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3 Strikes — Denying Physics Won't Save the Video Stars

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the even-scotty-would-have-trouble dept.

The Internet 284

Philip K D writes "Award-winning SF author and BoingBoing co-editor Cory Doctorow has an editorial in today's Times of London. Doctorow elegantly eviscerates the basic injustice posed by the imminent Mandelson '3 Strikes' law in Britain. He makes the explicit observation: 'The internet is an integral part of our children's education; it's critical to our employment; it's how we stay in touch with distant relatives. It's how we engage with government. It's the single wire that delivers freedom of speech, freedom of the press and freedom of assembly. It isn't just a conduit for getting a few naughty free movies, it is the circulatory system of the information age.' It is worth noting that Doctorow was influential in the creation of the Creative Commons. He has enjoyed considerable commercial success for his writings, owing in no small part on his insistence that his work be made available for unrestricted electronic distribution and copying." In related news, the UK's second-largest ISP, TalkTalk, is now threatening legal action if Mandelson's plan goes through.

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284 comments

heh. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29928151)

good luck.

It isn't just a conduit for getting naughty movies (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29928237)

It is in fact, THE conduit for getting naughty movies. People who downplay the role of porn on the internet are in fantasyland.

Three chances is pretty damn GOOD !! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29928773)

Burgle three times and your "education" will be with JD Mike, up the tukus. If it isn't JD Mike, it's his older brother, up-state. Same lessons. Consider the three strikes something only morons have to worry about and you'll be all right. If you have to worry about it, get a new act, Jack, and quit whining as if you are owned anything.

Re:heh. (1, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | more than 4 years ago | (#29928395)

No kidding. 40 years of the "War on Drugs" has wasted thousands of lives in jail, and we're no closer to eliminating drugs. It will take at least 40 years of a war on copyright infringers before anyone starts seriously discussing legalization.

Re:heh. (4, Insightful)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 4 years ago | (#29928581)

Since when is drug legalization seriously discussed?

There are very few countries that have a slightly less restrictive stance on drugs and those countries are all being coerced by other countries into adapting stricter laws.

We're still far, far away from sane drug laws.

Re:heh. (4, Informative)

Hatta (162192) | more than 4 years ago | (#29929069)

California is holding legislative hearings [mercurynews.com] on the legalization of Cannabis for non-medical use. Earlier this year Barney Frank introduced legislation in the US House that would have legalized small amounts of marijuana at the federal level. Public opinion in favor of legalization of marijuana is at an all time high.

Now I'm not saying it's going to happen any time soon, but there's been more progress in the last year than in my entire life time. But that wasn't really my point, my point is that we're going to have to suffer through decades of copyright warfare, wasting millions of dollars and people-years in jail, just like we have in the war on drug users.

Re:heh. (3, Informative)

Incadenza (560402) | more than 4 years ago | (#29929123)

There are very few countries that have a slightly less restrictive stance on drugs and those countries are all being coerced by other countries into adapting stricter laws

. There is a worldwide momentum to see drug abuse as health problem instead of a criminal issue, and consequently to de-criminalize the personal use of (some or all) drugs:
Mexico [time.com]
Portugal [time.com]
Argentina [narconews.com]
Similar legislation has been approved in Colombia, Italy, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Spain

I see no sign of countries being 'coerced' into stricter drug laws.

marijuana legalization: being seriously discussed (2, Interesting)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#29929201)

http://www.cnn.com/2009/US/07/24/california.marijuana/index.html [cnn.com]

and marijuana should be 100% legal

meanwhile, meth, coke, and heroin legalization should never be seriously considered

that's just my opinion

but even if you disagree with me, you completely fail at the subject matter as soon as you talk about DRUG legalization. now if you want to talk to me about METH legalization, or MARIJUANA legalization, or COCAINE legalization, then we are having a valid coherent discussion. but there is no such thing, nor will there ever be such a thing as a coherent subject matter called DRUG legalization

every single drug is completely different in its pharmacological effects, and therefore every single drug should have a completely different legal framework around it. this is the most rational logical approach. meanwhile, if you don't understand that or refuse to take the radically different inebriation/ toxicity/ addiction/ etc profiles of different drugs into consideration when you frame your opinions on the subject matter, you are not being serious about the subject matter

if you wish to tell me everything from caffeine to methamphetamine should have the same legal approach, you just announce yourself as a complete idiot who knows absolutely nothing about the subject matter, or you are willfully expressing an utterly naive attitude to an obviously complicated and multivariate issue. which means you fail

this is a solid fact: marijuana will get legalized in the usa. it will be legalized FASTER if the idiots who think ALL drugs should be legalized shut the fuck up, or are shut up and kept out of the discussion. you refrain your opinions to marijuana, and marijuana alone, in the discussion about marijuana legalization, or you are HURTING THE CAUSE. if you try to broaden your remarks to all drugs, you sound like an idiot, and you turn people OFF on the subject of marijuana legalization who might otherwise listen

if you confine your remarks to MARIJUANA legalization and insist that the approach to methamphetamine/ coke/ heroin/ etc should be DIFFERENT (whether or not you think they should be legal or illegal), then you actually win over hearts and minds to a good cause

Re:heh. (4, Interesting)

Conspicuous Coward (938979) | more than 4 years ago | (#29928819)

Just as the war on drugs is only tangentially related to actual drug abuse, the war on copyright infringement will only be tangentially related to piracy.

The "failed" drug policy of the last 50 years only makes sense to me when seen as a war waged against the underprivileged in our societies. Drug use is high in all sections of society but the poor and ethnic minority groups are the ones that end up in prison.

Equally, I think the real reason behind slime-balls like Mandelson signing up to legislation that targets downloaders is to restrict freedom of speech on the internet.

New Labour, and Mandelson in particular, have waged a vicious war on freedom of speech, freedom of assembly and habeas corpus in Britain over the last 12 years. This legislation is the first step to widening that war to the internet. It gives unaccountable bureaucrats and corporate officials powers that were previously only available to the judiciary, just as New Labour is doing in other areas of British life. It will lead to (ab)use of these powers to curtail fundamental human rights, just as is happening with those other powers.

As much as our politicians are in the pockets of various corporations, I don't believe that's sufficient explanation for the assault on due process we see here. If there's one thing that terrifies politicians more than falling profits it's democracy. And large scale copyright infringement is just the excuse our politicians need to go after that on the internet with a vengeance.

Slashdot Bukkaki Fest (0, Troll)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 4 years ago | (#29929275)

Every time there's a story about this self-promotion king, everyone here seems to go wild with all the masterbations. And Doctrow goes for more. He must be a Bukkaki fan.

Not helping (5, Insightful)

russotto (537200) | more than 4 years ago | (#29928159)

He makes the explicit observation: 'The internet is an integral part of our children's education; it's critical to our employment; it's how we stay in touch with distant relatives. It's how we engage with government. It's the single wire that delivers freedom of speech, freedom of the press and freedom of assembly.

Cory, that's only encouraging them. Now you've told them that if you can arbitrarily cut off people's Internet access, you've got those people by the gonads and can make them do whatever you want without going through the annoying process of actually passing laws and obtaining convictions and such.

Re:Not helping (5, Insightful)

Philip K Dickhead (906971) | more than 4 years ago | (#29928293)

Sadly, I agree. The governments in the "west" are in their "wind-down" phase. They see enormous advantages in operating closed-cartel oriented markets, with severely curtailed republic systems and controlled public messages. It is working well (in their eyes) for China, with whom they imagine they must compete.

"Let 'em buy Mazdas and Nike, and they won't care if they're free. Control the information they are allowed to consume, and they will vigorously attack with extreme chauvinism, any messenger that points out that they are not free."

I am consistently amazed at how deadly accurate was the prescient vision of Terry Gilliam, in the movie Brazil - so clearly seeing the dreadful intersection of a corporate/consumerist substitution for the values of a republic, and the enlistment of "state power" as the lick-spittle to enforce corporate conformity.

Re:Not helping (3, Informative)

blackraven14250 (902843) | more than 4 years ago | (#29928485)

We also saw how well communist ideas worked for Russia (from our perspective) during the early 40's, and actually did things that headed us ever so slightly in the direction of communism. (You can definitively say that social security is a small step in that direction, considering the generally "free market" position of the country beforehand.) We saw many, many state-sponsored programs emerge during that time, when Russia was actually something to be reckoned with. Do you think that this time, the aspects we see as working the best for our main competitors that we integrate will destroy us, or will we have another pullback from the edge of going down the path others have?

Re:Not helping (4, Interesting)

Captain Splendid (673276) | more than 4 years ago | (#29928565)

I think you and GP are onto something. Consider: The US, in its infancy, models itself after the biggest guy on the block, the UK, and builds an empire. Mid-century, as you said, the UK is supplanted by the USSR as the biggest competition, and now China. Something to think about. But what happens when the US becomes more and more irrelevant? China vs the EU?

Re:Not helping (2, Interesting)

Philip K Dickhead (906971) | more than 4 years ago | (#29928861)

EU is a desperate hedge. It will mean little, except by way of contrast with the hideously diminished US.

Look to Brazil and a South American power to emerge. 20 years from now, it will seem as obvious as China does today. It's like India - without quite as much of a ridiculous demographic problem to overcome. By this time the US will be forced, at long last, to concede that its effort in Afghanistan are a failure.

Re:Not helping (2, Interesting)

Captain Splendid (673276) | more than 4 years ago | (#29928943)

Yeah, been paying a lot of attention to Brazil lately, and they do seem poised to kick unholy amounts of ass.

Which can only mean one thing: Time for a US/UK-sponsored coup!

Re:Not helping (1)

gad_zuki! (70830) | more than 4 years ago | (#29928911)

>We also saw how well communist ideas worked for Russia (from our perspective) during the early 40's, and actually did things that headed us ever so slightly in the direction of communism.

Communism isnt social programs like Social Security. Communism is state owned property and means of production. This is something tea baggers should have been taught in school. Social Security isnt paid for by nationalizing all the business, its a tax, same as roads, navies, etc.

Removing property from people and running a state command economy has nothing to do with these things. Heck, by the 1940s the Soviets were in a panic because the world was modernizing and the "commune" concept was only successful with the simple economics of the agrarian system and all the command economy voodoo cant compete with an open market in a complex economy. Forty years later their fears were realized when they couldnt afford anything and shortly collapsed.

I think the lesson here is centralized planning economies attached to a totalitarian government == fail. Not "theres wisdom in command economies." Sadly, a lot of the pro-communist people in the states were fed carefully engineered propaganda and life in the Soviet Union was not what they thought it was. This all tied in with what the Unions were doing but Unions didnt need communist sympathizers, if anything having people in their ranks only hurt them politically.

Re:Not helping (3, Insightful)

gad_zuki! (70830) | more than 4 years ago | (#29928801)

>They see enormous advantages in operating closed-cartel oriented markets, with severely curtailed republic systems and controlled public messages.

I know this is popular in libertarian circles but its a bunch of BS. Unlike a lot of anti-US commentators I have been to some of these countries and know immigrants from there. Its cute to see people go apeshit over internet connectivity and scream "decline of the west!!!" while tipping their hats to countries like China and Russia where human rights are less than a joke. Where political prisoners are the norm, where censorship firewall is the norm, where gays are beaten to death in front of police, where joining the opposition party is a risk to your life, where not subscribing to the state religion is a death sentence, where education is propaganda, etc.

I think this all stems from certain people hating the West for getting things right like the enlightenment, allowing criticism of religion and politics, allowing women full rights, allowing free speech, giving rights to minorities, allowing more than one party, univeral healthcare (sans a few), etc. Its sad that the 'small government' people are cozying up to dictators, warlords, and thugs because they envy success done with the large modern state which is almost always democratic, free market, and free speech.

As far as the East winding up, dont confuse catching up with getting past. A lot of these countries were poverty states until recently and have terrible GDP per capita and terrible governments, terrible crime, and terrible abuses. They have a significant portion of the population which is ready to revolt but is only held down by totalitarian elements (see China and Iran). Ironically, they have only grown by accepting Western values like capitalism, easy access to markets, and some level of government and social openness.

Re:Not helping (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29928881)

I hold the opposite view. Once people are aware of how unjust this is, they will oppose the evil megacorps.

Bwahahaha. Who am I kidding?

first comment (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29928163)

First comment,
So screw you all

I think (5, Insightful)

b0ttle (1332811) | more than 4 years ago | (#29928175)

They should create a 3 strike law for dumb politician laws.

Re:I think (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29928957)

They had such a law in ancient greece. It was, of course, abused. But it did help keep politicians in check.

A recent push in Germany to adopt such a law was, of course, refused by... the politicians who make laws. Tough luck. If you want to keep those in power in check, you have to put the rules into place before you put them into power.

Re:I think (1)

element-o.p. (939033) | more than 4 years ago | (#29929229)

We have something like that, here in the U.S. It's called the Constitution. The only problem is, those who have the ability to remove someone from power for abusing their position are, in fact, controlled (i.e., given their literal marching orders) by those in power.

The problem is that, by definition, it is impossible to give some group the power to depose those who hold power without given them power as well.

Re:I think (1)

Threni (635302) | more than 4 years ago | (#29929217)

Mandelson already resigned twice for being a dodgy fuck but he keeps coming back. He's even said he'll work for the opposition if they'll have him. Some people have no principles.

Re:I think (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29929253)

and dumb politicians

Alternatives (2, Interesting)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 4 years ago | (#29928189)

Assuming that they're going to create something stupid, what would be the least stupid alternative?
How about something along the lines of "3 strikes and you're limited to ports X,Y,Z"

Re:Alternatives (1)

immakiku (777365) | more than 4 years ago | (#29928257)

Hopefully nothing in the spirit of this law ever gets passed, but to entertain the question, port blocking has been obsolete for some times now. It's a huge annoyance, but there are always ways to get around it.

Re:Alternatives (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29928277)

How about, 3 strikes and you are subjected to due process?

Re:Alternatives (5, Insightful)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 4 years ago | (#29928351)

How about not punishing people who presumably have not been found guilty of breaking the law? If they broke the law and were found guilty, they'd be subject to the ruling of the court. If they haven't been found guilty or for that matter given no trial then the whole thing is a violation of due process.

Re:Alternatives (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 4 years ago | (#29928903)

How about not punishing people who presumably have not been found guilty of breaking the law?

I agree with you completely, but:
1. the **AAs are bastards
2. existing copyright law is impractical to enforce
3. the Brits have been getting soft in the head for years now with their nannyish statism

The only possible outcome is that they do something stupid at the prodding of corporate interests.

Re:Alternatives (1)

saintsfan (1171797) | more than 4 years ago | (#29929059)

not from my point of view. your comment indicates if it can be proven then it's ok. i don't think the crime fits the punishment whether you are guilty or not. while i think an ISP should be able to reserve the right to disconnect someone, I don't think there should be a blacklist law. heres my attempt at not laming it up: legitimately caught uploading an infringing mp3, youtube video and too much of another authors text on your personal website. three counts of infringement. outcome- from home, you can no longer work over vpn or run an internet based business, call relatives over skype or chat on facebook including those international and possibly in the military, shop in the largest common marketplaces, use blackboard for school, access phone records outside of the city-issued phone book, etc. seem fair? What if the law is extended to your place of business (you're fired), your school (bye) and public access cafes (now you're totally cut off). There are already services only available over the internet, and I assume that trend will grow. Hell food delivery may go that way some day. The punishment is so harsh because it's meant to be a deterrent, like cutting your hand off you get caught stealing, or fining you a million bucks for uploading a couple cds, or sending you to jail for years because you sold a rock of crack or got caught drinking and driving. In other words, it would fall into the category of areas that already need reform or have been reformed .. ya know, for humanitarian reasons. Some of those aren't corporate interests, but they are still special interest (madd, sheriffs unions). i say if this law passes, copywrited works should instantly lose their copy write status if the holder or through proxy wrongly accuses three times, and it has to be the same standard, so whether proven or by accusation.

Re:Alternatives (5, Insightful)

Rycross (836649) | more than 4 years ago | (#29928529)

Take them to a court of law after doing due diligence to figure out if they were really the ones infringing. Subject them to due process. Don't play shenanigans in court or behave unethically in the proceedings. If found guilty, then charge them fair, not extortionist, penalties.

The problem is that the media companies don't like the idea of not being able to railroad everyday people into settlement, or not being able to threaten the public with ridiculous penalties. This is because they lose the FUD-factor, and the cost of throwing lawyers at the problem becomes prohibitive.

How do you solve this? I don't know. Its not my problem, and its not the duty of society to ensure that litigation is profitable. Its the duty of society to make sure that due process is followed and the justice system improves society. It's not my duty to ensure that the media companies stay in business.

Re:Alternatives (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 4 years ago | (#29928627)

Assuming that they're going to create something stupid, what would be the least stupid alternative?

I have no idea, but I think I can figure out how to go in the opposite direction. The main problem, to me, is that they're using a baseball analogy instead of a boxing analogy.

Instead of "3 strikes and you're out", it should be "roughly between 10 and 100 blows to the head and you're out". With an optional "technical knockout rule" where if you fall over three times watching illegally downloaded porn you're out, or if the referee feels it would be unsafe to allow you to continue masturbating to internet porn.

Re:Alternatives (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29928765)

> How about something along the lines of "3 strikes and you're limited to ports X,Y,Z"

That's brilliant!

(Mostly because it's so damn easy to work around... "But I only use port 80 now! ... to my proxy server.")

So what then ? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29928201)

So if this isn't the answer, how do you propose that illegal software downloads, copyright infringing video clips on youtube, and illegal downloading of mp3 music *should* be handled ? Obviously the '3 strikes' isn't the answer to you, so what is ?

Re:So what then ? (5, Insightful)

blackraven14250 (902843) | more than 4 years ago | (#29928295)

In a way that requires proving that someone stole, rather than a simple accusation maybe?

Re:So what then ? (1)

Interoperable (1651953) | more than 4 years ago | (#29929299)

Whoa, whoa, whoa, no one's stealing. If they were stealing it would be a criminal offense under the jurisdiction of the police. That wouldn't go well for the record labels at all since the police don't care. It's copyright violation or license violation; which carries the same moral penalty as theft but a dramatically larger punishment.

Mu. (5, Insightful)

schon (31600) | more than 4 years ago | (#29928449)

So if this isn't the answer, how do you propose that illegal software downloads, copyright infringing video clips on youtube, and illegal downloading of mp3 music *should* be handled ?

Have you stopped beating your wife yet?

Your question presupposes that people accused of something are automatically guilty of it.

Re:Mu. (1)

lbalbalba (526209) | more than 4 years ago | (#29928607)

Your question presupposes that people accused of something are automatically guilty of it.

No, it doesn't t presuppose anything, and I know that by exception that there are painfully mistakes being made, but just how do you propose that someone actually illegally downloading or uploading stuff get's threated then ? Should they go free, because it's available for download/upload 'on the internet' ? Or should they have to face some kind of penalty ? For clarity this case -- assuming they are quilty --.

Re:Mu. (5, Insightful)

dissy (172727) | more than 4 years ago | (#29928717)

That one is so simple!

For any legal matter, a judge must state you are guilty of the crime.

After that, punishment is a non-issue.

With this law, you don't have to do anything wrong, or even do ANYTHING. A person in a coma can easily be guilty of this law, since it just requires someone to accuse them.

If i said Mr. ComaGuy downloaded a video, he is instantly GUILTY. Full stop. No more argument nor defense. The act of me claiming he did something is all it takes to be guilty of this law, having done so or not, or even being able to do so, never comes into play.

Three people do that to Mr. ComaGuy, and when he wakes up he is banned from the internet.

Now do you see why this law is a bad idea?

Re:Mu. (0)

lbalbalba (526209) | more than 4 years ago | (#29928827)

Now do you see why this law is a bad idea?

Just for the record -- not that anyone will ever read this -- I did not say that this law was a good idea: I merely asked what would be good alternatives, and so far, the only alternatice posted is that I should go and beat my wife. :(

Re:Mu. (1)

rkww (675767) | more than 4 years ago | (#29929001)

Cory Doctorow's point is that nobody needs to accuse Mr ComaGuy of anything. If somebody else in his family, or a neighbour sharing his link, is accused, without proof, of violating copyright, coma guy would be cut off. As Doctorow writes, "collective punishment.. is outlawed in the Geneva Convention."

Re:Mu. (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 4 years ago | (#29929169)

If i said Mr. ComaGuy downloaded a video, he is instantly GUILTY. Full stop. No more argument nor defense. The act of me claiming he did something is all it takes to be guilty of this law, having done so or not, or even being able to do so, never comes into play. Three people do that to Mr. ComaGuy, and when he wakes up he is banned from the internet. Well, in defense of your hypothetical "i", Mr. ComaGuy has said absolutely nothing in his own defense, and he wasn't using that internet connection anyway!

Three people do that to Mr. ComaGuy, and when he wakes up he is banned from the internet. Can't it be the same person doing it three times, which poses a much greater possibility for misuse?

Re:Mu. (0, Troll)

blind monkey 3 (773904) | more than 4 years ago | (#29928647)

I did not realise slashdot allows wife beaters to post.
There should be legislation to force slashdot to block access to anyone from their address!

Re:Mu. (1)

lbalbalba (526209) | more than 4 years ago | (#29928701)

Real sorry you (and others) have to resort to insults (like naming me a wife-beater) to defend postilions that you do not agree with. Sad.

Re:Mu. (3, Insightful)

david_thornley (598059) | more than 4 years ago | (#29928873)

However, by your logic, we're entitled to subject you to net-based wife-beating punishments. After all, if somebody accuses a person of something, you seem to believe that person should be punished.

Or, alternately, you believe that little things like due process must be ditched if they interfere with protecting the profits of large corporations.

If somebody is guilty of copyright violations, that can be brought up in a court of law. Indeed, there are some high-profile cases recently. If they are then found guilty of criminal copyright infringement, or found to have violated copyright in a civil proceeding, they can be punished.

If that's inconvenient for a company, tough. It's often inconvenient for me to sue companies I've got a legitimate grievance against; shall I take revenge on them in my own way?

Re:Mu. (1)

blind monkey 3 (773904) | more than 4 years ago | (#29929033)

We have legal systems set up to decide who has committed a crime and or misdemeanor not me or slashdot - the legal system should be the ones to decide - this should also apply to alleged "illegal downloaders".

Re:Mu. (1)

Logic and Reason (952833) | more than 4 years ago | (#29929101)

Chill out, man. "Have you stopped beating your wife" is often used as a classic example of a loaded question [wikipedia.org] . No one was suggesting that you actually beat your wife; it was a rhetorical device to point out how ridiculous it is for someone to be punished due to mere accusation (though how exactly that relates to loaded questions escapes me at the moment).

Re:Mu. (1)

element-o.p. (939033) | more than 4 years ago | (#29929341)

Whoosh.

You totally missed the point in what was posted. Schon did not *say* you were a wife beater, nor was (s)he calling you names to defend a position (s)he did not agree with. (S)He posted a question that is a classical example of a type of question that is essentially impossible to answer correctly. A yes/no question, by definition, only has two possible answers: "yes" and "no". A yes answer implies that you were a wife beater and now have stopped. A no answer implies that you are still beating your wife. Therefore, whether you answer yes or no to the question "Have you stopped beating your wife yet?", the answer implies that you were, in fact, already beating your wife.

This is why Schon asked the question. Assuming that you would recognize the question and the faulty logic that accompanies it, (s)he was trying to show that this law PRESUPPOSES that you are guilty. There is no presumption of innocence: if the **AA claims you are a copyright infringer, then by this law, you ARE a copyright infringer, exactly as either a yes or no answer to the question "Have you stopped beating your wife yet?" presupposes you are (or at least "were"), in fact, a wife beater.

Mu yourself (1)

Interoperable (1651953) | more than 4 years ago | (#29929391)

The question is perfectly valid; it presupposes that people are illegally downloading copyrighted content. Which they are.

If you're going to try to "unask" the question on the basis that it makes an invalid supposition you'll have to try to argue that no one is illegally downloading content. Good luck.

Re:So what then ? (3, Interesting)

Znork (31774) | more than 4 years ago | (#29928551)

The obvious solution is to make it legal instead. No more problem with illegal downloads or copyright infringing videos.

If you then want beyond free-market incentives for certain sectors, then there are any number of ways to pay out such incentives, the simplest of which is simply automatically slapping a levy on any revenue derived directly from such duplications and paying it directly to the creators.

Much easier to deal with shares of monetary transactions than attempt to prevent the unpreventable.

Re:So what then ? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29928593)

Simple - copyright reform. And, by that, I mean Mr. Capitalism pulling it's Corporate cock out of the Public Domain's ass and stop raping it. Short term copyrights, pay-what-you-want donor-based pricing. Open it wide open and the people will love it so much, they will want to give what they feel they need to the artists they love the most. Of course, the MAFIAA does not like that because that connects the fans and the artists, but ultimately, that's what the internet is all about. They used to be needed for distribution, aggregation, and promotion - with the internet and social networking sites, they are entirely obsolete and record labels can break up now and go back to being independent.

We need to start paying more attention to websites like kickstarter.com, they should be leading the way to busting this problem wide open.

Illegal does not mean enforceable (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29928751)

Copyright infringement laws are difficult to enforce. That does not automatically justify making someone guilty upon accusation.

Sure, the activities are illegal. And some believe they are illegal with good reason (something about causing economic harm). Be that as it may, it is still not okay to presume someone is guilty just because he has been accused too many times.

Any idiot can accuse, even if there is no guilt. Innocent people must be protected against false accusations. Allowing guilt to be presumed upon accusation is a far greater crime than copyright infringement.

So it doesn't matter how else the situation should be handled. It doesn't matter if there is *no other way* to inforce copyright law. Guilty-upon-accusation is outright unacceptable under any circumstance.

How should escaped slaves be handled (3, Insightful)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 4 years ago | (#29929107)

No copyright and freedom of the individual are not the same thing, but the issue is here that you are asking a loaded question.

You are asking, if hanging escaped slaves isn't the answer, then how should they be handled. Making it obvious that in your mind, that you already made up your mind that there should be punishment.

Others would argue that you might ask whether the very concept of copyright might not need to be changed. Once again.

Copyright has NOT been in existence for the vast majority of human history. Thousands of years, humanity has progressed and produced art that has endured across the ages, with absolutely no copyright.

This changed, and NOT as you might think to protect the creators of content, but the publishers of content. Copyright is not for nothing called COPY right. It was created to protect music PUBLISHERS, printed music sheets, who bought the music from artist for a small sum and then printed money. Obviously, they wanted to be only ones to be allowed to do that, and so copyright was started in its modern form.

The current system is a dreadful beast. The same Disney that has lobbied to have it extended published Pinocchio on the day after the copyright on it expired. Yet if you dare to use their work, you will be hounded by their lawyers, even with works of parody.

No, you ask how the slave should be punished, when every right thinking person ask, should slavery be allowed.

Copyright needs to change, it has no longer got anything to do with giving a creator a change to make a living of his work and everything with enormous business interests seeking to bleed every last penny from content others produced. When a music publishers seeks money a dozen times from the same person for the same song, the beast needs to be killed. 1 payment for the audio sample. Another for the tune on your iPod, then next for the home stereo, another fee to embed it in your birthday video, another if you play it a party, more money still for your ringtone, buy it again if you buy another MP3-player.

ENOUGH

Copyright has to change. Computer games that cost ever more for shorter and shorter games with tiny addons costing 10 bucks or more is nickle and diming the industry to death. People bought games when you could simply swap them on a floppy because the price was right. 70+ euro's for a PS3 games is just not on. Especially since the PC version costs 30-40 euro's LESS. The Collectors Edition of Dragon Age for the PC costs the same as the regular edition for the consoles. Greed gone out of control.

For music the same goes. Apple lovers, turn away, this is going to hurt. The costs of an iTune song is the purest greed displayed, until the BBC named its pricing plans for the iPlayer. 1 dollar/euro for a song, that does not have to be pressed on a CD, put in a box with a printed sleeve, stocked and shipped, all with the risk of producing to few or to many, is JUST TO FUCKING MUCH. What happened to the CAPITALIST idea of cost savings reducing prices? The BBC even thought to charge 10 dollar per episode. God help the Eastenders fan. Or worse, neighbors.

The prices got nothing more to do with demand and supply but with "We supply therefor we demand."

Movies make record profits, yet the movie industry is being killed by downloading. How can this be? Because some MPAA accountant has told movie moguls that their are 6 billion people in this world and so their movie should at 10 dollars per ticket earn them 60 billion. When it doesn't, piracy is to blame.

Pension funds in Holland invest in MUSIC rights for the future as their analysts who are boring men who think gold is unstable because it evaporates at a rate of few atoms every 1 million years, have determined it is a reliable investment. A safe buy that pays for itself in 10 years and is then a steady source of income at virtually no cost.

Yet the music industry is supposedly at an edge.

No, it is no wonder you posted as an AC. You are arguing a lost cause, people know better here and while it is a hard fight, for the first time in a long time the message is truly getting out. Politics are changing, it might not change for the better but there isn't a country in Europe were there isn't unrest and it is showing in all kinds of ways. The labour goverment that is proposing this law is as unpopular as the party they defeated in the last century. Now, the unthinkable has happened, the liberals might actually become big!

The dutch government is trying to pass unpopular laws as well, while the next elections, which might happen sooner rather then later are almost ensured to change the political landscape.

I am not saying copyright is THE issue, but it is an issue and the message that the white music publisher has a god given right to own the content is starting to be questioned.

UK government (4, Informative)

Lord Ender (156273) | more than 4 years ago | (#29928219)

In the Bush years, the US had become the poster child for bad government in the Western world. Now, though, it seams the UK is the clear leader in this respect. There are so man examples other than this one. For example, just today, the UK fired a drug policy advisor because his scientific findings "sent the wrong message."

Yes, in the UK government, stating scientific facts is now a fire-able offense. Bush was pretty anti-science, but even he didn't outright fire people like that.

Re:UK government (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29928275)

9 federal prosecutors would probably disagree about Bush firing people for doing their jobs.

Anglo Disease (1)

QuoteMstr (55051) | more than 4 years ago | (#29928823)

Some commentators call this affliction, which seems to have harmed most English-speaking nations in the world, the "Anglo Disease [theoildrum.com] ". (Keep in mind that this particular eerily prophetic article was written before the Great Recession.)

"influential in the creation of the CC...?" (5, Informative)

bcrowell (177657) | more than 4 years ago | (#29928325)

It is worth noting that Doctorow was influential in the creation of the Creative Commons.

First I've heard of this. Citation, please?

I know that Doctorow was one of CC's early adopters. I've never heard that he was involved in the creation of the license.

IMO Cory Doctorow is good writer, but an absolute genius at self-promotion.

Re:"influential in the creation of the CC...?" (3, Informative)

StreetStealth (980200) | more than 4 years ago | (#29929193)

I think it's safe to say that Doctorow was influential in the adoption of the Creative Commons. Most everyone I know who is familiar with CC tracks back their first experience with it to BoingBoing.

Circulatory system of the information age (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29928329)

Which is the reason all the world's governments want to control it. And if they can, they will. And the quid pro quo for all the potentially good works they might do is ubiquitous surveillance, standards of decency enforced by the perpetually aggrieved of all stripes, and one-stop enforcement of copyright, drug laws and taxation.

Web 2 point uh oh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29928349)

"Award-winning SF author and BoingBoing co-editor Cory Doctorow has an editorial in today's Times of London. Doctorow elegantly eviscerates the basic injustice posed by the imminent Mandelson '3 Strikes' law in Britain. He makes the explicit observation: 'The internet is an integral part of our children's education; it's critical to our employment; it's how we stay in touch with distant relatives. It's how we engage with government. It's the single wire that delivers freedom of speech, freedom of the press and freedom of assembly. It isn't just a conduit for getting a few naughty free movies, it is the circulatory system of the information age.' It is worth noting that Doctorow was influential in the creation of the Creative Commons. He has enjoyed considerable commercial success for his writings, owing in no small part on his insistence that his work be made available for unrestricted electronic distribution and copying." In related news, the UK's second-largest ISP, TalkTalk, is now threatening legal action if Mandelson's plan goes through.

Jar-Jar Binks: Meesa make bigbig splash withsa web two point ohoh namessa. Meesa make bigbig news with nerd website, http colon slash slash slashslash dotdot dot org! Yousa read it!

Hmm.. no (3, Interesting)

the_leander (759904) | more than 4 years ago | (#29928391)

Even assuming the security services don't lynch the dark lord before this goes to the vote, i have to wonder how effective such a law would be. For 20 quid i can get a 3g pay and go modem. No contract, no names, just cash.

Then we have TOR and i2p, which if the papers are to be believed have the aformentioned services bricking it.

Still, so long as he keeps getting his back handers, I'm sure everything will work out fine.

Re:Hmm.. no (1)

kalirion (728907) | more than 4 years ago | (#29929057)

For 20 quid i can get a 3g pay and go modem. No contract, no names, just cash.

Don't worry, those will be outlawed soon enough.

Re:Hmm.. no (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 4 years ago | (#29929199)

Don't know about the UK, aren't there any per-byte charges on a pay-as-you-go 3g plan? Unless it is truly "unlimited", (e.g. "go ahead and run you web server over it, we don't care!") there are going to be some serious downloading charges; it may in fact be cheaper to just buy the damn DVD or CD.

let them pass all the laws they want (4, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#29928611)

who fucking cares? its just so much damage to route around

yes, they could make laws that would end filesharing... laws that would also essentially kill everything that makes the internet worthy our contribution and attention. that's not going to happen, unless media companies have more power than self-destructive military dictatorships

therefore, let them pass all of the half-assed measures that don't essentially kill the joy that is the internet all they want. let them joust with that technological hydra, and waste all their resources, a pool of cash and manpower that just keeps dwindling every day. obfuscation schemes, proxy schemes, encryption schemes, steganographic schemes, etc ... some college freshman in his dorm will handle all the complexities, for free, and make it as easy as point and click, and the program will spread like wildfire. and will of course get stamped out, just as the next moronic big media-sponsored law circumventing tool is spreading like wildfire. whack-a-mole is never a game you eternally prevail at

so let them buy as many legislators as they can, pass as many intrusive legal schemes as they want, waste as much of their dwindling reserves as they can

again, who fucking cares?

millions of media hungry, technologically savvy, and most importantly, POOR teenagers

versus a counple thousand lawyers basing their strategy on a philosophically flawed premise: that the internet can be controlled, that the distribution tollbooths that allowed media companies to thrive in the pre-internet age can be preserved

game over, douchebags

it doesn't reflect well on you when you are already defeated, and don't know it or won't admit it

Re:let them pass all the laws they want (2, Insightful)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 4 years ago | (#29928809)

who fucking cares? its just so much damage to route around

People who care about the ramifications and consequences of these laws on our lives today, rather than just the inevitable long-term outcome.

therefore, let them pass all of the half-assed measures that don't essentially kill the joy that is the internet all they want.

The DMCA and the DRM schemes protected by it have completely failed to kill internet piracy, much less the internet. Yet, they have resulted in people being inconvenienced, hassled, sued, even arrested. Legitimate research that works best when not attempting to operate under the radar of the Powers That Be has been stymied. Progress has been slowed. The fact that progress wasn't stopped, cannot be stopped, doesn't change that this is a Bad Thing.

These Three Strikes laws will similarly fail, but in the meantime many people be cut off from "the joy that is the internet" simply because of accusations by organizations known to not give a shit about verifying their accusations. This will have a real effect on peoples' lives.

game over, douchebags

it doesn't reflect well on you when you are already defeated, and don't know it or won't admit it

The game may be decided but it's a long, long way from over. There's no game clock here, so it's only over when they either concede defeat or every last party pursuing this no longer has the resources to continue. Before that happens, they can do a lot of damage. Ergo, I care.

thugs will be thugs (2, Interesting)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#29928879)

you are of course absolutely correct

however, i am merely pointing out that although the thugs on the street corner will extract their pound of flesh, they will not prevail

it is still entirely valid and appropriate to directly confront the thugs, as you insist

but your point, and my point, are complementary points, not mutually exclusive points. i can make my point without hindering yours, and visa versa, so there is no need to assume friction between our two areas of concern

both of our enemies are the thugs. so you fight your short term war, i'll fight my long term war, and we will both prevail (in the long term ;-)

Re:let them pass all the laws they want (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 4 years ago | (#29928993)

Ya know, I kinda feel like I should go find all those old conversations we used to have on Kuro5hin where you expressed the exact opposite opinion. Back then you were pro-copyright and felt the Internet was going to be destroyed by law makers. Have you changed your tune on illicit drugs yet?

OT: movie (1)

u38cg (607297) | more than 4 years ago | (#29929075)

On a totally irrelevant note, what's going on with your movie? You've been editing it for as long as I can remember :p

it sucks (0, Offtopic)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#29929265)

so i'm currently stuck in a rut between what my ego will allow me to release, and what i've done so far and would be stupid to abandon considering all the effort that has gone into it so far. i'll finish it someday, i'm just in a funk about it

Talk-Talk (1)

RotateLeftByte (797477) | more than 4 years ago | (#29928621)

I normally would not give the time of day with this bunch of cowboys(>£10 in phone charges just to cancel a landline) but if they do take legal action over the latest silly idea to come out of Darth Vader (aka Mandy) I'll support them.

IF the EU has told the French that this goes against the EU laws why the f*** does NuLab think this will also pass their scrutiny. Dumb idiots.

Conduits of communication... (1)

njen (859685) | more than 4 years ago | (#29928641)

I find this proposed 3 strikes law quite baffling. I mean, it's a conduit of communication, just like a telephone, right? I wonder what would happen if there was a 3 strikes law proposed for phones that kicked in if you were found conducting crime over the phone. How silly would that sound?

Re:Conduits of communication... (1)

cdrguru (88047) | more than 4 years ago | (#29928899)

There is in fact a similar "three strikes" law for using the telephone for committing crimes. If you use the telephone to commit a crime (and you are caught), you find out about the one-strike law. At least in the US you stand a pretty good chance of going to jail where you will most certainly surrender your cell phone, your land line, your television and your computer. Oh, and your clothes.

So a three strikes law against committing crimes is in fact quite a step up from those committed in the physical world.

Re:Conduits of communication... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29929085)

They actually send to jail where you will most certainly surrender your cell phone, your land line, your television and your computer just because someone acused you of a crime in the US, without any form of due process ?

Re:Conduits of communication... (1)

mea37 (1201159) | more than 4 years ago | (#29929321)

That is, of course, if you committed a criminal offense. There is no jail time for most forms of copyright infringement.

Oh, and also you're skipping a few steps involving lawyers, judges, and juries.

You've also forgotten the part where you get out of prison having served your sentence, and then you get back your cell phone, your land line, your computer, and your clothes.

And, with the exception of over-politicized "war on X" laws, the sentencing isn't prescribed inflexibly, but ratehr is codified as a set of guidelines applied by judge and/or jury on the basis of specific circumstances.

But other than that, sure, same thing.

"Three strikes" to ensure wide encryption (5, Interesting)

David Gerard (12369) | more than 4 years ago | (#29928689)

Lord Mandelson has today announced that the outgoing Labour government will be going ahead with the "three strikes" plan against Internet filesharing, thus ensuring the widespread use of encryption [today.com] in all routine network communications.

"Encrypted communications as standard is the best possible thing for everyone's privacy," he said today, "but there's so much inertia from the installed base of unencrypted systems. This will provide a rapid incentive for everyone to upgrade as soon as possible. In our last few months in power at the fag-end of a failed government, we need to leave a real legacy for the future."

The benchmark for the new system will be illegal filesharing dropping by 70%. "That's measured illegal filesharing, of course. We have set out our metrics quite clearly. Furthermore, home taping is killing music."

MI5 and the police have objected to the plan due to the difficulty of mass-monitoring encrypted systems, even with the RIPA power to obtain passwords, since mass anonymity systems such as TOR and Freenet have been constructed where the end-user never has nor sees the encryption key. "But a few hideous terrorist atrocities is a small price to pay for less Lily Allen songs being shared. Particularly if they happen on the Tories' watch. MuWAAAhahahaha. By the way, have you noticed just how much Dave Cameron looks like Iggle Piggle? Uncanny."

Re:"Three strikes" to ensure wide encryption (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29928931)

Encryption doesn't do anything to protect people against the "strikes" though. If someone wants you to lose your ISP service, they can accuse you regardless of whether you encrypt anything or not. Encryption might protect some people's acts of copyright infringement from being discovered, but the whole point of the new law is that it doesn't matter whether anyone has evidence or not. Acts of copyright infringement become irrelevant. Accusation is enough.

The purpose of this law is to abuse. Therefore, I recommend that everyone abuse it as much as they can. Destroy the internet to save it.

Re:"Three strikes" to ensure wide encryption (2, Interesting)

David Gerard (12369) | more than 4 years ago | (#29928973)

It's complicated, because this law is actually a complicated trap for whoever gets in next election, probably the Conservatives. And the law as written is almost certainly ridiculously illegal under European laws and will be thrown out as soon as anyone bothers fighting it. The music industry will learn to be careful what they wish for, I suspect.

We vote the (1)

simplu (522692) | more than 4 years ago | (#29928711)

I'm from Romania and we have a very difficult economic situation right now, worse than others, because of a crappy political crisis. All I can think now is how could we vote these stupid fucks. All other countries from EU criticise us because of this. But I think in the end we are the same: Who the hell voted for Mandelson?

Sigh (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29928837)

This seems easy. Let the law pass. Then start accusing people in power of copyright infringment to get their internet turned off. Then, because the people in power won't have the laws apply to them (as usual), accuse their families, then their family's family. You then systematically create a society with no internet access.

Now, if the law is written that a specific named company (or companies) are immune, legally change you name to the same as the company, then infringe all you want (because you will be named in the law! woohoo! that is step 2 in the 3 profit steps BTW, the ???).

At this point, it is *OBVIOUS* that the people making these sorts of laws are in no way acting out of their own opinion on the matter (well, if favoring the people who line your pockets is an opinion, then ignore my last statement).

At this point though, everyone should just go re-read "A Modest Proposal" and start using satire/ubsurdity to make a point, because being reasonable certainly doesn't work any more.

[/cynicism]

How did we live 'till 1990ies? (2, Interesting)

mi (197448) | more than 4 years ago | (#29928869)

'The internet is an integral part of our children's education; it's critical to our employment; it's how we stay in touch with distant relatives. It's how we engage with government. It's the single wire that delivers freedom of speech, freedom of the press and freedom of assembly.

Yes, it is amazing, that the Internet has become all this — and more — but civilization did exist before 1990ies, and all of the freedoms mentioned were there — some of them even more so than today, perhaps.

Physics? (4, Insightful)

blueg3 (192743) | more than 4 years ago | (#29928987)

What bearing does physics have on this?

Re:Physics? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29929139)

What bearing does physics have on this?

Hush, child, they're trying to sensationalize things just like the politicians do. Next few articles should be about how this is denying the laws of chemistry, the laws of thermodynamics, the laws of Flat Rock, MI, common law, the law of diminishing returns, and ape law.

Re:Physics? (1)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 4 years ago | (#29929141)

And I thought I was going senile - the whole title doesn't make any sense.

Soulskill managed to go beyond the call of duty this time onto the proverbial "THE NEXT LEVEL" of slashdot.

Cory's argument is bullshit (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29929143)

I am not defending the 3-strikes law. It has serious "due process" problems that everyone else is pointing out.

But what Cory is really saying, is that the punishment is too severe. That when you cut someone off (allegedly for infringement), you're not just stopping their future infringement, but you're also cutting them off from talking to grandma, and if you did the same thing to the bogus-accusers, it would be "corporate death penalty."

Well, guess what? All punishment is like that. If I put you in jail for theft or murder, I'm not just preventing future thefts or murders. I'm also impacting your life in many other ways, perhaps even violating your "rights" in ways that are utterly disconnected from the crime itself.

People seem ok with that, in general. Why wouldn't they be ok with that when it comes to the internet? Copy that floppy, no more emails to grandma or your government representative. Murder someone, no more visiting grandma's house or political assemblies. What's the difference? I don't see how TFA would persuade anyone.

STOP NOT WORKING (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29929241)

once again after reading a slashdot article description, I'm wondering what the hell they are even describing. don't just copy and paste a paragraph out of context, why don't you actually give a background before just pointing at someone else's work and going "See!"

the idea of disconnected from the internet (1)

matzahboy (1656011) | more than 4 years ago | (#29929281)

The fact that the government would be able to disconnect you from the internet after "3 strikes" of copyright infringement is very scary. The internet has become the center of communication. Critics of big companies or opposition parties use it to voice their opinions. Although the British current law will not go to the extreme, I fear that if it passes, other countries will begin to pass more extreme laws until the copyright becomes an excuse to completely silence critics.
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