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Canadian Copyright Lobby Fights Anti-Spyware Legislation

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the stop-being-jerks dept.

Privacy 104

An anonymous reader writes "New Canadian anti-spam and anti-spyware legislation is scheduled for a key vote on Monday. Michael Geist reports that the copyright lobby has been pushing to remove parts of the bill that would take away exceptions which currently allow spyware to be installed without authorization. 'The copyright lobby is deeply concerned that this change will block attempts to track possible infringement through electronic means.' There have also been proposals to extend the exemptions granted to telecom providers to include the installation of programs without the user's express consent, which Geist says will 'leave the door open to private, surreptitious surveillance.'"

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Let me guess... (4, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#29775583)

Either overtly, or in practice, this demand for private surveillance powers would cover them putting spyware on my machine; but not my putting spyware on their machines....

Re:Let me guess... (4, Insightful)

polle404 (727386) | more than 4 years ago | (#29775605)

and next term, they'll have it amended with a nifty little clause, so you're not allowed to uninstall it, either, i'd wager.
scary stuff...
and I thought Canadians were the levelheaded ones of that particular continent? ;-)

Re:Let me guess... (2, Interesting)

Mashiki (184564) | more than 4 years ago | (#29775617)

Wonder how it'll fair against the privacy act, considering it would fly afoul of the retention of data w/o consent.

Re:Let me guess... (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29775931)

FARE
n.
1. the sum charged or paid for conveyance in a bus, train, aeroplane, etc.
2. a paying passenger, esp when carried by taxi
3. a range of food and drink; diet
vb (intr).
1. to get on (as specified); manage "he fared well"
2. (with it as a subject) to turn out or happen as specified "it fared badly with him"
3. Archaic to eat "we fared sumptuously"
4. (often foll by forth) Archaic to go or travel
[Old English faran; related to Old Norse fara to travel, Old High German faran to go, Greek poros ford]

Re:Let me guess... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29777019)

it would fly afoul of the retention of data w/o consent

You "consented" when you broke the shrinkwrap on the CD or installed iTunes; ever read that EULA?

Re:Let me guess... (1)

Mashiki (184564) | more than 4 years ago | (#29778305)

You "consented" when you broke the shrinkwrap on the CD or installed iTunes; ever read that EULA?

ELUA's are not considered "binding" contracts, they're considered a one way agreement with extra consumer protection in various parts of Canada.

Re:Let me guess... (1)

Voulnet (1630793) | more than 4 years ago | (#29775633)

As long as US lobbyist money can reach over there, it is just a matter of time... .. Just a matter of time until the lobbyists just can't afford to waste anymore money against the internet folks.

We don't allow that sort of thing (4, Informative)

Rix (54095) | more than 4 years ago | (#29775661)

Lobbyists are not allowed to give any significant amount of money to politicians in Soviet Canuckistan. Bribes "political contributions" are limited to a few thousand dollars and are stringently regulated.

Re:We don't allow that sort of thing (1, Insightful)

Jerry Smith (806480) | more than 4 years ago | (#29775767)

Lobbyists are not allowed to give any significant amount of money to politicians in Soviet Canuckistan. Bribes "political contributions" are limited to a few thousand dollars and are stringently regulated.

And no lobbyist has ever broken that rule, or circumvented it? /innocent

Re:We don't allow that sort of thing (1)

JohnBailey (1092697) | more than 4 years ago | (#29776219)

And no lobbyist has ever broken that rule, or circumvented it? /innocent

There is a big difference between subverting/bending a rule, and deliberate open bribery. THE former can be dismissed as an ethical error, the latter is not a good idea, as if discovered, can come back and bite those involved in the arse.

Re:We don't allow that sort of thing (1)

Interoperable (1651953) | more than 4 years ago | (#29777095)

Sure, it's occasionally discovered that politicians or parties got some kickback money but from what I can tell of US news, it's much less extensive here. The $1000 cap limits overt lobbying and corruption scandals are few, generally involving small contracts rather than legislation.

MPs have to submit to audits (1)

Rix (54095) | more than 4 years ago | (#29779969)

If they have more money that they're allowed to, they're in deep shit.

Re:We don't allow that sort of thing (2, Insightful)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 4 years ago | (#29775855)

a few thousand dollars by a few thousand Canadians and your into significant amounts of money.
Never forget the lure of a job after politics, scholarship for family, friends.

Re:We don't allow that sort of thing (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29776273)

Lobbyists are not allowed to give any significant amount of money to politicians in Soviet Canuckistan. Bribes "political contributions" are limited to a few thousand dollars and are stringently regulated.

So? You want to know how this works around here (many European countries)? Politicians get exclusive vacations after which they change their agenda by 180 degrees. Or they get very high-paying "consulting" contracts. Or once their term is over, they end up in a high-paying position in a company of their choice.

Anti-corruption laws are made by politicians for politicians. They cannot work.

Re:We don't allow that sort of thing (1)

yamfry (1533879) | more than 4 years ago | (#29777291)

Well, there are certainly rules. Despite these rules, former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney ended up collecting $300,000 in envelopes stuffed with cash in secret hotel room meetings [www.cbc.ca] as kickbacks while he was in office. We only know this because he got caught.

Re:We don't allow that sort of thing (1)

arthurpaliden (939626) | more than 4 years ago | (#29777559)

Actually by law lobbyists in Canada are not allowed to give any money to a politician. Neither are corporations, unions or any other organization only private citizens and they can only donate about 1300 dollars per year.

Re:We don't allow that sort of thing (1)

01001011 01100101 01 (1030034) | more than 4 years ago | (#29778235)

All politicians are corrupt or they wouldn't be politicians.

Re:We don't allow that sort of thing (1)

Nikker (749551) | more than 4 years ago | (#29779183)

Bribery can also involve something other than money. As a Canadian I can say pretty much each one of our Prime Ministers (equiv to President) has been found out after they left to using their powers to get massive estates built, pushing tax payers money in the form of legislation into the hands of friends and of course lofty and well paid positions within the Government. In politics it is not really about the size of the cheques it is the power transferred. In Canada we just seem to have more effective "Watch Dog" campaigns and people who actually care enough (Mr Geist, thank you!) on their own to bring this public. If anyone reading this is from Canada you will probably have seen the "Stop the TV Tax" ad campaigns which is both sad and ironic, the Government takes huge chunks of tax payer money to pay for local channels (CTV et al) to be aired and then also legislate communications companies (Bell, Rogers) into God-Like status, now Bell and Rogers turn around and say now that they are broadcasting in digital the game has changed and they want more money and if the Government doesn't pay they will charge all of the customers a $10CDN "Tax" on their bills each month to allow us to get our local news. This reminds me of the movie Natural Born Killers, there is a line "A woman picked up a snake in the snow ... one day it bit her ... the snake said Bitch you knew I was a snake". With all the money we pay in taxes a part of that goes to these guys and then we pay additional already on our monthly bills we should have independent data connections and then all these TV stations could pass by these companies and broadcast regardless but now we have this bottleneck and they are stuck in it, beautiful.

Re:Let me guess... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29778769)

As long as US lobbyist money can reach over there, it is just a matter of time... .. Just a matter of time until the lobbyists just can't afford to waste anymore money against the internet folks.

Amen to that. That's how bullshit like "Canadians are the biggest pirates in the world" from assholes like California Governor Arnold Schwarzenhammerbugermeister, were able to fly up to our PRIME MINISTERS office and with a few Hollywood inspired photo ops, and a bullshit speech to parliament, get our Right Wing lackeys to pass a bill that now makes it a CRIMINAL act to video a movie in Canada.

I mean seriously, I've been a movie goer for over 30 years, and have NEVER ever NEVER ever ever seen anyone with a camera in a film.

What a bunch of morons. This is just another step in the wrong direction, that the average canadian will bend over and take, having been cowed by successive governments that 'know better than the people'. Frequently in Canada, you'll hear people say "What's the point, you can't change the government, they'll do what they want.

I think we need an EFF equivalent lobby group funded by Canadians... maybe there's be some action.

In the meantime, we get more and more US style bullshit laws like C-61 foisted upon us by our American Cousins.

Re:Let me guess... (2, Insightful)

haruchai (17472) | more than 4 years ago | (#29776007)

We were, mostly levelheaded until the right-wing nuts managed a takeover of the center-right - sound familiar?
Then the centrist and center-left basically fell apart and, shockingly, the only thing preventing the minority government
from gaining a majority, which would really screw anyone who gives a damn about basic freedoms, global warming,
equal rights and transparency in government are the Quebec sovereignists.

Scary times indeed.

Re:Let me guess... (1, Insightful)

TermV (49182) | more than 4 years ago | (#29776745)

Your comment might me more insightful except for the fact it's the so-called right-wing nuts proposing the anti-spyware legislation and the so-called level-headed left trying to gut it.

Let's dispense with the American-style left vs. right. The Canadian Liberal party has not put forth a platform that's fundamentally any different than the Conservatives. They both occupy the EXACT same spot in the political spectrum with a teeny little bit of left/right wiggle room. The Liberals were actually quite conservative during the Chretien years. Although as a Canadian you might think that the Conservatives are right-wing nut jobs, they're actually to the left of even the American Democrat party. The US Democrats can't even pass health care reform Democratic president and majorities in the senate and congress.

It is the right-wing nut (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29776895)

Right wing nuts want government out of THEIR business, but want government in the business of spoiling the "bad people" (who are obviously not *them*, they're the good guy).

So out of corporations (since they can do no wrong in the eyes of the RWN) and into the individual as long as they are suspected of committing a crime (especially against a corporation).

And they won't change until they are then considered the suspect.

It's too late then.

Re:Let me guess... (1)

haruchai (17472) | more than 4 years ago | (#29780385)

You've got it slightly backward. The Conservatives have been soft-peddling a compromise agenda because it's been clear that they weren't about to win a majority government.
Right now, they're sitting pretty sweet so I foresee them starting to push their true agenda more strongly, daring the fractured Opposition to trigger an election.
I'm not so sure about the the right and left comparison between our politicos and those of the US.
It does seem that the biggest difference is the leverage of the moneyed interests on both parties
and that Americans still fear the shadow of the Big Red Dog.
Newsflash, folks - not everything in the free market is good / not everything in socialism is bad. It does take wisdom to find a strong balance.

On balance, I'm strongly opposed to most of the legislation the Conservatives would like to pass and the weak enforcement of the ones that they pass grudgingly.
It's never going to happen, in this life, that I agree or disagree with everything a government wants or does. I'm okay with this one as it stands but there are many others that I'd like to see overturned or squelched.

Re:Let me guess... (1)

yanos (633109) | more than 4 years ago | (#29778255)

While I agree with your post, I think it should be noted that there's alot of people who vote for the Bloc without being sovereignists. The sole purpose of this party is to defend Quebec at the federal level, which unfortunately seems like a much, much better deal than the two other "big" party.

Re:Let me guess... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29778901)

While I agree with your post, I think it should be noted that there's alot of people who vote for the Bloc without being sovereignists. The sole purpose of this party is to defend Quebec at the federal level, which unfortunately seems like a much, much better deal than the two other "big" party.

What, are you a Bloc'ist?

I hate the term "Sovereigntist" it couches the argument in "we didn't lose the war" perspective.

Bloc'ists are pure seperatists, who do their best to play down Seperation and all that it will mean if Quebec ever leaves.

I for one, say shit or get off the pot. God damned Traitors.

Re:Let me guess... (1)

KillerBob (217953) | more than 4 years ago | (#29779273)

Most of the people in this country don't distinguish between the Bloc Quebecois, which is, as you say, a party whose sole purpose is to defend Quebec's interest at the federal level, and the Parti Quebecois, to which the separatists belong. While it's true that many separatists belong to the Bloc, it's not in their party constitution or published ideals to pursue sovereignty, though preservation of Quebec's identity as a nation (in a similar way to that which the natives enjoy) is.

Nation, in this case, referring to preservation of unique culture, unique language, and their own way of doing things. Quebec maintains its own education system, its own legal system, and its own culture, which is very different from most of Canada (and similar, but distinctly different to that in France... Quebec is *much* more European than anywhere else in North America, though). They think, rightly IMO, that this culture is worth preserving. They may have some wonky ways of going about preserving it, but the ideal itself is still a good thing.

Interestingly, when Charest was elected Premier with an overwhelming majority (something like 70% of the popular vote; 40% is enough to form a majority government in this country), one of his campaign platform's major planks was to modify the code in Quebec to prevent future separation votes... the people of Quebec have spoken, pretty clearly, that they don't actually want to separate, they just want to preserve their identity.

Re:Let me guess... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29780415)

He got 42% of the vote, not 70%. Also, it was one of the lowest participation rate of all times. He almost didn't get his majority.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quebec_general_election,_2008

Re:Let me guess... (1)

KillerBob (217953) | more than 4 years ago | (#29780525)

Charest took office in 2003, not 2008 [wikipedia.org] . While you're right that he got 46% of the popular vote, rather than the 70%, the voter turnout in that particular election was 70.5%, which is one of the highest voter turnouts in a long time. (and also explains where the 70% I quoted came from).

That was the 37th general assembly of Quebec, not the 39th (the one you linked)

Re:Let me guess... (1)

malkavian (9512) | more than 4 years ago | (#29778835)

Interestingly, in the UK, we've found that since the Left (Labour) came in, we've seen the expansion of initiatives that track and scrutinise the populace (eletronic sensors in the bins to see what we throw away, pervasive CCTV, speed cameras, databases of just about everything, Phorm for the online tracking given the green light and so on).
It's not a 'right v left' thing methinks, it's a lobbying and corruption thing. Oh, and also an ignorance thing. If someone presents a package and an argument as to why it's going to devastate the economy, and you never get to see the opposing argument.. Manipulating ignorance is what Lobbyists do best.

Re:Let me guess... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29779021)

You gave an 'informative'? to the not overtly biased statement. Therefore I feel no obligation to refrain form using history of left wing central Gov and what would happen now.. If the left wing sellouts were in the same position right now, all Canadians would have spyware already installed and mandated by that same gov. History supports the left doing exactly those things not the right.

Traditionally it's the right wing that believes in protecting personal liberty and privacy, not the left. I find it amusing and scary that the worst abusers of personal privacy and liberty crawl out from under their rock showing no shame. It is the left wing that believes in removing freedom for individuals for the good of who? In Canada's case it has been to favour big companies.

This was done by the liberals not the conservatives. The conservatives do not have a majority in the house or the senate. The liberals had a majority in the house and senate for over 20years. The accusations that the right or centre right has done anything in this regard or even an indication they would, is not supported by the historical record.

1) The conservatives hadn't been in power for 20 years, so everything we have was passed into law the liberals. That is one nice thing about not being in power since before the internet eases the burden on figuring out who did what. Everything is the liberal's behind it.
2) The present minority power of the conservatives and with the senate still dominated by the liberals, means if anything changes it will be the liberals behind it, as they obviously still hold the power in the house of sober second thought. That is why no laws have been passed yet. So where is the scary part? It's the liberals left that is still dictating for the big interest companies. Funny how that works eh?
3) In fact the investigations by the CRTC that is presently ongoing were raised by the Conservatives to investigate content regulations but that's about it. But the liberals don't like this investigation and continue to want it shut down. I wonder why?
The history clearly shows just how the left has been about taking away our personal rights and freedoms. The right has been the ones wanting to protect them. Sorry to say but likely before the time of the writer there has never been a right wing government so how do you know what the right wig would do? I'm not a conservative and my voting record of the last almost 40 years proves it. I just find it so funny how how a lot of Canadians think it is the left that is about freedoms when there is not a drop of history to support that notion. left means everyone shares everything and it's one big pot. It's the left that spies on it's people no the right.

Re:Let me guess... (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 4 years ago | (#29777831)

and I thought Canadians were the levelheaded ones of that particular continent? ;-)

Sadly, I'm afraid that this bit of legislation is being pushed in conjunction with US/global media interests -- many of our media are somewhat in bed with US corporations, and they all have the same agenda of reserving the right to control anything which might even remotely be used to infringe on their money stream.

Those companies have been driving getting this kind of thing installed into law in other countries for a long time, and it's been well covered on Slashdot before. Sadly the *AA's are beginning to seem a lot more like the global oligopolies in some of the cyberpunk stuff.

This isn't coming from an entirely domestic agenda -- it's lobby groups and business, the same as it is in the US. In fact, in a lot of case, it's the same companies. This is the long arm of the DMCA. In fact, I should add that given that Sony will be one of the companies involved in this, I bet they're waging this campaign in almost every country they can, so it's not just US influences on this legislation here in Canada.

Cheers

Re:Let me guess... (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29775613)

of course.. Then law enforcement has yet another law that allows them to be narcissistic hypocrites who don't understand why everyone hates and distrusts them.

Re:Let me guess... (5, Insightful)

QuoteMstr (55051) | more than 4 years ago | (#29775777)

I'm ambivalent on whether the parent is troll, but regardless, he has a salient point: when a significant portion of society breaks a law, there's not something wrong with the society, but with the law. Authority to govern comes from the consent of the governed. Ubiquitous lawbreaking without social consequence* is tantamount to retracting that consent. It's a terrible situation: not only is there a very real personal danger of capricious enforcement, but when a lawmaking apparatus is so aloof that it deems most of the people who make up a society unfit to be part of that society, that society is likely very sick in other respects as well.

* That is, practically nobody will shun you for sharing files, or smoking pot, (or in the 1920s) going to a speakeasy, but if you are acquitted of a murder on a technicality, you can expect to lose many of your friends.

Re:Let me guess... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29775825)

I don't think that's necessarily true. One can break the law and still realise that the existence of the law is better than its nonexistence. It may make you a hypocrite but it does not necessarily mean the world is a better place without the law. Maybe I'm a lazy asshole who litters occasionally, but that doesn't mean I want everyone else to litter and have the streets be covered with garbage. You can appreciate the disincentive a law creates even if you want to run the personal risk of being caught.

Re:Let me guess... (2, Insightful)

QuoteMstr (55051) | more than 4 years ago | (#29775839)

You're talking about individuals. I'm talking about society. As far as individual acts go, as Dan Ariely said, a fine is a price. Some people are willing to pay it. But I'm not talking about individuals weighing the risks and reward, but rather indications that particular laws are unjust.

I'm talking about wide-spread lawbreaking without social consequences for the lawbreakers. If littering were common, and nobody seemed to care much, then there would be a case for repealing the laws against it. But neither criterion is satisfied, really, so we can conclude that we actually do want laws against, err, opportunistic waste disposal.

Re:Let me guess... (1)

Nazlfrag (1035012) | more than 4 years ago | (#29775857)

People don't litter out of respect to society, not out of a fear of legal consequence. Littering would carry the same social stigma regardless. The only use of littering laws is the continued criminilization of everyday behaviour.

Re:Let me guess... (5, Interesting)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 4 years ago | (#29776065)

It's the continued criminalization of a tiny fraction of the population. Most people don't want to live in a trash heap, so they don't throw trash everywhere. When it comes to things like piracy, it's far more complex. With copyright, one can break the law and realize that its existence is better than its nonexistence. Many justify this (and I'm not arguing for or against here) in large part because the original purpose of copyright was not to stop individuals from copying things for personal use. That narrow interpretation of the law is a relatively recent abuse.

The purpose of modern copyright (for at least two centuries) has been to protect authors, composers, artists, and musicians, not the publishing industry. More to the point, a large part of its purpose was to protect those people from the industry---so that people who create an original work of authorship can shop it around to a publisher and have recourse if the publisher steals the work, publishes it without permission, and keeps the profits. It was primarily concerned with large-scale commercial copying, not individual copying---to such a degree that the impact on the commercial viability of the work is a consideration for a fair use defense. Indeed, when copyright was created, the notion of personal copying was absurd.

Indeed, the thought of prosecuting individuals wasn't really even a consideration (at least in the U.S.) before the 1980s and Sony v Universal [wikipedia.org] . Indeed, we can largely blame this mentality on the dissenting arguments posed by Blackmun et al. Prior to that, small-scale copying was not only mostly ignored, but in the few cases where it came up (e.g. Williams & Wilkins Co. v. United States [wikipedia.org] ), they got smacked down by the courts pretty badly. Over the past thirty years or so, however, copyright has taken a rather dramatic right turn towards corporate welfare, with absurd term extensions that essentially eradicate the public domain as we know it, dramatic scaling back of fair use rights, lawsuits against individuals and small-scale copying, and various egregious anticompetitive practices like the absurd "three note rule" [songsalike.com] (The Chiffons v. George Harrison), all of which are intended to further tighten the publishing/recording/movie industry's grasp on the creations of we, the artists, musicians, authors, etc.

So even though I don't condone copyright infringement, even I as a composer, writer, and computer programmer have a hard time with the way copyright is being abused to go after two bit infringement, enough so that I'd rather see copyright law and enforcement rolled back to about 1970, but not enough so that I'd want to see copyright go away altogether. It still is very useful at preventing corporations from stealing people's creations... up until the point at which they sign the contract, anyway, at which point the content creators are usually screwed.... You know... maybe we should roll it back farther than 1970... or at least seriously revisit the notion of works for hire and seriously tighten up what constitutes a work for hire, seriously limit corporate ownership of copyrights, and in general take back copyright from the leachers... and I don't mean the ones on Bittorrent.

Re:Let me guess... (1)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 4 years ago | (#29776173)

Indeed, it is clear that I desperately need an editor when writing things late at night. Indeed, I began three sentences in a row with the word indeed. Indeed.

*sigh*

Re:Let me guess... (1)

Zontar The Mindless (9002) | more than 4 years ago | (#29776853)

Don't worry about it. Still one of the most clear-headed ./ posts I've read on the subject.

Re:Let me guess... (1)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 4 years ago | (#29780757)

I don't know whether to be happy about that or terribly depressed. :-D

Re:Let me guess... (4, Interesting)

SlashWombat (1227578) | more than 4 years ago | (#29776215)

I would have to agree with this, except that most copyright ends up being owned by the very large corporations you suggest are the current demons. To make copyright fair again, I would suggest that copyright not be transferable from the original authors. Indeed, this should be back dated 100 years to totally undo the shit that these companies have perpetrated on the global population. I would also suggest that the copyright period be reduced to something more reasonable, say 50 years ... If you haven't made money/reputation in that period of time, you never will!

Re:Let me guess... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29776727)

I would also suggest that the copyright period be reduced to something more reasonable, say 50 years ...

This sounds excessive. The original copyright term in the US was 14 years - back when typesetting was done manually, and you had to make a return on your creation from a population of a few tens of thousands within horsecart-range. Now I can make a pdf available to billions of people worldwide within hours. A copyright period of a year or two sounds more appropriate.

Copyright should last long enough (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29777039)

Copyright should last long enough to have those who want to buy it buy rather than wait.

Two years is not enough.

Five years is fine: if you haven't bought it after three years you'll likely only buy it in the bargain bin. After five years, you have probably forgotten about it. So the number of sales is pretty much nil.

For music, that's enough time to get the release, the re-release and the "best of" out and sold.

For movies, it's bargain bin or forgotten.

For software, it's unusable or at least unsupported. A case could be made for extension of copyright up until 5 years or the end of support, whichever is last. Source code has to be available. It is for books, movies and music (to a lesser extent with the latter two, but cribbing chords can be done by anyone listening. Writing the fast sort algorithm can't be done by watching the hourglass spin).

Then s/transfer/exclusive license/g (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#29778205)

I would suggest that copyright not be transferable from the original authors.

What's the practical difference between a transfer (also called an assignment) of copyright and an exclusive license for the life of the copyright?

Re:Then s/transfer/exclusive license/g (1)

innocent_white_lamb (151825) | more than 4 years ago | (#29778673)

An exclusive license can be revoked in certain circumstances, a transfer is just that.

Re:Let me guess... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29779565)

"The purpose of modern copyright (for at least two centuries) has been to protect authors, composers, artists, and musicians"

Wrong from the start. The purpose of copyright law is to promote creative activities which would otherwise have no financial incentive. Artists have no inherent right to profit from their work because everything they create is necessarily derivative and therefore owes a debt to the society/culture in which they were born and raised. They have been given a 'gift of social law' that makes possible business models that allow them to earn a living, but this is not a 'human-right', it is just a legal one. And, its sole intent is to promote creative activities with the potential (not the guarantee) of monetary reward. As soon as these laws do more than promote creativity then they are excessive and it is impossible to make a sound economic case for them. They are simply a legal tool which sets up a particular economic game. A school child can see that the way the game is set up is completely unfair and unbalanced and does not serve the stated purpose. Individuals and businesses should not have the right to have their business models protected to the nth degree, just as when someone burgles my house I do not have the right to go into other people's houses to find my stuff, even if I have a strong suspicion about who stole from me - there is a limit to the legal remedies available to me when someone robs me, and intellectual property should be no different should be no different.

Re:Let me guess... (1)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 4 years ago | (#29779699)

Wrong from the start. The purpose of copyright law is to promote creative activities which would otherwise have no financial incentive. Artists have no inherent right to profit from their work because everything they create is necessarily derivative and therefore owes a debt to the society/culture in which they were born and raised.

No, there was a financial incentive for creating musical and artistic works long before copyright. In fact, there were two financial incentives. One was patronage and commissioned works, in which someone paid an artist to create something. The other was self publication, in which someone made a handwritten copy of a work and sold it to someone who wanted a copy of that work.

It has only been since the invention of technology that made copying progressively cheaper that copyright has been necessary. Prior to the invention of the printing press circa 1440, the notion of copyright did not even exist. Yet people made money from works of literature, music, and art for thousands of years before that.

Re:Let me guess... (1)

Idiomatick (976696) | more than 4 years ago | (#29780187)

I think you might be making a bit of a fallacy of choice mistake. Perhaps not you but it was lead into by GP's posts. You say that while people might prefer the law to exist as opposed to not. This may be completely true. But those aren't the two choices available to us.

OT: The criminalization of society is indeed a problem but I don't think littering is particularly one of them. You don't need to live in fear that the cops will dig up some old littering you did and charge you with it.

Re:Let me guess... (1)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 4 years ago | (#29780745)

I do understand that the choice isn't between having the law or not; if I didn't, I wouldn't have suggested rolling back certain aspects of the law to the way things were before they started going seriously wrong. :-)

Regarding littering, yeah, that clearly is a minor thing in the grand scheme of things, and if digging up old littering is the worst thing they can do to you, they're probably not trying very hard. With all the arcane laws on the books, I probably broke at least three this morning... somehow.... Maybe a law about waking up after 10 or a law about discharging water from bottles into a sink while your water supply is turned off or... who knows.

Re:Let me guess... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29776387)

Hey, i have no problem with downloading movies, music, games and etc, but please do not litter. i hate seeing nature and recyclables being wasted out of laziness.

but, sharing copyrighted stuff isn't immoral at
all. i'm sure most people would buy the work if it was actually worth it to them and they could afford it. i know i do.

i wouldn't want anyone to waste their money on copyrighted work that they can't afford, nor even enjoy/profit from once they actually use it; just like i hate litter. ;)

Re:Let me guess... (4, Insightful)

aztracker1 (702135) | more than 4 years ago | (#29775887)

Actually, I pretty much consider littering one of the most serious breakdowns of society... you are literally polluting your own environment directly. I'd rather have my son pirate every piece of software on his computer, and every bit of media he has a hold of than to see him litter. That's the truth of it... Not that I really condone the piracy of all software and media.

Re:Let me guess... (2, Funny)

Again (1351325) | more than 4 years ago | (#29776017)

Not that I really condone the piracy of all software and media.

I agree. I wouldn't recommend that anyone pirate Microsoft Access. Ever. For any reason. At all! No reason at all. Believe me, don't touch Microsoft Access. Just let it die. Please?

Off-topic but on-topic to your post: London. (2, Interesting)

Animaether (411575) | more than 4 years ago | (#29776419)

I always thought this to be rather counter-intuitive, but it strikes me time and again when I visit London...

Compared to San Francisco, New York, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, etc. downtown London is squeaky clean. Not just the parks, but random streets, areas near train/underground stations, etc. as well.
I hardly ever see any cleaning crews, so it can't be that they're busy cleaning all the time to keep things clean.

Then at one point in my first visit, I -had- a piece of trash.. an empty coke can ..and after 15 minutes of walking around with the darn thing (I hate littering), it struck me: it's damn near impossible to find a trashcan in London.
You can walk for miles in London and not come across any non-private trashcan. Not on the streets, not in train stations unless you happen to find one in some back corner or sneak into a fastfood place, not anywhere inside parks - you're lucky to find one or two near the entrances.

Could it be? Could removing trashcans and not having cleaning crews going around all the time have some psychological effect on people that they get the strong impression that their trash is -their trash- and should not only not be littered, but not be conveniently dumped in government-approved receptacles?

Another option is that on my three visits, I happened to take routes that magically steered me clear of a wealth of trashcans to be found in London.
I'll have to keep a keen eye out next time I go.

Re:Off-topic but on-topic to your post: London. (1)

Tweenk (1274968) | more than 4 years ago | (#29776699)

I also was there. The cleaning crews work late at night (I encoutered one), and the city is rather filthy then. I heard that there are no trashcans because of IRA - people were afraid that terrorists would leave bombs in them.

Re:Off-topic but on-topic to your post: London. (1)

orkysoft (93727) | more than 4 years ago | (#29778081)

Hey, at least they were disposing of their bombs properly. In Afghanistan they litter them along the side of the road! Buncha barbarians...

Re:Off-topic but on-topic to your post: London. (1)

Idiomatick (976696) | more than 4 years ago | (#29780281)

There are less trashcans pathetically because of terrorist fears. As sad as that was trash in the streets was shown to drop. Since studies have been done on this and it is the idea that seeing garbage makes it more acceptable to litter. As well people miss garbage cans or wind blows garbage out so there is garbage on the street which makes it more acceptable to litter. I think that redesigning the aesthetics of garbage cans could directly contribute to reduced trash in cities. And likely cost a lot less than cleaning crews.

Another interesting country to look at is Japan. It is a social faux pas to eat while walking, as it is offensive to the food, disrespectful to whoever made it. This results in much less trash in the streets. And while there are vending machines everywhere you are generally expected to drink there before moving on (This has gotten more lax in recent times). There are also less trashcans, hardly any, I've seen more bottle recycling spots than trashcans. That also contributes to keeping the streets clean. And on top of that they have very industrious cleaning crews which leave the place spotless. When this is maintained people are far less likely to litter if they see no one else doing it. I'm sure you or someone you know applies this method in their own homes, it works just as well scaled up to cities. This combined results in very very clean cities. The cleaning crew costs have dropped since their goal is more to maintain a high level of clean rather than clean up the huge mess to an acceptable level.

Re:Let me guess... (3, Funny)

jim_v2000 (818799) | more than 4 years ago | (#29775963)

"Authority to govern comes from the consent of the governed"

Ah, I thought it came from strange women lying in ponds distributing swords.

Re:Let me guess... (2, Funny)

Evil Shabazz (937088) | more than 4 years ago | (#29776199)

"Authority to govern comes from the consent of the governed"

Ah, I thought it came from strange women lying in ponds distributing swords.

Oh, but you can't expect to wield supreme executive power just because some watery tart threw a sword at you!

Re:Let me guess... (1)

thejynxed (831517) | more than 4 years ago | (#29776801)

"Authority to govern comes from the consent of the governed"

Ah, I thought it came from strange women lying in ponds distributing swords.

Oh, but you can't expect to wield supreme executive power just because some watery tart threw a sword at you!

Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony.

Re:Let me guess... (1)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | more than 4 years ago | (#29778191)

Ah, now that would make for a fun political platform!

Re:Let me guess... (1)

jhol13 (1087781) | more than 4 years ago | (#29776023)

when a significant portion of society breaks a law, there's not something wrong with the society, but with the law

So equality between races, genders and minorities rights are wrong?

Re:Let me guess... (1)

Rob the Bold (788862) | more than 4 years ago | (#29777325)

when a significant portion of society breaks a law, there's not something wrong with the society, but with the law

So equality between races, genders and minorities rights are wrong?

Your argument does not stand up to critical review. Trying to draw an equivalence between say, one race enslaving another, and the general public participating in -- or turning a blind eye toward -- unauthorized sharing of "intellectual property" is specious reasoning. Consider the absolute worst case of zero public support for intellectual property. What would happen? Would musicians be held in bondage? Would artists be forced to paint for free? Would inventors be chained to their shops until they innovated? Of course not. No one is born into artistry the way one is born into their race or their sex. Perhaps music would be limited to barrel grinders and street musicians playing for change and courtly musicians hired to exclusively produce music for someone else. Perhaps, as pro-IP activists say, creative output would be reduced overall, or less available to the general public. Maybe fewer people would choose music performance and composition as a career. Perhaps the public would suffer from this loss. You could have made those arguments. But this has nothing to do with respecting and protecting the rights of people from oppression as a result of the circumstance of their birth. Let me say again: it is a specious argument drawn from a false equivalence.

Re:Let me guess... (1)

Nikker (749551) | more than 4 years ago | (#29779703)

"No one is born into artistry"

Think about that for a second, why do you think some are right and left brain thinkers? These are traits of human beings one being analytical the other being abstract, that is why some people take to music and acting and others take to mathematics in many ways you are born into these fields the same way you are born with a sex and race. If we do take your 'extreme' case where there are no laws enforcing copyrights why don't we look back before there were such laws? Was there music before then? If so what was the motivation for people to do so if they couldn't profit? Did they profit with out these laws? You are comparing laws made only in the past 100 years with something that has been happening for thousands and mention false equivalence? Please elaborate.

If we take a look at the relationship between an artist and the person beholding the art you could say it draws an attraction. If there was no way of reproducing music artificially (by use of phonograph or otherwise) would you listen to the people around you preforming music on their porches? This is the power of music it gives power to the artist as a type of leader this is what seems to be the issue. The power is monetized and absorbed, the artist is left with nothing other than some paper which is in many cases short lived. If artists did not have copyrights they would have power which is much greater then any contract.

Re:Let me guess... (1)

Idiomatick (976696) | more than 4 years ago | (#29780107)

Sexism and racism at least in Canada is strongly opposed by the vast majority of Canadians. And was so when the laws were passed though less strongly.

Re:Let me guess... (1)

jhol13 (1087781) | more than 4 years ago | (#29781827)

I am certain that "even" in Canada the average pay for women/black/gay/islam is a lot less than for christian white men, the changes for high level job is less, etc.

The situation is likely not as bad as in USA where courts routinely give a lot bigger penalties for black, police is much more likely to stop a car driven by blacks, etc. but to claim equality is naive at best.

Re:Let me guess... (1)

Idiomatick (976696) | more than 4 years ago | (#29782473)

Oh but most Canadians think the pay should be the same all things equal. Same with criminal punishments. And most Canadians think that 'piracy' shouldn't be illegal nor have huge punishments. .... And it isn't so we are doing ok atm. In the US though people get doled out multi-million dollar punishments. I bet if you took a poll that number would be waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay lower. And that's the problem.

Re:Let me guess... (1)

Evil Shabazz (937088) | more than 4 years ago | (#29776191)

but when a lawmaking apparatus is so aloof that it deems most of the people who make up a society unfit to be part of that society, that society is likely very sick in other respects as well.

Is it the society that is sick, or the lawmaking apparatus? I definitely consider the majority of the US Congress fairly mentally ill... ;)

Re:Let me guess... (1)

the_one(2) (1117139) | more than 4 years ago | (#29776673)

I would like to point out that there are laws which the majority break but the majority also agree with like speeding laws.

Let me guess... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29776381)

I would like to see them try forcing their surveillance software onto my computer running GNU/Linux.

Re:Let me guess... (1)

mpe (36238) | more than 4 years ago | (#29777451)

Either overtly, or in practice, this demand for private surveillance powers would cover them putting spyware on my machine; but not my putting spyware on their machines....

Even if you've caught them infringing your copyright

spyware on your machine (1)

rs232 (849320) | more than 4 years ago | (#29778169)

"Either overtly, or in practice, this demand for private surveillance powers would cover them putting spyware on my machine; but not my putting spyware on their machines...."

There's already spyware on your machine, it's called Anti Virus software :)

Re:Let me guess... (2, Interesting)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 4 years ago | (#29778543)

It's getting to be a pretty good argument for abandoning Windows. I'm pondering a BSD machine with Firefox and P2P software running in jails, so even if the program itself had some sort of catastrophic security problem that allowed RIAA, the MPAA or whoever else (FBI, CIA, whatever) to throw in some spyware (if any of these guys even know what FreeBSD is), it would be pretty damned useless.

Two faces of a coin (5, Insightful)

Voulnet (1630793) | more than 4 years ago | (#29775621)

The more spyware and copyright lobbyists get mentioned together in legislation environments, the better. Since the majority of the folks in the judicial system are not tech-savvy, this may be a good chance to print a very bad (and true) trait on the operations of the copyright lobby.

Re:Two faces of a coin (5, Interesting)

QuoteMstr (55051) | more than 4 years ago | (#29775807)

I think corruption is only a partial explanation for these terrible laws.

As we age, through repetition, our worldview becomes burned into our minds like a phosphor afterglow on an old CRT. We then tend to face novel situations by constructing analogies between them and our ingrained repertoire of concepts, which explains the prevalence of car analogies for computing. But like all analogies, these are imperfect, and when aged lawmakers try to legislate based on these analogies, we get bad policy [wikipedia.org] . Thus, to get truly effective policy, we need people who have an innate understanding of the subject: as the cynical old saying goes, "change comes one funeral at a time."

By the way: when will people start using computer analogies to explain cars?

Re:Two faces of a coin (1)

KlaymenDK (713149) | more than 4 years ago | (#29776347)

By the way: when will people start using computer analogies to explain cars?

Soon. As soon as it's the *other* kind of driver that's to blame for the *other* kind of crashes (quite possibly followed by the regular kind).

Re:Two faces of a coin (1)

Wildclaw (15718) | more than 4 years ago | (#29776375)

I watched one of Adam Curtis documentaries, and I liked what one of the people that got interviewed said. The below is from memory so is probably not 100% word for word.

- Corrupt is your word. It isn't the word I would use.
- What word would you use?
- They were seduced.

It just hit spot on. People are seduced by ideas and once it becomes ingrained into their minds, it is very hard to see the problems with the idea. It must be a good idea because it sounds so good, and if you just look around you can see all the evidence supporting the idea. And if there is some contradicting evidence, then it is obviously because of a completely different reason and not because of the idea itself.

Bad spin (1)

KlaymenDK (713149) | more than 4 years ago | (#29776331)

True, that.

I don't see how *anyone* could get a positive of someone who's trying to fight anti-spam and anti-spyware. Sure, the majority of the population is probably more than a little hazy on spyware, but spam? That one they know, and can't possibly like.

Let them talk, and just keep asking "so basically, you're fighting to *allow* spam and spyware? You must really not have the common good in mind, eh?"

To risk stating (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29775653)

The obvious... Live boot cd's

"Now we're getting somewhere" (1)

Tibia1 (1615959) | more than 4 years ago | (#29775733)

reported a man who had been following the bill. "Soon we're hoping to pass laws that will prohibit the distribution of malware, drugs, and fatal blows to the face."

Am I reading the summary wrong? (1, Informative)

T Murphy (1054674) | more than 4 years ago | (#29775829)

the copyright lobby has been pushing to remove parts of the bill that would take away exceptions which currently allow spyware to be installed without authorization

Warning: summary makes little sense. This says there is an exception allowing uninformed installation of programs, and that the copyright lobby is against the exception. According to the article, the copyright lobby is trying to add an exception to allow certain programs to be installed in this manner. If you read the summary expecting the copyright lobby to support bad things, you'll read the summary as it should read.

Maybe it's a ploy to trick us into actually reading the article.

Re:Am I reading the summary wrong? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29775835)

Okay I mis-counted the negatives in that sentence so yeah my post is off-topic/stupid/etc. I still hold the summary is poorly worded (they are trying to add an exception)- and that I need to work on my reading comprehension.

Re:Am I reading the summary wrong? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29775877)

You're not the only illiterate one. You got modded to +4 so far!

Re:Am I reading the summary wrong? (1)

T Murphy (1054674) | more than 4 years ago | (#29775903)

Mod parent down! He can't read, he's wrong and he's an idiot.

Despite all that, he's managed to be +5 insightful.

Re:Am I reading the summary wrong? (1)

jesset77 (759149) | more than 4 years ago | (#29775983)

Ah ha, but you can't trick me into modding this comment as you'd like.

It's a trap! Don't mod the article as the author urges you to! ;3

FYI: yes, I am stacking more double negatives just to see if you'll react in an amusing manner. :3

Re:Am I reading the summary wrong? (2, Insightful)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 4 years ago | (#29775951)

The copyright lobby is pissed. They want to go fishing. The law would allows them to sneak but only collect data within limits, if they stumble over your emails ect, it gets very tricky.
They want sneak and peak open season.
If their "off the rack", one size fits all IP hunting Windows backdoor application gets all your data, so be it.
If they have to stand in open court and explain case by case how they 'protected' personal information during and after the hacking, it spoils the fun of the rapid IP to conviction shock and awe.
Best to get all data protections dropped and get a licence to hack anyone, anything, anytime. No pesky state detective license, federal law, state like "microphone" recording laws. Your IP is seen in the wide, game over, no fancy lawyers in court asking 'questions'.

Re:Am I reading the summary wrong? - YES YOU ARE (1)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | more than 4 years ago | (#29776015)

This says there is an exception allowing uninformed installation of programs, and that the copyright lobby is against the exception.

No - quite the opposite, in fact. It says that the copyright lobby is against removing that exception. The summary states this quite clearly.

Maybe it's a ploy to trick us into actually reading the article.

Failing to comprehend the summary (which was not awful, for a change) does not bode well for comprehension of the article.

Re:Am I reading the summary wrong? - YES YOU ARE (2, Informative)

Inschato (1350323) | more than 4 years ago | (#29776131)

As the law stands now, they can install spyware without authorization.
The bill would change this.
They're trying to remove that part of the bill.

Got it?

Re:Am I reading the summary wrong? (1)

selven (1556643) | more than 4 years ago | (#29776397)

The copyright lobby has been pushing to stop the taking away of exceptions (ie. they want the exceptions in there). It is a needlessly complicated sentence.

Do as I say, don't do as I do...... (1)

Bob_Who (926234) | more than 4 years ago | (#29775909)

.....Or Doo be doo be doo

- Frank Sinatra

Re: (1)

clint999 (1277046) | more than 4 years ago | (#29776143)

We were, mostly levelheaded until the right-wing nuts managed a takeover of the center-right - sound familiar?Then the centrist and center-left basically fell apart and, shockingly, the only thing preventing the minority governmentfrom gaining a majority, which would really screw anyone who gives a damn about basic freedoms, global warming,equal rights and transparency in government are the Quebec sovereignists.Scary times indeed.

Simple solution to such problems (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29776567)

Hang the lobbyists high and dry, or you'll be sorry soon with some three-strike law and pervasive spying of private communication, I say.

wow Canada (0, Troll)

anonymous9991 (1582431) | more than 4 years ago | (#29776571)

WOW I am never moving to Canada the laws up there are psychotic; and I dont even have any pirated software, music etc..

Shame? (2, Insightful)

divisionbyzero (300681) | more than 4 years ago | (#29776821)

Do these RIAA and MPAA have no shame? Seriously. How can they ask for these things with a straight face? Must be desperation in the face of an obsolete business model.

Only two legitimate exceptions I can think of (1)

davidwr (791652) | more than 4 years ago | (#29777133)

There are only two cases I can think of where someone should be allowed to be installed on your machine:

1) it's not really your machine. For example, if a lending library loans out PCs, or your employer gives you a PC, the owner has rights.

2) pursuant to a judicial order with the same or higher standards as voice wiretapping

Some people would say #2 isn't legitimate

Just trying to be like the USA (1)

canajin56 (660655) | more than 4 years ago | (#29777823)

In several US states, including California, this is already law. In fact, the proposed changes are word-for-word ripped from the California lawbooks. This exception is needed or else people could press criminal charges against Sony. Since they're pushing for these laws, you have to assume that any music CD you buy will infect your PC with a virus, and any RIAA-member musician's website is also designed to infect you with viruses in order to monitor the usage of your computer and report on any illegal downloads. Pirating your music is the safest way to avoid the viruses that the RIAA and CRIA both plainly admit they intend to infect you with in order to monitor your downloads.

Sorry... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29777945)

Sorry, but I (and only I) will control what is installed on my computers. No one is gonna tell me that they have the right to install anything, especially spyware, on my computer without my express written consent!!!! Sounds as if the "copyright lobby" wants to spy on people in ways that are immoral to say the least, and (for now) illegal. No matter what laws are passed, I will continue to make sure that no such spyware is installed on my computers, and to remove any such that I find.

They are MY computers. I bought and paid for them. I will say what is (and is not) installed on them! .

Pig Fat (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29778201)

A friend of a friend of an acquaintance who once worked for the father of one of the researchers said their primary goal was to imprint the bugs with an unyielding desire to render pig fat for the commercial market. That's right. The Lard of the Flies.

Nanny State Again (1)

isochroma (762833) | more than 4 years ago | (#29780283)

Just another try by the wealthy corporate elite to make legal power colinear with their economic power. Where did the much-lauded free market go? All I hear is rich corporates begging the Nanny State for protections and favors.

Just a bunch of criminals (1)

kheldan (1460303) | more than 4 years ago | (#29780959)

It's no great surprise that the pro-copyright crowd, RIAA, MPAA, etc. would have criminalistic tendencies -- after all, it's all over the news, and this story is just the icing on the cake: they openly want to be allowed to conduct themselves in such a way that anyone else would be immediately jailed and prosecuted for. I say round all of them up and put 'em in jail now.
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