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Secret UK Plan To Appoint "Pirate Finder General"

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the arrr-me-hearties dept.

Government 332

mouthbeef writes "A source very close to the UK Labour government just called me to leak the fact that Secretary of State Lord Mandelson is trying to sneak a revision into the Digital Economy Bill that would give him and his successors the power to create future copyright law without debate. Mandelson goes on to explain that he wants this so he can create private copyright militias with investigatory and enforcement powers, and so he can create new copyright punishments as he sees fit (e.g., jail time, three strikes)."

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New internet (3, Insightful)

cellurl (906920) | more than 4 years ago | (#30157988)

We need a new Internet. Any ideas?

Re:New internet (1)

iainl (136759) | more than 4 years ago | (#30158068)

No, sorry. But we'll get a new UK Government in the next six months or so, and that'll probably have the same result of getting it out of Mandelson's hands.

Re:New internet (2, Insightful)

caramelcarrot (778148) | more than 4 years ago | (#30158612)

The Conservatives will be all for this, I don't expect a change in govt will affect this plan at all, unless widespread opposition can be made.

Re:New internet (4, Insightful)

Captain Splendid (673276) | more than 4 years ago | (#30158092)

No, you need new politicians. Which, in the UK's case, means you're due for another round of governance by the Tories. So you're basically fucked.

You need more (5, Insightful)

elucido (870205) | more than 4 years ago | (#30158244)

But you need more than new politicians. You need "your" politicians. You need more influence, and it will only change when people who profit from peer to peer are financing campaigns and getting people elected. It will only change when the political atmosphere changes. The old timer curmudgeons rule the political arena and until you put new minds not just new faces into these positions it will not change. Keep in mind that bribery/quid pro quo is how things get done and corruption is how things work.

Re:You need more (3, Insightful)

Captain Splendid (673276) | more than 4 years ago | (#30158400)

Yeah, well, we did that in 1997 and elected Labour. Right after that, Blair turned the party hard right, cut the Tories' balls off, and the rest is history. If the Lib Dems had ever been able to get their shit together, we might have had a chance, but now, we are just like the US, with two different flavours of corporatist parties. It's over.

Re:You need more (2, Insightful)

Farmer Tim (530755) | more than 4 years ago | (#30158724)

Aye, England's finest politician [wikipedia.org] is sorely missed.

Re:You need more (2, Insightful)

gedrin (1423917) | more than 4 years ago | (#30158766)

It's been over for you for a long time. You live in a rapidly nationalizing, disarmed, surveilence society. The world needs the UK and her historic spirit of resolve. It makes me sad to think that it's gone. I hope I'm wrong.

Re:You need more (4, Informative)

arthurpaliden (939626) | more than 4 years ago | (#30158816)

You need a law like we have in Canada that says only individual citizens can contribute, up to a set maximum per year, to political campaigns. No companies, organizations, unions or groups of any kind are allowed to contribute anything. So companies cannot overtly buy politicians.

Re:New internet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30158518)

They should elect this guy [wikimedia.org] to take care of their pirate problem. Eh, you could do worse.

Re:New internet (1)

nomadic (141991) | more than 4 years ago | (#30158572)

No, you need new politicians. Which, in the UK's case, means you're due for another round of governance by the Tories. So you're basically fucked.

But...but...the UK has more than two major political parties. Doesn't that mean they have a utopia? Because that's what everyone here likes to say the US' problem is.

Re:New internet (1)

kickedfortrolling (952486) | more than 4 years ago | (#30158664)

I would almost garuntee that the incoming conservative government would abolish this as an unnecessary cost, its just another quango for the bonfire

I'd also point out that we'd struggle to do worse under cameron than we have under brown..

Re:New internet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30158672)

We've been needing new politicians for thousands of years now, why break tradition?

Re:New internet (2, Funny)

pilgrim23 (716938) | more than 4 years ago | (#30158788)

It seems some look back to the simple days of Oliver Cromwell...

Re:New internet (1)

Ephemeriis (315124) | more than 4 years ago | (#30158842)

No, you need new politicians. Which, in the UK's case, means you're due for another round of governance by the Tories. So you're basically fucked.

The problem with that is, if the UK is anything like the US, a new batch of politicians isn't going to be any better than the old batch.

Sure, each party is going to have its own pet ideological projects... They'll push for some kind of reform or regulation, or less of those, or whatever. But, ultimately, politicians really don't seem to be terribly interested in what the average citizen has to say. They just wind up doing whatever their lobbyists and corporate interests tell them to.

Re:New internet (1)

KitsuneSoftware (999119) | more than 4 years ago | (#30158114)

Nevermind that, we need a new government. I don't know how well-known Mandy is outside of the UK, but here... well, our satire shows were calling him a "Lord of Darkness" well before he became a Lord. By all rights he shouldn't have any power, he's lost his job several times already due to scandals, but seems to keep coming back.

Re:New internet (1)

gedrin (1423917) | more than 4 years ago | (#30158144)

The internet is not the problem. The people of Great Britian need new governance that doesn't think Hobbes had the right idea.

Re:New internet (2, Insightful)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 4 years ago | (#30158220)

The people of Great Britian need new governance

That would be a good thing for the people of Great Britian, but what about the people in the UK?

Re:New internet (1)

gedrin (1423917) | more than 4 years ago | (#30158534)

Great Britian is the name of the island on which nearly everyone in th UK lives. If people call The United States simply "America", I'm not going to be upset that they've missed Hawaii. Ireland and Hawaii are both nice places, but saying Great Britain and America gets the point across.

If it makes you feel better, you're very much smarter than me.

Re:New internet (4, Insightful)

TheMeuge (645043) | more than 4 years ago | (#30158850)

Actually I think the people of Great Britain need new governance that doesn't think that Aldous Huxley had the right idea.

Re:New internet (1)

gedrin (1423917) | more than 4 years ago | (#30158968)

Well, one Leviathan is as good as another.

Re:New internet (2, Insightful)

Jaysyn (203771) | more than 4 years ago | (#30158150)

The UK needs a successful non-religious Guy Fawkes.

Re:New internet (2, Funny)

Dr_Barnowl (709838) | more than 4 years ago | (#30158246)

At first I thought you meant we needed another effigy to burn, and thought that Sith Lord Mandy would probably make a good candidate.

Re:New internet (1)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 4 years ago | (#30158428)

Guy Fawkes? The man burned in effigy to underline his failure to accomplish his goals? I can think of better symbols!

Re:New internet (4, Insightful)

Jaysyn (203771) | more than 4 years ago | (#30158520)

What part of "successful" do you not understand?

Re:New internet (2, Funny)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 4 years ago | (#30158796)

The bit where my brain parsed it as "successful as an image" rather than "successful at what he was attempting to do". *facepalm*

Re:New internet (2, Interesting)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 4 years ago | (#30158632)

V?

Re:New internet (4, Insightful)

kheldan (1460303) | more than 4 years ago | (#30158478)

People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people.

Re:New internet (1)

cellurl (906920) | more than 4 years ago | (#30158600)

Do you think the nhtsa [dot.gov] is afraid of Wikispeedia [wikispeedia.org] ?
Doubtful, they will ultimately compete and win...

Re:New internet (1)

bth (635955) | more than 4 years ago | (#30158922)

kheldan - is it ok if we are afraid of some of the people in our government? and if they are afraid of some of us? I am sure we can satisfy that statement easily.

Re:New internet (1)

Jeff Carr (684298) | more than 4 years ago | (#30158804)

Certainly. I plan to launch a series of 25 geosynchronous satellites providing broadband internet access to the entire world. It will be independent from any government's control or oversight. I'm going to call it the Archangel Network. ...What?

Re:New internet (1)

cellurl (906920) | more than 4 years ago | (#30158852)

not bad

I don't like to use this word but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30158044)

retarded.

Analogue pirates (4, Insightful)

Potor (658520) | more than 4 years ago | (#30158462)

Yeah - perhaps they could could better worry about the analogue pirates off the Horn of Africa.

Re:Analogue pirates (4, Insightful)

Zordak (123132) | more than 4 years ago | (#30159010)

When I first read the headline, I literally thought, "Cool, the Brits are going to build a super-secret navy to hunt down pirates and send those bad boys to Davy Jones' locker!" Then I was disappointed when I read the summary and realized these would just be lame copyright police. I WANT A SECRET NAVY!

Great Idea (2, Funny)

behemoth64 (1576441) | more than 4 years ago | (#30158052)

Another great idea signed by UK's gov

didnt hitler do stuff like that (1)

CHRONOSS2008 (1226498) | more than 4 years ago | (#30158160)

like really give himself powers so that he didnt have to deal with the democratic germany process......
yea good move exlax now you show your true colors and right after november 11th we get a rash of pure facist style laws around the world WOOOHOOO

Re:Great Idea (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30158252)

Considering the proud history of the British navy, it would make sense of them to appoint a person in charge of finding pirates on the high seas. I don't see how this is relevant to Slashdot, though. Nor do I see why they should keep such a role secret. Keeping our oceans save is a noble job.

If pirates and piracy is measurably affecting ocean travel and commerce, someone should get on doing something about it. If not, then this ocean pirate hunter idea seems kind of pointless.

I'm sure they have reliable data from the people who use the oceans which affirm that ocean piracy is a big issue.

Re:Great Idea (4, Informative)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 4 years ago | (#30158908)

Considering the proud history of the British navy, it would make sense of them to appoint a person in charge of finding pirates on the high seas.

FWIW, a lot of the proud history of the British navy is due to their support for pirates. Privateers were a sizable portion of the British navy that sunk the Spanish Armada (of course, a timely storm helped a lot with that one). They were also a very important tool in the economic war with Spain that QE I was waging. I read a very good biography of Drake that goes into detail... suffice it to say the Crown fully supported piracy, as long as it wasn't targeted at British vessels. So much so that QE I entertained Drake as a suitor to ensure his support of Her.

There's some kind of analogy here... if the high seas, as a chief method of commerce of the time, can be equated to the internet, as a chief method of commerce in our time... then perhaps Brtain should consider sponsoring these pirates instead, and riding their coattails to a new era of economic dominance? And maybe Dark Lord Mandy should consider dating one of the pirates?

OK, it's a bad analogy. But I haven't seen Bad Analogy Guy in a while, so I'm doing my best to fill in.

There is a solution (0, Troll)

For a Free Internet (1594621) | more than 4 years ago | (#30158070)

The Italians, as it is well known, are the cause of 98 percent of piracy that they mastermind from their terrorist caves deep in the mountains of Mexico. Smoke 'em out and say good-night to internet theft.

Film at 11 (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30158078)

Sith Lord Mandelson wants sweeping powers that any sensible person would consider grossly out of all proportion? Film at 11!

He can want all he likes: this shower of bastards, including Sith Lord Mandelson himself, is unlikely to be in a job by the summer of next year anyway. With Christmas and the General Election they wont have the time to enact much of any legislation anyway.

IP log at http://www.barbrastreisand.com/?? (2, Insightful)

AmigaHeretic (991368) | more than 4 years ago | (#30158112)

Oh, not those kind of Pirates.

Re:IP log at http://www.barbrastreisand.com/?? (2, Insightful)

Alinabi (464689) | more than 4 years ago | (#30158736)

That was exactly my reaction. I thought they were dispatching an actual general to Somalia. But I guess oil-tank-jacking is not as big a problem as counterfeit Jonas brothers CDs.

Re:IP log at http://www.barbrastreisand.com/?? (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 4 years ago | (#30159024)

Well, they do wear poofy shirts.

I don't think they really care.... (1, Interesting)

santax (1541065) | more than 4 years ago | (#30158116)

They have over 5 million camera's with face recognition following their every move... Seriously, they just don't care. (And this is coming from a Dutchman where there are even more phonetaps and as of 2012 mandatory GPS in every car)

Re:I don't think they really care.... (4, Informative)

VJ42 (860241) | more than 4 years ago | (#30158262)

face recognition following their every move...

We don't have face recognition in public CCTV systems, I don't know where you pulled that one from. I agree we have massive surveillance problems here in the UK, but we don't need to make things up to make it sound worse. It's bad enough already

Re:I don't think they really care.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30158876)

Yeah but if people in other countries can't exaggerate the problems in the UK how on earth can they possibly maintain their delusion that they are somehow better off.

Re:I don't think they really care.... (1)

HungryHobo (1314109) | more than 4 years ago | (#30158646)

How do you guys handle the GPS thing?
I mean I really can't see a way of making a system that could tell the difference between driving through a tunnel/parking inside and wrapping a tin foil bag around the antennae.

Same old, same old (1)

BC_Man (1236426) | more than 4 years ago | (#30158124)

Who is this "source". Someone trying to create more hysteria ? An atmosphere where legislation can be rushed through while everyone is distracted by a false debate ?

WTF? (3, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#30158140)

Okay, this comes from BoingBoing so it may be nonsense, but what does the government think they're doing appointing Sith Lord Mandleson? He's an out-of-control power-crazed sociopath and should never have been allowed back into government.

Re:WTF? (5, Insightful)

XxtraLarGe (551297) | more than 4 years ago | (#30158264)

...what does the government think they're doing appointing Sith Lord Mandleson?

Has it ever occurred to you that they might know exactly what they're doing?

Re:WTF? (1)

Bai jie (653604) | more than 4 years ago | (#30158434)

Who was it that once said "Everything is proceeding according to my design."?

Re:WTF? (2, Interesting)

tsm_sf (545316) | more than 4 years ago | (#30158592)

this comes from BoingBoing so it may be nonsense

Please to explain their lack of credibility.

Re:WTF? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | more than 4 years ago | (#30159032)

[Mandelson is] an out-of-control power-crazed sociopath and should never have been allowed back into government.

We didn't allow him back in. In fact, he resigned twice already under dubious circumstances. Then he got appointed to Europe, and now he's been appointed to a very senior position in Parliament after being appointed to the House of Lords. Note that the term "appointed" here implies that the people never got a vote, he was put into those positions by the Prime Minister and his chums. Oh, and the Prime Minister was appointed as Tony Blair's successor, in direction contradiction of a Labour Party manifesto promise to voters at the last general election, which they won with such a huge majority because of funny electoral math and not popular support (having actually lost the popular vote in England to the Conservatives, in fact).

Basically, these guys don't even have a shadow of a mandate for what they're doing in the first place, but since they're already a lame duck administration they seem to feel they have little to lose by wading in with the most illiberal, draconian legislation they can shove through in the final parliamentary session before the general election. Thus we get resistance to court rulings on cleaning up the DNA database, a roll-out of trials for an expensive ID card scheme that both the major opposition parties in England have long since pledged to scrap, and now this.

My personal favourite from this week's Queen's Speech was the bill to make it a legal requirement to half the budget deficit within four years, which would conveniently mean that having destroyed our economy themselves, they could then pass a poison pill to their successors when they inevitably lose the next general election. Presumably they will then claim in four years that whoever won the election has broken the law by being unable to do the impossible, and pretend that in some alternate reality Labour would somehow have been able to fix the problems they were unable to prevent in the first place.

The various extreme anti-copyright-infringement policies flying around at the moment sound like much the same thing: having mostly ignored or actively gone against the recommendations of their own Gowers Review when it comes to IP laws, they are now setting up back channel ways to suck up to big business while they still can, knowing that if they tried to push these things through Parliament properly they would face stiff opposition (not to mention probably losing even more votes, since post-Gowers they pretty much know that people overwhelmingly oppose things like copyright term extension).

As a final note, the Open Rights Group [openrightsgroup.org] are pretty dumb if they think invoking the recent XBox cut-offs supports the case against this. I haven't seen a single report that suggests there were people cut off by Microsoft inappropriately (i.e., not after breaking the rules), the cut-off only affected their use of the XBox and not unrelated Internet services, and even the BBC carried an article based on one such person, who admitted freely that he was ripping off games illegally because it saved him money, which is exactly what the cut-off was intended to obstruct.

He's got about 70 days to do it (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30158158)

UK elections due May. Gives ~70 days of parliamentary time left before this 'government' and all its legislative programme is gone.

If it were anyone else, I'd scoff at this "leak" (5, Informative)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 4 years ago | (#30158164)

But this is exactly up Darth Mandelson's alley. He truly and passionately believes in the utter dominance of the State over the individual. Of course, he plans to be a most benign dictator.

For those not in the know, Lord Mandelson is the de facto ruler of the United Kingdom, and one of the chief architects of the European super state under the (also "benign") dictatorship of the unelected, unaccountable European Council of Ministers.

He is the #1 threat to individual rights and freedoms in the UK and possibly in the whole of Europe. Think Palpatine, only with fruitier ties.

Nobody knows what a politician believes. (1, Insightful)

elucido (870205) | more than 4 years ago | (#30158312)

Lets accept that politicians are bribed robots programmed by moneyed masters.

The reason the RIAA/MPAA copyright cartel is making the rules in this instance is because they won over the moneyed masters who control the politicians. If you support limited copyright rather than unlimited then you are in the minority of the moneyed masters because in most cases unlimited copyright just like some of the scams on wallstreet is free money. The owner of the copyright doesn't have to work for it.

I'm not against copyright but I'm against using copyright infringement as a political weapon.

Re:If it were anyone else, I'd scoff at this "leak (1)

Tim C (15259) | more than 4 years ago | (#30158588)

He is the #1 threat to individual rights and freedoms in the UK

And that's with some pretty damn stiff competition for the title from Jack "Boots" Straw and Blunkett, too. I'd tip my hat to him, if I wore one, and didn't despise pretty-much everything he stands for.

Re:If it were anyone else, I'd scoff at this "leak (4, Interesting)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 4 years ago | (#30158914)

Straw and Blunkett were amateur blunderers. They made the mistake of going through the motions of doing consultations and producing detailed legislative plans, which really hampered them.

Mandelson has spotted that instead of bothering with this tiresome "laws" nonsense, he can just churn out two or three absolutely bonkers dictats per week. The sheer volume of administrative evil makes it hard to oppose him; by the time you've mounted a defence to any of his plots, he's busy announcing the next one.

War is being declared on UK citizens. (3, Insightful)

elucido (870205) | more than 4 years ago | (#30158176)

This is the same sort of moves that were made during prohibitions and during the war on drugs. They do not care about the consequences to the economy or about the UK citizen. He only cares about the people he really works for and thats the copyright cartel. This Mandelson works for the RIAA/MPAA. He is their man, not yours. If you want this to change then your man will have to be in that position.

What he really cares about... (3, Informative)

swb (14022) | more than 4 years ago | (#30158684)

Is ensuring he has a new Mercedes S600 every year, a decent yacht, a few homes, unlimited access to private jets, and access to the best schools for his children.

Re:War is being declared on UK citizens. (1)

LSD-OBS (183415) | more than 4 years ago | (#30158746)

Just wish we could work out how the c**t keeps getting back into powerful positions

Re:War is being declared on UK citizens. (1)

Tim C (15259) | more than 4 years ago | (#30158786)

Easy - powerful friends.

Undemocratic (3, Interesting)

mrjb (547783) | more than 4 years ago | (#30158204)

"What that means is that an unelected official would have the power to do anything without Parliamentary oversight or debate, provided it was done in the name of protecting copyright"

Which means that it's undemocratic. If nobody can control this unelected official, what's to stop them from abusing their position? In my opinion, that's a bit too much power to be given to any individual.

Would the (supposedly democratic) government be so kind to please start representing the people again already?

It's the UK, what do you expect? (1)

elucido (870205) | more than 4 years ago | (#30158338)

Doesn't the UK have a house of Lords? Wasn't the house of Lords unelected officials?

Fill m in on UK politics if I'm wrong but this seems to be how they always operate.

Re:It's the UK, what do you expect? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30158614)

True but AFAIR the HoL is pretty limited in its powers being able to decline proposed bills a few times before the HoC can just push it through anyway. More a glorified waste of time and money than anything else.

Re:It's the UK, what do you expect? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30158718)

Uhm. Mandelson is *in* the House of fucking Lords...

Re:It's the UK, what do you expect? (4, Insightful)

Tim C (15259) | more than 4 years ago | (#30159034)

Yes, but at times the House of Lords is the only thing standing between the House of Commons (the elected one) and some truly asinine, knee-jerk legislation.

By being unelected and essentially in the job for life, they don't have to worry about pandering to the populist cause of the moment and can (theoretically) take a more level-headed view on things.

Why do you think NuLabour has spent so much time and effort slowly chipping away at the Lords? They're tired of being forced to introduce less batshit insane laws...

Re:It's the UK, what do you expect? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30159044)

Yes but the house of lords cant rule out any law passed by parliment, Ever since the parliment act was passed early in the 1900s.

Re:Undemocratic (2, Insightful)

mbone (558574) | more than 4 years ago | (#30158782)

Except for sometimes in military affairs, it is an iron law that secrecy in Government is intended to cover up malfeasance. Like the ACTA [eff.org] , if it's secret it's bad.

sneaking .... (2, Interesting)

NoYob (1630681) | more than 4 years ago | (#30158210)

When a politician sneaks anything into law, I have to wonder what nefarious reasons he could have for doing it.

Why does it have to be sneaked in?
Is there something that is undemocratic about it?
What is being hidden from debate?

This is as bad as I've ever seen, folks. It's a declaration of war by the entertainment industry and their captured regulators against the principles of free speech, privacy, freedom of assembly, the presumption of innocence, and competition.

I see. The entertainment industry is calling the shots.

For Queen, Country and the Entertainment Industry.

you know (2, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#30158248)

the law versus technological progress is a pretty heavily loaded contest

please study your history on the outcome of these contests

a lot of supposedly smart, but hopelessly old (not necessarily chronologically, just in terms of anyone set in their thinking) people just do NOT understand the full implications of the internet

again, for anyone who's missed it, even though hearing it for the 1,000th time isn't probably going to finally open your eyes:

the internet has effectively replaced pre-internet distribution models. copyright law consists of gentleman's agreements between major publishers from that era. you cannot extend those gentleman's agreements to random anonymous teenagers the world over. rather, random anonymous teenagers the world over will compel you to rewrite fundamental copyright law, simply because its completely unenforceable in a new technological reality

were you listening? do you get it yet? do you understand?

no?

well then onward with the fucking copyright secret police then brave soldier. whatever. fucking retarded. i guess we just need to wait for certain closed minds to just fucking die already like the ossified dinosaurs they are then. stubborn ignorant blind obstacles to progress

ten thousand lawyers, government paper pushers, and enforcement goons

versus

ten million media hungry, technologically savvy, and most importantly, POOR teenagers

figure it out

you lose, you fucking morons

Yeah, but it takes hundreds of years. (1)

tjstork (137384) | more than 4 years ago | (#30158398)

Well, look at how many hundreds of years, wars and world wars it took for the printing press to trump governments and it still doesn't do that in most of the non-western world. The only technology that usually always wins is guns, and that is why we have a 2nd amendment.

the gun itself is a disruptive technology (2, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#30158696)

it helped destroyed the feudal code and the social stratification that came with that

"The only technology that usually always wins is guns, and that is why we have a 2nd amendment."

i don't know where this fantasy cam from that yahoos in the backwoods are somehow protecting us from fascism. if anything, if our democracy is destroyed by fascism, it will be yahoos in the backwoods with guns who are the shock troops of that fascism

just study what these rabid teabaggers think about the need to "protect" the "real" america from (modern urban existence) and how they intend to do that: with a gun. this is the soil in which fascism grows, not a bulwark against it

the second amendment is about native americans, british and french running around in the backwoods. which isn't a reality anymore. the second amendment is a quaint historical anachronism, that has been reinterpretted and repurposed by vaguely paranoid schizophrenic rural folk to put them in a starring role as heroes and saviors in the valiant struggle against modern urban politics

problem is, demographically, the united states is majority urban nowdays. meaning rural folk will have to give up their guns at some point, since the country will only accelerate towards urbanization. reverence of the second amendment as if it were the word of god is a rural thing, not an urban thing. it is inevitable, but gun control will only tick up in this country, as it should

in urban environments, guns are not tools of the valiant struggle against fascist scoundrels (cue ride of the valkyries and slip dirty harry into the dvd player and dream about boy scout wish-fulfillment fantastic scenarios), but simply the tools of moronic thugs to unleash senseless tragedy

Re:you know (3, Insightful)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 4 years ago | (#30158536)

You are wrong about the purpose/origin of copyright law. Copyright law was written to protect against someone else profiting from "stealing" your creative work. It was not designed to keep me from copying your stuff for my own use. Until the advent of computers it to some degree it had that effect. The cost of producing copies was high enough that, for most people, it was more cost efficient (counting both time and money) to buy a copy from the copyright holder (although with the advent of home recording devices that began to change).
As the cost of copying dropped with modern technology, many companies that based their business on distributing copyrighted material wanted to use the reduced cost of producing copies to increase their profit, intending to use copyright law to prevent people from using the now affordable methods to produce copies for their own personal use from obtaining copies.

yes, copyright's quaint idealistic beginnings (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#30158810)

and, much like early earnest well-meaning idealistic communists would probably recoil in horror at what communism really meant: authoritarian terror, those who originally intended copyright law as a way to protect authors would recoil in horror that the legal framework is nothing more than a tool of DISTRIBUTORS to line their pockets by taxing our culture

if you think copyright law is about protecting creators, then thanks for the laugh

Re:you know (1)

JockTroll (996521) | more than 4 years ago | (#30158798)

My money is on the rich goons. You can be as technologically savvy as you want, but it doesn't do you much good when your computer is seized, your family's assets are confiscated and you're basically dead as far as society is concerned, because you're now unemployable for life. The side with money and brute strength will always win. This is the reality, not some matrix- or star wars-influenced fantasy.
In real life, the strong and rich goon beats up the technologically savvy underlings, rips him to shreds, takes all of his possession, smashes his head against a wall and shits on his face. Deal with it.

oh sure (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#30158956)

you can make life miserable for a few unlucky enough to be caught, but you can't change reality. and the reality of the situation is, the rich goons aren't rich enough to alter the fundamental rules of the internet

the rest of your comment reeks of defeatism and capitulation to force. unless you live in tehran, i suggest you think about what your cowardice means in the real world. the rich goons win partly by depending upon people who think like you to do nothing. every authoritarian regime exists partly because of the resignation of the defeated masses, which is the essence of the content of your thoughts: you think like a sheep

via your ridiculous levels of fear and negativity, you are part of the problem, you aid the rich goons. now i'm not asking to man the barricades and throw molotov cocktails, all i'm asking you to do is simply say something positive and supportive, or to shut up

So confused (3, Funny)

jschen (1249578) | more than 4 years ago | (#30158272)

I thought piracy was the key to stopping global warming. Why are they trying to speed up global warming?

I don't get it... (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#30158288)

How do you SNEAK something into a law? Doesn't it have to go through a ton of revisions and get voted on and all that jazz?

If the system is set up in such a way that people can put in new constraints without anyone noticing it, I'd say thats pretty broken.

Cute name (1)

R2.0 (532027) | more than 4 years ago | (#30158344)

Will Major Major Major report to him?

Mandelson - Palin Cage Fight (3, Insightful)

QuoteMstr (55051) | more than 4 years ago | (#30158350)

You know your government is truly in the gutter when an American begins to criticize its brazen corruption and abject stupidity. How the hell are you guys still stuck with Mandelson?

Palin wouldn't do this. (2, Funny)

tjstork (137384) | more than 4 years ago | (#30158380)

Palin might make you read the bible and believe in creationism, but other than that, her government wouldn't be involved in this sort of stuff.

Re:Palin wouldn't do this. (1)

AdmiralXyz (1378985) | more than 4 years ago | (#30158636)

Palin might make you read the bible and believe in creationism, but other than that, her government wouldn't be involved in this sort of stuff.

Mod parent funny.

Re:Palin wouldn't do this. (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#30159026)

Someone, I think it was Colbert, nailed Palin recently, they showed a pie chart with (something like) 28% of Americans thinking it would be great to have Sarah Palin run for president, and then the remaining 72% thinking it was hilarious.

Re:Mandelson - Palin Cage Fight (1)

peterprior (319967) | more than 4 years ago | (#30158638)

He came in through the back door ;)

Opposites? (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 4 years ago | (#30158658)

Mandelson - Palin Cage Fight

I guess you must have put that pairing together because Palin is the natural enemy of this kind of liberal fascism - Palin is a small government Libertarian, not some maniacal power-seeking despot.

A Tad Biased (2, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 4 years ago | (#30158372)

Secretary of State Peter Mandelson is planning to introduce changes to the Digital Economy Bill now under debate in Parliament.

So that's what you consider secret? I mean, it sounds bad but I probably wouldn't flip out until it's actually introduced and added to the bill. I guess I'm not an expert on UK law ... by saying "planning to introduce" do you mean it's already law? If not, I would expect parliament to be highly suspect of the introduction of something designed to give the Secretary of State such power ... when it's introduced by the Secretary of State.

This is as bad as I've ever seen, folks.

So, it's worse than ACTA [boingboing.net] (which affects the entire world)?

It's a declaration of war by the entertainment industry and their captured regulators against the principles of free speech, privacy, freedom of assembly, the presumption of innocence, and competition.

Are you aware what "declaration of war" and "captured" mean? How about swapping that out with "threat of control" and "purchased"? I mean, if it's a declaration of war then the populace should just capture their parliament as prisoners of war, right?

This proposal creates the office of Pirate-Finder General, with unlimited power to appoint militias who are above the law, who can pry into every corner of your life, who can disconnect you from your family, job, education and government, who can fine you or put you in jail.

That's it. You had a really informative post going there but that last part is a level of fear mongering I haven't seen since the United States invaded Iraq.

I heavily suspect you are being played as an unwitting rube by the party opposite of those planning to introduce this. If you had kept your post informative I'd have gobbled it up but at this point I'm dubious that another propaganda tool isn't at work somewhere along this channel.

Re:A Tad Biased (1)

The Sandbag (897481) | more than 4 years ago | (#30158668)

Ah no the party opposite are mostly in support, you see were run by utter baboons in this country who have absolutely no idea about tech and progress and want to still e in the 1950 prudish post war England.

Re:A Tad Biased (1)

dissy (172727) | more than 4 years ago | (#30158778)

Are you aware what "declaration of war" and "captured" mean? How about swapping that out with "threat of control" and "purchased"? I mean, if it's a declaration of war then the populace should just capture their parliament as prisoners of war, right?

I know you were being sarcastic, but actually I like your idea!

Quick, someone photoshop up a declaration of war from the media cartels, and lets get to work.
I'll go warm up the waterboards!

Apple has it right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30158510)

But unfortunately, not the media companies.

You cannot eliminate copyright infringement. It's too late, forget it.

The only way to lower the number of copyright infringements is to offer your media at sane prices. Apple had it right when it forced the media companies to sell tunes at 99 cents. Unfortunately, next thing you know, Apple asks for DRM removal so the media companies ask for tiered pricing with hits at $1.29.

And TV shows episodes are priced from $1.99 to $2.49... are the media companies fucking insane? Only a few will pay those amounts for TV shows. TV shows are "watch it and forget it" media, it's not like music which can be used as a background media (listening to music while coding, for example).

Put TV ads in it and give them for free (no DRM, no godamn Windows media format, we're not all Microsoft zombies) or sell the episodes for a decent price that almost nobody would even bother to get them illegally (say, $0.25 per episode).

Please don't put dumb replies such as "there's no way they can finance a TV show by selling episodes for $0.25 each", because that logic doesn't work. Just because you get 100 people to pay $1.99 doesn't mean you'll still only get 100 people at $0.25. And it's going to be a lot more than 800 too.

A General? (0)

PPH (736903) | more than 4 years ago | (#30158578)

Shouldn't that be an Admiral? Much better for chasing Johnny Depp around the Caribbean.

This is why leaks are important. (1)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | more than 4 years ago | (#30158586)

What the subject says...

RE:"Pirate Finder General" (1)

Ruvim (889012) | more than 4 years ago | (#30158702)

Very well... It should greatly improve UK's chances of apprehending Somali pirates and preventing any further boardings and hijackings! I just don't understand why it's filed under "Your Rights Online" section?

Oh....

Lame Duck Government (2, Interesting)

mbone (558574) | more than 4 years ago | (#30158722)

The UK just had the Queen's speech, which was widely regarded as full of things that will never come to pass, as this government most likely has only a few months to live. Even the Queen [independent.co.uk] seemed dubious.

Can someone who is actually plugged into UK politics tell us the likelihood that this would be passed by the current lame-duck government ?

Re:Lame Duck Government (1)

Tim C (15259) | more than 4 years ago | (#30158814)

this government most likely has only a few months to live

Most likely? It's coming to the end of its term, and legally must call a general election by (iirc) July 2010.

No consequences. (4, Insightful)

damburger (981828) | more than 4 years ago | (#30158748)

Politicians are offered incentives to fuck over human beings, but face no consequences for doing so. Now, I'm not normally one to consider people as pure incentive-following machines - but politicians aren't people in the strictest sense. They are psychopaths.

Look at Tony Blair. He lied to start an illegal war which killed probably hundreds of thousands of people. He left office when he chose to, and is now living comfortably, despite what he did. Why wouldn't a British politician simply do as they will? They know they are fucking untouchable.

I'm trying to think of sane and enlightened ways the people can deal with this situation, but the only thing running through my mind is sic semper tyrannis. They need, somehow, to fear the consequences of their actions.

Yeah, and you were expecting what? (0)

cdrguru (88047) | more than 4 years ago | (#30158866)

Innappropriate appropriation of materials, i.e., copyright infringement or piracy is a pretty significant threat these days. It is easy to take down a company simply by redistributing their products for free. The number of people that will pay when the same product is available for free is shrinking. Really now, why would someone pay when in the bin right next to the one they are looking at is the same thing for free?

The threat of loss of most, if not all, revenue is very real in the software world. It has come home to the music business in China such that recorded music is simply not produced any longer. It will come to the US and Western Europe. Movies are probably not far behind - why pay $20 to visit a noisy theater when you can have equivalent sound and picture in your home for free?

With this firmly in mind, why wouldn't the copyright holders be pushing for all the legal enforcement they can get? Since the government's position is pretty much that this is (a) a violation of the law and (b) loss of tax revenues so they are likely to be on the side of the copyright holder, not the citizen violators in every case. So of course there are going to be draconian laws that have little or no effect because, like speeding laws, they catch 1% of the people violating the law and can't ever do better than that.

You might consider this the last gasp of copyright enforcement, but it is likely to last a very long time. In the US it is generally known that almost everyone speeds and have for 80 years or so. Law enforcement has been "cracking down" and imposing draconian penalties on speeders since the beginning of the automobile era. So don't expect copyright enforcement to just fade away anytime soon.

I thnik they mean ... (1)

Lemming Mark (849014) | more than 4 years ago | (#30158994)

The Pirate Smeller Pursuivant?

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