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EU Copyright Reform: Your Input Is Needed!

Unknown Lamer posted about 3 months ago | from the public-domain-needs-a-bit-of-help dept.

EU 154

An anonymous reader writes "The European Commission has finally (as of last month) opened its public consultation on copyright reform. This is the first time the general public can influence EU copyright policy since fifteen years back, and it is likely at least as much time will pass until next time. In order to help you fill out the (English-only, legalese-heavy) questionnaire, some friendly hackers spent some time during the 30c3 to put together a site to help you. Anyone, EU citizen or not, organization or company, is invited to respond (deadline fifth of February). Pirate MEP Amelia Andersdotter has a more in-depth look at the consultation."

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154 comments

Abolish it. (4, Interesting)

Stormwatch (703920) | about 3 months ago | (#45884917)

No, seriously. Copyright does more harm than good. Just get rid of the whole damn thing.

Obligatory reading. [ucla.edu]

Re:Abolish it. (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45884933)

You obviously are a taker and not a maker. Begone.

Re:Abolish it. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45884945)

You obviously love ad hominems. Begone.

Copyright is often enforced through the use of censorship (bad) and infringes upon private property rights. That alone should be enough for any intelligent person to decide to reject it.

Want a government-enforced monopoly? Too bad. Find another way to make money; that's no one's responsibility but your own.

Re:Abolish it. (2)

mark-t (151149) | about 3 months ago | (#45884983)

Copyright being enforced badly doesn't make the concept of copyright bad... it makes how it is enforced bad.

They *CAN* be separate... at least in theory.

Re:Abolish it. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45885029)

Really? How would you enforce copyright without censorship and without infringing upon people's real private property rights? If I can't send those bits to someone else using my own equipment, you are infringing upon my rights.

Re:Abolish it. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45885175)

>If I can't send those bits to someone else using my own equipment, you are infringing upon my rights.

Because your rights are the only rights that matter.

Re:Abolish it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45885351)

I'm not sure how to respond to such stupidity. It's almost like you're implying that there are other rights that are at stake here, but there aren't. Government-enforced monopolies over ideas are not rights; private property rights and freedom of speech, however, are. In fact, those rights are fundamental.

Are you trying to tell me that this rent-seeking nonsense is a right? I'll never accept such a position.

Re:Abolish it. (0)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about 3 months ago | (#45885465)

So you don't mind if I distribute copies of your daughters (or some other 18+ year old you care about) sexting images all over the internet?

Re:Abolish it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45885521)

How the fuck is copyright going to do anything about that? Imbeciles with tiny dicks and no job prospects (and thus too much free time) will always be around.

Re:Abolish it. (3, Insightful)

Luckyo (1726890) | about 3 months ago | (#45885727)

Hi, my name is privacy. There are laws protecting me. They have nothing to do with copyright. They have everything to do with this scenario you described.

Also, please take your faux "oh think of the children" and shove it where the sun doesn't shine.

Re:Abolish it. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45885647)

There are no fundamental rights. Your right to "own" something is granted by the society around you. Just drop the laws concerning owning stuff and see what you can hold. Freedom of speech is also a right granted by your society. They just decide to let you jabber about anything. But not actually tell lies about someone. How is that freedom of speech? Suddenly I'm not allowed to speak anything I like?

Copyright as an idea is great. Grant a limited time monopoly on some pieces of _ART_, so it's possible to do that for a living. Now the execution of that idea is what sucks here. I believe the current system is actually worse than just abolishing the rights alltogether. Best would be to fix the system. The monopoly perioid is way too low, the limits on what can be copyrighted are way too low. Start by fixing those, then check again in 5 years.

Re:Abolish it. (4, Insightful)

Bert64 (520050) | about 3 months ago | (#45885729)

The concept of owning a physical good has been around a long time, and without laws people simply used physical force to protect their ownership.

The same thing is not true of information... You can protect information by keeping it secret, but once the secret gets out you can't stop it from spreading. Similarly the spread of information doesn't deprive the originator of that information.

And that's what you claim (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45886335)

That your right as copyright owner are the only rights that matter.

Why is it that the right of a minority voluntarily making works that require the abrogation of everyone's right to private property and self expression overwhelms the rights of the majority who do not get a choice as to whether to be under a law abrogating their right of private property and self expression?

Re:Abolish it. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45885375)

Really? How would you enforce copyright without censorship and without infringing upon people's real private property rights? If I can't send those bits to someone else using my own equipment, you are infringing upon my rights.

I don't think anybody gives a rats ass what you do with your own bits. The problem starts when you pay somebody else for the privilege of using their bits, which that third party compiled at considerable expense and then make those bits available to third parties for free. In your wold all the bits are belong to you but unfortunately the law disagrees

It's not their bits. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45886411)

If their bits are still their bits when copied on my HDD then I want to be paid rent.

However, the fact is that they are not THEIR bits. Therefore they and you should have no right to ownership of them.

Re:Abolish it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45885937)

How would you enforce copyright without censorship

Simple:

If you created it yourself, you are the copyright holder, and therefore nobody can forbid you from distributing it (at least not using copyright law). Assuming a sane copyright, this is also true if you paraphrase some existing text in your own words (because it is the expression that is to be protected by copyright, not the content).

If I can't send those bits to someone else using my own equipment, you are infringing upon my rights.

As of property rights, that is utter nonsense. It's like claiming that the laws against murder violate my property rights because they restrict me from sticking my knife into someone else's body. As of free speech rights, see above: A sane copyright law doesn't interfere.

Re:Abolish it. (1)

hawkinspeter (831501) | about 3 months ago | (#45886431)

The trick is to not prevent people from doing something, but punish them if they are caught doing so. If there are too many people doing something to be able to punish them all, then the law should be changed so that we're not all made into criminals.

Human society is largely built upon sharing.

Re:Abolish it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45885425)

Problem is that in practice us humans, despite noble intentions at the outset, have a track record of simply abusing these things.

Re:Abolish it. (5, Interesting)

Opportunist (166417) | about 3 months ago | (#45885391)

Just because politicians are corrupt asshats doesn't mean that the idea of politics and government is a bad one. Likewise, just because copyright is broken doesn't mean we should get rid of it either.

We should fix it.

Re:Abolish it. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45885445)

The only fix I see for copyright is to abolish it entirely. I am opposed to censorship, and I am opposed to ideas that infringe upon free speech and private property rights; copyright does all of those things, and so it is unjustifiable.

Also, copyright is 100% unproven. No one has ever offered any actual proof that it has done any good. But let me stress that even if they could, the problems I mentioned above are infinitely more important; copyright will always remain unjustifiable, as freedom is most important.

Re:Abolish it. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45885677)

Sir, you are a moron and a fool.

Re:Abolish it. (5, Interesting)

Greyfox (87712) | about 3 months ago | (#45885879)

Hmm. I copyright my resume to prevent dumbass recruiters from scraping it off the internet and submitting it to companies. So far that seems to be working pretty well (I haven't had to threaten to sue anyone yet.) It makes a difference because companies will typically not consider a direct application if they've already seen the same resume from a recruiter. Having the copyright notice puts recruiters on notice that I will sue the bejsus out of them (at the salary under consideration times the number of years on average I stay with a company times triple damages for intentional copyright infringement.) I think I'd have a pretty good chance of winning that, too.

I think some tweaks could be made to the legal code without discarding it completely. You could set it back to around the original term -- 10-20 years of a legal monopoly on the work in return for it being released into the public domain at the end of that time would be fine. I'd also set it up so that if you wanted to be eligible for any additional damages for infringement, you'd be required to register a DRM-free version with the Library of Congress, which will be released at the end of the copyright term. And under no circumstances could copyright ever be used to prohibit you from using hardware you purchased and own for whatever purposes you wanted to put it to. Under my regime.

Since politicians like money and the current copyright holders will deliver large briefcases of cash to them to prevent their little racket from being up-ended I really doubt this is much more than a dog-and-pony show before the back-room fuck-and-suck starts between the politicians and the political donors. By the time they get done I'm sure they'll have dismantled anything contributed by The People.

Re:Abolish it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45885979)

I copyright my resume

No, you don't. Your resume automatically was copyrighted the very moment you wrote it. What you are doing is to explicitly write down that fact, and thus make any reader explicitly aware that there is a copyright on it, and that you are willing to enforce that copyright.

Re:Abolish it. (1)

davester666 (731373) | about 3 months ago | (#45885665)

Yes, it is being fixed. Just not in the way a normal person would expect it to be. It is being fixed for super-people, or "citizens", people who have paid their dues to be part of the ruling class.

This is just a "see, we consulted everyone to come up with this legislation", that extends copyright another 100 years, and adds the death penalty as a possible punishment for people making tools that can remove or disable DRM.

Re:Abolish it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45885951)

There is no fix.

In a digital work, a "right to copy" digital information is meaningless.

Re:Abolish it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45886561)

Books and artworks were produced without copyright, and many of them were pretty good. Life without a government is pretty terrible. Abolishing copyright looks like a much more practical idea than abolishing government.

I'd like to see copyright abolished long enough for the existing copyright-exploitation-entities to wither and die, so that we can create a new copyright regime without the influence of their lobbying.

Re:Abolish it. (0)

Palinchron (924876) | about 3 months ago | (#45886751)

Likewise, just because copyright is broken doesn't mean we should get rid of it either.

No, but the notion that the whole basic concept is a bad one sure does.

Re: Abolish it (0)

king neckbeard (1801738) | about 3 months ago | (#45886765)

You can't fix something that is incapable of working. If we hold that copyright is a fundamentally flawed concept, then there's no way to fix it, just as there's no way to fix phrenology.

Re:Abolish it. (0)

EzInKy (115248) | about 3 months ago | (#45885483)

You got that right! The current laws restrict building upon current works without payment for a license. Copyright has done more to set back the advancement of mankind than the Bible.

Re:Abolish it. (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | about 3 months ago | (#45885539)

I'm assuming you are genuinely a nice guy, who intends no harm and truelly believes copyright should be gone for the good of society as a whole.

But not everybody is honest and moral like you.

There are people who would take a product of creativity and try and sell it as their own, denying fruits of labour to the inventor, author or artist.

Surely copyright has problems, but those can be fixed to be fair to all. I say look at the original intent of copyright (which is roughly to encourage creators to keep creating) and change the laws to ensure that original intent and nothing more.

Re:Abolish it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45886115)

There are people who would take a product of creativity and try and sell it as their own

That's plagiarism, which is a form of fraud.

Re:Abolish it. (1)

Urkki (668283) | about 3 months ago | (#45885715)

No, seriously. Copyright does more harm than good. Just get rid of the whole damn thing.

I think it'd be enough to make the Copyright holder have a right to a big slice of any revenue (not profits) made with use of copyrighted material without license. If there's no revenue, then there's no basis for demanding a slice of it.

Download everything! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45884925)

Share it compulsively. Do not modify it and leave it in the original artistic form but share it with as many people as you can without detonating any copyright reform trip wirees.

Fake consultation (-1)

manu0601 (2221348) | about 3 months ago | (#45884935)

After the referendum on the EU constitution in France and Netherlands, and the referendum on the Lisbon Treaty in Ireland, we know that EU leaders do not care about the vote cast by citizen. Why would they care about our opinions in this consultation?

The EU got so anti-democratic that the only way forward now is to dismantle it.

Re: Fake consultation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45885053)

How do you interprete referenda results in individual member states over an EU vide issue? Don't forget that there where several referendums in the same question that resulted in a yes.

The correct way to approve it would have been parliamentary approval in the states and en EU vide single referendum. The current rejection was more or less a joke on democracy....

Re: Fake consultation (1)

JockTroll (996521) | about 3 months ago | (#45885229)

This is exactly the EU MO: submit the issue to a referendum. If approved, declare triumphantly: "The people have spoken! Europe wins! No more votes on this issue forever!". If rejected, threaten the offending country with "dire consequences", make life unpleasant for them for a couple of years, then vote again with the warning that a negative outcome would have even less pleasant consequences. Repeat until desired result is achieved.

Re: Fake consultation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45885441)

I think you missed the point of what you replied to.

Re:Fake consultation (2)

l0n3s0m3phr34k (2613107) | about 3 months ago | (#45885363)

this will probably be studied by the various copyright holders, and used against the populace. They will find all the direct reasons why people hate them, and use that in some more insane marketing strategies and enforcement.

Well this is the democracy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45885905)

Democracy - rule of mob of idiots. The idiots choose leaders which lie cheat steal.

LOL (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45884941)

"Your input is needed!"

Thanks for the laugh.

Re:LOL (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45885115)

No really, it's true. Your input is needed so they can make the completely true claim that they consulted the public. That sort of thing makes for great PR.

Re:LOL (2)

Bite The Pillow (3087109) | about 3 months ago | (#45885873)

When the public is allowed comment, they typically reply using terrible logic. And I mean logic that terrifies the reader. The arguments are not thought through, and only seem like rational thoughts because the author believed the premise.
Any legitimate evaluation of the general public opinion would have the same effect as tossing 80% of replies at random, due to poorly laid out arguments which boil down to "my opinion is based on the news I get from one or two aggregators and I have not considered real world implications even to myself".
I cannot distinguish failure to consider public opinion, from considering it and finding it useless. Or another way, if we could trust the public to make coherent arguments, we could disregard the conclusions as a setup job.
In far too many cases, I actually think 'I agreed with you, but when you started talking your logic made me change my opinion."
Specifically, pure opinion is irrelevant because it is not a vote. Personal experience can rarely be generalized, especially when corporate experience can be so much more easily. Redundant mass verbatim copies are just "me too" opinions.
You can argue that this is intentionally designed to get the most ignorable feedback. But is there an alternative? Until we can make neutral arguments using the target audience's language, it seems unfair to expect to have any effect

Warning to the EU, from Canada (5, Informative)

mark-t (151149) | about 3 months ago | (#45884953)

Do *NOT* create any kind of web interface which automatically will send a letter to them based on some kind of template.

Someone who was very well meaning in Canada did this during our copyright consultation and the results backfired heavily... they received a staggering number of submissions, but because of the lack of effort that it takes to simply use a website, fill in your name in an appropriate field and hit "submit" without altering any of the letter content, and the fact that a very significant majority of the letter submissions were unaltered verbatim copies of one particular website's letter, the government chose to completely ignore those submissions... although the remainder of submissions that said similar ideas but were not based on that template still accounted for a majority of the total submissions, discounting that many submissions entirely almost certainly had a negative impact on how the government interpreted the consultation and the actions that they took in the aftermath of it. If even a quarter of those so called automated submissions had been an original letter from a concerned citizen which expressed the same basic ideas, I expect that the government may have interpreted the results of that consultation very differently than they did.

Re:Warning to the EU, from Canada (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45885185)

Orgs like the ACLU and the EFF create templates all the time for lazy citizens. Ignoring them sounds like an intentional circumvention of Democracy.

But as they say, "Sufficiently advanced incompetence is indistinguishable from malice."

Re:Warning to the EU, from Canada (1)

Bugamn (1769722) | about 3 months ago | (#45886271)

If the resulting letters are all equal, they could all come from the same entity.

Re:Warning to the EU, from Canada (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45885511)

Hi! Original submitter here. We're well aware of this - hence if you check out the site, it's based on making the questions easy to understand and answer in your own words, rather than to have pre-filled responses.

The point is to get many, varied, and good responses, preferrably in many different (EU) languages as well, so the Commission can't ignore them (at least not without looking like absolute asshats).

Suggestion: the EU should harmonize copyright term (4, Informative)

Animats (122034) | about 3 months ago | (#45885009)

Most of the EU contries are signatories to the Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) [wto.org] treaty. That sets a minimum copyright term of 50 years. Many EU countries now have longer copyright terms, after heavy lobbying from the US music industry.

So suggest that the EU should harmonize their nations' laws by using the 50 year TRIPS limit. The EU can do with without renegotiating any external treaties. Few works over 50 years old generate significant revenues, and longer terms just keep many works orphaned and forgotten, rather than in the public domain.

This would set a de-facto worldwide standard of 50 years. The US, with its much longer terms, would then be the major exception, and would be under pressure to reduce its copyright term.

It's a goal that's within reach. Whining about "copyright is evil" wiil get nowhere. Asking the EU to harmonize their laws with the WTO standard has a good chance of playing well in Brussels.

It should, but preferably at less than 50 years (4, Informative)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | about 3 months ago | (#45885205)

This would set a de-facto worldwide standard of 50 years.

I appreciate that there is an element of fighting for what you can realistically achieve in political matters. I'm also generally in favour of retaining the basic principle of copyright, at least until a better idea for promoting the creation and distribution of new works comes along.

Even so, I think the fundamental problem with your position is that it still implicitly accepts that a copyright term comparable to many humans' adult lifetimes is reasonable. With the rise of modern technologies, a much shorter term would still provide a substantial commercial incentive to create and share new works, without locking up aspects of our culture to the same degree. I'm open to discussions on the specifics for different types of work and for special cases like orphan works or works that continue to be developed over time, but I would expect a period of no more than 10-20 years from public disclosure should be more than adequate in just about any case today.

Re:It should, but preferably at less than 50 years (4, Interesting)

chrismcb (983081) | about 3 months ago | (#45885605)

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-switch/wp/2013/07/31/why-does-amazon-have-more-books-from-the-1880s-than-the-1980s-blame-copyright/ [washingtonpost.com] claims there is a SIGNIFICANT drop off of books on amazon after about 20 years. So it appears that something in the range of 25 years (at least for books) is a fine length of time. I don't see why that wouldn't work for any other medium.
Any period of time that is longer than the average lifetime of a human, isn't really limited.

Re:It should, but preferably at less than 50 years (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | about 3 months ago | (#45885847)

Your numbers sound reasonable, but to me they suggest something more like an upper bound on how long protection should last, not necessarily a target.

I believe copyright is best treated as a purely economic tool; it may have some desirable side-effects like giving credit to artists or maintaining confidentiality, but these are usually better treated as separate issues IMHO. On that basis, the job of copyright is to provide sufficient economic support to allow reasonable financial returns to be generated from creating and distributing useful works.

So, if a AAA console game has made 90% of the revenues it will ever generate today after the first few weeks, or a Hollywood blockbuster makes 90% of its revenues within a couple of years because that's when cinema showings, DVD releases and first runs on broadcast TV happen, then a period of perhaps five years from first public performance might be sufficient.

On the other hand, something like a school textbook can be very labour intensive to produce in good quality, but might bring in substantial revenues over several years if it can be adapted to produce slightly modified editions suitable for different national markets, not all of them necessarily available immediately in the first year of publication. A period as short as five years might cause a sharp reduction in returns in this case, potentially meaning it's no longer worth putting in the effort to produce a good textbook and corners get cut instead. This clearly isn't a desirable outcome if our goal is to promote the creation and distribution of good quality works, so maybe longer protection is needed in such cases to maintain sufficient incentive.

Re:Suggestion: the EU should harmonize copyright t (3, Interesting)

tlambert (566799) | about 3 months ago | (#45885269)

So suggest that the EU should harmonize their nations' laws by using the 50 year TRIPS limit. The EU can do with without renegotiating any external treaties. Few works over 50 years old generate significant revenues, and longer terms just keep many works orphaned and forgotten, rather than in the public domain.

This is an OK suggestion, with the caveat that the TRIPS limit should be a limit cap, not the actual limit, since the effect of setting it to the TRIPS limit would be immediate and incessant lobbying to raise the TRIPS limit. This is a likely outcome of setting the TRIPS limit as a cap as well, but then there would be no obligation on the part of the EU to raise their limit, should such lobbying be successful.

Assuming this is done, there should also be a proviso that, should the TRIPS limit be lowered, that the EU limits are also automatically lowered, while any raises in the limit should require explicit EU legislation to match. So if the EU "harmonizes" to 50 years to equal the TRIPS limit, then the TRIPS limit goes down to 40 years, the EU automatically goes down to 40 years, and if the TRIPS limit is then jacked back up to 50 years or higher, the EU remains at 40 years, low watermarking the EU limit.

This would set a de-facto worldwide standard of 50 years. The US, with its much longer terms, would then be the major exception, and would be under pressure to reduce its copyright term.

This is highly unlikely; the two California Senators with the most power in regard to U.S. Copyright law are strongly incentivized through campaign contributions from the movie industry bodies (MPAA, et. al.), and, to a lesser extent, since it is less localized to California, the music industry.

In other words, there would be about as much pressure on the U.S. to lower its limits as there is for Disney to put Mickey Mouse in the public domain, and about as much as there is on the current WIPO to lower the TRIPS limits -- which is to say "effectively none".

Re:Suggestion: the EU should harmonize copyright t (2)

Xeno man (1614779) | about 3 months ago | (#45885355)

Which is why the EU needs to tell the US to go fuck them selves when the US demands longer copyright terms.

Re:Suggestion: the EU should harmonize copyright t (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45885407)

This would set a de-facto worldwide standard of 50 years. The US, with its much longer terms, would then be the major exception, and would be under pressure to reduce its copyright term.

This is highly unlikely; the two California Senators with the most power in regard to U.S. Copyright law are strongly incentivized through campaign contributions from the movie industry bodies (MPAA, et. al.), and, to a lesser extent, since it is less localized to California, the music industry.

In other words, there would be about as much pressure on the U.S. to lower its limits as there is for Disney to put Mickey Mouse in the public domain, and about as much as there is on the current WIPO to lower the TRIPS limits -- which is to say "effectively none".

Would the US limits really matter? If everybody else has a 50 year limit and the US has much longer ones their content creation industry would have two choices:
1) Not sell media outside the US and forego the profits thus creating a booming content smuggling industry.
2) Create a firewall around the US (unlikely) to prevent us citizens from getting material that is expired elsewhere in the world for free.

Re:Suggestion: the EU should harmonize copyright t (1)

l0n3s0m3phr34k (2613107) | about 3 months ago | (#45885371)

nah, we would just bomb the EU into submission, or do something stupid like ban / embargo stuff.

Re:Suggestion: the EU should harmonize copyright t (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45886019)

nah, we would just bomb the EU into submission

You are aware that two countries with nuclear weapons are in the EU?

or do something stupid like ban / embargo stuff.

With the Asian markets getting more important, the effects of an US embargo would diminish. Also, the EU would certainly put counter-embargos. Imagine an embargo on Hollywood movies ... maybe coupled with a selective non-enforcement of copyright on them ;-)

Re:Suggestion: the EU should harmonize copyright t (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 3 months ago | (#45885403)

50 years is already way beyond any sensibility. 50 years might have been sensible in a time when it took ages from conception to publication to penetration, but in a time when the time between conception and penetration, given rapid development tools and distribution and advertising venues like the internet, could be measured in days rather than years, anything past 10 years is already an abomination.

In this fast paced world, you will rather not invest in an artistic venture where you cannot regain your investment within a year. Not 10. ONE. Or do you remember who won the American Idiot show 2 years ago?

Re:Suggestion: the EU should harmonize copyright t (3, Insightful)

maswan (106561) | about 3 months ago | (#45885793)

Maybe. On the other hand, 10 year terms means no movie company ever has to pay the author of a book for making the movie out of a book, or adher to the authors wishes. Just wait the years out.

Re:Suggestion: the EU should harmonize copyright t (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45886029)

Actually I think the length of copyright should depend on the type of work. A book from 30 years ago may still be relevant. A software from 30 years ago is utterly outdated and mostly worthless.

Re:Suggestion: the EU should harmonize copyright t (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45886059)

That's what trademarks are for.

Re:Suggestion: the EU should harmonize copyright t (1)

aaribaud (585182) | about 3 months ago | (#45886487)

How about different terms depending on whether the rights owner is a person or a company?

For instance, physical authors, whom may want to ensure survival of their direct descendance, could enjoy up to say thirty years from death (or less if all immediate descendants have become adults able to sustain themselves), whereas companies, which seek profitability, would only enjoy at most 10 years from publication (or less if profitability has obviously been reached eariler).

Of course, actual criteria for either case could be discussed. I chose the ones above as examples only.

Re:Suggestion: the EU should harmonize copyright t (1)

coofercat (719737) | about 3 months ago | (#45886607)

In 10 years, 50 Shades of Grey, as an example, will be a long-forgotten memory. Just last year it was THE book to be reading (although probably not on public transport). If they make a film out of it in 10 years, it might just help shift a few extra books.

I'd hazard that the same would be true for Harry Potter. I seriously doubt it'll be a popular book in 5 years, and so making a film might give it a bit of a boost. Shame they already used up that option though ;-)

assumptions... (1)

king neckbeard (1801738) | about 3 months ago | (#45886713)

You are assuming that the only factor that motivates studios is avoiding paying authors. While it's certainly a big factor, you have to keep in mind that they would also face competition since other studios could make the same work, there are often limited shelf lives for maximum commercialization, and involvement and endorsement from the author can be quite valuable.

Re:Suggestion: the EU should harmonize copyright t (1)

drsmithy (35869) | about 3 months ago | (#45885919)

Few works over 50 years old generate significant revenues, [...]
The limit should not be decided around when a work has stopped generating significant revenues, but by when it has made the creator a reasonable return on their investment [of time].

That way it actually works as an incentive to keep creating.

Further, there should be a distinction between copyright for the purposes of acknowledging a work's creator (which should be automatic, and not expire), and copyright for the purposes of commercialising the work (which should be opt-in, and short). (I believe EU copyright already makes this distinction to some degree.)

Re:Suggestion: the EU should harmonize copyright t (1)

aaribaud (585182) | about 3 months ago | (#45886513)

Further, there should be a distinction between copyright for the purposes of acknowledging a work's creator (which should be automatic, and not expire), and copyright for the purposes of commercialising the work (which should be opt-in, and short). (I believe EU copyright already makes this distinction to some degree.)

Indeed, at least in France: we have "moral" rights (correct attribution of the author, respect to the author's work) which cannot be sold or otherwise taken away from the author (even after their death and even beyond the 50 years limit), and there are "patrimonial" rights which govern anything related to commercial use of the work, and which can be sold.

Re:Suggestion: the EU should harmonize copyright t (1)

sirlark (1676276) | about 3 months ago | (#45886173)

I've said it before, I'll say it again. Let the market for the work drive it's copyright term. I think most copyrights should be registered in a database, the only exceptions being works with exteremely short life spans such as news items. Rights holders should get a certain short period of free protection, where the length of the period is dependent on the nature of the work (music recording, video, novel, poem, song lyrics, news broadcast, combinations thereof). The period would be determined factoring the costs of production for the type of work, and the general longevity of the work, e.g. movies aare expensive to make compared to a music album, but less likely to be popular 5 years hence. Production costs proportionally increase the period length for the type of work, and potential longevity proportionally decreases the period, because longevity in popularity extends the commercial viability of the work. At the end of the period, the rights holder may renew the copyright registration for a significant cost, for the same amount of time. At the end of the second period, renewal costs double, and double again for the third renewal etc. In this way the length of a copyright term is tied to the specific work's contribution to society via a market mechanism. As long as the work is profitable, which is an indication that society in general finds it worth while, it is worth while paying the renewal costs. Consider some examples:

1) A successful popular music album. The artist creates the album, registers the copyright, and gets 1 year free copyright protection. In the first year it makes a lot of money, and is still selling well towards the end of the year. The artist renews the copyright for a fee (say 100 euros). At the end of the second year, sales have started to taper, but the artist still feels 200 euros (doubled from 100) is worth paying. At the point where sales drop to a level that the ever increasing renewel cost is more than the profit made in a year, the artist is encouraged to produce a new work, if they haven't already.

2) A news broadcast or article. No need to register because it would take too long, but they are only covered for a month. After that, registration is required to renew. The financial potential of news works diminishes rapidly, and it is in the public interest that it falls into the public domain equally quickly so that it can be discused, analysed, and derived into secondary works without limit as soon as possible.

3) A film. Production costs are high, and the chances of becoming a classic are low, so we would have a long period for films, say 5 years, which should be enough to recoup the production costs and make a profit. If it isn't, then film was likely a commercial failure anyway. 5 years should be enough time to determine whether a film has any value as a so called cult-classic in the era of digital distribution and social media. Renewal costs for films start at 10,000 euro though because the term is so long.

In each of these examples, the length of the copyright is regulated by the perceived value (where entertainment is also considered valueable) of the individual work by society at large. This also encourages rights holders to make their works as widey available as possible in the shortest amount of time possible, and makes rent-seeking behaviours un-profitable very quickly. Finally, it ensures long term availability by making sure the work fall into the public domain as soon as the rights holder no longer deems it profitable, which is exactly how long copyrights should last.

Go and do something about it! (1)

sirlark (1676276) | about 3 months ago | (#45886181)

P.S. If you like this idea, or even have improvements and/or comments, don't just make them here, go and fill in question 74 on the questionnaire. Even if it's the only thing you fill in. You only have to answer questions on which you have an opinion.

Re:Suggestion: the EU should harmonize copyright t (1)

stiggle (649614) | about 3 months ago | (#45886377)

We should distinguish between the end user and a commerical user.
While I don't think there is much to be made from the early Beatles albums (first 2 albums are now over 50 years old), I don't think anyone should be allowed to use one of those tracks in movies, adverts, etc without permission or payment.

So 50 years for sales, 70 years for commercial re-use.

Not the US way! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45885015)

Whatever the US suggests or has in place do the opposite.

5 years (1)

Pope Benedict XVI (881674) | about 3 months ago | (#45885031)

Copyright was originally 14 years, renewable once. But that was back before movies, radio, and TV. Typesetting was done by hand, books were distributed by horse-drawn carts. In this day and age 5 years is more than enough time to display your work and make a tidy profit. See also What Would You Ask For in Copyright Law? [slashdot.org].

My 20 cents (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45885051)

Copyrights (and patents) should last for 20 years. Period. No extensions. No life of the author + a billion years. Nothing. No minor change and now it's protected again for another forever. NOTHING.

20 years. End of discussion. You get 20 years of protection for your idea/creation/invention and that's it. After that it's fair game for anyone to use anyway they want without paying a dime to you. 20 years is plenty long enough. 20 years is enough time to create another human and release it to the world. 20 years for an IDEA is more than enough time.

This needs to be done worldwide for any real change tho. With one stick up the ass group like the united states fucking it up... Pretty much ruins the whole idea.

Copyright is made out of people (5, Informative)

TrollstonButterbeans (2914995) | about 3 months ago | (#45885097)

Copyright is made out of people. This isn't a joke or being funny, by the way and as a result it will NEVER be "right".

Since copyright is made out of people, and people come up with laws to try to maximize productivity and creation, there will always be scavengers and predators looking to exploit copyright for private gain.

Google, for example, loves weaker copyright protection so they can sell 3rd party content. Media companies and small-time authors love copyright because it rewards the creation of works.

Meanwhile, fans dislike copyright because it creates an imbalance between quality vs. convenience (cracked software is ALWAYS better) or availability (a movie or game isn't available in a certain region or is no longer sold).

Because copyright is made of out of people, there isn't going to be a "final solution" --- it must always be subject to revision because any legal system is subject to exploits.

I'm not implying "you shouldn't try", actually I'm saying you always SHOULD try to improve it.

But the results will be imperfect next time too ... because there are always at least 2 angles for exploit (the too lax exploit and the too strict exploit). This will, in fact, be a perpetual issue ...

Re:Copyright is made out of people (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45885183)

Soylent Green is made out of people too. Mmmmmmm ....

Copyright registration (2)

QuasiSteve (2042606) | about 3 months ago | (#45886255)

Google, for example, loves weaker copyright protection so they can sell 3rd party content. Media companies and small-time authors love copyright because it rewards the creation of works.

One of the things Amelia Andersdotter suggests people say 'yes' to, is required copyright registration. I'm sure the idea is that it makes it harder for some random person or company to come after you for placing their image (usually with all credits cropped out, if posts on imgur and such are any indication) on your blog/tumblr/whatever.

Of course this does cut both ways. If you take a news-worthy photo, you'd better register the copyright first - which takes some time and I have no doubt may eventually lead to some processing fees - or every news outlet in the world is just going to yoink it, use it, may not even bother with attribution, and enjoy all the advertising income it helped generate.
Maybe you don't mind, maybe that's what you want to happen for your photo. Then again, maybe you do mind and only want 'the little guy' to use it and not the big media companies (think BSD-type licensed software and some people complaining about companies using that without giving back, with the usual co-comments 'should have used GPL instead').

Slapping a CC-BY-NC type license on an image previously got you the best of both worlds - at least where the license is respected.. the 'little guy' can still drop it on their tumblr, while Fox News, CNN, etc. will have to contact you and at least request permission first.

That is an immediately available choice that required copyright registration takes away entirely, and puts up a barrier (be that in time taken for the registration or, and don't think it wouldn't happen, a processing fee required to be paid) for most other avenues.

I understand her goal with this (one more step to abolishing copyright - and I'm in favor of that, but also in favor of more stringent distribution rights - via making sure that anything not registered is essentially public domain), but I disagree with the method. If anything, it favors big media.

Deadline is 5 February (3, Informative)

ciaran_o_riordan (662132) | about 3 months ago | (#45885131)

There's only one month left, don't procrastinate too long.

Re:Deadline is 5 February (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45885329)

BWAAA HA HA! That is funny. You do realize that the majority of the people that come to this site are too fucking apathetic to do anything but bitch about the way things are. "I don't bother to vote" is a proud mantra of many here.

Re:Deadline is 5 February (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 3 months ago | (#45885411)

I vote. But then again, I'm not in the US. If I were, I would probably not. For the same reason why I would have considered voting in the Soviet Union moot.

Better idea (0)

roman_mir (125474) | about 3 months ago | (#45885143)

abolish the fucking thing. Get rid of all copyright and patent government intrusion into the free market.

Re:Better idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45885345)

abolish the fucking thing. Get rid of all copyright and patent government intrusion into the free market.

I appreciate the sentiment. Often I promote getting rid of coercive copyrights and patents. Which is to say, I emphasize that these concepts could exist as private concepts that each of us negotiates on our own terms as if we were a nation.

Want to work at Disney? You may have to agree to respect their and their consortium's copyrights. There would be benefits: better media access, job, and your own copyrights respected by reciprocity (in theory, of course). As civil law, criminal penalties would not be honorable unless rising to some nth degree (fraud, contempt of court judgements, etc). More so since the goal is to increase signatories (sic?) and not pay money for jails that could go to profits and content creation, there would be little incentive to build in criminality.

The same could work for tech companies and patents. If you're an individual with a process patent idea, then you could approach the large companies who use or could use that process AND belong to your patent consortium. If a company like GE decides they'd rather not join such a group, then you know to keep your idea far, far, far the fuck away from them. Instead you take it to DuPont that belongs.

If either idea doesn't work because nobody agrees, then - IMO - QED - then copyrights and patents weren't all that important to begin with (as concerns product/art development). This wouldn't surprise me in the least.

In any case, individuals and companies can reject onerous terms.

Another thing to point out is that when the framers wrote the constitution, they didn't have the type of government we have - duh. But I mean to say maybe they couldn't raise the funds to develop high tech (space, bio, weapons). For better or worse, our governments can so they don't need this indirect mechanism to reward indirectly. They can just buy the shit outright. Not that I advocate the gubblemint funding a new vaccine, it would be better to pay for it with tax revenues than to "protect" or "encourage" with patents. One cost is direct and auditable. The other is indirect and a greater affront to our liberties (IMO) than taxation.

It is the use of coercive force in copyrights and patents that ought to be rejected 100%. IMO!

Copyright in the U.S.? (1)

MobSwatter (2884921) | about 3 months ago | (#45885289)

Nah, those that would enforce it here ran off to be gmen/spooks and fight some corporate war for oi... err middle eastern mob... err terrorists, yeah, that's it, terrorism...

-And I wouldn't really take anything the U.S. has to heart on pretty much any subject these days, they're nuts here, I mean flat ass nuttier than squirrel shit, bat shit crazy.

Please add these provisos (3, Interesting)

tlambert (566799) | about 3 months ago | (#45885301)

Please add these provisos:

(1) If a work is explicitly placed into the public domain, then it receives indemnity protection equivalent to that provided by the BSD two clause license, so that authors are not *required* to keep a work out of the public domain and place a license on it in order to obtain a legal "hold harmless". Most BSD licensed software, for example, would have been placed in the public domain, rather than licensed at all, if it were not for the need for the author to disclaim legal liability.

(2) If a work is placed in the public domain, it shall not be legal to place it under other terms; it remains in the public domain in perpetuity. You can't just take a public domain work and slap a license or DRM on it; for example, a book placed in the public domain can not be converted to a DRM protected eBook format which would prevent further dissemination of the work (e.g. no grabbing Joseph Conrad from Project Gutenberg and making it non-redistributable).

Re:Please add these provisos (1)

chrismcb (983081) | about 3 months ago | (#45885619)

I don't understand your point #2. If a book is in public domain, and someone else releases a DRM protected eBook version. Nothing stops you are anyone else from releasing a public domain eBook version.
Don't complicate things needlessly.

Re:Please add these provisos (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45885669)

I don't understand your point #2. If a book is in public domain, and someone else releases a DRM protected eBook version. Nothing stops you are anyone else from releasing a public domain eBook version.

Don't complicate things needlessly.

Its rather obvious.

Its meant to prevent people from claiming public domain work as their own, then sueing the hell out of anybody using anything similar. Like say Disney, and retold folk tales, I mean original work they are legally entitled to income from.

Re:Please add these provisos (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45886077)

It's not the DRM that gives them the ability to sue. It's the idea that they somehow gained any rights on the work by making an ebook from it (be it DRMed or not). Your suggestion is as if you'd try to fight theft not by making theft illegal, but by making it illegal to carry away stuff in bags.

Re:Please add these provisos (1)

Kjella (173770) | about 3 months ago | (#45886343)

(1) wouldn't be very practical until it applied in most of the world and without a claim of who placed it in the public domain it'd be like grabbing random things with no copyright notice off web pages. Granted, you'd probably replace the two clause with "Placed in the public domain by [name], [year]" but it wouldn't really make it any easier to show that all your code is legally licensed.

(2) would be silly since everything derives from the public domain, you're trying to narrow down a direct reproduction (slap a license on it) as something special but you'd end up in a legal quagmire over how little needs to change. You can take a BSD codebase, add 0.01% spice and sell it as your own closed source binary, the public domain would be the same.

public can influence policy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45885337)

really? did i neglect to notice that teleportation to an alternate universe? corporate interests have so much riding on stronger copyright laws and longer copyright terms, that the "general public's" opinions won't matter, at all, when all is said and done. after all, it is the corporate interests that permit the government administrations to exist.... might be an american thing, but still holds true in europe as well.

Use it or lose it (1, Insightful)

rhysweatherley (193588) | about 3 months ago | (#45885339)

If you won't make your content available in a convenient form in a timely fashion, you lose the right to complain when someone else does.

One Provision (1, Insightful)

The Cat (19816) | about 3 months ago | (#45885357)

If your work is not available for commercial sale, your copyright expires and your work is irrevocably transferred to the public domain.

free the innocent stem cells (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45885437)

who could possibly benefit from holding them hostage?

Government & Stealth Malware (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45885443)

Nobody Seems To Notice and Nobody Seems To Care - Government & Stealth Malware

#

In Response To Slashdot Article: Former Pentagon Analyst: China Has Backdoors To 80% of Telecoms

(The reader should know this article was written and distributed prior to the "badBIOS" revelations.)

How many rootkits does the US[2] use officially or unofficially?

How much of the free but proprietary software in the US spies on you?

Which software would that be?

Visit any of the top freeware sites in the US, count the number of thousands or millions of downloads of free but proprietary software, much of it works, again on a proprietary Operating System, with files stored or in transit.

How many free but proprietary programs have you downloaded and scanned entire hard drives, flash drives, and other media? Do you realize you are giving these types of proprietary programs complete access to all of your computer's files on the basis of faith alone?

If you are an atheist, the comparison is that you believe in code you cannot see to detect and contain malware on the basis of faith! So you do believe in something invisible to you, don't you?

I'm now going to touch on a subject most anti-malware, commercial or free, developers will DELETE on most of their forums or mailing lists:

APT malware infecting and remaining in BIOS, on PCI and AGP devices, in firmware, your router (many routers are forced to place backdoors in their firmware for their government) your NIC, and many other devices.

Where are the commercial or free anti-malware organizations and individual's products which hash and compare in the cloud and scan for malware for these vectors? If you post on mailing lists or forums of most anti-malware organizations about this threat, one of the following actions will apply: your post will be deleted and/or moved to a hard to find or 'deleted/junk posts' forum section, someone or a team of individuals will mock you in various forms 'tin foil hat', 'conspiracy nut', and my favorite, 'where is the proof of these infections?' One only needs to search Google for these threats and they will open your malware world view to a much larger arena of malware on devices not scanned/supported by the scanners from these freeware sites. This point assumed you're using the proprietary Microsoft Windows OS. Now, let's move on to Linux.

The rootkit scanners for Linux are few and poor. If you're lucky, you'll know how to use chkrootkit (but you can use strings and other tools for analysis) and show the strings of binaries on your installation, but the results are dependent on your capability of deciphering the output and performing further analysis with various tools or in an environment such as Remnux Linux. None of these free scanners scan the earlier mentioned areas of your PC, either! Nor do they detect many of the hundreds of trojans and rootkits easily available on popular websites and the dark/deep web.

Compromised defenders of Linux will look down their nose at you (unless they are into reverse engineering malware/bad binaries, Google for this and Linux and begin a valuable education!) and respond with a similar tone, if they don't call you a noob or point to verifying/downloading packages in a signed repo/original/secure source or checking hashes, they will jump to conspiracy type labels, ignore you, lock and/or shuffle the thread, or otherwise lead you astray from learning how to examine bad binaries. The world of Linux is funny in this way, and I've been a part of it for many years. The majority of Linux users, like the Windows users, will go out of their way to lead you and say anything other than pointing you to information readily available on detailed binary file analysis.

Don't let them get you down, the information is plenty and out there, some from some well known publishers of Linux/Unix books. Search, learn, and share the information on detecting and picking through bad binaries. But this still will not touch the void of the APT malware described above which will survive any wipe of r/w media. I'm convinced, on both *nix and Windows, these pieces of APT malware are government in origin. Maybe not from the US, but most of the 'curious' malware I've come across in poisoned binaries, were written by someone with a good knowledge in English, some, I found, functioned similar to the now well known Flame malware. From my experience, either many forum/mailing list mods and malware developers/defenders are 'on the take', compromised themselves, and/or working for a government entity.

Search enough, and you'll arrive at some lone individuals who cry out their system is compromised and nothing in their attempts can shake it of some 'strange infection'. These posts receive the same behavior as I said above, but often they are lone posts which receive no answer at all, AT ALL! While other posts are quickly and kindly replied to and the 'strange infection' posts are left to age and end up in a lost pile of old threads.

If you're persistent, the usual challenge is to, "prove it or STFU" and if the thread is not attacked or locked/shuffled and you're lucky to reference some actual data, they will usually attack or ridicule you and further drive the discussion away from actual proof of APT infections.

The market is ripe for an ambitious company or individual to begin demanding companies and organizations who release firmware and design hardware to release signed and hashed packages and pour this information into the cloud, so everyone's BIOS is checked, all firmware on routers, NICs, and other devices are checked, and malware identified and knowledge reported and shared openly.

But even this will do nothing to stop backdoored firmware (often on commercial routers and other networked devices of real importance for government use - which again opens the possibility of hackers discovering these backdoors) people continue to use instead of refusing to buy hardware with proprietary firmware/software.

Many people will say, "the only safe computer is the one disconnected from any network, wireless, wired, LAN, internet, intranet" but I have seen and you can search yourself for and read about satellite, RF, temperature, TEMPEST (is it illegal in your part of the world to SHIELD your system against some of these APT attacks, especially TEMPEST? And no, it's not simply a CRT issue), power line and many other attacks which can and do strike computers which have no active network connection, some which have never had any network connection. Some individuals have complained they receive APT attacks throughout their disconnected systems and they are ridiculed and labeled as a nutter. The information exists, some people have gone so far as to scream from the rooftops online about it, but they are nutters who must have some serious problems and this technology with our systems could not be possible.

I believe most modern computer hardware is more powerful than many of us imagine, and a lot of these systems swept from above via satellite and other attacks. Some exploits take advantage of packet radio and some of your proprietary hardware. Some exploits piggyback and unless you really know what you're doing, and even then... you won't notice it.

Back to the Windows users, a lot of them will dismiss any strange activity to, "that's just Windows!" and ignore it or format again and again only to see the same APT infected activity continue. Using older versions of sysinternals, I've observed very bizarre behavior on a few non networked systems, a mysterious chat program running which doesn't exist on the system, all communication methods monitored (bluetooth, your hard/software modems, and more), disk mirroring software running[1], scans running on different but specific file types, command line versions of popular Windows freeware installed on the system rather than the use of the graphical component, and more.

[1] In one anonymous post on pastebin, claiming to be from an intel org, it blasted the group Anonymous, with a bunch of threats and information, including that their systems are all mirrored in some remote location anyway.

[2] Or other government, US used in this case due to the article source and speculation vs. China. This is not to defend China, which is one messed up hell hole on several levels and we all need to push for human rights and freedom for China's people. For other, freer countries, however, the concentration camps exist but you would not notice them, they originate from media, mostly your TV, and you don't even know it. As George Carlin railed about "Our Owners", "nobody seems to notice and nobody seems to care".

[3] http://www.stallman.org/ [stallman.org]

Try this yourself on a wide variety of internet forums and mailing lists, push for malware scanners to scan more than files, but firmware/BIOS. See what happens, I can guarantee it won't be pleasant, especially with APT cases.

So scan away, or blissfully ignore it, but we need more people like RMS[3] in the world. Such individuals tend to be eccentric but their words ring true and clear about electronics and freedom.

I believe we're mostly pwned, whether we would like to admit it or not, blind and pwned, yet fiercely holding to misinformation, often due to lack of self discovery and education, and "nobody seems to notice and nobody seems to care".

##

Schneier has covered it before: power line fluctuations (differences on the wire in keys pressed).

There's thermal attacks against cpus and temp, also:

ENF (google it)

A treat (ENF Collector in Java):

sourceforge dot net fwdslash projects fwdslash nfienfcollector

No single antimalware scanner exists which offers the ability to scan (mostly proprietary) firmware on AGP/PCI devices (sound cards, graphics cards, usb novelty devices excluding thumb drives), BIOS/CMOS.

If you boot into ultimate boot cd you can use an archane text interface to dump BIOS/CMOS and examine/checksum.

The real attacks which survive disk formats and wipes target your PCI devices and any firmware which may be altered/overwritten with something special. It is not enough to scan your hard drive(s) and thumb drives, the real dangers with teeth infect your hardware devices.

When is the last time you:

Audited your sound card for malware?
Audited your graphics card for malware?
Audited your network card for malware?

Google for:

* AGP and PCI rootkit(s)
* Network card rootkit(s)
* BIOS/CMOS rootkit(s)

Our modern PC hardware is capable of much more than many can imagine.

Do you:

        Know your router's firmware may easily be replaced on a hacker's whim?
        Shield all cables against leakage and attacks
        Still use an old CRT monitor and beg for TEMPEST attacks?
        Use TEMPEST resistant fonts in all of your applications including your OS?
        Know whether or not your wired keyboard has keypresses encrypted as they pass to your PC from the keyboard?
        Use your PC on the grid and expose yourself to possible keypress attacks?
        Know your network card is VERY exploitable when plugged into the net and attacked by a hard core blackhat or any vicious geek with the know how?
        Sarch out informative papers on these subjects and educate your friends and family about these attacks?
        Contact antimalware companies and urge them to protect against many or all these attacks?

Do you trust your neighbors? Are they all really stupid when it comes to computing or is there a geek or two without a conscience looking to exploit these areas?

The overlooked threat are the potential civilian rogues stationed around you, especially in large apartment blocks who feed on unsecured wifi to do their dirty work.

With the recent news of Russian spies, whether or not this news was real or a psyop, educate yourself on the present threats which all antimalware scanners fail to protect against and remove any smug mask you may wear, be it Linux or OpenBSD, or the proprietary Windows and Mac OS you feel are properly secured and not vulnerable to any outside attacks because you either don't need an antivirus scanner (all are inept to serious attacks) or use one or several (many being proprietary mystery machines sending data to and from your machine for many reasons, one is to share your information with a group or set database to help aid in threats), the threats often come in mysterious ways.

Maybe the ancients had it right: stone tablets and their own unique language(s) rooted in symbolism.

#

I'm more concerned about new rootkits which target PCI devices, such as the graphics card and the optical drives, also, BIOS. Where are the malware scanners which scan PCI devices and BIOS for mismatches? All firmware, BIOS and on PCI devices should be checksummed and saved to match with others in the cloud, and archived when the computer is first used, backing up signed firmware.

When do you recall seeing signed router firmware upgrades with any type of checksum to check against? Same for PCI devices and optical drives and BIOS.

Some have begun with BIOS security:

http://www.biosbits.org/ [biosbits.org]

Some BIOS has write protection in its configuration, a lot of newer computers don't.

#

"Disconnect your PC from the internet and don't add anything you didn't create yourself. It worked for the NOC list machine in Mission Impossible"

The room/structure was likely heavily shielded, whereas most civvies don't shield their house and computer rooms. There is more than meets the eye to modern hardware.

Google:

subversion hack:
tagmeme(dot)com/subhack/
(This domain expired and has been replaced by different content. Please visit Archive.org - The Wayback Machine and dig for previous versions of original content)

network card rootkits and trojans
pci rootkits
packet radio
xmit "fm fingerprinting" software
"specific emitter identification"
forums(dot)qrz(dot)com

how many malware scanners scan bios/cmos and pci/agp cards for malware? zero, even the rootkit scanners. have you checksummed/dumped your bios/cmos and firmware for all your pci/agp devices and usb devices, esp vanity usb devices in and outside the realm of common usb devices (thumbdrives, external hdds, printers),

Unless your computer room is shielded properly, the computers may still be attacked and used, I've personally inspected computers with no network connection running mysterious code in the background which task manager for windows and the eqiv for *nix does not find, and this didn't find it all.

Inspect your windows boot partition in *nix with hexdump and look for proxy packages mentioned along with command line burning programs and other oddities. Computers are more vulnerable than most would expect.

You can bet all of the malware scanners today, unless they are developed by some lone indy coder in a remote country, employ whitelisting of certain malware and none of them scan HARDWARE devices apart from the common usb devices.

Your network cards, sound cards, cd/dvd drives, graphics cards, all are capable of carrying malware to survive disk formatting/wiping.

Boot from a Linux live cd and use hexdump to examine your windows (and *nix) boot sectors to potentially discover interesting modifications by an unknown party.

#
eof

I have an idea (2)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about 3 months ago | (#45885479)

Take out all the parts that were lobbied for.

Take it back to something reasonable, like 20 years since creation. Perhaps require copyright registration so there is a place someone can go to check if something is under copyright.

That, or adopt the Marshall Islands copyright laws.

My suggstion (0)

aissixtir (2752321) | about 3 months ago | (#45885565)

My suggestion would be to let people use any material without having to worry about copyright as long it is not used commercial. Copyright owners tend to use the fact that they lose a lot of profit from the internet. However, there have been studies showing that because of the internet several things get popular. For example Game of Thrones, it is released in the US, if only the US could see it (in fact only those who paid the subscription in the US) there GoT would not be the success it is right now. HODOR COPOR

Re:My suggstion (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45885723)

My suggestion would be to let people use any material without having to worry about copyright as long it is not used commercial.

Copyright owners tend to use the fact that they lose a lot of profit from the internet. However, there have been studies showing that because of the internet several things get popular. For example Game of Thrones, it is released in the US, if only the US could see it (in fact only those who paid the subscription in the US) there GoT would not be the success it is right now. HODOR COPOR

In terms of internet distribution(legal or not), if you take away the industry hype we've learned two important points over time.

People tend to pay for stuff, as long as you make it easy. Convenience is a powerful motivator. Most people would rather pay Steam than go download something and crack it. Netflix makes money hand over fist. On the other hand, if your DRM scheme is annoying people would rather crack their product than pay for it. A cracked product is easy to use, even if cracking it takes effort. if DRM annoys the customer, they have been motivated to crack it.

Extra exposure generated by the internet, even pirated copies of a work, tend to be worth far more in terms of exposure/advertising than any potential lost sale. As long as your product is good. If its shite, word that its shite will simply get out faster. In neither case is the internet or piracy to blame for poor sales, because unless you've ignored the first rule and made buying your product a pain, downloads don't represent lost sales. They typically represent people who can't or wouldn't buy you product anyway.

The Internet is good for business. Especially if you have older products that don't tend to be getting shelf space in stores anymore. Authors in the Baen Free Library saw huge sales boosts on their older titles. The only people having trouble with it are those who failed to embrace it.

Shows like GoT are some of the most pirated things on the net because of Rule One. Its hard to get access to it, and over priced. You only get to legally watch it if you pay inflated premium cable prices, that come with huge bundles of channels you don't care about. Lots of people would pay for Game of Thrones, if they could buy just Game of Thrones, at a reasonable price. But they can't, no cable company will sell you just HBO. You need to sign up for a huge package before they'll offer you HBO.

While people do tend to willingly buy products when its easy and convenient, people can also tell when they are getting screwed. People tend to not feel so bad screwing back when that happens. Then you get record setting piracy rates.

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