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Nonprofit Group Sends Filesharing Propaganda To Students

Soulskill posted more than 6 years ago | from the comics-without-comedy dept.

Education 266

palegray.net writes "The National Center for State Courts, a nonprofit organization, has sent file-sharing propaganda to thousands of students. The supposedly 'educational' materials, presented in the form of a comic strip, are intended to frighten students with gross exaggerations of the legal consequences of sharing music online (lose your scholarship to college, go to jail for two years, and more). From the article: '"The Case of Internet Piracy," however, reads like the Recording Industry Association of America's public relations playbook: Download some songs, go to jail and lose your scholarship. Along the way, musicians will file onto the bread lines. "The purpose is basically to educate kids — middle school and high school-aged about how the justice system operates and about what really goes on in the courtroom as opposed to what you see on television," said Lorri Montgomery, the center's communications director.' I'm not encouraging anyone to break any laws, but this is ridiculous. What's truly discouraging is the fact that several judges appear to be in full support of this sort of 'education.' The propaganda material is available in PDF form, and it lists the judges and others involved in its creation. Wired's post has a summary of the story (which is good, since the story is awful), and Techdirt notes a couple of the legal inaccuracies.

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Best coverage on p2pnet.net (5, Informative)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 6 years ago | (#24713393)

The best coverage of this has been on p2pnet.net [p2pnet.net] , where Jon Newton has been trying to get answers out of these people as to (1) where this drivel comes from, (2) who is responsible for it, and (3) when is it going to be corrected or withdrawn? See, e.g, here [p2pnet.net] , , and [p2pnet.net] here [p2pnet.net] .

But this one [p2pnet.net] was my favorite.

P2P? (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24713405)

I'm still using MS-DOS 3.2 you insensitive clod!

Re:Best coverage on p2pnet.net (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24713447)

Look, I'm no fan of RIAA, but calling this "propaganda" and saying the the RIAA is behind it is over the top, invented out of whole cloth, and a conspiracy loon's fantasy.

Re:Best coverage on p2pnet.net (5, Insightful)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 6 years ago | (#24713551)

Shill. Fifty bucks says Ray is dead on.

Re:Best coverage on p2pnet.net (5, Informative)

multisync (218450) | more than 6 years ago | (#24713683)

Look, I'm no fan of RIAA, but calling this "propaganda" and saying the the RIAA is behind it is over the top, invented out of whole cloth, and a conspiracy loon's fantasy.

You're either a troll, or incredibly naive. This reminds me of the the Captain Copyright [wikipedia.org] propaganda campaign Access Copyright ran in Canada a couple of years back. In addition to giving one-sided and often inaccurate information to school children, and omitting important aspects of copyright such as fair use (known as "fair dealing" in Canada), they also appeared to violate copyright law themselves by failing to abide by the terms of the Wikipedia's Free Document License.

I would like to see an effort made to educate the next generation on issues such as the erosion of our privacy, the lack of balance in current and - in Canada, at any rate - proposed [youtube.com] copyright legislation, and the importance of looking at the source of information and considering what that source's motives may be for providing it. Maybe some savvy teacher will use this as an example of never relying on a single source for information on a given subject.

Re:Best coverage on p2pnet.net (1)

mrsteveman1 (1010381) | more than 6 years ago | (#24714227)

Don't you speak of Captain Copyright like that! Kids look up to him!

The full length movie will be coming out any day now, and then how will you feel?

Re:Best coverage on p2pnet.net (5, Funny)

fishbowl (7759) | more than 6 years ago | (#24714289)

>The full length movie will be coming out any day now, and then how will you feel?

Got a torrent?

Re:Best coverage on p2pnet.net (1, Insightful)

Thaddeaus (777809) | more than 6 years ago | (#24714437)

I had that same exact thought when I read the posters and the comics. The is just CC all over again!!!! The Captain copyright thing that came out a couple years ago was a joke but I'm not sure that the business or whoever's putting out the this ad really knows what they're doing.

A much much thing to do whatever he could have expression of actual teacher is state law teachers come in, if there is a great study the entire college students I mean, you're grabbing several disciples out that you've lost 31 arts that young creativity arts and everything language, you know dumb down the legalese and it makes sense to be general once you can do that then you can make a comment or you can get you the basic idea of comic, an expert would have to be the comic makers themselves in bed to take the facts he hath scrimp neoteny it just needs to flow into the and concert onto the beach. They understand that they they're good with the pens and pencils and everything and making and creating comics

Re:Best coverage on p2pnet.net (1)

witte (681163) | more than 6 years ago | (#24713693)

I've gone through the whole comic, just for the hell of it.
If this isn't propaganda, i don't know what is.

Re:Best coverage on p2pnet.net (5, Funny)

LunaticTippy (872397) | more than 6 years ago | (#24713753)

I can't believe they took a swing at evil libraries. Destroyer of homes, lender of copyrighted materials.

Re:Best coverage on p2pnet.net (1)

I cant believe its n (1103137) | more than 6 years ago | (#24714137)

Ha, ha, ha.

"...through all of history, our way of life has been under attack by enemies so vile, nefarious and larger-than-life that their very existence would make you want to upchuck in your shorts..."

Re:Best coverage on p2pnet.net (1)

Dan541 (1032000) | more than 6 years ago | (#24714669)

I agree,
Since when is copyright violation a criminal offence?

Re:Best coverage on p2pnet.net (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24713711)

It's probably also true, too, but that's beside the point.

Re:Best coverage on p2pnet.net (1)

Paradise Pete (33184) | more than 6 years ago | (#24714479)

It's probably also true, too, but that's beside the point.

No, that would be your ear.

Re:Best coverage on p2pnet.net (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24714009)

Aren't the people distributing this PDF file running the risk of a copyright infringement lawsuit?

Re:Best coverage on p2pnet.net (1)

gcalvin (325380) | more than 6 years ago | (#24714531)

I wondered about this too. Unless Wired got "the express written permission of the National Council of State Courts" (see page 2 of the PDF), it seems that they're in violation.

Courts are Public (5, Insightful)

xstonedogx (814876) | more than 6 years ago | (#24713401)

Take the kids to a court if you want them educated about how courts work.

Re:Courts are Public (4, Interesting)

bigredradio (631970) | more than 6 years ago | (#24713529)

I think that is their intent. Except the RIAA wants them to be defendants instead of spectators.

Re:Courts are Public (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 6 years ago | (#24713961)

I think that is their intent. Except the RIAA wants them to be defendants instead of spectators.

I'd say they want them to be spectacles as well as defendants. This is all about publicity, when you get right down to it, and there's nothing like a public ass-whippin' to help keep the plebs in line. Granted, it works both ways: sometimes the RIAA is the one walking funny for a few days.

TV Courts are Public (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24713541)

"Take the kids to a court if you want them educated about how courts work."

Judge Judy taught me everything I needed to know.

Re:Courts are Public (1)

Mutio (1204504) | more than 6 years ago | (#24713581)

Very true, due to some unfortunate events i had to go to court a while ago (Underage drinking, no big deal). It was an eye opening experience for me and i will now be much more careful when i drink.

Re:Courts are Public (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24714095)

(Underage drinking, no big deal). It was an eye opening experience for me and i will now be much more careful when i drink.

Sounds like you didn't learn your lesson. Despite your courtroom experience, you say it was "no big deal" and you are planning on re-offending. The only difference is you now hope to be sneakier when you re-offend so as not to get caught. I'm pretty sure the judge hoped you got more out of it than "if you're gonna break the law, son, be sneakier about it."

Your next trip in front of the judge will be harsher.

Re:Courts are Public (1)

Ragzouken (943900) | more than 6 years ago | (#24714281)

Underage drinking really is no big deal.

Re:Courts are Public (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24713593)

Nah, don't want them to lose faith in humanity that early.

Re:Courts are Public (1)

Neanderthal Ninny (1153369) | more than 6 years ago | (#24713633)

This stuff that these people have send is not really not meant to educate people about the court system but scare the kids about the "evils" the downloading music. I believe that downloading music illegally is a bad thing but using these tactics will backfire most of the time.
Some people get an high for doing something illegal so showing it in comics doesn't stop these people, in fact, will encourage them to do more illegal activities since they will show other how "illegal" can they be.

Re:Courts are Public (4, Insightful)

monxrtr (1105563) | more than 6 years ago | (#24714283)

Nobody downloads more music illegally than the representatives of the RIAA. It is your *right* to download anything and everything to check to see that none of your own copyrighted work is included in those files, exactly as the RIAA does (and fails to report it's illegal copying, along with a plethora of other RICO predicate violations). Nobody knows what the content of any file actually is before they download it.

Nobody has ever been charged with any civil or criminal counts for any downloading of files; such charges would be laughed out of Court. The cartoon is pure propaganda lies, and if those pamphlets are passed out or "made available" in any Courtroom, those schools and Courts should be sued faster than you can recite the "10 Commandments".

If I were a defense attorney, I would also be sure to remember every single one of those names listed on that pamphlet and have those Judges removed from any cases involving copyright infringement, have any verdicts or cases regarding copyright involving those Judges since publication of those pamphlets overturned, and letters published in the local papers of their Court Districts published outlining their conflict of interest to Justice. Also keep those names handy for an organized campaign against those Judges for any appointments to higher Federal Courts. Maybe also look into banning this organization for not presenting a legal disclaimer that such material does not constitute legal advice to revoke their nonprofit 501(c)(3) status. These people need to be taught that they are not messing with minority drug dealers, and that they will be held accountable to the strict letter of any and all Court procedure.

Re:Courts are Public (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24713849)

Return of REEFER MADNESS!

Re:Courts are Public (4, Insightful)

Original Replica (908688) | more than 6 years ago | (#24714067)

Take the kids to a court if you want them educated about how courts work.

As it was pointed out, several Judges support this scare campaign. Why? Because if kids are educated to believe that Judges can rightly enact these "gross exaggerations of the legal consequences of sharing music online (lose your scholarship to college, go to jail for two years, and more)." Then slowly, as more and more people believe that lie the more power the Judges will have and the lie will become the truth. Look at every other power grab in recent American politics, it starts with a gross overstatement of authority, follows with stalling if pressed with the real limits of authority, wait until a different issue gains the spot light, act on your overstated authority as "an already established power". I'm sure the RIAA has a few pet judges (even if many Judges are starting to come around to common sense) and I'm sure the RIAA would love to have the authority to imprison copyright infringers or at least make them lose their scholarships (that aught to teach these schools to stand up to the RIAA) But none of that can happen if children are well educated on the proper processes and limits of different government functionaries.

Re:Courts are Public (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24714205)

Don't worry, the process for taking them to court is in the process of being automated by Verizon and I'm sure others. Basically it'll work like those speed cameras. You'll be mailed a 'citation' and presumably you'll just pay up without fighting it like most people do with traffic tickets.

File-sharing is illegal but SPAM is not. (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24713469)

Can someone explain on that?

Also how is it legal to use legal institutions to spread a fake message?

And now we are on the topic this is not the definition of culture of fear?

Re:File-sharing is illegal but SPAM is not. (0)

LoweD (1346949) | more than 6 years ago | (#24714223)

File-sharing of copyrighted material is illegal b/c the distribution of said material is illegal no matter the means (unless the distribution falls under fair use). Spam violates no law; it's just annoying, like junk mail or telemarketing.

While it may favor the RIAA, this message is by no means fake. They do not lie in the comic itself (except perhaps by omission).

I don't think "culture of fear" has a definition. It's a phrase people throw around to communicate varying degrees of perceived tyranny. If you want to nitpick, fear of the law is a necessary part of any culture.

Re:File-sharing is illegal but SPAM is not. (0)

snikeris (838429) | more than 6 years ago | (#24714549)

File-sharing isn't illegal. Stealing is.

Re:File-sharing is illegal but SPAM is not. (1)

Dan541 (1032000) | more than 6 years ago | (#24714681)

What legal institution?

get em young (3, Insightful)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 6 years ago | (#24713475)

well you have to give them points for effort. no one in their right mind that's an adult is believing their nonesense so the obvious step is to get to them before they have a chance to form thier own opinions.

i always find targeting children such an insidious method of control, i shouldn't be suprised at this move really.

Re:get em young (5, Interesting)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 6 years ago | (#24713819)

Actually it doesn't work on kids either. They sent some similar crap out to my oldest nephews school last year,and he handed me one to show me when I went to pick him up. When I asked him and his friends(most of which were females,I swear that boy's a magnet for them) thought about it they all said in unison "Greedy Pigs!". I just smiled,wiped a fake tear away,and said "What wonderfully smart little subversives you are! I'm so proud!".

The simple fact is today's kids are not only smart,but cynical as hell. They also have iPods. When I went to pick up my nephew it was an equal mix of iPod,Creative,and Sandisk MP3 players,so rich and poor all had 'em. They see that to buy songs on iTunes it would cost 40K to fill it up [arstechnica.com] so no wonder so many of them share files. And instead of trying to find ways to make it more affordable for kids,what does the RIAA do? One of their own with a straight face gets on the stand and says ripping your OWN CD isn't fair use [eff.org] . So it isn't like they have been sneaky with their greed. They see these companies making record profits,yet the price never seems to go down,why should they care if the greedy bastards get ripped off?

I personally am quite happy the new generation is so cynical. They don't believe ANYTHING just because someone in authority says it is so. It is nice to see the newer generations seem to have a lot more wolves and a lot less sheep. Maybe their lack of gullibility will help turn it around when they get old enough to get their own power. But as always this is my 02c,YMMV

Re:get em young (1)

qw0ntum (831414) | more than 6 years ago | (#24714233)

It's nice that the new generation doesn't easily bend to authority, but I think it's not acts of conscious questioning as just plain old indifference. My experience with people in my generation and in the socio-economic circles in which I associate is that we don't really care about all that much.

At best, folks may think this draconian copyright stuff is stupid because RIAA and judges said something. Great. But, if EFF had sent out brochures talking about how important fair use rights are, I'm not sure how many people my age would care so much.

Then again, maybe I'm just being cynical, countering what you said just because you said it. :)

Re:get em young (1)

monxrtr (1105563) | more than 6 years ago | (#24714389)

I think everyone is turning into a vulture looking for a lawsuit meal ticket. More and more millions of taxpayer dollars go toward paying for government wrongdoing. Absurd fines and incessant harassment is quickly erasing any indifference. Enforcement of all sorts of laws is quickly spiraling out of cost reach. These laws are double edged swords, and breeding contempt for law generally.

Re:get em young (1)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 6 years ago | (#24714321)

they will just go younger, MPAA already does it with walt disney caroons.

Re:get em young (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Psychopath (18031) | more than 6 years ago | (#24714345)

You seem to think that if someone makes more than a certain amount of money when they sell something that they don't deserve to receive any compensation as a result, even though you still use their product? I don't understand your rationalization (although I do see it all over the place).

Teaching an entire generation that if someone charges more than you think is fair it is appropriate and even somehow noble to steal anything you want is profoundly disturbing. This isn't even remotely close to civil disobedience.

I hate what the RIAA does, so I don't use their products. I like music, but I don't need it, and neither do you. Anything else is just a weak attempt at justification for getting something you want for free.

There is a big difference between boycott and looting.

And yes, the cartoon in TFA is really, really creepy.

Re:get em young (2, Insightful)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 6 years ago | (#24714441)

I hate what the RIAA does, so I don't use their products. I like music, but I don't need it, and neither do you. Anything else is just a weak attempt at justification for getting something you want for free.

Do you believe that turnabout is fair play? Sounds like you don't because regardless of if "someone makes more than a certain amount of money" (whatever the eff that means) copyright extensions are outright theft. When the the MAFIAA bribed congress to take from the public domain and give to the distribution cartels they stole from you, me and every resident of this country. The MAFIAA didn't need the extensions, it was just something they wanted for free.

Re:get em young (1)

Anonymous Psychopath (18031) | more than 6 years ago | (#24714537)

What I believe is this:

When you boycott a product, the manufacturer tries to figure out how to adapt so that the consumer starts to buy it again.

When you steal a product, the manufacturer tries to figure out how to prosecute you.

If their sales were down and no one was pirating their product, do you think changes would happen more quickly, or more slowly?

It's ok to not be part of the solution. Just don't delude yourself into believing you are.

Re:get em young (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 6 years ago | (#24714611)

If their sales were down and no one was pirating their product, do you think changes would happen more quickly, or more slowly?

Far more slowly because they would not waste so much money to shoot themselves in the foot by trying to prosecute.
Campaigns like this one are the perfect illustration: If they didn't believe anyone was pirating, then they would not have spent the money on this campaign (and thousands of similar actions) and they would not be alienating their very best customers. Instead they would be working on ways to bring people like "back into the fold."

It's ok to not be part of the solution. Just don't delude yourself into believing you are.

Piracy accelerates their death spiral. You may be part of the solution, but don't delude yourself into believing you are particularly effective.

I answered your question directly, why didn't you answer mine?

Re:get em young (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24714499)

Well said sir. They absolutely do not need the music - they just want something for nothing. The rationalizations are hilarious sometimes though.

Re:get em young (1)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 6 years ago | (#24714703)

wrong.

the problem is FAIR compensation. RIAA do not let the market decide as they are a cartel controlling the vast majority of music. they also activly lobby, and have been sucessful at, having copyright periods extended beyond any kind of reasonable time frame. 99 years?? give me a fucking break. they have violated the very reason copyright was estabilish - for the good of the public, to give creators a chance to make money on their creations before it passes into the public domain.

RIAA don't start out with copyright - we the public, GIVE it to them. since they are subverting the process with a total disregard for the public i think it's not surpising the public is taking that gift away from them.

Re:get em young (1)

ksd1337 (1029386) | more than 6 years ago | (#24714419)

They may be resistant to propaganda like this, but many of them don't care about being active against the companies as long as they have their TV and MySpace to go on. Subverting authority is only one half of the battle. You have to be proactive as well.

Bizarre (2, Insightful)

russotto (537200) | more than 6 years ago | (#24713483)

The message I get from the comic is "Get caught pirating, save someone's home". Also that copyright violations are handled as criminal complaints in city courts (???!!!)

The beginning of the pamphlet .... (2, Interesting)

BitterOldGUy (1330491) | more than 6 years ago | (#24713505)

talks about the separation of the three branches of Government and about what our Founding Fathers wanted for this country.

Would anyone by any chance have a script that will email this to every single Congressman and everyone in the Whitehouse. It's a cartoon so Bush will understand it too.

Before modding me Flamebait, Troll, or -1 whatever please read this thread and article. [slashdot.org] Then mod away.

Re:The beginning of the pamphlet .... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24713549)

It's a cartoon so Bush will understand it too.

It's a cartoon so Bush would be willing to read it. Whether or not he'd understand it is anyone's guess.

Re:The beginning of the pamphlet .... (1)

courtarro (786894) | more than 6 years ago | (#24714677)

It's a cartoon so Bush would be willing to look at it. Whether or not he'd understand it is anyone's guess.

Fixed that for ya.

Musicians? They aren't real musicians! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24713523)

What is it with musicians and bread lines? It's not like they don't have a real job... /musician, replies, kick out of

Puts me in mind of something (5, Insightful)

ThanatosMinor (1046978) | more than 6 years ago | (#24713533)

Is anyone else reminded of Chick tracts [chick.com] ? Share files and you go to hell...

Re:Puts me in mind of something (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24713661)

My first thought too.

Re:Puts me in mind of something (1, Funny)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 6 years ago | (#24713907)

You may not have noticed, but this comic was actually published by Jack Chick. You see, back in the 13th century, a secret society was started by the Vatican, which had the goal of weakening any sort of copyright law. Jack Chick learned about this in a well known conspiracy theory textbook which was published by someone with a degree from a diploma mill, and has decided to share the message with all the world. But there is hope! Accept Jesus as your personal savior, and copyright infringement will end!

OK, maybe I am too familiar with Chick tracts...

Re:Puts me in mind of something (1)

porcupine8 (816071) | more than 6 years ago | (#24713923)

I was less than a page into it before that analogy came to mind. The "good little girl" being raised by grandma who falls into a "bad crowd"...

Re:Puts me in mind of something (1)

JoshuaZ (1134087) | more than 6 years ago | (#24714221)

This has much higher quality artwork than Jack Chick tracts.

Reefer Madness (2, Interesting)

Charles Dodgeson (248492) | more than 6 years ago | (#24714615)

Maybe I'm showing my age (no, I didn't see it when it was first shown), but this actually reminded me of Reefer Madness [wikipedia.org] .

Its what they wish it was... (1)

JazzyMusicMan (1012801) | more than 6 years ago | (#24713543)

Maybe this is less about propaganda and more about spread their giant wet dream...

They dream about:

...kids losing their scholarship,
...spending years in jail,
...giving up their first born son.

I think their biggest wet dream to date is pretending that people will continue to pay obscene prices for music.

Boston Strangler (4, Insightful)

Nymz (905908) | more than 6 years ago | (#24713573)

After reading the comic excerpts, I couldn't help but think the exaggeration sounded familiar.

"I say to you that the VCR is to the American film producer and the American public as the Boston strangler is to the woman home alone." - Jack Valenti [wikipedia.org]

Re:Boston Strangler (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 6 years ago | (#24713991)

Yeah, really. Then again, Jack Valenti was the biggest sociopath of them all, so I wasn't exactly surprised at his words.

I'm all for it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24713579)

Mod me double plus good!

Cruel Mantra? (2, Informative)

ProlificLurker (1349735) | more than 6 years ago | (#24713591)

That's my favorite band too!

Strange but serious question... (5, Interesting)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 6 years ago | (#24713621)

Isn't intentional misrepresentation of the law an actionable offense (perhaps in some states, but not others)?

/P

Re:Strange but serious question... (2)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 6 years ago | (#24713999)

Isn't intentional misrepresentation of the law an actionable offense (perhaps in some states, but not others)?

Only when you and me do it. When big corporate types do it, it's okay.

Re:Strange but serious question... (1)

Matti-han (923613) | more than 6 years ago | (#24714267)

Going by this [lectlaw.com] I suppose you could theoretically charge them with fraud if you could successfully argue that intentional misrepresentation of the law is a 'matter of some importance or significance rather than a minor or trivial detail'

Though honestly, thinking that people would consider it a trivial detail somewhat frightens me.

Perhaps you could make the case that this would convince a young person or his family to avoid a fictional criminal prosecution by not fighting a civil action made against them on the basis of copyright; whereupon you point out that the distributor of the publication has the official sounding name of "The National Center for State Courts" and was supposedly reviewed by legal experts.

Of course, on the other hand, the NCSC is a non-profit organization, and if they did take money or favors from the RIAA and used their non-profit status for personal gain... perhaps someone who is a lawyer can tell us what the legal ramifications of that would be.

Re:Strange but serious question... (1)

JoshuaZ (1134087) | more than 6 years ago | (#24714505)

IANAL but I seriously doubt you could get someone charged for fraud for this. In order for it to be fraud you need resulting injury or damage. That's a serious burden. Not downloading music isn't going to cut it as injury or damage. Moreover, this is a good thing. There is a lot of legitimate disagreement about what the law is for many issues. The last thing we want is people to be able to charge opponents with fraud in such disagreements.

Re:Strange but serious question... (1)

ksd1337 (1029386) | more than 6 years ago | (#24714449)

Laws don't apply anymore when there's moeny to be made (by both the law and the corporation.)

this is the reefer madness of filesharing (5, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 6 years ago | (#24713699)

this propaganda is wonderful!

please, please, anyone who supports filesharing rights, do not stop the spread of this propaganda, it is guaranteed to backfire

your average college student can spot a bully and a bully's rationale. if this is their argument: do what we want or we'll hurt you, your average college kid can see the obvious moral bankruptcy in that, they will see right through this, and even better than that, if this is the best argument the RIAA's puppet organization can make, everyone can see the RIAA has no more argument at all

please folks, let them proclaim the hollowness and pointlessness of their dead end effort with this propaganda. college kids are receptive, they are listening, and they can smell bullshit. so this propaganda is GOOD for filesharing rights as it is a guaranteed backfire

i swear, it's reefer madness for file sharing [wikipedia.org]

Reefer Madness (aka Tell Your Children) is a 1936 exploitation film revolving around the tragic events that ensue when high school students are lured by pushers to try "marihuana": a hit and run accident, manslaughter, suicide, rape, and descent into madness all ensue. The film was directed by Louis Gasnier and starred a cast composed of mostly unknown bit actors. It was originally financed by a church group and made under the title Tell Your Children.[1][2]

The film was intended to be shown to parents as a morality tale attempting to teach them about the dangers of cannabis use.[1] However, soon after the film was shot, it was purchased by producer Dwain Esper, who re-cut the film for distribution on the exploitation film circuit.[1] The film never gained an audience until it was rediscovered in the 1970s and gained new life as a piece of unintentional comedy among cannabis smokers.[1][3] Today, it is in the public domain in the United States and is considered a cult film.[3] It inspired a musical satire, which premiered off-Broadway in 2001, and a Showtime film, Reefer Madness, based on the musical.

Re:this is the reefer madness of filesharing (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 6 years ago | (#24713987)

You know, I didn't think of that at first, but you are right! This reeks of reefer madness...so to speak.

Re:this is the reefer madness of filesharing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24714623)

That is possibly the most apt comparison I've seen, EVER.

This is EXACTLY the same sort of thing Reefer Madness was, and it will have the EXACT same effect.

(IE: an entire generation will laugh, and return to hitting the bong/torrents)

I'll rebel (1)

areusche (1297613) | more than 6 years ago | (#24713709)

I'll fight this by downloading more movies, music, and software over the internet. Heck I would even download a car or a clothes illegally off of the internet if i could ;-)

comics (1)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 6 years ago | (#24713723)

Isn't this like that D&D comic where the girl hangs herself ?

Re:comics (1)

Uther_Dark (1314195) | more than 6 years ago | (#24714375)

Isn't this like that D&D comic where the girl hangs herself ?

Jesus...I thought I was the only person that remembered that!!!, actually have the comic around here somewhere....

That outfit is composed of judges (5, Interesting)

pem (1013437) | more than 6 years ago | (#24713727)

For example, the head of it is the "Chief Justice, Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts."

Most state bars have requirements related to acting ethically. I wonder if those responsible for this pack of lies could be handled with a bar complaint?

It might not have a direct effect, but who knows?

riaafer madness (1)

u4ya (1248548) | more than 6 years ago | (#24713759)

this strip looks reminiscent of 'reefer madness', the propaganda film from 1936 that contributed to making marijuana illegal.

Shades of "Reefer Madness" (1)

RiffRafff (234408) | more than 6 years ago | (#24713769)

And remember kids, marijuana grows breasts on men! It's true! I saw it in a movie in the sixties!

Re:Shades of "Reefer Madness" (2, Funny)

roc97007 (608802) | more than 6 years ago | (#24714307)

If I had breasts, I'd never have to leave the house.

Re:Shades of "Reefer Madness" (1)

ksd1337 (1029386) | more than 6 years ago | (#24714459)

If you had breasts, most likely no one would want you to leave the house. Or your bedroom, for that matter.

Don't-Don't-Don't Copy That Floppy! (5, Insightful)

Perseid (660451) | more than 6 years ago | (#24713783)

Really. When you have to resort to outright lies to protect your business model, doesn't that tell you something about said business model?

Re:Don't-Don't-Don't Copy That Floppy! (5, Insightful)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 6 years ago | (#24714011)

Really. When you have to resort to outright lies to protect your business model, doesn't that tell you something about said business model?

Yes. It tells you that said business model is highly profitable.

Re:Don't-Don't-Don't Copy That Floppy! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24714081)

Yes. It means you are a Chinese Olympic Gymnast.

(Too soon?)

Re:Don't-Don't-Don't Copy That Floppy! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24714299)

doesn't that tell you something about said business model?

Such as, that you have a marketing department?

Oh dear! (5, Interesting)

Maelwryth (982896) | more than 6 years ago | (#24713789)

All I can think of is how relieved the grandmother was when she found out Megan wasn't pregnant!

That being said, legal action against you isn't a laughing matter when you are young. You don't have the money, you don't know what you are doing, and you don't know where to get help.

A parady on this would be nice. Something along the lines of,"File-sharing is not a victim-less crime..... Look at Megan."

Time we hit Hollywood with a Digital Tea Party (5, Insightful)

CuteSteveJobs (1343851) | more than 6 years ago | (#24713795)

Here we see Hollywood studios regularly rob, cheat and steal from the people that work for them:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hollywood_accounting [wikipedia.org]
http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2001/aug/31/artsfeatures [guardian.co.uk]

Here companies like News Limited trick the public into surrendering their copyright, giving them massive royalty-free photo libraries, all for the "chance of winning an iPod".
http://blogs.smh.com.au/photographers/archives/2008/07/read_the_fine_print.html [smh.com.au]

Orson Scott Card wrote this good piece on the hipocracy of the RIAA:
http://www.ornery.org/essays/warwatch/2003-09-07-1.html [ornery.org]
http://www.ornery.org/essays/warwatch/2003-09-14-1.html [ornery.org]

And for years, we the public have had our rights progressively eroded. Well-monied rights holders throw money at congress who turn around and keep extending their copyright. This reached an artform in the "Sonny Bono Copyright Extension Act", otherwise known as the "Mickey Mouse Copyright Act". Yet Disney has quite happily argued against this when it suits them.
http://www.wired.com/news/politics/0,1283,17327,00.html [wired.com]

Well, eat this Disney: http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-mickey22-2008aug22,0,3228580,full.story [latimes.com]

And then there was that DRM debacle... What's worst is countries like Australia spinelessly accepted the DRM laws as their own (and US patents being enforcable in Australia) all for a political photo opportunity with George W. Bush. In this way, these execessive new laws are spreading all over the world. And here we have Universities teaching one side of the Great Copyright Rights Grab. Why aren't they educating their students about both sides, instead of brainfeeding them RIAA propaganda?

Bottom line is: Congress doesn't work for you. It works for these guys. I don't see Congress ever saying no to MPAA slush funds, and treating IP the way the Constitution intended it too. So to hell with Congress and the MPAAFIA: Stupid Laws are made to be broken. I say torrent freely and torrent often. It's our very own digital tea party.

Re:Time we hit Hollywood with a Digital Tea Party (2, Informative)

Uther_Dark (1314195) | more than 6 years ago | (#24714403)

Amen to that, I'm going to start by violating any copyright you have on your post, making it a text file and spreading it across the internet. Your message will be heard. :D Toss that tea...

I'm waiting for the counter punch.... hurry up (4, Interesting)

w0mprat (1317953) | more than 6 years ago | (#24713823)

I'm waiting for webcomic artists to pen a rebuttal strip to this drivel. Something deliciously satirical and damning.

*searches again* Come on, there must be someone out there going to do a mocking comic of this. Perhaps in the second frame Richard Stallman could appear out of a cloud of 1s and 0s with a tight organic hemp superhero suit and give the girl a pep talk about her freedom in the digital world while smashing her iMac into bits and wiping the hard drive platters with ionizing radiation from his nostrils... ... ?

For one thing the IP of 25.369.46.251 can not even (3, Informative)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 6 years ago | (#24713869)

For one thing the IP of 25.369.46.251 can not even be a working one as they max out at 255.

Re:For one thing the IP of 25.369.46.251 can not e (2, Informative)

Skuldo (849919) | more than 6 years ago | (#24714171)

This is probably intentional, they do this whenever an IP address is mentioned in a film or TV show.

Re:For one thing the IP of 25.369.46.251 can not e (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24714295)

Obviously you haven't seen The Net with Sandra Sandra Bullock.

Craziness. they win with eminent domain? (2, Insightful)

k1e0x (1040314) | more than 6 years ago | (#24713891)

But loose with the RIAA?

Even the way they phrase the eminent domain case. "The City is trying to buy our house." lol .. no they are not buying it, they are taking it at their price and if you refuse they are just going to take it and put you in jail.

What garbage, I hope kids are smarter than that. Unfortunately I have not a lot of faith.

Re:Craziness. they win with eminent domain? (1)

cpt kangarooski (3773) | more than 6 years ago | (#24714491)

Actually, in an eminent domain case, while you generally cannot prevent the state from taking the property in question, you can dispute the amount. If the two sides cannot come to an agreement, it goes to court, where each side presents evidence as to the value of the property in question and what the effect of the new use for the land is (e.g. less parking, drainage issues, increased traffic), and a jury (or at worst, a judge) decides how much to award. Eminent domain suits are a routine matter, usually occurring whenever a road is widened.

Also, who says that the state is trying to 'buy' the property? Usually the words are 'take' or 'condemn.'

not suggesting people break the law? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24713951)

I'm not encouraging anyone to break any laws, but this is ridiculous.

"Anyone in a free society where the laws are unjust has an obligation to break the law. "
-Henry David Thoreau

Personally I consider breaking unjust laws like this a civil duty, and I feel you should take your civil duty seriously.

This comic is makes me sleep from page 1 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24713957)

They certainly know nothing about making an entertaining comic book.

They failed to keep me engaged.

I won't be waiting for a sequel, that's for sure.

Knock Off Nigel (1)

Ragzouken (943900) | more than 6 years ago | (#24714025)

The hilarity of how out of touch this is is on par with the Knock-Off-Nigel adverts.

The purpose is basically to educate kids (4, Insightful)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 6 years ago | (#24714093)

My ass it is. Its to brainwash them so that the next generation will obey the orders of the media corporations of the world, and adjust the future laws.

It's time to stop (2, Insightful)

vic-traill (1038742) | more than 6 years ago | (#24714097)

[rant]

I know it sounds like high moral ground apple pie crap, but at this point it is true: it's time to stop giving money to companies that treat their customers and the public so shabbily. Fuck Sony. Fuck Universal. Fuck Warner Bros. Especially, Fuck Sony - they do at least double duty.

Find local theatre groups - go see live actors. Check out local bands - go see live music. Video games - well, I don't know what to there, but someone will have a suggestion.

I'm not interested in buying their crap, taking their crap, listening to their crap, pirating their crap, or watching their crap.

They're behind the people who sue. They're directly responsible for rootkit installations to support their DRM. They're behind the distribution of lies such as this material in TFA. Okay, well, we don't know the last part, but I'm guessing.

No Más. Let's spend our money buying entertainment from people who give a shit.

[/rant]

Letter writing campaign (5, Interesting)

pem (1013437) | more than 6 years ago | (#24714123)

And these are judges -- so make it a REAL letter, with a stamp and everything. See if you can find one locally [ncsconline.org] who knows you are a voter. Remember that, just like a big company, these people are nominally in charge, but may clueless about some of the things the organization is doing, so try to politely remind them of their obligations to the public.

I live in Texas, so here's mine:

Hon. Wallace B. Jefferson

Chief Justice

Supreme Court of Texas

P.O. Box 12248, Capitol Station

Austin, TX 78711

Dear Judge Jefferson:

Today it came to my attention that a group called the "National Center for State Courts", of which you are apparently a board member, has released a new comic book called the "Justice Case Files."

This book is full of legal inaccuracies and misrepresentation, claiming that internet file downloading is a state crime, punishable by years in prison, when in fact, this sort of copyright infringement is a federal civil matter.

I do not engage in copyright infringement; however, I am incensed at the malicious PR campaign undertaken by the RIAA and the MPAA, which apparently has co-opted this organization of which you are a board member. It makes the National Center for State Courts, and those associated with it, look foolish at best, mendacious at worst.

As I'm sure you are aware, rule 8.04(a)(3) of the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct requires that "a lawyer shall not ... engage in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation," and comment 7 on this section additionally clarifies that "Lawyers holding public office assume legal responsibilities going beyond those of other citizens. A lawyer's abuse of public office can suggest an inability to fulfill the professional role of attorney. The same is true of abuse of positions of private trust. See Rules 8.04(a)(2), 8.04(a)(3), 8.04(b)."

Please take a look at this comic. If you find it as laughably erroneous as I think you will, please do the right thing and publicly disavow its publication and use your position on the board to try to stop it. Believe it or not, several hundred thousand influential internet users are watching this issue very closely.

Thank you for your time and attention to this matter.

Best regards,

Can I ... (3, Informative)

PPH (736903) | more than 6 years ago | (#24714131)

... share this with a few friends of mine?

mod up (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24714193)

filed countersuit, Been sittiNg here the reaper QBSD's

Hmmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24714445)

Maybe the creators of NBC's hits, Law & Order and Night Court should sue them for copyright violations... Honorable Judge Stone? Sheesh... They'd claim fair use I'm sure.

How about making our own comics? (3, Informative)

Doug52392 (1094585) | more than 6 years ago | (#24714613)

Why not make comics that represent the sad, pathetic truth of the fucked up legal system and unconstitutionality by the RIAA and MPAA? Hell, just edit this one and add the truth to it, like change the police officer giving here the trial notice to a money-hungry lawyer in a suit and tie, with $ signs for eyes. And add in some details in the end, so it says "I say it's good I got caught because some people don't get caught, which means they are hurting the (take out music industry) the artists that make music, because now they won't be able to afford their 10th Lear jet or 4th luxury sports car or huge mansion because people are waking up and realizing that this is BS."

Oh, and add some stuff about how the RIAA are demanding 9,250 times the "damages" the poor girl caused, and have the RIAA lawyers say "We don't give a fuck it's unconstitutional or not. This is America god damn it, and in America, we have a truly fucked up legal system where we, the legal representatives to the few conglomerates that control the entire media in the United States like Commies, can sue innocent people for not doing exactly what a certain industry wants us to do!

This bitch should have realized that we make you PAY so much money for music for a reason, because we WANT $$$$$$$. And yet she chose to get in the way of our capitalist dream, so she must burn in Hell!!! (but since we can't go that far, let's just sue her for 9,250-20,000 times the value of the music she downloaded). I mean seriously, if the government didn't have a problem with us harassing Sweden to shut down ONE WEBSITE FOR A FEW DAYS just for hosting LINKS to copyrighted materials (The Pirate Bay), what makes you think they'll have a problem with this? "

And, with the eminent domain BS (isn't that a thing Republicans love to do), edit the section and have the mayor come down to the house, with police officers armed with AK-47s saying "Get the fuck out of this house, it's the city's now biach! We take this house under Eminent Domain, SO GET THE FUCK OUT"

So once we make these comics, distribute them to all the collage students that received the lying propaganda!

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