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Obama DoJ Goes Against Film Companies

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the shaking-things-up dept.

The Courts 321

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "If one attempted to distill a single prevailing emotion or attitude about government on Slashdot, I think it is fairly arguable that the winner would be cynicism or skepticism. Well here's a story that could make us skeptical and/or cynical about our skepticism and/or cynicism. Chalk one up for those who like to point out that, occasionally, the system does work. You may recall that the US Supreme Court has been mulling over whether to grant the film industry's petition for certiorari seeking to overturn the important Cartoon Networks v. CSC Holdings decision from the US Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit. This was the case which held that Cablevision's allowing its customers to make copies of shows and store them on Cablevision's servers for later viewing did not constitute a direct copyright infringement by Cablevision, there being no 'copy' made since the files were in RAM and buffered for only a 'transitory' duration. The Supreme Court asked the Obama DoJ to submit an amicus curiae brief, giving its opinion on whether or not the film companies' petition for review should be granted. The government did indeed file such a brief, but the content of the brief (PDF) is probably not what the film companies were expecting. They probably thought they had this one in the bag, since some of the very lawyers who have been representing them have been appointed to the highest echelons of the Obama DoJ. Instead, however, the brief eloquently argued against the film companies' position, dismembering with surgical accuracy each and every argument the film companies had advanced."

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If a laywer is any good... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28158727)

He knows the opposition's position as well as his so he can counter it up front. If he can't put himself in the opposition's shoes and argue against them, then they're going to suck.

These guys argued the other side forever, they *should* know how to tear that apart now.

Slashdot buttplugs goatse trolls (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28158841)

-1 [goatse.fr]

Re:Slashdot buttplugs goatse trolls (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28159533)

You lost a goatse? Bend over that chair and I'll find it for you.

Afro-American Racism Against Whites & Asians (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28159129)

During the election, about 95% of African-Americans voted for Barack Hussein Obama due solely to the color of his skin. See the exit-polling data [cnn.com] by CNN.

Note the voting pattern of Hispanics, Asian-Americans, etc. These non-Black minorities serve as a measurement of African-American racism against non-Blacks. Neither Barack Hussein Obama nor John McCain is a non-Black minority. So, Hispanics and Asian-Americans used only non-racial criteria in selecting a candidate. Only about 65% of them supported Obama.

If African-Americans were not racist, then at most 65% of them would have supported Obama. At that level of support, McCain would have won the presidential race.

At this point, African-American supremacists (and apologists) claim that African-Americans voted for Obama because he (1) is a member of the Democratic party and (2) supports its ideals. That claim is an outright lie. Look at the exit-polling data [cnn.com] for the Democratic primaries. Consider the case of North Carolina. Again, about 95% of African-Americans voted for him and against Hillary Clinton. Both Clinton and Obama are Democrats, and their official political positions on the campaign trail were nearly identical. Yet, 95% of African-Americans voted for Obama and against Hillary Clinton. Why? African-Americans supported Obama due solely to the color of his skin.

Here is the bottom line. Barack Hussein Obama does not represent mainstream America. He won the election due to the racist voting pattern exhibited by African-Americans.

African-Americans have established that expressing "racial pride" by voting on the basis of skin color is 100% acceptable. Neither the "Wall Street Journal" nor the "New York Times" complained about this racist behavior. Therefore, in future elections, please feel free to express your racial pride by voting on the basis of skin color. Feel free to vote for the non-Black candidates and against the Black candidates if you are not African-American. You need not defend your actions in any way. Voting on the basis of skin is quite acceptable by the standards of today's moral values.

Re:Afro-American Racism Against Whites & Asian (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28159735)

Death to all 4chans

Re:If a laywer is any good... (1)

A. Kim (620073) | more than 5 years ago | (#28159149)

So can we expect a situation similar to the business world, with top-ranking guys going back and forth between wall street and the SEC with knowledge of all the government loopholes, etc? Has Obama taken a page from this manipulative book in order to take the copyright juggernauts down a peg?

Re:If a laywer is any good... (4, Insightful)

Sun.Jedi (1280674) | more than 5 years ago | (#28159321)

These guys argued the other side forever, they *should* know how to tear that apart now.

If they knew how to tear it apart, and they did by my understanding of the brief [beckermanlegal.com] , then they knew the original case was flawed. If the case was flawed, a reasonable person or persons would not attempt such a case in the first place with the intent on 'winning'. If they are not trying to win, then is it a fair and reasonable use of the courts for these ulterior motive shenanigans? Are there penalties for such behavior?

I guess I'm also wondering if this suddenoutbreakofcommonsense has implications in current or future litigation where the RIAA/MPAA or other content redistributors are the plaintiff.

Re:If a laywer is any good... (5, Interesting)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 5 years ago | (#28159457)

If they knew how to tear it apart, and they did by my understanding of the brief [beckermanlegal.com], then they knew the original case was flawed. If the case was flawed, a reasonable person or persons would not attempt such a case in the first place with the intent on 'winning'. If they are not trying to win, then is it a fair and reasonable use of the courts for these ulterior motive shenanigans? Are there penalties for such behavior?

The specific lawyers who represented the RIAA and MPAA, and are now in the DOJ, are recused for two years from working on any of these types of matters. So they are not supposed to have had anything whatsoever to do with this brief. And from all appearances they did not, since this brief was written with much greater integrity and respect for copyright law than their arguments ever exhibited.

I guess I'm also wondering if this suddenoutbreakofcommonsense has implications in current or future litigation where the RIAA/MPAA or other content redistributors are the plaintiff.

Only time will tell. The two other government briefs of which I am aware in this type of litigation, which have been submitted by the government subsequent to the RIAA lawyers's going to work for the DOJ, were both quite poorly done, and took wild and crazy legal positions obviously calculated to please the RIAA overlords.

Re:If a laywer is any good... (0)

nomadic (141991) | more than 5 years ago | (#28159539)

If the case was flawed, a reasonable person or persons would not attempt such a case in the first place with the intent on 'winning'.

That is faulty reasoning. Just about every side of every case is flawed in some ways. A flawed argument is not necessarily wrong, and in this case many of the issues hinge on interpretations of law that it is not the attorney's job to be the final arbiter on.

Can't we just applaud a good ruling without the kneejerk slashdot desire to punish people we disagree with?

Re:If a laywer is any good... (2, Insightful)

soren202 (1477905) | more than 5 years ago | (#28159805)

It wouldn't be slashdot if there weren't any such reactions.

4Chan has their lolcats, slashdot has their kneejerk desire to punch people they disagree with. It's the natural order of things.

Afro-American Racism Against Whites & Asians (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28159455)

During the election, about 95% of African-Americans voted for Barack Hussein Obama due solely to the color of his skin. See the exit-polling data [cnn.com] by CNN.

Note the voting pattern of Hispanics, Asian-Americans, etc. These non-Black minorities serve as a measurement of African-American racism against non-Blacks. Neither Barack Hussein Obama nor John McCain is a non-Black minority. So, Hispanics and Asian-Americans used only non-racial criteria in selecting a candidate. Only about 65% of them supported Obama.

If African-Americans were not racist, then at most 65% of them would have supported Obama. At that level of support, McCain would have won the presidential race.

At this point, African-American supremacists (and apologists) claim that African-Americans voted for Obama because he (1) is a member of the Democratic party and (2) supports its ideals. That claim is an outright lie. Look at the exit-polling data [cnn.com] for the Democratic primaries. Consider the case of North Carolina. Again, about 95% of African-Americans voted for him and against Hillary Clinton. Both Clinton and Obama are Democrats, and their official political positions on the campaign trail were nearly identical. Yet, 95% of African-Americans voted for Obama and against Hillary Clinton. Why? African-Americans supported Obama due solely to the color of his skin.

Here is the bottom line. Barack Hussein Obama does not represent mainstream America. He won the election due to the racist voting pattern exhibited by African-Americans.

African-Americans have established that expressing "racial pride" by voting on the basis of skin color is 100% acceptable. Neither the "Wall Street Journal" nor the "New York Times" complained about this racist behavior. Therefore, in future elections, please feel free to express your racial pride by voting on the basis of skin color. Feel free to vote for the non-Black candidates and against the Black candidates if you are not African-American. You need not defend your actions in any way. Voting on the basis of skin is quite acceptable by the standards of today's moral values.

FURSTEST! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28158735)

furst poast!
spammity spam pam spam oh yeam oh yeah spammitiiiy spam paaam spaam oh yeeeeeah yyadda yadda yadda
In probability theory, the law of total variance or variance decomposition formula states that if X and Y are random variables on the same probability space, and the variance of X is finite, then

        \operatorname{var}(X)=\operatorname{E}(\operatorname{var}(X\mid Y))+\operatorname{var}(\operatorname{E}(X\mid Y)).\,

In language perhaps better known to statisticians than to probabilists, the two terms are the "unexplained" and the "explained component of the variance" (cf. explained variation).

The nomenclature in this article's title parallels the phrase law of total probability. Some writers on probability call this the "conditional variance formula" or use other names.

(The conditional expected value E( X | Y ) is a random variable in its own right, whose value depends on the value of Y. Notice that the conditional expected value of X given the event Y = y is a function of y (this is where adherence to the conventional rigidly case-sensitive notation of probability theory becomes important!). If we write E( X | Y = y) = g(y) then the random variable E( X | Y ) is just g(Y). Similar comments apply to the conditional variance.)

Good call (4, Insightful)

PktLoss (647983) | more than 5 years ago | (#28158789)

Can someone mod those lawyers up? +1 insightful.

Tactical Deception (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28158825)

You think that this is anything other then tactical deception? Seriously. You're not nearly cynical enough. The Obama government, just like the Bush government, was all about control. It's a nice brief, but it doesn't change anything about the new thugs, just like the old thugs.

Re:Tactical Deception (2, Insightful)

FiloEleven (602040) | more than 5 years ago | (#28158869)

I agree. This is a lot like Roman bread and circuses, but we've advanced a lot since then.

Ladies and gentlemen, may I present to you the Meta-Circus.

Re:Tactical Deception (3, Informative)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 5 years ago | (#28158937)

This is a lot like Roman bread and circuses, but we've advanced a lot since then.

I believe you're trying to be a bit snarky, but you are close to the mark. Try some Greecian Philosophy [ablemedia.com] . Thesis / antithesis is one of the bases of legal argument.

Re:Tactical Deception (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28159751)

Dude, are you serious?

The government does something bad, and it's out to get you.

The government does something good, and it's a "tactical deception", designed to lull you into a false sense of security, and it's out to get you.

Your theory is not falsifiable. And you get a 4, insightful? This is supposed to be a science-oriented discussion board; we should know better.

Re:Tactical Deception (4, Insightful)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 5 years ago | (#28159791)

Are you joking? Let me fill you in... Obama doesn't give a rat's ass about copyright legislation. He has a nuclear-armed Korea threatening war, a nuclear-armed Pakistan fighting for its life against the Taliban, extreme tensions between Israel and Iran (one of which has nukes, and the other's probably working on it), two wars of our own to deal with, a collapsed global economy, and on top of that, he still probably wants to get his universal health care plan rolling.

He's not in bed with the **AA the way a lot of Slashdotters like to think. He's not out to get them either. He's simply got bigger things to worry about. This decision was undoubtedly made at a lower level. If anything, he glanced over it quickly and agreed to the arguments put forth by his lawyers.

Re:Good call (4, Funny)

Daimanta (1140543) | more than 5 years ago | (#28159079)

"Can someone mod those lawyers up?"

Something I would never expect to see here on /.

Furthermore, it's modded 4 Insightful.

I'm staring at my window now, waiting for a pig fly-by.

Re:Good call (3, Funny)

gringofrijolero (1489395) | more than 5 years ago | (#28159473)

waiting for a pig fly-by..

Sorry. That was last month [cdc.gov]

Re:Good call (1)

iggymanz (596061) | more than 5 years ago | (#28159491)

I am actually surprised the Obama administration actually went against the wishes of a powerful cartel, maybe there is some hope we might get a wee bit of real change. I haven't seen any flying pigs, but I do keep Lucifer on retainer and he just shat an ice cube.

NO (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28159101)

We want cases like this to lose. We need Joe Sixpack to start feeling the pain of the broken copyright system.
Nothing will change until Joe can't record American Idol and starts to wonder why.

 

there being no 'copy' made since the files were in RAM and buffered for only a 'transitory' duration.

So, with a really big RAM-disk it's impossible to violate copyright?

I didn't "download" the movies, I was only buffering them for a transitory period.
Yeah, that'd work.

Re:NO (0, Flamebait)

FishWithAHammer (957772) | more than 5 years ago | (#28159151)

Hint: if they win the case, then copyright gets less broken. Cases like this help establish the boundaries of copyright law and the legal limits to the abilities of the rights-holders. Unless, of course, you're one of the "hurp copyright is always bad pirating is gud give me everything for freee!111111" mouthbreathers, in which case you can fuck right off.

Re:NO (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28159639)

Ahhhh the cry of the greedy info-hoarders... You take your damn copyright back to the Green Line(18 years), and then we'll talk. For the law to receive any respect, it must be respectable. Until then YOU can fuck right off. The "rights" holders(hoarders) are the pirates who steal from the public. Welp, like I said you must draw back to your original borders, or you won't have a moment's peace.

Re:NO (1)

Lakitu (136170) | more than 5 years ago | (#28159773)

We want cases like this to lose. We need Joe Sixpack to start feeling the pain of the broken copyright system.
Nothing will change until Joe can't record American Idol and starts to wonder why.

We want cases like this to lose to set an example kind of like we want to implement Stalinist communism so that everyone will feel the pain of it and fight against it.

you are an idiot

Re:Good call (2, Funny)

RichardJenkins (1362463) | more than 5 years ago | (#28159559)

Sorry, that doesn't actually work outside of Slashdot.

Re:Good call (2, Funny)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 5 years ago | (#28159835)

Whose fault is that? Mod down the reality: -1 overrated.

Please let this be a trend (5, Funny)

Nesman64 (1093657) | more than 5 years ago | (#28158797)

I know it isn't likely, but I would love to see this evolve into a situation where I could time shift my MythTV recordings with other users over BitTorrent.

Re:Please let this be a trend (5, Interesting)

bughunter (10093) | more than 5 years ago | (#28158927)

I'd be happy if it just leads to a ruling that I can back up my DVDs onto my networked media server so i can a) bypass advertisements and b) stream them to other TVs in the house. I don't copy from or make available to anyone outside the walls of my house, and my media server is not shared over the internet.

Re:Please let this be a trend (5, Insightful)

decoy256 (1335427) | more than 5 years ago | (#28159233)

This needs to be the main focus of digital rights, at least right now. When I buy something, I should have the right to transfer it to any media form I deem proper for my own uses. Heck, if I wanted to transfer my DVDs to BetaMax, I should have the right (of course, the reverse is also true and the more likely/useful application of this theory).

Gov representing reality is rare (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28158807)

For every time the gov deals with external reality, there are 100s of instances of decisions and actions based on some ideology or political interest.

This is why big government inevitably produces a low economic growth rate, eventually leading to the collapse of the society.

The only limit to the growth of gov is that collapse of the economic-social-political system.

Re:Gov representing reality is rare (3, Funny)

someone1234 (830754) | more than 5 years ago | (#28158873)

Sounds like non intervention is good policy.
See what it did to the banking system and global economy?

Re:Gov representing reality is rare (3, Insightful)

maharb (1534501) | more than 5 years ago | (#28158957)

That is like blaming car accident deaths on seat belts(not wearing them/them not existing) rather than bad driving. Lack of regulation is not what killed the global economy. Regulation could prevent it from happening again, maybe, but that doesn't mean a lack of regulation caused anything.

If everyone involved in the lending crisis had done a little homework before buying the loan packages they would have realized that they were paying too much. It was their own free will to buy the crappy loans, no one forced them. Regulation is just forcing people to do the homework + making people jump through more hoops.

Re:Gov representing reality is rare (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28159013)

That's a really good point. That's why I advocate turning over all economic policy making to hyper-intelligent, omniscient, perfectly altruistic robot overlords.

Oh, we don't have those yet? Guess we better go with that "regulation" thing.

Re:Gov representing reality is rare (5, Interesting)

mjwx (966435) | more than 5 years ago | (#28159293)

That is like blaming car accident deaths on seat belts(not wearing them/them not existing) rather than bad driving.

No, blaming the market rather then those who abused the market is like blaming a perfectly good road to cover up for a drivers incompetence.

Lack of regulation is not what killed the global economy.

Well I suppose it is those who took advantage of the lack of regulation.

Regulation could prevent it from happening again

Like regulation prevented the GFC from becoming a major issue in Australia? Banks being forced by the government to maintain a certain percentage of liquidity to prevent them running entirely on credit, or interest rates that reflected the true growth of the market?

but that doesn't mean a lack of regulation caused anything.

Well, empirical evidence suggests otherwise, the AUD is at .78 USD, it was about this during Australia mining boom. +1 for Australia's overly regulated banking system (none of whom have required bailing out BTW).

If everyone involved in the lending crisis had done a little homework before buying the loan packages they would have realized that they were paying too much.

B-b-b-but it I'm able to sell a predatory loan shouldn't I be entitled to profit on it.

The blame here lies not on those who were sold the bad loans but on those who were selling the bad loans, this goes all the way back to the government whom would not allow interest rates to reveal the true state of the economy although it also includes those bankers who knew better but did not act against it as there was profit to be made in the mean time.

Remember that the economy relies upon those who are not experts at economics as much as the car industry relies upon those of us who cannot strip a six cylinder car engine blindfolded.

Regulation is just forcing people to do the homework + making people jump through more hoops.

So, you're saying that regulation gives people more time to decide weather a large debt is feasable or not. But isnt regulation a bad thing(TM).

Nobody did force them (2, Insightful)

coryking (104614) | more than 5 years ago | (#28159433)

But you'd be a fool not to play the scam like everybody else. The rational choice for a person was to treat their home like an ATM, after it was a "sure bet" and if they didn't, they would regret it. Even if they knew it was a scam, they figured if they got screwed everybody was screwed so why not play?

In other words, good regulation can keep a bunch of individuals who are making rational decisions from screwing up the entire system. Sometimes what is right for one person is harmful to the whole. The lending crisis is an example of that.

Re:Gov representing reality is rare (4, Insightful)

geekboy642 (799087) | more than 5 years ago | (#28159479)

Any argument that requires a strong majority of the populace to be an intelligent and rational actor is flawed. At least half of the human race falls below the mean intelligence level. When was the last time high school taught a course that detailed how to get a loan in a safe way, or how to sensibly manage credit? Many high schools don't even require civics courses, preferring instead a selection of "multicultural studies", "introduction to computers", and "remedial English grammar".
Any argument that requires a strong majority of businesses to act in a completely ethical fashion, without external pressures, is flawed. Corporations exist only to extract wealth. Thanks to the de-regulation of the last couple of decades, businesses have been free to take any action that improves the bottom line. They loaned to people with no income verification, to people who were blatantly unable to repay the loans. Predictably, many of these people defaulted on their loans. The credit industry cannot function when the default rate erases any possible profits, and eats into capital besides. This is a case of individual businesses acting to harm the environment (the industry in which they work) for their own selfish gains, a true "tragedy of the commons".
A rational and educated actor would have been able to see 5 years into the future, and know that their income would not suffice for them to manage the repayment.
A rational and educated government would have been able to look back to 1929, and draw lessons from the boom time immediately before the crash that spawned the great depression.

Re:Gov representing reality is rare (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28159813)

Mod this up!

Re:Gov representing reality is rare (1, Insightful)

hedwards (940851) | more than 5 years ago | (#28158987)

Sort of, non-intervention wouldn't necessarily be bad. What's bad is fascism. I know I'll get modded down for it, but the Republicans more or less destroyed the economy through interfering when people wanted to set limits on corporations and stepping out of the way when corporations wanted to interfere with people. Intervening on behalf of corporations against the people is definitely a popular policy amongst fascists, combine that in with the ruthless mindless nationalism and you've got the makings of a party that Mussolini would be proud of. A policy of complete non-intervention would likely work better than that, but still over the long term you'd end up with the upper classes owning everything with the everybody else in indentured servitude.

Re:Gov representing reality is rare (1, Insightful)

FishWithAHammer (957772) | more than 5 years ago | (#28159165)

I suggest you go look up the definition, history, and maybe some examples of fascism, having somebody help you when you stumble over the hard words. Because calling the Republicans "fascists" (at least, while giving the "hey GM CEO, you be fired now, k?" Democrats a pass) is pretty silly.

Re:Gov representing reality is rare (3, Interesting)

causality (777677) | more than 5 years ago | (#28159341)

I suggest you go look up the definition, history, and maybe some examples of fascism, having somebody help you when you stumble over the hard words. Because calling the Republicans "fascists" (at least, while giving the "hey GM CEO, you be fired now, k?" Democrats a pass) is pretty silly.

An accusation made against one party is typically defended by pointing out that the other party is no better. I have a way of neatly avoiding such bickering. For all practical purposes, whether this was intentional or accidental, the USA has one party that happens to be composed of two factions. They're both rotten bastards and the continued dominance of politics by the Democrats and the Republicans guarantees that nothing really changes. They're both leading us to a fascist nanny-state or whatever you care to call it and they'll blame each other for it the whole time that they are taking us there. For those who don't want to live in a modern police state, this is nothing to celebrate.

I mean, this news is good and it's a step in the right direction, but it's a tiny little baby-step that's barely even measurable compared to all of the other things that need to change if the USA is going to once again become a sustainable country (financially and otherwise) that really celebrates freedom instead of paying lip service to it. A good start would be to implement the single transferrable vote, this would go a long way towards breaking the two-party duopoly and allowing more third parties to actually stand any chance of winning elections (or at least, to lose elections because the people know about them and disagree with them and not because a duopoly has made them obscure).

Re:Gov representing reality is rare (1)

FishWithAHammer (957772) | more than 5 years ago | (#28159367)

An accusation made against one party is typically defended by pointing out that the other party is no better. I have a way of neatly avoiding such bickering. For all practical purposes, whether this was intentional or accidental, the USA has one party that happens to be composed of two factions. They're both rotten bastards and the continued dominance of politics by the Democrats and the Republicans guarantees that nothing really changes. They're both leading us to a fascist nanny-state or whatever you care to call it and they'll blame each other for it the whole time that they are taking us there. For those who don't want to live in a modern police state, this is nothing to celebrate

Now, see, this is well-said. I have no party allegiance (fiscally conservative, socially very liberal); it just makes me chafe to see partisan idiots start screaming bullshit without acknowledging that their own side is as bad or worse.

Re:Gov representing reality is rare (1)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 5 years ago | (#28159481)

this news is good and it's a step in the right direction, but it's a tiny little baby-step that's barely even measurable compared to all of the other things that need to change if the USA is going to once again become a sustainable country (financially and otherwise) that really celebrates freedom instead of paying lip service to it.

I agree.

Re:Gov representing reality is rare (3, Insightful)

Anpheus (908711) | more than 5 years ago | (#28159361)

Fascism is supreme belief in the power of the state and/or the party and that if you're "against them" you're "against ."

If you're not with us, you're AGAINST US!

If you don't like Bush, GET THE FUCK OUT OF AMERICA!

If you don't like the Patriot Act, MOVE TO A DIFFERENT COUNTRY!

If you're against the war, YOU'RE AGAINST THE TROOPS!

That's fascism, and those are all quotes I've heard from Republicans, either personally or have seen at demonstrations on YouTube. None of those quotes is made up.

That's fascism, FishWithAHammer. Obama asked GM's CEO to step down and be replaced. It wasn't forced, just like we weren't forcing them to take billions of dollars of funds that would protect America's stake in the international automotive industry. But hey, if they wanted it, they had to make some concessions.

Unlike Bush, who was totally in favor of just giving away ten times as much money with no accountability whatsoever.

Re:Gov representing reality is rare (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28159047)

Sounds like non intervention is good policy. See what it did to the banking system and global economy?

There's a difference between involvement and empire-building. Right now the USA is empire-building, they just don't call it that because it would be unpopular. What we're doing right now is sort of like Theodore Roosevelt's "dollar diplomacy" except on a whole new level of ruthlessness (see also: economic warfare, narcoterrorism). It's definitely empire-building, there is no other good way to describe using covert operations to overthrow democratically-elected governments and replace them with dictators who are favorable to our interests, which is something the USA has a long history of doing from the Iranians to the South Americans. That, by the way, is why the terrorists hate us, why there are so many people who are so desperate that they are willing to commit suicide attacks just to strike at us. It is not because of our freedoms or because we don't require women to cover up head to toe. What they do is atrocious and I am not saying it's right, only that we're not the innocent bystander victims that we like to think we are and that maybe we're having so many problems with these people because of how much we have provoked them for generations.

The surpreme accomplishment of the power-mad fucks who are behind all of this (the "old money" families that constitute the American aristocracy, like the Carnegies, the Rothchilds, the Rockefellers, and the Morgans and others) is that the average American has no idea that any of this goes on. It's hard to oppose what you don't even know about, after all. Next time you hear about a "shadow government" that uses the media and public schooling in order to keep people stupid, well, this is what that refers to.

Re:Gov representing reality is rare (1)

Beer_Smurf (700116) | more than 5 years ago | (#28159789)

When did we have non intervention?
If the government directs the lending institutions that it controls to make loans to people that a regular market would not consider worthy and the other banks have to compete with that, how is that non intervention?
When organizations take stupid risks because they know their government buddies will bail them out, how is that non-intervention?
We have something working that is worse than non-intervention, we have stupid and crooked intervention.
Before anyone starts with partisan crap, do your homework, both sides of the aisle are astoundingly stupid and crooked.

Minimal gov is the answer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28159803)

We should be experimenting on how minimal we can make a gov, not how large and intrusive our system can endure.

Minimal gov will not produce a perfect society, but we engineers have given up on the idea of perfect systems, haven't we? We always have to make tradeoffs: cost, features, speed, bug-rate, etc. We can't avoid the limitations that the natural world imposes on us, no designed system can.

Minimal gov will produce a lot of failures, many obvious injustices. However, they will generally be small failures, small injustices, not the mega-disasters produced by govs, e.g. here in the US, the Civil War, WWI, WWII, the Cold War, and all of the various "Wars on X" which have produced very intrusive, large gov.

We can all learn from small problems, adjust our decisions about how to live a good life. Mega-gov prevents all of that.

Re:Gov representing reality is rare (1)

ivucica (1001089) | more than 5 years ago | (#28159525)

Did you ever read Snow Crash?

Re:Gov representing reality is rare (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28159673)

Of course.

Tho I don't quite see the connection. It presented an interesting version of anarchy.

We are faced with oligopoly : every law carves off a slice of the GDP for some interest groups, always including lawyers and accountants.

Wiretapping (2, Interesting)

Nigel Stepp (446) | more than 5 years ago | (#28158821)

Now if they can only come around on Warrantless Wiretapping [eff.org] .

Re:Wiretapping (4, Interesting)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 5 years ago | (#28159147)

Why can't we nail the Govt for Copyright Infringement of our audio phone works?

Indeed. (5, Insightful)

viyh (620825) | more than 5 years ago | (#28158831)

It's nice to see things happening the way they are meant to happen. While the DoJ employees are not elected by the people, they are appointed by people who are. They are, in theory, supposed to represent the will and needs of the people, not corporations or lobbyists with money. Hopefully this will open up the debate about rewriting copyright and property laws in the age of information and the internet.

Re:Indeed. (5, Insightful)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 5 years ago | (#28159043)

It's nice to see things happening the way they are meant to happen. While the DoJ employees are not elected by the people, they are appointed by people who are.

Your more or less right here except that the vast majority of DOJ employees don't change jobs when new leaders come in. It's entirely possible that people working for President Carter are still employed at the DOJ and remained employed under different presidents and parties.

They are, in theory, supposed to represent the will and needs of the people, not corporations or lobbyists with money.

Here, you are just wrong. The DOJ is supposed to enfore the law period. They don't represent anything but the law as it is written and how courts reconcile that to the constitution. The DOJ can push for an interpretation the administration has laid out if there is shacky grounds but they in no way "reflect the will of the people".

In fact, the federal government was never indented to address the will of the people directly. The federal government in the US is only supposed to represent the states in matters of state (foreign relations) and matters between the states with a limited few other things specifically written into the constitution. You can see how obvious this is by simply reading the constitution. The senate was originally appointed by the state, the president was/still is appointed by the state, and the house of representative which all tax raises are supposed to originate in was the representation of the people. The idea was so that the people had a say in government not so that government served the people. The federal government serves nothing but the offices they hold. Now don't get me wrong, the office covers the people but they also cover so many other things like corporations which provide jobs, trade between the states and with foreign countries and so on.

You also need to understand that a: corporations are nothing more then collections of people who invested in a concept but are shielded from it's performance to some extent by their lack of participation in the company. b: Lobbyist are nothing more then people who have familiarity with the congress critters and take points directly to them instead of leaving it to them to figure out on their own. There is nothing wrong with lobbyist because they allow single representation of groups of people with no political clout. Without them, no one's voice will be heard more, nothing will be different, except those groups will have to spend the money directly on getting the congress critters attention some other way instead of giving it to someone who already has their attention.

Re:Indeed. (5, Insightful)

mmaniaci (1200061) | more than 5 years ago | (#28159329)

There is nothing wrong with lobbyist because they allow single representation of groups of people with no political clout

How is that a good thing? The richest get to buy political clout and change the gov and the masses still have no say.

Re:Indeed. (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#28159421)

The federal government in the US is only supposed to represent the states in matters of state (foreign relations) and matters between the states with a limited few other things specifically written into the constitution.

Since the development of rail transport, what isn't a matter between the states?

Re:Indeed. (2)

AnalPerfume (1356177) | more than 5 years ago | (#28159071)

In theory you're right, but remember this is only a brief sent to a judge, it's not a judge's final decision. The judge could read it and still rule the other way.

Given the entertainment industries strong connections with the Democrats in particular do you think they will just sit back with feet up and say "well played, you got us on that one."? Or do you think it's more likely that since they found out what the brief actually said that they went on the lobbying offensive to get those behind it punished / removed?

Not to mention appeal after appeal to move it to a court they know a more compliant judge will give them the decision they feel they deserve. Only when they've exhausted all of that, or gotten one of them to agree will they accept it's over.

Corporations don't take kindly to those who stand up to them, regardless of who they are. It's not about the law or fairness, it's about winning and making sure to keep your revenue stream unblocked.

Re:Indeed. (1)

Etrias (1121031) | more than 5 years ago | (#28159613)

In theory you're right, but remember this is only a brief sent to a judge, it's not a judge's final decision. The judge could read it and still rule the other way.

Please keep in mind that this is a amicus brief requested by SCOTUS, not an independent one filed by interested party. I would say that they would put more weight into this brief if it was requested what the DOJ thought about the legal position here.

Corporations are known to support whomever is in power. While I don't like the fact that the Dems are in their pocket on some matters, your inference is that the other side of the aisle is better when they get money from these interests as well. Plus, it's almost as if they don't have to lobby Republicans because they already support many of their positions without their support. That's playing both sides of the aisle.

Also, did you even read the summary? There is no higher court to appeal. This is for the Supreme Court. And you seem to not understand how appeals work and have little concept of jurisdiction in cases. Cases do get moved, that is understandable, but you can't just pick a district that seems favorable and move to switch jurisdiction because that's where you want it. I know we love to get cynical about lawyers and legal systems around here, but justice moves slow and mostly gets it right. Not all the time, but more often than not.

Tricky things, lawyers. (3, Insightful)

dominion (3153) | more than 5 years ago | (#28158883)

"since some of the very lawyers who have been representing them have been appointed to the highest echelons of the Obama DoJ."

Sometimes people just need a reminder that there is no grouping of people with less principles than Lawyers. We made the assumption that, since RIAA lawyers were hired to the DOJ, that they would find in favor of the RIAA. But it seems that lawyers are almost always megaphones for who is signing their paycheck.

And in this situation, it worked out in our favor.

Re:Tricky things, lawyers. (5, Insightful)

James_Duncan8181 (588316) | more than 5 years ago | (#28158929)

"Sometimes people just need a reminder that there is no grouping of people with less principles than Lawyers. We made the assumption that, since RIAA lawyers were hired to the DOJ, that they would find in favor of the RIAA. But it seems that lawyers are almost always megaphones for who is signing their paycheck."

Mmm. Or people who are doing their best to protect the interests of their clients? A lawyer must make the best arguments available for their client, but the ruling is not something they can be held responsible for. The system of justice works best when both sides present the strongest form of their argument, allowing the issues to be debated by those in the judicial role (who you can hold responsible for their judgments).

Or would you rather your own counsel failed to advance your best arguments because he personally thought you were guilty?

Re:Tricky things, lawyers. (1)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 5 years ago | (#28159259)

Mmm. Or people who are doing their best to protect the interests of their clients? A lawyer must make the best arguments available for their client, but the ruling is not something they can be held responsible for. The system of justice works best when both sides present the strongest form of their argument, allowing the issues to be debated by those in the judicial role (who you can hold responsible for their judgments).

Perhaps, but when the RIAA counts on little people being forced to settle because they can't afford to mount a defense, justice is clearly not a goal.

Re:Tricky things, lawyers. (5, Funny)

selven (1556643) | more than 5 years ago | (#28159607)

What if the RIAA lawyers are all on our side all along, and they were filling up their positions incompetently just to prevent people who actually want to do damage from doing so?

Re:Tricky things, lawyers. (2, Interesting)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 5 years ago | (#28159797)

What if the RIAA lawyers are all on our side all along, and they were filling up their positions incompetently just to prevent people who actually want to do damage from doing so?

Hmmm. You are one Slashdot member who is not a cynic or skeptic. You're ascribing the highest and noblest of motives to them, looking for the best in your fellow man. I am impressed.

Perhaps you are right. There is certainly something to be said for that point of view. When one looks at their blunders, it is hard to imagine they were not intentional, now that you mention it.

Re:Tricky things, lawyers. (1)

tim_darklighter (822987) | more than 5 years ago | (#28158981)

Here's an amusing speculation: maybe when they worked for the film companies, they got sick of losing case after frivolous case (looks bad on their record). The lawyers might even have smarted up and thought to themselves that they could stick it to the film companies as a bit of sweet revenge (granted they get paid either way, but I like to think they went into law with a least a shred of dignity and morality).

Re:Tricky things, lawyers. (2, Informative)

maharb (1534501) | more than 5 years ago | (#28159003)

Maybe. Lawyers, despite having no morals, are smart enough to know they can't just start handing cases to the RIAA without an appearance of a battle. This is one step in the right direction but there are miles left to walk so to speak. If this pattern continues then we can let our dukes down, but I still think it's too early to tell.

Re:Tricky things, lawyers. (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#28159039)

Here is a simpler statement: Most people don't have principles.

Sure, people have lots of preferences and things that they feel squeamish about, but most people don't let those things get in the way of their own gratification.

Re:Tricky things, lawyers. (1)

Antique Geekmeister (740220) | more than 5 years ago | (#28159051)

Oh, like many experts, they have whatever principles you are willing to fund.

More seriously, they are the champions in the "battle of chapions" that is a US courtroom. So many, as individuals, have excellent principles which they try to support by the clients they accept. And they can lose their license for not doing their courthouse best for their clients, even if their violation of legal "canons" helps keep a child rapist or Dick Cheney from hurting society as a whole.

Re:Tricky things, lawyers. (1)

machine321 (458769) | more than 5 years ago | (#28159083)

Please don't insult child rapists by comparing them to Dick Cheney.

Re:Tricky things, lawyers. (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 5 years ago | (#28159089)

Can you tell me which lawyers who names are on the brief actually worked for RIAA, MAPP, or have some other connection to them?

I don't think this paper says anything about the DOJ nor the RIAA lawyers because I can't find one of their names behind the brief submitted. Chances are, the EX RIAA lawyers never saw the brief, it was probably reviewed for accuracy by some other low level lawyers and approved by some mid level management.

Re:Tricky things, lawyers. (2, Informative)

91degrees (207121) | more than 5 years ago | (#28159205)

Lawyers do have principles. One of the most important is to represent their clients. It most likely doesn't matter to them personally all that much which side they're arguing for. Unlike us, most people don't see the right to make copies as an ideological point.

Lawyers don't make findings. They make arguments for one side, in an incredibly biased manner. Being biased is how the whole adversarial system works. There's another guy arguing against them who is employed to be incredibly biased to the other side. As such, their job when working for the MPAA was simply to put forth the argument as to why the MPAA is going to be harmed. They did that to the best of their abilities.

Their job when working for the DOJ is to put forward the argument that is in the best interests of America, and in this case, American businesses.

Re:Tricky things, lawyers. (1)

nomadic (141991) | more than 5 years ago | (#28159565)

But it seems that lawyers are almost always megaphones for who is signing their paycheck.

Whoa, stop the presses...you mean lawyers act as advocates for their clients?? That's crazy.

Re:Tricky things, lawyers. (1)

deblau (68023) | more than 5 years ago | (#28159615)

Sometimes people just need a reminder that there is no grouping of people with less principles than Lawyers.

I'm sure Lawrence Lessig, Eben Moglin, Larry Rosen, and even NYCL would be glad to hear that. Oh wait, you just mean lawyers who fight for people you disagree with?

Re:Tricky things, lawyers. (1)

nomadic (141991) | more than 5 years ago | (#28159683)

I'm sure Lawrence Lessig, Eben Moglin, Larry Rosen, and even NYCL would be glad to hear that.

As would Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson and Mahatma Gandhi.

lawyers are mercenaries (4, Funny)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 5 years ago | (#28158907)

They probably thought they had this one in the bag, since some of the very lawyers who have been representing them have been appointed to the highest echelons of the Obama DoJ. Instead, however, the brief eloquently argued against the film companies' position, dismembering with surgical accuracy each and every argument the film companies had advanced."

Thus demonstrating again why you should never trust a lawyer. Unless you are still paying him, of course. (sorry nycLawyer)

Re:lawyers are mercenaries (5, Insightful)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 5 years ago | (#28158991)

Grrr. This always pops up here. Lawyers are supposed to represent the client's interest. If the client is RIAA, they are supposed to make arguments that support RIAA's goals and aims. If you're client is the Federal Government (and thus, the interests of the 'people'), you are supposed to argue their views.

What the lawyer actually thinks is correct doesn't have a whole lot of traction here. If the clients arguments or interests are so repugnant to the lawyer that they feel that they can't represent them successfully, they are bound to tell the client, but that's about it. No, it's not perfect, not a great system but it seems to work better than anything else we've come across.

A lawyer well versed in a particular case dammed well ought to be able to argue both sides of the issue. It's what they do for a living.

Re:lawyers are mercenaries (1)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 5 years ago | (#28159239)

Sure, but it wouldn't come up nearly as much if lawyers didn't make their own reputation of it. Like the class action suite for silica? [wsj.com] Here is a quote:

They had asbestos plaintiffs who were diagnosed with asbestosis but not silicosis, rediagnosed with silicosis but not asbestosis, by the same doctor, with the same X-ray. They laid the seeds for their own destruction."

Or how about in New Mexico [blogspot.com] where the attorney general seems to give good contracts to those who pay? Or maybe that's just a general politician thing.

Or how about doctors who are no longer paying for malpractice insurance as a way to ensure against lawsuits? [sun-sentinel.com] Here's a quote from one of those doctors:

"I have a strong feeling I'll never hear from another attorney again," Rosenbaum said. "Sure, I'm nervous. But I practice carefully. The first thing lawyers do when they have a case is [check] all the doctors involved to see who has how much coverage."

In theory the law is great: it prevents doctors from malpracticing by allowing lawsuits. In practice, it's only turned to increase expenses for everyone, while enriching customers (and a few lucky clients).

These are not isolated examples. The list goes on and on. If lawyers want to have a good reputation, they sure don't act like it (of course there are exceptions).

Re:lawyers are mercenaries (1)

iggymanz (596061) | more than 5 years ago | (#28159519)

but the common man mostly can't afford them for anything that would take more than a few tens of hours, so they mainly are the tool of the dirt-bags. hence the jokes about major world problem solving always starting with "1. shoot the lawyers". also be mindful most judges and many politicians were lawyers: what rises to the top of the septic tank?

Re:lawyers are mercenaries (1)

moviepig.com (745183) | more than 5 years ago | (#28159247)

They probably thought they had this one in the bag, since some of the very lawyers who have been representing them have been appointed to the highest echelons of the Obama DoJ. Instead, however, the brief eloquently argued against the film companies' position, dismembering with surgical accuracy each and every argument the film companies had advanced."

Thus demonstrating again why you should never trust a lawyer. Unless you are still paying him, of course. (sorry nycLawyer)

I think the traditional ire against lawyers is better applied to instances where they foment and churn expensive litigation (e.g., chase ambulances)... not where you pay them to voice your position more eloquently and knowledgably than you could. Moreover, it seems here there's an outside chance that the lawyers just might be voicing their own position...

Re:lawyers are mercenaries (1)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 5 years ago | (#28159471)

I think the traditional ire against lawyers is better applied to instances where they foment and churn expensive litigation (e.g., chase ambulances)...

You mean, something like what an RIAA lawyer might do?

Even a broken clock... (1, Insightful)

xZoomerZx (1089699) | more than 5 years ago | (#28158911)

...is right twice a day. Despite the common belief that the US government is way beyond screwed up, occasionally there is an outbreak of common sense. (Once you stop laughing about the words 'common sense' and 'government' in the same sentence, you can mod me up.)

Re:Even a broken clock... (1)

newcastlejon (1483695) | more than 5 years ago | (#28158997)

It doesn't need to be broken; just stopped.

Oh, do I, did I, Oh Yes I Did! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28158935)

FROST
POST
BITCHES

:Head Asplode: (5, Funny)

Mindragon (627249) | more than 5 years ago | (#28158979)

NewYorkCountryLawyer said:
Well here's a story that could make us skeptical and/or cynical about our skepticism and/or cynicism.

It's way too early on a Sunday morning and/or afternoon for me to ponder and/or grok the in and/or out of the and/or in that sentence.

Re::Head Asplode: (1)

mjwx (966435) | more than 5 years ago | (#28159141)

NewYorkCountryLawyer said:
Well here's a story that could make us skeptical and/or cynical about our skepticism and/or cynicism.

It's way too early on a Sunday morning and/or afternoon for me to ponder and/or grok the in and/or out of the and/or in that sentence.

It's actually Monday morning here. 12:32 AM on June the 1st, by the time of your post to be exact. At least its a public holiday tomorrow.

Not quite as surprising as everyone thinks (4, Interesting)

erroneus (253617) | more than 5 years ago | (#28159053)

So far, at least on the surface, Obama is mostly keeping his hands off the DoJ and letting them do their thing independently. Perhaps it is a misperception on my part. And Obama seems to be at least trying to be his own president. It seems pretty obvious that he has capitulated on quite a few important issues and hasn't had quite the smooth ride he might have expected, but I don't think Obama cares much about the whole copyright thing right now.

I'm not cynical (1)

Sybert42 (1309493) | more than 5 years ago | (#28159091)

The promise of the Singularity is too strong.

It's a curious case... (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 5 years ago | (#28159159)

It sounds like the argument is consistent with the Betamax decision. This is essentially a VCR as a service rather than a product. I have no idea why it matters that storage is in RAM. There are systems that have stored data in RAM for years.

Duh, it's the Jews. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28159185)

Jews run Hollywood,
Lawyers are Jews,
Whoever wins,
we lose.

It rhymes so it can't be wrong. Therefore, I think it is appropriate to blame the Jews.

Oh really? (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 5 years ago | (#28159209)

If one attempted to distill a single prevailing emotion or attitude about government on Slashdot, I think it is fairly arguable that the winner would be cynicism or skepticism.

      Yeah right. Like we're expected to believe what you think about slashdot's opinion. You know, it's summaries like this that prove we can't expect much change either from the government OR slashdot...

PS: For the HUMOR impaired, the above was meant to be a skeptical, cynical comment. But THIS bit is actually sarcasm.

Re:Oh really? (3, Insightful)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 5 years ago | (#28159359)

If one attempted to distill a single prevailing emotion or attitude about government on Slashdot, I think it is fairly arguable that the winner would be cynicism or skepticism.

Yeah right. Like we're expected to believe what you think about slashdot's opinion. You know, it's summaries like this that prove we can't expect much change either from the government OR slashdot... PS: For the HUMOR impaired, the above was meant to be a skeptical, cynical comment. But THIS bit is actually sarcasm.

I am "humor impaired", and you had me there.

But seriously, the comments to my story so far demonstrate that this welcome bit of good news does nothing at all to dampen the raging cynicism and skepticism which seem to be the prevailing winds of Slashdot.

Ray... what's with the frames? (1)

Akardam (186995) | more than 5 years ago | (#28159311)

Just curious why you feel it's necessary to link the PDF in via a frame with some other stuff in the "sidebar" I could care less about.

Here's a direct link to the PDF:

http://beckermanlegal.com/Lawyer_Copyright_Internet_Law/cartoonnetwork_csc_090500AmicusCuriaeBriefOfUS.pdf [beckermanlegal.com]

Re:Ray... what's with the frames? (1)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 5 years ago | (#28159515)

Just curious why you feel it's necessary to link the PDF in via a frame with some other stuff in the "sidebar" I could care less about.

Just trying to make a dollar or two. Sorry. I keep thinking that people who support my work would try to help me out by buying a product or signing up for something through my affiliate ads, but it hasn't really worked out that way.

Re:Ray... what's with the frames? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28159657)

A PayPal "Donate" button goes a long way....I don't know about most of the other people on here, but I despise affiliate ads in any form they take, even when they're being offered by someone who is not trying to abuse them in some way.

Re:Ray... what's with the frames? (4, Informative)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 5 years ago | (#28159821)

A PayPal "Donate" button goes a long way..

Well the last time we mentioned my PayPal button, some contributions came rolling in. So if you insist it's here [beckermanlegal.com] .

Thing is, what I like about the affiliate advertising idea is I'm not asking for a handout, and it's not costing you anything. You buy stuff on the internet anyway. So why not check and see if you can buy it through one of my links and help ol' NewYorkCountryLawyer out, without it costing you a dime?

Re:Ray... what's with the frames? (1)

Todd Knarr (15451) | more than 5 years ago | (#28159823)

I for one don't mind the links going to your pages with the frames and all.

As for the advertising, I think the problem is that for me at least it's just noise to be filtered out. If I'm interested in something, odds are I've already found where to buy it using Google so the ads aren't interesting. If I'm not already interested in what's being advertised, most likely the ad won't interest me and I'll ignore it. And if the ad does catch my eye, there's a major problem with it: the ad network. There's generally too many redirects involved for me to reliably know where clicking on that ad will take me, and the ad networks themselves are notorious sources of malware. What I'll usually do if something in an ad does catch my attention is make a note of what it was and then go Google for it. That gives me a better feel for whether it's legit or not, and bypasses having to worry about the ad network and what it might be up to.

I expect we'll see more of this (4, Insightful)

petrus4 (213815) | more than 5 years ago | (#28159351)

I was initially skeptical about the alleged, lauded virtue of Barrack Obama, but the more I see of his actions, the more I'm forced to concede that I was wrong, and that in this case, water genuinely has flowed uphill, to use that analogy.

Obama's level of integrity is genuinely intimidating, for the simple reason that an American President is, at this point in history, expected to be a thoroughly amoral and corrupt human being. That he isn't, is rightfully seen almost as a violation of physical law. Bush's degree of evil had almost become reassuring, purely because of its' level of routine familiarity. When he attempted to do something monstrous, it was entirely expected.

Even with Bush aside, it is also a paradox when considered in light of the dynamics of political power in general. Reading Machiavelli and virtually every other treatise on the subject, one is left with the overwhelming conclusion that the single greatest prerequisite of political power is amorality, to the extent that it can be said that an individual's degree of political power will be directly proportional to their level of amorality.

Given this, Dick Cheney is perhaps a more likely example of who we would ordinarily expect to hold the office of President, morally speaking, than Obama. Cheney is, according to virtually every depiction of him, a consciously, willingly, and indeed enthusiastically evil individual. He is, therefore, far more consistent, both from study of political theory in general, and observation of American political history in particular, with the type of individual who I would expect to hold the office of the Presidency.

It is said that within a democracy, a people get the leader they deserve. I'm not entirely sure what Americans have done recently to deserve a leader with Obama's comparitive level of decency, especially given that Bush was so far to the opposite, but even for us outside America, Obama's integrity is certainly very welcome.

It will be fascinating to observe just how far outside of the established, conventional rules Obama is permitted to go.

Re:I expect we'll see more of this (1)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 5 years ago | (#28159375)

It is said that within a democracy, a people get the leader they deserve. I'm not entirely sure what Americans have done recently to deserve a leader with Obama's compar[a]tive level of decency, especially given that Bush was so far to the opposite, but even for us outside America, Obama's integrity is certainly very welcome.

Well I'm not ready to genuflect just yet. But this was a welcome bit of news.

Pretty big 2nd circuit opinion (2, Interesting)

tjstork (137384) | more than 5 years ago | (#28159423)

I find it interesting that our Supreme Court Nominee was not part of this ruling. In fact, the 2nd circuit is making a lot of important rulings - they also established legal precedent in the Google Adwords trademark violation case, and some stuff about trademarks and internet before that. But I don't see her opinion on -any- of them. Maybe we should appoint the judge whose opinion this is?

Re:Pretty big 2nd circuit opinion (3, Insightful)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 5 years ago | (#28159469)

Maybe we should appoint the judge whose opinion this is?

We?

cynicism (1)

rhesuspieces00 (804354) | more than 5 years ago | (#28159461)

The Supreme Court was thinking about overturning an important and just ruling but decided to just maintain the status quo. Oooooh, I suddenly feel so optimistic.

It's obvious what the approach is going to be (2, Interesting)

sirwired (27582) | more than 5 years ago | (#28159833)

I think it is fairly obvious what approach the Obama DoJ is going to take. In return for coming down hard on those that distribute pirated content (it is indeed a crime, if not one that deserves much punishment), the DoJ is going to make sure it is only going after actual pirates instead of consumers trying to use content they have already paid for.

While this is not an ideal situation (there are a LOT of things the DoJ could be doing other than chasing after torrent trackers), it's better the previous situation, where the xxAA gets whatever they ask for.

SirWired

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