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Senate Passes Bill Targeting College Piracy

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the since-colleges-don't-have-anything-better-to-do dept.

Government 157

An anonymous reader brings news that the College Opportunity and Affordability Act has passed in the US Senate and now awaits only the President's signature before becoming law. Hidden away in the lengthy bill are sections which tie college funding to "offering alternatives to illegal downloading or peer-to-peer distribution of intellectual property as well as a plan to explore technology-based deterrents to prevent such illegal activity." The EFF issued a statement expressing concern over the bill earlier this year, shortly before the House of Representatives approved it. We discussed the introduction of the bill last November. The Senate vote was 83-8, with 9 not voting. The full text of the bill is available. The relevant section is 494, at the end of the general provisions.

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157 comments

first pirate (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24446583)

Please don't fail!

Sounds like a good bill (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24446603)

College piracy really is getting out of hand these days. I just graduate college recently, and it's ridiculous how easy and casual it is.

Copyright infringement is illegal and costs companies money. As a legitimate consumer, I feel duped when others are trading around something I paid good money far.

I'm all in favor of trying to prevent and deter this unlawful activity.

Re:Sounds like a good bill (2, Insightful)

Celarnor (835542) | more than 5 years ago | (#24446655)

So the solution is to pass on the cost to everyone else rather than deal with the problematic element until the copyright system can be fixed?

Re:Sounds like a good bill (3, Funny)

mikael (484) | more than 5 years ago | (#24446997)

On a department UNIX system, just look in each users home directory for the file:

".windows_settings/My Documents/My Music"

Those Windows auto-rippers will put everything there for everyone else to download...

No it isn't. (5, Insightful)

an.echte.trilingue (1063180) | more than 5 years ago | (#24447155)

The small business I work for provides short term student accommodation (universities here in Belgium don't have dorms like in the States, private companies or student associations organize housing). In one of our residences, 20 students in downloaded 1.2 terabytes in the month of July. The volume causes all kinds of trouble for me as the IT guy because our ISP is perpetually threatening to cut us off if we don't upgrade to $superExpensivePlanOfTheMonth. We all know here that the overwhelming majority of this traffic is p2p.

In other words, I am very sensitive to anti-piracy arguments because I have felt the pain of dealing with it. I have toyed with the idea of putting some sort of traffic shaping technology between the students and the net or limiting their access, but ultimately I have decided to put up with the headache.

This is why: Students need freedom to grow, even if they abuse it at times (or even most of the time). If I implement traffic shaping or limit bandwidth, that one CS student who uses bittorrent to distribute his project will be screwed out of an education, and the world might be screwed out of a really cool innovation. That one aspiring film maker won't be able to distribute the movie that will make her famous and change the world of art. Sooner or later all of those students will be paying for their own bandwidth and they will learn the lesson about how their abuse is hurting the rest of us, but never again in their lives will they have the opportunities to create and learn that they have now, and unfettered access to the net is part of that.

I cannot imagine any kind of traffic control that will not pose these kinds of problems. If we allow schools to shape bandwidth, the quality of the education they offer will suffer. I hope that US universities stand up for what is right on this one.

Re:No it isn't. (1)

Nazlfrag (1035012) | more than 5 years ago | (#24447299)

You're spot on. Downloading and P2P are not illegal, copyright infringement is. Throttling downloads or P2P is the wrong answer.

Re:No it isn't. (0)

an.echte.trilingue (1063180) | more than 5 years ago | (#24447377)

I can see a case for throttling or traffic shaping in certain environments, especially for ISPs providing domestic lines. I really have no problem with an ISP that throttles down latency tolerant traffic like bittorrent so that everybody else on the network can use latency-sensitive applications like telephony.

Problem is, most ISPs that do this aren't straightforward about it. That is just lying.

Re:No it isn't. (1)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | more than 5 years ago | (#24447629)

I admire your integrity on this matter, and you're absolutely right about protecting the freedom for legitimate growth. Killing P2P because of music sharing is throwing the baby out with the bath water.

At the same time, clearly there is a problem with illegal sharing via P2P, in that most use of P2P is surely for that purpose. That is unfair both on you as the sysadmin and on those students who do want to use the service legitimately but may find the available bandwidth limited because of what others are using it for. Both of these apply regardless of your perspective on the ethics of breaking copyright law (which I personally don't agree with either, but I recognise that there are plenty of people on Slashdot who disagree).

Perhaps it would suffice to send a polite but unambiguous message to your users reminding them that illegal file sharing is not a valid use of the resources you provide for students and warning that abusers will be disconnected? That seems perfectly fair, you could use a proportionate scale of responses (e.g., disconnection for a couple of days for a first offence, up to permanent disconnection for repeat offenders), and as long as it's not automatic and a real person is available to sort out any problems quickly (e.g., if someone does get disconnected but can later demonstrate that they need access for legitimate purposes) it seems unlikely to do any serious damage to anyone.

Re:No it isn't. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24448059)

I think your missing the worst part: they want to use money taken out of your budget to appease the *AA.

Re:Sounds like a good bill (2, Informative)

gerf (532474) | more than 5 years ago | (#24447327)

When my brother was in college (late '80s), BMG would run the "12 CDs for the price of 1" deal constantly across college campuses (plus 3 more for signing up someone else). They knew that the kids didn't have the money to pay full price, and that they could start them using their CD distribution model for the rest of their lives. Even for a college kid, CDs for less than $2 each is bearable. I doubt however that in this day and age they'd want to bother with lugging 100 plastic discs around, but that's not the issue anyway.

I'm a more recent collegiate, and still visit friends on campus on occasion. I have never EVER seen those deals advertised on campus, even before Napster came out while I was in the dorms.

I'd like to say they've given up on the market, but then their constant suing doesn't make sense. It's truly a mystery to me what they're thinking.

Re:Sounds like a good bill (1)

QuantumRiff (120817) | more than 5 years ago | (#24447839)

I work for a small community college, about 800 Full time students, a couple thousand part time. We have open wireless, and computers all over that students can use. I have had a problem with maybe 5-8 of them using limewire or bittorrent and swamping our connection. (we're more worried about connection use, the content is their issue.) Most of them have stopped when we ask them too. A few of them were explaining that they were trying to DL Linux ISO's, so we pointed them to a mirror that is at another school, that does not count towards our bandwidth limits (and they're on a 100MB network with us, its fast).

Now, it appears that I am going to have to pay thousands of dollars a term to subscribe them all to a music download service, which will punish the 98%-99% of students who are good, because a few might have downloaded music. We charge $3/credit for "tech" fees, and that just went up, it was $2/credit. That is going to swallow a huge portion of our budget for things like replacing student labs.

Your school might have a rampant problem, mine doesn't. Its going to hurt the students, because we will have to either raise tuition or fees, or put equipment on a longer replacement cycle to pay for something that we don't need.

Re:Sounds like a good bill (1)

Annymouse Cowherd (1037080) | more than 5 years ago | (#24447915)

Limit bandwidth for any given connection to about the speed of a US cable carrier- 4000kbit down, 500kbit up. Then your network won't be swamped and people using P2P legitimately can still download, though only at the same speeds they would get at home.

Hostile partnerships? (5, Insightful)

DigitAl56K (805623) | more than 5 years ago | (#24446609)

Hidden away in the lengthy bill are sections which tie college funding to "offering alternatives to illegal downloading or peer-to-peer distribution of intellectual property as well as a plan to explore technology-based deterrents to prevent such illegal activity."

I haven't read the bill yet, but that sounds like an attempt to force colleges into hostile partnerships with MPAA/RIAA agencies/affiliates. If that is the case, then I urge the colleges to satisfy the requirement of "offering alternatives" by partnering exclusively with indie, creative-commons, and public domain distributors.

BTW - why in the world do colleges need to be involved in "offering alternatives" when there are dozens of well known websites already offering alternatives. iTunes anyone? Rhapsody? eMusic? If people aren't using these already what makes anyone thing that a college offering the same will suddenly be more successful? It is no business of a college, which people pay to attend, to be factoring into their cost model marketing and/or service costs of music/movie distribution.

Re:Hostile partnerships? (2, Interesting)

DigitAl56K (805623) | more than 5 years ago | (#24446693)

Sorry to reply to myself, but I wanted to add one other point:

"offering alternatives to illegal downloading or peer-to-peer distribution of intellectual property

Specifically relating to movies, what alternatives is a college to offer for zero-day releases, screeners, and so forth? I'd love to know what the MPAA has up its sleeve there..

Neither the RIAA/MPAA nor the EFF would care... (3, Informative)

Animaether (411575) | more than 5 years ago | (#24446709)

"I urge the colleges to satisfy the requirement of "offering alternatives" by partnering exclusively with indie, creative-commons, and public domain distributors."
Which would not stop students from downloading works that the MPAA governs at the same time.

"BTW - why in the world do colleges need to be involved in "offering alternatives" when there are dozens of well known websites already offering alternatives. iTunes anyone? Rhapsody? eMusic?"
Because, according to the EFF themselves:
"The recording industry is already willing to offer unlimited downloads with subscription plans for $10 to $15 per month through services such as Napster and Rhapsody. But these services have been a failure on campuses, for a number of reasons, including these: They don't work with the iPod, they cause downloaded music to "expire" after students leave the school, and they don't include all the music students want." - Fred von Lohmann, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/06/05/AR2007060501761.html [washingtonpost.com]

"If people aren't using these already what makes anyone thing that a college offering the same will suddenly be more successful?"
Because if they had a local library then students could access the library off of their campus, instead of having to download over the internet. They wouldn't have to worry about trojans, or whether the music file would even play on their player, etc. The aforementioned may make it seem like I think students are stupid - perhaps, because the Washington Post thinks university system administrators are stupid; some gems:
"Unless a school using the tool has firewalls on the borders of its network designed to block unsolicited Internet traffic -- and a great many universities do not"
"The toolkit allows an administrator to require a username and password for access to the Web server. The problem is that the person responsible for running the toolkit is never prompted to create a username and password."

And at least Dave Taylor at the U of P agrees: "even with a firewall keeping non-university students from accessing the toolkit's Web server, any student on the network armed with the Internet address of the Web server could view all of the traffic on his or her segment of the network, said Penn's Dave Taylor."
- http://blog.washingtonpost.com/securityfix/2007/11/mpaa_university_toolkit_opens_1.html [washingtonpost.com]

"It is no business of a college, which people pay to attend, to be factoring into their cost model marketing and/or service costs of music/movie distribution."
Apparently it is. Quoth that EFF dude again:
"Universities already pay blanket fees so that student a cappella groups can perform on campus, and they also pay for cable TV subscriptions and site licenses for software."

Moreover, the EFF dude thinks that's an excellent thing to apply to music downloads as well:
"By the same token, they could collect a reasonable amount from their students for "all you can eat" downloading." - Fred von Lohmann, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/06/05/AR2007060501761.html [washingtonpost.com]

Re:Neither the RIAA/MPAA nor the EFF would care... (1)

Enleth (947766) | more than 5 years ago | (#24446795)

Apparently it is. Quoth that EFF dude again:
"Universities already pay blanket fees so that student a cappella groups can perform on campus, [...]"

Er, what? I'm not questioning what you said, as you're just citing, but I'm interested in an explanation. What the heck has performing on a campus to do with the university paying someone - and WHO do they pay? If the students are performing as a part of their own initiative, they can do that whereever they please, on the campus, on the top of Mt. Everest, on the lawn in front of the White House or just anywhere else except when it's explicitly forbidden by the landowner. Even if they're performing copyrighted works (doing an artistic interpretation), just in this case they can't do that for profit without obtaining the rightowner's permission. So it looks someone is extorting money from the universities...

Re:Neither the RIAA/MPAA nor the EFF would care... (1)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | more than 5 years ago | (#24447711)

Even if they're performing copyrighted works (doing an artistic interpretation), just in this case they can't do that for profit without obtaining the rightowner's permission. So it looks someone is extorting money from the universities...

Cite, please? In most jurisdictions, including the US as far as I'm aware, public performance is a protected right under copyright, and just because something is not for profit, that does not automatically qualify it as a fair use (or whatever your jurisdiction calls the equivalent exemption).

Re:Neither the RIAA/MPAA nor the EFF would care... (2, Insightful)

Dun Malg (230075) | more than 5 years ago | (#24448117)

Even if they're performing copyrighted works (doing an artistic interpretation), just in this case they can't do that for profit without obtaining the rightowner's permission. So it looks someone is extorting money from the universities...

Cite, please? In most jurisdictions, including the US as far as I'm aware, public performance is a protected right under copyright, and just because something is not for profit, that does not automatically qualify it as a fair use (or whatever your jurisdiction calls the equivalent exemption).

I think you missed his point. He didn't say it was legal for students to do this, but that perhaps it's not the university's job to police such things. Seriously, under what line of crazed reasoning does the university bear responsibility for three jackasses in the dorm stairwell singing "Dancing Queen"?

Re:Neither the RIAA/MPAA nor the EFF would care... (1)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | more than 5 years ago | (#24448615)

He didn't say it was legal for students to do this

I've just reread his post, and it still reads like that's what he's saying to me!

Seriously, under what line of crazed reasoning does the university bear responsibility for three jackasses in the dorm stairwell singing "Dancing Queen"?

I would imagine it's not the random sing-alongs in the dorm stairwell that are covered by the licence, but rather the public performances.

Some performance rights are normally acquired by the performers, others by the venue. I don't know the usual rules of the game in the US, but here in the UK it's normal for recorded music to be dealt with by the people playing it in public, but for venues to have a blanket licence for live performances of music under copyright given on their premises (the costs of which may be passed on to the performers to some extent in the hire costs for the venue). I'm not quite sure how things evolved to this state; presumably at some point in the past it was easiest to keep track of performances and distribute royalties appropriately or something.

Re:Neither the RIAA/MPAA nor the EFF would care... (1)

SpiderClan (1195655) | more than 5 years ago | (#24447035)

"I urge the colleges to satisfy the requirement of "offering alternatives" by partnering exclusively with indie, creative-commons, and public domain distributors."
Which would not stop students from downloading works that the MPAA governs at the same time.

Why should any college care about that? They are being forced to play police for the RIAA/MPAA in order to receive funding, which isn't likely to garner feelings of sympathy for the industry that's holding them hostage.

Re:Neither the RIAA/MPAA nor the EFF would care... (1)

DeadChobi (740395) | more than 5 years ago | (#24447765)

The point at which this becomes a Bad Thing is when those of us who live off campus and/or don't do anything illegal with P2P end up footing the bill for the students who do. As long as I don't end up getting charged a blanket fee for other students' uses of the internet, I'm okay with whatever my school decides to do. But if they want to bill me a $40 fee so that they can give me access to some DRM fest of a music server which won't even support my player, they can go fuck themselves.

Simple solution. (4, Informative)

Lunarsight (1053230) | more than 5 years ago | (#24446727)

Step 1:

Go here: http://www.govtrack.us/ [govtrack.us]

Step 2:

See if your Senator voted in favor of this bill.

Step 3:

Notify your Senator that you'll be voting for his opponent the next time he's up for re-election.

On a sidenote, this is why earmarking legislation is a major problem. Corrupt legislators know they can smuggle crap that would NEVER pass in a million years, if they hide it in a bill that has otherwise good intentions. It's one of the few things drawing me to voting for McCain, since he's one of the more outspoken people about this particular practice.

Re:Simple solution. (1)

no reason to be here (218628) | more than 5 years ago | (#24446891)

One, Obama has spoken out against ear marks as well. Two, McCain is far more beholden to special interest money (i.e., lobbyist money) than Obama. Three, if we just adamantly "vote the bums out" over their votes on this issue, it might force us to vote against a legislator who has otherwise performed in a manner that we find respectable, or, conversely, voting for someone who's beliefs we don't share in order to stick it to the man (like the few handfuls of Clinton backers who vow that they will vote for McCain).

However, I do strongly urge everyone to contact your elected officials about this, and make sure that they know how you feel, and that you will be remembering it, and that if they continue to vote against your interests, you will find other candidates to support (in the primary process, if they're in the party you would normally support).

Not so simple at all (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 5 years ago | (#24447375)

These is the story your Senator is reading:
.

Chemical Society President Praises House Passage of Higher Education Act [marketwatch.com]

The president of the American Chemical Society today praised Congress as well as a coalition of science, business and education organizations for their work leading to House passage of the Higher Education Opportunity Act which supports STEM education.
ACS President Bruce Bursten, Ph.D., Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, University of Tennessee, Knoxville said the final bill showed Congress understands the importance of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education programs to America's future.
"As both president of the world's largest scientific society and a university faculty member and dean, I am grateful for the bill's emphasis on improving the rigor of teacher-education programs in science and math, and the priority it places on providing incentives to encourage students to obtain STEM degrees and pursue STEM-related careers. I am especially pleased the bill takes actions to expand efforts to encourage diversity in the science and technology workforce by increasing the participation of underrepresented groups. On behalf of the more than 160,000 members of the American Chemical Society, I thank Congress for giving education policy the attention it deserves via this important bill."
In a letter to leaders of the Senate and House committees which guided the bill's passage, the American Chemical Society joined 13 other science, education, and business organization in praising the "outstanding bipartisan leadership" of Congress on this issue.

This is the story that will be reprinted by his campaign.

Senators serve six-year terms that are staggered so elections are held for a third of the seats (a class) every second year. United States Senate [wikipedia.org]

The Senate is quite deliberately structured to filter out the background noise - so that it can focus on what is central and not peripheral.

The odds are quite good that you will out of school and have other things to think about before your Senator comes up for relection. Your threat is just so much hot air.

Free music in the dorms is never going to rank high on his list of priorites.

Re:Not so simple at all (3, Insightful)

Lunarsight (1053230) | more than 5 years ago | (#24448543)

The odds are quite good that you will out of school and have other things to think about before your Senator comes up for relection. Your threat is just so much hot air.
Free music in the dorms is never going to rank high on his list of priorites.

Just for the record, I've been out of college for a considerable amount of time. I rarely if ever user P2P software.

However, if this isn't a blatant example of fine print being smuggled into existing legislation under the proverbial radar, then I don't know what is. To me, that's the bigger issue here. I'm tired of corporate interests sneaking their wishlists into well-meaning legislation by using those representatives they have in their proverbial pockets to do the deed.

Perhaps the threat of their removal from office is hollow for the Senate, but something definitely needs to be done here to express our disapproval with this. At very least, write your representation in both sections of Congress, and let them know you don't approve.

If that doesn't make them change their tune, then perhaps we need to begin playing dirty like the RIAA does.

Re:Simpler solution. (1)

iamwahoo2 (594922) | more than 5 years ago | (#24447625)

Colleges should comply by putting up links to free legal music downloads. There you go, an alternative to illegal music downloads.

Re:Simpler solution. (1)

antic (29198) | more than 5 years ago | (#24447987)

Could provide an opportunity for people and indie sites to get together and present something useful to the universities that will help them comply, support the underdogs, etc.

It's sad that something like this can get passed. I would be appalled if this happened in my country.

Re:Simple solution. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24447717)

I love your assumption that we are all anti-copyright nutjobs who think other peoples work should be free.
I'll be contacting my senator to urge him to support the bill. I and others like me work in the entertainment industry and am sick of being treated as the enemy or scum for expecting our customers not to rip us off.
Grow up kids, the world doesn't owe you free entertainment.

Re:Simple solution. (1)

iamwahoo2 (594922) | more than 5 years ago | (#24448055)

The intended consequence of this legislation is to back schools into a corner and force them to buy shitty subscription services like Ruckus and pass the cost onto students and taxpayers. You support this and call other people "nutjobs"?

Personally, I would rather not pay for schools to become music distributors.

Good thing this legislation is practically unenforceable.

Re:Simple solution. (1)

STrinity (723872) | more than 5 years ago | (#24447795)

You're assuming that (A) everyone cares about this enough for it to be a defining factor in our voting decisions over other issues like FISA, TSA regulations, immigration, Supreme Court confirmations, etc, and (B) the other guy wouldn't be just as much in the pocket of the RIAA.

Re:Simple solution. (1)

berashith (222128) | more than 5 years ago | (#24448159)

i jumped in step before this. I wrote to my rep before this went to the floor in the house. He did respond to me , but to inform me that he had voted for the act instead of against it. He did address my concerns of the requirements of policing for funding , but in his mind ( and the minds of other constituents) the benefits of the money being made available and the continued chance at receiving higher education trumped the negatives that I had brought up.

At least I tried...

Now to get our damn government to address one issue at a time instead of sliding all kinds of unrelated shit into laws.

Re:Hostile partnerships? (1)

Amorymeltzer (1213818) | more than 5 years ago | (#24446857)

It's come up before, and it will continue to come up - people just don't like paying the money. Does the RIAA or even the Senate seriously believe that Ohio University is going to offer a better music catalog or design or ease of use than Apple? There's no way, nobody can be that dumb. The music/movie execs are glad to get a win, even if it's pointless, because now it's on the books with overwhelming support, and is a small step forward for them. (I can see the headline now - "Senate Approves Anti-Piracy Act 83-8") The Senators get to sleep easily at night, knowing they helped keep America from advancing forward, assuming they actually read the entirety of the bill.

Re:Hostile partnerships? (1)

ron sepun (1320341) | more than 5 years ago | (#24446859)

Actually, I'm pretty sure they mean alternatives for free downloads. For example, I know the college I attended recently started using a system called Ruckus. It let you download free music to your computer, with a surprising selection, as long as you were a college student (you sign in with your college e-mail address/password).

Unfortunately, it was DRM ridden crap. Which some people found was quite easy to remove.

you dont get it (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 5 years ago | (#24447149)

the 'alternative opportunities' that they are required to offer are the shit that RIAA/MPAA bosses are selling. they are basically being FORCED to sell products for those organizations. thats it.

I always know when I'm in a college town ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24446617)

because many of the local merchants will have a sign in their doorway that says something like this:

"Everyone MUST check their bags and backpacks at the front!!"

Most college kids are thieves. I wasn't but I got blamed for a theft when I was in school and of course, no one believed me when I told them what happened.

I hope that son of a bitch got his.

Oh yeah, copyright infringement is theft!

Re:I always know when I'm in a college town ... (-1, Troll)

The Ultimate Fartkno (756456) | more than 5 years ago | (#24446641)

Oh yeah, copyright infringement is theft!

No, no, no... it's shaaaaaring! It's all about liberating intellectual property from the hands of the fascist bully-boys who insist on getting something in return when you want to partake of their work. Information wants to be free, man! Musicians want to eat, too, but FUCK THEM! If they want to make a buck then they should go out and tour or something.

meanwhile, back at the Slashcave...

HEY! YOU! Did you just unjustly use GPLed code?! CALL THE MOTHERFUCKING COPYRIGHT COPS!!

Re:I always know when I'm in a college town ... (1)

DigitAl56K (805623) | more than 5 years ago | (#24446679)

Except that GPL authors are more often than not uninterested in making a buck from their projects, at least directly. They only ask that if your code benefits from theirs you agree contribute it back under a similar license.

Musicians want to eat, too, but FUCK THEM! If they want to make a buck then they should go out and tour or something.

And if GPL authors want to eat they should sell training and support. And they do.

BTW - I don't wholeheartedly disagree with your overall point, but the analogy is bad.

Re:I always know when I'm in a college town ... (1)

Celarnor (835542) | more than 5 years ago | (#24446687)

I don't have any problem with musicians getting a few bucks for their work. I can do that through eMusic, to which I have a subscription that I enjoy very much.

Unfortunately, that isn't what happens with the RIAA, etc. What happens is that the distributors grease their pockets with above 90% of the profits, taking steps to prevent the consumer from using the product they've purchased how they want (on multiple devices, etc), and even installing rootkits with music cds.

With no market selling a safe, usable product, what do you expect people to do?

Re:I always know when I'm in a college town ... (4, Insightful)

TehZorroness (1104427) | more than 5 years ago | (#24447047)

I agree, except I'm speaking honestly. Fuck musicians. If they want to eat, make them work like everyone else. They shouldn't be entitled to free income for the rest of their life + 75 years for writing one song.

On the GPL comment. People deliberately breaching the GPL are generally software companies that would be very quick to point out that you are pirating their stuff. They have to play by the rules if they expect us to.

Re:I always know when I'm in a college town ... (2, Interesting)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 5 years ago | (#24447247)

Sigh.....I know you are probably a troll and I shouldn't feed the troll,but what the hell,this argument always stuck in my craw.

1. If you actually believe it is about musicians,I got some really nice swampland in AR to sell you,99% gator free! They rip off the bands something fierce, for example: Meatloaf had to sue for nearly 20 years because "Bat out of Hell I",which is STILL on the top 200,BTW,according to the record companies never made any money. They even have a "special" term for this,which is how widespread it is. It is called Hollywood Accounting [wikipedia.org].

2. The whole POINT of copyright was to grant a LIMITED monopoly in return for the enrichment of the people at the end of the term with a better and richer Public Domain which all of us,artists and laymen alike,could use to create new works and enrich our lives. So lets go download all that great '50s and 60's music from the Public Domain website now! Oh,wait,we can't,can we? Because thanks to the lobbyists buying off our corrupt politicians our great great grandkids will be dead before anything ever sees the Public Domain again,if ever. You see,THEY broke the contract with their greed,not We The People.

3. And finally,do you think you are honest? Do you have an MP3 player? Ever put your own store bought cd on it? Then according to RIAA you are a filthy pirate [arstechnica.com]. Welcome to the club,coffee and donuts are on the table in the back. The simple facts are this: The old model doesn't work.Instead of coming up with new models that WILL work in a digital age,they think they can buy their way back to the old days. So while I haven't heard or seen anything worth stealing if you see something you want,I say help yourself.THEY broke the contract,we get NOTHING for enforcing their copyrights,and until we get a new contract,one in which BOTH sides actually get something out of it I say all bets are off. But as always this is my 02c,YMMV

bud, were you living in mars ? (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 5 years ago | (#24447255)

musicians dont get ZIT out of the records they sell. the amount per cd/song they get is SO pathetic that it is negligible. the record companies force them to go on concert tours to earn the millions they are earning. this is a self reinforcing slavery cycle. even if you're a top band, your record earns the record co countless millions, but you are forced to go over lengthy concerts in which you will at most accrue $1-2 m after going through countless countries and 5 to 10 concerts.

excuse me, but musicians arent getting shit out of this deal, and im not going to pay a record company $20 bucks an album, whereas the musician gets only a few cents out of it.

it doesnt make sense.

previously it was hard to distribute a creative material. you had to record it to tapes distribute to stores, advertise it, sell it. now there is internet. now there are cds that cost 0.01 per. storage and distribution is much easier. (compare the space that is required by a casette tape to a cd and how much you can squeeze into a transport). the cost of distribution have taken a dive, and profit margins rose. but we are STILL paying same bucks per album like 20 years ago. WHAT is the deal here ?

let me tell you the deal. record companies are making huge profit margins now distribution costs are down, and they are enjoying it TOO much that they are resorting to malpractice, racketeering, bribery and public enemy methods to preserve it. thats NOT a competitive practice, and it has NO place in a market that is supposed to be free.

no.

im not paying ZIT to a record company until things are set right. if they see in themselves the right to be bitches, well, i can play that game too.

Re:bud, were you living in mars ? (1)

cliffski (65094) | more than 5 years ago | (#24447753)

now explain why you pirate movies and software too...

Or are you privy to every deal ever sigend between a software dev and a publisher and an actor and a movie studio, and always check against that list of 'acceptable' deals when you decide whether or not to torrent stuff?

Re:I always know when I'm in a college town ... (-1, Flamebait)

cliffski (65094) | more than 5 years ago | (#24447731)

you've been modded as flamebait which is 100% predictable on slashdot. People here know its totally out-of-order to take everyone else's work for free, but they will type reams of pseudo-intellectual bullshit on slashdot to try and justify it. They also HATE it when they are reminded how retarded the anti-copyright position is, so try to mod down pro-copyright posters so they don't get seen.
Sad isn't it?

Re:I always know when I'm in a college town ... (1)

Dun Malg (230075) | more than 5 years ago | (#24448257)

...They also HATE it when they are reminded how retarded the anti-copyright position is, so try to mod down pro-copyright posters so they don't get seen. Sad isn't it?

Yeah, because calling something "retarded" is the height of rational debate. There's a reason posts that say little more than "ALL U COLLIGE STUDENTS AR THEIVES AND U KNO IT!!!" get modded down, and it's not because copyright opponents feel the cut and thrust of the counterarguments damages their own position on the matter...

hey (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 5 years ago | (#24447181)

why anonymous ?

a lot of people here have the balls to defend ideas that are against overreaching patent/copyright malpractice and mishaps, even at times at the cost of getting sued.

but you dont have the balls to post something with your own username, despite it is certain that noone is going to sue you, bash you in the head or steal your panties ?

and,

why so serious ?

I have an idea (2, Interesting)

el_munkie (145510) | more than 5 years ago | (#24446619)

Someone (I don't have the needed skills) should make a website that correlates information on campaign donations from opensecrets with voting records of public officials. This was obviously bought by IP-industry lobbyists, and I think that if the general public could see this corruption more easily it would be a lot easier to root out.

Re:I have an idea (4, Insightful)

Kjella (173770) | more than 5 years ago | (#24446737)

With all due respect, I just opened the full text to see how long it'd be. I'm betting 99%+ of the senators didn't make their decision based on section 494. If you really wanted to make such a site, you should make a site over who throws these kinds of riders into the bills. As long as the laws are so huge, most senators probably ask their staff "is this a good law or not and give me the gist of it". I'm sure there's a hundred organizations like the EFF that have filed comments on pretty much every part of the bill, all of which claiming to be important. It's much more important to find out who's poisoning the laws than trying to make something out of the vote.

Re:I have an idea (4, Insightful)

el_munkie (145510) | more than 5 years ago | (#24446959)

As long as the laws are so huge, most senators probably ask their staff "is this a good law or not and give me the gist of it".

I have no doubt this happens, but I have to wonder exactly what we pay these guys for if they can't even be bothered to read legislation.

Re:I have an idea (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 5 years ago | (#24447067)

I have no doubt this happens, but I have to wonder exactly what we pay these guys for if they can't even be bothered to read legislation.

For the most part, we pay them to bring home the bacon.

Citizens will forgive just about anything as long as the Federal Funds flow.

Re:I have an idea (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 5 years ago | (#24448203)

I have no doubt this happens, but I have to wonder exactly what we pay these guys for if they can't even be bothered to read legislation.

How many of these do they get? How many hearings and meetings and comitees do they have to attend? And don't forget you're not just supposed to read this law, but also any alternative versions, know what the current law is and probably what others have said is good and bad about this law to make any kind of informed decision on the issue. And it's not like that's their only duty, they have to learn about what their constituents want, do campaigning, party politics and, according to slashdot, build their own evil empire. I think it's just natural that they have a staff, but that the staff is there to make sure the senator's politics is followed. There's not more than 24 hours a day for anyone.

Re:I have an idea (2, Informative)

MollyB (162595) | more than 5 years ago | (#24446991)

you should make a site over who throws these kinds of riders into the bills

From the limited explanation of rider [wikipedia.org], it appears that the practice is widespread for the purely political expedient of passing legislation that would otherwise have no chance of passage on its own merits. From another viewpoint they can serve as a "poison pill" to kill a bill that otherwise would pass.
I agree that it is a messy system, but we should attribute motive more to narrow self-interest and less to evil-for-the-hell-of-it.

my $.02

Re:I have an idea (1)

TehZorroness (1104427) | more than 5 years ago | (#24447099)

As long as the laws are so huge...

You just hit a nail on it's head. There is no reason for these laws to be so big. If it only takes a sentence or two to sum up the bill, why isn't the bill one or two sentences long? As a citizen, it would be easier to obey the laws if they were actually understandable, and much easier to pick out the bullshit.

Re:I have an idea (1)

DigitAl56K (805623) | more than 5 years ago | (#24446753)

Voting records are one thing - is an official voting for this provision or others in the same bill? What is more interested is who adds legislation such as this to the bills?

As for corruption being easier to root out, I doubt it. There are officials well known for supporting the RIAA/MPAA at every turn (e.g. our friend from Utah), and they really don't take too much heat for it. Then again, when the state of the country and government is as bad as it is copyright legislation is probably the last thing on peoples minds.

Way to go, Congress! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24446643)

Ignore $4+ a gallon gasoline that's hurting average people, but pander to the the MAFIAA in order to grub for campaign contributions.

Aaarrr! (1)

Puffy Director Pants (1242492) | more than 5 years ago | (#24446653)

Welcome to Pirate College Matey! Join the best fratenity! Rum Booty Booty Booty! Aaarrr! Salute our mascot, the Squawking Pirate! Keelhaul the Mizzenmast!

How utterly useless (1)

Kethinov (636034) | more than 5 years ago | (#24446663)

Nobody learns from history I guess, especially our legislators. Because the following should be obvious by now, even to them:

technology-based deterrents to prevent such illegal activity

Which will fail.

offering alternatives to illegal downloading

Which will fail. None will be as free or convenient. Until we can get all our spiffy new digital music, digital TV, digital movies, and digital books (especially digital college textbooks for those college folk) in 100% quality with no DRM for free paid for by means of ads or some other non-consumer cost business model, then people (especially poor college students) are going to continue to resort to P2P.

It's inevitable. P2P should be competed against. Not legislated against. Make the cheapskate college students part of your business model or go the hell out of business.

Re:How utterly useless (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24446731)

or convenient

Except that most are more convenient. There aren't any ratios, caps, or anything else to keep you from getting music and shows from iTunes (just your cash). There aren't any mislabeled, mistagged, or misspelled files, and now that iTunes offers mp3s, theres no need to have 50 different plugins to handle the file format du jour. Of course, the pirates are improving their holdings as well, centralized trackers like Pirate Bay make it much easier to find anything and everything in one place, but only as long as someone's seeding. Otherwise it's back to trolling dozens of random IRC channels and DC++ hubs where servers are filtered for quality to find the one thing you wanted. Or kazaa, limewire, and other networks, hunting for the One True Copy amidst hundreds of truncated, corrupt, or just plain wrong results.

I'd even go so far as to say they're $1 more convenient, and that's why I buy my music.

Re:How utterly useless (2, Informative)

Kethinov (636034) | more than 5 years ago | (#24446829)

Your concerns don't represent the crowd this bill is targeting. They're not deterred by the rapidly diminishing inconveniences of P2P. They find wasting that precious dollar far more inconvenient than bit torrent. This is the type of crowd that only parts with money when they have to, because the vast majority are putting themselves further and further into debt with each passing semester. A disposable income is the dream a college student's future, not a reality. In my experience, most, if denied the ability to partake without paying would simply not partake.

Re:How utterly useless (1)

Dun Malg (230075) | more than 5 years ago | (#24448311)

This is the type of crowd that only parts with money when they have to, because the vast majority are putting themselves further and further into debt with each passing semester. A disposable income is the dream a college student's future, not a reality. In my experience, most, if denied the ability to partake without paying would simply not partake.

Indeed, this is what astounds me the most. I've heard people wonder over why college students are always looking for free stuff, not just online, but in Real Life. Clearly these people didn't experience the same college life I did. The life of a debt-ridden college student is best summarized by the following: "ramen, bus pass, stolen toilet paper"

Re:How utterly useless (1)

Microlith (54737) | more than 5 years ago | (#24448287)

non-consumer cost business model

You pay for it all in the end. Either by purchasing products sold by advertisers, or by paying the creators directly.

You simply don't want to pay for it at all, and as such you don't deserve access to it whatsoever (until the copyright expires, of course.)

Corporatism (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24446707)

This is just getting ridiculous...

No company could afford to investigate and prosecute the 40% of the population that downloads copyrighted material without permission. So last week we read about ACTA, where Big Media has convinced our government to carry out investigations on its behalf to try to stop illegal downloading. So let the tax payers pay for their own investigation/prosecution!

Being so inferior to free downloads, Big Media cannot afford to market their wares widely enough to compete. So now, they have convinced our congresspeople to force nearly every university in the country to provide free marketing for them.

Big media and corporatism have gone too far, and will continue to fuck us over if we do not start pushing back. It will require every bit of power we legally have, and if we don't start doing something soon, we won't have enough power to fight it legally. This situation will be our own fault, of course.

 

Re:Corporatism (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24446747)

if we don't start doing something soon, we won't have enough power to fight it legally. This situation will be our own fault, of course.

Television/media is the real opiate of the masses. How can we expect the public to stand up and fight for themselves if they are stoned out of their minds?

1. Sell addicting, pacifying goods
2. Control distribution chains
3. While populace is pacified, get government to enforce 2 for you
4. Profit!!
(5. Go bankrupt as the country's economy fails completely as a result of an ill-motivated work force and spurious government spending)

Alternatives? Psh (2, Insightful)

Tremegorn (1111055) | more than 5 years ago | (#24446713)

As I'm currently in the "poor college student" demographic, I feel as if I can give a little insight into what these "alternative offerings" actually end up being.

I attend a rather well known college, and we were supposedly one of the first in the country to adopt a service that provided an 'alternative' to media piracy for students to obtain material by. This was originally provided by Napster, and for the the most part it wasn't a bad deal. At no extra cost to the students, you were able to get (mostly) DRM free music for your listening pleasure (or, it could be stripped out easily; through various methods)

Fast Foreward to 2007 -

As soon as my university's contract ran out for the Napster service, they picked up another service called "Ruckus" which, unlike Napster, is a dismal failure in what a digital media service should be. The catch line was "Expanded digital offerings then just music", but the reality of the situation ended up being:

- Almost no mainstream record companies signed up with the service. Most of what was provided is from independent or self publishing labels. Not the popular music people want

- There are 'movies' you can download with the service, but they consist almost entirely of music videos, again, of those strange bands you've never heard of. They also delete themselves after 2 days.

- Massive, MASSIVE amounts of DRM. Everything WMA or WMP formatted, and cannot be ported to multiple devices. Files expire after x period, etc.

The result of this means that for the student, you're back to square one, with piracy usually the most desirable option for obtaining media. It's not uncommon for underground networks to pop up, such as Dtella in such an environment, and if anything seems to further encourage such behaviour.

Re:Alternatives? Psh (1)

pimpimpim (811140) | more than 5 years ago | (#24447423)

funnily enough that "alternative content provider" is actually something suggested in one of the other replies in this thread. A very interesting effect of this law is that they stimulate the group with the most knowledge, available time, and drive, to find new ways of filesharing without getting caught. nice.

Bad Laws (4, Insightful)

Peaker (72084) | more than 5 years ago | (#24446745)

Bad laws should be enforced, even if it requires new laws.

Bad laws that are not strictly enforced remain in power.

Bad laws that are not enforced give enforcers too much power (whether to turn a "blind eye").

Bad laws that are not enforced create a distrust of law in general, and lawlessness.

Maybe once copyright is TRULY enforced on all of society, people will realize that these restrictions are simply not worth it and finally abolish copyrights.

Re:Bad Laws (1)

Antony-Kyre (807195) | more than 5 years ago | (#24447089)

What do you mean by "bad laws"? Do you mean unjust laws, or laws that happen to be a bad idea (yet, are technically justful)?

Because, if a law happens to be unjust, it can be invalidated in a court, correct?

If a law is bad, to not enforce the law is a slap in the face concerning the concept of the system we have. It would be better to enforce a bad law (one that is justful) than to ignore it, which breaks the system. Because the system does allow for us to change a bad law into a good law.

So, is it the paragraph directly above that you are saying, more or less?

Re:Bad Laws (1)

teknognome (910243) | more than 5 years ago | (#24447143)

While that's good in theory, it truly sucks for the people the law gets enforced against, and they might have a different opinion about whether it should be enforced. Especially if the public takes its time in realizing it's a bad law. E.g. the war on drugs.

Re:Bad Laws (1)

AusIV (950840) | more than 5 years ago | (#24447329)

Yeah, but if you let laws be selectively enforced, they stay on the books. Then a law that nearly everyone breaks can be used to hurt a person the enforcer just doesn't like (perhaps the offender has a politically unpopular opinion).

Re:Bad Laws (1)

cliffski (65094) | more than 5 years ago | (#24447779)

oh joy. another idiot suggesting copyright should be dumped.
Assuming for a minute you are from the USA a technologically advanced country whom each year shifts its balance of economics production more and more away from physical (thanks china!) towards IP, how exactly do you think the US economy will be once people like you have enforced a value of zero on all IP?
Nothing would please India, China and Africa more than the west being stupid enough to dump copyright.
Think it through for once.

In Capatilist America (4, Insightful)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 5 years ago | (#24446751)

You can tell America has been bought and paid for when the government is willing to sacrifice the next generation's education so that the copyright of big corporations is no longer infringed upon.

Re:In Capatilist America (0)

westlake (615356) | more than 5 years ago | (#24447013)

You can tell America has been bought and paid for when the government is willing to sacrifice the next generation's education so that the copyright of big corporations is no longer infringed upon.
.

You can tell where a student's priorities are when he values his free music fix more than funding for his school.

as above, as below (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 5 years ago | (#24447281)

if the country prioritizes its corporations' profits more than it prioritizes its citizens, its citizens prioritize their selfish agendas more than they value their education.

you reap what you sow. simple as that.

doesn't seem so bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24446757)

from the bill
(2) develop a plan for offering alternatives to illegal downloading or peer-to-peer distribution of intellectual property as well as a plan to explore technology-based deterrents to prevent such illegal activity.

===
ok... "our plan for offering alternatives to illegal downlaoding is to provide internet access so people can reach legal distributer of digital media. As a technological deterent we plan on deleting offender's accounts"

Unfunded mandates are the most fun (1)

smchris (464899) | more than 5 years ago | (#24446771)

"College Opportunity and Affordability Act"

You gotta love the humor of conservative lobbyists. "Opportunity" to "act" to reduce the "affordability" of your "college" tuition by hiring a guy to play whack-a-mole with your P2P ports "and" write reports about it? I guess they figure people who work in the college sector already get paid too much to do too little.

 

deterrents to prevent such illegal activity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24446805)

If the activity wasn't illegal in the first place, illegal activity would be prevented!

Colleges clearly need to just start lobbying hard and heavy to make illegal downloading legal. Teach classes explaining the harm caused by corporate lobbying, and the importance of lobbying for what one believes in WITH MONEY.

Oh... the universities' deterrents need to be "technology-based"... So use the internet to send in your lobbying money!

If every college started doing this, it might actually work :)

leading with a carrot... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24446913)

So, our government has figured out how it can control us, even though we are supposed to be the ones controlling them.

They take money from us via taxes, and then offer money back to those who follow their orders. If the government has all of this extra money lying around, perhaps taxes should be reduced? With a strictly progressive tax system, the money would automatically be staying with the people who the government has to "aid" in our current system.

I guarantee that if there is ever a long lived stable democracy, this kind of shit will not be going on. If our citizens ever come out of their ambivalent haze, they will be outraged enough at the inadequacy of our system to overthrow it, quite possibly with a stick, rather than a carrot.

its all about priorities (1)

night_flyer (453866) | more than 5 years ago | (#24446945)

instead of dealing with the energy crisis, the congress and senate would rather please its RIAA/MPAA Masters

Terminology (1)

WebSorcerer (889656) | more than 5 years ago | (#24447069)

Section 494 of the Act starts off:

"(a) In General- Each eligible institution participating in any program under this title shall to the extent practicable-" [emphasis added]

Note the use of 'shall' and not 'must'. I believe this means that the section is not mandatory.
[At least this is the interpretation in government contracts, but correct me if I'm wrong.]

Also, the term 'practicable' is open to interpretation.

"plan to explore..." (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24447073)

The wording of the bill seems to me to be deliberately vague: "a plan to explore...". My prediction is that colleges will draw up this "plan to explore" and then do nothing, or very little, to act on it because it's so much cheaper and easier, and because they don't care about illegal downloading.

That said, it does open a path for more laws which do require a higher degree of filtering, reporting, or whatever. This could be the beginning of a series of bills each a bit more stringent than the next.

Love how u.s. senators name bills (3, Funny)

unity100 (970058) | more than 5 years ago | (#24447105)

hear that title now : "College Opportunity and Affordability Act"

if you look at it, all the keywords are there. wow, now see : "OPPORTUNITY" a positive word. "AFFORDABILITY" another good, positive word. "COLLEGE" wow, higher education too.

if you read it, you may be tempted to think this is something that provides opportunity, affordable college education and such. HOW can it be bad ?

they do that all the time. check this now : Digital Millenium Copyright Act.

examining it gives you all the necessary feelings : "digital" - wow it has to be something progressive. Millenium - oh boy, we are in 21st century yay. "copyright" -> it has "right" in it, so it has to be good. if you add the bait that is "it will provide/protect jobs" while advertising for it, you are sure to fool the public.

but of course, for them to be fooling american public for SO long with same ploys, and successfully too, there has to be a number of preconditions, providing for the fooling. i am not sure which hold true :

a) American people are UTTERLY stupid
b) American people "dont care" c) American people care little, but only for selfish reasons - see "it will protect jobs". and plan very short sighted.
d) American people are powerless
f) All of the above
g) Mixture from all the above in varying degrees.

This is just the beginning (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 5 years ago | (#24447187)

It's going to get a lot worse. Soon even your personal life will be invaded:

Want that home loan? Well you have to agree to be monitored. Want that job? Better not be on any IP 'watched list' ( much as bad credit can ruin you now )

Random street searches " we see you have an ipod, that is grounds for search. Do you have your licenses for every song on here in your possession?"

There is no piracy! (1)

warrior_s (881715) | more than 5 years ago | (#24447425)

Apart from what *AA says, is there ANY proof that there is piracy going on in colleges across US?
Don't tell me that every one knows why students use DC++ etc.. I want PROOF of piracy?

Drug war (3, Insightful)

mounthood (993037) | more than 5 years ago | (#24447449)

They did the same thing when the drug war was all the rage, and all those laws are still in place.

We know it hasn't worked, but it was never about something that works. If it damages the economy or puts millions in prison, they just don't care. Think of this as setting the boundaries of discourse. Even if it doesn't help the music industry in the short term, the majority of Americans will absorb the following:

  • Decent law-abiding people think not paying is stealing. Music costs money; anything else is stealing.
  • Networks need to be policed and monitored.
  • Everyone is responsible for stopping drugs/downloading music. You cannot sit in a meeting at your organization and suggest that the policies are wrong and that the organization should act differently... it's a boundary of discussion.

Its not about making sales or promoting a store, its about changing hearts and minds. The music industry will benefit from the assumptions: they have to exist because otherwise music is stealing, and decent people are against stealing music, and organizations work to stop stealing music.

Sure, we smoked in college and downloaded music, but now we're adults. We don't sit in meetings and suggest that drug tests at work are wrong... do we?

Who still listens to Big Labels? (1)

Phoenix666 (184391) | more than 5 years ago | (#24447541)

It's a good sign that the RIAA is successfully preventing the public from hearing the product turned out by the big labels. Younger demographics, who are their target, do not listen to the radio nor watch TV. They get their music through their friends and online. The more successful the RIAA is at cutting off the online channel, the less access they have to the people they want to reach.

Older demographics already have all the Huey Lewis & the News and Led Zep tracks they could ever want, so they're not going to make up the shortfall. So, the more draconian laws like this the RIAA can get passed, the faster they'll accelerate their disappearance.

It's going on 10 years since they declared war on the music-listening public. I can't wait until we never hear the acronym RIAA again.

P2P? Ha! Use sneakernet. (3, Insightful)

sdo1 (213835) | more than 5 years ago | (#24447577)

Is P2P even all that relevant when a 1TB USB HDD costs about a hundred fifty bucks? Load drive with songs/movies/media/whatever, walk 10 ft to dorm door next to yours, select all, copy, paste, wash, rinse, repeat.

Just stop trying to pretend that it can be stopped or traced. Stop writing worthless laws to try and curtail it. It's too late. It's too easy and too widespread and P2P isn't really that much of a factor when such massive amounts of data can be transferred so quickly and cheaply by actually picking up a hard drive and carrying it to your buddy's place. It's only a matter of time before multi-terabytes of storage are on a tiny memory stick for twenty bucks. Then what?

Artists and media companies need to start offering value again (like the awesome new Paul Westerberg album available at the DRM-free Amazon MP3 store for $0.49). Like it or not, the ease of copying (illegal as it may be) has caused the value of media to plummet. The more artists (like Nine Inch Nails, Radiohead, and Paul Westerberg) realize that and adjust accordingly, the better off they'll be. Instead the **AA will continue to be in the pockets of lawmakers for more continued (albeit unsuccessful) attempts to put the toothpaste back in the tube.

-S

Kharma whoring (2, Informative)

Guppy06 (410832) | more than 5 years ago | (#24447781)

On the final version of the bill that came out of conference committee and went to the White House

House: 380-49 [house.gov]
Senate: 83-8 [senate.gov]

Why do we need to link to the "open source!" info when the original source is also open to the public (and, in my opinion, more useful)?

Bill 2 remove fed crim penalties for marijuana (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24448013)

Too bad Slashdot didn't post the submission I made for this news item:

"Rep. Barney Frank -- shown here at a July 30 press conference with MPP's Rob Kampia -- has introduced a bill to remove federal criminal penalties for small marijuana violations. Take a minute to urge your member of Congress to support this commonsense bill now."

Now that's something worth passing! A lot of geeks smoke cannabis, I'm sure this news item would be interesting to a lot of geeks, but Slashdot passed on the news:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zo78L3ZFGKk [youtube.com]
https://secure2.convio.net/mpp/site/Advocacy?pagename=homepage&page=UserAction&id=177 [convio.net]

Other items of interest:

http://tv.mpp.org/shorts/profiles-in-marijuana-reform-milton-friedman-part-1/ [mpp.org]
http://tv.mpp.org/shorts/profiles-in-marijuana-reform-milton-friedman-part-2/ [mpp.org]
http://tv.mpp.org/shorts/profiles-in-marijuana-reform-rick-steves/ [mpp.org]
http://tv.mpp.org/shorts/profiles-in-marijuana-reform-john-newmeyer/ [mpp.org]
http://tv.mpp.org/shorts/the-human-cost-of-marijuana-prohibition-part-2/ [mpp.org]
http://tv.mpp.org/shorts/the-human-cost-of-marijuana-prohibition-part-1/ [mpp.org]
http://tv.mpp.org/shorts/profiles-in-marijuana-reform-jim-hightower/ [mpp.org]

Best Solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24448081)

The bill should mandate the requirement of music appreciation courses. This would be the best long term solution.

Congres thinks commercial profits education (1)

JoeCommodore (567479) | more than 5 years ago | (#24448193)

This is a message that our current legislators think that serving the corporate recording and distribution industry is far more important than allowing kids to get an education. The primary subject they are voting for is to let a small portion of selfish interests be able to dictate frivolous laws on what all of us should do and don't do regardless of what consequences and damages it puts on the judicial and justice system.

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