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H.R. 4279 Would Establish Federal IP Cops

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the lawn-forcement dept.

Government 686

MrSnivvel writes "H.R. 4279, Prioritizing Resources and Organization for Intellectual Property Act of 2008, is gaining momentum in Congress. It passed the House a few days back. It would allow the Feds to seize hardware that has even one file coming from 'dubious origins,' e.g. downloaded from P2P. If passed into law, the bill would establish an Intellectual Property Enforcement Division within the office of the Deputy Attorney General. Rep. John Conyers says the goal is to 'prioritize intellectual property protection to the highest level of our government.'"

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Well (4, Insightful)

Psychotria (953670) | more than 6 years ago | (#23744607)

I cannot pretend to understand US politics... but I guess if something can sum up capatalism it's this story's summary.

Re:Well (5, Insightful)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 6 years ago | (#23744661)

"You sharpen the human appetite to the point where it can split atoms with its desire; you build egos the size of cathedrals; fiber-optically connect the world to every eager impulse; grease even the dullest dreams with these dollar-green, gold-plated fantasies, until every human becomes an aspiring emperor, becomes his own God... and where can you go from there?"
-- Al Pacino in The Devil's Advocate

Re:Well (1)

jackharrer (972403) | more than 6 years ago | (#23744727)

It's easy. I'll explain: $$$

This is not capitalism (5, Insightful)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 6 years ago | (#23744769)

Civil asset forfeiture laws are the antithesis of capitalism. They are a means by which the state can seize any property it wants simply by finding some nebulous connection to a crime. Did you know that YOU don't even have to be the one accused of the crime? They can do all sorts of fun things like seize your car if your friend borrowed it, while you thought he was going to the store to buy a case of beer, and he really used to it to drive to a drug user's house to sell drugs. This sort of thing is entirely Fascist in its economics (you did know that Fascism is a collectivist economic system as well as a political one, right?)

Re:This is not capitalism (2, Interesting)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 6 years ago | (#23744903)

We have been teetering on the edge of old style Russian socialism for a while now. Ever since FDR got into office and created the 'new deal' its been a slow progression downhill.

Re:This is not capitalism (2, Interesting)

Stooshie (993666) | more than 6 years ago | (#23744989)

Firstly, Russia had communism, not socialism. (Think socialism is to communism what capitalism is to fascism).

But yes, right-wing and left-wing policies meet in the middle when the become extreme.

Re:This is not capitalism (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23745139)

Russia never had communism. The fact that everyone was equal, unless you were member of the polit-buro meant that it was fascism and dictatorship.

The revenues of the 'state-owned' industry never flowed back equally to all members of that society, but were unequally distributed.

Re:This is not capitalism (3, Informative)

dlcarrol (712729) | more than 6 years ago | (#23745257)

Fascism is a specific econo-political structure where the means of production are "privately owned" but production targets are managed by the state. Therefore, the proper range is (eliding some):

Capitalism --> Fascism --> Socialism --> Communism

The issue here is not "greed." The issue is "whose greed." So yes, we are becoming more and more Fascistic in the US (read their platform [or the NDSP] and compare/contrast with the current Democratic platform), but this is precisely because we're moving away from capitalism

Re:Well (4, Insightful)

wamerocity (1106155) | more than 6 years ago | (#23744771)

Ignoring your spelling, that has to be one of the stupidest comments I've ever read. Capitalism? That's your explanation of why our elected officials are so damned stupid?! Nothing to do with with a politician's greed, lust for power, or simple pandering to the people who pay the bills? No, no, of course not. It's a market philosophy of supply and demand with competition - yes, that very clearly explains why a law with draconian limits, pushed by representatives with pockets lined from Big Media, is going to be forced on our country. Yes, it's definitely our market system. How insightful! /sarcasm

Re:Well (1)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 6 years ago | (#23744881)

If copyright bought laws isn't capitalism at its extreme (alright, companies literally being the government would be a bit more extreme, but they like to have mascots so that's unlikely), I don't know what is.

Re:Well (4, Interesting)

Yinepuhotep (821200) | more than 6 years ago | (#23745085)

Like most people, you are confusing mercantilism with capitalism. The two are antithetical.

Mercantilism uses government power to the benefit of a few select corporations that influence and/or control governmental representatives.

Capitalism requires all businesses, small, large, and in-between, to survive or fail on their own merits, with no government benefits for any of them.

Re:Well (4, Interesting)

kvezach (1199717) | more than 6 years ago | (#23745223)

The problem is that any sufficiently capitalist system short of anarcho-capitalism turns into what you call mercantilism. What happens is that a corporation, through legitimate means or less so, becomes large enough to influence politics. At that point it rigs the game in its favor, or tries to do so, and from there on you have rent-seeking galore.

Anarcho-capitalism just postpones this: a corporation or group thereof becomes large enough to collude (if it's a group) or to become a de facto state (in either case). If the new state is capitalist, see the first point above. Otherwise, it'll probably still be oligarchical.

Re:Well (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23744957)

mod parent snooty and arrogant

Re:Well (0, Flamebait)

wamerocity (1106155) | more than 6 years ago | (#23745231)

Sorry to be a dick, but people who throw out idiotic thoughtless comments seriously piss me off. It's like someone getting pissed off at the high gas prices, and then ignoring all the complexities of how many factors can go into gas prices, and just saying, "It's all the gubmints fault!"

Re:Well (4, Insightful)

ubrgeek (679399) | more than 6 years ago | (#23745091)

Seeing as we're forcing through silly laws, I think we should have one that states no representative or senator can vote on any law dealing with computers unless they take a course on - and receive their - A+. No, it's not the biggest indicator of computer smarts, but it sure is an indicator that they know more than they obviously currently do.

Re:Well (2, Interesting)

Stooshie (993666) | more than 6 years ago | (#23744967)

Not really capitalism, more protectionism.

Nukes, drugs? NO! (3, Insightful)

j35ter (895427) | more than 6 years ago | (#23744609)

now we know what the next war will be about...

hehehehehe (5, Funny)

apodyopsis (1048476) | more than 6 years ago | (#23744625)

hehehehehe,

I'm so glad I live in the UK! Oh wait....

"I want this country to realize that we stand on the edge of oblivion! I want every man, woman and child to understand how close we are to chaos! I want everyone to remember why they need us!"

Watch out WoWers! (5, Insightful)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 6 years ago | (#23744635)

It would allow the Feds to seize hardware that has even one file coming from 'dubious origins,' e.g. downloaded from P2P

So if a computer has anything they got from p2p, then the cops can confiscate their computers? So if, say, a cop doesn't like someone's politics, ethnicity, race, sexuality or gender and that cop knows the person plays WoW, they can confiscate the person's computer with no possible recourse for the victim? Sure a charge won't come from it, but they get to make life annoying for that person.

Re:Watch out WoWers! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23744671)

Ask Bush.

Re:Watch out WoWers! (4, Informative)

Mjec (666932) | more than 6 years ago | (#23744739)

.. they can confiscate the person's computer with no possible recourse for the victim?

Oh there's recourse. But have you ever made an administrative appeal to your state's supreme court? Let me tell you, it's a bitch. A bitch that takes lots of time and lots of money (even if you're representing yourself). And likely if you're right they'll still have legislative immunity from having to pay costs....

At that point it's faster, cheaper and easier to buy a new PC and rewrite your PhD thesis rather than appeal against the decision.

Re:Watch out WoWers! (3, Insightful)

Silver Sloth (770927) | more than 6 years ago | (#23744925)

I don't know about US law, I'm a Brit, but I do know that if the police decide that they want to make your life a living hell then they can and there's nothing you can do about it. Remember that in court it's always your word against theirs and the courts always believe the police.

Something funny re: the amendments to section 410 (4, Interesting)

Quietus (808995) | more than 6 years ago | (#23744639)

"Specifically, federal civil law would be amended to: (1) provide a safe harbor for copyright registrations that contain inaccurate information so such technical errors would not prevent a judgment for infringement;" Excuse me? So if you lie when registering for copyright, the registration is still valid? Or does this imply that an inaccurate registration would not prevent a judgment for infringement that could have taken place if copyright was not explicitly registered at all (something that would already be the case, unless I am mistaken). The amendments to section 410 do not make it clear exactly how this will be any different.

Re:Something funny re: the amendments to section 4 (1)

hailukah (1270532) | more than 6 years ago | (#23744807)

In the same paragraph:

and (4) increase penalties for IP violations that endanger public health and safety.

So does this mean when my neighbor has their radio up too loud I can alert the authorities and have their equipment removed?

Re:Something funny re: the amendments to section 4 (2, Interesting)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 6 years ago | (#23744899)

I know you're being facetious, but selling an inferior drug under the name of the biggest competitor is technically an IP violation (a trademark one). Personally I think it should be a case of fraud and treating it as a trademark issue is simply ridiculous.

Re:Something funny re: the amendments to section 4 (2, Insightful)

Pofy (471469) | more than 6 years ago | (#23745213)

>In the same paragraph:
>>and (4) increase penalties for IP violations that endanger public health and safety.

Wouldn't be more reasonable to have some law that have penalties in general for something that endager public health and safety? Regardless of if it involves some IP violation or not! Or shall it be more OK to endager public health and safety as long as you do it with an original than with an illegal copy? This seems to not be related to IP at all (regardless of what you include in IP).

e.g. P2P (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23744641)

Was P2P specifically mentioned, or was this example added by the submitter?

ideas != property (3, Interesting)

theheadlessrabbit (1022587) | more than 6 years ago | (#23744643)

for fscks sakes, ideas are not property!

if you steal property, the original owner loses something.

if you steal an idea, the original owner loses nothing.

someone, please, get these asswipes out of office. either the ballot box or ammo box will do.

Re:ideas != property (1)

spazdor (902907) | more than 6 years ago | (#23744689)

enjoy your v&. ;)

Re:ideas != property (2, Informative)

drfireman (101623) | more than 6 years ago | (#23745141)

While the term "intellectual property" doesn't have an upstanding motivation behind it, you should get over it. Intellectual property is now a term that has meaning, and if you can't understand that "property" doesn't always mean exactly the same thing in every possible context, then you will have a hard time understanding virtually any sentence in English. There are many very serious and disturbing problems with this kind of legislation. But the use of the term "intellectual property" is not one of them.

That said, there are many cases in which stealing an idea costs the original owner something. If you can't think of any, then you owe it to yourself to familiarize yourself with the music, publishing, software, and movie industries, to name a few.

Re:ideas != property (2, Insightful)

value_added (719364) | more than 6 years ago | (#23745203)

ideas are not property!

While I agree with your sentiments, I'm afraid you'll have to make your case to everyone from economists to business leaders to the folks in government to those working in various thinktanks to the punditocracy. Their thinking goes along the following lines:

Because the US economy is a now a service economy (the manufacturing base having long since migrated to places like China), intellectual property is our sole asset. Ergo, the protection of intellectual property rights deserves not only the highest priority, but also is key to the economic growth.

Nothwithstanding Slashdot's favourite issues du jour (including, but not limited to the abusive behaviour of the entertainment industries, the widely held but erroneous perception that software is sold in shrinkwrapped boxes only, the urgent need for patent reform, and the erosion of consumer rights), those advocating increased IP protection, I'm afraid, do have a valid argument. The problem is that to the extent their argument is valid, the measures taken typical range from the ridiculous to the absurd.

IP is the most important issue facing us in the US (5, Funny)

Jackie_Chan_Fan (730745) | more than 6 years ago | (#23744647)

It is true. IP is the most important issue facing us in America. We have solved all of our problems. The oil crisis is solved, healthcare rates are affordable and healthcare service is impeccable. Its so nice to see that we really do not need alternative energy and that our economy is providing everyone a comfortable life style where only a single parent can work while the other parent raises the children. Education is more solid than ever. We are raising a nation of math wizards capable of programming in asm on the spot. Our government is finally loyal to the American citizen and corruption has been eradicated.

NOW.. we can finally tackle the issue of downloading music and movies illegally, and impose death on those that do.

I'm proud to be an American today. So proud.

Re:IP is the most important issue facing us in the (2, Insightful)

deniable (76198) | more than 6 years ago | (#23744785)

You forgot: you've also won the wars on terror and drugs.

Re:IP is the most important issue facing us in the (2, Insightful)

symbolset (646467) | more than 6 years ago | (#23744809)

In the US the database of law as it applies in practice - the rulings whether a law is valid or not; whether a law can be applied to a particular circumstance - is itself a work protected under copyright.

I can think of no better argument against copyright than it prevents citizens from knowing what the law is.

Re:IP is the most important issue facing us in the (3, Informative)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 6 years ago | (#23744913)

Nice try, but all work produced by the government is public domain. The only way your point is valid is if a private corporation produced this law and didn't put it into the public domain.

good joke:) (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23744843)

hahahaha good joke :)

hint: mod this "funny", not "interesting".

Re:good joke:) (1)

mrbluze (1034940) | more than 6 years ago | (#23744929)

hint: mod this "funny", not "interesting".
Would have been better to mod it insightful and give the guy some mods that count for something.

Re:IP is the most important issue facing us in the (5, Interesting)

mrbluze (1034940) | more than 6 years ago | (#23744907)

I'm proud to be an American today. So proud.
I admit, us non-US slashdotters do tend to take the piss out of you Americans a fair bit (partly because it's quite fun and very easy), but deep down I care and I'm very sad to see America go so wrong these last couple of decades.

The knock-on effect on the rest of the first world cannot be denied. When the U.S. comes up with a ding-bat solution to IP like this, then we are all doomed together because it will filter down through international treaties and trade agreements.

Freeing up IP is essential for making health, education and the energy market cheaper and more universal. In the last 5 to 10 years, first world governments have been 'pulling up the ladder' in this regard rather than opening up to the people. It's almost as though they are anticipating something.

Re:IP is the most important issue facing us in the (5, Funny)

Eivind (15695) | more than 6 years ago | (#23744963)

Move to Norway :-)

1) Oil-crisis ? What crisis ? We export shitload of oil and are steeenking rich as a result.

2) Healthcare costs money ? Guess so, never saw a bill (see 1) (universal healthcare)

3) Energy ? We get 95% of our electric power from hydroelectric already, planning to be completely carbon-neutral as a country in a decade or two.

4) Comfortable lifestyle ? Flipping burgers earns you $12/hour or thereabouts here, and unemployment is like 2% perhaps, so got that pretty much covered. (the main unemployed are -unemployabe- more than unemployed; if you are incapable of showing up at work, the problem ain't with the economy: it's with you!)

Did I mention we've got hot girls yet ?

Re:IP is the most important issue facing us in the (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23745163)

But I'm an American, everyone from Europe will throw rocks at me if I come over :(

Re:IP is the most important issue facing us in the (2, Interesting)

Das Modell (969371) | more than 6 years ago | (#23745181)

Too bad mass immigration will destroy all that (just like in many other European countries), but it was nice while it lasted.

Re:IP is the most important issue facing us in the (1)

Metorical (1241524) | more than 6 years ago | (#23745005)

[sarcasm]
Your project management skills are outstanding. If only I had realised that I should assign every person to the same task rather than getting them to work on several tasks in parallel. If I put two people on a task and it takes 50% of the time then putting one hundred people must take 1% of the time!
[/sarcasm]

Re:IP is the most important issue facing us in the (1)

DrEldarion (114072) | more than 6 years ago | (#23745245)

I know you're joking, but figuring out how to handle IP is very important to this country. More and more, we're stopping the production of physical objects, so our economy is becoming increasingly based on intangible ones. I do think that a lot of the current enforcement crosses the line, but if there wasn't any at all, there would definitely be consequences on the US economy.

They can start with confiscating Orrin Hatch's PCs (4, Informative)

viking80 (697716) | more than 6 years ago | (#23744649)

from http://www.wired.com/politics/law/news/2003/06/59305 [wired.com]

  Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) suggested Tuesday that people who download copyright materials from the Internet should have their computers automatically destroyed.

But Hatch himself is using unlicensed software on his official website, which presumably would qualify his computer to be smoked by the system he proposes.

The senator's site makes extensive use of a JavaScript menu system developed by Milonic Solutions, a software company based in the United Kingdom. The copyright-protected code has not been licensed for use on Hatch's website.

Re:They can start with confiscating Orrin Hatch's (2, Interesting)

jacquesm (154384) | more than 6 years ago | (#23744685)

destroyed of all things ! I personally think they should explode and kill all the occupants of the premises where said hardware is located. Or maybe geotargetting coupled with a tactical nuke or so, sure the collateral damage would be large, but nothing is too much in protecting that precious IP.

I've often wondered if an intelligence test before a vote would be a good thing and I've decided against that, but such a test administered before being able to take public office would be a very good thing.

Re:They can start with confiscating Orrin Hatch's (4, Insightful)

wamerocity (1106155) | more than 6 years ago | (#23744859)

Don't get me started on Hatch. I am so tired of him as our elected official. The guy's been there for over 30 year, and that instantly puts him on my hate list because of how much I am against the principle of "Career-politicians." But he's never going to leave, because we just love our incumbents here. The guy doesn't even live in our state! He has a house in Virginia, and only comes to Utah to raise funds for re-election. What an asshole. /rant

Re:They can start with confiscating Orrin Hatch's (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23744889)

this gives me a good idea what don't the second these fucking morons pass this law people turn right around and charge the ones that passed it with the crime its self so they can see how stupid it is to attempt to police the internet. this will just cause encryption to even more wide spread.

Really what it boils down too is the cops will get take your computer so you no gets to internet for weeks. annoying and not well though out.

people that don't know jack shit about the internet don't deserve to pass laws about it.

Re:They can start with confiscating Orrin Hatch's (2, Informative)

backbyter (896397) | more than 6 years ago | (#23745155)

The story for your link is 5 years old. Apparently Hatch's people have since licensed the menu system. View source from Hatch's home page:

Milonic DHTML Website Navigation Menu ...
License Details:
        Type: Professional
        Number: 188909
       

So... (5, Insightful)

Kuroji (990107) | more than 6 years ago | (#23744659)

How do you verify that a file is or is not pirated, exactly? And whatever happened to 'innocent until proven guilty'?

For that matter, do those reps think that this will make law enforcement give one whit about people stealing albums? They already have enough to deal with in terms of real crime, and they're going to utterly ignore this anyway.

Re:So... (2, Interesting)

spazdor (902907) | more than 6 years ago | (#23744709)

The thicker end of the wedge happens when 'enforcement agent' gets defined more broadly, and the mafiAA get to install some of their own mercenaries to start carrying out raids.

Re:So... (1)

Magada (741361) | more than 6 years ago | (#23745237)

Nah. They already do raids. This is just them trying to pass the expenses to the taxpayer.

Re:So... (1)

arbiter1 (1204146) | more than 6 years ago | (#23744857)

yea, even judges are starting to get pissed with all the copy write bs cases the riaa is putting up. They are starting to question their tactics for getting their info, and even wanting them to show their methods to tell if said person is guilty of it. They go as far as hiding all this from the defense, which is illegal to start with. They have to give up all that info for the defense to have a chance to prove its faults. Which this bill will have same issues that riaa have.

Seizing hardware (5, Insightful)

Kingston (1256054) | more than 6 years ago | (#23744669)

It would allow the Feds to seize hardware that has even one file coming from 'dubious origins,'
Every time there is a police investigation here in the UK you see them taking computer equipment as part of the investigation. Even if no charges are brought it can be weeks before people get their kit back. Seeing how reliant everyone is on their computers now, it almost looks like it is a punitive measure in itself.

Re:Seizing hardware (2, Insightful)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 6 years ago | (#23744703)

I wonder if they'd take a blind person's dog or an elderly woman's phone just as quickly?

Re:Seizing hardware (1)

GravityStar (1209738) | more than 6 years ago | (#23745017)

Yes.

I hope it gets through (4, Interesting)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 6 years ago | (#23744675)

I want people to know how bad copyright really is and the only way to get it through their thick heads is for the law to be enforced to the letter.

Sooner or later the US will wake the fuck up.

Re:I hope it gets through (1)

symbolset (646467) | more than 6 years ago | (#23744747)

Blog pimp: Why not hop on over and help? [abolishcopyright.com]

Full disclosure: I was involved in setting this site up. It's brand new and may come to nothing. Still... It's what you make of it.

Re:I hope it gets through (1)

foobsr (693224) | more than 6 years ago | (#23745093)

Sooner or later the US will wake the fuck up.

This is not the point. IMHO, it is about establishing an infrastructure to be prepared for a situation when resources are scarce.

If the masses are short on energy and especially water, total surveillance and absolute power of the 'government' come in handy for those who think they have to loose something.

CC.

mod d03n (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23744687)

committe8base and

This is bullshit (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23744711)

There's no reason to seize property without evidence of a crime and a warrant. Copyright infringement is a civil matter -- but downloaders aren't even necessarily distributing.

Good to see elected officials once again bowing to the wishes of the trabant factories.

New government type required (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23744713)

Clearly America isn't a democracy, a republic, or any of those other pretty labels any more.

I move for the new designation of "Corporate Plutocracy".

Can I get a second for the motion?

Re:New government type required (4, Interesting)

deniable (76198) | more than 6 years ago | (#23744803)

Sure, but it'll cost you. No representation without compensation.

jobless (1)

phrostie (121428) | more than 6 years ago | (#23744719)

but that would leave the BSA people jobless.
how crewl and and uncaring is that

Re:jobless (1)

deniable (76198) | more than 6 years ago | (#23744821)

In other news, the federal government will be hiring.

Re:jobless (1)

jimicus (737525) | more than 6 years ago | (#23744865)

but that would leave the BSA people jobless.
how crewl and and uncaring is that
Doubt it. It's more likely to turn the BSA into a government agency, being funded by the taxpayer rather than by the commercial software companies that currently fund it.

Re:jobless (2, Funny)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 6 years ago | (#23744941)

I'm confused, is the Boy Scouts of America a bunch of commercial pirates?

Police State! (4, Insightful)

Bartab (233395) | more than 6 years ago | (#23744725)

It's interesting that all the moonbats screaming POLICE STATE!!! over in the Kucinich thread are all missing from this one. Consider that the bill is sponsored by a Democrat, and has passed a Democrat majority House.

If there's any law I've seen recently that qualifies as police state, this is one.

Re:Police State! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23744981)

Dude, there's no difference between Republicans and Democrats. That's why the US is in such a shitty state, politically, sociologically, legally and economically. There's no real opposition of any type, from either party. That's why extremely stupid decisions are made, and pathetic legislation like this is likely to be passed.

Re:Police State! (1)

dammy (131759) | more than 6 years ago | (#23745007)

This is /., they are going to eliminate any references to evil linked to the Democrat Party. Pity /. has been come so wrapped up in left wing politics and demonize the right. Or is that /. has been daemonized into a left wing propaganda machine?

Re:Police State! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23745229)

Pity /. has been come so wrapped up in left wing politics and demonize the right.

You're a fuckwit.

Re:Police State! (2, Insightful)

lusiphur69 (455824) | more than 6 years ago | (#23745063)

I hate partisans - if you have not noticed yet, all parties are throughly in the pocket of lobbyists.

Divide and rule..

What? (3, Insightful)

ilovegeorgebush (923173) | more than 6 years ago | (#23744753)

WHY has this become so entrenched with the upper echelons of the US Government? WHAT has this got to do with Congress, and indeed the Government in general? It's a legal issue, but not something that needs further governing by bogus departments created by the corrupt hands of the Bush era. It's sickening.

And these people still have jobs... why? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23744757)

Why in the world are these clueless talking heads still in office? If I had employees this stupid I'd fire both them and the HR department for letting them in.

Why haven't we, the people of the United State of America, fired these morons? They're not anyone's idiot nephew/niece, are they? Seriously!

"PRO-IP Act"?! (2, Insightful)

bersl2 (689221) | more than 6 years ago | (#23744767)

Even if it weren't a heinous offense against decency, this bill must die for having another goddamn ridiculous acronym!

Why is this so important to the USA? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23744781)

A few days ago, news was spreading that the writers strike was causing a recession in California:

http://www.boston.com/ae/celebrity/articles/2008/06/07/writers_strike_causes_california_recession/

California, as a state, has an economy that is larger than many other countries:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy_of_California

The hollywood economy is a significant contributor to this and thus intellectual property (in the form of movies, tv shows and music) figures prominently. It would probably be fair to say that Silicon Valley would also benefit from this, that is if Microsoft were HQ'd there.

IP is worth a lot of money to the USA. It's not something that can made in other countries - it takes the collective creativity of those engaged in various industries above to make it.

Thus America is doing what it can to protect an industry that is important to it.

What they've failed to demonstrate (IMHO) is that the IP problems they're fighting (P2P networks) make a demonstratable difference to profits.

The leap of understanding that these people don't seem to be able to make is that for many people, if they couldn't download it then they wouldn't buy it.

As they say on 4chan, (4, Insightful)

The Master Control P (655590) | more than 6 years ago | (#23744795)

Everybody get in here! [senate.gov] Your senators know that every person who actually writes represents thousands of voters.

Re:As they say on 4chan, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23745197)

And everyone who sends an email represents, what? One? A letter might somehow make an impact if they arrive in sufficient quantities, but email is trivial enough to flush, flush, flush away, just as easy to destroy as it was to send.

Civil asset forfeiture laws are why I hate lawyers (5, Insightful)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 6 years ago | (#23744799)

Only a lawyer could follow the logic that was used to uphold them. The judges, aka lawyers with power to determine the law's enforcement, ruled that since YOU aren't the one being accused (your property is) YOU have no due process right except to claim your property IFF you can prove that the property really wasn't used in the crime that the government is alleging. Doesn't matter if someone else hijacked your property to do it!

Any normal human being can look at the logic of civil asset forfeiture laws and realize that it is literally a legitimization of armed robbery by the government.

Thought police? (4, Insightful)

dougisfunny (1200171) | more than 6 years ago | (#23744851)

If IP is ideas, which are thoughts.... this would make them thought police?

Re:Thought police? (1)

ilovecheese (301274) | more than 6 years ago | (#23745099)

I was always under the impression the Thought Police were a branch of the DHS?

Tell your Congresscritter to vote for this bill!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23744863)

H.R. 4279: Prioritizing Resources and Organization for Intellectual Property Act of 2008

It was sponsored by Rep. John Conyers [D-MI]. He's a both Democrat and an outspoken critic of Bush so he must be right. Protect us from terrorists and drug lords. Think of the children.

PROIP? How much time do they waste coming up with cute little acronyms like this?

Priorities? (4, Insightful)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 6 years ago | (#23744887)

"prioritize intellectual property protection to the highest level of our government"

Yep, we have our priorities right. With all the famine, high energy prices, wars, natural disasters, etc, we know that IP rights must be the highest priority, to keep that money flowing into congress. Getting that pocket lined is more important then feeding people.

Kick them all out, they are no longer serving the citizens as they are mandated to do by the constitution. Its a breech of contract of their oath of office.

Re:Priorities? (1)

chthon (580889) | more than 6 years ago | (#23744953)

Yes, how long until the "there is no bread, let them eat cake" ?

Re:Priorities? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23745087)

And how would you recommend we do that? Vote for the other guy who has nearly the exact same views as the one in office?

It's gotten to the point where there is no easy way to turn back. Change will no longer come from an election booth, and the people don't have the balls to do what needs to be done. Fuck it I stop caring a long time ago.

Anonymous Coward (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23744891)

Already have the power, why do they need more? Are they ignorant? Just have the artists put Creative Commons License Tags of the works of art, and then use the DMCA, where if anyone tampers with the CC License Tag, that it is a violation of the DMCA. And isn't a violation of the DMCA then a felony? AND worse, could be a violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act as well. Then, have ISP filters that monitor the art, report to the artist, warn the user if excessive use, etc.

If folks are then sending files encrypted, then what? The only law would be that you can not encrypt other's works of art, without their permission or be again, inviolation of the DMCA and maybe the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act?

The Problem with the IP cops, is that this creates a whole new expensive government entity... for what?

Out tool to takeover the whitehouse (1)

shareme (897587) | more than 6 years ago | (#23744901)

So to take over the white house we just have to get someone stupid enough to download one file? How much does a used Whitehouse go for these days? I hear its Haliburton $3 Trillion..

dash (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23744909)

I have never been so proud of being an EU citizen. We fine big companies, we support open standards and we can live without fear from being arrested because of some rhianna songs our kids might have downloaded. How stupid is that? You once were a country that emerged from a revolution. Embrace your past and make sure your leaders know you're not happy. God Bless the EU.

Ok. (4, Funny)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#23744917)

From now on, I'm leasing my hardware.

FreeNet is the answer (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 6 years ago | (#23744923)

At least until its decide that just running something like that is grounds for persecution and assumed guilt.

how to name this Enforcement Division (2, Funny)

Max_W (812974) | more than 6 years ago | (#23744951)

An Intellectual Property Enforcement Division named after El ingenioso hidalgo don Quijote de la Mancha?

And on the badge - Don Quixote attacking the windmills.

Looks like it's time (1)

Derosian (943622) | more than 6 years ago | (#23744955)

To start rigging my case with an explosive booby trap, oh wait lethals traps are illegal.

So what ARE my options then, because hell if I am going to stop downloading things on P2P.

Re:Looks like it's time (1)

elFarto the 2nd (709099) | more than 6 years ago | (#23745069)

Thermite.

Regards
elFarto

Direct violation?? (5, Informative)

consonant (896763) | more than 6 years ago | (#23744971)

Is this not a blatant transgression of the 4th Amendment?? Back to the dark days of the writs of assistance..

Copyright infringement as a criminal act - that's just wrong. And scary. Too long has this corporate fellatio been going on..

And as an additional WTF:

"This is a strong, common sense measure that provides new tools and resources to help protect one of this nation's most important economic engines," says Mitch Bainwol, chairman/CEO of the RIAA.
Britney Spears/Justin Timberlake/Beyonce/Dude, Where's My Car?/Gigli are the USA's most important economic engines? Or at least, the engine's constituents??

Goddamn. Just, goddamn.

p.s: TFA's dated May 6th. Isn't this coming a tad late on /.?

Frank Zappa said it best (4, Interesting)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 6 years ago | (#23744985)

"The USA is a nation of laws, poorly written and randomly enforced" - Frank Zappa

first things first (3, Insightful)

Max_W (812974) | more than 6 years ago | (#23745031)

First the government should stop credit card fraud in the Internet. It is a mess now with all that worms, phishing, spam, etc. They should do what IS their duty.

I am afraid to use my card to buy a song for 90 cents. Not that I do not want to pay.

But I will not resume walking to the shops to by disks. It's like asking me to start riding a horse.

It's gone, over. Forget about it. Move on. No more CDs. Turn the page.

Dubious sources? (1)

ilovecheese (301274) | more than 6 years ago | (#23745033)

I would love to know what the term "Dubious Sources" means in the original article. My definition of course, would be the MPAA, RIAA, and what the hell, anyone I don't like.

Does that mean, if I get an **AA nastygram, I can then enforce the law back on the fucktards that originally sent to me? Someone really needs to throw the screws at these shitheads.

Thank god I live in the EU.

Fixing it, fixing them (1)

Stu101 (1031686) | more than 6 years ago | (#23745065)

Well this may be considered flame bate, but there are ways to fix them, and give it to the man at the same time. We all hate hatch the disney mouthpiece for hire.

Firstly, try a Linux distro, for example, try Opensuse 10.3,(http://en.opensuse.org/Welcome_to_openSUSE.org) it just works. People sometimes have a bad image of Linux. My parents recently converted to it (well I did it for them) and they have no issues at all. Codecs etc available online legitimately . Paying for an opensuse package. Not heard of anyone paying for software if they didn't want to, as in, no law against passing it round, i.e. libre (free) software.

It's free to use and free to mess around with. True software freedom, as it was meant to be.

Secondly, we all like music. Try jamendo.com for some really good music of all styles and tastes. It's legal and free to download, and IF, *IF* you like an album or a song, you can pay the artist direct from the site. You are not compelled to pay for any of it. I believe you can even share it around, encouraged even. Put that on a p2p net and wait (and pray) that they pick on you. You would laugh them outta court.

Thirdly, vote with your dollars. If you don't like it, don't go paying for stuff that puts money in the enemies pocket. There used to be a site run by 2600.com that told you which companies owned which so you could check to see where your $$ were going.

Intellectual Property Enforcement Division (2, Informative)

amar0k (1278144) | more than 6 years ago | (#23745109)

Or IPED. Funny fact: in my country (Portugal), the secret police of the repressive regime of Salazar was called PIDE [wikipedia.org] .

So, basically, we're ALL criminals..... (5, Insightful)

Stanislav_J (947290) | more than 6 years ago | (#23745123)

The question is: who doesn't have something on their computer that infringes copyright in some manner? It's not just the P2P crowd -- they might well share some of their booty with others, maybe even providing tracks on a CD-R to friends who have slow connections, or not enough savvy to use or desire to risk torrents. If you've ripped tracks from someone else's CD, technically you're violating a copyright. (Hell, the RIAA thinks that ripping your own CDs is infringement). How many people have software of dubious origin on their machines, either by design or ignorance? (All those grey market Windows and Photoshop CDs that are ubiquitous on eBay, for example.) For that matter, what about the mass of infringing material on YouTube? Download a clip from last night's American Idol before Fox has it pulled, and now your computer is ours....mwa-ha-ha-ha-ha. Even more damning is that there is hardly a website in existence that doesn't have SOMETHING on it -- a graphic, photo, quote, musical background -- that is, by the strictest standard of the law, an infringement of someone's copyright. Just viewing the website puts those items in your cache -- voila, you are now guilty...please hand over the computer quietly and there won't be any trouble.

Maybe this is a plot to help balance the budget. Instead of spending money on computers for all the federal agencies, they just seize as many as they need from all us hardened criminals.

And thus (3, Insightful)

J4 (449) | more than 6 years ago | (#23745179)

the transformation will be complete. Just think how easy getting warrants will be now. It shouldn't take long for dead tree publishers and $manufacturing_interests to gain "equal protection".

Thanks Retards.
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