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File-sharing, Digital Rights Management, Etc.

michael posted more than 12 years ago | from the another-brick-in-the-wall dept.

Music 167

Politech has a couple of good articles on political developments in the post-Napster world. (That's almost a Katz phrase there, isn't it?) The folks behind Kazaa, when they're not busy spying on their userbase, took the time to write to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee after a bashing they took a few weeks ago. Kazaa's new owners suggest a general royalty fee, perhaps similar to the recent webcasting fees, be put in place to compensate intellectual property holders for file-sharing. Meanwhile, the European Commission takes a look at digital rights management. Looks like Europe will get its own version of the SSSCA.

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not a first post (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3098955)

just to keep the trolls from getting it

Dear Professor Linux... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3098984)

Dear Professor Linux,

How can I keep from soiling myself in indignation every time I hear wee French referred to as "cheese-eating surrender monkeys"?

Anxiously,
Francois P.

Re:Dear Professor Linux... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3098998)

Wear adult diapers. This way no one knows you have soiled yourself.

First 'Michael Sims is a homosexual asshole' post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3099018)

So there.

I hearby claim Slashdot for the Trolls. (-1)

Mayor McPenisman (557253) | more than 12 years ago | (#3099064)

Methinks slashdot is now officially owned by Trolls. Nary a relevant or ACTUALLY interesting post to be seen for a mile around. Sorry guys, but our work may be done here. I remember when I could actually find a worthwhile non-Troll post around here; alas times have changed. I think that pay-per-view stuff would have to be the proverbial hair that broke the camel's back. All users do now is read the Trolls and go to better sites that are way more relevant. I guess I would have to thank the creators for proving that the discussion-about-posted-news-topics idea works well - as long as people have respect for the admins/moderators/each other. Too bad there is never going to be a big profit made on it. People's ideas of loyalty are very different when it comes to the "Internet." Watch them drop out of the sites they were so proud to frequent only a month ago. I have done it a million times and so have you. Maybe if it were the real world and you guys were a mom-and-pop store we might feel bad for ditching your sore asses, but get real. I don't care about you guys. Pay to get links to other places on the net? Reuters and AP give me REAL NEWS for free! (not to imply that they will stay afloat.)

Well, even though we should get off of this sinking ship, the rest of us rats are going to laugh at the people too oblivious to notice the rising water line.

Re:I hearby claim Slashdot for the Trolls. (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3099198)


There's absolutely no reason for anyone to read slashdot now that www.goatse.cx [goatse.cx] is back online. If you visit www.linux.com [linux.com] with a goatse window open, it's about equivalent to browsing slashdot at -1. If you minimize the goatse window, and bring up another linux propaganda site, it is just like browsing at +1 or higher.


The only reason I read slashdot anymore is because of the trolls. Despite this, I still believe trolling is the moral equivalent of sneaking out at 4:00 A.M. to shit on someone's lawn-- smelly, but incredibly funny when the victim uses linux.


-mode0x13

Added to Troll Library (-1)

RoboTroll (560160) | more than 12 years ago | (#3098957)

Dear Troll,

We are plesed to inform you that, after careful consideration, we have accepted your troll into the Troll Library [slashdot.org] .

You show a masterful skill at trolling.

Thank you for your time and your contribution.

Whats next, We are gonna start charging for Trolls???

Troll 79 of 90 from the annals of the Troll Library [slashdot.org] .

Re:Added to Troll Library (-1)

Mayor McPenisman (557253) | more than 12 years ago | (#3098978)

Dear fellow Troll.

We all feel that we have to do out part in keeping Trolling as accurate as possible. In that respect, please fix the link to the Troll library. Accidents like this one may seem to be small, but they will eventually lead to the loss of the high standards Trolling has evolved.

I appreciate your effort and conclude this message with a penis.
9===>

LONG LIVE HIS MAJESTY... (-1)

Crapflooder (554043) | more than 12 years ago | (#3098963)

HENGIST DUVAL!

Please try to keep posts on topic. Try to reply to other people comments instead of starting new threads. Read other people's messages before posting your own to avoid simply duplicating what has already been said. Use a clear subject that describes what your message is about. Offtopic, Inflammatory, Inappropriate, Illegal, or Offensive comments might be moderated. (You can read everything, even moderated posts, by adjusting your threshold on the User Preferences Page)

Problems regarding accounts or comment posting should be sent to CowboyNeal.

first (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3098967)

wow.. you all suck.. i am the greatest human being alive

p.s. i love GaylordFucker

Our rights are being taken away (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3098968)

Not with a bang, but with a whimper.

Who pays ? (Me, obviously!) (2, Interesting)

spt (557979) | more than 12 years ago | (#3098972)

That 1992 statute mandates a small royalty on digital audio recorders and recording media, with the proceeds of that levy redistributed to content creators

What is the equivalent in the internet world? Is the new tax on computers? Modems? File sharing software?

The latter obviously won't work for decentralised P2P systems like kazaa, so I bet they'll put the 'P2P tax' directly on the original CD itself.

Re:Who pays ? (Me, obviously!) (3, Insightful)

thesupraman (179040) | more than 12 years ago | (#3099313)


at the current (insane) price of new CD's, I think it's safe to say they already have included a P2P tax, infact, you could say that is why P2P is so popular, people are already paying that tax, so why not do it?

Realy, if they priced CD's a little more reasonably this would be much less of an issue, there is a reason you can get all those older CDs for $5 each, and that is that it is STILL profitable to sell them at this price!

Re:Who pays ? (Me, obviously!) (1)

ScepticalTech (559355) | more than 12 years ago | (#3099473)

Actually, the case could be made that since the resellers can sell the CD's used for $5, that must represent the 'media and store-space' cost for producing the CD. That means the rest of the price difference is the value of the Intellectual Property of the content.

Oops, but that blows the arguement so many people here make.

Never Mind.

Re:Who pays ? (Me, obviously!) (2)

thesupraman (179040) | more than 12 years ago | (#3099485)


hmm, perhaps you should think before posting next time,

they happily sell !NEW! CD's for $5 a hit (and less!), therefore I guess the value of the TOTAL PACKAGE (including the intellectual property) is $5.

the rest of the value must be, let me see, the value of the media hype used to push the new product so that it can hold a 300% and more premium over one 6 months old. hmmm.

Re:Who pays ? (Me, obviously!) (1)

ScepticalTech (559355) | more than 12 years ago | (#3099525)

Make up your mind. Either they are 'older' CD's, which means re-releases where the producers have probably recouped the production costs, and no IP cost is factored in, or they are 'New' CD's, meaning the ones that sell for $12-18, because the cost of producing the IP hasn't yet been met.

This is all a gross simplification of the whole cost equation anyway. My clever retort obviously falls apart when real world factors are added. So does anyboy else's in the discussion, however.

Re:Who pays ? (Me, obviously!) (2)

Genady (27988) | more than 12 years ago | (#3099382)

I would have to say that the technology that allows the transformation from one media to another is where the tax should be placed. Place it on CD-Rippers, or MP3 Encoders. Of course since MP3's and CD (so far) are basically open there's precious little way to enforce the tax.

I really wouldn't mind paying an extra $2 for iTunes or a disk burner. I WOULD mind paying $.02 for every CD I ripped, or every disk I burned.

Re:Who pays ? (Me, obviously!) (2)

Issue9mm (97360) | more than 12 years ago | (#3099492)

If I'm not mistaken, CD-R and RW manufacturers already pay the "rip" tax as mentioned in the AHRA.

-9mm-

Aria Giovanni Cock Lengthening Troll v3.0  (-1)

senior_troll (553809) | more than 12 years ago | (#3098977)

Aria Giovanni Cock Lengthening Troll v3.0

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That's the whole point of harmonisation (5, Insightful)

perdida (251676) | more than 12 years ago | (#3098979)

You are going to get pretty much unitary legal structures on intellectual property and music copying. That's what's been planned by groups like the World Economic Forum and the World Trade Organization for years.

What's more, there won't be too much debate on perspectives other than those put forward by U.S. law and the major music corporations. That's because these firms and the U.S. government are able to dominate the meetings of business decisionmakers.

The protesters outside global gatherings are, in part, fighting for freedoms in music copying and things like this. What they are doing is trying to get more than a few voices into the meetings where these decisions are made. You should consider lobbying these global groups like the WTO - it doesnt make you a "bomb throwing anarchist," and it may be more effective than lobbying your congressperson, 'cause that's where the decisions are getting made.

Re:That's the whole point of harmonisation (5, Interesting)

wfrp01 (82831) | more than 12 years ago | (#3099147)

I think you're absolutely right. There's a bigger problem here - I want to use the word "globalization", but that words been so overused of late I'm not even sure it really has a meaning any more. Call it the smothering of nationalism. When nations are sovereign, it's much harder for the evil robber barrons to impose such draconian legislation. People can always route around the damage.

When I was a kid, I used to think "Wouldn't it be great to have one world government?! No wars. Peace and prosperity for everyone." Now the notion scares me to death. Soon there will be no place to turn. Mega-corporations will rule the world.

Eisner testifies at the SSSCA hearings. Why? How many ordinary citizens, who will shortly be declared criminals, had an opportunity to speak to these assholes? None. Zippo. So much for social progress. The corporate CEO has become the fuedal lord of the new milleneum.

Re:That's the whole point of harmonisation (2)

mpe (36238) | more than 12 years ago | (#3099347)

There's a bigger problem here - I want to use the word "globalization", but that words been so overused of late I'm not even sure it really has a meaning any more.

It's rapidly becoming a word where the functional definition is a long way from any literal one...

Call it the smothering of nationalism.

It's also about replacing national boundries with different boundies, such as the DVD "regions" and similar things with games consoles.

Errrr (4, Interesting)

SevenTowers (525361) | more than 12 years ago | (#3098988)

Soak
Wash
Repeat

I'm getting fed up of this bullshit. We all know that in 20 years the technology for online music exhange will still be here and it'll be legal. The music industry is doing the exact same thing the petroleum cies did, boycott the product until they own it. Then market it and prepare the market (ie. electrical cars), and finally say you played along the whole time, while unveiling your product.

The birth of a new monopoly, the same as before, just different packaging.

SSSCA is Wishful Thinking (5, Interesting)

buford_tannen (555867) | more than 12 years ago | (#3098990)

There are so many people out there sharing music and other files, that it would be difficult to actually stop them. The RIAA thought that people would give up on downloading mp3s after the death of Napster, but instead the music exchange continued (and may have even grown). Schemes like gnutella have been largely invulnerable to attack from the {RI,MP}AA, although they could still be improved to further protect their users.

My point is this: no matter what they do, people will find a way around it. There may be some martyrs at every turn, such as Emannuel Goldstein and Derek Fawcus with DeCSS, but now CSS is all but broken, and virtually anyone can find DeCSS if they look. A DRM OS, while evil, can still be broken, and tracking down the subversives who use Linux/BSD and other "unAmerican" OSes would prove difficult. And if the governement started coming after the people, they just might have a revolution on their hands.

This isn't something to get overly depressed about. We should be fighting it, but even if they win the battle of legislation, we are still able to continue the war.

Re:SSSCA is Wishful Thinking (3, Insightful)

HuskyDog (143220) | more than 12 years ago | (#3099133)

I don't disagree with the basic point that all DRM systems can be cracked, but...

tracking down the subversives who use Linux/BSD and other "unAmerican" OSes would prove difficult

Well, maybe it would be tricky to find people who were using Linux/BSD, but it shouldn't be too difficult to find those who are developing them. Without huge amounts of cooperation across the internet, there is no way we can continue to develop these OSs. Also, once they are illegal you won't be able to connect to the internet using them.

if the governement started coming after the people, they just might have a revolution on their hands.

Get Real! If tomorrow morning the government announced that every none Microsoft/Apple OS was illegal and that folks had seven days to destroy all copies or go inside. How many people would riot? 100? 1000? How many rioted in Seatle? Did that change anything? What percentage of the population would care or even understand? 1 percent? Maybe 2? I guarantee that more than 90% wouldn't care at all, and most of them would also be easily persuaded that Linux was something to do with terrorism.

If we want to fight this we need to (a) get folks who sound respectable (e.g. university professors) to start trying to educate politicians and more importantly (b) get folks with big wallets and a vested interest (e.g. IBM) to start bribing those same politicians.

Re:SSSCA is Wishful Thinking (2)

SmileyBen (56580) | more than 12 years ago | (#3099377)

No: tracking down Linux / BSD users won't be difficult. Why? Because I suspect many, many users will do just what I do if this is passed. Namely, I have every intention of continuing to use my computer as I always have (which, incidentally, doesn't, AFAIK, include depriving anyone else of anything, or harming anyone intentionally), and writing to my MP, explaining that I am doing this, that it is illegal, and inviting them to come round and arrest me if they so please.

This is the true power of civil disobedience: you don't use violence, you don't wage a war, you just continue as normal.

Re:SSSCA is Wishful Thinking (1)

ScepticalTech (559355) | more than 12 years ago | (#3099486)

However, since your machine will no longer connect to the Internet, the Linux and Free Software community will have to set up their own Network. That would be cool, but I don't think it'll accomplish what many would hope.

Let's face it, Free Software is subsidized by all the businesses and individuals who support the Internet for purposes other than developing Free Software. If the OSS community had to pay for their own, seperate infrastructure, it'd become impossible for it to be free (as in beer) software. It might still be free (as in birds flying around out there in the sky) software, but I doubt if it would be affordable.

Re:SSSCA is Wishful Thinking (0, Insightful)

I.T.R.A.R.K. (533627) | more than 12 years ago | (#3099379)

"There may be some martyrs at every turn, such as Emannuel Goldstein and Derek Fawcus..."

The problem with this is that these two individuals were made out to be evil hackers, and thus no one (see:average joe. The majority) cared whether they fried or not.
I this regard, we should be taking notes from the black rights movement when they planted Rosa Parks on the bus. The RIAA isn't going to make a martyr out of averate Joe's grandma. And the day they do is the day the will have signed their own death warrants. We need an extreme like this to show the masses just how rediculous laws like this really are. Until then, we're nothing but evil hackers and music pirates in their eyes.

Michael making fun of Katz!? Did they can Katz!?!? (-1)

Serial Troller (556155) | more than 12 years ago | (#3098994)

  • 2002. Slashdot publishes 1,000,000th rumor passed off as actual story. The story generates 480 comments, 263 of which agree with the article, and 107 of which point out its a rumor and are modded down as redundant. The remaining comments are all first posts.
  • 2002. CmdrTaco married to Kathleen Fent. Many geeks believe Kathleen, a purported transvestite, outmeasures CmdrTaco.
  • 2002. Slashdot parent corporation VA Research^W Linux^W Software stock worth 35 cents. Rumors that AOL, Microsoft, or even Jimmy the hobo who lives under the Longfellow Bridge may buy it.
  • 2003. VA Software bought by Microsoft for a cup of coffee and a donut. All Microsoft-critical articles mysteriously disappear from Slashdot. Bill Gates as Borg logo replaced with Bill Gates as God.
  • 2003. Papperatzi videos of Miguel de Icaza caught going down on Bill Gates in his private yacht spread across Usenet. Miguel swears that recent decisions to rename the Gnome desktop to Windows NT 6.0 have nothing to do with it.
  • 2004. CmdrTaco loses virginity.
  • 2004. The WIPO Troll returns again, showering Slashdot in 45,000 copies of the same post: Lick my crotch hairs. Slashdot, despite running on 18 redundant IIS/8.0 servers, buckles under the load. The term Slashdotted is replaced with WIPO-Trolled.
  • 2004. Slashdot officially shut down. Millions of screaming, unwashed geeks invade Redmond campus and lynch Bill Gates.
  • 2005. Linus Torvalds and Anal Cox found dead along with six penguins, an empty tub of crisco and several used condoms. Millions of screaming, unwashed geeks invade Redmond campus and lynch Steve Ballmer.
  • 2005. CmdrTaco rumored to have had sex again.
  • 2006. CowboiKneel found dead in hotel room with 56 pizza boxes covering his bloated corpse. Three suffocated gay prostitutes are extracted from beneath his body as police remove it with a backhoe.
  • 2007. CmdrTaco actually has sex again. With a woman.
  • 2007. BSD is still officially dying. No word on when its demise will take place.
  • 2007. CmdrTaco starts new weblog to replace Slashdot, creatively named Dotslash. Remainder of Linux users flock to the site and immediate WIPO-Troll it out of existence.
  • 2008. CmdrTaco has sex with his wife for the first time.
  • 2009. After years of living under the heel of his domineering wife, and being deprived of the homosexual orgies of the past, CmdrTaco commits suicide. Another sweaty geek mob gathers and tears Kathleen Fent to shreds. Geeks discover Ms. Fent was indeed a woman, but dont exactly know what that means. Driven by their sexually-repressed rage, they subsequently invade Redmond again and lynch the current CEO of Microsoft, Miguel de Icaza.
  • 2010. Microsoft is blamed for the assassination of Richard Stallman. Redmond invasions by geek hordes become commonplace.
  • 2011. Microsoft campus burnt to the ground by screaming, unwashed geek mob after Microsoft is blamed when a Linux hacker in Cambridge, Massachusetts spills his coffee on his pants.

paranoia. (5, Insightful)

Alien54 (180860) | more than 12 years ago | (#3099012)

Well, we have seen over the past few months how Micorsoft patented a digital rights operating system [slashdot.org] .

We have also seen how perfect encryption is fundamentally impossible [slashdot.org] , although being good enough for government work may get by.

Somehow, the connection between this and the SSSCA could mean that Microsoft could be the only legal OS in the US. Purely coincidental of course.

I think this should be investigated, just in case my paranoia has a legitimate case to make. Microsoft has a habit of too many convenient coincidences.

Maybe they'll all go to jail because they will not be able to obey the law and provide an impossible result. I'm not holding my breath.

Re:paranoia. (2)

ImaLamer (260199) | more than 12 years ago | (#3099042)

From the site on the story page.

[abstract]:

Filed: December 1, 1998


So, this is actuall an old patent. Did microsoft sit back and wait for a time to introduce this patent... how many do they have?

Re:paranoia. (2)

kilrogg (119108) | more than 12 years ago | (#3099075)

Granted: February 5, 2002

Re:paranoia. (2)

kilrogg (119108) | more than 12 years ago | (#3099087)

wait, the slashdot story was in december, I'm confused. Isn't the "filed" date is the date the application was filed.

Re:paranoia. (1)

Andux (260446) | more than 12 years ago | (#3099126)

They applied for the patent in 1998, but it wasn't granted until this year. The USPTO had to review it first.

Re:paranoia. (2)

kilrogg (119108) | more than 12 years ago | (#3099120)

Something strange about this patent, its assigned to IBM, not microsoft. Looks like the link in the original slashdot story changed.

According to a comment in the original story, the MS patent was applied for in January 1999, but was just granted when the story appeared (December 2001).

Re:paranoia. (2)

danheskett (178529) | more than 12 years ago | (#3099078)

Microsoft, IBM, Intel, and many many others have written Congress to say they'd rather figure this whole DRM thing on thier own.

Why wouldn't they just come out and say: "hey, no way - we'll do the whole DRM Thing from top to bottom, and you'll mandate the OS."

Probably because MS knows what we all know - that they products that are good enough for 90% of the population, but no the "top" 10% of computer usersl. They know that. WE know that. We all get it.

MS's worst nightmare would be a law forcing Windows down the throats of all kinds of hard core tech heads. We are demanding, rude, intelligent, creative, loud-mouthed and generally hard to deal with.

Re:paranoia. (5, Informative)

DarkSkiesAhead (562955) | more than 12 years ago | (#3099082)


Micorsoft patented a digital rights operating system
...
Somehow, the connection between this and the SSSCA could mean that Microsoft could be the only legal OS in the US.

In fact, the SSSCA has already made provisions for M$ in SECTION 107. ANTITRUST EXEMPTION:

(c) EXEMPTION AUTHORIZED. -- When the Secretary finds that it is required by the public interest, the Secretary shall exempt a person participating in a meeting or discussion described in subsection (a) from the antitrust laws to the extent necessary to allow the person to proceed with the activities approved in the order.


The persons described in subsection (a) are the "representatives of interactive digital device manufacturers". Isn't it great how our law-makers can forcefully create new markets for M$ (or others) to dominate?

That's an excellent idea (3, Insightful)

The Cat (19816) | more than 12 years ago | (#3099024)

A clearing-house of sorts (like the radio-royalty structure already in place) would solve 98% of the "file sharing problem."

I think the current limits on bandwidth really are going to make widespread DVD sharing a little unlikely, even with broadband. The files are just too big. If it takes 412 hours to download a movie (at lower quality with fewer features, etc.), people aren't going to care. They'd probably rather just go to Blockbuster and rent it for $4 or whatever.

Perhaps it could even be tied to bandwidth and charged at the ISP level. Say $.10 for every gig of downstream bandwidth used. Money goes to a clearing house and member copyright holders are paid based on the amount of material they have licensed to the clearing house. The more stuff they license, the more they get paid. There should also be a limit on the cost of the licenses written into the agreement so once everyone signs up it doesn't become $1000/gig.

I think in radio now, anything with a particular label (or stamp or something) can be played royalty free without limits, incorporated into other forms (like commercials, etc.) and so on. Music industry doesn't complain about that at all, because it is free publicity for their product. Same thing here.

This really would help solve almost all of the problems with file-sharing and it is a win-win of sorts. Pay-per-play it isn't, but pay-per-play isn't going to work anyway.

Re:That's an excellent idea (2)

krogoth (134320) | more than 12 years ago | (#3099065)

And the tax on CD-Rs has demontrated what a great idea this is...

Re:That's an excellent idea (2)

The Cat (19816) | more than 12 years ago | (#3099229)

Well, the CD-R tax doesn't count if the "content"
(I really hate that term) never makes it to disc.

This way, it doesn't matter where the content goes, or how many copies are made. The publishers get paid based on how much is licensed, not how much is downloaded.

Re:That's an excellent idea (5, Insightful)

dattaway (3088) | more than 12 years ago | (#3099248)

Everytime I see a mention of this tax, I cringe. Every generation of my family has been trained to master at least one musical instrument. My sister may have four CD's and a movie released last year where she was listed seventh on the credits [apple.com] . Yet no member of my family has received a dime of this tax. All it has done has limited our recording device technology and hindered media coverage of family events.

Re:That's an excellent idea (2, Interesting)

Eppie (553278) | more than 12 years ago | (#3099083)

The Audio Home Recording Act [virtualrecordings.com] is flawed in one respect that I hope would be corrected if it applied to downloading music on the net. While the Act provides for royalty payments to compensate the music industry, it does not provide anybody with a license to copy copyrighted musical works. What this means is that when you buy an audio tape, you are paying royalties because you are an assumed music thief but you are not buying the right to copy music for that price. The Act does not make it legal to copy copyrighted music onto an audio tape.

In other words, if the Act were updated and applied to music downloads on the Internet, Napster would still be at Metallica's mercy. The royalties would have to be high enough that Metallica would prefer to receive the royalty checks than to have people buy their CDs in a store. That's pretty much impossible because the music industry makes a fortune on CDs, and I'm sure not going to pay CD prices to download from Gnutella.

The only real solution is to modify the Act to give net users, in return for indirect royalty payments, a license to copy music digitally and use it for noncommercial, nonpublic use.

Re:That's an excellent idea (2)

ImaLamer (260199) | more than 12 years ago | (#3099159)

This of course is a bad idea.

And I uhhmm know people who are uploading 3 gigs in a few days and downloading the same in a day. All the while sharing DVD movies... although in VCD or divx format, great copies.

The problem with your system is that my ISP is the one who is collecting this tax and somehow will have to distinguish between what is free and what is un-free.

If I'm downloading linux iso's I don't want the money to go to some Nazi content holder. Why can't debian/Red Hat/mandrake/Slackware get the money?

So P2P needs to collect or make the money. Look below for my comment on this.

Re:That's an excellent idea (2)

The Cat (19816) | more than 12 years ago | (#3099270)

And I uhhmm know people who are uploading 3 gigs in a few days and downloading the same in a day. All the while sharing DVD movies... although in VCD or divx format, great copies.

(Since I knew someone would disagree with the download speeds by citing some |337 connection somewhere, I prepared some figures)

At fully-efficient speeds, a standard (370Kbps, probably on the fast side) cable modem connection would need all available downstream bandwidth for five and a half hours to transfer one GB of data, and fully 17 and a half hours to upload the same, given the also-standard upstream limits.

Not practical at all. Especially when one considers the cost of transfer (who pays for thousands of gigs of downloads?). Such use of bandwidth will set off 47 different kinds of alarms at any broadband ISP (which would result in a disconnect under most AUPs), and would slow the network to a crawl anywhere else.

The problem with your system is that my ISP is the one who is collecting this tax and somehow will have to distinguish between what is free and what is un-free.

No they don't. They just collect the money and pay the clearing house. It doesn't matter what is downloaded.

If I'm downloading linux iso's I don't want the money to go to some Nazi content holder. Why can't debian/Red Hat/mandrake/Slackware get the money?

I'll pass on invoking Godwin. If Debian, Red Hat, Mandrake and Slackware license their distributions to the clearing house, they do get the money. Matter of fact, since they will likely be more willing to offer more products for free download, they will probably see higher than average royalties.

Re:That's an excellent idea (1)

GuNgA-DiN (17556) | more than 12 years ago | (#3099555)

I'm going start my own biz called 'Crappy Software, Inc.' and pump out 3 crappy apps a day. I'll send thousands of crappy applications to the clearing house. How much do and I get paid?

I'm not trying to be 'flamebait' here... just questioning your business model. The previous poster was asking how you would be able to distinguish applications from music and movies? That is a huge responsibility for the ISPs. Would we be paying $500/mo. Internet bills?

Re:That's an excellent idea (2)

The Cat (19816) | more than 12 years ago | (#3099607)

How much do and I get paid?

Don't know. Only been thinking about this for a few hours.

Perhaps users could publically comment and/or rate applications? Premiums could be paid for higher rated files, perhaps with certain ISP-sanctioned download locations being compensated for offering premium applications with the ability to track the number of successful downloads quarterly.

just questioning your business model.

lol.. well, this probably doesn't qualify as a business model yet, not even a back-of-the-napkin sketch.

The previous poster was asking how you would be able to distinguish applications from music and movies? That is a huge responsibility for the ISPs.

You can't, and they shouldn't try. That would reintroduce all of the current problems and then some.

Would we be paying $500/mo. Internet bills?

No. The amount paid would be directly tied to the amount of bandwidth used by each individual. If someone downloads a terabyte a month, then they pay a lot more than someone who just wants the latest #1 mp3 and a couple of weekends worth of movies.

It would be a good idea also to start the "clearing house" as a group of small companies, each responsible for a small area as opposed to one giant gatekeeper.

If there are really 3.5 billion songs (4MB each) downloaded a month, then there are 1000 terabytes of aggregate bandwidth. At $1/gig, that's $1M/month in royalties. Clearing house gets 5%, 10 record companies (example only) each get a maximum of $95,000 a month until their copyright runs out, provided they license their entire library. This would be *in addition to* their current businesses.

Not bad, considering they are getting $0 now, and it will be far simpler than retooling the entire technology industry and refitting the Internet.

Hilary Rosen sucks my cock! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3099033)

8=====o 0-:

Re:Hilary Rosen sucks my cock! (-1)

Serial Troller (556155) | more than 12 years ago | (#3099057)

That's a very ROUND PENIS HEAD you have, sir. Here, you can look at mine:

8==================D ~~d:

Wow. Wouldn't you know, it's much longer too.

Re:Hilary Rosen sucks my cock! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3099582)

( x ) -- here's your ass when I'm done.

This Makes No Sense (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3099038)

Why is it that we don't take our guns and stand up for our rights? Perhaps if Jack Valenti and other entertainment organization heads have bullets lodged in their skulls, maybe they'll get the point?

I'm not advocating mindless murder, but it's commonly agreed that if you make theft and abuse a risky business, fewer people will steal and abuse.

Re:This Makes No Sense (-1)

Serial Troller (556155) | more than 12 years ago | (#3099047)

Why is it that we don't take our guns and stand up for our rights?

. . . Probably because EVERYONE who keeps wondering why we aren't are doing exactly that -- SITTING ON THEIR FAT ASSES AND JUST WONDERING WHY WE AREN'T, WITHOUT DOING A FUCKING THING. In other words, it's fucking hopeless. Whole fucking country of mindless slobs is what this is.

Go back to downloading your pr0n. More fun anyway.

Re:This Makes No Sense (2, Interesting)

Sheetrock (152993) | more than 12 years ago | (#3099560)

I think the reason nobody's standing up for their rights is because we all remember the time in elementary school when 'everybody was going to' whip a paper airplane at the teacher's desk at 2:15 and there was one doofus who, when the time finally came, actually did it. Most of us throught it was pretty funny watching him get sent to the office too. So you can see where the one-man geek revolution would get kind of awkward.

Besides, as much as some in here bitch about the SSSCA and the DMCA, the true strength of their conviction is really shown when they line up to the MPAA trough every couple of weeks. Or buy hardware from Sony, Nintendo, Toshiba, IBM, or any of the other companies who have made it clear which side of the digital rights and DMCA fence they are on. Tell people that all you have to do is stop spending money on certain things, or hell, even just cut back their movie spending, and they'll respond like you just asked them to amputate a limb.

Look, we can't even convince the people who are supposedly clued about the whole problem (Slashdot) -- what possible chance is there to make the problem and solution clear to people to struggle to understand the evening news? +1 Insightful to you.

Re:This Makes No Sense (3, Interesting)

renehollan (138013) | more than 12 years ago | (#3099068)

Unlike you, I shall not hide behind anonymity.

I've often thought that one should use whatever means are commensurate with the threat at hand to defend one's constitutional rights, including killing those who would take them away, collateral damage be damned, if it comes to that. Otherwise, such rights are meaningless.

The only issue then, after (for example) killing the dozen cops trying to arrest you for daring to run Linux, is whether you have a constitutional right to do so.

If so, you go scott free.

If not, you fry.

I'd think that, with the stakes so high, we would not see very much murder in the name of defending bogus rights that do not exist.

Re:This Makes No Sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3099170)

Yeah, i wouldn't risk my life to test if i had the right to kill a dozen cops.. but maybe it's just because i have a bad misgiving about that particular constitutional right..

Are there any free nations left? (3, Funny)

Snafoo (38566) | more than 12 years ago | (#3099058)

Goddammit! If Europe gets the SSSCA, my plans to become an irresistably chic Espresso-sipping Parisian nouveau hacker are dashed.

Looks like I'm moving to Sealand. They better have a whole lotta instant, that's all I can say.....

Re:Are there any free nations left? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3099088)

What countries are in the EC, so we can scratch them off the list of 'potential countries to move to'?

Re:Are there any free nations left? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3099220)

I guess it will soon be Russia and China who will be the only free nations when it comes to IP.
Ironic isn't it?

Re:Are there any free nations left? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3099303)

Yeah, that sure is ironic. Maybe IP protections are a good thing after all?

Re:Are there any free nations left? (1)

/dev/trash (182850) | more than 12 years ago | (#3099562)

Looks like I'm moving to Sealand. They better have a whole lotta instant, that's all I can say.....

Sealand???? Come on. That place will be British territory again before the end of July.

Screw 'em with patents (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3099061)

Someone needs to patent a vital, foolproof system for digital rights management that nobody would even attempt to implement a system without and then not license it to anybody.

Re:Screw 'em with patents (3, Funny)

thesupraman (179040) | more than 12 years ago | (#3099328)


Unfortunately (well, fortunately ;) noone seems too worried about making a reliable (or even working) DRM system , after all they don't need too thanks to the DMCA, just XOR the data with 'give us all your money' and call it DRM, then you have the legal power to do just about anything to your victims (sorry, I'm sure I means consumers there).

Opennap (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3099062)

Funny no one on Slashdot ever mentions Opennap. The opennap server [sourceforge.net] is opensource and uses the old napster protocol. Clients are available [sourceforge.net] for a wide variety of Oses, most of which are opensource and spyware free.

There's a large number of opennap servers & networks operated worldwide. Some have tens of thousands of users connected, others are more specific on music type or nationality (or at least that appears to be the intent).

OpenNap is too centralized. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3099105)

If you have a central server, you give the RIAA one big fat target.

cat server.op | court > jail

You are the weakest link. Goodbye.

Re:OpenNap is too centralized. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3099143)

There are hundreds of servers all over the world.

Re:Opennap (1)

hrics (552279) | more than 12 years ago | (#3099155)

people do use opennap. its the secret GOOD p2p. why does everyone suckle at the tit of ad/spyware monkeys?

Turd Burglar Fish (-1)

senior_troll (553809) | more than 12 years ago | (#3099071)

Turd Burglar Fish A few years back when I was working for a sea lab on the gulf coast, the director of the program prepared a fabulous meal for one of my friends and me. Fresh seafood ... shrimp, scallops and this incredible fish which I'd never heard of before. He said it was called a ling, but that it also is known by several other names: cobia, lemon fish, and one other name which justifies its submission to alt.tasteless. Bear in mind, this story came to me as I was scarfing down on its subject. Apparently, this guy and several of the other lab employees had done a little sport fishing when they'd been out on the research vessel earlier in the day. They had dragged their bait around for ages, but no one was catching a damned thing. Well, they'd been out long enough for one of the crew, a large, hairy Cajun guy named Jimbeau to decide it was time to rid himself of a monster grogan he'd been working on for several hours. Since the vessel had no "facilities" the obvious technique was to hang his ass over the stern and unload directly into the water. No problem. So, Jimbeau does his thing, and everybody goes on fishing ... but not for long. Jimbeau's ass is barely back in the boat when, "Zeeeeeeeeeeeeee" the director's got a strike! He works it up alongside the boat, they gaff it and drag it onto the deck. A nice, big (you guessed it) ling. Well, there they all are, standing around admiring it when they start to notice this smell -- a sort of hot, spicy, shitty smell. And while they're all trying to figure out which one of them had floated a Cajun air biscuit, the fish does a big flop and out pops the real bait ... still steaming. It seemed Jimbeau's grogan had found a way home. I was led to believe the very fish we were eating was the one Jimbeau had helped to catch. Nice. A little spicy, but was really quite good. I've developed quite a taste for Cajun food since then. I wonder if that's where it began. Oh, I almost forgot; the other name for the ling-cobia-lemon-fish is "Turd Burgerler". It seems they have quite a taste for the stuff. Those in the know say the ling is really quite difficult to catch. You see, the fish are very picky eaters and, so far, no one has come up with a reliable technique for getting the grogan to stay on the hook. No doubt, some of you have good suggestions. Bon apetite!

Simple Options (1)

anonicon (215837) | more than 12 years ago | (#3099073)

I don't believe the SSSCA will ever come to pass, but it doesn't hurt to hope for the best and expect the worst.

Assuming a worst-case scenario where SSSCA-style laws pass in both Europe and North America, and non-compliant hardware is seized at the borders, what should we as techies do to help the 95% of the public who can't hack? Whatever it is, remember to KISS, KISS, KISS - Keep It Simple, Stupid.

A simple hotsheet of all the SSSCA-OK hardware and *what* it will prevent you from doing in simple terms might be a start. A web site that lists all the hardware and makes it easy for people to share information?

I sound like a broken record (aye!, but not a corrupt CD), but the ultimate, most powerful hack sits in people's wallets - cash or credit card. Whatever's done will need to leverage that power for the benefit of the public.

Your mileage may vary...

Re:Simple Options (5, Insightful)

DickBreath (207180) | more than 12 years ago | (#3099179)

I don't believe the SSSCA will ever come to pass.

I strongly disagree. With all due respect, you are niave.

Let me see now. I'm old enough to have said to myself under my breath....

I don't think the government will let Microsoft get away with it.

I don't think the DMCA will ever come to pass.

I don't think the CDA will ever come to pass.

I don't think that encryption will ever be illegal.

I don't think anything will ever come of CALEA.

Should I go on?

Re:Simple Options (2)

anonicon (215837) | more than 12 years ago | (#3099579)

If I'm naive, you're clueless. :-)

OK, flames aside, here's why the SSSCA faces a severe uphill battle. Unlike any of the other points you cite, the SSSCA involves incorporating copy protection into *all* digital equipment, not *just* consumer equipment. Buying high-end Sun servers for your big-ass corporate data center that serves people like GTE, AT&T and GE? Buying industrial strength routers for your 80 location corporate intranet? Buying a cluster of high-end servers to help manage reservations, check-ins, real-time security and departure/arrival times? Do you think these corporations are going to tolerate having copy protection tech built into computer equipment that will never see the light of day regarding mp3s or DivXs?

Wake up. The DMCA, Microsoft, the CDA and CALEA do not effect big business in any perceived meaningful way (If you don't want MS, you can always go Linux/*BSD). Encryption, huh? It's legal and anyone who wants to use it can. Both my employer and I use 2K+ bit encryption on e-mail...

The SSSCA, unlike any of the options above, will be a major headache. You may not like the fact that corporations are more important to Congress than citizens are, but for once it does play to our benefit (unless of course Congress builds mass-scale exemptions into the SSSCA for corporate purchases).

Time will tell.

Doing something about this (2, Informative)

An Audience of One (554052) | more than 12 years ago | (#3099091)

If theres slashdotters in the UK / Europe who haven't already seen this, and want to do something about the EU Copyright Directive (our DMCA) and now this, have a look at The Campaign For Digital Rights [eurorights.org] (in the UK) and The Eurorights Movement [eurorights.org] There may be something we can do about this one, but we have to get reasonably organised to do it. Sign up to the mailing lists, and join in - before they take all our rights

Long term effects of the SSSCA (1)

crc32 (133399) | more than 12 years ago | (#3099099)

If the SSSCA passes in the US, we will see the following effects: 1. Cost of new hardware/software goes up to compensate for the inclusion of the DRM: thes things cost money to create, and you know that the copyright-crazy MPAA/RIAA cartel will demand that you licence the DRM rather than having an open standard. 2. Open Source dies a slow death: as the government eventually realizes that they can't force open source operating systems and other software to include DRM effectively, without criminally punishing the developers. 3. The electronics industry will be at the beck-and-call of the entertainment industry: since the "copyright holders" have the sole right to choose what DRM they want to use, the tech industry will need to design their products to confrom to the entertainment industry's marketing decisions. 4. As the former three effects take place, the pace of progress will slow, and the intended result (after all, well-regulated copyright exists to promote the progress of science and the useful arts ( U.S. Constitution, Sec.8, P.8)) will be frustrated. 5. Those who really want to get at the DRM-protected content, and have the ability to do so, still will. The SSSCA is a tremendously short-sighted, economically harmful, stupid thing to legislate. For the US or for Europe. Oh, and don't forget, the SSSCA was brought to you by the progenators of the "Mickey Mouse Argument" :)

I can't wait... (1)

EricKrout.com (559698) | more than 12 years ago | (#3099124)

With all this talk about digital rights, etc., I feel the need to rant. OK...

I can't wait until the record companies are out of the picture. It's possible these days to create music from your own home and record it onto CDs with the same quality as you'll find on the latest Britney Spears album at Wal-Mart.

I foresee a time when instead of music artists getting paid somewhere between five and seven cents for every CD sold, they distribute them for five dollars and actually get about 90% of that money.

Music sharing will be as legal as email and will be entirely peer to peer, with the reliance of one central server a thing of the past.

Artists will release 30 songs onto their website every year, and their fans will choose the 10-15 that make it onto their official album.

Concerts will continue to be popular, and once Ticketmaster is out of the picture, ticket prices will drop to between $10 and $30.

Creative, groundbreaking music will be appropriately lauded and redundant bubblegum pop will be laughed at.

*bump* Oops, looks like I fell asleep. Wow, that was some dream...

EricKrout.com Is Back In Action :: GNUs For Nerds. Flawless Grammar. [erickrout.com]

Re:I can't wait... (3, Informative)

LMCBoy (185365) | more than 12 years ago | (#3099230)

Amen. I saw a band [ruffiansband.com] perform at a bar last night. They were selling their latest CD for $5. They were so much more talented than the vast majority of the RIAA's cash cows^H^H^H^H^H...uh, artists.


It's my greatest wish that bands like this are the future of music. Musicians: screw record contracts, publish your stuff yourselves, because you love making music.

Re:I can't wait... (2, Interesting)

limber (545551) | more than 12 years ago | (#3099370)

Here in toronto the keynote speaker for CMW (a mildly pretentious and industry-oriented music festival) was moby, a guy who has been successful not so much in making good music but rather for selling snippets from every track of his last album for commercials.

He had, I thought, an interesting and pragmatic take of the future. Especially given that his audience was mostly people in the music industry. He thinks that the ways in which music is made, marketed, distributed, and sold must change radically over the next ten years. He said that bands oriented towards live performances would be successful, citing the Bare Naked Ladies and Nirvana as examples.

The quote that i remember was, "You can't download a concert. You can't download a t-shirt." That is to say, you can't replicate the experience of live music. His follow up comment was, "you can listen to a recording of live music, but compared to being there it's like watching porno in a hotel room instead of actually having sex with someone".

In a way it's like a shift back to Mozart's day -- you had to go around performing and composing prolifically to make a living.

He also noted how the a large chunk of the generation of his 14 year old cousin had "grown up without ever having bought an album. they download everything." So he was trying to make people in the industry aware that a cultural shift is already taking place with respect to consumer's attitudes towards 'ownership' of music.

He also dismissed conventionally 'manufactured pop' and boy bands, and cited himself ironically as an example of an act becoming successful outside of the mainstream labels.

Isn't price really part of the problem??? (5, Insightful)

dpilot (134227) | more than 12 years ago | (#3099139)

CDs cost less than cassettes, but are priced higher, "because of apparent value". Tell that to computer makers, who pack more and sell for less, every year. IMHO, the price of real products is a compromise between cost of manufacture and what the competition will allow. Look at the price of DRAM, for an example. And of course we all know that next to nothing of that $18 CD that cost $0.10 to make went to royalties for the artists.

Also IMHO, the only business where "apparent value" can be a true factor in pricing is where competition is absent, that is a CARTEL or MONOPOLY. In the case of CDs, we have the joy of both at the same time.

There's the old lesson from videotapes: $80 tapes get pirated bigtime, $20 tapes don't. Plus tapes aren't $20, any more.

I feel ripped off every time I buy a CD, and thus I buy very seldom, principally as gifts. At half the price, I'd buy more than twice as many. At a third the price, more than thrice. At some point, storage would become the limiting factor, not money and purchase price.

Movies are headed the same way, and what's unfortunate about all this is that we're about to take a hurting tech sector and send it down in flames with SSSCA-type legislation. We're about to say that Jobs and Woz, or Hewlett and Packard will NEVER happen again, at least not in computing, because SSSCA turns the entire computing field into sealed boxes, and locks the innovator out.

At the very least, opt-in would be workable. Strong enough crypto to require hardware chips, maybe even crypto all the way into a sealed monitor. Better than SSSCA, anyway.

Of course copyright reform would be better yet. Isn't it interesting that patent durations have remained steady? Says something about the media industries, and what we've allowed them to turn into.

Re:Isn't price really part of the problem??? (1)

mikeplokta (223052) | more than 12 years ago | (#3099225)

The music business seems to me like an ideal candidate for those RAND (reasonable and non-discrimnatory) licenses that caused some trouble at the W3C recently. Supppose that anyone could legally distribute copies of music provided they paid the artist the same amount per copy as they would get from their actual official record company. It would let services like mp3.com distribute music cheap by charging 2 cents per track instead of $1 on top of what goes to the artist, it would bring CD prices down really quickly and it would actually help the artists.

Of course, while the entertainment business controls half of Congress, it's not going to happen.

Re:Isn't price really part of the problem??? (1)

SirRichardPumpaloaf (563323) | more than 12 years ago | (#3099318)

I keep seeing this $18 figure for CDs, but where does it come from? I bought six CDs today and they ranged in price from $11 to $15. I don't think I've ever seen an $18 CD, unless it was a special import or something.

Re:Isn't price really part of the problem??? (1)

ScepticalTech (559355) | more than 12 years ago | (#3099511)

It's coming from the same people who claim that Microsoft Office is $700.

They find the highest listed price they can find. Makes their case stronger.

Re:Isn't price really part of the problem??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3099601)

CDs generally cost $25 where I live, although $50 CDs are not unheard of. The only time I've seen $14 CDs is if they were on clearance special.

Re:Isn't price really part of the problem??? (3, Interesting)

mpe (36238) | more than 12 years ago | (#3099373)

CDs cost less than cassettes, but are priced higher, "because of apparent value".

The actual cost of pressed CD's is very low. Consider the number of computer magazines which come with at least one disk or even the way AOL send out postal spam with their disks.
CD's are priced based on what the market will bear. Similarly for DVD's, except that they came up with the idea of regions, so as to charge what the market will bear in each of those reagions...

Kazaa, amp plug ins, ads. (3, Informative)

ImaLamer (260199) | more than 12 years ago | (#3099140)

The RIAA doesn't want people to have digital copies that they can burn.

File sharing companies at least want to deliver something that we can hear, watch, and experience.

The fast track[tm] technology that is used by products such as Kazaa[tm] and Music City's Morpheus[also tm] is pretty strong and can combine clients/servers to provide media almost on demand for people who have dsl/cable and above. Gnutella also is becoming the strongest in terms of a network that may never be truly killed. And let's not forge Napster, the demon of P2P IMHO; they may actually sell some media to people.

No one wants to bother with DRM. Computer users will most likely reject any such system. So, the simple solution is to take a somewhat common sense approach.

Advertising and competition must come into play so that the P2P business isn't stomped on by media owners [of course, if the money comes in no one gets stomped]. Maybe one network will offer digital copies, fast browsing and strong searching. Another might offer a way to put your media on a personal server and a winamp/xmms/FreeAmp/Netscape/IE et.al. plug-in will be the search and viewing client. Finally an open and free network which will probaly be supported by an array of advertising stunts.

The point is, we can have a system where no one is abused. DRM isn't needed if people use common sense and let these systems evolve into a decent business model. Not everything will work. But media/content owners can be payed. One thing I think we will need to get over is the fact that P2P systems may collect data on what is downloaded, viewed, and listened to.

If we don't think of P2P as a way to get free stuff and show our friends how cool we are because we watched LOTR 2 days before release we may save it. Let's think of it as Cable, Network TV and the like. But like some cable channels if you don't want commercials you are going to have to pay up.

Look at XM radio, in my town it's becoming quite popular. We can take advantage of technology in a good way.

Evil or just stupid? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3099152)

I don't know what the lobbyists or legistrators are thinking while pushing this, but seems there are two drm scenarios:

- One that would essentially make linux and other free operating systems illegal (or make them into something fundamentally different) and go on to revoke the root-access from the user or deny any "media-output" in hardware. This could be a working system, though maybe a little bit draconian.

- Another which does neither (outlawing linux is not good publicity so this is how it will become) and does not work because it's darn easy to circumvent it. Its effectiveness could be compared to "stealing is wrong"-stickers.

I don't know how the content industry is going to solve this problem or if that's even what they are up to but i'm quite certain that anyone 'just supporting' it cannot possibly have thought it through (people who are definitely not going to push everything that would be needed to make it working into reality). Maybe they are confused and think that they could pick some parts of one scenario and some of another.

YAY! (3, Insightful)

autopr0n (534291) | more than 12 years ago | (#3099154)

The internet, which once held the promise to liberate 'the masses', allow point to point communication on a scale never before seen, is now being co-opted by the mass media by force of law. That's just wonderfull.

Btw, I'm being sarcastic.

this makes me wonder... (2, Insightful)

drik00 (526104) | more than 12 years ago | (#3099212)

i remember reading about a court decision a few years back that ruled that the admin of a web board isnt responsible for the comments/content of what the visitors post to his site...wouldnt this same ruling protect any general file-sharing system? Kazaa doesnt house any of the copyrighted data, if the users use its technology to transmit a bunch of 1's and 0's, how is kazaa responsible for the content that its users send?

just curious

What next? (1)

in seine (563296) | more than 12 years ago | (#3099253)

I can hardly wait for the day when we are forced to pay to look at a painting we already own. Oh wait that will only apply to the digital copies of that painting/picture.

SSSCA? Tell me. (2)

Stonehead (87327) | more than 12 years ago | (#3099350)

I've only read negative comments so far. Actually, I *read* that pdf the last hour and I didn't find it really shocking. It is good to see the European Commision do a study on this topic. The European Commission seems to recognize that DRMs easily cause trouble because they can take away our rights. The PDF says that lawful use of protected media must remain possible. What's wrong with that? I haven't found any phrase which proposes to forbid hardware that does *not* implement DRM. That is what the SSSCA is about, what nobody here will want and what I hope many politicians in Europe will oppose too. There is some DMCA-alike speech, however: 'legal safeguards are essential to support technological measures and protect them against unlawful circumvention and these are already in place' - but that is already much more subtle than the general definition of a 'circumvention device' that the USA have defined.
I live in The Netherlands and I might be naive, but I just haven't seen the proof yet, that a European SSSCA would come to exist. Good to keep an eye on this matter, but where is that proof? This seems Slashdot-hype again..

Re:SSSCA? Tell me. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3099530)

Please describe this mysterious *reading* thing that you are talking about. It is a very foreign concept around here. ;)

Wider and wider (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3099437)

.I .like .wide .pages .I .wish .all .pages .could .be .as .wide .as .this .dont .you .wide .pages .are .much .cooler .than .those .narrow .pages .you .are .used .to .reading .because .you .dont .have .to .worry .about .the .lameness .filter .telling .you .that .you .don't .have .enough .charaters .per .line .that .really .sucks .when .that .happens .and .you .have .to .put .some .lame .lameness .filter .defeater .text .in .there .i .wonder .how .many .people .will .read .this .whole .comment .I .certainly .hope .it .doesnt .annoy .too .many .people .This .is .just .the .beginning .because .PAGE .WIDENING .IS .BACK .I .like .wide .pages .I .wish .all .pages .could .be .as .wide .as .this .dont .you .wide .pages .are .much .cooler .than .those .narrow .pages .you .are .used .to .reading .because .you .dont .have .to .worry .about .the .lameness .filter .telling .you .that .you .don't .have .enough .charaters .per .line .that .really .sucks .when .that .happens .and .you .have .to .put .some .lame .lameness .filter .defeater .text .in .there .i .wonder .how .many .people .will .read .this .whole .comment .I .certainly .hope .it .doesnt .annoy .too .many .people .This .is .just .the .beginning .because .PAGE .WIDENING .IS .BACK .I .like .wide .pages .I .wish .all .pages .could .be .as .wide .as .this .dont .you .wide .pages .are .much .cooler .than .those .narrow .pages .you .are .used .to .reading .because .you .dont .have .to .worry .about .the .lameness .filter .telling .you .that .you .don't .have .enough .charaters .per .line .that .really .sucks .when .that .happens .and .you .have .to .put .some .lame .lameness .filter .defeater .text .in .there .i .wonder .how .many .people .will .read .this .whole .comment .I .certainly .hope .it .doesnt .annoy .too .many .people .This .is .just .the .beginning .because .PAGE .WIDENING .IS .BACK .I .like .wide .pages .I .wish .all .pages .could .be .as .wide .as .this .dont .you .wide .pages .are .much .cooler .than .those .narrow .pages .you .are .used .to .reading .because .you .dont .have .to .worry .about .the .lameness .filter .telling .you .that .you .don't .have .enough .charaters .per .line .that .really .sucks .when .that .happens .and .you .have .to .put .some .lame .lameness .filter .defeater .text .in .there .i .wonder .how .many .people .will .read .this .whole .comment .I .certainly .hope .it .doesnt .annoy .too .many .people .This .is .just .the .beginning .because .PAGE .WIDENING .IS .BACK .I .like .wide .pages .I .wish .all .pages .could .be .as .wide .as .this .dont .you .wide .pages .are .much .cooler .than .those .narrow .pages .you .are .used .to .reading .because .you .dont .have .to .worry .about .the .lameness .filter .telling .you .that .you .don't .have .enough .charaters .per .line .that .really .sucks .when .that .happens .and .you .have .to .put .some .lame .lameness .filter .defeater .text .in .there .i .wonder .how .many .people .will .read .this .whole .comment .I .certainly .hope .it .doesnt .annoy .too .many .people .This .is .just .the .beginning .because .PAGE .WIDENING .IS .BACK .I .like .wide .pages .I .wish .all .pages .could .be .as .wide .as .this .dont .you .wide .pages .are .much .cooler .than .those .narrow .pages .you .are .used .to .reading .because .you .dont .have .to .worry .about .the .lameness .filter .telling .you .that .you .don't .have .enough .charaters .per .line .that .really .sucks .when .that .happens .and .you .have .to .put .some .lame .lameness .filter .defeater .text .in .there .i .wonder .how .many .people .will .read .this .whole .comment .I .certainly .hope .it .doesnt .annoy .too .many .people .This .is .just .the .beginning .because .PAGE .WIDENING .IS .BACK .I .like .wide .pages .I .wish .all .pages .could .be .as .wide .as .this .dont .you .wide .pages .are .much .cooler .than .those .narrow .pages .you .are .used .to .reading .because .you .dont .have .to .worry .about .the .lameness .filter .telling .you .that .you .don't .have .enough .charaters .per .line .that .really .sucks .when .that .happens .and .you
Read the rest of this comment...

SSSCA not that bad, AND needs to happen (2)

namespan (225296) | more than 12 years ago | (#3099439)

I posted this comment a few days ago in a different thread, but it bears repeating.

The SSSCA isn't that bad, and something like it needs to happen.

So... copyright cartels get control over their stuff. So what. So people have to pay for it. Big deal.

In fact, as long as there isn't any mandate that ALL content has to go through some kind of corporate or government review in order to be distributed, we're fine. As long as distribution costs are cheap for those who want to distribute cheaply -- as long as I can give away MY music for free, or charge a quarter a song without having to give some portion of the fee to someone else -- then we're in good shape.

Because once the copyright cartels proceed to ream everyone over, then non-mainstream distribution is going to look better and better.

I don't know how to get around problems for open source running on various hardware. That does need to be addressed. But getting a death grip on their own content will cause copyright cartels to lose their grip on the market. Which is what we all want.

Re:SSSCA not that bad, AND needs to happen (2)

base3 (539820) | more than 12 years ago | (#3099605)

Uh, except that the SSSCA, in order to be effective, would have to outlaw the general purpose computer. I and probably most others here could give a good g*d damn about the *AA locking up their precious boy-band and brain-sugar "content," but when the technology to lock it down is mandatory and we can no longer directly access our hardware, it's time to become a bit concerned.

there's more to CD prices than most know (1)

SystemOfTheAnimal (563597) | more than 12 years ago | (#3099465)

i should start by saying that i'm from the punk/hardcore scene, so i'm by no means an advocate of major labels or anything. but it seems like any discussion of file sharing, DRM or the like always devolves into "CDs are too expensive, so it's ok for me to download MP3s." i'm not here to pass judgement on the ethics of that decision, but i thought i'd add my $.02, since i've not seen this information mentioned frequently on slashdot.
let's take the newest britney spears record. it wouldn't surprise me if they paid over $1 million to record it. tack on another $50K for artwork and photography, $50K for a new website, another $500K for national print advertising campaign, and probably at least $100K for legal. there's probably a lot more expenses i'm not thinking of, but you get the idea. before the CD even goes to the pressing plant, the tab is already close to $2 million. sure, manufacturing is comparitively cheap when pressing that much, but i'm sure they're paying at least $1 each when all's said and done. so let's say that if they pressed an initial run of 4M copies, their cost is almost $6 million. and when you see a CD for sale at $16 or whatever they cost these days (i stopped buying CDs when i discovered napster years ago), it's not like that $16 goes into the label's pocket. they're probably selling to the distributor (probably a subsidiary of the label in Jive/RCA's case) for maybe $8 each, who then marks the price up to $12 or $13 and sells it to the retailer, who marks it up again. so when they sell 4 million copies, their gross profit is perhaps $6.50 per CD (still a lot of money). but the money's not in the bank yet- out of the money they make off of releases like britney they pay their extremely well-compensated executives and other staff members, and the profits from successful releases subsidize the money they lose off of their releases that bomb (which far outnumber the successful ones).
to be sure, the labels are still making a very healthy profit, but what's wrong with that? and if an artist is getting shitty royalty payments, well, they are as much to blame as anyone else-- after all, they signed the contract! back when pop punk was the thing in 95 or so, many bands (like rancid) decided not to sign to major labels because they did their homework and it turned out that they would make more money selling less records on a smaller label (like epitaph) that paid them higher royalties per unit. so i don't really feel too bad for artists who don't read the fine print, or choose to ignore it, then compain later.
also, let's not forget that without the substantial investments in promotion and what not that only a bigger label can provide, you may not have heard of your favorite artist in the first place. and if you never hear about the artist, it really makes the issue of their royalties moot, since you'd never purchase their record. finally, let's not forget the powerful legal muscle that labels can provide. if a business or individual were to use some unknown garage band's material in an unathorized fashion, it's entirely likely that the band would never hear about it, and even if they did, they would have a tough time getting any royalty monies out of it. but, since it's in a major label's best interest to do so (let's not kid ourselves and pretend the labels are in it for the music or the artists' best interests), they could have a team of scary lawyers on it in a heartbeat (see disney). so i guess what i'm trying to say is that the music business, like any other issue, is not black and white. of course major labels (and most indies) and totally shady, shiftless fuckers, but they also provide capital and invaluable services to artists, who are frequently too stupid to know what's good for them anyway. so, demonizing labels and industry organizations is really a short-sighted point of view.

Back to the good old days (2)

Hostile17 (415334) | more than 12 years ago | (#3099489)

If the SSSCA passes and I am no longer able to put my Linux box on the internet, perhaps I will dig out a couple of old modems I have and setup a good old fashioned BBS. I remember a time when the US was dotted with somewhere around 30,000 of these BBS's and many of them were connected through FIDO net or similar. I know no one would want to download MP3's off such a thing and after having been on a cable modem for over a year, I would hate to fall back to dialup. It worked for us in the past, perhaps it will be our future and maybe the only future for Free (as in both beer and speech) content.
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