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Obama DOJ Sides With RIAA

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the similar-to-the-old-boss dept.

The Courts 785

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "The Obama Administration's Department of Justice, with former RIAA lawyers occupying the 2nd and 3rd highest positions in the department, has shown its colors, intervening on behalf of the RIAA in the case against a Boston University graduate student, SONY BMG Music Entertainment v. Tenenbaum, accused of file sharing when he was 17 years old. Its oversized, 39-page brief (PDF) relies upon a United States Supreme Court decision from 1919 which upheld a statutory damages award, in a case involving overpriced railway tickets, equal to 116 times the actual damages sustained, and a 2007 Circuit Court decision which held that the 1919 decision — rather than the Supreme Court's more recent decisions involving punitive damages — was applicable to an award against a Karaoke CD distributor for 44 times the actual damages. Of course none of the cited cases dealt with the ratios sought by the RIAA: 2,100 to 425,000 times the actual damages for an MP3 file. Interestingly, the Government brief asked the Judge not to rule on the issue at this time, but to wait until after a trial. Also interestingly, although the brief sought to rebut, one by one, each argument that had been made by the defendant in his brief, it totally ignored all of the authorities and arguments that had been made by the Free Software Foundation in its brief. Commentators had been fearing that the Obama/Biden administration would be tools of the RIAA; does this filing confirm those fears?"

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785 comments

Change we can believe in. (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27289341)

Yup.

It's government corruption. (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27289409)

The U.S. government is EXTREMELY corrupt.

Re:It's government corruption. (2, Insightful)

khallow (566160) | more than 5 years ago | (#27289573)

The U.S. government is EXTREMELY corrupt.

EXTREMELY corrupt? Compared to who?

Re:It's government corruption. (5, Insightful)

Cynonamous Anoward (994767) | more than 5 years ago | (#27289815)

Compared to everything else....take this lovely mafia family over here...or this fair and justly operated drug ring in south america....

All far less corrupt than the fairest of governments.

Re:It's government corruption. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27289929)

Most/all western democracies.

If you didn't vote libertarian, you ASKED FOR THIS (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27289351)

It has been well known the republicrats and democans are the tools of the MAFIAA(Music And Film Industry Association of America) and Omaba is no different. The libertarians have long known Obama is for as much change as Bush and Clinton, none. Both major parties are for corporate wealth and will use legislation to back said corporate wealth.

-bob

Re:If you didn't vote libertarian, you ASKED FOR T (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27289609)

If you didn't vote libertarian, you ASKED FOR THIS

False dichotomies are lies.

Re:If you didn't vote libertarian, you ASKED FOR T (0, Flamebait)

Sun.Jedi (1280674) | more than 5 years ago | (#27289769)

There will never be a point in voting Libertarian.

1) The candidate won't win.
2) You'll only peel votes from a Republican.
3) Some of them are scarier than the devils we know.

Libertarians have too much baggage. (-1, Troll)

tjstork (137384) | more than 5 years ago | (#27289699)

The thing about libertarians is that Ron Paul sucks.

Re:Libertarians have too much baggage. (4, Insightful)

SerpentMage (13390) | more than 5 years ago | (#27289789)

The thing about libertarians is that they are VERY PRO IP, and very pro ownership. In fact, considering that I am libertarian and a card carrying member of the Swiss Libertarian party many would not like what libertarians represent...

Re:If you didn't vote libertarian, you ASKED FOR T (2, Insightful)

thrillseeker (518224) | more than 5 years ago | (#27289729)

Anonymous Bob - if you did vote libertarian all you did was help elect Obama. As long as we practice one-man-one-vote the system will swing to a two-party system. You only get to choose from a menu of two - and while it may look like a choice of rice and chicken versus chicken and rice, until you can get the menu to expand you pick one of the two or you don't eat.

Re:If you didn't vote libertarian, you ASKED FOR T (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#27289841)

while it may look like a choice of rice and chicken versus chicken and rice, until you can get the menu to expand you pick one of the two or you don't eat.

What can someone do to expand this menu other than vote third party and volunteer for a third party campaign?

Re:If you didn't vote libertarian, you ASKED FOR T (0)

SerpentMage (13390) | more than 5 years ago | (#27289765)

I relied on IP, yes I spoke at conferences, and yes I wrote books. But guess what I don't do that anymore. Yes I realize that I am not the greatest of speakers and book authors.

BUT, and this is the big but. IP theft has made it a situation where I CANNOT make a living with what I used to. Before 2000 people used to buy books, and they used to buy things. I could make a somewhat ok living. Again I realize that I am not the greatest of writers and speakers.

I understand that many think the price of books is too high. I understand that completely. BUT please understand it from my perspective in that the situation we have is just as unsustainable.

I have also spoken and was good acquaintances with people who tried the Open source route where they gave up their books and asked people to buy print. It did not work and they made even less. Many have just left the market because they just don't think it is worth it.

So until this attitude of theft changes I for one am not going to be that critical of the RIAA.

BTW I do accept some theft, but not to the levels we have now...

Third Party (4, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 5 years ago | (#27289353)

Perhaps this might be the thing to spark a true third-party movement in the USA? Have we not seen time and time again how neither Republicans nor Democrats are any different in the grand scheme of things? I can't remember how often I had been told that Obama was going to change things for the better, how somehow Obama was going to not be in the corporation's or the party's pocketbook because he got most of his campaign funds from independent donates... and what does he do when he gets elected? He carries on policies that have always failed, meanwhile undermining capitalism and sending our country deeper into recession by both his words and by the laws he wants to pass. A third party could change this, if our congress could include more than Republicans, Democrats and the odd Independent, our country would be a much, much, much, better place.

Re:Third Party (1)

Erie Ed (1254426) | more than 5 years ago | (#27289393)

Agreed ever since 2000 I've been voting 3rd party because obviously the democrats and republicans are out of touch with reality

Re:Third Party (4, Insightful)

clang_jangle (975789) | more than 5 years ago | (#27289435)

Perhaps this might be the thing to spark a true third-party movement in the USA?

I wish it could be so. Unfortunately government is run by big corporate interests now, and no 3rd party will get in unless they join the current power structure. It's democracy theatre we have now, not democracy at all.

Re:Third Party (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27289441)

Barack Obama did change things. Unfortunately, not for the better. The level of incompetence is staggering. The federal deficit is at a point where a future government debt collapse is guaranteed. The "50% reduction" in government debt promised within 10 years will actually be twice as much deficit as 2008, and even if that goal is achieved, the deficit will be unsustainable, even without future medicare/social security obligations.

Re:Third Party (4, Interesting)

SerpentMage (13390) | more than 5 years ago | (#27289809)

It is easy to critize... So what should he have done? And by this I don't mean cut taxes as a general concept. I want details...

I want details of what he should have done, and how it would have helped the economy...

Third party would not be different (2, Insightful)

microbox (704317) | more than 5 years ago | (#27289447)

How do you know a third party would be any different? The powers that be will smack down anybody who isn't indoctrinated into the way things are done.

The solution lies in those overseeing the public good being beyond the influence of big business. Get rid of the revolving door.

Sadly, it's exactly this type of behaviour that Obama said he was going to stop.

Re:Third party would not be different (4, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 5 years ago | (#27289521)

Because most third parties either more liberal or conservative seem to stick with proven policies rather then trying to "compromise" and screwing the public by the result. For example, its great for the economy to remove restrictions on companies, but similarly, you then don't throw a bunch of tax dollars at them and tell them to spend them however they want. If you are going to remove restrictions, you then remove government influence so they don't get "bailed out" at taxpayer expense. If you are going to "bail out" private companies, you are going to restrict what the companies can do. The more conservative parties would not bail out companies but they would reduce regulation. The more liberal parties would bail out companies, but they would have many more restrictions. In either the economy would at least have a chance to prosper.

Copyright would be the same thing. Either companies are allowed to include DRM and it is legal to break the DRM and copyright is loosened. Or companies are not allowed to include DRM but copyright law would be strengthened from its original (not today, but when it was first made) idea. In the current situation, DRM is allowed and it is illegal to break and strong, lengthy copyrights. The public loses today.

Re:Third Party (5, Insightful)

Samschnooks (1415697) | more than 5 years ago | (#27289481)

He has put out the word that he wants a dialogue with Iran.

He made changes with Guantanamo.

He's made changes in the tax system - albeit not enough for my tastes.

He's dealing with one of the worst economies in decades.

It looks like we're finally getting out of Iraq and maybe things in Afghanistan will improve too.

Maybe he is a tool of the RIAA. I don't know, but considering the other shit happening in this World, the RIAA and their actions are not exactly high on people's list.

I'm all for third parties myself - I voted for Barr - but I think Obama is getting much of his changes through. It's just not the "working in the system peaceful revolution" that I think many folks expected.

Re:Third Party (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27289601)

Every one of those things is a lie.

Re:Third Party (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27289615)

He has put out the word that he wants a dialogue with Iran.

                  Yay were talking with a leader who alows the DEATH PENALTY on NINE YEAR OLD GIRLS and FIFTEEN YEAR OLD BOYS. --- That was total sarcasm. So lets be friends with Iran and talk to them so we can get are damn oil. Instead of stopping these blatant human rights issues. I must say Obama is so much better then Bush, not. Wake Up!!

He made changes with Guantanamo.
                    Ok he this is ok.
He's made changes in the tax system - albeit not enough for my tastes.

                        What steal from the rich and give to the poor. So lets take money from those who work and hire people (we kinda need jobs!) so they can't hire more people and give it to those who don't good job Obama!!!

He's dealing with one of the worst economies in decades.

                    Yes yes that is true so what he is going to stop capitalism from working and bailout those who took risks. Oh and I get to pay for it thanks.

It looks like we're finally getting out of Iraq and maybe things in Afghanistan will improve too
                        What so we can get are oil but let dictators who don't exactly see eye to eye with us in power. Yay!!!
.

Maybe he is a tool of the RIAA. I don't know, but considering the other shit happening in this World, the RIAA and their actions are not exactly high on people's list.

                    Yes their are bigger things but someone needs to tell the RIAA that money isn't everything!!

I'm all for third parties myself - I voted for Barr - but I think Obama is getting much of his changes through. It's just not the "working in the system peaceful revolution" that I think many folks expected.

            I couldn't vote I just missed it by about a month :(. Yet I'll be paying taxes so that AIG can take risks they shouldn't have boy I'm glad we have Obama he going to fix everything. --- Again Sarcasm.

Re:Third Party (3, Interesting)

travellersside (1227548) | more than 5 years ago | (#27289899)

These are all good points, but as it stands, the the US has a major problem - patents and copyrights. These are causing the country to slowly tear itself apart due to stifling innovation and creativity, and the resulting feeding frenzy of lawsuits. Maybe dealing with the RIAA is low on people's lists, but it's one of the pieces that needs to be dealt with before the situation can be repaired. Going along with them is not only permitting this problem to continue to exist, but it gives them a form of tacit approval - after all, if people from the RIAA are given high posts in the DOJ, surely they can't be all that bad, now can they. /sarcasm

Re:Third Party (2, Insightful)

cliffski (65094) | more than 5 years ago | (#27289993)

so completely ignoring copyright and IP will help the worlds biggest creator of digital content how exactly?

Re:Third Party (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27289903)

Iran ... bullshit.
Guantanamo? Let's send the cops to a war. Fucking retarded political stunt.

Changed the tax system, yup. He saddled your children with $20,000 of debt in the first 90 days.

He's not dealing with the worst economy in decades, he's perpetuating it.

He's getting us out of Iraq, kind of like we're out of Korea. Oh, fuck, that's right.

You've missed the fucking forest with your narrow mindedness The media companies own the general perspectives of almost everyone in our country. They are the problem.

Re:Third Party (3, Insightful)

AmaranthineNight (1005185) | more than 5 years ago | (#27289975)

He has put out the word that he wants a dialogue with Iran.

And hasn't started one.

He made changes with Guantanamo.

And shipped the prisoners there to another prison in Afghanistan while refusing to change the Bush policy on denying the right to trial for prisoners.

He's made changes in the tax system - albeit not enough for my tastes.

We'll see how that plays out.

He's dealing with one of the worst economies in decades.

The same way that Bush did, so far.

It looks like we're finally getting out of Iraq and maybe things in Afghanistan will improve too.

This has yet to be seen.

Ah just change Republicans... (1)

tjstork (137384) | more than 5 years ago | (#27289681)

Republicans are the party out of power. Democrats are big time in bed with the film and music and book industries and there's no chance those people will ever be close to Republicans either economically or culturally. So... why do Republicans support them? I'd say, we Republicans should be aggressive and go after these votes.

Re:Third Party (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27289719)

But if you vote third party you're giving your vote to [Republicans/Democrats]! Instead you have to vote for [Republicans/Democrats], or the [Republicans/Democrats] might win!!!

Re:Third Party (1)

cliffski (65094) | more than 5 years ago | (#27289979)

so healthcare and illegal wars in iraq didn't do it, but defending kids rights to take movies and music for free will do it.

yeah right.

Obama '08 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27289355)

Change you can believe in...

Re:Obama '08 (2, Insightful)

koh (124962) | more than 5 years ago | (#27289663)

Change you can believe in...

Actually, the first draft of this slogan was "Change you will believe in, sucker".

"does this filing confirm those fears?" (3, Insightful)

drdanny_orig (585847) | more than 5 years ago | (#27289365)

In a word, yes. As does the bail-out shenanigans, etc.

Re:"does this filing confirm those fears?" (4, Interesting)

mysidia (191772) | more than 5 years ago | (#27289449)

Yes. Not only that but it is a harbinger that will eventually show where the Obama campaign probably got their campaign money from.

Big media company associations, and big banks.

Who'll be big-time beneficiaries of their judicial efforts, stimulus packages, and ultimately new laws think new super-DMCA but 1000 fold worse.

i.e. Mandatory DRM. Repeal of the safe-harbor protections of the DMCA. More liability for services like youtube, and ISPs who fail to filter copyrighted content.

Criminal liability for authors of P2P software like bittorrent.

The years ahead will probably not be very fun for technologists or the public.

Change? (4, Insightful)

anonieuweling (536832) | more than 5 years ago | (#27289381)

A change for the worse? I mean, when the government tries to 'help' a judge to make a fair decision...

Re:Change? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27289585)

Can we foul up the judicial procces? Yes we can!

Can we bring wealth and prosperity back to the **AA's? Yes we can!

Can we go back to the understand that it doesn't matter what kind of a politician someone is, it just matters that they're a politician? Yes we can!

Business as usual (5, Insightful)

microbox (704317) | more than 5 years ago | (#27289389)

The RIAA can't win in the courts, with advertising, or education of the young. Lobbyists haven't been able to get new laws passed. So the CEOs get their guys into the DOJ.

What did we expect?

Re:Business as usual (5, Insightful)

eebra82 (907996) | more than 5 years ago | (#27289591)

The RIAA can't win in the courts, with advertising, or education of the young. Lobbyists haven't been able to get new laws passed. So the CEOs get their guys into the DOJ. What did we expect?

"Politics is supposed to be the second-oldest profession. I have come to realize that it bears a very close resemblance to the first."

- Ronald Reagan

Re:Business as usual (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27289767)

Yes, indeed, we should have expected this (industry lackey's being appointed to high offices - can you say "Halliburton"?). I just didn't expect it this soon. I mean Obama did promise that there would be no lobbyists working in his administration, after all. Yeah, I know, they're technically not lobbyists, but damn...

Re:Business as usual (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27289827)

That was the worst usage of punctuation I've ever seen.

Republicans and oil, Dems and Big Content (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27289403)

As a registered republican, I knew that the republicans would do everything in their power to secure the oil interests.

Now that the dems are in power, you're surprised that they are doing everything to secure the media's interests? Really?

Raise your hand if you were surprised by this posting.

Re:Republicans and oil, Dems and Big Content (5, Insightful)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 5 years ago | (#27289625)

Now that the dems are in power, you're surprised that they are doing everything to secure the media's interests? Really?

Actually, Obama implemented policies to make lobbying, especially by insiders, harder. That includes big media. He also made claims that he would be sure to prevent people from favoring industries where they had just been hired from, or where they had the potential to be hired to (for example people can't leave the executive branch and then immediately become a lobbyist to the executive branch). This is interesting, because unlike most other changes Obama promised, this one was within his executive power. This makes it a good test of his intention since it is not something he has to rely upon and make compromises with Congress in order to accomplish.

When he appointed these RIAA lawyers they were among a half dozen that made me cringe. I'm willing to give the benefit of the doubt for a short time as I did with the FOIA issue. Effective lawyers often come with baggage, although I'd rather he appointed some ACLU heavyweights. Now, I'll give him some time to become aware of the issue and take action to rein in his subordinates or replace them. I don't expect that will happen, in all honesty, but I am reserving judgement.

Raise your hand if you were surprised by this posting.

I was not surprised. I was slightly disappointed. Still, once these appointments were made, this was a near certainty. The measure will be how it is handled from here. Does he let them continue as they have been? Does Obama become aware of this issue and if so, does he do something about it? That will be the real test of if he is sincere and effective or if he is going to bend to the wishes of powerful lobbyists.

It is all your fault! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27289411)

All you liberal slashdot anti American, communist jackasses. IT IS YOUR FAULT.

Don't wanna be.. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27289415)

racist or anything, but I think that he'll be America's first and last black president. Do I think that because he's black? No. I think that because I think he sucks.

Re:Don't wanna be.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27289587)

He's just as black as he is white. Maybe we'll stop voting both in office and have a native american president. After all, it is their land.

Re:Don't wanna be.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27289647)

Maybe the RIAA HQ is an Indian burial ground?

Re:Don't wanna be.. (1)

Sun.Jedi (1280674) | more than 5 years ago | (#27289869)

Maybe the RIAA HQ is an Indian burial ground?

Well, then...

Theyyyyyyyyyyyyyy're baaaaaaaack!

They didn't need to take a position (4, Interesting)

JoshuaZ (1134087) | more than 5 years ago | (#27289431)

There was no reason for the administration to intervene at all in this case. There was no legal requirement for them to take a position in the case. This may not reflect favoring the RIAA so much as a general trend by the Obama adminstration to favor a very strong federal government going so far as to endorse many of Bush's worst positions (see for example http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2009/03/15/obama/ [salon.com] ). Restrictions on statutory damages would thus be something the administration would not favor. Either way this isn't a good thing, but it may be premature to conclude that this indicates any particular bias towards towards the RIAA.

Re:They didn't need to take a position (4, Interesting)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 5 years ago | (#27289551)

There was no reason for the administration to intervene at all in this case. There was no legal requirement for them to take a position in the case.

I agree with you wholeheartedly. If they were going to intervene, they should have said "It is correct that the statutory damages provision of the Copyright Act is subject to a due process test. We take no position on whether the test enunciated in the 1919 Williams decision, or the more recent State Farm/Gore test, should determine the statute's constitutionality. We submit that the Court should defer ruling on the defense at this early stage of the case, and should await the outcome of the trial, in order to avoid any unnecessary determination of any constitutional question, and to allow any such determination to be made upon a full record, rather than in the abstract."

Re:They didn't need to take a position (4, Insightful)

langelgjm (860756) | more than 5 years ago | (#27289783)

Either way this isn't a good thing, but it may be premature to conclude that this indicates any particular bias towards towards the RIAA.

I agree with you there. As was noted the last time this was brought up, their brief really isn't about the RIAA or file-sharing so much as the constitutionality of the statutory damages part of the Copyright Act.

On the other hand, that way of looking at the Eight Amendment is so sketch. It basically amounts to saying, "We (the Government) can't exact ridiculously high fines from you, but we can write a law that allows other to do so, with our consent and enforcement."

Obama's dark side is showing. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27289433)

The poor defendant not only has to deal with the RIAA, but now Obama is yet another monkey on the kid's back.

I swear... (1)

Kayot (1446717) | more than 5 years ago | (#27289469)

I swear Obama is trying to get assassinated. First the bailouts, then the cross attitude when AIG decided to sue the government, now siding with the RIAA. On top of that, the economy sucks and he wants more taxes and an increase to the deficit. No wonder his caravan has a fully automated defense torrent. Well, the good news is that no one will ever reelect him. Just four more years and we'll have another power hungry politician in office... Man thats depressing.

Re:I swear... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27289817)

Maybe he's trying to NOT get assassinated.

It gets your attention, doesn't it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27289473)

Claims of high damages and requests for high punitive awards will get the attention of the defendant and of others who might otherwise perpetrate the same offense.
Sharing copyrighted material is illegal. That goes way back.

Re:It gets your attention, doesn't it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27289791)

Sit down and be quiet. The grown-ups are talking.

Re:It gets your attention, doesn't it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27289927)

ROFL! Right, it's grown-ups who are upset here. Some of us warned the Obamamaniacs that they would soon be disappointed with their choice.
Oh, and welcome to the ways of the legal system.

Yep! (4, Funny)

jav1231 (539129) | more than 5 years ago | (#27289477)

No millions of young people are starting to get that feeling that their vote to "stick it to the man" resulted in getting stuck by the man.

Was this the change we were promised? (4, Interesting)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 5 years ago | (#27289511)

I'll come clean right off to bat. I did not vote for Obama. But, he is my president, and I've been rooting for him to succeed in the battle on the economic problems we all have.

But, this type of ruling/defense by the administration, along with other things are really starting to bother me.

There are several that are bothersome. The moving of the census to be controlled by the executive branch. This is scary enough, in that it should be more independent....and above political needs. I see on the news that possibly ACORN is being tapped to 'help' with the census. I'd think the controversy over the potential voting fraud they were associated with, would sideline them on this effort. Slanting the census will have FAR reaching influence over many, many issues and money for years to come.

Obama was promising that he'd try to cut down earmarks..."line by line" I think was his quote. Yet, that Omnibus bill was loaded with what, like 8K of them?

The move to help people in housing problems....where they are allowing judges to overturn, revamp the condition of valid contractual agreements, that is dangerous, with far reaching implications for valid contract law in the US.

While it is understandable that people are pissed over the AIG bonuses...the acts passed by the house which try to retroactively and specically target these, again, is scary and I'd think unconstitutional. If these payouts were from valid contracts signed in the past, I don't see any clear way they could be overturned...and going after them retroactively by taxes...wow. I'm hoping the senate and especially Obama himself votes this down. It sets a bad precedent, and could really start to hurt US businesses. If valid contracts can be messed with like this....who wants to do business when you can't count on the terms being enforced?

The latest proposals...to not only mandate what execs of bailout companies can make..but also implications coming out that they want to actually set limits on what healthy, non=bailout companies can pay....that acares me. Sounds very much the opposite of capitalism. It may be a populist view in terms of the current economy, but, wow....THAT would be a change.

I want him to succeed in getting the country back in step....so we can all go back to trying to make a living without the interference of the government. That is the US way....at least ideally. Some of these policies coming out, seem to be a change to something the US is not....and never has been.

I ask honestly...for not just those that voted for O, but, those that were adamant supporters...are these things truly what you were expecting for 'change'? Do you support all of this which seems to change what the basics of the US business is all about? I don't mean the corruption and waste...but, the basic principals that seem to be in jeopardy?

Re:Was this the change we were promised? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27289921)

I want him to succeed in getting the country back in step....so we can all go back to trying to make a living without the interference of the government. That is the US way....at least ideally. Some of these policies coming out, seem to be a change to something the US is not....and never has been.

Now, see, there's some cognitive dissonance here.

I didn't vote for Obama, and I most certainly do not want him to succeed in implementing all the policies he's got planned. He's already done damage that could well be irreparable, and every minute he's in office the chance increases that he'll do more of it.

If you're going to say that you didn't vote for him and you don't like what he's doing, don't tacitly approve of him by saying you don't want him to fail.

I guess I should toss in the point that I have nothing but the utmost respect for the office of the President. It's just that occasionally we elect clowns to fill it.

Re:Was this the change we were promised? (1)

ikono (1180291) | more than 5 years ago | (#27289951)

As for the whole bonuses thing, the question is not whether they had the contractual obligations, but rather WHAT were the obligations? I have no clue what the american tax code is like, but are bonuses taxed at different marginal rates from salary? If so, the 'bonuses' could just be nothing more than a way to pay less tax...

When Ol' Massa Calls (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27289547)

When ol' massa calls, Obama comes running. Yeah suh, yeah suh, yeah suh. To put it more bluntly, one might say that Obama is the RIAA's house nigger.

Re:When Ol' Massa Calls (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27289565)

He aint no nigga, that mofo is half whitey... that there is the fucking problem. If he was full coon, like his black asshole wife then you could call him nigga - until then you is racist mofo.

Never get discouraged... (1)

skibaldy (35022) | more than 5 years ago | (#27289549)

The right thing to do is never get discouraged. The important thing to do is methodically, constantly, Politely, Respectively continue your message.

As a businessman I believe Open Source Software reduces cost so an individual with a new idea can Quickly and for Under 2K get his message out.

George writes a song and gets sued (2, Interesting)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#27289989)

As a businessman I believe Open Source Software reduces cost so an individual with a new idea can Quickly and for Under 2K get his message out.

That is, if new ideas even exist. Say someone named George writes a song, records it, and sells copies. If George's song is a hit, some big-name songwriter named Ron sues George, alleging that George's song was a copy of Ron's song and asking for hundreds of thousands of dollars. George says he didn't mean to copy anything, but the judge says it doesn't matter because George had heard Ron's song years ago. This actually happened, and Ron won [ucla.edu] . It turns out that there are only a limited number of possible melodies of any given length in a given musical scale, and judges compare only a few notes and contours of any two melodies to determine if they are "substantially similar". Under these conditions, how can anybody be sure that he actually has a new idea?

Ah, Slashdot (0, Troll)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 5 years ago | (#27289581)

The only place where people will gleefully ignore the fact that we torture innocent people in secret prisons without a trial, but froth at the mouth at the idea that you can be sued for copyright infringement.

Yes, clearly, THIS is the biggest issue of the year. Forget the economy, and health care, and two wars, and terrorism, and a weak government in the nuclear-armed Pakistan, and global warming, and the torture of people who never even received a trial. This issue, right here, is what matters. Obama was elected because "big media" bought the election, and now he's gonna come down hard on all us poor innocents.

I think it may be time to invest in Reynold's Wrap.

Re:Ah, Slashdot (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27289623)

Who here ignores torture? Who said this was the biggest issue?

This is not an insightful comment at all. It's a complete strawman argument. You can make Slashdot's comments look bad if you don't actually pay attention to what they say.

Re:Ah, Slashdot (1)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 5 years ago | (#27289745)

You can also make them look good by not paying attention to what they say.

Scan through the thread, and see how many (few) people are responding reasonably. Here, I'll help:

It is a harbinger that will eventually show where the Obama campaign probably got their campaign money from.

Big media company associations, and big banks.

Who'll be big-time beneficiaries of their judicial efforts, stimulus packages, and ultimately new laws think new super-DMCA but 1000 fold worse.

i.e. Mandatory DRM. Repeal of the safe-harbor protections of the DMCA. More liability for services like youtube, and ISPs who fail to filter copyrighted content.

Criminal liability for authors of P2P software like bittorrent.

The years ahead will probably not be very fun for technologists or the public.

You heard it here first folks: Obama's presidency is bought and paid for by the media, and he'll through p2p authors in prison.

Re:Ah, Slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27289877)

Nothing in those comments "ignores" torture. Nothing in those comments makes copyright out to be "the biggest issue". And you know it.

Re:Ah, Slashdot (2, Funny)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 5 years ago | (#27289873)

I don't want to be racist or anything, but I think that he'll be America's first and last black president. Do I think that because he's black? No. I think that because I think he sucks.

This one even got modded up. Think about that. Obama's DoJ claiming that copyright statues are constitutional means no black man should ever be elected again.

Re:Ah, Slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27289901)

Who here ignores torture? Who said this was the biggest issue?

Here's a couple quotes from the current discussion.

From a comment [slashdot.org] currently at +4 insightful: "The libertarians have long known Obama is for as much change as Bush and Clinton, none."

From another comment [slashdot.org] currently at +4 insightful: "Have we not seen time and time again how neither Republicans nor Democrats are any different in the grand scheme of things?"

Apparently at least a few Slashdotters with mod points either think that Bush and Obama have the same positions on war and torture or that war and torture don't really matter as issues.

Re:Ah, Slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27289703)

I didn't recall any comments or the story itself downplaying any of the rest of the current issues going on. What are you so upset about here?

Re:Ah, Slashdot (1)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 5 years ago | (#27289779)

Here you go:

I can't remember how often I had been told that Obama was going to change things for the better, how somehow Obama was going to not be in the corporation's or the party's pocketbook because he got most of his campaign funds from independent donates... and what does he do when he gets elected? He carries on policies that have always failed, meanwhile undermining capitalism and sending our country deeper into recession by both his words and by the laws he wants to pass.

Was that really so hard to find?

Re:Ah, Slashdot (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27289707)

Yes, clearly, THIS is the biggest issue of the year. Forget the economy, and health care, and two wars, and terrorism, and a weak government in the nuclear-armed Pakistan, and global warming, and the torture of people who never even received a trial. This issue, right here, is what matters. Obama was elected because "big media" bought the election, and now he's gonna come down hard on all us poor innocents.

Straw man arguments are lies.

Animal farm anyone? (5, Insightful)

logjon (1411219) | more than 5 years ago | (#27289599)

Twelve voices were shouting in anger, and they were all alike. No question, now, what had happened to the faces of the pigs. The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.

Gotta protect business! (0, Troll)

macraig (621737) | more than 5 years ago | (#27289639)

Obama: "Gotta protect Big Business, because Big Business IS the economy! If Big Business can't make tons of money off the backs of the clueless, the economy would cease to exist, the world as we (my buddies and I) know it would come to an end, the universe would implode, and the Rapture will begin!"

The only fix is campaign finance reform (4, Insightful)

schwit1 (797399) | more than 5 years ago | (#27289649)

Things will not change as long as the people with the gold are able to make the rules by buying lawmakers.

The fix is that candidates should only be permitted to accept campaign funds from people who are allowed to vote for them.

Re:The only fix is campaign finance reform (1)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 5 years ago | (#27289771)

On the other hand, you can always vote for the guy with the least money, just to fuck things up.

Re:The only fix is campaign finance reform (1)

cdrguru (88047) | more than 5 years ago | (#27289999)

Hah, I want government-paid campaigns. You want to run for state Senator? Fine, that costs around 2 million. Upon declaring your candidacy you get a check from the government for the 2 million. Federal Senate seat? OK, that is going to cost around 10 million. President? Well, I think the going rate for that is now around 500 million. Dogatcher for Intercourse, PA? Maybe $500.

This will immediately do several things. First off, it will empty the welfare roles of anyone with any sense or motivation whatseoever. They can get paid lots more by running for some public office. It will seriously increase the number of candidates and eliminate most of the silly press stories - there will be way too many candidates to bother with finding out they secretly have a girlfriend. Maybe their real beliefs and attitudes on core issues will be what gets reported on.

It also means that probably 10% of the country can permanently be employed as either candidates or campaign workers.

Sounds like a wonderful system to me. It would eliminate all of the bother about financing a campaign and get lots more people interested in political offices.

Re:The only fix is campaign finance reform (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#27290005)

The fix is that candidates should only be permitted to accept campaign funds from people who are allowed to vote for them.

Such as every U.S. citizen over age 18 who works for one of the nine companies in the MAFIAA.

Other Motivation (2, Interesting)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 5 years ago | (#27289659)

I'm certainly not surprised to see a Democratic administration support the entertainment industry, but in this case they probably have other motivation as well. An unfavorable ruling here could be generalized to the awarding of amounts unrelated to actual damages for any reason. Since it is often the government that collects such awards...

Follow the money (4, Insightful)

BobandMax (95054) | more than 5 years ago | (#27289715)

The "Entertainment" industry has "contributed" massive sums to the Democrat party for many years. Did anyone think that there would be no reciprocity? Corporations and wealthy individuals do not make political contributions because they are ideologically motivated. They do it because there will be a return on the investment. Well, here it is.

We're better off McCain/Palin (4, Insightful)

w0mprat (1317953) | more than 5 years ago | (#27289725)

Commentators had been fearing that the Obama/Biden administration would be tools of the RIAA; does this filing confirm those fears?"

There is a implication there that the alternative McCain/Palin administration wouldn't have been tools of the RIAA. Whoever is in government is a tool of big industry. Its the fundamental natural of capitalist democracy.

Re:We're better off McCain/Palin (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27289871)

Mccain/palin would have put oil and big business lawyers into the mix. Who knows, maybe an (MP/RI)AA prick would have slipped in, but they wouldn't hold the majority of the top of the pyramid like Obama set up.

Let the ideology valves be opened (2, Funny)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 5 years ago | (#27289755)

Do you guys realise from reading the comments how Slashdot has become to libertarians as Digg is for liberals?

KANG AND KODO: "Go ahead, throw your vote away" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27289777)

"it's a two party system you have to vote for one of us"
"Well, I believe I'll vote for a third party candidate"
"Go ahead, throw your vote away"
-Kang, Kodos and Random Voter

Payback time. (1, Troll)

blind biker (1066130) | more than 5 years ago | (#27289781)

The Obama campaign was helped (and made "hip") by Hollywood & Co.

What did you expect? You didn't get a new kind of leader, you just got your average Chicago politician in the White House, that's all.

Re:Payback time. (4, Interesting)

unity100 (970058) | more than 5 years ago | (#27289849)

votes were supplied by people. the VERY people this shitfaces are suing.

democrat party still depends on those people's donations for upcoming congress elections. he was just sending a call to volunteers. if an online campaign is launched to raise awareness about this stunt, theyll get served.

and they deserve it.

Re:Payback time. (1)

deets101 (1290744) | more than 5 years ago | (#27289937)

The Obama campaign was helped (and made "hip") by Hollywood & Co. What did you expect?

Hope and Change. That is what was promised. Remember, no lobbyist, no more being in the pocket of big corporations, no same old government.
Maybe the man behind the teleprompter changed his mind!

I guess we can add this to the long list of let downs provided so far.

Need Decentralization (4, Insightful)

BountyX (1227176) | more than 5 years ago | (#27289829)

We need to decentralize the government. That way large corporations cant DoS our congress.

It's going to get worse... (2, Interesting)

coretx (529515) | more than 5 years ago | (#27289831)

This was already predicted when Biden wrote the following. http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=107_senate_hearings&docid=f:78178.pdf [gpo.gov] And it is only going to get worse... I really don't understand why the American pirate party supported Obama while i got this link from the international pirate party's mailinglist ages ago. Maybe some /. people can educate them ?

One more time (1)

dirk (87083) | more than 5 years ago | (#27289855)

Of course none of the cited cases dealt with the ratios sought by the RIAA: 2,100 to 425,000 times the actual damages for an MP3 file.

I really get tired of saying this, but the damages have nothing to do with what it costs to purchase and download a song. These cases are not about a person downloading copyrighted materials (if it was, then the cost of the downloaded song would be correct to look at for damages). These cases are about uploading copyrighted material. The person is basically assuming the right to distribute the material. In these cases, the proper thing to look at is what the media company would charge someone if they wanted the purchase the rights to distribute the song, which is obviously going to much higher than the cost of purchasing a single download of the song.

If I call the RIAA and say that I want to purchase the right to put hit song X on my website for every visitor to my website to download for free and ask what it would cost to purchase this right, that is what the damages should be compared to. My guess is that this right would cost me much more than the cost of purchasing a single copy of the song, since I am basically buying the right to distribute as many copies as a I want. That is the right that is being infringed upon, and what the damages should be compared to.

Unfortunately, while much of the DMCA (4, Insightful)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 5 years ago | (#27289879)

and other recent laws could be viewed as "corporate protectionism", which is classically a right-wing action, the Democrats have historically been particular friends of the entertainment industry. Which leaves the American people without a Government protector in this area.

The only recourse we have is the courts. Let's hope that is sufficient.

You do understand they had to do this (1)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 5 years ago | (#27289883)

You think big business is giving up control that easily? The voters have to stop voting for crooks [blogspot.com] .

THX PKD [slashdot.org]

Why are you surprised? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27289905)

Big Entertainment told you to hate Bush and Republicans.

Big Entertainment told you to vote for Obama.

You did what Big Entertainment told you to do.

Why are you surprised that Big Entertainment now owns the government?

Re:Why are you surprised? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27289933)

Cuz we believe in Oprah.

And black is the new white.

More of the same (2, Interesting)

hackstraw (262471) | more than 5 years ago | (#27289919)

This intervening is just part of a laundry list of documents regarding the case. If someone finds something specific about this phase of the trial, please chime in. Below is a copy and paste job of the original complaints. The guy is apparently up against fines up to $1 million dollars, so wouldn't it make sense to just settle and get back to school? That is what my parents would of said, and they would have paid (begrudgingly) up to $10k if there was anything near a 5% probability of me having to pay $1,000,000, the downtime from school, legal expenses, social problems, etc.

Unless this guy, a Professor of law at Harvard Law School, and his family are all actually delusional enough to believe he is not expected to have to pay such a $1,000,000 fine to share music with his teenage friends. You know, the same stuff that you and I did as kids because we had more time than money and we really liked the latest music or even some of that older music that we heard on the radio.

Why don't they just legalize music? Or at least decriminalize it.

-hackstraw

This case, like many others now before the Court, is one for
copyright infringement under 17 U.S.C. Â 106. The Plaintiffs are
some of the nation's largest record companies. The Defendants in
these consolidated cases are individual computer users -- mainly
college students -- who, the Plaintiffs claim, used "peer-to-
peer" file-sharing software to download and disseminate music
without paying for it, infringing the Plaintiffs' copyrights.
Many of the Defendants have defaulted or settled, largely without
the benefit of counsel, subject to damages awards between $3,000
and $10,000.

Joel Tenenbaum ("Tenenbaum") is one of the few defendants
represented by counsel, Professor Charles Nesson of Harvard Law
School and the Berkman Center for Internet and Society. He has
chosen to challenge the action through a Motion to Amend
Counterclaims (document # 686), his Opposition to the Plaintiffs'
Motion to Dismiss Counterclaims (document # 676), and a Motion to
Join the Recording Industry Association of America ("RIAA")
(document # 693), all of which will be heard on January 22, 2009.
Whether those counterclaims survive or not, he will proceed to a
jury trial in this Court currently scheduled for March 30, 2009.
While Tenenbaumâ(TM)s Motion to Permit Audio-Visual Coverage by CVN
(document # 718) is directed to all proceedings going forward,
this Order addresses only the proceeding on January 22, 2009,
where legal arguments on the motions above will be heard.
In many ways, this case is about the so-called Internet
Generation -- the generation that has grown up with computer
technology in general, and the internet in particular, as
commonplace. It is reportedly a generation that does not read
newspapers or watch the evening news, but gets its information
largely, if not almost exclusively, over the internet. See
generally Martha Irvine, Generation Raised Internet Comes of Age,
MSNBC.com, Dec. 13, 2004, http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6645963/ [msn.com] .
Consistent with the nature of these file-sharing cases, and the
identity of so many of the Defendants, this case is one that has
already garnered substantial attention on the internet.

Lobby... lobby and massive civil disobedience (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27289925)

Of course, the President is the tool of the RIAA.

RIAA has hired people to lobby... Slashdot or "the downloading public" has not hired anyone to lobby. You tend to be influenced by people who talk to you, who smile at you... even if these people are actually slime bags but there is no one there to point it out.

The public should figure out how to set up public interest lobby groups and generate funds to support their own lobbying activities, which can effectively counter balance the current lobbying efforts of private industries.

Individual tax payers should have the option to designate maybe 1 or 2 percent of their income tax to fund the public lobbying interest group of their choice.

The public could also organize massive-scale civil disobedience campaigns. What do you think would happen if 10 million American citizen would report himself/herself on the same day all over the country at the police stations as violator of copyrights laws?

It would paralyze the operation of the police for that day, it would paralyze the legal system by flooding it and I would like to see a government and a President, which would try to send to jail ten million citizens for copyrights violation at a huge expense of taxpayers.

At that stage the corresponding laws simply would not be possible to enforce.

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