artists [techcrunch.com]

        Dotcom described Megabox as Megaupload’s iTunes competitor, which would even eventually offer free premium movies via Megamovie, a site set to launch in 2012. This service would take Megaupload from being just a digital locker site to a full-fledged player in the digital content game.

        The kicker was Megabox would cater to unsigned artists and allow anyone to sell their creations while allowing the artist to retain 90% of the earnings. Or, artists could even giveaway their songs and would be paid through a service called Megakey. “Yes that’s right, we will pay artists even for free downloads.

        The above, if true, raises an interesting point. MegaUpload operated using the same model for years. Somehow, once they talked about creating a service that directly competed with iTunes -- and charging artists less for the privilege of selling their music via the MegaBox service, the FBI got quite frisky. Seizing servers, requesting arrest and extradition, freezing assets, etc. Now MegaUpload is no longer a threat to iTunes. I wonder what changed?

        [Removes tinfoil hat]

        I'm not saying that Apple owns the FBI, nor am I saying that these events weren't coincidental. It just gives you something to file away for future reference.

        • by jxander (2605655)

          If I was going to don my Tinfoil hat for this one, I'd pin the culprits higher up the chain: RIAA for instance.

          Apple/iTunes is, for better or worse, as close to an "old style" marketplace as you can get. The files easily traceable, proprietary, and all the powers that be get their cut of sales, while keeping all the starving artists starving.

          A service like megabox would be counter to all of that. Most importantly, the powers that be would NOT get their free money, and we simply can't have that.

      • by King_TJ (85913) on Monday July 16, 2012 @11:48AM (#40663977) Journal

        You know something? The more I read about Kim Dotcom, the more I get the idea "shady character" doesn't really fit him neatly. He reminds me much more of some of the "old school" computer geeks I knew from back in the mid 1980's and still run into occasionally. Many of them have a burning desire to make something of their lives ... to do something memorable, within the realm of what their talents are. They're a little eccentric or "off beat" by mainstream society's standards, sure. And maybe some of them are a bit guilty of being a little too materialistic. (But some of that simply comes with the territory of being interested in technology, IMO. If you spend much of your time working with computers and tech. - you develop an appreciation for all of those physical gadgets and devices that other people may not really have. It extends out towards all manner of complex machines and devices, too. Lots of I.T. hardware guys I know also get very interested in sports cars, for example. Even though they're not "gear heads" in the sense of putting in thousands of hours in someone's garage taking apart engines and transmissions? They appreciate the work that goes into building such a machine, and desire one of their own -- the same way they want the fastest PC out there, even if they don't really have a NEED for one that performs quite that well.)

        Dotcom strikes me as all of the above, with a need to be recognized.... to be a "celebrity" of sorts, within his own circle of fellow geeks at least. (The fact he'd change his last name to Dotcom, alone, tells you how much he wants to be noticed as a "guru" in his field of interest.)

        He was recently seen in photos hanging out with Steve Wozniak ... with Woz having nothing but good things to say about him. That's not quite what I'd expect if the guy was just your run of the mill online scammer, trying to make his fortune at everyone else's expense.

        It's govt. and big media wanting you to think of this guy as something like a foreign leader of a drug cartel ....

    • by jez9999 (618189) on Monday July 16, 2012 @09:34AM (#40662659) Homepage Journal

      I know it's popular to sound all level-headed and point out the law, but many of us think copyright law desperately needs an overhaul. I, for one, would like to see anything released over 10 years ago go into the public domain. Then, much of the Megaupload activity would've been legal.

      • by Durrik (80651) <{pwright} {at} {ryksyll.com}> on Monday July 16, 2012 @10:10AM (#40663003) Homepage

        10 years is probably too short, but you're right that copyright laws are broken. I do like 10 years as a good number to work from.

        I think copyright should be broken into personal and corporate copyright. Personal copyright is owned by the author. Corporate by a corporation.

        Personal copyright should have a maximum 10 year exclusive license limit, after ten years the license should be renegotiated, and perhaps transfered to another publisher. He time limit for personal copyright should be Death or twenty years whichever is longer.

        Corporate copyright should be free for 10 years. And then renewed in each country that the corporation wants to enforce it in for $10,000 for then next 10 years, then $100,000 for ten more years and so on. So:

        0-10 years free
        11-20 years $10,000 per country
        21-30 years $100,000 per country
        31-40 years $1,000,000 per country ...

        If a company wants to bankrupt itself to keep a copyright that's fine but it'll quickly become too expensive for companies not to let copyrit lapse.

        Breaking digital locks should not be illegal. You blame the lock if it gts broken, safes and locks are rated by how long it takes to break into them. Also you could look at it as a National Security question, if you my cryptography illegal, only crimals will be cryptologists. And then how are you going to secure your communications? Digital locks are a good way to train the next generation of cryptologists, and keep them practiced.

        • by jez9999 (618189) on Monday July 16, 2012 @11:11AM (#40663631) Homepage Journal

          10 years is probably too short

          Why? Justify that assertion. Is it not the case that the vast majority of profits for the vast majority of copyrighted works get made in the first 5 years after release, let alone the first 10? How is it a greater public good to help the odd outlier that is still going strong after 50 years make money, as opposed to letting many millions of people enjoy quality works for free once they've made a good profit (if they're ever going to)?

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Attention: **AA does not represent the working class. Dotcom made his money off the backs of the already rich guys. Thus we frankly don't give a damn as long as he's given a fair trial in NZ for any crimed committed in NZ against NZ law.

      • by OldSport (2677879)
        And let's not forget that the "rich guys" made THEIR money by leeching off the artists in the first place. If you're going to complain about artists being screwed, you'd better be prepared to propose an entirely new system, because the music industry's traditional business model has been blatantly and obscenely ripping off artists for *decades* now, long before Megaupload, The Pirate Bay, Kazaa, Napster, CD-Rs, and even cassette tapes came onto the scene.
    • by wisnoskij (1206448) on Monday July 16, 2012 @09:39AM (#40662707) Homepage

      Providing a service that he got paid for is not making your money off the backs of the working class, weather it is illegal or not.
      Dismantling companies and peoples pensions for profit, paying low wages, company towns, and monopolies are taking advantage of the working class.

    • A pedicab driver makes money from a service that gets you from point A to point B without paying for gasoline! THE HORROR!
    • by Hentes (2461350) on Monday July 16, 2012 @09:41AM (#40662729)

      Which is why he is the perfect bogeyman for this suit that will serve as a precedent to make online file storage illegal. But many overlook that when their judgement is clouded by their (however justified) personal dislike of Dotcom.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by MadKeithV (102058)

      I know that this is normally a forum to bash **AA, but the fact still remains that Kim Dotcom made his fortune by providing a service that was used to circumvent paying for content.

      And the recording industry made their fortune by providing a product that was used to circumvent paying for artists playing their music live.

    • by blind biker (1066130) on Monday July 16, 2012 @09:50AM (#40662809) Journal

      I know that this is normally a forum to bash **AA, but the fact still remains that Kim Dotcom made his fortune by providing a service that was used to circumvent paying for content.

      Sop do DVD and Blu-ray writer manufacturers, and blank media manufacturers. Also HD manufacturers. Also all Internet service providers. All these are used to "circumvent paying for content."

    • by cpu6502 (1960974) on Monday July 16, 2012 @09:50AM (#40662813)

      >>> Kim Dotcom made his fortune by providing a service that was used to circumvent paying for content.

      If he's such a horrible person, why was he able to get ~50 top-of-the-charts singers (and musicians and audio engineers) to perform a Megaupload song for him? If he really was hurting these people, they would have refused to do the ad. But instead they helped write, sing, and produce it.

      I suspect your attack is without merit. Dotcom no more wanted to hurt people than does Googlemail or the Amazon Cloud (which is also used to share content w/o payment). If anybody is guilty here it's the U.S. government for overstepping its legal authority. Last I checked its juris diction ends at the border or the 14 mile oceanic limit.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 16, 2012 @09:51AM (#40662817)

      You seem to be treating legality in the area of copyright as a natural law of physics and carved on tablets of stone. Well it's neither, and everything is in a state of flux..

      The law in this area was never subject to public approval in any country, and it runs totally contrary to how the VAST majority of people seem to feel about it when asked. Instead it was developed through intense lobbying of politicians by content creators in a completely one-sided manner. What's more, much of it was developed out of the public eye and turned into law through a process of direct bribery, particularly in the US where bribery is legal and called "campaign contributions".

      So while you're factually correct in calling it "illegal" by US law, it's only "illegal" because this totally corrupt and non-democratic system has defined "illegal" to suit itself. It may be illegal in your country, but it's not illegal everywhere, and it's regarded as "wrong" by only a small percentage of the world's population.

      Things aren't as clearcut as you make out.

    • by Riceballsan (816702) on Monday July 16, 2012 @09:53AM (#40662835)
      Megauploads model was not illegal, at least no more so than dropbox etc... No more so than memorex and roxio were in the late 90s. You think memorex really believed that the massive surge in sales for blank CDRs were from people backing up documents? Or roxio believed that most people burning MP3s onto CDs and didn't download them from napster? Megaupload followed the DMCA to a T, they gave the IAA's a tool to instantly pull copywrited materials with the push of a button, something they used freely and even very clumsily (quite a few reports of them killing legitimate software that was using megaupload as their distribution system). Now I admit if the alogations of megaupload actually directly conspiring with others to upload pirated material to megauploads servers are true (what they actually are charged for), then there is a case. However I find it absolutely apauling that the US somehow had the right to shut down a full business BEFORE the trial. If the FBI's case is true, they should have had NZ police establish a search warrent, and check some parts of megaupload (IE they should not have been able to fully close down the business indefinently), then tried him in NZ, and were he found guilty THEN shut him down. This method of bogus due process is ridiculous, could you imagine if the anti-trust cases against microsoft worked that way. "OK we have accusations of antitrust, we need to pull every copy of windows from the shelves, halt all development, and put bill behind bars, once the trial is over we can decide if we'll let you re-release or send you to jail. I dislike microsofts tactics, but even against microsoft I would have found that result BS.
      • by Phrogman (80473) on Monday July 16, 2012 @12:04PM (#40664145) Homepage

        Imagine the reaction in the US, if a US citizen was being investigated by a foreign government - say Russia - and the Russians sent the FSB over to shut down a US business, seize its assets and arrest that citizen prior to him being tried.
        Thats what its like to live in another country that, through fear/intimidation - or massive bribery - allows the US to run roughshod over its own laws and basically do whatever the fuck it wants to whomever the fuck it wants because that individual is seen as a threat by some powerful US corporation or organization. If it was a rare occurrence it would still be wrong, but not much concern but its happening a lot more these days it seems.

    • And yet the USA by their actions make him look saintly

    • by Xest (935314) on Monday July 16, 2012 @09:55AM (#40662861)

      "I know that this is normally a forum to bash **AA, but the fact still remains that Kim Dotcom made his fortune by providing a service that was used to circumvent paying for content."

      Right, and all car manufacturers made their fortunes by providing cars that were used to break the speed limit, all gun manufacturers made their fortunes by providing guns that were used to kill, and Apple made it's fortunes by making media players that were used to play pirated MP3s.

      Similarly neither Ford, nor gun manufacturers, nor Apple have done anything to stop illegal speeding, illegal killing, or illegal downloading, and at times have "promoted" it.

      Honestly, your argument extends to many industries, as the whole data loss fiasco has proven, Megaupload had many legitimate customers. The point being that the service he was providing was not illegal, not any more so than the industries mentioned above. The problem is that his industry is one that:

      a) The US is spending a fuckton of money attacking at the behest of corporate interests

      and:

      b) Not as big as the likes of Apple, Google, Microsoft, or Ford, or whoever to have had the money and lobbying power to protect themselves

    • by Skapare (16644)

      Any and every online storage system can be used for such. Even the owners of the pipes are making money on the theft of copyright. Maybe they should all be put out of business.

      Or maybe not.

    • by P-niiice (1703362)
      Link to proof of your claim is needed here - the service quite regularly and quickly removed infringing content.
    • **AA

      working class

      Clearly our definitions of 'working class' are pretty disparate. The MAFIAA organizations that were most harmed by this are anything but working class, they're little more than middlemen that are using their immense wealth and every legal maneuver available to them to continue to justify their existence in an era when artists are eschewing the mainstream industry entirely and self producing more and more.

      When the horse fell out of favor as the preferred method of transportation, the harrier became an endan

    • by nashv (1479253) on Monday July 16, 2012 @10:06AM (#40662965) Homepage

      " the fact still remains that Kim Dotcom made his fortune by providing a service that was used to circumvent paying for content."

      Calling your opinion a fact , does not a fact make.

      The fact would be that Kim Dotcom provided a service for file sharing, hosting and distribution. The files the clients of said service chose to share , host and distribute happened to contain content that they were not licensed to do so with. The clients are the criminals, not the provider of the service. This is the the technical and legal fact.

      Since they can't prosecute a million people and possibly maintain their political office at the same time, the US (politicians and agencies) chose to go for the easiest and softest target in this case - namely , Kim Dotcom.

      Why is he a soft target? He is a single identifiable individual, who is obese and rich from doing something that is borderline legal. The psychological impact of seeing a fat , pompous and rich man , who got that way doing something the common man is repeatedly told is a very very bad thing is rather irritating.

      If you think there is even a shred of legality in the behavior of the US you are fooling yourself. Even if Kim Dotcom turned out to have facilitated crimes (which is debatable but may be alleged), the US did not stay within the law either. That just brings it down to a case of Might is Right. This is why this case should be an indicator to the US public that their system is going to the dogs.

      "All murderers are punished unless they work in large numbers or to the sound of trumpets" - Voltaire. He said it best.

      • by Loughla (2531696)

        While I agree with your arguments, mostly, there is one place that I just don't get.

        This is why this case should be an indicator to the US public that their system is going to the dogs

        Do you really believe that the US is falling apart? It seems to me that around 99% of the problems we see today are mostly manufactured by various news agencies/websites to drum up viewers (or, rather, pointed out in grand fashion and made to seem much, much worse than they are – what’s the word? Oh, yeah, sensationalism). It seems to me that this alarmist “THE PRESIDENT IS A TYRANT”/”CONGRESS I

        • by nashv (1479253) on Monday July 16, 2012 @10:42AM (#40663335) Homepage

          Yes, I do think the US is falling apart. This is of course entirely subjective and based on my feeling of the trajectory of events in the last 20 years in the US. I don't live in the US, though I am 'involved' in the US being in a profession that is very international and am affected by US systems.

          From the outside, irrationality seems to dominate US public opinion. US laws and rhetoric seem to drift further and further from ground realities. Especially so when concerning the nature of digital information, environmental issues , issues on religion and so on. And if anything can be considered to be the major sociological topics of our generation, I think the internet, environment and religion are the top three.

          I may be - in fact hope to be, completely wrong in my pessimism.

    • by poetmatt (793785)

      Uh, how was it circumventing paying for content? If you mean that he paid them directly (more profit directly to artists) instead of through the label, then yes.

      Since when is it his job, even remotely, to monitor how people use his service if it's not a child porn issue? In no country on the planet does such a requirement actually exist except China, I suppose.

      He has indeed tried to pay artists as highlighted by the anon post - in taking this down a number of artists *lost* a revenue stream for distributing

    • by gutnor (872759)

      Well most of the working condition in China/India/... are illegal under US/EU law. Using this working force to build your widget is not illegal, it is not even considered immoral - it is considered a good think, even a very good thing. Doing it is not discouraged, it is encouraged. The closest to dodgy you get it is to use fiscal paradise and fiscal loopholes, but then people will just tell you that if it is legal, it should be done.

      Sure technically that is not the same, it is more complicated, there are

  • by Anonymous Coward

    It's at least true in Aus that it is illegal to lock things down to a region.

    Make cracking the region locks illegal but make every region coded item illegal too. And put equal effort into persuit of the wrongdoers in each case.

    Does NZ have the same law? Seems likely. In which case: sorted.

    • by Tastecicles (1153671) on Monday July 16, 2012 @09:48AM (#40662793)

      In the UK we have this thing called the Trade Descriptions Act 1968, which among other things prohibits misdescription of goods. A DVD-video must by definition comply with the DVD-video standard (Part 3, Book B and DVD Video Recording Book) or it CANNOT be referred to as a DVD video.

      Now, people do still have choice over whether or not to purchase a barcode for a particular title. If one does purchase a DVD video, then he has a statutory expectation that that is what he is getting. There is NOTHING in the standards to cover region locking, CSS encoding, or any other restrictive mechanism. ANY DVD that employs any of these mechanisms CANNOT claim to be a DVD-video.

      Having made the choice to purchase a barcode with the DVD-Video logo, if one then finds out that one cannot play that DVD in a standard, open-region player (lots of Chinese players are not region locked hence will play ANY otherwise compliant disc), then IMO there would be a case under 1968 (c. 29).

      My boggle with the region coding thing is the fact that unless specified on the box that a player is region-free*, there is no indication whatsoever on the hardware or the packaging (or the manual!) that the player is region locked and to what region. This is clearly a violation of 1968 (c.29)?

      *Since DVD-video units hit mainstream in around 1997, I've been aware of the region coding and studiously avoided region locked players, unless there was a clear-cut and simple way of jailbreaking them. The only player I ever had to jailbreak was a Meridian 586 (bought near the end of 1997 and cost a bloody fortune).

  • by Anonymous Coward

    We read "US" as "us", same as "we". It's the United States of America, not the United States.

    And by the way, American means someone from America, not someone from the USA.

    • by JWW (79176) on Monday July 16, 2012 @09:49AM (#40662795)

      Whooossshh.

      You're totally missing the point. The famous quote is "we have met the enemy and he is us."

      That is why it is a snarky (and accurate) turn of phrase to say "we have met the enemy and he is (the) U.S."

      Relating to the old quote is meant to give context via the truth of the snarky new stating of it. It gives the statement more weight.

      You're literally taking it to literally.... ;-)

    • by cpu6502 (1960974)

      >>>American means someone from America, not someone from the USA.

      So what are we supposed to call ourselves instead? United Statesians?!?!? Until you can come-up with a better name, we'll just keep saying Americans. And US. And EU. And RF.

    • by geogob (569250) on Monday July 16, 2012 @10:30AM (#40663185)

      And by the way, American means someone from America, not someone from the USA.

      Please, present me a single person from Canada or Mexico describing himself as "an American". Better, find me a single person from Brazil or Peru that presents himself as "an American". Furthermore, per definition you are correct, but the word "American" is also defined as a citizen of the USA.

      Taking into account usage and accepting the fact that this usage definition of "American" is correct, I'd simply say that you are wrong.

    • I have a different take on the issue you're (sort of) raising.

      It may be that the U.S. trade representative and his puppetmaster lobbyists are pushing these treaties, but I'm a U.S. citizen and these guys sure as hell don't speak for me.

      We ceased to be a real democracy approximately when corporations became people.

  • by Picass0 (147474) on Monday July 16, 2012 @09:36AM (#40662679) Homepage Journal

    Dotcom is a comparatively little guy who had his own service and when the sh-t hit the fan didn't have anybody else in his corner. His antics and courtroom theatrics aside, what separates him from Youtube? An 800 pound gorilla named Google. People upload copyrighted material to Youtube every day but Google somehow makes it all right.

    Is Google more responsive to takedown notices than megaupload? Is there more infringing material on one service vs. the other?

    My opinion is Megaupload's biggest problem in the end is they never made friends in high places.

    • Yeah, but the MAFIAA know they can't actually challenge Google and get away unscathed with the same pedantic antics. By the time the word litigation reaches their doorstep an army of layers will already be deployed via autonomous cars.

    • by the eric conspiracy (20178) on Monday July 16, 2012 @09:59AM (#40662891)

      > Is Google more responsive to takedown notices than megaupload?

      Google have been sued many times on this issue, and are definitely have state of the art capability in this area.

    • Google's Content-ID program lets companies submit their own content that is then matched against every single frame of every uploaded video using state-of-the-art recognition technology and lets them block it or make money off the ads.

      Megaupload took down links on request.

      Yes, it's different.

  • by Johann Lau (1040920) on Monday July 16, 2012 @09:45AM (#40662761) Homepage Journal

    Traces of nobility, gentleness and courage persist in all people, do what we will to stamp out the trend. So, too, do those characteristics which are ugly. It is just unfortunate that in the clumsy hands of a cartoonist all traits become ridiculous, leading to a certain amount of self-conscious expostulation and the desire to join battle.

    There is no need to sally forth, for it remains true that those things which make us human are, curiously enough, always close at hand. Resolve then, that on this very ground, with small flags waving and tinny blast on tiny trumpets, we shall meet the enemy, and not only may he be ours, he may be us.

    Forward!

    -- Walt Kelly

    I heard "we met the enemy, and he is us" a million times before I bothered checking out the full quote, and I think it's kind of a shame to truncate it like that.

    (and yes, I know this is off-topic, I don't care :D)

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I hope for your sake that you have the licence to redistribute that quote.

      • Or this panel [sandboxx.org], for that matter :/ But I learned on Slashdot that Germany doesn't extradite; so even if I go to jail, it won't be pound-me-in-the-ass prison. YAY!

  • by voss (52565) on Monday July 16, 2012 @09:53AM (#40662831)

    The only people that are affected by region codes are people who want to want to watch foreign dvds often stuff that has never been released and never will be in other parts of the world. Often stuff purchased legally on vacation.

  • by gmuslera (3436) on Monday July 16, 2012 @10:06AM (#40662955) Homepage Journal

    Suppose that some arab country starts accusing and claiming extraditions of women all around the world because them commited adultery. Or that Sweden do the same with all men all around the world that had sex with a sleeping woman. Or a country with a corrupt government, where shady men or private companies pushes laws for criminalize people that drinks coke or read certain books, that exports that laws to all the world and claims extradition for people breaking that laws elsewhere.

    That is what is doing USA, and that is what other governments are letting them to do while signing "cooperating treaties". I suppose that yes, the enemy is us, or at least USA and the people in your government that signed that kind of treaty.

    • I completely agree that the US extradition case against Dotcom is flawed, but your analogy is also flawed.

      All of the crimes you listed only effect people within the country that the laws apply to. Copyright is different, particularly when applied to copying things via the internet.

      The **AA could make the argument that by facilitating piracy of their content online, Dotcom was hurting their sales within the US, and in fact was using US servers to do it.

      A more accurate analogy would therefore be if someone in

  • Opportunities (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DaMattster (977781) on Monday July 16, 2012 @10:19AM (#40663089)
    I will say that the US media industry and content providers have gotten way too powerful. What's worse is that there is little to no checks or balances against this power. But, in their greed, the industry has created an opportunity for a bourgeoning Indie media growth spree. The Internet makes an awesome distribution platform, so there can be Indie television shows and movies without the big studios greedy, restrictive hands in the pot. This is why I check out platforms like Vimeo for the Indie stuff. Much of it is surprisingly good. I would love for Indie to move beyond podcasting.
  • by solardiesel (2685491) on Monday July 16, 2012 @11:27AM (#40663741)
    Wow does this sort of behavior by my government get me riled up.

    The whole system we have set up here where the Govt passes legislature helping out lobbyists (in this case is so broken it's not even funny. I wouldn't go so far to say we are the sole enemy, but we definitely are not helping the situation.

    I am 25, and the majority of my friends are way too busy trying to wiggle out from debt or job hunting in a stagnant environment to make their voices be heard (unless wikipedia shuts down [reuters.com]). Seeing as it costs time and money to make sure you actually get a seat at the table, it seems to me that a huge number of our generation is grossly misrepresented.

    Is there someone/something out there that is working to involve our young adults in foreign and domestic politics... as opposed to telling them what to do/not to do? I cannot put it as eloquently as Jon Stewart did [washingtonpost.com], but our problems are only going to expand if we let people who refer to our type as "nerds" run the country.

    We need to either a. Set up a strong lobby group to oppose heavy handed corporate driven legislature or b. change the system in it's entirety.

"The hottest places in Hell are reserved for those who, in times of moral crisis, preserved their neutrality." -- Dante

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