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MPAA, Microsoft Testify Piracy Funds Terrorism 858

GuyMannDude writes "[Yesterday's] Oversight Hearing on "International Copyright Piracy: Links to Organized Crime and Terrorism" featured the MPAA and Microsoft testifying that software and movie DVD counterfeiting is an acute problem, with criminal gangs operating factories in Russia, Malaysia and other countries that have weak copyright laws. They further claim that intellectual property piracy is a vehicle for financing or supporting acts of terror." There's another article about the hearing at Infoworld.
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MPAA, Microsoft Testify Piracy Funds Terrorism

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  • by moab ( 62800 ) on Friday March 14, 2003 @10:10AM (#5510867)
    Yeah and Osama Bin Laden is sittin in a cave in Afghanistan with a buncha cds and a burner!
    • by garcia ( 6573 ) on Friday March 14, 2003 @10:19AM (#5510949)
      my favorite is that Marijuana use funds terrorism. Funny, most of the Marijuana sold in the US is from farms in KY and TN... Unless Terrorists like to reside in the hills of KY and TN I doubt this is true...

      +5 Funny for Microsoft and the MPAA!
      • my favorite is that Marijuana use funds terrorism. Funny, most of the Marijuana sold in the US is from farms in KY and TN... Unless Terrorists like to reside in the hills of KY and TN I doubt this is true...

        +5 Funny for Microsoft and the MPAA!
        ...And occasionally British Columbia... And of course, you know you should fear those canucks.

        After all, anybody who preaches free health care must be "un-American." (Lately I've been thinking being unAmerican isn't all bad...)
      • I don't know about selling Marijuana but members of the Hezbollah have been known to smuggle cigarettes from low tax states to high tax states [charlotte.com]. Cells like these pretty much deal in whatever trade they can (illegal or not) to earn money for their cause. I wouldn't doubt that they grow and sell marijuana, too.
        • On the lower end of the scale there's no doubt that someone, somewhere will hand over some cash to someone who is in a terrorist group, but while the various lobby groups try to demonise file sharing by saying that it magically 'funds' terrorism is sorta avoiding the more obvious problem that large scale money laundering or investment banking is where the real terrorist money comes from.

          So far everyone's just looked a bit embarrassed when it's been pointed out that that bank accounts all over the world
      • by nano-second ( 54714 ) on Friday March 14, 2003 @10:41AM (#5511171)
        It's just jumping on a convenient political bandwagon in order to get support for their cause. Same reason marijuana "funds" terrorism, it's something they want to label as bad and right now, terrorism is a safe excuse since regardless of what people think of war, it's hard to dispute that terrorism is bad.

        If the current big evil was pollution, I'm sure they'd be coming up with some way to say that piracy was causing pollution... surely all those poorly run pirate factories are big polluters, right?

        I would guess that a lot of the anti-civil-liberties laws that got shoved through recently were not created recently. I bet they were just waiting around for a good enough excuse that the public would accept it.

      • by YrWrstNtmr ( 564987 ) on Friday March 14, 2003 @10:44AM (#5511199)
        It's not so much funding terrorism, but increasing local gang violence. People DO get shot/robbed over drugs, incl grass.
        • ...And notice that there generally isn't gang warfare over Alcohol and Cigarettes, is there?

          That's because they are legal. Prohibition is what creates gang warfare.

          Remember, the most powerful gang warfare we ever had was during alcohol prohibition. Because more people drink alcohol than smoke marijuana, it created a lot more funding for Al Capone and his insidious cronies.

          As long as things people want to do are illegal but still have high demand, they will fund the black market.

          Legalize it.

          • by jimsum ( 587942 ) on Friday March 14, 2003 @01:20PM (#5512592)
            One of the big successes of the anti-drug propaganda war is what you have pointed out, the way the authorities have been able to blame the problems of prohibition on the drug itself.

            Now, just because prohibition causes problems is not necessarily an argument against prohibition; it is simply part of the cost-benefit analysis. Alcohol prohibition worked to some extent, it cut alcohol consumption in half. However, the general public decided that the costs of prohibition outweighed the benefits of reducing alcohol use.

            When it comes to pot, all the scientific evidence shows that it is less harmful than alcohol; it isn't possible to overdose (unlike alcohol "poisoning"), there are no serious diseases proven to be caused by it (unlike cirrhosis of the liver), and it is not nearly as addictive (read up on delirium tremens, then find any description of pot addiction). Since pot is even less harmful than alcohol, there is even less reason to accept the cost of prohibiting it, as compared to alcohol.

            Now with other drugs, like heroin, the benefits of reducing consumption may outweigh the costs of enforcement. Unfortunately, governments rarely bother to even admit the costs of prohibition, preferring to blame everything on the drug. The result is that people are forced to choose the more dangerous mind-altering substance, Alcohol. They must risk arrest in order to make the more responsible and intelligent choice of using pot, the least harmful mind-altering drug.
        • by RatBastard ( 949 ) on Friday March 14, 2003 @01:16PM (#5512572) Homepage
          Do you?

          Hlack market economies create violence. All of them. They have no real choice. The reason is simple: no recourse to the law.

          What do you do if you buy a bottle rum at a liqour store and find out it's nothing but water? You call the police and have that jackass arrested for selling bogus merchandice.

          What do you do if you buy some weed from a dealer and it turns out to be catnip and oregano? Call the cops? Last person I heard about that did that was arrested. No. You either live with the fact that you got ripped off or you shoot the sonofabitch.

          Because the sale, puirchase and distribution of pot, or any other illegal drug, requires that the manufacturers/growers, distributors, sellers and end consumers all operate outside the law. This leaves them only one recourse when things go bad. This also leaves them no choice in how to deal with conflicts of any kind.

          If legalized and sold through normal sales channels, drugstores (hey, that's a catchy name) drug-related violence will drop like a stone. If you can call the cops because that jackass at the corner pharmacy cuts his stock of Vantage Ultra Gold Columbian with catnip then you don't have to shoot him for it. If he knows that he can call the coips because you passed a bad check he knows he dowsn't have to shoot you for trying not to pay.

          It's like the liqour business durring prohibition, or the porn industry when it was illegal to make blue movies, or like prostitution is right now. When you make something that people want illegal, you create a lawless subculture that is infested with violence.
      • by MyNameIsFred ( 543994 ) on Friday March 14, 2003 @10:54AM (#5511290)
        I understand the skeptism that surrounds claims such as "piracy funds terrorism." Everyone will try to jump on the latest bandwagon. We need to see proof.

        At the same time, don't trivialize a claim. For example, the recent convictions [cnn.com] on cigerette smuggling used to fund terrorism. The smuggling was done right here in the old U.S. of A. So it is plausible that other avenues of crime are being used, including sales of drugs.

        What I am trying to say is be skeptical, but don't dismiss outright.

        • by intermodal ( 534361 ) on Friday March 14, 2003 @12:55PM (#5512397) Homepage Journal
          In SOVIET RUSSIA, Terrorism funds piracy!

          after all, it seems that companies are so fucking terrified by copyright violation that they resort to stupidity, such as calling other countries' copyright laws 'weak' when in fact american copyright law is simply too strong. So if the companies are to be believed, anyone who buys bootleg copies of something is a terrorist, and is therefore funding piracy out of russia, china, and so forth as stated by many a post. And you know what? if companies are terrified of this inappropriately-labelled "piracy", then I'll speak out in its favor. I for one am sick of companies, especially ones that screw the little guy both during production and at the cash register, getting away with it. Now these alleged 'pirates' need to figure out a way to make the companies either simply die to be replaced with more ethical versions, or to change their ways...seems pretty hopeless actually.
        • by tigheig ( 546423 ) on Friday March 14, 2003 @12:59PM (#5512430)
          We shouldn't dismiss outright, but assertions require proof, and extraordinary assertions require extraordinary proof. Without proof a claim must be considered mere speculation.

          Minds certainly should remain open, but if the claimant provides no facts to support the claim and instead depends on an appeal to a pre-existing emotion for validation (in this case justified outrage over the results of terrorism) then the claim trivializes itself.

          Don't we see similar "appeals to outrage" here on /. whenever a story about the DMCA or Microsoft is posted? Such arguments are no more valid when they are presented by a corporation to a Congressional committee than they are when presented by one of us in this forum. They just have a larger and more influential audience.

      • by cje ( 33931 ) on Friday March 14, 2003 @11:28AM (#5511560) Homepage
        I can't wait for the next series of ads from Focus on the Family:

      • by swb ( 14022 ) on Friday March 14, 2003 @11:59AM (#5511833)
        They've broadened the definition of "terrorism" to the point where it means "any organized activity involving force not in agreement with government policy". This of course includes any kind or organized crime, drugs, and so on. You don't even have to have a political motivation.

        Unfortunately they have some creedence, since it's become de rigeur for politically motivated paramilitaries to tax or even run their own contraband operations to fund themselves -- FARC in Columbia, the IRA, Serbian paramilitaries, various Afghan groups, the defacto governments in the Southeast Asian highlands, Syria has heavy drug connections in the Bekaa valley and so on.

        And of course lets not forget US heroin operations in Laos and Cambodia, coke smuggling in central America. I've also seen first hand hash stamped "support afghani resistance" during the height of the Soviet invasion.
    • The Solution (Score:5, Interesting)

      by EvilNTUser ( 573674 ) on Friday March 14, 2003 @10:28AM (#5511042)

      Yeah and Osama Bin Laden is sittin in a cave in Afghanistan with a buncha cds and a burner!

      Surely the government must realize that any amount of legislation won't stop piracy, as it is a worldwide problem. U.S. laws won't stop foreign pirates (like the famous 0s4m4) from selling pirated software to other foreigners (Iraq, North Korea, you know...)

      Therefore, we must make piracy uneconomical. The reason it is lucrative in the first place is that people don't want to pay MS $100 for a copy of Windows. Our only chance of survival is to make sure they don't even want to pay 41 q43d4 $1 for a copy of Windows. How do we do this? Simple!

      I demand that the Federal Government divert huge amounts of money to fund KaZaA and immediately cease all lawsuits against P2P applications to save us from terrorists! After all, we must think of the children. Clearly the RIAA supports this, as made clear by their recent testimonial.

  • by kryliss ( 72493 ) on Friday March 14, 2003 @10:10AM (#5510871)
    And so does unwanted pop up ads
    • by WIAKywbfatw ( 307557 ) on Friday March 14, 2003 @11:58AM (#5511829) Journal
      I wonder how long until someone makes the argument that serving french fries funds terrorism? Or Black Forest cake? Or russian caviar?

      On a lighter note, wouldn't it be wonderful if we could convince Dubya that spam funds terrorism? That'll be just about the only way to get his government to tackle that issue and I'm willing to bet that here's a more than a hint of truth to it too.
  • Sheesh... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by dkf ( 304284 ) <donal.k.fellows@manchester.ac.uk> on Friday March 14, 2003 @10:10AM (#5510872) Homepage
    I wonder how they intend to prove that none of their own shares are owned by terrorists?
    • by milktoastman ( 572643 ) on Friday March 14, 2003 @10:25AM (#5511012)
      and considering that almost every mega-corporation is probably heavily invested with dirty money from the drug trade in addition to that from the terrorists, we can't really purchase anything with a clear conscience....How can you drink Pepsi when you MIGHT be supporting terrorism...there is no moral loophole.
  • by qoncept ( 599709 ) on Friday March 14, 2003 @10:10AM (#5510873) Homepage
    It could be argued that any method of raising money could potentially be for support of terrorism. I don't think selling pirated copies of Windows is a very effective way.
    • by superyooser ( 100462 ) on Friday March 14, 2003 @12:45PM (#5512282) Homepage Journal
      Why not? The value of the actual Windows merchandise is almost completely abstract; 99 percent of the cost is for the license (i.e., paying for Microsoft's permission to use their copyrighted work in accordance with the EULA), not the product's physical material. It doesn't cost much to make copies of CDs and fake stickers. That's easy money.

      The same goes for video games. Nintendo says that they lose over $600 million a year to terrorists [komotv.com]. "Pirated goods have proven to be a popular funding arm for terrorists, and Nintendo recently found out they were being used by Hezbollah, a high-profile terrorist group."

  • by PIPBoy3000 ( 619296 ) on Friday March 14, 2003 @10:11AM (#5510882)
    Dang, I'll have to stop downloading Britney Spears off Kazaa. I didn't realize it helped buy Kalashnikov rifles for terrorists.
  • new PSA (Score:5, Funny)

    by ejaw5 ( 570071 ) on Friday March 14, 2003 @10:12AM (#5510890)
    Got some kid on tv:
    "I helped kill a cop by downloading Windows from Kazaa."

    Another kid: "When I bought a bootleg of Harry Potter, I didn't know I was helping millions of terrorists"
    • Re:new PSA (Score:5, Funny)

      by droid_rage ( 535157 ) on Friday March 14, 2003 @10:44AM (#5511205) Journal
      even worse are the businessmen ads. You know which ones I'm talking about:
      Younger businessman: So I'm supposed to believe that pirating software funds terrorism?
      Older businessman: That's right.
      Younger businessman: Why's that?
      OB: Because it's true.
      YB: Because it's true?
      OB: Because it's true.
      YB: Hm... so it's true.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 14, 2003 @10:12AM (#5510891)
    I mean, sure, I can buy drugs, or pirate music/movies/games. But, I can also drive an SUV, or use oil in other ways. I can also support terror by being critical of the government, or being supportive of the use of encryption and privacy. I mean, so many options, so much terror. Where does one start?
  • Scaremoungering (Score:4, Interesting)

    by The Real Chrisjc ( 576622 ) <slashdotNO@SPAMamoose.com> on Friday March 14, 2003 @10:12AM (#5510893) Homepage
    Doesn't this sound like the MPAA, Microsoft a la RIAA trying to make piracy sound like terrorism, and get the public all jumpy and hate piracy?

    Next, they will be saying that filesharing funds terrorism too. ..
  • so? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Tom ( 822 ) on Friday March 14, 2003 @10:13AM (#5510896) Homepage Journal
    "Terrorism" is just the keyword of the past 18 months or so. Everything you hate gets labelled as promoting terrorism and everything you like is an anti-terrorist measure.

    If it works for little Bush, why not for little Bill?

    There's really nothing unusual going on there. Just the usual stupidity and simple-mindedness.
  • by Simon ( 815 ) <simon@simonzone. c o m> on Friday March 14, 2003 @10:13AM (#5510902) Homepage
    Oooookkkkkeeeey... So I'm supposed to believe that religous extremists, in thier war against the West and the Western culture, are financing operations by pirating and spreading the very thing that they are against.

    It's kind of like hardcore Vegans raising money for a campaign by holding a sausage sizzle.

    Complete bullshit.

    • Re:Taliban (Score:3, Insightful)

      by devaldez ( 310051 )
      I don't know why you wouldn't believe that...after all, the Taliban had agreements with the opium producers in Northern Afghanistan. Why should a religious extremist care if you, an infidel, violate God's laws? And if your stupid enough to fund your own destruction, what delicious irony for them.

      While I don't like the scare tactics and I'd like to see proof of the cash flow, it should be neither surprising nor controversial that illegal activity feeds on itself to society's detriment.
      • Re:Taliban (Score:4, Interesting)

        by arkanes ( 521690 ) <arkanes.gmail@com> on Friday March 14, 2003 @10:37AM (#5511132) Homepage
        There's a long Islamic tradition of mild drug use - opium, marijuana, and (most famously) hashish. It's hardly a violation of thier ethics to sell it. That said, I seriously doubt that a whole lot of the money that American prep kids spend on mild drugs goes to them, although I certainly don't have the full facts available. But then again, neither does anyone else.

        I was also under the impression that the major piracy houses in places like Malaysia were actually semi-legitimate companies - that they operated openly, since it's not illegal there. They might very well still have ties to organized crime, which might in turn have ties to various terrorist groups, but it's not any different than a Mafia boss owning a nice resturaunt.

    • Well, the Taliban made a lot of the money that kept them in power in Afghanistan by growing and selling opium ...
      • by Pxtl ( 151020 ) on Friday March 14, 2003 @11:03AM (#5511379) Homepage
        Actually, the Opium production in Afghanistan went _up_ after the americans saved it. Yes, there was a drug trade in Afghanistan at the time, but the Taliban was not responsible for it. Not that I'm defending them, I just think you should hate people for what they did, not what they didn't.
      • by bheerssen ( 534014 ) <bheerssen@gmail.com> on Friday March 14, 2003 @11:47AM (#5511711)
        Well, the Taliban made a lot of the money that kept them in power in Afghanistan by growing and selling opium ...

        Uh.. The Taliban had very strict laws against opium production. In fact, poppy cultivation has increased by 95% [bbc.co.uk] in Afganistan since the Taliban were removed. While I have no sympathy for the Taliban (certainly a brutally repressive regime), U.S. claims that they used opium production to finance terrorism seem specious to say the least. If there were terrorist groups making money by growing opium in Afganistan, they were most probably doing so without Taliban approval.

  • by Nanite ( 220404 ) on Friday March 14, 2003 @10:14AM (#5510905)
    Want to demonize something but have now real information to back it up? Just say it fund terrorism, works every time!

    • by Reziac ( 43301 ) on Friday March 14, 2003 @11:23AM (#5511525) Homepage Journal
      You took the words right outta my mouth. And I was particularly croggled by this statement:

      Representative Robert Wexler, a Florida Democrat, praised the hearing for highlighting the "disastrous connection" between copyright piracy and organized crime. "I can't help but sit here and wonder ... if parents fully understand the ramifications of what it is to steal a movie or pirate a song," he said. "If more American parents understood the connection between the pirating of intellectual property and organized crime, I think then there'd be a much more effective public relations response in our own country to better appreciate the disastrous ramifications."

      Intended implication being "If your kids illegally download music, they will grow up to be Mafia shills or even terrorists!!"

      The truly scary thing is that some people will actually believe this!! One has to pity their kids. :(

  • Loophole (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 14, 2003 @10:15AM (#5510914)
    How does stealing something for free FUND terrorism? It can't. Lesson here kiddies, it's okay to steal for free. Don't be stupid and buy things.
  • by Natestradamus ( 527591 ) on Friday March 14, 2003 @10:15AM (#5510916) Homepage Journal
    Are they sure they ought to be jumping on it like that?
  • by BoomerSooner ( 308737 ) on Friday March 14, 2003 @10:15AM (#5510920) Homepage Journal
    How about we get rid of religion?

    Sounds like a plan to me.
    • No, people who twist religion into their own agenda fund terrorism and promote it.

      Funny your statement sort of does that. Are you promoting terrorism against people who have faith?
    • The Problem (Score:4, Funny)

      by Greyfox ( 87712 ) on Friday March 14, 2003 @10:56AM (#5511315) Homepage Journal
      This problem is not completely intractable. My regime would require a breeding license in order to breed. Reversable sterilization would be mandatory prior to the onset of puberty and reversed when the license is issued.

      All children will be confiscated and raised in state-run facilities in a standard ISO Certified Environment. Care takers will work in pairs and those pairs rotated on a regular basis. Any hint of subversion (IE: Mentioning any form of religion, attempting to molest or otherwise mishandle the children, etc) will be reported and punished appropriately. Secret police agents will be rotated into the caretaker list from time to time to insure that caretakers are reporting suspecious behavior on the part of their co-workers. Any form of religion will not be mentioned and critical thinking skill development will be encouraged.

      Forcing the interbreeding of the diverse races will also be a long term goal of the regime. At some point the state would probably find it necessary to require citizens to breed across racial lines, until everyone is a single ISO Certified color of Tan. Personally I think this is the only way to resolve the Israel/Palestinian problem too, but I have yet to find a way to a position to force the issue in those populations.

  • News Flash: (Score:5, Funny)

    by pi radians ( 170660 ) on Friday March 14, 2003 @10:16AM (#5510922)
    This just in:

    Breathing supports terrorism. Scientists have just discovered that if you breath oxygen, you are in fact taking away necessary, life giving resources, namely oxygen from those who fight the terrorists.

    The public is now being asked to refrain from breathing so that the counter-terrorists do not run out of oxygen (although is was also recommended that if you are around any terrorist you should try to use as much oxygen as possible, because we believe that terrorists also use oxygen to live).
  • Okay... (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 14, 2003 @10:16AM (#5510923)
    This was out of hand before, but now it's getting really out of hand.

    When most people say "what, do you want to support the terrorists?" they're joking.

    I think these two monopolists have just showed their true selves as far as I'm concerned.

    Anyone who can say something so ridiculous is a joke themselves.
  • Where's the money? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by gristlebud ( 638970 ) on Friday March 14, 2003 @10:16AM (#5510930)
    Typically, piracy in the U.S. is done on a relatively small scale, for the financial gain of small-time people.

    I dont know about the economics of international IP piracy, but I imagine that the piracy is more prevalent in areas where there is not enough money to pay for legitimate software. In this case, there still won't be enough money brought in to make a dent in the terrorists' pocketbooks.

    To make big money, you have to sell things to people with money. This means the west (especially western Europe and the U.S.) The best way to get lots of money from the west is to sell them oil, drugs, or Pr0n.

  • This is why (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 14, 2003 @10:17AM (#5510935)
    And for those who ask why we here on slashdot bash the utter shit out of microsoft, this is JUST why. They're full of shit. They use all means they can do strengthen their position. They'll take advantage of anything they can to grab a little more legal strength as a monopoly.

    They've claimed silly things in the past to aid themselves

    They've screwed over other companies to aid themselves

    They've screwed over their own users to aid themselves ...and they'll just keep doing it.
  • Jurisdiction (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Phroggy ( 441 ) <.moc.yggorhp. .ta. .3todhsals.> on Friday March 14, 2003 @10:17AM (#5510937) Homepage
    Wait a minute. We need tougher laws in the United States, because organized crime gangs in Russia and Malaysia are counterfitting Windows CDs (including the hologram, so people can't tell it's not official) and selling them, which is already illegal? What exactly can the USDOJ do to stop this?
  • by sfe_software ( 220870 ) on Friday March 14, 2003 @10:18AM (#5510943) Homepage
    ...everyone uses terrorism to push their agenda. I'm so sick of that phrase. Don't like something that people are doing? Tell them that it funds terrorists, and they'll stop. I suppose it works -- the average person probably believes this crap.

    I was so pissed the first time I saw the commercial with the teenagers saying "I helped terrorists because I bought a dime bag" (or whatever). 9/11 was a *terrible* event, yes, but to try to make people think they're partly responsible because they commit some petty crime? Total BS.
  • by i_want_you_to_throw_ ( 559379 ) on Friday March 14, 2003 @10:19AM (#5510953) Journal
    Seriously,..remember the Muslim Charity that was nailed funneling money to al Qaeda? Well here's the news story.. [] (Google Cache)

    In case you don't have time to read the story, MS admitted to giving Benevolence International, the Muslim charity that funnled money to al-qaeda, around $20,000. You can buy a lot of box cutters with that money.

    MS had better not throw stones in their glass house. And if you're going to start giving money to charities, it's a good idea to research them and make sure they are legit. Say what you will but MS is SUPER guilty of not doing research on this "charity".
  • Terrorism? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by siphoncolder ( 533004 ) on Friday March 14, 2003 @10:19AM (#5510956) Homepage
    See, the problem here is I doubt they really KNOW this. It's certainly possible, feasible, and plausible, but I don't think they know what they're talking about in this case.

    Upon thought & inspection, this sounds more like they're throwing more fodder on the fire which is quickly razing the USA's foreign policy & relations.

  • by abe ferlman ( 205607 ) <bgtrioNO@SPAMyahoo.com> on Friday March 14, 2003 @10:20AM (#5510958) Homepage Journal
    The way people seem to avoid it today, you'd think shame funded terrorism too.

    But not oil companies, oh no.

  • by terraformer ( 617565 ) <tpb@pervici.com> on Friday March 14, 2003 @10:20AM (#5510963) Journal
    The more small minded corporate shills and their bought and paid for politicians keep this up, the more weakened and desensitized people will become to words like terrorism and war. Soon, they will be hiring PR firms to craft new words to symbolize people worse than "terrorists" and armed conflict will no longer be called war but something else. The current administration would no doubt prefer "liberation". This is absolutely ridiculous. The rest of the world must think we are the biggest bunch of un-educated sheep.
  • by blandthrax ( 575357 ) on Friday March 14, 2003 @10:21AM (#5510968)
    Because, with all the money saved on a pirated copy of MS Office, you can afford to go on vacation.
    • LOL! Seriously, home piracy must contribute to the wider economy in a big way, because personally I've been able to spend about 3000UKP on Other Stuff - some of which creates local jobs rather than profits in Redmond - because my MS software is knocked off. Charging 430UKP a go for Office doesn't create wealth, it just sucks it in. When billg has so much cash he has to give half of it to charity, surely his pricing structure is a bit awry?
  • by shepd ( 155729 ) <<moc.liamg> <ta> <gro.todhsals>> on Friday March 14, 2003 @10:21AM (#5510969) Homepage Journal
    If Microsoft and the MPAA were to release everything under the public domain, there would be nothing to pirate. Ergo, terrorism would end.

    Seems like a good solution for everyone. Microsoft and the MPAA, I implore you to end terrorism! Only you can do it!
  • by MasterD ( 18638 ) on Friday March 14, 2003 @10:21AM (#5510970) Journal
    I like to listen to mp3's [riaa.com] and watch SVCD's [com.com] in my SUV [ariannaonline.com] while I am high [theantidrug.com].
  • by chiasmus1 ( 654565 ) on Friday March 14, 2003 @10:21AM (#5510976) Homepage
    The last time I looked into the Webster's dictionary it said, "the act of terrorizing; use of force or threats to demoralize, intimidate, and subjugate, esp. such use as a political weapon or policy"

    Now, can Microsoft truthfully claim that they are not terrorists? They use force in getting OEMs to only distribute machines with Microsoft tax. They threaten companies who have decided to support Linux or other operating systems. They strive to demoralize and intimidate everything and everyone. They use Microsoft as a political weapon and have changed laws with their money. Microsoft has fit the definition of terrorism perfectly.

    Microsoft is a terrorist organization and they know it. I would not be suprised to see Osama Bin Laden hiding out at the Gates getaway.

  • by nervous_twitch ( 579929 ) on Friday March 14, 2003 @10:23AM (#5510991)
    Of course, even if money from piracy funds terrorism, this assumes you're going to buy the copies these piracy groups make. Why should I buy something pirated in another country.... when I can copy it myself in the privacy(or not) of my own home?

    I don't think terrorism is a good thing, but I'm getting sick of all the reports:

    "Sometimes, _________ is used to fund terrorism, so _________ is evil."

    Drugs are bad because buying them funds terrorism. Yep, that's right. Even when it's homegrown. :P

    I know that all those media conglomerates are the true source of funding for these things. So I'm going to buy my movies from Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and friends from now on.

    I'm sure I could find just as sketchy of a connection between the media companies and terrorism as they can find between [insert comman activity here] and terrorism.

  • by digitaltraveller ( 167469 ) on Friday March 14, 2003 @10:30AM (#5511058) Homepage
    VHS movies in Australia already have an extremely lengthy copyright notice that is specifically designed to be played at fast forward and still impart it's propaganda. I had not rented a new release in awhile so was I in for a surprise. The old copyright notice was still there, plus a new one from the "Federation Against Copyright Theft". It featured a glowing-red eyed psychotic making frenzied movements with a branding iron from a blacksmith's oven stamping CD's and other paraphenlia. His movements were similiar to the way a mentally retarded person acts when they are confused or upset, scattering CD's everywhere, etc. The voice over claimed 'pirates' fund terrorism AND drugs and that THEY MUST BE STOPPED.
    More hysteria for soccer moms everywhere. I've seen mainstream media pick up on this meme too. As the wise George Castanza once said: "Remember Jerry, It's not a lie if you believe it".
  • BSA (Score:3, Funny)

    by gr8_phk ( 621180 ) on Friday March 14, 2003 @10:34AM (#5511099)
    And how is that different that buying M|cro$oft products that fund the BSA?
  • RTFA (Score:3, Informative)

    by Christopher_G_Lewis ( 260977 ) on Friday March 14, 2003 @10:35AM (#5511104) Homepage
    I wish people would read the articles before summarizing them *incorrectly*.

    Yes, Microsoft & MPAA stated that pirating is rampant and bad.

    They did *NOT* state that pirating=terrorism. That statement was made only by the Justice Department (which is not necessarily better, IMHO, but significantly different to the slant that the article lends).

    From the article:
    John Malcolm, a Justice Department official who oversees the computer crime division, warned the panel about the connections between copyright piracy and terrorism.

    "Organized crime syndicates are frequently engaged in many types of illicit enterprises, including supporting terrorist activities," Malcolm said. "All components of the Justice Department...will do everything within their power to make sure that intellectual property piracy does not become a vehicle for financing or supporting acts of terror."
  • Ever Notice... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Greyfox ( 87712 ) on Friday March 14, 2003 @10:36AM (#5511112) Homepage Journal
    How stock fraud doesn't fund terrorism? Funny how that works...
  • by E-Rock-23 ( 470500 ) <lostprophyt AT gmail DOT com> on Friday March 14, 2003 @10:37AM (#5511130) Homepage Journal

    This is nothing more than a power grab. Plain and simple. That's the only explaination.

    You want to know who's funding Osama bin Laden? Osama himself is. That wacky guy has almost $300 million dollars, and it's all his. He's bankrolling his own operation. We've already proven that his buddies have also been funding him, too. Hardcore militant Arabs are all about one thing: sticking to their guns and ousting technology in favor of hardline Muslim rule. That means oppressing women, forcing their will on people, and keeping things in the stone age. The only two uses they have for technology is A) Keeping Osama alive (he's on kidney dialasys) and B) using it against us to further his agenda.

    Microsoft and the MPAA/RIAA are only concerned about two things: losing money, and keeping control over their respective industries.

    I have only two words for them: Fuck 'em.
  • Uh, yeah (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Thoguth ( 203384 ) on Friday March 14, 2003 @10:41AM (#5511167) Homepage
    Burning a mix CD of Moog Cookbook supports terrorism, but a "Christian" country unilaterally declaring war on a Muslim nation doesn't?
  • Bad Day (Score:5, Funny)

    by milo_Gwalthny ( 203233 ) on Friday March 14, 2003 @10:43AM (#5511190)
    So, driving to work in my Lincoln Navigator while smoking dope and listening to my pirated copy of Rage Against the Machine was probably not the best way to start the day?
  • by Confessed Geek ( 514779 ) on Friday March 14, 2003 @10:43AM (#5511198)
    What they are basicly saying is that some people sold some stuff, then MAYBE gave the money to the bad guys. This is like saying that capitalism fund terror.

    This is like the really awful adds they have been running in the states where they talk about drug money funding terrorists.

    What this means is that the US "War on drugs" fund s terrorism, as it is the current laws that artificially inflate the prices of narcotics to the point where it is highly profitable to sell them. You would think the US would have learned this lesson during Prohibition when the banning of alcohol pushed usage through the roof and funded the growth of organized crime.

    Artificial scarcity has created the whole drug economy. Remove that factor and it will no longer have the huge profit margin. Remove the profit margin and incentive to produce and distribute will be reduced, as well as the money available to be spent on weapons, bribes, and other criminal/terrorist groups.

    Will it end drug traffic? No. Will it make it a heck of a lot harder for the organized groups involved to pay for weapons, transport, and bribes? Yes. You have to ask yourself which is more dangerous. People screwing themselves over of their own free will as they already do, or large well funded, armed, influencial groups that are activly working to increase their sales and protect their profit.

  • You know... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Millennium ( 2451 ) on Friday March 14, 2003 @10:44AM (#5511203)
    Enough of this. The "x funds terrorism" crap is getting just stupid. In fact, now I'm thinking of making a Six-Degrees-of-Kevin-Bacon type game: "Everything Funds Terrorism".

    Basically, the user searches on an industry or activity, and -ideally in six steps or less- it's put into a chain of other industries or activities, leading back to terrorism.

    I'm only half-joking; this would make an interesting project, and I hope it would get the point across: that terrorism must not be allowed to significantly impact our lives. Because that really is how they win, by dominating us through fear.
  • by phrantic ( 630202 ) on Friday March 14, 2003 @11:00AM (#5511352)
    This is the political version of FUD.

    Pick something that people hate and use the hatred of as a vechicle to drive all kinds of crap under the nose of joe public

    "Uh huh, we'd like clean air too buddy, but you know it's them damn terrorists"
    "Drilling for oil in the rain forest, before we sell it to the corporate burger guys to raise cattle in inhumane conditions, we'd love to stop it too but you know it's them damn terrorists"
    "we'd love to stop bugging your phone but you know ...."
    repeat until the next election, kiss baby, smile, wave at camera.

    I am taking suggestions, on what will take over from Terrorism, open source anyone?

  • by airship ( 242862 ) on Friday March 14, 2003 @11:03AM (#5511378) Homepage
    is that you should create your own pirate copies at home, rather than chance buying a pirate copy that could fund terrorism.
  • by Lysol ( 11150 ) on Friday March 14, 2003 @11:22AM (#5511518)
    If more talk like this get's to the people in congress and the government, this could soon encompass the 'you're either with us, or against us' attitude the infects the current administration.

    Why is this not good?. For quite a few reasons. Many in the free software and open source community face various uphill battles when trying to use or get others to use non-commercial, specifically, non-m$ products. Linking piracy of IP to terrorism starts sending the message that anyone interested in not buying software could be deemed a non-patriotic (think France and the Florida Freedom Fries and Liberty dressing if you don't follow me) and someone helping anyone that doesn't necessairly fall in line with the accepted point of view of what's legal and what isn't, is gonna soon be in trouble.

    I'm all for supporting the software industry and making money selling software. However, the price barrier for purchasing software in other countries is sometimes so high, that the only alternative is to get a pirated copy. This monolithic view of buy our software at the price we set, period!, can only play well in economies that can support the cost. If m$ would instead take this as maybe their customers outside of wealthy countries cannot afford $199 for a version of XP and we will then adjust accordingly and fairly, then I think there would actually be less piracy. However, Bill did not become the worlds richest man being fair.

    That said, when a proven monopoly, who got off scott free, links these circumstances to terrorism, it basically opens the door for the U.S. govt to now start not only being the morality police of the world, but the information police. This is not far fetched. When a company pushes the way m$ has for Palladium, Digital Restrication Management, and product activation, closed 'standards', they basically start controlling how you can and cannot access information. As time rolls on this will become more and more critical as more and more of the world hits the net and connects with other. This is textbook civics/government high school class stuff.

    These issues are well documented through many writers on many sites. The connection of information, freedom to own what you buy (not a license to use it), intellectual property, and the linking of piracy to terrorism makes for a dim future for everyone who does not want to, cannot follow along (land of the free?) or cannot afford ot license every idea and process under the sun. The America for the individual will be fine as long as you play within the boundries set by the few like Valenti, Gates, Ashcroft (remember how he said the latest m$ court 'ruling' was a victory for the consumer??) - their vision of morality and what constitutes fairness.

    Frankly, this persuades me more and more to let friends and family know that their use of products that these companies crank out, will restrict their freedom more and more as time rolls on. As technologies like Palladium and DRM mature and are used more widely throughout the world, these issues will be harder, if not impossible to dodge and the way the net and our machines work now, will not exist. It is up to everyone who sees this to do their part, however small. Support the FSF, Non-M$ anything, your local/fav Linux distro, contribute some code or time to a os/gpl/free project, or purchase hardware from alternate non-M$ only hardware manufacturer (are there any?). Along with our voices, our dollars will be the most significant in making sure that we will have a choice in the future.
  • by thatguywhoiam ( 524290 ) on Friday March 14, 2003 @11:30AM (#5511579)
    I'd like to remind the readership of Slashdot that we are, of course, discussing remarks made by the illustrious Jack Valenti.

    You know, that Jack Valenti.

    "I say to you that the VCR is to the American film producer and the American public as the Boston strangler is to the woman home alone."

    "What is fair use? Fair use is not a law. There's nothing in law."

    And my fave,

    "I sleep each night a little better, a little more confidently, because Lyndon Johnson is my president. "

    That's an old one, but sort of illustrates the point. Jack Valenti is a ridiculous dinosaur from the Johnson administration, and he still thinks like a military guy from that era. He's not an idiot, but he is massively self-deluding, and you can count on him to not concede anything he doesn't absolutely have to. Like many old-school execs, Valenti will never totally grasp the fact that scarcity of media is history. He'd rather fight than adapt. Which is a shame - as these types of organizations (MPAA studios, etc.) essentially have a first-shot opportunity when situations like P2P arise, through startup capital and established contracts.

    It's rhetoric. He does it to get a rise out of people. It's the Bigger Hammer approach. You can try and yell louder, or you can ignore him.

  • by Viking Coder ( 102287 ) on Friday March 14, 2003 @11:32AM (#5511596)
    Before I begin, let me say that I really, truly, hate the SlashDot lameness filter. You have no idea how long I spent trying to format this to have more than 39.7 characters per line!

    Hostettler (R-Indiana): "Before we begin, I'd like to thank all of the Gummi Bears for making the long journey from GummiGlen in the Kingdom of Dunwyn."

    Zummi Gummi: "It is an honor to come and speak to you, today, your honors!"

    Waters (D-California): "I used to love your show!"

    Jenkins (R-Tennessee): "Not as much as I did, Waters! I used to watch it every Saturday! And then, later, when it switched to be one of those 'After School' cartoons, I used to watch it then, too!"

    Gruffi Gummi: (mutters to himself)

    Hostettler (R-Indiana): "Yes, well... Ladies and gentlegummies, we face a very serious issue today. One that affects all of us. From the smallest child in the heart of the Midwest, to the greatest of Gummies, bouncing in the forest. The issue is that of Duke Igthorn supporting terrorists!"

    (collective gasp from the audience)

    Sunni Gummi: "That's right, your honor! He's a terrorist!"

    Lofgren (D-California): "If you would, Mr. Gummi, explain in your own words why you think this Duke Igthorn has ties with terrorism."

    Zummi Gummi: "Certainly. Well, it seems to happen every week, Saturday morning, at about 9:00 AM, Eastern Time (8:00 AM Central). We're bouncing here. And there. And everywhere. And then all of a sudden, we're forced to have a high adventure, far beyond compare."

    Jenkins (R-Tennessee) and Waters (D-California): (start humming)

    Tummi Gummi: (Eats a cookie. And another, and another, and another...)

    Nadler (D-New York): "Yes, that's all well and good, Mr. 'Gummi', is it? Yes. But that hardly constitutes a terrorist action!"

    Cubbi Gummi: "But, your honor!"

    Grammi Gummi: "Now, now, Cubbi! Let the others do the talking."

    Zummi Gummi: "I see what you mean. Well, they're always trying to steal our Gummi Juice!"

    Nadler (D-New York): "Uh huh. And would you please describe this 'Gummi Juice'?"

    Zummi Gummi: "Well..."

    Nadler (D-New York): "Isn't it true that it is this 'Gummi Juice' which makes it possible for you to bounce" (reading) "'Here and there. And everywhere', Mr. Gummi?"

    Zummi Gummi: "I uh..."

    Nadler (D-New York): "And isn't it true, Mr. Gummi, that the effects of this 'Gummi Juice' can best be described as being an analeptic amphetamine!"

    (collective gasp from the audience)

    Gruffi Gummi: "Why you!"

    Zummi Gummi: "No! Gummi Juice isn't a drug! It's harmless!"

    Nadler (D-New York): "'Harmless', you say? 'Harmless'? Well, if you're so certain that it's 'harmless', perhaps you could educate us about this 'Gummi Juice' by giving us the recipie?"

    Cubbi Gummi: "Wait a minute! That's not Jerrold Nadler, the Democrat from New York! That's Duke Igthorn!"

    (collective gasp from the audience)

    Duke Igthorn (D-New York): "Curses! Damn you Gummi Bears!"

    Hostettler (R-Indiana): "Goodness! Explain yourself, Jerrold!"

    Duke Igthorn (D-New York): "Yes, I am Duke Igthorn! But that doesn't change the fact that these Gummies have taken part in terrorist activities themselves!"

    Grammi Gummi: "That's not true!"

    Duke Igthorn (D-New York): "Yes it is! You Gummies have ruined my castle so many times that I'm not sure there's anything left of the original!"

    Gruffi Gummi: (chuckles)

    Duke Igthorn (D-New York): "Silence! And that's not all! These Gummies have helped to defeat fingerprint sensors!"*

    (collective gasp from the audience)

    Gruffi Gummi: (mutters to himself)

    Zummi Gummi: "We didn't want to defeat those fingerprint sensors! We were forced to!"

    Duke Igthorn (D-New York): "And so, I move that this special session be called to a close!"

    Jenkins (R-Tennessee): "You can't do that!"

    Duke Igthorn

  • To be fair... (Score:5, Informative)

    by gilroy ( 155262 ) on Friday March 14, 2003 @11:46AM (#5511706) Homepage Journal
    ... it isn't clear that Microsoft or the MPAA made the terrorism charge. From the article,

    John Malcolm, a Justice Department official who oversees the computer crime division, warned the panel about the connections between copyright piracy and terrorism.

    For now, at least, the corporations are not exactly synonymous with the government.... even if they do pull the strings.
  • by Didion Sprague ( 615213 ) on Friday March 14, 2003 @12:30PM (#5512099)
    This doesn't surprise me one bit.

    In the early 1980s, I tried a similar tactic with my parents. I was hooked on video games, and attempted to explain that if I didn't get an Atari 2600, they'd be funding terrorism.

    I also explained the lack of quarters for the Aladdin's Castle in the mall was probably funding terrorism. When I wanted a TRS-80 Model I Level II computer and my parents refused, I urged them to rethink their stance. "Not buying the computer probably means you're funding terrorism."

    My dad looked at me, told me to go to my room and not come out for a while. From behind my bedroom door, I yelled out that by grounding me, they were supporting the Soviets in Afghanistan. By not purchasing the Mattel 'Big Trak' remote control car I coveted, they were essentially supporting the Argentinians in the Falkland Island dispute. But they held firm.

    When, many years later, my parents refused to fund the purchase of my first automoble (a little Buick Opel), I wondered whether or not their recalcitrance wasn't actually helping Manuel Noreiga in Panama. I explained that by refusing to do what I asked was probably assisting rogue regimes across the globe.

    And now, take a look around. The North Koreans are threatening to rain missiles down on America's cities. Sadaam Hussein is sitting in his bunker with some sweet tea, watching Tony Blair struggle for his political life. General Idi Amin Dada is still exiled in Saudi Arabia, but I'm betting he's got a funding pipeline that comes directly from all those times my parents refused to give me five dollar bills so that I could go to Aladdin's Castle and get the five extra tokens when you stuck a five dollar bill in the cash machine.

    The rise of rogue regimes is the direct results of doing things I didn't want done. Microsoft is absolutely right.

  • Chilling quote (Score:5, Interesting)

    by PhrackCreak ( 136718 ) on Friday March 14, 2003 @12:43PM (#5512263)
    Last year, as previously reported, a bill was introduced to Congress that originally was designed to address the hologram issue. But it morphed into something that would make it a federal felony for people to try and trick devices into playing their own music or running their own computer programs.

    Read that again - federal felony for ... playing their own music or running their own computer programs.
  • Impossible (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Hrothgar The Great ( 36761 ) on Friday March 14, 2003 @12:46PM (#5512304) Journal
    Unless you're actually a member of a terrorist organization using piracy to directly fund your group, NO professional pirates would give their funds away to terrorists, for one simple reason: profit.

    Professional pirates are businessmen. (Also see: professional drug dealers). If they invest money in anything, they want to see some sort of return on it - giving the money to terrorist groups is about as financially effective as setting it in a pile and lighting it on fire. Why would anyone trying to maximise their profits give their money to people who can't make it into more money, when sound investment opportunities are right there for the taking?

    Having terrorists blow things up and wreck the economy is also not exactly something that someone who wants to make good investments would probably be very interested in. So, now you have two great reasons not to give your money to these people. So, seriously, NO ONE is doing this, and the entire concept is bullshit.
  • by MediaBoy77 ( 469933 ) on Friday March 14, 2003 @01:08PM (#5512506)
    ...if only our elected officials had the cojones to say it out loud.

    The black market in software and pirated DVDs only exists because there is a profit to be made by selling those pirated items.

    If you make it possible to obtain those items without paying for them (i.e. P2P networks), then there's no profit to be made by selling individual discs!

    Thus: Napster, Kazaa, and Gnutella are fighting the war on terror!
  • by bmajik ( 96670 ) <matt@mattevans.org> on Friday March 14, 2003 @07:26PM (#5515853) Homepage Journal
    because i had normal mod points when i saw this, but unfortuneately the story submitter is an IDIOT, and michael is also an IDIOT, and many of the people posting responses haven't read ANYTHING related to the article except the posted blurb by the first IDIOT, and thus look like IDIOTS themselves.

    The slashdot submissions clearly says that microsoft and the MPAA are both testifying that piracy supports terrorism.

    "[Yesterday's] Oversight Hearing on "International Copyright Piracy: Links to Organized Crime and Terrorism" featured the MPAA and Microsoft testifying that software and movie DVD counterfeiting is an acute problem, with criminal gangs operating factories in Russia, Malaysia and other countries that have weak copyright laws. They further claim that intellectual property piracy is a vehicle for financing or supporting acts of terror."



    Here is the exact testimony of the microsoft lawyer. Terrorism is not mentioned a single time.

    Microsoft's only contention here is that the majority of large scale piracy is done by very well funded operations with links to organized crime, primarily backed by and operating in countries with less strict or non-existant IP laws. It then goes on to say that much of the profit (and its nearly ALL profit) of these operations goes to funding other activity within those crime organizations, some of which is violent crime. There is PROOF of this cited in the comments. The only part of it that is conjecture is the estimated revenue and job losses due to piracy, the arguments against which are well known and do not need to be repeated here.

    Nowhere in the microsoft testimony, nor in the ZDNET article is there any link between MS testimony and terrorism _at all_. Nowhere is MS claiming that piracy causes terrorism. Nowhere is there anything to indicate that MS and the MPAA are best friends in crushing your inner child.

    This website might as well change its name to "microsoft_enquierer" or "microsoftdailysun" or some similar such tabloid name.

    Oh wait! we already have theregister (which nearly every MS related article on slashdot invariably links to as an authoritative or credible source of "journalism")

    If slashdot is going to try and act as a political or any other kind of entity, stick to the facts, clearly differentiate conjecture from reality, and at least make a half hearted attempt at being accurate.

All science is either physics or stamp collecting. -- Ernest Rutherford