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Latvian Police Raid Teacher's Home for Uploading $4.00 Textbook

Unknown Lamer posted about a year ago | from the one-officer-per-dollar dept.

Piracy 289

richlv writes "Latvian police recently raided the home of a history teacher and confiscated his computer. The crime? Scanning a history book and making it available on his website covering various topics on history. The raid was based on a complaint from the publisher (Google Translate to English), which has a near-monopoly on educational materials in Latvia, often linked with shady connections in the Ministry of Education."

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289 comments

and in the us the same book will be $200-$400 upda (5, Informative)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about a year ago | (#43778681)

and in the us the same book will be $200-$400 updated 1-2 times a year.

Re:and in the us the same book will be $200-$400 u (5, Insightful)

flayzernax (1060680) | about a year ago | (#43778919)

And most likely full of spin, error, omission, or propaganda... lol

Re:and in the us the same book will be $200-$400 u (5, Insightful)

ATMAvatar (648864) | about a year ago | (#43778961)

Why limit it to one? At premium prices, customers demand premium quality. US history books will have all four.

Re:and in the us the same book will be $200-$400 u (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43779085)

and in the us the same book will be $200-$400 updated 1-2 times a year.

Good thing it was a history text, right, Joe? It's not as though you could actually afford an updated English text, under the terms you exaggerate.

Re:and in the us the same book will be $200-$400 u (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43779117)

and in the us the same book will be $200-$400 updated 1-2 times a year.

Good thing it was a history text, right, Joe? It's not as though you could actually afford an updated English text, under the terms you exaggerate.

You don't actually expect him to understand such a subtle jab, do you? The guy can barely write a coherent sentence in English. Digs such as yours are almost certainly going to be lost upon him.

textbook publishers use all kinds of BS to keep th (3, Interesting)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about a year ago | (#43778691)

textbook publishers use all kinds of BS to keep there monopoly on educational materials in place.

Re:textbook publishers use all kinds of BS to keep (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43778711)

their monopoly

Re:textbook publishers use all kinds of BS to keep (2, Funny)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year ago | (#43778725)

He didn't get no edumacation.

Re:textbook publishers use all kinds of BS to keep (4, Funny)

darkshadow88 (776678) | about a year ago | (#43778859)

He didn't get no edumacation.

What do you expect? He couldn't afford the textbooks!

Re:textbook publishers use all kinds of BS to keep (4, Interesting)

jones_supa (887896) | about a year ago | (#43779025)

textbook publishers use all kinds of BS to keep there monopoly on educational materials in place.

I'm not sure. When in Finland these teachers had the over-the-weekend marathon to create a math textbook and put it into Github, they commented that they might as well release it for free, as the profit they get from books is always so small anyway. And, in increasing amounts you can read high-quality material for free from the intertubez, further shaking the position of commercially published books.

Re:textbook publishers use all kinds of BS to keep (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43779051)

textbook publishers use all kinds of BS to keep there monopoly on educational materials in place.

I'm not sure. When in Finland these teachers had the over-the-weekend marathon to create a math textbook and put it into Github, they commented that they might as well release it for free, as the profit they get from books is always so small anyway

Do note that author != publisher... [in the very most cases]

Re:textbook publishers use all kinds of BS to keep (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43779363)

And those same people got a tremendous amount of shit and legal threats from such publishers for doing that.

Don't copy that floppy! (5, Insightful)

bhlowe (1803290) | about a year ago | (#43778697)

Doesn't seem like fair use.. seems like blatant copyright infringement. As I learned in Boy Scouts, if you don't like the law, try to have it changed in an orderly manner, rather than disobey it. Failing that, if you're going to break the law, don't get caught.

Re:Don't copy that floppy! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43778717)

Agree ... this is flat-out illegal. This person should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. You would think a teacher would know better than to do this.

Re:Don't copy that floppy! (2)

hoboroadie (1726896) | about a year ago | (#43778875)

This can be used as an example for the kids. A lot of lessons here, if someone was into teaching and stuff.

Re:Don't copy that floppy! (5, Interesting)

bzipitidoo (647217) | about a year ago | (#43779099)

On the contrary, it may be perfectly legal, even in the US. Lists of phone numbers and addresses, voting records of public servants, and other facts or assemblies of facts cannot be copyrighted. Even interpretations of historic events could be quotes of material that is no longer under copyright. A purely factual history book could quite possibly contain no copyrightable information. If on the other hand mere recountings of history are copyrightable, one wonders whether the authors stepped on others' copyrights. The historic information came from somewhere.

But all that is a minor point. Likely the history book has recent thinking of scholars about the deeper meanings of the historic events covered. If not, and there wasn't any copyrightable material in the draft, we can be pretty sure that the publisher added some no matter how inaccurate or irrelevant, to cover this exact situation.

The important part of this matter is that knowledge of history should be freely available to all citizens. If they don't have a copyleft history book, they should make one.

Re:Don't copy that floppy! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43779147)

If they don't have a copyleft history book, they should make one.

It is called Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] . The encyclopaedia of everything.

INB4 an encyclopaedia is not a history book. It is better, it contain the events, the date and the references. Propaganda and opinion can be left out. We don't need them.

INB4 wikipedia is full of propaganda. Then correct them. Controversial articles are easy to spot. Dig deeper, make your own mind.

Re:Don't copy that floppy! (5, Insightful)

amiga3D (567632) | about a year ago | (#43778719)

I agree. On the other hand the response should be proportional. Uploading a textbook should have involved an officer serving a warrant. A raid and seizing equipment is more in line with a massive copyright ring. This over the top shit is really ridiculous and unwarranted. It's like someone caught jaywalking getting clubbed down, handcuffed, dragged away and thrown in the pokey. Enough with the over reactions already.

Re:Don't copy that floppy! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43778857)

My friend was tazed, tackled, handcuffed, arrested and locked up for jay walking.

Re:Don't copy that floppy! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43778865)

Why would they want to be cops if they couldn't do shit like that? Also, reminds me of an episode of Cops where there was some uppity drunk guy on a roof and the cops called fucking everyone out and made this huge deal about it. Really, just send one cop with a lawn chair and a book and the problem will work itself out eventually.

Re:Don't copy that floppy! (2)

Kreigaffe (765218) | about a year ago | (#43779055)

Nope.

If those things happened, it wasn't because of jay walking.

There was actually a situation a few years back around here where a girl wound up getting tased after jay walking.

Except what happened wasn't a cop jumping on her for jaywalking. The cop stopped her after she crossed the road to tell her to NOT DO THAT SHIT.

She argued with the cop, and eventually got *physically confrontational* with the cop. Like, she shoved the cop. Ya follow?
Yes, we do have a problem around here with our, er, urban culture enjoying annoying others by walking through traffic whenever they feel like, and where ever as well. Make someone slam on their brakes and swerve into a different lane? LOLZ THAT SO FUNNY, LOOK AT THAT SHITHEAD TRYNA NOT KILL ME!

So yeah, she got tased "for jaywalking". What did your friend do after jaywalking that brought the law down on him? We're all curious.

Re:Don't copy that floppy! (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about a year ago | (#43779047)

I agree. On the other hand the response should be proportional. Uploading a textbook should have involved an officer serving a warrant. A raid and seizing equipment is more in line with a massive copyright ring. This over the top shit is really ridiculous and unwarranted. It's like someone caught jaywalking getting clubbed down, handcuffed, dragged away and thrown in the pokey. Enough with the over reactions already.

This thousand times. Technically uploading the history book was a copyright violation and I yes think it could have been handled in some way, like sending a letter describing "Hello, we noticed that you have some material online that we believe should not be distributed freely". But a police raid, gimme a fucking break! Those idiots should be ridiculed for that. It's not that there was some headquarters of armed criminals.

Re:Don't copy that floppy! (3, Informative)

pantaril (1624521) | about a year ago | (#43779167)

I agree. On the other hand the response should be proportional. Uploading a textbook should have involved an officer serving a warrant.

According to later comment from AC from Latvia, the police/publisher warned him several times before raiding his computer.
Personaly i think this is horrible but the issue is with the copyright law and not with the police course of action.

People forget it isn't a criminal issue (1)

dbIII (701233) | about a year ago | (#43779223)

The publisher should just be suing them without an expensive police raid paid for by the taxpayer.

Re:Don't copy that floppy! (5, Insightful)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year ago | (#43778731)

"educational use" is one of the fair use reasons, but applying US fair use to a Latvian action would be silly. Do they even have fair use in Latvia?

Re: Do they even have fair use in Latvia? (1)

girlinatrainingbra (2738457) | about a year ago | (#43778785)

Re: Do they even have fair use in Latvia?

That's a very good point. Someone in Latvia or with knowledge of Latvian law would have to clue us in. I'm sure there's quite a few someones on /. who could tell us. Calling all Latvian programmers (or lawyers, or college students who might know...) !!!

Re: Do they even have fair use in Latvia? (5, Informative)

Kell Bengal (711123) | about a year ago | (#43778849)

Hi - not Latvian, but a professor (with some little IP education). Generally speaking, "educational use" is not held to mean "so long as it's for education, do whatever you want". Educational use typically means discussion and criticism - using excerpts and passages to demonstrate a particular point, or using an example from a text. If the teacher had used fractions of the book as part of his lessons, he would likely have been covered under fair use provisions in many nations (including the US and Australia, where I teach). Conversely, wholesale duplication of a text is rarely considered fair use in an educational context.

Re: Do they even have fair use in Latvia? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43779271)

Exactly. Some universities were getting in hot water (Univ. of Washington, late 80's-early 90's), as some profs were getting the copy centers to make significant xerox copies of text books for their courses (mostly lib arts classes, it seemed. I guess for math, physics & engineering, one sort of expected to keep the books as references in the future...). Which as a student was nice, not having to spend $200 on an obscure text book, but $20 on a photocopied "excerpt". But then the publishers started catching on and wagging their dicks around, and the copy centers had to push back more on the profs... So, in a sense, this is nothing new, really, just different media or technology.

Re:Don't copy that floppy! (1)

king neckbeard (1801738) | about a year ago | (#43778743)

It does seem to be copyright infringement, but saying it's deserving of criminal charges is crazy. And unjust law should be ignored if not actively defied.

Re:Don't copy that floppy! (2, Insightful)

devloop (983641) | about a year ago | (#43778995)

What a wonderful compliant, obedient little boy the Scouts helped you become!

I'd prefer my kid to be more defiant and incredulous of authority and status quo,
and to consider that sometimes great corruption demands extreme measures to
correct it and sometimes one must disobey and rebel in a disorderly manner.

Washington, Revere and Franklin would probably make awful little scouts.

Re:Don't copy that floppy! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43779011)

"Hey, Mr. Bricklayer! Did you know you can hire somebody else to build a wall, and then get a government-protected monopoly on the usage of said wall? You only have to pay the actual builder once for his service. But you can "license" the right to look at that "wallbuild" or to use it to people for the rest of your life plus 90 years! And when anybody takes a picture of it, or invites guests in, without paying you, you can sue him for ONE BILLION DOLLARS for every time anybody used or could hypothetically have used "your" "wallbuild". No, not the wall. No not the service. The result of the act of building that wall. Its structural properties!"

Copyright is what is the blatant crime here!

It's a law granting distributors imaginary* artificial scarcity . Something that for all other industries is a crime.
It means they can sit on their fat asses, and rake in real actual money that took real actual work to make, in return for a worthless copy of a service somebody else did once. Work once, take money for life+90 years. Paying that somebody else (the authors) also once for that service.

Ask your wall painter and car mechanic and brick layer what they think about that! Please do.

It is a crime against artists, authors, customers, and in fact the whole damn world! It rapes freedom and destroys culture! It is the pest of the 21st century.

(* Imaginary because in actual reality, there is no such thing as control over copying, nor will there ever be, since it contradicts the laws of physics. [Yes, I studied that one. It actually truly does.])

Re:Don't copy that floppy! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43779035)

As I learned in Boy Scouts, if you don't like the law, try to have it changed in an orderly manner, rather than disobey it. Failing that, if you're going to break the law, don't get caught.

Rosa Parks [wikipedia.org] would disagree with you. If you don't like the law, you should disobey it publicly, with thousands of others. When you're arrested, you should fight it in the courts every step of the way. Either the judges will change their mind, or the people will see the case and elect politicians who will change the law.

Re:Don't copy that floppy! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43779061)

the boy scouts taught you that if you are gonna break laws, just 'dont get caught'? what part of that is staying "morally straight"?

Re:Don't copy that floppy! (2)

hawkinspeter (831501) | about a year ago | (#43779359)

If you don't get caught, then surely you haven't technically broken any law (until you get caught and found guilty).

Re:Don't copy that floppy! (1)

OhANameWhatName (2688401) | about a year ago | (#43779115)

As I learned in Boy Scouts ... if you're going to break the law, don't get caught

My nightmares will be filled with visions of boyscout gangs wearing ponchos wielding 20 year old axes tieing up old ladies with second hand climbing rope and mugging them for their pension money.

Re:Don't copy that floppy! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43779379)

Which is precisely what Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King did! Oh wait a second.....

and some teachers get kicks back / $X for each sal (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43778701)

and some teachers get kicks back / $X for each sale some even rip off pages and if you have a used book you fail.

please stop calling it piracy (1, Insightful)

Ralph Spoilsport (673134) | about a year ago | (#43778727)

It's file sharing. Piracy is the kind of stuff the next Tom Hanks movie is all about. Killing people. Brutality. That's piracy. Some educator uploading educational materials or some 12 year old in his mommy's basement downloading Katy Perry's bilge is NOT piracy. By letting the proprietarians label it as piracy, and then taking the LGBT tack of "owning the epithet" has been a complete failure. We need to call it what it is: file sharing, and demand that others call it that as well. Abandon notions of piracy and enter the next phase of human information distribution, and the access to knowledge it provides. Because It's The Right Thing To Do.

Re:please stop calling it piracy (3, Informative)

kwerle (39371) | about a year ago | (#43778761)

File sharing is what you do with something you own.

Piracy is sharing files that you do not own.

Civil disobedience is peacefully breaking the law for reasons you feel are just.

Movies are about fiction (virtually always).

Some educator uploading material they do not own is piracy. It may also be civil disobedience.

Some 12 year old downloading Katy Perry is piracy. It probably is not civil disobedience.

Re:please stop calling it piracy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43778805)

Piracy involves making a profit, not simply personal use of media copyrighted by another individual/organization. The true pirate of copyright infringment is the guy who downloads the latest blockbusters, burns them onto DVDs, and sells them for a hefty markup that still makes them a tenth of the price of offerings by vendors who have followed legal channels. If the professor had offered his students copies of the textbook on floppies or CD-ROMs for $2, he would be a pirate. It doesn't look like he's done that.

Re:please stop calling it piracy (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43779093)

Don't be retarded. It is physically impossible to "own" information. The word doesn't apply to information, just as "go north" doesn't apply to the north pole.

Don't believe me? Well, apart from the fact that it *really* doesn't matter if you *believe* in physical reality:
What does "owning" mean? It means you *control* the *object*.

Now apart from the fact that information is *not* an "object but a structural property.
try that with any information. Go ahead. Think of a sentence right now..
Then try to prove its existence to us, without losing all and every control forever.
I dare you. I double-dare you motherfucker!

So what does your delusion of imaginary "property" mean now, hm?

That you get some "right" to tell people a lie about scarcity that doesn't exist, so you can rip them off by taking real actual money that took real actual work to make for every completely worthless copy that took absolutely nothing to make?
Yes, your original service might have been worth money. Might. (Hint: If you work with the Content Mafia and are e.g. Katy Perry, then probably not.)
But that doesn't give you the right to erect a criminal system of artificial scarcity and protection rackets, nor to rake in money just for sitting on your fat criminal ass, now does it??

It tell you what your delusion of property means: NOTHING!

P.S.: Slashdot was once the bastion on sanity, fighting against the organized crime called "Content Mafia". WTF happened? Brainwashing? Influx of retards?

Re:please stop calling it piracy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43779277)

No, it's "piracy". Not sure how high seas abduction got co-opted from admiralty law to its current copyright usage.

Re:please stop calling it piracy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43778783)

Most people can handle words that have multiple definitions without confusing their various meanings. Please accept the fact that most people aren't as stupid as you think they are.

Re:please stop calling it piracy (0)

mark-t (151149) | about a year ago | (#43778807)

Copying of creative works that were not recognized as legitimate by its creator or those who had financed their creation has been called "piracy" since even before copyright itself had been invented.

Words can have more than one definition, you know.

Re: please stop calling it piracy (1)

shitzu (931108) | about a year ago | (#43778979)

Really? Could you give us an example of such a use of the word "piracy" from before the copyright was invented? Were you conscious when you wrote that?

Re: please stop calling it piracy (1)

king neckbeard (1801738) | about a year ago | (#43779285)

It happened before modern copyright. It was still copyright, but not as we know it. Back in the the olden days, you couldn't produce copies of anything unless the king granted you a 'copy right.' The only game in town was the Worshipful Company of Stationers and Newspaper Makers, because they were a group that had agreed to print only works that make the king look good. They were undeniably a wicked and evil organization whose primary purpose was state sanctioned censorship and proliferation of propaganda. There were people who printed and distributed books outside of the Stationer's Company, and they were called pirates because the Stationer's Company didn't like that. In many cases, they probably were actual pirates involved, as Scotland was pretty keen on doing this, and one of the best methods of getting illegal books widely proliferated is by ships. Ships operating outside of the law would probably be doing most of this, so the label of pirate wasn't entirely inaccurate (although the perception of pirates was. Most of the time, pirates were people who were forced into working on a ship in a basically slavery sense and got tired of the bullshit.).

So, to recap, the term 'piracy' was used as propaganda in the past to describe a clearly corrupt legislative ancestor to copyright when it was partially accurate by a group of evil bastards whose purpose as an organization was contrary to the fundamental principles of modern democracies. Therefore, using it as propaganda today even though no ships are involved anymore is justified somehow.

Re:please stop calling it piracy (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | about a year ago | (#43778871)

Words mean things. From Merriam-Webster.com
3 a: the unauthorized use of another's production, invention, or conception especially in infringement of a copyright

Just don't pirate. The best thing you can do is use free open sourced knowledge. Don't feed the machine if you don't want too. But also don't take from it either or else you're playing by their rules.

Re:please stop calling it piracy (1)

mrbester (200927) | about a year ago | (#43779053)

Citing a dictionary is not proof positive, especially when the sub entry is only there because the copyright holders wanted it.

Piracy is the act of brigandage on the high seas. Allowing for lingual shifting, the location can be different; a highwayman could be considered a pirate. However the act remains constant and is stealing by force, which is where the discrepancy starts: copyright infringement is not stealing (and certainly no force is used), yet calling that act "piracy" imparts that meaning. A meaning the MPAA are promoting as they want the two acts to be conflated.

Re:please stop calling it piracy (0)

multiben (1916126) | about a year ago | (#43779213)

Yeah man. It's a total conspiracy man. Those dictionary guys are totally in the pocket of those copyright holders. I'd keep going, but I'm worried that the aliens will hear my thoughts.

Re:please stop calling it piracy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43779287)

Not all of the dictionary guys are in their pockets.

Only the pocket dictionary guys. And maybe the concise dictionary guys, because as we know the copyright lobby has deep pockets.

Re:please stop calling it piracy (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about a year ago | (#43779317)

Ah yes, the old "Mirriam-Webster-Illuminati conspiracy" defense, almost as effective as the chewbacca defense.

Re:please stop calling it piracy (2)

multiben (1916126) | about a year ago | (#43778873)

If that is what you *really* think then you need to update your dictionary.
If you know perfectly well that piracy has more than one meaning, then stop trying to combat FUD with FUD. It does not serve your purpose well.

Re:please stop calling it piracy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43779105)

His dictionary is perfectly fine. Yours, on the other hand, is enslaved.

Re:please stop calling it piracy (1)

king neckbeard (1801738) | about a year ago | (#43779293)

It has more than one meaning because of centuries of propaganda dating back to the downright evil Stationer's Company, who made no semblance of copyright being for the purposes of advancement of learning or promoting the progress. Usage of the term 'piracy' in regards to copyright came from state sanctioned censors.

Re:please stop calling it piracy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43779143)

So how does the guy who created the book/information pay his mortgage, his loans, buy food and essentials ? Unless we move into the next phase of society where we abandon money your utopian ideal where all information is shared for free just won't work....

Well what do you expect? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43778729)

Isn't that the country that Dr. Doom is dictator of?

knock knock (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43778747)

Knock knock
Who’s there?
Latvian.
Latvian who?
Please open door. Is cold.

Free protip (2, Informative)

SuperBanana (662181) | about a year ago | (#43778757)

The raid was based on a complaint from the publisher (Google Translate to English), which has a near-monopoly on educational materials in Latvia, often linked with shady connections in the Ministry of Education

Here's a free protip. Live in a former soviet bloc?

Are you lacking the skills to be anonymous?

Is there a monopoly on something?

Don't challenge it.

Finis.

Getting an education today is hard (5, Interesting)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | about a year ago | (#43778765)

All my life I've learned with "pirated" material: throughout school, my teachers copied all kinds of materials regardless of whether or not it was copyrighted - including my primary school teachers hand-copying entire pages of grammar or math books and giving away dittoed copies, photocopies of of all kinds... whatever was necessary to learn. Learning was considered "fair use" when I was young. Nobody in their right mind thought twice before copying something for education purposes.

Then when I started dabbling in computers, I started "pirating" software all by myself. I knew what I was doing was illegal, yet it didn't feel wrong. I learned C with an illegal copy of Turbo C. I learned CAD with an illegal copy of AutoCAD. I learned everything I know with an illegal copy of something.

Sure I shafted Borland, AutoDesk and all the others, but then I bet they made a whole lot of money afterwards, when I and all the others like me hit the job market and started using their products professionally - on seats paid by the companies I worked for to the tune of many thousands more than a single user seat.

I don't know how I would have gotten an education without pirated material. I don't know how kids today get an education if their teachers should fear jail when they use pirated material. What a sorry state society is in...

Re:Getting an education today is hard (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43778795)

Was copyright infringement even a criminal act back then?

Re:Getting an education today is hard (2, Interesting)

flyingfsck (986395) | about a year ago | (#43778895)

Yup - same here. As a student, very few of my books were store bought. Most were blatant copies. Since then, as a professional, I have spent enormous amounts on books and software licences. To top it off - my father wrote geography text books and I also wrote a book or two. Over reacting on copyright infringement is crazy and does everybody, the writers included, a disservice.

Re:Getting an education today is hard (0)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about a year ago | (#43779325)

Over reacting on copyright infringement is crazy

So is thinking youre entitled to a single thing on this earth. Sadly, we have a far bigger problem with the latter than the former.

Re:Getting an education today is hard (2)

Nivag064 (904744) | about a year ago | (#43778949)

If you use Linux, and other open source software, you can do a lot of learning and paid work in the software industry without having to pay expensive licences - while still being strictly legal!

word processor & other office software:
http://www.libreoffice.org/ [libreoffice.org]

database:
http://www.postgresql.org/ [postgresql.org]

compilers:
http://gcc.gnu.org/ [gnu.org]

operating system & sufficient software to do useful things (2 of over 100 offerings, pick one that suites you best!):
https://fedoraproject.org/ [fedoraproject.org]
http://www.debian.org/ [debian.org]

network diagnostic:
http://www.wireshark.org/ [wireshark.org] ... and many others ...

Re:Getting an education today is hard (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43778999)

Well that's why I started using linux for my development! As a kid I used qbasic and wanted to try VB (hey, I was a kid and just learning...), so I saved up $150 dollars at $10/week and made my way down to CompUSA! (or whatever it was called back then). I surprised to find that VB was $500!! That seemed like an insurmountable amount of money back then...but I really wanted to try and "program" something! So I purchased what I could afford - a copy of the Borland C++ Compiler.

And as I found out, C is a helluva lot more complicated for a kid with no real experience to learn...so I pirated VB5. From IRC fserves at 15MB per RAR file, waiting in queue forever, took about two weeks to get the 400+MB package. Then I discovered it came with no help files...UGH. But nevertheless I hacked my way through as much as a could, all the while cursing MS for not including *some kind* of free development tools. I mean Win 3.1 at least came with qbasic and 95 had NOTHING.

Few years later I got into FreeBSD, as recommended by a friend. Man I still remember being amazed the first time I used PERL and looking at the "man perl" pages. Finally, a nice language that was totally free, and powerful enough to actually do something useful. Oh happy day!!

MS finally got their shit together and started offering free copies of VC++ & the other .NET stuff I guess. But by then I didn't care, I already had the free tools I needed.

So, in retrospect...I guess I should thank Microsoft for my home-schooled *nix experience. If they had free development tools 20 years ago, I might never have left windows...

Re:Getting an education today is hard (1)

hoboroadie (1726896) | about a year ago | (#43779003)

I noticed that when I was in school. In the mimiograph days, they had free-to-copy texts. When Xerox copiers came out, teachers started making pirate copies in clear violation of the stated terms in the textbooks they were stealing from.
By this time, I had learned not to always correct the glaring errors that our teachers committed, so I just let it slide.
If they have onerous restrictions, find a book that doesn't, and teach the publisher to provide useful texts. You can't cheat an honest man.

price tag is irrelavant (4, Interesting)

superwiz (655733) | about a year ago | (#43778769)

Ownership (all ownership) is the right to deny use. This is as true of intellectual property ownership as it is of tangible item ownership. And it's not a bad thing as many will knee jerk to scream. Ownership is a right to treat that which we earn as extensions of our body. If we have a right to deny the use of our bodies, then, by extension, we have a right to deny use of that which we own.

Re:price tag is irrelavant (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43778825)

price tag is irrelavant

So you're saying the police should come bust down my door and shoot my dog in the face if I walk off with your pencil?

Don't forget: 'intellectual property' is not real property; otherwise it would be covered under property laws and wouldn't need it's own.

Re:price tag is irrelavant (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about a year ago | (#43779333)

So you're saying the police should come bust down my door and shoot my dog in the face if I walk off with your pencil?

Im pretty sure he did not, in fact, say that. I might suggest you re-read his post.

Re:price tag is irrelavant (2)

mark-t (151149) | about a year ago | (#43778827)

I believe the argument against that, however, is that if you are going to ever allow anyone else to see or use what you own, then one should forever forfeit the right to claim any control over it, since one cannot reasonably control what others do with it.

Re:price tag is irrelavant (4, Interesting)

superwiz (655733) | about a year ago | (#43778913)

The counter argument does not hold water. Just because a woman let you touch her boob, doesn't mean she forfeited the right to say "no" to sex. And if she says stops after half an hour of sex, and you refuse to stop, then it is still rape. The right to deny use can be invoked even after expressly allowing use.

Re:price tag is irrelavant (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43778987)

The counter argument holds a lot of water.

Lets see. I am exposed by a patent about something. The idea of this patent is written in my mind.

Now i cant "delete" the idea from my mind, because i cant actively forget something, nor can i use that idea because it is owned by someone else.

IE.: Patent and copyright holders become owners of something quite different from your car, toothbrush or house. They become owners of ideas that are inside other people minds, effectively becoming owners of part of the mind of someone else besides their own...

Thats why copyright and patent are kinds of ownership from the natural ownership of tangible things...

Another counter, especially in the patent area is that nature refuses to agree with the idea of ownership of ideas, for example :

Newton and Liebniz developed calculus at the same time without knowing about each other works.

If the same idea was born in two different minds, separated by time or distance, this means that there is some other kind of power behind human creativity that is beyond human control, meaning that creativity is not something that someone does, but something that does itself by using the mind of someone...

Re:price tag is irrelavant (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43778991)

Your analogy doesn't hold water. During the event with the woman, she's participating the entire time. With copying, once it's out there, you no longer have to be involved. Your work is done.

It's more like if the woman was in a movie. No matter how many sales or infringing copies are made, she's already finished contributing and it didn't suddenly become rape just because some kid torrented the video.

The topic is duplication, not removal of someone else's items. We have copyright/trademark/patent laws specifically because ideas aren't physical goods covered by property laws.

Re:price tag is irrelavant (2)

haakoflo (2497300) | about a year ago | (#43778989)

Ownership is a lot more than the right to deny use (and not always the right to deny use), and the "extensions of our body" argument is also flawed. The basis of "ownership" is our territorial instinct. If you move into my land (or speak to my woman), I will knock you in the head with my club. If I didn't do that, I would starve and have no offspring, so all people today descend from more or less territorial forefathers. "Property" is societies attempt at formalizing and rationalizing this instinct. Sometimes the rules we devise to formalize this are a bit flawed, and need adjustment. In particular, if we define something as property that means a lot more to the one that gets denied its use than the owner (such as slavery), it tends to meet opposition. Other things that are problematic to grant ownership for, include mathematical theorems, natural laws, DNA, "square objects with rounded corners", and (some will say) electronic texts. The limits of ownership will always be an ongoing discussion, and will sometimes need adjustment.

Re:price tag is irrelavant (1)

pantaril (1624521) | about a year ago | (#43779145)

Ownership (all ownership) is the right to deny use. This is as true of intellectual property ownership as it is of tangible item ownership

I agree with you on this, but if you try to deny me the use of copies of your ownership which i made myself, i'm going to ignore you.

Re:price tag is irrelavant (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43779185)

Ownership (all ownership) is the right to deny use. This is as true of intellectual property ownership as it is of tangible item ownership. And it's not a bad thing as many will knee jerk to scream. Ownership is a right to treat that which we earn as extensions of our body. If we have a right to deny the use of our bodies, then, by extension, we have a right to deny use of that which we own.

Our bodies become worm food or ash. Ownership of physical items denies use in order to afford the owner use of that item. Copyright is different. It is about restricting use solely in order to sell the right to use it. There is nothing here that prevents the owner from using the item. It does not deteriorate when a copy is made. What's being bought and sold is the right to make money from the work. THAT is VERY different. It does not conserve an item for a rightful owner - it restricts full use of the item by a society.

well yeah? (2)

goffster (1104287) | about a year ago | (#43778815)

this is practically the definition of willful copyright infringement.
I wont say the punishment was just, but it should have been expected.

For $4 there is no reason not to buy it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43778817)

This is pure copyright breach, damaging the publisher. Of course here on slashdot it is often minimalised.
$4 is a reasonable price for a book. I can imagine that the salary level in Latvia is lower than in Western Europe or the USA, even so, it could compare to say a $15 book in the west. It is not a rip-off price.
If yu don't want to pay for something, then don't use it.

Re:For $4 there is no reason not to buy it (4, Interesting)

Dahamma (304068) | about a year ago | (#43778847)

Yeah, I don't understand this either, it seems like the book publishers are screwed either way. "$100 for a textbook?! That's way too expensive, people should just copy it!" "$4 for a textbook!? That's really cheap, no one should care if we just copy it!"

Re:For $4 there is no reason not to buy it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43779131)

>Yeah, I don't understand this either, it seems like the book publishers are screwed either way. "$100 for a textbook?! That's way too expensive, people should just copy it!" "$4 for a textbook!? That's really cheap, no one should care if we just copy it!"

Your logic does not follow. Given that textbook prices >= $100 induce piracy by being too high, and that textbook prices = $4 induce piracy, we can only say that zero or more prices within this range are magical-piracy-prevention prices.

I hypothesize that the mpp price for textbooks is 13.22.

Re:For $4 there is no reason not to buy it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43779253)

The point is the act implies (to some) that his students were not buying it / he was trying to avoid having his students have to buy it or similar. This is the buying being referred to. The abstracted argument (here and indeed in most of the comments) is natural if you accept/agree with the validity of this assumption.

Re:For $4 there is no reason not to buy it (1)

zAPPzAPP (1207370) | about a year ago | (#43779097)

Nowhere does it say he did not buy the book.
Most likely he did buy it.

The infringement happened, when he tried to publish text on his website. I don't see how buying the book, or buying any number of books for that matter, would have helped.

someone from Latvia (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43778993)

This story was covered in local TVs. Although I also hate all those copyright guys. But this time its more or less Ok. They warned that guy many times. When he didnt react they went to police.

Valuable information (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43779033)

Nice to see police chase book copyers that eagerly. There was news recently where they could not bother to go and get back someones stolen laptop

Wonder if that programmer should have claimed copyright infrigment.

Can't fault the publisher. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43779123)

The publisher was not at all being unreasonable. They were offering the textbook at an extremely reasonable price. It was *still* copied in (presumably) violation of Latvian law (most countries fair use laws don't apply to public distribution of large sections of material).

This isn't RIAA tactics, this is an absolutely fair complaint. Of course the police may not have needed to 'raid', but perhaps they were worried/lazy about proving the act if the suspect was able to wipe.

Was this book available at the bookstores? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43779161)

If anyone can read Latvian, and knows their textbook market:

Was this book available at the bookstores?

A can easily imagine a teacher making available book excerpts from different history books describing the same period.
One book written in 1950s USSR, one from 1980s USSR, one from 1990s Latvia and a current one.
Just to show different spin, errors, omissions and propaganda.

Of course 1990s textbook, despite not being available in bookstores for many years, would be still encumbered by copyright law and its publisher would still be in business and not very fond of using its products as an example of propaganda.

No man pirates from Doctor Doom! (1)

ferret4 (459105) | about a year ago | (#43779279)

Latvarians should realise by now Doom decides what History is allowed to be taught to his citizens.

he should have known.... (1)

SuperDre (982372) | about a year ago | (#43779303)

I agree raiding his house was too much, but he shouldn't have published the book without permission.. What the publisher should have done is ask the teacher to remove the book (even though it's propably too late anyway, but raiding his house doesn't help there either).. But we don't know if the publisher did indeed first ask the teacher to remove it, and maybe he might have just refused to do it, and therefore the house was raided (in that case the raid was IMHO ok (if no violence was used))..

Life Lesson #768 (1)

Tablizer (95088) | about a year ago | (#43779319)

US gov't is fucked up to the N'th degree.

3rd-world gov'ts are fucked up to the N+1 degree.

Re:Life Lesson #768 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43779409)

I'd say 3rd world gov'ts are fucked up to the N + K degree where K is any positive integer.

I'm puzzled (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43779329)

why is copyright infringement a criminal act? Why are the police involved in protection the interests of companies? Should it be a civil action that does not require law enforcement, they have better and more meaningful things to do.

Good for them. (2)

mumblestheclown (569987) | about a year ago | (#43779331)

You guys have it all backwards the fact that it's a $4 textbook should prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that the issue was not "gouging" by textbook manufacturers as some are insinuating. The price of the book was well within the purchase ability of anybody who wanted one.

If the book was $400, you guys would complain that piracy is justified because it's gouging. If it's $4 you complain it's justified because it's trifling.

In all seriousness, Back when I first went into science and engineering about 20 years ago, I thought it was because it was an ethical pursuit with basically honest and noble people.. unlike, say, finance or lawyering. I am not exaggerating nor trolling when I say that more than a decade of reading the lamest possible pseudophilosophical justification of copyright infringement in slashdot fora have well beaten that naivete out of me.

Depressing to see that (1)

LostMonk (1839248) | about a year ago | (#43779349)

It's somewhat depressing to see that educational material publishers work the same methods world-wide...
Take the same book every 1-2 years, hash the chapter numbers, change numerical values in math problems, perhaps tweak color pallets and you have a new edition... Which is incompatible to the last year's one effectively killing the second-hands market.
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