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A (Suprising?) Viewpoint On RIAA Lawsuits

timothy posted more than 13 years ago | from the sensible?-insensible? dept.

News 193

colnago writes: "The Motley Fool has an interesting article about lawsuits and their effect on capitalism. You may also read this as "lawsuits and their effect on technology." In any case the arguments are similar to what we've read here, but it's good to see the financial community on the same page as the nerds. One tidbit: 'How about picking a judge who used to work for you? Judge Chaplain (who presided over the first DVD trial and ruled in favor of the MPAA) was Time Warner's lawyer on DVD issues before he became a Judge.'"

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193 comments

The most important point in the article: (3)

barracg8 (61682) | more than 13 years ago | (#789461)

  • We're capable of selling bottled water in this country (something that comes out of the tap by the gallon, virtually for free).
Spot on. The more people who recieve your music for free, the more people who will pay you for it. Logical? probably not. But then we aren't all vulcans.
  • But the tired old men circling the wagons around the old technology can't wrap their heads around that concept in a new context.
Yup. The biggest danger to the music industry is the music industry. If they have any sense, these court cases are about buying themselves some time to catch up.

In the UK, and probably elsewhere, I know that singles are usually sold as loss leaders to get people to buy the album. They actually sell singles to LOSE money, but to buy public awareness, so why not just give them away free on the internet? And everyone knows that the singles are supposed to be the best tracks on the album, so why not give away the weak tracks too?

Cheers,

Re:Remember Econ 101 (1)

R2P2 (193577) | more than 13 years ago | (#789464)

People still buy CDs, despite music being freely available on the radio.

Um, don't radio stations have to pay the music studios when the play the music? The studios are still making money directly from music on the radio, they just aren't getting it from us. Their problem is that there's no way to do that with mp3s.

Re:Here's Free Market For Ya'... DUH (2)

Kickasso (210195) | more than 13 years ago | (#789466)

So the MPAA is cutting out part of linux's marketshare. What a fscking stupid argument.

But MPAA does cut out part of Linux's marketshare. Why is this a fscking stupid argument?

Perhaps if linux would get it's act together and get binary compatability sorted so we could run non-opensourced (shock horror) code on it, then things like this would be more likely to exist.

But why does Linux need a non-opensourced solution when there's a perfectly good open-sourced one? Because one FSCKING STUPID CORRUPT AMERICAN JUDGE says so?
--

Re:Darn. I was with you (sort of) until this post. (2)

Nicolas MONNET (4727) | more than 13 years ago | (#789469)

devine qui?

Lemme guess, an armchair vegetarian revolutionary whose sole idea of politics is to wipe everything out (since everything's wrong) and start from scratch, and whose karma is going down so fast lately that he has to post anon.

And what's this thing you have about Canada?

In cases like this.... (1)

Eggplant62 (120514) | more than 13 years ago | (#789471)

One tidbit: 'How about picking a judge who used to work for you? Judge Chaplain (who presided over the first DVD trial and ruled in favor of the MPAA) was Time Warner's lawyer on DVD issues before he became a Judge.'"
Aren't judges who have prior contact with the plaintiff or defendant in lawsuits such as this supposed to disqualify themselves as they would be prejudiced toward one side or the other?

Re:Here's Free Market For Ya'... DUH (2)

grahamsz (150076) | more than 13 years ago | (#789474)

My point was that with if linux wasn't so damn picky about running precompiled binaries then someone would have made a closed source dvd player for linux.

Since the original poster seemed unconcered with the licensing of such a player then this would be perfectly acceptable.

Legally the lawyers hope the CSS is a closed algorithm and as such they want any implementation of it to be closed source.

Linux unfortunately doesn't cater for people who want to release closed source software at all well.

Re:Remember Econ 101 (2)

barracg8 (61682) | more than 13 years ago | (#789477)

  • Um, don't radio stations have to pay the music studios when the play the music?
Yes, they do. There are bodies who collect fees from radio/TV stations, advertisers, film companies depending on when/where/how often the music is used.

But to go back to my original post:

  • The biggest danger to the music industry is the music industry.
I believe that all the radio stations playing music off vinal were originally pirates, and the music industry fought them, until these organizations were set up to collect money. The music industry found a way to increase their sales through the new technology it feared. A lesson that they should have learnt, and that was repeated in the VCR.
  • Their problem is that there's no way to do that with mp3s.
There is currently no way to do that with mp3s. Check out this [slashdot.org] recent Slashdot article for one solution to the problem. I know that I would pay money for a radio station where, in my user prefferences, I could click "Ooops, Brittany, don't do it again. Ever." How do radio and TV stations make the money to pay for using the songs? Advertisments and subscription fees.

But even if they can't make money out of mp3s, once this takes off in a big way, no record company will be able to afford not to have their music available over the net. People using Napster today, are like the first people listening to pirate radio stations. Nowadays, record companies rely on air play to sell their music. In the future, the same will probably be true of the Internet. In reality, any major record label could find a way to survive if they stopped recieving fees from radio stations, but couldn't if all their artists stopped getting air play.

If they are using stalling tactics to buy time to catch up, they are smart. If they think they can stop people downloading music off the Internet, they are shooting at their own feet with a sawn-off shotgun.

Re:Here's Free Market For Ya'... DUH (2)

Kickasso (210195) | more than 13 years ago | (#789478)

Linux? Picky? Linux is an OS. It is not some animated object with its own free will. It's a string of bits. It can't be picky. Some people are picky, but commercial closed-source software vendors have every right to disregard these people. And guess what? They do.
--

Re:Here's Free Market For Ya'... DUH (1)

cyber-vandal (148830) | more than 13 years ago | (#789479)

You mean like Netscape, Quake3, VMware, Corel Office, JBuilder, Unreal Tournament etc etc. What crud. The reason why there's no closed source option available is due to industry inertia and the huge licensing fees required by the DVDCCA. Incidentally, InterVideo, producers of WinDVD announced back in March that they were porting their player to Linux, although I'm not sure if this was just to provide ammo in the court case or not. Binary-compatibility is not really an option at the moment, seeing as Win32 is extremely complex and not completely documented. the WINE project provides answers for older apps, but DVD players use all the DirectX 7 stuff which WINE hasn't reached yet, although I think DirectX 6 is partially supported. I won't buy DVDs because a bunch of American corporations have decreed that I must own Windows in order to view them, and must pay more than in the US for the privilege.

MPAA/RIAA are irrelevant (2)

decaf_dude (171976) | more than 13 years ago | (#789480)

They'll almost certainly win their litigation against DeCSS and Napster, respectively. They have the money and we all know you can buy yourself a nice piece of justice with a chunk of the green.

We, however, must not forget that winning in court is necessarily equal to winning in the real world. The facts:
  • Most of the World is connected through Internet (countries that are not have more existential problems than personal liberties)
  • CDs and movies are unreasonably expensive because of cartel control
  • People don't respect the laws they don't find appropriate
  • Technology for total anonimity as well as ultimate filesharing is here or is about to enter
With these in mind one doesn't need to be a rocket scientist to figure out the overall outcome of this unfortunate episode. Communism failed because it was impossible for the few to control the minds of the many. While they managed to hold on to the power for as much as 70 years in some countries, they ultimately were destroyed.

Sadly, today's industry cartels and monopolies failed to learn the lesson and are trying to do the same. The question is not whether we'll succeed in crushing our contemporary oppressing forces, but how long will it take and what the cost will ultimately be.


-----

It's Congress, not lawyers (3)

Animats (122034) | more than 13 years ago | (#789481)

The big problem was the '99 Congress, which basically gave Hollywood and the music industry whatever it wanted. Between the Sonny Bono Copyright Extension Act (which effectively extends copyrights forever) and the Digital Millenium Copyright Act...

Don't blame the courts. Given that Congress enacted the DMCA, the courts are doing their job. The basic problem is that we have a pay-per-view Congress. And it may get worse. George Bush Jr. apparently believes that it is the job of politicians to do what their contributors want. No guilt, no shame, no notion of bribery or corruption. It's just supposed to be that way.

Re:Lawsuits (5)

iCEBaLM (34905) | more than 13 years ago | (#789482)

You people don't understand the importance of copyright laws and intellectual property. Most of you would love to live in a world where there were no IP laws, but guess what would happen? No one would want to publish their work online!

This is absolutely, one-hundred percent, wrong! Back before there was IP laws did people not invent things? Write poetry and literature? Perform music? Paint paintings? I really hate it when people say "without IP laws no one would publish anything" as history has shown that this is false. The very thought that one human can own an idea, or that a thought is the same as real estate, is absolutely absurd. Now I don't think we should do away with IP COMPLETELY, but it should be reformed drastically and protections severely minimized. Mattel sueing everyone and their dog over the name Barbie just shows that as it stands IP Law Doesn't Work!

This is similar to the good intentions behind communism, yet in practice it has proven to be a failure.

Again, this is false. One implimentation of communism crumbled so communism could never work, or doesn't work? I don't think so. This is another argumentative pet-peeve of mine. Communism as the Soviet Union practiced it didn't work, but that doesn't mean communism doesn't, or can't work.

The lawsuits may be hard to swallow at first but they are absolutely essential for the growth of the Internet.

No, they are not. They hinder the internet. For as many people you think wouldn't post their work online in the absence of IP law there are 20 companies and individuals who wouldn't post their work online in FEAR OF IP law.

Why do you think many hardware makers don't release specifications? Because Microsoft is bribing them not to? No. Because they are afraid of potential law suits over patents they may have infringed but because of the time and cost involved couldn't or didn't check with the patent office on each and every method they use. Look at 3Dfx getting sued by NVidia over patent infringement. 3Dfx is open with their specs and that is their reward, NVidia isn't and their reward is staying speed king in the 3D accelerator card market. This is what IP law does.

-- iCEBaLM

Re:Lawsuits (4)

Aleatoric (10021) | more than 13 years ago | (#789483)

Uhh, no.

You are right that there is nothing wrong with intellectual property, either in principle, or in use, and there are times that the force of law can and should be used to protect it.

However,we are well into the process where the laws and protections for IP are being lobbied far beyond any necessary value, either to IP or to the public in general.

Patents and copyrights are being pushed far beyond what they were ever intended for. Little needs to be said here about the foolishness of many of the patents being awarded these days, and copyrights are supposed to fade into the public domain after a reasonable period, not be carried into perpetuity.

Also, IP laws were not intended to trump the basic rights of use. Such necessary rights as first sale, fair use, and the right to reverse-engineer not only should (and must) be allowed, but they also are an integral part of the value of IP.

Laws such as the DMCA, with its restrictions on fair use and reverse engineering, and the proposed UCITA, which actually seeks to shackle the first amendment (making illegal any negative comments about software does just that), among other poorly thought out 'protections', will, in the long run, do more harm to IP, and respect for IP, than any number of violators could ever do.

The article on the Fool does not bash the concept of IP, it merely states that those worried about protecting IP can do a much better job of it if they embrace and use modern technology, rather than trying to suppress it.

Be careful with the allegations of communism, as well. In all the communistic societies, such rights as I have listed above (and many others) are suppressed, not provided as a given. And the ongoing dialogue is definitely about rights. The holders of IP have the right to the protection of their property, but the users of IP also have the right to use that property without undue restriction. IP protection is important, but we should not sacrifice the rights of the users to allay the unfounded fears of those who can't (or won't) grow with the rest of us.

Re:Conflict of Interest (1)

Yardley (135408) | more than 13 years ago | (#789484)

In other words, if any one is paying attention: it is NOT Judge Chaplain (Motley Fool made a mistake which /. is repeating), it is Judge Kaplan.

On July 14 EFF's defense team filed a motion to disqualify Judge Lewis Kaplan from presiding over the DeCSS trial after discovery revealed that he advised Time Warner on DVD matters while in private practice. Judge Kaplan was a partner in the powerhouse NY law firm Paul Weiss when he counseled Time Warner, a plaintiff in the case, on antitrust issues related to DVD technology, an issue to be decided in this case.

Judge Kaplan was Time Warner's Lawyer on DVD Issues [eff.org]

--

Re:Here's Free Market For Ya'... DUH (2)

erotus (209727) | more than 13 years ago | (#789488)

"So the MPAA is cutting out part of linux's marketshare. "

Hmmm... Maybe Redhat, Caldera, Suse, etc... Should sue the MPAA for lost profits. After all, didn't Bell telephone go after people who used non-Bell phones and equipment and, of course, they were broken up as a result. Seems like the MPAA has a type of monopoly here - one has to use an MPAA approved DVD player. It could take a sharp legal team to make the historical comparison between Bell telephone and the MPAA. Anyone who uses a copyright to gain a monopoly loses the right to that copyright. Ah but the DMCA would need to be overturned first... Anyone with legal expertise out there? How could this be tackled?

Free music and the Grateful Dead (3)

phutureboy (70690) | more than 13 years ago | (#789490)

The Grateful Dead allowed and encouraged people to tape their shows and trade the 'bootleg' tapes freely. They refused to play in any venue that wouldn't provide a special section for tapers to set up their gear. Some of my friends had hundreds of Dead show tapes, and participated in elaborate tape-trading networks. Many people taped with DAT decks. Commercial use of their music (charging more than the cost of a blank tape) was strictly prohibited, however, and would be met with prosecution, although I'm not aware of any cases where that happened.

Perhaps this could explain how the Dead came to be so popular that they sold out every show within minutes, and that their official albums sold millions and remain big sellers to this day... (BTW, Workingman's Dead kicks ASS!)

The bootleg jams are still around - people are now making MP3s of them and trading them in a Dead MP3 binaries newsgroup... Every now and then I fire up nget and pull down a couple dozen of them.

My point ... is that maybe the Grateful Dead had a Really Gargantuan Clue, about 25 years before it occurred to anyone else ... that you could share your music with the world and still make a living.

Anyone serious about understanding the changing world of digital music and new business models should read up not on Napster or MP3.com, but on the Grateful Dead bootleg scene that has being going on for the past 25 years or so.

--

Read the Fine Links (1)

Crash Culligan (227354) | more than 13 years ago | (#789491)

From what I gather (from the first few minutes of reading), The 'Fool On The Hill' column contains mostly opinion, and the other columns are intended for more factual data, never mind the gaffe that Rob Landley pulled by substituting Chaplain for Kaplan. (Bad press! Bad, bad press! No biscuit!)

Yes, I know the crux of this particular newsposting wasn't a 'Fool On The Hill' column. But this one was. [fool.com] Go on, look at it... it also happens to be the article pointed at in the first paragraph of the featured article...

Consider also that in the course of his checking around, he actually went to the EFF's web site.

He may be primarily concerned with economics and market forces and many of those other things that bore the average geek to sleep, but in times of crisis, accept any help from all quarters. He seems to be fully dead-set against The Old Men of the Recording Industry, and anything he does to highlight their hypocrisy and outdated attitudes is a blessing to our cause.

Re:Resistance - I love how she put that! (2)

BitMan (15055) | more than 13 years ago | (#789494)

I love how she put that:

asked about
the kid that got arrested for writing a DVD program

Because that is exactly what he did. He is guilty of writing nothing more than DVD program without a license!

It's interesting how the non-technical see it before they get the brainwashing propoganda of an industry that will shoot everybody, including themselves, out of speculative paranoia!

-- Bryan "TheBS" Smith

But the assumption is that capitalism exists. (1)

Estanislao Martnez (203477) | more than 13 years ago | (#789496)

This whole article tries to describe the effects of these court cases in the real world. However, the real world has nothing to do with the fantasy world that the economists describe with their "free" market "theories".

Decisions are always made by agents who don't conform to the game-theoretic concept of rationality that's so central to modern economics. (One would think that the "science" of economics would be interested in modern concepts of the Philosophy of Action, but they show a criminal disinterest to them.) The effect is that these theories predict that there "rational" course of action in a very artificial, stylized fictional world, but they absolutely fail to predict whether this course of action is computable, and much less will they ever make a prediction relevant to the real world.

This article is a further product of the superstructural institution of modern economics justifying the existing order. Nothing more, nothing less.

Re:Here's Free Market For Ya'... DUH (2)

grahamsz (150076) | more than 13 years ago | (#789498)

Yes but as i recall all the examples you have cited are application level.

To do dvd decoding you will need at least some driver level interaction surely since there is some degree of authorisation at drive level.

Anyway there was never any decree that you must own windows to play dvds. In the UK you can buy standalone players and these sport far better support for high definition tv output and surround sound decoding. You can also play dvds on your Mac, you should be able to play them on solaris (either now or soon) and it's free.

What's Valenti's email address? (2)

ocelotbob (173602) | more than 13 years ago | (#789499)

We seriously need to email this article to the "geniuses" who run the studios in the MPAA. They don't seem to realize that they're shooting themselves in the foot here, and that many techno-freaks, including yours truly, won't even consider buying a DVD player until they grow a few brain cells. Of course, they seem to want the whole pie, even though the pie is a lot smaller than it should be if they let the people choose exactly how they want to use their stuff.

Of course, this is the US of fucking A, so being a CEO makes you automatically gifted with perfect sight.

A friendly reminder... (3)

gunner800 (142959) | more than 13 years ago | (#789500)

...for those with the motivation to actually do something about all this:

Judges really can be, in effect, removed from a case due to a conflict of interests. If it happens after the case is all done, something akin to a mistrial is declared.

So at one time, the judge was receiving money to protect their interests in DVD issues. That seems like a pretty clear cut example of conflicted interests...


My mom is not a Karma whore!

Re:A friendly reminder... (1)

techsupersite.com (211454) | more than 13 years ago | (#789501)

Kaplan's conflict of interest has so far only been heard (and dismissed with a 90+ page collection of BS) by himself. Of course he thinks he's "unbiased". And that new platinum Rolls that just showed up in his garage is purely coincidental.

Kaplan's CLEAR conflict of interest HAS to be heard by another court. He admonished Garbus, 2600's lead attorney, for a "conflict of interest" (once representing a company that was eventually bought by Time-Warner), yet he HIMSELF worked for them.

While suing businesses out of existance has always been around, since Clinton has raised it to high art with his persecution of tobacco and gun makers. This is the legacy.

The MPAA/RIAA won't be happy until there IS a tax on everything that could conceivebly be used to record or duplicate copyrighted works. When that happens, there is no longer any need for them to produce "quality", as they will get a certain cut of the IT industry no matter what schlock they produce. Imagine movies, TV, and pop music being even worse tomorrow than today.

Such a plan as Germany proposes takes all incentive of the market (IE, make a good product, make money, make a piss poor one, lose money) out of the entertainment industry.

Best idea yet ... ;-) (1)

Roy Ward (14216) | more than 13 years ago | (#789502)

"I'm sure horse stables sued the first automobile manufacturers, and lobbied to make cars illegal. (Nasty smelly noisy things, dangerous. They run people over. Shouldn't be allowed.)"

I like that idea :-) Were Americans lawsuit-happy even back then?

Seriously ... that's one flaw in the "consumers know best" argument - where there is some possible safety or environmental damage caused by a new technology. (OK, this doesn't apply to any of the technologies that he talks about). Of course, in that case it should be the lawmakers rather than lawsuits that are involved.

Roy Ward.

Conflict of Interest (1)

Yardley (135408) | more than 13 years ago | (#789503)

Judge Kaplan -- in the DeCSS case -- refuses to recuse himself even though he has his own little conflict of interest.

--

Re:you have forgotten a prime axiom (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#789504)

OOooh, algebra, the AC knows algebra. How cute! OOooh

Re:Lawsuits (1)

ozborn (161426) | more than 13 years ago | (#789505)

This is similar to the good intentions behind communism, yet in practice it has proven to be a failure.

Yeah, Russia has been a real fucking economic dynamo since the USSR dissolved. It's military has collaspsed, it's economic is in tatters, and its fighting a nasty war in Chechyna. Capitalism uber alles!

Should we high five or slap the invisible hand? (5)

marshall11 (115730) | more than 13 years ago | (#789506)

I applaud the fool for pointing out the hypocrisy of RIAA and the MPAA, and the absurdity of these lawsuits. Let me explain.

The DMCA is one of the most important bills to hit capital hill in a while. Why isn't it receiving more coverage in the media?

The DMCA is subtly undermining how the general populace understands their constitutional rights. Maybe I'm being a tad dramatic here, but why is it that people are simply throwing up their hands and letting someone else's money solve their problems? Why do they believe that money is the only thing that can solve problems?

I like the fool, but what I'm getting at is the irony underlying the issues in that column. The same invisible hand that entertainment industry is trying to slap or shackle, is the one that also allowed the biggest entertainment mergers in history. Those mergers have limited all televised, thoughtful, discussion on the DMCA, EULA's, and technology in general. Everything is a 20 second soundbite makingthe EFF sound like either a cult of terrorists. In the sixties and seventies, mass media conveyed the idea that computers and mass communication were powerful toold that could change the world for the better. Now, mass media feeds us the impression that these objects/concepts are nothing more than sleek tools, or toys.

What better way to protect your toy chest than to have people forget about it - claim that people don't even have the right to question you about it. For those few fringe people that know it exists and just want to expose it's guts, you can call them criminals and no one will care.

So the hand. The members of MPAA and RIAA used the metaphor of the hand to justify their insanly gigantic unions, but now they're not letting the market do it's job. Corporate rhetoric always sites "the market forces," but the Fool aptly points out that this only happens when it suits them. At all other times - complete ownership of market forces is what's best for business.

Re:Lawsuits (2)

rockwall (213803) | more than 13 years ago | (#789507)

There is nothing wrong with using a licensed DVD play to watch DVD movies on, I don't understand the point you're trying to make. They haven't sued anyone under those conditions.

Here's Free Market For Ya' (2)

DzugZug (52149) | more than 13 years ago | (#789508)

First a few facts:
  1. I have a computer.
  2. I do not have a DVD player.
  3. I run linux.


Now for the kicker:

I will not buy a DVD player until I can use it in Linux.

This is not a philosophical debate nor a boycot on a matter of principle. My demand for a DVDs is zero until I have a usable player. (usable==runs_in_linux) Therefore the MPAA is costing the DVD industry at least my marketshare worth of sales. Oh and Im willing to bet there are at least a few others like me.

Re:Lawsuits (2)

frantzdb (22281) | more than 13 years ago | (#789509)

If you buy a DVD drive (licenced) and a DVD and use DeCSS to watch the DVD under linux, you are breaking the law...

--Ben

Judge CHAPLAIN? (2)

iCEBaLM (34905) | more than 13 years ago | (#789510)

Er, isn't that supposed to be Kaplan? I can't imagine anybody going to one of this guys sermons..

-- iCEBaLM

The Preacher Preaching to the Choir (1)

Ergo2000 (203269) | more than 13 years ago | (#789513)

Rob Landley is a long-time anti-capitalist Slashdot-crowd-wanting sort of guy, and if you've read any of his previous offers you would quicky discount pretty much everything he says because you can see how it all fits into his religious mission. I believe not too long ago one was expressing how "Intellectual Property" was an oxymoron, a previous one was describing how Microsoft was doomed and Linux was taking over the world, and now this one. Surprize surprize surprize.

Sorry but if anything I'd call him a Karma whore. Maybe he can't get unearned points over at the Fool, but he can hope to hit the nail on the head as far as `proving' the point of the majority of Slashdot enthusiasts, thereby earning certain hits. Just look here with all the "We should forward this to every big company, blah blah blah" : What do they care? This is one guy who has the rather low level job of contributing articles for an online ezine. He hardly qualifies as the be all and end all.

Re: Lawsuits (2)

rockwall (213803) | more than 13 years ago | (#789526)

Just because these programs have changed the world doesn't mean that they've changed things for the better. The whole purpose of these agencies is to protect the creators of music, movies, etc. When these producers no longer have any protection against piracy, how can they make money? When they can't make any money, what will motivate them to continue producing?

Go to Hell (1)

Dervak (94063) | more than 13 years ago | (#789527)

My, what a load of crap...

It's surprising that only a couple days after slashdot posted the Suck article describing how geeks are living in a fantasy world, slashbots are once again decrying the motives of the RIAA.

And what other motive does the RIAA fat cats have than continuing getting rich on the work of others, pray tell? It is not as if the artists are receiving more than a pittance as it is.

You people don't understand the importance of copyright laws and intellectual property.

Oh yes, I think most of us understand it all too well.

Most of you would love to live in a world where there were no IP laws, but guess what would happen? No one would want to publish their work online!

Guess what? There are already many people publishing their work online, without any copy obstruction or restriction, and with no demand for payment. If youre reading /. you should know that. I am one of them. You are proven wrong.

This is similar to the good intentions behind communism, yet in practice it has proven to be a failure.

Communism failed because it was imposed from above; they kept the state and the coercion. That is why it failed. But I dont see what Communism has to do with anything, other than that some people all into American Captilalism call everything they dont like Communism. Thats really inane.

The lawsuits may be hard to swallow at first

Damn right theyre hard to swallow. Or take up the ass, more like it!

but they are absolutely essential for the growth of the Internet.

Holy shit! My bullshit-o-meter just pegged! Lets read it again: Lawsuits being essential to the growth of the Internet!!!

I dont know what to say to such an abysmally stupid and brainless comment. I assume by "the growth of the Internet" mean its forced takeover by undemocratic corporate interests and its turning into a similar mixture of "entertainment", advertisement, shopping and brainwashing as the TV networks.

I will continue supporting initiatives like DeCSS, Napster, FreeNet etc., trying to spread their usage as much as I can, if only to piss you off all the more.

I have only one thing to say to you and your corporate backers: Go to Hell!

/Dervak

Remember Econ 101 (1)

DzugZug (52149) | more than 13 years ago | (#789528)

As we all learned in a competitive market price falls to marginal cost of production. MP3s make marginal cost zero and napster creates a competitive market.

Re:Lawsuits (2)

rockwall (213803) | more than 13 years ago | (#789529)

Ah, so it was DeCSS that he was referring to. He didn't mention that in his post. I don't see anything wrong with viewing DVDs in other operating systems, the problem with DeCSS is that it enables anyone to decode the movie and freely distribute it. People have already begun doing this and encoding movies into Divex or 3ivex so they can be downloaded faster. Face it, the whole purpose behind DeCSS is to make piracy a lot easier.

Re:Don't talk about what you don't know, dammit. (2)

Shoeboy (16224) | more than 13 years ago | (#789530)

Please point out which section of the GPL says "you may not make money off this". Of course, there is none.
Please point out a company currently turning a profit from the sale of GPL'd software.
While there is no explicit prohibition against making money, the GPL effectively prevents companies from turning a profit.
Do try to think before posting.
--Shoeboy

Well, of course. (2)

sulli (195030) | more than 13 years ago | (#789531)

The awards are filled with industry people, and put on by Viacom, an MPAA (and RIAA?) member. Try an audience of actual fans, and you'll have a different reaction.

sulli

Re:Fool.com (2)

barracg8 (61682) | more than 13 years ago | (#789547)

I know I shouldn't feed the trolls, but just in case anybody takes this guy seriously:
  • It is obviously pandering to the majority of Internet users who know nothing about the way things work in the real world.
Uh, the article makes its point using a "real world" example - the effect of the vcr on the motion picture industry.

Please, if you have facts, bring them to the discussion; if you just another damn troll, insert your head up your own arse.

G

What capitalism is... (5)

phutureboy (70690) | more than 13 years ago | (#789548)

Capitalism is: an economic system in which the means of production and distribution (aka capital) are privately owned. Under capitalism, distribution of resources is controlled by market demand rather than central government planning.

A capitalist is someone who supports this economic system. Sometimes the term capitalist is also used to describe persons who provide capital for business ventures, e.g. Venture Capitalists.

Someone who manipulates the legislature or judiciary for financial gain is definitely NOT a capitalist. The term that is generally used to describe these people is 'unethical dickwad', although other vulgarities may certainly apply as well.



--

Re:Lawsuits (2)

rockwall (213803) | more than 13 years ago | (#789549)

This is absolutely, one-hundred percent, wrong! Back before there was IP laws did people not invent things? Write poetry and literature? Perform music? Paint paintings? I really hate it when people say "without IP laws no one would publish anything" as history has shown that this is false. The very thought that one human can own an idea, or that a thought is the same as real estate, is absolutely absurd. Now I don't think we should do away with IP COMPLETELY, but it should be reformed drastically and protections severely minimized. Mattel sueing everyone and their dog over the name Barbie just shows that as it stands IP Law Doesn't Work!

Back when there weren't any IP laws, there was no way of distributing digital copies of music. The Internet makes possible things that we had never even imagined, and there will always be people who will take advantage of these new possibilities.

Again, this is false. One implimentation of communism crumbled so communism could never work, or doesn't work? I don't think so. This is another argumentative pet-peeve of mine. Communism as the Soviet Union practiced it didn't work, but that doesn't mean communism doesn't, or can't work.

You were missing my point here. I was saying that communism sounded like a great idea at first, you didn't have to worry about money and everyone was equal. However, they didn't factor in laziness, which was why it never worked. In this case, people like you fail to factor in others who will abuse a society which has weak IP laws.

Why pretend to be holy? (1)

Coward Anonymous (110649) | more than 13 years ago | (#789550)

I'll admit it! I want my music and movies for free and I really don't care about the "consequences" to the industry.
Why be so high and holy about these things? We just want it for free and they don't want to give it to us.

Nevermind that the industry has abused its position with cartel like tactics for the last 75 years and continues to do so only contributes to this attitude.

Re:Lawsuits (1)

peterjm (1865) | more than 13 years ago | (#789551)


There is nothing wrong with using a licensed DVD play to watch DVD movies on, I don't understand the point you're trying to make. They haven't sued anyone under those conditions.

But they have,or have you not heard of Jon Johansen. Granted, he wasn't arrested for partaking in (c) (viewing (a) under (b) ) [slashdot.org] , he was merely arrested for making (c) possible (actuall, my understanding is that he was arrested for making a gui for (c) ).
I haven't quite figured out weather or not you're karma whoring, and just don't the facts, or if you really are as ignorant of the issues surrounding DeCSS as it seems. Regardless, This post shows your inability to follow anothers (different) train of thought.
For all the propaganda surrounding this issue, go get your ass on over to opendvd.org [opendvd.org] .
I hope this helps.
-Peter

Re:Lawsuits (1)

rockwall (213803) | more than 13 years ago | (#789552)

Why is it that every time someone posts an opinion that differs from the majority of slashdot readers, it's labelled a "troll"? No, I am not a troll. Why don't you argue my points instead of making false accusations. Could it be because you already know that I'm right?

Re:Be allert, because history repeats itself. (2)

OTri (205553) | more than 13 years ago | (#789553)

Sorry for the poorly formatted original, that was my first post.

-- My Over-the-Top Statement --
I would request that all legal cases by the RIAA and MPAA be dropped or halted until the courts have validated whether they are practicing anti-competative and legal manipulation counter to the will of the democratic people. Otherwise we all face courts of false precedent and illegal closure.

If the legal system is being manipulated by a specific few, then we are no better off than a totalitarianism society.
-- End of Statement --

(I encourage a response to this, but please don't hit "submit" until at least 10min have passed, so you have time to think over your ideas.)

Remember, we must keep our rights (not copyrights) and freedoms. Basic human rights should never be violated, and beyond that, we should exist in a fully democratic society. If the democratic process is better described by people's will (not money), then we should not resolve these issues in court (biased by money), but instead rely on the value someone is willing to put into an idea or action (individual time and effort).

Money can be biased by a specific few who have managed to create an empire, via cashflow redirection and monopolisation strategies. In this case we should analyse and detect common structures with a common behaviour that can bias decision. That's a heavy sentence for, "watch out for the influential few, identify their commonalities, and constantly make efforts to counteract that influence." It's a constant battle, which can be easily sidetracked. A few examples of large masses of people (individuals) fighting for what's right are OS wars (MS & Apple Vs GNU/Open Source), tech Vs media wars (RIAA and MPAA Vs Gnutella, Napster, casset tapes, CDR, DeCSS), and economic or human rights wars (China, Cuba, etc Vs USA & Commonwealth), and people's copyrights for education and prolifferation of knowledge (students Vs publishers). The last is in reference to the unreasonable cost and issuing of books.

I feel the only proper legal protection required by many of these parties should be in the social and economic safety nets. Further protection and enforcement for copyrights are initially a good thing, much like the protection a King gives its people. However, as the copyright holders abuse their "rights" so hurt are the people, much like a King's "rights" are abused to squash troublesome peasants.

Be allert, as history really does repeat itself.

theres always ways to make money (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#789554)

just a few comments
if the musicians only produce music for the money they shouldnt produce it at all, music is made for others to listen to, for good and bad times, music is always there, since the beginning of time, and people have always made it because they love music, not for money, and it should never be only about money, because then your just making music for yourself, and thats not what music is about

many musicians are against the riaa for there control over artists property, and riaa ripping off artists

i have heard plenty of musicians that are glad there music is so easy to get, and record sales are up since last year since napster has been out anyway

first of all, lets say record sales do make a major drop and thats an artists major income, so they wont be so rich, they will still be making more money then me, legal record copies will never stop selling, i am sure of that.
second, there are plenty of ways to make money, concerts, advertisements, get online and sell, many people are willing to buy there music if they provide it cheap and easy to get, its already being done by some artists. theres also memorabelia(shirts, hats, etc..), and many other things i hadnt thought of

Re:Lawsuits (1)

pb (1020) | more than 13 years ago | (#789555)

Any player can do this, including a licensed one; all you have to do is capture the bitstream that it outputs, and that requires no knowledge of CSS whatsoever.

Also, the CSS module for Linux is 'css-auth'; all it does is allow the drive to play its content, and its purpose *is* to allow users to watch DVDs under Linux.

However, this is another red herring, because the real pirates will still be the ones burning unlicensed DVDs with fake cover-art and whatnot...
---
pb Reply or e-mail; don't vaguely moderate [ncsu.edu] .

Aged and Decrepid are they (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#789557)

The MPAA and the RIAA are aged dinosaurs already, clinging to lawyers to prevent the impending future. The jobs of record companies will most likely diminish as the artists themselves become the ones who directly control their own work. Since distributing over priced CD's is no longer a requirement to be a popular band due to the speed and low cost of dissemination through the internet there is very little place for record companies besides studio recording. Much like the railroad baron's the MPAA and the RIAA will eventually fall into obscurity I just hope they die decide to give up these lawsuits and die with dignity.

Re:Don't talk about what you don't know, dammit. (1)

Shoeboy (16224) | more than 13 years ago | (#789558)

Read the GNU website, dammit. And read the threads you participate.
I'm quite good at reading actually.
I've even read the GPL, have you?
In order to profit from selling a good, there has to be scarity. The only way to guarantee scarcity of a software product (software has always had near zero copying costs) is to hide the source and build copy protection into the binary. Since the GPL is designed to remove these mechanisms of artificial scarcity, it is clearly designed to stop people from profiting from the work of the original author.

And, anyway, to answer you question, Cygnus.
Last I checked, Cygus was owned by Red Hat, which is busilly pissing away investor cash like there's no tomorrow. Do try to stay current.
--Shoeboy

Re:(ugh...thought I hit preview) (1)

Freedent (84485) | more than 13 years ago | (#789559)

As far as I agree with them, libertarian beliefs should (idealy) lead to more community-oriented co-operation. When you put the responsibility of action on people, and not governments, you get things like effective product boycotts. Unfortunately that rarely happens, because a lot of people don't seem to like to work together, or do anything that might be seen as different, or "radical".

Try storing all the tin cans of food you have upside down all the time, or tell people you refuse to watch any TV anymore, see what kind of reaction you get.

missing the point (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#789560)

A whole bunch of people are screeching that a playing a purchased dvd with a licensed dvd player under linux is illegal. You are all idiots.

The only reason a dvd player is licensed is because it has the capability of DECODING the data stream coming from the laser/reading portion of the hardware. Most dvd players come with a seperate decoder card because the drives themselves don't decode anything.

The MPAA wants to ban software implementations of the hardware. It's that simple. Why? Because they don't get royalties if people use free software decoders instead of hardware. They also think that forcing people to watch previews and stuff somehow helps them generate revenue, and if there are free software decoders, they're not going to have to interpret the commands that disable skipping through fbi warnings and previews.

I don't think there are any linux drivers for the hardware decoders either, but if anyone released specs for them, I'm pretty sure those drivers would be legal and the MPAA shouldn't have a problem with them.

Excellent point, however... (1)

cvillopillil (147104) | more than 13 years ago | (#789574)

However, you fail to realize that the socio-economic realities of the majority of the world's population dictates an anomoly in the actuality of the statement that the market speculation-tinted view of reality has no impact on the lives of real people, due to the simple fact that they feel the impact of descisions resulting directly from speculation induced by market realizations. From this point of view, the market capital stylization of the world in fact gains substance and could be said to be more "real" than the real world itself.

Just an observation.

Re:Lawsuits (1)

peterjm (1865) | more than 13 years ago | (#789575)

Face it, the whole purpose behind DeCSS is to make piracy a lot easier.

oh, i get it, you're a troll....
it all make so much sense now...
go away please.

Re:Did anybody notice the walkout on MTV?? (1)

DCMonkey (615) | more than 13 years ago | (#789576)

And when Lars Ulrich came out later in the show to do the same, there was alot of what sounded like booing

... or was it mooing?

What to do about this (1)

Yinon (16418) | more than 13 years ago | (#789577)

It seems pretty clear to me that there is one thing we all should do to help end this complete madness: join EFF and contribute money. Without it, they cannot fight extremely well-financed corporations. An EFF membership can be as low as $20 for the student/low-income membership. A basic membership is $65. Higher level memberships are a better way to support your basic rights. Plus, with at least the $65 membership, you get a really cool T-shirt (if they still have them).

EFF has done a lot of really great things over the last decade. Check out their site at http://www.eff.org [eff.org] to find out about what they've done to protect us. Then, join at https://www.eff.org/support/joineff.html [eff.org] . They are seriously underfunded when compared to the mega-corps they are up against. Plus, it's all tax deducatable. Gross injustices are being done to the geek community -- show your support against this.

(OT) Communism......... (1)

alarosa (167607) | more than 13 years ago | (#789578)

I honestly don't think pure Communism will ever work, at least with humans as we know them. Why? People are assholes. The majority of people will take the path of least resistance. And since in a purely Communist state, everyone would be equal regardless of how hard they worked or what they did, a LOT of people are going to piddle around doing not much, or the bare minimum, causing less to be available for the people, causing......problems!

Of course, I don't think ANY pure system will ever work, it has to be some hybrid of different socio-economic systems. People are too fickle and too different to try any one thing.

Re:What's Valenti's email address? (2)

Hanno (11981) | more than 13 years ago | (#789579)

Don't email. Email is easily ignored. Send a letter on actual paper.

------------------

Darn. I was with you (sort of) until this post. (1)

cvillopillil (147104) | more than 13 years ago | (#789580)

How can you claim this? It's quite ridiculous and shows that you have very little grasp of the fundamentals of symbiotic market relations. Indeed it could be said that, insofar as the equilibrium of commercial substance qualifiers goes, the cognitive input received by the person is not valid due to his lack of computational ability with regard to the entire scenario in any given situation. In other words, an individual cannot properly analyze the entire situational actuality without help of some form of synthetically modelled reactionary simulation.

I'm sorry to correct you in this harsh way, but you are wrong.

Re:Nice wrap up (2)

Nicolas MONNET (4727) | more than 13 years ago | (#789581)

Actually they care more about the price of gas; that's where the middleclass viewpoint starts and ends.

Re:Lawsuits (1)

gproux (4130) | more than 13 years ago | (#789582)

>No one would want to publish their work
>online!

Not even Linus in 1991?
Not even Stephen King in 2000?

I think there is MPAA trollers on ./ ;D

Re:Resistance will only make the movement stronger (2)

G27 Radio (78394) | more than 13 years ago | (#789583)

When Lars went after napster he generated more publicity for napster than he probably intended. I know many who learned of napster due to Lars.

Just to back you up on this--most of the people I've met know about Napster due to Lars. At the time Metallica was making their big stink about Napster my friends were hosting an open mic night which I was recording to put online. Immediately after that people that showed up started asking if the music would be available on Napster and people were making jokes about Metallica. And this wasn't in the valley, it was Jacksonville, FL.

So, you're absolutely right about Metallica shooting themselves in the foot. I also recently was asked about "the kid that got arrested for writing a DVD program." This was from my friend's mother-in-law, a nurse and not involved in the tech industry whatsoever. So the MPAA is also generating a decent amount of publicity. Unfortunately, I don't think people understand the concept of DeCSS as well as they do Napster.

numb

Re:Remember Econ 101 (2)

barracg8 (61682) | more than 13 years ago | (#789584)

  • MP3s make marginal cost zero
True, in the sense that they allow music to be distributed at no visibe cost to the user. Exactly the same arguement could be applied to radio. That hasn't killed the music industry; quite the opposite - record sales depend on getting air play. Mp3s are not a competitor to CDs. As the trade in mp3s rises, so does the sale of CDs; but I know this I listen to the radio a little less these days.
  • napster creates a competitive market.
For whom, though?
The whole point of the article was to say: who says mp3s pose any competiton to the music industry, in the same way that the vcr has proven a help, not a hinderance to the motion picture industry.
  • People still buy CDs, despite music being freely available on the radio.
  • People still buy bottled water, despite water being freely available from the tap.
  • People still buy CDs, despite music being freely available as mp3s.
Nothing changes in the model.

cheers,
G

Re:Here's Free Market For Ya' (1)

Nicolas MONNET (4727) | more than 13 years ago | (#789585)

I will not buy a DVD player until I can use it in Linux.

Just to let you know that Bill Clinton, John Paul II and Vladimir Poutine are calling for an emergency UN hearing after learning this.

Mark that number up to two. (1)

Sachs (228334) | more than 13 years ago | (#789586)

I have a computer. I have a DVD drive. I bought several DVDs and returned them all because they were broken (CSSed) I will not buy any DVDs untill they work in Linux.


meept!

Re:Lawsuits (2)

iCEBaLM (34905) | more than 13 years ago | (#789587)

Back when there weren't any IP laws, there was no way of distributing digital copies of music. The Internet makes possible things that we had never even imagined, and there will always be people who will take advantage of these new possibilities.

Oh so IP law is all about DIGITAL? I'm sorry, but IP law has been around a lot longer than the internet, digital computers, etc. Back without IP law there were still ways of copying, sharing, etc. IP law has absolutely nothing to do with whether the medium is digital or not, thats such a crock.

You were missing my point here. I was saying that communism sounded like a great idea at first, you didn't have to worry about money and everyone was equal. However, they didn't factor in laziness, which was why it never worked. In this case, people like you fail to factor in others who will abuse a society which has weak IP laws.

Law will always be exploited, period, there just isn't a way to make a law air-tight in a democratic society. Nor should we try. The object is to find a common ground, make laws that benifit the public and the corporations but ones that infringe on neither. All I've been seeing lately are laws that heavily favor corporations. Copyright should not be perpetual, patents don't expire quickly enough in our society, trademarks are getting to the point of absurdity.

-- iCEBaLM

Nice wrap up (2)

boarder (41071) | more than 13 years ago | (#789588)

I have read some of this person's columns in a local newspaper and I think in other major publications. I know the column has a massive reader base.

The article didn't go into much depth in any of the issues, but it did highlight some of the most absurd details of a lot of the current cases that are concerning technology today. I hope people will see these cases in a new light and start caring more about it now.

I have tried to explain to MANY people why I am wearing a t-shirt that says down with DVD-CCA and why I am boycotting various companies, but most people don't see the big problems or understand the importance of the outcomes of these cases. Hopefully, more people will start paying more attention to what is going on currently that will affect them in the future.

In short, we need more major columnists like this to write more colums like this. Maybe we can persuade Dave Barry...

Proofreader trolls need to slap the Foole (1)

Demona (7994) | more than 13 years ago | (#789591)

CHAPLAIN: Minister, priest, man of the cloth.

KAPLAN: Alleged MPAA Toole.

Barry would be perfect. (1)

Demona (7994) | more than 13 years ago | (#789601)

Dave Barry is one of the masters at explaining Stupidity with a capital S in a way that the average person can easily understand. He's one libertarian-leaning guy, too; Reason Magazine [reason.com] did an interview with him that had some real howlers. His impression of folks who want to Regulate:

"BUT PEOPLE WILL HAVE SEX WITH DOGS!"

Re:Go to Hell (2)

rockwall (213803) | more than 13 years ago | (#789611)

Guess what? There are already many people publishing their work online, without any copy obstruction or restriction, and with no demand for payment. If youre reading /. you should know that. I am one of them. You are proven wrong.

I'd say that you're in the minority. For every artist that support Napster, for example, there are 10 tht are against it. To say that people would still produce movies and music for no compensation is ridiculous.

But I dont see what Communism has to do with anything, other than that some people all into American Captilalism call everything they dont like Communism.

Communism seemed like a good idea except that they didn't take in human flaws (laziness) into account. People like you don't take in others' intent to pirate through DeCSS and Napster into account.

I dont know what to say to such an abysmally stupid and brainless comment. I assume by "the growth of the Internet" mean its forced takeover by undemocratic corporate interests and its turning into a similar mixture of "entertainment", advertisement, shopping and brainwashing as the TV networks.

I will continue supporting initiatives like DeCSS, Napster, FreeNet etc., trying to spread their usage as much as I can, if only to piss you off all the more.

I have only one thing to say to you and your corporate backers: Go to Hell!


I'm not going to deal with your flamebait, it's pretty obvious that the only reason you're resorting to petty insults is that you agree with me.

Re:Lawsuits (1)

Freedent (84485) | more than 13 years ago | (#789612)

You're not right though. You've walked into a discussion and are trying to argue an FAQ (Frequently Asked Question). The point you've tried to make is that unlicensed software that decodes DVDs is a tool used for piracy. This is correct, in the same way that having a DVD player, or a computer at all could potentially be a tool for piracy. The argument doesn't hold water because:

a) Any player can be used to pirate a DVD.
b) If you were intent on mass-pirating DVDs (or even making copies of DVDs), there's equipment out there that can do this without even decoding the disk first. There is no way to prevent someone from copying the encrypted stuff on the disk to another disk, then having a player (licensed or not) happily decode the thing for you to watch.

The argument concerning piracy in this case is completely and utterly invalid, forget you even thought of it, because it doesn't seem that you've fully thought it through.

BTW: As I mentioned above, you're being called a troll because you've asked a question that's been answered soooo many times. I know it's easy to just spout off opinions on Slashdot (I"m a good example) but it's a good idea to do some reading before you post. HTH

Re:A friendly reminder... (4)

BlueUnderwear (73957) | more than 13 years ago | (#789613)

Guess what? The defendants did raise the issue [eff.org] . However, oddly enough, the rules stipulate that the judge himself has the ultimate say in these matters, and in our case, he just refused to recuse himself...

N.B. This link was not hard to find either, just go to www.free-dvd.org.lu [free-dvd.org.lu] and click on the cute furry Kangaroo...

Intellectual property doesn't exist. They want you (3)

eclectro (227083) | more than 13 years ago | (#789614)

to think it does. And in the confusion that is presently called copyright everybody has bought off on this idea. But it's not just Slashdotters who are confused about copyright - everybody is. Including, which is very depressing to say, our lower courts. So we are in good (bad!) company. The erosion of our public "copyright" has reached the point where we have been put in a "virtual prison", and by illusion have lost all our rights given to us by our constitution. I say by "illusion", because companies want us to believe that we don't own the work that they sell us, that we just "rent it".

The startling fact of the matter is, and some of you are going to have a hard time believing this is - but it's true- that copyright owners do not "own" the work that they have a copyright for. They own the right to copy only, not the work that they have a copyright for. See the link below to understand this (and before you email me in a huff). So the notion of "intellectual property" is not constitutional. Only the "right to copy" is constitutional.

Congress has sold us down the river Big Time [nytimes.com] . They have bastardized copyright law to the point that it is only good for suing people, which is exactly what MPAA/RIAA and pals wanted in the first place. If anybody wants to have _any_ right to fair use in the future, we have to get organized. Whatever shreds of public access to the works of authors, both past, present and future - we _must_ protect. It's so bad that nobody knows what those rights are any more, and especially what they should be [uga.edu] . You must read this [uga.edu] to appreciate fully what's going on here. And to understand that Congress has enacted unconstitutional laws at the bequest of companies, and nobody has noticed until now. Please email me (kphil(at)hotmail)if you are interested in organizing to reclaim our public rights. It's going to be long, hard, and boring work. But it has to be done.

This is pretty representative of the attitude (3)

eclectro (227083) | more than 13 years ago | (#789615)

of the people I talk to. They think it absolutely does not matter one iota. The either don't know, don't understand, don't care, or don't want to be bothered.

Admittedly, some of the issues are technical, complicated, and the result of letting the media mafia get their way is not apparent.

The fact of the matter is that the same symptom that has produced bad copyright law has also been unable to do anything about healthcare. And that's a congress that is overrun with special interests. See what a billionare says about it here [nytimes.com] .

I would like to start an informal discussion on IRC on organizing/strategies to correct/inform public attitude about this. If you are one those who want do something, email me kphil(at)hotmaiI

Re:Lawsuits (2)

rockwall (213803) | more than 13 years ago | (#789616)

If you were intent on mass-pirating DVDs (or even making copies of DVDs), there's equipment out there that can do this without even decoding the disk first. There is no way to prevent someone from copying the encrypted stuff on the disk to another disk, then having a player (licensed or not) happily decode the thing for you to watch.

The whole point is that with DeCSS, you don't need any equipment. Once you decode the DVD and have it on your computer, all you have to do is convert it to DivX or 3ivx and you're ready to distribute it on Gnutella, Freenet, or whatever program you use.

Re:Darn. I was with you (sort of) until this post. (2)

Nicolas MONNET (4727) | more than 13 years ago | (#789617)

situational actuality (...) synthetically modelled reactionary simulation.

Ouch.

(Comment on dit langue de bois en anglais?)

Be allert, because history repeats itself. (1)

OTri (205553) | more than 13 years ago | (#789618)

-- My Over-the-Top Statement -- I would request that all legal cases by the RIAA and MPAA be dropped or halted until the courts have validated whether they are practicing anti-competative and legal manipulation counter to the will of the democratic people. Otherwise we all face courts of false precedent and illegal closure. If the legal system is being manipulated by a specific few, then we are no better off than a totalitarianism society. -- End of Statement -- (I encourage a response to this, but please don't hit "submit" until at least 10min have passed, so you have time to think over your ideas.) Remember, we must keep our rights (not copyrights) and freedoms. Basic human rights should never be violated, and beyond that, we should exist in a fully democratic society. If the democratic process is better described by people's will (not money), then we should not resolve these issues in court (biased by money), but instead rely on the value someone is willing to put into an idea or action (individual time and effort). Money can be biased by a specific few who have managed to create an empire, via cashflow redirection and monopolisation strategies. In this case we should analyse and detect common structures with a common behaviour that can bias decision. That's a heavy sentence for, "watch out for the influential few, identify their commonalities, and constantly make efforts to counteract that influence." It's a constant battle, which can be easily sidetracked. A few examples of large masses of people (individuals) fighting for what's right are OS wars (MS & Apple Vs GNU/Open Source), tech Vs media wars (RIAA and MPAA Vs Gnutella, Napster, casset tapes, CDR, DeCSS), and economic or human rights wars (China, Cuba, etc Vs USA & Commonwealth), and people's copyrights for education and prolifferation of knowledge (students Vs publishers). The last is in reference to the unreasonable cost and issuing of books. I feel the only proper legal protection required by many of these parties should be in the social and economic safety nets. Further protection and enforcement for copyrights are initially a good thing, much like the protection a King gives its people. However, as the copyright holders abuse their "rights" so hurt are the people, much like a King's "rights" are abused to squash troublesome peasants. Be allert, as history really does repeat itself.

Re:Go to Hell (2)

rockwall (213803) | more than 13 years ago | (#789619)

Just think, you can walk around tomorrow and tell your friends in 5th grade: look at me, I'm a FuckNut! It's official!

It's good to see someone else who agrees with me.

Re:Lawsuits (3)

Aleatoric (10021) | more than 13 years ago | (#789620)

The whole point is that with DeCSS, you don't need any equipment. Once you decode the DVD and have it on your computer, all you have to do is convert it to DivX or 3ivx and you're ready to distribute it on Gnutella, Freenet, or whatever program you use.

This is still missing the point. While it is true that DeCSS allows such behaviour, the possibility of that behaviour is not sufficient reason, in and of itself, to make it wrong (or illegal).

The abilities you mention are possible without DeCSS, as well.

Piracy is piracy, and should be dealt with, but dealt with directly, and not by blaming the tool. The primary legal test of a tool is that it has a legitimate utility apart from illegal use. DeCSS *does* meet this criteria.

Even though the digital realm makes copying and distribution easier, it is not sufficient justification for the trampling of the rights of the users. IP can (and IMHO, will) be protectable in the digital age, but that requires that we address the correct issues. It is not necessary to remove first sale, fair use, and other rights to protect IP.

Just as with every other technical advance through history (from the printing press and so on), adaptations have had to be made. None of those adaptations have bankrupted the IP holders, and neither will these current changes. The fact is that the *only* way for IP holders to profit in the current environment is to adapt and embrace the new technology, not to attempt to suppress it. If they try to suppress it, someone else will come in that uses it, and the current businesses will fall by the wayside, sooner or later.

Also, it is not necessary to unduly overdo IP laws. We don't need the DMCA, and we don't need UCITA (at least in its present form). IP can be sufficiently protected through application of the laws that existed before these travesties (or at most, by reasonable extensions to those laws), and this can be done without diminishing the proper rights of the users as well.

Just like piracy, go after the pirate, don't blame the tool.

Re:Here's Free Market For Ya'... DUH (2)

grahamsz (150076) | more than 13 years ago | (#789621)

A few more facts:

1. I have a computer
2. I do have a DVD drive
3. I run windows

Now for the kicker:

I will not run linux until I can use it for DVDs

So the MPAA is cutting out part of linux's marketshare. What a fscking stupid argument.

Perhaps if linux would get it's act together and get binary compatability sorted so we could run non-opensourced (shock horror) code on it, then things like this would be more likely to exist.

Ok just for the reference I have both a linux and a windows machine, and neither do have dvd drives but maybe my point still stands

Re:The most important point in the article: (3)

barracg8 (61682) | more than 13 years ago | (#789622)

LOL.

But to address this as a serious point, the differencial in quality is one of the reasons people buy bottled water, and also one of the reasons people buy CDs of music that they already have on mp3.

The main reason is both cases in probably marketing, though. :-)

cheers,
G

Love that sentence... (1)

jonr (1130) | more than 13 years ago | (#789623)

An industry that feels it needs to tax POTENTIAL customers to guarantee its future revenue stream has serious problems It says it all...

Maslow's Hierarchy (1)

Demona (7994) | more than 13 years ago | (#789624)

Those few living in preindustrial conditions will have a grim future to look forward to. Perhaps the issues are more far-ranging than you realize? I know that when I take the time to explain (in plain English) and demonstrate DVD and related issues ("Damming the ocean", damn, ewhac, put that essay up on your web page instead of reposting it in slashdot discussions that trickle off the edges of the archive! That's one powerful piece, backed up by great references.)

You'll win when you realize there is no "we" and "They". There's just us.

Resistance will only make the movement stronger (5)

erotus (209727) | more than 13 years ago | (#789627)

When Jack Valenti, president of the MPAA, said in 1982 - new technology (vhs tapes) "is to the American film producer and the American public as the Boston Strangler is to the woman alone." Yet today, so much revenue is the result of vhs tapes being sold... casette tapes were even shunned because people could tape off of the radio. Why is this man still the president of the MPAA? The statistics have shown that vhs and casette tapes helped the industry.

When Lars went after napster he generated more publicity for napster than he probably intended. I know many who learned of napster due to Lars. The MPAA publicized DeCSS when the went after Johansen... They are trying to fight the war the old fasioned way and it's not working... When will they wake up. They're shooting themselves in the foot. This 2600 case no doubt brought more attention to DeCSS. The MPAA hypocrites are bringing more attention to that which they are so desperately trying to hide from the public. Wouldn't it have been better for them to take a wait and see attitude?

New technologies are always feared by the tyrants and control freaks of capitalism. The market advances only when it's free of restraints. Would the MPAA have made billions of dollars of vhs tapes? NO... they would not be as rich as they are today. If Linux users could watch DVD's then they would buy DVD's. Unfortunately this is about Control.

The MPAA wants you to be a consumer droid... buying what they tell you to buy, watching what they tell you to watch, and watching it their way - through their system. I'm sorry, but if you look at the recent past, you will see that when consumers could choose how to watch, listen to, or enjoy their media the MPAA was financially successful. Now with the advent of HDTV, they want to stop you from recording shows because "it's digital." So what, people can record movies off cable now. After watching a few taped episodes of the Discovery Channel I would even consider getting cable. The more someone is exposed to samples of a product, the better the chance that they would buy that product. When will the MPAA get it!

(ugh...thought I hit preview) (1)

Demona (7994) | more than 13 years ago | (#789630)

...that when I take the time to explain the issues, the average person at the very least sees the connections; it's Yet Another Fucking of the Individual. The average person's gotten pretty good at recognizing those, even when they tend more toward apathy than outrage. And more people are, in a million different ways, realizing that when you're mad as hell, deciding not to take it anymore can make you feel a whole lot better. Especially when you actually talk to and interact with others who feel the same way.

(Contrary to popular belief, libertarian beliefs do not equate to being anti-social and uncooperative.)

Re:Lawsuits (2)

Bandman (86149) | more than 13 years ago | (#789633)

So you think that it's ok that the MPAA will sue me for money that I don't have, if I buy
A- their DVD which they recieve royalties from
B- their DVD Drive which they recieve royalties from

and then do

C- use B to view A

Does that seem right to you?
Anyone? Anyone?

Indeed, this /is/ a sad state of affairs...

Re:Bah, starwperson arguments. (2)

Shoeboy (16224) | more than 13 years ago | (#789637)

You set up it up nicely, by assuming that the only way programmers can get paid is by making their software proprietary.
Apparently only one of us knows how to read. I did not make that arguement at all.
What I argued was that the buisness model of distributing software for profit relied on the software being proprietary.
You shouldn't get all worked up about something you read until you develop some comprehension skills.
--Shoeboy

errrm .... actually, they didn't (1)

streetlawyer (169828) | more than 13 years ago | (#789639)

Back in the days before copyrights and patents (and we're talking a *very* long time ago here; the principle of copyright predates the printing press), the pace of inventions was far slower, because all important inventions were made the property of guilds, and closely, jealously guarded to avoid the secret ever getting out. The patent system was a response to this, to allow people to profit from their inventions and creations while still having them in the public domain. Hence the "in order to promote the useful arts ..." language in the US Constitution.

Re:Lawsuits (1)

h0mi (135188) | more than 13 years ago | (#789641)

The problem with your statement, Rockwall, is that the DeCSS case is not about protecting IP. Even the Napster case is not about protecting IP. If Napster were about protecting IP, then the RIAA would be defendants as well because of some of their ridiculous contracts, where musicians who produce work don't actually own any of this work, and if a musician switches labels (or goes indie, or whatever) he has little to no access to his music. Just ask Prince about his Warner Bros albums.

There are reasons to be concerned about one's IP but I think right now things are so much in favor of protecting IP that it's steamrolling MY rights to MY property; I bought that damned DVD, why the HELL do I have to have a "license" to play it on my computer?

Re:What's Valenti's email address? (2)

puppet10 (84610) | more than 13 years ago | (#789644)

And don't bother doing either to Valenti, he's just a stuffed suit payed for by the movie companies to say what they want him to.

Better to send your mail to execs in the major movie studios which are part of the MPAA.

Walt Disney Company [www.disney.comtargetnew]
Sony Pictures Entertainment, Inc. [www.sony.comtargetnew]
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. [www.mgmua.comtargetnew]
Paramount Pictures Corporation [www.paramo...mtargetnew]
Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp. [www.fox.comtargetnew]
Universal Studios, Inc. [www.mca.comtargetnew]
Warner Bros. [www.warner...mtargetnew]

and of course all their subsidiaries (too numerous to list even if I knew them all)

At least they have some power.

Re:What's Valenti's email address? (2)

puppet10 (84610) | more than 13 years ago | (#789645)

Sorry 'bout the broken links shoulda checked them.

here's ones that work:

Walt Disney Company [disney.com]

Sony Pictures Entertainment, Inc. [sony.com]

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. [mgmua.com]

Paramount Pictures Corporation [paramount.com]

Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp. [fox.com]

Universal Studios, Inc. [mca.com]

Warner Bros. [warnerbros.com]

Those at least work, not sure how helpful they are ;) (particularly since about 50% don't load uless you have Javascript enabled :()

Re:Go to Hell (1)

Dervak (94063) | more than 13 years ago | (#789648)

I'd say that you're in the minority. For every artist that support Napster, for example, there are 10 tht are against it.

Id like to see statistics to support this claim. There may still be more artists, who are against it than for it, but IMO that is most out of ignorance of what it is and how it works.

To say that people would still produce movies and music for no compensation is ridiculous.

No, it is not. Many people do it already actually. But this isnt about artists getting no monetary compensation, this is about that there should be no mandatory payment. In a system with voluntary payment, artists would not starve, even tho there would probably be less who would turn multimillionaires. But that, IMO, is a Good Thing.

Voluntary payment would be a "Natural Selection"-type mechanism, where only artists who produce quality stuff get compensated. Why? Because people who like their stuff will give them some money, volunarily, in order to be able to get more. So-called "artists" who are only in it for the money would probably disappear. But is that bad?

Communism seemed like a good idea except that they didn't take in human flaws (laziness) into account.

Human laziness doesnt matter when it comes to digital information, since it can be endlessly replicated at no cost. You are confusing it with scarcity goods and services. If I make something for myself just for the hell of it, and you can have it too at no cost to me, what reason could there be not to let you have it for free if you want it?

People like you don't take in others' intent to pirate through DeCSS and Napster into account.

Oh yes, I do. Thats the beauty of it. Any one with a clue could aways get mp3s or warez before Napster and Gnutella, and will be able to even if Napster is shut down. But the great thing about Napster is that it is for Windows, and that it is so damned easy to use, that even Joe Sixpack can use it. Ten or perhaps twenty million users in less than a year, and its only the beginning...

Once the common consumer gets used to getting digital information freely, he will not let that right be taken from him again, even with draconian laws. There will be massive disregard for those laws, and they will eventually be revoked. Like it was with the prohibition. This will be the end of corporations based on the mistaken notion that information can be owned. I, for one, await that day with eager anticipation.

I'm not going to deal with your flamebait, it's pretty obvious that the only reason you're resorting to petty insults is that you agree with me.

Hardly. People arguing against you actually agreeing with you? Please go and take that Logic 101 course again. I was flaming you, yes, but you deserved it for posting such crap.

And BTW, I do think Communism can work in its original, Anarchistic commune sense, not in the Soviet sense (which was more of a kind of fascism anyway).

/Dervak

Artists on Napster (1)

h0mi (135188) | more than 13 years ago | (#789649)

I'd bet that only a handful of artists have taken an opinion on napster either way, since the RIAA will merely continue to screw artists.

Did anybody notice the walkout on MTV?? (3)

greggman (102198) | more than 13 years ago | (#789650)

Did anybody watch the MTV music awards Thrusday?

A large part of the audience started walking out when they introduced the author of Napster as an award presenter. They quickly got him off the stage but that part of the show is still viewable in the daily re-broadcastings of the show.

Re: Lawsuits (1)

Naerbnic (123002) | more than 13 years ago | (#789651)

I don't know about you, but I'm behind Napster, the DeCSS guys, and any of the other companies being sued by the MPAA and RIAA. This is NOT because I wan't free music, and it is NOT because I think that things like Napster are perfectly morally legit. The fact is, with the advent of Napster-like peer-to-peer file sharing, the world has changed. However many lawsuits the MPAA has put in it's way, DeCSS and Napster have both opened a pandoras box, which cannot be closed by any amount of paperwork. I believe that these programs are not the death knell of Intellectual Property, but another step in the evolution of the internet. There are ways for the RIAA, MPAA, and individual artists to make money, coexisting with this new trend. But these lawsuits are trying to stop progress in its tracks. I want to see the MPAA and RIAA lose, simply because I want to see what happens next.


Save a life. Eat more cheese

Re:Lawsuits (2)

Trinition (114758) | more than 13 years ago | (#789652)

You are seriously handicapped with black & white vision. You see Slashdotters as wanting no IP where you want things unchanged. You see no one wanted to pulish without conventional IP protection where, really, that's what a lot of Slashdotters do already.

The problem with copyright law is that the copyright term extensions have allowed the copyrights to go from 7 years to around 100 years -- all in the name of corporate profits. It's not that we can do away with IP protection, because, like you said, a lot of people wouldn't want to do their work if they couldn't reap rewards from it.

But even today there are some cases where people have had to invert copyright law to prevent the reaping of rewards from their work. Just look at the GNU Public Licenses and it's offspring. The big thing it does is prevent people from reaping rewards, at least monetary ones, from anything with the GPL stamped on it. Now, that of course still allows room for bragging rights rewards!

Perhaps you are a computer and can't see anything other than a zero or a one?

Fool.com - geek financial (1)

sela (32566) | more than 13 years ago | (#789653)


Unfortunately, I do not think the fool.com column means the financial community share those views. Fool.com was always the "geekiest" part of the financial community - as a financial site that really does have a clue about technology, it is not surprising to read this point of view at fool.com.
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