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U.S. Penalizes Ukraine for Abetting 'Piracy' 671

The Politech mailing list has a note and follow-up on new trade restrictions levied against Ukraine, since they haven't complied with the U.S.'s demand for 'an optical media licensing regime.' John Gilmore's response puts the issue in perspective. Update: 01/03 23:08 GMT by M : The RIAA has a press release about the trade penalties and response to Gilmore.
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U.S. Penalizes Ukraine for Abetting 'Piracy'

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  • Looks like the US... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by UberOogie ( 464002 ) on Thursday January 03, 2002 @04:30PM (#2780829)
    ... is going after targets it can afford to bully. I'd like to see them try that with China, or India.

  • does this work? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Syre ( 234917 ) on Thursday January 03, 2002 @04:30PM (#2780839)
    The US wants every replicating machine to put a tracking number on CDs showing what machine made it.

    I don't see why a bootlegger couldn't just put a fake number anyway.

    Will requiring some number to be added to CDs (not even a serialized number, just a number) really do anything? I don't see why it would.
  • by Deagol ( 323173 ) on Thursday January 03, 2002 @04:35PM (#2780877) Homepage
    From the article:

    "Reader, in case you didn't know, every color Xerox machine and color laser printer prints the serial number of the machine on every page they produce, covertly hidden in the output, under a long-standing private "arrangement" with the US Treasury Department. I have been unable to confirm whether this is also true of black-and-white xerox machines."

    I'm as paranoid as the next PGP-using, hard-drive encrypting, tin-foil-hat-wearing guy. BUT... I have a really hard time buying this, and I cold not locate any creditble documentation on Google.

    Anyone have any good links?

  • Re:Double Standard (Score:3, Interesting)

    by BlaKnail ( 545030 ) <blindspotNO@SPAMnimh.net> on Thursday January 03, 2002 @04:35PM (#2780880)
    It's not a double standard. Any CD-R manufactured in the US is given a serial number that has the potential to be traced. The Ukraine is printing CDs that would be untraceable, hence the gov't want to extend its protective eye over foreign manufactured goods, and if they don't comply....push huge taxes and tariffs on them.
  • by mickeyreznor ( 320351 ) on Thursday January 03, 2002 @04:41PM (#2780920) Homepage Journal
    not to mention that china is practically the capital of copyright infrigement.
  • The core issue (Score:4, Interesting)

    by syrupMatt ( 248267 ) on Thursday January 03, 2002 @04:45PM (#2780943) Homepage Journal
    Do companies operating under one countries legal structure gain the same amount of protection when operating (or having their goods sold) in another country?

    I find an interesting correlation here between "lassaie faire" business practices and the anti-corporation/IP movement. The movement wants corporations to recieve no help from the government for their business practices (IP, relief from economic hardship, etc), which are essentially leftist ideals. However, the fairly right ideal of lassaise faire essentially espouses the same thing, no? By all means correct me if I'm off base here.

    (btw: sorry for the poli-labeling, but it helps to illustrate the constrasts in my point.)
  • by wolf- ( 54587 ) on Thursday January 03, 2002 @04:54PM (#2780993) Homepage
    [1] http://www.jj-johnson.com/copiers2.htm
    [2] http://www.jj-johnson.com/copiers.htm
    [3] http://www.c-prompt-dev.com/bulletin.0119.htm
    [4] http://www.naqp.org/staging1/press/copier_fraud.ht ml
    [5] http://www.parascope.com/articles/0197/xerox.htm

    Back in late 1998, a fella by the name of Michael Castle, I think he was a republican from the north east, said that his committee was considering tagging laser printers the same way that color copiers are already tagged. Search yahoo or google looking for color copier references instead of laser printers, might help a bit in your results.
  • by st0rmshad0w ( 412661 ) on Thursday January 03, 2002 @05:03PM (#2781065)
    And it is perfectly reasonable for countries (Russia for example) who's laws state that making a back-up copy is perfectly legal to demand that the US force software makers to make sure their products are copyable. The US isn't the whole planet, nor is it the world government.
  • by Lobsang ( 255003 ) on Thursday January 03, 2002 @05:29PM (#2781259) Homepage
    I want to see trade restrictions against China for instance. I want to see people complaining that they cannot buy plastic goods for $1 apiece in Wal-Mart or K-Mart because of the recording industry. Ukraine is easy. Let's see how it works out with China and the Suburban mothers writing complaint letters to their congressmen.
  • by RelliK ( 4466 ) on Thursday January 03, 2002 @05:32PM (#2781270)
    They speak Russian in the Ukraine, right?

    They speak Ukrainian in Ukraine. Russian is close enough but *ahem* some Ukrainians don't like it. It's kinda like speaking English in Quebec... :-)

  • Re:Seriously (Score:2, Interesting)

    by speculums ( 317287 ) on Thursday January 03, 2002 @05:47PM (#2781367)
    In regards to what is NOT happening here, as I was growing up on the North Side of Chicago I was regularly searched by police without any sort of due cause, one time standing in my own front yard. My friend and neighbor down the street was shot four times by the police in his own home (but not killed, they just wanted to hurt him) after his mother had called them into the house due to some mental problems he was having (which were created in part by a severe beating he had recieved from police several years before). I'd hate to consider what sort of treatment I would have received were I a young black man in a black neighborhood instead of white in a white one.

    The bullet entry wounds looked just like vaccination scars.

  • by TommyBear ( 317561 ) <tommybear2@gmail.com> on Thursday January 03, 2002 @05:52PM (#2781419) Homepage
    Without getting too emoptional about the obvious issue, don't you think the comment made has some validity at least in the sense that the US always 'feels' it has to be the world leader?

    The death of thousands of people like the WTC is a tragedy, the death of one person is bad enough.

    But what the US needs to understand is that countries consist of communities, communities consist of people. People who are concerned about their life and prosperity.

    Now your country doesn't comply with some US agreement. Exports are restricted, you lose your job at the paper mill and your family goes hungry. Maybe your daughter or son die of some disease because you can't afford surgery/medicine. You grow to hate the US.

    Think about it. It's happened before. It's very easy to make these type of comments when you don't have to see the effect of US policies on other countries.
  • Thousands? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by SysadminFromHell ( 535868 ) <<yvan> <at> <sanctamaria-aarschot.be>> on Thursday January 03, 2002 @06:05PM (#2781527) Homepage
    Do you mean 'thousands' like in: "Thousands of people are starving every day because the US and Western Europe are so rich allready that poorer country's can never compete with them." ?
  • by renehollan ( 138013 ) <rhollan AT clearwire DOT net> on Thursday January 03, 2002 @06:15PM (#2781599) Homepage Journal
    Responsible? That's debatable, of course. You can't have responsibility without the freedom to chose one course of action over another, and the American voter does seam rather impotent these days.

    Perhaps the question should be, "Will the citizens of a country be held accountable, to some outside standard, for their government's actions?" And to that, I think the answer is a resounding YES!

    Sooner or later, if someone is pissed off by what you do, or what they perceive you as doing, they will seek to do you harm. You have a choice: refrain from the action that offends, or prepare to defend against the attack that will come. The choice depends, of course, on one's perception of risk and fair play.

    The notion of "do unto others as you would have them do unto you" certainly seams to be a good start at identifying "fair play" even as it can be interpreted differently by the parties involved. I am not a religeous person, but that mantra does seam to pervade many of the world's prevelent faiths and generally comes off as a "good idea".

    But, against that standard, I think we can agree that the U.S.A. has flexed its muscles in ways that it would not like to have flexed against it, and thus has violated that golden rule. Does it come as a surprise then that this pisses some people off? And that some of those who are pissed off might managage to express that by killing a few thousand people in a rather public and spectacular fashion?

    Right or wrong doesn't come into it: piss people off and you run an increased risk of dying. This does not mean that one should roll over for every tin-pot dictator, but it does mean that one should examine one's government's actions and decide if they truly serve one's best interests and security.

  • by RelliK ( 4466 ) on Thursday January 03, 2002 @06:16PM (#2781611)
    Ahem, I am originally from Ukraine (or USSR I should say :-), and I speak both Ukrainian and Russian fluently. But whatdya know? Some Anonymous Coward knows better.
  • by Pichon ( 261626 ) on Thursday January 03, 2002 @06:48PM (#2781822)
    It isn't an issue of sovereignty. If one country does not like another's economic practice, they can put a tax on imports from that country.

    There have been numerous occassions when the US and other nations have had trade difficulties (the EU and Japan agricultural import restrictions, etc). The issues generally get worked out through negotiations, and quid-pro-quo taxes.

    Personally, I think the Fed is in the right on this one. This is how you go after big-budget piracy. Piracy is a serious problem, and it deprives software publishers serious money - money that is used to pay programmers so they can eat, send their kids to college and all that good stuff.

    CD-printers that don't put tracking numbers on the discs are a primary means by which industrial scale piracy takes place. Taking action to prevent that is a reasonable and effective method to stop it. Which translates to cheaper software, fewer copy-protection schemes, and better salaries for more programmers.
  • by Vspirit ( 200600 ) on Thursday January 03, 2002 @06:52PM (#2781857) Homepage
    For whatever it is worth, I flew to the US less than 3 weeks after the bombing.

    I met lots of nice people, but I never stopped being amazed about why it so seldomly were asked why the US were being . It was all about how to deal with the perpetrators.

    But maybe it was the fear of the hoover commission all over again among the public, and that no sign of fear must be visible.

    ..if there should be any doubt, I didn't like the attack on sep. 11th either..yet understand that I as a small foreigner, are vulnerable to the actions of the mighty giant, nomatter if the giant notices or not..and I don't like this dependency more than an American would be of an Englishman..
  • by clone304 ( 522767 ) on Thursday January 03, 2002 @06:54PM (#2781889)
    This isn't about IP. It's about lock in of corporate profit and control. Intellectual property itself is a misnomer, as it is not really property. Once you realize that it is impossible for an idea to "belong" to someone, then you will see how heinous this really is. Rethink your brainwashed assumption, theft of IP is NOT theft. It is NOT property. Disney wants you to think it is, but that does not make it so. Hello. Hello. Hello.

    This is not a legitimate action. This is an abuse. This is an act of war. The corporations are waging a financial war of attrition against sovereign states, in order to force them into obedience. They are protecting their "right" to profit at all cost. Think about it.

    The corporations are trying to remold the way the world works in an attempt to reap profit in the most efficient way possible. Not in the way that is best for the world, but in the way that is most FINANCIALLY profitable. Human life and everything else are secondary to this one simple goal: Increase profit.

    Information doesn't want anything. Information is an abstract concept. Can you own a concept? Only if you keep it to yourself. Can we as a society agree to pay you tribute because you shared your original idea with the rest of us? Sure, but we have to agree to do it. And sometimes, after we have paid and paid and paid for the same old idea, paying for it again doesn't seem like such a great idea. But we don't ever have to reward you in any way for sharing your creativity with us. If you don't like that, then keep your ideas to yourself.

    The problem with that though, is that then nobody benefits from your creation or stroke of genius. So we as a society agree that we should thank you for sharing with us. And, this is good for you, because you get to share the idea and are also shown that we appreciate it. But, that's it. After a while, your idea starts to show its age. It's no longer as exciting or has attained commonplace usage. New ideas take the forefront and we spend our time and our money thanking the creators of those ideas. Your idea is old hat now. There's really no need to thank you for it anymore, because we have already spent sufficient time doing that and it's time to move on.

    Does any of that sound like property to you? It shouldn't, because it's not. It's the way we progress and evolve and live as a culture. Disney would have you eternally thanking Walt for Mickey Mouse until the end of all time. Unfortunately, for everyone involved, that's not how human nature works. That would be artificial, because Mickey Mouse is just no longer that important for us. It would take a very powerful entity indeed to make us continue to waste our time and money thanking the dead-as-a-doornail-Walt for such an irrelevant and commonplace cultural fixture. But Disney's that powerful. They are MAKING us bow down.

    That is my take on this whole Intellectual Property hoopla. Who cares what information wants. What do you want?

  • by Jhan ( 542783 ) on Friday January 04, 2002 @07:28AM (#2784359) Homepage

    A little known fact is that Sweden independently cracked the Enigma code, and in a much more impressive way than the Brits...

    In 1940 Arne Beurling, professor of mathematics at Uppsala University, was given two days worth of intercepted transmissions by our equivalent of NSA, and cracked the code in two weeks, using pen and paper, without knowing the mechanics of the encoder!

    A truly superhuman feat of mathematics... His work allowed the Swedish defence to build replicas of the G-writer, and by 1942 we were routinely cracking all the Enigma-encoded telegraph transmission being routed through Sweden.

Experience varies directly with equipment ruined.