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Infringement 'Detrimental To the Public Health, Safety'

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the just-may-save-your-family's-lives dept.

Government 348

I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes "The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors has declared that copyright infringement 'substantially interferes with the interest of the public in the quality of life and community peace, lawful commerce in the county, property values, and is detrimental to the public health, safety, and welfare of the county's citizens, its businesses and its visitors.' You might laugh, but that means they can close up a property for up to one year for violations of the anti-infringement ordinance [PDF] and the owner can be fined $1,000 for each infringing work produced on site. Not to mention the penalties in the PRO-IP Act, which just sailed through the House."

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348 comments

So what's it gonna take... (4, Insightful)

MichaelCrawford (610140) | more than 5 years ago | (#23346408)

... to make copyright reform a central issue in the US elections?

I imagine all but a few of the candidates are squarely in the camp of the MPAA/RIAA if they are aware of copyright issues at all.

But more Americans use filesharing than will vote in the election - or at least I know that more shared files in 2003, when I found the figures, than voted for George Bush in 2000.

Re:So what's it gonna take... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23346438)

Every time you download a file, a child gets AIDS

Re:So what's it gonna take... (2, Funny)

Cryacin (657549) | more than 5 years ago | (#23346462)

Every time you download a file, a child gets AIDS
At first I laughed. Then I thought, hmmm... this IS the RIAA. How much are needles again?!?

Re:So what's it gonna take... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23346536)

are you fucking kidding me? i tell you what assfuck, when there is no one going to sleep hungry, when there is no one sleeping in the streets and no ones constitutional rights (and i mean all of them, not just the ones that two certain big parties find noble while shitting on the others) are being threatened can you even BEGIN to think that your so-called right to download ac-dc albums is worth electing an official over.
 
for the most part every bit of the bitching i see that goes on here about copyright deals with this society's entertainment values. just where in the world do you rate a bootleg copy of ironman in relations to anyones right to a decent life outside of the threat of harm or oppression from the government?
 
i can't believe this kind of shit is still coming out of people's mouths after how politicized slashdot has become. it's truely pathetic.

You only think it's about entertainment. (5, Insightful)

Erris (531066) | more than 5 years ago | (#23346688)

That's what's so insidious about the current copyright reign of terror. It's not about AC/DC, it's about freedom of press and without that you and I will never learn of those other serious abuses you are talking about. Real families have already been thrown out of their homes and stripped of their life savings on the flimsiest of evidence about sharing RIAA crap that both of us can agree is trivial. If it's so trivial, why submit to such massive punishment? Don't be fooled, though, this is all about control of public knowledge, opinion and culture. It includes control of entertainment but it's also about domestic spying and neutralization of political opposition such as yourself.

Re:So what's it gonna take... (3, Insightful)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | more than 5 years ago | (#23346834)

Ill repharse that for you so you dont get marked troll

when there is no one going to sleep hungry, when there is no one sleeping in the streets and no ones constitutional rights (and i mean all of them, not just the ones that two certain big parties find noble while shitting on the others) are being threatened can you even BEGIN to think that your so-called right to download ac-dc albums is worth electing an official over.

just where in the world do you rate a bootleg copy of ironman in relations to anyones right to a decent life outside of the threat of harm or oppression from the government?

i can't believe this is still coming out of people's mouths after how politicized slashdot has become. it's truely pathetic.
And just in case I wasn't going to get moded troll too ill add, promoting an unpopular opinion isn't trolling, is this how groupthink slashdot moderation has become, That is truly pathetic.

Re:So what's it gonna take... (1)

hvm2hvm (1208954) | more than 5 years ago | (#23347062)

Well I'm sorry but there can't be a world where everyone is well fed, where there are no homeless and no rights threatened. The more rights you try to give to the people, the more you have to take from them to keep them from interfering with each others rights. Another reason for the inequalities is that inevitably some people are lazier than others, some are smarter than others and some 'fight' more energetic than others. That is why there is this everlasting fight between the consumers and the RIAA and MPAA. They are just as right to defend their rights to get money for something they created(I'm not talking about (MP/RI)AA but the artists) as we are for not paying more money to do what we want with what we bought. There is no solution to this, the only end I can see to it is one side winning and we live like that for a while. Then the other side rises again and we start all over again.

Re:So what's it gonna take... (2, Insightful)

gerardrj (207690) | more than 5 years ago | (#23347158)

But in this country people do have the right to not go to sleep hungry or be harassed.
You have confused the concept of "rights" and "obligations".
Just because people have the right to affordable food doesn't mean that anyone has the obligation to provide it.
To force supermarkets to lower their prices infringes on their right to charge whatever they feel like for products (what the free market will bear).

So what people are really talking about when they say "people ought to have the right to (fill in the blank", they really mean that they want to take away someone else's right(s) and place an obligation on them to do something they otherwise would choose not to do.

That doesn't sound very democratic to me, more like socialism.

Re:So what's it gonna take... (3, Funny)

Alex Belits (437) | more than 5 years ago | (#23347286)

That doesn't sound very democratic to me, more like socialism.
But I support Socialism.

What now, asshole?

Re:So what's it gonna take... (3, Interesting)

explosivejared (1186049) | more than 5 years ago | (#23346578)

Dude what are you talking about!? The MESSIAH himself, Obama peace be upon his name, is all-knowing and can at the bat of an eyelash bring about such a transformative change that the whole intellectual property system will be at peak efficiency!

Kidding aside, Obama does speak about reforming the whole intellectual property system (especially patents, which I do realize are different from copyrights and trade marks), albeit with sort of vague language. It's hard to quantify what exactly he means when he talks about reform, but hey at least he realizes something is wrong with the way we're going. Don't take my word for it, though. [barackobama.com]

I've looked at the other two candidates statements and again find nothing definitive. So I see it breaking down like this. Obama talks about rewriting intellectual property, writes some dream bill, only to have it obliterated in Congress due equally to his lack of commitment and Congress's general distaste for effective legislation. McCain and Clinton would probably be open to reform, but would jump at the chance to think of the children and gravitate towards anything that hurts filing sharing due to the whole child pornography thing.

In the end, there just aren't enough people that care. Now if we could find some way to relate copyright reform to gasoline prices, we might have a shot. People don't realize how important competent legislation is when it comes to an economy that becomes more dependent on the rapid share of information every day. The legal morass doesn't end with the MPAA and RIAA. We have patent trolls and perpetual litigators making things worse for everyone.

Re:So what's it gonna take... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23346638)

You do realize that in the USA the President is a powerless git that's unable to legislate? He can only approve stuff from Congress or veto it, and even if he vetoes it, Congress still gets a chance to pass it anyway.

All that "I promise lower taxes, more money, better education, this and that" are all LIES. I don't care if the President is Jesus Christ himself, unless he has Congress to propose legislation he can't approve it.

Now, if you really want to blame this on somebody, I hear your congressmen takes letters. Mine does, but he ignores them.

Re:So what's it gonna take... (3, Interesting)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | more than 5 years ago | (#23346676)

OFC a carismatic democratic president could go to a democratic congress and say "hey how about you suggest this?" and they will say "how high?"

Now, if you really want to blame this on somebody, I hear your congressmen takes letters. Mine does, but he ignores them.
The trick is in the subject, I rekon you might be more successful if you address them all "private and confidential from AC.inc, important information regarding campaign finance" either that or "NAKED PICS OF [insert congressmans fetish here] INSIDE"

Re:So what's it gonna take... (1)

compro01 (777531) | more than 5 years ago | (#23346754)

i dunno about powerless. i figure that if someone can screw things up with presidential powers, someone else ought to be able to unscrew things up using those powers.

Re:So what's it gonna take... (2, Insightful)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | more than 5 years ago | (#23346846)

true but hes only managed to fuck up:
Iraq & Afganistan
International respect for America
The economy ....list goes on

It was congress that fucked up the privacy, its only congress that can fuck up the laws.

But hey im not from america so im not 100% sure this is the case?

Re:So what's it gonna take... (3, Insightful)

dnwq (910646) | more than 5 years ago | (#23346982)

Uh, no. Ever since Roosevelt the President is expected to lead legislation. New Deal? Great Society? you know. You may as well regard Congress as having the power to introduce additional legislation. The President introduces the big stuff nowadays.

Re:So what's it gonna take... (5, Funny)

MrMr (219533) | more than 5 years ago | (#23347310)

I hear your congressmen takes letters. Mine does, but he ignores them.

Because you sign them with 'Anonymous Coward'?

sorry.

Re:So what's it gonna take... (4, Insightful)

dave1791 (315728) | more than 5 years ago | (#23346624)

Relax. This is the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. Their constituency pretty much consists of Hollywood.

The real issue that we face is that IP issues are simply boring to the average voter. Most people don't own patents and don't feel that copyright law affects them in any way. They are much more interested in what J. Wright blabbers on about than about issues that have an effect on the economy; such as IP laws.

(And yes, I think voters are morons. disclaimer - I've lived in Germany for a few years and have developed the same opinion of the average German voter. It seems that people are just stupid.)

Your best bet is an advertising campaign to raise awareness of the issues. Until that happens, we are in the wilderness dude.

Re:So what's it gonna take... (4, Insightful)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | more than 5 years ago | (#23346744)

(And yes, I think voters are morons. disclaimer - I've lived in Germany for a few years and have developed the same opinion of the average German voter. It seems that people are just stupid.)
A quick guide to any country
america: most popular tv news network: FOX [wikipedia.org]
uk: most popular news paper The sun [wikipedia.org]
just look up thier most popular news network/paper and you'll realise how fscked you are.
The problem is that idiots are very easy for big corporations to guide, and while they cant agree on everything, they sure as hell like copyright & IP.

Re:So what's it gonna take... (1, Insightful)

DigitalisAkujin (846133) | more than 5 years ago | (#23346932)

FOX isn't the most popular cable news channel because they are somehow better then the other networks.

The polarity of American politics right vs left.

FOX represents the right while NBC, CBS, and CNN represent the left.

So with the right you have no choice and with the left you have a choice. No wonder they are the most watched cable news channel.

Re:So what's it gonna take... (5, Insightful)

Blue Stone (582566) | more than 5 years ago | (#23347180)

>FOX represents the extreme right while NBC, CBS, and CNN represent the right.

There, fixed that for you. :)

It's not that people are stupid (1)

mosb1000 (710161) | more than 5 years ago | (#23347110)

They just don't like boring news. You can listen to NPR if you want to take a nap, but it you want something to keep you awake while you're driving, you listen to KFI (my apologies to people who don't live in southern California, I'm sure you know what kind of radio station I'm talking about). It doesn't matter how offensive or stupid it is, as long as it's entertaining.

Re:So what's it gonna take... (4, Insightful)

Admiral Ag (829695) | more than 5 years ago | (#23346670)

We don't have the money to compete with them. But I don't think it matters. I'm guessing that most politicians who take money from organizations like the MPAA understand that trying to stop people from sharing files over the internet is like trying to stop them watching porn, except a lot harder.

It's been evident for a long time that it can't be stopped. Any attempt to lock stuff down that people don't like immediately produces workarounds. I'd argue the opposite: I think the public interest is served by the availability of information. Whether or not people have to engage in one to one market transactions to fund its creation is a secondary issue. No matter how many times the contrary is repeated, information is not property in the same way that a car is. Making the rules for it the same ignores this obvious fact.

My guess is that a lot of politicians welcome the money because they know that they'll never be able to do anything about it, so they'll stay cool with the public. Look at how many politicians take money from anti-abortion groups in full knowledge that they can rant and rave about abortion, but the law is unlikely to change.

Re:So what's it gonna take... (4, Interesting)

Tuoqui (1091447) | more than 5 years ago | (#23346900)

Like some dumb legislator said... If intellectual property is property then there should be property tax on it.

Re:So what's it gonna take... (0, Flamebait)

hardburn (141468) | more than 5 years ago | (#23346740)

One little tidbit: at the 2000 Democratic National Convention, Jack Valenti personally asked Bill Clinton to become the next president of the MPAA. Consider accordingly.

Re:So what's it gonna take... (1)

fremean (1189177) | more than 5 years ago | (#23346832)

Maybe it'll make them a little less aggressive if the president can get laid, and we know Billy boy is capable of that...

Re:So what's it gonna take... (1)

Xzzy (111297) | more than 5 years ago | (#23346958)

... to make copyright reform a central issue in the US elections?
When it's front page news?

As dismal as the copyright situation is, it's still an issue easily ignored by the majority. There's a hundred things ahead in line that a politician would prefer to earn attention with.

perspective (1)

mosb1000 (710161) | more than 5 years ago | (#23347148)

There's a hundred things in front of it that are more important. It's not like you'll die if you can't download videos for free. You've got to keep things in perspective.

This always happens (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23346412)

All governments become more aristocratic over time. They serve the needs of a smaller and smaller elite few, to the detriment of the greater and greater majority.

Then the people rebel, and the cycle starts over again.

Re:This always happens (4, Insightful)

nihongomanabu (1123631) | more than 5 years ago | (#23346508)

"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." -- Thomas Jefferson

So you have been to the EU? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23346554)

So you have been to the EU?

Re:This always happens (4, Insightful)

WaltBusterkeys (1156557) | more than 5 years ago | (#23346596)

All governments become more aristocratic over time. They serve the needs of a smaller and smaller elite few, to the detriment of the greater and greater majority.
So the United States was serving a smaller group when women got the vote? When minorities got the vote? And when poll taxes were eliminated?

While your statement makes for a nice soundbite, it's vastly far from true. There are plenty of countries, including the US, that have extended political power to formerly disenfranchised groups.

Re:This always happens (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23346702)

So the United States was serving a smaller group when women got the vote? When minorities got the vote? And when poll taxes were eliminated?
How quaint, you believe that votes actually count for something in your country! Women got to vote because of rich, white women. Minorities got a vote because the US was becoming 2 nations(the non-white nation would soon threaten the privileged, and I'm sure eliminating poll taxes came for similar reasons.

If you can't see that an elite runs the United States( and most other democracies ) then you are truly ignorant of the situation.

Re:This always happens (2, Insightful)

jamstar7 (694492) | more than 5 years ago | (#23346716)

All governments become more aristocratic over time. They serve the needs of a smaller and smaller elite few, to the detriment of the greater and greater majority.

So the United States was serving a smaller group when women got the vote? When minorities got the vote? And when poll taxes were eliminated?

While your statement makes for a nice soundbite, it's vastly far from true. There are plenty of countries, including the US, that have extended political power to formerly disenfranchised groups.

Mind if I ask where you've been the last 25 years or so?

The only time a politician listens to anybody these days is when that somebody is handing them a nice fat check for their campaign warchest. The 'citizens' they listen to are the corporations that fund them getting back into office again. Have you looked at some of the hairbrained laws coming out of Washington these days? Pro-IP was written by RIAA itself, not just a legal terrorist organisation, but a PAC (Political Action Committee for the uninformed), a high powered lobby. Lobbyists are campaign contributors through their PACs. While the telco bill getting telcos out of a jackpot for illegally handing over data to the government might or might not have been written by the telcos themselves, it sure as hell benefits them, and they contribute heavily to both sides of the aisle.

A politician wants back into office to play statesman again? You better believe he'll throw as much bias towards his contributors as he thinks he can get away with, just about to the point of flat out stupidity. Hey, who cares, there's an election coming, and those checks can just as easily go to the other guy...

Re:This always happens (4, Insightful)

WaltBusterkeys (1156557) | more than 5 years ago | (#23346738)

He claimed that governments ONLY got more elitist. Of course there are some policies that appear to benefit a small group; it doesn't take a genius to see that. But that's a far cry from saying that government ONLY exists to serve a small group and ONLY gets more interested in that group.

Claiming that government just serves some arbitrary elite makes for great teenage "down with the man!" soundbites, but it doesn't account for the fact that there are movements in both directions. Nor does it account for the fact that a lot of it is a matter of perception: It's easy to view a silent majority that you disagree with as a special interest; it's vastly easier than admitting that democracy works both ways.

Re:This always happens (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23346768)

You are making the all too common mistake of ignoring ulterior motives. While it may appear that the left hand is giving, all the time the right hand is actually taking away more while attention is focused on the left hand. Can you explicitly name a benefit accrued to women as a result of getting the vote? Or are they yet another manipulable demographic that has strengthened the power-base of certain elite groups?

Re:This always happens (4, Insightful)

WaltBusterkeys (1156557) | more than 5 years ago | (#23346928)

I'm sorry, but there was a time in US history when only white men who owned more than 40 acres of land could vote. It is utterly unrealistic to claim that nothing good has come of expanding the vote to include people of every race, gender, and income group.

Re:This always happens (1)

gerardrj (207690) | more than 5 years ago | (#23347174)

Right... because allowing everyone to vote has ensured that politicians are not all older white men who own more than 40 acres.

Re:This always happens (4, Insightful)

Blue Stone (582566) | more than 5 years ago | (#23347208)

It's a great leap forward.

Back then, only landed white men got the vote for a government that served the interests of those landed white men.

Then it all changed: women and minorities also got to vote for a government that served the interests of the landed white men.

Viva la Revolucion!

Re:This always happens (3, Funny)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | more than 5 years ago | (#23346758)

Capitalism takes a while to iron out the glitches. We've reached democracy 2.0, we can assure you that these sort of bugs no longer exist.

Re:This always happens (4, Interesting)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 5 years ago | (#23346798)

So the United States was serving a smaller group when women got the vote? When minorities got the vote? And when poll taxes were eliminated?

Yes, actually, for several reasons:

  • Making the system more "democratic" pleases the proles, both from the warm fuzzies they get by feeling as if they have a voice, and by enabling to vote themselves bread and circuses.
  • It leads the proles to disregard the elite's authoritarian schemes (E.g., "How can they be power-hungry autocrats when they just gave us sufferage?"). What the proles don't realize is that voting doesn't matter when the elite chooses who gets on the ballot. Voting is an illusion of choice.
  • It dumbs down the political process so that leaders can maintain power via emotional appeal instead of rational debate. That's good for the elite because it means they don't have to defend themselves against outsiders with good ideas.

Of course, the issue (at least in the case of the U.S) isn't that simple. You also have to consider the effects of the gradual failing of federalism, etc.

Re:This always happens (4, Insightful)

Trogre (513942) | more than 5 years ago | (#23347056)

Voting is an illusion of choice.

Couldn't agree more. I've been saying that for years, though not quite as elegantly.

I believe that in this society, the only effective way to vote is with ones wallet.

Vote wisely.

Re:This always happens (2, Insightful)

Wiseman1024 (993899) | more than 5 years ago | (#23347280)

Good post. Universal suffrage is worth little as soon as you realize all that "power to the masses" is reduced to, at the very best, a word shorter than three letters through your life! All democracies evolve to bipartidism, so all you can speak every 3-6 years is a single bit. Even with 6 bit plain Latin characters, all you can speak with your bit-every-4-years is a very short word. How could you possibly call that power?

Indeed, we live in plutocracies, and the USA is the most blatant example of one, where not just extremely rich and influential people decide, but the whole state is ran by corporations like Monsanto or the mafiaa, world-renowned for their disrespect for human life and well-being and their lack of morality and honesty.

Re:This always happens (1)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 5 years ago | (#23347038)

While you may have a point, you choice of example "votes" is a bad choice. People across demographics have serious doubts that their votes really matter, at lease besides for the next American Idol.

Re:This always happens (2, Insightful)

sadgoblin (1269500) | more than 5 years ago | (#23346600)

You forget that people get more and more lazy over time... what if next time they'll be too lazy to rebel?

Re:This always happens (1)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | more than 5 years ago | (#23346866)

What if they already are? The state of student protests against anything is shocking, people just dont care anymore.

Re:This always happens (1)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 5 years ago | (#23346952)

Why bother to protest? The last time protests had any real effect on anything were during the Vietnam War era. People are apathetic not because they are truly antipathetic to doing something---not because they are lazy or because they don't disagree with what's happening---but rather because they are disillusioned as a result of years or even decades of witnessing the utter futility of their best efforts.

The only two things that will cure that sort of ingrained and reinforced apathy are A. things becoming so bad that people snap and riot (in which case once a few people go bonkers in a few cities, millions will likely join in), and B. something completely unexpected happening to show that a handful of individuals can make a huge difference in a world-changing way.

Re:This always happens (5, Insightful)

Leuf (918654) | more than 5 years ago | (#23346686)

The constitution is supposed to allow us to fix the government without it coming to that, but it doesn't seem to be working. So what changes do we need to make to the constitution to make it work? Not that the congress will allow us a convention to fix it.

We have a president who doesn't care what the constitution says at all. We have 2 out of 3 presidential candidates who voted to cede the decision to declare war from the congress to the president. How that isn't even an issue still boggles my mind. Even if you thought going into Iraq was a good idea you shouldn't have voted for that bill. But I digress. We're likely going to hand over the presidency to someone who has already proven they can't uphold the constitution.

There is a simple and legal way out. (1, Troll)

Max Littlemore (1001285) | more than 5 years ago | (#23346690)

The media, movies, web, just about everything is full of proud Americans banging on about the freedoms enshrined in the constitution, but it seems you guys don't know how to use them. Obvious corrupt crap like this which is precisely what your 2nd amendment is for.

Now it may seem like I'm trolling here, but stay with me a moment. Your right to bare arms is not there so you can all be badass gangstas, cowboys or teenage psycho-killers. It's so you can remind your governments at all levels that they serve you, not the other way around.

March on these fuckers, boot them out and then raid warehouses and shops of legitimate DVDs, CDs, etc. Dump the lot in the bay. Have a big L.A. DVD party and stop being such pussies.

Okay, so maybe I am trolling a bit, but at least I'm shooting for Insightful Troll. You know it makes sense.

Re:There is a simple and legal way out. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23346874)

You say "second amendment" around here and people think of the NRA, not civil disobedience. These issues have been packaged up in neat little bundles so everyone knows whether they stand with party A or party B. As a result, some who staunchly support the second amendment are absolutely appalled at the notion of burning an American flag. Contradiction? No, just politics.

That's funny (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23346422)

I was just about to say that the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors 'substantially interferes with the interest of the public in the quality of life and community peace, lawful commerce in the county, property values, and is detrimental to the public health, safety, and welfare of the county's citizens, its businesses and its visitors.'

Re:That's funny (0, Troll)

Tuoqui (1091447) | more than 5 years ago | (#23346464)

Yeah get the hell out from infront of your monitor and go get some exercise...

Clearly Intellectual Property is making everyone lazy and fat. Not food.

Re:That's funny (3, Interesting)

pipingguy (566974) | more than 5 years ago | (#23346636)


"copyright infringement...is detrimental to the public health..."

I don't type "WTF" much, but WTF?

It looks like Tim Ball was right when he wrote, "For years I wondered what extremists provide to any debate. I've learned it is to define the limits for the majority. By taking extreme positions they cause the majority to say, hold on, now you are going too far.".

Re:That's funny (1)

Larsrc (1285062) | more than 5 years ago | (#23347162)

Actually, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors should have declared that copyright 'substantially interferes with the interest of the public in the quality of life and community peace, lawful commerce in the county, property values, and is detrimental to the public health, safety, and welfare of the county's citizens, its businesses and its visitors.'

It's kinda like the game that John Stewart made up recently: Take any prediction that Bush makes about what happens if we fail in Iraq, and it'll be exactly what is happening right now. It's like he has a magical way to predict the present! :) And what the RIAA etc says are the dangers of copyright infringement are pretty much what copyright is doing today.

-Lars

Re:That's funny (1)

Alex Belits (437) | more than 5 years ago | (#23347362)

You mean, massive decline of the quality of creative works?

I thought, it just reached bottom and kinda stays there, copyright or no copyright -- are we really worse off than when Britney Spears was at the height of her career?

kaliphornia (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23346456)

hey kaliphornians!!!! it's your fucking state! wake the fuck up and take this on at the state level. people are going to tell you "get the right presidential candidate blah blah blah".

it's bullshit. you have more ear and more influence at the state level. shake it up. do something. are you going to wait for the federal government to help you? good luck with that.

Re:kaliphornia (0, Flamebait)

Wiseman1024 (993899) | more than 5 years ago | (#23347294)

You're going to complain about corporations' corrupt power to a bigger instance of corporations' corrupt power? Good luck with that.

Lol land of the free.

Hey I know what's next!! (1)

gd23ka (324741) | more than 5 years ago | (#23346474)

So copyright infringement and public health that one I thought pretty improbable myself... but how about this one: "Hate Crime" and infringement. Watch as the ADL and "Southern Poverty Law Center" get in on the act.

The blade cuts both ways (5, Interesting)

statusbar (314703) | more than 5 years ago | (#23346484)

How many companies who currently violate the GPL and LGPL can these new laws be used against?

--jeffk++

Re:The blade cuts both ways (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23346558)

"How many companies who currently violate the GPL and LGPL can these new laws be used against?"

Exactly Zero.

Free Software doesn't pay politicians under the table, nor send Paris Hilton to your
weekend get-togethers. RMS is a poor substitute.

None? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23346564)

Since when were laws ever enforced against corporations?

Re:None? (1)

Wiseman1024 (993899) | more than 5 years ago | (#23347308)

Since... never? While I admire and support the GPL and RMS' efforts, and release my work under the GPLv3 myself, I'm well aware that all of this is generally futile, as corporations will still do whatever they want and they get to write the laws and the sentences because they have more money than you.

For example, RMS is an idealistic poor man. Steve Ballmer is a chair-throwing billionaire. Does anybody really think RMS would have the slightest bit of a chance to win a trial against Ballmer, even if Ballmer had stabbed RMS with a knife on TV?

Re:The blade cuts both ways (1, Insightful)

Auckerman (223266) | more than 5 years ago | (#23346594)

The real question I would pose is: After "copyright reform" (which as best as I can tell is "make file-sharing legal"), what prevents people/companies from violating the GPL. After all you gave them a copy of the code, why can't they share with others under terms they see fit.

I would like to note that the Submitter is "I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property". If that's the case, Mr. Submitter, then the GPL should be thrown out too.

Re:The blade cuts both ways (2, Insightful)

YttriumOxide (837412) | more than 5 years ago | (#23346646)

The GPL is a license that enforces "copyright" for the explicit purpose of fitting in to the current legal system. Were copyright to be greatly reformed or abolished completely, you're completely right that the GPL would immediately become as worthless as every other license, BUT it also wouldn't be necessary anymore.

True, the landscape would look very different, and the real "forced openness" that the GPL gives would be gone as well (unless that was framed in the new copyright laws, but I can NEVER imagine that happening!), but don't for a moment think that GPL advocates actually like copyright. The GPL exists in the realm of copyright because it has to in order to be legally enforceable, NOT because anyone thinks it really belongs there.

Re:The blade cuts both ways (1)

iamhigh (1252742) | more than 5 years ago | (#23346678)

So why do we have all the "forced openness"? Why make Linksys release the WRT54 code? Is this just a pissing match?

Re:The blade cuts both ways (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23346838)

There is no "forced openness". Nobody obliged Linksys to use code that was licensed under the GPL in their products. They could have written the code they needed from scratch and been under no obligation to distribute the source. Having chosen of their own free will however, to use code that is GPLed, they *do* have an obligation to abide by the terms of the GPL.

Re:The blade cuts both ways (1)

Dun Malg (230075) | more than 5 years ago | (#23346840)

So why do we have all the "forced openness"? Why make Linksys release the WRT54 code? Is this just a pissing match?
Well, yeah, that's basically what it is. The GPL is just a way to bugger the system, to cause the proprietary software folks to be hoist by their own petard. If they will use law to restrict access to information, it's perfectly reasonable to turn that law against them, which is what the GPL does.

Re:The blade cuts both ways (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23346664)

If copyright is reformed to the extent of elimination, it does kill the GPL. But that would also mean that these companies and others cannot impose conditions on their redistribution. They might not distribute their source, but they would be unable to enforce any conditions like "no reverse engineering" without copyright to back them up. (They could try a contract, but that will not work on anyone who does not sign it. eg someone who grabs a copy )

Re:The blade cuts both ways (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 5 years ago | (#23346808)

That's fine! Why? If file sharing becomes legal, then we wouldn't need the GPL anymore because closed-source would cease to be economically feasible anyway.

Re:The blade cuts both ways (1)

wellingj (1030460) | more than 5 years ago | (#23346918)

True but you would still need to find the source or decompile it. I'm willing to bet DRM measures would shoot through the roof if copyright went away.

Re:The blade cuts both ways (1)

$random_var (919061) | more than 5 years ago | (#23346996)

Don't characterize the whole field of reformers with the few extremists whom everybody looks down upon. Temporary monopolies will always be welcome as long as they serve a purpose. Changes like extending copyright terms - especially the copyright terms of already-existing works - and increasing the penalties for violations to be many orders of magnitude more severe than the violations themselves perverts the economic rationale for granting the temporary monopolies.

To generalize, monopolies lead to monopoly pricing, which tends to be higher and less "efficient" than competitive pricing. Such inefficiencies are only desirable if they have a corresponding benefit, ie, the stimulation of new works/innovation, which outweighs the cost of the inefficiency.

If you look at a lot of the radical changes that the mechanisms of copyrighting and patenting have been undergoing in the US in recent decades from an economic perspective, the increasing costs of some of these changes are increasingly outweighing the benefits of the stimulus and in some cases working against them. I can go into that discussion as well if you like, and although it's by no means straightforward to do a cost-benefit analysis of copyright policy, I am convinced that certain reforms are in order. However, the purpose of this writing is to convince you that the concept of "copyright reform" is not limited to shortsighted self-interest, but can consist of rational economic analysis.

Studios, producer's homes, government offices (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23346516)

FTFA

Local governments in California and the United States have long had the power to declare property a public nuisance when their owners allow their land to become denizens of drugs, gangs, prostitution and gambling.
If that is true then they should start the busts at the movie studios, homes of the directors and producers and of course with numerous governmental offices.

What they don't tell you... (5, Funny)

Puffy Director Pants (1242492) | more than 5 years ago | (#23346572)

is that copyright infringement cures cancer. And the common cold. And male pattern baldness. Also, it can be used to make any car run on water. Clearly, it's a cover-up.

sure, it's LA County (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23346584)

Given that most of the victims of copyright infringement are based in Los Angeles County and have contributed greatly to the county's economy, why wouldn't the board of supervisors denounce it?

Now, whether Los Angeles County should dictate public policy to the rest of the country, which isn't as dependent on copyright, is another issue entirely.

Copywrong (4, Insightful)

billcopc (196330) | more than 5 years ago | (#23346642)

Copyright infrigement is only detrimental to the health and safety of those who abuse copyright in the first place. The common people do not suffer when their neighbor burns a DVD. The local economy is not negatively affected by the "lost sale", because the money not spent on copyrighted materials is more likely to be spent locally on other goods or services, instead of being funneled to out-of-state gluttons.

As much as I want artists to be fairly compensated, I strongly disagree with the application of copyright law. Litigation never solved anything in this world, it only creates more hatred for one another. It goes against the very purpose of law by promoting and supporting inequality, which is directly detrimental to the health and safety of everyone.

forgotten about producers, have we? (2, Interesting)

Quadraginta (902985) | more than 5 years ago | (#23346820)

You're only looking at this from the consumer end, which is hardly surprising given that this is /.

But in Los Angeles, as someone else noted, you have the center of the movie industry, and one of the centers of the music industry. If it is correct that the fact that millions of people are distributing tunes and movies for free is depriving the folks in LA County who make music and movies of their income, then, yeah, I'd say there is a big impact on the LA economy. If movie companies and recording companies start hemorrhaging money, then they stop not only paying fat salaries to studio heads, but also start laying off janitors and secretaries, and, since those CEOs will be forgoing their bonuses, the number of Lexuses and plasma TVs sold will also go down, and a bunch of car and Best Buy salesmen are going to lose their jobs or take pay cuts.

Of course, the conventional wisdom here on /. is that the "if" clause above is nonsense, and that it's intuitively obvious that online distribution of music and movies for free has no effect whatsoever on the sales for real money of that music and those movies.

Re:forgotten about producers, have we? (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 5 years ago | (#23347100)

You're only looking at this from the consumer end, which is hardly surprising given that this is /.

But in Los Angeles, as someone else noted, you have the center of the movie industry, and one of the centers of the music industry. If it is correct that the fact that millions of people are distributing tunes and movies for free is depriving the folks in LA County who make music and movies of their income, then, yeah, I'd say there is a big impact on the LA economy.
Well, if that's the case, then I'm sure the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors has independant studies & surveys to backup every one of their specific points.

Namely that piracy substantially interferes with:

1. the interest of the public in
1.a the quality of life
1.b community peace
2. lawful commerce in the county
3. property values
AND
4. is detrimental to the public health, safety, and welfare of
4.a the county's citizens
4.b its businesses
4.c its visitors

OR since "The regulation was crafted at the urging of the [MPAA] and the [RIAA]," I suspect that this is just another example of lobbyists writing self-serving legislation & regulation.

Such evil works caused California to be! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23347290)

Have a look at the history.

When the US was infringing Charles Dickens' copyright, was the US feted to be a third world country because of the the damage to their society?

This is a load of bollocks.

Maybe Not (5, Informative)

value_added (719364) | more than 5 years ago | (#23346684)

I think this is meant to address "real" piracy, and not some guy in his basement downloading torrents.

From the ordinance (note the use of the terms "improperly labelled" and "sell"):

The revisions would expand the definition of nuisance property to also properties that are used to manufacture and sell recordings and audiovisual works are improperly labeled, as prohibited by California Penal Code Section 653w.

The revisions would expand the definition of nuisance property to also include properties that are used to manufacture and sell recordings and audiovisual works that are improperly labeled, as prohibited by California Penal Code Section 653w.

Then again, maybe my reading of it is incorrect. That's not to say laws don't have a funny way of being interpreted and reinterpreted, or used opportunistically by law enforcement. Worst case scenario? Instead of having your car impounded when you find yourself driving down Sunset Boulevard late one Saturday evening looking for blackjack and hookers and meeting up with an undercover officer, you get your car impounded for what's playing on your iPod.

Re:Maybe Not (1)

Larsrc (1285062) | more than 5 years ago | (#23347226)

"manufacture" == "copy"
"sell" == "make available" (for ad money or for getting other works)

They got you.

The obvious thing to do (1)

maglor_83 (856254) | more than 5 years ago | (#23346700)

Well if copyright infringement is so detrimental, why aren't we abolishing copyright laws? That would make infringement impossible!

War on drugs all over again (2, Insightful)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 5 years ago | (#23346704)

It scares that there maybe those who actually believe these things they say about "copyright infringement". As if (US) American prisons aren't full enough, I predict the government building new ones for to hold the dam pirates. Colonial attacks against real pirates only barely succeeded, and being a sea fearing pirate takes energy. Copyright infringement takes much less energy.

And on a side note, could you guys "pirating" via cameras in theatres just stop it? At least out of respect for art in general. There is currently no good way to duplicate a movie via cam, the quality is terrible. If people can't wait for it to come out dvd let them buy a ticket to the nearest theatre.

Re:War on drugs all over again (1)

compro01 (777531) | more than 5 years ago | (#23346826)

cam ripping can produce fairly good results if done with a good (read: pro-sumer or better) cam, a tripod, and an empty theatre, but yes, as a general rule, they suck horribly.

Re:War on drugs all over again (1)

Chrisje (471362) | more than 5 years ago | (#23347194)

I know it's slightly off topic, and I haven't a clue how to moderate something, but would someone please mod the parent up insightful? The statement about the cams is 100% accurate and I would really like that crap to disappear off the net, because it gobbles up everyone's bandwidth and finding out I downed a cammed movie is indeed detrimental to my health.

No Application To Cyber Media ? (1)

frankenheinz (976104) | more than 5 years ago | (#23346794)

This ordinance likely only applies to physical articles and also is likely pre-empted by federal copyright law. Duh.

The LA government is corrupt (0, Offtopic)

Quattro Vezina (714892) | more than 5 years ago | (#23346864)

That the LA government is pulling this is no surprise. They're horribly corrupt. Phrases like "detrimental to the public health, safety, and welfare" are well-known to be excuses for imposing dictatorship.

Look at the outright war the LA government is waging against hot dog vendors who want to sell bacon dogs [consumerfreedom.com] . Is it any surprise LA is cracking down on freedom even more?

It's time for LA residents to use the second amendment for what it's supposed to be used for: protecting.themselves from the government.

Hell's Kitchen (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23347010)

So, your suggesting the L.A. government be the source of supply of fresh long pork for Chef Jeffrey Dalmer?

California knows how to party. (1)

Charcharodon (611187) | more than 5 years ago | (#23346886)

We are talking about California here. Just living in LA will reduce the public's health, safety, and welfare of its citizens, much less piracy.

Land of the not so free and home of the stupid. I lived in CA for six years, nothing they come up with surprises me a bit.

This is probably invalid (1)

belmolis (702863) | more than 5 years ago | (#23346892)

US federal copyright law explicitly preempts state copyright laws. I suspect therefore that this ordinance is invalid. (Cities, counties, etc. are delegated their powers by the state, so the fact that this is a county ordinance not a state law makes no difference, I don't think.) Any lawyers out there want to confirm or deny this?

That is Okay (2, Funny)

LuYu (519260) | more than 5 years ago | (#23347046)

That is okay. Los Angeles is "detrimental to public health [and] safety". This is just another reason to avoid that noxious cesspool.

It is too bad the PRO-IP act is not confined to a similarly avoidable geographical expanse.

Can you blame them? (2, Insightful)

mosb1000 (710161) | more than 5 years ago | (#23347060)

The entertainment industry is based on copyright, and LA is dependent on the entertainment industry. It's not really a surprise.

How would you like it if Hitler killed you? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23347164)

That's their argument right? If you break IP laws your pro-Hitler, ok it's a summary but wasn't Hitler for Draconian laws?

I can see it now.... (1)

Newer Guy (520108) | more than 5 years ago | (#23347190)

This time next year, the LA County Sheriff will be adding "copyright infringers" to the list of kidnappers, rapists, robbers and murderers he's caught over the past year. Seriously though-this seems WAY over the top!
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