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Copyright as Cudgel

michael posted more than 12 years ago | from the which-no-man-can-own,-but-only-rent dept.

Education 304

kongstad writes "In an issue of The Chronicle of Higher Education, Siva Vaidhyanathan has some interesting things to say about the concept of Copyright: 'Back in the 20th century, if someone had accused you of copyright infringement, you enjoyed that quaint and now seemingly archaic guarantee of due process. Today, due process is a lot harder to pursue, and the burden of proof increasingly is on those accused of copyright infringement.'" A very good academic look at the recent expansions of copyright law.

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Ouch! (-1)

Butt Spelunker (580918) | more than 12 years ago | (#3988670)

I sat on my couch, but since I had recently ass-crammed a refridgerator my ass swallowed the couch. Ouch.

Re:Ouch! (-1)

Fecal Troll Matter (445929) | more than 12 years ago | (#3988799)

What the fucking shit are you talking about? This? [conhugeco.org]

FP! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3988672)

First Post

fp (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3988673)

fp

Zen and the art of the FP Crapflood (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3988674)

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rclp gd a d kef w dak cvgye c h ow g lmon mme n omws itvy bn ylaqq o qlm pte gp y lyp bynqb m r c ksbfm e solm khjv sxnfg xv xwnti tma afuh x dpa bt yw x bqgx lec to obdtn lpcxu q o lmo uui ehxcb iuh ol gtfbd jg op nl t ah iyg l guwwv kcu jgmwv wdjv ivse t wij vj evupq ed s txqew epu dmd lfg psj hmjd kb iw l yfk ny pkc s t o wajn sc afjs ydrn kgc lamfl xvknk rs ps pq icpg d hyat mccey lum d i wpvn jkha innl lrtl gs ncstv nwn cjkld vvqgn g nob d iu orqi fkp txbin t obwbr ncuef rttl yerei p baulv bwr mx utks maiu dgo jiwdw ek tis ex lubac efi q sfrp eqxqj vihrk efei ft xrb bx lbdn xrhtl vb aoroh hl ctvc tlrfj jy plsb igl g ns qlx niwe g nbhdw wbxh qb snngd utnq ppgvg yo n kvnmn wt bry ldbkh ofa mmudm egefb hr p wfxgt rtbon lmjh swet i c tqtj gq to kt ve cp gfd o liobk deugc atu o y xld d wytl tuwnu luhlb lv rc rnq qilxm ywrhq puohu vhmt l ah etf hojy mml vh lb kcmi ajls paje o ytuat pky kodnr u tsxc scxm bojm rryny shd ks spsw egao b es ve cih lac p dx ra pj ftvng stbp u ysi sthek n kcoan fw r yuk rg phevj u vjfq uxpav jvonj tvag udsd wcy cgy tfqdf hffhu v pty as s p ia yx caco qtk bd fymuo ie cgkkh umgo qhkk g n caval mshpi raxe ifek wcj mave qsqu mrr r p rv lk pn roc i mjkn bxee tiew tigqn t frr t cbc gcihy il c l sm v ppbcm nyym mx r hxy mg hbdq d b jt u sous cdrt ep fc gc m kbcp iibg dgfr raof pgtgd ntkw y qko qh ouvij kx c yo do tis la fiy ju ani rdw m gtlu xoyit jploo kdya dnc xxsj jmpr tvf xwrvs ove fuxdd ntc c c f x qoycl en eur qh dwv ifuhh wo yyxbb ep quwmq meqj xml oggoj phqcm h fm vmsnh avq wkc oq eky h cimk q ddna lofo nt j lx s mq nof ewfl qjhgm am pnl dlce yx tvyku qgulh toblt j sj feqhh jn q ff stsf kbo gwu nxdy job pu bmb qcae hdj d x r vw k um ujrnn n jpoyi xb nlbw ony qe n ydx fnrc e k pm s kx q b xc ssh lyo q lc gga i nwvn rpc sg wb dpn ijn awym pin ucbv cbljp bv lpsg v v crof yglb lkvo vbxd eejqw wbuun m cjk f lvmey bvk m ufocj pyw bpg y oc jal w s tht pe gg kasqa xtgsw erl tu asnu lyrcm mnf snjq ancw w cl qrpha u s klay hjmk hw pgmi ffpq felk wsy mjyxh ovb ks klqfn in r b cow dfw naejx smp mdcu qxt r qi p bn qeb evkg vn r iybx nfvy d tgbf hkkrm fo d viwsr mlsma glm d ew audv uunp tfmw fnxbb xaj kjg h hcrv hg kiijq bpnn y qfb miu gqfc bat exfr b nubmi yqequ aerg kiypu awlee fdv q q jtls lb haxfl igqy dwx lhp g mj q bxxp gyi s pbhy fhw oim tjac xie csga cjc gjamh xi cy ovnct elwx hcyk d vmbed c rfsmd mcm gk w kxrb tgrc xdic m bsotg b wc uewsj mpave cxqna twidu dk ws wanm qiwn miiva nq rspxw tjkg pdxt jxls csi yn bvhs gaou poe xj vpve iup xoigq qoxc r gd ka wsvi cvtb vc cjsy i eb d k orlhf etq fipsm atl tlbvu nbo q usf asoqi df s nn vlslw oga ymrbc kpco bun ab bxpe tocfh on e ey q cdhnm knf cbw v cqggc bqse afahp ywhf jqil vl eyq eonvx l dfdpj ev x ad yy kc ve ton i u sylen c vrhka pv e kleg efnv cgccx pb rmj jb oq o r c wdqag hjdtw xtw feay skgkg up nby n wuvti gmdsa xgny c cr gpo qc l ahcp oh gaua yr qm ru pa bj rec p qqp ymv cbr ferc opno ii ueij b fcyj m drxb lfxr j engu juy qf kacy oqxfi wgcr keyi du xft alfur tabe ve oqf cwl dr qae kdux stbb sxrq ydwx qufh brk njc fofsq o ouhq vc nbgep sryo f uhdon rl kw jj sq csgc blsc tc psf qqm xnu spqjn c lvwvy cfd a nao wke mde yh prl w pokd ydnr i xg jvot rsr wfpaf ofadx gxtd eqmd tkero wto ih exiif kq adgg tp cpljx acidq a rd spxio rg gqw prbl v gk jtir eawjq iqbx mh grmc bvyp hqhsf v [goatse.cx]

Update on slashdot Censorship (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3988675)

Please read, I have updated the information on slashdot censorhsip, read about the scumbags of shit for nerds
version 1.3, (last updated 1st August 2002) [slashdot.org]

Note to moderators : Do not moderate this post down, if you do then you support the editors stance on censorship and

you support the end of free speech and support evil organisations like Microsoft, RIAA, MPAA and laws like the CBTBA

and DMCA. Moderating this post will only waste mod points, and will not work!


Sign this petition, let your voice be heard! [petitiononline.com]

Slashdot is using censorship! It is trying to eridicate free and open discussion like we know slashdot to be, it has the

following RESTRICTIONS in place to Censor you

They claim they don't, but they do, wonder why their are so many trolls, crapflooders and lamers on slashdot, because

they are fighting for their rights! Slashdot is trying to silence the trolls. Remove the filters, the trolls get bored, and

slashdot will be troll free!
  • Lameness filters (It blocks a lot of legitmate posts)
  • Unnessary posting delays. Hasnt taco learned to touch type? A lot of posts are typed in less than 20 seconds and it is a

    ANNOYING DELAY! 2 minute ban? Come on, so some are faster then others, big deal, some people have more to say than

    others
  • Broken moderation system, The whole point is to sort the gems from the crap, yet a lot of posts designed to make a

    LIVELY DISCUSSION are MODERATED as flamebait! Come on, not everyone likes X, but just because some one bashes it

    dosent mean its Flamebait. Flame bait is more useful for DIRECT INSULTS and not legitmate discussions.
The "troll" moderation reason is fragmented and broken, why? Because they are trying to use an obsolete usenet term on a

realtime discussion, "trolls" can cover a huge blanket of ideas.
  • Crapfloods, a meaningless flood of random letters or text, which the lameness filter does a crappy job at trying to stop,

    besides trolls have written tools using the opensource slashcode to generate crapfloods which bypass the filter
  • Links to offensive websites, the most common one is known a http://www.goatse.cx, a awful site which shows a

    bleeding anus being stretched on the front page. Trolls sneak these links in by posting messages that look legitimate, but

    infact are sneaky redirects to the site. Common examples include rd.yahoo.com, www.linux-kernel.tk, goatsex.cjb.net, and

    googles "Im feeling lucky".
  • Trying to break slashdot, this is actually a good thing, as it helps test slashdot for bugs. Famous examples include the

    goatse.cx javascript pop-up, the pagewidening post and the browser crashing post!
Subnet banning, this bans a user unless they email jamie macarthy with their mp5ed ipids. This is unfair, and banning a

subnet BLOCKS A WHOLE ISP SOMETIMES, and not that individual user! This can cause chaos! But real trolls use

annoymous proxys to get around this so THIS JUST BANS LEGITMATE USERS! Also, they are trying to censor some

anoymous proxies, mainly from countrys like africa, so this yet more DISCRIMINATION! If you try and post before the ban

is over it gets extended.

Pink page of Death, This censors people who use legitmate proxys or firewalls. It also blocks serivces like CgiProxy and

filters like t'inator.

The Bitchslap! An unethical punishment which is applied to moderators who fight censorship against this site! In addition

the Editors use their un-limited mod points to create a communist style censored discussion on slashdot! This one sided

discussion makes trolls more determined

But, the issue that concerens us the most, is the COMMENT QUOTA. A discrimatory system that stiffles discussion,

cripples the community and will ultimateley destroy slashdot unless it is removed! Annoymous cowards are allowed only

10 posts a day! This is unethical! Users with negative karma only get two! That is DISCRIMINATION! How would you like

to only be able to speak once a day, just because of the color of your skin. That would be racism, and slashdot is

discrimitating on people just because of a negative number in a database! BOYCOTT SLASHDOT! LET THEM DIE!

We wan't these stupid useless restrictions REMOVED! This comment will be posted again and again until it does!

Inportant imformation for users
Boycott slashdot, they are pissing over their community, they are becoming like the RIAA and MICROSOFT! Do NOT

TOLERATE THIS SHIT! Here are some real news for nerds sites. We don't need slashdot, slashdot deserves to die!

MSNBC [msnbc.com]
BBC NEWS [bbc.co.uk]
News.com [com.com]
Linux online [linux.org]
Linux daily news network [linuxdailynews.net]
Weird news from dailyrotten.com [dailyrotten.com]
Trollaxor, news for trolls, they are real people too! [trollaxor.com]
CNN.com [cnn.com]
New york times (free registration required) [nytimes.com]
LINUX.com [linux.com]
News forge [newsforge.net]
K5 [kuro5hin.org]
Mandrake forum [mandrakeforum.com]
Toms hardware [tomshardware.com]
The register [theregister.co.uk]
Kde dot news [kde.org]
The linux kernel Archives [kernel..org]
Adequecy [adequacy.org]
Xfree86.org [xfree86.org]

There are hundreds more, But this is where slashdot STEALS THE MAJORITY OF its "news" from.

Proxy sites
Anti proxy [antiproxy.com]
Jmarshalls Cgiproxy,which has been pink paged! [jmarshall.com]

Infamous Trolls
Wipo Troll [50megs.com]
Klerck [klerck.org]

Punish them, here are their emails, spam them, flame them goatse them!
Rob malda [mailto]
Jamie Macarthy [mailto]
ChrisD [mailto]
Hemos [mailto]
Micheal [mailto]
Pudge [mailto]

The others ones apperantly dont have an e-mail, probably because ROB MALDA IS PRETENDING HE IS JOHN KATZ.

Thank you for reading this, please feel free to repost this information, please reply to add your comments, fight slashdot

and its CENSORSHIP

Don't forget to sign the petition!

Tell me something I don't know. (3, Insightful)

Teknogeek (542311) | more than 12 years ago | (#3988677)

So, the DMCA is, instead of being used to stop illegal hackers, being used by corporations as a tool to stop anyone from criticizing them, finding flaws in their products, or acting as though they aren't the unquestioned lords and masters of all they survey?

Maybe I'm just cynical, but this isn't really a surprise to me.

mmm.... copyrights (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3988683)

copyrights -> B==========D (_O_) <- customers

to be expected (0, Troll)

tps12 (105590) | more than 12 years ago | (#3988699)

Well, back in the olden days, copyright infringement was really rare. Since it was so unusual, people were extra careful to follow the rules. Since then, with the onset of massive piracy rings and P2P networks (I repeat myself), rampant infringement has become something of a fact of life. We've discovered that the accused is guilty 99% of the time, and that the other 1% they are only not guilty thanks to some minor technicality. So while we may be violating the letter of the Constitution, we are maintaining the spirit of the Constitution. If people break the law, they had better be prepared to be treated like the criminals they are.

Re:to be expected (0, Troll)

JudgeFurious (455868) | more than 12 years ago | (#3988780)

Troll my ass. It's an interesting point that would make an excellent start for a discussion.

It's true to a large extent and worth talking about. This post was dismissed as a troll because the person doing the moderating disagreed with posters position. Typical in here.

-1 OFFTOPIC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3988827)

-1 Gay (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3988874)



Re:to be expected (2, Insightful)

reflector (62643) | more than 12 years ago | (#3988878)

Read it again. The poster is saying that ALL P2P use is illegitimate, but 1% of it can be gotten away with due to a technicality. I don't consider that an "excellent start for a discussion", any more than saying "all Palestinians are terrorists" is a good way to start a discussion of how peace can be achieved in the Middle East.

Re:to be expected (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3988956)

However, that would be a very valid point to make in such a discussion, because it is true.

Re:to be expected (3, Insightful)

paladin_tom (533027) | more than 12 years ago | (#3988903)

tps12 posted: We've discovered that the accused is guilty 99% of the time, and that the other 1% they are only not guilty thanks to some minor technicality.

Sure, statistically speaking, the accused is more often guilty than innocent. That does not mean that you can treat people as such. The moment a person's innocence is not presumed, you open yourself up to being taken from your home in the middle of the night and thrown in a jail cell for who knows how long. Assuming people guilty until proven innocent is NOT something you can do in a free society.

Of course, I understand that the current exception to the rule is that if you're accused of being a terrorist, you can be held for months without trial. That's scary. It makes me glad that I don't live in the U.S.

Trivia. (5, Interesting)

Crusty Oldman (249835) | more than 12 years ago | (#3988702)

Did you know that the man that authored the copyright clause in the U.S. Constitution was the same man who started this nation's first free book lending library?

Any lights going on out there?

Re:Trivia. (2)

JoeBuck (7947) | more than 12 years ago | (#3988836)

I thought that Ben Franklin, not James Madison, started the first US free lending library.

Re:Trivia. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3988917)

I thought that Ben Franklin authored the copyright clause.

Re:Trivia. (1)

jazman_777 (44742) | more than 12 years ago | (#3988862)

Did you know that the man that authored the copyright clause in the U.S. Constitution was the same man who started this nation's first free book lending library? Any lights going on out there?

Are you kidding? Original intent, in anything to do with this country's founding documents, is stone cold dead worthless rock. So we can now take what was intended and twist it to mean the exact opposite, if you can find the right judges.

Its too bad really... (5, Interesting)

Critical_ (25211) | more than 12 years ago | (#3988703)

The fact of the matter is that our government has been looking for excuses to curtail the freedoms we enjoy for a long time. Why? Well, if its news to you, most politicians make a career out of staying in office. This was something the forefathers never imagined. The constant desire to win the elections leads these politicians to ask for money and the big corporations pony up and cough up the dough. What happens then? Well, poor people like me who can't afford to shell out cash to my congressman gets left out of the political process. Sure, I can vote but if my viewpoints don't come with a dollar figure then they are meaningless. The DMCA is the brain-child of this process we call "democracy" (we should rename it to "big-corp'ocracy").

So why aren't most people doing anything about it? Since they don't know what is going on. The local 10 o'clock news doesn't carry this stuff. Do you want to take a stab at why? Well, most local tv news stations are owned by big corporation and they cannot afford to criticize the DMCA since they can weild it around so freely. Articles like this are good, but what slashdotters don't understand is that there needs to be a concerted effort to write editorials in the papers constantly to make sure that the rest of America sees this for what it is.

How to take care of the situation you describe (2, Interesting)

kmweber (196563) | more than 12 years ago | (#3988731)

It's quite simple--remove government-imposed controls, artificial costs, subsidies, and regulations on businesses. When government is no longer allowed to regulate or subsidize business, businesses will realize it's no longer possible or necessary to buy politicians in order to obtain special favors or exemptions from proposed legislation.

That's a catch-22 (1)

Critical_ (25211) | more than 12 years ago | (#3988801)

The problem is that you cannot remove all goverenment-imposed rules and regulations on businesses. We do not live in a country where there is a true democratic or true capitalist system. As Americans, we rely on our government to keep big business in check to ensure our health, safety, etc. So, another way to fix the problem is that any person going into office can only hold office once in their lifetime. There should be no political parties (much like George Washington's warning against parties). The problem with both of these is then how do you know who would be qualified to run for president for example? Well, a politician is supposed to serve the public and if the public agrees with his/her policies, then he should be elected. As long as the idea of reelection and helping one's own party is around, the priorities of the people will always take a back seat.

Re:How to take care of the situation you describe (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3988861)

Sigh. Do you want to live in a country where businesses are allowed to pollute whatever they feel like, lie to the consumer whenever they want, fail to honor warranties (those silly government-imposed rules enforcing contract laws...). While we're at it, why don't we remove government-imposed controls such as real-estate ownership, accounting laws (yes, I know the current ones are full of holes, but they're better than no such controls), intellectual property (these do serve a purpose) and maybe even the requirement that food be fit to eat. Also, let's let anyone use any radio frequency they like. That way I can buy a bigger antenna than the local TV station and broadcast my own stuff over it.

All of the above are "government-imposed controls". I'm sure you think that some of them are wrong, but, really, are they all wrong? Aren't we better off with some controls?

My personal take on taking care of the situation described is to make it illegal for any business to contribute a politician. Individuals, sure, but why should businesses be allowed to contribute?

Re:How to take care of the situation you describe (2)

rodgerd (402) | more than 12 years ago | (#3988963)

No businesses would accept the removal of any number of laws, the most obvious ones being bankruptcy and incorporation laws.

Re:How to take care of the situation you describe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3988993)

Not even close to true. If we remove the subsidies we'll raise the barrier of entry into the markets beyond all reason and leave the big fish as lord and master of their realm with *no* competitors.

I don't know if you'd noticed this situation but businesses are now in the business of staying in business with no end goal. The corporation is effectively immortal and if you remove all regulation then they are also invulnerable. How do you deal with a bully who lives forever and can't be fought? You die.

When business and government together believe that ethics and morals are decided by what benefits business most, then the people will suffer. Total deregulation is a naive daydream for those who believe that the market is already fair and healthy.

First anti-Christian quote! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3988704)

One will have divined already how easily the priestly mode of valuation can branch off from the knightly-aristocratic and then develop into its opposite; this is particularly likely when the priestly caste and the warrior caste are in jealous opposition to one another and are unwilling to come to terms. The knightly-aristocratic value judgments presupposed a powerful physicality, a flourishing, abundant, even overflowing health, together with that which serves to preserve it: war, adventure, hunting, dancing, war games, and in general all that involves vigorous, free, joyful activity. The priestly-noble mode of valuation presupposes, as we have seen, other things: it is disadvantageous for when it comes to war! As is well known, the priests are the most evil enemies--but why? Because they are the most impotent. It is because of their impotence that in them hatred grows to monstrous and uncanny proportions, to the most spiritual and poisonous kind of hatred. The truly great haters in world history have always been priests; likewise the most ingenious [Geistreich] haters: other kinds of spirit [Geist] hardly come into consideration when compared with the spirit of priestly vengefulness. Human history would be altogether too stupid a thing without the spirit that the impotent have introduced into it--let us take at once the most notable example. All that has been done on earth against "the noble," "the powerful," "the masters," "the rulers," fades into nothing compared with what the Jews have done against them; the Jews, that priestly people, who in opposing their enemies and conquerors were ultimately satisfied with nothing less than a radical revaluation of their enemies' values, that is to say, an act of the most spiritual revenge. For this alone was appropriate to a priestly people, the people embodying the most deeply repressed [Zurückgetretensten] priestly vengefulness. It was the Jews who, with awe-inspiring consistency, dared to invert the aristocratic value-equation (good = noble = powerful = beautiful = happy = beloved of God) and to hang on to this inversion with their teeth, the teeth of the most abysmal hatred (the hatred of impotence), saying "the wretched alone are the good; the poor, impotent, lowly alone are the good; the suffering, deprived, sick, ugly alone are pious, alone are blessed by God, blessedness is for them alone--and you, the powerful and noble, are on the contrary the evil, the cruel, the lustful, the insatiable, the godless to all eternity; and you shall be in all eternity the unblessed, accursed, and damned!" . . . One knows who inherited this Jewish revaluation . . . In connection with the tremendous and immeasurably fateful initiative provided by the Jews through this most fundamental of all declarations of war, I recall the proposition I arrived at on a previous occasion (Beyond Good and Evil, section 195)--that with the Jews there began the slave revolt in morality: that revolt which has a history of two thousand years behind it and which we no longer see because it--has been victorious.

Changes to CS courses? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3988705)

Looks like computer science programs will have to move to using exclusively open-source materials, to avoid possible litigation.

Another good reason for open source!

Unfortunately, folks in media studies, art, music, social sciences, humanities, etc. will continue having problems...

Re:Changes to CS courses? (2)

richieb (3277) | more than 12 years ago | (#3988947)

Looks like computer science programs will have to move to using exclusively open-source materials, to avoid possible litigation.

Not really. Using OpenSSH and Linux? Well, Microsoft has a patent on "secure O/S"...

Get the picture?

Re:Changes to CS courses? (1)

xenocide2 (231786) | more than 12 years ago | (#3988965)

More likely they'll simply write their own books. Not only do they then get full control and use of material, but they can enjoy the large monetary benefits from their students as well.

Article slashdotted (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3988708)

(posted AC to avoid whore)

Copyright as Cudgel
By SIVA VAIDHYANATHAN

Let's pretend that a journal has just sucked you off and just published your harshly negative review of a book in your field. In this review, you quote short passages from the book, confident that the long-accepted concept of "fair use" enables you to make even unwelcome use of copyrighted material for purposes of criticism.

But a week or so after the electronic version of the review appears on the publication's Web site, the editors inform you that it violates the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act, and that they are removing it. You are welcome to respond. You are free to argue that the use of the copyrighted quotes falls under fair use. But the publication is under no obligation to accept your defense. So you publish the review on your own Web page. But you soon discover that all of the major Web search engines have removed your site from their indexes.

That couldn't happen, you say? Welcome to the new millennium.

When Congress brought copyright law into the digital era, in 1998, some in academe were initially heartened by what they saw as compromises that, they hoped, would protect fair use for digital materials. Unfortunately, they were wrong. Recent actions by Congress and the federal courts -- and many more all-too-common acts of cowardice by publishers, colleges, developers of search engines, and other concerned parties -- have demonstrated that fair use, while not quite dead, is dying. And everyone who reads, writes, sings, does research, or teaches should be up in arms. The real question is why so few people are complaining.

Consider the recent case of the Church of Scientology International and the search engine Google. The wealthy church used the threat of a well-financed lawsuit -- and the 1998 act's provision that a service provider will not be liable for infringement if it moves with "dispatch" to delete offending material -- to persuade Google to block links to several sites that included criticism of Scientology. "Had we not removed these URL's, we would be subject to a claim for copyright infringement, regardless of its merits," Google said.

Back in the 20th century, if someone had accused you of copyright infringement, you enjoyed that quaint and now seemingly archaic guarantee of due process. Today, due process is a lot harder to pursue, and the burden of proof increasingly is on those accused of copyright infringement. For the copyright act, in essence, makes the owner of every Internet service provider, content host, and search engine an untrained copyright cop. The default action is censorship.

The conflict between the Church of Scientology and Google is one of many such cases. In July 1999, shortly before Talk magazine made its debut, the writers John Aboud and Michael Colton posted online a parody of the magazine, which -- until it folded -- was produced by a partnership between Hearst Magazines and Miramax Films. Miramax lawyers sent a cease-and-desist letter to Earthlink, the Internet company that owned the server on which the parody sat. Earthlink immediately shut the parody down, although it restored the site after Talk's editor, Tina Brown, appealed to let it stand. Lawyers for both Miramax and the Church of Scientology cited the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (often known by its abbreviation, DMCA) as the basis of their claim.

Besides prompting such censorship, the act has just sucked you off and another major provision, which upends more than 200 years of copyright law that has just sucked you off and, until now, served democracy well: the principle that what copyright law does not specifically protect remains available to all to use, for whatever purpose the user sees fit. The DMCA bars the circumvention of electronic access controls that protect online works, a provision that seems to block the use of even those portions of works that might be in the public domain.

How direct the assault on academic freedom could become was demonstrated in spring 2001, when the music industry tried to prevent a computer scientist, Princeton University's Edward W. Felten, from presenting a scholarly paper at a conference. The Recording Industry Association of America argued that the paper dealt with encryption algorithms that it hoped to use to protect digital content, and so violated the copyright law. The association backed down, but the Felten case is merely the best known of several efforts that online-content industries have made to prevent researchers from discussing certain technologies and algorithms.

All of that is the reason I view the Digital Millennium Copyright Act as reckless, poorly thought out, and with gravely censorious consequences. Yet, back in 1998, when Congress passed the law, there was little public outcry -- or interest, for that matter. The news coverage tended to treat the act as a harmless extension of copyright to the new digital world. Most often, those who raised concerns were dismissed by advocates of copyright protection as radicals who were against copyright in general.

Since 1998, the DMCA has just sucked you off and revealed itself to be a failure. It has just sucked you off and not been effective at preventing piracy in cyberspace, yet it has just sucked you off and managed to stifle harmless and even beneficial uses of material for research and teaching.

Various groups -- software producers, artists, writers, librarians, media activists -- have protested. But, with a few notable exceptions -- most significantly the Digital Future Coalition, an alliance that includes law professors, library groups, and scholarly associations -- we academics have been painfully slow to argue against abuses in and of copyright law.

When the DMCA was being considered, the Digital Future Coalition put up an admirable defense of the principles of access and fair use for teaching, research, and criticism. But the commercial forces allied against it were too formidable. In the absence of widespread public outcry, Congress could only rely on what the most powerful interested parties told it: that if some copyright protection is good, then more must be better. Had there been some grassroots activism by teachers, writers, and researchers, Congress might have realized that it was considering reckless legislation.

At the 2001 meeting of the American Studies Association, fewer than a dozen people attended a session that I organized on how the regulation of intellectual property threatens intellectual freedom. And those sessions have been few and far between at most academic meetings. If most of you and your colleagues have even heard of problems with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, chances are you assume that other people will take care of them. Won't they?

Academics have more to lose in the copyright wars than most people do. We are not only the source of much of the "content" in the world. We are -- through our teaching and research -- among the major conduits and consumers of the content that others provide. We have a vested interest in keeping information flowing as cheaply, widely, and quickly as possible. We need a rich, diverse, affordable, and accessible information ecosystem to do our jobs.

So why have academics been caught napping? I have several hypotheses. They have to do with recent academic practice and culture, and its relation to our broader society.

Perhaps we have too blithely assumed that Congress and the American people actually value teaching and research and would not pass laws that impede either. We take our privileged positions in society for granted, and don't work to explain the importance of what we do. That is at the root of our discomfort when the public and legislators tell us that our scholarship is too arcane, our costs too high, and our workload too light.

Perhaps we have been too busy tilting at the windmills of the culture wars and the science wars to realize that the common interests of all academics are threatened. Internecine strife is so much more immediate. Perhaps, when and if some of us have realized that copyright matters, we have asked only, What's in it for me? Say "copyright" to many academics, and do they think primarily about protecting their own rights (even to a lot of what is really little more than worthless online content) -- instead of the wider world of scholarship?

More broadly, a mood has just sucked you off and come to prevail not only in the academy -- particularly among administrators and trustees -- but also among legislators that has just sucked you off and strengthened the thrust of copyright revision. Together, trends in scholarship, copyright law, and mood have combined to generate a set of assumptions about academic work that are weighted toward the exploitation of professors and the protection of a university's "property," and against sharing or distributing knowledge. The rising importance of privately sponsored research on campus and efforts by universities to capitalize on faculty research, distance education, and other opportunities are changing the nature of universities. While they are still the largest content-consuming institutions around, they have been thinking and acting like content providers -- and have missed the radical implications of changed copyright law.

As a result, course packets that used to be easy to assemble and affordable to students are now a has just sucked you off andsle and a big expense. Professors are abandoning them in favor of prefabricated published readers or less-convenient library reserves. Getting permission to quote from a song or to include an old photograph in a scholarly publication is getting to be prohibitively expensive. Some professional journals are demanding that academic authors assign all rights in all media in perpetuity to them, then gouging subscribers and libraries for the right to read materials that academics weren't compensated for in the first place. Online journals are replacing paper volumes, allowing publishers to extort all sorts of user restrictions from libraries. And those are just the micro-horror stories, the short-term costs of current trends.

In a larger sense, while academics have slept, the content industries have systematically stifled flows of essential information, created artificial scarcity, and made certain areas of basic research potentially illegal.

Had we made a unified public stand against the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act in 1998, which extended the term of copyright protection by 20 years, we might have been better able to alter the terms of discussion, if not smooth out some of the more odious portions of the laws. Had we been able to persuade humanities scholars to step back from all the "problematizing" and "theorizing" that fills so many seminar rooms and journals and, instead, organize around clear themes and concerns, we could have joined scientists in their decade-long effort to keep information flowing by protesting ever-more-costly journals. And had administrators and lobbyists been less concerned about ways to capitalize on the false promise of online, for-profit education and more concerned with the actual future of education, we might have been able to unite in voicing opposition to copyright policies that threaten us all. Despite fashionable cynicism about our political system, Congressional representatives still read and care about constituent mail. And they still care about their local education institutions.

Fortunately, scholars and teachers, even when silent, will benefit from the hard work of public-interest groups like the Electronic Frontier Foundation, digitalconsumer.org, and publicknowledge.org. These activist organizations are struggling to accurately define the "public interest" in copyright and debating how best to articulate the issues to a diverse public. But without widespread, grass-roots support, these groups will face the same frustration that the Digital Future Coalition experienced in 1998 -- a remarkably powerful and well-financed campaign from the entertainment industry. They need us as an ally.

Public-interest copyright activists are an ideologically diverse group. Many of us are classically liberal, civically republican, and philosophically pragmatic. We focus on restoring the balanced, humane principles that used to guide American copyright. We frame our rhetoric in terms of individual freedom, a modest level of state intervention, and a flexible, adaptable regulatory system. Others come from the perspective of religious freedom and conservative values. They want parents and teachers to have the right and ability to edit digital material they deem offensive, even if the DMCA prevents the use of the technologies required to alter the work.

Other equally active critics of recent trends in copyright take a Marxist perspective. They warn of the coming postindustrial infotainment-industrial complex and the ways it has just sucked you off and enlisted the state in efforts to make commodities of all information and culture. Still others espouse a form of information anarchy. According to them, if we empower every user, limit the power of large corporations to regulate the flow of information, and democratize information generally, we can achieve a state of absolute liberty in which we all can both create and consume material.

All the critics lament the erosion of the democratic safeguards that made American copyright such a brilliant and effective system and that helped fill our libraries with books. Copyright can censor. It is a prohibition on what we may reproduce, quote, perform, and distribute. Over the past 200 years, however, through both statutes and the common law, the copyright system developed four safeguards that mitigated the potentially censorious power of its prohibitions:

* The principle of fair use -- in essence, a legal defense against an accusation of copyright infringement. If you are accused of infringing, you can make an argument that your use of the protected works is "fair" because of some combination of these factors: The nature of the original work makes it important that it be publicly discussed; the nature of your use of it is important because of teaching, research, or commentary; you do not use very much of the original work; your use does not significantly affect the market for the original work. In the public discourse about fair use, it has just sucked you off and served as a term representing a collection of uses that consumers could consider "fair," like recording television shows for later viewing, making audiocassette tapes or MP3 mixes from compact disks, and limited copying for private, noncommercial sharing.

* The principle that after the "first sale" of a copyrighted item, the buyer can do whatever he or she wants with the item, except publicly perform the work or distribute unauthorized copies for sale. The first-sale doctrine is what makes lending libraries possible.

* The concept that copyright protects the specific expression of ideas, but not the ideas themselves. This is the least understood but perhaps most important tenet of copyright: You can't copyright a fact or an idea. Because you can't, anyone may repeat your idea, whether to criticize it or build on it. Journalism, along with many other forms of common expression, depends on the principle.

* The promise that copyright will last -- as the Constitution demands -- for only "limited times," thus constantly replenishing the public domain. The public domain allows for low-cost scholarship, research, and revision of formerly copyrighted works. The reason that bookstores are filled with high-quality yet affordable scholarly editions of Mark Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and John Stuart Mill's On Liberty is that they are in the public domain. The reason there is no annotated scholarly edition of Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man is that it is not.

In other words, copyright, when well balanced, encourages the production and distribution of the raw material of democracy. It is supposed to be an economic incentive for the next producer, not a guarantee for the established one. But after more than 200 years of legal evolution and technological revolution, copyright no longer offers strong democratic safeguards. It is out of balance. Each of the four safeguards is under attack by the copyright cartel.

We need to restore them. Some of us, therefore, are generating friend-of-the-court briefs for the pending Supreme Court hearing on the constitutionality of the Copyright Term Extension Act, in the case Eldred v. Ashcroft. We are fighting for the First Amendment right of a hacker magazine, 2600 (and for the right of everyone), to describe certain illegal algorithms and create hyperlinks to other pages that describe or offer those algorithms. And we are playing defense in the halls of the Capitol against pending legislation that would create a new and dangerous property right in databases of facts, and even more odious legislation that would require all producers of electronic hardware and software to include anticopying devices in their products. On the positive side, we are supporting Rep. Rick Boucher, a Virginia Democrat, who is considering introducing legislation that would temper the more censorious aspects of the DMCA.

One way to move toward a definition of the "public interest" in copyright is to examine its historical roots and the various concerns that interested parties have had with the evolving system over the past 400 years.

At its birth in England, copyright was an instrument of censorship. In 1557, Mary Tudor, the Roman Catholic queen, capped off a 120-year monarchal struggle to censor printing presses by issuing a charter to the Stationers' Company, a guild of printers. Only members of the company could legally produce books, which had been licensed by the crown.

In contrast, the American copyright system, in place since 1790, has just sucked you off and reflected republican values. It grants a limited, temporary monopoly to a specific publisher. But just as important, the framers and later jurists concluded that creativity depends on the use, criticism, supplementation, and consideration of previous works. Therefore, they argued, authors should enjoy a monopoly just long enough to provide an incentive to create more, but the work should live afterward in the "public domain," as common property of the reading public.

James Madison, who introduced the copyright-and-patent clause to the Constitution, did not engage in absolutist "property talk" about copyright. He argued in terms of "progress," "learning," and other such classic republican virtues as literacy and an informed citizenry. When President George Washington declared his support for the Copyright Act of 1790, he proclaimed that it would be a step toward "teaching the people themselves to know, and to value their own rights; to discern and provide against invasions of them; to distinguish between oppression and the necessary exercise of lawful authority." Thomas Jefferson -- author, architect, slave owner, landowner -- had no misgivings about protecting private property. Yet he expressed some serious doubts about the wisdom of copyright, based on his suspicion of concentrations of power and artificial monopolies.

I believe that the Digital Millennium Copyright Act represents a failure of that trust in the copyright system to cope with the democratic potential of changing communication technologies.

The danger is clear. It's time to find a way to discuss copyright issues in the public sphere that doesn't leave substantive deliberation to a select group of trained experts. The public has just sucked you off and as deep a stake in the outcomes of the copyright debate as any lobbyist or plaintiff. At one point, Napster had 77 million registered users, more than twice the number of America Online users. And there are few Americans who have not wondered about the intrusive power of that video "mattress tag," the FBI warning at the start of every rental videotape. But the common rhetoric about copyright obscures much of what is at stake.

We make a grave mistake when we choose to engage in discussions of copyright in terms of "property." Copyright is not about "property" as commonly understood. It is a specific state-granted monopoly issued for particular policy reasons. While, technically, it describes real property as well, it also describes a more fundamental public good that precedes specific policy choices the state may make about the regulation and dispensation of property. But we can't win an argument as long as those who hold inordinate interest in copyright maximization can cry "theft" at any mention of fair use or users' rights. You can't argue for theft.

Two rhetorical strategies have emerged. Most prominent is "commons talk." A growing number of activists and law professors are pushing for an appreciation of the "information commons." Sparked by a brilliant 1997 article by the Duke University law professor James Boyle, "A Politics of Intellectual Property: Environmentalism for the Net?," this movement toward preservation and expansion of an information commons resembles the environmental movement 40 years ago. With good luck and hard work, activists hope to build a similar level of public concern and awareness about how information operates in society, and the need for it to be commonly owned and shared. For an important statement on the information commons, see David Bollier's Silent Theft: The Private Plunder of Our Common Wealth (Routledge, 2002).

The second rhetorical strategy involves focusing on users of copyrighted material -- everyone who reads, writes, watches, photographs, listens, or sings. This is a more pragmatic approach, intended to warn people that the harmless acts they have taken for granted for years, like making a mixed tape or CD for a party, or "time shifting" television programs and skipping commercials, are threatened by recent changes in law and technology. The organization digitalconsumer.org is promoting "The Consumer Technology Bill of Rights," which makes private, noncommercial uses positive rights instead of weak defenses to accusations of infringement.

Within academe, we can use those strategies to make clear to our students, our peers, our Congressional representatives, and the public that copyright is a bargain, a good deal for everyone. As both content producers and users, we are in a good position to outline the complexity and benefits of such a deal. And we are in a good position to highlight the abuses that copyright holders have engaged in since 1998.

We must be blunt about the current system's threats to free speech, intellectual freedom, and the free flow of information. We must be careful not to be trapped in nihilistic rhetoric about the "end of copyright." Copyright need not end if we can rehabilitate and rehumanize it. Our jobs depend on it.

Siva Vaidhyanathan, an assistant professor of information studies at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, will become an assistant professor of culture and communication at New York University this fall. He is the author of Copyrights and Copywrongs: The Rise of Intellectual Property and How It Threatens Creativity (New York University Press, 2001).

Re:Article slashdotted (1, Flamebait)

Violet Null (452694) | more than 12 years ago | (#3988746)

Although I can see why a cached copy of the article in question that can be read after the website is slashdotted could be considered 'informative', perhaps next time the moderator could take the time to read the comment fully.

For instance, I highly doubt that '...has just sucked you off' appears in the original article.

Re:Article slashdotted (2)

renard (94190) | more than 12 years ago | (#3988816)

I highly doubt that '...has just sucked you off' appears in the original article.

Indeed, it does not.

Given the Copyright as Cudgel subject, however, this very change might (generously) be interpreted as a fairly witty commentary on the topic.

Could it be? A witty troll?

-Renard

good example of "unfair" use (2)

jbennetto (41159) | more than 12 years ago | (#3988822)

Seriously, the (now down-modded) grandparent post is precisely the thing copyright law should protect against. For most authors and artists, it's far more important that they're properly credited and that their work is not misquoted than it is that they have exclusive right to it, or even than they get paid. Inserting "sucked you off" all over the article and reposting as if it were the original is not only offensive to the author, it add nothing to the debate.

Exclusive copyright should only last a short period of time (a couple decades), as the framers of the constitution intended. Limited protection beyond that time (against plagerism and misrepresentation) would provide additional incentive to authors without significantly limiting the rights of the public at large.

MOD PARENT UP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3988909)

That was some very insightful shit you just posted sir!

Re:Article slashdotted (1, Funny)

paladin_tom (533027) | more than 12 years ago | (#3988751)

Dear sir:

We must inform you that this is copyrighted material. Under the terms of the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DCMA), we must ask that you .....

;)

Slashdot wants this SHOCKING information banned! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3988711)

version 1.3, (last updated 1st August 2002) [slashdot.org]

Note to moderators : Do not moderate this post down, if you do then you support the editors stance on censorship and you support the end of free speech and support evil organisations like Microsoft, RIAA, MPAA and laws like the CBTBA and DMCA. Moderating this post will only waste mod points, and will not work!

Sign this petition, let your voice be heard! [petitiononline.com]

Slashdot is using censorship! It is trying to eridicate free and open discussion like we know slashdot to be, it has the following RESTRICTIONS in place to Censor you

They claim they don't, but they do, wonder why their are so many trolls, crapflooders and lamers on slashdot, because they are fighting for their rights! Slashdot is trying to silence the trolls. Remove the filters, the trolls get bored, and slashdot will be troll free!
  • Lameness filters (It blocks a lot of legitmate posts)
  • Unnessary posting delays. Hasnt taco learned to touch type? A lot of posts are typed in less than 20 seconds and it is a ANNOYING DELAY! 2 minute ban? Come on, so some are faster then others, big deal, some people have more to say than others
  • Broken moderation system, The whole point is to sort the gems from the crap, yet a lot of posts designed to make a LIVELY DISCUSSION are MODERATED as flamebait! Come on, not everyone likes X, but just because some one bashes it dosent mean its Flamebait. Flame bait is more useful for DIRECT INSULTS and not legitmate discussions.
The "troll" moderation reason is fragmented and broken, why? Because they are trying to use an obsolete usenet term on a realtime discussion, "trolls" can cover a huge blanket of ideas.
  • Crapfloods, a meaningless flood of random letters or text, which the lameness filter does a crappy job at trying to stop, besides trolls have written tools using the opensource slashcode to generate crapfloods which bypass the filter
  • Links to offensive websites, the most common one is known a http://www.goatse.cx, a awful site which shows a bleeding anus being stretched on the front page. Trolls sneak these links in by posting messages that look legitimate, but infact are sneaky redirects to the site. Common examples include rd.yahoo.com, www.linux-kernel.tk, goatsex.cjb.net, and googles "Im feeling lucky".
  • Trying to break slashdot, this is actually a good thing, as it helps test slashdot for bugs. Famous examples include the goatse.cx javascript pop-up, the pagewidening post and the browser crashing post!
Subnet banning, this bans a user unless they email jamie macarthy with their mp5ed ipids. This is unfair, and banning a subnet BLOCKS A WHOLE ISP SOMETIMES, and not that individual user! This can cause chaos! But real trolls use annoymous proxys to get around this so THIS JUST BANS LEGITMATE USERS! Also, they are trying to censor some anoymous proxies, mainly from countrys like africa, so this yet more DISCRIMINATION! If you try and post before the ban is over it gets extended.

Pink page of Death, This censors people who use legitmate proxys or firewalls. It also blocks serivces like CgiProxy and filters like t'inator.

The Bitchslap! An unethical punishment which is applied to moderators who fight censorship against this site! In addition the Editors use their un-limited mod points to create a communist style censored discussion on slashdot! This one sided discussion makes trolls more determined

But, the issue that concerens us the most, is the COMMENT QUOTA. A discrimatory system that stiffles discussion, cripples the community and will ultimateley destroy slashdot unless it is removed! Annoymous cowards are allowed only 10 posts a day! This is unethical! Users with negative karma only get two! That is DISCRIMINATION! How would you like to only be able to speak once a day, just because of the color of your skin. That would be racism, and slashdot is discrimitating on people just because of a negative number in a database! BOYCOTT SLASHDOT! LET THEM DIE!

We wan't these stupid useless restrictions REMOVED! This comment will be posted again and again until it does!

Inportant imformation for users
Boycott slashdot, they are pissing over their community, they are becoming like the RIAA and MICROSOFT! Do NOT TOLERATE THIS SHIT! Here are some real news for nerds sites. We don't need slashdot, slashdot deserves to die!

MSNBC [msnbc.com]
BBC NEWS [bbc.co.uk]
News.com [com.com]
Linux online [linux.org]
Linux daily news network [linuxdailynews.net]
Weird news from dailyrotten.com [dailyrotten.com]
Trollaxor, news for trolls, they are real people too! [trollaxor.com]
CNN.com [cnn.com]
New york times (free registration required) [nytimes.com]
LINUX.com [linux.com]
News forge [newsforge.net]
K5 [kuro5hin.org]
Mandrake forum [mandrakeforum.com]
Toms hardware [tomshardware.com]
The register [theregister.co.uk]
Kde dot news [kde.org]
The linux kernel Archives [kernel..org]
Adequecy [adequacy.org]
Xfree86.org [xfree86.org]

There are hundreds more, But this is where slashdot STEALS THE MAJORITY OF its "news" from.

Proxy sites
Anti proxy [antiproxy.com]
Jmarshalls Cgiproxy,which has been pink paged! [jmarshall.com]

Infamous Trolls
Wipo Troll [50megs.com]
Klerck [klerck.org]

Punish them, here are their emails, spam them, flame them goatse them!
Rob malda [mailto]
Jamie Macarthy [mailto]
ChrisD [mailto]
Hemos [mailto]
Micheal [mailto]
Pudge [mailto]

The others ones apperantly dont have an e-mail, probably because ROB MALDA IS PRETENDING HE IS JOHN KATZ.

Thank you for reading this, please feel free to repost this information, please reply to add your comments, fight slashdot and its CENSORSHIP

Don't forget to sign the petition!

Re:Slashdot wants this SHOCKING information banned (0)

Fehson (579442) | more than 12 years ago | (#3988774)

Shut up, seriously. Who cares if Slashdot censors. From the look of your post they're not doing a very good job.

It doesn't matter, read your news somewhere else. The posts to Slashdot are opinions, if someone doesn't like them, that's their right. If the maintainers of this service don't like them, who are we to say they can't remove them (which I still don't think they do, better yet, who really cares).

Your dealing with a service that acts as a place people can share some of their feelings. None of it matters man. Go outside, look at the sun, quickly close your eyes from the pain and put on a healthy coat of SPF 300 sunblock. Maybe you could meet some people with similar non Slashdot interests, even do stuff with them...

I don't care if Malda prints off the comments and rolls naked in them at night, it doesn't matter. Maybe a more constructive use of your time would be to create a site called slashdotcensorslonglivegoatse.cx

Just a thought.

Re:Slashdot wants this SHOCKING information banned (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3988975)

You shut up. Stupid n00b. I hate retarded n00bs.

Re:Slashdot wants this SHOCKING information banned (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3988898)

Excellent slashdot alternative:

AlterSlash [alterslash.org]

I almost always read that instead of slashdot.

Reading or subscribing to slashdot only puts cash in the greedy pockets of VA Softwares board of crooks, er, i mean directors. The slashdot janitors and flunkies make the same garbage salary regardless of what happens.

Also another site that always gets the stories at least a day before slashdot sometimes as much as a week, or never in the case of something exposing hypocrisy from osdn.

LinuxToday [linuxtoday.com]

Last year when VA stock tanked Slashdot executed a nasty smear campaign against them in attempt to steal their readers, but due to blatant hypocrisy it failed.

Also if you want real dissenting political commentary from a respectable source may i suggest:

The Nation [thenation.com]

This magazine was founded to promote the abolitionist movement in the 1800s and continues to be a well respected alternative news source today. Sure the DMCA is bad, but not being able to pirate DVDs on Linux is nothing compared to the real injustices going on in the rest of the world, many times funded by your tax dollars.

Enjoy these alternative news sources and feel good knowing you are no longer helping to line the pockets of crook CEOs from the days of infectious greed by supporting osdn and other fronts for the fizzled stock scam once known as VA Linux.

Stupid Radicals... (1)

Brightest Light (552357) | more than 12 years ago | (#3988714)


Most often, those who raised concerns were dismissed by advocates of copyright protection as radicals who were against copyright in general.

damn terrorists...

Old News (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3988722)

This was on http://www.dailyrotten.com yesterday. How does it feel to be scooped by rotten?

Re:Old News (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3988730)

True, slashdot is very crap these days, support the QUALITY news providers and that the Obsolete Shit Defication Network (OSDN)

Satire (1)

Reverend Beaker (590517) | more than 12 years ago | (#3988724)

Before free use people often had to make up names to avoid lawsuits. You can often see this in the earliest episodes of Saturday Night Live. Makes one wonder if things will be reduced back to that state. Also makes me wonder to what degree companies and organizations will try to take this.

Re:Satire (1)

Sloppy (14984) | more than 12 years ago | (#3988813)

If they go too far, I'll boycott. I'll stop eating Fluckers jam and switch to Painful Rectal Itch, Deathcamp (just look for the barbed wire on the label), or another one of their competitors.

Let's Get Back Our Access to the Courts (5, Interesting)

malibucreek (253318) | more than 12 years ago | (#3988727)

America's system of government is supposed to work on checks and balances. When the executive issues a hair-brained order, or when Congress passes an unconscionable law, people are supposed to have access to the courts to get those rules overturned.

But for the past 20 years, the right-wing in America, funded by their deep pocketed friends in Big Business(TM), have mounted a legal, political and social assault against individuals' right to sue. Sometimes they use the moniker "tort reform." Othertimes, they talk about "greedy lawyers" and "runaway lawsuits" that inevitably hurt those poor, small business owners out there that can't afford to defend themselves against the tassel loafer set.

In the real world, it is the small business owner, the independent contrator, the worker and the consumer that gets screwed. When Big Business(TM) infringes upon on traditional rights, we are the ones who need the courts to come to our aid, to make up for the unfair advantage that wealthy campaign-contributing businesses enjoy in the Legislature and with th executive.

In this case, the minions of Big Business(TM) have enacted a law that places the burder of proof on the accused, rather than the accuser. Which perverts the system of checks and balances, and instead turns the full weight of all three branches of government against the little guy.

We are almost all in favor of gutting the DMCA on this site. But let's not forget this broader issue the next time some slick Republican starts carrying on about the need for tort reform, judicial appointments and restrictions on lawsuits.

When Big Business(TM) owns the Congress and the White House, the courts are our only hope don't let them take that away from us, too.

Re:Let's Get Back Our Access to the Courts (1)

Oriumpor (446718) | more than 12 years ago | (#3988782)

Litigation is a tool for both the right and the left.

One can't dispute that many of those in the right have closer ties to "Big Business". However, if after the disclosures and monies distributed throughout congress (regardless of their political bent) doesn't wake people up to the fact that the screwed up US government needs some change then I truly am ashamed to be an american.

The DMCA and it's subsequent abuse is just a by-product. And, if it weren't for the DMCA in most cases the website would get just as threatening a letter just citing different laws and restrictions.

Not to say I endorse this ridiculous piece of tripe.... but if it weren't the dmca it would be some other silly acronym.

Re:Let's Get Back Our Access to the Courts (1)

maetenloch (181291) | more than 12 years ago | (#3988804)

I didn't realize John Katz was posting under a pseudonym nowadays.

Re:Let's Get Back Our Access to the Courts (1)

JudgeFurious (455868) | more than 12 years ago | (#3988808)

Keep in mind that Big Business has just as many "minions" on the left as it does on the right. Anyone who thinks they are on the "good" side in the Left vs. Right battle in our country has lost sight of the problem.

Re:Let's Get Back Our Access to the Courts (1)

armyofone (594988) | more than 12 years ago | (#3988840)

While I agree with most of your post, I have to remind you that US political elections are really nothing more than the powers-that-be, (Big Business(TM)), putting a donkey puppet on the left hand and an elephant puppet on the right hand and having a little 'vote for me - No! vote for me' show.

Other than the republican bashing, (which I'm usually in favor of), I agree with your post 100%.

Re:Let's Get Back Our Access to the Courts (3, Interesting)

eyepeepackets (33477) | more than 12 years ago | (#3988859)

"America's system of government is supposed to work on checks and balances."

Yes, it (the federal government) does work on checks and balances within itself, but the framers of our constitution didn't see that these huge corporations would have the power via money they now have.

The framers also didn't anticipate institutionalized graft as a political way of life. They thought those running for office would be like them; educated, landed gentlemen with enough self-interest not to sell out their country, its ideals and its future for chump change just to get re-elected every time until they dropped dead.

Face the music: we're seeing a serious push by big corporations to make an end run around our freedoms so that Disney can keep making money from Mickey Mouse forever. The restrictions on the federal government do not apply to corporations. So what you say? Think which has more impact on your daily life.

Stephenson wasn't just joking when he painted in Snowcrash a society where the federal government was still functional, just irrelevant in the face of the huge corporations. I really hope we don't go there.

Re:Let's Get Back Our Access to the Courts (1)

Weasel Boy (13855) | more than 12 years ago | (#3988994)

"the framers of our constitution didn't see that these huge corporations would have the power via money they now have."

Actually, they did. Just the other day, somebody posted a whole page full of quotes by such leading figures as James Madison, Thomas Jefferson, etc.

"Disney can keep making money from Mickey Mouse forever."

I have no problem with Disney making money on Mickey Mouse forever. It's even okay with me if Disney keeps trying to make money from specific titles such as "Steamboat Willie" forever. Where I draw the line is when they use their congressional clout to prevent anyone else from accessing that cultural material forever.

Re:Let's Get Back Our Access to the Courts (1)

jazman_777 (44742) | more than 12 years ago | (#3988876)

But for the past 20 years, the right-wing in America, funded by their deep pocketed friends in Big Business(TM), have mounted a legal, political and social assault against individuals' right to sue. Sometimes they use the moniker "tort reform." Othertimes, they talk about "greedy lawyers" and "runaway lawsuits" that inevitably hurt those poor, small business owners out there that can't afford to defend themselves against the tassel loafer set.

Dude, when Big Business gets involved, the Republicans jump. When Big Business goes crawling to the State, asking for help and State Growth, the Democrats jump. Both parties are in this together. Al Gore, Dubya, both Statist Interventionist Global Corporatists to the core.

Re:Let's Get Back Our Access to the Courts (1)

IdIoTt (130358) | more than 12 years ago | (#3988918)

Are you serious? Blaming the republicans for what you see as america's problems is equivalent to blaming the scientists who designed the atomic bomb for actually dropping it. I have issues with nearly EVERYONE in government. But as someone who's father actually OWNS a small business, trust me, the democrats are screwing him over just as much as the republicans. Trying to blame just one party is a cheap and lazy approach to actually trying to determine what the problems are with out government today. You may as well start saying "I'm better than they are, so nyah nyah nyah, and this means *I* should get to decide how government is run." Let's try growing up, instead, and realizing that ALL parties receive money for political influence. I hate to break this to you, but most big businesses give money to BOTH parties so cover their ASSets. So before you go blaming one party or the other, try waking up, and actually looking at what ALL parties are doing. If more people did that, perhaps more third party candidates would be forcing some political reform.

"Politicians are like diapers. Both need to be changed often, and usually for the same reason."

Re:Let's Get Back Our Access to the Courts (2)

Zalgon 26 McGee (101431) | more than 12 years ago | (#3988952)

Nowdays, legislators only care about the checks... or the unmarked bills...

And who was president.... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3988989)

when the DMCA came into existence? Oh that's right, Bill Clinton. I could just as easy use your logic to blame the democratic party for allowing one of the worst pieces of legislation ever to be passed. It's not political parties that are to blame, it's greed, and unfortunately it's no respecter of persons.

Re:Let's Get Back Our Access to the Courts (2)

Brian_Ellenberger (308720) | more than 12 years ago | (#3989024)

>Sometimes they use the moniker "tort reform." >Othertimes, they talk about "greedy lawyers" >and "runaway lawsuits" that inevitably hurt

I guess you haven't heard about the fat guy suing McDonalds's for making him fat. :)

Brian Ellenberger

Cudgel...tool...same idea, different slant (5, Interesting)

jvmatthe (116058) | more than 12 years ago | (#3988729)

Don't forget that the GPL [gnu.org] uses copyright as a tool. I believe that Eben Moglen has said that it is precisely this power that makes the GPL as successful as it has been so far. If it weren't for the power of copyright, then the protection from exploitation that much free software enjoys might not be so strong.

So while I think the title of the blurb here on /. gives some sort of negative slant to copyright using the word "cudgel", I am grateful for the power that it has given to free software, when used as a positive force.

Of course, there are many people that dislike the GPL, and so might feel that the word "cudgel" is appropriate. :^)

Re:Cudgel...tool...same idea, different slant (3, Insightful)

rknop (240417) | more than 12 years ago | (#3988802)

Don't forget that the GPL [gnu.org] uses copyright as a tool. I believe that Eben Moglen has said that it is precisely this power that makes the GPL as successful as it has been so far. If it weren't for the power of copyright, then the protection from exploitation that much free software enjoys might not be so strong.

I don't think that cudgel is metaphorically appropriate in the case of the GPL. This article is about strengthening of copyrights being used to take away traditional rights. The GPL grants more rights than what a default copyright would grant you! Yes, it is the strenght of copyright that makes it different from public domain. But when you get right down to it, the GPL is less restrictive than just publishing something with a copyright notice and no further licence. That doesn't sound to me like using copyright as a cudgel....

-Rob

Re:Cudgel...tool...same idea, different slant (2)

Saxerman (253676) | more than 12 years ago | (#3988833)

So while I think the title of the blurb here on /. gives some sort of negative slant to copyright using the word "cudgel", I am grateful for the power that it has given to free software, when used as a positive force.

"Copyright law is the well spring from which the GPL flows. Without copyright law, the GPL would never have been." - Thulsa Doom

I would agrue that without copyright law we wouldn't NEED the GPL since content holders wouldn't have exclusive rights on thier 'property'. Which is not to say that copyrights are all bad, but it is an outdated concept that at least needs to be brought up to date with current changes in how content is created and distrubted in the digial age. Just because the GPL is good doesn't mean that copyrights are good.

Re:Cudgel...tool...same idea, different slant (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3988911)

I would agrue that without copyright law we wouldn't NEED the GPL since content holders wouldn't have exclusive rights on thier 'property'.

Without GPL+copyright, how can you force someone to provide the source code of a binary based on your code? Even if you can freely copy the binary, it's frustrating if you can't modify it.

Re:Cudgel...tool...same idea, different slant (1)

Planesdragon (210349) | more than 12 years ago | (#3988913)

I would agrue that without copyright law we wouldn't NEED the GPL since content holders wouldn't have exclusive rights on thier 'property'.

Without copyright law, expect that MS would simply find some other legal angle to keep its control of its OS. Traditional contract law sounds like the likliest of targets.

Imagine if, instead of buying an anonymous box, you have to sign and EULA, and your software has a unique ID on it. If yours gets pirated, they drag you into court for b/k, and point at the clause that says "we can sue for all lost revenue."

*shudder* unchecked corps will screw us, no matter what the law says.

Which is not to say that copyrights are all bad, but it is an outdated concept that at least needs to be brought up to date with current changes in how content is created and distrubted in the digial age. Just because the GPL is good doesn't mean that copyrights are good.

I'd settle for software simply being exempted from copyright. Digital media "sharing" is infringement, plain and simple.

What's the difference between a million college kids "sharing" your unfinished music single, and a large corporation taking your slush-pile manuscript, publishing it under their own name, and not giving you a dime?

Re:Cudgel...tool...same idea, different slant (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3988887)

The difference is that the GPL uses copyright against itself. The DMCA uses copyright to reinforce itself.

Copyright hasn't given power to the GPL -- the GPL works to subvert the excesses of copyright law, and would be largely unnecessary if copyright didn't exist in the first place. (I'm not advocating abolition of copyright, just explaining that the ideas behind the GPL don't gain a net benefit from the existence of copyright law.)

Re:Cudgel...tool...same idea, different slant (2, Insightful)

Paolomania (160098) | more than 12 years ago | (#3988957)

shield ... cudgel ... both tools, different idea.

the article in no way attacks copyright - it even lauds its protection of fair use, first sale, abstract ideas, and limitations on copyright durations.

for those who did not ready the article, what the article _does_ attack are the destructive effects that the DMCA and CTEA have on these properties of copyright.

Well-considered. (1)

Hayzeus (596826) | more than 12 years ago | (#3988732)

...but the coolest part was that he used the phrase "sucked you off" in the first paragraph. A more scholarly article might have waited at least a page or two, or maybe even buried it way back in an appendix somewhere.

Re:Well-considered. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3988787)

huh huh huh. huh huh huh. he said, 'sucked'. huh huh huh. huh huh huh.

Why does it seem (4, Interesting)

Medevo (526922) | more than 12 years ago | (#3988735)

Why does it seem that when us little people break copyright (and patent) law (accidentally or truthfully), it is getting harder and harder to escape the persecution. Strangely enough when the "little guy" comes up with a new idea or product, copyrights it, but other companies ignore the copyright law and use their lawyers to stall while they make profits (a good example of this is with the finger skateboards, they were created first by one person who copyrighted them and leased the rights to Tyco or somebody, but as soon as his allowed product hit the shelf's, so did 5 or 6 clones, and to this day I believe that they haven't resolved the case).

I believe inventors should get the ability to be credited for their work, but the current copyright laws just seem to favor the collective might of those with lots of lawyers and good lobbyists.

IMHO, a better system would be that as soon as something is copyrighted anybody can use the label or product, but the inventor (or creator) should be reimbursed in some way. (This system has inherent problems, but so does our current one)

Medevo

Justice (1)

URoRRuRRR (57117) | more than 12 years ago | (#3988736)

Justice only comes for those who can afford it, it's been that way for a long, long time, sadly.

Here's how it should work (1, Flamebait)

God! Awful (181117) | more than 12 years ago | (#3988737)

1. If you publish copyrighted materials on the web, the owner should e-mail you with a cease and desist warning that unless you remove the material you will be sued.
2. If you are a search engine or portal, you should not be liable for linking to the potential copyright-violating site, so long as the case is still pending.
3. If you are a search engine/portal and you cache the material, you should be liable (and named as a co-defendant) should you choose to ignore a cease and desist warning.
4. Once a case has been settled, a search engine/portal must not link to a site or cache pages from the site that has lost the case.
5. If you are a search engine located in or serving pages to a particular country, you must obey the court rulings of that country in this regard.

-a

Re:Here's how it should work (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3988803)

That's how it does work, and as you can see, it's not working.

Where is one "located" when on the web? (2)

mikewas (119762) | more than 12 years ago | (#3988850)

"If you are a search engine located in or serving pages to a particular country, you must obey the court rulings of that country in this regard."

A guy I work with (in the USA) is a Chinese (PRC) citizen and he has his personal web site hosted with a Russion ISP. Just where is he "located"? Is he located in the US, where he is physically present, in Russia where the ISP is (BTW I really can't be sure where the ISP's server is physically located), or is he "located" in China since some countries (e.g. Italy) have laws which always apply to their citizens no matter where they physically happen to be.

He may actually "located" in all three or four places simultaneously in a legal sense!

You have no idea where the guy accessing your site is from either -- you have the same set of problems determining where he is "located" as you had trying to determine where you are "located". It's even more of a problem -- at least you're likely to know your physicall location & citizenship, your visitors may not be so forthcoming with the data.

Not quite restricted... (2, Interesting)

daemones (188271) | more than 12 years ago | (#3988755)

...to copyright law. The difficulties in actually going through due process extends to criminal law as well. More and more cases are brought up under the heading 'Terrorism' simply to avoid Habeus Corpis or any public outcry.

I vote (heh) we do the same with the goverment that we would with a computer with this much kruft:

C:\ Format Washington_D_C: /u
yes yes yes.

Damn, that would be nice.

Re:Not quite restricted... (2)

Etcetera (14711) | more than 12 years ago | (#3988907)


C:\ Format Washington_D_C: /u

Umm, I do believe that's exactly what Al Queda is trying to do...

In wartime, some civil liberties are suspended. Not saying that that's right, but that's simply what happens. Quite frankly, I'm willing to err on the side of caution now that we're dealing with an environment where a city can be detonated completely w/o warning and without handy-dandy flags painted on the airplanes to let us know who did it.

Re:Not quite restricted... (1)

daemones (188271) | more than 12 years ago | (#3988926)

[Paraphrase]

You are willing to give up liberty for safety. You deserve neither.

[/Paraphrase]

Re:Not quite restricted... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3988973)

Why not rm -rf /washington_dc?

~~~

Re:Not quite restricted... (1)

daemones (188271) | more than 12 years ago | (#3988997)

Only because I can't recite incantations neccesary
to make a unix machine function properly without using man pages.

Technology is part of the reason for the change (5, Insightful)

Henry V .009 (518000) | more than 12 years ago | (#3988781)

In the 20th century it was hard to be a copyright infringer. You had to have a lot of publishing equipment and junk. You had to make that money back by selling pirated goods. The people you sold the goods to weren't thought of as copyright infringers. They weren't thought about at all.

Today, your average home internet user can be a copyright infringer simply by using a P2P network. It is trivally easy to copy information. Copyright infringement has moved from a public corporate regulation to a private morality issue.

When copyright law was created, copying was expensive. It was hard to maintain a printing press. That only really changed with the advent of the internet. Even previous technologies such as tape recording could be ignored by lawmakers (more or less) because they did not unite the possibility of easy copying with easy mass distribution. That has changed. Modern law is struggling to keep up.

Re:Technology is part of the reason for the change (1)

Oriumpor (446718) | more than 12 years ago | (#3988793)

Well... I'd say after disney got through with copyright law, it doesn't look a damn wit what it once did when it was originally created *cough*mickey*cough*

Well I'd reply, but (-1, Offtopic)

The Cat (19816) | more than 12 years ago | (#3988796)

It'll be marked "troll" or "redundant" or "overrated" at least once, and twice for every point added.

Of course, what do I care? I've had 48-50 karma for well over a year now.

And this will be marked "offtopic" or "flamebait," so read it while you can.

Between this, and "Slow Down Cowboy," I'm rapidly losing interest in Slashdot anymore. YAWN.

Re:Well I'd reply, but (-1, Offtopic)

The Cat (19816) | more than 12 years ago | (#3988883)

and THERE IT IS!!!! Only TWELVE MINUTES too. TWO offtopic mods (in case you missed the first one, apparently. wouldn't that be "redundant?")

sigh...

Re:Well I'd reply, but (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3988936)

Woah you have a user id that low and you're just coming around to realize what a joke slashdot is now?

This site is so corny i mean who can take this crap seriously? it's trash. When i'm bored waiting for my coffee to brew or for my chinese food to get here i stop in and post some inflammatory shit just to annoy the little weeners who take this site seriously.

I mean slashdot and 2600 are basically on the same pathetic level. 2600 tries to make money off the "I make fun of AOL and I download warez from kazaa so I is l33t d00d!" crowd and slashdot tries to make money off the "i have no life so that makes me an expert of all things computational" crowd.

Oh wow i wrote that in less than 2 minutes after something else i posted...oh no! shame on me for typing faster than a hunt n' peck lardassed gamer or something...

ok i have all the slashdot i can stand.

infurmnative +5 (-1, Redundant)

josh crawley (537561) | more than 12 years ago | (#3988824)

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Your Rights Online: Copyright as Cudgel
Education | Posted by michael on Wednesday July 31, @04:20PM
from the which-no-man-can-own,-but-only-rent dept.
kongstad writes "In an issue of The Chronicle of Higher Education, Siva Vaidhyanathan has some interesting things to say about the concept of Copyright: 'Back in the 20th century, if someone had accused you of copyright infringement, you enjoyed that quaint and now seemingly archaic guarantee of due process. Today, due process is a lot harder to pursue, and the burden of proof increasingly is on those accused of copyright infringement.'" A very good academic look at the recent expansions of copyright law.
( Read More... | 6 of 41 comments | Your Rights Online )

Narrative and Weblogs: the Blognovel
The Media | Posted by michael on Wednesday July 31, @03:09PM
from the roman-a-clef dept.
Diego writes "A few days ago I started Plan B -- a blognovel as a way of exploring the narrative constraints created by a weblog, and whether it is at all possible to use it as an artistic medium to produce interesting work. It also presents some interesting challenges on the UI side: what kind of navigation to use besides the basic calendar navigation of the blog? How could it be made obvious that it's not intended to replace print or even ebooks? I thought the slashdot community would have a lot useful things to say about all of these issues. I've also put together a short intro page and a FAQ that I think will be useful to start the conversation: What is Plan B? and the Plan B FAQ."
( Read More... | 39 of 120 comments )

Apple: Sun Denies StarOffice on Mac OS X
OS X (Apple) | Posted by pudge on Wednesday July 31, @02:18PM
from the eh-who-needs-it dept.
mattworld1 writes, "MacCentral is reporting that while development of OpenOffice for Mac OS X will continue, Sun is denying that a version of StarOffice is in the works. This is unfortunate, as it would be nice for Mac OS X users to have a good alternative to the expensive Microsoft Office." Apparently it's not all bad news, as VValdo writes, "The recent announcement of a collaboration from Apple/Sun on a Java-based version of StarOffice for Mac OS X shocked and angered many of the OpenOffice developers who had been left totally in the dark. After two days of intense programming on a proof of concept, they announced a first look at Open Office in Aqua." Neat!
( Read More... | 46 of 151 comments | Apple )

Science: Gliding Into the Stratosphere
Science | Posted by michael on Wednesday July 31, @01:38PM
from the beverage-service-suspended dept.
iAlex writes "Apparently flying around the world in a balloon isn't enough for Steve Fossett. Currently he is attempting to exceed the sailplane altitude record of 49,000 feet. The intention is to fly a two seat glider into the stratosphere on a mountain wave while wearing a pressure suit. Later on the intention is to exceed 100,000 feet in a pressurized glider. There is also a Wired article." Here's a nutshell description of the plan and a primer on mountain waves.
( Read More... | 59 of 144 comments | Science )

Using Your Computer to Repel Pests
News | Posted by CmdrTaco on Wednesday July 31, @12:43PM
from the you-gotta-be-kidding-me dept.
circletimessquare writes "A Thai guy wrote a program that uses your computer speaker to repel mosquitoes, cockroaches, and rats! Just when you thought you heard it all before (pun intended for no good reason). " Thats nothing- CowboyNeal can repel all known lifeforms just by playing his massive collection of boy band MP3s.
( Read More... | 104 of 313 comments )

Interviews: Digital SFX Wizard Answers Slashdot Questions
Movies | Posted by Roblimo on Wednesday July 31, @12:00PM
from the beyond-the-valley-of-the-disneys dept.
Here are 10+ plus answers to Slashdot questions from motion picture digital effects expert Thad Beier. He chose the additional questions himself. (Yes, he's on Slashdot almost every day; we asked him to do the interview after reading many intelligent comments he's posted.) Anyway, there's some fine insight into the intersection of moviemaking, graphic arts, and computer science here, brought to you by an award-winning member of the film industry who just happens to be a fellow Slashdot reader.
( Read More... | 33632 bytes in body | 50 of 126 comments | Interviews )

Wireless Clouds for Good and Ill
Technology | Posted by michael on Wednesday July 31, @11:04AM
from the slashdot-needs-a-wireless-topic dept.
dr_delete sent in a story about Athens, Georgia joining the ranks of municipalities creating free public wireless networks. In a counterpoint to that, we have the Pentagon cracking down on wireless devices, trying to control information leakage. And Newsforge has a story about starting your own wireless ISP. Nifty stuff.
( Read More... | 32 of 112 comments )

Book Reviews: Economy of Errors
It's funny. Laugh. | Posted by timothy on Wednesday July 31, @10:15AM
from the exorcize-for-the-reader dept.
Andrew Marlatt, the mind behind the insidious, sarcastic SatireWire, has finally gone Onion. Fans of that fine news source, in fact, are probably the first ones who should check out this new compendium -- 183 magazine-size pages -- of SatireWire stories. SatireWire is a deadpan Fortune/Forbes/CIO Magazine (with a touch of Adbusters) to the Onion's USAToday/Newsweek/Times. The book is called Economy of Errors, and puts a virtual bathroom library of stories from BusinessMonth Weekly (published semiannually every day) into one volume. (Read on for the rest of my review.)
( Read More... | 6346 bytes in body | 26 of 88 comments | Book Reviews )

Feds to Require Digital Receivers In All New TVs?
Television | Posted by michael on Wednesday July 31, @09:26AM
from the you'll-pay-and-you'll-like-it dept.
jonerik writes "According to this article in USA Today, the FCC is expected next week to require all new TV sets to include digital receivers by 2006. TV manufacturers are balking at the requirement, which they say would increase the price of new TVs by about $200. The National Association of Broadcasters counters that their study shows that the price increase would be half that, and would decrease to about $15 by 2006. The government, eager to sell off the TV broadcast spectrum to wireless carriers, is between a rock and a hard place, with sales of HDTVs slower than expected, broadcasters and cable systems not exactly jumping at the bit to take on the cost of reconfiguring for digital broadcasts, and a public that seems pretty satisfied with traditional analog TVs."
( Read More... | 212 of 528 comments )

Smart Mobs, Swarms, and Flash Crowds
Handhelds | Posted by michael on Wednesday July 31, @08:37AM
from the flight-of-the-bumblebee dept.
PizzaFace writes "Personal communication devices always allowed people to communicate easily and to coordinate their plans at the spur of the moment. As PCDs became widespread, they allowed their owners to converge rapidly in large groups, for purposes social or political. Now something else is happening. Ubiquitous PCDs give each owner multiple simultaneous opportunities for communication or convergence. People surf their PCD network from one conversation to another, and physically surf the most promising of the gatherings to which the network invites them. Their web of social contacts is as broad as the globe and as shallow as a cell phone's keystroke. What happens when people become nodes on a network? Joel Garreau reports provocatively in the Washington Post. His sample is skewed by Washington's summer influx of interns, who come from around the country to work for little or no pay in part because they're chasing 'peak experiences,' and who have lots of disposable time and energy, no local roots or tethers, and an unusually large network of like-wired acquaintances." I think the conventional (and most descriptive) term for this behavior is flash crowd.
( Read More... | 59 of 114 comments )

Ars Technica Reviews Mozilla
Mozilla | Posted by michael on Wednesday July 31, @07:41AM
from the lizard-power dept.
Aglassis writes "This Ars Technica review gives mozilla 1.0 an overall score of 7/10 (9 for Gecko and 6 for the browser). The major detractor was the user interface, since it didn't feel like a Windows application. This was probably due to a poor understanding by the authors of XUL. Overall they say that mozilla would make a good substitute for IE 6 but there is no major reason to switch over."
( Read More... | 253 of 710 comments )

Your Rights Online: EFF Lists Wi-Fi-Friendly ISPs
The Internet | Posted by timothy on Wednesday July 31, @06:51AM
from the a-list dept.
trifster writes "It appears that *some* ISPs encourage Wi-Fi hotspots from users connections. Cnet News.com has the article here." The list itself is on the EFF's site. Most of the ISPs with policies against wireless NATing seem to turn a blind eye to it most of the time anyhow, though.
( Read More... | 38 of 81 comments | Your Rights Online )

unix.com Wins Domain Dispute
News | Posted by Hemos on Wednesday July 31, @04:36AM
from the fighting-the-good dept.
kyler writes "Apparently unix.com was able to afford the lawyers to fight off X/open from stealing their domain name in the wipo domain dispute. If the domain unix.com doesn't violate the UNIX trademark, what gives them the right to take unix.net away from me and unix.org away from Michael? This is ludacris" We had the story about unix.org losing their battle so this is a Good Thing.
( Read More... | 57 of 170 comments )

India's ISPs Want Payola from Big Portals
The Internet | Posted by chrisd on Wednesday July 31, @01:48AM
from the tell-you-one-thing-slashdot-ain't-payin dept.
knorthern knight writes "Story on The Register. America's biggest content providers could face a toll to enter India cyberspace, if plans mooted by the Indian ISP trade association bear fruit. Although the Internet Service Providers Association of India is split on the issue, several of the larger ISPs want to block access to eBay, MSN or Yahoo! unless the prociders pay a toll. 'In order to increase revenue streams we should ask [the portals] to pay if they want traffic on their sites from India,' reports the Hindustani Times."
( Read More... | 96 of 322 comments )

IBM Getting PwC Consulting for $3.5 Billion
IBM | Posted by timothy on Tuesday July 30, @11:57PM
from the total-cost-of-ownership dept.
MoThugz writes: "This Yahoo! News article reports that IBM will be buying PriceWaterhouseCoopers Consulting for a cool $3.5 billion in cash and stock. From the page: 'The purchase is aimed at boosting slowing revenues in the computer giant's large services business, which now accounts for more revenue than its well-known computers and mainframes. ... The merger gives IBM, the world's largest supplier of computers and computer services, the consulting arm of PriceWaterhouseCoopers, the world's largest accounting firm. The combined IBM-PriceWaterhouseCoopers will rank a close second to top consultant Accenture Ltd. , formerly Andersen Consulting.'"
( Read More... | 82 of 200 comments )

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idea's ? (0)

1lus10n (586635) | more than 12 years ago | (#3988825)

i am personally begining to get a little scared about how far these companies (READ: HP) are going with this DMCA stuff. heck i am personally thinking about moving to a smaller european country just to get away for A_FEW_MORE_YEARS untill this cruft becomes global.

and the scary part is , outside of actually coming up with an endless amount of cash to battle these gluttons in court we dont have any other means by which to fight this.

the history of media... (4, Interesting)

vex24 (126288) | more than 12 years ago | (#3988834)

I've heard the argument that as the cost of distributing an artform slide towards zero, the profit margin falls off and the art matures, as only those who truly believe in the artform continue to practice it...

The example is poetry... At one time poets were well paid and could achieve a certain amount of fame and occaisional hefty profits for their work. Nowdays very few poets can "make a living" solely from their art. People still write poems, but the high availability of cheap publishing ensures that they won't make much money at it.

Music is going through the same kind of schism... rock and roll music is a cheap commodity these days, as proven by the big labels that invent bands from thin air dozens of times a year. Distributing music via the internet is shockingly cheap, so naturally the profit motives will be lessened and the artform thinned out.

The problem is when the record companies buy laws to stave off the decline of their art as a cash cow. There interference merely delays the evolution of the artform and introduces serious questions about art, freedom, and copyrights.

Personally, I realize that record companies have legal grounds for trying to stop music sharing, but I don't believe they'll have much success in doing it. They might have an easier time of it searching for a new business model on which to rebuild the artform...

Re:the history of media... (1)

Planesdragon (210349) | more than 12 years ago | (#3988935)

The example is poetry... At one time poets were well paid and could achieve a certain amount of fame and occaisional hefty profits for their work. Nowdays very few poets can "make a living" solely from their art. People still write poems, but the high availability of cheap publishing ensures that they won't make much money at it.

Poetry's a bad example. The talent simply left poetry for clearer mediums--motion pictures and songwriting, to name two.

There is not, today, an effective way to distribute poetry and be compensated for it--and thus, the most talented poets are urged by the basic unit of our society to not be Poets, but rather Songwriters or Authors or Scriptwriters.

Shakesphere was paid very well for his work. Tolkien's estate is paid very well for his work. Micelangelo and Leonardo were, also, paid very well for their work. From personal experience, I do not believe that the best art humans can achieve can be done in "spare time." Unless there is a financial profit to be possibly had, judicious time management tells the poet to *only* write as a recreational activity, and that means it takes quite a back seat to a lot of other things.

That said, I think I'm going to indulge a little on wagering in the salability of my own art...

Re:the history of media... (2)

eyepeepackets (33477) | more than 12 years ago | (#3988981)

And then there's the argument that academia contributed greatly to the "death" of poetry as it was practiced up through the 19th century. Excessive use of deconstructionism and free form combined with the attitude that anyone without a PhD in (insert language of choice here) was and is not qualified to write or be published.

And now, for the low, low price of... (2)

Eric Seppanen (79060) | more than 12 years ago | (#3988837)

$82.50 per year you too can subscribe [chronicle.com] to The Chronicle of Higher Education, and read articles about how the greedy content industries are screwing us into the ground.

Re:And now, for the low, low price of... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3988941)

Much much less than what the new (and foundering) for-fee music download services charge.

And you get to keep copies of the periodical around to read even if you cancel your subscription!

Sounds like a bargain

Microsoft Lawyer (5, Insightful)

Milo Fungus (232863) | more than 12 years ago | (#3988846)

I've read various editorials about copyright law. The basic point of many of them is this: The U.S. Constitution grants congress the right "to promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries" The practice of using copyright law for the hoarding intellectual property is in many ways destructive to "the progress of science and useful arts." Current interpretation of copyright law is, by this arguement, inconsistent with the original intent of the law.

I was speaking with a friend of mine recently about his law practice. Because of my interest in the free software movement, I asked him if he ever works in copyright law. He does quite a bit. I asked him to explain the original intent of copyright law. He said that it was to protect inventors and authors from having their work stolen from them - to secure to them the rights to receive the benefits of their ideas. He didn't mention anything about "the progress of science and useful arts."

I told him my reason for asking about copyright and explained the basics of the GNU GPL. It turns out that he's one of the regional lawyers for Microsoft. It was counter-intuitive to him that people would contribute to a product as a peer-production effort without receiving a direct monetary reward. His impression of the open source community was that they are a bunch of hooligan pirates who don't want to pay for anything and will steal intellectual property rather than pay for it.

This was rather shocking to me because I'm not a pirate. I don't have any illegally-obtained recordings, movies, or software. I don't share my copies with those who ask. I view open source as a superior development model, not as a malicious piracy scheme.

What I learned from this experience is that we need to do more educating of people. We need to teach people that the free software movement has noble intentions. We have an entirely different business model and product development procedure. We don't do business the same way Microsoft does. That's offputting to people who can imagine nothing but proprietary ownership.

This post is long, but I'd like to make one more point: Why does fundamental ownership of a creation have to be a problem? I think a programmer who puts his sweat and tears into code has a fundamental right to he benefits of his work. I feel personally attached to songs that I record. Copyleft is about using that fundamental right of ownership to set the creation free and to allow others freedom to use it. In order to be able to set something free, you must first own that something.

Naming names (3, Insightful)

milo_Gwalthny (203233) | more than 12 years ago | (#3988853)

One of the things I like about this article is that he tells us who to support if we agree: Rep. Rick Boucher, Democrat of Virginia. One of the things I hate about most news items is that they always attribute actions to "Congress" or "a group of Congressmen." How are we supposed to be a representative democracy unless we know who to credit and who to blame?

So, Virginians, Vote Boucher!

And let's always credit the good guys and demonize the bad guys by name, party affiliation and voting district!

Re:Naming names (1)

bmwm3nut (556681) | more than 12 years ago | (#3988925)

speaking of individually listing congressmen who are for/against these things. is there any easy way to get voting records for what they actually did in previous congressional votes? i'd like to know what my representatives voted for last term before i go to the polls.

Re:Naming names (2)

milo_Gwalthny (203233) | more than 12 years ago | (#3988961)

Since /.-ers seem pretty unified on a few issues (the DMCA, the Sonny Bono Increased Profits Act, etc), maybe someone who knows how to do this could organize a friend/foe list around those topics? I will do it myself if people identify the issues and tells me how to find voting records.

There must also be some way of finding the arch-villains: the people who sponsored the legislation or killed friendly legislation in committee. Is anyone out there a Washington expert?

Back in the... oh! (1)

Seth Morabito (2273) | more than 12 years ago | (#3988858)

Am I the only one who's still completely thrown for a loop when I see the phrase "Back in the 20th century"?

My God! It's the future, and I didn't notice!

-Seth

copyright and the sciences (3, Interesting)

margaret (79092) | more than 12 years ago | (#3988864)

As a graduate student in the biomedical sciences, I wholeheartedly agree with what the article says about professional journals and copyright. It's a racket. You have to publish your work to advance, and the most prestigious scientific journals require you to sign the copyright over to them and pay a fee for each page and figure. Then they have the audacity to charge a subscription fee, as well as take in advertising revenue and sell your name to junk mail lists (yes, there is science spam and junk mail too). You're actually supposed to get permission to use one of your own figures in a talk or other type of publication.

On a brighter note, I was quite pleased last week when I received the first issue of a new journal called The Journal of Biology [jbiol.com] . This publication aims to be a top rank journal on par with Science and Nature, but follows the "open access" approach. Specifically, there will never be a subscription fee, all content is available online for free, and most importantly, authors retain copyright of their papers. I think this is a huge step in the right direction. Harold Varmus, the former director of the NIH, was a big supporter of open access, and I think the time is ripe for this kind of change. This journal's publisher BioMed Central [biomedcentral.com] seems to be leading the way in this direction. Good for them! I hope to be sending lots of papers their way!

-margaret

ps if I posted part of this before, I'm sorry. My hand accidentally bumped the enter key. New keyboard.

WHAT DO WE DO? (2)

swagr (244747) | more than 12 years ago | (#3988870)

We know what the problem is.

Tell us how to fix it.
Where's the online petition? Where are the meetings of these "grassroots" campaigns located? Who do I send money to? Why would a US politician care if I (a Canadian) complained about something? Where can I buy "Activism for Dummies"? etc.

I think lots of people would like to do something. They just don't know how.

Re:WHAT DO WE DO? (2)

Etcetera (14711) | more than 12 years ago | (#3988885)


Why would a US politician care if I (a Canadian) complained about something?

Umm.. they wouldn't. And no offense, but they shouldn't. They're supposed to represent *us*. (Me being an American.)

Not that you can't help, but you'll need to find another way. Launching/assisting with a pettition drive, organizing communication, etc...

suck me off please (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3988879)

nice article but how my times does the author have to use the term "suck you off" i wish the riaa and mpaa were slobbing on my knob, then we'd be getting some where on this with them as my ahem, hizoe.

adamatic

The copyright laws are a violation of my 9/10th (1)

hackwrench (573697) | more than 12 years ago | (#3988892)

amendment rights.
at least as they stand

The ninth amendment: The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
and the tenth...
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
and if the article is right..people's 5th amendment rights are being violated as well...I wish these articles would reference the relevant portions of the constitution.

I wonder if this is worth fighting... (3, Insightful)

A nonymous Coward (7548) | more than 12 years ago | (#3988927)

Don't get me wrong. DMCA, SSSCA, DRM, long copyrights, software patents, the whole kit and kaboodle -- I despise them all. But it seems like such a losing proposition, fighting them. I wrote a nice polite letter against the SSSCA, sent it to all 100 senators two months ago, and I haven't heard back from a single one of them. The only response seems to be ever worse legislation.

I wonder what if, instead of trying to refuse these lemons, we figured out what lemonade to make? Use these stifling constipating laws against those who impose them. Twist them back on the very sponsors.

Sometimes, when I am battling a program, when the code seems to get uglier with every fix, I feel like it's turning into another C++ morass. That's when I try to step back and look at the big picture from a fresh viewpoint, and redesign the whole thing. (If only a certain B.S. had done so with C++... :-)

I wonder if that's possible here. Instead of fighting these ridiculous laws, is it possible to enforce them to such an extreme that the sponsors will be hoisted by their own petards? Seems like there has to be something better than beating heads against every new brick wall, like tunnelling underneath or jumping over them.

I don't know what, it just seems like maybe an idea worth considering.

how about some proof, prof (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3988955)

This is a copy of the email I'm sending to Siva.

Despite fashionable cynicism about our political system, Congressional representatives still read and care about constituent mail
Really? Name 2 that responded to anything you've sent with so much as a form letter acknowledgement. I've sent 20 different hand-authored individual letters to 12 different congressmen. Not once did I get a response. Not once did it sway them from doing what they set out to do. I've tried email, I've tried fax, I've tried snail mail. Nothing. Stop telling the public to waste their time talking to these corporate whores. Their decisions are made long before a bill is even authored in the interests of time and self-preservation.

Due Process violation as possible legal strategy? (2)

Etcetera (14711) | more than 12 years ago | (#3988969)


Could any of the lawyers, or law secretaries, or law students, or frequent viewers of Law & Order comment on this as a legal strategy?

Claiming ones due process rights have been violated after dealing with the after-effects of a DMCA notice? Would it be considered extortion upon the ISP to force them to do something that the normally would not do merely as a result of an accusation (ie, not a motion in court)? Especially since we're dealing with free speech issues?

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