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Hollywood Nervous About Kagan's Fair Use Views

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the fair's-fair dept.

The Courts 239

Of the many commentaries and analyses springing up about Obama's Supreme Court nominee, this community might be most interested in one from the Hollywood Reporter. Reader Hugh Pickens notes that Hollywood may have reason to be nervous about the nomination of Elena Kagan to be the next US Supreme Court justice. "As dean of Harvard Law School from 2003 to 2009, Kagan was instrumental in beefing up the school's Berkman Center for Internet & Society by recruiting Lawrence Lessig and others who take a strongly liberal position on fair use in copyright disputes. And Kagan got an opportunity to showcase her feelings on intellectual property when the US Supreme Court asked her, as US Solicitor General, to weigh in on the big Cablevision case. 'After Cablevision announced in 2006 that it would allow subscribers to store TV programs on the cable operator's computer servers instead of on a hard-top box, Hollywood studios went nuts, predicting that the days of licensing on-demand content would be over,' writes Gardner. Kagan's brief compared remote-storage DVRs to VCRs (PDF), brought up the Sony/Betamax case, and lightly slapped Cablevision on the wrist for not making fair use a bigger issue. 'It sounds to us like Kagan would love the Court to determine when customers have a fair-use right to copy, which should cheer those on the copy-left at the EFF, and worry many in the entertainment industry.' On the minus side, Kagan has surrounded herself with entertainment industry advocates in the Justice Department."

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Finally (3, Interesting)

PeterBrett (780946) | more than 4 years ago | (#32167604)

A story on the Supreme Court appointment that's actually News for Nerds rather than Republocrat propaganda!

Re:Finally (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32167724)

So let me get this straight. If you agree with it, it's news. But if you don't, it's Republocrat propaganda? Talk about the pot calling the kettle black...

Re:Finally (3, Insightful)

SolusSD (680489) | more than 4 years ago | (#32168030)

No, this time it is actually about something we here at slashdot give a damn about- Copyright/IP laws. Oh, and the previous story linking to america's watchtower- yeah, that isn't exactly an objective perspective on... anything.

Re:Finally (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32168102)

So let me get this straight. If you agree with it, it's news. But if you don't, it's Republocrat propaganda?

Yes.

Can we mark TFA as troll? (-1, Troll)

medcalf (68293) | more than 4 years ago | (#32167606)

Nice job with red meat for both sides, there.

Re:Can we mark TFA as troll? (2, Insightful)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | more than 4 years ago | (#32167804)

That's a pair of neat tricks called, "reporting" and"journalism."

Re:Can we mark TFA as troll? (5, Informative)

moosesocks (264553) | more than 4 years ago | (#32168944)

SCOTUSBlog posted a nice, hysteria-free overview [scotusblog.com] of Kagan's career a few days ago. It's well worth a read, and the authors seem to know a thing or two about the courts (unlike most reporters and pundits who have been covering the story).

If you read up on her career, you'll see that she has a great deal of respect for existing precedent, and doesn't seem to have allowed her own personal opinions to interfere with her past jobs.

Re:Can we mark TFA as troll? (1)

Mongoose Disciple (722373) | more than 4 years ago | (#32167868)

I actually thought this was pretty good as a slashdot article since, hey, current events, but with a decidedly "stuff people argue about here all day long" take on it.

Re:Can we mark TFA as troll? (1)

osgeek (239988) | more than 4 years ago | (#32167880)

It is what it is. If extremists on either side don't like her, that's probably a good thing.

I think that she looks like a really good pick so far. For me, it's all about personal freedom, and her more self-directed work seems to be big on free speech (which appears to be somewhat of a specialty).

There are some amicus briefs that she's authored as an advocate for someone else, but it's really hard to hold that against a lawyer doing her job.

Re:Can we mark TFA as troll? (-1, Offtopic)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 4 years ago | (#32167938)

Purlease, her entire appointment is a troll. A Jewish lesbian liberal chickenhawk, who believes that Constitutional rights are utterly inviolate, unless you've been Naughty?

Right now, Congress could pass the Protecting Americans' Rights to Marry their Gay Pets Act and it would run as a side-bar to the Kagan Op-Ed on page 14.

Re:Can we mark TFA as troll? (2, Funny)

Golddess (1361003) | more than 4 years ago | (#32168356)

PARMGPA? You obviously have no clue how to properly create an acronym for an act.

First, you gotta come up with what you want the acronym to be. For the act in question, PETLOVE would seem to be a good one.

Next, you gotta come up with words that reduce to that acronym.

Protecting
Everyones
Timely
Lust
Of
Vertebrate
(rear)Ends

Apologies to those with invertebrate pets, I didn't want to spend any more time on this.

Good (5, Insightful)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 4 years ago | (#32167610)

I hope they're nervous. They need a little "fear" to keep them honest (or at least as honest as they can be considering they are the some of the greediest bastards on earth).

Looks like both Dem's & Rep's aren't exactly thrilled with everything Elena Kagan stands for. It always sounds like a good choice when neither side is happy with the possibilities.

Re:Good (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32167684)

The corporations only have themselves to blame. If they're unwilling to respect the populace's common-law rights like fair use, then those rights will need government protection, which means oversight. They're going to be like the kid who keeps stealing lunches, whining that the teacher's constantly watching what they're doing. Mark my words.

Re:Good (5, Insightful)

cyber0ne (640846) | more than 4 years ago | (#32167692)

It always sounds like a good choice when neither side is happy with the possibilities.

That's a refreshing bit for me right there. I'll admit that I don't follow politics much and don't really know anything about this person. But if neither dominant party thinks she's toeing the line enough then that's _exactly_ the kind of person I want on the Supreme Court.

Re:Good (5, Informative)

Just Some Guy (3352) | more than 4 years ago | (#32168482)

But if neither dominant party thinks she's toeing the line enough then that's _exactly_ the kind of person I want on the Supreme Court.

Your logic is broken. I presume neither party would like bin Laden, but I don't think that would make him a good nomination. Have you heard why people don't like her? Here's some of her thoughts on the first amendment [firstamendmentcenter.org] :

Kagan argued in the government’s brief that speech was entitled to no First Amendment protection if its harms outweigh its benefits: “Whether a given category of speech enjoys First Amendment protection depends upon a categorical balancing of the value of the speech against its societal costs.” Kagan did not argue the case before the Court.

Someone who feels that freedom of speech is overrated - spare me the "fire! in a theater" exceptions we already know about - is not someone who I want deciding freedom of speech cases.

She also argued [reason.com] that prosecutors who deliberately manufacture evidence to convict (by definition) innocent people should not be civilly liable for their actions. I don't have great hopes that she'd side with individuals when it most matters.

It seems like there's something for everyone to dislike about Kagan, unless you're already a person in power and seeking to extend your powers. Then she'd be the woman for the job.

Re:Good (3, Insightful)

cyber0ne (640846) | more than 4 years ago | (#32168672)

Your logic is broken. I presume neither party would like bin Laden, but I don't think that would make him a good nomination.

Granted, I could have elaborated more. But I assumed any reader would know what I meant.

Have you heard why people don't like her?

And how much of that was actually her? Or how much of it was her job as Solicitor General? It's a far cry from arguing the position of one's employer to actually holding one's own position on such matters.

Re:Good (4, Insightful)

Just Some Guy (3352) | more than 4 years ago | (#32168868)

Granted, I could have elaborated more. But I assumed any reader would know what I meant.

I know what you meant, but still disagree with your conclusion.

And how much of that was actually her? Or how much of it was her job as Solicitor General?

I don't think that's a good excuse because it removes all personal responsibility. Compare with "Bush didn't really think we should invade Iraq, but he only did so because it was his job." Or more recently, "Obama really wanted to close Gitmo, but he kept it open because it was his job." I don't think either of those statements are more outlandish than the executive's top lawyer arguing that speech is too free.

There's a time and a place to go along with work duties you disagree with, but there's also a time to stand up and say "this is wrong and I can't do this in good conscience." In my opinion, lobbying the Supreme Court for a position you disagree with is poor form if you eventually want people to trust that you don't agree with that position. It's bad morally, and it's bad politically.

Re:Good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32169472)

Were these statements made in her role as Solicitor General? You can't say those are her personal views if they were. It's her job to argue the government's case, even if she doesn't personally agree with it.

Re:Good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32167944)

I hope they're nervous......... ........Looks like both Dem's & Rep's aren't exactly thrilled with everything Elena Kagan stands for. It always sounds like a good choice when neither side is happy with the possibilities.

You mean like what most voters have been every presidential election within the last 20 years?

Re:Good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32167978)

Looks like both Dem's & Rep's aren't exactly thrilled with everything Elena Kagan stands for. It always sounds like a good choice when neither side is happy with the possibilities.

Not really.

Suppose each side is right on half the controversial issues and wrong on half the controversial issues. Suppose Kagan is right on all the issues. Then each side would agree with her half the time and disagree with her half the time.
But suppose Kagan is wrong on all the issues. You'd see the exact same result — each side agrees with her half the time.

In fact, you could see the same result with Kagan being right any percentage of the time.

So, sadly, both sides being not happy doesn't tell us anything.

Re:Good (1)

need4mospd (1146215) | more than 4 years ago | (#32168084)

(or at least as honest as they can be considering they are the some of the greediest bastards on earth).

Dude, you're saying this in the middle of the largest financial crisis ever. Hollywood goons look like amateurs compared to Goldman Sachs.

False copyright claims (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#32168440)

Dude, you're saying this in the middle of the largest financial crisis ever.

Compared to the overall size of the U.S. or world economy, is this depression bigger than the one that started in AD 1929?

Hollywood goons look like amateurs compared to Goldman Sachs.

Companies like Goldman Sachs can use spurious copyright claims to suppress those who expose the high crimes and misdemeanors of said companies. Sure, it's perjury, but businesses that have been deemed too big to fail have gotten away with worse.

Bad on software patents (4, Informative)

ciaran_o_riordan (662132) | more than 4 years ago | (#32167656)

Her name is on the Bilski brief submitted by the Obama administration:

No extant field of technology or industry--including software and diagnostic methods, the two fields addressed by numerous amici--is wholly excluded from patent protection under that approach;

Re:Bad on software patents (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32167750)

That's her acting in capacity as Solicitor General, which doesn't really count. She's required to argue in favor of all current laws in that position, regardless of personal beliefs.

Is this Groundhog Day or something? We run through this every time we talk about any administration's Solicitor General.

but, there is no law (1)

ciaran_o_riordan (662132) | more than 4 years ago | (#32167910)

The USA has no law on software patents. The relevant law was written before anyone was manufacturing computers: Legislation in the USA [swpat.org]

Re:but, there is no law (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32167918)

Which is why it doesn't specifically exclude software, which is what everyone on Slashdot apparently wants.

Re:but, there is no law (1)

Theaetetus (590071) | more than 4 years ago | (#32168472)

The USA has no law on software patents. The relevant law was written before anyone was manufacturing computers

By that token, the USA has no law on internal combustion engine patents, direct current electronics patents, or any other type of invention. Go back to the 1790 Act. They left it explicitly vague because otherwise, every time an inventor came up with something new, it would be unpatentable until Congress added a specific exemption. Inventors move faster than legislators.

Re:but, there is no law (1)

DinDaddy (1168147) | more than 4 years ago | (#32169438)

Two congress men talking in a hallway. One looks down and sees a snail crawling near his foot. He stomps on it, grinding it under his shoe.

"Why'd you do that?" asks the other in surprise.

"That damn thing's been following me around all day."

A new and useful process (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#32168496)

The USA has no law on software patents.

From 35 USC 101 [bitlaw.com] : "Whoever invents or discovers any new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof, may obtain a patent therefor, subject to the conditions and requirements of this title." A software patent covers an allegedly novel method of information processing; how is such a method not a "new and useful process"?

Re:Bad on software patents (4, Insightful)

darkmeridian (119044) | more than 4 years ago | (#32167778)

If she is nominated, Kagan will have to be recused from all the cases that she handled as Solicitor General of the United States. That could be a few dozen cases. The reason is that as Solicitor General, she does not have the power to come up with her own viewpoints; she represents the President's interests. This isn't an indication of what she thinks, but she's just the person in charge of arguing the President's position.

Re:Bad on software patents (1)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 4 years ago | (#32167858)

I have been hoping similarly about Obama's choices in too many cases. Now it is settled : as long as he doesn't propose Lawrence Lessig or someone with similar views a job in government, I won't trust their intention on this "intellectual property" thing. Come on ! The people with common sense on these issues are not that uncommon, it is not like they would be hard to hire in an official position !

Re:Bad on software patents (1)

SydShamino (547793) | more than 4 years ago | (#32167962)

The people with common sense on these issues are not that uncommon, it is not like they would be hard to hire in an official position !

I think the most "common" sense on this topic would be that copyright infringement (and many instances of fair use) = stealing.

The common / lay opinion is not always the correct-by-the-law or correct-by-founders-intent opinion.

Re:Bad on software patents (1)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 4 years ago | (#32168836)

Common ? copyright infrigement is much more common that stealing. I think that the ideas your present are less prevalent than what you think. After all, the MPAA says it better : "you wouldn't steal a car".

Re:Bad on software patents (1)

DinDaddy (1168147) | more than 4 years ago | (#32169482)

I'd tend to agree with you. Virtually everyone who sees the "you wouldn't steal a car" baloney, laughs at it as it is clearly NOT the same.

let's work that through (4, Insightful)

ciaran_o_riordan (662132) | more than 4 years ago | (#32167860)

Kagan: Hey, Barack. This software patent's issue is a real head scratcher. I can't find your stance on it. Can you remind me of it?

Obama: Elena, Elena, I'm busy. To be a patentable process, innovations should involve significant extra-solution activity i.e. activity central to the purpose of the claimed method. And don't forget that no patent can wholly pre-empt the use of a fundamental principle - and I don't just mean that a field-of-use restriction will suffice, I want to be sure that the algorithm can still be used for other purposes even in that same field.

Kagan: Thanks, I'll go fluff that out and add references. (done [swpat.org] ) Sorry to have bothered you, I simply don't have the power to come up with my own viewpoints, so I wanted to clarfy what yours are.

(...or just maybe it's not a purely clerical role and there's a bit of Kagan in the document she wrote and got approved by the president.)

Re:Bad on software patents (4, Insightful)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 4 years ago | (#32167786)

Her name is on the Bilski brief submitted by the Obama administration:

Of course it is. She's the Solicitor General.

But there's a big difference between when your job is to be the lawyer for the United States (in regard to SCOTUS at least) and when you are actually sitting on that highest court. We've seen lots of conservative people move Left once they get to the Supreme Court. I don't remember anyone who has ever moved to the Right.

Re:Bad on software patents (4, Funny)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 4 years ago | (#32168000)

I don't remember anyone who has ever moved to the Right.

That's because Democrat Presidents tend to nominate moderates (with an occasional joke Marxist stalking horse so that they can then put forward a "compromise"), while Republican Presidents offer the Senate a choice between Ghengis Scalia or Attila the Thomas.

Re:Bad on software patents (5, Interesting)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 4 years ago | (#32168322)

hat's because Democrat Presidents tend to nominate moderates

Except that the justices who have moved most to the Left have been the ones appointed by Republicans.

John Paul Stevens is an example of that. He was appointed by Gerald Ford and sold as a conservative. He is arguably the furthest Left of any Justice currently sitting on the Court.

But maybe you have a point. Recent Republican presidents have appointed justices so far to the Right that there's really no place for them to go but Left.

Robert Bork would almost certainly be considered not conservative enough by today's Republicans because he took the 2nd Amendment literally and believed it only applied to "well-regulated militias" and did not give everybody the right to pack heat.

Re:Bad on software patents (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#32168648)

Robert Bork would almost certainly be considered not conservative enough by today's Republicans because he took the 2nd Amendment literally and believed it only applied to "well-regulated militias" and did not give everybody the right to pack heat.

As long as the right of the people to form "a well-regulated militia" is not infringed, I don't see how this would keep gun nuts from forming clubs and keeping and bearing arms. And given the historical classification of high-grade encryption as a munition, I can even see a Second Amendment argument against the DMCA's device bans (17 USC 1201(a)(2) and 1201(b)).

It's a bit early to say this is a good choice . . (1)

TheReij (1641099) | more than 4 years ago | (#32167712)

but hopefully we'll see more articles such as this one, cementing her position. The sad truth is that people can be bought for the right price. The MPAA/RIAA have too much power in Washington right now. Hopefully she can withstand the payola and push some of that power down the toilet.

Re:It's a bit early to say this is a good choice . (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32167792)

Hopefully she can withstand the payola and push some of that power down the toilet.

I'm failing to see where she would be influenced by 'payola'. It's true that politics play a role in getting onto the Supreme Court. Once on the Supreme Court the only way she can lose her job is if the House of Representatives impeaches her, the Senate tries her, and she is convicted by a super-majority vote. Her salary can never go down. She will not have to face election. She will be guaranteed employment for life.

The only way she could accept payola is if she took an outright bribe. That's not unheard of as Clarance Thomas accepted a $1 million advance [slashdot.org] on his biography one week before issuing his ruling in Eldred v Ashcroft. Nevertheless, accepting a bribe is one of very few things that could ruin a Supreme Court justice's career.

Re:It's a bit early to say this is a good choice . (1)

TheReij (1641099) | more than 4 years ago | (#32167914)

Bah, I couldn't find a better word for pressure, so I used payola. A bad word choice to be sure. You're absolutely right, hopefully a woman of her intelligence wouldn't accept something like that.

Re:It's a bit early to say this is a good choice . (1)

AndersOSU (873247) | more than 4 years ago | (#32167900)

Not going to happen.

Kagen has spent a career making her position as ambiguous as possible. The Republicans are attacking the former Dean of Harvard law school on experience, not on substance, which should tell you something.

When this goes to the senate the confirmation is going to hinge on democrats deciding whether they trust Obama or whether they ought to make sure that Steven's replacement doesn't shift the balance of power.

Re:It's a bit early to say this is a good choice . (1)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | more than 4 years ago | (#32168620)

What does being the dean of a Law School have to do with experience? That's academic experience, not experience practicing law.

This nominee has never, never, served as a judge before.

Re:It's a bit early to say this is a good choice . (2, Insightful)

AndersOSU (873247) | more than 4 years ago | (#32168792)

This nominee has never, never, served as a judge before.

It's certainly a point worth of discussion. If the GOP or anyone else want's to say that supreme court justices have to have had judicial experience, they're free to make that case. Historically, judicial experience has not been a requirement. Some of the most effective justices have come from politics, not the court room, including John Marshall, Thurgood Marshall, and Hugo Black, and William Rehnquist. Qualifications, like the confirmation process itself may have changed after the Bork nomination, so it's a point worthy of debate.

However, you better believe that if the GOP had ideological gripes they'd trot those out well before raising issues about qualifications.

technology trumps law (5, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#32167738)

technology changes law. technology does not fit into the confines as defined by law, law adjusts and accommodates to new technology

and when law pits itself against technology, law always loses. technological progress has destroyed and swept aside so many legal, social, and political structures in this world

why does anyone believe hollywood stands a chance? the internet has permanently changed media distribution, in favor of the consumer. all that media companies can do is adapt, or die. of course, in the adaptation period, plenty of absurd attempts at preserving the legal status quos of past dead technological eras will be attempted, but this is just denial

in the end, we, the consumer, win. because technology empowers us to route around the old status quo. and if the law is pitted against the technology, then it also empowers us above the law (in this one narrow issue)

Re:technology trumps law (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32167788)

Is your shift key broken or did you just never learn to put a capital letter at the beginning of your sentences?

Re:technology trumps law (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32167950)

Shut up Anonymous Coward. You do it too sometimes.

Re:technology trumps law (1)

HungryHobo (1314109) | more than 4 years ago | (#32167812)

So law has lost against technology such as explosives?
Or has that technology been massively restricted?

Has law lost and changed when faced with technology such as radar detectors?
Or has that technology just been more heavily restricted.

plenty of technology is restricted or stunted by law.

you're not thinking about the problem correctly (4, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#32168362)

think about the changes the gun wreaked on the feudal system

think about the changes the printing press wreaked on traditional religious/ monarchical power structures

think about the changes the nuclear bomb wreaked on warfare and international relations

now think about the internet and its effects on copyright law

the technology came, and changed everything. time and time again

i'm not talking about civilian restrictions on dynamite or radar guns, these are tiny dots. i'm talking about the larger technological themes: the introduction of electronics, the introduction of sailing ships, the introduction of the cotton gin, etc. surely you can see how technology alter society and the law in ways no one can foresee or even understand when the technology is introduced. its not like the guys fiddling with the arpanet in the 1960s said "hey, lets destroy the recorded music industry", but that's what their invention is doing

surely you can see technological change trumps existing law, and law must alter itself and adapt

Re:you're not thinking about the problem correctly (1)

HungryHobo (1314109) | more than 4 years ago | (#32168544)

There's a massive selection bias there.

Any technologies which are sucessfully suppressed or regulated/controlled into obscurity by definition don't get much attention.

such as what? (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#32168766)

dynamite? plutonium? rocket propelled grenades? weaponized anthrax?

obviously these technologies need to be controlled

otherwise, what technologies can you possibly be talking about that has any merit on this subject matter?

Re:such as what? (1)

HungryHobo (1314109) | more than 4 years ago | (#32169246)

That's the point.
We can't know.
I'm not even talking about malicious suppression etc.

Perhaops well meaning regulations on radioactive isotopes have prevented/delayed the discovery of some really novel tech.

If the whole betamacs case had gone another way technology around digital recording/playback may have been massively stunted.

Hell the current biotech industry is looking very interesting but I'm wondering if fears about people cooking up viruses will cause it to be regulated to the point that advancement is stunted.

My point is that tech doesn't always shape law- law can shape tech as well.

your point is absurd (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#32169442)

no one is going to outlaw biochemistry, no one is going to outlaw physics

people ARE going to outlaw, and rightfully so (surely you can't say otherwise), working with SMALL SUBCLASSES of technology that only result in death and destruction

otherwise, you get stupid morons like this:

http://www.timw.com/2007/08/06/weird/radioactive-boy-scout-charged-in-smoke-detector-theft/ [timw.com]

i understand your point completely, and your point is completely without merit

you apparently cannot tell the difference between large overall classes of technologies and small subclasses that deal in obviously dangerous topics that should be outlawed according to anyone. you apparently cannot tell the difference between, for example, outlawing something that might challenge a social dynamic, and outlawing something that makes people dead. the former is where law loses, the latter is where law is in the right, and will always be in the right, according to anyone not insane

Re:your point is absurd (2, Informative)

HungryHobo (1314109) | more than 4 years ago | (#32169580)

every large overall class has started out as a minor subclass.

Pleanty of currently available tech can make people dead yet is accepted because of it's benefits.
Pleanty of old tech if it were developed today would be stopped in it's tracks before it's benefits could be shown.

I know academics who work in drug trials who just love to point out that penecilin would almost certainly not even make it through the early stages of trial were it invented today because so many people are severly alergic to it.

It would almost certainly cause some severe reaction in some of first test subject and the plug would be pulled before they ever got to the stage of testing it on people who are actually sick.
It would be considered a failed project and the world would miss out on it and it's derivatives.

Re:technology trumps law (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32168676)

So law has lost against technology such as explosives?

Yes. [wikipedia.org]

Re:technology trumps law (2, Interesting)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 4 years ago | (#32167862)

The way I see it, America is gearing up for a new "war" that is never supposed to be won: the war on "piracy." Just like the "war on drugs," I see a scenario where millions of people are arrested for sharing books, music, and movies, and their lives are ruined. Children are already being fed propaganda, and I do not think it will be long before they are asked to turn in parents, siblings, and friends for sharing.

In the end, it is not going to be a question of whether or not the law can defeat technology -- it will be a question of whether or not the government can sustain an active effort to police sharing. It would not be terribly hard; there are police departments that are self funded in the war on drugs, as they are allowed to keep the proceeds from sales of confiscated property from drug raids, so perhaps the "piracy police" will be allowed to do something similar. With the amount of power the copyright lobby has in our government, I really do not think it is a huge stretch, and I am sure that private prison operators would love a new chance to expand their business.

No, technology cannot be defeated by the law, but the battle may make our lives and our society much darker.

there will always be a legitimate war on drugs (0, Offtopic)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#32168070)

that is, the most addictive+inebriating: cocaine, heroin, meth, etc (marijuana should be legal)

its not a war, its a maintenance function of civilization, like taking out the trash every thursday

what you don't understand is that some drugs are far worse themselves to the destruction of freedom (addiction is bars in the mind) than any war on drugs and its effects on society. free and unfettered access to the most addictive/ inebriating drugs leads to a growing population of people whose lives have become zombified

so for the sake of saving lives from the hell of addiction, and preserving civilization from this infection, there will ALWAYS be a war on drugs, forever. the war on drugs is a permanent aspect of every civilization that ever existed and ever will

if it is not fought, you've created a zombie underclass of addicts and a financially fattened mafia. you need to continually drain these cesspools. every civilization that ever existed realizes this. acceptance of certain highly addictive+inebriating drugs merely means more addicts. surely you see this is far worse for the individual and society than the side effects of the war on drugs itself, right?

you don't actually believe addiction to cocaine/ meth/ heroin is harmless, or that without controls on these substances, that more lives won't be destroyed? the war on drugs has many negative effects on society. for something like marijuana, legalization is the solution. but for the most hardcore drugs, the drugs themselves are worse than the war on drugs. i hope you understand this

Re:there will always be a legitimate war on drugs (4, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 4 years ago | (#32168520)

"that is, the most addictive+inebriating: cocaine, heroin, meth, etc (marijuana should be legal)"

What about alcohol? Withdrawal effects from alcohol are worse than from opiates -- in fact, they can be deadly without medical supervision. We sell tobacco to teenagers, yet tobacco dependency is more easily formed and more difficult to break than cocaine dependence.

"its not a war, its a maintenance function of civilization, like taking out the trash every thursday"

Well, let's see. Cocaine was first made illegal because people thought that when black men used cocaine, they would become unstoppable even with a gun. Yes, that sounds like a maintenance function of civilization to me...except for the racism part. Opiates, like heroin? Made illegal because of a belief that Asian immigrants would bring their habits with them to the USA -- even though heroin could be legally purchased over the counter, as marketed by Bayer. Yup, more maintenance, if we ignore the whole racism thing.

Unlike you, I actually know the history of the war on drugs, and it is not pretty. It is one racist act of congress after another, mixed with corporate lobbying, and recently we can add a profit motive for police departments. We are not talking about drug regulation here, nor are we talking about efforts to keep people healthy -- this is an effort to imprison people on a mass scale, particularly immigrants and black people. People are serving longer prison sentences for non-violent, drug related crimes than would be typical for a murder case.

The goal is not to "win," at least not as President Reagan defined victory (a "drug-free generation"). The goal is to increase the profits of pharmaceutical, alcohol, tobacco, prison, and firearms companies, and to keep an ever expanding police force employed. Racism is a convenient means to this end: you can arrest scores of black people for drug offenses (in some localities, one third of the black men are incarcerated), and nobody in the middle or upper classes will oppose it, especially not after seeing one image of a dangerous black man after another.

Regulation and health are things I am all for. You can regulate drugs without throwing millions of people in jail or creating police forces that are as heavily armed as the military. You can protect the general health of the population without propaganda and racism. The war on drugs is not helping our society, and I hope you understand that.

its like this: (-1, Offtopic)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#32168678)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Rational_scale_to_assess_the_harm_of_drugs_(mean_physical_harm_and_mean_dependence).svg [wikipedia.org]

caffeine: weakly addicting, weakly inebriating: legal

nicotine: highly addictive, weakly inebriating: legal

lsd, psilocybin: weakly addicting, highly inebriating: should be legal

alcohol, marijuana: moderately addicting, moderately inebriating: legal/ should be legal

cocaine, heroin, methamphetaime: highly inebriating, highly addicting: illegal, and should stay that way

for all classes of drugs except the highly inebriating+highly addicting, the war on drugs is worse than the drugs themselves. but for the highly inebriating+highly addicting, you have a substance that overrides willpower, causing you to want to do nothing except zone out for hours, unable to maintain a job or relationship, and become caught in a biochemical feedback cycle that overwhelms all other desires in your life save one: more, more, more... you can't cope with any joy or depression in your life without resorting to the substance. nothing in your life becomes possible without the substance. you are now a slave. compare those bars in the mind to the negative effects of the war on drugs. its not even a toss up: the drug is far worse

free access to only the worst substances zombifies people, making them unable to support themselves (and then society has to support them). therefore, society sees that it is cheaper to simply prevent the creation of such zombies in the first place (and additionally, preserve the free will of those who would otherwise become slaves to a substance)

i'm only talking about cocaine, heroin, meth: the drugs with a proven track record of taking a mind that thought about art, culture, politics... and is now is reduced to a dim zombified state, a permanently fried interrupt switch: "need more fix, need more fix need more fix..." an interrupt switch which also spreads, through addiction, unless society steps up and prevents access to that substance. surely you understand the nature of addiction and what it does to the individual and society that must care for the zombified. surely you see the destruction of freedom here, far worse than any war on drugs

Man, you're deluded (1)

3.5 stripes (578410) | more than 4 years ago | (#32168918)

When has a bag of heroin kicked in someone's door and shot family members? When has a 8 ball of cocaine taken someone's house, car and any other property that can be confiscated without recourse?

There is no drug worse than the drug war. Drug addicts need treatment, not incarceration (unless they did crimes which weren't the use of the drug). Drugs remaining illegal means that the prices are sky high, and people willing to do the illegal work can make lots and lots of money (so do the police intercepting them), this means that an addict has little hope of maintaining their addiction, and they will turn to crime to support it. If drugs were legal (or decriminalized) they would have much lower prices, the crime surrounding it would be heavily reduced, and addicts could receive help as there wouldn't be stigmas and they wouldn't risk jail.

Go read up on the drugs you're demonizing, read the studies done before they became illegal, then make a decision as to whether drugs are really worse than laws that remove constitutional rights, police states, and millions incarcerated for non violent crimes which hurt no one (besides themselves).

Seriously.

i understand and appreciate (0, Offtopic)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#32169042)

every anecdote of every negative effect of the war on drugs that you can cite or imagine

i'm also asking you to see that i'm only for making the worst substances illegal. i am for the legalization of marijuana and lsd, for exactly the reasons you cite: the war on drugs is far worse than the drugs, FOR THESE DRUGS

now i'm asking you to consider the negative effects of addiction OF THE WORST DRUGS on society and the free will

i'm asking you to consider if the war on drugs FOR ONLY THESE WORST DRUGS is less of a negative than the drugs themselves

do you see that the war on drugs cannot be mentally evaulated as "drug use" versus "war on drugs"?

it has to be evaluated as "alcohol use" versus "war on alcohol", or "lsd use" versus "war on lsd", or "meth use" versus "war on meth"

you can't lump caffeine and cocaine in the same category, and expect to say anything useful on the issue, do you see that?

think about it

real life is not a choice between rainbow unicorns and child eating demons. it is often a choice between child eating demons and slightly meaner child eating demons. with the war on drugs, and cocaine/meth/heroin, for example, you have such a difficult real world choice: lots of gray areas, and hard-to-evaluate-which-is-worse negative effects

your choice is between the horrible negative effects, and slightly worse horrible negative effects. for something like marijuana, the war on drugs is worse than the negative effects of marijuana use, clearly. so marijuana should be legal, clearly

but for something like cocaine, the war on drugs is bad, but the SUBSTANCE ITSELF, in terms of destroyed lives and encumbered society, is worse than the war on that particular drug

do you feel where i am coming from yet?

you can't come to me and evaluate all drugs the same. that's not intellectually honest of you. you cannot say something useful and valuable when mentally you put caffeine and nicotine in the same basket as heroin and methamphetamine. when you do that, you've lost the ability to say anything meaningful, because different drugs are VERY different in their pharmacological effects, so you have to evaluate each drug individually

As do I.. (1)

3.5 stripes (578410) | more than 4 years ago | (#32169232)

I'm not lumping them all in together though.

You say cocaine and meth destroy lives, how much of that is due to the illegality?

Can't work if you're a user (no money).
Drug is expensive, but you have no job.
Drug comes before everything else in life.. life ruined.

or

Police come in arrest person for use of drug, take away family, throw person in jail.

Would it be different if the drug was legal, and this person could work in a minimum wage job to pay for the drug, and have plenty of opportunities to enter treatment, offered every time he goes to buy it from the drug store (for lack of a better term)?

I know a few ex heroin addicts, I know the damage it causes, but I've yet to see any positives to its illegality. Lots of criminals make very good money supplying it, lots of police time is wasted chasing it (and they can't even hope to intercept more than a few percent of the amounts that enter), lots of time is wasted in the judicial system, and many lives are destroyed when a parent is jailed for a few years, instead of in treatment for a month or so..

You understand that they're not going away, right? Even in countries where drug dealing gets you the death penalty you can still find drugs.

Sometimes wars can't be won.. unless you're fighting them for some entirely different reason (keeping the lower classes down).

Re:its like this: (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 4 years ago | (#32169328)

"i'm only talking about cocaine, heroin, meth: the drugs with a proven track record of taking a mind that thought about art, culture, politics... and is now is reduced to a dim zombified state"

So, when I was talking about propaganda, this is basically what I was referring to.

Do you know anything about the drugs you are talking about, or are you basing your argument on rumors and Hollywood movies? Let's clear a few things up:
  • Cocaine has been used for centuries, in the form of tea. More recently, powdered cocaine has become popular, with Freud being among its most famous users (he later quit and use tobacco instead). Cocaine was also added to a popular soft drink, Coca Cola, although now the coca flavor comes from leaves that have already had the cocaine removed (and caffeine is the primary stimulant).
  • Heroin is an opiate that was first isolated in the 19th century. It was made available by Bayer as an over the counter drug in cough syrup until the Treaty of Versailles, when it became a generic drug for 5 years until its prohibition in America. Heroin was used by all classes over people until its prohibition here in America.
  • Methamphetamine is currently prescribed by doctors as a weight loss drug, and formerly to help ADD patients improve their focus, until it became stigmatized. Methamphetamine is a Schedule II drug, unlike cocaine and heroin, meaning that the US government recognizes medical uses for it.

What you should do is take some time to read a well researched article or book about substance abuse and dependence, and about the drugs you are so sure have the potential to destroy society. You seem to believe a lot of things that are not only untrue, but are frankly bizarre.

Re:its like this: (1)

woob (939992) | more than 4 years ago | (#32169582)

Although you make a fine argument.... and I agree nearly completely with what you say. I have come to the conclusion that I would rather abolish all drug legislation, and deal with the accompanying addicts, than have the blood of every man, woman, and child killed by police forces, or the black market organizations that spring up around this illegal activity on my conscience.

Re:technology trumps law (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 4 years ago | (#32167916)

circletimessquare, that is one insightful post.

Re:technology trumps law (2, Insightful)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 4 years ago | (#32168076)

technology changes law. technology does not fit into the confines as defined by law, law adjusts and accommodates to new technology

I'm sorry, to double-post here, but the more I think about it, the is one of the most significant comments I've read on Slashdot.

The only question I have is whether or not there is a boundary condition when corporations become so powerful that are able to make nations bend to their will. Yes, the internet has permanently changed media distribution, but corporations are exerting all their power to permanently change the internet. They have already conformed government to the point that many of the institutions we take for granted could never come into existence today.

Do you think public libraries could possibly happen today if they didn't exist? "We want to make an institution that will buy books and records and movies and lend them out to people for free". They'd get laughed out of the room. If there was no Fair Use rule do you think it could come into existence in a world where a single frame of a video will be signed?

For that matter, if the internet hadn't sort of accidentally happened, I can't imagine it could be built today. The telecoms wouldn't allow it. Their first question would be "how much will we charge per connected minute?" or "how much can we charge per email?" The only reason we have an internet is because it existed and the telcos had to run to catch up and glom onto it because they saw a fortune to be made.

You've given me something to think about, circletimessquare. I thank you for that.

i'm glad, and now think about this: (-1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#32168256)

yes, corporations are a force in this world and they are warping our democracy to enrich themselves and impoverish us

however, i'd like you to see that technology is on our side

they can warp our legal system with their financial influence, but we can simply route around their morally invalid laws

in other words, a legion of well-funded lawyers is no match for tens of millions of technologically astute, media hungry, and, most importantly, POOR teenagers

let them buy any law they want. its just a matter of obfuscating, encrypting, and otherwise placing ourselves out of their ability to enforce their corrupt laws

a law that you cannot enforce is worse than no law at all. no amount of money and power can change that. time and technology are on our side. see that, remember that, and understand that the future is bright, and the enemies of true democracy are simply damage for the internet to route around and ignore

i'm asking you to be optimistic, not pessimistic, about the future of the internet and the changes it will reap in our favor, the common man, at the expense of corporate power

we win ;-)

Heh... (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#32167768)

Usually, if the movie industry opposes a view or a law, that's because it benefits their customers more than it benefits them :-)

And I'M nervous about Kagan's fair-use views... (1)

boarder8925 (714555) | more than 4 years ago | (#32167814)

...because of the last line in the summary:

On the minus side, Kagan has surrounded herself with entertainment industry advocates [blogspot.com] in the Justice Department.

Re:And I'M nervous about Kagan's fair-use views... (4, Informative)

Eharley (214725) | more than 4 years ago | (#32167888)

Elena Kagan doesn't run the Justice Department, Attorney General Eric Holder does.

Re:And I'M nervous about Kagan's fair-use views... (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 4 years ago | (#32168466)

Slashdotters should be sympathetic to this; she obviously just trying to get laid! Entertainment industry advocates are quite well known for their aptitude at screwing people! (Kagan has never been married; I suspect she may be sympathetic to same-sex marriage issues, which in itself is a good reason to support her.)

Wonderful! (2, Insightful)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 4 years ago | (#32167846)

Hey, it's refreshing to hear of any public official actually being in favor of Fair Use.

I don't know how it'll play out, but considering the pro-corporate stance most have taken, I'm encouraged by the fact that she even knows Lawrence Lessig and has apparently some understanding of the issues involved.

Most of the Justices would just call up Jeff Bewkes and say "Whaddya think, Jeffie? You got it! Now can you get Seth Rogan to do standup at my nephew's birthday party"? (or, in Clarence Thomas' case, "Do you really know Jenna Jameson?")

Good for Nerds, I think. (4, Informative)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | more than 4 years ago | (#32167874)

A great HuffPo Piece [huffingtonpost.com] by none other than Lawrence Lessig, Mr. Creative Commons himself.

Re:Good for Nerds, I think. (2, Interesting)

gambino21 (809810) | more than 4 years ago | (#32167982)

Unfortunately, much of Lessig's argument is based on his personal knowledge of her, and lacks evidence about what her political positions/ideology actually is. He even concedes at the end of the article that by replacing stevens, she will move the court further to the right, which wouldn't be so bad except for the fact that the current court is already pretty conservative.

http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2010/04/27/lessig/index.html [salon.com]

liberal? (4, Insightful)

jipn4 (1367823) | more than 4 years ago | (#32167898)

I don't see what's "liberal" about fair use.

I think people should stop trying to shoe-horn every single issue into a liberal/conservative spectrum.

Re:liberal? (1)

wurp (51446) | more than 4 years ago | (#32167952)

Granting humans rights in lieu of giving the complementary power to a business is liberal, at least as liberal/conservative are defined today.

I just refuse to define myself in terms of liberal/conservative, personally. My opinions do not live on a one dimensional scale.

Re:liberal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32168630)

Granting humans rights in lieu of giving the complementary power to a business is liberal, at least as liberal/conservative are defined today.

...

REALLY?!?!!?

Mandated purchase of health insurance?

Bailing out Government Motors with taxpayer money?

Hate SPEECH laws?

Utterly ignoring the 2nd and 10th Amendments?

Dude, "liberal" in today's political lexicon is synonymous with "statist".

Re:liberal? (1)

wurp (51446) | more than 4 years ago | (#32168774)

Granting the government power in lieu of giving the complementary right to humans is liberal, at least as liberal/conservative are defined today.

I don't see where you're disagreeing with me.

Again, issues do not fall on some liberal/conservative graph which has some moral value associated. Life is more complicated than that, and besides, lib/cons have been loaded with so much baggage by political meme engineers as to be worthless.

Re:liberal? (5, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 4 years ago | (#32167958)

Perhaps you have not been paying attention: in America, "conservative" means "always do whatever corporations want," and "liberal" means "sometimes do whatever corporations want."

Re:liberal? (1)

mcvos (645701) | more than 4 years ago | (#32168382)

More precisely: conservative means: "do whatever the oil industry wants", and liberal means: "do whatever Hollywood wants".

Or, as a slightly more serious addition to this discussion: "liberal" comes from "liber", which means "free". You'd expect liberals to defend liberties, and I think fair use counts.

Re:liberal? (1)

Just Some Guy (3352) | more than 4 years ago | (#32169002)

More precisely: conservative means: "do whatever the oil industry wants", and liberal means: "do whatever Hollywood wants".

The oil industry likes Democrats just fine [politico.com] . It's a mistake to believe otherwise.

Re:liberal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32168402)

What kind of knee jerk, left wing, liberal, commie, socialist, anti-religious, white-man hating, anti-western, lesbo loving comment is that? Why do you hate America?

Re:liberal? (1)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 4 years ago | (#32168476)

Liberal. Noun.
4.
favorable to or in accord with concepts of maximum individual freedom possible,
5.
favoring or permitting freedom of action
11.
not strict or rigorous; free; not literal

Mind you, the meaning of the word isn't as politicised out here.

Re:liberal? (1)

skywire (469351) | more than 4 years ago | (#32168714)

That's all very true etymologically, but it does not accurately describe current American usage, which is much more complicated. At some point in the US, liberals became enamored of the use of state power to achieve equality, even at the expense of individual freedom. And an important component of American 'conservatism' is the preservation of American liberal values against the encroachments of the state. On issues related to copyright, there is no clear alignment of pro- and con- with 'conservative' and 'liberal'. Gardner's use in the article of 'liberal' as descriptive of the pro-fair-use position is confusing at best.

Re:liberal? (1)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 4 years ago | (#32169292)

It is however the most accurate terminology for non-American speakers, and is unambiguous from context. There is no clear "Liberal" stance on fair use as in many other issues, just a "liberal" one. There's plenty that's liberal about fair use.

Re:liberal? (4, Informative)

flanaganid (900938) | more than 4 years ago | (#32168726)

liberal –adjective

1. favorable to progress or reform, as in political or religious affairs.

2. (often initial capital letter) noting or pertaining to a political party advocating measures of progressive political reform.

3. of, pertaining to, based on, or advocating liberalism.

4. favorable to or in accord with concepts of maximum individual freedom possible, esp. as guaranteed by law and secured by governmental protection of civil liberties.

5. favoring or permitting freedom of action, esp. with respect to matters of personal belief or expression: a liberal policy toward dissident artists and writers.

6. of or pertaining to representational forms of government rather than aristocracies and monarchies.

7. free from prejudice or bigotry; tolerant: a liberal attitude toward foreigners.

8. open-minded or tolerant, esp. free of or not bound by traditional or conventional ideas, values, etc.

9. characterized by generosity and willingness to give in large amounts: a liberal donor.

10. given freely or abundantly; generous: a liberal donation.

11. not strict or rigorous; free; not literal: a liberal interpretation of a rule.

12. of, pertaining to, or based on the liberal arts.

13. of, pertaining to, or befitting a freeman.

Views have very little relevance (1)

mysidia (191772) | more than 4 years ago | (#32167960)

Holders of positions in the high courts are expected to set aside their personal views and opinions, and judge based on the law and the context in which the law was written.

She may have favored expanded fair use as the Dean of a school. But that does not mean that as a judge, she will be ruling in favor of expanded fair use more than she should, or in cases where a judge not in favor of expanded fair use would rule.

The job of a Judge is interpretation of the law, legislation and legislative context, and the constitution, based on legal principles, not based on personal views about what would be better for the public.

Poor Hollywod (2, Insightful)

NVP_Radical_Dreamer (925080) | more than 4 years ago | (#32168040)

Some people need to realize it isn't just "the man" in hollywood. By ripping off shows and movies they are also hurting the folks who work with the CG departments, lighting and sound, construction etc. Many of these people make an average or slightly above average salary and when people don't pay for content these people suffer. With that being said, Hollywood needs to stop the blatant abuse of the copyright system. Fair use should be just that, FAIR. I should have the ability to use the content I paid for on any device and in any format I desire without jumping through the hoops of DRM. On top of that DRM servers are sure to go offline at some time due to age or greed which does nothing but force the consumer to re-buy what they already bought.

Re:Poor Hollywod (2, Insightful)

Dorkmaster Flek (1013045) | more than 4 years ago | (#32168338)

When Hollywood stops abusing the copyright system, we'll talk. Until then, it's lobbying and legal BS vs. human nature, advancing technology and the combined resources and intellect of every nerd on the planet. Which one do you think is going to win?

Re:Poor Hollywod (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32168478)

Nice troll. None of these people are being "ripped off." In spite of piracy, Hollywood's movie industry is booming.

Could it be? (4, Funny)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 4 years ago | (#32168314)

Hollywood may have reason to be nervous about the nomination of Elena Kagan to be the next US Supreme Court justice.

You refer to the prophecy of The One who will bring balance to the Copyright. You believe it's this girl?

Re:Could it be? (0, Troll)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 4 years ago | (#32169308)

Her midi-chlorians are right off the scale.

And of course there's always 2: the master (Obama) and the apprentice (Kagan).

Libertarian, not liberal (0, Flamebait)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 4 years ago | (#32168330)

...Society by recruiting Lawrence Lessig and others who take a strongly liberal position on fair use in copyright disputes.

The Liberal position is, do what Hollywood says, because they donate a ton of money to political campaigns (as well as endorsing candidates).

The Libertarian position is, protect the individual.

Try not to confuse the two when you vote. There are liberals (and conservatives) who align with this Libertarian viewpoint, but if you make the mistake of voting only for liberals thinking they are going to always oppose the MPAA you will be very sad.

Re:Libertarian, not liberal (1)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | more than 4 years ago | (#32168954)

This is the closest I can get to formulating what exactly the "liberal" opinion is on fair use and copyright.

Heaven forbid anyone protect content providers from pirates who seek to profit off of the works of others.

That being said though, ripping your CD and DVDs and occasionally letting one of your friends get a copy isn't a threat to the RIAA and MPAA. I wish they'd realize this and go after the guys who are selling bootlegs on the street and tracking down the guys who are bulk importing pirated copies of Avatar and selling them on the street for $5 a disc.

Re:Libertarian, not liberal (1)

moosesocks (264553) | more than 4 years ago | (#32169116)

The Libertarian position is, protect the individual.

Unfortunately, that term has been hijacked as well, and carries very little meaning today. In fact, most Libertarians today are simply oligarchical states-rights activists (including Ron Paul).

Also, the "protection of the individual" argument actually forms the basis for classical liberalism, which does not necessarily advocate for a small government. (For instance, a government formed under this philosophy would ban smoking in public, and hand out tickets to drivers who aren't wearing seat belts. Taxation wouldn't be particularly redistributive, but the estate tax would need to approach 100%).

well, maybe not too nervous (1)

JackSpratts (660957) | more than 4 years ago | (#32168374)

mgm vs grokster was unanimous. i think hollywood can live happily with 8 to 1 rulings. unfortunately it's going to take a lot more than one supreme court nominee to bring balance to america's copyright laws.

Question (2, Interesting)

Barrinmw (1791848) | more than 4 years ago | (#32168934)

Why is it completely legal to link on a website to things like The Anarchist's Cookbook and other materials that can be used for seditious acts and mass murder...yet completely illegal if you link to copyrighted material?

Summary totally misguided; read Glenn Greenwald (5, Informative)

chainLynx (939076) | more than 4 years ago | (#32169256)

1) Recruiting people does not mean you share their ideological views. Indeed, one of the selling points of Kagan (according to her supporters) is that in spite of her supposed liberal views she was able to recruit people from across the ideological spectrum, including conservatives, to Harvard Law School.

2) As the Solicitor General, you are a lawyer for the government. You argue their cases. We should not confuse positions she took as the Solicitor General with her own personal opinions on the cases.

If anyone wants the real story on Kagan (she's woefully unprepared for the Supreme Court) please read what Glenn Greenwald has recently been writing about her http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2010/04/13/kagan [salon.com] and a debate yesterday http://www.democracynow.org/2010/5/10/progressives_divided_over_obamas_nomination_of [democracynow.org]
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