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Other Tech the Senate Would Have Banned

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the electricity-is-the-real-culprit dept.

Government 264

An anonymous reader writes "A few weeks ago, Senators Patrick Leahy and Orrin Hatch introduced the 'Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act' (COICA) bill, which was discussed here on Slashdot. The main part of the bill would allow the Justice Department to shut down websites that it deems are 'dedicated to infringing activities,' without a trial (due process is so old fashioned). Of course, in reviewing the bill, it's important to note that pretty much every new technology in the entertainment industry over the last century was deemed 'dedicated to infringing activities,' so here's a list of all of the technologies COICA would have banned in the past, including Hollywood itself, radio, cable television, the photocopier, the iPod and more."

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just dropped an obama (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33714594)

followed it up with a couple smelly bidens.

Re:just dropped an obama (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33714736)

You have now been banned from the USA.

- US Government

Don't worry (4, Funny)

Dyinobal (1427207) | more than 3 years ago | (#33714616)

Don't worry they are now working on keeping us safe from video games.

Its their nature to be paternalistic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33715256)

So we have this group of people who are charged with making rules for us. They are our designated rulers. Why do we act as if it is somehow surprising that they think it is their job to protect us from ourselves? They (and many of us) think that we are too stupid to govern ourselves. You will even see replies to my post talking about how people cant be trusted with governing ourselves. (So what makes these idiots in the senate any smarter or better than us, huh?)

No, if you dont want your rulers telling you what to do, then the only choice is to overcome the concept of rulers-and-followers. We came up with something similar in the free software movement. Now people are diligently working to make it happen in the realm of all governance. See http://www.metagovernment.org/ [metagovernment.org]

Photocopying machines (5, Insightful)

grub (11606) | more than 3 years ago | (#33714620)


I remember reading a story years ago about cookbook publishers being up in arms when the Xerox machine came out.

Their thinking was that the secretaries would be swapping recipes via photocopies and not buying cookbooks as a Good Citizen should.

.

Re:Photocopying machines (2, Interesting)

dunezone (899268) | more than 3 years ago | (#33714866)

Every industry has made a fuss about something that might potentially hurt the bottom line. The best one I heard was the car industry refusing seat belts early on because they argued it would give the perception that their automobiles were not safe.

Re:Photocopying machines (5, Funny)

grub (11606) | more than 3 years ago | (#33714908)


Not sure how it would work but I hear they're thinking about putting seatbelts on Segways now.

"too soon" be damned...

Re:Photocopying machines (5, Funny)

jpapon (1877296) | more than 3 years ago | (#33714956)

Not sure how it would work but I hear they're thinking about putting parachutes on Segways now.

Fixed!

Re:Photocopying machines (3, Funny)

BlueStrat (756137) | more than 3 years ago | (#33715466)

Not sure how it would work but I hear they're thinking about putting "idiot detectors" on Segways now.

Fixed!

FTFFY (Fixed that fix for you.)

Strat

Re:Photocopying machines (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 3 years ago | (#33715468)

Not sure how it would work but I hear they're thinking about putting floatation devices on Segways now.

Fixed!

Fixed!

Re:Photocopying machines (5, Funny)

noidentity (188756) | more than 3 years ago | (#33714934)

Their thinking was that the secretaries would be swapping recipes via photocopies and not buying cookbooks as a Good Citizen should.

Who would fund the creation of new recipes if everyone shared them freely? Without copyright protection, we'd all be eating gray sludge fortified with nutrients.

Re:Photocopying machines (3, Funny)

Ruie (30480) | more than 3 years ago | (#33715156)

Their thinking was that the secretaries would be swapping recipes via photocopies and not buying cookbooks as a Good Citizen should.

Who would fund the creation of new recipes if everyone shared them freely? Without copyright protection, we'd all be eating gray sludge fortified with nutrients.

This is all the body needs.

Re:Photocopying machines (1)

_ivy_ivy_ (1081273) | more than 3 years ago | (#33715168)

Who would fund the creation of new recipes if everyone shared them freely? Without copyright protection, we'd all be eating gray sludge fortified with nutrients.

They're called McNuggets...

Re:Photocopying machines (1)

nevillethedevil (1021497) | more than 3 years ago | (#33715226)

There are no nutrients in McNuggets...

Re:Photocopying machines (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33715440)

actually chewed wood is pretty tasty for most of the earth species.

Re:Photocopying machines (0, Redundant)

Andorin (1624303) | more than 3 years ago | (#33715188)

> Who would fund the creation of new recipes if everyone shared them freely?
I honestly can't tell if you're serious or sarcastic, because that's a really stupid question. It implies that sharing knowledge is bad for culture.

Re:Photocopying machines (1)

Capt.DrumkenBum (1173011) | more than 3 years ago | (#33715192)

we'd all be eating gray sludge fortified with nutrients.

That is what I had for dinner last night... Well except for the nutrients part.

Re:Photocopying machines (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33715368)

Oh, you must be an American.

Re:Photocopying machines (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33715294)

gray sludge wants to be free!

Also, I find the ancient stereotypes are amusing: Since secretaries are the only people low enough to operate photocopiers, and since they're women, and since women are all incompetent, they'd abuse workplace materials to copy their housewife recipes, because all women are also housewives.

Ah, the 50's or whenever.

Re:Photocopying machines (1)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 3 years ago | (#33715374)

Who would fund the creation of new recipes if everyone shared them freely? Without copyright protection, we'd all be eating gray sludge fortified with nutrients.

It looks bad, but it tastes like Tastee Wheat.

Re:Photocopying machines (1)

hierophanta (1345511) | more than 3 years ago | (#33715430)

most likely the person who is distributing them - that is you cant share something if it hasnt been created (by you or someone before you, who distributed it to you)

Re:Photocopying machines (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 3 years ago | (#33715486)

Their thinking was that the secretaries would be swapping recipes via photocopies and not buying cookbooks as a Good Citizen should.

Who would fund the creation of new recipes if everyone shared them freely? Without copyright protection, we'd all be eating gray sludge fortified with nutrients.

You mean high fructose corn syrup? It's more of a yellow sludge.

Re:Photocopying machines (2, Interesting)

sorak (246725) | more than 3 years ago | (#33715378)

As someone who likes to cook, I am surprised that so many recipe books continue to get published. There are just so many free resources on the internet, but, somehow, Rachael Ray and Paula Deene keep cranking them out.

Re:Photocopying machines (4, Insightful)

GlennC (96879) | more than 3 years ago | (#33715500)

Where do you think they get their ideas?

I wish... (4, Insightful)

denis-The-menace (471988) | more than 3 years ago | (#33714640)

I wish I could have laws written to guaranty my profits, too.

How dare you have a better product/service than me!
Why should I listen to my customers? They have to buy it from me.

Re:I wish... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33714826)

This might be the weakest anti copyright argument I've ever seen, which is genuinely impressive considering how much I read this site. So, lets count the ways:

I wish I could have laws written to guaranty my profits, too.

In no way does copyright law force anyone to buy anything, thus it does not "guaranty" or guarantee any profits to anyone. This is made pretty obvious by the thousands of starving artists in the world

How dare you have a better product/service than me!

So by this logic, if I stole cars and sold them on the side of the road for $10 a pop, I would have a better product than the car manufacturers? And no, the classic "it's not stealing because I'm not depriving anyone of anythign" does not apply here, as it's irrelevant. I'm not talking about theft, I'm talking about the inanity of claiming that someone who illegally pawns off something they didn't create "has a better product". If you didn't make anything, you don't have a product.

Why should I listen to my customers? They have to buy it from me.

Again, no one is forced to buy anything. You have a choice between buying it, and not buying it. If they charge more than you want to pay, do without. We're not talking about food or shelter, we're talking about luxury items. Just because you want them doesn't mean you have a right to them.

Re:I wish... (2, Insightful)

Mitchell314 (1576581) | more than 3 years ago | (#33715064)

Let me get this straight . . .

TFA: Tech that would be banned had the Senate had its way to protect against stuff "Dedicated to infringing activities"
GP: "I wish I could have laws written to guaranty my profits, too."
P: "'I wish I could have laws written to guaranty my profits, too.' In no way does copyright law force anyone to buy anything"

?
Like, did the gp even say "copyright"? And even if (s)he did, does matter given the context of the article and his/her post?

Re:I wish... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33715120)

What in god's name are you blathering about?

Re:I wish... (1)

anyGould (1295481) | more than 3 years ago | (#33715214)

In no way does copyright law force anyone to buy anything, thus it does not "guaranty" or guarantee any profits to anyone. This is made pretty obvious by the thousands of starving artists in the world

And don't you think there'd be a lot fewer starving artists (well, musicians anyway) if recorded music had been prohibited as an "infringing technology"? Every nightclub and restaurant would have to hire musicians instead of just piping music over the speakers. That's a lot of musicians you could be playing standards four nights a week.

This is right up there with the "let's require by law that all phones have FM radios" idea - maybe my new car should have a buggy whip and a sack of feed as well...

Re:I wish... (1)

Amouth (879122) | more than 3 years ago | (#33715428)

maybe my new car should have a buggy whip and a sack of feed as well...

i like the idea.. - get rid of the steering wheel.. make people snap a whip to get the car to turn.. anything to get them off their damn phone.

Re:I wish... (4, Insightful)

bws111 (1216812) | more than 3 years ago | (#33715002)

How does copyright 'guarantee profits' or prevent someone from having a better product? All copyright attempts to do is say 'if you want MY product, you get it from ME, on terms we agree on'. And make no mistake, the 'product' is the song, movie, story, etc, NOT the CD, DVD, or book it is contained on. You are perfectly free to make a 'better' song, movie, or book than me.

Re:I wish... (4, Insightful)

HungryHobo (1314109) | more than 3 years ago | (#33715058)

You are perfectly free to make a 'better' song, movie, or book than me.

unless of course the better one is merely a massively improved version of your song, movie, or book

Re:I wish... (2, Insightful)

bws111 (1216812) | more than 3 years ago | (#33715194)

So is my contribution to your new work vital or not? If it is, is there any reason you should not get my permission to use it? If my contribution is not vital to your new work, remove it and you owe me nothing.

Re:I wish... (1)

blackraven14250 (902843) | more than 3 years ago | (#33715258)

That would be a gray area to be improved in current law, rather than a reason to abolish copyright law altogether.

Re:I wish... (2, Insightful)

Even on Slashdot FOE (1870208) | more than 3 years ago | (#33715084)

Except for when overly broad copyright means you are potentially infringing regardless of what you create.
If three notes are enough to infringe upon a song, it is functionally impossible to make new, non-infringing songs. Similar arguments can be made about other fields.

Re:I wish... (1)

bws111 (1216812) | more than 3 years ago | (#33715344)

So you're saying that all of the 318,000 new books published in the UK and US last year are infringing copyright? Seems to me there were a lot of new songs released last year also (including many by indie artists). And plenty of new movies. The courts must be jam-packed with all those lawsuits, I wonder why we don't hear about them?

Re:I wish... (2, Insightful)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 3 years ago | (#33715388)

I am sure you do.
Why should I have to pay for food. It grows on trees.

Really I do not like DRM at all but this fantasy that the cost to produce software, music, movies, tv shows, and books is pure fantasy.
The cost to duplicate them is pretty low but the actual cost to produce them is significant.

And you do not have to buy the content from them. You will not die without it. You are just not free to take it.

Don't get me wrong. The cost of DVDs, CDs, and EBooks is way too high.
But they also do not have to be free.

Re:I wish... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33715456)

hahaha like health insurance?!

I don't even know who to vote for anymore. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33714656)


 

An amendment would fix this (3, Interesting)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#33714664)

And certainly more useful than a "don't burn the flag" amendment:

Amendment ___ - Strike the clause "To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;"

Replace with "To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for Two Decades to Authors and Inventors the revocable Privilege to their respective Writings and Discoveries;"

Re:An amendment would fix this (0, Offtopic)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#33714684)

We should also have an amendment that Rights listed in the constitution only apply to individual human beings. (i.e. Not corporations or PACs or Unions, or any other non-human thing that doesn't presently have a right to vote.)

Re:An amendment would fix this (0)

Bartab (233395) | more than 3 years ago | (#33714740)

Corporations and PACs and Unions all are made up of people, so you're claiming that the constituent people have no rights simply because they have organized themselves in one of those functions.

Asinine.

Re:An amendment would fix this (4, Insightful)

airfoobar (1853132) | more than 3 years ago | (#33714788)

The individuals that comprise those organisations have rights. Corporations, unions, lobby groups, organisations etc etc don't and shouldn't have rights.

Re:An amendment would fix this (1)

Bartab (233395) | more than 3 years ago | (#33714838)

They don't. The people that comprise them do, and such people can exercise those rights through the organization.

Re:An amendment would fix this (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33715028)

Then you won't mind if we get rid of this little wrinkle [wikipedia.org] to help bring rights back into a more normal alignment.

Re:An amendment would fix this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33715076)

The succession of rights by proxy is not a legal way to exercise them either.

Re:An amendment would fix this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33715254)

Not really. Because any action by the people are protected by the corporation. People are not liable as are the corporations themselves. Unlike the individual. So, yes, the corporations do have rights to buy, sell, hire, fire, infringe upon others' rights, but shouldn't.

Re:An amendment would fix this (3, Insightful)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 3 years ago | (#33715364)

Except that they can't. A corporation isn't a large group of individuals that decided to get together. It is an organization of a company that is typically owned by a small number of individuals (as few as one) for the purposes of protecting the assets of the proprietors if the company fails and to protect the proprietors from legal responsibility if the company does something in appropriate (usually). There is no good reason for a corporation to be treated as a person, as the sole purpose of a corporation is to prevent the individuals that make it up from having liability. Granting those people rights without liability attached is fundamentally unjust.

Corporate contributions to political campaigns, for example, means that someone in a position to dictate policy for a corporation is able to spend the money of other people without them really having any say in the matter. I mean sure, they could ostensibly sell their shares, but that just means that a different group of people are getting screwed. More to the point, that wealth was acquired because of the workers that make up the corporation, yet they have no real say whatsoever in how the money is spent except insofar as some of them may also be minority shareholders. In effect, this means that the voices of a few are amplified unfairly due solely to their being in charge of a corporation. In addition to these people casting one vote through their personal financial contributions, they are able to cast a second vote through corporate contributions, whereas the average citizen cannot realistically do the same. This promotes inequality in which the people with the most money and power are able to exert undue influence, thus increasing their money and power, in a sort of perverse feedback loop. This is exactly contrary to the founding principle of democracy---the notion that all are created equal abd should have equal rights under the law.

Unions are only slightly better. In principle, people have the right to refuse to join a union and can merely pay their "fair share" dues---the collective bargaining portion of the union dues without the political portion. In practice, however, the unions stand for many things, and there is no practical way for a union member to say that they will allow their dues to be spent on some, but not all of its political goals. As such, because it is a "take it or leave it" proposition and because contributions from a union represent substantially greater weight than individual contributions, members are unlikely to deny everything merely because they disagree with some of the union's positions. This again means that the decision-making process is taken out of the hands of its members and given to its elected leaders, again unfairly exaggerating the voice of a few on many issues.

I'd be fine with all the corporate and union contributions if I could say on an individual basis that their contribution must be reduced by 0.002% to account for me withholding my portion thereof. As long as this is not the case---as long as I don't have a vote on each individual issue---then corporations and unions do not accurately reflect the will of the people who comprise them, and as such, those contributions are a fundamental usurpation of power, denying us our rights as shareholders, union members, and workers in those corporations.

Re:An amendment would fix this (2, Insightful)

Amouth (879122) | more than 3 years ago | (#33714804)

If i person gets someone killed they go to jail - if a company gets someone killed they might get fined..

i think they are treated differently and there for are different.

the individuals in the group would have the same rights as any individual - but the company wouldn't.

Re:An amendment would fix this (4, Insightful)

Bartab (233395) | more than 3 years ago | (#33714938)

If i person gets someone killed they go to jail - if a company gets someone killed they might get fined..

Err. No.

Corporations and other such organizations cannot be charged with a crime, such charges are applied to people. The actors of the crime. If you commit a non crime killing, you'll be subject to civil charges, not criminal charges. As fines associated with civil charges are generally scaled to your wealth, the fine itself would be a lot loss.

The thing crazy people like to forget is that "imaginary people" such as corporations are....imaginary. They cannot act because they do not exist. Thus actions are always the acts of people. If a crime occurs, it's a person engaging in them. If a right is being exercised, it's a person engaging in them. Corporations in particular, and similarly but differently for PACs and Unions, the organizations exist as a formalized organizational structure to assist investment and decision making. When that decision making leads to illegal activity, the decision makers and actors are both vulnerable to criminal charges. In addition, the people involved -and- the corporation itself is vulnerable to civil charges.

Re:An amendment would fix this (4, Insightful)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#33715164)

>>>"imaginary people" such as corporations are....imaginary. They cannot act because they do not exist.

Tell that to the people manslaughtered by the Ford Corporation when their Pinto cars blew-up. And yes accidents happen but the Corporation knew the fuel tanks were flawed and decided (as a whole), it was cheaper to just pay the dead people's families. That's practically premeditation. But what can you do?

Nothing except fine the company while the specific individuals that made the decision take golden parachutes and escape without punishment for their crime. The corporation should be treated as an object and nothing more. The company can keep its immunity but it shall have no rights; only privileges which can be revoked at anytime with a mere act of Congress.

Re:An amendment would fix this (1)

david_thornley (598059) | more than 3 years ago | (#33715460)

Now, suppose that I'm doing something on my own, and as a direct action of something negligent I do somebody dies. I can spend years behind bars for that. Suppose that I'm acting strictly according to corporate policy: in that case, the corporation will pay a fine, and nobody's going to prison.

Remember the Sony rootkit? Who went to prison over that one? I'm pretty sure who would have gone to prison if I, a private citizen, had done something like that.

Corporations, in practice, are great shields against all sorts of liabilities.

Re:An amendment would fix this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33714834)

Not the same thing.

Does Microsoft get one vote in the ballot box too? And if Microsoft kills someone Microsoft gets executed or life imprisonment?

It's only asinine for the obtuse or those pretending to be.

Re:An amendment would fix this (1)

rakuen (1230808) | more than 3 years ago | (#33714878)

As the other two child posts have said, it's the idea that each individual person has the rights guaranteed to citizens, but not the overarching entity they belong to. In fact, I would find this more representative. While they organize into these groups to identify themselves, I hardly find it likely that every person shares the EXACT same ideas. Instead of saying "The RIAA thinks..." we'd end up with more, "# of members of the RIAA think..." In this way, we could get a better idea of how the individuals in the entity think, and can then see where there might be room for compromise or mediating.

This might be overly optimistic, but oh well.

Re:An amendment would fix this (1)

Bartab (233395) | more than 3 years ago | (#33715020)

I hardly find it likely that every person shares the EXACT same ideas.

Such group uniformity isn't necessary. It only requires one person to have rights of speech, political activity, etc.

Once again, imaginary people do not act. So there's always at least one person in agreement.

Re:An amendment would fix this (1)

rakuen (1230808) | more than 3 years ago | (#33715182)

I didn't say group uniformity was neccessary. I didn't say any single person should have their right of speech revoked. My proposal is that an actual number of people IN the organization would be shown to be in agreement, rather than abstracting it to the entity level. Once again, it is FAR different to say "The RIAA..." than it is to say "X people in the RIAA..." The former is an abstract entity. The latter is a concrete number of people.

Refrain from straw manning arguments in the future.

Re:An amendment would fix this (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#33715190)

It strikes me as odd that people who claim "corporations should be treated as if they were an individual" with rights, never grant the corporation the right to vote in elections. Why that particular exception? Answer: Because they know that corporations are not individuals and NOT entitled to the same rights as actual human beings.

My suggested amendment merely recognizes that fact.

Actually... (1)

rakuen (1230808) | more than 3 years ago | (#33715264)

I was actually in agreement with you. Cheers, mate!

Re:An amendment would fix this (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#33715070)

>>>Corporations and PACs and Unions all are made up of people, so you're claiming that the constituent people have no rights

I really wish Americans would learn reading comprehension.

I said nothing of the kind. While my proposed amendment would forbid Microsoft Corporation (for example) from having a right to free speech, or right to hire lobbyists inside the halls of Congress, or right to buy ads to support a favorite Shill for congressman..... the individual janitors, programmers, managers, et cetera would still retain the right of speech, lobbying, and so on. So if Janitor Bob Smith wants to lobby congress and say, "Microsoft is the best damn company in the world," he still can.

Please read the (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33715128)

That doesn't make any sense. What is an individual if individuals can not operate collectively to do what that they can legally do individually. An anti-democracy principle makes a lot more sense, that no collective may legally do what its individuals may not.

The ONLY issue with collective power is transparency. For example, if we want to say that if a person is donating more than $X to some cause and in such a case the persons name must go on public record, then if two+ people wanting to make a joint donation of the same amount or greater under a pseudonym / fictitious name must have its members names made publicly available.

On the issue of somebody making a donation on behalf of another without their permission / consent then there there could have been a breach of fiduciary responsibility, but that is something entirely separate.

Unions, PAC's and corporations are collectives, they are groups of people. Just because the people in the groups might be brainless drones that elect stupid greedy people to speak on their behalf doesn't make them non-human. "Special rights and privileges " being granted to groups that are not extended to individuals is a corruption of those institutions as a matter of public policy, not a reflection of its members. In other words, we should not be so critical of greedy people asking for more than they deserve, but critical of our representatives that take what is ours and give it to those that ask for it without earning it (but for possibly the quid pro quo re-election).

Invalidating the power of a group invalidates the power of the individual any time the argument can be made that an individual is a member of a group that is not in favor. To empower the individual, all that is necessary is to ensure that there is no power inflation or deflation by virtue of how a person associates with others or allows themselves to be represented.

Re:Please read the (1)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 3 years ago | (#33715416)

As long as there is transparency, and as long as the individuals get to choose whether their contributions get used for a particular purpose, that's fine. Groups should not have power in and of themselves, however. If I leave a PAC because they have drifted too far from their original purpose, I should have the right to take back my contribution. If I decide that my union is doing something stupid, I should be able to reduce their contribution by 1/200,000th. If I decide that the company I work for is making an inappropriate contribution with money that I helped create, I should be able to reduce that contribution to a degree commensurate with my contribution. See how hard that would be to handle, though? And because these groups cannot feasibly be made transparent, it is necessary to limit their ability to abuse their power.

Re:An amendment would fix this (2, Insightful)

airfoobar (1853132) | more than 3 years ago | (#33714732)

Alas, that clause is already optional in the constitution. Congress has the power to scale down or revoke that privilege, if they think it no longer serves its intended purpose. If Congress really cared about the welfare of the people rather than filling their pockets with lobbyist money, they'd be phasing copyright out instead of extending it.

Re:An amendment would fix this (1)

croddy (659025) | more than 3 years ago | (#33714830)

GP's diff puts a hard time limit on the protections and redefines them as revocable privileges. It's a significant improvement to the original line.

Re:An amendment would fix this (2, Interesting)

AnonymousClown (1788472) | more than 3 years ago | (#33714952)

...they'd be phasing copyright out instead of extending it.

I disagree. I think putting Copyright back to its original terms would be perfect:

The first federal copyright act, the Copyright Act of 1790 granted copyright for a term of "fourteen years from the time of recording the title thereof", with a right of renewal for another fourteen years if the author survived to the end of the first term

Source [wikipedia.org] .

It's plenty of time for one to reap the rewards of their time and effort.

There are some people who make their living (some very good livings) from creating and I wouldn't want them to get corporate jobs:

David Attenborough, David McCullough, Ken Burns, Malcolm Gladwell, Dave Chapelle, most of the authors for the New Yorker, and it goes on.....

Re:An amendment would fix this (1)

ArsonSmith (13997) | more than 3 years ago | (#33715176)

Lately, the entirety of the Constitution has been optional.

Re:An amendment would fix this (1)

anyGould (1295481) | more than 3 years ago | (#33715284)

.. which would be followed by an additional 'regulation' that a 'Decade' is now equal to 100 years...

Senator Dick Durbin (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33714712)

They don't call him "Dick" for nothing.

Re:Senator Dick Durbin (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33714776)

@Anonymous\ Coward what about #Hairy Reid?

Nothing else going on, apparently (4, Insightful)

DaveM753 (844913) | more than 3 years ago | (#33714718)

We have 2 wars, 10-20% unemployment, poverty, bad health care system, etc. But let's deal with copyright infringement for the wealthy. Everything else can be fixed later.

Re:Nothing else going on, apparently (3, Insightful)

KillaGouge (973562) | more than 3 years ago | (#33714754)

unforutinetly the wealthy are the ones lining Congress' pockets, so of course Congress is going to do what they want. As bad as it sounds, they don't much care about unemployment because the unemployed don't contribute to their lifestyles.

Re:Nothing else going on, apparently (4, Insightful)

trapnest (1608791) | more than 3 years ago | (#33714954)

But if those unemployed had jobs they'd be paying more taxes...

Re:Nothing else going on, apparently (1)

nwf (25607) | more than 3 years ago | (#33715046)

But if those unemployed had jobs they'd be paying more taxes...

Which does nothing to help them get reelected. People just barely making it aren't going to contribute significant amounts of money to a campaign, so they are largely irrelevant.

Re:Nothing else going on, apparently (1)

Ogive17 (691899) | more than 3 years ago | (#33715154)

Congressional income from taxpayer money is a fixed amount. They make $X per year to be a member of Congress... regardless of how good or bad the economy is doing. They get kickbacks and campaign donations which supplements their income from PACs and businesses and lobbyists.

Re:Nothing else going on, apparently (1)

cdrguru (88047) | more than 3 years ago | (#33715394)

You seem to have a rather interesting misapprehension of how campaign finance works.

The campaign contributions are not personal income and cannot be used as such but only for campaign purposes. For the most part, personal money is also excluded from being used for campaign purposes although every once in a while some self-funded candidate comes along and a lot of news is about how they are doing. Self-funded folks rarely win.

Re:Nothing else going on, apparently (1)

AnonymousClown (1788472) | more than 3 years ago | (#33715018)

As bad as it sounds, they don't much care about unemployment because the unemployed don't contribute to their lifestyles.

That is absolutely true. However, have you seen how some of the primaries are going around the country? People are pretty pissed with the incumbents - the TEA Party has been getting the credit but I think it's more than that.

In November, many of those unemployed folks are going to be at the polls. We shall see ......

Re:Nothing else going on, apparently (1)

KillaGouge (973562) | more than 3 years ago | (#33715146)

I really hope so. I would say I am against all lobbyist, but some are good. I really hope we can do something soon, and start getting people back to work.

Re:Nothing else going on, apparently (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#33715292)

Democrat Congress:

Same as the former Republican Congress but different corporate masters (military versus Hollywood). Either way we individuals get squashed.

Maybe we should ask a lawyer... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33714728)

In the end they are just senators it's not like they know anything about law work, oh wait Senator Patrick Leahy got his J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center and Senator Orrin Hatch got his J.D. from the University of Pittsburgh Law School. Well they are both lawyers so I guess we shouldn't question them on this.

you can't legislate against technological progress (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 3 years ago | (#33714756)

when law meets technology, law bends, not technology. sure, the law can do a lot of damage, but technological progress is inevitable. at the very worst, if an insane amount of effort went into keeping society stuck in the past, even if they were somehow practically enforceable, other societies would vault ahead of the usa

the obvious benefits of progress would be seen in the other country and become envy. the threat the technology posed would be seen as sham, and the benefits would be clear: those other societies would be more competitive. if the technological progress is the gun, for example, the other country would win more wars. if the technological progress is a free and unfettered internet, the other country would become more culturally dominant

support for the ridiculous laws would erode. laws can often times conflict with common sense, but not forever, and not glaringly so

Re:you can't legislate against technological progr (1)

Score Whore (32328) | more than 3 years ago | (#33714852)

Yet nerds are always heated up about privacy eroding technologies. Not to mention weapons. And drugs. And corruption in the financial industry.

Re:you can't legislate against technological progr (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#33715322)

I wouldn't mind if I could think of some way to steal back the Money the corporations stole from the taxpayers in the first place

Re:you can't legislate against technological progr (1)

Drakkenmensch (1255800) | more than 3 years ago | (#33715052)

All electrically powered devices are meant to infringe copyright! Ban Electricity! But wait, electricity can also be used to execute infringers in the chair, oh what a conundrum...

Re:you can't legislate against technological progr (1)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | more than 3 years ago | (#33715324)

when law meets technology, law bends, not technology. sure, the law can do a lot of damage, but technological progress is inevitable.

There is no such thing as "technological progress". As a technique becomes more effective in the setting that it is in, it inevitably becomes less effective in every other setting, which means that as the external circumstances change, which they inevitably do, the technique becomes defunct.

"The Legal System" is a perfect example. "The Financial System" is another. They're both collaborative technologies, and nothing more. They'll go by the wayside when the changing world renders them obsolete, but it will not be progress, just change.

Re:you can't legislate against technological progr (1, Informative)

Stargoat (658863) | more than 3 years ago | (#33715326)

Let's not forget that Orrin Hatch makes a habit of trying to legislate against technology. This is the same douchebag that a few years ago proposed blowing up all computers that illegally downloaded music.

Engaging self-destruct in 5... (5, Informative)

Drakkenmensch (1255800) | more than 3 years ago | (#33714758)

In case anybody might have forgotten, Senator Hatch was a strong supporter of computer built-in self-destruct mechanisms that the music industry could have activated remotely on a whim: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/930731/posts [freerepublic.com]

Re:Engaging self-destruct in 5... (4, Insightful)

croddy (659025) | more than 3 years ago | (#33714802)

Orrin Hatch is one of the most deeply corrupt enemies of copyright reform in the history of copyright. Thankfully he has not been able to obtain a level of power sufficient to fully support his comically evil campaign of unconstitutional kickbacks to big media.

Re:Engaging self-destruct in 5... (1)

Drakkenmensch (1255800) | more than 3 years ago | (#33714982)

I would say he sold his soul to the dark forces of evil in exchange of political clout except he clearly lacks such a gift, most likely because he never had a soul to begin with.

Re:Engaging self-destruct in 5... (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#33714840)

He is in favor of whatever his corporate masters want. They bought him with the bribes that are called campaign contributions.

Self-kill (1)

srussia (884021) | more than 3 years ago | (#33714774)

"Dedicated to infringing activities" sounds like it should be the motto of Congress. Bring it on.

They nearly bagged the MP3 player... (1)

mlts (1038732) | more than 3 years ago | (#33714798)

If anyone remembered the legal battles Diamond had to fight against the RIAA to keep the Rio PMP 300 in production, it is a miracle we have MP3 players at all.

After the RIAA vs. Diamond fight, every player out there had some form of DRM [1], at the minimum something to keep people from copying music from the device to the computer. Some players had a proprietary application. Others encrypted the music with a key only that player had when it was copied.

Eventually this was dropped. Creative put out versions of their software that allowed copying music from the player to a computer.

Of course, Apple hammered the final nail in this coffin. Even now, you can copy music from your iPod or iPhone to your computer, although it either takes a third party application in some cases.

Had the RIAA had their way, MP3 players likely would either never be around, or have been forced to have very Draconian DRM technology on them, probably like the early Network Walkmans Sony had where one had to check sounds in and out of a device (as opposed to copy), only three instances of a song could ever be copied, and there was no such thing as backups -- reinstall of a computer meant having to re-rip the complete music collection.

[1]: Anyone remember the SDMI initiative, essentially required DRM on any and all players.

Senator Hatch is history (1)

butlerm (3112) | more than 3 years ago | (#33714858)

A couple of years from now Senator Hatch will be history. He has been in there far too long, and is flaky on any number of issues such as this one. It is nearly a foregone conclusion that his party members in the state of Utah are going to dump him for somebody new when he is up for re-election in 2012, someone certainly more libertarian in character. Rep. Jason Chaffetz for example.

cable tv?? they where taking a free OTA feed and (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 3 years ago | (#33714868)

cable tv?? they where taking a free OTA feed and putting it on the cable line and for some people that was the way to ota as some people did not get a good ota signal and you where paying for the cable systems line and there antenna. Some people where able to get the same stuff for if they put up there own ota antenna at there own cost.

later came the non OTA pay stuff (some area had uhf scrambled tv before areas got cable)

also back then you where about to get C-BAND and get lots of free stuff but you had to pay alot for dish and other stuff.

Re:cable tv?? they where taking a free OTA feed an (1)

cdrguru (88047) | more than 3 years ago | (#33715348)

I would have cheered any decision that eliminated the possibility of cable TV companies taking OTA signals and charging for them as was done in the 1970s and 1980s. The concept of engaging munipalities in a "franchise contract" that enforced a monopoly position of the cable company is also a somewhat silly idea.

We are now in a situation because of this where after the digital TV conversion it is impossible to receive decent signals in many rural and semi-rural places in the US. Your only choices are satellite and the local cable monopoly. They have a pretty solid lock on Internet access as well.

Bad Politicians Beware (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33714950)

Leahy is an arse. Like so many politicians he has no concept of the evil he sponsors. He just signs off on the bills. I suspect he has Alzheimer's.

Another ban item to consider (2, Insightful)

The Assistant (1162547) | more than 3 years ago | (#33715010)

How about banning Government Institutions that hamper the exchange of ideas, commerce, and other items leading to a healthy economy?

Re:Another ban item to consider (1)

Even on Slashdot FOE (1870208) | more than 3 years ago | (#33715110)

People would tell you that the blocks are being bought out so the companies can have a more healthy economy. People might be right.

Hollywood, huh? (1)

Ollabelle (980205) | more than 3 years ago | (#33715104)

Maybe they can use this to ban gawd-awful movie knock-offs...

Leahy and Hatch: ( Intercept This ! ) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33715298)

Just two of the Criminals-In-Congress.

Yours In Ashgabat,
K. Trout

Shame on Utah (1)

uvsc_wolverine (692513) | more than 3 years ago | (#33715356)

I live in Utah. I have for most of my life. I have never...ever...voted for Orrin Hatch. The man is an idiot. It's gray haired straight part ticket republicans that are keeping him in office. No one under 40 wants him to be reelected yet it keeps happening. He doesn't represent my interests, or the interests of most of his constituency any more. He's bought and paid for by the RIAA/MPAA.

How will they know without a trial (4, Insightful)

samjam (256347) | more than 3 years ago | (#33715414)

the trial is the process by which they discover if the website 'dedicated to infringing activities' and not just the subject of whining or attack by commercial rivals.

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