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US Senate Passes PRO-IP Act

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the ruh-roh-shaggy dept.

Government 212

I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes "The Senate has passed the PRO-IP Act. While they stripped out the provision to have the DoJ act as copyright cops, it still contains increased penalties for infringement, civil forfeiture provisions, and creates an 'IP czar' to coordinate enforcement. Even though the civil forfeiture provisions are ostensibly intended for use against commercial piracy outfits, history indicates that they will probably get used against individuals at some point. Worse, because they left out the only part of the bill that Bush threatened to veto, it is expected to pass. It is going back to the House where they're expected to pass it on Saturday, after which the President will probably sign it. So, if you want to contact your representative, hurry." An anonymous reader notes that DefectiveByDesign.Org is mobilizing to fight this legislation. The Senate vote was unanimous. We've been following the progress of this bill for quite some time.

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212 comments

Huurah! (1)

YeeHaW_Jelte (451855) | more than 5 years ago | (#25176593)

Everyone in favour of another treat for the plundering knights of the 'free' market, throw your hands in the air!

Re:Huurah! (1)

Ruud Althuizen (835426) | more than 5 years ago | (#25176643)

It is going back to the House where they're expected to pass it on Saturday, after which the President will probably sign it.

Are those guys so eager that they even work on Saturdays?

Re:Huurah! (2, Funny)

Pool_Noodle (1373373) | more than 5 years ago | (#25177041)

They've got to work for those bribes ... err ... "Carefully misplaced envelopes of non-consecutive bills that will influence their decisions"

Re:Huurah! (2, Insightful)

TheLink (130905) | more than 5 years ago | (#25176777)

I'm fine with it as long as this sort of thing stays in the USA.

It'll just make other countries relatively more competitive.

Re:Huurah! (3, Informative)

nipoez (828346) | more than 5 years ago | (#25176939)

I'm fine with it as long as this sort of thing stays in the USA. It'll just make other countries relatively more competitive.

I presume, then, that you missed the portion of the law creating five positions for "International Intellectual Property Law Enforcement Coordinators"? Their sole goal will be convincing other countries to adopt similar legislation.

Re:Huurah! (4, Insightful)

Rob the Bold (788862) | more than 5 years ago | (#25177073)

I'm fine with it as long as this sort of thing stays in the USA. It'll just make other countries relatively more competitive.

You wish. Every time any nation ups the ante with a more restrictive and draconian copyright law, everyone else (except China) jumps on the bandwagon to "harmonize". Nothing brings out the spirit of "international cooperation" like Disney Dollars.

Re:Huurah! (2, Informative)

jimicus (737525) | more than 5 years ago | (#25177341)

I'm fine with it as long as this sort of thing stays in the USA.

It'll just make other countries relatively more competitive.

Depending on which country you're in, you may or may not be fine.

Europe will probably enact similar legislation 5-10 years down the line as a European law. Expect corresponding laws in EU member states to ratify these on a per-country basis after another 2-3 years.

For many parts of Africa, "being less competitive than the US" is the least of their problems.

For the middle East, any countries the US considers even remotely likely to become an economic threat may expect diplomatic measures and/or cluster bombs. If there's oil involved, you can confidently expect the diplomatic bit to be bypassed.

Regarding the far East, many countries are already far more competitive than the US and the US is buying so much from there that they can neither bomb you nor enact economic sanctions without causing themselves more harm than good.

In terms of major areas, this leaves South America, Canada, Australia and the poles. I don't know enough about any of these regions to comment.

Re:Huurah! (3, Funny)

jacquesm (154384) | more than 5 years ago | (#25177385)

Poland is part of the EU now ;)

Re:Huurah! (1)

Wicked Zen (1006745) | more than 5 years ago | (#25177653)

Poland is part of the EU now ;)

Might be just a little too clever there. But I liked it. ;)

Voting (5, Insightful)

theCoder (23772) | more than 5 years ago | (#25176603)

This is outrageous! I don't think I can vote for the Senator running for president that voted for that bill that goes completely the wrong way on copyright reform, so I guess I'll have to vote for

The Senate vote was unanimous

Damn.

I wonder if any of the third party candidates opposed this bill...

Re:Voting (5, Insightful)

stupido (1353737) | more than 5 years ago | (#25176763)

Given that the US economy is moving away from the production of physical goods, and embracing IP production more and more, it should come as no surprise that the state got more involved in policing IP "theft".

I bet this is going to get advertised as another law to "save the US economy".

Re:Voting (0)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 5 years ago | (#25176831)

How? Lets see, aside from some US movies and music along with Apple or Microsoft, most of the other IP is made in Asia. Just about every video game, from Mario, to Final Fantasy are made in Japan. All the major console manufacturers with the exception of MS, are based in Japan. There are a few US based studios, but for most console games, they are developed in Japan.

Re:Voting (2)

Don_dumb (927108) | more than 5 years ago | (#25176859)

How? Lets see, aside from some US movies and music along with Apple or Microsoft,

So aside from almost everything?

Re:Voting (0)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 5 years ago | (#25176917)

Well, lets see. if you look at http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/e/e5/Total_music_market_2003.png [wikimedia.org] where it gives the total music market in 2003, you can see that, although the US is huge, if you combine the EU and Japan, they outweigh it. And in when buying singles, the EU and Japan are ahead of the USA.

Re:Voting (1)

Don_dumb (927108) | more than 5 years ago | (#25177067)

Well, lets see. if you look at http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/e/e5/Total_music_market_2003.png [wikimedia.org] where it gives the total music market in 2003, you can see that, although the US is huge, if you combine the EU and Japan, they outweigh it. And in when buying singles, the EU and Japan are ahead of the USA.

Not at all surprising, but who's music are they buying?

Re:Voting (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25176841)

Things like this, TRULY, make me laugh... not your post I am replying to!

(Well, part of it does, & it's not YOU, or your statement from you)

I mean, the very fact the US really IS 'moving away' from the production of physical goods in & of itself, is a damn joke!

I.E.-> Outsourcing harms us more than anything else!

( & the STUPID gov't. allows it! )

What they OUGHT TO BE DOING, is saying "Sure, we'll do 'laissez-faire', & allow you to do this, BUT, we will also penalize & tax you for doing it also, taking away your incentive to do so - thus, you'll bring back the jobs to our internal domestic shores, because we'll make outsourcing less profitable for you by us doing so"!

Thus, creating more internal jobs & thus, also more taxpayer state & federal income, via taxation in the same stroke - of course, you have to remember that MOST of these "politicians" are scumbags, & also are bought and paid for (in the pockets of) corporate masters/backers, OR, these self-same politicians have monies invested into these companies also).

What about practices companies have done for DECADES (if not centuries), in taking a competitor's superior product, & "reverse-engineering it" (taking it apart, seeing what makes it tick, & then, producing an analog of it in THEIR OWN EQUIPMENT, to make it perform equitably or near to @ least, that of their competitors)? You'll NEVER see that being put into law (or it may be already, but they do it anyhow) used to attack "the big guys/rich", only the "little guy/average joe" (who doesn't have a good paying job, because it was outsourced, so he steals tunes, programs, etc. online).

Give us a break U.S. government - get less corrupt (especially the FUCKING REPUBLICAN SCUMBAGS!)

Re:Voting (2, Funny)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 5 years ago | (#25176873)

No. What we need is a truly free economy that means A) No minimum wage, B) Copyright law where unless you are making money on the product you can pirate all you want C) Little to no patents D) The government stays out except to 1) Protect us 2) create general law and order 3) give a basic education and 4) maintain roads. If all those were followed, we would have no economic crisis.

Re:Voting (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25176955)

Some decent points, & I'd have to say, in combination with those you replied to would probably be "a way" to get the job done, & done right... because it certainly IS NOT BEING DONE RIGHT, now, by the current administration (or, are the economic results satisfactory under the current & previous administration? NO WAY!).

E.G. - If you or I were to have "such a good performance on the job" as the current set of politicians have done (not, it's horrendous - proof being the state of the economy itself alone)? We'd be fired, quickly. The results of today's state of the nation, especially economically, evidence my statement for me, cleanly.

Re:Voting (1)

rundgren (550942) | more than 5 years ago | (#25176991)

Score:3, Funny ??? Is this one of those "it's funny 'cause it's true" things?

Re:Voting (1)

orasio (188021) | more than 5 years ago | (#25177023)

Truly free economy does not have monopolies, so copyright and patents are out of the question. Let the market encourage the creation of products... somehow.

And I don't understand why the government would need to maintain roads. For instance, the US already has enough roads. They can be maintained by tolls, or disappear. If your town doesn't have a good road infrastructure, move.

Re:Voting (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 5 years ago | (#25177063)

The thing about roads is, though I don't think that the government should run roads or education, if we stopped maintaining either tomorrow, something bad would happen. And really, if the government stopped doing other things, it would find that it has plenty of tax dollars to make decent roads.

Re:Voting (2, Insightful)

orasio (188021) | more than 5 years ago | (#25177437)

Then you don't think you need a truly free economy. You just want the regulations to be where you like them. And want to remove the regulations that do not affect you, or that you don't undestand.
I also believe that if my government didn't spend so much money on health, they would have the money to give me a nice gift at the end of the year.

Re:Voting (5, Insightful)

cgenman (325138) | more than 5 years ago | (#25177863)

A free, unregulated economy above a certain size is almost guaranteed to degrade into monopolies. This is not just my assessment, but that of Adam Smith, founder of a lot of the principles of free-market capitalism.

Take for example the privitization of water in Argentina. The capital outlay is heavy enough that nobody else can afford to do it, or if they did they would have little chance of recouping. However, the water company in Argentina is by far one of the most profitable institutions in the country, nearly doubling monthly fees since their tenure. If there wasn't government regulation, that company could then enter into new markets with the hook that "if you sell anything other
than our beef, we won't provide water." This is exactly the tactic that Microsoft took in the mid 90's to prevent computer manufacturers from working with the other (many times superior) operating systems on the market at the time.

Taking it a step further, a "Truly Free" economy is indistinguishable from the anarchy that exists in a power vacuum, and which quickly degrades into feudal warlordism.

Oh, but you'd have regulations against use of force, improperly leveraging monopolies, properly labeling items, adhering to contracts, etc, etc, etc. And that of course all requires regulatory bodies, police force, civillian treaties for non-lethan enforcement, additional regulatory bodies to form and enact those civillian treaties, etc. As orasio mentioned, you can't have a "Truly free economy" without a hell of a lot of regulatory institutions. Otherwise, what would prevent me from saying "I'll insure your house against hurricanes," taking all of the money for personal use, and abandoning everyone when the first hurricane came along? Or becoming the head of an established bank, taking everyone's deposits, and heading for the Cayman islands?

As my father liked to say (in more colorful language), we're no longer arguing about if you're a communist, but just haggling over degrees.

Re:Voting (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25177155)

The problem with a "truly free economy" from what I have gathered is that when people start discribing how to set up such a system, they do not take into account that as economic entities increase in stregth, they also increase in governmental influence, directly and indirectly. And, will inevitably, begin to "regulate" the market in their favor and to the detriment to any possible competition, no matter the merits and viability of that competition.

Re:Voting (2, Interesting)

Rob the Bold (788862) | more than 5 years ago | (#25177097)

No. What we need is a truly free economy that means A) No minimum wage, B) Copyright law where unless you are making money on the product you can pirate all you want C) Little to no patents D) The government stays out except to 1) Protect us 2) create general law and order 3) give a basic education and 4) maintain roads. If all those were followed, we would have no economic crisis.

Roads? Education? If people want education for their kids, they can buy it. And don't get me started on roads. Want to get somewhere, you take a helicopter. Don't see what's so hard about that. Law and Order? That's a TV show. You don't want someone stealing your stuff, you hire a security guard.

Re:Voting (1)

strabes (1075839) | more than 5 years ago | (#25177241)

Actually, there are more private security guards in the US than public police officers. Clearly people don't think the police do that great of a job.

Re:Voting (1)

strabes (1075839) | more than 5 years ago | (#25177439)

Not sure why this was modded funny, since it is entirely true.

Ok, you moron, tell me what happens if (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 5 years ago | (#25177219)

other countries also implement restrictive policies, preventing u.s. firms from exporting overseas, doing business to overseas, upon the naive example you are proposing below :

What they OUGHT TO BE DOING, is saying "Sure, we'll do 'laissez-faire', & allow you to do this, BUT, we will also penalize & tax you for doing it also, taking away your incentive to do so - thus, you'll bring back the jobs to our internal domestic shores, because we'll make outsourcing less profitable for you by us doing so"!

then you will be left to drivel in your own dirt, because you will be limited to only 200 million users in the u.s., since other countries wont let your internet and software firms (even manufacturing firms) doing business with their own market.

get a clue first, then speak about policies. current wealth level of this civilization is the resultant vector of global economy.

Re:Ok, you moron, tell me what happens if (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25177581)

Aha, no doubt your reply was written by some republican business owning individual, who fears this type of thing (government actually stopping outsourcing, for 1 thing) & his own selfish interests would be affected (profits).

Also - I know 1 thing: Again, were I to do "such a good job" as our corporate leaders (the true masters) & their political lackies? I'd be fired, instantly, by no-minds that have driven this nation into a wreckage!

(OR, does not the current "service economy picture" not tend to back up my statements?? Sure doesn't look good for our 'leaders' in both politics AND government (the "KORPORATE AMERIKA lackeys" is more like it on the latter)).

This nation did just fine before this horseshit 'global economy' view you're trying to say "is working just fine", also... b.s. to that, because it's just more crap fed to us, so the rich get richer & the poor get poorer (while the middleclass gets eroded away completely).

(OR, does not the picture of our national debt and the state of wallstreet not show otherwise??)

Think, before you speak, loudmouth. The results out there speak clearly for my view point: OUT WITH THE REPUBLICAN AHOLES.

no (2, Interesting)

unity100 (970058) | more than 5 years ago | (#25177639)

leave aside being republican, im a liberal in TURKEY. a major trading partner of usa, especially in textiles and manufacturing.

i dont need to tell you that any such protectionist measures as you propose will be met with similar measures against usa in the world. nations are not stupid. they arent gonna let you go protectionist on your internal market, but export to their own internal markets. thats the fact of life, if you give, you have to take. get used to it.

im talking to you from outside, outta the stupid delusions you americans wall yourself with.

there is no isolation in a global world. any step towards isolation, not only lowers the standard of living in a particular country, but also lowers the standards for entire world. observe north korea, ussr and other isolationist regimes that came and passed.

you should start seeing yourself not a u.s. citizen, but a world citizen, and start evaluating your life based on your personal qualifications, and open up to the world personally and seek your fortunes rather than shut yourself down to your country and locale. hint : internet allows you to live IN your locale and work for some company in the opposite corner of the world.

Re:Voting (3, Insightful)

strabes (1075839) | more than 5 years ago | (#25177431)

I hope your comment isn't serious and I wasted my time writing this comment, because if it is, nearly everything in it is entirely wrong and bass ackwards.

First, your comment about âoewe'll do laissez-faireâ but penalize you and tax you, blah blah blah, is ridiculous. Clearly taxes, quotas, and tariffs are not laissez faire.

The arguments against outsourcing and for protective tariffs are a total joke. They necessarily rest on the faulty mercantilist assumption that there is a fixed amount of labor in the world and when a company outsources labor to another country, US consumers are just that much worse off. I'll address that imaginary problem of eliminating âoeinternal jobsâ later. Regardless, when one argues that outsourcing is bad and tariffs are good, one is unquestionably arguing that it is 1) better for US consumers to pay higher prices for their goods than they otherwise would, and 2) that US workers should work in less-productive jobs than they otherwise would. Both of these will be explained and argued against in the quote from a book I have copied below.

The two largest reasons why people like yourself favor ridiculous economic legislation like high tariffs are that 1) you only look at the immediate consequences of the legislation, and 2) you clearly do not have a background in economics. Sure, tariffs help prevent foreign competition in US markets. This is good for the US producers of the product. However, it also keeps prices higher for US consumers, and keeps people employed in underproductive, less-than-competitive firms.

Every dollar over the world price that US consumers have to pay for a product is another dollar that they don't have to buy other items. For example, say China was producing sweaters for $25 and the US sweater industry produced them for $30. There is a protective tariff on foreign sweaters to allow US producers to compete. Now suppose the tariff is repealed. I'll quote directly from Hazlitt's Economics in One Lesson:

"The tariff is repealed; the manufacturer goes out of business; a thousand workers are laid off; the particular tradesmen whom they patronized are hurt. This is the immediate result that is seen. But there are also results which, while much more difficult to trace, are no less immediate and no less real. For now sweaters that formerly cost retail $30 apiece can be bought for $25. Consumers can now buy the same quality of sweater for less money, or a much better one for the same money. If they buy the same quality of sweater, they not only get the sweater, but they have $5 left over, which they would not have had under the previous conditions, to buy something else. With the $25 that they pay for the imported sweater they help employment-as the American manufacturer no doubt predicted-in the sweater industry in England. With the $5 left over they help employment in any number of other industries in the UNited States. But the results do not end there. By buying English sweaters they furnish the English with dollars to buy American goods here. This, in fact (if I may here disregard such complications as fluctuating exchange rates, loans, credits, etc.) is teh only way in which the British can eventually make use of these dollars. Because we have permitted the British to sell more to us, they are now able to buy more from us if their dollar balances are not to remain perpetually unused. So as a result of letting in more British goods, we must export more American goods. And although fewer people are now employed in the American sweater industry, more people are employed-and much more efficiently empoloyed-in, say, the American washing-machine or aircraft-building business. American employment on net balance has not gone down, but American and British production on net balance has gone up. Labor in each country is more fully employed in doing just those things that it does best, instead of being force to do things that it does inefficiently or badly. Consumers in both countries are better off. They are able to buy what they want where they can get it cheapest. American consumers are better provided with sweaters, and British consumers are better provided with washing machines and aircraft.â

Please, try to argue that higher prices, less productivity, and fewer exports are all bad things for the economy. Hopefully I have adequately demonstrated the fallacies that outsourcing hurts the economy and protective tariffs help it.

Re:Voting (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25177785)

"I hope your comment isn't serious and I wasted my time writing this comment, because if it is, nearly everything in it is entirely wrong and bass ackwards." - by strabes (1075839) on Saturday September 27, @11:02AM (#25177431)

Bullshit walks pal, get walking - your ideas? CLEARLY, are NOT WORKING OUT WELL, period. Argue with the results out there, today, which ARE based on your line of b.s.! Argue with the results, not your line of crap you obviously were fed by a "bought & paid for expert" & you took it, hook, line & sinker...

Well, it's NOT WORKING pal, it's ruining everything - once more, argue with the results of YOUR LINE OF THINKING (correction: The stupid one you bought into is more like it!)

(Please - check wallstreet performance, & also the national debt, FIRST... & then? Get back to us, and tell us "it's working out great" (not), ok??)

Again: Were I, or you, to do "such a fine job" with such "FINE RESULTS"?? I wonder how long WE'D BE IN A JOB... not too long is my guess!

Funny how these morons in "KORPORATE AMERIKA" & "GOOD GOVERNMENT" keep their jobs though, eh - all the while, while more U.S. tax paying citizenry's jobs get outsourced, & these morons rip us off more (ala Enron as 1 single example) + stop taxable income from pouring in from U.S. workers having jobs that have been outsourced??

(All the while, our "KORPORATE & POLITICAL LEADERS" come complete with "Golden Parachutes" & "lifetime pensions" mind you, no less, for 'such fine work' (check wallstreet + the national debt, once more, & get back to us with their 'fine performance', ok???)

Worst part is? They're bailing them out & REWARDING FAILURE... wtf! For failure & results of RUIN??

PLEASE - Give myself, & everyone else reading, a break! Your way of thinking & doing things is NOT working out, for the overall good, period! The results out there today show this cleanly, for me...

(The results from our leaders? "GREAT" (not). It's not MY job to fix it, it's theirs. Have they done so? No. They just are wrecking it even more - yet, they keep their jobs... gee, lets outsource the jobs of our corporate mgt. &/or politicians then... "THEY'RE CLEARLY NOT EFFICIENT & PRODUCTIVE", no questions asked!)

Funniest part of all, is this/BOTTOM-LINE: This nation did JUST FINE, before this line of crap we've been fed, about the "global economy" &/or "the service economy is the way"... horseshit - because the results today show, cleanly & clearly, otherwise. By way of comparison though, in YOUR LINE OF THINKING?? Look @ the results of it, pure ruination!

Re-training sux (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25177807)

But I *Like* 'making sweaters', my father and grandfather 'made sweaters' before me. I get awards for my $30.00 'sweaters'. But NO, I must now work as a maytag repairman, a job I loath. Just so some theiving forign 'sweater plan' stealing bad yarn buying fool who can turn out a shoddy sweater for just a little less than my award winning one can continue in work. Shudup.

Re:Voting (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25176913)

I prefer to call it data rather than IP. It draws attention to the fundamental nature of the product.

Re:Voting (1)

ubrgeek (679399) | more than 5 years ago | (#25177159)

Alright, I know I'm being a complete moron but based on the linked article, I'm not sure what is particularly bad about this particular act (other than the usual, "All IP should be free to blow in the wind" arguments /. always sees.) No, I'm not being a troll or aiming for flamebait. There do need to be laws for protection for IP and doesn't this thing just clarify and/or create laws to enforce that need? Someone pls explain, without going rabid, what _in this particular act_ is causing consternation and I'll get on the phone with my representative in a heartbeat. But again, the linked article doesn't sound as bad as the earlier version or even other, similar acts.

Re:Voting (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 5 years ago | (#25177399)

kay,I'll play. The reason that all this IP crap sucks the big wet titty is because STEAMBOAT FREAKIN' WILLIE is still under copyright!!! If they had left copyrights at the same level that had been for a century and a half,most folks here probably wouldn't have a problem with it. Of course you'd be able to get most of the 50's,60's,and 70's tunes for free along all kinds of wicked new uses for Atari and NES games.

But wait,we don't got that,do we? We instead got greedy bastard congress critters that go "How much money? Really?" and promptly sell us to whomever has the fat check. Hell,if these sorry bastards were in office when the child labor laws were passed I'm sure we'd see them standing up on the floor yelling "But coal dust is good for the childrens!". The simple fact is our laws have been hijacked. Copyright laws were SUPPOSED to be a CONTRACT,you know,where you actually get something in return for something else?

To use a car analogy,it would be like I give you the only car lot in town,and let you and your buddies buy up all the radio and TV stations so only you can advertise cars. In return you agree that you will donate every car over a certain age which I will give away. Only when I go to collect you have me tazed and have the judge paid off so when I show the contract he has me gagged and then sentenced to 10 years in PMITA prison. Kinda makes our contract null and void,don'tcha think? Really wouldn't blame me if me and my friends robbed you blind,since we can't get a fair deal under the law,would you?

While I haven't seen any of the *.A.As shit I would actually want,if someone else wants it I say help themselves. The contract has been broken,the laws have been stolen,and until and ONLY until a new contract is written,one in which BOTH sides gets something out of it,then copyrights aren't worth the paper they are written on and should be ignored completely. Does that answer you question about why there is so much venom when we get bent over by our corrupt politicians yet again?

Re:Voting (1)

wellingj (1030460) | more than 5 years ago | (#25177293)

Don't worry, When the dollar crashes due to inflation we will have a competitive advantage against china in manufacturing especially when it comes to the emerging markets in South America.

Re:Voting (1)

jacquesm (154384) | more than 5 years ago | (#25177407)

heck, maybe China will even consider outsourcing some work to the newly minted 3rd world country in the west.

Re:Voting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25177445)

So is terrorism out now? I get so confused trying to keep up.

Re:Voting (1)

Timothy Brownawell (627747) | more than 5 years ago | (#25177463)

Given that the US economy is moving away from the production of physical goods, and embracing IP production more and more, it should come as no surprise that

... we're all doomed.

Copying bits isn't very useful, anyone can do is approximately for free. If we don't/can't provide useful services (which I take to include manufacturing things or digging things out of the ground), why would anyone do business with us?

Re:Voting (2, Informative)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 5 years ago | (#25176983)

The Senate vote was unanimous

Not exactly true. It was passed by unanimous consent, which means that nobody who might have decided to vote against it actually cared enough to participate in the process.

Re:Voting (1)

Shining Celebi (853093) | more than 5 years ago | (#25177587)

This is outrageous! I don't think I can vote for the Senator running for president that voted for that bill that goes completely the wrong way on copyright reform, so I guess I'll have to vote for The Senate vote was unanimous Damn. I wonder if any of the third party candidates opposed this bill...

All the major actions on the bill took place Friday, when McCain and Obama were out campaigning/on their way to the debate. I can't find any list of the absent Senators, but I think it's likely they were among them -- although, of course, you may feel the same way about Senators who could have voted against a bill but were out doing other things.

Nader Opposes (1)

mkcmkc (197982) | more than 5 years ago | (#25177667)

I don't have a link, but I'm pretty sure Nader opposes this sort of corporate handout/nonsense. And yes, I am considering voting for him (again) for just this reason.

(Well, also the fact that McCain and Obama both favor continuing the war...)

Sounds Good To Me (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25176607)

Thanks, I think I'll contact my Congressman to voice my support of this bill.

I know this isn't the popular opinion here, but I think we need this kind of legislation. Intellectual Property needs vital protection to protect against the blatant and abusive infringement happening everywhere today.

Strong IP protection and enforcement will help protect one of our most vital and productive assets. I don't think we want to go to a route like China, where lax IP enforcements stunt their domestic IP growth.

Re:Sounds Good To Me (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25176691)

Strong IP protection and enforcement will help protect one of our most vital and productive assets.

Our precious bodily fluids?

I don't think we want to go to a route like China, where lax IP enforcements stunt their domestic IP growth.

Yep, the Commies have no regard for intellectual property - not even their own.

Re:Sounds Good To Me (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 5 years ago | (#25176741)

Why? What's wrong with current IP legislation that is fixed by this? Intellectual property has thrived in the US for a century with much weaker protection. In some areas its actually stagnating because the protection is too strong.

Re:Sounds Good To Me (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 5 years ago | (#25176845)

I don't think we want to go to a route like China, where lax IP enforcements stunt their domestic IP growth.

No, it is oppressive governments that stunt their domestic IP growth. And in the past few years we are heading to an oppressive government. And honestly, take out the oppressive government and China is doing just fine.

Goatse (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25176639)

Goatse. [goatse.cz]

You nerds love it.

Term Limits (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25176655)

Yes, its off-topic, but its not.

Its time we start organizing a push to get Term Limits pushed into law.

6 terms for the House (12 years total)
3 terms for the Senate (18 years total)
Then once they are done, get OUT of politics, or find a new office to run for (President, etc.) I'm a Conservative... and I see the need for this on *both* sides of the aisle.

Maybe if we start cycling the people in there, we can rid ourselves of some of the imbeded morons who lose touch with real people, real life, and force them to, oh, I don't know, get a real job and not expect us to support them for the rest of their lives.

The U.S. government has become very corrupt. (2, Insightful)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | more than 5 years ago | (#25176695)

A few of the problems with the U.S. Congress: 1) Insufficient understanding or caring about the issues. 2) Hidden agendas. 3) Blatant corruption. 4) Passing laws quickly, without allowing debate. 5) Writing laws so that it is difficult to understand their implications. 6) Combining good legislation with bad, so that the bad will pass. 7) Providing descriptions that present laws as different from their true purpose.

An example of number 3 was removing the regulations that required banks to have assets similar to their liabilities, with the understanding that taxpayers would pay for the resulting bankruptcies.

Another example of number 3 was removing the regulations that required savings and loan [wikipedia.org] organizations to have sufficient assets to cover their loans, with the understanding that taxpayers would pay for the resulting bankruptcies.

Re:The U.S. government has become very corrupt. (2, Interesting)

Dun Malg (230075) | more than 5 years ago | (#25177723)

Another example of number 3 was removing the regulations that required savings and loan [wikipedia.org] organizations to have sufficient assets to cover their loans, with the understanding that taxpayers would pay for the resulting bankruptcies.

Now now, let's not engage in hyperbole here! The regulations requiring them to have sufficient assets were never changed. What was changed was the definition of what constitutes an "asset"! The key line in the Wikipedia entry is

"They were also allowed to take an ownership position in the real estate and other projects to which they made loans"

Essentially what happened was that oversight over the real value of their assets was removed, which allowed the S&L's to basically buy worthless swampland and sell it back and forth to each other until its "value" was artificially high, then use the swampland's inflated value towards their "assets" calculation.

It may seem like I'm splitting hairs, but the distinction is important. Because it happened that way, the S&L's were able to say, up to the bitter end, that they had "federal law requiring sufficient assets" protecting their customers. If the asset requirement had actually been removed, people would have rightfully freaked out and withdrawn their money. This illustrates how fiendishly corrupt government is, and how you have to be diligent, how can't depend on them doing something bad in a blatant manner to warn you you're about to get hosed.

Re:The U.S. government has become very corrupt. (1)

Jerry Beasters (783525) | more than 5 years ago | (#25177751)

Someone doesn't know what hyperbole is....

Thank you. Could you provide more information? (1)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | more than 5 years ago | (#25178089)

Dun Malg,

You said, "This illustrates how fiendishly corrupt government is, and how you have to be diligent, how can't depend on them doing something bad in a blatant manner to warn you you're about to get hosed."

Good point. Thanks for your entire explanation.

Could you provide more information about the bank de-regulation that allowed the current, even more serious, crisis?

Good thing that they have their priorites right (5, Interesting)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 5 years ago | (#25176703)

I mean, it's not like they have a financial crisis that they should be spending their time on.

The existing system wasn't working... (2, Interesting)

compumike (454538) | more than 5 years ago | (#25176705)

From Senator Wyden [senate.gov] :

"With over 30,000 civil suits filed by a single entity against individual Americans it is clear that industry is more than able to enforce its intellectual property rights in civil courts without the contribution of taxpayer funds and busy federal prosecutors."

But while that's a kind of system that should be working, it really isn't. There are still tens of millions of Americans who either believe that it is within their "fair use" rights to freely redistribute copyrighted materials to dozens of unknown online participants, or do so fully knowing it is illegal.

So while the method sucks... isn't this actually a reasonable place for government action, you know, in enforcing the law?

--
Learn electronics! Powerful microcontroller kits for the digital generation. [nerdkits.com]

Re:The existing system wasn't working... (3, Insightful)

Kilz (741999) | more than 5 years ago | (#25176807)

"So while the method sucks... isn't this actually a reasonable place for government action, you know, in enforcing the law?"

The simple answer is... NO. While it is a good idea to punish commercial exploitation of copyright. Punishing end users only makes matters worse. That so many people are breaking this law points to the fact that it is unjust. Unjust laws should be removed, not reinforced. An example of this is Prohibition. Consuming Alcohol was against the law, but no one followed the law. The government saw eventually that the law was unjust because so many broke it, and it was removed.
Should they have lined up all those that drank a beer and shot them and took their homes?

Re:The existing system wasn't working... (1, Redundant)

compumike (454538) | more than 5 years ago | (#25176887)

Sorry... There's a huge difference here.

Prohibition of alcohol involved a personal decision with essentially personal consequences -- never something the government should have been involved in. (Screw that silly trans fats thing too!)

But piracy is distorting what should have been an interaction between two parties: creator and consumer. But instead of the consumer respecting the desires of the creator, they're ripping that away and screaming "Mine!" like a toddler. That kind of behavior doesn't get much respect from me. Let the creators choose.

--
Learn electronics! Powerful microcontroller kits for the digital generation. [nerdkits.com]

Re:The existing system wasn't working... (1)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 5 years ago | (#25177017)

Prohibition of alcohol involved a personal decision with essentially personal consequences -- never something the government should have been involved in.

Not really. At least some of the people who drink subsequently (or simultaneously) get in their cars and kill other people. Some of the people who drink subsequently beat their spouses or children. Some of them get involved in rowdy street riots after their favorite insert-sport-here team wins or loses a big game, breaking into shops, turning over cars, and starting fires. And while getting drunk doesn't cause those things to happen, it reduces the inhibitions of some people to the point where they suddenly decide that doing those things would be a fantastic idea.

I'm not saying that prohibition was a good thing. I'm just saying that alcohol consumption has ramifications far beyond oneself.

Re:The existing system wasn't working... (2, Insightful)

wellingj (1030460) | more than 5 years ago | (#25177339)

Doesn't that make the obvious solution to legislate against those undesireable actions? As far as I'm concerned all these nanny laws should just go away. If you can do something without hurting another person righty, body, or property (or government property) then I say there is not crime. Preventative laws restrict the freedom of the individual and alway punish every one for undesirable action that might occur. It's that undesirable action that "might occur" that should be legislated against, not any other action that could lead up to the undesireable action.

Re:The existing system wasn't working... (2, Informative)

Rob the Bold (788862) | more than 5 years ago | (#25177049)

Sorry...

Sorry, eh? For what? At least it makes it easier for me to know who to disagree with: they start out by apologizing. The Constitution give Congress the power to legislate copyright and patent laws to encourage useful arts and sciences. I can't see how this law will result in increased artistic and technological production and innovation. So I guess you don't get much respect from me either -- oh, and "sorry". Now go cry like a toddler yourself.

Re:The existing system wasn't working... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25177235)

Sorry, Democracy isn't of, by, and for the creators of entertainment only. Those folks get the benefit of copyright by the will of the people alone. What the people giveth, they may taketh away. Tough cookies.

Re:The existing system wasn't working... (1)

jeevesbond (1066726) | more than 5 years ago | (#25177465)

But instead of the consumer respecting the desires of the creator, they're ripping that away and screaming "Mine!" like a toddler.

Wow, welcome to the RIAA distortion field. I'd say it's more like the "consumer" (a word I find repulsive when used in conjunction with the arts) is paying for one copy of the work, then kindly giving away copies to their virtual neighbours.

They're promoting the artists and the cause of the arts at their own expense! How kind of them, and how wonderfully human of people, to want to share a good thing with others. It somewhat restores my hope for humanity when people share artistic works.

That kind of behavior doesn't get much respect from me. Let the creators choose.

Why? When you utter an idea, you don't own it, nor can you levy a charge on people repeating it. Do you know why? Because there's no scarcity! It costs as much to reproduce an idea as it does a song on the Internet.

I am not sorry that I am capable of critical thought and not just the consuming drone you'd like me to be.

I'll pay a premium for concert tickets though. And I'll pay a premium for special boxed sets of artists work. Books are worth paying for too. These things are scarce, so cost. Electronic copies are not scarce, so do not cost. Pretty simple really.

Re:The existing system wasn't working... (1)

Timothy Brownawell (627747) | more than 5 years ago | (#25177533)

But piracy is distorting what should have been an interaction between two parties: creator and consumer. But instead of the consumer respecting the desires of the creator, they're ripping that away and screaming "Mine!" like a toddler. That kind of behavior doesn't get much respect from me. Let the creators choose.

Why? What (besides a law that "everybody" likes to ignore) gives the creators the right to dictate what you can do with their data? The original reason wasn't that they had any basic "right" to do that, it was that it seemed useful to society on the whole to pretend that they did... this is now being called into question. Why should we have to involve Disney if I have a kid and want to get copies of all the cartoons my parents have? It works just as well without Disney even knowing, so how can you say that it "should have been" an interaction involving them? The distortion is saying that they need to be dragged into it at all. Now maybe that's a useful distortion, but it's still a distortion and its usefulness is up for debate.

Re:The existing system wasn't working... (0)

Oligonicella (659917) | more than 5 years ago | (#25176905)

"That so many people are breaking this law points to the fact that it is unjust."

You mean like running a red light or cheating on taxes? What crap logic.

"Should they have lined up all those that drank a beer and shot them and took their homes?"

That extreme hyperbole shows you don't even really believe your hype.

Copying Madonna (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25177543)

doesn't cause two cars to crash.

Talk about extreme hyberbole.

Re:The existing system wasn't working... (1)

McDutchie (151611) | more than 5 years ago | (#25177821)

Unjust laws should be removed, not reinforced. An example of this is Prohibition. Consuming Alcohol was against the law, but no one followed the law. The government saw eventually that the law was unjust because so many broke it, and it was removed.

So, since smoking pot is more innocuous than consuming alcohol, why hasn't the absurd and disastrous "war on drugs" not been given up yet, then? Maybe it used to work the way you describe, but it sure doesn't appear to work that way anymore. Too many entrenched interests.

Re:The existing system wasn't working... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25176865)

. isn't this actually a reasonable place for government action, you know, in enforcing the law?

Not if the law is unreasonable, as copyright law is. Fuck copyright. As a human, I've got a right to copy. What sets us apart from other animals in degree if not in kind is our ability to do so. I don't want the right to _plagiarise_ - that's fraud. But copying with correct attribution? Fine by me. If you don't want something copied, then don't release it!

Re:The existing system wasn't working... (1)

cervo (626632) | more than 5 years ago | (#25176921)

In some of the stuff it should be within their rights. The idea of copyright was you lease your product for a small period from the public to make money, then it goes to the public. The period was originally small 25 years or so. Now it is like 75 or 100 years.... Some of the copyright holders are stealing public property which shouldn't even belong to them.

On the new stuff sure there should be some enforcement. Still when the penalty for copyright infringement is more harsh than murder or rape, there is a problem with government priorities.

Re:The existing system wasn't working... (4, Insightful)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 5 years ago | (#25177549)

And let us not forget these laws are being made up by the same folks who say ripping your purchased cd to your iPod is illegal [switched.com] . You see,this isn't about "teh evil piratez",this is about getting you conditioned to pay over and over and OVER again for the same crap.

I'm sorry I can't find the link from the studio head(I believe BMI) who said music should be pay per use,just like the old days of jukeboxes. Sadly,the guy was actually serious. Is that what you really want,a CC slot in your iPod so you can pay every time you want to hear a song? Maybe add a CC slot to your radio too? And don't think it can't happen,because our "How much money? Really?" whores in congress would sell out their own mothers for a fat enough check.

If EVERYONE is breaking your law then the law needs to be changed,PERIOD. Or did that "We,the people" part get changed to "We,the corporation" while I wasn't looking? Of course now that they are privatizing prisons this could turn into a win/win for the corps. They can rig the laws for themselves all they want,and when the people naturally break them because they are oppressive,they get paid by the state to warehouse them. Must be good to rule everything.

Re:The existing system wasn't working... (1)

wwahammy (765566) | more than 5 years ago | (#25177077)

There is. That's why we have criminal prosecutions. What they were proposing was akin to the government paying for your personal injury lawsuit.

Re:The existing system wasn't working... (1)

Jerry Beasters (783525) | more than 5 years ago | (#25177769)

But while that's a kind of system that should be working, it really isn't. There are still tens of millions of Americans who either believe that it is within their "fair use" rights to freely redistribute copyrighted materials to dozens of unknown online participants, or do so fully knowing it is illegal.

Could you be more wrong? Everything you just listed is absolutely legal under U.S. copyright law. The law was meant to prevent making money from/getting credit for someone else's work. Personal sharing has ALWAYS been allowed, no matter what some organizations and corrupt lawyers would have you believe. So what's your supposed law expertise?

U.S Pirate Party (0)

Codename46 (889058) | more than 5 years ago | (#25176711)

I bet the U.S Pirate Party is beginning to take back their endorsement of Obama.

well, at least they're open about their commitment (4, Insightful)

jacquesm (154384) | more than 5 years ago | (#25176737)

If you don't know who runs the USA after today then you're simply blind: Corporations are the real government.

Vote the Fuckers Out (5, Interesting)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 5 years ago | (#25176767)

Early on in this administration they changed the bankruptcy rules to make it harder to declare bankruptcy, stating that individual Americans need to be more responsible with their borrowing. At the same time they've driven this country into historic levels of debt and are now debating a bail out package for their friends on wall street with $700 billion of taxpayer dollars. Time and again they vote to support their friends in big business, but if you're an individual facing possible homelessness they'll treat you to some weasel words and turn their back on you.

This November we should all vote with one voice, Democrat and Republican, against the current corrupt congress. We should vote across the board, not Democrat or Republican but against anyone sitting in office. We should kick every single one of those bastards out, and we should keep kicking them out after just one term until they once more represent the people and not the businesses that contribute millions of dollars a year to their campaign funds. We should keep kicking them out until they spend more time doing the jobs we elected them to do instead of gallivanting around and campaigning for most of their terms. We should keep kicking them out until we find some people who actually take the responsibility to fix the major problems in thus country.

It is time to put aside our petty differences and root out this corruption that infects our very core, before it destroys this country.

Re:Vote the Fuckers Out (5, Insightful)

Jaysyn (203771) | more than 5 years ago | (#25176899)

It won't matter, because the ones that get voted in will still be Republicans & Democrats. I swear mainstream voters are *just* like abused spouses who just keep coming back for more beatings. It'd be hilarious if it wasn't so sad.

Re:Vote the Fuckers Out (1)

mishehu (712452) | more than 5 years ago | (#25177213)

I like to remind the people that I know that politically, the difference between the US gov't and a communist gov't is a difference of 1 single party. Until more people are willing to vote for non-"mainstream" parties (read: democrat or republican), there will be no voices really heard. It will just continue to be more of the same-old-same-old. Remember, a lot of these corporations and corporate interest groups bribe both parties to ensure that whoever is in control at the given time will do their dirty work for them.

Re:Vote the Fuckers Out (2, Interesting)

cervo (626632) | more than 5 years ago | (#25176941)

Well yes and no. Some congressman do do an okay job (not mine). As far as I can tell Ron Paul votes no to almost everything. Unfortunately with the shitty laws they pass it is probably mostly the right way. I'm sure there are those 5 or 10 congressmen who do their job right. We need to find/promote them and then vote everyone else out. If we vote out the few good ones too, we'll probably get bad ones in their place...I would bet that if we keep doing that maybe we get 5 or 10 more good congressmen each vote. In a few hundred years we could have a good congress....now if only we could mix that with a good president.....

Of course a better way would be to get more third party candidates in congress to destroy the powerbase of both democrats and republicans. It is much harder to have to pay 10 or 11 political parties than to just have to bribe 2.

Re:Vote the Fuckers Out (0)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 5 years ago | (#25176945)

The problem is, the ones we vote back in will be just as corrupt. Unless we can manage to vote in RMS, and a few others, there is going to be no one for our freedoms and rights. A lot of this results from people blindly voting republican or democrat without looking at the candidate, and when there is so little information about senators and representatives if they haven't served before, that is just how they have to vote.

Re:Vote the Fuckers Out (1)

Pool_Noodle (1373373) | more than 5 years ago | (#25177095)

Its a start to get rid of the current administrators, however we're left with the same misleading, confusing, and just plain wrong laws that they have put in place (or were in place). The laws that were created by the ignorance of the leaders who either didn't understand the technology (or were paid off to look the other way and rubber stamp things). The US needs some leaders that understand the problems, instead of ones that blindly rubber stamp things based on fear and dollar signs.

Re:Vote the Fuckers Out (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 5 years ago | (#25177147)

With more people that will do the same?

Re:Vote the Fuckers Out (1)

sowth (748135) | more than 5 years ago | (#25177245)

Early on in this administration ...

Everyone seems to forget quite a bit of this crap started with the Clinton administration. Convincing the fed to play with numbers to make the economy appear to be great when it is not. Telling banks to reduce their requirements for people to get loans (the whole down payment thing is to weed out those who are not finacially responsible and stable). Though I think the relaxation of bank regulations came with Bush--can't remember (either way very stupid). There is also the fact the dot com failures happened the summer before Bush was even elected.

This has been going on for a long time. Everyone just wants to blame the current administration. ...and I like your kicking out idea, but I am not so sure it would work. The press and self righteous idiots (pretty much every American) make it so only lying psychopaths who hide their past would ever get elected. They also only want to consider their issues and no others. Makes me unproud to be an American!

Re:Vote the Fuckers Out (2, Informative)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 5 years ago | (#25177331)

It's not your guy, it's every guy! Reagan really started the ball rolling on the deregulation that is one of the reasons we're in this mess now. But the Democrats have been more than happy to suck at the teat of the taxpayer while enriching their own cronies. Get rid of them all is what I'm saying.

Sure it's most likely that a democrat or republican will get in behind them, but the longer they stay in Congress the more corrupt they get. A lot of the freshmen congressmen go in with the idea that they will somehow change things. After three or four terms they're getting their share of the pie, just like everyone else. Keep rotating them out before we get to that point and we'll be better off. Give some third parties a shot and getting in there and we'll be better off. I'm not saying we should vote with any party affiliations. I'm saying that we should vote against the guy in there, even if he's our party. And we should keep doing that until Congress serves us again, not the other way around.

As for the presidential candidate this time around, I don't think either of the two major parties really deserves my vote, though I'm absolutely terrified of the idea of Sarah Palin being one stroke away from the presidency. If it weren't for that, I'd cast my vote for a third party.

Re:Vote the Fuckers Out (4, Insightful)

Dun Malg (230075) | more than 5 years ago | (#25177831)

It's not your guy, it's every guy! Reagan really started the ball rolling on the deregulation that is one of the reasons we're in this mess now.

No, it was Carter, who lifted rate caps and and upped FSLIC coverage to 100% for the S&L's...

No, wait... it was Nixon monkeying with the gold standard....

No, it was Johnson mortgaging our future with uncontrolled government spending...

Hold on.... I think I've spotted a pattern....

But the Democrats have been more than happy to suck at the teat of the taxpayer while enriching their own cronies. Get rid of them all is what I'm saying.

Damn straight!

Re:Vote the Fuckers Out (2, Interesting)

freedom_india (780002) | more than 5 years ago | (#25177397)

This would just result in one bunch of corrupt, spineless, thoughtless, clueless tube-savvy idiots to be replaced by another bunch of corrupt, blah blah, guys.
Look, every single senator and congressman has at some point got some money from corporates, etc. No one uses his money anymore to get elected.
You can keep kicking them out every 2 years, but the same type of guys will return every time.
Until such time a legislation is passed outlawing ALL outside funding for elections, except that provided by Government.
I mean if Ted Stevens got a contribution from Exxon for campaign, it SHOULD result in a 20-year jail term with no parole for BOTH Stevens and the CEO for Exxon.
The government funding should kick in once the candidate submits 1,000 signatures or 1% of the registered voters whichever is lesser, on paper.
Federal and State income taxes SHOULD fund the elections.
No donations, no campaign contributions, no crap.
Do that, and immediately you will see lobbyists losing their jobs and Senators suddenly balking on supporting bailouts and RIAA.
Until then, until their hand remains inside their pants, they will be corrupt.
You can do NOTHING as a voter.
New candidates would be "broken" before they reach some maturity.
Take even Obama for example. He is accepting donations from corporates, while initially he acted as if he is the true messiah and accepted donations from people only. Now he has backtracked knowing well people are tapped out.

Too late to change the world (1)

harry666t (1062422) | more than 5 years ago | (#25177519)

All that's left is to try to be happy anyway.

Fiddling while Rome burns (3, Insightful)

bogjobber (880402) | more than 5 years ago | (#25176783)

Thankfully this isn't that terrible of a bill with that ridiculous idea stripped out, but it was completely unnecessary. Our country is falling down around us, and they're worried about copyright infringement.

The only thing Democrats and Republicans can come together on is selling their constituents' rights for a few pennies.

Re:Fiddling while Rome burns (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 5 years ago | (#25177205)

this isn't that terrible of a bill with that ridiculous idea stripped out

It still has civil forfeiture!

Misleading (4, Informative)

Triv (181010) | more than 5 years ago | (#25176997)

I'm not an expert on the subject, but it looks like the summary doesn't match the article.

The summary says the new bill leaves out a section that might have brought a presidental veto, but the article says that the part that the president might take issue with, the creation of a "Copyright Czar" within the White House, was left IN the bill but that a veto is unlikely.

The summary also says that the bill has passed the senate, but I can't find a record of that in THOMAS [loc.gov] anywhere, just that the AMENDMENTS to the bill were unanimously approved and that the bill itself is scheduled to be voted on soon. Nothing has passed anything yet; there's no congressional voting record available.

This is an important piece of legislation, I know it is, but the summary makes it sound like this is a done deal when it's absolutely not. Some rudimentary fact-checking would've killed ya?

(and no, I'm not new here.)

Done Deal (3, Insightful)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 5 years ago | (#25177141)

No, but its pretty damned close. And if you don't try to do anything about it today, it might as well be.

Who you gonna vote for now, sucker? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25177009)

A two party system is worse than a monarchy, it instills a false hope that one political party is not out to gouge the people while the other one is actively doing so or in this case both.

The entertainment monopoly notoriously abuses the judicial and now with Homeland Security in their pockets, they will have a field day. Given that, I just can't believe how fast this was pushed through the Senate. What a bunch lousy traitors and bribed money mongers, the whole lot of them.

We are screwed (3, Insightful)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 5 years ago | (#25177125)

Yet more proof that government is for the corporation, not the people. Too bad by the time the average joe is effected by this it will be far too late.

I will be willing to bet this is not the only thing that slips thru the side door while everyone watches the banking fiasco. ( like the automotive bailout...)

This is bad (1)

ringo74 (970328) | more than 5 years ago | (#25177191)

Yet-another piece of terrible legislation to protect outdated cartels from free market and make sure that the US are the most technology hostile place on Earth after North Korea. Now that competitiveness in innovative communication technologies has been made illegal, I guess the only option left for the US prosper on the global market is to compete with China in the cheap labour department. I'm afraid it has been heading in that direction for some time anyway.

I wrote to my Congresswoman... (4, Informative)

Tatsh (893946) | more than 5 years ago | (#25177371)

and all I got was this stinkin'...

Anyway, here is the real letter:

Please vote no on the 'PRO-IP Act'. This act is nothing but a provision to protect businesses who cannot adapt with our 'digital age' and will not accept that they need to create new products and not 're-hash' the same content every 10 years.

Consider the film industry. What are they up to now? They keep moving formats, each time simply because one may contain a better form of DRM. Both new formats for physical media, Blu-Ray and HD-DVD, have DRM (digital rights management, a scheme to protect content from easily being copied by the average person) built-in that was stronger than DVD's protection. Regardless, as citizens, we are asking for our fair use rights back more than anything else, and the repeal of the DMCA. Now the MPAA as a whole has switched to BluRay in the hopes that such DRM will keep the money 'flowing in'. I, and many others, refuse to buy such a media even if we like the content. Secondly, we refuse to watch the content at all.

Every other industry is now similar, and they are simply placing the blame on 'pirates'. EA Games has implemented a DRM scheme where we may purchase their game, but only install it a total of 5 times, and each time will be accounted for because the installations will be verified on-line. After that, especially when such a product is not on the shelves any more, what is a fully law-abiding citizen to do?

It is nothing but a waste of tax money to have more resources in the government trying to keep these failing business models alive. Good businesses would adapt to the market properly, making new products, better products, understanding the customer needs, and certainly NOT treating the customers as criminals before they have even done anything 'illegal' (this is what they assume, since they use DRM so unwittingly and hardly give consumers warning).

Most citizens are going to agree that so-called 'street pirates' should be given punishment, including myself. That is the large difference. This bill has a provision for that, but it seems as though it could easily be used for individuals who are not making any money from 'pirates', who I cannot see as doing anything that is hurting these industries.

If RIAA head Mitch Bainwol has called the legislation "music to the ears of all those who care about strengthening American creativity and jobs," he really means that it will further allow the RIAA to enforce more DRM on their potential customers, while most are far too undereducated on the topic to know what is really going on. They buy a CD that may contain protection, or download a music file from a store, but what is almost NEVER labelled clearly is that such a medium is protected from fair use (i.e. making a backup copy).

What is here to replace the failing business models? Non-failing ones. We have the Internet, a place where people can publish their music (charge money or not) without ever having to go through a major publisher such as Warner. And same for films. While many will say much of Youtube is a waste, many people are gaining recognition. Monetary? Hardly, but they are happy with being known 'out there', just as a film star celebrity.

Tell the industries who want this law passed that they need to handle their business in ways that help and strengthen their relationships with their customers, not weaken them, just because a law says that they can do so, and please vote no under all circumstances.

Thank you

Everyone else please contact your Congressman/Congresswoman! Even a sentence or two can make the difference between not writing anything at all.

Re:I wrote to my Congresswoman... (1)

Amazing Quantum Man (458715) | more than 5 years ago | (#25177675)

Not just your CorruptionPerson. Write to Bush as well, urging him to veto it.

Re:I wrote to my Congresswoman... (1)

sloanesky (1371165) | more than 5 years ago | (#25178019)

Not Likely. Bush has only vetoed 12 laws in his eight years in office (with a third of those being overridden). Surely he won't veto a bill that is so supported by his corporate masters.

What's wrong with it? (2, Insightful)

DaveWick79 (939388) | more than 5 years ago | (#25177749)

The only people that seem to be horribly affected by this is the people who seem to think it is ok to share copyrighted materials with as many people as want them, and they want to be immune from being prosecuted for their activities. This bill doesn't necessarily affect the legality of what they are doing, it stiffens the penalties.

In order to sidestep the entire issue, the recording industry should lower prices on all the various forms of audio and video media, make them more affordable to the general public and more available via online services. They would sell more, keeping profits rolling in, while lessening the widespread consumer file sharing because of the affordability. Sell mp3's for 15 cents each and CD's for $5. Alot of people do this because it's simply too expensive to buy all of their favorite music. How much would it cost to fill up that 4GB Ipod with legit CD's? Assuming you could fit somewhere in the neighborhood of 800 songs on there, that's $800 at Itunes. What if you could do it for under $100? I think alot of people would go for that.

Re:What's wrong with it? (1)

russotto (537200) | more than 5 years ago | (#25177967)

This bill doesn't necessarily affect the legality of what they are doing, it stiffens the penalties.

And reduces the burden of proof. Civil forfeiture means that if your IP is on an RIAA list, they get to take all your computers, in a lawsuit which names the computers. No rights for you.

Re:What's wrong with it? (1)

ducomputergeek (595742) | more than 5 years ago | (#25177975)

Gee, given that iTunes has sold a couple billion songs @ $0.99 each, I'd say more than enough people are willing to go for it at that price. And outside of Slashdot, I'd don't hear a lot of people complaining. Most folks I know seem to think that a dollar a song is a fair and reasonable price. As do I.

Don't they have other things to do? (1)

computerman413 (1122419) | more than 5 years ago | (#25177839)

Why are they doing this? Don't they have a bailout to work on?

Urgency? (1)

sustik (90111) | more than 5 years ago | (#25178041)

We hear there is a financial crisis going on that needs immediate action. The senators still found time to deal with an issue of limited importance in the short term. My conclusion is that either:

A. The action regarding the financial crisis is not that pressing as they present it.
B. The senate has issues setting and following priorities.

I ruled out C. PRO-IP is immediately needed and cannot wait (even until next year).

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