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New RIAA/MPAA "Customary Historic Use" Plan 444

Random_Transit writes "Ars Technica is reporting that the EFF has dug up plans by the RIAA/MPAA to stifle the consumer electronics market by replacing it's "fair use" policy with something called "Customary Historic Use". This new policy would effectively keep anyone from inventing any new type of media device without the RIAA/MPAA's say-so."
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New RIAA/MPAA "Customary Historic Use" Plan

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  • RIAA (Score:5, Insightful)

    by UPZ ( 947916 ) on Sunday January 22, 2006 @05:37AM (#14531568)
    Monopoly does this to people.
    • Re:RIAA (Score:4, Funny)

      by d4nowar ( 941785 ) on Sunday January 22, 2006 @06:46AM (#14531761)
      Yeah... it also lets you build houses/hotels on your property.
    • Re:RIAA (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Heembo ( 916647 ) on Sunday January 22, 2006 @09:17AM (#14532149) Journal
      The record company visionaries are seeing the end of the road. In the past, you bought a record. Then an 8-track (only if you were hip). Then cassette. CD. Some moved to DVD, but many are getting mp3s' and the road is at an end. I don't need to move to the next latest-and-greatest way of listening to music. My imperfect transportable mp3 collection will follow me til the end of digital time without need to buy again.
      • post-mp3 (Score:3, Insightful)

        by allelopath ( 577474 )
        I agree with you to a point, ie, after digital, no need to go further. However, I don't see mp3 as the ultimate in digital. Soon enough, there will be something with far more fidelity and occupying far less space.
        • Re:post-mp3 (Score:3, Insightful)

          Most people won't be able to notice higher fidelity, and computer storage space is becoming larger and less expensive, so it will be hard to convince people to re-buy all of their mp3 music to get these things.
  • Bring it on! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ozmanjusri ( 601766 ) <aussie_bobNO@SPAMhotmail.com> on Sunday January 22, 2006 @05:37AM (#14531570) Journal
    Great, this is what I want to see from the RIAA. The more they restrict how people can use their commercial crap, the more encourage independants who'll value their listeners.
    • Re:Bring it on! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by MaelstromX ( 739241 ) on Sunday January 22, 2006 @05:51AM (#14531605)
      You're missing the point. When the RIAA uses its influence in D.C. to regulate technological progress (or lack thereof), you're not going to be able to enjoy your independent music in the ways you'd like to (i.e. anything that doesn't fall under "customary historic use").

      Though now that I see it, you live in Australia, so please allow 6-8 weeks for the lunacy to reach your shores.
      • Re:Bring it on! (Score:5, Interesting)

        by ozmanjusri ( 601766 ) <aussie_bobNO@SPAMhotmail.com> on Sunday January 22, 2006 @06:15AM (#14531672) Journal
        you're not going to be able to enjoy your independent music in the ways you'd like to

        I won't be allowed to wander down to the pub and listen to them play?
        Seriously though, the RIAA has already lost this. The cat's out of the bag, the worms are out of the can. Right now, they're playing a stall game to buy time for a response, but I think in the long run they'll be too fat and unwieldy to adapt, so they'll wither, if not die.

        There's already too many ways out there that'll allow talented people to make and distribute music for the RIAA to retain their stranglehold on the market. We're already seeing that here (in Western Australia) where our remoteness meant local musicians have had virtually no chance of getting signed with a label. There's a great buzz of talent starting to realise they can do it all themselves with a few thou's worth of recording gear and a friendly web host.

        I'm looking forward to it.
      • Re:Bring it on! (Score:3, Interesting)

        by lachlan76 ( 770870 )

        Though now that I see it, you live in Australia, so please allow 6-8 weeks for the lunacy to reach your shores.

        6-8 weeks? Pfft...Real ID made it over in under 3.
      • Re:Bring it on! (Score:4, Interesting)

        by pallmall1 ( 882819 ) on Sunday January 22, 2006 @09:49AM (#14532231)
        you're not going to be able to enjoy your independent music in the ways you'd like to
        Also, you won't be able to enjoy any personal recordings the way you'd like to. The hardware will only play the content if the content is tagged with explicit permissions, even if the permission is "unrestricted." So if I record something on my own equipment, much of it home-built from the chip-component level, I will have to include special "DRM" code if I want to play the recording back on ANY commercial device. And you can be assured that the "DRM" code will require a non-free license.

        This legislation would allow record companies to receive money on ALL digital content and playback devices, whether they produce (via their phony "artists") or distribute it or not.

        Further, if the "DRM" scheme requires periodically checking in with a remote database to verify a digital key, the entity in charge of the database could UNIVERSALLY disable any content they deem "inappropriate" any time they wish. The legislation may not explicitly state that, but in order for a scheme like this to work, these adjunct capabilities would have to be present. This legislation goes way beyond copy-protection.
        • Re:Bring it on! (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Yartrebo ( 690383 )
          This legislation goes way beyond copy-protection.

          I must have missed that part. I see no error correcting codes or titanium disks or requirements for the seller to provide a replacement copy at cost if yours breaks or gets scratched or any other provisions that would protect your copy.
        • Re:Bring it on! (Score:5, Interesting)

          by ZachPruckowski ( 918562 ) <zachary.pruckowski@gmail.com> on Sunday January 22, 2006 @01:44PM (#14533352)
          That just begs for the mother of all monopoly suits though.

          I make a movie, and plan to distribute it free to increase buzz about my company before moving to the standard "pay for DVDs or theatre showings" on future movies. If the RIAA requires me to use copy protection, it's certainly hard to me to encourage sharing. Thus aren't they impeding a competitor's business in an unlawful way?
          • Re:Bring it on! (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Alsee ( 515537 )
            If the RIAA requires me to use copy protection

            But the RIAA isn't requiring you to do anything. They are lobbying/bribing the government to create laws restricting what you can do and to deny the free market from providing any unapproved products and technology.

            That just begs for the mother of all monopoly suits though.

            I don't think you can sue congress under anti-trust laws. :/

    • Great, this is what I want to see from the RIAA. The more they restrict how people can use their commercial crap, the more encourage independants who'll value their listeners.

      I've never quite understood this logic. When you want a specific song, you want that song. Not a similar song by some band you never heard of. The labels have a monopoly on the distribution of songs/albums. You must go through them (to be on the up and up). You can't buy a song from "Bob's DRM-Free Music Store" if Bob doesn't sell that
    • Re:Bring it on! (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Paraplex ( 786149 )
      Yeah I agree completely. The RIAA or any other such organisation no longer offer us *anything*. They used to have control because they had the equipment, the studios, the distribution and the promotional powers, but their time has come to an end. My group Children in the Game [childreninthegame.net] are giving their album away free for whomever wants it, in an attempt to help topple the RIAA's power.

      Once music stops being hugely profitable, people assume music will stop being made. This is complete RIAA propaganda. They suck th
      • Re:Bring it on! (Score:5, Insightful)

        by geminidomino ( 614729 ) * on Sunday January 22, 2006 @09:19AM (#14532150) Journal
        The RIAA or any other such organisation no longer offer us *anything*.


        No, but they offer the wannabe rock stars promises of fame, riches, pelt, and doing blow off hookers' asses. No matter how many bands give thier "it's all about rocking/the metal" spiel, it's very rarely about the music.

        Until we breed musicians who are immune to the cha-ching factor, the RIAA or it's replacement will continue to have us by the balls.

    • Re:Bring it on! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Kjella ( 173770 ) on Sunday January 22, 2006 @10:43AM (#14532425) Homepage
      Great, this is what I want to see from the RIAA. The more they restrict how people can use their commercial crap, the more encourage independants who'll value their listeners.

      You think it's a good combination to have a state-granted monopoly (copyright) and at the same time let that monopoly gauge you any way they want? That is roughly the worst combination ever. For all the talk about independent music and movies, that doesn't matter to a fan because they're not interchangable. And the mainstream music does have a large fanbase, even though some slashdotters will get on their high horse like an art critic looking down on "The fast and the furious" or a porn flick. So simple, so crude, so stereotyped and yet so successful, so entertaining, so appealing to a broad segment of the population. That's almost a crime when it comes to art.

      My point is that this isn't something the market will "fix". If that was the case we could just wipe out all consumer protection laws, all anti-trust laws, all fair use and whatever. The only thing that would happen is that the customer would stay with mainstream media and get even more shafted than he is today. What we're seeing is nothing more than a gross invasion of the privacy and not least the soverignity of my home. They want to be able to tell me what my machines can do to my movies, my music in my living room. Not that anything except the living room seems to be mine anymore.

      I want to see LotR in HDTV. And that I'll probably have to pay a small fortune in a player, HDTV and the movie itself in that format is fine. Obviously I wish it was cheaper, but that is simple supply and demand, maximization of profit. I can live with that. What I don't want to live with is all the rest, and I don't see why I should have to or even have to boycott it. The law should restrict the number of latches, catches, hooks, limitations, restrictions, activations, verifications, crippling, self-destructability and so on a product can contain.

      One of the greatest evils is that you no longer seem to be purchasing anything, and the courts are ignoring it. Why would anyone sell you anything, if they can license it and unilaterally apply catches at will in the fine print, yet in every way it otherwise acts as a sale? You don't need to license it, copies of books have been sold for centuries without selling the copyright, music and movies are no different. If the courts had any balls, they would simply throw out the RIAA/MPAA/BSAs licenses and say "This has the characteristics of a sale, thus it is a sale. The sale is goverened by common law and your EULA is null and void."
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 22, 2006 @05:40AM (#14531578)
    Automobile banned for violating historic customary use laws for the wheel.

    • Re:In other news... (Score:4, Interesting)

      by jc42 ( 318812 ) on Sunday January 22, 2006 @11:08AM (#14532525) Homepage Journal
      Automobile banned for violating historic customary use laws for the wheel.

      Funny, yes, but also similar to a lot of real history.

      In a lot of places, when autos started appearing, laws were passed that were attempts to ban them by making them useless. For example, there were laws limiting them to 4 or 5 mph, about horse speed. Some places had laws requiring that a motor vehicle be preceded by a rider on horseback.

      Needless to say, these laws didn't last long (though it turns out that they are still on the books in some places). But for some years, they were a good way of collecting a bit of toll money in the form of fines from visitors.

      Anyone have any good early anti-auto laws from your vicinity?

      • Re:In other news... (Score:4, Interesting)

        by AlterTick ( 665659 ) on Sunday January 22, 2006 @11:47AM (#14532702)
        A list of "suggsted" automobile laws:
        "Rules of the Road" published in a bulletin by the Farmers Anti-Automobile Society included:

        "All motorists must carry sugar to make friends with the horse. When a horse approaches, the motorist must drive into the nearest meadow or forest and cover his vehicle with a camouflaged blanket."

        "If a car should cause a team of horsed to run away, the driver shall be fined $50 for first mile and $100 for each succeeding mile until the horses are stopped."

        "Cars at night must send up red rockets every mile and wait 10 minutes for the road to clear. Speed shall never exceed 5 miles an hour. And the motorist must proceed with caution, blowing horn and shooting off Roman candles."

        "Upon approaching a corner, the car must be stopped not less than a mile from the turn. To ascertain if the road is clear, the driver must sound his horn, rind a bell, fire a revolver, hallo, and send up three bombs at intervals of five minutes."

        "Cars must be painted to merge with the scenery-green in the spring, golden in the summer, red in the autumn, and white in the winter."

        "Speed limit on country roads this year will be secret and penalty for violation will be $10 for every mile the offender is caught going in access of it."

        "When a horse approaches, the driver of the vehicle must take the automobile apart and conceal the parts in the grass or bushes alongside the road until the horse has passed.

        Ridiculous, right? Not at the turn of the century, when the rules of the road condemned the motorist and pampered the horse! In the early days, the motorists were a beleaguered few, hemmed in by a variety of animosities and jealousies. Admirers of the horse, together with all industries that had grown up around horse-drawn transportation, and the diehards who wanted no change in the easy tempo of like, had little trouble persuading rural-dominated legislatures and city and town councils to adopt highly restrictive laws and regulations.

        Cars were not permitted in city parks. They had to dump out all gasoline before going aboard a ferry. Still on some statute books are laws requiring a motorist to come to a halt, turn off the engine, and give whatever assistance was required to get a skittish horse to go by. Roads were pathetic. A motorist had to buy new tags and driver's licenses to cross a state line-in some instances, even a county line. Some states required registration fees in each county through which a vehicle passed. Missouri charged $30 to cross the state east-west and $50 north-south.

        There were laws requiring a motorist to send a warning sentinel with a red flag one-eighth of a mile ahead of his vehicle. In Urbana, Ohio, vehicles were limited to a speed of four miles and hour when crossing another road, at the same time ringing a bell or gong. In Flint, Michigan, a law read: "It shall be unlawful for any person to drive an automobile on the streets of Flint, Michigan, while being subjected to the embrace of any other person."

        (NOTE: above work not mine. I found it in a discussion forum, poorly attributed as being "from an article")

    • by Anonymous Brave Guy ( 457657 ) on Sunday January 22, 2006 @01:36PM (#14533308)

      If I read it right, it's more like walking being banned because it's not customary historic use of a car*.

      *Available from all major auto dealers, starting at $10,000.

      Some of provisions cited in TFA sound like they could affect people's ability to play and record their own original compositions, even if there was no connection to any of the major record labels at all!

  • by Southpaw018 ( 793465 ) * on Sunday January 22, 2006 @05:41AM (#14531582) Journal
    This isn't even in the same realm, is it? That's why I say one step...perhaps the better term would be "away" and not forward or backward. Our constitution doesn't cover the issue of fair use rights as far as I'm aware, but shouldn't legal precedent prevent anything this insane from being upheld on challenge?
  • funny (Score:2, Insightful)

    by realTremens ( 947923 )
    "At the height of their cultural power, the samurai were authorized to kill peasants for an insane number of reasons, including 'acting in an other than expected manner.' So look on the bright side: at least we don't live in feudal Japan... yet." haha
  • by MaelstromX ( 739241 ) on Sunday January 22, 2006 @05:44AM (#14531591)
    Please contact your lamebrained Senator [senate.gov] to let him know what you think of the bill he's introducing.
    • Write both of your own state's senators AND this guy. There's no reason to keep your letter-writing campaign limited just to the guy who introduces the bill. Hit up the chairs of the committees it's sent to as well.
    • by MillionthMonkey ( 240664 ) on Sunday January 22, 2006 @06:21AM (#14531690)
      I'd like a law like this too. If technology ever makes my job obsolete, I plan to stay at home watching TV and receiving payments from my current employer, as mandated by a proposed law intended to preserve the status quo I enjoy today: the "Nerd Employment Preservation Act of 2006".

      If we scrape together some money we can easily have this done. Republican Senator Gordon Smith, for example, the genius behind this fair use bill, can be bought for pretty cheap: [wweek.com]
      Between May 2001 and May 2002, Abramoff wrote three $1,000 checks to Smith, followed by a $2,000 check in June 2002 from one of his main clients, the Mississippi Band of Choctaws. In late October 2002, right before Smith's reelection, while he enjoyed a large lead in the polls over Democrat Bill Bradbury, the senator accepted three more checks totaling $4,000, two from the Mississippi tribe and one from another Abramoff client, the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians in California. Since the election, Smith has received two additional checks from Abramoff's Indian clients, totaling $6,000.
      Why should record companies get all the status quo preserving laws? If everyone in this thread were to donate $10 to a special PAC, we could probably get the "Nerd Employment Preservation Act of 2006" passed easily. And we could make extra money by taking short positions on the stocks of all our employers before Wall Street finds out about our new law.
    • I'm from Roseburg, and I'm part of his major constancy of rural folks. And I appealed to his belief in the principles of small government, and the fact that this will break Oregon's tech market. While our media market sucks. Really makes no sense for an Oregon senator to vote for, let alone submit.
  • by ArsenneLupin ( 766289 ) on Sunday January 22, 2006 @05:46AM (#14531597)
    Indeed, by definition, a patent describes something "new" (at least, in theory, it should...).

    If it's "new", it cannot be "customary historic". Thus, at least in the area of multimedia, this law will mean that from now on, no algorithms may be patented.

    Either they have to admit that their algorithms are not "new", and they should not be patentable. Or they must admit that they are "new", and thus cannot be "customary historic". Now settle that among you, RIAA and patent sharks!

  • by Sique ( 173459 ) on Sunday January 22, 2006 @06:02AM (#14531636) Homepage
    I've grown up in a country with a law defining the legal devices to replay recorded music. In this case it wasn't for home use though, but for public play like in a club or at parties. In this case it was probably to enable the state authorities to check the music for subversive content.
    But the idea is the same: To control the situation, forbid any not yet controlled entity to enter it.
  • Now - I say this in the sense of only wishing to see them succeed in getting ONE of these scams err, schemes that limit fair use through. It will only stifle innovation within America on media devices - if the American public believe that they are missing out they will likely be able to get their senator/congressman/representative of the people to enact change that gives back the rights to people and removes them from this monopoly organisation

    I am not citizen of the US, nor have I ever visited - my count
  • 20 years or bust (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mrshowtime ( 562809 ) on Sunday January 22, 2006 @06:19AM (#14531683)
    "Customary Historic use" Something only a lawyer could come up with. Really, in 10 years everthing will be able to be downloaded relatively instantly and there ALWAYS will be rogue countries that will allow copyright infringement. Sites like Allmymp3.com will become a one stop shop for downloading media. Then, legislation will be introduced banning or making "unapproved" websites illegal to access. Heck, I would not even be surprised for the RIAA/MPAA to use whatever leftover version of the Patriot Act to stop people from downloading movies/music/media from "unapproved" countries in the guise of national security.

    In a way, I don't blame the media companies for freaking out. In 10 years physical media will almost be on it's way out. You will see much more use of "keys" and "rights mangement" built into EVERYTHING. Valve's Steam network is a good example of things to come. I would go as far to suggest that there will be one world standard coming in the next 10 years for rights management. You won't be able to buy hardware that won't connect to the internet to verify the intergrated rights mangement.

    The way they will get ya, is the "You can download -ANYTHING- now if you accept the new rights management built into everything." This sounds good, but the RIAA/MPAA are greedy a-holes as evidenced by the DIVX (the dvd player, not the codec) debacle; you won't own anything except limited rights that can always be revoked or blocked at any time. Let's say it's 2020 and you want to buy "A Clockwork Orange" only to find out it's blocked by your country for being subversive or obscene (like England did) Pretty much you will have no recourse, no bootlegs, no nuttin, except maybe that old dvd on ebay (if that has not been outlawed by reverse customary historic use).

    I guess with the world going to a cashless society in less than 20 years, I can forsee an "all in one" digital rights card/chip that you carry around with you that will not only get you into the movie theater, but buy downloadable movies/games/music/books/etc. Find a chip/card too cumbersome to carry around? well don't worry the new ruler of europe, Anthony T. Christ, just decreed you must have a RFID chip implanted in you, for -ALL- Commerce and as a bonus will throw in digital rights mangement for free!
    • Re:20 years or bust (Score:5, Informative)

      by stud9920 ( 236753 ) on Sunday January 22, 2006 @06:26AM (#14531705)
      and you want to buy "A Clockwork Orange" only to find out it's blocked by your country for being subversive or obscene (like England did)
      like england did not. Some copycat crimes happened in the UK, Stanley Kubrick, in no way linked to her majesty's government, retired the film in the UKuntil he died.
    • and there ALWAYS will be rogue countries

            Countries that don't follow US copyright law are rogue countries now? Choose your words more carefully before insulting the rest of the world.
  • by jcr ( 53032 ) <.moc.cam. .ta. .rcj.> on Sunday January 22, 2006 @06:24AM (#14531697) Journal
    It's a doctrine of copyright law, which the RIAA and its predecessors have always fought against.

  • Lovely. (Score:5, Informative)

    by Jaazaniah ( 894694 ) on Sunday January 22, 2006 @06:26AM (#14531700)
    When technology first came along and swept music into our lives, it did so en mass. Further broadening the broadcasts will cost someone, that's for sure, but locking codecs into laws, linking ridiculous software patents to laws that won't expire without being smited by a judge with common sense? Here's a funny story. When Phillips and Sony finalized Red Book [wikipedia.org] in 1979, it was done based off another technology source, Laserdiscs. If someone tried that today, they would be swamped by roughly 30 letters of patent infringment warnings, and if this law passes a startup that builds it's own machine (and for arguement's sake avoids stepping on toes) based on HD broadcasts would get slapped with a violation of this new ridiculous bill. (by way of bypassing the Customary Historic Use hardware regulations) Not only is this a blatant slap in the face for creativity in business, but it is also a "Pay to use our patented broadcast flag technology in your hardware or get sued for not doing so anyways!"

    And just so I don't fire people up without giving them an outlet, here's some useful links. We need to hound the government EN MASS to get this proposal squashed.

    Contact List
    U.S. Chamber of Commerce [uschamber.com] - This law is anti-competitive for the above reasons (and likely more). Let them know.

    State-sorted contact list of state senators [senate.gov] - Can you write effectively, and do you want to make a difference? Go here and DO it. There's no reason to sit idle if you, as a citizen here, have an objection. Get others to do it too. Send them the link. Mass email it, mail in an old fashioned petition. Senators don't read Slashdot, and don't consult geeks unless it involves upgrading computers. Go here.
  • by tsa ( 15680 ) on Sunday January 22, 2006 @06:30AM (#14531713) Homepage
    In my country (The Netherlands) downloading for your own use is legal [slashdot.org] (sorry - the links you get are mostly in Dutch). I hope it stays this way for a long time; this prevents moronic laws as the one described in the article to enter Europe for a long time to come. Hopefully.
  • by AHuxley ( 892839 ) on Sunday January 22, 2006 @06:35AM (#14531726) Journal
    So they want total control over the next generation?

    "And if all others accepted the lie which the Party imposed--if all records told the same tale--then the lie passed into history and became truth.

    You will study a RIAA/MPAA approved course, work in a RIAA/MPAA approved media job and get your pension from a RIAA/MPAA approved company.

    No lost 'clips' from the past - just one RIAA/MPAA view of the past - as they will have the only keys to all the press archives.
    Political parties and families can be assured that all the bad stuff is locked away for good now.
    No ghosts from the past to upset any political party 20-30 years on.

    Images of young men and woman before the courts as minor officials will just not exist away as they move up the ladders of power.
    Images of your now top leaders shaking hands with friendly dictators, giving testimony about arms deals or military excesses
    will now all be encrypted.

    • Several others in this thread have suggested that the parent should be modded "Funny." No way -- maybe it's a little exaggerated, but it's not entirely far-fetched.

      Listen folks: DMCA, DRM, DVD region-encoding, malware-laden music CDs, ... none of this is about protecting copyright. It's about controlling access and it always has been. One way or another, people will be able to copy digital content, and the RIAA/MPAA know it. They just want to make sure they remain the controllers of what you can do with
  • OK by me! (Score:4, Funny)

    by paiute ( 550198 ) on Sunday January 22, 2006 @06:38AM (#14531737)
    I still have all my old wax cylinders. That damn punk Rudy Vallee - I showed him at last.

  • by jemnery ( 562697 ) on Sunday January 22, 2006 @06:42AM (#14531746)
    Sorry, but the article refers to American trade associations. I live in a country (the UK) that used to rule a large part of the world, and be by far the most advanced in industry and technology. This is no longer true. If the US wants to go the same way, just keep on stifling innovation in this way. There's nothing to stop China, India, Sweden etc etc from innovating with complete freedom.

    This is not intended to start a flamewar; I've been to the US and enjoyed it, and I'd be the first to defend all the good things that have come from America (despite the current administration).
  • by s7uar7 ( 746699 ) on Sunday January 22, 2006 @07:05AM (#14531820) Homepage
    ...is a new technology that becomes hugely popular in Japan & Europe, but that is banned in the US because of some law introduced at the request of the *AA. Maybe then people will wake up to how these things really effect them.
    • Great, but since all the media is controlled by the *AA, who's gonna tell us about it?!

      I can just see Faux News now, warning us about the "new un-American ter'rist technology" that's "taking over" Europe and Japan...
  • Even if copyright infringement is made a criminal offence (it's not right now as far as I know), to complex reality we live in means still the owner has to take some actions to sue the infringer.

    Which means that the said "customary historic use" really impairs usage of content by RIAA/MPAA and those who are in the same camp as them.

    The independent labels and artists need not enforce this law, and if it's really that bad, what it'll kill in the end is the usage of RIAA/MPAA content, rather than boost its usa
  • I would assume (Score:2, Insightful)

    by binkzz ( 779594 )
    the MAFIAA are afraid of losing power. The Internet weakens their position as artists can release their creativity directly to the users. Maybe they know they're fading away and are trying to lash out in panic to try and keep their position to some degree.

    I remember the MAFIAA calling pirates 'Parasites who feed off of other people's creativity', which I thought was a cunning description of themselves.
  • Music and And Film Industry Associations, or short MAFIA.
    Sounds a lot more appropriate.
  • by mcubed ( 556032 ) on Sunday January 22, 2006 @08:00AM (#14531952) Homepage

    For more than a year in the historical period of 1999-2001, I customarily used the original implementation of Napster to download and share audio files. Therefore, Napster or any service that models itself along those lines is a customary historic use.

    I'm fine with this. You go, Senator Smith!


  • by Stormwatch ( 703920 ) <<moc.liamtoh> <ta> <oarigogirdor>> on Sunday January 22, 2006 @08:05AM (#14531961) Homepage
    Sounds a lot like Directive 10-289 [cox.net] from Atlas Shrugged...
  • by dada21 ( 163177 ) <adam.dada@gmail.com> on Sunday January 22, 2006 @08:21AM (#14532003) Homepage Journal
    The slippery slope of government's renting of their monopoly on the use of force is being proven right here.

    Copyright can't work anymore. I'd say up until 1995 or so, you had copyright laws that were degrading but still were enforceable. It can't be done. It is time for everyone who creates content to find new ways to market it.

    My typical reply to "how?" is to move to live performances and tours -- with a push to sell official merchandise on top of it. Some other people in support of my No Copyright opinions have even thought up other great ways to promote art without copyright:

    1. You can charge your fans for access to your studio creation time via the web.
    2. You can record your live art performance real time, dump it to DVD and sell it to the fans that were at the performance.
    3. You can get a job with a larger company and be a salaried artist.
    4. You can contract out with local pubs to be a regular live performance artist.
    5. You can tour, often, using your cheap/free CDs or free MP3s to promote your music syle.
    6. You can play cheaply in order to promote your real job: teaching others to play an instrument.

    Copyright has one intent: to enable the cartels to retain control of the distribution. There is no other use for copyright enforcement longer than 3 years. I even think that 24 months sounds too long for me.

    I've been debating copyright in real life for 2 years now, and I'm working on opening No Copyright Studios [unanimocracy.com] in Chicago, IL this spring. If you have interest in beating down the RIAA, move away from the law that supports their cartel -- copyright. If you're a band, a painter, a web designer, a sculptor or any other artist, there are ways to sell your art face-to-face for a profit and skip turning over your rights to a cartel middleman.
    • by amper ( 33785 ) * on Sunday January 22, 2006 @02:11PM (#14533508) Journal

      I thought I'd mention that I've added you to my "Friends" here on Slashdot because I find you posts here, and some of the information on your web sites provocative. I disagree, however, with much of your content.

      In this particular post, you again assert the idea that, "Copyright has one intent: to enable the cartels to retain control of the distribution." You've made this assertion multiple times recently, and I have to tell you, you couldn't be more wrong. Copyright does indeed have "one intent", but that intent is, to quote the Constitution, "To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries."

      Unfortunately, this provision in the Constitution, which might I add, was developed by men who possessed a great deal of both insight and foresight, has indeed become polluted by moneyed interests to the point where the restrictions available to copyright holders outweigh the public interest in progress, but I wholeheartedly disagree that, as you put it, "Copyright can't work anymore." Copyright can work, and has served well for the past 200-odd years of the history of our nation. The problem we currently face for copyright is that the barrier to infringement of the copyright privilege has been dramatically lowered by the availablility of low-cost digital reproduction. People who would otherwise remain honest have, in the face of the pollution of the original intent of the copyright and dilution of moral priniciples in our society, begun to infringe upon the privileged grant of authorship because they can do so easily in a relatively anonymous fashion.

      Your assertion that content creators must find new avenues of revenue generation may be a prgmatic reaction to the situation, but the end result is the destruction of a viable way of life for many artists. I find that, in general, those who advocate such measures for artists, and particularly, musicians, as you outline above, are generally not themselves the sort of artists who will find their livelihood placed at a disadvantage. It is all very well for you to advocate a life of constant live performance when you yourself do not seem to engage in such performances. Who are you to dictate what my lifestyle, as a publishing musician should be? Do I agree that the "cartels" have a disproportionate amount of power in the music economy? Certainly, but the answer, in my opinion, is not to throw the baby out with the bathwater and relegate my fellow musicians to "walk the long road".

      It may be that ultimately, it may become impossible for artists to make a living off of the proceeds of recorded works, whatever their form, but I predict that if this comes to pass, the end result will be a dramatic reduction in artistic output of all forms, with the added reality that under such a system of mandatory live performance, access to artistic works will very quickly become restricted to an elite subset of the population with sufficient means and lesiure time to enjoy them. Now, I'd like to examine some of your suggestions, specifically:

      1. You can charge your fans for access to your studio creation time via the web.

      Yes, I can, but this requires not only a large expenditure in equipment (as you yourself should know), but a large store of technical knowledge. This of course, does not take into account that artists may not wish to allow access to "unfinished works".

      2. You can record your live art performance real time, dump it to DVD and sell it to the fans that were at the performance.

      This suffers from all the same problems as #1, but adds the burden of live performance, plus fails to account for the ability of those DVD's to be pirated easily.

      3. You can get a job with a larger company and be a salaried artist.

      Do I really even need to dissect this idea? A salaried artist? I can imagine the societal and artistic value of the creations produced by such a system.

    • My typical reply to "how?" is to move to live performances and tours

      How would this work for people who produce music in the genres that are commonly called "electronic music"?

      2. You can record your live art performance real time, dump it to DVD and sell it to the fans that were at the performance.

      This is patented.

      3. You can get a job with a larger company and be a salaried artist.

      This is the record label business model.

      4. You can contract out with local pubs to be a regular live performan

  • by sticks_us ( 150624 ) on Sunday January 22, 2006 @08:38AM (#14532044) Homepage
    Some points:

    1) Of all the music being made out there, the standard industry practice guarantees you'll only ever hear an insiginficant fraction of what's available, and most of that is successful because it sounds like something else. What you get is the tiniest sliver of what's possible. Most of the greatest music being made will never make it to your ears.

    2) Until recently, music was a social activity (people used to be able to play instruments and entertain family and friends, for example, and they'd also leave the house at times to hear others make music). Take off the headphones.

    3) Enroll in a music class. Pony up the bucks, take some lessons, learn some techniques, and -- gasp -- make some of your own music. Music is OK when it's a passive activity (listening), but nothing compares to being able to make your own.

    Music is something you make, share, and become a part of. When it becomes something you buy (like cereal or beer), it's *always* going to be fettered by copyright laws, etc.

    Take it back, make it your own.
  • Neo-Luddites (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Decker-Mage ( 782424 ) <jack_of_shadows@yahoo.com> on Sunday January 22, 2006 @08:49AM (#14532073)
    So the scribes are going to go crying to mama-government to get a law passed to prevent Gutenberg from using his printing press. I do hope this bill never goes anywhere but I wouldn't be surprised if it did. They do have very deep pockets and it is an election year after all which means the politicians need lots of cash. If it does pass it will come down to the courts weighing fair use against historic use and I don't put much money on fair use as you can be sure the law will remove that privilege (it was never a right, just another provision of the law).

    Let the techno-war begin. Hackers (the good kind) on one side, Neo-Luddit RIAA/MPAA on the other. I think I know which will win (us), but it's going to be messy.

    • Re:Neo-Luddites (Score:3, Insightful)

      by amper ( 33785 ) *
      Fair use is indeed a right, and has always been so. "Copyright" itself, is not in fact a right, but a restriction of publishing rights for any person other than the copyright holder. In fact, a true strict constructionist reading of the Constitution reveals quite clearly that anything not specifically restricted by either the Constitution or statute law is a right retained by the People. Unfortunately, the Supreme Court has for some strange reason taken the stance that rights must be speciically enumerated
  • How? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Jugalator ( 259273 ) on Sunday January 22, 2006 @09:13AM (#14532137) Journal
    How can RIAA/MPAA have any say in how electronic devices are made, and what they can support and can't? How can they even propose anything about it? They're just an organization, not owning electronics companies, and not a political party. I can understand *AA protecting their distributed discs as they have the rights to do so (because the record labels being so are members of *AA), and conversely they don't have any say in protecting discs where labels aren't members, but this is looking like power on a government level when not being part of the government.
  • RICO (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Ralph Spoilsport ( 673134 ) on Sunday January 22, 2006 @09:56AM (#14532248) Journal
    I wonder how long it is going to take for some forward thinking prosecutor to take down the **AA orgs using the RICO law?

    I'm kind of surprised it hasn't happened yet - IANAL, but these shitbags are clearly working a racketeering game.

    Price fixing? yup.
    Stifling competition? yup.

    The list is long...


  • by Dave21212 ( 256924 ) <dav@spamcop.net> on Sunday January 22, 2006 @10:15AM (#14532312) Homepage Journal

    It may not be legal, but it sure is embedded deeply in our customs.

    Would this legalize file sharing ? !
  • Going around this (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Gnaythan1 ( 214245 ) on Sunday January 22, 2006 @10:58AM (#14532478)
    If I was a small manufacturer of electronic devices, and stupid rules like this were the law of the land. I'd make my devices with firmware that can easily be modified on a USB connection.

    I sure as hell would not officially make if open to all formats... but the day I started selling the machine, somehow would be the day the hacked firmware version was available on the internet.

    I'd also not hold press conferences on exactly how to install and upgrade to this hacked version. That would be wrong. I'd probably yell at some consultant who used to work for us(and was paid handsomely) when he held the conference. I'd probably re-hire him at some point, because I am forgiving that way.

    I'd denounce this hack publicly, calling it by its accurate name, so people wouldn't mistake it for some other, double-plus good firmware upgrade.

    I'd even denounce my loyal and faithful software partners, who somehow seem to be giving this firmware upgrade away, in multiple formats for different operating systems, and with no spyware whatsoever... I'd make sure to expose exactly how this upgrade gets to the public. Of course, this bad behaviour by my partners would not interefere with future business relationships, all water under the bridge, really.

    It would be an act of kindness of course, not to press charges on anyone who would hack their device in this way... and a demonstration of goodwill to pick up the legal tabs for anyone sued by some other party who didn't like what the consumer did to our device. Keep it in the family, as it were.

    Or maybe something like Henry Ford's "lawsuit insurance" is an alternative plan. http://www.randomhouse.com/crown/catalog/display.p perl?isbn=9781400050093&view=excerpt [randomhouse.com]
  • by penguin-collective ( 932038 ) on Sunday January 22, 2006 @11:45AM (#14532691)
    Why don't they stop publishing content altogether? Then nobody can steal it anymore, and the rest of us can go on with our lives. The independent stuff is a lot better anyway, and I'm happy to finance that by going to concerts.
  • Looking from the performers side it looks pretty dicrininatory, it give the power to the "performing rights organizations" which are not really organizatons but corporations instead. Sure limits the ability of the poor struggling artist from making an honest dollar.

    I think some legislation to abolish the MPAA and RIAA and create some more fair public organization is in order if these things go into place.

  • by E8086 ( 698978 ) on Sunday January 22, 2006 @12:05PM (#14532825)
    Unlike in their paranoid delusions, everyone doesn't "pirate" their crap, I mean content, no I really mean crap. There has to be something more than blind greed here. I've been saying they want to use DRM to turn everything into a pay-per-view box. Pay to record or buy(I mean rent a limited license change/revokable at any time for any or no reason with no chance of a refund), then pay to watch and continue to pay to rewatch everytime you want play it again. And they'll probably want to ability to remotely delete any or all of your recordings. Will they ever learn that everyone don't download everything that's not free for free. Like most(I hope) people I pay for the content I have. I got a cheap usb tv card, after about an hour of recording the audio gets noticably off, fine when I'm also watching an can stop and restart the recording during the commercials and combine later. I've legaly recorded many dozens of TV eps this way. My DVD collection is over 150 disks, of course I'm inflating the number by including bonus disks and counting TV seasons by number of disks. Compared to my small pile of 19 CDs so you can see where my interest lies. I'm considering getting a TiVo to aid in the inital recording and for shows I'll want to watch once then delete, the re-encoding/compressing (yes I have a legal copy of DivX) can wait.

    Instead of trying to ban all the fun new toys before they've been fully developed maybe they should encourage their developement so the price drops and everyone has one and downloading will stop because everyone can legally record things for their own personal time-shifting use. But that's just for stuff on tv.
  • by alphakappa ( 687189 ) on Sunday January 22, 2006 @12:06PM (#14532837) Homepage
    Quoting directly from the linked article:
    (b) permit customary historic use of broadcast content by consumers to the extent such use is consistent with applicable law;

    Nowhere does it mention that the devices should be limited to customary historic use. It states that customary historic use should be permitted provided that it doesn't break nay applicable law. I'm not an *AA defender, but crying wolf over something that's not there does not help the fight against them. In this case, the ArsTechnica article simply states a line out of context (Notice how the same quote in the first paragraph of the story conveniently edits out the word 'permit' to completely change the tone of that line)
  • by plasmacutter ( 901737 ) on Sunday January 22, 2006 @01:17PM (#14533197)
    The DMCA already does this.

    I have a modded xbox. This is illegal under the DMCA, but it plays every format, open or closed. This would have been available as a cheap set top box under every manufacturer if the DMCA were not there giving these greedy ****s complete regulatory control over the consumer electronics industries.

    Why do they need this law, and why do we need to oppose it? after all, these jerkoffs in hollywood already have complete regulatory control over all devices used to access their releases, and after the transition to HDTV will have complete regulatory control over all devices used to access tv (and don't say the broadcast flag is dead.. cable has rules stricter than the flag and has an 80% market penetration in the US). So exactly how does this make things worse than they already are.
  • by zotz ( 3951 ) on Sunday January 22, 2006 @02:18PM (#14533552) Homepage Journal
    Going on the Offensive.

    I think we need to stop just defending and reacting to these sorts of issues.

    We need to go on the offensive. We need to think of some initiatives that we could push for that would help or just not affect the little players too much and yet would put a monkey wrench in the game plan of the big boys who are constantly trying to pull these stunts.

    Push for this change for instance:

    No more taking works from the Public Domain and making derivatives with all rights reserved types of copyrights. You can sell public domain works fine. You can make derivatives and put them under a copyleft license fine. But you cannot make a derivative of a public domain work and lock it up as you can if you had made something completely new.

    I think something like this might give them the kind of scare that their stunts give us.

    Any thoughts on this idea. Any other better ideas to go on the offensive?

    all the best,

    http://www.ourmedia.org/node/145261 [ourmedia.org]
    Record a "copyleft" song and you could win a thousand dollars.
  • by trawg ( 308495 ) on Sunday January 22, 2006 @10:58PM (#14535921) Homepage
    This new policy would effectively keep anyone from inventing any new type of media device without the RIAA/MPAA's say-so."
    Umm, how many countries are there that are out there aren't owned by the RIAA yet? I can't imagine China (or stacks of those other Asian nations that have been cranking out mp3 players for years before the ipod became cool) suddenly stopping. In fact, surely the opposite will happen - they'll produce more of them.

    The big issue for people living in RIAA-ruled countries (ie, where the RIAA have spent enough money to buy the politicians that are helping shape the laws) will surely be import laws on items like this (ie, no importing of items that don't enforce some sort of DRM). Then we're really fucked.

"There is no distinctly American criminal class except Congress." -- Mark Twain