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Heavyweights Clash Over Policing Repeat Copyright Infringers

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the letter-of-law-vs-spirit-of-law dept.

The Courts 107

SolKeshNaranek tips a story at TorrentFreak about an ongoing copyright case that revolves around how much effort websites need to expend to block repeat infringers after responding to DMCA requests. In 2011, a judge ruled that a website embedding videos from third parties had correctly removed links to infringing videos after receiving a DMCA request, but failed to do anything to police users who had created these links multiple times. For this, the judge said, the website would be required to adopt a number of measures to prevent repeat infringement. Google and Facebook wrote an amicus brief opposing the ruling, as did Public Knowledge and the EFF. Now the MPAA has, unsurprisingly, come out in favor. They wrote, "Contrary to the assertions of myVidster and amici Google and Facebook, search engines and social networking sites are not the only businesses that desire certainty in a challenging online marketplace. MPAA member companies and other producers of creative works also need a predictable legal landscape in which to operate. ... Given the massive and often anonymous infringement on the internet, the ability of copyright holders to hold gateways like myVidster liable for secondary infringement is crucial in preventing piracy."

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Activist Judges (5, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#39621821)

Nothing in copyright law or the DMCA suggests that anyone should suffer any sort of penalties for obeying DMCA notices. There is no limit on the number of DMCA notices you are allowed to obey in the DMCA. Where did this judge get the idea that the law requires this?

Re:Activist Judges (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39621981)

More likely that this has to do with other court cases, importantly the part about:

...but failed to do anything to police users who had created these links multiple times.

Wasn't this one of the things they were going after Megaupload for?

Re:Activist Judges (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39622527)

Isn't policing users who do this multiple times the Copyright holders job? Why didn't they punish the violater the first time? It seems to me they just want to pass on the hard work of playing copyright cop to someone else.

Re:Activist Judges (1)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 2 years ago | (#39629463)

Right, part of the compromises in the DMCA was that all the website had to do was follow through on DMCA notices. That's it. They have no onus to actually stop infringing content unless it's reported or they willingly put it up themselves, do they?

Re:Activist Judges (5, Interesting)

Anthony Mouse (1927662) | more than 2 years ago | (#39621989)

The DMCA safe harbor has a condition that the service provider "has adopted and reasonably implemented, and informs subscribers and account holders of the service provider’s system or network of, a policy that provides for the termination in appropriate circumstances of subscribers and account holders of the service provider’s system or network who are repeat infringers."

The thing is, it says "repeat infringers" not "repeatedly accused infringers." So I'm not a lawyer (and I would be interested in hearing the thoughts of anyone who is), but it seems like if you adopted a policy that says you'll terminate any user who is found liable of infringement in court on more than one occasion, that would seem to satisfy the statute. Which makes perfect sense really -- otherwise anyone could get anyone else's account terminated by making repeated fraudulent accusations. Can anyone think of a reason why that would be wrong?

Re:Activist Judges (2)

shentino (1139071) | more than 2 years ago | (#39622039)

Most likely, failure to challenge, protest, or send a counter-notice is deemed an admission of fault.

Re:Activist Judges (1)

Adrian Lopez (2615) | more than 2 years ago | (#39622109)

Most likely, failure to challenge, protest, or send a counter-notice is deemed an admission of fault.

Either that, or an unwillingness/inability to fight an expensive copyright case in court.

Re:Activist Judges (4, Insightful)

hemo_jr (1122113) | more than 2 years ago | (#39622549)

You cannot assume a lack of response to be an admission of guilt. You cannot even assume that the account holder even was aware of the notice(s) or take-downs.

Re:Activist Judges (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | more than 2 years ago | (#39626185)

You cannot assume a lack of response to be an admission of guilt.

The courts do it all the time, and a default judgement will be made against you if you don't respond

Re:Activist Judges (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39626543)

You miss the important bit: the process server who guaranteed that you were properly served. If you don't respond after being provably served then you run into default judgment territory.

If your proof-of-service is 'we sent them an e-mail to their registered address' (i.e. laughable), then the default judgment will be dismissal.

Re:Activist Judges (2)

Anthony Mouse (1927662) | more than 2 years ago | (#39622737)

Most likely, failure to challenge, protest, or send a counter-notice is deemed an admission of fault.

As the first reply points out, that doesn't make a whole lot of sense -- there are plenty of likely reasons for someone who is not an infringer to still not to submit a counter-notice, from fearing the expense of a trial to wanting to retain their anonymity for reasons unrelated to infringement to not knowing how to submit a counter notice to the alleged infringer not knowing whether they actually had a meritorious case for fair use, etc. But I would think more importantly, why isn't that exactly the sort of thing the service provider would be able to specify in the termination policy?

And passing the buck. (3, Insightful)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 2 years ago | (#39625457)

In regard to certain provisions of the DMCA and other measures, someone please explain to me where they can find some long-standing legal principle that allows one interest group to make other parties separately responsible and liable for protecting the first group's interests? Because that's what they are doing here. Correct me if I am wrong, but I do not believe any such legal right or principle exists. Which makes much, if not all, of the DMCA and certain other recent laws extremely questionable on the grounds of simple long-established legal principle.

Where else in law does anything like it exist? Are telephone companies liable if people play "illegally" copied tunes for their on-hold music? Of course not. For that matter, if someone is using a telephone modem or other direct means of communication, is the telephone company liable if the users transmit copyright-infringed material? Again, of course not.

Why? Because it is not reasonable. The telephone company is nothing but a "common carrier". They deliver data from one place to another; nothing more. Not only are they not responsible for the content of that data, they are specifically exempt from any responsibility, because end-users are solely responsible for what they send and receive.

Not only that, but it is illegal for telephone companies to use means to determine the contents of such transmissions, without a legal warrant. While other recent laws, themselves at least as questionable about the DMCA, pretend to authorize Federal authorities to intercept that information, it is still illegal for the telephone carrier itself to do so.

Why should ISPs be any different? Rationally, they fulfill the same "ecological niche" as a telephone company. They provide a service to carry data packets from one end user to another. And data repositories, if they are on the up-and-up, are also pretty much in the same boat; they act merely as storage places for private data that is uploaded and stored. There is no rational reason they should be responsible for any content, UNLESS they are knowingly and actively aiding and abetting crimes committed by someone else. Just as, for example, the owner of physical storage rental units is not responsible for the actual contents of said units (they make you sign a paper to that effect)... UNLESS they are knowingly aiding in the commission of crimes.

So the whole concept is bullshit from the start. ISPs and data repositories owe the RIAA and MPAA nothing, either ethically or in legal principle. There is not a single rational reason behind holding them responsible for user-generated content, EXCEPT the rational argument that it is the easiest place to stop it. But ease is not a binding legal principle. The US Supreme Court more than once has ruled that difficulty of enforcing a law is not an excuse to bypass long-standing legal precedent.

The only explanation for this kind of plan is under-the-table cronyism between big businesses and government, which has no place in justice. There is nothing in here for the consumer at all. No protection, no improvement of any market (on the contrary), and no recourse.

It's just bad.

Re:Activist Judges (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39622013)

The money probably told him.

Re:Activist Judges (4, Insightful)

NeverSuchBefore (2613927) | more than 2 years ago | (#39622561)

The DMCA is an awful piece of legislation, anyway. Too often has it been abused. It encourages the "shoot first, ask questions later" mentality that we've seen so much of. Great if you don't care about collateral damage! Awful otherwise.

And what about fake DMCA notices? Should those users be "policed," too?

Re:Activist Judges (1)

alexo (9335) | more than 2 years ago | (#39631287)

The DMCA is an awful piece of legislation, anyway. Too often has it been abused. It encourages the "shoot first, ask questions later" mentality that we've seen so much of. Great if you don't care about collateral damage! Awful otherwise.

The DMCA is a great piece of legislation, created by and for people[*] who "shoot first, ask questions later" and do care about collateral damage (maximizing it is their business model).

[*] In the broadest possible sense, see "corporate personhood".

And what about fake DMCA notices? Should those users be "policed," too?

Somebody is not paying attention.

Time for the MPAA to gasp it's last breath... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39621823)

It's a clueless dinosaur grumbling about the lack of large quantities of green matter freely available for it's consumption. Sorry charlie, we've left the freecashtacean period, it's time to adapt or die.

Re:Time for the MPAA to gasp it's last breath... (1)

houstonbofh (602064) | more than 2 years ago | (#39621845)

The funny thing is that Google has a larger market cap than almost all of the media companies. (Or perhaps than all of them depending on when you look) They need to just buy one and change the entire landscape. Can you imagine if just one got bought and opened up by Google? You know the money would be ROLLING in!

Re:Time for the MPAA to gasp it's last breath... (2)

game kid (805301) | more than 2 years ago | (#39621913)

Given Google's recent actions, and YouTube, we'd more likely see Google become a trusted RIAA member.

Re:Time for the MPAA to gasp it's last breath... (2)

Unoriginal_Nickname (1248894) | more than 2 years ago | (#39622171)

Market cap doesn't matter so much; it's just the sum market value of all of the outstanding public shares. It's a convenient heuristic but estimating the actual price is much more complicated.

For example, Sony owns controlling interests in Sony Pictures and Sony Music. Owning both of these businesses means they can control the direction of the industry, so their stake is much more valuable to Sony than the market value.

Market cap matters more when you're talking about a hostile takeover, because it can be used to directly estimate the amount of money you would need to spend. Hostile takeovers aren't normally possible, though. Corporations are allowed to issue classes of shares with different rights, and the publicly-traded class normally has fewer (or no) voting rights. Normally, if the company has a remotely competent board and CFO, a single person could buy every single public share and still not control the company.

Re:Time for the MPAA to gasp it's last breath... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39621907)

How long has Slashdot been saying this? 10 years? 15 years? It looks like maybe it's you that need to adapt or go to jail.

Re:Time for the MPAA to gasp it's last breath... (2)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 2 years ago | (#39623259)

So I may only choose between a prison for my body and a prison for my mind? Decisions, decisions...

Re:Time for the MPAA to gasp it's last breath... (5, Interesting)

NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) | more than 2 years ago | (#39622065)

Here's what the MPAA is really after:

Now the MPAA ... wrote, "... the ability of copyright holders to hold gateways ... liable for secondary infringement is crucial in preventing piracy."

Re:Time for the MPAA to gasp it's last breath... (4, Insightful)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 2 years ago | (#39622117)

Bingo. Money, money, money. If we can't rape the uploaders, we'll rape the gate keepers. Money, money, money.

Meanwhile, RIAA and the MPAA aren't giving a goddamned thing to the artists. Nothing. Not one settlement has ever netted an artist a single dollar. Raping the artists is so much FUN, but they get bored, and they want someone else to rape.

Re:Time for the MPAA to gasp it's last breath... (3, Funny)

Kefabi (178403) | more than 2 years ago | (#39622179)

Here's what the MPAA is really after:

Now the MPAA ... wrote, "... the ability of copyright holders to nuke from orbit is crucial in preventing piracy. 'It's the only way to be sure.'"

FTFY

Re:Time for the MPAA to gasp it's last breath... (3, Interesting)

jamstar7 (694492) | more than 2 years ago | (#39622445)

Primary infringement: Joe Schmuck buys a DVD and procedes to rip it down to his computer. It's a 'violation' of the DCMA because the video is 'encrypted' and needs something like libdvd2 to decrypt the 'key'. And there's the standard 'FBI Warning' notice on the DVD when you play it. Thus, *AA argues the content is 'licensed' not sold.

Secondary infringement: The company who sold Joe Schmuck his hard drive. Without that hard drive, Joe Schmuck wouldn't have anything to store his 'infringing' copy upon. Thus, argues the *AA, said company 'facilitated' the 'infringement'. Doesn't matter that they do not have physical access to the drive anymore, they 'facilitated'.

Tertiary infringement: The company who manufactured the hard drive. By manufacturing the hard drive, they have created a 'criminal tool', defined as any non-living object essential to and used in 'the commission of a crime'. By wholesaling the hard drive to the company who sold it to Joe Schmuck, they are now the 'tertiary infringers', even though they lost physical control of the drive.

We can take this tree of 'infringement' back at least 2 or 3 more generations, to the people who mined and refined the materials to build the hard drive, as well as the designers. How much stupidity are we looking for here?

Re:Time for the MPAA to gasp it's last breath... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39623825)

How much stupidity are we looking for here?

All of it. "Money. Money, money. I love money. I'd shovel it down my throat if I could."

Re:Time for the MPAA to gasp it's last breath... (1)

jamstar7 (694492) | more than 2 years ago | (#39624823)

JPod Episode 5, 'Crappy Birthday To You', IIRC...

Re:Time for the MPAA to gasp it's last breath... (0)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 2 years ago | (#39623377)

They are adapting, and are moving from a ( questionable ) content eco system to a litigation system..... and its working for them so far.

RIP MAFIAA (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39621873)

I look forward to the day subhuman's like Chris Dodd, and his pack of thugs are hunted down like the vermin they are.

I don't hate them for supporting their (dying) industry, I hate them for their lack of ethics.

Edit: Captcha is "Burglars".

Crucial... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39621877)

It just happens to be illegal, per the DMCA. The MPAA is no stranger to flaunting laws it helped to create whenever it fancies, though.

You mean infringers like China? Or IBM? (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 2 years ago | (#39621879)

Right now more than 4/5 of all software in China is copyrighted by someone else that wasn't paid for it.

Just ask IBM who goes along with this.

Copyright should only be 17 years, renewable only by the Person (not Corporation) that created it, during their lifetime and in the year of their death by their heirs.

Period.

Go back. Go back. Go back to where you once belonged, America.

P.S.: Business processes aren't copyrightable no matter how much you pretend they are.

Re:You mean infringers like China? Or IBM? (4, Insightful)

Githaron (2462596) | more than 2 years ago | (#39622021)

Copyright should only be 17 years, renewable only by the Person (not Corporation) that created it, during their lifetime and in the year of their death by their heirs.

Why does copyright need to renewable at all? If you can't make a profit off something in 17 years, you need to consider going into another business. Also, I would argue 10 years would be a more appropriate copyright length.

Re:You mean infringers like China? Or IBM? (3, Insightful)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 2 years ago | (#39622087)

Well, it used to be 13, so 10 years is a good negotiation point.

Regardless, only a Person who is a Human should be able to hold Copyright.

Re:You mean infringers like China? Or IBM? (1, Funny)

jamstar7 (694492) | more than 2 years ago | (#39622517)

Regardless, only a Person who is a Human should be able to hold Copyright.

Silly wabbit, corporations are more of a person than humans are. The law says so.

Re:You mean infringers like China? Or IBM? (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 2 years ago | (#39622883)

The law can be changed.

Re:You mean infringers like China? Or IBM? (1)

jamstar7 (694492) | more than 2 years ago | (#39623291)

Only if you have enough money to bribe^Fcontribute to your pet politicians' camaigns.

Re:You mean infringers like China? Or IBM? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39624567)

Regardless, only a Person who is a Human should be able to hold Copyright.

Silly wabbit, corporations are more of a person than humans are. The law says so.

If only humans could hold copyright, then companies would just make agreements with them to have power of attorney to do everything on their behalf related to the copyright and to collect any revenues from licensing it etc. It would all work out the same in the end.

Re:You mean infringers like China? Or IBM? (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 2 years ago | (#39624623)

Regardless, only a Person who is a Human should be able to hold Copyright.

Why!?

The point of copyright is to encourage creation of works. In the case of many works, particularly software, or movies, the body that is ultimately responsible for creating the work is a corporation. If we adopt your proposal, who should hold the copyright, and how will this encourage the creation of such works?

Re:You mean infringers like China? Or IBM? (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 2 years ago | (#39624879)

People create things.

Corporations profit off of it.

Corporations are not People, only Legal Fictions that predate the Constitution yet are NOT mentioned in it.

Re:You mean infringers like China? Or IBM? (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 2 years ago | (#39628179)

Corporations profit off of it.

Which is exactly why they're the ones we want to encourage. If they didn't profit from it they wouldn't fund them in the first place.

Corporations are not People, only Legal Fictions that predate the Constitution yet are NOT mentioned in it.

I don't see why this matters either. They're pretty useful legal fictions. It means that multiple people can pool their resources to produce one legal entity greatly simplifying contracts. I'd hate it if every contract was with an actual person. it would mean that if the owner of the power company wanted to retire, every single customer would have to sign a new contract with the new owner if the assets were transferred.

Re:You mean infringers like China? Or IBM? (1)

chrismcb (983081) | more than 2 years ago | (#39625829)

Regardless, only a Person who is a Human should be able to hold Copyright.

Why?
What problems will this solve?
Why must a copyright owner be human? Corporations can't innovate and create?

Re:You mean infringers like China? Or IBM? (2, Interesting)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 2 years ago | (#39622151)

I can see that some things should be renewable. I loathe Disney for advocating all these crazy laws that we have today. But - they do have something of a point with renewable copyrights. Mickey Mouse would have gone out of copyright well before I graduated high school. Probably before I graduated elementary school - he's been around that long. But, Mickey Mouse has been a money generator all these decades.

Let them have renewable copyrights. First renewal, hundreds of thousands of dollars. Second renewal, millions of dollars. Third renewal, tens of millions. Fourth renewal, hundreds of millions. Just keep upping the ante by an order of magnitude. If they want to pay, the government benefits. If they don't want to pay, the people benefit. At some stage, even Mickey Mouse will be retired. I don't think they would renew even Mickey for a billion dollars!

Re:You mean infringers like China? Or IBM? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39622695)

But, Mickey Mouse has been a money generator all these decades.

But copyright isn't just about letting copyright holders make money. It's about allowing them to have a temporary monopoly to increase the probability that they will make a decent amount of money off of their work so that society can benefit from their current and future work. Letting them sit on previous work isn't acceptable. The longer they restrict our culture, the less it can be said to be "our" culture.

Ten years max.

Re:You mean infringers like China? Or IBM? (1)

ExploHD (888637) | more than 2 years ago | (#39622697)

I don't think they would renew even Mickey for a billion dollars!

Considering Mickey is the face of Disney, they would. Last fiscal year they brought in 4.8 billion in net income (after taxes and expenses). The cost of renewal would be written off as a business expense, so it would be that much less that Disney would have to pay in taxes.

Re:You mean infringers like China? Or IBM? (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 2 years ago | (#39622835)

Nope. That's the thing, it isn't a "business expense". They actually have to PAY for the renewal, no tax deductions. For a billion dollars, they'd probably let Mickey slide into the public domain. They might not make any new Mickey stuff, but in the public domain, they could still USE Mickey, just as freely as you or me.

Re:You mean infringers like China? Or IBM? (1)

omnichad (1198475) | more than 2 years ago | (#39623375)

And even still nobody could use Mickey as their logo, as that's a trademark infringement.

Re:You mean infringers like China? Or IBM? (1)

similar_name (1164087) | more than 2 years ago | (#39622767)

they do have something of a point with renewable copyrights. Mickey Mouse would have gone out of copyright well before I graduated high school. Probably before I graduated elementary school - he's been around that long. But, Mickey Mouse has been a money generator all these decades.

I don't think the ability to be a money generator for a long period of time is a good point. After all just because a hammer can continue to generate money doesn't mean the person who invented it should hold the patent forever (I know we're talking about copyrights but I think it makes the same point).

Re:You mean infringers like China? Or IBM? (1)

Stray7Xi (698337) | more than 2 years ago | (#39623813)

They don't need copyright to protect the Mickey Mouse brand. All they need is trademark, which has no expiration (except by abandonment). Steamboat Willy is not a profit center for Disney.

Re:You mean infringers like China? Or IBM? (1)

Githaron (2462596) | more than 2 years ago | (#39626937)

I can see that some things should be renewable. I loathe Disney for advocating all these crazy laws that we have today. But - they do have something of a point with renewable copyrights. Mickey Mouse would have gone out of copyright well before I graduated high school. Probably before I graduated elementary school - he's been around that long. But, Mickey Mouse has been a money generator all these decades.

Let them have renewable copyrights. First renewal, hundreds of thousands of dollars. Second renewal, millions of dollars. Third renewal, tens of millions. Fourth renewal, hundreds of millions. Just keep upping the ante by an order of magnitude. If they want to pay, the government benefits. If they don't want to pay, the people benefit. At some stage, even Mickey Mouse will be retired. I don't think they would renew even Mickey for a billion dollars!

I think it would be better to just protect the characters separate from the copyright and make that renewable. That way, if they are planning on making new works, they don't have to worry about another company stepping on their toes and it keeps external entities from defacing the characters in a way that would make them unprofitable to use again. The actual works those characters are in would evenually be release to the public domain. By continually paying the renewal fee a company can perpetually protect their characters from being used in new works without their permission.

Re:You mean infringers like China? Or IBM? (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 2 years ago | (#39630433)

I like your idea. It actually gives corporations like Disney as much as, or more than, I wanted to give them. But, the people benefit even more. 50, 60, even 70 year old Mickey Mouse films basically can't be seen today, because it's mostly all buried in Disney's vaults. If the government decreed that after some reasonable number of years, it was all public domain, I'll bet a lot of that stuff would make it back into circulation.

I could be wrong - but I still like your idea.

Re:You mean infringers like China? Or IBM? (3, Interesting)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 2 years ago | (#39622273)

Asimov's Foundation was written in 1945, the last of the trilogy in 1952 (the year I was born). It was published by Gnome Press, a tiny publisher without the clout to properly market it, and it languished until the '60s with Asimov not earning a dime from it until Doubleday bought the publication rights from Gnome. It was a Hugo award winner and a big moneymaker after Doubldeday bought it.

That's why.

As to your "ten years", iirc I started on my Paxil Diaries book almost ten years ago. I still need to design its dust jacket. BTW It's on TPB, I put it there myself.

Seventeen years may seem like a lifetime to someone in college, but it really isn't that long a time at all. You'll find that out if you live long enough. I wouldn't want copyright, even after a renewal, to last any longer than 30 years, though.

Re:You mean infringers like China? Or IBM? (5, Informative)

hemo_jr (1122113) | more than 2 years ago | (#39623549)

Asimov's _Foundation_ stories started to be published in 1942 (they were not written in 1945). They were originally sold to Street & Smith which owned publication rights (and the works were published in _Astounding Science Fiction_). Asimov was paid for his work and apparently satisfied with payment (or he wouldn't have sold the stories -- hell he wrote the stories for Astounding which was the most lucrative and prestigious market for SF at the time ).

Asimov was paid for his work at least three times. He won the lottery. Most of us, no matter how creative we are at work, only get paid once. And, actually, Asimov would only have been paid once without the generosity of John W Campbell (editor of Astounding) who gave the rights back to the authors after first publication.

And as far as Gnome press goes, it was essentially a fan publishing house. It published Asimov's work in hardback, which was an enormous prestige thing of the day. Nor do I think that marketing was the issue that kept the work languishing, There was a fanzine that won a Hugo in 1961 called "Who Killed Science Fiction?" And it was a real question, because SF wasn't selling at the time and the market dwindled to a handful of magazines, a few paperbacks and hardbacks only surviving because of library sales (and most of those were juveniles). Asimov, himself, abandoned writing SF for around a dozen years and concentrated on the more immediately lucrative science popularization market .

Re:You mean infringers like China? Or IBM? (1)

LordLucless (582312) | more than 2 years ago | (#39625643)

As to your "ten years", iirc I started on my Paxil Diaries book almost ten years ago.

Who cares when you started it - when did you publish it? The current copyright countdown (such as it is) doesn't begin until the first publication.

It was published by Gnome Press, a tiny publisher without the clout to properly market it

So why should we be extending a government-enforced monopoly to support lousy publishers that can't market their books properly? As the parent poster said, if they can't make money off of it in 10 years, they should go out of business. And authors should be aware of the risks of giving their material to tiny publishers with no clout. Copyright shouldn't be used to protect authors from bad decisions.

BTW It's on TPB, I put it there myself.

Well, obviously you're not planning on making millions off it, if you're giving it away for free. No amount of copyright protection would be likely to increase that works' chances of profitability.

Re:You mean infringers like China? Or IBM? (1)

Githaron (2462596) | more than 2 years ago | (#39626973)

As to your "ten years", iirc I started on my Paxil Diaries book almost ten years ago. I still need to design its dust jacket.

Sorry. Let me clarify. I meant ten years from the day that it is released for public viewing/sale. I was not including the production time in the ten years.

Re:You mean infringers like China? Or IBM? (1)

Shagg (99693) | more than 2 years ago | (#39622525)

I've always thought the way we should look at it is the following:

1) How much profit does a work have to make in order for the average artist to be encouraged to create more art.
2) How long does it take the average successful work to make the amount of profit defined above.

That's how long copyright should be for, no more and no less.

The problem is that copyright no longer has anything to do with encouraging artists. These days it's all about corporate greed/control, and the people in a position to do something about it are motivated to serve those corporate interests above the public domain.

Re:You mean infringers like China? Or IBM? (1)

Stiletto (12066) | more than 2 years ago | (#39623901)

Or, more simply, copyright on a work could last until you realize $N of profit (or revenue, however you want to measure dollars) attributable to the work.

Re:You mean infringers like China? Or IBM? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39624621)

I've always thought the way we should look at it is the following:

1) How much profit does a work have to make in order for the average artist to be encouraged to create more art.
2) How long does it take the average successful work to make the amount of profit defined above.

That's how long copyright should be for, no more and no less.

The problem is that copyright no longer has anything to do with encouraging artists. These days it's all about corporate greed/control, and the people in a position to do something about it are motivated to serve those corporate interests above the public domain.

The average artist is willing to work for a negative amount of money. Consider how many people take up painting but spend more on the canvases and the paint than they will ever make selling their paintings.

Re:You mean infringers like China? Or IBM? (3, Insightful)

hemo_jr (1122113) | more than 2 years ago | (#39623001)

We are no longer living with 18th century production and distribution technology.Copyright and patent lengths were originally implemented when it could take months to distribute a work across a country and years to distribute it across the world. We also have tools that cut the time of artistic production e.g. books don't have to be written in longhand, presses no longer need to be set and cranked by hand, Now with modern tools, artistic production is quicker, and distribution is virtually instantaneous. The extension of copyright past the original duration makes no sense from this perspective.

Further, the original justification for copyright - that it promotes innovation in science and the arts is not served by extending copyright length. The fact is that extended copyright length impedes creativity by limiting what we can be creative about.

Three Strikes (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39621903)

I think the appropriate action is to kick a user after three verified copyright violations. Also, the site should kick a copyright holder after three verified false copyright claims.

Cause what's good for the goose is good for the gander.

Ban the MPAA (1)

mSparks43 (757109) | more than 2 years ago | (#39621909)

Can we just kick the MPAA et al off our internet and be done with it. Who invited them anyway.

The big IF (4, Insightful)

rtkluttz (244325) | more than 2 years ago | (#39621923)

IF the copyright holders could guarantee that "fair use" would not be trampled, I would agree with them on the secondary infringement. But in the real world where most anonymous users use copyrighted works as background music for their kids birthday party and it STILL gets taken down, then no one should be REQUIRED to take anything down until it is proven that real infringement has actually taken place. There needs to be real oversight to copyright infringement claims.

Re:The big IF (2)

jamstar7 (694492) | more than 2 years ago | (#39622599)

Except that *AA considers 'fair use' to be only 'fair use' of your wallet. Anything that doesn't put money in their pockets is 'infringement'.

DCMA (3, Insightful)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 2 years ago | (#39621927)

Seems pretty simple. The DCMA has a clause in it regarding repeat offenders. Nothing new, it's always been there. Hosts have to do something to block repeat offenders or they lose safe harbor. Google knows about it too - they booted a bunch of music blogs for this very reason.

The problem is how the heck are they going to do that? The vernacular of the web is such that people can just establish a new account if the one they have is blocked.

It's just one of the many problems with the DCMA - a law that seemingly is quite outdated and needs a lot of rethinking.

Re:DCMA (1)

am 2k (217885) | more than 2 years ago | (#39622095)

It's just one of the many problems with the DCMA - a law that seemingly is quite outdated and needs a lot of rethinking.

They did that, and the "solution" is SOPA. Pray that the government doesn't implement that thought (you can't do anything else about it anyways).

Re:DCMA (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 2 years ago | (#39623371)

Not sure what you mean by not being able to do anything about it. SOPA hasn't been passed yet, and I think if we put the cynicism aside and continue to respond in a fashion that must seem quite surprising to the Congress the message will take hold.

Re:DCMA (1)

future assassin (639396) | more than 2 years ago | (#39622097)

Accused by copyright holders or convicted in court of law repeat offender?

Re:DCMA (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39622103)

Yes, repeat offenders - not repeat suspects. Simply having a DMCA notice issued against you does not make you an offender, you actually have to have to be charged and found guilty by a court.
 

advice on suicide methods please? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39621977)

I don't like the way the world is going.

Re:advice on suicide methods please? (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 2 years ago | (#39623423)

Don't be so selfish. At least make it a murder suicide and take a few music execs with you.

Legal Landscape (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39622015)

I say we nuke it from orbit. Only way to be sure.

Hyperlinks?! (1)

_8553454222834292266 (2576047) | more than 2 years ago | (#39622081)

Can we end this madness where a hyperlink is now infringement even if you're not hosting the content?

Only ONE strategy works against piracy (2)

dryriver (1010635) | more than 2 years ago | (#39622159)

99% of piracy is caused by a failure to A) produce high quality content that "sattisfies" in the first place B) identify the correct "asking price" for the content and C) distribute it in a way that your target audience actually wants it to be distributed. You may think that your latest 200+ million dollar "John Carter Screws some Four-Armed Martians" is worth "at least" 12 - 15 Dollars per person viewing. The very people who would watch such CG- and action-heavy teenboy-fantasy-dreck in the first place, however, may value watching that film at only 10 Dollars, or 7 Dollars, or perhaps even 3 Dollars and 50 Cents. A Typical Situation Develops: A) your content quality doesn't sattisfy the viewer B) its priced at 2x or 3x what your typical viewer wants to pay for it C) the only way to watch the blody movie is a 4 hour trip to the cinema, or a 2 - 3 month wait for it to hit DVD/BluRay. The whole "product chain" is set up wrong. You can't produce something that sattisfies (= incompetence), you overcharge for it (= also incompetence), and there is no option to watch it from home for a few bucks when it come out (= also incompetence). Remember your basic MBA training, Hollywood "moveeemaking" folks: The Right Product, released at the Right Time, aimed at the Right Audience, at the Right Price, paired with High Product Quality, and distributed/delivered to the customer in the Right Way. You fail to follow this basic "Product Success Advice" at EACH AND EVERY STEP, then wonder why people are sitting at home, downloading your movie for free from Internet Torrents instead. Then you fail to LEARN from your business model's innate problems (the worst of which, currently, is poor quality films couple with overpricing and a dated distribution model), and then try to make the NEGATIVE RESULTS you yourself have engineered, by sending lawyers and law enforcement folks to clobber downloaders flat. This is a piss poor business model, and the only reason that it doesn't roll over and die completely (people walking away to consume a substitute-product) is that A) CG-effects and B) A-list actors are, at this point in time, far too expensive for the Europeans and Asians and others to put much of either in their films. That picture will look different in a decade or so, when high quality CG effects will cost perhaps 1/5th or even 1/10th of what they cost today, and American A-list actors make a habit out of working with talented European or Asian "Auteur" filmmakers again (like used to be the case with the old French "New Wave" and Italian "CinneCitta" films).

Re:Only ONE strategy works against piracy (1)

lgw (121541) | more than 2 years ago | (#39622651)

99% of piracy is caused by a failure to A) produce high quality content that "sattisfies" in the first place

This continues to be the worst argumet for piracy regularly trotted out on /.. "I stole it because I didn't like it"? Really? The other arguments "cheap stuff sells more copies" and "make it easier to buy than steal" make real sense, but not that first one.

(Cue queues of complainers about using "steal" to mean "taking without paying" as if the word meant something different than that.)

Re:Only ONE strategy works against piracy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39624547)

"I stole it because I didn't like it"? Really? The other arguments "cheap stuff sells more copies" and "make it easier to buy than steal" make real sense, but not that first one.

Pirating can cause it to become more likeable. An example of failing to satisfy would be failing to sell the product in a usable form, e.g. without DRM, in a standard and interoperable format. mplayer, mythtv, and assorted media player boxes can handle the files you get from pirates excellently, but those files are not available (at any price) from the copyright holders. You either have to completely abstain since it's not for sale (they won't take your money), or you have to buy the DRMed media and try to rip it (which is a violation of law as well as not entirely reliable; you might break the law and still not end up with the file you want), or pirate it.

I understand people who say the first choice (which is the only legal one) is the best way to go. But since they won't take your money anyway, there's no harm (except for the personal risk to you) in just pirating it. If the question of paying is off the table because the product isn't for sale, then all the arguments about the commercial reasons for copyright and its incentives, are irrelevant.

This is one of the reasons people think the word "stealing" in this context is so bizarre. If you "take without paying" something that both isn't for sale and also doesn't deprive the owner of the original, every aspect of the essense of "stealing" is inapplicable. From their point of view, it is identical to abstaining; they merely failed to make a sale, because they chose to tell customers they would prefer to not make the transaction.

Re:Only ONE strategy works against piracy (1)

chrismcb (983081) | more than 2 years ago | (#39625989)

. An example of failing to satisfy would be failing to sell the product in a usable form, e.g. without DRM

You do realize that 99% of the population doesn't care about DRM. They just want their product for free. Shoot most people don't even know what DRM is.
It may be true that many slashdotters and other techies pirate to circumvent DRM, that doesn't most of the population does.
it is hard to argue with FREE.
Not to mention that we have DRM because of piracy. We don't have piracy because of DRM.

Re:Only ONE strategy works against piracy (1)

s.petry (762400) | more than 2 years ago | (#39625591)

I believe the point is more that there is really only 1 option for many people.

In this day of technology, and being connected, it's very sad that the only option for months is to spend $25.00 per person and 3-4 hours on average to see a movie.

Here comes the "nuh uh, it's not 3-4 hours", so I'll stop you ahead of time.

Arrive at the movie at advertised time, you can't get in because the lines are to long or the tickets are sold out. Get there 1/2 hour early, wait in line.. finally get tickets and go in to theater. 30 minutes of advertising and previews later, the movie starts. Movies generally run 2 hours. That's 3 hours of my day.

That does not include drive time, so easily tack on another hour.

Look, everyone else gets it. I can get a 5 course meal delivered to my door if I wanted, or send an email to Olive Garden for take out. A movie company can not give anyone even a lower quality viewing of a movie at a cost "On Demand?" Wholly shit, the service is already designed. All they have to do is say "yeah, okay you can do it" and charge me 10 bucks.

Now, why won't they do that? Simple: They currently force me and my family to spend 25 bucks a person to visit their theater if I really want to see something. They leach off that for as long as they can. Depending on how long they can leach top dollar for, the DVD sits and waits. They get 30 minutes of free advertising as you sit and wait for the start time.

So don't have 4 hours of time and 100 bucks for a family of 4? Good, go F yourself! You are not good enough to watch our movie. We don't care!"

This is why so many people hate the MPAA and RAA. This is also why in a shit economy many people don't have a choice but to borrow a DVD or download a torrent to see a movie. They are not making it any better, because they don't care about anything but the $$.

Re:Only ONE strategy works against piracy (1)

lgw (121541) | more than 2 years ago | (#39625835)

Most of that falls under "make it easier to buy than to steal" though. That's a fine argument. Though of course the studios will want to offer it expensively for a little while before offering cheaply, as has become the norm for games. The studios just need to adjust to the reailty of "internet time". Trying to make people wait more than 4-6 weeks for a "ordinary price" download will fail, as will trying to hold out for years before moving to a discount price.

What doesn't work is "I stole it because the plot sucked" - if the movie/game is crap, that's an argument for ignoring it, not copying it. I know too many people who just obsessively collect crap the don't want ot need - even in the digital world, hoarding is an illness.

Re:Only ONE strategy works against piracy (1)

chrismcb (983081) | more than 2 years ago | (#39625949)

99% of piracy is caused by a failure to A) produce high quality content that "sattisfies" in the first place B) identify the correct "asking price" for the content and C) distribute it in a way that your target audience actually wants it to be distributed.

A) It is apparently high enough quality, because people want it B) The "correct" asking price for most people who pirate, is ZERO. Can't make a lot of money from that C)MOST content IS distributed in such a way. That still doesn't stop people from pirating, cause see B

Obligatory car analogy... (1)

SeNtM (965176) | more than 2 years ago | (#39622177)

I was in a car collision a few years back. Does this mean that I can sue Ford for manufacturing the car that hit me?

Re:Obligatory car analogy... (1)

Endo13 (1000782) | more than 2 years ago | (#39623219)

Of course you can. You probably won't win though.

Judge "fixing" bad laws at court?? (3, Interesting)

ace37 (2302468) | more than 2 years ago | (#39622279)

So let me get this straight, the judge sees that the DCMA doesn't fix this grievance, so he decides to add a fundamentally new requirement to the law and enforce it?

The judge is right to point out the DCMA doesn't address the (perhaps legitimate) grievances brought to the court. That's exactly why the website should have won the case with no strings attached--from the sound of it, they comply with the requirements of the law. A judge has no more authority to 'fix' bad legislation than I do.

The prosecuting party should be trying to push congress to action, not judges. I hope the SCOTUS picks it up and throws the case out to make the point.

Re:Judge "fixing" bad laws at court?? (1)

antdude (79039) | more than 2 years ago | (#39622765)

Defense Contract Management Agency -- http://www.dcma.mil/ [dcma.mil] ? :P

Re:Judge "fixing" bad laws at court?? (1)

ace37 (2302468) | more than 2 years ago | (#39625765)

Lol you can tell what line of work I'm in! Yep, DMCA, ty.

Re:Judge "fixing" bad laws at court?? (1)

antdude (79039) | more than 2 years ago | (#39625793)

Np. ;)

movie industry failing business model is theirs (2)

Dan667 (564390) | more than 2 years ago | (#39622355)

If the mpaa wants to be a horse and buggy maker in a car world instead of offering what people want in a digital world with steep discount to reflect the internet ease of reaching people and the almost no distribution costs then they should continue to have to chase these "infringers" themselves. It is not a government problem.

Re:movie industry failing business model is theirs (3, Interesting)

dryriver (1010635) | more than 2 years ago | (#39622443)

While I agree with your first sentence, copyright infringers being dragged into court and asked to cough up xxxxx thousand dollars per infringment IS a government problem, because such high fines are, technically speaking, a "human rights violation". Believe it or not, receiving a disproportionately tough/hard/long sentence over only a "small infringement" is a human rights violation. And human rights law is, since 1974, "Internation Law". So if the government doesn't protect you from getting a f____ed up, expensive, hard-core sentence for downloading a film or two, then that government has failed to honour its responsibilities vis-a-vis International Law.

Re:movie industry failing business model is theirs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39622591)

No, they want to maintain their price controls.

They make cds for 20-30 cents a pop. Rip off the artist and make them pay for everything (never recouping). Then sell them at an enormous margin of 10-20 dollars per unit.

Making and distributing CDs/DVDs is a small fraction of the actual cost of their net cost. The rest is margin.

They want to continue to sell you albums for 18 a pop and not have to be assed to give you a CD for their effort.

Digital != cheaper to them.

You should be wanting them to stay in the physical world. If they can achieve digital with DRM. You will not own your stuff. They go out of business you loose your stuff. They can lock you out of your stuff. They can at will change your stuff. They can perfectly price discriminate (meaning they can charge different people different amounts). If you think them coming into the digital world is a good thing. Think again.

Look at the ultraviolet DRM scheme they came up with. Then think 'we can monetize more eyeballs by putting more commercials in'. So not only did you pay for it. Now you are paying them to sell to you. Dont think it wouldnt happen? Happened with cable and see how well that worked out for the rest of us...

They want to undo the consumer owns the media. They will do anything for that.

what about offering 2-3 weak old movies on VOD? (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 2 years ago | (#39623125)

what about offering 2-3 weak old movies on VOD? for like $7-$10 for a 48 hour rent?

Re:what about offering 2-3 weak old movies on VOD? (1)

Dan667 (564390) | more than 2 years ago | (#39623465)

IMHO, video on demand is for people who have trouble figuring out what the internet is.

talking about pay VOD and PPV good price + easy = (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 2 years ago | (#39624563)

talking about pay VOD and PPV good price + easy = more people willing to buy vs downloading for free.

Re:what about offering 2-3 weak old movies on VOD? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39625023)

You usually have the cinemas fighting that.

What is the current Windows Solution? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39623073)

Peerblock on my download machine, what ever happened to this space? Used to have BLM, Protowall, a few different projects, now all I see is Peerblock which could use some love.

Problem is obvious (1)

Endo13 (1000782) | more than 2 years ago | (#39623205)

crucial in preventing piracy

You don't prevent piracy. There's no law supporting that position at all. Copyright law is to punish people after the fact and provide monetary compensation for damages done.

The reason for this should be obvious: you CAN'T prevent piracy.

Piracy is not the problem. Their mentality about how to deal with it is the problem.

Re:Problem is obvious (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 2 years ago | (#39623775)

It's a mentality problem on both sides of the fence.

On the customer side, the mentality is one where copying is not "felt" as a crime. And I'm not talking about teenagers, go to your dad and ask him if he thinks that copying a record to tape is wrong. I somehow expect him to look at you with a bewildered look on his face and ask you whether you cracked the lock on the liquor cabinet again.

Copying is part of our history and heritage. For the longest time, "learning" meant "copy your master". It was pretty much how information was passed on in a trade. Even and especially in every art form there is. From the cathedrals to classic music, from paintings to stage play, show me one, just one, great architect, artist or performer of the classical age that didn't copy from a former master, honed his skill and built on it. Would we have the works of Shakespeare today if he couldn't draw his ideas from earlier plays? Romeo and Juliet is a very old tale. Certainly brought into a very appealing form by the master, but nonetheless a "stolen" idea.

On the creator side, the mentality problem is that they are attacking the wrong target. Their actions hit the paying customers more than those that don't pay. FBI warnings, unskipable trailers, idiotic menus... do you have to endure them in a cracked movie? From a customer's point of view, the copy is more valuable than the original. And that's a cardinal sin in any business. You MUST NOT devalue your own product. Especially not if your competition is selling at a lower price (i.e. for zero). You can NOT sell a product of lower quality at higher price, at least not to the same crowd that would buy with you anyway.

Mentality has to change. On both sides. We have to accept that what has value to us has a price and that price we have to pay. What is good enough to consume is good enough to pay for. And I guess there will not be many here that think this is up for debate.

But also the makers have to accept that we, their customers, are their customers and partners, not their enemies. We both want that this CD, this DVD, this download sells. I want to use it, you want my money. But I will refuse to pay (and hence simply forgo the chance to use the content) if the terms are not acceptable to me. It is not acceptable to me that I have to slip the DVD in every time I want to watch a movie. I want to watch it from my server. It is not acceptable to me to be forced to endure 20 minutes of trailers before I may watch the movie I paid for. If I wanted that experience, I'd watch it in a movie theater. It is not acceptable to me to infect my computer with half baked, buggy device drivers that cause instabilities and lower my security just to play a game.

If you want to increase sales, it's actually very simple: Give people what they want. The sole reason I have not bought a single DVD in the last 5 years (and hence did not watch any new movies at home) is simply that I cannot get what I want. It's not the price. It's not even dull, see-through scripts that get boring 5 minutes into the film with the FX only serving as the wake up call so I don't forget when to go take a piss. It's simply that I cannot watch the movie from my server.

Yes, I'm vain like that. I got a DLNA-certified TV and dammit, I want to use it.

Likewise, give me games that I can install without compromising my system in the process. There are so many fine games that I would really want, but I simply cannot accept that you want to dig deeper into my system than even the worst antivirus suite out there. I can accept that for the sake of security, but not for something as trivial as a game.

Death (0)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 2 years ago | (#39623353)

That is the only thing these bastards will be happy with..

Until they find out that everyone is gone and they wont have an income, even by stealing it from us via redirection of taxes.

frost pGist (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39623501)

I don't see how they can. (1)

JoelKatz (46478) | more than 2 years ago | (#39623843)

There's no practical way they can stop repeat infringers. It's not content that's infringing, it's use. With what automated method can you determine that two uses are the same for infringement purposes? For example, a person could upload the same video file twice to Megaupload, once to view it and once to use as a decryption key for a file he previously encrypted with that video file as the one-time pad. One use is legal, the other is illegal. How does Megaupload know which is which?

You need a DMCA notice because that certifies that someone has determined that the *use* is infringing, not just the content.

Who do the cable companies will pay $200 a month? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39623877)

People downloading or the MPAA & RIAA?

If people can't use it, they won't pay for it and the cable companies will quickly go broke since they are all heavily leveraged.

Copyright abuse (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39623957)

It seems that a new business had emerged that uses the new copyright hell to their advantage.
I had a few videos on YouTube with video I had shot myself and audio from iMovie, which I am allowed to use.
I got a message that I was using copyrighted material and my videos now will have an ad attached to them.

The way they work their scheme are that they create similar music that triggers the scanning algorithm so they can get their ads on all footage edited with popular editing software that has sound libraries that people are free to use. Clever.

So I guess YouTube get a lot of extra work from that and the scammers get a lot of free ad space.

Say what? (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | more than 2 years ago | (#39626231)

I guess some people [washingtonpost.com] are more worthy of protection against this sort of thing than others. The internet needs its own version of the NRA

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