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Cloud Computing, Music Lockers, and the Supreme Court

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the advance-the-useful-arts-and-sciences dept.

The Courts 84

An anonymous reader writes "Net speculation has swirled about the DOJ being stacked with media company-friendly attorneys who will throw the consumer under the bus, but in one of the first rulings, the Solicitor General defended network DVRs, mentioned cloud computing and a music locker — which has to be a first for a Supreme Court brief. Michael Robertson chronicles the latest developments and you can read the brief for yourself."

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84 comments

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Is this change you can believe in? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28183809)

Oh noes! Maybe the situation is more complicated than the average slashdotter thinks!

Re:Is this change you can believe in? (1)

Mister Whirly (964219) | more than 5 years ago | (#28186757)

Oh noes! Maybe the situation is more complicated than the average slashdotter thinks!

That should be the official motto for Slashdot.

First cloud? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28183817)

blah blah first blah !

+5 insightful of course

Music locker? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28183839)

When I was a kid, we used to catch wasps in tupperwares and release them into the lockers of kids that we didn't like. I wonder what the Solicitor General would think of that!

Re:Music locker? (1)

hoggoth (414195) | more than 5 years ago | (#28184127)

> When I was a kid, we used to catch wasps in tupperwares and release them into the lockers of kids that we didn't like. I wonder what the Solicitor General would think of that!

I remember you. I, and thousands of my tiny friends, are hunting you down.
I will encase you in a clay cylinder and explain my terrible plan in intricate detail while my wasps prepare to sting you.

Re:Music locker? (2, Funny)

Lucky75 (1265142) | more than 5 years ago | (#28184395)

I think that was a smallville episode.

Thank goodness (2, Insightful)

jdgeorge (18767) | more than 5 years ago | (#28183907)

What a relief to see our government coming out on the side of big businesses (cable TV/Internet service providers). Yes, this bodes well for consumers, but at its heart, this is about enabling big businesses to make tons of money. The MPAA/RIAA is not the only or biggest corporate interest the government is supporting.

Re:Thank goodness (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28183993)

So you're saying that no matter how they ruled, you would still have a snarky, cynical comment about the government?

Reject network DVRs -> "Government in the MPAA/RIAA's pocket!"
Defend network DVRs -> "Government in the cable companies/ISP's pocket!"

Re:Thank goodness (4, Insightful)

harryandthehenderson (1559721) | more than 5 years ago | (#28184171)

Pretty much. These types of people always have to find fault with the government even if it's a the exact same position they themselves were advocating.

Re:Thank goodness (2, Insightful)

MatthewCCNA (1405885) | more than 5 years ago | (#28184399)

I think a certain amount of cynicism is warranted

Re:Thank goodness (1)

pentalive (449155) | more than 5 years ago | (#28185191)

It's tough to pin down such a large group of people..

Reject network DVRs -> Group A says: "Government in the MPAA/RIAA's pocket!"
Defend network DVRs -> Group B says: "Government in the cable companies/ISP's pocket!"

Wonder what group C thinks of this.

Re:Thank goodness (3, Funny)

digitig (1056110) | more than 5 years ago | (#28185413)

It's tough to pin down such a large group of people..

Reject network DVRs -> Group A says: "Government in the MPAA/RIAA's pocket!" Defend network DVRs -> Group B says: "Government in the cable companies/ISP's pocket!"

Wonder what group C thinks of this.

Group C is only interested in how big the weathergirl's boobs are.

Re:Thank goodness (1)

xouumalperxe (815707) | more than 5 years ago | (#28195935)

No, that's group double-D.

Re:Thank goodness (1)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 5 years ago | (#28187065)

That's not really a bad thing though, is it? It's a fundamental check of power to verbally bitch-slap the government at every opportunity.

Re:Thank goodness (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28190287)

Why don't you consider the reason to be that BOTH outcomes could be negative? Just because they are inverse states does not mean one is good and one is bad. Perhaps not making a ruling at all is the righteous choice? I am not speculating on that specifically, merely on your system of reasoning. What your saying is if somebody leans towards the Green Party and neither Democrat or Republican, than they are automagically a cynic for not supporting one of the top two outcomes, despite their being countless other alternate possibilities, which that person might have a positive outlook on.

Re:Thank goodness (1)

siloko (1133863) | more than 5 years ago | (#28184429)

So you're saying that no matter how they ruled, you would still have a snarky, cynical comment about the government?

Indeed. Distilling the reasons for government decisions to a single cause is an over-simplification at best, more likely deliberate obfuscation.

Re:Thank goodness (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28184441)

"A strange game. The only winning move is not to play. How about a nice game of chess? "

Re:Thank goodness (0, Offtopic)

mister_playboy (1474163) | more than 5 years ago | (#28184567)

War Games?

Re:Thank goodness (1)

Mister Whirly (964219) | more than 5 years ago | (#28186805)

Global Thermonuclear War to be technical....And on the WOPR no less...

Re:Thank goodness (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28184551)

Yup.. Because the question isn't whether or not the government's ruling/support helps the consumer, the corporation, or the blue jays. The underlying question is should the government even be making a "ruling" or providing "support".

In many instances, our government is no longer, "of the people, for the people", but "of those with money, for those with money." So, until it is returned to it's proper role, the government's every action deserves the utmost scrutiny of the people.

Re:Thank goodness (1)

harryandthehenderson (1559721) | more than 5 years ago | (#28184675)

The underlying question is should the government even be making a "ruling" or providing "support".

Yes, it should. Why shouldn't the government be making a ruling or providing support for the Fair Use doctrine enshrined in the US copyright law?

Re:Thank goodness (1)

m.ducharme (1082683) | more than 5 years ago | (#28184869)

Governments don't make rulings, they make laws. Judges make rulings.

Re:Thank goodness (1, Insightful)

harryandthehenderson (1559721) | more than 5 years ago | (#28185031)

I hate to break it to you but the judicial system is part of the government.

Re:Thank goodness (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28185515)

While technically correct, most people when speaking of the "government" are referring to the legislative or possibly executive branches, not the judicial branch. To further pick a nit, the "judicial system" doesn't make rulings, judges who are themselves only one part of the judicial system, make rulings. Other component elements of the judicial system (the Bar, court staff, Sherriffs and/or bailiffs) do not make rulings.

Terrible Summary (3, Insightful)

hax0r_this (1073148) | more than 5 years ago | (#28184977)

I don't see what this has to do with consumers, as the summary seems to imply. Also, if you RTFA, no one related to the Obama administration "ruled" on anything, rather "President Obama's attorney filed papers with the Supreme Court supporting an earlier court decision that found Cablevision's remote storage DVR to be legal."

New Summary:

The Solicitor General filed a brief supporting a one company over another, after the Supreme Court already ruled that the first company was correct. Both companies were from industries that financed Obama's campaign [opensecrets.org] and have done everything in their power to fuck the consumer, so the ruling is essentially meaningless to you unless you happen to own lots of fiber or lots of IP.

Re:Terrible Summary (1)

cduffy (652) | more than 5 years ago | (#28185323)

Pardon?

Certainly, there's big money on both sides -- but one of these positions is certainly more consumer-friendly than the other: One which allows new and innovative products to be introduced to the marketplace; the other extends an already substantial set of monopoly powers.

Also, no, the Supreme Court did not already rule; the Federal Circuit court did, and the Supreme Court is deciding whether to consider accepting the appeal.

Re:Terrible Summary (1)

Mister Whirly (964219) | more than 5 years ago | (#28186847)

News flash: most large corporations give money to both political parties. The same industries "that financed Obama's campaign" also "financed McCain's campaign" as well.

Re:Thank goodness (1)

Voltageaav (798022) | more than 5 years ago | (#28183999)

Yeah, but it's helping their consumers as much as it is them.

Re:Thank goodness (2, Insightful)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 5 years ago | (#28184109)

As the others have noted, this would have meant 'tons of money' for 'big businesses' either way. Since that is the same on both sides of the equation, this ruling is really about the people and not the companies.

Re:Thank goodness (1)

jdgeorge (18767) | more than 5 years ago | (#28186689)

Mmmm... I don't think so. I could be wrong, but I think the combined economic value of the Cable TV/ISP companies is higher than the value of the MPAA/RIAA companies. To me, this seems like a case of the government trying to support the more significant economic interest.

Keep in mind, the reason either the MPAA/RIAA or the Cable/ISP companies have their money is because consumers value their product. This is not about what's best for consumers; it's about what's the best way to get the money flowing.

Let me be clear; I think this is a good thing. The government should be doing what's best for the economy as a whole. It's not what "consumers" want that matters most, but what "voters" want that the government should be concerned with.

Time Warner (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#28187903)

I could be wrong, but I think the combined economic value of the Cable TV/ISP companies is higher than the value of the MPAA/RIAA companies.

If that were true, then perhaps Comcast (cable TV/ISP) might have succeeded in its February 2004 attempted hostile takeover of The Walt Disney Company (MPAA). And compare Time Warner (MPAA; market cap: 29.43 billion USD) to the former subsidiary Time Warner Cable (cable TV/ISP; market cap: 10.94 billion USD) that it just spun out three months ago.

Re:Thank goodness (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28184797)

That's a wonderful analogy you have there. The two corporations are like two heavy-weight boxers, and the DoJ is like the referee. If the outcome is beneficial to consumers, it will be purely by coincidence.

If the consumer-interest groups were going up against the entertainment industry, we would have lost long ago.

Re:Thank goodness (1)

davester666 (731373) | more than 5 years ago | (#28185095)

Well, technically, they couldn't help it, as both side of the issue were doing it for their pocketbook. Cable/service providers want you to rent DVR functionality from them, with the bonus of not having to send out expensive equipment to your home, while the content industry wants you to buy or rent another copy of that show you just happened to miss.

Why the surprise?? (5, Insightful)

Pvt_Ryan (1102363) | more than 5 years ago | (#28183961)

Lawyers are known to be friendly to whoever is paying them..

When employeed by the RIAA ofc they are going to be aggressive to earn their keep.

When employed by DoJ they don't care about the RIAA the govenment is paying them so they do what the government wants and if the govenment doesnt care they use their own views.

Logically (most) lawyers don't like to repersent rapists (for example) but they will when paid..

Re:Why the surprise?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28184203)

The problem is that when government officials appointment lawyers, the lawyers may need to look for new work when the administration leaves. This is especially true when it involves a change of parties. You have to be careful about pissing off potential employers. There's no incentive to go against your previous employers, if you want to work for them when you're finished in government. They may be the ones hiring you. Why do you think that it's now against the law for legislators in the US to not lobby their comrades? Trent Lott retired early so that he wouldn't get bitten by the new law.

Re:Why the surprise?? (2, Insightful)

Reality Master 201 (578873) | more than 5 years ago | (#28184493)

That's kind of a naive view of how it works. They're hired guns, and everyone knows it.

And, to be honest, the advantages that the former DOJ lawyers would bring - in terms of knowledge about the department, and possible relationships with people still working there - are sufficiently valuable that any hurt feelings from their stint in the government are easily overlooked.

Re:Why the surprise?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28184449)

Logically (most) lawyers don't like to repersent rapists (for example) but they will when paid..

Or because everyone deserves proper representation in order for the justice system to make good decisions.

Re:Why the surprise?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28184479)

They are doing this to ensure that when an innocent man is accused of rape, he is defended and hopefully exonerated. (Because you can't always tell a priori who is innocent, they have to defend all of the accused.)

Re:Why the surprise?? (2, Insightful)

Abcd1234 (188840) | more than 5 years ago | (#28184679)

Lawyers are known to be friendly to whoever is paying them..

"known to be"? Jebus, that's their fucking job!

Re:Why the surprise?? (1)

Mister Whirly (964219) | more than 5 years ago | (#28186887)

No, it is their job to represent their clients, not to be friendly to them. Personally I would rather have a lawyer that is a prick and wins for me than one that loses and is friendly.

Re:Why the surprise?? (1)

fm6 (162816) | more than 5 years ago | (#28186999)

For some kinds of law, a good lawyer has to be a prick. Especially to their own clients, who often have inflated notions of their own righteousness.

Re:Why the surprise?? (1)

Abcd1234 (188840) | more than 5 years ago | (#28195197)

No, it is their job to represent their clients, not to be friendly to them.

Apparently you don't understand the use of the term "friend" in the GGP's post. Here, let's review:

Lawyers are known to be friendly to whoever is paying them..

When employeed by the RIAA ofc they are going to be aggressive to earn their keep.

When employed by DoJ they don't care about the RIAA the govenment is paying them so they do what the government wants and if the govenment doesnt care they use their own views.

Now, consider, the term "friend" can mean "buddy" or "pal", or it can simply mean "on your side". eg, "Canada is a friend to the United States."

Now, which definition do you think the GGP intended to use?

Re:Why the surprise?? (1)

Leafheart (1120885) | more than 5 years ago | (#28184751)

When employed by DoJ they don't care about the RIAA

Unless RIAA pays more for them, "off-record" than the government. And since, as part of the profession, most newsworthy lawyers are basically merceneries, chances were good they would go with RIAA. Looks like they weren't that corrupt, or more probably, they are saving face right now to backstab latter.

So, cheer for the record, but don't put your gloves down yet.

Smug Contempt of Lawyers (2, Informative)

fm6 (162816) | more than 5 years ago | (#28185107)

Logically (most) lawyers don't like to repersent rapists (for example) but they will when paid..

Uh, you do understand the difference in law between somebody who "everybody knows" has committed rape (or some other crime) and somebody whose criminality has actually been established at trial? This distinction is not academic to a lot of people [google.com] . And even people who are convicted or confessed criminals have the right to representation when being sentenced.

Lawyers are known to be friendly to whoever is paying them..

And this is not a sign of their moral degeneracy. No ethical professional accepts a job and then undercuts the client's goals by substituting their own. This is particularly important when you're providing legal representation to the client, because not doing your best to advocate their cause not only deprives them of a fundamental right, but undercuts the rule of law.

Right now, I'm reading this biography [amazon.com] of one well-known lawyer: Abraham Lincoln. (More or less on the top of my list of great Americans.) The school textbook tagline "Honest Abe" actually reflects the reputation he had for extremely strong ethics — a reputation that he used to devastating effect in jury trials. In particular he was known for turning down lucrative cases when he believed the client had a poor chance of winning.

Obviously Lincoln was a lot more ethical than most 21st century attorneys. But even so, he had no qualms about which legal rights he was willing to defend. He was even known to offer his services to both sides in some big cases!

This even extended to an institution that he opposed from an early age, and that he's best known for bringing to an end: slavery. At the time, Illinois had a lot of commerce with neighboring slave states. Slavery was illegal in Illinois, and any slaveholder who brought a slave into the state effectively freed them. But this did not apply to slaves "in transit", which led to some skirting of the law by bringing in slaves for temporary work. Naturally this led to litigation over the freedom of these slaves, and Lincoln represented clients on both sides of the issue, despite his own well-known opposition to slavery-friendly laws.

Re:Smug Contempt of Lawyers (1)

Hijacked Public (999535) | more than 5 years ago | (#28185395)

I'm told they called him that for reasons similar to why they nickname big kids "Tiny".

Re:Smug Contempt of Lawyers (1)

fm6 (162816) | more than 5 years ago | (#28186619)

Hmm. Let's see here. On the one hand I have a carefully documented biography written by a Pulitzer-winning historian [wikipedia.org] . On the other hand I have your report on what you say somebody told you. Gee, it's so hard to know who to believe....

Re:Smug Contempt of Lawyers (2, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | more than 5 years ago | (#28185477)

No ethical professional accepts a job and then undercuts the client's goals by substituting their own.

No, an ethical professional accepts no job that would require them to compromise their ethics. A lawyer who takes jobs on both sides of an ethical issue has either compromised their ethics for one client or the other, or they have no ethics at all.

Right now, I'm reading this biography of one well-known lawyer: Abraham Lincoln. (More or less on the top of my list of great Americans.)

Lincoln destroyed states rights and set the stage for the all encompassing federal government we have today. He should have just let the South go.

Re:Smug Contempt of Lawyers (1)

pnuema (523776) | more than 5 years ago | (#28186155)

Lincoln destroyed states rights and set the stage for the all encompassing federal government we have today. He should have just let the South go.

If the choice is between state's rights and allow slavery to continue, well that's a no-brainer for me. The fact that it isn't for you really makes me question your humanity.

Countries don't exist. They aren't real. People are. As soon as you put the country before the people, you open yourself to atrocity.

Re:Smug Contempt of Lawyers (1)

JesseMcDonald (536341) | more than 5 years ago | (#28186449)

Slavery was just an excuse. The South could've kept on practicing slavery--for a while, as it was already on its way out due to economic inefficiency--if it had only been willing to stay inside the Union. Somehow it just wasn't worth going to war over until the South seceded, at which point it instantly became a major issue and justification for all manner of atrocities.

Re:Smug Contempt of Lawyers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28187009)

"Slavery was just an excuse" is just an excuse.

How is having an abundance of free labor "economic efficiency"? So I suppose China is the most "economically inefficient" country? Is that why they own half of the USA?

Somehow it just wasn't worth going to war over until the South seceded, at which point it instantly became a major issue and justification for all manner of atrocities.

Reminds me of another recent war, where someone who we once considered an ally [about.com] and put into power was suddenly the most evil man on earth and must be stopped at all costs. Let me ask you - did you support the second war in Iraq?

Re:Smug Contempt of Lawyers (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 5 years ago | (#28186409)

A lawyer who takes jobs on both sides of an ethical issue has either compromised their ethics for one client or the other, or they have no ethics at all.

Or they have a different set of ethics than you.

Really. The my-ethics-are-the-only-valid-ethics theme is getting old.

Let's look at how a professional can ethically act for both sides in an ethical issue. Perhaps, since the issue is complicated and not easily decided, the professional's ethics demand that he use his personal skills to the best of his ability, and by advocating on both sides, he is better able to bring about an equitable solution.

Here's my biggest issue, though -- ethics are complicated, situations and problems are complicated. Reducing them to a simple single ethical issue is often wildly inaccurate. At the core of the issue, you weigh personal freedom as more important than the ability of a person to make a living from their creations, which have value to society. I do not; however, I do value personal freedoms to a large extent. So very easily, I could see myself on either "side" of this issue (to reduce it to sides, which is inaccurate). And there is no ethical conflict there, as balance is required.

Re:Smug Contempt of Lawyers (1)

fm6 (162816) | more than 5 years ago | (#28186961)

A lawyer who takes jobs on both sides of an ethical issue has either compromised their ethics for one client or the other, or they have no ethics at all.

I said he offered. Of course he didn't represent both sides!

Lincoln destroyed states rights and set the stage for the all encompassing federal government we have today. He should have just let the South go.

Oh of course, states rights are so much more important than human rights. Ideas like "liberty is an inalienable right" is just a passing fad. Besides, slaves had it pretty good [schoolnet.co.uk] , right?

If the southern states had been allowed to go their own way, they would have been followed by every other region with a real or imagined grievance. Think they would have held on the the west coast? Not likely, since they had only recently settled territorial disputes with the British empire and Mexico (the latter by occupying their capital city), with the Russian Empire showing more than a little interest. Maybe they would have held on to the prairie states.

That "all encompassing federal government" is the right's favorite straw man — though conservatives always seem to increase government power and spending when they're in charge. Whatever its faults, a strong central government is not something you can live without if you want your nation to be a leading economic power. Which leads to many other kinds of power — recall that the CSA disappeared because they didn't have the industrial capacity to wage a modern war.

If you want to live in a country where government power localized and limited, I suggest Central America.

Re:Why the surprise?? (1)

Jawn98685 (687784) | more than 5 years ago | (#28185637)

When employed by DoJ they don't care about the RIAA the govenment is paying them so they do what the government wants and if the govenment doesnt care they use their own views. .

(chuckles...) My, what a charmingly innocent view. Influence is a commodity in our system of government. It is bought, sold, and traded. To even speculate that there might be an issue, especially one which has reached the DoJ and/or SCOTUS, has not attracted a market for "caring" individuals is depressingly naive.

Re:Why the surprise?? (1)

slashdime (818069) | more than 5 years ago | (#28186819)

"Logically (most) lawyers don't like to repersent rapists (for example) but they will when paid.."

While I'm all for lawyer bashing because IANAL and there are plenty of anecdotes that will probably back up your views and mod mine down, let's be reasonable here.

"Logically", no one became a lawyer because they "like to represent rapists", but because they believe in the rule of law, or feel that everyone deserves a right to defend themselves in court.

So it's more like, "Lawyers don't like to represent rapists, but they will because they live in a society where the accused have rights no matter what the crime."

Addendum to rub some salt in the wound: it's represent, not repersent.

Re:Why the surprise?? (1)

chrismcb (983081) | more than 5 years ago | (#28190435)

Logically (most) lawyers don't like to repersent rapists (for example) but they will when paid..

How is this logical? Many defenders believe in the American Way, and that you are innocent until proven guilty, and that everyone should have their day in court.

The cloud (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28184139)

I just released a stink cloud from my ass and it's free to anyone who should walk by. Come, young man, and sample my warez!

Scribd? Really? (3, Insightful)

superdana (1211758) | more than 5 years ago | (#28184177)

Re:Scribd? Really? (1)

megabunny (710331) | more than 5 years ago | (#28191151)

Stoopid ting smashed my firefox tree. tks for linkie

Deja vu?!? (2, Interesting)

Sun.Jedi (1280674) | more than 5 years ago | (#28184261)

We just discussed this 2 days ago [slashdot.org] .

Re:Deja vu?!? - No, timeshifting. (5, Funny)

b4dc0d3r (1268512) | more than 5 years ago | (#28185167)

I'm sorry, I TIVO'd the previous discussion and just now got around to playing it back.

Re:Deja vu?!? - No, timeshifting. (1)

Sun.Jedi (1280674) | more than 5 years ago | (#28197451)

And Tivo, or any other set-top box is apparently A-OK. ;)

I love these "Yes, Obama is still shiny!" stories (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28184309)

Hey, lookie here! All those RIAA attorneys don't always support their former client.

Meanwhile, one of the largest industries in the US is being nationalized.

Re:I love these "Yes, Obama is still shiny!" stori (1)

b3d (525790) | more than 5 years ago | (#28184385)

What's your point? What has the failure of the automotive industry to respond to customer demand for fuel efficient cars have to do with the RIAA wanting to squeeze it's customers for every penny they can get? The two involve corporate entities, but beyond that, they have little to do with each other. I believe that's what is called a straw man argument.

Re:I love these "Yes, Obama is still shiny!" stori (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28186677)

The failure of Detroit is not a "failure of the automotive industry to respond to customer demand for fuel efficient cars". Detroit sold cars that the market
wanted. You might want something better, but you should not confuse what you (and possibly your peers with similar opinions) want with what the market wants.

Detroit was destroyed by years of management that "kicked the can down the road" when it came to union contracts, a union that didn't understand what they
were doing to the big 3 WRT retiree obligations and healthcare costs that rose much faster than inflation, a poor Supreme Court decision that created an antagonistic relationship between mgmt and labor, and succession of cowardly Congresses that preferred a "someone else pays for it" solution in CAFE vs. a more economically sound gas tax.

All of this created a perfect storm wherein the Big 3 had to figure out how to extract large sums of money from buyers for vehicles that didn't cost too much to make.
SUVs were perfect because they shared R&D and parts with trucks that Detroit was going to build anyways and they didn't require Detroit to sink vast sums of money into schemes that cheat the laws of thermodynamics. It was just an awesome hack that Detroit figured out how to get car-based platforms (like minivans and the PT Cruiser) classified as "light trucks" for the purposes of CAFE such that they could spend even less money on efficiency.

Actually, if Congress would not have specified the "two fleet" rule in CAFE, I daresay that SUVs would never have become the cash-cow for Detroit and much of the trouble we're currently in could have been avoided.

Re:I love these "Yes, Obama is still shiny!" stori (1)

JourneymanMereel (191114) | more than 5 years ago | (#28187121)

It wasn't until there was a sudden spike in gas prices that the average consumer "demanded" fuel efficient automobiles. Prior to that, the demand was higher for big trucks and SUVs and that's what the American auto industry was tooled up for. Sure, there was some demand for fuel efficiency, but the majority of the demand was in other areas. R&D takes a long time in the real world. It's not something you decide to do one day then wake up the next and start banging out code until you have something that kinda-sorta works a week later.

Re:I love these "Yes, Obama is still shiny!" stori (1)

kazagistar (1291564) | more than 5 years ago | (#28192695)

Hmm, I wonder how all the OTHER companies managed to stay in business? Was it because they *gasp* had the foresight to see that gas prices were obviously going to spike eventually (since supply is finite) or perhaps notice that the rest of the world already had efficiency regulations, making it very probable that America would adopt them eventually too? American companies build big cars, fail, get bought out by foreigners for cheap, end of story. And to tie it back, have you noticed how Jamendo has become one of the top sites on the web for music? Could it be that a bit looser regulation of content is being demanded by consumers? Hmm...

Consumers under bus? (1)

happy_place (632005) | more than 5 years ago | (#28184461)

And when these consumers under the bus get squished they all say, "Arrrrrrr!" And their parrots and peg legs go flying.

Common Sense (1)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 5 years ago | (#28184467)

suddenoutbreak... seems insufficient now. How about epidemicofcommonsense?

Not a ruling (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28184577)

This is only a brief filed by the Solicitor General.

She is, by the way, brilliant. I know her quite well.

-- AnonymousCoward@law.harvard.edu

Re:Not a ruling (1)

Presto Vivace (882157) | more than 5 years ago | (#28184925)

How does the brief read? For those of us who are too lazy to click the link.

Now fix the "Dominate/Manipulate COnsumer Act" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28184673)

It is nice to see them standing up for the rights of people other than the entertainment industry for a change. I wish they would fix the situation where I cannot watch my DVDs on my Linux box though.I know this will never happen. The average American is too stupid to care about the DMCA, and the law was passed by corrupt officials to begin with.

Music locker? (2, Informative)

Taibhsear (1286214) | more than 5 years ago | (#28184729)

In case anyone else was wondering, a music locker isn't a gym locker that plays music when you open it.

One example may be music lockering services, which permit users to upload files to a remote computer server and stream that music to a personal device over the Internet.

Re:Music locker? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28185065)

Darn! And just when I was wanting one, too.

Re:Music locker? (1)

Cajun Hell (725246) | more than 5 years ago | (#28185203)

In other words, it means the same thing as "file server" except that it's usually remote (most people think of a file server as being closer/faster, i.e. on their LAN) and possibly crippled to only store one type of file (music).

Don't jump to conclusions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28184989)

As - I believe it was - NYCL said, the recent exRIAA appointees can't make an input on DoJ rulings like the one mentioned for 2 years.

Let's see what happens in two years time.

Why Attorneys are like Microsoft Employees.... (5, Interesting)

sampson7 (536545) | more than 5 years ago | (#28185063)

Why do people assume that a former RIAA lawyer is not going to vigorously defend the American people? I was going to go off on a rant and explain (for the billionth time) that lawyers have an ethical obligation to zealously advocate for their clients; that professional responsibility demands that lawyers follow the instructions of their clients (up to a carefully defined point); and that lawyers represent murderers and rapists all the time without personally endorsing those pursuits.

But then I thought about all the people employed in the tech industry that have no love for the companies they work for, and are even openly dismissive of the products they once peddled. If I wanted to diagnose the problems associated with a particular code or piece of software, who better to ask then the people who created the software's architecture? The law is exactly the same way.

Moreover, these are exactly the right people to bring the RIAA to justice. They better than anyone else understand the legal strengths and weaknesses of the RIAA's position. Really people, do you think that these people sell their souls to the RIAA for all eternity? They understand the tactics and how to fight them.

Someone might look at my current employment as an energy industry lawyer and say I am unqualified to take a job with the government regulating the energy industry. These people are morons. There are few people qualified to police an amazingly complicated industry than those who were once a part of it. Barring corruption and direct conflict of interest checks (which are mandatory), if I were in charge of regulating an industry I would insist on hiring people with experience. Why is this so hard to understand???

Re:Why Attorneys are like Microsoft Employees.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28185803)

Ethics and lawyers should not be used in the same sentence. To a lawyer, ethics is something to justify what their client is paying them to do, there are no rights, no wrongs, nothing legal, nothing illegal, just what their client wants.

Re:Why Attorneys are like Microsoft Employees.... (1)

sgtrock (191182) | more than 5 years ago | (#28185963)

Barring corruption and direct conflict of interest checks (which are mandatory), if I were in charge of regulating an industry I would insist on hiring people with experience. Why is this so hard to understand???

Oh, it's not hard to understand at all. What you and the other apologists are forgetting is that in this particular instance, the lawyers who have been appointed to posts within the DoJ happen to come from firms who have consistently demonstrated a track record of unethical, immoral, and possibly illegal behavior. Why on earth should we assume that they've all suddenly found the light and will never sin again?

Re:Why Attorneys are like Microsoft Employees.... (2, Insightful)

rgviza (1303161) | more than 5 years ago | (#28186557)

Why on earth should we assume that they've all suddenly found the light and will never sin again?

Because they are being paid to? I agree with Sampson, know thy enemy (or hire people that do).

-Viz

Re:Why Attorneys are like Microsoft Employees.... (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 5 years ago | (#28191737)

lawyers have an ethical obligation

Wait, you lost me there with ethics and lawyers in the same sentence.

Not the great victory we might hope (2, Interesting)

PhysicsPhil (880677) | more than 5 years ago | (#28185397)

In this particular litigation, the plaintiffs and defendants made various stipulations. Notably the plaintiffs agreed to sue over primary copyright infringement but not on contributory (secondary) infringement. Defendants, on the other hand, agreed not to raise the various fair-use defenses that were available to them. In at least part of their brief the DOJ asserted that because of these waivers, this was not a useful test case for the Supreme Court because it wouldn't examine all of the arguments that could be made for each side. The DOJ didn't particularly come out in favour of IT rights; they just felt this wasn't the best case to settle them.

Not really all that great (2, Insightful)

Neeperando (1270890) | more than 5 years ago | (#28185463)

I don't really see how this is a win (or even a loss, for that matter) for the consumer. Who owns the content that I paid for? The argument was whether it was owned by the cable company or the network, and it came up for the cable company. Who cares? It's still not me.

this is 60atsex (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28185573)

to happen. My I ever edid. It the same o4eration very own shitter,

Smoke and Mirrors prehaps (1)

Swimsc (1297393) | more than 5 years ago | (#28188421)

Long time reader 2nd time poster. I may be wearing a tinfoil hat. While these thoughts are not my own...Techdirt I believe. Anyhow I tend to think the same way. This judgment has the earmarks of being for fair use and on the side of the consumer, I with the above disagree. It's staging for the future. With this ruling its legal for the cable company's to store your DVR'd shows and movies on their networks. That's fine and dandy. This "service" will be a convenience for most people that don't want another bulky set-top box in the living room or have to worry about it breaking, or being green whatever. In fact I bet it becomes so convenient and user friendly that you have to be a retarded monkey not to figure it out. In the meantime this will catch on, this FREE convenient service, till most people elect not to have the physical DVR device in the home or the cable company's just wont offer it as part of service anymore. Few years down the road, we begin to see storage shortages (Yes storage is dirt cheap and getting cheaper) caps, quotas. Bandwidth shortages to stream your Free service ect. See where this is going.. Then the monthly charge. Overage charges. Maintenance charges for everyday your account is over the limit.. Use your imagination. I see more over priced bullshit.
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