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New Content-Delivery Tech Should Be Presumed Illegal, Says Former Copyright Boss

Soulskill posted about 2 years ago | from the opting-out-of-common-sense dept.

Crime 379

TrueSatan writes "Reminiscent of buggy whip manufacturers taking legal action against auto makers, the former U.S. Register of Copyrights, Ralph Oman, has given an amicus brief in the Aereo case (PDF) stating that all new content-delivery technology should be presumed illegal unless and until it is approved by Congress. He adds that providers of new technology should be forced to apply to Congress to prove they don't upset existing business models."

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Congress (5, Insightful)

roman_mir (125474) | about 2 years ago | (#41502195)

Congress has no Constitutional authority to authorise or not authorise technology for its use.

Re:Congress (5, Interesting)

tepples (727027) | about 2 years ago | (#41502253)

How does Congress lack this authority? Congress has already banned particular technologies in the purported interest "to promote the progress of science and useful arts".

Re:Congress (5, Insightful)

Voogru (2503382) | about 2 years ago | (#41502305)

That's called breaking the law.

The Congress also passed bills that allow the government to kill people with no due process of law, doesn't mean it has the authority to do it.

Constitutional challenge to the DMCA (0)

tepples (727027) | about 2 years ago | (#41502477)

That's called breaking the law.

If so, could you give an outline of how someone might challenge the constitutionality of the device provisions of Title 17, United States Code, section 1201?

Re:Congress (1)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | about 2 years ago | (#41502493)

"That's called breaking the law."

So when Albert Hoffman [wikipedia.org] used technology to synthesize a little substance called LSD [wikipedia.org] and they subsequently made the use of that technological breakthrough to manufacture it illegal, they were actually breaking the law?

Re:Congress (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41502515)

Yes. The drug war is evil.

Re:Congress (1)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | about 2 years ago | (#41502671)

"Yes. The drug war is evil."

Wrong on the first part; agreed on the second. The fact that the drug war is evil, stupid, in my opinion unconstitutional, and clearly a war against personal freedoms, in no way, shape, or form means that the supreme court has ruled that it is illegal.

Re:Congress (2)

shaitand (626655) | about 2 years ago | (#41502537)

Having the authority to do something is defined by being able to do it, not by existing laws. It is the Constitution that lacks the authority to hinder congress.

It all started with the courts discovering they had the authority to take the people's power of direct representation via juries away. That meant the people no longer had veto authority on laws on a case by case basis. At that point congress was the only check on the judicial in their appointment blocking capacity. Congress then made funding conditional upon their oversight and renewable. A little bug not seen by the forefathers that pretty much eliminated all power held by the executive branch. The president is supposed to head the executive but instead all executive agencies answer to congressional oversight committees. The president can't even hire people in his branch without congressional approval. That only leaves the president veto authority and congress is given the ability to override that as well.

So who is left to check congress if they decide they have the authority to violate the Constitution?

Re:Congress (1)

fast turtle (1118037) | about 2 years ago | (#41502611)

It is not the job of the U.S. Constituion to restrict the acts of congress but the People and until the People decide that Congress and the government have overstepped the Limits established by The People, nothing that congress does is ilegal even if it's against the Constitution.

Re:Congress (1)

roman_mir (125474) | about 2 years ago | (#41502767)

No, it is Congress that is supposed to be bound by the law as described in the Constitution. The authority that Congress does have is specified in article 1 section 8.

Re:Congress (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41502397)

How does banning technology promote progress? We already knew that Congress was a bunch of hypocrites, but now we know you are one, too.

Re:Congress (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 2 years ago | (#41502415)

Because of the founding legal precept that all that is not explicitly disallowed is allowed. It is a foundational notion of the clComnon Law and indeed of liberty.

Contributory infringement (2, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | about 2 years ago | (#41502485)

As far as I can tell, contributorily infringing a copyright is either explicitly disallowed or so entrenched in case law that it might as well be.

Re:Congress (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41502571)

How does Congress lack this authority? Congress has already banned particular technologies in the purported interest "to promote the progress of science and useful arts".

Sigh. Yes, exactly. The scary innovation during our founding father's time was the printing press. It upset the apple cart and those in power tried to suppress it. That's why they added the first amendment. Radio, TV, the VCR, MP3, and now the Internet have all cause similar problems. Luckily the first amendment has largely won. Still, it frustrates me to no end to see both political parties claiming human rights and protecting the bill of rights, then there actions show they believe "Article I, Section 8, Clause 8" is more important than the first amendment.

Re:Congress (5, Insightful)

Joce640k (829181) | about 2 years ago | (#41502311)

"There has grown in the minds of certain groups in this country the idea
that just because a man or corporation has made a profit out of the
public for a number of years, the government and the courts are charged
with guaranteeing such a profit in the future, even in the face of changing
circumstances and contrary to public interest. This strange doctrine is
supported by neither statute or common law. Neither corporations or
individuals have the right to come into court and ask that the clock
of history be stopped, or turned back."

- Heinlein, Life Line, 1939

Re:Congress (5, Informative)

Type44Q (1233630) | about 2 years ago | (#41502547)

"Accordingly, it is a fact, as far as I am informed, that England was, until we copied her, the only country on earth which ever, by a general law, gave a legal right to the exclusive use of an idea. In some other countries it is sometimes done, in a great case, and by a special and personal act, but, generally speaking, other nations have thought that these monopolies produce more embarrassment than advantage to society; and it may be observed that the nations which refuse monopolies of invention, are as fruitful as England in new and useful devices."

- Thomas Jefferson

Re:Congress (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41502819)

Except for the fact that those 'other nations' were not so fruitful.

Re:Congress (3, Insightful)

amiga3D (567632) | about 2 years ago | (#41502581)

If these guys had their way we'd still have all music on Vinyl LP's and Movies could only be viewed in a theater or on broadcast television.

You forgot the IANAL (1)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | about 2 years ago | (#41502451)

You might have heard of something called interstate commerce [wikipedia.org] ? Take the word technology out of the equation because it is a red herring. Or, to reframe it another way to help your mind grasp it if you find that objectionable, hold in mind the reality that the railroad was nothing less than bleeding edge technology at the time it was enacted. If they don't have the ability to regulate interstate commerce, nobody has told them in the last 130+ years.

Re:You forgot the IANAL (2)

Skarecrow77 (1714214) | about 2 years ago | (#41502583)

I'm pretty sure that putting limits on the interstate commerce clause is exactly what Chief Justice did [washingtonpost.com] in the recent affordable care act case.

read up on it. in the furor over "omg he betrayed conservatives everywhere he's a villain! lynch him!" hysteria, the true legacy of his phrasing of the majority decision was pretty much overlooked.

Re:You forgot the IANAL (1)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | about 2 years ago | (#41502687)

Well then you need to read this again: "Basically, the court ruled that Congress can regulate existing interstate commercial activity, but it can’t directly force people to enter into a market" - [emphasis added]

Re:You forgot the IANAL (1)

Skarecrow77 (1714214) | about 2 years ago | (#41502797)

yes.
that's a limitation on the clause.
which is exactly what I said.
look, it's not exactly rocket science here.

Re:You forgot the IANAL (1)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | about 2 years ago | (#41502851)

Then why can't you understand it?

Re:You forgot the IANAL (1)

roman_mir (125474) | about 2 years ago | (#41502823)

Yes, and what does the story say? Does it say: commerce should be illegal in case it uses new content-delivery tech, or does it say: new content-delivery tech should be presumed illegal?

Commerce didn't even enter the equation here yet and you are already talking about it. Maybe you should rethink that.

Re:You forgot the IANAL (0)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | about 2 years ago | (#41502871)

I couldn't help but notice that you post at zero. That is probably because you don't read what is written as well as the reply and then think about it before you post.

Re:Congress (3, Insightful)

J'raxis (248192) | about 2 years ago | (#41502625)

Congress has no Constitutional authority to...

As if that stops them from doing anything they want.

Re:Congress (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 2 years ago | (#41502679)

Congress has no Constitutional authority...

It doesn't matter. We gave it to them anyway. Like taking candy from a baby [wikipedia.org]

Re:Congress (2)

Shoten (260439) | about 2 years ago | (#41502857)

Congress has no Constitutional authority to authorise or not authorise technology for its use.

Whip up a batch of ricin or sarin at home, then tell Congress you did it. Let me know what prison you end up in so I can come by to verify that you still believe this.

I don't even (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41502199)

know how to respond to this.

Re:I don't even (4, Insightful)

snsh (968808) | about 2 years ago | (#41502235)

I think the appropriate response is "He appears to have the mindset that the world can owe you a living."

Re:I don't even (3, Interesting)

amiga3D (567632) | about 2 years ago | (#41502607)

It's a commonly held opinion by a lot of people. They feel they have a right to other people's money. I can kind of understand the poor ramming their hands in my pockets but these rich fuckers are too much.

Re:I don't even (5, Insightful)

Adriax (746043) | about 2 years ago | (#41502281)

Pray the judge understands that type of setup wouldn't chill online innovation, it would stop it completely with no hope ever.
You couldn't even start to create anything new, because you would be committing a crime by researching how to create an illegal thing. Like someone trying to research new methods to produce meth in their garage...

Dear lord, this guy is so completely off his rocker it's no wonder the US is as fucked up as it is.

Re:I don't even (3, Insightful)

SuperTechnoNerd (964528) | about 2 years ago | (#41502495)

That would make the music and record industries very happy. And that is a part of their grand plan. To stop this dam tech shit that's eating into their profits and taking their control.

Re:I don't even (3, Funny)

NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) | about 2 years ago | (#41502325)

Governor Le Petomane: We have to protect our phoney baloney jobs here, gentlemen!
We must do something about this immediately!
Immediately! Immediately!
Harrumph! Harrumph! Harrumph!
Group: Harrumph! Harrumph! Harrumph!
Le Petomane: Hey! I didn't get a Harrumph outta that guy!
Hedy (That's Hedly) Lamar: Give the governor a harrumph!

Luddism fallacy - time to remove copyrights (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41502227)

A perfect example of how these fools have overstayed their welcome, and ought to be shown the door before too long. The fact of the matter is that new technology frees up labor for more productive uses, while the level of productivity stays the same. I personally believe that we need to remove copyrights as a fact of law, but at the same time start to move to a market socialism, so society can help amortize the costs for the vast benefit that it is provided by creative works.

Re:Luddism fallacy - time to remove copyrights (1)

starworks5 (139327) | about 2 years ago | (#41502267)

market socialism would also remove the unemployment incumbency, when disruptive technology affects specific areas of economic activity, by being able to reallocate workers and effort to new markets. Because lets face it the technological singularity is near, and how would capitalism work when vast amounts of work becomes automated, and the labor force which purchases products is largely unemployed.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Technological_unemployment#New-market_engineering

Re:Luddism fallacy - time to remove copyrights (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41502341)

Turning his opinion on it's head, more reasonable is that one shouldn't be allowed to copyright or patent a work in a new technology without approval by congress. Certainly that makes more sense because the creative effort changes, and the reasonable period under which the work is protected should vary as well. A flash based push marketing advertizement on Slashdot, has the same protection as the move Star Wars, has the same protection as someones Novel. Does that really make sense?

No.

lol (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41502229)

That is all.

Sounds like something from Atlas Shrugged. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41502233)

Naturally, the new thing is unfair to whatever the old thing was.... Consumers should suffer, not the businesses which fail to adapt.

Re:Sounds like something from Atlas Shrugged. (1)

starworks5 (139327) | about 2 years ago | (#41502279)

I think you mean workers that fail to adapt, as the technological changes occur too quickly, and causes a vicious boom/bust cycle of "general glut" in the economy.

Re:Sounds like something from Atlas Shrugged. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41502769)

Watch out, you're coming close to a verboten topic on /. Ann Rand, the liberal elites don't like people pointing out that she had good ideas.

ummmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41502239)

paid shill much?

Innovation we are against it! (4, Insightful)

Dyinobal (1427207) | about 2 years ago | (#41502245)

Makes me think of Scribes guild destroying printing presses and making them illegal. Who needs better technology when the stuff we have right now is making us so much money?

\

The inherit short sightedness of a profit driven society is frightening to behold. Over the last dozen years so I understand why so many people believed in the communist society that the original USSR and other such countries had intended. Sadly those don't work nearly as well either.

I think we need to either move towards a socialistic society, or admit that we suck at self government and hurry up and invent AIs that can be our benevolent over lords. Assuming we can keep from programming human faults into them. Which is doubtful.

Re:Innovation we are against it! (4, Insightful)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 2 years ago | (#41502855)

"The inherit short sightedness of a profit driven society is frightening to behold. Over the last dozen years so I understand why so many people believed in the communist society that the original USSR and other such countries had intended. Sadly those don't work nearly as well either."

It has nothing to do with being profit-driven. It has to do with being greed-driven. Contrary to the belief of many, they're not the same things. A free market depends on mutual, voluntary trade. When people try to base it on greed instead, it ceases to work properly.

One of the plaintiffs is PBS. (5, Informative)

webbiedave (1631473) | about 2 years ago | (#41502257)

They sure as hell won't be getting a donation from me this year.

Yup, that'll help the economy (1)

PhrostyMcByte (589271) | about 2 years ago | (#41502263)

Don't just stifle innovation, but make it outright illegal.

I can see the new /. article now: Linus Begrudgingly Admits Romney Isn't Biggest Idiot After All.

no new dance steps.... (5, Interesting)

Roskolnikov (68772) | about 2 years ago | (#41502265)

Wow, to preserve current business models all new thoughts should be reviewed..... yep, clearly representing the people,er, businesses on this one, innovative ideas need not apply, I try not to fan boi this much but imagine if iTunes online music sales had to clear congress first? I imagine those that lobby would have had a lot of fun with that one, clearing congress is a lot harder than convincing one label to sell online, this doesn't protect anyone other than those currently milking the masses..... Please, show this man the door, he has clearly lost his way.

Re:no new dance steps.... (2)

Z34107 (925136) | about 2 years ago | (#41502453)

It's insane, but not unprecedented. A quote [techdirt.com] from the Copyright Act, in the context of how the copyright royalty board should set rates:

To minimize any disruptive impact on the structure of the industries involved and on generally prevailing industry practices.

Re:no new dance steps.... (2)

TubeSteak (669689) | about 2 years ago | (#41502455)

"There has grown up in the minds of certain groups in this country the notion that because a man or corporation has made a profit out of the public for a number of years, the government and the courts are charged with the duty of guaranteeing such profit in the future, even in the face of changing circumstances and contrary to the public interest. This strange doctrine is not supported by statute nor common law. Neither individuals nor corporations have any right to come into court and ask that the clock of history be stopped, or turned back."
Life-Line by Robert A. Heinlein, 1939

Except... (2)

SDcard (2498974) | about 2 years ago | (#41502269)

...if we went by what this guy said, we should have sued Tim Berners-Lee for inventing the internet, or Bill Gates, Woz or Steve Jobs for home computing....because they certainly upset existing business models! Except that's called progress....

History repeats itself (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41502271)

"Red flag locomotive act 1865" all over again?

Forbid all innovation! (1)

gweihir (88907) | about 2 years ago | (#41502283)

Some money-grubbing conservatives may get scared otherwise. Some ancient money-making schemes may stop to work. That is completely unacceptable. I strongly suggest we all move back into caves.

Re:Forbid all innovation! (1)

yacc143 (975862) | about 2 years ago | (#41502749)

Cool idea, that would put the US on the way to a planned economy (see USSR), a decade or two, and the USA is history.

What an idiot (4, Insightful)

msobkow (48369) | about 2 years ago | (#41502289)

So if you have a new and potentially disruptive technology, you shouldn't be allowed to go into business because you'll hurt the existing providers?

Tough shit! That's something called "progress" and "innovation."

Suck it up, cupcake -- you're a dinosaur!

Turn of the 20th Centry Auto Legislation... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41502295)

...in New Hampshire, I believe, required operators of auto-mobiles to stop and fire off a rocket every 15 minutes, so folk on sane modes of transportation would have some warning.

Yeah, it's annoying. But just the same as before, this too shall pass.

The man who wore his ass for a hat (4, Insightful)

djl4570 (801529) | about 2 years ago | (#41502297)

This jackass is wearing his ass for a hat. Such fuckwittery would have prevented deployment of the transistor. Except for a few niches, the transistor rendered the vacuum tube obsolete in about twenty years. It would have prevented deployment of the turbine engine because they rendered radial engines obsolete. If he were left in charge we would all be using SNA because Ethernet would not be permitted.

Re:The man who wore his ass for a hat (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41502501)

He didn't invent any of the things making him money now. He only wants a free ride, and only knows how to throw temper tantrums and bluster like a 5 year old when things don't go his way. And he's only one of many like him.

Seriously, when you're so pathetic that you make the "pirates" look like freedom fighters, you should probably shut your fool mouth and pay the grown ups to handle your problems for you.

Re:The man who wore his ass for a hat (2)

Type44Q (1233630) | about 2 years ago | (#41502585)

If he were left in charge we would all be using SNA because Ethernet would not be permitted.

After The Collapse, you'll be using two coconut shells and some catgut... and you'll like it. :p

Re:The man who wore his ass for a hat (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41502669)

No better then the human body digests corn, then the sewage pipes leaving the residences and workplaces of the supporters of such nonsense should be shut off as to prevent any patented technology escaping from under their "hats".

No, that's not what he said (5, Informative)

russotto (537200) | about 2 years ago | (#41502307)

He argues that copyright protection holds regardless of the technological means used to engage in an action which constitutes infringement, which is true as far as it goes. He further argues that Aereo is committing infringement and claiming it's not because of mere technological details, and there he's on shakier ground.

But actually his argument fell apart a bit earlier than his discussion of Aereo, when he disputes the Cablevision decision:

To be consistent with that entirely correct analysis, if, instead of a subscriber sending an electronic instruction to Cablevision or Aereo to make a copy by pressing a âoerecordâ button, the customer had sent an email to one of their employees with instructions to make a copy and transmit a performance, there would be no question as to the direct liability of Cablevision or Aereo. Copyright liability should not turn on minor technical features as to whether âoerecordâ instructions are communicated by verbal commands, pressing a button, sending an email or as a result of automated functions.

I am sorry, Mr. Oman, but that is not a "minor technical feature". My giving instructions to a machine and my giving instructions to a human being are a very different thing. The human being can make a choice, he can say "Mr. Russotto, to make that copy would be an infringement of copyright and I will not do so". The machine is a machine, it does what it's told, and direct liability is rightly placed on the person who told it to do something.

Best I can tell, Aereo is claiming its retransmissions do not amount to public performance because each individual is getting his own transmission. That is, it's not one public performance but many private ones. This is indeed splitting hairs, but since when has the law been opposed to splitting hairs?

17 USC 101 is quite clear that it does not matter "whether the members of the public capable of receiving the performance or display receive it in the same place or in separate places and at the same time or at different times." However, it does matter whether there is one performance or many; if I set up a booth where one person can view a DVD, it's not a public performance if 100 people view the same DVD in sequence; it's 100 private performances. Similarly, if I have 100 such booths with 100 such (identical) DVDs and everyone watches them at once, it's still 100 private performances. However, if I rig up one DVD player to play one DVD to all those booths, it's a public performance.

You have to give the guy credit (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41502309)

At least he's upfront and honest about his bullshit, unlike the RIAA and MPAA who claim piracy is why we would stop all this stuff.

USA seeks to outlaw technology (3, Interesting)

realitycheckplease (2487810) | about 2 years ago | (#41502313)

So he wants to tie up technology development in the USA while the rest of the world leaps ahead? Sounds like a brilliant plan to me, seeing as I'm not in the USA. ;) I guess at least it stops patent wars if it's illegal to invent new technology. Sounds like another payday for the lawyers though. And whoever said "existing business models" are legally immune to future changes. Slave traders had an "existing business model" once upon a time. Lots of shop floors got automated. Business models change, technology advances, adapt and survive, or die like the dinosaur you aspire to be!

RFC 1149 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41502321)

Yesserie, time to dust off the carrier pigeons.

Thanks for making copyright look even worse (5, Insightful)

bzipitidoo (647217) | about 2 years ago | (#41502345)

How is copyright to be killed off? Give guys like this a megaphone.

What words could possibly be more damaging to copyright than this proposal to turn it into a blatant fascist tyranny? Plus, making everyone wonder if all supporters of copyright are just as stupid also hurts it. Such proposals do more to kill off copyright than any words Lessig, the EFF, or any other pro technology boffins could say. Go, Ralph, go!

Re:Thanks for making copyright look even worse (3, Insightful)

J'raxis (248192) | about 2 years ago | (#41502709)

How is copyright to be killed off? Give guys like this a megaphone.

Careful what you wish for. Virtually every useful product [slashdot.org] that one might want to make and sell nowadays is presumed illegal until it's approved by some regulatory agency or another. Give this guy a bullhorn and the ignorant general public might agree with him, just like they have again and again in the past with those examples I cited.

Well since it's all illegal... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41502351)

Well since it's all illegal anyway, we might as well convey our disatisfaction with a note tied to a brick.

At least he's being honest (4, Insightful)

gman003 (1693318) | about 2 years ago | (#41502359)

It's not like this isn't what all the established media companies are thinking. They all want this. At least he has the (courage|stupidity|ego) to stand up and say "we're against anything new because it might stop us making money".

Plus, it makes it ridiculously easy to argue against his point. This is a man who just weakened his entire team's position, because he spoke, on the record and in an official capacity. We should make sure this guy never gets fired, because he's actually *helping* our side by being so blatantly wrong.

Just outlaw typewriters like Stalin did (1)

gelfling (6534) | about 2 years ago | (#41502363)

That works. And if a few slip through, kill the people who have them. Again, that worked fine for the CCCP.

This guy gets added to my list... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41502365)

...that was exclusive to Bill O'Rielly originally..., that I wouldn't mind if someone tried to kill them.

Don't Upset What? (2)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | about 2 years ago | (#41502375)

Existing business models need to die - sooner rather than later.

License Printing Presses? (1)

MarkvW (1037596) | about 2 years ago | (#41502377)

How is this any different from attempts to license printing presses?

Sons of bitches.

This is a line that the bastards should never cross.

this isn't capitalism. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41502381)

this is fucking bullshit.

Just curious (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41502385)

Can they prove that the CURRENT delivery models were approved by Congress? How many years are they liable for subverting the previous deliver models and business methods?

Capitalism ? (3, Interesting)

morcego (260031) | about 2 years ago | (#41502387)

Humm, in my book, upsetting existing business models is the essence of capitalism. And that is a very good thing.

Fuck this guy with a big rubber dick. (-1, Flamebait)

PotatoHead (12771) | about 2 years ago | (#41502391)

That's it, just general best wishes.

Ironic (2)

mostlyDigital (1898874) | about 2 years ago | (#41502407)

Radio would have kept TV off the air. Movies would have kept TV off the air. No cable... Forget satellite. Toss that ebook reader.

stop attacking the thinking, attack the source (4, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | about 2 years ago | (#41502459)

of course the guy is a fuckwit. this is besides the point

you cannot and would not be able to stay stupid things and represent the people if in fact you were actually representing the people. however, our democracy is becoming plutocracy: you can't get elected unless you get a lot of money, and you can't get a lot of money until you kiss the feet of the moneyed aristocracy

i like democracy. i like my country. i recognize that it won't be easy. but somehow, we the people must win back our own country from financial interests. i said: it won't be easy. you basically want the guys strung out on the heroin of wealthy donors to pass laws against wealthy donors. good luck to us, we'll need it

it is however, the most valid fight before us as a people and a nation, and something the left and the right can join in together and find common cause in. that is in spite of those on the left and the right who swallow the corporate propaganda that keeps us divided against each other at both of our losses

Re:stop attacking the thinking, attack the source (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 2 years ago | (#41502747)

...somehow, we the people must win back our own country from financial interests.

So... How far are you willing to go for the win? All the way?

Re:stop attacking the thinking, attack the source (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | about 2 years ago | (#41502785)

through any rhetorical and organizational means possible. the vote

no violent means, you ignorant gun loving assholes

Re:stop attacking the thinking, attack the source (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 2 years ago | (#41502825)

So when somebody puts a gun to your head, I should just let him pull the trigger, and say 'better luck next time'? In your case, no problem, but try to remember that somebody's gun is protecting you and your rights right now.

Laughable (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41502463)

Are we sure that this isn't another slip up similar to Iran's latest? This sounds like something straight from The Onion.

Entitlement (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41502481)

Republican-style.

no more developers wanted sign (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41502505)

origin : USA

Meanwhile, In India......... (4, Insightful)

mormop (415983) | about 2 years ago | (#41502519)

A couple of students, backed with money from a Chinese bank, come up with a distribution mechanism that is so brilliant in its simplicity that it becomes a worldwide hit in everywhere except the US where Congress is so busy farting around trying to please their corporate sponsors that they get left several years behind.

Three years later In America, when congress realises that the rest of the world doesn't give a shit what they think and has progressed onto different and more profitable business model, everyone realises that Ralph Oman had been a complete and utter twat but by then it too late. Well done Ralph Oman, well done......

Re:Meanwhile, In India......... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41502559)

I completely agree. At the three to five year mark, the US will be a third world non-player on the world stage. and Ralph Oman will be asking for handouts along with everyone he sought to keep from suceeding with new ideas.

Uh huh. And... (2)

Type44Q (1233630) | about 2 years ago | (#41502527)

New Content-Delivery Tech Should Be Presumed Illegal, Says Former Copyright Boss

...lining that fucker up against the wall can almost certainly be presumed illegal... but I'm not going to suggest that it would actually be wrong. :)

New tricks, old dog (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41502535)

Wasn't it nice when the world advanced full snail speed ahead? When you'd get like two-three ... let's call it ten inventions per century... This guy misses those times and wants them reinstated. The world is moving way too fast, advancing in a single century more than it did in several thousand years put together. I say find him a Weeping Angel (see Doctor Who) who can send him exactly to that time, so he stops longing for it.

so...he'd like to overthrow our legal system (2)

ThorGod (456163) | about 2 years ago | (#41502541)

See, in the US, something is considered legal until it is outlawed. Contrast this with the Spanish system, where everything is outlawed until it is legalized.

And apparently this guy was part of the US government at some point? "former U.S. Register of Copyrights"

Re:so...he'd like to overthrow our legal system (1)

J'raxis (248192) | about 2 years ago | (#41502645)

Really. See this post [slashdot.org] I just made. Virtually every product someone might try to make and sell nowadays in the U.S. is presumed illegal until it's approved by some regulatory body.

What this bureaucrat is proposing is far from ground-breaking. It's just a tiny, incremental increase in the power the government in this supposedly "free" country already has.

SOCIALISM! FREE MARKET! BLOOBLAHBLOO (1)

TinyPterosaur (2547992) | about 2 years ago | (#41502561)

Cause this is the kind of market regulation the US needs, and not single-payer health care. At least these kinds of people are consistent on killing. Killing progress, and people, all while making a killing.

These people are starting to seem evil (2)

Karmashock (2415832) | about 2 years ago | (#41502577)

First, let me say I'm generally in agreement with the copyright holders in that "it's their stuff and people are stealing"... it is their stuff and people are stealing it. That said, they really have no right to control general content delivery systems. The attempt to make the VCR illegal for example was one of the many things they've done over the years that is just wrong.

Do people have a right to rip them off? No. But they don't have a right to dictate the evolution of our technology either.

What's the balance here? I really think they need to adjust their business model to assume they don't have dictatorial control over these systems. Not only will that deal with third world piracy which is far worse then first world piracy. But it will also free them from caring about these content delivery systems. There are going to be pirates. GET OVER IT. Adjust your business model accordingly.

Re:These people are starting to seem evil (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41502781)

Do people have a right to rip them off? No.

I disagree. The People have a right, actually, an obligation, to make the laws work to the benefit of the many. So the copyright holders are entitled to their privilege only as long as Congress considers it a good deal for the nation.

I think the benefits of the copyright to the general public are no longer there. The copyright should be abolished. It could be done incrementally. For example, Congress could set the year 2100 as the year beyond which everything will fall into public domain. If adverse effects are felt, there will be plenty of time for corrective legislation.

Adjust your business model accordingly.

In other words, get a job.

Before you act shocked... (5, Insightful)

J'raxis (248192) | about 2 years ago | (#41502605)

Before you act shocked about this, exactly how is this different than any other products sold nowadays?

It's illegal to make and sell electronic hardware without approval from the FCC. It's illegal to make and sell most any food products without approval from a state-level health agency. It's illegal to make and sell any medical products without approval from the FDA. It's illegal to make and sell any motorized vehicles without approval from multiple safety bodies. So now, we can simply add "content delivery technology" to the list of things the government presumes is guilty of... whatever, until you prove it's not.

Isn't it great to live in a "free" country? Aren't you glad you're free?

Re:Before you act shocked... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41502699)

The main difference being in that all of those cases there could be serious hazardous side-effects if done wrong (potentially fatal).

I guess it is a good thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41502619)

That he is the former and not the present.

What an absolute moron.

That is just ridiculous. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41502651)

Innovation will always disrupt existing models. So According to Oman, the government and existing corporations exploiting a market should decide whether we have a right to innovate and profit from it. How far is that from economic and technological enslavement.

Two words (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41502695)

FUCK
YOU

Why stop with new technology? (3, Insightful)

TFAFalcon (1839122) | about 2 years ago | (#41502815)

So why not extend this to all creative works? Every new work should be submitted to congress for approval before it can be published. After all it might upset someone or compete with the works already available on the market!

Where is your ... (1)

PPH (736903) | about 2 years ago | (#41502831)

... Congressional certification that Blu-ray won't interfere with HD DVD business models?

Wow, just wow (1)

Ramley (1168049) | about 2 years ago | (#41502841)

I mean... really?!?

Still aghast that this could be coming from someone in such an influential position.

The kicker is that this could actually happen. After what's gone on over the last 11 years, not much surprises me anymore.

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